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but he expected they should submit to him. They, on the other hand, saw the great advantage of his protection and assistance; so that they brought Luther to make an humble submission to him, asking him pardon for the manner of his writing against him; which I find intimated, though it never came in my way. They studied also to gain both upon his vanity, offering him the title of Defender or Protector of their league, and on his interest, by entering into a close confederacy with him.
It was an opinion common enough in that time, that the emperor was the sovereign of Germany. Gardiner, in several of his letters, seemed to be of that mind : and upon that account he endeavoured to possess the king with a prejudice against his treating with them, that it was to animate subjects to revolt against their prince: whereas, by the constitution and laws of the empire, the princes had secured to themselves the right of coining, fortifying, and entering into treaties, not only with one another, but with foreign princes, for their defence. A homage was indeed due to the emperor; and a much greater submission was due to the diet of the empire : but the princes were sovereigns in their own territories, as the Hanse Towns were free states. Fox pressed them to approve of all that the king had done in the matter of his divorce, and of his second marriage. To which they gave the answer that I had inserted in my History, among the transactions 1530: but the noble Seckendorf shows, that it was sent in the year 1536. In their answer, as they excused themselves from giving their opinion in that matter, till they were better informed, they added (which it seems was suppressed by Fox), “ Though we do agree with the ambassasadors, that the law against marrying the brother's wife ought to be kept; yet we are in doubt, whether a dispensation might not take place in this case; which the ambassadors denied. For that law cannot oblige us more strictly than it did the Jews: and if a dispensation was admitted to them, we think the bond of matrimony is stronger.' Luther was vehemently against the infamy put on the issue of the marriage. He thought, the Lady Mary was cruelly dealt with, when she was declared a bastard. Upon Queen Katherine's death, they earnestly pressed the restoring her to her former honour. So true were they to that which was their principle, without regarding the great advantage they saw might come to them from the protection of so great a king.
His ambassadors at that time gave these princes an advertisement of great importance to them, that was written over to the king by Wiat, then his ambassador in Spain ;
that the emperor had, in a passionate discourse with him, called both the elector and the landgrave his enemies, and rebels. The truth was, the elector did not entirely depend on all that Fox said to him. He thought the king had only a political design in all this negotiation; intending to bring them into a dependence on himself, without any sincere intentions with relation to religion. So he being resolved to adhere firmly to the Augsburg confession, and seeing no appearance of the king's agreeing to it, he was very cold in the prosecution of this negotiation. But the princes and states of that confession met at this time at Smalcald, and settled the famous Smalcaldick league; of which the king's ambassadors sent him an authentic copy, with a translation of it in English ; which the reader will find in the Collection (No. xliii).
“ By it, John Frederick, elector of Saxony, with his brother Ernest; Philip, Ernesi, and Francis, dukes of Brunswick; Ulric, duke of Wirtemberg ; Philip, landgrave of Hesse; the dukes of Pomeren ; four brothers, princes of Anhait; two brothers, counts of Mansfield ; the deputies of twenty-one free towns;" which are not named in any order, for Hamburg and Lubeck are the last save one : but, to avoid disputes, they were named in the order in which they came, and produced their powers. “ All these did, on behalf of themselves and their heirs, seeing the dangers of that time, and that many went about to disturb those who suffered the sincere doctrine of the gospel to be preached in their teritories; and who, abolishing all abuses, settled such ceremonies as were agreeable to the word of God: from which their enemies studied to divert them by force and violence; and since it was the magistrate's duty to suffer the sincere word of God to be preached to his subjects, and to provide that they be not violently deprived of it; therefore, that they might provide for the defence of themselves and their people, which is permitted to every man, not only by the law of nature but also by the written laws, they entered into a Christian, lawful, and friendly league: by which they bound themselves to favour all of their body, and to warn them of any imminent danger; and not to give their enemies passage through their territories. This was only for their own defence, and not to move any war. So if any of them should be violently assaulted for the cause of religion, or on any pretence, in which the rest should judge that religion was the true motive, the rest of the confederacy were bound, with all their force and power, to defend him who was so assaulted, in such a manner, as for the circumstances of the time shall
be adjudged; and none of them might make any agreement or truce without the consent of the rest. And that it might not be understood that this was any prejudice to the emperor their lord, or to any part of the empire, they declare that it was only intended to withstand wrongful violence. They also resolved to receive all into this confederacy who received the Augsburg confession, and desired to be joined to it. And whereas the confederacy, made six years before, was to determine on the Sunday Invocavit of the following year ; in which the princes of Wirtemberg, Pomeren, and Anhalt, and six of the cities, were not comprehended; they received them into this confederacy; which was to last for ten years after the Sunday Invocavit: and if any war should be begun, but not finished within these ten years, yet it shall be continued till the war is brought to an end; but at the end of the ten years it shall be lawful to the confederates to prolong it further. And they gave their faith to one another, to observe this religiously, and set their seals to it.”
On the same day the king's answer was offered to the demands the princes had made; both which are in the Paper
and both will be found in the Collection (No. xliv). Their demands were, “ That the king would set forth the true doctrine of Christ, according to the Augsburg confession; and that he would defend that doctrine at the next general council, if it be pious, catholic, free, and truly Christian : and that neither the king, nor the princes and states of that union, should, without mutual consent, agree to any indiction of a general council made by the bishop of Rome; but that if such a council should be called, as they had desired in their answer to Vergerius, the pope's ambassador, it should not be refused : and that if a council shall be celebrated, to which the king and these princes do not agree, they shall (to their power) oppose it: and that they will make protestations against it, that they will not obey any constitution made in it, nor suffer any decrees made in it to be obeyed; but will esteem them null and void, and will make their bishops and preachers declare that to their people. That the king will associate himself to the league, and accept the name of the defender, or protector of it. That they will never suffer the monarchy of the bishop of Rome to take place; nor grant that it is expedient, that he should have pre-eminence before all other bishops, or have any jurisdiction in the dominions of the king, and of the princes. That upon these grounds they enter into a league with one another. And in case of any war, either for the cause of religion, or any other cause whatsoever, that
they should not assist those who begin any such war. That the king shall lay down one hundred thousand crowns, which it shall be lawful to the confederates to make use of, as a moiety of that which they themselves shall contribute : and if need be, in any cause of urgent necessity, to contribute two hundred thousand crowns; they joining as much of their own money to it. And if the war shall end sooner than that all the money is employed in it, what remains shall be restored to the king. And they assured him, that they should not convert this money to any other use, but to the defence of the cause of religion, together with their own money. And since the king's ambassadors were to remain some time in Germany, disputing with their learned men about some points; they desire that they may know the king's mind, and that he will signify it to the elector of Saxony, and the landgrave of Hesse. And then the princes will send their ambassadors, and a learned man with them, to confer with the king about the articles of doctrine, and the ceremonies of the church.”
To these the king sent two different answers, one after another. The first, that will be found in the Collection (No. xliv), was, “that the king intended to set forth the true doctrine of Christ, which he was ready to defend with life and goods : but that he being reckoned somewhat learned, and having many learned men in his kingdom, he could not think it meet to accept at any creature's hand what should be his faith, or his kingdom's; the only ground of which was in Scripture; with which he desired they would not be grieved: but that they would send over some of their learned men to confer with him and his learned men, to the intent that they might have a perfect union in faith: he would also join with them in all general councils, that were catholic, free, and held in a safe place for the defence of the true doctrine of the gospel; and as for ceremonies, there may be such a diversity in these used through the whole world, that he thought that ought to be left to the governors of the several dominions, who know best what is convenient for themselves : he agreed that neither he nor they should accept of the indiction of a general council, but by all their mutual consent; but that if such a free council may be held in a safe place, it shall not be refused. The king did not think fit to accept the title offered by them till first they should be thoroughly agreed upon the articles of doctrine : but that being done, he would thankfully accept of it. To that of a defensive league, he added one clause, that they should not suffer any of their subjects to serve those who set on them in any such war: he
thought it not reasonable that he should bear any share of the wars already past (which it seems was secretly mentioned, though not expressed in their demands), but for the future he was willing to contribute one hundred thousand crowns, as they desire. Upon further considering their demands, the king sent a second and fuller answer, which will likewise be found in the Collection (No. xlvi).
It begins with very tender expressions of the sense the king had of their benevolence to him, and of their constancy in adhering to the truth of the gospel ; he acknowledges the goodness of God in giving them such steadfastness and strength. Their wondrous virtues had so ravished the king, that he was determined to continue in a correspondence of love with them on all occasions.” Then follow some explanations of the former memorial, but not very important, nor differing much from it; only he lets them know, it was not for any private necessity of his own, that he was moved to join in league with them, for by the death of a woman all calumnies were extinct (this is meant of Queen Anne), so that neither the pope nor the emperor, nor any other prince, had then any quarrel with him : yet, that they might know his good affection to them, he would contribute the sum they desired, and upon the terms they proposed : only on his part he demanded of them, that in case any prince invaded his dominions on the account of religion, that they would furnish him, at their expense, with five hundred'horsemen completely armed, or ten ships well arrayed for war, to serve for four months; and that it should be at the king's choice whether horse or ships: and that they should retain at the king's charge such a number of horse and foot as the king should need, not exceeding the number of two hundred horse, and five thousand foot, or instead of the foot, twelve ships in order, with all things necessary; which the king might keep in his service, as long as he pleased : and last of all, that the confederates will promise in all councils, and everywhere else, to promote and defend the opinion that Dr. Martin (so they named Luther), Justus Jonas, Cruciger, Pomeran, and Melancthon had of his marriage.”. This negociation sunk to a great degree upon Queen Anne's tragical fall; and as the king thought they were no more necessary to him, so they saw his intractable humour, and had no hope of succeeding with him, unless they would have allowed him a dictatorship in matters of religion ; yet, to end all this negociation at
The elector of Saxony and the landgrave of Hesse wrote a letter to the king, which will be found in the Collection