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Maximilian the Emperor The Burning of Joan Boughton, and others.
Hieronymus Savonarola, with two Friars, Martyrs.
Articles objected against Hierome and the two Friars The Ten Grievances complained of by the Germans, and the to Remedy against them.
The Edict of Maximilian the Emperor.
A Letter of Jacobus Selestadiensis to the Emperor Maximilian, in Answer to the Edict The History of the Turks.
Ottoman, the First great Emperor of the Turks, A.D. 1300.
Bajazet, the Fourth Emperor.
Caiephine, the Fifth Emperor.
Orehan, Mahomet, and Amurath, the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Emperors.
Mahomet II., the Ninth Emperor.
Bajazet II., the Tenth Emperor.
Orehan, the Eleventh Emperor.
Solyman, the Twelfth Emperor.
Africa, The Prophecies of the Holy Scriptures considered, touching the Coming up, and final Ruin and Destruction, of this wicked Kingdom of the Turks; with the Revelations and Foreshown is also of other authors concerning the same A Comparison between the Syrians and the Turks.
Interpretation of Prophecy.
A Prayer against the Turks.
William Tylsworth, Martyr, burned at Amersham to The cruel handling of Thomas Chase, of Amersham; wickedly strangled and martyred in the Bishop's Prison at Woburn, under William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln.
Laurence Ghest, Martyr.
Verses upon Thomas Wittington, who was slain by a bull.
John Blomstone, and eight others, persecuted at Coventry The Names of the Archbishops of Canterbury contained in the Sixth Book.
A Brief Note, with a Recapitulation of Ancient Ecclesiastical Laws, by sundry Kings of this realm ordained, for Government of the Church before the Conquest The proud primacy of Popes described; in order of their rising up, by little and little, from faithful Bishops and Martyrs, to become Lords and Governors over Kings and Kingdoms, exalting themselves in the Temple of God. above all that is called God.
The Exaltation of Popes above Kings and Emperors, out of Histories.
The Image of Antichrist exalting himself in the Temple of God, above all that is called God; out of his own decrees, decretals. extravagants, pontificals, &c., word for word, as it is out of the stud books here alleged and quoted.
An Alphabetical List of the Authorities here alluded to.
Casus Papales LI. apud Fratrem Astesanum, sire de Ast. Doctorera solemnera in summa confessionis. Item apud Hosfiensero, de offic, legat, reperti et his versibus comprehensi.
Cases Papal to the number of one and fifty; wherein the Pope hath power to dispense, and none else besides.
BOOK PERTAINING TO THE LAST THREE HUNDRED YEARS FROM THE LOOSING OF SATAN.
The State and Succession of Princes. to The History of divers good Men and Women, persecuted for Religion in the city and diocese of the Bishop of London: briefly extracted out of the Registers of Richard Fitzjames;with their Examinations.
Joan Baker, and thirty-nine others The Death and Martyrdom of William Sweefing and John Brewster.
John Brown, Martyr.
A solemn process of Fitzjames, Bishop of London, against Hun being dead.
The Verdict of the Inquest.
Copy of the Letter of Richard Fitzjames, the Bishop of London, sent to Cardinal Wolsey.
A Defence of Richard Hun, against Sir Thomas More and Alanus Copus.
Elizabeth Stamford, and others.
The Names of divers others, who, in the Registers, be specified to abjure John Southwick John Stilman, and the Articles against him.
Thomas Man, Martyr, and his Articles.
Robert Cosin, of Buckingham, and William Sweeting, alias Clerke, Martyrs.
James Brewster, of Colchester, Martyr.
Christopher Shoemaker, of Great Messenden, Martyr.
A Table describing the grievous Afflictions of good Men, in the to Diocese of Lincoln, under John Longland, the Bishop, with the names both of the accusers and of them that were accused; also with the crimes to them objected; out of the Registers of the said Diocese. A.D. 1521.
The Names of those who were abjured in the Diocese of Lincoln, with a brief Summary of their Opinions.
Copy of the Bishop's Letter to the Abbot of Ensham.
The A. B.C. against the Pride of the Clergy.
Review of Luther's Conduct and Writings.
Substance of the Pope's Charge to his Legate, against Luther.
Protestation of Luther, with-his Answer and Propositions before the Cardinal.
Luther's Answer to Eckius.
The usual Prayer of Martin Luther.
Pope Adrian VI. to the renowned Princes of Germany, and to the Peers of the Roman Emperors Instructions given by Pope Adrian to Charegatus, his Legate, touching his Proceedings in the Diet of Nuremberg, how and by what persuasions the Princes were to be moved against Luther.
The Answer of the Noble and Reverend Princes, and of the States of his Sacred Roman Empire, exhibited to the Pope's Ambassador Certain Grievances or Oppressions of Germany, against the Court of Rome, collected and exhibited by the Princes, at the Council of Nuremberg, to the number of a hundred, whereof certain Specialities follow.
The History of the Helvetians or Switzers; how they first recovered their liberty, and afterwards were joined in league together The Acts and Doings of Uldricus Zuinglius: and the Receiving of the Gospel in Switzerland.
Answer of the Tigurines, or Men of Zurich, to the five Towns of the Switzers.
Message from the Council to the City of Strasberg.
Henry Voes and John Each, Friars Augustine, burnt at Brussels, a.D. 1523.
Henry Sutphen, Monk, a Martyr at Dithmarsch Letter of Solyman the great Turk, to the Master The lamentable Martyrdom of John Clerk, at Meaux, in France The History of a good Pastor, murdered for preaching of the Gospel: written by John Oecolampadius.
John Hugiein, Martyr, burned at Mersburg George Carpenter, of Eraerich, Martyr, burned in the town of Munich, in Bavaria The History of Leonard Keyser, Martyr, burned at Schardingham Wendelmuta, Widow, Martyr; at the Hague Peter Flisteden and Adolphus Clarebach, put to death at Cologne A Table of the Names and Causes of such Martyrs as gave their to lives for the testimony of the Gospel, in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and other Foreign Countries, since Luther's time: in which table are contained the Persecutions, the Martyrs, and the Causes of their Martyrdom:
The French Martyrs THE ACTS AND MONUMENTS OF JOHN FOXE Continuation Of Book Pertaining to: THE LAST THREE HUNDRED YEARS FROM THE LOOSING OUT OF SATAN. HENRY THE SEVENTH When king Henry, by the providence of God, had obtained this triumphant victory and diadem of the realm, first sending for Edward Plantagenet earl of Warwick, son to George duke of Clarence, and committing him to safe custody within the Tower, from Leicester he removed to London; and not long after, according to his oath and promise made before, espoused to him the young lady Elizabeth, heir of the house of York; whereby both the houses of York and Lancaster were conjoined together, to the no little rejoicing of all English hearts, and no less quiet unto the realm, which was A.D. 1486 1 . This king reigned twenty-three years and eight months, and being a prince of great policy, justice, and temperance, kept his realm in good tolerable rule and order. And here, interrupting a little the course of our English matters, we will now (the Lord willing) enter the story above promised, of Maximilian the emperor, and matters of the empire, especially such as pertain to the church.
MAXIMILIAN THE EMPEROR In the year of our Lord 1486, Frederic waxing aged, and partly also mistrusting the hearts of the Germans, who had complained before of their grievances, and could not be heard; and therefore, misdoubting that his house, after his decease, should have the less favor among them, for that cause in his lifetime did associate his son Maximilian to be joined emperor with him; with whom he reigned the space of seven years, till the death of the said Frederic his father, who departed A.D. 1493 2 , after he had reigned over the empire fifty-three years, lacking but three years of the reign of Augustus Caesar, under whom was the birth of our Lord and Savior Christ.
This Maximilian, as he was a valiant emperor, prudent and singularly learned, so was his reign entangled in many unquiet and difficult wars; first, in the lower countries of Flanders and Brabant, where the said Maximilian was taken captive, but shortly after rescued and delivered again by his father, A.D. 1487. It was signified before, how this Maximilian, by the advice of the Burgundians, had to with Mary, the only daughter of Charles duke of Burgundy afore mentioned, 2 by whom he had two children, Philip and Margaret, A.D. 1477 3 ; which Mary not long after, about A.D. 1482, by a fall from her horse, fell into an ague, and departed.
So happy was the education of this emperor in good letters, so expert he was in tongues and sciences, but especially such was his dexterity and promptness in the Latin style, that he, imitating the example of Julius Caesar, did write and comprehend in Latin histories his own acts and feats done, and that, in such sort, that when he had given a certain taste of his history to one Picamerus, a learned man, asking his judgment how his warlike style of Latin did like him, the said Picamerus did affirm and report of him to John Carion (the witness and writer of this story), that he did never see nor read in any German story, a thing more exactly (and that in such haste) done, as this was of Maximilian. Moreover, as he was learned himself, so was he a singular patron and advancer of learned students, as may well appear by the erecting and setting up the university of Wittenberg. By this emperor many in those days were excited to the embracing as well of other liberal arts, as also, namely, to the searching out of old antiquities of histories, whereby divers were then by him first occasioned in Germany to set their minds, and to exercise their diligence, in collecting and explicating matters pertaining to the knowledge of history, as well of ancient as also of later times, as namely Cuspinian, Nauclerus, Conrad, Pentinger, Manlius, and others.
Here now it began right well to appear, what great benefit was broached to the world by the art and faculty of printing, as is before mentioned.
Through the means of which printing, the church and commonwealth of Christ began now to be replenished with learned men, as both may appear by this emperor, being so endued himself with such excellent knowledge of good letters, and also by divers other famous and worthy wits, who began now in this age exceedingly to increase and multiply: as Baptista Mantuanus, Augustus Politianus, Hermolaus Barbarus, Picus Mirandula, and Franciscus his cousin, Rodolphus Agricola, Pontanus, Philippus, Beroaldus, Marsilius Ficinus, Volateranus, Georgius Valla, with infinite others.
Among whom is also to be numbered Weselus Groningensis 4 , otherwise named Basilius, who was not long after Johannes de Wesalia 5 above retired; both much about one time, and both great friends together. This Weselus died A.D. 1489. After that Johannes, doctor of Wesalia aforesaid, was condemned, this Weselus, being familiar with him, thought that the inquisitor would come and examine him also, as he himself, in a certain epistle, doth write. He was so notable and so worthy a man, that he was commonly called “ Lux Mahdi , 6 ” that is, “The light of the world.”
Concerning his doctrine, first he reprehended the opinion of the papists, as touching repentance, which they divided into three parts, of the which three parts 7 , satisfaction and confession he did disallow. Likewise purgatory, and supererogation of works, and pardons, he did disprove, both at Rome and at Paris. He spake against the pope’s indulgences 8 , by the occasion whereof divers of the pope’s court, persuaded by him, began to speak more freely against the same matter than he himself had done.
The abuses of masses and praying for the dead he disallowed; and likewise the supremacy of the pope he utterly rejected (as appeareth in a book of his, “De sacramento pcenitentiae”), denying utterly that any supreme head or governor ought to be in the world over all other; affirming also and saying many times, that the pope had no authority to do any thing by commandment, but by truth (that is, so far as truth goeth with him, so far his sentence to stand); neither that he ought to prevail by commanding, but only by teaching, so as every true Christian may prevail over another 9 . 3 Also, in some place in his writings he denieth not, but that popes and their spiritual prelates, proceeding against Christ’s doctrine, be plain antichrists. Such as were infirm, and not able to perform the bond of chastity taken upon them, he said, they might well break their vow.
Also the said Weselus witnesseth 10 , that the forefathers who were before Albert and Thomas, did resist and withstand the pope’s indulgences, calling them in their writings plain idolatry, mere fraud and error; adding moreover, that unless the severity of some good divines had withstand these pardons and indulgences of the pope, innumerable errors had overflowen the church.
Amongst the works of Weselus, there is a certain epistle of one written to him, in which the author of the epistle witnesseth, that in his time there was a certain learned man at Paris, called Master Thomas de Curselis 11 , a dean; who, being in the council of Basil, when divers began to advance the power of the pope too far, declared and affirmed to be said to him of Christ, “Quicquid ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum et in coelo,” etc., and not “quicquid dixeris esse ligatum;” that is, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven,” but not, “whatsoever thou sayest to be bound,” — as who should say 12 , the pope cannot and doth not bind therefore, because he so saith, except truth and righteousness go also with him: then, he doth so bind indeed. 4 There is a certain book of this man, amongst divers others, which he entituleth, “De subditis et superioribus,” in the which he disputeth greatly against the pope and his prelates; affirming that the pope, unless his faith and doctrine be sound, ought not to be obeyed. He affirmeth also that the pope may err, and when he erreth, men ought by all manner of means to resist him: Item, That great and superfluous riches in the clergy do not profit, but hurt, the church: That the pope doth wickedly distribute the rents of the church, and the churches themselves, to unworthy ministers by simony, for his own profit and gain 13 , whereby it may appear, that he neither careth for God, nor for the health of the church: Item, That the precepts and commandments of the pope and prelates be no otherwise but as the counsels and precepts of physicians, binding no further than they are found to be wholesome, and standing with the truth of the word: Item, That the pope can command no man under pain of deadly sin, except God command him before. He saith, that the keys of the pope and of the prelates be not such wherewith they open the kingdom of heaven, but rather shut it, as the Pharisees did. Concerning vows, he disputeth that such as be foolish and impossible ought to be broken: Item, That hearers ought to discern and judge of the doctrine of their prelates, and not to receive every thing that they say, without due examination.
He showeth, moreover, that an opinion, and even an excommunication, is of more force, proceeding from a true, godly, honest 14 , simple, and learned man, than from the pope; as in the council of Constance John Gerson 15 was more regarded than John XXIII, and St. Bernard was antiently more esteemed by the pious than Eugene III. Also if the pope with his prelates govern and rule haughtily, that the inferiors, be they ever so base, ought to resist him.
Writing moreover of two popes, Pius II and Sixtus IV16 , he saith, that Pius II did claim unto himself all the kingdoms of the whole world, and that Sixtus the pope did dispense with all manner of oaths in causes temporal, not only with such oaths as have been already, but also with all such as shall be made hereafter: which was nothing else but to give liberty and license for men to forswear themselves, and to deceive one another.
This Weselus, being a Frisian born 17 , and now aged in years, on a certain time when a young man called Master Johannes Ostendorpius 5 came to him, said these words: “Well, my child, thou shalt live to that day, when thou shalt see that the doctrine of these new and contentious divines, as Thomas and Bonaventure, with others of the same sort, shall be utterly rejected and exploded by all true Christian divines.” And this, which Ostendorpius, then being young, heard Weselus to speak, he reported himself to Noviomagus, who wrote the story 18 , having (as he saith) heard it at the mouth of the said Ostendorpius, February 20th, A.D. 1520, in the church of St. Lewin at Deventer.
Philip Melancthon, writing the life of Rodolphus Agricola, saith, that Josquinus Groningensis, an ancient and a godly man, reported that when he was young, he was oftentimes present at the sermons of Rodolphus and Weselus, wherein they many times lamented the darkness of the church, and reprehended the abuses of the mass and of the single life of priests. 6 Item, That they disputed oftentimes of the righteousness of faith, which St. Paul so oftentimes did inculcate, that men be justified by faith, and not by works. The same Josquine also reported, that they did openly reject and disprove the opinion of monks, who say that men be justified by their works: Item, Concerning men’s traditions their opinion was that all such were deceived, whosoever attributed unto those traditions any opinion of God’s worship, or that they might not be broken. And thus much for the story of doctors Wesalia and Weselus.
By this it may be seen and noted, how, by the grace of God and gift of printing, first came forth learning; by learning came light, to judge and discern the errors of the pope from the truth of God’s word; as partly by these above said may appear, partly by others that follow after (by the grace of Christ) shall better be seen.
THE BURNING OF JOAN BOUGHTON, AND OTHERS About the very same time and season, when the gospel began thus to branch and spring in Germany, the host of Christ’s church began also to muster and to multiply likewise here in England, as by these histories here consequent may appear. For not long after the death of this Weselus, A.D. 1494, and in the ninth year of the reign of king Henry VII, the 28th of April, was burned a very old woman named Joan Boughton, widow, and mother to the lady Young 20 , which lady was also suspected to be of that opinion which her mother was. Her mother was fourscore years of age or more, and held eight of Wickliff’s opinions (which opinions my author doth not show) for which she was burnt in Smithfield the day abovesaid.
My author saith, she was a disciple of Wickliff, whom she accounted for a saint, and held so fast and firmly eight of his ten opinions, that all the doctors of London could not turn her from one of them; and when it was told her that she should be burnt for her obstinacy and false belief, she set nothing by their menacing words, but defied them: for she said, she was so beloved of God, and his holy angels, that she passed not for the fire; and in the midst thereof she cried to God to take her soul into his holy hands.
Shortly after the martyrdom of this godly aged mother, A.D. 1496, and the 17th of January, being Sunday 21 , two men, the one called Richard Milderale, and the other James Sturdy, bare faggots before the procession of Paul’s, and after stood before the preacher in the time of his sermon.
And upon the Sunday following stood other two men at Paul’s cross all the sermon time; the one garnished with painted and written papers, the other having a faggot on his neck. After that, in Lent season, upon Passion Sunday, one Hugh Glover bare a faggot before the procession of Paul’s, and after, with a faggot, stood before the preacher all the sermon, while at Paul’s Cross. And, on the Sunday next following, four men stood, and did their open penance at Paul’s, as is aforesaid, in the sermon time, and many of their books were burnt before them, at the cross.
Furthermore, the next year following, which was A.D. 1498 22 , in the beginning of May, the king then being at Canterbury, there was a priest burnt, who was so strong in his opinion, that all the clerks and doctors then there being, could not remove him from his faith: Whereof the king being informed, he caused the said priest to be brought before his presence, who, by his persuasion, caused him to revoke; and so he was burnt immediately.
In the next year (A.D.1499) 23 , after the beheading of Edward Plantagenet, earl of Warwick, and son to the duke of Clarence, the king and queen being removed to Calais, a certain godly man and a constant martyr of Christ, named Babram, in Norfolk, was burnt in the month of July, as is in Fabian recorded 24 , after the copy which I have written. Albeit in the Book Fabian printed, his burning is referred to the next year following, which is A.D. 1500. About which year likewise, or in the year next following, the 20th day of July, was an old man burnt in Smithfield.
HIERONYMUS SAVONAROLA, WITH TWO FRIARS, MARTYRS In the same year also (A.D. 1499) 25 , fell the martyrdom and burning of Hieronymus Savonarola, a man no less godly in heart, than constant in his profession; who, being a monk in Italy, and singularly well learned, preached sore against the evil life and living of the spirituality, and specially of his own order; complaining sore upon them, as the springs and authors of all mischief’s and wickedness. Whereupon, by the help of certain learned men, he began to seek reformation in his own order. Which thing the pope perceiving, and fearing that the said Hierome, who was now in great reputation amongst all men, should diminish or overthrow his authority, he ordained his vicar or provincial to see reformation of these matters; which vicar with great superstition began to reform things, but the said Hierome did always withstand him; whereupon he was complained of to the pope, and, because that contrary unto the pope’s commandment he did withstand his vicar, he was accursed. But for all that Hierome left not off preaching, but threatened Italy with the wrath and indignation of God, and prophesied before unto them, that the land should be overthrown for the pride and wickedness of the people, and for the untruth, hypocrisy, and falsehood of the clergy, which God would not leave unrevenged; as afterwards it came to pass, when king Charles came into Italy and to Rome, and so straightly beset pope Alexander, that he was forced to make composition with the king.
Now, forasmuch as the said Hierome would not leave off preaching, he was commanded to appear before the pope, to give account of his new learning (for so then they called the truth of the gospel); but, by means of the manifold perils, he made his excuse that he could not come. Then was he again forbidden by the pope to preach, and his learning pronounced and condemned as pernicious, false, and seditious.
This Hierome, as a man worldly wise, foreseeing the great perils and dangers that might come unto him, for fear, left off preaching. But when the people, who sore hungered and longed for God’s word, were instant upon him that he would preach again, he began again to preach A.D. 1496, in the city of Florence; and albeit that many counseled him that he should not so do without the pope’s commandment, yet did he not regard it, but went forward freely of his own good will. When the pope and his shavelings heard news of this, they were grievously incensed and inflamed against him, and now again cursed him, as an obstinate and stiff-necked heretic. But for all that, Hierome proceeded in teaching and instructing the people, saying that men ought not to regard such curses, which are against the true doctrine and the common profit, whereby the people should be learned and amended, Christ’s kingdom enlarged, and the kingdom of the devil utterly overthrown.
In all his preaching he desired to teach no other thing than “the only pure and simple word of God, making often protestation that all men should certify him, if they had heard him teach or preach any thing contrary thereunto; for, upon his own conscience, he knew not that he had taught any thing but the pure word of God. What his doctrine was, all men may easily judge by his books that he hath written.
After this (A.D. 1498) he was taken and brought out of St. Mark’s cloister, and two other friars with him, named Dominic and Silvester, who favored his learning, and was carried into prison, where he wrote a godly meditation upon that most comfortable thirty-first Psalm: “In te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeterhum, sed in justitia tua libera me;” wherein he doth excellently describe and set forth the continual strife between the flesh and the spirit.
After this the pope’s legates came to Florence, and called forth these three good men, threatening them marvelously; but they continued still constant.
Then came the chief counselors of the city, with the pope’s commissioners, who had gathered out certain articles against these men, whereupon they were condemned to death; the tenor of which articles hereafter ensue.
ARTICLES OBJECTED AGAINST HIEROME AND THE TWO FRIARS: 1. The first article was as touching our free justification through faith in Christ. 2. That the communion ought to be ministered under both kinds. 3. That the indulgences and pardons of the pope were of no effect. 4. For preaching against the filthy and wicked living of the cardinals and spirituality. 5. For denying the pope’s supremacy. 6. Also, that he had affirmed that the keys were not given unto Peter alone, but unto the universal church. 7. Also, that the pope did neither follow the life nor doctrine of Christ; for that he did attribute more to his own pardons and traditions, than to Christ’s merits; and therefore he was Antichrist. 8. Also, that the pope’s excommunications are not to he feared, and that he who doth fear or flee them is excommunicate of God. 9. Item, that auricular confession is not necessary. 10. Item, that he had moved the citizens to uproar and sedition. 11. Item, that he had neglected and condemned the pope’s citation. 12. Item, that he had shamefully spoken against, and slandered the pope. 13. Item, that he had taken Christ to witness of his haughtiness and heresy. 14. Also, that Italy must be cleansed through God’s scourge, for the manifold wickedness of the princes and clergy.
These and such other like articles were laid unto them and read before them. Then they demanded of the said Hierome and his companions, whether they would recant and give over their opinions. Whereunto they answered, that through God’s help they would steadfastly continue in the manifest truth, and not depart from the same. Then were they degraded one after another by the bishop of Vaison, and so delivered over to the secular rulers of Florence, with straight commandment to carry them forth, and handle them as obstinate and stiff-necked heretics.
Thus was the worthy witness of Christ, with the other two aforesaid, first hanged up openly in the market-place, and afterward burnt to ashes, and the ashes gathered up, and cast into the river Arno, the 24th of May, A.D. 1499 26 . This man foreshowed many things to come, as the destruction of Florence and Rome, and the renewing of the church; which three things have happened in these times within our remembrance. Also he foreshowed that the Turks and Moors, in the latter days, should be converted unto Christ.
He also declared that one, like unto Cyrus, should pass the Alps into Italy, who should subvert and destroy all Italy: whereupon Johannes Franciscus Picus, earl of Mirandula, called him a holy prophet, and defended him by his writings against the pope. Many other learned men also defended the innocence of the said Savonarola. Marsilius Ficinus also, in a certain epistle, doth attribute unto him the spirit of prophecy, greatly commending and praising him. In like manner Philippus Comineus, a French historiographer, who had conference with him, witnesseth that he was a holy man, and full of the spirit of prophecy, forasmuch as he had foreshowed unto him so many things which in event had proved true. There were besides these, many others, not to be passed over or forgotten: as Philip Norice, an Irishman, professor at Oxford, who albeit he was not burned, yet (as it is said) he was long time vexed and troubled by the religious rout. But would to God, that such as have occupied themselves in writing of histories, and have so diligently committed unto memory all other things done in foreign commonwealths, had bestowed the like diligence and labor in noting and writing those things which pertain unto the affairs of the church; whereby posterity might have had fuller and more perfect understanding and knowledge of them.
This Savonarola above mentioned, suffered under pope Alexander VI, of which pope more leisure and opportunity shall serve hereafter (Christ willing) to treat, after we shall first make a little digression, to treat of certain cases and complaints of the Germans, incident in the mean time, which, as they are not to be overpast in silence, so can they have no place nor time more convenient to be inferred.
What complaints of the Germans were made and moved unto the emperor Frederic against the pope’s oppressions 27 and exactions, mention was made before; where also was declared, how the said Germans at that time were twice put back and forsaken of the emperor, whereby they continued in the same yoke and bondage until the time of Luther. Wherefore it cometh now to hand, and we think it also good here briefly to declare, how the said Germans, in the time of Maximilian the emperor, renewing their complaints again, delivered unto the emperor ten principal grievances 28 , whereby the Germans have been long time oppressed; showing also the remedies against the same, with certain advisements unto the emperor’s majesty, how he might withstand and resist the pope’s subtleties and crafts: the order and tenor whereof here ensueth.
THE TEN PRINCIPAL GRIEVANCES, COMPLAINED OF BY THE GERMANS. 1. That the bishops of Rome do not think themselves bound to observe bulls, covenants, privileges, and letters, which were granted by their predecessors without all derogation; but by often dispensations, suspensions, and revocations, even at the instance of every vile person, they do contravene the same. 2. That the elections of prelates are oftentimes put back 3. That the elections of their presidents, which the chapters of some churches have obtained at great expense, are withstood as the churches of Spire and Hasela do well know; whose bull touching the election of their president is made frustrate, he being yet alive who granted the same. 4. That benefices, and the greater ecclesiastical dignities, are reserved for cardinals and prothonotaries. 5. That expectative graces [commonly called vowsons ] are granted without number, and sometimes many unto one man; whereupon continual contentions do arise, and much money is spent, both that which is laid out for the bulls of those vowsons which never take effect, and also that which is consumed in going to law. Whereupon this proverb hath risen, ‘ Whosoever will get a vowson from Rome, must have one or two hundred pieces of gold laid up in his chest, which he shall have need of to prosecute the suit withal for the obtaining of the same. 6. That Annates [or first-fruits] are exacted without delay or mercy, even where bishops have died within a few years, and sometimes more is extorted than ought to be, through new offices and new servants, as by the examples of the churches of Mentz and Strasburg may be seen. 7. That the rule of churches is given at Rome unto those that are not worthy, who were more fit to feed and keep mules, than to have the rule and governance of men. 8. That new indulgences and pardons, with the suspension and revocation of the old, are granted to gather and scrape money together, to the disgust of the, laity. 9. That tenths are exacted, under pretense of making war against the Turks, when no expedition doth follow thereupon. 10. That the causes which might be determined in Germany, where there are both learned and just judges, are indistinctly, 3 carried unto the court of Rome; which thing St. Bernard, writing to pope Eugene, seemeth wonderfully to reprove.
THE REMEDY AGAINST THE SAID GRIEVANCES If it shall seem good unto the emperor’s majesty, let it he declared unto the bishop of Rome, how grievous and intolerable a thing it is unto the Germans, to suffer continually so great charges and grievances, to pay so great annates for the confirmation of the bishops and archbishops, and especially in such bishoprics, where the Annates, by process of time, are enhanced, and in many, as it is said, doubled. For the archbishop’s see of Mentz 29 , as it is said, sometime paid only 10,000 florins; which sum, when one who was chosen there refused to give, and so continued even unto his death, he who was afterwards elected, being desirous of confirmation, fearing to withstand the apostolic see, offered the old sum of 10,000 florins: but, notwithstanding, he could not get his confirmation, except he would pay the other 10,000, which his predecessor before him had not paid.
By this means he was compelled to pay 20,000 florins; which, being enrolled in the register of the chamber, hath been exacted of every archbishop since, until these our days: and not only 20,000, but also 25,000, for their new offices and new servants. At last, the sum drew 30 to 27,000 florins, which James, the archbishop of Menz, was compelled to pay, as his commissary did report. So by this means, in one man’s life time 31 , there were seven times 25,000 florins paid out of the archbishopric of Mentz unto Rome, for the confirmation of the archbishop. And when the archbishop James had kept this archbishopric scarcely four years 32 , the lord Uriel was elected after him, who was compelled to pay at the least 24,000, or 25,000 florins; whereof a part he borrowed of merchants. But, to satisfy and pay them again, he was forced to exact a subsidy of his poor subjects and husbandmen, whereof some have not yet satisfied and paid the tribute for the bishop’s pall, so that by this means our people are not only tormented and brought to extreme poverty, but also are moved unto rebellion, to seek their liberty by what means soever they may, grievously murmuring against the cruelty of the clergy.
The pope also should be admonished, how that, through divers and sundry wars and battles, the lands of Germany lie desolate and waste, and through many mortalities, the number of men is diminished, so that for the scarceness of husbandmen, the fields for the most part lie untilled, the tolls are by divers means diminished, the mines consumed, and the profits daily decay, whereby the archbishops and bishops should pay their annates unto the apostolic see, besides their other necessary and honest charges; insomuch that, not without just cause, James, the archbishop of Mentz, being even at the point of death, said, That he did not so much sorrow for his own death, as for that his poor subjects should be again forced to pay a grievous exaction for the pall.
Wherefore let the high bishop, as a godly father and lover of his children, and a faithful and prudent pastor, deal more favorably with his children the Germans, lest that persecution happen to rise against the priests of Christ, and that men, following the example of the Bohemians, do swerve from the church of Rome.
At least, let him be more favorable, as often as any archbishop or bishop may happen to rule his church but a few years; as it happened to the bishops of Barnberg, whereof three died within a few years. The like also might happen by other bishoprics, whereof, as Aeneas Sylvius witnesseth, there are in Germany to the number of fifty, besides abbots, whereof a great number are confirmed at Rome.
And admit that in Germany there were greater profits and revenues arising of the ground, mines, and tolls; notwithstanding the emperor and the other princes should lack treasure and munitions of war against their enemies, and especially the infidels, and to preserve Germany in peace and quietness, and to minister justice unto every man: for which purpose the council of the chamber, being most holily instructed, and furnished with great cost and charges, doth chiefly serve. Besides that, the emperor hath need of treasure, to suppress the rebels in the empire, to banish and drive away thieves and murderers, whereof a great number are not ashamed not to spoil churches only, and to rob them of their goods, but also to assail the clergy themselves. Finally, our nation and country of Germany hath need of great riches and treasure, not only for the repairing of churches and monasteries, but also for hospitals for children that are laid out in the streets, for widows, for women with child, for orphans, for marriage of the daughters of poor men, that they be not defiled, for such as have need and necessity, for the old and weak, for the sick and the sore, whereof (the more is the sorrow) Germany is fully replenished and filled.
AN ADVERTISEMENT UNTO THE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN, OF THE SUBTLE PRACTICES OF THE POPE AND POPISH PRELATES Let the emperor’s majesty foresee and provide that the begging friars do not preach against his majesty, who are wont to complain gladly unto the apostolic see, fearing to lose their privileges, which I would to God were as well grounded upon Christ, as they are upon profit. Let the emperor’s majesty also beware, that the pope do not give commandment unto the electors, to proceed to the election of a new king of Romans, as he did against Frederic II, when the landgrave of Thuringia, and William earl of Holland, were elected by the commandment of the pope. Let the emperor’s majesty also fear and take heed of all the prelates of the churches, and especially of the presidents, who by their oath are bound to advertise the pope. Let the emperor s majesty also fear and beware, that the pope do not take away from his subjects their obedience, and provoke the people bordering upon him, to make invasion into the emperor’s dominions archduchy of Austria; which those men, under color of showing obedience unto the pope’s commandment, be ready to do.
Let the emperor’s majesty, also, take heed of the apostolic censures, from which the pope will in no case refrain. Finally, let the emperor’s majesty diligently foresee and take heed, that the pope do not persuade the people with most subtle arguments, contrary to the Pragmatical sanction, excusing himself, and getting the good will of the simple, alleging that with great costs and charges, he will repair the church of St. Peter in Rome, and build in certain places against the Turks, and recover again the lands and patrimony pertaining unto the church of St. Peter; as he is bound by his office. Therefore let your majesty diligently foresee and deliberate, how, through your most wise and discreet counsel, if need shall require, you will answer to those subtleties of the pope.
A CERTAIN GODLY EXHORTATION UNTO THE EMPEROR’S MAJESTY Your majesty can do nothing better, nothing more acceptable to God, or more worthy eternal remembrance, than to moderate the great exactions and oppressions of the Germans; to take away all occasion from the laity, to persecute the clergy: also to take away the benefices out of the hands of Curtesans 34 , who can neither preach, comfort, nor counsel any man (of which benefices, as Aeneas Sylvius writeth, some are equal to the bishoprics of Italy); to increase God’s honor and worship; and so to bridle the avarice and ungodliness of those Curtesans, whereby your majesty may the better provide for the children of many noble and famous men and citizens in Germany; who, being brought up from their youth in the universities, learning both the Scriptures and other human letters, may, without tiresome vexations and most expensive and improper contests, aspire to the ecclesiastical promotions; who by their counsel and prayers may be helps unto the empire and the church: for it is no small occasion, why the realm of France should so flourish, that it hath so many notable learned men in it. If the emperor would abolish this impiety, and restore Germany unto her ancient liberty, which is now oppressed with grievous tributes, and would make way for learned and honest men unto ecclesiastical promotions; then might he truly and perpetually be called of all men, and in all places, the liberator of Germany, the restorer of liberty, and really the father of his country; and should obtain no less glory thereby unto himself, and profit unto Germany, than if he had by force of arms subdued some province unto them. And so shall Germany render no less thanks unto the said Maximilian, than unto all the rest who have reigned ever since the empire was translated from the Greeks to the Germans.
Hereafter ensueth the copy of a certain letter of the emperor Maximilian, given out in manner of a decree or commandment against certain abuses of the clergy: whereunto we have also annexed the answer of Jacobus Selestadiensis unto the emperor’s letters, wherein he seemeth also to have sought advice for the remedy of the like abuses, which we thought good here not to be omitted.
AN EDICT OF MAXIMILIAN THE EMPEROR We, according to the example of our dearly beloved father, Frederic III, emperor of Rome, reverencing the chief pastor of the church and all the clergy, have suffered no small revenues of the ecclesiastical dignities to be carried out of our dominion by the prelates and clergy that are absent, whose faults, committed by human frailty, with Constantine our predecessor we would not disdain to hide and cover. But forsomuch as through our liberality the decay of God’s honor hath arisen, it is our part (who are elect unto the empire, without any desert) to foresee, that among all other affairs of peace and war the churches do not decay, religion quail not, nor God’s true worship be diminished; which we have manifestly experimented and daily do perceive by the insatiable covetousness of some, who are never satisfied in getting of benefices; through whose absence (being resident only upon one) God’s honor and worship are diminished, houses decay, churches decrease, the ecclesiastical liberty is hurt, learning and monuments are lost and destroyed, hospitality and alms diminished, and, by their insatiable greediness, such of the clergy, as for their learning and virtue were worthy of benefices, and for their wisdom profitable in commonwealths, are hindered and put back.
Wherefore, according to the office and duty of our estate, for the love of the increase of God’s honor, we exhort and require, that no man from henceforth, having any canonship or vicarage in one city of our empire, shall occupy or possess a prebend in another church of the same city, except he give over the first within a year’s space unto some person fit and profitable for the church; neither that he do by unjust quarrels vex or trouble any man in getting of benefices; neither that any man do, to the prejudice of the ordinary patrons, falsely feign himself to be of the emperor’s household, who is not so, agreeably to the league and agreement made by the German princes and nation; neither that any man attempt to take away the patronage from any layman, or burden small prebends, still less curacies, with pensions; neither that they do use in getting of benefices and bulls any fraud, deceit, false instruments, corrupt witnesses, and cloaked simony; neither that any man presume to obtain any regress, or other thing contrary to the sacred canons, against right, honesty, equity, and reason, upon pain of the most grievous offense of treason: the which we will, that not only they who go so contrary to God and all honesty, but also all their favorers, who do help, counsel, harbor, or give them any thing, all their messengers and writers, proctors, sureties, and other their friends, shall incur, and receive condign punishment for so great offense and contempt of our commandment. From Inspruck, etc .
HERE ENSUETH THE COPY OF A LETTER WRITTEN UNTO THE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN A Letter of Jacobus Selestadiensis 35 , to the Emperor Maximilian, in answer to the Edict.
Most victorious emperor! when I have read your majesty’s epistle, and received instructions of your secretary, I prepared myself, with all my whole endeavor, to satisfy your majesty’s desire. For even from my youth hitherto, I have applied all my care and study, first for the honor of your majesty, and consequently, for the amplifying of the German nation, and sacred Roman empire. Albeit I know myself far unable to satisfy your desire and purpose, and there are many who can fulfill this matter much better, who have greater learning and experience of these common matters. There be also with other princes, and in the senates of commonwealths, many excellent learned men, who can exornate and beautify Germany, and persuade to reduce all the clergy unto a Christian discipline, and to a unity and peace of the universal church: wherein, not only your majesty, but also your predecessors, as Charles the Great, and his son Ludovicus Pius, the Othos, Conrads, Frederics, and Henrys, and last of all, Sigismund, have, with all labor and diligence, travailed; being stirred thereunto undoubtedly through the zeal and charity which they bear unto Almighty God, and thankfulness to Christ for his benefits which he hath bestowed upon mankind, and especially for the benefit of his most bitter passion. For Christ became not poor for us, that we should live in all riot and wantonness upon his patrimony, and show forth our ambition and covetousness; neither did he suffer hunger, that we should glut up ourselves; nor suffered labors, chastity, and grievous torments, that we should live in idleness, wantonness, and all kind of voluptuousness. Neither they who were contributors, and benefactors to churches, enduing the ministers thereof with their temporal riches, had any such respect herein, that the clergy should live only in idleness, having all things at their will, without labor. Surely there was another cause, why they in times past did impoverish themselves and theirs, to endow the church: verily, that they might the better attend unto divine service without care of want of living (which they might easily get and gather out of the fields, woods, meadows, and waters), and to the intent that they should liberally give alms unto the poor Christians, widows, orphans, aged and sick persons. For, in the institutions of the canonical profession, which we suppose were written by the commandment of Ludovicus Pitts the emperor, and allowed by the council of the bishops, thus it is read; “The goods of the church, as it is alleged by the fathers, and contained in the chapters before, are the vows of the faithful, the fines of sinners 36 , and patrimony of the poor. For the faithful, through the ferventness of their faith and love of Christ being inflamed, for the cure of their souls, and desire of the heavenly country, enriched holy church with their own goods, that thereby the soldiers of the church might be nourished, churches adorned, the poor refreshed, and captives, according to the opportunity of time, redeemed.
Wherefore, such as have the administration of those goods ought diligently to be looked upon, that they do not convert them unto their own proper use, but rather should tend those, to the utmost of their power, in whom Christ is fed and clothed 37 .” Prosper is also of the same mind, affirming that holy men did not challenge the church goods to their own use. as their own proper goods, but as things commended 38 unto the poor, to be divided amongst them: for that is to contemn that which a man possesseth, not to possess a thing for himself, but for others; neither to covet the church goods with covetousness to have them himself but to take them with a godly zeal to help others. That which the church hath, is common to all those who have nothing, neither ought they to give any thing of that unto them (saith he) who have of their own; for to give unto them who have enough, is but to cast things away. To return now to the order of popes, where we left before, speaking of Innocent VIII. After the said Innocent, next succeeded pope Alexander VI; in which Alexander 39 , among other horrible things, this is one to be noted: that when Gemes (Peucer nameth him Demes) brother to Bajazet the great Turk, was committed by the Rhodians to the safe custody, first of pope Innocent, then of Alexander VI, for whose keeping, the pope received every year 40,000 crowns; yet, notwithstanding, when pope Alexander afterwards was compelled to send the said Gemes to Charles VIII the French king, for a pledge, because the French king should not procure the great Turk’s favor by sending his brother Gemes to him to be slain, he (pope Alexander), being hired by the Turk, caused the said Gemes to be poisoned, who, in his journey going toward the French king, died at Terracina. Moreover, it appeareth, that this Alexander, taking displeasure with the aforesaid Charles, the French king, about the winning of Naples, sent to Bajazet, the Turk, to fight against the aforesaid Charles. Munsterus, 7 declaring the aforesaid history of Gemes something otherwise, first calleth him Zizymus, and saith that he was first committed by the Rhodians to the French king; and when Johannes Huniades, aforementioned, did labor to the French king to have him, thinking by that means to obtain a noble victory against the Turk, as it was not unlike, this Alexander the pope, through his fraudulent flattery, got him of the French king into his own hands, by whose means the said Gemes afterwards was poisoned, as is in manner before expressed.
Unto these poisoned acts of the pope, let us also adjoin his malicious wickedness, with like fury, exercised upon Antonius Mancinellus; which Mancinellus, being a man of excellent learning, because he wrote an eloquent oration against his wicked manners and filthy life, with other vices, he therefore commanded both his hands and his tongue to be cut off, playing much like with him, as Antonius the tyrant once did with Marcus Cicero, for writing against his horrible life. At length, as one poison requireth another, this poisoning pope, as he was sitting with his cardinals and other rich senators of Rome at dinner, his servants unawares brought to him a wrong bottle, wherewith he was poisoned, and his cardinals about him.
In the time of this pope Alexander also it happened (which is not to be pretermitted), how that the Angel, which stood in the high top of the pope’s church, was beaten down with a terrible thunder; which thing seemed then to declare the ruin and fall of the popedom. After this pope, next succeeded Pius III November 19th, 1503; after whom came next Julius II, a man so far passing all others in iniquity, that Weselus, and such others of his own friends, writing of him, are compelled to say of him, “Marti illum quam Christo deditiorem fuisse;” that is, That he was more given to war and battle, than to Christ. Concerning the madness of this man, this is most certainly known, that at what time he was going to war, he cast the keys of St. Peter into the river Tiber, saying, that forasmuch as the keys of Peter would not serve him to his purpose, he would take himself to the sword of Paul. Whereupon Philip Melancthon, amongst many others, writing upon the same, maketh this epigram: “Cum contra Gallos bellum papa Julius esset Gesturus, sicut fama vetusta docet, Ingentes Martis turmas contraxit, et urbe Egressus saevas edidit ore minas; Iratusque sacras claves in flumina jecit Tibridis, hic urbi, pons ubi jungit aquas.
Inde manu strictum vagina diripit ensem, Exclamansque truci talia voce refert: ‘Hic gladius Pauli nos nunc defendet ab hoste, Quandoquidem clavis nil jurat ista Petri.’” Whereupon also Gilbert Ducherius maketh this epigram: “In Gallum, ut fama est, bellum gesturus acerbum, Armatam educit Julius urbe manum.
Accinctus gladio, claves in Tibridis amnem Projicit, et saevus talia verba facit:
Quum Petri nihil efficiant ad praelia claves, Auxilio Pauli forsitan ensis erit.” The sense of these epigrams in English, is this: When Julius pope against the French determined to make war, As fame reports, he gathered up great troops of men from far; And to the bridge of Tiber then, marching as he were wood 40; His holy keys he took and cast them down into the flood.
And afterward into his hand he took a naked sword, And shaking it brake forth into this fierce and warlike word: ‘This Sword of Paul,’ quoth he, ‘shall now defend us from our foe; Since that this key of Peter doth nothing avail thereto,’ Of this Julius it is certainly reported, that partly with his wars, partly with his cursings, 7a within the space of seven years as good as 200,000 Christians were destroyed. First, he besieged Ravenna against the Venetians, then Servia, Imola, Faenza, Forli, Bologna, and other cities, which he got out of princes’ hands, not without much bloodshed. The chronicles of John Sleidan make mention, that when this Julius was made pope, he took an oath, promising to have a council within two years. But when he had no leisure thereunto, being occupied with his wars in Italy amongst the Venetians, and with the French king, and in Ferrara, and in other countries, nine of his cardinals departing from him came to Milan, and there appointed a council at the city of Pisa; amongst whom the chief were Bernardine cardinal de la Croix 41 , William cardinal of Palmstrine, Francis cardinal-archbishop of Cosenza, with divers others; unto whom also were adjoined the proctors of Maximilian the emperor, and of Charles the French king. So the council was appointed A.D. 1511, to begin on the calends of September. The cause why they did so call this council was thus alleged, because the pope had so broken his oath, and all this while he gave no hope to have any council; and also because there were divers other crimes, whereupon they had to accuse him. Their purpose was to remove him out of his seat, the which he had procured through bribes and ambition. Julius, hearing this, giveth out contrary Commandment, under great pain, that no man should obey them, and calleth himself another council against the next year, to be begun the nineteenth day of April. The French king, understanding pope Julius to join with the Venetians, and so to take their part against him, convented a council at Turin, in the month of September, in the which council these questions were proposed:
After this, the king sent to Julius the answer of his council, requiring him either to agree to peace, or to appoint a general council some other where, where this matter might be more fully decided. Julius would neither of these, but forthwith accursed Charles the French king, with all his kingdom. At length at Ravenna, in a great war, he was overcome by the French king; and at last, after much slaughter, and great bloodshed, and mortal war, this pope died A.D. 1518, the twenty-first day of February.
THE HISTORY OF THE TURKS If it were not that I fear to overlay this our volume with heaps of foreign histories, who have professed chiefly to treat of Acts and Monuments here done at home, I would adjoin after these popes above rehearsed, some discourse also of the Turks’ story; of their rising and cruel persecution of the saints of God, to the great annoyance and peril of Christendom. Yet, notwithstanding, certain causes there be, which necessarily require the knowledge of their order and doings, and of their wicked proceedings, their cruel tyranny and bloody victories, the ruin and subversion of so many Christian churches, with the horrible murders and captivity of infinite Christians, to be made plain and manifest, as well to this our country of England, as also to other nations.
First, For the better explaining of the prophecies of the New Testament, as in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Thessalonians, and also in the Revelation of St. John; which scriptures otherwise, without the opening of these histories, cannot so perfectly be understood: of which scriptures, we mind hereafter (Christ granting) orderly, as the course of matter shall lead us, to make rehearsal.
Another cause is, that we may learn thereby, either with the public church to lament, with our brethren, such a great defection and decay of Christian faith, through these wicked Turks; or else may fear thereby our own danger.
The third cause, that we may ponder more deeply with ourselves the scourge of God for our sins, and corrupt doctrine; which, in the sequel hereof, more evidently may appear to our eyes, for our better admonition.
Fourthly: The consideration of this horrible persecution of the Turks rising chiefly by our discord and dissension among ourselves, may reduce us again from our domestic wars, in killing and burning one another, to join together in Christian patience and concord.
Fifthly: But chiefly, these great victories of the Turks, and un-prosperous speed of our men fighting against them, may admonish and teach us, following the example of the old Israelites, how to seek for greater strength to encounter with these enemies of Christ, that hitherto we, have done.
First, we must consider that the whole power of Satan, the prince of this world, goeth with the Turks; which to resist, no strength of man’s army is sufficient, but only the name, spirit, and power of our Lord Jesus the Son of God, going with us in our battles; as among the old Israelites the ark of God’s covenant and promise went with them also fighting against the enemies of God. For so are we taught in the Scripture, that we Christian men have no strength but in Christ only. Whether we war against the devil, or against the Turk, it is true that the Scripture saith, “Sine me nihil potestis facere,” that is, “Without me you can do nothing.” Otherwise there is no puissance to stand against the devil, or to conquer the world, “nisi fides nostra,” that is, “our faith only,” to which all the promises of God touching salvation be annexed; beyond which promises we must not go, for the word must be our rule. He that presumeth beyond the promises in the word expressed, goeth not, but wandereth he cannot tell whither: neither must we appoint God how to save the world, but must take that way which he hath appointed. Let us not set our God to school, nor comprehend his Holy Spirit within our skulls. He that made us without our council, did also redeem us as pleased him. If he be merciful, let us be thankful. And if his mercies surmount our capacity, let us therefore not resist but search his Word, and thereunto apply our will; which if we will do, all our contentions will be soon at a point. Let us therefore search the will of our God in his Word, and if he will his salvation to stand free to all nations, why do we make merchandise thereof? 1 If he have graciously offered his waters to us, without money or money-worth, let us not hedge in the plenteous springs of his grace given us. 2 And finally, if God have determined his own Son only to stand alone, let not us presume to admix with his majesty any of our trumpery. He that bringeth St. George or St.
Now how we have fought these many years against the Turk, though stories keep silence, yet the success declareth. We fight against a persecutor, being no less persecutors ourselves. We wrestle against a bloody tyrant, and our hands be as full of blood as his. He killeth Christ’s people with the sword, and we burn them with fire. He, observing the works of the law, seeketh his justice by the same: the like also do we. But neither doth he, nor do we, seek our justification as we should, that is, by faith only in the Son of God.
The Turk hath prevailed so mightily, not because Christ is weak, but because Christians be wicked, and their doctrine impure. Our temples with images, our hearts with idolatry are polluted. Our priests stink before God for adultery, being restrained from lawful matrimony. The name of God is in our mouths, but his fear is not in our hearts. We war against the Turk with our works, masses, traditions, and ceremonies: but we fight not against him with Christ, and with the power of his glory; which if we did, the field were won.
Wherefore, briefly to conclude, saying my judgment in this behalf, what I suppose. This hope I have, and do believe, that when the church of Christ, with the sacraments thereof, shall be so reformed, that Christ alone shall be received to be our justifier, all other religions, merits, traditions, images, patrons, and advocates set apart, the sword of the Christians, with the strength of Christ, shall soon vanquish the Turks’ pride and fury. But of this more largely in the process of this story.
The sixth and last cause, why I think the knowledge of the Turks’ history requisite to be considered, is this: because that many there be, who, for that they be further from the Turks, and think therefore themselves to be out of danger, take little care and study what happeneth to their other brethren. Wherefore, to the intent to excite their zeal and prayer to Almighty God, in this so lamentable ruin of Christ’s church, I thought it requisite, by order of history, to give this our nation also something to understand, what hath been done in other nations by these cruel Turks, and what detriment hath been, and is like more to happen by them to the church of Christ, except we make our earnest invocation to Almighty God, in the name of his Son, to stop the course of the devil by these Turks, and to stay this defection of Christians falling daily unto them, and to reduce them again to his faith, who are fallen from him: which the Lord Jesus of his grace grant with speed! Amen.
Before we enter into this story of the Turks and Saracens, first let us call to remembrance the prophecy and forewarning of St. Paul writing to the Thessalonians [2 Thessalonians 2], in these words: “Be not moved or troubled in your minds, either by preaching or by writing, or by letter from us, as though the day of the Lord were at hand; for the Lord will not come, except there come a defection first, and the wicked person be revealed,” etc.
Of this defection, sundry minds there be of sundry expositors; some thinking this defection to mean a falling-away from the empire of Rome: some, from the obedience of the pope. But, as St. Paul little passed upon the outward glory of the Roman empire; so less he passed upon the proud obedience of the pope. What St. Paul meant by this defection, the reading of these Turkish stories, and the miserable falling-away of these churches by him before planted, will soon declare.
Another mystery there is in the Revelation [Revelation 13], where the number of the beast is counted six hundred and sixty-six. Whereby may seem, by all evidences, to be signified the first origin and springing of these beastly Saracens, as by the sequel hereof may appear, by the first rising of this devilish sect of Mahomet.
Moreover, another place there is [Revelation 16], where we read, that by pouring out of the vial of God’s wrath by the sixth angel, the great flood Euphrates was dried up, to let in the kings of the east; the opening of which prophecy may also more evidently appear, in considering the order and manner of the coming in of these Turks into Europe.
Some also apply to the Turks certain prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel, and other places of the Old Testament, which here I omit, forasmuch as the prophecies of the Old Testament, if they be taken in their proper and native sense, after my judgment, do extend no further than to the death of our Savior, and to the end of the Jews’ kingdom. Albeit herein I do not prejudicate to any man’s opinion, but that every man may abound in his own sense.
As touching the year and time when this pestiferous sect of Mahomet first began, histories do not fully consent, some affirming that it began A.D. 621, and in the tenth year of Heraclius, the emperor of Constantinople; in which mind is Johannes Lucidus. As Munsterus counteth, it was A.D. 622. Martin Luther and John Carion refer it to the eighteenth year of the reign of Heraclius, which is A.D. 680, unto which number the computation of the Beast, signified in the Apocalypse, doth not far disagree, which numbereth the name of the beast, with three Greek letters c, x, s which Greek letters, after the supputation of the Grecians, make the number of 666.
In this all writers agree, that this damnable Mahomet was born in the country of Arabia, bordering on the east part of Jewry. His father was a Syrian, or a Persian; his mother was an Ishmaelite, which Ishmaelites, being a people of Arabia, were called then Hagarenes; which term Mahomet afterwards turned to the name of Saracens. Of this wretched Mahomet, mention was made before, where we showed, how he, making himself the highest prophet of all others, yet denieth not Christ to be a holy prophet, and next to him, and Moses also to be another. Moreover, he denieth not Mary, the mother of Christ, to be a virgin, and to have conceived Christ by the Holy Ghost: affirming further, that Christ in his own person was not crucified, but another called Judas for him. He greatly commendeth also John, the son of Zachary, for a virgin, when he himself permitteth a man to have four wives, and as many concubines as he is able to find; and saith, that whereas Christ and other prophets had the gift given them to work miracles, he was sent by force of sword, to compel men to his religion. The prodigious vanities, lies, and blasphemies contained in this law called Alcoran, are rather to be laughed at, than recited.
It is thought that Sergius, a Nestorian, was a great doer with Mahomet, in contriving of this lying Alcoran; and so it doth well appear by the scope and pretense thereof, which especially tendeth to this end, to take the divinity from the person of Christ, whom he granteth notwithstanding to be a most holy man, and also that he is received up to God, and shall come again to kill Antichrist, etc.
Moreover, this ridiculous Alcoran is so blanched and powdered with such divers mixtures of the Christians, Jews, and the Gentiles’ laws, giving such liberty to all wantonness of flesh, setting up circumcision, abstaining from swines’ flesh, and judaical lotions, and so much standeth upon father Abraham, that this filthy Alcoran is supposed of some, not to be set out in the days of Mahomet, but that certain Jews had some handling also in this matter, and put it out after his death and so it seemeth first to take its force about the number of years limited in the Apocalypse, as is aforesaid, where thus it is written: “He that hath intelligence, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
After this devilish Mahomet had thus seduced the people, teaching them that he came not by miracles, but by force of sword to give his law, and that they who will not obey it, must either be put to death, or else pay tribute (for so be the words of the Alcoran); and after that he had gathered strength about him of the Arabians, which Arabians had then occasion to rebel against the emperor, because their stipends were not paid them by the officers of the emperor Heraclius, he began to range with force and violence in the parts of Syria, bordering near unto him, and first subdued Mecca, then Damascus; and further, increasing in power, he entered into Egypt, and subdued the same. From thence he turned his power against the Persians, with whom Cosroes, the king of Persia, encountered with a puissant army, overthrew the Saracens, and put Mahomet to flight. Of these Persians came the Turks, who, afterwards joining with the Saracens, maintained them against the Christians. After the death of this beast 42 , who, as some say, was poisoned in his house, succeeded Ebocara, or Ebubecer, his father-in-law, or, as Bibliander affirmeth, his son-in-law, who took upon him the government of the Saracens, and got the city Gaza, and besieged also Jerusalem two years, he reigned two years, having for his chief city Damascus.
After him followed Omar or Ahumer, who conquered a great part of Syria, and got Egypt.
The third king 43 of the Saracens, after Mahomet, was Othman; then followed Hall, and after him Muhavia 44 : who, after a siege of seven years, obtained and got the Christian city of Caesarea; also overcame the Persians, with their king Orimasda, and subdued that country to his law.
Thus the wicked Saracens, in the space of thirty years, subdued Arabia, got Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, and Persia, which came directly to the 666 years prophesied of in the Revelation of St. John, as is aforesaid.
Not long after Heraclius, emperor of Constantinople, succeeded Constans, his nephew 45 , who, in the thirteenth year of his empire, fighting unluckily against the Saracens in Lycia, was overthrown of Muhavias aforesaid, A.D. 655 46 ; which Constans, if he were not prospered by the Lord in his wars, it was no great marvel, considering that he had slain his brother Theodosius before at home; moreover, that he lived in incestuous matrimony: also that, being inclined to certain new sects 47 , he could not abide the contrary teachers, but slew those who admonished him thereof.
Although these cursed Saracens, in these their great victories and conquests, were not without domestic sedition and divisions among themselves, yet the princes of the Saracens, being called then sultans 48 , had in their possession the government of Syria, Egypt, Africa, and a great part of Asia, about the term of four hundred years; till at length the Saracen king who ruled in Persia, fighting against the Saracen of Babylon, sought aid of the Turks, to fight with him against the sultan of Babylon: which Turks, by little and little, surprised upon the sultan of Persia, and, not long after, putting him out of place, usurped the kingdom of Persia; who afterwards went further, as ye shall hear, the Lord willing. And this is the first beginning of the Turks’ dominion.
These Turks, after they had thus overcome many countries and provinces, and made their power large and mighty both in Asia and Europe, began to divide their kingdoms and countries amongst themselves. But when they could not agree, but with deadly war contended for the bounds of those kingdoms and dominions, in the mean time four of the principal 49 families 49 , conquering and subduing all the rest, parted the whole empire amongst themselves. And yet they also, not so contented, fell to such cruel hatred, contention, war, and slaughter (no doubt by the just judgment of God against his blasphemous enemies), that there was no end thereof, until the remnant of the ancient Turks was utterly rooted out. For it is evident that there are few now remaining, who are Turks indeed by birth and blood, and that the state of that great empire is not upholden, but by the strength and power of soldiers, who have been Christians, and now are turned to Mahomet’s religion 50 ; so that even their own natural language is now out of use amongst them, saving in certain families of their nobility and gentry.
These four families above-mentioned 51 , with their captains and armies, about A.D. 1880, went raging throughout all Asia and Europe, and every one of them conquered some part of the countries where they passed.
The causes of these great invasions and victories, were the dissension and discord, falsehood, idleness, inconstancy, greedy avarice, lack of truth and fidelity, among Christian men of all states and degrees, both high and low.
For, by the willful defection and backsliding of the Christians, the Turkish power did exceedingly increase, in that many, desiring the licentious life and liberty of war, and allured with the prosperous success of things, forsook the church of God, and made themselves bondslaves to Mahomet, and his devilish sect; both because fleshly liberty is delighting to all men, and partly also because as fortune favoreth, so commonly the wills of men incline. And again, such as be profane and without the fear of God (whereof there is an infinite number in the church in all ages), are wont commonly to judge of religion, according to the success of realms and kingdoms. For many, not only for the variety of opinions, but also for the diversity of events and fortune amongst men, have inquired and do inquire, whether there be any church of God distinct from other nations; what it is, and where it is: especially, forasmuch as the greatest part of men, both in the old time (when the four monarchies flourished in order) were ignorant of this doctrine, which is peculiar to the church alone, and now also the barbarity of Mahomet prevaileth and reigneth in the most part of the world. And how standeth this with man’s reason, that a small number, both miserable and also enfeebled and broken with many battles, should be regarded and loved of God; and the others, flourishing in all wealth, prosperity, victories, authority, and power, should be rejected and despised of God, seeing there is no power and authority, but by the ordinance of God? Albeit therefore the power of the Turks hath been, for these two hundred years, of greater force than any other monarchy of the world besides, yet is there no imperial dignity to be esteemed in that Turkish tyranny, but amongst those nations only, where the heavenly doctrine of the gospel is preached, and other disciplines necessary for the church of God, and the common life of man maintained and regarded; where the laws of God, and other honest and civil ordinances agreeable to the same, do flourish and reign; where lawful judgment is exercised; where virtue is honored and rewarded; where sin and wickedness is punished; where honest families are maintained and defended.
These things are not regarded amongst the Turks, the enemies of the Son of God, and all lawful empires, because they dissolve and reject all godly societies, honest discipline, good laws, policies, righteous judgment, the ordinance of matrimony, and godly families. For what hath the empire of the Turks been hitherto, but most deadly, cruel, and perpetual war, to work all mischief, destruction, and desolation? to subvert good laws, cities, kingdoms, policies, and to enlarge their cruel power and dominion? the stay and strength whereof is not love and favor, proceeding of virtue and justice, as in lawful and well governed empires; but fear, violence, oppression, swarms and infinite thousands of barbarous and most wicked people, ministers of Satan’s malice and fury: which kind of dominion and tyranny hath been condemned by the voice of God many years ago; the testimonies whereof the Lord would have to remain in the church, lest the godly, being moved with the power and success thereof, should fall away and forsake the Son of God. (Ezekiel 34; Revelation 20.)
Wherefore, let us not seek for any imperial state in that barbarity; but let us be thankful, and acknowledge the great benefit of God, for that he hath reserved to us certain remnants of the Roman empire: and let us call upon him daily, with hearty petitions and groans, and with zeal and love to the house of God, that this Turkish power, joined with the malice of Satan against the Son of God, prevail not against the poor congregations and little remnant of his church, as it hath hitherto done against those strong and noble Christian kingdoms and churches, where now we see the Turkish tyranny to reign, and Satan to have taken full possession; whose state was once far better than ours is now, and more like to continue without such horrible overthrows and desolation. Oh that we might foresee a little the great danger that hangeth over our heads! For though the Turk seemeth to be far off, yet do we nourish within our breasts at home, that which may soon cause us to feel his cruel hand and worse, if worse may be: to overrun us; to lay our land waste; to scatter us amongst the infidels, the enemies and blasphemers of the Son of God!
Now, although these four families above-mentioned long continued together in bloody wars and deadly hatred, yet one of them passed the rest in all cruelty and tyranny, and subduing the other three families, took upon him the government alone, and so became the first monarch or emperor that reigned amongst them, called Ottoman; of whom all that reigned after him were called Ottomans: who, succeeding orderly of his line, have occupied the same dominion and seat of the Turks, from the year of our Lord 1300, unto this present time, who have been the number of twelve; of the which twelve, in such order as they lived and reigned, I intend (Christ so permitting) severally and compendiously something to treat, briefly abstracting, out of prolix and tedious writers, such specialties, as for us Christians shall be briefly requisite to be known.
OTTOMAN, THE FIRST GREAT EMPEROR52 , OR TYRANT OF THE TURKS. A.D. 1300.
This Ottoman was at first of poor estate, and obscure amongst the common sort of men, coming of a base progeny, and of rustic parents; but through his valiance and activity in war, he got him a great name amongst the Turks. For he, being a man of fierce courage, refusing no labor, and delighting in war, and gathering together by great subtlety a multitude of common soldiers, began to make war, and by conquest and victories to advance himself and his family. First, he began to rob and spoil with a great band of rovers, and afterwards he attempted to set upon all men.
Neither did he vex and destroy the Christians only, but set upon his own nation also, and sought all occasion to subdue them wholly unto him; for now the princes and captains of the Turks, inflamed with ambition and desire of rule, began to fall out and contend among themselves, insomuch that they fell to domestic and inward war, with all the power they could.
Ottoman, having this occasion very fit and meet to accomplish that which he long had sought for, gathering unto trim all such as he thought to be given to robbing and spoiling, and set all upon mischief, in a short time began to grow in authority, and first set upon certain towns, as he saw opportunity to serve him; of which towns some he took by force, some by yielding; others he spoiled and overthrew, to terrify the rest; thus laying the first foundation of his rising. In the mean time, the discord which was amongst the Christians was no small advantage to this Ottoman, by occasion whereof, he, within ten years’ space, subdued Bithynia, and all the provinces about Pontus: also Natolia, which comprehendeth all the dominion of the Greeks within Asia; Ancyra, a city in Phrygia; Sinope, a city in Galatia; and Sebastia, a city in Cappadocia.
And thus still prevailing, he increased in short time to a mighty power, either through the secret judgment of God against that nation, or else because God would have them so far and so cruelly to prevail, for the punishment of the sins of other nations, like as it was prophesied before, that such a kingdom there should be, of Gog and Magog. (Ezekiel 28.)
This Ottoman, after he had reigned twenty-eight years, died A.D. 1326, and departed to his Mahomet; leaving behind him three sons, of whom Orchah, being the youngest, killed his two brethren, whilst they were at variance between themselves.
ORCHAN, THE SECOND EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Orchan, the youngest of the sons of Ottoman, after he had slain his two brethren, took the regiment of the Turks after his father; who, ‘after he had drawn to him the hearts of the multitude, such as had their dispositions set upon the licentious life of war, converted his power further to enlarge his father’s dominion, winning and subduing Mysia, Lydia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and Caria: all which countries, being within the compass of Asia, unto the sea-side of the Hellespont, and the sea Euxine, he added to the Turkish empire. Also he won Prusia, which was the metropolitan city of Bithynia, which then he made the chief seat of the Turks’ empire. Besides these, moreover, he conquered Nicea, and got Nicomedia: all which were before Christian cities and regions. And yet all this could not make the Christian princes in Greece to cease their civil wars, and to join and accord among themselves: such debate and variance was then between Cantacuzen, on the Greeks’ part, and Paleologus, the emperor of Constantinople. By reason of this, the Turks’ aid was sent for out of Asia, to help our Christians one to kill another, and at length to get all those parts of Europe from them both; who, if they had, according to their profession, so well joined in brotherly unity, as they did in cruel hostility dissent, neither had Orchan so prevailed in getting Prusia from the Greeks, nor had the Turks so soon presumed into Europe as afterwards they did.
Orchah, after these victories, when he had reigned thirty-four years, was struck, as some say, with a dart in the shoulder, at the siege of Prusa. The opinion of others is, that he, fighting against the Tartars, where he lost a great part of his army, was there also slain himself, A.D. 1360.
AMURATH, THE THIRD EMPEROR OF THE TURKS The Greek writers do hold that Orchah had two sons, Soliman and Amurath, of which two, first Soliman reigned, albeit not long. After him followed Amurath, who, after that Asia now was subdued by his predecessors, sought by all means and ways how to proceed further, and to invade Europe: to whose ambitious purpose the domestic wars of the Christians gave unprosperous occasion, which occasion is thus declared.
Certain discord fell between the princes of Greece (whose captain was Cantacuzen), and Paleologus, emperor of Constantinople: whereupon Paleologus, for that he was not able to make his party good with the Grecians, most unwisely sent for Amurath, to help him, who, being glad to have such an occasion offered, which he so long had sought, sent to aid him 12,000 Turks into Thrace: but first he used all delays he could of crafty policy, to the intent that the Greeks first should waste their strength and power upon themselves, whereby he might be more able afterwards to set upon them, and to accomplish his conceived desire.
The Turks thus being called into Europe by the Christians, whether they, tasting the sweetness of the soil, incensed Amurath, their emperor, to make invasion, or whether Amurath, of his own head, thought good to use the time, in the year of our Lord 1568, he came himself over into Europe with 60,000 Turks, falling upon the Greeks, being wasted and spent with their long wars and battles before. The pretense of the devilish Turk was to aid and assist the emperor Paleologus, whether he would or no, and to subdue such as had fallen from him.
The Christian ships of the Ligurians 53 for money were hired to conduct them over, taking for every soldier a piece of gold. Thus the Turks’ army, being conveyed over by the Grecian sea called the Hellespont, first got Callipolis, with other towns and cities bordering about the sea; and there planting themselves, and preparing ships of their own for transporting their munitions out of Asia, advanced their power further into Thrace, and there won Philipopolis; then got Adrianople, which was not far from Constantinople; and there Amurath made his chief seat. Then began Paleologus, the emperor, at length to bewail his offer and covenant made with Amurath. When the Turks had expugned thus a great part of Thrace, they extended forth their army into Moesia, which they soon subdued: from thence proceeding and conquering the Bessi and Triballi, they entered into Servia and Bulgaria, where, joining battle with Lazarus, Despota 54 or prince of Servia, and with other dukes of Dalmatia and Epirus, they wan of them the field, and put them to the worse; where Lazarus, being taken and committed to prison, ended his life. This Lazarus had a certain faithful client or servant, who, to revenge his master’s death, with a bold courage, although seeing death before his eyes, yet ventured his life so far, that he came to: the tyrant and thrust him through with his dagger. This Amurath reigned twenty-three years, and was slain A.D. 1388.
BAJAZET, THE FOURTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS The power of the Turks began to increase in Europe, what time Bajazet, the first of that name, after the death of his father, entered the possession of the Turks’ kingdom. This Bajazet had two brethren, Soliman and Sauces; which Sauces had his eyes put out by his father, for striving for the kingdom. Soliman was slain by his brother. Thus Bajazet, beginning his kingdom with the murder of his brother, reduced his imperial seat from Prusia, a city of Bithynia, unto Adrianople, intending with himself to subdue both Asia and Europe to his own power. First he set upon the Servians and Bulgarians, thinking to revenge his father’s death; where he gave the overthrow to Marcus, the Despota 55 , with all the nobility of the Servians and Bulgarians, and put all those parts under his subjection, unto the confines and borders of the Illyrians. All Thrace, moreover, he brought likewise under his yoke, only Constantinople and Pera excepted. That done, he invaded the residue of Greece, prevailing against the countries of Thessalia, Macedonia, Phocis, and Attica, spoiling and burning as he passed without any resistance; and so, returning with innumerable spoil of the Christians unto Adrianople, he laid siege to Constantinople the space of eight years, and had expugned the same, but that Paleologus, being brought to extremity, was driven to crave aid of the Frenchmen, and of Sigismund the emperor, who, being accompanied with a sufficient power of Frenchmen and Germans, came down to Hungary, and toward Servia, against the Turk. Bajazet, hearing of their coming, raised his siege from Constantinople, and with 60,000 horsemen 56 , came to Nicopolis, where he, encountering with them, overthrew all the Christian army, and took John, the captain of the French power, prisoner. Sigismund, who before, in the council of Constance 57 , had burned John Hass and Jerome of Prague, hardly escaped by flying. Bajazet, after the victory got, carried away duke John, with five others, in bands, into Prusia, where, before his face, he caused all the other Christian prisoners to be cut in pieces. Afterwards the said John, being ransomed with 200,000 crowns, was delivered. Some authors refer this story to the time of Calepine, as followeth hereafter to be seen.
Bajazet, the cruel tyrant, after this victory won, and tyranny showed upon the Christians, returned again to his siege of Constantinople, fully bending himself to conquer and subdue the same; which thing no doubt he had accomplished, but that the providence of God had found such a means, that Tamerlane, king of Parthia, with a hundred thousand horsemen, and swarms of footmen, like a violent flood overrunning Asia, and pressing upon Syria and Sebastia, had taken Orthobules, the son of Bajazet, prisoner, and afterwards slew him, exercising the like cruelty upon his prisoners as Bajazet had done before upon the Christians, insomuch that he spared neither sex nor age of the Turkish multitude; of whom he caused twelve thousand, at one time, to be overridden and trodden down under his horses’ feet. By reason of this, Bajazet the tyrant was enforced to raise his siege from Constantinople, and to return his power into Asia; where he, near the hill called Stella 58 , pitched his tents there to encounter with Tamerlane.
The fight between these two was long and great on both sides, which was A.D. 1397, and the second year after the slaughter of our Christians at Nicopolis in Pannonia. But the victory of this battle fell to Tamerlane at length, in which, as Munsterus writeth, were slain 200,000 Turks; among whom Bajazet the tyrant, having his horse slain under him, was taken prisoner, and, to make a spectacle of his wretched fortune, he was bound in golden fetters, and so, being enclosed in an iron grate (whom, before, all Greece could not hold), was led about and showed through all Asia, to be scorned and laughed at; and, moreover, was used instead of a footstool to Tamerlane, or a block, as often as he mounted upon his horse. Some add also, that he was made like a dog to feed under Tamerlane’s table. The tyranny of this Bajazet against the Christians, as it was not much unlike to the cruelty of Valerian the Roman 59 emperor above mentioned, so neither was the example of his punishment much discrepant; for, as Sapor, king of the Persians, did then with Valerian, in the time of the eighth persecution of the primitive church, so likewise was Bajazet, this persecutor, worthily handled by Tamerlane, king of the Parthians, as in manner above-said.
Tamerlane, after this conquest, passed with his army into Mesopotamia, Egypt, and all Syria, where he, victoriously subduing the cities and munitions of the Turks, at length also conquered Damascus. In his sieges his manner was, the first day to go all in white attire, the second day in red, the third day in black, signifying thereby mercy the first day, to them that yielded; the second day the sword; the third day fire and ashes. At last, after great victories, and spoils gotten of the Turks, he returned into his country again, and there died, April 1st, A.D. 1405.
Sebastianus Munsterus, writing of this Tamerlane, recordeth that he had in his army 1,200,000 men 60 : and that he overcame the Parthians, Scythians, Iberians, Albanians, Persians, Medes, and conquered all Mesopotamia: and after he had also subdued Armenia, passing over the river Euphrates with 600,000 footmen, and 400,000 horsemen, he invaded all Asia Minor, conquering and subduing from the flood Tanais 6 unto the Nile in Egypt, and was called ‘terror orbis,’ the ‘ terror of the world.’ 7 He left behind him two sons, who, falling in discord for their possessions, lost all again that their father got.
In the mean time Bajazet, in the second year of his captivity, died, leaving behind him divers sons, Jesus or Joshua the eldest, Mulsuman, Moses, Celebine or Calepine, Jesus the younger, Mustapha, and Hali, of whom, first Jesus the eldest was overcome and slain of Mulsuman, which Mulsuman afterward was delivered to Moses his brother, and by him was slain likewise; which Moses had also the like end by his brother Calepine, having his neck broken with a bowstring, which was then the usual manner among the Turks in killing their brethren. The same Calepine, sparing only the life of Mustapha his brother, condemned him to perpetual prison.
Jesus the younger was baptized, and shortly after deputed at Constantinople. In these such discords and divisions among the Turks, what occasions were given to the Christians to have recovered again of the Turks, what they had lost, if they had not been either negligent, or in their own private wars otherwise occupied with themselves!
CALEPINE, THE FIFTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Calepine or Celebine, was the son of Bajazet, and of four brethren the eldest; who being all taken captives by the Parthians, he only escaped and obtained his fathers kingdom. This Calepine, encouraged by the sloth and negligence of the princes of Europe, and by the discord of the Greeks among themselves and other nations near about, them, long troubled and vexed the Bulgarians, Servians, and Macedonians, even to the time of Sigismund. This Sigismund, seeing now Bajazet to be overcome and taken by Tamerlane, and the power of the Turks weakened in Europe, and having such occasion offered him, as it were from heaven, to destroy and utterly to root out, not only out of Asia, but also all Europe, that barbarous nation, and cruel enemies to the name and religion of Christ, and also to revenge the great slaughter and discomfiture of his army fighting before with Bajazet at Nicopolis, a city in Moesia; with great power made war against Calepine, at Columbetz, a town in Servia 61 , as is also beforementioned; but as unluckily, and with as little success, as he did before against Bajazet his father: for in that battle were slain of the Christians to the number of twenty thousand, and the rest utterly discomfited, the king himself escaping so hardly, that he entered not again into his kingdom for the space of eighteen months after. Some write that this was done under Bajazet; others refer this battle to Amurath; but, howsoever it was, most pernicious was it to the Christians. 8 He reigned but six years, and died very young, A.D. 1410.
ORCHAN, AND MOSES HIS UNCLE, THE SIXTH AFTER OTTOMAN After the captivity of Bajazet above-mentioned, histories diversely do dissent. The Greek writers, making no mention at all of Calepine, only make mention of the sons of Bajazet, and of the contention among them, until the time of Mahomet. The Latin stories, writing of the children of Bajazet, and of their succession, do not therein agree; some affirming, that Bajazet had two sons, Orchan, surnamed Calepine, and Mahomet his brother, who within two years slew the said Calepine, and entered his dominion. Others attribute to Bajazet more sons; as is above-rehearsed.
Some again do give to Bajazet only these two sons, Celebine and Mustapha; and hold that Calepine or Celebine had two sons; to wit, Orchan and Mahomet: and add, moreover, that the said Orchan, being somewhat young, was slain by his uncle Moses, who governed but two years: for Mahomet, to revenge his brother’s death, slew Moses, and invaded his dominion. The Greek stories make no mention at all of Orchan.
MAHOMET, THE SEVENTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS This Mahomet, whether he was the son of Bajazet, or else of Calepine, converted to himself alone the kingdom, or tyranny rather, of the murdering Turks, who afflicted the Christians with sore wars within Europe, especially the country called Wallachia, lying not far from the flood Danube, between Hungary and Thrace. From thence he removed into Asia, where he recovered divers parts in Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Cilicia, which before Tamerlane had alienated from the Turks. This Mahomet planted his chief imperial seat in Adrianople, not far from Constantinople, within the country of Thrace. In some writers the conflict between Sigismund and the great Turk, wherein the Christians were so discomfited, is referred rather to this Mahomet, than to Calepine; of which conflict mention is above made in the story of Sigismund. This Mahomet reigned, as some say, fourteen years, and died A.D. 1421: others affirm seventeen years.
AMURATH, THE EIGHTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Amurath, as Philelphus saith, was the son of Celebine; as Leonicus Chalcondylas testifieth, of Mahomet. Whose son soever he was a wretched tyrant he was, and permitted as a scourge of God, to correct the sins of the Christians. In the story of Bajazet mention was made before of Mustapha, his son, who was condemned to perpetual prison by Calepine, his brother. This Mustapha, escaping out of his brother’s prison, was conveyed to the Greeks, where he remained long in custody, till at length they, understanding the purpose of Amurath, set him up with sufficient habiliments and furniture of war, to fight against the said Amurath, his nephew. But, in conclusion, he being not able to make his party good, came into the hands of his enemy, and had his neck broke with a bowstring, after the manner of the Turkish execution.
The Greeks then terrified with this sinister adversity, required truce of the Turk; but, when that would not be granted, they procured unto them Mustapha, the other brother to Amurath, being of the age of thirteen years; who likewise, being armed of the Greeks, got the city of Nice in Bithynia from Amurath, his brother. Albeit it was not long but he was circumvented in the same city, and brought to Amurath; who caused him likewise to taste of the same whip, as the other Mustapha had done before. Amurath, being now out of all fear and doubt of brethren and kinsfolk to rise against him, converted all his power against the Greeks: and first ranging throughout Thrace, where divers cities yielded unto him, which before belonged to the emperor of Constantinople, from thence he set forward to the noble and famous city Thessalonica, being then under the league and protection of the Venetians. This Thessalonica is a city in Greece, bordering upon Macedonia, to the citizens whereof St. Paul writeth, foreshowing unto them, in his second epistle, of a defection to come before the coming of the day of the Lord [Thessalonians 2:2], of which apostasy or defection what the holy apostle doth mean, this story of the Turks may easily declare. After Thessalonica was subdued, Phocis, with all the country about Athens, Boetia likewise, Aetolia, Acarnania, with all the region beyond Peloponnesus, unto the coast of Corinth (to which St. Paul also wrote two other epistles), were brought in bondage and slavery unto the Turk.
In Epirus, and in that quarter that adjoineth to Macedonia named Albania, reigned then one Johannes Castriotus 62 ; who, perceiving himself too weak to match with the Turk’s power, made with the Turk this convention, that he should have Croia, a famous city in Greece, and also gave to him his three sons for hostages: to wit, Constantine, Reposius, and George.
In this George such towardness of noble courage, such rigor of mind and strength of body singularly did appear, that the Turk caused him more freely to be instructed after the Turkish religion and manner in his own court; where he, being traded up, did so shoot up as well in feats of activity, as in strength of body, that he excelled all his equals; insomuch that he was named ‘Scanderbeius,’ which soundeth as much as ‘Alexander Magnus.’
After this Alexander was grown up to mature ripeness of age, and was well trained up in feats of war, he was sent out by the Turk, to war against Cardman of Cilicia, the Turk’s enemy. In that expedition he sped himself most manfully, fighting hand to hand, first with a footman of Scythia, then with a horseman of Persia, being challenged by them both to encounter, first with the one, after with the other; whom he so valiantly overthrew, that he won great renown with the Turk: insomuch that he, trusting to the Turk’s favor, when he heard of the decease of his father, durst ask of the Turk the grant of his father’s dominion to be given unto him; which request although Amurath the Turk did not deny him, yet notwithstanding, perceiving the matter to be dallied out with fair words, he by subtle means and policy slipped out of the Turk’s court, and came to Epirus his own inheritance, where first by forged letters he recovered Croia. The other cities, of their voluntary mind, yielded themselves unto him; who then, gathering unto him the people of Epirus and Macedonia (who were not so many in number, as with good willing minds they stuck unto him), so manfully and valiantly behaved himself, that against all the puissance both of Amurath, and also of Mahomet, he maintained his own, repulsed their violence, and put to flight their armies many years together.
But, to return again to the course of Amurath’s victories: after he had thus prevailed (as is before signified) against the east parts of Europe and Greece, and had convented thus for the dominion of Epirus, he invaded Illyricum (otherwise called now Sclavonia), containing in it Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, and Liburnia: which countries after he had spoiled and wasted, he continued his course to Albania and Bosnia; of which regions, when he had subdued a great part, and had led away an innumerable multitude of captives, he moved further to Wallachia and Servia, upon hope to conquer all Pannonia.
There reigned at the same time in Servia, as Despota or prince, one named George 63 , who made great suit to the Turk for truce and peace, promising to give his daughter to marriage; for by the Turk’s law they may marry as many wives as they lust. It was not long after Amurath had married the daughter of George, but he, contrary to his league and promise, made war upon his father-in-law, and expelled him out of his kingdom, taking from him divers cities, as Scopia, Novomonte, Sophia, and all Moesia. George himself fled into Hungary, leaving behind him his son, to defend the town of Sinderonia 64 . Amurath, understanding of the flight of George, his father-in-law, compassed the city of Sinderonia with a strong siege, which when he in few days had expugned, he took his wife’s brother, the son of George, and without all regard of mercy and affinity, after the barbarous tyranny of the Turks, put out his eyes with a bason red hot before them; and, after that, led him about with him in derision, in spite of his cowardly father. Servia being thus won and gotten, Amurath, thinking to go further into Hungary, besieged the city called Belgrade, and no doubt had also suppressed the same, had not the providence of God found means, that partly through slaughter of his men, partly for lack of victual and other forage, he was compelled to raise his siege and retire.
In the mean time Johannes Huniades (of whom mention was made before) had got great victories against the Turkish power, and had recovered part of Servia, and all Moldavia; against whom Amurath the Turk, with a mighty army, moved into Pannonia. But Huniades, with the power and aid of Ladislaus, king of Poland (but especially by the power of the Lord), did soon infringe the puissance of the Turk, and gave him the overthrow, recovering unto the Christians the greatest part of Servia and Bulgaria.
In this battle, Huniades had five sundry conflicts with the Turks on one day, and with five victories put them to the worse, and toward night did so discomfit and overthrow the great captain of Amurath, called the bassa or duke of Anatolia (which is otherwise named Asia Minor), that he slew of the Turks that day to the number of thirty thousand. Amurath, although he was not a little thereat discouraged, yet dissembling his fear with stout countenance, sent for Carambeius, his principal stay and captain, with a new power brought out of Asia to assist him in his wars.
This Carembeius, in the Downs of Transylvania, Ladislaus the aforesaid king of Poland (the Lord so working) through the industry of Johannes Huniades so received and with such celerity oppressed him unprovided, that all his stout and sturdy army either was slain downright, or else put to flight and disparkled, Carambeius the captain being himself taken prisoner in the same field.
These victories of Huniades struck no little terror to Amurath, insomuch that for distress of mind he was ready to destroy himself, as some do write; but, being confirmed by Helibeus Bassa, his counselor, he kept himself within the straits of mount Rhodope, who then, hearing that Caraman 65 invaded the same time the country of Bithynia, and Pontus in Asia, was glad to take truce with Ladislaus and Huniades upon such conditions as they listed to make themselves: which conditions were these, that Amurath should depart clearly from all the region of Servia, and should remove from thence all his garrisons, which were placed in the castles and forts of the same; also he should restore George ( Despota 66 , which is to say, prince of Servia) unto his possession, and set his children free, whom he had in captivity, and restore them to their inheritance. Item, that he should make no more claim nor title to the country of Moldavia above mentioned, nor to that part of Bulgaria which he had lost; and that he should desist hereafter from all wrongs and injuries against the Christians. Upon these conditions the Turks being agreed, so was a truce concluded 67 on both parts for ten years, and with solemn oath between them confirmed.
This done, Amurath the tyrant addresseth himself toward Asia, to resist the invasion of Caraman aforesaid; at which time pope Eugene, so soon as he heard the Turk to be returned into Asia, sendeth Julian Caesarini 68 , his cardinal (whose story is before touched), unto Ladislaus the aforesaid king, with full dispensation and absolution to break his oath and league with the Turk: promising, moreover, great hope of aid, if he would go in arms stoutly against the tyrant.
Here by the way is to be noted, that as there is no truth of promise in that pestilent see of Rome, neither was there ever any war prospered, which was taken in hand by the pope’s counsel: so was there newer any counsel of the pope that brought with it more detriment to Christianity than this.
But the pope belike thought, that as he might lawfully break promise with John Huss, and with other Christians, so also he needed not to observe any league or truce taken with the Turk: but it turned much otherwise than the pope’s blind brains imagined, as by the sequel is to be seen. 10 For Ladislaus, being thus excited by the unadvised and sinister instigation of pope Eugene, contrary to the truce established a little before, set out with his army from Seledinus 69 , and so proceeding to Wallachia and Bulgaria, came to Varna, a town of Bulgaria, where he fell sick.
It was not long but the Turk, having thereof intelligence, left his wars begun with Caraman in Asia, and with great journeys made haste into Europe, passing over by the straits near to Callipolis, where all the Italian navy still looking on, and whether of purpose, or whether for cowardliness, would not stir one oar to stop the passage of the Turkish army. When Amurath was come to Adrianople in Thrace, using such celerity as no man looked for, within eight days he was in Bulgaria, and there encamped himself against Ladislaus. The day of battle being set, the armies joined on both sides. Huniades was himself there present, but all the matter was ruled by Julian the cardinal, and the pope’s clergy. The fight continued three days and three nights together, with great courage and much bloodshed on each side; insomuch that the field did stand with lakes of blood. It seemed at first to incline to the Christians, by breaking the first ranks of the Turks; but the priests and prelates who were at the field (who had been more fit to have been in the church), seeing the Turks to begin to fly, unskillfully left their array to pursue the enemy, so that they, leaving the other standings of the Christians naked, gave great advantage to the Turks, with their darts and shot to disturb the Christian ranks, by which occasion Amurath, enclosing the Christians with his army round about, obtained the victory; in which field, Ladislaus, the young king of Poland, having his horse first killed under him, was stricken down and slain. The pope’s bishops, flying to save themselves, fell into the marshes, and were there destroyed, sustaining a dirty death, condign to their filthy falsehood and untruth. Julian the cardinal, who with the pope was the chief doer in breaking the league, in the way was found dead, being full of wounds, and spoiled to his naked skin. Of the rest of the army that escaped by flying, part were drowned in the marshes, some perished miserably for hunger, some for cold; watching and wandering in the woods.
This John Huniades, the worthy warrior, was born in Wallachia, being earl of Bistritz 70 , of all captains that ever went against the Turks most famous and singular, prudent in wit, discreet in council, expert and politic in war, prompt of hand, circumspect before he attempted, quick in expedition: in whom wanted almost no good property requisite in a warlike captain.
Against two most mighty and fierce tyrants, Amurath and Mahomet, through the Lord’s might, he defended all Pannonia, and therefore was called the thunderbolt, and the terror of the Turks. Like as Achilles was unto the Grecians, so was he set up of God to be as a wall or bulwark of all Europe against the cruel Turks and enemies of Christ and of his Christians; neither was there any king or prince that ever achieved such noble victories, either so many in number, or so profitable for the public utility of all Europe, as did he; and that not only in the days of this Amurath, but also of Mahomet his successor, as hereafter remaineth further to be seen. This battle of Amurath against the Christians, at Varna in Bulgaria, was fought A.D. 1444 71 .
Amurath, by reason of this victorious overthrow against the Christians, surprised with no small pride, directed his journey incontinent toward the Grecians, where Castriotus was, otherwise called Scanderbeius. And first, coming to Peloponnesus, and breaking down the wall about the straits of Corinth, he encountered with the brother of the emperor of Constantinople, whom with his sudden coming he oppressed, with all the Greeks’ army, ere they were provided. Paleologus the emperor, after that, did build up the wall again, but, at the Turks’ bidding, he was compelled to undo it again; which wall afterwards the Venetians did repair. After the demolition of the wall, Amurath, entering into Peloponnesus, took divers towns and cities, as Sicyon, and Patrae; and moreover made all the parts of Thessalia and Achaia tributaries unto them.
The next year after this battle of Amurath, fought against the Christians at Varna, the Turk, being now about the parts of Greece, purposed to bend all his force and main against the country of Epirus belonging to Georgius Castriotus Scanderbeius. Of this Scanderbeius mention was made before, how he was brought up in the Turk’s court, from whence we declared also how subtly he conveyed himself, and came to the possession of his own patrimony of Epirus; which Epirus, 11 this noble and victorious Scanderbeius (whom the Lord also had raised up the same time with Huniades, to bridle the fury of the Turks) valiantly defended against all the power of Amurath; insomuch that he discomfited and vanquished seven of the most expert bassas or dukes of the Ottoman emperor, one after another, with all their armies of most picked and chosen soldiers, dislodged them from their tents, and expulsed them utterly out of all Epirus. .Also when Amurath himself, with his whole puissance, had environed about the city of Croia with cruel siege and ordnance out of measure, yet, notwithstanding, the said Scanderbeius (through the power and blessing of the Lord) beat him out of the field, and repulsed him from the siege.
After this discomfiture, the saying is, that Amurath, to keep his vow made before, after his victory at Varna, gave himself unto a religious order, living a contemplative life with certain other priests joined unto him, in the forest of Bithynia, renouncing the government of his realm to the hands of Hali, one of the princes; for thou must understand, good reader, that the Turks also be not without their sundry sects of religion, no more than we Christians are without our friars and monks.
In the mean time, while Amurath, this Turkish tyrant, was cloistered up in his monkish religion, Johannes Huniades, in the kingdom of Hungary, and Georgius Castriotus, in Greece, kept a great stir against the Turks. By reason whereof, Amurath was taken again from his monkish vow and profession, and brought again into the field: for first Huniades 12 had rescued the whole country of Hungary, and had propulsed moreover all the might of the Turks far from Servia. And although the peevish practice of George, prince of Servia, had oftentimes disclosed his councils unto the Turks, whereby twice he was brought into danger, yet, notwithstanding, through the Lord’s gracious protection, he was preserved and delivered by the said George unto the Hungarians again, and, after that, manfully vanquished the Turks; so that they had no resting-place about those parts of Servia and Bulgaria, so long as he lived.
On the other side, in Greece, Castriotus Scanderbeius so foiled the Turk its defense of his country, Epirus and Macedonia, and kept Amurath so short, that not only he was not able to win any great town in all Epirus; but also coming from Epirus, in the straits he was so entangled by Castriotus, that he was forced to give battle: in which battle he was so vanquished, and most part of his army slain, that, for grief and sorrow conceived, he, falling into a raving sickness, was transported out of his pavilion unto Adrianople, and there in fury and madness died, after he had reigned thirty-four years, which was about A.D. 1450 72 .
This Amurath first ordained the order of the Janizaries, who were the men-children of such Christians as he conquered and took captive; whom he forced to renounce the faith of Christ, wherein they were baptized, and brought them up in Mahomet’s law, and exercised them in the same feats of war as he did his own people; and after that they came to man’s estate, he named them Janizaries, that is to say, soldiers of a strange country, and made them to guard his person. They wear on their head, instead of a helmet, a white attire made of the grossest sort of wool, and in so many folds about their head that it cannot be pierced with a sword. It hangeth down on the back with a tail, and before, on the forehead, it is garnished with gold and silver. They were wont to use bows and lances in the field, but now they use dags, as our horsemen do.
At the first institution there were but eight thousand in their garrison, but now there be twice so many. This, of all bondage and servitude that the Christians suffer under the Turks, is most intolerable, and greatly to be of all true Christians lamented. For what can godly minds behold more to their grief, than to see their children pulled from the faith of Christ, wherein they were baptized, and by whose blood they should eternally be saved; and to be instructed and nourished with the blasphemous doctrine of Mahomet, and to be professed enemies of Christ, and his church, to make war against Heaven, and to perish everlastingly? And finally, what a lamentable thing is it, to see and behold our own children, born of our own bodies, to become our mortal and cruel enemies, and to cut our throats with their own hands! This servitude of mind is far greater than death itself; which if our princes would well consider, it would cause them the rather to agree, and bend their whole force and power against this cruel enemy.
MAHOMET THE SECOND, THE NINTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Anurath left behind him three sons, Mahomet, born of the daughter of Despota, prince of Servia 73 , being twenty years of age, the second son called Turcines, the third named Calepine. This Turcines being an infant, and but eighteen months old, was strangled at the commandment of the Turk by his servant Moses, himself being there present, and beholding the horrible murder. And when Moses, the executor of the murder, had desired him not to pollute his hands with the blood of his brother, he answered, that it was the manner of all the Ottoman Turks, that all the other brethren being destroyed, none should be left alive but one, to govern the empire: wherefore Moses was commanded by the tyrant, there presently, and in his sight, to kill the infant. This horrible fact when the mother of the child understood, she cried out, and almost mad for sorrow, cursed the tyrant to his face. But he, to mitigate the rage of the mother, at her request, being desirous to be revenged upon the executor of her son’s death, delivered the said Moses bound into her hands; she then, in the presence of the tyrant, thrust him to the heart with a knife, and opening his side, took out his liver, and threw it to the dogs to be devoured.
The third son, called Calepine, who was but six months old, the aforesaid Amurath, his father, commended to the custody of Hali Bassa, one of his nobles, who, to gratify and please the tyrant, betrayed the infant, and brought him unto him, and thereupon he, at the tyrant’s commandment, was strangled. Some affirm, that instead of Calepine, another child was offered unto the tyrant, and that Calepine was conveyed to Constantinople, and after the taking of Constantinople was carried to Venice, and then to Rome to pope Calixtus, where he was baptized, and afterwards came into Germany, to Frederic the emperor, and there was honorably entertained, and kept in Austria during his life: where note how the merciful providence of God, whom he list to save, cart fetch out of the devil’s mouth. And note, moreover, the aforesaid Hali Bassa, the betrayer of the infant, how he escaped not unrevenged. 13 For Mahomet, understanding him to be a man of great substance and riches, through forging of false crimes, with great torments put him to death to have his riches: for this tyrant was given to insatiable avarice. Thus this bloody Mahomet began his regiment with horrible murder, after the example of other cursed tyrants, his predecessors.
Although this Mahomet, notwithstanding that he came of a Christian mother, being the daughter of the Despota of Servia 74 , and by her was brought up and instructed from his childhood in the precepts of Christian religion and manners, yet he, soon forgetting all, gave himself to Mahomet’s religion; and yet so, that he, being addicted to neither religion, became an atheist, believing and worshipping no God at all, but only the goddess of good fortune, irriding and mocking the minds and judgments of men, who believe that God, by his providence, governeth and regardeth the state of human things on earth.
After this Mahomet had heard of the victories and conquests of others his predecessors, and had understanding how Bajazet lay eight years about Constantinople, and could not win it; he, dispraising Bajazet, and disdaining that so long time should be spent about the siege thereof, and yet no victory gotten, bent all his study and device how to subdue the same. But, first, having a privy hatred against the city of Athens, and having his hands lately imbrued with the blood of his; brethren, this murdering Mahomet, first of all, taketh his viage to subvert and destroy the city aforesaid; being a famous school of all good learning and discipline: against which city he did so furiously rage, for the hatred of good letters, that he thought he ought not to suffer the foundation thereof to stand, because that city was a good nurse, and fosterer of good arts and sciences.
Wherefore he commanded the city to be rased and utterly subverted; and wheresoever any monuments or books could be found, he caused them to be cast into dirty sinks, and the filthiest places of the city, or put to the most vile uses that could be devised, for extirpating and abolishing of all good literature: and if he understood any to lament the case and ruin of that noble place, those he grievously punished and put to death.
Thus the famous and ancient school of Athens being destroyed and overthrown, he returned his army and power into Thrace, where, in all haste, he, gathering his power together both by sea and land, with a mighty multitude compassed the city of. Constantinople about, and began to lay his siege against it, A.D. 1458; and in the four and fiftieth day of the said siege it was taken, sacked, and the emperor Constantine slain. As touching the cruelty and fierceness of the Turks in getting of this city, and what slaughter there was of men, women, and children, what calamity and misery were there to be seen, forasmuch as sufficient relation, with a full description thereof, hath been made before, it shall be superfluous now to repeat the same. 14 This only is not to be omitted, touching three principal causes of the overthrow of this city; whereof the first was the filthy avarice of those citizens, who, hiding their treasures in the ground, would not employ the same to the necessary defense of their city. For so I find it in story expressed, that when the Turk, after the taking of the city, had found not so much treasure as he looked for, suspecting with himself (as the truth was) the treasures and riches to be hidden under the ground, he commanded the earth to be dug up, and the foundations of the houses to be searched: where, when he had found treasures incredible, “What,” quoth he, “how could it be that this place could ever lack munition and fortification, which did flow and abound with such great riches as here are, and plenty of all things?” 15 The second cause was the absence of the navy of the Venetians, which, if they had been ready in time, might have been a safeguard against the invasion of the enemies. A third cause also may be gathered upon occasion incident in stories, either for that the city of Constantinople, fifteen years before, did yield to the bishop of Rome, as is before to be seen; or else, because, as in some writers it is evident, the images were there received and maintained in their churches, and by the Turks the same time destroyed.
Johannes Ramus, writing of the destruction of this city, amongst other matters maketh relation of the image of the crucifix, being there in the high temple of Sophia; which image the Turk took, and writing this superscription upon the head of it, “Hic est christianorum Dens,” i.e. “This is the God of the Christians,” gave it to his soldiers to be scorned; and commanding the said image with a trumpet to be carried through all his army, made every man to spit at it most contumeliously. Wherein thou hast, good reader! by the way to note, what occasion of slander and offense we Christians give unto the barbarous infidels by this our ungodly superstition, in having images in our temples, contrary to the express commandment of God in his Word. For if St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, saith, “We know Christ now no more after the flesh;” how much less then is Christ to be known of us in blind stocks and images set up in our temples, serving for no other purpose, but for the infidels to laugh both us and our God to scorn, and to provoke God’s vengeance? ‘which by the like example, I fear, may also fall upon other cities, where such images and idolatrous superstition are maintained; whereof God grant Vienna to take heed betimes, which hath been so long, and yet is, in such great danger of the Turk, and polluted with so many images, and plain idolatry! In summa , to make the story short, such was the cruelty of these Turks in winning the city, that when Mahomet had given license to the soldiers three days together, to spoil, to kill, and to do whatsoever they listed, there was no corner in all Constantinople which did not either flow with Christian blood, or else was not polluted with abominable abusing of maids, wives, and matrons, without all reverence of nature. Of the citizens, some they murdered; some they roasted upon spits; of some they flayed off their skin, hanging them up to consume with famine; into the wounds of others they put salt, the more terribly to torment them; insomuch that one of them contended with another, who could devise most strange kinds of new torments and punishments, exercising such cruelty upon them, that the place where the city was before, seemed now to be no city, but a slaughter-house or shambles of Christian men’s bodies. Among the dead bodies, the body also of Constantine the emperor was found; whose head being brought to Mahomet, he commanded it to be carried upon a spear through the whole city, for a public spectacle and derision to all the Turkish army. And because he would diminish the number of the captives, which seemed to him to be very great, he never rose from his table, but he put every day some of the nobles to death, no less to fill his cruel mind with blood, than his body was filled with wine; which he used to do so long as any of the nobles of that city were left alive. And of the other sort also, as the stories do credibly report, there passed no day in which he did not orderly slay more than three hundred persons; the residue he gave to his rascal soldiers to kill, and to do with them what they would: where is to be noted, that as Constantine the son of Helena was the first emperor of Constantinople, so Constantine the son also of Helena was the last emperor thereof.
Not far from the said city of Constantinople there was another little city called Pera, and once called Galatia, situated by the seaside; which, hearing of the miserable destruction of Constantinople, and seeing the city flaming with fire, sent certain of their chief men with speed to Mahomet, declaring unto him, that they neither had sent any help to the city of Constantinople, nor yet wrought any detriment to any of his army: wherefore they desired and prayed him, that as they would gladly yield unto him, so he would be favorable unto them and spare them, and not punish the guiltless with the guilty. Mahomet, although he was not ignorant that for fear, rather than of any good will, they submitted themselves, and that they would rather resist him, if they had been able, yet he received for that time the submission of the messengers: but, sending with them his ambassador into the city, he commanded also his army to follow withal, and to enter with him into the city, which although it was greatly suspected and misliked of the citizens, yet they durst not otherwise do, but suffer them to enter. This being done, the ambassador gave a sign to the soldiers, every man to do whatsoever he was bidden; of whom some ran to the walls, some to the temples and churches, some to the streets and houses of the city, plucking all things down to the ground, sacking and ranging with no less fury and abominable filthiness, than they had done at Constantinople before, saving only that they abstained from murder: but the same day letters came from Mahomet to the ambassador, that he would spare none, but destroy and murder all that ever were in the city: which message, because it seemed to the ambassador to be too cruel, forasmuch as they had yielded themselves, he stayed his hand a little, until night came. In the mean time, drunken Mahomet, coming something to himself (whom drunkenness had before overcome), sent his second letters to revoke the first. Where again is to be noted the merciful providence of God towards his people in their deserved plagues, by staying the hands, and bridling the fury, many times of their enemies, when otherwise the case seemeth to be past all remedy.
Mahomet thus, being in himself not a little advanced and elevated by the winning of Constantinople, where he had now made the imperial seat of the Turkish dominion, the third year next following, to adventure more masteries, set out to the siege of Belgrade 75 , a city of Hungary, lying near to the banks of the Danube, thinking to have the like success there, as he had in the winning of Constantinople, albeit, through the Lord’s disposing, it fell out much otherwise. Within the city of Belgrade, the same time of the siege thereof, was Johannes Huniades, the valiant captain, of whom in divers places mention hath been made before; who with a sufficient strength of picked soldiers, albeit in number nothing equal to the Turks’ army, valiantly defended the city with great courage, and no less success.
In this siege great diligence was bestowed, and many of the Turks slain; among whom also Mahomet himself, being stricken with a pellet under the left arm, was fain to be carried out of the field for half dead, and the rest so put to flight, that of the Turks the same time were destroyed to the number, or not much under the number, of forty thousand, besides the loss of all their ordnance, which the Turks, in haste of their flight, were forced to leave behind them.
Hieronymus Zieglerus, writing of the siege of this Belgrade, addeth moreover, that when Mahomet was at the siege thereof, seeing the town to be so small and weak of itself, that it could not be won with all his great multitude, he, staring and faring like a madman, commanded all his brazen pieces to be laid, to batter down the wails and towers of the town; so that the Christians within the walls were vehemently distressed, for the siege continued both night and day without intermission. 16 Among the rest of the Christians who defended the town, Hieronymus Zieglerus maketh mention of a certain Bohemian, much worthy of his condign commendation; who, being upon the walls, and seeing a Turk with a banner or ensign of the Turks to be gotten up, by the sight whereof the whole town was in danger to be conquered and taken, runneth unto the Turk, and clasping him about the middle, speaking to John Capistranus, standing below, asked him whether it were any danger of damnation to him, if he, of his voluntary mind, did cast himself with that dog (so he termed him) down headlong from the wall to be slain with him: what should become of his soul, and whether he might be saved, or not? To whom when the other had answered, that he should be saved without doubt, he eftsoons tumbleth himself with the Turk down off the wall; where, by his death, he saved the same time the life of all the city.
Mahomet, being so wounded, and in despair of winning the city, was carried (as ye heard) out of the field, who at length coming again to himself, partly for fear, and partly for shame, was ready to kill himself.
This siege of Belgrade began A.D. 1456, and endured six-and-forty days, at which siege were numbered of the Turks two hundred thousand, of whom more than forty thousand (as is aforesaid) were slain; where the victory fell to the Christians, through the prosperous success given of God to Johannes Huniades, and Capistranus. This Huniades, not long after the said victory, through the importune labor and travail in defending of the said town, was taken with a sore sickness, and thereof departed 76 ; to whose valiant prowess and singular courage, stories do give great laud and commendation.
Mahomet the Turk, after this done in Europe, returned into Asia to war with Usumcassan a Persian, one of the Turks’ stock, with whom he had three battles. The first was about the river Euphrates, where the Turk lost ten thousand men, and was put to the worse. In the second field, likewise, he was discomfited. The third battle was at Arsenga, where, through the terrible noise of the brazen pieces, the Persian horses disturbed the camp, and so was Usumcassan overcome.
From thence the Turk reduced again his power against the Christians, and first subdued unto him Sinope and all Paphlagonia: also the kingdom of Trebisond, which he, besieging both by land and water, won from the Christians, and sent David the king of the same, with his two sons, and Caius his uncle, unto Constantinople, where they were miserably and cruelly, put to death, and all the stock of the Comneni, who were of the king’s stock, by the Turk were destroyed. This was about A.D. 1461, at which time this mischievous Mahomet was first saluted emperor.
Not long after, he got, from the Greeks, Corinth and Mitylene, not without great slaughter of Christian men; insomuch that the whole city of Mitylene was utterly to the ground almost destroyed. The isles also of Lemnos and Lesbos he won from the Venetians; in which island of Lesbos is the city of Mitylene aforesaid.
Not far from this isle of Lesbos and Mitylene, there is a country in Asia, toward the sea-side bordering next to Europe, called Mysia 77 , or of some called Moesia, wherein stood the city of Troy. This country Mahomet, coveting to win rather by policy and falsehood, than by doubtful danger of war, secretly sent for the prince thereof, to come to speak with him for certain causes (as he pretended), that would concern the profit and commodity of them both. Which when the king of Mysia either for shame would not, or for fear durst not deny, he came to him. as if to confer upon necessary affairs in common to them appertaining. Mahomet, when he had brought that to pass which he would, caused the king to be apprehended, and cruelly to be slain, or rather torn in pieces; and so, invading the land of Mysia, he exercised the like tyranny upon his kindred and affinity.
This Mysia by fraud being taken and lost, Mahomet flieth again towards Europe, where he assailed the island of Euboea, otherwise called Negroponte, making a bridge of a marvelous frame over the sea Euripus, to convey over his army out of Greece, and there laid his siege to the city Chalcis, which, at length, in thirty days he overcame, not without a great slaughter of his army; who, in the siege thereof, is said to have lost forty thousand of the Turks. But the slaughter of the Christians was greater; for when the city was won, the tyrant commanded, most cruelly, none to be spared within the whole city, but to be put to the sword, whosoever was above the age of twenty years, 17 This cruelty was showed by the barbarous tyrant for anger and fury, because such a number of his Turks were slain at the siege thereof, being reckoned (as is said) to be forty thousand. In the fierce siege of this city it is memorable what is in stories recorded, how that the women of that city, seeing the men begin to faint, and the city to lie in present danger, took the matter themselves in hand, and playing the men, went to the walls, and there defended the city with no less trouble to the enemy, than the men had before done; and so for a space continued, as long as any man’s strength and diligence could do any good. A great cause of the loss of this city and island, is imputed to the cowardly timidity of the Venetians’ navy; who, being there present, and having prosperous wind, yet durst not, or would not adventure upon the Turks’ bridge, which if they had done, the island of Euboea, and Chalcis, had not so soon been overmatched by the Turks.
Thus all the east parts of Greece being subdued to the Turkish tyrant, with all Achaia, Attica, Acarnania, and Euboea, shortly after followed also Peloponnesus, brought into like subjection to the Turk. Within Peloponnesus were these provinces contained, Achaia, Messenia, Laconia, Argolied, and Arcadia, etc. The Venetians in this Peloponnesus had great possessions, and had made up the wall again towards the sea-side, near to the straits of Corinth before-mentioned, where, for the more speed of the work, they had thirty thousand workmen to the building thereof which when it came to the knowledge of the Turk, he burst into the country of Peloponnesus with an army of eighty thousand, and first wasted the regions of the Coroncans, and Methoneans, and making a great slaughter of the Venetians, in short time brought the whole dominion of Peloponnesus under his yoke and tribute.
Long it is, and more lamentable to recite all the victories of this Mahomet, gotten against the Christians both by land and sea; who, after he had overcome the isle of Lesbos, above mentioned, and had cruelly slain Nicholas Catalusius 78 the prince thereof, turning his army towards the sea Pontus Euxinus, got the country of Capha 79 from the Genoese. Before was declared how truce was taken between Georgius Scanderbeius and the Turk, for ten years; which truce being expired, Mahomet leaveth no time unspent, no diligence unsought, but maketh all his power to Epirus and Albania, which he, after long fatigation of siege, at length overcame and subdued; in the which tract also he won from the Venetians, Seodra, Lysson, and Dinastrum. Notwithstanding, when Scanderbeius, the valiant captain, had done against the Turk what in man’s strength did lie, yet, being overmatched with power and multitude, seeing no possibility to make his party good, he was forced to depart his country as an exile, and went to Italy; and there, being sent for by the pope’s letters, he openly declared that it was not possible otherwise to resist the furious rage of the barbarous Turks by the strength of any one king or prince, unless all Europe, with one consent, should join their power and force together. And thus Georgius Scanderbeius 80 , a man, of puissant courage, being driven out of his country, continued his age in exile; whose courage and vehemence are reported to have been such, that in fighting against the barbarous enemy, for very eagerness of spirit, his blood was seen to burst out of his lips. It is testified also of him that being provoked, he neither denied to fight, nor in his fighting ever turned his back, neither yet was ever wounded, but only once with a light shaft in his foot, neither ever set against the Turk with more than six thousand horsemen, and three thousand footmen; who is said, with his own hand to have slain above 2,000 Turks, whom with such violence he did strike, that many of them he did cleave asunder from the head to the middle.
Neither yet was the insatiable greediness of that Turkish hell-hound with all this satisfied, but still he conceived greater things in his mind, thinking to conquer the whole world; and so, passing forward towards Europe, he subdued all Illyria, slaying Stephen, the king of Bosnia 81 , about A.D. 1475. But afterwards Matthias Corvinus, the son of Huniades aforementioned, recovered again the said kingdom of Bosnia, with many other cities near unto Croatia and Dalmatia, and moreover repulsed Mahomet the Turk, in his second siege of Jaitza, taking his tents and munitions left behind him.
Moreover, the said Mahomet, passing unto Wallachia, set upon Dracula, the prince thereof; which Dracula, although he had no greater power of soldiers, yet he so enclosed and environed the Turk, that he had almost lost his whole army, of whom a great part, notwithstanding, was destroyed, and many of his ensigns taken. Into Dalmatia were sent two captains of the Turk, who, fighting against the provinces of the Venetians, made great spoil and waste about the regions of Stiria and Carinthia; where also the Venetian power was discomated, and Hieronymus Novel, their captain, slain. At length truce was taken between the Turk and the Venetians upon this condition, that Scodra, Tenurns, and Lemnos should be yielded unto him, and that they should pay to him yearly, eight thousand ducats, for the free passage of their merchants.
After this peace concluded with the Venetians, Mahomet himself saileth over into Asia, sending two of his great captains abroad to sundry places; of whom, Mesithes was sent against Rhodes with a mighty navy: the other, called Achmet Bassa, was sent into Italy to take Rome, and all the west empire. Concerning the ridge of which two captains, this was the event, that Masithes, after his great travail, and bloody siege against the Rhodians, was fain to retire at length, with great shame and loss. The other captain, Achmet (as is said), was sent into Italy with a navy of a hundred ships, and fifteen thousand men, who, by the way in his sailing, got Leucadia (which now they call St. Maure), Cephalonia, and Zacynthus, and, sailing by Favelona, arrived in Apulia; and so, passing along by the sea-side, spoiled and wasted divers parts by the coast, till at length he came to Otranto, a city of Calabria in Italy, which after long siege he overcame and subdued, and brought such a terror into all Italy, that the pope, forgetting all other things, yet mindful of himself, with all haste fled out of Rome. After the city of Otranto was taken, and the Turks placed in the same, which was A.D. 1480 82 , Matthias Corvinus, Huniades’ son, was sent for by the Italians, to set upon the said city; unto the rescue whereof, when Acomates was about to make his return with five and twenty thousand Turks, in the mean time news came, that Mahomet, the great Turk, was dead; by reason whereof, the siege brake up, and the city was delivered to the Italians again, and so was Italy delivered at that time out of that present peril and danger. This Mahomet won from the Christians two hundred cities, and twelve kingdoms, and two empires, 18 which he joined both together. He died in the year following, A.D. 1481 83 .
BAJAZET THE SECOND, THE TENTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Mahomet aforesaid had three sons; of whom Mustapha the eldest, through voluptuousness and carnal lust, died before his father. The other two were Bajazet and Demes, otherwise called Zizimus; about whom great controversy arose amongst the Turks, which of them should succeed in their father’s kingdom: for neither of them was present at Constantinople when Mahomet died; Bajazet being in Cappadocia, and Demes, in Lycaonia. Wherefore, when great dissension was among the nobles for the succession, and great strife and bloodshed for the matter, the Janizaries, who were the Turk’s guard, did proclaim Bajazet emperor: others, in the absence of Bajazet the father, did choose Corchuthus his son. Bajazet the father, coming at length from Cappadocia, partly through yielding, partly by corrupting with money, got the wills of the Janizaries, and was made emperor. Demes, the other brother, being in Lycaonia, more near, although he made no less speed in his coining, yet was prevented by Bajazet, and excluded out of Constantinople. Wherefore he, being put back from all hope of his kingdom, incited by some of his friends, moved war against his brother; who, being overcome in three battles by Achmet, Bajazet’s captain, who had got Otranto before, did fly to the great master of the Rhodes, leaving in a place called Carrae his mother and two young children, whom Bajazet slew.
This Demes, being with the master of the Rhodes, was desired first of pope Innocent VIII, then of Charles VIII84 , the French king, but especially of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, intending by him to obtain great victory against Bajazet. But, in conclusion, the knights of the Rhodes sent him to the bishop of Rome, where he being kept, and afterwards sent to Charles VIII, the French king, for a hostage of pope Alexander VI, was poisoned by the way of Terracina by the said pope Alexander, as is before declared. After his death, Bajazet, to requite the aforesaid Achmet for his good service, put him to the halter, partly misdoubting his power, partly for lucre-sake to have his treasure: whose death redounded to the great profit of the Christians, forasmuch as he was ever an utter enemy to the religion and name of Christ.
Bajazet, thus being confirmed in his tyranny, made his first expedition against Wallachia, where he subdued two great forts, one called Lithostomus, the other called Moncastrum. From thence he removed his power, taking his viage into Asia, thinking to be revenged of the sultan of Egypt, who had succored and entertained before his brother Demes against him: where he lost two great battles, the one fought at Adena, the other at Tarsus; but especially at the field at Tarsus, the army of the Turk took such a wound, that of a hundred thousand brought into the field, scarce the third part remained un-slain. But as touching the Rhodians, although they were succorers of Demes aforesaid, yet Bajazet (whether for fear, or for subtlety,) abstained to provoke them with war, but rather entreated with them the league of peace; requiring the master of the Rhodes to keep his brother safe under his custody, promising, for his yearly salary, to be paid unto him every year in the month of August, 45,000 ducats.
Thus Bajazet, being overthrown and terrified with evil luck, fighting against the sultan of Egypt, removed from Asia, and directed his army into Europe, where he got Dyrachium near unto Velona, and had a great victory over the Christian army in the country of Croatia, where the Illyrians, Pannonians, and Croatians, joining their powers together, encountered with the Turk, and lost the field, about A.D. 1499.
From thence the Turk, leading his army against the Venetians, had with them divers and doubtful conflicts, where the Turk, sometimes put to the worse, and sometimes again prevailing, out of Jadra and divers other cities about Dalmatia, carried away great multitudes of Christians into captivity; which was about A.D. 1504.
Two years after this (A.D. 1506), Bajazet, with 150,000 armed men, entered into Peloponnesus; which although Mahomet had expugned before, yet the Venetians had defended Methone, otherwise called Modon, all this while against the Turks. This Methone the Turk besieged with three armies, having about the walls five hundred great brazen cannons, whereof twenty-two were most violent and hurtful; wherewith he battered the city both day and night. But the citizens who were within the city, committing themselves to God, defended their city as well as they could, rather choosing to die, than to yield to the Turk’s tyranny. But the Turk prevailing, and they not able to withstand the siege, the Christians convented together into a certain house prepared for the purpose, both men, women, and children; where they, setting the house on fire, gave themselves rather to be burned, than to come into the tyrant’s hands.
Certain women also, with their children, cast themselves headlong into the sea, by that means to avoid the Turkish captivity. Some writers there be, who affirm that the Methoneans, seeing five great ships of the Venetians coming with men and victuals toward them, issued down from the walls to the sea-side, to receive them, who were all taken captives, being above the number of a thousand: who all, being tied with long ropes, were brought before the tyrant, and in his sight were cruelly slain, except certain nobles, whom Cherseogles, son-in-law to Bajazet, got to be pardoned, amongst whom was Andreas Gritto. The city of Coron, and also Pilus, cities in Greece, being terrified with the example of the Methonians, yielded themselves to the power of the Turks. Crisaeum, otherwise called Caput Sancti Galli, was expugned by Cherseogles, by force of guns.
These things thus achieved, although Bajazet went away victor unto Constantinople, yet, notwithstanding, the Venetians, through the help of the kings of France and Spain, had won from the Turk, Cephalonia, an island very commodious for their traffic. Also they had gotten other two islands, Leucas and Neritus, otherwise called Sancta Maura, slaying all the garrison of the Turks. But afterwards, peace being taken between the Venetians and the Turks, by the counsel of Andreas Gritto aforesaid, the Turks so agreed, that Leucas and Neritus, the islands abovesaid, should be rendered unto the Turk, and the Venetians should keep still the possession of Cephalonia.
Unto this league the Turk did the rather condescend, for that he had to maintain war against Ismael Sophus in Asia, king of Persia; which Sophus was stirred up, by God’s providence, to war with this Bajazet, whereby the Christian churches in Europe might have some breathing-time, and freedom from the Turks’ cruel tyranny and bloodshed. This Sophus was a valiant Turk, who, with great power and victories, had overrun a great compass of the east parts of Asia; then passing from Assyria into Media, and returning again into Armenia, he made war against the Albanians, Iberians, and Scythians, and from thence, coming into Asia Minor, encountered with Corchuthus, Bajazet’s son, and afterward coming to Bithynia, fought with Caragius Bassa, Bajazet’s captain, whom he overcame and put to flight, and afterwards took him alive, and his wife, prisoners. Afterwards he was encountered by Hali Bassa, another captain of the Turks, whom Techelles, one of the said Sophus’ captains, meeting in the plain of Galatia, did withstand, and so by the way slew Caragius the captain, and hanged him upon a pole in the sight of Hali Bassa; which Hali Bassa shortly after was slain in war, and his army scattered, and put to flight.
Thus, through the admirable example of God’s justice and providence, were these Turks kept occupied, and so came it to pass, that these barbarians, being blasphemous against the Son of God, should thus horribly run on to the destruction one of another, being worthily punished with mutual slaughter and bloodshed, for their impiety and blasphemy against Christ and his religion, whereby, in the mean time, some rest was given to the Christians.
Bajazet, partly by these victories discouraged, partly diseased and languishing of the gout, and partly also broken with age, finding himself unwieldy to the regiment of that tumultuous kingdom, began to have talk with his nobles about the choosing of one to succeed him. The occasion whereof ministered much matter of inward wars amongst the Turks. This Bajazet had in all six sons, whereof three died before him, and three yet were left alive: to wit, Achmet, Corchuthus, and Selim. Bajazet himself had most mind to Achmet, but the chiefest of his nobles did favor rather Selim; who, through their traitorous incitation, provoked him to stir war against his father: and, notwithstanding that he was overcome in war, yet, through intercession, he was reconciled again to his father, and afterward proclaimed again emperor against his father’s will, through the help and favor of the soldiers, entering the first beginning of his kingdom with the murdering of his own father: the story whereof in some authors is thus declared.
After the Janizaries had persuaded with Bajazet, for that he himself was unwieldy, therefore he should do well to constitute some successor, and that he had assigned Achmet to succeed him, the Janizaries being offended with the said Achmet, because he would not enlarge their stipends, and bribe them, cornpassing about the king’s palace with their privy swords, which they had under their garments, with a mighty cry required Selim to be appointed for their emperor. Unto whom when Bajazet had answered, that he had assigned Achmet, they refused him, because he was fat, gross, and unable thereunto; but needs would have Selim, who was stout and warlike, to be made emperor: and withal, they drew out their swords, crying ‘Selim,’ ‘Selim.’ Then Bajazet, giving place to their fury, showed himself content to give them Selim; whom the Janizaries receiving, brought him unto the palace: unto whom Bajazet his father, giving place, willed him not to be so hasty and furious in his doings, but to be modest, and take heed what he did, and not to follow his fury, but to give place unto time, which revealeth all things, and think himself to be a man subject to dangers and jeopardies as other men are. And thus speaking, he resigned his imperial throne and seat unto him, and went away all heavy, entering into a certain order of their religion. Whereupon followed great exclamations of the people, saluting Selim as emperor: who then, taking the rule upon him, began with great cruelty to govern, destroying many of his nobles, such as had stood against him, some with poison, some by other cruel means; and advancing his own side, with great honors and promotions.
Not long after Selim was thus settled in his kingdom, Bajazet his father, intending to see and prove how he behaved himself in his government, first entered into his treasure-house, where he found all his riches to be scattered and gone. Afterwards he came into his armory, where all the spoils gotten by war were likewise wasted. Then he entered into the jewelhouse, where all his plate and gifts sent from kings and princes were kept; which likewise were dispersed and given away. At length he came into the stable, where also he, seeing his principal horses to be lacking, sighing with himself, and crying, ‘ Vengeance upon him!’ prepared himself, with the residue of the treasure which was remaining to sail over into Natolia, unto his eldest son; and passing by an orchard near to the sea-side, where he had appointed to take ship, in the mean time, whilst the ships were in furnishing, he sat down under a tree, and began to curse his son and to ask vengeance upon him, for that he had so despised his father, and was become so impious a wretch.
Selim, understanding of his father’s departure, came into the orchard where his father was, seeming to be very heavy, and much lamenting that his father would so privily depart and go away, seeing that he desired not the government of the empire, but was contented only with the title thereof. “O father,” said he, “do not thus privily depart away: do not procure this shame to your son, who so tenderly loveth you. Let me have but the name only, and be you the emperor indeed. The end of your natural life most patiently I shall expect, which I pray God may long continue.” And thus, using many fair and flattering words to his father, he commanded a banquet, with many dainty junkets, to be brought unto him, but tempered and infected with poison: which as soon as Bajazet had begun to taste of, and felt the strength of the poison working in his body, he took his last farewell of his son, and going out of the city, accompanied with a great retinue of men, yelling and crying out in the streets, in the middle of his journey fell down, and miserably died, A.D. 1512. Here mayest thou see, good reader! a cursed brood of this Turkish generation, where the father dieth in cursing the son, and the son reigneth by poisoning his father.
SELIM, THE ELEVENTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS After this wretched Selim had exercised his barbarous cruelty upon his father, with like impiety he seeketh the destruction of his brethren and their children, first beginning his murder with the five children his nephews, who were the sons of his three brethren before departed. Which done, then remained his other two brethren yet alive, Achmet and Corchuthus, with their children, likewise to be destroyed; of whom the one had three sons, whom their father sent to Selim his brother and their uncle, with fair and gentle words, to entreat him to be good unto their father, offering to him their duty and service in all things, honoring him also as emperor. But cruel Selim commanded forthwith his said nephews to be strangled. The father, hearing of the cruel murder of his sons, leaving house and home, went and hid himself in mountains, where he lived for a space with herbs and wild honey; but, being betrayed by one of his men, he was brought to Selim, and so was strangled.
Christopher Richer, writing of these matters, seemeth something to differ from other stories, and saith, that Selim, after the death of his brother Corchuthus, came to Bursa, where, under the color of making a great triumph, he ordained a feast for his friends and kinsfolk, whereunto were called especially his nephews; who, then, at the end of the feast, calling his nephews aside (as under the pretense of conferring with him secretly about his necessary affairs), committed them to his servants to be strangled and put to death. All this while Achmet, his other brother, through the help and instruction of his mother, was kept out of the tyrant’s hands, till at length, after great labor and search made how to get him, certain forged letters were cast abroad, wherein was contained, that Achmet, to revenge the great impiety and subdue the tyranny of Selim his brother, should show himself abroad: which if he would do, he should find friends enough to take his part. Achmet, circumvented with these subtle trains, partly for hope of revengement, partly for desire of the empire, showed himself abroad with such power and strength as he had: who, being set upon incontinent by Selim his brother, was overcome in battle, and falling from his horse, being a man corpulent and gross, and his horse falling upon him, was so overpressed and slain.
Touching the death of this Achmet, Munsterus, somewhat differing from this narration, addeth moreover, and saith, that he was not killed with the fall from his horse, but that sitting all dismayed upon a stone, and seeing no other remedy but death, he desired the captain, taking his rings from his fingers, to deliver the same to his brother, desiring him that he might not be put to any extreme cruelty of death, but that he gently would suffer him to be let blood in the bath, and so to die. But Selim, being not ignorant of this, suborneth privy tormentors, who, binding his hands behind him, with their feet cast him down upon the ground, and so, twisting his neck with a cord, did strangle him. This Achmet had two sons, who, hearing of the death of their father, did fly for succcor, the one to Sophus, in Persia, and the other to the sultan, in Egypt, By means hereof, new occasion of war grew unto Selim, whereby he was kept in Asia, at home, to fight against the Persians and Egyptians: so that, through the Lord’s providence, Christendom by that means was delivered from great danger and peril of the Turk’s tyranny. For otherwise the Turk was wholly minded, with all his force and puissance, to invade the Christians; being in doubt whether first to begin with Rhodes, or whether to assault Pannonia, or else to set upon Italy, being then at great discord within itself: but this cause occupied the Turk’s mind otherwise, and kept him at home; such was then the providence of the Lord, for the safeguard of his people.
Wherefore, forasmuch as the affairs and doings of this Turk were spent for the most part in the Turkish and Heathenish countries, it shall not be greatly necessary to trouble our Christian stories therewith, but only shall suffice to contract them in a brief sum, declaring superficially what unquietness was amongst them there, who could never be quiet, but ever working some mischief either abroad or at home. Amurath, the Turk’s nephew aforesaid, after he had obtained aid of Sophus the king of the Persians, first invaded Cappadocia; not long after whom followed Ismael Sophus, the Persian king, by reason whereof, a great battle was fought betwixt the Persians and Selim, in the fields of Armenia Major. In that battle, Ismael Sophus, the Persian king, was hurt on the shoulder with a pellet; and so, being carried out of the field, left the victory to Selim, who, albeit he had an army of 150,000 men, yet he in the same field lost about 80,000 of his Turks: which field was fought A.D. 1514. Selim, after this victory, went to Tauris, the imperial city of the Persians, which he, by yielding, subdued.
In this mean time it happened that one Aladulus, a king of Armenia the greater, was also a helper to Ismael against the Turk; whereupon Selim the Turk, taking great indignation, the next year following, leaving the Persians, fought against the said Aladulus, and in the end overcame him; and afterwards, being found in a cave in a wood, he was taken out and brought to Selim, and so beheaded: whose head, being first carried about Asia for a triumph, was afterwards sent to the senate of Venice for a terror unto them. The eldest son of Aladulus, escaping the hands of his pursuers, fled into Egypt. This battle thus fought and ended, Selim, after he had divided the kingdom of Aladulus into three provinces, went to Lycaonia, and from thence to Europe, there to defend the city of Samandria, against the Christians in Hungary: but the Hungarians, being soon repressed by Juno Bassa the Turk’s captain, great preparation began to be made by the Turks, against the confines of Servia bordering upon Hungary, the terror whereof stirred up Maximilian the emperor, and Ladislaus king of Hungary, and Sigismund king of Poland, to consult together, and conjoin their power for defense of Christendom. But, through new encumbrances incident, the Turk, leaving Europe, made haste again into Asia, to renew again his wars against the Persians, who had made a vow not to give over that war before Ismael was overthrown.
But before he entered that war, first he sent his messengers to the sultan of Egypt, requiring him not to intermeddle in that war: for this sultan before had promised to assist the Persians against the Turk. The name of the sultan who reigned then in Egypt, was Campson, set up by the Mamalukes. These Mamalukes were a certain order amongst the Egyptians, much like the Janizaries about the Turk, who, being the children of Christian men, and after denying Christ, were the chiefest doers in the sultan’s court, and, being grown into a great multitude, did degenerate into a Turkish barbarity, or rather became worse than Turks.
Selim being incensed not a little with this insolent answer of the sultan, leaving all other wars aside, with great celerity advanced his power against the sultan; which sultan, partly through the falsehood of his captain Caierbeius, partly by the suddenness of the Turk’s coming, not far from the city of Damascus encountered with the Turk; and there, overthrown from his horse, being a fat and gross body, and falling under his horse, and his horse also falling upon him, was quashed in pieces, and so died, A.D. 1516.
The Mamalukes, of whom more than a thousand in this battle were slain, flying from thence to Memphis, set up Tomoumbeius instead of Campson; whose captain Gazelles was overcome at the city of Gaza, and he afterwards himself driven out of Memphis, where a great part of the Mamalukes were destroyed. Then Tomoumbeius, flying over the flood Nile, renewed his army again; but, in the end, he was discomfited and chased into a marsh, where he was found standing in the water up to the chin; and so, being brought to Selim, he was put to the rack and great torments, to make him confess where Campson’s treasures were. But, when he would not declare, he was carried about the town with a halter round his neck, and hanged up upon a high gibbet, for a spectacle to all Egypt; which was A.D. 1517. And thus were the two sultans of Egypt destroyed with the Mamalukes, who there had borne the rule in Egypt the space of two hundred and forty-three years; the progeny of which Mamalukes remaining of the wars, the Turk commanded, in the prisongates of Alexandria, to be cut in pieces. Selim from thence triumphing departed to Constantinople, intending to spend the rest of his time in persecuting the Christians. But in that mean space he was stricken with a cankered sore rotting inward, and died, after he had reigned seven years like a beast, A.D. 1520.
The reign of this Turk was but short in number of years; but in number of his murders and cruel bloodshed it might seem exceeding long, who lived more like a beast than a man; for he never spared any of his friends or kindred. His father first he poisoned, his brethren and all his cousins he quelled, leaving none of all his kindred alive. Moreover, his chief and principal captains for small occasions he put to death, as Mustapha, Calogere, Chendeme, Bostang his son-in-law, and Juno Bassa.
It is said moreover, that he intended the poisoning of his own son Solyman, sending unto him a shirt infected with poison, because he seemed something freely to speak against the cruel demeanour of his father: but, by the means of his mother, the gift being suspected was given to another, who was his chamberlain, who, putting on the shirt, was stricken with the poison thereof, and therewithal died.
As touching this Turk Selim, by the way here may be noted, how the secret providence of the Lord kept him occupied with his Turkish wars at home, while the reformation of Christian religion here in Europe, at the same time begun by Martin Luther, might the more quietly take some rooting without disturbance or interruption. For so it appeareth by the computation of time, that in the days of this Selim, Martin Luther first began to write against the pope’s indulgences, which was A.D. 1516.
SOLYMAN, THE TWELFTH EMPEROR OF THE TURKS Solyman, the only son of Selim, succeeded after his father’s death, who, in the first beginning, seemed to some to be simple and sheepish, and not meet for the Turkish government: wherefore certain of his nobles, consulting how to depose him, intended to set up another emperor; in which conspiracy are especially named Caierbeius and Gazelles. This Caierbeius. Was he that betrayed before Campson the sultan of Egypt to Selim, as aforesaid; who now also being in consultation with Gazelles and others about this matter, detected them also unto Solyman. Wherefore the said Gazelles and his fellows, being thus detected, were put to death by Solyman: declaring thereby that he was not so sheepish as he was thought of them to be; and as also by his acts afterwards did more appear.
Solyman, after this execution done upon the conspirators, taking his viage into Europe, first besieged Belgrade, which, being a city in Hungary, was the strongest fort of all the Roman empire, and the chief defense at that time of all Christendom; which also, assaulted before time by Mahomet II85 , was valiantly defended by Johannes Huniades, as is above specified. But here now lacked such a one as Huniades was: for the kingdom of Hungary at that time was under the government of Ludovic, a young king, inexpert and of a simple wit; whom other princes, and especially the covetous churchmen, did so pill and poll, that they left him nothing but only the bare name and title of his kingdom; whereby he, being unfurnished both of men and money, was unable to match with such an enemy.
Another advantage also the Turks had in besieging Belgrade, for the Christian princes, at that time, were in civil dissension and variance amongst themselves; and the pope with his churchmen also were so busy in suppressing Luther, and the gospel then newly springing, that they minded nothing else, except it were to maintain the wealth of their own bellies; which pope, if he had set his care (as his duty was) as much in stirring up princes against the common enemy, as he was bent to deface the gospel, and to persecute the true professors thereof, soon might he have brought to pass, not only that Belgrade might have been defended against the Turk, but also that to be recovered again, which was lost before; and, moreover, he might have stopped the great dangers and perils which now are like to fall upon the religion and church of Christ; which the Lord of his great mercy avert and turn away.
Certes, whatsoever the pope then did, this had been his duty, setting all other things apart, to have had an earnest compassion of so many miserable and lost captives, who were fallen from their faith and religion, unto the misery and slavery of the Turk, and thraldom of the devil, and to have sought all means possible to have reduced them, as lost sheep, into the fold again; which then might soon have been done, if prelates and princes, joining together in Christian concord, had loved as well the public glory of Christ, and souls of Christians, as they tendered their own private, worldly, and frivolous quarrels. And admit that the pope had conceived ever so much malice against Luther, his quarrel also being good; yet the public church, standing in such danger as it then did, by the invasion of the Turk, reason would, nature led, religion taught, time required, that a good prelate, forgetting lighter matters, should rather have laid his shoulder to the excluding of so great a danger, as then was imminent both to himself, and the universal church of Christ. But now, his quarrel being unjust, and the cause of Luther being most just and godly, what is to be said or thought of such a prelate, who, forbearing the Turk, whom in a time so dangerous he ought chiefly to have resisted, persecuted the truth which he should specially have maintained? But Christ, of his mercy, stand for his church, and stir up zealous princes and prelates, if not to recover that which is lost, yet at least to retain that little which is left!
Solyman therefore, taking this occasion, and using the commodity of time, while our princes were thus at variance betwixt themselves, without any resistance or interruption brought his army unto Belgrade, A.D. 1521; which city being but slenderly defensed, the Turk, through his underminers, guns, and other engines of war, without great difficulty, and with little loss of his soldiers, soon subdued and overcame.
After this victory, Solyman resting himself a whole year, and casting in his mind how to make all sure behind him, for fear of enemies to come upon his back, thought it expedient for his purpose, if he might obtain the island of Rhodes; for that only remained vet Christian, betwixt him and Asia.
This Rhodes was a mighty and strong island, within the Mediterranean sea; the inhabitants whereof, at the first, did manfully resist the Turk, sparing no labor, nor pains for the defense of themselves and all Christendom. But afterwards, being brought to extremity, and pinched with penury, seeing also no aid to come from the Christians, they somewhat began to languish in themselves. The Turks, in the mean time, casting up two great mountains, with strength of hand, two miles off from the city, like rolling trenches carried them before them near unto the city, in the tops whereof they planted their ordnance and. artillery, to batter the city. The master of the knights of Rhodes was then one Philippus Villadamus 86 , a Frenchman, in whom no diligence was lacking, that appertained to the defense of the city. The Rhodians, likewise, so valiantly behaved themselves upon the walls, that with their shot all the ditches about the city were filled with the carcasses of dead Turks.
Besides this, such a disease of the bloody flux reigned in the Turks’ camp, that thirty thousand of them died thereof; and yet for all this Solyman would not cease from his siege begun: who, at length, by underminers casting down the vaumures and uttermost parts of the city, won ground still more and more upon the Rhodians, and with mortar-pieces so battered the houses, that there was no free place almost standing in all the city.
And thus continued the siege for the space of five or six months, and yet all this while came no help unto them from the Christians. Wherefore they, being out of all hope, through the advice of Villadamus, yielded themselves unto the Turk, upon condition that he would spare them with life and goods: which convention the Turk kept with them faithfully and truly.
Thus Solyman, with his great glory, and utter shame to all Christian princes, and also ruin of all Christendom, got the noble isle of Rhodes; although not without great loss and detriment of his army, insomuch that at one assault twenty thousand Turks about the walls were slain with fire, sword, stones, and other engines: whereby it may be conjectured what these Rhodians might, or would have done, if succor had come to them from other Christian princes, as they looked for. This city was won upon Christmas-day, A.D. 1522 87 .
This conquest of Rhodes obtained, Solyman, the fourth year after, bringeth back his army again into Hungary, where he found none to resist him but only Louis the young king; who, being accompanied with a small army, and nothing able to match with the Turk, yet, of a hasty rashness and vain hope of victory, would needs set upon him; who, if he had staid but a little, had prospered the better, for John Valvode of Transylvania being a captain well-exercised in Turkish wars before, was not far off, coming with a sufficient power of able soldiers. But Paul, the archbishop of Colosse, a Franciscan friar, a man more bold than wise, with his temerity and rashness troubled all their doings; for the whole sum of the army of the Hungarians contained in all but only four and twenty thousand horsemen and footmen, who, at length coming unto the battle, and being compassed about with a great multitude of the Turk’s army, were brought into great distress. The Turks twice shot off their pieces against the Christian army; yet scarce was any Christian touched with the stroke thereof: which was thought to be done on purpose, because they were Christians who had the ordering of the guns (for then the special gunners of the Turks were Christians), whom for the same cause they spared. Then the Turks’ horsemen, coming upon the back of the Christian army, compassed them about, and by reason of their multitude overcharged their horsemen; amongst whom was slain, at the same time, the archbishop friar abovesaid, with the bishops of Striegau and Waradein, and many other nobles beside. Also the king himself, being destitute of his necessary aid and succor, was compelled to fly into a marsh, where he, falling from his horse, being heavy laden with his harness, was not able to rise again, but there miserably perished.
Solyman the Turk marveled at the foolishness of Louis the king, who, with so small an army, would presume to encounter with such a great host of two hundred thousand. This battle in Hungary was fought A.D. 1526.
After the decease of Louis, Ferdinand succeeded in the kingdom, being duke of Austria and king of Hungary. Then Solyman, setting contention betwixt John, Vaivode of Transylvania, and Ferdinand for the kingdom of Hungary, sped his viage to the city of Buda, which also, in short time, he made to be yielded unto him upon condition that they should escape with their lives and goods: which condition some say he kept, and some say he did not. Besides Buda, divers places and munitions the said Turk, contrary to his league made before, did spoil and waste; as Waradein, Funfkirchen, and other forts and munitions more, bordering about the coasts of Hungary.
In the year of our Lord, 1529, Ferdinand, king of Hungary aforesaid, recovered divers holds gotten of the Turk before, and also warring against John the Vaivode, his enemy, with whom he had variance (as ye heard before), expulsed him out of his kingdom; whereupon John, flying to the Turk, desired his aid. The Turk, glad to take that occasion, with great preparation addressed himself to return into Hungary, where he, recovering again the city of Buda, which Ferdinand had gotten from him a little before, removed his army into Austria, spoiling and destroying by the way all that came to his hands; showing many examples of great cruelty and tyranny most lamentable to hear and understand. For of some he put out their eyes, of some he cut off their hands, of some their ears and noses; and their children he shamefully mutilated. The maidens he corrupted, the matrons had their breasts cut off, and such as were with child were ripped, and their children cast into the fire. And these examples of horrible and barbarous tyranny this wretched Turk perpetrated by the way coming toward Vienna, a noble city in Austria; besides the captives which he took by the way and led into servitude most miserable, amounting to the number of thirty thousand.
Among other holds by the way the Turk came, there was a castle called Altenburg, strongly by nature situated, and by art defensed; which castle the Turk, intending not to overpass, because he would make all things sure behind him, began to make his assault, and lay his ordnance against it. The warders and keepers of the castle, so soon as the Turk began to lay siege against them, making no resistance, of a womanly cowardliness sent their messengers to the Turk, to yield themselves ready to do his commandment, and further him with their victual; amongst whom were three hundred Bohemians, who were commanded to follow the host, that the Turk by them in the city of Vienna; also where the might learn what strength was king was, and what was to be done for the winning thereof.
Of whom when the Turk had understanding how all things stood, and how that there were but twenty thousand men in Vienna able to bear armor, and that other cities of Austria would soon yield if that were gotten, and that Vienna was victualled but for two months, and that the king was of late in Bohemia; thus, the Turk of all things being certified, having no doubt in his mind of victory, made speed toward Vienna; and first coming to Neapolis, a city but eight miles distant from Vienna, he required them to yield themselves; who, notwithstanding, withstood them, and repulsed them valiantly. Then the Turks assigned a place for the pitching of their tents, which, because it seemed something too little for such a great multitude, they took in more ground, to the compass of seven miles circuit. The multitude of his army, which he there planted, is accounted of some to extend to two hundred and fifty thousand soldiers. The Turks thus being planted, made daily excurses over all the country of Austria, especially about the city of Vienna, wasting and spoiling, with great cruelty and murder, amongst the poor Christians.
Moreover, to make all things more sure towards the preparation of the siege, scouts were sent abroad, and ambushments were laid about the side of the river Danube, to provide that no aid nor victual should be brought to Vienna. So it pleased the providence of the Lord (who disposeth all things), that three days before the coming of the Turk, Frederic the earl Palatine, who was then assigned by the empire to take the charge of Vienna, was come down by the river Danube with 14,000 men, and with a certain troop of horsemen well appointed and picked for the purpose.
In the mean time, they who had the carriage and transporting thereof, hearing how the ways were laid, and all the passages ten miles about Vienna stopped by the Turks, although they knew the city to stand in great need of victual, yet seeing there was no other remedy, rather than it should come to the enemy’s hand, thought it best to sink their boats with their carriage; and so they did: whereby albeit the Christians wanted their relief, yet were the Turks disappointed of their prey and purpose. The captains who had the keeping of the city, who were chiefly Frederic the earl Palatine, William Rogendorff, and Nicholas earl of Salm, seeing themselves so straitened contrary to their expectation, although they had great causes to be discouraged, yet calling their courage unto them, they consulted together for the best way to be taken: and seeing that the little city Neapolis, above mentioned, being eight miles distant from them so valiantly withstood the Turks, that in one day they sustained seven grievous assaults against all the main force of the Turkish army; by their example and manful standing being the more animated and encouraged, they thought to abide the uttermost before they would give over; and first, plucking down all the suburbs and buildings without the walls, whereby the enemy might have any succor, they willed all the farmers and inhabitants about the city to save themselves, and to bring in their goods within the walls. Such places as were weak within the walls, they made strong. About the towers and munition of the walls they provided rampiers and bulwarks, distant eighty foot one from another, to keep off the shot; and every man had his place and standing awarded to him upon the wall, and his office appointed what to do. But especially that side of the city which lieth to the river Danube, they fortified after the best wise: for that way only now remained for victual to be transported from the Bohemians unto them. Wherefore eight ensigns were assigned to the keeping of the bridge; and in the plain, which was like an island enclosed within the river, a sufficient garrison of horsemen were placed, lying within gunshot of the city; to the intent that if any grain or victual were sent from the Bohemians, they might provide the same safely to be brought into the city.
These things thus being disposed and set in order, lord William Rogendorff, to assay the strength of the Turks, made divers roads out with his horsemen, albeit much against the minds of the Austrians; who, knowing the manner of the Turks, thought it better to suffer them, while either with time they might be overwearied, or for lack of victuals consumed. Among many and sundry skirmishes which the Christians had with the Turks, one especially was to our men unprosperous; in which certain of the horsemen, espying a small troop of the Turks scattering abroad from their company, made out after them; who suddenly and guilefully were enclosed and circumvented by the Turks, before they could recover the gates of the city, and so were all taken alive: of them three were sent by the Turks into the city, to declare to the Viennians what strength they had seen in the camp of their adversaries, and to solicit them to yield their city for fear of punishment which would follow. The residue they reserved to torments and punishment, whom, in the sight of the whole army, and of the Christians (who should tell the same to the citizens), they caused, every man, with four horses, to be drawn to pieces, and so to be dismembered and plucked asunder.
After this done, the barbarous Turk immediately sent his herald to talk with the captains of the city, whether they would yield the city upon honest conditions, or else would abide the arbitrement of war. If they would gently submit themselves, they should have all gentleness to them showed. If they would be stubborn, and stand to their defense, he would also stand to his siege begun, so that he would spare neither man, woman, nor child. To this the captains answered again, That they were contented that Solyman should stand to his siege begun, and do his utmost, what he would, or what he could. As for them, they were at a point to defend themselves and their city as long as they might: that the event and fall of victory was doubtful, and many times so happeneth, that they who begin the war are wearied, sooner than they who be provoked: neither that they were so unmindful either of themselves, or of their country, but that they did remember well what they are, and what they be called; named to be Germans, who use always first to assay the adversary, what he is able to do, and not rashly to commit themselves into their enemies’ hands.
Solyman, not a little disdaining at this answer, first burning and consuming all the villages, houses, and places round about the city; infecting also the springs and fountains which gave water into the city; and so stopping all passages, that no relief should have way unto them, began with angry mood to approach more near to the city, with three great camps, sending them word in scorn and contumely by one of his captives, that if they stood in need of help of soldiers, he would send unto them the three hundred Bohemians (mentioned a little before), to aid them in their defense. To whom the Palatine directed answer again, That they had more soldiers in the city than they needed. As for the Bohemians who had yielded themselves, he might do with them what he would, for Vienna stood in no great need of them.
In the mean time a messenger coming from Ferdinand was privily let in by night into the city, who brought word that they should play the men in keeping out the enemy awhile: for it would not be long, but both Ferdinand and Charles, his brother, with the strength of all Germany, would be ready to rescue them. At this message the hearts of the soldiers began somewhat to be cheered, and to contemn the huge multitude of the adversaries, being so great as they never did behold, nor did ever almost hear of before; the largeness of whose army extended to no less in compass (as is abovesaid) than of seven miles round about the city walls.
Long it were to recite the whole order of this terrible siege, with all the parts and circumstances thereof. Briefly to touch so much as shall suffice for this history, with fewer words than were stripes given at the siege thereof; this is to be judged and confessed, whosoever beholdeth the number and fierceness of the Turks, the absence of king Ferdinand, the lack of provision and victual within the city, the noise of the guns, the violence of the shot, the terror of the sight, and yet no succor sent unto them; that the custody of that city was no man’s doing, but the arm only of the Lord God of Hosts, according to the true saying of the Psalm, “Unless the Lord do keep the city, the watchmen watch in vain, which watch to save it: unless the Lord do build the house, the builder striveth in vain which taketh upon him to build it;” experience whereof, in keeping this city, may well appear.
First Solyman, bending his shot and ordnance against the city, beat down to the ground the vaumures, with all the uttermost suburbs of the city; and that in such a short moment of time, that the hearts of the Viennians, a little before refreshed, were now as much appalled again with fear, misdoubting with themselves, lest the Turk, with the same celerity and violence, would have prevailed against the inward walls, as he did in beating down the outward vaumures. And no doubt the same time the Turk had put the city in great hazard, had not night, coming on, broken off the siege for that day.
In the mean time the citizens labored all night in repairing and refreshing the walls, to make all things sure against the next assault The next day, early in the morning, the Turks, approaching the city again with a new assault, thinking to scale the walls, were so repulsed and manfully resisted by the Germans, that scarcely any ditches about the walls could be seen, for the bodies of the dead Turks, wherewith they were replenished; so that the Turks were fain to fight standing upon the bodies of them that were slain: by which calamity, the force of the enemy was not a little abated.
It happened the same time, that a company of the Turks being spied out of the city wandering out of order, the captain Rogendorff, with two legions of horsemen issuing out of the city gate called Salmaria, and so passing closely under the hill’s side, did so set upon them, that they slew a great number of them, the rest being driven to take the river; whom with stones and shot likewise they destroyed, and so retired back into the city again. By this victory the captain Rogendorff began to be terrible to the Turks: for in the same skirmish, as after was known, were slain of them so many, that of five thousand three hundred horsemen and footmen, scarce one hundred and forty escaped alive.
Solyman, disdaining at this repulse, thought to prove another way, and so bringing his power toward the gate called the King’s Gate, there making his trenches and bulwarks, planted his ordnance; with the violence whereof the walls were so battered and shaken, that no man was able there to stand. Wherefore the Turk, seeing two great breaches made in the wall, commanded his soldiers covertly, in the dark smoke of the gunpowder, to press into the city. The like also was done at the Scottish tower, whereby the city was invaded in two sundry places at one time. The Viennians, at first, freshly began to withstand them, new soldiers still coming in the place of them that were slain and hurt; and so this assault continuing more than six hours together, our men began at length to languish and faint not only in strength, but also in courage, whereby the city had been in great danger of losing, had not the two aforesaid captains, Rogendorff in the one place, and the earl of Salm in the other place, manfully encouraged the soldiers to abide the brunt, and to bear out awhile the violence of the Turks; promising that immediately they should have aid from Ferdinand.
In the mean time the Turks came so thick, for greediness of the victory, sealing, climbing, and fighting upon the walls, that had it not been for the press and throng of the great multitude of the Turks, coming so thick that one of them could not fight for another, Vienna that same day had been taken and utterly lost. But, by the policy of the captains giving a sign within the city, as though new soldiers were called for, our men began to be encouraged, and the Turks’ hearts to be discomfited.
When Solyman saw his army the second time repulsed, he began to attempt a new way, purposing, by undermining, to overthrow the city; in which work specially he used the help of the Illyrians, of whom he had a great number in his camp, expert in that kind of feat. These Illyrians, beginning to break the earth at the gate Carinthia, and coming near to the foundations of the tower, which they by strength of hand attempted to break, could not work so closely under the ground, but they were perceived by certain men above, who were skillful and expert in that kind of matter; who, contrariwise, undermining against them, and filling their trenches as they went with gunpowder, so conveyed their train, that when fire should be set unto it, the violence thereof should burst out by the trenches of the enemies: which done, suddenly the ground beneath made a great shaking, so that the tower did cleave asunder, and all the underminers of the Turks, working in their trenches, were smothered and destroyed, which came to the number (as it was supposed afterwards) of eight thousand persons; insomuch that yet till this day a great number of dead men’s skulls are found in the ground.
When Solyman saw that this way also would not serve, and had privy intelligence that the walls about the gates of Stubarium were: negligently kept, and that he might have there more easy entrance; secretly he conveyeth about ten garrisons of fresh soldiers, in such sort as the townsmen should not perceive them; who came so suddenly upon them, that they had filled their ditches, and were upon the top of the fortresses and munitions, before our men were aware of them, or could make themselves ready to resist them. For, although there was no lack of soldiers within the city, yet, forasmuch as the whole brunt of the siege did lie especially at the two gates aforesaid, from whence the soldiers who were there warding, could not be well removed; for a shift, the rescuers (who within the city were ready for all sudden adventures) were sent to the walls; by whose coming, those few who kept the enemies off before, being sore hurt and wounded, were succored and sent to surgery; and thus the said assault continued terrible and doubtful, until (the dark night coming upon them) they could not well know the one from the other. In this bickering were counted of the Turks to be slain more than five thousand.
Then the captain Rogendorff, commending the valiant standing of his soldiers, misdoubting with himself (as it happened indeed) that the Turks would not so give over, but would set upon him the next day with a fresh assault, providing with all diligence for the purpose, made up the breaches of the walls, and prepared all things necessary for resistance. The next morning following, which was something dark and misty, the Turks, thinking to prevent our men with their sudden coming, began again busily to bicker upon the top of the walls.
It would require a long tractation here to describe the great distress and danger that the city, those three days following, was in; during all which time there was no rest, no intermission, nor diligence lacking, either: in the enemies, fighting against the city, or in our men in defending the same, For the Turks, besides the multitude of the great ordnance wherewith (as with a great tempest of gun-shot) they never ceased still battering the walls, and beating the munitions of the city, sent also such heaps and multitudes of the Turks to the scaling and climbing of the walls, that scarcely with all the ordnance and shot of the city; either their violence could be broken, or the number of them diminished; till at last, the soldiers of the Turks, perceiving themselves able by no means to prevail, but only to run in danger of life, and to do no good, began to wrangle among themselves, grudging and repining against their dukes and captains, imputing the whole cause only to them, that the city was yet untaken, seeing there was n them neither diligence nor goodwill lacking: and so ceased the siege for that time.
After this, when Solyman had purposed in himself, with his last and strongest siege, to try against the city the uttermost that he was able to do, and had encouraged his soldiers to prepare themselves in most forcible wise thereunto, the soldiers showed themselves much unwilling to return again, from whence they were so often repulsed before; by reason whereof great commotion began to arise in the Turk’s camp. The rumor whereof when it came to Solyman’s ears, he sendeth his grand captain to keep all the soldiers in order and obedience; or, if they would be stubborn, to compel them, whether they would or not, to accomplish his commandment: who, coming to the soldiers, showed to them the great Turk’s message; and, to animate and encourage them, declared that the opportunity of the time present was not to be neglected, neither could they now, without great shame, give over, after so many assaults attempted; who, if they would sustain but one brunt more, the victory were in their own hands. The townsmen, he said, were wasted, and their victuals spent; and the more to enflame their minds, he promised them not only great thanks and reward of their emperor, but also the whole spoil of the city, in recompense of their travail.
But when all this could not stir up the sturdy stomachs of the tired Turks, using compulsion where persuasion would not serve, he appointed a number of horsemen to be set at their backs, whereby to enforce them either to go forward, or, if they be denied, with guns and spears to destroy them. The Turks seeing themselves in such a strait, that whether they went or tarried it was to them like peril, yet would they not set forward, except the captain would take the venture before them; who, warding forward in his array, thus spake unto his fellows, saying: “Do you forsake your faith and allegiance, and betray the emperor of Constantinople unto the Christians, if you will, but I will discharge my duty towards the commonwealth, and my emperor;” and with that word advanced his ensign, making toward the city walls. Whom when others followed, and still more and more pressed after, so it came to pass that whole routs of them were overthrown and slain by our men upon the walls, before it was known what they meant. Others, terrified by their example, gave back and left their array, and winding themselves by by-ways, and under covert of hills, returned again into their tents; and so came it to pass, that the strength of the enemies daily more and more decreasing, they had less and less hope every day than the other, of obtaining the city. For besides the innumerable slaughter of Turks upon the walls, the towns-men also, watcging the foragers and purveyors of the Turks, as they ranged about for victual for the camp, ever as occasion served them did compass them about, and so encountered with them by the way, that of a whole legion scarcely the tenth part returned again to their fellows alive; by means whereof the courage of the enemies began greatly to faint. Whereby such a marvellous alteration happened, that as our men began to receive more hope and courage, so the Turks began still more to droop and to languish with despair; so that at length scarce durst they appear without the bounds where they were entrenched, but only in light skirmishes, when they were provoked by our men to come out and to show themselves.
Solyman, perceiving his soldiers thus daily to go to wrack, of whom he had lost already more than eighty thousand, and that with long tarrying he could do no good, being also in lack of forage, for that the country about him was wasted, beginneth to consult with his captains and councelors, what remained best to be done; of whom the most part advised him to raise his siege, and betimes to provide for himself: which to do, many causes there were that moved him. First, the loss of his men, who daily were cut from him by great numbers, besides those who lay in his camp wounded, or sick, or famished. Secondly, lack of purveyance. Thirdly, the near approach of winter. But the chiefest cause was, for that he heard Frederic Palatine above-mentioned, was coming with a great army at Ratisbone, towards Vienna, and there had done great molestation to a great number of the Turkish foragers, whom by the way he prevented, and so enclosed in the woods, that he slew them: whereof when Solyman had intelligence, thinking it not best to abide the coming of the Palatine, he made haste with bag and baggage to remove his camp, and to retire; and first sending away his carriage before him, he made speed himself with his army to follow shortly after.
The Viennians, when they heard of the removing away of the Turks, although at first they scarcely believed it to be true, being afterwards certified out of doubt both of their removing, and also of the order thereof, how it was in the manner of a flight or chase, were greatly desirous to make out of the city after them. Wherein, albeit the presence of the Palatine with his army, if he had been there present, might have stood them in great stead, yet, notwithstanding, they took the opportunity of the time present, and issuing out of the city, in most speedy wise set after them with their horsemen: and first overpassing the tents (where the Turks had pitched their stations or pavilions) for haste of the way, they made such pursuit after them, that within little time they overtook the rear-ward or latter end of the army, whereof they made such havoc and destruction, that (as the author reporteth) there was never a shot of the pursuers, nor weapon drawn, nor stroke stricken, which lighted in vain; which was no hard thing for our men to do, for, as the Turks in their flight went scattered out of order and array, neither would they in the fore-rank (being so far off from jeopardy) return back to help their fellows, it was easy for our men, without resistance, to come upon their backs as they would. Yet, notwithstanding, in long pursuit, when our men could not see the carriage of the Turks, which was wont in armies to come away behind after the host, and suspecting (as truth was) some ambush to be left in privy wait behind them, to come betwixt them and home, they called themselves to retreat, and consulted upon the matter, thinking good, first to send out certain scouts, to espy and bring them word where the enemies lay, and what was the number of them. Whereof when intelligence was given them that the remnant of the Turk’s army was remaining in the tents behind, word was sent to their fellows in Vienna to issue out, and to join also with them against the tail of the Turks, who had entrenched themselves within the camp. Others were appointed to follow the chase, lest peradventure the Turks, seeing our men to recule back, might return again upon them and help their fellows. Which things being thus ordered and appointed, in the mean time, while part of the Viennians were hovering after the main army, the rest encountered with them that were left in the camp, who, seeing themselves overmatched, first defensed their camp with a deep ditch and bulwark, to delay the time, until some help might come to them from the army: secondly, they directed messengers to the Christians, to treat for peace: thirdly, they conveyed their privy letters unto Solyman, for speedy aid and rescue; but all the ways and passages being stopped by the Christians, their letters were intercepted. And so the miserable Turks, being destitute of all hope and succor, seeing no other remedy, made out of their camp, to hazard and prove the uttermost for their defense; but, in conclusion, in their desperate venture they were enclosed about by our men on every side, and there put to the sword and slain, a few only excepted, who, escaping out very hardly by secret passages, shifted after the rest of their fellows, as well as they could. Their carriage, and other furniture left behind them in their tents, was distributed amongst the soldiers; only such things reserved as might serve for the public use and commodity of the city.
Thus, through the merciful protection and benefit of Almighty God, Austria was delivered from the fierce and barbarous hostility of the cruel Turks, notwithstanding that neither Ferdinand the king, nor the emperor his brother, was there present; but only the power of God, through the valiantness of the worthy Germans, defended that city, in defense whereof consisted the safety and deliverance, no doubt, of all these west parts of Christendom: for which, immortal praise and thanks be unto our immortal God in Christ our Lord, according as he hath of us most graciously and worthily deserved. Wherein, by the way, take this for a note, gentle reader! how and after what manner God’s blessing goeth with the true reformers of his religion; and so much the more is it to be noted, for that the Turks in so many battles and sieges heretofore, were never so repulsed and foiled, as at this present time in encountering with the protestants, and defenders of sincere religion. This city of Vienna was besieged and delivered, A.D. 1529. The assaults of the Turk against the city are numbered to be twenty, and his repulses as many. The number of his army which he first brought, was 250,000, whereof were reckoned to be slain eighty thousand and above. During the time of his siege he led away, out of the country about, many captives; virgins and matrons he quelled, and east them out naked; the children he stuck upon stakes.
Solyman, thus put from the hope of the victory of Vienna, after he had breathed himself a while at home, the second year after, which was A.D. 1581, repairing his host, returned again into Hungary, with no less multitude than before; where first he got the town called Guns, being but slenderly kept with a small garrison, by reason whereof the townsmen and soldiers, yielding themselves unto the Turks, were constrained to agree upon unreasonable conditions. Melchior Soiterus, in his second book, writing ‘ De bello Pannonico,’ touching the aforesaid town of Guns or Gunzium, differeth herein something from Ramus, declaring how this Guns, being a small town in Hungary, and having in it but only a hundred soldiers (or, as Wolfgangus Drechsleus in his Chronicle reporteth, at the most but two hundred soldiers), under the valiant captain Nicholas Jureschitz defended themselves so manfully and wonderfully, through the notable power of God, against the whole puissance of two hundred thousand Turks, that they, notwithstanding being distressed with lack and penury of purveyance, and suddenly of the Turks invaded, yet with pure courage and promptness of heart sustained the uttermost; force and violence of thirteen assaults of that great multitude, for the space of twenty-five days together.
Although the narration of the author may seem to some incredible, yet thus he writeth, That what time the great ordnance and battering pieces of the Turks were planted upon two mountains much higher than the town, whereby they within the town were oppressed both before and behind, insomuch that eight ensigns of the Turks were already within the town; yet by reason of women and children, and other impotent persons, who in the middle of the town were congregated in a house together, such a noise and clamor went up to heaven, praying and crying to God for help, that the Turks within the walls, supposing a new army of fresh soldiers to be sent into the town, for sudden fear voided the town, and leaped down from the walls again (which before they had got), whom no man either pursued or resisted; for never a soldier almost was left on the walls, who was not either slain or else wounded with the Turks’ ordnance. At that time, through the Lord’s providence, it so happened, that one Ibrahim Bassa, near about the Turk, seeing both the town to be small, and the great destruction of the Turks in the siege thereof, and that the captain in no case would yield, persuaded so the Turk, declaring how the town, being so little, was not worth the loss of so many men, in the winning whereof there was no glory, and if he were repulsed, great dishonor might follow; whereby the Turk being persuaded did follow his counsel, which was this:
That Nicholas, the Christian captain, being called unto him under pledges and safe conduct, should receive the town as of his hand and gift, with condition that he should do no violence to his soldiers left behind and wounded, but should procure such means as he could for the re-curing of them. And so he, raising his siege, departed.
Another cause also, which moved him so suddenly to raise his siege, might be for that he heard the Palatine not to be far off in pursuing after him; and therefore, taking his flight by the mountains of the Norcians, he returned with much spoil of Christian men’s goods unto Constantinople. 20 For so it was provided the same time in Germany, after the council of Augsburg and Ratisbone (at what time the controversy of religion between the protestants and the papists was deferred and set off to the next general council), that Charles V, and Ferdinand his brother, having understanding of the Turk thus ranging in Hungary, should collect of the Germans, Hungarians, Spaniards, and others, an able army of eighty thousand footmen, and thirty thousand horsemen, to repulse the invasions of the Turk. But Solyman, having intelligence of this preparation of the Christian power coming toward him, whether for fear, or whether to espy further opportunity of time for his more advantage and our detriment, refused at that time to tarry their coming; and so, speeding his return unto Constantinople, retired with much spoil and prey sent before him, as is above premised: which was A.D. 1532.
Not long after, being the year of our salvation, 1554, Solyman, intending two wars at once, first sent Conradine Barbarossa, the admiral of his navies, into Africa, to war against the king of Tunis, whom then Barbarossa also dispossessed and deprived of his kingdom: but Charles the emperor, the next year following (A.D. 1585), restored the said king again into his kingdom, and delivered in the same voyage twenty thousand captives out of servitude.
The same time the Turk also sent another captain into Hungary, to war against the Vaivode, while he himself, taking his course to Persia, planted his siege against the city Tauris, which he in short space subdued and expugned. Albeit he long enjoyed not the same; for Tahames king of the Persians, suddenly coming upon the Turks unprepared, slew of them twenty thousand, and took his concubines, to the great foil and reproach of the Turk.
Two years after this, which was A.D. 1587, Solyman, who could not be quiet at home, nor rest in peace, returning again out of Asia into Europe with two hundred and seventy ships, great and little, set upon Corcyra, another island belonging to the Venetians, which he besieged ten days, wasting and burning the towns and fields as he went, beside the destruction of much people therein, whom partly he slew, partly he led away captives. From thence he sailed to Zacynthus, and to Cythara, another island not far from Corcyra, bordering near to the coasts of Epirus and Greece, where he, suddenly by night invading the husbandmen in villages and fields, sleeping and mistrusting no harm, drew them out of their houses and possessions, men and women, besides children, to the number of nine hundred, whom he made his bondslaves; burning moreover their houses, and carrying away all the goods and cattle being without the said city of Zacynthus and Cythara. From thence these hell-hounds turned their course to the siege and spoil of Egina, a rich and populous island, lying between Greece and Asia, where first the Eginians did manfully in battle resist them, and were like to have prevailed; but being wearied at length, and oppressed with innumerable thousands of fresh Turks, who still were sent in, to rescue the others who were overcome before, they were compelled to fly into the city of Egina.
That city the cruel Turks (or rather devils on earth), with much labor, and violence of their great ordnance fetched out of their ships, subdued and cast down to the ground; the citizens and inhabitants whereof, the Turk, after he had burned their houses, and ransacked their goods, commanded to be slain and killed every one. The women, both noble and unnoble, with their infants, were given to the mariners to be abused, and from thence being shipped unto Constantinople, were led away to perpetual misery and slavery; which was A.D. 1587.
In the same journey Solyman also took the isle in the said sea of Aegeum, called Paros; also the isle adjoining to the same, named Naxos, and made them to him tributaries; the duke whereof was he who wrote the story both of these islands aforesaid, and also of the other islands, called Cyclades; and other dukes. This done, Solyman directed his navy unto Apulia, where he set on land ten thousand footmen, and two thousand horsemen, who spoiled, likewise, and wasted those parts, while the emperor, the pope, and the Venetians, were together in war and dissension. 23 Furthermore, the next year following (A.D. 1588), great attempts began in Stiria 24 ; but, by the resistance of the inhabitants, the force of the barbarous Turks was repulsed, notwithstanding great spoils of men and cattle were carried from thence, and the country miserably spoiled. In that year also, the Turk, turning into Hungary, gave battle unto the Christians in Savis; where, through the fraudulent falsehood of the captain Cassianerus (Wolfgangus nameth him Calcianus), being (as they say) corrupted with money, our men were put to the worse, A.D. 1538.
After the Turks had invaded the island of Corcyra abovesaid, the Venetians, with Solyman the Turk, had joined truce for a certain time, for which they gave the Turk three hundred thousand crowns, with the city of Neapolis, and Maluasia, in the borders of Macedonia. But within four or five years, the Turk, to get a new stipend of the Venetians, brake his league, and invaded their dominions, whereby they were enforced to enter new conditions again with him.
In the year of our Lord 1540, the restless Turk, making his return toward Hungary, by the way passing by Dalmatia, lay against the town called Novum Castellum, being defended by the Spaniards; in which town, because they refused to yield themselves, all the inhabitants and soldiers were put to the sword, and slain every one. This Novum Castellum, or New Castle, was a strong fort of the Christians, which being now in the Turk’s power, he had great advantage over all those quarters of Dalmatia, Stiria, Carinthia, and Hungary. From thence he proceeded further, keeping his course into Hungary, where he planted his power against the city of Buda. This Buda was a principal city in Hungary, about which great contention had been (as ye heard before) between John the Vaivode and Ferdinand; by reason whereof the Turk, occasioned by John, came into Hungary and delivered the city to John. This John, dying not long after, left behind him a son, whom, being an infant, he committed to the governance of one Georgius Monachus, who, being left tutor unto the infant, reduced all Transylvania, Buda, Pest, with other parts of Hungary, which belonged to the Vaivode before, to the subjection of the child.
Ferdinand, heating thereof, in a great haste and anger levied an army to recover his lands in Hungary, and so laid siege to Buda. Monachus, seeing his party weak, first sent his legate to Ferdinand, desiring him to talk and confer with him upon matters, as he pretended, pertaining to the behoof of them both: whereupon, both the parties being agreed, the place and manner of their convention was appointed, and also the day and time assigned.
Thus the parties, according to the agreement, conventing together with their armies, withdrawing a little aside, as they were entered in communication, suddenly among Ferdinand's men happened a dag to be heard, which, by the heat of the day, as is thought, loosing of its own accord, gave a crack; the sound whereof coming to the ears of Monachus, he, supposing the same to have been discharged against him, in great anger drew out his sword, bidding Ferdinand avaunt with his doubling dissimulation, saying, that he would never any more trust the promises of Christians. And immediately upon the same, he sent to Solyman the Turk for aid against the Christians, promising that he would surrender to him free possession of Hungary, if he would come and vanquish the army of Ferdinand lying about the siege of Buda. The Turk maketh no long tarrying, but taketh the occasion, and with a mighty power flieth into Hungary, and eftsoons discharging the host of Ferdinand, and putting them off from the siege of Buda, getteth the city into his own hands, commanding the son of Vaivoda, with his mother, to follow after his camp.
In the history of Johannes Ramus it followeth, that when Solyman the Turk had thus prevailed against the city of Buda aforesaid, and against other parts besides of Hungary, by the assent of the empire, one Joachim, duke of Brandenburg, prince elector, was assigned with a puissant army of chosen soldiers of all nations collected, to recover the city of Buda from the Turk, and to deliver the other parts of Christendom from the fear of the Turk [A.D. 1542]; which Joachim, at his first setting forth, appeared so courageous and valiant, as though he would have conquered the whole world. But this great heat was so slacked in short time by the Turk, that before any great jeopardy was offered unto him, he was glad to be discharged of the ridge, and with shame enough returned home again. And would God he had left behind him in the fields no more but his own shame! for the enemies having intelligence before of his cowardly departure, thinking to work some point of mastery or victory before his going, did set upon the right wing of his army (which chiefly consisted of Dutchmen of Low Germany), out of which they took away with them above five hundred strong and valiant soldiers, not killing them, but carrying them away alive: for whom it had been much better to have stood to their weapon, and to have died manfully upon the Turks, than by yielding themselves, to be disgarnished of weapon and armor, and so to be left to the cursed courtesy of the foul Turks. To whom what courtesy was showed, by the sequel did appear. For, after the Turks had led them out of Hungary into their own dominions, after a most horrible and beastly sort they disfigured and mangled them; and so sent them abroad through all Greece, to be witnesses of the Turks victory. Their kind of punishment was thus: first, they had their right arm thrust through with an iron red hot, whereby they should be unable and unmeet to all labor and warfare: secondly, their heads were shaven to the very skulls, after the manner of our friars and monks, when they are newly shaven: thirdly, they were all most dreadfully mutilated; which wound was so grievous unto them, that the greatest part of them died thereupon: the few that recovered the torment thereof, led a life more bitter and more miserable than death itself.
And this kind of cruelty was executed in order upon them all. In much like sort did cruel Pharaoh exercise his tyranny against the people of God in Egypt; who, to destroy the generation of them, caused all the male children to be drowned in the river. Whereby it is the more to be hoped, that seeing the tyranny of this Turkish Pharaoh is come to such an extremity, the merciful goodness of God will the more shortly send some Moses or other unto us, for our speedy deliverance. This was by the cruel Turks done, A.D. 1542, witnessed by Johannes Ramus, who not only writeth the story, but by the testimony also of his own eyes recordeth the same to be true, beholding with his eyes one of the same number in the city of Vienna, who, having wife and children in Brussels, either for shame or sorrow, had no mind to return home to his own house. But to return again to the city of Buda, from whence we have digressed here is not to be pretermitted what falsehood and what: cruelty the Turks used toward the Christians there after their victory. For, after that Solyman the Turk, upon the yielding and submission of the men of Buda, had given to them his promise of safety and life, within a Short time the said Turk, picking a quarrel with them for selling oxen unto the Christians, and for bargaining with them, slew all the magistrates of the said city of Buda: like as in all other cities, wheresoever the Christians yielded unto him, he never, or very rarely, kept his promise with them, neither did ever any Christians speed better with the Turk, than they who most constantly did resist him.
And as his promise with the magistrates of Buda was false and wretched, so his cruelty with the soldiers thereof was much more notorious and abominable. For in the expugnation of Buda, amongst the rest who were slain, two cohorts or bands of Christian soldiers came alive to his hands.
To whom, when he seemed at the first to grant pardon of life, he commanded to put on their armor again, and to dispose themselves in order and battle array, after the warlike manner of the Christians; which when they had accomplished readily, according to his commandment, and he, riding about the ranks of them, had diligently viewed and beholden them a certain space, at length he commanded them to put off their armor again. This done, certain of the tallest and strongest of them he picked out; the residue he commanded, by his soldiers coming behind them with swords, to be cut in pieces and slain. Of the others, whom he had elected and chosen, some he set for marks and butts to be shot at; some he appointed to his two sons, for them to slash with their swords and try their strength, which of them could give the deeper wound, and (as they termed it) the fairer blow, whereby the most blood might follow out of their Christian bodies. After the winning of Buda, the Turk, purposing not so to cease before he had subdued and brought under his obedience all Hungary; proceeding further with his army, first, brought under a strong hold of the Christians, named Pestum or Pest, where a great number of Christian soldiers partly were slain, partly were led away to more cruel affliction.
Then he came to another castle called Walpo, situate in the confines of Bosnia, Croatia, and Hungary, which fort or castle he besieged three months, while no rescue or aid was sent unto them, neither from Ferdinand king of Hungary, nor from any other Christian prince or princes: whereupon, at length, the fort was given up to the Turk, but more through the false treachery, or cowardly heart of the soldiers, than of the captain.
Wherein is to be noted an example not unworthy of memory; for when the cowardly soldiers, either for fear or flattery, would needs surrender themselves and the place unto the Turk, contrary to the mind of the captain, who in no case would agree to their yielding, they, thinking to find favor with the Turk, apprehended their captain and gave him to Solyman.
But see how the justice of God, sometimes by the hand of the enemy, disposeth the end of things to the rewarding of virtue and punishing of vice. For where they thought to save themselves by the danger of the faithful captain, the event turned clean contrary; so that the Turk was to the captain bountiful and very liberal, and the soldiers, notwithstanding that they had all yielded themselves, yet were all put to death, and commanded piteously to be slain. There is in Hungary another town, bearing the name of the Five Churches, 27a called Quinque Ecclesiae, which being partly spoiled before, as is above-mentioned 89 , was now, through the loss of Walpo, and by the hugeness of the Turk’s army (containing in it two hundred and twenty thousand fighting men) so discouraged and put out of hope and heart, that the bishop and chief nobles of the town, fled before the jeopardy: the rest of the commons, who were partly prevented by the sudden coming of the Turks, partly for poverty could not avoid, sent their messengers to the Turk, to yield and surrender the town, upon promise of life, into his hands; whose promise how firm it stood, the story leaveth it uncertain.
This is affirmed, that three days after the yielding of this Quinque Ecclesiae, never a Turk durst enter the city. A.D. 1548. The next fort or hold gotten by the Turks in Hungary, was Soclosia. The town, at the first invasion of the Turks, was won, sacked, and fired. The castle within the town did something hold out for a time; and first requiring truce for fourteen days, to see what aid should be sent unto them; and to deliberate upon the conditions that should be proposed unto them, after the fourteen days expired, they, trusting to the situation and munition of the place, which was very strong, began, for a certain space, stoutly to put back the enemy. But afterwards, seeing their walls to be battered, their foundations to shake (for the Turk had set twelve thousand underminers under the ditches of the castle), and their strength to diminish, and mis-doubting themselves not to be able long to hold out, agreed in like manner to yield themselves, upon condition to escape with life and goods: which condition of saving their goods was the losing of their lives, especially of the richer sort; for the Turks perceiving by that condition that they were of wealth and substance, omitting the inferior or baser sort, fell upon the wealthy men for their riches, and slew them every one, A.D. 1543. 28a In the which his history, this is also to be noted, that during the time the castle of Soclosia was besieged, the villages and pages round about the same, came of their own accord, submitting and yielding themselves unto the Turk, bringing in, as they were commanded, all kind of victual and forage into the Turk’s camp: which done, Solyman the Turk commanded all the headmen of the pages to appear before him, who humbly obeyed and came. Then the Turk warned them to return again the next day after, every one bringing with him his inferior retinue and household servants; which when they had with like diligence also, according to his commandment, accomplished, the Turk immediately commanded them every one, in the face of his whole army to be slain: and so was this their reward: which reward, the more it declareth the bloody cruelty of the Turk, the more encouragement it may minister to our men the more constantly to withstand him. Another strong town there is in Hungary, named Striegau, distant from Buda abovesaid the space of five Dutch miles, against which the Turks made great preparation of ordnance, and all other instruments of artillery necessary for the siege thereof; which city, in like manner, began also to be compassed and enclosed by the Turks, before it could be sufficiently prepared and garnished by our men, but only that the archbishop of Striegau privily conveyed unto them two hundred oxen; such was then the negligence of Ferdinand, king of Hungary, who so slenderly looked unto the necessary defense of his towns and cities. Moreover, such was the discord then of Christian kings and princes, who in their civil dissension and wars were so occupied and hot in needless quarrels, that they had neither leisure nor remembrance to help in time, there, where true need required: which slender, care and cold zeal of the Christian rulers, in not tendering the public cause, while they contended in private trifles, hath caused the Turk to come so far as he hath; and yet further is like, unless the mercy of the Lord do help, more than our diligence. One of the chief captains within the city was Martinus Lascanus, a Spaniard.
The Turks, in the beginning of the siege, began first to tempt the citizens, with fair words and accustomed promises, to yield and gently to submit themselves; but they, not ignorant of the Turk’s promises, wisely refused, and manfully stood so long as they could to the defense of their city; now and then skirmishing with them in out-corners, and killing certain numbers of them; sometimes with their shot disturbing their munitions, and breaking the wheels of their guns, etc.
Three special means the Turks use in winning great forts and cities: great multitude of soldiers; great ordnance and mortar pieces; ‘the third is by undermining: all which here, in the siege of this city, lacked not. This siege continued vehement a certain space; in which the Striegaunians had borne out four strong assaults, and slain many thousands of the Turks; till at length the Turks either departing away, or else seeming to depart unto Buda, the people at last being so persuaded and made to believe of some chief rulers of the city (peradventure not the truest men), the citizens, being erected with hope and comfort, and singing Te Deum, as though the city had been free from all danger, suddenly (by whose counsel it is unknown) conveyed themselves all out of the city: three hundred horsemen also passed over the river and departed. The Italians, who were under Franciscus Salamanca, a Spanish captain, hardly could be persuaded by him to abide, who were in all scarce six hundred.
Within three days after, three hundred German soldiers, with two ships laden with shot, powder, and artillery, were privily let into the town, so that of our men in all there were scarce one thousand three hundred soldiers; who, seeing the small quantity of their number, burning and casting down the town and suburbs, took them to the castle; from whence they beat off the Turks valiantly with their ordnance a good space, and with wildfire destroyed great companies of them, till at last, seeing their walls to fail them, and the whole castle to shake by undermining, but especially by the working of a certain Italian surnamed Presbyter, they gave over. This Italian, whether for fear or falsehood, secretly, unknown to the rest of the soldiers, accompanied by two others, conveyed himself down from the walls, and being brought into the tents of the next captain or bassa of the Turks, there, in the name of all his fellows, convented with the Turks, to give up to them the castle: whereupon the Turks were bid to cease the shooting. This Italian, shortly after, with two other Turks, was sent back to Salamanca, his captain, with the Turk’s message. The going out of this Italian being privy to the residue of his fellows, contrary to the laws and discipline of war, although it seemed to come of his own head, yet, forasmuch as the other soldiers were not sure, but racer suspected lest the other Italians, his countrymen, had been in some part of consent therein, and would take his part, they neither durst offer him any harm for that his doing, nor yet could well advise with themselves what was best to do, for fear of privy confederacy, within themselves.
Thus, while Lascanus the chief captain of the Christians aforesaid, with his fellow-soldiers, were in a maze what to do, or not to do; in the mean time came one running, who giving a sign both to the Christians and the Turks to hold their hands and weapons, for that it was against all law of war to fight after peace and truce taken, our men, as they were commanded, went into the inward tower. The Turks, in the mean time, had got into the castle, and occupied all the outer parts. Then was Salamanca, by the consent of the rest, sent out to the Turk, who, being stayed there that night, the next morrow the Turk’s bull or warrant was sent into the castle, permitting free liberty to the Christians to depart with bag and baggage; who now being ready to depart, first were commanded by the Turks, cornpassing them round about, to east from them their dags, lances, and battleaxes, into the trench. Then coming to the gate to go out, their swords were taken from them, looking then for nothing but present death.
At last, when they were come a little further, others were sent to them to discharge them of their helmets, Their targets, cuirasses, and whatsoever piece of harness was about them: whereupon great fear came upon them, lest some great cruelty should be showed upon them. Solyman, after he had long deliberated with himself, whether to kill them or not, at last, contrary to all expectation, granted their lives: but, before they should be dismissed, he first caused them, in derision of Christianity, to be baited with scorns and mocks throughout all the Turkish army; and so the next day commanded them, being stript out of their coats and apparel, to be reduced again into the castle by companies, setting over them certain Turks with cudgels and bats to lay upon their backs and sides, causing them to bury the dead carcasses, and to gather up the rubbish broken down from the castle-walls, and to scour the ditches. This done, the next day following he demanded of them, by an interpreter, whether they would enter wages with him, and take horse and armor to serve him in his wars; which condition, divers for fear were contented to take, seeing no other remedy to avoid present death. Some, neither by menacing words, nor for any fear of death, could be compelled thereunto; of whom certain, who stood stoutly in refusing thereof, were presently slain, whom I may worthily recite in the number and catalogue of holy martyrs.
Of the aforesaid Christians, part were carried over the river Danube, not without great villany, and contumely most despiteful. For some had their wives taken from them, and carried away; some had their wives abused before their face; and such as made or showed any resistance thereat, had their wives before them east into the river and drowned; also their infants and young children, being appointed by the Turks to the abominable order of the Janizaries, mentioned before, their parents, not consenting thereunto, were precipitated and thrown into the river, and drowned. All these things are testified by John Martin Stella, in his epistles in print extant, written to his two brethren, William and Michael; which Martin Stella, moreover, addeth and affirmeth this: that he himself, being the same time at Vienna, did see one of the aforesaid wives, who, being held fast by the hair of the head, yet notwithstanding, having her hair plucked off, cast herself into the river Danube, for the singular love to her husband, and so swam to the ship where he was. And thus this miserable company of Germans, Spaniards, and Italians mixed together, macerated with labors, with hunger pined, with watchings, dolors, and sorrow consumed, came at length to Schinda.
When the tidings thereof were noised at Vienna, partly with fear and dread, partly with indignation, all men’s hearts were moved and vexed diversely. Some thought them not worthy to be received into their city, showing themselves so dastardly and cowardly. Others thought again, that mercy was to be showed unto them, and commended their fact, for that they, being so few, and unfurnished with aid, neither able to match by any means with such an innumerable multitude of the Turks, kept themselves till better time might serve them. But howsoever the matter was to be thought of, the captains brought the poor remnant of that rueful company unto Possidonium, where the said captains were laid fast, and there kept in durance, to render account of the whole matter, how it was wrought and handled. And thus have ye the lamentable story of Striegau.
The Turk proceeding in his victories, conducted his army next unto Tara, and to the parts lying near about Comaron. This Tara was also a stronghold in Hungary, wherein were placed certain garrisons, partly of the Germans, partly of the Italians. The chieftain of the Italians was one Annibal Tasso, constituted by Philippus Tornelius. This Tasso was a man well expert in prowess of war, but of a filthy corrupt life, and also a foul swearer, and horrible blasphemer of God and his saints. To make the story short, this fort of Tara, before any siege was laid unto it, was yielded and given up to the Turks; upon what conditions, or by whose means, the author showeth not. Thus much he showeth, that the said Annibal, shortly upon the same, returning into Italy, was commanded by Tornelius aforesaid, to be apprehended and beheaded.
After the Turks had subverted and destroyed the fort of Tara, they turned their power against Alba, surnamed Regalis 90 , 30 for that the kings of Hungary have been always wont there to be crowned and buried. This Alba is a little well-compacted city in Hungary, having on the one side a marsh somewhat foggish or lenny, which made the town less assaultable.
But, near to the same was a wood, from which the Turks every day, with six hundred carts, brought such matter of wood, and trees, felled for the purpose, into the marsh, that, within less than twelve days, they made it apt and hard to their feet; which the towns-men thought never could be gone upon, but only in the hard frosts of winter. At the first beginning of the siege, there stood, a little without the munitions, in the front of the city, a certain church or monastery, into which the citizens, pretending to maintain and keep against the Turks, had privily conveyed light matter easily to take flame, with powder in secret places thereof, and had hid also fire withal: which done, they (as against their wills being driven back) withdrew themselves within the munitions, waiting the occasion when this fire would take. Thus the Turks having the possession of the church, suddenly the fire coming to the powder, raised up the church, and made a great scatter and slaughter among the barbarous Turks. This was not so soon espied of them within the town, but they issued out upon them in this disturbance, and slew of them a great number. Among whom, divers of their nobles also the same time were slain, and one bassa, a eunuch, who was of great estimation with the Turks. Moreover, in the same skirmish was taken one of those gunners, which the French king is said to have sent to the Turk a little before: which if it be true, let the Christian reader judge what is to be thought of those Christian princes, who, not only forsaking the common cause of Christ’s church, joined league with the Turk, but also sent him gunners to set forward his wars to the destruction of Christ’s people, and to the shedding of their blood; for whom they know the blood of Christ to be shed. If this be not true, I show mine author,31 if it be, then let the pope see and mark well, how this title of ‘Christian-issimus’ can well agree with such doings.
But to let this matter sleep, although the Turks, (as ye heard) had won the fen, with their policy and industry, against the city of Alba, yet all this while the Albanes were nothing inferior to their enemies, through the valiant help and courageous endeavor of Octavianus Scruzatus, a captain of Milan, by whose prudent counsel and constant standing, the busy enterprises of the Turks did little prevail a long time; till at length, suddenly arose a thick fog or mist upon the city, whereas, round about besides, the sun did shine bright. Some said it came by art magical, but rather it may appear to rise out of the fen or marsh, being so pressed down with men’s feet, and other matter laid upon it.
The Turks using the occasion of this misty darkness, in secret wise approaching the walls, had got up to a certain fortress where the Germans were, before our men could well perceive them; where they pressed in so thick, and in such number, that albeit the Christian soldiers, standing strongly to the defense of their lives, did what valiant men in cases of such extremity were able to do; yet, being overmatched by the multitude of the Turks, and the suddenness of their coming, they gave back, seeking to retire unto the inward walls, which when their other fellows did see to recule, then was there flying of all hands, every man striving to get into the city. There was between the outward walls or vaumures, and inward gate of the city, a strait or narrow passage, cast up in the manner of a bank or causeway, ditched on both sides, which passage or ingress happened at the same time to be barred and stopped; by reason whereof the poor soldiers were forced to cast themselves into the ditch, thinking to swim as well as they could into the city, where many of them, sticking in the mud, were drowned, one pressing upon another: many were slain of their enemies coming behind them, they having neither heart nor power to resist. A few, who could swim out, were received into the city; but the chief captains and warders of the town were there slain.
The citizens, being destitute of their principal captains and warriors, were in great perplexity and doubt among themselves what to do, some thinking good to yield, some counseling the contrary. Thus, while the minds of the citizens were distracted in divers and doubtful sentences, the magistrates, minding to stand to the Turk’s gentleness,32 sent out one of their heads unto the Turk, who, in the name of them all, should surrender to him the city, and become unto him tributaries, upon condition they might enjoy liberty of life and goods. This being to them granted, after the Turkish faith and assurance; first, the soldiers who were left within the city, putting off their armor, were discharged and sent away; who, being but only three hundred left of four ensigns of Italians, and of one thousand Germans, by the way were laid for by the Tartarians for hope of their spoil; so that they, scattering asunder one one way, and another another, to save themselves as well as they could, fled every one what way he thought best; of whom, some wandering in woods and marshes fainted for famine; some were taken and slain by the Hungarians: a few, with bare, empty, and withered bodies, more like ghosts than men, escaped, and came to Vienna. And this befell upon the soldiers.
Now understand what happened to the yielding citizens. So in the story it followeth, that when the Turk had entered the town, and had visited the sepulcher of the kings, for three or four days he pretended much clemency toward the citizens, as though he came not to oppress them, but to be revenged of Ferdinand their king, and to deliver them from the Servitude of the Germans. On the fourth day, all the chief and head men of the city were commanded to appear before the Turk, in a plain not far from the city, where the condemned persons, before were wont to be executed, as though they should come to swear unto the Turk. At this commandment of the Turk, when the citizens in great number, and in their best attire were assembled, the Turk, contrary to his faith and promise, commanded suddenly a general slaughter to be made of them all. And this was the end of the citizens of Alba.
In the mean time, during the siege of Alba, the Hungarians, meeting sometimes with the horsemen of the Tartarians, who were sent out to stop their victuals from the city, slew of them, at one bickering, three thousand Turks: in which story is also reported and mentioned of mine author, a horrible sight and example of misery, concerning a certain captain (a Christian belike), who, coming unto Vienna, was found to have in his scrip or satchel the half of a young child of two years old, which remained yet uneaten, the other half being eaten before. A.D. 1543. Next after this, was expugned the castle of Papa by the Turks. Let the castle of ‘Papa’ now take heed, lest one day it follow after!
The like fidelity the Turks also kept with the fort of Visegrade, and the soldiers thereof. This Visegrade is situate in the mid-way between Buda and Striegau; of which fort or castle, the highest tower so mounteth upon the hill, that unless it be for famine or lack of water, they have not to dread any enemy. Notwithstanding so it happened, that the lower piece being won, they in the higher tower abiding four days without drink, were compelled, with liberty granted of life and goods, to yield themselves. But the devilish Turks, keeping no faith nor promise, slew them every one: only Petras Amandus, the captain of the piece, excepted; who privily was conveyed by the captain of the Turks, out of the slaughter, A.D. 1544.
To these, moreover, may be added the winning of Novum Castellum, in Dalmatia, where he slew all that were within, both soldiers and others, for that they did not yield themselves in time. Thus the Turk, whether they yielded to him or not, never spared the people and flock of Christ.
As the false and cruel Turk was thus raging in Hungary, and intended further to rage without all mercy and pity of the Christians, and might easily then have prevailed and gone whither he would, for that Charles the emperor, and Francis the French king, were at the same time in war and hostility, and also other Christian princes; as Henry, duke of Brunswick, against John Frederic, duke of Saxony; also princes and rulers were contending among themselves: behold the gracious providence of our Lord and God toward us, who, seeing the misery, and having pity of his poor Christians, suddenly, as with a snaffle, reined this raging beast, and brought him out of Europe into his own country again, by occasion of the Persians, who were then in great preparation of war against the Turks, and had invaded his dominion; by reason whereof the Turks were kept there occupied, fighting with the Persians a long continuance. Which wars at length being achieved and finished (wherein the said Turk lost great victories, with slaughter of many thousands of his Turks), he was not only provoked by the instigation of certain evil disposed Hungarians, but also occasioned by the discord of Christian princes, to return again into Europe, in hope to subdue all the parts thereof unto his dominion.
Whereunto when he had levied an army incredible of such a multitude of Turks, as the like hath not lightly been heard of, see again the merciful providence and protection of our God toward his people. As the Turk was thus intending to set forward with his innumerable multitude against the Christians, the hand of the sent such a pestilence through all the Turk’s army and dominion, reaching from Bithynia, and from Thrace to Macedonia, and also to Hungary, that all the Turk’s possession seemed almost nothing else, but as a heap of dead corpses, whereby his voyage for that time was stopped, and he almost compelled to seek a new army.
Besides this plague of the Turks aforesaid, which was worse to them than any war, other lets also and domestic calamities, through God’s providence, happened unto Solyman, the great rover and robber of the world, which stayed him at home from vexing the Christians; especially touching his eldest son, Mustapha.
This Mustapha being hated, and partly feared of Rustan, the chief councilor about the Turk, and of Rosa, the Turk’s concubine and afterwards his wife, was divers times complained of to his father, accused, and at length so brought into suspicion and displeasure of the Turk, by them aforesaid, that, in conclusion, his father caused him to be sent for to his pavilion, where six Turks with visors were appointed to put him to death: who, coming upon him, put, after their manner, a small cord or bow-string full of knots about his neck, and so, throwing him down upon the ground, not suffering him to speak one word to his father, with the twitch thereof throttled and strangled him to death, his father standing in a secret corner by, and beholding the same. Which fact being perpetrated, afterwards, when the Turk would have given to another son of his and of Rosa, called Gianger, the treasures, horse, armor, ornaments, and the province of Mustapha his brother, Gianger, crying out for sorrow of his brother’s death: “Fye of thee!” saith he to his father, “thou impious and wretched dog, traitor, murderer; I cannot call thee father. Take the treasures, the horse, and the armor of Mustapha to thyself;” and with that, taking out his dagger, thrust it through his own body. And thus was Solyman murderer and parricide of his own sons: which was in A.D. 1552.
Herein, notwithstanding, is to be noted the singular providence and love of the Lord toward his afflicted Christians. For this Mustapha, as he was courageous and greatly expert and exercised in all practice of war, so had he a cruel heart, maliciously set to shed the blood of Christians: wherefore great cause have we to congratulate, and to give thanks to God, for the happy taking away of this Mustapha. And no less hope also and good comfort we may conceive of our loving Lord hereby ministered unto us, to think that our merciful God, after these sore afflictions of his Christians under these twelve Turks afore recited, now, after this Solyman, intendeth some gracious good work to Christendom, to reduce and release us out of this so long and miserable Turkish captivity, as may be hoped now, by taking away these young imps of this impious generation, before they should come to work their conceived malice against us: the Lord therefore be glorified and praised. Amen!
Moreover, as I was writing hereof, opportunely came to my hands a certain writing out of Germany, certifying us of such news and victory of late achieved against the Turk, as may not a little increase our hope, and comfort us, touching the decay and ruin of the Turk’s power and tyranny against us; which news are these: That after the Turkish tyrant had besieged, with an army of 80,000 men the famous and strong town and castle of Gyula, in Hungary, lying forty Dutch miles beyond the river Danube, which city had by the space of six weeks sustained many grievous assaults, God, through his great mercy and goodness, so comforted the said town of Gyula, and the poor Christians therein, at their earnest prayers, that the Turk, with all his host, was driven back by the hands of the general, called Karetshim Laslaw, and his valiant company; who not only defended the said town, but also constrained the Turks to retire, to their great shame and confusion, with a great slaughter of the Turkish rabble; for which the everlasting God be praised for ever.
The manner of the overthrow was this: As the aforesaid general did see his advantage, with captain George and other horsemen of the Silesians and Hungarians, they set on the rearward of the Turks, and killed about eight thousand of them, and took also some of their artillery, and followed them so fast, that the Turks were constrained to flee into a marshy ground, and to break the wheels of the rest or their artillery to save themselves; and therewith they got a very rich booty, rescuing besides, and taking from the Turks, a great, number in Christian prisoners. Like thanks are also to be given to God, for the prosperous success given to Magotschy, the valiant captain of Erlan, who, making toward the Turks and encountering with the Tartarians, slew of them about eight hundred.
Not long after this it happened, through the like providence of our God, that a Turkish captain called Begen, accompanied with a thousand fresh horsemen, came newly out of Turkey, to go toward the city named Quinque Ecclesiae, or Funfkirchen, with whom the earl of Serin, by the way, did encounter, and in the night, setting upon him, killed the captain, and took eight camels, and eight mules laden with treasure, and also got two red guidons, 34 with a whole great piece of rich cloth of gold, and with another fair and strange jewel. The horse of this aforesaid Turkish captain was betrapped and decked most richly; the saddle whereof had the pommel and back part covered over with plate of fine Arabic gold, and the rest of the saddle, besides the sitting place, was plated with silver very fair gilded. The seat of the saddle was covered with purple velvet; the trappings and bridle beset with little turquoises and rubies: which horse was sent to Vienna, unto the emperor Maximilian, for a present.
Although the earl would very fain have saved the captain, not knowing what he was, yet the Janizaries, laboring to carry away their captain, so stiffly defended themselves, that the earl, with his company, was constrained to kill both them and their captain. From whom the said earl of Serin, the same time, got fifteen thousand Turkish and Hungarian ducats; which money was brought for the payment of the Turkish soldiers in the aforesaid town of Funf-kirchen. All which be good beginnings of greater goodness to be hoped for hereafter, through the grace of Christ our Lord; especially if our Christian rulers and potentates, first, the churchmen and prelates for their parts, then, the civil powers and princes for their parts, withholding their affections a little, will turn their brawls and variance into brotherly concord and agreement; which the Lord of Peace put in their minds to do. Amen! Or otherwise, if it will so please the Lord that the Turk come further upon us, so as he hath begun for our punishment and castigation, his grace then give to the flock of his poor Christians constancy of faith, patience in suffering and amendment of life. For so I understand by public fame, although uncertainly rumored by the voice of some, that the Turks’ power of late, this present year of our Lord, 1566, hath pierced the parts of Apulia within Italy, wasting and burning the space of a hundred miles toward Naples: which if it be certain, it is to be feared, that the Turk having thus set in his foot, and feeling the sweetness of Italy, will not so cease before he get in both head and shoulders also, so far into Italy, that he will display his banners within the walls of Rome, and do with old Rome the like as Mahomet, his great grandfather, did with new Rome, the city of Constantinople, and as the Persians did with Babylon.
The causes why we have so to judge, be divers: first, that the see of Rome hath been defended hitherto and maintained with much blood; and therefore it may seem not incredible, but that it will not long continue, but be lost with blood again, according to the verdict of the gospel: “He that striketh with the sword, shall perish with the sword,” etc. Another cause is, the fulfilling of Apocalypse 18, where it is written, “That great Babylon shall fall, and be made an habitation of devils, and a den of unclean spirits, and a cage of filthy and unclean birds:” the fall whereof shall be like a mill-stone in the sea, that is, which shall not rise again. And that this is to come before the day of judgment, the text of the said chapter doth apertly declare; where the words do follow, showing, That the kings of the earth, and the merchants, which had to do with the whorish city, standing afar off for fear of the heat, and beholding the smoke of the said city flaming and burning with fire, shall bewail and rue her destruction and desolation, etc. What city this is, called Great Babylon, which, like a millstone, shall fall and burn, and be made a habitation of unclean spirits and beasts, let the reader construe. This is certain and plain, by these her kings and merchants standing afar off for fear, and beholding her burning, that the destruction of this city (what city soever it be) shall be seen here on earth before the coming of the Lord’s judgment, as may easily be gathered by these three circumstances; that is, by the standing, the beholding, and the bewailing of her merchants; by which merchants and kings of the earth, peradventure, may be signified the pope, the rich cardinals, the great prelates, and the fat doctors, and other obedientiaries of the Romish see, who, at the coming of the Turks, will not adventure their lives for their church, but will flee the city, no doubt, and stand afar off from danger.
And when they shall see with their eyes, and hear with their cars, the city of Rome to be set on fire and consumed by the cruel Turks, the sight thereof shall seem to them piteous and lamentable, to behold the great and fair city of Rome, the tall castle of St. Angelo, the pope’s mighty see (where they were wont to fish out such riches, dignities, treasures, and pleasure), so to burn before their eyes, and to come to such utter desolation, which shall never be re-edified again, but shall be made a habitation of devils and unclean spirits; that is, of Turks and heathen sultans, and barbarous Saracens, etc. This, I say, peradventure, may be the meaning of that prophetic place of the Apocalypse; not that I have here any thing to pronounce, but only give my guess, what may probably be conjectured. But the end at length will make this, and all other things, more plain and manifest; for mystical prophecies lightly are never so well understood, as when the event of them is past and accomplished.
Another cause, concurring with the causes aforesaid, may be collected out of Paulus Jovius, who, writing of the subversion of Rhodes, which was as ye heard A.D.. 1522, upon Christmas day 91 , saith, that it chanced suddenly, the same day, in Rome, that as pope Adrian VI. was entering into the church to his service, suddenly over his head the upper frontier or top of the chapel door, which was of marble, immediately as the pope was entering, fell down, add slew certain of his guard waiting upon him.
The fourth cause I borrow out of Johannes Aventinus, who, in his third book, alleging the names, but not the words of Hildegard, Briget, and other prophetic persons, hath these words; “Si vera sint carmina et vaticinia D.
Hildegardae, et Brigittae, Sybillarum Germaniae, et Bardorum fatidicorum, qui ea quae nostro aevo completa vidimus longo ante tempore nobis cecinerunt; Agrippinensis Colonia, nolimus, velimus, Turcarum caput erit,” etc.; that is, “If the sayings and prophecies of Hildegard, of Briget, and other prophetic persons, be true, which, being foretold long before, we have seen now in these our days accomplished; the city of Cologne, will we, nill we, must needs be the head city of the Turks. And this I write, not as one pronouncing against the city of Rome what will happen, but as one fearing what may fall: which if it come to pass (as I pray God it may not), then shall the pope well understand, whither his wrong understanding of the Scriptures, and his false flattering glossers upon the same, have brought him.
Wherefore my counsel to the pope, and all his popish maintainers and upholders is, to humble themselves, and to agree with their brethren betimes, letting all contention fall: lest that while the bishop of Rome shall strive to be the highest of all other bishops, it so fall out shortly, that the bishop of Rome shall be found the lowest of all other bishops, or, peradventure, no bishop at all.
This Solyman, if he be yet alive, hath now reigned forty-six years, who began the same year in which the emperor Charles V was crowned, which was A.D. 1520, and so hath continued, by God’s permission, for a scourge to the Christians, unto this year now present, 1566. This Solyman, by one of his concubines, had his eldest son, called Mustapha. By another concubine called Rosa, he had four sons, Mahomet, Bajazet, Selim, and Gianger: of which sons, Mustapha and Gianger were slain (as ye heard before) by means of their own father. And thus much concerning the wretched tyranny of the Turks, out of the authors hereunder written. A NOTICE TOUCHING THE MISERABLE PERSECUTION, SLAUGHTER, AND CAPTIVITY, OF THE CHRISTIANS UNDER THE TURKS Hitherto thou hast heard, Christian reader! the lamentable persecutions of these latter days, wrought by the Turks against the people and servants of Christ. In the reading whereof, such as sit quietly at home, and be far from jeopardy, may see what misery there is abroad; the knowledge and reading whereof shall not be unprofitable for all Christians earnestly to weigh and consider, for that many there be, who, falsely deceiving themselves, imagine that Christianity is a quiet and restful state of life, full of pleasure and solace in this present world; when indeed it is nothing less, as testified by the mouth of our Savior himself, who, rightly defining his kingdom, teacheth us, that his kingdom is not of this world; premonishing us also before, that in this world we must look for affliction, but in him we shall have peace. Examples hereof in all parts of this history, through all ages, are plenteous and evident to be seen, whether we turn our eyes to the first ten persecutions in the primitive church, during the first three hundred years after Christ; or whether we consider the latter three hundred years in this last age of the church, wherein the poor flock of Christ hath been so afflicted, oppressed, and devoured, that it is hard to say, whether have been more cruel against the Christians, the infidel emperors of Rome, in the primitive age of the church, or else these barbarous Turks, in these our later times of the church now present.
Thus, from time to time, the church of Christ hath had little or no rest in this earth: what for the heathen emperors on the one side; what for the proud pope on the other side; on the third side, what for the barbarous Turk: for these are, and have been from the beginning, the three principal and capital enemies of the church of Christ, signified in the Apocalypse by “the beast, the false lamb, and, the false prophet, from whom went out three foul spirits, like frogs, to gather together all the kings of the earth to the battle of the day of the Lord God Almighty.” [Revelation 11] The cruelty and malice of these three enemies against Christ’s people hath been such, that to judge which of them did most exceed in cruelty of persecution, it is hard to say; but that it may be thought that the bloody and beastly tyranny of the Turks especially, above the rest, incomparably surmounteth all the afflictions and cruel slaughters that ever were seen in any age, or read of in any story: insomuch that there is neither history so perfect, nor writer so diligent, who, writing of the miserable tyranny of the Turks, is able to express or comprehend the horrible examples of their unspeakable cruelty and slaughter, exercised by these twelve Turkish tyrants upon poor Christian men’s bodies, within the compass of these latter three hundred years. Whereof although no sufficient relation can be made, nor number expressed; yet, to give to the reader some general guess or view thereof, let us first perpend and consider what dominions and empires, how many countries, kingdoms, provinces, cities, towns, strongholds, and forts, these Turks have surprised and won from the Christians; in all which victories, being so many, this is secondly to be noted, that there is almost no place which the Turks ever came to and subdued, where they did not either slay all the inhabitants thereof, or led away the most part thereof into such captivity and slavery, that they continued not long after alive, or else so lived, that death, almost, had been to them more tolerable.
Like as in the time of the first persecutions of the Roman emperors, the saying was, that no man could step with his feet in all Rome, but should tread upon a martyr; so here may be said, that almost there is not a town, city, or village, in all Asia and Greece, also in a great part of Europe and Africa, whose streets have not flowed with the blood of the Christians, whom the cruel Turks have murdered: of whom are to be seen in histories, heaps of soldiers slain, of men and women cut in pieces, of children stuck upon poles and stakes, whom these detestable Turks most spitefully, and that in the sight of their parents, use to gore to death. Some they drag at their horse’s tails, and famish to death; some they tear in pieces, tying their arms and legs to four horses; others they make marks to shoot at: upon some they try their swords, how deep they can cut and slash, as before ye have read. The aged and feeble they tread under their horses; women with child they spare not, but mangle their bodies, and cast the infants into the fire, or otherwise destroy them. Whether the Christians yield to them, or yield not, all is a matter. As in their promises there is no truth, so in their victories there is no sense of manhood or mercy in them, but they make havoc of all. So the citizens of Croia, after they had yielded and were all promised their lives, were all destroyed, and that horribly. In Mysia, after the king had given himself to the Turk’s hand, having promise of life, Mahomet the Turk slew him with his own hands. The princes of Rasia had both their eyes put out, with basons red hot set before them. Theodosia, otherwise called Capha, was also surrendered to the Turk, having the like assurance of life and safety; and yet, contrary to the league, the citizens were put to the sword and slain. At the winning and yielding of Lesbos, what a number of young men and children were put upon sharp stakes and poles, and so thrust through! At the winning of the city of Buda, what tyranny was showed and exercised against the poor Christians who had yielded themselves, and against the two dukes, Christopher Bisserer, and Jobart Tranbinger, contrary to the promise and hand-writing of the Turk, is to be seen in the story of Melchior Soiterus, ‘De bello Pannonico.’ 38 The like also is to be read in the story of Bernardus de Breydenbach, 39 who, writing of the taking of Otranto, a city in Apulia, testifieth of the miserable slaughter, of the young men there slain, of old men trodden under the horses’ feet, of matrons and virgins abused, of women with child cut and rent a-pieces, of the priests in the churches slain, and of the archbishop of that city, who, being an aged man, and holding the cross in his hands, was cut asunder with a wooden saw, etc. The same Bernard, also, writing of the overthrow of Negropont, otherwise called Chalcis, A.D. 1471, describeth the like terrible slaughter which there was exercised, where the Turk, after his promise given before to the contrary, most cruelly caused all the youth of Italy to be pricked upon sharp stakes; some to be dashed against the hard stones, some to be cut in sunder in the midst, and others with other kinds of torments to be put to death: insomuch, that all the streets and ways of Chalcis did flow with the blood of those who were there slain. In that history the aforesaid writer recordeth one memorable example of maidenly chastity, worthy of all Christians to be noted and commended. The story is told of the praetor’s daughter of that city, who, being the only daughter of her father, and noted to be of an exceeding singular beauty, was saved out of the slaughter, and brought to Mahomet the Turk, to be his concubine. But she, denying to consent to his Turkish appetite and filthiness, was commanded therewith to be slain and murdered, and so died she a martyr, keeping both her faith and her body undefiled unto Christ Jesus her spouse.
The like cruelty also was showed upon those who kept the castle, and afterwards, yielding themselves upon hope of the Turk’s promise, were slain every one. What should I speak of the miserable slaughter of Modon, and the citizens thereof, dwelling in Peloponnesus? who, seeing no other remedy but needs to come into the Turk’s hands, set the barn on fire where they were gathered together, men, women, and children; some women also with child, voluntarily cast themselves into the sea, rather than they would sustain the Turk’s captivity.
Miserable it is to behold, long to recite, incredible to believe, all the cruel parts, and horrible slaughters, wrought by these miscreants against the Christians through all places almost of the world, both in Asia, in Africa, but especially in Europe. Who is able to recite the innumerable societies and companies of the Greeks martyred by the Turk’s sword in Achaia, Attica, Thessalia, Macedonia, Epirus, and all Peloponnesus? besides the island of Rhodes, and other islands and Cyclades adjacent in the sea about, numbered to two and fifty; of which, also, Patmos was one, where St.
John, being banished, wrote his Revelations. Where did ever the Turks set any foot, but the blood of Christians there, without pity or measure, went to wrack? and what place or province is there almost throughout the world, where the Turks either have not pierced, or are not likely shortly to enter? In Thrace, and through all the coasts of the Danube, in, Bulgaria, Dalmatia, in Servia, Transylvania, Bosnia, in Hungary, also in Austria, what havoc hath been made by them of Christian men’s bodies, it will rue any Christian heart to remember. At the siege of Moldavia, at the winning of Buda, of Pest, of Alba , 92 of Walpo, Striegau, Soclosia, Tata, Vissegrade, Novum Castellum in Dalmatia, Belgrade, Waradein, Quinque Ecclesiae: also at the battle of Varna, where Ladislaus, king of Poland, with almost all his army, through the rashness of the pope’s cardinal, were slain. At the winning, moreover, of Xabiacchus, Lyssus, Dynastrum: at the siege of Guns, and of the faithful town Scorad, where the number of the shot against their walls, at the siege thereof, was reckoned to be two thousand five hundred and thirty-nine. Likewise at the siege of Vienna, where all the Christian captives were brought before the whole army and slain, and divers drawn in pieces with horses: but especially at the winning of Constantinople, above mentioned. Also at Croia and Modon, what beastly cruelty was showed, it is unspeakable. For as in Constantinople, Mahomet, the drunken Turk, never rose from dinner, but he caused every day, for his disport, three hundred Christian captives of the nobles of that city to be slain before his face: so, in Modon, after that his captain Omar had sent unto him at Constantinople, five hundred prisoners of the Christians, the cruel tyrant commanded them all to be cut and divided asunder by the middle, and so, being slain, to be thrown out into the fields. Leonicus Chalcondyla, writing of the same story, addeth, moreover, a prodigious narration, if it be true, of a brute ox, which, being in the fields, and seeing the carcasses of the dead bodies so cut in two, made there a loud noise after the lowing of his kind and nature: and afterwards, coming to the quarters of one of the dead bodies lying in the field, first took up the one half, and then coming again, took up likewise the other half, and so, as he could, joined them both together. Which being espied by those who saw the doing of the brute ox, and marveling thereat, and word being brought thereof to Mahomet, he commanded the quarters again to be brought where they were before, to prove whether the beast would come again; who failed not (as the author recordeth), but, in like sort as before, taking the fragments of the dead corpse, laid them again together. It followeth more in the author, how that Mahomet, being astonished at the strange wonder of the ox, commanded the quarters of the Christian man’s body to be interred, and the ox to be brought to his house, and much made of. Some said it was the body of a Venetian; some affirmed, that he was an Illyrian; but, whatsoever he was, certain it is, that the Turk himself was much more bestial than was the brute ox; which, being a beast, showed more sense of humanity to a dead man, than one man did to another. To this cruelty add, moreover, that besides these five hundred Modonians thus destroyed at Constantinople, in the said city of Modon, all the townsmen, also, were slain by the aforesaid captain Omar, and, among them, their bishop likewise was put to death. John Faber, in his oration made before king Henry VIII, at the appointment of king Ferdinand, and declaring therein the miserable cruelty of the Turks toward all Christians, as also toward the bishops and ministers of the church, testifieth, how that in Mitylene, in Constantinople, and in Trapezunda, what bishops and archbishops, or other ecclesiastical and religious persons the Turks could find, they brought them out of the cities into the fields, there to be slain like oxen and calves. 43 The same Faber also, writing of the battle of Solyman in Hungary, where Louis, the king of Hungary, was overthrown, declareth, that eight bishops in the same field were slain. And moreover, when the archbishop of Striegau, and Paul, the archbishop of Colosse, were found dead, Solyman caused them to be taken up, and to be beheaded and chopped in small pieces, A.D. 1526.
What Christian heart will not pity the incredible slaughter done by the Turks in Euboea, where the said Faber testifieth, that innumerable people were stuck and gored upon stakes, divers were thrust through with a lot iron, children and infants not yet weaned from the mother, were dashed against the stones, and many cut asunder in the midst! But never did country taste and feel more the bitter and deadly tyranny of the Turks, than did Rascia, called Moesia Inferior, and now Servia, where (as writeth Wolfgangus Dreschlerus) the prince of the same country, being sent for under fair pretense of words and promises to come and speak with the Turk, after he was come of his own gentleness, thinking no harm, was apprehended, and wretchedly and falsely put to death, and his skin flayed off, his brother and sister brought to Constantinople for a triumph, and all the nobles of his country (as Faber addeth) had their eyes put out, etc.
Briefly to conclude: By the vehement and furious rage of these cursed caitiffs, it may seem that Satan, the old dragon, for the great hatred he beareth to Christ, hath stirred them up to be the butchers of all Christian people, inflaming their beastly hearts with such malice and cruelty against the name and religion of Christ, that they, degenerating from the nature of men to devils, neither by reason will be ruled, nor by any blood or slaughter satisfied. Like as in the primitive age of the church, and in the time of Dioclesian and Maximilian, when the devil saw that he could not prevail against the person of Christ, who was risen again, he turned all his fury upon his simple servants, thinking by the Roman emperors utterly to extinguish the name and profession of Christ out from the earth: So in this latter age of the world, Satan, being let loose again, rageth by the Turks, thinking to make no end of murdering and killing, till he have brought, as he intendeth, the whole church of Christ, with all the professors thereof, under foot. But the Lord, I trust, will once send a Constantine, to vanquish proud Maxentius; a Moses, to drown indurate Pharaoh; a Cyrus, to subdue the stout Babylonian.
And thus much hitherto touching our Christian brethren who were slain and destroyed by these blasphemous Turks. Now, forasmuch as besides these aforesaid, many others were plucked away violently from their country, from their wives and children, from liberty, and from all their possessions, into wretched captivity and extreme poverty, it remaineth likewise to treat somewhat, also, concerning the cruel manner of the Turk’s handling of the said Christian captives.
And first here is to be noted, that the Turk never cometh into Europe to war against the Christians, but there followeth after his army a great number of brokers or merchants, such as buy men and children to sell again, bringing with them long chains in hope of great escheats: in which chains they link them by fifty and sixty together, such as remain undestroyed with the sword, whom they buy of the spoils of them that rob and spoil the Christian countries; which is lawful for any of the Turks’ army to do, so that the tenth of their spoil or prey (whatsoever it be) be reserved to the head Turk; that is, to the great master thief.
Of such as remain for tithe, if they be aged (of whom very few be reserved alive, because little profit cometh of that age), they be sold to the use of husbandry, or keeping of beasts. If they be young men or women, they be sent to certain places, there to be instructed in their language and arts, as shall be most profitable for their advantage; and such are called in their tongue, Sarai. And the first care of the Turks is this: to make them deny the Christian religion, and to be circumcised; and, after that, they are appointed, every one as he seemeth most apt, either to the learning of their laws, or else to learn the feats of war. Their first rudiment of war is to handle the bow; first beginning with a weak bow, and so, as they grow in strength, coming to a stronger bow; and if they miss the mark, they are sharply beaten: and their allowance is two pence or three pence a day, till they come and take wages to serve in war. Some are brought up for the purpose to be placed in the number of the wicked Janizaries, that is, the order of the Turk’s champions, which is the most abominable condition of all others. Of these Janizaries, see before. And if any of the aforesaid young men or children shall appear to excel in any beauty, he is compelled to serve their abominable abomination; and, when age cometh, then they serve instead of eunuchs, to wait upon matrons, or to keep horses and mules, or else to be skullions and drudges in their kitchens.
Those who be of mean beauty, serve for matrons to their drudgery work in their houses and chambers, or else are put to spinning, and such other labors; but so, that it is not lawful for them either to profess their Christian religion, or ever to hope for any liberty. And thus much of those who fall to the Turk by tithe.
The others, who are bought and sold amongst private subjects, first are allured with fair words and promises to take circumcision; which if they will do, they are more favorably treated: but all hope is taken from them of returning again into their country; which if they attempt, the pain thereof is burning. And if such, coming at length to liberty, will marry, they may; but then their children remain in bond to the lord, for him to sell at his pleasure; and, therefore, such as are wise amongst them will not marry.
Those who refuse to be circumcised, are miserably handled; for example whereof, the author (who giveth testimony hereof) doth infer his own experience. Such captives as be expert in any manual art or occupation, can better shift for themselves; but, contrariwise, they who have no handicraft to live upon, are in worse case. And therefore such as have been brought up in learning, or be priests or noblemen, and such others whose tender education can abide no hardness, are the least reputed, and most of all others neglected of him that hath the sale or keeping of them, for that he seeth less profit to rise of them, than of the others; and, therefore, no cost of raiment is bestowed upon them, but they are carried about bare-head and barefoot, both summer and winter, in frost and snow. And if any faint and be sick in the way, there is no resting in any inn, but first he is driven forward with whips, and if that will not serve, he is set peradventure upon some horse; or if his weakness be such that he cannot sit, then is he laid overthwart the horse upon his belly, like a calf; and if he chance to die, they take off his garment, such as he hath, and throw him in a ditch. In the way moreover, besides the common chain which doth enclose them all, the hands also of every one are manacled, which is, because they should not harm their leaders: for many times it happened, that ten persons had the leading of 500 93 captives; and, when night came, their feet also were lettered, so that they lodged in no house, but lay upon the ground all night.
The young women had a little more gentleness showed, being carried in panniers in the daytime. But when night came, pity it was to hear the miserable crying out of such as were enclosed within, by reason of the injuries which they suffered by their carriers, insomuch that the young tender age of seven or eight years, as well of the one sex, as of the other, could not save them from the villainy of the Turks.
When the morning cometh, they are brought forth to the market for sale, where the buyer, if he be disposed, plucking off their garments, vieweth all the bones and joints of their body; and if he like them, he giveth his price, and Carrieth them away into miserable servitude, either to tilling of their ground, or to pasture their cattle, or to some other strange kind of misery, incredible to speak of: insomuch that the author reporteth, that he hath seen himself, certain of such Christian captives yoked together like horses and oxen, and to draw the plough. The maid-servants likewise are kept in perpetual toil and work in close places, where neither they come in sight of any man, neither be they permitted to have any talk with their fellowservants, etc. Such as are committed to keep beasts, lie abroad day and night in the wild fields, without house and harbor, and so, changing their pasture, go from mountain to mountain; of whom also, beside the office of keeping the beasts, other handy labor is exacted at spare hours, such as pleaseth their masters to put unto them.
Out of this misery there is no way for them to flee, especially for them that are carried into Asia beyond the seas; or if any do attempt so to do, he taketh his time chiefly about harvest, when he may hide himself all the daytime in the corn, or in woods or marshes, and find food; and in the night only he fleeth, and had rather be devoured of wolves and other wild beasts, than to return again to his master. In their fleeing they use to take with them a hatchet and cords, that when they come to the sea side, they may cut down trees, and bind together the ends of them, and so, where the sea of Hellespont is narroweth, about Sestos and Abydos, they take the sea, sitting upon trees, where, if the wind and tide do serve luckily, they may cut over in four or five hours. But the most part either perish in the floods, or are driven back again upon the coasts of Asia, or else be devoured of wild beasts in the woods, or perish with hunger and famine. If any escape over the sea alive into Europe, by the way they enter into no town, but wander upon the mountains, following only the north star for their guide.
As touching such towns and provinces as are won by the Turk, and wherein the Christians are suffered to live under tribute, first, all the nobility there they kill and make away; the church-men and clergy hardly they spare. The churches, with the bells and all the furniture thereof, either they cast down, or else they convert to the use of their own blasphemous religion; leaving to the Christians certain old and blind chapels, which when they decay, it is permitted to our men to repair them again for a great sum of money given to the Turk. Neither be they permitted to use any open preaching or ministration, but only in silence and by stealth to frequent together; nor is it lawful for any Christian to bear office within the city or province, or to bear weapon; or to wear any garment like to the Turks. 46 And if any contumely or blasphemy, be it ever so great, be spoken against them, or against Christ, yet must thou bear it, and hold thy peace. Or if thou speak one word against their religion, thou shalt be compelled (whether thou wilt or no) to be circumcised: and then, if thou speak one word against Mahomet, thy punishment is fire and burning.
And if it chance a Christian, being on horseback, to meet or pass by a Mussulman, that is, any one of the Turks’ religion 94 , he must alight from his horse, and with a lowly look devoutly reverence and adore the Mussulman; or if he do not, he is beaten down from his horse with dubs and staves.
Furthermore, for their tribute they pay the fourth part of their substance and gain to the Turk; besides the ordinary tribute of the Christians, which is to pay for every poll within his family a ducat unto the Turk, which if the parents cannot do, they are compelled to sell their children into bondage. Others being not able to pay, go chained in fetters from door to door begging, to make up their pay merit, or else must lie in perpetual prison.
And yet notwithstanding, when the Christians have discharged all duties, it remaineth free for the Turks, to take up among the Christians’ children whom they best like, and them to circumcise, and to take them away, being young, from the sight of their parents, to far places, to be brought up for the Turks’ wars, so that they may not return to them again; but first are taught to forget Christ, and then their parents; so that if they come again amongst them, yet are they not able to know their kinsfolk and parents.
This misery, passing all other miseries, no man is able with tongue to utter, or with words to express. What weeping and tears, with sorrow and lamentation; what groaning, sighs, and deep dolor, doth tear and rend asunder the woeful hearts of the simple parents, at the plucking away of their babes and children? to see their sons and their own children, whom they have born and bred up to the service of Christ Jesus the Son of God, now to be drown away violently from them to the warfare of Satan, and to fight against Christ? to see their babes, born of Christian blood, of Christians to be made Turks, and so to be plucked out of their arms, and out of their sight, without hope ever to return to them again? to live perpetually with aliens, barbarous and blasphemous Turks, and so to become of the number of those who are called fatherless and motherless? Albeit the same children afterwards do greatly degenerate from the faith of Christ, yet very many of them have privily about them the gospel written by St. John, “ In principio erat verbum , 95 ” etc. which, for a token or remembrance of their Christian faith, they carry under their arm-hole, written in Greek and Arabic: who greatly desire, and long look for the revenging sword of the Christians, to come and deliver them out of their dolorous thraldom and captivity, according as the Turks themselves have a prophecy, and greatly stand in fear of the same. Whereof more shall be said, Christ willing, in the chapter following.
And thus have ye heard the lamentable afflictions of our Christian brethren under the cruel tyranny and captivity of the Turks, passing all other captivities that ever have been to God’s people, either under Pharaoh in Egypt, or under Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, or under Antiochus in the time of the Maccabees: under which captivity, if it so please the Lord to have his spouse the church to be nurtured, his good will be done and obeyed! But if this misery come by the negligence and discord of our Christian guides and leaders, then have we to pray and cry to our Lord God, either to give better hearts to our guiders and rulers, or else better guides and rulers to his flock.
And these troubles and afflictions of our Christian brethren suffered by the Turks, I thought good and profitable for our country people here of England to know, for as much as by the ignorance of these, and such like histories worthy of consideration, I see much inconvenience doth follow: whereby it cometh to pass, that because we Englishmen, being far off from these countries, and little knowing what misery is abroad, are the less moved with zeal and compassion to tender their grievances, and to pray for them, whose troubles we, know not. Whereupon also it followeth, that we, not considering the miserable state of others, are the less grateful to God, when any tranquillity by him to us is granted. And if any little cloud of perturbation arise upon us, be it ever so little, as poverty, loss of living, or a little banishment out of our country for the Lord’s cause, we make a great matter thereof, and all because we go no further than our own country, and, only feeling our own cross, do not compare that which we feel, with the great crosses whereunto the churches of Christ commonly in other places abroad are subject. Which if we did rightly understand, and earnestly consider, and ponder in our minds, neither would we so excessively forget ourselves in time of our prosperity given us of God, nor yet so impatiently be troubled, as we are in time of our adversity; and all because either we hear not, or else we ponder not, the terrible crosses which the Lord layeth upon our other brethren abroad in other nations, as by this present, story here prefixed may appear.
Now consequently remaineth, as I have showed hitherto what tyranny hath been used of the Turks against Christ’s people, so to declare likewise, how far this tyranny of the Turks hath extended and spread itself; describing, as in a table, to the Christian reader, what lands, countries, and kingdoms, the Turks have won and got from Christendom; to the intent, that when Christian princes shall behold the greatness of the Turk’s dominions spread almost through all the world, and how little a part of Christianity remaineth behind, they may thereby understand the better, how it is time now for them to bestir them, if ever they think to do any good in God’s church. And therefore, to make a compendious draft, as in a brief table, of such countries, kingdoms, and dominions, got from us by the Turks, we will first begin with Asia, describing what tracts, countries, cities, and churches, the Turk hath surprised, and violently plucked away from the society of Christian dominions, taking only such as be most principal, and chiefly them that be in Scripture contained, for that it were too long to discourse all and singular such places by name, as the Turk hath under his subjection.
The world being divided commonly into three parts, Asia, Africa, and Europe; 48 Asia is counted to be the greatest in compass, containing as much as both the others, and is divided into two portions, the one called Asia Major; the other called Asia Minor. And although the empire of the Turk extendeth unto them both; yet especially his dominion standeth in the other Asia, which is called Asia Minor, which reacheth from the coasts of Europe unto Armenia Major, beyond the river Euphrates, and comprehendeth these regions and cities following.
THE DIVISION OF ASIA MINOR, CALLED CHERONESUS With the particular Countries and Cities belonging to the same COUNTRIES Pontus (Acts 2) Bithynia (Acts 16) CITIES Nicea Heraclea Nicomedia Chalcedon Prusa or Bursa Apamea Natolia, or Anatolia, containeth divers countries, with their cities, as followeth:
COUNTRIES Mysia Minor (Acts 16) Phrygia Minor (Acts 2) Troas (Acts 20) Mysia Major (Acts 16) Phrygia Major (Acts 16) Lydia (Isaiah 66) Ionia Caria (1 Macc. 15) Doris Aeolis CITIES Cizicus Parium Lampsacus Dardanum Callipolis Abydus Alexandria or Troas (Acts 16) Ilium Assos (Acts 20) Scepsis Adramitium (Acts 27) Hierapolis (Colossians 4) Pitane Apollonia Myrina Phoccea Smyrna (Revelation 2) Erythrae Laodicea (Revelation 3) Carura 50 Thyatira (Revelation 2) Philadelphia (Revelation 3) Pergamos (Revelation 2) Cuma Ephesus (Revelation 2) Sardis (Revelation 3) Halicarnassus (1 Macc. 15) Miletus (Acts 20) Thus far reacheth the compass of Natolia; next follow:
COUNTRIES Lycia (Acts 27) Galatia, vel Gallograecia (Acts 16) Paphlagonia Pamphilia (Acts 2) Pisidia Cappadocia (Acts 2) Armenia Minor Cilicia Laconia CITIES Colossae(Colossians 1) Patara (Acts 21) Pinara Xanthus Andriacae Myra (Acts 13) Ancyra Gordium Tharma Pessenus Amisus Sinope Corambis Perga (Acts 13) Attalia (Acts 14) Aspendus Phaselis (1 Macc. 15) Trapesus Themiscyra Comana Pontica Amasia vel Eupatoria Masa vel Caesarea Nazianzum 52 Comana Cappadocia Miletena Nicopolis Leandis Claudiopolis Juliopolis Tharsus (Acts 22) Coricus 53 Solimuntis, vel Trajanopolis Issus, vel Iaiassa Augusta (Acts 27) Iconium (Acts 14) Lystra (Acts 16) Derbe (Acts 14) Antiochia Pisidiae (Acts 11) Syria comprehendeth in it divers particular Provinces, with their Cities, as followeth:
COUNTRIES Syria (Acts 15) Palestina Judea Chanaan Samaria (Acts 15) Galilaea (Matthew 3) Phoenicia (Acts 11) Damascene Coelosyria Cassiotis Seleucis Laodicene Apamene Comagena Idumaea (Mark 3) CITIES Hierosolyma (Acts 1) Caesarea Stratonis (Acts 8) Bethlehem (Matthew 2) Emmaus (Mark 1) Jericho (Matthew 20) Jopp, (Joshua 15) or Japheth (Acts 9) Tyberias (John 6) Accaron (Joshua 15) Azotus (Acts 8) Ascalon (Judges 2) Gaza (Acts 8) Bersabee(Joshua 19) Antipatris (Acts 23) Assaron (Acts 10) Bethania (Mark 11) Lydda (Acts 9) Nazareth (Matthew 4) Capernaum (Matthew4 ) Cana (John 2) Tyrus (Luke 6) Sydon, vel Sichem Ptolomais (Acts 21) Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16) Damascus (Galatians 1) Philadelphia (Revelation 1) Buthis, vel Pella Antiochia apud Orontem, vel Theophilis Samosata Antiochia, sub Tauro Alexandria, apud Issum Nicopolis 55 Gephyra Gindarus Seleucia 56 Imma Laodicaea Paradisus Jabruda Nazamm Apamia Besamma, vel Bersabee Euleusa Massa Thus far reacheth the compass of Syria:
Selucia (Acts 7) Mesopotamia Babylonia 58 Sarmatia Colchis Iberia Albania, and Armenia CITIES Sabaea Edessa, 60 which is now called Orpha, and in the story of Tobias, called Rages Byblus Babylon, vel Baldach (Acts 8) Orchoe, vel Urchoa vel Hur Chaldaeorum where Abraham was born. (Genesis 11:15) Patara Azara Gerusa S. Georgius Sinda Dioscuria vel Sebastia which is now called Sujas.
Phasis Lubium Artanissa Armachica Getara, vel Gangara Chabala And thus far reacheth the compass of Asia Minor, with the countries and provinces to the same pertaining, which being once brought to the faith of Christ, are now in a manner all subdued to the Turks.
ISLANDS BELONGING TO ASIA MINOR:
ISLANDS Thinias, belonging to Bithynia Tenedos to Troas Chios to Lydia (Acts 20) Patmos (Revelation 1) Possidium to Aeolis Samos to Ionia (Acts 20) Trogyllium (Acts 20) Cnidus, to Doris (Acts 27) Cos (Acts 21) Carpathus to Doris Rhodus to Lycia (Acts 21) Cyprus 61 Panchaea Aeneas Sylvius, otherwise pope Pius II, in describing Asia Minor, 62 citeth a certain fact of a worthy virgin; who at that time the Turks were besieging a certain town in Lesbos, and had cast down a great part of the walls, so that all the townsmen had given over, putting on man’s harness, stepped forth into the breach, where not only she kept the Turks from entering in, but also slew of them a great sort. The citizens seeing the rare courage, and good success of the maiden, took to them again their hearts and harness, and so lustily laid about them, that an incredible number of the Turks were slain. The rest being repulsed from the land, reculed into their ships; who being then pursued by a navy of Calisa, were worthily discomfited likewise upon the sea. And thus was the isle of Lesbos at that time by a poor virgin, that is by the strong hand of the Lord working in a weak creature, preserved from the Turks.
Beside these regions and countries of Asia Minor above described, Sebastian Munster, in the fifth book of his Cosmography, declareth moreover, that the Turks and Sultans have under their subjection both Arabia, Persia, and also India Exterior, wherein is Calcutta. The which Persia, although it be under the Sophi, who is an enemy to the Turk, yet it is to be thought, that he is a Sultan, one of the Turkish and Mahometan religion. This Persia and India were once seasoned with Christ’s gospel, as may appear by the primitive church. And thus have you the parts of Asia described, which in times past being almost all christened, do now serve under the Turk.
After the description of Asia, let us next consider the parts and countries of Africa. Where, although the greatest part either consisteth in deserts desolate, or is possessed by Prester John, who professeth Christ and his gospel; yet the Turk hath there also no little portion under his dominion, as these.
COUNTRIES Egypt (Matthew 2) Regnum Tunece Africa Minor Cyrene (Acts 2) Mauritania CITIES Alexandria Memphis Arsinoe Aphrodisium Carthago Hippo. Here Saint Augustine was bishop A description of the Countries and Cities in Europe, which were before christened, and now are subdued and subject to the Turk.
COUNTRIES Thracia Samothracia (Acts 16) Graecia (Acts 20) Macedonia(Romans15) Thessalia Epyrus Chaonia Thresprotia Amphilochia Ambracia Achaia (Romans 15) Attica Boeotia Phocis Aetolia Peloponnesus Corinthia Argia Laconia Messenia Elis Sicyona Arcadia CITIES Constantinople, or Bizantium Pera Adrianopolis Trajanopolis Caliopis Sestos Apollonia Thessalonica(Acts17) Philippi (Acts 16) Demetrias Neapolis (Acts 16) Amphipolis (Acts 17) Apollonia Mygdoniae Berhaea (Acts 17) Ambracia (Acts 17) Actium Torona Azelia Acarnanon Argos 63 Astacus Omphalium Athenae Magaris Thebae Delphos Egris Chalydon Locris Naupactus Tegea Tegea Lacedaemon, or Sparta (2 Macc. 5) Epidaurus Helice Lerna Leuctrum Methone Mycenae Nemaea Nauplia Olympia Corinthus 64 Messena Megalipolis Sicyon Aegyra ISLANDS BORDERING ABOUT GREECE, 65 WON LIKEWISE BY THE TURK FROM THE CHRISTIANS.
ISLANDS Euboea, or Nigropontus Creta 66 Salmone (Acts 27) Clauda (Acts 27) Cyclades 67 Cephalenia Zacynthus, or Zanthus Lemnos Ithaca Samos (Acts 20) Corcyra Corsica CITIES Chalcis Charistus Cerinthus Gerestus Pulchri Portus(Acts27) Lasaea (Acts 27) Phoenice (Acts17) Salamis Delos (1 Macc. 15) After the Turk had subdued Thrace and Greece, proceeding further into Europe, he invaded other regions and cities, which also he added to his dominions; as, COUNTRIES Moesia Superior 69 Moesia Inferior Dalmatia (1 Timothy 4) Corinthia Corvatia Croatia Istria Bosnia Bulgaria Wallachia Transylvania or Septem Castra Servia Rascia Moldawa Hungaria Austria CITIES Rhaetiaria Nessus Ulpianum Scupi Rhaetiaria Nessus Ulpianum Scupi Sigindunum, or Singet Triballorum Oescus Tirista Axium, or Chilia Labacus, Metropolis Epidaurus, 70 or Raguslum Milea, or Meleda Senia, or Segna Enona, or Hona Jadra, or Zara Sebenica Stridon, where St.
Jerome was born Quinque Ecclesiae Jaitza, Metropolis of Bulgaria Tergovistus, or Tervis Columbetz Huniad Hermenstat Cronestat Saltzburg Alba Julia, or Wessenburge Gyula Samandria Columbetz Walpo Novigradum Varna 74 Buda, or Ofen Alba regalis Pestum Belgradum, or Taurinum Strigonium Varadinum Neopolis, Major et Minor As I was writing hereof, a certain sound of lamentable news was brought unto us, how the Turk, whom we had hoped before to have been repulsed by the emperor Maximilian out of Christendom, hath now of late, this present year 1566, got the town of Gyula about Transylvania, after they had sustained sixteen of his most forcible assaults, destroying in the same most cruelly many thousands of our Christian brethren, men, women, and children; but because we have no full certainty, we will refer the story thereof to further information.
THE PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES CONSIDERED, TOUCHING THE COMING UP AND FINAL RUIN AND DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED KINGDOM OF THE TURKS WITH THE REVELATIONS AND FORESHOWINGS ALSO OF OTHER AUTHORS CONCERNING THE SAME Forasmuch as you have hitherto sufficiently heard, to what quantity and largeness the dominion of the Turks hath increased, and do understand what cruel tyranny these wretched miscreants have and do daily practice most heinously wheresoever they come, against the servants and professors of Christ; it shall not be unprofitable, but rather necessary, and to our great comfort, to consider and examine in the Scriptures, with what prophecies the Holy Spirit of the Lord hath premonished and forewarned us before, of these heavy persecutions to come upon his people by this horrible Antichrist. For as the government and constitution of times, and states of monarchies and policies, fall not to us by blind chance, but be administered and allotted unto us from above; so it is not to be supposed, that such a great alteration and mutation of kingdoms, such a terrible and general persecution of God’s people almost through all Christendom, and such a terror of the whole earth as is now moved and engendered by these Turks, cometh without the knowledge, sufferance, and determination of the Lord before, for such ends and purposes as his divine wisdom doth best know. For the better evidence and testimony whereof, he hath left in his Scriptures sufficient instruction and declaration, whereby we may plainly see, to our great comfort, how these grievous afflictions and troubles of the church, though they be sharp and heavy unto us, yet they come not by chance or by man’s working only, but even as the Lord himself hath appointed it, and cloth permit the same.
And first to begin with the time of the Old Testament, let us seriously advise and ponder, not only the scriptures and prophecies herein contained, but also let us consider the whole state, order, and regiment of that people; the church, I mean, of the Israelites. For although the scriptures and prophets of the Old Testament were properly sent to that people, and have their relation properly to things done, or that should be done in that commonwealth, of which prophets John Baptist was the last and made an end, as our Savior himself witnesseth, saying, the law and prophets be unto the time of John, etc.; yet, notwithstanding, the said people of that Old Testament bear a lively image and resemblance of the universal church which should follow, planted by the Son of God through the whole earth. So that as the prophets of God, speaking to them from the mouth and word of God, prophesied what should come to pass in that people; so, likewise, the whole course and history of those Israelites exemplifeth and beareth a prophetic image to us, declaring what is to be looked for in the universal church of God dispersed through the world, planted in Christ Jesus his Son, according as Philip Melancthon, gravely gathering upon the same, testifieth in divers places in his commentary upon the prophet Daniel.
As first the history of godly Abel, slain by wicked Cain, what doth it import or prophesy, but the condition of the people and servants of God, who commonly go to wrack in this world, and are oppressed by the contrary part, which belongeth not to God?
The like may be said also of Isaac and Ishmael; of Jacob and Esau: of whom those two who were the children of promise, and belonged to the election of God, were persecuted in this world by the others who were rejected. Where, moreover, is to be noted concerning Ishmael, that of his stock, after the flesh, came the Saracens, whose sect the Turks do now profess and maintain. And as Ishmael had but twelve sons; so it were to be wished of God, that this Solyman who is the twelfth of the Turkish generation, may be the last. But of this, better occasion shall follow (the Lord willing) hereafter.
Furthermore, of the twelve tribes of Israel, the sacred history so reporteth, (2 Kings 17) that after they had a long season continued together by the space of eight or nine hundred years, at length, for their idolatry and transgression of their forefathers, ten tribes of them were cut off, and dispersed among the Gentiles a hundred and thirty years before the captivity of Babylon; so that but two tribes only remained free, and they also at last, after a hundred and thirty years, were captived under the Babylonians for a certain time. No otherwise hath it happened with the church of Christ almost in the universal world, of which church the greatest part, both in Asia, in Africa, and almost in Europe (where the holy apostles so labored and travailed), we see now to be disparkled among the Turks, and their candlesticks removed: the Lord of his great grace reduce them again, Amen! So that of twelve parts of Christendom, which were once planted in Christ, scarce two parts remain clear, and they, how long they shall so continue, the Lord knoweth. And, albeit through the mercy of the Lord they escape the danger of the Turks, yet have they been so beaten by the pope, that they had been better almost to have been in the Turks’ hands.
Again, after the said Israelites returned, being restored by Cyrus, let us consider well their story, the continuance of time, the manner of their regiments, and what afflictions they sustained in the time of the Maccabees; and we shall see a lively representation of these our days expressed in that prophetic people, according as St. Paul, writing of them, showeth how all things happened to them in figures, (1 Corinthians 10) that is, the actions and doings of that one nation, be as figures and types of greater matters, what shall happen in the latter times of the whole church universally in Christ collected.
So the transmigration and deliverance again of those two tribes, declareth to us the affliction of Christ’s church for sin; and yet that God will not utterly reject his people for his Son’s sake: as by manifold examples of the church hitherto may well appear.
Again, the continuance of the law first given by Moses, unto the destruction of the said people by Titus, amounteth to one thousand five hundred and sixty-four years; so we, counting the age of the New Testament, and reckoning from the day of our redemption unto this present, be come now to the year 1584, lacking but only three and thirty years of the full number. Likewise, in counting the years from their deliverance out of captivity to the end of their dissolution, we find five hundred and sixty-four years, during which years, as the church of the Jews was not governed under the authority of kings, but the high priests took all the power and authority to themselves; so we Christians, for the space especially of these latter five hundred and sixty-four years, what have we seen and felt, but only the jurisdiction and domination of the pope and high priests playing the ‘Rex’ in all countries, and ruling the whole? Whereby, by the count of these years, it is to be thought the day of the Lord’s coming not to be far off.
Furthermore, in those latter years of the Jews’ kingdom, what troubles and afflictions that people sustained three hundred years together, but chiefly the last hundred and sixty-six years before the coming of Christ, by Antiochus and his fellows, the history of the Maccabees can report; wherein we have also notoriously to understand the miserable vexations and persecutions of Christian churches, in these latter ends of the world, by Antichrist; for, by Antiochus, Antichrist no doubt is figured and represented. This Antiochus surnamed Magnus, and Antiochus Epiphanes, his son, came of the stock of Seleuchus Nicanor; much like as Mahomet the Turk, and Solyman, came of the stock of Ottoman.
Wherein this is to be noted and pondered, that, like as of the said Seleueus issued twelve Syrian kings one after another, of that generation, who reigned over the Israelites with much severity and tyranny; so, of this devilish generation of Ottoman, have come twelve Turkish tyrants, whereof this Solyman is now the twelfth; God grant he may be the last!
And as the two last Antiochi, being sons of the two brethren, did fight together for the kingdom, and in fighting were both slain, and shortly after the kingdom fell to the Romans; so the Lord grant, for Christ’s sake, that the bloody brood of this old Solyman (who hath reigned now six and forty years) may so fight together, and perish in their own blood, that this bloody tyranny of theirs may come to a final end for ever. Amen.
And that the truth hereof may the better appear to such as be disposed to meditate more upon the matter, I thought good and profitable for the reader, to set before his eyes, in table-wise, the catalogue of both these Antichristian families, with the names and succession of the persons, first of the twelve Syrian kings, then of the twelve Ottomans, in like number and order.
A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE SYRIANS AND THE TURKS:
THE SYRIANS: YEARS 1. Seleucus 2. Anitochus Soter 3. Antiochus Theos, who killed Bernice his mother-in-law, and his young brother 4. Seleucus Callincius, whith Antiochus Hierax his borther; which two brethren warred one against the other 5. Antiochus Magnus 6. Seleucus Philopater 7. Antiochus Epiphanes, or rather Epimanes 8. Antiochus Eupater 9. Demetrius, brother of Epiphanes, who killed Eupater, his cousin 10. Demetrius Nicanor, whom Antiochus Sedetes, his brother, explused from his kingdom. 11. Antiochus Sedetes, These two last being brethren had two sons 12. Anitochus Gripus, and Antiochus Ciricenus. These two, striving together for the kingdom, where both slain, and so, not long after, the kingdom of Syria came to the hands of Tygranes king of Armenia, and so being taken from him came to the Romans in the time of Pompey.
THE TURKS: YEARS 1. Ottoman 2. Orchan: he slew his two brethren. 3. Amurath: he put out the eyes of Sauces, his own son 4. Bajazet: he slew Solyman, his brother 5. Calepine: the Greek stories make no mention of his Calepine. The Lain stories say that Calepine and Orchan were both one, and that he was slain by Mahomet his brother. 6. Orchan, whom Moses his uncle did slay 7. Mahomet the First: he slew Mustapha, his brother 8. Amurath the Second: he slew Mustapha, his brother 9. Mahomet the Second: he slew his two brethren, Turcine, an infant, and Calepine. 10. Bajazet the Second: he warred against his brother Demes, which Demes was afterwards poisoned by pope Alexander VI 11. Selim: he poisoned Bajazet his father, and his two brethren Acomates and Corcuthus, with all their children, his own cousins 12. Solyman: he slew Mustapha, his own son, and was also the death of Gianger, his second son These two pestilent families and generations, rising out, doubtless, from the bottomless pit, to plague the people of God, as in number of succession they do not much differ, so in manner of their doings and wicked abominations, they be as near agreeing, being both enemies alike to the people and church of Christ, both murderers and parricides of their own brethren and kindred, both blasphemers of God, and troublers of the whole world. Wherein we have all to learn and note, by the way, the terrible anger of Almighty God against the sin and wickedness of men.
Furthermore, whoso is disposed to consider and cast the course of times, and to mark how things be disposed by the marvelous operation of God’s providence, shall find the times also of these two adversaries in much like sort to concur and agree. For, in considering with ourselves both the testaments and churches of God, the first of the Jews, the second of the Christians, look what time the Syrian kings had to rage then in Jerusalem, the same proportion of time hath now the tyranny of the Turks to murder the Christians; so that the one Antichrist may well represent and prefigure the other. For, as by the book of Maccabees may appear, Antiochus Epiphanes was about the hundred and ninety-first year before the Passion of our Savior, and day of our redemption; so now casting the same number from this present year backward, we shall find it to be about the same year and time, when Bajazet, the fourth Turk after Ottoman, began to remove his imperial seat from Bursa in Bithynia to Adrianople in Europe, which is a city of Thrace; in which year and time began all the mischief in Europe, as is to be seen before, and this was A.D. 1375, unto which year, if we add 191, it maketh 1566, according to the prophecy of the Apocalypse chapter 20, where it is prophesied of Gog and Magog, that they shall compass about the tents of the saints, and the well-beloved city, by which well-beloved city is meant, no doubt, Europe; and this was in the year abovesaid, 1375. Although touching the precise points of years and times, it is not for us greatly to be exquisite therein; but yet where diligence, and studious meditation may help to knowledge, I would not wish negligence to be a pretense to ignorance. And thus much for the times of Antiochus and his fellows.
Now what cruelty this Antiochus exercised against the people of God, it is manifest in the history of the Maccabees; 2 there we read that this Antiochus, in the eighth year of his reign, in his second coming to Jerusalem, first gave forth in commandment, that all the Jews should relinquish the law of Moses, and worship the idol of Jupiter Olympus, which he set up in the temple of Jerusalem. The books of Moses and of the prophets he burned. He set garrisons of soldiers to ward the idol. In the city of Jerusalem he caused the feasts and revels of Bacchus to be kept, full of all filth and wickedness. Old men, women, and virgins, such as would not leave the law of Moses, with cruel torments he murdered. The mothers that would not circumcise their children, he slew. The children that were circumcised, he hanged up by the necks. The temple he spoiled and wasted. The altar of God, and the candlestick of gold, with the other ornaments and furniture of the temple, partly he cast out, partly he carried away. Contrary to the law of God, he caused them to offer and to eat swine’s flesh. Great murder and slaughter he made of the people, causing them either to leave their law, or to lose their lives. Among whom, besides many others, with cruel torments, he put to death a godly mother with her seven sons, sending his cruel proclamations through all the land, that whosoever kept the observances of the Sabbath, and other rites of the law, and refused to condescend to his abominations, should be executed: by reason whereof the city of Jerusalem was left void and desolate of all good men, but there were a great number who were contented to follow and obey his idolatrous proceedings, and to flatter with the king, and became enemies unto their brethren. Briefly, no kind of calamity, nor face of misery could be showed in any place, which was not there seen. Of the tyranny of this Antiochus it is historied at large in the book of Maccabees; (1 Macc. 1) and Daniel, prophesying (Daniel 9) before of the same, declareth that the people of the Jews deserved no less for their sins and transgressions.
By consent of all writers, this Antiochus beareth a figure of the great Antichrist, who was to follow in the latter end of the world, and is already come, and worketh what he can against us. Although, as St. John saith, there have been, and be many Antichrists, as parts and members of the body of Antichrist, who are forerunners, yet, to speak of the head and principal Antichrist, and great enemy of Christ’s church, he is to come in the latter end of the world, at which time shall be such tribulation as never was seen before; whereby is meant, no doubt, the Turk, prefigured by this Antiochus. 3 By this Antichrist I do also mean all such as, following the same doctrine of the Turks, think to be saved by their works and demerits, and not by their faith only in the Son of God, of what title and profession else soever they be; especially if they use the like force and violence for the same, as he doth, etc.
Of the tyranny of this Antiochus aforesaid, and of the tribulations of the church in the latter times, both of the Jews’ church, and also of the Christian church to come, let us hear and consider the words of Daniel in the nineteenth, and also in his seventh chapter, prophesying of the same as followeth: “He shall return, and fret against the holy covenant; so shall he do: he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall, take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall set up the abominable desolation. And such as wickedly break the covenant, shall flatter with him deceitfully; but the people that do know their God, shall prevail and prosper. And they that understand among the people, shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days.
Now when they shall fall, they, shall be holpen with a little help, but many shall cleave unto them feignedly. And some of them of understanding shall fall to be tried, and to be purged, and to make them white, till the time be out: for there is a time appointed. And the king shall do what him listeth: he shall exalt himself and magnify himself against all that is God, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath be accomplished; for the determination is made. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desires of women, nor care for any God; for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his place shall he honor the god Mauzzin, and the god whom his fathers knew not, shall he honor with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things. ‘Thus shall he do in the holds of Mauzzim with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge; he shall increase his glory, and shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
And at the end of time shall the king of the south push at him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through. He shall enter also into the pleasant land, and many countries shall be Overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hands also upon the countries, and the land of Egpyt shall not escape; but he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt, and of the Lybians, and of the black Moors where he shall pass. But the tidings out of the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great wrath, to destroy and root out many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious and holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
To this place of Daniel above prefixed, might also be added the prophecy of the said Daniel written in the seventh chapter, and much tending to the like effect; where he, treating of his vision of four beasts (which signify the four monarchies), and speaking now of the fourth monarchy, hath these words: “After this, I saw in the visions by night, and behold the fourth beast was grim and horrible, and marvelous strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue under its feet; and it was unlike the other beasts that were before it, for it had ten horns. As I considered the horns, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked away. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking presumptuous things, and it seemed more stout than the others. Which horn also, when I looked on, made battle with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Old Aged came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Highest, and till the appointed time was come, that the saints should have the kingdom.”
Thus have ye heard the plain words of Daniel; in which as he doth manifestly describe the coming of Antiochus, the great adversary, toward the latter end of the Jews; so by the same Antiochus is figured also to us the great adversary of Christ, who is the Turk.
Although some there be, notwithstanding, who, with great learning and judgment, do apply this place of Daniel above recited, not to the Turk, but rather to the pope; and that for six or seven special causes herein touched and noted. 4 The first is this: that the wicked transgressors of the covenant shall join with him deceitfully and hypocritically, who shall pollute the tabernacle of strength, and take away the perpetual sacrifice, and bring in the abomination of desolation.
The second note is, that the prophet declareth, how the learned among the people shall teach many, and that they shall fall upon the sword, into fire and captivity, and shall be banished, whereby they shall be tried, chosen, and made bright and pure, etc.; all which, say they, is not among the Turks to be seen, but only in the pope’s church; where the faithful preachers and teachers of the people are slain and burned, and go to wrack, etc.: where, likewise, it followeth, that they shall be holpen against Antichrist, and that many false brethren should join unto them dissemblingly, etc. To this they allege, that the Christians have no such help against the Turk, whereunto such false brethren should join themselves, as is and hath been commonly seen among the Christians against the pope, from time to time, almost in all countries; as in Germany, by the Protestants and free cities; in England, in king Henry’s time, by the lord Cromwell, and afterwards by king Edward, and now by queen Elizabeth; in Scotland by the godly nobility; in France, by the queen of Navarro and her son; and also by the prince of Conde and the worthy admiral, and his two brethren, and many others; in Flanders by those whom the regent called beggars; so as was in the time of the Maccabees, against Antiochus.
The fifth specialty which they apply to the pope, is that which followeth in the prophet, saying, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor any god; but, instead of him, shall set up his god Mauzzim, and shall worship him with silver and gold, and precious stone,” etc., which they do apply to the pope, setting up his god of bread, and worshipping him with glistering golden ornaments, and most solemn service.
Sixthly, it followeth, “and he shall increase them with much glory and riches, and shall divide unto them lands and possessions,” etc.; meaning that the pope, having dominion over treasures of gold and silver, and all precious things of the land, shall endue his cardinals, prelates, his flattering doctors, with friars, monks, and priests, and all such as shall take his part, with great privileges, liberties, revenues, and possessions. And thus, I say, some there be who apply this prophecy of the seventh and eleventh chapters of Daniel, unto the bishop of Rome; whom, although I take to be an extreme persecutor of Christ’s church, yet I judge rather those two chapters of Daniel concerning the little horn in the middle of the ten horns, and the great destroyer of the pleasant land and glorious holy mountain, to mean first Antiochus, and by him, secondly, to mean the great Antichrist, the Turk; who hath now set already the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, according to the prophecies of Daniel, as is above said.
Over and besides these prophecies above alleged, may be added also the prophecy of Ezekiel [chapter 39], speaking of Gog and Magog, which, as it may be applied to the oppression of the Jews under the heathen multitude which stopped the building of the city, and under the Syrian kings, etc.; yet in the same also are expressed the calamities and afflictions of Christ’s church in these latter times, under the Saracens and the Turks, etc.
Proceeding further in this matter, let us come now to the prophecies of the New Testament, and mark the words of St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, (2 Thessalonians 2) who then were christened, and now are either Turkish, or under the Turk, which words be these: “Be ye not suddenly moved in your mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as sent from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for the Lord will not come before there come a defection, or a departing first, and that wicked man be revealed, the son of perdition, which is an adversary, and is extolled above all power, and that which is called God; so that he shall sit in the temple of God, boasting himself to be God,” etc. Although this defection and departing may have a double understanding, as well of the pope’s sect (which is gone and departed from the free justification by faith only in Christ, through the promise of grace) as of the Turks; yet, leaving a while to speak of the pope, because it appeareth more notoriously in the Turk, we will chiefly apply it to him, in whom so aptly it doth agree, that unless this great defection from faith in so many churches had happened by the Turk, it had been hard to understand the apostle’s mind, which now, by the history of these Turks, is easy and evident to be known, considering what a ruin hath happened to the church of Christ by these miserable Turks; what empires, nations, kingdoms, countries, towns, and cities, be removed from the name and profession of Christ; how many thousands and infinite multitudes of Christian men and children, in Asia, in Africa, and in Europe, are carried away from Christ’s church to Mahomet’s religion, some to serve for the Turk’s guard among the Janizaries, some for soldiers, some for miners, some for gunners, to fight and war against the Christians; so that the most part of all the churches, planted once by the apostles, are now degenerated into Turks, only a small handful of Christians reserved yet in these west parts of Europe, of which small residue what shall also become shortly, except Christ himself do help, Christ only himself doth know. How great this defection spoken of by St.
Notwithstanding this text of the holy apostle, as I said before, may be verified also with no less reason upon the bishop of Rome, than upon the Turk, both for that he is a man of sin, that is, his seat and city is a great maintainer of wickedness, and also for that he is an adversary, that is, contrary, in all his doings and proceedings, to Christ.
Fifthly, For that he seduceth, and hath seduced, by his apostasy, the most part of all Christendom from the doctrine and free promises of God, into a wrong and strange way of salvation, which is, not to be justified freely before God only by our faith in Christ his well-beloved Son (unto which faith the promise of God freely and graciously hath annexed all our salvation only, and to no other thing), but hath taught us to work out our salvation by an infinite number of other things; insomuch that he bindeth the necessity of our salvation also to this, that we must believe, if we will be saved, and receive him to be the vicar of Christ on earth, etc. But to return again to the Turks, among all the prophecies both of the Old Testament and of the New, there is none that painteth out the Antichristian kingdom of the Turks better than doth the Revelation of St.
John, whose words let us weigh and consider, who, in Apocalypse 9, where he speaketh of opening the seventh and last seal (which signifieth the last age of the world), and there, writing of the seven trumpets of the seven angels, at the sounding of the sixth angel saith: “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were ready both day, and hour, and month, and year, to slay the third part of men. And the number of horsemen were .twenty thousand times ten thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw in a vision horses, and them that sat on them, having fiery habergeons, and of jacinth-stone, and of brimstone, and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths went forth fire, and smoke, and brimstone: of these three plagues was the third part of men killed, that is, of the fire, smoke, and brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouth,” etc.
By the sixth trumpet of the sixth angel, is meant the sixth plague coming last and next before the plague of the great judgment day, which sixth plague is here described to come by the east kings, that is, by the Turks, as followeth to be seen.
By loosing the angels who had rule of the great river Euphrates, is signified the letting out of the east kings, that is, the Turks, out of Scythia, Tartary, Persia, and Arabia, by whom the third part of Christendom shall be destroyed, as we see it this day hath come to pass.
It followeth in the prophecy, “Their power shall be in their mouths, and in their tails. For their tails be like serpents, having heads, and with them they hurt,” etc.; meaning that these Turks, with the words of their mouths, shall threaten great destruction of fire and sword to them that will not yield unto them; and in the end, when the Christians shall yield unto them, trusting to their promises, they, like serpents, shall deceive them in the end, and kill them; as appeareth by the story of the Turks above past.
The like prophecy also, after the like words and sense, is to be seen and read in Apocalypse 16, where St. John, treating of seven cups filled with the wrath of the living God, given to the hands of seven angels by one of the four beasts (that is, in the time of one of the four monarchies, which was the monarchy of Rome), speaketh likewise of the sixth angel, who poured his vial of God’s wrath upon the great river Euphrates, and the waters thereof dried up, that the way of the kings of the east should be prepared, etc.
By the sixth angel with the sixth vial, is meant, as before, the last plague save one, that shall come upon the Christians. By the kings of the east are meant the Saracens, and twelve Ottoman Turks. By drying up the river Euphrates, is signified the way of these Turks prepared by the Lord’s appointment, to come out of the east to the west parts of the world, to molest and afflict the Christians. It followeth more in the text: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, for they are the spirits of devils, doing wonders, to go unto the kings of the whole earth, to assemble and gather them together to the battle, against the day of the great God Omnipotent,” etc. And it followeth shortly after, “And he assembled them together into a place which is called in Hebrew, Armageddon, that is, a trap or train of destruction.” And immediately it followeth in the same place, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial in the air, and a mighty voice came from heaven, out of the throne, saying, ‘facturn est,’ it is done, or finished,” etc.: whereby it is to be understood, that toward the last consummation of the world, great force shall be seen, and a mighty army of the enemies shall be collected and gathered against the people and saints of the highest, and then cometh the consummation, with ‘ facturn est,’ etc.
Wherefore it is not for nought that the Holy Spirit of God in the same place, a little before the sixth angel doth pour out his vial, doth exhost all the faithful, saying: “Behold, I come like a thief in the night; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and men see his filthiness,” etc.
Nicholas de Lyra, and Paul, bishop of Burgos, and Matthias Dorinke, writing upon Apocalypse 13, and expounding the mystery of the second beast rising out of the earth, having the horns of a lamb, etc., do apply the same to Mahomet and the Turks, with a solemn declaration made upon the same. Which interpretation of theirs, although in some points it may seem to have some appearance of probability, neither can it be denied but that Mahomet and the Turk be pestilent and wicked enemies of Christ our Lord, and most bitter persecutors of his church; yet, as touching the proper and natural meaning of the apostle in that place, speaking of the false lamb, etc., if we consider well all the circumstances of that beast, and mark the consequence of the text, both of that which goeth before and followeth after, we must needs grant, that Nicholas de Lyra with his fellows, and with all such-like of the pope’s school that follow that school, be deceived, and that the description and interpretation of that false horned lamb must necessarily be applied only to the bishop of Rome, and none other; which is to be proved by six principal causes or arguments:
The first is, for that this beast is described to bear the horns of a lamb; by which lamb, no doubt, is meant Christ. By the horns of the lamb is signified the outward show or resemblance of Christ our Savior; which show or resemblance can have no relation to Mahomet, for that he taketh himself to be above Christ, and Christ, as an excellent prophet of God sitting at his feet. Wherefore seeing Mahomet cometh neither as equal to Christ, nor as vicar under Christ, this prophecy cannot agree in him, but only in him who openly, in plain words, protesteth, that all Christ’s lambs and sheep, not singularly, but universally through the whole world, are committed to him as vicar of Christ, and successor of Peter; and that all men must confess the same of necessity, or else they are none of Christ’s sheep,6 etc.: wherein it is easy to see where the pretensed horns of the lamb do grow.
The second argument; “And he spake like the dragon,” etc. A lamb’s horns and the mouth of a dragon do not agree together. And as they do not agree together in nature, so neither can they be found in any one person, either Turk or other (if we will judge truly) so lively, as in the bishop of Rome.
When thou hearest him call himself the apostolical bishop, the vicar of Christ, the successor of Peter, the servant of God’s servants, etc.; thou seest in him the two horns of a lamb, and wouldst think him to be a lamb indeed, and such a one as would wash our feet for humility; but hear him speak, and you shall find him a dragon. See and read the epistle of pope Martin V, above-mentioned, charging, commanding, and threatening emperors, kings, dukes, princes, marquises, earls, barons, knights, rectors, consuls, proconsuls, with their shires, their counties, and the universities of their kingdoms; provinces, cities, towns, castles, villages, and other places. See the answer of pope Urban II, and his message to king William Rufus. Behold the works and doings of pope Innocent against king John.
Note also the answer of another pope to the king of England, who, for the price of the king’s head, would not grant unto him the investing of his bishops. Mark well the words and doings of pope Hildebrand against the emperor Henry IV; also of pope Alexander II, treading upon the neck of Frederic Barbarossa, not like a lamb treading upon a dragon, but like a dragon treading upon a lamb; so that his own verse might be turned upon himself, “Tanquam aspis et basiliscus super oviculam ambulaus, et tanquam leo et draco conculcans agnum.” Consider moreover the behavior, manner, condition, and property of almost all the popes who have been these six hundred years, and what dragon or serpent could be more viperous than their own doings and words can speak and give testimony against themselves.
It followeth, moreover, in the same prophecy of the Apocalypse for the third argument, “And he doth all the power of the first beast presently before his face, and causeth the earth, and all the inhabitants therein, to honor the first beast, the stripe of whose deadly wound was cured,” etc.
In this prophecy two things are to be noted; first, what the first beast is, whose power the second beast doth execute. Secondly, what this second beast is, which so doth exercise its power in its sight. The first of these beasts described here in the Apocalypse, having seven heads and ten horns, must needs signify the city of Rome, which may easily be proved by two demonstrations. First, by the exposition of the same Apocalypse 17, where is declared and described the said beast to stand on seven hills, and to contain ten kings, having the whole power of the dragon given; and also the same city to be named ‘The whore of Babylon, drunken with the blood of the saints:’ all which properties joined together, can agree in no cause but only to the heathen empire of Rome, which city, at that time of writing these prophecies, had the government of the whole world. The second demonstration or evidence may be deduced out of the number of the months assigned to this beast [Apocalypse 13], for so it is written, that this beast had power to make, that is, to work his malice against Christ’s people, forty-two months, which months, counted by Sabbaths of years (that is, every month for seven years), make up the just number of those years in which the primitive church was under the terrible persecutions of the heathen emperors of Rome, as is afore specified.
Which thing thus standing, proved and confessed, that the first beast must needs signify the empire and city of Rome; then must it necessarily follow that the second beast, with the lamb’s horns, must signify the bishop and pope of the same city of Rome. The reason hereof is evident and apparent by that which followeth in the prophecy, (Revelation 13) where it is declared, that the second beast, having two horns of a lamb, received and exercised all the power of the first beast, before or in the sight of the said beast, which cannot be verified either in the Turk or in any other, but only in the pope of Rome, who, as you see, receiveth, usurpeth, and deriveth to himself all the power of that city and monarchy of Rome; insomuch that he saith, that when Constantine or Louis I yielded unto him the rule and kingdom of that city, he gave him but his own, and that, which of right and duty belonged to him before.
And this authority or power over all the empire of Rome, he worketh not in Asia, nor in Constantinople as the Turk doth, but in the sight of the beast which gave him the power; that is, in the city of Rome itself, which is the first beast here in this prophecy of the Apocalypse described.
Fourthly, It followeth moreover, “And he causeth the earth and all the inhabitants therein, to worship and honor the first beast: which had a deadly wound, and was cured,” etc. The interpretation of this part, as also of all the other parts of the same chapter, standeth upon the definition of the first beast: for, it being granted, as cannot be denied, that the first beast 7 signifieth the city and empire of Rome, it must consequently follow, that the bishop (whom we call the pope) of the said city of Rome, must be understood by the second beast, forasmuch as neither Turk nor any other, but only the bishop of Rome, hath holden up the estimation and dignity of that city, which began to be in ruin and decay by the Vandals, Goths, Herulians, and Lombards, about A.D. 456; but afterwards by the bishop of Rome, the pristine state and honor of that city revived again, and flourished in as great veneration as ever it did before. And this it is which the Holy Ghost seemeth here to mean of the first beast, saying, “That he had a wound of the sword, and was cured ;” for so it followeth.
Fifthly, “And he caused all the inhabitants of the earth to make the image of the beast, which had the stripe of the sword and lived. And it was given to him to give life to the image of the beast, and to make the image thereof to speak, and to cause all them that worshipped not the image of the beast, to be killed; forcing all persons, both little and great, rich and poor, bond and free, to take the mark of the beast in their right hand, or in their foreheads, and that none might buy or sell, but they which had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,” etc.
By giving life to the image of the beast, and making it to speak, is to be presupposed that the beast was at a near point of death, and lay speechless before, insomuch that the city of Rome began to lose and change its name, and was called awhile Odacria, of Odacer, king of the Herulians, who, by dint of sword, surprised the Romans; and yet, notwithstanding, by means of this Roman prelate, the said city of Rome, which was then ready to give up the ghost, so recovered her majesty and strength again, that it is hard to say whether Rome did ever ruffle and rage in her tyranny before, in the time of Nero, Domitian, Dioelesian, and other emperors, more tragically than she hath done under the pope; or whether that Rome had all kings, queens, princes, dukes, lords, and all subjects more under obedience and subjection, when the emperors reigned, or now in the reign of the pope. And therefore it is said not without cause by the Holy Ghost, that it is given to him, “to give life and speech to the image of the beast, causing all them to be slain which will not worship the image of the beast,” 8 etc. As for example hereof, Who seeth not what numbers and multitudes of Christian men, women, and children in all countries have been put to fire and sword? Stories of all times will declare, what havoc hath been made of Christian blood about the pre-eminence and majority of the see of Rome. What churches and countries, both Greek and Latin, have been excommunicated? what kings have been deposed, and emperors stripped from their imperial seat? and all because they would not stoop and bend to the image of the beast, that is, to the majesty and title of Rome, advanced up so highly now by the bishop thereof, as it was never higher before in the reign of Nero or Diodesiam Wherefore, taking the first beast to signify the empire of Rome, which cannot be denied, it is plain that the second beast must necessarily be applied to the pope, and not to the Turk, forasmuch as the Turk seeketh nothing less than the advancement of that empire, but rather striveth against it to pluck it down.
The sixth and last argument is grounded upon the number of the name of the beast, expressed by the Holy Ghost in the same prophecy, by the letters c, x, v, in which letters, although there lieth great darkness and difficulty to be understood, yet certain ancient Fathers who were disciples and hearers of those who heard St. John himself, as Irenaeus and others, do expound the said letters, conjecturally, to contain the name of the beast, and to be the name of a man under this word latei~nov 9 whereas else, no other name lightly of any person, either in Greek or Latin, will agree to the same, save only the foresaid name latei~nov although some later writers, giving their conjectures upon the same, do find the name of Lateranus, in Hebrew letters, to answer to the same number. Some feign other names, as, ajntemov or tei~tan, made words, which signify nothing, as Diclux, or Luduuic, by Roman letters, etc. But of all names properly signifying any man, none cometh so near to the number of this mystery (if it go by order of letters) as doth the word latei~nov aforesaid. And thus much by the way and occasion of Nicholas de Lyra, Paul bishop of Burgos, Matthias Dorinke, the author of ‘Fortalitium Fidei,’ and other commentators more, of the same faction; who, writing upon this eighth chapter of the Apocalypse, and not considering the circumstances thereof, both are deceived themselves, and deceive many others, applying that to the Turk, which cannot otherwise be verified, but only upon the pope, as may appear sufficiently by the premises. Not that I write this of any mood or malice, either to the city of Rome, or to the person of the bishop, as being God’s creature; but being occasioned here to treat of the prophecies against the Turks, I would wish the readers not to be deceived, but rightly to understand the simple Scriptures according as they lie, to the intent that the true meaning thereof, being bolted out, it may be better known what prophecies directly make against these Turks; what otherwise.
In the which prophecies against the Turks, now to proceed, let us come to Apocalypse 20, wherein the holy Scripture seemeth plainly and directly to notify the said Turks. The words of the prophecy be these: “And I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand; and he took the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satanas, and bound him up for a thousand years, and cast him into the pit, and sealed him up, that he should not seduce the people any more, till the thousand years were expired: and, after that, he must be let loose for a little while,” etc. And it followeth after, “And when the thousand years shall be complete, Satanas shall be let out of his dungeon, and shall go abroad to seduce the people, which are on the four corners of the land of Gog and Magog, to assemble them to battle; whose number is like to the sands of the sea. And they went up upon the latitude or breadth of the earth, and compassed about the tents of the saints, and the wellbeloved cities,” etc.
To the perfect understanding of this prophecy, three things are necessary to be known. First, what is meant by the binding up and loosing out of Satan as the old dragon. Secondly, at what time and year he was first chained up and sealed for a thousand years. Thirdly, at what year and time these thousand years did end, when he should be loosed out again for a little season. Which three points being well examined and marked, the prophecy may easily be understood directly to be meant of the Turk: albeit analogically, some part thereof may also be referred, not improperly, unto the pope, as is above notified.
First, by binding and loosing of Satan seemeth to be meant, the ceasing and staying of the cruel and horrible persecution of the heathen emperors of Rome against the true Christians, as is to be seen in the ten first persecutions in the primitive church above described in the former part of these Acts and Monuments; in which most bloody persecutions Satan the devil then raged without all measure, till the time it pleased Almighty God to stop this old serpent, and to tie him shorter. And thus have you to understand what is meant by the binding up of Satan for a thousand years; whereby is signified, that the persecution against the Christians, stirred up by the beast (that is, in the empire of Rome, through the instigation of Satan), shall not always continue, but shall break up after a certain time, and shall cease for a thousand years, etc.
Now at what time and year this persecution, that is, the fury and rage of Satan should cease, is also declared in the Apocalypse before; where, in the sixth and eighth chapters, we read, that the beast aforementioned shall have power to work his malice and mischief the space of forty-two months, and no more; and then that Satan should be locked up for a thousand years. The computation of which months, being counted by Sabbaths of years (after the example of the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel, chapter 6), it doth bring us to the just year and time, when that terrible persecution in the primitive church should end; and so it did. For, give to every month a Sabbath of years, that is, reckon every month for seven years, and that maketh two hundred and ninety-four years, which was the full time between the 18th year of Tiberius (under whom Christ suffered) and the death of Maxentius, the last persecutor of the primitive church in Europe, subdued by Constantine, as may appear by calculating the years, months, and days between the said year of the reign of Tiberius, and the latter end of Maxentius: and so have you the supputation of the year and time when Satan was first bound up, after he had raged in the primitive church two and forty months; which months, as is said, being counted by Sabbaths of years, after the usual manner of the Scripture, amount to two hundred and ninety-four years; and so much was the full time between the passion of our Lord, which was in the 18th year of Tiberius, unto the last year of Maxentius.
And here, by the way, cometh a note to be observed, that forasmuch as by the number of these forty-two months specified in the Apocalypse, the empire of Rome must necessarily be confessed to be the first beast; therefore it must by like necessity follow, the bishop of Rome to be the second beast, with the two horns of the lamb, for that he only hath and doth cause the said empire of Rome to revive and to be magnified, and so doth not the Turk, but rather laboreth to the contrary. Wherefore, let every Christian man be wise, and beware betimes how he taketh the mark of the beast, lest peradventure it follow upon him, that he drink of that terrible cup of wrath mentioned in the nineth chapter of the Apocalypse. Thirdly, it remaineth to be discussed touching the third point in this aforesaid prophecy, that as we have found out (through the help of Christ) the year and time of Satan’s binding, so we search out likewise the time and season of his loosing out, which, by the testimony of Scripture, was proved to be a thousand years after his binding up; and so rightly, according to the time appointed, it came to pass. For if we number well by the Scripture the year of his binding up, which was from the passion of our Lord two hundred and ninety-four years, and add thereto a thousand years, it mounteth to one thousand two hundred and ninety-four; which was the very year when Ottoman, the first Turk, began his reign; which was the first spring and well-head of all these woeful calamities that the church of Christ hath felt, both in Asia, Africa, and Europe, almost these three hundred years past. For so we find in chronicles, that the kingdom of the Turks being first divided into four families. A.D. 1280, at length the family of Ottoman prevailed, and thereupon came these, whom we now call Turks; which was about the same time when pope Boniface VIII was bishop of Rome.
Here by the way, this is again to be noted, that after the decree of transubstantiation was enacted in the council of Lateran by pope Innocent III., A.D. 1215, not long after, about A.D. 1260, were stirred up the power and arms of the Oguzians, and of Orthogrul, father of Ottoman, who, about A.D. 1294, began first to vex the Christians about Pontus and Bithynia; and so beginning his kingdom, A.D. 1300, reigned twenty-eight years, as is afore-mentioned. Mention was made before of Ezekiel prophesying against Gog, whose words divers expositors do apply against the Turk, and are these: “Thou shalt come from thy place out of the North parts, thou and much people with thee, all riding upon horses, a great and a mighty army; and thou shalt come up against my people of Israel as a cloud, to cover the land. Thou shalt be in the latter days, and I will bring thee upon my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog! before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord God, Art not thou he, of whom I have spoken in the old time by the hand of my servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days and years, that I would bring thee upon them? At the same time also when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, my wrath shall arise in mine anger; for in mine indignation, and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken it. Surely at that time there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel, so that the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the heaven, the beasts of the field, and all that move and creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the earth shall tremble at my presence; the mountains shall be overthrown; the stars shall fall; and every man shall fall to the ground,” etc.
THE PROPHECIES OF METHODIUS, HILDEGARD, AND OTHERS, CONCERNING THE REIGN AND RUIN OF THE TURKS Unto these testimonies above excerpted out of the holy Scriptures, let us add also the prophetic revelations of Methodius, Hildegard, Sibylla, and others. This Methodius is thought of some to be the same Methodius of whom Jerome and Suidas make mention; who was bishop first of Olympus in Lycia, then of Tyre, and suffered martyrdom in the last persecution of the primitive church under Dioclesian; unto whom also Trithemius attributeth the book entitled “De quatuor novissimis temporibus.” But that cannot be, forasmuch as the said Methodius doth cite and allege the master of sentences, namely, in his second book and sixth distinction, which master of sentences followed more than a thousand years after Christ; besides certain other fabulous matters contained in the same book. Albeit, because he speaketh there of many things concerning the state of the church under Antichrist, and the reformation of religion, as seemeth rightly to come to pass, and more is like to follow, I thought not to defraud the reader thereof, leaving the credit of the author to his arbitrement, to esteem and judge of him, as he seeth cause 12 Among divers other places of Methodius, prophesying of the latter time, these words do follow: “After the children of Ishmael had multiplied in their generations to an infinite and innumerable multitude in the desert aforesaid, they came out of the wilderness of Araby, and entered into the habitable land, and fought with the kings of the Gentiles, who were in the land of promise, and the land was filled with them. And after seventy weeks and a half of their power, wherewith they have subdued all the kingdoms of the Gentiles, their heart was exalted; seeing themselves so to have prevailed, and to have conquered all things,” etc.
And afterwards it followeth of the same matter in this sort: “It shall come to pass that the said seed of Ishmael shall issue out and obtain the whole world, with the regions thereof, in the entering of peace, from the land of Egypt unto Ethiopia; and from the flood Euphrates unto India; and from the river Tigris to the entering of Nabaot, the kingdom of Jonithus, the son of Noah; and from the North unto Rome and Illyricum, Egypt and Thessalonica and Albania, and so forth to the sea Ponticum, which divideth the said kingdoms from Germany and France; and their yoke shall be double upon the necks of all nations and Gentiles; neither shall there be nation nor kingdom under heaven, which shall be able to stand against them in battle, until the number of eight weeks of years.” 13 etc.
Briefly, as in a gross sum, this shall suffice to admonish the reader touching the meaning and method of the prophecies of Methodius, which Methodius, first describing the long and tedious afflictions of Christ’s church, thus maketh mention of the seed of Ishmael: “The seed of Ishmael, coming out of the parts and deserts of Araby, shall destroy,” saith he, “and vanquish the whole earth, so that the Christians shall be given of God to the hands of the filthy barbarians, to be slain, polluted, and captured: Persia, Armenia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Syria, Egypt, the east parts, Asia, Spain, all Greece, France, Germany, Agathonia, Sicily, the Romans also, shall be slain and put to flight; also the islands of the seas shall be brought to desolation and captivity, and put to the sword. Which tribulation of the Christians shall be without mercy or measure; the ransom of gold and silver and other exactions intolerable; but especially the dwellers in Egypt and Syria shall be most in the affliction of those times. And Jerusalem shall be filled with multitudes of people brought thither in captivity, from the four winds which are under heaven; so that beasts also, and fowls, and fish in the water, and the waters of the sea, shall be to them obedient. Cities and towns, which were before full of people, shall be laid waste. Women with child shall be smitten; their children struck; infants taken from their mothers, and cast in the streets, and none shall bury them. The rulers and sage of the people shall be slain, and thrown out to the beasts. Churches shall be spoiled; the priests destroyed; virgins abused, and men compelled to sell their children; and the coming of them shall be chastisement without mercy; and with them shall go these four plagues, captivity, destruction, perdition, and desolation.”
Secondly, after these terrible plagues thus described by Methodius upon the Christians, which he saith shall fall upon them for their wicked abominations recited in the first and second chapters of St. Paul to the Romans; the said Methodius afterward, in this great distress of the Christians, being out of all hope and comfort of relief, declareth and speaketh of a certain king of the Greeks or Romans, who shall restore peace again to the Christians; in which peace they shall re-edify their cities and mansions again, the priests shall be delivered from their grievances, and men at that time shall rest from their tribulations; and then shall the king of the Romans dwell in the city of Jerusalem a week or Sabbath, and a half of times, etc.
Thirdly, during the time of this peace the said Methodius saith, that men shall fall into licentious security, and careless life; and then, according to the words of the apostle, saying, “When they shall say, peace, peace, sudden destruction shall fall upon them:” ‘Then,’ saith he, ‘shall be opened the gates of the North, and the beastly people shall break in, which king Alexander the Great did close up within two mountains, making his prayer unto the Lord God, that he would bind up that bestial and execrable people, lest with their filthy and detestable pollutions they should come out and pollute the Holy Land. Whose intercession being heard, the Lord commanded them to be enclosed within two mountains in the north parts, to the deepness of twelve cubits,’ which signifieth, peradventure, twelve hundred years, ‘so that neither by witchcraft, nor by any means, they could get out, or any might come unto them, until the time of the Lord appointed, which is,’ saith he, ‘the latter times; and then, according to the prophecy of Ezekiel, in the latter time of the consummation of the world, Cog and Magog, out from the North, shall come forth into the land of Israel, and shall work all this mischief against the Christians, above recited. And then, ‘saith Methodius, proceeding in his prophecies, ‘half the king of the Romans, after he hath reigned in Jerusalem a Sabbath of times, and a half, 14 that is’ saith Methodius, ‘ten years and a half, take the crown from his head, 15 and yield it up to the cross in Golgotha, where Christ was crucified, and shall die. And the cross with the crown shall be taken into heaven, which shall not appear again before the coming of the Lord.
Fourthly, it followeth then, moreover, in the prophecies of Methodius, who declareth that when the week or Sabbath and half week of times shall end, and when the king of Romans shall give up his crown in Jerusalem, and die: ‘Then immediately shall Antichrist, the son of perdition, begin to appear, and be born in Jewry, of the tribe of Dan, whereof also came Judas Iscariot; and he shall be born, saith Methodius, ‘in Chorazin, and shall be bred in Bethsaida, and shall reign in Capernaum; to which three cities, Christ the Lord gave his third ‘Vae.’ And when great tribulation shall increase and multiply in the days of this Antichrist, and all lordship and dominion shall be destroyed, the Lord shall send his two faithful and dear servants, Enoch and Elias, to reprove and detect the false, seducing, and lying forgeries of this Antichrist, openly before all men; so that the people, seeing themselves falsely beguiled and seduced by this son of perdition, coming out of the temple dissemblingly, to the destruction of many, shall leave and flee from him, and join themselves to the said two holy prophets: which son of perdition and Antichrist, seeing his proceedings so to be reproved, and brought into contempt, in his fury and anger shall kill the two prophets of God. And then shall appear,’ saith Methodius, ‘the sign of the coming of the Son of Man; and he shall come in the clouds of heavenly glory, and shall destroy the enemy with the spirit of his mouth,’ etc.
INTERPRETATION OF PROPHECY To these prophecies and testimonies of Methodius, what credit is to be given, I leave it to the reader. But if the meaning of his prophecies go by such order of times as is set and disposed in his book, he seemeth to describe unto us four principal states and alterations of times to come.
The first state and alteration is by Mahomet and the Saracens, who be the offspring and sons of Ishmael, coming out of Araby, in the time of Heraclius, emperor of Constantinople, A.D. 680, who, rebelling against Heraclius, increased and prevailed still more and more against the Christians, both in Asia and Africa, and also in many places in Europe; especially in Spain and Italy.
The second state and alteration he prophesieth to come by the Turk, who, first coming out of the far parts of Scythia, that is, out of the north, first overcame the Saracens, subdued the Persians, and afterwards, joining together with the Saracens, conquered the kingdom of Jerusalem, about A.D. 1187; then subdued Syria and most part of Asia, etc. And these be they whom Methodius seemeth to mean, speaking of the vile and miserable people closed up of the Lord God, at the intercession of Alexander the great captain in the north, between two mountains the deepness of twelve cubits, lest that filthy corrupt nation should pollute the earth with their wickedness: whereby are meant these Turks, who coming out from the uttermost parts of the north, that is, out of Scythia, and the mountains of Caucasus, or else Imaus, were withholden and kept back of Almighty God, for Christ’s cause, that they might, not harm his church a long space, during the time of twelve hundred years: yea, and then the sins of the Christians so deserving, they were permitted of Almighty God to break out, and to invade the church; who, now joining together with the Saracens, have wrought, and daily do work, all these grievances against our Christian brethren, as we see this day is come to pass: and more is like to follow, except the hand of the Lord, which let them out, do pluck them in again.
Moreover, in the mean space, between the reign of the Saracens and the Turks, where Methodius speaketh of the king of Romans, who should restore quietness to the church, and should reign in Jerusalem a Sabbath of times, and half a Sabbath; thereby seemeth to be understand the viage of Christian princes out of the west parts of Europe, under Godfrey of Bouillon 97 , duke of Lorraine, and his two brethren, and many other Christian princes, with three hundred thousand footmen, and one hundred thousand horsemen; who, fighting against the Saracens, recovered again from them the city of Jerusalem, A.D. 1099, which city before had been in their possession the term of four hundred and ninety years. 16 After which victory got, first Godfrey, then Baldwin, his brother, and others after them, to the number of nine Christian kings, reigned in Jerusalem the space of eighty-eight years; and after that, through rite discord of the Christians not agreeing amongst themselves, both Jerusalem and Syria, with other parts or Asia besides, were subdued and won of the Turks, which yet to this day they still keep. And this was A.D. 1187.
About which year and time (as followeth in Methodius), when the city of Jerusalem shall be won of the Turks, then shall Antichrist begin to be born of the tribe of Dan, of whom came Judas Iscariot, and shall be born in Chorazin, and bred in Bethsaida, and reign in Capernaum: meaning that this Antichrist, or son of perdition, shall be full of God’s malediction, noted by Judas Iscariot, and these three cities, against whom was spoken thrice ‘Vae,’ of the Lord.
And here is moreover to be noted, that Methodius saith, not that Antichrist shall be born among the Saracens or Turks, but among the people of God, and of the tribe of Israel. Whereby is to be collected, that Antichrist shall not come of the Saracens, nor Turks, but shall spring up among the Christians, and, saith Methodius, “shall seem to come out of the temple, to deceive many,” etc. Whereby the pope may seem, rather than the Saracen or the Turk, to be described, forasmuch as the pope, being elected, nourished, and reigning, in the midst of God’s people at Rome, sitteth in the temple, and very place of Christ; and, no doubt, deceiveth many, etc.
And now, to come to the time assigned of Methodius, here is to be added also, that which we read in Antoninus, part 3, that about this said present time, a certain bishop of Florence 98 preached that Antichrist was then coming: but the pope commanded him to keep silence, and to speak no more thereof. Now, why the pope so did, and why he could not abide the preaching of Antichrist, I refer it to those who list to muse more upon the matter. This is certain, that about this time here assigned by Methodius, came Peter the Lombard, Gratian, and pope Innocent III, the first authors and patrons of transubstantiation. At which time also began the first persecution by the church of Rome against the Albigenses or Waldenses, about Toulouse, Bourges, and Avignon, of whom seventeen thousand the same time were slain, by the pope’s crossed soldiers, among whom friar Dominic was then the chiefest doer; about which time also was friar Francis, of which two came the two orders of begging friars: all which began much about one time together, A.D. 1215, which were nearly within twenty years after the kingdom of the Christians was taken of the Turks, according to the prophecy above-said. It followeth, moreover, in Methodius, “In his time, all lordship and domination shall cease and give over,” etc.; the verity whereof we see now accomplished in the pope, for, where the pope with his double sword and triple crown doth come, there all secular power must give place; both emperors, kings, and princes must stoop.
Childeric, the French king, had his crown taken from him, and given to Pepin, A.D. 752 100 .
Henry IV, emperor, was forced to submit himself and his scepter to pope Hildebrand, A.D. 1077 101 .
Frederic Barbarossa, emperor, in St. Mark’s church in Venice, was fain to lay down his neck under pope Alexander’s feet, A.D. 1177; which Frederic also before was fain 102 to hold the stirrup to pope Adrian, etc.
What should I speak of the ambassador of Venice, named Francisco Dandolo 103 ? who, being sent to pope Clement V, was made to lie under the pope’s table like a dog, and gather up the crumbs; mentioned in Sabellicus Enn. 9, lib. 7.
It followeth then in the prophecy of Methodius: ‘In the tribulation of those days shall be sent from God two special prophet, Enoch and Elias, to reprove and disclose the fraudulent falsehood of Antichrist; and many, seeing his delusion, shall forsake him, and follow them: whereat Antichrist being grieved, shall kill them,’ etc.
We never read yet, in any story, of any such two prophets to be sent either to the Saracens, or to the Turks: whereas, against the pope, we read John Huss and Jerome of Prague, two learned martyrs and prophets of God, to have been sent, and to have reproved and described the anatomy of Antichrist; 18 and at last, to have been burned for their labor. And what prophet can speak more plainly, either Enoch or Elias, than did Jerome of Prague, prophesying of the coming of Martin Luther, a hundred years after him? when the pope and his fellows should answer to God and to him.
The time we see came just. Now let the pope with his fellows see, what answer they can make. It followeth further in Methodius, concluding his prophecy: ‘And then shall appear the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven, with celestial glory,’ etc.
Wherefore after the burning of these two notable prophets, with many other thousands burned also since their time by the bishop of Rome, it is to be thought that the coming of Christ’s judgment in the clouds, is not far off. “Veni cito Dominc.” Amen!
And thus much touching Methodius, of whose prophecies, how much or how little is to be esteemed, I leave it indifferent unto the reader. For me it shall suffice simply to have recited his words, as I find them in his book contained; noting this by the way, that of this book of Methodius, ‘De novissimis temporibus,’neither Jerome in his catalogue, nor Suidas, nor yet Avertinus, 19 in the place where he treateth purposely of such prophecies, maketh any mention. As touching Hildegard and Briget, and others, whom the French call Bardi, for their songs and prophetic verses, sufficient hath been alleged, before out of Aventinus: who, in his third book of Chronicles, writing of the testimonies of Hildegard, Briget, and the Bardi, seemeth to ground upon them, that the Turks, whether we will or not, shall have their imperial seat at Cologne; and I pray God that it come not to pass, that the Turk do give some attempt against England by the seas, before that he come to Cologne by land. Brevity causeth me to cut off many testimonies and revelations of these above said, or else I could here rehearse the prophetic words of Briget, lib. 4 c. 57, concerning the city and church of Rome of which she saith thus: ‘It must be purged and scoured with three things, to wit, with sharp sword, with fire, and with the plough, and that God will do with that city, as one that removeth plants out of one place unto another: and, finally, that the city of Rome shall sustain the sentence, as if a judge should command the skin to be flayed off, the blood to be drawn from the flesh, and the flesh to be cut in small pieces, and the bones thereof to be broken; so that all the marrow may be squeezed from the same,’ etc.
But for brevity I let Briget pass, and will declare something out of Erythrea Sibylla, in her book of prophecies found in St. George’s church in Venice; where she, prophesying many things of the birth of Christ under Augustus, and of the birth of John Baptist, and of baptism, of the apostles, of the conversion of the Gentiles, and of Constantine, etc. hath these words: ‘After the peaceable bull shall conclude all the climes of the world under tribute, in those days a heavenly lamb shall come. And the days shall come, when the power of the flowing stream shall be magnified in water, and the lion, the monarch, shall be converted to the lamb, which shah shine to all men, and subvert kingdoms.’
Moreover saith Sibylla: ‘In the latter age God shall he humbled, and the divine offspring shall be abased, and deity shall be joined with humanity, the lamb shall lie in hay, and God and man shall be bred up under a maiden’s attendance: signs and wonders shall go before amongst the circumcised,’ etc. Also, ‘An aged woman shall conceive a child, having knowledge of things to come. The world shall marvel at Boötes ‘the star,’ which shall be a leader to his birth; he having thirty-two feet, and six thumbs, shall choose to himself out of fishers and abjects, the number of twelve and one devil, not with sword, nor with battle,’ etc.
Afterwards thus it followeth, moreover, in Sibylla, saying: ‘The health of the lamb lying 22 shall be clothed with a few spoils of the lion. Black shall be turned into red. He shall subdue the city of Aeneas, and kings, but in the book of the fisher: In dejection and poverty he shall conquer riches, and shall tread down pride with his own death. In the night he shall rise up, and be changed, he shall live and reign, and all these things shall be consummated, and regeneration or ‘new things’ be made: at last he shall judge both good and evil,’ etc.
Furthermore, touching the state and course of the church, and of Antichrist, it followeth in the said Sibylla, saying: ‘Then shall four winged beasts 23 rise up in testimony; they shall sound out with trumpets the name of the lamb, sowing righteousness, and the law irreprehensible; against which law the beast shall gainstand, and the abomination and froth of the dragon.
But a marvelous star shall rise, having the image of the four beasts, and shall be in a marvelous multitude; it shall bring light to the Greeks, and shall illustrate the world. The lake of the fisher shall bring the name of the lamb with power into the city of Aeneas, unto the end of the world or time.’ Then in the city of Aeneas the star joined shall loose such as were bound of the devil, and thereof he shall rejoice and glory, and glorious shall be his end,’ etc.
After this Sibylla writing, as it seemeth, of Antichrist, importeth these words: ‘And it shall come to pass, that an horrible beast shall come out of the east, whose roaring shall be heard to Africa, to the. people of Carthage, which hath seven heads, and scepters innumerable, feet six hundred and sixty-three. 24 He shall gainstand the lamb, to blaspheme his testament, increasing the waters of the dragon. The kings and princes of the world he shall burn in intolerable sweat, and they shall not diminish his feet. And then two stars, like to the first star, shall arise against the beast, and shall not prevail, till the abomination shall be come, and the will of the Lord shall be consummated.’
And again, speaking of the same matter, he inferreth these words of the aforesaid two stars above mentioned: ‘And towards the latter days two bright stars shall arise, 25 rising up men lying dead in their sins, being like to the first star, having the face of the four beasts, which shall resist the beast, and the waters of the dragon, testifying [or preaching] the name and law of the lamb, the destruction of abomination and judgment, and shall diminish his waters; but they shall be weakened in the bread of affliction, and they shall rise again in stronger force,’ etc.
And it followeth moreover: ‘After the abomination, then shall truth be revealed, and the lamb shall be known, to whom regions and countries shall submit their necks, and all earthly men shall agree together in one, to come into one fold, and to be ruled under one discipline; and after this shall be but a small time,’ etc.
And shortly after, the said Sibylla speaking of the latter judgment to come, declareth how all the abominations of sins shall come before the Lamb; and that terrible fire shall fall from heaven, which shall consume all earthly things created unto the top of heaven, etc.
And thus much out of Sibylla, touching her prophecies of Christ and Antichrist, according as I found them alleged by a certain catholic Romish writer, in his book entitled ‘Onus Ecclesiae,’ excerpted, as he saith, out of the library of St. George, in the city of Venice.
Philip Melanethon, in his preface upon ‘Bartholomaeus Georgienitz Peregrinus,’ writing of the origin and manners of the Turks, allegeth a certain prophecy of Hiltenus 105 , mentioned hereafter, which foresaid that the Turks should bear rule in Italy and in Germany, A.D. 1600.
Now it remaineth, in conclusion of these prophecies of the Turks, something to say of the Turks’ own prophecies, concerning the enduring and ending of their own kingdom, whose prophetic prognostication, being taken out of their own language, and their own books, I thought here to insert, as I find it alleged in the book of the aforesaid Bartholomaeus Georgienitz, as followeth:
Patissahomoz ghelur, Ciaferum memleketi alur, keuzul almai slur, Kapzeiler iediy ladegh Gyaur keleci csikmasse, on ikiyladegh onlaron beghlig eder: eufi iapar, baghi diker bahesai baghlar, oglikezi olur, onichi yldensora Hristianon Keleci esichar, ol Turchi gerestine tus chute.
The same in Latin.
Imperator noster veniet, ethnici principis 26 regnum capiet, rubrum quoque pomum capiet, in suam potestatem rediget: quod si septimum usque annum Christianorum gladius non insurrexit, usque ad duodecimum annum eis dominabitur. Domos aedificabit, vineas plantsbit, hortos sepibus muniet, liberos procreabit, et post duodecimum annum apparebit Christianorum gladius, qui Turcam quaqua versum in fugam aget.
The same in English.
Our emperor shall come; he shall get the kingdom of the Gentiles’ prince; also he shall take the red apple, and shall bring it under his subjection: and if the sword of the Christians snail not rise unto the seventh year, he shall have dominion over them unto the twelfth year. He shall build houses, plant vineyards, shall hedge about his orchards, shall procreate children; and after the twelfth year shall appear the sword of the Christians, which shall put the Turk to flight every where.
Those who make declaration of this Turkish prophecy, do expound this twelfth year to signify the twelfth year after the winning of Constantinople; which Constantinople, say they, is meant by the red apple: and after that twelfth year, say they, shall rise the sword of the Christians, etc. And this prophecy, being written and translated out of the Persian tongue, with this exposition upon the same, is to be found in the book of Bartholomaeus Georgienitz. Albeit, concerning the exposition thereof, it seemeth not to be true, which is there spoken of the twelfth year after the winning of Constantinople, being now one hundred years since the winning thereof.
Wherefore it may rather seem probable, that by the seventh and twelfth years of the Turks, this to be the meaning; that if the seventh of the Ottoman Turks do escape the sword of the Christians, they shall continue, build, and plant, etc., until the twelfth Turk, who is this Solyman; and then, after that, shall rise the Christian’s sword, which shall put them to flight, and vanquish them in all quarters. And this exposition may seem to accord with the place of Genesis 15; wherein is written of Ishmael, that he had twelve sons, and no more: so, that this Solyman, being the twelfth Turk after Ottoman, may (by the grace of Christ) be the last; whom we heard credibly to be reported, at the printing hereof, 27 to be dead. But, howsoever this prophecy is to be taken, it appeareth by their own oracles, that at length they shall be overcome by the Christians.
A.D. 632. The kingdom of the Saracens or Arabians, began after the death of Mahomet, the first ringleader of the mischief; which Saracens, reigning in Babylon over Persia and Asia, continued about one hundred and ninety-eight years.
A.D. 667. Jerusalem was taken by the Saracens. These Saracens, after they had subdued Ormisda king of Persia, set up to themselves a new kingdom, calling their chief prince Caliph, which signifieth a general lord; and under him Seriphes, that is an under prince; and again, under him their Soldan, who is a ruler or captain; under which soldans all the provinces were divided. And thus ruled they the space above said, of one hundred and ninety-eight years.
A.D. 703. The Egyptians being weary of their subjection under the Romans, called for help of the Saracen caliph; and so, casting off the Romans, submitted themselves to the law of the Saracens, and had also their caliph, and their Babylon called Cairo, where their caliphs continued unto Saraco or Syracinus, four hundred and forty-seven years.
A.D. 810. Mauginet, or Muchumet, the chief sultan of Persia, being at variance with Imbraell, the sultan of Babylon, sent for the aid of the Turks out of Scythia; by whom when he had got the victory against the Babylonians, the said Turks shortly after conquered the Persians, and subdued their country within the space of twenty years.
A.D. 830. The Turks, after they had expulsed the Saracens out of Asia, began to reign in Asia, in Persia, and in Arabia; and there reigned without interruption, till the coming of the Tartarians, the space of one hundred and ninety-two years.
A.D. 1051. The first king of the Turks, called Zaduke, began to reign in Asia, and joined league with the caliph of Egypt, and there reigned till the conquest of Godfred and the Christians the space of forty-six years.
A.D. 1099. Godfrey of Bouillon, duke of Lorraine, a Christian prince, taking his viage into Asia with seven hundred thousand Christian soldiers, first got the city of Nice against the sultan of the Turks; then Lycaonia, Silicia, Syria; afterwards Mesopotamia, and Comagena: then Antioch, A.D. 1098, and the next year recovered Jerusalem, being then in the hands of the Saracens, which they, a little before, had won from the Turks, as is aforesaid. After this Godfrey succeeded eight Christian kings, who kept the kingdom of Jerusalem and Asia, both from the Turks and Saracens, the space of eighty-eight years.
A.D. 1100. The Georgians, who be a people of Armenia the greater, vanquished the Turks out of the kingdom of Persia, after they had cut their king in pieces: whereby the Turks, flying to Cappadocia, there remained under Solyman, and joined themselves to the soldan of Egypt, and waxed then strong in Asia Minor, called now Turquinia.
A.D. 1170 . When Almeric, the seventh king of Jerusalem after Godfrey, had overcome the caliph or sultan of Egypt, the sultan being overcome called for the help of Saracon, the sultan of Syria. This Saracon, after he had expulsed the Christians out of Egypt, turned his power against the sultan of Egypt, and vanquishing him, took to himself the kingdom of Egypt: which kingdom he with his posterity did hold till the coming of the Tartarians and the Mamalukes about the space of eighty-eight years.
A.D. 1187. Saladine, the nephew of Saracon the sultan of Egypt, perceiving the dissension among the Christian states of Palestine, got Antioch, where he slew Raymund the prince with his own hands: then he got Tiberias. From thence he went to Acre, where he took Guido king of Jerusalem, and the master of the Templars, prisoners; for whose ransom the Turk had Ascalon yielded up to him by the Christians. That done, he subdued Jerusalem, which had been in the hands of the Christians before, the space of eighty-eight years.
A.D. 1189. Frederic the emperor, Philip the French king, and Richard king of England, made their viage into Asia, where ‘Frederic, washing in a river in Cilicia, died. In this viage, at the siege of Acre, Saladine won the field of our men, of whom two thousand were slain in the chase. Achre at length was got by the Christians. King Richard got Cyprus. The two kings fell at strife. Philip retired home without any good doing. King Richard laid stage to Jerusalem, but in vain, and so returning homeward, was taken near to Vienna in Austria, after he had taken truce before with the soldan, upon such condition as pleased him. And this good speed, had the pope’s sending out against the Turks.
A.D. 1215. There was another council holden at Rome by pope Innocent III, where was enacted a new article of our faith, for transubstantiation of bread and wine, to be turned into the body and blood of our Savior. In this council also great excitation was made by the pope, and great preparation was through all Christendom, to set forward for recovery of the Holy Land. A mighty army was collected of dukes, lords, knights, bishops, and prelates, that, if God’s blessing had gone with them, they might have gone throughout all Asia and India.
A.D. 1219. The Christians after eighteen months’ siege, got a certain town in Egypt, called Damietta, or Elipolis, with much ado, but not much to the purpose. For afterwards, as the Christian army of the pope’s sending went about to besiege the city of Cairo, or Babylon, the sultan, through his subtle train, so entrapped and enclosed them within the danger of the Nile, that they were constrained to render again the city of Damietta, with their prisoners, and all the furniture thereof as they found it, into the soldan’s hand; and glad so with their lives to pass forward to Tyre. A.D. 1221.
In the mean time the Egyptian Turk caused the city of Jerusalem to be rased, that it should serve for no use to the Christians. What great thing else was done in that viage, it doth not greatly appear in stories. Albeit Frederic II, emperor, was not unfruitfully there occupied; and much more might have done, had it not been for the violence and persecution of the bishop of Rome against him; whereby he was enforced to take truce with the sultan for ten years, and so returned. After which things done, not many years after, at length the last city of all belonging to the Christians, which was Ptolomais, or Acre, was also taken from them by the sultan, so that now the Christians had not one foot left in all Asia.
A.D. 1230 . Thus the Christians being driven out of Asia by the sultans and Turks, yet the said Turks and sultans did not long enjoy their victory. For eftsoons the Lord stirred up against them the Tartarians, who, breaking into Asia by the ports of Caspius, subdued divers parts of Asia, namely about Comana, Colchis, Iberia, Albania, etc. These Tartarians, as they had got many captives in their wars, so for gain they used to ship them over customably to Alexandria in Egypt, to be sold; which servants and captives Melechsala, the great sultan, was glad to buy, to serve him in his wars. Which captives and servants after they had continued a certain space in Egypt, and through their valiant service grew in favor and estimation with the said Melechsala, and began more to increase in number and strength; at length they slew him, and took to themselves the name and kingdom of the sultan. And thus ceased the stock of Saracon and Saladine aforementioned, which continued in Egypt about, the space, as is said, of one hundred years.
A.D. 1240. After the death of Melechsala, the army of these aforesaid rascals and captives set up to themselves a king of their own company, whom they called Turquemenius: who, to fill up the number of their company, that it should not diminish, devised this order, to get or to buy Christian men’s children, taken young from their parents, and the mother’s lap; whom they used so to bring up, as to make them to deny Christ, and to be circumcised, and instructed in Mahomet’s law, and afterwards to be trained in the feats of war; and these were called Mamalukes: among whom this was their order, that none might be advanced to be king but out of their own number, or else chosen by them; neither that any should be made knights or horsemen, but only the children of Christians who should deny Christ before, called Mamalukes. Also it was among them provided, that to this dignity neither Saracens nor Jews should be admitted. Item, that the succession thereof should not descend to the children and offspring of these Mamalukes. Also that the succession of the crown should not descend to the children of the aforesaid sultans, but should go by voice and election.
The Tartarians with Turquemenius their king, about this time obtained Turquia, that is, Asia Minor, from the Turks, and within two years after, prevailing against the Turks, expelled them from their kingdom; and so continued these Mamalukes reigning over Egypt, and a great part of Asia, till the time of Tomumbeius their last king, who was destroyed and hanged at the gates of Memphis, by Selim the Turk, father to this Solyman, as in his history is declared. These Mamalukes continued the space of two hundred and sixty years.
A.D. 1291. Lastly, Ptolomais, which also is called Acre, was surprised by the said soldan, rased, and cast down to the ground, and all the Christians therein (who were not many left) were slain. And this was the last city which the Christians had in Asia; so that now the Christians have not one foot (as is said before) left in all Asia. Thus the Egyptian soldans, and the Tartarians, reigned and ranged over the most part of Asia above the Turks, till the reign of Ottoman the great Turk, about the space of eighty years.
And thus have ye the whole discourse of the Turkish story, with their names, countries, towns, dominions; also with their times, continuance, interruptions, and alterations, in order described, and in years distinguished: which, otherwise, in most authors and writers be so confused, that it is hard to know distinctly, what difference is between the Saracens, Turks, Tartarians, the Sultans or Soldans, Mamalukes, or Janizaries; what is their Caliph, their Seriphes, their Sultan, or Bassa; in what times they began, and how long, and in what order of years they reigned. All which, in this present Table, manifestly to thine eye may appear.
Wherein this thou hast moreover, gentle reader to consider (which is worthy the noting), how the bishop of Rome all this season, from the first beginning of the Turk’s reign, hath not ceased from time to time continually calling upon Christian princes and subjects to take the cross, and to war against the Turks; whereupon so many great viages have been made to the Holy Land, and so many battles fought against the Turk and Soldan for winning the holy cross; and yet no lucky success hath followed thereof hitherto, nor ever came it prosperously forward, whatsoever through the exciting of that bishop hath been attempted against that great enemy of the Lord: insomuch that the Christians have lost not only all that they had in Asia, but also are scarce able to defend that little they have in Europe against his violence. What the cause is of this hard luck of the bishop’s doings, it is hard for man to define. Let men muse as their mind leadeth, and as the gospel saith, “He that hath eyes to see, let him see.”
This is certain, that as there hath lacked no care nor diligence in the bishop of Rome, to stir men up to that business; so on the princes’ behalf, there hath lacked no courage nor strength of men, no contribution of expenses, no supportation of charges, no furniture or habiliment of war; only the blessing of God seemeth to have lacked! The reason and cause whereof I would it were as easy to be reformed, as it may be quickly construed. For what man, beholding the life of us Christians, will greatly marvel, why the Lord goeth not with our army to fight against the Turks! And if my verdict might here have place, for me to add my censure, there appeareth to me another cause in this matter, yet greater than this aforesaid: which, to make plain and evident, in full discourse of words, leisure now doth not permit. Briefly to touch what I conceive, my opinion is this, that if the sincere doctrine of Christian faith, delivered and left unto us in the word of God, had not been so corrupted in the church of Rome; or, if the bishop of Rome would yet reclaim his impure idolatry and profanations, and admit Christ the Lamb of God to stand alone, without our impure additions, to be our only justification, according to the free promise of God’s grace; I nothing doubt, but the power of this faith, grounding only upon Christ the Son of God, had both framed our lives into a better disposition, and also soon would, or yet will, bring down the pride of that proud Holofernes.
But otherwise, if the bishop of Rome will not gently give place to the mild voice of God’s word, I think not contrary, but he shall be compelled at last to give place and room to the Turk, whether he will or not. And yet notwithstanding, when both the Turk and the pope shall do against it what they can, the truth and grace of God’s testament shall fructify and increase by such means as the Lord shall work, which beginneth already (praise to the Lord) to come graciously and luckily forward, as in most places.
A PRAYER AGAINST THE TURKS.
O eternal Lord God! Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; Creator and disposer of all things; just, gracious, and wise only; in the name and reverence of thy Son Jesus, we prostrate ourselves, desiring thine Omnipotent Majesty to look clown upon these afflicted times of thy poor creatures and servants: relieve thy church, increase our faith, and confound our enemies: and as thou hast given thine onlybegotten Son unto us, promising with him life to all that shall believe upon his name, so incline the obedience of our faith to thy promises in him, that our hearts may be far off from all other sinful additions and profane inventions, which are beside him, and not in him, grounded upon thy will and promise. And grant, we beseech thee, to thy church, more and more to see how terrible a thing it is, to set up any other means or help of salvation, but only in him whom thou only hast sent and sealed. Reform thy church with perfect doctrine and faithful teachers, that we, seeing our own weakness, may put off ourselves, and put on him, without whom we can do nothing. So shall we stand strong, when nothing standeth in us, but thy Son alone, in whom thou art only pleased.
Renew in this thy church again the decayed faith of thy Son Jesus, which may plentifully bring forth in us, not leaves only, but fruits of Christian life; and forgive our wretched idolatry, and blind fantasies past, wherewith we have provoked manifold ways thy deserved indignation against us. For our hearts have been full of idols, our temples full of images, our ways full of hypocrisy: thy sacraments profaned, and thy religion turned to superstition: because the lantern of thy word went not before us, therefore we have stumbled. Miserably we have walked hitherto, like sons, not of Sarah, but of Hagar, and therefore these Turkish Hagarches have risen up against us. Many hard and strait ways we have passed, but the ways of the Lord we have not found. Much cost we have bestowed on bread that assuageth no hunger, but that bread which only feedeth and cometh freely we have not tasted. We have sailed far and near in barks of our own building, but have not kept within the ark only of thy promise; and therefore these floods have taken us. We have prayed much, but not in thine appointed temple; and therefore we have not been heard. We have ploughed and tilled, but without thy heifer; and therefore this untidy ground of ours bringeth forth so many weeds. We do fish apace and that all night, but because we fish not on the right side of the boat, in our fishing we catch never a fin. Our buildings be full of good intentions and great devotions, but because the groundwork is not surely laid upon the rock of thy promise [Luke 6:48], the east wind riseth and shaketh them all to shivers. We walk, and have walked along, after the precepts and doctrines of men having a show of wisdom, but not as holding the head [Colos. 1:19], where lieth all our strength; and therefore these Philistine Turks have hitherto so prevailed against us. Briefly, all the parts and bones of the body be shaken out of place. Wherefore, we beseech thee, O Lord, put to thy holy hand, and set them in the right joint again: and finally, reduce this same thy mystical body again to its perfect and natural head, which is thine only Son Jesus Christ, and none other: for him only hast thou anointed and appointed; neither is there any other head, that can minister strength and nutriment to this body, but he alone; forasmuch as all other heads be sinful, and are not able to stand in thy sight, but make this body rather worse than better. Only this thy well-beloved and perfect Son is he, in whom only dwelleth all our strength and fullness; him only we confess and acknowledge; for whom and with whom, we beseech thee, e Lord God of hosts, grant to thy church strength and victory against the malicious fury of these Turks, Saracens, Tartarians, against Cog and Magog, and all the malignant rabble of Antichrist, enemies to thy Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Prevent their devices, overthrow their power, and dissolve their kingdom, that the kingdom of thy Son so long oppressed, may recover and flourish over all; and that they who wretchedly be fallen from thee, may happily be reduced again into the fold of thy salvation, through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and most merciful Advocate. Amen.
In this long digression, wherein sufficiently hath been described the grievous and tedious persecution of the Saracens and Turks against the Christians, thou hast to understand, good reader! and behold, the image of a terrible Antichrist, evidently appearing both by his own doings, and also by the Scriptures, prophesied and declared to us before. Now, in comparing the Turk with the pope, if a question be asked, whether of them is the truer or greater Antichrist, it were easy to see and judge, that the Turk is the more open and manifest enemy against Christ and his church. But, if it be asked whether of them two hath been the more bloody and pernicious adversary to Christ and his members; or whether of them hath consumed and spilt more Christian blood, he with sword, or this with fire and sword together, neither is it a light matter to discern, neither is it my part here to discuss, who do only write the history, and the acts of them both. Wherefore, after the story of the Turks thus finished, now to re-enter again there, where we left off, in describing the domestic troubles and persecutions here at home under the bishop of Rome; after the burning of Babram in Norfolk above declared.
I signified also of another certain aged man, mentioned in an old written chronicle borrowed of one in the Tower, entitled ‘Polychronicon,’(although I find not his name in the said chronicle expressed,) who suffered the pains of burning in Smithfield, about the same time, which was A.D. 1500. This aged father, I suppose, is he of whom I find mention made in certain old papers and records of William Cary, citizen (albeit the day of the month doth a little differ), wherein is thus testified, that on the 20th day of July, A.D. 1500, upon the day of St. Margaret, there was an old man burned in Smithfield for a heretic; and the same person, on the 10th day, before he was burnt, would have stolen out of the Lollards’ tower, and so falling out of the tower, did foully hurt himself; whereupon he was carried in a cart to his death, as he went to his burning.
In the aforesaid papers of ancient record, is furthermore declared, how, in the year above prefixed, which was A.D. 1499, in the time of one Persevel, many were taken for heretics in Kent, and at Paul’s cross they bare the faggots and were abjured; and shortly after, the same year, there went thirteen Lollards afore the procession in Paul’s; and there were of them eight women and a young lad, and the lad’s mother was one of the eight, and all the thirteen bare faggots on their necks afore the procession.
WILLIAM TYLSWORTH, MARTYR, BURNED AT AMERSHAM Forasmuch as the world is come now to such a morosity and peevish insensibility in these contentious and cavilling days of ours, that nothing can be so circumspectly written and storied, but shall lie in danger of one sycophant or another, who never will credit there, where they list not to like; neither will they ever like that which seemeth prejudicial to their faction, or not to serve the humor wherewith their fantasies be infected: therefore, to stop the mouths of such carping cavillers with as much possibility as I may, be it known to all and singular such persons, who, by evidence of truth and witness, will be satisfied, that in the town of Amersham be yet alive both men and women, who can and do bear witness of this that I shall declare. Also there is of the said company, one named William Page, an aged father and yet alive, witness to the same.
Also another, named Agnes Wetherly, widow, being about, the age of a hundred years, yet living and witness hereof; that in the days of king Henry VII A.D. 1506, in Buckinghamshire, in the diocese of Lincoln (William Smith being bishop of the same diocese), one William Tylsworth was burned in Amersham, in a close called Stanley, about sixty years ago: at which time one Joan Clerk, being a married woman, who was the only daughter of the said William Tylsworth, and a faithful woman, was compelled with her own hands to set fire to her dear father; and at the same time her husband John Cleric did penance at her father’s burning, and bare a faggot; as did also these:
Robert Bartlet, John Milscut, and his wife, William Grinder, Richard Bartlet, Thomas Homes 107 , John Bartlet, William White, Yomand Dorman, Thomas Harding and his wife, John Mumbe and his wife, William Scrivener, John Scrivener, Henry Harding, Richard Bennet, Thomas Chase, Richard Harding, Roger Bennet, John Cracher, Robert Harding, John Fip.
All these bare faggots, and afterwards were compelled to wear certain badges, and went abroad to certain towns to do penance; as to Buckingham, Aylesbury, and other towns besides. And also divers of these men were afterwards burned in the cheek, as William Page, who at this present is alive, and likewise did bear a faggot with the aforesaid.
Furthermore, the aforesaid Agnes Wetherly testifieth, that at the burning of this William Tylsworth, were sixty and above, that were put to bear faggots for their penance; of whom divers were enjoined to bear and wear faggots, at Lincoln, the space of seven years’ some at one time, some at another, etc. In which number was also one Robert Bartlet, a rich man, who, for his profession’s sake, was put out of his farm and goods, and was condemned to be kept in the monastery of Ashridge, where he wore on his right sleeve a square piece of cloth, the space of seven years together.
It followeth, moreover, in the testimony of the aforenamed, that about the same time of the burning of William Tylsworth (as the Amersham men do say), or the next day after (as recordeth the aforesaid Agnes) was one father Roberts burned at Buckingham. He was a miller, and dwelled at Missenden; and at his burning there were above twenty persons, that were compelled to bear faggots, and to do such penance as the wicked Pharisees did compel them. After that, by the space of two or three years, were burned at Amersham Thomas Barnard, a husbandman, and James Mordon, a laborer; they two were burned both at one fire, and there was William Littlepage, who is yet alive, compelled to be burned in the right cheek, and father Rogers, and father Rever alias Reive, who after was burned. This father Rogers was in the bishop’s prison fourteen weeks together, night and day, where he was so cruelly handled with cold, hunger, and irons, that after his coming out of the said prison, he was so lame in his back, that he could never go upright as long as he lived; as can testify divers honest men that be now living. Also there were thirty more burned in the right cheek, and who bare faggots at the same time. The cause was, that they would talk against superstition and idolatry, and were desirous to hear and read the holy Scriptures. The manner of their burning in the cheek was this: their necks were tied fast to a post or stay, with towels, and their hands holden fast that they might not stir; and so the iron, being hot, was put to their cheeks: and thus bare they the prints and marks of the Lord Jesus about them.
THE CRUEL HANDLING OF THOMAS CHASE OF AMERSHAM WICKEDLY STRANGLED AND MARTYRED IN THE BISHOP’S PRISON AT WOBURN, UNDER WILLIAM SMITH, BISHOP OF LINCOLN Among these aforesaid, who were so cruelly persecuted for the gospel and word of Christ, one Thomas Chase of Amersham was one of them that was thus cruelly handled: which Thomas Chase by the report of such as did know him, was a man of a godly, sober, and honest behavior (whose virtuous doings do yet remain in memory), and who could not abide idolatry and superstition, but many times would speak against it.
Wherefore the ungodly and wicked did the more hate and despise him, and took him and brought him before the blind bishop, being at that time at Woburn, in the county of Buckingham, and, as it is written in Acts 12, that wicked Herod did vex certain of the congregation, and killed James the brother of John with the sword; and because he saw that it pleased the Jews, etc., he proceeded further, and had this same Thomas Chase before him, asking him many questions touching the Romish religion, with many taunts, checks, and rebukes; but what answer this godly man, Thomas Chase, made them, it is unknown. Howbeit it is to be supposed that his answer was most zealous and godly in professing Christ’s true religion and gospel, and to the extirpation of idolatry, and superstition, and hypocrisy, for the said Thomas Chase was commanded to be put in the bishop’s prison, called ‘Little Ease,’ in the bishop’s house at Woburn; which prison had not been ministered unto him, had not his answers been sound and upright. There Thomas Chase lay bound most painfully with chains, gyves, manacles, and irons, oftentimes sore pined with hunger, where the bishop’s alms were daily brought unto him by his chaplains; which alms were nothing else but checks, taunts, rebukes and threatenings, floutings and mockings. All which cruelty the godly martyr took most quietly and patiently, remembering and having respect to Christ’s promises Matthew 13: “Blessed are they which suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven:” and as followeth: “Blessed are ye when men revile you and persecute you;” etc. When the bishop, with his band of shavelings, perceived that by their daily practices of cruelty they could not prevail against him, but rather that he was the more fervent and earnest in professing Christ’s true religion, and that he did tolerate and bear most patiently all their wickedness and cruelty ministered unto him, they imagined how and which way they might put him to death, lest there should be a tumult or an uproar among the people.
And as Richard Hun shortly after was hanged or strangled in Lollard’s tower, about A.D. 1514, even so these blood-suppers most cruelly strangled and pressed to death this said Thomas Chase in prison, who most heartily called upon God to receive his spirit; as witnesseth a certain woman that kept him in prison.
After these stinging vipers, being of the wicked brood of Antichrist, had thus most cruelly and impiously murdered this faithful Christian, they were at their wits’ end, and could not tell what shift to make, to cloke their shameful murder withal: at last to blind the ignorant silly people, these bloody butchers most slanderously caused it by their ministers to be bruited abroad, that the aforesaid Thomas Chase had hanged himself in prison; which was a most shameful and abominable lie, for the prison was such, that a man could not stand upright, nor lie at ease, but stooping, as they do report that did know it. And besides that, this man had so many manacles and irons upon him, that he could not well move either hand or foot, as the women did declare that saw him dead; insomuch that they confessed that his blood-bulk was broken, by reason they had so viley beaten him and bruised him. And yet these holy Catholics had not made an end of their wicked act in this both killing and slandering of this godly martyr; but, to put out the remembrance of him, they caused him to be buried in the wood called Norland Wood, in the highway betwixt Woburn and Little Marlow, to the intent he should not be taken up again to be seen: and thus commonly are innocent men laid up, by these, clerkly clergymen. But He that is effectually true of himself hath promised, at one time or at another to clear his true servants, not with lies and fables, but by his own true word. “No secret,” saith He, “is so close, but once shall be opened; neither is any thing so hid, that shall not at the last be known clearly.” (Matthew 10, Luke 12) Such a sweet Lord is God always to those that are his true servants. Blessed be his holy name, therefore, for ever and ever, Amen!
Thomas Harding being one of this company thus molested and troubled, as is aforesaid, in the town of Amersham, for the truth of the gospel, after his abjuration and penance done, was again sought for, and brought to the fire, in the days of king Henry VIII, and under Dr. Longland then bishop of Lincoln, succeeding after cardinal Wolsey; of whose death and martyrdom we shall likewise record (Christ willing and granting) in order, when we shall come to the time and year of his suffering.
After the martyrdom of these two, I read also of one Thomas Noris, who likewise for the same cause, that is, for the profession of Christ’s gospel, was condemned by the bishop, and burnt at Norwich, the last day of March, A.D. 1507.
In the next year following, which was A.D. 1508, in the consistory of London, was convented Elizabeth Sampson, of the parish of Aldermanbury, upon certain articles, and especially for speaking against pilgrimage and adoration of images; as the image of our lady at Wilsdon, at Staines, at Crome, at Walsingham, and the image of St. Saviour of Bermondsey; and against the sacrament of the altar, and for that she had spoken these or like words: That our lady of Wilsdon was but a burnt tailed elf, and a burnt tailed stock; and if she might have holpen men and women who go to her on pilgrimage, she would not have suffered her tail to have been burnt: and what should folk worship our lady of Wilsdon, or our lady of Crome; for the one is but a burnt tailed stock, and the other is but a puppet: and better it were for the people to give their alms at home to poor people, than to go on pilgrimage. Also she called the image of St.
Saviour, ‘Sire Saviour with kit lips;’ and that she said she could make as good bread, as that which the priest occupied; and that it was not the body of Christ, but bread, for that Christ could not be both in heaven and in earth at one time. For these and certain other articles, she was compelled to abjure before Master William Horsey, chancellor, the day and year above written. 1 LAURENCE GHEST, MARTYR Lamentable it is to remember, and a thing almost infinite to comprehend, the names, times, and persons of all them that have been slain by the rigor of the pope’s clergy, for the true maintaining of Christ’s cause, and of his sacraments; whose memory being registered in the book of life, albeit it need not the commemoration of our stories, yet for the more confirmation of the church, I thought it not unprofitable the suffering and martyrdom of them to be notified, who innocently have given their blood to be shed in Christ’s quarrel.
In the catalogue of whom, next in order, cometh the memorial of Laurence Ghest, who was burned in Salisbury for matter of the sacrament, in the days of king Henry VII. He was of a comely and tall person, and otherwise (as appeareth) not unfriended; for which the bishop and the close were the more loath to burn him, but kept him in prison the space of two years. This Laurence had a wife and seven children. Wherefore they, thinking to expugn and persuade his mind by stirring of his fatherly affection toward his children, when the time came which they appointed for his burning, as he was at the stake, they brought before him his wife and his aforesaid seven children; at the sight whereof, although nature is commonly wont to work in others, yet in him, religion overcoming nature made his constancy to remain unmovable; in such sort, as when his wife began to exhort and desire him to favor himself, he again desired her to be content, and not to be a block in his way, for he was in a good course, running toward the mark of his salvation: and so, fire being put to him, he finished his life, renouncing not only wife and children, but also himself, to follow Christ. As he was in burning, one of the bishop’s men threw a firebrand at his face; whereat the brother of Laurence, standing by, ran at him with his dagger, and would have slain him, had he not been otherwise staid.
Testified and witnessed by the credible report of one William Russel, an aged man dwelling of late in Coleman Street, who was there present, the same time, at the burning of Laurence, and was also himself burned in the cheek, and one of the persecuted flock in those days, whose daughter is yet living. The same is confirmed also by the testimony of one Richard Webb, servant sometime to Master Latimer, who, sojourning in the house of the said William Russel, heard him many times declare the same.
A NOTABLE STORY OF A FAITHFUL WOMAN BURNED IN CHIPPING-SUDBURY But amongst all the examples of them, whereof so many have suffered from time to time for Christ and his truth, I cannot tell if ever were any martyrdom more notable and admirable, wherein the plain demonstration of God’s mighty power and judgment hath at, any time been more evident against the persecutors of his flock, than at the burning of a certain godly woman put to death in Chipping-Sudbury, about the same time, under the reign of king Henry VII.
The constancy of which blessed woman, as it is glorious for all true godly Christians to behold; so again the example of the bishop’s chancellor, who cruelly condemned the innocent, may offer a terrible spectacle to the eyes of all papistical persecutors to consider, and to take example; which the living God grant they may. Amen. The name of the town where she was martyred, was, as is said, Chipping-Sudbury; the name of the woman is not as yet come to my knowledge; the name of the chancellor, who condemned her, was called doctor Whittington; the time of her burning was in the reign and time of king Henry VII, orderly therefore in this place and time, to be inserted. Wherein is to be noted moreover the opportunity of this present history brought to my hands, and that in such convenient season, as I was drawing toward the end of the aforesaid king’s reign, so that it may appear to those who behold the opportunity of things, not to be without God’s holy will and providence, that this aforesaid example should not lie hid and unremembered, but should come to light and knowledge; and that in such order of placing, according as the due course of our story, hitherto kept, requireth.
After this godly woman and manly martyr of Christ was condemned by the wretched chancellor above named, doctor Whittington, for the faithful profession of the truth, which the papists then called heresy, and the time being now come when she should be brought to the place and pains of her martyrdom, a great concourse of all the multitude, both in the town and country about (as the manner is at such times), was gathered to behold her end. Among whom was also the aforesaid doctor Whittington, the chancellor, there present to see the execution done. Thus this faithful woman, and true servant of God, constantly persisting in the testimony of the truth, committing her cause to the Lord, gave over her life to the fire, refusing no pains nor torments to keep her conscience clear and unreprovable in the day of the Lord. The sacrifice being ended, the people began to return homeward, coming from the burning of this blessed martyr.
It happened in the mean time, that as the catholic executioners were busy in slaying this silly lamb at the town’s side, a certain butcher was as busy within the town, slaying a bull; which bull he had fast bound in ropes, ready to knock him on the head. But the butcher (belike not so skillful in his art of killing beasts, as the papists be in murdering Christians), as he was lifting his ax to strike the bull, failed in his stroke, and smote a little too low, or else how he smote, I know not: this is certain, that the bull, although somewhat grieved at the stroke, but yet not stricken down, put his strength to the ropes, and brake loose from the butcher into the street, the very same time as the people were coming in great press from the burning. Who, seeing the bull coming towards them, and supposing him to be wild (as it was no other like), gave way for the beast, every man shifting for himself as well as he might. Thus the people giving back, and making a lane for the bull, he passed through the throng of them, touching neither man nor child, till he came where the chancellor was: against whom the bull, as pricked with a sudden vehemency, ran full butt with his horns; and taking him upon the paunch, gored him through and through; and so killed him immediately: carrying his guts, and trailing them with his horns, all the street over, to the great admiration and wonder of all them that saw it.
Although the carnal sense of man be blind in considering the works of the Lord, imputing, many times, to blind chance the things which properly pertain to God’s only praise and providence; yet in this so strange and so evident example, what man can be so dull or ignorant, which seeth not herein a plain miracle of God’s mighty power and judgment, both in the punishing of this wretched chancellor, and also in admonishing all other like persecutors, by his example, to fear the Lord, and to abstain from the like cruelty?
Now, for the credit of this story, lest I be said upon mine own head to commit to story things rashly, which I cannot justify, therefore, to stop such cavilling mouths, I will discharge myself with authority, I trust, sufficient, that is, with the witness of him who both was a papist, and also present at the same time at the burning of the woman, whose name was Rowland Webb: which Rowland, dwelling then in Chipping-Sudbury, had a son named Richard Webb, servant sometime to master Latimer, who also, enduring with him in time of his trouble six years together, was himself imprisoned and persecuted for the same causeunto which Richard Webb, being now aged, then young, the aforesaid Rowland, his father, to the intent to exhort him from the sect of heresy (as he then called it), recited to him many times the burning of this woman, and withal added the story of the bull aforesaid, which he himself did see and testify. This Richard Webb is yet living, a witness of his own father’s words and testimony, which I trust may satisfy all indifferent readers, except only such as think no truth to be believed, but that only which is in their portues.
Verses touching the same, by Thomas Hatcher. “Mira legis, quicunque legis, portenta nefandi Exitus, ut poenas addita poena luat.
Vera legis, Domini cuicunque potentia nora est, Ut delinquentes ira severa premat.
Saepe fit ut fusus cumuletur sanguine sanguis, Saepe fit ut poenis obruat ira novis.
Omnia sunt Domini dextrae subjecta potenti, Qui ciet arbritrio bruta hominesque suo.
Carnificis taurus luctando corniger ictua Evitans, fracto fune repente fugit.
Forte viam qua turba frequens confluxerat ante, Foeminea ut cernat membra perire rogo, Taurus iit, fertur qua confertissima turba; Laesus at ex tanta solus et unus erat.
Solus et unus erat, rapidos qui misit in ignes, Et misere parvum sparsit ovile Dei.
Et, quasi consulto ferretur, praeterit omnes; Cornibus hune tollit, proterit hunc pedibus.
Ille jaeet, madido foedatur sanguine, corpus, Eruta perque vias viscera sparsa jacent.
Quis non a Domino, nutu qui temperat orbera, Cogitet haec fieri, non repetendo tremat?
Ultio-terribiles comitatur justa procellas:
Sera licet, certis passibus illa venit.” And thus much concerning the state of the church; wherein is to be understood, what storms and persecutions have been raised up in all quarters against the flock and congregation of Christ, not only by the Turks, but also at home, within ourselves, by the bishop of Rome and his retinue. Where also is to be noted, in the days and reign of this king Henry VII, how mightily the working of God’s gospel hath multiplied and increased, and what great numbers of men and women have suffered for the same with us in England, as by these stories above past may be apparent.
Now these things declared, which to the church matters be appertaining, consequently it remaineth something to treat of the state, likewise, of the commonwealth, which commonly doth follow the state of the church.
Where the church is quietly and moderately governed, and the flock of Christ defended by godly princes in peace and safety, from devouring and violence of bloody wolves; the success of civil estate, for the most part, there doth flourish, and the princes long continue, through God’s preservation, in prosperous rest and tranquillity. Contrariwise, where either the church of Christ through the negligence of princes, or the poor members of Christ, through their setting on, be persecuted and devoured, shortly after ensueth some just recompense of the Lord upon those princes, that either their lives do not long continue, or else they find not that quiet in the commonwealth, which they look for. Examples hereof, as in all other ages be abundant, so in this present time be not lacking, whether we consider the state and condition of other countries far off, or else of our own country near at home.
And here, not to wander in our story farther than to France only, let us a little behold the example of king Charles VIII, who, living in this king’s time, died also not long before him. This Charles is commended of Philip de Comines, to be a moderate, valiant, and victorious prince, adorned with many special virtues to a prince appertaining. And yet the same king, because he was slack and remiss in defense of Christ’s church, neither did use his authority, nor did take his occasion offered to him of God, to amend and reform the estate of the bishop and clergy of Rome when he might, he was therefore himself punished and cut off of the Lord, as by his story ensuing may right well appear. For so it is of him recorded, that being marvelously excited and provoked, of his own mind (contrary to the counsel of most of his nobles) he took his journey into Italy, neither being furnished with money, nor the season of the year being convenient thereunto. And that this may appear the better to proceed of the Lord’s doing, to the intent he would have the church and clergy of Rome reformed by the prince’s sword, which so vexed all Christendom at that time, we shall hear what is testified in the Commentaries of the said Philip de Comines, 2 writing in this wise: ‘There was in the city of Florence, the same time, a Dominic friar, named Hieronymus Savonarola, of whom mention was made before, 3 a man of a right godly and approved life; who in the said city of Florence preached and prophesied long before, that the French king should come with an army into Italy, being stirred up of God to suppress the tyrants of Italy, and none should withstand him. He should also come to the city of Pisa, and the state of Florence should be altered: all which happened true. He affirmed, moreover, to be signified to him of the Lord, that the ecclesiastical state of the church must be redressed ‘per vim armorum,’ i.e., ‘by the sword or force of arms. ‘Many things also be prophesied of the Venetians, and of the French king, saying, that the king with some danger and difficulty should pass that journey, yet notwithstanding should overcome it and escape, albeit his strength were never so slender; for God would safely conduct him in that journey, and safely bring him home again. But because he had not done his office, in amending the state of the church, and in defending his people from injury, and from devouring, therefore it should come to pass,’ saith he, ‘and that shortly, that some incommodity or detriment, should happen to the king’ or if he should, escape that danger of his sickness and recover health, then if he did resist the cruelty of the wicked, and procure the safety of the poor and miserable, God would show mercy unto him,’ etc.
And this the said Hierome declared before to Philip de Comines, one of the king’s counselors, who was the writer of the story, and required him to signify the same unto the king; who so did, and he, moreover, himself coming to the presence of the king, declared no less.
All which things as he had foretold, came directly to effect. For the king, being but easily accompanied, with a small power entered into Italy; where first he came to Aosta, then to Genoa, and to Pisa, from thence proceeded to Florence, which also he obtained, displacing there Peter de Medici the duke, who had used great tyranny upon the subjects. From thence he removed toward Rome, where a great part of the city wall, at the coming of the French king, fell down.
Afterward, when the king was entered into the city, and the pope (who then took part with Alphonsus king of Naples against the French king) had immured himself within the Mount of Adrian, the wall of the castle fell down of itself; whereby when the king was both occasioned, and exhorted also by his captains, to invade the pope, and to depose him, and to reform the church of Rome (which he might then easily have done, as it had pleased him); yet all these occasions, offered so opportunely of God, moved not the king to do his duty, and to help the poor church of Christ: wherefore shortly after, returning home into France from Naples, either the same year, or the next year following, he was stricken with a sudden sickness at Areboise, as he was looking on them that played at tennis, and that in the stinkingest place in all the castle, where he fell down and died within twelve hours, according to the forewarning of Hierome, who wrote unto him a little before, both of his son’s death, and of his own, which was about A.D. 1498. Like examples we have many here also in this our realm of England. So long as king John kept out of the realm the pope’s authority and power, he continued safe and quiet with his nobles: but as soon as he brought the realm under tribute and subjection to that foreign bishop, God stirred up his nobles against him, whereby he had much disquiet and trouble, and soon thereupon decayed.
Of all the kings of England from William the Conqueror to this king Henry VII, were none who either longer continued, or more prosperously flourished, than king Henry II, king Henry III, king Edward I, and king Edward III; of whom the first, how stout he was in withstanding Thomas Becket and pope Alexander III, is sufficiently before comprehended.
The second, who was son of king John, albeit through the wretchedness of that time his power was not sufficient to repulse the pope’s usurped jurisdiction out of the realm, yet his will was good: at least he so defended and provided for his subjects, that they took no great wrong at the pope’s hands; who reigned one year longer than Augustus Caesar, 5 which hath not commonly been seen in any prince. The third, who was king Edward I, so vigilantly behaved himself for the public commodity and safety of his people, that he defended them from all foreign power and hostility both of the Scots (then our enemies, now our friends), and also from the bishop of Rome, taking part with them against us, as may appear above. Furthermore of the same king, and of his worthy nobles and house of parliament, how valiantly they stood in denial of the pope’s subsidies, and also how the said king secluded out of his protection the bishops, and especially the archbishop Peckham, for standing with the pope, read before. Now as touching king Edward III, how little he regarded, how princely he with his nobles likewise resisted, the pope’s reservations and provisions, how he bridled the Archbishop John Stratford, and rejected the vain authority of the bishop of Rome, both in defense of his subjects, and also in defense of claiming his right title in the realm of France, read before. Not that I do here affirm or define, as in a general rule, that worldly success and prosperity of life always follow the godly, which we see rather to be given more often to the wicked sort; but, speaking of the duty of princes, I note and observe by examples of histories, that such princes as have most defended the church of Christ committed to their governance, from injury and violence of the bishop of Rome, have not lacked at God’s hand great blessing and felicity: whereas contrariwise, they who either themselves have been persecutors of Christ’s members, or have not shielded them by their protection from foreign tyranny and injuries, have lacked at God’s hand that protection, which the others had, as may appear by king Edward II, Richard III, king Henry IV, king Henry V, king Henry VI, etc., who, because either negligently they have suffered, or cruelly caused, such persecuting laws to be made, and so much Christian blood injuriously to be devoured; therefore have they been the less prospered of the Lord, so that either they were deposed, or, if they flourished for a while, yet they did not long continue, almost not half the time of the other kings before named.
And therefore, as the state of the commonwealth doth commonly follow the state of the church, as ye heard before; so it had been to be wished, that this king Henry VII, being otherwise a prudent and temperate prince, had not permitted the intemperate rage of the pope’s clergy so much to have their wills over the poor flock of Christ, as then they had; according as by these persecutions above mentioned may appear. Which king Henry VII, albeit he had a sufficient continuance, who had now reigned twentyfour years, yet notwithstanding here cometh the same thing to be noted whereof I spake before, that when the church of Christ beginneth to be injured with violence, and to go to wrack through misorder and negligence, the state of the commonwealth cannot there long endure without some alteration, and stroke of God’s correction. But, howsoever this mark is to be taken, thus lieth the story: that after the burning and vexing of these poor servants of Christ above recited, when the persecution began now to be hot in the church, God called away the king, the same year above mentioned, which was 1509 109 , after he had reigned the term of twenty-four years; who, if he had adjoined a little more pitiful respect, in protecting Christ’s poor members from the fire of the pope’s tyranny, to his other great virtues of singular wisdom, excellent temperance, and moderate frugality; so much had he been comparable with the best of those princes above comprehended, as he had been inferior but to a few: but this defect, which lacked in him, was supplied most luckily (blessed be the Lord!) by his posterity succeeding after him; of whom in the next volumes following (Christ thereunto assisting us), we have to specify more at large.
Among many other things incident in the reign of this king Henry VII, I have overpassed the history of certain godly persons persecuted in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, as we find them in the registers of the diocese recorded; here following.
In the year of our Lord 1485, March 9th, .amongst divers and sundry other good men in Coventry, these nine hereunder named, were examined before John, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, in St. Michael’s church, upon these articles following in order:
That he was a very heretic, because he had preached, taught, holden, and affirmed, that the power attributed to St. Peter in the church of God by our Savior Jesus Christ immediately, did not flit or pass from him, to remain with his successors. ITEM , That there was as much virtue in a herb, as in the image of the Virgin Mary. ITEM , That prayer and alms avail not the dead; for incontinent after death, he goeth either to heaven or hell: whereupon he coneludeth there is no purgatory. ITEM , That it was foolishness to go on pilgrimage to the image of our Lady of Doncaster, Walsingham, or of the Tower of the city of Coventry: for a man might as well worship the blessed Virgin by the fire-side in the kitchen, as in the aforesaid places, and as well might a man worship the blessed Virgin, when he seeth his mother or sister, as in visiting the images; because they be no more but dead stocks and stones. ITEM , That he said in English, with a frowning countenance, as it appeared: ‘A vengeance on all such horson priests, for they have great envy that a poor man should get his living among them.’
Richard Hegham of the same city was accused, as under:
That he was a very heretic, because he did hold that a Christian man being at the point of death, should renounce all his own works good and ill, and submit him to the mercy of God. ITEM , That it was fondness to worship the images of our Lady of the Tower, in the aforesaid city, or of other saints; for they are but stocks and stones. ITEM , That if the image of our Lady of the Tower were put into the fire, it would make a good fire. ITEM , That it were better to deal money unto poor folks, than to offer to the image of Christ and other saints, which are but dead stocks and stones.
Robert Crowther of the same city was accused as follows:
That he was a heretic, because he did hold, that whoso receiveth the sacrament of the altar in deadly sin, or out of charity, receiveth nothing but bread and wine. ITEM , That neither bishop, nor priests, nor curates of churches, have power in the market of penance to bind and loose. ITEM , That pilgrimage to the image of our Lady of the Tower is foolishness: for it is but a stock or a stone.
John Smith was accused, as under:
That he was a very heretic, because he did hold, that every man is bound to know the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed in English, if he might; for all these false priests. ITEM , That whoso believed as the church then did believe, believed ill: and that a man had need to frequent the schools a good while, ere that he can attain to the knowledge of the true and right faith. ITEM , That no priest hath power to assoil a man, in the market of penance, from his sins.
Roger Brown of the same city was also accused as follows:
That he was a heretic, because he did hold that no man ought to worship the image of our Lady of Walsingham, nor the blood of Christ at Hales, but rather God Almighty, who would give him whatsoever he would ask. ITEM , That he held not up his hands, nor looked up, at the elevation of the Eucharist. ITEM , That he promised one to show him certain books of heresy, if he would swear that he would not utter them, and if he would credit them. ITEM , That he did eat flesh in Lent, and was taken with the manner. ITEM , If any man were not shriven in his whole life long, and at the point of death would be confessed, and could not, if he had no more but contrition only, he should pass to joy without purgatory: and if he were confessed of any sin, and were enjoined only to say for penance one Pater-Noster, if he thought he should have any punishment in purgatory for that sin, he would never be confessed for any sin. ITEM , Because he said all is lost that is given to priests. ITEM , That there was no purgatory, that God would pardon all sins without confession and satisfaction.
That he was a very heretic, because he did hold that there were but two ways, that is to say, to heaven and to hell. ITEM , That no faithful man should abide any pain after the death of Christ, for any sin, because Christ died for our sins.
ITEM , That there was no purgatory; for every man immediately after death passeth either to heaven or hell. ITEM , That whosoever departeth in the faith of Christ and the church, howsoever he hath lived, shall be saved. ITEM , That prayers and pilgrimages are nothing worth, and avail not to purchase heaven.
John Falks was accused as follows:
That he was a very heretic, because he did affirm that it was a foolish thing to offer to the image of our Lady, saying, Her head shall be hoar ere I offer to her: What is it but a block? If it could speak to me, I would give it an half penny worth of ale. ITEM , That when the priest carrieth to the sick the body of Christ, why carrieth he not also the blood of Christ? ITEM , That he did eat cow-milk upon the first Sunday of Lent. ITEM , That as concerning the sacrament of penance and absolution, no priest hath power to assoil any man from his sins, when he can not make one hair of his head. ITEM , That the image of our Lady was but a stone or a block. Richard Hilman was accused, as under:
That he was a very heretic, because he did say and maintain that it was better to part with money to the poor, than to give tithes to priests, or to offer to the images of our Lady; and that it were better to offer to images made by God, than to the images of God painted. ITEM , That he had the Lord’s Prayer and the salutation of the angel and the Creed in English, and another book did he see and had, which contained the epistles and gospels in English, and according to them would he live, and thereby believed to be saved. ITEM , That no priest speaketh better in the pulpit than that book. ITEM , That the sacrament of the altar is but bread, and that the priests make it to blind the people. ITEM , That a priest, while he is at mass, is a priest; and after one mass done, till the beginning of another mass, he is no more than a lay-man, and hath no more power than a mere lay-man.
After they were enforced to recant, they were assoiled and put to penance.
In the year of our Lord 1488, the third of April, Margery Goyt, wife of James Goyt of Ashburn, was brought before the aforesaid John bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and was there accused as follows:
That she said, that that which the priests lift over their heads at mass, was not the true and very body of Christ; for, if it were so, the priests could not break it so lightly into four parts, and swallow it as they do; for the Lord’s body hath flesh and bones: so hath not that which the priests receive. ITEM , That priests buying forty cakes for a half penny, and showing them to the people, and saying, that of every of them they make the body of Christ, do nothing but deceive the people and enrich themselves. ITEM , Seeing God in the beginning did create and make man, how can it be that man should be able to make God?
Thus much I thought good here to insert, touching these aforesaid people of Coventry, especially for this purpose, because our cavilling adversaries be wont to object against us the newness of Christ’s old and ancient religion. To the intent, therefore, they may see this doctrine not to be so new as they report, I wish they would consider both the time and articles here objected against these aforesaid persons, as is above-premised.
I should also in the same reign of king Henry VII have introduced that story of Johannes Picus, earl of Mirandula, the mention of whose name partly is touched before. This Picus, earl of Mirandula, being but a young man, was so excellently witted, and so singularly learned in all sciences, and in all tongues, both Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, Chaldee, and Araby, that coming to Rome booted and spurred, he set up ninety conclusions, to dispute in the same with any in all Christendom, whosoever would come against him; of which conclusions divers were touching the matter of the sacrament, etc. And when none was found in all Rome, nor in Europe, that openly would dispute with him, privily and in corners certain of the pope’s clergy, prelates, lawyers, and friars, by the pope appointed, consulted together to inquire upon his conclusions; whereupon they did articulate against him for suspicion of heresy. And thus the unlearned clergy of Rome privily circumvented and entangled this learned earl in their snares of heresy, against whom they durst never openly dispute. He died being of the age of thirty-two years, of such wit and fowardness, as is hard to say whether Italy ever bred up a better. In his sickness Charles VIII the French king, moved with the fame of his learning, came to visit him. The furniture of his books cost him seven thousand florins. A little before his death his mind was to give all away, and to take a cowl, to go about and preach; but the Lord would not permit him. His story requireth a long tractation, which, if place do serve, we will not peradventure forget. With two popes, that is, with pope Innocent, and Alexander VI, he had much vexation.
The names of the Archbishops of Canterbury 110 in this sixth Book contained: 62 John Stafford held the see for 8 years 63 John Kempe for 3 years, 64 Thomas Bouchier for 33, 65 John Morton for 14, 66 Thomas Langton 10 held the see for 0 years, 67 Henry Dene for 2, 68 William Warham for 28.
A BRIEF NOTE OF ECCLESIASTICAL LAWS111 ORDAINED BY ANCIENT KINGS IN THIS REALM Forasmuch as it is, and hath been a persuasion long engendered in the heads of many, that the bishops of Rome be the universal heads of the whole militant church of Christ in earth, and have always so continued from the beginning of the primitive time; and that no prince, king, nor emperor, in his own realm, hath any interest to intermeddle with matters and laws ecclesiastical, but only the said bishops of Rome: to refell and remove that opinion out of the heads of all Englishmen, as a thing most false, and contrary both to histories of time, and examples of ancient kings and governors of this realm, I thought to fill up a little end of paper here left, with some such brief rehearsal of laws devised and appointed by kings and rulers of this land, for the ordering of the church, and causes ecclesiastical; to the intent that all the world may see that the government of Christ’s church here in earth under Christ hath not depended only of the pope from ancient time, but hath been rather directed by such kings and princes as God here had placed under him, to govern the people of this realm of England: as followeth here in this present table to be noted.
A BRIEF RECAPITULATION OF ANCIENT ECCLESIASTICAL LAWS, BY SUNDRY KINGS OF THIS REALM ORDAINED, FOR GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH, BEFORE THE CONQUEST Ecclesiastical Laws of King Inas, or Ina: 1. First, king Inas, who reigned in this land A.D. 712, commanded that ministers should frame their conversation of life, according to the form in laws prescribed. 2. That infants should be baptized within thirty days. 3. Item, That no man, lay or spiritual, free or bond, should labor on the Sunday. 4. Item, He established immunity of churches, and sanctuary. Also he took order for the true payment of church duties, and of the first-fruits of all that was sown, to be paid at the day of St. Martin.
Ecclesiastical Laws of King Alured, or Alfred. 1. King Alfred, after he had ordained divers judicial punishments for violating the holy precepts of God commanded by Moses, he also confirmed and enlarged the privilege of sanctuary: he laid double pain upon such as committed offenses in the solemnities of certain feasts; also against them that committed sacrilege. 2. He made a law against priests committing murder. 3. Also he made a law against whoredom, adultery, and fornication. 4. He appointed days of fasting, and ceasing from labor. 5. Item, He set order for making and keeping vows.
Ecclesiastical Laws of King Edward the Elder, and Gythrum the Dane King. 1. First, They agreed upon the sanctuary; they forbade gentility and paganism; they laid punishment upon the clergy committing theft, perjury, or murder, fornication, or any capital crime. 2. They punished priests, that pretermitted their office in pronouncing festival, or fasting days. 3. They made a law against all labor, buying, and selling, upon the Sabbath; also for keeping of feasts. ITEM , For no execution to be done on the Sunday.
Also against witches and sorcerers, etc.
Ecclesiastical Laws of King Athelstan. 1. King Athelstan, who reigned A.D. 925, commanded that every village of his own should give a monthly corody 11 to a poor person. 2. That fifty Psalms should he sung daily in the church, for the king, etc. 3. He also ordained punishment for witches and sorcerers, etc Ecclesiastical Laws of King Edmund. 1. After king Athelstan followed king Edmund about A.D. 941, who established and provided laws against the unchaste living of churchmen. 2. Item, He made laws concerning tithes, with first-fruits of every man’s crop, and alms-money duly to be paid. 3. He enacted, That bishops, of their own proper charges, should repair churches, and should also admonish the king for the furnishing of the same. 4. For perjury also, and for fighting within the church, he set laws and pains.
Ecclesiastical Laws of King Edgar. 1. King Edgar, who began his reign about A.D. 959, amongst other constitutions ecclesiastical, ordained that the Sunday should be kept holy from Saturday at noon 112 till Monday in the morning. 2. Item, He ordained and decreed concerning liberties and freedoms of the church; for tithes also, and first-fruits of corn, and paying of Peterpenc 3. Item, For holy days and fasting days. 4. Item, That assemblies or synods should be kept twice every year, whereat as well the bishop of the diocese should be present, as the civil magistrate.
King Ethelred, A.D. King Ethelred also, who succeeded after Edgar and Edward, appointed divers laws for public regiment, whereof we find but few touching matters ecclesiastical; for tithes, lights, feasts, and nothing else, and therefore we pass further, to the laws of Canute, Ecclesiastical Laws of King Canute.
Canute the Dane, king, began to reign in this land A.D. 1016. The said Canute (as Ethelred had done before) divided his laws into ecclesiastical and temporal. 1. That ecclesiastical persons, being accused of fighting, murder, or any other offense, should purge themselves thereof. 2. That priests should be degraded for perjury, and put in sureties of good behavior. 3. He prayeth priests, that they will live chaste, and commanded other religious. 4. He limited the degrees of marriage. 5. Item, he commanded celebration of the Sabbath from Saturday at noon 114 till Monday morning, as Edgar had done before, forbidding markets, huntings, labors, and court-keepings, during the said space. 6. He ordained each Christian man to come to the housel 12 thrice yearly at least; that they might search and inquire after God’s law, and his commandments. 7. That every Christian man understand the points of his faith, and that at least he learn perfectly the Lord’s prayer and the creed; and that whosoever cannot, the same shall be excluded from the Eucharist, and shall not be received to undertake for others in baptism. 8. That bishops and priests should do their duties; that they cry out and warn their flocks when the wolf cometh. 9. That at the court of every shire the bishop of the diocese shall be present with the sheriff, and that the one shall teach them God’s law, and the other man’s law; as ye heard in king Edgar’s laws before.
Many other laws, both ecclesiastical and temporal, besides these, were enacted by these and other kings here in England, before the Conquest; but these be sufficient to give the understanding reader to consider how the authority of the bishops of Rome, all this while, extended not so far to prescribe laws for government of the church, but that kings and princes of the realm, as they be now, so were then, full governors here under Christ, as well in causes ecclesiastical as temporal, both in directing orders, instituting laws, in calling of synods, and also in conferring bishoprics and benefices, without any leave of the Romish bishops. Thus Odo, Dunstan, Oswold, Ethelwold, Adelmus, and Lanfranc, although they fetched their palls afterward from Rome, yet were they made bishops and archbishops by kings only, and not by popes.
And thus stood the government of this realm of England all the time before the Conquest, till pope Hildebrand, through the setting on of the Saxons, began first to bring the emperor (who was Henry IV) underfoot. Then followed the subduing of other emperors, kings, and subjects after that; as namely here in England, when Lanfranc, Anselm, and Becket, went to complain of their kings and governors, then brought they the pope’s judicial authority first from Rome over this land, both over kings and subjects; which ever since hath continued, till these latter years. Albeit the said kings of this realm of England, being prudent princes, and seeing right well the ambitious presumption of those Romish bishops, did what they could to shake off the yoke of their supremacy, as appeareth by the laws and acts of their parliaments, both in king Edward III’s time, king Richard II, and king Henry IV, above in their parliament notes 115 specified; yet, for fear of other foreign princes, and the blind opinion of their subjects, such was then the calamity of that time, that they neither could nor durst compass that which fain they would; till, at last, the time of their iniquity being complete, through the Lord’s wonderful working, their pride had a fall, as in the next pages ensuing (the Lord so granting), shall by process of history be declared.
THE PROUD PRIMACY OF POPES DESCRIBED IN ORDER OF THEIR RISING UP, BY LITTLE AND LITTLE, FROM FAITHFUL BISHOPS AND MARTYRS, TO BECOME LORDS AND GOVERNORS OVER KINGS AND KINGDOMS, EXALTING, THEMSELVES IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, ABOVE ALL THAT IS CALLED GOD. (2 Thessalonians 2) In the history of the primitive church before described hath been, gentle reader, set forth and exhibited the grievous afflictions and sorrowful torments, which, through God’s secret sufferance, fell upon the true saints and members of Christ’s church in that time, especially upon the good bishops, ministers, and teachers of the flock, of whom some were scourged, some beheaded, some crucified, some burned, some had their eyes put out, some one way, some another, miserably consumed: which days of woeful calamity continued (as is foreshowed) near the space of three hundred years. During that time the dear spouse and elect church of God, being sharply assaulted on every side, had small rest, no joy, nor outward safety in this present world, but, in much bitterness of heart, in continual tears and mourning under the cross, passed over their days, being spoiled, imprisoned, contemned, reviled, famished, tormented, and martyred everywhere; who neither durst well tarry at home for fear and dread, and much less durst come abroad for the enemies, but only by night, when they assembled as they might, sometimes to sing psalms and hymns together. In all which their dreadful dangers and sorrowful afflictions, notwithstanding, the goodness of the Lord left them not desolate; but the more their outward tribulations did increase, the more their inward consolations did abound: and the further off they seemed from the joys of this life, the more present was the Lord with them, with grace and fortitude to confirm and rejoice their souls: and though their possessions and riches in this world were lost and spoiled, yet were they enriched with heavenly gifts and treasures from above, a hundred-fold. Then was true religion truly felt in heart. Then was Christianity not in outward appearance showed, but in inward affection received, and the true image of the church, not in outward show pretensed, but in her perfect state effectual. Then was the name and fear of God true in heart, not in lips alone dwelling. Faith then was fervent, zeal ardent; prayer not swimming in the lips, but groaned out to God from the bottom of the spirit. Then was no pride in the church, nor leisure to seek riches, nor time to keep them. Contention for trifles was then so far from Christians, that well were they when they could meet to pray together against the devil, author of all dissension. Briefly, the whole church of Christ Jesus, with all the members thereof, the farther it was from the type and shape of this world, the nearer it was to the blessed respect of God’s favor and supportation.
THE FIRST RISING OF THE BISHOPS OF ROME.
After this long time of trouble it pleased the Lord at length mercifully to look upon the saints and servants of his Son, to release their captivity, to release their misery, and to bind up the old dragon the devil, which so long vexed them; whereby the church began to aspire to some more liberty, and the bishops, who before were as abjects, utterly contemned of emperors, through the providence of God (who disposeth all things in his time after his own will) began now of emperors to be esteemed and had in price.
Furthermore, as emperors grew more in devotion, so the bishops more and more were exalted, not only in favor, but also preferred unto honor insomuch that in short space they became not quarter-masters, but rather half emperors with emperors.
After this, in process of time, as riches and worldly wealth crept into the clergy, and that the devil had poured his venom into the church (as the voice was heard the same time over Constantinople) 1 so true humility began to decay, and pride to set in his foot, till at last they played as the ivy doth with the oak tree, which, first beginning with a goodly green show, embraceth him so long, till at length it overgroweth him, and so sucketh all his moisture from him, setting his root fast in his bark, till at last it both stifleth the stock, and killeth the branches, and so cometh to be a nest for owls and all unclean birds. Not untruly, therefore, it was said of Augustine, “Religio peperit divitias, et filia devoravit matrem,” 2 that is, “Religion begat riches, and the daughter hath devoured the mother.” The verity whereof notoriously may appear above all others in the church of Rome, and the bishops of the same; for after the church of Rome, through favor of emperors, was endued with lands, donations, possessions, and patrimonies, so that the bishops thereof, feeling the smack of wealth, ease, and prosperity, began to swell in pomp and pride; 3 the more they flourished in this world, the more God’s Holy Spirit forsook them; till at last the said bishops, who at the first were poor, creeping low upon the ground, and were persecuted a long time, every man treading upon them in this world; now of persecuted people, began to be persecutors of others, and to tread upon the necks even of emperors, and to bring the heads of kings and princes under their girdle. And not only that, but furthermore, through pride and riches, they were so far gone from all religion, that in the very end they became the great adversary of God (whom we call Antichrist), prophesied of so long before by the Spirit of God to come, sitting in the temple of God, etc., of whom thus we read in the epistle of Paul [2 Thessalonians 2], where he saith, “We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our fellowship together in him, that ye be not suddenly moved in your mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor letter, as it were from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand. Let no man in any wise deceive you, for that day shall not come except there come a departing first, and that man of sin be revealed, even the son of perdition; that adversary which exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he shall sit in the temple of God, as God, and set forth himself as he were God,” etc.
THE WORDS OF ST. PAUL EXPOUNDED By which words of St. Paul, we have divers things to understand: First, That the day of the Lord’s coming was not then near at hand. Secondly, The apostle, giving us a token before, to know when that day shall approach, biddeth us look for an adversary first to be revealed. Thirdly, To show what adversary this shall be, he expresseth him not to be as a common adversary, such as were then in his time. For although Herod, Annas, and Caiaphas, the high priests and Pharisees, Tertullus, Alexander the coppersmith, Elymas, and Simon Magus, and Nero the emperor, in Paul’s time, were great adversaries; yet here he meaneth another besides these, greater than all the rest; not such a one as should be like to priest, king, or emperor; but such as, far exceeding the state of all kings, priests, and emperors, should be the prince of priests, should make kings to stoop, and should tread upon the neck of emperors, and make them to kiss his feet. Moreover, where the apostle saith, that he shall sit in the temple of God; thereby is meant, not the personal sitting of the pope in the city only of Rome, but the authority and jurisdiction of his see exalted in the whole universal church, equal with God himself. For let men give to the pope that which he, in his laws, decrees, and in his pontifical, requireth, and what difference is there between God and the pope? If God set laws and ordinances, so doth he. If God hath his creatures, so hath he. If God require obedience, so doth he. If the breach of God’s commandments be punished, much more be his. God hath his religion, the pope also hath his; for God’s one religion, he hath a hundred. God hath set up one advocate, he hath a hundred. God hath instituted but a few holy days; for God’s one, he hath instituted forty. And if the holy day that God hath appointed be ‘simplex,’ the feast that the pope appointeth, is ‘duplex,’ and ‘triplex.’
Christ expelleth evil spirits by his power; so pretendeth the pope by his holy water. Furthermore, where Christ went barefoot upon the bare ground, he with his golden shoes is carried on men’s shoulders; and where Christ was called Sanctus Sanetorum, he is called Sanetorum Sanctissimus.
Christ never practiced but only the spiritual sword; he claimeth both spiritual and temporal. Christ bought the church; he both buyeth and selleth the church. And if it be necessary to believe Christ to be the Savior of the world; so it is necessary to believe the pope to be the head of the church. Christ paid tribute unto Caesar; he maketh Caesar pay tribute unto him. Finally, the crown of Christ was of sharp thorns; the pope hath three crowns of gold upon his head, as far exceeding Christ the Son of God in the glory of this world, as Christ exceedeth him in the glory of heaven; the image and pattern of whose intolerable pride and exaltation, according as St. Paul doth describe him in his epistle aforesaid, we have here set forth, not only in these histories to be seen, and by his own facts to be noted, but also in his own words and registers, clementines, extravagants, and pontificals, expressed, as in order (the Lord willing) shall follow.
THE EXALTATION OF POPES ABOVE KINGS AND EMPERORS, OUT OF HISTORIES First, After Italy and the city of Rome were overrun by the Goths and Vandals, so that the seat of the empire was removed to Constantinople, then began John, the patriarch of Constantinople, to put forth himself, and would needs be called universal bishop of the world; but the bishop of Rome in no case would suffer that, and stopped it. After this came the emperor’s deputy, and exarch of Ravenna, to rule Italy; but the bishop of Rome, through aid of the king of Lombards, soon quailed him.
Not long after, about A.D. 600 116 , came Phocas the murderer, who slew the emperor of Constantinople, his master Mauritius and his children. By which Phocas the bishops of old Rome aspired first to their pre-eminence, to be counted the head bishops over the whole church; and so, together with the Lombards, began to rule the city of Rome. 4 Afterwards, when the Lombards would not yield unto him in accomplishing his ambitious desire, but would needs require of the bishop the said city of Rome; he stirred up Pepin, but first deposed Childeric the king of France, and so thrusting him into an abbey, set up in his place Pepin and his son Charlemagne, to put down the said king of Lombards, called Aistulphus. And so he translated the empire from Constantinople into France, dividing the spoil between him and them; so that the kings of France had all the possessions and lands which before belonged to the empire, and he to receive of them the quiet possession of the city of Rome, with such donations and lordships, which now they challenge unto them under the name of St. Peter’s patrimony, which they falsely ascribe to that donation of Constantine the Great.
It followeth then in process of time 117 , after the days of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis I (who had endued these bishops of Rome, called now popes, with large possessions), when the kings of France were not so appliable to their beck to aid and maintain them against the princes of Italy, who began then to pinch the said bishops for their wrongfully usurped goods, they practiced with Otho, the third emperor of that name, duke of Saxony, to pass an edict to reduce the empire to the Germans, referring the election thereof to seven princes-electors of Germany, and binding them to choose always some German prince, which was about A.D. 1002; notwithstanding, reserving still in their own hands the negative voice, thinking thereby to enjoy that they had in quietness and security, and so did for a good space.
At length, when some of these German emperors also after Otho began a little to spurn against the said bishops and popes of Rome, some of them they accursed, some they subdued and brought to the kissing.of their feet, some they deposed and placed other in their possessions.
So was Henry IV by these bishops accursed, the emperor himself forced with his wife and child to wait attendance upon the pope’s pleasure three days and three nights in winter, at the gates of Canusium, or Canossa. Besides all this the said pope raised up Rodolph to be emperor against him; who being slain in war, then the said pope Gregory VII, not resting thus, stirred up his own son Henry V to fight against his own natural father, and to depose him; which Henry V was also himself afterward accursed and excommunicated, and the Saxons at last set up by the pontiff to fight against him. After this, the emperors began to be somewhat calmed and more quiet, suffering the popes to reign as they listed, till Frederic I, called Barbarossa, came and began to stir coals against them. Howbeit they hampered both him and his son Henry in such sort, that they brought first the neck of Frederic, in the church of Venice, under their feet, to tread upon; and after that, the pontiff, crowning Henry his son in the church of St. Peter, set his crown on his head with his feet, and with his feet spurned it off again, to make him know that the popes of Rome had power both to crown emperors, and to depose them again; whereof read before. Then followed Philip, brother to Henry aforesaid, about .A.D. 1198, whom also the popes accursed, and set up Otho duke of Saxony. But when the said Otho began to be so saucy, as to dispossess the popes of their cities and lands which they had encroached into their hands, they could not bear that, but incontinent they put him beside the cushion 118 ; who was suffered no longer than four years to reign after Philip’s death, viz. till about A.D. 1212. At this time Frederic II, the grandson of Frederic Barbarossa abovementioned, was but young; whom the bishops of Rome supposing to find more mortified and tamed to their hand, advanced to be emperor after his father. But that fell out much contrary to their expectation; for he, perceiving the immoderate pomp and pride of the Roman bishops, which he could in no case abide, so nettled them and cut their combs, and waxed so stout against them, intending to extirpate their tyranny, and to reduce their pompous riches to the state and condition of the primitive church again, putting some of them to flight, and prisoning some of their cardinals, that of three popes, one after another, he was accursed, circumvented by treason, at last deposed, and after that poisoned; and, at last, forsaken and died.
After this Frederic followed his son Conrad, whom the aforesaid pontiffs for his disobedience soon dispatched, exciting against him in mortal war the Landgrave of Thuringia, whereby he was at length driven into his kingdom of Naples, and there deceased.
This Conrad had a son called Conradine, duke and prince of Suabia. 9 When this Conradine after the decease of his father came to enjoy his kingdom of Naples, the said pontiffs stirred up against him Charles the French king’s brother, in such sort, that through crafty conveyance, both Conradine who was descended of the blood of so many emperors, and also Frederic duke of Austria, were both taken, and after much wretched handling in their miserable endurance, unseeming to their state, at length were both brought under the ax by the pope’s procurement, and so both beheaded. And thus ended the imperial stock of Frederic I, surnamed Barbarossa.
The like as happened to Frederic the emperor, had almost also fallen upon Philip the French king, by pope Boniface VIII, who, because he could not have his commodities and revenues out of France after his will, sent out his bulls and letters patent to displace king Philip aforesaid, to possess Albert I king of Romans in his room.
And thus hitherto of foreign stories. Now touching our country princes here in England, to speak somewhat likewise of them: did not pope Alexander III presumptuously, taking upon him (where he had nothing to do) to intermeddle with the king’s subjects for the death of Becket the rebel? Albeit the king sufficiently cleared himself thereof, yet, notwithstanding, did he not wrongfully bring the said king Henry II to such penance as it pleased him to enjoin, and also violently constrain him to swear obedience to the see of Rome? The like also was showed before in this story to happen to king John his son; for when the said king, like a valiant prince, had held out the tyranny of those bishops seven years together, were not all the churches in England barred up, and his inheritance with all his dominions given away by pope Innocent III to Philip II119 the French king, and he afterward compelled to submit both himself and to make his whole realm feudatory to the bishops of Rome? and, moreover, was not the king himself driven also to surrender his crown to Pandulph the pope’s legate, and so continue as a private person five days, standing at the pope’s courtesy, whether to receive it again at his hands or no? And when the nobles of the realm rose afterward against the king for the same, was not he then fain to seek and sue to the aforesaid pope for succor, as by his own letter, 10, 11 hereunder to be seen, taken out of the public rolls, may appear?
And yet, all this notwithstanding (that the said king John did so yield to the pope), he was both pursued by his nobles, and also in the end was poisoned by a subject of the pope’s own religion, a monk of Swineshead; as I have sufficiently to prove, not only by William Caxton above in my story alleged, but also have testimony of the most part of chroniclers for the same (a few only excepted), as of Thomas Gray in his French Chronicle; also of another French chronicle in metre; also of Ranulphus Cestrensis: Thomas Rudburn also doth witness the same; so doth Richard Rede, in ‘Novo Chronico ad tempora Henrici VI,;’ the like also doth the chronicle called ‘Eulogium Monachi Cant.’ The words of Walter Gisburn, an ancient historiographer, be plain. No less is to be found in Johannes Major, ‘De Gestis Scotorum,’ lib. 4, cap. 8, fol. 56, where he not only maketh mention of the monk and of the poison, but also of the abbot, of his absolution, and of the three monks every day singing for the said monk’s soul. To these I could also annex divers other writers both English and Latin, without name, who witness that king John was poisoned; one beginning thus, “Here beginneth a book in the English tongue, called ‘Brute,’” etc. Another beginneth, “Because this book is made to tell what time any thing notable,” etc. The third in English beginneth, “The reign of Britain that now is called England,” etc. Of Latin books which have no name, one beginneth thus: “Britannia, quae et Anglia dicitur, a Bruto nomen est sortita,” etc. Another hath this beginning: “Adam pater generis humani,” etc.
Besides this king Henry II, and king John his son, what kings have here reigned in England since their time, until the reign of king Henry VIII; who, although they were prudent princes, and did what they could in providing against the proud domination of these bishops, yet were forced at length sore against their wills, for fear, to subject themselves, together with their subjects, under their usurped authority, insomuch that some of them (as Matthew Paris writeth of king Henry III) were fain to stoop and kiss their legate’s knee.
THE IMAGE OF ANTICHRIST120 EXALTING HIMSELF IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, ABOVE ALL THAT IS NAMED GOD, (2 Thessalonians 2) BUT OF HIS OWN DECREES, DECRETALS, EXTRAVAGANTS, PONTIFICALS, ETC., WORD FOR WORD, AS IT IS OUT OF THE SAID BOOKS HERE ALLEGED AND QUOTED, 1 Forasmuch as it standeth upon necessity of salvation, for every, human creature to be subject unto me the pope of Rome, it shall be therefore requisite and necessary for all men that will be saved, to learn and know the dignity of my see and excellency of my domination, as is here set forth according to the truth and very words of mine own laws, in style as followeth: 2 First, my institution began in the Old Testament, and was consummated and finished in the New, in that my priesthood was prefigured by Aaron; and other bishops under me were prefigured by the sons of Aaron, that were under him; 3 neither is it to be thought that my church of Rome hath been preferred by any general council, but obtained the primacy only by the voice of the Gospel, and the mouth of the Savior,4 and hath in it neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such like thing. 5 Wherefore, as other seats be all inferior to me, and as they cannnot absolve me, so have they no power to bind me or to stand against me, no more than the ax hath power to stand or presume above him that heweth with it, or the saw to prestone above him that ruleth it. 6 This is the holy and apostolic mother-church of all other churches of Christ; 7 from whose rules it is not meet that any person or persons should decline; but like as the Son of God came to do the will of his Father, so must you do the will of your mother the church, the head whereof is the church of Rome; 8 and if any other person or persons shall err from the said church, either let them be admonished, or else their names taken, to be known who they be, that swerve from the customs of Rome. 9 Thus then, forasmuch as the holy church of Rome, where of I am governor, is set up to the whole world for a glass or example, reason would what thing soever the said church determineth, or ordaineth, that to be received of all men for a general and a perpetual rule for ever. 10 Whereupon we see it now verified in this church, that was fore-prophesied by Jeremy, saying, “Behold, I have set thee up over nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to build and to plant,” etc. 11 Whoso understandeth not the prerogative of this my priesthood, let him look up to the firmament, where he may see two great lights, the sun and the moon, one ruling over the day, the other over the night: so in the firmament of the universal church,12 and hath set two great dignities, the authority of the pope, and of the emperor; of which two, this our dignity is so much more weighty, as we have the greater charge to give account to God for kings of the earth, and the laws of men. 13 Wherefore be it known to you emperors, who know it also right well, that you depend upon the judgment of us: we must not be brought and reduced to your will. 14 For, as I said, look what difference there is betwixt the sun and the moon, so great is the power of the pope ruling over the day, that is, over the spirituality, above emperors and kings, ruling over the night; that is, over the laity. 15 Now, seeing then the earth is seven times bigger than the moon, and the sun eight times greater than the earth; it followeth that the pope’s dignity fifty-six times doth surmount the estate of the emperors. 16 Upon consideration whereof, I say, therefore and pronounce, that Constantine the emperor did wrong, in setting the patriarch of Constantinople at his feet on his left hand. 17 And although the said emperor wrote to me, alleging the words of St. Peter, commanding us to submit ourselves to every human creature, as to kings, dukes, and others for the cause of God, etc. [Peter 1:2], yet, in answering again in my decretal, I expounded the mind and the words of St. Peter to pertain to his subjects, and not his successors; willing the said emperor to consider the person of the speaker, and to whom it was spoken. For if the mind of Peter had been there to debase the order of priesthood, and to make us underlings to every human creature, then every Jack might have dominion over prelates; which maketh against the example of Christ, setting up the order of priesthood to bear dominion over kings, according to the saying of Jeremy, “Behold, I have set thee up over kings and nations,” etc. 18 And as I feared not then to write this boldly unto Constantine, so now I say to all other emperors, that they, receiving of me their approbation, unction, consecration, and crown imperial, must not disdain to submit their heads under me, and swear unto me their allegiance. 19 For so you read in the decree of pope John, how that princes heretofore have been wont to bow and submit their heads unto bishops, and not to proceed in judgment against the heads of bishops. 20 If this reverence and submission were wont to be given to bishops, how much more ought they to submit their heads to me being superior, not only to kings, but emperors? and that for two causes: first, for my title of succession, that I, pope of Rome, have to the empire, the room standing vacant; also for the fullness of power that Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, hath given to me, though unworthy, in the person of Peter; 21 by reason whereof, seeing my power is not of man, but of God, who by his celestial providence hath set me over his whole universal church, master and governor, it belongeth therefore to my office, to look upon every mortal sin of every Christian man; 22 whereby all criminal offenses, as well of kings as all others, be subject to my censure, 23 in such sort, that in all manner of pleading, if any manner of person at any time, either before the sentence given, or after, shall appeal to me, it shall be lawful for him so to do: 24 neither must kings and princes think it much to submit themselves to my judgment; for so did Valentinian the worthy emperor, so did Theodosius, and also Charlemagne. 25 Thus you see all must be judged by me, and I of no man. Yea, and though I, pope of Rome, by my negligence or evil demeanor, be found unprofitable or hurtful, either to myself or others; yea, if I should draw with me innumerable souls by heaps to hell, yet may no mortal man be so hardy, so bold, or so presumptuous, to reprove me, 26 or to say to me, “Dominc cur its facis;” that is, “Sir, why do you so?” 27 For although you read that Balsam was rebuked by his ass, by which ass our subjects, by Balsam we prelates, are signified; yet that ought to be no example to our subjects to rebuke us. 28 And though we read in the scripture, that Peter, who received power of the kingdom, and being chief of the apostles, might, by virtue of his office, control all others, was content to come and give answer before his inferiors, objecting to him his going to the Gentiles; yet other inferiors must not learn by this example to be checkmate with their prelates, because Peter so took it at their hands; showing thereby rather a dispensation of humility, than the power of his office: by which power he might have said to them again in this wise, “It becometh not sheep, nor belongeth to their office, to accuse their shepherd. 29 For else, why was Dioscorus patriarch of Alexandria condemned and excommunicated at Chalcedon? Not for any cause of his faith, but only for that he durst stand against Pope Leo, and durst excommunicate the bishop of Rome: for who is he that hath authority to accuse the seat of St. Peter? 30 Albeit I am not ignorant what St. Jerome writeth, that Paul would not have reprehended Peter, unless he had thought himself equal unto him; 31 yet Jerome must thus be expounded by my interpretation, that this equality betwixt Peter and Paul consisteth not in like office of dignity, but in pureness of conversation: 32 for who gave Paul his license to preach but Peter? and that by the authority of God, saying, “Separate to me Paul and Barnabas,” etc. 33 Wherefore, be it known to all men, that my church of Rome is prince and head of all nations; 34 the mother of the faith; 35 the foundation cardinal, whereupon all churches do depend, as the door doth depend by the hinges; 36 the first of all other seats, without all spot or blemish,37 ‘lady mistress,’ and instructor of all churches; 38 a glass and a spectacle unto all men, to be followed in all, whatsoever she observeth; 39 who was never yet found to slide or decline from the path of apostolic tradition, or to be entangled with any newness of heresy; 40 against which church of Rome whosoever speaketh any evil, is forthwith a heretic, 41 yea, a very pagan, a witch, and an idolater or infidel; 42 having fullness of power only in her own hands in ruling; 43 deciding, absolving, condemning, casting out, or receiving in. 44 Albeit I deny not but other churches be partakers with her in laboring and carrying: 45 to which church of Rome it is lawful to appeal for remedy, from the churches.
Although it was otherwise concluded in the general council at Milevis 123 , that no man should appeal over the sea under pain of excommunication, yet my gloss cometh in here with an exception: “Nisi forte Romanam sedem appellaverint,” etc. “Except the appeal be to the see of Rome;” etc. 46 by the authority of which church of Rome all synods and decrees of councils stand confirmed, 47 and who hath always full authority in her hands to make new laws and decrements; and to alter statutes, privileges, rights or documents of churches; to separate things joined, and to join things separated, upon right consideration, either in whole or in part, either personally or generally. 48 Of which church of Rome I am head, as a king is over his judges; 49 vicar of St. Peter, 50 yea, not the vicar of Peter properly, but the vicar of Christ properly, and successor of Peter; 51 vicar of Jesus Christ,52 rector of the universal church, director of the Lord’s universal flock,53 chief magistrate of the whole world; 54 Cephas, i.e. caput, the head and chief of the apostolic church; 55 universal pope, and diocesan in all places exempt, as well as every bishop is in places not exempt; 56 most mighty priest; 57 “lex animata in terris,” i.e. 58 ”a living law in the earth,” judged to have all laws in the chest of my breast; 59 bearing the room of no pure man; 60 being neither God nor man, but the admiration of the world, and a middle thing betwixt both; 61 having both swords in my power, both of the spiritual and temporal jurisdiction; 62 so far surmounting the authority of the emperor, that I, of mine own power alone, without a council, have authority to depose him, or to transfer his kingdom, and to give a new election, as I did to Frederic and divers others. 63 What power then or potestate in all the world is comparable to me, who have authority to bind and loose both in heaven and earth? 64 that is, who have power both of heavenly thing, and also of temporal things; 65 to whom emperors and kings be more inferior, than lead is inferior to gold. 66 For do you not see the necks of great kings and princes bend under our knees, yea and think themselves happy and well defensed, if they may kiss our hands? 67 Wherefore the sauciness of Honorius the emperor is to be reprehended, and his constitution abolished, who, with his laity, would take upon him to intermeddle, not only with the temporal order, but also with matters ecclesiastical, and election of the pope. 68 But here percase some will object the examples and words of Christ, saying, “That his kingdom is not of this world;” and where he, being required to divide betwixt two brethren their heritage, did refuse it. But that ought to be no prejudice to my power; 69 for if Peter, and I in Peter ¾ if we, I say, have power to bind and loose in heaven, how much more then is it to be thought, that we have power on earth to loose and to take away empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and what else soever mortal men may have, and to give them where we will? 70 And if we have authority over angels, who be the governors of princes, what then may we not do upon their inferiors and servants? 71 And, for that you shall not marvel that I say angels be subject to us, you shall hear what my blessed clerk Antoninus writeth of the matter, saying, That our power, of Peter and me, is greater than the angels in four things: first, in jurisdiction; secondly, in administration of sacraments; thirdly, in knowledge; fourthly, in reward, etc. 72 And again, in ‘Bulla Clementis 128 ,’ do I not there command, in my bull, the angels of paradise, to absolve the soul of man out of purgatory, and to bring it into the glory of paradise? 73 And now, besides my heavenly power, to speak of mine earthly jurisdiction: Who did first translate the empire from the Greeks to the Almains, but I? 74 And not only in the empire am I emperor, the place being empty, but in all ecclesiastical benefices have full right and power to give, to translate, and to dispose after my arbitrement. 75 Did I not I, Zacharias, put down Childeric the old king of France, and set up Pepin? 76 Did not I, Gregory VII, set up Robert Wysard 130 , and make him king of Sicily and duke of Capua, etc? 77 Did not I, the same Gregory, also set up Rodolphus against Henry IV131 , emperor? 78 And though this Henry was an emperor of most stout courage, who stood sixty-two times in open field against his enemies, 79 yet did not I, Gregory, bring him ‘coram nobis,’ and make him stand at my gate three days and three nights, bare-foot and bare-leg, with his wife and child, in the deep of winter, both in frost and snow, entreating for his absolution; and afterwards did excommunicate him again, so that he was twice excommunicated in my days? 80 Again, did not I, Paschal, after 132 Gregory, set up the son of the said Henry against his father in war, to possess the empire, and to put down his father? and so he did! 81 Item, Did not I, pope Alexander, bring under Henry II, king of England, for the death of Thomas Becket, and cause him to go barefoot to his tomb at Canterbury with bleeding feet? 82 Did not I, Innocent III, cause king John to kneel down at the feet of Pandulph my legate, and offer up his crown to his hands; also to kiss the feet of Stephen Langton bishop of Canterbury, and besides amerced him in a thousand marks by year? 83 Did not I, Urban II, put down earl Hugo in Italy, discharging his subjects from their oath and obedience to him? 84 Did not I, Paschal, excommunicate also his son Henry V, and get out of his hands all his right and title of elections and donations of spiritual promotions? Did not I, Gelasius II, bring the captain Cintius under, unto the kissing of my feet? and after Gelasius, did not I, Calixtus II, quail 133 the aforesaid emperor Henry V, and also bring in subjection Gregory, whom the said emperor had set up against me to be pope, bringing him into Rome upon a camel, his face to the horse’s tail, making him to hold the horse’s tail in his hand, instead of a bridle? 85 Further, did not I, Innocent II, set up and make Lothaire to be emperor for driving pope Anacletus out of Rome? 86 Did not I, the said Innocent, take the dukedom of Sicily from the empire, and make Roger to be king thereof, whereby afterwards the kingdom became the patrimony of St. Peter? 87 Did not I, Alexander III, suspend all the realm and churches of England for the king’s marriage, A.D. 1159? 88 But what do I speak of kings? Did not I, the said Alexander 134 , bring the valiant emperor Frederic I to Venice, by reason of his son Otho there taken prisoner, and there, in St. Mark’s church, make him fall down flat upon the ground, while I set my foot upon his neck, saying the verse of the Psalm, “Super aspidem et basiliseum ambulabis?” etc. 89 Did not I, Adrian pope, an Englishman born, excommunicate William king of Sicily, and refuse his peace which he offered? and had not he overcome me in plain field, I would have shaken him out of his kingdom of Sicily, and dukedom of Apulia! 90 Also did not I, the said Adrian, control and correct the aforesaid Frederic, emperor, for holding the left stirrup of my horse, when he should have holden the right? 91 And afterwards, did not I excommunicate and curse him, for that he was so saucy to set his own name in writing before mine? 92 And, although a poor fly afterwards overcame and strangled me, yet I made kings and emperors to stoop! 93 And not I, Innocent III, deject Philip, brother to Frederic, from the imperial crown, being elected without my leave, and after set him up again? and also set up Otho of Brunswick, and after did excommunicate and also depose the same four years, setting up the French king to war against him? 94 Then was Frederic II set up by me, and reigned thirty-seven years; and yet, five years before he died, 95 did not I, Honorius; interdict him, for not restoring certain to their possessions at my request? 96 whom also Gregory IX did excommunicate twice together, and raised up the Venetians against him 136 ; 97 and at length Innocent spoiled him of his empire: after that he caused him to be poisoned, at length to be strangled by one Manfred, and did excommunicate his son Conrad after him, not only depriving him of his right inheritance, but also causing him, with Frederic duke of Austria, to be beheaded! 98 Thus then did I not excommunicate and depose all these emperors in order, Henry IV, Henry V, Frederic I, Philip, Otho IV, Frederic II, and Conrad his son? 99 Did not I interdict king Henry VIII, 100 and all his kingdom of England? 101 and had not his prudence and power prevented my practice, I had displaced him from his kingdom also!
Briefly, who is able to comprehend the greatness of my power and of my seat? 102 for by me only, general councils take their force and confirmation; 103 and the interpretation of the said councils, and of all other causes hard and doubtful, ought to be referred and stand to my determination. 104 By me the works of all writers, whatsoever they be, be either reproved or allowed: 105 then how much more ought my writings and decrees to be preferred before all others, 106 insomuch that my letters and epistles decretal be equivalent with general councils. 107 And whereas God hath ordained all causes of men to be judged by men, he hath only reserved me, that is, the pope of Rome, without all question of men, unto his own judgment. 108 And therefore, where all other creatures be under their judge, only I, who in earth am the judge of all, can be judged by none, neither of emperor, nor of the whole clergy, nor of kings, nor of the people: 109 for who hath power to judge upon his judge? 110 This judge am I, and that alone, without any other resistance of any council joined to me. For I have power upon councils: councils have no power upon me. But if the council determine amiss, it is in my authority alone to infringe it, or to condemn whom I lust, without any council; 111 and all for the pre-eminence of my predecessor blessed St. Peter, which by the voice of the Lord he received, and ever shall retain. 112 Furthermore, and whereas all other sentences and judgments, both of councils, person, or persons, may and ought to be examined, 113 for that they may be corrupted four ways, by fear, by gifts, by hatred, by favor; only my sentence and judgment must stand, 114 as given out of heaven by the mouth of Peter himself, which no man must 115 break, nor retract; 116 no man must dispute or doubt of. 117 Yea, if my judgment, statute, or yoke, seem scarcely tolerable, yet for remembrance of St. Peter, it must be humbly obeyed, 118 Yea, and moreover, obedience is to be given, not only to such decrees set forth by me in time of my popedom, but also to such as I do foresee and commit to writing before I be pope. 119 And although it be thought by some writers, to be given to all men to err, and to be deceived, 120 yet neither am I a pure man. 121 And again, the sentence of my apostolic seat is always conceived with such moderation, is concocted and digested with such patience and ripeness, and delivered out with such gravity of deliberation, that nothing is thought in it necessary to be altered or retracted. 122 Wherefore it is manifest, and testified by the voice of holy bishops, that the dignity of this my seat is to be reverenced through the whole world, in that all the faithful submit themselves to it, as to the head of the whole body, 123 whereof it is spoken to me by the prophet, speaking of the ark: “If this be humbled, whither shall,’on run for succor, and where shall your glory become?”
Seeing then this is so, that holy bishops and scriptures do so witness with me, what shall we say then to such as will take upon them to judge of my doings, to reprehend my proceedings, or to require homage and tribute of me, to whom all others are subject? 124 Against the first sort the Scripture speaketh in Deuteronomy, “Thou oughtest not to put thy scythe into another man’s corn:” which thing to attempt against me, what is it but plain sacrilege 125 according to my canonists? who thus define sacrilege to consist in three things: either when a man judgeth of his prince’s judgment; or when the holy-day is profaned; or when reverence is not given to laws and canons. 126 Against the second sort maketh the place of the book of Kings, where we read the ark of God was brought from Gaba to Jerusalem; and, in the way, the ark inclining by reason of the unruly oxen, Ozias the Levite put to his hand to help, and therefore was stricken of the Lord. By this ark is signified the prelates; by the inclination thereof the fall of prelates; 127 who also be signified by the angels that Jacob did see going up and coming down the ladder; 128 also by the prophet, where he saith, “He bowed down the heavens and came down,” etc. By Ozias, and by the unruly oxen are meant our subjects. 129 Then, like as Ozias was stricken for putting his hand to the ark inclining, no more must subjects rebuke their prelates going awry: 130 Albeit, here may be answered again, that all be not prelates who so be called; for it is not the name that maketh a bishop, but his life. 131 Against the third sort, of such as would bring us under the tribute and exactions of secular men, maketh the New Testament, where Peter was bid to give the groat in the fish’s mouth, but not the head nor the body of the fish. No more is the head or body of the church subdued to kings, but only that which is in the mouth; that is, the extern things of the church. And yet not they neither; 132 for so we read in the book of Genesis, that Pharaoh, in time of dearth, subdued all the land of the Egyptians; but yet he ministered to the priests, so that he neither took their possessions from them, nor their liberty.
If then the prelates of the church must be neither judged, nor reprehended, nor exacted, how much more ought I to be free from the same, 133 who am the bishop of bishops, and head of prelates? 134 For it is not to be thought that the case betwixt me and other prelates; betwixt my see and other churches, be like; 135 although the whole catholic and apostolic church make one bride-chamber of Christ, yet the catholic and apostolic church of Rome had the pre-eminence given over all others by the mouth of the Lord himself, saying to Peter, “Thou art Peter,” etc. 136 Thus a discretion and difference must be had in the church as it was betwixt Aaron and his children; 137 betwixt the seventy-two disciples, and the twelve apostles; betwixt the other apostles and Peter. 138 Wherefore it is to be concluded, that there must be an order and difference of degrees in the church betwixt power superior and inferior; without which order the university of the whole cannot consist. 139 For as amongst the angelical creatures above in heaven there is set a difference and inequality of powers and orders, some be angels, some archangels, some cherubim and seraphim: 140 so in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the church militant on the earth, priests must not be equal with bishops, bishops must not be like in order with archbishops, or with patriarchs or primates, 141 who contain under them three archbishops, as a king containeth three dukes under him; in which number of patriarchs cometh also in, the state of 142 cardinals or principals, so called, because as the door turneth by his hinges, so the universal church ought to be ruled by them. 143 The next and highest order above these is mine, who am pope, differing in power and majority, and honor reverential, from these and all other degrees of men: 144 for the better declaration whereof, my canonists make three kinds of power in earth; ‘immediata,’ which is mine immediately from God; ‘derivata,’ which belongeth to other inferior prelates from me; 145 ‘ministrails,’ belonging to emperors and princes to minister for me. For which cause the anointing of princes, and my consecration, do differ; for they are anointed only in the arms or shoulders, and I in the head, to signify the difference of power betwixt princes and me. 146 This order, therefore, of priests, bishops, archbishops, patriarchs, and others, as a thing most convenient, my church of Rome hath set and instituted through all churches, following therein, not only the example of the angelical army in heaven, but also of the apostles: 147 for amongst them, also, there was not a uniform equality or institution of one degree, 148 but a diversity or distinction of authority and power. Albeit they were all apostles together, yet it was granted notwithstanding to Peter (themselves also agreeing to the same), that he should bear dominion and superiority over all the other apostles; 149 and therefore he had his name given him Cephas, that is, head 143 or beginning of the apostlehood. 150 Whereupon the order of the priesthood first in the New Testament began in Peter, to whom it was said, “Thou art Peter, and upon thee I will build my church; 151 and I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and thou being converted confirm thy brethren. 152 I have prayed for thee that thy faith shall not fail.” Wherefore seeing such power is given to Peter, 153 and to me in Peter, being his successor, 154 who is he then in all the world that ought not to be subject to my decrees, which have such power in heaven, in hell, in earth, with the quick and also the dead? 155 commanding and granting in my bull of lead, sent to Vienna, unto all such as died in their peregrination to Rome, that the pain of hell should not touch them: and also, that all such as took the holy cross upon them, should every one at his request, not only be delivered himself, but also deliver three or four souls, whomsoever he would, out of purgatory. 156 Again, having such promise and assurance that my faith shall not fail, who then will not believe my doctrine? for did not Christ himself first pray for Peter, that his faith should not fail? 157 Also have I not a sure promise of Paul’s own mouth, writing to my church in these words: “God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit, in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers?” [Romans 1] 158 Wherefore, as I condemn all such worthily, who will not obey my decrees, to be dispossessed of all their honor without restitution; 159 so all they that believe not my doctrine, or who stand against the privilege of the church, especially the church of Rome, I pronounce them heretics; 160 and as the other before is to be called unjust, so this man is to be called a heretic. 161 For why? he goeth against the faith, who goeth against her who is the mother of faith. 162 For here may arise, percase, a doubt or scruple, that if my faith and knowledge stand so sure by the promise of Christ, and by the continual prayer of St. Paul; whether is it true, or is it to be granted, that any other should excel me in knowledge, or interpretation of holy Scripture? 163 for look, whose knowledge is grounded on most reason, his words should seem to be of more authority. 164 Whereunto I answer and grant, that many there be, and have been, more abundantly endued with fuller grace of the Holy Ghost and greater excellency of knowledge; and therefore that the tractations of Augustine, Jerome, and others, ought to be prefected before the constitutions of divers popes. Yet, I say, in determination of causes, because they have not the virtue and height of that authority which is given to me, therefore in expounding of Scriptures, they are to be preferred; but in deciding of matters they stand inferior to my authority: by virtue of which authority, 165 both they themselves be allowed for doctors, and their works approved, and also all other matters be ruled, through the power of the keys, which is given to me immediately of Christ.
Although I deny not but the same keys be also committed to other prelates, as they were to other apostles besides Peter, 166 yet it is one thing to have the keys, another thing to have the use of the keys. 167 Wherefore here is to be noted a distinction of keys, after the mind of my schooldoctors; one key which is called ‘Claris ordinis,’ having authority to bind and loose, but not over the persons whom they bind and loose; and this authority they take not immediately of Christ, but mediately by me the vicar of Christ. The other key is called ‘Claris jurisdictionis,’ which I the vicar of Christ take immediately of him, having not only authority to bind and loose, but also dominion over them on whom this key is exercised. By the jurisdiction of which key the fullness of my power is so great, that whereas all others are subjects, 168 yea and emperors themselves ought to subdue their executions to me; only I am a subject to no creature, 169 no, not to myself, except I list; ‘in foro poenitentiae’ to my ghostly father submitting myself as a sinner, but not as pope; so that my papal majesty ever remaineth unminished; superior to all men; 170 whom all persons ought to obey, 171 and follow, 172 whom no man must judge or accuse of any crime, either of murder, adultery, simony, or such like; 173 no man depose, but I myself. 174 No man can excommunicate me, yea though I communicate with the excommunicated, for no canon bindeth me: whom no man must lie to, 175 for he that lieth to me is a church robber, 176 and who obeyeth not me, is a heretic, and an excommunicated person. 177 For, like as all the Jews were commanded to obey the high priest of the Levitical order, of what state or condition soever they were, so are all Christian men more and less bound to obey me, Christ’s lieutenant on earth: concerning the obedience or disobedience of whom ye have in Deuteronomy 17; 178 where the common gloss saith, that he who denieth to the high priest ‘obedientism,’ lieth under the sentence of condemnation, as much as he that denieth to God his ‘omnipotentiam.’
Thus then it appeareth, that the greatness of my priesthood 179 began in Melehisedec, was solemnized in Aaron, continued in the children of Aaron, perfectionated in Christ, represented in Peter, exalted in the universal jurisdiction, and manifested in Silvester, etc. So that through this pre-eminence of my priesthood, having all things subject to me, 180 it may seem well verified in me that was spoken of Christ [Psalm 8], “Omnia subjecisti sub pedibus ejus, oves et boves, et universa pecora campi, volucres coeli, et pisces maris,” etc.; i.e. “Thou hast subdued all things under his feet, sheep and oxen, and all cattle of the field, the birds of heaven, and fish of the sea,” etc.; 181 where it is to be noted, that by oxen, Jews and heretics; by cattle of the field, Pagans be signified. For although as yet they be out of the use of my keys of binding and loosing, yet they be not out of the jurisdiction of my keys, but if they return, I may absolve them. 182 By sheep and all cattle are meant all Christian men both great and less, whether they be emperors, princes, prelates, or others. By birds of the air you may understand the angels and potestates of heaven, who be all subject to me, in that I am greater than the angels; and that in four things, as is afore declared; and have power to bind and loose in heaven, 183 and to give heaven to them that fight in my wars. 184 Lastly, by the fishes of the sea are signified the souls departed in pain or in purgatory, as Gregory by his prayer delivered the soul of Trajan 145 out of hell, and I have power to deliver out of purgatory whom I please. 185 Lastly, by the fishes of the sea are signified such as be in purgatory, insomuch that they stand in need and necessity of other men’s help, and yet be in their journey ‘viatores, et de foro papae,’ that is, passengers and belonging to the court of the pope: therefore they may be relieved out of the storehouse of the church, by the participation of indulgence. And forasmuch as some do object that my pardons cannot extend to them that be departed, for that it was said to Peter, “Whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth;” and therefore seeing they are not upon earth, they cannot be loosed of me: here I answer again by my doctors, that this word ‘super terram,’ etc. i.e. ‘upon the earth,’ may be referred two manner of ways; first to him that is the looser, so that he who shall loose shall be upon the earth; and so I grant that the pope being dead, can loose no man. Also it may be referred to him that is loosed, so that whosoever is loosed, must be upon the earth, or about the earth; and so the souls in purgatory may be loosed, which albeit they are not upon the earth, yet they are about the earth: at least they be not in heaven.
And because ofttimes one question may rise upon another, and the heads of men now-a-days are curious, a man hearing now that I can deliver out of purgatory will ask here a question, whether I be able also to empty all purgatory at once, or not? To whom my canonist Augustine doth answer by a triple distinction: “Quantum ad absolutam meam jurisdictionem, quantum ad ordinatam executionem, quantum ad divinam acceptationem.”
First, touching my absolute jurisdiction he saith, I am able to rid out all purgatory together, for as many as be under my jurisdiction, as all be, except only infants unbaptized ‘in limbo,’ and men departed only ‘cum baptismo fluminis,’ that is, with the baptism of the Spirit, and such as have no friends to do for them that, where-for pardons be given; these only be excepted. For all others besides, the pope (he saith) hath power to release all purgatory at once, as touching his absolute jurisdiction: albeit Thomas Aquinas (part 4) denieth the same, forasmuch as Christ himself (he saith) when he came down, did not utterly at once release all purgatory. As touching my ordinary execution they hold, that I may if I will, but I ought not to do it. Thirdly, as concerning the divine acceptation, that is, How God would accept it if I did it, that (they say) is unknown unto them, and to every creature, yea, and to the pope himself.
And to the intent I would all men to see and understand that I lack not more witnesses besides these, if I list to bring them out, you shall hear the whole choir of my divine clergy brought out, with a full voice testifying in my behalf, in their books, tractations, distinctions, titles, glosses, and summaries, as by their own words here followeth. 186 The pope (say they), being the vicar of Jesus Christ through the whole world, instead of the living God, hath that dominion and lordship which Christ here in earth would not have, although he had it ‘in habitu,’ but gave it to Peter ‘in actu;’ that is, the universal jurisdiction both of spiritual things, and also of temporal: which double jurisdiction was signified by the two swords in the gospel, and also by the offering of the wise men, who offered not only incense, but also gold; to signify not only the spiritual dominion, but also the temporal, to belong to Christ and to his vicar. For, as we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fainess thereof;” and as Christ saith, “All power is given to him both in heaven and earth:” so it is to be affirmed inclusive, that the vicar of Christ hath power on things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal; which he took immediately of Christ: all others take it immediately by Peter and the pope. Wherefore such as say that the pope hath dominion only of spiritual things in the world, and not of temporal, may be likened to the counselors of the king of Syria [2 Kings 1], who said, “The gods of the mountains be their gods, and therefore they have overcome us; but let us fight against them in the low meadows, and in valleys where they have no power, and so we shall prevail over them.”
So evil counselors now-a-days, through their pestiferous flattery, deceive kings and princes of the earth, saying: “Popes and prelates be gods of mountains, that is, of spiritual things only, but they be not gods of valleys; that is, they have no dominion over temporal things, and therefore let us fight with them in the valleys, that is, in the power of the temporal possessions, and so we shall prevail over them.” But let us hear what saith the sentence of God to them. “Because,” saith he, “the Syrians say that the god of mountains is their god, and not the god of valleys, therefore I will give all this multitude into your hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” What can be more effectually spoken to set forth the majesty of my jurisdiction, which I received immediately of the Lord? of the Lord, I say, and of no man. For, whereas Constantine the emperor gave to Silvester, enduing him with this possession and patrimony; that is so to be expounded and taken not so much for a donation, as to be counted for a restitution made of that which tyrannously was taken from him before.
And again: whereas I have given at sundry times to Ludovicus and other emperors, of my temporal lands and possessions, yet that was done not so much for any recognizing of homage to them, as for keeping peace with them: for I owe to emperors no due obedience that they can claim; but they owe to me, as to their superior; and, therefore, for a diversity betwixt their degree and mine, in their consecration they take the unction on their arm, I on the head. And as I am superior to them, so am I superior to all laws, and free from all constitutions; who am able of myself, and by my interpretation, to prefer equity not being written, before the law written; having all laws within the chest of my breast, as is aforesaid. And whatsoever this my see shall enact, approve, or disprove, all men ought to approve or reprove the same, without either judging, disputing, doubting, or retracting.
Such is the privilege given of Christ, in the behalf of Peter, to the church of Rome, 187 that what country soever, kingdom, or province, choosing to themselves bishops and ministers, although they agree with all other Christ’s faithful people in the name of Jesus, that is, in faith and charity, believing in the same God, and in Christ, his true Son, and in the Holy Ghost; having also the same creed, the same evangelists and scriptures of the apostles: yet, notwithstanding, unless their bishops and ministers take their origin and ordination from this apostolic seat, they are to be counted not of the church; so that succession of faith only, is not sufficient to make a church, except the ministers take their ordination by them who have their succession from the apostles. So their faith, supremacy, the chair of Peter, keys of heaven, power to bind and loose, all these be inseparable to the church of Rome: so that it is to be presumed, that God always providing, and St. Peter helping the bishopric and diocese of Rome, it shall never fall from the faith.
And likewise it is to be presumed and presupposed that the bishop of that church is always good and holy. Yea, and though he be not always good, or be destitute of his own merits, yet the merits of St. Peter, predecessor of that place, be sufficient for him, who hath bequeathed and left a perpetual dowry of merits, with inheritance of innocency, to his posterity. 188 Yea, though he fall into homicide or adultery, he may sin, but yet he cannot be accused, but rather excused by the murders of Samson, the thefts of the Hebrews, the adultery of Jacob. 189 And likewise, if any of his clergy should be found embracing a woman, it must be expounded and presupposed that he doth it to bless her.
Furthermore, the pope (say they) hath all the dignities, and all power of all patriarchs. In his primacy, he is Abel; in government, the ark of Noah; in patriarchdom, Abraham; in order, Melchisedec; in dignity, Aaron; in authority, Moses; in seat judicial, Samuel; in zeal, Elias; in meekness, David; in power, Peter; in unction, Christ. My power (they say) is greater than all the saints; for whom I confirm, no man may infirm: I may favor and spare whom I please, 190 take from one and to give to another. And if I be enemy to any man, all men ought to eschew that person forthwith, and not tarry and look while I bid them so to do.
All the earth is my diocese; and I the ordinary of all men, having the authority of the King of all kings upon subjects. I am all in all, and above all, 191 so that God himself, and I the vicar of God, have both one consistory, 192 and I am able to do almost all that God can do, ‘clave non errante!’ 193 Item, It is said of me that I have a heavenly arbitrement, and therefore am able to change the nature of things, ‘substantialia unius applicando alteri,’ and of nothing to make things to be; and of a sentence that is nothing, to make it stand in effect; in all things that I list, my will to stand for reason: for I am able by the law to dispense above the law, and of wrong to make justice, in correcting laws and changing them.
You have heard hitherto sufficiently out of my doctors. Now you shall hear greater things out of mine own decrees. 194 Read there dist. 96. cap. 7. ‘Satis.’ 195 Also Caus. 11. q. 1. cap. 41. ‘Sacerdotibus.’ 196 Also Causa 12. q. 1. cap. 15. ‘Futuram.’ Do not you find there expressed, how Constantine the emperor, sitting in the general council at Nice, called us prelates of the church all ‘gods’? 197 Again, read my canon decretal, De transl, episc, cap. ‘Quanto.’ Do you not see there manifestly expressed, how not man, but God alone separateth that which the bishop of Rome doth dissolve and separate? Wherefore, if those things that I do, be said to be done not of man, but of God; what can you make me but God? 198 Again, if prelates of the church be called and counted of Constantine for gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods.
Wherefore no marvel, if it be in my power to change time and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea with the precepts of Christ: for, where Christ biddeth Peter put up his sword, and admonished his disciples not to use any outward force in revenging themselves, 199 do not I, Pope Nicholas, writing to the bishops of France, exhort them to draw out their material swords in pursuing their enemies, and recovering their possessions; setting against the precept of Christ, the prophet saying, “Dissolve colligationes impietatis!” etc. ITEM , whereas Christ was present himself at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, 200 do not I, pope Martin, in my distinction, inhibit the spiritual clergy to be present at marriage-feasts, and also to marry themselves? Item, where matrimony, by Christ, cannot be loosed but only for whoredom, 201 do not I, pope Gregory junior, writing to Boniface, permit the same to be broken for impotency or infirmity of body? 202 Item, against the express caution of the gospel, do not I, Innocent IV, permit ‘vim vi repellere?’ 203 Likewise, against the Old Testament, I do dispense in not giving tithes. 204 Item, against the New Testament in swearing, and that in these six causes, 205 Pax et fama, fides, reverentia, cautio damni, defectus veri, poscunt sibi magna caveri; wherein two kinds of oaths are to be noted, whereof some be promissoria,’ some be ‘assertoria,’ etc. 206 Item, in vows, and that ‘ex toto voto,’ whereas other prelates cannot dispense ‘ex toto a rolo,’ I can deliver ‘ex toto a voto,’ like God himself. 207 Item, in perjury if I absolve, my absolution standeth: 208 where also note, that in all swearing, always the authority of the superior 146 is excepted. 209 Moreover, where Christ biddeth to lend without hope of gain, do not I, pope Martin, give dispensation for the same? and notwithstanding the council of Tours enacted the contrary, yet with two bulls I disannulled that decreement! 210 What should I speak of murder, making it no murder nor homicide to slay them that be excommunicated? 211 Likewise against the law of nature; 212 Item, against the apostles: 213 also against the canons of the apostles, I can and do dispense; for where they, in their canon, command a priest for fornication to be deposed, I, through the authority of Silvester, do alter the rigor of that constitution, 214 considering the minds and bodies also of men now to be weaker than they were then. 215 Briefly, against the universal state of the church I have dispensation, “scilicet quando status ecclesiae non decoloratur;” and for marriage in the second degree of consanguinity and affinity; “in collateralibus aequali linea,” that is, betwixt brethren’s children, although not ‘inaequali linea,’ so that the uncle may not marry his niece, unless for an urgent and weighty cause. As for all such contracts betwixt party and party, where matrimony is not yet consummated by carnal connection, it is but a small matter for me to dispense withal.
In summa: if ye list briefly to hear the whole number of all such cases as properly do appertain to my papal dispensation, which come to the number of one and fifty points, that no man may meddle withal but only I myself alone, I will recite them first in Latin, then in English, as they be set forth in my canonical doctors.
Casus Papales LI apud Fratrem Astesanum, sire de Ast. Doctorem solemnera in summa confessionis. Item apud Hostiensem, de ollic. legat. reperti et his versibus comprehensi. Si sit catholicus, Papam non judicat ullus.
Erigit et subdit cathedras; dividit, unit, i.e. votum terrae sanctae, i.e. degradatos, i.e. episcopos et alios.
Mutat vota crucis. Restituit. Eximit. Ad se Majores causae referuntur. Legitimatque, i.e. insucientes, i.e. intrantes religionem.
Promovet, appellare vetat, prohibet profiteri. i.e. defectum regi vatante regno Deponit, transfert, suppletque, renunciat illi Symonia, juramentum, excommunicatio a Papa facta Praesul, et exemptus. Simon, jurans, anathema, tam Papa quam legati Vel proprium, vel legati, vel lex utriusque. i.e. solvitur Papa.
Turn neque participans: etsi quem sponte salutat, Quem canon damnet, sibi soli quando reservat, qui irregularitatem incurrit.
Solvitur a Papa nec non quem regula damnat. scilicet, addas.
Addas suspensum, causam, cure fertur ad ipsum. i.e. Addas. i.e. Pturalitatem beneficiorum.
Rescriptum, fidei dubium: confert bona plura.
Irritat infectum, legem condit generalem. i.e. Imperatorem.
Approbat imperium, firmat, deponit, et ungit. canonizat.
Concilium generate facit. Secret quoque sanctos. de aliquo facit nihil, de nihilo aliquid.
Ens non esse facit: non ens, fore. Pallia semper Portat. Concedit, legi non subjacet ulli. i.e. immediate.
Appellatur ad hunc medio sine, judiciumque De monacho non monachum facit.
Est pro lege suum. Monachum revocat renuentem. i.e. incestum, etc.
Majus adulterio solvit generaliter; arctat i.e. impedimenturn matrimoniale.
Et laxat quiquid sponsis nocet. Ordinat extra i.e. extra 4. tempora.
Tempora dando sacram; promotum promovet idem.
Ordinat atque die qua consecratur et ipse. i.e. sacerdotium concidet nondum vacans.
Viventisque locum concedit, jureque privet.
Insignia Episcopalia concedit, i.e. decimis eximit, i.e. presbytero concedit infantes ungere.
Insignit. Laico sacra donat; chrisma ministro.
Sumna sede sedet, plenusque vicarius extat.
Si sit catholicus Papam non judicat ullus.
Cases Papal, to the number of one and fifty 148 , wherein the Pope only hath power to dispense, and none else besides, except by special license from him.
First: the determination of doubts and questions belonging to faith. Translation of a bishop, elect or confirmed: likewise of abbots exempted. Deposition of bishops. The taking of resignation of bishops. Exemptions of bishops, not to be under archbishops. 220 Restitution of such as be deposed from their order. The judicial definition, or interpretation of his own privileges. Changing of bishoprics, or dimission of covents, etc. New correction of bishops’ seats, or institution of new religions. Subjection or division of one bishopric under another. Dispensation for vowing to go to the Holy Land. Dispensation for the vow of chastity, or of religion, or of holy orders. Dispensation against a lawful oath, or vow made. Dispensation against divers irregularities, as in crimes greater than adultery, and in such as be suspended for simony. Dispensation in receiving into orders him that had two wives. Dispensing with such as, being within orders, do that which is above their order; as if a deacon should say mass, being not yet priest. To receive into orders such as be blemished or maimed in body. Dispensation for murder, or for such as willingly cut off any member of man’s body. Dispensation to give orders to such as have been under the sentence of the greater curse or excommunication. Dispensation for such as being suspended with the greater curse do minister in any holy order. Dispensation for such as be unlawfully born to receive orders or benefices. Dispensation for pluralities of benefices. Dispensation to make a man bishop, before he be thirty years old. Dispensation to give orders under age. 238 The pope only hath power to make and call a general council. The pope only hath power to deprive an ecclesiastical person, and give away his benefice being not vacant. The pope alone is able to absolve him that is excommunicated by name. The pope only is able to absolve him, whom his legate doth excommunicated. The pope both judgeth in the causes of them that appeal unto him, and where he judgeth, none may appeal from him. Only he hath authority to make deacon and priest, whom he made subdeacon, either upon Sundays, or upon other feasts. Only the pope, and none else, at all times, and in all places, weareth the pall. The pope only dispenseth with a man, either being not within orders, or being unworthy to be made bishop. He only either confirmeth or deposeth the emperor when he is chosen. A man being excommunicated, and his absolution referred to the pope, none may absolve that man but the pope alone. The same hath authority in any election, before it be made, to pronounce it none, when it is made. He doth canonize saints, and none else but he. Dispensation to have many dignities and personages in one church, and without charge and cure of soul, belongeth only to the pope. To make that effectual which is of no effect, and contrariwise, belongeth only to the pope. To pluck a monk out of his cloister both against his own will and the abbot’s, pertaineth only to the pope. His sentence maketh a law. 254 The same day in which the pope is consecrated, he may give orders. He dispenseth in degrees of consanguinity and affinity. He is able to abolish laws, ‘quoad utrumque forum;’ that is, both civil and canon, where danger is of the soul. It is in his dispensation to give general indulgences to certain places or persons. ITEM , To legitimate what persons soever he please, as touching spiritualties; in all places, as touching temporalties, as honors, inheritance, etc. To erect new religions, to approve or reprove rules or ordinances, and ceremonies in the church. He is able to dispense with all the precepts and statutes of the church. ITEM , To dispense and to discharge any subject from the bond of allegiance, or oath made to any manner of person.
No man may accuse him of any crime, unless of heresy; and that neither, except he be incorrigible. The same is also free from all laws, so that he cannot incur into any sentence of excommunication, suspension, irregularity, or into the penalty of any crime, but into the note of crime he may well. Finally he, by his dispensation, may grant, yea, to a simple priest, to minister the sacrament of confirmation to infants; also to give lower orders, and to hallow churches and virgins, etc. These be the cases wherein I only have power to dispense, and no man else; neither bishop, nor metropolitan, nor legate, without a license from me.
After that I have now sufficiently declared my power in earth, in heaven, and in purgatory, how great it is, and what is the ruiness thereof, in binding, loosing, commanding, permitting, electing, confirming, deposing, dispensing, doing and undoing, etc. I will entreat now a little of my riches likewise, and great possessions, that every man may see, by my wealth and abundance of all things, rents, tithes, tributes, my silks, my purple mitres, crowns, gold, silver, pearls and gems, lands and lordships, how God there prospereth and magnifieth his vicar in the earth. For to me pertaineth first the imperial city of Rome; the palace of Lateran; the kingdom of Sicily is proper to me, Apulia and Capua be mine. Also the kingdom of England and Ireland, be they not, or ought they not to be tributaries to me? To these I adjoin also, besides other provinces and countries both in the Occident and Orient, from the north to the south, these dominions by name: 266 Soriano, Monte Albodo, Rocca de Sintra, the kingdom of Corsica, Little Mantua, Monselice, Venice, the duchy of Ferrara, Canelli, Canioda,* the duchy of Histria, Dalmatia, the Exarchate of Ravenna, Faenza, Cesena, Castrum Tiberiatus,* Rocca, Milan, Ceperano, Cudelaff, 267 Imola, Rimini, Centa, Montferrat, Il Monte Olympe, Castram Exforii,* Ruvo, 268 Gubio, Urbino, Fossombrone, Il Galli, Senigaglia, Ancona, Gosa,* the duchy of Perugia, Orvietto, Todi, Segnino, the duchy of Spoleto, Tiano, Calabria, the duchy of Naples, the duchy of Benevento, Salerno, the promontory of Lorento, Sardinia, the isle of Ansa, the territory of Cutisa,* the territory of Praeneste, Silandum, Chiusi, Fondi, Terra Vegeta,* Terra Claudia,* Camerino, Fabrianese, Siros, Porto with the island Archis,* Ostia with its ports; the state of Aquino, the state of Lamentano, Civita Castellana, Fidenae, Farento, Celano, Naples, and Gallipolis, with divers others more, 269 which Constantine the emperor gave unto me. Not that they were not mine before he did give them; 270 for in that I took them of him, I took them not as a gift (as is before mentioned), but as a restitution; and in that I rendered them again to God, I did it not for any duty to him, but only for peace sake.
What should I speak here of my daily revenues, of my first-fruits, annates, palls, indulgences, bulls, confessionals, indults and rescripts, testaments, dispensations, privileges, elections, prebends, religious houses, and such like, which come to no small mass of money? insomuch that, for one pall to the archbishop of Mentz, which was wont to be given for 10,000 florins, 271 now it is grown to 27,000 florins, which I received of Jacobus the archbishop 150 ; besides the fruits of other bishoprics in Germany, coming to the number of fifty: whereby what vantage cometh unto my coffers, it may partly be conjectured. But what should I speak of Germany, 272 when the whole world is my diocese, as my canonists do say, and all men are bound to believe; 273 except they will imagine (as the Manichees do) two beginnings; which is false and heretical? For Moses saith, In the beginning God made heaven and earth, and not in the beginnings. 274 Wherefore as I began, so I conclude, commanding, declaring, and pronouncing, to stand upon necessity of salvation, for every human creature to be subject to me.