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A History of the Reformation (Vol. 1 of 2)

He noticed the swarthy Jewish looking face of Aleander


sure of the justice of thy

cause, then forward in the name of God, and be of good courage: God will not forsake thee." From out the crowd, "here and there and from every corner, came voices saying, 'Play the man! Fear not death; it can but slay the body: there is a life beyond.' "(225) They went up the stair and entered the audience hall, which was crammed. While the marshal and the herald forced a way for Luther, he passed an old acquaintance, the deputy from Augsburg. "Ah, Doctor Peutinger," said Luther, "are you here too?"(226) Then he was led to where he was to stand before the Emperor; and these two lifelong opponents saw each other for the first time. "The fool entered smiling," says Aleander (perhaps the lingering of the smile with which he had just greeted Dr. Peutinger): "he looked slowly round, and his face sobered." "When he faced the Emperor," Aleander goes on to say, "he could not hold his head still, but moved it up and down and from side to side."(227) All eyes were fixed on Luther, and many an account was written describing his appearance. "A man of middle height," says an unsigned Spanish paper preserved in the British Museum, "with a strong face, a sturdy build of body, with eyes that scintillated and were never still. He was clad in the robe of the Augustinian Order, but with a belt of hide, with a large tonsure, newly shaven, and a coronal of short thick hair."(228) All noticed his gleaming eyes; and it was remarked that when his glance fell on an Italian, the man moved uneasily in his
seat, as if "the evil eye was upon him." Meanwhile, in the seconds before the silence was broken, Luther was making _his_ observations. He noticed the swarthy Jewish-looking face of Aleander, with its gleam of hateful triumph. "So the Jews must have looked at Christ," he thought.(229) He saw the young Emperor, and near him the papal nuncios and the great ecclesiastics of the Empire. A wave of pity passed through him as he looked. "He seemed to me," he said, "like some poor lamb among swine and hounds."(230) There was a table or bench with some books upon it. When Luther's glance fell on them, he saw that they were his own writings, and could not help wondering how they had got there.(231) He did not know that Aleander had been collecting them for some weeks, and that, at command of the Emperor, he had handed them over to John Eck, the Official of Trier, for the purposes of the audience.(232) Jerome Schurf made his way to Luther's side, and stood ready to assist in legal difficulties.

The past and the future faced each other--the young Emperor in his rich robes of State, with his pale, vacant-looking face, but "carrying more at the back of his head than his countenance showed," the descendant of long lines of kings, determined to maintain the beliefs, rites, and rules of that Mediaeval Church which his ancestors had upheld; and the monk, with his wan face seamed with the traces of spiritual conflict and victory, in the poor dress of his Order, a peasant's son, resolute to cleave a way for the new faith of evangelical freedom, the spiritual birthright of all men.

The strained silence(233) was broken by the Official of Trier, a man of lofty presence, saying, in a clear, ringing voice so that all could hear distinctly, first in Latin and then in German:

" 'Martin Luther, His Imperial Majesty, Sacred and Victorious (_sacra et invicta_), on the advice of all the Estates of the Holy Roman Empire, has ordered you to be summoned here to the throne of His Majesty, in order that you may recant and recall, according to the force, form, and meaning of the citation-mandate decreed against you by His Majesty and communicated legally to you, the books, both in Latin and in German, published by you and spread abroad, along with their contents: Wherefore I, in the name of His Imperial Majesty and of the Princes of the Empire, ask you: First, Do you confess that these books exhibited in your presence (I show him a bundle of books written in Latin and in German) and now named one by one, which have been circulated with your name on the title-page, are yours, and do you acknowledge them to be yours? Secondly, Do you wish to retract and recall them and their contents, or do you mean to adhere to them and to reassert them?' "(234)


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