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Phrase - Excommunication (19) | Excommunicate (9)
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
excommunication
Related:  excommunicate  ( 9 )   (see below)
That was a terrible crisis for the Reformation. For centuries Rome's sentence of excommunication had struck terror to powerful monarchs; it had filled mighty empires with woe and desolation. Those upon whom its condemnation fell were universally regarded with dread and horror; they were cut off from intercourse with their fellows and treated as outlaws, to be hunted to extermination. Luther was not blind to the tempest about to burst upon him; but he stood firm, trusting in Christ to be his support and shield. With a martyr's faith and courage he wrote: "What is about to happen I know not, nor do I care to know. . . . Let the blow light where it may, I am without fear. Not so much as a leaf falls, without the will of our Father. How much rather will He care for us! It is a light thing to die for the Word, since the Word which was made flesh hath Himself died. If we die with Him, we shall live with Him; and passing through that which He has passed through before us, we shall be where He is and dwell with Him forever." --Ibid., 3d London ed., Walther, 1840, b. 6, ch. 9.   Great Controversy, page 141.2  (Chapter 7)
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It was a terrible crisis for the Reformation. For centuries Rome's sentence of excommunication had been swiftly followed by the stroke of death. Luther was not blind to the tempest about to burst upon him, but he stood firm, trusting in Christ to be his support and shield. With a martyr's faith and courage he wrote: "What is about to happen I know not, nor do I care to know. I am assured that He who sits on the throne of Heaven has from all eternity seen the beginning, the progress, and the end of this affair. Let the blow light where it may, I am without fear. Not so much as a leaf falls without the will of our Father. How much rather will he care for us! It is a light thing to die; for the Word which was made flesh hath himself died. If we die with him, we shall live with him; and passing through that which he has passed through before us, we shall be where he is, and dwell with him forever."  {ST, July 26, 1883 par. 5}
 
 
Wycliffe began to write and publish tracts against the friars, not, however, seeking so much to enter into dispute with them as to call the minds of the people to the teachings of the Bible and its Author. He declared that the power of pardon or of excommunication is possessed by the pope in no greater degree than by common priests, and that no man can be truly excommunicated unless he has first brought upon himself the condemnation of God. In no more effectual way could he have undertaken the overthrow of that mammoth fabric of spiritual and temporal dominion which the pope had erected and in which the souls and bodies of millions were held captive.  Great Controversy, page 84.2
 
 
The pope had threatened Luther with excommunication if he did not recant, and the threat was now fulfilled. A new bull appeared, declaring the Reformer's final separation from the Roman Church, denouncing him as accursed of Heaven, and including in the same condemnation all who should receive his doctrines. The great contest had been fully entered upon. Great Controversy, page 143.2  (Chapter 7)
 
As the news was circulated at Worms that Luther was to appear before the Diet, a general excitement was created. Aleander, the papal legate to whom the case had been specially entrusted, was alarmed and enraged. He saw that the result would be disastrous to the papal cause. To institute inquiry into a case in which the pope had already pronounced sentence of condemnation would be to cast contempt upon the authority of the sovereign pontiff. Furthermore, he was apprehensive that the eloquent and powerful arguments of this man might turn away many of the princes from the cause of the pope. He therefore, in the most urgent manner, remonstrated with Charles against Luther's appearance at Worms. About this time the bull declaring Luther's excommunication was published; and this, coupled with the representations of the legate, induced the emperor to yield. He wrote to the elector that if Luther would not retract, he must remain at Wittenberg. Great Controversy, page 146.2  ( Chapter 8 )   Bull by Pope Leo X - Jan. 3, 1521
 
His words were not without effect. On the day following Luther's answer, Charles caused a message to be presented to the Diet, announcing his determination to carry out the policy of his predecessors to maintain and protect the Catholic religion. Since Luther had refused to renounce his errors, the most vigorous measures should be employed against him and the heresies he taught. "A single monk, misled by his own folly, has risen against the faith of Christendom. To stay such impiety, I will sacrifice my kingdoms, my treasures, my friends, my body, my blood, my soul, and my life. I am about to dismiss the Augustine Luther, forbidding him to cause the least disorder among the people; I shall then proceed against him and his adherents as contumacious heretics, by excommunication, by interdict, and by every means calculated to destroy them. I call on the members of the states to behave like faithful Christians."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 9. Nevertheless the emperor declared that Luther's safe-conduct must be respected, and that before proceedings against him could be instituted, he must be allowed to reach his home in safety.  Great Controversy, page 162.3  (Chapter 8)
 
But Luther proceeded to publicly burn the pope's bull, with the canon laws, the decretals, and certain writings sustaining the papal power. By this action he boldly declared his final separation from the Roman Church. He accepted his excommunication, and proclaimed to the world that between himself and the pope there must hereafter be war. The great contest was now fully entered upon. Soon after, a new bull appeared, and the excommunication which had before been threatened, was finally pronounced against the Reformer and all who should receive his doctrines.  {4SP 118.2}
 
Those who have differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, because the dignitaries of the church could not endure those who dissented from ideas which these leaders deemed to be true. Satan himself is the sower of tares; but even though he he is the sower of them, they are not to be rooted up, lest by chance the wheat be rooted up with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time. Fiendish zeal has been manifested in excluding dissenters from the fellowship of the church, and passing upon them the sentence of excommunication by which the Roman Church asserted its power of excluding them from all possibility of entering heaven.  {RH, January 10, 1893 par. 9}
 
His next step was to publicly burn the pope's bull, with the canon laws, the decretals, and certain writings sustaining the papal power. By this action he boldly declared his final separation from the Roman Church. He accepted his excommunication, and proclaimed to the world that between himself and the pope there must hereafter be war. The great contest was now fully entered upon.  {ST, July 26, 1883 par. 11}
 
At this time the pope issued a new bull, and the excommunication which had before been threatened was decidedly pronounced against the Reformer and all who received his doctrines. Thus was broken the last tie that bound Luther to Rome. - {ST, August 2, 1883 par. 19}
 
 
excommunicate
 
This arrangement was finally effected, and the pope's legate was appointed to hear the case. In the instructions communicated by the pontiff to this official, it was stated that Luther had already been declared a heretic. The legate was therefore charged "to prosecute and constrain without any delay." If he should remain steadfast, and the legate should fail to gain possession of his person, he was empowered "to proscribe him in every part of Germany; to banish, curse, and excommunicate all those who are attached to him." --Ibid., b. 4, ch. 2. And, further, the pope directed his legate, in order entirely to root out the pestilent heresy, to excommunicate all, of whatever dignity in church or state, except the emperor, who should neglect to seize Luther and his adherents, and deliver them up to the vengeance of Rome.  Great Controversy, page 133.3  (Chapter 7)  {4SP 110.2}
 
 
When the prelate saw that Luther's reasoning was unanswerable, he lost all self-control, and in a rage cried out: "Retract! or I will send you to Rome, there to appear before the judges commissioned to take cognizance of your cause. I will excommunicate you and all your partisans, and all who shall at any time countenance you, and will cast them out of the church." And he finally declared, in a haughty and angry tone: "Retract, or return no more." --D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 4, ch. 8.  Great Controversy, page 136.4  (Chapter 7) {GC88 136.3}  {4SP 112.3}
When the wily prelate saw that Luther's reasoning was unanswerable, he lost all self-control, and in a rage cried out: "Retract, or I will send you to Rome, there to appear before the judges commissioned to take cognizance of your case. I will excommunicate you and all your partisans, and all who shall at any time countenance you, and will cast them out of the church. Full power has been given me for this purpose by the holy apostolic see. Think you that your protectors will stop me? Do you imagine that the pope can fear Germany? The pope's little finger is stronger than all Germany put together."  {ST, July 12, 1883 par. 19}
 
 
"We charge you to compel Luther to appear before you in person; to prosecute and reduce him to submission without delay, as soon as you shall have received this our order, he having already been declared a heretic by our dear brother Jerome, Bishop of Asculan." "If he should return to a sense of his duty, and ask pardon for so great an offense, freely and of his own accord, we give you power to receive him into the unity of the holy mother church." "If he should persist in his stubbornness, and you fail to get possession of his person, we give you power to proscribe him in all places in Germany; to put away, curse, and excommunicate all those who are attached to him, and to enjoin all Christians to shun his society."  {ST, June 28, 1883 par. 13}
The pope goes still farther, and calls upon his legate, in order entirely to root out the pestilent heresy, to excommunicate all, of whatever dignity in church or State except the emperor, who shall "neglect to seize the said Martin Luther and his adherents, and send them to you under proper and safe authority."  {ST, June 28, 1883 par. 14}
 
 
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