...AS ALSO, THE REMARKABLE PROPHECY OF THE LEARNED AND REVEREND DR. MUSCULUS
The prophecies of Martin Luther, concerning the Downfall of the Pope of Rome, and of the Germane Empire, that will be over-run with the Armies of the Turks; together with the Reasons that be giveth for it, Etc.
The Name of Martin Luther is so Famous throughout all Europe, that he cannot be unknown either to the Papists, or the Protestants, having deeply obliged the One, by opposing the Errours, and the False-hoods of the other; Indeed, there were some others before Him that did write against the Corruptions of the Church of Rome; As John Hus, Jerome of Prague, who were the First Fruits of the Reformation; and were both honoured with the Crowns of Martyrdome; Martin Luther, as he came after them, so having a higher Spirit to imbolden him, and a more Powerfull Number of Friends to assist him, did give a greater blow to the Church of Rome; and fulfilled his own Prophecy, which was, That the longer Popery continued, the more it should be every day condemned ; The Prophecies of this great Reformer of the Church were Remarkable, foretelling the Ruine of the Pope of Rome, and the German Empire, which should be brought unto Confusion by the Formidable powers of the Turk: But before I represent unto you the Prophecies of Martin Luther, it will not be amisse to give you a short View of his Life, and of the Prophecies of others concerning him; that so by reading of their Prophecies in Relation to himself; His own Prophecies concerning the Downfall of the Pope of Rome, and the German Empire may gaine the greater Confirmation.
In the first place, I shall give you the True Presage of John Hilton, who himself a Friar by Profession; He Prophecied, that much about the Year, one thousand five hundred and sixteen (which was at the same time when Luther began to Declare himself against the Church of Rome) the Mystery of Ungodliness would begin to be Discovered, and the Son of Righteousness shine forth in the Truth of the Gospel, and that Popery wiould at that time finde in Germany and in other parts of Christendome a general Declension; which Prophecy was by Martin Luther, who flourished in those times most undoubtedly fulfilled.
But the Testimony of Johyn Hus, who being condemned to suffer the Flames of Martyrdom at Constance, is most remarkable; It was almost one hundred years, before that Luther did openly professe himself an Enemy, to the Errours and Idolatry of the Church of Rome; John Hus being brought unto the Stake, expressed himself in these words. This day, said he, you do rost a Goose (for so the word Hus signifies in the German Tongue) but one hundred years hence, you shall bear a Swan to Warble, whom you shall not be able to rost nor overcome ; and this at the end of the Time prescribed was effectually made good, for then Martin Luthers voice was effectually heard, who Preached so powerfully with his Tongue, and wrote so sharply with his Pen, as not any one before him, since the time of theApostles, did the like; and notwithstanding all the Fury and Violence of the Papists, who with elabourate Malice endeavoured to suppresse him, he continued Preaching and Writing against them many years afterwards, and departed this Life in Peace to the Praise of God, and the great Shame and Derision of the pope and his Accomplices: We may instance many other Prophesyes of the like Nature, which we purposely forbear, being to contrast much into a little Volume.
OF THE PARENTAGE, AND LIFE OF LUTHER
Martin Luther was the Son of a Farmer, he was born at Isseben, in the County of Mansfield, in the year one thousand foure hundred and eighty three, on the 10th day of November: His Father, his Grand Father, and his Great Grand Father (as he saith himself) were Farmers; His Father abandoning his Farme upon some discontents, and finding some Profitable Imployments at Mansfield, he addressed himself to that place, where he was one of the Miners in the Silver Mines; In the mean time Luther had his Education in the same Town where he was born, and being fitted for the University at Ersurd, he took there the Degrees of Bachellour, and Masters of Arts, and in a short processe of time, he took upon him the Habit and Formality of a Friar, at which his Father was much displeased; But it pleased God by this means to make use of him for the over-throwing of the power of Antichrist; Luther having found how directly opposite the Supremecy of the Pope was to the Doctrine of the primitive times, there grew on it the first contention, which being bandyed up and down with the Animosity, it gave Luther the occasion more strictly to examine some other Corruptions in the Church of Rome, which he did with so much vigour, that Pope Gregory the 13th, understanding what great hurt and prejudice he received from it, and fearing it might bring a further Contempt upon him, he did exasperate Rodolphus the Second, at that time Emperour of Rome, to publish an Edict throughout the Empire, that all the Books of Martin Luther should be burned, and that it should be Death for any man to keep them in his House, which Edict was not onely suddainly put in Execution by himself, but it was continued also by Ferdinand the Second, who was a severe Enemy, and a Persecutor of the Protestant Religion.
Luther, long before this had Esponsed a Virgin, whose Name was Katherine Bora, she had sometimes entred herself into a Cloyster of the Nuns, but disliking many abuses she found therein, before her year of Probation was expired she relinquished it.
This gave an occasion to the Monks and Friars to exclaime against Luther as having broken the Vow of Chastity; but Luther had abandoned the Office of a Friar before; neverthelesse he thus far declared himself, That a Preacher of the Gospel being orderly called thereunto, ought above all things to purify himself before he teacheth others, and if he be able with a good Conscience to live unmarried, it is his safest course to continue so, but in case he cannot obstain, and live chastly, he is then to marry, and to take a wife; for God hath provided such a Remedy for that infirmity ; I could here insert Luther’s own Prayer before his Marriage, and the Reason why he took a Wife, which was, as he himself said to unbraid the Devil, and to confound the filthy incontinent life in Popery, which was so odious and abominable, that Pope Leo himself was taken out of the World at that time when he was committing Buggery with a Prostituted Boy. I could here also insert the lamentable Fruits of an unmarried Life in Priests and Nuns; which have been so notorious, that not onely in Rome and Germany, but in England also, and many other Places, there have been found in Ponds and Cellars many thousand heads of infants, who thus desperately have been thrown away to preserve the Reputation of the Castity of the Nuns and Friars: But I must returne from whence a little I have digressed.
Luther’s Name growing Famous in Germany, for the great overthrows which he gave to many of the chiefest Professors of the Church of Rome, and to the Supremacy of the pope himself, he was summoned by the Emperour to appear at the Imperial Diet at Worms; which when the Prince Electour of Saxony understood, he did earnestly disswade him from it, alleaging that he should have the whole Christian world against him; and although he was ready and willing to defend him, yet Luther and he being but two persons, they were unable to oppose so great a Multitude; he there advised him not to undertake so dangerous a journey, but to be warned by the example of John Hus; who although he had the Emperours Letters of safe Conduct to preserve him, yet he was surprized there, and consumed by fire to ashes. Luther having heard the Elector to give him this council, make answer to him, that he must confesse that (as the case now stood) he was too weak to defend him; neverthelesse he was resolved to go, and to defend the Elector; for although (said he) there be in Worms as many Devils as there be Tiles on all the Houses of the City; yet I am resolved to go thither, and to maintain what I have done and undertaken.
Many more such examples may be given of his Courage, and his Confidence; at the last when he saw that by his endeavours the Gospel began to flourish and to be preached no onely in Germany but other Countryes, and that he had reaped the comfort of his Industry and his Study it pleased God to Visite him with Sicknesse, at which time, giving thanks unto God who had delivered him from so many Deceits and Assaults of his Merciless Enemies, he composed these following Verses in Latine. Quasitus toties, toties tibi Roma petitus, Ille ego per Christum vivo Lutherus adbuc, Una mibi spes est qua non fraudabor Jesus, Hunc mibi dum teneam perfida Roma cave.
Which are thus in English, Behold! through Christ, I Luther yet do live, By Rome so often sought, but I believe.
Christ Jesus is my onely hope, by whom, Whilest I do live, take heed persidious Rome.
Being a little recovered, he was advised to take the Ayre which accordingly he did, on the sixteenth of February in the year, 1546, at what time, he said, when I come again to Wittembergh, I will be lodged in a Coffin, and will surrender to the Worms a fat Luther to feed upon, and so it fell out; for two days afterwards he was translated from this life unto a better, and perceiving himself to grow fainter and draw near unto his end, he called for Pen, Inke, and Paper, and wrote this verse following to lye as it were an Epitaph upon his own tomb. Pestis eram vivens, moriens ero imorstua Papa.
Living, I was a Plague to thee, Dying, O! Pope thy Death l’le be.
Which by Philip Melanchon was rendred in a Dissich much after the same sence, and manner. Qui dum vixit erat tua pestis (Papa) Lutherus, Hic tibi causa, sue sunere, mortis-erit.
Luther who living was thy Plague, he shall, Caused by his death, O Pope! thy utter fall.
He lived sixty and three years, and was buried at Isleben (where he was born) on the 19th of February 1546. Having given you this Account of his life, we shall now passe unto his Prophecyes.
THE PROPHECIES OF LUTHER
And above all, this is most remarkable; The Turk, saith he, shall give a great Clap to Germany; Me thinks I see him Marching through and through the whole Body of the Empire; who so liveth one hundred years and upwards, will see the same accomplished, I oftentimes do contemplate thereupon, and thinking on the great misery which will insue upon the Empire, I do sweat thereat; Neverthelesse Germany goeth on in sin, and refuseth to be helped: No humane power or potentate can beat the Turk, but onely that Man who is named Christ; as for the Emperour, king Ferdimand and the Princes, they can accomplish nothing.
It is observable, that although Luther had Prophecied this of the Turk, yet he had no good opinion of him; for there being a great Commotion at that time in Germany concerning Religion, the Turk desired to know what manner of man Luther was, and of what years: when it was told him that he was a Corpulent man, and of about fifty years of age, the Turk replyed, I could wish he were younger, for he shall have of me a gracious Lord; which when it was brought to Luthers eare by the Prince Elector of Saxony, God preserve me (saith Luther) from such a gracious Lord as the Emperour of Turkey is, for the Turk is a Crafty and Subtile Enemy, who maketh War not onely with great Courage, and a Formidable Number of Souldiers, but also he manageth it with many Stratagems, and much Craft and Subtilty; he is always beating up the Quarters of his Enemies, and by that means makes them faint and wary; he keepeth them waking with often Skirmishing, and seldome ingageth with the whole body of His Army, unlesse he be assured of the Victory; He is ready to take all advantages; His Power is great, being able in Luthers Time to maintain and pay yearly two hundred thousand Souldiers, which at the least amounteth to fifteen Millions of Rix Dollars.
By Degrees the Turk Suppressed the Sarazens, who before were Conquerours, and Lords of all, in Syria, Asia, and Jerusalem, and in the Land of Promise, and hath also great Dominions in Africa and Greece:
Much about thirty years before Luthers time he utterly over-threw the whole Army of the Sarazens, and killed the Soldan in that Battel.
The German Princes, said Luther, ought to be well Qualified and Armed to incounter with so powerfull an Enemy as the Turks. The Princes themselves ought in their own Person to advance into the field, and not encounter the Turk with any inconsiderable number, for the Turke is an Enemy that ought not to be Undervalued, or Contemned; The Prophet Daniel saith, It is given unto him to go against the Saints of God, Dan. 11.
And therefore his Fortunes and his Victories are so great; He maketh three Thrones or Seats in his Religion; In the midst, he placeth God himself, and Christ on his left Hand, and Mahomet on the right; He taketh his Oath by God who Created heaven and Earth; by Mahomet his Servant, and by the Foure score and foure Prophets sent from heaven. I am afraid said Luther it will go with Germany (which is one of the best Countries in the World) as hereto fore it went with Troy, Fuit Illium cingens Gloria Teucrorum, saith the Poet; Heretofore there was a Troy, and great was the Glory of the Trojans; So heretofore there was a Germany, and great was the Glory of the Germans; but now a short time will see it brought into streights and Devastation.
The great Overthrows which the Turks shall give to the Forces of the Emperour, was not onely foretold by the Prophet Daniel (said Luther) but also it was delivered in the Revelation of St. John; to the end that Godly and upright Christians should not be affrighted at his great Power and Tyrray. Daniel excelleth in his Prophecies which shall continue to the end of the World; He most clearly describeth the kingdomes of Antichrist and the Turk, in the Revelation of St. John, Chap. 13. It is Written; That it was given unto him to make War with the Saints, and to overcome them; which words are expresly spoken of the Turk, and not of the pope; for the Saints overcome not by their Sancity, but by their Patience, and in their overcoming by Faith, when their Bodies are murdered: The Prophet Danield proceedeth further, and saith, it shall be for a Time, Times, and half a Time. If Time signifieth a year, a peradventure it may, then this prophecy was first of all fulfilled in Antiochus, who Tyrannized three years and an halfe, over the Nation of Israel, after which time he miserably rotted, and most lamentably died in such an intolerable stench occasioned by his Disease, that not any were able to indure the most noysome favour of it, or to remain about him.
Luther would oftentimes complain of the great negligence of the Emperour Charles, in giving an Advantage to the Turk, always to overcome hime, and to take in one Town after another; whereas the Emperour should alwaies have kept a Gallant and a Resolute Army in the Field, or to have them in a readinesse in their Winter Quarters to be drawn forth into the Field upon the Emergencies of any Advantage or Opposition, for this is the vigilant Custome of the Turks in all his Enterprises, whole Sanizaries (the most Resolute and most Experienced of all his Souldiers , are always ready at the beat of a Drum for any Enterprize). Mahomet began to Appear in the World in the year, Six hundred and thirty, after the Incarnation of our Saviour, which is now above one thousand years agoe.
The Turks (saith Luther) do swell as much with their Lies, as with their Victories, they acknowledge that Isdaac was the first and the True Son of the Promise; but when he should be Sacrificed, he conveyed himself away from his Fathers sight, pretending that he would go and fetch a knife, and other utensils for the Sacrifice; whereupon Ishmael came, and of his own Accord did offer up himself to be Sacrificed; upon which Account he became the Child of the Promise; This (said Luther) is as grosse a lye, as that of the papists concerning the Administration, only under one kind in the Sacrament. And as Antiochus above mentioned, was struck by God with a loathsome Disease, and killed without hands; Even so (said Luther) shall it go with the Pope; He shall fall and be destroyed without any Blow of the Sword, or without any Hands to mannage a Sword; he shall Famish himself, for he hath never used any great or powerfull Armies whereby to Defend or Inlarge his Dominions, but hath subsisted onely by Lying and Superstition, and pretended Scripture to maintain him in his Falshoods, as in one place, Thou art Peter, and in another Feed my Lambs; Upon such deceitful grounds he hath Increased, and so shall he fall again; Therefore this prophecy in the Scriptures, He shall fall without power belongeth properly to the pope; For all other Potentates and Tyrants proceed, with Power and Force; Neverthelesse, his prophecy (saith Luther) in some manner may reflect as well upon the Turk, as upon the pope, for they began both of them almost at one time under the Emperour Phocas, for then Mahomot began to show his Blasphemous tongue, and the pope to Rule Spiritually; But the popes Temporall Kingdome (saith Luther) hath scarce continued three hundred years, since he began to Rule over Kings and Emperours.
LUTHER ADMONITION TO THE GERMANS, HOW THEY OUGHT TO MAKE WAR AGAINST THE TURKS.
Luther understanding that the Emperour Charles had sent eighteen thousand Spaniards into Austria, to defend the same against the Turks; He sighed, and said, These are strange Designs, when the Spaniards shall come to defend the Germans.
The Greatest part of the Spaniards, and their Neighbours Adjacent to them are Moorans, Baptized Jews, that believe in nothing at all; Hereupon Luther wrote a Letter to the Generalissmo of the Emperours Army, at that time in Hungaria, diligently admonishing him to consider that he had four Great Armies to Encounter with:
The first, was with the Devil:
The Second , with the Turk:
The third, with Gods Wrath:
And the fourth, with the Sins of that Nation.
He told him that all the Kingdomes of the Earth had Fallen, and been Destroyed by Home-bred Dissentions; So fell the Empires of the Medes and Persians; so fell the Empires of the Greeks and Romans; and so likewise will it go with Germany, said Luther; For the Princes of the Empire will not Agree amongst Themselves; and so at last will it go with the Turk himself, for the higher he climbeth, he is in the greater Danger to Fall; When his time commeth, then it will be done in a Moment, and the Lord God will lay his Kingdome in the Ashes.
I made mention in the Life of Luther, that some Eminent Persons presaged of his Birth, and what a Scourge he should prove to the Licentious Discipline of the Church of Rome.
In he year one thousand five hundred and eleven, a Capuchia Friar (in the prefence of Doctor Staupits, and divers others at Rome) related a Dream, which on the night before he had Dreamed; which was, That a hermite should arise under Pope Leo the tenth, and should be a bitter Enemy to the Church of Rome; Whereupon Melanchon said, This Hermite is Luther, for the Ausstine Friars were called hermites. When many years afterwards, I was at Rome (said Luther) they shewed me for a precious Relique the Halter wherewith Judas hanged himself, which ought not by me (said he) to be forgotten, to shew in what a thick darknesse of Ignorance our Fore- Fathers lived; Rome was once a Holy City, but now she is the Spouse of the Devil, and Enemy of Christ.
Luther Discoursing of the Fathers of the Church; Ambrose (said he) was the Chiefest and the Eldest; after him St Jerome; next unto him St.
Augustine; and after him Gregory the Fourth: I have seen St. Augustine (said Luther) painted in some Books like a Friar with a Hood, by which that Holy Man was much injured, for he lived a publique kind of life, like a common Citizen; he used Silver Spoones and Cupps; he lived in ordinary amongst the people, and conversed with them, he lived no such Monkish kind of life, as the papists have feigned of him. The Old Fathers taught better, and with a greater power of Godlinesse then they Wrote. After the Fathers, came the Pope, and fell in with his mischievous Traditions, and humane Ordinances, and like a Deluge that beareth all before it, he overflowed the Church, and insnared the Consciences touching the eating of Meats, and concerning Masses, and Friars Hoods, and Impertinent and prophane Decrees and Laws, insomuch that he daily induced and brought in Abominable Errours into the Church of Christ, and to serve his own turn, perverted the Holy Scripture, and either expunged many things that were Written directly against him in the Fathers, , or else did interpret them to that fence which might serve best for his own Advantage; Insomuch, that upon these and some other considerations like unto them, Martin Luther Composed a little Tract, of the birth and Generation of the Desolation of Anticrist, which because he tooke some paynes in the Forming of the Extract, I have in this placed inserted it, hoping that you will receive some pleasure in the Reading of it. The Devil begat Darknesse; Darknesse begat Ignorance; Ignorance begat Errour, and his Brethren: Errour begat Free-will, and Presumption out of Self conceit; Free-will begat Merit; Merit begat Forgetfulnesse of God; Forgetfulnesse begat Transgression; Transgression begat Superstition; Superstition begat Satisfaction; Satisfaction begat Oblation of the Masse; The Oblation of the Masse begat Uncion; Uncion begat the Priest; Uncion begat Misbelief; Misbelief begat Hypocrisie; Hypocrisie begat Trading with Offerings for Gain; Trading begat Purgatory; Purgatory begat the Yearly Solemne Vigils; The Yearly Vigils begat Church- Living; Church-Living begat Mammon; Mammon begat Supersluity; Supersluity begat Excesse; Excesse begat Rage; Rage begat Licentiousnesse; Licentiousnesse begat Dominion; Dominion begat Pomp; Pomp begat Ambition; Ambition begat Symony; Symony begat the Pope and His Brethren; the Pope begat the Mystery of Iniquity; The Mystery of Iniquity begat Sophistical Divinity; Sophistical Divinity begat the Rejecting of the Holy Scripture; the Rejecting of the Holy Scripture begat Tyranny; Tyranny begat the Murdering of the Saints; The Murdering of the Saints begat the Contempt of God; the contempt of God begat Dispensation; Dispenstion begat Wilfull Sin; Wilfull Sin, begat Abomination; Abomination begat Desolation; Desolation begat Anguish; Anguish begat Questioning; Questioning begat the Searching, out of the Grounds of Truth; out of which the Pope, called Anticrist, is Revealed.
Thus have you out of Martin Luther, in his own words, the Genealogy of the Pope and by what a concatenated Race this Mystery of Iniquity came to be Revealed; the time will come saith St. Paul,2 Tim. 4. When they will not endure found Doctrine, but after their own Lusts they will heap unto themselves Teachers; having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from hearing the Truth, and shall be turned into Fables.
But amongst all the Fables, and Idolatries in the Church of Rome, there is none more Remarkable then Masse; Luther in his Tract hereof declareth, that no tongue is able to expresse the Abominations of the Masse, neither can the heart of man, comprehand the fame; and he saith it were no wonder, if that God should destroy the World for the Masse-sake, and the Abominations therein committed with Fire and Brimstone from Heaven.
When I was a young Friar (saith Luther) at Ertsurd, and was constrained to go out into the Vilages for Puddings and Cheeses, I came to a little Town where I heard Masse; now when I had put on my Vestments and my Ornaments and made my approaches to the Altar, the Sexton of the Church began merrily to play upon the Lute, at which I could hardly forbear from Laughing, for I was unaccustomed to such Musick.
The Pope must fall, saith Luther, and Popery with him, for it is the Devil himself, and all manner of Blasphemy to hold the final cause of the institution of humane Traditions to be the true Service and Worship of God and that it is necessary to Salvation; and this Assertion is most monstrous for suppose such humane Traditions were the best and most esteemed works of Christianity, which they are not, yet to affirm that they are necessary to Salvation, or do give God any satisfaction for sin, and that by that means they do purchase Grace, is to make our best works to be of God utterly rejected; Wherefore Christ saith, In vain do they serve me, teaching such doctrines which are the Commandements of Men; and St.
Paul saith, If either we, or any Angel from Heaven preach any other doctrine to you then that which we have preached let him be accursed.
Antichrist must fall, and it plainly and clearly appeareth, saith Luther, that the Pope is true Antichrist; those that transgresse his Decrees and Statutes, are farr more feverely and diligently punished, then those who offend the Laws and the word of God: In such a sort doth the Pope exalt himself over, and above God, and he is therefore most properly called Antichrist, in regard that he fitteth in the Temple, and in the Church of God, and boasteth himself above all that is called God. The Turk is not this Antichrist, saith Luther, for he fitteth not in Gods Church; he is but the Battle-Axe of God, whereby he executeth is Vengeance upon the Nations, he is a wicked Beast; out of Gods Church, there is not Antichrist; now the Pope fitteth in the Holy Church, and taketh unto him that Honour and Worship which is due unto God onely, therefore the Pope must be the true Antichrist. It is but a cold, and an idle dream of the Papists, that Antichrist should be a single, and unattended person that should govern in a wilde way by suborning, and scattering of moneys in the streets, and that he should do Miracles, and carry about him a fiery Oven, and that he should destroy the Saints, Eliah, and Enoch. There are too many (said Luther) who complain and think, I am too fierce and too violent against the Pope, when alas I conceive my self to be too milde; I do with that I could breath out thunder-bolts against the Pope and Popery, and that every word were a clap of thunder.
I do believe, saith Luther, that the Pope out of Special consideration, ordained and appointed the Feasts of St. Silvester, and of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, to be Celebrated eight days after the Nativity of our Saviour, in regard that St. Thomas of Canterbury brought unto the Pope the Kingdom of England, and St. Silvester the Empire of Rome.
In the year one thousand five hundred and thirty, in the Raign of Henry the eighth; the Pope endeavoured by money to corrupt some of the Kings Counsellours; and promised one of them who was of the Blood-Royal, and near unto the Kings person, that he would give that Kingdom unto him. the Pope boasted that he himself was Heir unto that Kingdome, by reason it was held as from him per seodum , but the Popes pride is so great, that he must fall; and it is no great wonder (saith Luther) that even in his time, the Majesty of the Pope was already fallen. All Monarchs, Emperours, Kings, and princes before Luthers time, did ever tremble at the Majesty and the Power of the Pope, none durst mutter so much as one word against him.
This great god is now fallen, his own creatures the monks and Fryers do begin to be his Enemies, and they onely adhear unto him for their Lucrei sake.
Popery must needs to be brought to the stake and pay for all; the Pope shall be devoured by Monks and Friers, which are his own Vermine and Creatures; It is they who do shake and make loose the fairest Monarchy of popery, which with great Advice and Consideration was erected. He hath forbidden them to enter into the State of Matrimony, when notwithstanding he hath commanded the same to be observed as a Sacrament; but if Matrimony be a Sacrament, saith Luther, then it cannot be observed by the Heathen; for the Unbelieving Gentiles who are the heathen, have nothing to do with Sacraments.
The Pope (saith Luther) must and shall fall; the blindnesse of the Papists is great and horrible, and is much to be admired, because in the Reconciliation for the living and the (and though they would pretend it is a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving) yet all their Cannonists and School-Divines, and their Preachers in their Pulpits do apparently disprove it; you may observe the impudence of some Popelins, that go about to prove this Horrible Errour; every Lievetenant say they, hath the same full and compleat power as his Lord and Master: Peter was Christs Lievetenaut, therefore he hath the same power that Christ had; and because Christ saith, To me is given all power in Heaven, and in Earth ; therefore they conclude, that the Pope who is Peters Lievetenant, hath the same Power as Christ himself.
To this Luther answers, That suppose it be granted, that Peter was Christs Lievetenant here on Earth, so long as he demeaned himself according to Christs work? yet it doth not hereupon follow, that Peter is Christs Lievetenant in Heaven; for Christ that said unto him, what thou bindest on Earth, doth not say unto him, what thou shalt binde in Heaven. He saith unto Peter, follow me, feed my sheep , my kingdome is not of this World; that is to say it is not gotten by humane strength and power, neither will it be maintained thereby.
The Pope therefore (saith Luther) is a Right Jew, who boasteth to enjoy by Christ a temporal Kingdome, he alone will have all the power & Authority, he will Rule and Determine all Councels, and Encroach upon them under the Name of God; If one should have defloured the Virgin Mary, or have crucified Christ; yet the Pope for money could pardon and forgive the same; therefore his Dominion is but short, and will be brought to Confusion in the year, 666, according to the number of the Beast, in the thirteenth Chapter of the Revelations.
Again, Popedome (saith Luther) must fall; It hath been always managed by wicked persons, and Correspondent to their Doctrine; for as the Creator is such is also his Creature. Pope Alexander was a Moran, that is to say a Baptised Jew, he believed nothing at all; he had a Concubine called Lucretia, to whom he afterwards espoused his own Pon: the pope that succeeded him was so great an enemy to him, that he caused all the Gates, Doors, and Windows on which his Name was Written, or his Armes Pourtrayed, to be broken down and defaced; when God speaketh the word Jerusalem fall; Rome be destroyed and lye in the Ashes, Pope come down from your Throne, the word of God will be obeyed, and must be accomplished immediately.
Pope Julius the Second, celebrated a faire Masse to the Devil upon Easter day in the morning, at which time he made a lamentable Slaughter, and Massacre with the French, in which twenty thousand Christians were slain.
The Pope and his accomplices (saith Luther) strive not for the benefit or the advancement of the Church, but onely to purchase Wealth, and to overcome Kingdomes and Countries. Therefore the Legal and Just proceedings of God, will fall upon the Pope and his Retinue, as already it hath begun; for against him, the three first Petitions in the Lords Prayer may justly be inverted; Blasphemed and Accursed be the name of the Pope, his Kingdome be destroyed and thrown down, his will be disappointed and confounded; I hope (saith Luther) the numbers of his Fryers and of his Nuns shall no more increase, when the Popes feet are chipt off, then he must creep, for he cannot stand long as he now standeth Again the Pope must fall, for he can neither be Primate, nor chief head in Christendome, and no ways possibly can visite and govern all the Churches, no not although he were Elias, Elisha, Peter or Paul. Melonchon put a question to Luther, and said, In case the Emperor should give over all his Right and Interest to the Pope, whether ought we shew obedience to the Pope or not? Whereupon Luther replyed, The Emperour as an ordained Governour, hath no power to resign over his Interests to the Pope who is no Magistate nor Governor ; For the Pope is a thing which standeth upon no ground, neither could it be called a Resignation to turn over the Emperours Right, and titles to the Pope, but it would be rather a Devastation whereby the Empire would be Lessened and extenuated. The Emperour hath neither Right nor Power to do it, for the Empire is not his own; it is not Successive but Elective. To conclude, when it is denyed that the Pope is a Governour (as in truth he is not) then is he bereaved of all, for whatforever he hath, he hath it not by Right, but hat stolen and usurped it. When it is spoken; therefore that the Emperour received the Empire of the Pope, it is of no value, for he could never give that which he never had; And it is a meer Fable, that either Constantine the Emperour, or Charles the Great, gave to the Pope such great Possessions as it boasted of; it was the Avarice of the Popes, and not any great Donations of the Emperours, by which the Popes have acquired such great Possessions; In former times the Popes were instituted and ordained by Emperours.
Pride again must have a fall, and so undoubtedly must the Pope; The Pope in one day (said Luther) made thirty Cardinalls, which on the other side of the River of Tiber were Mett and Received by a gallant Body of Horse, whereat, all the Cannons in the City of Rome were discharged, and the Acclamations and the Joyes of the people did strive to out-voice the Thunders of the Cannons; at the last the Pope himself came into the Field, at which the Great Guns in Rome were all discharged; and what with the noyse of the Cannons, and the hurry of the people; the Confusion begat a Terrour and a Trepidation, which was so great in the City, that the Temples also were sensible of it; insomuch, that in one of the Churches, the Child fell out of the armes of the Blessed Virgin; and (if we may believe Pasquil) he ascended up into heaven, fearing that amongst the rest, he also should be made a Cardinal. On the same day and at the same time, a Priest saying Masse at the Altar, did drop the consecrated Host, and for fear spilled the Cup, which being brought on the next day to the eare of the Pope, he said, that one of those whom had a Created a Cardinall, would prove a Plague to the Church of Rome; which not long afterwards, did fall out accordingly; not long afterward the Gospel began to be Revealed again, and brought to light by the Pen, and by the Preaching of Martin Luther; some time after that when the Positions of Martin Luther concerning the Popes Indulgences, were brought unto the Pope; He said, A Drunken Dutch man wrote them, and when he hath taken a good nap, and is sober again he will then be of another minde? no more did he valve that Blow from Luthers hand, which hath made his Chaire to toter ever since.
I would willingly (saith Luther) fall upon the Popes Decrees and Canons; no name or stile, is bad Pope & his accomplices relying on their great power, and presumption that they shal enough for him, his Wickednesse cannot be Sounded or Expressed; therefore Christ in one word sheweth it, and calleth him an Abomination of Dessolation that standeth on the Holy Mount. St. Paul nameth him, an Opposer or Adversary, that exalts himself above all that is called God. Daniel also Prophecyeth the same and faith, He shall be proud, and not regard the God of his Fathers.
The Pope & his accomplices relying on their great Power, and presumption that they shall never fal; do thereby Confound themselves; the Idolatry and Superstition in Popery, had for a time great power and operation; For Daniel touching Antichrist said, And he shall prosper till the indignation is now near accomplished, for the Pope in Gods good time will most undoubtedly fall ; God will overthrow him, and suddenly, if our own Secureness, and contempt of Gods Word doth give no hinderance to it. Let us pray, that even the fame misfortune may light upon Their Heads, which They intend ogainst Us, and that They may fall into that Pit, which They have digged for Us. We have humbled our selves and suffered enough; They have Burned, Hanged, Drowned and Banished those that were amongst Us. They will no wayes suffer themselves to be recalled from their Devilish Practices.
But we have one Remedy, Christ Jesus, the Son of GOD, and of the Blessed Virgin; It is he who is by GOD annointed King; He will, and shall stand fast to defend his own Cause in spite of all Opposition; He hath Overcome and Destroyed many Great kings, and laid them in the Dust; For my part I will hold with Him, and fight under his Banners rather then joyn with the Turk, with the Emperour, or the whole Universall World; The sighes of GODS People do cry up unto Heaven against the Pope, as Jesus the Son of Sirach saith; The Tears of the Destressed do fall downwards, yet nevertheless they do ascend upwards.
Another Reason, and a Great one too, of the Infallible Fall of the Pope is the wilfull and obstinate Darkness on which the very Foundation of popery is laid, and the wicked Superstition reared; I know not what (saith Luther) to think of it, but onely by the words of St. Paul where he saith, 2 Thessal. 2. Because they Receive not the love of the Truth that they may be Saved ; GOD will send them strong delusions, that they shall believe a Lye: The Pope hath two Pillars, on which the greatest part of his strength doth lean; The one is, Whatsoever you shall bind on Earth, the same also shall be bound in heaven; And the other, the command which our Saviour gave to Peter, Feed my Sheep . These two Sentences, the Pope hath wrested so far, that thereby he assumeth the Authority and confidence to Govern, and mannage all things in the Church, not in the Church onely; but in Temporall Governments also according to his own will and pleasure; Upon this account he hath altlered both the Form and substance of the True doctrine he hath damned, and saved who he pleased. He hath deposed Emperours, Kings, and Princes; and if our Saviour when he said, Whatsoever you bind, or whatsoever you loose , had confined the sence and interpretation of those words onely to a Temporal Jurisdiction, which indeed most properly belongeth, to broken and to contrite Spirits, and to the doctrine of Faith.
The Decretalls of the Pope also are full of Errours and Tyranny, in which the Pope deprived of all shame, speaketh in this manner, Non est prasumedum quod apex tant a Celsitudinis errare possit ; It is not to be persumed that the top of so great a highness can erre: In this the Decretalls make half a GOD of the Pope; Amongst whose Canons also it is to be Read, Quad Authoritas Sacre Scriptur a pendeat a Sede Romana, which is, That the Authority of the Holy Scripture doth depend on the Sea of Rome; Now when the Pope had persuaded the people to believe this, he made them afterwards believe what he himself pleased, and brought it so far, that Christian denyed the merits of the Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and put on the Hood of a Friar seeking therein his Salvation. This was such an abominable Fall, and an Apostacy (said Luther) that had it bin done by Heathen it had been too much: These powerful Errours suffered no man to come to the Knowledge of the Truth, as Daniel prophecied concerning the same; Erit Tempus quo prosternetur Veritas; A Time there will be, when Truth shall betrod under feet. The Infidelity and Superstition of the Jewes is not so great as the Popes, for they maintained their Worship by the Law of God, although but supersticiously and unbelievingly they understood it; But the Pope proceedeth directly against GODS Word; and treadeth on the same with his feet, for which he shall be trod upon himself by the feet of the indignation of GOD, he shall perish and be seen no more.
The Kingdome of Christ, saith Luther, is a Kingdome of Mercy, of Grace and Happinesse. The Kingdome of the Pope is Lyes and Damnation; The Kingdome of Mahomet is a Kingdome of Revenge, of Wrath and Devastation; The Kingdome of Christ shall know no end, but will continue for evermore; The Kingdome of the Pope, is a Kingdome of Incontinency, as well of Lyes, and will undoubtedly come unto perdition with the Children of perdition. A Reformation being lately made at Wortsburg amongst the Divines, they were constrained to put away the Maiden and the Woman Cooks, which continued but for a Fortnight, for the prebends did find the inconvenience so great, that they had to leave to take them and to receive them again; But the Woman-Cooks refused to live with the Prebends; unless they would take and defend them, as if they were their own Wives; whereupon they took them on such Conditions, and were Apparelled in such a Habit, that they might not be known. I have heard (said Luther) a LockSmith say, that for the space of a fortnight, day, and night he had work enough to do in making Keyes for them, for every one of these Women would have a Key to her Prebends Chamber, because formerly they put them away as their Whores, but now they took them as their Wives again. Such wicked wretches must Popery have for her Rulers and her Governours.
In the time of Leo the tenth, there were two Augustine Friars in a Monastry, who being much troubled to observe the Errours, Idolatries, and Voluptuous lives of their Associates, did in their Sermons preach against them, and mentioned, with all, some particulars against the Pope himself; But in the Night time two secret Murderers we sent to dispatch them, who first cut off their Heads and then pulled out their Tongues, and stuck them in their Fundaments; for such Murthers, Idolatryes, and Highest Prophanesse, God is at Enmity with the Church of Rome, and will undoubtedly bring it to Destruction.
If I had not been a Schollar (said Luther) I could never have given such a Fall to the Church of Rome, for Satan had made me work enough, it was no easie Task for me to subvert, and to alter the whole Religion of Popery, which was so deeply rooted; but I promised, and did swear in Baptisme, that I would cleave fast to Christ and his Word, and that steadfastly I would believe in Him, and utterly renounce the Devil and all his Works; This Oath I renewed in all my Tribulations, without which they had overwhelmed and made an end of me; In some particulars I could willingly have shewed; Obedience to the Bishops but they would have had me roundly to deny Christ, make God a Lyer, and say the Gospel is Heresie.
The first blow that Luther gave to the Church of Rome, was by the Oppositions to the Positions of that great papist Tecelius, in which Tecelius was so prophanely bold, as to compare the Pope with Peter and the Crosse Erected by the Pope to the Crosse of Christ; These Assertions (amongst many others of the like Nature) being brought to Wittenbergh, they were burned by the Students in the Marketplace, of which Luther himself giveth this account to a Friend of his in these words; The Students in the University, being extreamly weary of their old course of Studies, and most desirous of the Sacred Bible, out of their love to me they came unto Tecelius, and made themselves merry with him, and some of them being more violent then the rest, demanded of him how he dared to bring thither such paultry and chassy stuffe; At the last, they took the Positions from him, and publickly burned them in the Market Place about two of the Clock in the afternoon. All this (saith Luther) was immediately known to the Prince, the Senate, and Rector, and to all of us. This great Injury done, did much displease me, and although I am blameless, yet I fear the whole proceeding will be laid to my Charge.
After this Johannes Hogostratus, a Dominican Friar wrote bitterly against Luther, and did excite the Pope to prosecute Luther with more violence, and to use with him the rounder Course of Fire and Fagot, whereupon Luther not long afterwards Addressed himself to Hidelbergh, and in the Colledge of the Augustinians, now called the Colledge of Sapience, he Disputed about Justification by Faith; The Learned Bucer was there present, and imparted all to Beatus Rhenanus, who gave Luther much deserved Commendations; whereupon, Luther himself acknowledged, All the Doctors there, in the Doctrine, concerning Grace, and good works, are of my Judgement, yea almost the wholeUniversity, the Prince himself, and our Bishop in Ordinary, and all the Ingenious Citizens with one consent affirme, that before they neither knew, nor heard of the Gospel, nor of Christ.
After this, Luther was summoned to Rome to maintaine some thing which he had written against Indulgencies, but Luther used his best endeavours, that the Cause might be heard in Germany under Competent judges, and at length he prevailed by the Mediation of the University of Wittenbergh to the Pope, whereupon it was Determined that the Council should be held at Auspurg, where Luther being Admonished by Cardinal Thomas Cajetan to Revoke his Errours which tended only to Disturb the peace of the Church; he made Answer, That he could Revoke no Errours, being as yet not Convicted by any Scripture of any, and thereupon did Appeal to the Judgement of the Church; But the Cardinal observing the Strength of his Arguments, and Commanding him not to come into his presence, unless he would Recant; Luther was inforced to depart, which Cardinal Cajetan took so ill, that he wrote unto the Duke of Saxony, That he would either send Luther to Rome, or Banish him out of his Territoryes, and Exhorted him not to Adhere to Luther;s Defenders, nor strain the Illustrious Family of which he was Descended; But the Elector Returned Answer, That is was not in his Power to do it, because Luther was not Convicted of any Errour, and had done much good Service in the University, and offered his Cause to Tryal and Disputation.
At this time the Heroical Courage of Luther was very remarkable, for when Luther came at first to Auspurg, he by the Advice of such as the Prince Elector sent with him, did attend three whole Dayes to have the Emperours Letter for his safety; The Cardinal in the mean time did send a Gentleman for Luther to come to him, which Luther denied, untill the Emperour had granted what he desired, whereat the Gentleman being much offended, said unto Him; Do you presume that Prince Frederick will take up Armes in your behalf? I desire it not (said Luther) in anywise ; whereupon the Gentleman replyed, Where then will you abide? Luther made Answer, Under the Cape of Heaven ; whereupon the Gentleman being almost amazed at his Confidence, said unto Him; Suppose you had got the Pope, and the Cardinalls in your own Power, what would you do with them? I would (said Luther) give them honour, and Reverence; but the fall of Popery is already Begun, and I shall see it Accomplished.
Upon these Consideration, Luther’s heart fainted not, and he Appealed from the Pope to the Council; and much about the same time the Bohemians sent a Book to Luther, which was written by John Hus, which Incouraged him to Constancy, and Patience, and manifested that the Divinity which he Taught, was Sound and True, and which in its due time would procure the over-throw both of Pope and Popery.
A Disputation after this was held at Leipswich, a City in Misnia, and Famous since, for the memorable Battels that were fought betwixt the Forces of the Emperour, and the Army of the King of Sweden; here Luther was invited by John Echius to a Disputation; The Argument, or Chief Question was, Whether the Pope is head of the Church by Divine Right? which Echius Affirmed, and Martin Luther Denyed; The Chief Argument of Echius was, That the Church could not be without a head, seeing it was a Body consisting of Severall Members; and the better to Confirm himself, he produced the place in St. Matthew, Thou art Peter, and some Sentences of St. Jerome and St. Cyprian, and the Judgement of the Councell of Constance, in which it was concluded, That it was necessary to Salvation, that men should believe that the Pope was the Eucomenical Bishop, or Christs Vicar over the whole World; but Luther did Resell his Arguments with so much Vigour and Acutenesse of Spirit, that his Adversaries were amazed to find him so well prepared; After that they entred into Disputation concerning Purgatory and Indulgencies; concerning Repentance, and Remission of sins, and the punishment of them, and concerning the Power of Priests; This Disputation was afterwards set forth by Luther himself, to his great Commendation.
Luther finding that by so many over-throws which he had given to the Church of Rome, he had contracted the Envy, and the hatred of several Persons of Eminency, he Addressed himself in a Letter to Charles the Emperour, in which he Humbly besought him, That he would so long vouchsafe him his Protection, as that he might give an account of his proceeding to the World, and either be known to overcome himself, or to be overcome by others, he declared himself, that it would not become his Imperial Majesty to permit that the innocent should be violently handled, and be tranpled on by their Wicked Adversaries. To the same Effect he Directed his Letters to the Marquises, Earles, and Lords of the Empire; Not long afterwards he did write to the Arch-Bishop of Mentz and Represented to him how he was Condemned by two sorts of Men, By some who never did Read his Books, and by others, Who had Read them but with hearts full of hatred and prejudice; The Arch bishop returned him a Civil Answer, That he heartily Desired that all matters in Religion should be handled by Luther, and all Others, Religiously, Revently and Modestly, and without any Envy, Tumult, and Contumely, to which Luther Answered, That if the work be of GOD, it will stand firme, and unmoveable, but if it were out of sinister respects, it would easily be blown away.
The Pope at this time proceeding violently against Luther, some Noble Men of Germany, who were of the same Judgement with Luther, did offer him Intertainment, and Protection; Amongst whom Sylvester de Schavenburgen did write a Letter to him, to desire him not to depart into Bohemia, nor into France, or any other Country, but to have recourse to him, during the time of the Popes Exasperations and Threatnings, and promised that a Troup of French Horses should be ready to attend his safely; Hereupon Luther reaffiming new Courage did admonish Spaletenus of it in a Letter to the Effect; I have here sent you the Letter of the French King Knight Sylvester de Schavenburgen, and were it not displeasing to you; I do desire that by a Letter from the Prince, notice may be given to the Cardinal of St. George, where by he might understand, that should they with their Courses, and their Threatnings expell me from Wittenbergh, they should Effect nothing else, but make a bad matter much worse. For now there are such and so many Princes not only in Bohemia, but in the midst of Germany, who both can and will defend me from the threats thundred out against me by my Adversaries. This unless God prevents it, will doubtless be the issue of this matter, concerning my self, I am ready to Adventure upon all Dangers, and equally Contemn both the Favour of Rome, and the Fury of Rome; Let them Censure and Condemn all that I have written to the Fire, I will not be reconciled to them, nor any time will I joyne with them, but if I can get any fire where I am, I will burn all the Pontifician Law, the sink of Heresies, yea I will make no more Addresses wherewith the Enemies of the Gospel, are more and more incensed.
Luther understanding that the Popes Bull was coming forth against him, did publish his Book of the Babilonian Captivity , and that Indulgences were the wicked tricks of the flattery of Rome; He wrote also against the Execrable Bull of Anticrist and called the Pope Antichrist, and confirmed the thirty Articles censured by the Bull.
It is remarkable, that Erasmus being promised by the Advocates of the Pope, the greatest favours if he would but write against Luther, Erasmus did mildly Answer, That Luther was a man too great for him to write against, and that he Learned more from one short page in Luther, then from all the Books of Thomas Aquinas; nevertheless Erasmus being afterwards overcome by some great persons to write against Luther, did perform his Task with much Lenity, and candour, although Luther could never after afford him any good work, but according to the dispositon of his Temper and Complexion would be very hot and violet against him, which he alwayes expressed, as often as any occasion was given to make mention of him; And indeed this inclination he condemneth in himself; Almost all men (saith Luther) do reprove me for too much eagerness; But I am of a mind, that it is GODS will to have the inventions of men in this manner opposed, for I see many things in this our Age that are quietly handled to be soon forgotten, and no man to regard them, I do not deny but that I am more vehement then is fit, and this is the reason why I have always been so aversed in showing myself in Publick, but grievous wrongs were done to the word of GOD, and to the Truth thereof; whereupon it fell out, that had I not been apt by Nature to Vehemency, and Imbittering my stile; the very Indignity of the matter would have urged a dead and stony heart to have written sharply, how much more my self who am of an ardent spitit, and write not a heavy stile, Monsters of Men carried me beyond the due temper of Modesty.
For the warrant of this sharpness he used to alledge the Example of Christ, who called the Jews an Adulterus, and Perverse Generation, a Generation of Vipers, Hypocrites, Children of the Devil ; he would also alleadge the Example of Saint Paul, who calleth them Doggs, Vain-bablers, Seducers, and Illiterate ; whereupon Erasmus, who was all Candour and Mildness, and did bear no great good Affection to the Chair of Rome, was wont to say of Luther in regard of the Diseases of this last Age of the World. GOD hath sent them a sharp Physician; and Charles the Emperour of Germany would say of him; If the Pope and his Priests were such as they should be, they would never need a Luther.
Luther being diswaded by many of Friends from going to the Council that was held at Wormes who told him, That by the burning of his Books, he might well guess what was the Popes Censure concerning himself; He with a Resolute Courage said, These discouragements are cast into my way by Satan, who knew that by the profession of the Truth, especially in so Illustrious a place, his Kingdome would be shaken, and indammaged ; It is recorded that the Duke of Bavariare; Jester, whether suborned by others, or by Accident, it is uncertain, did meet Martin Luther at his Entrance into the City of Worms which such a Cross as it is accustomed to be carried in Funerals, and with a loud voice he said unto him, Welcome hither, O thou much desired of us, who sate in Darkness.
In this Council Luther being demanded of Ecchius to declare his Resolution concerning his Books, he humbly Desired of the Emperour, and Princes to grant him their Gentle Attention, which being accorded to, he said, Of the Books which I have written; some of them do tend unto Faith, and Piety, to these my Adversaries, of themselves do give ample Testimony, Should I recant these, I may justly be censured as a wicked man; others of my Books are against the Pope of Rome, and the soule Corruptions of the Church of Rome, which so much doth trouble the Christian World, and bringeth so much mischief; These should I revoke, I should confirme their Tyranny; The third sort of my books are against those persons who defend the Papists Cause, against which I must confesse I have been very Vehement, and yet I cannot Recant those Books, unlesse I will set open a gap to the impudency of many; And unless I be Convicted by Testimony of Scripture, or by Evident Reason, I my not Revoke anything which I have Writen or Spoken; for I will not in any wise wound my Conscience, I neither can nor will do any thing to the Offence of my Conscience; This I stand to, and vary from this I may not; GOD Help me, Amen. This will I defend, though I was presently to dye: Concerning this, he not long afterwards published this Excellent Protestation. I Martin Luther, An Unworthy Preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ do Professe, and Believe that Faith alone without Respect to our Good Works doth Justifie us before GOD, and that his Article cannot be overthrown by the Roman Emperour, or the Turk, or the Tartarian, or the Persian, nor by the Pope, nor all his Cardinals, Bishops, Sacrifizers, Monks, Nuns, Kings, Princes, Potentates of the World, nor all the Devils in Hell. This Article will they, nill they, will stand, the Gates of Hell cannot prevaile against it. The Spirit of GOD doth Dictate this unto me; This is the True Gospel, For thus the Article in the mouth of all Christian Children hath it; I Believe in Jesus Christ Crucified and Dead; Now no man dyed for our Sins, but Jesus Christ the Son of GOD, the One, and Onely Son of GOD; I say it again and again; Jesus, the One and Onely Son of GOD, Redeemed us from our Sins. This is the most surely Grounded, the most Undoubted Doctrine; This the whole Scripture aloud proclaimeth, though the Devils, the Pope and the World do storme, and burst with Anger at it; And if Christ alone doth take away the sins of the World, we verily cannot do it with our own Works, and it is impossible that I can lay hold on Christ, otherwise then by Faith. he is never apprehended by any good Works; and seeing Faith alone layeth hold on our Redeemer, and not our Works which are but the Comcomitant of our Faith; it is a most undoubted Truth, that Faith alone before our Works, or without our Works doth this; for it is nothing else to be Justified, but to be Redeemed from our Sins; Goode works do follow our Faith, as the Effects, and Fruits thereof. This Doctrine do I Teach, in this will I persist; Amen, Amen.
Not long before, Luther confuted Nicholas Storke, Thomas Muncer, and other Phanatick persons, who called themselves Prophets, and broaching new Doctrines, pretended Evangelical Revelations, and Conferences with God himself: These were they who denyed the Baptism of Infants, and thereby sowed the seed of Anabaptisme and were powerfully and Victoriously opposed by Luther; Some few years afterwards, the Anabaptists finding Wittenbergh too hot for them, did spread themselves over all Helvetia, and other parts of Germany, and began to broach their Fancies at Antwerp; whereupon Luther by an Epistle full of Christian Direction, did Advertise the Reformed Church at Antwerp to take heed of such Erronious Spirits, who had very much afflicted him. In the same letter, he recited the impostures of false Spirits of Popery, and of other suducing Spitits of present time. And in another Letter he again described the Erronious Articles of the Tumultous Spirits at Antwerp, and clearly opened the Inconstancy, boldness and secret Pride, lurking in that profession, and intreating them to abandon the Question concerning Gods Hidden Will, he desired them to attend unto, and to follow the necessary precepts set before them by GOD himself in his own word. The Articles of the Anabaptists were these; 1. That every Man hath the Spirit. 2. That the Spirit was nothing else but our Reason and Understanding. 3. That every man believeth. 4. That there was no place of Torment for men Soules, but that the Body onely was condemned. 5 . That every Soul should be saved. 6. But even by the law of Nature, we are taught to do good to our neighbors, as we would they should do unto us, and that his Will in us was Faith. 7. That we sin not against the law, by desiring any thing, if our Will consent not to our Desires and lusts. 8. That he who hath not the Spirit, hath not Sin, because he wanteth Reason, which Reason these Anabaptists do call the holy Ghost.
Luther wrote a Letter of Consolation to John Hessius of Breshaw; to vindicate himself from the Scandal raised by the heretick and the Secretaries, and they sighring against the Articles of True Faith. Hitherto (saith Luther) The Dispute hath been about the Pope, and Purgatory and the like, being all about differences not grounded on the Scriptures; but now we come to more serious matter; now we shall see the Draggon fighting, or rather we shall combate with the Draggon, Michael being our Captain the these heavenly Fights. Now when the Draggon doth endeavour to pull down the third part of the starrs with his Tayle to the Earth; now the Cause will call for our strength in Christ; now you shall see what manner of a Warrier, and how strong a Champion Satan is, whom yet we have not tryed, nor have had sufficient Evidence of him, but the Foundation of God, standeth firm, having this Seat, that God knoweth who are his, and in this, let us be confident; to prevaile against the Gates of Hell.
It is very Remarkable, that some Preachers of the Reformed churches in the difficulty of their times proceeded to that height of Folly, that they desired, that the Turk might come and lay his yoak upon them, which they conceived would be more easie then the Burden of the Pope; and other Pastors vainly perswading the People, that Warr was not be be Weighed against the Turk; Luther at the same time, did put forth a Book against the Turk in the German Tongue, the Turks being then with a great Army before Vienna, the chief City of the Empire; In this Book Luther spake words of Consolation to the Emperour, and by way of Prophecy did assure him, That the Turk should not at that time prevaile against that great City, which shortly after, to the great improvement of the Estimation of Luther, did come to passe.
In the Year, One thousand five hundred and thirty, there was held a Solemn, and Numerous Assemby before the Emperour and States of the Empire; at which Melanchon knowing the Rage of the Papists; and the Threats of the Emperour did seem to be very Solicitous; Luther, having notice of it, desired him to be Resolute and Secure for the Protestant Cause, because he was assured that it was Just and True, and that it was the Cause of God and Christ, and not stained with the least Sin; If we fall (saith Luther) Christ the Lord and Ruler of the World falleth with us, and suppose the Cause of Christ doth fall, I had rather (saith Luther) fall with Christ, then stand with Caesar, I intreat you therefore not to forget Gods promises; Cast thy Care upon the LORD; Have the Eyes fixed on him, play the Man, let thy Heart be Comforted! and in the Gospel of St. John, Be of good comfort, for I have overcome the World.
If Christ be the Conqueror of the World, why should we fear it, as it would overcome us. I extreamly dislike your excessive cares with which you say you are consumed, that these Sorrows prevaile so much upon you, is not from the Weaknesse of our Cause, but from the Greatnesse of your Incredulity; for there were more grounds of Fear and Trepidation in John Hus his time, then ours; But grant that here be a great cause of Doubt; God who is the Agent and the chief mover in it, is of greater power, for it is not our cause but his; Why then do you afflict your self? If the cause be faulty, let us revoke it; but if it be good, why do we make God a Lyer, who hath made us so great promises? saying, Cast thy Care upon the Lord, the Lord is near unto all, who being of a troubled heart do call upon him.; Is it possible for you to effect any thing with your unprofitable Fears and jelousies, I pray you tell me; What can the Devill do more unto us then kill us? I beseech you, feeling in all other things; you are a good Christian Souldier, that you would endeavour to overcome youself as being yourself your Greatest Enemy, nor provide any Armour to arme Satan against yourself, Christ dyed once for sin, but for a Just and true Cause he shall never dye, but live and reign in triumph,. Tell me then what fear is there for the truth, if Christ reign; if it be cast down by the wrath of God, let us be cast down with it, but let it not be done by our selves. He who is become our father, will become the father of all those that put their trust in him.
God is able to raise the Dead. He is powerfull to maintain his own Cause ready to fall, yea to raise it again if it were fallen and to promote and advance it as it now subsisteth. If he think us unworthy to be his instruments in so great a work, let it be done by others. And if we be not intrested in his promises, I pray you, who are they in the world whom they belong unto?
The Protestants Confession was afterwards cheerfully subscribed by John Duke of Saxony, George Marquis of Brandenburgh, Ernestus Duke of Brunswick, and Francis Duke of Luntenburgh, Philip Landgrave of Hassia, and Wolfgany Prince of Anhalt, such great and eminent persons had the Gospel in a short time procured to maintain the purity thereof, it was also acknowledged and subscribed to, by two imperial Cities, the City of Norimburgh, and the City of Reutdin, the papists were commanded to confute it if they could, which confutation was at the last drawn up and ingrossed, and presented to the Emperour, but a Copy of it being not to be procured, but upon conditions that it should not be published, nor transcribed, nor any Reply made thereunto, the Marquiss of Brandenburgh, and the Duke of Brunswick besought the Emperour that he would permit them to take a friendly course for the composing of the controversy, which accordingly was granted, and of each party there were seven Arbitrators chosen who were to provide for the establishment of a political peace, in which when the protestant party seemed to condescend too much unto the papists, Luther who was ordained the scourge of the Pope of Rome, and to be as well the Instrument as the prophet of his downfall, defied those who were Arbitrators for the protestants to be very circumspect in what they gave unto the papists, for said he, they will take our grants in the large, in the larger, and in the larger sence and will exhibite and interpret their own in a strict, in a stricter nay in the strictest sence that possibly they can; In a brief said Luther, I dislike this Arbitration for an agreement betwixt the Papists and protestants in point of Doctrine, as being a thing utterly impossible, unlesse the Pope will abolish his Popedome: Christ is come, and raigneth, let the Devils if they will, turn Monkes, and Nuns, nor doth any shape better become them, then that in which they have hitherto set forth themselves to be adored by the world.
But the issue of the Arbitration came to this, that although the Protestants desired peace of Casar, yet their petition could not be granted and a war was threated or banishment to fall on those who wold not be obedient to the Decrees of Casar wherefore Luther with an undaunted spirit did publish a Book to the whole nation of Germany in the German tongue, which he showed them that they ought not be obey a wicked Edict, or by armes be affilitant to the persecutiors of true Doctrine of the Gospell, nor fight for Idols and other abominations of the papists. However he did advise the protestants not to take up Armes before the Popish party under the Emperour should invade them with war, but if they then should resist their enemies and defend themselves by force of Armes, he said, they were to be execused, so long as they stood upon their Defence and maintain the Truth of the Gospel of Christ.
In the mean time diverse of the Protestants were banished by the Edict of Casar, to whom Luther directed a letter to comfort them in their banishment, and advised them chearfully to undergo their present calamity and to give God thanks who inbued them with patience, and who also vouchsafed them courage and constancy. He acquainted them that his triumphing of their Adversaries was neither sound nor lasting, and that it would perish sooner then they imagined; He found (he said) that all the attempts of the enemies of Gospell were hitherto frustrated, and by the singular mercy of God fallen to the ground.
In the year one thousand five hundred thirty and seven the Pope pretended a serious reformation of abuses crept into the Church; The meeting was at Vintcentia (a large and renowned city of the Venetians) at which time Luther published another book in answer to the Popish reformation; The picture in the frontis-peice of his book did show the Argument of it, for he represented the Pope sitting in a high throne, with many Cardinals round about him, the Cardinals carried in their hands long poles, on the tops whereof they had fastened great Fox-tails, with which as with so may brushes they endeavoured to cleanse all parts on both sides of them, and every corner about them and beneath them.
Here, as if the Church had not contentions enough already, the sect of the Antinomians started up; They held that repentance was not to be taught by the ten commandments, and they disputed against those Divines who declared that the Gospel was not to be taught to any; but to such as were humbled by the law. And themselves held that whatsoever a mans life was, though never so impure, yet he was justified if he verily believed the Gospel. Luther who wrastled with the papists at Rome, and in Germany gave them many falls, untill the heartstrings of their Religion crack’d again, did willingly enter into the lists with them, and did easily throw them on their backs. He showed that the law was not given that we might be justified by it, but to show us our sins, and to terify our Consciences, The law was therefore first to be taught and the Gospel afterwards, which sheweth us our Mediator Jesus Christ blessed for evermore.
Much about this time, or not long afterwards it was that Luther composed a Treatise, concerning a defence of this Reformed Church lawfully, approved, and not contrary to Gods will, and now because the names of this Councill and of the Church were in every mans mouth, Luther did publish a Book in the German tongue concerning both of them, in the preface whereof he saith that the pope by calling Council, doth play with the Church of Christ as they do a Dogge who offer him a crust of bread on the poynt of a knife, and when the Dogge doth put his head forth to take it, they knock him on the nose with the shaft of the knife to procure laughter in those who do behold it.
In the year one thousand five hundred forty and two Luther published something in relation to the Turkish Alcoran which was translated into the German toungue by one Richard a Dominican Frier to which Luther added a faithful admonition concerning the abandoning of the Turks Doctrine; and affirmed that not the Turk but the Pope was Antichrist, and upon a difference between the elector of Saxony and prince Moaurice concerning the teritoryes, and City of Wercen Luther with weighty reasons disswaded both princes form there designes; he also further declared himself concerning a position propounded by him in reference to the warre against the Turk, for Luther foresaw that to punish the sins of the Germans the Turks in due processe of Time should make formidable and fortunate Incursions in the Empier of Germany, to the Ruine thereof, which made him to prophecy, that upon such accounts to make war against the Turk, was nothing else but to fight against God who doth use him as his whip to scourge them for there; sins he therefore much lamented many great personages of Germany who fought obstinately to opresse this Gospel, for which they must expect severe punishments to fall upon them.
Luther set forth a forme of publick prayer and Communion where he retained all the usual Rites which were not plainly repugnant to the word of God, as his preface out of the psalmes, the Confession, the Collect, the Epistle and Gospell, the Creed, the prayers, the Lords prayer, the word of the Lords supper the thanksgiving etc: This was the first chance of the Rites in the Church through attempted before by Carolostadium and when two Monks of the profession of the Augustins were taken by the Inquisition and burned for neglecting the old forme, being the first that shed their blood for the reformed doctrine for the Faith, Luther renowned their Constancy with a hymne or Psalms and extolled them as the first Martyrs of his time, of which Erasmuss Roterodamus also maketh mention, thus both Monks and Nuns began to fall from the pope; many monkes, at this time began to abandon there monastaries being, Illuminated with the bright rayes of the Gospel, which now began to shine forth in perfect Lusters, to whom Martin Luther sent Letters of consolation as also to the three noble Virgins of Friburg other Nuns also left their cloysters elsewhere; whereupon Luther wrote thus to Spalatinus, there came to me nine converted nuns who left the monastrey of Nimpschen they were conducted by honest Citizens I much pity them and many others like unto them who every where in great number perish by their accursed and incestuous Chastity.
The sacrifices of the masse did now begin to be every where cryed down; the Emperour indeavoured to make a decree to suppresse the growth of the Protestant Religion but all in vain, for this busines was far better concluded of in Heaven then at Norimberg, and the princes and cheife Cityes of the Empire strove who first should intertain the Reformed Doctrine.
The masse (said Luther) must undoubted fall, Three yeares since here was a Moorean who shewed me for certayn that in Asia, and all the Eastern Countries (where are many assemblies of the Christians) there is no celebration of the masse at all, and although that in italy there are many who are much addicted to my doctrine which would find a good party there, were I not so violent against the idolatry of the masse, yet it finds a great Influenes in France, and other Countryes and undoubtedly it will fall with Popery itself (as being a great pillar of it) as God in the bright Rayes of his Gospel shall shine upon the hearts, and rectify the understandings of the poor deluded people.
The Head of Antichrist is the Pope, and the Turk as every living Beast must have a soul and a body, so the spirit and soul of Antichrist if the Pope, and the body is the Turk. The Turk, is the battle axe and scourge of God (as I have already said) he cometh to execute vengeance upon those who prophane his holy name, and do destroy the Nations (as Cyrus sometimes did) who being Gods Instrument. God in the Prophecy of Isaiah is pleased to call him his servant. the Pope destroyeth the Church of God spiritually, yea, and corporally too, with hanging, murdering and with burning. And as in the Apostles time, the Church had, and kept the victory, so it shall at this day maintain, and keep the Feild against the Hypocrisie, and Idolatry of the Pope, and Turk, and against the power of all Enemies whatsoever
OF LUTHERS EXPOUNDING THE PROPHECY OF THE PROPHET DANIEL.
CHAP. 2. CONCERNING ANTICHRIST.
And He shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every God, and shall speak mervailous things against the God of Gods, and shall prosper till the Indignation be accomplished, for what is determined shall be done; Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor any God for he shall magify himself above All.
This prophecy (saith Luther) as all Teachers do interpret doth point directly at Antichrist, who neither regardeth God, nor the love of women, that is the state of Matrimony Antichrist shall condemn these two on Earth, First God, that is Religion, and secondly woman, he will contemn all the laws of Wedlock, all house government, for by women Children are begotten, and brought up to the preservation of humane society, and the replenishing of the world, therefore when that shall be disregarded, and contemned, then of necessity all the conjunction of politicall government which established in the laws of Matrimony must fall with it, nay Kings and Emperours, and all their laws and Ordinances must fall to the ground with it.
Daniel (saith Luther) was so high a Prophet, that Christ especially loved him, and of whom he said, who so readeth him let him mark; He spake so clearly of that Antichristian Horror, as if he had been at that time an Eye witnesse of it, Read Chapter II throughout.
He saith in expresse words, that Antichrist shall plant the tabernacle of his palace between the Seas at Constantinople but he doth not strengthen nor advance the worshipping of Maosim neither doth the Turk prohibite matrimony, but offendeth in the contrary by his polygamy, which is by permitting too many marriages to one person. Therefore in this text Daniel pointeth directly at the Pope who doth accomplish both with great eagerness, and security.
The prophet saith further, he shall be forsaken of his Lord which is allready come to passe, (saith Luther), since Kings and Princes do leave him; I do advise therefore (saith Luther) that in any case we should do it for most sure and certain that he Pope is the true Antichrist.
As concerning the manner of the Religion betwixt the Turk and Pope there is no great difference, but only in Ceremonies. The Turk observeth the Mosaicall, but the Pope the Christian Ceremonies, yet both of them do falsify and sophisticate in their Ceremonies; for as the Turk doth force and defile Mosaical washings and bathings even so the Pope staineth the right use of Baptisme, and of the Sacrament of the Altar.
In the like manner the Pope shall be destroyed without hands and shall die in himself, for he began his Kingdome in Superstition, and external shinings and the pretended Authority of Scripture; this is the ground on which Popery is builded, and through which it is fallen and every day will fall more and more. It is therefore spoken in the Prophecy of Daniel that he shall be broken without hands, and this aymeth directly at the Pope, for all other Tyrants and Monarchs so use Temporall power, and strength.
But why (saith Luther) doth the Pope name himself an Earthly God, as though the true onely, and Almighty God in Heaven were not also a God on Earth. Truly (saith Luther) the Popes Kingdome is a horrible wrath of God, an abomination of dessolation which standeth in the Holy place, as Christ speaking directly of it saith, Who so readeth let him understand .
It must indeed be a great wrath of God, that a humane Creature dares persume (Christ being come and revealed in the flesh) to exalt himself in the throne of God, if it had been done amongst the Gentiles before the comming of Christ it had not been so great a wonder, And although the Prophet Daniel, St. Paul, and St. Peter, and Christ himself have given us warning of this Beast, yet we Christians have been still so foolish, as to adore and worship all his Idolatries, and to believe that he is a Lord over the universall world under the Name and title of the successor of St. Peter, when as neither Peter nor Christ himself left any dominion upon Earth.
To conclude, the Pope is the last blaze in the lamp which ere it be long will go out, and be extinguished, He is the last Instrument of darkness, who lighteneth, and thundreth with sword and Bull, who maketh and maintaineth war through the power and the strength of others, It hath hereto fore been, said, the Pope in one finger hath more power then all the princes in Germany, but he beginneth now to be no more regarded. He is powerfull but not in his own strength (saith Daniel). He beginneth every day to lose his estimation which no Emperour with sword and power had been able to accomplish; when he is struck with Godsword, the Pope is turned to a puppet. but who is he (said Luther) who about thirty years ago durst so much, as to have such a thought of the Pope, for in those dayes, the Pope would have cast whom he pleased headlong into hell, let him fetch himself out again as well as he could. The pope, saith Luther) hath done his worst and although he falleth not all together, yet every day he will decrease more and more. He boasteth in his decretals that he hath power and Authority over all Rule and Government both in Heaven and Earth, and that he is a Lord over all Lords. How dares any humane Creature speak in this manner, surely, saith Luther, neither God nor King can indure it. He must undoubtedly fall, His Tyrrany hath climbed up too high, he hath presumed to tread Kings and Emperors under his feet, with such powerfull errours God hath so blinded the world until the Indignation be accomplished.
Anything is lawfull at Rome, In England (saith Luther) was a Cardinall (Cardinall Woolsy I believe) who was the son a a Butcher, concerning whom a merry person said, God be praysed we have got such a Cardinall, who when he commeth to be Pope we may eat flesh freely in lent, and on other forbidden days, for St. Peter being a fisher he forbade eating of flesh to the end that he might sell his fish at a higher rate, but this cardinall being a Butchers son will give us a dispensation for flesh to gain more mony thereby, Pope Adrian caused two Cityes to be painted on his table the one was the city in which he was born, and the other was the City of Lovain where he commenced Master of Arts, neer unto the side of the City of his Nativity he wrote these words, I have planted , and close by the other, he wrote these words, I have wattered ; under the two Cityes the Emperour was pictured with these words, but I gave the blessing thereunto; whereupon another wrote underneath, God did nothing heer .
And indeed what may be expected from a place where God is not, but ruin, and confusion, and utter desolation. the Pope is full of hell and damnation, as the promises of God are full of mercy; we ought not to doubt (saith Luther) nor to dispair of such a sinner that repenteth, and is sorry for his sins and confesseth them, and desireth forgiveness for them, allthough he fall continually into sin again; But we must have reguard unto this; that if such a one dyeth in his sin then his case is doubtfull, and dangerous, In the yeer 1539: on the eighth day of January, a Comet was seen at Wittenbergh about six of the clock in the evening; it shot its threatening trayn from the West to the North, and towards the East. The comet was beheld by Philip McIanncthan, by Inseus Ionas, and Martin Luther and others; Whereupon Luther said, I will prophecy over Germany, not out of the planets, or this dreadful comet but I will declare unto her the Anger of God, out of his own word for it is impossible that Germany should escape unpunished, she must recive a great scourge there is no remedy, for God is daily provoked to destroy her, the Godly with the ungodly must be visited and both of them tast of the rod. Germany is like unto a gallant horse that is high of mettall and well fed, but wanteth a good rider, now, as a strong and fiery horse will not obey the bridle but driveth on forward; and beares down all before him, except he hath an experienced rider to command him, so for want of a head and good governour Germany will betray her self, and leave her self open to the incursions of her Emimyes the Turks who in formidable numbers will come in like a deluge upon them to overwhelm them.
And ancient Minister who supped with Luther, spake all the time he was at supper very much of Rome, whereupon Luther demanded of him how often he had bin there, he answered foure times, and who so often said Luther he replyed, first I sought a knave there, at my second journy to Rome I found him on my third journey I brought him from thence and in my last journey I carryed him thither again, and placed him behind Saint Peters Altar.
We find God rejected the Nation of the Jewes, because they refused to hearken to Moses, and the prophets, nor would receive them, insomuch the same was verifyed of them of which the prophet Isaiah Speakteh: Chap: 9.
The people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neyther doe they seek the Lord of hosts, Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head, and tayle, branch and root in one day. Even thus (saith Luther) they were dipersed accordingly towards the East. towards the West, and the South, All Histories do shew that by God they were expelled, and now do live without Christ and Comfort because they gave so little a regard to the prophecies, and Doctrine of the Prophets, and the Apostles. Even so will it go with Us Germans likewise, who now at last are called, and invited to the supper of the All-saving Gospel, because we acknowledge not the time of our Visitation. God of his infinite mercy preserve us from the same.
Alas I fear the Gospel will too too soon be removed from us Germans, for how should peace, and quiet, and Religion be there, where licentiousness, and the prophaneness raineth, and where all are mortall Enemies to the Gospel.
OF THE TURKISH PREPARATIONS.
Let us truly repent (said Luther) let us pray, and attend the will of God, for Humane help and Assistance is too weak. some years since, the Emperour was well able to resist the Turk, and to make war upon them, but then he would not, and therefore many good people as sheep in the shambles were lamentably butchered, and slaughtered by the Turks, I fear all things go not right, for our own pride and tyranny will give us over to the Turks and make us subject to them.
If the Turk shall cause Proclamation to be made that every man shall be free from Taxation and tributes for the space of three years, there the common people with joy will surrender themselves unto him; But when he hath once gotten them into his clawes he will then make use of his tyranny, as his custome is, for he taketh the third son from every man; He is always the Father of the third Child. Truly this is a great tyranny which cheifly concerneth the Princes of the Empire themselves. I ever held the Emperour suspected, he can deeply dissemble, Let us call upon God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us pray, it is high time.
Sigismund the Emperour was in a manner capitvated by the Pope and Papists, they had him in their power, and he was constrained to do what they pleased, he was compelled by them to put on, and to wear a Deacons coat, and in Christ-mass holidays to read the Gospel to the Pope, In somuch that every Emperour since is a Deacon of the Romish Church, and the King of the Romans is a Sub-deacon, and he is to read the Epistle before the Pope, so that the Emperour and the King are both the Popes Mass-servants.
The Emperour after he had performed this Ceremony to the Pope had never any good success against the Turks in Germany, the Kingdome of Bohemia is fallen which was before a very fair Kingdome.
This is sum of Luthers Prophecies in relation to the Downfall of the Pope, and the Empire of Germany I shall conclude with his prophecy on himself which is in these words. Those who in my life do refuse the kernell of my Doctrine, will after my death be glad to enjoy the shell if they can get it.
Let every one in time prepare himslelf to reap whiles, it is yet harvest, for as Christ saith, He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.
Luther was often heard to deplore the ungodly Invocation, or praying unto Saints departed, and said, There were many Reasons why that Invocation was execreable, and this was one, namely that by that prophane Custome, the Testimony of Christs Divinity was obscured to whom alone the writings of the Prophets and Apostles attribute the honour of invocation.
These are the Idols which sharpen the barbarous Sword of the Turk to cut our throats, except in a more speedy and Godly manner these things be reformed, for how wicked and how impious are these Hymns which are dayly sang in the Popes Chappell. O Mary thou Mother of Grace, defend us from our Enemyes, and in the hour of Death receive us; And these hymns, Saint Dorothy create a new Heart within us, and Saint Catherine translate us from the troublesome sea of this World to the pleasure of paradise. Open paradise for us.
It being brought to Luthers eare how much the Gospell began to flourish for all the malice of the Pope and the vain indeavours of the princes to suppress it, and that the papists, and the emperor himslef were so violet against him that they fought to take away his life, I had rather said Luther, dye by the hands of the Pope, and would by no means, (if I could help it) that the Emperour or any of his counsellors should interpose themselves in putting me to death. I know what misery befell the Emperour Sigismund, after the Martyrdome of John Hus at Constance, and that nothing prospered afterwards with him, how he dyed without Issue Male, and how his daughters Son Ladislaus also dyed, and how in one Age he had his name quite extinguised, and how his Empress Barbara by name, became a dishonour to the royal Throne; That kings and princes rage against Christ or the Anointed of God, I esteem it as a good sign, and think it much better then if they flattered, for thereupon it comes to pass that he that dwelleth in Heaven laugheth them to scorn, And when our Lord and King laughes, I see no reason that we should weep before their faces, he laugheth not for his own sake but for ours, that we trusting in him, and nothing else, might laugh at their vain Designes, so much need is there of Faith, that the Cause of Faith may not be looked upon without Faith. It was he who began this work of Reformation without our contrivance or our Counsel and he himself will advance it and accomplish it without our Assistance.
The Pope (saith Luther) makes use of the Mass even for souls departed, He hath gone with his Masse not onely into all Corners of the World, but even into purgatory it self. His Indulgence-mongers are his purse thrashers and he winnoweth good mony out of that chasse, most excellent is the Speech and prophecy of the Reverend and learned Musculus which, to conclude this discourse I will exhibite to you in his own words. Magnis Indulgentiis coareuerant Infinitos thesauros is pratextu fabricarum Ecclesiat ticarum presertim, sanctli Petri, que sic adisicatur Romae ut ad plenum edisicata sit nunquam, citinsque destruenda sit a Turcis quam ad finem structure perducenda a Romanis.
With great Indulgences they have amassed into one Banke infinite summes of money under the pretence of the building of Churches; especially the Church of Saint Peter, which is so builded at Rome, that it will never be fully finished, and will sooner be destroyed by the Turks, then be brought by the Romans to the perfection of its structure.
It is observeable that the late Arch-bishop of Canterbury who was beheaded on Tower-Hill, having heard of the translation of this Book of Luther into the English tongue, had a great desire to see it in the manuscript, and it being sent unto him, he some few dayes afterwards commanded his Chaplin Doctor Bray to give the Gentleman a Visit, and to acquaint him that he had never read a more excellent Divine work which was worthy of eternal memory; At that time he sent the Gentleman that translated it ten pound in gold, And about a year afterwards having had a leisure fully to peruse the work he returned it back with this Approbation, that he would make known unto his majesty what an excellent work he had rendred into English and that he would have it printed and dispersed throughout the whole Kingdome, And in token of his respect unto the Gentleman he presented him at that time with forty pound in gold, by the same Chaplain whom before he had sent unto him.