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instructed to confine himself to one point, viz. the place where the council should be held; for the Pope judged that if the Protestants would allow him the right to summon the meeting, and the choice of time and place, every thing else would be easily settled. Vergerio met the Protestant princes at Smalcald, but they refused to accept his proposals, and declared that they would not submit to any council unless it were free, and held in Germany.

The bull for the convocation of the council was issued in June 1536, and May 23, in the following year was appointed for the meeting of the assembly; the place was Mantua.2 6 Nuncios were despatched to the European courts with the intelligence. Vorstius, who was sent to the German Protestant princes, was specially enjoined to avoid all disputations with the heretics; such proceedings were found to be dangerous. The princes were again assembled at Smalcald, and they again rejected the council for the same reasons as before. 27 The Pope was further mortified by the refusal of the Duke of Mantua to receive the assembly in his city, unless an extra garrison were sent, to be placed absolutely under his control, and supported by his Holiness. In consequence, the council was prorogued till Nov. 1, and afterwards till May 1, 1538, on which day the prelates were summoned to meet at Vicenza, a city in the Venetian territories. 2 8 Three legates were deputed to preside in the name of the Pope, the Cardinals Campeggio, Simonetta, and Aleander. They repaired to Vicenza at the time appointed, but not a single bishop appeared; for the Emperor and the King of France were at war, and travelling was unsafe. Consequently, the council was prorogued till the following Easter, and afterwards during the good pleasure of the Pope,29 who it may be supposed, was heartily glad of an opportunity to postpone to an indefinite period a meeting which the pontiffs seemed to hold in utmost dread.

It was probably with a wish to prevent the council entirely that Paul appointed a commission, consisting of

ter to Protestantism, is given by Mr. Scott in his Continuation of Milner's History, vol. i. p. 407-415, 452-457.

26 Le Plat, ii. 526.
28 Ibid. 588-591.

27 Ibid. 575-584.
29 Ibid. 630-632.

four cardinals and five bishops, to examine all abuses and ascertain where reform was most needed. Their report, which proved a most important document, by some means got abroad, and was immediately printed and widely circulated in Germany, where it greatly aided the reformation. It presented a deplorable view of the corruptions and vices of the Papal court. 30

During the next three years the Roman Catholics and Protestants were busily employed in supporting their respective interests. Attempts were made from time to time to reconcile the contending parties, especially at the diets of Haguenau and Ratisbon;31 but the breach was too wide to be healed. The Roman Catholics, with the emperor at their head, saw no remedy but a council. The Protestants only desired to be let alone, and uniformly refused to submit to the decrees of an assembly convened by the Pope, managed by his agents, and held in his dominions. But the wishes of the more powerful party prevailed; at the diet of Spire, held early in 1542, it was agreed that the council should be holden in the city of Trent. A bull was issued, summoning the prelates of Christendom to meet in that place on the first of November.

30 Le Plat, ii. 596-605. Preservative against Popery, vol. i p. 79-84. "The reformation proposed in this place was indeed extremely superficial and partial: yet it contains some particulars which scarcely could have been expected from the pens of those that composed it. They complained, for instance, of the pride and ignorance of the bishops, and proposed that, none should receive orders but learned and pious men; and that. therefore, care should be taken to have proper masters to instruct the youth. They condemned translations from one benefice to another, grants of reservation, non-residence, and pluralities. They proposed that some convents should be abolished; that the liberty of the press should be restrained and limited; that the colloquies of Erasmus should be suppressed; that no ecclesiastic should enjoy a benefice out of his own country; that no cardinal should have a bishopric; that the questors of St. Anthony, and several other saints, should be abolished; and, which was the best of all their proposals, that the effects and personal estates of ecclesiasties should be given to the poor. They concluded with complaining of the prodigious number of indigent and ragged priests that frequented St. Peter's church; and declared that it was a great scandal to see the whores lodged so magnificently at Rome, and riding through the streets on fine mules, while the cardinals and other ecclesiastics accompanied them in a most courteous and familiar manner."-Mosheim, cent. xvi. sect. 1. 31 A. D. 1540, 1541. Le Plat, iik 1—127.

Three legates were appointed to preside in the coun⚫ cil, in the name of the Pope, cardinals Parasi, Moron, and Pole; the first, observes father Paul, because he was a skilful canonist; the second, because he was a good politician, and well acquainted with business; and the third, that it might appear that England, though separated from Rome, had a share in the transactions of the assembly.32 They were instructed to signify their arrival to the sovereigns of Europe, to avoid disputes with the heretics, to do nothing till a sufficient number of prelates had arrived from Italy, Germany, France, and Spain, and even then to wait for further orders from the Pope.

The time chosen was extremely inopportune, as the emperor and the King of France were then at war. Till peace was restored, there could be no hope of a prosperous issue. Nevertheless, some Italian bishops were directed by the Pope to proceed to Trent, and the emperor sent three ambassadors and a few Neapolitan prelates; but the Germans, French, and Spaniards were prevented from leaving home on account of the war, and without them the council could not be held. Consequently, after the legates had waited eight months in vain, they were recalled, and the council suspended during the good pleasure of the Roman Pontiff 33

At a diet held at Spire in 1544, the affairs of religion were again seriously discussed. The emperor so much needed the assistance of the Protestants in his wars that he was glad to court them by compliances which in his more prosperous days he would have disdained. The Papal legate was prohibited from attending the diet, and it was enacted that the penal statutes should be suspended till a general or national council had been held. Meanwhile, Protestants and Roman Catholics were exhorted to live in peace, and some civil privileges. were bestowed on the former, of which their presumed heresy had deprived them. 34

Nothing could exceed the grief and anger of the Pope on this occasion. That any thing like equality of rights should be granted to heretics, and that a German diet

32 Lib. i. sect. 69.

33 Le Plat, iii. 195-200. 34 Pallav. lib. v. c. 5. sect. 3.

should dare to legislate in religious matters without the concurrence of the Head of the Church, were intolerable offences. In a long and indignant epistle his Holiness reproached the emperor for his conduct. He complained that laymen and even heretics had been permitted to meddle with spiritual things, the exclusive province of the priesthood; and that in referring their disputes and grievances to a council they had not even mentione·l the successor of St. Peter, to whom only the right of convening such an assembly belonged. It resembled the sins of Uzzah, Dathan, Abiram, Korah, and Uzziah. The judgments of God would fall upon him, unless he revoked the decree. By such conduct he had not only endangered the peace and unity of the church, but also exposed his own soul's salvation to imminent peril! 35 The emperor sent him a calm and dignified reply.

In the autumn of the same year, peace was concluded between the emperor and the King of France. They engaged, among other things, to co-operate in the defence of the Roman Catholic religion, to further, by all the means in their power, the reformation of manners in the church, and to procure the convocation of a general council, which might now be safely convened. The Pope did not wait for their interference, but issued a bull in November, summoning the princes and prelates of Europe to meet at Trent, March 15, 1545.36

35 Le Plat, iii. 237-247. "Thus but little reliance can be placed on the conscience or the promises of princes, although they are not otherwise wanting in honesty and piety; if they would only assume as the rule of their policy the great command of Jesus Christ, which ordains that we should seek above all, the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; without which, all human wisdom is but folly before God, and must be attended with unhappy consequences.' In Seckendorf Hist. lib. iii. sect. 28. It is easy to conceive what the Jesuit meant by "the kingdom of God and his righteousness!"

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35 Le Plat, iii. 255-259,

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Description of Trent-Progress of the Reformation-State of parties-Character of the Legates-Intentions of the Emperor-Fears of the Pope--OPENING OF THE COUNCIL-Bishop of Bitonto's Sermon-Measures taken by the Pope to manage the CouncilVarious disputes-SECOND SESSION-Exhortation of the Legates -Discussions on the method of procedure-The plan adoptedTHIRD SESSION-The Creed recited-Marks of the Church enumerated-Infallibility-Exclusive salvation.

TRENT is a city of the Tyrol, on the confines of Germany and Italy, 67 miles from Venice and about 250 from Rome. It is situated in a fertile and pleasant plain, almost surrounded by the Alps. The river Adige washes its walls, and thence flows swiftly onwards to the Adriatic. The city is now in the state of Venice, and is subject to Austria. In the sixteenth century it was in the dominions of the King of the Romans, of whom it was held by the cardinal of Trent. Though not within the Papal territories, it was so near that the Italian bishops, by whose efforts the Pope expected to preserve his authority and prevent reform, could reach it without much expense or trouble; and the distance from Rome was not so great as to hinder that communication between his Holiness and the legates by which he purposed to ensure the management of all the proceedings of the council.

When Luther first appealed to a general council he stood almost alone and unsupported; but at the time of the opening of that assembly, the cause of Protestantism had already triumphed extensively in Europe, and was daily advancing. Among its adherents were numbered the Kings of Great Britain, Sweden, and Denmark, a large proportion of the princes and states of Germany, and many of the most eminent men of the age, both for learning and piety. The progress of reli

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