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before him, was immovable. Luther also regarded Barnes with an unfavorable eye, and called him the black Englishman.[228] The envoy was more fortunate with the elector. John Frederick, hearing that the king of England was {108} desirous of forming an alliance with the princes of Germany, replied that he wou

ld communicate this important demand to them. He then entertained Barnes at a sumptuous breakfast, made him handsome presents, and wrote to Henry VIII. that the

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desire manifested by him to reform religious doctrine augmented his love for him, 'for,' he added, 'it belongs to kings to propagate Christ's gospel far and wide.'[229] Luther also, but from other motives than those of t

he elector, did not look so closely as Melanchthon; the suppression of the monasteries prepossessed him in favor of his ancient adversary. The penalties with which the Carthusians and others had been visited did not alarm him. Vergerio, the papal legate, who was at Wittemberg at the begi

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nning of November, invited Luther to breakfast with him. 'I know,' he said, 'that king Henry kills cardinals and bishops, but ...' and biting his lips, he made a significant movement with his hand, as if he wished to cut off the king's head. When relating this anecdote to Melanchthon, who was then at Jena, Luther added

: 'Would to God that we possessed several kings of England to put to death those bishops, cardinals, legates, and popes who are no

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thing but robbers, traitors, and devils!'[230] Luther was less tender than he is represented when contrasted with Calvin. Those hasty words expressed really the thoughts of all parties. The spiritual leaven of the gospel had to work for a century or more upon the hard material of which the heart of man is made, before the errors of Romish legislation, a thousand years old, were banished. No doubt there wa

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s an immediate mitigation produced by the Reformation; but if any one had told the men of the {109} sixteenth century that it was wrong to put men to d

eath for acts of impiety, they would have been as astonished, and perhaps more so, than our judges, if they were abu

sed because, in conformity with the law, they visited murder with capital punishment. It is strange, however, that it required so many c

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