Ellen G. White Writings

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The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, Page 156

Chapter 9—Protest of the Princes

One of the noblest testimonies ever uttered for the Reformation was the Protest offered by the Christian princes of Germany at the Diet of Spires. The courage, faith, and firmness of these men of God, gained for succeeding ages liberty of thought and of conscience. Their Protest gave to the reformed church the name of Protestant; its principles are the very essence of Protestantism.

A dark and threatening day had come for the Reformation. For a season religious toleration had prevailed in the empire; God's providence had held opposing elements in check, that the gospel might obtain a firmer foothold; but Rome had now summoned her forces to crush out the truth. At Spires the papists openly manifested their hostility toward the Reformers and all who favored them. Said Melancthon, “We are the execration and the sweepings of the earth; but Christ will look down on his poor people, and will preserve them.” The evangelical princes in attendance at the Diet were forbidden even to have the gospel preached in their dwellings. But the people of Spires thirsted for the word of God, and, notwithstanding the prohibition, thousands flocked to the morning and evening worship still held in the chapel of the Elector of Saxony.

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