Lights and Shadows of the Reformation.

"If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

London: G. Morrish, 20, Paternoster Square (before 1915).


The Translation of the Bible
The Work progresses

John Huss and Jerome of Prague
Indulgences for Bohemia
Huss and the Council of Constance
Jerome a Martyr
Ziska and the Bohemians

Luther and Melanchthon
The New Testament in German
Conflict with Rome continues
Human arrangements in the Church
The Work progresses amid opposition
War against the Reformation

France and Switzerland.
Zwingli, Calvin, Farel, Oecolampadius.
Zwingli, Farel and the Reformation in France
Farel in Switzerland
War in Switzerland
Calvin and France
Calvin in Italy
Calvin in Geneva
France and the Massacre of Bartholomew

Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Tyndale.
The King's Divorce
Cranmer and the King's Divorce
Translation of the New Testament
Henry VIII. head of the Church
John Lambert
The King's Religion
Edward VI. and the Reformation
Queen Mary: Death of Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer
Queen Elizabeth and the Reformation
The Reformation under James
Charles I. and Cromwell

John Knox
Mary, Queen of Scotland
Knox's last days




In the year 1365 the pope (Urban V.) came into collision with England, by arrogantly demanding the annual rental of one thousand marks promised by King John* with the arrears of many years then due. The English failing to pay this, the pope claimed possession of England as his kingdom, and ordered King Edward III. to repair to Rome.

{* King John when excommunicated by the pope, and in danger of an invasion from France in 1213, had said, "I promise to pay him [the pope] one thousand marks yearly, to wit, 700 for the kingdom of England, and 300 for the kingdom of Ireland." The value of a mark was thirteen shillings and four pence.}

No little consternation was caused in England by this demand. The papal party were in high hopes. England had already enacted some statutes denying the right of the pope to appoint foreigners to high offices in the English church; and prohibiting any one from bringing to England, or from receiving and publishing, any bulls or excommunications from the pope: but now the pope was only asking for that which had been promised from England by their own sovereign, how could it be refused?

Wiclif* by this time was about forty years old. He was a Christian. He had passed through soul trouble on account of sin and the judgment of God, and had found peace in studying the scriptures. He resolved to make known the treasure be had found.

{* Wiclif's name is spelt in about twenty different ways. He was born in 1324 at the village of Wicliffe, near Richmond in the county of York, from which village he received his name. Surnames were not yet in common use, and people were often called after the place where they were born, or where their parents owned property. Thus John Wiclif would be originally John de Wycliffe, John of Wycliffe.}

In 1361 he had been chosen warden of Balliol College, and in 1365 warden of Canterbury Hall, at Oxford. In these offices he made known and expounded the scriptures to the students in the week, and on the Sunday he preached in simple language the same truths to the people.

Wiclif heard of this demand of the pope, and he strenuously opposed it. He may have been appealed to by the king, and if so, it would have been his duty to reply; but otherwise how much better it would have been had Wiclif left the matters of the state to those whom God had placed over the nation, and kept to the work God had given him to do for the souls of his hearers.

Parliament was summoned amid great excitement, and proceeded to discuss the question. The friends of the pope were of course in favour of the money being granted; but many could not see what the pope had to do with demands on their country. "England belongs not to the pope," said one; "the pope is but a man, subject to sin; but Christ is the Lord of lords, and this kingdom is held directly and solely of Christ alone." It would have been more to the purpose had they quoted the passage in Romans 13:1: "The powers that be are ordained of God." God had ordained Edward III. and not Urban V. as King of England. After much discussion the demand was refused.

The friends of the pope declared that by the canon law England belonged to the pope, and the pope could now lay claim to the country. But who had made the canon law? The popes themselves and their councils. What authority then had the canon law? "The canon law has no force," said Wiclif, "when it is opposed to the word of God."

This demand made on England and its refusal brings out one of the reasons why the Reformation was needed. The popes laid claim to authority from God over the kings in Christendom, and when they chose they not only excommunicated a king from the church, but they also declared that he was no longer kind, and all his subjects were justified in refusing obedience to their sovereign.*

{* In 1077 Henry IV., Emperor of Germany, having been deposed by the pope, was made to divest himself of his robes, and, in a coarse woollen garment, stand bare-footed and fasting from morning till sunset for three days, before the pope would even admit him into his presence. In 1213 King John of England delivered his crown to the pope's legate, who kept it five days to shew the pope's authority over the king!}

The pope found it was of no use to try and enforce his demand on the English, yet he was loth to lose both his spiritual and his temporal power over England, so he brought about a conference at Bruges in 1374, to which Wiclif repaired with other commissioners. The chief points before them were the statutes which related to the pope's ecclesiastical powers in England.* The conference ended by a compromise. The king was to repeal the penalties against the agents of the pope; and the pope agreed to confirm the appointments of the king. The people however were displeased. "The clerks sent from Rome," said the House of Commons, "are more dangerous for the kingdom than Jews or Saracens." The pope had asked too much: the people begrudged him anything.

{* The principal of these was called the Law of Praemunire (so called from its commencement, Praemuniri facias, "cause to be forewarned"). The first statute was passed in 1306; another in 1352; another in 1392, which is the one generally referred to under the above title; others to meet abuses were passed from time to time. The pope had not only appointed whom he would to the higher offices in the church, but had nominated persons to fill vacancies long before the vacancies occurred, so as to keep the succession in his own hands.}

But the sojourn of Wiclif abroad was of great use to him. Like Luther's visit to Rome it opened Wiclif's eyes to the wickedness of the papal system, and confirmed him all the more in his judgment against it. On his return he was made Rector of Lutterworth. Here he preached the gospel to the people. "The gospel," said he, "is the only source of religion. The Roman pontiff is a mere cut-purse, and, far from having the right to reprimand the whole world, he may be lawfully reproved by his inferiors and even by laymen."

Such language however could not be allowed. The pope had many friends in England, and many in power. They beheld with alarm the spread of Wiclif's doctrine, and set to work to crush him.

On February 19, 1377, Wiclif was summoned to St. Paul's, London. It awoke great interest, and a large concourse of people flocked into the Cathedral. All were more or less excited, and many were holding animated conversation. But the hum was hushed on the approach of the man for whom all had been looking. But he came not alone. First came Lord Percy, marshal of England, then Wiclif and the Duke of Lancaster, followed by four monks, bachelors of divinity. All eyes are turned on Wiclif, who had been charged with heresy. The church was thronged with friends of the pope, and it was with great difficulty that Lord Percy and those following could make their way to the place where the bishops had assembled. As they pushed their way they encountered the scowls and frowns of the crowd, who would gladly have laid hands on Wiclif had he been alone, but they restrained themselves before his noble protectors.

At length they forced their way to where the ecclesiastics were assembled. Bishop Courtenay presided, who was not a little disconcerted to find that Wiclif was protected by two of the most powerful men in England, and a few angry words passed between them.

Lancaster foolishly whispered to one near him that he should like to pull the bishop out of the church by his hair. Some standing by heard this, and they at once made such an uproar in defence of the bishop that Lancaster and Percy had to defend themselves, and make their escape from the church as best they could. After cautioning Wiclif the meeting broke up, nothing being really done.

Wiclif again went on with his preaching, but the pope concerted measures to have him effectually stopped. For this purpose later in 1377 he was brought before the Archbishop. Men now expected he would be condemned; he was before the highest ecclesiastical dignitary in the land, and the King (Richard II.) being but a child could not interfere. But Wiclif had a friend in the Queen mother; and scarcely had the Archbishop commenced proceedings against Wiclif when Sir Louis Clifford entered the chapel and forbade the court to proceed. The bishops were confounded; but felt they had no power to resist, and gave way. Wiclif handed in a protest and retired. The protest said, "I do mind and intend with my whole heart (by the grace of God) to be a true Christian, and as long as breath shall remain in me to profess and defend the law of Christ." If any things he held could be shewn to be wrong by scripture he was ready to revoke and renounce them.

Wiclif was now left to go on with his work. That work increased in value in his own eyes. He greatly desired to have the gospel preached in all the dark places of England. To his disciples he said, "Go and preach, it is the sublimest work; but imitate not the priests whom we see after the sermon sitting in the ale-houses or at the gaming-table or wasting their time in hunting. After your sermon is ended, visit the sick, the aged, the poor, the blind, and the lame, and succour them according to your ability."

Alas, what a picture of the practice of the priests in those days! They too often went from the pulpit to the tavern or the gaming-table! What fruit could be expected from such labours and such labourers?

Wiclif's evangelists scattered themselves abroad. With staff in hand they went forth, living on alms, as was the custom, and preaching the gospel by the wayside, in churchyards, or wherever they could find hearers. Wiclif had taught them that salvation was not in angels or saints, but in Jesus Christ. "An angel," said he, "could have made no propitiation for man; for the nature which has sinned is not that of the angels. The mediator must needs be a man; but every man being indebted to God for everything that he is able to do, this man must needs have infinite merit, and be at the same time God."

The regular clergy were alarmed, and obtained a law to forbid the evangelists; and then from their retreats they would watch for them, and running out fall upon them. But the people often took their part, and forming a strong ring round the preachers would not allow them to be hurt.

Thus by the means of these devoted evangelists the gospel reached many a dark corner of our country, and a yet future day alone will reveal the result of the good seed sown.

Wiclif, besides this work of evangelization, still discharged his duties as professor at Oxford, when in 1379 he was taken dangerously ill, and all thought he would die. The papal party were in joy, but to make their triumph complete they hastened to his bedside to induce him to retract before he died. "You have death on your lips," said they "be touched by your faults, and retract in our presence all that you have said to our injury." Wiclif was calm and serene, and for a time held his peace. The priests were full of hope, and waited, expecting to hear his recantation. They had brought with them four Aldermen, so that their report of it should not be called in question.

Wiclif begged his attendant to raise him up. Then summoning his strength, though he was dreadfully weak, with piercing gaze he said, "I shall not die, but live, and again declare the evil deeds of the friars." Disappointed and confounded they retired from his room. The Reformer began to recover, and lived to accomplish a yet greater work than he had hitherto done.

The Translation of the Bible.

That greater work was to give to the English the Bible in their own tongue. England had been professedly a christian country for years, and yet, except the clergy, and perhaps a few who could read Latin, no one possessed a Bible, or knew anything of its contents except what the priests told them! How grateful we should be to God that our lot is cast in days when everyone can have his Bible, and read it as he pleases! Yet how great our responsibility to know what it teaches, and to obey it!

Wiclif did not understand either Greek or Hebrew, and so he could translate the Bible only from the Latin Vulgate; but this was infinitely better than not having any Bible at all. He had laboured patiently at his work of translating for more than ten years, assisted a little by others; but in 1380, the next year after his dangerous illness, his work was completed — the Bible was published in the English language.

Portions of the scriptures had been translated before — the gospels by one; the Acts and Epistles by another; the Psalms and a portion of the Old Testament by others: but these could never be said to be published. They were kept more as curiosities by their possessors — mostly in the convents — and were not intended for the people.

Wiclif's, on the other hand, was intended for the people; but when we say it was published we mean it was allowed to be copied and sold. As yet printing had not been invented, and there was only the long, tedious, and expensive process of copying by the pen. Still the copyists diligently went to work, and soon portions of the translation were offered for sale.

These portions were gladly bought, as well as were the complete copies. Wiclif's expectations were surpassed by the joy and eagerness with which men purchased the word of God. Many who had never seen this fountain of truth could now for themselves, and in their mother tongue, read the wonders of God's revelation to man. The book was above all price, and one told another of the treasure he had found. Men were now in what has been called the Dark Ages on account of the general darkness both spiritual and intellectual that was over the whole earth; but now a great light — God's light — had pierced that darkness, and shone along the Christian's path. A light too that has through the mercy of God shone on these lands ever since, notwithstanding all the efforts of Satan and all his agents to extinguish or stamp it out.

This publishing of the word of God brought out a second need that existed for the Reformation. It was a part of the policy of Rome to keep the Bible from the people: the Reformation restored it. It was God's gift to man, and man must have it.

Accordingly no sooner was Wiclif's Bible published than he was assailed on all hands by the friends of the pope. "It is heresy, to speak of holy scripture in English," said some; others seemed envious: "Master Wiclif, by translating the gospel into English," said they, "has rendered it more acceptable and more intelligible to laymen and even to women than it hath hitherto been to learned and intelligent clerks." Others affected a pious dread that by all having the gospel it would be trodden under foot as of swine. Others took higher ground, and said, "Since the church has approved of the four gospels, she would have been just as able to reject them and admit others! The church sanctions and condemns what she pleases. . . . Learn to believe in the church rather than the gospel!" This was really the point at issue. The church had not given the scriptures, it was God who gave them: the church of Rome had withheld them. Men ought not to believe in the church but in the gospel — the gospel of God. Wiclif was sure he was right, and cared not for the clamour. "Though the pope and all his clerks," said he, "should disappear from the face of the earth, our faith would not fail, for it is founded on Jesus alone, our Master and our God."

{* "Clerks" is only an old-fashioned name for clergy.}

In some places Wiclif met with encouragement. A copy of the gospels afterwards found its way to the palace, and Anne of Luxemburg, wife of Richard II. began to read them diligently. She also brought them under the notice of Arundel, Archbishop of York, who was struck by a woman and a foreigner reading "such virtuous books," and began to read them himself, and rebuked some of the clergy for neglecting such studies.

In the House of Lords a motion was made to crush the work by seizing all the copies, when the Duke of Lancaster exclaimed, "Are we then the very dregs of humanity, that we cannot possess the law of our religion in our own tongue?"

We give a specimen of Wiclif's New Testament.

In language it came between the pure Anglo-Saxon and our present English; Tyndale's coming between Wiclif's and the Authorized Version.

Anglo-Saxon. (7th Century.)

Swa swa Moyses tha naeddran up-ahof of tham westene, swa gebyrath thaet mannes Sunu beo up-ahafen: thaet nan thaera ne forweorthe the on hyne gelyfth, ac haebbe thaet ece lif. God lufode middan-eard, swa thaet he sealde his ancennedan Sunu, thaet nan ne forweorthe the on hine gelyfth, ac haebbe thaet ece lif. Ne sende God his Sunu on middan-eard, thaet he demde middan-earde; ac thaet middan-eard sy gehaeled thurh hine.

Wiclif, 1380.

As moises arerid a serpent in desert, So it behoueth mannes sone to be reisid, that eche man that beleueth in hym perisch not but haue euerlastynge liif. for God loued so the world, that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif, for God sente not his sone in to the world, that he iuge the world, but that the world be saued bi him.

Tyndale, 1534.

As Moses lifte vp the serpent in the wyldernes, even so must the sonne of man be lifte vp, that none that beleveth in him perisshe: but have eternall lyfe. For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe. For God sent not his sonne into the worlde, to condempne the worlde: but that the worlde through him, might be saved. John 3:14-17.

Authorized, 1611.

As Moses lifted vp the serpent in the wildernesse euen so must the Sonne of man be lifted vp: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue eternall life. For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life. For God sent not his Sonne into the world to condemne the world: but that the world through him might be saued.*

{* It has been estimated that in the Authorized Version, out of every forty words, thirty-nine are Anglo-Saxon. Dr. Adams gives the following as approximate dates for the transition of the language of Britain:
From 550 to 1150 Anglian or Anglo-Saxon.
From 1150 to 1250 Semi-Anglian or Semi-Saxon.
From 1250 to 1550 Old English.
From 1550 to 1650 Middle English.
From 1650 Modern English.}

The Work Progresses.

Wiclif proceeded to study the scriptures he had given to the people. The doctrine of the Mass — being said and sung every day — naturally received his attention. "The consecrated wafer," said he, "which we see on the altar, is not Christ, nor any part of Him, but His efficient sign." The church of Rome taught that when the priest consecrated the bread it at once became the actual body of Christ, by a change called transubstantiation. "How canst thou, O priest, who art but a man, make thy Maker?" said Wiclif. "What! the thing that groweth in the fields — that ear which thou pluckest to-day — shall be God to-morrow! . . . . . As you cannot make the works which He made, how shall you make Him who made the works?"

The Duke of Lancaster who had hitherto defended Wiclif, could not support him in his new doctrine. He exhorted, yea, even commanded Wiclif to remain silent; but Wiclif could not agree to smother the light God had given him.

About this time (1381) occurred the well-known insurrection of Wat Tyler, and there were many who were ready enough to ascribe these disorders as the fruit of Wiclif's doctrines. A more unfounded accusation had never been made.

Courtenay was promoted to the See of Canterbury and he hastened to call a synod to condemn Wiclif. They met in May (1382), in the afternoon, and were proceeding to draw up their sentence of condemnation, when a dreadful earthquake shook London and a great part of England, and this so alarmed the bishops that they hesitated to complete their work, looking on this as a rebuke from God. But the Archbishop endeavoured to turn the event into his favour. "Know you not," said he, "that the noxious vapours which catch fire in the bosom of the earth, and give rise to these phenomena which alarm you, lose all their force when they burst forth? Well, in like manner, by rejecting the wicked from the community we shall put an end to the convulsions of the church." The courage of the bishops revived and they condemned Wiclif — quoting some articles against him of which he was not guilty.

The Archbishop pressed the king to enforce their decision. "If we permit this heretic to appeal continually to the passions of the people," said he to the king, "our destruction is inevitable. We must silence these Lollards* — these psalm-singers." The king gave orders to confine in the prisons of the state any who should maintain the condemned propositions.

{* Most probably the term comes from lollen, to sing.}

Wiclif was not frightened, though he saw his friends one by one forsake him. He consoled himself with the thought that the doctrine of the gospel could never perish. Here he might have rested, and have gone on with his work as he could find opportunity; but he thought it right to appeal to the House of Commons. "Since Jesus Christ," said he, "shed His blood to free His church, I demand its freedom, I demand that the poor inhabitants of our towns and villages be not constrained to furnish a worldly priest, often a vicious man and a heretic, with the means of satisfying his ostentation, his gluttony, and his licentiousness — of buying a showy horse, costly saddles, bridles with tinkling bells, rich garments and soft furs, while they see their wives, children, and neighbours dying of hunger." The House of Commons felt their authority had been infringed upon by the king's order being issued without their concurrence. They called for its repeal.

Courtenay was disconcerted; but determined that his victim should not escape. So he hastened to Oxford, and gathering together the heads of the church he summoned Wiclif before him, taking care to open the doors to the students and laymen that the humiliation of the professor should be complete. Wiclif was infirm, and might have pleaded his weakness, but he did not. He obeyed the summons. But it ended in a way they little expected. Fixing his piercing gaze upon Courtenay he read him such a lecture that the archbishop did not soon forget it. He charged the Roman Catholic clergy with being like the priests of Baal, and with selling their Masses in a way that winked at evil to fill their purses. Then exclaiming, "The truth shall prevail," he left the court, none daring to stop him; and "like his divine Master at Nazareth," as D'Aubigné says, "he passed through the midst of them, and no man ventured to stop him." He retired to Lutterworth.

He was not, however, to escape molestation. He was quietly living among his parishioners and his books when he received a papal brief summoning him to Rome. He would doubtless have received this earlier but there were then two rival popes, and they were too busy abusing and cursing one another to think much of such a despised personage as Wiclif. Now while Scotland acknowledged one pope (Clement VII.), England held to the other (Urban VI.), who had plenty of friends in England, and these would not fail to press upon him the damage that was being done to the papal cause by this man's doctrine.

Wiclif believed his increasing infirmities justified him in declining to visit Rome: but he would write to the pope. He first exalted the gospel, and then declared that the pope himself was bound by the gospel. "For the greatness amongst Christ's disciples did not consist in worldly dignity or honours, but in the near and exact following of Christ in His life and manners. . . . . Hereby I do fully gather that no faithful man ought to follow either the pope himself or any of the holy men, but in such points as he has followed the Lord Jesus Christ."

But Urban was too busy with his war with Clement to trouble more about Wiclif, and so the Reformer continued his course unmolested. He was busy among his parishioners and also with his pen. During this time he wrote his Trialogues* between Truth, Falsehood, and Understanding. Let us listen to some of his conclusions.

{* Conversations between three, as dialogues are between two.}

"The scripture is the rule of truth, and should be the rule of the Reformation. We must reject every doctrine and every precept which does not rest on that foundation.

"To believe in the power of man in the work of regeneration is the great heresy of Rome; and from that error has come the ruin of the church.

"Conversion proceeds from the grace of God alone, and the system which ascribes it partly to man and partly to God is worse than Pelagianism.

"Christ is everything in Christianity: whosoever abandons that fountain which is ever ready to impart life, and turns to muddy and stagnant waters, is a madman.

"Faith is the gift of God: it puts aside all merit, and should banish all fear from the mind.

"The one thing needful in the christian life and the Lord's supper is not a vain formalism and superstitious rites, but communion with Christ according to the power of the spiritual life.

"The true church is the assembly of the righteous for whom Christ shed His blood.

"It is possible for the pope to be condemned at the last day because of his sins."

Thus did Wiclif gather truth from the scripture, taught by the Holy Spirit: he had no other teacher. He was highly favoured to live in peace. He expected nothing but martyrdom. "What!" said he, "I should live and be silent. Never! Let the blow fall, I await its coming."

But he was to die in peace. On the 29th of December, 1384, he was in the church at Lutterworth, engaged in the service, when he fell down upon the pavement stricken with paralysis. He was carried to his house and died peacefully on the last day of the year.

Thus passed away one whom God had raised up, and used to do a great work for Him. His greatest work was to give to England the Bible in the English language. Besides this he sent forth many evangelists to preach the gospel. He had learnt (though not clear on many points) a great portion of truth, by which he was enabled to see the errors of the church of Rome, and he had faith to cry against its abominations. Thus began the Reformation in England. He was the first, as well as the greatest, of England's Reformers; and of the Reformation generally, as one has well said, If Luther and Calvin were the fathers of the Reformation, Wiclif was its grandfather, that is, as an instrument in God's hand.

That he manfully opposed the errors of the church of Rome is proved by the list of charges brought against him, amounting to forty-five; and his name became a sort of touchstone by which to condemn others. To be a follower of Wiclif or hold what he held, was an end of all controversy, and stamped the person as a thorough heretic.

It is important too to see that the light given by God to Wiclif never after went out in England. There were always those who held and rejoiced in the light and truth. Every now and again it became visible, and some suffered martyrdom. They were often called Wiclifites, though he did not commence a sect, nor did he leave the church of Rome except in spirit. At other times they were called Lollards. But they all saw the same abuses in the church of Rome, and found relief and salvation in Christ and His gospel. Knighton, the historian, says that such was the success of Wiclif that "more than half of the people of England in a few years became Lollards."

The church of Rome saw such an attack upon itself in the work of Wiclif that in 1415 the Council of Constance ordered the bones of the Reformer to be burnt. This was carried out thirteen years after, in 1428. But the truth he had taught could not be burnt; it had been sown in men's hearts and brought forth fruit to life eternal.

His ashes were cast into a neighbouring brook called the Swift. As a historian says, from the Swift they could be carried to the Avon, from the Avon to the Severn, from the Severn to the ocean, and become an emblem of his doctrine which is dispersed all the world over; as the poet has said:
"Once more the Church is seized with sudden fear,
And at her call is Wiclif disinhumed
Yea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed
And flung into the brook that travels near;
Forthwith, that ancient Voice which streams can hear
Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind,
Though seldom heard by busy human kind) —
'As thou these ashes, little brook! wilt bear
Into the Avon, Avon to the tide
Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas,
Into main ocean they, this deed accurst
An emblem yields to friends and enemies
How the bold teacher's doctrine, sanctified
By truth, shall spread throughout the world dispersed.'"


John Huss and Jerome of Prague.

In Prussia, at a place called Wilsnack, in the province of Brandenburg, there stood a part of a stone altar. About the year 1403 in this altar were found three of the wafers used in the Lord's Supper by the Roman Catholics. Years previously a church had stood on that spot: but the church had been destroyed by a knight, who had suffered a part of the altar to remain.

Well, when these wafers were discovered they were found to be of a red colour. Now as the Roman Catholics say that when the bread, or rather wafers, and the wine are consecrated, they are changed into the very body and blood of our Lord, and that the body and blood are both present in the bread, when these wafers were found and seen to be red, those who found them thought that this was the blood of Christ becoming visible. They thought they saw the wafers stained with the actual blood that flowed in the veins of our Lord when down here upon the earth. They at once raised the report that such was the case. It was said to be a miracle — a real miracle which any one could come and behold with his own eyes. Numbers flocked to the place. It at once became a "holy spot," and reports were soon circulated that marvellous cures were being effected at the broken altar. The fame of it soon spread abroad, and pilgrimages were made to it from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Poland and all parts of Bohemia.

The clergy of the district encouraged this all they could. It brought to them a rich harvest through the pilgrims, and raised them into honour that such a miracle should have been wrought in their midst. A citizen of Prague with a lame hand procured a hand made of silver and hung it up as a votive offering in honour of those bloody wafers, as they were called. But he remained in the place a few days, most probably unknown to the priests, and indeed to test their honesty; but one day he was surprised to hear that one of them had publicly declared that the silver hand was hung there as a memorial that the lame hand of the citizen had been cured by a miracle. The poor man could not allow this, he held forth his lame hand as bad as ever, to the great dishonour and shame of the priest, but to the enlightenment of himself and others.

Still numbers flocked to the bloody wafers; and believed all that the priests told them. At that time Zbynek of Hasenburg was Archbishop of Prague. He was at least an honest man, and desired the abuses of the church should be removed. He had his doubts about these "bloody wafers," and the professed miracles, so he appointed three to investigate the whole matter. John Huss was one of these three. After due examination they reported that the miracles were not real, and the wafers were not bloody. Bread and other substances, exposed to the air and moisture, often have from vegetable or animal products a red appearance.* The Archbishop prohibited any more pilgrimages from his diocese.

{* The microscope had not then been discovered, or it would have at once revealed the true nature of such an appearance.}

This was the first thing that brought Huss into prominence as an enemy of abuses. He was born about 1370 at Hussinetz, a village in Bohemia. in the circle of Prachin, towards the border of Bavaria. He studied at the University of Prague, was made Master of Arts in 1396, and began to lecture in 1398.

John Huss was not satisfied with the prevailing state of religion. Besides being an enemy of abuses and imposture, his soul thirsted for something better than was afforded by the Roman Catholic religion. He saw not only that he needed this better thing for himself, but that the people too were perishing for lack of knowledge.

In Prague, apart from the Roman Catholic churches, a house had been converted into a chapel, named Bethlehem, or House of Bread. It had been set on foot by two good men, in order, as they said, that the word of God might be preached to the people in the Bohemian language. "Christ had given commission to His disciples," said they, "when He appeared to them after His resurrection, to preach the word, so as to preserve constantly in the world the living memory of Himself."

In 1401 Huss was chosen as preacher in Bethlehem, where every Sunday, and on festivals, he preached in the Bohemian language. This was his delight. As he learnt the truth himself he taught it, and, as one has said, he became a curer of souls, principally among the humbler classes, who came to him with their burdened consciences, and who found that the absolution of the priest did not suffice. Huss diligently devoted himself to the study of the word of God as the fountain of all light.

A Bohemian princess, Anne, sister to King Wenceslaus, had married Richard II. King of England. This united the two countries, and English students went to Prague, and Bohemian students came to Oxford. Wiclif's writings thus became well known in Prague. Huss knew them well. "I am attracted by his writings," said he, "in which he expends every effort to conduct all men back to the law of Christ, and especially the clergy, inviting them to let go the pomp and the dominion of the world, and live with the apostles according to the life of Christ."

Huss had a friend and companion in Jerome, known as Jerome of Prague. He was one of the few knights of Bohemia who cared for learning. He was very different in temperament from Huss. Never quiet long together, being full of life and ardour, he was, as people say, here, there, and everywhere — sometimes at Oxford, at other times at Paris, then at Jerusalem, with visits to Hungary, Vienna, and Russia. In 1398 he returned from Oxford, bringing with him copies of several of Wiclif's writings, hitherto unknown at Prague, which stimulated the study of his works. It divided the University of Prague into two camps; some were for the principles of Wiclif, and some opposed them.

This at length attracted the attention of the heads of the University, and in May, 1403, a meeting was called to consider "forty-five propositions ascribed to Wiclif." The votes were taken by nations — Bohemian, Bavarian, Saxon, and Polish) each one vote; but, inasmuch as Bavaria and Saxony were German, and half of Poland, the Germans could always outvote the Bohemians, which gave rise to national jealousy. It was heightened in this case by the propositions of Wiclif being condemned by the German party, while many in Bohemia were in favour of them. Huss, at present, could not give his entire consent to all of Wiclif's propositions, some of them being on abstruse philosophic subjects, so that he was not involved in the vote.

The Archbishop and Huss had hitherto been good friends. Their friendship was soon to be broken. Some of the clergy had been accused of favouring the principles of Wiclif, and the Archbishop had summoned them to answer the charge. One of them, Nicholas of Welenowitz, was thrown into prison, and though afterwards released he was banished from the diocese. Huss took up his cause and boldly wrote to the Archbishop, blaming him for his conduct. "What is this?" said he, "that men stained with innocent blood, men guilty of every crime, shall be found walking abroad almost with impunity; while humble priests who spend all their efforts to destroy sin, who fulfil their duties under your church guidance, in a good temper never follow avarice, but give themselves for nothing to God's service and the proclamation of His word, are cast into dungeons as heretics, and must suffer banishment for preaching the gospel." Such bold language could not fail to make Archbishop Zbynek an enemy of Huss.

Huss was confessor to Queen Sophia, and had thus great influence at court, which brought him many friends. So the Archbishop having done something to eradicate the doctrines of Wiclif let the matter rest. King Wenceslaus hastened on events, though unintentionally. He issued an edict altering the constitution of the University, giving the Bohemians three votes, and only one to the foreigners. This offended the Germans who bound themselves by a solemn oath to leave the University unless the king abandoned his plan. This he refused to do, and many of the professors and students left Prague. Some have put down the number who left as 44,000; the lowest named is 5,000. Only about 2,000 remained. This separation was the means of the founding of the University of Leipsic.

Huss was made Rector of the University of Prague, but in a great measure he felt his hands tied, for he was associated with others who evinced no interest in the truth. He must either do nothing, or clash with them; while, on the other hand, those who had left the University spread abroad everywhere that Huss had imbibed heresy. He was also charged with driving away the students. This was not true, though he had with many others favoured the change.

To make matters worse, the king was brought into collision with the Archbishop and his clergy, they holding with pope Gregory XII. and he with the Council of Pisa, which was called to settle matters in the church, there being another pope (Benedict XIII.) both contending for the mastery. Huss declared in favour of the council, which made him to be still more disliked by the Archbishop.

The faithfulness of Huss brought him also enemies among the higher clergy. While he confined himself to pointing out the failings of the monks they did not interfere, but as soon as he began to attack the abuses among the higher clergy all were in arms against him. They laid a complaint before the king; but the king took the part of Huss. He told them that Huss had not spared the princes and lords, the clergy did not complain then: now it was their turn, and they must make the best of it.

The council of Pisa (1409) set aside both the popes, and elected another — Alexander V.* The Archbishop of Prague saw it best to acknowledge the new pope, who in return issued a Bull against any in Bohemia holding the doctrines of Wiclif. The Bull bore evidence on it that it was the work of the Archbishop, and that it was really aimed at Huss, which gave great offence to those about the king, who were friends of the Reformer. Huss tried to evade the Bull without coming into open collision with the church of Rome. He appealed from the pope ill-informed to the pope better informed. But the Archbishop seemed determined that things should be brought to an issue, so he sent forth an order prohibiting preaching in private chapels. This at once involved Huss and his preaching at Bethlehem Chapel. Huss thought he was protected by the foundation charter of the chapel; at any rate he deemed it right to obey God rather than man, and not to discontinue his preaching.

{* This forms a hard problem for the Roman Catholics. What became of the infallibility of the pope when there were two, condemning and cursing each other? Which was infallible? And if either, how was it that a council was able to set that which was infallible on one side, and elect another? Neither of the deposed popes would submit, so that there were actually three at one and the same time claiming to be pope.}

The Archbishop also ordered all Wiclif's books to be delivered to him within six days for examination. But without examining them he declared his intention to burn them all. A convocation was held at the University which petitioned the king to prevent the burning of the books condemned.

The king sent to the archbishop asking him if he really meant to burn the books. He replied he would do nothing without consent of the king. He only delayed his purpose — he did not abandon it. So on July 16, 1410, under the plea that the king had not forbidden the burning, he caused his palace to be surrounded with a watch, and then burnt about two hundred volumes of the writings of Wiclif and other Reformers. This caused great indignation, and some turned it into ridicule. Songs were made up and sung about the Archbishop, signifying
"The great Archbishop he must learn
His A, B, C,
That what was in the books he burnt
He yet may see."

There is no proof that Huss had any hand in these satirical songs; but the excitement became so strong that the king had to forbid their being sung on pain of death. Huss said, "I call the burning of the books a poor business. Such burning never yet removed a single sin from the hearts of men (if he who condemned them could not prove anything), but has only destroyed many truths, many beautiful and fine thoughts, and multiplied among the people disturbances, enmities, suspicions and murders." Huss adds "murders," for, sad to relate, blood had been shed amid these contentions.

Just at this time (1409-1410) Pope Alexander died, and John XXIII. was chosen as his successor, so that there were still three claiming to be pope. Huss, with others, vainly appealed to the new pope against the Archbishop. The Reformer did not yet see how useless it was to appeal to such a corrupt standard as the pope. This pope — John XXIII. proved to be one of the worst of them, and was eventually set aside by another council of the church. But Huss's aim was to reform the Roman Catholic church, to which he was attached.

Huss could not bow to the order to stop the preaching in Bethlehem Chapel. "Where is there any authority in holy writ," said he, "or where are there any rational grounds forbidding preaching in so public a place, fitted up for that very purpose, in the midst of the great city of Prague? Nothing else can be at the bottom of this but the jealousy of Antichrist." Huss saw and asserted that the divine call to preach the gospel was of more authority than any outward call from man. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." He went on with his preaching, leaving results with God.

Huss, amid the confusion and strife in the church, had to weigh up everything as in the presence of God, and to come to some resolve, in God's strength, as to his future course: should he obey God as far as he understood His will and stem the torrent, or should he swim along with the stream, avoiding the evil as much as he could as he swam?

Let us hear at what conclusion Huss arrived: "In order that I may not make myself guilty, then, by my silence, forsaking the truth for a piece of bread, or through fear of man, I avow it to be my purpose to defend the truth which God has enabled me to know, and especially the truth of the holy scriptures, even to death; since I know that the truth stands, and is for ever mighty and abides eternally; and with her there is no respect of persons." Noble resolve! Amid such darkness as then overshadowed the church, resolving to abide by the light which must bring him into collision with the darkness and the powers thereof, was true courage.

We have seen that Huss appealed to the pope: Archbishop Zbynek had also hastened to do the same. The pope listened to the Archbishop and appointed Cardinal Otto of Colonna to investigate the case of Huss. The Cardinal confirmed the sentence of the Archbishop; but lest this sentence should not be carried out, he further summoned Huss to appear at Bologna where the pope then was.

Huss hesitated to obey the summons. He declared it would be unsafe for him to travel in Germany, and at the papal court he could expect nothing but condemnation. Queen Sophia took up the cause of her confessor, and the king wrote to the pope and the college of Cardinals in favour of Huss. He begged the pope to put a stop to the whole process, to impose silence on the enemies of Huss, to suppress the dispute concerning the books of Wiclif; since it was evident that no one in his dominions had fallen into error or heresy by those writings. "It is our will too," said he, "that Bethlehem Chapel which, for the glory of God and the saving good of the people, we have endowed with franchises for the preaching of the gospel, should stand, and should be confirmed in its privileges . . . . and that Huss (whom he styles the loyal, devout, and beloved) may be established over this chapel and preach the word of God in peace."

The king also requested that Huss might be excused from coming to Bologna; but that the pope would send some one to investigate the matter in Bohemia. The king's letter was sent by a personal friend of the pope, and Huss also sent three others from the college.

In the meantime Colonna had pronounced excommunication against Huss for not obeying the summons; but the pope was moved by the letter of the king, and took the matter out of the hands of Colonna and appointed a new commissioner. Archbishop Zbynek however was not asleep. He used all his influence to induce the pope to make Huss appear before the papal court. He even sent "horses, vases, and costly rings" to the pope, and other gifts of a costly kind to the cardinals. For some reason the pope took it out of the hands of the commissioner and placed it in the hands of Cardinal Brancus, who let it quietly rest for a year and a half.

At length, however, he arose like a lion, declared Huss, unheard, to be an heresiarch — a chief of heretics — and placed the town of Prague, where Huss resided, under interdict.* Zbynek was overjoyed, and at once issued orders according to the authority he now received. The clergy of Prague proceeded to close their churches.

{* In any town placed under interdict no religious service of any kind was allowed to be held by the papal clergy.}

The king, however, would not allow this. He took up the cause of Huss, and confiscated the property of the clergy who attempted to enforce the interdict. The people too were incensed against the clergy, and some of them had to flee from the place.

This enabled Huss quietly to go on with his work, leaving the king to contest the matter with the Cardinal and the Archbishop. Now all this is very remarkable; because the king cared nothing about the truth, and was really a very bad man, so bad that he was twice imprisoned by his own subjects because of the evil that he caused. And yet here he was contending against the power of Rome and protecting the servants of God! Doubtless God was over-ruling all to protect His own work.

The Archbishop, however, found the king had too much power on his side, especially as there was really only weakness on the side of Rome to back him up on account of the pope himself (John XXIII.) being generally execrated, and too busy with his own troubles to care for Bohemia.

In July, 1411, a committee was appointed, and the king and the Archbishop agreed to abide by its decision. It resulted in the Archbishop removing the ban and interdict, and writing to the pope that no heresies existed in Bohemia; the king on the other hand released such of the clergy as were under arrest, and restored their salaries. Though peace was in some measure restored, the Archbishop was ill-at-ease, and in September, 1411, he left Bohemia and died soon after.

John XXIII., having sent a legate into Bohemia to enlist help against his enemies, the legate caused the new Archbishop Albic to summon Huss before him. He at once asked Huss if he intended to obey the apostolic commands. Certainly, said Huss; he would do so with all his heart. Turning to the Archbishop the Legate said, "Do you see? the master is quite ready to obey the apostolic mandates." But Huss saw that he was not understood. "My lord," said he, "understand me well. I said I am ready with all my heart to fulfil the apostolic mandates; but I call the apostolic mandates the doctrines of the apostles of Christ; and as far as the papal mandates agree with these, so far I will obey them most willingly. But if I see anything in them at variance with these, I shall not obey, even though the stake were staring me in the face." At present Huss escaped: the Legate had other work in hand.

Indulgences for Bohemia.

The Legate was engrossed with raising money for his master. He was armed with a papal Bull in which indulgences — that is, papers professing to forgive the sins of those who held them — were granted to those who helped the pope by enlisting against his enemies; he also granted indulgences for those who would help in money in proportion to their means. Huss opposed these indulgences and it was this that severed him from some of his friends in the University, especially Stephen Paletz, dean of the theological faculty, who now and hereafter became Huss's determined enemy. Huss said to him: "Paletz is my friend; Truth is my friend; and both being my friends, it is my sacred duty to give the first honour to Truth."

As to the indulgences Huss declared that by them "The foolish man of wealth is betrayed into a false hope; the law of God is set at naught; the rude people give themselves up more freely to sin; grievous sins are thought lightly of; and, in general, the people are robbed of their property. Far be it, therefore, from the faithful to have anything to do with indulgences."

Jerome also took up the subject of the papal Bulls, and delivered a glowing discourse against them, which so stirred up the hearts of the students that in the evening they rallied round Jerome, and escorted him home in triumph. The students did not stop here; but they got up a mock procession; the papal Bulls were hung round some of the necks of women who were placed in a chariot, and the procession went through the principal parts of the city. They then collected a pile of faggots and publicly burnt the Bulls. It was intended to be a parody on the burning of Wiclif's books by the Archbishop.

It is certain that Huss had no hand in such an unseemly act, and Jerome long after declared that he did not burn the Bulls. It was proved to have been done by one of the king's favourites.

The king was vexed at the transaction, and gave strict orders that the priests should not be molested in publishing the Bulls. Thus encouraged they went on with their work industriously; but one-day as they were exhorting the people to buy the indulgences, three young men, artisans, called out to one of the preachers, "Thou liest! Master Huss has taught us better than that. We know it is all false." The priests managed to seize these young men and carry them before the senate, who met on the next day, and, in accordance with the edict of the king, condemned them to death. Huss hastened to the senate, and demanded a hearing. Two thousand students accompanied him, and the senate could not refuse. Huss declared that he looked upon the fault of these young men as his own; and he deserved death more than they. The senate promised him that no blood should be shed. Believing they would keep their promise, he left the senate chamber, and the excitement calmed down.

The senate however did not mean to keep its word. A few hours later a body of soldiers were brought, and the three prisoners were hurried away to the place of execution. It soon became known, and many began to run after the procession. Every moment the excitement and the numbers increased and, fearing a tumult, the authorities halted before they came to the accustomed place, and smote off the heads of the three young men. When the executioner had done his work he called out "Let him who does like expect to suffer the same fate," when many called out, "We are all ready to do the like and suffer the same."

Several and especially the Beguines,* stepped forward and dipped their handkerchiefs in the blood and kept them as relics. A woman also offered linen to enshroud the bodies, and one, attached to Huss, with a company of students, conveyed the bodies to Bethlehem Chapel. With hymns and songs they buried their remains amid great solemnities, under the direction of Huss.

{*"Beguine" was a term of reproach given to certain pious women, similar to the term Pietist or Puritan.}

The three were naturally looked upon as martyrs, and Bethlehem Chapel was called by many "The chapel of the three saints." Had not Huss preached the truth? Had not these young men learnt it? Were they not put to death because they stated the truth? If the truth had really reached their hearts they were martyrs. It was indeed a dreadful sin for the priests to pretend to sell for money the forgiveness of sins, call it by the name of indulgence or any name you please.

The death of these young men had been attended by so much excitement that others who were in prison were liberated; while the hands of the true friends of Bethlehem Chapel were strengthened. The truths taught had borne fruit; and they were truths worth dying for.

The news that Huss was condemning the sale of indulgences soon reached the pope, who put the matter into the hands of Cardinal Peter de St. Angelo, charging him to use the severest measures against the heretic.

The Cardinal pronounced the sentence of excommunication against Huss. In twenty days, if he disobeyed the pope, the ban was to be proclaimed in the churches with the ringing of all the bells and the extinguishing of all the tapers! By a second order from the pope, who by this time had perhaps heard of all that had taken place at Prague, they were to seize at once on Huss, and deliver him or condemn and burn him. Bethlehem Chapel was to be destroyed to its foundation.

The senators met together, and resolved to carry the orders of the pope into execution. On October 2 they proceeded to disperse the congregation at Bethlehem and seize Huss. But they were met with such a firm resolution on the part of the congregation that they were compelled to abandon their object. They resolved however that they would destroy the Chapel; but, when this became known, such commotions arose that they were compelled to give this up also. Huss solemnly appealed from the pope to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was advised that for a time Huss should leave Prague. This he agreed to, and retired to some of the strong castles of his friends; one of the first being the castle of Kozi-hradek, belonging to the lords of Austie.

The king now strove to bring about a compromise for the sake of the peace of the kingdom; but it all ended in no real union. The papal party made the pope and all he did the ultimate appeal, while the friends of Huss insisted upon the holy scriptures.

In the meantime Huss was busy studying the word and writing, and especially a work on the church. Huss reverted to the passage, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them." "There then," said he "would be a true particular church. Christ alone is the all-sufficient Head of the church." Then he turned and looked at that which called itself the church, and said, "We may well be amazed to see with what effrontery those who are most devoted to the world, who live most worldly and abominable lives, most distant from the walk with Christ, and who are most unfruitful in performing the counsels and commandments of Christ — with what fearless effrontery such persons assert that they are heads, or eminent members, of the church, which is His bride." Just at that time as we have seen, John XXIII. was pope, claimed to be the head of the church, and yet he was one of the most wicked of men.

Though in retirement Huss was continually writing to his friends; and ever and anon he longed to be preaching again in Bethlehem Chapel. This desire became so strong that in 1413 he braved all dangers and paid short visits to Prague, spent a few hours in communion with his friends, retiring again to privacy as soon as his presence began to be known outside the circle of his friends. To be nearer Prague he came to reside at a castle at Cracowec. There too he began preaching, and numbers flocked together from all quarters to hear him.

Huss and the Council of Constance.

Huss continued at his blessed and happy work of preaching the gospel when he had formal information that a General Council was to be held at Constance, at which he would be required to be present, and his case would be considered. Sigismund, brother of King Wenceslaus, was Emperor, and he requested the King to send Huss to Constance, and promised to give him a safe-conduct, enjoining upon all, in the name of the Emperor, not to molest him. Huss required no driving — he was anxious to defend himself from the charge of heresy, and to give an account of his faith in presence of the representatives of all Western Christendom, and to testify against the corruptions of the church. He wrote to the Emperor, saying, that "under the safe-conduct of your protection I shall, with the permission of the Highest, appear at the next council at Constance."

In the meantime he returned to Prague. Many of his friends were filled with fear as to his safety; but nothing could shake his resolution to appear at Constance. He committed his cause to God. "If my death," said he, "can glorify His name, then may He hasten it, and give me grace to endure with good courage whatever evil may befall me. But if it is better for me that I should return to you, then let us beseech God for this, that I may come back to you from the council without wrong; that is, without detriment to His truth, so that we may from thenceforth be able to come to a purer knowledge of it, to destroy the doctrines of Antichrist, and leave behind us a good example for our brethren."

On the 11th of October, 1414, Huss left Prague, accompanied by two knights, Wenzel of Duba and John of Chlum. Great interest was taken in his journey, and in some places large bodies flocked to see the intrepid man. At all places he was ready to give a reason of the hope that was in him, and make known what he had learned from scripture.

On November 3 he entered Constance, and announced his arrival to the pope. For four weeks he was left to himself; but his personal enemies arriving, Paletz among them, they bestirred themselves to influence others against him.

On November 28 Huss was at his lodging in company with his friend the Knight of Chlum, when visitors were announced, These proved to be the bishops of Augsburg and Trent with two others. They told Huss that he was going to have the hearing he desired, and they had come to fetch him to the pope's palace. Huss protested; it was in the council he desired to be heard. The Knight of Chlum also protested. But they were assured that there was no bad intention. So they went. On the lower floor he was met by the mistress of the house, who took leave of Huss in tears. He gave her his blessing. He was confronted with some of his enemies, who were now rejoiced, and said plainly, "Now we have you, nor shall you escape till you have paid the uttermost farthing." Huss was a prisoner. Indeed soldiers had been placed in the adjacent streets as a provision against any commotion or resistance.

Towards evening, it was intimated to Chlum that he might retire to his lodging: Huss must remain. The knight now saw the trap that had been laid for them, and was filled with indignation. He hastened off to the pope and reproached him with treachery. The pope declared it was not his doing, but that of the Cardinals. This might be true, for he himself, being one of three popes, was at the mercy of the Cardinals. The same night Huss was removed, and after eight days he was confined in a narrow dungeon on the Rhine, which was filled with foul air from a sink.

The Knight of Chlum next hastened to inform the Emperor of how his safe-conduct had been violated. The Emperor expressed indignation, and ordered Huss to be set free, and threatened to break open the prison doors if it was not done. He was not yet come to Constance, but when he came he did nothing. It is doubtful whether the Emperor was sincere in the expression of his intention, but it is recorded that some of the council waited upon him, and begged him not to interfere in matters relating to heresy, as that was their province; and this may have weighed with him. Huss remained a prisoner. The unhealthy position of his cell brought on a dangerous illness. The pope sent to him his own physician: for, as one has said, "it was not desired that be should die a natural death." Through the intercession of his friends he was shifted to a more airy room in the same convent.

After Huss had left Prague for Constance, a movement had taken place to shew that it was right for Christians to take the wine as well as the bread at the Lord's supper. In the church of Rome only the bread is given, because they say, the body and blood of Christ are both present in the bread. They wrote from Prague to ask the judgment of Huss. He referred to the scripture, and there it was plain enough that Christians partook of both; and now, though a prisoner, he did not hesitate to say what he had found. They commenced to give the people the bread and the wine. Afterwards this was one of the charges brought against Huss.

Various propositions were made to Huss as to his case, but nothing was yet really settled, when on March 21, 1415, the council was thrown into confusion by the flight of pope John. He doubtless foresaw that he, with the other popes, would be deposed, and to save this he fled from the place. But with him also went the attendants of Huss, who was now left destitute, yet a prisoner. His friends again pressed on the Emperor for his release, but his enemies prevailed, and he was now imprisoned in the castle of Gottleben, and chained night and day.

At length, through the intercession of the friends of Huss, he was promised a hearing in the council. He was also brought from the castle to a Franciscan convent at Constance; and by a singular retribution the next prisoner in that castle at Gottleben was the man who had been pope John XXIII. (in whose name Huss had been first imprisoned), now deposed, and simply called Balthazar Cossa, who had been caught and was now a prisoner.

A long list of charges was made out against Huss. The first article was read. Huss acknowledged it, and began to defend it from scripture.

But they said, All that was nothing to the point. Again he began, but they interrupted him continually, until he saw it was no use, and was silent. The more just part of the council were ashamed; and it broke up in confusion.

On the 7th of June he appeared again, the Emperor being now present. The second point was that Huss denied Transubstantiation. This he denied. He had his own way of explaining it, but as yet he believed in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine. Then many other subjects followed with long discussions. At length the Emperor told Huss that he had better submit to the council, and he promised that they would deal with him in a lenient manner, and he should be let off with a slight penance and satisfaction. If not, they would know what to do with him. The Emperor would not undertake to protect his errors; he would sooner prepare the faggots for him with his own hands. On the 8th of June Huss was again brought up, and other charges read to him, to which he answered fully. Then again he was advised by the council and the Emperor to submit to the council, and recant.

After he left, the council settled that if he recanted he was to be a prisoner for life; and efforts were made to get him to recant. A form was drawn up and submitted to him; but he could not sign it. Then various members of the council visited him and begged him to recant and to submit to the council. One said that he ought to do this if even the council was wrong!

The Knight of Chlum begged Huss to confess to any error if he knew of any, but he exhorted him to suffer any punishment sooner than deny the truth. Huss was moved, and replied, weeping, "I call God the Almighty, as I have often done, to witness that from my heart I am ready whenever the council teaches me anything better by testimonies from holy scripture, to change my opinion at once, and to confess publicly under oath, that I was previously in error." This they called obstinately clinging to his errors, so far was it from their thoughts that anything should be proved by scripture only.

Huss was now condemned to death, to the lasting disgrace of the Emperor, who had given him a safe-conduct. He must first be degraded. He was dressed as a priest. His dress was taken piece by piece with a denunciation at each. A chalice was placed in his hand which was then taken from him with the words, "We take from thee, condemned Judas, the cup of salvation." To this he replied, "But I trust in God my Father, the Almighty, and my Lord Jesus Christ, for whose name I bear this, that He will not take from me the cup of His salvation; and I have a firm hope that I shall yet drink of it to-day in His kingdom." A cap, painted over with devils, was then placed on his head, with the words "Arch-heretic." Then they said, "Now we give over thy soul to the devil." "But I," said Huss, raising his eyes to heaven, "commend into Thy hands, Jesus Christ, my soul, by Thee redeemed.

He was led to the place of execution July 6, 1415, and there bound to the stake, and chained to it by the neck. Just before the pile of faggots was lit, the marshal of the Empire rode up and again called upon him to recant. He could not. "The chief aim of my preaching," said he, "was to teach men repentance and the forgiveness of sins according to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the expositions of the holy Fathers; therefore I am prepared to die with a joyful soul." The faggots were lit, which blazing up soon stifled him, as he called on Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. The ashes of his body were thrown into the Rhine, that nothing might remain to pollute the earth.

Thus died this honoured servant of the Lord. He was not clear on some points, and in doctrine he did not think it possible for any one to know if he was saved, but in fact he seemed to have no doubts about his own salvation. Rome had triumphed in putting him to death, as they thought; but it was he who really had triumphed, and had resisted all their seduction, and had died for the truth.

The result of his teaching exists to this day. Though they burnt the man, they could not uproot the seed he had sown, and it brought forth fruit, notwithstanding all the powers of Rome to uproot it and stamp it out. The reason is, that it was of God, and by God, and for God; and when He works none can hinder.

Jerome a Martyr.

Jerome of Prague, the friend of Huss, was to pass through a similar ordeal. He had been to Constance secretly, but the Emperor refusing him a safe-conduct he returned to Bohemia. But his enemies succeeded in seizing him, and he was brought to Constance in chains. This was in May, 1415. He was thrown into prison, chained fast, and kept there for four months. He was pressed much to recant; and, his imprisonment telling seriously upon his health, he broke down and offered to do so. His recantation was drawn up for him, and on September 23 he read it before the council. He abjured all the heresies with which he was charged, and all the heresies of Wiclif and Huss: agreed with the sentence on both those Reformers, with other particulars. After this he expected his liberty, but he was conducted back to prison, though he was no longer bound in fetters.

His enemies doubted if his recantation was real, and feared that if he was again in Bohemia he would head the Reformers; so he was further questioned by others appointed to do so. Thus months were consumed until Jerome refused to answer any more in private; he demanded to be heard by the council. This was granted in May 1416. He made a very eloquent speech, as to many events at Prague, and then they expected to hear his further recantation, when he declared that there was no one of his sins he more repented of than having said, on the fear of death, that he agreed with the death of that saintly confessor of the truth John Huss. He took back all he had said against Wiclif and Huss, and declared that his judges would have to answer to God if they condemned him wrongfully.

Many were moved by his eloquence, and tried to save him by getting him again to recant. But though they tried hard, he remained firm to the end. On May 30 he was condemned to death.

They led him to where Huss had suffered. He sang a spiritual song as they fastened him to the stake. The wood was being lit behind him, but he called out to the executioner to light it before him; for if he had been afraid he should not have come there. The fire burned, and Jerome repeated with a loud voice, "Into thy hands, O God, I commit my spirit." An eye-witness said, "With cheerful looks he went readily and willingly to his death; he feared neither death, nor the fire and its torture."

Ziska and the Bohemians.

The results in Bohemia of the martyrdom of Huss and Jerome, and the severe edicts that were carried out against their followers, were sad in the extreme. Many of them were tortured and burnt alive. As many as sixteen hundred were thrown alive down the mines. At length, by the leadership of a warrior named John Ziska, forgetful that our Lord had declared that His kingdom was not of this world, else would His disciples have fought, the Hussites, as they were called, armed to defend themselves.

Ziska was attached to the court of the king, and it was noticed that ever after the death of Huss he had never been the same man; but was gloomy and thoughtful. For hours he would wander about with his eyes to the ground, muttering now and then words no one could understand. One day the king asked the cause of his gloomy silence. "They have burnt John Huss," said he, "and we have not yet avenged him." "I cannot help it," said the king; "you must try yourselves what you can do."

The king had not seriously meant this, but Ziska took it earnestly, and called the Hussites to arms. The king, terrified at the thought of a rebellion, ordered the citizens to bring all their arms to the palace at Wischerad, where he then resided. They obeyed, yet not as he expected, for they came fully armed, ready to battle. Ziska said to the king, "Here we are," and asked against what enemy he wished them to march. The king was powerless; and the Hussites marched through the town. Passing the town hall, one carrying a chalice, in token that they gave the people the cup as well as the bread, a stone was thrown from the senate house and struck the bearer of the cup. Ziska's men immediately broke open the doors and threw some of the senators out of the window.

This same year (1419) King Wenceslaus died. The Hussites sent to Queen Sophia and also to the Emperor Sigismund proposing a compromise. The Emperor insulted the messengers, and vowed to settle it in a bloody revenge. This was the man who had violated his safe-conduct to Huss, and they knew they could expect no mercy from him, they therefore prepared for the worst. Ziska called all to arms, even those who could throw a stone; and then they did not wait for the Emperor, but marching through the land they burnt the churches and monasteries, putting many priests to death. One had led astray Ziska's favourite sister, which injury he could never forget.

When the churches were first refused to the followers of Huss, they were led out by their pastors into the open air where they could enjoy freedom of worship. One of these places became a permanent settlement. It was a high hill about sixty miles south of Prague. This hill Ziska, being a skilful warrior, strongly fortified, and it was called Mount Tabor. And the enemy they compared to the Moabites and Amalekites. At length Sigismund and Frederick of Austria arrived with an army of 100,000 men. They marched to Prague and put many to death and then proceeded to attack the mount; but after a long and severe battle the Germans were compelled to flee, leaving their camp in the hands of Ziska. Victory followed victory until the Taborites, as they were called, were the masters of all Bohemia, and even penetrated Austria and Germany.

At another time 150,000 soldiers were sent against Ziska. The Germans were very cruel, and burnt their prisoners, not caring whether they were Reformers or not. On the other hand Ziska and his followers declared that they were the elect of God: all things belonged to them; they might lawfully seize property, and put to death God's enemies. Alas, that any, in the name of God should have adopted such principles!

For thirteen years Ziska carried on the war, and all the resources of the pope and the Emperor were unable to put down or overcome the Bohemians. As Ziska's death approached, he ordered that they should make a drum of his skin, the very sound of which, he said, would make the Philistines flee! Procopius succeeded him and was equally successful.

The success of the Bohemians was very remarkable, so much so that Melanchthon said that an angel of God must have accompanied the army, and smote their enemies. Ziska had lost the sight of one eye in his youth, and he lost the use of the other in a siege as early as 1420, and yet, though totally blind, he was enabled to lead on the army to victory. It could not be called God's war, though God may have brought about His own purposes thereby, and may have used Ziska and his army to shew that the pope and the Emperor were not invincible; but it brought no glory to God, and gained for the Christians neither peace nor real prosperity. It associated them with thousands who had no interest in the truth, and stirred up all the worst passions of man.

In 1431 the council of Basle was held, and endeavours were made to come to terms, but it was not until 1433 that Rome allowed the cup to the people.

This gained many over to the side of Rome,* and many deserted the army of Procopius. In a battle he was slain and many of his people. Sigismund now entered Prague, and sought to restore peace by making promises to the followers of Huss. But as he increased in power he proceeded to deprive them of their churches, and another violent commotion was being raised, when the Emperor died (1437).

{*These were called Calixtines, that is, "Cup-Christians" (from Calix, cup), because one of the principal things they demanded was the wine as well as the bread in the Lord's supper. These became determined enemies of the Reformers.}

In 1436 Rome was further successful by making Rokyzan, a Calixtine, Archbishop of Prague, who soon began to use his endeavours to induce the people to give up the cup. This man is a fearful instance of an apostate. He was so far gained to the truth that he exhorted the true Hussites to meet in private, and he even helped them with the aid of books. "I know that your sentiments are true," said he, "but if I should patronize your cause, I must incur the same infamy and disgrace which you do." Among the faithful was his nephew Gregory, who was so terribly racked, that he fainted away, and they thought him to be dead. The news of this being brought to Rokyzan, he rushed off to the prison, and in remorse exclaimed, "My dear Gregory, I would to God I were where thou art!" Gregory, however, recovered, and was long spared to help on the work; while Rokyzan was obliged to take part in the persecution, and, after repeated exhortations to take his place with the faithful, died in despair.

In 1457 the Hussites took the name of United Brethren, and were by persecution obliged to live in dens and caves. Many fled to Moravia and others to Poland, carrying with them the truths they had learned. In easier times they again became numerous in Bohemia, so that about A.D. 1500 they numbered nearly 200 congregations in Bohemia and the surrounding countries.

In the seventeenth century, when the times were comparatively quiet, the Protestants, or "the Reformed," as they were called in Bohemia, had greatly increased. A numerous sect, called Utraquists, had special privileges from the Emperor, in which the other Reformed churches desired to share. Matthias, King of Bohemia, became Emperor in 1612, and he refused to grant their request. This caused the Utraquists to fear that they too might be next robbed of their privileges, so they united with the Lutherans and Calvinists to oppose the Emperor. Matthias had sent commissioners to Prague to inform the deputies of his majesty's final decision. While they met, an armed body of Utraquists, forgetting their character as professed followers of Christ, entered the council chamber, seized three of the most obnoxious of the commissioners, and threw them out of the window, which was eighty feet from the ground. A large heap of dung saved their lives, and they escaped. This was the commencement of a long and bloody war between the Catholics and Protestants, known in history as the Thirty Years' War. After devastating Germany and surrounding countries, in 1648 the peace of Westphalia established what is called "religious liberty."

We have thus far sketched the Reformation in Bohemia. Huss had stood so high as a Christian, especially in his godly life and his testimony against the evils around, that he became a watchword, to which was attached that of our own Wiclif. To be a follower of Huss, or to hold doctrines similar to those of Huss or Wiclif was at once to stamp such a one as a heretic, and one dangerous to the interests of Rome. The faithfulness of John Huss; his opposition to the sale of indulgences; his preaching the word of God; and his exposing all that was called "holy," which was only evil and wickedness, was the light of the Reformation, the light which God was igniting in various parts of the world, to lead His own to truth and liberty.

Sad it is, that there was also a shadow — a dark shadow — that followed in the Reformed taking the sword, and in the bloodshed and devastation that was carried on in the name of God and of His holy religion; associated too, as it was, in some cases with the sacred emblem of the cup attached to the supper of our Lord.

Amid man's many failures
God carries on His plan,
He gives not up His purpose
Though all should fail in man.
So, spite of human follies,
He darkness puts to flight,
And, though all Hell opposes,
He spreads His truth and light.


Luther and Melanchthon.

A Poor man named Conrad Cotta, residing in Germany, told his wife one day that a certain monk was in the town preaching "pardon for sin, without money and without price." "That would just do for us," said his wife Ursula; "let us go to the church and hear him." The church was crowded, but they managed to get in. They heard with astonishment the news of salvation free, through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; so different was it from what the priests usually preached. The sermon over, the preacher gave out a psalm, "God is our refuge," when the truth burst upon them that surely the preacher must be Martin Luther, who had often sung that same psalm at their own fireside.

Conrad and Ursula Cotta had been in better circumstances, and in the town of Eisenach about sixteen years previously they had noticed a lad singing in the street, and crying, "Bread for the love of God." They had opened their house to him, and for several months he had resided under their roof. There they had heard him sing this very hymn, "God is our refuge." It was indeed the same Martin Luther. We can easily imagine the joyful greeting after the service. Luther had repaid the kind Ursula; she received the truth from his lips that day.

Luther's preaching was not confined to the poor. On one occasion he preached at Dresden in the castle of St. James. There were present Duke George of Saxony, cousin of the Elector, and the ladies and gentlemen of his court. At dinner afterwards in the castle Luther's sermon was the subject of conversation — as it was indeed everywhere — for it was such preaching as but few had ever heard in those days. "How did you like the sermon?" said the Duke to Madame de la Sale, lady of the bedchamber to the Duchess. "If I could hear but such another sermon, I should die in peace," she replied. "And I," said the Duke, "would give something not to have heard it; for such sermons are good for nothing, and serve only to encourage men in sin." A month afterwards Madame de la Sale died in peace, trusting in Jesus Christ as her Saviour. The Duke became an enemy of Luther and the Reformation. How truly are those who preach the gospel the savour of life unto life, or death unto death.

Martin Luther was born at Eisleben, a town in Upper Saxony, on November 10, 1483.* In 1501 he went to the University of Erfurt. Here he found a Bible in the library, which became the book from which he learned the truth, and by which he was armed against the enemy. Here he also met with the writings of John Huss.

{*Many interesting details of Luther's life are omitted. They will be found in a companion volume, "Light amid the Darkness, as seen in the Life of Luther."}

"When I studied at Erfurt," said Luther, years afterwards, "I found in the library of the convent a book entitled, 'The Sermons of John Huss.' I was anxious to know the doctrines of that arch-heretic. My astonishment in the reading of them was incredible. What, thought I, could move the council to burn so great a man, so able and judicious an expositor of scripture! But then the name of Huss was held in abomination: if I mentioned him with honour, I imagined the sky would fall, and the sun be darkened; I therefore shut the book with indignation. But I comforted myself with the thought, that perhaps he had written this before he fell into heresy!" Such were the innocent reflections of Luther before he knew what Rome was.

In 1505, in returning from a visit to his parents he was overtaken by a dreadful storm, at which he was so terrified that he vowed he would devote himself to God by becoming a monk, and seek thereby to become holy and fit for heaven, as he imagined.

In the convent, however, he found no relief, and passed through great agony of mind, nearly killing himself in mortifying his body. He eventually found relief through the Vicar-general, Staupitz, who shewed him that such a course of punishing the body was of no use to the soul. Salvation was by forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ.

He also learned much from the passage of scripture "the just shall live by faith," and was used by God to teach the doctrine that man is not justified by prayers, alms-giving, penances, etc., but by faith — faith in what Christ did on the cross for sinners who were too bad to be saved in any other way. It became a great part of Luther's work to maintain, amid much opposition from Rome, the doctrine of "justification by faith."

Staupitz recommended Luther to the Elector of Saxony, and in 1508 he was invited to Wittenberg and made a professor in the University. About two years after he made a visit to Rome, where he saw such shocking wickedness and profanity mixed up with the profession of religion that astonished and grieved him above measure; but all this was very useful to him afterwards, as it shewed him the true character of the Roman Catholic religion, at least in its practice at Rome itself. In 1512 Luther was made Doctor of Divinity, and became happily employed in teaching the truth as he himself was able to acquire it, both in the University as a professor, and in the pulpit as a preacher, besides making occasional tours to other towns.

Luther was first brought into collision with Rome by the following circumstance. In 1517, to raise money, the pope sent out his agents to sell indulgences, which professed to insure forgiveness of sins to any who purchased them. No matter whether the sins were past or present, for the dead or for the living — all would be forgiven to those who purchased indulgences, signed by the pope.

Tetzel, a Dominican monk, was the one who came with these indulgences near Wittenberg. This shocking traffic filled Luther with horror. He could not bear to see the people deluded by such soul-destroying falsehood. He drew up some propositions called 'Theses,' against indulgences, and nailed them to the church doors. This drew upon him the anger of Tetzel, indeed of Rome itself.

Many, too, of those who were glad of the Theses did not care to follow Luther when a storm was raised against him; and he found himself almost alone, and yet not alone, for God was with him. At times he was very much cast down, and Satan took advantage to harass and distress him. Various sins would come back to his memory, and Satan would tempt him with, "Can you be a child of God, and yet be guilty of that?" On one occasion Luther met him with "Yes, it is true; I have been guilty of these sins against God; but take a sheet of paper and write down these sins, and those which I acknowledge, and add to them ten thousand more, and I will write at the foot of the page 'The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.'" Satan was vanquished.

Besides the conflict within, there were many and loud threatenings from without. "As for those who threaten me," said he, "I can only answer, The poor man has nothing to fear, for he has nothing to lose. All that is left me is this wretched body, enfeebled by many trials. Let them kill it by violence or fraud, so that it be for the glory of God. By so doing they will shorten the time of my life by a few hours. It is sufficient for me that I have a precious Redeemer, a powerful High Priest, my Lord Jesus Christ. I will praise Him as long as I have breath. If another will not join me in praising Him what is that to me?"

The next year Luther was summoned to appear at Rome within sixty days to answer for his conduct; but by the intercession of Frederick, the Elector of Saxony, Luther was allowed to answer in Germany instead of going to Rome. He appeared before the papal legate, Cardinal De Vio, at Augsburg. It was not attempted to prove that indulgences were right, or that Luther was wrong, from scripture. The pope had ordered the indulgences, and Luther must retract. After several interviews De Vio said one day, "Retract, or return no more."

Luther answered in writing; and then his friends advised that he should leave the town, but with great caution lest he should be seized. Before daylight, leaving a letter behind him for the Cardinal, he slipped away unobserved, and so escaped. He afterwards saw a copy of the pope's brief, in which he was to be seized and carried to Rome. He now saw plainly the danger he had run. De Vio was very angry at the escape of Luther and wrote to the Elector of Saxony requesting that Luther might be sent to Rome, or at least banished from the Elector's states. The Elector wrote in reply that it was inconsistent to expect Luther to retract if he had not been proved to be wrong. However the Elector requested Luther to leave Wittenberg for a time. All were filled with sorrow and alarm as Luther prepared to leave Wittenberg, for he was endeared to many. Just as he was ready to leave another message came, saying he need not go. Rome had sent another Legate who hoped all might be settled.

This Legate was Miltitz, who began by flattery. "Do you know," said he, "that you have drawn away all the world from the pope? Even if I had 25,000 men I would not undertake to kidnap and carry you to Rome." He agreed with Luther that both sides were to be silent on the subject; all question of Luther's retractation being postponed for the present.

This year (1518) Melanchthon came to Wittenberg as professor of Greek, and gave Luther instruction in that language. The two professors became staunch friends. "If there be any man," said Melanchthon, "that I love and embrace with my whole heart it is Martin Luther." Their friendship continued till death separated them. They helped each other much. Luther was bold and energetic; Melanchthon mild and timid.* Thus, just as Luther's troubles from without began, God raised up for him a true friend and companion.

{*"To look at Melanchthon," said a Swiss, "one would say he was but a youth, but in understanding, learning, and talent, he is a giant."}

Philip Melanchthon was born the 16th of February, 1497, in the small but pleasant town of Bretten, in Saxony. Philip went to school at Pfortsheim, and lodged in the house of a sister of Reuchlin, the celebrated Greek scholar. It was Reuchlin, who being well pleased with the young scholar, changed his name from Schwarzerde to Melanchthon, both signifying "black earth," the latter being Greek. It was the fashion in those days for the learned to translate their names in this way. After a time the scholar was always called Melanchthon.*

{*His name is often written Melancthon; but this is incorrect. In about sixty autographs not one is spelt Melancthon: 'ch' in the Greek is one letter. He sometimes wrote his name Melanthon.}

The Emperor Maximilian died January 12, 1519, about a month after the arrival of Miltitz. Until another Emperor was elected, the Elector of Saxony had chief control. This caused the pope to seek his favour, and to do this, Luther, for a time, was allowed to escape.

The silence that Luther had promised was soon to be broken, and broken by Rome. Dr. Eck, a German theologian, had challenged to dispute with Carlstadt, one of Luther's colleagues; but it was well known that Eck was really attacking Luther, so Luther said he would go to the discussion. Duke George, who had disliked Luther's sermon, and in whose states Leipsic was, refused at first to let Luther take part in the discussion, but afterwards consented, and they met in discussion several days.

This discussion was in the presence of many professors and students, and was important, as it brought scripture out as an authority above the pope; which was a doctrine so new that it demanded their consideration, and we may fain hope that many were gained to the truth. The next year, when Eck came to the same town with Bulls from the pope against Luther, he was made the song of the students, and was glad to hide himself till he could secretly leave the town.

In 1520, Charles V., so famous in history, was elected Emperor of Germany, at the age of nineteen. Luther wrote to him respecting the Reformation, but received no reply.

In the same year Luther published his Appeal to the German Nobility, in which he plainly pointed out the abuses of the religion of Rome, and the remedy for them in the scriptures. From various quarters he received alarming reports; but on the other hand from many places he received the most cheering news that the seeds of truth were taking root. "How I wish," said he, "that I could send preachers — living books — to those distant places to teach the people the knowledge of divine things." This was brought about by his books being translated into the various European languages, and being widely scattered over many lands.

After the discussion at Leipsic Eck had hastened off to Rome, and now returned with a Bull from the pope excommunicating Luther.

On December 10, Luther fixed a notice on the walls of the University, inviting the people to meet him at the east gate. There, amid a large crowd of spectators, Luther burnt the pope's Bull along with some useless papal books. This was effectually breaking with Rome. He could not now retreat. He must go forward, and, in God's strength, conquer; or fall a victim to Rome and its agents.

The friends of Rome were now very clamorous with both the Emperor and the Elector, to have Luther seized. The Elector replied that Luther's writings had not yet been refuted. It was resolved that Luther should be summoned to the Diet of Worms, and heard in defence of his doctrines.

Many were filled with fear for Luther's safety, and strongly advised him not to go. But he declared he would, even if there were as many devils at Worms as there were tiles on the houses. At all the towns he passed through great crowds assembled to see the man who had dared to burn a pope's Bull; others desired to see the man through whom they had learnt the way of salvation and peace.

He was furnished with a safe-conduct from the Emperor; but he was reminded that this was no security. Did they not burn John Huss, and violate the safe-conduct? Luther did not trust in man, but in the living God.

At Frankfort an aged widow, in high life — Catharine of Holzhausen — said to him, "My father and mother predicted to me that God would one day raise up a man who should oppose the vanities of the pope, and restore the word of God. I hope you are that man; and I wish you the grace and Holy Spirit of God to help you."

Luther arrived safely, amid great excitement. He turned to God: "O God Almighty, God ever lasting! how dreadful is the world! Behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in Thee. . . . If I am to depend on any strength in this world, all is over. . . . Then, my God, help me against all the wisdom of this world. . . The work is not mine but Thine. The cause is Thine — it is righteous and everlasting. O Lord, help me."

Luther appeared before the Diet. It was an august assembly. The Emperor, the princes of the Empire, and the hierarchy of the church were present. What passed may be summed up in few words.

A pile of books were on the table. "Are these books yours?" was asked of Luther.

"Yes, I am the author of these books."

"Are you prepared to retract them?"

"I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is as clear as noonday that they have often fallen into error themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from holy scripture . . . . I neither can, nor will, retract anything. . . . . Here I am I cannot do otherwise — God help me! Amen."

Luther was dismissed from the Diet and from Worms. "I will, then," said the Emperor, "take measures against him and his adherents as open heretics by excommunication, interdict, and every means necessary to their destruction."

Luther left Worms, and made his way to Wittenberg; but on his road he was surrounded by a party of horsemen; who seized him, put him on a horse, and galloped away with him. They were however his friends, who did this for his safety. He was carried to the Wartburg, a strong castle, near Eisenach; there he was made to dress as a knight, and was known as Knight George. The scheme had been carried out so secretly that few of his friends or enemies knew what had become of him. Here Luther devoted himself to the translation of the New Testament into German.

The Emperor Charles had threatened to destroy Luther and his adherents. God found him other work to do. Disturbances broke out in Spain; Soliman invaded Hungary with the Turks; and war broke out between the Emperor and Francis I. of France. These troubles so occupied him that he had no time to think of Luther and his destruction.

Though Luther was a prisoner, the work of reform did not stand still. Gabriel, a preacher at Wittenberg, declared that "Christ instituted the sacrament of the altar in remembrance of His death, and not to make it an object of worship. To bow to it is idolatry. . . . . No person has the right to require a monk to say Mass alone. Let one, two, or three officiate, and all the rest receive the Lord's sacrament under both kinds."

This attacked the doctrines of Rome in several particulars. They used to elevate, or hold up, the host (the bread or wafer) for adoration, that is, worship. Again, they used to have private Masses for money; so that a person could live a wicked life, and yet for money have private Mass, which was supposed to ensure his salvation. And further, the Catholics gave only the bread to the people. All these abuses were now preached against.

But this caused great commotion; so much so that the Elector heard of it, and sent his chancellor to bring them to order, and to cause them to give up these new ideas. He had authority to put the monks on bread and water if necessary.

Melanchthon and other professors in the University went to the convent to use their influence with the monks to the same end. The monks drew up a memorial on the subject which confounded the professors, and at length convinced them that the monks were right according to scripture. They made bold to tell the Elector so, and begged him to put an end to all corruption.

Melanchthon said, "To partake of the Lord's supper is not to do any good work, but merely to make use of a sign which recalls to remembrance the grace bestowed upon us by Christ. . . . As the sight of the cross does not justify, so the Mass cannot justify. As the gazing on a cross is no sacrifice for our own or others' sins, just so the Mass is no sacrifice. There is but one sacrifice — but one satisfaction — Jesus Christ: beside Him there is none other."

Gabriel next attacked the idle and useless lives of the monks, and in one day thirteen monks left the convent. But he did not stop here, but advocated the destruction of the monasteries. "Let not one stone remain upon another," cried he; which was followed by great disorders. The churches were broken open, images carried off and burned.

Others pretended to be prophets, declaring that Christians need not now refer so constantly to scripture: God was speaking to them direct. Others despised learning, and advised the parents of the scholars to take them away from school, because God was now revealing Himself to plain unlettered men.

Luther could remain in his retreat no longer. He saw that the devil was busy trying to spoil the work from inside, because he could not hinder it from outside. This is an old tactic of Satan. If he cannot prevent the work, he will try to spoil it. Luther preached vehemently against the disturbances, and in a great measure peace was restored, at least at Wittenberg.

The New Testament in German.

Luther's next great work was to give the people the New Testament in the German language. With the aid of Melanchthon and others, the translation was finished and put to press. In September, 1522, it was published, and three thousand copies rapidly sold. The price was a florin and a half. By December a second edition was ready; and after that, edition followed edition in rapid succession, not only from the press at Wittenberg, but at Augsburg, Basle, and other places.

Thus did the German people thirst for the word of God. They could now read for themselves at their own firesides God's way of salvation The priests were in alarm, and well they might be; for now their authority could be challenged. And people could now go to the fountain of truth itself, instead of drinking at the muddy streams that had flowed to them through the pollutions of Rome. They could now search for indulgences and penances, purgatory, and a host of other things, and prove them wrong because they could not be found from cover to cover of that blessed book.

Rome did what it could to stop its circulation, and orders were given to seize all the copies that could be found. But the sale could not be stopped. Duke George lamented that though he prohibited its sale in his states, many thousand copies were sold and read. Some Romish divines, finding that its circulation could not be stopped, brought out a New Testament of their own. It was said to be the same as Luther's, but altered here and there.

Conflict with Rome Continues.

Though the excommunication of Luther had not been carried out in Germany, Henry VIII. did what he could in England to carry out the pope's Bull. In May, 1521, Cardinal Wolsey went, in solemn procession, to St. Paul's, and, after a sermon against heresy by Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Luther's books were committed to the flames.

In some parts of Germany not belonging to the Elector of Saxony, Luther's books were also burnt, and in Brussels in 1522 the first martyrs of the Reformation in Germany sealed their faith with their blood. Three young monks had imbibed the truth, and were burnt to death. The example once set, persecution arose in other places, and several were brought to the stake on account of their faith.

In 1525 a rebellion broke out among the peasants, in the Black Forest, near the source of the Danube, and spread rapidly. It was only put down by the sword of the state. It only concerns us to name it because it was declared to be a fruit of the Reformation. But it was not. Luther did all he could to prevent it; and though the name of God was mixed up with the demands of the peasants, it was clearly the work of Satan, in bring dishonour upon the name and religion of Jesus Christ.

In the same year, just before the final defeat of the peasants the aged Elector of Saxony breathed his last.

Also in this year a great commotion was caused by Luther marrying Catharine Bora, who had been a nun. The marriage of priests is forbidden by the church of Rome; but Luther saw that it was right and proper that they should be at liberty to marry, and he determined to put in practice what he taught.

Duke John, brother to Frederick, had succeeded him as Elector of Saxony. Duke George tried to prejudice him against Luther; but he boldly declared that everything, no matter what, must be conformed to God's word. He became a fearless supporter of the Reformation.

The princes who were favourable to the Reformation now formed themselves into a league to defend it. Those who were zealous for Rome did the same to oppose it. Luther and Melanchthon both saw that it was a wrong thing to attempt to defend the truth of God by the sword; but the princes carried out their scheme. We shall see in the sequel how dearly some of them had to repent of it.

The Diet of Spire was opened on June 25, 1526, when all feared that extreme measures would be taken. The Emperor at the Diet of Worms had spoken out his determination, which had ended in a decree. There were now loud calls for carrying out that decree. But, to the surprise of all, the Emperor wrote to the Diet, "Let us suspend the edict of Worms!" The key to this was soon discovered to be that the Emperor was at war with the pope; he did not want another with the princes of Germany — indeed he wanted soldiers from Germany to march against the pope. The Emperor after all had so little respect for the pope as God's Vicar on earth, that he sent his army into Italy. Rome, the "eternal city," as it was called, was taken and given up to pillage and massacre. This "Sack of Rome" is declared to be the worst that the city ever experienced, though carried on by a Catholic Emperor! Thus we see the finger of God in a marvellous manner. The wrath of man that was to fall on the lovers of grace and truth, is turned against the great obstacle to reform, and brings it unto the dust.

Human Arrangements in the Church.

This gave the Reformers a time of rest, but which brought new labours upon them. Luther felt that while in many places there had been a ceasing from the evil in a measure, there had not been a corresponding learning to do well. He saw there was a great lack of pastors and teachers; but instead of turning to the Lord of the harvest, and praying only to Him to supply the lack, he turned to the Elector. "Your highness," said he, in 1526, "in your quality of guardian of youth and of all who know not how to take care of themselves, should compel the inhabitants who desire neither pastors nor schools, to receive these means of grace, as they are compelled to work on the roads, on bridges, and such like services. The papal order being abolished, it is your duty to regulate these things."

We fear we must call this a great mistake of Luther's, and a dark shadow on the Reformation. Doubtless Luther wrote this letter with a good motive, but we fear he did not see what was involved in what he did, in asking the Elector to regulate such things. He also asked him to commission four persons, two of whom were to take charge of doctrine, schools, churches and pastors. In fact it was Making the Elector head of the church. Luther had declared against the pope, that Christ was the Head of the church, and in Ephesians 4 we read that Christ gave pastors, teachers and evangelists, and yet Luther is here asking the Elector to commission men to "take charge" even of doctrine and the pastors. This Elector (John the Constant) may have been a Christian; but if he were he had no authority from scripture to regulate the things in the church of God. Another Elector might be an infidel, and yet if this same order of things existed, this infidel would have to "commission" and "regulate" for the church of God! Besides if it was right for the Elector to be head of the church in Saxony, it was right for Philip to be head of the church in Hesse; and so of other places; and so the church would have a dozen heads, thus far setting aside the one true and only Head of the church — Christ Himself.

It is important for the reader to see how such a state of things came into existence. Previous to this the pope was head of the whole Catholic church; but as the churches broke away from the pope, instead of being satisfied with the one Head, Christ in heaven, they put themselves under the ruling prince; and there became no end of the number of heads. Our Queen is head of the church in England, and this has grown out of the same state of things. But, as we have seen, the ruling prince may be an infidel really, and yet he would be head of the church of God!

Another evil connected with each ruling prince being head of the church was that it split up the church of God into as many parts, each with its own head. And although they were all at first called reformed churches, they soon began to be different in doctrine, in practice, and in general order; and eventually adopted different names, and refused communion one with the other. As far as in them lay, they were separate and distinct churches.

Another mistake was in Luther asking the Elector to compel the people generally to have pastors, and thus make them all believe that they were Christians. Pastors are for the sheep: compel them to have pastors, and they naturally think themselves God's sheep. Luther does not seem to have distinguished between preachers of the gospel of God's grace to the unconverted, and pastors to feed the flock of God. The mass of the people became the flock, over which a pastor was appointed; and thus the distinction between the church and the world was lost.

Luther, Melanchthon, Spalatin and Thuring were the four who were first appointed, and they made the tour of the states, carrying out the plan of Luther. The Latin Liturgy they retained, with some German hymns introduced. This was afterwards altered in many places to a service wholly in German.

The Work Progresses Amid Opposition.

To return to our history. The sack of Rome drew forth such a storm on the head of the Emperor from all the Catholics that he was glad to come to terms with the pope. Now they resolved to crush the heretics.

A second Diet was held at Spire in 1529, presided over by Ferdinand, the Emperor's brother. Ferdinand attempted to carry things with a high hand, and bind the Reformed States not to extend the Reformation. To this they could not agree. He left the Diet, and declared all was over. To this the Reforming princes drew up a protest, and presented it to Ferdinand. From this the Reformers were afterwards called Protestants.

Another dark shadow was hanging over the Reformation, in the disunion existing between the Swiss and the German Reformers. The Landgrave of Hesse determined to try and unite them. For this purpose he arranged a meeting at Marburg. Luther and Melanchthon were on one side, and Zwingli and Oecolampadius on the other. The question at issue was, whether in the Lord's supper the bread and wine were changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. Zwingli said that we feed upon the body and blood of Christ by faith. Luther said though the bread and wine were not changed into the body and blood, yet the actual body and blood of Christ were always present after the priest had consecrated the bread and wine. Luther was mistaken, and yet he would not yield, being very obstinate, and manifesting a bad spirit, which greatly damaged the cause of the Reformation, and brought dishonour upon the name of Christ. He could scarcely be induced to part in a christian spirit with the Swiss Reformers.

Another Diet was held at Augsburg in 1530. Before it took place the Emperor was crowned by the pope. Placing a sword in his hand, the pope said, "Make use of it against the enemies of the faith." Charles replied, "I swear ever to employ all my strength to defend the pontifical dignity, and the church of Rome." Much was now expected from the Emperor.

To prevent unnecessary excitement Luther remained at Coburg — for he was still an excommunicated person — but Melanchthon came to Augsburg. It was thought desirable that a Confession of Faith should be drawn up by the Reformers, to present to the Diet, and Melanchthon was commissioned to draw it up. When finished, the Elector was about to sign it when Melanchthon said, "It is for the theologians and ministers to propose these things." But the Elector replied, "God forbid that you should exclude me. I am resolved to do what is right without troubling myself about my crown. I desire to confess the Lord." The Elector signed and then the other princes.

Melanchthon alone was filled with fear. "My dwelling is in perpetual tears, my consternation is indescribable," wrote he to Luther; who did all he could to encourage him, and spent much time in prayer that God would forward His own cause.

"We teach," said the Confession, "that we cannot be justified before God by our own strength, our merits and our works; but that we are justified by Christ through grace, through the means of faith . . . who by His death has made satisfaction for our sins . . . . We teach, at the same time, that this faith ought to bear good fruits, and that we must do all the good works commanded by God, for the love of God, and not by any means to gain the grace of God."

It then spoke of the Lord's supper in "two kinds," and the marriage of the priests, and then related the many abuses in the church that needed correction.

It ended with, "We have explained the doctrines that we maintain to be essential, in order that it may be understood that we admit of neither dogma nor ceremony which is contrary to the holy scriptures, and to the usage of the universal church."

The reading of this Confession was an important event. There sat the Emperor, surrounded with all the powers of Germany, both civil and ecclesiastical. It was right they should know what this new thing was that was shaking Rome to its foundations. The pope called upon them to crush this "heresy:" it was quite right that they should know of what it consisted; and some afterwards admitted that it had been represented to them as something very different.

Luther was delighted that such an opportunity had been granted for the gospel to be heard by such an assembly. "I thrill with joy," said he, "that my life was cast in an epoch in which Christ is publicly exalted by such illustrious confessors and in so glorious an assembly."

The Emperor determined to have a reply to the Protestant Confession drawn up by Dr. Eck and others. In the meantime desperate efforts were made to bring about a compromise. Melanchthon, ever fearful, was now so wrought upon that he was ready to purchase peace almost at any cost. He said, "We venerate the universal authority of the Roman pontiff, and we are ready to obey him, provided he does not reject us." The disputed points were reduced to two: the Lord's supper in two kinds, and the marriage of the priests. Full of hope Melanchthon sought an interview with the pope's Legate. An important moment this in the Reformation. If they can come to terms, Melanchthon hopes to save all: whereas if they come to terms, it may be to lose all. Scripture says there can be no union between light and darkness; no concord with Christ and Belial; and yet poor Melanchthon is going to try. All is, as it were, in a balance. If Rome agrees, all is lost; for the Reformers, if once again united with that apostate system, would soon be gained over, by fair means or foul, to do as Rome wishes. But the movement is of God, and He is watching over all. Though the advance is made by the fear of the holders of the truth, Rome is too proud to accept the terms. As the Reformation had humbled itself thus far, it should be made to humble itself still more. It should be made to give up the two points. Rome refuses the compromise, and thereby the Reformation is saved.

Luther and others were indignant when they found what Melanchthon had attempted; and he himself was afterwards ashamed of it. However God had overruled all, and saved the vessel from a wreck. All now took courage, and awaited the turn of events.

When the reply to the Confession was ready it was publicly read, and then there were loud cries that the Confession was refuted, and the Reformers must now submit. Campeggio, the pope's Legate, loudly called for "fire and sword to eradicate these venomous plants."

Luther was calm, and filled with faith. "As I was at my window," said he, "I saw the stars, and the sky, and that vast and magnificent firmament in which the Lord has placed them. I could nowhere discover the columns on which the Master has supported the immense vault, and yet the heavens did not fall. . . . . God will choose the manner, the time, and the place suitable for deliverance, and He will not linger."

Still the clouds grew darker, threatening a storm, and that, too, before the Reformers could leave Augsburg. Loud threats were hurled against them, and especially against the Elector of Saxony. To make all sure, on the night of August 6 the imperial soldiers took possession of all the gates of the city, so that none should escape.

But God had ordered otherwise. A few hours before the Emperor seized the gates, Philip, Land-grave of Hesse, had secretly left the city, and when the Emperor thought he had all secure, Philip was miles away from Augsburg. This immediately changed everything. Philip had heard the threats against the Reformers, and the Catholics doubted not that his flight was a declaration of war. Those who had called the loudest for war were now as desirous of peace.

Efforts were again made to conclude a compromise, and Melanchthon, again seized as with blindness, endeavoured to make peace with Rome. But Campeggio declared he would make no concessions. After again threatening the Reformers, the Diet broke up, with nothing settled. The formal decree of the Diet, called the "recess," was drawn up, but in such a way that the Protestants refused to sign it.

The Protestant princes being thus threatened both by the pope and the Emperor, formed themselves into another league, and met from time to time at Smalcalde, at times along with the theologians favourable to the Reformation. The princes agreed to defend one another if attacked. Luther, as we have seen, protested against this at first, but he himself had called upon the Elector to take the control of the church in his states. All this altered the character of the Reformation. It was no longer confined to those who were really Christians, whose weapons were spiritual only, and who could not fight, as Christ had said. (John 18:36.) But here were whole states, bound by their princes to take up the sword and fight, professedly for Christ and His truth, altogether apart from whether they were Christians or not. This was a dark shadow on the Reformation, and made it partly Christian and partly political.

In 1534 Luther published the Old Testament in German. This was a great work. The German Christians had now the whole revealed will of God in their mother tongue, and could go to the fountain head for themselves. By this portion of the work they could see how many parts of the popish ritual agreed better with the by-gone dispensation of the Jews than with the christian dispensation into which the gospel had brought them.

In 1540 a dark shadow passed over the Reformation by Philip of Hesse desiring to take a second wife, while his first wife was alive and living with him. Sad to relate, Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, with others, signed a paper approving it, but asking it to be done in private. This forms a dark blot on the character of the Reformers, and especially on Luther's, who had been in the forefront and fearlessly stood for the truth when others were ready to give way.

In December 1545 the General Council, so long called for, and which was to settle the question of the Reformation, was opened at Trent; but the pope managed to get the council entirely into his own hands and to do almost entirely as he pleased. It continued with intervals for eighteen years, and its decrees and its catechism, so called, are constantly appealed to as the standard of the Roman Catholic religion.

Luther died February 18, 1546, soon after the council began to meet.

The Council of Trent being so manifestly under the power of the pope, the Reformed princes wrote to the Emperor demanding that the topics so dear to them might be discussed in a free German council. "Do not leave us to be judged," said they, "by an assembly in which it is impossible by its very constitution that justice should be done us."

The Emperor was little disposed to listen to this. He was at peace with France, and had concluded a truce with the Turks, so that he could now devote all his attention to bring the princes into obedience to Rome. He sent off a messenger to the pope requesting his assistance.

War Against the Reformation.

Charles was found to be preparing for war, though he declared that it was only to ensure peace to the empire. Philip of Hesse was on the alert, and exhorted his colleagues to arm themselves. They were loth to believe such a calamity to be true, and slow to credit that the Emperor was playing them false. But the continued movement of troops into Germany aroused them from their dream of security. The Reformed princes prepared for war.

The pope sent, besides money, 12,000 infantry and 500 horse: all was to be religiously devoted to the war "against the heretics."

Let us pause, and look at the conduct of the pope in this matter. For years the Reformers had been asking for a council to reform abuses, and to prove them wrong from scripture if they were so. A council was now being held, in which the pope gave strict orders not to consider abuses. And in order to turn men's minds from this subject whenever it was named his nuncio had orders to bring forward abstruse subjects, like the "freedom of the will," "original sin," which would occupy the council for months. In the meantime he sends his armies into Germany to demand submission, or put them to death! It is easily explained. The light made manifest the evil. They would not give up the evil; they loved it too well, so they resolved that by all means in their power they would put out the light.

The Emperor had the foresight to see that if he crushed the Elector of Saxony, and Philip of Hesse, their allies would not stand out, so he proscribed those two as rebels, and resolved to punish them, and forbid any to join them on pain of death and confiscation of goods.

On the banks of the Danube the Protestant princes awaited the attack of the Emperor. They took the opportunity of addressing him, "You attack by your proceedings," said they, "not only the gospel, but the law and liberty of the empire."

Hostilities soon commenced. Again and again the Protestants had good opportunities of attacking the Emperor, but as often did they let them slip for want of promptitude and decision. It is quite clear God was not fighting for them. They had taken up arms in express contradiction to scripture, and though it was in the name of God, and avowedly for His gospel, it was not His war, nor for His glory.

The Elector being away from his states, they were declared to be confiscated, and were offered to Maurice, Marquis of Misnia and Thuringia, and son-in-law to Philip of Hesse. Maurice was professedly a Protestant, but had not joined the league. He pretended to decline to enter on the states of Saxony; but on being informed that if he did not accept them they would be given to another, he took possession of them, and they were more or less devastated with the horrors of war.* The Elector on hearing of the seizure of his states returned, and attacking Maurice, regained his territory, and he then attacked those of Ferdinand the Emperor's brother.

{* Maurice was a very crafty man, and it is recorded that he had previously agreed with the Emperor that he was to have the Elector's states.}

The Emperor now collected all his forces and marched against the Elector, and in the forest of Lochan, three miles from the Elbe, a general engagement ensued. The Elector's army was small compared with that of the Emperor, and he soon saw it was useless to continue the conflict. The Elector laid down his sword, and was led before Charles. "I am your prisoner, gracious Emperor," said he, "allow me, I pray, a guard worthy of a prince." The Emperor replied, "I am, then, your Emperor? You shall be treated as you deserve."

The Emperor marched to Wittenberg, which being fortified, held out against him. The Elector was now called before the Emperor, and was accused of rebellion, and sentenced to death. The Elector's wife begged her husband to submit to any terms to save his life. Charles relented, upon condition that the Elector gave up the fortified cities and all his states to the disposal of the Emperor, and that the Elector would consent to all that the Council of Trent or the Emperor might determine concerning religion. To avoid being bound to the religion of Rome the Elector had gone to war: he would not accept this condition to save his life. The Emperor further relented. Sentence of death was altered to remaining a prisoner for life, all his estates being confiscated to the Emperor.

The Landgrave of Hesse saw too clearly that it was useless for him to continue the struggle. He also gave himself up to the Emperor. He was fined, his estates seized, and he held a prisoner.

Thus ended the war — a war to resist Rome and to ensure the Reformation in Germany — and thus it signally failed. Luther saw that it was not needed for princes to take the sword to support the cause of God; and our Lord distinctly said that those that took the sword should perish by the sword. Luther had said to the Elector of Saxony, when it was first proposed to form a Protestant league, "We cannot, on our conscience, approve of the proposed alliance. We would rather die ten times than see the gospel cause one drop of blood to be shed. Our part is to be like lambs of the slaughter. The cross of Christ must be borne. Let your highness be without fear. We shall do more by our prayers than our enemies by all their boastings. . . . You cannot defend our faith each one should believe at his own peril and risk."

The princes took up the sword, doubtless from a good motive, thinking thereby to forward the cause of truth, but it is never safe to disobey the word of God. Besides, many were called to take the sword for the sake of the gospel who had not bowed to God and His grace; and there cannot be a greater inconsistency than unconverted men fighting to establish the gospel of God which they themselves disobey!

Though the war was over, the various states of Germany were as far off as ever from being one in matters of religion. The truth, as taught by Luther, and by the word of God in the German language, had taken too deep a root in the hearts of the people to be easily rooted out or given up.

In the meantime the Council of Trent had been holding its sessions, but, as we have seen, avoiding as much as possible the correcting of abuses — abuses which even every conscientious Catholic was compelled to see, to deplore, and wish to see removed. The Emperor began to despair of seeing peace restored by this council of the pope; he therefore resolved on doing what he could to bring about an agreement. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1548 he produced a Confession of Faith, drawn up with a view that all could subscribe to it, until a free general council should definitely settle the matters in dispute. Three theologians had been selected: two Catholics and a Reformer.

This Confession was called the Interim (signifying that it was only a temporary arrangement). A copy was sent to the pope. He was very angry that the Emperor should interfere in matters of religion, and two of the articles were condemned as heretical, namely, those which permitted the Lord's supper to be in "both kinds," and the marriage of the priests. The Emperor cared nothing now for the protest of the pope. The Interim passed the Diet and became a decree for the Empire.

It gave as little satisfaction to the Reformers. It was little more than disguised popery. Neither Calvin nor Bucer would acknowledge it, and the aged ex-Elector of Saxony refused to purchase his release by receiving it. "I cannot," said he, "in my old age abandon the principles for which I early contended; nor, in order to procure freedom during a few declining years, will I betray that good cause on account of which I have suffered so much, and am still willing to suffer." The Emperor was much displeased, and increased the rigour of his imprisonment.

The Interim was everywhere enforced; some of the free cities, which resisted, were seized by the Emperor, the reformed pastors sent to prison, and the people forced by the sword to conform to the imperial orders. Other places gave in a nominal adherence to the Interim to avoid a like calamity; the pastors doing the best they could to explain it away in their teaching.

Maurice called upon Melanchthon, with others, to draw up something that would quiet the consciences of the Protestants while they carried out the Interim. Melanchthon had been famous for compromises, and though he at first disclaimed the Interim he now entered upon this task, which, however, raised a controversy that lasted for years — the question being, How far can a Christian conform to things indifferent?* This is a very subtle question. Circumcision might have been called by some a matter or indifference; but the Spirit of God said to the Galatians (Gal. 5:2) "If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing." He further says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is, sin." (Rom. 14:23.) "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17.) Here doing things which I know to be wrong, or for which I have no faith, is declared plainly to be sin. But let us see what it was to which Melanchthon asked his fellow-protestants to agree.

{* Melanchthon, and those agreeing with him, were called Adiaphorists, from the Greek word adiaphora, indifferent.}

Besides explaining doctrines so as to try and satisfy all, Melanchthon allowed the pope to be head of the church, but without giving him divine rights. He also allowed the seven popish sacraments (Baptism, the Mass, Confirmation, Penance, Marriage, Holy Orders, Extreme Unction), but did not call them sacraments, or essential to salvation. The Mass he did not call a sacrifice, but represented it as the Lord's supper. He even touched the article of "justification by faith," adding thereto that good works were as essential to salvation, not on the ground of merit, but as an essential part of the christian character.

Thus did Melanchthon, in his timidity, and his desire to satisfy all, undermine the foundation of the christian faith, and laid down the dangerous. and false principle that a Christian might practise that which he knew to be wrong by calling it indifferent. In doing this, he also acquiesced in false doctrines by reserving in his mind a meaning different from what he knew was intended.

This false principle — though, happily, many refused it entirely — was a dark shadow on the Reformation.* By it some were enabled to profess to be Catholics when in reality they were Protestants. In our own day many have subscribed to Articles of Faith on the same principle of reserving in their minds a meaning different from what they know those Articles are intended to convey.**

{* Calvin wrote to Melanchthon (June 18, 1550) on this subject, "Several things which you consider indifferent, are obviously repugnant to the word of God Truly if I have any understanding in divine things, you ought not to have made such large concessions to the papists; partly because you have loosed what the Lord has bound in His word, and partly because you have afforded occasion for bringing insult upon the gospel. . . . Lest you may perhaps have forgotten what I once said to you, I now remind you of it, namely that we consider our ink too precious if we hesitate to bear testimony in writing to those things which so many of the flock are daily sealing with their blood. . . . Although I am fully persuaded that the fear of death never compelled you in the very least to swerve from the right path, yet I am apprehensive that it is just possible that another species of fear may have proved too much for your courage, for I know how much you are horrified at the charge of rude severity."

**For years Melanchthon was hereby involved in controversy, not only with Catholics but with Protestants. He died at Wittenberg in 1560.}

In 1550 pope Paul III. died, and Julius III. succeeded. He conciliated the Emperor, who in return used all his influence and power to force upon the people the doctrines and practices of the church of Rome.

Thus matters remained for some time, when the princes began to discover that the Emperor was intriguing to get his son Philip appointed as king of the Romans though the Electors had chosen the Emperor's brother Ferdinand. It was also manifest that the Emperor was endeavouring to gain extended power into his own hands, but as yet the German princes saw no way of enforcing and maintaining their rights.

Maurice, now Elector of Saxony, secretly formed a design against the Emperor, and carried out his plans so secretly that he was in no way suspected, the Emperor confidently placing in his hands the generalship of the foreign troops, raised by the Emperor to subdue Magdeburg, which still resisted the Interim. When all Maurice's plans were matured, and he had secured the adherence of all the Protestant princes, and entered into a treaty with Henry II. of France, he openly declared his designs which were, 1, to secure the interests of the Protestant faith; 2, to uphold the constitution of Germany against absolute monarchy; 3, to deliver his father-in-law, Philip of Hesse, from prison.

The movements of Maurice were so rapid that he nearly took the Emperor prisoner. He was staying at Inspruck,* the capital of the Tyrol, to be near Trent, but now had to fly in the night, by the aid of torches, over the Alps to Villach in Carinthia, where he arrived in a pitiable plight, though Emperor of Germany.

{* More correctly called Innsbruck, situated at the confluence of the Sill and the Inn.}

On his flight he set the aged ex-Elector of Saxony at liberty; but he, having no confidence in the treacherous Maurice, followed the Emperor.

The Council of Trent broke up in alarm at the success of Maurice, and did not meet again for ten years.

The Emperor, without money or troops, was induced to come to terms with Maurice. The treaty of Passau was signed (1552), which restored peace to the empire, and insured liberty to the Protestants until a Diet should be called to end all further disputes. Philip of Hesse was set at liberty and restored to his states; the ex-Elector of Saxony also took possession of a small part of his former states.

It was a great blessing to the Protestants that they were allowed to hold the doctrine of scripture, and to worship God in the way they believed scripture taught them. But it was a dark shadow that Maurice had brought it about by the sword, handled by intrigue and perfidy, assisted too by the King of France, an open enemy to the Reformation.*

{* Maurice was not permitted long to enjoy the fruits of his success. In the following year he was killed in a battle with Albert, Duke of Brandenburg, at the age of thirty-one.}

In 1555 a Diet was held at Augsburg in which it was agreed that there was to be liberty both to Catholics and Protestants, every prince having the power to decide what should be the religion of his states, without molestation. In the same year the Emperor startled the world by calling around him his nobles in the city of Brussels, and resigned the Imperial crown to his brother Ferdinand, and the remainder of his vast dominions to his son (Philip II.), who had married Mary of England. Charles then retired to a monastery near the town of Placentia in Spain, and died about eighteen months afterwards.

Though Protestantism was thus in a measure established in Germany, there were occasional outbursts and conflicts, until all were involved in the Thirty Years' War in 1618.* At the close of this, peace and liberty were more firmly settled.

{*See the section: 'Ziska and the Bohemians'.}

It was God's work to bring about freedom from the snares and errors of Rome. It was God's book that had shed its light into men's hearts, by the operation of the Spirit of God. They were God's servants who did the work of contending for the faith. They may have made grave mistakes, and they may have joined Christianity to the world. Others, like Uzzah, may have put their hand to the ark who should not have touched it; but above all this, the Reformation was God's work; it restored the truth of God, and gave to all the scriptures, by which they could learn God's will more perfectly, and by His grace follow it.

"An arm of flesh must fail,
In such a strife as this;
He only can prevail
Whose arm immortal is:
'Tis heaven itself the strength must yield,
And weapons fit for such a field.

And heaven supplies them too:
The Lord who never faints,
Is greater than the foe,
And He is with His saints:
Thus arm'd, they venture to the fight;
Thus arm'd, they put their foes to flight.

And, when the conflict's past,
On yonder peaceful shore
They shall repose at last,
And see their foes no more;
The fruits of victory enjoy,
And never more their arms employ."

France and Switzerland.

Zwingli, Calvin, Farel, Oecolampadius.

In the year 1507 there was great commotion at at Berne, a canton in Switzerland. Crowds of people hastened to the convent of the Dominicans to see a young man, bearing five wounds in imitation of our Lord. His arms were extended, and his head lay on one side. At times he would appear to be dying. "He is suffering the cross of Christ," whispered those who stood by. It was said that he got his wounds in this way. One night as he lay in his cell the virgin Mary appeared to him, and coming to his bed-side pierced his hand with a nail, then wrapped around the wound a piece of the linen cloth worn by her Son — our Lord — on His flight into Egypt. Afterwards four other wounds were made upon the body of this young man, he being chosen out for this in great grace. And thus, with the "five wounds," he was visited by the crowds, anxious to see one on whom had fallen such an honour.

Jetzer was the name of this young man, and after a time he had another visit from the virgin Mary as he supposed; but in his visitor he now recognized the voice of his confessor. On expressing this to be his belief the visitor vanished. After a time she came again, and now reproached him for his unbelief. "This time it is the prior," said Jetzer, rushing at him with a knife. "Mary" threw a pewter plate at his head and disappeared.

The scales were now fallen from Jetzer's eyes. He saw how he had been deceived, and felt sure he knew who his visitors were. The Dominicans finding themselves detected tried to poison Jetzer; but he happily discovered this and fled from the place. The deception was soon noised abroad, and the pope appointed persons to investigate the matter. Four persons were found guilty and burnt alive.

Zwingli had studied at Berne, and had attracted the attention of the Dominicans, and they had invited him to lodge at their convent. His father, fearing for his safety, had bidden him leave Berne at once. The above shameful imposture shews the danger Zwingli had run.

Ulric Zwingli was born on January 1, 1484, at Wildhaus, in the canton of St. Gall, in Switzerland. The village stands 3,613 feet above the sea — near to heaven, as one has said, and yet a part of this sin-stained earth. Ulric was first placed with his uncle, the dean of Wesen, for his education, and being found of good ability, he was sent at ten years of age to Basle. Here he outstripped his fellow scholars, and in 1497 he was sent to Berne, where he remained till called away from the danger that threatened him, as we have seen. From Berne he went to Vienna in Austria and studied philosophy. He afterwards went to Basle where he became Master of Arts, and commenced teaching.

His next step was to become pastor of Glaris, and in 1513 he commenced to study Greek in order, as he said, "to draw from the true source the doctrine of Christ." And he afterwards said that we must endeavour to leave philosophy and theology, and "enter into God's thoughts in His own word. I applied myself in earnest prayer to the Lord to give me His light; and though I read nothing but scripture, its sense becomes clearer to me than if I had studied many commentators." This was the man chosen of God to be the most zealous of the Swiss Reformers, and this was his education for the work.

Zwingli twice visited Italy, and strange to say as a soldier. In those days all were expected to take arms when there was a call to war, and Zwingli thus was in arms to fight for the pope. These visits, like the visit of Luther to Rome, were of great use to Zwingli. They gave him a clear insight into the evil practices of the church of Rome, and it grieved him to the heart to see his beloved countrymen given up like cattle to the slaughter, to save that which was so corrupt.

In 1516 Zwingli was called to be priest and preacher at Einsiedeln, in the canton of Schwytz. It had been said that a chant of some unseen heavenly choristers had been heard in the church, and a voice which declared Christ Himself had consecrated the place. This drew to the spot thousands of pilgrims, to whom Zwingli preached the gospel. He told them plainly that God was not there more than anywhere else. There was no merit in their pilgrimages. "Christ, who offered Himself on the cross once for all, is the sacrifice and victim, which satisfies for all eternity for the sins of all believers." This was strange news to the pilgrims. They told one another, "Christ alone saves us, and He saves everywhere." At this news many turned back, and the visitors became fewer. There was in consequence less money coming in, and Zwingli's stipend fell short. But he cared not: he was content to be the poorer if he made others rich.

Oswald Myconius, a friend of Zwingli, was appointed over the school at Zurich, and soon after his arrival, the post of preacher becoming vacant, Myconius at once proposed his friend Zwingli. After a good deal of canvassing for and against, Zwingli was chosen preacher of Zurich, which greatly enlarged his sphere of usefulness. On December 27, 1518, he entered on his duties. He began to expound the Gospel of Matthew, to the great delight of the faithful.

In the next year a monk, named Samson, was going the round of Switzerland, selling indulgences. Zwingli heard of his approach to Zurich, and commenced to preach against the unholy traffic. This and other influences caused the council to resolve not to admit Samson into the town. They therefore sent messengers to the suburbs where Samson had arrived. He said he had a message from the pope. So he was admitted, but was not allowed to open his traffic. He was soon recalled from Switzerland, and a cart drawn by three horses was needed to drag the chests of money he had collected from the poor deluded Swiss.

In August 1519, a dreadful plague broke out at Zurich. Zwingli was at the baths of Pfeffers, but he returned to his post at once, where he was indefatigable in his attentions to the sick. At length he was smitten down by the plague, and all hope was lost of his recovery. But day and night prayers were made by the faithful that he might be spared. God heard their prayers and raised up His servant, with renewed strength and energy to proceed with the work set before him. Besides preaching on Sundays he observed that many persons flocked to Zurich on Fridays to the market, and he resolved to open the church on the market days, and let those simple country people hear the truth and carry it away with them. By this means, and by a colporteur going from village to village with the works of the Reformers, the work rapidly spread in all directions. And everywhere as the light increased, the power and influence of Rome decreased.

This at length attracted attention and in a peculiar manner. It is one of the rules of Rome not to allow meat to be eaten on Fridays nor during Lent, and a citizen of Lucerne being at Zurich was scandalized to find a friend of his eating meat during Lent, and told him of it. His friend retorted that he knew those at Lucerne ate meat on days when it was forbidden. "We purchase our licence from the pope," said the citizen of Lucerne. "And we ours from the butcher," said his friend; "if it be an affair of money, the one surely is as good as the other." It got noised abroad, and the council being appealed to, the practice was forbidden. But the friends of the pope were not satisfied, and wrote to the Bishop of Constance, declaring that Zwingli was the destroyer, not the pastor of Christ's flock.

The bishop appointed three persons to visit Zurich, and investigate the case. They first called a council of the clergy; but in this Zwingli delivered a speech in favour of the gospel, which his accusers did not attempt to gainsay.

The magistrates were appealed to — the smaller council. Here Zwingli was not allowed to be present, and he would have been condemned, but those friendly to the truth appealed to the large council — the Two Hundred.

On the 9th of April, 1522, they met, amid great interest and excitement. The friends of the truth demanded that the pastors should be present to hear the accusations and answer them. The smaller council objected; but it was decided that they should be heard.

The deputy from the bishop said, "Men have appeared amongst us teaching newly-invented doctrines that are equally abominable and seditious . . . . Continue in the church. Out of the church none can be saved. The ceremonies of the church alone can bring unlearned Christians to the knowledge of salvation: and the pastors of the flock have nothing to do but to explain the signification of these ceremonies to the people." He and his coadjutors then wanted to leave the council, but Zwingli begged them to stay. This they refused, until the council itself strongly begged them to remain. At length they consented.

Zwingli rose to reply. The deputy had talked of sedition, "Let him learn that Zurich is more tranquil and more obedient to the laws than any city in Switzerland — a blessing which all good Christians attribute to the gospel. . . . .

"It is not by vain observances that the unlearned multitude can be brought to the knowledge of the truth. There is another and a better way. It is the way that Christ and His apostles have marked out for us — even the gospel itself

"With regard to abstinence, let him who thinks forty days insufficient, fast if he will all the year round, it concerns not me. All that I contend for is that no one should be compelled to fast. . .

"In every nation whosoever believes with all his heart in the Lord Jesus is accepted of God. Here truly is the church, out of which no one can be saved. To explain the gospel, and to obey it — such is the sum of our duty as the ministers of Christ."

The Two Hundred resolved to appeal to the pope and the cardinals to explain the controverted point, and that in the meantime abstinence from flesh should be observed during Lent.

This was really a triumph for the Reformers. Zwingli went on with his work. But his enemies were not baffled, and were constantly plotting to get rid of him. One day he received a letter, begging him not to eat except in his own house, and not to partake of bread except that baked at home — a plot being laid to remove him by poison. On the next day another attempt was made with the dagger, but God preserved His servant.

Again the bishop interfered, and wrote to the chapter at Zurich. Though not named, all knew it was meant for Zwingli. He replied in writing. "What after all is my offence?" asked he: "I have endeavoured to open men's eyes to the peril of their souls; I have laboured to bring them to the knowledge of the only true God and Christ Jesus His Son." He was allowed to go on with his work.

Other preachers were raised up. At Lucerne on a solemn fast-day a large crowd filled the church, expecting to hear some noted preacher. Conrad Schmid, of Kusnacht, entered the pulpit. Attention was immediately riveted, as he began to speak in German instead of the usual Latin. Among other strange things to their ears he said, "God forbid that we should recognize a head so full of sin as the Roman bishop, and thereby reject Jesus Christ. If the bishop of Rome dispenses the bread of the gospel, let us acknowledge him as a pastor, not as our head: and if he does not dispense it, let us in no way whatever recognize him."

In other places there was not room in the churches for those who preached the gospel. This was the case at Appenzell, where Walter Klarer often preached in the meadows or on the mountain sides the glad tidings of salvation.

The scandals that occurred through the celibacy of the clergy occasioned the Reformers to search the word, and there they found that the bishop was to be the husband of one wife. (1 Tim. 3:2.) Zwingli saw it was right to marry; but because some of his friends were not clear about it, he resolved to be married secretly. He was united to Anna Reinhard, widow of Meyer von Knonau. This was in 1522, some say 1524, but its being kept from the public will easily account for the different dates being named.

In the meantime the enemies of the truth had appealed to the Diet of the nation, and the Diet had forbidden any from preaching "doctrines that disturbed the people." Zwingli could not consent, but in order to work in harmony with his brethren he called a meeting of the preachers favourable to the gospel to meet him at Einsiedeln. The object was to address the heads of the cantons and the bishop on two points. 1, To claim a free preaching of the gospel. 2, To allow the clergy to marry. Happily for both they had ample scripture, which they took care to quote in their appeals. These were printed and widely circulated.

These appeals stirred up the energies of the papal party. Their anger fell first upon Oswald Myconius. He was the head of the school at Lucerne. He was known to be a friend of reform, and for this, or, as they said, because he was a disciple of Luther, he was dismissed from his office. With his sick wife and child, sadly he left Lucerne. The city had refused the light and the truth, and, as if given up to its darkness, it has remained chiefly Roman Catholic to this day. Myconius found shelter at Einsiedeln.

About the end of 1522 Leo Juda, a friend of Zwingli, and a staunch friend of the gospel, came to Zurich as pastor of St. Peter's. One day Leo heard a monk in his preaching say that a man by his own strength could satisfy the righteousness of God. His spirit was stirred, and he begged the hearers to keep their seats while he proved to them the preacher was wrong. This caused great commotion, and a council was called to consider the matter. Zwingli again took the lead, first by issuing some theses, and then in the council, by maintaining the truths of the gospel.

Faber, a German theologian, was present, but declined to hold any discussion with Zwingli. The council decreed that as Zwingli was reproved by no one, he was at liberty to preach the gospel. Again had God kept an open door for His truth.

Rome tried other stratagems. Zwingli was surprised by a visit from the captain of the pope's guard and a legate, bearing a letter in which the pope called Zwingli his well-beloved son. Others, too, gathered round the Reformer and offered him, honour and riches from the church. Through God's grace, Zwingli saw the trap laid for him and evaded it.

The friends of the gospel were tried by the unwise zeal of some who, it may be hoped, had imbibed the truth. Thus, one of the vicars of St. Peter's on seeing many poor people about the doors only half clad, said, in allusion to the costly attire of the images of saints, "I should like to strip those wooden idols and clothe those poor members of Jesus Christ." A few days after, both the saints and their rich clothing were missing. The council sent the Vicar to prison, though he had no hand in their removal.

In October, 1523, another council was held at Zurich — an important one for the Reformation. In this the doctrine of the Mass was discussed. "My brethren in Christ," said Zwingli, "far from us be the thought that there is anything unreal in the body and blood of Christ. Our only aim is to prove that the Mass is not a sacrifice that can be offered to God by one man for his fellow." There was no one to reply, and the point was gained. Zurich became the stronghold of the Reformation, Myconius being called shortly afterwards to take charge of one of the schools. Thus was he again brought near to Zwingli.

A general Diet of Switzerland was now held at Lucerne. The question as to which of the cantons were favourable to Reform was soon raised. Zurich alone was decidedly for the Reformation; Schaffhausen almost; Berne, Basle, Soleure, Glaris, and Appenzell were doubtful; the rest were decidedly against it. Nineteen Articles were passed to the import that no new or Lutheran doctrine was to be allowed in public or private. They bore date January 26, 1524, and were ratified by all the cantons except Zurich, and copies sent to each to be carried out.

The effect of this was first felt by a citizen of Zurich, Hottinger by name. Having been grieved by seeing persons fall down before a crucifix by the roadside, he had gone and dug round it till the crucifix came down with a crash. For this he was expelled from Zurich; but wherever he went he spoke freely of the gospel the Reformers preached at Zurich. "It is," said he, "that Christ has offered Himself up once only for all believers, and by that one sacrifice has purified them and redeemed them from all iniquity; and they prove by holy scripture that the Mass is a mere delusion." Some took notice of his words, and at Coblentz he was seized. They tried to get a conviction against him in two places in vain; but at Lucerne, where the gospel had been driven away, they were more successful. The council at once sentenced him to be beheaded. People wept as they saw him led to execution. "I am going to everlasting happiness," said he. On reaching the scaffold he raised his eyes to heaven, and said, "Oh my Redeemer, into Thy hands I commend my spirit," and his head was struck off.

It being well known that Zurich was the stronghold of the Reformation, deputies were sent to the canton, requesting that they would root out the new religion. "Dismiss Zwingli and his disciples," said they: then they would all unite to correct abuses.

The council met to consider the proposition. All saw that it was a momentous crisis for the Reformation as far as man was concerned. But God had the hearts of all men under His control, and the council of Zurich replied that they could make no concessions in what concerned the word of God. As yet at least in Zurich the gospel was free.

Nor did the council stop there. They had spoken courageously, they proceeded to act in like manner. The relics, collected with so much care, but about which there was so much doubt, should be worshipped no longer. They buried them. They then proceeded to strip all the churches of the images, the ornaments of which were sold for relief of the poor. The paintings were obliterated, and the walls whitewashed. Some of the ornaments were committed to the flames, "to the honour and glory of God," Then the organs were silenced, simplicity and sincerity of worship were sought for.

While these things gave joy to the Reformers, they filled the friends of the pope with indignation and resentment. The pope also was aroused. He addressed a brief on the subject to the Swiss confederation. A Diet was called in July 1524 at Zug, from which a deputation was sent to Zurich, Schaffhausen and Appenzell, stating their determination not to allow the new doctrine. Zurich replied that in matters of faith the word of God must be obeyed. It was not simply the council now. They had previously appealed to the people to know their judgment, and that judgment was emphatically for the gospel. The reply of Zurich greatly incensed the confederation, who threatened to sit no longer with Zurich in the Diet.

Zurich "choosing the gospel" sounds very encouraging, but it must be noticed that the people had been appealed to, and this was irrespective of whether they were Christians or not; so that the movement became partly religious and partly political.

A breach was brought about unexpectedly. Oexlin was pastor of Burg, a village in the vicinity of Stein, upon the Rhine. He was a friend of Zwingli and a preacher of the gospel. One night he was seized and carried off; but calling out, the neighbours were aroused; the alarm gun was fired, and the tocsin sounded. The whole neighbourhood were on foot. They hastened after their pastor but were unable to come up with him before he had crossed the river Thur, and was beyond their rescue.

The alarm had not raised the friends of the pastor only, but those also who cared for nothing but excitement. These broke into a neighbouring convent, burnt the books, and made themselves drunk, which ended by the place being reduced to ashes.

Among those who had pursued their pastor was deputy-bailiff Wirth and his two sons, all devoted to the truth, the sons being priests, and preachers of the gospel. These had had nothing to do with the spoliation of the convent, but being known as Reformers, and as they were out on that eventful night, they were singled out as those who ought to be punished.

A Diet of the whole of the cantons was called, and the surrender of these three men was demanded. Zurich caused them to be arrested, but on examination they were declared to be innocent. Still the Diet demanded them, and on the promise that they should be examined only as to the events of that night, and not as to their faith, they were given up, and carried to Baden. It was August, 1524.

At the examination the father was put to the torture, but declared himself innocent as touching the attack upon the convent. He was then charged with destroying an image of St. Anne. Against his son Adrian there was nothing except that he had married, and had preached like Luther and Zwingli. John had given the holy sacrament to a sick man without candle or bell. They were also tortured, being urged to confess of whom they had learnt the evil doctrine. The bailiff's wife repaired to Baden, and with a babe in her arms, appealed to the judges. Her younger son was given up to her; but her husband and John were condemned to death, together with another bailiff, named Rutiman. Sustained by faith in the Lord, they were beheaded. The gospel was bearing fruit to the glory of God.

This caused deep emotion in Zurich, but so far from hindering the Reformation, it instilled new courage and helped on the work. On August 11, 1525, the pastors of Zurich applied to the great council to abolish the Mass, and re-establish the Lord's supper. This they agreed to. The altars were removed, and tables supplied their places. The people were given both the bread and the wine.

As these things were being done at Zurich, at Berne the gospel was also progressing, but amid great opposition. James Watteville, president over the council, and his son Nicholas, provost in the church, were both favourable to the gospel. The council ordained that the preaching should consist of the gospel, and the doctrine of God as it is found in the books of scripture, and that the preachers should not allude to any doctrine, disputation, or writing coming from Luther or other teachers. This was skilfully worded. While it appeased the Romish party that the doctrines of Luther were not to be preached, it left the Reformers free to preach the same truths drawn from scripture.

At Koenigsfeld, there stood a monastery where all the noble families of Switzerland and Suabia sent their daughters who desired to take the veil. In this convent was the sister of the provost — Margaret Watteville, who had read the scriptures and received the truth, along with others of the inmates. These were convinced that their proper place was in their families, and they made a request to the council that they might leave the convent. The council used its influence to cause them to remain. The discipline was relaxed, and their allowances increased; but this did not satisfy them. "We desire," said they, "not liberty of the flesh, but that of the Spirit. We your poor unoffending prisoners, beseech you to take compassion on us." "Our prisoners," exclaimed the banneret, a staunch defender of the convents; "I have no wish to detain them prisoners." This turned the council in their favour. The doors were thrown open, and all who wished left. Nicholas Watteville, to keep a good conscience, gave up all hopes of promotion and emoluments, and married a nun, Clara May, from another convent. Thus were the strongholds of Rome being broken into in the canton of Berne.

At Basle, too, the Reformation made progress. It was the learned city of Switzerland, and the residence of Erasmus, who, while he spoke plainly and loudly against the abuses of the church, always drew back when any wished him to advance. He thus became really a hindrance to the Reformation and eventually wrote against Luther. But Oecolampadius was a faithful advocate of the Reformation. He had suffered persecution, and was now a "tried" man. He was professor and preacher at Basle.

Zwingli was led, in studying the scriptures, to the belief that the bread and the wine were not changed into the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's supper; neither did he believe with Luther, that though the bread and the wine were not changed, yet they were accompanied by the real body and blood; but he believed that the bread and wine were symbols of the body and blood of Christ: the one represented the other. This is now the view held by most Protestants; but at that time it was a newly recovered truth, that had been hidden for ages. Oecolampadius agreed with Zwingli.

Though Luther and Zwingli did not agree on this point, Zwingli and the other Swiss divines were anxious that this difference should not separate them from the German Reformers. But Luther was very violent about it, and declared to the messenger whom the Swiss sent, "Either the one party or the other — either the Swiss or we must be ministers of Satan."

Thus was the bark of the Reformation weakened from within by its divisions, where unity would have been strength. It was assailed, too, from without by the philosophy of Erasmus and the schools; by the fanaticism of the Anabaptists, who, driven from Germany, spread in Switzerland; and by the "religion" of the church of Rome. If it had not been floated by God Himself it must have foundered; but God was above all, and the frail bark weathered every storm.

A general Diet was called for, May 16, 1526, at Baden, to consider the subject of the "new doctrines." Dr. Eck was invited as the champion for Rome. The way Baden had behaved in the matter of the bailiffs Wirth and Rutiman, and the threats thrown out against Zwingli, rendered it unsafe for him to attend. Oecolampadius had to be the champion of the Reformation. Naturally quiet and retiring, he would have wished for Zwingli, but he felt constrained to be present and speak for the word of God.

Nothing could be more marked than the attitude of Baden. The friends of the papacy — especially Eck and Faber — fared sumptuously and were well received everywhere, while Oecolampadius and his compeers were as a set of beggars, and were scoffed at as freely as the others were commended. The landlord of "The Pike," the inn where Oecolampadius lodged, being curious to know how the Reformer spent his time, often looked in upon him, but always found him reading or praying. "It must be confessed," said he, "that he is a very pious heretic."

The discussion lasted eighteen days. Eck was loud, boastful and confident. Oecolampadius was serene, mild, but weighty. Of him a friend of Rome was heard to say, "O that the tall sallow man were on our side!" No one was allowed to take notes except those appointed by the papal party; but a student, named Jerome Walsch, had an excellent memory. After each discussion, he hastened home and wrote down all he could remember, and a messenger was despatched with it to Zwingli, who sent advice in return.

The discussion over, the theses of Eck were signed by eighty persons, while the protest against them was signed only by Oecolampadius and ten others. The Diet now decreed that as Zwingli, the leader in the pernicious doctrines, had refused to appear, and as the ministers who had come to Baden had hardened themselves against conviction, both the one and the others were in consequence cast out of the bosom of the church!

A strange thing this surely, that a Diet of councillors — with no pretension whatever to have any standing in the church should take upon themselves to excommunicate a body of Christians! It may have satisfied themselves; but certainly in God's sight it went no further than presumptuous words.

Oecolampadius was received back to Basle with great joy. He had done his duty, and God had protected him. Haller, on his return to Berne, was ordered to perform Mass by the smaller council. He appealed to the larger council; and there he solemnly told them that he could not with a clear conscience perform the Mass. He would leave the city if they wished it. They decided, to try and appease Rome, to remove him from being canon, and appoint him preacher. In other places the work spread. The discussion at Baden, instead of crushing the Reformation, as it was hoped it would do, only gave to it fresh life and vigour.

In 1527, Zurich being excluded from the national Diet by the Catholic cantons, called a Diet in its own city, and invited those supposed to be favourable to the gospel. Deputies from Berne, Basle, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, and St. Gall attended. A proposition was made in favour of the preaching of God's word and not the opinions of any man, and independent of any custom of their forefathers, who had not the word as they now had. The deputies promised to report the proposition.

The Catholic cantons were much disconcerted that Berne should be holding with Zurich, and they-called together a council of deputies in Berne itself, and then demanded of that city that it should turn away the preachers of the gospel, and return to the "true" faith.

Berne refused; but soon found, to its dismay, that the Catholic cantons were seeking foreign aid. The report was raised that Ferdinand, brother to Charles V., was about to enter Switzerland with an army to attack Zurich and those who held with that city.

About this same date (1527) there was in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, at Aigle, a schoolmaster known as Ursinus. He was a Frenchman, and had lately come into Switzerland, and sought employment to teach the youth. When his labours were over in the school he would be busy with the Greek and Hebrew scriptures. He next, as opportunity offered, instructed the parents as well as the children. He attacked purgatory, the pope, and the priests, and by degrees he had quite a band of listeners. But one day, to their astonishment, he threw off his disguise and said, "I am William Farel, minister of the word of God." The magistrates and the priests were alarmed to find such a man among them. But we must digress, and tell you who William Farel was, and what he had done to excite alarm in the minds of the magistrates. In doing this we shall get a glance at the commencement of the Reformation in France.

Farel and the Reformation in France.

William Farel was born in 1489 at a place called Farel, "three leagues from the town of Gap, in the direction of Grenoble," in France. His parents, devoted Catholics, used to take him on a pilgrimage to a cross said to be made of the wood of the very cross on which Christ was crucified, and the copper about it was made of the basin in which He washed His disciples' feet! There was a small crucifix attached to the cross, which the priest told them moved violently and threw out sparks when there was a storm: "were it not for this," said the priest, "the whole country would be swept bare." Among such superstition was young Farel reared.

He longed for learning, and, though discouraged by his father, he soon mastered all that was to be known in the vicinity, and set out for Paris. Here he fell in with Lefevre, professor at the University, they were soon good friends. Farel met with a Bible; but he found it differed so much from the church of Rome, that he was puzzled, but he concluded that it was because he did not understand the Bible.

Lefevre had his eyes open to the truth, and to the value of the scriptures, and he began to expound Paul's Epistles to his scholars. In the Sorbonne sounded that great truth of justification by grace. "It is God alone," said Lefevre, "who by His grace justifies unto eternal life." Of the death of Christ he said, "The sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free." Farel drank in the truth, and soon saw that if this was salvation, the church of Rome was to use his own word — devilish.

Farel having found Christ, said, "Now everything appears to me to wear a different aspect. Scripture is elucidated, prophecy is opened, and the epistles carry wonderful light into my soul. A voice before unknown — the voice of Christ, my Shepherd and my Teacher — speaks to me with power." He gave himself up to study Greek and Hebrew, that he might the better understand the scriptures.

Farel was made Master of Arts, and lectured at the college of Cardinal Lemoine, which ranked nearly equal to the Sorbonne. To him and Lefevre were soon added as believers, Briconnet, bishop of Meaux, and Margaret, sister to the King, Francis I., Berguin, and a gentleman at court.

Beda was syndic of the Sorbonne; he was a noisy persecutor, and he so harassed Lefevre and Farel that they were glad to accept an invitation from Briconnet, and leave Paris. Thus it was that at Meaux were a number of lovers of the truth, and under the protection of the bishop, the gospel was freely proclaimed in the churches.

Lefevre, in his retirement, turned his attention to the translation of the scriptures. In November, 1524 the New Testament was published in French, and the next year the Psalms. Thus from a corner, as it were, issued the light of God upon France. Many read the scriptures with great eagerness.

But the light of the gospel and the darkness of Rome could not both flourish together. A clamour was soon raised that Meaux was the hotbed of heresy, and an appeal was made to the Parliament. Briconnet cleared himself, but gave way so far as to deprive the pious men who were with him of their licences to preach!

Lefevre was next attacked; but the king cared for none of these things; he, however, appointed a commission, by which Lefevre was acquitted. Farel, who stood more alone, was obliged to flee. Berguin soon after was thrown into prison. Thus the Sorbonne had hoped that they had stamped out the light of the gospel. But it had taken roots in the hearts of many at Meaux, and as they could no longer hear the truth at church, they met privately. One, Leclerc, a wool-comber, was a sort of pastor, and visited from house to house; but he was condemned to be whipped and branded as "heretic" with a hot iron on the forehead. Just as this was being done the operator was startled by the prisoner's aged mother exclaiming, "Glory be to Jesus Christ and His witnesses!"

Leclerc went to Metz. There he met with Châtelain, a monk converted to the truth, who was preaching the gospel. There were great hopes of good being done here, when the rashness of Leclerc destroyed all hopes.

A short distance from Metz stood a little chapel, in which were images of the Virgin and of several saints, to which crowds of pilgrims used to go for worship once a year. That festival was just approaching. The next day the place would be full of worshippers. Leclerc steals out of the city, and goes to the chapel. He thinks he has a commission from God to overthrow and break the images, according to Exodus 20:4; 23:24. He enters the chapel and the place is soon scattered with the broken images

The morrow comes; the bells ring; the banners are unfurled; the crosses are raised, and the processions gradually make their way to the chapel of the Virgin. When they reach the place, all are amazed. The hymns cease, the banners are lowered; and there comes a universal cry of death to the wretch who has broken the images. Leclerc was seen returning to the city, and was suspected. He did not deny it. He was sentenced to death. His right hand was first cut off, and then his flesh was torn away by hot pincers, and then he was burnt over a slow fire. As long as he could, he related the scripture: "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands," etc. Thus died the first martyr of the gospel in France. Châtelain was also now accused and burnt alive for heresy.

Farel returned to his native district and preached the gospel. His three brothers with others were converted: but the opposition raised compelled him to fly; and after wandering about, preaching where he could find an open door, in 1524 he quitted France and proceeded to Basle in Switzerland.

Here he met with Oecolampadius, and their hearts were at once knit together in loving brotherhood and friendship; but Farel paid no heed to the half-hearted Erasmus. This touched Erasmus to the quick, who always after spoke of Farel in the most offensive terms. Farel's motto was "God's word is all-sufficient," and he wished to have a public discussion on thirteen propositions, one of which was, "To take from the certainty of the gospel of Christ is to destroy it." Neither the priests, nor the students of the University were allowed to be present. Farel and Oecolampadius maintained the theses, but not one attended to dispute them.

There was a door opened in Montbéliard, and Oecolampadius pressed Farel to accept it. Farel had not been ordained to the ministry, as it was called; but never mind, Oecolampadius himself would ordain him. Farel consented. Neither of them saw as yet that those whom God had gifted and sent to preach needed no other ordination. Oecolampadius said to him, "The more you find yourself inclined to vehemence, the more must you exercise yourself to maintain a gentle bearing: temper your lion heart with the softness of the dove." The gentle Oecolampadius was to the vehement Farel, what Melanchthon was to Luther. Farel went to Montbéliard July, 1524.

Erasmus had not failed to inform his Roman Catholic friends of the whereabouts of Farel, and they soon concerted measures to get rid of the Reformer. But he laboured there for some months and it was Farel himself who raised the storm that compelled him to leave.

One day Farel was walking near the banks of the river when he saw a procession, headed by two priests, bearing the image of St. Anthony, and reciting prayers to that saint. Farel's spirit was stirred within him. What should he do? Hide himself, or speak, or act? He advanced, snatched the image from the priest, and threw it over the bridge into the water, saying, "Poor idolaters, will ye never put away your idols?" The anger of the people was great, but a cry was raised, "The image is sinking," and whether it was because of saving the image, or what, somehow or other Farel escaped for the moment; but he was obliged to fly from the place and again returned to Basle. He had not practised Oecolampadius' advice and tempered the lion with the lamb. He was forbidden to remain at Basle, and retired to Strasburg. In December, 1526, an invitation was sent to him to return to France. An opportunity to return to his native country he had long wished for and long waited for; but as no door had seemed to open he had turned his steps towards Switzerland and the invitation did not reach him till he had reached Aigle, and was at work as a schoolmaster, as we have seen. He resolved to go on with his work and not return to France.

Farel in Switzerland.

This brings us back again to the work in Switzerland. You will remember that Farel at Aigle had one day thrown off his disguise, and told them who he was. He now ascended the pulpit and preached Jesus Christ as the salvation of sinners.

Being attached to Berne* he had obtained a licence from the council to preach. The priests and magistrates stormed and protested, but Farel went on with his work.

{* Aigle having been taken by Berne from Savoy in 1475, was at this time under the protection of that canton. The Pays de Vaud being by constitution a separate canton in 1803, Aigle became a part of the canton de Vaud.}

A new proclamation coming from Berne caused the Catholics to revolt and with the cry of "No more submission to Berne! down with Farel!" they proceeded to attack the preacher. But those favourable to the Reformation gathered round Farel and shewed such a bold front, that for the time danger was averted; but Farel, to avoid excesses, left the place for a few days. On his return he resumed his preaching, but amid much opposition.

Many in the canton of Berne were much opposed to the Reformation, and the great council had tried to please all, but at length they called the priests and ecclesiastics to a conference on the disputed points; yet decided beforehand that all must be decided by the word of God. Dr. Eck and other well-known Catholics were invited. Eck declined to go.

The Catholic cantons sent a protest against the conference; but they were reminded that they had had a similar one at Baden. The Emperor then sent an order for it to be postponed; but it was so far advanced that this could not be.

The question arose as to who was to be the champion of the Reformation. Haller was at Berne; but he was modest and timid. It will be remembered that at Baden Oecolampadius stood the brunt of the battle. He wrote to Haller saying that Zwingli ought now to take his share in the conflict. Haller invited Zwingli, who gladly consented.

This was not without danger. It was known that in the Catholic cantons they might be waylaid. From various parts the ministers assembled at Zurich, and then all proceeded under an escort of three hundred armed men. They had one or two alarms, but all arrived safely.

The disputation opened January 7, 1528. Everything was to be settled by scripture, and no explanation was to be given that did not come from the word of God, explaining obscure texts by such as were clear.

The first thesis was read: "The holy christian church, of which Christ is the sole head, is born of the word of God, abideth in it, and listeneth not to the voice of a stranger."

A monk replied, The word sole is not in scripture: Christ has left a vicar here below."

Haller said, "The vicar that Christ left is the Holy Ghost."

A Romanist said, "See then to what a pass things have come these last ten years. This man calls himself a Lutheran; that, a Zwinglian; a third, a Carlstadtian; a fourth, an Oecolampadist; a fifth, an Anabaptist."

Unfortunately the Reformers had no good answer to this. Haller said that those named did not desire any to bear their names; but he did not deny that it was a fact. How much better it would have been if all had been content with the one scriptural name of Christian.

Various other subjects were discussed, each side doubtless thinking that it had the victory.

On Sunday, Zwingli took a bold step. He went into the pulpit and recited what is called the Apostles' creed. When he had said, "He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead" he paused and said, "These three articles are in contradiction to the Mass." A priest was then below him prepared to celebrate the Mass. He stopped at these words of Zwingli as if bewildered, and stood with his eyes on the Reformer. At length, to the astonishment of the congregation, he took off his priestly garments and threw them on the altar, exclaiming, "Unless the Mass reposes on a more solid foundation I can celebrate it no longer."

Three days after was the feast of St. Vincent, the patron of the city, as they say. It was usually a high day with the Catholics. The council decided that those who wished could hold the service as heretofore. On the previous evening the bells announced the approach of the festival. On the morning the tapers were lit, and the incense prepared; but alas! no priest came to say Mass, and no congregation to hear it! Thus in this quiet way were the bulwarks of Rome being assailed. On the next day, with a foreign priest Mass was said to a few.

The discussion over, the two councils ordered the Mass to be abolished, and everyone might remove any ornaments they had placed in the churches. Twenty-five altars were removed, tables being substituted, and a number of images destroyed.

Zwingli, ere he left, said in the pulpit, "Victory has declared for the truth, but perseverance alone can complete the triumph. . . . Citizens of Berne . . . . do not abandon Jesus Christ." Then, pointing to the broken fragments of the images, not yet removed, said, "Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

The Romanists were exasperated at the results of the discussion, and determined to molest the Reformers as they returned from Berne. On arriving at Bremgarten, they found the gates closed. They had with them two hundred men at arms. They knew that it would be against Zwingli that any mischief would be attempted, so he was surrounded by troops, and then the commander gave orders to advance. The keepers of the town gave way, and the party passed through an immense crowd, but safely, and at length arrived at Zurich "all well."

Berne next proceeded to make the movement general over the canton as well as over the city. Everywhere the Mass was abolished and the images destroyed. Some of the monasteries were next turned into hospitals, others into places for the poor.

Thus the Reformation in the canton of Berne seemed to be complete; but the work had been too rapid to be real. For a man to be a Catholic today, and a Protestant to-morrow — as many were — without change of heart or real knowledge of the gospel — could not be expected to remain a Protestant when it was to his interest to be a Catholic. So there soon began to be a reaction, especially in the rural districts, far from the city of Berne, and near to the Catholic cantons.

From Interlaken they took up arms, and entered the canton of Berne, declaring that they would march on to Berne, and re-establish the Mass. Berne collected its troops, and the revolt was soon crushed, and Interlaken humbled for invading a neighbouring canton.

The Reformation spread in St. Gall and Glaris; in Appenzell six out of eight parishes embraced the Reform. In the Grisons religious liberty was proclaimed.

At Basle the struggle was long and tedious. Oecolampadius laboured faithfully, but the Roman party was strong. The council was timid, and while it hesitated the people armed and broke into the churches and removed the images. In some places there were heaps of heads, arms, legs and bodies. Erasmus, with his usual sarcasm, said, "I am much surprised that they performed no miracles to save themselves: formerly the saints worked frequent prodigies for much smaller offences." The senate decreed that the Mass and images should be abolished throughout the canton.

Erasmus was in perplexity. While he made game of the images of the saints he was afraid that he should he classed with the Reformers. His fame extended far and near. He must save his good name. He went to Freyburg, in Brisgau.

Farel was the real evangelist of Switzerland. When the gospel was settled and free in one place he would move on to another. Thus he went to Lausanne, but there they had a bishop, and the Reformer had to retire. Then he went to Neuchatel. There the priests, who had long been quarrelling, united like Herod and Pontius Pilate, to crush Farel. He was compelled to leave after sowing the seed. He hoped, however, to return.

Meantime he went with a young man, Anthony Boyve to the Val de Ruz to the town of Vallengin. It was on a festival day, and numbers had flocked into the church. Farel entered the pulpit and began to preach to the people. At the same time the priests were busy with the Mass. Though some listened to Farel for a time, on the elevation of the Host they moved to the altar to receive the wafer, when suddenly Anthony Boyve rushed up, snatched the Host from the priest, and turning towards the people said, "This is not the God whom you should worship, He is above — in heaven in the majesty of the Father; and not, as you believe, in the hands of the priest."

For the moment all were silent with astonishment, and Farel tried to go on with his sermon; but they were both obliged to run for their lives. The people, as soon as they recovered from their bewilderment, rushed after them. Farel hoped to escape by a path which avoided the town; but while they stealthily made their way, a shower of stones told them they were discovered. Soon they were beset with priests, men, and women, who attacked them with clubs and sticks till blood flowed. "Drown them, drown them," cried a voice; which was responded to by their being dragged to the bridge. Just at this time, came up some citizens, who said, "What are you doing? Put them rather in a place of safety, that they may answer for their proceedings." This prevailed, and they were cast into a dungeon of the castle. A cruel end was being prepared for them, when some townsmen of Neuchatel came and claimed them. From Neuchatel, observe, that would not have the gospel, the deliverers of the preachers came!

The act of Boyve cannot be justified; the wide world was open to them, and they could have preached in the open air. Farel was never so near losing his life, and both felt the effects of their rashness for many a day afterwards. But the place where he suffered so sorely was at length gained to the gospel.

Farel returned to Neuchatel and preached in the church; and the people became so excited that they commenced at once to pull down the images: and then to shew their contempt of the doctrine of the Mass they distributed the consecrated wafers among them and ate them. This so exasperated the priests and friends of Rome that a tumult resulted, and both came to blows. The council tried to calm the tempest, but all was in vain. By degrees it died out and all again was quiet. There was inscribed on a pillar of the church, "L'an 1530 le 23 Octobre, fut ôtée et abattue l'Idolâtrie de céans par les Bourgeois."* The matter was finally settled by the vote. A majority of eighteen decided that Neuchatel was for the Reformation. Farel was not to be seen in any of these things, though it was through his preaching that they all came about.

{* "On October 23, 1530, idolatry was overthrown and removed from hence by the citizens."}

Everywhere the altars and images were removed, and the Mass abolished. But an incident will show how little the people understood what they were doing in crying out against idolatry. Two citizens were passing a chapel, when one was reminded that he had put an image of St. John there. He declared he would light his stove with it to-morrow. So as he returned from work he entered the chapel and took away the image, but laid it down outside his door till the morning. In the morning he fetched the image, but it had not been long in the stove when the family were startled by a loud explosion. It must be the anger of the saint, said he. His friend tried to persuade him that it was not so, and at length assured him that in the night he had bored a hole in the image and filled it with gunpowder. But it was all of no use. He was so convinced that the saints were angry at what was being done, that he broke up his establishment and fled from the place.

The Reformation once settled in Neuchatel, Farel looked about for new ground, and began to visit the villages round. One after another fell under the power of his preaching, and the seed was sown in some places where he was obliged to fly for his life.

War in Switzerland.

During the above progress of the gospel the Catholic cantons were not idle. They persecuted by torture and death all that fell into their clutches. And not satisfied with this, feeling that the Reformed cantons were now too numerous and strong for them, they went and threw themselves into the arms of Austria. The Austrians could scarcely believe that the Swiss would sacrifice their country for their religion; but the Swiss assured them they were sincere.

The Reformed cantons sent deputies to those Catholic cantons in the hope of coming to terms; but the deputies were received everywhere with insults and menaces.

But things were brought to an issue sooner than was expected. A Reformed pastor had been waylaid, carried off, and — notwithstanding the protests of the Reformed cantons he was burned alive. This so stirred up the people of Zurich, that they at once flew to arms. The Catholics also did the same. The armies took the field, but again an effort was made to prevent bloodshed. Berne refused to help Zurich, saying that Zurich had begun without them and might finish without them; but Berne joined in a demand that the Catholic cantons should break their alliance with Austria. The treaty was produced. The Reformed cantons wished to read it, but this was forbidden, and in presence of the army it was cut to pieces. It was hoped now that all might be settled; the troops were disbanded and returned home. An edict was passed to revive mutual friendship and concord. But this was more easily said than done. There were still the ill-feeling and religious rancour ready to burst forth on any fresh occasion.

Zwingli unfortunately made rapid strides as a politician. This casts another shadow over the Reformation. Zwingli not only busied himself in the politics of Zurich and Switzerland, but went so far as to advocate the overthrow of the Emperor Charles V., and even plotted for its accomplishment (1530), and above all with France who had so persecuted the Reformers. "My kingdom is not of this world," said our Lord. How was it that the Reformer overlooked this important truth? Politics were so mixed up with religion in Switzerland that it caused Erasmus to say, "They ask us to open our gates, crying aloud, The gospel, the gospel. . . . raise the cloak, and under its mysterious folds you will find — Democracy," the political rights of the people.

The Catholic cantons in the meantime were more and more uneasy at the peace they had agreed to, and secretly longed to break it. They began by persecuting any who favoured the gospel in their own states, and then by calumniating the Reformers. A paper was said to have been found upon an altar which said that the Reformers held that any who committed an abominable offence did not sin so much as he who heard Mass. This of course was false, but it was believed, and being printed was widely circulated.

Zurich advocated that these calumnies should be avenged; but Berne proposed an appeal being made to the Catholic cantons. It ended in a general Diet of all the cantons being called at Baden, in April, 1531. But this Diet ended in nothing, and the confusion and distrust only increased. An attempt was then made to form a confederation of the Reformed cantons, but this failed; at length Berne proposed that they should close their markets against the five Catholic cantons, and not allow them to buy corn, salt, wine, steel, and iron. This was agreed to, and the Reformed cantons took measures accordingly.

In some of the proscribed districts this meant starvation. The Protestant cantons were actually going to try to starve their countrymen in the name of religion. How could the Catholics love such a people or such a religion?

The Catholic cantons ordered provisions from places outside of Switzerland; but the Protestant cantons would not allow them to pass through. France tried to mediate, but it was not listened to. A general council was called in presence of the envoys from France. The Catholic cantons were inflexible, saying, "We will not listen to any proposition before the raising of the blockade." The Reformers said they would not raise it until the gospel was allowed to be freely preached all over Switzerland.

Mediators stepped in, and an agreement was drawn up which it was hoped would meet all obstacles; but the various cantons would not agree to it.

Zwingli found his influence declining in Zurich, and he appeared before the council, asking them, that, as he was blamed for every misfortune and yet his advice was not followed, he might be dismissed.

The council were astonished and grieved, and begged him to remain. After three days he consented, saying, "I will stay with you; and I will labour for the public safety — until death."

Fearful omens were said to be seen. In a village a widow was alone in her house, when blood flowed from the wainscot and from the stones: it fell from a basin, etc. She rushed from the place crying, murder. The neighbours came, and there were surely the marks of blood, and they helped to efface them; but it appeared again the same day. The bailiff of Schenkenberg and the pastor of Dalheim arrived, to see for themselves. They reported it to Berne and Zurich. The records are preserved both in Latin and German.

Again, it is recorded that a terrific meteor was seen in the heavens — like a comet with a fiery tail. Zwingli himself saw this, and predicted his own death and that of many others.

The Catholic cantons assembled at Lucerne, and determined to commence the war. They would enter the bailiwicks and take provisions by force. At once they seized on all the passes, and in secret made their arrangements. Messenger after messenger came to Zurich with the news that war had commenced. But, as if paralysed, they did nothing, hoping the reports were false.

Messengers still arrived with more alarming reports, still they only sent some one to see if the reports were true, but did nothing.

At length, after many and long delays, Zurich awoke to the reality, and began to arm, but there seemed no enthusiasm, no defined plan, no leader. Zwingli, as chaplain of the army, went with them. He felt oppressed. No wonder, when we reflect on what was sought in this war, namely, to prevent their fellow-countrymen having bread, and compelling them to have the gospel.

Cappel was to be the scene of battle. The few that could be got there from Zurich picked out the best place, anxiously awaiting reinforcements. The Catholic cantons — Lucerne, Uri, Schwytz, Unterwalden, and Zug — are in high spirits. They are eight thousand strong, all picked men from the cantons. They hear Mass before they leave Zug, and when in the open plain they bend their knees, 'cross themselves,' and say five 'paters,' as many 'aves,' and the 'credo.'

The Zurichers also bent the knee and invoked God's help. They could only muster twelve hundred men. Zwingli soon reached the army, but was sad and dispirited.

At length they joined battle; at first those from Zurich seemed to be successful, but they were overpowered, and suffered defeat on all sides. Zwingli had armed himself with sword and battle-axe, but he was stooping to console a dying man soon after the battle had commenced, when a stone struck him on the head and closed his lips. He received other blows, and at length a wound from a lance felled him to rise no more. But he was not dead. The battle over, with torches the Catholics searched the dead, and any found still alive were taunted about their religion, and then dispatched. At length Zwingli was met with, but was not recognized. "Do you want a priest to confess yourself?" He could not speak, but shook his head. One turned the face of the dying man towards the fire, and exclaimed, "I think it is Zwingli." Another heard the name, and with his sword despatched the Reformer, saying, "Die, obstinate heretic." Not content with this, the dead body was dismembered, and then burnt.

Thus had fallen that devoted and zealous Reformer Zwingli; but he was one who had signally failed to observe the spiritual nature of the religion of Christ, and had, as we have seen, mingled politics and patriotism with Christianity. Our Lord had distinctly said, "My kingdom is not of this world," and "they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Matt. 26:52.)

The Reformers suffered another repulse. The other Protestant cantons sent supplies until twelve thousand men were mustered. On the other hand, there were two thousand Italians sent by the pope. The Reformers were not united, some of the cantons made separate treaties with the Catholics and retired. Zurich, finding itself deserted, was obliged to do the same. It preserved its faith, and that was all. Berne also sought peace; and the others were obliged to do the same.

The Reformation had gained nothing by the war but shame, while in many places the Romish religion was re-established. To add to the sorrow of the Reformers at this time, Oecolampadius was called away. He had been invited to take the place of Zwingli, but had declined; the death of his friend, and the sorrows into which the Reformation was plunged broke his heart, and soon carried him off. Henry Bullinger, who had been obliged to fly from Bremgarten, succeeded Zwingli.

The cantons now settled down; some into the Reformed religion, and some the Catholic. More than once they had their religious wars, and they are to this day some Catholic and some Protestant.

We have not yet done with Switzerland, but we must turn again to France, and introduce you to another of God's servants in the Reformation.

Calvin and France.

Not far from Paris, in the Forest of Livry, lived a hermit. He had met with some of the men of Meaux;* had heard the gospel, and embraced it, and he now spent his time in going from cottage to cottage, telling the people of the good news of salvation — a pardon infinitely more precious than that of priestly absolution. Many knew of the hermit and went to visit him. To all he told the way of salvation.

{* See the section 'Farel and the Reformation in France'.}

News of the hermit reached the Sorbonne, who ordered him to be seized and cast into prison. He had committed the dreadful crime of preaching salvation in Christ only, and for this he must be burnt alive over a slow fire! To make it more effective, the great bell of Notre Dame was tolled to draw the people together. The scholar left his book, and the workman threw down his tools and hastened to the spot. In the centre of a dense crowd stood the hermit. The bell ceased. He was asked the last question. He declared his adherence to the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a dreadful heretic, he was doomed to destruction by the priests, the fire was lit, and thus passed away a quiet and devoted evangelist.

One of the students at that time in the college of La Marche was John Calvin. He was born at Noyon in Picardy, on July 10, 1509. His father's name was Gerard, and his mother's maiden name was Jane Lefranq. John was now sixteen years old. Austere in his manner, he kept apart from the mass of scholars, and joined but little in their games. His pale aspect and piercing eye drew from them a measure of respect, which was heightened by the seriousness of his conversation and his rebukes of their sins. Perhaps one thing that contributed to this was that though so young his head was shaven as a priest's. His father had devoted him to the church, and about twelve years of age he had been made chaplain of La Gesine! This was done by his father, we suppose, for the sake of the income, as he and his family were poor. Calvin's progress was so rapid at college that he was removed from the classes and taken singly to the higher branches of study. As he was to be a priest, he went from La Marche to the college of Montaigu.

Here the terrible Beda was principal, who watched over young Calvin. He had no fault to find with the young scholar, who never missed a fast, a Mass, or a procession. Calvin said afterwards, "I was at this time so obstinately given to the superstitions of popery, that it seemed impossible that I should ever be pulled out of the deep mire."

Like Luther, he studied Scotus, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas with the philosophy of the last-named he was delighted, but only to be its deadly enemy when he knew its hollowness.

Calvin was visited at college by his cousin Olivetan, who had a measure of light from reading the scriptures and who longed to teach Calvin what he had discovered. Calvin would not listen; but when alone he began to reflect, and asked, Whither was he going. He dreaded the thought of the resurrection. He did not feel the virtue of redemption. In his agony he said, "Where shall I find the light that I need . . . Alas! thy word, which should enlighten thy people like a lamp, has been taken from us."

The professors noticed a change in Calvin, and sought to appease his trouble. "I am a miserable sinner," said Calvin. They admitted it, but said that he could satisfy the justice of God by confessing to a priest, and by blotting out the memory of the sins by good works. Calvin did as he was told, and more; but it was useless: his agony returned, and all his austerities and penances brought him no relief. His cousin had advised him to read the scriptures. He did so, and found Christ, or rather Christ found him. "O Father," said he, "His sacrifice has appeased Thy wrath; His blood has washed away my impurities; His cross has borne my curse; His death has atoned for me. . . . We had devised for ourselves many useless follies . . . . but Thou hast placed Thy word before me like a torch, and Thou hast touched my heart, in order that I should hold in abomination all other merits save that of Jesus."

Still, he clung to the church, he declared he could not separate from the "majesty" of the church. His friends drew his attention to the nature of the church as revealed in scripture, and what the church of Rome was. Calvin searched for himself; and found that the true order had been lost; the keys had been "counterfeited:" Calvin was gained to the Reformation. It was about 1527; Calvin was nineteen.

Calvin's father had, as we have seen, designed him for the church; but it is supposed that hearing of his son's conversion, he had desired him to study the law. Certain it is that in 1527 Calvin left Paris and proceeded to Orleans to become a jurist.

At Orleans Calvin had a return of his depression; but further light chased away his fears. Here he studied Greek, which was of much value to him afterwards. He then went to Bourges, still studying the law. Then Wolmar recommended him to devote himself to the gospel, and this he did privately at people's houses. But at length a wider door opened for him. At a town named Lignières ten leagues from Bourges, he was invited to preach the gospel in the parish church. He consented, and crowds came to hear the young man. This excited the jealousy of the priests, who sought to put him in prison. The death of his father called him from his work.

Calvin, desirous of furthering his studies in Greek, returned to Paris, where he studied not only languages but law and philosophy. Some begged him to give himself up to the gospel, and at length he determined to do so. Berguin had just before died as a martyr, and those who loved the gospel had to meet in secret places. Calvin joined them, and began to expound the word.

Calvin turned his eyes on Meaux, where Briconnet still presided, but who had sadly fallen. Calvin hoped to restore the bishop, but could get no entrance to him. Daniel, a friend of Calvin, wanting to attach him to the church, proposed to ask for him the office of Vicar-general, and wrote, asking if Calvin would accept of it. Calvin, who was not as yet at all clear as to the true character of the church of Rome, was in danger, but he was to be God's servant, and He was watching over him. Calvin refused the offer.

Calvin was next invited to be the chaplain of Margaret, Queen of Navarre. She had made Roussel a bishop; she would also promote Calvin. She appeared to love the truth, but adopted a sort of half-Catholic, half-Protestant policy. Calvin declined the tempting offer.

For a time the gospel seemed to progress in Paris, and the Sorbonne and the enemies of the gospel to be silenced. Calvin endeavoured to take advantage of this. His friend Cop was rector of the college, and a friend of the gospel; Calvin proposed to him that as rector he should declare the gospel boldly in the face of all France. It was customary for the rector to give an inaugural address in Latin on All Saints' day. This would be a fine opportunity. Cop excused himself, by saying he was a physician and not a divine, he declared however that if Calvin would write the address, he would read it. Calvin readily agreed, and the address was written. It was called, "Christian Philosophy."

On All Saints' day, 1533, a crowd of college dignitaries, professors, theologians, and students filled the church of the Mathurins. Cop was known to be favourable to the Queen of Navarre, and all were anxious to hear what sort of an address the rector would give. Calvin had taken care that at least for once they should hear the gospel. The rector read, "Christian philosophy" was "the gift of God to man by Jesus Christ Himself. . . . . "What is the hidden will that is revealed to us here? It is this: The grace of God alone remits sins . . . . The Holy Ghost which sanctifies the heart and gives eternal life is promised to all Christians." The rector asked them to join with him in prayer "to Christ the true and only intercessor with the Father."

Never had they heard such an address, and loud was the outcry against the rector. His enemies, thinking it was useless to apply to the University, applied to parliament, and laid his heretical address before the house. Cop was ordered to appear. He summoned courage, and prepared to do so, but as he was rector he went in his robes, preceded by the under officers, with their maces, etc. But a friend of the gospel saw that if the rector appeared he would be a lost man, and sent a messenger to stop his coming. The messenger caught sight of the archers who were ready to arrest Cop, so he hastened forward in hopes of stopping him. His procession was then in a narrow street, where they could pass only with difficulty. The messenger ran to Cop and whispered to him that if he appeared he would share the fate of Berguin: the officers were ready to arrest him. If he went any further he would be a dead man! Cop hesitated; some friends gathered round him, and urged him to flee. He broke up the procession and hurried off home; and then in a disguise quitted Paris and fled to Basle.

The archers came to arrest him, but he was gone. The parliament, annoyed at his escape, offered a reward of three hundred crowns for him dead or alive.

The enemies of the gospel now turned their thoughts on Calvin. It was really him they had heard in the address, and he was the energetic spreader of the heresy. The parliament, ordered his arrest. Calvin was sitting quietly in his college room when his friends came and said, "Fly! or you are lost." Others came bidding him to fly. They had seen the officers coming to arrest him. They were then at the college gates. Some endeavoured to delay the officers a little, while others made a rope of Calvin's bedclothes, by which he lowered himself out of his window into the street of the Bernardins. The archers entered his room but he was gone. The officer dispatched some of his men in pursuit, while he stayed to gather up what papers and letters he could collect.

Calvin from the Rue des Bernardins went to the suburbs of St. Victor. Here he went to the house of a vine-dresser, a friend of the gospel. They exchanged clothes; and Calvin, in the rustic clothes of a vine-dresser, with a hoe on one shoulder, and a wallet with provisions on the other, took his steps away from Paris, traversing the less frequented roads and avoiding observation.

The letters seized in Calvin's room brought his friends into danger, and it was only by the intercession of the Queen of Navarre that they escaped death.

In 1533-34 Margaret left the court of France, and came to reside at Nerac. Here she threw off her form of royalty and spent her time in visiting the poor, and helping on the gospel. She employed colporteurs to take round, along with their trinkets, the New Testament in French. With her was her chaplain Roussel and the aged Lefevre. Calvin had taken refuge at Angoulème which was not far from Nerac; he desired to see his old friends. and indeed he was fearful of the half-and-half measures of Roussel, who, though he administered the Lord's supper in "two kinds," yet preserved the Mass, though altered. Calvin was now thoroughly convinced that the church of Rome was so corrupt that it ought to be pulled down and another church built. Roussel was alarmed. He was trying to cleanse it, and not to pull it down, nor even to leave it.

Calvin was distressed at those who knew and loved the truth, and who yet would go on with their confessions and the Mass. He returned to Angouleme, and from thence, under a feigned name, he went to Poitiers. Near here he used to assemble in a cave with those who loved the gospel, and he would expound to them the scriptures, and then they partook of the Lord's supper in the "two kinds," without the Mass or elevating the Host. But opposition arose, and he had to leave, much to the regret of the faithful.

Calvin then went to Noyon, his native place, where all this while he had held two livings in the church of Rome, conferred on him when quite young. These he now resigned, and severed his last tie to the church of Rome. His friends thought he could have done much more good by remaining in its fold, but he was quite certain his only course was to leave it entirely.

Calvin returned to Paris (1534). He found things had quieted down, and he hoped there was an open door for the gospel. But he was advised to do nothing except in private; for Paris and the king were not really changed. Many had been gained to the truth, and Calvin found plenty of work in private.

Here, as elsewhere, Satan tried hard to mix poison with the truth. To the horror of Calvin he found some had become "spirituals." There was but one Spirit, said they, the Holy Spirit; and everything they did was done by the Spirit. A man robbed his employer, but his master must not complain, the Spirit invaded every one, and it was the Spirit who used the man! Calvin saw through this awful delusion, and exposed it, but it led away many in France.

Another heresy at that time was by Servetus, who denied the Godhead of Christ. Full of his own opinions this man challenged Calvin to a conference; Calvin accepted the offer, but Servetus did not keep his appointment. Calvin became the defender of the Trinity against this deceiver.

All these things were useful to Calvin. It was not needed to oppose the errors of Rome only, but to adhere closely to the truth. Many saw Rome to be wrong, but, deceived by Satan, they wandered in the mazes of error and wickedness.

Again Calvin had to leave Paris. He retired to Strasburg. After he left, the gospellers, as we call them for want of a better name, sent one of their number, Feret, on a mission to Switzerland, to ask advice of Farel and others, whether they judged it best for those in France to meet as they were now doing — in private — or to act in some bold way openly for the truth's sake. Feret was struck with the difference between Switzerland and France. While they in Paris were afraid to let their faith be known, at Neuchatel and other places the images were destroyed and the gospel preached boldly.

A conference was held, and to print and post up in Paris a placard for the gospel and against Rome was proposed, and assented to. Farel drew up the placard in his usual energetic style, the printers were set to work, and a number were soon ready; some were large for posting up, and some small to give in the streets, etc.

Feret hastened back with the bills. A consultation was held. Some feared the consequences, but others advocated the posting of the bills, trusting in God to use them for the spreading of the truth. Paris was too small; they must spread them all over France. The bills were circulated to the cities and towns privately to friends of the gospel; and all being ready, the night of October 24, 1534, was fixed on for the posting them up. Earnest prayer was made for God's blessing.

The night arrived, and men stole from their houses, and cautiously looking round, posted up a bill; then hastened to another spot and put up another, and so on, each in his own district. Paris was well placarded, as well as the towns and cities "all over France."

The heading was, "Truthful Articles concerning the horrible, great, and unbearable abuses of the popish Mass, invented directly against the holy supper of our Lord, the only mediator and only Saviour Jesus Christ."

It denied that the Mass was a sacrifice thus: "By the great and admirable sacrifice of Jesus Christ all outward and visible sacrifice is abolished. Christ . . . . was once offered for all. By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

It then attacked transubstantiation. It denounced it as a doctrine of devils, opposed to all scripture. "I ask those cope-wearers, Where did they find that big word Transubstantiation? St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. John, St. Paul, and the old fathers, never spoke of it. When they made mention of the Lord's supper those holy writers openly and simply called the bread and wine bread and wine. St. Paul does not say, Eat the body of Christ, but, Eat this bread."

On the other hand it said, "The holy supper of Jesus Christ reminds us of the great love with which He loved us, so that He washed us in His blood. It presents to us on the part of the Lord, the body and blood of His Son, in order that we should communicate in the sacrifice of His death and that Jesus should be our everlasting food."

But it called the Catholics "wretches," and spoke of their "infernal theology." It said, "Kindle, yes, kindle your faggots, but let it be to burn and roast yourselves. . . . Why should you kindle them for us? Because we will not believe in your idols, in your new gods, in your new Christs, who let themselves be eaten by vermin, and in you also who are worse than vermin."

Alas! for the gospellers, and for Farel, and for the cause of Christ, that such language should have been put forth in His holy name! Could such language gain any one, while it insulted those so grossly whom it believed to be in error? Allowing for the grossness of the age, nothing can justify such language put forward in the name of Christ.

In the morning one of the bills was carried to the king. He was just then in great hopes of joining Protestant and Catholic into one; but now it was all spoilt. He was exceedingly enraged and ordered a minute search to be made for the aggressors. The parliament took it up, and offered one hundred crowns reward for any information as to who posted the bills. All who concealed them should be burnt.

Morin had the matter in hand to find out those favourable to the gospel. He hit on a plan to secure all. He sent for one who had been used to convene the meetings, and demanded of him where they all lived. He refused to tell. Morin ordered a scaffold to be prepared, and threatened the man he should be burnt. He, in fear of death, turned traitor, and going from door to door the poor wretch pointed out where the gospellers lived. All were seized and carried off to prison.

The trial was a mere form; the fires were lit, and one after another they were burnt alive: many who had nothing to do with posting up the bills were also burnt. One was a poor paralytic who could not walk, and had to be carried. He was a gospeller, and that was quite enough.

Then a solemn procession was formed of all the relics in Paris, and High Mass was sung, and all honour done to the Host, for the supposed insult offered to it by the placards! Thus the bills — intemperate and unwise — brought death to many, while they caused the chains of Rome to be riveted still firmer upon the whole of France.

In the meantime Calvin had travelled to Strasburg, and then to Basle (1534). Here he went to see Erasmus, but Calvin had no sooner stated his judgment on certain things, than Erasmus, like a snail, withdrew into his house, wishing to be seen no more with the Reformer. Here Calvin met with Cop, the ex-rector from Paris, who read Calvin's address, and for which both had to fly. Soon they heard of the placards and the results, which filled them with sorrow, and then one and another fugitive reached Basle, who had managed to escape martyrdom. Calvin was sad that not only were the Reformers put to death, but their characters were traduced, and the faith they held was misunderstood. To step in, as it were, between the victims and their executioners, and tell the latter, and indeed the world, what the former held, caused Calvin to set to work to compose a book, called "Institutes of the Christian Religion." He greatly added to it afterwards. It is still a standard work among many.

With the "Institutes" before the world, Calvin appealed to the King of France; and then, in order to be quiet, he left Basle for Italy (1535).

Calvin in Italy.

At Ferrara was the princess Renee, daughter of Louis XII. of France, wife to Duke Hercules of Este. To her Calvin came in 1535, under disguise, being called Charles d'Espeville. The duchess had a few rays of gospel light when in France, but longed for more. He expounded the scriptures in her room to all whom she pleased to invite. Then she opened her chapel and Calvin preached there. Others favourable to the gospel came to her court.

These things however became known at Rome, and the duke plainly told his wife that she must send the Frenchmen away; and that one would certainly be dragged to punishment if he did not escape — this was Calvin. There was an office of the Inquisition at Ferrara, and Calvin was already on their books. Being forewarned of his danger, he was preparing to depart, when the officers of the Inquisition seized him. As he had powerful friends in that place they sent him of to Bologna for his trial.

God, however, was watching over His servant, but Calvin saw no way of escape. On they journeyed and had traversed more than half the distance when suddenly a body of armed men surrounded Calvin and his escort. They demanded the release of the prisoner: and to the disappointment of the officers of the Inquisition, their prisoner made his escape. With all speed he quitted Italy.

Calvin is next heard of in Aosta. From thence he went to his native place, Noyon. Finding his brother Charles dead, he invited his brother Anthony and his sister Mary to leave a country where they were liable to persecution on account of the gospel. The three leave their native place and start for Basle, calling at Geneva on their way. This was July, 1536.

We must now digress and tell you what was passing at Geneva in 1536, and how it came about.


Geneva had been the scene of many contests. It was claimed by the dukes of Savoy; and presided over by a bishop. In 1524 it threw off the authority of the duke of Savoy; and many were becoming impatient to throw off the authority of the bishop, which yet bound them to Rome.

Farel evangelized many parts of Switzerland. At St. Blaise he escaped very severely beaten. He was placed in a boat, and carried to Morat, where he had to keep his bed for some time. But his incentive was, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel," and as soon as he was able he was preaching again spite of all opposition. At Orbe he laboured for some time, but he longed to carry on the work at Geneva. Situated as Geneva is, it was the rendezvous of many of the gospellers from France, between whom, together with the Genevese favourable to the gospel, and the bishop there were frequent disturbances. Sometimes one gained the upper hand, and sometimes the other.

In 1532 Farel and Saunier entered Geneva. They inquired for Robert Olivetan, and consulted with him as to the best means of gaining over the town to the gospel. Farel had letters from Berne for the principal gospellers of the place, and he collected them together. He found some were more political than religious — anxious to get rid of the bishop, but not anxious to receive Christ. He preached the gospel to them.

These secret meetings got wind, and Farel and Saunier were summoned before the council. They were ordered to quit the town. Farel asked them if they were not allies and co-burgesses with Berne. Well, he had a letter from the lords of Berne. "If you condemn me unheard," said he, "you insult God, and also, as you see, my lords of Berne." This softened the council. They were allowed to remain in the city, but were told not to disturb the public peace.

The clergy of the place called a conference. Farel was in the city — what was to be done? They determined to put him to death, and to this end they would summon him to appear under the plea of giving him a hearing. News of the plot reached the council, and two of the magistrates determined to go with the Reformers as a safeguard. Olivétan accompanied them.

There sat the abbot-vicar, the canons, the bishop's officers, and higher clergy, all in their robes. Farel was the marked man. It was demanded of him why he came there, and by whose authority.

"I am sent by God," said Farel, "and I am come to announce His word." It was told him that it was forbidden by the church for a layman to preach. Farel referred to the word, "Preach the gospel to every creature." He denied that they were the true successors of the apostles, as they did not care for the doctrine of Christ. The clergy became enraged; they stormed, and called him a wicked devil, and declared that he had thrown the whole country into confusion. At length they rose to their feet and hustled him about. The president succeeded in restoring somewhat of order, when Farel addressed them, "My lords, I am not a devil . . . . If I journey to and fro, it is that I may preach Jesus Christ — Jesus Christ crucified, who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, so that whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life." As to the country being disturbed, he said, "I will answer as Elijah did to Ahab, 'I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house.' Yes, it is you and yours who trouble the world by your traditions, your human inventions, and your dissolute lives."

The clergy sprang to their feet and rushed at the Reformer, crying, "To the Rhone, to the Rhone! Kill him, kill him!" They spat in his face and covered him with blows; while others were doing the same to his companions. At length, one of the magistrates, unable to prevent this outrage, called out, "I will go and ring the great bell, and convoke the General Council. The assembled people shall decide." He was leaving the room to carry this into effect, when the other magistrate interfered, and order was again restored. The Reformers were asked to leave the room while the council deliberated. In the gallery stood a servant of the Grand-vicar armed with a gun. He had heard the tumult inside, and now with Farel before him he levelled his gun at him, and pulled the trigger but it missed fire. Farel turned to the man and said, "I am not to be shaken by a popgun; your toy does not alarm me." Surely it was the finger of God which saved His servant.

The Reformers were recalled, and Farel with his two companions were ordered to leave the town in six hours or they should be brought to the stake. It was only the council's respect (or rather their fear) for their lords of Berne that they let the Reformers off so easily.

But in the meantime the lower clergy had collected round the door of the house in great numbers, armed with clubs and daggers, vowing vengeance on the head of Farel. The Lord alone could save them from this infuriated mob; He had watched over His servants, and protection was at hand. The syndics, seeing how it would fare with the man who had been recommended to them by the lords of Berne, called out the guard and proceeded to the house. They made the crowd fall back and placing Farel and his companions in their midst they escorted them to their inn, but not without a priest aiming a blow at Farel with a sword, but which was averted by one of the syndics seizing the assassin's arm. In the morning some stout gospellers waited on the Reformer early, but not so early as to prevent the priests being there, and a mob collected — and escorted them to a boat on the lake, amid shouts and yells. They landed at a secluded spot between Morges and Lausanne. For the present Geneva was not gained to the gospel.

But Farel could not give up Geneva. He called a fellow-labourer, Froment, and expressed a wish that he should go and labour to gain that city. Froment was a young man, and had heard how Farel had been treated there, and he drew back in alarm. Farel let the matter rest a little while and then again endeavoured to arouse his fellow-labourer. He reminded him of how he had begun at Aigle as a schoolmaster, and how the work had spread. Froment at length consented, and went to Geneva. He wandered through the town, and no door opened to him. He visited the gospellers Farel had told him of; but they were not "taken" with him. This was a city of importance; they needed a scholar, and not a rustic. They did not in this manifest the Spirit of Christ. Froment returned downcast to his inn, paid his bill, and left Geneva. But he had not gone far when he felt himself arrested. Must he leave? Was he sure he was doing right? He felt constrained to go back. Then he prayed for guidance and felt he should have it.

He heard of a room fit for a school near the Molard, at an inn of the sign of the Croix d' Or. Terms agreed upon, he went to his inn, and wrote out some bills saying that children and adults would be taught to read and write French in a month. Where the scholars were not successful in learning he would ask no pay, adding at the end "many diseases are also cured gratis." The bills were posted and his doors opened.

A number of children came. He gave them lessons, never neglecting to read a portion of scripture, and explain it. He gave also some simple medicines where needed, for ailments of the body. News of the strange schoolmaster soon spread abroad, and the stories he read out of the Bible, and adults would often drop in to hear for themselves. This increased, until all over the city the fame of the strange schoolmaster increased more and more, and the seed sank into the hearts of many. Froment seemed to have confined himself to preaching the truth, without stopping to attack error. Such a change was wrought in some that others often spoke of Froment as an enchanter.

A remarkable conversion cheered the heart of Froment. Claudine Levet, wife of a citizen, was a bigoted Romanist, but was invited by her sister-in-law to go and hear the schoolmaster. She took care to anoint herself and to put on her charms to secure herself against the "enchanter." Claudine sat down in her pride, taking care to let her faith be seen by repeatedly crossing herself and muttering her prayers. Froment had opened his New Testament, and read his portion, and was telling of the love of God to sinful man. Her crossings continued, but presently something arrested her ear, and her prayers ceased, and with her eyes fixed on the schoolmaster, she drank in every word he uttered. A deep struggle seemed to be going on within her, as if to say, Can it possibly be true?

The address over, she kept her seat till all were gone, and then asked the preacher, "Is it true what you say?" He assured her it was. "Is it all proved by the gospel?" It is. "Is not the Mass mentioned in it?" It is not. "Is the book from which you preached a genuine New Testament?" It is. She begged Froment to lend her the book. This he gladly did, and she retired.

In her own room for three days she studied the word — not even coming to her meals. The Spirit of God had sent His shaft into her soul, and there was a dreadful struggle as to giving up Rome and receiving the gospel. But God, who had begun the work, completed her salvation. She saw her sins forgiven through the sacrifice of Christ, and joy filled her soul. She called for Froment and told him the good news. He thanked God, and took courage. His labour had not been in vain.

The conversion of Madame Levet was real. It soon told in her manner of life, and having moved in good society, as it is called, it attracted attention. She was the means of other ladies hearing the gospel and being saved. But the friends of Rome now awoke to the nature of Froment's work. If the gospel was successful, it was to their ruin. Then such an opposition was raised to the schoolmaster that, though he left off his work and took to weaving as a servant for protection, he was soon obliged to leave the city. But the gospel seed had been sown and many had been converted.

These began to meet privately, and hold simple meetings. They had no minister or president except that One who, as D'Aubigné says, was "present in the midst although unseen." One read a portion of scripture, another explained or applied it, and a third prayed. God was with them and they were blessed. Would that they had continued in such simplicity! They desired to partake of the Lord's supper; but instead of being content with the presence of the One in their midst though unseen, they elected one of their number — Guérin — to preside at the supper. They met secretly for this purpose; it was beautifully simple. They came not to hear a sermon; but for the one express purpose to break bread, as in Acts 20:7. But in this passage we do not read that any one was elected to preside; neither is there any warrant in scripture for such an election; still to meet for the express purpose of breaking bread was simple and scriptural, and God gave His blessing. These meetings becoming known, Guerin was obliged to flee from the town.

Disturbances now broke out at Geneva. The Catholics arming themselves determined to put the Protestants to death; the Protestants armed themselves in defence; but there was little or no bloodshed through the interference of some mediators from Friburg.

Then the bishop returned to Geneva, and took active measures against the Protestants. Some escaped and some were imprisoned on a charge of having caused the death of a Catholic. But the bishop wanted to be ruler of the city, and was not always careful to observe the laws, so that many of the Catholic patriots were not altogether pleased at what the bishop did. They cared not what he did with the Protestants provided he did it lawfully; while he did not care to be in Geneva at all unless he could do pretty much as he liked. The bishop knew he was acting against the laws of Geneva, and was ill at ease.

The Protestants, hearing that the bishop was about to remove his prisoners away from Geneva for greater security, determined to endeavour to make him give them up. A bold leader got together fifty men, to each he gave a staff, to which were attached five matches. When it was dark they lit all their matches, and with a staff in one hand and a sword in the other they marched to the bishop's palace, and then, without ceremony, walked up to his room, and then and there made a formal demand for the release of the prisoners. The bishop was overawed.

Did they mean to kill him with their swords or burn his palace with their matches? He ordered the release of the prisoners. These were not set at liberty, but were transferred to the care of the city authorities, that everything might be done legally. The bishop took alarm, and fled from the city, never to return. It was July, 1533. The prisoners were tried and released.

Froment is now invited to return to Geneva; this he does, but is obliged again to flee in a few months. Then Farel ventures to return and take up the work, and for a full year there is a contest between the Catholics and the Reformers, partly religious and partly political.

In 1535 a determined effort was made to poison the three preachers then in the city — Farel, Viret, and Froment. They all lodged in the same house, and the papists thought it could be done, and the three be got rid of at once. A woman was selected as the agent. She professed to be a convert and was selected to wait on the Reformers — the very thing the papists hoped for. She did not like her task, but the priests told her it would be a meritorious work. One day she made some thick spinach soup, and then slipped in the poison. Farel did not like it, and asked for some household soup. Froment was just about to sip some when a messenger came and announced that his wife and children had arrived; he dropped his spoon and ran off. Viret, still suffering from a sword-cut he had received from a priest, partook of some soup.

The wretched woman's conscience smote her immediately, and she came, and with tears in her eyes, begged Viret to drink some cold water, which she believed was an antidote. Then she ran away from the house, fetched her children and hurriedly getting into a boat left the place. She was fetched back, but escaped, and ran to the house of the canon who had urged her to the deed. She was arrested in his cellar and confessed everything.

Through the mercy of God Viret recovered, but felt the effects of the poison all his life. The wretched woman was beheaded, and the priests who had urged her on were imprisoned.

The Reformers began to have the upper hand in the city, and pressed the council to carry out their wishes; but for peace' sake the council declined. The Reformers determined to act. They fetched Farel and took him to the Madeleine church. As he and a crowd entered, the priest was performing Mass; but the priest ran away and most of the congregation. Farel preached. Farel was forbidden by the council, but he heeded them not and repeated the act in other churches, and then in the cathedral. Farel thought he was justified by the commission to preach the gospel to every creature. But he could have done this outside in "the world," as the passage says, without disturbing the Catholics at their service.

The Reformers next entered the churches and broke the images. In doing this they discovered how various pretended miracles had been wrought. They invited the Catholics to come and see how they had been cheated.

The council in amazement convened the Great Council of the city. Farel made an energetic appeal to the council in favour of Reform. They deliberated calmly and decided that there should be no more image-breaking, so as not to irritate the Catholics; and there should be no more Mass, to satisfy the Reformers. This was a great victory for the Reformers, and "no more Mass" was a deadly wound to the Catholics.

The priests, monks, and nuns left the city in large numbers. Many went to the Duke of Savoy and told him of what was being done in Geneva. He informed the pope, who exhorted the duke to interfere, which he resolved to do. The Emperor Charles V. also took up the case, and he appealed to the Swiss league to help in restoring Geneva to the Duke of Savoy and the bishop. The pope did the same; while, on the other hand, the Genevese, seeing the storm rising against them, appealed to Berne and the other cantons for help. The cantons, including Berne, declined to interfere. Internal disorder also reigned. Many were yet staunch Catholics, and these would be only too glad to help the enemy outside against the Reformers.

The envoy to Berne was sadly disheartened at the refusal of that canton; but he remembered that Farel had preached at Neuchatel and other places, and he hastened to call on some whom he knew to be friends of the gospel and solicit their aid. Jacob Wildermuth entered into it with spirit, and he went about to see what assistance he could muster. The governor of the district forbade any to go and fight against the Duke of Savoy. This drew off a good many — about four hundred were left, some of them were women.

They moved cautiously towards Geneva, and at length reached the Jura. Here they met three young men who said that they had been sent by Geneva to escort them there. Glad to find guides the party proceeded till near to Nyon. Here the guides said it would be unsafe for them to enter the village. If they remained there the guides would fetch provisions which the little band so much needed.

The three guides, however, were spies, who now hastened off to the Catholics and told them where the band was. They could go and easily put them all to death. Wildermuth, while waiting for the provisions, was aroused by a voice, and saw they were being approached by a body of cavalry and infantry. Though tired and hungry they started up and a dreadful battle ensued. The Swiss, being good marksmen, made sad havoc among the nobles who had joined in the "holy war," as it was called. Many priests also who were acting as soldiers were killed. Though far inferior in numbers the Swiss were entirely successful, though enforcement came up to help those of Savoy. The Swiss had lost seven men and one woman.

Some lords of Berne had hastened to try and prevent war. They were too late, but they prevented those from Neuchatel fighting more, in hopes that peace could be concluded. The Duke of Savoy had, however, no intentions of peace: he meant to seize Geneva.

The city became in great straits. A large army was surrounding it, and many within would gladly have betrayed the city if they could; while the famine became severe. The bravest began to lose heart.

In the meantime a messenger from Berne arrived. The Bernese were arming and in a short time help would be at hand. Nägueli, a famous general was taking the lead. When this was known a force from the Duke of Savoy was sent to prevent them reaching Geneva, under the general Medici. His plan was to secure Morges, and with that as a base to stay the progress of Nägueli; but on landing he found the enemy already near at hand, and in a good position on the heights of Morges. To attack them there would be dangerous, he and his men might be all driven into the lake. He had already felt the power of Nägueli, and now his heart failed him; and he withdrew his troops. Nothing now stopped the brave Nägueli. He marched straight to Geneva and the city was saved. The council put on their records these words, "The power of God has confounded the presumption and rash audacity of our enemies." It was in 1536.

The castles near Geneva were then destroyed. They had been the strongholds of the enemy. One thing more yet remained. Bonivard, a nominal Reformer of Geneva, was confined in the castle of Chillon, and also three Genevese who had been seized in treachery. These must be delivered, but how? for the governor of the castle had orders from the Duke of Savoy that if any attempt was made to rescue the prisoners they were to be at once put to death. Nägueli undertook to attempt their rescue. He wrote to the governor threatening him that if he put the prisoners to death he should lose his head. The castle was surrounded, and the cannon opened fire. The governor, seeing all resistance vain, asked for a parley. The garrison, not liking to fall into the hands of the Swiss, managed to slip into their boat in the night and make their escape.

The Swiss entered the castle and soon found the three Genevese; but where was Bonivard? They searched lower, and found instruments of torture; and at last by undoing bolts and bars they come to the rock, and a cry arose, "Here he is! he is alive!" Bonivard fell into the arms of his deliverers. For six years he had been confined in a low dungeon below the lake, dark, except what light came in at one small loophole. There he had walked round a column until he had worn a path in the rock — a path still shewn to the visitors at the castle of Chillon.

Geneva was now restored to the "most holy religion of Christ," to use the words set up in the city at the time. Farel took the lead among the "ministers." Geneva was not converted though it was Protestant, and Farel greatly desired to have the gospel preached in the surrounding neighbourhoods as well as all over the city; but where were the evangelists? He longed for faithful men to enter the doors now opened all around. He sought in vain.

Calvin in Geneva.

In 1536 Farel heard that Calvin was in Geneva. We have seen what brought him there. * Farel had long been praying for help; he believed that God had now sent it. Off he ran to Calvin. He had read his "Institutes." Calvin was the very man they wanted to consolidate the work so well begun.

Calvin tells him that he can only stop one night.

"Why seek elsewhere for what is now offered you? Why refuse to edify the church of Geneva by your faith, zeal, and knowledge?"

Calvin shrank from it, saying at last, "I cannot teach: on the contrary, I have need to learn. There are special labours for which I wish to reserve myself. This city cannot afford me the leisure I require."

"Study, leisure, knowledge! What, must we never practise? I am sinking under my task: pray help me."

{* See the section: 'Geneva'.}

Calvin said he was weak and needed rest.

"Rest! death alone permits the soldiers of Christ to rest from their labours."

Calvin said he was timid. He could not battle with such strong spirits as the men of Geneva.

"Ought the servants of Jesus Christ to be so delicate as to be frightened at warfare?"

Calvin was moved at the thought that he should be a coward; but begged to be let go his way.

Farel reminded him of Jonah and the punishment he received. Still he could not get Calvin's consent, when Farel, as if inspired, put his hand on his head and with a piercing look said, "May God curse your repose! may God curse your studies, if in such a great necessity as ours you withdraw, and refuse to give us help and support."

Calvin broke down, he shook in every limb. He felt as if God had seized him. He must obey. He was won for Geneva.

Calvin, once settled in Geneva, soon took the lead. He had a very difficult task. The whole people were now supposed to be Protestant and nominally Christians, but many were unconverted. Calvin attempted to enforce at least morality on the people; but many rejected even this. They desired to please themselves, and to be only religious as far as it suited them. On this account Calvin with Farel and Courad (a minister from Paris) said they could not give the Lord's supper to some of the people. The council, being appealed to, met, and ordered the three ministers to leave Geneva within two days.

They left, and met in conference at Zurich on church matters, after which Calvin went to Strasburg. Here he published an enlarged edition of his "Institutes." Farel went to Neuchatel.

While at Strasburg, Calvin married Idelette de Bures, widow of a converted Anabaptist. By her he had one son, who died immediately after his birth. Idelette died in 1549.

In 1540 Calvin attended the Diet at Worms, and in the following year one at Ratisbon. In October, 1540, the syndics of Geneva most opposed to the Reformers being removed by death, or other means, Calvin was invited to return. At first he refused, but on September 13, 1541, he returned to the city, and proceeded to set the church in order. Calvin appears to have been the first to introduce a presbyterian form of government into the church. It was, however, more or less under the control of the senate. It was the senate who invited him to return to Geneva, and it was the senate who settled and paid him his salary;* and when he had appeared before the senate and stated the importance of a settled church government, "I requested," wrote he to Farel, "that they would appoint certain of their number who might confer with us on the subject. Six were thereupon appointed. Articles concerning the whole ecclesiastical polity will be drawn up, which we shall thereafter present to the senate."

{* The salary of Calvin was settled at five hundred florins, twelve measures of corn, and two tuns of wine, with a house to live in, and an ell of velvet for clothing.}

One cannot but be struck with the fact how far this was below the principles of even the Roman Catholic church, who would allow no one to interfere in matters concerning the church but ecclesiastics. Of course this was of little practical value when the clergy and even the pope himself were unconverted men, but we are speaking of the principle, and not how far it was carried out; whereas here is Calvin agreeing to submit his church polity to the senate, which was formed simply of the worldly rulers of the city. Calvin attempted to set up his system of Presbytery, for all matters ecclesiastical; but he was again and again brought into collision with the senate. Though the Presbytery was agreed to, some were to be seen, said Calvin, "going about secretly, dealing with each of the senators, exhorting them not to lay at our feet the power which was in their own hands (as they said), not to abdicate the authority which God had entrusted to them." Calvin had to avoid a collision as best he could. "We at length," said he, "possess a Presbyterial court, such as it is, and a form of discipline such as these disjointed times permit." Afterwards, if the Presbytery refused communion to any citizen, he could appeal to the senate, and the senate could order him to be received! At times Calvin refused to do so.

Besides being in this false position, Calvin does not appear to have seen the spirituality of the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. By baptism all became a part of the church. "Baptism," says Calvin, "is the initiatory sign by which we are admitted to the fellowship of the church, that being engrafted into Christ we may be accounted children of God. . . . We ought to consider that at whatever time we are baptized we are washed and purified for the whole of life."* This made all the people to be Christians, and so all who lived decent moral lives were received at the Lord's table. Calvin insisted that baptism was "to give us an entrance into the church of God;" and the Lord's supper "to keep us in it."

{* It is difficult to see how Calvin made this agree with another part of his doctrine, which taught that while the sacraments were the means of grace offered to all, they really benefited only those who had faith.

Now all this entirely altered the character of Christianity. Instead of its being a calling out of the world a people for Christ (Acts 15:14), Calvin made the world to be the church! While, to make the people believe that they were Christians when they were not, was full of danger to their souls; though he did tell them, as we have seen, that the sacraments would not benefit them unless mixed with faith. This mixture of the church with the world surely was a dark shadow on the Reformation.

For more than twenty years Calvin laboured incessantly by lecturing, writing tracts and commentaries, with a large correspondence with other Reformers. To add to this there were constant commotions with the Catholics who still remained in the city, and with those who were Reformed in name, but were not Christians. More than once a plague broke out in the city, and in 1545 the wretches who attended the sick, by mixing virus from those who died into an ointment, and by smearing it upon the handles of doors and doorposts greatly increased the plague. It was supposed to have been done to reduce Geneva to such a few souls that it could easily have been overcome and gained over to Popery.

Calvin was troubled, too, with the Libertines of Geneva, who desired a greater amount of freedom of action than the Reformer would allow. To shew the severity of Calvin we give one of the cases. Ameaux was a member of the Two Hundred. He was discontented, and was heard to speak against Calvin and his doctrine. His trial was demanded. At his trial witnesses were called to prove the morality of Calvin's private life. Ameaux was fined sixty dollars. He retracted the charges, and promised future respect to the Reformer.

Calvin was not satisfied with the punishment. He appeared before the council and demanded that the judgment should be set aside. Ameaux was now sentenced to go through the whole city bareheaded, and with a lighted torch in his hand, and then to kneel down and openly proclaim his repentance.

Surely this was very unwise of Calvin and very unlike his gracious Lord and Master. It called forth further opposition, and the cause of the gospel was greatly damaged.

In 1553 Michael Servetus — who denied the divinity of Christ, and who put forth his doctrine in blasphemous language — visited Geneva. He was informed against by Calvin and was thrown into prison as a heretic and a blasphemer. He was tried, sentenced and burnt alive. Much controversy has arisen as to how far Calvin was concerned in the death of Servetus, some contending that his death was chiefly owing to Calvin, and others that Calvin had little or nothing to do with his conviction. But there really seems to be little room for doubt on the subject. Calvin's own words to Farel are, "We have now new business in hand with Servetus. He intended perhaps passing through this city . . . . but after he had been recognized, "thought that he should be detained . . . I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed upon him; but I desire that the severity of the punishment may be mitigated."*. To another he wrote that Servetus "is held in prison by our magistrates and he will be punished ere long, I hope." To Bullinger Calvin wrote, "Our council will on an early day send the opinions of Servetus to your city, to obtain your judgment regarding them. Indeed they cause you this trouble despite our remonstrances; but they have reached such a pitch of folly and madness that they regard with suspicion whatever we say to them. So much so that were I to allege that it is clear at mid-day they would forthwith begin to doubt it." To Sulzer Calvin wrote of Servetus, "He at length, in an evil hour, came to this place, when at my instigation one of the syndics ordered him to be conducted to prison."

{* That is, death by the sword, instead of being burnt alive.}

We have quoted Calvin's own words which clearly set forth his share in the matter. To this we may add a few words of Beza's: "Calvin pleaded the cause of the church against him in the council, in the presence of a great assemblage of the pious." Doubtless a good deal is to be attributed to the age in which this took place, so that none should blame Calvin too severely. It was surely an error, but in this Calvin did not stand alone; Farel, Melanchthon, Bucer and Bullinger all advocated the death of Servetus.

Farel attended the unhappy man to the stake in the hope of getting him to retract his error, but he laboured in vain. Calling for the death of Servetus was another dark shadow on the Reformation. It is appalling to think of a man in error, ever so dreadful, being hurried into eternity.

Calvin became more and more the man of the Reformation. From all parts of Europe, where any question arose, the opinion of Calvin was sought. Refugees and messengers were constantly arriving to seek his help and advice, while his nights were often spent in corresponding with those who sought his council.

In 1558 Calvin was taken seriously ill, and his physicians impressed upon him that he must take rest. In 1563 he was again laid prostrate. In the following year asthma impeded his utterance. On February 6 he preached his last sermon, but attended service afterwards by being carried there.

Like a great general, feeling his time was drawing near, he desired once more to address the senate. They came to him, and then taking a general review of matters he exhorted them to justice and morality. Then he invited the ministers, and exhorted them to faithfulness and peace, asking their pardon for any peevishness they might have experienced from him. To Farel (now in his eightieth year) he wrote (May 11, 1564), "Farewell, my best and most right-hearted brother . . . . I draw my breath with difficulty, and am daily waiting till I altogether cease to breathe. It is enough that to Christ I live and die. To His people He is gain in life and in death." In his prayers he was heard to say, "I was silent, O Lord, because Thou didst it. "Thou, O Lord, bruisest me; but it is enough for me that it is Thy hand." On May 27 he ceased from his labours and was with the Lord.

On September 13, 1565, at Neuchatel Farel, after his many labours and perils, fell asleep in Jesus. Of him it was said, "This man is the very same that he has always been! We never knew him depressed, even when our hearts were failing us for fear. When we were ready to give up everything in despair, he was full of hope, and he cheered us by his christian heroism."

After many and varied jealousies between the Catholic and Protestant cantons, in 1653 the cantons were again in open war with each other. The Protestants were defeated, but peace was made. In 1712, after a desperate battle, a peace was concluded more favourable to the Protestants of Switzerland.

France and the Massacre of Bartholomew.

The Reformation had never been fully embraced by France; yet the light and truth had been received there by many. At one time Beza reckoned more than two thousand churches, and Calvin gave them a Confession of Faith, and a Presbyterian form of government. They were, however, often obliged to meet in secret, especially in Paris. The Cardinal of Lorraine became the principal persecutor.

In 1555 there was a congregation of the faithful in Paris, who used to meet and carry on their devotions in the night. But this becoming known, one night as they were about to break up they noticed that the adjoining streets were filled with a noisy crowd, and fear began to take hold of them that all was not right. They hoped, however, that the darkness of the night would enable them to escape, but judge of their surprise when, as they left the house, they found that lights had been placed in the windows of the surrounding houses, so that each one could be plainly seen as he left the meeting house. Seeing that a trap had been laid for them, some drew their swords and fought their way through the mob and escaped. But many were women, and some aged and infirm. These, after rough handling, were hurried off to prison. Just then the king (Henry II.) was in alliance with the German and Swiss Reformers, who earnestly requested the king to release them. This he did, to the annoyance of the Cardinal of Lorraine.

Henry II. died in 1559, and his successor Francis II. reigned but seventeen months. In 1560 Charles IX. at ten years of age succeeded, under the regency of his mother, the crafty and ambitious Catherine de Medici. In the meantime the Protestants had gained some influential men among whom were Admiral Coligni and his brother Dandelot. The prince of Condé also became a leader among them, though probably as much for political purposes as from religious motives.

In 1561 a conference was held at Poissy. Calvin asked Beza to attend instead of himself, because Beza could "tread lighter" than he could. Calvin spent much time in prayer for God's blessing and protection.

The object was professedly peace and union, and if abuses had been introduced into the church for their removal. The king, the Duke of Orleans, the queen mother, and the king and queen of Navarre were present. On the Catholic side were three Cardinals and a number of bishops, etc. There were twelve Reformed ministers. Beza was spokesman for Reform. He went through the points of faith in which all were agreed; then the disputed points. On speaking of the Lord's supper he said, "The body of Christ is truly given us, but as to place it is as far from the bread as heaven from earth." This caused a tumult. The Catholics insisted that Beza must be quiet or they must leave; but Beza went on, and ended by presenting a Confession of the Reformers' faith.

Then the Catholics replied. But the conference ended in no real union. Some met privately, and drew up a confession, worded so vaguely that both parties could sign it, each putting their own meaning to it.

Still it had this effect that Beza was invited to remain in France. This he did, and went to Paris and preached the gospel there. In 1562 an edict was passed, securing to Protestants the free exercise of religion. It is to be feared that the Protestants did not use this liberty wisely. By loudly proclaiming against the errors of Rome they excited her envy and hatred. Others who suffered severely from the Catholics were provoked to retaliate, and from time to time the Protestants were in open arms to defend themselves against the Catholics.

In 1569 the prince of Condé lost his life in a battle, and Dandelot dying soon afterwards, Coligni became sole leader of the Protestants. Peace was signed 1570.

But deep-laid schemes were planned to entrap the Huguenots. The marriage of Margaret of Valois, the king's sister, with the young king of Navarre had been agreed on. This was arranged to take place in August, 1572, and the dowager queen of Navarre was invited to Paris, together with Admiral Coligni, and the leaders of the Protestants. The dowager queen of Navarre died suddenly — by poison it is fully believed, and Coligni was shot at and wounded as he left the presence of the king. The king feigned great sorrow, but these deeds were soon to be followed by one of the most diabolical actions recorded on the page of history.

On the eve of St. Bartholomew a conference was held with the king, which ended by his saving, "I consent to the massacre of the Huguenots,* but take heed that no one is left alive to reproach me for it." At midnight or soon after (some say two o'clock) it was to commence. Troops were placed in readiness, and as the hour struck, the shrill sound of the tocsin followed. This was the sign for every Huguenot to be hunted up and put to death. Coligni, still suffering from his wound was one of the first to die. Some were surprised in their beds. Others, starting up by the noise, ran into the streets to inquire the cause, but only to meet the assassin's dagger. None were spared. Rich and poor, young and aged, all fell in the merciless massacre. Even the Count de la Rochefoucault, a companion of the king, was slain in the palace of the Louvre. The streets ran with blood, and the river was polluted by its stream. For three days this slaughter continued; search being made for any who had concealed themselves. The king and queen of Navarre were spared only because of their rank.

{*The Protestants in France were commonly called Huguenots. What gave rise to the name is very uncertain. it is most probably from the German word eidgenoss. "sworn or bound by oath."}

Messages were also sent off to the provinces to put the Huguenots everywhere to death, and in many places this was at once effected. It is worthy of record that in some places Catholics refused to carry out the order. The Viscount d'Orthe, governor of Bayonne, sent word that he had "good citizens, and brave soldiers, but not a single assassin." This cost the good man his life.

Sigognes, the governor of Dieppe, summoned Catholics and Protestants, saying to them, "Gentlemen, the order I have received can only regard rebellious and seditious Calvinists, but, thanks be to the Eternal, there are no longer any such in Dieppe." He declared they were all children of the same God, and he exhorted them to live as brothers and cherish only the love of Christ.

The bishop of Lisieux refused to have the order carried out. "Those whom you wish to slaughter," said he, "are my sheep; gone astray it is true, but I will labour to bring them back into the fold. I cannot see in the gospel that the shepherd ought to let the blood of his sheep be shed; on the contrary, I read there that he ought to pour out his own for their sakes."

Still the orders were too faithfully carried out, until thirty thousand victims had been massacred, if we may take the reckoning of a Catholic historian; the number being placed as high as eighty thousand by Protestant writers.

The news of the massacre was received with the greatest sorrow and indignation by foreign Protestants, but it was hailed with joy by the pope, who ordered a jubilee to be celebrated all over Christendom, and he went with his Cardinals in procession to offer thanksgiving to God for the destruction of their enemies!

Though so numerous had been the victims, and notwithstanding the many who also fled the country, there yet remained in France many Protestants. In 1598 the edict of Nantes under Henry IV. gave them a large measure of relief, under which they again greatly increased. In 1610 Henry was assassinated, and his successor, Louis XIII. again began to persecute the Protestants. Louis XIII. was succeeded by his son Louis XIV. in 1643, who was even a worse persecutor than his father. In 1685 the edict of Nantes was repealed, when a dreadful persecution broke out, with every species of torture, cruelty and death. This caused thousands to leave the country. Thus were the Protestants persecuted from time to time until 1787, when a more general and lasting toleration was brought about.

Still in France it is a toleration — the nation claims to be Roman Catholic, and when it is not this it is infidel. It has had the light presented to it; and it has again and again, amid scenes of massacre and bloodshed that should make even the heathen ashamed, refused to receive it. It seems to be a country given up to judicial blindness and death.

"We may grow hard, and not revere
Each old prophetic token,
Too wilful and too proud to hear
What God Himself hath spoken;
Yet shall the Son of man appear,
And strongest hearts shall fail for fear,
And wrath and pride be broken.
But mercy now flows full and free,
Forgiveness still is offered thee."


Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Tyndale.

Nothing is a greater proof that the Reformation was of God than seeing that in England it began during the reign of such a man as Henry VIII.

In 1521 he had written his book against Luther, and England had won its F.D. on its money, by the pope declaring Henry to be "Defender of the Faith." This greatly pleased Henry and bound him still more strongly to the pope.

Since the time of Wiclif there had always been persons who loved the truth, and who saw with more or less distinctness that the pope and his doctrines were wrong. But with Henry thus bound to the pope, and Wolsey himself trying to be a pope, those lovers of the gospel were everywhere searched after and persecuted. Thus England was at that time emphatically a Roman Catholic country: we have to see by what means the Reformation was brought about.

As is well known, Henry VIII. had married his brother's widow Catharine, aunt of the Emperor Charles V. Henry greatly desired a son and successor, but his children had died in infancy except Mary. This perhaps produced the first discontent in the heart of the king, but it was Wolsey who first suggested his divorce. Wolsey, a cardinal and the most powerful man in the state next to the king, was glad of this discontent; for he had been annoyed by Catharine chiding him — him a cardinal — for his dissolute life, and he had been greatly disappointed by Charles not making him a pope; he conceived the thought of avenging himself against both Charles and his aunt by getting the king to divorce his wife.

Wolsey wanted the king's confessor to suggest it to the king; but he said, No: the Cardinal must take the first step. This the Cardinal did, when the king declared that there was no cause for which he could separate from his wife. Wolsey retired, but only to return with the Bishop of Lincoln. They made it appear that they were only anxious for the soul of the king. It was not right for him to have his brother's wife. It was for his salvation they begged him to submit the question to competent judges. Henry consented, and appointed Fox his almoner, Pace dean of St. Paul's, and Wakefield professor of Hebrew at Oxford, to study the Old Testament, to see if it was forbidden for a man to marry his brother's wife. Wakefield wanted to know what the king wished before he gave his judgment. He was told the king wished the truth. Then the king put the matter into the hands of a commission of lawyers.

Henry fell in love with Anne Boleyn, which made him all the more anxious to be divorced from the queen. But how to bring about his separation he could not find out. He told Wolsey, who was hunting for a wife for the king, that he should marry Anne Boleyn. Now Anne had been brought up at the French court with Margaret of Valois, and was supposed to be, favourable to the Reformation, besides which her family were enemies of Wolsey, therefore Wolsey was now as anxious that the king should not be divorced as he was in favour of it before. If Anne was queen, Wolsey knew he should soon lose his place and power. Still Wolsey was careful not to let his change of aim be seen, and was soon obliged to further the divorce.

Henry next called upon Wolsey as the pope's legate to pronounce the divorce; but Wolsey reminded the king that Catharine could afterwards appeal to the pope, who might set his decision on one side. They agreed to send messengers to the pope, asking him to divorce the king from his wife. But just then the pope was a prisoner of the Emperor of Germany, and the Emperor sent at once to strike a bargain with the pope. He would set him at liberty if he would refuse to divorce the queen of England. The pope promised to come to no decision in the matter without informing the Emperor. Very soon after the messenger from the Emperor had gone, those from Henry arrived. The pope now saw his power. Both were appealing to him. It would the better answer his purpose to do nothing. The English agent had to fly from Rome, or he would have been taken prisoner by the soldiers of the Emperor. The pope promised as soon as he was at liberty to attend to Henry's request.

In December, 1527, another messenger was sent to Rome with instructions to scatter money freely, and to tell the pope that it would be for his own protection to oblige the king. The pope gave the messenger a "commission," which was despatched to England; but which Henry and Wolsey found to be worthless.

Then Fox, chief almoner, and Gardiner, secretary to Wolsey, were despatched to Rome with more urgent requests, and to hint that if the pope refused he might lose not only Henry but England also. They brought another paper equally worthless.

The anger of the king was great. He stormed and raved against the pope, for whom he had done so much. He was a heartless priest who would do nothing to satisfy the king's conscience or to save England.

Henry invited Erasmus to England, but the learned Dutchman excused himself. No one liked to touch the delicate question of the king's divorce.

Wolsey, seeing the temper of the king against Rome wrote more letters, urgently requesting that Campeggio might be sent to England to settle the matter. To Gardiner he said that he must not return to England unless he brought Campeggio with him. News soon came that the pope had sent Campeggio, and had sent a document, signed by himself, to divorce the king and give him permission to marry again. Henry and Anne were now pleased.

Still, the more Henry seemed anxious, the slower was the pope's legate. Indeed Campeggio perfectly well understood the pope. The legate had the brief in his possession, but it was to depend on circumstances whether it was to see light or ever to be used.

Circumstances soon occurred that made the pope more resolute. The Emperor's army was successful, and he was now master of Italy. He at once said to the pope, "We are determined to defend the queen of England against king Henry's injustice." The pope was now entirely in the power of the Emperor and must please him.

Messengers were immediately despatched to Campeggio, with instructions — 1, Not to hurry. 2, Try and reconcile the king and queen. 3, If this does not succeed, induce the queen to take the veil. 4, If all these fail, wait for further instruction. All this meant, as to the divorce, "do nothing."

Still all this was kept secret. The king kept inquiring as to what had become of Campeggio — he had not yet reached France. At last the news came that he had arrived in Paris. Henry wrote to Anne, "Monday next we shall hear of his arrival in Calais, and then I shall obtain what I have so longed for, to God's pleasure, and to both our comforts."

At length Campeggio arrived. He had taken three months to come from Italy to England. Wolsey was anxious that a pope's legate should enter London in style, so he sent mules with rich trappings and mysterious "boxes." But Campeggio, as he was to do nothing, preferred coming in a quiet way, and so sailed privately up the Thames to the palace of the Bishop of Bath. The mules, etc., sent by Wolsey returned to London. Some of the mules taking fright, the boxes, dubbed to be "coffers," got broken. The people rushed forward to see their contents, when they were found to be empty. This was not forgotten as an emblem of popery — fine outside, but full of nothing.

But now Campeggio was here. A fit of gout real or feigned — kept him a prisoner. Wolsey was often by his side; but could get nothing out of the legate, and soon began to suspect that there was a "screw loose" somewhere.

Campeggio, with information from Wolsey, began to see that it was really a serious matter. If the king was not satisfied by the pope, there was real danger that the king would abandon the pope and embrace the Reformation. This must be hindered at all cost.

It was soon quite plain that it was useless for Campeggio to try and reconcile the king and the queen. The king was now determined to make Anne Boleyn his wife, and she had consented. Therefore he must try to induce Catharine to enter a convent. Campeggio and Wolsey visited the queen, and proposed this step, telling her that she might avert the blow that awaited her by this act of her own. Then, seeing that she was about to refuse, he sternly asked her how it was that since the matter had been referred to the pope she had been gayer than usual. The church was distressed; her husband was unsatisfied; and instead of mourning she was giving herself to vanity. "Renounce the world, madam," said he, "enter a nunnery. Our holy father requires this of you."

But the question was this, Was Catharine the legal wife of King Henry? Was it forbidden by scripture? If she entered a convent she was admitting that she was not the king's true wife, and Mary her daughter would be illegitimate. She would never admit this. Then turning to Wolsey she said, "As for you, having failed in attaining the tiara, you have sworn to avenge yourself on my nephew the Emperor. . . . . One victim was not enough for you. Forging abominable suppositions, you desire to plunge his aunt into a fearful abyss. . . . . But my cause is just, and I trust in the Lord's hand." She had spoken with an energy beyond herself. At once she withdrew.

Campeggio now determined to sound the king as to a reconciliation with the queen however much appearances might seem to make it impossible. But no sooner did he propose this to Henry than the king flew into a dreadful passion. "Let the pope only persevere in this way of acting," said the king, "and the apostolic see, covered with perpetual infamy, will be visited with a frightful destruction."

Campeggio saw that he must appease the king, so he shewed him the decretal which pronounced the divorce, and read it to him. This pleased the king, and now he declared that the pope might expect more from him than he could conceive.

Thus we see how, humanly speaking, England's alliance with the pope was in suspense. If the Pope gave the divorce, England would be bound to Rome; but if the divorce was refused, then Rome might go to destruction. At present all was uncertain.

Campeggio, having read the decretal, locked it up, and though both the king and Wolsey begged and prayed to see it again, to read it, and to shew it to Anne, Campeggio as firmly refused.

Wolsey next said privately to Campeggio, "Let us now make the divorce public," when the legate told him that it could not be while the pope was at the mercy of the Emperor. For an excuse, Campeggio wrote to Rome for further instructions, and thus Henry was doomed to further delay.

In the meantime, lest the subjects of the Emperor residing in London should take up arms in favour of Catharine, fifteen thousand were ordered to leave London.

The king, too, to quiet the nation, who were much concerned about the question of the divorce, called together the parliament. He told them that there was no fault to find with the queen; but that his conscience was troubled about having his brother's widow. It would also be for the nation's welfare if he should leave an heir to the throne. "Therefore I require of you all," said the king, "to pray for us that the very truth may be known, for the discharging of our conscience and the saving of our souls." In other ways the king made all to understand that the "very truth" that he wanted must by all means be for the divorce, and not against it.

Campeggio having despatched his messenger to Rome, Wolsey hastened to send one also, with orders to leave no stone unturned to induce the pope to grant the divorce. But no sooner had this messenger seen the pope and got all he could — promises — than messengers from the Emperor arrived, threatening the pope if he agreed to Henry. One was to whisper to the pope that it was known that he was illegitimate, for which he could be turned out of the popedom at any time. The pope declared he would refuse Henry at all cost, and he sent a messenger in all haste to London privately to burn the decretal which Campeggio had.

In the meantime a brief by Julius II. was discovered in London touching the question of marrying a brother's wife, issued at the time of the king's marriage, contradicting another one the same pope had given on the same day. Campeggio declared again that he could not go on without fresh instructions. There must be another journey to Rome.

The king also sent his messengers. They were to inquire 1, Whether this brief of Julius II. was genuine or not. 2, Could the matter be settled by both the king and queen entering convents, the king being afterwards released by the pope? 3, If this should fail, would the pope grant to Henry two wives, as was the case in the Old Testament?

However, while these messengers were hastening to Rome, on January 6, 1529, the pope was taken suddenly ill, and it was thought he would die. All was now changed. Wolsey again thought he might become a pope, and then he would grant Henry the divorce. They counted up the votes. They thought they could reckon on twenty, six more were needed, and these were to be bought at all cost. But this hope was dashed to the ground by the pope's recovery.

At length Henry began to see that he could hope and expect to receive nothing from Rome. He next executed a commission for the case to be tried by the two Cardinals, Campeggio and Wolsey. It was quite true the pope might reverse it afterwards, but this must be risked.

The commission was opened on June 18, with due form by the two Cardinals, certain others sitting with them. "Henry, King of England, come into court," said the usher. "Here I am," said the king. Again, "Catharine, Queen of England, come into court." The queen handed in a paper, in which she protested against the judges, and appealed to the pope. This was overruled. Then she took a place before the king, and falling on her knees, said, with tears in her eyes, "Sir, I beseech you, for all the love that hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice and right. . . . I take God and all the world to witness that I have been to you a true, humble, and obedient wife. . . . These twenty years I have been your true wife, and by me you have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to call them out of this world, which yet hath been no default in me. . . . . It is not to be doubted that the marriage between you and me is good and lawful. Who are my judges? Is not one the man who has put sorrow between you and me . . . . a judge whom I refuse and abhor. . . . . I conjure you not to call me before a court so formed. Yet, if you refuse me this favour . . . I shall be silent, I shall repress the emotions of my soul, and remit my just cause to the hand of God." Thus spoke Catharine, and, though called back, she left the court.

Henry, moved by the queen's address, declared that the queen was a true and obedient wife — "as noble in character as in truth."

After many delays the cause proceeded in the absence of the queen. Witnesses were examined, and judgments taken. It turned principally upon three points: Was it forbidden in scripture for a man to marry his brother's widow? And if so, Had the pope power to set aside the law of scripture? To end all disputes Campeggio was pressed to produce the pope's decretal which so long before had been shewn to the king. After various delays July 23 was named to decide the question. The king, impatient, had crept into the gallery to hear the judgment. The attorney-general said, that as everything had been done to satisfy and enlighten the consciences of the judges, attendance was now given to hear the judgment. But the pope had concluded an alliance with the Emperor, the Cardinal could not say Yes to the divorce; for him to say No was to separate England from Rome. He must contrive somehow to say neither.

The court was crowded, all anxious to hear the decision. The next day, the 24th, at Rome the courts did not sit, he must do the same, and adjourn the case to some future day. "The queen," said he, denies the competency of the court: I must therefore make my report to the pope, who is the source of life and power, and wait his sovereign orders."

Henry was incensed, and vowed he would not be played with any longer. Wolsey feared the wrath of the king and of Anne. Many of those about the king were also Wolsey's enemies. One of them when at Rome, had obtained a letter of Wolsey's in which he begged the pope to delay the matter of the divorce, and then oppose it, seeing that the new queen would be favourable to the Reformation. This letter was laid before the king. The doom of Wolsey was sealed, but for the present nothing was said.

Anne, who had returned to court, one day laid a book she had been reading near a window, and one of her ladies, Miss Gainsford, took it up and began to read it. It was Tyndale's "Obedience of a Christian Man." George Zouch was paying his addresses to Miss Gainsford, and in sport took the book from her hands. She hastened to recover it, but just then Anne called her. Zouch retired to his room and began to read. He had never met with such a book. "I feel the Spirit of God," said he, "speaking in my heart as He has spoken in the heart of him who wrote the book." He was won to God and His truth. So fond was he of the book that he used to take it to the king's chapel with him. One day Dr. Sampson saw him with the book, and when the service was over he rudely took the book and carried it to Wolsey.

Zouch and Miss Gainsford were now in a great fright. The book belonged to Anne, and was now in the possession of Wolsey. Anne, on hearing what had befallen the book, went at once to the king and told him all about it. She had not long left his presence when Wolsey arrived to complain to the king of the book, and to accuse Anne if he had opportunity. But the king took the book and at once dismissed Wolsey. He had promised Anne to read the book; he sat down to do so.

The king read strange things, such as "The king is in the room of God in this world. He that resisteth the king, resisteth God."

"Let kings, if they had rather be Christians in deed than so to be called, give themselves altogether to the well-being of their realms."

"Emperors and kings are nothing now-a-days, but even hangmen unto the pope and bishops, to kill whomsoever they condemn.

"The pope, against all the doctrine of Christ, which said, My kingdom is not of this world,' hath usurped the right of the Emperor. Kings must make account of their doings only to God."

The king was pleased. "What excellent reading!" said he; "this is truly a book for all kings to read, and for me particularly." Henry had his eyes opened, but he was not converted as Zouch was.

The pope ended the matter by citing the cause of the king to be tried at Rome — summoning Henry to appear, or to be fined ten thousand ducats. Of course the pope did not expect that he would go, but this was the last part of the pope's way of doing nothing to please the Emperor.

The anger of the king was extreme. "I, the King of England, summoned before an Italian tribunal!" Yes, he would go, but with such an army that would strike terror into all Italy.

Campeggio was dismissed, but his boxes were all searched at Dover to find the decretal, which had however been burnt, and anything else touching the king. Wolsey retired in disgrace. The wrath of Henry could not fall on the pope, it should fall on his cardinal Wolsey.


Hugh Latimer was one of the preachers of the Reformation in England. He had been converted in a singular manner. When he was made Bachelor of Divinity at Cambridge he had to deliver a discourse in Latin, and he chose for his subject, "Philip Melanchthon, and his doctrines." Melanchthon had set scripture above the Fathers and the schoolmen; Latimer attacked such a shocking doctrine, as he judged it to be. He was considered to be the champion of Cambridge against the Reformation.

Among his hearers on that day was Thomas Bilney, who had been already won to the truth and was a preacher of the gospel. He longed for the conversion of Latimer, but how was he to find admittance to the new bachelor? Bilney's leaning, to the truth was known in the University, and already he was despised by Latimer. But, doubtless led on by God, Bilney came to Latimer and asked permission to confess to him. "For the love of God," said he, "be pleased to hear my confession." Latimer naturally thought that his discourse had made an impression upon Bilney, and he yielded to his request.

Bilney on his knees confessed how he had been distressed on account of sin; how he had tried in vain all that the church presented, without relief and then described the peace he felt in believing in Jesus Christ, as the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Now God was his Father. Latimer was arrested, confounded, broken down, born again of the Holy Spirit. He was a new man. When Bilney had ceased he could only stammer out a few words. Bilney approached and they became strong and lasting friends. Such a conversion made quite a commotion in the University, and many now flocked to hear Bilney preach.
Latimer became a preacher of the gospel. He exposed the pretensions of the papacy with great freedom, but found occasion thereby to point men to the Lord Jesus, and His work on the cross, as the basis of all forgiveness.

During one of his sermons the Bishop of Ely came in and heard Latimer, and then forbade his preaching. After this Wolsey sent for Latimer, and requested him to give the substance of the sermon that had offended the bishop. Latimer did so, which so pleased Wolsey (who also found Latimer to be a learned man) that without further inquiry he gave Latimer licence to preach anywhere in England!

Latimer declared for the divorce. This brought him to court, and he preached before the king. In 1830, a council held at Westminster forbade certain books being circulated and read, among which was "The scriptures corrupted," by William Tyndale. This drew from Latimer a long and faithful letter to the king, strongly advocating the free circulation of the scriptures. We shall meet with this faithful man again.

Cranmer and the King's Divorce.

Cranmer was introduced to the king in a curious manner. On the return of the king from Woodstock he stopped at Waltham, full of anxiety as to how his cause was to be decided. He had looked to Rome, and Rome had played him false. Whither should he turn now? was the all-absorbing question.

Fox and Gardiner were supping that night at a gentleman's house, where they met with Cranmer, whom they had known at college. At supper they asked Cranmer's opinion of the divorce question. He told them they were on the wrong track. There was a surer and a shorter way to satisfy the king's conscience than going to Rome. "What is that?" they asked. "The true question is this," said Cranmer "What says the word of God?" "If God has declared a marriage of this nature bad, the pope cannot make it good." "But how shall we know what God has said?" "Consult the Universities," said Cranmer.

The next day the king said to Fox and Gardiner, "Well gentlemen, our holidays are over: what shall we do now? If we still have recourse to Rome God knows when we shall see the end of this matter." They told him what Dr. Cranmer had said. "Where is Dr. Cranmer?" said the king. "This man has the right sow by the ear." Cranmer was fetched in haste.

Cranmer was annoyed to find himself dragged into the question; but there was now no help for it. The king requested Cranmer to lay aside all other occupation, so as to consider the matter and make his report. Then calling Anne's father, he told him to receive Cranmer into his house till he had drawn up his report.

Cranmer drew up his report. He believed the king's marriage with his brother's widow was contrary to scripture, and that the pope had no authority to set scripture aside. "Will you abide by this, that you have here written, before the bishop of Rome?" said the king. "That will I do, by God's grace," replied Cranmer. Henry had not yet done with the pope. The Earl of Wiltshire, and Drs. Cranmer, Stokesley, and Edward Lee, with some others, were sent to the pope, to argue the king's case.* Cranmer soon returned to England but was despatched to Germany by the king.

{* It is said that when the pope met these envoys, he put out his foot for them to kiss it. The Earl of Wiltshire and the others disdained to do it, but the Earls spaniel ran forward and gave the toe a bite, which made the pope hastily withdraw his foot.}

While away, he married his second wife, a niece of Osiander's wife.

The fall of Wolsey was rapid. He had been the most powerful man in the kingdom. Ego et rex meus — "I and my king" was the way he viewed his own position and that of the king. He was impeached for high treason, but Cromwell so well defended him that he was acquitted. Wolsey's hopes revived, but he was again arrested on a second charge: this broke his heart. "Alas master Kingston," said he to the governor of the Tower, "if I had served God as diligently as I have served the king, He would not have given me over in my gray hairs. This is my just reward!" Unquestionably he had served himself before any one else.

He was now on his death-bed; but his hatred to the Reformation was not abated. "Tell the king," said he, "that I conjure him in God's name to destroy this new pernicious sect of Lutherans." God was about to open a door in England for the truth, and one of its worst enemies was now being taken out of the way. He died November, 1530.

In 1532 an Act of Parliament was passed abolishing the payment of annates* or first-fruits to the court of Rome — a memorable statute as breaking a link which bound England to Rome.

{* From annus, a year. The profits of one year of every vacant living was claimed by the pope. The new Act gave them to the king.}

Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died in 1532 and Cranmer succeeded him; but in accepting the office he refused to receive the appointment from Rome. He said to Henry, "Neither the pope nor any other foreign prince has authority in this realm." "Can you prove what you have just said?" asked Henry. "Certainly I can," said Cranmer. "Holy scripture and the Fathers support the supreme authority of kings in their kingdoms, and they prove the claims of the pope to be a miserable usurpation."

The lawyers were asked what was to be done, and they suggested that some one else should go to Rome and ask for the appointment. Cranmer did not object to this; but he declared that he would have nothing to do with Rome, and reserved to himself the right of speaking against the pope and attacking his errors.

This was a great step towards the Reformation. Henry however was not so far advanced. He sent to Rome, and the pope, being glad of still having some link with England, gladly gave the appointment. But Cranmer refused to own it, and three times publicly protested against any oath his representative might have taken contrary to his duty. He was bound to the law of God, the rights of the king of England, the government of the church of England, and "the reformation of all things that may seem to be necessary to be reformed therein." Yet, strangely enough, after all his protests, he took the usual oath to St. Peter and to the holy apostolic church of Rome!

The Universities, including some of the foreign ones, declared that the pope had no authority to set aside the law of Leviticus. Cranmer then proceeded to declare the divorce without the pope. "We, Thomas, Archbishop, primate, and legate, having first called upon the name of Christ, and having God altogether before our eyes, do pronounce and declare that the marriage between our sovereign lord, King Henry, and the most serene lady Catharine, widow of his brother, having been contracted contrary to the law of God, is null and void." This was May 23, 1533. On the 28th of the same month, Anne was declared duly married to King Henry: they had been married privately before the divorce was pronounced.

In the meantime a brief was printed and circulated by the pope, addressed to Henry. "We exhort thee, our son, under pain of excommunication, to restore Queen Catharine to the royal honours which are due to her, to cohabit with her, and to cease to associate publicly with Anne . . . . otherwise . . . . we pronounce thee and the said Anne to be ipso facto excommunicated, and command all men to shun and avoid your presence."

Thus Henry obtained the divorce, and Anne was now his wife. In getting this he had been excommunicated by Rome. Henry would renounce the pope. "The pope and his cardinals," said Henry, to the French king, "pretend to have princes, who are free persons, at their beck and commandment. Sire, you and I, and all the princes of Christendom, must unite for the preservation of our rights, liberties, and privileges; we must alienate the greatest part of Christendom from the see of Rome."

Though Henry said this he made another attempt after the divorce to be reconciled with Rome, but the Emperor had the pope in his grasp and he would not allow him to make peace with Henry. Again the King of England was compelled to turn away from Rome against his will. God was over all and He so ordered it.

Henry was enraged, and wrote a book entitled, "On the power of christian kings over their churches, against the tyranny and horrible impiety of the pope." It was all right to throw off the yoke of the pope, but alas for England if the church had no other head and no other Reformation than that of Henry. He was the instrument in God's hand to further the Reformation from a national point of view, and as far as turning away from the pope was concerned; but Henry, in turning from the pope, did not turn to Christ; his shield was not faith, and his weapon was not the word of God. We must now endeavour to see what God was doing by His Spirit and His word to bring about the Reformation.

Translation of the New Testament.

England owes a debt of gratitude to William Tyndale. He had been early impressed with the thought that his work was to give to England the Bible in its mother tongue. He had said to his opposers, "I will cause a boy that drives the plough to know more of the scriptures than the pope." With this before him, he set himself to work in earnest. He had to get his translation printed abroad, anywhere he could — sometimes a part in one city and a part in another; concealing it from being seen. While thus engaged he was often in want; yet with the firm conviction that he was doing the work God would have him do, he persevered, and about 1525 his first edition of the New Testament in English was ready. It had to be smuggled into England, but it was gladly received, and eagerly read. This was rapidly followed by other editions which gradually spread all over England, enlightening men's minds as to what was the truth of God, and also as to what was not of God, though it bore the name of religion.

Cranmer loved God and his truth, and he took the first opportunity to advocate that the Bible, translated by learned and competent men, should be allowed free circulation. Hitherto it had only come from abroad by stealth, and was always liable to be seized. The king granted the request on condition that the clergy of England should never call the pope universal bishop or pope; but only bishop of Rome. Those of the clergy who were devoted to Rome had to resort to mental reservation or lose their places. Many chose the former.

About 1529, Tonstal, bishop of London, finding Tyndale's New Testament in circulation, thought he would stop it effectually by buying up all the copies he could and burning them. So he commissioned Packington, a merchant, to buy all he could lay his hands on. This he did, and the bishop paid for them, and burnt them publicly in Cheapside. Tyndale was glad of the money. He was aware that the edition was imperfect, so he set to work to revise it and printed a new edition with the money supplied by the bishop of London! The next edition being ready, a large supply was sent to England. Constantine, one of Tyndale's friends, was apprehended. The Lord Chancellor asked him who had encouraged them in this work, promising that no harm should come to him if he revealed the secret. He said their best customer had been the bishop of London! Thus was the folly of this man and his hatred to the word of God, the means of giving England a better edition of this precious book.

Henry VIII. Head of the Church.

Cranmer's was a painful position. Few men could have filled his place as he did, and many have greatly blamed him for being where he was. The parliament had declared the king to be "the only supreme head on earth of the church of England," and some gave up their livings and even their life rather than admit it; Cranmer kept his place, and followed out the views of the king, who soon shewed himself to be much more of a Catholic than a Protestant. A good man in a false position, Cranmer was often obliged to bend to circumstances. And it is to be feared that in some of his bendings he stooped to that which was evil.

A dark shadow passed over the Reformation in England — if such we can call it — at its commencement. The parliament had declared that the king was head of the church; conscientious Catholics could not, and would not, acknowledge it. This brought two illustrious persons to the block.

Bishop Fisher had been an old tutor of the king. He was a Catholic, and he would not acknowledge the king as head of the church. For this he must die. The pope had just conferred on him the Cardinal's hat; but Fisher had said, "If the Cardinal's hat were at my feet I would not stoop to pick it up." Henry was the more enraged that the pope should put honour on a man that he was condemning. When informed that his death was resolved upon, he said, "I most humbly thank his majesty that he is pleased to relieve me from all the affairs of this world." On the morning of his execution he took off his hair-shirt and asked for his best clothes. His servant reminded him that it was only for two hours he could wear them. "Exactly so," said the aged bishop, "this is my wedding day, and I ought to dress as if for a holiday."

Fisher took his Testament, and was ready. He opened it, saying, "O Lord, I open it for the last time. Grant that I may find some word of comfort to the end that I may glorify thee in my last hour." Then he read, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." "That will do," said Fisher; "here is learning enough to last me to my life's end." The aged bishop, tottering with age and infirmity, had to be helped. He repeated his text as he went along. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." When on the scaffold he said, "Christians, I give my life for my faith in the holy Catholic church of Christ. I do not fear death. Assist me, however, with your prayers, so that when the axe falls I may remain firm. God save the king and the kingdom." His last words were, "Eternal God, my hope is in thy deliverance." His head fell on the scaffold. We would fain hope he died in the faith of Christ.

The other victim was Sir Thomas More, ex-chancellor of England. He would not acknowledge the king as head of the church. For this crime he must die. On the scaffold he repeated a psalm, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." Though More had hated the men who loved the truth of God, and had been the means of the death of some, yet we hope that he saw at last that his only refuge was in Christ and in his grace, and not in the pope, the Virgin Mary and the saints.

The death of these two men caused great commotion in the country and great indignation in Catholic countries. The pope cited the king to Rome. "In case of default," said the pope, "we strike him with the sword of anathema, of malediction, and of eternal damnation. We take away his kingdom from him . . . . we release his subjects from their oath of fidelity." He called upon christian princes to march against him, declaring him and his to be their slaves.

Thus did the pope place himself above the king, and, as far as he could, took his kingdom from him. This clearly brings out what popery really is, and to what it assumes. This act of the pope only widened the breach between Rome and England.

Henry next turned his attention to the monasteries. There were two things that moved him. One was that they were rich, and he thought he could make a better use of the money; the other was that they were the strongholds of the pope. Luther, when he heard of the king's destroying the supremacy of the pope and yet leaving the monasteries intact, said he was leaving the "soul" of popery untouched.

One day Henry dropped in to a monastery at dinner time. He was unknown, so he called himself one of the king's guards. They had a table full of good things. Henry had been hunting, and was hungry, and speaking of a piece of beef he said, "I will stick to this sirloin," and ate heartily. "I would give a hundred pounds," said the prior, "to eat with as much appetite as you; but alas! my weak and qualmish stomach can hardly digest the wing of a chicken." Henry resolved he would bring back the prior's appetite. A few days after some soldiers came and conducted the prior to the Tower, where he was fed on bread and water. After a few weeks of this diet a sirloin of beef was set before the prior, and now indeed he ate of it heartily. The king now entered and claimed his hundred pounds. The prior paid it and went back to the monastery. But Henry never forgot how they fared in the monasteries, where by the bye they had promised poverty.

An examination of all the monasteries was ordered, with a correction of abuses. Some were entirely closed, and the revenues seized. In some places things came to light which shewed how the people of England had been deceived. At Hales, in Gloucestershire, crowds of visitors used to go to see what the priests declared to be some of the blood of Christ in a bottle. The strange thing was that some people could see the blood and others could not. If a rich man came, he at first would not be able to see it. He confessed and made an offering, and if the priests were not satisfied, he still could not see it. "Your sin is not forgiven," said they. There must be more confessions and more offerings, and then the blood could be clearly seen. His sins, they said, were now forgiven. The commissioners examined the bottle and found it transparent on one side and opaque on the other. "When a rich penitent appears," confessed a monk, "we turn the vessel on the thick side; that you know opens his heart and his purse."

At Boxley, in Kent, there was a crucifix which bowed its head and moved its eyes to express approbation or disapprobation when the people brought their offerings to the priests, and in which they were taught devoutly to believe. The examiners found that it was by the means of wires the figure had been made to move. The king had it brought to court and there exhibited. "I do not know," said the king, "whether I ought not to weep rather than laugh on seeing how the poor people of England have been fooled for so many centuries."

But these deceitful tricks were not the worst things the commissioners found. Almost every evil and every abomination that can be named were to be found in these places, said to be devoted to the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. The commissioners were able to name a few as notable exceptions.

The commissioners allowed any monk under twenty-four years of age, and every nun under twenty-one, to leave the monasteries. Many had been sent there when quite young, and they were glad to escape; and others who were over age entreated with tears in their eyes to be allowed the same privilege.

The suppression of the monasteries in England had its abuses and its mistakes. There were many who wished to share in the spoils. It was one thing to seize them and another thing to make a better use of the money. Much of it was given to the king's favourites, who spent it in many shameful ways. To satisfy the people it was given out that the money would lessen the taxes; soldiers with skilful officers would be paid out of the funds; a better provision would be made for the poor; and that preachers would be paid to preach everywhere the true religion. "But," says Strype the historian, "nothing of this came to pass."

Some fine libraries too were sold for a mere nothing. Doubtless it was a severe blow to the power of Rome, and swept away many abuses; but as to its leading to a better use of the funds is very questionable.

The king, desiring to form an alliance with the German Reformers, sent Barnes to Wittenberg. Melanchthon was at first taken with these advances, and dedicated to Henry a new edition of his "Common Places." Henry was delighted, sent him two hundred crowns, and invited Melanchthon to visit England. But on hearing of the death of More, Melanchthon drew back, and though afterwards desired by the Protestant princes, under no consideration would he visit such a man as Henry. An alliance however was signed, December 25, 1535. Calvin was left out. He had called the dogma, that Henry was the head of the church, "blasphemy."

On January 7, 1536, Queen Catharine died. The German Reformers contended that her marriage with Henry was not such as to allow of a divorce. Now she was removed they felt free to consider afresh an alliance with King Henry. The German Reformers however, said, "The King of England wishes to be pope in the place of the pope, and maintains most of the errors of the old popery, such as monasteries,* indulgences, the Mass, prayers for the dead, and other Romish fables."

{*Some of the larger monasteries were left when the others were suppressed.}

England sent Bishop Fox and Archdeacon Heath to Wittenberg. Luther and Melanchthon met them in conference. But the English divines were so slow in giving up the papal abuses that instead of a conference it became a discussion. "I am disgusted with these disputes," said Luther; "they make me sick." To the Elector he said, "I have done more in four weeks than these Englishmen in twelve years. If they continue reforming in that style, England will never be inside or out," meaning, we suppose, neither inside popery, nor really outside.

The Elector was appealed to, and asked if a few concessions could not be made in their Confession. The Elector applied to Luther, who said, No; but after that he softened down a little, and said that expressions might be softened, but great doctrines must be maintained. The king was required to consent to the Augsburg Confession. This was April, 1536.

The very next month Henry brought Queen Anne to the block, and proved himself altogether unworthy of being considered as a friend of the gospel. The Reformed princes could only recoil with horror from joining with one whose hands were stained with the blood of his wife — a wife, too, well known as a friend of the Reformation, and not guilty of the crimes laid to her charge.

Queen Anne may not have known the saving power of the truth, but she certainly helped on the cause of Christ in encouraging those who preached the gospel, helping necessitous students, shielding others from persecution, etc. We would fain hope, however, that before her death she had bowed to the gospel which she had so often heard.

Cranmer had been very intimate with the queen and counselled her in her good works. His conduct in her condemnation is most deplorable. At the king's bidding he divorced the queen without a shadow of proof of her guilt. The conduct of Cranmer in this is a dark shadow on himself and still darker on the holy religion of the Lord Jesus which he professed.

King Henry, now married to Lady Jane Seymour, turns his attention as head of the church in England to tell the nation what must be their creed. Alas for the church if it had no better head; and for the saints if they had no better creed! We give a few points of the creed.

Baptism. it is "necessary for the attaining of everlasting life." By it those baptized "do also obtain remission of their sins, the grace and favour of God, and be made thereby the very sons and children of God." By it original sin was cancelled, and the recipient received the Holy Ghost.

Penance. "Concerning the sacrament of penance we will . . . that men, which after baptism do fall again into sin, if they do not penance in this life, shall undoubtedly be damned."

Lord's Supper. "As concerning the sacrament of the altar . . . . under the form and figure of bread and wine . . . . is verily, substantially, and really containing and comprehended the very self-same body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which was born of the Virgin Mary."

Justification. "The only mercy and grace of the Father, promised freely unto us for His Son's sake, Jesus Christ, and the merits of His blood and passion, be the only sufficient and worthy causes thereof. And yet that, notwithstanding to the attaining to the same justification, God requireth to be in us not only inward contrition, perfect faith and charity, certain hope and confidence, with all other spiritual graces and motives."

Images. Worship was to be to God only, but it might be done "before the images, whether it be of Christ, of the cross, of our lady [the Virgin Mary], or of any other saint beside."

Saints. "We may pray to our blessed lady, to St. John Baptist, to all and every of the apostles, or any other saint."

Rites. The "sprinkling of holy water," "bearing of candles," "giving of ashes," "bearing of palms," "creeping to the cross," with other things, were "to be used and continued as things good and laudable."

Purgatory. It was declared to be right "to pray for souls departed" and "to give alms to others to pray for them."

A pretty sort of "Reformation" from the errors of Rome this! Why, there is not one of them that a good Catholic could not sign, and not one that a good Protestant could sign! Here again we see the weakness and unfaithfulness of Cranmer. As primate of England he signed this creed; others objected no longer, but signed it too.

In this same year (1536), Coverdale's translation of the Bible was ready for circulation. But unfortunately, as men say, he had dedicated the book to Henry VIII. and his "dearest, just wife, and most virtuous princess, Queen Anne." Now Henry had just put this "just wife" to death, and all saw that the king would never give his consent to this about Anne: so some tried to alter Anne to Jane (for Jane Seymour) others scratched the name out altogether.* Then a new dedication was printed. But the king would not give his consent. The Bible could not be circulated except by stealth.

{* Copies thus altered are still in existence in the British Museum and elsewhere.

Still everywhere the truth of God was quietly making its way by means of the scriptures, the writings of Luther, etc. Truth had to do its work secretly, for there was no one in England who could protect the public preaching of the gospel; the king's creed had to be taught everywhere; still, in quiet, out of the way places, the gospel was preached, and it sank into men's souls and brought forth fruit to everlasting life.

In 1535 Latimer had been made Bishop of Winchester. In 1536 Cromwell chose him to preach before the convocation, when he delivered a very faithful discourse to the assembled bishops, abbots and priors, such a sermon as many of them had certainly never before heard. "Study for the glory and profit of Christ," said he; "seek in your consultations such things as pertain to Christ, and bring forth at the least something that may please Christ. Preach truly the word of God."

The king, though he had given to the nation a very Catholic creed, had in no way satisfied the true Catholics. He had made thousands of enemies by closing the monasteries. The monks who were turned out went about the country crying, "Woe, woe to England," which ended in the rebellion of 1536 to re-establish popery in England. The greatest nobles in the land, though Catholics, sided with the king, and the rebellion came to nothing. The Reformation, if crushed, was not to be crushed in this way. It had more to fear from its professed friends.

In this same eventful year occurred the martyrdom of Tyndale. As we have seen he had given England the New Testament, and he had just finished the translation of the Old when he was betrayed at Antwerp by an Englishman named Phillips, sent from England for the purpose, and cast into prison. His friend Rogers, chaplain to some English merchants at Antwerp, had secured the copy, so that the prisoner was rejoiced to hear that his labours would not be lost. He greatly desired to give to England the whole Bible.

Rogers immediately put the work to press. Great efforts were made in England to save Tyndale. John Poyntz, a gentleman of North Okendon, in Essex, strained every nerve to effect this purpose. With a letter from Cromwell he hastened to Antwerp, but after various toils he had to fly back to England to save his own life. Vaughan wrote to Cromwell, "If you will send me a letter for the privy council I can still save Tyndale from the stake: only make haste: for if you are slack about it it will be too late." But Cromwell could not do this without a word from the king. The king would not give the word and Tyndale was sacrificed. He was the means of the conversion of the gaoler, his daughter, and others. Thus God gave him true seals to his ministry in his imprisonment. At the stake he prayed, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes," and died rejoicing in the Lord. Thus died (October 6, 1536) one of the true ministers of God to the land of England.

In the year 1537 Tyndale's Bible was published, bearing the name of Thomas Matthew — a name assumed by Rogers; and the printer, Richard Grafton, came to London to ask permission to have it circulated. He first applied to Cranmer.

The Archbishop was delighted with the translation, and wrote to Cromwell asking him to present it to the king, and to ask his permission for its circulation — but shrewdly adding, "until such time that we, the bishops, shall put forth a better translation," and then for Cromwell's ear, "which, I think, will not be till a day after doomsday."

Henry looked over the book. The dedication to himself was excellent, and Tyndale's name did not appear. The king gave his consent, though he had but lately forbidden Coverdale's to be sold. Other editions followed, marked, "Set forth with the king's most gracious license."

Now the scriptures could be openly bought and read, a benefit for which the Christians of England had waited so long. Whoever could, bought a copy; and in some places people clubbed together and had one in common. When people had no true servant of Christ to preach to them, they met in twos and threes and read the Bible, and God thereby fed their souls.

This free circulation of the scriptures forms a true and great epoch in the Reformation in this our land.

It does not appear to be certain when Bibles were first ordered to be placed in the churches, but an order was made on May 6, 1541, referring to some previous injunction (probably in May, 1540) which had not been everywhere obeyed, and more stringent orders were now given by the king: "That the curates and parishioners of every town and parish within this his realm of England, not having already Bibles provided within their parish churches, shall on this side the Feast of All Saints next coming, buy and provide Bibles of the largest and greatest volume, and cause the same to be set and fixed in every of the said parish churches, there to be used as is aforesaid" — a penalty being added of forty shillings per month should any fail to obey. The Bibles were for the use of "every of the king's majesty's loving subjects, minding to read therein." They were not to be read with loud voices "in the time of the celebration of the holy Mass" and other services; and the people were not "to presume to take upon them any common disputation, argument, or exposition of the mysteries therein contained."

This as a great boon to the people. The poorest person could now resort to the church and read the Bible free of all expense. It often happened that one person read while others gathered round to listen; for there were many in those days who were unable to read; besides which it made a good use of the book, for while one read aloud, many could listen.

John Lambert.

Soon after followed the case of John Lambert. He was a learned and devout man. Because of his tendency to the Reformation he had been imprisoned as early as 1532, but was liberated on the death of Archbishop Warham.

Now in 1538 Lambert was hearing Dr. Taylor preach in St. Paul's, and hearing what he believed to be contrary to the truth, he spoke to the Doctor after the sermon. The subject was "the real presence," and by degrees it came before the bishop, and when pressed to recant Lambert unwisely appealed to the king.

Gardiner, a crafty man, unfavourable to the gospel, went to the king, and told him about Lambert, saying, that as the king had now many enemies because of his turning from the pope, it would appease the people if he punished heresy. The king, as head of the church, determined to hear the case in person.

Lambert was summoned to the court at Westminster, and the king presided, surrounded by the bishops and lawyers. The king called upon Cranmer to refute Lambert on the subject of the Lord's supper. Lambert held that the body and blood of Christ were represented by the bread and wine, and that the body and blood were present only to faith; Cranmer had to argue for the "real presence;" and then was visible this dark shadow over the Reformation that Cranmer had to argue against, and to sit in judgment upon, a humble believer in the Lord Jesus, guilty of no crime and of no heresy.

After Cranmer and others had argued with the good man, the king demanded, "What sayest thou now after all . . . . the reasons and instructions of these learned men; art thou not yet satisfied? Wilt thou live or die? What sayest thou? Thou hast yet thy free choice." This meant that he must retract or die.

"I commend my soul into the hand of God," said Lambert, "but my body I wholly yield and submit unto your clemency.

"You must die," said the king," for I will not be a patron of heretics." He then called upon Cromwell to read the condemnation.

Cromwell was accounted to be a chief man among the gospellers, and yet he had to read the condemnation of this godly man.

His death was in the most wanton and cruel manner. He was burnt alive; and when his legs were consumed and his hands burning, but no vital part touched, they pushed him about with halberts as far as his chain would allow, while he still called out, "None but Christ! none but Christ!"

Here is a picture of the Reformation in England. A man for no other crime than believing the true doctrine of the Lord's supper is judged — the judgment being quietly acquiesced in by the chief men of the gospellers Cranmer, Taylor, Barnes, and Cromwell, without any effort being made to save the martyr. And then the poor man is put to death in the most cruel manner possible. Can anything be clearer than the fact that it was God who brought about the Reformation in England, without, and indeed in spite of, the king. This is clearly proved by what follows.

The King's Religion.

In 1539 another effort was made to settle by parliament and convocation a set of doctrines. They agreed to the following six:
1. This maintained the "real presence." After the consecration it declared that there remained no substance of the bread and wine.
2. That "both kinds" were not necessary: the blood as well as the flesh was in the bread.
3. Priests must not marry.
4. Vows of chastity, or widowhood, ought to be observed.
5. Private Masses were "meet and necessary."
6. Confession to the priest was "expedient and necessary."

The punishment was death and imprisonment, and inquisitors or commissioners were appointed all over the country to bring the gospellers to trial. This of course much impeded the spread of he truth. People had the Bible, and might read it; but if they did, and found, as they would, that the above doctrines were contrary to scripture, they were compelled to keep their faith to their own bosom or they would be arrested and burnt.

It may well be asked, How could Cranmer agree to these six articles with a good conscience? Latimer, of the bishops, appears to have been the only one that threw up his appointment. He declared, "I will be guided by God's book; and rather than dissent one jot from it, I would be torn by wild horses." He retired to the country, and remained unmolested; but meeting with an accident he came to London for surgical assistance, when he was arrested and sent to the Tower, where he remained till Edward VI. came to the throne.

In the next year (1540) Cromwell was brought to the block through the influence of Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and others. On the scaffold he said, he died in the Catholic faith, not doubting of any of the sacraments; perhaps thinking thereby to save himself, but in his prayer he depends altogether upon the death of Christ, repudiates good works, and looks for cleansing alone to the blood of Christ.

Many imprisonments followed the publishing of the Six Articles. Through the entreaty of Cranmer the penalties were after a time made less severe.

The enemies of the gospel now attempted to ruin Cranmer; but the king at once told Cranmer of the plot. The Archbishop was thankful for the protection of the king, but he would not in any way take revenge upon his enemies.

In 1545 persecution again broke out, and the case of Anne Askew is especially worthy of being recorded. This faithful lady was driven from her home by her cruel husband when he discovered that she was a gospeller. She was for some time guarded and cherished by ladies of the court; but her case coming to the ears of the Bishop of London he caused her to be examined.

In various examinations they took great pains to prove her wrong, and this was necessary, for she delighted to say that she believed in the Lord's supper just what the scripture taught, and endeavoured to avoid further explanation. At length she confessed that the "bread is but a remembrance of His death, or a sacrament of thanksgiving for it." She was carried to the Tower, and asked to confess any who held as she did: special persons being named, as Ladies Suffolk, Sussex, Hertford, Denny, and Fitz-Williams. She said, "Then they put me on the rack, because I confessed no ladies or gentlewomen to be of my opinion; and there they kept me a long time, and because I lay still and did not cry, my Lord Chancellor [Wriothesley] and master Rich took pains to rack me with their own hands till I was nigh dead. Then the lieutenant caused me to be loosed from the rack. Immediately I swooned away, and then they recovered me again. After that I sat two long hours reasoning with my Lord Chancellor upon the bare floor. But my Lord God, I thank His everlasting goodness, gave me grace to persevere, and will do, I hope, to the very end."

She wrote in her prison,
"On Thee my care I cast,
For all their cruel spite;
I set not by their haste,
For Thou art my delight.

Yet, Lord, I Thee desire,
For that they do to me,
Let them not taste the hire
Of their iniquity."

Anne Askew was burnt alive with three men. She had to be carried to the stake because of the injuries received on the rack. When fastened to the stake a pardon was offered to her if she would recant. She said she did not come there to deny her Lord and Master. The flames took hold upon them, and all were consumed.

This was not Catholics putting Protestants to death; but it was those who had thrown off the claims of Rome putting their fellow-christians to death; but all must bow to the will of Henry instead of the will of the pope. Alas! for the Reformation in England! If God work not, there is no hope in man.

Another desperate effort was made to ruin Cranmer; but the king again took his part, and warned him of his danger. Cranmer was indifferent about it. "You fool," said the king, "do you think if you were once in prison, that there would not be abundance of false witnesses to accuse you? But as you do not know how to take care of yourself, I must look to it for you." What an avowal for the head of the English church to make! If it would fare thus with the Archbishop, what would be the fate of poor unprotected Christians?

Henry gave Cranmer, at an interview after midnight, the ring off his finger to use as he thought fit. Cranmer was summoned before the council, and was made to wait outside with the servants. He was seen here by the king's physician, who told the king how his Archbishop was being treated. The king sent a message for him to be admitted immediately.

"You and your chaplains," said the council to Cranmer, "are the authors of all the heresies in the kingdom." He asked to be put face to face with his accusers, but they threatened to send him to the Tower. Cranmer appealed to the king, and shewed them the kings ring. Cranmer was saved, and the council had to hurry off to the king to secure themselves.

In 1546 a proclamation was made forbidding any one to have or read Tyndale's or Coverdale's New Testament, or any not sanctioned by parliament; also all books, either by English writers or by those beyond the seas, unless they were licensed. Thus was shut out, as far as possible, any book containing the truth as drawn from the scriptures.

Things continued in England in this fluctuating state until the death of Henry. More than half a Roman Catholic himself — though claiming to be head of the church — and many of his council entirely papists at heart, they often hindered the work Cranmer, Latimer and others were endeavouring to further. Still the gospel made progress. People had the scripture in their hands, and God blessed its perusal, and saved souls, though many had no opportunity of making it known. Thus God was carrying on the work, without noise or observation, in a manner that nothing could uproot though it was made to hide its head.

Edward VI. and the Reformation.

King Henry died in 1547; and on Edward VI. ascending the throne, Cranmer was able to proceed with the work of reforming abuses.

One of the first things, after repealing the obnoxious laws, was to send visitors to all parts of the kingdom to ascertain what sort of people the clergy were. Gross ignorance was found nearly everywhere; to remedy this, in some measure, a Book of Homilies was composed, one of which was to be read regularly to the people.

The visitors had inspectors to remove the images from the churches. This met with great opposition in some places. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, met the work of the visitors with such a determined resistance that he was sent to the Tower. Others shared the same fate.

The next step was, that by Act of Parliament the people were regularly to have the bread and wine at the Lord's supper.

Then the Lord's supper was altered as a service. Instead of private confession to the priest before partaking of the supper, a public confession took its place.

Cranmer next turned his attention to writing a Catechism, with scripture proofs, in which he exposed the errors of Romanism.

His next work was to prepare a new Prayer Book. In this he laboured to retain as much as he could in the oldest books, so as to give as little offence as possible. A good part of this remains to this day. In 1548 by Act of Parliament, the Prayer Book was settled as the service-book of church of England. In the same year an Act was passed allowing the marriage of the clergy.

The Prayer Book once settled, it was forced upon the people. No clergyman was to use any other, and all were to use this, under pain of fine and imprisonment — the third offence being punished by imprisonment for life.

The next step of Cranmer was to draw up a Confession. As in Germany this was thought to be desirable in order to let all see what Protestantism was; so the same thing was felt desirable for England. Bucer was now in England, and pressed this on Cranmer. Cranmer now had Coverdale, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, etc., but it is supposed that the Articles drawn up (forty-two in number) were the work principally of Cranmer and Ridley, though they were sanctioned by all in February, 1552. This formed the basis of the present Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England.

Thus far then we see that in England the Mass was abolished; images were removed; Romish abuses were attacked; and a regular "service" was adopted. But as this "service" was for the converted and the unconverted, indeed for the nation at large, irrespective of whether the people were Christians or not, we look in vain for that spiritual tone of worship which none but Christians can enter into and appreciate.

As yet, too, there was no liberty allowed; all were obliged, as we have seen, to use the Prayer Book and agree to the Articles. Any who needed a more scriptural and spiritual mode of worship must assemble for that purpose in private houses, to be seen only by God and themselves.

During the reign of Edward, Joan Bocher, better known as Joan of Kent, was condemned and burnt alive, principally through the influence of Cranmer, because she denied that "Christ took flesh of the Virgin." She said to him, "It was not long ago that you burnt Anne Askew for a piece of bread, and yet came yourself soon after to profess the same doctrine for which you burnt her." It is recorded, to the honour of the young king, that he revolted against signing the death warrant of Bocher, and it was only by the persuasions and importunity of Cranmer that he could be brought to do it. He declared that if he did wrong Cranmer must answer for it at the tribunal of heaven. Her death was a dark shadow on the Reformation, and especially on Cranmer.

Queen Mary: Death of Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer.

In 1553 Edward died, and Queen Mary succeeded. She did all she could to sweep away the Reformation, and bring England again under the power of the pope.

Bonner and Gardiner came into favour, and Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley* were sent to the Tower. From thence they were carried to Oxford to be examined by the doctors. The questions turned principally upon the "real presence" in the Lord's supper, after which they were left in prison.

{*Ridley had been made Bishop of Rochester by Cranmer in 1547, and afterwards Bishop of London. He was a zealous supporter of the Reformation.}

In 1555, after long and tedious examinations on various subjects, Ridley and Latimer were condemned to be burnt.

On October the 10th, the procession was formed. Ridley wore his bishop's gown, and walked between the mayor and an alderman. Latimer, in a poor worn frock, followed. As they passed Cranmer's prison they looked up, hoping to catch a sight of the Archbishop; but he was just then under examination.

They came to the stake. "O heavenly Father," said Ridley, "I give Thee most hearty thanks for that Thou hast called me to be a professor of Thee even unto death. I beseech Thee, Lord God, take mercy upon this realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies." A chain bound them to the same stake.

As they kindled the fire, Latimer said, "Be of good comfort, brother Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

Ridley, as he saw the fire blazing up, cried out, "Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." Latimer on the other side responded, "O Father of heaven, receive my spirit." Latimer was soon with the Lord: but too much wood being piled around Ridley, he cried out, "Let the fire come to me, I cannot burn." The wood was removed, and he, too, was consumed.

Cranmer was kept in prison nearly three years, and was then brought to trial and condemned. Then the Oxford divines used all their entreaties to induce him to recant. At length he gave way, and signed a recantation — all they demanded of him.

He did this in the hope of saving his life, but the queen had no such intention. Dr. Cole was told to draw up his funeral sermon.

Cranmer was brought to St. Mary's church to hear the sermon — after which he was to read his recantation. But Cranmer began to see that his life would not be spared, and besides he had been very miserable since he signed the paper.

As he stood on a platform hearing the sermon, tears rolled down his cheeks, and he was evidently enduring a great struggle. The sermon ended, Dr. Cole called on Cranmer to make true confession of his faith. Cranmer called upon the people to pray for him, and falling on his knees he prayed aloud. Then rising he gave those present an exhortation, and at last came to his confession, and after professing faith in the Trinity, the scriptures, etc., he said, "And now I come to the great thing, which so much troubleth my conscience . . . . the setting abroad of a writing contrary to the truth, which I now here renounce and refuse as things written with my hand contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death, and to save my life, if it might be. . . . . And forasmuch as my hand offended, writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished for it; for when I come to the fire it shall be first burnt.

"And as for the pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy and Antichrist, with all his false doctrine.

"And as for the sacrament, I believe as I have taught in my book against the Bishop of Winchester."

His enemies were exasperated. Dr. Cole called out, "Stop the heretic's mouth, and take him away."

Nothing his friends could do could now save Cranmer. He was hurried to the stake, and bound by an iron chain. His beard was long and thick, giving him an appearance of marvellous gravity, which moved the hearts of friends and enemies.

When the fire began to blaze up he could be seen holding out his right hand into the flames, saying, "O this unworthy right hand." The flames now enveloped him, and crying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," he was consumed.

Thus passed away this true servant of the Lord. Fearful and pliable when threatened with danger, through the mercy of God he was firm at last, and faithful unto death.

As is well known, many were put to death in the reign of Queen Mary — earning for her the title of "Bloody Queen Mary." But God had mercy on England, and cut her life short.

Queen Elizabeth and the Reformation.

In 1558 Mary died, and Queen Elizabeth was proclaimed queen. Again all was changed. The queen was Protestant, and required an oath from the clergy to renounce the pope.

The Homilies, Prayer Book and Catechism are again introduced, and England is once more a Protestant country. The queen is now head of the church. Certain rules are made, even as to the gowns to be worn, and the queen being very resolute no deviation is allowed. It was indeed sad to see the church of England, only just free from a dreadful persecution under Queen Mary, now split up by internal quarrels — and those quarrels in many cases about the colour and shape of a preaching gown! But man likes to use his authority. The queen was now head of the church, and head she would be.

Many felt that though the dress of the clergy was made the war-cry, deeper principles lay at the root of the differences. England professed to be Protestant, but was only half reformed, as they judged, and therefore when the Act of Uniformity was passed in 1562, many declared they could not conform, and this gave rise to the name of "Non-conformists" (though this name was not formally adopted till long afterwards), or as they were called by the queen's party, "Puritans," a term of reproach because they were judged to be over-nice or purer than need be. Many of the clergy threw up their livings, and endeavoured to meet privately. But these meetings were forbidden. Some were imprisoned, and others fled to the continent.

Still this did not heal matters. There was a large and increasing number who could not conform, and these banded themselves in any way they were able. But more stringent measures were taken by parliament. Heavy fines and imprisonment were inflicted on those who absented themselves from the places where "common prayer is said according to the Act of Uniformity."

This made many of the Puritans the more resolute. Nearly all had heretofore gone to the Established church for the Lord's supper; but now they entirely separated, and began to meet in congregations anyhow they could. This gave rise to the name "Congregationalists." Others viewed themselves now as independent of the Established church, and thus arose the name "Independents." Heavy fines and imprisonments followed these actions. The parliament endeavoured to lessen these severities; but the queen was not to be moved. She was head of the church and would have conformity at all cost.

The Reformation under James.

Thus things continued until the death of Queen Elizabeth, in March, 1603. Great hopes were entertained by the Puritans that the accession of James would bring them relief — he being supposed to be a presbyterian. Before he reached England a memorial was presented to him of the hardships to which the Puritans were exposed. It was called the Millenary Petition, because it represented a thousand ministers, though it was signed only by seven hundred and fifty.

The king was now head of the church, and he deemed it sedition for any one to dispute his will as head. The Puritans found no relief. Many fled to the continent, and then began the emigration to New England, where the Puritans sought a new home in which they could worship God without hindrance. In 1620 sailed the May Flower, with the pilgrim fathers (as the Puritans were called) on board. This was followed by thousands of others until, as was calculated, more than twenty thousand had left. Many more would have gone, but the government stopped the emigration.

Charles I. and Cromwell.

Under Charles I. there was no great change, but under the Commonwealth the Puritans found great relief, and divines and others met at Westminster (1643-47) and drew up the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism, which became the standard of the Scottish Presbyterians.

As liberty arose amid these changes, and those that followed from time to time, a multitude of sects were formed. It became a principle that any number of Christians could form themselves into a church, without endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3), which must embrace all Christians; or without any care as to the setting up of barriers over which they knew their fellow-Christians could not pass. The unity of the body of Christ was lost sight of and Christians sought only the unity of the few or the many who thought as they did. Thus arose the many sects and denominations we see around us, which have been further increased from that day to the present — forming one of the darkest shadows that arose upon the Reformation; and which yet encloses so many Christians in dense darkness, both as to the claims of the Lord Jesus as Head of His church the oneness of His body — the unity of God's Spirit, to and the liberty for Him to endow with gifts, and use any whom He endows as and when He pleases. It is a startling fact that, all the sects we see around us had their origin at or since the Reformation.

On the other hand the Reformation — brought about by God — gives us liberty from the superstition and soul-destroying errors of the religion of Rome; but into which alas! we now find many called Protestants willingly being led. Will they not take warning from the history of what that corrupt church was and is, and upon the fate of that spiritual Babylon so vividly portrayed in the word of God?

There is a place of safety,
(Not many — only one),
There only have we shelter —
It is in God's dear Son.

But if we from Him wander,
It matters little where,
Outside the place of safety
There's danger everywhere.


John Knox.

About 1540, by means of books and general intercourse with England, many in Scotland were won over to the Reformation; otherwise, as yet, the country was Roman Catholic. In 1542, notwithstanding the strong opposition of the Romish clergy, the Scottish parliament passed an Act, making it lawful for any one to possess and read the holy scriptures. This was the first step towards the Reformation in Scotland.

Preaching was the second step. Among those who preached the gospel none were so renowned as George Wishart. He was driven into banishment for teaching the Greek Testament, but returning to Scotland he went through the land, preaching the gospel. Go where he would, the people were arrested with the power of the truth as it fell from the lips of Wishart.

Among his hearers one day was John Knox, who was so won by the truth, that as soon as he was able he attached himself to Wishart, who was equally pleased with the zeal of his attendant. When Wishart was arrested Knox wished much to accompany him, but Wishart seemed to feel that his time was come for martyrdom, and replied, "Nay, return to your bairns (his pupils) and God bless you: one is sufficient for a sacrifice." Wishart was hanged and then burnt.

Cardinal Beatoun, who had caused Wishart to be seized, was himself murdered in St. Andrew's castle, which place was held by those who had put him to death, and it became a refuge for those oppressed by the Romish clergy. Here John Knox, with others, took refuge.

One day John Rough, the preacher to the garrison, entered the pulpit, and preached a sermon on the election of ministers and the danger those ran who refused the "call." The sermon over, he turned to Knox and said, "Brother . . . . in the name of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, and in the name of all that presently call you by my mouth I charge you that you refuse not this holy vocation . . . . that you take the public office and charge of preaching." Knox was so overcome by this unexpected "call," that he could not speak. He burst into tears, and rushed from the place. Notwithstanding much reluctance he yielded, and became their preacher, and at once struck at the root of popery. It was argued against him that the church condemned such-and-such things. But stay, objected Knox, we must first prove from scripture which is the church. By the word of God the church of Rome is not really a church at all; but the mother of harlots of the Revelation.

In 1547 a French fleet attacked the castle by sea, while an army did so by land. It was obliged to capitulate, and Knox was taken prisoner and carried to France, and put on the galleys. Here he with his fellow prisoners were subject to harsh treatment by the Catholics. They were compelled to hear Mass, and though threatened, because they did not pay adoration to the Host, they refused, and used to cover their heads to see nothing. Knox relates that one day they brought an image of the Virgin and told the prisoners to kiss it. They refused, when the officer said, "You shall," as he forced it to the mouth of one. The prisoner seized the image and threw it into the river, saying, "Lat our Ladie now save hirself; sche is lycht enoughe, lat hir leirne to swyme." With difficulty the image was saved. In about nineteen months, after much suffering Knox obtained his release.

On the release of Knox (in 1549) he came to England. Henry VIII. being now dead, Cranmer had more freedom. Knox was appointed preacher at Berwick. Here he freely preached against the papacy. He was attacked by Tonstal, Bishop of Durham; but this, with Knox's defence only increased his popularity. From Berwick he was removed to Newcastle, and, according to Strype, was made chaplain to Edward in 1551. From Newcastle he was removed to London.

At Berwick Knox met with a family named Bowes, and formed an attachment to Miss Marjory Bowes, whom he afterwards married. The union was opposed by her father, but favoured by Mrs. Bowes, by whom Knox was much beloved, and with whom he kept up a confidential correspondence.

On the accession of Queen Mary, Knox was obliged to fly for his life. He went to Dieppe, from thence to Switzerland, where he remained, with occasional visits to Dieppe. At Geneva he formed a lasting friendship with Calvin, and employed his time in studying Hebrew.

Many refugees from England had settled at Frankfort, and in 1554 they invited Knox to leave Geneva and become their pastor. But here there were constant squabbles about the English Litany and such things, and some at length treacherously accused Knox before the magistrates. The magistrates advised Knox, for the sake of peace, to leave the place. He returned to Geneva.

Knox, having news more favourable to the gospel from Scotland, and having pressing invitations from Mrs. Bowes, determined to visit his native land. In 1555 he visited Berwick and found his wife and her mother well, and that they had not bowed the knee or received the mark of Antichrist, as Knox expressed it.

From Berwick he took a tour through Scotland, preaching wherever a door opened, boldly declaring against the corruptions of Rome. At Dun many were favourable to the Reformation, and numbers sat down to receive the Lord's supper apart from the Mass; and these entered into a bond or covenant to renounce the popish communion, and to promote the preaching of the gospel. This was probably the first of the various covenants entered into by the Scottish Christians, which won for them eventually the name of the Covenanters.

Though Knox had thus travelled and preached in Scotland, he had done it so quietly that his presence was not generally known. But as crowds flocked to the preaching he could not long be hid, and he was summoned to appear before a convention of the clergy at Edinburgh.

This the clergy did without for a moment supposing that he would appear. But Knox came, accompanied by Erskine of Dun, and several other gentlemen. The clergy were bewildered when they heard of his arrival. They could easily have condemned him in his absence; but it was quite another matter now he was present; for there were many in Edinburgh favourable to the Reformation. The clergy made an excuse of some informality, and the convocation was put off.

But Knox was not to be silenced in this way. A large room was found for him in the Bishop of Dunkeld's "lodging," where for ten days he preached twice a day to large numbers. Knox was encouraged, and wrote to his mother-in-law, "Rejose, mother; the tyme of our deliverance approacheth: for as Sathan rageth, sa dois the grace of the Halie Spreit abound, and daylie geveth new testymonyis of the everlasting love of oure merciful Father."

Mary of Guise, the mother of the infant queen (Mary Stuart) from the death of her husband, James V., in 1542, had the reins of affairs very much in her own hands. Though the Earl of Arran had been made regent, the queen dowager and Cardinal Beatoun gradually acquired great power, leaving the Earl with little more than the name of Regent. In 1546 the Cardinal was murdered; the queen dowager then took the first place, and in 1554 she induced the Earl of Arran to resign the regency, upon which she was appointed regent.

Knox was induced to write to the queen regent in favour of the gospel. But it is reported that she scarcely read it, and giving it to the Bishop of Glasgow said, "Please you, my lord, to read a pasquil."*

{*"Pasquil" is a term of contempt. It is taken from a cobbler at Rome, who was fond of satire. The name was given to a mutilated statue on which were stuck squibs and satires.}

While Knox was thus engaged in Scotland, he received an invitation from the English congregation in Geneva to be one of their pastors. Knox accepted the "call," and with his wife, and her mother, who was now a widow, went to Geneva: this was 1556. His visit had been very useful to the Christians in Scotland; but he judged the time had not yet come for a general Reformation in his native land.

After about a year Knox was invited to return to Scotland. But on reaching Dieppe he received letters in a very discouraging strain. He returned to Geneva in 1558. Here he is supposed by some to have assisted in a new translation of the Bible, which was called the Geneva Bible from being printed in that city, though it was often reprinted in Great Britain.

From this blessed work Knox turned aside to politics, and published a book, "The first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regimen of Women." This was against queens ruling in the place of kings. It is a lamentable instance of how those gifted to preach the gospel could leave that holy work for the worldly politics which should not have occupied them; for "our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven." (Phil. 3:20.)

In the meantime the Reformed doctrines and practices were making silent but steady progress in Scotland. This greatly annoyed the papists, and the Archbishop of St. Andrew's determined to try and stop its career. There was an old man, Walter Mill, priest of Lunan, in Angus, who preached the gospel. He had been condemned by Cardinal Beatoun, but had escaped. He was now seized, brought to trial, and condemned. But the Archbishop could find no magistrate to sentence him to death, and had to get one of his own servants to do it. He was burnt alive on August 28, 1558. The martyr said, "As for me, I am fourscore and two years old, and cannot live long by course of nature, but a hundred better shall rise out of the ashes of my bones. I trust in God I shall be the last that suffer death in Scotland for this cause."

This raised the courage of the fearful, and spurred on the resolute. They had agreed to meet in private, but declared that they would meet in public at all cost. The nobles laid a complaint before the queen regent, begging for relief and liberty. She, needing the aid of some of the Reformers, promised protection.

Knox was again invited to Scotland and left Geneva in 1559. He now reaped some of the fruits of meddling with politics. Though Queen Elizabeth reigned in England Knox was not allowed to come to London because of his book against the reign of queens. He sailed for Leith.

Very soon after the return of Knox the queen regent, feeling her hands strengthened, summoned a convention of the nobility at Edinburgh. The primate of Scotland called a council of the clergy at the same time. The Reformers met at Edinburgh and appointed commissioners to lay their petitions before the convention and the council.

The council resolved to refuse that any part of the public service should be in the mother tongue. They ratified all the popish doctrines condemned by the Protestants; strict inquisition was to be made for all who absented themselves from the Mass; all who received the Lord's supper after the Protestant forms were to be excommunicated.

The queen regent and the clergy were now resolved to crush the Reformation — the clergy promising to furnish the necessary funds. Four of the preachers — Methven, Christison, Harlaw, and Willock — were cited for trial to Stirling. They resolved to appear, and gave sureties for their appearance. Knox reached Scotland at this juncture, and resolved, with many others, to appear at the trial (though the queen regent as soon as she heard of the arrival of Knox had declared him an outlaw and a rebel). Fearing lest the attendance of so many at Stirling might cause alarm, they informed the queen regent of their peaceable intentions. She persuaded Erskine of Dun to write to them at Perth (where they stayed in the interval) not to come to Stirling, declaring that she would put a stop to the trial. In violation of this the trial came on, and those cited being absent were outlawed and their sureties fined.

Erskine hastened to Perth with the news of this treachery, which only the more opened the eyes of the Reformers as to their true position. But matters were brought to an issue sooner than expected.

Knox was at Perth when the above news arrived, and on the same day he preached a sermon against the idolatry of the Mass and of image worship. The sermon over, the people had dispersed except a few loiterers, when a priest, more zealous than wise, uncovered a rich altar-piece, decorated with images, and prepared to celebrate the Mass. A boy made some remark when he was struck by the priest. He threw a stone at his assailant, but the stone broke one of the images. This was an incentive for those present, who, taking up the cause of the boy, tore down all the images and ornaments in the church, and smashed them. A crowd had now collected, and finding all the work of demolition done in the church, they rushed off to the Gray and Black Friars; and though the magistrates assembled together, and the preachers themselves interposed, nothing could stay or satisfy the mob till the monasteries were in ruins. Knox declared that neither he nor his friends had any part in this work of destruction. He called the actors "the rascal multitude."

This impetuous act well served the purpose of the queen regent. She had now something that could be called rebellion, and which must be signally punished. She collected an army and sent it to Perth, threatening to lay waste the town with fire and sword. The Reformers quickly informed the regent that they were not rebels, and would obey the government; but fearing the worst they armed themselves for defence.

The queen regent, seeing such preparations for resistance, offered terms of peace, which the Reformers gladly accepted; the queen regent afterwards broke the agreement, which drove from her cause some of the Catholic nobles, who would not be a party to such treachery.

The Reformers deemed it prudent to have copies of their Covenant printed and circulated privately, to see who were desirous of signing it. They then felt that it was not simply themselves but the nation at large were calling for Reform. They therefore again appealed to the queen regent, but as she failed to respond, they resolved in God's strength to push on the work themselves.

St. Andrew's was chosen as the starting-point. Knox had preached there before, and he had a strong feeling that he should preach there again. Quietly he wended his way, others promising to meet him there. The Archbishop sent him word that if he attempted to preach in the Cathedral his soldiers should fire upon him.

The nobles consulted together, and advised Knox under the circumstances to retire; but the Reformer's zeal was aroused: "As for the fear of danger that may come to me," said he, "let no man be solicitous, for my life is in the custody of Him whose glory I seek. I desire the hand nor weapon of no man to defend me; I only crave audience, which, if it be denied here unto me at this time, I must seek where I may have it."

Who could withstand this? Knox preached to a numerous assembly on the day appointed, and on the three following days, without being disturbed. His preaching had such an effect that the authorities of the town declared for the Reformation. The church was stripped of its images and the monasteries were levelled to the ground.

The queen regent hoped to surprise and seize St. Andrew's, but the Protestants at Angus were quickly on the alert, and coming to the assistance of their brethren, the scheme was abandoned.

Other places followed the example set by St. Andrew's. In Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Linlithgow, and other places, the like scenes were witnessed. It is strange that the Reformers did not find a use for the monasteries rather than demolish them; but being considered a part of the idolatrous worship they were swept away.

Knox became preacher at Edinburgh; but on the queen regent coming to the city, he retired as being very obnoxious to the court, and Willock was preacher in his place. The queen regent was desirous of having the Romish worship re-established in the church; but the people met the proposition with such a decided resistance that she was obliged to be content to have it at the chapel royal and the chapel of Holyrood.

Driven from Edinburgh, Knox travelled throughout Scotland preaching against the errors of Rome. His wife now came from Geneva, accompanied by Christopher Goodman a reformed preacher.

Knox now unfortunately entered still deeper into politics, and carried on a correspondence with the court of England, with the view of gaining its assistance. This so exasperated the queen regent and the papal party that a reward was offered for the head of Knox, and many laid wait to seize him.

After this the Reformers met to consult if it would be right to use their influence to set aside the queen regent. Willock and Knox said, Yes, it was lawful for subjects not only to resist tyrannical princes, but to deprive them of authority. This is surely in direct opposition to Romans 13, which exhorts Christians to be subject to the powers that be, and where it is not qualified by "if they are pious and good;" and which injunction was written when Nero was Emperor, emphatically one of the worst of the Roman Emperors. This, with its attendant evil of mustering soldiers to carry out their views, forms a very dark shadow upon the Reformation in Scotland.

That the reader may judge how far the Reformers mixed up politics with their religion we give their act of condemnation of the queen regent. Their charges against the regent were many. First came the religious grievances, but these were slightly touched on. Then there was introducing foreign troops into the kingdom the seizing and fortifying towns; the placing foreigners into offices of power; the debasing the current coin; the subversion of ancient laws; the imposition of new and burdensome taxes the attempt to subdue the kingdom and to oppress its liberties. On these charges the Congregation* maintained that the nobles as counsellors by birth-right to their monarch, had a right to interfere, and therefore in the name of the king and queen [but who would in nowise have agreed with their act] they deprived the queen regent of her office, and ordained that for the future no obedience should be given to her commands.

{* The Congregation was a name adopted by the Reformers in Scotland.}

Knox not only gave the above unscriptural advice, of resisting "the powers that be," but when affairs began to look gloomy he mounted the pulpit and used his eloquence which should have been devoted to the gospel and building up of God's saints — to stirring up the people to renewed energy in opposing the queen regent. This he did at Stirling, after the messenger sent to Berwick to receive the money from England to pay the troops had been robbed of the subsidy, and the soldiers mutinied for want of pay, and Edinburgh had been abandoned, and the leaders had fallen back upon Stirling grievously dispirited. Knox's strong appeals gave new energy, and one William Maitland was despatched to London to solicit aid.

This was granted, and in 1560 a treaty was concluded between Elizabeth and the Reformers, and an army sent into Scotland, and a fleet to the coast. All this was done — mark you — professedly to carry on the cause of Jesus Christ! who had expressly said, "My kingdom is not of this world," else "would my servants fight." (John 18:36.)

Leith had been fortified by the French troops; while it was being besieged the queen regent died. France and England both sent ambassadors and peace was concluded. The English troops returned. The French army embarked at Leith. The Congregation met at St. Giles's church, Edinburgh, to return thanks for peace, and victory as they termed it.

The Catholics now saw the only means of supporting their waning cause was by more peaceful means than the sword. Some doctors of the Sorbonne had come over from Paris who used their influence to win the people to Rome: but as this work was too slow, the monks hit upon another plan.

Near Musselburgh, to a chapel dedicated to our Lady of Loretto, pilgrims used to flock from time immemorial. The monks now gave out that on a certain day they would put the reality of their religion to the test by the miracle of restoring sight to a young man born blind. On the appointed day great crowds flocked to the place. The young man was led in a procession of monks to a scaffold erected outside the chapel. Many declared him to be the blind man they had often seen begging: some examined him and declared him to be totally blind. The monks then went to prayer, begging for the interference of the Virgin to confirm their religion by this miracle. During their ceremonies The young man opened his eyes. The miracle was complete! He now descended to receive the congratulations of the spectators and their alms.

But it happened that among the crowd had stood a gentleman, named Robert Colville, who being a Protestant, had grave doubts of the supposed miracle, and determined to try and unravel the mystery. Catching his opportunity he slipped some money into the young man's hand, and pressed him to come home with him. When in his lodging at Edinburgh Colville locked the door and drawing his sword, told him that he was convinced he had been aiding the monks in a wicked deception, and now he would know the truth, at the same time undertaking to protect him from the wrath of the papists.

The young man confessed all. From a boy he had been able to turn up the whites of his eyes, and keep them thus so as to appear quite blind. The monks had made him practise this, and then go about as a blind beggar, until they had made the use of it we have seen. The whole story was soon spread over the country, to the great damage of the cause of Rome.

Mary, Queen of Scotland.

Mary, daughter of James V., when an infant, had been espoused to the dauphin of France, and to ensure her education in the Catholic religion, she had been carried to France when only six years of age. In 1558 she was married, and on the death of King Henry II. of France in 1559, her husband became king (Francis II.), and she queen of France. On the death of the queen regent, Mary took up her rights as queen of Scotland, and her husband became by courtesy King of Scotland.

In 1560 the parliament met, and declared for the establishment of the Protestant religion; but on an ambassador being sent to France to obtain the ratification of these acts by the king and queen, this was refused, and the ambassador was insulted by the court. This left all in confusion.

Knox was now settled at Edinburgh, and he, with four others, was commissioned to draw up articles of church government. The result was the Book of Policy, or First Book of Discipline. This was the first step in setting up the church of Scotland. The form of government became Presbyterian, learnt by Knox from Calvin, but modified as the Scottish Reformers thought fit. One may well ask what authority had any to set up a church after their own whim and fancy. Of course it was said to be according to scripture, but how far they wandered from this may be seen in their rule that the Lord's supper was to be administered in towns four times a year, when scripture plainly says that the disciples came together on the first day of the week for the purpose of breaking bread. (Acts 20:7.)

The first meeting of the general assembly met at Edinburgh on December 20, 1560. There were forty members — six only being preachers. Where had the Reformers found scripture for such an assembly to regulate the affairs of the church?

This same year Knox lost his wife, who had shared many troubles with her husband. She left two children to his care.

But troubles were not yet over for Scotland. Queen Mary of Scotland (being also as we have seen, Queen of France), now prepared an army in France to invade Scotland, and re-establish the Catholic religion; but the attack was frustrated by the death of her husband (Dec. 5, 1560).

Mary, now a widow, being invited, returned to Scotland (August 19, 1561), to take her place as queen. Her situation was most trying — not yet nineteen years of age, a stranger in her own country, and almost without a friend. Soon after her arrival she had a long interview with Knox, but she could make no impression on him; and he could not influence her. The queen finding that asserting her authority could not move Knox, sent for him from time to time, becoming very confiding to gain her own ends.

She also appointed Protestants to all the high offices in the state, which was the means of weaning them more and more from the strict principles of the Reformation which had been laid down. The queen by these means was working out her own ends. Being a thorough papist at heart, she steadily kept in view the restoration of popery in Scotland. To this end she was endeavouring first to weaken her opponents.

Knox, hearing that the queen was contemplating marriage, denounced from the pulpit her marrying a papist. This offended some of the Protestants, and set them against Knox. News of the sermon soon reached the queen, who again sent for Knox. She received him with a stern countenance. "What have you to do with my marriage?" demanded the queen, bursting into tears. Knox made the best excuse he could. Certainly this was not preaching the gospel, nor feeding the flock of God. She ordered him out of her presence, but to await her pleasure.

In the ante-room he found himself amidst the ladies of the court. "O fair ladies," said he, "how plesing war this lyfe of yours, if it sould ever abyde, and then, in the end, that we might pas to hevin with all this gay gear! But fye upon that knave Death, that will come widder we will or not!" For the present Knox was dismissed.

Another event brought the Reformer into trouble. The queen being away from Edinburgh, some of her household revived at the palace certain formalities that had been laid aside rather than offend the Protestants. Some who heard of these things resorted to Holyrood, and burst into the chapel, and asked the priest how he dare be so "malapert." This caused great confusion at the time, and when the queen heard of it she resolved to bring the intruders to trial.

Knox wrote circulars to the chief of the Protestants, inviting them to come to Edinburgh to be present at the trial. One of these circulars was taken to the queen, who resolved to indict Knox for treason. The queen was present at the trial of Knox, and tried hard to get him condemned. "Is it not treason, my lords, to accuse a prince of cruelty?" said the queen. "But wherein can I be accused of this?" asked Knox. "Read this part of your own bill," said the queen. The sentence ran thus: "This fearful summons is directed against them [who had caused a disturbance at Holyrood] to make, no doubt, a preparative on a few, that a door may be opened to execute cruelty upon a greater multitude." "What say you to that?" demanded the queen. Knox asked if the queen did not know that the obstinate papists were deadly enemies to all such as profess the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that they most earnestly desired the extermination of them, and of the true doctrine that was taught within the realm. The nobles acquitted Knox, greatly to the annoyance of the queen. This was in 1563.

In 1564 Knox married Margaret Stewart, daughter of Lord Ochiltree, by whom he had several children.

The country continued in comparative quiet, the Protestants going on with their work amidst more or less opposition, and the queen watching her opportunity to bring back the country to Romanism.

In July, 1565, the queen married Lord Henry Darnley, son of the Earl of Lennox, who seemed to have no religion, and who could be either papist or Protestant as occasion demanded. He was proclaimed king without the concurrence of the nobles. Some of the Protestant nobles took up arms to secure the Protestant religion, as they said; but political reasons in opposition to Darnley seemed to have been their real aim.

Though Knox kept himself as free as he could from these nobles, he was again brought into collision with the queen by another intemperate sermon. Darnley, to please the Protestants, resolved to go sometimes to St. Giles's church, and on the 19th of August he went in "state." Knox preached and in his sermon spoke of the punishment of "women" ruling over them, and said that God punished Ahab because he did not correct his idolatrous wife Jezebel. This was taken to be aimed at the king and queen, and Knox was forbidden to preach while the court remained at Edinburgh.

The Protestant nobles who had taken up arms had not been successful. They were exiled, and the Protestant party being to this extent weakened the queen began to plot again to bring the kingdom back to popery. Various means were taken to bring this about, and the plot seemed about to succeed when a sudden change was brought about by the assassination of the queen's favourite, Rizzio, who had been principal adviser in the scheme. The queen's other popish counsellors now fled, and the exiled nobles returned.

There can be no doubt but that the murder of Rizzio had been brought about by Darnley's jealousy of the power bestowed on this favourite. It is also clear that he found Protestant nobles to aid him in the scheme. Nothing forms a darker shadow on the Reformation than that Protestant nobles should have turned assassins; but, as we have seen, Protestantism in Scotland was political as well as christian, and national as well as spiritual; so that many were attached to the reformed religion who were not Christians, and we would fain hope that no true Christian had anything to do with that dark deed.

Another tragedy, well known in Scottish history — the murder of Darnley — hastened on events. The queen's affection, which for her husband had sensibly declined, now settled on the Earl of Bothwell. The husband was decoyed into a solitary house in Edinburgh, which in the night was blown up by gunpowder. The queen's want of zeal in prosecuting her husband's murderers and her hasty marriage with Bothwell, left an indelible impression of her guilt on the mind of the nation.

This deed was rapidly followed by the confederation of the nobles to avenge the death of the king. Bothwell fled, and the queen resigned the government; her infant prince was crowned, and the Earl of Moray appointed regent during his minority.

Knox preached the sermon at the coronation of James VI., and it was now hoped that the Reformation was finally settled in Scotland. In December the parliament met and decided that no prince should be king in Scotland unless he took oath to maintain the Protestant religion. Knox was appointed one of the commissioners to draw up articles for church government.

All things were not however finally settled. The queen escaping from her confinement was joined by some of the nobles who had not joined in proclaiming James VI. king, a large sum of money was contributed by the continental Catholic princes, and an opportunity was sought for again placing the queen on the throne. The vigilance of the regent was equal to the occasion, and many disasters were avoided by his promptitude and decision. An opportunity was sought, and he was murdered. His death greatly affected Knox, which was followed by a stroke of apoplexy which greatly affected the Reformer's speech. This was in October, 1570.

The Earl of Lennox was made regent, but he only feebly filled the place of Moray, and the civil war was increased by some who had supported the Reformation now abandoning it. This was notably the case with Kirkaldy, whom Moray had made governor of Edinburgh castle. This man had been imprisoned with Knox, they had shared persecution together, and it now greatly grieved the Reformer to find him desert the cause of Reform. But politics were now so mixed up with religion, that the Protestants were divided among themselves on political grounds. Instead of the war cry being "Protestantism and Catholicity," it became, "Who is for the king and who is for the queen?"

It was soon seen that it was not safe for Knox to remain in Edinburgh. A shot was one evening fired into his room; but not sitting in his usual place he escaped. His friends now advised him to flee, but he steadily refused until they told him that they should take up arms in his defence, and if their blood was shed it would be on his head. He returned to St. Andrew's. But here was the same commotion — some for the king, some for the queen. Here Knox again got into trouble by attacking people in his sermons.

In 1572* there was a cessation of hostilities between the parties of the king and queen, and Knox was invited to return to Edinburgh. He had been gradually failing in health, but resolved to go. Once more he was in the pulpit where he had so electrified the people by his eloquence, but now he was so broken down that not half the people could hear him. James Lawson of Aberdeen was chosen as his colleague.

{* Mary had fled to England in 1568. She was afterwards made prisoner by Elizabeth, and in 1587 was executed.}

Scotland, with every Protestant country was startled by the intelligence of that darkest of all Catholic deeds the massacre of Bartholomew. Knox was carried to the pulpit, and there he summed up his energies to thunder the vengeance of heaven against "that cruel murderer and false traitor, the King of France." It would have been more in the spirit of Christ if he had prayed for the king's conversion.

Knox's Last Days.

The strength of Knox now rapidly gave way. He called around him the "session" of St Giles's, he took a review of his course, then exhorted them to constancy, still begging them to have nothing to do with those who opposed the king. His politics, a part of his religion, clung to him to the end.

A lady visiting him, began to praise his labours, when he rebuked her, and repeated to her what he had said long before, "Lady, lady, the black one has never trampit on your fute" — meaning, we suppose, that she had never been broken down by Satan stamping on her foot.

On his last day he asked his wife to read the fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. "Is not that a comfortable chapter?" said he: "O what sweet and salutary consolation the Lord has afforded me from that chapter!" Soon after he said, "Now for the last time I commend my soul, spirit, and body into Thy hand, O Lord." He then asked for John 17, where he cast his first anchor, as he expressed it. The same night he fell asleep without a struggle. It was November 24, 1572.*

{* Scotland enjoyed comparative peace until James VI. became King of England as James I. in 1603, when a new set of troubles began in resisting, not now the Catholics, but the ritual of the king and his authority in the church.}

Thus passed away one of the boldest of Reformers. His preaching was with great earnestness and eloquence. James Melville, afterwards of Anstruther, said of him, "I had my pen and my little, buike, and tuke away sic things as I could comprehend. In the opening up of his text he was moderat the space of an half-houre; but when he entered to application he made me so grew [thrill] and tremble, that I could not hald a pen to wryt."'

Knox never stopped at half measures. The way the Reformation was first attempted in England disgusted him. Thoroughly convinced that Rome was antichrist, he would give it no quarter.

As we have said, Knox failed by mixing up politics with his religion, in express contradiction to the acts and words of our Lord Jesus.

Knox also failed in forming the church of Scotland according to his own ideas. He arranged the General Assembly to which nothing answered in scripture, with superintendents, and readers, which are never once named in the word of God. Still he was greatly used of God, and was the principal instrument in the Reformation in Scotland.


In considering the Reformation as a whole, it is desirable to draw from it some useful lessons. We have seen various shadows amid the light. These have not been pointed out for the sake of doing so, but that we might not call darkness light.

The reformers wrought with great zeal, energy, and self-denial, amidst powerful opposition. We esteem them very highly for their works' sake. But they failed,
1, In making religion national instead of individual.
2, In putting sacraments in the place of Christ and faith in Him (Calvin had said, Baptism "engrafted into Christ" and the Lord's supper kept one in the church).
3, In mixing up politics with religion, and taking up the sword to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4, In forming churches each after his own thoughts.
5, In placing kings and electors as the heads of those churches, or in forming General Assemblies, with their attendant machinery.
6, The forming of still smaller churches as liberty arose; any few thinking themselves competent to form a church. Thus man wrought, but failed amid his work.

On the other hand, God brought about by the reformers,
1, Freedom from the control and bondage of Rome.
2, The scriptures were placed in each man's hands in his own tongue.
3, The gospel of His grace was proclaimed in opposition to merit, penance, etc.
4, Justification by faith was taught, in opposition to works, etc.
5, God forgave sins, not the priests.
6, The Roman Catholic church was not the true church.
7, There was salvation outside the church of Rome.

Thus God brought about great blessing. To HIM BE ALL THE PRAISE.