History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, Volume 2

Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné (1794 - 1872)
Translated by Henry Beveridge (1837 - 1929)

The History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, by Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné, is a classic work on the great events that re-opened the Christian gospel to a needy world. The author was a Swiss Protestant pastor. He was also a historian with a great understanding of the Bible, along with a broad and deep knowledge of the Reformation.

D’Aubigné tells the story of outstanding people who had a love for God and his word, and who dared to present biblical truths which had been obscured for centuries. The book has helped and encouraged Christians through difficult times, and given them an understanding of the background from which our freedom in the faith has come.

This great work is made up of five volumes. The first volume covered the early days, including the call of Martin Luther – first, from Erfurt University with the prospect of becoming a well-paid lawyer, to become a poor monk. And then, from an obscure monastery, his call to centre stage in world history. One day, while studying in the university library, he had taken down from the shelf a volume that caught his interest. It was a Bible! He was astonished to find in this volume so much more than the fragments of gospels and epistles that were selected for public reading in churches. And it was this discovery, in a dusty university library, of a complete copy of the inspired book from which those readings came, that changed the course of history.

Luther’s story continues in Volume 2, in which we are also introduced to the Swiss reformer, Zwingli. Volume 2 comprises four books which are: Book 5 – The Discussion of Leipsic, 1519; Book 6 – The Bull of Rome, 1520; Book 7 – The Diet of Worms, 1521 (January - May); Book 8 – The Swiss (1484-1522).Summary by Christopher Smith.

Genre(s): Early Modern, Christianity - Other

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Book 5: Discussion of Leipsic, 1519: Chapter 1: Luther’s Dangers—God saves Luther—The Pope sends a Chamberlain—The Legate’s Journey—Briefs of Rome—Circumstances favourable to the Reformation—Miltitz with Spalatin—Tezel’s Terror—Caresses of Miltitz—A Recantation demanded—Luther refuses, but offers to be silent—Agreement between Luther and the Nuncio—The Legate’s Embrace—Tezel overwhelmed by the Legate—Luther to the Pope—Nature of the Reformation—Luther against Separation—De Vio and Miltitz at Trèves—Luther’s cause extends in different countries—Luther’s writings the commencement of the Reformation. Christopher Smith
Play 02 Book 5: Chapter 2: The War seems ended in Germany—Eck Revives the Contest—Debate between Eck and Carlstadt—The Question of the Pope—Luther Replies—Alarm of Luther’s Friends—Luther’s courage—Truth triumphs single-handed—Refusal of Duke George—Delight of Mosellanus and Fears of Erasmus Christopher Smith
Play 03 Book 5: Chapter 3: Arrival of Eck and the Wittembergers—Amsdorf—The Students—Carlstadt’s accident—Placard—Eck and Luther—Pleissenburg—Shall Judges be appointed?—Luther objects Christopher Smith
Play 04 Book 5: Chapter 4: The Procession—Mass—Mosellanus—Veni, Sancte Spiritus!—Portraits of Luther and Carlstadt—Doctor Eck—Carlstadt’s Books—Merit of Congruity—Natural Powers—Scholastic distinction—Point where Rome and the Reformation separate—Grace gives man freedom—Carlstadt’s Note-Book—Commotion in the auditory—Melancthon during the debate—Manœuvres of Eck—Luther Preaches—The Citizens of Leipsic—Quarrels of Students and quarrels of Teachers Christopher Smith
Play 05 Book 5: Chapter 5: Hierarchy and Rationalism—Two Peasants’ Sons—Eck and Luther begin—The head of the Church—The primacy of Rome—Equality of Bishops—Peter the Foundation—Christ the Foundation—Eck insinuates that Luther is a Hussite—Luther on the doctrine of Huss—Agitation in the audience—Pleasantry of Dr. Eck—The Word alone—The Court Fool—Luther at Mass—Saying of the Duke—Purgatory—Close of the Discussion Christopher Smith
Play 06 Book 5: Chapter 6: Interest felt by the Laity—Luther’s Opinion—Admissions and Boastings of Dr. Eck—Effects of the Discussion—Poliander—Cellarius—The Young Prince of Anhalt—The Students of Leipsic—Cruciger—Calling of Melancthon—Emancipation of Luther Christopher Smith
Play 07 Book 5: Chapter 7: Eck attacks Melancthon—Melancthon’s defence—Interpretation of Scripture—Luther’s firmness—The Bohemian Brethren—Emser—Staupitz Christopher Smith
Play 08 Book 5: Chapter 8: Epistle to the Galatians—Christ for us—Blindness of Luther’s Adversaries—First Ideas on the Supper—Is the Sacrament Sufficient without Faith?—Luther a Bohemian—Eck attacked—Eck sets out for Rome Christopher Smith
Play 09 Book 6: The Bull of Rome, 1520: Chapter 1: Character of Maximilian—The Competitors for the Empire—Charles—Francis I—Inclination of the Germans—The Crown offered to Frederick—Charles is Elected Christopher Smith
Play 10 Book 6: Chapter 2: Luther writes to the Emperor—Luther’s dangers—Instructions of Frederick to the court of Rome—Luther’s sentiments—Melancthon’s fears—The German nobles favourable to the Reformation—Schaumburg—Seckingen—Ulric de Hütten—Luther’s Confidence—Luther’s Greater Freedom—Faith the source of Works—What Faith gives—Luther judging his own writings Christopher Smith
Play 11 Book 6: Chapter 3: The Papacy Attacked—Appeal to the Nobility—The Three Walls—All Christians are Priests—The Magistrate’s duty to Correct the Clergy—Abuses of Rome—Ruin of Italy—Dangers of Germany—The Pope—The Legates—The Monks—The Marriage of Priests—Celibacy—Festivals—The Bohemians—Charity—The Universities—The Empire—The Emperor must retake Rome—A Book not Published—Luther’s Modesty—Success of the Address Christopher Smith
Play 12 Book 6: Chapter 4: Preparations at Rome—Motives to resist the Papacy—Eck at Rome—Eck gains the Day—The Pope is the World—God produces the Separation—A Swiss Priest pleads for Luther—The Roman Consistory—Preamble of the Bull—Condemnation of Luther Christopher Smith
Play 13 Book 6: Chapter 5: Wittemberg—Melancthon—His Marriage—Catharine—Domestic Life—Beneficence—Good Humour—Christ and Antiquity—Labour—Love of Letters—His Mother—Outbreak among the Students Christopher Smith
Play 14 Book 6: Chapter 6: The Gospel in Italy—Discourse on the Mass—The Babylonish Captivity of the Church—Baptism—Abolition of Vows—Progress of the Reformation Christopher Smith
Play 15 Book 6: Chapter 7: New Negotiations—Miltitz and the Augustins of Eisleben—Deputation to Luther—Miltitz and the Elector—Conference at Lichtemberg—Luther’s Letter to the Pope—Book Presented to the Pope—Union of the Believer with Christ—Freedom and Bondage Christopher Smith
Play 16 Book 6: Chapter 8: The Bull in Germany—Eck’s Reception—The Bull at Wittemberg—Interposition of Zuinglius Christopher Smith
Play 17 Book 6: Chapter 9: Luther Examines himself in the presence of God—Luther’s opinion of the Bull—A neutral Family—Luther on the Bull, and against the Bull of Antichrist—The Pope prohibits Faith—Effects of the Bull—The faggot pile of Louvain Christopher Smith
Play 18 Book 6: Chapter 10: Decisive steps by the Reformer—Luther’s Appeal to a General Council—Struggle at close quarters—The Bull burned by Luther—Meaning of this bold act—Luther in the Academic Chair—Luther against the Pope—New Work by Melancthon—How Luther encourages his Friends—Progress of the Contest—Melancthon’s Opinion of the timid—Luther’s Work on the Bible—Doctrine of Grace—Luther’s Recantation Christopher Smith
Play 19 Book 6: Chapter 11: Coronation of Charles V.—The Nuncio Aleander—Will Luther’s Books be burnt?—Aleander and the Emperor—The Nuncios and the Elector—The Son of Duke John pleads for Luther—Luther’s calmness—The Elector protects Luther—Reply of the Nuncios—Erasmus at Cologne—Erasmus with the Elector—Declaration of Erasmus—Advice of Erasmus—System of Charles V Christopher Smith
Play 20 Book 6: Chapter 12: Luther on Confession—True absolution—Antichrist—Rally around Luther—Satires—Ulrie von Hütten—Lucas Cranach—The Carnival at Wittemberg—Staupitz intimidated—Luther’s Labours—Luther’s Humility—Progress of the Reformation Christopher Smith
Play 21 Book 7: The Diet of Worms, 1521 (January - May): Chapter 1: Conquests by the Word of God—The Diet of Worms—Difficulties—Charles demands Luther—The Elector to Charles—State of Men’s minds—Aleander’s Alarm—The Elector sets out without Luther—Aleander awakens Rome—Excommunication of the Pope, and Communion with Christ—Fulmination of the Bull—Luther’s motives in the Reformation Christopher Smith
Play 22 Book 7: Chapter 2: A Foreign Prince—Advice of Politicians—Conference between the Confessor and the Elector’s Chancellor—Uselessness of these Manœuvres—Aleander’s activity—Luther’s Sayings—Charles gives in to the Pope Christopher Smith
Play 23 Book 7: Chapter 3: Aleander admitted to the Diet—Aleander’s Address—Luther accused—Rome defended—Appeal to Charles against Luther—Effect of the Nuncio’s Address Christopher Smith
Play 24 Book 7: Chapter 4: Sentiments of the Princes—Speech of Duke George—Character of the Reformation—A hundred and one grievances—Charles yields—Tactics of Aleander—The Grandees of Spain—Luther’s peace—Death and not Retractation Christopher Smith
Play 25 Book 7: Chapter 5: Will a Safe-conduct be given?—Safe-conduct—Will Luther go?—Holy Thursday at Rome—The Pope and Luther Christopher Smith
Play 26 Book 7: Chapter 6: Luther’s courage—Bugenhagen at Wittemberg—Persecutions in Pomerania—Melancthon wishes to set out with Luther—Amsdorff—Schurff—Suaven—Hütten to Charles V Christopher Smith
Play 27 Book 7: Chapter 7: Departure for the Diet of Worms—Luther’s Adieu—His Condemnation Published—Cavalcade near Erfurt—Meeting of Jonas and Luther—Luther in his old Convent Luther Preaches at Erfurt—Incident—Faith and Works—Concourse of People—Luther’s Courage—Luther to Spalatin—Halt at Frankfort—Fears at Worms—Plan of the Imperialists—Luther’s Firmness Christopher Smith
Play 28 Book 7: Chapter 8: Entry into Worms—Chant for the Dead—Council held by Charles V—Capito and the Temporisers—Coneourse around Luther—Citation—Hütten to Luther—Proceeds to the Diet—Saying of Freundsberg—Imposing Assembly—The Chancellor’s Address—Luther’s Reply—His Wisdom—Saying of Charles V—Alarm—Triumph—Luther’s Firmness—Insults from the Spaniards—Council—Luther’s Trouble and Prayer—Might of the Reformation—Luther’s Oath to Scripture—The Court of the Diet—Luther’s Address—Three kinds of Writings—He demands Proof of his Error—Solemn Warnings—He repeats his Address in Latin—Here I am: I can’t do otherwise—The ''weakness'' of God—New Attempt Christopher Smith
Play 29 Book 7: Chapter 9: Victory—Tumult and calm—Duke Erick’s Glass of Beer—The Elector and Spalatin—Message from the Emperor—Wish to violate the Safe-conduct—Strong opposition—Enthusiasm for Luther—Voice for Conciliation—The Elector’s Fear—Assemblage at Luther’s Lodging—Philip of Hesse Christopher Smith
Play 30 Book 7: Chapter 10: Conference with the Archbishop of Trêves—Wehe’s advice to Luther—Luther’s Replies—Private Conversation—Visit of Cochlœus—Supper at the Archbishop’s—Attempt on the Hôtel of Rhodes—A Council proposed—Last interview between Luther and the Archbishop—Visit to a sick friend—Luther ordered to quit Worms Christopher Smith
Play 31 Book 7: Chapter 11: Luther’s Departure—Journey from Worms—Luther to Cranach—Luther to Charles V—Luther with the Abbot of Hirschfeld—The Curate of Eisenach—Several Princes leave the Diet—Charles signs Luther’s Condemnation—The Edict of Worms—Luther with his parents—Luther attacked and carried off—The ways of God—Wartburg—Luther a Prisoner Christopher Smith
Play 32 Book 8: The Swiss, 1484-1522: Chapter 1: Movements in Switzerland—Source of the Reformation—Democratic Character—Foreign Service—Morality—The Tockenburg—An Alpine Hut—A Pastoral Family Christopher Smith
Play 33 Book 8: Chapter 2: Young Ulric at Wesen—At Bâle—At Berne—The Dominican Convent—Jetzer—The Apparitions—The Passion of the Lay Brother—The Imposture—Discovery and Punishment—Zuinglius at Vienna—At Bâle—Music at Bâle—Wittembach teaches the Gospel—Leon Juda—The Curate of Glaris Christopher Smith
Play 34 Book 8: Chapter 3: Love of War—Schinner—Pension from the Pope—The Labyrinth—Zuinglius in Italy—Principle of Reform—Zuinglius and Luther—Zuinglius and Erasmus—Zuinglius and the Elders—Paris and Glaris Christopher Smith
Play 35 Book 8: Chapter 4: Zuinglius in regard to Erasmus—Oswald Myconius—The Vagrants—Œcolampadius—Zuinglius at Marignan—Zuinglius and Italy—Method of Zuinglius—Commencement of Reform—Discovery Christopher Smith
Play 36 Book 8: Chapter 5: Meinrad of Hohenzollern—Our Lady of Einsidlen—Calling of Zuinglius—The Abbot—Geroldsek—Companionship in Study—The Bible copied—Zuinglius and Superstition—First Opposition to Error—Sensation—Hedio—Zuinglius and the Legates—The Honours of Rome—The Bishop of Constance—Samson and Indulgences—Stapfer—Charity of Zuinglius—His Friends Christopher Smith
Play 37 Book 8: Chapter 6: Zurich—The College of Canons—Election to the Cathedral—Fable—Accusations—Confession of Zuinglius—The Designs of God Unfolded—Farewell to Einsidlen—Arrival at Zurich—Courageous Declaration of Zuinglius—First Sermons—Effects—Opposition—Character of Zuinglius—Taste for Music—Arrangement of the Day—Circulation by Hawkers Christopher Smith
Play 38 Book 8: Chapter 7: Indulgences—Samson at Berne—Samson at Baden—The Dean of Bremgarten—Young Henry Bullinger—Samson and the Dean—Internal struggles of Zuinglius—Zuinglius against Indulgences—Samson dismissed Christopher Smith
Play 39 Book 8: Chapter 8: The Labours of Zuinglius—The Baths of Pfeffers—God’s time—The Great Death—Zuinglius seized with the Plague—His Enemies—His Friends—Convalescence—General Joy—Effect of the Plague—Myconius at Lucerne—Oswald encourages Zuinglius—Zuinglius at Bâle—Capito called to Mentz—Hedio at Bâle—An Unnatural Son—Preparation for Battle Christopher Smith
Play 40 Book 8: Chapter 9: The Two Reformers—The Fall of Man—Expiation of the God-Man—No merit in Works—Objections refuted—Power of Love to Christ—Election—Christ alone Master—Effects of this Preaching—Despondency and Courage—First Act of the Magistrate—Church and State—Attacks—Galster Christopher Smith
Play 41 Book 8: Chapter 10: A new Combatant—The Reformer of Berne—Zuinglius encourages Haller—The Gospel at Lucerne—Oswald Persecuted—Preaching of Zuinglius—Henry Bullinger and Gerold of Knonan—Rubli at Bâle—The Chaplain of the Hospital—War in Italy—Zuinglius against Foreign Service Christopher Smith
Play 42 Book 8: Chapter 11: Zuinglius against the Precepts of Man—Fermentation during Lent—Truth advances during Combat—The Deputies of the Bishops—Accusation before the Clergy and Council—Appeal to the Great Council—The Coadjutor and Zuinglius—Decree of the Grand Council—State of Matters—Attack by Hoffman Christopher Smith
Play 43 Book 8: Chapter 12: Grief and Joy in Germany—Ambush against Zuinglius—Mandate of the Bishop—Archeteles—The Bishop addresses the Diet—Prohibition to attack the Monks—Declaration of Zuinglius—The Nuns of Œtenbach—Zuinglius’ address to Schwitz Christopher Smith
Play 44 Book 8: Chapter 13: A French monk—He teaches in Switzerland—Dispute between the Monk and Zuinglius—Discourse of the Leader of the Johannites—The Carnival at Berne—The Eaters of the Dead—The Skull of St. Anne—Appenzel—The Grisons—Murder and Adultery—Marriage of Zuinglius Christopher Smith
Play 45 Book 8: Chapter 14: How Truth triumphs—Society at Einsidlen—Request to the Bishops—to the Confederates—The Men of Einsidlen separate—A Scene in a Convent—A Dinner by Myconius—The Strength of the Reformers—Effect of the Petitions to Lucerne—The Council of the Diet—Haller at the Town-House—Friburg—Destitution of Oswald—Zuinglius comforts him—Oswald quits Lucerne—First severity of the Diet—Consternation of the Brothers of Zuinglius—His Resolution—The Future—The Prayer of Zuinglius Christopher Smith