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Person - Charles V (1500 - 1558)
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Charles  V   ( Biography )
Quotations about Emperor Charles V that appear in the Great Controversy
Nowhere were the reformed doctrines more generally received than in the Netherlands. In few countries did their adherents endure more terrible persecution. In Germany Charles V had banned the Reformation, and he would gladly have brought all its adherents to the stake; but the princes stood up as a barrier against his tyranny. In the Netherlands his power was greater, and persecuting edicts followed each other in quick succession. To read the Bible, to hear or preach it, or even to speak concerning it, was to incur the penalty of death by the stake. To pray to God in secret, to refrain from bowing to an image, or to sing a psalm, was also punishable with death. Even those who should abjure their errors were condemned, if men, to die by the sword; if women, to be buried alive. Thousands perished under the reign of Charles and of Philip II.  Great Controversy, page 239.3
A new emperor, Charles V, had ascended the throne of Germany, and the emissaries of Rome hastened to present their congratulations and induce the monarch to employ his power against the Reformation. On the other hand, the elector of Saxony, to whom Charles was in great degree indebted for his crown, entreated him to take no step against Luther until he should have granted him a hearing. The emperor was thus placed in a position of great perplexity and embarrassment. The papists would be satisfied with nothing short of an imperial edict sentencing Luther to death. The elector had declared firmly that "neither his imperial majesty nor any other person had shown that Luther's writings had been refuted;" therefore he requested "that Dr. Luther should be furnished with a safe-conduct, so that he might appear before a tribunal of learned, pious, and impartial judges."--D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 11.   Great Controversy, page 145.1   Read Chapter 8
Charles himself, in answer to the base proposal, said: "Though honor and faith should be banished from all the world, they ought to find a refuge in the hearts of princes." -- Ibid., b. 7, ch. 9. He was still further urged by the most bitter of Luther's papal enemies to deal with the Reformer as Sigismund had dealt with Huss -- abandon him to the mercies of the church; but recalling the scene when Huss in public assembly had pointed to his chains and reminded the monarch of his plighted faith, Charles V declared: "I should not like to blush like Sigismund."-- Lenfant, vol. 1, p. 422.  {GC 163.2}
Said Christ of the unbelieving Jews: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." John 15:22. The same divine power had spoken through Luther to the emperor and princes of Germany. And as the light shone forth from God's word, His Spirit pleaded for the last time with many in that assembly. As Pilate, centuries before, permitted pride and popularity to close his heart against the world's Redeemer; as the trembling Felix bade the messenger of truth, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee;" as the proud Agrippa confessed, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 24:25; 26:28), yet turned away from the Heaven-sent message -- so had Charles V, yielding to the dictates of worldly pride and policy, decided to reject the light of truth.  {GC 164.2}
Great Controversy,  Chapter 11
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.  {GC 197.2}
"The principles contained in this celebrated Protest . . . constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses, Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the prophets and apostles, 'We must obey God rather than man.' In presence of the crown of Charles the Fifth, it uplifts the crown of Jesus Christ. But it goes farther: it lays down the principle that all human teaching should be subordinate to the oracles of God."-- Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6. The protesters had moreover affirmed their right to utter freely their convictions of truth. They would not only believe and obey, but teach what the word of God presents, and they denied the right of priest or magistrate to interfere. The Protest of Spires was a solemn witness against religious intolerance, and an assertion of the right of all men to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.  Great Controversy, page 203.4   Read entire Chapter 11
The Reformation was to be brought into greater prominence before the mighty ones of the earth. The evangelical princes had been denied a hearing by King Ferdinand; but they were to be granted an opportunity to present their cause in the presence of the emperor and the assembled dignitaries of church and state. To quiet the dissensions which disturbed the empire, Charles V, in the year following the Protest of Spires, convoked a diet at Augsburg, over which he announced his intention to preside in person. Thither the Protestant leaders were summoned.  {GC 205.4}
The appointed time came to appear before the emperor. Charles V, seated upon his throne, surrounded by the electors and the princes, gave audience to the Protestant Reformers. The confession of their faith was read. In that august assembly the truths of the gospel were clearly set forth, and the errors of the papal church were pointed out. Well has that day been pronounced "the greatest day of the Reformation, and one of the most glorious in the history of Christianity and of mankind."-- Ibid., b. 14, ch. 7.  {GC 207.1}
Great Controversy, Chapter 12:  The French Reformation
The Protest of Spires and the Confession at Augsburg, which marked the triumph of the Reformation in Germany, were followed by years of conflict and darkness. Weakened by divisions among its supporters, and assailed by powerful foes, Protestantism seemed destined to be utterly destroyed. Thousands sealed their testimony with their blood. Civil war broke out; the Protestant cause was betrayed by one of its leading adherents; the noblest of the reformed princes fell into the hands of the emperor and were dragged as captives from town to town. But in the moment of his apparent triumph, the emperor was smitten with defeat. He saw the prey wrested from his grasp, and he was forced at last to grant toleration to the doctrines which it had been the ambition of his life to destroy. He had staked his kingdom, his treasures, and life itself upon the crushing out of the heresy. Now he saw his armies wasted by battle, his treasuries drained, his many kingdoms threatened by revolt, while everywhere the faith which he had vainly endeavored to suppress, was extending. Charles V had been battling against omnipotent power. God had said, "Let there be light," but the emperor had sought to keep the darkness unbroken. His purposes had failed; and in premature old age, worn out with the long struggle, he abdicated the throne and buried himself in a cloister.  Great Controversy, page 211.1  Chapter 12
The city had already declared for the Reformation when Calvin, after various wanderings and vicissitudes, entered its gates. Returning from a last visit to his birthplace, he was on his way to Basel, when, finding the direct road occupied by the armies of Charles V, he was forced to take the circuitous route by Geneva.  Great Controversy, page 233.1
Note:  Charles was 20 yrs old when he presided over Diet of Worms and 29 yrs old at the Diet of Augsburg
Charles  V   (mentioned outside of Great Controversy)
Had Charles V. understood the real value of such a man as Luther to his empire, a man who would not be bought or sold, who would not sacrifice principle for friends or foes, -- he would have cherished and honored instead of denouncing and proscribing him.  {ST, October 11, 1883 par. 6}
September 6, 1883 - Charles V.  Against Luther. -   Aleander, the papal legate, clearly perceived the effect produced by Luther's speech. He feared, as never before, for the security of the Romish power, and resolved to employ every means at his command to effect the Reformer's overthrow. With all the eloquence and diplomatic skill for which he was so eminently distinguished, he represented to the youthful emperor the folly and danger of sacrificing, in the cause of an insignificant monk, the friendship and support of the powerful see of Rome.  {ST, September 6, 1883 par. 1}
In this city Charles V., Luther's great enemy, was elected to the throne of Germany, and here his coronation took place. Hither came the reformer on his way to the Diet at Worms. Having been taken suddenly ill on the journey, he rested for a short time at Frankfort. Suffering as he was, and with the prospect of a martyr's death before him, but still undaunted, he wrote to Spalatin at Worms, announcing his approach. "I am arrived here," he said, "though Satan sought to stop me in my way by sickness. From Eisenach to this place I have been suffering, and I am at this moment in a worse condition than ever. I find that Charles has issued an edict to terrify me; but Christ lives, and we shall enter Worms in spite of all the counsels of hell, and all the powers of the air." The dwelling occupied by the reformer is still known as "Luther's house."  {HS 175.4}
"Like a dying man he set his house in order," and bade a solemn farewell to the States, which he was never to see again. With his little force he landed on the shores of Germany on the 24th of June, 1630, exactly a hundred years from the day when the Augsburg Confession had been presented to Charles V. The emperor Ferdinand heard with contemptuous indifference of the coming of Gustavus. The proud courtiers of Vienna "looked in the State Almanac to see where the country of the little Gothic king was situated." Even the Protestant princes failed to discern their deliverer in a guise so humble. They had hoped for assistance from some powerful nation, but what help could a petty kingdom like Sweden bring them? But the Lord delivereth neither by few nor by many. The armies of Ferdinand could not stand against the attacks of Gustavus. Victory after victory attended the Protestant arms. In the full tide of success, Gustavus fell; but his people, true to the purpose for which his blood was shed, continued the struggle, until a peace was won which delivered all Northern Europe from the papal yoke.  {HS 193.1}
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