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* 'lished with great pomp the rites of the Romish
opened the meeting, called their attention im“ mediately to that point, which seemed chiefly " to merit it. Having mentioned the fatal effects ” of the religious dissensions which had arisen “ in Germany, and taken notice of his own "i unwearied endeavours to procure a general “ council, which alone could provide a remedy “ adequate to those evils; he exhorted them to
recognize its authority, and to acquiesce in * the decisions of an assembly to which they “ had originally appealed, as having the sole
right of judgment in the case *.”
But the council of Trent, to which Charles wished them to refer all their controversies, had by this time undergone a violent change. A schism had taken place in it, part of the members voting that it should be translated to Bologna, while those in the imperial interest remained at: Trent: The two factions venemently inveighed against each other; and Charles, having vainly employed all his interest to procure the return of the council to Trent, at length formally protested against that holden at Bologna,
Still however the Emperor was no less determined to silence the protestants. : Unable to
• Robertson's Hist. of Charles, V, vol. iii. p, 153, 154.
effect this by the instrumentality of a council, he caused to be prepared by his own authority a system, which should serve as a general rule of faith in Germany until a council could be convocated, and which thence acquired the appellation of the Interim. “ This system was compiled
by Pflug, Helding, and Agricola; of whom “ the two former were dignitaries in the Romish “ church, but remarkable for their pacific and
healing spirit: the last was a protestant divine, “ suspected, not without reason, of having been
gained by bribes and promises, to betray or “ mislead his party on this occasion. The ar“ ticles presented to the diet of Ratisbon in the
year 1541, in order to reconcile the contending “parties, served as a model for the present work. " But, as
the Emperor's situation was much “ changed since that time, and he found it no
longer necessary to manage the Protestants “ with the same delicacy as at that juncture, the “ concessions in their favour were not now so
numerous, nor did they extend to points of so much consequence. The treaties contained
a complete system of theology, conformable in “ almost every article to the tenets of the Romish “ church, though expressed, for the most part, in “ tlie softest words, or in scriptural phrases, or in " terms of studied ambiguity. Every doctrine “ however, peculiar to popery, was retained, " and the abservation of all the rites, which the protestants condemned, as inventions of men
“ introduced into the worship of God, was en
joined. With regard to two points only, some s relaxation in the rigour of opinion, as well as
some latitude in practice, were admitted. Such * ecclesiastics as had married, and would not put
away their wives, were allowed nevertheless to
perform all the functions of their sacred office; " and those provinces, which had been accus“ tomed to partake of the cup as well as of the “ bread in the sacrament of the Lord's supper,
were still indulged in the privilege of receiving “ both. Even these were declared to be con« cessions for the sake of peace, and granted only “ for a season in compliance with the weakness
or prejudices of their countrymen.
s. This system of doctrine the Emperor pre" sented to the diet, on the 15th of May 1548, " with a pompous declaration of his sincere in“ tention to re-establish tranquillity and order " in the church, as well as of his hopes that their
adopting these regulations would contribute greatly to bring about that desirable event. It
was read in the presence of the diet, according « to form. As soon as it was finished, the Arch" bishop of · Mentz, president of the electoral si college, rose up hastily, and, having thanked " the Emperor for his unwearied and pious en“ deavours in order to restore peace to the s church, he, in the name of the diet, signified “ their approbation of the system of doctrine to which had been read, together with their reso
" lution of conforming to it in every particular. “ The whole assembly was amazed at a declara" tion so unprecedented and unconstitutional, as s well as at the Elector's presuinption in pre“ tending to deliver the sense of the diet upon a " point which had not hitherto been the subject 5of consultation or debate. But not one member " had the courage to contradict what the Elector " had said; some being overawed by fear, others “ remaining silent through complaisance. The
Emperor held the Archbishop's declaration to be " a full constitutional ratification of the Interim, " and prepared to enforce the observance of it as
a decree of the empire *.'
That such a system could meet with the approbation of the protestants, was not to be expected; such of them therefore as refused to adopt it, were compelled by force. The great protestant princes of the empire, the Elector Palatine, the Elector of Brandenburg, and Maurice, on whom the Emperor had conferred the electorate of Saxony, yielded implicit obedience: the captive Landgrave of Hesse, eager to procure his freedom, offered not only to approve of the Interim, but to submit unreservedly to Charles in every other particular; but in the imperial cities he met with a very violent opposition. Force however soon constrained these small commonwealths to acquiesce. The Emperor's first attempt was
* Robertson's Hist, of Charles V. yol, iji, p. 163, 164, 165.
upon 6. with
upon Augsburg. Having seized the gates with his troops, he abolished the government of the city, and conferred the future administration of it upon a small number of persons, each of whom took an oath to observe the Interim.
" An act of power, so unprecedented as well as arbitrary, gave general disgust; but, 'as they durst not
venture upon resistance, they were obliged to " submit in silence. From Augsburg, in which “ he left a garrison, he proceeded to Ulm; and,
new modelling its government with the same « violent hand, he seized such of their pastors as · * refused to subscribe the Interim, committed " them to prison, and at his departure carried " them along with him in chains. By this se
verity he not only secured the reception of " the Interim in two of the most powerful cities, “ but gave warning to the rest what such as “ continued refractory had to expect.
The “ effect of the example was as great as he could “ have wished; and many towns, in order to
save themselves from the like treatment, found " it necessary to comply with what he enjoined. “ Thisobedience, extorted by the rigour of
authority, produced no change in the senti
ments of the Germans, and extended no far$ther than to make them conform so far to " what he required, as was barely sufficient to
screen them from punishment. The protestant " preachers accompanied those religious rites, the observation of which the Interim prescribed,