Ellen G. White Writings

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The Great Controversy 1888, Page 197

Chapter 11—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 in 1529. The courage, faith, and firmness of those 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. Notwithstanding the edict of Worms, declaring Luther to be an outlaw, and forbidding the teaching or belief of his doctrines, religious toleration had thus far prevailed in the empire. God's providence had held in check the forces that opposed the truth. Charles V. was bent on crushing the Reformation, but often as he raised his hand to strike, he had been forced to turn aside the blow. Again and again the immediate destruction of all who dared to oppose themselves to Rome appeared inevitable; but at the critical moment the armies of the Turk appeared on the eastern frontier, or the king of France, or even the pope himself, jealous of the increasing greatness of the emperor, made war upon him; and thus, amid the strife and tumult of nations, the Reformation had been left to strengthen and extend.

At last, however, the papal sovereigns had stifled their feuds, that they might make common cause against the reformers. The Diet of Spires in 1526 had given each State full liberty in matters of religion until the meeting of a general council; but no sooner had the dangers passed which secured this concession, than the emperor summoned a second

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