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COGITANTI mihi, versantique mecum in animo, quampericulosae res aleae sit, emittere nunc aliquid in publicum, quod in manus oculosque multorum subeat, his praesertim tam exulceratis moribus temporibusque, ubi tot hominum dissidiis, tot studils partium, tot morosis capitibus, tam rigidis censuris, et criticorum sannis fervent fere omnia, ut difficillimum sit quicquam tam circumspect scribere, quod non in aliquam calumniandi materiam rapiatur; perbeati profecto felicesque videntur ii, quibus eum vitae cursum tenere liceat, ut in otio viventes cum dignitate, sic alienis frui queant laboribus, velut in theatto otiosi sedentes spectatores, ut nullum interim ipsis vel ex actione taedium, vel ex labore periculum metuendmn sit.
Me vero, nescio quo pacto, longe diversa quidem hactenus exercuit vitro ratio; quippe cui nec fortunto illam felicitatem, in cujus complexibus tam multos suaviter foveri video, nec otii amoenitatem experiri, vix etiam per omnem vitam degustare, in continuo laborum ac negotiorum fervore ac contentione contigerit. Quanquam de fortuna parum queror, quam semper contempsi; quin neque de laboribus multum dictums, si modo labores ii tantum vel prodesse vel placere caeteris possent hominibus, quantum me privatim atterunt incommodantque. Nunc ad meae infelicitatis cumulum accedit insuper, qubd in eo argumenti genere laborandum fuit, quod, praeter lugubrem rerum ipsarum materiam, praeter linguae inamoenitatem, praeter tractandi difficultatem, quae vix nitorem recipiat orationis, eo porro auctorem ipsum redigit angustiae, ut neque falsa narrare sine injuriae historiae, nec verum dicere sine magna sua invidia odioque multorum liceat.
Nam cum in eo historiae argumento mihi versandum fuit, quod non ad superiorum modo temporum res gestas alteque repetitas pertineat, sed hanc ipsam aetatem nostram, nostraeque gentis nunc homines etiamnum praesentes vivosque, sic attingat, sic perfricet, sic designet, quemadmodum in hoc materim genere necessario faciendum fuit: quaeso, quid hic mihi aliud expectandum sit, nisi postquam frustra me defatigando valetudinem attriverim, oculos perdiderim, senium acciverim, corpus exhauserim, demum ut post haec omnia multorum me hominum odiis, sibilis, invidiae ac calumniae exponam? In tot istis asperitatibus cum nihil me tutum praestare poterit, non Caesar, non monarchre, non rex, non regina, non ulla hujus mundi praesidia, praeter solam Divini numinis potentem dextram; principio igitur, atque ante omnia huc ceu ad tutissimum asylum me recepi, huic me librumque commendavi et commendo. Tum vero insuper in eodem Domino tuum ilium candorem, docte pieque lector! eamque tuam humanitatem appellare volui, qua ex humanioribus literis studiisque to scio praeditum, quo nostris his sudoribus tuae approbationis accedat calculus; aut si approbationem non mereamur, saltem ne favoris desit benignitas: cui si approbatam iri hanc historiae nostrae farraginem senserimus, caeterorum judicia obtrectatorum levius feremus.
Nam alioqui non defuturos sat scio qui variis modis nobis facessent molestiam. Habebit hic momus suos morsus, sycophanta suos sibilos, nec deerit calumniatori sua lingua et aculeus, quem infigat. Hic fidem detrahet historiae; the artificium in tractando, alter diligentiam, vel in excutiendis rebus judicium desiderabit. Illi forsan operis displicebit moles, vel minus disposita servataque temporum ratio. Et si nihil horum fuerit, attamen in tanta religionis pugna, in tanta judiciorum, capitum, sensuum varietate, ubi suae quisque favet ac blanditur factioni, quid tam affabre, aut circumspecte enarrari potest, quod placeat universis? Quin et jam nunc mussitari etiam audio a nonnullis qui longa sese teneri dicant expectatione, quoad haec tandem “Legenda nostra,” ut appellant, “Aurea” evulganda sit: qui si nostram primum in eo tarditatem reprehensam velint, nae ego suaves istos homines vicissim rogatos velim, ut ipsi prius in edendis suis se praebeant expeditiores, quam alienam incessant lentitudinem.
Deinde, si tardius exeat ipsorum opinione volumen, meminerint, proverbiali praecepto, Lentam esse festinationem oportere; et bos dicitur lassus fortius pedem figere. Egimus in hac quidem re pro virili nostrae; egimus spero et pro officio, si non satis pro temporis modo expedite, at egimus certe pro valetudine; addam porro, egimus supra valetudinem. Quin et illud ipsorum venia adjicere liceat, egisse nos maturiis quam ipsis forsan expediet qui in hunc nugantur modum: certe maturatius egimus quam tanti momenti et magnitudinis negotio conveniebat, quod accuratiorem in digerendis rebus moram curamque postulabat; cum a nobis vix integros datos esse menses octodecim praeparandae materiae, comportandis componendisque rebus, conferendis exemplaribus, lectitandis codicibus, rescribendis his quae scripto mandata erant, castigandis formulis, concinnandae historiae, et in ordinem redigendae, etc., noverint ii qui testes adfuerunt, et temporis conscii, et laboris socii. Quod si autem “Legendae suae Aureea” titulum huic eo accommodant, qubd illius exemplo hanc similiter fabulosam putent historiam, hincque odioso vocabulo ejus praejudicent veritati, quid his respondeam aliud quam quod ingenue suam ipsi prodant calumniam, quam ne editione quidem libri differre queant, prius de rebus dijudicantes quam hoverint. Atque interim quidem illud bene habet, quod ipsos tandem aliquando legendwaesuae aurea pudeat tam fabulosae. Et tamen fabulis illis non puduit mundum tam diu ludificare, periculum etiam intentantes his, si qui legendae illi, hoc est, mendacissimis illorum nugis, auderent detrahere.
Quare nihil magis esse possit impium, quam sacrosanctam ecclesiae fidem fabulamentis hujusmodi confictisque praeter omnem veri fidem deliriis commaculare; tamen ineptissimi isti nugatores, ex suo ingenio caeteros quosque scriptores metientes, nec ipsi verum adferre satagunt, nec afferentibus aliis fidem habendam putant, cuncta videlicet suis aureis somniis similia existimantes? Quin apage cum “Legenda tua Aurea,” nugator impudens; quem ego librum, cum onmes eum scimus, nec ipsc ignoras, prodigiosis mendaciorum portentis et vanissimis undique commentis scatere, ne cum Homeri quidem fabulis conferre velim; tantum abest ut cum vere seriis gravibusque ecclesiae historiis quicquam commune habeat. Quid? An quia papistis illis tuis et impuris monachis sic libuit in ridiculis miraculorum suorum portentis ineptire, tu protinus nullam gravem historiae authoritatem putas in ecclesiae admittendam? Quin eadem lege et de Eusebii ecclesiastica, et Tripartita Sozomeni et Socratis [et Theodoriti], caeterorumque historiis judicemus. Sunt praeter haec et alia quaedam de sanctis et divis conscripta miracula, quae proplus ad legendam hanc accedunt, et tamen nequaqnam eo loco apud nos habentur, ut “Legendae illi Papisticae” annumerentur, etiam quae suspectissimae sunt fidei. Quanquam de scriptoribus caeteris mea nihil interest censuram ferre. Quod ad hanc vero nostram peri< tw~n marturikw~n attinet, testatum id velim universis, datam esse a nobis operam sedulo ne quid usquam inesset operi fabulosum, aut ejusmodi quod vel a nobis ficturm, vel quod “Legendae illi Aureae” (magis dicam plumbeae) non undique foret dissimiIli-mum. Id quod res ipsa et nativa historiae facies testari poterit, cujus tota textura ex ipsis episcoporum archivis atque registris, partimque ex propriis martyrum ipsorum literis hausta ac conflata videri poterit, in qua historia etsi neque id exigam ut singula hic pro oraculis habeantur; at dedimus tamen pro virili operam, ut si non plene assequeremur, accederemus tamen quam proxime ad veterem illam historiae legem, ut duas res, praecipuas historiae pestes, vitaremur, timorem videlicet et assentationem; quarum altera saepe minus dicit, altera semper plus addit, quam par est, narrationi. Sed hujus rei fidem ex ipso magis opere, quam ex mea commendatione astrui honestius est.
Habet enim veritas ipsa simplicem suam et nativam faciem, quam non erit diificile non mucosis naribus lectori ex ipso vel orationis habitu, aut rerum aspectu, sive aliis circumstantiarum notis deprehendere. Sed vereor ne hic quoque, quemadmodum caeteris in rebus, locum haheat veteris proverbii experientia; Faciunt quippe mendaces ut ne veri etiam dicenti fides habeatur. Cum hactenus in martyrologicis sanctorum legendis vitisque describendis mendacia ac nugacissimee somniorum fictiones pro veris legantur narrationibus, fit ut caeterae ejusdem argumenti materiae eandem pariter suspicionem subeant, ut vix jam quicquam legi dicive in ecclesia cum fide queat. Verum huic malo cum mederi nequeamus, satis erit, quod nostrarum erat virium id nos praestitisse. Quod superest, divinae curandum providentiae relinquamus. Atque de certitudine veritateque historiae haec hactenus: quae utinam nae tam vera quidem certaque esset, quam isti videri volunt, at falsa potius, consimilisque huic, quam dicant, “Aureae ipsorum Legendae,” aut Vitis Patrum, aut Festivali, aut Dormisecure, caeterisque papisticis istis toi~v tw~n lh>rwn lh>roiv foret. Nunc vero martyrum horum non a nobis ficta, sed inflicta a vobis, supplicia atroxque caedes veriorem hanc comprobant historiam pluresque suae veritatis testes habent, quam vellemus ipsi qui historiam scripsimus. Venio jam ad alteram criminationis partem, quaede Calendario fortassis objicietur. Ft574 Audio enim et hic mihi obstrepere non tacitas modo sententias, sed apertas papistarum quorundam voces, quibus inique a me factum videbitur, quod antiquatis atque ex Calendario explosis veteris ecclesiae divis, martyribus, confessoribus, virginibusque, novos eorum loco martyres ac confessores infulciam. Primum, nulli ego veterum divorum hoc facto prsaejudicatum velim. Neque vero ideo inter divos a me referuntur isti, quod inseruntur in Calendarium. Hanc ego apotheosin mihi nunquam sumpsi, quam sibi tam confidenter sumpsit Gregorius Nonus. Porro, neque eo spectat hoc Calendarium, ut novam aliquam festorum dierum legem praescribam ecclesiae; tum multo minus cultum sancti alicujus instituo. Festorum dierum jam plus satis erat in mundo. Utinam Dominicum solum Sabbatum digne, atque ut par est, transigeremus. Habeant per me suum papistae Calendarium. Habeat et ecclesia suos sanctos, tum recentes tum veteranos, modo probatos, modo interim iidem ne colautur, modo quam sint vetusti tam vere etiam sancti sint.
Verum enimvero cum non dubitavit sua etiam aetate Hieronymus multos existimare eorum gehennae ignibus cruciari, quos multi passim pro sanctis haberent in ecclesia; quid hic tum diceret Hieronymus, si modo superstes papisticam hanc sanctorum colluviem et Calendaria, tot papis, tot episcopis, et abbatibus oblita cerneret?
Quanquam a me quidem non Calendarium hoc institutum est, nisi ut pro indice duntaxat, suum cujusque martyris mensem et annum designante, ad privatum lectoris serviret usum. Et tamen si in templis etiam fas sit singulorum mensium dies propriis sanctorum nomenclaturis consignare, qui minus liceat id mihi in veris istis facere martyribus, quod ipsi in suis pseudomartyribus, tanta sibi licentia, ne dicam impudentia, permiserunt? Si non poena, sed causa martyrem faciat, cur non unum Cranmerum sexcentis Becketis Cantuariensibus non conferam, sed praetulerim? Quid in Nicolao Ridleo videtur cum quovis divo Nicolao non conferendum? Qua in re Latimerus, Hoperus, Marsheus, Simpsonus, caeterique christiani martyrii candidati, inferiores summis maximisque illis papistici Calendarii divis, imo multis etiam nominibus non praeponendi videantur? Interim nullius ego boni sanctique viri (modo qui vere sanctus sit) causam laedo, nec memoriam extinguo, nec gloriam minuo. Et si cui hoc displiceat Calendarium, meminerit, non in templis collocari, sed domesticae tanthum lectioni praeparari.
Sed missis hisce adversariorum calumniis, ad te, docte candideque lector! (quoniam haec ad te instituta est epistola) tempus est ut recurrat oratio, cujus in his rebus judicium ut pluris aestimo, ita egeo magis hic quoque patrocinio. Scio enim, in vasti hic congerie reperies nonnulla ad quae merito corruges frontem. Neque vero fieri facile potuit, praesertim in tantta operis praecipi-tatione, ut cuncta ad amussim atque ad unguem perfecte adeo elimarentur, quin alicubi vel ex lassitudine dormitaret scriptor, vel per incuriam excideret authori aliquid, vel ex festinatione eveniret, qued cani solet in proverbiis niminum prae studio properanti, Caecos nimirum producenti catulos. In quibus quidem excutiendis rebus magis nobis venia tua quam censura imploranda est. Quamobrem paucis haec apud te, docte simul et humanissime lector! ante operis ingressum, libuit prooimia>zein ut si quid. inter evolvendum occurrerit, non omnibus perfectum numeris, non ad Cleanthis lucernam, elucubratum, non ad exquisitum theologorum acumen expressum, aut minus alioqui acutissimis tuis dignum naribus, cogites haec non tuis auribus data esse, sod meis; hoc est, crassioris turbae hominibus, a quibus facilius leguntur libri quam judicantur. Aut si ne id quidem gravissimee tuae sententiae fecerit satis, liceat illa mihi uti lege, qui semper permissum est opere in magno, “scriptori obrepere somnum.”
Quod si vero tuam hac in re facilitatem impetravero, minus laborabo quid caeteri obstrepant, Graeci memor proverbii, cujus et ipsos commeminisse velim, mwmhsetai> tiv ma~llon h\ mimh>setai. f575 TO THE PERSECUTORS OF GOD’S TRUTH, COMMONLY CALLED PAPISTS, FT576 ANOTHER PREFACE OF THE AUTHOR.
If any other had had the doing and handling of this so tragical an history, and had seen the mad rage of this, your furious cruelty, in spilling the blood of such an innumerable sort of Christ s holy saints and servants, as, in the volumes of this history, may appear by you, O ye papists (give me leave by that name to call you), I know what he would have done therein: what vehemency of writing — what sharpness of speech and words — what roughness of style, in terming and calling you —he would have used; what exclamations he would have made against you; how little he would have spared you. So I, likewise, if I had been disposed to follow the order and example of their doing, — what I might have done herein, let your own conjectures give you to understand, by that which you have deserved. And if you think you have not deserved so to be entreated, as I have said, and worse than I have done, then see and behold, I beseech you, here in this story, the pitiful slaughter of your butchery! Behold your own handy work! consider the number, almost out of number, of so many silly and simple lambs of Christ, whose blood you have sought and sucked; whose lives you have vexed; whose bodies you have slain, racked, and tormented; some also you have cast on dunghills, to be devoured of fowls and dogs; without mercy, without measure, without all sense of humanity! See, I say, and behold, here present before your eyes, the heaps of slain bodies, of so many men and women, both old, young, children, infants, new born, married, unmarried, wives, widows, maids, blind men, lame men, whole men; of all sorts, of all ages, of all degrees; lords, knights, gentlemen, lawyers, merchants, archbishops, bishops, priests, ministers, deacons, laymen, artificers, yea, whole households and whole kindreds together; father, mother and daughter; grandmother, mother, aunt, and child, etc.; whose wounds, yet bleeding before the face of God, cry vengeance! For, whom have you spared? what country could escape your hands? See, therefore, I say, — read, and behold your acts and facts; and, when you have seen, then judge what you have deserved. And if ye find that I have tempered myself with much more moderation for mine own part (but that I have in some places inserted certain of other men’s works, than either the cause of the martyrs or your iniquity hath required), then accept my good will in the Lord, which here I thought to signify unto you in the beginning of this preface, not to flatter or seek for your acceptation (which I care not greatly for), but only as tendering the conversion of your souls, if perhaps I may do you any good.Wherefore, as one that wishes well unto you in the Lord, I exhort you, that with patience you would read and peruse the history of these your own acts and doings, being no more ashamed now to read them, than you were then to do them; to the intent that, when you shall now the better revise what your doings have been, the more you may blush and detest the same.
Peter, preaching to the Jews and pharisees, after they had crucified Christ, cried to them: “Delictorum poenitentiam agite,” and turned three thousand at one sermon. So the said Peter sayeth and writeth still to you, and we, with Peter, exhort you: “Repent your mischiefs; be confounded in your doings; and come, at length, to some confession of your miserable iniquity.” First, you see now, your doings, so wicked, cannot be hid; your cruelty is come to light; your murders be evident; your pretty practices; your subtle sleights, your secret conspiracies, your filthy lives are seen, and stink before the face both of God and man. Yea, what have you ever done so in secret and in corners, but the Lord hath found it out, and brought it to light? You hold, maintain, and defend, that ministers ought and may live sole, without matrimony: what filthiness and murdering of infants followed thereupon! Your ear-confessions can say something, but God knoweth more; and yet the world knoweth so much that I need not here to stand upon any particular examples of cardinals, doctors, and others, taken in manifest whoredom at London, at Oxford, at Cambridge, at Chester, and other places more.
But to pass over this stinking Camarine of your unmaidenly lives, I return again to your murders and slaughters, which you may here in this volume not only see, but also number them if you please. God so hath displayed and detected them, that now all the world may read them. As I have said, God, I assure you, hath detected them, who hath so marvellously wrought such help and success in setting forth the same, that I dare assure you, it is not without the will of Him, that these your murders should be opened, and come to light. And what if they were not opened, nor made to the world notorious, but secret only, between God and your conscience? Yet what cause have you to repent and to be confounded, now the world also seeth them, hateth, and abhorreth you for the same! What will you say? what will you, or can you, allege? How will you answer to the high Judge to come? or whither will you fly from his judgment, when he shall come? Think you, blood will not require blood again? Did you ever see any murder, which came not out, and was at length repaid? Let the example of the French Guise work in your English hearts, and mark you well his end. If Christ in his gospel, which cannot lie, doth threaten a millstone to such as do but hurt the least of his believers, in what a dangerous case stand you, which have smoked and fired so many his worthy preachers, and learned ministers! And what if the Lord should render to you double again, for that which ye have done to them! Where should you then become? And hath not he promised in his word so to do?
And think you, that that Judge doth sleep, or that his coming day will not come? And how will you then be able to stand in his sight when he shall appear? With what face shall ye look upon the Lord, whose servants ye have slam? Or with what hearts will you be able to behold the bright faces of them, upon whom you have set so proudly here, condemning them to consuming fire? In that day, when you shall be charged with the blood of so many martyrs, what will ye, or can you say? How think ye to excuse yourselves? Or what can you for yourselves allege? Will ye deny to have murdered them? This book will testify and denounce against you; which if you cannot deny now to be true, then look how you will answer to it in that counting day.
Peradventure you will excuse yourselves, and say, that you did but the law; and if the law did pass upon them, you could not do with all. But here I will ask, what law do you mean? The law of God, or the law of man? If ye mean the law of God, where do you find in all the law of God, to put them to death, which, holding the articles of the creed, never blasphemed his name, but glorified it, both in life, and in their death? If you answer, by the law of man, I know the law (“ ex officio” or rather ex homicidio ) which you mean and follow. But who brought that law in first, in the time of king Henry IVth, but you? F578 Who revived the same again in queen Mary’s days, but you? Further, who kept them in prison before the law, till, by the law, you had made a rope to hang them withal? And think you by charging the law, to discharge yourselves? But you will use here some translation of the fact perchance; alleging that you burnt them not, but only committed them to the secular power, by whom, you will say, they were burnt, and not by you. It will be hard to play the sophister before the Lord. For so it may be said to you again, that the fire burned them, and not the secular power. But I pray you, who put them in? But they were heretics, you will say, and Lutherans, and therefore we burnt them, thinking thereby to do God good service, etc. Of such service-doers Christ spake before, saying, that such should come, who, putting his servants to death, should think to do good service to God. And forsomuch as, under the pretense of heresy, you put them to death; concerning that matter, there is, and hath been, enough said to you by learning, if either learned books, or learned sermons could move you. But, to this, none answereth you better than the martyrs themselves, which in this book do tell you, that in the same which you call heresy, they serve the living God. And how do you then serve the living God, in putting them to death, whom they in the death do serve so heartily and so heavenly, as in this book here doth well appear? And because you charge them so much with heresy, this would I know, by what learning do you define your heresy, by the scripture, or by your canon law? I know what you will answer: but whatsoever you say, your own acts and deeds will well prove the contrary. For what scripture can save him, whom your law condemneth?
What heresy was there, in speaking against transubstantiation, before Innocent III. did so enact it in his canon, A.D. 1215? What man was ever counted for an heretic, which, worshipping Christ in heaven, did not worship him in the priest’s hands, before Honorius III., in his canon, did cause the sacrament to be elevated and adored upon the altar? “Faith only justifying,” in St. Paul’s time, and in the beginning church, was no heresy, before of late days the Romish canons have made it heresy!
Likewise, if it be heresy not to acknowledge the pope as supreme head of the church, then St. Paul was an heretic, and a stark Lutheran, which, having the scriptures, yet never attributed that to the pope, nor to Peter himself, to be supreme head of the church. So were all the other fathers of the primitive church heretics also, which never knew any such supremacy in the pope, before Boniface I. called himself “universal bishop” six hundred years after Christ. After like sort and manner, if receiving in both kinds, and having the scripture in a popular tongue be a matter worthy of burning, then were all the apostles and martyrs of the first church worthy to be burned, and the Corinthians ill instructed of St. Paul, having both “panem” and “calicem Domini!” Either condemn St. Paul and them, with these, or else let these be quit with the other. The same I may infer of purgatory, the setting up of images, going on pilgrimage, and such like, etc.
And, but that I am wearied to see your miserable folly, I might here argue with you. For if your heresy (as you call it) be a sin with you so heinous, that it deserveth burning, then would I know, how can that be a sin now, which was a virtue once? In the time of the old law, it was a virtue amongst the Jews to have no image in the temple. Also, Hezekiah, Josiah, with divers other good kings more, were commended for abolishing the same; and have we not the same commandment still? and how cometh it now to be a vice, which was a virtue then? Likewise in the new law, both Paul and Barnabas would have torn their garments for doing that, for the not doing whereof you burn your brethren now. You see, therefore, how your heresy standeth; not by God’s word, for which you burn God’s people, but only by your own laws and canons, made by men. Wherefore if these your laws and canons (without the which the church once did stand and flourish) be now of such force, that the breach thereof must needs be death, better it were, either they were never made, or that now they were abolished; seeing both the church may well be without them, and that God’s people in no case can well live with them, but be burned for them.
And now, as I have hitherto collected and recited almost all your excuses, and reasons that you can bring and allege for yourselves, (and yet you see they will not serve you,) so I exhort you to turn to that, which only may and will serve; that is, to the blood of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Wash your bloody hands with the tears of plentiful repentance; and though you cannot call back again the lives of those whom you have slain, yet call yourselves back again from the way of iniquity, and from the path of destruction which you were going to!
Consider how long now you have spurned and kicked against the Lord and his truth, and yet, you see, nothing hath prevailed. What have you, but “kicked against the pricks?” If killing and slaying could help your cause, you see what an infinite sort you have put to death; the number of whom, although it doth exceed man’s searching, yet Paulus Vergerius, in his book against the Pope’s Catalogue, taking a view thereof, doth account them to the number of an hundred thousand persons, slain in Christendom of you (whom he there calleth “papists”) in the cause of Christ’s gospel within this forty or an hundred years; besides them in QueenMary’s time here in England, and besides them within these two years slain in France by the [duke of] Guise, which, as you know, cometh to no small sum. And yet for all this horrible slaughter, and your so many fought fields against the poor saints, what is your cause the better? What have you thereby got, or won, but shame, hatred, contempt, infamy, execration, and to be abhorred of all good men; as may appear, not only by your habit and garment, the form and wearing whereof it shameth and abhorreth men now, as you see, to be brought unto; but also, the title and name of your profession. For though ye profess popery inwardly in your hearts, yet which of you all now is not ashamed to be called a papist, and would be angry with me if I should write to you under the name of papists? You see, therefore, how little you have won.
Let us compare now your winnings and losses together. And as you have gained but a little, so let us see what great things you have lost; which, first, have split your own cause, the quiet of your conscience, — which I dare say shaketh within you. Ye have lost the favor both of God and man, the safety of your souls, and almost the kingdom of the Lord, except you take the better heed. What think you, then, by these your proceedings, to win any more hereafter, which have lost so much already? Do not the very ashes of the martyrs which you have slain rise up still against you in greater armies? Seeing therefore the Lord doth and must prevail, be counselled and exhorted in the Lord; leave off your resisting, and yield to the truth which your own boiling consciences, I am sure, doth inwardly witness and testify, if, for your own wilful standing up, on your credit and reputation, as ye think, ye would come to the confession of the same. And what reputation is this of credit, to be found constant in error against the truth; in Antichrist against Christ; in your destruction against saving of your souls? Briefly, and to be short, if my counsel may be heard, better it were for you in time to give over while it is thankworthy, than at length to be drawn, by compulsion of time, will ye, nill ye, to give over your cause, losing both thanks and your cause also. For see you not daily more and more the contrary part (the Lord’s arm going with them) to grow so strong against you, that not only there is no hope, but no possibility for your obstinate error to stand against so manifest truth? First, learning, and all best wits, for the most part repugn against you. Most nations and kingdoms have forsaken you, as Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Denmark, Suabia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Epirus, and a great part of Greece; England, Ireland, Scotland, and France, God be glorified, well favorably cometh on, you see, and other more be like to follow: so that if things come handsomely forward, as they began and are like to do, the pope is like to pay home again shortly his feathers that he hath so long time borrowed.
Moreover, universities and schools, in all quarters, to be set up against you; and youth so trained in the same, that you shall never be able to match them. F580 To conclude, in countries, kingdoms, cities, towns, and churches reformed, your errors and superstitious vanities be so blotted out, within the space of these forty years, in the hearts of men, that their children and youth, being so long nouseled in the sound doctrine of Christ, like as they never heard of your ridiculous trumpery, so will they never be brought to the same. F581 And if nothing else will deface you, yet printing only will subvert your doings, do what ye can, which the Lord only hath set up for your desolation. Wherefore, forsake your cause, and your false hopes, and save yourselves. And take me not your enemy in telling you the truth, but rather your friend, in giving you good counsel — if you will follow good counsel given. Return therefore and reform yourselves; repent your murders, cease your persecutions, strive not against the Lord; but rather bewail your iniquities, which, though they be great, and greater than you are aware, yet they are not so great, but Christ is greater, if ye repent betimes. Ye see here I trust good counsel given; God grant it may as well fructify in you, as on my part it hath proceeded of an open and tender heart; wishing you well to do, as I pray God ye may, so that you and we may agree and consent together in one religion and truth, im Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be praise for ever. Amen.
TO THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL CONGREGATION OF CHRIST’S UNIVERSAL CHURCH, With all and singular the Members thereof, wheresoever congregated or dispersed through the Realm of England; a Protestation or Petition of the Author, wishing to the same Abundance of all Peace and Tranquillity, with the speedy Coming of Christ the Spouse, to make an End of all Mortal Misery. SOLOMON, the peaceable prince of Israel, as we read in the first book of Kings, after he had finished the building of the Lord’s temple, (which he had seven years in hand,) made his petition to the Lord for all that should pray in the said temple, or tum their face toward it; and his request was granted, the Lord answering him, as we read in the said book; “I have heard,” saith he, “thy prayer, and have sanctified this place,” (1 Kings 8:30.) etc. Albeit the infinite majesty of God is not to be cornpassed in any material walls, yet it so pleased his goodness to respect this prayer of the king, that not only he promised to hear them which there are prayed, but also replenished the same with his own glory. For so we read again in the book aforesaid, “Non poterant ministrare propter nebulam, quia replevit gloria Doming domum Domini.” (1 Kings 8:10.)
Upon the like trust in God’s gracious goodness, if I, sinful wretch, not comparing with the building of that temple, but following the zeal of the builder, might either be so bold to ask, or so happy to speed, after my seven years’ travail about this Ecclesiastical History, I would most humbly crave of Almighty God to bestow his blessing upon the same; that as the prayers of them which prayed in the outward temple were heard, so all true disposed minds which shall resort to the reading of this present history, containing the Acts of God’s holy Martyrs, and Monuments of his Church, may, by example of their life, faith, and doctrine, receive some such spiritual fruit to their souls, through the operation of his grace; that it may be to the advancement of his glory, and profit of his church, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
But, as it happened in that temple of Solomon, that all which came thither came not to pray, but many to prate, some to gaze and see news, other to talk and walk, some to buy and sell, some to carp and find fault, and, finally, some also at the last to destroy and pull down, as they did indeed; — for what is in this world so strong, but it will be impugned? what so perfect, but it will be abused? so true, that will not be contraried? or so circumspectly done, wherein wrangling Theon will not set in his tooth? —even so neither do I look for any other in this present history, but that, amongst many well-disposed readers, some wasp’s nest or other will be stirred up to buz about mine ears. So dangerous a thing it is now a days to write or do any good, but either by flattering a man must offend the godly, or by true speaking procure hatred of the wicked. Of such stinging wasps and buzzing drones I had sufficient trial in my former edition before; f583 who if they had found in my book any just cause to carp, or, upon any true zeal of truth, had proceeded against the untruths of my story, and had brought just proofs for the same, I could right well have abided it: for God forbid but that faults, wheresoever they be, should be detected and accused. And therefore accusers in a commonwealth, after my mind, do serve to no small stead.
But then such accusers must beware they play not the dog, of whom Cicero ill his Oration speaketh, which, being sent into the Capitol to fray away thieves by night, left the thieves, and fell to bark at true men walking in the day. Where true faults be, there to bay and bark is not amiss; but to carp where no cause is; to spy in other straws; and leap over their own blocks; to swallow camels, and to strain at gnats; to oppress truth with lies, and to set up lies for truth; to blaspheme the dear martyrs of Christ, and to canonize for saints those whom Scripture would scarce allow for good subjects; — that is intolerable. Such barking curs, if they were well served, would be made a while to stoop; but with these brawling spirits I intend not at this time much to wrestle.
Wherefore to leave them a while, till further leisure serve me to attend upon them, thus much I thought, in the mean season, by way of Protestation or Petition, to write unto you both in, general and particular, the true members and faithful congregation of Christ s church, wheresoever either congregated together, or dispersed through the whole realm of England; that, forasmuch as all the seeking of these adversaries is to do what they can, by discrediting of this history with slanders and sinister surmises, to withdraw the readers from it, this, therefore, shall be, in few words, to premonish and desire of all and singular of you (all well-minded lovers and partakers of Christ’s gospel), not to suffer yourselves to be deceived with the big brags and hyperbolical speeches of those slandering tongues, whatsoever they have or shall hereafter exclaim against the same, but indifferently staying your judgment till truth be tried, you will first peruse and then refuse; measuring the untruths of this history, not by the scoring up of their hundreds and thousands of lies which they give out, but wisely weighing the purpose of their doings according as you find; and so to judge of the matter.
To read my books I allure neither one nor other. Every man as he seeth cause, so let him like as he listeth. If any shall think his labor too much in reading this story, his choice is free either to read this, or any other which he more mindeth. But if the fruit thereof shall recompence the reader s travail, then would I wish no man solight eared, as to be carried away for any sinister clamor of adversaries, who many times deprave good doings, not for the faults they find, but therefore find faults because they would deprave. As for me and my history, as my will was to profit all and displease none, so if skill in any part wanted to will, yet hath my purpose been simple; and certes the cause no less urgent also, which moved me to take this enterprise in hand.
For, first, to see the simple flock of Christ, especially the unlearned sort, so miserably abused, and all for ignorance of history, not knowing the course of times and true descent of the church, it pitied me that this part of diligence had so long been unsupplied in this my-country church of England. Again, considering the multitude of chronicles and story-writers, both in England and out of England, of whom the most part have been either monks, or clients to the see of Rome, it grieved me to behold how partially they handled their stories. Whose painful travail albeit I cannot but commend, in committing divers things to writing, not unfruitful to be known nor unpleasant to be read; yet it lamented me to see in their Monuments the principal points which chiefly concerned the state of Christ’s church, and were most necessary of all christian people to be known, either altogether pretermitted, or if any mention thereof were inserted, yet were all things drawn to the honor specially of the church of Rome, or else to the favor of their own sect of religion. Whereby the vulgar sort, hearing and reading in their writings no other church mentioned or magnified but only that church which here flourished in this world in riches and jollity, were drawn also to the same persuasion, to think no other church to have stood in all the earth but only the church of Rome.
In the number of this sort of writers, besides our monks of England (for every monastery almost had his chronicler) I might also recite both Italian and other-country authors, as Platina, Sabellicus, Nauclerus, Martin, Antoninus, Vincentius, Onuphrius, Laziarde, George Lily, Polydore Virgil, with many more, who, taking upon them to intermeddle with matters of the church, although in part they express some truth in matters concerning the bishops and see of Rome, yet, in suppressing another part, they play with us, as Ananias and Sapphira did with their money, or as Apelles did in Pliny, who, painting the one half of Venus coming out of the sea, left the other half imperfect: so these writers, while they show us one half of the bishop of Rome, the other half of him they leave imperfect, and utterly untold. For as they paint him out, on the one part, glistering in wealth and glory, in shewing what succession the popes had from the chair of Saint Peter, when they first began, and how long they sat, what churches and what famous buildings they erected, how far their possessions reached, what laws they made, what councils they called, what honor they received of kings and emperors, what princes and countries they brought under their authority, with other like stratagems of great pomp and royalty; so, on the other side, what vices these popes brought with them to their seat, what abominations they practiced, what superstition they maintained, what idolatry they procured, what wicked doctrine they defended contrary to the express word of God, into what heresies they fell, into what division of sects they cut the unity of christian religion, how some practiced by simony, some by necromancy and sorcery, some by poisoning, some indenting with the devil to come by their papacy, what hypocrisy was in their lives, what corruption in their doctrine, what wars they raised, what bloodshed they caused, what treachery they traversed against their lords and emperors, imprisoning some, betraying some to the Templars and Saracens, and in bringing others under their feet, also in beheading some; as they did with Frederic and Conradine, the heirs and offspring of the house of Frederic Barbarossa, in the year 1268; furthermore, how mightily Almighty God hath stood against them, how their wars never prospered against the Turk, how the judgments of the godly-learned from time to time have ever repugned against their errors, etc. — of these and a thousand other more not one word hath been touched, but all kept as under benedicite, in auricular confession.
When I considered this partial dealing and corrupt handling of histories, I thought with myself nothing more lacking in the church than a full and a complete, story; which, being faithfully collected out of all our monastical writers and written monuments, should contain neither every vain-written fable (for that would be too much), nor yet leave out any thing necessary, for that would be too little; but, with a moderate discretion, taking the best of every one, should both ease the labor of the reader from turning over such a number of writers, and also should open the plain truth of times lying long hid in obscure darkness of antiquity: whereby all studious readers, beholding as in a glass the stay, course, and alteration of religion, decay of doctrine, and the controversies of the church, might discern the better between antiquity and novelty. For if the things which be first, after the rule of Tertullian, are to be preferred before those that be later, then is the reading of histories much necessary in the church, to know what went before, and what followed after; and therefore not without cause “historia,” in old authors, is called the Witness of Times, the Light of Verity, the Life of Memory, Teacher of Life, and Shewer of Antiquity, etc., without the knowledge whereof man’s life is blind, and soon may fall into any kind of error; as by manifest experience we have to see in these desolate later times of the church, when the bishops of Rome, under color of antiquity, have turned truth into heresy, and brought such new-found devices of strange doctrine and religion, as, in the former age of the church, were never heard of before, and all through ignorance of times and for lack of true history.
For, to say the truth, if times had been well searched, or if they which wrote histories had, without partiality, gone upright between God and Baal, halting on neither side, it might well have been found, the most part of all this catholic corruption intruded into the church by the bishops of Rome, as transubstantiation, elevation and adoration of the sacrament, auricular confession, forced vows of priests not to marry, veneration of images, private and satisfactory masses, the order of Gregory’s mass now used, the usurped authority and “summa potestas” of the see of Rome, with all the rout of their ceremonies and weeds of superstition overgrowing now the church; all these, I say, to be new-nothings lately coined in the mint of Rome, without any stamp of antiquity, as by reading of this present history shall sufficiently, I trust, appear. Which history therefore I have here taken in hand, that as other story-writers heretofore have employed their travail to magnify the church of Rome, so in this history might appear to all christian readers the image of both churches, as well of the one as of the other; especially of the poor oppressed and persecuted church of Christ. Which persecuted church, though it hath been of long season trodden under foot by enemies, neglected in the world, not regarded in histories, and almost scarce visible or known to worldly eyes, yet hath it been the true church only of God, wherein he hath mightily wrought hitherto, in preserving the same in all extreme distresses, continually stirring up from time to time faithful ministers, by whom always have been kept some sparks of his true doctrine and religion.
Now forasmuch as the true chureli of God goeth not, lightly, alone, but is accompanied with some other church or chapel of the devil to deface and malign the same, necessary it is therefore the difference between them to be seen, and the descent of the right church to be described from the apostles’ time: which, hitherto, in most part of histories hath been lacking, partly for fear, that men durst not, partly for ignorance, that men could not, discern rightly between the one and the other. Who, beholding the church of Rome to be so visible and glorious in the eyes of all the world, so shining in outward beauty, to bear such a port, to carry such a train and multitude, and to stand in such high authority, supposed the same to be the only right catholic mother. The other, because it was not so visibly known in the world, they thought therefore it could not be the true church of Christ.
Wherein they were far deceived: for although the right church of God be not so invisible in the world that none can see it, yet neither is it so visible again that every worldly eye may perceive it. For like as is the nature of truth, so is the proper condition of the true church, that commonly none seeth it, but such only as be the members and partakers thereof. And, therefore, they which require that God’s holy church should be evident and visible to the whole world, seem to define the great synagogue of the world, rather than the true spiritual church of God.
In Christ’s time who would have thought but that the congregations and councils of the Pharisees had been the right church? and yet had Christ another church in earth besides that; which, albeit it was not so manifest in the sight of the world, yet was it the only true church in the sight of God.
Of this church meant Christ, speaking of the temple which he would raise again the third day; and yet after that the Lord was risen, he showed not himself to the world, but only to his elect, which were but few. The same church, after that, increased and multiplied mightily among the Jews; yet had not the Jews eyes to see God’s church, but did persecute it, till at length all their whole nation was destroyed.
After the Jews, then came the heathen emperors of Rome, who having the whole power of the world in their hands, did what the world could do, to extinguish the name and church of Christ. Whose violence continued the space of three hundred years. All which while the true church of Christ was not greatly in sight of the world, but rather was abhorred everywhere, and yet notwithstanding the same small silly flock, so despised in the world, the Lord highly regarded, and mightily preserved. For although many then of the christians did suffer death, yet was their death neither loss to them, nor detriment to the church; but the more they suffered, the more of their blood increased.
In the time of these emperors God raised up then in this realm of Britain divers worthy preachers and witnesses, as Elvanus, Meduinus, Meltivianus, Amphibalus, Albanus, Aaron, Julius, and other more: in whose time the doctrine of faith, without men’s traditions, was sincerely preached. After their death and martyrdom it pleased the Lord to provide a general quietness to his church, whereby the number of his flock began more to increase.
In this age then followed here in the said land of Britain Fastidius, Ninianus, Patricius, Bacchiarius, Dubricius, Congellus, Kentigernus, Helmotus, David, Daniel, Sampson, Elvodugus, Asaphus, Gildas, Henlanus, Elbodus, Dinothus, Samuel, Nivius, and a great sort more, which governed the church of Britain by christian doctrine a long season; albeit the civil governors for the time were then dissolute and careless (as Gildas very sharply doth lay to their charge), and so at length were subdued by the Saxons.
All this while, about the space of four hundred years, religion remained in Britain uncorrupt, and the word of Christ truly preached, till, about the coming of Augustine and of his companions from Rome, many of the same Britain-preachers were slain by the Saxons. After that began the christian faith to enter and spring among the Saxons, after a certain Romish sort, yet notwithstanding somewhat more tolerable than were the times which after followed, through the diligent industry of some godly teachers which then lived amongst them; as Aidan, Finian, Colman archbishop of York, Bede, John of Beverly, Alcuin, Noetus, Hucharius, Serlo, Achardus, Ealtedus, Alexander, Neckham, Negellus, Fenallus, AElfricus, Sygeferthus, and such other; who, though they erred in some few things, yet neither are sogrossly nor so greatly to be complained of in respect of the abuses that followed.
For as yet, all this while, the error of transubstantiation and elevation, with auricular confession, was not crept in for a public doctrine in Christ’s church, as, by their own Saxon sermon made by. AElfric, and set out in the volumes of this present history, may appear. During the which mean time, although the bishops of Rome were had here in some reverence with the clergy, yet had they nothing as yet to do in making laws touching matters of the church of England: but that only appertained to the kings and governors of the land, as is in this story to be seen.
And thus the church of Rome, albeit it began then to decline apace from God, yet, during all this while, it remained hitherto in some reasonable order, till at length, after that, the said bishops began to shoot up in the world through the liberality of good princes, and especially of Matilda, a noble duchess of Italy, who at her death made the pope heir of all her lands, and endued his see with great revenues. F590 Then riches begat ambition, ambition destroyed religion, so that all came to ruin. Out of this corruption sprang forth here in England, as did in other places more, another Romish kind of monkery, worse than the other before, being much more drowned in superstition and ceremonies, which was about the year of our Lord, 980. Of this swarm was Egbert, Agilbert, Egwin, Boniface, Wilfrid, Agatho, James, Romain, Cedda, Dunstan, Oswold,Athelwold; Athelwin, duke of East-Angles; Lanfranc, Anselm, and such others. F591 And yet in this time also, through God’s providence, the church lacked not some of better knowledge and judgment, to weigh with the darkness of those days. For although king Edgar, with Edward his base son, being seduced by Dunstan, Oswald, and other monkish clerks, was then a great author and fautor of much superstition, erecting as many monasteries as were Sundays in the year, yet, notwithstanding, this continued not long.
For, eftsoons after the death of Edgar, came king Ethelred and Queen Alfrida his mother, with Alferus duke of Merceland, and other peers and nobles of the realm, who displaced the monks again, and restored the married priests to their old possessions and livings. F592 Moreover, after that, followed also the Danes, which overthrew those monkish foundations, as fast as king Edgar had set them up before.
And thus hitherto stood the condition of the true church of Christ, albeit not without some repugnance and difficulty, yet in some mean state of the truth and verity, till the time of pope Hildebrand, called Gregory VII. which was near about the year 1080, and of pope Innocent III. in the year 1215: by whom all together was turned upside down, all order broken, discipline dissolved, true doctrine defaced, christian faith extinguished; instead whereof, was set up preaching of men’s decrees, dreams and idle traditions. And whereas, before, truth was free to be disputed amongst learned men, now, liberty was turned into law, argument into authority.
Whatsoever the bishop of Rome denounced, that stood for an oracle of all men to be received without opposition or contradiction; whatsoever was contrary, ipso facto it was heresy, to be punished with faggot and flaming fire. Then began the sincere faith of this English church, which held out so long, to quail. Then was the clear sunshine of God’s word overshadowed with mists and darkness, appearing like sackcloth to the people, who neither could understand what they read, nor yet were permitted to read what they could understand. In these miserable days, as the true visible church began now to shrink and keep in for fear, so up started a new sort of players, to furnish the stage, as school-doctors, canonists, and four orders of friars; besides other monastical sects and fraternities of infinite variety; which, ever since, have kept such a stir in the church, that none for them almost durst rout, neither Caesar, king, nor subject. What they defined, stood; what they approved, was catholic; what they condemned, was heresy; whomsoever they accused, none almost could save. And thus have these, hitherto, continued, or reigned rather, in the church, the space now of full four hundred years and odd. During which space the true church of Christ, although it durst not openly appear in the face of the world, was oppressed by tyranny; yet neither was it so invisible or unknown, but, by the providence of the Lord, some remnant always remained from time to time, which not only showed secret good affection to sincere doctrine, but also stood in open defense of truth against the disordered church of Rome.
In which catalogue, first, to pretermit Bertram and Berengarius, who were before pope Innocent III. a learned multitude of sufficient witnesses here might be produced; whose names neither are obscure nor doctrine unknown; as Joachim, abbot of Calabria, and Almeric, a learned bishop, who was judged an heretic for holding against images in the time of the said Innocent. Besides the martyrs of Alsace, of whom we read an hundred to be burned by the said Innocent in one day, as writeth Ulric Mutius. F594 Add likewise to these the Waldenses or Albigenses, which, to a great number, segregated themselves from the church of Rome. To this number also belonged Reymund, earl of Thoulouse, Marsilius Patavinus, Gulielmus de Sancto Amore, Simon Tornacensis, Arnoldus de Nova Villa, Johannes Semeca, besides divers other preachers in Suabia standing against the pope, A.D. 1240; Laurentius Anglicus, a master of Paris, A.D. 1260; Petrus Johannes, a mlnorite, who was burned after His death, A.D. 1290; Robertus Gallus, a dominic friar, A.D. 1292; Robert Grosthead, bishop of Lincoln, who was called “Malleus Romanorum,” f599 A.D.1250; Lord Peter of Cugnieres, A.D. 1329. To these we may add, moreover, Gulielmus Ockam, Bonagratia Bergomensis, Luitpoldus, Andreas Laudensis, Ulric Hangenor, treasurer to the emperor, Johannes de Ganduno, A.D. 1330, mentioned in the Extravagants; Andreas de Castro, Buridanus, Euda, duke of Burgundy, who counselled the French king not to receive the new-found constitutions and Extravagants of the pope into his realm; Dantes Aligerius, an Italian, who wrote against the pope, monks, and friars, and against the donation of Constantine, A.D. 1330; Taulerus, a German preacher; Conradus Hager, imprisoned for preaching against the mass, A.D. 1339; the author of the book called “Poenitentiarius Asini,” compiled about the year 1343; Michael Cesenas, a grey friar; Petrus de Corbaria, with Johannes de Poliaco, mentioned in the Extravagants, and condemned by the pope; Johannes de Castilione, with Franciscus de Arcatara, who were burned about the year of our Lord, 1322; Johannes Rochtaylada, otherwise called Haybalus, with another friar martyred about the year 1346; Franciscus Petrarcha, who called Rome the whore of Babylon, etc. A.D. 1350; Gregorius Ariminensis, A.D. 1350; Joannes de Rupe Scissa, imprisoned for certain prophesies against the pope, A.D. 1340; Gerhardus Ridder, who also wrote against monks and friars a book called “Lacrymae Ecclesiae,” A.D. 1350; Godfridus de Fontanis, Guilelmus de Landuno, Joannes Monachus Cardinalis, Armachanus, Nicolaus Orem, preacher, A.D. 1364; Militzius, a Bohemian, who then preached that antichrist was come, and was excommunicated for the same, A.D. 1366; Jacobus Misnensis, Matthias Parisiensis, a Bohemian born, and a writer against the pope, A.D. 1370; Joannes Montziger, rector of the university of Ulm, A.D. 1384; Nilus, archbishop of Thessalonica, Henricus de Iota, Henricus de Hassia, etc. f606 I do but recite the principal writers and preachers in those days. How many thousands there were which never bowed their knees to Baal, that is known to God alone. Of whom we find in the writings of oneBruschius f607 that six-and-thirty citizens of Mentz were burned, A.D. 1390: who, following the doctrine of the Waldenses, affirmed the pope to be the great Antichrist. Also Massaeus recordeth of one hundred and forty, who, in the province of Narbonne, were put to the fire, for not receiving the decretals of Rome; besides them that suffered at Paris, to the number of four-andtwenty at one time, A.D. 1210: and the next year after there were four hundred burnt under the name of heretics; besides also a certain good eremite, an Englishman, of whom mention is made in John Bacon, who was committed for disputing in Paul’s church against certain sacraments of the church of Rome, A.D. 1306. F609 To descend now somewhat lower in drawing out the descent of the church.
What a multitude here cometh of faithful witnesses in the time of John Wickliff, as Ocliff Wickliff (A.D. 1379); William Thorp, White, Purvey, Pateshul, Pain, Gower, Chaucer, Gascoin, William Swinderby, Walter Brute, Roger Dexter, William Sautry, about the year l401; John Badby, A.D. 1410; Nicholas Taller, Richard Wagstaff, Michael Scrivener, William Smith, John Henry, William Parchmenar, Roger Goldsmith, with an anchoress called Matilda, in the city of Leicester; lord Cobham; sir Roger Acton, knight; John Beverley, preacher; John Huss, Jerome of Prague, a schoolmaster, with a number of faithful Bohemians and Thaborites not to be told; with whom I might also adjoin Laurentius Valla. and Joannes Picus, the learned earl of Mirandula. But what do I stand upon recital of names, which almost are infinite?
Wherefore, if any be so far beguiled in his opinion [as] to think the doctrine of the church of Rome, as it now standeth, to be of such antiquity, and that the same was never impugned before the time of Luther and Zuinglius now of late, let them read these histories: or if he think the said history not to be of sufficient credit to alter his persuasion, let him peruse the acts and statutes of parliaments, passed in this realm, of ancient time, and therein consider and confer the course of times; where he may find and read, in the year of our Lord 1382, of a great number (who there be called evil persons) going about from town to town in frieze gowns, preaching unto the people, etc. Which preachers, although the words of the statute do term there to be dissembling persons, reaching divers sermons containing heresies and notorious errors, to the emblemishment of christian faith, and of holy church, etc. as the words do there pretend; yet notwithstanding, every true christian reader may conceive of those preachers to teach no other doctrine, than now they hear their own preachers in pulpits preach against the bishop of Rome, and the corrupt heresies of his church.
Furthermore, he shall find likewise in the statutes, in the year of our Lord 1401, another like company of good preachers and faithful defenders of true dectrine against blind heresy and error. Whom, albeit the words of the statute there, through corruption of that time, do falsely term to be false and perverse preachers, under dissembled holiness, teaching in those days openly and privily new doctrines and heretical opinions, contrary to the faith and determination of holy church, etc., yet notwithstanding whosoever readeth histories, and conferreth the order and descent of times, shall understand these to be no false teachers, but faithful witnesses of the truth; not teaching any new doctrine contrary to the determination of holy church, but rather shall find that church to be unholy which they preached against; teaching rather itself heretical opinions, contrary both to antiquity and verity of Christ’s true catholic church.
Of the like number also, or greater, of like faithful favorers and followers of God’s holy word, we find in the year 1422, specified in a letter sent from Henry Chichesly, archbishop of Canterbury, to pope Martin V., in the fifth year of his popedom, where mention is made of so many here in England, infected (as he said) with the heresies of Wicklift and Huss, that without force of an army, they could not be suppressed, etc. Whereupon the pope sent two cardinals to the archbishop, to cause a tenth to be gathered of all spiritual and religious men, and the money to be laid in the chamber apostolic; and if that were not sufficient, the residue to be made up of chalices, candlesticks, and other implements of the church, etc.
What shall need then any more witnesses to prove this matter, when you see, so many years ago, whole armies and multitudes thus standing against the pope? who, though they be termed here for heretics and. schismatics, yet in that which they call heresy served they the living Lord within the ark of his true spiritual and visible church.
And where is then the frivolous brag of the papists, who make so much of their painted sheath; and would needs bear us down, that this government of the church of Rome, which now is, hath been of such an old standing, time out of mind, even from the primitive antiquity; and that there never was any other church demonstrable here in earth for men to follow, besides the said only catholic mother church of Rome? when as we have sufficiently proved before, by the continual descent of the church till this present time, the said church, after the doctrine which is now reformed, is no new-begun matter, but even the old continued church by the providence and promise of Christ still standing; which, albeit it hath been of late years repressed by the tyranny of Roman bishops more than before, yet notwithstanding it was never so oppressed, but God hath ever maintained in it the truth of his gospel, against heresies and errors of the church of Rome, as, in this history, more at full is to be seen.
Let us now proceed further as we began, deducing this descent of the church unto the year 1501. In which year the Lord began to show in the parts of Germany wonderful tokens, and bloody marks of his passion; as the bloody cross, his nails, spear, and crown of thorns, which fell from heaven upon the garments and caps of men, and rocks of women; as you may further read in this history. F614 By the which tokens Almighty God, no doubt, pre-signified what grievous afflictions and bloody persecutions should then begin to ensue upon his church for his gospel’s sake, according as in this history is described; wherein is to be seen what christian blood hath been spilt, what persecutions raised, what tyranny exercised, what torments devised, what treachery used, against the poor flock and church of Christ; in such sort as since Christ’s time greater hath not been seen.
And now by revolution of years we are come from that time of 1501, to the year now present 1570. F615 In which the full seventy years of the Babylonish captivity draweth now well to an end, if we count from the first appearing of these bloody marks above-mentioned. Or if we reckon from the beginning of Ludler and his persecution, then lacketh yet sixteen years. Now what the Lord will do with this wicked world, or what rest be will give to his church after these long sorrows, he is our Father in heaven, his will be done in earth as seemeth best to his divine Majesty.
In the mean time let us, for our parts, with all patient obedience wait upon his Grace’s leisure, and glorify his holy name, and edify one another with all humility. And if there cannot be an end of our disputing and contending one against another, yet let there be a moderation in our affections. And forasmuch as it is the good will of our God, that Satan thus should be let loose amongst us for a short time; yet let us strive in the mean while, what we can, to amend the malice of the time, with mutual humanity. they that be in error, let them not disdain to learn. they which have greater talents of knowledge committed [to them], [let them] instruct in simplicity them that be simple. No man liveth in that commonwealth where nothing is amiss; but yet because God hath so placed us Englishmen here in one commonwealth, also in one church, as in one ship together, let us not mangle or divide the ship, which, being divided, perisheth; but every man serve with diligence and discretion in his order, wherein he is called — they that sit at the helm keep well the point of the needle, to know how the ship goeth, and whither it should; whatsoever weather betideth, the needle, well touched with the stone of God’s word, will never fail: such as labor at the oars start for no tempest, but do what they can to keep from the rocks: likewise they which be in inferior rooms, take heed they move no sedition nor disturbance against the rowers and mariners. No storm so dangerous to a ship on the sea, as is discord and disorder in a weal public. What countries and nations, what kingdoms and empires, what cities, towns, and houses, discord hath dissolved, in stories is manifest; I need not spend time in rehearsing examples.
The God of peace, who hath power both of land and sea, reach forth his merciful hand to help them up that sink, to keep up them that stand, to still these winds and surging seas of discord and contention among us; that we, professing one Christ, may, in one unity of doctrine, gather ourselves into one ark or the true church together; where we, continuing steadfast in faith, may at the last luckily be conducted to the joyful port of our desired landing-place by his heavenly grace. To whom, both in heaven and earth, be all power and glory, with his Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever.
THE UTILITY OF THIS STORY. F617 SEEING the world is replenished with such an infinite multitude of books of all kind of matters, I may seem, perhaps, to take a matter in hand superfluous and needless, at this present time to set out such volumes, especially of histories; considering now-a-days the world is so greatly pestered, not only with superfluous plenty thereof, but of all other treatises, so that books now seem rather to lack readers, than readers to lack books. In which multitude of books, I doubt not but many do both perceive, and inwardly bewail, this insatiable boldness of many now-adays both in writing and printing; which, to say the truth, for my part I do as much lament as any man else beside; and would therefore no man should think that unadvisedly or with rashness I have attempted this enterprise, for assuredly I have been not only doubtful, but also both bashful and fearful within myself for setting the same abroad. And why? First, I perceived how learned this age of ours is in reading of books, neither could I tell what the secret judgments of readers would conceive, to see so weak a thing to set upon such a weighty enterprise; not sufficiently furnished with such ornaments able to satisfy the perfection of so great a story, or sufficient to serve the utility of the studious and the delight of the learned.
Which ability the more I perceived to be wanting in me, the less I durst be bold to become a writer.
But again, on the other side, when I weighed with myself what memorable acts and famous doings this latter age of the church hath ministered unto us by the patient sufferings of the worthy martyrs, I thought it not to be neglected, that so precious monuments of so many matters, meet to be recorded and registered in books, should lie buried by my default, under darkness of oblivion. Methought somewhat was to be said of them for their well-deserving, and something, again, of our parts, for benefits by them received. But, above all other things, nothing did so much stir me forward hereunto, as the diligent consideration and special regard of the common utility which every man plentifnlly may receive by the reading of these our “Monuments” or Martyrology; which history as I have taken in hand chiefly for the use of the English church, so have I framed it in that tongue which the simple people could best understand.
Now, if men commonly delight so much in other chronicles which entreat only upon matters of policy, and rejoice to behold therein the variable events of worldly affairs, the stratagems of valiant captains, the roar of foughten fields, the sacking of cities, the hurlyburlies of realms and people; and if men think it such a gay thing in a commonwealth to commit to history such old antiquities of things profane, and bestow all their ornaments of wit and eloquence in garnishing the same, how much more then is it meet for Christians to conserve in remembrance the lives, acts, and doings, not of bloody warriors, but of mild and constant martyrs of Christ; which serve not so much to delight the ear, as to garnish the life, to frame it with examples of great profit, and to encourage men to all kind of christian godliness! As first, by reading thereof we may learn a lively testimony of God’s mighty working in the life of man, contrary to the opinion of Atheists, and all the whole nest of Epicures. For like as one said of Harpalus in times past, that his doings gave a lively testimony against God, because he, being so wicked a man, escaped so long unpunished; so, contrariwise, in these men, we have an assured and plain witness of God, both in whose lives and deaths appeared such manifest declarations of God’s divine working; whiles in such sharpness of torments we behold in them strength so constant above man’s reach, such readiness to answer, such patience in imprisonment, such godliness in forgiving, such cheerfulness and courage in suffering; besides the manifold sense and feeling of the Holy Ghost, which they in their lives so plentifully tasted in their afflictions, as in reading of their letters evidently we may understand.
Over and besides this, the mild deaths of the saints do not a little avail to the stablishing of a good conscience, to learn the contempt of the world, and to come to the fear of God. Moreover, they confirm faith, increase godliness, abate pride in prosperity, and in adversity do open an hope of heavenly comfort. For what man, reading the misery of these godly persons may not therein, as in a glass, behold his own case, whether he be godly or godless? For if God give adversity unto good men, what may either the better sort promise themselves, or the evil not fear? And whereas by reading of profane stories we are made perhaps more skillful in warlike affairs; so by reading of this we are made better in our livings, and besides are better prepared unto like conflicts (if by God’s permission they shall happen hereafter), more wise by their doctrine, and more stedfast by their example.
To be short, they declare to the world what true christian fortitude is, and what is the right way to conquer; which standeth not in the power of man, but in hope of the resurrection to come, and is now, I trust, at hand. In consideration whereof, methinks I have good cause to wish, that, like as other men, even so also kings and princes, who commonly delight in heroical stories, would diligently peruse such monuments of martyrs, and lay them always in sight, not only to read, but to follow, and would paint them upon their walls, cups, rings, and gates. For doubtless such as these are more worthy of honor than an hundred Alexanders, Hectors, Scipios, and warlike Julies. And though the world judgeth preposterously of things, yet with God, the true Judge, certes such are most reputed in deed, not that kill one another with a weapon, but they who, being rather killed in God’s cause, do retain an invincible constancy against the threats of tyrants, and violence of tormentors. Such as these are the true conquerors of the world, by whom we learn true manhood, so many as fight under Christ, and not under the world. With this valiantness did that most mild Lamb, and invincible Lion of the tribe of Judah first of all go before us. Of whose unspeakable fortitude we hear this prophetical admiration: “Who is this,” saith he, “which walketh so in the multitude of his strength? (Isaiah 63:1.) forsooth, the high Son of the high God, once conquered of the world, and yet conquering the world after the same manner he was conquered.
The like dance did all his other martyrs follow, to whom the ancient antiquity of the church did attribute so great honor, as never king or emperor could purchase in this world with all their images, pillars, high spires, triumphs, temples, and all their solemn feasts. In probation whereof we see with what admiration, and almost superstition, not only the memory but also the relics of those good martyrs, were received and kept amongst the ancient christians. We have also for witness the learned hymns and songs of Prudentius and Nazianzen, wherewith Pindarus did never so much set out his triumphs of Olympia and Nemea. I need not here rehearse the learned orations of eloquent Cyprian, Chrysostome, Ambrose, and Jerome, who never showed their eloquence more, than when they fell into the commendations of the godly martyrs.
Whereby it is manifest, what estimation in times past was attributed to martyrs; with what gratulation, rejoicing, mirth, and common joy, the afflictions of those godly, dying in Christ’s quarrel, were sometime received and solemnized; and that not without good reasonable cause. For the church did well consider how much she was beholden to their benefits, by whose death she understood her treasures to increase. Now then if martyrs are to be compared with martyrs, I see no cause why the martyrs of our time deserve any less commendation than the others in the primitive church; which assuredly are inferior unto them in no point of praise, whether we view the number of them that suffered, or greatness of their torments, or their constancy in dying, or also consider the fruit that they brought, to the amendment of posterity, and increase of the gospel. They did water with their blood the truth that was newly springing up; so these, by their deaths, restored it again, being sore decayed and fallen down.
They, standing in the forward of the battle, did receive the first encounter and violence of their enemies, and taught us, by that means, to overcome such tyranny; these, with like courage again, like old beaten soldiers, did win the field in the rearward of the battle. They, like famous husbandmen of the world, did sow the fields of the church, that first lay unmanured and waste; these, with fatness of their blood, did cause it to batten and fructify.
Again, if we ascribe such reputation to godly preachers (and worthily), who diligently preach the gospel of Christ, when they live notwithstanding, by the benefit of time, without all fear of persecution; how much more reasonable cause have we to praise and extol such men as stoutly spend their lives for the defense of the same!
All these premises duly of our parts considered and marked, seeing we have found so famous martyrs in this our age, let us not fail then in publishing and setting forth their doings; lest, in that point, we seem more unkind to them, than the writers of the primitive church were unto theirs.
And though we repute not their ashes, chains, and swerds [swords] in the stead of relics, yet let us yield thus much unto their commemoration, to glorify the Lord in his saints, and imitate their death (as much as we may) with like constancy, or their lives at the least with like innocency. They offered their bodies willingly to the rough handling of the tormentors; and is it so great a matter then for our part to mortify our flesh, with all the members thereof? They neglected not only the riches and glory of the world for the love of Christ, but also their lives; and shall we then keep so great a stir one against another for the transitory trifles of this world? They continued in patient suffering, when they had most wrong done unto them, and when their very hearts’ blood gushed out of their bodies; and yet will not we forgive our poor brother, be the injury, never so small, but are ready for every trifling offense to seek his destruction, and cut his throat.
They, wishing well to all men, did of their own accord forgive their persecutors; and therefore ought we,who are now the posterity and children, of martyrs, not to degenerate from their former steps, but, being admonished by these examples, if we cannot express their charity toward all men, yet at least to imitate the same to our power and strength. Let us give no cause of offense to any, and if any be given to us, let us overcome it with patience, forgiving, and not revenging, the same. And let us not only keep our hands from shedding of blood, but our tongues also from hurting the fame of others. Besides, let us not shrink, if case so require, from martyrdom, or loss of life, according to their example, and to yield up the same in the defense of the Lord’s flock. Which thing if men would do, much less contention and business would be in the world than now is. And thus much touching the utility and fruit to be taken of this history.
TO ALL THE PROFESSED FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS OF THE POPE’S PROCEEDINGS.
FOUR QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED.
To you all and singular who profess the doctrine and religion of the pope your holy father, and of your mother-church of Rome, pretending the name of Catholics, commonly termed Papists, wheresoever abiding in the realm of England, these four questions or problems hereunder following I would move; desiring you all either to muse upon them, or to answer them at your leisure.
THE FIRST QUESTION.
First, forsomuch as mount Sion (which God calleth by the prophet Isaiah the “the hill of his holiness”), beareth in the Scripture an undoubted type of the spiritual church of Christ; and forsomuch as the said Isaiah, (Isaiah 11:9, and 65:25.) prophesying of the said mount Sion, saith in these words, “Non nocebunt neque affligent in omni monte sancto meo, dicit Dominus,” etc.; that is, “They shall not kill nor hurt in all my holy hill, saith the Lord,” etc. And again, in the same chapters, thus we read, “Habitabit lupus cum agno, et pardus cum haedo accubabit, vitulus et leo et ovis una commorabuntur, et puellus parvulus ducet eos,” etc.; that is, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid; the calf, the lion, and the sheep shall feed together, and a young child shall rule them. The cow also and the bear shall abide together with their young ones, and the lion shall eat chaff and fodder like the ox,” etc.
Upon these premises now followeth my question: How the church of Rome can be answerable to this hill of Sion, seeing in the said church of Rome is, and hath been, now so many years, such killing and slaying, such cruelty and tyranny shewed, such burning and spilling of christian blood, such malice and mischief wrought, as, in reading these histories, may to all the world appear?
To this if they answer, and expound these words of the prophet, as pertaining to the church triumphant; thereunto I reply again, that by the words in the same place and in the same sentence expressed, that sense cannot stand; forasmuch as the prophet in the very same piece, where he prophesieth of this peaceable dwelling in God’s holy mountain, without hurting or killing, meaneth plainly of the earth, and showeth also the cause of that godly peace; “Because,” saith he, “the earth is replenished with knowledge and science of the Lord,” etc. And furthermore the prophet, speaking of the same day when this shall be, addeth, saying, “In that day the Root of Jesse shall stand for a sign to the people, for the Gentiles to be converted, and to seek unto him,” etc.; which day in no wise can be applied to the church in heaven triumphant, but only here militant in earth.
Touching which place of Isaiah, further here is to be noted by the way, that, by this peaceable mount Sion (which comprehendeth both the states, as well ecclesiastical as temporal), is not restrained the public penalty of good laws needful to be executed upon public malefactors, but here is restrained the fierceness, revenge, cruelty, and violence of men’s affections.
To which affections men being commonly subject by nature, through grace and working of the gospel are altered, reformed, and changed to another disposition; from stoutness to softness, from violence to sufferance, from fierceness to forbearing, from pride to humility, from cruelty to compassion, from wiliness to simplicity, from solemn singularity to humanity and meekness. Which virtues, if they had been in the church of Rome (according to the rule of St. Paul, “Which willeth men that be stronger to bear with the infirmities of the weaker, and that in the spirit of meekness,” etc. (Romans 15:1. Galatians 6:1), I should not have needed now at this time to write such a long history as this, of the suffering of so many martyrs.
THE SECOND QUESTION.
My second question is this, To demand of you, catholic professors of the pope’s sect, who so deadly malign and persecute the protestants professing the gospel of Christ; what just or reasonable cause have you to allege for this your extreme hatred ye bear unto them, that neither you yourselves can abide to live with them, nor yet will suffer the others to live amongst you? If they were Jews, Turks, or infidels, or, in their doctrine, were any idolatrous impiety, or detestable iniquity in their lives; if they went about any deadly destruction, or privy conspiracies to oppress your lives, or by fraudulent dealing to circumvent you; then had you some cause to complain, and also to revenge. Now seeing in their doctrine ye have neither blasphemy, idolatry, superstition, nor misbelief to object unto them — seeing they are baptized in the same belief, and believe the same articles of the creed as ye do; having the same God, the same Christ and Savior, the same baptism, and are ready to confer with you in all kind of christian doctrine, neither do refuse to be tried by any place of the Scripture — how then riseth this mortal malice of you against them? If you think them to be heretics, then bring forth, if ye can, any one sentence which they arrogantly hold, contrary to the mind of holy Scripture, expounded by the censure of most ancient doctors. Or what is there in all the Scripture to be required, but they acknowledge and confess the same?
See and try the order of their lives and doings; what great fault find you? they serve God, they walk under his fear, they obey his law, as men may do; and though they be transgressors towards him, as other men are, yet toward you what have they done, what have they committed or deserved, why you should be so bitter against them?
What offended the poor inhabitants of Merindol and Cabriers, when the bishop of Aix, the cardinal of Tours, and other bishops of France, wresting from Francis, the French king, a commission, sent Minerius with his captain John de Gray, to destroy their country, A.D. 1530; who, driving the poor people there into a barn full of straw, set the barn on fire, and burned up men, women, and children? And, likewise, in a church exercised the like cruelty upon them, where were murdered the same time to the number of a thousand young and old, women, children, and young infants, besides seven whole towns, with the most part of the dwellers therein, being murdered and burnt in the said country of Provence.
Also, before that, what offended the citizens of Tholouse and Avignon, when pope Gregory IX set Louis IX. the French king to war against them, and against Raymund their earl, without cause; where also the said king died the siege?
Or, to speak of later years, what hurt or harm did the poor protestants in the the town of Vassy; who, being peaceably at a sermon, were miserably slain and cut, men, women, and children, by the duke of Guise and his armed soldiers? Besides other infinite examples almost not to be numbered of like cruelty, in Calabria, Apulia, Bohemia, France, and now of late in Flanders, and in other countries more.
But to let other countries pass, let us tum now to the peaceable government in this realm of England, under this our so mild and gracious Queen now presently reigning. Under whom you see how gently you are suffered, what mercy is shewed unto you, how quietly ye live. What lack you that you would have, having almost the best rooms and offices in all the realm, not only without any loss of life, but also without any fear of death? And though a few of your arch-clerks be in custody, yet in that custody so shrewdly are they hurt, that many a good protestant in the realm would be glad with all their hearts to change rooms and diet with them, if they might. And albeit some other for their pleasure have slipt over the seas; if their courage to see countries abroad did so allure them, who could let them? Yet this is certain, no dread there was of death that drave them. For what papist have you seen in all this land to lose either life or limb for papistry, during all these twelve years hitherto since this queen’s reign? And yet, all this notwithstanding, having no cause to complain, so many causes to give God thanks, ye are not yet content, ye fret and fume, ye grudge and mutter, and are not pleased with peace, nor satisfied with safety, but hope for a day, and fain would have a change.
And as you have since that now of late disturbed the quiet and peaceable state of Scotland, in murdering most traitorously the gentle and godly regent of Scotland (who, in sparing the queen’s life there, when he had her in his hands, hath now therefore lost his own), so, with like fury, as by your rebellion appeareth, would you disturb the golden quiet and tranquillity of this realm of England, if ye might have your wills. Which the merciful grace of the Almighty, for Christ his Son’s sake our Lord, forefend and utterly disappoint. Amen!
Wherefore, these premises considered, my question is to ask of you and know, what just or reasonable cause ye have of these your unreasonable doings, of this your so mortal and deadly hatred, fury, and malice, you bear against these your even-christened; of these your tumults, conjurations, gaping, and hoping, rebellions, mutterings, and murders, wherewith you trouble and disquiet the whole world? Of all which mischiefs, if the true cause were well known, the truth would be found doubtless to be none other but only the private cause of the bishop of Rome, that he is not received, and the dignity of his church exalted.
Touching which cause how unreasonable and unjust it is, more shall be said (the Lord willing) in reply, according as I shall see their answer, if it shall so please them, or any of them, to answer this question. In the mean time, this, for a brief note shall suffice: that it standeth not with the Scripture, but contrary to the Scripture, that the bishop of Rome should so revenge his own private cause. If this title and plantation be good, and of God, why doth he not refer it unto God? And no doubt, but if it be so, God will maintain it, though the whole world said No. If it be otherwise, it will fall and be rooted out, though all the world said Yea. Yea, the greatest argument to prove this plantation of the pope’s supremacy not to be of God, is, that the pope, fighting in his own private cause, by outward and worldly force, seeketh his own glory. Christ our Savior, being here refused himself, yet neither revenged his own cause, nor sought his own glory, but only the glory and will of his Father, thus speaking of himself, “Si ego glorifico meipsum, gloria mea nihil est, Pater meus est qui glorificat me,” etc.; that is, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; my Father is he that glonfieth me, (John 8:54.) etc. Even so I say with Scripture, that if the pope’s proceedings were planted of God, he would not so wrestle for his glory as he doth; but forsomuch as he seeketh by such cruelty and bloodshed to exalt himself, we may well argue his proceedings not to be of God, and that he should be brought low.(Luke 18:14.)
THE THIRD QUESTION.
My third question I take of the thirteenth chapter of the book of Revelation. Which book, as it containeth a prophetical history of the church, so likewise it requireth by histories to be opened. In this chapter mention is made, first, of a certain beast coming out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, with ten diadems of blasphemy: unto the which beast the dragon, the devil, gave his strength, and great power to fight against his saints, and to overcome them, and to make forty-two months; of the which beast one of his heads was wounded at length to death.
After this, immediately in the same chapter, mention followeth of another beast rising out of the land, having two horns like a lamb, and spake like a dragon, and did all the power of the former beast before his face, and caused all dwellers of the earth to worship the beast, whose head was wounded and lived. Who also had power to give spirit and life to the said former beast, to make the image of the beast to speak, and to cause all men, from the highest to the lowest, to take the mark of the beast in their hands and foreheads; and whosoever worshipped not the image of the beast should be killed.
Upon this description of these two beasts riseth my question; wherein I desire all papists, from the highest to the lowest, either to answer, or to consider with themselves, what the spirit of the prophecy meaneth by the said two beasts. Neither is the mystery of this prophecy so obscure, but, being historical, by histories it may be explained and easily expounded.
Writing, therefore, to the papists, as men expert in histories, my question is this: That seeing the prophecy of these two beasts must needs prefigure some people or dominion in the world, of some high estate and power, they will now declare unto us, what people or domination this should be; which, if they will do plainly and truly, according to the marks and properties of the said two beasts here set forth, they must needs be driven, of force inevitable, to grant and confess the same to agree only to the city and empire of Rome, and to no other; which, by these reasons following, of necessity must needs be concluded.
First , the beast which came out of the sea, having the strength, the seat and power, of the great dragon (the devil, called the prince of this world) committed to him, who also had power given over all tribes, nations, languages, people, and countries in the earth, must needs he an empire or monarchy of great force, passing all other monarchies in the world besides: and this must needs argue the empire of Rome and none other.
Secondly , In that the beast had seven heads and ten horns, with ten diadems full of blasphemy upon them; those seven heads being expounded in the said book (Revelation 17.) for seven hills, notoriously importeth the city of Rome, wherein were seven hills contained. The like also may be thought of the ten horns, being there expounded for ten kings (signifying, belike, the ten provinces or kingdoms of the world, subdued to the Roman empire), with ten crowns of blasphemy upon their heads; all which conveniently agree to the city of Rome.
Thirdly , Where the said beast had power to make forty-two months, f622 and to fight against the saints, and to overcome them, etc.; thereby most manifestly is declared the empire of Rome, with the heathen persecuiting emperors, who had power given the space of so many months (that is, from Tiberius to Licinius, two hundred and ninety-four years) to persecute Christ’s church, as, in the table of the primitive church hereafter following, is discoursed more at large.
Fourthly , Where the prophet speaketh of one of the heads of the beast to be wounded to death, and the wound afterward to be cured again; by that ye have to understand the decay and subversion of the city of Rome, and of Italy, which, being one of the heads of the Roman monarchy, was subdued by the Goths, Vandals, and Lombards, and the city of Rome thrice sacked and taken, between the reign of Honorius emperor of Rome, and the time of Justinian emperor of Constantinople; and so remained this head of Rome wounded a long time under the dominion of the Lombards, till at length this wound was cured again, as the sequel of this prophecy declareth. For so it followeth in the the aforesaid chapter of the Revelation: “And after this I saw,” saith he, “another beast rising out of the land, having two horns like the lamb, and rising out spake like the dragon. Who practiced all the power of the first beast before his face, and caused all the inhabitants of the earth to worship the first beast, tending whose head was wounded and cured again, etc. And to him it was given to give life to the image of the beast, and to make it speak: and also to make all them that will not worship the image of the beast, to be slain, and caused all, from the most to the least, both rich and poor, free-men and bond-men, to take the mark of the beast in their right hand and in their foreheads, so that none should buy and sell unless he had the beast’s mark about him,” etc.
The description of this second beast being well viewed, it cannot be avoided, but needs must be applied to the bishop of Rome, and to none other, as by the history and order of times is evident to be proved. For who else representeth the horns of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world,” but only he? Who speaketh with the voice of the dragon so proudly as he? The voice of the dragon spake once to Christ, “That all the glory of the world was his, to give to whom he would, and that he would give it,” etc. And doth not this false-horned lamb, speaking in the same voice of the dragon, say by the mouth of pope Gregory VII., “That all the kingdoms of the earth were his, and that he had power in earth to loose, and take away empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and what else soever mortal men may have, and to give them where he would,” etc.?
Furthermore, at what time the declining state of Rome began to decay, and Italy was brought under subjection of the Lombards, then the pope stirred up Pepin and Charlemagne, to take his part against the Lombards, and to restore monarchy again the old glory of that monarchy to his former state.
And, therefore, who cured the wounded head of this beast again but only he? Who gave life and speech to the image of the beast, but he? who, after that, by the help of the French kings, he had subdued those Lombards, with other aliens, and had gotten the possession of Rome into his own hands, so repaired and advanced the fame and name of Rome, that since that time all persons, from the highest to the lowest, both rich and poor, have been glad to send and seek to Rome, yea, kings, emperors, queens, and dukes, have been glad to kiss that bishop’s feet, and to lead his horse by the bridle. So that the majesty of Rome, in the old heathen emperors’ days, was never more terrible nor glorious, nor ever had more power to persecute and overcome God’s saints, than these lamb-like bishops of Rome have had, and have exercised, these five hundred years in Christendom. And, therefore, who else in all the world hath so much power to do the works of the first beast before his face, as he? or who but he alone, who forceth both high and low, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive the seal, and to become loyal to the city and see of Rome? so that whosoever hath not the mark whereby to be known to hold of the church of Rome, shall have no place to buy and sell, nor to occupy in all Christendom.
Now if any papist whatsoever, in answering to this my question, can apply this prophetical mystery of these two beasts otherwise than thus, I would heartily desire him to take so much pains to satisfy this doubt at his good pleasure and leisure. In the mean season, let this stand for a Corollarium: that the bishop of Rome, by this description, must be that second beast prophesied to come in the latter time of the church under a false pretensed lamb, to restore again the old persecutions of Rome, and to disturb the whole church of Christ, as this day too truly is come to pass.
THE FOURTH QUESTION.
As touching my fourth question, although I could urge you with another like prophetical place of Scripture, no less evident against the bishop of Rome, taken out of the second epistle of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, where mention is made of the son of perdition, “sitting in the temple of God, as God, and advancing himself above all that is called God, etc.” — Which place ye can by no reasonable evasion avoid — yet notwithstanding to let this pass, I turn my question to ask this of you: Whether the religion of Christ be mere spiritual, or else corporal? If ye affirm it to be corporal, as was the old religion of the Jews, consisting in outward rites, sacrifices, and ceremonies of the law; then shew, if ye can, what any one outward action or observation is required in christian religion by the Scripture, as necessary in a christian man for remission of sins and salvation, save only the two sacramental ceremonies of outward baptism, and of the Lord’s supper? Howbeit, neither these also as they are corporal; that is to say, neither the outward action of the one, nor of the other, conferreth remission of sins, nor salvation, but only are visible shews of invisible and spiritual benefits. And furthermore, if our God whom we serve be spiritual; how can his religion and service be corporal, as we are taught by the mouth of our Savior, saying, “God is a Spirit, and therefore they that worship him must worship in spirit and verity, etc.”
Now if ye grant (as ye must needs) this our christian religion to be spiritual, and not a corporal religion, then shew, if ye can, any one point, of all these things, which ye strive for so much with us, to be spiritual, but altogether corporal, and extern matters and ceremonial observations, nothing conducing to any spiritual purpose: as your outward succession of bishops, garments, vestures, gestures, colors, choice of meats, difference of days, times, and places, hearing, seeing, saying, touching, tasting, numbering of beads, gilding and worshipping images, building monasteries, rising at midnight, silence in cloisters, abstaining from flesh and white meat, fasting in Lent, keeping ember-days, hearing mass and divine service, seeing and adoring the body in form of bread, receiving holy-water and holybread, creeping to the cross, carrying palms, taking ashes, bearing candles, pilgrimage-going, censing, kneeling, knocking, altars, super-altars, candlesticks, pardons. In orders, crossing, anointing, shaving, forswearing marriage. In baptism, crossing, salting, spatling, exorcising, washing of hands. At Easter, ear-confession, penance-doing, satisfaction; and in receiving, with beards new shaven, to imagine a body where they see no body; and though he were there present to be seen, yet the outward seeing and touching of him, of itself, without faith, conduceth no more than it did to the Jews. At Rogation-days, to carry banners, to follow the cross, to walk about the fields. After Pentecost, to go about with Corpus Christi play. At Hollomas to watch in the church, to say a dirge, and commemorations, and to ring for All-Souls, to pay tythes truly, to give to the high altar. And if a man will be a priest, to say mass and matins, to serve the saint of that day, and to lift well over his head, etc. In sickness to be annealed, to take his rites; after his death to have funerals, and chits said for him, and to be rung for at his funeral, month mind, and year mind, etc.
Add moreover to these the outward sacrifice of the mass, with opus operatum sine bono motu utentis. etc.
All which things above recited, as they contain the whole summary and effect of all the pope’s catholic religion; so are they all corporal exercises, consisting in the extern operation of man. Which if they can make a perfect right catholic christian, then it may be said, that men may be made perfect Christians by flesh and blood, without any inward working of faith, or of the Holy Ghost. For what is in all these, but that which flesh and blood of his [own] strength is able to accomplish, though no inward strength or motion of the Holy Ghost did work?
But now the order of our religion, and way of salvation, consisteth not in such corporal or outward things as these, but in other more high and more spiritual gifts, which far exceed the capacity of flesh and blood; of the which gifts, the chiefest and only main cause that sayeth man, and remitteth sins, is his faith in Christ. Which faith I thus define; for a man to believe, by the blood-shedding of Jesus the Son of God his sins to be forgiven, God’s wrath to be pacified, and himself to be justified perfectly from all accusations that can be laid unto him. And though the papists make a light matter of this, to believe Christ; and when they hear us say, That faith only justifieth, they object to us again, and make it a small matter to be saved, if faith only justifieth us; yet notwithstanding, this faith, if it be well examined, is such a thing that flesh and blood is not able to attain thereto, unless God’s holy Spirit from above do draw him.
Moreover, besides this faith, many other things are incident also to the doctrine of our salvation. Albeit as no causes thereof, but either as sacraments and seals of faith, or as declarations thereof, or else as fruits and effects following the same: so baptism, and the supper of the Lord, are as testimonies and proofs, that by our faith only in Christ we are justified; that as our bodies are washed by water, and our life nourished by bread and wine, so, by the blood of Christ our sins are purged, and the hunger of our souls relieved by the death of his body.
Upon the same faith riseth also outward profession by mouth, as a declaration thereof. Other things also, as fruits and effects, do follow after faith; as peace of conscience, joy in the holy Ghost, invocation, patience, charity, mercy, judgment, and sanctification. For God, for our faith in Christ his Son, therefore giveth into our hearts his holy Spirit of comfort, of peace, and sanctification, whereby man’s heart is moved to a godly disposition to fear God, to seek him, to call upon him, to trust unto him, to stick to him in all adversities and persecutions, to love him; and, for his sake also, to love our brethren; to have mercy and compassion upon them, to visit them if they be in prison, to break bread to them if they be hungry, and, if they be burdened, to ease them; to clothe them if they be naked, and to harbor them if they be houseless; with such other spiritual exercises of piety and sanctification as these, which therefore I call spiritual, because they proceed of the holy Spirit and law of God, which is spiritual.
And thus have ye a catholic Christian defined, first after the rules of Rome, and also after the rule of the gospel. Now confer these antitheses together, and see whether of these is the true Christian, the ceremonial man after the church of Rome, or the spiritual man with his faith and other spiritual fruits of piety following after the same. And if ye say that ye mix them both together, spiritual things with your corporal ceremonies, to that I answer again, that as touching the end of remission of sins and salvation, they ought in no case to be joined together, because the main cause of all our salvation and remission is only spiritual, and consisteth in faith, and in no other.
And therefore upon the same cause I come to my question again, as I began to ask whether the religion of Christ be a mere spiritual religion; and whether in the religion of Rome, as it is now, is any thing but only mere corporal things required, to make a catholic man. And thus I leave you to your answer.
In turning over the first leaves of this book, thou shalt find, gentle reader, the arguments of Pighius and Hosius, wherein thug they argue: that forsomuch as Christ must needs have a catholic church ever continuing here in earth, which all men may see, and whereunto all men ought to resort; and seeing no other church hath endured continually from the apostles, visible here in earth, but only the church of Rome; they conclude, therefore, the church of Rome only to be the right catholic church of Christ.
In answering whereunto, this is to be said; that forsomuch as the medius terminus of this argument, both in the major and minor, consisteth only in the words “visible and unknown,” if they mean by this word “visible,” in the major, that Christ’s church must be seen here to all the world, that all men may resort to it, it is false. Likewise, if they mean by the same word “visible” in the minor, that no other church hath been seen and known to any, but only the church of Rome, they are likewise deceived. For the true church of Christ neither is so visible, that all the world can see it, but only they which have spiritual eyes, and be members thereof; nor yet so invisible again, but such as be God’s elect, and members thereof, do see it, and have seen it, though the worldly eyes of the most multitude cannot do so; whereof read more in the Protestation, above prefixed, to the church of England.
FOUR CONSIDERATIONS GIVEN OUT TO CHRISTIAN PROTESTANTS, PROFESSORS OF THE GOSPEL; WITH A BRIEF EXHORTATION INDUCING TO REFORMATION OF LIFE.
THE FIRST CONSIDERATION.
As, in the pages before, “Four Questions” were moved to the catholic papists, to answer them at their leisure; so have I here, to the christian gospellers, four considerations for them to muse upon with speed convenient.
The first consideration is this: that every good man well weigh with himself the long tranquillity, the great plenty, the peaceable liberty, which the Lord of his mercy hath bestowed upon this land during all the reign hitherto of this our sovereign and most happy Queen Elizabeth, in such sort as the like example of God’s abundant mercies is not to be seen in any nation about us; so, as we may well sing with the psalm in the church, “Non fecit taliter omni nationi, et opes glories suae non manifestavit eis;” first, in having the true light of God’s gospel so shining among us, so publicly received, so freely preached, with such liberty of conscience without danger professed; having, withal, a prince so virtuous, a Queen so gracious, given unto us, of our own native country, bred and born amongst us, so quietly governing us, so long lent unto us, in such peace defending us against such as would else devour us; briefly, what could we have more at God’s hand, if we would wish? Or what else could we wish in this world that we have not, if this one thing lacked not — grace to use that well which we have?
THE SECOND CONSIDERATION.
As these things first are to be considered concerning ourselves, so, secondly; let us consider likewise the state and times of other our countrymen and blessed martyrs aforepast; what storms of persecutions they sustained, what little rest they had, with what enemies they were matched, with what crosses pressed, under what princes, under what prelates, they lived, or rather died, in the days of king Henry the fourth, king Henry the fifth, king Henry the seventh, king Henry the eighth, QueenMary, etc.; under Bonner bishop of London, Gardiner bishop of Winchester, Cholmley, Story, bishop Arundel, Stokesley, Courtney, Warham; at what time children were caused to set fire to their fathers, the father adjured to accuse the son, the wife to accuse the husband, the husband the wife, brother the sister, sister the brother; examples whereof are plenty in this book to be seen.
THE THIRD CONSIDERATION.
Thirdly, let us call to mind, considering thus with ourselves, these good men and worthy martyrs in those dangerous days, tasting as they did the heavy hand of God’s sharp correction, beginning commonly, with his own house first; if they were alive now in these halcyon-days, under the protection of such a peaceable prince, O what thanks would they give to God? How happy would they count themselves, having but half of that we have, with freedom only of conscience and safety of life! Or, if in case we ourselves had been in those times of theirs, so troubled and distressed as they were, spoiled of goods, hated of the world, cited in consistories, pinched in prisons, sequestered from house, wife, and children, looking for nothing but death; what would we say? what would we think? what would we do? Much otherwise doubtless than we do now. God grant we may do better; for worse I think we cannot if we would. John Wickliff, William Swinderby, Thorpe, Sawtry, with a number of godly men more, being then clad in friese-gowns, going barefoot, to preach where they could; if they were now alive, how glad would they be of these days, what pains would they take, yea, what pains would they not take in preaching the gospel, not for lucre, nor for money, nor passing for promotions or dignities of the church! Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, Sir Roger Acton, with divers worshipful gentlemen a great number, if they, being in our state, might enjoy with us their houses and lands, with the good favor of their prince (as then they could not), how gladly would they have contented themselves, though they never raised their rents and fines to the undoing of their poor tenants! Likewise in the time of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, the nobility and gentlemen of Bohemia, if they might have had half this tranquillity which we have, to enjoy the liberty of God’s word and true use of the sacraments without molestation of Romish prelates, what would they have cared how simply they walked in their attire, without any such monstrous pomp in pranking up themselves, as we Englishmen in these reformed days walk now, more like players on a stage, than God’s children in his church.
THE FOURTH CONSIDERATION.
Wherefore, well-beloved, these things being so, let us call ourselves to mind, considering the times that have been, the times that be, and the times that may come, how we stand, and by whom we stand. If it be the favor of God only that doth support us in the midst of so many enemies, let us beware that in no wise we provoke his indignation. If it be his truth and gospel that we profess, let us walk in the light of his truth, and keep ourselves within the compass of his gospel. What the gospel requireth, and what it abhorreth, who knoweth not? and yet who followeth what he knoweth? If St. Paul willeth every one to depart from iniquity, which nameth the Lord Jesus; and if the Lord Jesus himself testifieth plainly his kingdom not to be of this world, how will then the nature of that kingdom so spiritual, and our conditions so worldly, match well together? To rip up all our deformities in particular I mind not here, neither need I, the same being so evident to all men’s eyes, that who cannot see our excessive outrage in pompous apparel, our carnal desires and unchaste demeanors, without fear of God, our careless security, without conscience, as though there were no judgement to come, our studies so upon this world, as though there were no other heaven? What pride and idleness of life, double dissembling in word and deed, without simplicity, avarice unsatiable, little regard to hear God’s word, less to read it, least of all to follow it, every man aspiring to worldly wealth and promotion, little or no mercy to the poor, racking of rents and fines, bribing and taking unmeasurable. What should I speak of the contentions and unbrotherly divisions amongst us, most lamentable to see, but more lamentable, if all were seen which may or is like to follow upon the same? Such were the times once of the church before the horrible persecution of Dioclesian; for so we read, such hatred and disdain, through much peace and prosperity of the church, to creep in amongst the churchmen.
Wherefore let us be exhorted, dearly beloved, to reclaim ourselves while time doth serve. If we find the Lord so gracious in sparing us as he doth, let not that make us worse, but better. It is a lewd child that will not learn without beating. A well-minding man will be good; not forced by coaction, but of voluntary office induced. As adversity, if it come, ought not to dismay us; so prosperity, now present, ought not to puff us up in security, considering what commonly is wont to follow; as Plato well writeth, “ae atque effrentae libertatis servitutem plerumque asseclam esse,” Of immoderate liberty and too much security, followeth most commonly extreme servitude. And as we walk like chddren of disobedience, God hath his rods to scourge us; if we will needs be rebels, he hath his Pharaohs and Nabuchadnezzars to plague us. Or if we will be so inordinate and (with reverence be it spoken, without offence to God or man) so doggish and curlish one to another, the Lord lacketh not his dog-strikers to whip us.
And would God our lives were such, that the destruction and ruin, here of late seen among us, may portend nothing against us, as I trust there is no cause for us to fear; but rather to fear the Lord, and walk in his obedience, and amend that which is amiss amongst us. Amen.
Pax praedicantibus, gracia audientibus, gloria Jesu Christo. Amen.
THE KALENDER Januarye hath dayes.
The Moone 30.
The Moone 29.
Days of their death Yearof the Lord 3 A 1 Circumcission d 1 William Thorpe, Priest, Confessor b 2 John Wicklief, Preacher, martyr 1387 11 e 2 Purification og our Ladye. 11 c 3 John Aston, Confes. 1382 19 f 3 John Claydon, martyr d 4 William Sawtrey, Priest, martyr 1401 8 g 4 Richard Turmine, martyr 19 e 5 Swinderby a Priest martyr A 5 Zisca, a Confessor 8 f 6 Epiphany 16 b 6 Syr. Iohn Ould Castell.
Lord Cobham, Martyr. g 7 Syr Roger Acton, Knyghte, martyr 1401 5 c 7 Richarde Houeden, martyr 16 A 8 JohnBrown, Gentleman, martyr 1413 d 8 Thomas Bageley, Priest, martyr. 5 b 9 John Beverly, Preacher, martyr 1413 18 e 9 Paule Craws, martyr c 10 Richard Silbecke, martyr 14 1413 2 f 10 Thomas Rhedon, martyr 13 d 11 John Castellane, Doctour, martyr 12 1521 g 11 Raynolde Pecocke, Bis.
Confessor 2 e 12 Thomas Whyttell, minister, martyr 27 1525 10 A 12 Sir Roger Onley, Knight, martyr f 13 Bartlet Grene, 27 1556 b 13 Elenor Gentleman, martyr Cobham, Gentlewoman , Confessor 10 g 14 John Tudson, martyr 27 1556 18 c 14 Mother of the Lady Yong, martyr A 15 Thom. Went, martyr 27 1556 7 d 15 Thomas Notrice, martyr 18 b 16 Thomas Browne, martyr 27 1556 e 16 Thomas of Eckles, martyr 7 c 17 Isabel Foster, martyr 27 1556 15 f 17 Thomas Bungaye, martyr d 18 Joane Warne, alias Lashford, martyr 27 1556 4 g 18 D. Martyn Luther, Confessor 18 1546 15 e 19 John Lomas, martyr 31 1556 A 19 Pope of Fay, martyr 4 f 20 Anne Albright, alias Thampnes, martyrt 31 1556 12 b 20 Peake, martyr g 21 Joane Catmer, martyr 31 1556 1 c 21 George Carpenter, Martir 8 1527 12 A 22 Agnes Snothe, martyr 31 1556 d 22 John Rogers, Preacher, Martyr 4 1555 1 b 23 Joane Sole, martyr 31 1556 9 e 23 Lawrence Saunders, Preacher, martyr 8 1555 c 24 William Waterer,martyr 15 1556 f 24 I. Hooper, Bys., Martyr Mathy. Apo. 9 1555 9 d 25 Conuer. of Paule.
Steuen Kemp, martyr 15 1557 17 g 25 Rowland Taylor, Doctour, martyr 9 1555 e 26 William Hay, martyr 15 1557 16 A 26 Robert Farrar, Bys. Martyr 22 1555 17 f 27 Thomas Hudson, martyr 15 1557 b 27 Agnes Potten, martyr 19 1556 6 g 28 William Lowicke, martyr 15 1557 14 c 28 Tronchfield’s wife, martyr 19 1557 A 29 Will.
Prowting, martyr 15 14 b 30 Nicholas Final, Math., Bradbridge, martyrs 16 3 c 31 John Philpot, Thomas Steuens,martyrs THE KALENDER Marche hath dayes.
The Moone 30.
The Moone 29.
Days of their death Yearof the Lord 3 d 1 William Tailoure, martir 2 1422 g 1 Rob Hatches, Archer, Hawkins, Martyrs 4 1519 e 2 John Weselianus, a Doctoure, martir 1479 11 A 2 Thomas Bounde, martyr 4 1519 11 f 3 Doctor Weselus, alias Basilius, Confessor 1490 b 3 Wrigsham, martyr 4 1519 g 4 Henry Sudphen, martyr 1524 19 c 4 Lansdale, martyr 4 1519 19 A 5 John Houghley, martyr 1526 8 d 5 Mistress Smith, Widow, martyr 4 1519 8 b 6 Petrus Flestedius, martyr 1528 16 e 6 James Baynham, Gentlemen, martyr 30 1532 c 7 Adolphus Clabachus, martyr 1528 5 f 7 Jo. Awcocke, Confessor 2 1555 16 d 8 Patricke Hammelton, martyr 1528 g 8 George Marshe, Preacher, martyr 24 1555 5 e 9 Tho. Hitten, 1530 13 A 9 Wiliam 24 1555 martyr Flower, Minister, martyr f 10 Tho. Bilney, Martyr 1531 2 b 10 Robert Drakes, Minister, martyr 24 1556 13 g 11 Daby Foster, martyr 1531 c 11 Thomas Tymmes, martyr 24 1556 2 A 12 Edward Frese.
Confessor 1531 10 d 12 Rich. Spurge, Tho. Spurge, Martyrs 24 1556 b 13 Valentyne Frese and his wyfe, martyr 1531 e 13 John Cabell, martyr 24 1556 10 c 14 Father Bate, Confessor 1531 18 f 14 George Ambrose, martyr 24 1556 18 d 15 Rawlin White.
Martyr 1555 7 g 15 John Harpole, Jone Bech, Martyrs 1 1556 e 16 Thomas Tomkins, martyr 1555 A 16 John Hullier, Minister, martyr 2 1556 7 f 17 Thomas Higbed, Gentlemen, martyr 15 1555 15 b 17 Christopher Lister, Minister, martyr 28 1556 g 18 Thomas Cawson, Gentlemen, martyr 25 1555 4 c 18 John Mace, martyr 28 1556 15 A 19 William Hunter, martyr 25 1555 d 19 John Spenser, martyr 28 1556 4 b 20 William Pigot, martyr 25 1555 12 e 20 Simond Joyne, martyr c 21 Stetphen Knyght, martyr 28 1555 1 f 21 Richarde Nichol, martyr 28 1556 12 d 22 John Lawrence, Minister, martyr 28 1555 g 22 John Hamonde, martyr 28 1556 1 e 23 Thomas Cranmer, Archebyshop:
Martyr 29 1555 9 A 23 St. George, Martir f 24 Rob. Spicer, martyr 21 1556 b 24 Thomas Loseby, martyr 12 1556 9 g 25 Annunciation of our Ladye. 24 1556 17 c 25 Marke Evangelist A 26 William Coberley, martyr 24 1556 6 d 26 Henry Ramsey, martyr 12 1557 17 b 27 Maundrell, martyr 24 1556 e 27 Thomas Thyrtle, martyr 12 1557 6 c 28 Richard Crashfield, martyr 15 1557 14 f 28 Margaret Hyde, martyr 12 1557 d 29 Cuthbert Simpson.
Martyr 28 1558 3 g 29 Agnes Stanley, martyr 12 1557 14 e 30 Hugh Fox, martyr 28 1558 A 30 William Nichol, martyr 3 f 31 John Debennish, martyr 28 THE KALENDER May hath 31 dayes.
The Moone 30.
The Moone 29.
Lassells, gentlemen, Martyrs 1 1416 c 2 Iohn Hus, Martyr 1415 19 f 2 Jo. Adas, Nico. Bellma, Tho. Hawks, Martyrs 19 d 3 Hieronymus Savanarola, Martyr 23 1499 8 g 3 Tho. Wattes, John Simpson, John Ardeley, Martyrs 10 1555 8 e 4 Dominick, martyr 23 1499 16 A 4 Nic.
Hosmod, Martyrs 15 1555 f 5 Siluester, martyr 23 1499 5 b 5 W.
Bramforde, 15 1555 Martyr 16 g 6 Fryer Roy, martyr 1531 c 6 Tho. Hurland, Tho. Osward, Thom.
Reade, Th.Abington, Martyrs 6 1556 5 A 7 Robert Kyng, martyr 1532 13 d 7 T. Wood, Tho. Milles, Martyrs 20 1556 W. Adherall, minister, Confessor 23 1556 b 8 Robert Debnam, martyr 1532 2 e 8 John Clement, Confessor 25 1556 A Merchants Servat, martyr 26 1556 H. Adlington, martyr 27 1556 13 c 9 NicholasMarshe, martyr 1532 f 9 Lau. Pernam, Henry Wyte, W. Hallywell, Martyrs 27 1556 2 d 10 John Cardmaker, alias Taylour, Preacher, martyr 31 1555 10 g 10 Th. Bowyer, George Serle, Edmund hurst, Martyrs 27 1556 e 11 John Warne, martyr 31 1555 A 11 Lion Cawche, Kafe Jackson, Martyrs 27 1556 10 f 12 Margaret Ellis, Confessor 13 1556 18 b 12 Tho. Derifall, martyr 27 1556 g 13 Hugh Lauerocke, martyr 15 1556 7 c 13 John Roth, Eliza Pepper, Agnes George, Martyrs, Thomas Parret, 27 1556 Hut, Ambrose, Confessors 28 1556 18 A 14 John Apprice, martyr 15 1556 d 14 John Moryce, Confessor 7 b 15 Katharin Hut, Wydowe, martyr 16 1556 15 e 15 Rog. Bernard, Adam Foster, Rob. Lawson, 30 1557 Martyrs c 16 Elizabeth Thackwell, martyr 16 1556 4 f 16 Walter Apelby, Betronill hys wife, Edmund Allen, Katheryn hys wyfe, Martyrs 18 15557 15 d 17 Jone Hornes, martyr 16 1556 12 A 18 Jo.
Whight, Nico. Pardue, J. Fishcocke, Barbara Final, Martyrs 19 1557 12 g 20 John Denny, martyr 21 1556 9 d 21 Natiuitye of S.
Woodman, G. Stephens, W. Maynard, Alexanders Hosmons man, Martyrs 22 1557 9 c 23 Wylliam Norant, martyr 29 1557 A 25 Thomasina Woods wayde, martyr 22 1557 d 24 Steuen Gratwick, martyr 29 1557 14 b 26 Margerye Morice, martyr 17 e 25 John Thurstone, 1557 3 c 27 James Morice, son, Denis Confession Burges, Asdown’s wife, Groue’s wyfe, Martyrs 6 f 26 William Seaman, martyr 19 1558 d 28 Henry Ponde, R. Eastlande, Ro. Southam, Mat. Ricarby, martyrs 27 1558 g 27 Thomas Carman, martyr 19 1558 11 e 29 Peter& Paul & Apostles John Lloyd John Holyday, martyrs 27 1558 14 A 28 Thomas Hudson, martyr 19 1558 f 30 Roger Hollad, martyr 27 1558 3 b 29 Wylliam Harries, martyr 26 c 30 Richard Day, martyr 26 11 d 31 Christian George, martyr 26 THE KALENDER July hath 31 dayes.
The Moone 30.
The Moone 30.
Days of their death Yearof the Lord 19 g 1 Henry Voz, John Esch, Martyrs 1 1522 8 c 1 Leonard Keyser, martyr 16 1527 8 A 2 John Frith, Andrew Hewet, Martyrs 4 1533 16 d 2 James Abbes, martyr 2 1555 b 3 Antony Perso, Robert Testwood, Hen.
Finnemore, Martyrs 18 1543 5 e 3 John Denley, gentlemen, martyr 8 1555 16 c 4 Tho. Bradford, preacher, John Leate, Martyrs 1 1555 f 4 John Newman, martyr 28 1555 5 d 5 Jone Polley, martyr 1555 18 g 5 Patricke Patyngham, 28 1555 martyr e 6 Wylliam Myny, minister, martyr 2 1555 2 A 6 William Coker, martyr 23 1555 18 f 7 Richard Hoke,martyr 1555 b 7 William Hopper, martyr 23 1555 2 g 8 JohnBlande, preacher,Jhon Franke,martyr 12 1555 10 c 8 Henry Laurence, martyr 23 1555 A 9 Humfrey Middleton, martyr 12 1555 d 9 Richard Wryght, martyr 23 1555 10 b 10 Nich.
Shetterden, martyr 12 1555 18 e 10 Wylliam Stere, martyr 23 1555 c 11 William Dighel, Diricke Caruer, martyr 12 1555 7 f 11 Richard Wryght, martyr 23 1555 18 d 12 John Launder, martyr 23 1555 g 12 Elizabeth Warne, martyr 7 e 13 Thomas Iueson, martyr 1555 15 A 13 George Tankerfield, martyr 26 1555 f 14 Nicholas Haule, martyr 1555 4 b 14 R. Smith, martyr 8 1555 15 g 15 John Aleworth, confessor 1555 c 15 Stephen Horwod, martyr 30 1555 4 A 16 John Careles, Confessor 1 1556 2 d 16 Thomas Fusse, martyr 30 1555 b 17 John Owyn, Julius Palmer, a Schoolmaster, and Askine, Martyrs 16 1556 1 e 17 William Hail, martyr 31 1555 12 c 18 Ka. Cawches, Paratine Massye, & her 17 1556 f 18 Robert Samuell, Preacher, martyr 31 1555 1 d 19 Child not one hower olde, & 17 1556 9 g 19 Jone West, martyr 1 1556 e 20 Guyllemyne Gilbert 17 1556 A 20 Wylliam Bongeor, martyr 2 1557 9 f 21 Tho. Dungate, Tho. Foreman, 18 1556 17 b 21 Robert Purcas, martyr 2 1557 Anne Tree, Martyrs Simo. Miller, Eliza Coper, Martyrs 13 g 22 Mary Magdalene 6 c 22 Thomas Bennold, martyr 2 1557 17 A 23 Richard Yeoman, minister, martyr 10 1558 d 23 Agnes Silversyde, alias Smith, martyr 2 1557 6 b 24 William Pikes, martyr 14 1558 14 e 24 Barthelmew, Apostle c 25 James Apostle 3 f 25 Ellin Ewryny, martyr 2 1557 14 d 26 Stephen Cotton, martyr 14 1558 g 26 Elizabeth Folkes, Mayde, martyr 2 1557 3 e 27 John Slade, martyr 14 1558 11 A 27 Wylliam Munt, martyr 2 1557 f 28 Steue Wright, Rob. Milles, Martyrs 14 1558 b 28 Alice Munt, martyr 2 1557 11 g 29 Rob Dines, martyr 14 1558 c 29 Rose Allyn, Mayde, martyr 2 1557 A 30 Tho. Benbrick, gentlemen, martyr 29 1558 8 d 30 John Johnson, George Egles, Martyrs 2 1557 b 31 e 31 One Fryer, and the sayde George Egles Sister, martyr 2 1557 THE KALENDER September hath dayes.
The Moone 29.
The Moone 30.
Days of their death Yearof the Lord 16 f 1 Father Abraham, martyr 1428 16 A 1 Bartholet Myllon, martyr 5 g 2 Wyllyam Whyght, priest, martyr 1428 5 b 2 John de Burge, a rich merchant, 492 martyr A 3 John Waddon, priest, martyr 1428 13 c 3 The Receyuer of Naunts, martyr 13 b 4 William Gardiner, martyr 1552 2 d 4 Henry Poile, martyr 2 c 5 W. Allen, martyr 1555 e 5 Catelle, a Schole- Mistris, martyr d 6 Thomas Cob, Thomas Cob Martyrs 1555 10 f 6 Stephen de la Foarge, a Marchat, martyr 10 e 7 William Androwe, Confessor 1555 g 7 Wyllyam Tyndall, martyr f 8 T. King, Confessor 1555 18 A 8 William Leyton, martyr g 9 Thomas Leis, Confessor 5 1555 7 b 9 Puttedew, martyr 7 A 10 George Catmer 6 1555 c 10 Collins, martyr Robert Streater, Ant. Burward Cowbrige, martyr b 11 George Bradbrige, martyr 6 1555 15 d 11 Peter, a Germane, martyr 15 c 12 James Cutty, martyr 6 1555 4 e 12 Launcelot, martyr 4 d 13 Thomas Hayward, John Goreway, Martyrs 1555 f 13 John, a Painter, martyr e 14 Robert Glober, Cornel. Bugay, Martyrs 20 1555 12 g 14 Giles Germayne, martyr 12 f 15 Edwarde Sharpe, martyr 8 1556 1 A 15 Robert Barnes, Thomas Garrard, William Hierome, Martyrs 1 g 16 Ihon Hart, T.
Rabemsdale, A. Shomaker, 24 1556 b 16 Wylliam Wolsey, martyr 4 1555 A. Corier, Martyrs A 17 Tho. Horne and another woman, Martyrs 23 1556 9 c 17 Robert Pigot, martyr 4 1555 9 b 18 John Kurde, martyr 20 1557 d 18 Luke Evangelist c 19 Cicily Ormes, martyr 23 1557 17 e 19 Nicholas Ridley, 16 1555 Joyce Lewis, martyr 10 1557 Bishop, martyr 17 d 20 Rafe Allerton, Richard Rothe, Martyrs 17 1557 6 f 20 Hugh Latimer, Bishop, martyr 16 1555 6 e 21 Matthew Apostle g 21 John Web, gentlemen, George Roper, Martyrs 31 1555 f 22 James Ausco and Margerye 17 1557 14 A 22 Gregory Packe, martyr 31 1555 his wife, Martyrs Adam Walles, martyr 12 1551 14 g 23 Agnes Bogeor, Mar. Turston, Martyrs 17 1557 3 b 23 Mark Burges, William Hoker, Dauy Mylle, Martyrs 3 A 24 John Warren, martyr 1557 c 24 Simson, priest, Beberech, frier, Martyrs b 25 Christian Glober, Tho.
Athothe, Martyrs 1557 11 d 25 Keyler, black fryer,Dauy Stratto, gentleman, Martyrs 11 c 26 John Mylles, Nico. Holden, Martyrs 1557 19 e 26 Norman Gorley, Vicar of Dolor 19 d 27 John Ashdone, martyr 1557 f 27 A Black Chano, with other e 28 Thomas Spurdaunce, martyr 1557 8 g 28 Simon and Jude 8 f 29 Michaell A 29 Thre dyed in 18 1556 Archangell pryson at Cicester, Confessors g 30 John Fortune, martyr 1557 16 b 30 Mother Seaman, Confessor 6 c 31 Mother Bennet, Confessor THE KALENDER November hath dayes.
The Moone 29.
The Moone 30.
Days of their death Yearof the Lord d 1 The Feaste of all Saynctes f 1 Wylliam Tracy, Esquire, Confessor 13 e 2 Rycharde Meckings, martyr 1541 13 g 2 Peter Sapience, Andrew Apostle 2 f 3 Richard Spenser, Martyr 1541 2 A 3 George Bucker, alias Adn. Dalip, martyr g 4 Andrew Hewet, martyr 1541 10 b 4 An olde man of Buckinghams hire, martyr 10 A 5 John Porter, Confessor 1542 c 5 Two grey Fryers, Martyrs b 6 Thomas Barnard, martyr 1542 18 d 6 John Hilto, Confessor 18 c 7 James Morton, martyr 1542 7 e 7 John Coygnes, Confessor 7 d 8 GeorgeWyzarde, Gentleman, martyr 1546 f 8 Robert Warde, Confessor e 9 John Kirbye, martyr 1546 15 g 9 A Scholer of Abbebile, martyr 15 f 10 Roger Clarke, martyr 1546 4 A 10 A Jew, martyr 4 1528 4 g 11 Richard Bayfield, alias Somersa, martyr 20 1531 b 11 Richard Hun, martyr 20 1515 A 12 John Clarke, Confessor 1556 12 c 12 John Cewrberry, martyr 7 1531 12 b 13 Dunstone Chittenden, Confessor 1556 1 d 13 James Gore, Confessor 13 1555 1 c 14 Wylliam Foster, martyr 1556 e 14 Wylliam Wyseman, Confessor 18 1555 d 15 Alice Potkins, Confessor 1556 9 f 15 John Philpot, Preacher, martyr 22 1557 9 e 16 John Archer, Confessor 1556 g 16 John Rough, Preacher, martyr 22 1557 f 17 Hooke, martyr 1556 17 A 17 Margaret Mering, martyr 22 1558 17 g 18 John Hallingdale, martyr 18 1557 6 b 18 Thomas Tyler, Confessor 6 A 19 Wylliam Sparow, martyr 18 1557 c 19 Mathew Withers, Confessor 14 b 20 Richard Gybson, Gentleman, martyr 18 1557 14 d 20 Dale, Confessor c 21 Saunder, Gouche, martyr 4 1558 3 e 21 Thomas Apostle 3 d 22 Elizabeth Driuer, martyr 4 1558 f 22 Wylliam Playn e 23 Philip Humfrey, martyr 5 1558 11 g 23 Elizabeth Lawson, Confessor 11 f 24 John Dauye, martyr 5 1558 17 A 24 Nicholas Burton, martyr 22 1562 19 g 25 Henry Dauye, martyr 5 1558 b 25 Nativity of our Lord A 26 John Corneforth, martyr 5 1558 8 c 26 Stephen, martyr 8 b 27 Christopher Broun, martyr 10 1558 d 27 John Evangelist c 28 John Herste, martyr 10 1558 16 e 28 Childermasse 10 d 29 Alice Snothe, Kathe. Knight, Martyrs 10 1558 5 f 29 Thomas Rhedonensis, an Erle, martyr Picus Mirandula, Confessor Erasmus Roterodam, Confessor 5 e 30 Andrew Apostle g 30 Mar. Bucer, Confessor Pau. Vhagius, Confessor Philip Melancton, Confessor Peter Martir, Confessor 13 A 31 Kyng Edward the Sixt, Confessor 497