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plish it. The open book was the great instrument of the godlike work.—But thunders soon began to utter their voices, and to roll successively over Christendom.-And in tracing their progress we have simply to follow history in its course, to hear the reverberation of the thunders, as well as the echo of the trumpets.
The sudden surprise of the emperor Charles V. by Maurice of Saxony, at Inspruck, led to the pacification of Passau, in 1555, without the intervention of a bloody and unseemly war. The protestants have been charged by historians with improvident forbearance, when they might have timely assaulted and defeated the army of the emperor: but the love of peace prevailed over the desire of vengeance. And the Reformation was consolidated; the free exercise of their religion was recognised and secured ; and the religious peace, as it is commonly denominated, was established, without actually engaging in a murderous warfare, or imbruing their hands in the blood of their enemies. The Reformation was as the descent of a mighty angel from heaven-and it was altogether of another character and kind from the earthly commotions that had preceded it. The angel cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth ; but it was only WHEN he had cried-when the Reformation had first been established—that the seven thunders uttered their voices.
The pacification of Passau had not lasted long, when it was suddenly interrupted as with the voice of thunder.
“ Philip II. king of Spain, apprehending the danger to which the religion of Rome was exposed from that spirit of liberty and independence which reigned in the Low Countries, took the most violent measures to dispel it. For this purpose he augmented the number of the bishops, enacted the most severe and barbarous laws against the innovators in religion, and erected that unjust and inhuman tribunal of the Inquisition, which would intimidate and tame, as he thought, the manly spirit of an oppressed and persecuted people. But his measures, in this respect, were as unsuccessful as they were absurd ; his furious and intemperate zeal for the superstitions of Rome accelerated their destruction, and the papal authority, which had only been in a critical state, was reduced to a desperate one by the very steps that were designed to support it. The nobility formed themselves into an association, in the year 1566, with a view to procure the repeal of these tyrannical and barbarous edicts; but, their solicitations and request being treated with contempt, they resolved to obtain by force what they hoped to have gained by clemency and justice. They addressed themselves to a free and an abused people, spurned the authority of a cruel yoke, and with an impetuosity and vehemence that was perhaps excessive, trampled upon whatever was held sacred or respectable by the church of Rome. To quell these tumults a powerful army was sent from Spain under the command of the duke of Alva, whose horrid barbarity and sanguinary proceedings kindled that LONG AND BLOODY WAR from which the powerful republic of the United Provinces derives its origin, consistence and grandeur. It was the heroic conduct of William of Nassau, prince of Orange, seconded by the succours of England and France, that delivered this state from the Spanish yoke. And no sooner was this deliverance obtained, than the reformed religion, as it was professed in Switzerland, was established in the United Provinces : and, at the same time a universal toleration granted to those whose religious sentiments were of a different nature, whether they retained the faith of Rome, or embraced the Reformation in another form, provided still that they made no attempts against the authority of the government or the tranquillity of the public."
In 1569 hostilities commenced between the armies of Spain and the protestants of Holland and Zealand. Such was the barbarity of the Spaniards, that the desperate but unavailing defence of Haarlem was followed by the execution of two thousand of the inhabitants; and the duke of Alva boasted that, “ during the course of five years, he had delivered above eighteen thousand rebellious heretics into the hands of the
* Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. cent. xvi. chap. iv. 89.
executioner." But the most atrocious ferocity was met with the most desperate resolution. And siege ensued after siege, and battle followed after battle, till Spain was wearied with the contest, though the Dutch seemed repeatedly devoted to destruction. The Union of Utrecht in 1579, first constituted them as a nation. The alliance and aid of England revived their hopes, and divided the forces of their enemies ; and, the wrathful Philip having threatened England with invasion, the peals of the first thunder, were heard in the harbours of Spain
; and the defeat and dispersion of the Armada in 1588, ranked proudly, in human estimation, among the , first of the bloody triumphs of Protestanism. It was not till 1606, that Holland was acknowledged as a free and independent state ; and from its first rise, the thunder could not be said to cease, but with a suspension of hostilities and a truce of twelve years first entered into in the year 1607.
But the first thunder, at the same time and from the same cause, as well as in direct affinity, rolled over France with equal violence as over Holland. Under their respective leaders the prince of Condé and the duke of Guise, the Hugenots (protestants) and Catholics came to open conflict.
Animosity ran high between the parties. The attendants of the duke of Guise insulted some protestants at their worship, and sixty of the latter were slain. The protestants all over France took arms; fourteen armies were levied in different parts of the kingdom. The conflict was carried on with the most extreme virulence.- A holy league was formed between the courts of France and Spain: the glory of God was to be promoted, heresy in the dominions of both extirpated.— In the massacre of St. Bartholomew (August 24, 1572) no rank or age was spared ; five hundred gentlemen, and ten thousand inferior persons, perished in Paris alone, and a like carnage took place in all the great towns of the
* Hume's Hist. of England, chap. 40.
kingdom.-It is computed that 60,000* persons were massacred.—At Rome and Spain the account was received with ecstasy, and public thanks returned to heaven.t
The civil and religious war in France was carried on with the most barbarous atrocity, and, according to the impartial record of Mosheim, the “contending parties committed such deeds as are yet, and always will be, remembered with horror." These dreadful commotions were at length calmed in the year 1598;
at which period liberty of conscience, full toleration, and the enjoyment of all civil rights and privileges, were secured to the protestants by the celebrated edict of Nantz, passed by Henry IV., who, although he gave up his faith for a kingdom, maintained the rights which he conferred on the protestants. The memorable thirty years war,"
war," formed throughout Europe another thunder, or continued season of warfare, from 1618 to 1648, and was terminated by the celebrated treaty of Westphalia. During this period the war was renewed between Spain and Holland, and was carried on as before with unrelenting barbarity, and unyielding persever
At the commencement of the same period, or rather in the following year 1619, the Bohemians having elected a protestant king, incurred the wrath of the emperor, and the Austrians and Bavarians ravaged their territories with the most unrelenting and rapacious barbarity. But some of the protestant princes of Germany “ confederated” anew; and, aided by the king of Denmark, withstood both the papal and imperial power.
In 1629, “ the emperor Frederick II. issued the terrible restitution-edict, by which the protestants were ordered to restore to the church of Rome all the possessions they had become masters of in consequence of the religious peace, con
* Sully estimates the number at 70,000. + Outlines of Hist. pp. 341, 343.
cluded in the preceding century.”
The thunder extended over inland Europe. Contests for the faith became scenes of carnage, when the long-suffering and righteous strife of principle, in which the primitive Christians were ready to die but not prepared to slay, and could learn to look on no blood but their own, was contaminated by the unholy union of a strife for property, in the defence of which an arm of flesh was lifted up to kill : and heroes of another order took the field in the cause of the Reformation, than those who fought its first and most glorious battles, with no other weapon than the sword of the Spirit ; and who, like the mighty angel that then had come down from heaven, held nothing but the little open book in their hands. Gustavus Adolphus, the king of Sweden, clad in human armour, and at the head of his armies, became the hero of the Reformation, and maintained its cause, linked as then it was to worldly politics, on many a bloody plain, till he fell in the battle of Lutzan in 1632,) more like warrior than a martyr.
Yet battle followed after battle, like peal after peal, till the second thunder ceased ; the peace of Europe was at last restored in 1648 by the famous treaty of Westphalia, by which the rights of protestantism were defined and established on a sure and
“ After a war of thirty years, carried on with the most unrelenting animosity and ardour, the wounds of Germany were closed, and the drooping states of Europe were revived by the peace of Westphalia, so called from the cities of Munster and Osnaburg, where the negotiations were held, and that famous treaty concluded. The Protestants obtained from this peace privileges and advantages which the votaries of Rome beheld with much displeasure and uneasiness; and it is unquestionably evident that the treaty of Westphalia gave a new and remarkable degree of stability to the Lutheran and reformed churches in Germany. By this treaty the peace of Augsburg, which the Lutherans had obtained