THE CONFLICT OF CREEDS AND PARTIES IN GERMANY.
THE threats of the victorious Catholic majority at Speier and the diplomacy of Philip of Hesse had, despite the forebodings of Luther and the imprecations of Melanchthon, produced a temporary alliance between the Lutheran north and the Zwinglian south; and the summer and autumn of 1529 were spent in attempts to make the union permanent and to cement it by means of religious agreement. In the secret understanding concluded between Electoral Saxony, Hesse, Nürnberg, Ulm, and Strassburg at Speier on April 22, it was arranged that a conference should be held at Rodach, near Coburg, in the following June. But this coalition between Lutheran Princes and Zwinglian towns had been concealed from the divines, and as soon as it came to their ears they raised a vehement protest. Melanchthon lamented that his friends had not made even greater concessions at Speier; if they had only repudiated Zwingli and all his works, the Catholics, he thought, might not have hardened their hearts against Luther; and he did his best to dissuade his friends in Nürnberg from participating in the coming congress at Rodach. Luther not only denounced the idea of defending by force what Melanchthon described as "the godless opinions" of Zwingli, but denied the right of Lutherans to defend themselves. Resort to arms he considered both wicked and needless; "Be ye still," he quoted from Isaiah, "and ye shall be holpen"; and, while the conference at Rodach succumbed to his opposition, a vast army of Turks was swarming up the banks of the Danube and directing its march on Vienna. Solyman brandished the sword which Luther refused to grasp.
Hungary had failed to resist the Turks by herself; but the Austrian shield, under which she took shelter, afforded no better protection, and Ferdinand only escaped the fate of Louis II because he kept out of the way. Absorbed in the Lutheran conflict, he made no attempt to secure his conquests of 1527, and, when the Turkish invasion began, Zapolya descended from his stronghold in the Carpathians, defeated a handful of Ferdinand's friends, and surrendered the crown of St Stephen on the