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BX 4805 .W95 v. 2 | 

Wylie, James Aitken, 1808- 

The history of Protestantisn 


The History 


Protestanti sm, 


Rev. J. A. WYLIE, LL.D., 

Author of "T/ie Papacy" "Daybrmk in Spain," &'c. 


■Protestantism, the sacred cause ok God's Light and Truth against the Devil's FAisrnf and 

Darkness." — Carlyle. 

Volume IL 





55ooh sarciul). 


I. — Causes that ixflven'Ced the Eeception' or Rejectiox of Pkotestantism in 
II. — Foutuxes of Peotestantism South of the Alps 


IV. — Conference at Ufsala ...... 

Y. — Establishment of Pijotestantism in Sweden 
YI. — Protestantism ix Sweden, from Vasa (1530) to Charles IX. (1601) 
Yn. — Introduction of Protestantism into Denmark 
VIII. — Church-Song ix Denmark ...... 

IX. — Estadlishment of Protestantism in Denmark 
X. — Pkotestantism under Ciikistiax III., axd its Extexsiox to Norway ax 

D Icel 


■JSooh •Cd.-liciitt). 


OF ZWINGLE (1531). 
I. — ZwixGLE— His Doctrine of the Lord's Supfek 


III. — Outhreak axd Suppression of Axaiiaptism in Switzeklanh 

IV. — Estaelish.mext of Protestantism at Bern .... 

V. — Refop.matiox Coxsummated IX Basle .... 

^1. — Leagi'e of the Five C'axtoxs with Austria — Switzerlaxd Divided 
VII. — Arms — Negotiations — Peace ...... 

'V'lII. — Proposed Christian Repuelic for Defexce of Civil Rights 
IX. — Gatherixg of a Second Storm ..... 

X. — De.itu of Zwixole ....... 

^OOft (3rwflftft. 
I. — The Schmalkald League ........... So 

II. — The German Axabaptists, or the "Heavexly Kixgdom" . . . . .99 

III- — AecEssiox of Princes and States to Protestaxtism . . . . . . .101 



IV. — Death and Buuial of Luthkr .... 
V. — The ScHMAiKALD War, .\nd Defeat of the ritOTESTASTs 
VI. — The " I.NTEiiiM " — Re-establishment or ProtejiTantimm 


■iSoofe (Ifiiitecntft. 

I. — The Doctor of Etai'Les, the First Protest.\xt Teacher in 1'ranik 
II. — Fakel, Bkiconnet, .vxd the Early Reformers of France 
III. — The First Protesunt Congregation of France 
IV. — Com.mencement of Persecution in France 
V. — The First Martyrs of France ..... 

VI. — Calvin: his Birth and EmcATiox .... 

VII. — Calvin's Conversion ....... 

VIII. — Calvin becomes a Student of Law .... 

IX. — Calvin the Evangelist, and Berquin the JIaktyr 
X. — Calvin at Paris, and Francis Xegotuting with Germany and Engl 
XI. — The Gospel Preached in Paris — A Martvh 
XII. — Calvin's Flight from Paris ..... 

XIII. — First Protestakt Administration of the Lord's .Supfer in France 
XIV. — Catherine de Medici ...... 

XV. — Marriage of Henry of Fr.vnce to Catherine de Medici 
XVI.— Melancthon's Plan for Uniting Wittembero and Rome 
XVII. — Plan of Fr.\ncis I. for Combining Lutheeanis.m and Romanism 
X^nil. — First Disciples of the Gospel in P.^ris 
XIX. — The Night of the Placards 

XX. — Martyrs and Exiles 
XXI. — Other and more Dreadful M.istyrdoms 
XXII. — Basle and the "Institutes" 
XXIII. — The "Institutes" 

XXIV. — C.vxviN on Predestination .\nd Election 
XXV. — Calvin's Appeal to Francis I. 

STITUTES" (1536). 

55oofi j'omtfcittb. 
I. — Geneva: the City .\nd its History ...... 

II. — Genevese Martyrs of Liberty ....... 

Ill-— 'I'he Reform Commenced in Lausanne, and Established in Morat and Neuchatel 
IV. — Tumults — Successes — Toler.vtion ....... 

V- — I'AREL -Enters Geneva ........ 

VI.— Geneva on the Brink of Civil AVar ....... 

VII. — Heroism of Geneva ....... 





IX. — Establishment of in Cteneva 
X.— C.ttviN Enteus Geneva— Its Civii. and Ecclesiastical 
XI. — Sumptuary Laws — Calvin ani> Farel Banished . 
XII. — Calvin at Steasburo — Rome to Geneva 
XIII. — ^Abortive Conferences at Hagenai and Ratisbon 
XIV. — Calvin Retiuns to Geneva 
XV.— The Ecclesiastical Ouuinances . 
XVI.— The New Geneva ..... 
XVII.— Calvin's B.vttles with the Libertines . 
XVIII.— C.ilvin's Labours for Union ... 

XIX.— Servetus comes to Geneva and is Arrested 
XX. — Calvin's Victory over the Libertines . 
XXI. — Apprehension and Trial of Servetfs 
XXII. — Condemnation and Death of Servetus . 
XXIII.— Calvin's Correspondence with Martyrs, Reformers, and Mon 
XXIV. — CALV^N's Manifold Labours 
XXV.— Final Victory and Glory op Geneva 
XXVI. — Geneva and its Influence in Europe 
XXVII. — The Academy of Geneva . 
XXVIII.— The Social and Family Life of Geneva 
XXIX. — Calvin's Last Illness and Death 
XXX. — Calvin's Work 


, 280 






■3ooft .l^ifrffntft. 
-loN.iTius Loyola ...... 

-Loyola's First Disciples ..... 

-Or6.«is.vtion and Tr.ainixg of the Jesuits 

-Moral Code of the Jesuits — Pkobabilism, &c. . 

-The Je.suit Teaching on Regicide, Murder, Lying, Theft, &c. 

-The " Secret Instructions" of the Jesuits 

-Jesuit Management of Rich AVidows and the Heirs of Great Families 

-Diffusion of the Jesuits throughout Christendom 

-Commercial Enterprises and Banishments .... 

-Restoration op the Inquisition ..... 

-The Tortures op the Inquisition. .... 


^OOh .SiictCflttf). 
^- — Antiquity .vnd First Persecutions of the Waldenses . . . . . 

^^' — CAT.iNEo's Expedition (1488) against the Dauphinese and Piedmontese Confessoks 




III. — l-'.viLUEE or Cataxeo's KXPEDITIO;. . . • • 


V. — Veusecvtioxs axd Maktvudoms .... 

VI.— PitErAKATiuxs roil a Vau or Exteumix.\tiox 
■\'II. — The Gke.^t Cimpaigx of 1.3G1 . . . ■ 

VIII.— Waldexsian Coloxies IX Calabria axi> Ai'Ilia . 


X. — The Ye.ik of the Plagve . . . . ■ 

XI. — The Gre.^t M.issacre . . • • ■ 

XII.— Exi'LoiTs OF GiAXAVELLO— Massacre axd Pillage of Rora 
XIII.— The Exile ....••■ 
XIV. — Returx to the Valley-s ..... 
XV. — Fix.vl Ee-establishmext ix their Valleys 
XVI. — Coxditiox of the "SValdexses from 1G90 . 





"SBooifi ,§>ctofiuecntl). 

I. IIeXUV II. AXD r.VRTIES IX Fr.vxce ......... 512' 

II.— IIexuy II. AXD HIS Peksecutioxs .......... 51& 

III. — First N.\tioxal Synod of the Frexch Protestaxt Chvrch .... . §25' 

IV. — A Gallery of Portraits ........... 532" 

V. — The GiisEs, axd the Ixsfrkectiox or Amikiise ........ 53S 

A'l. — Charles IX. — The Trumvir.we — Colloquy at Poissy ....... 5iG 

A'll. — Massacre at Vassy axd Commexce.mext of the Civil Waio ...... S-j'v 

A'lII. — Commexcemext of the Huovexot W.iRs ......... 5G2 

IX. — The First Hl-guenot War, axd De.vtii of the Dl'ke or Guise ..... 5GS- 

X. — Catherixe de Medici axd her Sox, Charles IX. — Conferexce at Bayoxxe — The St. Eaiiiholomeav 

Plotted ............. 574 

XI. — Secoxd axd Third IIuguexot AVaus ......... 580 

XII. — Syxod of La Rochelle ........... 58.3 

XIII. — The Promoters or the St. Bartholomew Massacre ....... 588 

XIA"^. — Negoti.itioxs of the Court with the Huguenots ....... 592 

XV. — The JLvrwaoe, and PREr^utATioxs for the JIassacre ....... 597 

XVI. — The Massacre of St. Bartholomew ......... GOO' 

XVII. — Eesurrectiox of IIuguexotism — Death of Charles IX. ...... 008 

XVIII.— New Persecutioxs — Eeigx and Death of Hexky III. ....... G14 

XIX. — IIexry' IV. and the Edict of Naxtes ........ 61" 


Cah'm Refusing the Lord's SiipiKT to the Libertines, in St. Pctci-'s Cathedi-al, C 

View in Prague : the Bridge-Tower 

Pliillip II. of Spain 

Interior of Seville Cathedral 

View of Stockholm 

Gustavus Vasa .... 

View of Upsala .... 

Pastor Olaf at the Conference at Upsiila . 

Coronation of Gustavus Vasa 

View in Stockholm, showing the Cathedral 

Death of Charles IX. of Denmark 

View of Copenliagen 

A'iew of Viborg .... 

Paul EHa Tlu-eatened by the Soldiers at \'iboi 

The Protestant AVor.shippers entering Jlalmoii 

Defeat of the Fleet of Christian II. 

A Danish Chiiteau 

Picturn of the Swiss from the Battle of Pavia 

View in Bern ..... 

The Student-Messengers arriving at Baden with Letters from Zwinglu 
The Protestant Cavalcade on the way to Bern 
Street in Bern .... 

Dr. Hallcr Dispensing the Lord's Supper in Bern Cathedi'al 

The Iconoclasts at Basle Burning Images and Idol 

The Departure of Erasmus from Basle 

View on Lake ilaggiorc .... 

Zurich ...... 

Zwinglo Departing to Join the Army 

The Death of Zwinglo .... 

Doorway of Ritisbon Cathedral . 

Luther on his Death-bed .... 

The Luther Memorial at 'Wovms . 

Catherine von Bora, "Wife of Luther 

Burial of Luther in the Scbloss-Kirk, Wittemberg 

View of Trent .... 

The Council of Trent 

Ai-rival of Cliarles V. at St. Juste 

View of the Sorbonnc, prior to 1789 

Lcfcvre Lecturing at the Sorbonnc 

Cathedral of Meau-x .... 

Protestant Labom-er of Meaux Reading the Scriptures to liis Friends 

Denis Reproving the Bishop of Meaux . 

A'iew of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris (eighteenth century) 

Calvin and liis Cousin in Friendly Argument 

John Calvin 


View of the- Palace of JUlois . . ■ ■ 

Young Calvin Expoundiug the Bible to a Family at Boiirge: 

Jleoting of Hcmy VIII. and Francis I. . 

Roussel Preacliing in the LomTc . 

View of St. Dcuis . . . ■ ■ 

Celebration of the Lord's Supper hy Calvin and his l-'ellow-Prot 

Poietiers, as seen from the Aqueduct 

Cosmo I. Receiving his Friends and Clients 

View in the Oulf of Spczzia 

General View of Old Paris 

ilichael Scrvetus . . . . • 

Jlillon and the Lutheran .... 

Moimtain Torrent in Switzcrlard . 

Cardinal de Toumon Keading the Protestant Placard to Francis 

Margaret of Valois .... 

Portion of the Louvre, Paris 

Caspar Hedio ..... 

Interview between Erasmus and C;ih in . 

View of Basle ..... 

Jol-m Cabin .... 

Cathedral of Strasburg — ^West Front 

Arms of the City of Geneva 

Pope Julius II. . 

View of Geneva, showing the Island of liousseau 

Farel Preaching in the JIarket-place of Ncuchatcl 

"William Farel ..... 

Froment's School at the Molard . 

View of Bern from a ileadow below the Biidn.- . 

Peter Viret ..... 

The' Sham Pilgrims at the Gate of Geneva 

The Genevans Dcstrnj-ing the Suburbs of their City 

View of Friburg ..... 

Interior of the Catli^dral of Cieneva 

The Genevans Sweaiing their Renunciation of Ronianis 

Theodore Beza ..... 

Calvin Tlneatcned in the Church of Rive 

\'iew in the Alps : the Spliigrii . 

Cardinal Gaspar Contarini 

The Gothic Well in Ratisbon Cathedral . 

Side-door of Strasbiu-g Cathedral 

t!alvin Re-enters Geneva .... 

Calvin before his Enemies in the < oiincil 

View of St. Peters and the Vatican, Rome 

The liord Protector SomerscI 

I'alvin and Ser\'etus before tlie Council . 

View of Geneva from the Lalci^ . 

Calvin Preaching his Farewell Senni.n in Expectation o 

Servetus on his Way to Execution 

View in Geneva ..... 

View of the Cathedral of Geneva 

King Edward VI. .... 

Calvin Insulted by the Libertines on tlio Rhone Bridge 

A Swiss Valley ..... 

" They resorted to the Bridge of the Arvc, and mocked and jeerc 

Cardinal Sadoleto Visits Calvin . 

A Swiss Cottage ..... 

I at the 

in the 


se who had occasion to 

nass that wav 


TTac-simllc of Oilviii's Handwriting 

■Calvin Addressing the Council for the Lu^t Time 

Farcl's Last Interview with Calvin 

A Street in Barcelona ..... 

Ignatius Loyolxi ...... 

View of the Front Entrance of the 8anetuaiy of Loyola, Guipuzcoa 

Loyola and his Disciples before Pope Paul III. . 

View of the Interior of St. Peter's, Eonie 

A Jesuit Missionary Preaching to a Tribe of Indians 

Blaise Pascal ...... 

View of Eome, .showing the Castle of St. Angcio, and St. Peter 
St. Francis Xavicr ..... 

,V Group of Jesuits ..... 

View in Rome : the Villa Pamphili-Doria 

View of Heidelberg Castle .... 

Pilgrimage of the Young Jesuits of lugolstadt . 
•Compulsory Conversion of Indians by Jesuit ilissionaiies 
Pope Pius ^^L ...... 

View of Naples and the Bay .... 

Peter JIartyr Vermigii ..... 

MoUio Tlu'owing down his Torch before the Inquisition 

View of an Oal Prison on the Pcgnitz, Nuremberg- 

A'iew in the Valley of Eoumeyer, Dauphinc 

An Early Papal Ci'UBade against the "Waldenscs . 

A'iew in Turin ...... 

General View of La Toitc .... 

Farel and his Companions Journej-ing acros.s the Alps . 
View in the Village of Angrogna .... 

View of the Village of Balsiglia, San JIartino 

Tlie Vaudois taking their Oath .... 

3Iap of the Waldensian Valleys .... 

Parting of Paschale from his Betrothed . 

View of the Interior of St. John Lateran, Eonio . 

Group of Roman Peasants .... 

View of the Entranceto La Torre 

Cromwell and Milton ..... 

A Vaudois Family Entertaining some of Pianeza's Soldiers 
View of the Protestant Church of St. Jean, Waldensian Valley 
View of the Pass of Pra del Tor .... 

'The Vaudois Crossing Lake Leman by Night 
View ill the A'illage of San Laui-cnzo, Angrogna . 
View of the Chiu-ch of Chabas, the Oldest in the Valleys 
View of the Tomb of General Bcckwith . 
Francis I. on his Death-bed .... 

Henry II. of France ..... 

"The Tailor before the King and Diana of Poictiers 
View of La EocheUo ..... 

•Claude de Lon-aine, Duke of Guise : Diana of Poictiers ; Catherine dt 
View of the Castle of Pau .... 

Sloucharcs' Band A-ftacking the Protestants at the Hostelry in the Fai 
View of the Cluiteau of Amboise .... 

Louis de Bom-bon, Prince of Conde 

Bcza Presenting the Confession of the French Protestant Church to tli 

View of Sletz ..... 

Jeanne d'Albret ...... 

Piinco of Conde Entering Orleans 
Tiew of St. Ouen Ca±hedj-al, Rouen 

Anne de 

t. Genua 

at the O 



Assassination of tho Duke of tUiisf ...... 

Ch;.rle3 IX. 

\'iew of Bftyonno . . . . . . . 

C'ruiUo of ]Ii.m-y, rrince of lioiini (.ifterwards Henry IV.), in the Castle of Pan 
Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, Addressing the Huguenot Soldiers 
Admiral Gaspard dc C'oligny ....... 

View of the Town of lilois ....... 

I'opo I'ius V. ........ . 

Coligny, Woimdcd, suniniiidcd liy his Friends ..... 

The Blassacre of >St. Bartholomew; Attack on Coligny's Lodgings 

The Night of the Mnssacrc of St. Bartholomew ..... 

Fac-similes of Medals struck in Rome and Paris in honour of the St. Bartholomew JI;, 
Portrait of Henry IV., " King Henry of Xararre " .... 

lledal of Catherine de Jlodici . . . . . . ** , 

View in Paris : the Plni-e do la Concorde .... 




History of Protestantism. 




Germany— Causes disposing it toward the New Movement— Central Position— Free Towns— inebriety .-^ud Morality 
of the People— Switzerland— The Swiss— Hardy— Lovers of Liberty— The New Liberty— Some Ac.-«pt, some 
Refuse— France— Its Greatness— Protestantism in France Glorified by its Martyrs— Ketribution— Bohemia and 
Hungary— Protestantism Flourishes there— Extinction by Austrian Tyranny— Holland— Littleness of the 
Country— Heroism-Holland raised to Greatness by the Struggle— Belgium— Begins WeU—Faints— Sinks down 
under the Two-fold Yoke of Religious and Secular Despotism. 

What we have already narrated is only the opening 
of the great drama in some of the countries of 
Christendom. Protestantism was destined to pre- 
sent itself at the gates of all the kingdoms of 
Europe. Thither must we follow it, and chronicle 
the triumphs it obtained in some of them, the de- 
53 — VOL. II. 

feat it sustained in others. But first let us take a 
panoramic view of the various countries, as respects 
the state of their peoples and their preparedness 
for the great spiritual movement which was about 
to enter their territories. This will enable us to 
understand much that is to follow. In 



opening cliaiitcrs wo sliall snminiu-Lsc the moral 
revolutions, with the national sjjlendours in some 
cases, the national woes in others, that attended 
them, the histoiical record of which will ©ccupy 
the pages that are to follow. 

In some countries Protestantism made steady and 
irresistible advance, and at last established itself 
amid the triumphs of art and the higher blessings 
of free and stable go\-ernment. In others, alas ! it 
failed to lind any effectual entrance. Though thou- 
sands of martyi-s died to open its way, it was 
obliged to retire before an overwhelming away of 
stakes and scaffolds, leaving the barriers of those 
unhajjpy countries, as France and Spain, for instance, 
to be forced open by njder instnimentalities at a 
future day. To the gates at which the Reforma- 
tion had knocked in vain in the sixteenth century, 
came Revolution in the eighteenth in a tempest of 
war and bloody insurrections. 

During the profoimd night that shrouded Europe 
for so many centuries, a few lights appeared at in- 
tervals ou the horizon. They were sent to minister 
a little solace to those who waited for the dawn, 
and to give assurance to men that the " eternal 
night," to use the jjagan phrase, had not descended 
upon the earth. In the middle of the fourteenth 
century, Wicliffe appeared in England ; and nearly 
half a century later, Huss and Jerome arose in 
Bohemia. These blessed lights, welcome harbinger 
of morn — nay, that morn itself — cheered men for a 
little space ; but still the day tarried. A century 
rolls away, and now the German sky begins to 
bi-ighten, and the German plains to glow wth a 
new radiance. Is it day that looks forth, or is it 
but a deceitful gleam, fated to be succeeded by 
another centm-y of gloom ? No ! the times of the 
darkness are fulfilled, and the command has gone 
forth for the gates to open and day to shme in all 
its effulgence. 

Both the place and the hour were opportmie for 
the appearance of the Reformer. Gei-many was a 
tolerably central spot. The great lines of commu- 
nication lay through it. Emperors visited it at 
times ; imperial Diets were often held in it, which 
brought thither in crowds princes, philosojjhere, 
and scribes, and attracted the gaze of many more 
who did not come in pereon. It had numerous 
free townis in which mechanical arts and burghal 
rights flourished together. 

Other countries were at tliat moment less favour- 
ably situated. France was devoted to arms, Spain 
was vTapped up in its dignity, and yet more in 
its bigotry, which had just been intensified by the 
presence on its soil of a rival sujierstition — Islam 

namely — which had seized the fairest of its pro- 
vinces, and displayed its .sjTnbols from the walls of 
the proudest of its cities. Italy, guarded by the 
Alps, lay drowned in pleasure. England was parted 
from the rest of Europe by the sea. Germany was 
the country which most largely fulfilled the condi- 
tions required in the spot where the second cradle of 
the movement should be j^laced. In its sympathies, 
sentiments, and manners Germany was more a'cu- 
menical than any other country ; it belonged more 
to Chiistendom, and was, moreover, the connecting 
link between Asia and Em'ope, for the commerce 
of the two hemispheres was earned across it, though 
not wholly so now, for the invention of the mariner's 
compass had opened new chaimels for trade, and 
new routes for the navigator. 

If we consider the qualities of the ])eople, there 
was no nation on the Continent so likely to wel- 
come this movement and to yield themselves to it. 
The Germans had escaped, in some degree, the 
testheticism which had emasculated the intellect, 
and the vice which had embruted the mamiers of 
the southern nations. Tliey retained to a large ex- 
tent the simplicity of life which had so favourably 
distinguished their ancestors ; they were fiiigal, 
industrious, and sober-minded. A variety of causes 
had scattered among them the seeds of a coming 
libei-ty, and its first sproutings were seen in the 
interrogatories they were beginning to put to them- 
selves, why it should be necessary to import all 
theii- opuiions from beyond the Alps, where the 
people were neither better, braver, nor wiser than 
themselves. They could not understand why 
nothing orthodox should grow save in Italian soil. 
Hei-e, then, marked by many signs, was the spot 
where a movement whose forces were stirring below 
the surface in many coimtries, was most likely to 
show itself. The dissensions and civil broils, tlic 
din of which had distracted the German people for 
a century previous, were now silenced, as if to per- 
mit the voice that was about to address them to 
be the more distinctly heard, and the more reve- 
rentially listened to. 

From the German plains we turn to the moun- 
tains of Switzerland. The Swiss knew to endure 
toil, to brave peril, and to die for liberty. These 
qualities they owed in a great degi-ee to the natiu-e 
of their soil, the grandeur of their mountains, 
and the powerful and ambitious States in their 
neighbourhood, wliich made it necessaiy for them 
to study less i)eacefid occupations than that of 
tending their herds, and ga\'e them frequent op- 
portunities of displaying their courage in sterner 
contests than those they w.aged with the avalanches 
and tcmjicsts of their hills. Now it was France 


and now it was Austria which attempted to become 
master of their country, and its valorous sons had 
to vindicate theii- right to independence en man)' a 
bloody field. A higher Liberty than that for which 
Tell had contended, or the jjatriots of St. Jacob and 
Morat had poured out their blood, now offered itself 
to the Swiss. Will they accept it i It only needed 
that the yoke of Rome should be broken, as that of 
Austria had already been, to perfect their freedom. 
And it seemed as if this happy lot was in store for 
this land. Before Luthei's name was known in 
Svvitzerland, the Protestant movement had there 
broken out ; and, wider Zwingle, whose views on 
some points were even clearer than those of Luther, 
Protestantism for awhile rapidly progressed. But 
the stage in this case was less conspicuous, and the 
champion less powerful, and the movement in 
Switzerland failed to acquire the breadth of the 
German one. The Swiss mind, like the S\\'iss 
land, is partitioned and divided, and does not always 
gi-asp a whole subject, or combine in one unbroken 
current the entire sentiment and action of the 
people. Factions sprang up ; the warlike Forest 
Cantons took the side of Rome ; arms met aims, and 
the first phase of the movement ended with the life 
of its leader on the fatal field of Cappel. A 
mightier champion was to resume the battle which 
had been lost under Zwingle ; but that champion 
had not yet arrived. The disaster which had over- 
taken the movement in Switzerland had arrested it, 
but had not extinguished it. The light of the new 
day continued to brighten on the shores of its lakes, 
and in tlie cities of its plains ; but the darkness 
lingered in those deep and secluded valleys over 
which the mighty forms of the Oberland Alps hang 
their glaciers and snows. The five Forest Cantons 
had led gloriously in the campaign against Austria ; 
but they were not to have the honour of leading in 
this second and greatw battle. They had fought 
valorously for political freedom; but that liberty 
which is the palladium of all others they knew not 
to value. 

To France came Protestantism in the morning 
of the sixteenth century, with its demand, " Open 
that I may enter." But France was too magnifi- 
cent a country to become a convert to Protestantism. 
Had that great kingdom embraced the Reformation, 
the same century which witnessed the birth would 
have witnessed also the triumph of Protestantism ; 
but at what a cost would that triumph have been 
won ! The victory would hare been ascribed to 
the power, the learning, and the genius of France ; 
and the moral majesty of the movement would 
have been obscured if not wholly eclipsed. The 
Author of Protestantism did not intend that it 

should boiTow the carnal weapons of princes, or 
owe thanks to the wisdom of the schools, or be a 
debtor to man. A career more truly sulilime was 
before it. It was to foil armies, to stain tlie glory 
of philosophy, to trample on the pride of power; 
but itself wa.s to bleed and suffer, and to go on- 
wards, its streaming wounds its badges of rank, 
and its " sprinkled rainient " its robe of honour. 
Accordingly in France, though the movement early 
displayed itself, and once and again enlisted in its 
support the gi-eater part of the intelligence and 
genius and virtue of the French people, France it 
never Protestantised. The state remained Roman 
Catholic all along (for the short period of equivocal 
policy on the part of Henry IV. is no exception) ; 
but the penalty exacted, and to this day not fully 
discharged, was a tremendous one. The bloody wars 
of a century, the desti-uction of order, of industry, 
and of patriotism, the sudden and ten-ible fall of the 
monarchy amid the tempests of revolution, formed 
the price which France had to pay for the fatal 
choice she made at that gi-and crisis of her fate. 

Let us turn eastward to Bohemia and Hungary. 
They were once powerful Protestant centres, their 
proud position in thi.s respect being due to the 
heroism of Huss and Jerome of Prague. Sanc- 
tuaries of the Reformed faith, in which pastors 
holy in life and learned in doctrine ministered 
to flourishing congi-egations, rose in all the cities 
and rural districts. But these countries lay too 
_ near the Austrian Emj)ire to be left unmolested. As 
when the simoom passes over the plain, brushing 
from its surfice wth its hot breath the flowers 
and verdure that cover it, and leaving only an 
expanse of ■withered hei'bs, so passed the tempest 
of Austrian bigotry over Bohemia and Hungary. 
The Protestantism of these lands was utterly ex- 
tei-minated. Tlieir sons died on the battle-field 
or perished on the scaflbld. SOent cities, fields 
untilled, the ruins of churches and houses, so lately 
the abodes of a thriving, industrious, and orderly 
population, testified to the thorough and un.sparing 
character of that zeal which, rather than that these 
legions should be the seat of Protestantism, con- 
verted them into a blackened and silent waste. 
The records of these persecutions were long locked 
up in the imperial archives ; but the sepulchre has 
been opened ; the wrongs which were inflicted by 
the court of Austria on its Protestant suljjects, and 
the perfidies with which it was attempted to cover 
these wi'ongs, may now be read by all ; and the 
details of these events will form part of the sad 
and harrov\'ing pages that are to follow. 

The next theati-e of Protestantism Biust detain 
us a little. Tlie ten-itory to which we now turn 


is a small one, and was as obscure as small till the 
Refomiatiou came and shed a halo around it, as 
if to show that there is no coimtry so diminutive 
which a gi-eat principle cannot glorify. At the 
mouth of the Rhine is the little Bata^da, France 
and Spain thought and spoke of this country, when 
they thoiight and spoke of it at all, with contempt. 
A marshy Hat, torn from the ocean by the patient 
labour of the Dutch, and defended by mud dykes, 
could in no respect compare -svith their own magni- 
ficent realms. Its quaking soil and moist climate 
were in meet accordance with the unpoetic race of 
which it was the dwelling-place. No historic ray 
lighted up its jiast, and no generous art or chival- 
rous feat illustrated its present. Yet this despised 
country suddenly got the start of both France and 
Sjiain. As when some obscure peak touched by the 
sun flashes into the light, and is seen over kmgdoms, 
so Holland, in this great morning, illumined by 
the torch of Protestantism, kindled into a glory 
which attracted the gaze of all Europe. It seemed 
as if a more than Roman energy had been suddenly 
grafted upon the phlegmatic Batavian nature. On 
that new soil feats of arms were performed in the 
cause of religion and liberty, which nothing in the 
annals of ancient Italy surpasses, and few things 
equal. Christendom owed much at that crisis of 
its history to the devotion and heroism of this 
little country. Wanting Holland, the great battle 
of the sbcteenth century might not have reached 
the issue to which it was brought ; nor might the 
advancing tide of Romish and Spanish tyranny 
have been stemmed and turned back. 

Holland had its reward. Disciplined l)y its 

terrible stiiiggle, it became a land of warrioi-s, 
of statesmen, and of scholars. It founded uni- 
vereities, which were the lights of Christendom 
during the age that succeeded ; it created a com- 
merce which extended to both hemispheres ; and 
its political influence was acknowledged in all the 
Cabinets of Eiu-ope. As the gi-eatness of Holland 
had gi-own with its Protestantism, so it declined 
when its Protestantism relapsed. Decay speedily 
followed its day of power ; but long afterwards its 
ProtesUmtism again began to return, and with it 
began to return the wealth, the prosperity, and the 
influence of its better age. 

We cross the frontier iwid jjass into Belgium. 
The Belgians began well. They saw the legions 
of Spain, which conquered sometimes by their re- 
jjuted invincibility even befoi-e they had struck a 
blow, advancing to ofl'er them the alternative of 
surrendering their consciences or surrendering their 
lives. They girded on the sword to fight for their 
ancient privileges and their newly-adopted faith ; 
for the fields which their skilful labour had made 
fiiiitful as a garden, and the cities which their 
taste had adorned and their industry enriched with 
so many marvels. But the Netherlanders fainted 
in the day of battle. The struggle, it is true, was 
a sore one ; yet not more so to the Belgians than 
to the Hollanders : but while the latter held out, 
waxing ever the more resolute a.s the tempest grew 
ever the more fierce, till through an ocean 'of blood 
they had waded to liberty, the former became dis- 
mayed, their strength failed them in the way, and 
they inglorieusly sank down under the double yoke 
of Philip and of Rome. 



Italy- -Shall Italy be a Disciple of the Goth?— Pride in the P.ast her Stumbling-block— Spain— The IMoslcm 
Dominancy— It Intensifies Spanish Bigotry— Protestantism to be Glorified in Spain by M.artyrdom— Prepai'ativcs 
for ultimate Triumph— England— Wieliffe—P.egins the New Times— Rapid View of Progress from Wicliffe to 
Henry VIII.— Ch.aracter of the King— His Quarrel witli the Pope— Protestantism Triumphs— Scotland. 

Protestantism crossed the Alps and essayed to 
gather round its standard the historic nations of 
Italy and Spain. To the difliculties that met it 
everywhere, other and peculiar ones were added 
in this new field. Unstning by indolence, and 
enervated by sensuality, the Italians had no ear 
but for soft cadences, no eye but for resthetic 

ceremonies, and no heart Ijut for a sensual and 
sentimental devotion. Justly had its gi-eat poet 
Tasso, speaking of his native Italy, called it 

" this Egj-ptian land of woo, 

Teeming with idols, and their nionstroiis train." ' 

Tasso, Sonnets. 


And another of her poets, Guidiccioiu, called upon 
her to shake off her corrupting and .shameful 
hinguor, but called in vain — 

" Bmitd in sleep of indolence profound 
So many years, at length awake and rise, 
My native land, enslaved because unwise." ' 

The new faith -which demanded the homage of 
the Italians was but little in hai-mony with their 
now strongly formed tastes and dearly cherished 
predilections. Severe in its morals, abstract in its 
doctrines, and simple and spiritual in its worship, 
it appeared cold as the land from which it had 
come — a root out of a diy ground, without form or 
comeliness. Her pride took oft'ence. Was Italy 
to be a disciple of the Goth '.' Was she to renounce 
the faith which had been handed do\vn to her fiom 
early times, stamped with the approval of so many 
apostolic names and sealed -svith the sanction of so 
many Coimcils, and in the room of this venerated 
worship to embrace a religion born but yesterday 
ill the forests of Germany '] She must forget all 
her past before she could become Protestant. That 
a new day should dawn iii the North appeared to 
her just as imnatural as that the sun, reversing his 
course, should rise in that quarter of the sky in 
which it Ls his wont to set. 

Nowhere had Christianity a harder battle to 
fight iu primitive times than at Jerusalem and 
among the Jews, the descendants of the patriarchs. 
They had the chair of Moses, and they refused 
to listen to One greater than Moses ; they had 
the throne of David, to which, though fallen, they 
continued to cling, and they rejected the sceptro 
of him who was David's Son and Lord. In like 
manner the Italians had two possessions, which in 
their e3'es were of more value than a hundred Re- 
formations. They had the capital of tlie world, 
and the chair of St. Peter. These were the precious 
legacy which the past had bequeathed to them, 
attesting the apostolicity of their descent, and form- 
ing, as they accounted them, the induliitable proofs 
that Providence had placed amongst them the 
fountain of the Faith, and the seat of universal 
spiritual dominion. To become Protestant was to 
renounce theii- birth-right. So clinging to these 
empty signs they missed the great substance. Italy 
preferred her Pope to the Gospel. 

Wlien we cross the Pyi-enees and enter 
Spain, we find a people who are more likely, so 
one would judge, to give Protestantism a sym- 
pathetic welcome. Grave, earnest, self-respectful, 
and naturally devotional, the Spaniard possesses 
many of the best elements of character. The 

' Ouidiccioni, Sonnets, 

characteristic of the Italy of that day was pleiusure, 
of Spain we should say it was passion and ad- 
venture. Love and song filled the one, feats of 
knight-errantry were the cherished delights of the 
other. But, unhappily, political events of i-ecent 
occurrence had indisposed the Spanish mind to 
listen to the teachings of Protestantism, and had 
made the maintenance of their old orthodoxy a 
point of honoiu' >vith that people. The infidel 
Saracen had invaded their country, had reft 
from them Andalusia, the garden of Spain, and 
in some of theii- faii-est cities the mosque had 
replaced the cathedral, and the adoration of 
Mohammed had been substituted for the worship 
of Christ. These national humiliations had only 
tended to inflame the religious enthusiasm of the 
Spaniards. The detestation in which they held the 
crescent was extended to all alien creeds. All 
forms of worship, their own exceptetl, they had 
come to associate with the occupancy of a foreign 
race, and the dominancy of a foreign yoke. They 
had now driven the Saracen out of theii' country, 
and torn the standard of the Prophet from the 
walls of Grenada ; but they felt that they would be 
traitors to the sign in which they had conquered, 
.should they renounce the faith for the vindication 
of which they had expelled the hosts of the infidel, 
and cleansed their land from the pollution of Islam. 
Another circumstance unfavourable to Spain's re- 
ception of Protestantism was its geographical situa- 
tion. The Spaniards were more remote from the 
Papal seat than the Italians, and their veneration 
for the Roman See was in proportion to theu' dis- 
tance from it. They viewed the acts of the Pope 
through a halo which lent enchantment to them. 
The irregularities of the Papal lives and the 
scandals of the Roman court were not by any 
means so well known to them as to the Romans, 
and even though they had been so, they did not 
touch them so immediately as they did the natives 
of Italy. Besides, the Spaniards of that age were 
much engrossed in other matters. If Italy doted 
on her past, Spain was no less carried away with 
the splendid future that seemed to be opening to 
her. The discovery of America by Columbus, 
the scarce less magnificent territories which the 
enterprise of other navigators and discoverers had 
subjected to her sceptre in the East, the varied 
riches which flowed in upon her from all these 
dependencies, the terror of her arms, the lustre of 
her name, all contributed to blind Spain, and to 
plaee her in antagonism to the new movement. Why 
not give her whole strength to the development of 
those many sources of political power and material 
prosperity which had just been opened to her? 



Why distract herself by engaging in theological 
controversies and barren speculations ? Why 
abandon a faith under which she had become gi'eat, 
and was likely to become greater still? Pro- 
testantism might be true, but Spain had no time, 
and less inclination, to investigate its truth. Ap- 
pearances were against it; for was it likely that 

illustrious for their rank, for their scholarship, and 
for their talents, illustrate the list of Spanish Pro- 
testants. jNIany wealthy burgesses also became con. 
verts ; and had not the throne and the priesthood 
— both powerful — combined to keep Spain Roman 
Catholic, Protestantism would liave triumphed. A 
single decade had almost enabled it to do so. But 


German monks should know better than her own 
learned priests, or that brilliant thoughts should 
emanate from the seclusion of Northern cells and 
the gloom of Northern lorests ] 

Still the Spanish mind, in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, discovered no small aptitude for the teachings 
of Protestantism. Despite the adverse circum- 
stances to which we have referred, the Reformation 
was not without ilisciples in Spain. If a small, 
nowhere was there a more brilliant baiul of 
«ouverts to Piotiistjiutisiu- Tli/J luuue.^ of iiuju 

[From the FodraH hij Tiliaii.) 

the Reformation had crossed the Pyrenees to win 
no triuiniih of this kind. Spain, like Fiance, was 
too powerful and wealthy a countiy to become 
Protestant with safety to Protestantism. Its con- 
version at that stage would have led to the corrup- 
tion of the principle : the triumph of the movement 
would ha^•e been its undoing, for there is no maxim 
more certain than this, that if a spiritual cause 
tiium)ihs through material and political means, it 
triiniii)hs at the cost of its own life. Protestantism 
U;u.l uatewd S^la^u to glorify it.self by martyrdoui. 



It was destined to display its power not at the 
courts of the Alhambra <ind Escuiial, but on the 
buriiLng groimds of Madrid and Seville. Thus in 
Spain, as in many other countries, the gi'eat busi- 
ness of Protestantism in the sixteenth century was 
the origination of moral forces, wliicli, being death- 
less, would spread and gi'ow from age to age till at 
length, with silent but iiresistible might, the 
Protestant cause would be borne to sovereignty. 
It remains that we speak of one other countiy. 

" Hedged in ^v•itll the main, 

That water-walled bulwark, still secure 
And confident from foreign pm-poses," ' 

England had it very much in her option, on almost 
all occasions, to mingle in the movements and strifes 
that agitated the nations around her, or to sejaarate 
hei-self from them and stand aloof. The reception 
she might give to Protestantism would, it might 
have been foreseen, be determined to a large extent 
by considerations and influences of a home kind, 
moi'e so than in the case of the nations which 
we have already passed in review. Providence 
liad reserved a gi'eat place for our countiy in the 
drama of Protestantism. Long b?fore the sLx- 
teenth century it had given significant ])ledges of 
the part it would play in the coming movement. 
In truth the first of all the nations to enter on the 
I)ath of Reform was England. 

When the time drew nigh for the Master, who 
was gone fourteen hundred years before into a far 
country, to return, and call his servants to account 
previously to receiving the kingdom, he sent a 
messenger Ijefore him to prepare men for the com- 
ing of that " great and terrible day." That 
messenger was John Wicliffe. In many points 
Wicliffe bore a striking resemblance to the Elijah 
of the Old Dispensation, and John the Baptist of 
the New ; and notably in this, that he was the pro- 
jjhet of a new .age, which was to be ushered in 
with terrible shakings and revolutions. In minor 
points even we trace a resemblance between Wicliffe 
and the men who filled in early ages a not dissimilar 
office to that which he was called to discharge when 
the modern times were about to begin. AJl three 
are alike in the startling suddenness of their appear- 
ance. Descending from the moimtains of Gilead, 
Elijah presents himself all at once in the midst of 
Israel, now apostate from Jehovah, and addresses 
to them the call to " Return." From the deserts 
of Judiea, where he had made his abode till the 
day of his " showing unto Israel," John came to 
the Jews, now sunk in traditionalism and Pharasaic 
obsei-vances, and said, " Repent." Fi'om the dark- 

' ijhaliespearc, Kiiuj John, act ii., scene 1. 

ness of the Middle Ages, without note of warning, 
Wiclifie burst upon the men of the foui'teeuth cen- 
tury, occupied in scholastic subtleties and smik iii 
ceremonialLsm, and addressed to them the call to 
" Refoi-m." " Repent," said he, " for tlie gi-eat 
era of reckoning is come. There cometh one after 
me, mightier than I. His fan is in liis hand, and 
he will thoroughly piu-ge his floor, and gather the 
wheat into the gamer ; but the chafi" he will bimi 
with unquenchable fii'e." 

Even in his personal appearance Wicliffe recalls 
the pictiu-e which the Bible has left us of his great 
predecessoi-s. The Tishbite and the Baptist seem 
again to stand before us. The erect and meagre 
form, ^Yiih piercing eye and severe brow, clad in a 
long black mantle, Avith a girdle round the middle, 
how like the men whose raiment was of camel's haii-, 
and who had a leathern girdle upon their loins, and 
whose meat was locusts and wild honey ! 

In the great lineaments of their character how 
like ai-e all the three ! Wicliffe has a marked in- 
dividuality. No one of the Fathers of the early 
Church exactly resembles him. We must travel 
back to the days of the Baptist and of the Tishbite 
to find his like. Austere, incorruptible, inflexible, 
fearless. His age is inconceivalily corrupt, but he 
is withoxit stain. He appears among men, but he 
is not seen to mmgle with them. Solitary, without 
companion or yoke-fellow, he does his work alone. 
In his hand is the axe : sentence has gone forth 
against every corrupt tree, ami hi has come to cut 
it down. 

Beyond all doubt Wicliffe was the beginning 
of modern times. His appearance marked the 
close of an age of darkness, and the c>immencement 
of one of Reformation. It is not more true that 
John stood on the dividing line betwveen the Old 
and New Dispensations, than that the appeai'ance 
of Wiclifte marked a .similar boundary. Behind 
him were the times of ignorance and superstition, 
before him the day of knowledge and truth. Pre- 
vious to Wicliffe, century succeeded century in 
imbroken and unvaried stagnancy. The years re- 
volved, but the world stood still. The systems that 
had climbed to power prolonged their reign, and the 
nations slept in then- chains. But since the age of 
Wiclifie the world has gone onward in the path of 
progi-ess without stop or pause. His ministry was 
the fountain-head of a series of gi'and events, which 
have followed in vx[)k\ succession, and each of 
which has achieved a great and lasting advance 
for society. No sooner had Wiclifie uttered the 
fii-st sentence of lining truth than it seemed as if a 
seed of life, a spark of fii-e had been thrown into 
the world, for instantly motion sets in, in every de- 


liartmeut,and the movementof regeneration, towhich 
be bad given tbe fii'st toucb, incessantly works its 
-way to tbe lofty platform of the sixteenth centiuy. 
War and letters, the ambition of piinces and the 
blood of martyrs, pioneer its way to its grand de- 
velopment under Luther and Cal\-in. 

When Wiclifle was born the Papacy bad just 
passed its noon. Its meridian glory bad lasted all 
through the two cent '-ies which divided tbe ac- 
cession of Gregory VII. (1073) from tbe death of 
Boniface VIII. (1303). This period, which includes 
the halcyon days of Innocent III., marks tbe ejioch 
of supremest domiuancy, tbe age of unecUpsed splen- 
dour, which was meted out to tbe Popes. But no 
sooner bad Wiclifle begun to preach than a wane 
set in on tbe Papal glory, which neither Council 
nor curia has ever since been able to arrest. And 
no sooner did tbe English Reformer stand out in 
bold relief before tbe world as the opponent of 
Rome, than disaster after disaster came biu-rying 
towards the Papacy, as if in bsiste to weaken and 
destroy a power which stood between the world 
and the entrance of tbe new age. 

Let us bestow a moment to tbe consideration 
of this series of calamities to Rome, but of eman- 
cipation to tbe nations. At the distance of three 
centuries we see continuous and systematic pro- 
gress, where the observer in the midst of the events 
may have failed to discover aught save confusion 
and turmoil. First came tbe schism of tbe Popes. 
What tremendous loss of both political iivfluence and 
moral prestige tbe schism inflicted on tbe Papacy we 
need not say. Next came the deposition of several 
Popes by the Councils of Pisa and Constance, on tbe 
ground of their being notorious malefectoi-s, leaving 
the world to wonder at tbe ra.sbness of men who 
could thus cast down their o-svn idol, and publicly 
vilify a sanctity which they professed to regard as 
not less immaculate than that of God himself 

Then followed an outbreak of the wars which 
have raged so often and so furiously between 
Councils and tbe Popes for tbe exclusive possession 
of tbe infallibility. The immediate result of this 
contest, which was to strip the Popes of this super- 
human prerogative and lodge it for a time iia a 
Council, was less important than tbe inquiries it 
originated, doubtless, in the minds of reflecting 
men, how far it was wise to entrust themselves to 
the guidance of an infallibility which was unable 
to discover its own seat, or tell through those 
mouth it spoke. After this there came tbe disas- 
trous campaigns in Bohemia. These fruitless wars 
gave tbe German nobility their first taste of bow 
bitter was tbe service of Rome. That experience 
much cooled their ardour in her cause, and helped 

to pave the way for tbe bloodless entrance of tbe 
Lutheran Reformation upon the stage a century , 

The Bohemian campaigns cams to an end, but 
the series of events pregnant with disaster to 
Rome still ran on. Now broke out the wars 
between England and France. Tliese brought new 
calamities to the Papacy. The flower of the French 
nobility perished on the battle-tield, tbe throne 
rose to power, and, as a consequence, the bold the 
priesthood bad on France through the barons was 
loosened. Yet more. Out of tbe guilty attempt 
of England to subjugate France, to which Henry V. 
was instigated, as we have sho^vn, by the Popish 
primate of the day, came tbe Wars of tbe Roses. 
These dealt another heavy blow to the Papal power 
in our counti-y. On tbe many bloody battle-fields 
to which they gave rise, the English nobility were 
all but extinguished, and tbe throne, now occupied 
by the House of Tudor, became tbe one power in 
the coimtry. Again, as in France, the Pojnsh 
priesthood were largely stripped of tbe ])ower they 
bad wielded through tbe weakness of tbe throne 
and the factions of the nobility. 

Thus vnth rapid and ceaseless march did events 
proceed from the days of Wiclifle. Not an occur- 
rence which did not belj] towards the end in view, 
which was to make room in the world for the 
work of tbe Reformer. We see tbe moiuitains of 
human dominion levelled that the chariot of Pro- 
testantism may go forward. Whereas at the begin- 
ning of tbe era there was but one power paramount 
in Christendom, tbe Popedom even, by tbe end of 
it three great thrones bad arisen, whose combiaied 
authority kept the tiara in check, while their 
0^11 mutual jealousies and ambitions made them a 
cover to that movement, with which were bound up 
tbe religion and liberties of the nations. 

Rome bad long exercised her jui-isdiction m our 
country, but at no time had that jurisdiction been 
wholly unchallenged. One of our kings, it is true, 
bad placed his kingdom in tbe bands of tbe Pope, 
but the transaction did not t«nd to strengthen the 
influence of tbe Papacy amongst us. It left a 
rankling sense of shame behind it, which intensi- 
fied tbe nation's resistance to the Papal claims on 
after-occa.sions. From the days of Kuig John, tbe 
opposition to the jurisdiction of Rome steadily 
increased ; tbe haughty claims of her legates were 
withstood, and her imposts could only at times be 
levied. These were hopeful symptoms that at a 
future day, when greater light should break in, the 
English people would assert their freedom. 

But when that day came these hopes apjieared 
fated to be dashed by the character of the man 



who filled the throne. Henry VIII. possessed 
•qualities which made him an able coadjutor, but a 
most formidable antagonist. Obstinate, tyrannical, 
impatient of contradiction, and not unfrequently 
meeting respectful remonstrance with transports of 
anger, he was as unscrupulous as he was energetic 
in the support of tlie cause he had espoused. He 
plumed himself not less on liLs theological know- 
ledge than on his state-craft, and thought that 
when a' king, and especially one who was a gieat 
doctor as well as a great ruler, had spoken, there 
ought to be an end of the controversy. Unhappily 
Henry VIII. had spoken in the great controversy 
now beginning to agitate Christendom. He had 
taken the side of the Pope against Luther. The 
decision of the king appeared to be the death-blow 
of the Protestant cause in England. 

Yet the causes which threatened its destiTiction 
were, iu the hand of God, the means of opening its 
way. Henry quarrelled ■«'ith the Pope, and in 
his rage against Clement he forgot Luther. A 
monarch of passions less strong and temper less 
liery would have striven to avoid, at that moment, 
such a breach : but Henry's piide and headstrong- 
ness made him incapable of temporising. The 
quarrel came just in time to prevent the union of 
the throne and the priesthood against the Reforma- 
tion for the purpose of crushing it. The political 
arm misgave the Church of Rome, as her hand was 
about to descend with deadly force on the Pro- 
testant converts. While the king and the Pojie 
were quarrelling, the Bible entered, the Gosj)el 
that brings "peace on earth" began to be preached, 
and thus England passed over to the side of the 

We must bestow a glance on the northern por- 
tion of the island. Scotland in that age was less 
happily situated, socially and politically, than Eng- 
land. Nowhere was the power of the Roman 

hierarchy greater. Both the temporal and spiritual 
jurisdictions were in the hands of the clergy. The 
powerful barons, like so many kings, had divided 
the country into satrapies ; they made war at theii- 
jjleasiu-e, they compelled obedience, and they ex- 
acted dues, without much regard to the authority 
of the throne which they despised, or the rights of 
the people whom they oppressed. Only in the 
towns of the Lowlands did a feeble independence 
maintain a precarious footing. The feudal system 
flourished in Scotland long after its foundations 
had been shaken, or its fabric wholly demolished, 
in other countries of Europe. The poverty of the 
nation was great, for the soil was infertile, and the 
husbandry wTetched. The commerce of a former 
era had been banished by the distractions of the 
kingdom ; and the letters and arts which had shed 
a transient gleam over the country some centuries 
earlier, were extinguished amid the growing rude- 
ness and ignorance of the times. These powerful 
obstacles threatened efi'ectually to bar the entrance 
of Protestantism. 

But God opened its way. Coj)ies of the newly 
translated Scriptures were secretly introduced, and 
thus the seeds were sown. Next the power of the 
feudal nobility was weakened by the fatal field of 
Flodden, and the disastrous rout at the Solway. 
Then the hierarchy was dLscrcdited with the people 
by the martj'rdoms of Mill and Wishart. -The 
minority of Mary Stuart left the kingdom without 
a head, and when Knox entered there was not a 
baron or priest in all Scotland that dared imprison 
or burn him. His voice rang through the land 
like a trumpet. The Lowland toi\Tis and shues re- 
sponded to his summons ; the temporal jurisdiction 
of the Papacy was abolished by the Parliament ; 
its spiritual power fell before the preaching of the 
" Evangel," and thus Scotland placed itself in the 
foremost rank of Protestant countries. 





Influenoo of Germany on Sweden and Denmark— Planting of Cliristiftnity in Sweden— A Mission Church till the 
Eleventh Century— Organised by Eome in the Twelfth— Wealth and Power of the Clergy— Misery of the Kiog- 
dom—Aicimbold— Indulgences— Christian II. of Denmark— Settlement of Calmai-— Christian II. Subdues the 
Swedes— Cruelties— He is Expelled- Gustavus Vasa— Olaf and Lawrence Patersen— They begin to Teach the 
Doctrines of Luther— They Translate the Bible— Proposed Translation by the Priests— Suppression of FTo- 
testant Version Demanded— King Refuses- A Disputation Agreed on. 

It would have been strange if the three king- 
doms of Denmark, Sweden, and Noi-way, lying on 
the borders of Gei-many, had failed to participate ui 
the great movement that was now so deeply agitat- 
ing theu- powerful ueighboui-. Many causes tended 
to bind together the Scandinavian and the German 
peoples, and to mould for them substantially the 
same destiny. They were sprang of the same 
stock, the Teutonic ; they traded with one another. 
Not a few native Germans were di.spei-sed as 
settlere thi-oughout Scandinavia, and when the 
school of Wittemberg rose into fome, the ScancU- 
na^'ian youth repaired thither to taste the new 
knowledge, and sit at the feet of the gi-eat doctor of 
Saxony. These several links of relationship became 
so many channels by which the Eeformed opinions 
entered Sweden, and its sister countries of Denmark 
and Nonvay. The light withdi-ew itself from the 
polished nations of Italy and Spain, from lands 
which were the ancient seats of lettere and arts, 
of war and chivaliy, to warm with its cheering 
beam the inhospitable shores of the fi-ozen North. 

We go back a moment to the fii-st planting of 
C'hiistianity in Sweden. There, although the 
dawn broke early, the day tarried long. In 
the year 829, Anschar, the gi-eat apostle of the 
North, stepped upon the shores of Sweden, bi-ing- 
ing with him the Gospel He continued till the 
day of his death to watch over the seed he had 
been the first to sow, and to promote its gi'owth by 
Lis imwearied labom-s. After him othera arose 
who trod in liis steps. But the times were bar- 
barous, the facilities for spreading the light were 
few, and for 400 years Christianity had to main- 
tain a dubious straggle in Sweden ^-ith tlie pagan 
darkness. According to Adam, of Bremen, the 
Swedish Church was still a mission Clnuch in the 
end of the eleventh centuiy. The peojjle were 
without fixed pastoi-s, and had only the teaching of 
men who itinerated over the coimtiy, -with the 
consent of the king, making converts, and admin- 
ifiteilug the Sacraments to those who already had 

embraced the Christian faith. Not till the twelfth 
century do we find the scattered congi-egations of 
Sweden gathered into an organised Church, and 
brought into connection with the ecclesiastical 
institutions of the West. But this was only the 
pireludc to a sulijugation by the gi-eat conqueror. 
Pushing her conquests beyond what had been the 
Thide of pagan Piome, Rome Papal claimed to 
stretch her sceptre over the freshly-formed com- 
munity, and in the middle of tlie twelfth century 
the consolidation of the Church of Sweden was 
completed, and linked by the usual bonds to the 
Pontifical ehaii'. 

From this hour the Swedish Church lacked no 
advantage which organisation could give it. The 
powerful body on the Seven Hills, of which it had 
now become a humble member, was a perfect 
mistress in the art of airanging. The ecclesiastical 
constitution fi-amed for Sweden comprehended an 
archiepiscopal see, established at Upsala, and six 
episcopal dioceses, \ii., Linkoping, Skara, Streng- 
niis, Vesteras, Vexio, and Aabo. The condition of 
the kingdom became that of all coiuitries under the 
jurisdiction of Rome. It exhibited a flourishing 
priesthood with a decajdng piety. Its cathedral 
churches were richly endowed, and fully equipped 
■with deans and canons; its monkish orders 
flourished in its cold Northern air with a luxuii- 
ance which was not outdone in the sunny lands of 
Italy and Spain ; its cloistei-s were numerous, the 
most famous of them being Vadstena, which owed 
its origin to Birgitta, or Bridget, the lady 
whom we have already mentioned as having been 
tlu-ee times canonised ; ' its clergy, enjo3'iug enor- 
mous revenues, rode out attended by anned escorts, 
and holding theii' heads higher than the nobiHty, 
they aped the magnificence of piinces, and even 
coped vnXh. royalty itself But when we for a 
coiTOsponding result in the intelligence and morality 
of the people, in the good order and flourishing 

' See ante, vol. I., bk. iii., chap. 5. 



condition of the agricultiu'e and arts of the king- 
dom, we lind, alas ! that there is nothing to show. 
The people were steeped in poverty and gi'ound 
down by the oppression of their masters. Left 
without instruction liy their spiritual guides, with 
no access to the Word of Goil — for the Scriptures 

were dragged into the fray, and thus the kingdom 
was little better than a chaos in which all lanks, 
from the monarch downwards, struggled together, 
each hcl])ing to consummate the misery of the 
other. Such was the condition in which the He- 
formation found the nation of Sweden.' 

had not as yet been 
rendered into the 
Swedish tongue — 
with no worship save 
one of mere signs and 
ceremonies, which 
could convey no truth 
into the mind, the Christian light that had shone 
upon them in the previous centuries was fast 
fading, and a night thick as that which had 
enwrapped their forefathei-s, who worshipped 
as gods the bloodthirsty heroes of the Eddas 
and the Sagas, was closing them in. The super- 
stitious beliefs and pagan practices of old times 
were returning. The country, moreover, was torn 
with incessant strifes. The great families battled 
with one another for dominion, theii' \assals 

vendors of indulgences. In the year 1.515, Pope 
Leo X. dispatched Johannes Angelus Arcim- 
boldus, pronotary to the Papal See, as legate to 
Denmark and Sweden, commissioioing him to 
open a sale of indulgences, and i-aise money 
for the gi'eat work the Pope had then on hand, 

' See SvmsTca Kirkorcformationens Historia. I Trc AfdeU 
ningar. Af L. A. Anjou. Upsala, 1850 {History of the 
Reformation in Sweden. In Throe Divisions. By L. A. 
Aiijou. Uiisala, 1850). 



namely, the building of St. Peter's. Father Sarpi 
pays this ecclesiastic the bitter compliment "that 
he hid under the prelate's robe the qualifications of 
a consummate Genoese merchant." The legate dis- 
charged his commission with indefatigable zeal. 
He collected vast sums of money in both Sweden 

The progress of the religious movement was 
mixed up with and influenced by the state of poli- 
tical affaii-s. The throne of Denmark was at that 
time filled by Christian II., of the house of Olden- 
burg. This monarch had spent his youth in the 
society of low companioui} and the indulgence of 


(From the Poi-fi-ail in Archenliolz' s " Bistoirc tie Chista 

Ffcnch irajinlatlou.i 

and Denmark, and this gold, amounting to more 
than a million of florins, according to Maimbourg,' 
he sent to Rome, thus replenishing the coffers but 
undermining the influence of the Papal See, and 
giving thereby the first occasion for the introduction 
of Protestantism in these kingdoms.^ 

' Maimbourg, lib. i., sec. 57. 
■ Gerdesius, torn, i., p. 78 ; toui. iii., p. 277. 
54 — VOL. II. 

low vices. His character was such as might have 
been expected from his education ; he was brutal and 
tyramrical, though at times he displayed a sense of 
justice, and a desire to promote the welfare of his 
siibjects. The clergy were vastly wealthy ; so, too, 
were the nobles — they owned most of the lands ; 
and as thus the ecclesiastical and lay aristocracy 
possessed an influence that overshadowed the throne, 
Christian took measures to reduce their power 



Avithin dimensions more compatible with the rights 
of royalty. The opinions of Luther had begun to 
spread in the kingdom ere this time, and the king, 
.liiick to perceive the aid he might derive from the 
Reformation, sought to further it among his people. 
In 1520 he sent for Martin Eeinhard, a disciple 
of Carlstadt, and appointed him Professor of Theo- 
logy at Stockholm. He died within the year, and 
Carlstadt himself succeeded him. After a short 
residence, Carlstadt quitted Denmai'k, when Chris- 
tian, still intent on rescuing the lower classes of 
his people from the yoke of the priesthood, invited 
Luther to visit his dominions. The Reformer, 
however, declined the invitation. In the following 
year (1521) Christian II. issued an edict forbidding 
appeals to Rome, and another encouraging priests 
to marry.' These Reforming measiu-es, however, 
did not prosper. It was hardly to be expected that 
they would, taken as they were, because they ac- 
corded with a policy the main object of which was 
to wrest the power of oppression from the clergy 
that the king might wield it hiinself. It was not 
till the next reign that the Reformation was esta- 
blished in Denmark. 

Meanwhile we pursue the history of Christian II., 
which takes us back to Sweden, and opens to us 
the rise and progi-ess of the Reformation in that 
country. And here it becomes necessary to attend of all to the peculiar political constitution of 
the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, and 
Norway. By the settlement of Calmar (1397) the 
union of the three kingdoms, under a common 
sovereign, became a fundamental and irrevocable 
law. To secm-e the liberties of the States, how- 
ever, it was provided that each kingdom should be 
governed according to its peculiar laws and cus- 
toms. When Christian II. ascended the tlirone 
of Denmark (1513), so odious was his character 
that the Swedes refused to acknowledge him as 
then- king, and appomtcd an administrator, Steno 
Sturius, to hold the reins of government." Chris- 
tian waited a few years to strengthen himself in 
Denmark before attempting the reduction of the 
Swedes. At length he raised an aimy for the in- 
vasion of Sweden ; his cause was espoused witliin 
the kingdom by Trollius, Archbishop of Upsala, 
and Ai-cimboldus, the Pope's legate and indulgence- 
monger, who largely subsidised Christian out of 
the vast sums he had collected by tlie sale of par- 
dons, and who moreover had influence enough to 

^ See extracts by Gevdcsius from the Code 6/ Ecclesiasiiral 
and Civil Laws, by Christian, King o/ Denmark, Sweden, 
and Norway — Hist. Reform., torn, iii., pp. 347, 348. 

- Uerdesms (Loecen. Hisl. Snce., lib. v.j p. lC9),tom. iii., 
p. 278. Sleidan, iv. C2. 

procure from the Pope a bull placing the whole of 
Sweden under interdict, and excommunicating Steno 
and all the members of his govei-nment.^ The 
fact that this conquest was gained mainly by the 
aid of the priests, shows clearly the estimate formed 
of King Christian's Protestantism by his contem- 

The conqueror treated the Swedes with great 
barbarity. He caused the body of Steno to be 
dug out of the gi-ave and burned.'' In want of 
money, and knowmg that the Senate would refuse 
its consent to the sums he wished to levy, he caused 
them to be apprehended. His design, which was to 
massacre the senators, was communicated to the 
Archbishop of Upsala, and is said to liave been 
approved of by him. The ofi'ence imputed to these 
unhappy men was that they had fallen into heresy. 
Even the fonns and delay of a mock trial were too 
slow for the vindictive impatience of the tyi-ant. 
With frightful and summary cruelty the senators 
and lords, to the number of seventy, were marched 
ox\.% into the open square, surroiuided by soldiers, 
and executed. At the head of these noble victims 
was Eric Vasa, the father of the illustrious Gus- 
tavus Vasa, who became afterwards the avenger of 
his father's death, the restorer of his country's 
liberties, and the father of its Refoiination. 

Gustavus Vasa fled when his sire was beheaded, 
and remained for some time in hiding. At length, 
emerging from his jjlace of security, he roused the 
peasantry of the Swedish provinces to attempt the 
restoration of their country's independence. He 
defeated the troops of Christian in several engage- 
ments, and after an arduous struggle he overthrew 
the tyrant, received the cro'svn of Sweden, and 
erected the country into an independent sovereignty. 
The loss of the throne of Sweden brought after it 
to Christian II. the loss of Denmark. His oppres- 
sive and tyrannical measures kept up a smoid- 
dering insurrection among his Danish subjects ; 
the dissatisfaction broke out at last in open rebel- 
lion. Christian II. was deposed ; he fled to the 
Low Countries, where he renounced his Protestant- 
ism, which was a decided disqualification in the 
eyes of Chai-les V., whose sister Isabella he had 
married, and at whose court he now sojourned. 

Seated on the throne of Sweden (1523), under 
the title of Vasa I., Gustavus addressed himself to 
the Reformation of his kingdom and Church. The 
way was paved, as we have already said, for the 
Reformation of the latter, by merchants who visited 
the Swedish ports, by soldiers whom Vasa had 

Gerdesius, torn, iii., pp. 282, 263. 
SleiJan, iv. 02. 



brought from Germany to aid him iii the war of 
independence, and who carried Luther's writings in 
their knapsacks, and by students who had returned 
from Wittemberg, bringing with them the opinions 
they had there imbibed. Vasa himself had been 
initiated into the Reformed doctrine at Lubeck 
during his banishment from his native country, and 
was confirmed in it by the conversation and in- 
struction of the Protestant divines whom he gathered 
round him after he ascended the throne.' He was 
as wise as he was zealous. He resolved that in- 
struction, not authority, should be the only instra- 
ment employed for the conversion of his subjects. 
He knew that their minds were divided between 
the ancient superstitions and the Reformed faith, 
and he resolved to furnish his people -with the 
means of judging between the two, and making 
their own choice. 

There were in his kingdom two youths who had 
studied at Wittemberg under Luther and Melanc- 
thon, Olaf Patersen and his brother Lawrence. 
Their father was a smith in Oerebro. They were 
bom respectively in 1497 and 1499. They received 
the elements of their education at a Carmelite 
cloister school, from which Olaf, at the age of nine- 
teen, removed to Wittemberg. The three years he 
remained there were very eventful, and communi- 
cated to the ardent mind of the young Swede 
aspirations and impulses which continued to de- 
velop themselves during all his after-life. He is 
said to have been in the crowd around the door 
of the Castle-church of Wittemberg when Luther 
nailed his Theses to it. Both brothers weie eminent 
for their piety, for their- theological attainments, 
and the zeal and courage with which they pub- 
lished " the opinions of their master amid the dis- 
orders and troubles of the civU wars, a time," 
says the Abbe Vertot, " favourable for the establish- 
ment of new religions."" 

These two divines, whose zeal and prudence had 
been so well tested, the king employed in the 
instruction of his siibjects in the doctrines of 
Protestantism. Olaf Patersen he made preacher 
in the great Cathedi-al of Stockholm,^ and Lawrence 
Patersen he appointed to the chair of theolog)' at 
XJpsala. As the movement progressed, enemies 
arose. Bishop Brask, of Linkoping, in 1523, 
received information from XJpsala of the dangerous 
spread of Lutheran heresy in the Cathedral-church 
at Strengnas through the efforts of Olaf Patersen. 
Brask, an active and fiery man, a politician rather 

' Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 287. 

- Ihid. (Vertot, ad ann. 1521, p. 175), torn, iii., 286. 

^ Ibid., torn, iii., i). 290. 

than a priest, was transported with indignation 
against the Lutheran teachers. He fulminated the 
ban of the Chiu-ch against all who should buy, or 
read, or cii'culate their writings, and denounced 
them ivs men who had impiously trampled under 
foot ecclesiastical order for the pm-pose of gaining 
a liberty which they called Christian, but which 
he would term " Lutheran," nay, " Luci/erian." 
The opposition of the bishop but helped to fan 
the flame ; and the public disputations to which the 
Protestant preachers were challenged, and which 
took place, by royal permission, in some of the 
chief cities of the kingdom, only helped to enkindle 
it the more and spread it over the kingdom. " All 
the world wished to be instructed in the new 
opinions," says Vertot, " the doctrine of Luther 
passed insensibly from the school into the private 
dwelling. Families were divided : each took his 
side according to his light and his inclination. 
Some defended the Roman Catholic religion because 
it was the religion of their fathers ; the most part 
were attached to it on account of its antiquity, and 
others deplored the abuse which the greed of the 
clergy had introduced into the administration of 
the Sacraments. . . . Even the women took 
part in these disputes ... all the world sus- 
tained itself a judge of controversy."* 

After these light-bearers came the Light itself — 
the Word of God. Olaf Patersen, the pastor of 
Stockholm, began to translate the New Testament 
into the tongue of Sweden. Taking Luther's 
version, which had been recently published in 
Germany, as his model, he laboured diligently at 
his task, and in a short time " executing his work 
not unhappily," says Gerdesius, " he placed, amid the 
murmurs of the bishops, the New Testament in 
Swedish in the hands of the people, who now looked 
with open face on what they had formerly con- 
templated through a veU."^ 

After the New Testament had been issued, the 
two brothers Olaf and Lawrence, at the request of 
the king, undertook the translation of the whole 
Bible. The work was completed in due time, and 
published in Stockholm. " New controversies," 
said the king, " arise every day ; we have now an 
infallible judge to which we can appeal them."' 

The Popish clergy bethought them of a notable 
device for extinguishing the light which the labours 
of the two Protestant pastors had kindled. They 
resolved that they too would translate the New 

< Vertot. ad ann. 1521, p. 175. 

* Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 291. 

» Ihid., p. 291 (foot-note). The whole Bible in the 
8wodisli lan^iage was published (folio) at Stockholm m 



Testament into tlie vernacular of Sweden. Johannes 
Magnus, who had lately been inducted into the 
Archbishopric of Upsala, presided in the execution 
of this scheme, in which, though Adam Smith had 
not yet written, the principle of the division of 
labour was carried out to the full. To each 
university was assigned a poi'tion of the sacred 
Books which it was to translate. The Gospel 
according to St. Matthew and the Epistle to the 
Romans were allotted to the College of Upsala. The 
Gospel according to St. Mark, with the two Epistles 
to the Corinthians, was assigned to the University 
of Linkiiping ; St. Luke's Gospel and the Epistle to 
the Galatians to Skara ; St. John's Gospel and the 
Epistle to the Ephesians to Stregnen ; and so to all 
the rest of the universities. There still i-emained 
some portions of the task unappropriated ; these 
were distributed among the monkish orders. The 
Dominicans were to translate the Epistle to Titus 
and that to the Hebrews ; to the Franciscans were 
assigned the Epistles of St. Jude and of St. James ; 
while the Carthusians were to put forth their skill 
in deciphering the symbolic writing of the Apo- 
calypse.' It must be confessed that the leisiu-e 
hours of the Fathers have often been woi-se em- 

As one fire is said to extinguish another, it was 
hoped that one light would eclipse another, or at 
least so dazzle the eyes of the beholders that they 
should not know which was the true light. Mean- 
wliile, however, the Bishop of Upsala thought it 
exceedingly dangerous that men should be left to 
the guidance of what he did not doubt was the 
false beacon, and accordingly he and his associates 
waited in a body on the king, and requested that 
the translation of Pastor Olaf should be withdrawn, 
at least, till a better was prepared and ready to be 

put into the hands of the people. " Olaf's version," 
he said, " was simply the New Testament of Martin 
Luther, which the Pope had placed under interdict 
and condemned as heretical." The archbishop 
demanded further that " those royal ordinances 
which had of late been promulgated, and which 
encroached upon the immunities and possessions 
of the clergy, should, inasmuch as they had been 
passed at the instigation of those who were the 
enemies of the old religion, be rescinded." - 

To this haughty demand the king replied that 
" nothing had been taken from the ecclesiastics, 
save what they had unjustly usurped aforetime ; 
that they had his full consent to publish their own 
version of the Bible, but that he saw no cause why 
he either should revoke his own ordinances or for- 
bid the circulation of Olaf's New Testament in the 
mother tongue of his people." 

The bishop, not liking this reply, offered to make 
good in public the charge of heresy which he had 
preferred against Olaf Patersen and his associates. 
The king, who wished nothing so much as that the 
foundations of the two faiths should be sifted out 
and placed before his people, at once accepted the 
challenge. It was arranged that the discussion 
should take place in the University of Upsala ; that 
the king himself should be present, with his 
senators, nobles, and the learned men of his 
kingdom. Olaf Patersen undertook at once the 
Protestant defence. There was some difficulty in 
finding a champion on the Popish side. The chal- 
lenge had come from the bishops, but no sooner 
was it taken up than " they framed excuses and 
shuffled."' At length Peter Gallns, Professor of 
Theology in the College of Upsala, and undoubtedly 
their best man, undertook the battle on the side of 



Programme of Debate— Twelve Points- Authority of the Fathers— Power of the Clergy— Can Ecclesiastical Decrees 
Bind the Conscience ?— Power of Excommunication— The Pope's Primacy— Works or Grace, which Save ?— Has 
Monkery warrant in Scripture ?— Question of the Institution of the Lord's Supper— Purgatory— Intercession 
of the Saints- Lessons of the Conference— Conscience Quickened by the Bible produced the Eeformation. 

That the ends of the conference might be gained, 
the king ordered a list to be made out beforehand 
of the main points in which the Protestant Con- 
fession differed ft-om the Pontifical religion, and 

' Gerdesius (Puffendorf, I.e., p. 284), tom. iii,, p. 292. 

that in the discussion point after point should bo 
debated till the whole programme was exhausted. 

- Gerdesius (Vertot, I.e., pp. 60, 61), tom. iii., p. 293. 
' "Episcopi moras nectere atque tergiversari." (Ger- 
desius, tom. iii., p. 294.) 



Twelve main points of difierence were noted down, 
and the discussion came oft' at Upsala in 1526. A 
full report has been transmitted to ns by Johannes 
Baazius, in the eighth book of his History of the 
Church of Sweden,' which we follow, being, so far as 
we are aware, the only original account extant. We 
shall give the history of the discussion with some 
fulness, because it was a discussion on new ground, 
by new men, and also because it foi-med the turning- 
point in the Reformation of Sweden. 

The first question was touching the ancient re- 
ligion and the ecclesiastical rites ; was the religion 
abolished, and did the rites retain their authority, 
or had they ever any 1 

With reference to the religion, the Popish cham- 
pion contended that it was to be gathered, not from 
Scripture, but from the interpretations of the 
Fathers. " Scripture," he said, " was obscure ; and 
no one would follow an obscure writing without an 
interpreter ; and sure guides had been given us in 
the holy Fathers." As regarded ceremonies and 
constitutions, "we know," he said, "that many 
liad been orally given by the apostles, and that the 
Fathers, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and others, 
had the Holy Spii-it, and therefore were to be 
believed in defining dogmas and enacting institu- 
tions. Such dogmas and constitutions were, in fact, 

Olaf replied that Protestants did not deny that 
the Fathers had the Spiiit, and that their interpre- 
tations of Scripture were to be received when in 
accordance with Holy Writ. They only put the 
Fathers in their right place, which was below, not 
above Scripture. He denied that the Word of God 
was obscm-e when laying down the fundamental 
doctrines of the faith. He adduced the Bible's o^vn 
testimony to its simplicity and clearness, and in- 
stanced the case of the Ethiopian eunuch whose 
difficulties were removed simply by the reading and 
hearing of the Sci-iptures. " A blind man," he 
added, " cannot see the splendour of the midday sun, 
but that is not because the sun is dark, but because 
himself is blind. Even Christ said, ' My doctrine 
is not mine, but the Father's who sent me,' and 
St. Paul declared that should he preach any other 
gospel than that which he had received, he would 
be anathema. How then shall others presume to 
enact dogmas at their pleasure, and impose them as 
things necessary to salvation 1 " - 

Question second had reference to the Pope and 
the bishops : whether Christ had given to them 

lordship or other dominion save the power of 
preaching the Word and administering the Sacra- 
ments? and whether those ought to be called 
ministers of the Church who neglected to perform 
these duties ? 

In maintaining the affirmative Gallus adduced 
the eighteenth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, 
where it is -mitten, " But if he will not hear thee, 
tell it to the princes of the Church ;" " from which 
we infer," he said, " that to the Pope and prelates 
of the Chm-ch has been given power to adjudicate 
in causes ecclesiastical, to enact necessary canons, 
and to punish the disobedient, even as St. Paul 
excommunicated the incestuous member in the 
Corinthian Church." 

Olaf in reply said, "that we do indeed read that 
Christ has given authority to the apostles and 
ministers, but not to govern the kingdoms of the 
world, but to convert siiiners and to announce 
pardon to the penitent." 

In proof he quoted Christ's words, " My kingdom 
is not of this world." " Even Christ," he said, 
" was subject to the magistrate, and gave tribute ; 
from which it might be surely infeiTed that he 
wshed his ministers also to be subject to kings, 
and not to ride over them ; that St. Paul had com- 
manded all men to be subject to the powers that be, 
and that Christ had indicated with sufficient dis- 
tinctness the work of his ministers when he said to 
St. Peter, ' Feed my flock.' " As we call no one a 
workman who does not fabricate utensils, so no one 
is to be accounted a minister of the Church who 
does not preach the Rule of the Chm-ch, the Word 
of God. Christ said not, " Tell it to the princes of 
the Church," but, "Tell it to the Church." The 
prelates are not the Church. The apostles had no 
temporal power, he argued, why give greater power 
to bishops now than the apostles had ? The 
spiritual office could not stand with temporal lord- 
ship; nor in the list of Church officers, given in 
the fom-th chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, 
is there one that can be called political or magis- 
tratical. Everywhere in the Bible spiritual men 
are seen performing spiritual duties only.' 

The next point raised was whether the decrees of 
man had power to bind the conscience so that he 
who shii-ked* them was guilty of notorious sin 1 

The Romish doctor, in supporting the afiu-mative, 
argued that the commands of the prelates were 
holy, having for their object the salvation of men : 
that they were, in fact, the commands of God, as 

1 Baazius, Invent. Eccles. Sueo-Goih. ; Lineopise, 1642. 
- Acta Colloquii Upsaliensis hahiti, arm. 1526, inter D. 
Fdnim Galle et M. Olaum Petri. 

^ Acta Colloquii Upsaliensis. 
* " Praevaricator sit reus notoris peocati ? ' 
loquii Upsaliensis.) 

(Acta Col- 



appeared from tlie eighth chapter of the Book of 
Proverbs, " By me princes decree righteousness." 
The prelates were ilhiminated with a singiihir 
gi-ace ; tliey knew how to repair, enlarge, and 
V)eautify the Cluirch. They sit in jNIoses' seat ; 
'• lience I concliule," said Gallus, " that tlie decrees 
of tlie Fathei-s were given by the Holy Ghost, and 
are to be obeyed." 

The Protestant doctor replied that this con- 
founded all distinction between the commands of 
God and the commands of man ; that it put the 
latter on the same footing in point of authority 

coming of false prophets and of Antichrist in the 
latter times. He could not understand how 
decrees and constitutions in which there reigned so 
much confusion and contradiction should have 
emanated from the Holy Ghost. It rather seemed 
to him as if they had anived at the times foretold 
by the apostle in his farewell words to the elders of 
Ephesus, " After my departure there shall entei- in 
grievous wolves not sparing the flock." 

The discussion tm-ned next on whether the Pope 
and bishops have power to excomm\micate whom 
they please ? " The only ground cm which Doctor 

v.itli t!u' fui iiicr ; that the (.'Lurch was upheld by 
the promise of Christ, and not by the power of the 
Pope ; and that she was fed and nourished by the 
Word and Sacraments, and not by the decrees of 
the prelates. Otherwise the Church was now more 
perfect, and enjoyed clearer institutions, than at her 
first planting by the apostles ; and it also followed 
that her early doctrine was incomplete, and had been 
perfected by the greater teachers whom modern times 
had produced ; that Christ and his apostles had, in 
that case, spoken foolishly' when they foretold the 

' " PrKdiiisse vana de Pseudoprophetis," &c. 
Colloquii Upsaliensis.) 


Gallus rested his alliniuiUM' \'. as tiie uJgliU-L'Utli 
chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, which speaks of 
tlie gift of the power of binding and loosing given 
to St. Peter, and which the doctor had already 
adduced in proof of the power of the prelates. 

Olaf, in reply, argued that the Church was the 
body of Christ, and that believers were the members 
of that body. The question was not touching those 
outside the Church ; the question was, whether the 
Pope and prelates had the power of casting out of 
the Church those who were its living members, and 

- " Liberum excommunicare quemcunque volunt?" 
{Ada Colloquii Vpsaliensis.) 



ill whoso hearts dwelt the Holy Ghost by faith? 
This he simply denied. To God alone it belonged 
to save the believing, and to condemn the nnbeliev- 
ing. The bishops could neither give nor take 
away the Holy Ghost. They could not change 
those who were the sons of God into sons of 
Gehenna. The power conferred in the eighteentli 
chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, he maintained, was 
simply declaratory ; what the minister had power 
to do, was to announce the solace or loosing of 
the Gospel to the penitent, and its correction or 
cutting off to the impenitent. He who persists in 
his impenitence is excommunicate, not by man, 
but by the Word of God, which shows him to be 
bound in his sin, till he repent. The power of 
binding and loosing was, moreover, given to the 
Church, and not to any individual man, or body 
of men. MLnistei-s exercise, he ai-gued, their office 
for the Church, and in the name of the Chui-ch ; 
ajid -without the Chiu'ch's consent and ajjproval, 
expressed or implied, they have no power of loosing 
or binding any one. Much less, he maintained, 
was this power of excommunication secular ; it 
was simply a power of doing, by the Church and 
for the Church, the necessary work of pui-ging out 
notorious offenders from the body of the faithful. 

The dLscussion next passed to the power and 
pffice of the Pope personally viewed. 

The Popish champion intei-preted the words of 
Christ (Luke xxii.), " Whosoever will be first 
among you," as meaning that it was la^vfiil for one to 
liold the primacy. It was, he said, not primacy but 
pride that was here forbidden. It was not denied 
to the apostles, he argued, or theii' successors, to 
hold the principality in the government of the 
Church, but to govern tyi-annically, after the fashion 
of heathen kings ; that history showed that since 
the times of Pope Sylvester — i.e., for twelve hun- 
dred years — the Pope had held, with the consent 
of emperors and kings, the primacy in the Church, 
and that he had always lived in the bonds of charity 
with Clu'istian kings, calling them his dear sons ; 
how then could his state of dominancy be displeas- 
ing to Christ ? 

Doctor Olaf i-eminded his opponent that he had 
already proved that the power conferred by Chi'ist 
on the apostles and ministers of the Church was 
spiritual, the power even to preach the Gospel 
and convert sinners. Christ had warned them that 
they should meet, in the exercise of theii* office, 
bitter opposition and cruel persecutions : how 
could that be if they were princes and had servants 
to fight for them 1 Even Christ himself came not to 
be a ruler, but a servant. St. Paul designated the 
office of a bishop, "work" and not "dominion;" 

implying that there would be more o?«m than 
honour attending it.' The Roman dominancy, he 
affirmed, had not flourished for twelve hundred 
years, as his opponent maintained ; it was more 
recent than the age of Gregor}', who had stoutly 
opposed it. But the question was not touching its 
antiquity, but touching its utility. If we should 
make antiquity the test or measure of benignity, 
what strange mistakes should we commit ! The 
power of Satan was most ancient, it would hardly 
be maintained that it was in an equal degree bene- 
ficent. Pious emperors had nourished this Papal 
power -with then- gifts ; it had grown most rapidly 
in the times of greatest ignorance ; it had taken at 
last the whole Christian world under its control ; 
when consummated it presented a perfect con- 
trast to the gift of Christ to St. Peter expressed 
in these words, " Peed my sheep." The many 
secular affair's of the Pope did not permit him to 
feed the sheep. He compelled them to give liim 
not only their milk and wool, but even the fat and 
the blood. May God have mercy upon his own 

They came at length to the great question touch- 
ing works and grace, "Whether is man saved by 
his own merits, or solely by the gi'ace of God V 

Doctor Gallus came as near to the Eeformed 
doctrine on this point as it was possible to do witli- 
out surrendering the corner-stone of Popery. It 
must be borne in mind that the one most compre- 
hensive distmction between the two Churches is 
Salvation of God and Salvation of man : the first 
being the motto on the Protestant banner, the last 
the watchword of Eome. Whichever of the two 
Churches surrenders its peculiar tenet, surrenders 
all. Dr. Gallus made appear as if he had sur- 
rendered the Popish dogma, but he took good care all 
the while, as did the Council of Trent aftei-wards, 
that, amid all his admissions and explanations, he 
should preserve inviolate to man his power of sa\-ing 
himself. " The disposition of the pious man," said 
the doctor, " in virtue of which he does good works, 
comes from God, who gives to the renewed man the 
grace of acting well, so that, his free vrHl co-operat- 
ing, he earns the reward promised ; as the apostle 
says, ' By grace are we saved,' and, ' Eternal life is 
the gift of God;' for," continued the doctor, "the 
quality of doing good, and of possessing eternal life, 
does not flow to the pious man otherwise than from 
the grace of God." Human merit is here pretty 

' "Plus oneris quam honoris." It is difficult to preserve 
the play upon tlie words in a translation. 

- "Non pavit oves, sed lac et lanaru, imo succum et san- 
guinem illia extraxit. Deus misereatur suse ecclesite." 
(Acta Colloquii Upsalicnsis.) 



woll concealed under an appearance of ascriliiug a 
gi-eat deal to Divine gi-ace. Still, it is present — 
man by working eai-ns the promised reward. 

Doctor Olaf in reply laid bare the mystification : 
he showed that his opponent, while granting salva- 
tion to be the gift of God, taught that it is a gift to 
be obtained only by the sinner's working. This 
doctrine the Protestant disputant assailed by 
quoting those numerous passages of Scripture in 
which it is expressly said that we are saved by 
faith, and not by works ; that the reward is not of 
works, but of grace ; that groimd of glorying is left 
to no one ; and that human merit is entirely ex- 
cluded in the matter of salvation ; from which, he 
said, this conclusion inevitably followed, that it 
was a vain dream to think of obtaining heaven by 
purchasing indulgences, wearing a monk's cowl, 
keeping painful vigils, or going wearisome journeys 
to holy places, or by good works of any sort. 

The next point to be discussed was whether the 
monastic life had any foundation in the Word of 

It became, of course, the duty of Doctor Gallus 
to maintain the affirmative here, though he felt his 
task a difficult one. He made the best he could of 
such doubtful arguments as were suggested to him 
by " the sons of the prophets," mentioned in the 
history of Samuel ; and the flight at times of 
Elijah and Elisha to Mount Carmel. He thought, 
too, that he could discover some germs of the 
monastic life in the New Testament, in the com- 
pany of converts in the Temple (Acts ii) ; in the 
command given to the young man, " Sell all that 
thou hast ;" and in the " eunuchs for the kingdom 
of heaven's sake." But for genuine examples of 
monks and monasteries he found himself under the 
necessity of coming do^vn to the Middle Ages, and 
there he found no lack of what he sought. 

It was not difficult to demolish .so unsubstantial 
a structure as this. "Neither in the Old Testa- 
ment nor in the New," Doctor Olaf affirmed, " is 
proof or instance of the monastic life to be found. 
In the times of the apostles there were no monks. 
Chrysostom, in his homily on the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, says, ' Plain it is that the Church for the 
first 200 years knew nothing of the monastic 
life. It began with Paulus and Antonius, who 
chose such a life, and had many solitaries as 
followers, who, however, lived without ' order ' or 
'vow,' till certain arose who, about A.D. 3.50, 
framed regulations for these recluses, as Jerome 
and Oassian testify." After a rapid sketch of their 
growth both in numbers and wealth, he concluded 
%vith some observations which had in them a touch 
of satii-e. The words of Scripture, " Sell all that 

thou hast," itc, were not, he said, verified in the 
monks of the present day, imless in the obverse. 
Instead of forsaking all they clutched all, and 
carried it to their monastery ; instead of bearing 
the cross in their hearts they embroidered it on 
their cloaks ; instead of fleeing from the tempta- 
tions and delights of the world, they shirked its 
labours, eschewed all acquaintanceship with the 
plough and the loom, and found refuge behind 
bolted doors amid the silken couches, the gi-oaning 
boards, and other pleasures of the convent. The 
Popish champion was doubtless very willing that 
this head of the discussion should now be departed 

The next point was whether the institution of the 
Lord's Supper had been changed, and lawfully so ? 

The disputant on the Popish side admitted that 
Chi-ist had instituted all the Sacraments, and im- 
parted to them their vii-tue and efficacy, which 
vii-tue and efficacy were the justifying grace of 
man.' The essentials of the Sacrament came from 
Christ, but there were accessories of words and 
gestures and ceremonies necessary to excite due 
reverence for the Sacrament, both on the part of 
him who dispenses and of him who receives it. 
These, Doctor Gallus aflirmed, had their source either 
from the apostles or from the primitive Church, 
and were to be observed by all Christians. Thus 
the mass remains as instituted by the Church, with 
significant rites and decent dresses. 

" The Word of God," replied Olaf, " endures for 
ever ; but," he added, " we are forbidden either to 
add to it or take away from it. Hence it follows 
that the Lord's Supper having been, as Doctor Gallus 
has admitted, instituted by Christ, is to be observed 
not otherwise than as he has appointed. The whole 
Sacrament — as well its mode of celebration as its 
essentials — is of Cliiist, and not to be changed." He 
quoted the words of institution, " This is my body" — 
" take eat ;" " This cup is the New Testament in 
my blood " — " drink ye all of it," <tc. " Seeing," 
said he, " Doctor Gallus concedes that the essentials 
of a Sacrament are not to be changed, and seeing in 
these words we have the essentials of the Lord's 
Supper, why has the Pope changed them ? Who gave 
him power to separate the cup from the bread 1 If 
he should say the blood is in the body, I reply, this 
violates the institution of Christ, who is wiser than 
all Popes and bishops. Did Chi-ist command the 
Lord's Supper to be dispensed difierently to the 
clergy and to the laity ? Besides, by what autho- 
rity has the Pope changed the Sacrament into a 

' "Dat (Christus) solus virtutem et efficacem Sacra- 
mentis, haec est gratia justificans hominem." {Acta CoU 
loquii Upsaliensis — ex Baazio.) 


sacrifice 1 Christ does not say, ' Take and sacrifice,' 
but, ' Take and eat.' The offering of Chi-ist's sacri- 
fice once for all made a full propitiation. The 
Popish priestling,' when he professes to ofl'er the 
body of Christ in the Lord's Supper, pours contempt 
upon the sacrifice of Christ, oflered upon the altar 
of the cross. He cnicifies Christ afresh. He com- 
mits the impiety denounced in the sixth chapter 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews. He not only 
changes the essentials of the Lord's Supper, but he 
does so for the basest end, even that of raking 
together" wealth and filling his coffers, for this is 
the only use of his tribe of priestlings, and his 
everlasting masses." 

From masses the discussion passed naturally to 
that which makes masses saleable, namely, purgatory. 

Doctor Gallus held that to raise a question re- 
spectmg the existence of purgatoiy was to stumble 
upon plain ground, for no religious people had ever 
doubted it. The Church had affirmed the doctrine 
of purgatory by a stream of decisions wliich can be 
traced up to the primitive Fathers. It is said in 
the twelfth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, argued 
Doctor Gallus, that the sin against the Holy Ghost 
shall not be forgiven, " neither in this world, neither 
in the world to come ; " whence it may be infewed 
that certaiu sins will be forgiven in the future world. 
Not in heaven, for sinners shall not be admitted 
into it ; not in hell, for from it there is no redemp- 
tion : it follows that this forgiveness is to be ob- 
tained in purgatory ; and so it is a holy work 
to pray for the dead. With this single quotation 
the doctor took leave of the inspii'ed writers, and 
turned to the Greek and Latin Fathers. There 
he found more show of support for his doctrine, 
but it was somewhat suspicious that it was the 
darkest ages that furnished him with his strongest 

Doctor Ohtf in reply maiirtained that in all 
Scripture there was not so much as one proof to be 
found of purgatory. He exploded the fiction of 
venial sins on which the doctrine is founded ; and, 
taking his stand on the all-sufficiency of Christ's ex- 
piation, and the full and free pardon which God 
gives to sinners, he scouted utterly a theory 
founded on the notion that Christ's perfect expia- 
tion needs to be supplemented, and that God's free 
pardon needs the sufferings of the sinner to make it 
available. " But," argued Doctor Gallus, " the 
simier must be purified by these sufferings and 
made fit for heaven." " No," replied Doctor Olaf, 
" it is faith that purifies the heart ; it is the blood 

' " Sacvificulus Papistions." {Acta Colloquii UpsuUcasis.) 
s " Con-adit opes." (lOid.j 

of Christ that cleanses the soul ; not the flames of 

The last point to be debated was " whether the 
saints are to be invocated, and whether they are 
our defenders, patrons, and mediators with God V 

On this head, too. Doctor Gallus could appeal to 
a veiy ancient and venerable practice, which only 
lacked one thing to give it value, the authority of 
Scripture. His attempt to give it this .sanction 
was certainly not a success. " God," he said, " was 
pleased to mitigate the punishment of the Jews, at 
the intercession of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, then shut up in limbo, and on the 
express footing of then- merits." The doctor forgot 
to explain how it hajjpened that the merits which 
could procnre I'emission of punishment for others, 
could not procure for themselves deliverance from 
purgatory. But, passing this, the Protestant re- 
spondent easily disposed of the whole case by 
referring to the profound silence of Scripture 
touching the intercession of the saints, on the one 
hand, and its very emphatic teaching, on the other, 
that there is but one mediator between God and 
men, the man Christ Jesus. ^ 

The conference was now at an end. The stage 
on which this conference was conducted was an 
obscure one compared -with that of Wittemberg and 
Augsburg, and the parties engaged in it were but 
of secondary rank compared with the great chiefs 
between whom previous contests of a similar kind 
had been waged ; but the obscurity of the stage, and 
the secondary rank of the combatants, ai-e the very 
reasons why we have given it so prominent a place 
in our history of the movement. It shows us the 
sort of men that formed the rank and file of the 
aiiny of the Reformers. They were not illiterate, 
sectarian, noisy controversialists — far from it ; they 
were men who had studied the Word of God, and 
knew well how to wield the weapons with which 
the armomy of the Bible supplied them. In 
respect of erudition they were ahead of then- age. 
When we confijie our attention to such brilliant 
centres as Wittemberg and Zurich, and to such 
illustrious names as those of Luther and Melancthon, 
of Zwingle and Qjlcolampadius, we are apt to be 
told, these were the leaders of the movement, and 
we should naturally expect in them jn'odigious 
]iower, and v;vst acquisitions ; but the subordinates 
were not like these. Well, we turn to the obscure 
theatre of Sweden, and the humble names of Olaf 
and Lawrence Patersen — from the mastera to the 
(.lisciples — what do we find ? Sciolists and tame 
imitators'? No: scholars and theologians; men 

■■ Acta Colloquii VpsaUcnsis — lx iiaazio. 



who have thoroughly mastered the whole system 
of Gospel truth, and who win an easy victory over 
the sophists of the schools, and the dignitaries of 

Tliis shows us, moreovei-, the real instrumentality 
that overtlu-ew the Papacy. Ordinary historians 
dwell much upon the vices of the clergy, the ambi- 
tion of princes, and tlie ignorance and brutishness 
of the age. All these are true as facts, but they 
are not true as causes of the great moral revolution 
which they are often adduced to explain. The 
vice and brutishness of all ranks of that age were in 
truth a protective force around the Papacy. Iz was 
a state of society which favoured the continuance 
of such a system as the Church of Rome, which 
provided an easy pardon for sin, furnished opiates 
for the conscience, and instead of checking, en- 
couraged vice. On the other hand, it deprived the 

Reformers of a fulciiim of enlightened moral senti- 
ment on which to rest then- lever for elevating the 
world. We freely admit the causes that were 
operating towards a change, but left to themselves 
these causes never would have produced such a 
change as the Reformation. They would but have 
hastened and perfected the destruction of the putrid 
and putrifying mass, they never could have evoked 
from it a new and renovated order of things. 
What was needed was a force able to restore con- 
science. The Word of God alone could do this. 
Protestantism — in other words, evangelical Chris- 
tianity—came down, and Ithuriel-like put forth its 
spear, touched the various forces at work in society, 
quickened them, and drawing them into a beneficent 
channel, converted what would most sm'ely have 
been a process of destnictiou into a process of 



The Battles of Eeligion— More Fruitful than those of Kings— Consequences of the tJpsala Conference— The King adopts 
a Eeforming Policy — Clergy Refuse the War-levy — Conference respecting Ecclesiasticiil Possessions and Immu- 
nities — Secret Compact of Bishoijs — A Civil War imminent — Vasa threatens to Abdicate — Diet resolves to Receive 
the Protestant Eehgion — 13,000 Estates Surrendered by the Romish Church— Reformation in 1527 — Coronation of 
Vasa — Ceremonies and Declaration — Reformation Completed in 1529 — Doctrine and Worship of the Reformed 
Church of Sweden — Old Ceremonies Retained — Death and Character of Gustavus Vasa — Eric XIV.— John— The 
"Red Book " — Relapse — A Purifying Fire. 

that may have lingered in his mind till now were 
cleared away, and he cast in his lot without re- 
serve with Protestantism. He saw plainly the 
course of policy which he ought to pursue for his 
people's welfare, and he resolved at all hazards to 
go through with it. He must reduce the over- 
grown wealth of the Church, he must strip the 
clergy of their temporal and political power, and 
set i them free for the discharge of their spiritual 
functions — in short, remodel his kingdom in con- 
formity with the great principles which had 
triumphed in the late disputation. He did not 
hide from himself the immense obstacles he would 
encounter in prosecuting these reforms, but he 
saw that till they were accomplished he should 
never reign in peace ; and sooner than submit to 
defeat in a matter he deemed viUil, he would 
abandon the throne. 

One thing greatly encouraged Gustavus Vasa. 
Since the conference at XJpsala, the light of the 

If " Peace hath her victories no lesj; renowned 
than War," we may say that Religion has her 
battles yet more glorious than those of kings. They 
spill no blood, unless when the per.secutor comes in 
with the stake, they make no widows and oi-jJians, 
they leave behind them as their memorials no 
blackened cities and no devastated fields ; on the 
contrary, the land where they have been waged 
is marked by a richer moral verdure than that 
which clothes countries in which no such conflicts 
have taken place. It is on these soils that the 
richest blessings spring up. The dead that lie 
strewn over these battle-fields are refuted eiTors 
and exploded falsehoods. Such battles are twice 
blessed : they bless the victor, and they bless, in 
measure yet larger, the vancjuished. 

One of these battles has just been fought in 
Sweden, and Pastor Olaf was the conqueror. It 
Was followed by great and durable consequences 
to that country. It decided the king j any doubts 



Reformation was spreading wider and wider among 
his people ; the power of the priesthood, from whom 
he had most to fear, was diminishing in the same 
proportion. His great task was becoming less dith- 
cult every day ; time was fighting for him. His 
coronation had not yet taken phice, and he resolved 
to postpone it till he should be able to be crowned 
as a Protestant king. This was, in fact, to tell his 
people that lie would reign over them as a 
Reformed people or not at all. Meanwliile the 
projects of the enemies of Protestantism conspired 
with the wishes of Gustavus Vasa toward that 

Christian II., the abdicated monarch of Denmark, 
having been sent with a fleet, equipped by his 
brother-in-law, Charles V., to attempt the recovery 
of his tlu'one, Gustavus Vasa, knowing that his 
turn would come next, resolved to fight the battle 
of Sweden in Deiunark by aiding Frederick the 
sovereign of that country, in his eflbrts to repel the 
invader. He summoned a meeting of the Estates 
at Stockholm, and represented to them the common 
danger that hung over both countries, and the 
necessity of providing the means of defending the 
kingdom. It was agreed to lay a wai'-tax upon all 
estates, to melt down the second largest bell in all 
the chvirches, and impose a tenth upon all eccle- 
siastical goods.^ The possessions of the clergj-, 
consisting of lands, castles, and hoards, were enor- 
mous. I Abbe Vertot informs us that the clergy 
of Sweden were alone possessed of more than the 
king and all the other Estates of the kingdom 
together. Notwithstanding that they were so im- 
mensely wealthy, they refused to bear their share 
of the national- burdens. Some gave an open re- 
sistance to the tax ; others met it with an evasive 
opposition, and by way of retaliatmg on the 
authority which had imposed it, raised tumults in 
various parts of the kingdom." To put an end to 
these disturbances the king came to Upsala, and 
summoning the episcopal chapter before him, insti- 
tuted a second conference after the manner of the 
fii-st. Doctors Olaf and Gallus were again required 
to buckle on their armour, and measiu'e swords with 
one another. The contest this time was respecting 
revenues and the exemption of the prelates of the 
Church. Battle being joined, the king inquired, 
" Whence have the clergy their prebends and eccle- 
siastical immunities ? " " From the donation of 
pious kings and princes," responded Dr. Gallus, 
" liberally bestowed, according to the Word of God, 

' Baazius, Inventar., lib. ii., cap. 6, p. 203— ex Gerdesio, 
torn, iii., p. 300. 

- GarAeahxs, torn, iii , p. 300 (Vertot, I.e., pp. GS, 09; ot 
Pufiendorf, p. 288). 

for tlie sustentation of the Church." " Then," 
replied the king, " may not the same power that 
gave, take away, especially when the clergy abuse 
their possessions 1 " " If they are taken away," 
replied the Popish champion, " the Church will fall,' 
and Christ's Woi'd, that the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it, -will fail." "The goods of the 
Chm-ch," said the kmg, "go into the belly of 
sluggards,'' who know not to write or preach any 
useful thing, but spend the hours, wliich they call 
canonical, in singing canticles, with but small show 
of devotion. Since therefore," continued the king, 
" it cannot be proved from Scripture that these 
goods are the absolute property of the clergy, and 
since th-jy manifestly do not further the ends of 
j)iety, is it not just that they be turned to a better 
use, and one that will benefit the Chui'ch 1 " 

On this. Doctor Gallus held his peace. Tliera- 
iipon, the king ordered the archbiohop to reply, 
but neither would he make answer. At length the 
provost of the cathedral, George Turson, came 
forward, and began to defend with great wannth 
the pi'ivileges of the clergy. " If any one," he said, 
" dare take anything from the Church, it is at the 
peril of excommunication and eternal damnation." 
The king bore the onset with great good-nature. 
He calmly requested Turson, as a theologian, to 
handle the matter in a theological mamier, and to 
prove what he had maintained from Holy Scriptiue. 
The worthy provost appears to have declined this 
challenge ; for we find the king, in conclusion, 
giving his decision to the following eflect, even 
that he v.-ould give all honour and all necessary and 
honest support to the pious ministers of the Church, 
but to the sluggards of the sanctuary and the 
monastery he would give nothing. To this the 
chapter made no reply, and the king took his de- 
parture for Stockholm.' 

The bishops, however, were far from submitting 
cjiuetly to the burdens which had been imposed 
upon them. They met and subscribed a secret 
compact or oath, to defend their pri^^leges and 
]iossessions against all the attempts of the king. 
The deed, with the ntimes apj^ended, was deposited in 
a sepulchre, where it was discovered fifteen ycai's 
afterwards." An agitation of the kingdom was 
organised, and vigorously carried out. The pas- 
sions of the jiopulace, uninstructed for the most 

^ " Si removerentur bona eccl. coUabascit ipsa ecclesia. ' ' 
(Baazius, Inventar.) 

* " Insumuntur in ventres pigros." (Ibid.) 

* Baazius. Inventar., lib. ii., cap. 8, p. 206 — ex Gordesio, 
torn, iii., pp. 301, 302. 

'' Puffendorf, I.e., p. 294; et Baazius, I.e., p. 222— ex 
Gerdesio, torn, iii., p. 306. 

55— VOL. 11, 



part, and attached to the old religion, were inflamed 
liy the calumnies and accusations directed against 
the king, and scattered broadcast over the kingdom. 
Disorders and tumults broke out ; more especially 
in Dalecai'lia, the most northern part of Sweden, 
where the ignorance of the people made them an 
easy prey to the arts of the clerical agitators.' The 
country, at last, was on the brink of civil war. 
Gustavus Vasa resolved that an end should be put 
to this agitation. His chancellor, Lawrence Ander- 
sen, an able man and a Protestant, gave him very 
eificient support in the vigorous measures he 
now adopted. He siunmoned a meeting of the 
Estates of Sweden, at Vesteraas, June, 1527. 
Gustavus addressed the assembled nobles and 
bishops, appealing to facts that were within the 
knowledge of all of them, that the kingdom had 
been brought to the brink of civil war, mainly 
through the factious opposition of the clergy to 
their just share in the burdens of the State, that 
the classes from whom this opposition came were 
Ijy much the wealthiest in Sweden, that this wealth 
had been largely acquired by unlawful exactions, and 
was devoted to noxious iises ; that the avarice of 
:he bishops had reduced the nobles to poverty, and 
then- oppression had gi-ound tlie people into slavery; 
that for this wealth no adequate retm-n was received 
by the State ; it served but to maintain its posses- 
Hors in idleness and luxury ; and that, unless the 
necessities of the government were met, and the 
power of the throne upheld, he would resign the 
crown and retii'e from the kingdom." 

This bold resolve brought matters to a crisis. 
The Swedes coxild not afford to lose their magnani- 
mous and patriotic king. The debates in the Diet 
Avere long and warm. The clergy fought stoutly 
for their privileges, but the king and his chancellor 
were firm. If the people Would not support him 
in his battle with the clergy, Gustavus must lay 
down the sceptre. The question, in fact, came to 
be between the two faiths — shall they adopt the 
Lutheran or retain the Popish 1 The monarch did 
not conceal his preference for the Reformed religion, 
which he liimself had espoused. He would leave 
his subjects free to make their choice, but if they 
chose to obey a clergy who had annihilated the 
privileges of the citizens, who had devoured the 
wealth of the nobles, who were glutted with riches 
and swollen -with pride, rather than be ruled by 
the laws of Sweden, he had no more to say ; he 
woidd withdraw from tlie government of the realm.' 

' Seekendorf, I.e., p. 207— ex Gerdesio, torn, iii., p. 303. 
" Gerdesius, torn, iii., pii. 307 et seq. 
■' Vertot, I.e., pp. 89, 90; Puffondorf, p. 296— ex Ger- 
desio, torn: iii., p. 309. 

At length the Diet came to a resolution, virtually 
to receive the Protestant religion. The day on 
which this decision was come to is the most glorious 
in the annals of .Sweden. The Estates decreed that 
liencefoi-ward the bishops should not sit in the 
supreme council of the nation ; that the castles 
and the 13,000 estates which had been given 
to the Church since the times of Charles Canut 
(1453) should be restored ; that of the castles and 
lands, part should be returned to the nation, and 
part to those nobles from whose ancestoi-s they had 
been wrested ; and if, in the interval, any of these 
donations had been sold, restitution must be made in 
money. It is computed that from 13,000 to 20,000 
estates, farms, and dwellings passed into the hands 
of lay possessors. The bishops intimated their sub- 
mission to this decree, which so effectually broke 
their power, by subscribing theii' names to it.^ 

Other articles were added bearing more directly 
upon the Reformation of religion. Those districts 
that adopted the Reformation were pennitted to re- 
tain their ecclesiastical property'; districts remaining 
Popish were provided by the king with Protestant 
ministers, who were paid out of the goods still left 
in possession of the Popish Church. No one was 
to be ordained who w;is unwiUing, or who knew 
not how, to preach the pure Gospel. In all schools 
the Bible must be read, and the lessons of the 
Gospel taught. The monks were allowed to reside 
in their montisteries, but forbidden to beg ; and 
safeguards were enacted against the accumulation 
of property in a dead hand — a fruitful source of 
evil in the past.^ So far the Reformation of 
Sweden had advanced in 1527. Its progress had 
been helped by the flight of the Ai-chbishop of 
Upsiila and Bishop Brask from their native land. 
Deserted by their generals, the soldiers of the 
ancient creed lost heart. 

The coronation of GustaAiis Vasa had been 
delayed till the kingdom should be quieted. This 
having been now happily effected, the monarch was 
crowned with gi-eat solemnity on the 12th of 

■• Gerdesius. torn. Hi., p. 311. As in some other coun- 
tries, so in Sweden, the nobles showed fully as much 
zeal to possess the lands of the Romish Church, as 
to prSpagate the doctrines of the Reformed faith. We 
find the patriotic king rebuking them for their greed. In 
a letter Written to the knights and nobles of Ocstergot- 
land, Pehruary, 1539, we find Gustavus addressing them 
in a mingled vein of indignation and satire, thus : " To 
take lands and dwellings from churches, chapters, and 
cloisters, that they were all prepared, with the greatest 
zeal, to do; and in that fashion, doubtless, they were 
all Christian and Reformed." But he complains that 
beyond tliis thoy had rendered the Reformed faith no 

' Baazius, lib. ii., cap. 13, jip. 223, 224 — ox Gerdesio. 



January, 1528, at Upsala, in presence of the wliole 
Senate It cost Vasa no Uttle thought beforehand 
how to conduct the ceremony, so as that on the one 
hand it might not be mLxed up with the iites of 
the ancient superstition, nor, on the other, lack 
validity in the eyes of such of his subjects as were 
«till Popish. He refrained from sending to Rome 
for investitm-e; he made three newly ordamed 
bishops-Skara, Aabo, and StrengnUs'-perform 
the religious rites ; the Divine name was mvoked ; 
that part of the coronation oath was omitted which 
bound the sovereign to protect "holy Church; 
a public declaration, which was understood to ex- 
press the sentiments both of the king and of the 
Estates, was read, and afterwards published, setting 
forth at some length the reciprocal duties and 
obligations of each. 

The declaration was framed on the model of those 
exhortations which the prophets and high priests 
delivered to the Kings of Judah when they were 
anointed. It set forth the institution of magistracy 
by God ; its ends, to be " a terror to evil-doers," kc. ; 
the spirit in which it was to be exercised, " in the 
fear of the Most High;" the faults the monarch 
was to eschew— riches, luxury, oppression ; and the 
virtues he was to practise— he was to cultivate piety 
by the study of Holy Scripture, to administer 
justice, defend his country, and nourish the true 
religion. The declaration concludes by expressuig 
the°giutitude of the nation to the " Omnipotent 
and most benignant Father, who, after so gi-eat a 
persecution and so many calamities inflicted upon 
their beloved country, by a king of foreign origin, 
had given them this day a king of the Swedish 
stock, whose powerful arm, by the blessing of God, 
had liberated their nation from the yoke of a 
tyrant." "We acknowledge," contmued the de- 
claration, " the Divine goodness, in raising up for 
us this king, adorned with so many gifts, pre- 
eminently qualified for his great office; pious, 
wise, a lover of his country; whose reign has 
already been so glorious; who has gained the 
friendship of so many kings and neighboui-ing 
princes ; who has strengthened our castles and 
cities; who has raised armaments to resist the 
enemy should he invade us; who has taken the 
revenues of the State not to enrich himself but 
to defend the country, and who, above all, has 
sedulously cherished the tnie religion, making it 
his highest object to defend Refoi-med ti-uth, so 
that the whole land, being delivered from Popisli 

1 They were ordained by Bishop Petrus Magni, of 
Vesteraas. This helped to give them, and of course tho 
ting also, prestige in the eyes of the Eouiaiiists, mas- 
muck as it preserved their succession unbroken. 

darkness, may be irradiated with the light of the 

Gospel." ^ 

In the year following (1529), the Reformation of 
Sweden was formally completed. The king, how- 
ever zealous, saw it -svise to proceed by degrees. In 
the year after his coronation he summoned the 
Estates to Orebrogia (Oerebro), in Nericia, to take 
steps for giving to the constitution and worship of 
the Church of Sweden a more exact conformity to 
the rule of the Word of God. To this Diet came 
the leading ministers as well as the nobles. The 
chancellor Lawrence Andersen, as the king's repre- 
sentative, presided, and with him was joined Olaf 
Paterseii, the Pastor of Stockliolm. The Diet 
agreed on certain ecclesiastical constitutions and 
rules, which they subscril^ed, and published in the 
tongue of Sweden. The bishops and pastoi-s 
avowed it to be the great end of their office to 
preach the pure Word of God; they resolved 
accordingly to institute the preaching of the Gospel 
in all the churches of the kingdom, alike in country 
and in city. The bishops were to exercise a vigilant 
inspection over all the clergy, they were to see that 
the Scriptures were read daily and purely ex- 
pounded in the cathedrals; that in all schools there 
were pure editions of the Bible ; that proper care 
was taken to train efficient preachers of the Word 
of God, and that learned men were provided for 
the cities. Rules were also framed touching the 
celebration of marriage, the visitation of the sick, 
and the burial of the dead. 

Thus the "preaching of the Word" was restored 
to the place it undoubtedly held in the primitive 
Church. We possess its pulpit literature in the 
homilies which have come down to us from the days 
of the early Fathers. But the want of a sufficient 
number of qualified preachers was much felt at this 
stage in the Reformed Church of Sweden. Olaf 
Patersen tried to remedy the defect by preparing 
a " Postil " or collection of sermons for the guid- 
ance of the clergy. To this " Postil " he added a 
translation of Luther's larger Catechism for the m- 
stmction of the people. In 1531 he published a 
"Missal," or liturgy, which exhibited the most 
important deviations from that of Rome. Not 
only were many unscriptural practices in use among 
Papists, such as kneelings, crossings, incensmgs, 
excluded from the litui-gy of Olaf, but everything 
was left out that could by any possibility be held 
to imply that the Eucharist was a sacrifice- the 
bloodless offering of Christ-or that a sacrifacial 
character belonged to the clergy. 

"- AdmonUio Pullica al Onlhiibus Regni Swcici cvulgata 
ei fa Fcsio Coronationis Eegkc Chistavi J., promtdgata, A. 
1528— ex Baazio, pp. 328—236. 



The Confession of the Swedish Chm-ch was simple 
but thoroughly Protestaait. The Abbe Vertot is 
mistaken in saying that this assembly took the 
Augsburg Confession as the rule of their faith. The 
Auf/iista/M Cotifessio was not then in existence, 
though it saw the light a year after (1530). The 
Swedish Reformers had no guide but the Bible. 
They taught the bu'th of all men in a state of sin 
and condemnation ; the inability of the sinner to 
make satisfaction by his owii works ; the substitution 
and perfect expiation of Christ ; the free justifica- 
tion of the sinner on the ground of His righteousness, 
received by faith ; and the good works which flow 
from the faith of the justified man. 

Those who had recovered the lights of truth, who 
had rekindled in their churches, after a long ex- 
tinction, the lamp of the Gospel, had no need, one 
should think, of the tapers and other substitutes 
which superstition had invented to replace the 
eternal verities of revelation. Those temples which 
were illuminated with the splendour of the Gospel 
did not need images and pictures. It would seem, 
however, as if the Swedes felt that they could not 
yet walk alone. They boiTowed the treacherous 
help of the Popish ritual. Several of the old 
ceremonies were retained, but with new explana- 
tions, to divorce them if possible from the old 
uses. The basin of holy water still kept its place 
at the portal of the church ; but the people were 
cautioned not to think that it could wash away 
their sins : the blood of Christ only could do that. 
It stood there to remind them of their baptism. 
Tlie images of the saints still adorned the w^alls 
of the churches — not to be wor.shipped, but to 
remind the people of Christ and the saints, and to 
incite them to imitate theii- piety. On the day ot 
the purification of the Virgin, consecrated candles 
were used, not because there was any holiness in 
them, but because they typified the true Light, even 
Christ, who was on that day presented in the 
Temple of Jerusalem. In like manner, extreme 
unction was practised to adximbrate the anointing 
of the Holy Spirit ; bells were tolled, not in the 
old belief that they frightened the demons, but as 
a convenient method of convoking the people.' It 
would have been better, we are disposed to think, 
to have abolished some of these symbols, and then 
the expliination, exceedingly apt to be forgotten or 
(lisregai'ded, would have been unnecessary. It is 
hard to understand how material light can help us 
the better to perceive a spii-itual object, or how a 

' Forma Reformationis Ecclesiw Suecicce in Coneilio Ore- 
Irogensi definita atque puilieis Clericorum Sueaicce subscrip- 
tioniliis conjirmata, et lingwX patriA piMieata, A. 1529— ex 
Baazio, pp. 2-iO—'i4A:. 

candle can reveal to us Christ. Those who tolerated 
remains of the old superstition in the Reformed 
woi-ship of Sweden, acted, no doubt, with sincere 
intentions, but it may be doubted whether they were 
not placing hindrances rather than helps in the way 
of the nation, and whether in acting as they did they 
may not be compared to the man who first places 
a rock or some huge obstruction in the path that 
leads to his mansion, and then kindles a beacon upon 
it to prevent his visitors from tumbling over it. 

Gustavus I. had now the happiness of seeing 
the Reformed faith planted in his dominions. His 
reign was prolonged after this thii-ty years, and 
during all that time he never ceased to watch over 
the interests of the Protestant Chiu'ch, taking care 
that his kingdom should b« well supplied with 
learned bishops and diligent pastors. Lawrence 
Patereen (1531) was promoted to the Archbishopric 
of Upsala, the fii-st see in Sweden, which he filled 
till his death (1570). The country soon became 
flourishing, and yielded plenteously the best of all 
fruit — great men. The valour of the nobles was 
displayed on many a hard-fought field. The pious 
and patriotic king took part in the great events of 
his age, in some of which we shall yet meet him. 
He went to his grave in 1560." But the spii-it he 
had kmdled in Sweden lived after him, and the 
attemjsts of some of his immediate successors to 
undo what their gi-eat ancestor had done, and lead 
back the nation into Popish darkness, were firmly 
resisted by the nobles. 

The sceptre of Gustavus Vasa passed to his son, 
Eric XIV., whose short reign of eight years was 
marked with some variety of fortune. In 1568, he 
transmitted the kingdom to his brother John, who, 
married to a Roman Catholic ]irincess, conceived 
the idea of introducing a semi-Popish liturgy into 
the Swedish Church. The new liturgy, which 
was intended to replace that of Olaf Patersen, 
was published in the spring of 1576, and was 
called familiarly the " Red Book," from the colour 
of its binding. It was based upon the Mis- 
sale Eomanum, the object being to assimilate the 
Euchaiistic service to the ritual of the Church 

- His tomb is to be seen in the Cathedi-al of Upsala. An 
inscription upon it informs us that lie was born in 1400, 
and died in the seventieth year of his age, and in the 
fortieth of a glorious reign. He was equally great as a 
warrior, a legislator, a politician, and a Eefoi-mer. His 
great qualities were set off by a graceful person, and stUl 
further heiphteni'd by a commanding eloquence. " Two 
genealogical tables are engraved upon the tomb," says a 
traveller, "which trace his lineage from tlie ancient 
princes of the North, as if his great virtues did not reflect, 
rather than borrow, lustre upon the most conspicuous 
ancestry." (Cox«'s Travels in Sweden and Denmarl:, vol. iv., 
pp. 132— 13-1; Lon.l, 1787.) 



of Rome. It contained the following passage : — 
" Thy same Son, the same Sacriiice, which is a pure 
imspotted and holy Sacrifice, exhibited for our re- 
conciliation, for our shield, shelter, and protection 
against thy wrath and agaiast the terrora of sin 
and deatli, we do with faith receive, and with our 
humble prayers offer before thy glorious majesty." 
The doctrine of this passage is unmistakably that of 
transubstautiation, but, over and above this, the 
■whole of the new Missal was pervaded by a Romanis- 
ing spirit. The bishojDS and many of the clergy were 
gained over to the king's measures, but a minority 
of the pastors remained faithful, and the resolute 
opposition which they offered to the introduction of 
the new liturgy, saved the Swedish Church from a 
complete relapse into Romanism. Bishop Anjou, 
the modern historian of the Swedish Reformation, 
says — "The severity with which King Jolm en- 
deavoured to compel the introduction of his prayer- 
book, -was the testing fire which purified the 

Swedish Chiu'ch to a clear conviction of the Pro- 
testant principles which formed its basis." It was 
a time of great trial, but the conflict yielded 
precious fruits to the Church of Sweden. The 
nation saw that it had stopped too soon in the path 
of Reform, that it must resume its progress, 
and place a greater distance between itself and the 
principles and rites of the Romish Church ; and a 
movement was now begun which continued steadily 
to go on, till .at last the topstone was put upon the 
woi'k. The Protestant party r.allied every day. 
Nevertheless, the contest between King John and 
the Protestant portion of his subjects lasted till the 
day of his death. John was succeeded by his .son, 
Sigismund, in 1592. On arri^■ing from Poland to 
take possession of the Swedish crown, Sigismund 
found a declaration of the Estates awaiting his sig- 
nature, to the effect that the liturgy of John was 
abolished, and that the Protestant faith was the 
relicdon of Sweden. 



Ebb in Swedish Proteetantism — Sigismund a Candidate for the Throne— His Equivocal Promise — Synod of Upsala, 
1593— Renew their Adliereuce to the Augsburg Confession — Abjure the " Eed Book" — Tlieir Measure of Toleration 
— The Nation joyfully Adhere to the Declaration of the Upsala Convocation — Sigismund Refuses to Subscribe 
—The Diet Withholds the Crown— He Signs and is Crowned— His Short Eeign— Charles IX.— His Death— A 

Since the middle of the reign of Gustavus Vasa, the 
liberties of the Reformed Church of Sweden had 
been on the ebb. Vasa, adopting the policy knowai 
as the Erastian, had assumed the supreme power in 
^11 matters ecclesiastical. His son John went a 
step beyond this. At his ovra arbitrary will and 
pleasui'e he imposed a semi-PopLsh litui-gy upon the 
Swedish clergy, and strove, by .sentences of im- 
prisonment and outla'wi-y, to compel them to make 
use of it in their public services. But now still 
greater dangers impended : in fact, a crisis had 
arisen. Sigismund, who made no secret of his 
devotion to Rome, was aboiit to mount the thi-one. 
Before placing the cro^vn on his head, the Swedes 
felt that it was incumbent on them to provide 
effectiial guarantees that the new monarch should 
govern in accordance with the Protestant religion. 
Before arri\-ing in person, Sigismund had sent from 
Poland his promise to his new subjects that he 
would preserve religious freedom and " neither hate 
nor love " any one on account of his creed. The 

popular inter'pretation put upon this assurance ex- 
presses the measure of confidence felt in it. Om- 
future sovereign, said the Swedes, tells us that he 
will " hate no Papist and love no Lutheran." Tlie 
nation was wise in time. The synod was summoned 
by Duke Charles, the administrator of the kingdom 
in the absence of Sigismund, to meet at Upsala on the 
25th February, 1593, and settle ecclesiastical afiairs. 
There were present four- bishops, four professoi's 
of theology, three hundred and six clergymen, ex- 
clusive of those who had not been formally sum- 
moned. Duke Charles, and the nine membei'S of 
council, many of the nobles, and several representa- 
tives of cities and districts were also present at this 
synod, although, -with the exception of the membei-s 
of council, they took no part in its deliberations. 
The business was formally opened on the 1st Mai-ch 
by a speech from the High Marshal, in which, in 
the name of the duke and the council, he welcomed 
the clergy, and congratulated them on having now 
at length obtained what they had often so earnestly 



sought, and King John had as often promised — but a new formnla of belief. Whereupon Bishop 

only promised — " a free ecclesiastical synod." He Petrus Jonse, of Streugnas, stood up and put to 

invited them freely to discuss the matters they had the synod and council the interrogatory, " Do you 

been convoked to consider, but as for himself and adopt this Confession as the Confession of your 

his colleagues, he added, they would abide Ijy the faith, and are you resolved to abide tii-mly by 

Augsburg Confession of 1530, and the ecclesiastical it, not-ivithstanding all suffering and loss to which 

constitution of 1529, framed for tliem by Lawrence 
Patersen, the late Ai-chbishop of Upsala. 

Professor Nicolas Olai was chosen president, and 
the synod immediately proceeded to the all-impoi-- 
tant question of a Confession. The Augsburg C!on- 
fession was read over article by article. It was 
the subject day after day of anxious deliberation ; 
at last it became evident that there existed among 
the members of synod a wonderful harmony of 
view on all the points embraced in the Augustan 
Symbol, and that there was really no need to frame 

I fiithful adherence to it may expose youT' 

ITpon this the whole synod arose and 
shouted out, " We do ; nor shall we ever flinch 
fiom it, but at all times shall be ready tot 
mimtain it with our goods and our lives." 
Then," responded the president in loud and 
gild tones, " now is Sweden become as one 

man, and we all of us have one Lord and 

Tlie synod lia\ing thus joyfully completed its 
first great work. King John's liturgy, or the " Red 
Book," next came up for aj)proval or non-approval. 
All were invited to speak who had anything to say 
in defence of the liturgy. Biit not a voice was 
lifted up ; not one liturgical champion stepped 
do^v^l into the arena. Nay, the three prelates who 
had been most cons]iicuous during the lifetime of 
the former king for their support of the IMissal, now 
came fonvard and confessed that they had been 
mistaken in their views of it, and craved forgiveness 



from God and the Assembly. So fell the notorious 
"Red Book," which, during sixteen years, had 
caused strifes and divisions in the Church, had 
made not a few to depart from " the form of sound 
words," and embittered the last years of the reign 
of the man from whom it proceeded. 

" errors of Papists, Sacramentavians, Zwinglians, 
Calvinists, Anabaptists, and all other heretics." 

In the sixth resolution, the synod declares it to 
be "strictly right that persons holding other 
forms of faith tlian the Lutheran should not be 
jjermitted to settle in the kingdom ; " nevertheless, 

We deem it inc\imlient to take into i 
three of the resolutions adopted by this syn I 
because one shows the liistoric ground which il 
Reformed Church of Sweden took up, and the oi 'i r 
two form the measure of the enlightenment m 1 
* toleration wliich the Swedes had attained to. 

The second genei-al resolution ran thus : " ^^ 
fui-ther declare the unity and agreement of !.n_ 
Swedish Church with the Christian Church of 
the primitive ages, through our adoption of the 
Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds; with 
tlie Reformed Evangelical Church, through our 
adoption of the Augsburg Confession of 1530 ; and 
with the preceding Reformation of the Swedish 
Church itself, through the adoption of the ecclesias- 
tical constitution established and held valid during 
the episcopate of Laurentius Petri, and the con- 
cluding years of the reign of King Gustavus I." 

In the fourth resolution, over and above the con- 
demnation of the litui'gy of King John, because it 
was " a stone of stumbling " and " similar to the 
Popish mass," the synod adds its rejection of the 

having respect to the requirements of trade and 
commerce, they grant this indulgence, but under re- 
striction that such shall hold no public religious 
meetings in their houses, nor elseiivhere, nor sjieak 
disrespectfully of the national creed. 

It is easy to pity, nay, it is easy to condemn this 
narro\vness ; but it is not so easy to apportion due 
praise to the synod for the measure of catliolicity 
to which it had attained. Its members had repu- 
diated tlie use of the stake for conscience-sake; 
that was a great advance at tliis early period ; it, 



iiotwithstancling, they framed an edict that haw the 
aspect of persecution, its object was not to coerce 
the opinion of others, but to defend their own 
belief. Plotters and foes abounded on every side ; 
it behoved them to take measures to guard against 
surprise, and as regards other points, fuUei' infor- 
mation would have qualified their judgment on 
some of the opinions enumerated in their list of 
ostracised sects. But despite these defects, we find 
in tlieu- creed and I'esolutions the pure and reno- 
vating breath of our common Protestantism. The 
faces of these men are turned toward liberty. The 
moulding principles of their creed are those which 
generate noble characters and heroic actions. It 
scattered among the Swedish people the germs of a 
new life, and from that hour dates their resui'rection 
to a nobler destiny. The spirit of the Upsala convo- 
cation embodied itself in Duke Charles's illustrious 
son, it bore him in triumph into the very heart of 
Papal Germany, it crowned his aims with victory 
in his Protestant campaigns, and the echoes of the 
solemn declaration of the Estates in 1539 come 
back upon us in battle-thunder from many a 
stricken field, and grandest and saddest of all from 
the field of Lutzen. 

The syiiod had done its work, and now it made 
its appeal to the nation. Will the Swedish peojile 
ratify what their pastors had done at Upsala? 
Copies of the declaration and i'esolutions were 
circulated through the kingdom. The sanction of 
the nation was universally and promptly given. 
All ranks of persons testified their adherence to 
the Protestant faith, by subscribing the Upsala 
Declaration. The roll of signatures contained the 
names of Duke Charles, Gustavus, Duke of Saxony 
and Westphalia, the gi-andson of Gustavus I., 14 
councillors of St.ate, 7 bishops, 218 knights and 
nobles, 137 civil oificials, 1,.5,'56 clergymen, the 
liurgomasters of the thirty-six cities and towns of the 
realm, and the representatives of 197 districts and 
jirovinces. This extensive subscription is proof of an 
enthusiasm and unanimity on the part of the Swedish 
people not less marked than that of the synod. 

One other name was wanted to make this signa- 
ture-roll complete, and to proclaim that the adoption 
of Protestantism by the Swedish people was tiiily 
and officially a national act. It was that of King 
Sigismund. " Will he subscribe the Upsala De- 
claration 1 " every one asked ; for his attachment 
to the Romish faith was well known. Sigismund 
RtUl tarried in Poland, and was obviously ii^ no 
ha.ste to present himself among his new subjects. 
The council dispatched a messenger to solicit his 
subscription. The reply was an evasion. This 
naturally created alarm, and the Protestants, fore- 

warned, bound themselves still more' closely to- 
gether to maintain their religious liberty. After 
protracted del.ays the new sovereign arrived in 
Sweden on the 30th of September the same year. 
The duke, the council, and the clergy met him at 
Stockholm, and craved his subscription to the 
Upsala resolutions. Sigismund refused compliance. 
The autumn and winter were passed in fruitless 
negotiations. With the spring came the period 
which had been fixed upon for the coronation of 
the monarch. The royal signature had not yet 
been given, and events were approaching a crisis. 
The Swedish Estates were assembled in the begin- 
ning of February, 1594. The archbishop, havmg 
read the Upsala Declaration, asked the Diet if it 
was prepared to stand by it. A unanimous re- 
sponse was given in the aflii'mative, and further, 
the Diet decreed that whoever might refuse to sign 
the declaration shoidd be held disqualified to fill 
any ofiice, civil or ecclesiastical, within the realm. 
Sigismund now saw that he had no alternative save 
to ratify the declai-ation or renounce the crown. 
He chose the former. After some vam attempts 
to qualify his subscription by appending certain 
conditions, he put his name to the hated docimrent. 
A Te BeiDu was sung in the cathedral the day 
following, and on the 19th of February, King 
Sigismund was crowned. The struggle of Sweden 
for its Reformation, wliich had lasted over twenty 
years, came thus at last to a victorious close. 
Arcimbold, by the preaching of indulgences, and 
the political conflicts to which this led, had ploughed 
up the soil ; Olaf and Lawrence Patersen came 
next, scattering the seed ; then arose the patriotic 
Gustavus Vasa to shield the movement. After a 
too early pause, during which new dangers gathei-ed, 
the movement was again resumed. The sjaiod of 
the clergy met and adopted the Augustan Confession 
as the creed of Sweden ; their deed was accepted 
by the Estates and the nation, and finally ratified 
by the signature of the sovereign. Thus was the 
Protestant faith of the Swedish people surrounded 
•with all legal formalities and securities ; to this day 
these are the formal foundations on which rests the 
Reformed Church of Sweden.' 

' The two modern historians of the Church of Sweden, 
more especially during the period of the Eeformation, 
are Dr. H. Eeuterdahl, Archbishop of Upsala, and L. A. 
Anjou, Bishop of AVisby. To these writers we ai-e in- 
debted for the facts wc have Eriven, touchinf? tlie esta- 
blishmcntof Protestantism in Sweden under Duke Charles 
and King Sigismund. The titles of their works are as 
follow: — Svensla Kyrkans Historia, af Dr. H. Reuterd,ahl; 
Lund, 1S66 (History of the Swedish Church, by Dr. H. 
Keuterdalil; Lund, 18G6). Srenska Kirkorefonnaiionms 
Hiitoria, af L. A. Anjou ; Upsala, 1850 (History of the 
Keformation in Sweden, by L. A. Anjou ; Upsala, 1850). 



Ouly a few years did Sigismund occupy the 
tlirone of Sweden. Hi» government, in accord- 
ance with the Upsala Declaration, partook too 
much of the compulsory to be either hearty or 
honest; he was replaced in 1604 by Charles IX., 
the third son of Gustavus Vasa. When dying, 
Charles is I'eported to havo exclaimed, laying his 

hand upon the golden locks of his boy, and look- 
ing forward to the coming days of conflict, " Ille 
faciet."- li'liis boy, over whom his dying sire 
uttered these prophetic words, was the future 
Gustavus Adolphus, in whom his renowned grand- 
father, Gustavus Vasa, lived over again, with still 
greater renown. 



Paul Elia — Inclines to Protestantism — Returns to Eome — Petrus Parvus — Code of Christian II. — The New Testament 
in Danish — Greorgius Johannis — Johannis Taussanus — Studies at Cologne — Finds Access to Luther's Writings — 
Repairs to Witteinberg — Returns to Denmark — Re-enters the Monastery of Antvorskoborg — Explains the Bible to 
the Monks— Transferred to the Convent of Viborg — Expelled from the Convent — Pi'eaches in the City — Great 
Excitement in Viborg, and Alarm of the Bishops — Resolve to invite Doctors Eck and Cochlaeus to Oppose Taussan 
—Their Letter to Eck— Their Picture of Lutheranism — Their Flattery of Eck— He Declines the Invitation. 

In tracing the progress of the Reformation in 
Sweden, our attention was momentarily tui-ned 
toward Denmark. Two figures attracted our notice 
— Ai-cimboldiis, the legate-a-latere of Leo X., and 
Christian II., the sovereign of the country. The 
former was busy gathering money for the Pope's 
use, and sending off vast sums of gold to Rome ; 
the latter, impatient of the yoke of the priests, and 
envious of the wealth of the Church, was trying to 
introduce the doctrines of Luther into Denmark, 
less for their truth than for the help they would 
give him in making himself master in his O'wn 
dominions. Soon, however, both personages disap- 
peared fi'om the scene. Arcimbold in due time 
followed liis gold-bags to Italy, and Christian II., 
deposed by his subjects, retired to the court of his 
brother-in-law, Charles V. His imcle Frederick, 
Duke of Holstein and Schleswig, succeeded him 
on the throne.^ This was in l.'i23, and here pro- 
perly begins the story of the Reformation in 
Denmark. ° 

Paul Elia, a Carmelite monk, was the first herald 
of the coming day. As early as 1520 the fame of 
Luther and his movement reached the monastery 
of Helsingfoi-, in which Elia held the rank of pro- 
vincial. Smitten with an intense desire to know 
something of the new doctrine, he procured the 
writings of Luther, studied them, and appeared 
heartily to welcome the light that now broke upon 
him. The abuses of the Church of Rome disclosed 

themselves to his eye ; he saw that a Reformation 
was needed, and was not slow to ju'oclaim his con- 
viction to his countrymen. He displayed for a time 
no small courage and zeal in his eftbrts to diffiise a 
knowledge of tlie truth in his native land. But, 
like Erasmus of Holland, and More of England, 
he turned back to the superstitions which he ap- 
peared to have left. He aimoiinced the advent 
of the heavenly kingdom, but did not himself 
enter in.^ 

Among the early restorers of the Gospel to 
Denmark, no mean place is due to Petnis Parvus. 
Sprung of an illustrious stock, he was not less dis- 
tinguished for his virtues. Attracted to Wittem- 
bei'g, like many of the Danish youth, by the fame 
of Luther and Melancthon, he there heard of a 
faith that brings forgiveness of sin and holiness of 
natui-e, and on his return home he laboured to in- 
troduce the same gi-acious doctrine into Denmark.'' 
Nor must we pass over in silence the name of 
Martin, a learned man and an eloquent preacher, 
who almost daOy in 1.'520 proclaimed the Gospel 
from the cathedral pulpit of Hafnia (Copenhagen) 
in the Danish tongue to crowded assemblies." In 
1.522 came the ecclesiastical and civil code of 
Christian II., of which we have already spoken, 

1 Sleidan, bk. iv., p. 62. 

- Encyclop. Metrop., vol. xii., pp. 614 — 616; Lond., 1845. 

3 OUvar., Vita PauU EUcc—ei. Gerdesio, torn, iii., pp. 
339, 340. 

■' Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 312. 

5 Pantoppidan, Hist. Reform. Don., p. 124— ex Gerdesio, 
torn, iii., p. 342. 



correctiug some of the more flagrant practices of the 
priests, forbidding especially appeals to Rome, and 
requiring that all causes should be determined in 
the courts of the comitry. In the year following 
(1523) the king fled, leaving behuul liini a soil 
which had just begun to be broken up, and on 
which a few handfuls of seed had been cast very 
much at random. 

In his banishment. Christian still sought oppor- 
tunities of promoting the best interests of the land 
which had driven him out. One is almost led to 
think that amid all his vices as a man, and errors 
ius a ruler, he had a love for Lutheranism, for its 
own sake, and not simply because it lent support to 
his policy. He now sent to Denmark the best of 
all Reformers, the Word of God. In Flanders, 
where in 1524 we find him residing, he caused the 
New Testament to be translated into the Danish 
tongue. It was printed at Leipsie, and issued in 
two parts — the first containing the four Gospels, and 
the second tl>e Epistles. It bore to be translated 
from the Vulgate, although the internal evidence 
made it undoubted that the translator had freely 
followed the German version by Luther, and 
possiVily by doing so had the better secured both 
accuracy and beauty.' The book was accompanied 
■with a preface by the translator, Johannis Michaelis, 
dated Antwerp, in which he salutes his " dear 
l)rethren and sisters of Denmark, wishing grace and 
])eace to them in God the Father and our Lord 
Jesus Christ." He bids them not be scared, by the 
bulls and other fulminations of the Vatican, from 
reading what God has written ; that the object of 
Rome is to keep them blindfolded, that they may 
believe implicitly all the fables and dreams she 
chooses to tell them. God, he says, has sent them, 
in great mercy, the Light by which they may detect 
the frauds of the impostor. " Grace and remission 
of sins," says he, " are nowhere save where the 
Gospel of God is preached. Whoever hears and 
obeys it, hears and knows that he is forgiven, and 
has the assurance of eternal life ; whereas, they who 
go to Rome for pardon bring back nothing but 
griefs, a seared conscience, and a bit of parchment 
sealed with wax." - The priests stormed, but the 
Bible did its work, and the good fruits appeared in 
the following reign. 

' The title of the book was : Thctte ere ihi Noye Testa- 
metithpaa Danske ret efter Latincn iidsatthe, MDXXIIII., id 
est. Hoc est Novum Testamentum Danice ex Latine accurate 
expositum, 1524 (Tliis is the New Testament in Danish, 
accurately tr.-vnslated from the Latin, 1524).— Gei-desius, 
torn, iii., p. 350. 

" Olivar., Vita Pauli Elia-, pp. 75, 7C— ex Gerdesiu, torn. 
iii., p. 352. 

Frederick, the uncle of Christian, and Duke of 
Holstein and Schleswig, was now upon the throne. 
A powerful priesthood, and an equally power- 
ful nobility attached to the Romish Church, had 
e.xacted of the new monarch a pledge that he would 
not give admission to the Lutheran faith into 
Denmark; but the Danish Bible was every day 
rendeiing the fulfilment of the pledge more diflicult. 
In vain had the king promised " not to attack the 
dignity and privileges of the Ecclesiastical Estate," * 
when the Scriptures were, hour by hoiu', silently 
but powerfully undermining them. 

A beginning was made by Georgius Johannis. 
He had drunk at the well of Wittemberg, and 
returning to his native town of Viborg, he began 
(1525) to spread the Reformed opinions. When the 
Bishop of Viborg opposed him, the king gave him 
lettei-s of protection, which enabled him to set up 
a Protestant school in that city,* the first of all 
the Protestant institutions of Denmark, and which 
soon became fiimous for the success ^vith which, 
under its founder, it difiused the light of truth and 
piety over the kingdom. After Johannis came a 
yet more illustrious man, who has earned for himself 
the title of the " Reformer of Denmark," Johamiis 
Taussanus. He was born in 1594, in the country 
of Fionia; his parents were peasants. From his 
earliest years the young Taussan discovered a quick 
genius and an intense thirst for knowledge, but the 
poverty of his parents did not permit them to give 
him a liberal education. Following the custom of 
his time he entered the Order of John the Baptist, 
or Jerusalem Monks, and took up his abode in the 
monastery of Antvorskoborg in Zealand. 

He had not been long in the monastery when the 
assiduity and punctuality with which he performed 
his duties, and the singular blamelessness of his 
mannei-s, di-ew upon him the eyes of the superior of 
the order, Eskildus.'* His parts, he found, were 
equal to his vix-tues, and in the hope that he would 
become In time the ornament of the monastery, the 
superior adjudged to the young Taussan one of those 
bursaries which were in the gift of the order for 
young men of capacity who wished to prosecute 
their studies abroad. Taussan was told that he 
might select what school or university he pleased, 
one only excepted, Wittemberg. That seminary 
was fatally poisoned ; all who drank of its watei-s 
died, and thither he must on no account bend his 
course. But there were othei-s whose waters no 

•I Pantoppidan, p. 148— ex Gerdesio, torn, iii., p. 354. 

■• Pantoppidan, I.e.. p. 81. Johannis became Bishop of 
Ottonburg (1537) under Clu'istian III., and died in 1553. 
(Gerdesins, torn, iii., p. 355.) 

'' Bib. Dan., I.e., p. 2— ex Gerdesio, tom. iii., p. 3b0. 



heresy had polluted : there were Louvaiii, and 
Cologne, and others, all unexceptionable in their 
orthodoxy. At any or all of these he might drink, 
but of the fountain in Saxony he must not approach 
it, nor taste it, lest he become anathema. His 
choice fell upon Cologne. He had been only a 
short while at that seat of learning when he became 
weary of the futilities and fables with which he was 
there entertained. He thirsted to engage in studies 
more solid, and to taste a doctrine more jnire. It 
happened at that time that the writings of Luther 
were put into his hands.' In these he found what 
met the cravings of his soul. He longed to place 
himself at the feet of the Reformer. Many weary 
leagues separated Wittemberg from the banks of 
the Rhine, but that was not the only, nor indeed 
the main, difficulty he had to encounter. He 
would forfeit his pension, and incur the wrath of 
his superiors, should it be known that he had gone 
to drink at the interdicted spring. These risks, 
however, did not deter him ; every day he loathed 
more and more the husks given him for food, and 
wished to exchange them for that bread by which 
alone he felt he could live. He set out for Wit- 
temberg ; he beheld the face of the man through 
whom God had spoken to his heart when wander- 
ing in the wUderness of Scholasticism, and if the 
page of Luther had touched him, how much more 
his living voice ! 

Whether the young student's sojourn here was 
known in his native country ■we have no means of 
discovering ; but in the summer of 1521, and about 
the time that Luther would be setting out for the 
Diet of Worms, we find Taussan returning to Den- 
mark. His profiting at Wittemberg was very 
sufficiently attested by a most flattering mark of 
distinction which Was bestowed on him on his way 
home. The University of Rostock conferred upon 
him the degree of Doctor in Theology, an honour 
which doubtless he valued chiefly because it ad- 
mitted hini to the privilege of teaching to others 
what himself had learned with joy of heart at the 
feet of the Reformers. " 

The monastery at whose expense he had studied 
abroad had the first claim upon him ; and some 
time elapsed before he could teach publicly in the 
university. He brought back to the monastery, 
wliich he again entered, the same beautiful genius 
and the same pm-e manners which had distinguished 
him before his departure ; but the charm of these 
(jualities was now heightened by the nameless grace 
which true piety gives to the character. "As a 

1 Bib. Dan., I.e., p. 3. 

'■^ Eesenius, ann. 1S21— ex Ger Jesio, torn, iii., p. 356. 

lamp in a sepulchre," says one, " so did his Ught 
shine in the midst of the darkness of that place."" 
It was not yet suspected by his brethren that they 
had a Lutheran among them under the cloak of 
their order, and Taussan took care not to put them 
ujjon the scent of the secret. Nevertheless, he 
began betimes to correct the disorders and en- 
lighten the ignorance of his fellow-monks — evils 
which he now saw had their origin not so much in 
the vices of the men as in the perversity of the 
institution. He would draw them to the Word of 
God, and opening to them in plain language its 
true meaning, he would show them how far and 
fatally Rome had strayed from this Holy Rule. At 
the Easter of 1524 he preached a sermon setting 
forth the insufficiency of good works, and the need 
of an imputed righteousness in order to the sinner's 
justification. " All the blind supporters of the 
Pontifical superstition," says the historian, " were 
in arms against him."^ The disguise was now 

There was one man whose ^vl■atll the sermon ot 
the young monk had specially roused, the prior of 
the convent, Eskildus, a bigotted upholder of the 
ancient religion, and the person who had sent 
Taussan abroad, whence he had bi'ought back the 
doctrine, the preaching of which had converted his 
former friend into his bitter enemy. 

That he might not corrupt the monks, or bring 
on the monastery of Antvorskoborg, which had 
preserved till this hour its good name untarnished, 
the terrible suspicion of heresy, the prior formed 
the resolution of transfen-ing Taussan to the con- 
vent of Viborg, where a strict watch woidd be kept 
upon him, and he would have fewer opportunities 
of proselytising under the rigorous surveillance 
which Prior Petri Jani was known to exercise over 
those committed to his care. The event, however, 
turned out quite otherwse. Shut up in his cell, 
Taussan communicated with the inmates of the 
convent through the bars of his wmdow. In these 
conversations he drojoped the seeds of truth into 
then- minds, and the result was that two of the 
monks, named Erasmus and Theocarius, were con- 
verted to the truth.^ 

The horror-struck prior, foreseeing the perversion 
of his whole brotherhood should he retain this 
eoiTupter a day longer in the monastery, again 
drove Taussan forth. If the prior .saved his convent 
by this step, he lost the city of Viborg, for it so 
happened that about that time a resciipt (1526) of 

' Olivai-., I.e., Bib. Dan., torn, i., p. 5. 
' Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 357. 

° IPuntopindan, Hist. Reform. Dan., p. 154i. Bib. Dan., I.e., 
pp. 6, 7. 



King Frederick was issued, commanding that no one 
should ofler molestation to any teacher of the new 
doctrine, and Taussan thus, though expelled, found 
himself protected from insult and persecution, 
whether from the prior or from the magistrates of 
Viborg. By a marvellous providence, he had been 
suddenly transferred from the monastery to the 
city, from the cell to the vineyard of the Lord ; 
from a little auditory, gathered by stealth at his 

been kindled, and could not now be extinguished. 
What was to be done ? The bishop, Georgius Fiiis, 
had no preachers at his command, but he had 
soldiers, and he resolved to put dowir these assem- 
blies of worshippers by ai-ms. The zeal of the 
citizens for the Gospel, however, and their resolution 
to maintain its ])reacher, rendered the bishoji'!; 
efforts abortive. They bade deliance to his troops. 
They posted guards around the churches, they 

grated window, to the open assemblies 'of the 
citizens. He began to preach. The citizens of 
Viborg heard with joy the Gospel from his mouth. 
The churches of the city were opened to Taussan, 
and the crowds that flocked to hear him soon filled 
them to overflowing.' 

It was now the bishop's tmn to be alarmed. The 
prior in extinguishing the fire in his convent had 
but carried the conflagration into the city ; gladly 
would he have seen Taussan again shut np in the 
monastery, but that was impossible. The captive 
had escaped, or rather had been driven out, and 
was not to be lured Lack ; the conflagration had 

defended the open squares by drawing chains across 
them, and they went to sermon with arms in their 
hands. At length there came another intimation 
of the royal will, commanding the disafl'ected party 
to desist from these violent jn'oceedings, and giving 
the citizens of Viborg full liberty to attend on the 
preaching of the Gospel.- 

Foiled in his own city and diocese, the Bishop of 
Viborg now took measures for extending the war 
over the kingdom. The expulsion of Taussan from 
the convent had set the city in flames ; but the 
bishop had fiiiled to leanr the lesson taught by the 

1 Bib. Dan., I.e., pp. 9, 10. 

" Olivar., Vita PauU Elite, pp. 110, 111 ; et Pantoppj Jan, 
Ann. Dan., p. 183— ex GerdesiOj torn, iii., p. 359. 



incident, and so, without intending it, he laid tlie 
train for setting the whole country on tire. He 
convoked the three other bishops of Fiouia (Jut- 
land), the most ancient and largest province of 
Denmark, and, having addressed them on the emer- 
gency that had arisen, the bishops unanimously 

or by writing, he might sUence the propagators of 
heresy, and rescue the ancient faith from the de- 
struction that impended over it. Should this 
application be declined by Eck, Geerkens was em- 
powered then to present it to Cochlseus.' Neither 
flatteries nor promises were lacking which might 

agreed to 
leave no 
stone un- 
t u r n e d 
to expel 
an i s m 
lom Denmark. Mis- 
tiustmg their own 
skill and strength, however, for the accomj)lishment 
of this task, they cast their eyes around, and fixed 
on two champions who, they thought, would be able 
to combat the hydra which had invaded their land. 
These were Doctors Eck and Cochlseus. The four 
bishops, Ivarus Miinck, Stiggo Krumpen, Avo 
BUde, and Georgius Friis, addressed a joint letter, 
which they sent by an honourable messenger, Henry 
Gfeerkens, to Dr. Eck, entieating him to come and 
take up his abode for one or more years in Jutland, 
in order that by preaching, by public disputationh^, 
56— VOL. II. 

induce these mighty men of war to renew, on 
Danish soil, the battles which they boasted having 
so often and so gloriously fought for Rome in 
other countries. 

The letter of the four bishops, dated 14th of 
Jime, 1.527, has been preserved; but the terms in 
which they give vent to their immense detestation 
of Lutheranism, and their equally immense admi- 
ration of the qualities of the man whom Providence 
had raised up to oppose it, are hardly translatable. 
Many of their phrases would have been quite 
new to Cicero. The epistle savoured of Gothic 
vigour rather than Italian elegance. The eccen- 
tricities of their pen will be easily pardoned, how- 
ever, if we reflect how much the jjortentous 
apparition of Lutheranism had disturbed theii- 
imaginations. They make allusion to it as that 
" Phlegethonian plague," that " cruel and virulent 

' Qerdesius, torn, iii., p. 359. 



pestilence,"' the " black contagion" of wliicli, " shed 
into the air," was "darkening great pai-t of Chris- 
tendom," and had made " their era a most un- 
happy one." Beginning by describing Liitheranism 
as a ])lague, they end by compaiing it to a serpent ; 
for they go on to denounce those " skulking and 
impious Lutheran dogmatisers," who, " fearing 
neither the authority of royal edicts nor the ter- 
rors of a prison," now " creeping stealtliily," now 
■" darting suddenly out of theii' holes like serpents," 
are diffusing among " the simple and unlearned 
flock," their "desperate insanity," bred of "con- 
troversial studies. "- 

From Lutheranism the four bishops turn to Dr. 
Eck. Theii- pen loses none of its cumaing when 
they come to recount his great qualities. If 
Lutheranism was the plague that was darkening 
the earth, Eck was the sun destined to enlighten 
it. If Lutheranism was the serpent whose deadly 
vu'us was infecting mankind, Eck was the Hercules 
bom to slay the monster. " To thee," said the 
bishops, casting themselves at his feet, " thou most 
eloquent of men in Divine Scripture, and who 
excellest in all kinds of learning, we bring the 
wishes of our Estates. They seek to draw to then- 
ovm country the man who, by his gravity, his 
faith, his constancy, his prudence, his firm mind, is 
able to bring back those who have been misled 
by perverse and heretical teachers." Not that they 
thought they could add to the fame of one already 

possessed of " impei-ishable renown, and a gloiy that 
will last throughout the ages;" "a man to whom 
notliing in Divine literature is obsciu'e, nothing un- 
known;" but they m-ged the greatness of theii- need 
and the gloiy of the service, greater than any ever 
imdertaken by the philosophers and conquerors of 
old, the deliverance even of Christianity, menaced 
with extinction in the rich and populous kingdoms 
of Denmark, Sweden, and Noi-way. They go on to 
cite the great deeds of Curtins and Scipio Africanus, 
and other heroes of ancient story, and trust thau 
the man they address will show not less devotion for 
the Christian commonwealth than these did for the 
Koman republic. Their hope lay in him alone — " in 
liis um'ivalled eloquence, in his profound penetra- 
tion, in liis Divine imderstanding." In saving 
three kingdoms from the pestilence of Luther, he 
would "win a higher glory and taste a sweeter plea- 
sme than did those men who had saved the republic' 
This, and a great deal more to tlie same effect, 
was enough, one would have thought, to have 
tempted Dr. Eck to leave his qniet retreat, and 
once more measure swords with the champions of 
the new faith. But the doctor had grown wary. 
Recent encountei's had thiimed his laurels, and 
what remained he was not disposed to tln-ow away 
in impossible enterprises. He was flattered by the 
embassy, doubtless, but not gamed by it. He left 
the Cimbrian bishops to fight the battle as best 
they could. 



Paul Elia Opposes— Harangues the Soldiery in the Citadel— Tumults— The ICing suffllnons a Meeting of the Estates 
at Odensee — His Addi-ess to the Bishops — Edict of Toleration— Church-Song— Ballad-Poetry of Denmarli — Out- 
burst of Sacred Psalmody — Nieolaua Martin — Preaches outside the Walls of Malmoc — Translates the German 
Hymns into Danish — The Psalms Translated — Sung Universally in Denmark— Nicolaus Martin Preaches inside 
Malmoii— Theological College EstabUshed there— Preachers sent through Denmark— Taussan Eemoved to Copen- 
hagen—New Translation of the New Testament. 

Meanwhile the tnith was making rapid progress 
in Viborg, and throughout the whole of Jutland. 
The Gospel was proclaimed not only by Taussan, 
" the Luther of Denmark " as he has been called, 
but also by George Jani, or Johannis, of whom we 
have already made mention, as the founder of the 

' " Phlegetonteam illam ct crudelem Lutherans vii-u- 
lentise pestem." (Epistola ad Jo. Eccium, 1527.) 

- See the documents m cxtenso in Gordesius— /iis(ntmoi- 
tumHenr. Geerkens Datum a Cimbnw Ej^iscopis, and EpistoJa 
ad Jo. EccivM. (Tom. iii.^ pp. 204—214) 

fii-st Refonned School in Viborg, and indeed ill 
Denmark. Th6 king was kno^^^^ to be a Lutheran ; 
so too was tlic master of his horse, Magnus Goyus; 
who received the Communion in both kmds, and 
had meat on his table on Fridays. The army was 
largely leavened ■\Htli the stime doctrine, and in the 
Duchies of Holsteiii and Schleswg the Lutheran 
faith was protected by law. Everything helped on- 
ward the movement ; if it stopped for a moment its 

3 Epistola ad Jo. Sedum—OtevAeBixxB, torn, iii., p. 206. 



enemies were sure again to set it in motion. It 
was at this time not a little helped by Paul Eliii, 
the first to sow the seeds of Lutheranism in Den- 
mark, but who now was more eager to extu-pate 
than ever he had been to plant them. The unliappy 
man craved pel-mission to deliver his sentiments on 
Lutheranism in public. The permission was at 
once granted, with an assurance that no one should 
be permitted to molest or injure him. The master 
of the horse took him to the citadel, where at great 
length, and with considerable freedom, he told what 
he thought of the faith which he had once preached. 
His address fell upon attentive but not assenting 
ears. When he descended from his rostrum he 
was met with a tempest of scoffs and threats. He 
woidd have fallen a sacrifice to the incensed sol- 
diery, had not a lieutenant, unsheathing his sword, 
led him safely through the crowd, and dismissed 
him at the gates of the fortress. The soldiers fol- 
lowed him with their cries, so long as he was in 
si»ht, saying that " the monks were wolves and 
destroyers of souls." 

This and similar scenes compelled Frederick I. to 
take a step forward. A regard for the tranquillity 
of his kingdom would sufl'er him no longer to be 
neutral. Summoning (1527) the Estates of Den- 
mark to Odensee, he addressed them in Latin. 
Turning fii-st of all to the bishops, he reminded them 
that their office bound them to nourish the Church 
with the pure Word of God ; that throughout a large 
part of Germany religion had been purged from the 
old idolatry ; that even here in Denmark many 
voices were raised for the purgation of the fiiith 
from the fables and traditions with which it was so 
largely mixed up, and for permission to be able again 
to drink at the pure fountains of the Word. He 
had taken an oath to protect the Roman and 
Catholic religion in his kingdom, but he did not 
look on that promise as binding him to defend all 
" the errors and old wives' fables " which had found 
admission into the Church. " And who of you," 
he asked, '' is ignorant how many abuses and errors 
have crept in by time which no man of sane mind 
can defend I " " And since," he continued, " in 
this kmgdom, to say nothing of others, the Christian 
doctrine, according to the Reformation of Luther, 
has struck its roots so deep that they could not 
now be eradicated without bloodshed, and the in- 
fliction of many gi-eat calamities upon the kingdom 
and its people, it is my i-oyal pleasure that in this 
kingdom both religions, the Lutheran as well as 
the Papal, shall be freely tolerated till a General 
Council shall have met." ^ 

Of the clergy, many testified, with both hands 
and feet, their decided disapproval of this speech ;' 
but its moderation and equity recommended it to 
the wreat majority of the Estates. A short edict, 
in foiu- heads, expressed the resolution of the 
Assembly, which was in brief that it was permitted 
to every subject of the realm to profess which re- 
ligion he pleased, the Lutheran or the Pontifical ; 
that no one should suffer oppression of conscience 
or injury of person on that account ; and that 
monks and nuns were at liberty to leave their con- 
vents or to continue to reside in them, to mari-y or 
to remain single.' 

This edict the king and Estates supplemented by 
several regulations wliich still further extended the 
reforms. Priests were granted leave to many; 
bishops were forbidden to send money to Rome for 
jxills ; the election was to be in the power of the 
chapter, and its ratification in that of the king ; 
and, finally, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction was re- 
stricted to ecclesiastical affaii's.'' 

Another influence which tended powerfully to 
promote the Reformation in Denmark was the re- 
vival of church-song. Tlie part which Rome 
assigns to her people in her public worship is 
silence : their voices raised in pi-aise are never 
heard. If hymns are ever sung under the gorgeous 
roofs of her temples, it is by her clerical choii-s 
alone ; and even these hymns are uttered in a dead 
language, which fails, of course, to reach the under- 
standings or to awaken the hearts of the people. 
The Reformation broke the long and deep silence 
which had reigned in Christendom. Wherever it 
advanced it was amid the sounds of melody and 
praise. Nowhere was it more so than in Denmark. 
The early ballad-poetry of that country is among 
the noblest in Europe. But the poetic muse had 
long slumbered there : the Reformation awoke it to a 
new life. The assemblies of the Protestants were far 
too deeply moved to be content as mere spectators, 
like men at a pantomime, of the worship celebrated 
in their sanctuaries ; they demanded a vehicle for 
those deep emotions of soul which the Gospel had 
awakened -svithin them. This was no mere re\-ival 
of the poetic taste, it was no mere refinement of 
the musical ear; it was the natural outburst of 
those fresh, warm, and holy feelings to which the 
grand truths of the Gospel had given birth, and 
which, like all deep and strong emotions, struggled 
to utter themselves in song. 

The fii-st to move in this matter was Nicolaus 

Pantoppidan, tc, p. 172 et seq. 

- Gerdesms, torn, iii., p. 364. 

3 Pantoppidan, p. 1V5. 

■• GerdL'sius, torn, iii., p. 365. 



Martiii. This Picformer liad tlie honour to Ijc the 
first to carry the light of the Gospel to many places 
in Schonen. He had studied the Aviitings of 
Luther, and "drunk his fill of the Word,'" and 
yearned to lead others to the same living fountain. 
The inhabitants of Malmoe, in 1527, invited him 
to preach the Gospel to them. He obeyed the 
summons, and held his first meeting on the 1st of 
Jime in a meadow outside the walls of the city. 
The people, after listening to the Gospel of God's 
glorious grace, wished to vent their feelings in 
pi-aise ; but there existed nothing in the Danish 
tongue fit to be used on such an occasion. They 
proposed that the Latin canticles which the priests 
sang in the temples shoidd be translated into 
Danish. Martin, with the help of John Spande- 
mager, who afterwards became Pastor of Lund, in 
Schonen, and who " laboured assiduously for more 
than thirty years in the vineyard of the Lord,"- 
translated several of the saci'ed hymns of Germany 
into the tongue of the people, which, being printed 
and published at Malmoe, formed the first hymn- 
book of the Refoi-med Church of Denmark . 

By-and-by there came a still nobler hymn-book. 
Francis Wormord, of Amsterdam, the first Pro- 
testant Bishop of Lund, was originally a Carmelite 
monk. During his residence in the monastery of 
Copenhagen or of Helsingborg, for it is uncertain 
which, led by love of the triith, he translated the 
Psalms of David into the Danish tongue. The 
task was executed jointly by himself and Paul Eliii, 
for, being a native of Holland, Wormord was but 
imperfectly master of the Danish idiom, and gladly 
availed himself of the help of another. The book 
was published in 1.528, "with the favour and 
privilege of the king."^ The publication was ac- 
companied with notes, explaining the Psalms in a 
Protestant sense, and, like a hand-post, du-ectiiig 
the reader's eye to a Greater than David, whose 
sufferings and resurrection and ascension to heaven 
are gloriously celebi-ated in these Divine odes. 
The Psalms soon displaced the ballads which had 
been sung till then. They were heard in the castles 
of the nobles ; they were used in the assemblies of 
the Protestants. While singing them the wor- 
shippers saw typified and depicted the new scenes 
which were opening to the Church and the world, 
the triumph e\-eir of Messiah's kingdom, and tho 

1 Gerdesivis, toin. iii., p. 366. 

" Hemming, Episi. Dedicat. in Comineni. in Ep. ad EpTies., 
p. 382, ann. 15G4. Biblioth. Dan., tom. ix., p. 695— 
Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 367. 

3 Biblioth. Dan., tom. ix., p. 696. The title of the book 
■vras—Psalmi Davidici, in Danicmn translati et explicati a 
Francisco Worniordo, et impressi in monasterio S, Michaelis 
Bostochii, 1528. (Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 367.) 

certain and utter o\-ertlirow of that of his rival.'' 
Long had the Church's harp hung upon the 
willows ; but her captivity was now drawing to an 
end ; the fetters were falling from her limbs ; the 
doors of her prison were begimiing to exj^and. She 
felt the time had come to put away her sackcloth, 
to take do^\^l her harp so long unstrung, and to 
begin those triumphal melodies written aforetime 
for the very iiurpose of celebrating, in strains 
worthy of the great occasion, her march out of the 
house of bondage. The ancient oracle was now 
fulfilled : " The ransomed of the Lord shall return 
and come to Zion with songs." 

In particular the Psalms of David may be said 
to have opened the gates of Malmoe, which was tho 
first of all the cities of Denmark fully to receive 
the Gosj)el. The first Protestant sermon, we have 
said, was jweached outside the walls in 1527. The 
announcement of " a free forgiveness " was followed 
by the voices of -the multitude lifted up in Psahns 
in token of their joy. Louder songs re-echoed day 
by day round the walls of Malmoe, as the numbers 
of the worshippers daily increased. Soon the gates 
were opened, and the congi-egation marched in, to 
the dismay of the Romanists, not in serge or sack- 
cloth, not with gloomy looks and downcast heads, 
as if they had been leading in a religion of penance 
and gloom, but with beaming faces, and voices 
thrilling with joy, as well they might, for they were 
Ijringing to their townsmen the same Gospel wliicli 
was brought to the shepherds by the angels who 
filled the sky with celestial melodies as they an- 
nounced then- message. The churches were opened 
to the preachers ; the praises uttered outside the 
walls were now heard within the city. It seemed 
as if Malmoe rejoiced because " salvation was come 
to it." Miiss was abolished; and in 1529 the Pro- 
testant religion was almost imiversally professed by 
the inhabitants. By the king's direction a theo- 
logical college was erected in Malmoe ; Frederick I, 
contributed liberally to its endo'wment, and more- 
over enacted by edict that the manors and other 
]iosses8ions given aforetime to the Romish super- 
stition should, after the poor had been provided for, 
be made over for the maintenance of the Protestant 

This seminary powerfully contributed to diftuse 
the light ; it supplied the Danish Church As-itli 
many-able teachers. Its chairs were filled by men 
of accomplishment and eminence. Among its pro- 
fessors, then styled readei-s, were Nicolaus Martin, 
the first one to carry the "good tidings" of a free 

•• Gerdesius, tom. iii., pp. 368 — 870. 
" Ibid., tom. iii., p. 371. 



salvation to Malmoe ; Andi'eas, who had been a 
monk ; Wormord, who had also worn the cowl, but 
who had exchanged the doleful canticles of the 
monastery for the odes of the Hebrew king, which 
he was the first by his translation to teach Ids 
adopted countrymen to sing. Besides those just 
named, there were two men, both famous, wlio 
taught in tlie College of Malmoe — Peter Lawrence, 
and Olaus Chrysostom, Doctor of Theology. The 
latter's stay in Malmoe was short, being called to 
be first preacher in the Church of ]\Iary ui Copen- 

The king's interest in the work continued to 
grow. The Danish Reformers saw and seized then- 
opportunity. Seconded by the zeal and assistance 
of Frederick, tliey sent preachers through the king- 
dom, who explained in clear and simple terms the 
heads of tlie Christian doctrine, and thus it came 
to pass that in this year (1529) the truth was ex- 
tended to all the provinces of Denmark. The 
eloquent Taussan, at the king's desire, removed from 
Viborg to Copenliagen, where he exercised his rare 
pulpit gifts in the Temple of St. Nicholas. 

Taussan's removal to tliis wider sphere gave a 
power-ful impulse to the movement. His fame liad 
preceded him, and the citizens flocked in crowds to 
hear hiin. The Gospel, so clearly and eloquently 
proclaimed by him, found acceptance with the in- 
habitants. The Popish rites were forsaken — -no one 
went to mass or to confession. The entrance of the 
truth into tliis city, says the historian, was signalised 
by "a mighty outbiu'st of singing." The jteople, 
filled Nvith joy at the mysteries made known to 

them, and the clear light that shone upon them 
after the long darkness, poured forth their gratitude 
in thundering voices in the Psalms of Da\'id, the 
hymns of Luther, and in other sacred canticles. 
Nor did Taussan confine himself to his own pulpit 
and flock ; he cared for all the young Churches of 
the Reformation in Denmark, and did his utmost 
to nourish them into strength by seeking out and 
sending to them able and zealous jireachers of the 

Tliis year (1529), a truly memorable one in the 
Danish Reformation, saw another and still more 
powerful agency enter the field. A new translation 
of the New Testament in the Danish tongue was 
now published in Antwerp, imder the care of Chris- 
tian Petri. Petri had formerly been a canon, and 
Chancellor of the Chajiter in Lund ; but attaching 
himself to the fortunes of Christian II., he had 
been obliged to become an exile. He was, how- 
ever, a learned and pious man, sincerely attached 
to the Reformed faith, which he did his utmost, 
both by preaching and wi-iting, to propagate. He 
had seen the version of the New Testament, of 
which we have made mention above, translated by 
Micliaelis in 1524, and which, though corrected by 
the pen of Paul Eliii, was deformed with blemishes 
and obscurities; and feeling a strong desire to put 
into the hands of his countrymen a purer and more 
idiomatic version, Petri undertook a new trans- 
lation. The task he executed with success. This 
purer rendering of the lively oracles of God was of 
great use in the propagation of the light through 
Denmark and the surrounding regions.^ 



Tlie King summons a Conference — Forty-three Articles of the Protestants — Agreement with the Augsburg Confession 
— Eomanist Indictment against Pi-otestants— Its Heads — In what Language shall the Debate take place ?— Wlio 
shall be Judge ?— The Combat Declined at the Eleventh Hour— Declaration of Protestant Pastors— Proclamation 
of the King— Dissolution of the Monasteries, &c.— Establishment of Protestantism— Transformation undergone 
by Denmark. 

But the wider the light spread, and the more 
numerous its converts became, the more vehemently 
did the priests oppose it. Tlieir plots threatened 
to convulse the kingdom ; and Frederick I., judging 
an aggressive policy to be the safest, resolved on 

' Pantoppidan, I.e., p. 191. Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 371. 

another step towards the full establishment of the 
Reformation in his dominions. In 1530 he sum- 
moned all the bishops and prelates of his kingdom," 

= Biblioth. Dan., torn, i., p. 13-Gerdesius, torn, iii., 
pp. 371, 372. 
' Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 371. 
■• Olivar., Vita Pauli Eliw, p. 113— Gerdes., tom. iii... p. 375. 



and the heads of the Lutheran movement, to Copeu- 
hao'en, in order that they might discuss in his own 
presence, and in that of the Estates of the Reahn, 
the distinctive articles of tlie two faiths. The 
Protestants, in anticipation of the conference, drew 
up a statement of doctriiae or creed, in forty-three 
articles, " drawn from the pure fountain of the 
Scriptures," and ]5resented it to the king as the 
propositions which they were prepared to main- 

the Confession of the Danish Church. It declared 
Holy Scripture to be the only rule of faith, and 
the satisfaction of Christ in our room the only 
foundation of eternal life. It defined the Church 
to be the communion of the faithful, and it denied 
the power of any man to cast any one out of that 
Chui'jh, unless such shall have -"Irst cut himself off 
from the communion of the faithful by impenitence 
and sin. It affirmerl that the worship of God did 


tain.' The Romanists, in like manner, drew up a 
paper, which they presented to the king. But it 
was rather an indictment against the Protestants 
than a summary of their o^\ti creed. It was a 
long list of errors and crimes against the ancient 
f\iith of which they held their opponents guilty ! 
This was to pass judgment before the case had 
gone to trial : it was to pass judgment in their own 
cause, and ask the king to inflict the merited punish- 
ment. It was not for so summaiy a proceeding as 
tliis that Frederick had summoned the conference. 

Let us examine the heads of the Protestant 
paper, mainly drawn up Taussan, and accepted as 

' Gerdesius,, torn, iii., p. 376, 

not consist in canticles, masses, vigils, edifices, 
shaven crowns, cowls, and anointings, but in the 
adoring of God in spirit and in truth : that " the 
true mass of Christ is the commemoration of his 
sufferings and death, in which his body is eaten and 
his blood is drunk in certain pledge that through 
his name we obtain forgiveness of sins."" It goes 
on to condemn masses for the living and the dead, 
indulgences, auricular confession, and all similar 
practices. It declares all believere to be priests 

- " Veram Christi Missam esse Jesu Christi paenarum 
ac mortis commemorationem. in qua ejus corpus editur 
ac sanguis potatur in oertuin pignus," &c. [Confessio 
Hafniensis, 1530. art. xsvi.— Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 377; et 
Mon. Antiq . p. 217.) 



in Christ, who had oflered himself to the Father a 
living and acceptable sacrifice. It declares the 
Head of the Church to be Christ, than whom there 
is no other, whether on earth or in heaven, and of 
this Head all believers are members.' 

This document, bearing the signatures of all the 
leading Protestant pastors in the kingdom, was 
presented to the king and the Estates of the Realm. 
It was already the faith of thousands in Denmark. 
It struck a chord of profoundest harmony with the 
Confession presented by the Protestants that same 
year at Augsburg. 

The Romanists next came forward. They had no 
summaiy of doctime to piesent The papei the} 
gave m-vvas diawn up on the xssumptiou that thef uth 
of Rome was the one tiiie fiith, which, ha\mg been! 
held tlnouj;h all the ages xnd submitted to by the 

hands. All who departed from that faith were in 
deadly error, and ought to be reclaimed by autho- 

whole world, needed no proof or argument at their 

' Confessio Hafniensis — Pontani, Hist. Dan., torn, ii., o'j 
Huitfeldio, Chron. Danico, torn, ii., p. 1322. 


1 it> %\ hat they ga-\ e m m short, was not a list of 
Romisli doctimes, but of ' Piotestant errors," which 
were to be lecanted, and, if not, to be punished. 

Let us gi\e a few examples The Romanists 
fhaiged the Protestants with holding, among other 
things that "holy Chuich had been in error these 
tlurteen oi fourteen centuiies , " that "the cere- 
niomes fxsts, \estments, oideis, iLc, of the Church 
weie antiquated and ought to be changed ; " that 
all iighteousness consisted m fxith alone ; " that 
man had not the powei of fiee will; " and that 
" works did not avail for his salvation ; " that " it 
was impious to pray to the saints, and not less 
impious to venerate their bones and relics ; " that 
" there is no external priesthood;" that "he who 
celebrates mass after the manner of the Roman 



Church commits an abomlnaljle act, ixnd crucifies 
tlio Son of God afresh ; " and tliat " all masses, 
vigils, prayers, alms, and fastings for the dead are 
slieer delusions and frauds." The charges numbered 
twenty in all.' 

The king, on receiving the paper containing these 
accusations, lianded it to John Taussau, with a re- 
quest that lie and his colleagues would prepare a 
reply to it. The article touching the " freedom of 
the will," which the Romanists had put in a per- 
verted light, Taussau and his co-pastors explained ; 
but as regarded the other accusations they could 
only plead guilty ; they held, on the points in 
question, all that the Romanists imputed to them ; 
and instead of withdrawing their opinions they 
would stand to them, would affirm over again " that 
vigils, prayers, and masses for the dead are vanities 
and things that profit nought." 

This fixed the " state of the question " or point 
to be debated. Next arose a keen contest on two 
preliminaries — " In what language shall we debate ? 
and who shall be judge 1 " The priests argued 
stoutly for the Latin, the Protestants as strenuously 
contended that the Danish should be the tongue in 
which the disputation should be carried on. The 
matter to be debated concerned all jiresent not less 
than it did the personal disputants, biit how could 
they determine on which side the truth lay if the 
discussion should take place in a language they 
did not imderstand t ^ 

The second point was one equally hard to be 
settled: who shall be judge J The Protestants in 
matters of faith would recognise no authority save 
that of God only speaking in his oAvn Word, al- 
though they left it to the king and the nobles and 
with the audience generally to say whether what 
they maintained agreed with or contradicted the 
inspired oracles. The Romanists, on the other 
hand, would accept the Holy Scriptures only in 
the sense in which Councils and the Fathers had 
interpreted them, reserving an appeal to the Pope 
as the \iltimate and highest judge. 

Neither party would yield, and now came the 
amusing part of the business. Some of the Roman- 
ists suddenly discovered that the Lutherans were 
heretics, schismatics, and low persons, with whom 
it would be a disgrace for their bishops to engage in 
argument ; while others of them, taking occasion 
from the presence of the royal guards, cried out 
that they were overawed by the military, and 
derjed the free expression of their sentiments,' and 

1 Articuli Poniificii m Comitiis Hafnicnsihus 1530 ex- 
hiliti — Gerdesius, torn. iii. ; Man. Antiij., p. 231. 
- Gerdesius, torn, iii., pp. 380, 381. 
■■* Pantoppidan, I.e., p. 23.5. 

that the king favoured the heretics. The con- 
ference was thus suddenly broken ofi"; the king, 
the Estates of the Realm, and the spectators who 
had gathered from all parts of the kingdom to 
witness the debates, feeling not a little befooled by 
tliis unlooked-for termination of the affair.^ 

Although the Romanists had fought and been 
beaten, they could not have brought upon them- 
selves greater disgi-ace than this issue entailed upon 
them. The people saw that they had not the 
coiu-age even to attempt a defence of their cause, 
and they did not judge more fiivourably of it when 
they saw that its supporters were ashamed of it. 
Taussan and the other Protestant pastors felt that 
the hour had come for speaking boldly out. Setting 
to work, they prepared a paper exhibiting in twelve 
articles the neglect, corruption, and ojjpression oi 
the hierarchy. This document they published all 
over the kingdom. It was followed by a procla- 
mation from the king, saying that the " Divine 
Word of the Gospel " should be freely and puljlicly 
preached, and that Lutherans and Romanists should 
enjoy equal protection until such time as a General 
Council of Christendom should meet and decide the 
question between them. 

From that time the Protestant confessors in 
Denmark rapidly increased in numljer. The 
temples were left in great degree without wor- 
shippers, the monasteries without inmates, and the 
funds appropriated to their support were with- 
drawn and devoted to the erection of schools and 
relief of the poor. Of the monasteries, some wero 
pulled down by the mob ; for it was found impossi- 
ble to restrain the popular indignation wliich had 
been awakened by the scandals and crimes of which 
report made these places the scene. The monks 
marched out of their abodes, leaving their cloaks 
at the door. Their hoards found vent by other and 
more viseful channels than the monastery ; and the 
fathers found more in-ofitable employments than 
those in which they had been wont to pass the 
drowsy hours of the cell. Not a few became 
preachers of the Gospel ; and some devoted to 
handicraft those thews and sinews which had run 
to waste in the frock and cowl. 

The tide was manifestly going against the 
bishops ; nevertheless they fought on, having nailed 
thcii- colours to the mast. They fed their hopes 
by the prospect of succour from abroad ; and in 
order to be ready to co-operate with it when it 
should ai-rive, they contmued to intrigue in seci-et, 
and took every means to maintain a lirooding irri- 
tation mthin the kingdom. Fredeiick, to whom 

•■ Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 382. 



theii" policy ■was well known, deemed it ^vise to pro- 
vide agaiust the possible results of their intrigues 
and machinations, by drawing closer to the Pro- 
testant party in Germany. In 1.532 he joined the 
league which the Lutheran princes had formed for 
their mutual defence at Schmalkald.' 

It is not easy adequately to describe the change 
that now passed upon Denmark. A serene and 
blessed light arose upon the whole kingdom. Not 
only were the Danes enabled to read the Scriptures 
of the New Testament in their own tongue, and 

the Psalms of David, wliich were also often sung 
both in their churches and in their fields and on 
their liighways, but they had likewise numerous 
expounders of the Divine Word, and preachers of 
the Gospel, who opened to them the fountains of 
salvation. The land enjoyed a gentle spring. 
Eschewing the snares which the darkness had 
concealed, and walking in the new paths which 
the light had discovered to them, the inliabitants 
showed forth in abundance in their lives the fruita 
of the Gospel, which are purity und peace.- 



Scheme for Eestoring the Old Faith Abortive— Unsuccessful Invasion of the Country by Christian II.— Death of the 
King— Interregnum of Two Tears— Priestly Plottings and Successes— Taussan Condemned to Silence and Exile— 
The Senators Besieged by an Armed Mob in the Senate House— Taussan given up— Bishops begin to Persecute— 
Inundations, &c.— Christian III. Ascends the Throne— Subdues a Revolt- Assembles the Estates at Copenhagen 
—The Bishops AboUshed— New Ecclesiastical Constitution framed, 1547— Bugenhagen— The Seven Superinten- 
dents— Bugenliagen Crowns the King— Denmark Flourishes— EstabUshment of Protestantism in Norway and 

An attempt was made at this time (1.5.32) to turn 
the flank of the Reformation. Jacob Ronnovius, 
the Archbishop of Roeschildien, a man of astute but 
dangerous counsel, framed a measiu'e, professedly 
in the interest of the Gospel, but fitted to bring 
back step by step the ancient superstition in all its 
power. His scheme was, in brief, that the Cathe- 
dral-church of Copenhagen, dedicated to Mary, 
should be given to the Franciscans or to the Friars 
of the Holy Ghost ; that the mass and other rites 
should not be abolished, but retained in their primi- 
tive fomi ; that the offices and chantings should be 
performed, not in the j)opular, but in the Latin 
tongue ; that the altars and other ornaments of the 
sacred edifices should not be removed ; in short, that 
the whole ritualistic machinery of the old worship 
should be maintained, while " learned men " were, 
at the same time, to preach the Gospel in the seve- 
ral parishes. Tliis was a cunning device ! It was 
sought to preserve the former framework entire, in 
the fixm hope that the old spirit would creep back 
into it, and so the last state of the Danish 
people would be worse than the first. This scheme 
was presented to the king. Frederick was not to 
lie hoodwinked. His reply put an eflectual stop to 
the project of Ronnovius. It was the royal will 

' Seokendorf, lib. iii., sec. 31, p. 89 
p. 241. Gerdesius, tom. iii., pp. 385, i 

Pantoppidan, h( 

that the Edict of Copenhagen should remain in 
force. The archbishop had to bow ; and the hopes 
that the retrogades had built upon his scheme came 
to nothing.^ 

Scarcely had this cloud passed, when danger 
showed itself in another quarter. The ex-King 
Christian II., supported by his Popish allies in the 
Netherlands, and encouraged by the clerical mal- 
contents in Denmark, made a descent by sea upon 
the cormtry in the hope of recovering his throne. 
Discomfiture awaited the enterprise. As he ap- 
proached the Danish shore a storm burst out which 
crippled his fleet ; and before he could repaii" the 
damage it had sustained, he was attacked by the 
ships of Fredei-ick, and the engagement which en- 
sued, and which lasted a whole day, resulted in 
his complete rout. Christian was seized, can-ied 
to Soldenberg, in the Isle of Alsen, shut up in a 
gloomy prison, and kept there till the death of 
Frederick iir 15.33." 

So far the young Reformation of Denmark had 
been wonderfully shielded. It had kept its path 
despite many powerful enemies within the king- 
dom, and not a few active plotters without. But 
now came a short arrest. On the 10th of April, 

" Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 386. 

2 Pantoppidan, p. 253— Gerdesius, tom. iii., pp. 3S8— 390. 

■• Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 390. 



1533, Frederick I., now in his sixty-second year, 
died. The Protestants bewailed the death of " the 
Good King." He was in the midst of his reforming 
career, and there was danger that his woi-k would 
be interred with him. There followed a troubled 
inten-egnum of two years. Of the two sons of 
Frederick, Christian, the elder, was a Protestant; 
the younger, John, was attached to the Romish 
faith. The Popish party, who hoped that, with 
the descent of Frederick to the tomb, a new day 
had da-svned for their Church, began to plot with 
the view of raising John to the throne. The Pro- 
testants were united in favour of Christian. A 
third party, who thought to come in at the breach 
the other two had made for them, turned their eyes 
to the deposed King Christian II., and even made 
attempts to effect his restoration. The distracted 
country was still more embroiled by a revival of 
the priestly pretensions. Frederick was in his 
grave, and a bold policy was all that was needed, so 
the bishops thought, to hoist themselves and then- 
Church into the old ])lace. They took a high tone 
in the Diet. They brow-beat the nobles, they com- 
pelled restoration of the tithes, and they put matters 
in train for recovering the cathedrals, monasteries, 
manors, and goods of which they had been stripped. 
These successes emboldened them to venture on 
other and harsher measures. They stretched forth 
their hand to persecute, and made no secret of 
their design to extirpate the Protestant faith in 

Their first blows were aimed at Taussan, The 
removal of that bold Reformer and eloquent preacher 
was the first step, they saw, to success. He had 
long been a thorn in their side. The manifesto 
■which had been placarded over the whole kingdom, 
proclaiming to all the negligence and corruption of 
the hierarchy, and which was mainly his work, was 
an ofience that never could be pardoned him. The 
bishops had suflicient influence to get a decree passed 
in the Diet, condemning the great preacher to 
silence and sending him into exile. He was ex- 
pelled from the Cathedral-church of Copenhagen, 
where he usually conducted his ministry ; every 
other church was closed against him ; nay, not the 
pulpit only, the pen too was interdicted. He was 
forbidden to write or publish any book, and ordered 
to withdraw within a month from the diocese of 
Zealand. In whatever part of Denmark he might 
take up his abode, he was prohibited from publish- 
ing any \viiting, or addressing any assembly ; nor 
could he discharge any ecclesiastical function ; he 
must submit himself in all things to the bishops.' 

' Pantoppidan, pp. 269, 270— Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 397. 

When rumours of what was being enacted in the 
Diet got abroad, the citizens of Copenhagen rushed 
to arms, and crowding into the forum filled it with 
tumult and loud and continued outcries. They 
demanded that Taussan should be restored to them, 
and that the Diet should refrain from passing any 
decree hostile to the Protestant faith, adding that 
if harm should befall either the religion or its 
preacher, the bishops would not be held guiltless. 
The Diet saw that the people were not in a mood 
to be trifled with, and some of the senators made 
an efibit to pacify them. Addressing the crowd 
from the windows of the senate-house, they assured 
them that they would take care that no evil should 
happen to Taussan, that no hostile edict should 
pass the Diet, and that their Protestant customs 
and privileges .should in nowise be interfered with ; 
and they exhorted them to go quietly to their homes 
and attend to their own afi"aii-s. These words did 
not allay the fears of the populace ; the uproar still 
continued. The senators now got angry, and shout- 
ing out ^vith Stentorian voice they threatened the 
rioters with punishment. They were speaking to 
the winds. Their words were not heard ; the noise 
that raged below drowned them. Their gestures, 
however, were seen, and these sufiiciently indicated 
the irritation of the speakers. The fumes of the 
"conscript Fathers" did but the more eiu-age the 
armed crowd. Raising their voices to a yet louder 
pitch, the rioters exclaimed, " Show us Taussan, else 
we will force the doors of the hall." The senatoi-s, 
seized -with instant fear, restored the preacher to the 
people, who, forming a guard round him, conducted 
him safely fi-om the senate-house to his own home. 
Ronnovius, Ai'chbishop of Roeschildien, the prime 
instigator of the persecution now commenced 
against the adherents of the Lutheran doctrine, 
had like to have fared worse. He was specially 
obnoxious to the populace, and would certainly 
have fallen a sacrifice to theii- -wi'ath, but for the 
magnanimity of Taussan, who restrained the furious 
zeal of the multitude, and rescued the archbishop 
from their hands. The prelate was not ungrateful 
for this generous act ; he warmly thanked Taussan, 
and even showed him henceforward a measui-e of 
friendship. By-and-by, at the urgent intercession 
of the leading citizens of Copenhagen, the church 
of then- favourite preacher was restored to him, 
and matters, as regarded religion, resumed very 
much their old course."-" 

Tlie other bishops were not so tolerimt. On re- 
turning to theii- homes they commenced a sharp 

- Pantoppidan, p. 277— £i!)!ioHi. Dan., torn i., p. 23 et seq. 
-Gerdesius, torn, iii., pp. 397, 398. 


persecution against the Protestants in their several 
dioceses. In Malmoe and Veiis, the metropolitan 
Tobernus Billeus proscribed the preachers, who had 
laboured there with great snccess. These cities and 
some others were threatened with excommunication. 
At Viborg the Romish bishop, George Frisius, left 
no stone unturned to expel the Reformers from the 
city, and extinguish the Protestantism which had 
there taken root and begun gi-eatly to flourish. But 
the Protestants were numerous, and the bold front 
which they showed the bishop told him that he had 
reckoned without his host.' Not in the towns only, 
but in many of the comitry parts the Protestant 
assemblies wei'e put do'wn, and their teachers driven 
away. Beyond these severities, however, the jier- 
secution did not advance. The ulterior and sterner 
measures to which these beginnings would most 
assuredly have led, had time been given, were ne\"er 
reached. Denmai'k had not to buy its Reformation 
with the block and the stake, as some other coun- 
tries were required to do. This, doubtless, was a 
blessing for the men of that generation ; that it was 
so for the men of the following ones we are not 
prejjared to maintaiia. Men must buy mtli a gi-eat 
price that on wliich they ai-e to put a lasting value. 
The martyrs of one's kindi-ed and countiy always 
move one more than those of other lands, even 
though it is the same cause for which their blood 
has been poured out.- 

The calamities of the two unhappy years that 
divided the decease of Frederick I. from the electio?i 
of his successor, or rather his quiet occupation of 
the throne, were augmented by the rage of tlie 
elements. The waters of the sky and the floods of 
ocean seemed as if they had conspired against a 
land already siifliciently aflBicted by the bitterness 
of political parties and the bigotry of superstitious 
zealots. Great inundations took place. In some 
instances whole towns were overflowed, and many 
thousands of their inhabitants were dro^vned. 
"Ah!" said the adherents of the old worship to 
the Protestants, " now at last you are overtaken l)y 
the Divine vengeance. You have cast do^vn the 
altars, defaced the images, and desecrated the 
temples of the true religion, and now the hand of 
God is stretched out to chastise you for your ina- 
piety."' It was unfortunate, however, for this 
interpretation that these iinnidations swallowed 
up the house and field of Romanist and of Pro- 
testant alike. And, further, it seemed to militate 
against this theory that the occun-ence of these 

' Pantoppidan, p. 272. 
- Gerdesius, torn, iii., p. 399. 

3 Helvader, ami. 1532, pp. 92, 93. Pauhis Orosius, Hid., 
lib. vii., cap. 37, p. 568— Gerdesius, torn, iii., p, 390. 

calamities had been simidtaneous ■^\'ith the apparent 
return of the country to the old faith. There were 
not wanting those who regarded these events with 
a superstitious fear ; but to the majority they 
brought a discipline to faith, and a stimulus to 
effort. In two years the sky again cleared over 
the Protestant cause, and also over the coimtry of 
Denmark. The eldest son of Frederick, whose 
hearty attachment to Protestantism had already 
been sufficiently proved by his reforming measures 
in Holstein and Schleswig, was elected to the 
throne (July, 1534), and began to reign under the 
title of Christian III. 

The newly-elected sovereign found that he had 
first to conquer his kingdom. It was in the hands 
of enemies, the bishops namely, who retii-ed to then- 
dioceses, fortified themselves in their castles, and 
made light of the authority of the newly-elected 
sovereign. Christopher, Count of Oldenburg, also 
raised the standard of revolt in behalf of Chris- 
tian II. The wealth of the religious houses, the 
gold and silver ornaments of the cathedrals, and 
even the bells of the churches, coined into money, 
were freely expended in carrying on the war against 
the king. Much labour and treasiu'e, and not a 
little blood, did it cost to reduce the warlike count 
and the rebellious prelates.* But at last the task 
was accomplished, though it was not till a whole 
year after his election that Christian was able to 
enter on the peaceable ^lossession of his kingdom. 
His first step, the country being quieted, was to 
summon (1.53G) a meeting of the Estates at Copen- 
hagen. The king addressed the assembly in a 
.speech in which he set forth the calamities which 
the bishops had brought upon the nation, by their 
opposition to the laws, their hatred of the Reformed 
doctrine, and then- ceaseless jjlottings against the 
peace and order of the commonwealth, and he laid 
before the Diet the heads of a decree which he 
submitted for its adoption. The proposed decree 
was, in brief, that the order of the episcopate should 
be for ever abolished ; that the wealth of the bishops 
should revert to the State ; that the government of 
the kingdom .shoxdd be exclusively in the hands of 
laymen ; that the rule of the Church shoidd be 
admmistered by a general synod ; that religion 
should be Reformed ; that the rites of the Roman 
Church should cease ; and that, although no one 
should be compelled to renounce the Roman faith, 
all shoidd be instructed out of the "Word of God ; 
that the ecclesiastical revenues and possessions, or 
what of them had not been consimied in the war 

•• OUvar., VUa Pavli Elm, pp. 142, 174i— GerdesiuSi 
torn, iii., pp. 402, 406. 


just ended, should be devoted to the support of 
" superintendents " and learned men, and the found- 
ing of academies and universities for the instruction 
of youth. 

The proposal of the king was received by the 
Diet with much favour. Being put into regular 
form, it was passed ; all present solemnly sub- 
scribed it, thus giving it the form of a national 
and perpetual deed. By this " Eecess of Copen- 
hagen," as it was styled, the Reformed faith was 
publicly established in Denmark.' 

teries, with some exceptions, and the ecclesiastical 
revenues had been taken possession of in the name 
of the nation, and were devoted to the founding of 
schools, the relief of the poor, and the support 
of the Protestant pastors, to whom the cathedrals 
and churches were now opened. The work still 
awaited completion; and now, in 1547, the cro^v^l 
was put upon it. 

In this year, also a memorable one in the annals 
of Denmark, the king called together all the pro- 
fessors and pastors of his kingdom and of the two 

IIF.rEAT OF THE FLi:i:T OF riillI>IIAN 11. 

So far the work had advanced m 1.536. The in- 
surrection of the bishops had been suppressed, and 
their persons put under restraint, though the king 
magnanimously spared their lives. The Romish 
episcopacy was abolished as an order recognised 
and sanctioned by the State. The prelates could 
no longer wield any temporal jurisdiction, nor could 
they claim the aid of the State in enforcing acts of 
spiritual authoi-ity exercised over those who still 
continued voluntarily subject to them. The monas- 

' Cragius, Hist. Christ. III., lib. iv., p. 153; ed. Copen- 
hagen, 1737— Gerdesius, torn, iii., pp. 40(j — i08. 

duchies, for the purpose of framing a constitution 
for tlic Protestant Chiu-ch. A draft, the joint 
labour, it would appear, of the king and the theo- 
logians, of what seemed the Scriptural order, was 
drawn up.- A German copy was sent to Luther 

- Mosheiin speaks of this plan as tlie solo work of 
Bugenhagcn. This is a mistake. In the preface to the 
constitution, as given by Grammius in his edition of 
Cragius' HUtory of Christian III., are these words : "Con- 
vocatis doctoribus et praedicatoribus ecclesiarum et 
Daniae Kegno et Diicatibus suis, illud in mandatis dedit 
rex, ut ordinationem aliquani sacram conscriberent, de 
qua consultarent" (Having called together the doctors 



for revision. It was approved by the Reformer 
and the other theologians at Wittemberg, and when 
it was returned there came along with it, at the re- 
quest of the king, Bugenhagen (Pomeranus), to 
aid by his wisdom and experience iu the tinal settle- 
ment of this matter. The doctrine, discipline, and 
worship of the Danish Protestant Church were ar- 
ranged substantially in accordance with the scheme 

The Popish bishops having been removed from 
then- sees, it was the care of the king, this same 
year, to appoint seven Protestant bishops in 
their room. These were inducted into their office 
by Bugenhageu, on the 7th of August, in the Cathe- 
dral-church of Copenhagen, with the apostolic rite 
of the laying on of hands. Their work, as defined 
by Bugenhagen, was the "o\'ersight" of the Church, 

1 \M I ]i \ri.^ 

of the king and his theologians, for the emendations 
of Wittemberg origin were not numerous ; and the 
constitution now enacted was subscribed not only 
by the king, but also by two professors from each 
college, and by all the leading pastors.' 

and preachers of the Church iu the kingdom of Denmark 
and its ducliies, the king gave it iu command tliat they 
should subscribe a certain ecclesiastical order, respecting 
wliich they were to deUberate). — Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 408. 
' Cragius, in his Histonj of Christian III. (pp. 170, 171), 
has preserved a list of the original subscribers. The list 
may be seen in Gerdeaius, tom. iii., p. 459. 
57 — VOL. II. 

and their title " superintendent " rather than 
" bishop."' When installed, each of them pro- 
mised that he would show lidelit}" to the king, and 
that he would use all diligence in his diocese to 
have the "Word of God faithfully preached, the 
Sacraments purely administered, and the ignorant 
instructed in the jn-inciples of religion. They 
further engaged to see that the yovith gave attend- 
ance at school, and that the alms of the poor were 

- " Superiutendentes dicti potius quam Episcopi." 
(Cragius, Hist.. I.e., p. 169— Gerdesius, tom. iii., p. 411.) 



riglitly distributetl. Tlic names and dioceses of 
these seven superintendents were as follow : — 
Peter Palladius was appointed to Zealand ; Francis 
Wormord to Schonen ; George Viburg to Funen ; 
John Vandal to Ripen ; Matthew Lang to Artlui- 
sien ; Jacob Scaning to Viborg ; and Peter Thorn 
to Alborg. These were all men of piety and learn- 
ing ; and they continued for many years largely to 
benefit the Church and Kingdom of Denmark by 
their labours.' 

In the above list, as the reader will mark, the 
name of the mail who was styled the Luther 
of Denmark does not occur. John Taussan 
was ai)poiuted to the chair of theology in the 
University of Roeschildien. It was judged, doubt- 
less, that to train the future ministry of the Church 
was meanwhile the most important work of all. 
Ho discharged this duty four years. In 1542, on 
the death of John Vandal, he was made superin- 
tendent of Ripen.* Of the three Mendicant orders 
which had flourished in Denmark, some left the 
kingdom, others joined the ranks of the people as 
handicraftsmen ; but the majority, qualified by their 
talents and knowledge, became preachers of the 
Gospel, and in a very few years scarce a friar was 
there who had not renounced the habit, and with 
it the Romish religion, and embraced the Protestant 

This year (154-7), which had already witnessed 
so many events destined to mould the future 
of the Danish people, was to be illustrated by 
another before it closed. In the month of August, 
King Clu'istian was solemnly crowned. The nume- 
rous rites without which, it was believed in Popish 
times, no king could validly reign, and which 
were devised mainly with a view to display the 
splendour of the Church, and to insinuate the 
superiority of her Pontift' to kings, were on this 
occasion dispensed with. Only the simple cere- 
mony of anointing was retained. Bugenhagen pre- 
sided on the occasion. He placed on the king's 
head the golden crown, adorned with a row of 
jewels. He put into his hands the sword, the 
sceptre, and the apple, and, having committed to 
him these insignia, he briefly but solemnly ad- 
monished him ill governing to seek the honour of 
the Eternal King, by whose providence he reigned, 
and the good of the commonwealth over which he 
had been set.^ 

' Gei-desius, torn, iii., pp. 411, 412. 

- Vita Taussiini, in Biblioth. Dan., torn, i., p. 25— Ger- 
desius, torn, iii., p. 412. 

•* Cragius, I.e.. p. 172. 

•■ Govdosiiis, toiii. iii., p. 410. Cragius says that Chris- 
tian 111. was the first king who inaugui'ated his ruign 

The magnanimous, prudent, and God-fearing king 
had now the satisfaction of seeing the work on 
which his heart had been so greatly set completed. 
The powerful opposition which threatened to bar 
his wa)' to the throne had been overcome. The 
nobles had rallied to him, and gone heartilj' along 
with him in all his measures for emancipating his 
country from the yoke of the hierarchy, the exac- 
tions of the monks, and the demoralLsing influence 
of the beliefs and rites of the old superstition. 
Teachers of the truth, as contained in the fomitains 
of in.sijiration, were forming congregations in every 
part of the kingdom. Schools were springing up ; 
letters and the study of the sacred sciences — which 
had fallen into neglect dui-ing the years of civil 
war — began to revive. The University of Copen- 
liagen rose from its ruins ; new statute-s were 
framed for it ; it was amjjly endowed ; and learned 
men from other countries were invited to fill its 
chairs ;* and, as the consequence of these enlightened 
measures, it soon became one of the lights of Chris- 
tendom. The scars that civil strife had inflicted on 
the land were etlaced, and the sorrows of former 
years forgotten, in the prosperous and smiling as- 
pect the country now began to wear. In June, 
1539, the last touch was put to the work of Refor- 
mation in Denmark. At the Diet at Odensee, 
the king and nobles subscribed a solemn bond, en- 
gaging to persevere in the Reformed doctrme in 
which they had been instructed, and to maintain 
the constitution of the Protestant Church which 
had been enacted two years before." 

Still fiu'ther towards the north did the light 
penetrate. The day that had opened o^er Den- 
mark shed its rays upon Norway, and even upon 
tlie remote and dreary Iceland. Norway had at 
first refused to accept of Christian III. for its king. 
The bishops there, as in Denmark, headed the 
opposition ; but the triumph of Christian in the 
latter country paved the way for the establishment 
of his authority in the former. In 1537, the 
Archbishop of Drontheim fled to the Netherlands, 
caiTying with him the treasures of his cathedral. 

with the rites of the Kcformed religion. He is mistaken 
in this. The reader will recollect that Gustavas Vasa of 
Sweden (1528) was crowned in the same way. VariUas, 
in his History of Revolutions, complains that Pomeranus 
invented a new ceremony for the coronation of kings. 
(Pantoppidan. I.e.. p. 312.) 

" Among the learned foreigners who taught in the Uni- 
versity of Copenhagen, Gerdesius specially mentions Jolin 
Macabtens or M'Alpine, of the Scottish clan M'Alpine, who 
had been a student at Wittembergi and " a man of great 
learning and piety." (Gerdesius, torn. iii.. pp. 416, 417. 
Vindins;, Descript. Aeait. Hafnicc, pp. 71 — 73.) 

<> Seckendorf. lib. iii., sec. 75, pp. 242, 243. Gerdesius, 
torn, iii., pp. 414, 415. 



This broke the hostile phalanx : the country sub- 
mitted to Christian, and the consequence was the 
introduction into Norway of the same doctrine and 
Church constitution which had already been esta- 
blished among the Danes. 

Iceland was the farthest possession of the Danish 
crown towards the north. That little island, it 
might have been thought, was too insignificant to 
be struggled for ; but, in truth, the powers of super- 
stition fought as stout a battle to preserve it as 
they liave waged for many an ampler and fairer 
domain. The first attempts at Eeformation were 
made by Augmund, Bishop of Skalholt. Dis- 
mayed, however, by the determined front which 
the priests presented, Augmund abdicated his ofiice, 
to escape theii' wrath, and retii'ed into private life.' 
In the foUowiug year (15i0) Huetsfeld was sent 

thither by the king to induct Gisser Enersbn, who 
had been a student at Wittemberg, into the See of 
Skalholt.^ Under Enerstin the work began in 
earnest. It advanced slowly, however, for the 
opposition was strong. The priests plotted and 
the mobs repeatedly broke into tumult. Day by 
day, however, the truth struck its roots deeper 
among the people, and at last the same doctrine 
and ecclesiastical constitution which had been em- 
braced in Denmark were received by the Icelanders;^ 
and thus this island of the sea svas added to the 
domains over which the sun of the Eeformation 
already shed his beams, as if to aflbrd early augury 
that not a shore is there which this light will not 
visit, nor an islet in all the main which it will not 
clothe with the fruits of righteousness, and make 
vocal with the songs of salvation. 

<l5oofe eiebentl). 


OF ZWINGLE (1531). 



Turn Southward— Switzerland- Eeformation from Above— Ub-ic Zwingle— His Preparation— Eesume of his Career— 
The Foreign Service— The Gospel the Cure of his Nation's Evils— Zwingle at Zurich— His varied QuaUties 
—Transformation of Switzerland— A Catastrophe near— The Lord's Supper— Transubstantiation— Luther's 
Views— Calvin's Views— Import of the Lord's Supper on the Human Side— Its Import on the Divine Side— 
Zwingle's Avoidance of the two Extremes as regards the Lord's Supper. 

Following in the track of the light, we have 
reached our farthest limit toward the north. We 
now turn southward to those lands where the 
Eeformation had its first rise, and where it fought 
its greatest battles. There every step it took was 
amidst stakes and scaflblds, but if there its course 
was the more tragic, its influence was the more 
powerful, and the changes it effected the more 
lasting. In France thousands of confessors and 
martyrs aj'e about to step upon the stage, and act 
their part in the great drama ; but fii'st we must 
turn aside to Switzerland, and resuming our nar- 
rative at the point where we dropjjed it, we shall 
carry it forward to the death of Zwingle. 

We have traced in former pages the dawn of 
Protestantism among the hills of Helvetia. Not 
from Germany, for the name of Luther had not yet 
been heard in Switzerland ; not from France, nor 
any neighbouring country, but from the skie», it 
may be truly said, the light first shone upon the 
Swiss. From a herdsman's cottage in the valley of 
the Tockenburg came their Reformer, Ulric Zwingle. 
When a child he was wont to sit by the evening's 
hearth and listen -with rapt attention to the his- 
tories of the Bible recited by his pious grandmother. 
As years passed on and liis powers expanded he 
found access to the book itself, and made it his 

Ci'agius, Annal. Christ., tom. iii., p. 203. 

= Ihid., p. 218. Seckendorf, lib. iii., sec. 75, p. 242. ^ 
3 Cragius, ad ann. 1548. Pantoppidan, ad ann. 154. 
ex Gerdesio, tom. iii., p. 41G. 


daily study. The light broke upon his soul. Con- 
tinuing to read, it shone clearer every day. At 
last, but not till years after, his eyes were fully 
opened, he saw the glory of the Gospel, and l»ade 
a final adieu to Rome. 

Pei-soiial contact with evil can alone give that 
sense of its malignity, and that burning detestation 
of it, which will prompt one to a life-long struggle 
for its overthrow. We can trace this principle in 
the ordeiings of Zwingle's lot. He was destined to 
spend his days in constant battle mth two terrible 
evils that were tarnishing his country's fame, and 
extinguishing his country's virtue. But reared in 
the Tockenburg, artless and simple a.% its shep- 
herds, he was not yet fit for his destined work, and 
liad to be sent to school. We refer to other schools 
than those of Basle and Vienna, where he was 
initiated into the language and philosophy of the 
ancients. Fii'st stationed at Glarus, he there was 
brought into contact wth the horrors of the foreign 
service. He had daily before his eyes the widows 
and orphans of the men who had been drawn by 
French and Italian gold across the Alps and 
slaughtered ; and there, too, he saw a not less 
afiecting sight, the maimed and emaciated forms of 
those who, escaping the sword, had brought back to 
then- countiy worse evils than wounds, even the vices 
of corrupt and luxurious nations. At Einsiedeln, 
to which by-and-by he removed, he received his 
second lesson. There he had occasion to mark the 
ravages which pilgrimages and image-worship inflict 
upon the conscience and the morals. He had time 
to meditate on these two gi-eat evils. He re,solved 
to spare no efibrt to uproot them. But his trust 
for success in this work was solely in the Gospel. 
This alone could dispel the darkness in which pil- 
grimages with all their attendant abominations had 
their rise, and this alone could extinguish that lo\e 
of gold which was draining at once the blood and 
the virtue of his countrymen. Other and sub- 
sidiary aids would come in their time to assLst in thLs 
great battle ; but the Gospel must come first. He 
would teach the individual Swiss to bow before a 
holy altar, and to sit at a pure hearth ; and this in 
due time would pour a current of fresh blood into 
the veins of the State. Then the virtue of old days 
would revive, and their glorious valleys would again 
be trodden by men capalile of renewng the heroic 
deeds of their sires. But the seed of Divine truth 
must be scattered over the worn-out soil before 
fruits like these could flourish in it. These were 
the views that led to the striking imion of the pastor 
and the patriot which Zwinglc presents to us. The 
aim of his Refonn, wider in its direct scope than 
that of Germany, embraced both Church and State, 

the latter through the former. It was not because 
he trusted the Gospel less, but because he trusted 
it more, and saw it to be the one fiiiitful source of 
all ten-estrial virtues and blessings, and becaiise he 
more fi'eely interpreted his mission as a Reformei", 
and as a member of a republic felt himself more 
thoroughly identified with his country, and more 
responsible fur its failings, than it is jjossible for a 
subject of an empu-e to do, that he chalked out for 
himself tliis course and pursued it so steadfastlj-. 
He sought to restore to the individual piety, to the 
nation virtue, and both lie would derive from the 
same fountain — the Gospel. 

Having seen and pondered over the two lessons 
put before him, Zwingle was now prepared for his 
work. A vacancy occurred in the Cathedral-church 
of Zurich. The revival of lettera had reached that 
city, and the magistrates cast their eyes around 
them for some one of gi'eater accomplishments than 
the chapter could supjjly to fill the post. Their 
choice fell on the Chaplain of Einsiedeln. Zwingle 
brought to Zurich a soul enlightened by Divine 
truth, a genius which solitude had nursed into 
ardour and sublimity, and a heart burning with 
indignation at the authors of his nation's ruin. 
He firmly resolved to use his eloquence, which 
was great, in rousing his countrymen to a sense 
of their degradation. He now stood at the centre 
of the Republic, and his voice sounded in tlu-ill- 
ing tones through all Switzerland. He proceeded 
step by step, taking care that his actual refonns 
did not outran the stage of enlightenment his 
countrymen had reached. He shone equally as a 
pastor, as a writer, and as a disputant. He was 
alike at home in the council-chamber, in the public 
iissembly, and in the hall of business. His activity 
was untiring. His clear penetrating intellect and 
capacious mind made toil light, and enabled him to 
accomplish the work of many men. The light 
spread around him, other Reformers arose. It was 
now as when morning opens in that same Swiss 
land : it is not Mont Blanc that stands up in soli- 
tary radiance ; a dozen and a dozen peaks aroimd 
him begin to burn, and soon not a summit far or 
near but is touched with glory, and not a valley, 
however profound, into which day does not pour 
the tide of its effulgence. So did the sky of 
Switzerland begin to kindle all round with the 
Protestant dawn. To\\nis and hamlets came out 
of the darkness — the long and deep darkness of 
monkery — and stood forth in the light. The great 
centres, Bern (1.328), Basle (1529), Schaft'hausen 
(1.529), St. Gall (1.528), abandoned Rome and 
embraced the Gospel. Along the foot of the Jiu'a, 
around the shores of the lakes, east and west of 



Nortliei-ii Switzei'land, from the gates of Geneva to 
the shores of Constance did the light spread. The 
altars on which mass had been ottered were over- 
turned ; the idols burned like other wood ; cowls, 
frocks, beads, and pardons were cast away as so 
much rubbish ; the lighted candles were blown out 
and men turn'.xl to the living lamp of the Word. 
Its light led them to the cross whereon was otiered, 
once for all, the sacrifice of the Eternal Priest. 

We halted in our narrative at what might be 
termed the noon of the Zwinglian Reformation. 
We saw Protestantism fidly established in Zurich, 
and partially in the cantons named above ; but the 
man who had had the honour to begin the work was 
not to have the honour of completing it ; his bril- 
liant career was soon to close ; already there were 
signs of tempest upon the summit of the Helvetian 
mountains ; by-and-by the storm will burst and 
obscure for a time — not destroy — the gieat work 
which the Reformer of Zurich liad originated. 
The catastrophe which is but a little way Ijefore \is 
must be our second stage in the Swiss Reformation. 
The last time Z^\'ingle came before us was at 
Marbm-g in 1529, where we find him maintaining 
against Luther the spii'ituality of the oi'dinance of 
the Lord's Supper. Before resuming our narra- 
tive of events it becomes necessary to explain the 
position of Zwingle, with reference to the Sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper, and this requires us to 
consider the views on this head held by Luther 
and Calvin. It is possible clearly to perceive the 
precise doctrine of the Sacrament taught by any 
one of these great men only when we have com- 
pared the views of all three. 

The Lord's Supper began early to be corruptetl 
in the primitive Church. The simple memorial was 
changed into a mystery. That mystery became, 
century by century, more awful and inexplicable. 
It was made to stand apart from other ordinances 
and services of the Churcii, not only in respect of 
the greater reverence with which it was regarded, 
but as an institution in its own nature wholly 
distinct, and altogether peculiar in its mode of 
working. A secret virtue or potency was attri- 
buted to it, by which, apart from the faith of 
the recipient, it operated mysteriously upon the 
soul. It was no longer an ordinance, it was now 
a spell, a charm. The spirit of ancient paganism 
had crept back into it, and ejecting the Holy 
Spirit, which acts tlu-ough it in the case of all who 
believe, it had filled it ■with a magical influence. The 
Lord's Supper was the institution nearest the cross, 
and the spirit of reviving error in seizing upon it 
was actuated douljtless by the consideration that 
the perversion of this institution was the readiest 

and most efl'ectual way to shut up or poison tho 
fountain of the world's sahation. The corruption 
went on till it issued, in 1215, in the dogma of 
transubstantiation. The bread and wine which 
were set \ipon the Communion tables of the first 
century became, by the fiat of Innocent III., ilesh 
and blood on the altars of the thirteenth. 

Despite that the dogma of transubstantiation is 
opposed to Scripture, contradicts reason, and out- 
rages all our senses, there is about it, we are com- 
pelled to conclude, some extraordinary power to 
hold captive the mind. Luther, who razed to the 
ground every other part of the Romish system, left 
this one standing. He had not courage to cast it 
down ; he continued to his life's end to believe in 
consubstantiation — that is, in the presence of the 
flesh and blood of Christ with, in, or under the 
bread and wine. He strove, no doubt, to purify 
his belief from the gross materialism of the Romish 
mass. He denied that the Lord's Supper was a 
sacrifice, or that the body of Christ in the elements 
was to be worshipped ; but he maintained that the 
body was there, and was received bj' the communi- 
cant. The imion of the Divinity with the humanity 
in Christ's person gave to His glorified body, he held, 
new and wholly unearthly qualities. It made it 
independent of space, it endowed it with ubiquity ; 
and when Z%vingle, at Marburg, argued in reply 
that this was opposed to all the laws of matter, 
which necessitated a body to be in only one place 
at one time, Luther scouted the objection as being 
merely mathematical. The Reformer of Wittem- 
berg did not seem to perceive that fatal con- 
sequences would result in other directions, from 
asserting such a change upon the body of Christ as 
he maintained to be wrought upon it in virtue of 
its union \\-ith the Divinity, for undoubtedly such 
a theory imperils the reality of the two great facts 
which are the foundations of the Christian system, 
the death and the resurrection of our Lord. 

Nor was it Luther only who did homage to this 
dogma. A yet more powerful intellect, Calviii 
namely, was not able wholly to disenthral himself 
from its influence. He believed, it is true, neither 
in transubstantiation nor in consubstantiation, but 
he hesitated to admit the thorough, pure spiritu- 
ality of the Lord's Supper. He teaches that the 
communicant receives Christ, who is spiritually 
present, only by his fliith ; but he talks vaguely, 
mthal, as if he conceived of an emanation or 
influence radiated from the glorified humanity now 
at the Right Hand, entering into the soul of the 
believer, and implanting there the germ of a glori- 
fied humanity like to that of his risen Lord. In 
this scarcely intelligible idea there may be more than 



the lingering intiu- 
ence of the 
of bygone ages. We 
can trace in it a desii-e 
on tlie part of Calvin 
to approximate as 
nearly as possible the 
standpoint of the 
Lutherans, if so he 
might close tlie breach 
which divided and 
weakened the two 
great bodies of Protestants, and rally into one host 
all the forces of the Reformation in the face of a 
yet powerful Papacy. 

Zwingle has more successfully extricated tlio 
spiritual from the mystical in the Sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper than either Luther or Calvin. His 
sentiments were a recoil from the mysticism and 
absurdity which, from an early age, had been 
gathering round this Sacrament, and which had 
reached their height in the Popish doctiine of the 

Some have maintained that the recoil went too 
far, that Zwingle fell into the error of excessive 
simplicity, and that he reduced the ordinance of 
the Lord's Supper to a mere memorial or commemo- 
ration service. His earliest statements (l.'ii.?) on 

the doctrine of the Sacraments, and especially the 
Eucharist, may be open to this objection ; but not 
so his latter teachings (1330), we are disposed to 
think. He returned to the golden mean, avoiding 
)0th extremes — neither attributing to the Sacra- 
ment a mystical or magical efficacy, on the one 
hand, nor making it a bare and naked sign of a past 
event on the other. 

In order to understand his views, and see their 
accordance with Scripture, we must attend a 
moment to the nature and design of the Lord's 
Supper as seen in its institution. Tlie primary 
end and significancy of the Lord's Supper is a 
conmiemoration : " Do this iii i-emembrance of 
me." But the event commemorated is of such a 
kind, and our relation to it is of such a nature, 
that the commemoration of it necessarily implies 
more than mere remembrance. We are commemo- 
rating a " death " which was endured in our room, 
and is an expiation of our sin ; we, therefore, 
cannot commemorate it to the end in view but 
ill faith. We rest upon it as the ground of our 
eternal life ; we tlius receive his " flesh and blood " 
— that is, the spiritual blessings his death procured. 
Nay, more, by a ])ublic act we place ourselves in 
the ranks of his followers. We promise or vow 
allegiance to liim. This much, and no more, is 
done on the hunuui side. 



We ti;ni to the Divine side. What is signified 
and done here must also be modified and deter- 
mined by the nature of the transaction. The bread 
and wine in tlie Eucharist, being the representatives 
of tiie body and lilood of Christ, are tlie symbols ot 
an eternal redemption. In placing these symbols 
before us, and inviting us to partake of them, God 
puts before us and offers unto us that redemption. 
We I'eceive it by faith, and he applies it to us and 
works it in us by his Spirit. Thus the Supper 
becomes at once a sign and a seal. Like the 
"blood" on the door-post of the Israelite, it is a 
" token" between God and us ; for from the Pass- 
over the Lord's Supper is historically descended, 
and the intent and elficaoy of the former, infinitely 
heightened, live in the latter. This, in our view, 
exhausts, both on the Divine and on the human 
side, all which the principles of the Word of God 
warrant us to hold in reference to the Eucharist ; 
and if we attempt to put more into it, that more, 
should we closely examine it, will be found to be 
not spiritual but magical. 

Zwingle's grand maxim as a Reformer eminently 
was the authority of Holy Scripture. Luther re- 
jected nothing in the worship of God unless it 

was condemned in 
the Bible : Zwingle 
admitted notliiiig 
culess it was en- 
joined. Follow- 
ing his maxim , 
all human glosses. 
Papal edicts, and the mysticism of the schools, 
came straight to the New Testament, dii-ected his 
gaze steadfastly and exclusively upon its pages, 
and gathered from thence what the Lord's Sup- 
l)er really meant. He found that on the 
side it was a " commemoration " and a "pledge," 
and on the Divine side a " sign " and '' seal." 
Further, the instrumentality on the part of man 
by which he receives the blessing represented is 
faith. ; and the agency on the part of God, by 
which that blessing is conveyed and applied, is 
the Holy Spirit. 

Such was the Lord's Supper as Ulric Zwingle 
found it in the original institution. He purged it 
from every vestige of mysticism and materialism ; 
but he left its spiritual efficacy unimpaired and 





Alarm of the Romanists— Resolve to Strike a '^vent Blow— Tlify propose a Public Disputation— Eck chosen as 
Romanist Champion- Zwingle Refused Leave to go to Bajen— Martyrs— Arrival of the Deputies— Magnificent 
Dresses of the Romish Disputants— The Protestant Deputies — Personal Appearance of Eek and (Ecelampadius— 
Points Debated— Eck Claims the Victory— Tlio Protestants Gather the Fi-uits— Zwingle kept Informed of the 
Progress of the Debate— Clever Device— A Comedy — Counsels Frustrated— Eck and Charles V. Helping the Re- 

The victories that we narrated in a foregoing Book 
of tliis History (Book VIII.) caused the utmost 
alarm among the partizaiLS of the Papacy. The 
movement, first despised by theiu, and next half 
welcomed as holding out the hope of a little plea- 
surable excitement, had now grown to such a head 
that it threatened to lay in the dust the whole 
stately fabric of their riches and power. They must 
go wisely to work, and strike such a blow as would 
sweep Zwingle and his movement from the soil of 
Helvetia. This, said they, making sure of their 
victory before wnning it, will react favourably on 
Germany. The torrent once stemmed, the waters 
of heresy will retreat to the abyss whence they 
issued, and the " everlasting hills " of the old 
faith, which the deluge threatened to overtop, wdU 
once more lift up their heads stable and majestic 
as ever. 

An event that happened in the political world 
helped j^et further to impress upon the Romanists 
the necessity of some instant and vigorous step. 
Tlie terrible battle of Pa via projected a dark shadow 
upon Switzerland, but shed a gleam of popularity 
on Zwingle, and indirectly on the Reformation. A 
numerous body of Swiss mercenaries had fought on 
that bloody field. From five to six thousand of 
their corpses swelled its slain, and five thou- 
sand were taken alive and made prisoners. 
These were afterwards released and sent home, 
but in what a pliglit ! Their arms lopped ofl", 
their faces seamed and scarred ; many, through hun- 
ger and faintness, dying by the way, and the rest 
arri\Tng in rags ! Not only was it that these 
spectacles of horror wandered over the land, but 
from every city and hamlet arose the wail of 
■widow and the cry of orphan. What the poet 
said of Albion might now be applied to Helvetia : 

" Our isle be mnde a nomish of salt tears. 
And none but women left to wail the dead." ' 

In that day of their sore calamity tlie people 

(5hakespeare, 1 Henry VI., act i., scene 1, 

remembered how often Zwingle had thnnderod 
against the foreign service from the pulpit. He had 
been, they now saw, their best friend, their truest 
patriot ; and the Popish cantons envied Zurich, 
which mainly through Zwingle's influence had 
wholly escaped, or suflered but slightly, from a 
stroke which had falleii with such stunning force 
upon themselves. 

The Romanists saw the favoui'able impression 
that was being made upon the popular sentiment, 
and bethought them by what means they might 
countei-act it. The wiser among them reflected, on 
the one hand, how little progi-ess they were making 
in the suppression of Lutheranism by beheading 
and burning its disciples ; and, on the other, how 
much advantage Z^vingle had gained from the re- 
ligious disputation at Zurich. " They deliberated," 
says Bullinger, " day and night," and at last came 
to the conclusion that the right com'se was to hold 
a public disputation, and conquer the Reformation 
by its own weapons — leaving its truth out of their 
calculations. They would so arrange beforehand as 
to make sure of the victory, by selecting the fitting 
place at which to hold the disputation, and the right 
men to decide between the controversialists. The 
scheme promised to be attended with yet another 
advantage, although tJiey took care to say nothing 
about it, unless to those the}' could absolutely trust. 
Zwingle, of course, would come to the conference. 
He woidd be in their power. They could condemn 
and burn him, and the death of its champion would 
be the death of the movement.'- 

Accordingly at a Diet held at Lucerne, the 1 .")th 
Janiuxry, 152G, the Five Cantons — Lucerne, Uri, 
Schwitz, Appenzell, and Fiiburg — resolved on a dis- 
putation, and agreed that it should take place at 
Bern. The Bernese, however, declined the honour. 
Basle was next selected as a suitable place, being 
the seat of a nniver.sity, and boasting the residence 
witliin it of many learned men. But Basle was as 
little covetous of the honour as Bern. After a 

= Christoffel, p. 224, 



good deal of negotiating, it was concluded to hold 
the disputation at Baden on the 16th May, 1526.' 

This being settled, the cantons looked around 
them for powerful champions to do battle for the 
old faith. One illustrious champion, who had 
figured not without glory on the early fields of 
the Reformation, stUl survived — Dr. Eck, Vice- 
Chancellor of Ingolstadt. Our readers have not 
forgotten the day of Leipsic, where Eck encountered 
Luther, and foiled him, as he boasted ; but finding 
Luther perversely blind to his defeat, he went to 
Rome, and returned with the bidl of Leo X. to burn 
the man who had no right to live after having 
been confuted by Eck. Dr. Eck was a man of un- 
doubted learning, of unrivalled volubility — in short, 
the best swordsman Rome had then at her service. 
The choice of the Popish cantons unanimously fell 
on this veteran. 

Eck was to reap from this pa-ssage-at-arma more 
solid laiu'els than mere fame. On the side of Rome 
the battle had begun to be maintained largely by 
money. The higher clergy ia Suabia and Switzer- 
land piously taxed themselves fer this laudable 
object. The Suabian League and the Archduke of 
Austria raised money to hii-e the services of men 
wiUiug and able to fight in these campaigns. There 
was no reason why the doctor of Ingolstadt should 
give his time, and endanger, if not life, yet those 
hard-won honours that made life sweet, without a 
reasonable recomj^ense. Eck was to be handsomely 
paid ; ^ for, says Bullinger, quoting a very old pre- 
cedent, " he loved the wages of uiuighteousness." 
The doctor of Ingolstadt accepted the combat, and 
with it victory, its inseparable consequence as he 
deemed it. Writing to the Confederate deputies at 
Baden, Dr. Eck says, " I am full of confidence that 
I shall, vfith little trouble, maintain against Zwingle 
our old true Christian faith and customs to be 
accordant with Holy Scripture,"' and then with a 
scorn jus-tifiable, it may be, in so great a personage 
as tlie Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ingol- 
stadt, when descending into the arena to meet the 
son of the shepherd of the Tockenburg, he says, 
" Zwingle no doubt has milked more cows than he 
has read books. "^ 

But Dr. Eck was not to encounter Zwingle at 
Baden. The Council of Zurich refused leave to 
their pastor to go to the conference. 'Wliispers had 
come to the ears of their Excellencies that the 
Romanists intended to employ other weaj^ns be- 
sides argument. The place where the conference 

' E.iiehat, torn, i., p. 275. 

= Christoffel, p. 225. 

■' Zuing. 0pp., torn, ii., p. 405. 

was to be held was of evil omen ; for at Baden the 
blood of the Wirths * was yet scarcely diy ; and 
there the Popish cantons were all-powerful. Even 
Eck, with whom Zwingle was to dispute, had pro- 
claimed the futility of fighting against such heretics 
as the preacher of Zurich with any other weapons 
than "fire and sword." ° So far as the "fire" 
could reach him it had already been employed 
against Zwingle; for they had burned his books at 
Friliurg and his ejfigi/ at Lucerne. He was ready 
to meet at Zurich their entii'e controversial phalanx 
from its Goliath downwards, and the magistrates 
would have welcometl sxich meeting ; but send him 
to Baden the coimcil would not, for that was to 
send him not to dispute, but to die. 

In coming to this conclusien the lords of Zurich 
transgressed no law of charity, and their conclusion, 
hard though it was, did the Romanists of Switzer- 
land no wrong. Wlierever at this hour they looked 
in the surrounding cantons and provinces, what did 
they see ! Stakes and victims. The men who were 
so eager to argue at Baden showed no relish for so 
tedious a process where they could employ the more 
summary one of the sack and rope. At Lucerne, 
Henry Messberg was thro\\Ti into the lake for 
speaking against the nuns ; and John Nagel was 
burned alive for sowing " Zwinglian tenets." At 
Schwitz, Eberhard Polt of Lachen, and a priest of 
the same place, sufiered death by burning for speak- 
ing against the ceremonies. At the same time 
Peter Spengler, a Protestant minister, was drowned 
at Friburg by order of the Bishop of Constance. 
Nor did the man who had won so many laurels in 
debate, disdain adding thereto the honoui's of the 
executioner. But a short week before the con- 
ference at Baden, Eck presided over a consistory 
which met in the market-place of Mersburg, and 
condemned to the flames as a heretic, John Hugel, 
the Pastor of Lindau. The martyr went to the 
stake singing the Te Deum, and was heard amid 
the fires oflering the prayer, " Father, forgive 
tliem." ' 

When the appointed day came the deputies began 
to arrive. Twelve cantons of the Confederacy 
sent each a representative. Zuricli had received 
no Ln^dtation and sent no deputy. The Bishops of 
Constance, of Coire, of Lausanne, and of Basle were 
also represented at the conference. Eck came 
attended by Fabe^ the college companion of 
Zwingle,' and Thomas Murner, a monk of the 
order of the Carmelites. The list of Prote.stant 

•• See ante, bk. viii., chap. 15. 
'" Ruchat, torn, i., p. 27G. 
f' Ihkh, p. 27S. CliristofFel. p. 229. 
? See ante, lik. viii., chap. 5. 



controversialists was a modest one, embracing only 
the names of CEcolampadius from Basle, and Haller 
frojn Bern. In neitlrer of these two cities was the 
Reformation as yet (1526) established, but the 
conference just opening was destined to give a 
powerful impidse to Protestantism in both of them. 
In Bern and Basle it halted meanwhile ; but from 
this day the Reformation was to resume its march 
in these cities, and pause only when it had reached 
the goal. Could the Romanists have foreseen this 
result, they would have been a little less zealous in 
the aflair of the conference. If the arguments of 
the Popish deputies should prove as strong as their 
dresses were magnificent, there could be no cjuestion 
with whom would remain the victory. Eck and 
his following of prelates, magistrates, and doctors 
came robed in garments of damask and silk. They 
wore gold chains round their necks ; crosses reposed 
softly and piously on their breasts ; their fingers 
glittered and burned with precious jewels ; ' and 
tlieir measured step and uplifted countenances were 
such as beseemed the bravery of their apparel. If 
the plays of our great dramatist had been then in 
existence, and if the men now assembling at Baden 
had been a troupe of tragedians, who had been hii-ed 
to act them, nothing could have been in better 
taste ; but fine robes were slender qualifications 
for a discussion which had for its object the selec- 
tion and adoption of those principles on which the 
Churches and kingdoms of the future were to be 
constructed. In the eyes of the populace, the 
Reformers, in comparison with the men in damask, 
were but as a company of mendicants. The two 
■were not more diflerent in dress than in their way 
of living. Eck and his friends lodged at the Baden 
parsonage, where the wine, pi-ovided by the Abbot 
of Wettingen, was excellent. It was supplied 
■without stint, and used not less so.- fficolam- 
jsadius put up at the Pike Inn. His meals were 
quickly dispatched, and the landlord, wondering 
how he occupied his time in his room, peered in, 
and found him reading or praying. "A heretic, 
doubtless," said he, " but a pious one withal." 

Eck was still the same man we saw him at 
Leipsic — his shoulders as broad, his voice as Sten- 
torian, and his manner as violent. If the logic of 
his argument halted, he helped it with a ■vigorous 
stamp of his foot, and, as a contemporai-y poet of 
Bern relates, an occasional oath. In striking 
contrast to his porter-like figure, was the tall, 
thin, dignified foi-m of his opponent QDcolampa- 
dius. Some of the Roman Catholics, says B\illLnger, 
coidd not help wishing that the " sallow man," so 

' Bullinger, Ckron., torn, i., p. 351. - Ibid. 

calm, yet so firm and so majestic, were on " their 

It is unnecessary to give any outline of the dis- 
putation. The ground travei-sed was the same 
which had been repeatedly gone over. The points 
debated were those of the real presence, the sacrifice 
of the, the adoration of Mary and the saints, 
woi-shipping by images, and purgatory, wth a few 
minor questions. ^ The contest lasted eighteen days. 
" Every day the clergy of Baden," says Ruchat, 
" walked in solemn procession, and chanted litanies, 
to have good success in the disputation."'' Eck 
I'evelled in the combat, and when it had ended he 
claimed the victory, and took care to have the gi-eat 
news published through the Confederacy, exciting 
in the Popish cantons the lively hope of the instant 
restoration of the old faith to its former glory. But 
the question is, who gathered the spoils ? We can 
have no difiiculty in answering that question when 
we think of the fresh life imparted to Bern and 
Basle, and the rapid strides with which, from this 
time forward, they and other cities advanced to the 
establishment of their Reformation. 

Eck felt the weight of Zwingle's arm, although 
the Reformer was not present in person. The 
Popish party, having appointed four secretaries to 
make a faithfid record of the conference, prolii- 
bited all others from taking notes of the debate, 
under no less a penalty than death. Yet, despite 
this stern law, evening by evening Zwingle was 
told how the fight had gone, and was able, morning 
by morning, to send his advice to his friends how 
to set the battle in order for the day. It was 
cleverly done. A student from the Vallais, Jerome 
Walsch, who professed to be using the baths of 
Baden, attended the conference, and every evening 
wrote do'wn from memoiy the course the argument 
had taken that day. Two students did the ofiice 
of messenger by tui'ns. An-iving at Zurich over- 
night, they handed Walsch's notes, together with 
the lettere of Qicolampadius, to Zwingle, and were 
back at Baden next morning with the Reformei-'s 
answer. To lull the suspicions of the armed sen- 
tries at the gates, who had been ordered to keep a 
strict wateh, thej'^ carried on their heads baskets of 
poxiltry. Even theologians, they hinted, must eat. 
If Dr. Eek, and the worthy divines with him, 
should go without their dinner, they would not 
be answerable for what might happen to the good 
cause of Romanism, or to those who should take it 
ui)on them to stop the supplies. Thus they came 
and went without its being suspected on what 
errand they journeyed. 

3 Eucliat, tom.i., p. 281. 

■• Ibid., p. 282. 



After the serious business of tlae conference, there 
came a little eoniedy. In the train of the doctor of 
Ingolstadt, as we have already said, came Thomas 
Miu-ner, monk and lecturer at Lucei'ne. The 
de2)uties of the cantons had just given judgment for 
Eck, to the effect that he had triumphed in the de- 
bate, and crushed the Zwinglian heresy. But 
Murner, aspiring to the honour of slaying the slain, 
rose, in presence of the whole assembly, and read 
forty charges, which, putting body and goods in 
pledge, he offered to make good against Zwingle. 
No one thought it worth while to I'ejjly. Where- 
upon the Cordelier continued, " I thought the 
coward would come, but he has not shown face. 
I declare forty times, by every law human and 
divine, that the tyrant of Zurich and all his fol- 
lowers are knaves, liars, perjurers, adulterei-s, 
infidels, thieves, sacrilegers, gaol-birds, and such 
that no honest man without blushing can keep 
company with them."' Having so spoken he sat 
down, and the Diet was at an end. 

Thus we behold, at nearly the same moment, on 
two stages widely apart, measures taken to suppress 
Protestantism, which, in their results, help abo^'e 
all things to establish it. In the little town of 

Baden we see the deputies of the cantons and tho 
representatives of the bishops assembling to confute 
the Zwinglians, and vote the extinction of the Re- 
form movement in Switzerland. Far away beyond 
the Pyrenees we see (March, 1526) the Emperor 
Charles sitting down in the Moorish Alcazar at 
Seville, and inditing a letter to his brother Arch- 
duke Ferdinand, commanding him to summon a 
Diet at Spu-es, to execute the Edict of Worms. 
Tlie disputation at Baden led very directly, as 
we shall immediately see, to the estal^lishment of 
Protestantism in the two impoi'tant cantons of 
Bern and Basle. And the Diet of Spires (1526), 
instead of an edict of prosfr//j/i'o)i, produced, 
as we have already seen, an edict of toleration 
in favour of the Reformation. The Chancellor 
of the University of Ingolstadt and the head of 
the Holy Roman Empire, acting without concert, 
and certainly not designing what they accom- 
plish, unite their powerful aids in helping onward 
the cause of the world's emancipation. There is 
One who overrules their counsels, and makes use 
of them to overthrow that which they wish to 
ujihold, and protect that which they seek to 



Kiso of Anabaptism in Switzeriand — Thomas Munzer — His First Disciples, Grebel and Manx— Summary of theii' 
Oi^inions— Their Manners and Morals— Zwingle Commanded to Dispute with them — Coercive Measures — Ana- 
baptism extends to other Cantons— John Sohuker and his Family — Horrible Tragedy — Manx — His Seditious Acts 
— Sentenced to be Drowned in the Lake of Zurich— Execution of Sentence — These Severities Disapproved of by 
Zwingle— The Fanaticism Extinguished by the Gospel — A Puiification of the Swiss Church — Zwingle's Views on 
Baptism Matiu-ed thereby. 

The river of Reform was rolling its bounteous 
floods onward and diffusing verdure over the 
bax-ren lands, when suddenly a ford and poisoned 
rivulet sought to discharge itself into it. Had this 
latter corrupted the gi-eat stream with wliicli it 
seemed on the point of mingling, death and not 
life would have been imparted to the nations of 
Christendom. Zwingle foresaw the evil, and his 
next labour was to prevent so terrible a disaster 
befalling the world ; and his efforts in this important 
matter claim our attention before proceeding to 
trace the influence of the Baden disputation on the 
two powerful cantons of Bern and Basle. 

' Euchat, tom. i., p. 287. Christoffel, p. 231; 

Zwingle was busy, a,s we liave seen, combating 
the Papal foe in front, when the Analxiptist enemy 
suddenly stai-ted up and attacked liim in the rear. 
We have already detailed the deplorable tragedies 
to which tills fanatical sect gave birth in Germany." 
They were about to vent the same impieties and 
enact the same abaminable excesses on the soU of 
Swtzerland which had created so much miseiy else- 
where. This sect was rather an importation tlian 
a native growth of Helvetia. The notorious 
Thomas Munzer, thrown upon the Swiss frontier 
by the storms of the peasant^war in Germany, 
brought with him his peculiar docti-ines to Sow- 

See anie, bt. ix; 



them among the followers of Zwingle. He found 
a few unstable minds prepared to receive them, in 
particular Conrad Grebel, of an ancient lSwi«s 
family, and Felix Manx, the son of a prebeud. 
These two were Munzer's first disciples, and after- 
wards leaders of the sect. They had been excel- 
lently educated, but were men of loose principles 
and licentious lives. To these persons others by- 
aud-by joined themselves.' 

These men came to Zwingle and said to him, 

the same : I have not sinned ; I am no more in 
the flesh, but in the spirit ; I am dead to the flesh, 
and the flesh is dead to me." The wisdom of 
Zwingle's reply to Grebel's proposal was as great 
as its words were few. "We cannot," said he, 
" make a heaven upon earth." - 

He-baptism was rather the badge than the creed 
of this sect. Under the spiritual pretext of eman- 
cipation from the flesh, they denied the oflice 
and declined the authority of the jiastors of the 


'' Let us found a Church in which there shall be 
no sin." Grebel and Manx had a way peculiar to 
themselves of forming an immaculate society. Their 
method, less rare than it looks, was simply to 
change all the vices into virtues, and thus indul- 
gence in them would imply no guilt and leave no 
stain. This was a method of attaining sinlessness 
in which Zwingle could not concur, being unable to 
reconcile it with the Gospel precept which says 
that " denying ungodliness and worldly In.sts, we 
should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the 
present evil world." " In whatever crime or vice 
they are taken," said Zwingle, " their defence is ever 

Church and of the magistrates of the State." Un- 
der the same pretext of spirituality they claimed a 
release from every personal virtue and all social 
obligations. They dealt in the same way with the 
Bible. They had a Iir//it within which sufliced for 
their guidance, and made them independent of the 
Word without. Some of them threw the book into 
the fire saying, " The letter killeth." " Infant bajj- 
tism," said they, " is a horrible abomination, a 
flagrant impiety, invented by the evil spirit and 
Pope Nicholas of Rome."* 

> Euohat, torn, i., pp. 231, 232. Christoffel, pp. 249, 250. 
58 — VOL. II. 

- Zidng. 0pp., torn, ii., p. 231, and torn, iii., p. 362. 

3 Ruchat, torn, i., p. 234. 

■• Hettinger, torn, iii., p. 219. Eucbat, torn, i., p. 232. 



The freaks anil excesses iii ■whiih they began to 
indulge were very extraordinary, and resembled 
those of men whose wits are disordered. They 
would form themselves in a ring on the street, dance, 
sLiig songs, and tumble each other about in the dust. 
At other times, putting on sackcloth, and strewing 
ashes on their heads, they would rush through the 
streets, bearing lighted torches, and uttering dis- 
mal cries, " tVoe ! woe ! yet forty days and Zurich 
shall be destroyed."^ Others professed to have re- 
ceived revelations from the Holy Spirit. Others 
interrupted the public worship by standing up in 
tlie midst of the congi-egation and proclaiming 
aloud, " I am tlie door ; by me, if any man enter in, 
he shall bo saved." They held from time to time 
nocturnal revels, at which psalms and jovial ballads 
were sung alternately, and this they called " setting 
u]) the Lord's table." Foiu'teen of theii' number 
were apprehended by the magistrates, contrary to 
Zwingle's advice, shut up in the Hei-etics' Tower, 
and fed on bread and water. On the foui-teenth day 
" an angel opened their prison door and led them 
forth." * Contrary to what happened in Peter's 
case, with which they compared their deliverance, 
the angel found it necessary to remove certain 
planks before he could effect their liberation. 

The magistrates, alarmed for the public peace, 
ordered Zwingle to hold a disputation with them. 
The conference took place on tlie 17th January, 
1525. Zwingle's victory was complete, and the 
magistrates followed it up by an edict, ordering all 
infants to be baptised -svithin eight days.' The 
fanatics no more gave obedience to the command 
of the magistrates than submission to the arguments 
of Zwingle. They neither brought their children 
to be baptised nor abjured their opinions. A second 
disputation was enjoined by the council. It was 
held in the March of the same year, but with the 
same results. Victory or defeat came alike to men 
who had resolved to adhere to their beliefs whatever 
arguments might be brought in refutation of them. 

Severer measures were now adopted against 
them. Some were imprisoned ; others were ban- 
ished from the canton. Zwingle disapproved of 
these coercive i-emedies, and the event justified his 
wsdom. Persecution but inflamed their zeal, 
and their dispersion carried the fire to other can- 
tons. In St. Gall their numbers were reckoned at 
800; in the canton of Appcnzell at 1,200. Tliey 
extended also to SchaftTiauseu and the Orisons, 
whine they gave rise to disordei-s. Two of the sect 
undertook to go and preach in tlie Popish canton 
of Schwitz ; the unhappy creatures were seized huA 

> Euchat, i., pp. 2:!2, iXl. = Ibid., p. 234. '■> Ibid., p. 233. 

burned. They died culling uu the naiin' of the 

In some cases fanaticism developed into ma<l- 
ness ; and that madness gave birth to atrocious 
deeds which did more to open the eyes of the people, 
and banish this sect from the soil of Switzerland, 
than all the punishments with which the magis- 
trates pursued it. One melancholy and most re- 
volting instance has come down to us. In a solitary 
house in the canton of St. Gall there lived an aged 
farmer, John Schuker, who, with his family and 
servants, had received the " new baptism." Two of 
his sons were specially noted for the warmth of their 
zeal. On Shrove Tuesday the father killed a calf and 
invited his Anabaptist friends to the feast. The 
company, the wine, the fanatical harangues and 
visionary revelations m which the night was spent, 
would seem to have upset the reason of one of the 
sons. His features haggard. Ids eyes rolling wildly, 
and speaking with hollow voice, he approached his 
brother, Leonard, with the gall of the calf in the 
bladdei-, and thus addressed him, " Bitter as gaU is 
the death thou shalt die." He then ordered him 
to kneel down. Leonard obeyed. A presentiment 
of evil seized the company. They bade the wretched 
man beware what he did. " Nothing will happen," 
he replied, " but the will of the Father." Turning 
to his brother, who was still kneeling before him, 
and hastily seizing a sword, he severed his head 
from his body at a single blow. The spectators 
were horror-struck. The headless corjjse and the 
blood-stamed maniac were terrible sights. They 
had witnessed a crime like that of Cain. Groans 
and wailiugs succeeded to the fanatical oiisons in 
which the night had been spent. Quickly over the 
country flew the news of the awful deed. The 
wretched fratricide escaping from the house, half 
naked, the reeking sword in his hand, and posting 
with rapid steps through hamlet and village to St. 
Gall, to proclaim with maniac gestures and frenzied 
voice " tlie day of the Loi-d," exhibited in his own 
person an awful example of the baleful issues in 
which the Anabaptist enthusiasm was finding its 
consummation. It was now showing itself to men 
■with the brand of Cain on its brow. The miserable 
man was seized and lieheaded.'' 

This horrible occurrence was followed by a tragedy 
nearly as honible. We have mentioned above the 
name of Manx, one of the leadei-s of the fanatics. 
This man the magistrates of Zurich sentenced to 
be drowned in the lake. In adjudging liim to this 
fate they took account, not of his views on liaptism, 

* Rnchat, torn, i., pp. 2.34, 235. 

'■ BuUinppr, Chron., torn, i., ji. .324— njiuiJ D'Aubigni?, 
l^lc. si., chap. 10. Christofft'l, p. 285. 



or any opinions strictly religious, but of his senti- 
ments on civil government. Not only did he deny 
the authority of magistracy, but he gave practical 
eti'ect to his tenets by teaching his followers to re- 
sist payment of legal dues, and by instigating them 
to acts of outrage and violence. He had been re- 
peatedly imprisoned, but always returned to his 
former courses on being set at liberty. The popular 
indignation against the sect, intensified by the deed 
we have just narrated, and the danger in which 
Switzerland now stood, of becoming the theatre of 
the same bloody tragedies which had been enacted 
in Germany the year before, would no longer permit 
the council to wink at the treasonable acts of Manx. 
He was again apprehended, and this time his im- 
prisonment was followed by his condemnation. 
The sentence was carried out with due formality. 
He was accompanied to the water's edge by his 
bi-other and mother, now an old woman, and the im- 
acknowledged wife of the prebend. They exhorted 
him to constancy, but indeed he exhibited no signs 
of shrinking. They saw the executioner lead him 
into the boat ; they saw him rowed out to deej) 
water ; they saw him taken up and flung into the 
lake ; they heard the sullen plunge and saw the 
water close over him. The brother buret into tears, 
but the mother stood and witnessed all with dry 

In these proceedings Zwingle had no share. This 
fanatical outburst had affected him with profound 
sorrow. He knew it would be said, " See what bitter 
fruits gi-ow on the tree of Reform." But not only 
did he regard the reproach as unjust, he looked to 
the Gospel as the only instrumentality able to cope 
with this fanaticism. He pleaded with the magis- 
trates to withhold their punishments, on the ground 
that the weapons of light were all that were needed 
to extirpate the evil. These Zwingle plied vigor- 
ously. The battle against Anabaptism cost him 
" more sweat," to use his own expression, than did 
his fight with the Papacy. But that sweat was not 
in vam. Mainly through his labours the torrent of 

' Hottinger, torn, iii., p. 385— opud D'Aubigne, bk. xi., 
chap. 10. Kuohat. torn, i., p. 332. Christofl'el, p. 285. 

Anabaptist fanaticism wr.s arrested, and what 
threatened fatal disaster at the outset was con- 
verted into a blessing both to Zwingle and to the 
Protestant Church of Switzerland. The latter 
emerged from the tempest purified and strengthened. 
Instead of an accusation the Anabaptist outbreak 
was a justification of the Reformation. Zwingle's 
own views were deepened and purified by the con- 
troversy. He had been compelled to study the 
relation in which the Old and New Testaments 
stand to one another, and he came to see that under 
two names they are one book, that under two forms 
they are one revelation ; and that as the trans- 
planting of trees from the nursery to the open 
field neither alters then* nature nor changes their 
uses, so the transplanting of the institutions of 
Divine revelation from the Old Testament, in the 
soil of which they were fii-st set, into the New 
Testament or Gospel dispensation where they are 
permanently to flourish, has not in the least 
changed their nature and design, but has left them 
identically the same institutions : they embody the 
same principles and subserve the same ends. Bap- 
tism, he argued in short, is cii'cumcision, and 
circumcision was baptism, under a diflerent outward 

Proceeding on this principle, the sum of what he 
maintained in all his disputations with the Ana- 
baptists, and in all that he published from the 
press and the pulpit, was that inasmuch as circum- 
cision was administered to infants under the Old 
Testament, it is clear that they were regarded as 
being, by their bu-th, members of the Church, and 
so entitled to the seal of the covenant. In like 
manner the children of professing parents imder 
the New Testament are, by their birth, members 
of the Church, and entitled to have the Sacrament 
of baptism administered to them : that the water in 
baptism, like the blood in circumcision, denotes the 
removal of an inward impurity and the washing by 
the Spirit in order to salvation ; and that as cii'cum- 
cision bound to the observance of God's ordinances, 
so baptism imposes an obligation to a holy life.- 

2 Kuchat, torn. i.. p. 237. Christoffel, pp. 272, 273. 





Bern pi'eparoa to Follow up the Baden DLsputiition — Resolves to institvite a Conference — Summoned for January, 
1528 — Preparations and Invitations — The Popish Cantons Protest against holding the Conference — Charles V. 
Writes Forbidding it— Eeply of tho Bernese German Deputies — Journey of Swiss Deputies— Deputies in all 350 
— Churcli of the Cordeliers— Ten Theses— Convert at ths Altar— Fete of St. Vincent— Matins and Vespers Unsung 
— Tlie Magnificat Exchanged for a Mourning Hymn— Clergy Subscribe the Reformed Propositions— Mass, SiC, 
Abolished — Reforming Laws — Act of Civic Grace — The Lord's Supper. 

The disputation at Baden had ended in the way 
we have already described. The champions engaged 
in it had returned to their homes. Eck, as his 
mamrer was, went back singing his own praises and 
loudly vaunting the gi-eat victory lie had won. 
CEcolampadius had returned to Basle, and Haller to 
Bern, not at all displeased with the issue of the 
affair, though they said little. While the Romanist 
champions were filling Switzerland v.'itii their 
boastings, the Protestants quietly prepared to 
gather in the fruits. 

The pastors, who from various jjarts of Swtzer- 
land had been present at the disputation, returned 
home, then- courage greatly increased. Moreover, 
on aniving in their several spheres of labour they 
found a fresh interest awakened in the cause. The 
disputation had quickened the movement it was 
meant to crash. They must follow up their success 
before the minds of men had time to cool down. 
This was the purpose now entertained especially 
by Bern, the proudest and most powerful member 
of the Swiss Confederacy. 

Bern had been halting for some time between 
two opinions. Ever as it took a few paces fonvard 
on the road of Reform, it would stoji, turn round, 
and cast lingering and regretful looks toward Rome. 
But now it resolved it would make its choice once 
for all between the Pope and Luther, between tlie 
mass and the Protestant sermon. In November, 
1527, it summoned a Diet to debate the question. 
" Unhappy Helvetia," said some, " thus torn by 
religious opinions and conflicts. Alas ! the hour 
when Zwingle introduced these new doctrines." 
But was the state of Switzerland so very sad that 
it might justly envy the condition of other coun- 
tries 1 As the Swiss looked from his mountains he 
beheld the sky of Europe darkenej:! with war-clouds 
all round. A fierce tempest had just laid the glory 
of Rome in the dust. Francis I. and Henry of 
England, with Milan, Venice, and Florence, were 
leaguing against tlie emperor. Charles was un- 
slieathing his sword to spill more blood while that 

of recent battles was scarcely dry. The deep scars of 
internecine conflict and hate were yet fresh on the 
soil of Germany. Ferdinand of Austria wa-s claiming 
the crowns of Bohemia and Hungary, and fighting 
to rescue the provinces and inliabitants of Eastern 
Europe from the bloody scimitar of the Turk. 
Such was the state of Europe when the loixls and 
citizens of Bern assembled in their Great Council 
on the Sabbath after Martinmas, 1527, resolved to 
institute in the beginning of the coming year a 
conference on religion, after the model of Zurich, to 
the intent " that the truth might not be concealed, 
but that the ground of Divine ti-uth, of Christian 
intelligence, and of saving health might be dis- 
covered, and that a worshiji in conformity with the 
Holy Scriptures might be planted and observed." ' 

The preparations were on a scale commensurate 
mth the rank of the city and the gi'avity of the 
afiair. In\atations were sent to the four BLshops of 
Lausanne, B;i.sle, Constance, and Sion, who were 
asked to be present either in person or by deputy, 
under penalty of the loss of all rights and revenues 
which they claimed ■svithin the canton of Bern in 
virtue of their episcopal dignity. 

The Bernese sent to all the cantons and free 
to'Nvns of the Helvetic Confederacy, desiring them 
to send their theologians and learned men of both 
pai-ties to the conference, to the end that, freely 
and withont compulsion to any one, their common 
Confederacy might make profession of a common 
faitli. They further ordered that all the pastors 
and cur(!'s in the canton should repair to Bern on 
the fii-st Sunday of January, and assist at the 
conference from its opening to its close, under ]iain 
of deprivation of their benefices. Addressing tho 
learned men of the State, " Come," said the lords of 
Bern, "we undertake for your safety, iurd guarantee 
you all liberty in the c.\]iression of your opinions." 

One man was honoured ^vith a special invitation, 
Thomas ]Murnor namely, who, as our readers may 

> Kuohat, torn, i., p. 361. Christoffel, p. 188. 



recollect, gave so comic a close to the conference at 
Baden. His pleasantries threatened to become 
serious things indeed to the Swiss. He ^\'as daily 
scattering among the cantons the most virulent 
invectives against tlie Z'sringlians, couched in 
brutal language, fitted only to kindle the 
fiercest passions and jjlunge the Confederacy into 
war. Their Excellencies did well in giving the 
Cordelier an opportunity of proving his charges in 
presence of the conference. Murner did not come 
himself, but took care to send a violent philippic 
against the Bernese.' 

The adherents of the old faith, with one accord, 
entered their protest against the holding of such a 
conference. They claimed to have won the victory 
at Baden, but it would seem they wished no more 
such victories. The four bishojjs came first with 
a strong remonstrance. The seven Popish cantons 
followed suit, conjuring the Bernese to desist from 
a project that was full of danger, and abide by a 
Church in which their fathers had been content to 
live and die : even the Emperor Charles wrote 
exhorting them to abandon their design and await 
the assembling of a General Council. " The settle- 
ment of the religious question," he added, " does not 
pertain to any one city or country, but to all 
Christians " " — that is, practically to lumself and the 
Pope. There could not possibly be stronger proofs 
of the importance the Romanists attached to the 
proposed conference, and the decisive influence it 
was likely to exert on the whole of Switzerland. 
The reply of the Bernese was calm and dignified. 
" We change nothing in the twelve articles of the 
Christian faith ; we separate not fi'om the Church 
whose head is Christ; what is founded on the 
Word of God will abide for ever ; we shall only not 
dejjart from the Word of God." ^ 

All eyes were turned on Zwingle. From far and 
near clergy and learned men would be there, but 
Zwingle must take command of the army, he must 
be the Achilles of the fight. The youthful Haller 
and the grey-headed Kolb had done battle alone in 
Bern until now, but the action about to open 
required a surer eye and a sturdier arm. Haller 
wi-ote in pressing terms to this " best-beloved 
brother and champion in the cause of Christ," that 
he would be pleased to come. " You know," he said, 
" how much is here at stake, what shame, mockery, 
and disgrace would fall iijx>n the Evangel and upon 
us if we were found not to be competent to the 
task. My brother, fail not."^ 

To this gi-and conference there came deputies not 

' Ruohfit. torn, i., p. 362. 
s Ibid., pp. 363-368. 

3 Chrlstoffel, p. 189. 
■1 Ibid., y. 188, 

from Switzerland only, but from many of the 
neighbouring countries. On New Year's Eve, 1528 
more than a hundred clergy and learned men 
assembled at Zurich from Suabia, invitations 
having been sent to the towns of Southern Ger- 
many.^ The doctoi-s of St. Gall, Schafilausen, 
Glarus, Constance, Ulm, Liudau, Augsburg, and 
other places also rcpaii-ed to the rendezvous at 
Zurich. On the following morning they all set out 
for Bern, and with them journeyed the deputies 
from Zurich — Zwingle, Burgomaster Roist, Conrad 
Pellican," Sebastien Hofl'meister, Gfaspard Gross- 
mann, a gi-eat number of the rm-al clergy, Conrad 
Schmidt, Commander of Kussnacht ; Pierre Simia- 
ler, Prior of Kappel ; and Henry Bullinger, Regent 
in the college of the same place.' 

At the head of the cavalcade rode the Burgo- 
master of Zurich, Roist. By his side were Z^vingle 
and several of the councillors, also on horeeback. 
The rest of the deputies followed. A little in 
advance of the company rode the town herald, but 
without his trumpet, for they wished to pass on 
without noise. The territory to be traversed on the 
way to Bern was owned by the Popish cantons. 
The deputies had asked a safe-conduct, but were 
refused. " There -will be abundance of excellent 
game abroad," was the news bruited through 
Popish Smtzerland ; " let us go a-hunting." If 
they seriously meant what they said, their sport 
was spoiled by the armed escort that accom- 
panied the travellers. Tlwee hundred men with 
ai-quebuss on shoulder marched right and left of 
them."* In this fashion they moved onwards to 
Bern, to take captive to Christ a proud city which 
no enemy had been able to subdue. They entered 
its gates on the 4th of January, and found already 
there niimei'ous deputies, and among others CEco- 
lampadius of Basle, and BiTcer and Capito of 

The Bernese were anxious above all things to 
have the question between the two Churches tho- 
roughly sifted. For this end they invited the 
ablest champions on both sides, guaranteeing them 
all freedom of debate. They heard of a worthy 
Cordelier at Grandson, named De Marie Palud, a 
learned man, but too poor to be able to leave home. 
The lords of Bern dispatched a special messenger 
with a letter to this worthy monk, earnestly urging 
him to come to the conference, and bidding the 

s Christoffel, p. 189. 

« Superior of the Franciecans at Basle, and afterwards 
Professor of Divinity at Zurich. His exegetical powers 
enabled him to render great serviee to the Reformation. 

" Ruchat, torn, i., pp. 3G8, 369. 

s Ibid. Christoffel, p. 189. D'Aubigne, bk, iv., cliap. 2. 


courier protect iiis person and defray his expenses 
on the road.' If Eck and the other great cham- 
pions of Rome were absent, it was becanse they 
chose not to come. The doctor of Ingolstadt would 
not sit in an assembly of heretics where no ])roof, 

Constance, and Lausanne were shouted out in 
accents that rung through the chmx'h, but the 
echoes of the secretary's voice were the only answer 
returned. The assemblage amounted to 350 per- 
sons — ])riests, ])ai>tors, scholars, and councillors from 

unless drawn fi-oiu the Word of Goil, would bo Switzerland and Germany. 

received, nor any explanation of it admitted lodess 
it came from the same soiirce. Did any one ever 
liear anything so unreasonable 1 asked Eck. Has 
the Bible a tongue to refute those who o^jpose it? 
The roll-call showed a great many absentees besides 
Eck. The names of the Bishops of Basle, Sion, 

] Eiichat, torn, i., p. 369. 

The Ohurch of the Cordeliers was selected as the 
]ilace of conference. A large platform had been 
erected, and two tables placed on it. At the one 
sat the Popish deputies, and round the other were 
gathered the Protestant disputants. Between the 
two sat four secretaries, from whom a solemn 
declaration, tantamount to an oath, had been 
exacted, that they would make a faithful record of 



all that was said and done. Four presidents were 
chosen to rule in the debate.' 

The disputation lasted twenty consecutive days, 
with the sijigle interruption of one day, the ftte of 
St. Vincent, the patron saint of Bern. It com- 
menced on the Gth Januaiy, and closed on the 27th. 
On Sunday as on other days did the conference 
assemble. Each day two sessions were held — one 
in the morning, the other after dinner ; and each 
was opened with prayer.- 

Ten propositions ■'' were put down to he debated. 
They were declarations of the Protestant doctrine, 
drawn so as to comprehend all the points in con- 
troversy between the two Churches. The discussion 
on the mass occupied two whole days, and was 
signalLsed at its close by a dramatic incident whicli 
powei-fuUy demonstrated where the victory lay. 
From the Church of the Cordeliers, Zwingle passed 
to the cathedral, to proclaim from its pulpit, in the 
hearing of the people, the proofs he had maintained 
triumphantly in the debate. At one of the side 
altars stood a priest, arrayed in pall and chtisuble 
and all necessary sacerdotal vestments for saying 
mass. He was just about to IjegLn the service when 
Zwiugle's voice struck upon his ear. He paused 
to listen. " He ascended into heaven," said tlie 
Reformer in a slow and solemn voice, recitiug 
the creed ; " and sitteth at the right hand of God 
the Father Almighty," pausing again ; " from 
thence he shall come to judge the quick and the 
dead." " These three articl&s," said Zwingle, " can- 
not stand with the mass." The words flashed con- 
viction into the mind of the priest. His resolution 
was taken on the spot. Stripping oif his priestly 
robes and flinging them on the altar, he turned his 
eyes in the direction of Zwingle, and said in the 
hearing of all in the cathedral, " If the mass rest 
on no better foundation, I will neither read it now, 
nor read it more."^ This victory at the very foot 
of the altar was hailed as an omen of a full triumph 
at no great distance. 

Three days thereafter was the fete of St. Vincent. 
The canons of the college waited on the magistrates 
to know the pleasm-e of their Excellencies respecting 
its celebi-ation. They had been wont to observe 
the day with great solemnity in Bern. "Those of 
you," said the magistrates to the canons, " who can 
subscribe the 'ten Reformed propositions' oitg/if. 
not to keep the festival ; those of you who cannot 
subscribe them, nunj." Already the sweet breath of 

' Ruehat, torn, i., p. 371. 

- Ibid. 

^ Subdivided into twenty in the course of the discus- 
sion. Ruohat, torn, i., pp. 373, 374. 
•• Christoffel, p. 190. 

toleration begins to be felt. On St. Vincent's Five 
all the bells were tolled to warn the citizens that to- 
morrow was the festival of the patron saint of their 
city. The dull dawn of a January morning siu'- 
ceeded ; the sacristans made haste to open the gates 
of the cathedral, to light tlie tapers, to prepare the 
incense, and to set in order the altar-fm-uiture ; but, 
alas ! there cams neither priest nor worshipper at 
the hour of service. No matins were .simg imder 
the cathedral roof that morning. 
. The hour of vespers came. The scene of the 
morning was renewed. No evensong broke the 
silence. The organist was seated before lus instru- 
ment, but he waited in vain for the coming of canon 
to mingle his chant, as the wont was, with the 
peal of the organ. When he looked about him, 
half in teiTor, and contrasted the solitude ai'ound 
him ■with the crowd of vested canons and kneel- 
ing worshippers, which used on such occasions 
to fill choii' and nave of the cathedral, and join 
theii- voices with the majestic strains of the Magn'i- 
Jicat, his heart was full of sadness ; tke glory had 
departed. He began to play on the organ the 
Church's mourning hymn, " wretched Judas, 
what hast thou done that thou hast betrayed thy 
Lord ] " and the music pealed along roof and aisle 
of the empty church. It sounded like a dii-ge over 
the fall of the Roman worship. " It was the last 
piece," says Ruehat, " that was played on that 
organ, for soon thereafter it was broken in pieces."^ 
The conference was at an end. The Reformers 
had won an easy victory. Indeed Zwingle could 
not help complaining that Eck and other practised 
champions on the Roman side had not been pre- 
sent, in order to permit a fuller develojiment of the 
strength of the Pi'otestant argument." Conrad 
Treger of Friburg, Provincial of the Aiigustines, 
did his best, in the absence of the doctor of 
Ingolstadt, to maiiatain the waning glory and 
tottering authority of Rome ; but it is not surpris- 
ing that he failed where Eck himself could not 
have succeeded. The disputants were restricted to 
Scripture, and at this weapon Zwingle excelled all 
the men of his time.' 

^ Kuchat, torn, i., pp. 453, 454. 

« Ibiil.. p. 474. 

' "This beast," so writes a Papistical hearer, "is in 
truth more learned than I had believed. Tlie malapert 
(EcolamiJadius may understand the prophets and Hebrew 
better, and in Greek he may equal him, but in fertilit.v 
of intellect, in force and perspicixity of statement, he is 
vei-y far behind him. I could make nothing of Capito. 
Bucer spoke more than he did. Had Bucer the learn- 
in;; and linpuistio acquirements of (Ecolampadius and 
Zwingle. he would bo more dangerous than either, so quick 
is he in his movements and so pleasantly can he talk." 
(Christoffel, p. 190.) 



The theologians had clone their part : theii' Excel- 
lencies of Bern must now do theirs. Assembling 
the canons and ecclesiastics of the city and canton, 
the magistrates asked them if they wished to sub- 
scribe the Reformed theses. The response was 
hearty. All the canons subscribed the articles, as 
did also the Prior and Sub-Prior of the Dominicans, 
with six of their brethi'en, and fifty-two ciu-es and 
other beneficed clergy of the city as well as the 
rural parts. ^ 

Having dismissed the members of the conference 
with honour, defraying the expenses of those they 
had specially invited, and appointing a guard of 
200 armed men to escort the Zurich deputies 
through the territory of the Five Cantons, the 
magistTates set about bringing the worship into 
conformity with the Reformed creed which the 
clergy had so luianimously subscribed. The lords 
in council decreed that the observance of the mass 
should cease in Bern, as also in those landward 
parishes whose cures had adopted the Refonned con- 
fession. The sacrifice abolished, there was no further 
need of the altar. The altars were pulled down. 
A material object of worship stands or falls ^\'ith a 
material sacrifice ; and so the images shared the fate 
of the altars. Their fragments, strewed on the 
porch and floor of the churches, were profanely 
trodden upon by the feet of those whose knees had 
so recently been bent in adoration of them. There 
were those who witnessed these proceedings with 
horror, and in whose eyes a church without an 
altar and without an image had neither beauty nor 
sanctity. " When the good folks of the Oberland 
come to market," said these men, "they ^-ill be 
happy to put up their cattle in the cathedral." 

An august transaction did that same building — ■ 
albeit its altars were overturned and its idols de- 
molished — witness on the 2nd of February, 1528. 
On that day all the burgesses and inhabitants of 
Bern, servants as well as ma.sters, were assembled 
in the cathedral, at the summons of the magistrates, 
and swore with \iplifted hands to stand by the 
council in all their measui-es for the Reformation of 
religion.- Secured on this side, the magisti'ates 
published an edict on the 7th of February, in 
thirteen articles, of which the following ai'e tlie 
chief provisions : — 

1st. They approved and confirmed the " ten pro- 
positions," ordaming their subjects to receive and 
conform themselves to them, and taking God to wit- 
ness that they believed them to be agreeable to the 
Word of God. 2nd. They released their subjects 

' Riichat, torn, i., p. 4T5. 
• Ibid., torn, i., p. 478. 

from the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Basle, Con- 
stance, Sion, and Lausanne. 3rd. They discharged 
the deans and chapters from their oath of obedience, 
the clergy from their vow of celibacy, and the 
people from the law of meats and festivals. 4th. 
The ecclesiastical goods they apportioned to the 
payment of aimuities to monks and nuns, to the 
founding of schools and hospitals, and the relief of 
the poor. Not a penny did they appropriate to 
their own use.' 5th. Games of chance they pro- 
hibited ; the taverns they ordered to be closed at 
nine o'clock ; houses of infamy they suppressed, 
banishing their "\\Tetched inmates from the city.' 

Followng in the steps of Zurich, they passed a 
law forbidding the foreign service. What deep 
wounds had that service inflicted on Switzerland ! 
Orphans and widows, withered and mutilated 
forms, cowardly feelings, and hideous vices had all 
entered vnth it ! Hencefoi'ward no Bernese was to 
be at liberty to sell his swoi'd to a foreign potentate, 
or shed his own or another's blood in a quarrel that 
did not belong to him. In tine, " they made an 
inscription," says Sleidan, " in golden letters, upon 
a pillar, of the day and the year when Popery 
was abolished, to stand as a monument to pos- 

The foreign deputies did not depart till they had 
seen their Excellencies of Bern honour the occasion 
of their visit by an act of civic clemency and grace. 
They opened the prison doors to two men who had 
forfeited their lives for sedition. Further, they 
i-ecalled all the exiles. " If a king or emperer," 
said they, " had ^isited our city, we would have 
released the malefactors, exhorting them to amend- 
ment. And now that the King of kings, and the 
Prince who owns the homage of our hearts, the 
Son of God and our Brother, has visited our city, 
and has opened to us the doors of an eternal jjrison, 
shall we not do honour to him by showing a like 
grace to those who have oflTended against us V' 

One other act remained to seal the trium])h 
which the Gospel had won in the city and canton of 
Bern. On Easter Sunday the Lord's Supper was 
celebrated after what they believed to be the simple 
model of primitive times. "That Sunday was a 
high day." Bern for centuries had been in the 

3 Euohat, torn, i., pp. 479—481. 

< Ibid. 

■• Sleidan, bk. vi., p. 112. Euchat insinuates a doubt of 
this, on the ground that Sleidan is the only historian who 
records the fact, and that no trace of the monument is 
known. But we know that a similar pillar was erected at 
Geneva to commemorate the completion of its Reforma- 
tion, and afterwards demolished, although the inscription 
it bore has been preserved. 

« Cliristofi-fV, p. 191. Ruchat, torn, i., pp. 485, 4Se. 



tomb of a dark superstition ; but Bern is risen 
jigain, and with a calm joy she celebrates, with 
lioly rites, her return from the grave. Around the 
great minster lies the hushed city; in the southern 
sky stand up the snowy piles of the Oberland, fill- 
ing the air wth a dazzling brightness. The calm 
is suddenly broken by the deep tones of the great 
bell summoning the citizens to the cathedral. 
Thither all ranks bend their steps ; dressed with 
ancient S^viss simplicity, grave and earnest as their 
fathers were when marching to the battle-field, they 
troop in, and now all are gathered under the roof 
of their ancient minster : the councillor, the bur- 
gess, the artizan ; the servant with his master, 
and by the side of the hoar patriarch the fresh 
form and sparkling eye of youth. On that cathe- 
dral floor is now no altar; on its wall no image. 
No bannered procession advances along its aisles, 
and no cloud of incense is seen mounting to its 
roof; yet never had their time-honoured temple 
— the house where their fathers had worehipped — 
appeared more venerable, and holy, than it did in 
the eyes of the Bernese this day. 

Over the vast assembly rises the pulpit ; on it 
lies the Bible, from which Berthold Haller is to 
address to them the words of life. Stretching from 
side to side of the building is the Communion table, 
covered with a linen cloth : the snows of their- 
Alps are not whiter. The bread and the cup 
alone ai-e seen on that table. How simple yet 
awful these sjrmbols ! How full of a gracious 
eflicacy, and an amazing but blessed impoi-t, pre- 
senting as they do to the faith of the worshipper 
that majestic Sufferer, and that sublime death by 
which death has been destroyed ! The Mighty 
One, he who stood before Pilate, but now sitteth 

on the right hand of God, is present in the midst of 
them, seen in the memorials of his passion, and 
felt by the working of his Spii'it. 

The sermon ended, Haller descends from the 
pulpit, and takes his stand, along with the elders 
of the flock, at the Communion table. With eyes 
and hands lifted up he gives thanks for this 
memorial and seal of redemption. Then a hymn, 
sung in responses, echoes through the building. 
How noble and thrilling the melody when ^vith a 
thousand tongues a thousand hearts utter their joy ! 
The song is at an end ; the hushed stillness 
again reigns in aisle and nave of the vast fabric. 
Haller takes the bread, and breakmg it in the 
sight of all, gives it to the communicants, saying, 
" This is my body ; take, eat." He takes the cup, 
and says, " This cup is the New Testament in my 
blood, shed for you ; drink ye all of it." Within that 
" sign " lies wrapped up, to their faith, the Divine 
and everlasting " thing signified." They receive, 
^v^th the bread and wine, a full forgiveness, an 
eternal life — in short, Christ and the benefits of his 
redemption. Faith opens the deep fountains of 
their soul, theii' love and sorrow and joy find vent 
in a flood of tears ; scarcely have these fallen when, 
like the golden light after the shower, there comes 
the shout of gladness, the song of triumph : " They 
sing a new song, saying. Worthy is the Lamb that 
was slain to receive power, and riches, and ^^'isdom, 
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing : 
for thou hast redeemed us unto God with thy 
blood, out of every kinch-ed, and tongue, and 
people, and nation : and hast made us unto our God 
kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth."' 
Such was the worship that succeeded the ]iantomimic 
rites and histrionic devotion of the Romish Church. 



All Switzerland Moved-The Oborland— Surprise and Anger of its Herdsmen— Basle— Its Importance— (Ecolampadius 
—Protestants of Basle Petition for Abolition of Mass— Popular Conflicts— Temporising Policy of Council— Citizens 
take Arms— New Delays by the Council— New Demands of the People— The Night of the Sth of February— The City 
Barricaded— Two Thousand Men in Arms-The Senate's Half-concession— The Idols Broken— Idols of Little Basle 
—Edict of Senate Establishing the Reform— Ash-Wednesday— Oath of the People— Exodus of the Priests- 
Departure of Erasmus. 

The triumph of the Gospel in Bern was felt on all 
sides. It gave new life to the Protestant move- 
ment in every part of the country. On the west it 
opened the door for the entrance of the Protestant 

faith into French-speaking Switzerland. Farel was 
already in these parts, and had commenced those 

Rev. V. 9, 10, 12, 



labours wliich vre shall arterwards have occasion to 
trace to tliat gi-and issue to which a gi-eater was 
destined to conduct tkem. On the east, in German 
Helvetia, the movement, qiiickened by the impulse 
communicated from Bern, was consummated in 
those towns and vilhiges where for some time it 
had been in progress. From the Grisons, on the 
Italian frontier, to the borders of the Black Forest, 
where Basle is washed by the waters of the Rhine, 
the influence was felt, and the movement 

The great mountains in the centre of the land, 
where the glaciers have their seat, and the great 
rivers their birth-place, were alone unmoved. Not 
unmoved indeed, for the victory at Bern sent a 
tlirill of surprise and horror through the Oberland. 
Shut up with tlieir flocks in the mists and gorges of 
tlieir mountains, living apart from the woi'ld, spend- 
ing their days without books, luitrained to reflect, 
nor ever coming in contact with a new idea, these 
mountaineers so brave, so independent, but so 
ignorant and superstitious, had but one aim, even 
to abide steadfast to the traditions of their fathers, 
and uphold Rome. That Switzerland should 
abandon the fiiith it had held from immemorial 
times they accounted a shameful and horrible thing. 
They heard of the revolution going on in the plains 
with indignation. A worship without mass, and a 
church without an image, were in their eyes no 
better than atheism. That the Virgin should be 
Avithout matins or vespers was simply blasphemy. 
They trembled to dwell in a land which such 
enormities were beginning to pollute. They let 
drop ominous threats, which sounded like the 
mutterings of the thunder before the storm bursts 
and discharges its lightnings and hailstones on the 
])lains below. Such a tempest was soon to break 
over Switzerland, but first the work of Reformation 
must proceed a little further. 

Next to Ztn-ich and Bern, Basle was the city of 
greatest importance in the Swiss Confederacy. Its 
numerous and rich foundations, its university, 
foimded as we have said by yEneas Sylvius, nearly a 
century before, its many learned men, and its famous 
printing-presses enabled it to wield a various and 
powerful influence. It was the first spot in all 
Helvetia on which the Protestant seed had been 
cast. So early as 1505, we saw Thomas Wittem- 
bach entering its gates, and bringing with him the 
knowledge of the sacred tongues, and of that 
Divine wisdom of which these tongues have been 
made the vehicle. A few years later we find 
•Zwingle and Leo Juda sitting at his feet, and 
listening to his not yet fully comprehended anti- 
cipations of a renovated age and a restored 

faith.' The seed that fell fi-om the hand of Wit- 
tembach was reinforced by the writings of Luther, 
which the famous printer Frobenins scattered so 
plentifully on this same soO. After this second 
sowing came the preacher Capito, to be succeeded by 
the eloquent Medio, both of whom watered that seed 
by their clear and pious expositions of the Gospels. 
In 1522, a yet greater evangelist settled in Basle, 
G<]colampadius, \inder whom the Reformation of 
this important city was destined, after years of 
waiting and conflict, to be consummated. Gicolam- 
padius, so scholarly, so meek and pious, was to 
the prompt and courageous Zwingle what Melanc- 
thon was to Luther. 

With all his great parts, Qllcolampadius was some- 
what deficient in decision and courage. We have 
se§n him combatting alone at Baden in 1526, and 
at Bern by the side of Zwingle in 1528, yet all the 
while he had not taken the decisive step in his own 
city. Not that he felt doubt on the question of 
doctrine ; it was the dangers that deterred him from 
carrying o^'er Basle to the side of Protestantism. 
But he came back from Bern a stronger man. The 
iiTesolute evangelist returned the resolved Reformer ; 
and the learned Basle is now to follow the example 
of the warlike Bern. 

At this time (1528) the Lutherans were in a 
great majority in Basle. They were 2,500 against 
GOO Roman Catholics.jj Tumults were of frequent 
occun-ence, arising out of the religious diflereuces. 
On the 23rd December the Reformed assembled 
without amis, to the number of 300 and upwards, 
and petitioned the magistrates to abolish the 
observance of the mass, saying that it was " an 
aljomination before God," and asking why " to 
jilease the priests they should draw down Ms anger 
on themselves and their children." They further 
craved of the magistrates that they should interdict 
the Pope's preachers, till " they had proved their 
doctrine from the Word of God," and they oflered at 
the same time to take back the mass as soon as the 
' ' Roman Catholics had shown from the Scriptures that 
it was good," which sounded like a promise to restore 
it at the Kalends of April. Tlie Roman Catholics of 
Little Basle, which lay on the other bank of theRhine, 
and was mostly inhabited by Romanists, assembled 
in arms, and strove to obstruct the passage of the 
petitioners to the town hall. The Senate, making 
trial of soft words, advised both parties to retire 
to their homes, and — the hour we presume being 
late — "go to sleep." ^ The council aflected to be 
neutral, the spirit of Erasmus pervading the higher 

' Sco aide, bk. viii., chap. 5. - Eucliat, torn, ii., p. 74. 
^ Euchat, torn, ii., p. 75. 



ra ukii of Basle. Two days thereafter, being Christmas 
Day, both parties again assembled. Thiis time the 
Reformed came armed as well as the Roman Catholics. 
The Roman Catholics were the lirst to stir ; the ter- 
rible news that they were armmg ch-culated from 
house to house, and brought out the Lutherans, to 
the number of about 800. The alarm still flj-ing from 
door to door roused others, and at last the number 
amounted to 3,000.' Both parties remained under 
arms all night. After four days' deliberation, during 
■which the streets were in a state of tumult, and all 
the gates were closed except two, which were 
strongly guarded, the Senate hit on an expedient 
which they thought would suffice to restore the 
peace between the two parties. They enacted that 
the " Evangel " should be preached in all churches, 
and as regarded mass that every man should be at 
liberty to act as his conscience might direct ; no 
one would be prevented giving attendance on it, 
and no one would be compelled to do so. 

This ordinance made the scales mclme on the 
side of the Reformers. It was a step in the direc- 
tion of free preaching and free worship ; the Re- 
formed, however, refused to accept it as a basis of 
peace. The agitation still continued. Basle wore 
the appearance of a camp, which a sudden blow 
from either side, or a rash word, might at any 
moment change into that of a battle-field. 

News of wliat was going on in Basle flew tlirough 
the Confederation. From botli the Reformed and 
Popish cantons came deputies toofter theirmediaftion. 
It was whispered among the Roman Catholics that 
the Lutherans were bringing in their confederates 
to light for them. This rumour raised then- fury 
to a yet higher pitch. A war of hearths seemed 

The Senate made another attempt to restore the 
peace. They decreed that a public disputation on 
the mass should take place on the second Sabbath 
after Pentecost, and that meanwhile in three of the 
churches only should mass be celebrated, and that 
only one mass a day should be said, high mass 
namely." Now, thought the magistrates, we have 
found the means of restoring calm to the agitated 
waters. Basle will resume its lettered quiet. 

These hopes were doomed to be disappointed. 
The publication of the edict evoked a greater 
tempest than ever. On the reading of it, loud and 
vehement cries resounded on both sides. " No 
mass — no mass — not even a single one — we will 
die sooner."' Counter-shouts were raised by the 
Romanists. " We are ready to die for the mass," 

cried they, waving their arms menacingly to add to 
the vehemence of their voices ; " if they reject the 
mass — to arms ! to arms !"' 

The magistrates were almost at their \vit's end. 
Their temporising, instead of appeasing the tempest, 
was but lashing it into greater fury. They hit on 
another device, which but showed that their stock 
of expedients was nearly exliausted. They forbade 
the introduction of the German psalms into those 
churches where it had not been the wont to sing 
them.^ It was hardly to be expected that so paltry 
a concession would mollify the Roman Catholics. 

The Romish party, fearing that the day was 
croiii" against them, had recourse to yet more 
violent measures. They refused the decree to hold 
a disputation on the mass after Pentecost. One 
tiling was clear to them, that whether the mass 
was founded on the Word of God or not, it at- 
tracted to Basle large sums from the PopLsh dis- 
tricts, every penny of which would be cut ofl" were 
it abolished. Seeing then, if its proof were dubious, 
its profit was most indubitable, they were resolved 
to u})hold it, and would preach it more zealously 
than ever. The pulpits began to thunder against 
heresy ; Sebastien Miiller, preacher in the Cathedral 
of St. Peter, mounted the pulpit on the 24th 
January, 1.^29, and losing his head, at no time a 
cool one, in the excess of his zeal, he broke out in 
a violent harangue, and poured forth a torrent of 
abusive epithets and sarcastic mockeries against 
the Reformed. His sermon kindled into rage the 
mass of his hearers, and some I^utherans who were 
present in the audience were almost in risk of 
being torn in pieces." 

This fresh outbreak quickened the zeal on the 
other side, not indeed into violence, but activity. 
The Refoi-med saw that the question must be 
brought to an issue, either for or against the mass, 
and that luitU it was so their lives would not be 
safe in Basle. They, accordingly, charged their 
committee to cai-ry their complaint to the Senate, 
and to demand that the churches should be pro- 
vided ^^^th " good preachers " who would " proclaim 
to them the pure Word of God." Their Excellencies 
received them graciously, and promised them a 
favourable answer. The magistrates were still 
sailing on two tacks." 

Fifteen days passed away, but there came no 
answer from the Senate. Meanwhile, a constant fire 
of insults, invectives, and sanguinary menaces was 
kept up liy the Roman Catholics upon tlie Reformed, 
which the latter bore with wonderful patience 

' Rucliat, torn, ii., p. ' 
' Zwingle, Epp., ii., p 

•- Ihid., p. 77. 
3— D'Aubignr, bk. xv., ch. 5. 

•• Zwingle, Epp., ii. 
' Kuchat, torn, ii., 

, p. --^liS. 
p. 78. 


fti(i., PP.7S, 70. 



seeing tliat they formed the vast majority of the 
citizens, aucl that tliusc who assailed them A-ith 
tliese taunts and threateuings were mostly the 
lower orders from the suburb of the Little Basle. 
The Keformed began to suspect the Senate of 
treachery ; and seeing no ending to the afi'air but a 

They agreed, moreover, that the election of the 
senatois henceforward should be on a democratic 
basis — above-board, and in the hands of the 

" To-morrow," said the council, somewhat startled, 
" we will give yoxi an answer." 

)loody encounter, 
in which one of 
the two parties 
would perish, 
they convoked an 
assembly of the 
adherents of the 
Reformation. On 
the Sth February, 
800 men met in 
the Church of the 
Franciscans, and after prayer to God, that he would 
direct them to those measures that would be for 
his glory, they entered on their deliberations. To 
the presence of " the fathers and relatives of the 
priests " in the council they attributed that halting 
policy which had brought Basle to the edge of an 
abyss, and resolved, as the only effectual cure, 
that the council shoidd be asked to purge itself.' 

1 Ruchat, torn. U., p. 79. 

59 — VOL. II. 

" Your reply," rejoined the citizens, " must be 
given to-night." 

No eyes were to be closed that night in Basle. 
The Senate had been sitting all day. There was 
time for an answer, yet none had been forthcoming. 
They had been put off till to-morrow. What did 
that mean 1 Was it not possible that the inter- 
vening night would give birth to some dark plot 
which the Senate might even now be hatching 
against the public safety! They were 1,200 men, 
all well armed. They sent again to the council- 
hall to say, " To-night, not to-morrow, we must 
have your answer." It was nine of the evening. 
Tlie Senate replied that at so late an hour they 
could not decide on a matter of so great moment, 
but that to-morrow they shoidd without fail give 
their answer, and meanwhile they begged the citi- 
zens to retire in peace to their homes.- 

The citizens resolved not to separate. On the 

- Euchat, torn, ii., p. 80. 



contrary tliey sent once move, and for tke last time, 
to the Senate, to demand their answer that veiy 
night. Their Excellencies thought good no longer 
to trifle with the armed burghers. Longer delay 
might bring the whole 1,200 warriors into the 
Senate House. To guard against an irruption so 
formidable, they sent a messenger when near mid- 
night to say that all members of Senate who were 
relatives of priests would be excluded from that 
body, and as to the rest of their demands, all things 
touching religion and policy woiild be regulated 
according to their wsh.' 

The answer was so far satisfactory ; but the citi- 
zens did not view it as a concession of their demands 
in full. Theii" enemies might yet spring a mine 
upon them ; till they had got something more than 
a promise, they would not relax their vigilance or 
retire to their dwellings. Dividing themselves into 
three companies they occupied tkree different 
quarters of the city. They planted six pieces of 
cannon before the Hotel de Ville ; they barricaded 
the streets by drawing chains across them ; they 
took possession of the arsenal ; they posted strong 
guards at the gates and in the towers on the wall ; 
and kindling immense torches of fir-trees, they set 
them on high places to dispel with their flickering 
beams the darkness that brooded over the citj^ So 
passed the night of the 8th February, 1529, in Basle. 

The leadei's of the Romanists began to quail 
before the firm attitude of the citizens. The burgo- 
master, Hem'y Meltinger, with his son-in-law, and 
several councillors, stole, under cover of the dark- 
ness, to the Rhine, and embarking in one of the 
boats that lay moored on its banks, made their 
escape on its rapid current. Their flight, which 
became known over-night, increased the popular 
uneasiness and suspicion. " They are gone to fetch 
the Austrians," said the people. " Let us make 
ready against their return." When day broke they 
had 2,000 men in arms.- 

At eight in the morning the Senate sent to the 
committee of the citizens to say that they had 
designated twelve senators, who shoidd absent 
themselves when religious afi'au-s were treated of, 
but that the men so designated refused to submit 
unconditionally, and had appealed their cause for 
a hearing before the other cantons. Tlie citizens 
were willing to meet them there, but on this con- 
dition, that the appellants paid their own expenses, 
seeing they were prosecuting their own pi'ivate 
quarrel, whereas the citizens defending the cause 
of the commonwealth and posterity were entitled 
to have their charges defrayed from the public 

1 Kucliat, torn, ii., p. 81. 

treasury.'' On this point the Senate sat deliberating 
till noon without coming to any conclusion. Again 
the cry of treachery was raised. The patience of 
the burghers was exhausted. They sent a detach- 
ment of forty men to inspect all the posts in the 
city in case of surprise. The troops marched 
straight to the Cathedral of St. Peter. One of 
them raising his halberd struck a blow with all liis 
force on a side door. It "was that of a closet in 
which the idols had been stowed away. The door 
was shivered ; one of the images tumbled out, and 
was broken in pieces on the stony floor. A beginning 
having been made, the idols, one after another, 
were rolled out, and soon a pile of fragments — - 
heads, tiiinks, and limbs — covered the floor. Eras- 
mus wondered that " they wrought no miracle 
to save themselves, for if all accounts were 
true, prodigies had been done on moi'e trivial 

The priests raised an outcry, and attempted re- 
sistance, but this only hastened the consummation 
they deplored. The people came i-unning to the 
cathedral. The priests fled before the 
that had swept into the temple, and shutting 
themselves up in the v&stry, listened "svith dismay 
and trembling, as one and another of the idols was 
overturned, and crash suceeeded crash ; the altai-s 
were demolished, the pictures were torn down, and 
the fragments being carried out and piled up, ajid set 
on fire in the open squares, continued to bum till 
far in the evening, the citizens standing round and 
warming their hands at the blaze in the chilly air. 
The Senate, thinking to awe the excited and insur- 
gent citizens, sent to ask them what they did. " We 
are doing in an hour," said they, " what you have 
not been able to do in three years." ^ 

The iconoclasts made the rovmd of Basle, visiting 
all its churches, and destroying ■\rith pike and axe 
all the images they found. The Romanists of 
Little Basle, knowing the storm that was raging 
on the other side of the Rhine, and fearing that it 
would cross the bridge to their suburb, .so amply 
replenished with sacred shrines, oflered to purge 
their churches with their own hands. The images 
of Little Basle were more tenderlj' dealt -with tlian 
those of St. Peter's and other city churches. Their 
worshippers earned them reverently to upper rooms 
and garrets, and hid them, in the hope that when 
better times returned they would be able to bring 
them out of the darkness, and set them up in their 
old places. The suburban idols thus escaped the 

' Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 82. Gerdesius, Hist. Evan. Renov,, 
torn, ii., p. 371 ; Gron. and Brem., 1746. 
■• Kuohat, torn, ii., pp. 82, 83. Gerdesius, torn, ii., p. 372. 



cremation that overtook theii' less fortunate brethren 
of St. Ulric and St. Alban.^ 

The magistrates of Basle, deeming it better to 
march in the van of a Reform than be di-agged 
at the tail of a revolution, now granted all the 
demands of the citizens. They enacted, 1st, that 
the citizens should vote in the election of the mem- 
bers of the two councils; 2ndly, that from this 
day the idols and mass should be abolished in the 
city and the canton, and the churches provided 
with good ministers to preach the Word of God ; 
3rdly, that in all matters appertaining to religion 
and the commonweal, 260 of the members of the 
guilds should be admitted to deliberate with the 
Senate." The people had carried the day. They 
had seciu'ed the establishment of the Protestant 
worship, and they had placed the State on a con- 
stitutional and popular basis. Such were the 
triumphs of these two eventful days. The firmness 
of the people had overcome the neutrality of the 
Senate, the power of the hierarchy, the disfavom- of 
the learned, and had achieved the two liberties 
without shedding a drop of blood. " The com- 
mencement of the Reformation at Basle," says 
Ruchat, " was not a little tumultuous, but its issue 
was happy, and all the troubles that arose about 
religion were terminated without injury to a single 
citizen in his life or goods." 

The third day, 10th of February, was Ash- Wed- 
nesday. The men of Basle resolved that theii- 
motto that day should be "Ashes to ashes." The 
images that had escaped cremation on the evening 
of the 8th were collected in nine piles and burned 
on the Cathedral Square.^ The Romanists, Q5co- 
lampadius informs us, " turned away theii- eyes, 
shuddering with horror." Others remarked, " the 
idols are keeping their Ash- Wednesday." The 
idols had the mass as their companion in affliction, 
fragments of the demolished altars having been 
burned in the same tires. 

On Friday, 12 th of February, all the trades of 
the city met and approved the edict of the Senate, 

1 Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 83. 

' Gerdesius, torn, ii., p. 372. Euchat, torn, ii., p. 8-1. 
Sleidan, bk. vi., p. 117. 

3 Ruchat, torn, ii., p . 84. Gerdesius, torn, ii., p. 372. 
Sleidan, bk. vi., p. 117. 

as an " irrevocable decree," and on the following 
day they took the oath, guild by guild, of fidelity to 
the new order of things. On next Sunday, in all 
the churches, the Psalms were chanted in German, 
in token of their joy.'' 

This revolution was followed by an exodus of 
priests, scholars, and monks. The rushing Rhine 
aflbrded all facilities of transport. No one fled 
from di-ead of punishment, for a general amnesty, 
coveriug all oflences, had set all fears at rest. It 
was dislike of the Protestant faith that made the 
fugitives leave this pleasant residence. The bishop, 
caiTying with him his title but not his jurisdiction, 
fixed his residence at Poirentru. The monks peace- 
ably departed "with their hai-ems "* to Friburg. 
Some of the chairs in the university were vacated, 
but new professors, yet more distinguished, came to 
fill them ; among whom were Oswald Myconius, 
Sebastien Munster, and Simon Grynseus. Last and 
gi-eatest, Ei-asmus too departed. Basle was his 
own romantic town ; its cathedral towers, its milky 
river, the swelling hills, with theii- fir-trees, all 
were dear to him. Above all, he took delight in 
the society of its dignified' clergy, its polite scholars, 
and the distinguished strangers who here had 
gatheied round him. From Basle this monarch of 
the schools had ruled the world of letters. But 
Protestantism had entered it, and he could breathe 
its air no longer. He must endiu'e daily mortifica- 
tions on those very streets where continual incense 
had been off'ered to him ; and rather than do so he 
would leave the scene of his glory, and spend the 
few years that might yet remain to him elsewhere. 
Embarking on the Rhine in presence of the magis- 
trates and a crowd of citizens, who had assembled 
to do him honom-, he spoke his adieu to his much- 
loved Basle as the boat was unmooring : " Jam 
Basilea vale ! " ° (Basle, farewell, farewell !) and 
departed for Friburg, in Brisgau.' 

■• Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 84. Gerdesius, torn, ii., p. 372. 
Sleidan, bk. vi., p. 117. 

•^ Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 86. 

^ Ibid. Gerdesius, torn, ii., p. 374. 

^ The torab of Erasmus is to be seen in the Cathedral- 
church at Basle, in front of the chon. The epitaph does 
not give the year of his death, simply styhng him a 
" septuagenarian." 





The Light Spreading— The Oberland in Darkness— The Gospel Invades the Mountains— League of the Five Cantons 
with Austria — Persecution Begun— Martyi-dom of Pastor Keyser — The Christian Co-burghery — The Breach 
among the Swiss Cantons Widening— Dean BulUnger — The Men of Gaster — Idols that won't March — Violence 
of the Popish Cantons— Effort of Zuricli to Avert War— The Attempt Abortive— War Proclaimed— Zwingle's Part 
in the Affair — Was it Justifiable ? 

It is a gi'cat crime to force an entrance for tlie 
truth by the sword, and comj^el unwilling necks to 
bow to it. It is not less a crime to bar its path 
by violence when it is seeking to come in by legiti- 
mate and peaceable means. This was the error into 
wliich the live primitive cantons of Switzerland now 
plunged. Their hardy inhabitants, as they looked 
do-\vn from under the overhanging glaciers and icy 
pinnacles of their gi-eat mountains, beheld the new 
faith spreading over the plains at their feet. It 
had established itself in Ziu'ich ; the haughty lords 
of Bern had welcomed it ; Schaff hausen and St. 
Gall had opened their gates to it ; and even Basle, 
that abode of scholars, had turned from Plato and 
Aristotle, to sit at the feet of apostles. Along the 
chain of the Jura, by the shores of the Leman, to 
the very gates of a city a.s yet immersed in darkness, 
but destined soon to become the brightest luminary 
in that brilliant constellation, was the light travel- 
ling. But the mountains of the Oberland, which 
are the fii-st to catch the natural day, and to flash 
tlieii" early fires all over Switzerland, were the last 
to be touched with the Reformed dawn now rising 
on Christendom. With the light brightening all 
round, they remained in the darkness. 

The herdsmen of these cantons saw with gi-ief 
and alarm the transformation which was passing 
upon their country. The glory was departing from 
it. They felt only horror as messenger after mes- 
senger ari'ived in their moinitains and told them 
what was transacting on the plains below ; that the 
altars at which their fathers had worshipped were 
being east down ; that the images to which they had 
bent the knee were being flung into the flames ; that 
priest and monk were being chased away ; that the 
light of holy taper was being extinguished, and that 
silence wius falling on those holy orisons whose melo- 
dies welcomed the mern and greeted the departure 
of the day ; that all tliose rites and customs, in 
short, which were wont to beautify and sanctify 
their land were being abolished, and a defiling and 
defiant heresy was rearing its front in their stead. 

■ The men of the Forest Cantons learned with yet 
greater indignation and dismay that this pestilent 

faith liad come to their very gates, and was knock- 
ing for admission. Nay, it was even penetrating 
into theii' grand valleys. This was not to be borne. 
They must make haste, for soon then- own altars 
would be overturned, their crucifixes trampled in 
the mire, and the light of their holy tapers extin- 
guished. They resolved to oppose the entrance of 
the Reformation as they would that of the plague ; 
but they could oppose it by the only means of 
resistance which they imderstood — the faggot and 
the sword. 

Then- alarm was intensified when they lesn-ned 
that Protestantism, performing a flank movement, 
was attacking them in the rear. It had crossed 
the Alps, and was planting itself in Italy. There 
was at that time (1530) a little band of Cai-melite 
monks in Locan'iio, on the fertile and lovely sliores 
of Lake Maggiore, who had come to the knowledge 
of a free salvation, and who, under the protection of 
Zurich, whose suzerainty then extended to that part 
of Italy, were labouring to initiate the Reformation 
of their native land. The men of the Five Cantons 
saw themselves about to be isolated, shut up in 
their mountains, cut ofi" even from Italy, the cradle 
of their faith. They could sit still no longer. 

But whither shall they turn 1 They could not 
wage war themselves against the Reformed cantons. 
These cantons were superior in men and money, and 
they could not hope to cope successfully vnth. tliem. 
They must seek other allies. By doing so they 
would break the league of brotherhood ■with the 
other cantons, for they had resigned the riglit of 
forming new alliances without the consent of all the 
other members of the Federation ; but they hoped 
to conduct the negotiations in secret. They tpiirned 
their eyes to Austria. This was the last quarter 
from whicli a Swiss canton might have been expected 
to seek help. Had they forgotten the grievous yoke 
that Aiistria had made them bear in other days I 
Had they forgotten tlie blood it cost their fathers 
to break that yoke? Were they now to throw 
away what they had fought for on the gory fields 
of Morgarten and Semjxich ? They were prepared 
to do this. Religious autijiathy overcame national 


hatred ; terror of Protestantism suapendetl tlieir 
dread of their traditional foe. Even Austria was 
astonished, and for awhile was in doubt of the 
good faith of the Five Cantons. They were in 
earnest, however, and the result was that a league 
was concluded, a,nd sworn to on both sides, the 23rd 
of April, 1529, at Waldshut.' The Switzer of 
Unterwaldeu and Uri mounted the peacock's 
feather, the Austrian badge, and grasped in friend- 
ship tlie hands of the men with whom his fathers 
had contended to the death. The leading engage- 
ment in the league was that all attempts at forming 
new sects in the Five Cantons should be punished 
with death, and that Austria shoidd give her aid, 
if need were, by sending the Five Cantons 6,000 
foot-soldiers, and 400 horse, -svith the proper com- 
plement of artillery. It was further agreed that, if 
the war should make it necessary, the Reformed 
cantons should be blockaded, and all provisions 
intercepted. - 

Finding Austria at theu- back, the men of the 
Five Cantons had now recourse, in order to defend 
the orthodoxy of their vaUeys, to very harsh mea- 
sures indeed. They began to fine, imprison, torture, 
and put to death the professors of the Reformed 
faith. On the 22nd May, 1529, Pastor Keyser 
was seized as he was proceeding to the scene of his 
next day's labour, which lay in the district between 
the lakes of Zurich and Wallenstadt, and carried to 
Schwitz. He was condemned ; and although the 
cities of Zurich and Glarus interceded for him, 
he was carried to the stake and burned. When 
he heard his sentence he fell a-weeping ; but 
soon he was so strengthened from above that 
he went joyfully to the stake, and praised the 
Lord Jesus in the midst of the flames for ac- 
counting him worthy of the honour of dying for 
the Gospel.^ 

Thus did the men of the mountains fling do\ra 
their defiance to the inhabitants of the plains. The 
latter had burned dead idols, the former re.sponded 
by burning living men. This was the first-fruits 
of the Austrian alliance. You must stop in your 
path, said Unterwalden to Zurich, you mvist set up 
the altars you have cast do%vn, recall the priests you 
have chased away, rekindle the tapers you have ex- 
tinguished, or take the penalty. The Forest Cantons 
were resolved to deal in this fashion, not only with 
all Protestants caught on their o-\vn territorj'-, 
but also with the heresy of the plains. They 
would carry the piu'ging sword to Zurich itself. 

' Kuchat, torn, ii., p. 103. 

- Christoffel, p. 235. BulKnger, Cliron., torn, ii., 
pp. 49—59. 
3 ChristoEfel, p. 420. 

They would smother the movement of which it was 
the centre iii the red ashes of its overthrow. 
Fiercer every day burned their bigotry. The 
priests of Rome and the pensionere of France and 
Italy were exciting the passions of the herdsmen. 
The clang of arms was resoimding through their 
moimtains. A new crusade was pi-eparing : in a 
little wliile an anny of fanatics would be seen de- 
scending the mountains, on the sanguinary but pious 
work of purging Zurich, Bern, and the other cantons 
fx'om the heresy into which they had 

Zwingle had long foreseen the crisis that had 
now arisen. He felt that the progress of the reli- 
gious Reform in his native land would eventually 
divide Switzerland into two camps. The decision 
of the Forest Cantons would, he felt, be given on the 
side of the old faith, to wliich their inhabitants were 
incurably wedded by their habits, their traditions, 
and theii- ignorance ; and they were likely, he 
foresaw, to defend it with the sword. In the pro- 
spect of such an emergency, he thought it but light 
to themselves and to theii' cause that the Refoiined 
cantons should form a league of self-defence. He 
proposed (1527) a Christian Co-bunjliery, in which 
all the professors «f the Reformed faith might be 
united in a new Reformed federation. The sug- 
gestion approved itself to the great body of his co- 
patriots. Constance was the first city to intimate 
its adhesion to the new state ; Bern, St. Gall, Mul- 
hausen, Basle, Schaflfhausen, and Strasburg followed 
in the order in which we have placed them. By 
the end of the year 1529 this new federation was 

Eveiy day multiplied the points of irritation 
between the Reformed and the Popish cantons. 
The wave of Reformed influence from Bern had not 
yet spent itself, and new towns and villages were 
from time to time proclaiming their adhesion to 
the Reformed faith. Each new conversion raised 
the alarm and animosity of the Five Cantons to a 
higher pitch of violence. In Bremgarten the grey- 
haired Dean Bullinger thus addressed his congrega- 
tion from the pulpit, February, 1529: "I your 
pastor have taught you these three-and-thirty 
years, walking in blind darkness, what I myself 
have learned from blmd guides. May God pardon 
my sin done in ignorance, and enlighten me by his 
gi-ace, so that henceforth I may lead the flock com- 
mitted to me into the pastures of his Word." The 
town council, which a year before had promised to 
the Five Cantons to keep the town in the old faith, 
deposed the dean from his oflice. Nevertheless, 
Bremgarten soon thereafter passed over to the side 
of Protestantism, and the dean's son, Henry Bul- 
linger, was called to fill his father's place, and 



proved an able preacher and courageous cliampion 
of the Reformed faith.' 

Tlie men of Gaster, a ilistrict which was under 
the joint jurisdiction of Popish Schwitz and Pro- 
testant Glanis, in carrjdng out their Reform, threw a 
touch of humour into theii- iconoclastic acts, which 
must have brought a gi-im smile upon tlie feces of 
the lierdsmen and warriors of tlie Oberland when 
told of it. Having removed all the images from 
their churches, in the presence of the deputies from 
Sciiwitz sent to prevail on them to abide in the old 
religion, they carried the idols to a point where 
four roads crossed. Setting them down on the 
higliway, " See," said they, addressing the idols, 
" this road leads to Sch%vitz, this to Glarus, this 
other to Zurich, and the fourth conducts to Coire. 
Take the one that seems good unto you. We will 
give you a safe-conduct to whatever place you wish. 
But if you do not move off we tell you that 
we will burn you." The idols, despite this plain 
warning, refused to mai-ch, and their former wor- 
shippers, now theii- haters, taking them up, threw 
them into the flames.- 

The deputies from Schwitz, who had been wit- 
nesses of the act, returned to tell how they had 
been aflronted. Schwitz haughtily commanded the 
men of Gaster to abandon the heresy they had 
embraced and re-establish the mass. They craved 
in reply to have their eri-or proved to them from 
the Holy Scriptures. To this the only answer was 
a threat of war. This menace made the Protestants 
of Gaster cast themselves for help on Zurich ; and 
that protection being accorded, matters became still 
more embroiled between Zurich and the Five 

These offences on the side of the Reformiiig can- 
tons were altogether unavoidable, unless at the 
expense of suppressing the Reform movement. Not 
so the acts in which the Popish cantons indulged 
by way of retaliation : these were wholly gratuitous 
and peculiarly envenomed. Thomas Murner, the 
ribald monk, whom we have already met at Bern, 
laboured zealously, and but too successfully, to 
widen the breach and precipitate the war in which 
so much blood was to be shed. He published 
daily in his "Black Calendar" lampoons, satires, 
and caricatures of the Protestants. A master of 
what is now known as " Billingsgate," he spared no 
abusive epithet in blackening the men and malign- 
ing their cause. The frontispiece that garnished 
his "Calendar" represented Zwingle suspended 
from a gallows ; underneath which were the words, 

' Christoffel, p. 413. 

- Kuchat, torn, ii., p. 107. 

" Calendar of the Lutheran-Evangelical Church 
Robbers and Heretics." The followers of the 
Reformation were compendiously classified in the 
same elegant publication as " impotent unprincipled 
villains, thieves, lick-spittles, da.stards, and knaves;" 
and he proposed that they should be disposed of in 
the follo%ving summary fashion, even " burned and 
sent in smoke to the devil."^ These in.sults and 
ribaldries, instead of beuig discouraged, were hailed 
by the Five Cantons and widely diti'used, althougli 
in so doing lhey were manifestly scattering "lire- 
brands, arrows, and death." 

Zurich and the Reformed cantons saw war at no 
great distance, nevertheless they resolved to make 
another etlbrt to avert it. In a Diet (21st April, 
1529) held in Zurich, without the Five Cantons, 
it was resolved to call on these cantons to with- 
draw from their league with Austria, to cease 
murdering the Reformed pastors, and to silence the 
shameful vituperations of Murner. They appointed 
further an embassage to proceed to these cantons, 
and entreat them not to violate the federal compact. 
The deputies as they went the round of the Five 
Cantons with the olive-branch were only scoffed at. 
" No preaching !" shouted the men of Zug. "We 
wish the new faith eternally buried," said those of 
Uri. " Your seditious parsons," said Lucerne, 
" undermine the faith as erst in Paradise the seipent 
swung his folds round Adam and Eve. We v\ill 
presei've our children, and our children's children, 
from such poison." " We," said they in Unter- 
walden, " and the other Wald towns, are the true 
old confederates, the real Swiss." As he was leav- 
ing the place the deputy saw on the house of the 
town-clerk a gallows painted, on which the arms 
of Zurich, Bern, Basle, and Strasburg were sus- 
pended. At Schwitz only did the council admit 
the ambassadoi-s to an audience.'' Thus the prof- 
fered conciliation of their brethren was rudely and 
arrogantly put away by the Five Cantons. Every- 
where the Reformed deputies were insulted and 
sent back. 

It was ev-ident that the Popish cantons were bent 
on quarrelling. But we shall mistake if we suppose 
that they were animated by a chiv'alrous and high- 
minded attachment to the faith of their fathers. 
A greed of the foreign pensions, quite as much as 
devotion to the " Holy Father," swayed them in 
adopting this course. Tlie deterioration of manners 
consequent on the foreign sei-vice was ■visible in 
every part of Switzerland, in Zurich as well as 
Unterwalden ; but it was in the Five Cantons that 

3 rhristoEfel, p. 233. 

* Ruchat, tom. ii., pp. 109, 110. Christoffel, p. 41G. 



this coiTiiption was the deepest, because these were 
the cantons most addicted to this disgraceful warfere. 
The preaching of the Gospel revealed the evils and 
iniquities of this practice, and threatened to put an 
end to it, and of course to the gold that flowed from 
it; hence the fierce hostility of the men of the 
Oberland to the Reformation.' Not only their 
idols and alta-rs, but their piu'ses also were at stake. 

The patience of the Reformed cantons was well- 
nigh exhausted. There was no end of insults, pro- 
vocations, and lampoons. The maltreatment and 
murder of their brethren in the faith, the retm-n 
of their deputies shamefully used, and now the 
burning pile of Keyser — here was enough to fill 
lip the cup. Zwingle thought that, the question 
of religion apart, the public order demanded that 
these outrages should be stopped. He was told, 
moreover, that the mountaineers were arming, that 
the Austrian auxiliaries on the frontier were enlist- 
ing soldiers, that war wa.s determined on the Popish 
side, and that it would be wise in the interests of 
peace to strike the first blow. Let us, said Zwingle, 
attack the Five Cantons on several points at once. 
Let us convince them that resistance is useless. 
Our present peace is only war, with this difierence, 
that it is the blood of one side only that is being 
spilt. Our war will be peace. Zwingle hoped thus 
the campaign would be bloodless. The CouncU of 
Zurich on the 3rd of June resolved on war, pi'o- 
claiming it in the first instance against Scliwitz." 

The Reformer's conduct in this aff'au- has been 
much criticised. Some historians of gi'eat name 
have blamed him, others have not less warmly 
defended liim. Let us look a little at what he did, 
and the reasons that appear to justify and even 
necessitate tlie line of action he adopted. While 
taking a leading part in the afiairs of the State at 
this crisis, he continued to labour as indefatigably 
as ever in preaching and writing. He sought, in 
doing what he now did, simply to take such means 
as men in all ages of the woi'ld, and in all stages of 
society, guided by the light of reason and the laws 
wliich the Creator has implanted in the race, have 
taken to defend their lives and liberties. The 
members of that Confederation were Christians, 
but they were also citizens. Christianity did not 
annOiilate, it did not even abridge the privileges 
and powers of their citizenship. If while they 

' Tlie deterioratiriij influence of tlie fox-eign service was 
felt in Germany, thoufth in less degree than in Switzer- 
land. Morals, patriotism, and public order it under- 
mined. We find the German States complaining to 
Maximilian II. that the mercenaries on returning from 
foreign service were guilty of the greatest enormities. 

■- Euchat, torn, ii., pp. 113, lU. Christoffel, p. 420. 

were Romanists they had the right to defend their 
lives, their homes, and their possessions against all 
assailants, whether within or without Switzerlaud ; 
and if, further, they had the right of protectuig 
their fellow-citizens who, guilty of no crime, had 
been seized, and in violation of inter-cantonal law 
were tlireatened with a cruel death, surely they 
retained the same rights as professors of the Re- 
fonned faith. But it may be said — nay, it luis been 
said — that it was Chui'ch federation and not State 
federation that ought to have been had recourse to. 
But at that time the State and the Church were 
inextricably mingled in Switzerland : their separate 
action was not at that moment possible ; and, even 
though it had been possible, pure Church action 
would not have met the case ; it would have been 
tantamount to no action. The Forest Cantons, 
impelled by their bigotry and supported by Austria, 
would have fallen sword in hand upon the profes- 
sora of the Gospel in Helvetia and rooted them 

Besides, does not the Gospel by its Divine eflicacy 
rear around it, sooner or later, a vast number of 
powerful and valuable forces '? It nomishes art, 
plants courage, and kindles the love of liberty. 
For what end 1 For this among others, to be, 
under the providence of God, a defence around 
itself When Christians are utterly witliout 
human succour and resource, they are called to 
display theii- faith by relying wholly on God, who, 
if it is his purpose to deliver them, well knows 
how to do so. Then their faith has in it reason as 
well as sublimity. But if means are laid to their 
hand, and they forbear to use them, on the plea 
tliat they are honouring God by showng their trust 
in him, they are not trusting but tempting God, 
and instead of exercising faith are dLsplaying lana- 

Zwingle, it has l:)een further said, was a pastor, 
and the call to combine and stand to the defence 
of their liberties now addressed to the Reformed 
cantons ought to have come from another than 
him. But Zwingle was a citizen and a patriot, 
as well as a pastor. His wonderfully penetrating, 
comprehensive, and forecasting intellect made him 
the first politician of his country ; he could read 
the policy of its enemies better than any other ; 
he had penetrated their purposes ; he saw the 
dangers that were gathering round the Reformed 
cantons ; and his sagacity and experience taught 
him the measures to be adopted. No other man in 
all Switzerland knew the matter half so well. Was 
he to stand aloof and withhold tlie counsel, the sug- 
gestion, the earnest exhortation to action, and h t 
his country be overwhelmed, on the plea that 



because he was in sacred office it did not become 
him to interfere 1 Zwingle took a different view 
of his duty, and we think justly. When the 
crisis came, without in the least intermitting his 
zeal and laboui-s as a minister, he attended the 
meetings of council, he gave his a<:lvice, he drew 
plans, he thundered in the pulpit, he placed even 
his military experience acquired in Italy at the 
service of his countrymen ; combining, in short, the 
politician, patriot, and pastor all in one, he strove 
to kindle the same ardent flame of patriotism in 
the heai-ts of his fellow-citizens that burned so 
strongly in liis own, and to roll back the invasion 
wliich threatened all that was of value in the Swiss 

Confederation with destruction. The comliination 
was an unusual one, we admit, but the times and 
the emergency were also unusual That Zwingle 
may have always preserved the golden mean when 
the parts he had to act were so vai'ious, and the 
circumstances so exciting, we are not prepared to 
maintain. But we do not see how his policy in the 
main can be impugned, without laying do^vn the 
maxim that only when civil liberty is at stake is it 
right to have recoui-se to arms, and that when the 
higher interests of faith and religious liberty are 
mixed up with the quarrel we are bound to do 
nothing — to stand unarmed and inactive in the 
presence of the enemy. 



Zurich Girds on the Sword— Mustering in the Popish Cantons— 4,000 "Warriors March from Zurich— Encamp 
at Kappel— Halt— Negotiations— Peaee— Zwingle Dislikes it— Zwingle's Labours— His Daily Life— His Dress, &e.— 
Arrangement of his Time— His Occupations-Amusements- Writings. 

FiEST came the startling news to theSwiss Reformers 
that the Five Cantons had sti-uck a league with 
Austria. Next came the flash of Keyser's martyr- 
dom. This was succeeded by the clang of military 
preparations. Zurich saw there was not a moment 
to be lost. The council of the canton met ; it was 
resolved to support religious liberty, and put a stop 
to the beheadings and burnings which the Popish 
cantons had commenced. But to carry out this 
resolution they must gird en the sword. Zurich 
declared war.' 

From Zug sounded forth the summons to arms 
on the other side. There was a mustering of 
warriors from all the valleys and mountains aroimd. 
From the rich meadows of Uri, which the foot- 
steps of Tell had made for ever historic ; from that 
lovely strand where rise the ramparts of Lucerne, 
reflected on its noble lake, and shaded by the dark 
form of the cloud-capped Pilatus ; from those valleys 
of Unterwalden, whose echoes are awakened by the 
aV'alanches of the Jungfrau ; from the grassy plains 
of Schwitz on the east, armed men poured forth 
prepared to tight for the faith of their fathers, and 
to quench in blood the new religion which Z'Nvingle 
and Zurich had introduced, and which was spread- 
ing like an infection over their country. The 

' Sleidan, bk. vi., p. 120. 

place of rendezvous was the deep valley where the 
waters of Zug, defended all round by mighty moun- 
tains, and covered by their .shadows, lie so still and 
sluggish in their bed. 

On the 9th of June, 4,000 picked soldiers, fully 
armed, and well furnished with artillery and pro- 
visions, under the command of Captain George 
Berguer, with Conrad Schmidt, Pastor of Kuss- 
nacht, as their chaplain, issued from the gates of 
Zurich, and set out to meet the foe.- The walls 
and towers were crowded with old men and women 
to -svitness their departure. Among them rode 
Zwingle, his halberd across his shoulder,^ the same, 
it is said, he had carried at Marignano. Anna, his 
wife, watched him from the ramparts as he rode 
slowly away. Crossing the Albis Alp, the army of 
Zurich encamjjed at Kappel, near tlie frontier of the 
canton of Zug. 

It was nine of the evening when the Zurich 
warriors encamped at Kappel. Next morning, 
the 10th of June, they sent a herald at day- 
break with a declaration of war to the army of the 

" Kuchat, torn, ii., pp. 114, 115. Christoffel, p. 421. 

3 The Swiss field-chaplains carried a weapon on service 
up till the most recent time. Zwingle's halberd, which 
he had already used in the battle of Marignano, had no 
other significance than the later side-weapon of the field- 
preacher. (Christoffel, p. 421.) 



Five Cantons assembled at Zug. The message filled 
the little town with consternation. The sudden 
inarch of the Zurich army had taken it unawares 
and found it unprepared ; its armed allies were not 
yet arrived ; the women screamed ; the men ran to 
and fro collecting what weapons they could, and 
dispatching messengers in hot haste to theii- Con- 
federates for assistance. 

In the camp of the Zurichers preparations were 
making to follow the herald who had carried the 
proclamation of hostilities to Zug. Had they gone 
forward the enemy must have come to terms with- 
out striking a blow. The van-guard of the 
Zurichers, marshalled by its commander William 
Toenig, was on the point of crossing the frontier. 
At that moment a horseman was observed spurring 
his steed uphill, and coming towards them with all 
the speed he could. It was Landamman Qibli of 
Glarus. " Halt !" he cried, " I oome from our Con- 
federates. They are armed, but they are willing 
to negotiate. I beg a few hours' delay in hopes that 
an honourable peace may be made. Dear lords of 
Zurich, for God's sake prevent the shedding of 
blood, and the ruin of the Confederacy." The march 
of the Zurich w^arriors was suspended.' 

Landamman Q^bli was the friend of Z^vingle. 
He was knowTi to be an honourable man, well dis- 
posed towards the Gospel, and an enemy of the 
foreign service. All hailed his embassy as a fore- 
runner of peace. Zwingle alone suspected a snake 
in the grass. He saw tlie campaign about to end 
without the loss of a single life ; but this halt in- 
spii'ed him with melancholy and a presentiment of 
evil. As CEbli was turning round to return to 
Zug, Zwingle went up to him, and earnestly 
whispered into his ear the following words, " God- 
son Amman,- you will have to answer to God for 
this mediation. The enemy is in our power, and 
unarmed, therefore they give us fair words. You 
believe them and you mediate. Afterwards, when 
they are armed, they will fall upon us, and there 
will be none to mediate." " My dear godfather," 
replied QEbli, " let us act for the best, and trust in 
God that all will be well." So saying he rode 

In this new position of aflairs, messengers were 
dispatched to Zurich for instructions, or rather ad- 
vice, for it was a maxim in the policy of that can- 
ton that " wherever the banner waves, there is 
Zurich." Meanwhile the tents of the soldiers were 
spread on the hill-side, within a few paces of the 
sentinels of the Five Cantons. Every day a sermon 

' ChristofEel, p. 423. Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 115. 
- While Pastor of rilarns, Zwiuglo liad become Godfather 
of the Landamman. 

was preached in the army, and prayers were offered 
at meals. Disorderly women, who followed the 
armies of that age in shoals, were sent away as soon 
as they appeared. Not an oath was heard. Cards 
and dice were not needed to beguile the time. 
Psalms, national hymns, and athletic exercises 
filled up the hours among the soldiers of the two 
armies. Animosity against one another expii-ed 
with the halt. Going to the lines they chatted 
together, ate together, and, forgetting theii' quarrel, 
remembered only that they were Swiss. Zwingle 
sat alone in his tent, oppressed by a foreboding of 
evil. Not that he wished to shed a drop of blood ; 
it was his eagerness to escape that dire necessity 
that made him grudge the days now passing idly 
by. All had gone as he anticipated up till this 
fatal halt. Austria was too seriously occupied with 
the Turks to aid the Popish cantons just at this 
moment; and had the answer sent back by Lan- 
damman CEbli been the unconditional acceptance 
of the terms of Zurich or battle, it was not to 
be doubted that the Five Cantons would have pre- 
ferred the former. The opportunity now passing 
was not likely to return ; and a heavy price would 
be exacted at a future day for the indolence of the 
present hour. 

After a fortnight's negotiations between Zurich 
and the Five Cantons, a peace was patched up.' It 
was agi'eed that the Forest Cantons should aban- 
don their alliance with Austria, that they should 
guarantee religious liberty to the extent of pei'- 
mitting the common parishes to decide by a 
majority of votes which religion they would pi'ofess, 
and that they should pay the expenses of the war. 
The warriors on both sides now struck theii- en- 
campments and returned home, the Zurichers elate, 
the Romanists gloomy and sullen. The peace was 
in favour of Protestantism. But would it be 
lasting 'i This was the question that Zwingle had 
put to himself When the army re-entered Zurich, 
he was observed, amid the acclamations that re- 
sounded on every side, to be depressed and melan- 
choly. He felt that a golden opportimity had been 
lost of effectually curbing the bigotry and breaking 
the power of the Popish cantons, and that the peace 
had been conceded only to lull them asleep till their 
opponents were better prepared, when they woidd 
fall upon them and extinguish the Reform in 
blood. These presentiments were but too surely 

Tliis peace was due to the energy and j)atriotism 
of Zurich. Bern had contributed nothing to it ; 

' The treaty was signed on the 26th of June, 1529, and 
consisted of seventeen articles. Their subatanco is given 
by Rnchat, torn, ii., pp. 116—121. 



lier warrioi-s, who had often gone forth on a less 
noble quarrel, abode within their walls, when the 
men of Zurich were encamped on the slopes of the 
Albis, in presence of the foe. This want of firm 
union was, we apprehend, the main cause of the 
disastrous issue of Zwingle's plan. Had the four 
Reformed cantons — Basle, Zurich, Bern, and St. 
Gall — stood shoxdder to shoulder, and presented 
an unbroken front, the Romanists of the mountains 
would hardly have dared to attack them. Di\ision 
invited the blow under which Reformed Switzer- 
land sank for awhile. 

The Reformer of Zurich is as yet only in mid-life, 
taking the " three-score and ten " as our scale of 
reckoning, but already it begins to draw toward 
evening with him. The shadows of that violent 
death with which his career was to close, begin to 
•gather round him. We shall pause, therefore, and 
look at the man as we see him, in the circle of his 
family, or at work in his study. He is dressed, as 
we should expect, with ancient S\viss simplicity. 
He wears the wide coat of the canon, and on his 
head is the priest's hat, or " bai'etta." The kind- 
ness of his heart and the coTu-age of his soul shine 
out and light up his face with the radiance of 
cheerfulness. Numerous visitors, of all conditions, 
and on various errands, knock at his dooi-, and are 
admitted into his presence. Now it is a bookseller, 
who comes to importune him to write something 
for an approaching book-fair ; now it is a priest, 
who has been harshly used by his bishop, who 
craves his advice ; now it is a brother pastor, who 
comes to ask help or sympathy ; now it is a citizen 
or councillor, a friend from the country, who wishes 
to consult him on State afl'airs, or on private busi- 
ness. He receives all with genuine affability, 
listens with patience, and gives his answers in a 
few wise words. Sometimes, indeed, a sudden 
frown darkens liis brow, and the lightning of his 
eye flashes forth, b\it it is at the discoverj' ot 
meanness or hypoerisy. The storm, howevei-, soon 
passes, and the light of an inward serenity and 
truthfulness again shines out and brightens his 
features. Towards well-meaning ignoi'ance he is 
compassionate and tender. 

In regard to his meals, his fare is simjile. 
The dainties of his youth are the dainties of his 
manhood. Li-^ing in a city, with its luxuries at 
command, and sitting often at the table of its rich 
burghers, he prefers the milk and cheese which 
fonmed the staple of his diet when he lived among 
the shepherds of the Tockenburg. As to his 
pleasures they are not such as have a sting in them ; 
they are those that delight the longest because the 
most natural and simple. His leisure — it is not 

much — is spent in the society of his accomplished 
and high-souled wfe, in the education of his 
children, in conversation with his friends, and in 
music. In his college-days how often, as we have 
already seen, in company of his friend Leo Juda, 
did he awake the echoes of the valleys beside the 
romantic Basle with his voice or instrument ! On 
the tamer shores of the Zurcher-See, he continued 
to cultivate the gift, as time served, with all the 
passion of an artist. 

He is very methodical in liis habits. His time 
is wisely divided, and none of it is frittered away 
by desultoriness or unpunctualit}'. Both in body 
and mind he is eminently healthy. Luther had 
even more than the joyous disposition of Zwingle, 
but not his robustness and almost uninterrupted 
good health. The Doctor of Wittemberg com- 
plained that " Satan tilted through liis head," and 
at times, for weeks together, he was unable to work 
or -i^Tite. Cfalviu was still more sickly. His " ten 
maladies " wore away his strength ; but they had 
power over the body only ; the spirit they did not 
approach to ruffle or weaken, and we .stand amazed 
at the magnificence of the labours achieved in a 
frame so fragile and worn. But it was not so with 
the Reformer of Zmich ; he suffered loss neither 
of time nor of power from ill-health ; and this, 
together with the skilful distribution of his time, 
enabled him to get through the manifold labours 
that were imposed upon him. 

He rose early. The hours of morning he spent 
in prayer and the study of the Scriptures. At 
eight o'clock he repaired to the cathedral to preach, 
or to give the " Prophesying," or to the Professorial 
Hall, to deliver an exegesis from the Old and New 
Testaments alternately. At eleven he dined. After 
dinner, intermitting his labours, he spent the time 
in conversing vntli his family, or in receiving visi- 
tors, or walking in the open air. At two o'clock 
he resumed work, often devoting the afternoon to 
the study of the gi-eat wiiters and orators of Greece 
and Rome. Not till after supper does he again 
grant himself a respite from labour in the society 
of his family or friends. " Sometimes," says Chris- 
toffel, " he sups in those medireval society-houses 
or guild-rooms — as they still exist in many of the 
Swiss towns — in the company of his colleagues, the 
membei-s of the council, and other respectable and 
enlightened friends of evangelical tnith. The latel 
hours of the evening, and even a part of the night 
itself, he employs in -s^aiting his many letters." If 
business is pressing, he can dispense with his night's 
rest. During the disputation at Baden, as we have 
seen, he received each night letters from CEcolam- 
padius. He sat uj) all night to ^^-rite his ;iiiswer, 



which liacl to be sent off before morning ; and this 
contimied all the while the conference was in 
session, so that, as Zwingle liimself tells us, he was 
not in bud all the time — that is, six weeks. But, 
as Bullinger infonns us, on other occasions he could 
take the necessary amount of sleep. Thus, with 

He complained that the many demands on his 
time did not leave him leisure to elaborate and 
jjolish his productions. The storms and emergencies 
of his day compelled liim to write, but did not leave 
him time to revise. Hence he is diffuse after an 
unusual manner : not in style, which has the terse 

tlie careful distiibution and economy of his time, 
combined with an iron constitution and a clear and 
powerful intellect, he was able to master the almost 
overwhelming amount of work which the Reforma- 
tion laid upon him.' 

' These details respecting the daily life and liabits of 
the Reformer of Zurich have been collected by Christoffel. 
" They are taken,' ' he tells us, " from accounts, thoroughly 
consistent with themselves, of several of his friends and 
acquaintances, Myeonius, Bullinger, and Bemhard 
Weiss. Myeonius says, in addition, that he always 
studied and worked stinding." (Christoffel, pp. 37.3, 374.) 

vigour of the ancients ; nor in thinking, which is 
at once clear and profound ; but in a too great 
affluence of ideas. He modestly spoke of what 
came from his pen as sketches rather than houks. 
Scripture he interpreted by Scripture, and thus, in 
addition to a naturally penetrating intellect, he 
enjoyed eminently the teaching of the Spirit, which 
is given through the AVord. Zwingle sought in 
converse with liis friends to improve his heart ; he 
read the great works of antiquity to strengthen liis 
intellect and refine his taste ; he studied the Bible 



to nourish his piety and enlarge his knowledge of 
Divine truth. But a higher means of improvement 
did he employ — converee with God. " He strongly 
recommended prayer," says Bullinger, " and he him- 
self prayed much daily." In this he re.sembled 

Luther and Calvin and all the gi-eat Reformers. 
What distinguished them from their fellows, even 
more than their great talents, was a certain serenity 
of soul, and a certain grandeur and strength of 
faith, and this they owed to prayer. 



Another Storm brewing in tlie Oberland— Protestantism still spreading in Switzerland— A Second Crisis— Zwingle 
proposes a European Christian Eepublic— Negotiates with the German Towns, the King of France, and the 
Republic of Venice— Philip of Hesse to be put at the Head of it— Correspondence between Pliilip and Zwingle — 
League for Defence of Civil Eights only— Zwingle's Labours for the Autonomy of the Helvetian Church. 

The jJeace which negotiation liad given Zurich, 
Zwingle felt, would be short, but it was i)rccious 
whUe it lasted, and he redoubled his efforts to turn 
it to account. He strove to carry the sword of the 
Spirit into those great mountains whose dwellers 
had descended upon them -witli the sword of the 
60 — VOL. n. 

warrior, for he despaired of the unity and indepen- 
dence of his country but througli the Gospel. His 
labours resulted, diu-ing this brief space, in many 
victories for the faith. At Schaffliausen fell the 
" gi-eat god," namely, the mass. The Eeformation 
was consummated iir Glarus, in the AppenzcU, and 



introduced into pai-te of Switzerland which had re- 
mained till now under the yoke of Rome. So much 
for the freedom of conscience guaranteed by the 
{jeace of Kappel. Every day, as the men of the 
Forest Cantons looked from their lofty snow-clad 
summits, they heheld the sjTnbols of the Roman 
faith vanishing from the plains beneath them ; con- 
vents deserted, the abolished, and -vnllage 
after village meeting, discussing, and by vote 
adopting the Protestant worehip. As yet they had 
been able to maintain the purity of theii- mountains, 
thanks to the darkness and the foreign gold, but 
they were beginning to be defiled by the feet of the 
Protestants, and how soon their stronghold might 
be conquered, and the flag of the Gospel unfurled 
where the banner of Rome had so long and so 
proudly waved, they could not tell. A Popish his- 
torian of the time, describing the acti\'ity of Z%vingle 
and his fellow-labourei-s, says : " A set of wi-etched 
disturbei-s of the peace bui-st into the Five Cantons, 
and murdered souls by spreading abroad their songs, 
tracts, and little Testaments, telling the people they 
might learn the truth itself from these, and one did 
not require any morQ to believe what the priests 
said." ' WhUe they were bamng then- gates in 
front, suddenly, as we have already said. Pro- 
testantism appeared in their rear. A shout came 
up from the Ifcilian plains that the Gospel had 
entered that land, and that Rome had begun to faU. 
This brought on a second crisis. 

We are approaching the cata.strophe. Zwingle, 
meditating day and night how he might advance 
the Reformation and overthrow that ten-ible power 
which had held the nations so long in bondage, had 
begun to revolve mighty plans. His eye i-anged 
over all Christendom ; his glance peneti'ated evei-y- 
thing ; his comprehensive and organising mind, 
enlarged by the crisis through which Chi-istendom 
w-as passing, felt equal to the task of forming and 
directing the grandest projects. He had already 
instituted a Christian co-burghery in Switzerland 
to hold in check tlie Popish cantons ; this idea he 
attempted to cari-y out on a gi-ander scale by ex- 
tending it to the whole of Refonned Christendom. 
Why should not, he said, all the Protestant States 
and nations of Europe unite in a holy confederation 
for fnistrating the plans which the Pope and 
Charles V. are now concocting for the violent sup- 
pression of the Refonnation 1 It was at this time 
that he visited Marburg, where he met Philip of 
Hesse, between whom and himself there existed a 
great harmony of view on the point in question. 
Both felt that it was the duty of the Protestant 

1 ChriBtoffel, p. 4.33, 

States to put forth theii- political and military 
strength in the way of repelling force by force. 
They meditiited the forming of a gi-eat Christian 
republic, embracing the Reformed Swiss cantons, 
the free cities of Southern Germany, and the Pro- 
te.stant Saxon States in Central and Xorthem Ger- 
many. Zwingle even turned his eyes to Venice, 
where a Protestant movement of a promising kind 
had recently presented itself. He sent an amba.s- 
sador to the repiiblic, who came back with a 
secret assurance of aid in case of need. The Re- 
former was not without hope of enlisting France in 
the league. Overtures to that effect had in fact 
been made by Francis I., who seemed not unwilling 
to leave the path of violence on which he had 
entered, and take under his wing the Refonnation 
of his countiy. This Protestant aUianoe was meant 
to extend from the Adriatic to the German Ocean, 
foi-ming a Protestant power in Central Euroj)© 
sufficient to jjrotect conscience and the free preach- 
ing of the Gospel. This display of strength, Z-\\'ingIe 
believed, woidd hold in check the emperor and the 
Pope, would be a rampart around the preachei-s and 
professore of the Protestant faith, and woidd pre- 
vent an Iliad of woes which he saw approacliing to 
Christendom. The project was a colossal one. 

At the head of this Prote.stant republic Zwingle 
projjosed to place Philip the Magnanimous. Among 
the pi-inces of that age he could hardly have made 
a better choice. It is probable that Zwingle com- 
municated the project to him in his own Castle of 
Marburg, when attending the conference held in 
the autumn of that year (October, 1.529) on the 
qiiestion of the Lord's Supper. The ardent mind of 
Philip w-ould be set on fii-e by the proposal. He 
had in fact attempted to foiin a .similar league of 
defence among the Reformed princes and cities of 
Gennany. He had fretted imder the restraints 
which Luther had imposed iipon him ; for ever as 
his hand touched his sword's hOt, to imsheathe it in 
defence of the friends of the Gospel, came the stern 
voice of the Refonner commanding him to forbear. 
He had been deeply mortified by the refusal of the 
Lutherans to unite with the Zwinglians, because it 
left them disunited in presence of that tremendous 
combination of force that was mustering on all sides 
against them. Now came the same thing in another 
foi-m ; for this new defensive alliance promised to 
gain all the ends he sought so far as these were 
political. Switzerland and South Germany it woidd 
unite ; and he hoped, indeed he imdertook, to in- 
duce the pi-inces and States of North Germany also 
to accede to the league ; and thus what time the 
emperor crossed the Alps with his legions — and he 
was now on his way northward, ha\T[ng shaken 



hands ■nitli the Pope over the proposed extermiiia- 
tion of LutheranLsm — he would find such a reception 
as would make him fain again to retreat aci'oss the 

Zwingle's journey to Mai'burg had been of signal 
importance to him in this respect. He had cor- 
rectly divined the secret policy of the emperor, but 
at Strasbiu-g he had obtained information which had 
given him a yet surer and deejjer insight into the 
designs of Chai-les. His informant was the town 
sheiiflF, James Sturm, a far-seeing statesman, de- 
voted to the Reformed cause, and enjoying the 
friendship of many men of influence and position 
in Germany and France. Through them Sturm 
came into possession of important documents dis- 
closing the emperor's plans against the Eeformei-s. 
Zwingle forwarded copies of these to the secret 
council of Zui-ich, with the remark, " These are 
from the right works/iop." 

The substance of these documents is probably 
contained in the statements which Zwingle made 
to those statesmen who had his confidence. " The 
emperor," said he, " stirs up friend against fiiend, 
and enemy against enemy, in order to force himself 
between them as mediator, and then he decides 
with a partiality that leans to the interests of the 
Papacy and his ovnx power. To kindle a war in 
Germany he excites the Castellan of Musso ' against 
the Grisons, the Bishops of Constance and Strasburg 
against the cities of Constance and Strasburg, Duke 
George of Saxony against John, Elector of Saxony ; 
the Bishops of the Ehine against the Landgrave of 
Hesse ; the Duke of Savoy against Bern, and the 
Five Cantons against Zurich. Everywhere he makes 
division and discord. When the confusion has 
come to a head and all things are ripe he will march 
in with his Spaniards, and befooling one pai-ty with 
fafr words, and falling upon the other with the 
sword, he will continue to strike till he has reduced 
all under his yoke. Alas ! what an overthrow 
awaits GeiTuany and all of us under pretence of 
upholding the Empire and re-e.stablishing religion." - 

After his return from Marburg, Zwingle corre- 
sponded with the landgi-ave on this gi-eat project. 
" Gracious piince," wrote he on the 2nd of November, 
1529, " if I wi-ite to your Grace, as a cliild to a 
father, it is because of the confidence I have that 

' James von Medicis, a foolhardy adventurer, had 
seized on the Castle of Musso, at the entrance of the 
Yeltelin, and thence harassed the inhabitants of the 
Grisons, the majority of whom had embraced Protestant- 
ism. His violent deeds are believed to have been prompted 
by the emperor, who sent him 900 Spanish soldiers, and 
the title of Margrave. (Christoffel.) 

= Zwingle, Epp., ii.. p. 429. Christoffel, pp. 404, 405. 
D'Aubigne, bk. rvi., chap. 4. 

God has chosen you for great events, which I dare 
not utter. . . . We must beD the cat at last."' To 
which the landgrave answered, " Dear Mr. Hul- 
dreich, I hope thi-ough the pro%-idence of God a 
feather wOl fall fi-om Pharaoh,* and that he will 
meet with what he little expects ; for all things are 
in the way of improvement. God is wonderfuL 
Let this matter touching Phai-aoh remain a secret 
with you till the time anives."^ 

Like a thunder-cloud charged with fire, the 
emperor was neaiing Germany, to hold the long- 
announced Diet of Augsbui'g. The Reformer's 
corn-age rose with the approach of dangei\ The 
son of the Tockenbuig shepherd, the pastor of a 
little town, dared to step forth and set the battle in 
array against this Goliath, the master of so many 
kingdoms. " Only base cowards or traitors," he 
wrote to CouncUlor Conrad Zwick of Constance, 
" can look on and yawn, when we ought to be 
straining every nerve to collect men and arms from 
every quarter to make the emperor feel that in 
vain he strives to establish Rome's supremacj', to 
destroy the pri^-ileges of the free towns, and to 
coerce us in Helvetia. Awake, Lindau ! Arouse, 
ye neighbour cities, and play the men for your 
hearths and altars ! He is a fool who trusts to the 
friendship of tyrants. Even Demosthenes teaches 
us that nothing is so hatefid in theii' eyes as the 
freedom of cities. The emperor with one hand ofiers 
us bread, but in the other he conceals a stone." "^ 

Had the object aimed at been the compeUing of 
the Romanists to abandon their faith or desist from 
the practice of its rites, Zwingle's project would 
have been supremely execrable ; but the Reformer 
did not for a moment dream of such a thing. He 
never lost sight of the great fact, that by the preach- 
ing of the Gospel alone can men be enlightened and 
converted. But he did not see why States, to the 
extent to which God had given them the power, 
.shoidd not resist those treacherous and bloody plots 
which were being hatched for the destruction of 
their faith and Uterties. Luther disapproved of this 
policy entirely. Christians, he said, ought not to 
resist the emperor, and if he requii-es them to 
die they are to yield up theii- lives. It was by 
the stake of the martyi- and not by the sword of 
the State, he never ceased to remind men, that the 
Gfospel was to triumph. Luther, reared in a convent 

3 Zwingle, Epp., ii., p. 666. Christoffel, p. 407. 

■• The name for the emperor in the correspondence be- 
tween the landgrave and Zwingle. This correspondence 
was carried on in cipher, which was often changed, the 
better to preserve the secret. 

5 Christoffel. p. 407. 

^ Zwingle, Epp., Mai-ch, 1530. 


iind trained in habits of submission to authority, 
■was to a much greater extent than Zwingle a man 
of the past. Zwingle, on the other hand, born in a 
republic, with all the elements and asjrtrations of 
constitutional liberty stirring in his breast, was a 
man of the present. Hence the different policies of 
these two men. It is impossible to say to what 
extent the atrocities that darkened the following 
years would have been prevented, had Zwingle's 
plan been universally acted iipon. But the time 
for it was not yet come ; and the Great Ruler by 
willing it otherwise has thrown a moral grandeur 
arovmd the Reformation, which could not have 
belonged to it had its weapons been less spiritual 
and its trimnph less holy. 

In the midst of these negotiations for banding 
the Protestants in a great European confederacy 

for the defence of their ci\il and religious liljcrtics, 
Zwingle did not for a moment abate his labours as a 
piustor. The consolidation of the Gospel in S%vitzcr- 
land must be the basis of all his operations. In 
1.530 he held synods in various parts of the country. 
At these measures were adopted for perfecting the 
autonomy of the Church : the ministere were ex- 
amined ; incapable and scandalous pastors were 
removed ; superintendents to watch over morals 
and administer discipline were appointed ; and 
arrangements set on foot for giving a competent 
salary to every minister. In February, 1531, it 
was agreed that whenever any difficulty should 
arise in doctrine or discipline an assembly of di\'ines 
and laymen should be convoked, which should 
examine what the Word of God says on the matter, 
and decide accordingly.- 



Persecution renewed by the Five Cantons— Activity of Zwingle— Address of the Reformed Pastors— Bern proposes 
Blockade of the Five Cantons — Zwingle Opposed — No Bread, &c. — Zwingle asks his Dismissal— Consents to 
Kemain— Meeting at Bremgarten — The Comet — Alarming Portents— Zwingle's Earnest Warnings— Unheeded. 

Every step of the Gospel nearer their mountains 
made the men of the Five Cantons only the more 
determined to rend the treaty in which they had 
bound themselves to their brethren. They had 
already violated its spirit. The few professors of 
the Reformed faith in their- territory they drove 
out, or impi-isoned, or burned. In the common 
parishes — that is, the communes governed now by 
the Reformed, and now by the Popish cantons — 
they committed the same atrocities when their turn 
of jurisdiction came. They imprisoned the preachers 
and professors of the Reformed fivith, confiscated 
their goods, cut out theii- tongues, beheaded and 
burned them. Calumnies were next circulated to 
inflame the popular wrath against the Protestants ; 
then followed wrathful speeches ; at last was heard 
the clang of arms ; it was evident that another 
tempest was bremng among the mountains of the 

A General Diet of the Swiss Confederation was 
convoked at Baden on the 8th of January, 1.531.' It 
was unable to come to any decision. Meanwhile 
the provocations which the Forest Cantons were 

' Eucliat, torn, ii., p. 353. 

daily offering were becoming intolerable, yet how 
were they to be restrained 1 Behind those cantons 
stood the emperor and Ferdinand, both, at this 
hour, making vast preparatiorus ; and should war 
be commenced, who could tell where it would 
end ? Meanwhile it was of the last importance to 
keep alive the patriotism of the people. Zwingle 
visited in person the Confederate cantons ; he 
organised committees, he addressed large assem- 
blies ; he appealed to everything that coidd rouse 
Swiss valour. The armies of Rome were slowly 
closing around them ; the Spaniards were in the 
Grisons ; the emperor was in Gei-many ; soon they 
would be cut oft" from their fellow-Protestants of 
other lands and shut up in their mountains. They 
must strike while yet they had the power. It 
would be too late when the emperor's sword was 
at their gates, and the Romanists of their own 
mountains had fallen like an avalanche upon them. 
Never had their fathers bled in so holy a cause. 

The heroes of the past seemed all to live again in 
this one man. Wherever he passed he left behind 
him a country on fire. 

- Christoffel, sec. ix. 3. D'Aubigne, bk. xvi., chap. 3. 


A Diet of the Ptol'ormed cantons was held at 
Aran on the 12th of May, to decide on the steps to 
be taken. The situation, they said, was this : "The 
Mountain Cantons remain Eoman Catholic ; they 
divide Switzerland into two camps ; they keep open 
the door for the armed hordes of foreign bigotry and 
despotism. How shall we restore Swiss unity 1" 
they asked. " Not otherwise than by restoring 
unity of faith." They did not seek to compel the 
Five Cantons to renounce Popery, but they believed 
themselves justified in asking them to cease from 
persecuting the preachers of the Gospel in the 
common parishes, and to tolerate the Reformed 
doctrine in their valleys. This was the demand of 
the four Reformed cantons. 

The Pastors of Zurich, Bern, Basle, and Stras- 
burg assembled in Zwingle's house the 5th of Sep- 
tember, l.'iSO, and speaking in the name of the 
Reformed cantons addressed to their con- 
federates the following words : "You know, gracious 
lords, that concord increases the power of States, 
and that discord overthrows them. You your- 
selves are a proof of the first. May God prevent 
you from becoming also a proof of the second. For 
this reason we conjure you to allow the Word of 
God to be preached among you. When has there 
ever existed, even among the heathen, a people 
which saw not that the hand of God alone upholds 
a nation 1 Do not two drops of quicksilver unite as 
soon as you remove that which separates them'^ 
Away then with that which separates you from 
your cities, that is, the absence of the Word of God, 
and immediately the Almighty will unite \is as our 
fathei-s were united. Then placed in your moun- 
tains, as in the centre of Christendom, you will be 
an example to it, its protection and its refuge ; and 
after having passed through this vale of tears, being 
the terror of the wicked and the consolation of the 
faithful, you will at last be established in eternal 

" The minister's sermon is rather long," said 
some, with a yawn, in whose hearing this address 
was read. The remonstrance was without effect. 

Zwingle earnestly counselled a bold and prompt 
blow — in other words, an armed intei'vention. He 
thought this the speediest way to bring the Moim- 
tain Cantons to reasonable terms. Baden, though 
admitting that the Five Cantons had broken the 
national compact, and that the atrocities they wei'e 
committing in shameful violation of their own 
promises justified war, thought it better, neverthe- 
less, that a milder expedient should be tried. 

Uri, Schwitz, Unterwalden, Zug, and Lucerne 
were dependent for their daily supplies upon the 
markets and harvests of the plains. Shut out from 

these, they had no alternative but surrender ©r 
death by famine. " Let us blockade these cantons," 
said Bern. Zurich and Zwingle strongly disap- 
proved of this measure. It confounded, they said, 
the innocent with the guilty ; whereas war would 
smite only the latter. The blockade, however, was 
resolved upon and rigorously carried out. The 
markets of the entire region around were closed, 
and the roads leading to the towns blockaded, 
Instantaneously the Five Cantons were enclosed in 
a vast desert ; bread, wine, and salt suddenly failed 
from their chalets, and the horrors of famine began 
to reign in their mountains. This calamity was tiie 
more severely felt inasmuch as the preceding year 
had been one of dearth, and the " sweating sick- 
ness" had visited their valleys, adding its ravages 
to the sufierings caused by the failure of the crops. ^ 

A wail of sufiering and a cry of indignation 
arose from the mountains. A General Diet was 
opened at Bremgarten on the 14th of June, in 
presence of the deputies of several foreign Powers. 
The Five Cantons demanded that, first of all, the 
blockade should be raised ; tUl this was done they 
would listen to no proposition. Bern and Zurich 
replied : " The blockade we will not raise till you 
•shall have ceased your persecutions, and opened 
your own valleys to the free preaching of the 
Gospel." Conciliation was impos.sible ; the confer- 
ence broke up, and the breach remained unclosed. 

This was a terrible complication. Nothing but 
a xmited and bold policy, Zwingle saw, could 
extricate them from it. But instead of this, the 
Council of Zurich was every day displaying greatoj- 
vacillation and feebleness. The lukewarm and 
timid were deserting the Reform, its old enemies 
were again raising theu- heads. Courage and 
patriotism were lacking to meet the ire of the 
mountaineers, roused by the half-measures which 
had been adopted. Ruin was comijig on apace. 
The burden of the State rested on Z\vingle ; he felt 
he could no longer accept a position in which he 
was responsible for evils which were mainly owing 
to the rejection of those measures he had counselled. 
He appeared before the Great CouncU on the 26th 
of July, 1531, and, with a voice choking with 
emotion, said : " For eleven years I have preached 
the Gospel among you, and warned you of the 
dangers that would threaten the Confederacy if the 
Five Cantons — that is to say, the party which 
lives by pensions and mercenary service — should 
gain the upper hand. All has been of no avail. 
Even now you elect to the coimcil men who covet 
this blood-money. I will no longer be responsible 

> Christoffel, pp. 443, 446, 



for the mischief that I cannot prevent ; I therefore 
desire my dismissal."' He took his departure with 
tears in his eyes. 

Thus was the pilot leaving the shiji at the moment 
the storm was about to strike it. The councillors 
were seized with dismay. Their former reverence 
and affection for their magnanimous and devoted 
leader revived. They named a deputation to wait 

revived. Zwingle began again to have hope. He 
thought that could he rouse to action the powerful 
canton of Bern, all might yet be well ; the gather- 
ing tempest in the mountains might be turned 
back, and the iron hand that lay so heavy upon 
conscience and the preaching of the Gospel lifted 
off. He arranged a midnight meeting with the 
deputies of Bern at Bremgai-ten, and put the 


on him and beg him to withdraw his resignation. 
Zwingle took three days to consider what course he 
should pursue. These were days of earnest prayer. 
At length he reappeared in the council, his eyes 
dimmed, and his face bearing traces of the conflict 
through which he had passed. " I will stay with 
voxi," said lie, " and I will labour for the safety of 
tlie State — until death." 

For a moment the union and courage of Zurich 

I Christoffel, p. 447. 

matter before them thus : — " What is to be done !" 
said he. "Withdraw the blockade? — the cantons 
will then be more haughty and insolent than ever. 
Enforce it? — they wll take the offensive, and if 
their attack succeed, you will behold our fields red 
with the blood of the Protestants, the doctrine of 
truth cast down, the Church of Christ laid waste, 
all social relations overthrown, our adversaries 
more irritated and hardened against the Gospel, and 
crowds of monks and priests again filling our rural 
districts, streets, and temples." He paused ; then 



solemnly added, " And yet that also -will have an 
end." The words of Zwingle had deeply impre.ssed 
the Bernese. "We see," said they, "all the 
disasters that impend over our common cause, and 
■will do our utmost to ward them off." 

Zwingle took his departure while it was yet 
dark. His discij^le, the young BuUinger, who was 
present, and i-elates what was said at the interview, 
accompanied him a little way. The parting was 
most sad, for the two were tenderly attached, and 
in the hearts of both was a presentiment that they 
should meet no more on earth. ^ A strange occur- 
rence took place at the gate of the town. As 
Zwingle and his friends approached the sentinels, 
a personage in robes white as snow suddenly ap- 
peared, and threw the soldiers into panic. So the 
guard affirmed, for Zwingle and his friends saw not 
the apparition." 

The Council of Ziu-ich sank down again into 
their former apathy. The pensioners — the foreign 
gold — formed the great ob.stacle, Zwingle felt, to 
the salvation of his country. It had corrupted 
the virtue and undermined the patriotism of the 
Mountain Cantons, and it liad bred treachery 
and cowardice in even the Reformed councils. 
Zwingle's appeals grew more stin-ing every hour. 
"Ruin," said he, "is at the door;" but he felt 
that his words were spoken to dead men ; his heart 
was almost broken. 

In the August of that year a comet of unusual 
size appeared in the heavens.^ As night after 
night, with lengthening tail and fiercer blaze, it 
hung suspended in the west, it attracted the gaze 
and awoke the terrors of all. On the night of the 
15tli of August, Zwingle and his friend George 
Muller, the former Abbot of Wettingen, contem- 
plated it from the burying-ground of the great 

1 Christoffel, p. 449. - BuUinger, CJiron.,tom.iu., p. 49. 
^ This was Halley's Comet, that makes its appearance 
about every seventy-six years. 

minster. " What may tliis star signify, dear 
Huldreich 'I " inquii-ed !M tiller. "It is come to 
light me to my grave," replied Zwingle, "and many 
an honest man with me."^ "With God's gi-ace, 
no," said Muller. " I am rather shoi-t^-sighted," re- 
joined Zwingle, " but I foi'esee gi'eat calamities in 
the future :■■ there comes a gi-eat catastrophe ; but 
Christ will not finally foi-sake us ; the victory will 
remain ■with our cause." 

Portent was heaped upon portent, and laimour 
followed rumour. Not a locality but furnished its 
■wonder, prognosticating calamity, and diffusing 
gloomy forebodings over the country. At Biiigg, 
in Aargau, a fountain, not of water, but of blood, 
was reported to have opened suddenly, and to be 
dyeuig the earth with gore. The .sky of Zug was 
illumined with a meteor in the form of a shield, 
and noises as of men engaged in conflict came from 
the hollows of the mountains. In the Briinig 
Pass banners were seen to wave upborne by no 
earthly hand, and stii'red by no earthly breeze ; 
while on the calm siu-face of the Lucerne Lake 
spectral ships were seen careering, manned with 
spectral warriors." 

There was no need of such ghostly signs ; the 
usual symptoms of approaching disaster were but 
too manifest to those who chose to read them. 
Zwingle perceived them in the disunion and apathy 
of the Reformed cantons, in the gi'owing audacity 
of the enemy, and in the sinister rumours which 
wei-e every day brought from the mountains. He 
raised his voice once more; it was in vain : the 
men who trembled before the portents which their 
imagination had conjured up, were unmoved by the 
sober words of the one man whose sagacity fore- 
saw, and whose patriotism would have avei-ted, the 
coming ruin. 

■• Euchat, torn, ii., p. 387. 
^ Zwingle, Epp., ii., p. 626. 
'' Christoffel, pp. 449, 450. 





Forest Cantons decide on War — Assembling of their Army — Zurich dispatches 60O Men— Tedious Debates in the 
Council — A Night of Terror — Morning — The Great Bannsr CUngs to its Staff — Depression — 700 mustered instead 
of 4,000— Zwingle Mounts his Steed— Parting with hia Wife and Children— Omens— The Battle— Bravei-y of the 
Zurichei-s — Overwhelmed by Numbers — The Carnage — Zwingle Mortally Wounded — Dispatched by Camp Followers 
— Tidings of his Death — Grief and Dismay. 

In the begimiiug of October the preparations of 
the Five Cantons for war were completed. Theii- 
Diet assembled at Brunnen, on the banks of the 
Lake of Lucerne ; a vote was taken, and tlie cam- 
paign was decided upon. Straightway the passes 
were seized that no one might tell it in Zurich.' 
The avalanche himg trembling on the mountain's 
brow; but a dead calm reigned in Ziuich and the 
other Reformed cantons, for the rumours of war 
had suddenly ceased. It was the calm before the 

On the 9th of October the mountain wan-iors 
assembled in theii- chapels, heard mass, and then, 
to the number of 8,000, began their march to- 
ward the Protestant frontier. They set up their 
standard at Baar, between the canton of Zug and 
the canton of Zurich. The men of Schwitz, LTri, 
Zug, Unterwalden, and Lucerne hastened to 
assemble roimd it. Their ranks were swelled by 
soldiers from the Italian valleys, and deserters from 
Zurich and Bern. Another Popish host, 12,000 
strong, spread themselves over the free parishes, 
inflicting all the horrors of war wherever they 
came. Tidings reached Zurich that the bolt had 
fallen — the war was begiui ; the enemy was at 
Baar, on the road to Zurich. 

On receiving this startling intelligence on the 
evening of the 9th, the council hastily assembled ; 
but instead of sounding the tocsui, or calling the 
people to arms, they dispatched two counciUors to 
I'econnoitre, and then retii-ed to rest. 

At day-break of the 10th another messenger 
arrived at Zurich, confirming the intelligence of 
the previous day. The Great Council assembled in 
the morning, but still professed to doubt the 
gravity of the situation. Messenger after messen- 
ger arrived ; at last came one who told them that 
the enemy had ci-ossed the frontier, and seized upon 
Hitzkylch. On hearing this, the councillors turned 
pale. They were alai-med at last. It was now 
resolved, although only after a lengthened debate, 
to send forward Goeldi, with 600 men and artil- 

' Euchat, torn, ii., p. 395. 

lery.- This was the vanguard ; the main body was 
to follow. Crossing the Albis, Goeldi and his men 
ai'rived at Kappel durmg the night. He had in- 
stnictions not to engage the forces of the enemy 
till succom-s arrived. 

Lavatar, the commander-in-chief of the forces of 
the canton, earnestly counselled a levy en masse, 
and the instant dispatch of a powei-ful body to 
the frontier. There followed another tedious 
debate in the council ; the day wore away, and it 
was evening before the council were able to come 
to the determination to send an army to defend 
their invaded country. 

The sun went dowm behind the Albis. The city, 
the lake, and the canton were wrapped in darkness; 
wth the darkness came trembling and horror. The 
bells were nmg to summon to arms. They had 
hardly begmi to toll when a tempest burst fortli, 
and swept in terrific fury over Zurich and the 
surrounding country. The howling of the winds, 
the lashing of the waves of the lake, the pealing of 
the steeple-bells, the mustering of the land-sturui, 
and the earthquake, wliich about nine o'clock shook 
the city and canton, formed a scene of terror 9uch as 
had seldom been witnessed. Few eyes were that 
night closed in sleep. In the dwellings of Zmich 
there were tears, and loud wailings, and hasty and 
bitter partings of those who felt that they em- 
braced probably for the last time. 

The morning broke ; the tempest was past and 
gone, the mountains, the lake, and the green 
acclivities of the Albis were fairer than ever. But 
the beauty of morning could not dispel the gloom 
which had settled in the hearts of the Zurichers. 
The gi'eat banner was hoisted on the town-hall, 
but in tho still air it clung to its staff. "Another 
bad omen," said the men of Zurich, as they fixed 
their eyes on the drooping flag. 

Beneath that banner there assembled about 700 
men, -where 4,000 warriors ought to have mustered. 
These were without uniform, and insufliciently 
armed. The council had appointed Zwingle to be 

= Euchat, torn, ii., p. 388. Christoffel, p. 4-52. 



war-chaplain. He well knew the hazards of the 
post, but he did not shirk them. He pressed Anna, 
his wife, to his braised and bleeding heart ; tore 
himself from his children, and with dimmed eyes 
but a resolute brow went fortli to mount his horse, 
which stood ready at the door. He vaulted into 
the saddle, but scarcely had he touched it when 
the animal reared, and began to retreat backwards. 
" He will never return," said the spectators, who 
saw in this another inauspicious omen.^ 

The little aniiy passed out of the gates about 
eleven of the forenoon. Anna followed her husband 
with her eyes so long as he was visible. He was 
seen to fall beliind his troop for a few minutes, and 
those who were near him distinctly heard him 
breathing out his heart in prayer, and committing 
himself and the Church to God. The soldiere 
climbed the Albis. On an-iving at " The Beech- 
tree" on its summit they halted, and some proposed 
that they should here wait for reinforcements. 
" Hear ye not the sound of the cannon beneath usf 
said Zwingle ; " they are fighting at Kappel ; let us 
hasten forward to the aid of our brethren." The 
troop precipitated its march.^ 

The battle between the two ai-mies had been 
begun at one o'clock, and the firing had been going 
on for two hours when the Zurichers bearing the 
" great banner" joined their comrades in the fight.' 
It seemed at first as if their junction with the van 
would turn the day in their favour. The artillery 
of Zurich, admirably served and advantageously 
posted, played with marked efiect upon the army of 
the Five Cantons spread out on a morass beneath.^ 
But unliappily a wood on the left flank of the 
Zurich army had been left unoccupied, and the moun- 
taineers coming to the knowledge of this oversight 
climbed the hill, and mider cover of the trees opened 
a murderous fire upon the ranks of their opponents. 
Having discharged their fii-e, they rushed out of the 
wood, lance in hand, and furiously charged the 
Zurichers. The resistance they enooimtered was 
equally resolute and brave. The men of Zurich 
fought like lions ; they drove back the enemy. The 
battle swept with a roar like that of thunder 
through the wood. The fury and heroism on both 
sides, the flight and the pursuit of armed men, the 
clash of halberds and the thimder of artillei-y, the 
shouts of combatants, and the gi'oans of the dying, 
minghng in one dreadful roar, were echoed and 
re-echoed by the Alps till they seemed to rock the 
mountains and shake the earth. In their advance 
the Zurichers became entangled in a bog. Alas ! 

' Cliristoffel, pp. 4-^)2, ^,3. ■' Ruchat, torn, ii., p. 408. 
- Ibid., p. 453. -1 Ibid. 

they were fatally snared. The foe returned and 
surrounded them. At this moment the troop under 
Goeldi, a traitor at heart, fled. Those who re- 
mained fought desperately, but, being as one to 
eight to the men of the Five Cantons, then- valour 
could avail nothing against odds so overwhelming. 
" Soon they fell thick," says Chiistofiel, " like the 
precious grain in autumn, beneath the strokes of 
their embittered foes, and at length were obliged 
to abandon the battle-field, leaving upon it more 
than five hundred who slept the sleep of death, or 
who were writhing La the agony of death-wounds." 
On this fatal field fell the flower of Zurich — the 
■\visest of its councillors, the most Christian of its 
citizens, and the ablest of its pastors. 

But there is one death that aflfects us more than 
all the others. Zwingle, though present on the field, 
did not draw sword : he restricted himself to his 
duties as chaplain. When the murderous assault 
was made from the forest, and many were falling 
around him, he stooped down to breathe a few words 
into the ear of a djing man. While thus occupied 
he was strack with a stone upon the head, and fell 
to the earth. Recovering in a little he rose, but 
received two more blows. As he lay on the ground 
a hostile spear dealt him a fatal stab, and the blood 
began to trickle from the wound. " Wliat matters 
it]" said he; "they may kill the body, but they 
cannot kill the soul." These were the last words 
he uttered.'' 

The darkness fell, the stars came out, the night 
was cold. ZNTOigle had fallen at the foot of a pear- 
tree, and lay extended on the earth. His hands 
were clasped, his eyes were turned to heaven, and 
his lips moved in prayer. The camp-followers were 
now prowling o-\-er the field of battle. Two of them 
approached the place where the Reformer lay. " Do 
you wish for a priest to confess yourself f said thev. 
The dying man shook his head. " At least," said 
they, " call in your heart upon the Mother of God." 
He signified his dissent by another shake of the 
head. Curious to know who this obstinate heretic 
was, one of them raised his head, and turned it 
toward one of the fires which had been kindled on 
the field. He suddenly let it fall, exclaiming, " 'Tis 
Zwingle !"" It happened that Bockinger, an oflicer 
from XJnterwalden, and one of those pensioners 
against whom Zwingle had so often thundered, was 
near. The name pronoimced by the soldier fell 
upon his ear. " Z\vingle !" exclaimed he; "is it 

' Euchat, torn, ii., p. 412. The classic reader wiU ro- 
luember the words that Epaminondas addressed to his 
companions when dyinp— " It is not an end of my life 
that is now come, but a better beginning." 

'' liucUat, torn, ii., p. 11'2. 



tliat vile heretic and traitor Zwingle V He had 
hardly uttered the words when he raised his sword 
and struck him on the throat. Yielding to this last 
blow, Zwingle died.' 

It was on the field of battle that the Re- 
former met death. But the cause for which 
he yielded up his life was that of the Reformation 
of the Church and the regeneration of his country. 
He was not less a martyr than if he had died at 
the stake. 

When the terrible tidings reached Zurich that 
Z^vingle was dead, the city was struck with affright. 
The news ran like lightning through all the Re- 
formed cantons and spread consternation and son'ow. 
Switzerland's great patriot had fallen. When 
Qicolampadius of Basle learned that the Re- 
former was no more, his heart turned to stone, 
and he died in a few weeks. The intelligence 
was received with profound grief in all the 
countries of the Reformation. All felt that a 
great light had been quenched ; that one of the 
foremost champions in the Army of the Faith 
had fallen, at a moment when the hosts of Rome 

were closing their ranks, and a terrible onset on 
the Truth was impending. 

Zurich made peace with the Five Cantons, sti- 
pulating only for toleration. In the common 
parishes the Reformed faith was suppressed, the 
altars wei'e set up, mass restored, and the monks 
crept back to their empty cells. Luther, when 
told of the death of Zwingle and Qicolampadius, 
remembered the days he had passed with both of 
these men at Marburg, and was seized with so 
pungent a sorrow that, to use his own words, he 
" had almost died himself." Ferdinand of Austria 
heard of the victory of Kappel, but -mtli different 
feelings. " At last," he thought, " the tide has 
turned," and in Kappel he beheld the iii-st of a 
long series of victories to be achieved by the sword 
of Rome. He wrote to his brother, Charles V., 
calling upon him to come to the aid of the Fi\e 
Cantons, and beginning at the Alps, to traverse 
Christendom at the head of his legions, purging out 
heresy, and restormg the dominion of the old faith. 

Zwingle had fallen ; but iti this same land a 
miffhtier was about to arise. 

Mot ChJdftf). 



The Augsburg Confession— The Emperor's Hopes and Disappointments— Melancthon's Despair— Luther's Courage- 
Formation of Schmalkald League— The Kings of France, England, &c., invited to Enter it— The Swiss Rejected 
—Luther's Hesitation— The Turk Invades Europe— Charles offers Peace to the Protestants— Peace of Ratisbon— 
The Church has Rest Fifteen Years. 

We have already traced the history of Protestantism 
in Germany from the day of the Theses (1517) to 
the day of the Augsburg Confession (1530). The 
interval between these two dates is short ; but what 
a train of important and brilliant events marks its 
currency, and how different the Christendom of one 
era to the Christendom of the other ! If the ham- 
mer of Luther, nailing his propositions to the door 
of the Schloss-kirk, so\inded the knell of the Old 
times, the Augsburg Confession, presented only thir- 

' The pear-tree under which Zwingle died has perished. 
A rough massive block of stone, with a tablet, and an 
inscription in German and Latin, has taken its place. 

teen yeai-s afterwards, opens to us the gates of the 
New World. 

Where in all history are we to look for a transi- 
tion so vast, accomplished in so short a time 1 Of 
all the factors in human afl'airs, that which desjiots 
commonly account tha weakest, and of which they 
sometimes take no account at all, is immeasurably 
the strongest — Conscience. It is more powerful 
than philosophy, more powerful than letters, more 
powerful than the sword. The schoolmen had 
toiled for ages to enlighten the world, but it was 
seen at last that their intellectual subtlety could 
not break the chains of the human soul. Their day 
faded into the night of mysticism. Next came the 



revival of letters, the sure prelude, it was said, of a 
new age. But civilisation and liberty did not come 
at the call of the Humanists, and after flourishing 
a little while letters began to retrace their steps 
towards the pagan tomb from which they had come. 
Scepticism was descending upon the world. But 
when the Word of God touched the conscience, the 
world felt itself shaken by a power mightier than 
that of schools or anuies. It tottered upon its 
foundations. The veil was rent from the heart of 

We resume our narrative at the point where we 
broke it oif — the old town of Augsbm-g in the 
year 1530. What a numerous, brilliant, and motley 
gathering is that which its walls now enclose ! 
Here are all the sovereign princes, dukes, and counts 
of the Empire, with their courts and their men-at- 
anns. Here are all the great scholars and theolo- 
gians of Germany, her Popish dignitaries and her 
Protestant Reformers. Here too, in the train of 
the chief personages, is much that is neither princely 
nor scholarly — lacqueys and men-at-arms, idlers and 
sight-seers from far and near, who crowd the streets, 
fill the taverns, and distiu'b the peace and quiet of 
the city by engaging in battles of a different kind 
from those which exercise the prowess of the com- 
batants in the Palatinate Chapel. A gi-eat place 
is empty in this vast gathering — that of Luther. 
But he is no farther off than the Castle of Coburg, 
where, sitting apart and maintaining a keen corre- 
spondence with his friends, he can make his spirit 
felt in the Diet and, unseen, guide the coui-se of its 

All being gathered into Augsburg, in obedience 
to the summons of the emperor, at last with great 
pomp comes the emperor himself, Charles, master of 
two worlds. Behind him what a long and brilliant 
train! Kings, Papal legates, ambassadors, arch- 
bishops, priests, friars, and some ten thousand men- 
at-arms. It is Medifevalism rising iip in a power 
and glory vmknown to it for ages, feeling instinc- 
tively that its last struggle is come \ a power 
before which it is destined to fall. 

Before crossing the Alps, Charles V. had had an 
interview with the Pope at Bologna, and these two 
potentates had come to an imderstanding touching 
the policy to be piu-sued towards the Lutherans. 
They must be required to submit to the Church. 
This was the summary and simple solution that 
awaited the problem of the age. There M'as, it is 
true, the promise of a Council in the future, and of 
whatever reforms that Council might be pleased 
to gi'ant ; but, first, the Lutherans must return to 
their obedience. So then tlie end of the heresy was 
near — the Pope and the emperor, the two masteiii 

of Christendom, had decreed its extirpation. The 
brilliant assemblage now gathered from east to 
of Germany had come to witness the burial of the 
Lutheran revolt, and the resurrection in new glory 
and power of Roman Catholicism. 

But how mortifying to this master of so many 
kingdoms ! He who had been twee ^ictorious 
over his gi-eat rival Francis I., who had dictated 
peace at almost the gates of Paris, who had bowed 
the Pojje to his policy, was mthstood, thwarted, 
beaten by these heretical princes and excommuni- 
cated preachers. He was compelled to hear them 
read their Confession in open Diet ; and thus had 
he erected a stage, and got together an audience, for 
the greater eclat of that Lutheranism which he 
expected to see sink into eternal amuliUation be- 
neath the weight of his arms and the prestige of his 
authority. A whole winter's schemiag with the 
Pope had suddenly collapsed. 

But Charles could do something toward veiling 
the humiliation he could not but feel. He bade his 
theologians prepare an answer to the Confession of 
the Protestant ])rinces and di\T.nes. Another unfor- 
tunate step. The blundering and sophistry of Dr. 
Eck acted as a foil to a document which combined 
the strength of Luther and the elegance of Melanc- 
thon. The Augsburg Confession stood higher than 
ever. The emperor bade the Protestants consider 
themselves refuted. It would seem that he himself 
had but small faith in this refutation, for he made 
haste to throw his sword in along with the pen of 
Dr. Eck against the Protestants. On the 19th of 
November, 1.530, he issued a decree,' addressed to 
the Protestant princes, States and cities, command- 
ing them, under peril of his displeasure, to return to 
their obedience to the See of Rome, and giving 
them till the next spring (15th of April) to make 
their- choice between submission and war. Dr. Eck 
was rewarded for his services at the Council by the 
Bishopric of Vienna, which gave occasion to the 
witty saying of Erasmus, that " the poor Luther 
had made many rich." " 

The edict of the emperor forbade from that hour 
all further conversions to Protestantism, under pain 
of forfeiture of goods and life ; it further enacted 
that aU which had been taken from the Roman 
Catholics should be restored; that the monasteries 
and religious houses should be rebuilt ; that the old 
ceremonies and rites should be observed ; and that 
no one who did not submit to this decree should 
sit in the Imperial Chamber, the supreme court of 
judicature in the Empii-e; and that all classes shoidd 

' Sleidan, bk. vii., pp. 135—137. 
= Ibid., p. 1:30. 



assist with their lives and fortunes in carrying out tears." ^ Happily, Luther yet lived. His magna- 

this edict ' The edict of Spii-es was dii-ected nimity and faith rose to the occasion. He looked 

mainly against Luther ; the ban of Augsburg was the great emperor and his persecuting edict m the 

wider in its scope' it fell on all who held his face, and in a characteristic publication foretold 


opinions in Germany-on princes, citie., and that the edict would be a failm-e, and th^teven^ 

' •^ emperor's sword, strong as it was, was not stiong 

%dancthon was overwhelmed with dismay. He enough to extinguish the light and bring back the 

was »di-owned," says Sleidan, >- wi tl^^igh^l ^^^^ ^^ ^^^,^^^. ,,.,,^i^^j™^_At 

1 Sleidan, bk. vii., pp. 139, 140. Mosheim, cent, xvi., 
sec. i., chap. 3; Glaa., 1831. 

61— VOL. II. 

- Sleidan, bk. tu., p. 140. Seckt^udorf, lib. ii., p. 180. 


Christmas, 1530, they met at Schmalkald to 
deliberate on the steps to be taken. That their 
religion and liberties must be defended at all costs 
was ^vith them an axiom. Tlie only question then 
was, How ? They formed the League, known in 
history as the League of Sclimalkald, engaging to 
stand by one another in the defence of their faitli 
and their liberties, and in particular to resist any 
attempt that might be made by anns to carry out 
tlic Edict of Augsburg.^ For this purpose they 
were to maintain, eacli of them, for tlie space of six 
years, a military force ready to assist any jirincipality 
or town which might be attacked Ijy the imperial 

It was not the question of their religious liberties 
only that made it seem expedient for tlie Protestant 
jirinces to form this confederacy. To this were 
added political considerations of no small weight. 
Recent successes had greatly increased the power, 
and mdened in the same proportion the ambition, 
of Charles Y. The emperor was at this moment 
revolving schemes dangerous to tlie constitution 
and civil liberties of Germany. He had made his 
In-other Ferdinand of Austria be elected King of 
the Romans. To elect a King of the Romans was 
to designate the future Emperor of Germany. 
This was a violation of the Golden Bull of Charles 
IV., inasmuch as it was a manifest attempt on 
the part of Charles to vest the imperial crown in 
his fixmily, and to render that dignity hereditary 
which the Golden Bull declared to be elective. 
The Protestant princes saw revolution in all this. 
The empei'or was making himself master. They 
must resist this usurpation in time ; hence the 
Schmalkald League, made first at Clu-istmas, 1530, 
and renewed a year after, at Christmas, 1531, with 
the addition of a great many jirinces and cities. 
They wrote to the Kings of France, England, 
Denmark, and to the maritime to^vns in the north 
of Germany, to enter the League, or otherwise 
assist in their enterprise. The answers returned 
were in every case favourable, thougli considera- 
tions of policy made the writers postpone joining 
the League for the present. 

This bold stej) failed at first to meet Luther's 
approval. It looked like war, and he shuddered 
at anytliing that threatened to bring war and the 
Gospel into contact. But when it was explained 
to him that the League was purely defensive ; that 
it was meant to attack no one ; that it was simply 
an arrangement for enabling its members to 
exercise imitedly, and therefore more successfully, 

their natural rights of self-defence, on behalf of 
what was dearer to them and to their countrymen 
than life itself, he acquiesced in the League of the 

The measure undoubtedly was right in itself, 
and was demanded by the circumstances of exti'eme 
peril in which Protestantism was now apparently 
placed. It linked the Protestant States of Gennany 
into one confederation, under the pegis of whicli 
the Protestant faith might be preached, and its 
doctrines jirofessed, without ten-or of the stake. 
Further, we recognise in the Schmalkald League 
a decided step in the progi'css of Protestantism. 
Protestantism as a principle or doctrine was 
developed in the teaching of the Reformers. But 
Protestantism was never meant to remain a mere 
pi-inciple. Its' mission was to create aroimd it a 
new political, social, and intellectual world. At 
the centre of that world the Protestant principle 
took its place, sitting there as on a throiiff, or 
rather dwelling in it as its soul, and in times of 
peril calling to its defence all those forces — arts, 
letters, free constitutions — whicli itself had created. 
The lieginning of this new political world was at 

A great many princes and free cities, in addition 
to the original confederates, had subscribed the 
League, and now its attitude was a somewhat im- 
j)0sing one. The Swiss Protestant cantons held out 
their hand, but were repulsed. They were held to be 
disqualified bytheir sentiments on the Lord's Supper." 
This was a grave error. It was nearly as great an 
error on the other side when the Kings of France 
and England, who conld hardly be more ortho- 
dox in the eyes of the Germans than were the 
Zwinglians, were invited to join the League.'' 
Hapjiily these monarchs sent replies which saved 
the Leaguers from the political entanglements in 
which an alliance with these scheming and selfish 
potentates would have been sure to land them.* 
This was the very danger that Luther had feared. 
He foresaw the League gro^wing strong and begin- 
ning to lean on armies, neglecting the development 
of the religious principle in whose vitality alone 
would consist the consolidation, power, and success 
of their federation. If the rampart should smother 
the heavenly fire it was meant to enclose, both would 
perish together. 

When the spring of 1531 came, the enqieror, in- 
stead of beginning hostilities, paused. The sword 
that was to have swept German Protestantism from 

' Slei(.liui, bk. vii., p. Ui. Eobortsoii, bk. v., p. 175. 

- Sleidan, bk. viii., p. 151. 

2 Ibid., p. 1-15. Robertson, bk. v., p. 176j 

* Sleidan, bk. viii., pp. 149, 150i 



the face of the earth, and which was already half 
drawn, was thrust back into its sheath. Besides 
the Schmalkald League, other things had arisen to 
con-idnce the emperor of the extreme hazard of 
attempting at this moment to enforce the Edict of 
Augsburg. France, whose monarch was still smart- 
ing from the memories of Pavia and the impri-son- 
ment at Madrid, threatened to break the peace and 
commence hostilities against him. The irrepre-ssible 
Turk was again appearing in the east of Europe. 
Further, the emperor had given umbrage bo the 
Popish princes of Germany by making his brother 
Ferdinand be elected King of the Piomans, and so 
could not count on the aid of his o-ftii party. ThiLS, 
ever as Charles put his hand upon his sword's hUt, 
a new difficulty started up to prevent h i m drawing 
it It must have seemed, even to himself, as if a 
greater power than the Schmalkald Confederacy were 
fighting agauLSt him. 

The issue was that Charles, on a survey of his 
position, found that he must postpone the enforcing 
of the Edict of Augsburg to a more convenient time, 
and meanwhile he must come to an understand- 
ing with the Protestants. Accordingly, after tediou.s 
and difiicult negotiations, a peace was agreed upon 
at Nuremberg, July 23rd, and ratified in the Diet 

at Eatisbon, August 3rd, 1532. In this pacifica- 
tion the emperor granted to the Lutherans the free 
and undisturbed exercise of their religion, until 
such time as a General Council or an Imperial Diet 
should decide the religious question ; and the Pro- 
testants — now seven princes and twenty-four cities 
— promised to aid the emperor in his war against 
the Turk' Thus the storm that looked so dark 
roUed away without inflicting any harm on those 
over whom it had lowered so ominously. The 
finest army which tinited Christendom had yet 
raised marched against the Turks ; " and the em- 
peror," says the Abbe Millot, " who had not yet 
appeared at the head of his troops (a thing sur- 
prising in an age of heroism), on this occasion took 
the command. He had the gloiy of disconcerting a 
formidable enemy, whose forces are said to have 
amounted to three hundred thousand men."- Soly- 
man, intimidated by this display of force, withdrew 
his devastating hordes without co min g to a battle ; 
and the emperor lea^-ing Germany in order to 
superintend the vast military projects he was 
now setting on foot in other countries, the Church 
had rest from i>ersecution, and the jjeriod of her 
tranquillity was prolonged for well-nigh a decade 
and a hal£ 



Peace in the Church: in the World Distress— Its Four Great Eulers— Troubles of Henry Vin.— MortificationB of 
Francis I.— Labours of Charles V.— Griefs of Clement VII.— A Contrast -The Anabaptist Prophets- Matthias 
the Baker— The New "Mount Zion"— Morals of the Sect^Buckholdt the Tailor-The "Heavenly Kingdom"— 
Buckholdt the King of the "Heavenly Kingdom "—Nominates Twelve Apostles— .Sends out Twenty-eight Evan- 
gelists—Their Instructions and Departure— Their Fate— Marriage Abobshed— Munster, the Den of this Crew, 
Besieged and Taken— Buckholdt put to Death— Lesson. 

If the Church had rest, society around it was terribly 
convulsed — "on the earth " was "distress of nations, 
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring." 
What miserable and distracted Uves were those 
which were led by the four great potentates which 
governed Europe ! Cares, perplexities, and disap- 
pointments came crowding in upon them, and fille<l 
up every hour of every day of their outwardly 
brilliant, but inwardly most unhappy existences. 

Henry of England had commenced his great 
divorce. The delays and doublings of the Vatican 
kept him in a perpetual fume, and when at length 
his suit reached its final issue in the Papal court, 

the haughty monarch was thrown into a paroxysm 
of rage, which sha^ itself ultimately into a course 
of crime. His impetuous and choleric temper could 
as little brook the opposition he was meeting with 
from the Protestants of his o-ft-n kingdom, who had 
thrown ofi" Popery while he had thrown ofi" only the 
Pope, and aimed at stepping into his vacant place 
in the consciences of his subjects. 

Francis L of France was every year b ecoming a 

» Eobertson, bk. v., p. 176. Mosheim, cent, ivi., sec. i., 
chap. 3. Sleidan, bk. viii, p. 160. 

2 Abbe MiUot, Elements af General Histary (translated 
from the French), vol. iv., pp. 286, 287; Lond., 1779. 



guiltier and a more wretched man. His rival, 
Charles V., had robbed him of the laurels he had 
won in his earlier campaigns. To the anger and 
shame which his imprisonment in Madrid left rank- 
ling in his soul were added the loss of the Italian 
duchies, and the recent humiliating peace of Cam- 
bray. Francis gave himself no rest, if haply he 
might wipe out these disgi-aces and huml)le the 
haughty man who had inflicted tliem upon him. 
He intrigued to sow dissension between Clement 
and the emperor ; lie toiled to raise new armaments 
in the hope that past defeats 'would be forgotten in 
the splendour of new \'ictories ; but all that lie 
reaped from these harassing labours was only to 
add thereby to the weight of his subjects' burdens, 
and to the list of his own embarrassments and dis- 

The career of Charles V. was outwardly more 
prosperous, but at the heart of his glory were 
labour and sorrow. Raised above all other men 
in point of worldly state, the emperor was in 
hourly terror of falling from the dazzling pinnacle 
on which he stood, and in order to maintain him- 
self was compelled to liave continual resort to 
fresh levies, new battles, and the expenditure of 
yet more millions of gold crowns, till at length the 
gulf was dug into which himself and his kingdom 
finally descended. Not to speak of Francis, who 
was a thorn in his side ; nor of Clement, whose 
fickle alliance gave him little satisfaction, the 
emperor had no faith in the order of things which 
he had established in Italy and Germany, and 
laboured under continual apprehensions of his 
system falling in pieces around him. But worst of 
all he was haunted by the spectre of Lutlieranism, 
which a true instinct told him would one day rob 
him of his Empire ; nor could he understand how 
it should happen that every time he raised his 
sword to make an end of that detested thing, the 
Turk unexpectedly presented himself, and seemed 
with menacing gestures to forbid the blow. 

As regards the fourth great power of the age, 
Clement VII. of Rome, these were not times when 
Popes any more than temporal monarchs could 
sleep in peace. His ghostly empire was falling in 
pieces ; kings and nations were escaping from under 
the tiara, and neither anathemas nor concessions — 
and both wore tried by turns — could bring them 
back. Germany had revolted from its obedience ; 
half the Swiss cantons had lifted up the heel of 
heretical pra-N-ity ; Sweden and Denmark were going 
the same downward road, and England was follow- 
ing fast after them. There never before had been so 
unfortunate a Pontificate, and there have been few 
Bo anxious, perplexed, and unhappy Popes, though 

there have been many more vicious ones. Nor 
wa.s Clement more happy in the sovereigns that 
remained with him than in those that had deserted 
liim. The most Christian King of France and his 
most Catholic Majesty of Spain were fully as 
troublesome as iiseful to him. Instead of the two 
pillars of his throne, they rather resembled two 
colossal swords suspended above it, which threat- 
ened ever and anon to fall and crash it. Much 
artifice and management did it require on the 
part of Clement to poise the one against the 
other. At no time did the views and interests of 
all three coincide. On one object only were they 
able to agree — the overthrow of ProtestantLsm ; 
but even here their jealousies and rivalships pre- 
vented their acting in concert. Their conflicting 
passions drew them into a whirl of excitement and 
of war against one another, which wasted their 
years, bui'dened their treasuries, and devastated 
theii- kingdoms. 

Compared with the spectacles we have been con- 
templating, how truly sublime the position of 
Luther and his fellow-Reformers ! From their 
closets they wield a far mightier power than 
Charles and Francis do from their thrones. Not 
armies to ravage, but ideas to enlighten the earth 
do 'they send forth. By the silent but majestic 
power of truth they are- seen dethroning errors, 
pulling down tyrannies, planting the seeds of 
piety and liberty, and nursing the infancy of arts 
and letters, and free States, which are destined to 
remain the fruit of their labours and the monument 
of then- ■wisdom when the victories of Charles and 
of Francis ha\'e been forgotten, and the fabric of 
their political greatness has mouldered into dust. 

The Church of Germany, during these years of 
peace, extended on every side. All her great 
teachers were still spared to her. Luther, Melanc- 
thon, and the liand of eminent men around them, 
still unbroken, were guiding her counsels and pro- 
pagating her doctrines. By her side stood the 
League warding off the sword of Charles, or 
whoever might wish to attack her. The timid 
found courage to avow their convictions, and ranged 
themselves on the Protestant side. Whole districts 
in Northern and Central Germany came over. 
Anlialt and Pomerania, Augsburg, Frankfort, 
Hanover, and Kempten were among the new 
accessions. This did not escape the notice of the 
emperor, but, meanwhile, it was not in his power 
to prevent it — he dared hardly show his displeasure 
at it. 

The prosperity of these peaceful days was, alas ! 
disturbed by a most deplorable outbreak of lawless 
passion and horrible fanaticism. We have already 



narrated tlie tumults and bloodshed of which the 
provinces of Upper Germany were the scene about 
a decade before, caused by the efforts of men who 
had espoused principles that converted the liberty 
of the Gospel into worse than pagan licentiousness. 
The seeds of these evils were still in the soil, and 
the days of peace brought them to the surface a 
second time. In 1533, two Anabaptist prophets 
—John Matthias, a baker of Haarlem, and John 
Buckholdt, a tailor in Leyden— with a body of theii- 
followers, seized upon the city of Munster, in West- 
phalia,' judging it a convenient spot from which to 
propagate their abominable tenets. They gave out 
that God had commissioned them to put dowi all 
mao-istracy and government, and establish the 
kingdom of heaven, which from its centre in 
Minister, or Mount Zion, as they styled it, was to 
reign over all the nations of the earth. Matthias, 
the baker, was the first monarch of this new king- 
dom. His talent for enterprise, his acts of sanctity, 
and his fervid enthusiasm fitted him for his 
difficult but impious project. He abolished all 
distinctions of rank, proclaimed a community 
of goods, made all eat at a common table, and 
abrogating marriage, permitted a plurality of 
■wives, himself setting the example, which his 
followers were not slow to imitate.^ 

Matthias, the baker, soon died, and was succeeded 
by John Buckholdt, the tailor. It was now that the 
new "heavenly kuigdom" shone forth in all its 
baleful splendour. Buckholdt gave out that it was 
the will of God, made known to him by special re- 
velation, that he .should sit upon the throne of his 
father David, and discharge the august oflice of 
imiversal monarch of the world. He ordered a 
crown and sceptre, both of the best gold, to be 
prepared for liim ; and he never appeared abroad 
without these insignia of his sovereignty. He 
dressed himself in the most sumptuous garments, 
had a Bible and naked sword carried before him, 
and coined money stamped with his o^vn image. 

He fell into a sleep of three days, and on 
awakening, calling for pen and ink, he wrote down 
on a slip of jiaper the names of twelve men of good 
family in Munster, whom he nominated heads of 
"the twelve tribes of Israel." He had a high 
throne erected in the market-place, covered with 
cloth of gold, where, attended by his officers of 
state, his guards, and his wives, of whom one 
bore the title of queen, he heard complaints and 
administered justice.^ 

' Sleidan, bk. x., p. 193. Eobertson, hk. v., p. 180. 
- Sleidan, bk. x., pp. 19l!, 195. 

3 iiid., p. 196. Eobertson, bk. v., pp. 181,182. Mosheim, 
cent, rri., see. i., chap. 3. 

He had, moreover, a body of missionai-ies, whose 
office it was to proclaim the " true doctrme." 
Twenty-ei^ht of these men were sent forth to 
ijreach in the cities around, and to say that the 
"kincdom of heaven" had been set up at Munster; 
that John of Leyden had been conuuissioned by 
God to "overn all the nations of the world ; that the 
time was come when the meek sliould inherit the 
earth, and the wcked be rooted out of it ; and that 
the most terrible judgments would fall on all who 
should refuse to enter the " heavenly kingdom." 
One only of these twenty-eight deputies returned 
to " Mount Zion," to tell what accejitance their 
message had met with. 

Of the sending o\it of these missionaries Sleidan 
gives the following graphic description : — " One 
day," says he, "Buckholdt sounded a trumpet 
through all the streets, and commanded the citizens 
to meet him armed at the gate of the cathedral. 
When they came to the place of rendezvous they 
found a supper prepared. They are ordered to sit 
do^vn, being about 4,000 of them ; afterwards about 
a thousand more sit down, who were on duty while 
the fii-st number were at supper. The king and 
the queen, with their household servants, wait at 
the table. After they had eaten, and supper was 
almost done, the king himself gives every one a 
piece of bread, with these words : Take eat, shew 
forth the Lord's death. The queen in like mamier, 
giving them a cup, bids them Shew forth the Lord's 
death. When this was over, the prophet before- 
mentioned gets into the pulpit, and asks them if 
they would obey the Word of God ? When they 
all told him. Yes : It is the comvuiml of the ffeavenli/ 
Father, says he, that toe should seiul out about 
twenti/-ei(jht teachers of the Word, who are to go to 
the four quarters of the world, and publish the 
doctrine which is received in this city. Then he 
repeats the names of his missionaries, and assigns 
them all theii- respective journeys. Six are sent to 
Osenburg, six to Vardendorp, eight to Soest, and 
as many to Coesfeld. Afterwards the king and 
queen and the waiters sat down to supper mth those 
who were designed for this expedition. . 
After supper, those eight-and-twenty men we men- 
tioned are sent away by night. To every one, 
besides jn-ovision by the way, was given a crown in 
gold, which they were to leave in those places that 
refused to believe their doctrine, as a testimony of 
theii- rum and eternal destruction, for rejecting that 
peace and saving doctrine which they had been 
offered. These men went out accordingly, and when 
they had reached their respective posts they cry 
out" in the to^viis that men must repent, otherwise 
they would shortly be destroyed. They spread their 



coats ii])on the ground before the magistrates, and 
throw down their crowns before them, and protest 
they were sent by the Father to offer them peace if 
they would receive it. They command them to let 
all their fortunes bo common ; but if they refused 
to accept it, then this gold should be left as a token 
of their wickedness and ingratitude. They added 
' that these were the times foretold by all the 
])ro])hets in which God would make righteousness 
flourish all the world over ; and when their king 
had fully discharged his office, and brought things to 
that jjerfection, so as to make righteousness prevail 
everywhere, then the time would be come in which 
Chi'ist would deliver up the kingdom to the Father.' 

" As soon as they had done their s])eech," says 
Sleidan, " they were apprehended, and examined, 
first in a friendly manner, but afterwards vipou the 
rack, concerning their faith, and way of living, and 
how the town (Miinster) was fortified. Their 
answer was that they only taught the true doctrine, 
which they were i-eady to maintain with the hazanl 
of their lives ; for since the times of the apostles 
the Word of God was never rightly delivered, nor 
justice observed. That there were but four prophets, 
whereof two were righteous, David and John of 
Leyden ; the other two wicked, viz., the Pope and 
Luther, and this latter the worst."' 

Buckholdt combined the duties of missionary with 
those of universal sovereign. Not only did he jiress 
upon his preachers to exhort their hearers to use 
the liberty wherewith the Gospel had invested 
them, more especially in the matter of marriage ; 
he would himself at times ascend his throne in the 
market-place, and tui-ning it into a pulpit, would 
harangue the people on the propriety of following 
his example in the matter of taking to themselves 
more wives. This was surely an unnecessary 
labour, considering that the passions of the citizens 
were no longer restrained either by the autliority 
of laws or by the sense of decency. In the wake 
of lust, as always happens, came blood. 

Miinster, the den of this filthy crew, stank in the 
nostrils of Papist and Protestant alike. It was a 
thing so supremely offensive and di.sgusting that it 
was not possible to live in the same country with it. 
No matter whether one believed in the or in 
Protestantism, this " heavenly kingdom " was more 
than either religion could tolerate ; and must, in the 
name of that common humanity of which it was the 
i-eproach, be swept away. The princes of the Rhino 
Provinces in 1.535 united their forces and marched 
against the city — now strongly fortified. They 
besieged and took it. Buckholdt was led about in 
chains and exhibited in several German towns. 
He was finally brought back to ^Miinster, the scene 
of his grandeur and crimes, and there subjected to 
an agonising death.' The body of the prophet was 
— after death — put into an ii'on cage ; and the 
dead bodies of two of his followers being similarly 
dealt with, all three were hung at the top of the 
city-tower, as a public spectacle and warning — 
Buckholdt in the midst, and on either side a 

Luther sought to make his countrymen under- 
stand the lesson taught them by these deplorable 
occurrences. The Gospel, he said, was the only safe 
])ath between two abysses. Rome by usurping 
authority over the moral law had opened one 
abyss, the prophets of Miinster by abrogating 
that law had opened another. The Gospel, by 
maintaining the supremacy of that law, placed 
the conscience under the authority of God, its 
rightful Ruler, and so gave man liberty without 
licentiousness ; and if the world would a\'oid 
falling headlong into the gulf that yawned on 
either hand, it must go steadil_y forward in the 
road of Protestantism. Rome and Miinster might 
seem wide apart, but there was a point where 
the two met. From the indulgence-box of Tetzel 
came an immunity from moral obligation, quite as 
complete as that of the " heavenly kingdom " of 
the Anabaptist jjrophet of Miinster. 

Sleidan, bk. x., pp. 196, 197. 

Sleidan, bk. i., p. 202. Robertson, bk. v., p. 183. 





Wurtomborg— Captivity of Duko Cliristopher-Eacapo— Philip of Hcsss takes Arms toRostoro tho Duke-His Success 
— Tlio Duko and Wurtomberg Join tlio ProtostantB— Dcatli of Duko George— Accession of Albertine-Saxony to 
Protestautisui— All Central and Northern Germany now Protestant— Avistria and Bavaria still Popish- Protestant 
M(.v<'inents in Austria— Petition of Twenty-four Austrian Nobles -Accession of the Palatinate— Tlie Elector. 
Archljishop of Oolot'no euibraoos Protestautiam-Expcllod from his Prinoipality-Barbarossa- Dissimulation of 
the Emperor— Purposes War. 

We turn to PruteHtantisni, which, iis we have said 
above, was continually multiplying its adlieronts 
and enlarging its area. At this liour a splendid 
aililitioii was unexpectedly made to its territorial 
ddiiiain. lu the year l.'jll), Duke Ulricli of Wur- 
temberg had been expelled his dominions, liaving 
made himself odious to liis subjects by his proHigato 
manners and tyrannical dispositions. ' 1'he ('niperor, 
(Jliarles V., seized on liis tei-ritory, gave it to his 
l)rotlier Ferdinand of Au.stria, who occupied it witli 
liis troops ; and to make all sure the emperor carried 
off Christopher, the son of the duke, in his train. 
The young captive, however, contrived to give liis 
inajcisty the slip. Tho imperial cavalcade was slowly 
winding up the iiortheni slopes of tlie Alps. It 
might bo seen disap])earing this moment as it 
descended into some gorge, or wound round some 
spur of the mountain, and coming fully into view 
the next as it continued its toilsome ascent toward 
the summit of the pass. The van of the long and 
brilliant procession now neared the snows of the 
summit while its rear was only in mid-ascent. The 
young duke, who meditated flight — watching his 
opportunity — fell behind. The vigilance of tho 
guards was relaxed ; a friendly rock interposed 
between him and tho iin]>erial cavalcade. He saw 
that the moment was come. He turned his liorse's 
head and, followed by a single attendant whom he 
liad let into the secret, fled, while the emperor con- 
tinued his progress upward." When at length his 
flight was known tlie pursuit began in hot haste. 
But it was all in vain. The pursuers returned 
without him ; and it was given out that the young 
Duke of Wurtemberg, in crossing the mountains, 
had been slain by brigands, or had perished l)y 

Years wore on : the duku was believed to be 
dead. Meanwhile the Wurtemltergers found tho 
yoke of Austria — under which the eiiii)eror had 
placed them — more unbearable than that of Ulricli, 

which tliey had cast off, and began to sigh for th&ir 
legitimate ruler. It was now the year 1.032. It 
came to be known that the young Christopher was 
still alive ; that he had been all the while in hiding 
with his relations on the confines of Alsace and 
Burgundy ; and that he had embraced the Reformed 
faith in his n^tireinent. As these same ojiinions liad 
been spreading in Wurtemberg, the desire was all 
the Ktronger on the i)art of the inhabitants of that 
territory to have the son of their former sovereign, 
the young duke, back. 

The advantage of strengthening the League of 
Hchmalkald and enlarging the Protestant area by so 
si)lendid an addition as Wurtemberg was obvious to 
the Protestant princes. But this could not be done 
without war. Luther and Melancthon recoiled from 
the idea of taking arms. The League was strictly 
defensive. Nevertheless, Philip of Hesse, one of its 
most active members, undertook tlie project on his 
own responsibility. He set about raising an army 
ill order to drive out tho Austrians and restore 
Christopher to his dukedom. 

Further, tlu! Landgrave of Hesse came to a secret 
arrangement with the King of France, who agreed 
to furnish thc! money for the payment of tho troops. 
It was the moment to strike. The emperor was 
absent in Spain, Ferdinand of Austria had the Turk 
on his liands, Francis I. — ever ready to ride post 
between Rome and Wittemberg — had sent the 
money, and Protestant Germany had furnished tho 

Tho landgrave began the campaign in the end of 
April : his first battle was fought on the 13th of 
May, !>.nd by the end of June he had brought the 
war to a successful issue. Ferdinand had to relin- 
( tho dukedom, Ulricli and his son C'hristopher 
were restored,'' and with them came lil)erty for the 
new opinions. A brilliant addition had been made 
to the Sohiiialkald League, and a Protestant wedge 
dri\en into Southern Germany. 

' Robertson, bk. v., p. 184. ' Sleidan, bk. ii., p. 174. ^ Sleidan, bk. ii., pp. 172, 173. Eobei-tson, bk. v., p. 184. 

■<-'■ I '•'■'■••• '.'.'.^r rir. - 


Nor did this close the list of Protestant successes. 
Among the German princes was no more restless, 
resolute, and consistent opponent of Lutheranism 
than George, Duke of Albertine-Saxony. HLs op- 
position, based on a sincere belief in the doctrines 
of Romanism, was inflamed by personal antipathy 
to Luther. He raged against the Reformer a.s a 
fire-brand and revolutionist ; and the Reformer in 
his turn was at no pains to conceal the contempt in 
which he held the duke, whom he commonly styled 
the " clown." On the 24th of April, 1.539, George, 
Duke of Saxony, died. By hLs death without issue 
— for his two sons had predeceased him — his succes- 
sion fell to his hirother Henrj', whose attachment to 
Protestantism was as zealous as had h>een that of 
his deceased brother to Popery. Duke George 
ordered in his last will that his brother should make 
no change in the religion of his States, and failing 
fulfilment of this condition he bequeathed his king- 
dom to the emperor and Ferdinand of Austria. 
Henry on the first news of his l^rother's death 
hastened to Dresden, and disregarding the injunc- 
tion in the will on the matter of religion, he took 
jx)ssession of the kingdom by making himself be 
proclaimed, not only in the capital, but in Leipsic 
and other great towns. Luther was in^-ited to 
preach a course of sermons at Leipsic, to initiate 
the people into the doctrines of the Picformed 
faith ; and in the course of a few weeks the ancient 
rites were changed and the Protestant worship was 
set up in their room. The change was hailed -n-ith 
joy by the majority of the inhabitants, some of 
whom had already embraced the Picformed opinions, 
but were restrained from the avowal of them by the 
prisons and executioners of Duke George. Tlie 
acces.sion of this powerful dukedom to the Schmal- 
kald League converted what had heretofore been a 
danger — lying as it did in the heart of the Lutheran 
States — into a buttress of the Protestant cause.' 

In Brandenburg were thousands of Protestants, 
Imt secretly for fear of Elector Joachim. In 1.5.39, 
Joachim I. died, with him fell the mass, and on its 
ruins rose the Protestant worship. Brunswick 
followed in 1542.' A chain of Protestant States 
now extended, in an almost unbroken line, from 
the shores of the Baltic to the banks of the Rhine. 

Tlie whole of Central and Northern Germany was 
now Protestant. On the side of the old faith there 
remained only Austria, Bavaria, the Palatinate, 
and the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine. 
Nor did it seem that these States would long be 
able to resist the advances of Protestantism. In 
all of them a religious movement was already on 

foot, and if peace should be prolonged for a few 
years they would, in all likelihood, be permanently 
added to the side of the Pieform. On the 13th of 
December, 1541, a i>etition was presented to 
Ferdinand, in the name of the nobility and States 
of Austria, praying for the free exercise of religion.' 
The petition was signed by twenty-four nobles and 
ten cities, among which was Vienna. The neigh- 
bouring fjrovinces of Styria and Camiola joined in 
the request for freedom of cortscience. Pieferring 
to the miseries of their times, the wars, pe-stUences, 
and famines which these sixteen years had wit- 
nessed, and the desolations which the Turk had 
inflicted, the petitioners pointed to the corruption 
of religion as the cause which had drawn this 
terrible chastisement upon them. " In the whole 
body politic," say they, " there is nothing pure or 
sound ; all discipline both public and private is 
laid aside. . . . We truly know no other 
medicine, most dread sovereign, than that the Word 
of God l)e truly taught, and the jieople stirred up 
to amendment of life, that in confidence thereof 
they may withstand the ■v'iolences of the Turks, for 
in the tnie worshipping of God all our safety con- 
sists. . . . Wherefore we humbly beseech your 
Majesty to give command that the Gos]>el be purely 
taught, especially that point of doctrine which 
relates to justification, \'iz., that our sins are 
pardoned through Christ alone. In the next place, 
that men be exhorted to the practice of charitable 
and good works, which are as it were the fruit and 
signs of faith.' In like manner that they who 
desire it may have the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper given them according to the custom of the 
primitive Church ; that injunction be also laid upon 
the bishops, that according to the late decree of the 
Empire, that they reform what is amiss in the 
Church, that they appoint able ministers to instruct 
the people, and not to turn out sound preachers as 
they have always done hitherto."* 

To this request King Ferdinand would fain have 
said peremptoril)' and roundly, " No j" but with 
Hungary pressing him on the one side, and the 
Turk on the other, he dared not use such plainn&ss 
of speech. He touched, in his reply, on the efforts 
he liad made to have " the Word of God rightly 
preached, according to the traditions of the Fathers, 
and the intei-preters of the Church ;" he siKjke 
sangioinely of the coming Council which was to 
compose all differences about religion, and exhorted 
them meanwhile to "avoid innovations, and follow 
in the footsteps of their fathers, and walk in the 
old way of their religion."' 

> Sleidan, bk. xii., pp. 249, 250. = lb., bk. xiv., p. 

2 Sleidan, bk. liT., p. 285. < /I., pp. 286, 287. 'il>.,p.287. 



In Bavaria, the call for Reform was met by the 
appointment of a Church visitation into the state of 
the clergy. The investigation had proceeded but a 
short way when it became evident to what that road 
would lead, and the business was wound up with 
all the expedition possible, before the Roman 
Church should be utterly discredited, and her cause 
hopelessly damaged in the eyes of the people. 

In the Palatinate the movement bore fruit. The 
elector provided Protestant preachers for the 
chm-ches ; permitted the Sacrament to be dispensed 
in both kinds; gave the priests leave to man-y; and 
on January 10th, 1546, Divine service, in the 
tongue of the people, was celebrated in room of the 
mass in the Cathedi-al-church of Heidelberg.' 

The ecclesiastical electorate of Cologne caused 
more uneasiness to the emperor and the Pope than 
all the rest. It was at this hour trembling in the 
balance. Its prince-bishop had come to be per- 
suaded of the truth of Protestantism, and was 
taking steps to refoi-m his principality. He in- 
vited Bucer to preach in Bonn and other to^vns, 
and he had prevailed on Melancthon to come to 
Cologne, and assist in drawing up a scheme of 
Reformation. The secession from the Roman ranks 
of one who held a foremost place among the princes 
of Germany would, it was foreseen, be a temble 
blow both to the Popedom and the Empire. The 
Archbishop of Cologne was one of the four eccle- 
siastical electors, the other three being the Arch- 
bishops of Mainz, Treves, and Salzburg, and his 
conversion would make a radical phange in the 
electoral college. The majority would be shifted to 
the Protestant side, and the inevitable consequence 
■would be the exclusion of the House of Austria 
from the Empire. This co\ild not but alarm 

But the evil would not end there. There was a 
goodly array of ecclesiastical principalities — some 
half-a-hundred — scattered over Germany. Their 
bishops were among the most powerful of the 
German magnates. They wielded the temporal as 
well as the spiritual jurisdiction, the sword was as 
familiar to their hand as the crosier, and they were 
as often in the field, at the head of armies, as in the 
chapter-house, in the midst of their clergy. They 
were, as may be believed, the firmest pillars of the 
Popedom in Germany. If so influential an elec- 

' Sleidan, bk. xvi., p. 36G. 

torate vi that of Cologne should declare for 
Lutheranism, it was hard to say how many of these 
ecclesiastical princedoms would follow suit. Those 
in Northern Germany had already gone over. The 
Rhenish electorates had till now remained firm ; 
only Cologne, as yet, had wavered. But the danger 
was promptly met. The Pope, the emperor, the 
chapter, and the citizens of Cologne, all combined 
to resist the measures of the elector-bishop, and 
maintain the faith he appeared on the point of 
abandoning. The issue was that the archbishop, 
now an old man, was obliged to succumb." Under 
pressm-e of the Pope's ban and the emperor's arms 
he resigned his electorate, and retired into private 

The emperor clearly saw how matters were going. 
The progress of Lutheranism had surpassed even his 
fears. Principality after principality was going 
over to the Schmalkald League ; each new per\-er- 
sion was, he believed, another prop of his power 
gone ; thus was the Empire slipping from imder him. 
He could hardly hope that even his hereditary 
dominions would long be able to resist the inroads 
of that heresy which had ovei-flown the countries 
around them. He must adojit decisive 
From this time (January, 1544) his mind was made 
up to meet the Protestants on the battle-field. 

But the emperor was not yet ready to di-aw the 
sword. He was on the eve of another great war 
with France. To the gro^\'ing insolence and success 
of Solyman in Eastern Eui-ope was now added an 
irruption of the Turks in the South. The fleet of 
Barbarossa was off" the harbour of Toulon, and waited 
only the retm-n of spring to carry terror and desola- 
tion to the coast of Southern Europe. While these 
obstacles existed the emperor wore peace on his lips, 
though war was in his heart. He ratified at Ratis- 
bon and Spires the Decree of Nuremberg (1532), 
which gave substantial toleration to the Protestants. 
He dangled before their eyes the apple with which 
he had so long tempted them — the promise of a 
Council that should heal the schism ; and thus 
for two years he lulled them into security, till 
he had settled his quarrels with Francis and Soly- 
man, and completed his preparations for measuring 
swords with the League, and then it was that the 
blew fell under which the Protestant cause in Ger- 
many was for awhUe all but crushed. 

a Sleidan, bk. xv., p. 313; bk. xvi., pp. 340—351. 





Preparations for War— Startling Tidings — Luther's Journey to Eisleben— Illness on the Eoad— Enters Eisleben — 
Preaches— His Last Illness— Death— His Personal Appearance— VarUlas' Estimate of him as a Preacher— The 
Supper-table in the Augustine Convent- Luther's Funeral— The Tomb in the Schloss-kirk. 

The man of all others in Germany wlio loved peace 
was Luther. War lie abhorred with all the strength 
of his gi-eat soul. He could not conceive a greater 
calamity befalling his cause than that the sword 
should be allied with it. Again and again, during 
the course of his life, when the opposing parties were 
on the point of rushing to arms the Reformer stepped 
in, and the sword leapt back into its scabbard. Again 
war threatens. On .every side men are preparing 
then- arms : hosts are mustering, and niiglity cap- 
tains are taking the iield. We listen, if haply that 
powerful voice which had so often dispersed the 
tempest when the bolt wa.s ready to fixll shall once 
more make itself heard. There comes instead the 
terrible tidings — Luther is dead ! 

In January, 1546, the Reformer was asked to 
arbitrate in a dispute between the Counts of Mans- 
feld, touching the line of their boundaries. Though 
not caring to meddle in such matters he consented, 
moved chiefly by the consideration that it was his 
native province to which the matter had reference, 
and that he should thus be able to visit his birth- 
place once more. He was taken ill on the 
road, but recovering, he proceeded on his joiu-ney. 
On approaching Mansfeld he was met l)y the 
covnits with a guard of honoiu", and lodged at 
their expense in his native town of Eisleben. 
" He was received by the Counts of Mansfeld and 
an escort of more than one hundred horsemen, and 
entered the town," writes MaimboiU'g, " more like a 
prince than a prophet, amidst the salute of cannon 
and the ringing of the bells in all the churches." 

Having dispatched to the satisfiiction of the coinits 
the business that took hini thither, he occa.sionally 
preached in the church and partook of the Commu- 
nion ; but his strength was ebbing awaj'. Many signs 
warned liim that he had not long to live, and that 
where he had passed his morning, there was he spend- 
ing his eve — an eve of reverence and honour more 
than kingly. "Here I was born and baptised," said 
he to his friends, " what if I should remain here to 
die alsof He was only sixty-three, l)ut continual 
anxiety, ceaseless and exhausting labour, oft-recur- 
ring fits of nervous depression, and cruel maladies 
had done more than years to wa.ste his strength. 

On the 1 7th of February he dined and supped with 
his friends, including his three sons — John, Martin, 
and Paul — and Justus Jonas, who had accompanied 
him. "After supper," says Sleidan, " having wth- 
drawn to pray, as his custom was, the pain in his 
stomach began to increase. Then, by the advice of 
some, he took a little unicorn's horn in wine, and 
for an hour or two slept very sweetly in a couch in 
the stove. When he awoke he retired to his chamber, 
and again disposed himself to rest." ' Awakening 
after a short slumber, the oppression in his chest 
had increased, and perceiving that his end was come 
he addressed himself to God in these words : — 

" O God, my heavenly Father, and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, God of all consolation, I give 
thee thanks that thou hast revealed inito me thy 
Son Jesus Christ, in whom I have believed ; whom 
I have confessed ; whom I have loved ; whom I have 
declared and preached ; whom the Pope of Rome, 
and the multitude of the ungodly, do pei-secute and 
dishonour ; I beseech thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, 
receive my soul. O heavenly Father, though I be 
snatched out of this life ; though I must now lay 
do'wTi this body ; yet know I assiu-edly that I shall 
abide with thee for evei", and that no man can pluck 
me out of thy hands." 

His prayer had winged its way upward : his spii-it 
was soon to follow. Three times he uttered the 
words, his voice growing fainter at each rejietition, 
"Into thy hands I commit my spirit; thou hast 
redeemed me, O God of truth !" and, says Sleidan, 
"he in a manner gently slept out of this life, without 
any bodily pain or agony that could be perceived."^ 

Thus does that sun go down whose light had 
iilled for so many years, not the skies of Germany 
only, but those of all Christendom. The place left 
empty in the world by Luthei-'s departure was like 
that which the natural sun leaves void in the firma- 
ment when he sets in the west. And, further, as 
the descent of the luminary of day is followed by 
the gathering of the shades and the deepening of 
the darkness around the dwellings of men, so too 
was the setting of this other sun. No sooner was 

> Sleidan, bk. ivi., p. 362. - HuL, 

p. 363. 



Luther laid in his grave than the shadows began to 
gather round Germany, and soon they deepened into 
a night of calamity and war. We are not sui-e that 
the brilliance which departed when the tomb closed 
over the Reformer has to this day fully returned to 
the Fathei'land. 

Luther's career had been a stormy one, yet its 
end was peace. He had waged incessant battle, 
not mth the emperor and the Pope only, but also 

is, ever since his appearance at the Diet of Worms 
— the emperor's ban and the Pope's anathema had 
hung about him ; yet there fell not to the gi-ound a 
hair of his head. The great sword of the emperor, 
which conquered Francis and chastised the Turk, 
could not approach the doctor of Wittemberg. The 
Reformer lived in his little unarmed Saxon town all 
his days ; he rose up and lay do^vTl in peace ; he toiled 
day by day forging liis bolts and hurling them with 


with a more dreadful foe, who had often filled his 
mind with darkness. Yet now he dies expressing 
liis undimmed joy and his undying tnist in his 
Saviour. It is also very remarkable that the man 
whose life had been so often sought by Popes, kings, 
priests, and fanatics of every grade, died on his bed. 
Luther often said that it would be a great disgrace 
to the Pope if he should so die. " All of you, thou 
Popf , thou devil, ye kings, princes, and lords, are 
Luther's enemies ; and j'et ye can do him no hann. 
It was not so with John Huss. I take it there has 
not been a man so hated as I these hundred years." 
During the last twenty-five years of his life — that 
62 — VOL. II. 

all his might at the foe ; and that foe dreaded his 
pen and tongue more than the assault of whole 
armies. To be rid of him Rome would have joyfully 
given the half of her kingdom ; but not a day, not 
an hour of life was she able to take from him. The 
ancient command had gone forth, " Touch not mine 
anointed and do my prophets no hai-m." And so we 
tiud Luther finishing his course, as the natural sun, 
after a day of tempest, is sometimes seen to finish 
his, amid the golden splendours of a calm eventide.' 

1 A monumeiLt in memorial of the great Reformer has 
been erected at Worms. This monument, so noble as a 



It were vain, and superfluous to boot, to attempt 
drawing a cliaracter of Luther. He jiaints liimself, 
and neither needs nor will pemiit any other, whether 
friend or foe, to diaw his portrait. Immeasurably 
the gi-eatest spirit of his age, his colossal figure filled 
Chiistcndom. But we cannot be too often reminded 
'whence his greatness sprang ; and happily it can be 
expressed in a single word. It was his Faith 
— faith in God. There have been men of as 
commanding genius, of as fearless courage, of as in- 
flexible lionesty, of as persuasive popidar eloquence, 
and as mdefatigable in labour and unchangeable in 
puii)ose,' who yet have not revohitionised the world. 
It was not this assemblage of brilliant qualities and 
powers which enabled Luther to achie^-e what he 
did. They aided him, it is true, bvxt the one power 
in virtue of which he efiected the Reformation was 
his faith. His foith placed him in thorough har- 
mony with the Divine mind and the Divine goveni- 
ment; the wisdom -svith which he spake was thus 
the wisdom of God, and it enlightened the world ; 
the object he aimed at was what God had puqiosed 
to bring to pass, and so he prospered in his great 
undertaking. This is the tme mystic potency of 
which jiriests in all ages have pretended, though 
falsely, to be possessed ; it descended in all its pleni- 
tude upon Luther, but what brought it down from 
its native source in the skies was not any outward 
rite, but the power of faith. 

There is one quality of the illustrious Reformer 
of which we have said little, namely, his eloquence 
in the pulpit. Of the extraordinary Measure in 
which he possessed this gift we shall permit two 
Popish witnesses to bear testimony. Varillas says of 
him : "In him nature would appear to have com- 
bined the spirit of the Italian with the body of the 
(Jennan ; siicli are his vivacity and his industry, 
liis vigour and his eloquence. In the study of 
philosophy and .scholastic theology he was surpassed 
by none ; and at the same time none could equal 
him in the art of preaching. He possessed in per- 

work of art, and so interesting from what it commemo- 
rates, occupied nine years in the execution, and is said to 
have cost .£17,000. The central figure is Luther's statue in 
bronze, eleven feet in height. He holds a Bible in his left 
hand, to which he points with the right, while his gaze is 
directed upwards. At his feet sit four of the greatest 
among the precursors of the Reformation. In front are 
Huss on the right and Savonarola on the left. At the back 
are Wicliffe on the right and Peter Waldo on the left. 
On the side pedestals in front are PhUip the Magnani- 
mous on the right and Frederick the Wise on the left. At 
the hack are Melancthon on the right and Eeuchlin on 
the left. On lower pedestals are allegorical figures of the 
towns of Magdeburg, Augsburg, and Spires, and between 
these are the arms of the twenty-four towns of Germany 
Wliich Were the first to emlirace the Reformation. 

fection the highest style of eloquence ; he had dis- 
covered the strong and the weak sides of the human 
understanding, and knew the ways by which to lay 
hold of both ; he had the art of sounding tlie inclina- 
tions of his hearers, however various and eccentric 
they might be ; he knew how to rouse or allay theif 
passions, and if the topics of his discourse were too 
high and incompi'ehensible to convince them, he 
could carry all before him by a forcible attack on 
the imagination through the vehemence of his 
imagei-y. Such was Liither in the puljsit ; there he 
tossed his hearers into a tempest and calmed them 
down again at his pleasure. But when he descended 
from the pulpit it was only to exercise a stiU more 
absolute reign in his private conversation. He 
stirred men's minds without discomposing them, 
and inspired them with his sentiments by a mode 
of wliich none could discover either the action or 
the traces. In sliort, he triumphed by the elegance 
of his German style over those who had been stnick 
with his eloquence and captivated by his conversa- 
tion ; and a.s nobody spoke or WTote his native 
language so well as he, none have ever since spoken 
or ^^Titten it vdih so much purity." 

Another writer, hostile to Luther and the Refor- 
mation — Florimond de Rsemond — speaking of his 
eloquence says : " When declaiming from the 
pulpit, as if smitten by a frenzy, with action suited 
to the word, he struck the minds of liis hearei-s in 
the most marvellous manner, and cawied them away 
in a torrent wherever he would — a gift and power 
of speech which is seldom found among the nations 
of the North." 

There could hardly be a greater contrast than 
that between Luther in public, where his temper 
appeared so imperious and his onsets were so fierce 
and overwhelming, and Luther in private, where he 
was gentle as a child. In men like Luther the love 
of truth, which in public kindles into passion and 
vehemency in the face of opposition, becomes mild- 
ness and love in the midst of the congenial 
circle. " Whoever has known him and seen him 
often and familiarly," writes Melancthon of him, 
" will allow that he was a most excellent man, 
gentle and agreeable in society, not in the least 
obstinate and given to dispiitation, yet with all the 
gi-avity becoming his character. If he showed 
any great severity in combating the enemies of the 
true doctrine, it was from no malignity of nature, but 
from ardoiir and enthusiasm ftirthe truth."' Com- 
munion with God through his Word, and in prayer, 
were the two chief means by which he nourished 
his faith, and by consequence his strength. " I 

' Ukert, torn, ii., p. 12. 


have myself," says Melancthon, " often found him 
shedding bitter tears, and praying earnestly to God 
for the welfare of the Church. He devoted part of 
each day to the reading of the Psalms and to in- 
voking God with all the fervoiu- of his soul."' His 
sublime task was to draw forth the light of the 
Word from its concealment, and replace it in the 
temple, in the scliool, and in the dwelling. 

His personal appearance has been well sketched 
by one of his biographers : " In stature he was not 
much above the ordinary height, but his limbs were 
firmly set ; he had an open, right valiant counten- 
ance ; a broad German nose, slightly aquOine ; a 
forehead rather wide than lofty, with beetling 
brows ; large lips and mouth ; eyes full of lustre, 
which were compared to the eagle's or the lion's ; 
short curling dark hair, and a distinguishing wart 
on tlie right cheek. In the early part of his 
career his figure was emaciated to the last degree, 
subsequently it filled out, and in his latter years 
inclined to corpulency. His constitution was 
naturally of the strongest cast ; one of the common 
mould must have sunk imder his unparalleled 
energy ; and he was never better than with plenty 
of toil and study, and a moderate diet, such as his 
accustomed herring and pease." - 

As the patriarchs of old sat in the door of theii- 
tent to bid the wayfarer welcome to its shade and 
hospitality, so dwelt Luther in the Augustine con- 
vent. Its door stood open to all. Thither came 
the poor for alms, the sick for medicine, and 
distinguished strangers from all parts of Europe to 
see and converse with its illustrious occupant. The 
social meal was the supper. Luther would come to 
the table, weary with the labours of the day, not 
imfrequently holding a book in his hand, in which 
he would continue for some time reading. All kept 
silent till he had lifted his eyes from the page. 
Then he would inquire the news ; this was the 
signal for conversation, which soon became general. 
Around his board would be gathered, it might be, 
some of his fellow-professors ; or old friends from 
a distance, as Link from Nuremberg, or Probst 
from Bremen ; or eminent scholars from distant 
lands ; or statesmen and courtiers, who chanced to 
be travelling on some embassy. Men of every rank 
and of all ]irofessions found their way to the supper- 
table in the Augustine convent, and received an 
equal welcome from the illustrious host. 

In those days news travelled slowly, for the 
newspaper was not then in being, and the casual 
traveller was often the first to bring the intelligence 

' Ukert, torn, ii., p. 7. 

- Worsley, Life of Martin Luther, vol. ii., p. 391. 

to Wittemberg, that some great battle had been 
fought, or that the Turk had again broken mto 
Christendom, or that a new Pope had to be sought 
for the vacant chair of St. Peter. No likelier place 
was there to get early information of what was 
passing in the world than the supper-table in the 
Augustine. If the guests were delighted, the 
traveller too was rewarded by hearing Luther's 
comments on the news he had been the first to 
retail. How often were statesmen astonished at 
the deeper insight and truer forecast of the Re- 
former in matters belonging to a province which 
they deemed exclusively theii- own ! With terrible 
sagacity he coidd cut right into the heart of a 
policy, and with characteristic courage would tear 
the mask from kings. Or it might happen that 
some distinguished scholar from a distant land was 
a guest in the Augustine. What an opportunity 
for ascertaining the true translation of some word, 
which had occurred, it might be, in a passage on 
wliich the Reformer had been occupied that very 
day ! Or the company at table was more promis- 
cuous : so, too, was the conversation. Topics 
grave and gay would come up by turns. Now 
it was the scheme of the monarch, and now the 
affairs of the peasant that were passed in re\'iew. 
Shrewd remarks, flashes of wit, bursts of hiuuour, 
would enliven the supper-room. The eye of Luther 
would begin to burn, and \\'ith beaming face he 
would look round on the listeners as he scattered 
amongst tliem his sayings, now serious, now play- 
ful, now droll, but always embodying profoimd 
wisdom. Supper ended, Aurifaber, or some other 
of the company, would retire and commit to 
writing the more notable things that had just fallen 
from the Reformer, that so in due time what had 
been at first the pri\'ilege of only a few, might 
become the property of all in Luther's Table 
Talk. A Latin chant or a German hymn, sung by 
a chorus of voices, in which Luther's tenor was 
easily distinguishable, would close the evening. 

Luther was dead : where would they lay his 
dust? The Counts of Mansfeld would fain have 
interred him in their own family vault ; but John, 
Elector of Saxony, commanded that where his 
labours had been accomplished, there his ashes 
should r-est. Few kings have been buried with such 
honoui-s. Setting out for Wittemberg, relay after 
relay of princes, nobles, magistrates, and peasants 
joined the funeral procession, and swelled its 
numbers, till it looked almost like an army on its 
march, and reminded one of that host of mourners 
which bore the patriarch of Old Testament story 
from the banks of the Nile to his grave in the 
distant Machpelah. As the procession passed 



tlu-ough Halle and other towns on its route, the 
inhabitants thronged the streets so as almost to 
stop the cortege, and sang, with voices thrilling 
with emotion, psalms and hymns, as if instead of a 
funeral car it had been the chariot of a conqueror, 
whose return from victory they were celebrating 
with paeans. And truly it was so. Luther 
was returning from a great battle-field, where he 
had encountered the powers and principalities of 
spiritual despotism, and had discomfited them by 
the sword of the spirit. It was meet, therefore, that 
those whom he had liberated by that great victory 
should carry him to his grave, not as ordinary men 
are carried to the tomb, but as heroes are led to 
the spot where they are to be crowned. On the 
22nd of February, the cavalcade reached Wittem- 

berg. As it drew near the gates of the town the 
procession was joined by Catherine von Bora, the 
wife of Luther. The carriage in which she was 
seated, along with her daughter and a few mati-ons, 
followed immediately after the body, which, de- 
posited in a leaden cofiin covered with black velvet, 
was carried on a car drawn by four horses. It was 
taken into the Schloss-kirk,' and some funeral 
hymns being simg, Pomeranus ascended the pulpit 
and gave an appropriate address. INIelancthon 
next delivered an eloquent oration, after which the 
cofiin was lowered into the grave by certain learned 
men selected for the purpose, amid the deep still- 
ness, broken only by sobs, of the princes, magis- 
trates, pastors, and citizens gathered round the last 
resting-place of the great Reformer.- 



The Emperor's League with Pope Paul III.— Charles's Preparations for War— His Dissimulation— The Council of 
Trent— Its Policy— The Pope's Indiscretion— The Army of the Schmalkald League— Treachery of Prince Maurice 
—The Emperor's Ban— Vacillation of the Protestants— Energy of the Emperor— Maurice Seizes liis Cousin's 
Electorate— Elector .lohn Returns Home— Landgrave Philip Defeated— The Confederates Divide and Sue for 
Pardon — Charles Master. 

For two years war had lowered over Gennany, but 
while Luther lived the tempest wa.s withheld from 
bursting. The Reformer was now in his grave, and 
the storm came on apace. The emperor pushed on 
his preparations more vigorously than ever. He 
aiTanged all his other affairs, tluvt he might give 
the whole powers of his mind, and the un- 
divided strength of his arms, to the suppression of 
Lutheranism. He ended his war with France. 
He patched up a truce with the Turk, his brother 
Ferdinand submitting to the humiliation of an 
annual payment of 50,000 crowns to Solyman. He 
recruited soldiers in Italy and in the Low Countries, 
and he made a treaty with the Pope, Paid III. 
There were points in whicli the policy of these two 
potentates conflicted ; but both agi-eed that all 
other matters should give place to that one which 
each accounted t^ie most important. 

What the object was, which held the first place 
in the thoughts of both, was abundantly clear from 
the treaty now conchided between the Pope and 
the emperor, the main stipulation of which was as 
follows : — " The Pope and the emperor, for the glory 
of God, and the public good, but especially the 
welfare of Germany, have entered into league 

together upon certain articles and conditions ; and, 
in the first place, that the emperor shall provide an 
army, and all things necessary for war, and be in 
readiness by the month of June next ensuing, and 
by force and arms compel those who refuse the 
Council, and maintain those errors, to embrace the 
ancient religion and submit to the Holy See."' 
The Pope, in addition to 100,000 ducats which 
ho had already ad-\-anced, stipulated to deposit as 
much more in the Bank of Venice toward defraying 
the expense of the war ; to maintain at his own 
charge, during the space of six months, 12,000 foot 

' Not in the Cathedral, as is often stated, but in the 
Schloss-kirk, or Castle-church, adjoining the eastern gate 
of Wittemberg, the same on the door of which Luther 
nailed his Theses. There his gi-ave is seen at this day. A 
little in advance of the pulpit are the tombs of the two 
electors, Frederick and John ; and some four yards or so 
beyond these are the graves of Luther and Melancthon. 
Lovely in their lives, they are not divided in the tomb. 
Over the grave of Luther is the following inscription in 
■ Latin : — " Here lies interred the body of Martin Luther, 
Doctor of Divinity, who died at Eisleben, the place of his 
birth, on the 18th of February, in the year of Christ 
1546; having lived 63 years, 3 months, and 10 days." 

- See Seckendorf, lib. iii., sec. 133. 

3 Sleidan, bk. xvii., p. 381. 



and 500 horse ; to grant the emperor for this year 
one-half of the Church revenues all over Spain ; to 
empower him to alienate as much of the abbey- 
iauds in that country as would amount to 500,000 
ilucats; and that both spii'itual ceusiu-es and 
mihtary force should be employed against any prince 
who might seek to hinder the execution of this 
treaty.' " Thus did Charles V.," says the Abbe 
Millot, "after the example of Ferdinand the 
Catholic, make a mock of truth, and use the art of 
deceiving mankind as an instrameut for effectmg 
his purposes."^ 

Another step toward war, though it looked like 
conciliation, was the meetmg of the long-promised 
and long-deferred Council. In December previous, 
there had assembled at the little towi of Trent 
some forty prelates, who assumed to represent the 
Universal Church, and to issue decrees which should 
be binding on all the countries of Chi-istendom, 
although Italy and Spain alone were as yet repre- 
sented in the Council. Hitherto, the good Fathers 
had eschewed everything like business, but now the 
emperor's preparations being nearly completed, the 
Council began "to march." Its first decrees showed 
plainly the part allotted to it in the approaching 
drama. "They were an open attack," says the 
Abbe Millot, "on the first principles of Protes- 
tantism."^ The CouncU, in its tliird session, decreed 
that the traditions of the Fathers are of equal autho- 
rity mth the Scriptures of the Old and New 
Testament, and that no one is to presume to 
interpret Soriptm-e in a sense difierent from that of 
the Church.-' This was in reality to pre-judge all 
the questions at issue, and to render further 
discussion between the two parties but a waste of 
time. Obviously the first step towai-d the right 
settlement of the controversy was to agree on the 
rule according to which all matters in dispute were 
to be deteiTuined. The Protestants affirmed that 
the one infallible authority was the Word of God. 
They made their appeal to the tribunal of Holy 
Scriptm-e; they could recognise no other judge. 
The sole supremacy of Scriptiu'e was in fact the 
comer-stone of then- system, and if this great 
maxim were rejected their whole cause was ad- 
judged and condemned. 

But the Council of Trent began by repudiating 
this maxim, which is comprehensive of all Protes- 
tantism. The tribunal, said the Council, to which 
you must submit yourselves and your cause is Tra- 

' Sleidan, bk. xvii., p. 382. Pallavicino, lib. viii., 
cap. 1, p. 541. 
■•: MiUot, vol. iv., p. 313. 
3 Ibid., p. 311. 
•> Sleidan, bk. xvii., pp. 373, 374. 

dition and the Scriptures, as interpreted by the 
Church. This was but another way of saying, " You 
must submit to the Church." This might well 
amaze the Protestants, The lay between 
them and the Church, and now they were told that 
they must accept their opponent for their- judge. 
Every one knew how the Chui-ch interpreted the 
questions at issue. The first decree of the CouncU 
then embraced all that were to follow ; it secured 
that nothing should emanate from the Council save 
a series of thoroughly Popish decisions or dogmas, 
all of them enjoined like the first under pain of 

It was clear that the Fathers had assembled at 
Trent to pass sentence on the faith of the German 
people as heresy, and then the emperor would step 
in with his great sword and give it its death-blow. 

Meanwhile Charles pursued liis policy of dissimu- 
lation. The more he laboured to be ready for war, 
the louder did he protest that he meant only peace. 
He cherished the most ardent wishes for the happi- 
ness of Germany, so did he aflirm; he had raised only 
some few insignificant levies ; he liad formed no 
treaty that pointed to war ; and he contrived to 
have an interview with Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, 
who, he kiaew, saw deepest into his heart and most 
suspected his designs, and by his consummate dupli- 
city, and his earnest disavowals of all hostile inten- 
tions, he succeeded in removing from the mind of 
the landgrave all apprehensions that war was im- 
pending. On liis return from this interview Philip 
commimicated his favourable impressions of the 
situation to liis confederates, and thus were the 
suspicions of the Protestants again lulled to sleep. 

But soon they were rudely awakened. From 
every quarter came rimioiu-s of the armaments the 
emperor was raising. Seeing Charles was at war 
with neither Francis nor Solyman, nor any other 
Power, for what could he intend these preparations, 
except the extmction of Protestantism .* The 
Lutheran princes had warnings from then- friends in 
Italy and England that their ruin was intended. 
Finally there came a song of triumph from Eome : 
Paul III., full of zeal, and not doxibtrng the issue of 
an undertaking that inexpressibly delighted him, 
told the world that the overthi-ow of Lutheranism 
was at hand. " Paul himself," says the Abbe Millot, 
" betrayed this dark transaction. Proud of a league 
formed against the enemies of the Holy See, he pub- 
lished the articles of it in a bull, exliorting the faith- 
ful to concur m it, in order to gain indulgences."^ 
This was a somewhat embarrassmg disclosure of 
the emperor's projects, and compelled him to thi-ow 

Millot, vol. iv., p. 313, 



ofi the mask a little sooner than he intended. But 
even when he avowed the intentions which he could 
no longer conceal, it was with an astuteness and 
duplicity which to a large extent disguised his real 
purpose. " He had address enough," says Millot, 
" to persuade part of the Protestants that he was 
sincere." True, he said, it was Germany he had 
in his eye in his warlike preparations ; but what 
he sought was not to interfere with its religious 
opinions, but to punish certain parties who had 
broken its peace. The Schmalkald League was an 

whereas the latter, with an imposing show, would 
be found to have no strength at all. 

Meanwhile the major part of the Protestants, 
being resolved to repel force by force, made vigorous 
preparation for war. " They solicited the Vene- 
tians, " says the Abbe Millot, " the Swiss, Henry 
VIII., and Francis I. to support them against a 
despotism which, after having enslaved Gemiany, 
would extend itself over the rest of Europe. None 
of these negotiations succeeded, but they could dis- 
pense with foreign assistance. In a few months 

empire within an empire, it could not consist with 
the imperial supremacy ; besides certain recent pro- 
ceedings of some of its members called for coiTec- 
tion. This pointed unmistakably to John Frederick, 
Elector of Saxony, and Philip, Landgrave of Hesse. 
The pi-etext was a transparent one, but it enabled 
the timid, the lukewarm, and the wavering to say, 
This war does not concern religion, it is a quarrel 
merely between the emperor and certain members 
of the League. How completely did the aspect the 
matter now assumed j\istify the wisdom of the man 
who had lately been laid in his grave in the Schloss- 
kirk of Wittemberg ! How often had Luther 
warned the Protestants against tlie error of shifting 
their cause from a moral to a political basis ! The 
iormer, he ever assured them, would, when the day 
of trial came, be found to have double the strength 
they had reckoned upon — in fact, to be invincible ; 

they levied an army of more than fourscore thousand 
armed men, furnished with every necessary in abun- 
dance. The Electors of Cologne and Brandenburg 
remained neutral, as did also the Elector Palatine."' 
The Margrave of Mi.snia, and the two princes of 
Brandenburg, though all Protestants, declared for 
the emperor. The Elector of Saxony, the Landgi-ave 
of Hesse, the Duke of Wurtemberg, the princes ot 
Anhalt, the cities of Augsburg, Ulm, and Strasburg, 
alone set this formidable armament on foot. The 
League was divided from the very commencement 
of the campaign; but what completed the disor- 
ganisation of the Protestant camp, and paved the 
way for the tragedy that followed, was the treachery 
of Prince Maurice of Saxony. 

Maurice was the son of that William who suc- 

' Millot, vol. iv., pp. 313, 314 



ceeded Duko George, the noted enemy of Luther. 
William, a weak prince, was now dead, and his son 
Maurice was Diik(j (jfAlbertine-Saxony. Neglected 
in youth, he liad grown to manhood restless, 
shrewd, self-reliant, self-willed, with ambition as his 
iiiling passion. He was a Protestant, but without 
deep religious convictions. In choosing his creed 
lie was influenced quite as much by the advantage 
it might offer as by the truth it might contain. He 
was largely imbued with tliat sceptical spirit which 
is fatal to all strength of character, elevation of 
soul, and grandeur of aim. The old race of German 
princes and politicians, the men who believing in 
great principles were capable of a chivalrous de- 
votion to gi'eat causes, was dying out, and a new 
generation, of which Pruice Maurice was the pioneer, 
was taking tlieir place. In the exercise of that 
worldly \visdom on whicli he plumed himself, 
Maurice weighed both sides, and then chose not the 
gi-eater cause but the greater man, or he whom he 
took to be so, even the Emperor Charles. With 
him, he felt assured, would remain the victory, and 
as he wished to share its spoils, wliich would be 
considerable, with Mm lie cast in his lot. 

On the 20th of July tlie blow fell. On that day 
the emperor promulgated liis ban of outlawry 
against the two Protestant chiefs, John Frederick, 
Elector of Saxony, and Philip, Landgrave of Hesse.' 
Tliis step was the more bold as it ought to have been 
authorised by the Diet. The war, now that it had 
come, foiuid the League neither united nor prepared. 
But notwithstanding some cowardly defections it 
was able to bring into the held 47,000 troo])S.- 
Tlie first question was, who should have the com- 
mand i Philip of Hesse was the better soldier, but 
John Frederick of Saxony was the greater prince. 
Could a landgrave command an elector? In the 
settlement of this nice ])oint much time was wasted, 
whicli had better have been devoted to fighting. 
The campaign, from its commencement iii the mid- 
summer of 1.546, to its in the spring of 1547, 
was marked, on the part of the League, by vacilla- 
tion and blundering. There was no foresight shown 
in laying its plans, no vigoiu" in carrying tlieni out. 
The passes of the Tyrol were strangely left un- 
defended, and the Spanish and Italian soldiers, 
\inopposed, deployed on the German plains. The 
troops which Charles had raised in the Low Goun- 

' Sleidan, bk. xvii., p. 389. Eobertson, Hist. Charles V., 
bk. viii., p. 249. 

- Robertson makes the Protestant army amount to 
70,000 foot, 15,000 horse, with a corresponding train of 
artiUery. (Hist. Charles V., bk. viii., p. 248.) Millot, in thu 
passage quoted above, agrees with him, saying nearly 

tries in like maimer were sufiered to cross the Rhine 
without a blow being struck.'* Before the arrival 
of these levies, tlie emperor's army was not more 
than 10,000 strong. His camp at Ingolstadt 
might easily have been surprised and taken by the 
superior forces of the League, and the campaign 
ended at a blow.'' While the Protestant leadei's 
were debating whether they ought to essay this, 
the imperial reinforcements arrived, and the 
opportunity was lost. Money began to fail the 
League, sickness broke out in their anny, and, de- 
spairing of success, the soldiers and oflicers began 
to di.sjjcrse to their several homes. Witliout 
fighting a battle the League abandoned Southern 
Germany, the first seat of tlie war, leaving Wur- 
temberg, and the Palatinate, and the cities of Ulm, 
Augsburg, and others, to make what terms they 
could witli the emperor.'" 

Prince Maurice now undertook the execution of 
the imjjeriiil ban on the dominions of the elector. 
When John Frederick was infoi-med of this, he set 
out from the camp of the League to defend liLs 
dukedom, now ravaged by the arms of his former 
ally. Ho was jjursued by the army of the emperor, 
overtaken on the Elbe at Miihlberg (24th April, 
1547), routed, taken captive, stripped of his elec- 
torate, and consigned to prison. The emperor 
jiarted the elector's dominions between Maurice 
and his brother Ferdinand." 

Landgrave Pliilip was still in the field. But 
reflecting that his forces were dispuited and 
shattered while the anny of the emperor was 
unbroken and flushed with \'ictory, he concluded 
that further resistance was hopeless. He therefore 
resolved to surrender. His son-in-law, Prince 
Maurice, used all his influence with the emperor 
to procure for him easy terms. Charles was in- 
exorable ; the landgrave's surrender must be 
unconditional.' All that Maurice could effect was 
a promise from the emperor that his fiither-in-law 
should not be imprisoned. If this promise was 
ever given it was not kept, for no sooner had Philip 
quitted the emperor's presence, after surrendering 
to liim, than he was arrested and thrown into 

So ended the Schmalkald war. It left Charles 

^ Sleidan, bk. xviii., p. 397. 

•• Ibid., p. 397. Millot, vol. iv., p. 315. Eobertson, 
bk. viii., p. 251. 

•'■ Sleidan, bk. xviii., p. 421. Eobertson, bk. viii., p. 255. 

'• Sleidan, bk. six., pp. 42e, 427, 428. Millot, vol. iv., 
p. 320. Eobertson, bk. ix., pp. 205, 260. 

' Sleidan, bk. xix., pp. 429 — 431. Eobertson, bk. ix., 
p. 269. 

" The story goes that the change of a single German 
word sufficed to change the landgrave's fate from liberty 



more completely master of Germany than he ha^l 
ever been before. There wa.s now no outward 
obstruction to the restoration of the ancient wor- 
ship. The Prote.stants api^eared to be completely 
in the emperor's power. They had neither sword 
nor League wherewith to defend themselves. They 
were brought back again to their first but mightiest 
weapon — martyrdom. If, instead of stepping do\i-n 
into the arena of battle, they had ofiered themselves 
to the stake, not a tithe of the blood would have 
been shed that was spilt in the campaign, and 
instead of being lowered, the moral power of 
Protestantism thereby would have been immensely 

But we dare not challenge the right of the 
Protestant princes to combine, and rejjel force by 

force. It was natural, in reckoning up the chances 
of success, that they should count swords, especially 
when they saw how many swords were unsheathed 
on the other side. But no greater calamitj' could 
have befallen the Eeformation than that Protes- 
tantism should have become, in that age, a great 
political power. Had it triumphed as a jKilicy it 
would have perished as a religion. It must first 
establish itself on the earth as a great spiritual 
power. This could not be done by arms. And so, 
ever and anon, it was s-tripped of its political de- 
fences that the spiritual principle might have room 
to grow, and that all might see that the conquests 
of the Eeformation were not won for it by force, nor 
its dominion and rule given it by princes, but that 
by its own strength did it grow up and wax mighty. 



All seems Lost — Humiliation of Germany —Taxes— The " Interim ' ' -Essentially a Eestoration of Popery— Pereecutiona 
by whicli it was Enforced— The Climax of the Emperor's Power- It Falls — The Pope Forsakra him— Maurice 
Turns against him — Manifesto of Maurice — Flight of the Emperor— Peace of Paasau — Treaty of Augsburg— Ee- 
establishment of Protestantiom in Germany — Charles's Abdication and Eetirement to the MonaBtery of St. Juste 
— ^Eeflections. 

It did seem as if the kneU of the Lutheran Reforma- 
tion had been rung out The emperor's trivmiph 
was complete, and he had it now in his pwwer to 
settle the religions question as he chose. From the 
southern extremity of Wnrtemberg, as fer as the 
Elbe the provinces and the citira had submitted 
and were in the occupation of the imperial troops. 
Of the three leading princes of the L«ague, one was 
the ally of the emperor, the other two were his 
prisoners. Stripped of title and power, their castles 
demolished, their lands confi-scated, Charles was 
leading them about from city to city, and from 
prison to prison, and with wanton cruelty exhibit- 
ing them as a spectacle to their former subjects. 
GJermany felt it«elf insulted and disgraced in this 
open and bitter humiliation of two of its most 

to imprisomnent. Nicht einvjet G^nyU — not imprisoned 
— was changed, it is said, into nieht ewigU Gefatyjit — not 
perpetuaDy imprisoned- The story, however, is doubted ; 
it certainly has not been proved, and the silence of 
Sleidan, who wrote only a few yean after the event, 
discreditfi its troth. 

iUustrioos princes. The tmhappy country was made 
still further to feel the power of the conqueror, 
being required to pay a million and a half CTOwns — 
an enormous sum in those days — which Charles 
levied without much distinction between those who 
had served and those who had opposed him in the 
late war.' " The conqueror publicly immlted the 
Germanic body by leading its principal members in 
captivity from town to town. He oppressed all who 
joined the League of Schmalkald with heavy taxes, 
carried off their artillery, and disarmed the people ; 
levied contributions at his pleasure from his allies, 
and treated them as if they had been his own sub- 
jects Ferdinand exercised the same 

despotism over the Bohemians, and stripped them of 
almost all their privileges."' 

Events abroa/1 left Charles yet more free to act 
the despot in Germany. His two rivals, Henry 
VIIL of England and Francis L of France, were 
removed fitmi the scene by death, and he had now 

> Bohertaon, bk. ix., p. 272. - ViOot, toL iv., p. 322. 



little cause to fear opposition to his projects in the 
quarters from which the most formidable resistance 
aforetime had come. Of the four potentates — Leo 
of Rome and the Kings of England, France, and 
Spain — whose gi-eatness had signalised, and whose 
ambition had distracted, the first half of the six- 
teenth centiuy, Charles was now the sole survivor; — 
but his sun was nearer its setting tlian he thought. 

Master of the situation, as he believed, the em- 
peror proceeded to frame a creed for his northern 
subjects. It w;is styled the " Interim." Meant to 
let Lutheran Germany easily down, it was given out 
as a half-way comjji-omise between Wittemberg and 
Rome. The concoctors of this famous scheme were 
Julius Pflug, Bishop of Naumberg, Michael Sidonius, 
and John Agricola, a Protestant, but little trusted 
by his brethren. ' As finally adjusted, after repeated 
corrections, this new creed was the old faith of 
Rome, a little freshened up by ambiguities of speech 
and quotations from Scripture. The Interim taught, 
among other things, the supremacy of the Pope, tlie 
dogma of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the 
mass, the invocation of the saints, auricular confes- 
sion, justification by works, and the sole right of the 
Church to interpret the Scriptures ; in short, not one 
concession did Rome make. In return for swallow- 
ing a creed out-and-out Popish, the Protestants were 
to be rewarded with two paltry boons. Clergymen 
already married were to be permitted to discharge 
their oiSce without putting away their wives ; and 
where it was the wont to dispense the Sacrament in 
both kinds the custom was still to be tolerated. 
This was called meeting the Protestants half-way.' 

Nothing was to be altered in the canon of the 
mass, nothing changed in the ceremonies of baptism. 
In every city church two masses were to be said 
daily; in village chm-ches and landward parishes, 
one, especially on holidays. Exorcism, chi-ism, oil, 
&c., were to be retained ; as were also vestments, or- 
naments, vessels, crosses, altars, candles, and images. 
The compilers added, without intending to be in the 
least satirical, " tliat if anything have crejit in which 
may give occasion to superstition, it be taken 
away."^ *" 

This document was presented (May 15th, 1548) 
by the emperor to the Diet at Augsburg. It was 
read according to form. Without giving time for 
any discussion, the Archbishop of Mainz, President 
of the Electoral College, hastily rose, and thanking 
the emperor for this new token of his care about the 
Church, and his pious wish to heal her divisions, 
expressed the Diet's concurrence in the new scheme. 

1 Sleidan, bt. ix., p. 454. 

■ Ibid., p. 458. Millot, vol. iv., p. 323. 

3 Sleidan, bk. xi., p. 458. 

Not a dissent was tendered ; the Diet sat silent, 
awed by the emperor's soldiers, who had been 
massed around Augsburg. The Interim was 
straightway promulgated by the emperor : all were 
to conform to it under pain of his displeasure, and it 
was to remain in force until a free General Council 
could be held.'' 

Astute and far-seeing as the emperor was 'svithin 
his own pro\"ince, the Interim remains the monu- 
ment of his shoi-t-sightedness in matters outside of 
that province. Great as his experience had been of 
the world and its affairs, he did not yet know man. 
He knew the weakness of man, his self-love, his 
covetousness, and his ambition ; but he did not 
know that in which lies his strength — namely, in 
conscience. This was the faculty that Protestantism 
had called into existence, and it was with this new 
power — wliich Charles did not understand, or rather 
did not believe in — that he was now rushing into 
conflict. He thought he was advancing to victory, 
when the issue showed that he was marching to 

The emjjeror now proceeded to enforce the In- 
terim. " The emperor insisted on the obser\ ance 
of it with the authoiity of a master that would be 
obeyed."* He was astonished to find that a matter 
which he had taken to be so simple should give rise 
to so many difficulties. The Interim, for which lie 
had anticipated a chorus of welcome on all sides, had 
hardly a friend in the woi'ld beyond the narrow circle 
of its compilere. It stank in the nostrils of the Vati- 
can authorities. It gave oflence in that quarter, not in 
point of substance, for theologically there was little 
to complain of, but in point of form. That the 
emperor in virtue of his own sole authority should 
frame and promulgate a creed was not to be tole- 
rated ; it was to do the work of a Council ; it was, 
in fact, to seat himself in the chair of the Pope and 
to say, " I am the Church." Besides, the cardinals 
giiidged even the two pitiful concessions which ha<l 
been made to the Protestants. 

In Germany the i-eception which the Interim 
met with was difierent in the different provinces. 
In Northern Germany, where the emperor's arm 
could hardly reach, it was openly resisted. In 
Central Gennany it in a maimer fell to the ground. 
Nuremberg, Ulm, Augsburg accepted it. Piince 
Maurice, to please Charles, had it proclaimed in 
his dominions, but, in tenderness to his former 
allies, he excused himself from enforcing it. It 
was otherwise in Upper or Southern Germany. 
There the Chm-ches were purified from their Pro- 

* Sleidan, bk. xi., p. 460. Millot, vol. iv., p. 324. 
° Millot, vol. iv., p. 324. 



testant defilement. The old rites were restored, 
Protestant magistrates were replaced by Popish 
ones, the pri^aleges of the free cities were violated, 
and the inhabitants driven to mass by the soldiers 
of the emperor. The Protestant pastors were forced 
into exile, or rendered homeless in their native land. 
Four hundred faithful preachers of the Gospel, -with 
their wives and families, wandered withoiit food or 
shelter in Southern Germany. Those who were 
unable to escape fell into the hands of their enemy 
and were led about in chains.' 

There is one submission that pains us more than 
all the others. It is that of Melancthon. Melanc- 
thon and the Wittemberg divines, laying down the 
general priiiciple that where things indifferent only 
are in question it is right to obey the commands of a 
lawful superior, and assuming that the Interim, which 
had been sliglitly manipulated for their special con- 
venience, conflicted with the Augiistan Confession 
in only indiflerent points, and that it was well to 
preserve the essentials of the Gospel as seed-corn for 
better times, denied their Protestantism, and bowed 
down in worship of the emperor's religion. - 

But amid so many prostrate one man stood nobly 
erect. John Frederick of Saxony, despite the sxifTer- 
ing and ignominy that weighed upon him, refused 
to accept the Interim. Hopes of liberty were held 
out to induce liim to indorse the emperor's creed, 
but this only drew from him a solemn protestation 
of liis adherence to the Protestant faith. " God," 
said the fallen jirince, " has enlightened me with 
the knowledge of his Word ; I cannot forsake the 
known truth, unless I would purchase to myself 
eternal damnation ; wherefore, if I should admit of 
that decree which in many and most material points 
disagrees wth the Hoh' Scriptures, I should con- 
demn the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which I have 
hitherto professed, and in words and speech approve 
what I know to be impious and erroneous. That 
I retain the doctrine of the Augustan Confession, I 
do it for the salvation of my soul, and, slighting all 
worldly things, it is noAV my whole study how, after 
this painful and miserable life is ended, I may be 
made partaker of the blessed joys of life ever- 

Believing Roman Catholicism to be the basis of 
his power, and that should Germany fall in two 
on the question of religion, liis Empire would depart, 
Charles had firmly resolved to suppress Lutheranism, 
by conciliation if possible ; if not, by arms. He had 
been compelled again and again to postpone the 

1 Sleidan, bk. xx., p. 461. Kurtz, Hist, of Chrisiian 
Church, p. 79. 
= Kurtz, pp. 79, 80. 
3 Sleidanj bk. xx., p. 462. 

execution of his purpose. He had appeared to lose 
sight of it in the eager prosecution of other schemes. 
Yet, no ; he kept it ever in his eye as the idtimate 
landing-place of all his projects and ambitions, and 
steadUy pursued it through the intrigues and wars 
of thu-ty years. If he combated the King of 
France, if he measured swords with the Turk, if 
he \indertook campaigns iii the north of Africa, if he 
coaxed and threatened by turns his slippery ally, 
the Pope, it was that by overcoming these rivals 
and enemies, he might be at liberty to consolidate 
his power by a consummating blow against heresy 
in Gemiany. That blow he had now struck. 
There remained nothing more to be achieved. The 
League was dissolved, the Protestants were at his 
feet. Luther, whose word had more power than 
ten armies, was in his grave. The emperor had 
reached the goal. After such ample experience of 
the burdens of power, he would now pause and 
taste its sweets. 

It was at this moment, when his glory was in its 
noon, that the whole a.spect of affairs around the 
emperor suddenly changed. As if some malign 
star had begun to rule, not a friend or ally had he 
who did not now turn against him. 

It was at Rome that the first signs of the gather- 
ing storm appeared. The accession of power which 
his conquests in Germany had brouglit the emperor 
alarmed the Pope. The Papacy, he feared, was 
about to receive a master. "Paul III. already 
repented," says the Abbe Millot, " of having con- 
tributed to the growth of a power that might one 
day make Italy its victim ; besides, he was offended 
that he received no share of the conquests, nor of 
the contributions."' 

Paul III., therefore, recalled the numerous con- 
tingent he had sent to the imperial army to aid in 
chastising the heretics. The next step of the Pope 
was to order the Council of Trent to remove to 
Bologna. A sudden sickness that broke out among 
the Fathei-s furnished a pretext, but the real motive 
for carrying the Council to Italy was a dread that 
the emperor would seize upon it, and compel it to 
pass such decrees as he chose. A religious restora- 
tion, of which Charles himself was the high priest, 
was not much to the taste of the Pope, and what 
other restoration had the emperor as yet accom- 
I)lished 1 He had put do-svn Lutheranism to set up 
Ca;sarism. He was about to play the part of HenvJ 
of England. So was it whispered in the Vatican. 

Nearer him, in Germany, a yet more tei-rible 
tempest was bre^ving. " So many odious attempts 
against the liberties of Germany brought on a 

< Millot, vol. iv., p. 316. 



revolution."' The nation felt that they had been 
grossly deceived. They had been told before the 
war began that it formed no part of the emperor's 
flans to alter the Reformed religion. The Pro- 
testant ministers tm-ned out of office and banished, 
theii- churches in possession of mass-priests, blazing 
■with tapers, and resounding ^vith chants and 
prayers in an unknown tongue, told how the pro- 
raise had been kept. To deception was added 
insult. In the disgrace of its two most venerated 

aid liLni in the blow he meditated str ikin g for tha 
liberties of Germany. He had a large force under 
liim, which he was employing professedly in the 
emperor's service, in the siege of Magdeburg, a 
town which distinguished itself by its brave re- 
sistance to the Interim. Maurice protracted the 
siege without discovering his designs. When at 
last Magdeburg surrendered, the articles of capitu- 
lation were even confoimable to the views of 
Charles, but Maurice had privately assui-ed the 

(From a Photog} a}yh of the onjtnal Picture iii the Church of Santa Sfniia at Trent ) 

chiefs, Germany beheld its own disgrace. As every 
day renewed its shame, so every day intensified its 
indignation. Prince Maurice saw the gathering 
storm, and felt that he would be the fii'st to be 
swept away by it. His countrymen accused him 
as the author of the calamities under which Ger- 
many was groaning. They addressed him as 
" Judas," and assailed him in daily satires and 
caricatures. At last he made his choice : he would 
atone for his betrayal of his Protestant confede- 
l-ates by treachery to the emperor. 

He divulged his purpose to the princes. They 
found it difficult not to believe that he was digging 
a deeper pit for them. Able at length to satisfy 
them of his sinceritj-, they willingly undertook to 

1 MUlot, vol. iv., p. 323. 

citizens tliat they should neither be deprived of the 
exercise of theii- religion nor stripped of their 
privileges. In a word, he so completely extin- 
guished their former hatred of him, that they now 
elected him their burgrave.^ The force under him, 
that had been employed in the siege of Magdebm-g, 
Maurice now diverted to the projected expedition 
against the emperor. He farther opened commu- 
nications with King Henry II., who made a 
diversion on the side of France, by entering Lor- 
raine, and tiiking possession of the imperial citj' of 
Metz, which he annexed to the Fi-encli monarcliy. 
All these negotiations Maurice conducted with 
masterly skill and profound secrecj-. 

The emperor meanwhile had retired to Innspruck 

2 Millot, vol. iv., p. 329. 



in the Tyrol. Lulled into secvrity by the artifices 
of Maurice, Charles was living there with a mere 
handful of guards. He had even fewer ducats than 
soldiers, for his campaigns had exhausted his money- 
chest. In March, 1552, the revolt broke out. The 
prince's army amounted to 20,000 foot and 5,000 
horse, and before putting it in motion he published 
a manifesto, saying that lie had taken iip arms 
for the Protestant religion and the liberties of 

probably he would have done as he said, had not a 
mutray broken out among his troops on the jour- 
ney, which, by delaying his march on Innspruck, 
gave Charles time to learn with a-stonishment that 
all GeiTnany had risen, and was in full march upon 
Innspruck. The emperor had no alternative but 

The night was dark, a tempest was raging among 
the Alps ; Charles was sufTemig from the gout, and 


Germany, both of wliioh were menaced \vith de- 
struction, and also for the deliverance of Philip, 
Landgrave of Hesse, from a long and unjust im- 

The emperor, on being suddenly and nidely 
awakened from his security, found himself hemmed 
in on every side by those who from friends had been 
suddenly converted into foes. The Turk was watching 
him by sea. The French were striking at him by 
land. In front of him wa.s the Pope, who had taken 
mortal ofience ; and behind him was Maurice, push- 
ing on by secret and forced marches, " to catch," 
as he irreverently said, " the fox in his hole." Ajid 

» MiUot, vol. iv., pp. 330, 331. 

63 — VOL. II. 

his illness unfitted him for horseback. They placed 
him in a litter, and lighting torches to guide them 
in the darkness, they bore the emperor over the 
mountain.^, by steep and nigged paths, to Villach 
in Carinthia. Prince Maurice entered Innspruck 
a few hours after Charles had quitted it, to find 
that his prey had escaped him.^ 

The emperor's power collapsed when apparently 
at its zenith. None of the usual signs tliat precede 
the fall of gi'eatness gave warning of so startling 
a downfall in the emperor's fortunes. His vast 
prestige had not been impaired. He had not been 

2 Sleidan, bk. ixiv., pp. 559, 560. Millot, vol. iv., p. 331. 
Eobertson, Charles V., bk. i., pp. 298, 299. 



worsted on the battlefield ; his militaiy gloiy had 
siiflered no eclipse ; nor had any of his kingdoms 
been torn from him; he was stOl master of two 
worlds, and yet, by an extraordinary concurrence 
of circumstances, he was rendered helpless in pre- 
sence of his enemies, and had to save his liberty, if 
not his life, by a hasty and ignominious flight. 
It would be difficult, in all histoiy, to find such 
another reverse of fortune. The emperor never 
fully recovered either himself or his Empii-e. 

There followed, in July, the Peace of Passau. 
The main article iii that treaty was that the Pro- 
testants should enjoy the free and undisturbed pos- 
session of their religion till such time as a Diet of 
all the States .should eflect a jiermanent arrange- 
ment, and that failing such a Diet the present 
agreement should remain in force for ever.' This 
was followed by the Treaty of Augsburg in 1555. 
This last ratified and enlarged the privileges con- 
ceded to the Protestants in the pacification of 
Passau, and gave a legal right to the Augustan 
Confession to exist side by side with the creed of 
the Romish Church.- The ruling idea of the Middle 
Ages, that one form of religion only could exist 
in a country, was then abandoned ; yet with some 
vm willingness on both sides; for the Lvitherans, 
not less than the emperor, had some difficulty in 
shaking themselves free of the exclusiveness of 
former times. The members of the Refomied 
Church, the followers of Zwingle and Calvin, were 
excluded from the privileges secured in the treaties 
of Passau and Augsburg, nor was legal toleration 
extended to them till the Peace of Westjihalia, a 
century later. 

To the emperor how mortifymg this issue of 
afiaii's ! To overthrow the Protestant religion in 
Germany, and restore the Popish worship to its 
ancient dominancy, was the one object of all his 
campaigns these five years past. His efforts had 
led to just the opposite result. He had been com- 
pelled to gi-ant toleration to Lutheranism, and all 
things appertaining to the churches, schools, and 
pastors of Germany hatl returned to the position 
in which they were before the war. He was in the 
act of putting the crown upon the fabric of his 
power, when lo ! it suddenly fell into ruin. 

At the beginning of his career, and when just 
entering on his gi-eat combat with the Refoi-ma- 
tion, Charles V., as we have already seen, staked 
kingdom and crown, armies and treasures, body 
and soul, in the battle ^vith Protestantism.' Thirty 

' Sleidan, bk. rxiv., pp. 570, 571. 
5 Ibid., bk. xivi., pp. 626, 627. 
' See ante, bk. vi., chap. 7, p. 346. 

years had passed since then, and the emperor was 
now in circumstances to say how far he had suc- 
ceeded. Hundieds of thousands of lives had he 
sacrificed and millions of money had he squandered 
in the contest, but Protestantism, so fiir from being 
extinguished, had enlarged its area, and midtiplied 
its adherents four-fold. While the fortunes of Pro- 
testantism flourished day by day, how different was 
it with those of the emperor ! The final issue as 
regarded Spain was as yet far fi-om being reached, 
but already as regarded Charles it shaped itself 
darkly before his eyes. His treasiuy empty, his 
prestige diminished, discontent and revolt spring- 
ing up in all jjarts of hLs dominions, his toils and 
years increasing, but biinging with them no real 
successes, he began to meditate retirmg from the 
scene, and entrusting the continuance of the contest 
to his son Philip. In that very year, 1555, he 
committed to liim the government of the Nether- 
lands, and soon thereafter that of the Spanish 
and Italian territories also.'' In 1556 he for- 
mally abdicated the Empire, and retired to bury 
his grandeur and ambition in the monkish solitude 
of St. Juste. 

Disembarking in the Bay of Biscay, September, 
1556, he proceeded to Burgos, and thence to Valla- 
dolid, being borne sometimes in a chaii-, sometimes 
in a horse-litter. So thoroughly had toil and disease 
done theii- work upon him, that he suffered exquisite 
pain at every step. A few only of his nobles met 
him on his journey, and these few rendered him so 
cold an homage, that he was now made painfully 
aware that he was no longer a monarch. From 
Valladolid he pursued his journey to Placentia in 
Estremadura, near to which was a monastery be- 
longing to the Order of St Jerome, so delightfully 
sitvxated that Charles, who had chanced to ^-isit it 
many years before, had long dreamed of ending his 
days here. It lay in a little vale, watered by a 
brook, encu'cled by pleasant hUls, and possessing 
a soil so fertile and an air so salubrious and sweet, 
that it was esteemed the most delicious spot in 

Before his arrival an architect had added eight 
rooms to the monastery for the emperor's use. Six 
were in the form of monks' cells, vnth bare walls ; 
the remaining two were plainly furnished. Here, 
with twelve servants, a hoi-se for his use, and a 
himdred thousand crowns, wliich he had i-eserved 
for his subsistence, and which were very iiTegularly 
paid, lived Charles, so lately at the head of the 
world, "spending his time," says the continuator 

■• Eobertson, Charles V., bk. xi., pp. 333, 334. Millot, 
vol. ir., pp. 3W, 315. 



of Sleidan, " in the innocent acts of grafting, gar- 
dening, and reconciling the difierences of his clocks, 
which yet he never could make to strike to- 
gether, and therefore ceased to wonder he had 
not been able to make men agree in the niceties 
of religion."' 

As soon as he had set foot upon the shore of 
Spain, " he prostrated himself upon the earth," 
says the same wi-iter, "and kissing it he said, 
' Hail, my beloved mother; naked came I out of my 
mother's womb, and now I return naked to thee 
again, as to another mother ; and here I consecrate 
and give to thee my body and my bones, which is 
all the acknowledgment I can give for all thy 
numerous benefits bestowed upon me.' "- 

What a striking contrast ! The career of Charles 
ends where that of Luther begins. From a con- 
vent we see Luther come forth to enlighten the 
world and become a king of men : year by year 
his power expands and his glory brightens. At the 
door of a convent we behold Charles bidding adieu 
to all his dominion and grandeur, to all the pro- 
jects he had formed, and all the hopes he had 
cherished. The one emerges from seclusion to 
mount into the fii-mament of influence, where a 
place awaits him, which he is to hold for ever : 
the other falls suddenly from the heaven of power, 
and the place that knew him knows him no more. 
In the emphatic language of Scripture, " that day 
his thoughts perish." 

Boofe Cftirteentl), 




Arrival of a New Actor-Central Position of France— Genius of its People— Tragic Interest of its Protestantism - 
Louis XU.—Perdam Babylonis Nomen—The Councils of Pisa and the Lateran— Francis I. and Leo X.— Jacques 
Lefevre— His Bu-th and Education— Appointed to a Chair in the Sorbonne— His Devotions— His Lives of the 
Saints-A Discovery-A Free Justification— Teaches tliis Doctrine in the Sorbonne— Agitation among the Pro- 
fessors — A Tempest gathering. 

The area of the Reformation — that gi'sat move- 
ment which, wherever it comes, makes all things 
new — is about to undergo enlargement. The stage, 
already crowded with gi'eat actors — England, Ger- 
many, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark — is to re- 
ceive another accession. The plot is deepening, the 
parts are multiplying, and the issues give promise 
of being rich and gi-and beyond conception. It is 
no mean actor that is now to step ujjon that stage 
on which the nations do battle, and where, if vie 

rope. It might not nuworthUy aspire to lead in a 
great movement of the nations. Placed in the 
centre of the civilised West, it touched the other 
kingdoms of Christendom at a great many points. 
On its south and south-east was Switzerland ; on 
its east and north-east were Germany and the Low 
Countries ; on its north, parted from it only by the 
narrow sea, was England. At all its gates, save 
those that looked towards Italy and Spain, was the 
Reformation waiting for admission. Will France 

torious, they shall reap a future of happiness and open, and heartily welcome it 1 Elevated on this 

glory ; but if vanquished, there await them deca- central and commanding site, the beacon-lights of 

dence, and shame, and ruin. The new nationality Protestantism will shed their effulgence all around, 

which has come to mingle in this great drama is making the day clearer where the light has already 


At the opening of the sixteenth century, France 
held a foremost place among the countries of Eu- 

' Sleidan, Continuation, bk. i., p. 7 ; Lond., 1689. Millot, 
vol. iv., p. 354. 

- Ibid. Kobertson, bk. xii., pp. 339, 340. 

dawned, and the night less dark where the shades 
still linger. 

The rich endowments of the people made it at 
once desirable and probable that France would 
embrace the Reformation. The French genius is 
one of marvellous adaptability. Quick, playful, 



troiichant, subtle, it is able alike to concentrate 
itself in analytical investigations, and to sjwead 
itself out in creations of poetic beauty and intellec- 
tual sublimity. There is no branch of literature in 
which the French peo])le have not excelled. They 
have shone equally in the drama, in philosophy, 
in history, in mathematics, and in metaphysics. 
Grafted on a genius so elegant and yet so robust, 
so plaj-ful and yet so penetrating— in short, so 
many-sided— ProtestantLsm vdW display itself under 
a variety of new and beautiful lights, which will wn 
converts in quarters where the movement has not 
been regarded hitherto as having many attractions 
to recommend it— nay, rather where it has been 
contemned as " a root out of a dry ground." 

We are entering on one of the grandest yet most 
tragic of all the pages of oiu- history. The move- 
ment which we now behold enteiiig France is to 
divide— deeply and fiercely divide the nation ; for 
it is a characteristic of the French people that 
whatever cause they embrace, they embrace ^vith 
enthusiasm ; and whatever cause they oppose, they 
oppose with an equal enthusiasm. As we pass on 
the scenes will be continually shifting, and the 
quick alternations of hope and fear will never cease 
to agitate us. It is, so to speak, a superb gallery 
we are to traverse ; colossal forms look down upon 
us as we pass along. On this hand stand men of 
gigantic wickedness, on that men of equally gigantic 
virtue— men whose souls, sublimed by piety and 
trust in God, have attained to the highest pitch of 
endurance, of self-sacrifice, of heroism. And then 
the lesson at the close, so distinct, so solenm. For 
we are justified in afiirming that in a sense France 
has glorified Protestantism more by rejecting it 
than other countries have done by acceptuig it. 

We lift the curtain at the year 1510. On its 
rising we find the throne of France occupied by 
Louis XII., the wisest sovereign of his time. He 
has just assembled a Parliament at Tours to re- 
solve for him the question whether it is lawful 
to go to war with the Pope, who violates treaties, 
and sustains his injustice by levying soldiers and 
fighting battles?' The warlike Julius II. then 
occupied the chau- which a Borgia had recently 
filled. Ignorant of theology, with no inclination, 
and just as little capacity, for the spiritual duties of 
his see, Julius II. passed his whole time iii camps 
and on battle-fields. With so bellicose a priest at 
Its centre, Christendom had but little rest. Among 
others whom the Pope disquieted was the meek and 
upright Louis of France; hence the question which 
he put to his Parliament. The answer of that 

" Pleury, Hist. Ecdes., torn, xxv., pp. 87, 88; Paris, 17.12. 

assembly marks the moral decadence of the Papacy, 
and the contempt in which the thunderbolts of the 
Vatican were beginning to be held. " It is lawful 
for the king," said they, " not only to act defen- 
sively but offensively against such a man."= For- 
tified by the advice of his Parliament, Louis (^ave 
the command to Ms annies to march, and two years 
later he indicated sufiiciently his own opinion of 
the Papacy and its croivned chief, when he caused 
a coin to be struck at Naples bearing the words, 
Perdam Bahijlonis nome/i.^ These symptoms an- 
noimced the near approach of the new times. 

Other things were then transacting which also 
gave plain prognostication that the old age was 
about to close and a new age to open. Weary of 
a Pope who made it his sole purpose to marshal 
annies and conquer cities and provinces, who went 
in person to the battle-field, but never once ap- 
peared in the pulpit, the Emperor Maximilian I. 
and Louis of France agreed to convoke a Council 
for "the Reformation of the Church in its head and 
members." That Council was now sitting at Pisa. 
It summoned the Pope to its bar, and when 
Jidius II. failed to appear, the CouncU suspended 
him from his office, and forbade all people to obey 
him.= The Pope treated the deci-ee of the Fathers 
with the same contempt which he had shown to 
their summons. He convoked another Council at 
the Lateran, made void that of Pisa, with all its 
decrees, fidminated excommunication against Louis," 
suspended Divine worship in France, and delivered 
the kingdom to whomsoever had the will and the 
power to seize upon it.' Thus Council met Council, 
and the project of the two sovereigns for a Reforma- 
tion came to nothing, as later and similar attempts 
were destined to do. 

For the many evils that pressed upon the world, 
a Council was the only remedy that the age knew, 
and hence at every crisis it betook itself to this. 
God was about to plant hi society a new principle, 
which would become the genu of its regeneration. 

Julius II. was busied with his Council of the 
Lateran when (1.513) he died, and was succeeded 
in the Papal chair by Cardinal John de Medici, 
Leo X. With the new Pope came new manners at 
Rome. Underneatji, the stream of corruption con- 
tinued .steadily to flow, but on the siu-face things 
were changed. The Vatican no longer rang with 

- Mezeray, torn. iv. 

■^ "I wiU destroy the name of Babylon." (niauni, Ilisi., 
bb. 1., p. 11 ; cd. Aurel, 1626.) 

* Platina, Vit. de Pont. Jul. II., p. 259. Floury, Hist. 
Eecles., torn, xxv., p. 20.3. 

* Mezeray, torn, iv., p. 457. 

» Pleiu-y, Hist. Eccles., torn, xxv., p. 204. 

? Guicciardini, lib. xi., p. 395. Laval., vol. i., p. 10. 



the clang of arms. Instead of soldiers, troops of 
artists and musicians, crowds of masqueraders and 
biiflbons now filled the palace of the Pope. The 
talk was no longer of battles, but of pictures and 
statues and dancers. Soon Louis of France fol- 
lowed his former opponent, Julius II., to the grave. 
He died on the 1st January, 1515, and was suc- 
ceeded by his nephew, Francis I. 

The new Pope and the new king were not luilike 
in charactei-. The Renaissance had touched both, 
communicating to them that refinement of outward 
manners, and that testhetical rather than cultivated 
taste, which it never failed to impart to all who 
came under its influence. The strong, wayward, and 
selfish passions of the men it had failed to correct. 
Both loved to surround themselves with pomps. 
Francis was greedy of fame, Leo was greedy of 
money, and both were gi-eedy of pleasure, and the 
cliaractei-istic passions of each became in the hand 
of an overruling Providence the means of further- 
ing the great movement wluch now presents itself 
on the scene. 

The river which waters great kingdoms, and bears 
on its bosom the commerce of many nations, may 
be traced up to some solitaiy fountain among the 
far-off hills. So was it -svith that river of the Water 
of Life that was now to go forth to refresh France. 
It had its first rise in a single soul. It Ls the year 
1510, and the good Louis XII. is stOl upon the 
throne. A stranger visiting ParLs at that day, 
more especially if of a devout turn, would hardly 
have failed to mark an old man, small of stature 
and simple in manners, going his roimd of 
the churches and, prostrate before theii- images, 
devoutly "repeating his hours." This man wiis 
destined to be, on a small scale, to the realm of 
France what Wicliffe had been, on a lai-ge, to Eng- 
land and the world — "the morning .star of the 
Reformation." His name was Jacques Lefevre. 
He was born at Etaples, a village of Picardy,' 
about the middle of the previous century, and was 
now verging on seventy, but still hale and vigorous. 
Lefevi-e had all his days been a devout Papist, and 
even to this hoiu- the shadow of Popery was still 
around him, and the eclipse of superstition had not 
yet wholly passed from oft' his soul. But the pro- 
mise was to be fulfilled to him, "At evening time 
it shall be light." He had all along had a pre- 
sentiment that a new day was risiiig on the world, 
and that he should not depart till his eyes had 
seen its light. 

The man who was the first to emerge from the 

' Beza,, Hist, des Eglises Reformecs au Royaume de France, 
torn, i., p. 1; Lille, 1841. 

darkness that covered his native land is entitled 
to a prominent share of our attention. Lefevre 
was in all points a remarkable man. Endowed 
with an inquisitive and capacious intellect, hardly 
was there a field of study open to those ages 
which he had not entered, and in which he had 
not made great proficiency. The ancient languages, 
the belles lettres, history, mathematics, philosophy, 
theology ; — he had studied them all. His thirst 
for knowledge tempted him to try what he might 
be able to learn from other lands besides France. 
He had visited Asia and Africa, ajid seen all 
that the end of the fifteenth century had to show. 
Returning to France he was appointed to a chair 
in the Sorbonne, or Theological Hall of the 
great Paris University, and soon he drew around 
him a crowd of admiring disciples. He was the 
first luminary, Erasmus tells us, in that constel- 
lation of lights ; but he was withal so meek, so 
amiable, so candid, and so fvill of loving-kindness, 
that all who knew him loved him. But there were 
those among his fellow-professors who envied him 
the admii-ation of which he was the object, and 
insinuated that the man who had visited so many 
countries, and had made liimself familiar with so 
many subjects, and some of them so questionable, 
could hardly have escaped some taint of heresy, 
and could not be wholly loyal to Mother Church. 

They set to watching him ; but no one of them 
all was so punctual and exemplary in his devotions. 
Never was he absent from mass; never was liis 
place empty at the procession, and no one remained 
so long as Lefevi-e on his knees before the saints. 
Nay, often might this man, the most distinguished 
of all the professoi-s of the Sorboime, be seen 
decking the .statues of Mary with flowers.^ No 
flaw could his enemies find in his armour. 

Lefevi-e, thmking to crown the saints with a 
faii-er and more lasting garland than the perishable 
flowers he had offered to their images, formed the 
idea of collecting and re-writing their lives. Ho 
had already made some progress in his task when 
the thought struck him that he might find in the 
Bible materials or hints that would be useful to 
him in his work. To the Bible — the original lan- 
guages of which he had studied — he accordingly 
turned. He had unwittingly opened to himself the 
portals of a new world. Saints of another sort 
than those that had till this moment engaged his 
attention now stood before him — men who had 
received a higher canonisation than that of Rome, 
and whose images the pen of inspiration itself had 

- Sistory of the Protestants of France, by G. D. FoUce, 
D.D.; vol. i., p. 2; Lond., 1853. 



drawn. The virtues of the real saints dimmed in 
his eyes the glories of the legendary ones. The pen 
dropped from liis hand, and he conld proceed no 
farther iu the task on which till now he had 
laboured with a zeal so genial, and a perseverauie 
so untiring. 

Having opened the Bible, Lefevre was in no haste 

gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by 
grace alone justifies to eternal life." ^ 

The day has broken. This utterance of Lefe-\Te 
assures us of that. It is but a single ray, it is 
true ; but it comes from Heaven, it is light Divine, 
and will yet scatter the darkness that broods o\'er 
France. It has already banished the gloom of 

to shut it. He saw 
that not only were the 
saints of the Bible unlike 
the saints of the Roman 
Calendar, but that the 
Church of the Bible was 
unlike the Roman Church. 
From the images of Paul and Peter, the doctor of 
Etaples now turned to the Epistles of Paul and 
Peter, from the voice of the Church to the voice 
of God. The plan of a free justification stood 
revealed to him. It came like a sudden revelation 
— like the breaking of the day. In 1512 he pub- 
lished a commentary, of which a copy is extant in 
the Bibliothfeque Royale of Paris, on the Epistles 
of Paul. In that work he says, " It is God who 

monkery from the 
soul of Lefevre ; it will do 
the same for his pupils — 
for his countrymen, and 
he knows that he has not 
received the light to put 
it under a bushel. Of all 

places, the Sorbonne was tlie most dangerous in whicli 
to proclaim the new doctrine. For centiu-ies no one 
but tlie schoolmen had s])oken there, and now to pro- 
claim in the citadel and sanctuary of scholasticism a 
doctrine that would explode what had received the 
reverence, as it had been the labour, of ages, and 
promised, as was thought, eternal fame to its authoi-s, 

» D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 339, 



was enough to make the very atones cry out from the 
venerable walls, and was sure to draw down a tem- 
pest of scholastic ire on the head of the adventurous 
innovator. Lefevre had attained an age which is 
proverbially wary, if not timid ; he knew well the 
risks to which he was exposing himself, nevertheless 
he went on to teach the doctrine of salvation by 
grace. There was a great commotion round the 
chair whence proceeded these unwonted sounds. 
With very diflerent feelings did the pupils of the 
venerable man listen to the new teaching. The 
faces of some testified to the delight which his doc- 
trine gave them. They looked like men to whose 
eyes some glorious vista had been suddenly opened, 
or who had unexpectedly lighted upon what they 
had long but vainly sought. Astonishment or 
doubt was plainly written on the faces of others, 
while the knitted brows and flashing eyes of some 
as plainly bespoke the anger that inflamed them 
against the man who was razing, as they thought, 
the very foundations of morality. 

The agitation in the class-room of Lefevre quickly 
communicated itself to the whole university. The 
doctors wei-e in a flutter. Reasonings and objec- 
tions were heai'd on every side, frivolous in some 
cases, in others the fruit of blind prejudice, or dis- 
like of the doctrine. But some few were honest, and 
these Lefevre made it his business to answer, being 
desirous to show that his doctrine did not give a 
licence to sin, and that it was not new, but old ; 
that he was not the first preacher of it in France, 

that it had been tiiught by Irenseus in early times, 
long before the scholastic theology was heard of; 
and especially that this doctrine was not his, not 
Irenseus', but God's, who had revealed it to men in 
his Word. 

Mutterings began to be heard of the tempest 
that was gathering in the distance ; but as yet it 
did not burst, and meanwhUe Lefevre, within whose 
soul the light was gi-o\\ing clearer day by day, 
went on with his work. 

It is important to mark that these occurrences 
took place in 1512. Not yet, nor till five years 
later, was the name of Luther heard of in France. 
The monk of Wittemberg had not yet nailed his 
Theses against indulgences to the doors of the 
Sehloss-kirk. From Gei-many then, most manifest 
it is, the Reformation which we now see springing 
up on French soil did not come. Even before the 
strokes of Luther's hammer in Wittemberg are 
heard i-inging the knell of the old times, the voice 
of Lefevre is jjroclaiming beneath the vaidted roof 
of the Sorbonne in Paris the advent of the new 
age. The Reformation of France came out of the 
Bible as really as the light which kindles mountain 
and plain at daybreak comes out of heaven. And 
as it was in France so was it in all the countries of 
the Reform. The Word of God, like God himself, 
is light ; and from that enduring and inexhaustible 
soiu'ce came forth that welcome day which, after a 
long and protracted night, broke upon the nations 
in the morning of the sixteenth centuiy. 



A student from the Dauphinese Alps — 'William Farel— Enters University of Paris — Becomes a Pupil of Lefevre — 
His Doubts — Passes with Lefevre into the New Day— Preaches in the Churches — Eetires to Switzerland — 'William 
Brii;onnet, Bishop of Meaux — Bri(jonnet goes on a Mission to Eome — State' of the City — His Musings on his 'Way 
back — Change at Meaux— The Bible— 'Wliat Brii-onnet Saw in it— Begins the Reformation of his Diocese — 
Characters of Francis I. and Margaret of 'Valois. 

Among the youth whom we see gathered round the 
chair of the aged Lefevre, there is one who specially 
attracts our notice. It is easy to see that between 
the scholar and his master there exists an attach- 
ment of no ordinary kind. There is no one in all 
that crowd of pupils who so hangs upon the lips 
of his teacher as does this youth, nor is there one 
on whom the eyes of that teacher rest with so 
kindly a light. This youth is not a native of France. 
He was born among the Alps of Dauphin^, at Gap, 

near Gi-enoble, in 1489. His name is Williani 

His parents were eminently pious, measni-ed by 
the standard of that age. Never did morning 
kindle into glory the white mountains, in the midst 
of which their dwelling was placed, but the fixmily 
was assembled, and the bead-roll duly gone over ; 
and never did evening descend, first enkindling 
then paling the Alps, -w-ithout the customary hymn 
to the Vii-gin. The parents of the youth, as he 



himself infonns us, believed all tliat the priests 
told them; and he, in liis tiu'u, believed all that his 
parents told him. 

Thus he grew up till he was about the age of 
twenty — the grandeurs of nature in his eye all 
hours of the day, but the darkness of superstition 
deepening year by year in his soul. The two — 
the glory of the Alps and the glory of the Church 
— seemed to blend and become one in his mind. It 
would have been as hard for him to believe that 
Rome with her Pope and holy priests, with her 
I'ites and ceremonies, was the mere creation of super- 
stition, as to believe that the great mountains 
around him, with their snows and their pine-forests, 
were a mere illusion, a painting on the sky, which 
liut mocked the senses, and would one day dissohe 
like an unsubstantial though gorgeous exhalation. 
" I would gnash my teeth like a furious wolf," said 
he, speaking of his blind devotion to Rome at this 
period of his life, " when I heard any one speaking 
against the Pope." 

It was his father's wish that he should devote 
himself to the profession of arms, but the young 
Farel aspired to be a scholar. The fame of the 
Sorbonne had reached him in his secluded native 
valley, and he thii-sted to drink at that reno'\\'ned 
well of learning. Probably the sublimities amid 
wliicli he daily moved had kept alive the sjinpathies 
of a mind naturally ardent and aspiring. He now 
(1510) set out for Paris, presented himself at the 
gates of its university, and was enrolled among its 

It was here that the young Dauphinese scholar 
became acquainted with the doctor of Staples. There 
were but few points to bring them together, one 
would have thought, and a gi-eat many to keep them 
apart. The one was young, the other old ; the one 
was enthusiastic, the other was timid ; but these 
differences were on the sui'face only. The two were 
kindred in their souls, both were noble, unselfish, 
|; devout, and in an age of growing scepticism and 
( dissoluteness the devotion of both was as sincere 
as it was ardent. Tliis was the link that bound 
them together, and the points of contrast instead of 
weakening only tended the more firmly to cement 
their friendship. The aged master and the young 
disciple might often be seen going their rounds in 
company, and visiting the same shiines, and kneel- 
ing before the same images. 

But now a change was commencing in the mind 
of Lefevre which must part the two for ever, or 
bind them together yet more indissolubly. Tlie 
spiritual da^^^l was breaking in the soul of the 
doctor of Etaples ; would his young disciple be able 
to enter along with him into that new world into 

which the other was being translated ? In his 
public teaching Lefevre now began to let full at 
times crumbs of the new knowledge he had gleaned 
from the Bible. " Salvation is of grace," would the 
professor say to his pupils. " The Innocent One is 
condemned and the criminal is acquitted." " It is 
the cross of Christ alone that openeth the gates of 
heaven and ghutteth the gates of hell."' Farel 
started as these words fell upon his ear. What did 
they import, and where would they lead himi 
Were then all his visits to the saints, and the many 
houi-s on his knees before their images, to no pur- 
pose — prayers flung into empty space 1 The teach- 
ings of his youth, the sanctities of his home, nay, 
the grandeurs of the mountains wlxich were asso- 
ciated in his mind with the beliefs he had learned 
at their feet, rose up before him, and appeared to 
frown upon him, and he -wished he were back 
again, where, encompasse<l by the calm majesty of 
the hills, he might no longer feel these torturing 

Farel had two courses before him, he must either 
press forward with Lefevre into the light, or abjur- 
ing his master as a heretic, plunge straightway into 
deejjer darkness. Happily God had been preparing 
him for the crisis. There had been for some time a 
tempest in the soul of the young student. Farel 
had lost his peace, and the austerities he had prac- 
tised with a growing rigour had failed to restore 
it. What Scripture so emphatically terms " the 
terrors of death and the pains of hell " had taken 
hold upon him. It was while he was in this state, 
feeling that he could not save himself, and begin- 
ning to despair of ever being saved, that the words 
were spoken in his hearing, " The cross of Christ 
alone openeth the gates of heaven." Farel felt that 
this was the only salvation to suit him, that 
if ever he shoidd be saved it must be " of gi-ace," 
" without money and without price," and so he 
immediately pressed in at the portal which the 
words of Lefevre had opened to him, and rejoined 
his teacher in the new world into which that teacher 
himself had so recently entered.- The tempest was 
at an end : he was now in the quiet haven. " All 
things," said he, "appear to me under a new 
light. Scripture is cleared up." " Instead of the 
murderous heart of a ravening wolf, he came back," 
he tells us, "quietly like a meek and harmless 
lamb, having his heiirt entirely withdrawn from the 
Pope and given to Jesus Christ."' 

For a brief space Jacques Lefevre and Guillaume 
Farel shone like twin stars in the morning sky of 

' D'Aubixni', vol. iii., pp. 339 — 344. 

= Felice, Hist, of Protestants of France, vol. i., p. 3. 

3 Farel, Galeoio. D'Aubign^, vol. iii., P- 3i5. 



France. The influence of Lefevrc was none the 
less efficient that it was quietly put forth, and con- 
sisted mainly iii the dissemination of those vital 
truths from which Protestantism was to spring 
among the young and ardent minds tliat were 
gathered round his chair, and by whom the new 
doctrine was afterwards to be published from the 
pulpit, or witnessed for on the scaffold. " Lefevre 
was the man," says Theodore Beza, " who boldly 
began the revival of the pure religion of Jesua 
Christ, and as in ancient times the school of Socrates 
sent forth the best orators, so from the lecture-room 
of the doctor of Etaples issued many of the best 
men of the age and of the Chm-ch.'" Peter Robert 
Olivetan, the translator of the first French Bible 
from the version of Lefevre, is believed to have 
been among the number of those who received 
the truth from the doctor of Etaples, and who, 
in his tm-n, was the means of enlisting in the 
service of Protestantism the gi-eatest champion 
whom France, or perhaps any other country, ever 
gave to it. 

While Lefevre scattered the seed in his lecture- 
room, Farel, now fully emancipated from the yoke 
of the Pope, and listening to no teaching but that 
of the Bible, went forth and preached in the tem- 
ples. He was as uncompromising and bold in his 
advocacy of the Gospel as he had aforetime been 
zealous in behalf of Popery. "Young and reso- 
lute," says Felice, "he caused the public places and 
temples to resound with his voice of thunder."- He 
laboured for a short time in Meau.x,^ where Pro- 
testantism reaped its earliest triumphs : and when 
the gathering storm of persecution drove him from 
France, which happened soon thereafter, Farel 
directed his steps towards those grand mountains 
from which he had come, and preaching in Switzer- 
land with a courage which no violence could subdue, 
and an eloquence which drew around him vast 
crowds, he introduced the Reformation into his 
native land. He planted the standard of the cross 
on the shores of the lake of Neuchatel and on those 
of the Leman, and eventually carried it mthin the 
gates of Geneva, where we shall again meet him. 
He thus became the pioneer of Calvin. 

We have marked the two figures — Lefevre and 
ITarel — that stand out with so great distinctness in 
this early dawn. A third now appears whose his- 
tory possesses a great although a melancholy in- 
terest. After the doctor of Etaples no one had so 
much to do with the introduction of Protestantism 
into France as the man whom we now bring upon 

' Beza, Icones. 

- Felice, vol. i., pp. 1, 2. 

2 Beza, Hht. des Eglises Ri'formics, torn, i., p. 4. 

the stage.'' He is William Bri^onnet, Count of 
Montbrun, and Bishop of Meaux, a town about 
eight leagues ea-st of Paris, and where Bossuet, 
another name famous in ecclesiastical annals, was 
also, at an after-period, bishop. Descended from a 
noble family, of good adcbess, and a man of afTaii-s, 
Bri^onnet was sent by Francis I. on a mission to 
Rome. The most magnificent of all the Popes — 
Leo X. — was then in the Vatican, and Bri(;onnet's 
visit to the Eternal City gave him an opportunity 
of seeing the Papacy in the noon of its glory, if 
now somewhat past the meridian of its power. 

It was the same Pope to whom the Bishop of 
Meaux was now sent as ambassador to whom the 
saying is ascribed, "What a profitable affair this 
fable of Christ has been to us ! " To Luther in his 
cell, alone with his sins and his conscience, the 
Gospel was a reality ; to Leo, amidst the statues and 
pictures of the Vatican, his courtiers, bufi'oons and 
dancers, the Gospel was a fable. But this " fable " 
had done much for Rome. It had filled it — no 
one said with virtues — but with golden dignities, 
dazzling honours, and voluptuous delights. This 
fable clothed the ministers of the Church in purple, 
seated them every day at sumptuous tables, pro- 
vided for them splendid equipages dra^vn by pranc- 
ing steeds, and followed by a long train of liveried 
attendants : while couches of down were spread for 
them at night on which to rest their wearied frames 
• — worn out, not with watching or study, or the 
care of souls, but with the excitements of the chase 
or the pleasures of the table. The viol, the tabret, 
and the harp were never silent in the streets of 
Rome. Her citizens did not need to toil or spin, 
to turn the soil or plough tlie main, for the com 
and oil, the silver and the gold of all Christendom 
flowed thither. They shed copiously the juice of 
the grape in their banquets, and not less copiously 
the blood of one another in their quarrels. The 
Rome of that age was the chosen home of pomps 
and revels, of buflfooneries and villanies, of dark 
intrigues and blood-red crimes.* "Enjoy we the 
Papacy," said Leo, when elected, to his nephew 
Julian de Medici, " since God has given it to us." 

But the master-actor on this strange stage was 
Religion, or the "Fable" as the Pontiff" termed it. 
All day long the bells tolled ; even at night their 
chimes ceased not to bo heard, telling the visitor 
that even then prayer and praise were ascending 

* Beza, torn, i., p. 3. 

^ Baptjsta Mantuan, a Carmelite, wrote thus on Eotne : 
"Vivere qui sancto cupitis, discedite Eoma. Omnia 
cum liceant, non licet esse bonum "—that is, " Good and 
virtuous men, make haste and get out of Rome, for here 
virtue is the one thing ye cannot practise : all else ye 
may do." 



from the oratories and shrines of Rome. Churches 
and cathedrals rose at every few paces : images and 
crucifixes lined the streets : tajjers and holy signs 
sanctified the dwellings : every hour processions of 
shorn priest, hooded monk, and veiled nun swept 
along, with banners, and chants, and incense. Every 
new day brought a new ceremony or festival, which 
surpassed in its magnificence and pomp that of the 
day before. What an enigma was presented to the 
Bishop of Meaux ! What a strange city was Rome 
— how full of religion, but how empty of virtue ! 
Its ceremonies how gorgeous, but its worshii^ how 
cold ; its 231'iests how numerous, and how splen- 
didly arrayed ! It wanted only that theii- virtues 
should be as shining as their garments, to make the 
city of the Pope the most resplendent in the uni- 
verse. Such doubtless were the reflections of 
Bricjonnet during his stay at the court of Leo. 

The time came that the Bishop of Meaux must 
leave Rome and return to France. On his way 
back to his own coiuitiy he had a gi-eat many 
more things to metlitate upon than when on his 
journey southward to the Eternal City. As he 
climbs the lower ridges of the Apennines, and casts 
a look behind on the fast-vanishing cluster of 
towers and domes, which mark the site of Rome 
on the bosom of the Campagna, we can imagine 
him saying to himself, " May not the Pope have 
spoken infallibly for once, and may not that which 
I have seen enthroned amid so much of this world's 
pride and power and wickedness be, after all, only 
a ' fable 'V In short, Bri^onnet, like Luther, came 
back from Rome much less a son of the Cluu'ch than 
he had been before going thither.' 

New scenes awaited him on his return, and what 
he had seen in Rome helped to prepare him for 
what he was now to witness in France. On getting 
back to his diocese the Bishop of Meaux was 
astonished at the change which had passed in Pai'is 
during his absence. There was a new light in the 
sky of France : a new influence was stirring in the 
minds of men. The good bishop thirsted to taste 
the new knowledge wliich he saw was transforming 
the lives and gladdening the hearts of all who re- 
ceived it. 

He had known Lefevre before going to Rome, 
and what so natural as that he should turn to his 
old friend to tell him whence had come that in- 
fluence, so silent yet so mighty, which was changing 
the world 1 LefevTe put the Bible into his hands : 
it was all in that book. The bishop opened the 
mysterious volume, and there he saw what lie had 
missed at Rome — a Church which had neither Pon- 

1 Felice, vol. i., p. 4. 

tifical chair nor purple robes, but which possessed 
the higher splendour of truth and holmess. The 
bishop felt that this was the true Spouse of Christ. 

The Bible had revealed to Bric^onnet, Christ as 
the Author of a free salvation, the Bestower of an 
eternal life, without the intervention of the 
"Church," and this knowledge was to him as " living 
water," as "heavenly food." "Such is its sweet- 
ness," said he, " that it makes the mind insatiable, 
the more we taste of it the more we long for it. 
What vessel is able to receive the exceeding fulness 
of this inexhaustible sweetness'!"- Bri^onuet's 
letters are still preserved in JIS. ; they are written 
in the mazy metaphorical style which disfigured all 
the productions of an age just passing from the 
flighty and figurative rhetoric of the schoolmen to 
the chaster models of the ancients, but they leave 
us in no doubt as to his sentiments. He repudiates 
works as the foundation of the sinner's justification, 
and puts in their room Christ's finished work ap- 
prehended by faith, and, laying little stress on 
external cei-emonies and rites, makes religion to 
consist in love to God and personal holiness. The 
bishop received the new doctrine without experienc- 
ing that severe mental conflict which Farel had 
passed through. He found the gate not strait, and 
entered in — somewhat too easily perhaps — and took 
his place in the little cii-cle of disciples wliich the 
Gospel had already gathered round it in France — ■ 
Lefevre, Farel, Roussel, and Vatable, all four pro- 
fessors in the University of Paris — although, alas ! 
he was not destined to remain in that holy society 
to the close. 

Of the five men whom Protestantism had called 
to follow it in this kingdom, the Bishop of Meaux, 
as regarded the practical work of Reformation, was 
the most powerful. The whole of France he saw 
needed Refoimation ; where should he begin 1 Un- 
questionably in his o^vn diocese. His rectors and 
cures walked in the old paths. They squandered 
their revenues in the dissolute gaieties of Paris, 
while they appointed ignorant deputies to da duty 
for them at Meaux. In other days Bri(;onnet had 
looked on this as a matter of course : now it ap- 
peared to him a scandalous and criminal abuse. In 
October, 1520, he published a mandate, proclaiming 
all to be " traitoi-8 and deserters who, by abandon- 
ing their flocks, show plainly that what they love 
is their fleece and their wool." He interdicted, 
moreover, the Franciscans froin tiie pulpits of his 
diocese. At the season of the grand fetes these 
men made theii- rounds, amply pro^■ided 'i\'ith new 
jests, which put their hearers in good humour, and 

= MS. Bibl. Eoyale, Paris— ex D'Aubignc, vol. iii., p. 353. 



Aelped the friars to fill their stomachs and their 
wallets. Brii^onnet forbade the puljjits to be longer 
desecrated by such buflboneries. He visited in 
person, like a faithful bishop, all his parishes ; 
summoned the clergy and parishioners before him : 
inquired into the teaching of the one and the 
morals of the other : removed ignorant cures, that 
is, every nine out of ten of the clergy, and replaced 
them with men able to teach, when such could be 
found, which was then no easy matter. To remedy 
the great evil of the time, which was ignorance, he 
instituted a theological seminary at Meaux, where, 
under his own eye, there might be trained " able 
ministers of the New Testament;" and meanwhile 
he did what he could to supply the lack of labourers, 
by ascending the pulpit and preaching himself, 
" a thing which had long since gone quite out of 

Leaving Meaux now, to come back to it soon, 
we return to Palis. The influence of Briijonnet's 
conversion was felt among the high personages of 
the court, and the literary circles of the capital, as 
well as amidst the artizans and peasants of the 
diocese of Meaux. The door of the palace stood 
open to the bishop, and the friendship he enjoyed 
with Francis I. opened to Bric^^onnet oppor- 
tunities of spreading Reformed views among the 
philosophers and scholars whom that monarch loved 
to assemble round him. One highborn, and wear- 
ing a mitre, was sure to be listened to where a 
humbler Reformer might in vain solicit audience. 
The court of France was then adorned by a galaxy 
of learned men — Budreus, Du Bellay, Cop, the 
coiu't physician, and others of equal eminence — to 
all of whom the bishop made known a higher 
knowledge than that of the Renaissance." But the 
most illustrious convert in the palace was the sister 
of the king, Margaret of Valois. And now two 
pei'sonages we have not met as yet, but who 
are destmed .',o act a gi-eat part in the diama on 
which we are entering, make their appearance. 

The one is Francis I., who ascended the throne 
just as the new day was breaking over Europe ; the 
other is his sister, whom we have named above, 
Margaret of Angouleme. The brother and sister, 
in many of their qualities, resembled each other. 
Both were handsome in person, polished in man- 
ners, lively in disposition, and of a magnanimous 
and generous character. Both possessed a fine 
intellect, and both were fond of letters, which they 
had cultivated with ardour. Francis, who was 
sometimes styled the IMirror of Knighthood, em- 
bodied in his person the three characteristics of his 

' Laval., vol. i., p. 22. 

" Beza, torn, i., p. 2. 

age — valour, gallantly, and letters ; the latter passion 
had, owing to the Renaissance, become a somewhat 
fashionable one. '"Francis I.," says Guizot, "had 
received from God all the gifts that can adorn a 
man : he was handsome, and tall, and strong ; his 
armour, presei-ved in the Louvre, is that of a man 
six feet high ; his eyes were brilliant and soft, his 
smile was gracious, liLs manners were winning."^ 

Francis aspired to be a great king, but the moral 
instability which tarnished his many great qualities 
forbade the realisation of his idea. It was his 
fate, after starting with promise in every race, to 
fall behind before reaching the goal. The young 
monarch of Spain bore away from him the palm 
in ai'ms. Despite his great abilities, and the 
talents he summoned to his aid, he was never 
able to achieve for France in politics any but a 
second place. He chased from his dominions the 
greatest theological intellect of his age, and the 
literaiy glory with which he thought to invest hia 
name and throne passed over to England. He 
was passionately fond of his sister, whom he 
always called his "darling;" and Margaret was 
not less devoted in affection for her brother. For 
some time the lives, as the tastes, of the two 
flowed on together ; but a day was to come when 
they would be parted. Amid the frivolities 
of the court, in which she mingled without de- 
filing herself with its vices, the light of the 
Gospel shone upon Margaret, and she turned 
to her Saviour. Francis, after wavering some 
time between the Gospel and Rome, between the 
pleasures of the world and the joys that are 
eternal, made at last his choice, but, alas ! on the 
opposite side to that of his lovely and accomplished 
sister. Casting in his lot with Rome, and staking 
crown, and kingdom, and salvation upon the issue, 
he gave battle to the Reformation. 

We turn again to Margaret, whose grace and 
beauty made her the ornament of the court, as her 
brilliant qualities of intellect won the admii-ation 
and homage of all who came in contact -with her.* 
This accomplished princess, nevertheless, began to 
be unhappy. She felt a heaviness of the heart 
which the gaieties around her could not dispel. 
She was in this state, ill at ease, yet not knowing 
well what it was that troubled her, when Bri90imet 
met her (1521).'^ He saw at once to the bottom oi 

' Guizot, Hist, of France, vol. iii., p. 2; Lond., 1874. 

* Brant6me, Vie des Femmes Ilhistres, p. 341. 

5 Felice, vol. i., p. 6. The correspondence between 
Margaret and Brigonnet is still preserved in MS. in the 
Eoyal Library at Paris. The MS., which is a copy, bears 
this inscription— Lc</rps des Marguei-ite, Reine de Navarre, 
and is also marked Siippl'ment Fran(;ais. No. 337, fol. 1. 
It is a volume containing not less than 800 pp. 



her heart and her griefs. He put into her hand 
what Lefevre had put into his own — the Bible; 
and after the eager study of the Word of God, 
Margaret forgot her fears and her sins in love to 
her Saviour. She recognised in him the Friend she 
had long sought, but sought in vain, in the gay 

In the conversion of Margaret a merciful Provi- 
dence provided against the evil days that were to 
come. Furious storms were at no gi'eat distance, 
and although Margaret was not strong enough to 
prevent the bm-sting of these tempests, she could 
and did temper their bitterness. She was near 


circles in which she moved, and she felt a strength 
and coui-age she had not known till now. Peace 
became an inmate of her bosom. She was no 
longer alone in the world. Thei-e was now a Friend 
by her side on whose sympathy she could cast her- 
self in those dark hours when her brother Francis 
should frown, and the court should make her the 
object of its polished ridicule. 

the throne. The sweetness of her spu-it was at 
times a restraint upon the headlong passions of 
her brother. With quiet tact she would defeat 
tlie plot of the monk, and undo the chain of 
the martyr-, and not a few lives, which other- 
wise would have perished on the scaffold, were 
through her intei-position saved to the Refor- 

64 — ^voL. n. 





A Bright Morning— Sanguine Anticipations of the Protestants— Lefevro Translates the Bible — Bishop of Meaui 
Circulates it— The Beading of it at Meaux— Reformation of Manners- First Protestant Flock in France — Happy 
Days— Complaints of the Tavern-keepers— Murmurs of the Monks— The King Incited to set up the Scaffold — 
Refuses— The " "Well of Meaux." 

A MORNING without clouds was rising on France, 
and Briqonnet and Lefevre believed that such as 
the morning had been so would be the day, tran- 
quil and clear, and waxing ever the brighter as it 
approached its noon. Already the Gospel had 
entered the palace. In her lofty sphere Margaret 
of Valois shone like a star of soft and silvery light, 
clouded at times, it is tnie, from the awe in which 
she stood of her brother and the worldly society 
around her, but emitting a sweet and winning ray 
which attracted the eye of many a beholder. 

The monarch was on the side of progress, and 
often made the monks the butt of his biting satire. 
The patrons of literary cultiu'e were the welcome 
guests at the Louvre. All things were full of pro- 
mise, and, looking down the vista of coming years, 
the friends of the Gospel beheld a long series of 
triumphs awaiting it — the throne won, the ancient 
superstition overturned, and France clothed ^\'ith a 
new moral strength becoming the benefactress of 
Christendom. Such was the future as it shaped 
itself to the eyes of the two chief leaders of the 
movement. Triumphs, it is true, glorious triumphs 
was the Gospel to ■win in France, but not exactly of 
the kind which its friends at this hour anticipated. 
Its victories were to be gained not in the lettered 
conflicts of scholars, nor by the aid of princes ; it 
was in the dimgeon and at the stake that its 
prowess was to be shown. This was the terrible 
arena on which it was to agonise and to be crowned. 
This, however, was hidden from the eyes of Bri- 
(^miet and Lefevre, who meanwhile, full of faith 
and courage, worked with all their might to speed 
on a victory which they regarded as already half 

The progress of events takes us back to Meaux. 
We have alrea<^ly noted the Reformation set on foot 
there by the bishop, the interdict laid on the friars, 
who henceforward could neither vent their buf- 
fooneries nor fill their wallets, the removal of 
immoral and incapable cures, and the fountling of 
a school for the training of pastors. Bri(jonnet 
now took another step forward ; he hastened to 
place the Reform upow a stnble basis — to open to 

his people access to the gi-eat fountain of light, 
the Bible. 

It was the ambition of the aged Lefevre, as it 
had been that of our own WicliiFe, to see before he 
died every man in France able to read the Word of 
God in his mother tongue. With this object he 
began to translate the New Testament.' The four 
Gospels in French were published on the 30th 
October, 1522 ; in a week thereafter came the re- 
maining books of the New Testament, and on the 
12th October, 1524, the whole were published in 
one volume at Meaux.' The publication of the 
translated Bible was going on contemporaneously 
in Germany. Without the Bible in the mother 
tongues of France and Germany, the Reformation 
must have died -with its first disciples ; for, humanly 
speaking, it would have been impossible otherwise 
to have found for it foothold in Clmstendom in 
face of the tremendous opjxjsition with which the 
powers of the world assailed it. 

The bishop, overjoyed, fui-thered with all his 
power the work of Lefevre. He made his steward 
distribute copies of the four Gospels to the poor 
gi-atis.' " He spared," .says Crespin, " neither gold 
nor silver," and the consequence was that the New 
Testament in French was widely circulated in all 
the parishes of his diocese. 

The wool trade formed the staple of Meaux, and 
its population consisted mainly of wool-carders, 
spinners, weavei-s.* Those in the sun-ounding 
districts were peasants and vine-dressers. In town 
a«d countiy alike the Bible became the subject 
of study and the theme of talk. The artizans of 
Meaux convei'sed together about it as they plied 
the loom or tended the spindle. At meal-hours it 
was read in the work.shops. The labourers in the 
vineyards and on the corn-fields, when the noon- 
tide came and they rested from toil, would draw 
forth the sacred volume, and while one read, the 
rest gathered round him in a circle and listened to 

' Bcza, torn, i., p. 1. 

- D'Aubign^, vol. iii., p. 337. 

3 Felice, vol. i., p. 5. 

■* Beza, torn, i., p. 4. 



the words of life. They longed for the return of 
the meal-hour, not that they might eat of the 
bread of earth, but that they might appease their 
hunger for the bread whereof he that eateth shall 
never die.' 

These men had grown suddenly learned, " wiser 
tlian their teachers," to use the language of the 
book they were now so intently perusing. They 
were indeed wiser than the tribe of ignorant cur6s, 
and the army of Franciscan monks, whose highest 
aim liad been to make their audience gape and 
laugh at their jests. Compared with the husks on 
which these men had fed them, this was the true 
bread, the heavenly manna. " Of what use are the 
samts to usi" said they. " Oiu- only Mediator is 
Christ."- To offer any formal argument to them 
that this book was Divine, they would have felt to 
be absurd. It had opened heaven to them. It 
had revealed the throne of God, and their way to 
it by the one and only Saviour. Wliose book, 
then, could this be but God's 1 and whence coiUd it 
have come but from the skies ? 

And well it was that their faith was thus simple 
and strong, for no less deep a conviction of the 
Gospel's truth would have sufficed to carry them 
through what awaited them. All their days were 
not to be passed in the peacefid fold of Meaux. 
Dark temptations and fiery trials, of which they 
could not at this hour so much as form a concep- 
tion, were to test them at no distant day. Could 
they stand when Bricjonnet should fall 1 Some of 
these men were at a future day to be led to the 
stake. Had their faith rested on no .stronger 
foimdation than a fine logical argument — had their 
conversion been only a new sentiment and not a 
new nature — had that into which they were now 
brought been a new system merely and not a new 
world — they could not have bi'aved the dungeon or 
looked death in the face. But these disciples had 
planted their feet not on Bri^onnet, not on Peter, 
but on "the Rock," and that "Rock" was Christ : 
and so not all the coming storms of pei-secution 
could cast them down. Not that in themselves 
they could not be shaken — they were frail and 
fallible, but then- "Eock" was immovable; and 
standing on it tliey were unconquerable — uncon- 
querable alike amid the dark smoke and bitter 
flames of the Place de Greve as amid the green 
pastures of Meaux. 

But as yet these tempests are forbidden to 
burst, and meanwhile let us look somewhat more 
closely at this little flock, to which there attaches 

• Ades des Martyrs, p. 182 — a chronicler of the fifteenth 
century, quoted by D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 378. 
- Felice, vol. i., p. 5. 

this great interest, that it was the first Protestant 
congregation on the soQ of France. They were the 
workmanship, not of Bri^onnet, but of the Spirit, 
who by the instiiunentality of the Bible had called 
them to the " knowledge of Christ," and the " fel- 
lowship of the saints." Let ns mark them at the 
close of the day. Their toil ended, they diligently 
repaired from the workshop, the vineyard, tlie 
field, and assembled in the house of one of their 
number. They opened and read the Holy Sciip- 
tures ; they conversed about the things of the 
Kingdom; they joined together in prayer, and 
their hearts burned within them. Their numbers 
were few, their sanctuary was humble, no mitred 
and vested priest conducted their services, no choir 
or organ-peal intoned their prayers ; but One was 
in the midst of them greater than the doctor of 
the Sorbonne, gi-eater than any King of France, 
even he who has said, " Lo, I am with you 
alway" — and where he is, there is the Church. 

The members of this congi-egation belonged ex- 
clusively to the working class. Their daily bread 
was earned in the wool-factory or in the vineyard. 
Nevertheless a higher civilisation had begun to 
sweeten theii- dispositions, refine tlieir manners, and 
ennoble their speech, than any that the castles of 
their nobility could show. Meek in spirit, loving 
in heart, and holy in life, they presented a sample 
of what Protestantism would have made the whole 
nation of Fi-ance, had it been allowed full freedom 
among a people who lacked but this to crown 
their many great qualities. 

By-and-by the churches were opened to them. 
Their conferences were no longer held in private 
dwellings : the Christians of Meaux now met in 
public, and usually a qtialified person expounded to 
them, on these occasions, the Scriptures. Bishop 
Brii^onnet took his turn in the pulpit, so eager was 
he to hold aloft " that sweet, mild, true, and only 
light," to tise his own words, " which dazzles and 
enlightens every creature capable of receiving it ; 
and which, while it enlightens him, raises him to the 
dignity of a son of God."^ These were happy days. 
The winds of heaven were holden that they might 
not hurt this young vine ; and time was given it to 
strike its roots into the soil before being overtaken 
by the tempest. 

A general reformation of manners followed the 
entrance of Protestantism into Meaux. No better 
evidence could there be of this than the complaints 
preferred by two classes of the community especially 
— the tavern-keepers and the monks. The topers 
m the wine-shops were becoming fewer, and the 

3 Ades des Martyrs, p. 182— D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 379. 



Begging Friars often returned from their jn-edatory 
excursions with empty sacks. Images, too, if they 
could have spoken, would have swelled the munnurs 
at the ill-favoured times, for few now bestowed 
upon them either coin or candles. But images can 
only wink, and so they buried their griefs in the in- 
articulate silejice of their own bosoms. Blasphemies 
and qiiarrellings ceased to be heard ; there were 
now quiet on the streets and love in the dwellings 
of the little town. 

But now the first mutterings of the coming storm 
began to be heard in Paris ; even this brought at 
fii-st only increased prosperity to the Reformed 
Church at Meairx. It sent to the little flock new 
and greater teachers. The Sorbonne — that ancient 
and proud champion of orthodoxy — knew that these 
were not times to slumber : it saw Protestantism 
rising in the capital ; it beheld the flames catching 
the edifice of the faith. It took alarm : it called 
upon the king to put down the new opinions by 
force. Francis did not respond quite so zealously 
as the Sorbonne would have liked. He was not pre- 
pared to patronise Protestantism, far from it ; but, 
at the same time, he had no love for monks, and 
was disposed to allow a considerable mai'gin to 
" men of genius," and so he forbade the Sorbonne 
to set up the scafibld. StUl little reliance could be 
placed upon the wavering and pleasure-loving king, 
and Lefevre, on whom his colleagues of the Sor- 
bonne had contrived to fasten a quari-el, might any 
hour be apprehended and throvtTi into prison. 
" Come to Meaux," said Bri(;onnet to Lefevre and 
Fare], " and take part with me in the work which 
is every day developing into goodlier proportions."' 
They accepted the invitation ; quitting the capital 
they went to live at Meaux, and thus all the 
Reformed forces were collected into one centre. 

The glory which had departed from Paris now 
rested upon this little pi'ovincial town. Meaux 
became straightway a light in the darkness of 
France, and many eyes were turned towards it. 
Far and near was spread the rumour of the "strange 
things " that were taking place there, and many 

' Laval., vol. i., p. 22. 

came to verify witli their own eyes what they had 
heard. Some had occaaion to visit its wool markets ; 
and othei-s, labourers from Picardy and more distant 
places, resorted to it in harvest time to a.ssist in 
reaping its fields ; the-se visitors were naturally 
dra'wn to the sermons of the Protestant preachers ; 
moreover, Frencli New Testaments were put into 
their hands, and when they returned to their homes 
many of them carried with them the seeds of the 
Gospel, and founded churohes in their own dlstricts,- 
some of which, such as Landouzy in the department 
of Aisne, still exist.' Thus Meaux became a mother 
of Churches : and the expression became proverbial 
in the fii-st half of the sixteenth century, ■with re- 
ference to any one noted for his Protestant senti- 
ments, that "he had drunk at the well of Meaux."' 
We love to linger over this picture, its beauty 
is so deep and pure that we are unwilling to tear 
ourselves from it Already we begin to have a 
presentiment, alas ! to be too sadly verified here- 
after, that few such scenes will present themselves 
in the eventful but tempestuous period on which 
we are entering. Amid the storms of the rough 
day coming it may solace us to look back to this 
delicious daybreak. But already it begins to 
overcast. Lefevre and Farel have been sent away 
from the capital. The choice that Paris has made, 
or is about to make, strikes upon our ear as the 
knell of coming evil. The capital of France has 
already missed a high honour, even that of har- 
bouring within her walls the iii-st congregation of 
French Protestants. This distinction was reseiwed 
for Meaux, though little among the many mag- 
nificent cities of France. Paris said to the Gospel, 
" Depart. Tliis is the seat of the Sorbonne ; this is 
the king's coiu-t ; here there is no room for yoti ; 
go, hide thee amid the artizans, the fullei-s and 
wool-combers of Meaux." Paris knew not what it 
did when it drove the Gospel from its gates. By 
the same act it opened them to a long and dismal 
train of woes — faction, civil war, atheism, the 
guillotine, siege, famine, death. 

2 Felice, vol. i., p. 6. " D'Aubignc, vol. iii., p. 379. 
' Felice, vol. i., p. 6. 





The World's Centre— The Kingdoms at War— In the Church, Peace— The Flock at Meaux— Ma-ot's ftalma of David 
universally Sung in France— The Odes of Horace— Calvin and Church Psalmody— Two Champions of the Dark- 
ness, Beda and Duprat— Louisa of Savoy— Her Character— The Trio that Governed France— They Unsheathe the 
Sword of Persecution- Brigonnet's Fall. 

The Cluirch Ls the centre round which all the 
affair.s of the world revolve. It is here that the 
key of all politics is to be found. The contuiuance 
and advance of this society is a fii-st principle with 
him who sits on the right hand of Power, and who 
is at once King of the Church and King of the 
Universe ; and, therefore, from his lofty seat he 
directs the march of armies, tlie issue of battles, the 
deliberation of cabinets, the decision of kings, and 
the fate of nations, so as best to further this one 
paramount end of his government. Here, then, Ls 
the world's centre ; not in a throne that may be 
standing to-day, and in the dust to-moiTow, but in 
a society — a kingdom — destined to outlast all the 
kingdoms of earth, to endui'e and flourish through- 
out all the ages of time. 

It cannot but strike one as remai-kable that at 
the very moment when a feeble evangelism was 
receiving its bii-th, needing, one should thiirk, 
a fostering hand to shield its infancy, so many 
powerful and hostile kingdoms should start up at 
the same time. Why place the cradle of Protast- 
antism amid tempests t Here is the powerful 
Spain; and here, too, is the nearly as powerful 
France. Is not this to throw Protestantism be- 
tween the upper and the nether mill-stones ? Yet 
he " who weigheth the mountains in scales, and 
the hills in a balance," permitted these confede- 
racies to spi-ing up at this hour, and to wax thus 
mighty. And now we begin to see a little way 
into the counsels of the Most High touching these 
two kingdoms. Charles of Spain sarries oS" the 
brilliant prize of the imperial diadem from Francis 
of France. The latter is stung to the quick ; 
from that hour they are enemies ; war breaks oiit 
between them ; their ambition drags the other 
kingdoms of Europe into the arena of conflict ; 
and the intrigues and battles that ensue leave to 
hostile princes but little time to persecute the 
truth. Tliey find other uses for their treasures, 
and other enterprises for their armies. Thus the 
verj' tempasts by which the world was devastated 
were as rampai-ts around that new society that wiis 
rising up en the ruins of the old. While outside 

the Church the roar of battle never ceased, the 
song of peace was heard continually ascending 
within her. " God Ls our refuge and strength, a 
very present help in time of trouble. Therefore, 
will not we fear, although the earth be removed, 
and though the mountains be cai'ried into the 
midst of the sea. God is in the midst of her; 
she shall not be removed." 

From this hasty glance at the politics of the age, 
which had converted the world into a sea with the 
four winds wan'ing upon it, we come back to the 
little flock at Meaux. That flock was dwelling 
peacefully amid the green pastures and by the 
li-sing watei-s of ti-uth. Every day saw new con- 
vei-ts added to their number, and every day beheld 
their love and zeal burning with a purer flame. 
The good Bishop Bri^onnet was going in and out 
before them, feeding with knowledge and under- 
standing the flock over which, not Rome, but the 
Holy Ghost had made liim overseer. Those fra^ 
grant and lovely fruits which ever spring up where 
the Gospel comes, and which are of a nature alto- 
gether difl'erent from, and of a quality infinitely 
superior to, those which any other system produces, 
were appearing abundantly here. Meaux' had be- 
come a gai-den in the midst of the desert of France, 
and strangers from a distance came to see this new 
thing, and to wonder at the sight. Not unfre- 
quently did they carry away a shoot fi'om the 
mother plant to set it in their own province, and 
so the vine of Meaux was sending out her branches, 
and giving promise, in the opinion of some, at no 
distant day of filling the land ^^'ith her shadow. 

At an early stage of the Reformation in France, 
the New Testament, as we have related in the fore- 
going chapter, was translated into the vernacular of 
that country. This was followed by a version of 
the Psalms of David in 1.525, the very time when 
the field of Pavia, which cost France so many lives, 
was being stricken. Later, Clement Marot, the 
lyrical poet, undertook — at the request of Calvin, 
it is believed— the task of versifying the Psalms, 
and accordingly thirty of them were rendered into 
metre and published in Paris in 1541, dedicated 



to Francis I.' Three years afterwards (1543), lie 
added twenty others, and dedicated the collection 
" to the ladies of France." In the epistle dedi- 
catory the following vei-ses occur : — 

" Happy the man whose favom'd ear 
In golden days to come shall hear 
The plougliman, as hu tills the ground, 
The carter, as he diives his round. 
The shopman, as his task he plies, 
With psalms or sacred melodies 
Whiling the hours of toil away ! 
Oh ! happy he who hears the lay 
Of shepherd or of shepherdess. 
As in the woods they sing and bless 
And make the rocks and pools proclaim 
With them their great Creator's name 1 
Oh ! can ye brook that God in%-ite 
Them before you to such delight ? 
Begin, ladies, begin ! "^ 

The prophecy of the poet was fulfilled. The 
combined majesty and sweetness of the old Hebrew 
Psalter took captive the taste and genius of the 
French people. In a little while all France, we 
may say, fell to singing the Psalms. They dis- 
placed all other songs, being sung in the fii-st in- 
stance to the common ballad music. " This holy 
ordinance," says Quick, " charmed the ears, heart, 
and afiections of court and city, town and country. 
They were sung in the Louvi'e, as well as in the 
Pr6s des Clercs, by the ladies, princes, yea, by 
Henry II. himself. This one ordinance alone con- 
tributed mightily to the downfall of Popery and the 
propagation of the Gospel. It took so much with 
the genius of the nation that all ranks and degrees 
of men practised it, in the temples and in theii' 
families. No gentleman professing the Reformed 
religion would sit down at his table without prais- 
ing God by singing. It was an especial part of 
their morning and evening worship in theii' several 
houses to sing God's praises." 

This chonis of holy song was distasteful to the 
adlierents of the ancient worsliip. Wherever they 
turned, the odes of the Hebrew monai'ch, pealed 
forth in the tongue of France, saluted their ears, 
in the streets and the highways, in the vineyards 
and the workshops, at the faurily hearth and in 
the churches. " The reception these Psalms met 
with," says Bayle, " was such as the world had 
never seen."^ To strange uses were they put on 
occasion. The king, fond of hunting, adopted as 
his favourite Psalm, "As pants the hart for water- 
brooks," &.C. The priests, who seemed to hear in 

' The only known copy of this work is in the Eoyal 
Library of Stuttgart. 
- Guizot, Hist, of France, vol. iii., p. 170; Lend., 1874. 
' Bayle, IHctionnaire, ai-t. Marot, notes Nj o, p. 

this outburst the knell of theii- approaching down- J 

fall, had recourse to the expedient of translating ' 

the odes ©f Horace and setting them to music, in 
the hope that the pagan poet woidd supplant the 
Hebrew one.'' The rage for the Psalter neverthe- 
less continued unabated, and a stonn of Romish 
wi-ath breaking out against Marot, he fled to 
Geneva, where, as we have said above, he added > 
twenty other Psalms to the tlm-ty previously pub- 
lished at Paris, making fifty in all. This enlarged 
Psalter was first published at Geneva, with a com- 
mendatory preface by CahTii, in 1543. Editions 
were published in Holland, Belgium, France, and 
Switzerland, and so gi-eat was the demand that the 
printmg- presses could not meet it. Rome forbade 
the book, but the people were only the more eager 
on that account to possess it. 

Calvin, alive to the mighty power of music to 
advance tlie Reformation, felt nevertheless the in- 
congruity and indelicacy of smging such words to 
profane airs, and used every means in his power to 
rectify the abuse. He applied to the most eminent 
musicians in Europe to fm-nish music woi-thy of the 
sentiments. William Franc, of Strasburg, respond- 
ing to this call, furnished melodies for Marot's 
Psalter ; and the Protestants of France and Holland, 
dropping the ballad aii-s, began now to sing the 
Psalms to the noble music just composed. Now, 
for the first time, was heard the "Old Hundredth," 
and some of the finest tunes still iir use in our 
Psalmody. After the death of Marot (1544) Calvin 
applied to his distinguished coadjutor, Theodore 
Beza, to complete the versification of the Psalms. 
Beza, copying the style and spu'it of Marot, did 
so,^ and thus Geneva had the honour of giving to 
Christendom the fu-st whole book of Psalms ever 
rendered into the metre of any living language. 

Tliis narration touching the Psalms in French 
has carried us a little in advance of the point of 
time we had reached in the history. We retrace 
our steps. 

A storm was brewing at Paris. There were two 
men in the capital, sworn champions of the dark- 
ness, holding high positions. The one was Noel 
Beda, the head of the Sorbonne. His chair — second 
only, in his own opmion, to that of the Pope him- 
himself — bound him to guard most sacredly from 
the least heretical taint that orthodoxy whicli it 
was the glory of his univemty to have preserved 
hitherto wholly uncontaminated. Beda was a man 
of very moderate attainments, but he was moderate 
in nothing else. He was bustling, narrow-minded, 

■• Apologie pour les lUformateurs, &c., torn, i., p. 129 ; 
Eotterdam, 1683. 
' M'Crie, Life of Knox, voL i., p. 378; Edin., 1831. 



a woi'sliipper of scholastic forms, a keen ilisputant, 
and a great intriguer. '• In a single Beda," Erasmus 
used to say, " there are three tlioiisand monks." 
Never did owl hate the day more than Beda did 
the light. He had .seen with horror some rays 
struggle into the shady halls of the Sorbonne, and 
he made haste to extinguish them by driving from 
his chair the man who was the ornament of the 
university — the doctor of Etaples. 

The other truculent defender of the old ortho- 
doxy wa.s Antoine Duprat. Not that he cared a 
straw for othodoxy in itself, for the man had neither 
religion nor morals, but it fell in with the line of 
liLs own political advancement to aflect a concern 
for the faith. A contemporary Roman Catholic 
historian, Beaucaire de PeguUIiem, calls him " the 
most vicious of bipeds." He accompanied liis 
master, Francis I., to Bologna, after the battle of 
Marignano, and aided at the interview at which 
the infamous arrangement was efleoted, in pxir- 
suance of which the power of the French bishops 
and the rights of the French Church were divided 
between Leo X. and Francis I. This is known in 
history as the Concordat of Bologna ; it abolished 
the Pragmatic Sanction — the charter of the liber- 
ties of the Galilean Chui-ch — and gave to the king 
the power of presenting to the vacant sees, and to 
the Pope the right to the first-fruits. A red hat 
was the reward of Du2)rat's treachery. His exalted 
ofiice — he was Chancellor of France — added to his 
personal qualities made him a formidable opponent. 
He was able, haughty, overbearing, and never 
scrupled to employ violence to compass his ends. 
He was, too, a man of insatiable greed. He plun- 
dered on a large scale in the king's behoof, by 
putting up to sale the offices in the gift of the 
crown ; but he plundered on a still larger scale in 
his own, and so was enormously rich. By way of 
doing a compensatory act he built a few additional 
wards to the Maison de Dieu, on which the king, 
whose friendship he shared without sharing his 
esteem, is said to have remarked " that they had 
need to be large if they were to contain all the 
poor the chancellor himself had made."' Such 
were the two men who now rose up against the 

They were set on by the monks of Meaux. Find- 
ing that their dues were diminishing at an alarming 
rate the Franciscans crowded to Paris, and there 
raised the cry of heresy. Bishoj) Brigonnet, they 
exclaimed, had become a Protestant, and not con- 

' Felice, vol. i., p. 8. 

- Sismondi, Hist, des Fmnr,ais, xvi. 387. Guizot, Hist, 
of France, vol. iii., pp. 193, 194. 

tent with being himself a heretic, he had gathered 
round him a company of even greater heretics than 
himself, and had, in conjunction with these asso- 
ciates, poisoned Ids diocese, and was labouring to 
infect the whole of France ; and unless steps were 
immediately taken this pestilence would spi-ead 
over all the kingdom, and France would be lost. 
Duprat and Beda were not the men to listen with 
indifierent ears to these complaints. 

The situation of the kingdom at that hour thi-ew 
great power into the hands of these men. The 
battle of Pa via — the Flodden of France — had just 
been fought. The flower of the French nobility had 
fallen on that field, and among the slain was the 
Chevalier Bayard, styled the MiiTor of Cliivalry. 
The king was now the prisoner of Charles V. at 
Madrid. Pending the captivity of Francis the 
government was in the hands of his mother, Louisa 
of Savoy. She was a woman of detennined spiiit, 
dissolute life, and heart iiiflamed with her house's 
hereditary enmity to the Gospel, as shown in its 
persecution of the Waldensian confessoi-s. She had 
the bad distinction of opening in France that eiu 
of licentious gallantry which has so long polluted 
both the court and the kingdom, and which has 
proved one of the most powerful obstacles to the 
spread of the pure Gospel. It must be added, 
however, that the hostility of Louisa was somewhat 
modified and restrained by the singular sweetness 
and piety of her daughter, Margaret of Valois. 
Such was the trio — the dissolute Louisa, regent of 
the kingdom; the avaricious Duprat, the chancellor; 
and the bigoted Beda, head of the Sorbonne — into 
whose hands the defeat at Pavia had thrown, at 
this crisis, the government of France. There were 
points on which their opinions and interests were 
in conflict, but all three had one quality in common 
— they heartily detested the new opinion.s. 

The first step was taken by Louisa. In 1523 
she proposed the following question to the Sorbonne : 
" By what means can the damnable docti-ines of 
Luther be chased and extu'pated from this most 
Christian kingdom ?" The answer was brief, but 
emphatic : " By the stake ;" and it was added that 
if the remedy were not soon put in force, there 
would result great damage to the honour of the 
king and of Madame Louisa of Savoy. TSvo j^eai-s 
later the Pope earnestly recommended vigoiu- in 
suppressing " this great and marvellous disorder, 
which proceeds from the rage of Satan ;"' other- 
wise, " this mania will not only destroy religion, 
but all principalities, nobUities, laws, ordere, and 
ranks besides."^ It was to uphold the throne, 

3 Felice, vol. i., p. 9. ■• Ibid, 



preserve the nobles, and maintain tlie laws that 
the sword of persecution was first unsheathed in 
France ! 

The Parliament was convoked to strike a blow 
while yet there was time. The Bishop of Meaux 
was summoned before it. Bri^omiet was at first 
firm, and refused to make any concession, but at 
length the alternative was plainly put before him — 
abandon Protesfemtism or go to prison. We can 
imagine the conflict in his soul. He had read the 
woe denounced against him who puts his hand to 
the plough and afterwards withdraws it. He could 
not but think of the flock he had fed so lovingly, 
and which had looked up to him with an afiection 
so tender and so confiding. But before him was a 
prison and mayhap a stake. It was a moment of 
supreme suspense. But now the die is cast. Bri- 
Qonnet declines the stake — the stake which in 
return for the life of the body would have given 
him life eternal. On the 12th of April, 1523,' he 
was condemned to pay a fine, and was sent back to 
liis diocese to publish three edicts, the fii-st restoring 
public prayei-s to the Vii-gin and the saints, the 
second forbidding any one to buy or read the books 
of Luther, while the third enjoined silence on the 
Protestant preachers. 

What a stunning blow to the disciples at Meaux ! 
They were di-eaming of a brilliant day when this 
dark storm suddenly came and scattered them. Tlie 
aged Lefevre found his way, in the fii-st instance, to 

Strasburg, and ultimately to Nerac. Farel turned 
his steps toward Switzerland, where a gi-eat work 
awaited liim. Of the two Roussels, Gerard after- 
wards powerfully contributed to the progi-ess of the 
Reformation in the kingdom of NavaiTe.* Martial 
Mazurier went the same road with Bric^onnet, and 
was rewarded with a canoniy at Paris.* The rest 
of the flock, too poor to flee, had to abide the brunt 
of the tempest. 

Brigonnet had saved his mitre, but at what a 
cost ! We shall not judge him. Those who joined 
the ranks of Protestantism at a later period did so 
as men " appointed unto death," and girded them- 
selves for the conflict which they knew awaited 
them. But at this early stage the Bishop of Meaux 
had not those examples of self-devotion before him 
which the martyr-roll of coming years was to fur- 
nish. He might reason himself into the belief that 
he could still love his Saviour in his heart, though 
he did not confess him with the mouth : that wliile 
bowing before Mai-y and the saints he could in- 
wardly look xvp to Christ, and lean for salvation on 
the Ci-ucified One : that while ministering at the 
altai-s of Rome he could in secret feed on other 
bread than that which she gives to her children. It 
was a hard part which Brigonnet put upon himself 
to act ; and, without saying how far it is possible, 
we may ask how, if all the disciples of Protestantism 
had acted this part, could we ever have had a Ee- 
foi-mation ? 



• The Flock at Meaux— Denis, a " Meaux Heretic "—Visited in Prison by his former Pastor, BriQonnet— The Interview 
—Men Burned and yet they Live— Pavane — Imprisoned for the Gospel— Recants— His Horror of Mind— Anew 
Confesses Christ— Is Burned— His the First Stake in Paris— Martyrdom of the Hermit of Livry— Leclerc, the 
Wool-comber— Acts as Pastor— Banished from Meaux — Retires to Metz— Demolishes the Images at the Chapel 
of Mary — Procession— Astonishment of Prooessionists — Leclere Seized— Confesses— His Cruel Death — Bishop 

BnigoNNET had recanted : but if the shepherd had 
fallen the little ones of the flock stood their ground. 
They continued to meet together for prayer and the 
reading of the Scriptures, the garret of a wool- 
comber, a solitary hut, or a copse serving as their 
place of I'endezvous.- This congregation was to 
have the honour of furnishing martyrs whose blazing 

' GaiUard, Hist, de Fran(;ois I. 
- Felice, vol. i., p. 17. 

stakes were to shine like beacons in the darkness of 
Fnuice, and afford glorious proof to their country- 
men that a power had entered the world which, 
braving the teiTor of scaflTolds and surmounting the 
force of armies, would finally triumph over all 

Let us take a few instances. A humble man 

3 Laval., vol. i., p. viii., Dedication. 
< aid., vol. i., p. 22. 



Uiimed Denis, one of tlie " Meaux heretics," was 
apprehended ; and in course of tiiue he was visited 
in his prison by his foiiner pastor, Bri9onnet. His 
enemies at times put tasks of this sort upon the 
fallen prelate, the more thoroughly to humiliate him. 
When the bishop made his iinexjiected appearance 
in the cell of the poor prisoner, Denis opened his 
eyes with surprise, Bri^onnet hung his with em- 
bari-assment. The bishop began -with stammering 
tongue, we may well believe, to exhort the im- 
prisoned disciple to purchase his liberty by a recan- 
tation. Denis listened for a little space, then rising 
up and steadfastly fixing his eyes upon the man who 
had once preached to him that very Gospel which 
he now exhorted him to abjure, said solemnly, 
" ' Whosoever shall deny me before men, him shall 
I also deny before my Father who is in heaven ! ' " 
Bri(jonnet reeled backwards and staggered out of 
the dungeon. The interview over, each took his 
own way : the bishop returned to his palace, and 
Denis passed from his cell to the stake.' 

That long and terrible roll on which it was so 
hard, yet so glorious, to write one's name, was now 
about to be imfolded. This was no roll of the 
dead : it was a roll of the living ; for while their 
contemporaries disappeared in the darkness of the 
tomb and were seen and heard of no more on 
earth, those men whose names were written there 
came out into the light, and shone in glory un- 
dimmed as the ages rolled past, telling that not 
only did they live, but their cause also, and that 
it should yet triumph in the land which they 
watered with their blood. This was a wondrous and 
great sight, men burned to ashes and yet li\'ing. 

We select another from this band of pioneers. 
Pavane, a native of Boulogne and disciple of Le- 
fevre, was a youth of sweetest disposition, but 
somewhat lacking in constitutional courage. He 
held a living in the Church, though he was not as yet 
in priest's orders. Enlightened by the tnith, he began 
to say to his neighbours that the Virgin could no 
more save them than he could, and that there was 
but one Saviour, even Jesus Christ. This was enough : 
he was apprehended and brought to trial. Had he 
blasphemed Christ only, he would have been for- 
given : he had blasphemed Mary, and could have no 
forgiveness. He must make a public recantation 
or, hard alternative, go to the stake. Terrified at 
death in this dreadful fonn, Pavane consented to 
purge himself from the crime of having spoken 
blasphemous words against the Virgin. On Christ- 
mas Eve (1524) he was required to walk thi-ough 

' ■ Crespin, Martyrol., p. 102. D'Aubign^, Hiat, R^orm. 
under Calvin, vol. i., pp. 573, 57t. 

the streets bare-headed and bare-footed, a rope 
round his neck and a lighted taper in his hand, till 
he came to the Church of Notre Dame. Stand- 
ing before the portals of that edifice, he publicly 
begged pardon of " Our Ladj' " for ha-\ing spoken 
disparagingly of her. This act of penitence duly 
performed, he was sent back to Ms prison. 

Returned to his dungeon, and left to think on 
what he had done, he found that there were things 
which it was more terrible to face than death. He 
was now alone with the Sa\'iour whom he had denied. 
A horror of darkness fell upon his soul. No sweet 
promise of the Bible could he recaU : nothing could 
he find to lighten the sadness and heaviness that 
weighed upon him. Rather than di-ink this bitter 
cup he would a hundred times go to the stake. 
He who turned and looked on Peter spoke to 
Pavane, and reproved him for his sin. His tears 
flowed as freely as Peter's did. His resolution was 
taken. His sighings were now at an end : he anew 
made confession of his faith in Christ. The trial of 
the " relapsed heretic " was short ; he was hunied 
to the stake. " At the foot of the pile he spoke 
of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper with such 
force that a doctor said, ' I wish Pavane had not 
spoken, even if it had cost the Church a million 
of gold.' "" The fegota were quickly lighted, and 
Pavane stood with unflinching courage amid the 
flames till he was burned to ashes. 

This was the first stake planted in the capital of 
France, or indeed within the ancient limits of the 
kingdom. We ask in what quarter of Paris was it 
set up ^ In the Place de Grfeve. Ominous spot! In 
the Place de Greve were the fii-st French martyrs 
of the Reformation burned. Nearly three hun- 
dred years pass away ; the blazing stake is no longer 
seen in Paris, for there are now no longer martyi-s 
to be consumed. But there comes another visitant 
to France, the Revolution namely, bringing with it 
a dreadful instrument of death ; and where does the 
Revolution set up its guillotine ? In the same 
Place de Grfeve, at Paris. It was surely not of 
chance that on the Place de Greve were the first 
martyrs of the Reformation burned, and that on 
the Place de Grfe\-e were the first -Nactims of the 
Revolution guillotinod. 

The martyrdom of Pavane was followed, after 
a short while, by that of the Hermit of Livry, as 
he was named. Li\-i-y was a small burgh on the 
road to Meaux. This confessor was burned alive 
before the porch of Notre Dame. Nothing was 
wanting which liis persecutors could think of that 
might make the spectacle of his death tenible to the 

2 FeUce, vol. i., p. 11. 



on-lookers. The gi-eat bell of the temple of Notre 
Dame was rung ^vith immense -sdolence, in order to 
draw out the people from all parts of Paris. As 
the martyi- passed along the street, the doctors told 
the spectators that this was one of the damned who 
wtis on his way to the fii-e of hell. These things 
moved not the martyi- ; he walked with firm step 
and look undaunted to the spot where he was to 
offer up his life.' 

One other martyi-dom of these early times must 
we relate. Among the disciples at Meaiix was a 
humble wool-comber of the name of Leclerc. 
Taught of the Spirit, he was " mighty in the Scrip- 
tures," and being a man of courage as well as 
knowledge, he came forward when Brigonnet 
apostatised, and took the oversight of the flock 
which the bishop had deserted. Leclerc had re- 
ceived neither tonsure nor imposition of hands, but 
the Protestant Church of France had begun thus 
early to act upon the doctrine of a universal spiritual 
piiesthood. The old state of things had been restored 
at Meaux. The monks had re-captured the pulpits, 
and, wth jubilant humour, were firing ofi" jests and 
reciting fables, to the delight of such audiences as 
they were able to gather round them.- This stirred 
the spirit of Leclerc ; so one day he affixed a pla- 
card to the door of the cathedral, styling the Pope 
the Antichrist, and predicting the near downfall 
of his kingdom. Priests, monks, and citizens 
gathered before the placard, and read it with 
amazement. Tlieir amazement quickly gave place 
to rage. Was it to be borne that a despicable 
wool-carder should attack the Pontiff? Leclerc 
was seized, tried, whipped through the streets on 
three successive days, and finally branded on the 
forehead with a hot u-on, and banished from Meaux. 
Wliile enduring this cruel and shameful treatment, 
his mother stood by applauding his constancy.' 

The wool-comber retired to Metz, in Lorraine. 
Already the light had visited that city, but the 
arrival of Leclerc gave a new impulse to its evan- 
gelisation. He went from house to house preaching 
the Gospel ; persons of condition, both lay and 
clerical, embraced the Reformed faith ; and thus 
were laid in Metz, by the humble hands of a wool- 
carder, the foundations of a Church which after- 
wards became flourishing. Leclerc, arriving in 
Metz with the brand of heretic on liis brow, came 
nevertheless ^vith courage unabashed and zeal un- 
abated ; but he allowed these qualities, unhappily, 
to carry him beyond the limits of prudence. 

' Beza, torn, i., p. 4. 
- Crespin, Actes des Martyrs, p. 183. 
' Beza, torn, i., p. 4. Laval., vol. i., p. 23. Felice, vol. i., 
p. 10. Guizot, vol. iii., p. 196. 

A little way outside the gates of the city stood 
a chapel to Mary and the saints of the province. 
The yearly festival had come round, and to-monow 
the population of Metz would be seen on their 
knees before these gods of stone. Leclerc pondered 
upon the command, " Thou shalt break down theu- 
images," and forgot the very different circumstances 
of himself and of those to whom it was originally 
given. At eve, before the gates were shut, he 
stole out of the city and passed along the highway 
till he reached the shrine. He sat down before the 
images in mentjil conflict. " Impelled," says Beza, 
" by a Divine afilatus,"'' he arose, dragged the statues 
from their pedestals, and, having broken them in 
pieces, strewed their fragments in front of the 
chapel. At daybreak he re-entered Metz. 

All unaware of what had taken place at the 
chapel, the procession marshalled at the usual 
hour, and moved forward with crucifixes and 
banners, with flaring tapers and smoking incense. 
The bells tolled, the drums were beat, and with 
the music there mingled the chant of the priest. 
And now the long array draw nigh the chapel 
of Om- Lady. Suddenly drum and chant are 
hushed; the banners are cast on the gi-ound, the 
tapei-s are extinguished, and a sudden thrill of 
horror runs through the multitude. What has 
happened 1 Alas ! the rueful sight Strewn over 
the area before the little temple lie the heads, 
arms, legs of the deities the processionists had 
come to worship, all cruelly and sacrilegiously 
mutilated and broken. A cry of mingled grief 
and rage burst forth from the assembly. 

The procession returned to Metz with more 
haste and in less orderly fashion than it had come. 
The suspicions of all fell on Leclerc. He was seized, 
confessed the deed, speedy sentence of condemna- 
tion followed, and he was hurried to the spot 
where he was to be bumed. The exasperation of 
his persecutors had prepared for him dreadful tor- 
tures. As he had done to the images of the saints 
so would they do to him. Unmoved he beheld 
these terrible preparations. Unmoved he liore the 
exci-uciating agonies inflicted upon him. He per- 
mitted no sign of weakness to taiTiish the glory of 
his saciifice. WhUe his foes were lopping ofl" his 
limbs with knives, and tearing his flesh with red- 
hot pincers, the martp- stood with calm and in- 
trepid air at the stake, reciting in a loud voice the 
words of the Psalm — " Their idols are silver and 
gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, 
but they speak not ; eyes have they, but they see 

■• Beza, Icones. Laval., vol. i., p 23. Guizot, vol. iii., 
p. 196. 



not ; noses have tliey, but they smell not ; they 
have hands, but they handle not ; feet have they, 
but they walk not; neither speak they tlu-ough 
their throat. They that make them are like unto 
them ; so is every one that tiiisteth in them. O 
Israel, trust thou in the Lord ; he is their help and 
theii' shield."' 

If Leclerc's zeal had been indiscreet, his courage 

had seen the martyr, with so serene and noble a 
fortitude, bear witness at the burning pile." 

We must pause a moment to contemplate, in 
contrasted lights, two men — the bishop and the 
wool-comber. " How hai-dly shall they who have 
riches enter the kingdom of heaven ! " was the 
saying of our Lord at the beginning of the Gospel 
dispensation. The saying has seldom been more 


was tnily admirable. Well might his death be 
called " an act of faith." He had by that faith 
quenched the violence of the fire — nay, more, he had 
quenched the rage of his persecutors, which was 
fiercer than the flames that consumed him. " The 
beholders," says the author of the Ads of the 
Martyrs, "were astonished, nor were they un- 
touched by compassion," and not a few retu-ed from 
the spectacle to confess that Gospel for which they 

mournfully verified than in the case of the Bishop 
of Meaux. " His declension," says D'Aubign^, "is 
one of the most memorable in the history of the 
Church." Had Bri9onnet been as the wool-carder, 
he might have been able to enter into the evan- 
gelical kingdom ; but, alas ! he presented himself at 
the gate, carrpng a great burden of earthly dig- 
nities, and while Leclerc pressed in, the bishop 
was stopped on the thi'eshold. What Bri^onnet's 

• Pgalm CIV. 4 — ^9. 

3 Laval., vol. i., p. 23. 



reflections may have been, as he saw one after 
another of his former flock go to the stake, and 
from the stake to the sky, we shall not ven- 
ture to guess. May there not have been moments 
when he felt as if the mitre, which he had saved at 
so great a cost, was burnmg his brow, and that 

ever at times may have been his secret resolutions, 
we know that his thoughts and purposes never 
ripened into acts. He U(ner surrendered Ids sec, 
or cast in his lot with the despised and peraecuted 
professors of those Reformed doctrines, the Divine 
sweetness of which he appeared to have once so 

even yet he must needs arise and leave his palace, 
with all its honours, and by the way of the 
dungeon and the stake rejoin the members of 
his former flock who had preceded him, by this 
same road, and inherit with them honours and de- 
lights higher far than any the Pope or the King of 
France had to bestow — crowns of life and garlands 
that never fade l But whatever he felt, and what- 
65 — VOL. II. 

truly relished, and which aforetime he laboured to 
difluse with a zeal apparently so ardent and so sin- 
cere. In communion with Rome he lived to hi? 
dying day. His real character remains a mystery. 
Is it^forbidden to hope that in his last hours the 
gracious Master, who turned and looked on Peter 
and Pavane, had compassion on the fallen prelate, 
and that, the blush of godly shame on his face, and 



the tears of unfeigned and bitter sorrow streaming 
from liis oycs, lie paTised into the presence of his 
Saviour, and was gathered to the blessed company 

above — now the humblest of them all — with whom 
on earth he had so often taken sweet counsel as 
■ they walked together to the house of God ] 



Greater Champions about to Appear — Calvin — His Birth and Lineage — His Appearance and Disposition — His Education 
—Appointed to a Cliaplaincy — Tlie Blacli Deatli — Sent to La Marche at Paris — Mathurin Cordier — Friendsliip 
between tlie Young Pupil and liis Teacher — Calvin Charmed by the Great Latin Writers— Luther's and Calvin's 
Services to their respective Tongues — Leaves the School of La Marche. 

The young vine just planted in France was bending 
before the tempest, and seemed on the point of being 
uprooted. The enemies of the Gospel, who, pend- 
ing the absence of the king, still a prisoner at 
Madrid, had assumed the direction of affairs, did 
as it pleased them. Beda and Duprat, whom fear 
had made cniel, were plantmg stake after stake, and 
soon there would remain not cue confessor to tell 
that the Gospel bad ever entered the kingdom of 
France. The Reformation, which as yet had hardly 
commenced its career, was already as good as burned 
out. But those who so reasoned overlooked the 
power of Him who can raise up living witnesses 
from the ashes of dead ones. The men whom Beda 
had burned filled a comparatively narrow .sphere, 
and v/ere possessed of but luunble powers ; mightier 
champions were about to step upon the stage, whom 
God would so fortify by his Spirit, and so protect 
by his providence, that all the power of France 
shoidd not prevail against them, and from the midst 
of the scaffolds and blazing stakes with which its 
enemies had encompassed it, Protestantism would 
come forth to fill Clu-istendom with disciples and 
the world with light. 

The great leader of the Reformation in Germany 
stepped at once upon the scene. No note sounded 
his advent and no herald ushered him upon the 
stage. From the seclusion of his monastery at 
Erfurt came Luther, startling the world by the 
suddenness of his appealing, and the authority with 
which he spoke. But the coming of the great 
Reformer of France was gi-adual. If Luther rose 
on men like a star that blazes suddenly forth in the 
dark sky, Calvin's coming was like that of day, 
sweetly and softly opening on the mountain-tops, 
streaking the horizon with its silvei', and steadily 
waxing in bi-ightness till at last the whole heavens 
are filled with the splendour of its light. 

Calvin, whose birth and education we are now 
briefly to trace, was born in humble condition, like 
most of those who have accomplished gi'eat things 
for God in the world. He first saw the light on 
the 10th of July, 1509, at Noyon in Picardy.' His 
family was of Norman extraction." His grandfather 
was stiU living in the small town of Pont I'Evecjue, 
and was a cooper by trade. His father, Gei-ard, 
was apostolic notary and secretary to the bishop, 
through whom he hoped one day to find for his son 
John preferment in the Church, to which, influenced 
doubtless by the eddent bent of his genius, he had 
destined him. Yes, higher than his father's highest 
dream was the Noyon boy to rise in the Church, but 
in a more catholic Church than the Roman. 

Let us sketch the young Calvin. We have before 
us a boy of about ten years. He is of delicate 
mould, small stature, with pale features, and a 
bright burning eye, indicating a soul deeply pene- 
trative as well as richly emotional. Thei-e hangs 
about hini an air of timidity and shyness^ — a not 
infrequent accompaniment of a mind of great sensi- 
bility and power lodged in a fragile bodily organisa- 
tion. He is thoughtful beyond his years ; devout, 
too, up to the standard of the Roman Church, and 
beyond it j he is punctual as stroke of clock in his 

' Johannis Calvini Vita d Theodora Bcza; Geneva, 1575. 
(No paging.) 

' " La famille Cauvin ctait d'origine normande ; le 
grand-pere du Eeformateur habitadt Pont I'Evpque; il 
etait tonnelier." (Ferdinand Eossignol, Lcs Protestants 
nitistrcs ; PariSj 1862. M. Eossignol adds in a foot-note : 
" Chauvin — dans le dialecte Picaa-d on prouon(,'ait Cauvin 
— ^le Eeformateur signa les ceuvres latines Calvimis, et, 
faisant passer cette orthographe dans le franijais, se 
nomma lui-mome Calvin." 

3 "Ego qui natura subrusticus, umhram et otium 
semper aniavi," says he of Iiimself in his Epistle to the 
Eeader in liis Commentary on the Psalms. {Calvini 0pp., 
vol. iii.j Amsterdam, 1667.) 



religious observances.' Nor is it a mere meelia- 
nical devotion which he The soul tliat 
looks forth at those eyes cau go mechanically about 
nothing. As regards his morals he has been a 
Nazarite from liis youth up : no stain of outward 
vice has touched }iim. This made the young Calviu 
a mystery in a sort to his companions. By the 
beauty of liis life, if not by words, he became their 
unconscious rejjrover." 

From his paternal home the young Calvin passed 
to the stately mansion of the Mommors, the loixls 
of the neighbourhood. The hour that saw Calvin 
cross this noble threshold was a not uneventful one 
to him. He was not much at home in the stately 
halls that now opened to receive him, and often, 
he tells tis, he was fain to hide in some shady corner 
from the observation of the brilliant company that 
filled them. But the discipline he here underwent 
was a needful preparation for his life's work. 
Educated with the young Mommors, but at liis 
father's,'' he received a more thorough classical 
grounding, and acquiied a polish of manners to 
which he must ever liave remained a stranger had 
he grown up under his father's humble i-oof He 
who was to be the coinisellor of princes, a master 
in the schools, and a legislator in the Church, must 
needs have an education -neither su]ierficial nor 

The young Calvin mastered with wonderful ease 
what it cost his class-fellows much labour and time 
to acquire. His knowledge seemed to come by in- 
tuition. While yet a child he loved to pray in the 
open air, thus giving proof of expansiveness of soul. 
The age could not think of God but as dwelling in 
"temples made with hands." Calvin sublimely 
realised him as One whose presence fills the temple 
of the universe. In this he resembles the young 
Anselm, who, lifting his eyes to the grand mountains 
that guard his native valley of Aosta, believed that 
if he could climb to their summit he would be nearer 
him who has placed his throne in the sky. At 
this time the chaplaincy of a small chui-ch in the 
neighbouiliood, termed La Gfeine, fell vacant, and 
Gerard Chauvin, finding the expense of his son's 
education too much for him, solicited and obtained 
(1521) from the bishop the appointment for his 
son John.^ Calvin was then only twelve years of 
age ; but it was the manner of the times for even 
younger persons to hold ecclesiastical offices of 
still higher gi-ade — to have a bishop's crozier, or a 

' "Ac primo quidem quum superstitionibus Papatus 
magis pertinaciter addictus essem" (I was at first more 
obstinately attached than any one to Papal super.sti- 
tions). — Caluini 0pp., vol. iii. 

- Beza, Viia Cahmu. ^ Ibid. ■< Ihid. 

cardLnal's hat, before they were \vell able to under- 
stand what these tlignities meant.'' The young 
Chajilain of Gesine liad his head solemnly shorn 
by the bishop on the eve of Corpus Cln-isti," and 
although not yet admitted into priest's orders, he 
became by this symbolic act a member Of the 
clergy, and a servant of that Church of which lie 
was to become in after-life, ^vithout exception, the 
most powerful opponent, and the foe whom of all 
others she dreaded the most. 

Two years more did the young Chaplain of La 
Gesine continue to reside in his native town of 
Noyon, holding his title, but discharging no duties, 
for what functions could a child of twelve years 
perform % Now came the Black Death to Noyon. 
The pestilence, a dreadful one, caused great ten-or 
in the place, many of the inhabitants liad ali'eady 
been carried oft' by it, and the canons petitioned 
the chapter for leave to live elsewhere during its 
ravages. Gerard Chauvin, trembling for the safety 
of his son, the hope of his life, also petitioned the 
chapter to give the young chaplain '■ liberty to go 
wherever he pleased, without loss of his allowance." 
The records of the chapter show, according to the 
Vicar-General Desmay, and the Canon Levasseur, 
that this permission was granted in August, 1523." 
The young Mommors were about to proceed to 
Paris to prosecute their studies, and Gerard 
Chauvin was but too glad of the opportunity of 
sending his son along wdth his fellow-students and 
comrades, to study in the capital. At the age of 
fourteen the future Reformer quitted his father's 
house. " Flying from one pestilence," say his 
Romish historians, " he caught another." 

At Paris, Calvin entered the school or college of 
La Marche. There was at that time in this college 
a very remarkable man, Mathurin Cordier, who 
was renowned for his exquisite taste, his pure 
Latinity, and his extensive erudition.* These ac- 
complishments might have opened to Cordier a path 
to brilliant advancement, but he was one of those 
who prefer pursuing their own tastes, and retaining 
their independence, to occupying a position where 
they should to some extent have to sacrifice both. 
He devoted his whole life to the teaching of youth, 
and his fame has come down to our own days in 
connection with one of his books still used in some 
schools under the title of Cordier s Colloquies. 

3 France had a cardinal who was only sixteen, Odel de 
Chatillon, brother of the famous admiral. Portugal had 
one of only twelve ; and Leo X., who nominated him, had 
himself been created Archbishop of Aix at five years 
of age. 

'■' Desmay, Vie de Calvin, p. 31. 

<■ Ann. de Noyon, p. 1160. 

" Beza, Vita Calinni. 



One day IMatiuu-iii C'ordier saw a Kcliolar, aliout 
foiu-teeii years of age, fresh from tlie country, enter 
his school. His iigure was slender, Ids features 
were sallow, but his eye lent such intelligence and 
beauty to his face that the teacher coidd not help 
remarking lum. Cordier soon saw that he had a 
pupil of no ordinary genius befoi'e him, and after 
the few days the scholar of fourteen and the 
man of fifty became inseparable. At the hour of 
school dismissals it was not the play-ground, but his 
loving, genial instructor, who grew young again in 
the society of his pupil, that Calvin soiight. Such 
was the gi'eat teacher Avhom God had provided for 
the yet greater scholar. 

Mathurin Cordier was not the mere linguist. 
His mind was fraught with the wisdom of the 
ancients. The highest wisdom, it is true, he could 
not impart, for both master and pupil were still 
immersed in the darkness of supei'stition, but the 
master of La Mai'che initiated his pupil into the 
spirit of the Eenaissance, which like a balmy spring 
was chasing away the winter of. the Middle Ages, 
and freshening the world with the rich verdure and 
attractive blossoms of ancient civilisation. The 
severe yet copious diction of Cicero, the lofty 
thoughts and deep wisdom of this and of other 
great masters of Eoman literature, the young Cahiu 
soon learned to appreciate and to admii-e. He saw 
that if he aspii-ed to wield iniluence over his fellow- 
men, he must first of all perfect himself in the use 
of that mighty instrument by which access is gained 
to the lieart and its deej) fountains of feeling, and 
its powerful springs of action touched and set in 
motion — language, namely, and especially written 
language. From tliis hour the young student began 
to gi-aft upon his native tongue of France those 
graces of style, those felicities of expression, that 
flexibility, terseness, and fire, which should fit it for 
expressing with equal ease the most delicate shade 
of sentiment or the most powerful burst of feeling. 

It is remarkable surely that the two great 
Reformers of Europe shoidd have been "each the 
creator of the language of his native country. 
Calvin was the father of the French tongue, as 
Luther was the father of the Gei-man. There had 
been a language in these countries, doubtless, since 
the days of theii- fii-st savage inhabitants, a 
"French" and a "German" before there was a 
Calvin and a Luther, just as there was a steam- 
engine before James Watt. But it is not more, 
true that Watt was the Lu\ontor of the steam- 
engine, by making it a really useful instrument, 
than it is true that Luther and Calvin were the 
crciitors of their respective tongues as now spoken 
and written. Calviii found French, as Luther had 

found Gennan, a coai-se, meagre speech — of narrow 
compass, of small adaptability, and the veliicle of 
only low ideas. He breathed into it a new life. 
A vastly wider compass, and an infinitely finer 
flexibility, did he give it. And, moreover, he 
elevated and sanctified it by pouring into it the 
treasures of the Gospel, thereby emiching it with a 
multitude of new terms, and subliming it with the 
enci'gies of a celestial fire. ThLs tran.sformation in 
the tongue of France the Reformer achieved by 
the new tliinking and feeling he taught his 
countrymen ; for a language is simply the outcome 
of the life of the people by whom it is spoken. 

" Under a lean and attenuated body," says one of 
his enemies, " he displayed already a lively and 
vigorous spirit, prompt at repartee, bold to attack ; 
a gi'eat faster, either on account of his health, and 
to stop the fumes of the headache which assaulted 
him continually, or to hav^e his mind more free for 
writing, studying, and improving his memory. He 
spoke but little, but his words were always full of 
gravity, and never missed their aim ; he was never 
seen in company, but always in retu-emcut."' How 
inilike the poetic halo that surroiurds the youth of 
Luther ! " But," asks Bungener, " is there but one 
style of poetry, and is there no poetry in the steady 
pui-suit of the good and true all through the age of 
pleasure, illusion, and disorder f- 

That Calvin was the father of French Pro- 
testa,ntism is, of course, admitted by all; but we 
less often hear it acknowledged that he was the 
father of French literature. Yet this ser\ice, 
surely a great one, ought not to be passed over in 
silence. It Ls hard to say how much the illus- 
trious statesmen and philosophers, the brilliant 
historians and poets, who came after him, owed to 
him. They found in the language, which he had 
so largely helped to make fit for their use, a 
suitable vehicle for the talent and genius by which 
they made themselves and theii' countiy famous. 
Their wit, their sublimity, and their wisdom would 
have been smothered in the opaque, undramatic, 
poverty-stricken, and inliarmonious phraseology to 
which they would have been forced to consign 
them. Than language there is no more powei-ful 
instrumentality for civilising men, and there is no 
more powerful instrumentality for fashionmg lan- 
guage than the Gospel. 

"Luther," says Bossuet, " triumphed orally, but 
the pen of Calvin is the more correct. Both ex- 
celled in speaking the language of their country." 

■ Florimoud de Esmond, Ilistori/ of the Rise, Progress, 
and Decline of the Heresij of his Arje. 

■ Bungener, Life of Calvin, p. 13; Edin., 1863. 



" To Calvin," says Etienne Pasquier, " our tongiie 
is greatly indebted." " No one of those wlio jn-e- 
ceded him excelled him in uniting well," says 
Ecemond, " and few since have approaclied him in 
beauty and felicity of language." 

Calvin fulfilled his under Cordier, and in 
1526 he passed to the College of Hontaigu, one of 
the two seminaries in Paris — the Sorbonne being 
the other — for the training of prie.sts. His affection 
for his old master of La Marohe, and his sense of 

benefit received from him, the future E,eformer 
carried vnih liim to the new college — nay, to the 
gi'ave. In after-yeai-s he dedicated to hiui his Coin- 
mentary on the First Epistle to the 2'hessalonimis. 
In doing so he takes occasion to attribute to the 
lessons of Cordier all the progress he had made iu 
the higher branches of study, and if posterity, he 
says, derives any fruit from his v.^orks, he would 
have it known that it is indebted for it, in part at 
least, to Cordier. 



Calvin m the Montaigu — His Devotions and Studies— Auguries of his Teachers— Calvin still in Darliness — Trebly- 
Armed — Olivetan — Discussions between Olivetau and Calvin — Doubts Awakened — Great Struggles of Soul — The 
Priests Advise him to Confess— OUvetan sends him to the Bible— Opens the Book— Sees the Cross — Another 
Obstacle— The "Church"— Sees the Spiritual Glory of the Tnie Church— The Glory of the False Church 
Vanishes— One of the Great Battles of the "World— Victory and its Fruits. 

On crossing the threshold of La Montaigu, Calvin 
felt himself in a new but not a better atmosphere. 
Unlike that of La Marche, which was simny with 
the free ideas of Republican Rome, the aii' of 
Montaigu was musty ^vitll the dogmas of the school- 
men. But as yet Calvin could breathe that air. 
The student v,'ith the pale face, and the grave and 
serious depoi-tment, did not fail to satisfy the most 
scholastic and churchy of the jyrofessors at whose 
feet he now sat. His place was never empty at 
mass ; no fast did he ever profane by tasting for- 
bidden dish ; and no saint did he ever ailront by 
failing to do due honour to his or her fete-day. 

The young student was not more pimotual in his 
devotions than assiduoiis in hi.s studies. So ardent 
was he in the pursuit of knowledge that often the 
hours of meal passed without his eating. Long after 
others were locked in sleep he was still awake ; he 
would keep poring over the page of schoolman or 
Father till far mto the morning. The inhabitants of 
that quarter of Paris were wont to watch a tiny 
ray that might be seen streaming from a certain 
window of a certain chamber — Calvin's — of the 
college after every other light had been extin- 
guished, and long after the midnight hour had 
passed. His teachers formed the highest hopes of 
him. A youth of so fine parts, of an industry 
so unflagging, and v^^ho was withal so pious, was 
sure, they said, to rise high iir the Church. They 
prognosticated for him no mere country curacy or 

rectorship, no mere city diocese, nothing less was in 
store for such a scholar than the purple of a car- 
dinal. He who was now the pride of their college, 
was sure in time to become one of the lights of 
Christendom. Yes ! one of the lights of Chris- 
tendom, the student with the pale face and the 
burning eye was fated to become. Wide around 
was his light to beam ; nor was it the nations of 
Europe only, sitting meanwhile in the shadow of 
Rome, that Calvin was to enlighten, but tribes and 
peoples afar off, inhabituig islands and continents 
which no eye of exj)lorer had yet discovered, and 
no keel of navigator had yet touched, and of which 
the Christendom of that horn- knew nothing. 

But the man who had been chosen as the instru- 
ment to lead the nations out of their prison-house 
was meanwhile shut up in the same doleful cap- 
tivity, and needed, first of all, to be himself brought 
out of the darkness. The story of liis emanci- 
pation — his struggles to break his chain — is in- 
structive as it is touching. Calvin is made to feel 
what Scripture so emphatically terms " the power 
of darkness," the strength of the fetter, and the 
helplessness of the poor captive, that " remember- 
ing the gall and the wormwood" he may be touched 
with pity for the miseries of those he is called to 
liberate, and may continue to toil in patience and 
faith till theii' fetters are broken. 

The Reformation was in the air, and the young 
student could hardly breathe without inhaling 



somewhat of the new life ; ami yet he seemed 
tolerably secure against catching the infection. 
He was doubly, trebly armed. In the first place, 
he lived in the orthodox atmosphere of the Mon- 
taigu ; he was not likely to hear anything thei'C 
to corrupt his faith : secondly, his head had been 
shorn ; thus he stood at the plough of Rome, 
and would he now turn back 1 Then, again, his 
daily food were the schoolmen, the soundly nu- 
tritious qualities of whose doctrines no one in the 

day he contemplated the Papacy more and more, 
not as it was in fact, but as idealised and fashioned 
in his own mind ; a few years more and his whole 
thinking, reasoning, and feeling would have been 
intertwined and identified with the system, every 
avenue would have been closed and barred against 
light, and Calvin would have become the ablest 
champion that ever enrolled himself in the ranks of 
the Roman Church. We should, at this day, have 
heai'd much more of Calvin than of Bellarmine. 


Montaigu questioned. Over and above his tlaily 
and hourly lessons, the young scholar fortified him- 
self against the approaches of heresy by the rigid 
observance of all outward lites. True, he had a 
mind singularly keen, penetrating, and inquisitive ; 
but this did not much help the matter ; for when 
a mind of that caste takes hold of a system like 
the Papacy, it is witli a tenacity that refuses again 
to let it go ; the intellect finds both pleasure and 
pride in the congenial work of framing arguments 
for the defence of error, till at last it becomes the 
dupe of its own subtlety. This was the issue to 
which the young Calvin was now tending. Every 
day his mind was becoming more one-sided ; every 

B\it (iml liiid provided an opening for the arrow 
to enter in llic triple armour in which the young 
student was encasing himself. Calvin's cousin, 
Olivetau, a disciple of Lefevre's, now came to 
Paris. Li\ing in the same city, the cousins were 
fi-equontly in each other's company, and the new 
opinions, which were agitating Paris, and beginning 
to find confessors in the Place do Greve, became a 
toj)ic of frequent converee between them. ' Nay, it 
is highly probable that Calvin had witnessed some 
of the martyrdoms we have narrated in a previous 
chapter. The great bell of Notre Dame had sum- 

' Beza, Vita Calvini. 

JOHN CALVIX. (From the Portrait in Pou! Henry's " Life of Calvin.") 



moned all Paris — and why not Calvin'? — to see 
how the young Pavaue and the hermit of Livry 
could stand with looks undismayed at the stake. 
Olivetan and Calvin are not of one mind on the 
point, and the debates wax warm. Olivetan boldly 
assails, and Calvin as boldly defends, the dogmas oi 
the Chiu-ch. In this closet there is a great battle- 
field. There are but two combatants before us, it 
is true ; but on the conflict there haug issues far 
more momentous than have depended on many 
great battles in which numerous hosts have been 
engaged. In this humble apartment the Old and 
the New Times have met. They struggle the one 
with the other, and as victory shall incline so will 
the New Day rise or fade on Clmstendom. If 
Olivetan shall be worsted and boim.d again to the 
chariot-wheel of an infallible Church, the world 
will never see that beautiful version of the New 
Testament in the vernacular of France, which is 
destined to accomplish so much in. the way of 
diffusing the light. But if Calvin shall lower his 
sword before his cousin, and yield himself up to 
the arguments of Lefevre's disciple, what a blow 
to Home ! The scholar on whose sharp dialectic 
weapon her representatives in Paris have begun 
to lean in prosjiect of coming conflict, will pass 
over to the camp of the enemy, to lay his bril- 
liant genius and vast acquirements at the feet of 

The contest between the two cousins is renewed 
day by day. These are the battles that change the 
world — not those noisy afiliirs that are fought with 
camions and sabres, but those in which souls wrestle 
to establish or overthrow great principles. " There 
are but two religions in the world," we hear Olivetan 
saying. " The one class of religions are those which 
men have invented, in all of which man saves him- 
self by ceremonies and good works ; the other is 
that one religion which is revealed in the Bible, and 
which teaches man to look for salvation solely from 
the free grace of God." " I will have none of your 
new doctrmes," Calvin shaq^ly rejoins; "think 
you that I have lived in error all my days ?" But 
Calvin is not so siu-e of the matter as he looks. 
The words of his cousin have gone deeper into his 
heart than he is willing to admit even to himself; 
and when Olivetan has taken forewell for the day, 
scarce has the door been closed behind him when 
Calvin, bursting into tears, falls upon his knees, 
and gives vent in prayer to the doubts -and 
anxieties that agitate him. 

The doubts by which his soul was now shaken 
grew in strength with each renewed discussion. 
What shall he do 1 Shall he forsake the Church ? 
That seems to him like ca-'itini' himself into the 

gulf of 2)erdition. And yet can the Church save 
him 1 There is a new light breakuig in upon him, 
in which her dogmas are melting away ; the ground 
beneath him is sinking. To what shall he cling? 
His agitation grew anon into a great tempest. He 
felt within him " the sorrows of death," and his 
closet resounded with sighs and gi-oans, as did 
Luther's at Erfurt. This tempest was not in the 
intellect, although doubtless the darkness of his 
understanding had to do with it ; its seat was the 
soul — the conscience. It consisted in a .sense of 
guilt, a consciousness of vUeness, and a shuddering 
apprehension of wrath. So long as he had to do 
merely with the saints, creatures like himself, only a 
little holier it might be, it was all well. But now 
he was standing in the presence of that infinitely 
Holy One, with whom evil cainiot dwell. He was 
standing there, the blackness and vileness of his sin 
shown in the clear light of the Divine purity ; he 
was standing there, the transgressor of a law that 
says, " The soul that simieth shall die " — that death 
how awful, yet that award how righteous ! — he was 
standing there, with all in which he had formerly 
tnisted — saints, rites, good works — swept clean 
away, with nothing to protect him from the arm 
of the Lawgiver. He had come to a Judge without 
an advocate. It did not occur to him before that 
he needed an advocate, at least other than Eome 
provides, because befoi-e he saw neither God's holi- 
ness nor his own guilt ; but now he saw both. 

The struggle of Cahdn was not the perplexity of 
the sceptic unable to make up his mind among con- 
flicting systems, it was the agony of a soul fleeing 
from death, but seeing as yet no way of escape. It 
was not the conflict of the intellect which has broken 
loose from truth, and is tossed on the billows of 
doubt and unbelief — a painful spectacle, and one of 
not infrequent occuiTence in our century ; Calvin's 
struggle was not of this sort ; it was the strong 
wi-estlings of a man who had firm hold of the gi'eat 
truths of Divine revelation, although not as yet of 
all these truths, and who saw the ten-ible realities 
which they brought liim fiice to face wth, and 
who comprehended the dreadful state of his case, 
fixed for him by his own transgressions on the 
one hand, and the u-revocable laws of the Divine 
character and government on the other.^ A struggle 
this of a much more terrific kind than any mere 
intellectual one, and of this latter sort was the ear- 
nestness of the sixteenth century. Not knowing as 
yet that " there is forgiveness with God," because as 
yet he did not believe in the " atonement," through 
which there cometh a free forgiveness, Calvin at 

' Calvini Opitsc, p. 125. 



this lionv stood looking into the blackness of eternal 
darkness. Had he donbted, that doubt would have 
mitigated his pain ; but he did not and could not 
doubt ; he saw too surely the terrible reality, and 
knew not how it was to be avoided. Here was 
himself, a transgressor; there was the law, awarding 
death, and there was the Judge ready— nay, bound 
— to inflict it : so Calvin felt. 

The severity of Calvin's struggle in propor- 
tion to the strength of his self-righteousness. That 
principle had been growing within him from his 
youth upwards. The very blamelessness of his life, 
and the punctuality with which he discharged all 
the acts of devotion, had helped to nourish it into 
vin-our and strength ; and now nothing but a tem- 
pest of surpassing force could have beaten down 
and laid in tlie dust a pride which had been waxing 
higher and stronger wth every rite he performed, 
and evei-y year that passed over him. And till his 
pride had been laid in the dust it was impossible 
that he could throw himself at the feet of the 
Great Physician. 

But meanwhile, like King Joram, he went to 
physicians "who could not heal lum of his disease;" 
mere enipiiics they were, who gave him beads to 
count and relics to kiss, instead of the " death " that 
atones and the " blood " that cleanses. " Confess !" '■ 
cried the doctors of the Montaigu, who could read 
in his dimmed eye and wasting form the agony 
that was raging in his soul, and too surely divined 
its cause. " Confess, confess !" cried they, in alarm, 
for they saw that they were on the point of losing 
their- most promising pupil, on whom they had built 
so many hopes. Calvm went to his confessor ; he 
told him — not all — but as much as he durst, and 
the Father gave him kindly a few anodynes from 
the Chiu-ch's pharmacopoeia to relieve his pain. The 
patient strove to persuade himself that his trouble 
was somewhat assuaged, and thenhe would turn again 
to the schoolmen, if haply he might forget, in the 
interest awakened by their subtleties and specula- 
tions, the great realities that had engrossed him. 
But soon there would descend on him another and 
fiercer burst of the tempest, and then groans louder 
even tha,n before would echo through his chamber, 
and tears moi'e copious than he had yet shed would 
water his couch.^ 

One day, while the young scholar of the Montaigu 
was passing through these struggles, he chanced to 
visit the Place de Grfeve, where he foinad a great 
crowd of priests, soldiers, and citizens gathered 
round a stake at which a disci})le of the new doc- 

1 Calvini Opusc, p. 125. 

2 Ibid. : "Non sine gemitu ac lacrymis.'' 

trines was calmly yielding up his life. He stood 
till the fire had done its work, and a stake, an iron 
collar and chain, and a heap of ashes were the only 
memorials of the tragedy he had -witnessed. .Wkat 
he had seen awakened a train of thoughts within 
him. "These men," said he to himself, "have a 
peace which I do not possess. They endm-e the 
fire with a raxo courage. I, too, could brave the 
firi^, but were death to come to me, as it conies to 
them, with the sting of the Church's anathema in 
it, could I face that as calmly as they do 1 Why is 
it that they are so courageous in the midst of 
terroi-s that are as real as they are dreadful, while 
I am oppressed and tremble before apprehensions 
and forebodings ■! Yes, I will take my cousin 
Olivetan's advice, and search the Bible, if haply I 
may find that ' new v.^ay ' of which he speaks, and 
which these men who go so bravely through the 
fire seem to have found." He opened the Book 
which no one, says Borne, should open imless the 
Church be by to interpret. He began to read, 
but the first efi'ect was a sharper terror. His sins 
had never appeared so great, nor himself so vile 
as now.^ 

He would have shut the Book, but to what other 
quarter could he turn] On every side of him 
abysses appeared to be opening. So he continued 
to read, and by-and by he thought he could discern 
dimly and afar off what seemed a cross, and One 
hanging upon it, and his form was like the Son of 
God. He looked again, and the vision was clearer, 
for now he thought he could read the inscription 
over the head of the Sufierer : " He was woimded 
for our iniquities, he was bruised for our trans- 
gressions ; the chastisement of oiir peace was upon 
him, and with his stripes we are healed." A ray 
now shone through his darkness; he thought he 
could see a way of escape — a shelter where the 
black tempest that lowered over him would no 
longer beat upon his head; already the gi-eat 
burden that pressed upon him was less heavy, it 
seemed as if about to fall ofi', and now it rolled 
down as he kept gazing at the "Cracified." 
" O Father," he burst out — it was no longer the 
Judge, the Avenger — " O Father, his sacrifice has 
appeased thy wi-ath; his blood has washed away 
my impurities ; his cross has borne my curse ; his 
death has atoned for me !" In the midst of the 
great billows his feet had touched the bottom : he 
fomid the ground to be good : he was upon a rook. 
Calvin, however, was not yet safe on .shore and 
past all danger. One formidable obstacle he had 
yet to surmount, and one word expresses it— the 

3 D'Aubig-iie, Be/onn. in Europe, bk. ii., chap. 7. 



Chui-di. Cln-ist ha J said, '■ Lo, I ;uu witli you 
alway." Tlio (Jliurcli, then, was the tciiiplc of 
Christ, and this uiade unity — luiity iii all ages 
and in all lands — one of her essential attributes. 
The Fathers had challenged that attribute for the 
true Cliurch. She must be one, tliev had s:iid. 
Precisely so; but is tliis unity outward and 
visible, or inward and siaritual ! 'I'lie '■ (juod 
semper, quod ubique et alj omnibus," if sought in 
an outward idealisation, can be found only in the 
Church of Eome. How many have fallen over this 
stumbling-block and never risen again ; how many 
even in our o\vn age have made shipwreck here ! 
This was the rock on which Calvin was now in 
danger of shipwi-eck. The Church rose before his 
eyes, a venerable and holy society ; he saw her 
coming do\vn from ancient times, covering all lands, 
embracing in her ranks the martyrs and confessoi-s 
of primitive times, and the gi-eat doctors of the 
Middle Ages, with the Pope at their head, the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ. Tliis seemed truly a temple 
of God's own building. With all its faults it yet 
was a glorious Church, Divine and heavenly. Must 
he leave this august society and join himself to a few 
despised disciples of the new opinions ( This seemed 
like a razing of his name from the Book of Life. This 
was to invoke excommunication upon his own head, 
and write against himself a sentence of exclusion 
from the family of God— nay, from God himself! 
This was the great battle that Calvin had yet to fight. 
How many have commenced this battle only to 
lose it ! They have been beaten back and beaten 
down by the pretended Divine authority of "the 
Church," by the array of her great names and her 
gi-eat Councils, and though last, not least, by the 
terror of her anathemas. It is not possible for 
even the strongest minds, all at once, to throw off 
the spell of the great Enchantress Nor would even 
Calvin have conquered in this sore battle had he not 
had recourse to the Sword of the Spirit, which is 
the Word of God. Ever and anon he came back 
to the Bible ; he sought for the Church as she is 
there shown— a spiritual society, Christ her Head, 
the Holy Spirit her life, truth her foundation, and 
believers her members— and in proportion as this 
Church disclosed her beauty to him, the fictitious 
splendour and earthly magnificence which shone 
around the Church of Rome waned, and at last 
vanished outright. 

"There can be no Church," we hear Calvin say- 

ing to himself, '• where the truth is not. Here, in 
the Bomau Communion, I can find oidy fables, silly 
inventions, manifest falsehoods, and idolatrous cere- 
monies. The society that is founded on these thin"s 
cannot be the Church. If I shall come back to the 
truth, as contained in the Scriptures, will I not 
oniiie back to the Church i and will I not be joined 
to the holy company of prophets and apostles, of 
saints and martyrs > And as regards the Pope, the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ, let me not be awed by a biw 
word. If without wairant from the Bible, or the 
call of the Christian people, and lacking the holi- 
ness and humility of Cluist, the Pope place himself 
above the Church, and sun-ound himself with worldly 
pomps, and arrogate lordship over the faith and 
consciences of men, is he therefore entitled to 
homage, and must I bow down and do obeisance i 
The Pope," concluded Calvin, " is but a scarecrow, 
dressed out in magnificences and fulminations. I 
will go on my way without minding him." 

In fine, Calvin concluded that the term "Church" 
could not make the society that monopolised the 
term really "the Chm-ch." High-sounding titles 
and lofty assumptions could give neither unity nor 
authority ; these could come from the Truth alone ; 
and so he abandoned " the Church" that he might 
enter the Church — the Church of the Bible. 

The victory was now complete. The last link 
of Rome's chain had been rent from his soul ; the 
huge phantasmagoria which had awed and terrified 
him had been dissolved, and he stood up in the 
liberty wherewith Christ had made him free. 
Here truly was rest after a gi-eat fight — a sweet 
and blessed dawn after a night of thick darkness 
and tempest. 

Thus was fought one of the gi-eat battles of the 
world. When one thinks of what was won for 
mankind upon this field, one feels its issues impor- 
tant beyond all calculation, and would rather have 
conquered upon it than have won all the victories 
and worn all the laurels of Caesar and Alexander. 
The day of Calvin's conversion is not known, but 
the historian D'Aubigne, to whose research the 
world is indebted for its full and exact knowledge 
of the event, has determined the year, 1527 ; and 
the place, Paris — that city where some of the saints 
of God had already been put to death, and where, 
in years to come, their blood w\as to be poured out 
like water. The day of Calvin's conversion is one 
of the memorable davs of time. 





Gate of the New Kingdom — Crowds Pressing to Enter — The Few only Able to do so — Lefevre and Farel Sighing for 
the Conversion of Francis I. — A Greater Conversion — Calvin Refuses to be made a Priest — Chooses the Profession 
of Law— Goes to Orleans — Pierre de I'Etoile— Calvin becomes his Scholar- — Teaching of Etoile on the Duty of the 
State to Punish Heterodoxy— Calvin among his College Companions — A Victory — Calvin Studies Greek — Melcliior 
Wolmar — Calvin Prepared for his Work as a Commentator — His Last Mental Struggle. 

The Reformation lias come, and is setting np 
anew the kingdom of tlie Gosjiel upon the eai-tli. 
Flinging wide open its portals, and stationing no 
sentinel on the threshold, nor putting price upon 
its blessings, it bids all enter. We see great mul- 
titudes coming up to the gate, and making as if 
they would press in and become citizens of tliis new 
State. Great scholars and erudite divines are 
groping around the door, but tliey are not able to 
become as little children, and so they cannot find 
the gate. We see ecclesiastics of every grade 
crowding to that portal ; there stands the purple 
cardinal, and there too is the frocked friar, all 
eagerly inquiring what they may, do that they may 
inherit eternal life ; but they cannot part with their 
sins or with their self-righteousness, and so they 
cannot enter at a gate which, however wdde to the 
poor in spirit, is strait to them. Puissant kings, 
illustrious statesmen, and powerfiil nations come 
marching up, intent seemingly on enrolling them- 
selves among the citizens of this new society. They 
stand on the very threshold ; another step and all 
wdll be well ; but, alas ! they hesitate ; they falter ; 
it is a moment of terrible suspense. What blinds 
them so that they cannot see the entrance ? It is 
a little word, a potent .spell, which has called up 
before them an imposing image that looks the im- 
personation of all the ages, and the embodiment of 
all apostolic virtues and blessings — " the Church." 
Dazzled by this apparition, they pause — they reel 
backwards — the golden moment passes ; and from 
the very gates of evangelical light, they take the 
downward road into the old darkness. The broad 
pathway is filled from side to side by men whose 
feet have touched the very threshold of the king- 
dom, but who are now returning, some ofiended by 
the simplicity of the infant Church ; others scared 
by the scaffold and the stake; others held back 
by then- love of ease or theii- love of sin. A few 
only are able to enter in and earn the crown, and 
even these enter only after sore figlitings and great 
agonies of soul. It was here that the Reformation 
had its beginning — not in the high places of the 

world, amid the ambitions of thi-ones and the 
councils of cabinets. It struggled into birth in the 
low places of society, in closets, and the bosoms of 
the penitent, amid tears and strong cries and many 

Paris was not one of those cities that were destined 
to be glorified by the light of Protestantism, never- 
theless it pleased God, as narrated in the last chapter, 
to make it the scene of a great conversion.' Lefevre 
and Farel were sighing to enrol among the disciples of 
the Gospel a great potentate, Francis I. If, thought 
they, the throne can be gained, will not the pi-epon- 
derance of power on the side of the Go.spel infallibly 
assure its triumph in France '? But God, whose 
thoughts are not as man's thoughts, was meanwhile 
working for a far greater issue, the conversion even 
of a pale-faced student in the College of Montaigu, 
whose name neither Lefe\Te nor Farel had ever 
happened to hear, and whose very existence was 
then vmknown to them. They little ch-eamed what 
a conflict was at that very hour going on so near 
to them in a small chamber in an obsciu-e 
quarter of Paris. And, although they had known 
it, they could as little have conjectured that when 
that young scholar had bowed to the force of the 
truth, a mightier power would have taken its jjlace 
at the side of the Gospel than if Francis and all his 
court had become its patrons and champions. Light 
cannot be spread liy edict of king, or by sword of 
soldier. If is the Bible, preached by the evangelist, 
and testified to by the martyr, that is to bid the 
Gospel, like the day, shine forth and bless the 

From the horn- of Calvin's conversion he became 
the centre of the Reformation in France, and by- 
and-by the centre of the Reformation in Christen- 
dom : consec[uently in tracing the several stages of 
his career we are chronicling the successive deve- 
lopments of the great movement of Protestantism. 

' Desmay says that it was at Orleans, and Eaemond 
that it was at Bourges, that Calvin first acquired a taste 
for heresy. Both are mistaken: Calvin brought that 
taste with him to the old city of Aurelian. 



His eyes were opened, and he saw the Church 
of Rome disenchanted of that illusive splendour — 
that pseudo-Divine authority — which had aforetime 
dazzled and subdued him. Where formerly there 
stood a spiritual building, the House of God, the 
abode of truth, as lie believed, there now rose a 
temple of idols. How could he minister at her 
altars ? Tnie, his head had been shorn, but he 
had not yet received that indelible character which 
is stamped on all who enter the priesthood, and 
so it was not imperative that he should proceed 
farther in that path. He resolved to devote himself 
to the profession of law. This mode of retreat from 
the clerical ranks would awaken no suspicion. 

It is somewhat remarkable that his father had 
come, at about the same time, to the same resolu- 
tion touching the future profession of his son, 
and thus the young C'ah'in had his parent's full 
consent to his new choice — a coincidence which 
Beza has pointed out as a somewhat striking one. 
The patli on which Gerard Chauvin saw his son 
now entering was one in which many and brilliant 
honoiu's were to be won : and not one of those 
prizes was there which the marvellous intellect and 
the rare application of that son did not bid fair to 
gain. Already Gerard in foncy saw him standing at 
the foot of the tin-one, and guiding the destinies of 
France. Has Calvin then bidden a final adieu to 
theology, and are the courts of law and the offices 
of State henceforth to claim him as their own l 
No ! he has turned aside but for a little while, that 
by varying the exercise of his intellect he may 
bring to the great work that lies before him a 
versatility of power, an amplitude of knowledge, 
and a range of sympathy not otheiwise attainable. 
Of that work he did not at this hour so much as 
dream, but He \\ ho had " called him from the womb, 
and oi-dained him a prophet to the nations," was 
leading him by a way he knew not. 

The young student — his face still pale, but 
beaming with that lofty peace that succeeds such 
tempests as those which had beat upon him — crosses 
for the last time the portal of the Montaigu, and, 
leaving Paris behind him, directs his steps to 
Orleans, the city on the banks of the Loiie which 
dates from the days of Aurelian, its founder. In 
that city was a famous university, and in that uni- 
versity was a famous professor of law, Pierre de 
I'Etoile, styled the Prince of Jurists.' It was the 
light of this " star" that attracted the young Calvin 
to Orleans. 

' He became aftciwai-ds Pi'esideiit of the Parliament 
of Paris. "He was aofomitoil," says Beza, "tlio most 
subtle jurisconsult of all the dootovs." (Hist, ties EgKses 
S^fomifes, torn, i., p. G.) 

The science of jurispnidence now became his 
study. And one of the maxims to wliich he was ut 
times called to listen, as he sat on the benches of the 
class-room, enables us to measure the progress which 
the theory of liberty had made in those days. " It 
is the magistrate's duty," would " Peter of the Star" 
.say to his scholais, " to punish ofi'ences against 
religion as well as climes against the State." 
" What ! " he would exclaim, with the air of a man 
who was propounding an incontrovertible trath, 
" What ! shall we hang a thief who robs us of our 
pui-se, and not burn a heretic who steals from us 
heaven ! " So ill understood was then the distinction 
between the civU and the spiritual juiisdictions, 
and the acts falling under their respective cognis- 
ance. Under this code of jurisprudence were Calvin 
and that whole generation of Frenchmen reared. 
It had passed in Christendom for a thousand years 
as indisputably sound, serving as the corner-stone 
of the Inquisition, and yielding its legitimate fruit 
in those baleful fires which mingled their lurid glare 
with the dawn of the New Times. Under no other 
maxim was it then deemed possible for nations to 
flourish or piety to be preserved ; nor was it till a 
century and a half after Calvin's time that this 
maxim was exploded, for of all fttters those are the 
hardest to be rent which have been forged by what 
wears the guise of justice, and have been imposed to 
protect what professes to be religion. 

The future Reformer now sits at the feet of 
the famous jurist of Orleans, and, by the study 
of the law, whets that wonderful intellect which 
in days to come was to unravel so many mysteries, 
and dissolve the force of so many spells which had 
enchained the soul. What manner of man, we 
ask, was Calvin at Orleans ? He had parted com- 
pany with the schoolmen ; he had bidden the 
Fathers of the Montaigu adieu, and he had turned 
his face, as he believed, towards the high places of 
the world. Did his impressions of Divine things 
pass away, or did the grandeui's of time dim to his 
eye those of eternity l No ; but if his seriousness 
did not disappear, his shyness somewhat did. His 
loving sympathies and rich genialities of heart, 
like a secret gravitation — for they were not much 
expressed in words — drew companions around him, 
and his superiority of intellect gave him, without 
his seeking it, the lead amongst them. His fellow- 
students were a noisy, pleasure-loving set, and 
their revels and quarrels woke up, leather rudely 
at times, the echoes of the academic hall, and 
broke in upon the quiet of the streets ; but the 
high-souled honour and purity of Cahdn, untouched 
by soil or stain amidst the pastimes and Bac- 
chanalian riots that went on arou"d him, joined 



to his lofty genius, made him the admii-ation of 
his comrades. 

The nation of Picardy — for the students were 
classified into nations according to the provinces 
they came from — elected the young Calvin as their 
proctor, and in this capacity he was able, by his 
legal knowledge, to recover for his nation certain 
privileges of which they had been deprived. There 
have been more brilliant affau-s than this triumph 
over the local authority who had trenched upon 
academic rights, but it was noisily applauded by for whom it was won, and to the young 
victor this petty warfare was an earnest of greater 
battles to be fought on a wider arena, and of 
prouder victories to be won over gi-eater oppo- 
nents. The future Chancellor of the Kingdom of 
France — for no inferior position had Gerard 
Chaif\'in elected for his son to fill — had taken his 
first step on the road which would most surely 
conduct him to tliis high dignity. Step after step 
— to his genius how easy ! — would bring him to 
it ; and there having passed life in honourable 
labour, he would leave his name inscribed among 
those of the legislators and philosophers of France, 
while his bust would adorn the Louvre, or the 
Hall of Justice, and his bones, inurned in marble, 
would sleep in some cathedral aisle of Paris. Such 
was the prospect that opened out before the eye of 
his father, and, it is possible, before his own also 
at this period of his life. Very grand it was, 
but not nearly so grand as that which ended in a 
simple grave by the Pihone, marked only by a 
pine-ti'ee, with a name like the brightness of the 
firmament, that needed no chiselled bust and no 
marble cenotaiili to keep it in remembrance. 

Calvin next went to Bourges. He was attracted 
to this city by the fame of Alciati of Milan, who 
was lecturing on law in its universitj'. The Italian 
loved a good table, and a well-filled purse, but he 
had the gift of eloquence, and a rare genius for 
jurisprudence. " Andrew Alciat," says Beza, " was 
esteemed the most learned and eloquent of all the 
jurisconsults of his time.'" The eloquence of 
Alciati kindled anew Calvin's enthusiasm for the 
study of law. The hours were then early ; but 
Calvin, Beza informs us, sat up till midnight, and, 
on awakening in the morning, spent an hour in 
bed recalling to memoiy what he had learned the 
evening previous. At Bourges was another dis- 
tinguished man, learned in a wisdom that Alciati 
knew not, and whose prelections, if less brilliant, 
were moi-e useful to the young student. Melchior 
Wolmai', a German, taught the Greek of Homer, 

Demosthenes, or Sophocles, " but less publicly," 
says Bungener, " though with small attempts at 
concealment, the Greek of another book far 
mightier and more important."* 

When Cah-in arrived in Bourges he knew nothing 
of Greek. His Latinity he had received at Paris 
fi'om Mathurin Cordier, whose memory he ever most 
afiectionately cherished ; but now he was to be 
initiated into the <;ongue of ancient Greece. This 
service was rendered him by Melchior Wolmar,' 
who had been a pupil of the celebrated Budieus. 

Calvin now had access to the Oracles of God in 
the very words in which inspired men had written 
them — an indispensable qualification surely in one 
who was to be the fii-st great interpreter, in 
modern times, of the New Testament. He could 
more exactly know the mind of the Spirit speaking 
in the Word, and more fidly make known to men 
the glory of Divine mysteries ; and the commen- 
taries of Calvin are perhaps unsurpassed to this 
day in the combined qualities of clearness, accu- 
racy, and depth. They were in a sort a second 
giving of the Oracles of God to men. Their pub- 
lication was as when, in the Apocaly^jse, " the 
temple of God was opened in heaven, and there 
was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." 

Before leaving Orleans his spiritual equipment 
for his great work had been completed. The agonj^ 
he had endured in Paris returned in part. He 
may have contracted from his law studies some of 
the dross of earth, and he was sent back to the 
furnace for the last time. Doubts regarding his 
salvation began again to agitate him ; the " Cihurch " 
rose up again before him in all her huge fascination 
and enchantment. These were the very foes he had 
already vanquished, and left dead, as he believed, 
on the battle-field. Again they stood like menacing 
spectres in his path, and he had to recommence the 
figlit, and as at Paris, so again in Orleans ho had 
to wage it in the sweat of his face, in the sweat of 
his heart. " I am in a continual battle," he wi-ites ; 
" I am assaulted and .shaken, as when an armed 
man is forced by a violent blow to stagger a few 
stejis backward."^ Grasping once more the sword 
of the Spii-it, he ))ut his foes to flight, and when 
the conflict was over Calvin found himself walking 
in a clearer light than he had ever before enjoyed ; 
and that light continued all the way even to his 
life's end. There gathered often around him in 
after-days the darkness of outward trial, but never- 
more was there darkness in his soul. 

' Beza, Hist, des Eglises Rff., torn. 
66 — VOL. II. 


- Bungener, Life of Calvin, p. 18. 

3 Beza, Vita Cahkni. Laval., Hist. Refcrm. in Frayice. 
vol. i., p. 25. Beza, Hist, des Eglises R^f., torn, i., p. 6- 
•• Calvin, Instit., lib. iii., cap. 2. 





Calvin Abandons tlie Stndy of the Law — Goes to Bourges — Bourges under Margaret of Navarre — Its Evangelisation 
.ilreaily Commenced — The Citizens entreat Calvin to become their Minister — He begins to act as an Evangelist 
in Bourges — The Work extends to tlie Villages and Castles around — The Plottings of the Monks — His Father's 
Death calls Calvin away — ^A Martyr, Louis de Berquin — His Youth — His Conversion — His Zeal and Eloquence 
in Spreading the Gospel — Imprisoned by the Sorbonnists— Set at Liberty by the King — Imprisoned a Second 
and a Tliird Time — Set at Liberty — Erasmus' Counsel — Berquin Taxes the Sorbonnists with Heresy — An Image 
of the Virgin Mutilated — Berquin consigned to the Concieigerie — His Condemnation and Frightful Sentence — 
Efforts of Budaeus — Berquin on his Way to the Stake— His Attire — His Noble Behaviour — His Death. 

Emerging from the furnace " purified seven times," 
Calvin abandons tlie study of the law, casts behind 
him the great honours to which it invited him, 
turns again to the Church — not her whose head is 
on the Seven Hills — and puts his hand to the 
Gospel plough, never to take it away till death 
should withdraw it. QuittLag Orleans he goes to 

With Bourges two illustrious conquerors of 
former days had associated their names : Csesai- 
had laid it in ashes ; Charlemagne had raised it up 
from its ruins ; now a greater hero than either 
entera it, to begin a career of conquests which these 
warriors miglit well Jiave envied, destined as they 
were to eclipse in true glory and far outlast any 
they had ever achieved. It was here that Calvin 
made his first essay as an evangelist. 

Bourges was situated in the province of Berry, 
and as Margaret, whom we have specially men- 
tioned in former chapters, as the disciple and cor- 
respondent of Bri9onnet and Lefevre, had now 
become Queen of Navarre and Duchess of Berry, 
Bourges was under her immediate jurisdiction. 
Prepared to protect in others the Gospel which 
she herself loved, Bourges presented an opening 
for Protestantism which no other city in all France 
at that time did. Under Margaret it became a 
centre of the evangelisation. For some time pre- 
vious no little religious fermentation had been 
going on among its population.' The new doctrines 
had found their way thither ; they were talked of 
in its social gatherings ; they had begun even to 
be heard in its pulpits ; certain priests, ^who had 
come to a knowledge of the truth, were preaching 
it with tolerable clearness to congregations com- 
posed of lawyers, students, and citizens. It was at 
this crisis that Calvin arrived at Bourges. 

His fame had preceded him. The Protestants 
gatlicred round him and entreated him to become 

' Laval., Sist. Reform, in Prance, vol. i., p. 24. 

then- teacher. Calvin was averse to assume the 
office of the ministry. Not that he shrrmk from 
either the laboui-s or the perils of the work, but 
because he cherished a deep sense of the greatness 
of the function, and of his own miworthiiiess to 
fill it. " I have hardly learned the Gospel myself," 
lie would say, " and, lo ! I am called to teach it 
to others." 

Not for some time did Calvin comply "w-ith these 
solicitations. His timidity, his sense of resjionsi- 
biUty, above all his love of study, held huu back. 
He sought a liiding-place where, safe from intru- 
sion, he might continue the pursuit of that T.visdom 
which it delighted him with each studious day to 
gather and hive up, but his friends surprised him 
in his concealment, and renewed their entreaties. 
At last he consented. " Wonderful it is," he said, 
" that one of so lowly an origin should be exalted 
to so great a dignity. "- 

But how imostentatious the opening of his 
career! The harvests of the earth sjiring not in 
deeper silence than does this great evangelical har- 
vest, which, beginning in the ministry of Calvin, 
is destined to cover a world. Gliding along the 
street might be seen a youth of slender figure and 
sallow features. He enters a door; he gathei-s 
round him the family and, opening the Bible, he 
explains to them its message. His words distil 
as the dew and as the tender rain on the grass. 
By-and-by the city becomes too narrow a sphere 
of labour, and the young evangelist extends his 
efforts to the hamlets and towns around Bourges.' 
One tells another of the sweetness of this water, 
and every daj' the numbers increase of those who 
wish to drink of it. The castle of the baron is 

- "Me Deus ab obscuris tenuibusque principiis ex- 
tractum, hoc tarn honorifico munere dignatus est, nt 
Evangelii prosco ossem ac minister." {Comment, in Lih. 
Psalm. — Calvini 0pp., vol. iii., Epist. ad Loot.; ed. Am- 
sterdam, 1667.) 

■' Beza, Hist, des Hijliscs R',f., torn, i., p. 7. 



opened as wei. :"> the cottage of the peasant, and a 
cordial welcon-e is accorded the missionary in both. 
His doctrine is clear and beautiful, and as refresh- 
ing to the soul as light to the eye after long dark- 
ness. And then the preacher is so modest withal, 
so sweet in his address, so earnest in his work, and 
altogether so unlike any other preacher the people 
had e-^er known ! " Upon my word," said tlie 
Lord of Lignieres to his wife, " Master John 
Calvin seems to me to preach better than the 
monks, and he goes heartily to work too."' 

The monks looked with but small favour on these 
doings. The doors open to the young evangelist were 
shut against themselves. They plotted to stop the 
work by easting the workman into prison, but in a 
town under Margaret's juiisdiction this was not so 
easy. The monks failed to compass their design, 
and the evangelist went on sowing the seed from 
which in days to come a plentiful harvest was to 
spring. The Churches whose foundations are now 
being laid by the instrumentality of Calvin, will 
yield in future years not only confessors of tlie 
truth, but niartp's for the stake. 

In the midst of these laboui-s Calvin received a 
letter from Noyon, his native town, saying that 
his father was dead.- These tidings stopped his 
work, but it is possible that they saved him from 
j>rison. He had planted, but another must water ; 
and so turning his face towards his birth-place, he 
i(uits Bourges not again to return to it. But the 
work he had accomplished in it did not jjerish. A 
venerable doctor, Michel Simon, came forward on 
Calvin's departure, and kept alive the light in 
Bourges which the evangelist had kindled. 

On his journey to Noyon, Calvin had to pass 
through Paris. It so hajjpened that the capital at 
that time (1529) was in a state of great excitement, 
another stake having just been planted in it, whereat 
one of the noblest of the early martyrs of France 
w;is yielding up his life. Providence so ordered it 
that the pile of the martyr and the visit of the Pie- 
former came together. God had chosen him as the 
champion by whom the character of his martyrs 
was to be vindicated and their Idood avenged on 
tlie Papacy, and therefore it was necessary that he 
should come very near, if not actually stand beside 
their stake, and be the eye-witness of the agonies, or 
)'ather the triumph, of their dying moments. Before 
tracing farther the career of Calvin let us turn aside 
to the Place de Grfeve, and see there " the most 
learned of the nobles of France" dying as a felon. 

' Beza, Hist, des Eglises &</., torn, i., p. 7. Gaillard, 
Hist, de Fi-anrois I., torn, vii., p. 3 ; Paris, 17C9. 

" Beza, Vita Calvini. Beza speaks of Gerard Chauvin's 
death as sudden — " repentina mors." 

Louis de Berquin was descended of a ncblc 
family of Artois.'' Unlike the knights of tliose 
days, who knew only to mount their horse, to 
handle their sword, to follow the hounds, or to 
figure in a tournament, Berquin delighted in read- 
ing and was devoted to study. Frank, courteous, 
and full of alms-deeds, he was beloved by all. His 
morals were as pure as his manners were polished : 
he had now reached the age of forty without 
calumny finding occasion to breathe upon him. 
He often went to court, and was specially wel- 
comed by a prince who delighted to see around 
him men of intellectual accomplishments and tastes. 
Touching the religion of Rome, Berquin was blame- 
less, having kept himself pure from his youtli uj). 
" He was," says Crespin, " a great follower of the 
Papistical constitutions, and a great hearer of 
masses and sermons." All the Church's rites he 
strictly observed, all the Church's saints he duly 
honoui'ed, and he crowned all his other virtues by 
holding Lutheranism in special abhorrence.^ 

But it pleased God to open his eyes. His manly 
and straightforward character made the marrteirvres 
arrd intrigues of the Sorbonne specially detestable 
to him. Besides, it chanced to him to have a dis- 
pute with one of its doctors on a scholastic subtlety, 
and he opened his Bible to find irr it proofs to fortify 
his positiorr. Judge of his anrazemerrt when he 
jter'ceived there, not the doctrines of Rome, but the 
doctrines of Luther. His convervsiora was thorough. 
His learning, his eloquence, and his influence were 
from that hour all at the service of the Gospel. He 
laboured to spread the truth among his tenantry in 
tlie countr-y, and among his acquaintances in the 
city and at the coiri-t. He panted to communicate 
his convictions to all France. Many looked to him 
as the destined Reformer of his native land ; and 
certainly his position and gifts made him the most 
considerable person at that time on the side of 
tlie Reform in France. " Bei-quin would have 
been a second Luther," said Beza, " liad he found 
ill Francis I. a second Elector."-^ 

The Sorbonne had not been unobservant ; their 
alarm was great, and their anger was in proportion 
to their alarm. " He is worse than Luther'," they 
exclaimed. Armed with the authority of Parliament 
the Sorbonne seized and imprisoned Berquin (1523). 
There was nothing but a stake for the man whose 
courage tliey could not daunt, and whose eloquence 
tlie}' could not silence, and all whose wit and learn- 
ing were employed in laughing at their ignorance 

^ Beza, Hist, des Eglises Ref., torn, i , p. S. 

" Orespin, Hist, des Mart., p. 90. Fi'lice, vol. i., p. 

^ Beza, Icones. 



and exposing their superstition. But the king, wlio 
loved liirn, set him at liberty. 

A .second tLine the monks of the Sorbonne seized 
Berquin. A second time the king came to his 
rescue, advising him to be more prudent in future ; 
but such strong convictions a.s those of Berquin 
could not be suppressed. A third time Berquin 
wa.s seized, and the Sorbonnists thought that this 
time they had made sure of their prey. The king 
■was a prisoner at Madrid : Duprat and Louisa of 
Savoy were all -powerful at Paris. But no: an 
oi-der from Francis I., dated 1st April, 1526, 
arrived, enjoining them to suspend proceedings till 
his return ; and so Berquin was again at liberty. 

Berquin's courage and zeal gi-ew in proportion as 
the jjlots of his enemies multiplied. Ei'asmus, who 
was trying to swim between two streams, foi'eseeing 
how the unequal contest must end, warned Berquin 
in these characteristic words : " Ask to be sent as 
ambassador to some foreign coimtry; go and travel 
in Germany. You know Beda and such as he — he 
is a thousand-headed monster darting venom on 
every side. Your enemies are named legion. Were 
your cause better than that of Jesus Chiist, they 
will not let you go till they have miserably de- 
stroyed you. Do not trust too much to the kmg's 
protection. At all events, do not compromise me 
with the fticulty of theology." ' 

Berquin did not listen to the coinisel of the timid 
scholar. He resolved to stand no longer on the 
defensive, but to attack. He extracted from the 
writings of Beda and his colleagues twelve proposi- 
tions, which he presented to the king, and which 
he charged with being opposed to the Bible and 

The Sorbonnists were confounded. That they, 
the pillars of the Church, and the lights of France, 
should be taxed with heresy by a Lxitheran was 
past endurance. The king, however, not sorry to 
have an opportunity of humbling these turbulent 
doctors, requested them to disprove Berquin's alle- 
gations from Scripture. This might have been a 
hard task ; the aflair was taking an ugly tu^-n for 
the Sorbonne. Just at that time an image of the 
Virgin, at the corner of one of the streets, was 
mutilated. It was a fortunate incident for the 
priests. " These are the fruits of the doctrines of 
Berquin," it was exclaimed ; " all is about to be 
overthrown— religion, the laws, the throne itself— 
by tlus Lutheran conspiracy." War to the knife 
was demanded against the iconoclasts : the people 
anil the monarch were frightened; and the issue 

' Erasmi Epp., torn, ii., p. 120C. 
2 Felice, vol. i., p. Ik 

wa.s that Berquin was a])prehended (March, 1529) 
and consigned to the Conciergerie.' 

A somewhat remarkable occurrence furnished 
Berquin's enemies vnth imexpected advantage 
against him in the pi-osecution. No sooner was he 
within the walls of his prison than the thought of 
his books and papers flashed across his mind. He 
saw the use his persecutors would make of them, 
and he sat down and wrote instantly a note to a 
friend begging him to destroy them. He gave the 
note to a domestic, who hid it under his clothes 
and departed.'' 

The man, who was not a little superstitious, 
trembled at the thought of the message which he 
carried, but all went well till he came to the Pont 
du Change, where. Ids superstition getting the better 
of his courage, he swooned and fell before the 
image of " Oiu- Lady." The passei-s-by gathered 
roiuid him, and, unbuttoning his doublet that he 
might breathe the more freely, foimd the letter 
underneath. It was opened and read. " He is a 
heretic," said they: " Oiu- Lady has done it. It is 
a miracle." The note was given to one of the by- 
standei-s, at whose house the monk then preaching 
the Lent sermons was that day to dine, who, per- 
cei\ing its importance, carried it to Berquin's 
judges.^ His books were straightway seized and 
examined by the twelve commissioners appointed 
to try him. On the IGth April, 1529, the trial 
was finished, and at noon Berquin was brought into 
court, and had his sentence read to him. He was 
condenmed to make a public abjuiation in the fol- 
lo\ving manner : — He was to walk bare-headed, 
with a lighted taper in his hand, to the Place de 
Greve, and there he was to see his books bumed ; 
from the Place de Greve he was to pass to the front 
of the Church of Notre Dame, and there he was to 
do i)enairce " to God and his glorious mother, the 
Virgin." After that his tongue, "that instrument 
of unrighteousness," was to be pierced ; and, lastly, 
he was to be taken back to prison, and shut up for 
life within four walls of stone, and to have neither 
books to read, nor pen and ink to write." Berquin, 
stunned by the atrocity of the sentence, at first 
remained silent, but recovering in a few minutes 
his conqjosure, said, " I appeal to the king." This 
was his way of saying, I refuse to abjure. 

Among his twelve judges was the celebrated 
Hellenist, Budieus, the intimate friend of Berquin, 

' D'Aubign^, Reform, under Calvin, vol. ii., p. 47. 
* Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, p. 381 — quototl by 

« nid. 

^ Felioo, vol. i., p. 15. Junrnal <Vnn Bourgeois de Paris, 
p. 382. 



aud a secret ftivoiirer of the new doctrines. Budajus 
hastened after him to the prison, his object being to 
persuade him to make a recantation, and thereby 
save his life. In no other way he knew could 
Berquin escape, for already a second sentence stood 
drafted by his judges, consigning him to the stake 
shoidd he refuse to do public penance. Budwus 
threw himself at Berquin's feet, and implored 
him with tears not to throw away his life, but 
to reserve himself for the better times that were 
awaiting the Reformation in France. This was 
the side on which to attack such a man. But 
the prisoner was inflexible. Again and again 
Budffius returned to the Conciergerie, and each 
time he renewed his importimities with greater 
earnestness. He painted the grand opportunities 
the future would bring, and did not hesitate to say 
that Berquiii would incur no small guilt should he 
sacrifice himself 

The strong man began to bow. " The power of 
the Holy Ghost was extinguished in him for a 
moment," says one. He gave his consent to appear 
in the coiu-t of the Palace of Justice, and ask pardon 
of God and the king. Budoeus, overjoyed, hastened 
back to tell the Sorbonne that Berquin was ready 
to withdraw his appeal and make his recantation. 
How fared it the while with Berquin in the prison? 
His peace had forsaken him that same hour. He 
looked up to God, but the act which aforetime liad 
ever brought joy and .strength into his heart filled 
him with terror. This darkness was his true prison, 
and not the stone walls that enclosed him. Could 
the Sorbonne deliver him from that prison, and 
was this tlie sort of life that he was reserving for 
the Reformation 1 Verily he would do great things 
with a soul fettered by fear and bound down by 
a ^ense of guilt J No, he could not live thus. 
He coidd die — die a hundred times, but to ap- 
pear before the Sorbomio and to say of the Gospel, 
" I renounce it," and of the Saviour, " I know 
him not," that he could not do." And so when 
Budseus returned, there was an air in the face of the 
prisoner which told its own tale before Berquin had 
had time to speak. He had weighed the two — 
recantation and the stake ; and he had chosen the 
better pai-t — though Budffius hardly deemed it so — 
the stake. 

The kiaig, who it was possible might interpose at 
the last moment and save Berquin, was not indeed 
in Paris at this moment, but he was no farther 
away than at Blois. The Sorbonne must despatch 
theii- victim before a pardon could arrive from Blois. 

' Crespin, Hist, des Mart. 

2 "At ego mortem subere, quam veritatis damnationem, 
vel tacitus approbare velim." (Beza, Icones.) 

A week's delay was craved in the execution of 
the sentence. " Not a day," said Beda.^ But the 
prisoner has appealed to the royal prerogative. 
" Quick," responded his persecutors, " and let him be 
put to death." That same day, April 22nd, 1529, 
at noon, was Berquin led forth to die. The ominous 
news had already circulated through Paris, from 
every street came a stream of spectators, and a 
dense crowd gathei-ed and surged round the prison, 
waiting to see Berquin led to execution. The clock 
struck the hoiu- : the gates of the Conciergerie were 
flung open -with a crash, and the melancholy jjro- 
cession was seen to issue foi-th. 

The jmssage of that procession thi-ough the streets 
was watched with looks of pity on the part of some, 
of wonder and astonishment on the part of others. 
It amazed not a few to fiiid that the chief actor in 
that dismal tragedy was one of the first nobles of 
France. But the most radiant face in all that great 
concourse of men was that of Berquin himself. He 
was going — we had almost said to the stake, but 
of the stake he thought not — he was going to the 
palace of the sky ; aud what though a wi-etched 
tumbril was bearing him on his way % a better 
chariot — whose brightness it would have blinded 
the beholder to look upon — stood wtiiting to carry 
him upward as soon as he had passed through the 
fire ; and what mattered it if those who knew not 
what he was going to, hooted or pitied him as he 
passed along 1 how soon would the look of pity and 
the shout of derision be forgotten in the presence of 
the " Blessed !" ' 

The cart in which Bercj^um was placed moved 
forward at a slow pace. The crowd was great^ 
and the streets of the Paris of those days were 
narrow, but the rate of progress enabled the multi- 
t\ide all the better to observe the way in which 
the martyr bore himself. As he rode along, es- 
corted by a band of 600 bowmen, the spectators 
said one to another, as they marked the serenity 
of his looks and the triumph of his air, " He is 
like one who sits in a temple and meditates on 
holy things."* 

"And see," said they, "how bravely he is 
arrayed ! He is liker one who is going to a bridal 
banquet than one who is gomg to be burned." 
And, indeed, it was so. Berquin had that morning 
dressed himself in his finest clothes. He wore no 
weeds ; sign of mourning or token of woe would 
have belied him, as if he bewailed his hard lot, and 
grieved that his life should be given in the cause of 
the Gospel. He had attired himself in pleasant 

^ Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, p. 
•" Erasmi Epp., p. 1277. 

3— quoted by 



and even gay iiiiparel. A citizen of Paris, who 
wrote a journal of tliese events, and who probably 
saw the martyr as he passed through the streets, 
tells us that " he wore a cloak of velvet, a doublet 
of satin and damask, and golden hose."' This was 
goodly raiment for the fire. " But am I not," said 

But the monks who stood near, dreading the effect 
on the multitude of what he might say, gave the 
signal to their creatures, and instantly the shout 
of voices, and the clash of arms, drowned the 
accents of the martyr. " Thus," says Felice, " the 
Sorbonne of 1529 set the populace of 17'J3 the 

i;_'ripiin, "to lie this day jiroscnted at court — not 
that of Francis, V ut that of the Monarch of the 
Universe 1 " 

Arrived at the Place de Greve, he alighted from 
the vehicle and stood beside the stake. He now 
essayed to speak a few words to the vast assembly 
which he found gathered at the place of execution. 

• Jouniaf d'nn Bourgeois de Paris, p. 384. 

base example of stilling on the scaffold the sacred 
words of the dying. "^ 

What though the mil of drums drownied the last 
words of Berquin I It was his death that was 
to speak ; it spoke to all France ; and this, the 
most eloquent and iioworful of all testimonies, no 
clamours could stitle. 

= Felice, Hist, of Trot. , vol. i., p. 16. 



The lii'e had done its work, aud where a few 
minutes before stood the noble form of Berquiu 
there was now only a heap of ashes. In that heap 
lay entombed the Reformation in France — so did 
both friend and foe deem. The Sorbomiists were 
overjoyed : the Protestants wei-e bowed down imder 

a weight of sorrow. There was no sufficient reason 
for the exultation of the one or the dejection of the 
other. Berqnin's stake was to be, in some good 
measure, to Fi-ancc -H-hat Ridley's was to England. 
— a caudle which, by God's grace, would not bo 
put out, but would shiuo through all that realm.' 



The Death of the Mai-tyr not the Death of the Cause — Calvin at Noyon — Preaches at Pont I'Eveque — His Audience 
— How they take his Sermon— An Experiment — Its Lesson — Calvin goes to Paris — Paris a Focus of Literary Light 
— The Stxidents at the University — Tlieir Debates— Calvin to Poli;uiics adds Piety— He Evangelises in Paris- 
Powers of the World — Spain and France kept Divided — How and Why— The.Schmalkald League holds the Balance 
of Power — Francis I. approaches the German Protestants— Failure of the Negotiation — Francis turns to 
Hem-y VIII. — Interview between Francis and Henry at Boulogne— Fetes— League between the Kings of France 
and England— Francis's Great Error. 

Berquin, the peer of France, and, greater still, 
the humble Christian aud zealous evangelist, was 
no more. Many thought they saw in him that as- 
semblage of intellectual gifts and evangelical vii-tues 
which fitted him for being the Reformer of his 
native land. However, it was not so to be. His 
light had shone brightly but, alas ! briefly ; it was 
now extinguished. Of Berquin there remained only 
a heap of ashes, over which the friends of Protes- 
tantism mourned, while its enemies exulted. But 
it was the ashes of Berquin merely, not of his 
cause, that lay around the stake. When the martyi' 
went up in the chariot which, unseen by the crowd, 
waited to cany him to the sky, his mantle fell on 
one who was standing near, and who may be said 
to have seen him as he ascended. From the burn- 
ing pile in the Place de Greve, the young evangelist 
of Boxirges, whose name, destined to fill Chiistendom 
in yeara to come, was then all but unknown, went 
forth, endowed with a double portion of Berquin's 
spirit, to take up the work of him who had just 
fallen, and to spread throughout France and the 
world that truth which lived when Berquin died. 

How Calvin came to be in Paris at this moment 
we have already explained. Tidings that his father 
had died suddenly called him to Noyon. It cost 
him doubtless a wrench to sever himself from the 
work of the Gos]5el which he was preaching, not in 
vain, in the capital of Berry and the neighbouring 
towns ; still, he did not delay, but set out at once, 
taking Paris in his way. The jom-ney from Paris to 

Noyon was jjerformed, we cannot but think, in great 
weariness of heart. Behind him was the stake of 
Berquin, in whose ashes so many hopes lay buried ; 
before him was the home of his childhood, where 
no father now waited to welcome him ; while all 
round, in the horizon of France, the clouds were 
rolling up, and giving but too certain augury that 
the Reformation was not to have so prosperous a 
career in Ids native land as, happily, at that hour 
it was pursuing in the towirs of Germany and amid 
the hills of the Swiss. But God, he tells us, "com- 
forted him by his Word." 

Cahin had quitted Noyon a mere lad ; he returns 
to it on the verge of manhood (1529), bringing back 
to it the same pale face and burning eye which had 
marked him as a boy. Within, what a mighty 
change ! but that change his townsmen saw not, nor 
did even he himself suspect its extent ; for as yet 
he had not a thought of leaving the cpmmimion of 
Rome. He would cleanse and rebuttress the old 
fabric, by proclaiming the truth within it. But an 
experiment which he made on a small ' scale at 
Noyon helped doubtless to show liim that the 

' Beza relates that Dr. Merlin, then Penitentiai-y of 
Paris, who had accompanied Berquin to the stake and 
saw him die, confessed before all the people that for a 
hundred years there had not died a better Christian than 
Berquin. The same historian also relates that on the 
night following his martyrdom (St. Martin's Eve) the 
wheat was smitten with hoar-frost, and there followed 
therefrom famine aud plague iu France. (Hist, iks Etjlises 
Rff., tom. i., p. 5.) 



tottering stnicture would but fall in pieces in liis 
hands should he attempt restoration merely. 

The fame of the young scholar had reached even 
these northern parts of France, and the friends and 
companions of his youth wanted to hear him preacli. 
If a half-suspicion of heresy fiad readied their ears 
along with the rumour of his gi-eat attainments, it 
only whetted tlieii- eagerness to hear him. Tlie 
Churcli of Pont I'Eveque, where his ancestors had 
lived, was opened to him. When the day came, 
quite a crowd, made up of his o•w^l and his father's 
acquaintances, and people from tlie neighbouring 
towns, filled the church, all eager to see and hear 
the cooper's gi'andson. Cahdn expounded to them 
tlie Scriptures.' The old doctrine was new under 
that roof and to those ears. The different feelings 
awakened by the sermon in different minds could 
be plainly read on the faces clustered so thickly 
around the pulpit. Some beamed with delight as 
do those of tliirsty men when they drink and are 
refreshed. This select number embraced the leading 
men- of the district, among whom were Nicholas 
Picot. On that day he tasted the true bread, and 
never again turned to the hiisks of Rome. But 
the faces of the most part expressed either indif- 
ference or anger. Instead of a salvation from sui, 
they much prefeiTed what the " Church " offered, a 
salvation in sin. And as regarded the priestly 
portion of the audience, they divined but too surely 
to what the preacher's doctrine tended, the overthrow 
namely of the " Church's " authority, and the utter 
dryiug-up of her revenues. Many a rich abbacy 
and broad acre, as well as ghostly assumption, would 
have to be renounced if that doctrine sliould be 
embraced. Noyon had given a Reformer to Chris- 
tendom, biit she refused to accept him for herself 
The congi-egation at Pont I'Eveque was a fair speci- 
men of the universal Roman community, and the 
result of the sermon must have gone far to convince 
the preacher that the first effect of the pidjlica- 
tion of the tnitli within tlie pale of the " Church" 
would be, not the re-edification, but tlie demolition 
of the old fabric, and that his ultimate aim must 
point to the rearing of a new edifice. 

After a two months' stay Cah-in quitted his 
native place. Noyon continued to watch the career 
of her great citizen, but not with pride. In after- 
days, when Rome was trembling at his name, and 
Protestant lands were pronouncing it with reverence, 
Noyon held it the gi-eatest blot upon her escutcheon 
til at she had the misfortune to have given birth to 
him who bore it. Calvin had now to choose anew 
his field of labour, and he at once decided in 

lixvour of Paris. Thitlier accordingly lie directed 
his steps. 

France in those days had many capitals, but 
Paris took precedence of them aU. Besides being 
the seat of the court, and of the Sorbonne, and the 
centre of influences wliich sooner or later made 
themselves felt to the extremities of the countiy, 
Paris had just become a gi-eat focus of literary 
light. Francis I., while snubbing the monks on 
the one hand, and repelling the Protestants on the 
other, kneeled before the Renaissance, which was in 
his eye the gei-m of all civilisation and greatness. 
He knew the splendour it had lent to the house of 
Medici, and he aspired to invest his court, his 
kingdom, and himself with the same glory. Ac- 
cordingly he invited a number of great scholars to 
his capital : Budseus was ali-eady there ; and now 
followed Danes and Vatable, who were skilled, the 
former in Greek and the latter in Hebrew,'' the re- 
covery of which formed by far the most precious 
of all the fruits of the Renaissance. A false faith 
would have shunned such a spot : it was the very 
fact of the light being there that made Cah"in hasten 
to Pai-is with the Gospel. 

A great fei-mentation, at that moment, existed 
among the students at the miiversity. Their study 
of the original tongues of the Bible had led them, 
in many instances, to the Bible itself. Its sim- 
plicity and sublimity had charms for many who 
did not mucli relish its holiness : and they drew 
from it an illumination of the mtellect, even when 
they failed to obtain from it a renovation of the heart. 
A little proud it may be of their skill in the new 
learning, and not unwilling to display their polemical 
tact, they were ready for battle with the champions 
of the old orthodoxy wherever they met them, 
whether in the courts of the university or on the 
street. In fact, the capital was then ringing with 
a warfare, partly literary, j^artly theological ; and 
Calvin found he had done well, instead of returning 
to Bourges and gathering up the broken thread of 
his labours, in coming to a spot where the fields 
seemed rapidly rijiening unto harvest. 

And, indeed, in one prime quality, at all times 
essential to work like liis, but never more so than 
at tlie bii-th of Protestantism, Calvin excelled all 
others. In the beautiful union of intellect and 
devotion which characterised him he stood alone. 
He was as skilful a controversialist as any of the 
noisy polemics who were waging daily battle on the 
streets, but he was something higher. He fed his 
intellect by daily prayer and daily perusal vi the 

' Bezn, Vita Cahnni. 

^ Beza, Hist, des Eglises R^f., torn. 
Reform, in France, vol. i., p. 18. 

. 4. Laval., Hist. 



Sci-i])tures, and lie was as devoted an evangelist as 
he was a skilful debater. He was e-s'en more anxious 
to sow the seed of the Kingdom in the homes of the 
citizens of Paris, than he was to win victories over 
the doctoi-s of tlie Sorbonne. We see him passing 
along on the shady side of the street. He drops in 
at a door. He emerges after awhile, })asses onward, 
enters another dwelling, where he makes another 
short stay, and thus he goes on, his unobtrusive- 
ness his shield, for no one follows his steps or 
suspects his errand. While others are simjily 
silencing opponents, Calvin is enlightening minds, 
and leaving traces in the hearts of men that are 
imperishable. In this we behold the beginnings of 
a great work — a work that is to endui-e and fill the 
eai-th, when all the achievements of diplomacy, 
all the trophies of the battle-field, and all the 
honours of the school shall have passed away and 
been forgotten. 

Leaving the evangelist going his rounds in the 
streets and lanes of Paris, let us return for a little 
to the ])ublic stage of the woi-ld, and note the doings 
of those who as the possessors of thrones, or the 
leaders of armies, think that they are the masters 
of mankind, and can mould at will the destinies 
of the world. They can plant or they can pluck 
up the Reformation — so they believe. And true 
it is, emperors and warriors and priests have a part 
assigned them which they are to do in this great 
work. The priests by their scandals shook the 
hierarchy : the kings by their- ambitions and pas- 
sions pulled down the Empire ; thus, without the 
world owing thanks to either Pope or Kaisei', 
room was prepared for a Kingdom that cannot be 
removed. The. greatest monarchy of the day was 
Spam, which had shot u]) into portentous growth 
just as the new times were about to appear. The 
union of some dozen of kingdoms under its sceptre 
had given it measureless territory ; the discovery of 
America had endowed it \vith exhaustless wealth, 
and its success in the field had crowned its standards 
with the prestige of invincible power. At the 
head of this vast Empii-e was a prince of equal 
sagacity and amliition, and who was by turns the 
ally and the enemy of the Pope, yet e^-er tjje steadj' 
champion of the Papacy, with which he believed 
the union of his Empire and the stability of his 
power weie bound up. Charles V., first and chiefly, 
the Protestants had cause to dread. 

But a counterpoise had been pro\idi(l. France, 
which was not very much less powerfid than Spain, 
was made to weigh ui)on the arm of Charles, in 
ordei- to deaden the lilow should he strike at Pro- 
testantism. He did wish to strike at Pi-otestantisni, 
and sought craftily to porsiuide Francis to hold 

back the while. In the spring of 15.31 he sent his 
ambassador Noircarmes to poison the ear of the 
King of France. Do you know what Lutheranism. 
is i said Noircarmes to Francis one day. It mean.s, 
concisely, three things, he continued- the first is 
the destruction of the family, the second is the 
destruction of property, and the third is the 
destiiiction of the monarchy. Espouse this cause, 
said the Spanish ambassador, in efl'ect, and you 
"let in the deluge."' If Noircarmes had substi- 
tuted "Communism" for " Lutheranism," he might 
have been regarded as foretelling what France in 
these latter days has verified. 

And now we begin to see the good fruits reaped 
by Christendom from the disastrous battle of Pavia. 
It came just in time to counteract the machinations 
of Charles with the French monarch. The defeat 
of Francis on that field, and the dreary imprison- 
ment in Madrid that followed it, planted rivalries 
and di.slikes between the two powerfid cro\nis of 
France and Spain, which kept apart two forces that 
if united would ha^e ciushed the Reformation. In- 
spired by hatred and dread of the Emperor Charles, 
not only had the insinuations of his ambassador the 
less power with Francis, but he cast his eyes around 
if hti\>\y he might discover allies by whose help he 
might be able to withstand his powerful rival on 
the other side of the Pyrenees. Francis resolved 
on making advances to the Protestant princes of 
Gei'niany. He was all the more strengthened in 
this design by the circumstance that these princes, 
who saw a tempest gathering, had just formed them- 
selves into a league of defence. In March, 1.5.31, 
the representatives of the Protestant States met at 
Schmalkald, in the Electorate of Hesse, and, as 
we have elsewhere related, nine ])rinces and eleven 
cities entered into an alliance for six yeare " to 
I'esist all who should try to constrain them to for- 
sake the Word of God and the truth of Christ." 
The smallest of all the political ])arties in Chris- 
tendom, the position of the Schmalkaldere gave 
them an influence far beyond their numbei-s ; they 
stood between the two mighty States of France and 
Spain. The balance of power was in their hands, 
and, so far at least, they could |)l,iy ofl' the crowns 
of Sjiain and France aeaiust one another. 

Accordingly next year Francis sent an ambassador 
— it was his second attempt — to negotiate an 
alliance with them. His first ambassador was a 
fool,- his second was a wise man, Du Bellay.' brother 
to the Archbishop of Paris, than whom there was 
no more accomplished man in all France. Du Bellay 

' Scckendorf, lib. iii., Kec. 1 ; ailililio i. 

- O'Aubisne, Rf/onii. m Ennq.e. l.k. ii., chap. 19. 

2 Ibid., bk. ii., chap. 21. 



did what diplomatists only sometimes do, brought 
heart as well as head to his mission, for he -ivished 
nothing so much as to see his master and his king- 
dom of France cast off the Pope, and dLsplaj'ing 
their colours alongside those of Protestant Germany, 
sail away on the rising tide of Protestantism. Du 
Bellay told the princes that he had his master's 
express command to offer them his assistance in 
their great enterprise, and was empowered "to 
arrange with them aboiit the share of the war ex- 
penses which his majesty was ready to pay." This 
latter proposal revealed the cloven foot. What was 
uppermost in the mind of the King of France was 
to avenge the defeat at Pavia ; hence his eagerness 
ior war. The Leagiie of Schmalkald bound the 
German princes to stand on the defensive only ; 
they were not to strike unless Charles or some 
other should first strike at them. Luther raised his 
powerful voice against the proposed alliance. He 
hated political entanglements, mistrusted Francis, 
had a just horror of spilling blood, and he protested 
with all his might that the Protestants must rest 
the trivunph of then- cause on spiritual and not on 
carnal weapons ; that the Gospel was not to be 
advanced by battles, and that the Almighty did not 
need that the princes of earth should vote him 
succours in order to the effectual completion of his 
all-wise and Divine plan. The issue was that the 
stipulation which Du Bellay carried back to Paris 
could not serve the purposes of his master. 

Repulsed on the side of Gei-many, the King of 
France turned now to England. This was a quarter 
in which he was more likely to succeed. Here he 
had but one man to deal with, Henry VIII. To 
Hemy, Protestantism was a policy merely, not a 
faith. He had been crossed in liis matrimonial pro- 
jects by the Pope, and so had his special quarrel with 
Clement VII., as Francis had his with Charles V. 
The French king sent a messenger across the 
Channel to feel the pulse of his "good brother" of 
England, and the result was that an interview was 
arranged between the two sovereigns — Henry cross- 
ing the sea with a brilliant retinue, and Francis 
coming to meet him -nath a train not less courtly. 
Taking up then- quarters at the Abbot's Palace at 
Boulogne (October, 1.532), the two monarchs un- 
bosomed to each other their grievances and dis- 

pleasures, and concerted together a joint plan for 
humiliating those against whom they bore a common 
gnidge. While Francis and Henry were closeted 
for hoiu-s on end, amusement was found for their- 
courtiers. Balls, masquerades, and other pastimes 
common in that age occupied that gay assemblage, 
and helped to conceal the real business wliich was 
proceeding all the while m the royal closet. That 
business eventually found issue in a league between 
the Kings of France and England, in which they 
engaged to raise an army of 50,000 men, ostensibly 
to attack the Turk, but iii reality to begin a cam- 
paign against the emperor and the Pope.' Now, 
thought Francis, I shall wipe out the disgrace of 
Pa\'ia; and I, said Henry, shall chastise the in- 
solence of Clement. But both were doomed to dis- 
appointment. This league which looked so big, and 
promised so much, came to nothing. Had this 
great army been assembled it would have shed much 
blood, but it would haxe enlightened no consciences, 
nor won any victories for truth. It might have 
humbled the Pope, it would have left the Papacy 
as strong as ever. 

While Francis I. was looking so anxiously around 
him for allies, and deeming it a point of wisdom to 
lean on the monarch who coidd brmg the largest 
army into the field, there was one power, the 
sti-ength of which he missed seeing. That power 
had neither fleets nor armies at its service, and so 
Francis shunned rather than covu-ted its alliance. 
It was fated, iii his opinion, to go to the abyss, and 
should he be so imprudent as to link his cause with 
it, it would drag him down into the same destruc- 
tion with itself. This was a natural but, for Francis, 
a tremendous mistake. The in-visible forces are 
ever the strongest, and these were all on the side of 
Protestantism. But it is the eye of faith only that 
can see these. Francis looked with the eye of sense 
and coidd see nothing ; and, therefore, stood aloof 
from a cause which, as it seemed to him, had so 
few friends, and so many and so powerful enemies. 
Francis and France lost more than Protestantism did. 

1 Herbert, Life of Henry VIIL, p. 366. Du Beliay, 
Memoires, pp. 171—174. Brantome, Mimoires, torn, i., 
p. 235-quoted by D'Auhiguo, Reform, in Europe, bk. ii., 
pp. 137—140. 






Margaiet of Navarre— Her Hopes — Eesolves to have the Gospel Preachetl in France— The City Churches not to be 
had— Opens a Private Chapel in the Louvre— A Large and Brilliant Assembly convenes- The Preachers — Paris 
Penitent and Eeforming— Agitation in the Sorbonue— The Sorbonnists apply to the King— The Monks occupy 
the Pulpits— They Threaten the King-Beda Banished— Excitement in Paris— The Populace Remain with Home 
—The Crisis of France— The Dominican Friar, Laurent de la Croix— His Conversion- Preaches in France— Appre- 
hended and conducted to Paris— His Torture— His Condemnation— His Behaviour at the Stake— France makes 
her Choice : she will Abide with Rome. 

Leaving piinces to intrigue for their own ends, means of instrumentalities far different from those 
under cover of advancing religion, let us turn to which king.s know to employ. This brings before us, 
the work itself, and mark how it advances by once more, a lady illustrious for her rank, and not 

67 — VOL. ir. 



less illustrious for licr piety — Margaret, the sistfr of 
tlio king, and now Queen of Navarre. She saw her 
In-other hokling out his hand to the Protestants of 
Germany, ;ind the King of England, and permitted 
hei-self to believe that the hour had at last come 
when Francis and his kingdom woidd place them- 
selves on the path of the Reform, and that in the 
martyrdom of Berquin, -which had filled her soul 
with so profound a sorrow, she had seen the last 
blood that would ever be spilt on the soil of France, 
and the last stjxke that would ever blaze in the 
Place de Grfeve for the cause of the Gospel. Full 
of these hopes, her zeal and courage grew stronger 
every day. Reflecting that she stood near the 
throne, that thousands in all parts of Reformed 
Christendom looked to her to stand between the 
oppressor and his \'ictim, and that it became her to 
avert, as far as was in her power, the guilt of inno- 
cent blood from her house and the throne of her 
brother, she girded herself for the part which it 
became her to act. The Gospel, said this princess, 
shall be preached in France, in the very capital, 
nay, in the very bosom of the Roman Catholic 
Church. The moment was opportune. The Car- 
nival of 1533 was just ended. Balls and banquets 
had for weeks kept the court in a whii-1 and Paris 
in continual excitement, and, wearied with this 
saturnalia, Francis had gone to Picardy for repose. 
Margaret thus was mistress of the situation. She 
summoned Roussel to her presence, and told him 
that he must proclaim the " great tidings " to tlie 
jMpulation of Paris from its pulpits. The timid 
evangelist shook like aspen when this command 
was laid upon him. He remonstrated : he painted 
the immense danger : he acknowledged that it was 
right that the Gospel should be preached, but he 
was not the man ; let Margaret find some more 
intrepid evangelist. The queen, however, per- 
sisted. She issued her orders that the churches 
ot Paris should be opened to Roussel. But she 
had reckoned -without her host. The Sorbomie 
lifted- its haughty head and commanded that the 
dooi-s of the chiu-ches should be kept closed. The 
queen and the Sorbomie were now in conflict, but 
the latter carried the day. These Sorbonnists 
could be compared only to some of old, who pro- 
fessed to be the door-keepers of the kingdom of 
heaven, but would neither go in themselves, nor 
permit that would to enter. 

Margaret now bethought her of an expedient 
which enabled her to turn the flank of the doctors. 
She was resolved to have the Gospel preached in 
the ca])ital of Fi-anoe, and to have it preached now ; 
it might be the turning-point of its destiny, and 
liurely it was a likelier way to cstabliish the Reform 

than that of diplomatists, who were seeking to do 
so by leagues and battles. If the Sorbonnists -were 
ma.stei-s in the city, Margaret was mistress in the 
palace. She accordingly extemporised a chapel in 
the Lou^'l■e, ;nid told Roussel that he must preach in 
it. This was a less formidable t.ask than holding forth 
in the city pulpits. The queen publicly annoimced 
that each day at a certain hour a sermon woidd be 
preached under the royal roof, and that all woidd be 
welcome from the peer downwards. The Parisians 
opened their eyes in wonder. Here was something 
till now ruilieard of — the king's palace turned into 
a Lutheran conventicle. When the hour came a 
crowd of all ranks was seen streaming in at the 
gates "of the Louvre, climbing its staircase, and 
pressing on through the antechambers to the saloon, 
where, around Roussel, sat the King and Queen of 
Navarre, and many of the grandees of France. 
The preacher oifered a shor-t prayer, and then 
read a jwrtion of Scripture, which he expounded 
with clearness and great impressiveness. The 
result bore testimony to the -wisdom of Roussel 
and the power of the truth. A direct assault on 
the Papacy would biit have excited the combative 
faculties of his hearers, the exposition of the truth 
awakened their consciences. 

Every day saw a greater crowd gathering in the 
chapel. The saloon could no longer contain the 
nimibers that came, and antechambers and cor- 
ridors had to be thro-wii open to give enlarged 
sjsace to the multitude. The assembly was as bril- 
liant as it was numerous. Nobles, lawyers, men 
of letters, and wealthy merchants were mingled in 
the sti'eam of bourgeoisie and artisans that each 
day, at the appointed hour, flowed in at the royal 
gates, and devoutly listened under the gorgeous 
roof of the Louvre to preaching so unwonted. 
Verily, he would have been a despondent man 
who, at that hour, -would have doubted the 
triumph of the good cause in Fi-arice. 

Margaret, emboldened by the success which had 
attended her exjjeriment, retru-ned to her first idea, 
which was to get possession of the churches, turn 
out the monks, and for their i-ibald harangues 
Kulistitute the pure Gospel. She wrote to her 
brother, who was still absent, and perhajJS not ill- 
ple.ased to be so, making request to have the churches 
placed at her disposal. Francis granted her wish 
to the extent of permittmg her the use of two of the 
city churches. He was willing to do Protestantism 
this .service, being shrewd enough to see that his 
negotiations with English and Gennan Protestants 
would speed none the worse, and that it might 
equally serve his jnu'iwse to terrify the Pope by 
the possible instant defection of France from its 


"obedience" to the "Holy See." One of the 
cliurches was situated in the quarter of St. Denis, 
and Miwgjiret sent tlie Augustine monk Courault 
to occujij it, around whom there daily assembled a 
large and deeply imjiressed congregation gathered 
from th« district. Berthaud, also an Augustine, 
occupied the pulpit of the other church put by 
Francis at Margaret's disposal. ' A fountain of li^-inrr 
water had the Queen of Navarre opened in this 
high place ; inexpressible delight tilled her soul as 
she thought that soon this refreshing stream would 
overflow all France, and convert the parched and 
weary knd into a very garden. It was the season 
of Easter, and never had Lent like this been kept 
ill Paris. The city, which so lately had rung from 
one end to the other with the wild joy and guilty 
mirth of the Carnival, was now not only penitent, 
Init evangelical. " The churches were filled," says 
the historian Crespin, "not with formal auditors, 
but with men who recei^•ed the glad tidings with 
great joy. Drunkards had become sober, the idle 
industrious, the disorderly peaceful, and libertines 
had grown chaste." Throe centuries and more have 
rolled over Paris since then. Often, in the course 
of that time, has that city been moved, excited, 
stricken, but never in such sort as now. The same 
Spirit which, in the days of Noah's preaching, strove 
with the antedilu^•ians, then shut up, as in prison, 
under the doom of the coming deluge, unless they 
reiJont<?d, was manifestly striving, at this hour, 
with the men of Paris and of France, shut up, as 
in a prison, under a sentence which doomed them, 
unless they escaped by the door that Protestantism 
opened to them, to sink beneath the fiery billows 
of war and re-v-olution. 

What, meanwhile, were the doctors of the Sor- 

bonne about? Were they standing by with shut 

mouths and folded arms, quietly looking on, when, 

as it must have seemed to them, the bark of Peter 

was drifting to destruction? Dicl they slumber 

on their watch-tower, not caring that Friuice was 

becoming Lutheran? Far from it. They gave 

a few days to the hearing of the report of tlieir 

spies, and then they raised the alarm. A flood of 

heresy, like tJie flood of waters that drowned the old 

world, was lireaking in on France. They must stop 

It; but with what? The stake. "Let us burn 

Poussel," said the fiery Beda, "as we burned Ber- 

qum."-' The king was applied to for permission; 

for jwwerful as was the Sorbonne, it hardly dare 

drag the preacher from the Queen of Navarre's 

side without a warrant from Francis. The kin- 

would interfere nei ther for nor against. They 

> Laval., Hist. Refurm., vol. i., p. 28. 

= D'Aubigm', Hist. Reform, in Europe, vol. ii., p. 1.59. 


applied to the chancellor. The chaneellor referred 
them to the archbishop, Du Bellay. He too re- 
fused to move. There remained a fourth party to 
whom they now resolved to carry their appeal— the 
populace. If they could carry the population of 
Paris with them they should yet be able to save 
Rome. With this object an agitation was com- 
menced, in which every priest and monk had to 
bear his part. They sent their preachers into the 
pulpits. Shouting and gesticulating these men 
awoke, now the anger, now the liorror of their 
fanatical hearers, by the odious epithets and terribk 
denunciations which they hurled against Luther- 
anism. They poured a host of mendicants into the 
houses of the citizens. These, a.s instructed before- 
hand, while they filled their wallets, dropped sedi- 
tious hints that " the Pope was above the king," 
adding that if matters went on as they were doino- 
the crown would not long adorn the head of Francis! 
Stdl further to move the people against the queen's 
in-eachers, processions were organised in the streets. 
For nine days a crowd of penitents, with sackcloth 
on their loins and ashes on their heads, were seen 
prostrate around the statue of St. James, loudly 
imphn-ing the good saint to stretch out his staff, 
and therewith smite to the dust the hydra that was 
lifting up its abhorred head in France. 

Nor did the doctors of the Sorbonne agitate in 
vain. The excitable populace were catchino- fire. 
Fanatical crowds, uttering revolutionary cries, 
iwraded the streets, and the Queen of ^Navarre and 
her Protestant coadjutoi-s, seeing the matter grow- 
ing serious, sent to tell the king the state of the 
capital. The issue, in the first instance, was a 
heavy blow to the agitators. The king's pride had 
been touched by the attack which the Romanists had 
made on the prerogative, and he ordered that Beda, 
and the more inflammatory spirits who followed him, 
should be sent into banishment.^ It was a trial 
of strength, not so much between Evangelism and 
Romanism as between the court and the university, 
and the Sorbonne had to bow its proud head. But 
the departure of Beda did not extinguish the agibi- 
tion; the fire he had kindled continued to burn 
after he was gone. Not in a day were the ignorance 
and fiinaticism, wliich had been ages a-growincr, to 
be extirpated: fiery placards were posted on the 
houses ; ribald ballads were sung in the streets. 
" To the stake ! to the stake ! the fire is theii- home ; 
As God hath commanded, let justice he done," 

was the refiain of one of these unpolished bu-t 
cruel productions. Disputations, plots, and riijnours 
kept the city in a perpetual ferment. The Sorbon- 

3 Laval., Hist. Reform., vol. i., p. 20. 


Distslieiil cl;uly councils ; leaving no stone unturned, 
they worked upon the minds of tbo leading mem- 
bers of the Parliament of Paris, and by dint of 
persistency and union, they managed to rally to 
their standard all the ignorant, the fanatical, and 
the selfish — that is, the bulk of the population of the 
capital. The Protestant sermons were continued 
for some time ; many conversions took place, but 
the mivsses remained on the side of Rome. 

This was the crisis of France — the day of its 
special visitation, when more easily than ever before 
or ever since might it have freed its soul from the 
yoke of Rome, and secured for all coming time the 
glorious hentage of Protestant truth and libeity. 
This was, in f;xct, its second day of visitation. Tlie 
first had occurred under Lefevre and Farel. That 
day had passed, and the golden opportunity that 
came with it had been lost. A second now returned, 
for there in the midst of Paris were the feet of them 
that "publish pea<;e," and that preach "the opening 
of the prison to them that are bound." What an 
auspicious and blessed achievement if Margaret 
had been able to win the population of Paris to the 
Gospel ! Paris won, France would have followed. 
It needed but this to crown its many happy qualities, 
and make France one of the most delightful lands 
on earth — a land full of all terrestrial good things ; 
ennobled, moreover, by genius, and great in art as 
in arms. But Paris was deaf as adder to the voice 
of the charmer, and from that hour the destiny of 
France was changed. A future of countless bless- 
ino-s was fatally transformed into a future of count- 
less woes. We behold woe on woe rising with the 
rising centuries, we had almost said with the rising 
yeara. If for a moment its suu look» forth, lo ! 
there comes another temi^est from the abyss, black 
as night, and bearing on its wings the fiery shower 
to scorch the miserable land. The St. Bartholomew 
massacre and civil wai-s of the sixteenth century, 
the dragonnades of the seventeenth, the revolution 
of the eighteenth, and the communism of the nine- 
teenth are but the more notable outbursts of that 
rcvoh-ing storm which for 300 years has darkened 
the heavens and devastated the land of France. 

Paris had made its choice. And as in old time 
when men joined hands and entei-ed into covenant 
they ratified the transaction by sacrifice, Paris 
sealed its engagement to abido by the Pope in the 
blood of a disciple of the Gospel. Had the Sorbonne 
been more completely'mastcr of the situation, Roussel 
would have been selected as the sacrifice ; but he 
was too powerfully protected to permit the priests 
venturing on burnuig him, and a Immbler victim 
had to be found. A Dominican friar, known by 
the name of Ijaurent do la Croix, had come to the 

knowledge of the Gospel in Pans. Straightway he 
threw off his cowl and cloak and monkish name, 
and Hed to Geneva, where Farel received him, and 
more ixjrfectly instructed him in the Reformetl doc- 
trines. To great natural eloquence he now added 
a clear knowledge and a burning zeal. SUent^ he 
could not remain, and Smtzerland was the first 
scene of his evangelising eflbrts. But the condition 
of poor France began to lie heavy on his heart, and 
though he well knew the perils he must brave, 
he could not restrain his yearnings to return and 
preach to his countiymon that Saviour so dear to 
himself. Gi-ossing the frontier, and taking the name 
of Alexander, he made his way to Lyons. Already 
Protestantism hatl its disciples in the city of Peter 
Wiado, and these gave a warm welcome to the 
evangelist. He began to preach, and his power to 
move the hearts of men was marvellous. In Lyons, 
the scene of Irenreus' ministry, and the seat of a 
Church whose martyrs were amongst the most 
renowned of the primitive age, it seemed as if the 
Gospel, which here had lain a thousand years in 
its sepulchre, were rising from the dead. Alexander 
preached every day, this hour in one quarter of the 
city and the next in the opposite.' It began to be that some mysterious influence was acting 
on the population. The agents of the priests were 
employed to scent it out ; but it seemed as if the 
preacher, whoever he was, to his other qualities 
added that of invisibility. His pursuers, in every 
case, arrived to find the sermon ended, and the 
preacher gone, they knew not whither. This suc- 
cess in bafiling pursuit made his friends in time 
less careful. Alexander was apprehended. Escorted 
by bowmen, and loaded with chains, he was sent to 

The guard soon saw that the piisonor they had 
In charge was like no other that had ever before 
been committed to their keeping. Before Paris 
was reached, the captain of the company, as well as 
several of its members, had, as the result of their 
prisoner's conversation with them, become con\-erts 
to the GosiJel. As ho pursued his jom-ney in bonds, 
Alexander preached at the inns and villages where 
they halte<l for the night. At every stage of the 
way he left behind him trophies of the Protestant 

The jnisoner was eomfoi-ted by the thought that 
his Master had turned the road to the stivko into a 
missionary progress, and if in a few days he should 
breathe his last amid the flames, otliers would rise 
from his ashes to confess the truth when he could 
no longer preach it. 


1 Froment, Actcs et Geetes de Qenive, p. 74. 
Hist. Reform, in Europe, bk. ii., chap. 32. 




Arrived in Paris, lie was brought before the Par- 
liament. The prisoner meekly yet courageously 
confessed the Reformed faith. He was first 
cruelly tortured. Putting his limbs in the boot, the 
executioners drove in the wedges with such blows 
that his left leg was crushed. Alexander groaned 
aloud. " O God," he exclaimed, says Cr&spin, 
" there is neither pity nor mercy in these men ! 
Oil, that I may find both in thee !" "Another blow," 
said the head executioner. The martyr seeing 
Budwus among the assessors, and turning on him 
ii look of supplication, said, " Is there no Gamaliel 
here to moderate the cruelty they are practising on 
me ?"' Bud<eus, great in the schools, but irresolute 
in the matter's of the Gospel, fixing an eye of pity 
on Alexander, said, " It is enough : his torture is 
too much : forbear." His words took effect. "The 
executioners," says Crespin, " lifted up the martyr, 
and cari'ied him to his dungeon, a cripple."- He 
wa.s condemneil to be burned alive. In the hojie of 
daunting him, his sentence, contrary to the thea 
Hsual pi-actice, was pi-onounced in his presence ; but 
they who watched his face, instead of fear, saw a 
gleam of joy shoot, at the instant, athwart it. He 
was next made to undergo the ceremony of degra- 
dation. They shaved his crown, scraped his finger- 
tips, and tore off his robe. " If you speak a word," 
said they, " we will cut out yom- tougue ;" for about 
this time, according to the historian Crespin, this 
liori-ible barbarity began to be practised upon the 
confessoi-s of the truth. Last of all they brought 
forth the rob defol. When Alexander saw himself 
about to be arrayed in tins dress, he could not, says 
Crespin, refrain from speaking. " God," said he, 
"is there any higher honour than to receive the 
livery which thy Son received in the house of 
Herod 1" 

The martyr was now attired for the fire. Unable 
to walk to the place of execution, for one of his legs 
had been sorely mangled in the boot, they provided 
a cart, one usually employed to convey away rub- 
bish, and placed the inartyr in it. As he passed 
along from the Conciergerie to the Place Maubert 
he managed to stand up, and resting his hands on 
the sides of the cart and leaning over, he preached 
to the crowds that thronged the streets, commend- 
ing to them the Saviour for whom he was about to 
die, and exhorting them to flee from the wrath to 
come. Tlie smile which his sentence had kindled 
on his face had not yet gone oft' it ; nay, it appeared 
to glow and brighten the nearer he drew to tlie 
stake. " Ho is going to be burned," said the on- 
lookers, " and yet no one seems so happy as he." 

' Crespuij Mmhjrologxe, fol. 107. 2 Jhid. 

Being come to the place of execution they lifted 
him out of the cart, placed him against the stake 
and bound him to it wth chains. He begged, before 
they should kindle the pile, that he might be per- 
mitted to say a few more last words to the people. 
Leave was given, and breakiiig into an ecstacy he 
agaiir extolled that Saviour for whom he was now 
to lay down his life, and again commended liim to 
those aroimd. The executionere, as they waited 
to do their office, gazed with miirgled wonder and 
fear on this strange criminal. The spectators, 
among whom was a goodly number of monks, said, 
" Surely there is nothing worthy of death in thi?. 
man," and smiting on their breasts, and bewailing 
his fate, with plenteous tears, exclaimed, " If this 
man is not saved, who of the sons of men can be 
so ?"^ Well might the martjT, as he saw them 
weeping, have said, " Weep not for me, but weep 
for yourselves." A few sharp pangs, and to him 
would come joy for ever ; but for them, alas ! and 
for their children, tlie blood of tlie martyr, and 
of thousands moi-e who were yet to be slain, wa'j 
preparing a future dark with woes. 

Now that we find ourselves 300 years from these 
events, and can look back on all that has come and 
gone in Paris since, we can clearly see that the year 
1533 was one of the grand turning-points in the 
history of France. _ Between the stake of Berquin 
and the stake of Alexander, there were three full 
years during which the winds of persecution were 
holden. During at least two of these years the 
Gospel was freely and faithfully preached in the 
capital ; an influence from on High was plainly at 
work amongst the people. Five thousand men aiwl 
women daily passed in at the gates of the Louvre 
to listen to Roussel ; and numerous churches 
throughout the city were opened and filled with 
crowds that seemed to thirst for the Water of I^ife. 
Many "felt the powers of the world to come." In 
these events, Providence put it distinctly to the 
inhabitants of Paris, " Choose ye this day whom 
ye shall serve. Will ye abide by the Pajiacy, or 
will ye cast in your lot witli the Reformation ? " 
and the men of Paris as distinctly replied, when 
the period of probation had come to an end, " We 
will "abide by the Pope." The choice of Paris was 
tlie choice of France. Scarcely were the flames of 
Alexander's pile extinguished, when the skj' of that 
countiy, which was kindling apace, as the friends of 

^ " Qiiibus omnibus ita confectis rebus, orant, vel 
monachi, qui dieerent. Si hie sahiis non esset, uemineiu 
salvum fore mortalem. Alii vero diseedentes percutiobant 
pectus, discebantque gravem illi factain injuriam." 
(Acta Martyi-um, ann. 1560, iv., p. 68 et seq. — ex Gerdesio, 
torn, iv., p. 86.) 



truth fondly thought, with the glories of the oi)en- 
in" <lay, liecame suddenly overcast, and clouds of 
threatening blackness began to gather. In the 
spring of 1531 the churches of Paris were closed, the 
sermons v.ere suppressed, 300 Lutherans were swept 
ofl" to prison, and soon thereafter the Inirnings were 
resumed. But the ominous circumstance was that 

the i)ersecutor was backed by the jiopidace. Queen 
Margai-et's attempt to win o^■er the population of 
the capital to the Gospel had proved a failure, and 
the consequence was that the Sorbonne, with the 
help of the popular suBiage, again set up the stake, 
and from that day to this the masses in France ha\e 
been on the side of Rome. 


Calvin's flight from paris. 

Out of Paris comes the Keformer — Tlie Contrasts of History — Calvin's Interview with the Quoon of Navarre- 
Nicholas Cop, Rector of the Sorbonne — An Inaugural Discourse -Calvin "Writes and Cop Delivers it— The 
Gospel in Disguise — Rage of the Sorbonne — Cop flies to Basle — The Officers on their way to Arrest Calvin— Calvin 
is let down by the Window— Escapes from Paris disguised as a Vine-Dresser — Ai-rivosin Angoulcme— Escelved at 
the Mansion of Du Tillet — Here projects the Insiihdes — Interview with Lefevre— Lefevre's Prediction. 

Pkpin of France was tlie first of the Gothic princes 
to appear before the throne of St. Peter, and lay 
liis kingdom at the feet of the Pope. As a reward 
for this act of submission, the "Holy Father" 

bestowed upon him tlie proud title — for so have the 
Kings of France accounted it — of " Eldest Son of the 
Chm-ch." Throughout the thirteen centuries since, 
and amid much vicissitude of fortune, France lias 



striven to justify the distinction she bears by being 
the firmest pillar of the Papal See. But, as 
D'Aubigne has observed, if Paris gave Pepin to the 
Popedom, it is not less true that Paris gave Calvin 
to the Reformation. This is the fact, although 
Calvin was not born in Paris. The little Noyon in 
Picardy had this lionour, or disgrace as it accounted 
it' But if Noyon was tlie scene of Calvin's tirst 
birth, Paris was the scene of his second birth, and 
it was the latter that made him a Reformer. In 
estimating the influence of the two men, the pen 
of Calvin may well be thrown into the scale against 
the sword of Pepin. 

As the cradle of Moses was placed by the side of 
the , throne of Pharaoli, the Church's great op- 
jjressor, so the cradle of this second Moses was 
placed by the side of the chair of Pepin, tlie 
"Eldest Son of the Church," and the first of tliose 
vassal kings who stood round tlie Papal throne ; 
and from the court of France, as Moses from the 
court of Egypt, Calvin went forth to rend the fetters 
of his bi'ethren, and ring the knell of their ojj- 
pressor's power. The contrasts and resemblances 
of history are instructive as well as striking. They 
shed a beautiful light upon the Providence of God. 
They show us that the Great Ruler lias fixed a 
time and a place for every event and for every man ; 
that he sets the good over against tlie evil, main- 
taining a nice and equitable poise among events, 
and that while the laws of his working are eternal, 
the results are inexpressibly varied. 

We have seen Cahdn return to Paris in 1529. 
He was present in that city during those four 
eventful yeai-s when the novel and stirring scenes 
we have narrated were taking place. How was he 
occupied 1 He felt that to him the day of labour 
had not yet fully arrived ; he must prepare against 
its approach by reading, by study, and by prayer. 
In the noisy combats with which the saloons, the 
halls of the Sorbonne, and even the very streets 
were then resounding, Calvin cared Ijut little to 
minglf . His amliition was to win victories wliich, 
if less ostentatious, would be far more durable. 
Like his old teacher, Mathurin Cordier — so wise in 
his honesty — he wished solidly to lay the founda- 
tions, and was not content to rear structures which 
were sure to topple over with the first breeze. He 
desired to baptise men for the stake, to make con- 
verts wlio would endure the fire. Eschewing the 

' It is a curious fact that during the lifetime of Calvin 
a conflagration broke out in his native town of Noyon, 
and destroyed the entire quarter in winch the house he 
was horn in was situated, the house itself excepted, 
which remained uninjured in the midst of tlie vast gap 
the flames had created. 

knots of disputants in the streets, he entered the 
abodes of the citizens, and winning attention by his 
very shyness, as well as by the clearness and sweet- 
ness of his discourse, he talked with the family on 
the things that belonged to thcii- peace. He had 
converted a soul while his friends outside had but 
demolished a syllogism. Calvin was the pioneer of 
all those who, since his day, have laboured in the 
work of the recovery of the lapsed masses. 

However, the fame he shunned did, the more he 
fled from it, but the more pursue him. His name was 
mentioned in the presence of the Queen of Navarre. 
Margaret must needs see the young evangelist, j 
We tremble as we see Calvin enter the Louvre to 
be presented at court. They who are in king's 
houses wear " soft raiment," and learn to pm-sue 
middle coui-ses. If Calvin is to be all to the Church 
he must be nothing to kings and queens. All the 
more do we tremble at the ordeal he is about to 
undergo when we reflect that, in combination with 
his sternness of principle and uprightness of aim, 
there are in Calvin a tendei-ness of heai't, and a 
}'earning, not for praise, but for sympathj', whii:h 
may render him susceptible to the blandishments 
and flatteries of a court. But God went ^\■itll him 
to the palace. Calvin's insight discovered oven tlien, 
what afterwards became manifest to less penetrating 
observers, that, while Margaret's piety was genuine, 
it was clouded nevertheless by mysticism, and her 
opinions, though sound in the main, were too hesi- 
tating and halting to compass a full Reformation of 
the Church. 

On these accounts he was unable to fully identify 
himself with the cause of the Queen of Navarre. 
Nevertheless, there were not a few points of simi- 
larity between the two which excited a mutual 
admiration. There was in both a beautiful genius ; 
there was in both a lofty soul ; there was in both a 
love of what is pure and noble ; and especially there 
was in both — what is the beginning and end of all 
piety — a deep heaven-begotten reverence and lo^e 
of the Saviour. Margaret did not conceal 
admiration of the young scholar and evangelist. 
His eye so steadfast, yet so keen ; his features so 
calm, yet .so expressive of energy; the wisdom of 
his utterances, and the air of serene strength that 
breathed around him — betokenmg a power within, 
which, though enshrined in a somewhat slender 
frame, was evidently awaiting a future of great 
achievements — won the confidence of the queen.' 
Calvin was in a fair way of becoming a frequent 
visitor at the palace, wheji an unexpected event 

- Beza, VHa Calmni. 

3 Hid; p. 14. See also Calvini 0pp. 



drove the young scholar from Paris, aiul averted 
the danger, if ever it had existed, of the chief Re- 
former of Christendom becoming lost in the court 

That event fell out thus — Nicholas Cop, Rector 
of the Sorbonne, was the intimate friend of Calvin. 
It was October, 1533, and the session of the univer- 
sity was to open on the 1st of next month (All 
Saints' Day), when Cop was expected to grace the 
occasion with an inaugural discourse. What an 
opportunity, thouglit Calvin, of having the Gospel 
preached in the most public of all the pulpits of 
Christendom ! He waited on his friend Cop and 
broke to him his stratagem. But Cop felt imequal 
to the task of composing such an address as would 
answer the end. It was finally agreed between the 
two friends that Calvin should write, and that Cop 
should read the oration. It was a bold experiment, 
full of grave risks, of wliich its devisers were not 
unaware, but they had made up their minds to 
the dangerous venture. 

The 1st of November an-ived. It S!\w a brilliant 
assembly in the Clnii-ch of the Mathurins — jiro- 
fessoi-s, students, the elite of the learned men of 
Paris, a goodly muster of Franciscans, some of whom 
moi'e than half suspected Cop of a weakness for 
Liitheranism, and a sprinkling of the friends of the 
new ojiinions, who had had a hint of what was to 
hajijien. On a bench apart sat Calvin, with the air 
of one who had dropped in by the way. Cop rose, 
and proceeded amid deep silence to pronounce an 
oration in jiraise of " Christian Philosophy." But 
the iihUosophy which he extolled was not that 
which had been drawn from the academies of 
Greece, but that diviner wisdom to reveal which 
to man the Immortal had put on mortality. The 
key-note of the discourse was the " Grace of God," 
the one sole fountain of man's renewal, pardon, and 
eternal life. Tlie oration, although Protestant in 
spirit, was very thoroughly academic. Its noble 
sentiments were clothed in language clear, simple, 
yet majestic' 

Blank astonishment was portrayed on the faces 
of the most part of the audience at the begmning 
of the oration. By-and-by a countenance here and 
there began to kindle with delight. Others among 
the listeners were becoming uneasy on their seats. 
The monks knit their brows, and shooting out fieiy 
glances from beneath them, exchanged whispers 
with one another. They saw through the thin dis- 

' This discourse was discovered some years ago by Dr. 
Bonnet in the Library of Geneva, where it is still pre- 
served. It was first given to the public by Dr. D'Anbignt'-, 
in his History of ihc Kcfomiation -iii Europe in the Time of 
Cah-in. (See vol. ii., bk. ii., chap. 30.) 

guise in which the rector was trying to veil the 
Go.spel. Spoken on " All Saints' Day," yet not a 
word about the saints did that oration contain ! It 
was a desecration of their festival ; an act of trea- 
son against these glorious intercessors ; a blow 
struck at the foundations of Rome : so they judged, 
and rightly. The assembly rose, and then the storm 
burst. Heresy reached an astounding pitch of 
audacity when it dared to rear its head in the veiy 
midst of the Sorbonne. It be struck down at 

Cop was denounced to the Pailiament, tlien the 
supreme judge and executioner of lieretics. Sum- 
moned to its bar, he resolved, strong in the integrity 
of his cause, and presuming not a little on his posi- 
tion as head of the first uiuversity in Christendom, 
to obey the citation. He was already on his way 
to the Pahice of Justice, attired in his robes of 
office, liis beadles and apparitors preceding him, 
with their maces and gold-headed staves, when a 
friend, pi-essing through the crowd, whispered ittto 
liis ear tliat he was marching to his death. Cop 
saw the danger of prosecuting further this duel 
between tlie Parliament and the Sorbomie. He 
fled to Basle, and so escaped the fate already 
determinal on for him." 

When Cop was gone, it l>egau to be rmnoured 
that the aaithor of the address, which had set Par- 
liament and the university in flames, was still iu 
Paris, and that he was no other than Calvin. Sucli 
a sjnrit was enough to set all Christendom on fire : 
he must be burned. Already the lieutenant-criminal, 
Jean Morin, who for some time had had his eye on 
the young eMxugelist,' was on his way to apprehend 
him. Calvin, who deemed himself safe in liLs 
obscurity, was sitting quietly in his room in the 
College of Fortret,* when some of his comrades 
came i-unning into his chamber, and urged him to 
flee that instant. Scarcely had they spoken when 
a loud knocking was heard at the outer gate. It 
was the officers. Now their heavy tramp was lieard 
in the corridor. Another moment and Calvin 
would be on his way to the Conciergerie, to come 
out of it only to the stake. That would, indeed, 
have been a blow to the Reformation, and pro- 
bably wouhl have changed the whole future of 
Christendom. But God interposed at this moment 
of peril. While some of his friends held a pailey 
with the officers at the door, others, seizing the 
sheets on his bed, twist<>d them into a rope, fastened 
them in the window, and Cabin, catching hold of 

- Beza, Vita Calvini. 

'■' Maimbourg, Uist. du Calvinisme, p. 58. 

•• Gaillard, Hist, de Franrois, torn, i., livr. iv., p. 271. 



them, let liimself down into the street of the Bev- 

Dropped into the street, the fugitive traversed 
Paris with rapid stei>s, and soon i-eached the suburlis. 
His iirst ;\gitation subsiding, he began to think how 
he could disguise himself, kuo\ving that the oflicei-s 
of Morin would be on his ti-ack. Espying a vine- 
dresser's cottage, and knowing the owner to be 
friendly to the Gospel, he entered, and there ar- 
ranged the plan of his flight. Doffing his o\vii 
dress, lie put on the coat of the peasant, and, mth 
a garden hoe on his shoulder, he set out on his 
journey. He went forth not knoNving whither he 

^vent the pioneer of hundreds of thousands who 

in after-yeai-s were to flee from France, and to seek 
under other ski&s that liberty to confess the Gosjx^ 
which was denied them in their native land. To 
Calvin the disappointment must have Ijeen as keen 
as it was sudden. He had fondly hoped that the 
scene of his conversion would be the scene of his 
labours also. He saw too, as he believed, the 
Gospel on the eve of triumphing in France. Was 
it not preached in the churches of the capital, 
tauglit from some of the chairs of the Sorbonne, 
and honoured in the psUace of the monai-ch ] But 
God had arranged for both France and Gahin a 
diff"erent future from that which the young evan- 
gelist pictured to himself. The great kingdom of 
France was to harden its heart that God might 
glorify his power upon it, and Calvin wa,s to go 
into exile that he might prepare in solitude those 
great works by wliich he was to instruct so many 
nations, and speak to the ages of the future. 

TiUTiing to the south, Calvin went on towaixls 
Orleans, but he did not stop there. He pursued 
his way to Tours, but neither did he halt there. 
Going onwards still, he travei'sed those great plains 
which the Loire and other streams water, so rich 
in meadows and tall umbrageous trees, and which 
are so loved by the vine, forming then as they do at 
this day the finest part of that fine country. After 
some weeks' wandering, he reached Angouleme, the 
birth-place of Margaret of Navarre.'' Here he 
directed his steps to the mansion of the Du Tillets, 
a noble and wealthy family, high in office in the 
State, famed moreover for their love of letters, 
and ^^ith one of whose members Calvin had formed 
an acquaintance in Paris. The exUe had not mis- 
calculated. The young Du Tillet, the only one of 
the family then at home, was delighted to resimie 
in Angouleme the intercourae begun in Paris. 

> D'Aubigne, Hist. Reform, in Europe, vol. ii., p. 279. 
Pelioe, Hist Proi. in France, vol. i., p. 35. 
2 Beza. Vita Calvini. 

The noble mansion with all in it was at the service 
of Calvin.^ 

The mariner whose bark, pursued by furious 
winds, is suddenly lifted on the top of some billow 
mightier than its fellows, floated in safety over the 
reef on whicli it seemed about to be dashed, and 
safely landed in the harbour, is not more surprised 
or more thankful tlian Calvin was when he found 
himself in this quiet and secure asylum. The exile 
needed rest ; he needed time for reading and medi- 
tation; he found both under tliis princely and 
friendly roof. The library of the chateau was one 
of the finest of which France, or perhaps any other 
country, in that age could boast, containing, it is 
said, some 4,000 volumes. Here he reposed, but was 
not idle. As Luther had been wafted away in the 
midst of the tempest to rest awhile in the Wart- 
burg, so Calvin was made to sit do^vn here and 
equip himself for the conflicts that were about to 
open. Around him were the mighty dead, with 
nothing to interrupt his converse with them. An 
occasional hour would he psiss in communing with 
his friend the young Louis du Tillet ; but even this 
had to be redeemed. Nights without sleep, and 
whole days during which he scarcely tasted food, 
would Calvin pass in this library, so athirst was ho 
for knowledge. It was here that Calvin projected 
his Institutes, which D'Aubigne styles " the finest 
work of the Reformation." Not that he wrote it 
here ; but in this liltrary he collected the materials, 
arranged the plan, and it may be peimed some of its 
passages. We shall have occasion to speak of this 
great work afterwards ; suffice it here to remark 
that it was composed on the model of those apologies 
which the early Fathers presented to the Roman 
emperors on behalf of tlie primitive martyre. Again 
were men dying at the stake for the Gospel. Calvin 
felt that it became him to raise his voice in their 
defence; but how could he better vindicate them 
tlian by vindicating their cause, and proving in the 
face of its enemies -and of the whole world that it 
was the cause of truth ^ But to plead such a cause 
before such an audience was no light matter. He 
prepared himself by reading, by much meditation, 
and by earnest prayer ; and then he spoke iia the 
Institutes with a voice that sounded thi-ough 
Europe, and the mighty reverberations of wliich 
have come dowi the ages. An opponent of the Re- 
formation chancing to enter, in after-years, this 
famous library, and knowing who had once occupied 
it, cast around him a look of anger, and exclaimed, 
"This is the smithy where the modem Vulcan 
forged his bolts ; here it was that he wove the web 

Felice, Hist. Prot. m France, vol. i., p. 35. 



of the Institules, which we may call the Koran or 
Talmud of heresy."' 

An episode of a touching kind varied the sojoiu-n 
of Calvin at Angovdeme. Lefevre still survived, 
and was living at Nerac, near to Angouleme, 
enjoying the protection and friendship of Margaret. 
Calvin, who yearned to see the man who had fiiBt 
opened the door of France to the Reformation, set 
out to visit him. The aged doctor and the young 
Reformer met for the first and last time. Cah'in 
was charmed with the candour, the humility, the 
zeal, and the loving spirit of Lefevre — lights that 
appeared to shine the brighter in proportion as he 
in whom they dwelt drew towards the toml). 
Lefevre, on his part, was equally struck with the 
depth of intellect and range of view exhibited by 
Calvin. A Reformer of loftier stature than any he 
had liitherto known stood before him. In truth, 

the future, as sketched by the bold hand of Calvin, 
filled him with something like alann. Calvin's 
Refonn went a good way beyond any that Leievre 
had ever projected. The good doctor of Etajiles 
had never thought of discarding the Pope and 
hierarchy, but of transfonning them into Protestant 
pastors. He was for imiting the tyranny of the 
infallibility with the liberty of the Bible. Calvin 
by this time had abandoned the idea of Reforming 
Catholicism ; his rule was the Word of God alone, 
and the hoped-for end a new structure on Divine 
foundations. Nevertheless, the aged Lefevre grasp- 
ing liis hand, and perhaps i-ecalling to mind his o\vn 
words to Farcl, that God would send a deliverer, and 
that they shovdd see it, said, " Young man, you will 
be one day a powerful instrument in the Lord's 
hand ; God will make use of you to restore the 
kini'dom of heaven in France. " '' 



Calvin goes to Poictiers — Its Society— Calvin draws Disciples round him — Ee-unions — The Gardens of the Basses 
Truilles — The Abbot Ponthus — Calvin's Grotto — First Dispensation of the Lord's Supper in France— Formation 
of a Protestant Congregation — Home Mission Sclieme for the Evangelisation of France — Tlie Three First Mis- 
sionaries — Their Labours and Deaths— Calvin Leaves Poictiers— Tlie Cliurcli of Poictiers — Present State and 
Aspect of Poictiers. 

Calvin had been half-a-year at Angouleme, and 
now, the storm having blown o\'er, he quitted it 
and returned northward to Poictiers. The latter 
wius then a town of great importance. It was the 
seat of a flourishing university, and its citizens 
numbered amongst them men eminent for their 
rank, their learning, or their professional ability. 
Two leagues distairt from the town is the battle- 
field where, in 13.56, (lie Black Prince met the 
armies of France under .Idliu of Valois, and wuu 
his famous \ictory. Here, in the spring of 1531, 
we behold a humble soldier arri\ing to begin a 
battle which shovdd change the face of the world. 
In this district, too, in former times lived Abelai'd, 
and the traces he had left behind him, though essen- 
tially sceptical, helped to piepare the way for Calvin. 
Thin, pale, and singularly unobtrusive, yet the 
beauty of his genius and the extent of his know- 
ledge soon drew around the stranger a chaiined circle 
of friends. 

I Flor. Rcemond, Hist. Heres., vol. ii., p. 246 - 
D'Aubigne, Hist. Reform, in Europe, voL iii., p. 12. 

The Prior of Trois Moutiers, a friend of the 
Du Tillcts, oijened his door to the traveller. The 
new opinions had already found some entrance into 
the learned society of Poictiers ; but with Calvin 
came a new and cleai-er light, which soon attracted 
round him a select few who abandoned their crude 
notions for the better-defined views and principles 
which the young evangelist enunciated. 

The chief magistrate, Pierre de La Planche, be- 
came his friend, and at his house he was accustomed 
to meet the distinguished num of the place, and 
inider his roof, and sometimes in the garden, the 
Basses Treilles, did Cahiii expound to them the 
true nature of the Gospel and the spiritual glory 
of the kingdom of heaven, thus drawing them 
away from idle ceremonies and dead formulas, to 
li\ ing doctrines bj' which the heart is renewed and 
the life fructified. Some contemned the wor<ls 
spoken to them, others received them with meek- 
ness and joy. Among these converts was Ponthus, 

- Beza, Vita Cah'ini. 



abbot of a Benedictine ^convent iu the neiglibour- 
liood of Poictiers, and head of a patrician family.^ 
Forsaking a brilliant position, he was the first 
abbot in F' ranee who openly professed himself a dis- 
ciple of the Reformed faith. Among lus descendants 
there have been some who gave their lives for the 
Gospel ; and to tliis day the family continue stead- 
fastly on the side of Protestantism, adorning it by 
their piety not less than by their rank." 

It was at Poictiers that the evangelisation of 
F'rance began in a systematic way. The school 
which Calvin here gathered round him comjn-e- 
hended persons in all contlitions of life — canons, 
lawyers, professors, counts, and tradesmen. They 
lUscoursed about Divine mysteries as they walked 
together on the banks of the neighbouring tor- 
rent, the Claiu, or as they assembled in the garden 
of the Basses TreUles, where, like the ancient 
Platonists, they often held their re-unions. There, 
as the Papists have said, were the first beginnings 
in France of Protestant conventicles and councils.' 
"As it was in a garden," said the Roman Catholics 
of Poictiers, " that our first parents were seduced, 
so are these men being enchanted by Calvin in the 
garden of the Basses Treilles."* 

By-and-by it was thought prudent to discontinue 
these meetings in the Basses TreUlcs, and to seek 
sumo more remote and solitary place of re-union. 
A deep and narrow ravine, through which rolls the 
I'ivulct of the Clain, winds past Poictiers. Its 
rucks, being of the limestone formation, abound in 
caves, and one of the roomiest of these, then known 
as the " Cave of Benedict," but which from that day 
to this has borne the name of " Calvin's Grotto," 
was selected as the scene of the future gatherings 
of the converts." It was an hour's walk from the 
town. Dividmg into gi'onps, each company, by a 
different route, found its way to the cave. Here 
inayer was offered and the Scrijjtures expounded, 
the torrent rolling beneath, and the beetling rocks 
and waving trees concealiiag the entrance. In this 
grotto, so far as the light of history serves, was the 
Lord's Supper celebrated for the fii'st time in France 
after the Protestant fashion.* On an appointed day 

' Bezn, Hist. desErilisesP^cf. ,yo\.i.,y.iJ3. Tlor. Rcemond, 
Jj:d. Hares., vol. vii., p. 919. 

- The late Count Alexander de St. Goorcfe, for many 
years President of the Evangelical Society of Geneva, 
nas a lineal descendant of Abbot Ponthus. (D'Aubigne.) 

•' " In horto illo primum Calviniaticum calebratum fuit 
concilium in Gallia." (Flor. Ksemond, Hist. Heres., 
vol. ii., p. 252.) 

^ D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. .59. 

•' Lievre, Hist, clu Protestantisme dii Poiioii, vol. )., p. 2-3. 
Flor. Eajmoud, Hist. Heres., vol. ii., p. 253. D'Aubigne, 
vol. iii, p. 61. 

'' " In loeio illis secretls prima Calvinistea Ctena ccL'- 

the disciples met here, and Calvin, having exi^ounded 
the Word and offered prayer, handed round the 
bread and cup, of which all partook, even as in the 
upper room at JeriLsalem sixteen centuries before. 
The place had none of the grandeurs of cathedral, 
but " the glory of God and the Lamb " lent it 
beauty. No chant of priest, ^no swell of organ ac- 
comjjanied the ser'sdce, but the devotion of contrite 
hearts, in fellowship with Christ, was ascending 
from that rocky chamber, and coming up befoi'e the 
throne in heaven. Often since have the children 
of the Reformation assembled in the dens and 
caves, in the forests, wildernesses, and mountains 
of France, to sing their psalm and celebrate their 
worship ; and He who disdains the gorgeous temple, 
which unlioly rites defile, has been present with 
them, turning the solitude of the low-browed cave 
into an august pi'esence-chamber, in which they 
Inive seen the glory and heard the voice of the 

Calvin now saw, as the fruit of his labours, a 
little Protestant congregation in Poictiers. This 
did not content him ; he desired to make this young 
Church a basis of evangelisation for the surround- 
ing pro'S'inceSj and ultimately for' the whole king- 
dom. One day in the little assembly he said, " Is 
there any one here willing to go and give light to 
those whom the Pope has blinded I" ' Jean Vernon, 
Philip Veron, and Albert Babinot stood up and 
offered themselves for this work. Veron and 
Babinot, turning their steps to the south and west, 
scattered the good seed in those fertile provinces 
and great cities which lie along the course of the 
Garonne. In Toulouse and Bordeaux they made 
many disciples. Obeying Calvin's instructions they 
sought to win the teachei-s of the youth, and in 
many cases they entirely succeeded ; so that, as we 
find the staunch Roman Catholic Etemond com- 
plaining, " the minister was hid under the cloak 
of the magistei;" " the young were lost before they 
wfere aware of their danger," and " many with only 
down on then- chins were so incurably perverted, 
that they preferrecl being roasted over a slow fire 
to renouncing their Calvinism."* Jean Vernon i-e- 
mained at Poictiers, where he found an interesting 
field of labour among the students at the uni- 
versity. It was ever the aim of Calvin to unite 
religion and science. He knew that when these 

brata fuit." (Flor. Esmond, Hist. Heres., vol. ii., P- 233.) 
"Esemond declares," says D'Aubigne, "that he had 
spared no pains to trace out aU Calvin's career in France," 
but the historian adds " that this has not prevented him 
from occasionally seasoning his narrative with abuse ami 

7 Flor. Esmond, Hist. Heres., vol. ii-.. P- £53, 

' Ibid., vol. ii., chap. 0. 



are divorced we have a race of fanatics on tlie 
one side, and of sceptics on tlie otiier; therefore, 
of liis little band, he commanded one to abide at 
the imiversity seat ; and of the students not a few 
embraced tlie Reformed faith. These three mis- 
sionaries, combining prudence with activit}-, and 
escaping the vigilance of the priests, continued to 

birth-place, which he visited now for the hist time. 
But he did not leave Poictiers as he had found 
it. There was now within its walls a Reformed 
C'hr.rch, embracing many men distinguished by 
their learning, occujiying positions of influence, 
and ready to confess Christ, if need were amid 
tlic Uames.' 


evangelise in France to their dying day. Vei'on 
and Babinot departed in peace ; Vernon was seized 
as he was crossing the Alps of Savoy, and burned 
at Chamb6ry. This was the first home-mission 
set agouig in modern times. After a stay of 
barely two months Cah'in quitted Poictiers, going 
on by way of Orleans and Paris to 'N'oyon, his 
68 — VOL. II. 

It is deeply interesting to ob.serve the condition 
at this day of a city around which the visit of Calvin 
has thrown so great an interest, and whose Church, 
founded by his hands, held no inconspicuous place 

' This is attested by the Lettre de Ste. Marthe a Calvin, 
found by Jules Bonnet in the Libr.ii y at Gotba (MSS., 
No. 401). 



among tlie Protestant C'liurclies of France in tlie 
early days of the Reformation.' Poictiers, we dare 
say, like the city of Aosta in Italy, is iu nowise 
proud of this episode in its history, and would 
rather efface than jierpetuate tlie traces of its illus- 
trious visitor ; and, indeed, it has been veiy suc- 
cessful in doing so. We question whether there 
be now a dozen persons in all Poictiers who know 
that the gi-eat cliief of the Reformation once 
honoured it by his residence, and that there he 
laid the foundations of a Protestant Church which 
afterwards gave martyrs to the Gospel. Poictiers 
is at this day a most unexoeptionably Roman 
Catholic city, and exhibits all the usual proofs 
and concomitants of genuine Roman Catholicism 
in the dreariness and stagnation of its sti-eets, and 
the vacuity and ignorance to be read so plainly 
on the faces of its inhabitants. Tlie landscape 
aroimd is doubtless the same as when Calvin 
went in and out at its gates. There is the same 
clear, dry, balmy sky ; there is the same winding 
and picturesque ravine, with the rivulet watering 
its bottom, and its sides here terraced with vines, 
here overliung with white limestone rocks, while 
cottages j)erched amid fruit-trees, and mills, their 
wheels turned by the stream, are to be seen along its 
course. East and werst of the town lie outspread 
those plains on which the Black Prince, in the four- 
teenth century, marshalled his bowmen, and where 
French and English blood flowed in commingled 
torrents, and where, 200 years later, Calvin re- 
stored to its origmal simplicity that rite which 
commemorates an infinitely greater victory than 
hei-o ever achieved on earth. Within its old 
limits, unchanged since the times of Calvin, is 
the town itself Here has Poictiers been sitting 
all this long while, nursing its oi-thodoxy till 
little besides is left it to nurse. Manufactures and 
commerce have left it ; it has but a scanty portion 
of the corn and wine wliich the plains around yield 
to others. Its chui-ches and edifices have grown 
hoary and totteiing ; the very chimes of its bells 
liave a weird and drowsy sound ; and its citizens, 
silent, listless, and pensive, look as if they belonged 
to the fifteenth century, and had no i ight to be seen 
moving about in the nineteenth. 

In tlie centre of Poictiei's is a large quadrangular 
])iazza, a fountain in the middle of it, a clock-tov/er 
in one of its angles, and numerous narrow lanes 
running out from it in all directions. These lanes 

' In the autumn of 1869 the author iJassed along the 
groat valley of tho Loire on his way to Spain, visiting the 
places where Calvin had sojourned, and more especially 

are steep, winding, and Ul-paved. In one of these 
lanes, but a little way from the central piazza, 
is a venerable pile of Gothic architecture, ;is old, at 
least, as the days of Calvin, and whicli may have 
served as the college amongst whose professoi-s and 
students he found his first disciples. Its gables, 
turned to the street, show to the passer-by its 
rich oriels ; and pleasant to the eye is its garden of 
modest dimensions, with its bit of velvet sward, 
and its trees, old and gnarled, but with life enough 
in then- roots to send along their boughs, in spring, 
a rush of rich massy foliage. 

A little farther oft' from the Piazza, in another 
lane which attains the width of a street, with an 
open space before it, stands the CathecU'al, by much 
the most noticeable of all the buildings of Poictiers. 
Its front is a vast um-olled scroll of lustory, or 
perhaps we ought to say of biography. It is 
covered from top to bottom with sculptures, the 
subjects extremely miscellaneous, and somo of 
tliem not a little grotesque. The lives of numerous 
Scri^jture heroes — patriarchs, warriors, and king's — 
are here dejiicted, being chiselled iu stone, ^\ hile in 
the alternate rows come the efligies of saints, and 
Popes, and great abbots; and, obtiiiding uncouthly 
among these venerable and dignified personages, 
are monsters of a form and genus wholly miknown 
to the geologist. A rare sight must tliis convention 
of ante-diluvians, of mecUseval Popes, and animals 
whose era it is impossible to fix, have presented 
when in tlie pi'ime of its stony existence. But the 
whole goodly assemblage, under the influence of 
the weather, is slowly passing into oblivion, and 
will by-and-by disappear, leaving only the bare 
weather-worn sand-stone, unless the chisel come 
timeously to the rescue, and give the worthies tluit 
figure here a new lease of life. 

Calvin must sometimes have crossed the thresholil 
of this Cathedral and stood under this roof. The 
interior is plain indeed, offering a striking euu- 
trast to the gorgeous grotesqueness of the exterior. 
The walls, covered with simple whitewash, are 
garnished with a few poor pictiu'es, such as a few- 
pence would buy at a print-seller's. Tlie usual nave 
and aisle are wMiiting, and a row of stone pillars, 
also covered with whitewash, run along the centre 
of the floor and support the roof of the edifice. It 
had been well if Poictiers had continued .steadfast 
iu the doctrine taught it by the man who entered 
its gates in tlie March of 1-531. Its air at this 
hour would not liave been so thick, nor its .streets 
.so stagnant, nor its edifices so crumbling; in 
short, it would not have been lying stranded now, 
dropped far astern in tho world's onward march. 





SI . Paul— Calvin— Desire to Labour in Paris— Driven from this Field — Francis I. Intrigues to Outmanoeuvre Charles V. 
—Offers the Hand of his Second Son to the Pope's Niece— Joy of Clement A^II.— The Marriage Agreed on— Catherine 
de Medici— Eise of the House of Medici— Cosmo I.— His Patronage of Letters and Scholars— Fiesole— Descendants 
of Cosmo— Clement VII.— Birth of Catherine de Medici— Exposed to Danger— Lives to Mount the Throne of 
France— Catherine as a Girl— Her Fascination— Her Tastes— Her Morals— Her Love of Power, &.2. 

St. Pail when converted fondly hoped to abide at 
Jerusalem, and from this renomied metropolis, where 
the Kings of Judah had reigned, where the prophets 
of Jehovah had spoken, and wliere One greater than 
all prophets had lived, to spread abroad tlie light 
among liis conntrymen. But a new dispensation 
had commenced, and there must be foiuid for it a 
new centre. In Judiea, Paul would have had only 
the Synagogue for his audience, and his echoes 
would have died away on the narrow shore of 
Palestine. He must speak where his ■voic; would 
sound throughout the world. He must carry the 
Gospel of liis master through a sphere as wide as 
that which the Greek philosophy had occupied, and 
subjugate by tlie power of the Cross tribes as 
remote as those Rome had vanquished by tlie force 
of her arms. 

And so, too, was it with one who has been styled 
the second Paul of the Christian dispensation. Tlie 
jilan which Calvin had formed to himself of his 
life's labours, after his conversion, had Paris and 
France as its centre. Nearest his heart, and 
occupying the foreground in all his visions of tlie 
future, was his native land. It needed but the 
Gospel to make France the first of the nations, and 
its throne tlie mightiest in Europe. 

And the footing the Gospel had already obtained 
in that land seemed to warrant these great ex- 
pectations. Had not the Gospel found martjTS in 
France, and was not this a pledge that it would yet 
triumph on the soil which their blood had watered? 
Had not the palace opened its gates to welcome it ? 
]\Iore wonderful still, it was forcing its way, despite 
the prejudice and pride of ages, into the halls of the 
Soi-bonne. The many men of letters which France 
now contained were, with scarce an exception, 
favourable to the Reformation. The monarch, it is 
true, had not yet decided ; but Margaret, so sweet 
in disposition, so sincere in her Protestant faith, 
would not be wanting in her influence with her 
brotlier, and thus there was ground to ho]io that 
when Francis di<l decide his choice would be given 
in behalf of Pi'otestantism. So stooil the matter 

tlien. Was it -wondeiful that Calvin should so 
linger around Paris, and believe that he saw in it the 
field of his future labours i But ever and anon, as he 
came back to it, and grasping the seed-basket, had 
begun again to sow, the sky would darken, the winds 
would begin to howl, and he was forced to flee 
before a new outburst of the tempest. At last he 
began to understand that it was not the great king- 
dom of France, with its chivalrous monarch and 
its powerful armies, that God had chosen to sustain 
the battle of the Reformation. It was a handful 
only of its people which the Reformation had called 
to follow it, wdiose destined woi'k was to glorify 
it on their own soil by the heroism of the stake, 
and to help to sow it in others by the privations 
and sacrifices of exile. But before speaking of 
Calvin's third and last flight from Paris, let us 
turn to an incident big with the gravest conse- 
(juences to France and Christendom. 

The Pope, Spain, and France, the thi'ee visible puis- 
sances of the age, were by turns the allies and the 
adversaries of one another. The King of France, 
who was constantly scheming to recover by the arts 
of diplomacy those fair Italian provinces which he 
had lost upon the battle-field, was now plotting 
against Cliarles of Spain. The emperor, on his way 
to Augsburg, was at this moment closeted, as we 
have already related, with the Pope at Bologna.' 
Francis, who was not ignorant of these things, 
would frequently ask himself, "Who can tell what 
evil may be brewing against France ? I shall out- 
manoeuvre the crafty Charles ; I shall detach the Pope 
from the side of Spain, and secure him for ever to 
France;"- — for in those days the Pontiff, as a djnastic 
jiower, counted for more than he does in ours. 
Francis thought that he had hit on a capital device 
for dealing a lilow to his rival. What was it t 
The Pope, Clement VII., of the House of Medici, 
had a niece, a little fairy girl of fourteen ; he would 
propose marriage between this girl and his second 
son, Henry, Duke of Orleans. The Pope, he did 

1 Pallavii'iiio, Istoria, &.C., lib. iii., cap. 12, p. 224; 
Napoli, 1757. 



not doubt, would grasp at tlio Iirilliant otier ; for 
Clement, lie knew, was set on the aggraudisemeut 
of liis family, and this marriage would place it 
among the royal houses of Europe. But was 
Francis I. in earnest 1 Would the King of France 
stoop to marry his son to the descendant of a 
merchant 'I Yes, Francis would digest the moi-tifi- 
cation which this match might cause him for the 
sake of the solid advantages, as he believed them to 
be, which it would bring with it. He would turn 
the flank of Clharles, and take his revenge for Pavia. 
Had Francis feared the God of hosts as much as he 
did the emperor, and been willing to stoop as low 
for the Gospel as for the ftivour of the Pope, happy 
had it been for both himself and his kingdom. 

Clement, when the oflfer was made to liim, could 
scarce believe it.' He was in doubt this moment ; 
he was in ecstacy the next. The emperor soon 
discovered the affair, and foreseemg its conse- 
quences to himself, endeavoured to persuade the 
Pojje that the King of France was insincere, and 
counselled him to beware of the snake in the grass. 
The ambassadors of the French King, the Duke of 
Albany and the Cardinals Tournon and Gramont, 
protested that theu' master was in earnest, and 
pushed on the business till at last they had finished 
it. It was concluded that this gii'l, Catherine de 
Medici by name, should be linked with the tkrone 
of France, and that the blood of the Valois and 
the Medici should henceforth be mixed. The Pope 
strode through his palace halls, elate at the honour 
which had so unexpectedly come to his house, and 
refused to enter the league which the emperor was 
pressing him to form with him against Francis, 
and would have nothing to do with calling a Council 
for which Charles was importuning him.- And the 
King of France, on his part, thought that if he had 
stooped it had been to ;make a good bargain. He 
had stipulated that Catherine should bring with 
her as her dowry,' Parma, Florence, Pisa, Leghorn, 
Modena, Urbino, and Reggio, besides the Duchy 
of Milan, and the Lordship of Genoa. This would 
leave little nurecovered of what had been lost on 
the field of Pavia. The Pope promised all wthout 
the least hesitation. To Clement it was all the 
same — much or little — for he had not the slightest 
intention of fulfilling aught of all that he had 

1 Sleiclan, Hist. Reform., bk. ix., p. 169. 

- Pallavieino, Istoria, &c., lib. iii., cap. 12. Eanke, 
Hist, nf the Popes, bk. i., chap. 3. 

■■' Du BoUay, Memoires, p. 278 ; quoted by D'Aubign^, 
Hist. Reform, in Em-ope, vol. ii., pp. 198, 199. The secret 
articles of this treaty arc in the Bibliotheque Imp6riale 
at Paris (MSS., Bethune, No. 8,511, fol. 36. D'Aubignc). 

Let us \'Lsit the bii-th-place of this woman — the 
natal lair of this tigress. Her cradle was placed 
in one of the most delicious of the Italian vales. 
Over that vale was hnng the balmiest of skies, and 
ai-ound it rose the loveliest of mountains, con- 
spicuous among which is the classic Fiesole. The 
Ai-no, meandering through it in broad pellucid 
stream, waters it, and the olive and cypress clothe 
its bosom with a voluptuous luxuriance. In this 
vale is the city of Florence, and liere, in the fifteenth 
century, lived Cosmo, the merchant. Cosmo was 
the founder of that house from which was spnmg 
the little bright-eyed girl who bore the name of 
Catherine de Medici — a name then innocent and 
sweet as any other, but destined to gather a most 
unenAdable notoi'iety around it, till it has become 
one of the most terrific in history, the mention of 
which evokes oidy images of tragedies and horrors. 

With regard to her famous ancestor, Cosmo, ho 
was a merchant, we have said, and his ships visited 
the shores of Greece, the harbours of Egypt, and 
the towns on the sea-coast of Syria. It was the 
morning of the Renaissance, and this Florentine 
merchant had caught its spuit. He gave instruc- 
tions to his sailing-masters, when they touched at 
the ports of the Levant and Egyjjt, to make diligent 
inquiry after any ancient manuscripts that might 
still survive, whether of the ancient pagan litera- 
ture, or of the early Chi'istian theology. His 
wishes were carefully attended to ; and when his 
ships returned to Pisa, the port of Tuscany, the}' 
were laden with a double freight — the produce and 
fabrics of the countries they had visited, and the 
works of learned men which had slumbered for 
ages in the monasteries of Mount Athos, the con- 
vents of Lebanon, and in the cities and tombs of 
the Nile. Thus it was that Cosmo prosecuted, with 
equal assiduity and success, commerce and letter.s. 
By the first he laid the foundations of that princely 
house that long reigned over the Florentine Re- 
public ; and by the second he contributed power- 
fully to the recovery of the Greek and Hebrew 
languages, as they in their tiirn contributed to the 
outbreak of evangelical light which so gloriously 
distinguished the centuiy that followed that in 
which Cosmo llourished. The sacred languages 
restored, and the Book of Heaven again opened, 
the pale, chilly dawn of paganism warmed and 
brightened mto the day of Christianity. 

Another event contributed to this happy turn of 
affairs. Constantinople had just fallen, and the 
scholars of the metropolis of the East, fleeing from 
the arms of the Turk, and canying w-ith them their 
literai-y treasures, came to Italy, where they were 
warmly welcomed by Cosmo, and entertained with 



princely hospitality in liis villa on Fiesole. The 
remains of that villa are still to be seen half-way 
between the base of the hill and tlie Franciscan 
monastery that crowns its summit, looking clown 
on the iiui-i vailed dome of Bnmelleschi, which even 
in Cosmo's days adorned the beantifnl city of 
Florence. The terrace is still pointed out, bordered 
by stately cyiDresses, where Cosmo daily walked, 
con-\'ersing ynili the illustrions exiles whom the 
triumph of barbarian arms had chased from their 
native East, the delicious vale of the Amo sjjread 
out at their feet, with the clustering towers of the 
city and the bounding hills in the nearer view, 
while tlie remoter moimtains, rising peak on peak 
in the azure distance, lent grandeur to the scene.^ 
"In gardens," says Hallam, "which Tully might 
have envied, with Ficino, Laudino, and Politiau at 
his side, he delighted his hours of leisure with the 
beautiful visions of the Platonic philosophy, for 
which tlie summer stillness of an Italian sky ap- 
pears the most congenial accompaniment." 

His talents, his probity, and his great wealth 
placed Cosmo at the head of Florence, and gave 
him the government of the Duchy of Tuscany. 
His grandson Lorenzo — better known as Lorenzo 
the Magniiicent — succeeded him in his vast fortune, 
his literary and festhetic tastes, and his government 
of the dnchy. Under Lorenzo the Mediciau family 
may be said to have fully blossomed. Lorenzo had 
three sons — Giuliano, Pietro, and Giovanni. The 
last (John) became Pope under the title of Leo X. 
He inherited his father's taste for magnificence, 
and the Tuscan's love of pleasure. Under him the 
Vatican became the gayest court in all Christendom, 
and Rome a scene of revelry and delights not 
surpassed, if equidled, by any of the capitals of 
Europe. Leo's career has already come before us. 
He was far from "seeing the day of Peter," bnt he 
lived to see Lumer's day, and went to the tomb as 
tlie morning-light of .the Reformation was breaking 
over the world, closing vnth liis last breath the 
halcyon era of the Papacy. He was succeeded in 
the chair of St. Peter, after the short Pontificate of 
Adrian of Utrecht, by another member of the same 
family of Medici, Giulio, a son of the brother of 
Leo X., who ascended the Papal tlirone imder the 
title of Clement VII. 

When Clement took possession of the Papal 
chair, he found a storm gathering round it. To 
•whatever quarter of the sky his eye was turned, 
there he saw lowering clouds portending furious 
tempests in the future. Luther was thundering in 
Germany ; the Turk wafj marshalling his hordes 

' The author describes the landscape aronncl Fipisole as 
he himself ^as noted it on reiJcatecl visits 

and unfurling his standards on the borders of Chris- 
tendom; nearer home, at his own gates almost, 
Francis and Charles were settling with the sword 
the question which of the two should be master of 
that fair land which both meanwhile were lay- 
ing waste. The infuriated Germans, now scarcely 
amenable to discii^line, were hanging like tempest 
on the brow of Alp, and threatening to descend on 
Rome and make a spoil of all the wealth and art 
with which the lavish Pontificate of Leo X. had 
enriched and beautified it. To complete the un- 
happiness of the time the plague had broken out 
at Rome, and with pomps, festivities, and wassail, 
which went on all the same, were mingled corpses, 
funerals, and other gloomy insignia of the tomb. 
The disorders of Christendom had come to a head; 
all men demanded a remedy, bnt no remedy was 
found, and mainly for this reason, that no one under- 
stood that a cure to be efiectual must begin with 
one's self. Men thought of reforming the world, but 
lea^•ing the men that composed it as they were. 

The new Pope saw veiy plainly that the air was 
thick and the sky lowering, but having vast con- 
fidence in his own consummate craft and knowledge 
of business, he set about the task of replacing the 
world upon its foundations. This onerous work 
resolved itself into four divisions. First, he had 
the abuses of his court and capital to correct ; 
secondly, he had the poise to maintain between Spain 
and France, taking care that neither Power became 
too strong for him ; thirdly, he had the Turk to drive 
out of Christendom ; and fourthly, and mainly, he 
had the Reformation to extinguish; and this last 
gave him more concern than all the rest. His 
attention to business was unwearied; but labour 
as he might it woxild not all do. The mischiefs of 
ages could not be cured in a day, even granting that 
Clement had known how to cure them. But the 
storm did not come just yet; and Clement con- 
tinued to toil and intrigue, to threaten the Turk, 
cajole the kings, and anathematise Lutheranisni, to 
no other efi'ect than to have the advantage gained 
by the little triumph of to-day swept away by the 
terrible disaster of the morrow. 

That woman who was just stepping upon a scene 
where she was destined long and conspicuously to 
figure, and where she was to leave as her memorials 
a" throne dishonoured and a nation demoralised, 
here demands a brief notice. Catherine was the 
daucrhter of Lorenzo II.,= the grandson of Lorenzo 

= Those of our readers who have visited ^ °^^°^';' ^^^ 
seen the statue of this Lorenzo, tl-^fathor of Catheune^ 
in the gorgeous mausoleum of the Medici m f« 91™^^; 
of San Lorenzo, cannot bnt have hecn struck ^ith the 
air of meditation and thought whicli it ivcar=,. 



the Magnificent, who, as we have said, was the 
"lanclson of C!osino 1., or Cosmo il Veccliio, as he is 
styled at Florence, the founder of the greatness of the 
family, and so honourably remembered as the patron 
of letters and the fi-icnd of scholars. Her mother 
Was Magdeleine de Boulogne, of the Royal House ot 
France.' Her father survived her birth only a few 
days ; her mother, too, died while she was still a 
child, and thus the girl, left an orphan, was taken 
under the care of her relative, Clement VII. An 
astrologer was said to have foretold at her birth 
that the child would be the ruin of her house ; and 
the vaticination, as may well be believed, wrought 
her no good. She was but little cared for, or rather 
she was put, on purpose, in the way of receiving 
harm. She is said to have been placed in a basket, 
and hung outside the wall of a castle that was 
being besieged, in the hope that a chance arrow 
might rid them of her, and along with her the 
calamity which her continued existence was be- 
lieved to poi-tend. The missiles struck right and 
left, leaving their indentations on the wall, but 
the basket was not hit, and the child it enclosed 
lived on to occupy at a future day the throne of 

When she comes before us, in connection with 
this marriage-scheme, Catherine de Medici was a 
girl of fourteen, of diminutive stature, of .sylph-like 
form, and a fiery light streaming from her eyes. 
Bright, voluble, and passionate, she bounded from 
spoi't to sport, filling the halls where she played 
with the chatter of her talk, and the peals of her 
merriment. There was about her the power of a 
strange fascination, which all felt who came near 
her, l)ut the higher faculties which she displayed 
hi after-life had not yet been developed. These 

needed a wider stagu aul a loltier position for their 

As she grew up it was seen that she possessed 
not a few of the good as well as the evil ijualities of 
the race from which she was sprung. She had a 
princely heart, and a large undei-standing. To say 
that she was crafty, and astute, and greedy of 
j)0wer, and prudent, patient, and plodding in her 
efforts to grasp it, is simply to say that she was a 
Medici. She possessed, in no small degree, the 
literary and lesthetic tastes of her illustrious 
ancestor, Cosmo I. She loved splendour as did 
her great-grandfather, Lorenzo the Magnificent. 
She was as prodigal and lavish in her habits as Leo 
X. ; and withal, as great a lover of pleasure. She 
filled the Louvre with scandals, even as Leo had 
done the Vatican, and from the coui-t diffused a 
taint through the city, from which Paris has not 
been cleansed to this day- The penetration and 
business habits of her uncle — we style him so, but 
his birth being suspicious, it is impossible to define 
his exact relationship — Clement VII., she inherited, 
and the pleasures in which she so freely indulged 
do not appear to have dulled the one or inter- 
rupted the other. Above all, she was noted for the 
truly Medician feature of an inordinate love of 
power. Whoever occupied the thi'one, Catherine 
was the real I'uler of France. Most of the occur- 
rences which made the reigns of her husband and 
sons so tragical, and blackened so dismally that era 
of history, had their birth in her scheming brain. 
Not that she loved blood for its own sake, as diti 
some of the Roman Emperors, but her will nuist 
be done, and whatever cause or person stood in her 
way must take the consequences by the dungeon 
or the stake, by the poignard or the poison-cup. 



The Pope sets Sail— Coasts along to France— Meets Francis I. at Marseilles— The Second Son of the King of France 
Married to Catherine de Medici— Her Promised Dowry— Tlie Marriage Festivities— Auguries— Clement's Return 
Voyage— His Reflections- His Dream of a New Era— His Dream to be Read Backwards— His Troubles— His Death 
— Catherine Enters France as Calvin is Driven Out — Retrogression of Protestantism— Death and Catherine de 
Medici— Death's Five Visits to the Palace— Each Visit Assists Catherine in her Ascent to Power— Her Crimes- 
She Gains no Real Success. 

The marriage is to take place, and accordingly the 
Pope embarks at Leghorn, and sets out for the 
port of Marseilles, where he is to meet the Kin'' of 

Sleidan, Hist. Befonn., bk. ii., pp. 1?8, 169. 

France, and conchide the transaction. Popes have 
never loved shijjs, iinless it were the bark of St. 
Peter, nor cared to sail in any sea save the sea 
ecclesiastic ; but Clement's anxiety about the mar- 
riage overcame his revulsion to the wa^'es. He 



sails along the coast of Italy ; he passes the Gulf of 
Spezzia; he rounds the bold headland of Monte 
Fino ; Genoa is passed ; and now the shore of Nice, 
where the ridge of Apenninc divides Italy from 
Fnince, is under his lee, and thus, wafted along 
over these classic waters by soft breezes, he entei-s, 
in the beginning of October, 1533, the harbour of 
Marseilles. Catherine did not accompany him. 
Slie tan-ied at Nice meanwhile, to be at hand when 
she should be needed. The inten-iew between tlie 
Pontiff' and the king terminatetl to the satisfaction 
of both partias. Francis again stipulated that the 
bride should bring as outfit " three rings," the 
Duchies of Urbino, Milan, and Genoa ; and Clement 
had no difficulty in promising everything, seeing he 
meant to perform nothing. All being arranged, the 
little Tuscan beauty was now sent for ; and amid 
tlie benedictions of the Pope, the congratulations of 
tlie courtiere, the firing of cannon, ringing of belLs, 
and i-ejoicingfi of tlie popuk-ce, Catherine de Mediii, 
all radiant with joy and sparkling with jewels, 
Ijecame the daughter-in-law of Francis I., and wife 
of the Duke of Orleans, the future Heniy II. 

In the banquet-chamber in which sat Catherine 
de Medici as tlie bride of the future Henry II. of 
France, well might there have been set a seat for 
the skeleton which the Egyjitians in ancient times 
were wont to inti'oduce into their festal halls. Had 
that guest sat amid the courtiers at Marseilles, 
glaring on them with empty sockets, and mingliBg 
his ghastly giin witli their gay merriment, all 
must have confessed that never had his presence 
been more fitting, nor his augury more truly 
prophetic. Or if this was not clearly seen at the 
moment, how plain did it become in after-years, 
Vlien the bridal torches were exclianged for martyr- 
fires, and the marriage-songs were turned into 
wailings, which ever and anon rung through 
France, and each time with the emphasis of a 
deeper woe ! But before that day should fully 
come Clement was to sleep in marble ; Francis too 
was to be borne to the royal vaults of St. Denis, 
leaving as the curse of his ho\ise and kingdom the 
once little lively laughing giil whose arrival he sig- 
nalised with those vast rejoicings, and who was j'et 
too young to take much interest in court intrigue, 
or to feel that thirst for power which was to awaken 
in her breast with such terrible strength in years 
to come. 

The marriage festivities were at an end, and 
Pope Clement VII. turned his face toward his own 
land. He had come as fiir as to see the utmost 
borders of the children of tlie Pieformation, and, 
like another Balaam, he had essayed to curse them. 
He had come doubly armed : he grasped Catherine 

in the one hand, he held a bull of anathema in the 
other ; the first he engi'afted on France, the second 
he hurled against the Lutherans, and having shot 
this bolt, he betook him again to liLs galleys. A 
second time tlie winds were propitious. As he 
sailed along over the blue sea, he could indulge his 
revei'ies undistracted by those influences to wliich 
Popes, like other men, are liable on shipboard. He 
had taken a new jiledge of France that it should 
not play the part England was now playing. France 
was now more than ever the eldest daughter of the 
Papacy. Clement, moreover, had fortified himself 
on the side of Spain. To the greatness of that 
Power he himself, above most men, had contiibuted, 
when he acted as the secretary and adviser of liLs 
uncle Leo X.,^ but its sovereigns becoming less the 
champions and more the masters of the Papac}', 
Spain caused the Pope considerable imeasiness. 
Now, however, it was less likely that the emperor 
would press for a Cbuncil, the very idea of which 
was so terrible to the Pope, that he could scarce 
eat by day or sleep by night. And so, as the 
coast of France sunk behind him and the head- 
lands of Italy I'ose on his prow, he thought of the 
new splendour 'W'ith which he had invested his 
house and name, and the happier days he was now 
likely to see in the Vatican. 

Nevertheless, the horizon did not clear up : the 
storm still lowered above Pome. The last year of 
Clement's life — for he was now drawing towaixl the 
grave — was the imhappiest he had yet seen. Not 
one of all his fond anticipations was there that did 
not misgive him. If the dreams of ordinary mortals 
are to be read backwards, much more — as Clement 
and even Pontiff's in our own time have experienced 
— are the dreams of Popes. The emperor became 
more pressing for a Council than ever. The Pro- 
testants of Gennany, having formed a jjowerful 
league, had now a voice at the political council- 
table of Christendom. Nay, with his owni hands 
Clement had been rearing a rampart round them, 
inasmuch as his alliance with Francis made Charles 
draw towards the Protestants, whose friendsliip was 
now more necessary to Iiim. Even the French 
king, now his ally, could not be depended upon. 
Catherine's "three rings" the Pope had not made 
forthcoming, and Francis threatened, if they were 
not speedily sent, to come and fetch them. To fill 
up Clement's cup, alread)' latter enough and brini- 
ming over, as one would think, liis two nephews 
quarrelled about the sovereignty of Florence, and 
v,'ere fighting savagely witli one another. To 

' "Cardinal Medici was always on the side of the 
emperor," says Ranke. (Hist, of the Popes, vol. i., p. 76.) 



whatever quarter Clemeut turned, lie saw only- 
present trouble and portents of worse to come. It 
was hard to say whether he had most to dread from 
his enemies or from his friends, from the heretical 
princes of Germany or from the most C'liristian 
Iving of Ei-anee and the most Catholic King of 

Last of all, the Pope fell sick. It soon became 
apparent that his sickness was unto death, and 
though but newly returned from a wedding, Clement 
had to set about tlie melancholy task of preparing 
the ring and robe which are used at tlie funeral of- 
a Pope. " Having created tliirty cardinals," says 
Platina, " and set his house in order, he died the 
2.5th September, 1534, between the eighteenth and 
nineteenth hour,' having lived sLxty-six years and 
thre» months, and held the Papacy ten years, ten 
months, and seven days. He was buried," adds the 
historian, "in St. Peter's; but, iir the Pontificate of 
Paul III. (his successor), his body was transferred, 
along with the remains of Leo X., to tlie Chui-ch of 
Minerva, and laid in a tomb of marble."- " Sorrow 
and seci-et anguish," says Sonano, brought him to 
the grave. Eanke pronounces liim " without doubt, 
the most ill-fated Pope that ever sat on the Pajial 

Clement now repo.sod in marble in the Minerva, 
but the evil he had done was not "interred with 
his bones ;" his niece lived after him, and to her 
for a moment we turn. There are beings whose 
presence seems to darken the light, and taint the 
very soil on which they ti-ead. Of the number of 
these was Catherine de Medici. She was sunny as 
her own Italy : but there lurked a curse beneath 
her gaieties and smiles. Wherever she had passed, 
there was a blight. Around her all +bat was fair 
and virtuous and manly, as if smitten by some 
mysterious and deadly influence, began to pine and 
die. And, moreover, it is instructive to mark how 
nearly contemporaneous were the departure of 
Calvin from France and the entrance into that 
country of Cathei-ine de Medici. Scarcely had the 
gates of Paris shut out the Eefonner, when they 
were opened to admit the crafty Italian woman. 
He who would have been the restorer and saviour 
of his country was chased from it, while she who 
was to inoculate it with vice, which first corrupted, 
and at last sunk it into ruin, was welcomed to it 
with demonstrations of unbounded joy. 

' The Eomans, in the time of Clement and even to our 
own age, reckoned their day from one of the afternoon 
to the same hour next day, and, of com'se, went on 
numbering- up to the twenty-fourth hour. 

-' Platina, Hist. Snmmi Pontific-i, p. 269 ; Venetia, 1500. 

2 Eanke, Hist, of the Popes, vol. i., p. 97; Bohn's cd. 

We trace a marked change in the destinies of 
France from the day that Catherine entei-ed it. Up 
till this time events seemed to favour the progress 
of Protestantism in that country ; but the admis- 
sion of this woman was the virtual banishment of 
the Reformation, for how could it ever momit the 
throne with Catherine de Medici sitting npon its 
steps i and rmless the throne were won there was 
hardly a hope, in a country where the government 
was so powerful, of the triumph of the Reforma- 
tion in the convei-sion of the great body of the 

True, the marriage of the king's second son with 
tliis orphan of the House of Medici did not seem 
;m event of the first consequence. Had it been 
t^ie Dauphin whom she espoused, she would have 
l-wen on the fair way to the throne; but as the wife 
of Henry the likelihood was that she never would 
be more than the Duchess of Orleans. Nor had 
Catherine yet given unmistakable indication of 
those imperious passions inclining and fitting her 
for rule that were lodged in her. No one could 
have foretold at that hour that the girl of fifteen 
all radiant with smiles would become the woman 
of fifty di-ipping all over >vith blood. But from the 
day that she put her hand into Henry's, all thmgs 
wrought for her. Even Death, as D'Aubigne has 
strikmgly observed, seemed to be in covenant with 
this woman. To others the " King of Terroi-s," to 
Catherine de Medici he was but the obsequious 
attendant, who waited only till she should signify 
her pleasure, that he might strike whomsoever she 
wished to have taken out of her path. How many 
a visit, during her long occupancy, did the grim 
messenger pay to the Louvre ! but not a visit did 
he make which did not assist her in her ascent to 
power. He came a fii-st time, and, lo ! the Dauphin 
lay a corpse, and Henry, Catherine's husband, 
became the immediate heir to the throne. He came 
a second time, and now Francis I. breathes his last. 
Henry reigns in his father's stead, and by his side 
sits the Florentine girl, now Queen of France. 
Death came a third time to the Louvre, and now 
it is Henry II. that is struck down ; but the blow, 
so far from diminishing, enlarged the power of 
Catherine, for from this time she became, with a 
few brief and exceptional intervals, the real ruler of 
France. Her imbecile progeny sat upon the tin-one, 
but the astute mother governed the country. Death 
came a fourth time to the palace, and now it is 
the weak-minded Francis II. who is carried out a 
corpse, leaving his throne to his yet weaker-minded 
brother, Charles IX. If her son, a mere pupjiet, 
wore the crown, Catherine -wdth ea,sy superiority 
duected the Government. Casting off the Guises, 



•witli whom till now slie had been compelled to 
divide her power, she stood up alone, the ruler of 
the land. Even when Death shifted the scenes for 
the last time by the demise of Chailes IX., it was 
not to abridge this woman's influence. Under 
Heniy III., as under all her other sons, it was the 
figure of Catherine de Medici that was by far the 
most conspicuous and terrible in France. Possessing 
one of those rare mmds which reach maturity at 
an age when those of others begin to decay, it was 
only now, during the reigns of her last two sons, that 

she showed all that was in her. She discovered at 
this period of her career a shrewder penetration, a 
greater feitility of resource, and a higher genius 
for governing men than she had yet exhibited, and 
accordingly it was now that she adventured on her 
boldest schemes of policy, and that she perpetrated 
the gi-eatest of her crimes. But, notwithstanding 
all her talent and wickedness, she gained no reaV 
success. The cause she espoused did not triumph 
eventually, and that which she opposed she was not 
able to crush. 



The Labourers Scattered— The Cause Advances— Tlie Dread it Inspires— Calvin and Catherine— A Contrast— The 
Keys and the Fleur-dc-Lis— The Doublings of Francis— Agreement between Francis and Philip of Hesse at 
Bar-le-Duc— Campaign— Wurtemberg Restored to Christopher— Francis I.'e Project for Uniting Lutheranism and 
Eomanism— Du Bellay's Negotiations with Biicer — Melancthon Sketches a Basis of Union— Bucer and Hedio add 
their Opinion — The Messenger Returns with the Paper to Paris— Sensation— Council at the Louvre— Plan 
Discussed — An Evangelical Pope. 

Of the evangelists who, but a dozen years before 
the period at which we are now arrived, had pro- 
claimed the truth in France, hardly one now sur- 
vived, or was labouring in that country. Some, like 
Lefevre, had gone to the grave by " the way of all 
men." Others, like Berquur and Pavane, had passed 
to it by the cruel road of the stake. Some there 
were, like Farel, who hatl been chased to foreign 
lands, there to diffuse the light of which France was 
6ho\ving itself unworthy. Others, whose lot was 
nnhappier still, had apostatised from the Gospel, 
seduced by love of the world, or repelled by the 
terrors of the stake. But if the earlier and lesser 
lights had nearly all disappeared, their place was oc- 
cupied by a greater ; and, despite the swords that were 
being unsheathed and the stakes that were being 
planted, it was becoming evident to all men that the 
sun of truth was mounting into the horizon, and soon 
the whole firmament would be filled with his light. 

The movement caused m\ich chagi'in and torment 
to the great ones of the earth. They trembled before 
a power which had neither war-horse nor battle- 
axe, but against which all their force could avail 
nothing. They saw that mysterious power ad- 
vancing from victory to victoi-y ; they beheld it 
scattering the armies that stood up to O)5i)ose it, 
and recruiting its adherents faster than the iirc 
could consume them ; and they could hardly hclj) 

seeing in this an augury of a day when that jjower 
would " possess the kingdom and dominion and 
the greatness of the kingdom under the whole 
heaven." This power was none other than the 
Christianity of the first ages, smitten by the sword 
of the pagan emperor's, wounded in yet more deadly 
fashion by I'le supei-stition of Rome, but now risen 
from the dead, and therefore mighty works did 
show forth themselves in it. 

The two chiefs of the gi-eat drama which was now 
opening in France had just stepped upon the stage 
— Calvin and Catherine de Medici. The one was 
taken from an obscure town in the north of France ; 
the other came from a city already glorified by the 
renown of its men of letters, ;and the state and power 
of its princes. The former was the grandson of a 
cooper; the latter was of the lineage of the jirincely 
House of Tuscany. Catherine was placed in tbe 
Louvre, with the lesources of a kingdom at her 
command ; Calvin was removed outside of France 
altogether, where, in a small town hidden among 
the hills of the Swiss, he might stand and fight his 
great battle. But as yet Catherine had not reached 
the throne, nor was Calvin at Geneva. Death had 
to open the way that the first might ascend to 
])0wer, and years of wandering and peril had yet 
f(i be gone through before the latter should enter 
(lie friendly gates of the capital of the Gene-\ese. 



We return for a moment to Marseilles. C'atlierine 
de Medici had placed lier cold liand in tliat of 
Henry of Valois, and by the act a new link had 
been forged which was to bind together, more firmly 
tlian ever, the two countries of Italy and France. 
The Keys and the Fleur-de-lis were united for 
better for woi-se. The rejoicings and festivities 
were now at an end. The crowd of princes and 
courtiers, of prelates and monks, of liveried attend- 
ants and men-at-arms, which for weeks had crowded 
the streets of Marseilles, and kept it niglit and day 
in a stir, had dispersed j and Francis and Clement, 
mutually satLstied, were on their way back, each to 
his own land. The winds slept, the mieasy Gidf of 
Lyons was still till the Pontiff's galley had passed ; 
and as he sailed away over that glassy sea, Clement 
felt that now the tiara sat firmer on his head than 
before, and that he might reckon on hapjiier Aixya 
in tlio Vatican. Alas, how little could he forecast 
tlie actual future ! Wliat awaited him at Eome 
was a shroud and a grave. 

Francis I., equally overjoyed, but equally mis- 
taken, amused himself, on his journey to Paris, 
with -^-isions of the future, arrayed in colours of 
equal brilliancy. He had not patience till he 
should arrive at the Louvre before making a 
begmning with these grand projects. He halted 
at Avignon, that old city on the banks of the 
Pihone, which had so often opened its gates to 
receive the Popes when Eome had cast them out. 
Here he assembled his council, and startled its 
members by breaking to them his purpose of 
forming a league with the Protestants of German j-. ' 
Fresh from the emliraces of Clement, this was the 
last thing his courtiers liad expected to hear from 
their master. Yet Francis I. was in earnest. One 
hand had he given to Eome, the other would he 
give to the Eeformation : he would be on both 
sides at once." This was very characteristic of this 
monarch ; — divided in his heart — unstable in all 
liis ways — continually oscillating — but sure to settle 
on the wrong side in the end, and to reap, as the 
fruit of all his doublings, only disgrace to himself 
and destruction to his kingdom. 

The King of France was, in sooth, at this moment 
playing a double game — a political league and a 
religious reform. Of the two projects the last was 
the more chimerical, for Fi-,\ncis aimed at nothing- 
less than to unite Eome and the Reformation. 
'Wliat a strange moment to inaugm-ate these 
schemes, when Europe was still ringing with the 
echoes of the bull in which the German heretics had 

' D'Aufci.'^ne, Hist. Reform. iuEuropi', ii. 235. 
- Du Bellp.y, M^'tnoires, p. 2i)tj. 

been cm'sed, and which had been issued by the 
man with whom Francis had been closeted these 
many days past ! And not less strange the spot 
chosen for the concoction of these projects, a city 
which was a second Eome, the very dust of wluch 
was redolent of the footprints of the Popes, and 
whose streets and palaces recalled the memories 
of the pride, the luxury, and the disorders of the 
Papal court. The key of the policy of Fi-ancis was 
his desii'e to humble his dreaded rival, Charles V. 
Hence his apjn-oach to the Pope, on the one hand, 
and to the Protestant princes, on the other. For 
the Papacy he did not greatly care ; for Lutherauism 
he cared still less : his own ascendency was the 
object he sought. 

Tlie political project came first and sped best. 
An excellent opportunity for broaching it presented 
itself just at this time. Charles V. had carried 
away by force of arms the young Duke of W\u-- 
temberg. And not only had he stolen the duke ; 
he had stolen his duchj' too, and annexed it to the 
dominions of the House of Austria." Francis thought 
that to strike for the young duke, desjjoiled of his 
ancestral dominions, would be dealing a blow at 
Charles V., while he would appear to be doing only 
a chivalrous act. It would, moreover, vastly please 
the German princes, and smooth his approaches to 
them. If liis recent doings at Marseilles had ren- 
dered him an object of suspicion, his espousal of the 
quarrel of the Duke of Wurtemberg woidd be a 
counter-stroke which would make him all right 
with the jirinces. Aii incident which had just 
fallen out was in the line of these reasonings, and 
helped to decide Francis. 

The young Duke Christopher had managed to 
escape from the emperor in a way which we ha^•o 
narrated in its proper place. He remained for 
some time in hiding, and was believed to be dead ; 
but in November, 1.532, he issued a manifesto 
claiming i-estoration of his ancestral dominions. 
Tlic claim was joyfully responded to by the 
Protestants of Germanj^, as well as by his own 
subjects of Wurtemberg. This was the opening 
which now presented itself to the King of France, 
ever ready to ride post from Eome to Germany, 
and back again with even greater speed and heartier 
good-will from Germany to Eome. 

A Diet was assembling .at Augsbui'g, to cUscus.s 
the question of the restoration of the States of 
AVurtemberg to their rightful sovereign. The 
representatives of Ferdinand were to appear before 
that Diet, to uphold the cause of Austria. 
Francis I. sent Du Bellay as his ambassador, with 

3 Ecbsrtson, SUt. Ckarhi r.,bk.,v ,p. ISi; Edui., 152.). 



mstructions quietly, yet decidedly, to throw the 
influence of France into the opposite scale.' Du 
Bellay zealously carried out the instructions of his 
master. He pleaded the cause of Duke Christopher 
so powerfully before the Diet, that it decided in 
favour of liis restoration to Wurtemberg. But the 

money.- All three had a different aim, though unit- 
ing in a common action. Philip of Hesse hoped to 
strengthen Protestantism V)y enlarging its territorial 
area. Du Bellay hoped to make the coming war the 
wedge that was to separate Francis from the Pope, 
and rend the Ultramontane yoke from the neck of 

ambassiwlors of Austria stood firm ; if Wurtemberg his country. Francis was simply pursuing what 


was to be reft trom their mastei', and cari-ied over 
to the Protestant side, it miist be liy force of arms. 
Pliili|i, Landgrave of Hesse, met Francis I. at 
Bar-le-Duc, near the western frontier of Germany, 
and there arranged the terms for a campaign on 
behalf of the young Duke Christopher. The land- 
grave was to supj)ly the soldiers, and the King of 
France was to furnish — though secretly, for he 
did not wish his hand to be seen — the requisite 

' Du Bellay, Mfmoires, p. 210. 

69 — VOL. II. 

had been his one policy since the battle of Pavia, 
the humiliation of Charles V., wliich he hoped to 
effect, in this case, by kindling a war between the 
German princes and the emperor. 

There was another party having interest ; this 
party now stepped upon the scene. Luther and 
Melancthon were the representatives of Pro- 
testantism as a religion, as the princes were the 
representatives of it as a policy. To make war for 

■ E.obcrtson, bk. v., p. 1?4. D'Aubigne, vol. ii., p. 301. 



the Gospel was to them the object of their utmost 
alarm and abhorrence. They exerted all their 
rhetoric to dissuade the Protestant pi'iaces from 
drawing the sword. But it wa.s in vain. The war 
was precipitately entered upon by Philip. A 
battle was fought. The German Protestants were 
victorious ; the Austrian army was beaten, and 
Wurtemberg, restored to Duke Christopher, was 
transferred to the political side of Protestantism.' 

Tlio political project of Francis I. had prospered. 
He had wrested Wurtemberg from Ferdinand, and 
through the sides of Austria had hurt the pride of 
liis n\al Cliarles V. This success tempted him to 
try his hand at the second project, the religious 
one. To mould opinions might not be so as to 
move armies, but the Lutheran fit was upon Francis 
just now, and he would try. The Eeformation 
■which the French king meditated consisted only in a 
few changes on the surface ; these he thought would 
bring back the Protestants, and heal the broken 
unity of Rome. He by no means wished to in- 
jure the Pope, much less to establish a religion 
that would necessitate a reform of his own life, or 
that of his courtiers. The first step was to sound 
Melancthon, and Biicer, and Hedio, as to the 
amount of change that would satisfy them. It was 
significant that Luther was not apjiroached. It 
was Lutheranism -with Luther left out that was 
now entering into negotiations with Rome. It 
does not seem to have struck those who were 
active in setting this aflair on foot, that the man 
who had created the first Lutheranism could create 
a second, provided the first fell back into the old 

MeanwhUe, however, the project gave promise of 
prospering. Du Bellay, in his way back from 
Augsburg, had an interview with Bucer at Stras- 
burg ; and, with true diplomatic tact, hinted to the 
pacific tlieologian that really it was not worth liis 
while to labour at uniting the Z\vinglians and the 
Lutherans. Here was sometliing more worthy of 
him, a reconcilement of Protestantism and Ro- 
manism. Tlie moment this great afikii- was 
mentioned to Bucer, otiier unions seemed little in 
his eyes. Though he should i-econcile Luther and 
Zwingle, the great rent would still remain; but 
Rome and the Reformation reconciled, all would 
be healed, and the source closed of innumerable 
strifes and wars in Christendom. Bucer, being 
one of those who have more faith in the potency 
uf persons than of principles, was overjoyed ; if so 
powerful a monarch as Francis and so able a states- 

' Sleidan, Hist. Reform., bk. ix., pp. 172, 173 
1689. Eobertson, Hist. Charles V., bk. v., p. 184. 


man as Du Bellay had put their shoulders to this 
work, it must needs, he thought, progress. 

A special messenger was dispatched to Melanc- 
thon (July, 15 34) touching this aflair. The de- 
puty found the gieat doctor bowed to the earth 
imder an apprehension of the evils gathering over 
Christendom. There, firet of all, was the division 
in the Protestant camp ; and there, too, was the 
cloud of war gathering over Europe, and every 
hour gro^Wng bigger and blacker. The project 
looked to ]\Ielancthon like a reprie^'e to a world 
doomed to dissolution. The man from whom it 
came had been in recent and confidential inter- 
course with the Pope ; and who could tell but that 
Clement VII. was expressing his wishes and hopes 
through the King of France l Even if it were not 
so, were there not here the grand monarchs, the 
Kings of France and England, on the side of 
tmion 1 Melancthon took his pen, sat down, and 
sketched the basis of the one Catholic Church of 
the future. In this labour he strove to be lo3'al to 
his convictions of truth. His plan, in brief, was 
to leave untouched the hierarchy of Rome, to pre- 
serve all her ceremonies of worship, and to refonn 
her eiTors of doctrine. This, he admitted, was not 
all that could be wished, but it was a begiiming, 
and more woidd follow.- Finishing the jiaper, he 
gave it to the messenger, who set ofi" with it to 

Ou his way to Paris the courier halted at Stras- 
burg, and requested Bucer also to put on paper 
what he thought ought to form a basis of union 
between the two Churches. Bucer's plan agi-eed in 
the main with that of Melancthon. The tiiith was 
the essential thing; let us restore that at tlie 
foundation, and we shall soon see it refashioning the 
superstructure. So said Bucer. There was another 
Reformer of name in Strasburg — Hedio, a meek but 
firm man ; him also the messenger of Francis re- 
quested to give his master his views in \vi-iting. 
Hedio complied ; and with these three documents 
tliP messenger resumed his journey to Paris. 

On his arrival in ■ the capital the papers were 
instantly laid before the king. There was no small 
sensation in Paris ; a great event was about to 
happen. Protestantism had spoken its last word. 
Its ultimatum lay on the king's table. How 
anxiously was the opening of these important 
papers, which were to disclose the complexion of 
the future, waited for ! Were Rome and Wittem- 
berg about to join hands? Was a new Church, 
neither Romanist nor Protestant, but Refonnctl and 
eclectic, about to gather once more within its bosom 

= D'Aubignr, vol. ii., pp. 347—350. 



all the peoples of Christendom, hushing angry 
contro^■ersies, and obliterating the lines of contend- 
ing sects in one happy concord ? Or was the division 
between the two Churches to be henceforward wider 
than ever, and were the disputes that could not be 
adjusted in the conference-hall to be carried to the 
bloody field, and the blazing stake l Such were the 
questions that men asked themselves with reference 
to the three documents which the royal messenger 
had brought back with him from Germany. In the 
midst of many fears, hope predominated. 

The king summoned a council at the Louvre to 
discuss the progi-amme of Melancthon and his two 
fellow-Eefonnei-s. Gathered round the council- 
table in the palace were men of various ])rofessions, 
ranks, and aims. There sat the Archbishop of 
Paris and other prelates ; there sat Du Bellay and 
a few statesmen ; and there, too, sat doctors of the 
Sorbonne and men of lettens. Some sincerely 
wished a Reformation of religion ; others, includLn" 
the king, made the Reform simply a stalking-horse 
for the advancement of their own intei-ests. 

The papers were opened and read. All around 
the table were pleased and offended by tums. The 
colour came into the king's face when he found the 
Reformei-s commencing by stating that "a true 
faith in Chi-ist " was a main requisite for such a 
union as was now sought to Ijc attained. But 
when, farther on, the Pope's deposing power Wits 
thrown o-ierl)oard, the monarch was appeased. Pro- 
minence wjw given to the " doctrine of the justi- 
fication of sinners," nor was the council displeased 
when this was ascribed not to " good works, " nor the 
" rites of priests," but to the " righteousness and 
blood of Christ ;" for had not the schoolmen used 
similar language 1 The question of the Sacrament 
was a crucial one. "There is a real presence of 
Christ in the Eucharist," said the Reformers, without 
defining the nature or manner of that presence ; 
but they added, it is "faith," not the "priest," 
that gives communion with Christ in the Lord's 
Supper. The bishops frowned ; they saw at a glance 
that if the opus operatnm were denied, their power 

was undermined, and the " Church" betrayed. On 
neither side could there be surrender on this point. 

The king had looked forward with some uneasi- 
ness to the question of the Chm-ch's government. 
He knew that the Reformers held the doctrine of 
the " priesthood of all believers ;" this, he thought, 
was fatal to order. But, replied the Reformers, 
the Gospel-chiuch is a " kingdom of priests," and 
in a kingdom there must be ofiicers and laws ; the 
function of priesthood is inherent in all, but the 
exercise of it appertains only to those chosen and 
appointed thereto. The king was reassured ; but 
now it was the turn of the Protestants at the 
council-board to feel alarm; for Melancthon and 
his fellow-Reformers were wiling to go so far on 
the point of Church government a.s to retain the 
hierarchy. Time, its personnel was to undergo a 
transformation. All its members from its head 
downwards were to become Reformed. The Pope 
was to bo retained, but how greatly changed from 
his former self! He was to hold the primacy of 
rank, but not the primacy of power, and after this 
he would hardly account his tiara woi-th wearing. 
Here, said the Protestants, is the weak point of 
the scheme. A Refonned Pope ! that indeed 
will be something new ! When Melancthon put 
this into his scheme of Reform, said they, he must 
have left the domain of possibilities and strayed 
into the region of Utopia. 

To these greater reforms a few minor ones were 
appended. Prayers to the saints were to be abolished, 
although their festi\als were still to be observed ; 
priests were to be allowed to many, Imt only 
celibates would be eligible as bishops ; the monas- 
teries were to be converted into schools ; the cup 
was to be restored to the laity ; private masses were 
to be abolished ; in confession it was not to lie 
obligatoiy to enumerate all sins; and, in fine, a 
conference of pious men, including laymen, was to 
meet and frame a constitution for the Church, ac- 
cording to the Word of God.^ 

Gerdesius, UUt. Evang. Renov., torn, iv., p. 12i. 





iiiid o£ Couferouet; — Francis I. takes the Matter into liis own Hand — Concocts a New Basis of Union — Sends Copies 
to Germany, to the Sorbonne and the Vatican — Amazement of the Protestants — Alarm of the Sorbonnists — Tliey 
send a Deputation to the King— What they Say of Lutheranism— Indignation at the Vatican — These Projects of 
Union utstei-ly Chimerical — Excuse of the Protestants of the Sixteenth Century— Their Stand-point Different 
from Ours— Storms that have Shaken the World, but Cleared the Air. 

The conference was now over. The king was not 
displeased ;' the Protestants were hopeful ; but the 
bishops were cold. At heart they wished to have 
done with these negotiations ; for their instincts 
surely told them that if this matter went on it 
could have but one ending, and that was the sub- 
version of their Church. But the king, for the 
inument, was on the .side of the Reform. He would 
put himself at its head, and guide it to such a goal 
as would surround his throne with a new gloiy. 
He would heal the schism, preserve Catholicism, 
curb the fanaticism of Luther, punish the hypocrisy 
of the monks, repress the assumptions of the Pope, 
and humble the pride of the emperor. To do all 
this would be to place himself without a rival in 
Europe. The King of France now took the matter 
more than ever into liis oym hands. 

Francis now proceeded to sketch out what 
^■irtually was a new basis of union for Christendom, 
lie thought, doubtless, that he knew the spirit of the 
new times, and the influences stirring in the work! 
iit large, better than did the theologians of Wittem- 
berg and Strasburg ; that a throne was a better 
jjoint of observation than a closet, and that he 
coidd produce something broader and more catholic 
than Melancthon, which would hit the mark. 
Summoning a commission round him," he sat down, 
and making the papers of the three theologians the 
groundwork, retrenching here, enlarging there, and 
expunging some articles wholly,' the king and his 
councillors produced a new basis of union or fusion, 
different to some o.\tent from tlic formci'. 

Tlie king, although not aspiring like Henry oi" 
England to the repute of a theologian, was doulit- 
Icss not a little proud of his handiwork. He sent 
copies of it to Germany, to the Sorbonne, and even 
to the Pope,'' reqiiesting these several parties to 
consider the matter, and report then- judgment 
upon it to the king. To the German theologians 

' Gerdesius, Hist. Evang. Menov., torn, iv., p. 124. 

= Ibid. 

' " Non integri, verum mutilati," says Gerdesius of the 
king's edition of the articles. 
' Gerdesius, torn, iv., p. 124. 

it caused no small in-itation ; they recognised in the 
king's paper little but a caricature of their senti- 
ments.^ In the Sorbomie the message of Francis 
awakened consternation. The doctors saw Luther- 
auism coming in like a ton-ent, while the king was 
holding open the gates of France." We can 
imagine the amazement and indignation which 
would follow the reading of the king's jjaper in 
the Vatican. !Modilied, it yet retained the essential 
ideas of Melancthon's plan, in that it disowned the 
saints, denied the opus operatum, and left the Papal 
tiara shorn of nearly aU its authority and grandeui". 
"What a cmel blow would this have been to 
Clement VII., aggravated, asr he would have felt 
it, by the fact that it was dealt by the same hand 
which had so lately grasped his in friendship at 
Marseilles ! But before the document reached Rome, 
Clement had passed fi-om this scene of agitation, 
and was now resting in the quiet grave. This 
portentous pajjer from the eldest son of i]vi Papacy 
was reserved to greet his successor, Paul III., on 
his accession to the PapaL chair, and to give him 
betimes a taste of the anxieties and vexatious iir- 
separable from a seat wliich fascinates and dazzles 
all save the man who occupies it. But we return 
to the Sorbonnists. 

The royal missive had alai-med the doctors beyond 
measure. They saw France about to commit itself 
to the same downward road on which England had 
already entered. This was no time to sit still. 
They went to the Louvre and held a theological 
disjiutation with the king's ministers. Their 
|)osiiiou was not improved thereby. If argument 
h;i(l faile<l tliem they would try what tlireats could 
do. Did not the king know that Luthcranism 
was the enemy of all law and order ? that wherever 
it came it cast down dignities and powers, and 
ti'ampled them in the dust ? If the altar w;is over- 
turned, a.ssuredly the throne would not bo left 
standing. Tliey thought that they had found the 
opening in the king's ai-mour. But Fi-ancis luid 

■* Gerdesius, torn, iv., p. 123. 
« D'Aubigno, vol. ii., p. 379. 



the good sense to look at great facts as seen in 
contemporaneous liistoiy. Had law and order 
perislied in Germany '! nay, did not the Protestants 
of that country reverence and obey tlieir princes 
more profoundly than ever ? "Was anarchy trium- 
jjhant in England ? Francis saw no one wan-ing 
with kings anil underniinmg their authority save 
the Pope, who had deposed his Brother of England, 
and was not unlikely to do tlie same office for 
himself one of these days. Sorlionnisls saw that 
neither was this the right tack. IMust France then 
be lost to the Papacy ? There did seem at the 
moment some likelihood of such disaster, as they 
accounted i-t, takmg place. The year 1534 was 
dra-wing to a close, with Francis still holding by his 
jrarpose, when an unhappy incident occurred, all 
unexpectedly, which fatally changed the king's 
coui'se, and turned him from the road on which he 
seemed about to enter. Of that event, -vvith all the 
tragic consequences that followed it, we shall have 
occasion afterwards to speak. 

As regards this union, or ratliery/(«/ore, there is 
no need to express any sorrow over its failure, 
and to regret that so fair an opportunity of 
banishing the ii-on age of controversy and war, and 
bringing "in the golden age of concord and peace, 
should have been lost. Had this compromise been 
accomplished, it would certainly have repressed, for 
a decade or two, the more flagrant of the abuses 
and scandals and tyrannies of the Papacy, but 
it would also have stifled, perhaps extinguished, 
those mighty renovating forces which had begun 
to act viith -such mai'ked and beneficial effect. 
Christendom would ha\e lost infinitely more than all 
it could have gained : it would have gained a brief 
respite ; it would have lost a real and permanent 
Reformation. Wliat was the plan projected 1 The 
Reformation was to bring its "doctrine," and Rome 
was to bi-ing its " hierarchy," to form the Church 
of the future. But if the new wine had been 
poured into the old bottle, would not the bottle 
have bui-st ? or if the wine were too diluted to rend 
the bottle, would it not speedily have become a.-^ 
acrid and poisonous as the old wine 1 " Justifi- 
cation by faith," set in the old glosses, circum- 
scribed by the old definitions, and manipulated by 
the old hierarchy, would a second time, and at no 
distant date, have been transformed into " Justifi- 
cation by works," and where then would Protest- 
antism have been 1 But we are not to judge of the 
men who advocated this scheme by ourselves. They 
occupied a very different standpoint from ours. 
We have the lessons of three most eventful cen- 
turies, which were necessarily hidden and veiled 
from them ; and the utter contrariety of these two 

systems, in their originating principles, and in their 
whole course since their birth, and by consequence 
the utter utopianism of attempting their recon- 
cilement, could 1)0 seen not otherwise than as the 
progi-ession of events and of centuries fiu-nished the 
gradual but convincing demonstration of it. Be- 
sides, the Council of Ti'ent had not yet met ; the 
hard and fast line of distinction between the two 
Churches had not then been drawn ; in especial, 
tliat double-i)artition-wall of anathemas and stakes, 
which has since been set up between them, did not 
then exist ; moreover, the cii'cumstance.s of the 
Reformers at that early hour of the movement were 
wholly unprecedented ; no wonder that their vision 
was distracted and their- judgment at fault. The 
two systems were as yet but slowly drawing away 
the one from the other, and beginning to stand 
apart, and neither had as yet taken up that distinct 
and separate ground, which presents them to us 
clearly and sharply as systems that in their first 
principles — in their roots and fibres — are antago- 
nistic, so that the attempt to harmonise them is 
simply to try to change the nature and essence" of 

Besides, it required a far greater than the 
ordinary amoimt of courage to accept the tremen- 
dous responsibility of maintaining Protestantism. 
The bravery that would liave sufiiced for ten heroes 
of the ordinary type would scai'cely have made, at 
that hour, one courageous Protestant. It began 
now to be seen that the movement, if it was to go 
fonvard, would entail on all piarties — on those who 
opposed as well as on those who aided it— tremen- 
dous sacrifices and sufierings. It was this prospect 
that dismayed Melancthon. He saw that every 
hour the spirits of men were becoming more em- 
bittered ; that the kingdoms were falHiig aj^art ; 
that the cruel sword was about to shed the blood 
of man ; in short, that the world was coming to an 
end. In truth, the old world was, and Melancthon, 
his eye dimmed for the moment by the '■ smoke 
and vapour" of that which was perishing, could 
not clearly see the new world that was rising to 
take its place. To save the world, Melancthon 
would have put the Reformation into what would 
have been its grave. Had Melancthon had his 
choice, he would have pronounced for the calm — 
the mephitic stillness in which Christendonr wa.s 
rotting, rather than the hurricane with its noise 
and overturnings. Happily for us who live in this 
age, the great scholar had not the matter in his 
choice. It was the tempest that came : but if it 
shook the world by its thunders, and swept it by 
its hm-ricanes, it has left behind it a purer air, a 
clearer sky, and a fresher earth. 




























{From the fort.-aU b>j y,it:si-h 


" Historia MiclMi'i 

cus Ah. AUwoerden.) 

firAFPER XVI I r. 


CUvin now the Centre of the Movement— Shall he enter Priest's Orders?— Hazard of a Wrong Choice— He walks 
by Faith — Visits Noyon— Renounces all his Preferments in tlie Romish Church— Sella his Patrimonial Inheritance 
Goes to Paris — Meets Servetns— Ilis Opinions — Challenges Calvin to a Controversy — Servetns does not Keep hia 
Challenge — State of things at Paris — Beda — More Ferocious than ever— The Times Uncertain — Disciples in Paris 
—Bartholomew Millon— His Deformity— Convei-sion— Zeal for the Gospel— Du Bourg, the Drapei^— Voleton, of 
Nantes— Le Compte— Giulio Camillo— Poille, the Bricklayer— Other Disciples— Pantheists— Calvin's Forecastings 
—Calvin quits Paris and goes to Strasburg. 

We retm-n to Calvin, now and hencefoi-ward the 
true centre of the Rcftnniiition. Wlierever he is, 
whether iu the library of Du Tillet, conversing 
witli the mighty dead, and forging, not improbably, 
the bolts lie was to hurl against Rome in future 
years, or in the limestone cave on the banks of the 

rivulet of the Claiu, dispensing the Lord's Supper to 
the first Protestants of Poictiers, as its Divine 
Founder had, fift(^on centuries before, dispensed it 
to the first disci])les of Christianity, there it is that 
the light of tlie new day is lireaking. 

(.'alviii had come to another most eventful epoch 



of his life. The futiu-e Refoi-mer again stood at 
" the parting of the ways." A wrong decision at 
this moment would have wrecked all his future 
prospects, and changed the whole history of the 

We left Calvin setting out from Poictiers in the 
end of April, 1.534, attended by the young Canon 
Du TUlet, whose soul cleaved to the Reformer, and 
who did not discover tUl two years afterwards, 
when he began to come in sight of the stake, that 
something stronger than even the most devoted love 
to Cahin was necessary to enable him to cleave to 
the Gospel which Calvin preached. Calvin would 
lie twenty-fivo on the 10th of July. This is the 
age at which, according to the canons, one who has 
passed his novitiate in the Church must take the 
full orders of priesthood. Calvin had not yet done 
so, he had not formally broken with Rome, but 
now he must take up his position decidedly within 
or decidedly ^vithout the Church. At an early age 
the initiatory mark of servitude to the Pope had 
Ijeen impressed upon his person. His head had 
been shorn. The custom, which is a very ancient 
one, is borrowed from the temples of paganism. 
The priests of Isis and Serapis, Jerome informs us, 
officiated in their sanctuaries vfith shorn crowns, 
as do the priests of Rome at this. day. Calvin must 
now renew his vow and consummate the obedience 
to which he was viewed as having pledged himself 
when the rite of tonsure was performed upon him. 
He must now throw off the fetter entii-ely, or be 
bound yet more tightly, and become the servant of 
the Pope, most probably for ever. 

His heart had left the Chiu-ch of Rome, and any 
subjection he might now promise could be feigned 
onl}', not real. Yet there were not wanting friends 
wlio counselled him to remain in outward com- 
munion with Rome. Is it not, we can imagine 
these counsellors saying to the young cur6, is it 
not the Reformation of the Church which is your 
grand aim ? Well, here is the way to compass it. 
Dissemble the change within ; remaiii in outward 
conformity 'with the Church ; push on from dignity 
to dignity, from a curacy to a mitre, from a mitre 
to the piiiiile, and from the purple to the tiara ; 
what post is it to wliich your genius may not aspire ? 
and once seated in the Papal chair, who or what 
ca,n hinder you fi"om reforming the Church 1 

The reasoning was specious, and thousands in 
Calvin's circumstances have listened to similar 
persuasion, and have been undone. So doubtless 
leasoned Caraffa, who, as a simple priest, was a fre- 
quenter of the evangelical re-unions in Chaija 
at Naples, but who, when he became Paul IV., 
restored the Inquisition, and kindled, alas ! nume- 

rous stakes at Rome. Those who, li.stemng to such 
counsel, have adopted this policy, have either never 
attained the dignities for which they stifled the 
con\"ictions of duty, or they found that with loftier 
position had come stronger entanglements, that 
honour's and gold were even greater hindrances 
than obscurity and poverty, and that if tliey had 
now the power they had not the heart to .set on foot 
the Reformation they once burned to accomplish. 

Calvin, eschewing the path of expediency, and 
walking by faith, found the i-ight road. He refused 
to touch the gold or wear the honoui-s of the Church 
whose creed he no longer believed. " Not one, 
but a hundred benefices would I give up," ho said, 
"rather than make myself the Pope's vassal."' 
Even the hope of one day becoming generalis- 
simo of the Pope's ai-my, and carrying over his 
whole force to the camp of the enemy in the day of 
battle, could not tempt him to remain in the Papal 
ranks. He arrived m Noyon in the beginning of 
May. On May 4th, 1534, in presence of the oflicials, 
ecclesiastical and legal, he resigned his Chaplaincy 
of La G^sine, and his Curacy of Pont I'Eveque, and 
thus he severed the last link that bound him to the 
Papacy, and by the sale of his paternal inheritance 
at the same time,- he broke the last tie to his birtli- 

CahTii, " his bonds loosened," was now more the 
servant of Chi-ist than ever. In the sale of his 
patrimony he had " forgotten his father's hoiLse," 
and he was i-eady to go anywhere — to the stake 
.should his Master order him. He longed to plant 
the standard of the ci-oss in the capital of a great 
country, and kard by the gates of a university 
which for centuries had been a fountain of know- 
ledge. Accordingly, he turned his steps to Paris, 
where he was about to make a brief but memorable 
stay, and then leave it nevermore to return. 

It was dm-ing this visit to Paris that Calvin 
met, for the first time, a man whom he was 
destined to meet a second time, of which second 
meeting we shall have something to say afterwards. 
The pei-son who now crossed Calvin's path was 
Servetus. Michael Sei-v-etus was a Spaniard, of 
the same age exactly as Calvm,' endowed with a 
penetrating intellect, highly imaginative genius, and 
a strongly speculative turn of mind. Soaring abo\e 
both Romanism and Protestantism, he aimed at 
substituting a system of his own creation, the 

1 Cah'ini Opusc, p. 90. D'Aubignc, vol. iii., p. 7C. 

2 Desmay, Vie de CaMni HMsiarq^ie, pp. 48, 49. Li^ 
Vaseeur, Annal. de Noyon, pp. 1161 — 1168. D'Aiibigiir, 
vol. iii., p. 78. 

•■■ Henricua Ab. Allwocrdou, HUioria Micliaelis Servcfi, 
1)11.4,5; Ileluistadt, 1727. 


forner-stone of which was simple Theism. He aimed 
liis stroke at the -very heart of Christianity, the 
doctrine of the Trinity.' Confident in his .system, 
and not less in his abdity, he had for some years 
been leading the life of a knight-errant, having 
wandered into Switzerland, and some parts of 
Germany, in quest of opposers with whom he might 
do battle.= Having heard of the young doctor of 
Noyon, he came to Paris, and thi-ew down the gage 
to him.= Calvin felt that should he decline the 
challenge of Servetus, the act would be interpreted 
into a confession that Protestantism rejected the 
doctrine of the Tiinity, and so was coiTupt at the 
core. It concerned the Reformers to show that 
Protestantism was not a thing that tore up Chris- 
tianity by the roots under pretence of removing the 
abuses that liad gro^vl^ up around it. This con- 
sideration weighed wth Calvin in accepting, as he 
now did, Servetus' challenge. The day, the hour, 
the place — a house in the suburb of St. Antoine — 
were all agreed upon. Calvin was punctual to the 
engagement; but Servetus— why, was never known 
—did not appear." "We shall not forget," says 
Bungener, "when the time comes, the position into 
which the Spanish theologian had just thrust tlie 
leaders of the Reformation, and Calvin in particular. 
By selecting him for liis adversary on the question 
of the Trinity, upon which no variance existed be- 
tween Romanism and the Reformation, he, in a 
measure, constituted him the guardian of that doc- 
trine, and rendered liim responsilile for it before 
all Christendom. It was this responsibility which 
nineteen years aftenvards kindled the pile of 

Let us mark the state of Paris at the time of 
Calvin's visit. We have already had a glimpse 
into the interior of the palace, and seen what was 
going on there. Francis I. was trying to act two 
parts at once, to be " the eldest son of the Church," 
and the armed knight of the Reformation. He 
had gone in person to Marseilles to fetch the Pope's 
niece to the Louvre, he had sent William du 
Bellay to negotiate with the German Protestants ; 
not that he cared for the doctrines, but that he 
needed the arms of the Lutherans. Ajid, as if the 
King of France had really loved the Gospel, there 
was now a conference sitting in the Louvre con- 
cocting a scheme of Rofoi-m. Councils not a few had 
labovired to effect a Reformation of the Chiirch in 
its head and members ; but not one of them had 

1 Beza, Hist. Eglises Ri'f., torn, i., p. 9. 

- Allwoerden, Hist. Mkluielis Serveti, pp. 9, 29. 

3 Rid., p. 35. 

•1 Beza, VUa Calvini, and Hist. Eglises Ref., torn. i.,V-^- 

5 Bungener, Calvin: his Lt/e, &c., p. 34; Edin., 18<>3. 

succeeded. It will indeed be strange, we can hear 
men sajdng, if what Pisa, and Constance, and 
Basle fiiiled to give to the world, should at last 
proceed from the Lou-\Te. There were persons who 
really thought that this would happen. But Re- 
formations are not things that have their birth in 
royal cabinets, or emerge upon the world from 
princely gates. It is in closets where, on bended 
knee, the page of Scripture is searched with tears 
and gi-oans for the way of life, that these move- 
ments have their commencement. From the court 
let us turn to the people. 

We have already narrated the sudden turn of the 
tide in Paris in the end of 1533. During the 
king's absence at Marseilles the fieiy Beda was 
recalled from exile. His banishment had but in- 
flamed his wrath against the Protestants, and he 
set to work more vigorously than ever to effetrt 
then- suppression, and purge Paris from theii- 
defilement. The preachers were forbidden the pul- 
pits, and some three hundred Lutherans were 
thrown into the Conciergerie. Not content with 
these violent proceedings, the Parliament, in the 
beginning of 1534, at the instigation of Beda, 
passed a law denouncing death by burning against 
those who should be convicted of holding the new- 
opinions on the testimony of two witnesses." It 
was hard to say on whom tliis penalty might fall. 
It might drag to the stake Margaret's chaplain, 
Roussel ; it might strike down the learned men in 
the university— the lights of France— whom the 
king had assembled round him from other lands. 
But what mattered it if Lutheranism was extin- 
guished ? Beda was clamouring for a holocaust. 
Nevertheless, despite all this violence the evan- 
gelisation was not stopped. The disciples held 
meetings in their own houses, and by-and-by when 
tlie king returned, and it was found that he had 
thrown off tlie Romish fit with the air of Marseilles, 
the Protestants became bolder, and invited their 
neighbours and acquaintances to their re-unions. 
Such was the state in which Calvin found matters 
when he returned to Paris, most probably in the 
beginning of June, 1534. There was for the 
moment a calm. Protestant conferences were 
proceeding at the Louvre ; Beda could not pro- 
vide a -victim for the stake, and the Sorbonne was 
compelled meanwhile to be tolerant. The times, 
however, were very uncertain; the sky at any 
moment might overcast, and become black with 

Calvin, on entering Paris, turned into the Rue 

« Bueer to Blaarer. Strasburg MS , quoted by D An- 
bisue. Hist. Reform, m Europe, vol. ii., p. 308. 


St. Denis, and presented himself at the door of a 
worthy tradesman, La Forge by name, who was 
equally marked by his sterling sense and his 
genuine piety. This was not the first time that 
f 'alvin hafl lived under this roof, and now a warm 
welcome waited his retui-n. But his host, well 
knowing what was uppermost in his heart, 
cautioned him against any open attempt at evan- 
gelising. All, indeed, was quiet for the moment, 
but the enemies of the Gospel were not asleep ; 
there were keen eyes watching the disciples, and if 
left unmolested it was only on the condition that 
they kept silence and remained in the backgromid. 
To Calvin silence was agony, but he must respect 
the condition, however hard he felt it, for any 
infraction of it would be tantamoimt to setting up 
his own stake. Opportunities of usefulness, how- 
ever, were not wanting. He exhorted those who 
assembled at the house of La Forge, and he visited 
in their own dwellings the persons named to him 
as the friends of the Gospel in Paris. 

The evangelist showed much zeal and diligence 
in the work of visitation. It was not the mansions 
of the rich to which he was led ; nor was it men of 
rank and title to whom ho was introduced ; he met 
those whose hands were roughened and whose 
brows were furrowed by hard labour ; for it was 
now as at the beginning of Christianity, " not many 
mighty, not many noble are called, but God hath 
chosen the poor of this world." It is all the better 
that it is so, for Churches like States must be based 
upon the people. Not far from the sign of the 
" Pelican," at which La Forge lived, in the same Rue 
St. D6nis, is a shoe-maker's shop, which let us 
enter. A miserable-looking hunchback greets our 
eyes. The dwarfed, deformed, paralysed figure 
excites our compassion. His hands and tongue 
remain to him ; his other limbs are withered, and 
their power gone. The name of this poor creature 
is Bartholomew Jlillon. Bartholomew had not 
always been the pitiably mis-shapen object we now 
behold him. He was formerly one of the most 
handsome men in all Paris, and with the gifts of 
person he possessed also those of the mind.' But 
he had led a youth of boisterous dissipation. No 
gi-atification which his senses craved did he deny 
himself. Gay in disposition and impetuous in 
temper, he was the i-ing-leader of his companions, 
and was at all times equally ready to deal a blow 
with his powerful ai-m, or let fly a sarcasm with his 
sharp tongue. 

But a beneficent Hand, in the guise of disaster, 

' Creapin, Martyrol,, fol. 112, }ivzii. Hist. Egliscs Rej'., 
ton), i., p. 13. D'Aubign^, vol iii., p. 83. 

arrested Bartholomew in the midst of his mad 
career. Falling one day, he broke his ribs, and 
neglecting the needful remedies, his body shrunk 
into itself, and shrivelled up. The stately fonn 
was now bent, the legs became paralysed, and on 
the face of the cripple giim peevishness took the 
place of manly beauty. He could no longer mingle 
in the holiday sport or the street brawl. He sat 
enchained, day after day, in his shop, presenting to 
all who visited it the rueful spectacle of a poor 
deformed pai-alytic. His i>owers of mind, however, 
had escaped the blight which fell upon Iiis body. 
His wit was as sharp as ever, and it may be a little 
sharper, misfortune having soured his temper. The 
Protestants were especially the butt of his ridi- 
cide. One day, a Lutheran happening to pass 
before his shop, the bile of Millon was excited, and 
he forthwith let fly at him a volley of insults and 
scofis. Turning round to see whence the abuse 
proceeded, the eye of the passer-by lighted on the 
pitiful object who had assailed him. Touched with 
compassion, he went up to him and said, " Poor 
man, don't you see that God has bent your body in 
this way in order to straighten your souH"" and 
giving him a New Testament, he bade him read 
it, and tell him at an after-day what he thought 
of it. 

The words of the stranger touched the heart of 
the paralytic. Millon opened the book, and began 
to read. Arrested by its beauty and majesty, " he 
continued at it," says Crespin, " night and day." 
He now saw that his soul was even more deformed 
than his body. But the Bible had revealed to him 
a great Physician, and, believing in his power to 
heal, the man whose limbs were withered, but 
whose heart was now smitten, cast himself down 
before that gracious One. The Saviour had pity 
\ipon him. His soul was "straightened." The 
malignity and spite which had blackened and 
deformed it were cast out. " The wolf had become 
a lamb."^ He turned his shop into a conventicle, 
and was never weary of commending to others that 
Saviour who had pardoned sins so great and healed 
diseases so inveterate as his. The gibe and the 
scoflT were forgotten ; only words of loving-kindness 
and instruction now fell from him. Still chained 
to his seat he gathered round him the yoimg, and 
taught them to read. He exerted his skill in aii 
to minister to the poor; and his powers of persuasion 
he emjiloyed day after day to the reclaiuiing of those 
whom his former example had coriiij)ted, and the 
edification of such as he had scofl'ed at aforetime. 

- Crespin, Martyrol., fol. 113. 
^ D'Aubit'ue, vol. iii., p. 85. 



He had a fine voice, and many came from all pai-ts 
of Paris to liear him sing Marot's Psalms. " In 
sliort," says Crespin, "his room was a true school 
of piety, day and night, re-echoing with the glory 
of the Lord." 

Let us -sdsit another of these disciples, so humble 
iri station, yet so gi-and in character. Such men 
are the foundation-stones of a kmgdom's greatness. 
We have not far to go. At the entrance of the 
same Rue was a large shop in which John d>i 
Bourg carried on, imder the sign of the " Black 
Horse,"' the trade of a draper. Du Bourg, who 
was a man of substance, was very inde- 
pendent in his opinions, and liked to examine 
and judge of all things for himself He had 
imbibed the Reformed sentiments, although lie 
liad not associated much with the Protestants. 
He had gone, as his habit of mind was, directly to 
the Scriptures, and drawn thence his knowledge ot 
the truth. That water was all the sweeter to him, 
that he had drunk it fresh from the fountain. He 
did not hoard his treasure. He was a merchant, 
liut not one of all his wares did it so delight him to 
vend as this. " This fire," said his relations, " will 
soon go ovit like a blaze of tow." They were mis- 
taken. The priests scowled, his customera fell ofl", 
but, says the old chronicler, "neither money nor 
kindred could ever turn him aside from the 
truth." - 

It consoled Du Bourg to see otliers, wlio had 
drunk at the same spring, dra\ving around him. 
His shop was frequently visited by Peter Valeton, a 
receiver of Nantes.^ Valeton came often to Paris, 
the two chief attractions being the pleasure of con- 
versing with Du Bom-g, and the chance of picking 
up some writmg or other of the Reformers. He 
might be seen in the quarter of the booksellers, 
searching their collections; and, having found what 
he wanted, he would eagerly buy it, can-y it home 
under his cloak, and locking the door of his apart- 
ment, he would begin eagerly to read. His literary 
wares were deposited at the bottom of a large 
chest, the key of which lie carried always on his 
person.'' He was timid as yet, but he became more 
courageous afterwards. 

Another member of this little Protestant band 
was Le Compte, a disciple as well as fellow-towns- 
man of the doctor of Etaples, Lefevre. He had a 
knowledge of Hebrew, and to his power of reading 
the Scriptures in the original, he added a, talent for 

" Beza, Hisf. Egliscs Rcf., torn, i., p. 13. 
- Crespin, Martvrol, fol. 113, verso. 
^ Beza, Hist. Eglises Rcf., torn, i., p. 13. 
■* D'Auhignc, vol. iii., p. 87. 

exposition, which made him in no small measure 
useful in building up the little Chui'ch. The mem- 
berehip of that Church was farther diversified by 
tlie presence of a dark-visaged man, of considerable 
fame, but around whom there seemed ever to hover 
an air of mystery. This was Giulio Camillo, a 
native of Italy, whom Francis I. had invited to 
Paris. The Italian made trial of all knowledge, 
and ho had dipped, amongst other studies, into 
the cabalistic science ; and hence, it may be, the 
look of mystery which he wore, and which struck 
awe into those who approached him. Hearing 
of the new opinions, on his an-ival in France, he 
must needs know what they were. He joined him- 
self to the Protestants, and professed to love their 
doctrine ; biit it is to be feared that he was dra■\^^l 
to the Gosjjel as he would be to any other new 
thing, for when the time came that it was necessary 
to bear stronger testimony to it tlian by words, 
Camillo was not found in its ranks. 

Humbler in rank than any of the foregoing was 
Henry Poille, also a member of the infant Church 
of Paris. Poille was a bricklayer, from the neigh- 
bourhood of MeavLx. Around him there hung no 
veil, for he had not meddled with the dark sciences ; 
it was enough, he accounted it, to know the Gospel. 
He coidd not bring to it what he did not possess, 
riches and renown ; but he brought it something 
that recommended it even more, an undivided 
heart, and a steadfast courage ; and when the day 
of trial came, and others fled with their learning 
and their titles, and left the Gospel to sliift for it- 
self, Poille stood firmly by it. He had learned the 
truth from Bri9onnet ; but, followng a Greater as 
his Captam, when the bishop went back, the brick- 
layer went forward, though he saw before him in 
the near distance the lurid gleam of the stake. 

Besides these humble men the Gospel had made 
not a few converts in the ranks above them. Even 
in the Parliament there were senators who had 
embraced at heart that very Lutheranism against 
which that body had now recorded the punishment 
of death ; but the fear of an irate priesthood 
restrained them from the open confession of it. 
Nay, even of the priests and monks there were 
some who had been won by the Gospel, and who 
loved the Sa\'iour. Professors in the university, 
teachers in the schools, lawyers, merchants, trades- 
men — in short, men of every rank, and of all pro- 
fessions — swelled the nmnber of those who had 
abjured the faith of Rome and ranged themselves, 
more or less openly, on the side of the Refoi-mation. 
But the most part now gathered round the Pro- 
testant standard were from the humbler classe.'-'. 
Their contemporaries knew them not, at least till 



they saw them at the stake, and learned, with some 
little wonder and surjirise, what heroic though mis- 
guided men, as they thoiight them, had been living 
amongst them imknown ; and, as regards ourselves, 
we should never have heard their names, or learned 
aught of their history, but for the light which the 
(jospel sheds upon them. It was that alone which 
brought these humble men into view, and made 
them the heirs of an immortality of fanic even on 
earth ; for so long as the C'hnrch shall exist, and 
her mai-tyr-records continue to be read, their names, 
and the services they did, will be mentioned with 

Living at the house of La Forge, such were the 
men with whom Calvin came into almost daily con- 
tact. But not these only : others of a different 
stamp, whose inspiration and sentiments were drawn 
from another source than the Scriptures, did the 
future Reformer occasionally meet at the table of 
his host. The avowal of pantheistic and atheistic 
doctrines would, at times, di-op from the mouths 
of these suspicious-looking strangers, and startle 
Calvin not a little. It seemed strange that the 
still dawn of the evangelic day should be deformed 
by these lurid flashes ; yet so it was.' The sure 
forecast of Calvin divined the storms with which 
the future of Christendom was pregnant, unless 
the Gospel should anticipate and prevent their out- 
burst. We have already said that from the days of 
Abelard the seeds of communistic pantheis]n had 
begun to be scattered in Europe, and more especially 
in France. During the cold and darkness of the 
centuries that followed Abelard's time, these seeds 
had lain sUently in the frozen soil, but now the 
warm s])ring-time of the sixteenth century was 
bringing them above the surface. The tares were 
springing up as weU as the wheat. The quick eye 
of Calvin detected, at that early stage, the difference 
between the two growths, and the different fruits 

' Calvin makos special mention of Coppin from Lille, 
and Queutin from Hainault, who brought to the advocacy 
of tlieir cause an ignorance that did not suffer them to 
doubt, and an impudence that would not permit them to 
Musli. These pioneers of communism liked good living- 
better than hard work ; they made their bread by talking, 
as monks Vjy singing, though that talk had neither, says 
Calvin, " rhyme nor reason" in it, but was uttered oracu- 
larly, and captivated the simple. (Calvini 0pp., torn, viii., 
p. 370; Amatel., 1667.) 

that posterity woidd gather from them. He heard 
men, who had stolen to La Forge's table under 
colour of being favourers of the new age, avow it 
as their belief that all things were God — them- 
selves, the universe, all was God — and he heard 
them on that dismal ground claim an equally dismal 
immunity from all accountability for their actions, 
however wicked." From that time Calvin set him- 
self to resist these frightful doctrines, not less 
energetically than the errors of Rome. He felt 
that there was no salvation for Christendom save 
by the Gospel ; and he toiled yet more earnestly 
to erect this great and only breakwater. If, im- 
happily, others would not permit him, and if as a 
consequence the deluge has broken in, and some 
coimtries have been partially ovei-flowed, and others 
wholly so, it is not Calvin who is to blame. 

In the meantime Calvin quitted Paris, probably 
in the end of July, 1534. It is possible that he 
felt the air thick with impending tempest. But it 
was not fear that made him depart ; his spirit was 
weighed down, for almost cvei-y door of labour was 
closed meanwhile ; he could not evangelise, save a"; 
the risk of a stake, and yet he had no leisure to 
read and meditate froni the numbers of persons who 
were desirous to see and converse with him. He 
resohed to leave France and go to Germany, where 
he hoped to find " some shady nook,"' in which he 
might enjoy the quiet denied him in the capital of 
his native land. Setting out on horseback, ac- 
companied by Du Tillet, the two travellers reached 
Strasburg in safetj*. His departure was of God ; 
for hardly was he gone when the sky of Franco 
overcast, and the tempest came. Had Calvin been 
in Paris when the storm burst, he would most 
certainly have been numbered among its victims. 
But it was not the will of God that his career 
should end at this time and in this fashion. 
Humbler men were taken who could not, even had 
their lives been spared, have effected gi-eat things 
for the Reformation. Calvin, who was to spread 
the light o^■er the earth, was left. He served the 
cause of the Gospel by living, ihei/ by dying. 

- Inst. Adv. Libertin., cap. 15,16. CaXvini 0pp., torn, viii., 
p. 386. 

•■' " Relicta patria, in Germaniam concessi, ut in obscm-o 
.iliquo angulo abditus. quietediunegatafruerer." iCalvini 
0pp., torn, iii., Pra;f. ad Psalmos ; Amstel. ed.) 





Inconstancy of Francis— Two Paa-ties in the young French Church : the Teuiporisers and the Scripturalists— The 
Policy advocated by each — Their Differences submitted to Farel — The Judgment of the Swiss Pastors — The 
Placard— Terrific Denunciation of the Mass— Return of the Messenger — Shall the Placards be Published ?— Two 
Opinions — Ma;iority for Publication— Tlie Kingdom Placarded in One Night — The Morning— Surprise and Horror 
— Placai'd on the Door of the Royal Bed-chamber— Wrath of the King. 


We stand now on the tliresliold of an era of mar- 
tyi'doms. Francis I. had not hitherto been able to 
come to a decision on the important question of 
religion. This hour he tinned to the Reformation 

70 — VOL. IL 

in the hope that, should he put himself at its head, 
it would raise him to the supi'emacy of Europe; 
the next he turned away in disgust, offended by the 
holiness of the Gospel, or alarmed at the indepen- 



deuce of the Refoi-m. But an incident was about 
to take place, destined to put an end to the royal 

There were two parties hi the young Chiu-ch of 
France ; the one was styled the Temjiorisers, the other 
the I'icriptunduts. Both parties were sincerely de- 
voted to the Scriptural Refonn of their native laud, 
but in seeking to promote that great end the one 
liarty was more disposed to fix its eyes on men in 
jiower, and follow as they might lead, than the other 
thought it either dutiful or safe. The monarch, 
said the first party, is gro^ving every day more 
favourable to the Reformation ; he is at no pains 
to conceal the contempt he entertains, on the one 
hand, for the monks, and the favour he bears, on 
the other, to men of letters and progi-ess. Is not 
his minister, Du Bellay, negotiating a league with 
the Protestants of Germany, and have not these 
negotiations ah-eady borne fruit in the restoration 
of Duke Christopher to his dominions, and in an 
accession of political strength to the Reform ? Be- 
sides, what do we see in the Louvi-e? Coimcils 
assembling under the presidency of the king to 
discuss the question of the union of Christendom. 
Let us leave this great affair in hands so well able 
to guide it to a prosperous issue. We shall but 
spoil all by obtruding our counsel, or obstinately 
insisting on having our own way. 

The other party in the young Protectant Church 
were but little disposed to shape their poiicy by the 
wishes and maxims of the court. They did not 
believe that a monarch .so dissolute in his -manners, 
and so inconstant in his humours, would labour 
sincerely and steadfastly for a Reform of religion. 
To embrace the Pope this hour and the German 
Protestants the next, to consign a Romanist to tlie 
Conciergerie to-day and burn a Lutheran to-morrow, 
was no proof of impartiality, but of levity and 
passion. They built no hopes on the conferences 
at the Louvre. The attempt to unite the Reforma- 
tion and the Pope could end only in the destruction 
of the Gospel. The years were gliding away ; the 
Reformation of France tarried ; they would wait no 
longer on man. A policy bolder in tone, and more 
thoroughly based on principle, alone could lead, they 
thought, to the overthrow of the Papacy in Fi-auce. 

Divided among themselves, it was natural that 
the Protestants should turn their eyes outside of 
France for counsel that would unite them. Among 
the Reformers easily accessible, there was no name 
that carried with it inorc authority than that of 
Farel. He was a Frenchman; he understood, it 
was to be supjjosed, the situation better than any 
other, and he could not but feel the deejiest 
in a work which he himself, along with Lefevre, had 

commenced. To Farel they resolved to submit the 
question that divided them. 

They found a humble Chi-istian, Feret by name, 
willing to bo theii- messenger.' He depaited, and 
arriving in Switzerland, now the scene of Farel's 
laboui-s, he foimd himself in a new world. In all 
the towns and villages the altars were being de- 
molished, the idols cast down, and the Refonned 
woi-shij) was in course of being set up. How dif- 
ferent the air, the messenger coidd not but remark, 
■\\dthin the summits of the Jura, from that within 
the walls of Paris. It requii-ed no great forecast 
to tell what the answer of the S-\viss Reformers 
would be. They assembled, heard the messenger, 
and gave their voices that the Protestants of France 
should halt no longer; that they shoidd boldly 
advance ; and that they should notify their forward 
movement "by a vigorous blow at that which was 
the citadel of the Papal Empii-e of bondage — the 
root of that evil tree that overshadowed Chris- 
tendom — the mass. 

But the bolt had to be forged in Switzerland. It 
was to take the form of a tract or placard denun- 
ciatory of that institution which it was proposed Ijy 
this one terrible blow to lay in the dust. But who 
shall write it ^ Farel has been commonly credited 
with the authorshij) ; and the terrible energy, the 
trenchant eloquence, and burnmg scorn which 
breathe in the placards, Farel alone, it has been 
supposed, could have communicated to them.- It 
was no logical thesis, no dogmatic refutation which 
now proceeded from liis pen ; it was a torrent of 
scathing fire ; it was a thimderburst, fierce, terrific, 
and grand, resembling one of those tempests that 
gather in a^vful darkness on the summits of those 
mountains amid which the document was %\Titten, 
and finally explode in flashes wliich ii-radiate the 
whole heavens, and in volleys of soimd which shake 
the plains over which the awful reverberations are 

The paper was headed, " True Articles on the 
horrible, great, and intolerable Abuses of the Popish 
Mass ; invented in direct opposition to the Holy 
Supper of our Lord and only Mediator and Saviour 
Jesus Christ." It begins by taking " heaven and 
earth to witness against the mass, because the 
world is and will be by it totally desolated, ruined, 
lost, and undone, seeing that in it oui- Lord is 

' Felice, Hist. Prot. France, vol. i., p. 27. 

- Crespiu, the martyrologist, and Florimond Esemond, 
the Popish historian, attribute the authorship of the 
placards to Farel. Tlie latter, however, gives it as the 
cominon report : — " Fainoso libello a Farelo, ut creditur, 
eomposito," are his words. (Hist. HtWs., livi'. vii., cap. 5, 
Lat. ed.) Bungener says the author "has never been 
known." {Calvin, p. 35; Edin., 1863.) 



outrageously blasphemed, and the people blinded 
and led astray." After citing the testimony of 
Scripture, the belief of the Fathers, and the evi- 
dence of the senses against the dogma, the author 
goes on to assail with merciless and, judged by 
modern taste, coarse sarcasm the ceremonies which 
accompany its celebration. 

" What mean all these games 1" he asks ; " you 
play around your god of dough, toying with him 
like a cat with a mouse. You break him into 
three pieces .... and then you put on a 
piteous look, as if you were very sorrowful ; you 
beat your breasts .... you call liim the 
Lamb of God, and pray to him for peace. St. John 
showed Jesus Christ ever present, ever living, 
living all in one — an adorable truth ! but you show 
your wafer divided into pieces, and then you eat it, 
calling for something to drink. " The writer asks 
"these cope- wearers" where they lind "this big 
word Transubstantiation ?" Certainly, he says, 
not in the Bible. The inspired writers " called 
the bread and wine, bread and wine." " St. Paul 
does not say, Eat the body of Jesus Christ ; but, 
Eat this bread." "Yes, kindle your faggots," but 
let it be for the tiiie profaners of the body of 
Christ, for those who place it in a bit of dough, 
" the food it may be of spiders or of mice." And 
what, the writer asks, has the frait of the mass 
been? "By it," he answers, "the preaching of the 
Gospel is prevented. The time is occupied with 
bell-ringing, howling, chanting, empty ceremonies, 
candles, incense, disguises, and all manner of con- 
juration. And the poor world, looked upon as a 
lamb or as a sheep, is miserably deceived, cajoled, 
led astray — what do I say 1 — bitten, gnawed, and 
devoured as if by ravening wolves." 

The author winds up with a torrent of invec- 
tives directed against Popes, cardinals, bishops, anil 
monks, thus : — " Truth is wanting to them, truth 
terrifies them> and by truth will theii- reign be 
destroyed for ever." 

Written in Switzerland, where every sight and 
sound — the snowy peak, the gushing torrent, the 
majestic lake — speak of liberty and inspire cou- 
rageous thoughts, and with the crash of the falling 
altars of an idolatrous faith in the ears of the 
wiiter, these words did not seem too bold, nor the 
denunciations too tierce. But the author who 
wrote, and the other pastors who approved, did not 
suJBBciently consider that this terrible manifesto 
was not to be published in Switzerland, but in 
France, where a powerful court and a haughty 
priesthood were united to combat the Reformation. 
It might have been foreseen that a publication 
breathing a deliauce so fierce, and a hatred so 

mortal, could have but one of two results : it 
would carry the convictions of men by storm, and 
make the nation ablior and renounce the abomina- 
tion it painted in colours so frightful, and stigma- 
tised in words so burning, or if it failed in this 
— and the likelihood was that it would fail — it 
must needs evoke such a tempest of wrath as would 
go near to sweep the Protestant Church from the 
soil of France altogether. 

The document was printed in two forms, with a 
view to its being universally circulated. There 
were placards to be posted up on the walls of towns, 
and on the posts along the highway, and there were 
small slips to be scattered in the streets. This 
light was not to be put under a bushel ; it was to 
flash the same day all over France. The bales of 
printed matter were ready, and Feret now set out 
on his return. As he held his quiet way through 
the lo\'ely mountains of the Jura, which look down 
with an aii- so tranquil on .the fertile plains of 
Burgiuidy, no one could have suspected what a 
tempest travelled with him. He seemed the dove 
of peace, not the petrel of storm. He arrived in 
Paris without question from any one. 

Immediately on his arrival the members of the 
little Church were convened ; the paper was opened 
and read ; but the assembly was divided. There 
were Chiistians present who were not lacking in 
courage — nay, were ready to go to the stake — but 
who, nevertheless, shrunk from the responsibility 
of publishing a fulmination like this. France was 
not Switzerland, and what might be listened to with 
acquiescence beyond the Jura, might, when read at 
the foot of the throne of Francis I., bring on such 
a convulsion as would shake the nation, and buiy 
the Reformed Church in its owii ruins. Gentler 
words, they thought, would go deeper. 

But the majority were not of this mind. They 
were impatient of delay. France was lagging be- 
hind Germany, Switzerland, and other countries. 
Moreover, they feared the coimcils now proceeding 
at the Louvre. They had as their object, they 
knew, to unite the Pope and the Reformation, and 
they were in haste to launch this bolt, " forged on 
Farel's anvU," before so unhallowed a union should 
be consummated. In this assembly now met to 
deliberate about the placards were Du Bourg and 
]Millon, and most of the disciples whom we have 
mentioned in our former chapter. These gave their 
voices that the paper should be published, and m 
this resolution the majority conciu-red. 

The next step was to make arrangements to 
secure, if possible, that this manifesto should meet 
the eye of every man in France. The kingdom was 
divided into districts, and persons were told ofi' who 



were to undertake the hazardous work of posting 
lip, each in the quai-ter assigned him, this placard — 
the blast, it was hoped, before which the walls of 
tlie Papal Jericho in France would fall. A night 
was selected ; for clearly the work could be done 
only imder cover of the darkness, and equally clear 
was it that it must be done in one and the same 
night all over France. The night fixed on was that 
of the 24th October, 1.534.' 

The eventful night came. Before the morning 
should break, this ti-imif)et must be blown all over 
France. As soon as the dusk had deepened into 
something like darkness the distributors sallied 
forth ; and gliding noiselessly from street to street, 
and from lane to lane, they posted up the terrible 
placards. They displayed them on the walls of the 
Louvre, at the gates of the Sorbonne, and on the 
doors of the chm-ches. What was being done in 
Paris was at the same instant being transacted in 
all the chief towns — nay, even in the rural parts 
and highways of the kingdom. France had sud- 
denly become like the roll of the prophet. An in- 
visible finger had, from side to side, covered it with 
a ten-ible writing — with prophetic denunciations oi 
woe and ruin unless it repented in sackcloth and 
tm-ned from the mass. 

When morning broke, men awoke in city and 
village, and came forth at the doors of their houses 
to see this mysterious placard staring them in the 
fiice. Little groups began to gather roimd each 
paper. These groups speedily swelled into crowds, 
comprising eveiy class, lay and cleric. A few read 
witli approbation, the most vnth amazement, some 
with horror. The paper appeared to them an out- 

pouring of blasphemous sentiment, and they trembled 
lest it should draw do\vn upon the people of France 
some sudden and terrible stroke. Othei-s were 
transported with rage, seeing in it an open defiance 
to the Church, and an expre.ssion of measureless 
contempt at all that was held sacred by the nation. 
Frightful nmiours began to cii-culate among the 
masses. The Lutherans, it was said, had concocted 
a tei-rible conspiracy, they were going to set fire to 
the churches, and biu-n and massacre eveiy oue.-' 
The priests, though professing of course hon-or at 
the placards, were in reality not gi-eatly displeased 
at what had occurred. For some time they had 
been waiting for a pretext to deal a blow at the 
Protestant cause, and now a weapon such as they 
Tivished for had been put into their hands. 

Tlie king at the time was lining at the Castle of 
Blois. At an early hour Montmorency and the 
Cardinal de Tournon knocked at his closet door to 
tell him of the dreadful event of the night. As they 
were about to enter their eye caught sight of a 
paper posted up on the door of the royal cabinet. 
It was the placard put there by some indiscreet 
Protestant, or, as is more generally supposed, by 
some hostile hand. Montmorency and Toinnon 
tore it down, and carried it in to the king.^ The 
king gi-asped the paper. Its heading, and the 
audacity shown in posting it on the door of his 
private apartment, so agitated Francis that he was 
unable to read it. He handed it again to his cour- 
tiers, who read it to him. He stood pallid and 
speechless a little while; but at length his -wTath 
found vent in terrible words : " Let all be seized, 
and let Lutheranism be totally exterminated ! "■' 



Plan of Morin-The Betrayei—Pi-ocession of Corpus Christi-Ten'or of Paris-Imprisonment of the Protestants- 
Atrocious Designs attributed to them-Nemesis-Sentence of the Disciples-Execution of Bartholomew Millon 
-BurnmK of Du Bourg-Death of Poille-His Tortures-General Terror-Flifrht of Numbers-Eefugees of Rank 
-Queen of Navarre-Her Preachers-AU Ranks Flee-What France might have been, had she retained these 
Men — Prodigious Folly. 

Now it Wius that the storm burst. The king wrote his lieutenant-criminal, Jean Morin, to use expedi- 
summomng the Pariiament to meet, and execute tion in discovering and bringing to justice all in 
strict justice in the afiaii-. He fm-ther commanded any way suspected of having been concerned in the 

' According to the Jonnial (I'un Bourgeois de Paris, p. 410. 
Fontaine in his Histoire Catholique gives the 18th October. 
See D'Aubigue, vol. iii., p. 114. 

= Felice, Hist. Prot. France, vol. i., p. 28. 

^ Corp. Ref., ii., p. 85G. 

* Crespin, Mart. Beza, Hist. Ei'f. Eglises, torn, i., p. 10. 



business.' .Moriii, a man of profligate life, auda- 
cious, a thorough hater of the Protestants, and 
skilful in laying traps to catch them, needed not 
the increase of pay wluch the king promised him 
to stimulate his zeal. A few moments' thought and 
he saw how the tiling was to be done. He knew 
the man whose oflice it was to convene the Pro- 
testants when a re-imion was to be held, and he 
had this man, who was a sheath-maker by trade, 
instantly apprehended and brought before him. 
The lieutenant-criminal told the poor .sheath-maker 
he was perfectly aware that he knew every Luthe- 
ran in Paris, and that he must make ready and 
conduct him to their doors. The man slu-unk 
from the baseness demanded of him. Moiin coolly 
bade an attendant jn'epare a scaffold, and turning 
to his prisoner gave him his choice of being burned 
alive, or of pointing out to him tlie abodes of his 
brethren. Terrified by the horrible threat, which 
was abovit to be put in instant execution, the poor 
man became the betrayer.- The lieutenant-criminal 
now hoped at one throw of his net to enclose all 
the Lutherans in Paris. 

Under pretence of doing expiation for the affront 
which had been put upon the " Holy Sacrament," 
Moriii arranged a procession of the Corpus Christi.^ 
The houses in the line of the jjrocession were draped 
in black, and with slow and solemn j)ace fx'iar and 
priest passed along bearing the Host, followed by a 
crowd of incense-bearers and hymning choristers. 
The excitement thus awakened favoured the plans 
of the lieutenant-criminal. He glided through the 
streets, attended by his Serjeants and officei-s. The 
traitor walked before him. When he came opposite 
the door of any of his former brethren the sheath- 
maker stopjjed and, withoTit saying a word, made 
a sign. The officers entered tlie house, and the 
family were dragged forth and led away manacled. 
Alas, what a cruel as well as infamous task had 
this man imposed upon himself! Had he been 
walking to the scaffold, his joy would have grown 
at every step. As it was, eveiy new door he 
stopped at, and every fresh victim that swelled 
the procession which he headed, bowed lower his 
head in shame, and augmented that pallor ' of the 
face which told of the deep remorse preying at his 

Onwards went the procession, visiting all the 
quarters of Paris, the crowd of onlookers continually 
increasing, as did also the mournful train of victims 
which Morin and the traitor, as they passed along. 

' Laval., Hist. Reform. France, vol. i., p. 30. Beza, Hist. 
Reform. Bglises, torn, i., p. 10. 
- Beza, Hist. Reform. Eglises, torn, i., p. 10. 
° Journal d'unBourg., p. 44. D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 129. 

gathered up for the stake. The tidings that the 
lieutenant-criminal was abroad spread over the city 
like wild-fire. " Morin made all the city quake."^ 
This was the day of the " Reign of Terror." 
Anguish of spirit preceded the mai-ch of Moriii 
and his agents ; for no one could tell at whose door 
he might stop. Men of letters trembled as well as 
the Protestants. If fear marched before Morin, 
lamentation and cries of woe echoed in his rear. 

The disciples we have ah'eady spoken of — Du 
Bourg, the merchant ; Bartholomew MUlon, the 
paralytic ; Valeton, who was ever inquirmg after 
the writings of the Reformers; Poille, the bricklayer 
— and others of .higher rank, among whom were 
Roussel and Coiu-ault and Berthaud, the Queen of 
Navarre's preachers, were all taken in the net of 
the lieutenant-criminal, and drafted off to prison. 
Morin made no distinction among those suspected : 
his rage fell equally on those who had opposed and 
on those who had fa'^'oured the postmg up of the 
placards. Persons of l>oth sexes, and of various 
nationalities, were included among the multitude 
now lodged in prison, to be, as the lieutenant- 
criminal designed, at no distant day pi'oduced on 
the scaffold, a holocaust to the offended manes of 

The Parliament, the Sorbomie, and the priests 
were resolved to turn the crisis to the utmost ad- 
vantage. They must put an end to the king's 
commmiings with German and English heretics ; 
they must stamp out Lutheranism in Paris ; a rare 
chance had the untoward zeal of the converts thrown 
into their power for doing so. They must take care 
that the king's anger did not cool ; they must not 
he sparing in the matter of stakes ; every scaffold 
would be a Iwly altar, every victim a grateful 
sacrifice, to purify a land doubly polluted by the 
blasphemous placard Above all, they must main- 
tain the popular indignation at a white heat. The 
most alarming rumours began to cii-culate through 
Paris. To the Lutherans were attributed the most 
atrocious designs. They had conspired, it was said, 
to fire all the public buildings, and massacre all the 
Catholics. They were accused of seelcing to com- 
pass the death of the king, the overthrow of the 
monarchy, and the destniction of society itself. 
They meant to leave France a desert. So it was 
whispered, and these terrible rumours were gi'eedily 
listened to, and the mob shouted, " Death, death to 
the heretics !"* 

With reference to these charges that were now 
industriously circulated against the Protestants of 

■• Crespin, Martyrol., fol. 112. 

^ Calvini 0pp. Felice, Hist. Prot. France, vol. i., p. 28, 



riUiK, there was not a Lutliciiin who over mcdiliilcd 
such wickedness as this. Not a fragment of proof ot 
such designs lias ever been produced. Well ; three 
hundred years pass away, and Protestantism is all 
but suppressed in France. What happens ? Is the 
nation tranquil, and the throne stable f On the 
contraiy, from out the darkness there stands up a 
terrible society, wliicli boldly avows it as its mission 
to inflict on France tliose same atrocious designs 
which the disciples of the Gospel had Iteen falsely 
accused of entertaining. The bugbear of that day, 
conjured up by hypocrisy and bigotry, has become 
the menace of ours. The menace, do we say ? 
rather the actuality. We have seen the throne 
overturned, the blood of nobles and priests shed 
like water, the public monuments sinking in ashes, 
the incendiary's torch and the assassin's sword 
carrying ten-or from end to end of France, and 
society menaced with destruction. 

The several stages of the awful drama we are 
narrating followed each other in quick succession. 
On the 10th No^'ember, just a fortnight after their 
apprehension, were Millon, Du Bourg, PoUle, and 
the rest brought forth and presented before their 
judges. Fortliem there could be no other sentence 
than death, and tliat deatli could come in no other 
form than the terrible one of burning. Nor had 
they long to wait. Tln-ee short days and then the 
executions began ! The scaffolds were distributed 
over all the quarters of Paris, and the burnings fol- 
lowed on successive days, the design being to spread 
the terror of heresy by spreading the executions. 
The advantage however, in the end, remained with 
the Gospel. All Paris was enabled to see what 
kind of men the new opinions could produce. There 
was no pulpit like the martyr's pile. The serene 
joy that lighted up the faces of these men as tliey 
passed along, in then- wretched tumbril, to the 
place of execution, their lieroism as they stood 
amid the bitter flames, then- meek forgiveness of 
injuries, transformed, in instances not a few, anger 
into pity, and hate into love, and pleaded with re- 
sistless eloquence in behalf of the Gospel. 

Of this little band, the first to tread the road 
from the prison to the stake, and from the stake to 
the crown, was Bartholomew Millon. The perse- 
cutor, in selecting the poor paralytic for the first 
victim, hoped perhaps to throw an air of derision 
over the martyrs and their cause. It was as if he 
had said. Here is a specimen of the miserable crea- 
tures who are disturbing the nation by their new 
opinions : men as deformed in body as in mijid. 
But he had miscalculated. The dwarfed and dis- 
torted form of IMillon but brought out in bold relief 
his magnanimity of soul. The turnkey, wlien he 

entered his cell, lifted him up in his amis and placed 
him in the tiunbril. On his way to the place of 
execution he passed Ids father's door. He bade 
adieu witli a smile to his earthly abode, as one who 
felt himself standing at the threshold of his lieavenly 
home. A slow fire awaited him at the Greve, and 
the officer in command bade the fire be lowered still 
more, but lie bore the lingering tortures of this mode 
of death witli a courage so admirable that the Gospel 
had no reason to be ashamed of its martyr. None 
but words of peace dropped from his lips. Even 
the enemies who stood aromid his pile could not 
withhold their admiration of his constancy.' 

The following day the wealthy tradesman Du 
Bourg was brought forth to imdergo the same 
dreadful death. He was known to be a man of de- 
cision ; and hLs per.secutors set themselves all the 
more to contrive how they might shake his stead- 
fastness by multiplying the humiliations and 
tortures to which they doomed him before pei-mit- 
ting him to taste of death and depart. The tumbiil 
that bore him was stopped at Notre Dame, and 
there he was made a gazing-stock to the multitude, 
as he stood in front of the cathedral, with taper in 
hand, and a rope round his neck. He was next 
taken to tlie Rue St. Denis, in which his o^^^l house 
was situated, and there his hand was cut ofi" — the 
hand which had been busy on that night of bold 
but imprudent enterprise. He was finally taken 
to the Halles and burned alive. Du Bourg in 
death as in life was still the man of courage ; he 
shrunk from neither the shame nor the suflering, 
but was " steadfast unto the end." - 

Thi'ee days passed ; it was now the 1 Sth November, 
and on this day Poille, the bricklayer, was to die. 
His stake was set \ip in the Faubourg St. Antoine, 
in front of the Church of St. Catherine ; for it was 
the inhabitants of this tjuavter of Paris who were 
next to be taught to what a dreadful end heresy 
brings men, and yet with what a glorious hope and 
unconquerable courage it has the power to inspire 
them. Poille had learned the Gospel from BLshop 
Bricjonnet, but while the master had scandalised it 
by his weakness, the disciple was to glorify it by his 
steadfastness. He wore an air of triumph as he 
alighted from his cart at the place of execution. 
Cruel, very cruel was his treatment at the .stake. 
" My Lord Jesus Christ," he said, " reigns in heaven, 
and I am ready to fight for him to the last drop 
of my blood." " This confession of truth at the 
moment of pimishment," says D'Aubign^, quoting 
Crespin's description of tlie martyr's last moments, 

' Crespin, Martyrol., 43. 

- Joum. d'un Bowg.. p. 41."), D'Aubisriio, vol. iii., ji. 142. 



" exasperated the executioners. ' Wait a bit,' they 
said, ' we will stop your prating.' They sprang 
upon him, opened liis mouth, caught hold of his 
tongue, and bored a hole thi-ough it ; they then, with 
refined cruelty, made a slit in his check, through 
which they drew the tongue, and fastened it with 
an ii-on pin. Some cries were heard from the 
crowd at this most horrible spectacle ; they pro- 
ceeded fi'om the hmnble Christians who had come 
to help the poor bricklayer with their compas- 
sionate looks. PoUle spoke no more, but his eye 
still announced the peace he enjoyed. He was 
burnt alive."' 

For some time each succeeding day had its victim. 
Of these siiffei'ers there were some whose only crime 
was that they had printed and sold Luther's wi-it- 
ings ; it was not clear that they had embraced his 
sentiments ; their persecutors deemed them well 
deserving of the stake for simply having had a 
hand in cii'culating them. This indiscriminate 
vengeance, which dragged to a common pile the 
Protestants and all on whom the mere suspicion of 
Protestantism had fallen, spread a general terror in 
Paris. Those who had been seen at the Pi-otestant 
sermons, those who had indulged in a jest at the 
expense of the monks, but especially those who, in 
heart, although not confessing it with the mouth, 
had abandoned Rome and turned to the Gospel, felt 
as if the eye of the lieutenant-criminal was upon 
them, and that, at any moment, his step might be 
heard on their threshold. Paris was no longer a 
place for them ; every day and eveiy lioiir they 
tarried there, it was at the peril of being burned 
alive. Accordingly, they rose up and fled. It was 
bitter to leave home and country and all the de- 
lights of life, and go forth into exile, but it was less 
bitter than to surrender their hope of an endless 
life in the better country ; for at no less a cost could 
tliey escape a stake in France. 

A few days made numerous blanlvs in the society 
of Paris. Each blank represented a convert to the 
Gospel. When men began to look around then) 
and count these gaps, they were amazed to think 
how many of those among whom they had been 
living, and with whom they had come into daily 
contact, were Lutherans, but wholly imknown in 
that character till this affair brought them to light. 
Merchants vanished suddenly from their places of 
business ; tradesmen disappeared from their work- 
shops ; clerks were missing from the counting- 
house; students assembled at the usual hour, but 
the professor's chair was empty ; their teacher, not 
waiting to bid his pupils adieu, had gone forth, and 
was hastening towards some more friendly land. 

' Crespin, Martyrol., fol. 113, verso. D'Aubigne, iii. 143. 

The bands of fugitives now hurrying by various 
routes, and in various disguises, to the frontiers of 
the kingdom, embi-aced all ranks and all occupa- 
tions. The Lords of Roygnac and Roberval, of 
Fleuri, in Briere, were among those who were now 
fleeing their country and the wrath of their sove- 
reign. Men in government ofiices, and others high 
at court and near the person of the king, made 
the first disclosiu-e, by a hasty flight, that they had 
embraced the Gospel, and that they preferred it to 
place and emolument. Among these last was the 
privy pui-se-bearer of the king. Every hour 
brought a new surprise to both the friends and the 
foes of the Gospel. The latter hated it yet more 
than ever as a mysterious thing, possessing some 
extraordinary power over the minds of men. They 
saw with a sort of terror the numbers it had already 
captivated, and they had uneasy misgivings as to 
whereunto this affair would grow. 

Margaret wept, but the fear in wliich she stood 
of her brother made her conceal her tears. Hei 
three preachers — Roussel, Berthaud, and Coui'ault 
— had been thro'wn into prison. Shoidd she make 
supplication for them 1 Her enemies, she knew, 
wei'e labouring to inflame the king against her, 
and bring her to the block. The Constable Mont^ 
morency, says Brantume, told the kmg that he 
" must begin by his court and his neai-est relations," 
pointing at the Queen of Navarre, "if he had a mind 
to extirpate the heretics out of liis kingdom."- Any 
indiscretion or over-zeal, therefore, might prove 
fatal to her. Nevei"theless, she resolved on bra\-ing 
the king's wi'ath, if haply .she might rescue her 
friends from the stake. Bigotry had not quite 
quenched Francis's love for his sister ; the li^'es of 
her preachers were given her at her request ; but, 
with the exception of one of the three, theii- ser- 
vices to the Protestant cause ended with the day on 
which they were let out of prison. Roussel retired 
to his abbey at Clairac; Berthaud resumed his 
frock and his beads, and died in the cloister ; 
Courault contrived to make his escape, and timiing 
his steps toward Switzerland, he reached Basle, 
became minister at Orbe, and finally was a fellow- 
labourer with Calvin at Geneva. 

Meanwhile another, and yet another, i-ose up 
and fled, till the band of self-confessed and self- 
expatriated disciples of the Gospel swelled to be- 
between 400 and 500. Goldsmiths, engravers, 
notably prmters and bookbinders, men of all crafts, 
lawyers, teachers of youth, and even monks and 
priests were crowding the i-oads and by-ways of 
France, fleeing from the persecutor. Some went to 
Strasburg ; some to Basle ; and a few placed the 

s Laval., Hist. Biform. France, vol. i., p. 31. 



Aljjs between them and their native hind. Among 
these fugitives there is one who deserves special 
mention — Mathurin Cordier, the venerable school- 
master, who was the first to detect, and who so 
hirgely helped to develop, the wonderful genius of 
Calvin. MOlon and Du Bourg and Poille we have 
seen also depart ; but their flight was by another 
road than that which these fugitives were now 
treading in weariness and hunger and fear. They 
had gone whither the persecutor could not foUow 

The men who were now fleeing from France 
were the fii'st to tread a path which was to be 
trodden again and again by himdreds of thousands 
of their coimtrymen in years to come. During the 
following two centuries and a half these scenes 
were renewed at short intervals. Scarcely was 
there a generation of Frenchmen during that long 
jjeriod that did not witness the disciples of the 
Gospel fleeing before the insane fury of the perse- 
cutor, and carrying with them the intelligence, the 
arts, the industry, the order, in wliich, as a rule, 
they pre-eminently excelled, to enrich the lands in 
wliich they found an asylum. And in proportion 
as they replenished other coimtries with these good 
gifts did they empty their own of them. If all that 
was now driven away had been retained in France; 
if, during these 300 years, the industrial skill of tlie 

exiles had been cultivating her soil ; if, during these 
300 years, their artistic bent had been improving 
her manufactures ; if, dm'ing these 300 years, theii- 
creative genius and analytic power had been enrich- 
ing her literature and cultivating her science ; if their 
msdom had been guiding her councils, their bravery 
fighting her battles, their equity framing her laws, 
and the religion of the Bible strengthening the in- 
tellect and governing the conscience of her people, 
what a glory would at this day have encompassed 
France ! What a great, prosperous, and happy 
country would she have been ; in short, how unlike, 
in every particular, to what we now behold her. 
But a blind and inexorable bigotry chased from her 
soil every teacher of virtue, every champion of 
order, every honest defender of the throne ; it said 
to the men who would have made their comitry a 
" renoAvn and glory" in the earth. Choose which 
you will have, a stake or exile? At last the 
ruin of the State was complete ; there remained 
no more conscience to be proscribed ; no more 
religion to be dragged to the stake ; no more 
patriotism to be chased into banishment; revolu- 
tion now entered the morally devastated land, 
bringing in its train scaflfolds and massacres, and 
once more crowding the roads, and flooding the 
frontiei's of France with herds of miserable exiles ; 
only there was a change of victims. 



A Great Purgation Eesolvcd on — Preparations — Procession — Tlie Four Mendicants— Relics : the Head of St. Louis; 
the True Cross, &c. — Living Dignitaries— The Host— The King on Foot- His Penitence— Of what Sins does he 
Eepent ?— Tlie Queen — Ambassadors, Nobles, &c.— Homage of the Citizens — High Mass in Notre Dame— Speech of 
the King — The Oath of the King — Eeturn of Procession — Apparatus of Torture — Martyrdom of Nicholas Valeton 
— More Scaffolds and Victims— The King and People's Satisfaction — An Ominous Day in the Calendar of France — 
The 21st of January. 

As yet we have seen only the beginning of the 
tragedy ; its more awful scenes are to follow. 
Numerous stakes had already been planted in 
Paris, but these did not slake the vengeance of the 
persecutor ; more victims must be immolated if 
expiation was to be done for the afiront ofl'ered to 
Heaven in the matter of the placards, and more 
blood shed if the land was to be cleansed from the 
frightful pollution it had undergone. Such was 
the talk which the priests held in presence of the 

king.' They reminded him that this was a crisis 
in France, that he was the eldest son of the Church, 
that this title it became liim to preseiwe unsul- 
lied, and transmit with honour to his posterity, 
and they urged him to proceed with all due rigour 
in the performance of those bloody rites by wluch 
his throne and kingdom were to be purged. 

1 Chroniqve du Roi Franrois I., p. 113, quoted by D'Au- 
bigne, vol. iii., p. 149. 



Francis I. was but too willing to obey. A grand 
procession, which was to be graced by bloody 
interludes, was arranged, and the day on which it 
was to come off was the 21st of January, l.'JS.?. 
The horrors which \vill make this day famous to 
all time were not the doings of the king alone ; 
they were not less the acts of the nation which by 
its constituted representatives countenanced the 
ceremonial and put its hand to its ciiiel and 
sanguinary work. 

The day fixed on arrived. Great crowd.s from 
the country began to pour into Paris. In the city 
great preparations had been made for the spectacle. 
The houses along the line of march were hung with 
mourning drapery, and altars rose at intervals 
where the Host might repose as it was being borne 
along to its final resting-place on the high altar of 
Notre Dame. A throng of sight-seers filled the 
streets. Not only was every inch of the pavement 
occupied by human beings, but every door-step had 
its little gi'oup, every wndow its cluster of faces ; 
even the roofs were black with on-lookers, perched 
on the beams or hanging on by the chimneys. 
" There was not," says Simon Fontaine, a chronicler 
of that day, and a doctor of the Sorbonne, " the 
smallest piece of wood or stone, jutting out of the 
walls, on which a spectator was not perched, pro- 
vided there was but room enough, and one might 
have fancied the streets were paved with human 
heads."' Though it was day, a lighted taper was 
stuck in the front of every house " to do reverence 
to the blessed Sacrament and the holy relics." - 

At the early honr of six the procession marshalled 
at the Louvre. First came the banners and crosses 
of the several parishes ; next appeared the citizens, 
walking two and two, and bearing torches in their 
hands. The four Mendicant orders followed ; the 
Dominican in his white woollen gown and black 
cloak ; the Franciscan in his gown of coarse brown 
cloth, half-shod feet, and truncated cowl covering 
his shorn head ; the Capucliin in his funnel-shaped 
cowl, and patched brown cloak, girded with a 
white three-knotted rope ; and the Augustine with 
a little round hat on his shaven head, and wide 
black gown girded on the loins with a broad sash. 
After the monks walked the priests and canons of 
the city. 

The next part of the procession evoked, in no 
ordinary degree, the interest and the awe of the 
spectators. On no former occasion had so many 
relics been paraded on the streets of Paris.^ In 

the van of the procession was earned the head of 
St. Louis, the patron saint of Fi'ance. There 
followed a bit of the true cross, the real crown of 
thorns, one of the nails, the swaddling clothes in 
which Christ lay, the purple robe in which he was 
attired, the towel with which he girded himself at 
the last sup])er, and the spear-head that pierced his 
side. Many saints of former times had sent each a 
bit of himself to grace tlie procession, and noiiribh 
the devotion of the on-lookers — some an arm, some 
a tooth, some a finger, and others one of the many 
heads which, as it would seem, each had worn in 
his lifetime. This goodly array of saintly relics was 
closed by the shrine of Genevieve, the patron saint 
of Paris, borne by the corporation of butchers, who 
had prepared themselves for this holy work by the 
jjurification of a thi-ee days' fast.'' 

After the dead members of the Church, whose 
relics were enshrined in silver and gold, came a 
crowd of living dignitaiies, in then- robes and the 
insignia of their ecclesiastical rank. Cardinal and 
abbot, archbishop and bishop were there, in the 
glory of scarlet hat and purple gown, of cope and 
mitre and crozier. Now came the heart of this 
grand show, the Host ; and in it the spectators 
saw One mightier than any dead saint or living 
dignitary in all thatjgreat procession. The Host 
was carried by the Bishop of Paris under a magni- 
ficent canopy, the four pillars of which were 
supported by four princes of the lilood — the three 
sons of the king, and the Duke of Vendome. 

After the Host walked the king. The se^ era 
plainness of his dress was m marked and studied 
contrast to the magnificence of the robes in which 
the ecclesiastics that preceded and the civic fimc- 
tionaries that followed him were arrayed. Francis I. 
on that day wore no crown, nor robe of state, nor 
was he borne along in chariot or litter. He ap- 
peared walking on foot, his head uncovered, his 
eyes cast on the gromid, and in his hand a lighted 
taper.^ The king was there in the character of a 
penitent. He was the chief mourner in that great 
national act of humiliation and repentance. He 
mourned with head bowed and eyes cast down, but 
with heart unl)roken. For what did Francis I., 
monarch of France, do penance ^ For the debauch- 
ei'ies that defiled his palace 1 for the righteous blood 
that stained tlie sti'eets of his capital 1 for the 
violated oaths by which he had attempted to over- 
reach those who trusted him at home, and those 
who were transacting with liim abroad ? No ; these 

' Felice, vol. i., p. 29. 

2 Chronique du Boi Franrois I., p. HI. 

» Felice, vol. i., p. 30. 

< Felice, vol. i., p. 30. D'Aubigne, vol. iii., pp. 152—154. 
' Garnier, Uisl. dc France, xxiv., p. 650. D'Aubigne, 
vol. iii., p. 15Ji. 



■were venial offences ; they were not worth a thought 
on the part of the monarch. The King of France 
did penance for the all but inexpiable crime of his 
Protestant subjects in daring to attack the mass, 
and pubHsh in the face of all France theii- Protest 
against its blasphemy and idolatry. 

The end of the procession was not yet ; it still 
swept on, at slow pace, and in moiu-ufiil silence, 
save when some penitential chant rose upon the air. 
Behind the king walked the queen; she was fol- 
lowed by all the members of the court, by the 
ambassadors of foreign sovereigns, by the nobles 
of the realm, by the members of Parliament in 
their scarlet robes, by judges, officers, and the guilds 
of the various trades, each with the symbol of 
jjenitence in his hand, a lighted candle. The mili- 
tary guard could 'with difficulty keep open the way 
for the jDrocession through the dense crowd, which 
pressed forward to touch some holy relic or kiss 
some image of saint. They lined the whole route 
taken by the processionists, and did homage on 
bended knee to the Host as it passed them.' 

The long jjrocession rolled in at the gates of 
Notre Dame. The Host, which had been carried 
thither with so much solemnity, was placed on the 
high altar; and a solemn mass proceeded in the 
presence of perhaps a more brilliant assemblage 
than had ever before been gathered into even the 
great national temjjle of France. When the cere- 
mony was concluded the king returned to the 
bishop's palace, where he dined. After dinner he 
adjourned with the whole assembly to the great 
hall, where he ascended a throne which had been 
fitted up for the occasion. It was understood that 
the kmg was to pronounce an oration, and the 
•assembly kept silence, eager to hear what so august 
a speaker, on so great ^n occasion, would say. 

The king presented himself to his subjects with a 
sorrowful countenance ; nor is it necessary to sup- 
pose that that sorrow was feigned. The aflaii- of 
the placards thi-eatened to embroil him with both 
friend and foe ; it had crossed his political projects ; 
and we can believe, moreover, that it had shocked 
his feelings and beliefs as a Roman Catholic; for 
there is little ground to think that Francis had 
begun to love the Gospel, and the looks of sadness 
in which he showed himself to hLs subjects were 
not wholly counterfeited. 

The speech which Francis I. delivered on this 
occasion — and several reports of it have come down 

' This procession has been described by several French 
cliroiuclers— among others, Plorimond EEemond, Bist. 
Ht'r^s., ii. 229; Journal d'linBourcieois de Paris ; Fontaine, 
Hist. Catholique } Maimbourg; and the CTirojiijue du Roi 
Fronjois I. 

to us — was touching and eloquent. He dwelt on 
the many favoru-s Providence had conferred on 
France ; her enemies had felt the weight of her 
sword ; her friends had had good cause to rejoice 
in her alliance ; even when punished for her faults 
great mercy had been mingled with the chastise- 
ment ; above all, what an honour that France should 
have been enabled to persevere these long centuries 
in the path of the Holy Catholic faith, and had so 
nobly worn her glorious title the " Most Christian." 
But now, continued the king, she that has been 
presei'ved hitherto from straying so little, seems on 
the point of a fatal plunge into ; her soil 
hcis begun to produce monsters ; " God has been 
attacked in the Holy Sacrament," France has 
been dishonoured in the eyes of other nations, and 
the cloud of the Divine displeasm-e is darkening 
over her. " Oh, the crime, the blasphemy, the 
day of sorrow and disgrace I Oh, that it had ne's'er 
dawned upon us ! " 

These moving words drew tears from nearly all 
present, says the chronicler who reports the scene, 
and who was probably an eye-witness of it.- Sobs 
and sighs biu-st from the assembly. After a pause 
the king resumed : " What a disgrace it will be if 
we do not extirpate these wicked creatures ! If you 
know any person infected by this i)erverse sect, be 
he your jsarent, brother, cousin, or connection, give 
information against him. By concealing his mis- 
deeds you will be partakei-s of that pestUeut fac- 
tion." The assembly, says the chronicle, gave 
numerous signs of assent. " I give thanks to God," 
he resumed, "that the greatest, the most learned, 
and undoubtedly the majority of my subjects, and 
especially in this good city of Paris, are full of zeal 
for the Catholic religion." Then, says the chronicle, 
you might have seen the faces of the spectators 
change in appearance, and give signs of joy ; ac- 
clamations prevented the sighs, and sighs choked 
the acclamations. " I warn you," contmued the 
king, " that I ^vill have the said errors expelled and 
driven from my kingdom, and will excuse no one." 
Then he exclaimed, says our historian, with extreme 
anger, "As true. Messieurs, as I am yoiu- king, if I 
knew one of my own limbs spotted or infected 
with this detestable rottenness, I would give it you 
to cut off. . . . And farther, if I saw one of my 
cliildren defiled by it, I would not spare him. . . . 
I would deliver him up myself, and would saci-ifice 
him to God."" 

The king was so agitated that he was unable to 
proceed ; he burst into tears. The assembly wejit 
with him. The Bishop of Paris and the provost of 

- Chronique du Eoi Francois I. 

Ibid., p. 125. 



the merchants now approached the monarch, and 
kneeling before him swore, the first in the name of 
the clergy, and the second in that of the citizens, 
to make war against heresy. " Thereupon all the 
spectators exclaimed, with voices broken by sobbing, 
' We will live and die for the Catholic religion! ' "' 

wei'e to mark every step of the way back to the 
Louvre, but Francis and his courtiei's were to gaze 
with pitiless eye and heart on these horrors. 

The procession in returning made a circuit by 
the Church of Genevieve, where now stands the 
Pantheon. At shoi-t distances scaffolds hinl been 

MM( MIT Ol ^MOT-N Al TFU^^ Mills QI I J N Oh N ^^ MIUF 

(From Uic Toil, Id n lo L, ui di^ ruMtiiu ii^ 1 , ni,, fi^ d Wlebdt, I P G J yul ) 

Having sworn this oath in Notre Dame — the 
very roof under which, three centiuies after, the 
Goildess of Reason sat enthroned — the assembly re- 
formed and set forth to begin the war that very 
hour. Their zeal for the " faith " was rnflamed to 
the utmost ; Ijut they were all the better prejjaied 
to wtness the dreadfid sights that awaited them. A 
terrible programme had been sketched out ; horrors 

D'Aubijiiii', vol. iii., p. 161. 

erected on which certain Protestant Christians 
were to be burned alive, and it was arranged that 
the faggots should be lighted at the moment the 
king approached, and that the procession should 
halt to witness the execution. The men set ajmrt 
to death were first to undergo prolonged and ex- 
cruciating tortures, and for this end a most ingenious 
but cruel ajiparatus had been devised, which let us 
describe. Fiivst rose an upright beam, firmly [ilanted 
in the ground ; to that another beam ^\•as attached 



crosswise, and worked by a pulley and string. The 
martyi" was fastened to one end of the movable 
beam by his hands, which were tied behind his 
back, and then he was raised in the air. He was 
next let down into the slow fire underneatli. After 
a miiuite or two's broiling he was raised again, and 

suffer are repeated aloud. But when any one is 
executed for Lutheranism, as they call it — that is, 
if any per.sou hath disputed for justification by 
faith, not by works, that the saints are not to be 
invocated, that Christ is the only Priest and Inter- 
cessor for mankind ; or if a man has ha])pened to 

a second time let drop into the fire ; and thus was 
lie raised and lowered till the ropes that fastened 
him to the pole were consumed, and he fell amid 
the burning coals, where he lay till he gave up the 
ghost.' " The custom in France," says Sleidan," 
describing these cruel tragedies, " is to put male- 
factors to death in the afternoon ; where first 
silence is cried, and then the crimes for which they 

1 Sleidan, bk. is., p. 175. 
71 VOL. I» 

= Ibid ,h\Ay..,v- 178. 

eat flesh upon forbidden days ; not a syllable of all 
this is published, but in general they cry that he 
hath renounced God Almiglity . . . and violated 
the decrees of our common mother. Holy Church. 
This aggravating way makes the vulgar believe such 
persons the most profligate wi-etches under tlie cope 
of heaven ; insomuch that when they are broiling in 
the flame, it is usual for the people to storm at them, 
cursing them in the height of their torments, as if 
they were not worthy to tread upon tlie eiirth." 



The first to be brought forth was Nicholas 
Valeton, the Christian whom we have already 
mentioned as frequently to be seen searching the 
innermost recesses and nooks of the booksellers' 
shops in quest of the writings of the Reformers. 
Tlie priests offered him a pardon provided he 
woiild recant. " My faith," he replied, " has a con- 
fidence in God, which will resist all the powers of 
hell."' He was dealt with as we have already de- 
scribed ; tied to the beam, he was alternately raised 
in the air and lowered into the flames, tUl the cords 
giving way, there came an end to his agonies. 

Other two martp-s were brought forward, and 
tliree times was this cruel sport enacted, the king 
and all the members of the procession standing by 
the while, and feasting their eyes on the torments 
of the sufferers. The King of France, like the 
Roman tyrant, wished that his \ictims should feel 
themselves die. 

This was on the road between the Church of 
Genevieve and the Louvre. The scene of this 
tragedy, therefore, could not be very far from the 
spot where, somewhat more than 2.50 years after, 
the scaffold was set up for Louis XVI., and 2,800 
other victims of the Revolution. The spectacles of 
the day were not yet closed. On the line of march 
the lieutenant-criminal had prepared other scaffolds, 
where the cruel ajiparatus of death stood waiting its 
prey ; and before the procession reached the Louvre, 
there were more halts, more victims, more expia- 
tions ; and when Francis I. re-entered his palace 
and reviewed his day's work, he was well pleased to 
think that he had made propitiation for the affront 
offered to God in the Sacrament, and that the cloud 
of vengeance which had lowered above his throne 
and his kingdom was rolled away. The priests 
declared that the triumph of the Church in 
France was now for ever secured ; and if any 
there were among the spectators whom these cruel 
deaths had touched with pity, by neither word nor 
sign dared they avow it. Tire jjopulace of the 
capital were overjoyed; they had tasted of blood 
and were not soon to forego their relish for it,'-' 
nor to care much in after-times .-it whose ex])ense 
they gratified it. 

As there are events so like to one another in 
their outward guise that they seem to be the same 
repeated, so there are days that appear to return 
over again, inasmuch as they come laden with the 
same good or evil fortune to which they had as it 

' Crespin, Martyrol. 

- D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 165. 

were been consecrated. Every nation has such 
days. The 21 st of Jamuiry is a noted and ominous 
day in the calendar of France. Twice has that 
day summoned up spectacles of horror ; twice has 
it seen deeds enacted which have made France 
and the world shudder ; and twice has it inau- 
gurated an era of woes and tragedies which stand 
■\vithout a parallel in history. Tlie first 21st of 
January is that whose tragic scenes we have just 
described, and which opened an era that ran on till 
the close of the eighteenth century, during which 
the disciples of the Gospel in Finance were pining 
in dimgeons and in the galleys, were enduring cap- 
tivity and fiimine, were expiring amid the flames 
or dying on the field of battle. 

The second notable 21st of January came i-ound 
in 1793. This day had, too, its procession through 
the sti-eets of Paris ; again the king was the chief 
figiu'e ; again there were tumult and shouting ; again 
there was heard the cry for more victims ; again 
there were black scaffolds ; and again the scenes of 
the day were closed by horrid executions ; Louis 
XVI., struggling hand to hand with liis gaolers 
and executioners, was dragged forward to the block, 
and there held down by main force till the axe 
had fallen, and his dissevered head rolled on the 

Have we not witnessed a thii-d dismal 21st of 
January in France 1 It is the winter of 1870 — 71. 
Four months has Paris sufi'ered siege ; the famine 
is sore in the city ; the food of man has disappeared 
from her luxurious tables ; her inhabitants raven- 
ously devour unclean and abominable things — the 
vermin of the sewers, the putrid carcasses of the 
streets. Within the city, the inhabitants are pining 
away with cold and hunger and disease ; without, 
the sword of a victorious foe awaits them. Paris 
will rouse her.self, and break through the circle 
of fire and steel that hems her in. The attemjit is 
made, but fails. Her soldiers are driven back before 
the victorious German, and again are cooped up 
within her miserable walls. On the 21st of January, 
1871, it was resolved to capitulate to the conqueror. 
On that day France stepped down from the posi- 
tion which it had been the boast of her sons that 
she hail long held as the first military Power in 

Well may France say of this day, " Let darkness 
and the shadow of death stain it ; let a cloud dwell 
upon it . . . let it not be joined to the davs 
of the year ; Irt, it not come into the number of the 





Glory of the Sufferers-Francis I. again turns to the German Protestants— Tliey Shrink back— His Doublings- New 
Persecuting Edicts— Departure of the Queen of Navarre from Paris— New Day to Beam— Calvin— Strasburg— 
Calvin arrives there— Bucer, Capito, &c.— Calvin Dislikes their Narrowness— Goes onto Basle— Basle— Its Situation 
and Environs— Soothing Effect on Calvin's Mind— His Interview with Erasmus— Erasmus "Lays the Egg"— 
Terrified at what Comes of it— Draws back— Calvin's Enthusiasm— Erasmus' Prophecy— Catherine Klein— First 
Sketch of the Institutes— "Wha.t led Calvin to undertake the Work— Its Sublimity, but Onerousness. 

We described in our last chapter the explosion that 
followed the publication of the manifesto against 
the mass. In one and the same night it was 
placarded over great part of France, and when the 
morning broke, and men came forth and read it, 
there were consternation and anger throughout the 
kingdom. It proclaimed only the truth, but it was 
truth before its time in France. It was a bolt flung 
at the mass and its believers, which might silence 
and crush them, but if it failed to do this it would 
rouse them into fury, and provoke a terrible retalia- 
tion. It did the latter. The throne and the whole 
kingdom had been polluted ; the Holy Sacrament 
blasphemed ; the land was in danger of being 
smitten with terrible woes, and so a public atone- 
ment was decreed for the public oft'ence which had 
been offered. Not otherwise, it pleased the king, 
his prelates, and his nobles to think, could France 
escape the wrath of the Most High. 

The terrible rites of the day of expiation wo 
have already chronicled. Was the God that France 
worshipped some inexorable and remorseless deity, 
seeing she propitiated him with human sacrifices ? 
The tapers carried that day by the penitents who 
swept in long jjrocession through the streets of the 
capital, blended their lights witli the lurid glare of 
the fires in which the Lutherans were burned ; and 
the loud chant of priest and chorister rose amid no 
cries and sobs from the victims. These noble men, 
who were now dragged to the burning pile, uttered 
no cry ; they shed no tear ; that were a weakness 
that would have stained the glory of their saci'ifice. 
They stood with majestic mien at the stake, and 
looked with calmness on the tortures their enemies 
had prepared for them, nor did they blanch when 
the flames blazed up around them. The saci'ifice of 
old, when led to the altar, was crowaied vnth gar- 
lands. So it was with these raartyi-s. They came to 
the altar to offer up their lives ci-owned with the 
garlands of joy and praise. Their faith, their 
courage, their reliance on God when suff'ering in 
his ca\ise, then- vivid anticipations of future glory, 
were the white robes in which they dressed them- 

selves when they ascended the altar to die. France, 
let us hope, will not always be ignorant of her true 
heroes. These have shed around her a renown 
purer and brighter, a hundi-ed times, than all the 
glory she has earned on the battle-field from the 
davs of Francis I. to those of Napoleon. 

Hardly had Francis I. concluded his penitential 
procession when he again turned to the Protestant 
princes of German}', and attempted to resume ne- 
gotiations with them. They not unnaturally asked 
of him an explanation of his recent proceedings. 
Why so anxious to coiu-t the favour of the Protes- 
tants of Germany when he was burning the Pro- 
testants of France "! Were there two true faiths in 
the world, the creed of Rome on the west of the 
Rhine, and the religion of Wittemberg on the east 
of that river ? But the king was ready with his 
excuse, and his excuse was that of almost all 
persecutors of every age. The king had not been 
burning Lutherans, but executing traitors. If those 
he had put to death had imbibed Reformed sen- 
timents, it mas not for their religion, but for their 
sedition that they had been punished. Such was 
the excuse which Francis gave to the German 
princes in Ids letter of the 1.5th of February. " To 
stop this plague of disloyalty from spreading, he 
piuiished its originators severely, as his ancestors 
had also done in like cases. "^ He even attempted 
to induce Melanothon to take up his abode in Paris, 
where he would have received him with honoiu", 
and bm-ned him a few months thereafter. But 
these untruths and doublings availed Francis little. 
Luther had no faith in princes, least of all had he 
faith in Francis I. Melancthon, anxious as he was 
to pi'omote conciliation, yet refused to enter a city 
ou the streets of which the ashes of the fires in 
which the disciples of Christ had been burned were 
not yet cold. And the Protestant princes, though 
desirous of strengthening their political defences, 
nevertheless shrunk back from a hand which they 
saw was red with the blood of theii' brethren. The 

1 Sleidan, bk. ii., p. 179. 



situation in France began to be materially altered. 
The king's disposition had undergone a change for 
the worse ; a gloomy determination to crush heresy 
liad taken possession of him, and was clouding his 
better qualities. The men of letters who had shed 
a lustre upon his court and realm were beginning 
to withdraw. They were tenified by the stakes 
which they saw around them, not knowing but that 
their tm-n might come next. The monks were 
again looking up, which augiu-ed no good for the 
interests of learning. Not content ynth the execu- 
tions of the terrible 21st of January, the king con- 
tinued to issue edicts against the sect of "Lutherans 
still swarming in the realm ;" he wrote to the pro- 
viiacial parliaments, exhorting them to furnish 
money and prisons for the extirpation^ of heresy ; 
lastly, he indited an ordinance declaring jmnting 
abolished all over France, under pain of the gallows.^ 
That so barbarous a deci-ee should have come from 
a prince who gloried in being the leader of the 
literary movements of his age, wovild not have been 
credible had it not been narrated by historians of 
name. It is one among a hundred proofs that 
literary culture is no security against the spirit 
of per.secution. 

Of those who now -withdrew from Paris was 
Margaret of Valois, the king's sister. We have 
seen the hopes that she long and ardently cherished 
that her brother would be won to the Reformation ; 
but now that Francis I. had cast the die, and sealed 
his choice by the awful deeds of blood we have 
naiTated, Margaret, abandoning all hope, quitted 
Paris, where even the palace could hardly protect 
her from the stake, and retii-ed to her own kingdom 
of Beam. Her departure, and that of the exiles 
who had preceded her, if it was the beginning of 
that social and industrial decadence which ever 
since has gone on, amid many deceitful appearances, 
in France, was the dawn of a new day to Beam. 
Her court became the asylum of the persecuted. 
Many refugee families transported their industry 
and their fortune to her provinces, and the pros- 
pei'ity which had taken a long adieu of France, 
began to enrich her little kingdom. Soon a new 
face appeared upon the state of the Bearnais. The 
laws were refonned, schools were opened, many 
branches of industry were imported and very suc- 
cessfully cultivated, and, in short, the foimdations 
were now laid of that remarkable prosperit}- which 
made the little kingdom in the Pyrenees resemlile 
an oasis amid the desert which France and Spain 

' Sulletin de la SocieU de la Hisioire du Protestantisme, 
Franks I., p. 828— D'Aubijjn^, vol. iii., p. 167. 
2 Sismondi, Hist, dcs Francois, xvi., p. 455. 

were now beginning to become. When Margaret 
went to her grave, in 1549, she left a gi-eater to 
succeed her in the government of the little ter- 
ritory which had so rapidly risen from nideness 
to wealth and civilisation. Her daughter, Jeanne 
d'Albret, is one of the most illustrious women in 

We return to Calvin, in the track of whose foot- 
steps it is that the great movement, set for the 
I'ising of this kingdom and for the fall of that, is to 
be sought. He now begins to be by verj^ much the 
chief tigure of his age. Francis I. with his court, 
Charles V. with his armies, are powers more im- 
posing but less real than Calvin. They pass across 
the stage with a gi-eat noise, but half-a-century 
afterwards, when we come to examine the traces 
they have left behind them, it is with difficulty that 
we can discover them ; other kings and other armies 
are busy elfacing them, and imprinting their own 
in their room. It Ls Calvin's work that endures and 
goes forward with the ages. We have seen him, a 
little before the bursting of the storm, leave Paris, 
nevermore to enter its gates. 

Setting out in the direction of Germany, and 
travelling on horseback, he arrived in due course at 
Strasburg. Its name, "the City of the Highways," 
sufficiently indicates its position, and the part it 
was expected to play in the then system of Europe. 
Strongly fortified, it stood like a mailed warrior at 
the point where the great roads of Northern Europe 
intersected one another. It was the capital of 
Alsace, which was an independent ten-itory, thro^vn 
in as it were, in the interests of peace, between 
Eastern and Western Europe, and therefore its 
fortifications were on purpose of prodigious strength. 
As kings were rushing at one another, now pushing 
eastward from France into Germany, and now 
rushing across the Rhine from Germany into France, 
eager to give battle and redden the earth with 
blood, this man in armour — the City of the High- 
ways, namely — who stood right in their path com- 
pelled them to halt, until their anger might perhaps 
cool, and peace might be maintained. 

A yet more friendly office did Stni-sburg discharge 
to the persecuted children of the Reformation. Being 
a free city, it offered asylum to the exiles from sui'- 
rounding countries. Its magistrates were liberal ; 
its citizens intelligent ; its college was ah'eady 
famous ; the strong walls and firm gates that would 
have I'esisted the tempests of war had yielded to 
the Gospel, and the Reformation had found entrance 
into Strasburg at an early period. Bucer, Capito, 
and Hedio, whom we have already met \vith, were 
living here at the time of Calvin's risit, and the 
pleasure of seeing them, and conversing with them, 



had no small share in inducing the Reformer to 
turn his steps in the du-ection of this city. 

In one respect he was not disappointed. He 
much relished the piety and the learning of these 
men, and they in turn were much impressed with 
the seriousness and greatness of character of then' 
young visitor. But in another respect he was dis- 
appomted in them. Then- views of Divine truth 
lacked depth and comprehensiveness, and their 
scheme of Refonnation was, in the same propor- 
tion, narrow and defective. The path wliich they 
loved, a middle way between Wittemberg and Rome, 
was a jmth which Calvin did not, or would not, 
understand. To him there were only two faiths, a 
true and a false, and to him there could be 
but two paths, and the attempt to make a third 
between the two was, in his judgment, to keep 
open the road back to Rome. All the greater minds 
of the Reformation were with Calvin on this point. 
Those only who stood in the second class among 
the Reformers gave way to the dream of reconciling 
Rome and the Gospel : a circumstance which we 
must attribute not to the greater charity of the 
latter, but to their incapacity to comprehend either 
the system of Rome or the system of the Gospel 
in all the amplitude that belongs to each. 

Calvin grew weary of hearing, day after day, 
plans propounded which, at the best, could have 
but patched and soldered a hopelessly rotten system, 
but would have accomplished no Reformation, and 
so, after a sojourn of a few months, he took his 
departure from Strasburg, and began his search for 
the "quiet nook"' where he might give himself to 
tlie study of what he felt must, under the Spirit, 
be his great instructor — the Bible. The impression 
was growing upon him, and his experience at Stras- 
b\n'g had deepened that impression, that it was not 
from others that he was to learn the Divine plan ; 
he must himself search it out in the Holy Oracles ; 
he must go aside with God, like Moses on the 
mount, and tliere he would be shown the fashion of 
that temple which he was to build in Christendom. 

Following the course of the Rhine, Calvin went 
on to Basle. Basle is the gate of Switzerland as 
one comes from Germany, and being a frontier town, 
situated upon one of the then great highways of 
Europe, it enjoyed a large measure of prosperity. 
The Huguenot traveller, Misson, who visited it 
somewhat more than a century after the time of 
which we speak, says of it : " The largest, fairest, 
richest city now reckoned to be in Switzerland."'^ 

Its situation is pleasant, and may even in some 
respects be styled romantic. Its chief feature is the 
Rhine, even hei-e within sight, if one may so speak, 
of the mountains where it was born : a broad, 
majestic river, sweeping past the town wth rapid 
flow,"' or rather dividing it mto two unequal parts, 
the Little Basle lying on the side towards Germany, 
and joined to the Great Basle by a long wooden 
bridge, now changed into one of stone. Crowning 
the western bank of tlie Rhine, in the form of a 
half-moon, are the buildings of the city, conspicuous 
among which are the tine towers of the Minstei-. 
Looking from the esplanade of the Cathedral one's 
eye lights on the waters of the river, on the 
fresh and beautiful valleys through which it rolls ; 
on the gentle hiUs of the Black Forest beyond, 
sprLukled wth dark pines, and agreeably reheved 
by the sunny glades on which their shadows fall ; 
while a short walk to the south of the town brings 
the tops of the Jura upon the horizon, telling the 
traveller that he has reached the threshold of a 
region of mountainous grandeur. " They have a 
custom which is become a law," says the traveller 
to whom we have referred above, speaking of 
Basle, " and which is singular and very commend- 
able ; 'tis that whoever passes through Basle, and 
declares himself to be poor, they give him victuals 
— I thmk, for two or three days ; and some other 
relief, if lie speaks Latin."* 

Much as the scene presents itself to the tourist of 
to-day, would it appear to Calvm more than three 
centuries ago. There was the stream rolling its 
" milk- white" floods to the sea, nor was he ignorant 
of the fact that it had borne on its current the ashes 
of Huss and Jerome, to bury them grandly in the 
ocean. There was the long wooden bridge that 
spans the Rhine, with the crescent-like line of 
buildings drawn along the brow of the opposite 
bank. There were the Mmster towers, beneath 
whose shadow fficolampadius, already dismissed 
from labour, was resting in the sleep of the tomb.'' 

' "TJt in obscuro aliquo angulo abditus quiete diu 
negata fruerer." {Prafatio ad Psalmos—Calvini 0pp.) 
■ Misson, A New Voyage to Italy, vol. ii., part ii., p. 493. 

3 The watermen when they descended the EMne weekly 
sold their boats at Strasburg and retiirued on foot, the 
strength of the current not permitting them to row 
their craft against it. (Fynes Moryson, Travels, part i., 
bk. i., eh. 2; fob; Lond., 1617.) 

•• Misson, Nev) Voyage, vol. ii., part ii., p. 502. 

5 The tomb of CEcolampadius is to be seen in the 
Cathedral, with the foUowing epitaph, according to 
Misson :— "D. Joh. CEcolampadius, professions theologus; 
trium linguarum peritissimus ; auetor EvangeUcae doc- 
trine in hac urbe primus; et templi hujus verus epis- 
t'opus ; ut doctrini, sic vitce sanctimonia pollentissimns, 
sub breve saxum hoc reconditus est. Anno salutis ob. 
21 November, 1531. Mt. 49." (Dr. John CEcolampadius, 
by profession a divine; most skilful in tlnoe languages; 
first author of the Beformed religion in this city, anU 


There were the emerald valleys, enclosing the town 
with a carpet of the softest green ; there were the 
sunny glades, and the tall dark puies on the eastern 
hills ; and in the south were the azure tops of the 
Jura peering over the landscape. A scene like 

troubled was the world around ; the passions of 
men were raising frightful tempests in it ; armies 
and battles and stakes made it by no means a 
pleasant dwelling-place ; but these quiet valleys and 
those distant pealcs spoke of peace, and so the exile. 

QASPAR HEDIO. (From the Portrait m Paul Freher's " Tlieatfuiii Vinrum Claror 

thu!, so finely blending quietude and sublimity, 
must have had a soothing influence on a mind like 
Cah'in's ; it must have appeared to him the xcry 
retreat he had so long sought for, and fain would 
he be to turn aside for awhile here and rest. Much 

ti-ue bishop of this church ; as in doctrine so in sanctity 
of life most excellent, is laid under this short stone. He 
dipJ in the year of our Lord, 21st November, 1531, aged 
forty-nine years.) 

weary of foot, and yet more weary of heart — for 
his brethren were being led as sheep to the slaughter 
— very nnobtnisively but very thankfully entered 
^vithin those gates to which Providence had led 
him, and where he was to compose a work which 
still keeps its place at tlie head of the Reformation 
literature — the Institutes. 

On his way from Strasburg to Basle, Cahin had 
an interview with a very remarkable man. Tlie 
person whom he now met had rendered to tlie 



Clospel no small servdce in the first days of the 
Reformation, and he might have rendered it ten 
times more had his courage been equal to his genius, 
and his piety as profound as his scholarship. We 
refer to Erasmus, the great scholar of the sixteenth 
century. He was at this time living at Friburg, 
in Brisgau— the progress, or as Erasmus deemed 
it, the excesses of the Reformed faith having 
frightened him into laiving Bivsle, where he had 
passed so many years, keeping court like a prince, 
and receiving all the statesmen and scholars who 
chanced to visit that city. Erasmus' gi-eat service 
to the Reformation was his publication of the New 
Testament in the year 1516.' The fountain sealed 
all through the Dark Ages was anew opened, and 
the impulse given to the cause of pure Christianity 
thereby was greater than we at this day can well 
imagine. This was the service of Erasmus. " He 
laid the egg," it has been said, " of the Reformation." 

The great scholar, in his early and better days, 
had seen Avith unfeigned joy the light of letters 
breaking over Europe. He hated the monks ^vith 
his whole soul, and lashed their ignorance and vice 
with the unsparing vigour of his satire ; but now 
lie was almost seventy, he had hardly more than 
another year to live," and the timidity of age was 
creeping over him. He had never been remarkable 
for courage; he always took care not to come within 
wind of a stake, but now he was more careful than 
ever not to put himself in the way of harm. He 
had hailed the Reformation less for the spiritual 
blessings which it brought in its train than for the 
literary elegances and social ameliorations which 
it shed around it. 

Besides, the Pope had been approaching him on 
liis weak side. Paul III. fully undei-stood the 
importixnce of enlisting the pen of Erasmus on 
liehalf of Rome. The battle was waxing hotter 
every day, and the pen was playing a part in the 
conflict which was not second to even that of the 
sword. A cardinal's hat was the brilliant prize 
which the Pope dangled before the scholar. 
Erasmus had the good sense not to accept, but the 
flattery implied in the offer had so far gained its 
end that it had left Erasmus not very zealous in 
the Reformed cause, if indeed he had ever been 
so. Could the conflict have been confined to the 
schools, with nothing more precioiis than ink shed 
in it, and nothing more weighty than a little lite- 
rary reputation lost by it, the scholar of Rotterdam 

' See ante, vol. i., bt. viii., ch. 5, p. 428. 

- Erasmus died in 1536; he was buried in the Cathedral 
of Basle, and his epitaph, on a pillar before the choir, 
indicates liis age by the single term septuagetiariiis, about 
seventy. The exact time of hia birth is unknown. 

would have continued to play the champion on 
the Protestant side. But when he saw monarchs 
girding on the sword, nations beginning to be 
convulsed — things he had not reckoned on when 
he cave the first touch to the movement by the 
publication of his New Testament — and especially 
when he saw confessors treading the bitter path of 
martyrdom, it needed on the part of Erasmus a 
deeper sense of the value of the Gospel and a 
higher faith in God than, we fear, he possessed, to 
stand courageously on the side of the Reformation. 

How unlike the two men who now stood face to 
face ! Both were on the side of progress, but each 
sought it on a different liiie, and each had pic- 
tured to himself a different future. Erasmus was 
the embodiment of the Renaissance, the other was 
the herald of a more glorious day. In the first the 
light of the Renaissance, which promised so much, 
had already begun to wane — sprung of the earth, it 
wius returning to the earth ; but where Ei-asmus 
stopped, there Calvin foimd Ms starting-point. 
While the shadows of the departing day darkened 
the face of the sage of Rotterdam, Calvin's slione 
with the Ijrightness of the morning. After a few 
interrogatories, to which Erasmus replied hesita- 
tingly, Calvin freely gave vent to the convictions 
that filled his soul." Nothing, he believed, but a 
radical reform could save Christendom. He would 
have no bolstering up of an edifice rotten to its 
foundations. He would sweep it away to its last 
stone, and he would go to the quarry whence were 
dug the materials wherewith the Christian Church 
was fashioned ia the first age, and he would anew 
draw forth the stones necessary for its reconstruc- 
tion. Erasmus shrmik back as if he saw the 
toppling ruin about to fall upon him and crush 
him. "I see a great tempest about to arise in 
the Church— against the Church,"'' exclaimed the 
scholar, in whose ear Cahdn's voice sounded as the 
fii-st hoarse notes of the coming storm. How much 
Erasmus misjudged ! The Renaissance— calm, 
classic, and conservative as it seemed — was in truth 
the tempest. The pagan principles it scattered in 
the soil of Christendom, helped largely to unchain 
those furious winds that broke out two centuiies 
after. The interview now suddenly closed. 

Pursuing his journey, "ivith his inseparable 
companion, the young Canon Du Tillet, the two 
travellei-s at length reached Basle. Crossing the 
long bridge, and climbing the opposite acclivity, 
they entered the city. It was the seat of a 

3 The interview has been related by a chronicler of 
the same century— Flor. Ecemond, Hist. H'.'rcs., ii., p. 251. 
* riid. 



university founded, as we have already said, in 
1459, by Popfe Pins II., who gave it all the 
privileges of that of Bologna. It had scholars, 
divmes, and some famous printei'S. Biit Calvin 
did not present himself at then- dooi'. The purpose 
for which he had come to Basle required that he 
should remain unknown. He wished to have 
perfect unbroken quietude for study. Accordingly 
he turned into a back street where, he knew, lived 
a pious woman in humble condition, Catherine 
Klein, who received the disciples of the Gospel 
when forced to seek asylum, and he took up his 
abode in her lowly dwelling. 

The penetration of thi^ good woman very soon 
discovered the many high qualities of the thin pale- 
faced stranger whom she had received under her 
roof When Calvin had fulfilled his career, and 
his name and doctrine were speading over the 
earth, she was wont to dUate with evident pleasure 
on his devotion to study, on the beauty of his life, 
and the charms of his genius. He seldom went 
out,^ and when he did so it was to steal away 
across the Rhine, and wander among the pines on 
the eastern hill, whenee he could gaze on the city 
and its envij-oning valleys, and the majestic river 
whose " eternal " flow formed the link between the 
everlasting hills of its birth-place, and the great 
ocean where was its final goal — nay, between the 
successive generations which had flourished upon 
its banks, from the firat barbarian races which had 
drunk its watera, to the learned men who were fill- 
ing th^ pulpits, occupying the university chairs, or 
woi'king the printing-presses of the city below him. 
Calvin had foimd at last his " obscure comer," 
and he jealously presei-ved his incognito. JEco- 
lampadius, the first Reformed Pastor of Basle, was 
now, as we have said, in his grave ; but Oswald 
Myconius, the friend of Zwingle, had taken his 
place as President of the Church. In him Cah-in 
knew he would find a congenial spirit. There was 
another man li\'ing at Basle at that tune, whose 
fame as a scholar liad reached the Reformer — 
Symon Gryna^ns. Giynajus was the schoolfellow 
of Melancthon, and when Erasmus quitted Basle 
he was invited to take his place at the university, 
which he filled with a renown second only to that 
of his gi-eat predecessor. He was as remarkable 
for his modesty and the sweetness of his disposition 
as for his learning. Calvin sought and enjoyed 
the society of these men before leaving Basle, but 
meanwhile, inflexibly bent on the great ends for 
which he had come hither, he forbore making their 

• " Cum incognitus BasileEe laterem." {Preface to Com- 
ment, on Psalms.) 

acquaintance. Intercoiu'se with the world and its 
business sharpens the observing powers, and breeds 
dexterity ; but the soul that is to gi-ow from day to 
day and from year to year, and at last embody its 
matured and concentrated strength in some gi'eat 
work, must dwell in solitude. It was here, in this 
seclusion and retreat, that Calvin sketched the first 
outline of a work which was to be not merely the 
basis of his own life-work, but the corner-stone of 
the Reformed Temple, and which from year to year 
he was to develop and perfect, according to the 
measm-e of the increase of his own knowledge and 
light, and leave to succeeding generations as the 
grandest of his and of liis age's achievements. 

The Institutes first sprang into form in the 
following manner : — WhUe Cahin was pursuing his 
studies in his retirement at Basle, ch-eadful tidings 
reached the banks of the Rhine. The placards, the 
outbursts of royal wi-ath, the cruel torturings and 
buiTungs that followed, were all carried by report 
to Basle. Fii'st came tidings of the individual 
martyr's ; scarcely had the first messenger given in 
his tale, when another — escaped from prison or from 
the stake, and who could say, as of old, " I only 
am left to tell thee " — arrived with yet more dread- 
ful tidings of the wholesale barbarities which had 
signalised the terrible 21st of January in Paris. 
The news plunged Cahdn into profound sorrow. 
He could but too vividly realise the awful scenes, 
the tidings of which so wrung his heart "with 
anguish. It w.os but yesterday that he had trodden 
the streets in which they were enacted. He knew 
the men who had endured these cruel deaths. 
They were his brethren. He had lived in their 
houses ; he had sat at their tables. How often had 
he held sweet converse with them on the things 
of God ! He knew them to be men of whom the 
world was not worthy ; and yet they were ac- 
counted as the ofl'-seouring of all things, and as 
sheep appointed to the slaughter were killed all 
day long. Could he be silent when his brethren 
were being condemned and di-awn to death ! And 
yet what could he do ? The arm of the kmg he 
could not stay. He could not go in person and plead 
theii' cause, for that would be to set up his own 
stake. He had a pen, and he would employ it in 
vindicating his brethren in the face of Christendom. 
But in what way should he best do this 1 He could 
vindicate these mart3TS eflectually not otherwise 
than by \TJidicating then- cause. It was the Refor- 
mation that was being vilified, condemned, burned 
in the persons of these men ; it was it, thei-efore, 
that he must vindicate. It wa.s not merely a few 
stakes in Paris, but the martyrs of the Gospel in all 
lands that he would cover with his aegis. 



The task that Calvin now set for likuself was 
sublime, but onerous. He would make it plain to 
all that the faith which was being branded as 
heresy, and for jn-ofessing which men were being 
burned alive, was no cunningly devised system of 
man, but the Old Gospel ; and that so far from 
being an enemy of kings, and a subverter of law 

and order, which it was accused of being, it was 
the very salt of society — a bulwark to the throne 
and a protection to law ; and being drawn from 
the Bible, it opened to man the gates of a moral 
purification in this life, and of a perfect and endless 
felicity in the next. This was what Cahin accom- 
jilLshed in his Christianm Rdigionis Institutio. 



Calvin Discards the Aristotelian Method— How a True Science of Astronomy is Formed — Calvin Proceeds in the 
same way in Constructing his Theology— Induction— Christ himself sets the Example of the Inductive Method 
— Calvin goes to the Field of Scripture— His Pioneers— The Schoolmen — Melancthon — Zwingle— The Augsburg 
Confession — Calvin's System more Complete — Two Tremendous Facts — First Edition of the Institutes— 
Successive Editions— The Creed its Model— Enumeration of its Principal Themes — God the Sole Fountain of all 
things— Christ the One Source of Redemption and Salvation — The Spirit the One Agent in the Application of 
Redemption— The Chiirch — Her Worship and Government. 

We shall now proceed to the consideration of that 
work which has exercised so vast an influence on 
the great movement we are narrating, and which 
all will admit, even though they may dissent from 
some of its teachings, to be, in point of logical com- 
pactness, and constructive comprehensive genius, 
truly grand. It is not of a kind that dis- 
closes its solidity and gigantic proportions to the 
casual or passing glance. It must be leisurely 
contemplated. In the case of some kingly moun- 
tain, whose feet are planted in the depths but 
whose top is lost in the light of heaven, we must 
remove to a distance, and when the little hills 
which had seemed to overtop it when we stood at 
its base have sunk below the hoiizon, then it is 
that the true monarch stands out before us in un- 
approached and unchallenged supremacy. So with 
the Institutes of the Christian Religion. No such 
production had emanated from the theological 
intellect since the times of the great Father of the 
West — Augustine. 

During the fom' centuries that preceded Calvin, 
there had been no lack of theories and systems. 
The schoolmen had toiled to put the world in pos- 
session of truth ; but their theology was simply 
abstraction piled upon abstraction, and the more 
elaborately they sjieculated the farther they strayed. 
Their systems had no basis in fact : they had no 
root in the revelation of God ; they were a specu- 
lation, not knowledge. 

Luther and Cahdn struck out a new path in theo- 

logical discovery. They discarded the Aristotelian 
method as a vicious one, though the fashionable 
and, indeed, the onlj' one until their time, and 
they adopted the Baconian method, though Bacon 
had not yet been born to give his name to his 
svstem. Clvin saw the folly of retiring into the 
dark closet of one's own mind, as the schoolmen 
(lid, and out of such materials as they were able to 
create, fashioning a theology. Taking his stand 
upon the open field of revelation, he essayed to 
glean those God-created and Heaven-revealed truths 
which lie there, and he proceeded to build them up 
into a .system of knowledge which should have 
power to enlighten the intellect and to sanctify 
the hearts of the men of the sixteenth centmy. 
Cahnn's first question was not, "Who am I ?" but 
"Who is God!" He looked at God from the 
stand-point of the human conscience, with the 
torch of the Bible in his hand. God was to him 
the beginning of knowledge. The heathen sage 
said, " Know thyself." But a higher authority had 
said, "The fear," that is the knowledge, "of the 
Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It Ls in the 
light that all things are seen. " God is light." 

In chemistry, in botany, in astronomy, he is 
the best philosopher who most carefidly studies 
nature, most industriously collects facta, and 
most .skilfully arranges them into a system or 
science. Not other\\'ise can the laws of the 
material miiverse, and the mutual relations of the 
bodies that compose it, be discovered. We must 



proceed in theology just as we proceed in natural 
science. He is the best theologian who most care- 
fidly studies Scripture, who most accurately brings 
out the meaning of its indiv-idual statements or 
tmths, and who so classifies these as to exhibit 
that whole scheme of doctrine that is contained in 
the Bible. Not other^vise than by induction can 
we anive at a true science: not otherwise than 
by indviction can we come into possession of a true 
theology. The lx)tanist, instead of shutting him- 
self up in his closet, goes forth into the field and 
collects into class-ss the flora spread profusely, and 
without apparent order, over plain and mountixin, 
grouping jjlant with plant, each according to its 
kmd, till not one is left, and then his science of 
botany is perfected. The astronomer, instead of 
descending into some dark cave, tui-ns liis telescope 
to the heavens, watches the motions of its orbs, 
and by means of the bodies that are seen, he 
deduces the laws and forces that are unseen, and 
thus order springs up before his eye, and the 
system of the universe unveils itself to him. What 
the flora of the field are to the botanist, what the 
stars of the firmament are to the astronomer, the 
truths scattered over the pages of the Bible are to 
the theologian. The Master himself has given us 
the hint that it is the inductive method which we 
are to follow in oiu- search after Divine truth ; 
nay, he has herein gone before us and set us the 
example, for begimung at Moses and the prophets, 
he expounded to his disciples " in all the Scrip- 
tures the things concerning himself." It was to 
these pages that Calvin turned. He searched them 
through and through, he laid all the parts of the 
Word of God under contribution : its histories and 
dramas, its Psalms and prophecies, its Gospels and 
Epistles. With profound suljmission of mind he 
accepted whatever he fomid taught there ; and 
having collected his materials, he proceeded with 
the severest logic, and in the exercise of a mar- 
velloiK constructive genius, to frame his .system — 
to erect the temple. To use the beautiful sunile of 
D'Anbigne, " He went to the Gospel springs, and 
there collecting into a golden cup the pure and 
living waters of Diraie revelation, presented them 
to the nations to quench their thirst."' 

We have said that Calvin was the first to ojjen 
this path, but the statement is not to be taken 
literally and absolutely. He had several pioneers 
in this road ; but none of them had trodden it 
wth so firm a step, or left it so thoroughly open 
for men to follow, as Calvin did. By far the 
greatest of his pioneers was Augustine. But even 

' D'Aubigne, vol. iii., p. 203. 

the City of God, however splendid as a dissertation, 
is yet as a system much inferior to the Instilules, 
in completeness as well as in logical power. After 
Augustine there comes a long and dreary interval, 
diu'ing which no attempt was made to classify and 
systematise the truths of revelation. The attempt 
of Johannes Damascenus, in the eighth centiuy, is 
a very defective performance. Not more successful 
were the efforts of the schoolmen. The most notable 
of these were the four books of Sentences by Peter 
Lombard, and the Sumnm of Thomas Aquinas, but 
both ai'e defective and erroneous. In perusing the 
theological productions of that age, we become 
painfidly sensible of strength wasted, owing to the 
adoption of an entii-ely false method of interpret- 
ing the Word of God — a method which, we ought 
to say, was a forsaking rather than an interpreting 
of the Scriptures ; for in the schoolmen we have 
a body of ingenious and laljorious men, who have 
withdrawn themselves from the light of the Bible 
into the dark chamber of their own minds, and are 
weaving systems of theology out of their brains 
and the traditions of their Church, in which errors 
are much more plentifid than truths, and wliich 
possess no power to pacify the conscience, or to 
purify the life. 

When we reach the age of the Reformation the 
true light again greets our eyes. Luther was no 
systematiser on a great scale ; Melancthon made a 
moi'e considerable essay in that direction. His Lpci 
Communes, or Common Places, published in 1.521, 
were a prodigious advance on the systems of the 
schoolmen. They are quickened by the new life, 
but yet their mould is essentially mediaeval, and 
is too rigid and unbending to permit a free disjilay 
of the piety of the author. The Comnientarius de 
Vera et Falsa Eeligione, or Conunentarj' on the True 
and False Religion, of Zwingle, published in 1.525, 
is freed from the scholastic method of Melancthon's 
performance, but is still defective as a formal 
system of theology. The Confession of Augsburg 
(1530) is more systematic and complete than any of 
the foregoing, but still simjjly a confession of faith, 
and not such an exhibition of Divine Ti'uth as the 
Church required. It remained for Calvin to give 
it this. The Institutes of the C/iristian Religion 
was a confession of faith,- a system of exegesis, a 
body of polemics and apologetics, and an exhibition 
of the rich practical effects which flow from Cliris- 
tianity — it was all four in one. Oah-in takes his 
reader by the hand and conducts him round the 

- Pro Confessimu Fidei offertur, says the title-p.igo of the 
fist edttion of the Ins(tf«(es, now before us, dated Basileie, 



entire territoiy of truth ; lie shows him the strength 
and gi-andeur of its central citadel — namely, its 
(T()d-gi\en doctrines ; the height and solidity of its 
ramparts ; the gates by which it is ajiproached ; the 
order that reigns within ; the glory of the Lamb 
revealed in the Word that illuminates it with con- 
tinual day ; the River of Life by which it was 
watered — that is, the Holy Spirit ; this, ho ex- 
claims, is the " City of the Living God," this is the 
" Heavenly Jerusalem ;" decay or overthrow never 
can befall it, for it is built upon the foundation of 
])roj)hets and apostles, Jesus Christ himself being 
the chief corner-stone. Into this city " there eu- 
tereth nothing that defileth, or maketh a lie," and 
the " nations of them that are sa\ed shall walk in 
the light thereof" 

That Calvin's survey of the field of supernatural 
truth as contained in the Bible was complete ; that 
his classification of its individual facts was pei-fect ; 
that his deductions and conclusions were in all cases 
sound, and that Iris system was wthout error, Calvin 
himself did not maintain, and it would ill become 
even the greatest admirer of that guarded, quali-, 
tied, and balanced Calvinism which the Reformer, 
taught — not that caricature of it which some of 
his followers have presented, a Calvinism which 
disjoins tlie means from the end, which destroys the 
freedom of man and abolishes his accountability ; 
which is fatalism, in short, and is no more like the 
Calvinism of Calvin than Mahommedanism is like 
Christianity — it would ill become any one, we say, to 
challenge for Calvin's system an immunity from error 
which he himself did not challenge for it. He found 
himself, in pursuing his investigations in the field of 
Scripture, standing face to face with two tremendous 
facts — God's sovereignty and man's freedom ; both 
he believed to be fiicts ; he maintained the last as 
tii-mly as the first ; he confessed that he could not 
reconcile the two, he left this and all other mysteries 
connected with supernatural truth to be solved by 
the deeper researches and the growing light of the 
ages to come, if it were meant that they should ever 
find their solution on earth. 

This work was adopted by the Reformed Church, 
and after some years published in most of the 
languages of Christendom. The clearness and 
strength of its logic ; the simplicity and beauty of 
its exposition ; the candour of its conclusions ; the 
fulness of its doctrinal statements, and not less 
the warm spiritual life that throbbed under its 
deductions, now bursting out in rich practical ex- 
hortation, and now soaring into a vein of lofty 
speculation, made the Church feel that no book like 
this had the Reformation given her heretofore ; and 
she accepted it, as at tiuf a tunfcaiun of her faith 

an answer to all charges whether from the Roman 
camp or from tlie infidel one, and her justification 
alike before those now living and the ages to come, 
against the violence with which the persecutor was 
seeking to overwhelm her. 

The first edition of the lastittitea contained only 
six chaj)ters. Diuing all liis life after he continued 
to elaborate and perfect the work. Edition after 
edition continued to issue from the press. These 
were published in Latin, but afterwards rendered 
into French, and translated into all the tongues of 
Europe. " During twenty-four years," says Bun- 
gener, " the book increased in every eilition, not as 
an edifice to which additions are made, but as a 
tree which develops itself natui-ally, freely, and 
without the compromise of its unity for a moment."' 
It is noteworthy that the publication of the work 
fell on the mid-year of the Reformer's life. Twenty- 
seven years had he been preparing for writing it, 
and twenty-seven years did he sui-\ivc to expand 
and perfect it ; nevertheless, not one of its state- 
ments or doctrines did lie essentially alter or 
modify. It came, (oo, at I lie right time as regards 
the Reformation. - 

' Calvin : his Life, his Lahovrs, iind lih Writings, p. 43. 

- The following valuable note has been communicated 
to the Autlior by David Laing, Esq., LL.D. Than Mr. 
Laing there is no liigher living authoi-ity on the subject 
to which it refers, and liis note may be regarded as set- 
ting finally at rest the hitherto vexed question touching 
the publication of the Institutes : — 

" It is now a long whUe ago, when I was asked by Dr. 
McCrie, senior, to ascertain in what year the first edition 
appeared of Calvin's Institutes. At the time, although 
no perfect copy of the 15.36 volume was accessible, tlie 
conclusion I came to was that the work first appeared 
in a small volume, i^p. 519, with the title Christimia: 
Reliijionis Insfitufio, etc. Joanne Cctlvino, Autore. Baifilea:, 
MDXXXVI. At the end of the volume are added the 
names of the printers at Basle and the date — 'Mense 
Martio, Anno 153C.' During the many subsequent years, 
with inquiries at vaiious great public libraries, both at 
home and abroad, I have not been able to find anything 
to make me change this opinion, or to imagine that an 
earlier edition in French had ever existed. In the dedi- 
cation there is a variation in the date between the 
French and Latin copies, apparently accidental. In the 
Latin it is dated ' Basilea', X Calendas Septembres ' 
[1535]— that is, August aS, 1535— while in the French 
translation by the author, in his last revised translation 
of 1559, the date is given ' De Basle, le premier jour 
d'Aoust, mil cinq cens trente cinq.' 

"I have subsequently obtained a perfect copy, and 
have seen two or three others. The former possessor of 
my copy has a note written perhaps a century ago, as to 
its great rarity : — ' Editio ista albis corvis rarior, princeps 
sine dubio, quidquid dicat P. Baylius, cujus exemplaria 
ita sunt rarissima, ut ipsa Bibliotheca Genevensis careat 
integro qui ipse aaservatur ibidem tantum mutilum. ' 
[Tlris edition, rarer than a white crow, is without doubt 
the first. Instances of it, as P. Bayle says, ai-e so very 
rare, that in the Library of Geneva even there is not a 
perfect copy ; the one there preserved is mutUated.] 



We shall briefly examine the order and scope 
of the book. It proposes two great ends, the know- 
ledge of God and the knowledge of man. It employs 
the first to attain the second. " The whole sum of 
wisdom," said the author at tlie outset, " is that by 
knowing God each of us knows himself also.'" If 
man was made in the image of God, then surely the 
true way to know what our moral and spiritual 
powers are, or ought to be, what are the relations 

dim and now defaced image, but to turn our eye 
upon the undimmed and glorious Original — the 
Bein" in whose likeness man was created. 

The image of God, it is argued, imprinted upon 
our own souls would have sufficed to reveal him to 
us if we had not fallen. But sin has defaced that 
imaf e. Nevertheless, we are not left in darkness, 
for God has graciously given us a second revelation 
of himself in his Word. Grasping that torch, and 

ML« Ol 1 I LE 

in which we stand to God, and what the service of 
love and obedience we owe him, is not to study the 

" I may add, the copy in the Library at Geneva is mu- 
tilated, the noble dedication to Fpancia tlie First having 
been cut out. The first enlarged edition is the one at 
Strasburg, ' Ai-genterati,' 1539, folio. Some copies have 
the pseudonym ' Auctore Alcuino.' 

" The earliest edition of this French version has neither 
place nor date, but was published between 1540 and 1543; 
and in a subsequent edition printed at Geneva, 1553, 4to, 
the title reads, InsiitHtlon de la RHigion On-estienne: 
compost'e en Latin par Jean Calvin, et translative en Francois 
par luymesme, et encores de nouveau reveue et augmentie. 
This seems conclusive that the work was originally 
writtea in Latin, dated 1535, published 153(3, and° after- 
wards translated by the author." 

' " Vera hominis sapientia sita est in cognitione Dei 
Creatoris et Redemptoris." {Calviai 0pp., vol. is.) 
72 VOL. II. 

holding it aloft, Oahin proceeds on his way, and 
bids all who would know the eternal mysteries 
follow that shilling light. Thus it was that the 
all-sufficiency and supreme and sole authority of 
the Scriptures took a leading place in the system 
of the Reformer. 

The order of the work is simplicity itself It is 
borrowed from the Apostles' Creed, whose four 
cardinal doctrines furnish the Reformer with the 
argument of the four books in which he finally 
arranged the Institutes. 

I. "/ belietv in God the Father A!mi';/ht>/, Maker 
of heaven and earth." Such is the argument of the 
first book. In it Calvin brings God before us in 
his character of Creator and sovereign Ruler of the 
world. But we must note that his treatment of 



this theme is eminently moral. It is no scenic 
exhibition of omnipotent power and infinite wis- 
dom, as shown in the building of the fabric of the 
heavens and the earth, that passes before us. From 
the first line the author places himself and us in 
the eye of conscience. The question. Can the 
knowledge of God as Creator conduct to salvation 1 
leads the Rcfonncr to discuss in successive chapters 
the doctrme of the fall ; the necessity of another 
and clearer revelation ; the proofs of the inspiration 
of the Bible. He winds up with some chapters on 
Providence, as exercised in the government of all 
things, and in the superintendence of each par- 
ticular thing and person in the universe. In these 
chapters Calvin lays the foundations for that tre- 
mendous conclusion at which he an'ives in the book 
touching election, which has been so stumbling to 
many, and which is solemn and mysterious to all. 

II. "And in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten 
Son." The knowledge of God as Redeemer is the 
argument of book second. This ushers the author 
upon a higher stage, and places him amid gi'ander 
themes. All that led up to the redemption accom- 
plished on Calvary, as well as the redemption 
itself, is here discussed. Sin, the ruin of man, and 
his inability to be his own saviour ; the moral 
law ; the gracious purpose of God in giving it, 
namely, to convince man of sin, and make him feel 
his need of a Saviour; such are the successive and 
majestic steps by which Calvin advances to the 
Cross. Arrived there, we have a complete Christo- 
logy : Jesus very God, very Man, Prophet, Priest, 
and King ; and his death an eternal redemption, 
inasmuch iis it was an actual, full, and complete 
expiation of the sins of his people. The book 
closes with the collected light of the Bible con- 
centi'ated upon the Cross, and revealing it ■«'ith a 
noonday clearness, as a fully accomplished redemp- 
tion, the one impi-egnable ground of the sinner's 

III. "/ believe in the Holy Ghost." That part 
of redemption which it is the office of the Spirit to 
accomplish, is the argument to which the author 
now addresses himself The theme of the second 
book is a righteousness accomplished without the 
sinner : in the third book we are shown a righteous- 
ness accomplished wthin him. Calvin insists not 
less emphatically upon the last as an essential pai-t 
of redemption than upon the first. The sinner's 
destruction was within him, his salvation must in 
like mamier be witliin him ; an atonement without 
him will not save him xmless he have a holiness 
within him. But what, asks the author, is the bond 
of connection between the sinner and the righteous- 
ness accomplished without him ? That bond, he 

answere, is the Holy Spirit. The Sph-it works 
faith in the siimer, and by that faith, as with a 
hand, he receives a two-fold benefit — a righteous- 
ness wliich is imputed to him, and a regeneration 
which is wrought within him. By the first he 
obtains the justification of his person, by the second 
the sanctification of his sold, and a fitness for that 
glory everlasting of which he became the heir in 
the moment of his justification. The one grand 
corollary from all this is that man's salvation is 
exclusively, and from first to last, of God's sovereign 

Thus do Calvin and Luther meet. They have 
travelled by diSerent routes ; the first has advanced 
by a long and magnificent demonstration, the 
second has by a sudden inspiration, as it were, 
grasped the truth ; but here at last the two mighty 
chiefs stand side by side on the ground of " Sal- 
vation of God," and taking each other by the hand, 
they duect their united assault against the fortress 
of Rome, " Salvation of man." 

The moment in which Calvin arrived at this con- 
clusion formed an epoch in the history of Chris- 
tianity — that is, of the human race. It was the full 
and demonstrated recovery of a truth that lies at 
the foundation of all progress, inasmuch as it is the 
channel of those supernatural and celestial influences 
by which the human soul is quickened, and society 
advanced. The doctrine of justification by faith, of 
wliich St. Paul had been led to put on record so full 
and clear an exposition, early began to be corrupted. 
By the times of Augustine even, very eiToneous 
views were held on this most impoi-tant subject; 
and that gi-eat Father was not exempt from the 
obscurity of his age. After liis day the corriq)tion 
rapidly increiised. The Church of Rome was 
simply an elaborate and magnificent exliibition of 
the doctrine of " Salvation by works." The lan- 
guage of all its dogmas, and every one of its rites, 
was " Man his own savioiu'." Luther placed 
underneath tlic stupendous fabric of Rome the 
doctrine which, driven by his soul-agonies to the 
Divine page, he had there discovered — " Salvation 
by grace " — and the edifice fell to the ground. This 
was the application that Luther made of the doctrine. 
The use to which Cahdn put it was more extensive ; 
he brought out its bearings upon the whole scheme 
of Cluistian doctrine, and made it the basis of the 
Eefoi-mation of the Church in the largest and widest 
sense of the term. In the hands of Luther it is the 
}JOieer of the doctrine which strikes us ; in those of 
Calvin it is its truth, and universality, lying en- 
trenched as it were within its hundred lines of 
docti-inal circumvaUation, and dominating the whole 
tenitory of truth in such fashion as to deny to 



error, of every sort and name, so much as a foot- 
breadth on wliich to take root and flourish. 

IV. "/ believe in the Holy Catholic Church." 
The term Church, in its strict sense, he applied to 
the children of God ; in its looser sense, to all who 
made profession of the Gospel, for the instnic- 
tion and- government of whom, God had instituted, 
he held, pastors and teachers. Touching the wor- 
ship and government of the Church, Calvin laid 
down the principle of the unlawfulness of intro- 
ducing anything without positive Scripture sanction. 
" This, he thought, would go to the root of the 
matter, and sweep away at once the whole mass of 
sacramentalism and ceremonialism, of ritualism and 
hierarohism, which had grown up between the 
apostolic age and the Reformirtion. " ' Augustine 
deplored the prevalence of the rites and ceremonies 
of his time, but lie lacked a definite prmciple with 
which to combat and uproot them. Tliese cere- 
monies and rites had become yet more numerous 
in Luther's day ; but neither had he any weapon 
wherewith to grapple effectually with them. He 
opposed them mainly on two grounds : first, that 
they were bm-densome ; and secondly, that they 
contained more or less the idea of merit, and so 
tended to undermine the doctrine of justification 
by faith. Calvin sought for a principle which 
should clear the ground of that whole noxious 
growth at once, and he judged that he had found 
such a principle in the following — namely, that not 
only were many of these ceremonies contrary to 

the first and second precepts of the Decalogue, and 
therefore to be condemned as idolatrous ; but that in 
the mass they were without warrant in the Word of 
God, and were therefore to be rejected as unlawful. 
In regard to Church government, the means 
which the Reformer adopted for putting an end to 
all existing corruptions and abuses, and prevent- 
ing their recurrence, are well summed up by 
Dr. Cumiingham. He sought to attain this end 
— " First, by putting an end to anything like the 
exercise of monarchical authority in the Church, or 
independent power vested officially in one man, which 
was the origin and root of the Papacy. Second, by 
falling back upon the combination of aristocracy and 
democracy, which prevailed for at least the first two 
centuries of the Christian era, when the Cliiu'ches 
were governed by the common council of Presbyters, 
and these Presbyters were chosen by the Churches 
themselves, though tried and ordained by those 
who had been previously admitted to office. Third, 
by providing against the formation of a spirit of a 
mere priestly caste, by associating with the minis- 
ters in the administration of ecclesiastical affairs, 
a class of men who, though ordained Presbyters, 
were usually engaged in the ordinary occupations 
of society ; and fourth, by trying to prevent a 
repetition of the history of the rise and growth of 
the prelacy and the Papacy, through the perversion 
of the one-man power, by fastening the substance 
of these great principles iipon the conscience of the 
Church as hmAmg jure divino."^ 



Calvin's Views on the Affirmative Side— God as the Author of all things Ordains all that is to come to pass— The 
Means equally with the End comprehended in the Decree— As Sovereign, God Executes all that comes to pass- 
Calvin's Views on the Negative Side— Man a Free Agent— Man an Accountable Being— Calvin maintained side 
by side God's Eternal Ordination and Man's Freedom of Action— Cannot Reconcile the Two— Liberty and 
Necessity— Tremendous Difficulties confessed to Attach to Both Thoories-Explanations- Locke and Sir William 
Hamilton— Growth of the Institutes. 

We have reserved till now o\ir brief statement of 
Calvin's views on the subject of predestination and 
election — the shroud, in the eyes of some, in which 
he has ^^Tapped up his theology ; the rock, in the 
view of others, on which he has planted it. Our 
business as historians is neither to impugn nor 
to defend, but simply to nan-ate ; to state, with all 

' Cunningham, The Refaniwri 
Reformation, p. U2; Edin., 1862. 

and ifc Theoluyy of the 

the clearness, fairness, and brevity possible, what 
Calvin held and taught on this great point. The 
absolute sovereignty of God was Calvin's corner- 
stone. As the Author and Ruler of his own 
universe, he held that God must proceed in his 
government of his creatures according to a definite 
plan; that that plan he had formed unalterably 
and unchangeably from everlasting ; that it em- 

- Cunningham, Reformers and Theol. of Reform., p. 343. 



braced not merely the grander issues of Provi- 
dence, but the whole array of means by which 
these issues are reached ; that this plan God fully 
carries out in time ; and that, though formed 
according to the good pleasure of his will, it is 
based on reasons infinitely wise and righteous, 
although these have not been made known to us. 
Such was Calvin's first and fundamental position. 

This larger and wider form of the question, to 
which is given the name of predestination, embraces 
and disposes of the minor one, namely, election. 
If God from everlasting pre-ordained the whole 
history and ultimate fate of all his creatui'es, it 
follows that he pre-ordained the destiny of each 
individual. Calvin taught, as Augustine had done 
before him, that out of a race all equally guilty 
and condemned, God had elected some to ever- 
lasting life, and that this decree of the election of 
some to life, implied the reprobation of the rest to 
death, but that their own sin and not God's decree 
was the reason of their perishing. The Reformer 
further was careful to teach that the election of 
some to life did not proceed on God's fore-know- 
ledge of their faith and good works, but that, on 
the contrary, their- election was the efficient cause 
of their faith and holiness. 

These doctrines the Reformer embraced because 
it appeared to him tliat they were the doctrines 
taught in the Scriptures on the point in question ; 
that they were proclaimed in the facts of history ; 
and that they were logically and inevitably deducible 
from the idea of the supremacy, the omnipotence, 
and intelligence of God. Any other scheme ap- 
peared to him inconsistent with these attributes of 
the Deity, and, in fact, a dethroning of God as the 
Sovereign of the imivei-se which he had called into 
existence, and an abandonment of its afi"airs to 
blind chance. 

Such was tlie positive or afiirmative side of 
Calvin's views. We shall now briefly consider the 
negative side, in order to see his whole mind on the 
question. The Reformer abhorred and repudiated 
the idea that God was the Author of sin, and lie 
denied that any such inference coiild be legitimately 
drawn from liis doctrine of predestination. He 
denied, too, with the same emphasis, that any con- 
straint or force was put by the decree upon the will 
of man, or any restramt upon his actions ; but that, 
on the contrary, all men enjoyed that spontaneity 
of will and freedom of action which are essential 
to moral accountability. He repudiated, moreover, 
the charge of fatalism which has sometimes been 
brought against his doctrine, maintaining that inas- 
much as the means were fore-ordained as well as 
the end, his teaching had just the opposite effect, 

and instead of relaxing it tended to brace the so til, 
to give it a more vigorous temper; and cerhdnly 
the qualities of perseverance and indomitable energy 
which were so conspicuously shown in Calvin's own 
life, and which have generally characterised those 
communities who have embraced his scheme of 
doctrine, go far to bear out the Reformer in this 
particular, and to show that the belief in predesti- 
nation inspii'es with courage, prompts to activity 
and eflbrt, and mightily sustains hope. 

The Reformer was of opinion that he saw in the 
history of the world a proof that the belief in pre- 
destination — that predestination, namely, which 
links the means with the end, and arranges that 
the one shall be reached only through the other 
— is to make the person feel that he is working 
alongside a Power that cannot be baffled ; that 
he is pursuing the same ends which that Power 
is prosecuting, and that, therefore, he must and shall 
finally be crowned with victory. Tliis had, he 
thought, been exemplified equally in nations and in 

Calvin was by no means insensible to the tre- 
mendous difliculties that envii-on the whole subject. 
The depth as well as range of his intellectual and 
moral vision gave him a fuller and clearer view 
than perhaps the majority of his opponents have 
had of these great diflictdties. But these attach, 
not to one side of the question, but to both ; and 
Calvin judged that he could not escape them, nor 
even diminish them by one iota, by shifting his 
position. The absolute fore-knowledge of God called 
up all these difliculties equally \vith his absolute 
pre-ordinatiou ; nay, they beset the question of 
God's executing all things in time quite as much 
as the question of his decreeing all things from 
eternity. Most of all do these difliculties present 
themselves in connection ^viih what is but another 
form of the same question, namely, the existenee 
of moral evU. That is an awful reality. Why 
should God, all-powerful and all-holy, have created 
man, foreseeing that he would sin and be lost ? why 
not have created him, if he created him at all, 
without the possibility of sinning ? or why should 
not God cut short in the cradle that existence which 
if allowed to develop will, he foresees, issue in 
wrong and injury to others, and in the ruin of the 
person himself ? Is there any one, whether on the 
Calvinistic or on the Arminian side, who can^give 
a satisfactory answer to these questions 1 Cah-in 
freely admitted that he could not reconcile God's 
absolute sovereignty with man's free Ai\'ill ; bui he 
felt himself obliged to admit and believe both ; both 
accordingly he maintained ; though it was not iii 
his power, nor, he believed, in the power of any 



man, to establish a harmony between them. What 
he aimed at was to proceed in this solemn path as 
far as the lights of revelation and reason could 
conduct him; and when their- guidance failed, 
when he came to the thick darkness, and stood in 
the presence of mysteries that refused to unveil 
themselves to him, reverently to bow down and 
adore. ^ 

We judged it essential to give this brief account 
of the theology of the Institutes. The book was 
the chest that contained the vital forces of the 
Eeformation. It may be likened to the li\'ing 
spirits that animated the wheels in the prophet's 
vision. The leagues, battles, and majestic move- 
ments of that age all proceeded from this centre of 

power — this arcana of celestial forces. It is em- 
phatically the Reformation. The book, we have 
said, as it first saw the light in Basle in 1536 was 
small (pp. 514) ; it consisted of but six chapters, and 
was a sketch in outline of the fundamental prin- 
ciples of the Christian faith. The work grew into 
unity and strength, grandeur and completeness, by 
the patient and persevering touches of the autlior, 
and when completed it consisted of four books and 
eighty-foiu- chapters. But as in the acorn is ^vl•apped 
up all that is afterwards evolved m the full-grown 
oak, so in the first small edition of the Institutes 
were contained all the great principles which we 
now possess, fully developed and demonstrated, in 
the last and completed edition of 1559. 


Calvin's appeal to francis i. 

Enthusiasm evoked by the appearance of the Insttdiies— Marshals the Reformed into One Host— Beauty of the Style 
of the JmrfiiMies-Opinions expressed on it by Scaliger, Su- William Hamilton, Principal Cunningham, M. Nissu-d 
—The Institutes an Apology for the Reformed— In scathing Indignation comparable to Tacitus— Home-thrusts— 
He Addresses the King of France— Pleads for his Brethren-They Suffer for the Gospel— Cannot Abandon it 
—Offer themselves to Death-A Warning— Grandeur of the Appeal— Did Francis ever Bead this Appeal ? 

Thus did a strong arm uplift before the eyes of all 
Europe, and throw loose upon the winds, a banner 
round which the children of the Reformation might 
rally. Its appearance at that hour gi-eatly inspirited 
them. It showed them that they had a righteous 
cause, an energetic and courageous leader, and that 
they were no longer a mere multitude, but a 
shalled host, whose appointed march was over a 
terrible battle-field, but to whom there was also 
appointed a triumph worthy of their cause and of 
the kingly spii'it who had arisen to lead them. 

' This difficulty has been equally felt and acknowledged 
by writers on the doctrine of Philosophical Necessity. 
For instance, we find Locke (vol. iU., p. 487; fol. ed., 1751) 
saying, " I cannot have a clearer perception of anytliing 
than that I am free, yet I cannot make freedom in 
consistent with omniscience and omnipotence in God, 
though I am as fully persuaded of both as of any truth 
I most firmly assent to." Locke in philosophy was a 
necessitarian. Sir William Hamilton, a libertat-ian, e»- 
presses similar views on this question : " Hoia, there- 
fore, I repeat, moral liberty is possible in man or God, 
we are iitterly unable speculatively to understand. But, 
practically, the fact that we are free is given to us in the 
consciousness of an uncompromising law of duty, in the 
consciousness of our moral accountabiUty." "Liberty 
is thus shown to be inconceivable, but not more than 
its contradictory necessity; yet, though inconceivable, 
liberty is shown also not to be impossible." (Discussiotis, 
pp. 624, 630.) 

" Spreading," says Felice, " widely in the schools, 
in the castles of the gentry, the homes of the citi- 
zens, and the workshops of the common people, the 
Institutes became the most powerful of preachers." - 

The style of the work was not less fitted to arrest 
attention than the contents. It seemed as if pro- 
duced for the occasion. In flexibility, transparency, 
and power, it was akin to the beauty of the truths 
that were entnisted to it, and of which it was made 
the vehicle. Yet Cahin had not thought of style. 
The great doctrines he was enunciating engrossed 
him entir-ely ; and the free and majestic march of his 
thoughts summoned up words of fitting simplicity 
and gi-andeur, and -svithout conscious efibrt on his 
part marshalled them in the most efi'ective order, 
and an-anged them in th^ most harmonious periods. 
In gi^-ing France a religion, Cahin at the same 
time gave France a language. 

Men who have had but little sympathy with his 
theology have been loud in theii- praises of his 
genius. Scaliger said of him, three hundred years 
ago, " Calvin Ls alone among theologians ; there is 
no ancient to compare with him." Sir William 
Hamilton in our o^vn day has indorsed this judg- 
ment. "Looking merely to his learning and 

= Felice, Sist. Frot. France, vol. i., p. 36. 



ability," said this distinguished metaphysician, 
" Calvin was superior to all modern, perhaps to all 
ancient, divines. Succeeding ages ha^•e certainly 
not exhibited his equal." Dr. Cunningham, a 
most competent judge, says : " The Institutes of 
Calvin is the most important work in the history 
of theological science It may be said to 

but more concise and serious and more French. "- 
Anothe)- French writer of our day, who does not 
belon'T to the Protestant Chui-ch, but who is a 
profound thinker, has characterised the Itistitutes 
as "the first work in the French tongue which offere 
a methodical jilan. well-arranged matter, and e.xact 
composition. Calvin," he says, "not only perfected 

occupy, in the science of theology, the place which 
it requires both the Xovum Orgmnnn of Bacon and 
the Principia of Newton to till up in physical 
science."' "Less learned," says Paul Lacroix of 
his style, "elaborate, and ornate than that of Rabe- 
lais, but more ready, flexible, and skilful in ex- 
pressing all the shades of thought and feeling. Less 
ingenious, agreeable, and rich than that of Amyot, 
but keener and more imposing. Less highly 
coloured and engaging than that of Montaigne, 

the language by enriching it, he created a peculiar 
foi'ni of kxnguagp, the most conformable to the 
genius of our country." And of Cahin himself he 
says : " He treats every question of Christian j)hilo- 
sophy as a great writer. He equals the most 
sublime in his grand thoughts upon God, the ex- 
pression of which was equalled but not surpas.sed 
by Bossuet."''' 

A scheme of doctrine, a code of government, a 

1 Cunningham, Reformers and Theol. of Reform., p. 295. 

- Paul Laci'oix— Bim^ener, Calvin, p. 57. 
3 M. Nisard, Rist. of French Lit. 




plan of Church organisation, the Institutes was at 
the same time an apology, a defence of the perse- 
cuted, an appeal to the conscience of the persectitor. 
It -was dedicated to Francis I.' But the dedication 
did not run in the usual form. Calvin did not 
approach tlie monarch to bow and gloze, to recount 
his virt^ies and extol his greatness. He spoke as 
it becomes one to speak who pleads for the innocent 
condemned at unrighteous tribunals, and for truth 
overborne by bloody violence. His dedication was 
a noble, most affecting and thrilling intercession 
for his brethren in France, many of whom were 
at that moment languishing in prison or perishing 
at the stake. 

With a noblar indignation than even that which 
burns on the pages of Tacitus, and in a style 
scarcely inferior in its rapid and scathing power to 
that of the renowned historian, does Calvin proceed 
to refute, rapidly yet conclusively, the leading 
charges whicli had been advanced against the 
disciples of the Reformation, and to denounce the 
terrible array of banishments, proscriptions, iine«, 
dungeons, torturings, and blazing piles, with which 
it was sought to root them out.- " Your doctrine 
is new," it was said. "Yes," Calvin makes answer, 
" for those to whom the Gospel is new." " By what 
miracle do you confinn it?" it had been asked. 
Calvin, glancing contem])tuously at the sort of 
miracles which the priests sometimes employed to 
confinn the Romish doctrine, replies, " By those 
miracles which in the early ago so abundantly 
ittested the divinity of the Gospel — the holy lives 
iii its disciples." "You contradict the Fathers," 
it liad been farther in-ged. The Reformer twits his 
accusers with " adoring the slips and errors" of the 
Fathers ; but " when they speak well they either 
do not hear, or they misinterpret or con-upt what 
they say." That is a very extraordinary way of 
showing respect for the Fa there. "Despise the 
Fathers!" "Why, the Fathers are our best 
friend.-,." He was a Father, Epiphanius, who said 
that it was an abomination to set up an image in a 
Christian temple. He was a Father, Pope Gelasius, 
who maintained that the bread and wine remain 
unchanged in the Eucharist. He was a Father, 
Augustine, who affirmed that it was rash to assert 
any doctrine which did not i-est on the clear testi- 
mony of Scripture. But the Fathers come faster 
tharn Calvin can receive theii- evidence, and so a 
crowd of names are thrown into the margin, who 

' "Potentissimo niuatrissimoque Monarchee, Francisco, 
Francorum Eegi Christianissimo, Prineipi suo, Joannes 
Calvinus, pacem ac sakitem in Christo precatur.' ' {Prce- 
fatio ad Begem Oallits—Calvhn 0pp., vol. ix.) 

- Prrc/atio ad Rerjem Gallia. 

all with " one heart and one mouth " execrated and 
condemned " the sophistical reasonings and scho- 
lastic wranglings " with which the Word of God 
had been made void.^ 

Turning round on liis accusers and waxing a little 
wai-m, Calvin demands who they are who " make 
war with such savage cruelty in behalf of the mnss, 
of purgatory, of pilgrimages, and of similar follies," 
and why it is that they display a zeal in behalf of 
these things which they have never shown for the 
Gospel 1 " Why 1" he replies, " but because their 
God is theu- belly, and then- religion the kitchen""' 
— a rejoinder of which it is easier to condemn the 
coarseness than to impugn the truth. 

If their cause were unjust, or if their lives had 
been wicked, they refused not to die ; but the 
Reformer complains that the most atrocious 
cahimnies had been poured into the ears of the king 
to make their tenets appear odious, and their per- 
sons hateful. " They plotted," it was said, " to 
pluck the sceptre from his hand, to overturn his 
tribunals, to abolish all laws, to make a spoil of 
lordships and heritages, to remove all the landmarks 
of order, and to plunge all peoples and states in war, 
anarchy, and rviin."^ Had the accusation been true, 
Calvin would have been diunb ; he would have 
been covered with shame and confusion before the 
king. But raising his head, he says, " I turn to 
you, Sire . . . Is it possible that we, from whom 
a seditious word was never heard when we lived 
under you, should plot the subvei-sion of king- 
doms ? And, what is more, who now, after being 
expelled from our Louses, cease not nevertheless to 
pray to God for your prosperity, and that of your 
kingdom." As regards their cause, so defomed I)y 
enemies, it was simply the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
their only crime was that they believed the Gospel. 
They who were maintaining it were a poor, despicable 
people — nay, if the king liketl it, " the scum of the 
earth ; " but though its confessore were weak, the 
cause was great ; " it is exalted far above all the 
power and glory of the world ; for it is not ours, 
but that of the living God and his Christ, whom 
God has made King to rule from sea to sea, and 
from the rivers imto the ends of the earth." He 
had not come before the king to beg toleration for 
that cause — the men of those days could no more 
conceive of a government tolerating two opposing 
religions than of a judge deciding in favour of two 
rival clain'.ants — what Cahon demanded was that 
their cause should receive that submission which is 

3 Prafatio ad Regem QalUcc. 

■• " Cur? Nisi quia illis Deua venter est, culina religio." 
{Prafatio ad Regem Galliw.) 
' rnefatio ad R^'jem Gallia. 



the riglit of truth ; that the king shoukl embrace, 
not tolerate. 

But if this may not be, Calvin says in effect, 
if injustice shall still be meted out to us, be it 
known unto you, O kmg, that we will not abandon 
the truth, or bow down to the gods that Eome has 
set up. As sheep appomted unto the slaughter, we 
shall take meekly whatever sufferings you are pleased 
to inflict upon us. We offer our persons to your 
prisons, our limbs to your racks, our necks to your 
axes, and oiir bodies to your fires ; but know that 
there is One in whose sight our blood is precious, 
and in shedding it you are removing the firmest 
defenders of your thi-one and of yoiu- laws, and pre- 
parmg for your house and realm a terrible overthrow. 
The years will quickly revolve ; the cup will be filled 
up ; and then — but let us quote the very words in 
which the young Reformer closes this appeal to 
the great monarch : "I have set before you the 
iniquity of our calumniators. I have desired to 
soften your heart to the end that you would give 
our cause a healing. I hope we shall be able to 
regain your favour, if you should be pleased to read 
without anger this confession, which is our defence 
before your Majesty. But if malevolent persons stop 
your eai-s ; if the accused have not an opportunity 
of defending themselves ; if impetuous furies, un- 
restrained by your order, still exercise their cruelty 
by imprisonments and by scourging, by tortures, 
mutilation, and the stake .... verily, as sheep 
given up to slaughter, we shall be reduced to the 
last extremity. Yet even then we shall possess 
our souls in patience, and shall wait for the strong 
hand of the Lord. Doubtless, it will be stretched 
forth in due season. It will appear armed to de- 
liver the poor from their afllictions, and to punish 
the despisers who are now making merry so boldly. 
"May the Lord, the King of kings, establish 
your throne in righteousness and your seat in 

In penning this appeal Calvin occupied one of the 
sublimest positions in all history. He stood at a 
gi-eat bar — ^the throne of France. He pleaded before 
a vast assembly — all Christendom ; nay, all ages ; 
and as regards the cause which he sustained at this 
august bar, and in presence of this immense con- 

Prafatio ad Regem Galliw. 

course of nations and ages, it was the greatest in 
the world, inasmuch as it was that of the Gospel 
and of the rights of conscience. With what feel- 
ings, one naturally asks, did Francis I. read 
this appeal 1 Or rather did he read it at all 1 
It is commonly thought that he did not. His 
heart liardened by pleasure, and his ears pre- 
occupied with evil counsellors, this cry of a suffering 
Church could find no audience ; it swept past the 
throne of France, and mounted to the throne of 

But before the " strong arm " to which Calvin 
had alluded should be " stretched forth " more than 
two centuries were to j^ass away. These martyrs 
had to wait till " their brethi-eu " also should be 
slain as they had been. But meanwhile there were 
given unto them the " white I'obes " of this triumph- 
ant \'indication ; for scarcely were their ashes cold 
when this eloquent and touching appeal was plead- 
ing for them in many of the tongues of Europe, 
thrilling every heart with the storj- of their wi'ongs, 
and inspii-ing thousands and tens of thousands to 
brave the tyrant's fury, and at the risk of torture 
and death to confess the Gospel. This was their 
" first resurrection." What they had sown in 
weakness at the stake rose in power in the Insti- 
tutes. Calvin, gathering as it wei-e all their 
martyr-piles into one blazing torch, and holduig it 
aloft, miule the splendour of their cause and of theu' 
names to shine from the east even unto the west 
of Christendom. 

The publication of the Institutes placed Calvin 
in the van of the Reformed hosts. He was henoe- 
forwai-d the recognised chief of the Refonnation. 
HLs retreat was now known, and this city on the 
edge of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Rhine, 
could no longer afford him the privacy he sought. 
Men from every country were beginning to seek 
him out, and gather round him. Rising up, he 
hastily quitted Basle, and crossing " Italy's snowy 
wall " (by what route is not known), and holding on 
his way across the plain of Lombardy till he reached 
the banks of the Po, he found an asylum at the 
coiu't of Renee, daughter of Louis XII. of France, 
and Duchess of Ferrara, who, like Margaret of 
Valois, had opened her heart to the doctrines of the 
Reformation. Calvin disappears for awhile from 
the scene. 



33oofc JfoiutftntI). 




Protestantism finds a New Centre— The Lake Leman— Geneva— Its Site— Its Diminutive Size— Sneers— History of 
Geneva— Four Names, Julius Ciesar, Honoriue, Cliarlemagne, the Reformation, indicate the Four Stages of its 
History— The Bishop its First Ruler— Intrigues of the Dukes of Savoy— Pope Martin V. takes from the Genevese 
the right of Electing their Bishop— Exercises it himself— Appoints a Prince of Savoy to be Bishop of Geneva— Its 
Independence on the point of being Extinguished— New Life— War between the Prince-Bishop and the Citizens— 
Bdiivard— His Picture of the Popes— Berthelier— His Devotion to his Country— Levrier— His Love of Justice— 
The War Then and Now — Wonderful Preservation of Geneva's Independence— A Higher Liberty Approaching. 

Prote3TANTIS.m lias now received its completed 
logical and doctrinal development, and a new and 
more central position must be fomid for it. Before 
returning to the o])en stage of the great Empires of 
France and Gennany, and resuming our narrative 
of tlie renovating powers which the Reformation 
had called fortk, with the great social and political 
revolutions which came in its train, we must devote 
our attention to a city that is about to become the 
second metropolis of Protestantism. 

In leaving the vnde arena of empire where Pro- 
testantism is jostled by dukes, prelates, and em- 
perors, and moves amid a blaze of State pageantries, 
and in shutting ourselves up in a little town whose 
name histoi-y, as yet, had'hardly deigned to men- 
tion, and whose diminutive size is all but annihilated 
liy the mighty mountainous masses amid which 
it is placed, we make a great transition. But if 
the stage is narrow, and if Protestantism is stripped 
of all that drapery and pomp which make it so im- 
posing on the wider arena, we shall here have a 
closer view of the principle itself, and be the better 
able to mark its sublimity and power, in the mighty 
impulses which from this centre it is to send abroad, 
in order to plant piety and nourish liberty in other 

In the valley which the Jura on the one side, 
and the white Al]is on the other, enclose within 
their gigantic arms, lies the mirror-like Leman. At 
the point where the Rhone gushes from the lake a 
bulging rock bristles up, and, running in the form 
of a crescent a little space along the shore of the 
Leman, forms a pedestal for the city of Geneva. 
Tlie little town looks down upon the placid waters 
of the lake spread out at its feet, and beholds its 
own image uiii'i'ored dearly, but not gi'andly. foi' 
architectural maguilicence is not one of the cha- 

racteristic features of the city, especially in the 
times of which we write. A few miles away, on 
the other side, another rock shoots up, dark, pre- 
cipitous, and attaining the dignity of a mountain — 
lofty it would seem in any other country, but here 
it has to compete with the gigantic piles of the 
Alps — and, bending crest-like, leans over Geneva, 
which it appears to guard. A few acres sufiice to 
give standing-room to the city. Its population in 
the days of Calvin numbered only some 12,000, 
and even now does not much exceed .30,000. Its 
cantonal territory is the smallest in all Switzerland, 
that of Zug excepted. Its diminutive size provoked 
the sneer of the philosopher of Ferney, who could 
survey it all standing at his door. " When I dress 
my peruke," said Voltaire, " I powder the whole 
republic." The Emperor Paid sarcastically called 
the struggles of its citizens " a tempest in a tea- 
pot." In days prior to the utterance of these sar- 
casms and taunts — that is, iu the latter part of the 
sixteenth century — this little town e-\.cited other 
emotions than those of contempt, and was the butt 
of other assaults than those of sarcasm. It brought 
pallor into the face of monai'chs. It plucked the 
sceptre from the gi-asp of mighty empires, and 
showed the world that it knew how to extend and 
perpetuate its sway by making itself the metroj)olis 
of that moral and spiritual movement which, what- 
ever might be the fate of the city itself, even should 
its site become the bare rock it once was, would 
continue to spread abroad to all countries, and 
travel do^vir to all the ages of the future. 

Turning from its site to its history, Geneva dates 
from before the Christian era, and is scarcely, if at 
all, less ancient than that other city, that takes the 
))roud nanu! of '■ Ktci-nal," and with which it has 
been Geneva's lot, in these last ages, to do battle. 



Buried fii-st amid the dense shadows of paganism, 
and next amid the not less dense shadows of 
Popery, Geneva remained for ages unknown, and 
gave no augury to the world of the important part 
it was destined to play, at a most eventful epoch, 
in the histoiy of nations. It comes first into view 
in connection -with the great Julius, who stumbled 
upon it as he was pursuing his career of northern 
conquest, and wi-ote its name in his Cornraentaries, 
-where it figures as "the last fortress of the Allo- 
broges."' But the conqueror passed, and with 
him passed the light which had touched for a 
moment this sub-Alpine stronghold. It fell back 
again into the darkness. Under Honorius, in the 
foiu-th century, it became a city. It rose into some 
eminence, and even was possessed of a little liberty, 
in the days of Charlemagne. But a bettei- day-spring 
awaited Geneva. The rising sim of the Reforma- 
tion struck full upon it, and this small town became 
one of the lights of the world. 

But we must glance back, and see what a long 
preparation the little city had to undergo for its 
great destiny. The dissolution of the Empire of 
Charlemagne set Geneva free to consider after what 
fashion il should govern itself At this crisis its 
bishop stepped forwai'd and claimed, in addition to 
its spiritual oversight, the right to exercise its tem- 
poral government. The citizens conceded the claim 
only within certain limits. StUl preserving their 
liberties, they took the bishop into partnei-ship with 
them in the civic jurisdiction. The election of the 
bishop was in the hands of the people, and, before 
permitting him to mount the episcopal chair, they 
made him take an oath to presoi-ve their franclnses.' 
In the middle of the thirteenth centmy the inde- 
pendence of Geneva began to be menaced by the 
Counts of Savoy. That ambitious house, which 
was labouring to exalt itself by absorbmg its neigh- 
bours' territory into its own, had cast covetous eyes 
upon Geneva. It would round oflT their dominions ; 
besides, they were sharp-sighted enough to see that 
there were certain piinciples at work in this little 
Alpine town which made them uneasy. But 
neither intrigues nor arms — and the Princes of 
Savoy employed both— could prevail to this end. 
The citizens of Geneva knew how it fared ^vith them 
xmder the stafl" of their bishop, but they did not 
know how it might go with them under the sword 
of the wan-ior, and so they stubbornly declined the 
protection of their powerful neighbour. 

In the fifteenth century, the Counts of Savoy, 
now become dukes, still persevering in their at- 

' De Bella GalXico, i. 6. 

" Spon, Hist, de Geneve, iii., p. 108. 

tempts to bring the brave little city under then- 
yoke, besought the aid of a power which history 
atte.sts has done more than all the dukes and 
warriors of Christendom to extinguish liberty. 
Duke Amadeus VIII., who had added Piedmont 
to his hereditary dominions, as if to exemplify the 
adage tliat " ambition gi-ows by what it feeds on," 
petitioned Pope Martui V. to vest in him the 
secular lordship of Geneva. The citizens scented 
what was in the wind, and knowing that " Rome 
ought not to lay its paio upon kingdoms," resolved 
to brave the Pope himself if need were. Laying 
their hands iipon the Gospels, they exclaimed, 
" No alienation of the city or of its territory — tliis 
we swear." Amadeus mthdrew before the firm 
attitude of the Genevese. 

Not so the Pope ; he continued to prosecute the 
intrigue, deeming the little town but a nest of 
eaglets among crags, which it were wise betimes 
to pull down. But, more crafty than the duke, he 
tried another tack. Depriving the citizens of the 
right of electing their- bishop, Mai-tLn V. took the 
nomination into his own hands, and thus opened 
the way for quietly transferring the municipal rule 
of Geneva to the House of Savoy. All he had 
now to do was to appoint a Prince of Savoy as 
its bishop. By-and-by this was done ; and the 
struggle with the Savoy power was no longer out- 
side the walls only, it was mainly within. The era 
that now opened to Geneva was a stormy and bloody 
one. Intrigues and rvimours of intrigues kept the 
citizens in perpetual disquiet. The city saw itself 
stripped of its privileges and immunities one by 
one. Its annual fair was transferred to Lyons, 
and the crowd of merchants and traders which had 
flocked to it from beyond the Alps, from the towns 
of France, and from across the Rhine, ceased to be 
seen. Tales of priestly scandals — for the union of 
the two offices in their prince-bishop only helped to 
develop the worst qualities of both — passed from 
mouth to mouth and j^olluted the very air. If 
Geneva was growing weaker, Savoy was growing 
stronger. The absorption of one petty principality 
after another was daily enlarging the dominions of 
the duke, which, sweeping past and around Geneva, 
enclosed it as in a net, with a hostile land bristling 
with castles and swarming with foes. It was said 
that there were more Savoyards than Genevese who 
heard the bells of St. Pierre. Such was the position 
in which the opening of the sixteenth century 
found Geneva. This small but ancient munici- 
pality was seemingly an the point of being absorbed 
in the dominions of the House of Savoy. Its 
history appeared to be closed. The vulture of the 
Alps, which had hovered above it for centuries. 



had but to swoop down iipou it and trauslix it with 
his talons. 

At that moment a new life s