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liberty, but that he aimed only at vindicating "his own authority, and repressing the insolence "of such as had encroached upon it. With this "view, he wrote circular letters, in the same strain "with his answer to the deputies at Ratisbon, "to most of the free cities, and to several of the
princes who had embraced the protestant doc"trines. In these he complained loudly, but in general terms, of the contempt into which the imperial dignity had fallen, and of the presumptuous as well as disorderly behaviour of some members of the empire. He declared "that he took arms, not in a religious, but in a
civil quarrel; not to oppress any who continued "to behave as quiet and dutiful subjects, but to "humble the arrogance of such as had thrown "off all sense of that subordination in which
they were placed under him as head of the Germanic body*." And, after the dissolution of the confederacy, previous to his attacking the Elector of Saxony, he still adhered to the same policy. Though the protestant states and princes were constrained to implore mercy in the humble posture of supplicants, were subjected to heavy. fines, were obliged to renounce the league of Smalcalde, and were compelled to give up their artillery to the Emperor, and to admit garrisons into their principal cities; yet," amidst the great variety of articles dictated by Charles on this
* Robertson's Hist. of Charles V. vol. iii. p. 73, 74.
"occasion, he, in conformity to his original plan, "took care that nothing relating to religion "should be inserted*.
But when the two heads of the protestants, the Elector and the Landgrave, were become his prisoners, it was not long ere he threw off the mask. He began by holding a diet at Augsburg, "in order to compose finally the controversies "with regard to religion, which had so long dis"turbed the empire. He durst not however "trust the determination of a matter so interest"ing to the free suffrage of the Germans, broken as their minds now were to subjection. He "entered the city at the head of his Spanish troops, and assigned them quarters there. The "rest of his soldiers he cantoned in the adjacent
villages; so that the members of the diet, while
they carried on their deliberations, were sur"rounded by the same army which had over"come their countrymen. Immediately after "his public entry, Charles gave a proof of the "violence with which he intended to proceed. "He took possession by force of the cathedral,
together with one of the principal churches; "and his priests, having by various ceremonies purified them from the pollution with which they supposed the unhallowed ministrations of "the protestants to have defiled them, re-estab
* Robertson's Hist. of Charles V. vol. iii. p. 102.
"lished with great pomp the rites of the Romish "worship.
"The Emperor, in the speech with which he
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 "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 vehemently 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 "the softest words, or in scriptural phrases, or in "terms of studied ambiguity. Every doctrine " however, peculiar to popery, was retained; " and the observation of all the rites, which the "protestants condemned, as inventions of men "introduced
"introduced into the worship of God, was enI joined. With regard to two points only, some "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.
"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, aceording to form. As soon as it was finished, the Archbishop of Mentz, president of the electoral college, rose up hastily, and, having thanked "the Emperor for his unwearied and pious en
deavours in order to restore peace to the "church, he, in the name of the diet, signified "their appobation of the system of doctrine "which had been read, together with their reso