BOOK the very words of Scripture, or of the primitive fathers;

by softening the rigour of some opinions, and esplaining away what was absurd in others; by concessions, sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other; and especially by banishing as much as possible scholastic phrases, those words and terms of art in controversy which serve as badges of distinction to different sects, and for which theologians often contend more fiercely than for opinions themselves ;-he at last framed his work in such a manner as promised fairer than any thing that had hitherto been attempted to compose and to terminate

religious dissensions". fruitless. But the attention of the age was turned with such acute

observation towards theological controversies, that it was not easy to impose on it by any gloss, how artful or specious soever. The length and eagerness of the dispute had separated the contending parties so completely, and had set their minds at such variance, that they were not to be reconciled by partial coneessions. All the zealous Catholics, particularly the ecclesiastics who had a seat in the diet, joined in condemning Gropper's treatise, as too favourable to the Lutheran opinion, the poison of which heresy it conveyed, as they pretended, with greater danger, because it was in some degree disguised. The rigid Protestants, especially Luther himself, and his patron the elector of Saxony, were for rejecting it as an impious compound of error and truth, crastily prepared that it might impose on the weak, the timid, and the unthinking. But the divines to whom the examination of it was committed, entered upon that business with greater deliberation and temper. As it was more easy in itself, as well as more inconsistent with the dignity of the church, to make concessions, and even alterations with regard to speculative opinions, the discussion whereof is confined chiefly to schools, and which present nothing to the people that either strikes their imagination or affects their senses, they came to an accommodation about these without much labour,

A Goldast. Constit. Imper, ii, p. 182.


and even defined the great article concerning justification BO to their mutual satisfaction. But, when they proceeded

1541. to points of jurisdiction, where the interest and authority of the Roman see were concerned, or to the rites and forms of external worship, where every change that could be made must be public, and draw the observation of the people, there the Catholics were altogether untractable; nor could the church either with safety or with honour abolish its ancient institutions. All the articles relative to the power of the pope, the authority of councils, the administration of the sacraments, the worship of saints, and many other particulars, did not in their nature admit of any temperament; so that after labouring long to bring about an accommodation with respect to these, the emperor found all his endeavours ineffectual. Being impatient, however, to close the diet, he at last prevailed on a majority of the members to approve of the following recess : " That the articles concerning which the divines Recess of had agreed in the conference should be held as points the diet of

" Ratisbon decided, and be observed inviolably by all; that the other in favaur artieles about which they had differed should be referred of a gener:

al council, to the determination of a general council; or if that could July 28. not be obtained, to a national synod of Germany; and if it should prove impracticable likewise, to assemble a synod; that a general diet of the empire should be called within eighteen months, in order to give some final judgment upon the whole controversy ; that the emperor should use all his interest and authority with the pope, to procure the meeting either of a general council or synod, that, in the mean time, no innovations shonld be attempted, no endeavours should be employed to gain proselytes; and neither the revenues of the church nor the rights of mo. nasteries should be invaded'.

All the proceedings of this diet, as well as the recess in which they terminated, gave great offence to the pope.

i Sleidan, 267, &c. Pallav. I, iv, c. 11, p. 136. F. Paul, P, 86. Seckend. l. iii, 256. .


gives of


courts ch

[ocr errors]


protest ants.

BOOK The power which the Germans had assumed of appointing VI.

their own divines to examine and determine matters of 1541.

controversy, he considered as a very dangerous invasion fence both of his rights; the renewing of their ancient proposal conto papists cerning a national synod, which had been so often rejected

by him and his predecessors, appeared extremely undutiful; but the bare mention of allowing a diet, composed chielly of laymen, to pass judgment with respect to articles of faith, was deemed no less criminal and profane than the worst of those heresies which they seemed zealous to suppress. On the other hand, the Protestants were no

less dissatisfied with a recess that considerably abridged Charles the liberty which they enjoyed at that time. As they

murmured loudly against it, Charles, unwilling to leave any seeds of discontent in the empire, granted them a private declaration in the most ample terms, exempting them from whatever they thought oppressive or injurious in the recess, and ascertaining to them the full possession

of all the privileges which they had ever enjoyed Affairs of Extraordinary as these concessions may appear, the Hungary. situation of the emperor's affairs at this juncture made it

necessary for him to grant them. He foresaw a rupture with France to be not only unavoidable, but near at hand, and durst not give any such cause of disgust or fear to the Protestants, as might force them, in self-defence, to court the protection of the French king, from whom at present they were much alienated. The rapid progress of the Turks in Hungary was a more powerful and urgent motive to that moderation which Charles discovered. A great revolution had happened in that kingdom; John Zapol Scaepus having chosen, as has been related, rather to possess a tributary kingdom than to renounce the royal dignity to which he had been accustomed, bad, by the assistance of his mighty protector Solyman, wrested from Ferdinand a great part of the country, and left him only the precarious possession of the rest. But being a prince

Sleid. 283. Seckend. 366. Dumont Corps Diplom. iv, p. ii, p.



of pacific qualities, the frequent attempts of Ferdinand, or BOOK of his partisans among the Hungarians, to recover what they had lost, greatly disquieted him; and the necessity on these occasions of calling in the Turks, whom he con. sidered and felt to be his masters rather than auxiliaries, was hardly less mortifying. In order, therefore, to avoid these distresses, as well as to secure quiet and leisure for cultivating the arts, and enjoying amusements in which he delighted, he secretly came to an agreement with his 1535. competitor, on this condition, that Ferdinand should acknowledge him as king of Hungary, and leave him, during life, the unmolested possession of that part of the kingdom now in his power; but that, upon his demise, the sole right of the whole should devolve upon Ferdinand? As John had never been married, and was then far advanced in life, the terms of the contract seemed very favourable to Ferdinand. But, soon after, some of the Hungarian nobles, solicitous to prevent a foreigner from ascending their throne, prevailed on John to put an end to a long celibacy, by marrying Isabella, the daughter of Sigismond, king of Poland. John had the satisfaction, before Death of his death, which happened within less than a year after the king of

* Hungary. his marriage, to see a son born to inherit his kingdom. To him, without regarding his treaty with Ferdinand, which he considered, no doubt, as void, upon an event not foreseen when it was concluded, he bequeathed his crown; appointing the queen and George Martinuzzi, bishop of Waradin, guardians of his son, and regents of the kingdom. The greater part of the Hungarians immediately acknowledged the young prince as king, to whom, in memory of the founder of their monarchy, they gave the name of Stephen m.

Ferdinand, though extremely disconcerted by this un- 'erdiexpected event, resolved not to abandon the kingdom nand's ef

[ocr errors]

forts to ob. which he flattered himself with having acquired by his eain the compact with John. He sent ambassadors to the queen crown,

'Istuanhaffii Hist. Hung. lib. xii, p. 135.
on Jovii Hist. lib. xxxix, p 239, a, &c.



BOOK to claim possession, and to offer the province of Transyl

vania as a settlement for her son, preparing, at the same 1541.

time, to assert his right by force of arms. But John had committed the care of his son to persons who had too much spirit to give up the crown tamely, and who possessed abilities sufficient to defend it. The queen, to all :

the address peculiar to her own sex, added a masculine Character courage, ambition, and magnanimity. Martinuzzi, who and power of Marti- bad raised himself from the lowest rank in life to his pre

sent dignity, was one of those extraordinary men, who, by the extent as well as variety of their talents, are fitted to act a superior part in bustling and factious times. In discharging the functions of his ecclesiastical office, he put on the semblance of an humble and austere sanctity; in civil transactions, he discovered industry, dexterity, and boldness. During war, he laid aside the cassoc, and appeared on horseback with his scimitar and buckler, as active, as ostentatious, and as gallant as any of his countrymen. Amidst all these different and contradictory forms which he could assume, an insatiable desire of dominion and authority was conspicuous. From such persons it was obvious what answer Ferdinand had to expect. He soon perceived that he must depend on arms alone for recovering Hungary. Having levied for this purpose a considerable body of Germans, whom his partisans among the Hungarians joined with their vassals, he ordered them to march into that part of the kingdom which adhered to Stephen. Martinuzzi, unable to make head against such a powerful army in the field, satisfied himself with holding out the towns, all of which, especially Buda, the place of greatest consequence, he pro

vided with every thing necessary for defence; and, in the Calls in the Turks. meantime, he sent ambassadors to Solyman, beseeching

him to extend towards the son the same imperial protection which had so long maintained the father on his throne. The sultan, though Ferdinand used his utmost endeavours to thwart this negociation, and even offered to accept of the Hungarian crown on the same ignominious condition,

« ForrigeFortsett »