HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.
HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.

"An Old Treatise made about the Time of King Richard II"

by A Lollard

EXCERPTS:

On the Church & scripture:

"When they burned the New Testament they pretended a zeal very fervent to maintain only Godís honor, which they said with protestation, was obscured by translation in English, causing much error.
But the truth plainly to be said, this was the cause why they were afraid, least laymen should know their iniquity. Which through Godís word is so uttered that it were not possible to be suffered if to read scripture men had liberty. ... I suppose then, that they use the same ways in burning of heretics nowadays ... Not to fail, they persuade temporal men these heretics (as they say) to burn lest other good Christians they should infect, but the cause why they would have them rid is only that their unhappiness now hid, they dread lest they should be openly detected."

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Click to Read Authority of the Scripture by William Tyndale - Hail and Fire - Doctrine

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Read Martin Luther's Hymn, Lord God Thy Praise We Sing

HOME > Library > Books > "A Proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and Husbandman: each complaining to other their miserable calamite, through the ambition of the clergy." or, originally, "A Proper Dyaloge between a Gentillman and husbandman: eche complaynynge to other their miserable calamite, through the ambicion of the clergye," a 15th century Lollard Apology

new content added: Feb. 18, 2009

"A Proper Dialogue

between a Gentleman and Husbandman:

each complaining to other their miserable calamite, through the ambition of the clergy."

"A Proper Dyaloge between a Gentillman and husbandman: eche complaynynge to other their miserable calamite, through the ambicion of the clergye."

Written by a Lollard, about 1450 A.D.

Originally published in 1530
From the Unique copy in the British Museum
Edward Arber (editor)

Original publication in parallel columns with the updated edition by H&F; annotation added by H&F.

COPYRIGHT HAIL & FIRE 2009

A 15th century Lollard Apology: A Proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and a Husbandman: Each complaining to other their miserable calamity through the ambition of the clergy.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction

"A Proper Dyaloge between a Gentillman and Husbandman: eche complaynynge to other their miserable calamite, through the ambicion of the clergye. An A. B. C. to the spiritualte." or "A Proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and Husbandman: each complaining to other their miserable calamite, through the ambition of the clergy. An A, B, C to the spirituality."

"An an olde treatyse made aboute the tyme of kynge Rycharde the seconde." or "An Old Treatise made about the time of King Richard II"

"A Compendious Olde Treatyse, shewing, howe that we ought to have the scripture in Englysshe." or "A Compendious Olde Treatise showing how that we ought to have the Scripture in English."

INTRODUCTION

It occurred to Lord Arthur Hervey - then Archdeacon of Sudbury, now the Bishop of Bath and Wells - while he was preparing a lecture, in the autumn of 1861, on the 'Dissolution of the Monasteries,' to be delivered in the ensuing October at Bury St. Edmunds, to look among the old books in his library at Ickworth, for anything that might bear upon the subject of his lecture. In so doing, he stumbled upon a small volume of tracts, in old binding, with the top of the back torn off; which proved to contain in all nine tracts; three without titlepages, and the last one torn off in the middle.

2. On the first page are the names of Tho. Hervey: Tho. and Isabella Hervey: and Will. Hervey. The Marquis of Bristol informed the great English-Bible scholar of our day, Mr. Francis Fry, F.S.A., of Cotham Tower, Bristol - through whose facsimile of this text we came to know of this Dyaloge, &c. - that, "This Thomas was the Father of John Hervey, First Earl of Bristol, and his wife was Isabella, daughter of Sir Humphrey May; his Father was Sir William Hervey of Ickworth, born 1585, died 1660. His Brother William was born in 1618, and died at Cambridge in 1642. Several of the Books now in the Library at Ickworth unquestionably belonged to Sir William. In a copy of Camden's Britannia, edit. 1610, is the signature of William Hervye or Hervy, apparently by the same hand as that in this volume, with the year 1634, entered as that in which the purchase was made for 40s., and when William the son, would have been only sixteen years of age." It seems therefore indubitable that these tracts had been in the possession of the family, for more than two centuries.

3. The value of the find may be illustrated in two ways.

Lord A. Hervey having, with a public spirit deserving of all praise, thought it right to offer the collection, in July 1865, to the Trustees of the British Museum; they gladly paid him £120 for the same: so it is preserved in that vast Treasure-House of books, accessible to all who can value it. There is also no doubt, now that the singularity of its contents is better known, but that a like collection would realize two or three times the above sum, should one ever be brought to the hammer.

Again, if Lord Harvey had been alive between the years 1530 and 1546, and had such a collection been found in his possession, any day during that time; he would have been instantly hailed to prison: to have passed nights of weariness, fastened in the stocks, his feet higher than his head: and to have undergone wearier days of badgering, cajoling, browbeating, and accusation before the Bishop or Commissary of his diocese. He would have been degraded, as was another priest, the Benedictine monk of Bury St. Edmunds, Richard Bayfield; for the selfsame offence of possessing, reading, &c., these identical tracts, and others like them. He hardly might have escaped some such extra-judicial lynch justice as Stokesley, the Bishop of London, offered to that same Bayfield on the day of his degradation and death, the 27th November 1531, when the brutal bishop, - as if the surrender of life itself were not a sufficient expiation for having, reading, and circulating these identical and other like tracts, - smote Bayfield, who was kneeling on the top altar step, in the high choir of old St. Paulís, with his crosier-staff on the breast, and knocked him down the altar steps, so that he brake his head and swooned. Finally, his Lordship might, like that martyr, have been led to the stake, at or near Newgate, and there meekly offering his life, would have passed in a chariot of fire out of this world of trouble up to the bliss of heaven. Such suffering in this life, and glory in that to come, would his Lordship's adhesion to the doctrine of these tracts have ensured to him; had he lived when they were first secretly printed and circulated.

4. For the collection comprises some of the rankest Lollard and Protestant tracts of the time. We are able to identify every one of them, and three of them are apparently unique copies. Noticing them as they stand in the book, they are as follows:

(1.) Title-page torn off. [Sir Francis Bygodís A Treatise coucernynge impropriations of benefices, printed by T. Godfrey, without date, but about 1534. We have largely quoted from this work in our Reprint of Thomas Leverís Sermons.]

(2.) Title-page torn off. [Simon Fishís translation Ďout of the Dutch,' of The Summe of Scripture, referred to by John Fox in Actes and Monumentes, f. 987, Ed. 1576. This work has hitherto been quite lost. It as in the preparation of this Reprint that we identified the text with the title. The work consists of a considerable body of doctrine, and was therefore specially and repeatedly forbidden by the ecclesiastical authorities. No colophon. Possibly printed abroad. Is in a small Roman letter, and one of the earliest of this class of books in that fount of type.

(3.) Title-page torn off. [A Treatise declaryng and shewing that Pyctures and other Ymages which were wont to be worshiped, are in no wyse to be suffered, &c.] Printed by William Marshall in 16mo, at London. No date.

(4.) The praier and complaynte of the ploweman unto Christe: written not longe after the yere of oure Lord 1300. To the Christian reader is dated 'The last daye of February, Anno 1531.'

The following passage in this address is of importance: "Even as the old phareses with the bischops and prestes presoned and persecuted Christe and his Apostles, that al the rightuous bloode maye fall on their heedes that hath ben shed from the bloode of Steven the first martyr to the blode of that innocent man of God Thomas Hitton, whom Willyam Werham byschop of Canturbury and John Fyscher byschop of Rochestur morthered at Maydeston in Kente the last yere for the same trouth . . ."

(5.) A Proper Dyaloge, &c. see p. 129. No other copy now known. Mr. F. Fry published a facsimile edition of it in 1863.

(6.) The Testament of master Wylliam Tracie esquire expounded both by William Tindall and Ihon Frith. Wherin thou shalt perceyve with what charitie ye chaunceler of Worcetter [Worcester] Burned whan he toke up the deed carkas and made asshes of hit, after, hit was buried, MDXXXV.

(7.) An confortable exhortation: of oure mooste holy Christen faith, and her frutes. Written (unto the Christen bretherne in Scotlande] after the poore [? pure] worde of God. At Parishe MDXXXV. [By J. Johnsone.] The Col. "At Parishe by me Peter Congeth. A.MDXXXV. xx Januariy."

READ William Tyndale's: "The Prophet Jonah with an Introduction by William Tyndale"

(8.) The prophete lonas, with an introduction before teachinge to understonde him and the right use also of all the scripture, &c. By William Tyndale. The introduction is preserved in Fox's edition of Tyndale's works, of 1573: but even he had not met with Tyndale's text of Jonah. Like Nos. (2) and (5) this is a complete recovery of a perfectly lost book. Mr. F. Fry issued a facsimile edition of it in 1863.

(9.) The letters which John Ashwell., Priour of Newnham Abbey beside Bedforde, sente secretely to the Bishope of Lyncolne, in the yeare of our lord MDXXXVII. Where in the sayde priour accuseth George Ioye that tyme beinge felawe of Peter College in Cambridge, of sower opinions: with the answer of the sayed George un to the same opinions. Imperfect. [Col. in other existing copies is, At Strasburge. 10 Daye of June, (year not stated.)]

5. The succeeding Texts may be regarded as Lollard Treatises in a Protestant setting. One of the hardest assertions that the early Reformers had to face was the accusation that the Reformation was a 'new-fangled heresy.' Cochlaeus and others vaunted that antiquity was on their fide; until time and research put their boasting out of court. It came at length to be understood how much light of knowledge and wisdom had gone out in the dark ages; which however it was not impossible to rekindle for the future use and benefit of man. In this way, our first English Reformers brought forth these Lollard treatises; and were well satisfied if they could prove an antiquity of a century for any of their Complaints.

6. Tyndale was at Marburg in 1530, printing The Practyse of Prelates. He was doubtless the centre of a small knot of English fellow-laborers, one of whom put forth, on his own account, this Dyaloge, &c. It might have been friar Jerome Barlow. There is much similarity in the style of the verse with that of Rede me and be nott wrothe; but this Complaint has not the grasp, virility, and strength of that Invective. If Bayfield's account of Roy to Sir T. More, in November 1531, be correct, Roy was probably not in Germany at this time: for the Dyaloge was certainly written after the meeting of parliament, 3 Nov. 1529, to the sitting of which there is allusion at p. 144, and consequently after the fall of Wolsey had become known at Marburg, as he is not once alluded to in it.

7. The Protestant setting supplied by the Englishman at Marburg consists of all the verse, 'Unto the reader' at p. 170, and nearly all the fide notes.

The A. B. C. to the spritualte must be distinguished from The A .B. C. agenste the Clergye prohibited at Paul's Cross on Advent Sunday, 3d Dec. 1531. For in the examination of Bayfield in the previous month of November he acknowledged to have imported, among other books from the Continent, the two following distinctly quoted works,

A. B. C, of Thorpe s, [See Fox's Actes &c. p. 401. Ed. 1563.

A Dialogue betwixt the Gentleman and the Ploughman.

Thorpe is the famous Lollard William of Thorpe, the date of whose Examination is 4 Sept. 1407, and of whose Testament is Sept. 1460. He could not have told the Clergy that they were 'lyke to haue a fall'; but in the time of the Reformation that would be true.

8. The two Lollard texts may have been sent out as 'smale stickes' from England, in answer to Roy's Invitation at p. 25. The dates assigned to them should be taken with caution. There is nothing in the fragment of the first to test the date; but the latter treatise is clearly not much earlier than 1450, A.D., see p. 178.

The drift of the Dyaloge is properly described in the title. The history of the persecution of the Lollards by the clergy in the reigns of Henry IV and V, in return for the support they gave to the house of Lancaster referred to in it, is historically true. The Clergy encouraging Henry V to foreign war, in order to prevent reformation at home, is represented by Shakespeare in his Henry V. While their vast possessions in land alone in England, was computed to equal, in the time of Rapin, in value, at twenty years' purchase, the enormous sum £30,503,400.

In the glorious sunlight of truth, which we now enjoy, we can hardly realize the gloom and despairing darkness in the midst of which men underwent hazard of all things that they might have the law of their belief allowed in their native speech. If we knew more of the Lollard literature, we mould think more of them, and their magnificent fight, 'faithful unto death.' The priests presumptuously claimed to keep the lips of knowledge. They did possess almost all branches of science and secular knowledge at that time, so that every such 'lettre' as these, was a revolt of man's best nature from all that would tend to keep it in a perpetual darkness, ignorance, and error. In considering Lollardism, it must never be forgotten that, for the most part, it was a struggle at the greatest disadvantage, of a true desire after holiness fed and strengthened by God's Word, against the learning and culture of the time. Our blessed Lord himself rejoiced that in a like case, it pleased the Father to hide His truth from the wise and prudent, and to reveal it unto babes.

 

Christ, goddis sonne, borne of a mayden poore,

For to save mankind, from heven descended.

Pope Clemente. the sonne of an whoore,

To destroye man, from hell hath ascended

In whom is evidently comprehended.

The perfect meknes of our saveoure Christ,

And tyranny of the murtherer Antichrist.

A 15th century Lollard Apology: A Proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and a Husbandman: Each complaining to other their miserable calamity through the ambition of the clergy.

Christ, God's Son, born of a maiden poor,

For to save mankind, from heaven descended.

Pope Clement, the son of a whore,

To destroy man, from hell hath ascended

In whom is evidently comprehended.

The perfect meeknes of our Saviour Christ,

And tyranny of the murderer Antichrist.

A Proper Dyaloge between a Gentillman and Husbandman: eche complaynynge to other their miserable calamite, through the ambicion of the clergye.

An A. B. C. to the spiritualte.

Awake ye gostely persones, awake, awake,

Bothe preste, pope, bisshoppe & Cardinall.

Considre wisely, what ways that ye take

Daungerously, beynge lyke to have a fall.

Every where, the mischefe of you all.

Ferre and nere, breaketh oute very fast.

Godde wiss nedes be revenged at the last.

Howe longe haue ye the worlde captyued

In sore bondage of mennes tradiciones?

Kynges and Emperoures ye haue depryued

Lewedly usurpynge their chefe possessiones.

Muche misery ye make in all regiones.

Nowe youre frauds almoste at the latter cast

Of godde fore to be revenged at the last.

Poore people to oppresse ye haue no shame

Qwakynge for feare of your doubble tyranny.

Rightfull iustice ye haue put out of frame

Sekynge the lust of youre godde the belly.

Therfore I dare you boldely certifye.

Very litle though ye be therof a gast

Yet god will be revenged at the last.

 

A Proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and Husbandman: each complaining to other their miserable calamite, through the ambition of the clergy.

An A, B, C to the spirituality.

Awake you ghostly persons, awake, awake,

Both priest, Pope, bishop & Cardinal.

Consider wisely, what ways that you take

Dangerously being like to have a fall.

Everywhere, the mischief of you all.

Far and near, breaks out very fast.

God wis [1] needs be revenged at the last.

How long have you the world captived

In sore bondage of menís traditions?

Kings and Emperors you have deprived

Lewdly usurping their chief possessions.

Much misery you make in all regions.

Now your frauds almost at the latter cast

Of God fore to be revenged at the last.

Poor people to oppress ye have no shame

Quaking for fear of your double tyranny.

Rightful justice ye have put out of frame

Seeking the lust of your god the belly.

Therefore I dare you boldly certify.

Very little though you be thereof aghast

Yet God will be revenged at the last.

___________________________

[1] wiss or wis: suppose, imagine (H&F)

O Chriften reder, from rashnes refraine

Of hastye iudgement, and lyght sentence

Though sum recken it frowardnes of brayne

Thus to detecte ye clergyes inconvenience.

Unto Christes wordes geve, thou advertence

Which saieth nothinge to be done so secretly

But it shall be knowen manifestly.

Where as men discerne no grefe of darcknes

Full litle is desyred the confortable lyght

The daye is restrayned to shewe his clerenes

Tyll the clowdes be expelled of the night

As longe as we perceyve not wronge from right

Nether holynes from false hypocrisye

The truthe can not be knowen manifestly.

Cursed they are, as Esaye doth exprese

Which presume the euyll for good to commende

Sayenge that swete is soure, and light darcknes

As nowe in the clergye, we may perpende.

Whos disguysed madnes in the later ende

As seynt Paule to Timothe did prophesye

Shall be knowen to all men manifestly.

Example of twayne he dothe there recyte

Whos names were called lannes and lambres

Which by enchauntment, through deuels might

Strongely resisted the prophete Moyses

Doynge lyke merveyles and wonderfulnes

So that none could the very trouth espye

Tyll their Iugglynge was knowen manifestly

Christe, like wise, with his predicacion

The phariseyes shewynge outwarde holynes

Was a counted of small reputacion

Vyce cloked under shyne of vertuousnes

Untill at the last their furiousnes

Accusyng the woman taken in aduoutery

They sawe their fautes detecte manifestly.

Their vyces opened, they could not abyde

Shame drevynge them to confusyon

Which afore season through pope holy pryde

They bolstred out under abusyon

It is the practyse of their collusyon.

Zele of rightuousnes to fayne outwardly

Tyll their fautes be detecte manifestly.

Which in oure clergye is evidently sene

Fayned godlynes falsly pretendynge

Wherby moste parte of people do wene

That they seke Goddes honour in all thinge

How be it, men shuld se that their fekynge

Is to confounde Christes gospell utterly

Were their fautes detecte manifestly.

What greater despyte can they ymagine,

Agaynst God his hye honour to deface

Than to usurpe on them his power divine

Abhominably sittinge in holy place?

Which hath continued longe tyme and space

And shall with outragious blasphemy

Till their fautes be detecte manifestly.

Scripture unto them was first proferyd

Mekely without any provocacion.

Which to receyue when it was offeryd

They refused with indignacion.

Wherfore touchinge their reformacion.

Litle trust is to be had certaynly

Tyll their fautes be detecte manifestly.

Thus to conclude, O Christen reder

Unto pacience, I the exhorte.

Advertesynge, howe and in what maner

Christe rebuked this pharisaycall sorte.

Whom as Mathew in the xxiii doth reporte.

With fearefull sentence he cursed ernestly

Their wicked fautes detectynge manifestly.

"Nihil est opertum
quod non reveletur."

Math. 10.

___________________________

[1] perpend: to weigh (H&F).

[2] ween: imagine (H&F).

Here followeth the Dialoge, the Gentillman beginninge first his complaynte.

Gentillman.

With soroufull harte, maye I complayne

Concerninge the chaunce, of my misery

Although parauenture it is but vayne

Trueth oporessyd, with open tyranny.

My enheritaunce and patrimony.

Agaynst right, from me they kepe awaye

Which saye, for my frendes foules they praye.

This section is left blank intentionally.

This is a Hail & Fire Reprint and is expected to be available as a paperback print.

Copyright 2009 Hail & Fire

They bare them in hande that they had might

Synners to bynde and loose at their owne pleasure

Takynge upon them to leade thyem a right

Unto ioye, that euer shuld endure.

Of popes pardones they boosted the treasure.

Chalengynge of heuene and hell the kaye

Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye.

To trust wife or children, they did disswade

Eyther any frendes or persones temporall.

Affermynge that oure loue fhuld a way vade

Without any memory of them at all

Onely to hope in their seactes spirituall.

They entyced with persuasiones gaye

Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye.

Thus with wylines and argumentes vayne

Myne aunceters brought in to perplexite

Partely thorough feare of eternall payne

And partely for desyre of felicite.

They consented makynge no difficulte

To graunte their requestes without delaye

Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye.

Their chefe lordshippes and londes principall

With commodytes of their possessyon

Unto the clergye they gaue forthe with all

Dysheretinge their right successyon.

Which to receiue without excepcion

The couetous clergy made no denay

Sayenge that they wold for their soules pray.

By the meanes wherof I and suche other

Suffrynge the extremyte of indigence

Are occasioned to theft or mourder

Fallynge in to moche inconuenience.

Because the clergye agaynst conscience

Deuoureth oure possessiones nighte and daye

Sayeng yat for oure frendes soules they praye.

I haue wife and childern upon my hande

Wantinge substaunce, their lifes to sustayne

Wherfore to the clergy that haue my lande

Sometyme I come and pituously complayne

Whos stateliness, to helpe me hauyng disdayne

With oute any comforte to me they saye

That for my frendes soules they dayly praye.

Shuld I and my houshold for houngre dye

They wold not an halfe peny with us parte

So that they lyue in welthe aboundantly

Full litle they regarde oure woofull smerte.

To waste oure goodes they nothinge aduerte

In vicious lustes and pompous araye

Sayenge yat for our frendes soules they praye.

They take upon them apostles auctorite

But they folowe nothinge their profession

Often tymes they preache of christes pouerte

Howe be it towarde it they haue no affeccion.

Us so be they pleate ones in possession

Harde it is to get ought fro them awaye

Sayenge that for our frendes soules they praye.

Thus must we beare their oppression

Whiles to complayne there is no remedye

The worlde they haue brought in subiection

Under their ambitious tyranny.

No respecte they haue to the mysery

Of us poore gentillmen that be laye

Sayenge that for our frendes soules they praye.

Alas, is it not a myserable case?

To se ydle persones voyde of pyte

Occupyenge the landes before oure face

Which shuld pertayne unto us of duete.

They haue richeffe and we calamite

Their honour encreaced, oures must dekaye

Sayenge that for our frendes soules they praye.

The Husbandman.

Syr, god geue you good morowe

I perceiue the cause of youre sorowe

And most lamentable calamyte.

Is for the oppression intolerable

Of thes monstres so uncharitable

Whom men call the spiritualte.

Trouthe it is, ye poore gentillmen are

By their craftynes made nedy and bare

Your landes with holdinge by violence

How be it we husbandmen euery where

Are nowe in worsse condicion ferre

As it may be marked by experience.

Gentillman.

In worfe caas? nay, that can not be so

For loke ouer the hoole worlde to and fro

Namely here in oure owne region..

And thou shalt fynde that in their handes

Remayneth the chefe lordeshippes and landes

Of poore gentillmens possesion.

They haue oure aunceters lyuelood and rentes

Their principall fearmes and teneamentes

With temporall fredomes and libertees.

They haue gotten unto their kingdomes

Many noble baronries and erldomes

With esquyres landes and knightes sees.

Husbondman.

Notwithstondinge yet they saye precysely

That your Aunceters gaue to theym freely

Soche worldly dominion and lyuelood.

Gentillman.

Freely quod a? nay, that is but fayned

For they ware certeynly therto constreyned

By their couetous disceite and falfhod.

Husbondman.

Howe dyd they youre aunceteres compell?

Gentillman.

Mary in threatnynge the paynes of helll

And sharpe punishment of purgatorye.

Wher to brenne, they made them beleue

Excepte they wolde unto them geue

Parte of their substaunce and patrimony.

Husbondman.

But howe wold they delyuer them fro thence?

Gentillman.

As they saide by their prayers assistence

Which with boostynge wordes they dyd a lowe.

Husbondman.

Prayer? god geue her ashamefull reprefe

For it is the moost briberynge these.

That euer was,I make god a vowe.

For by her the clergy without dowte

Robbeth the hole countre rounde aboute

Bothe comones and estates none excepte.

I wote they haue prayed so longe all redy

That they haue brought the lande to beggery

And all thryftynes clene awaye swepte.

What soeuer we get with sweate and labour

That prolle they awaye with their prayour

Sayenge they praye for oure soules allwaye

But is their prayer not more avaylynge

To the deade soules, than to the lyuynge

So is it not worthe a rotten aye.

Gentillman.

To the soules departed it is not profitable

For whye, thos that are in case dampnable

No assistence of prayour can attayne.

And as for purgatory, ther is none

Allthough there be clerkes many one

Which to feke it take moche payne.

Husbondman.

Than I wold their prayenge were at an ende

For yf they pray longe thus so god me mende

They shall make ye lande worsse than nought.

But nowe I will rehearce seriously

Howe we husbande men full pituously

Vnto miserable wrechednes are brought.

Fyrst whan englonde was in his floures

Ordred by the temporall gouernoures

Knowenge no spirituall iurisdiccion.

Than was ther in eche state and degre

Haboundance and plentuous prosperite

Peaceable welthe without affliccion.

Noblenes of blood, was had in price

Vertuousnes avaunced, hated was vyce

Princes obeyd, with due reuerence.

Artificers and men of occupacion

Quietly wanne their sustentacion

Without any grefe of nedy indigence.

We husband men lyke wise prosperously

Occupyenge the seates of husbandry

Hyerd fearmes of pryce competent.

Wherby oure lyuinge honestly we wanne

And had ynough to paye euery mannen

Helpinge other that were indigent.

Tyll at the last, the rauenous clergye

Through their craftynes and hypocrisye

Gate to theym worldly dominacion.

Than were we ouercharged very sore

Oure fearmes set vp dayly more and more

With shamefull pryce in soche a fasshyon.

That we paye more nowe by halfe the sume

Than a foretymes we dyd of custome

Holdinge ought of their possession.

Besyde this, other contentes of brybery

As payenge of tythes, open and preuy

And for herynge of confession.

Also prestes dueties and clerkes wages

Byenge of perdones and freres quarterages

With chirches and aultares reparacion.

All oure charges can not be nombred

Wherwith we are greatly acombred

Ouer whelmyd with desolacion.

We tourmoyle oure selfes nyght and daye

And are fayne to dryncke whygge and whaye

For to maynteyne the clargyes facciones

Gentillman.

This were a great shame to be knowen

Seynge halfe the realme is their owne

That they charge you with soche exaccions.

Me thyncketh so to do is no small cryme

For they kepte as good houses a foretyme

Whiles theyr fearme hyers was ferre lesse.

Husbandman.

Ye, more plentuous houses a great deale

How be yt in hyndrynge the comoneweale

They vse also this practyse doutles.

Where as poore husband men afore season

Accordinge vnto equite and reason

Houfe or lande to fearme dyd desyre.

Without any difficulte they might it get

And yet no hygher price was ther vp set

Than good conscience did require.

But nowe their ambicious suttlete

Maketh one fearme of two or thre

Ye some tyme they bringe. vi. to one.

Which to gentillmen they let in farmage

Or elles to ryche marchauntes for avauntage

To the vndoynge of husbandeman ech one.

Wherby the comones sufferinge damage

The hole lande is brought in to rerage

As by experience ye may well see.

Thus is the wealth of village and towne

With the same of honorable renowne

Fallen in to myserable pouerte.

Plentuous housholdes hereby ar dekayde

Relefe of poore people is awaye strayde

Allmes exyled with hospitalyte.

By soche meanes, all thinge waxeth dere

Complaynte of subiectes cryenge ferre and nere

Oppressed with greuous calamyte.

Gentillman.

Truely thou shewest the very abuse

Neuerthelesse concernynge oure excuse

Why we gentillmen fearmes occupye.

The principall occasion is onely this

That oure patrimony geuen awaye is

Vnto thes wolffes of the clergye.

By whos oppression we are so beggeryd

That necessite hath vs compellyd

With fearmes soche shyft to make

For as ye husbandmen can well vnderstande

Touchinge expences and charges of the lande

They disdayne any parte with vs to take.

Husbandman.

Ye by seynte Marye, I you warrante

In soche cases, their ayde is very scant

Makinge curtesye to do any goode.

Let the realme go what way it wull

They hauynge ease, and their belyes full

Regarde litle the comone weale by the rode

Yf princes demaunde their succour or ayde

This answere of them is comonely saide

We are pore bedemen of youre grace.

We praye for your disceaced auncetryes

For whom we synge masses and dirigees

To succour their soules in nedefull case.

Gentillman.

Oh, they afoorde prayers good cheap

Sayenge rather many masses by heape

Than to geue a poore man his dyner.

Wherfore as thou saydest, so god helpe me

I se of their prayenge no comodyte

Nether avauntage in any maner.

For whye with in thes. iiii. hundred yere

Thorough oute christendome was not a freer

Of thes, whom we mendicantes call.

And syth that tyme dyuers facciones

Of collegians, monkes and chanones

Haue spred this region ouer all.

Also of prestes, were not the tenthe parte

Which as they saye, haue none other arte

But for vs worldly people to praye.

And yet the worlde is nowe farre worse

As euery man felyth in his poorsse

Than it was at that tyme I dare saye.

Wherfore the trueth openly to betryde

I wolde they shuld laye their prayenge a syde

And geue theym selfes to labour bodely.

Husbandman.

It were harde to bringe theym therto

Vtterly refusynge any labour to do

Because they are people gostely.

Gentillman.

Were not the apostles gostely also?

Husbandman.

Yes syr, but it is so longe ago

That their lyuynge is oute of memorye.

Gentillman.

We fynde it well in the newe testament.

Husbandman.

The clargye saye, it is not conuenyent

For layemen therwith to be busye.

Gentillman.

Wotest thou wherfore they do that?

Husbandman.

In fayth syr I coniecture some what

And I suppose I do not moche erre.

Might men the scripture in Englishe rede

We secular people shuld than se in dede

What Christ and the apostles lyues were.

Which I dout nothinge are contrarye

Vnto the lyuynge of oure clargye

Geuyn to pompous ydlenes euery where.

Whos abhominacion ones knowen

Their pryde shuld be sone ouer throwen

And fewe wold their statelynes for beare.

Gentillman.

Thou hyttest the nayle vpon the heed

For that is the thinge that they dreed

Least scripture shuld come vnto light.

God commaundyd man in the begynnynge

With sweat of vysage to wynne his lyuynge

As Moses in his fyrst boke dothe wryte.

And as Marcke sayeth in the vi chapter

Christe here vpon erthe was a carpenter

Not dysdayninge an occupacion.

Also the disciples vniuersally

With their handes laboured busyly

Exchewynge ydle conuersacion.

Husbandman.

Oure clargye lyue nothynge after their rate

Gentillman.

No, they seke ydelly to auaunce their estate

And to be had in reputacyon.

Husbandman.

Are they worldly or gostely to saye the trothe?

Gentillman.

So god helpe me I trowe none of bothe

As it apperyth by their fasshion.

For in matters of worldly busyness

The clergye haue moche more entresse

Than temporall men I ensure the.

The landes of lordes and dukes to possesse

Thei abasshe not a whit the seculernes

Chalengynge tytles of worldly honour

But is the realme in any necessyte

Where as they shuld condescend of duete

To stande by their prince with succor

Than to be of the world they denye

Sayenge that their helpe is spiritually

From the worlde makinge a separacion.

Husbandman.

Whiles they vse soche craftynes to contryue

The temporalte ought theym to depryue

Of their worldly dominacyon.

And euen as they saye that they are gostely

So without any assistence worldly

To lyue gostely they shuld haue no let.

Gentillman.

That were an expedyent medicine

Accordinge vnto saynt Paules doctryne

Qui non laborat, non manducet.

Nowithstonding their power is so stronge

That whether they do ryght or wronge

They haue their owne will without fayle.

Their enormytees so ferre out breaketh

That all the worlde against theym speaketh

But alas man what dothe it avayle?

Husbandman.

The remedy that I can ymagyne

Were best that we together determyne

To get vs to london incontynent.

Where as it is here for a surete tolde

The kinge with his nobles dothe holde

A generall counsell or parlament.

Gentillman.

What woldest thou that we shuld do there?

Husbandman.

The constraynte of oure myserye to declare

Vnder a meke forme of lamentacion.

Gentillman.

So shuld we be sure of soche answeres

As were made vnto the poore beggers

For their pituous supplicacyon.

Against whom ye clergyes resons nought
worthe

The soules of purgatory they brought forthe

The beggers complaynte to discomfyte.

Wherfore against oure peticion I the tell

They wold bringe out all the deuells in hell

For to do vs some shamefull despyte.

Husbandman.

And was ther none other waye at all

But the soules of purgatory to call

In ayde and assistence of the clergye.

Gentillman.

It was the suerest waye by seynt Ihone

For had they to playne scripture gone

I wousse they hadde be taken tardye.

The beggers complaynte was so grounded

That the clargye hadde be confounded

Had they not to purgatory hasted.

Husbandman.

Where sayd they purgatorye shuld be?

Gentillman.

By scripture they shewed no certente

Albeit with stowte wordes they it faced.

Euen like vnto the man, which went

A certeyne straunge ylonde to inuent

But whan he sawe, he could it not fynde.

Least his wit and travaile shuld seme in vayn.

Reporte of other men he beganne to fayne

The symplicite of rude people to blynde.

But touchinge oure communicacion

Ther is a nother consideracion

Which somewhat more troubleth my myndt

Thou knowest that in the parlament

The chefe of ye clergye are resident

In a maruelous great multitude.

Whos fearce displeasure is so terrible

That I iudge it were not possible

Any cause against them to conclude.

As for this ones we shall not be herde

And great men I tell the[y] are a ferde

With them to haue any doynge.

Whosoeuer will agaynst them contende

Shall be sure of a mischefe in the ende

Is he gentellman, lorde or kynge.

And that vnto kynge John I me reporte

With other princes and lordes a great sorte

Whom the cronycles expresse by name.

Whiles they were a lyue they did them trouble

And after their deathe with cruelnes double

They ceased not their honour to diffame.

Dyd not they so longe striue and wrastle

Against the good knight syr Ihon oldecastle

Other wise called lorde of Cobham.

That from hyghe heresye vnto treasone

They brought him to fynall destruction

With other many a noble man.

Moreouer at seynt Edmundes bury some saye

That the famous prince duke Humfray

By them of his lyfe was abreuiate.

Sythe that tyme I could recken mo

Whom they caufed to be dispatched so

Parauenture some of no lowe estate.

Husbandman.

Their tyranny is great without fayle

Neuerthelesse yf we wold them assayle

With argumentes of the holy gospell.

They shuld not be ones able to resiste

For the wordes of our sauiour christe

Shuld stoppe them were they neuer so fell.

Who in the xxiii. chapter of seynt Luke

To their great confusyon and rebuke

Forbydeth secular ambicion.

Wherin he himselfe example gaue

Contempnynge worldly honour to haue

Of this world claymynge no kingdome.

Also when his disciples forthe he sent

He commaunded them to be content

With foode and apparayle necessary.

Wherto saint Paules doctrine according

Saieth: hauynge meate drinke and clothinge

We shiuld no thinge couet superfluously.

Gentillman.

Yf the holy gospell allege we shuld

As stronge heretikes take vs they would

Vnto their churche disobedient.

For why they haue commaunded straytely

That none vnder great payne be so hardye

To haue in englishe the testament.

Which as thou knowest at London

The bisshop makinge ther a sermon

With shamefull blasphemy was brent.

Husbandman.

Alas that cruelte goeth to my hert

Wherfor I feare me we shall all smert

At lengthe with bitter punisshment.

Gentillman.

Vndouted it is greatly to be fearyd

This section is left blank intentionally.

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Copyright 2009 Hail & Fire

Frende against frende, brother against brother.

Euery man at variaunce with other

The realme longe season in myschefe stoode

Husbandman.

This is nowe a dayes clene oute of mynde

Gentillman.

I praye god, hereafter we do not fynde

The fame vengeaunce for like offence

For as it is in the byble playnely red

God left neuer lande yet vnpunished

Which agaynst his worde made resistence.

Husbandman.

Well syr, yf scripture ye forthe bringe

I beseche you, what is their answeringe

Are they so bolde goddes worde to denye?

Gentillman.

Naye, but after their ymaginacion

They make there of an interpretacion

Vnto the texte clene contrary

They allege the popes auctorite

Customes of auncyent antiquite

With diuers counseiles approbacion.

Also the holynes of religious fathers

With the bloode sheadinge of marters

For their chirches preservacion.

Besyde that contynuance of yeres

Myracles of bishoppes, monkes and freres

Whom for speciall patrones they holde.

And fynally to make a conclusion

In fortefyenge their abusion

Other practyses they vse manyfolde.

They resorte to lordes and greate estates

With whom they are dayly checke mates

Ye to saye the trouthe their soueraynes.

Where amonge other communicacion

They admonishe them with protestacion

To beware of thes heretikes Lutheranes.

Whom they saye is a secte newe fangled

With execrable heresyes entangled

Sekinge the chirches perdicion.

Which oure fore fathers as wise as we

Were contente with humble simplicite

To honour, obeynge their tuycion.

Also none presumed till nowe a late

Against the clergye to beare any hate

Or grudged at their possession.

Husbandman.

By seynt Mary, syr, that is a starcke lye

I can shewe you a worcke by and by

Against that poynte makinge obiection.

Which of warantyse I dare be bolde

That it is aboue an hundred yere old

As the englishe selfe dothe testifye.

Wherin the auctour with arguments

Speaketh against the lordshippes and rentes

Of the clergye possessed wrongfully.

Gentillman.

Is it so olde as thou doest here expresse

Reprouynge their pompous lordlynes

So is it than no newe found heresy.

Husbandman.

No, but alas, halfe the boke we want

Hauynge no more left than a remenant

From the begynnynge of the vi. chapter verely.

Gentillman.

As for that it maketh no matter

Begynne hardely at the sixte chapter

Redynge forthe to the ende seriously.

For though old writinges a pere to be rude

Yet notwithstandinge they do include

The pithe of a matter most fructuously.

Husbandman.

To rede it I shall be diligent

Though the style be nothinge eloquent

With ornate speache set out curiously.

___________________________

[1] advert: regard (H&F).

[2] pleate: perhaps Ďdeplete,í but more likely Ďplight,í as to pledge one in possession for the performance of services rendered (H&F).

[3] rerage:

[4] bedemen: from beode (to pray), those who pray for others (H&F).

[5] dirigees: dirges, from dirige or dyrge, a song sung in office for the dead (H&F).

[6] ghostly: spiritual (H&F).

[7] let: hindrance (H&F).

[8] Qui non laborat, non manducet: (Latin) "Whoever will not work, let him not eat" (H&F).

[9] fell: (Mid. Eng.) wicked (H&F).

[10] brent: burnt (H&F).

[11] sist: (Mid. Eng.) see (H&F).

[12] stentyd: (Mid. Eng.) from stent, to stop or to cease (H&F).

Here follows

An olde treatyse made aboute the tyme of kynge Rycharde the seconde.

Where as the clergy perceyueth that lordlynes and worldly dominion can not be borne out bi scripture, then flie they to argumentes of mennes persuasyon sayenge after thys maner Seynt Huge and seynt Swithune were thus lordes, and in this they ensued Christes lyuyng and his doctrine, therfore we may be laufully thus lordes. But I wote well that Gabriel shall blowe his horne or they haue proued the minor. That is, that thes sayntes or patrones in this sued the doctrine or the lyfe of Iesu Christe. And of this thou mayst se that soch argumentes that ar not clothed with Christes lyuynge or his teaching, be right nought worthe all though the clerkes blynde with them moch folke in ye world. But here haue I no leyser to tell though I coulde, what chesesaunce and costes the churche maketh and what werres they hold to contynue this symony and heresy so vnavisely brought in to ye chirche. And yet they seke all the wayes therto that they can. Ye in so moch that they go openly armyd in to the felde to kyll christen men, for to get and holde foche lordshippe. And notwithstondynge seynt Peter was so pore that he had nether golde nor syluer as he saieth in the Actes of the apostles, Act. iii. And his other worldly good he left, whan he beganne to sue Christe. And as towchynge the tytle of worldly lawe that he had to soch worldly goodes, he made neuer cleyme ne neuer resceyued after any worldly lordshippe. And yet they call all their hole kingdom seynt Peters grounde or lordshippe. And therefor seynt Bernarde writeth to Eugenie ye pope, Libro. ii, sayenge. Yf thou wilt be a lorde, seke by a nother waye to attayne it, but not by thys apostles right. For he may not geue the that he had not, that he had he gaue, the whiche was busynes vpon chirches. Whether he gaue lordshippe or no, here what he saieth. Be ye not lordes in the clergy, but be ye made, i Petri, forme and example off Christes flocke. And least ye trowe thys be not sayde of trothe take kepe what Christe saieth in ye gospell. The kinges of hethen haue lordshippe vpon theym, forsothe ye not so. Se howe playnly lordshippe is forboden to all apostles, for yf thou be a lorde howe darest thou take vpon the apostleship, or yf thou be a bysshoppe, howe darest thou take vpon the lordship? Pleynly thou art forboden bothe. And yf thou wylt haue bothe to gether thou shalt lese bothe, and be of the number, of whych god pleineth by the prophete Osee sayenge. They reygnyd but not by me sayeth god. And yf we holde that, that is forboden, here we that is boden of Chryste. He that is greatest of you fe yat he be made as younger in symplenes, and he that is a fore goere loke he be as a seruant. Thys is ye forme of apostles lyfe, lordshyppes forboden and seruys is boden thys sayeth saynt Bernerde there. And therfor no man may put a nother grounde besydes yat that is put whych is Christe Iesu.

But yet I wote well that clarkes and relygyous folcke that loue vnkyndly these lordlynes wyll glose here and saye, yat they occupye not soche lordshyppes in proper as secular lordes doo, but in comone, lyke as the apostles and perfyte people dyde in the beginnynge of Christes chirche as wryteth Saynct Luke in the fourthe chaptre of the Actes of the apostles, the whyche had all thynges in comone, lyke as soche clarkes and religyous saye they haue nowe. In tokeninge wherof no man sayde of any thinge at that tyme, thys ys myne, so oure clarkes and namely relygyous people whan they wyll speake in termes of their religyon. A pryuate person wyll not saye this or thys is myne, but in parsone of all his bretheren he wyll saye, this is oures. And ouer thys they saye more suttelly that they occupye not this by tytle of secular lordshyppe, but by tytle of perpetuall allmes. But what euer thys people saye here, we mote take hede to the rule of prese that fayleth not. The whiche rule Christe teacheth vs in the gospell in dyuers places, where he sayeth, beleue ye the workes. For why by their workes ye shall know theim. And thys rule is wonder nedefull to a man that hath a do with any man of the Pharyseys condycyones. For as Christe sayeth Math. xxiii. They saye but they do not. And so as Christes workes bere witnesse of hym as he hym selfe sayeth, and sheweth what he was and howe he lyued, so the dedes and maner of lyuinge, or the thynge in it selfe bearyth wytnesse wythout fayle howe it stondyth amonge theym in thys poynte. And yf we take hede thus by thys rule we shall se at oure eye howe the clargye sayeth other wyse than it is in dede. For in some place in pryuate parsone, and in some place in comone or parsone aggregate whiche is all one as saynct Austyne sayeth vppon the psalter, ye clargy occupyeth the secular lordshyppe secularly, and ye so in propere. For in the same maner wyse as ye Barone, or the knyghte occupyeth and gouuernyth hys baronrye or hys knyghtes se, so after the amortesyenge occupyeth ye clarcke, ye Monke, or Chanon, the College or Convente, the same lordshippe and gouerneth it by ye same lawes in iudgement and punishinge as personnynge and hangynge with soche other worldly. A turmentyng the which some tyme belongyd to the secular arme of the chirche. Ye oft tymes we may se howe they busye theym selfes to be kinges in their owne, and reioyce them full moche in that ciuilyte or secularite yf they may get it. And this is an euidence that they wold gladly be kynges of all the realme or the world. For where their londes and secular mennes fraunchyse ar to gether they striue who shall haue the galowes, or other maner tourmentes for felaunes. They kepe also vnder bondage their tenauntes and their yssue with their londes. And this is the moste ciuilite or secular lordshyppinge that any kynge or lorde hath on his tenauntes. And therfore we maye se howe they cleyme in their goodes a maner of proper possessyon contrarye to the comonnynge of the comone goodes in tyme of the perfyte men in the begynnynge of Christes chirche. And so what so euer the clergy sayeth the dede sheweth well that they haue not their goodes in comone lyke as Christe with his apostles and perfyte men had in the begynnynge of christes chirche. For in holdynge or hauynge of their goodes, is properte of possessyon and secular lordshippinge. The which stondith not with ye plente of christes perfeccyon in prestes as it sueth of this processe and of that, that is declared before. And as for that o ther glose that clerkes haue here, where they saye that they holde thes lordshyppes by tytle of perpetuall almes. But here ye shall vnderstande that mercy or almes is a will of releuinge of some wretche oute of his mysese as Lyncolniensis sayeth in the begynnynge of his dictis. So that yf a man shuld effectually do almesse he must loke to whom he shulde do almesse to, Dicto. ii, were in mysease and had nede to be releuyd. In tokeninge wherof, christ onely assigneth almesse to thos in whom he marketh mysease. And so here of this it will sue, that yf a man will releue one wretche and make a nother or mo, he dothe none almesse, but rather maketh mysease. And moche more he dothe none almesse yf be make riche thos persones that haue no nede. For as moche as they be sufficient to theym selfes, this hath no coloure of almesse. For this may be better called a woodnes or a wastynge of goddes goodes. And ouer this yf a man take thos goodes, the which god in the best wyse enen and with oute erroures hath assygned to the state of secular lords, and geue thos goodes to another people that hath no nede of theym, ye to yat which people soche goodes are forfendid. This shuld be called no almesse, but peruertinge of goddes ordinaunce, and the destruction of the state of secular lordes ye which god hath approued in his chirche. For as saynt Paule sayeth, ii. Cori. viii. Almesse dede shuld be ruled so ye it were releuinge to thos yat receiue it. And moch rather it shuld not be vndoynge of thos that do it. And therfore Christ teachith in the gospell to do almes of tho thinges that be nedeles or superfluite. Quod superset date elemosinam. Luce. xiiii. And in this dede a man shuld regarde to the nede of him that he dothe almes to and to the charge of his owne house. What almes was it then I praye you, to vndo the state of the Emperoure, and to make the clarkes riche with his lordshippes, namely syth Christ confirmyd to ye Emperour his state, with tho thinges that longe therto, notwithstonding at that tyme the emperoure was hethen. And he hath forfendyd expressly hys clergy in worde and in example soche lordshyppe. And as thys was no allmes, so we mote saye of other kynges, dukes and erles, barones and knyghtes that are vndone hereby, and the clerkes made ryche and worldly lordes with theyr goodes. And though it had be so yat the clergy myght haue occupyed thus worldly lordshyppe, and also though it hadde be no destruccion nor appeyrynge of any other state/ yet it hadde be no allmes for to geue to theym soche goodes, wherfor it may be ryghtfully sayde. No man may put a nother grounde besydes that is put, which is Christe Iesu.

Here we may se by the grounde of ye gospel and by the ordynaunce of christe, that the clergye was sufficiently purueyd for lyuelood. For god is so perfyte in all his werckynge, yat he may ordeyne no (late in hys chirche but yf he ordeyne sufficient lyuelood to the same state. And this is open in goddes lawe who so takyth hede, and that vnder euery lawe of god, as vnder ye lawe of innocencye and of kynde, vnder ye lawe geuen by Moyses and also vnder ye lawe geuen by christe. In ye tyme of the state of innocencye we knowe well by beleue yat god hadde so ordeyned for man kynde that it shuld haue hadde lyuelood ynough withoute any tedious laboure And of ye lawe of kynde, christ speakyth in ye gospell sayenge thus, Matt. vii, All thynges yat ye wyll yat other men do to you, do ye to theym. And yf thys lawe hadde be kepte ther shuld no man haue bene myscheuously nedy. And in the tyme of ye lawe geuen by Moyses, god made a full and a sufficient ordynuance for all hys people howe and wher by they shuld lyue. For he dealyd ye londe amonge the laye people and he assygned ye fyrst frutes and tythes to ye prestes and deakenes. And all though yat he wold yat ther shuld be all waye poore men in ye lande of ysraell, yet he made an ordinaunce agaynst myscheuous need, Deute. xv. And comandyd all the people that ther shuld be in no wyse a nedye man and a begger amonge them as it is wrytten. And so in thys lawe he ordeyned sufficiently ynough for hys people. And in ye tyme of the newe lawe christe assigned ye seculer lordshyppes to temporall lordes as it is taught before. And alowed ye comonte her lyuelood gotten by true marchaundyse and husboundrye and other craftys. And in [no] worde and ensaumple he taught hys prestes to be proctoures for nedye people and poore at ye ryche men, and specifyed thes poors, and taught howe they that were myghty shuld make a purueaunce for soche poore folke yat they were not constrayned by nede for to begge, as great clerkes marcke vpon thes wordes of ye gospell where chryste sayeth thus, Luce. xiiii. Whan thou makest thy feast, yat is of allmes, call poore people, feble, lame and blynde. He sayeth not lett soche poore men call vpon ye, but call thou vpon theym meanynge in yat, that thou shuldest make a purueaunce for soche people, yat they be not myscheuously sautye. And for ye clergy he ordeined sufficiently, teching theym in worde and ensample howe they shuld holde theym appayde with lyuelood and hylynge mynistred to theym, for theyr true laboure in the gospell as it is written before. Of thys than thou mayst se howe god in all hys lawes hath sufficiently ordeyned for all ye states that be founded and approuyd. And howe it is agaynst ye goodnes and wysdom of god, to ordeyne any state, but yf he ordeyned sufficient lyuelood therto. Syth than thys ordenaunce of god was sufficient as well for the clergye as for other men it semeth a foule presumpcion to brynge in a newe and a contrarye ordinaunce of lyuelood for clerckes vpon the ordinaunce yat Criste hath made for theym before. Of ye whiche ordynaunce, the clergye full many yeres after the begynnynge of Chrystes chyrche, whan it was best gouuernyd, held theym well a payde. For thys meaneth that Christes ordynaunce was insufficient, and worthy to be vndone. And yf we take good hede, they hadde no more nede to pleyne theym of thys ordynaunce, than hadde the other two states of hys chyrche, which vnto this daye holde theym a payde with thys ordynaunce of chryst, were it fully kepte. And more sekirnes and ensuraunce maye no man make of any thinge than chryst hath of hys lyuelood to the clergye. For chryst not onely affermyth to ye people ye he wyll not fayle theym in lyuelood and hylinge, but also prouyth thys by argumentes yat may not be assoiled. So yat they be true seruauntes to him. For Chryste meanyth thus in his arguynge there. Syth god fayleth not bryddes and lyles and graffe that groweth in ye felde, nether hethen men. Howe moche rather shall he not fayle hys true seruauntes? And so this purneaunce of perpetuall almes yat oure clerkes speake of, meanyth faute of beleue and despeyre of the gracious gouernaunce of god. Syth than as it is sayde befor, it is no allmes to releue one wretche and to make another or moo, and to make theim ryche with temporall lordshippe, the whiche bene forfendyd to soche people and namely yf soche almes geuynge be destroyenge or appeyringe of any state approuyd by God in his chirche, it will sue that the endowynge of ye clargye with worldly lordshippe, ought not to be called allmesse, but rather all a mysse, or wastynge of goddes goodes or destroyenge of his ordinaunce, for as moche as the clergye was sufficiently ordeyned by Christe. For why, this almes that clerckes speake of here, made many wretches and it was geuen to theym that had no nede. And thus it is empeyringe not only of one estate of ye chyrche, but of all thre of the which I spake in ye begynynge. And so this almes geuynge hath made all oure realme nedy, ye and as I suppose full nygh all christendom full poore and nedy and mischeuous ouer that it shulde haue bene yf the clargye had held theym a payde with christes ordinaunce. But nowe thourough this perpetuall all a mysse, that the clarkes call almes, christes ordinaunce ys vndon in some landes holly and in Englonde for ye more party and it is lykely to be all vndone in processe of tyme. For by a mortesyenge of lordshippes, ye lordes be vndone in great party. And many noble men because they lacke their owne parte through folishe gifte of their aunceters be full nedy. Forthermore it may be vnderstonde of this processe, yat withdrawyng of this lordshippes from ye clergy and restoringe againe of them to the states yat god hathe assigned them to, shuld not be called robbery of holy chirche as oure clerkes saye, but rather rightwise restitucion of good wrongfully and theefly withold. And ther fore ther maye none othe or vowe binde any man to maytayne this theft and destruccion of goddes ordinance, and this great harmynge of Christes chirche. As ye vowe of Iepte shuld not haue bounde him to kill and sacrifice his owne doughter. Ne the othe of Herode shuld not haue bounde him to kill innocent John. But as Iepte shuld a broken his othe or vowe and haue offered a nother thinge that had bene pleasynge to god and accordinge with his lawe: As saynt Austyne sayeth vpon the same storye. So Herode shuld haue broken his othe and a saued innocent blood and fore a repented him for his vnavysed swerynge. And so shuld lordes nowe a dayes breake theyr othes that they haue unavysely and without counseyle of holy scripture sworne to maynteine this theefte, ye heresy and symony as it is proued before, the which oure clerkes call perpetuall almes. And not sue theire folishe dedes and othes yat they haue made to maynteyne this mischeuous peruerttinge of chhristes ordinaunce. For as the state of the clergye hath no power or leaue, to make the people or lordes to synne deadly or to destroye gods ordinaunce in his chirche. Loke well apon this reason. So they haue no leaue or power of god to counceile or to constrayne in any case the lordes or ye people to swere for to maynteyne this endowenge of ye clerkes and religious folke, which is full great thefte heresy and simony, and wounder harmefull to christes chirche as it is shewed in this processe and in other writen before. But the lordes specially shuld se here, what were pleasynge not to these clerkes, but to god, and that shuld they do. For her to they be bounde by vertue of their office vppe peyne of dampnacion. And there may no no man dispence with them of yat bound stondinge her state. For no man shuld put a nother grounde besydes that, yat is put which is christ Iesu.

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For Gregory the tenthe ordeyned first tythes to be payed to curates only, Policro Lib. vii. And yet they cleyme so ferforthe tythes that no man nmye lawefully withholde theym or ministre them saue they. Ne they maye be turned or geuen to any other state or kynred saue onely to theym. Allthough men wolde do that vnder coloure or by tytle off perpetuall allmes. For this shulde be demyd of the clergye a dampnable synne and destroyenge of holy chirche and sacrilege. How moche rather is it then an hydeous and dampnable synne, to geue or to take awaye the secular lordshippes from the state of secular lords, the whiche god had geuen and entayled to them by the same lawe and right, by the whiche he hadde geuen the tithes to the priestes in the olde lawe. And this entayle was neuer interrupt nor broken vnto christes tyme and his holy apostles. And than they confermed this entayle by lawe so stronge to the seculer parte yat no man (saue Antichriste and his disciples) may openly impungne this entayle as it is shewed before. And so as no man shulde presume to withdraws withholde or turne the tithes from the state of presthod, as they saye, so moche rather shuld no man presume by geuynge or takinge to aliene ye temperall lordshippes from the state of seculer lordes. And thus clerkes haue not so moche coloure to saye yat the lordes and the laye people robbe them for as moch as they take their temperalities in to ye handes of ye clergy hath neuer the lesse malice in it selfe. For as moche as it is done by simulacion of holynes, ye whiche is double wickedness, Gene. iii. For thus Lucifer robbed Adam both of goodes of fortune, of kinde and yet dothe the chirche of thes thre maner goodes. For right as lucifer dyd this harme to Adam and Eue vnder coloure of loue and frendfhippe and helpinge of them: so do nowe his angells, those ypocrites that tranfigure them selfes into angells of light, and deceyue ye people by false beheste of heuenly helpe yat they will procure to theym for their goodes as they saye, and yf a bisshope and his college or an abbate and his conuent maye not aliene fro them any of ye temporalties yat thei haue, nor geue to their founder any of thos possessions that he hath geuen them, what nede that euer he haue, bounde onely by a posityfe lawe or a tradicion that they them selfe haue made. And yf any soche lord shippes be withdrawen, aliened, or taken fro them by rechelesnes of their predecessoures, they ought on all wise, ye to the deathe laboure to get ye possessiones into their hondes agayne as they faye. Howe moche more than shuld not a secular lorde or a laye aliene fro him and his yssue or fro the state of secular lords, ye secular lordshippes the whiche god hath lymyted to that state, syth he is bounde by the lawe of kynde to ordeyne for his children. And ouer this he is bounde by godes lawe to susteyne the state of secular lords, the whiche is auctorysed in the chirche and his apostles. Of this processe than yf a man take hede he shall perceyue the falsenes of this glose, whan oure clerckes and religious folke saye that they hold these lordshippes onely by title of perpetuall allmes. For certis syth these tythes and offerynges the which as I suppose counteruayle the secular lordes rentes of the realme or elles passe as it is full likely, for though they belesse in one chirche they passe in a nother and be sufficient for all the priestes in christendome yf they were euen dealed. Than it were no nede to amorteyse secular lordshippes to the state of the clergye. The which amortesyenge is vndoynge of lords, apostasye of the clergye. And yf this amortesyenge were not nedefull, then were it no allmes as it is declared. And ouer the tythes and offerynges that be nowe off certeynte, the clerckes haue many great and small perquysytis, the whiche smacke of symonye and extorcion. As the fyrst frutes of vacante benefyces, prouynge of testamentes and money for halowenge of chapelles, chirches, chauncelles, and other ornamentes of the chirche, and for sacryng of orders, and full many mo that for multitude may not well be numbred. For well nigh all theire blessynges be set to sale and to priis, in to chrystenynge and confirmation. Wherfore I may nowe saye as I sayde at the begynninge. No man may put a nother grounde besydes that, that is put, the whiche is Christe Iesu. The which grounde of lyuynge christe grauntes to kepe that we maye escape the euerlastinge peynes of hell. A M E N.

Husbandman.

Loo, nowe by this treatyse may ye well se

That aforetymes against the spiritualte

Men dyd invey, shewinge their vyces.

Also here after this auctour dothe tell

What great Ieoparde it is and perell

For priestes to be in secular offices.

Ye, and to lordes which against right

Suffre them therein or therto excyte

Prouynge it by their owne doctours and laws

Gentillman.

I beseche the rede forthe the processe

That the people may se their vnhappenesse

Which make all the world foles and dawes.

Seynt Cipriane sayeth yat by the counceile of bisshops ther is made a statute, that all yat bene charged with priesthode and ordeyned in ye seruys of clerkes, shuld not seme but to the aulter and to ministre ye sacraments, to preache gods worde, and to take hede to prayers and oryfones, hist. xxi. [li.] iii. ca. Cipriane. It is for sothe writen. No man bering his knighthode to god: entryketh him with secular nedes. The which oure bisshops and oure predecessours beholdinge religiously and purueynge holsomly, deme that whosoeuer taketh ministres of ye chirche, from spirituall office to secular, that ther be none offrynge done for him, ne any sacrifice holowed for his sepulture. For they deserue not to be named before ye aulter of god in ye prayer off priestes, the whiche will clepe awaye priestes and ministres of ye chirche from ye aulter. Thus sayeth seynt Cipriane. Here men maye se how perelous it is to ye kyng and secular lordes to withholde any prieste of christ in secular busynes. This is proued thus. For euery secular lorde by the lawe of the gospell is gods bayly. But yf any bayly hyred a worckman with his lordes good and put him to his owne seruys, he must be vntrewe to his owne lorde. Right so is any secular lorde to oure lorde Christ Iesu, but yf he amende hym, that taketh a prieste and putteth him in his secular office breakinge the heest of his lorde god that commaundeth, thou shalt coueyet none other mannes servaunte. And he withdraweth hym fro the seruys of god and fro the kepinge of christen mennes soules, ye which he hath taken charge of, for which soules oure lorde Iesu Christe toke flesche and bloude and suffered harde dethe, and shedde his owne harte bloode. This parelous doynge of secular lordes is bothe against goddes lawe and mannes. It is ageinst gods lawe for as seynt Paule saieth,ii. Thi. ii. No man yat is a perfyte knight of god, as euery priest shuld be by his ordre, entromedleth him with worldly deades and busynes. And for this ende that he may so please ye lorde to whose seruyce he hathe put him selfe, and that is good. For soche worldly busynes in clerkes is against their ordre. And therfore ye apostles said as it is writen in ye dedes of ye apostles, Acto. vi., it is not euen, vs to leue ye worde of god and ministre to boordes of poore folke. And yf it was vnequite as the apostles saide in their comone decree, them for to leaue ye preachinge of goddes worde, and ministre to the boordes of poore folke: Howe moche more vnequite and wronge to god and man it is, preastes to leaue contemplacion, studye, prayer and preachinge of goddes wor[d] and ministrynge to poore folke for the servyce of a secular lorde? It is also agaynst the Popes lawe, for he speaketh to a bisshoppe and byddeth hym that he warne preastes and clerckes, that they be not occupyed in secular offices ne procurators of secular lordes deades and her goodes, Linn. iii. de re. in fine. And yf prestes and clerckes be so bolde to occupye theym in soche busynes and if they fall after by losse of lordes goodes, then sayeth the lawe it is not worthy yat they be holpen and socoured of holy chirche, sythe through theim holy chirche is sclaundred. And saynct Gregorye wrote to the defensoure of Rome in this maner. It is tolde to vs that oure moste reuerente brother Basyle ye bysshoppe is occupyed in secular causes and kepith vnproffitable moote halles. Which thinge makyth him foule and destroyeth ye reuerence of priesthood, therfore anone as thou hast receiued this mandement, compell him with sharppe execucion to turne agayne. So yat it be not lefull to ye by no excusacion to tarye fyue days, lest in any maner thou suffre hym any longer to tarye there in, thou be culpable with hym agaynst vs. And so bysshoppes and other prestes be bounde to teache and reforme lords, to withdrawe theym fro this synne and sharpely to reproue prestes and curates vnder them yat they occupye no secular office. This is proued thus by ye holy prophet Ezechiell sayenge, Ezechie. xxxiii. Yf ye wayte or ye watcheman se enemies come, and yf ye people be not warned and kepe not them selues but enemies come and sle ye people, then sayeth god that ye people is taken in their wickednes. And of ye wayte yat shulde haue blowen his horne god will axe accountes and reckeninge of the bloode and of the deathe of ye people. But nowe to gostely vnderstandinge, euery bisshoppe shulde be a wayte or a watche man, to tell and warne before to all ye people by his good luyinge and teachinge ye perell of synne, and this is ye reason why bisshoppes and other prelates and prestes shuld not be occupyed with worldly deades and causes. For soche occupacions and charges make prestes slepinge and slomobringe in synne. And therfore it is great perell to make ouer them gostly waytes and watchemen, as bisshoppes, parsons, vicaries, yat ben slepers in lustes of ye flesshe and in slomebernes and blinded with pouder of couetyse of worldly deades yat they nether can ne maye kepe them selfes ne no nother man. For of this perell and soche other, a prelate that hath witte and cunninge shuld sharpely reproue and warne all maner men to the shedinge of his oune bloode as christ did And yf he so leaue and blame not them he assentyth to their trespases and synneth deadly. For as sayeth Malach. Prestes lippes kepe cunninge and the people shall aske the lawe of god of his mouth, for he is the Angell of god, yf he kepe well the ordre and degre of priesthood, Mala. ii. And therfor it is not lefull to any man to drawe to seculer offices and busynes ye messangeres of christe, that hath so vtterly forfendyd theym both in worde and dede secular offices in presthood. &.

Husbandman.

Syr howe lyke ye nowe this olde treatyse

Yf so be noble men wold it aduertyse

Puttynge a parte pryuate affection.

Shuld they not perceyue here euydently

That the clergye dothe theym great iniury

Retaynynge thus temporall possessyon?

Gentillman.

Nowe I promyse the after my iudgement

I haue not hard of soche an olde fragment

Better groundyd on reason with scripture.

Yf soche auncyent thynges myght come to light

That noble men hadde ones of theym a fyght

The world yet wolde chaunge perauenture

For here agaynst the clergye can not bercke

Sayenge as they do, thys is a newe wercke

Of heretykes contryued lately.

And by thys treatyse it apperyth playne

That before oure dayes men did compleyne

Agaynst clerkes ambycyon so stately.

Husbandman.

Concernynge thys treatyse and lyke matters

I haue hard saye of my forefathers

Howe in kynge henry the. v. raygne.

What tyme as ye dyd specyfye

The clergye persecutyd the gospell fercely

Causynge moche chrysten people to be slayne

The kynge at the last hauynge informacyon

Thourough seryous consyderacyon

Of soche proper matters as thys is,

Beganne to note the clergyes tyranny

And what temporaltees, they dyd occupye

Their spirituall state ferre a mysse.

Wherfore he determyned certeynly

To depryue theym temporally

Of all theyr worldly gouuernaunce.

Whos pretence, as sone as they perceyued

Amonge theym selfes they Imagyned

To get the kynge ouer in to fraunce.

That whyles he conqueryd ther his right

In england do what they lyst they myght

Theyr froward tyranny to fulfyll.

Which counseil, thus brought to passe

The kynge euer after so busyed wasse

That he could not perforate hys sayde wyll.

Gentillman.

So moote I the, it was happye for the kynge

That by soche a colour they could hym brynge

From medlynge with that case any more.

For hadde he it ones ernestly begonne.

They had put hym to a confusyon

Euene as they dyd other kynges before.

Husbandman.

What suppose ye they wold haue done?

Gentillman.

Mary, fyrst with, a fayre interdyccion

To coursse the lande as blacke as pytche.

Than to inhybyt sayenge and syngynge

Of mattyns, masse, and belles ryngynge

With christen buryall of poore and ryche.

Besyde that precheres euery where

Shuld haue brought men in soche fere

By theyr threatnynge exclamacyon.

That their malycyous partye to take

Subgettes shuld theyr prynce forsake

Contrarye to goddes ordynacyon.

Euene as they dyd in hygh Germany

To the Emperour lewes of Bauerye

Whom Pope Ihone fought to confounde

And so dyd the clergy as I vnderstande

Vnto kynge Ihon here in Englande

To kynge Steuen, and henry the secounde.

Husbandman.

They saye kynge Ihone was poisoned

Because an halfe peny lofe of breed

He sayde, he wold make worthe. xii. pence.

Gentillman.

Tufhe that is a cast of theyr comon gyfe

Soche infamy of prynces to deuyse

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From burnynge: had they not so declared

The clergyes abhomynable excesse.

Husbandman.

I suppose then, that they vse the same ways

In burnynge of heretykes nowe a days

Whom they pursue with great furyousnes.

Gentillman.

No fayle, they perswade temporall menne

Thes heretykes (as they saye) to brenne

Least other good christians they shuld infecte

But ye cause why they wolde haue theim rydde

Is onely that theyr vnhappynes nowe hydde

They dreede least they shuld openly detecte.

Husbandman.

By my trouth it is nothinge vnlickly.

For let one lyue neuer so wyckedly

In abhominable scandalisacion.

As longe as he will their church obaye

Not refusynge his tithes duely to paye

They shall make of him no accusacion.

Howbeyt let him ones begynne to pynche

Or withdrawe their tithinge an ynche

For an heretike they will him ascite.

Wherfore I wonder moche of the temporalte

That in performynge the clargyes cruelte

To burne soche parsones they haue delyte.

Gentillman.

It is no merueil yf thou marcke well

The clargye sayenge yat it is goddes quarrell

Their mischeuous murdre to execute.

Husbandman.

So they are not a knowen by their wyll

That it is their cause christen men to kyll

But the faute vnto other they impute.

Gentillman.

Touchinge that, another tyme at leyser

I shall shewe the more of their maner

But nowe I can not tary verely.

Husbandman.

Well syr, yf ye may no longer abyde

Oure lorde be your continuall gyde

Grauntinge ye trouth to be knowen openly.

___________________________

[1] chesesaunce: from chesoun, cause or account (H&F).

[2] werres: wars (H&F).

[3] sue: to seek (H&F).

[4] take keep: take possession, as to keep in mind (H&F).

[5] lese: weaken or lose (H&F).

[6] pleineth: from pleinte, Mid. Eng., to complain or lament lose (H&F).

[7] fore goer: one who would go before, as to be first (H&F).

[8] boden: commanded (H&F).

[9] glose: flatter (H&F).

[10] perfyte: perfet (Mid. Eng.), perfect (H&F).

[11] wooden: (Mid. Eng.), madness (H&F).

[12] enen: once (H&F).

[13] forfendid: archaic; perhaps from forfaiten, as forfeited (H&F).

[14] needless or superfluity: that is, that be not lacking but of oneís abundance; not out of oneís need or necessity (H&F).

[15] sautye: perhaps saut (Mid. Eng.) for assaulted, as sought (H&F).

[16] hylynge: hilynge (Mid. Eng.), covering (H&F).

[17] pleyne: to complain (H&F).

[18] sekirnes: surness, from sekir (Mid. Eng.) or sure (H&F).

[19] faute: (Mid. Eng.) fault or failing (H&F).

[20] appeyringe: (Mid. Eng.) apeyryng or appairing, injuring (H&F).

[21] sue: suen (Mid. Eng.) follow (H&F).

[22] amortizing: the alienation of lands or tenements, considered formerly as transferring them to Ďdead hands,í as such alienations were mostly made to religious houses for exclusive use of the Church (H&F).

[23] theefly: from (Mid. Eng.) theef or theif, by theft or thievery (H&F).

[24] Iepte: or Jepte; this is a reference to the story of Jephthah in Judges 11 (H&F).

[25] fore: perhaps, fore, as before or sore, as sorely repented him (H&F).

[26] wounder: Wonder (Mid. Eng.), as wonderfully, fearfully, or awfully (H&F).

[27] entayled: (Mid. Eng.) carved up (H&F).

[28] ferforthe: so far, completely (H&F).

[29] glose: (Mid. Eng.) gloss, explanation (H&F).

[30] certis: (Mid. Eng.) certainly (H&F).

[31] perquysytis: archaic.

[32] sacryng: consecrating, from (Mid. Eng.) sacren, to consecrate (H&F).

[33] foles and dawes: fools and trusting; dawes (Mid. Eng.) to give trust (H&F).

[34] entryketh: archaic, but the meaning is 'entangleth,' from, 2 Tim 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life." (H&F).

[35] clepe: (Mid. Eng.) call (H&F).

[36] bayly: archaic.

[37] heest: from heste (Mid. Eng.), command (H&F).

[38] boordes: (Mid. Eng.) boards or table (H&F).

[39] moote halles: (Mid. Eng.) halls of assembly (H&F).

[40] lefull: perhaps 'lawful' (H&F).

[41] wayte: (Mid. Eng.) one who waits, watches, a watcher or watchman (H&F).

[42] ghostly: spiritual (H&F).

[43] pouder: or powder, as flavoring (H&F).

[44] bercke: or berken (Mid. Eng.), bark (H&F).

[45] moote: archaic.

[46] lewes of Bauerye:

[47] Tufhe: archaic (H&F).

[48] nobis non licet occidere quemquam: ďto us it is not lawful to murder anyĒ (H&F).

[49] brennyd: from brennen (Mid. Eng.), to burn: burned (H&F).

[50] euerychone: every and Ďychoneí (Mid. Eng.) each one. (H&F).

[51] ascite: archaic (H&F).

A Compendious Olde Treatyse, shewing, howe that we ought to have the scripture in Englysshe.

Th[e] Excusacyon of ye Treatyse

Though I am olde, clothed in barbarous wede

Nothynge garnysshed with gaye eloquency

Yet I tell the trouth, yf ye lyst to take hede

Agaynst theyr frowarde, furious frenesy

Which recken it for a great heresy

And vnto laye people greuous outrage

To haue goddes worde in their natyfe langage

Enemyes I shall haue, many a shoren crowne

With forked cappes and gaye croosys of golde

Which to maynteyne ther ambicious renowne

Are glad laye people in ignorance to holde

Yet to shewe the verite, one maye be bolde

All though it be a prouerbe daylye spoken

Who that tellyth trouth, his head shalbe broken.

Unto the Reader

Grace and peace: not that ye worlde geuyth, but from god the father and oure sauioure Iesu Chrift with increace of the holy spryt be with the and all that thurste ye truthe. Amen.

Consyderynge ye malyciousnes of oure prelatz and theyr adherentes whiche so furiously barke a geynst ye worde of God, and specially the new testament translatyd and set forthe by Master William Tyndale, which they falsely pretende to be sore corrupte. That ye may knowe yat yt is only the inwarde malyce whiche they haue euer had ageynst the worde of God. I haue here put in prynte a tretyse wrytten aboute ye yere of oure lorde a thousande foure hundryd. By which thou shalte playnly perceyue, yat they wolde yet neuer from the begynnynge admytte any translacion to ye laye people, so yat it is not ye corrupte translacion yat they withstonde. For yf that were true the ydle bellyes wold haue had leyser Inough to put forth a nother well translatyd. But yt is theyr owne myscheuous lyuynge yat mouith them accordyng as Christe sayd. Ihonn. iii. Euery man that workyth euyll hatyth ye light, ner comyth to ye lyght lest hys workes shulde be reproued. &c. Thus mayst thou se that bycause their workes are nought and not bycause yt is euill translatyd, they so furiously resyste the worde of god whiche is the trew lyght. For yet was ther neuer none translatyd but other with falshed or tyranny they put yt downe. Wherfore I exhorte the reder not to consydre and note ye wordes but the matter. And praye to god to sende ye rulers hartes to vnderstonde ye trewth and further ye same and the god of all comforte be with the. AMEN

Thys treatyse more than an C. yere olde

Declareth howe owre prelatis do ferre a mysse

Which of frowarde presumpcion are so bolde

To forbede the worde of god in englishe

For as the prophete saieth blessed he is

That exercyseth him selfe diligently

In scripture night and daye continually, Psal.i.

___________________________

[1] wede: (Mid. Eng.) garment (H&F).

A Compendious Olde Treatyse, shewing, howe that we ought to have the scripture in Englysshe.

FOR to make vpon antichrist I take figure of king Antioche of whome gods lawe speaketh in ye boke of Machabeiis, for righte as kinge Antioche came in the ende wellnygh of ye olde lawe, and brent the bokes of gods lawe, and compelled ye people to do maumentry. So now Antichrist ye kinge off clergy that lyuen worse then hethen prestes, brenneth nowe nygh the [e]nde of ye new lawe th[e] euangely of Christe that is nyghe ye ende of ye world, to deceyue wellnygh all the worlde, and to proue ye seruauntes of god. For nowe god shall knowe who will stande by his lawe, for Sathanas as prophetes saye is nowe vnbounde and hathe ben. CCCC. yeres and more for to inhabit oure clergye, as he did the clergye of the olde lawe, but now with moche more malyce. [Ye may se it is no nouelteis yat the bishoppes burne ye gospel (1).] For as they dampned Christ so now oure bisshopes dampen and bren goddes lawe, for bycause it is drawen into our mother tounge. But it ought to be (and we saued shuld be) as we shall proue by open euidence thorowe goddes helpe. First we take witnesse of Boetius de disciplina scolarium (2) that saythe that childerne shulde be taught in the bokes of Seneke. And Bede expoundeth this sayenge, and saythe that childerne in vertues shulde be taught. For the bokes of Seneke ben moralles and for they be not taught thus in there youthe they contynue still euyll maneryd and be vnable to conceyue the subtyle science of trouthe sayng, ye wise man is as a cleane myrror new pullished Wisdome shall not enter into a wicked soule. [Reade robynhode, saye oure masters.] And moche is herof the sentence of Bede. And Algasell in his logyke saieth, the soule of man is a cleane myrror newe pulished in which is seyn lightly the ymage of vertue. And for the people haue not cunnynge in youthe they haue darke soules and blinde with ignorance, so that they profyt not in vertue but in falsnes and malice and other vices, and moche is therof ye matter. Sythen hethen philosophers wolden the people to profyt in naturall science, howe moche more shuld christen clerckes will ye people to profyt in science of vertues, for so wold god. For when the lawe was geuen to Moses in ye Mount of Sinai, god gaue it to his people in ther mother tonge of Ebrue, that all the people shuld vnderstande it, and commaunded Moses to reade it to them vntyll they vnderstode it, and so he did, as it is playne Deute. xxxi. And Esdras also redde it in theire mother tonge, fro morowe vntyll none as it is playne in the first boke of Esdras Ca. viii. And he redde it apertly in the streate and the eares of ye people were intently geuen therto, in so moche yat the people fell into greate weping for ye miskeping of ye lawe. Also gods lawe saith Deutero. xxii. that fathers shuld make the lawe knowen to their sonnes, and the sonnes yat shulde be borne of them shuld ryse and teache these thinges to ther sonnes. And ye holy apostle seynt Peter in ye fourth chapter of his first boke speaketh after this maner, sayenge. Whosoeuer speake, speake he as ye worde of god: and euery man as he hath taken grace of knowinge, so ministre he forth to other men. It is wrytten playnly in the boke of noumbres Chapter. xi. When the prophet Moses hadde chosen seuenty eldermen, and the sprite of god rested on them and they prophesyed. Two men besydes them, Eldad and Medad, prophesyed in ye tentes, and Iosue the ministre of Moses said to Moses, forbyd thou them. [Moses letted no man to prophesye.] And Moses sayde, what enviest thou for me? Who shall let yat all the people prophesye, yf god gyue them his spirite? Also it is redde in ye gofpell yat saynct Iohn euangelist said vnto Christ, [Luce. ix.], lorde we shall forbid one that casteth out spirites in thy name, which foloweth not vs. And Christ said do not forbid for who so is not against vs is with vs. And vnto the same agreyth well the prophesy of Iohell whiche seynct Petre preachinge to the Iewes strongly alleged as Luke recyteth in the seconde chapter of the actes of the apostles sayenge after this maner. That god nowe in the laste dayes shall shede out his spirite vpon euery flesch. For god sayeth your sonnes and doughters shuld prophesy, and your yong men shall se visyons. [But they saye only master doctor can vnderstand ye scripture.] And vpon whit sonday god gaue knowlege of his lawe to diuerse nacions without any exceptions in ther mother tonge, by the vnderstanding of one tounge. And of this it is notabyll sithen the laye people in the olde lawe had their lawe in ther mother tounge, but the lay englishe people in the newe lawe haue it as all other nacions haue, syns Christ bought vs as he did other and hath geuen to vs the same grace as to other. For saynt Peter. Actu. xi. was reproued for he had baptysed Corneii and his felows that were hethen men. And Peter anssered and sayde Yf god haue gevyn the same grace to them that he hath to vs, who am I that may forbyd god? As who saythe it lyeth not in the power of men. Than who art thou yat forbiddest ye people to haue gods lawe in ther mother tounge? we saye yat thou art Antichrist himself. For Paule saieth. i. Corin. x. I will euery man to speake with tounges, more forsothe to prophesy, also he saith howe shall he saye Amen vpon thy blessynge that woteth not what thou sayst. Vpon this saith doctor Lyre [Here your owne master. Lire yf ye will not here Paul.] (3). Yf the people vnderstonde ye prayer of ye priest it shall the better be ledde vnto god, and the more deuoutly answere Amen.

Also Paul saith in the same chapter. I will rather fyue wordes to be spoken to the vnderstanding of men, then ten thousand yat they vnderstand not. And. lxx. doctours with other mo before the incarnacion of christe translated ye bible out of Ebrue into Greke. And after ye ascension many translated all ye bible in diuerse languages, as into spanysh tonge, frenshe tunge, almanye, and Italy, and by many yeres haue had it. It was hard of a worthy man of Almayne that ye same tyme was a flemmyng whose name was Iames Merland which translated all the bible into flemysh. For whiche dede he was somonned before the Pope of great malyce. And the boke was taken to examinacion. And truely he approued it. And then it was delyuerd to him agayn vnto confusion of all his enemyes. Worshupfull Bede in his first booke called de gestis Anglorum. chapter. iii. telleth that saynt Oswolde the Kyng of Northumberlande asked of the skottes an holy bishoppe Aidan to preache to his people, and the kyng him selfe interpreted it in englishe to the people. Sythen this blessed deade of this Kynge is alowed of all holy churche, whye not nowe ought it as well to be allowed, a man to reade ye gospell in Englishe to the people, sythen that seynt Paule saith yf oure gospell be hidde, it is hidde in them that shall be dampned. [A fearefull sayenge.] And he saith also he that knoweth not shall not be knowen of god And therfore venerabilis Bede ledde by the spirite of god translated a greate parte of the bible into Englishe, whose originalles ben in many Abbeyes in England. And Cisterciensis. libro v. chaptre. xxiiii. saythe that the Euangely off Ihon was drawen into Englishe by the forsayde Bede whiche Euangelye off lohn and other Gospels ben yet in many places of so olde englishe that scant can anye englishe man reade them. For this Bede reygned in the yere off oure lorde god. vii. hundred and. xxxii. Also Cistercien. libro. vi. chaptre. i. saythe that kyng Al[f]red ordyned open scoles of diuerse artes in Oxforde and he turned the best lawes into his mother tounge and the Psalter also, he reygned in the yere of oure lorde god. viii. hundred. lxxiii. And saynt thomas sayth super librum politicorum expounding this worde, barbarous, that barbarus is he that vnderstondyth not yat he readeth in his mother tonge. Wherfore the apostle saith If I knowe not the vertue of the voice to whome I speake I shalbe to him barbarous, that is to saye, he vnderstandeth not what I saye, nor I what he saith. And so all tho prestes that vnderstonde not what they readyn by ther mother tonge be called barbarous, and therfore Bede did drawe into englishe liberall artes leste englishe men shuld be come barbarous, haec Thomas. Also Lincoln (4) sayeth in a sermon that begynnith, Scriptum est de leuitis. Yf any prieste saye he can not preache, one remedye is, resigne he vppe his benefyce. [Resygne in no wise but apon a good pensyon.] Another remedy yf he will not thus, recorde he in the weke the naked texte of the sondaye gospell that he haue the grosse storye and tell it to the people, that is yf he vnderstonde latyn, and do he this euery weke in the yere he shall profyt moch. For thus preched oure lorde sayenge Ihonn. vi. The wordes that I speake to you be spirit and lyfe. Yf he do not vnderstonde latyn go he to one of his neighboures yat vnderstondeth, which will charitably expoune it to him, and thus edifye he his flocke. Vpon this argueth a great clerke and saithe, yf it be laufull to preache ye naked texte to ye people, it is also lefull to write and read it to them. Also sir (5) William Thorisby archebishop of Yorke (6) did do draw a treatyse in englishe by a worshipfull clercke, whose name was Gatryke, in the whiche were conteyned the articles of beleue, the seuen dedly synnes, the seuen workes of mercy, the. x. commaundmentes [The same treatise is in ye chirch over against London stone at this houre.] (7). And sent them in small pagines to the commyn people to learne it and to knowe it, of which yet many a copye be in england. Also Richard (8) the heremyte of Hampole drewe into englishe the Psalter with a glose and the lessons of dirige and many other treatices, by the whiche many engleshemen haue ben greatly edifyed. And they ben cursed of god yat wolden let ye people to be lewder then they ben. But many men nowe be lyke vnto ye frendes of Hiob, yat whiles they enforced to defende god they offended in him greuously. And though suche as be slayne do miracles, neuertheles they ben stynkynge marters. This saieth Richard ye heremyt expouning this verse, Ne auferas de ore meo verbum veritatis vsquequaque. And Christ saieth yat men shuld deame them self to do great plesaunt seruice to god in killing of his people. [This prophesye of christ must be fulfilled take hede] Arbitretur se obsequium prestare deo. &c. [9] Also a man of london whose name was Wyrynge had a bible in english of northen speache whiche was seyne of many men and it semyd to be. CC. yeres old. Also it is knowen to many men in ye tyme of king Richerd ye. ii. yat into a parlement was put a bible by th[e] assent of. ii. archbisshops and of the clergy to adnulle the bible that tyme translated into Englishe with other Englishe bookes of th[e] exposicion off the gospells whiche when it was harde and seyn of lordes and of the comones. The duke of Lancaster Ihon answered thereto ryght sharpely sayenge this sentence, we will not be refuse of all other nacions. For sythen they haue goddes lawe whiche is the lawe of oure belefe in there owne langage, we will haue oures in Englishe whosoeuer say naye. And this he affermyd with a great othe. Also Thomas Arundell Arche bishoppe off Canterbury sayde in a sermon at westmester, at the buryenge of Quiene Anne (9) that it was more ioye of here than of any woman that euer he knewe. For she an alien borne hadde in englishe all the. iiii. gospels with the doctours vpon them. And he said that she had sent them to him to examen, and he saide that they were good and trewe. And he blamyd in that sermon sharpely the negligence of the prelates and other men. In so moche that he saide that he wold leaue vp the office of Chaunceler and forsake worldly busyness, and gyue him to fulfyll his pastorall office, for that he had seyn, and redde in tho bokes. And after this promyse he became ye moste cruell enemye that mighte be againste englishe bokes. And therfore as many men sayne God smote him with a cruell dethe (10) as he didde also Richard flemyng bisshoppe of Lincolne (11). And yet oure bishops ben so indurate and so ferre strayed from god that they haue no grace one to beware of a nother, but proudely against all reasons and euidence of gods laws, and doctours sentences, they brenne gods worde the whiche hathe brought thys realme to vndoynge for euer but if godes grace be the more, for thys cruell deade is cause of pestilence, hunger, warres, and that also this realme shalbe conqueryd in short tyme, as saynct Edward ye kyng and confessor prophesyethe in his booke yat beginnith thus, Sanctus Edwardus rex vidit spiritualibus oculis. And therfore it were good to the Kyng and to other lordes to make some remedy agaynst this constitucion of Antichrist that saythe it is vnlawfull to vs englyshemen to haue in englyshe goddes lawe (12), and therfore he brennythe and sleythe them yat maynteyne this good deade, and that is for default that the kyng and lordes knowen not ne wyll not knowe ther owne office in maintenance of god and his lawe. For as sainct Austen saithe the Kyng with his knyghtes reprefentyn the godhede of Christe, and prestes the manhode of Christe, Rex est vicarius diuinitatis, et sacerdos est vicarius Christi humanitatis, haec Augustinus in de questionibus veteris et nouae legis. ca. xci. And if the kyng desyer to knowe perfytly his office, he maye fynde men to shewe to hym bookes that truely and perfytly shall enforme hym to doo his office to the plesaunce of god. But this can not he lerne of Byshoppys for they enforme hym after Antichristes lawe and ordenaunce for his lawes nowe reignen. Yet agaynst them that sayn ye gospell in englyshe wold make men to erre, wote they well vat we fynde in latyn langage more heretykes then of all other langages for the decre. saythe. xxiiii. xciii. Quidam autem heretici, that there be founden syxty laten heretykes. And if men shuld hate any langage for heresy then must they hate laten. But god forbede that any langage shuld be hated for heresy sythen manye heretykes were of ye disciples of ye apostles. For sainct Ihonn saithe they haue gonn owt of vs but they were not of vs. [How Antichrist is cause of al heresyes.] And Paule saithe it behouyth heresys to be, and antichrist makythe many mo heretykes then there shuld be for he stoppythe so the knowyng of gods lawe, and punysheth so them that he knoweth yat haue it, yat they dare not comen therof openly to haue trewe informacion, and thys makyth layemen yat befyren and louen to knowe gods lawe to goo to gyther in pryuyte and conceyuen by theyr owne wyttes many tymes heresys ye which heresies in short tyme shuld be destroyed, yf men myght haue free comenyng openly, and but if this maye be had moche of ye people shall dye in heresy, for it lyethe neuer in Antichristes power to destroye all englyshe bookes for as fast as he brennethe, other men shale drawe, and thus ye cause of heresy and of ye people that dyeth in heresy is ye frowardnes of byshoppes that wyll not suffer men to haue opyn comoning and fre in the lawe of god and therfore they be cowntable of as many sowlys as dyen in thys default, and are traytors to god in stoppynge of his lawe whiche was made in saluacion of ye people. And nowe they turne his lawe by ther cruell constitucyons into dampnacion of ye people as it fhalbe prouyd apon them at the dayte of dome for gods lawe faithe, Stabunt iusti in magna constantia aduersus eos qui se angustiauerunt, & qui abstulerunt labores eorum. &c. [Reade Sapien vi. and vii.] For that the other men laboren they brennen, and yf owre clergy wold study well this lesson of sapience to ye ende, they should mowe we rede therin theyr oune dampnacion, but yf they amend this defaulte with other defaultes. Saithe not the holy man Ardemakan in the booke of questions that ye wurshupfull sacrament of ye alter maye be made in eche comen langage. For he saithe so diden ye apostles. But we couet not thys, but yat Antechrist geue vs leaue to haue the lawe of ower beleue in englishe. Also they yat haue comonyd moche with ye Iewes, saye yat they haue in euery lande yat they be borne in, ye byble in ther mother tounge, yat is Ebrewe. And they be more practyse therin than annye men, ye aswell ye lewde men as ye prestes. But it is redde in her synagoges amongest ye people of ther prestes to fulfyll ther prestes office and to ye edificacion of ye poraile, that for worldly busynes and slewthe maye not studye it. Also the. iiii. euangelistes wrote ye gospell in diuerse languages, as Mathewe in Iurye, Marke in Italy, Luke in Achaie, and Ihonn in Asie. And all these wrotte in ye langages of the same contreys, also Tobye saithe Chap. xiii. that god disperged, sprede, or scaterid ye Iewes abrode among the hethen people yat they tellynge vnto theym ye merueylles of godde: they shuld knowe that there were nonne other god, but god of Israell. And god ordyned his people to beleue his lawe wrytten among them in ther mother tounge, vt patet Ge. x. vii. and Exo. xiii. In so moche the boke of Iudithe is wrytten in Calde speche, vt patet per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the bookes of Daniel, and of Esdre ben written in Calde, vt patet per Hieroni. in prologis eorundem, also the booke of Iohel in Arabyke and Syre speche, vt patet per Hieroni. in prologo eiusdem. Also Ezechiell the prophet prophesyed in Babylon, and leste his prophesye vnder the mother tounge of Babylon, vt pater per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the propheyse of Isaie is translated in to the tounge of Ethiope, as Hie. concludyth in primo prologo Gene. Then sythen the darke prophesyes were translated amonges the hethen people yat they myght haue knowlege of god and of the incarnacion of Christ, moche more it ought to be translatyd to englyshe people that haue receiuyd the faythe and bounden them selfe to kepe it vpon payne of dampnacion, sythen Christ commaunded his apostles to preache his gospell vnto all the worlde and exceptyd no people nor langage. [Mathei. xxviii.] Also Origen translated the byble owt of Ebrewe into Greke with helpe of other in the yere of owre lorde god CCxxxiiii. Also Aquila translated in the tyme of Adrian the emperoure in the yere of oure lorde. C.xxiiii. also Theodosion translatid it in ye tyme of th[e] emperowre Comede. liiii. yere after Aquila, also Simacus translated it in the tyme of th[e] emperowre Serene, xxx. yere after Theodosion. viii. yere after Simacus it was translated the auctor vnknowen yn the tyme of Alexander the emperowre, And Ierome translated it into latyn, vt in cronicis Cistercien. li. ii. ca. xxxii. And after that Ierom had translated it into laten, he translated to women moche of the bible. And to the maydens Eustochia and Paula, he translated the bookes of Iosue of Iudicum and Ruth and Hester, and Ecclesiastes, Ieremy, Isaie and Daniell, and the. xii. prophetes, and ye. vii. canonyke epystylles, vt patet in prologo eorundem. And so all men maye se here by Ierom, yat it was neuer his entent to bynde ye lawe of god vnder his translacion of laten but by his owne dede geuythe leaue to translate it into euery speche, for Ierom wrytythe in his. lxxviii. epystle to this man Acleta, that he shuld enforme his daughter in the bookes of the olde lawe and the newe, Also in his lxxv. epistle he wrytythe to ye virgin Demetriadis, that she shuld for to encrease her selfe in vertue rede nowe vpon one booke, and nowe vpon another. And he specifiethe vnto her that she also rede the gospel, and the epistylles of the apostles. [But my lords say yat it maketh men heretikes and peruerteth soules.] And thus th[e] englyshe men desyre to haue the lawe of god in englyshe, sythen it is called the lawe vndefyled conuertyng sowlys in to clennes, lex domini immaculata conuertens animas [32], but Antichrist saithe that it is corrupte with ye litterall lettre yat sleyth sowlys takyng his auctorite of Paule, that saithe, litera occidit spiritus autem viuificat [33]. That is the lettre of the ceremonies of ye olde lawe sleyth the Iewes, and them that nowe vsen them, but the spirite of the newe lawe quykenethe trewe Christen men, sythen Christ saythe my wordes ben spritte and lyffe [34]. Also we take ensample of holy virgyns to loue to reade the gospell as they diden, as Katheryn, Cecyle, Lucye, Agnes, Margaret, whiche alegyd the holy gospell to the infidels, that slewe them for the keping therof. Of these foresaid auctorites it is prouyd laufull, that both men and women laufully may reade and wryte gods lawe in their mother tonge, and they that forfenden this they shewe them selfes heyers and sonnes of the first tormentors, and werse, for they shewen them selfes the veraye disciples of Antichrist, whiche hathe and shall passe all the malyce of tyrauntes that haue ben before in stoppyng and peruertynge of gods lawe whiche deade engendrythe greate vengeaunce to fall in this realme, but yf it be amendid For Paule saithe Roma. i. The wrathe of god is shewyd from heuyn vpon cruelnes and vnryghtfulnes of these men that with holden the trowthe of god in vnryghtwysnes, Reuelatur enim ira dei super omnem impietatem et iniusticiam hominum eorum qui veritatem dei in iniustitio detinent [35]. Now god of hys mercy geue vnto ower kyng, and to ower lordes grace of trewe vnderstandyng to amende this default principally and all other, then shall we mowe [36] easely to be amendid. For vntyll it be amendid there shall neuer be rest and peace in thys realme (13). Who that fyndythe or redythe this lettre put it furthe in examinacyon and suffer it not to be hydde or destroyed, but multyplyed for no man knoweth what proffyt maye come therof. For he that compiled it, purposyth with goddes helpe to mayntayne it vnto the deathe, yf neade be. And therfore all christen men and women, praye that ye worde of god maye be vnbounde, and deliuered from the power of Antichrist, and renne amonge his people. Amen.

Emprented at Marborow in the lande of Hessen, by me Hans Luft, in the yere of owre lorde, M.CCCCC. and. XXX.

Reprinted 1 OCTOBER 1870 by

EDWARD ARBER,

Associate, Kings College, London.

REPRINTED 2009

HAIL & FIRE

(1) The marginal notes are evidently inserted by the Editor of 1530, and do not belong to the original text.

(2) It must be recollected that the whole of these references are to manuscript copies.

(3) Nicholas de Lyra, a voluminous writer. He was a converted Jew who became a Minorite at Verneuil in 1291, and died at Paris in 23, Oct. 1340.

(4) The famous Robert Grosse-Tete, who was Bp of Lincoln, between 11 June 1235-9 Oct. 1253.

(5) The usual prefix at the time to a priest's name.

(6) Rather John De Thoresby, who was Archbishop of York between Sept. 1348 - Nov. 1356.

(7) This must be the Speculum Christiani, which exists in MS., and was also printed by Machlinia. If so, this paragraph fixes the authorship; respecting which see Mr. Halliwell in Archoeologia. xxxiv.

(8) Richard Rolle de Hampole [b. at Thorntpn in Yorkshire, d. 1349.] His Pricke of Conscience was published by the Philological Society in 1863, and some of his Prose Treatises by the Early English Text Society in 1866.

(9) Anne of Bohemia, the first wife of Richard II. She was buried on Monday, 3 August 1394, at Westminster. Arundel was at this time Archbishop of York.

(10) Thomas Fitz Allan of Arundel, also called Thomas Arundel, was consecrated Bishop of Ely, 9 Apr. 1374, was five times Lord Chancellor of England, was translated to York on 3 Apr. 1388. and thence to Canterbury on 25 Sept. 1396. He died 19 Feb. 1414. "His end (being as some report it) was very miserable; his tongue swelled so big in his mouth, as he was able neither to eat, drink nor speak in many daies before his death, and died at last of hunger." - F. Godwin, Bishop of Landaff, A Catalogue of the Bishops of England, &c. p. 155. Ed. 1615.

(11) The see of Lincoln was filled in succession by two men who at one time had been disciples and coadjutors of Wyckliffe. Philip De Repingdon who was Bishop between 24 Mar. 1405 - 10 Oct. 1419: and Richard Fleming, who was consecrated Bishop by the Pope's own hand on 28 Apr. 1520, and died at Sleaford on 25 Jan 1531, respecting whom Bishop Godwin says: - "For two things he is famous: one, that he caused the bones of Wickcliffe to be taken vp and burnt in the yeare 1425, being required by the Council of Sienna so to do, and the other, that he founded Lincoln College in Oxford 1430." - Idem. p. 300. Bishop Fleming's death seems the latest personal allusion in the text. It is alluded to in so distant a manner as to afford a presumption that the treatise was not written for a number of years after.

(12) The Constitution of Archbishop Arundel is to the following effect: - "Therefore we enact and ordain that no one shall henceforth translate of his own authority any text of Holy Scripture into the English or other tongue by way of book, pamphlet, or tract: neither shall any such book, pamphlet, or tract be read, whether composed in recent times by the said John Wycliffe, or since, or which may hereafter be composed, in part or entire, openly or in secret, under pain of the greater Excommunication. Unless the same translation be approved by the Diocesean of the place, or if need be, by the Provincial Council. Whosoever shall act contrary to this shall be punished as guilty of Heresy and error." - Lyndewode's Provinciale, &c. V. c. 4. De Magistris, p. 286. Ed. 1679.

(13) From this, it would seem that this Treatise was written in the turmoil and troubles of the Wars of the Roses.

___________________________

[1] maumentry: (Mid. Eng.) idolatry (H&F).

[2] evangely: the good tidings, the Gospel (H&F).

[3] CCCC: or rather, CD, 400.

[4] wolden: (Mid. Eng.) desired (H&F).

[5] wold: desires (H&F).

[6] apertly: (Mid. Eng.) openly (H&F).

[7] Almanye: German (H&F).

[8] Evangely: Gospel (H&F).

[9] super librum politicorum:

[10] haec Thomas:

[11] Scriptum est de Levitis:

[12] gross: the main body or chief part (H&F).

[13] pagines: pages or writings (H&F).

[14] dirige: or dyrge, a song sung in office for the dead (H&F).

[15] wolden: (Mid. Eng.) was desirous or willing (H&F).

[16] lewder: (Mid. Eng.) more ignorant (H&F).

[17] Ne auferas de ore meo verbum veritatis usquequaque:

[18] Arbitretur se obsequium prestare deo. &c.:

[19] adnulle:

[20] Sanctus Edwardus rex vidit spiritualibus oculis:

[21] plesaunce: (Mid. Eng.) pleasure (H&F).

[22] comen: (Mid. Eng.) coming, as of gathering together (H&F).

[23] befyren: perhaps befriend, or likely a typographical error for 'desire' (H&F).

[24] Stabunt iusti in magna constantia adversus eos qui se angustiaverunt, & qui abstulerunt labores eorum. &c.:

[25] sapience: wisdom (H&F).

[26] mowe: (Mid. Eng.) grimace (H&F).

[27] lewde: (Mid. Eng.) ignorant (H&F).

[28] poraile: (Mid. Eng.) poor people (H&F).

[29] slewthe: or sleythe (Mid. Eng.), falsehood or trick (H&F).

[30] ut patet: that to be accessible or open; to be well known (H&F).

[31] ut pater: likely ut patet (H&F).

[32] it is called the lawe vndefyled conuertyng sowlys: a reference to Psalm 19:7, ďThe law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.Ē (H&F).

[33] litera occidit spiritus autem viuificat; or ďthe letter killeth but the spirit enlivens,Ē that is, in full: ďWho also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.Ē 2 Cor. 3:6. The authorís explanation of the text is well said and contrasted against the gross misuse of the text by the Church (H&F).

[34] Christ saythe my wordes ben spritte and lyffe: referring to Joh 6:63, ďIt is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,Ē which was spoken in explanation of the saying (Joh 6:56), ďHe that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him,Ē (H&F).

[35] forfenden: archaic; perhaps from forfaiten, as to forfeit; forfeiting (H&F).

[36] The text: ďFor the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousnessĒ Rom 1:18 (H&F).

[37] mowe: (Mid. Eng.) grimace, as to be affected (H&F).

[38] renne: (Mid. Eng.) hastened, to run or to be rushed (H&F).

 

O Christian reader, from rashness refrain

Of hasty judgment, and light sentence.

Though some reckon it forwardness of brain

Thus to detect ye clergiesí inconvenience.

Unto Christís words give thou advertence,

Which saith nothing to be done so secretly

But it shall be known manifestly.

Whereas men discern no grief of darkness,

Full little is desired the comfortable light.

The day is restrained to show its clearness,

Till the clouds be expelled of the night.

As long as we perceive not wrong from right,

Neither holiness from false hypocrisy,

The truth cannot be known manifestly.

Cursed they are, as Isaiah does express,

Which presume the evil for good to commend,

Saying that sweet is sour and light darkness.

As now in the clergy, we may prepend [1],

Whose disguised madness in the later end

As Saint Paul to Timothy did prophesy.

Shall be known to all men manifestly.

Example of twain he does there recite,

Whose names were called Jannes and Jambres,

Which by enchantment, through devils might,

Strongly resisted the prophet Moses,

Doing like marvels and wonderfulness,

So that none could the very truth espy,

Till their juggling was known manifestly.

Christ, likewise, with his predication,

The Pharisees showing outward holiness,

Was accounted of small reputation.

Vice cloaked under shine of virtuousness,

Until at the last their furiousness,

Accusing the woman taken in adultery,

They saw their faults detected manifestly.

Their vices open, they could not abide

Shame driving them to confusion,

Which afore season through pope holy pride

They bolstered out under abusing.

It is the practice of their collusion.

Zeal of righteousness to feign outwardly,

Till their faults be detected manifestly.

Which in our clergy is evidently seen

Feigned godliness falsely pretending

Whereby most part of people do ween [2]

That they seek Godís honor in all thing.

How be it, men should see that their faking,

Is to confound Christís Gospel utterly

Were their faults detected manifestly.

What greater despite can they imagine

Against God his high honor to deface,

Than to usurp on them his power divine?

Abominably sitting in holy place?

Which have continued long time and space,

And shall with outrageous blasphemy,

Till their faults be detected manifestly.

Scripture unto them was first proffered,

Meekly without any provocation.

Which to receive when it was offered

They refused with indignation.

Wherefore touching their reformation.

Little trust is to be had certainly,

Till their faults be detected manifestly.

Thus to conclude, O Christian reader,

Unto patience, I thee exhort.

Advertising, how and in what manner,

Christ rebuked this pharisaical sort,

Whom, as Mathew in the 10 chapter does report,

With fearful sentence he cursed earnestly.

Their wicked faults detecting manifestly.

"There is nothing covered,
that shall not be revealed."

Math. 10:26

___________________________

[1] perpend: to weigh (H&F).

[2] ween: imagine (H&F).

Here follows the Dialogue, the Gentleman beginning first his complaint.

Gentleman

With sorrowful heart, may I complain

Concerning the chance, of my misery

Although peradventure it is but vain

Truth oppressed, with open tyranny.

My inheritance and patrimony

Against right, from me they keep away

Which say, for my friends souls they pray.

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They bare them in hand that they had might

Sinners to bind and loose at their own pleasure

Takings upon them to lead them aright

Unto joy, that ever should endure.

Of popes pardons they boasted the treasure.

Challenging of heaven and hell the key

Saying that they would for their souls pray.

To trust wife or children, they did dissuade

Either any friends or persons temporal.

Affirming that our love should a way fade

Without any memory of them at all

Only to hope in their sects spiritual.

They enticed with persuasions gay

Saying that they would for their souls pray.

Thus with wiliness and arguments vain

Mine ancestors brought into perplexity

Partly thorough fear of eternal pain

And partly for desire of felicity.

They consented making no difficulty

To grant their requests without delay

Saying that they would for their souls pray.

Their chief lordships and lands principal

With commodities of their possession

Unto the clergy they gave forth withal

Disinheriting their right succession.

Which to receive without exception

The covetous clergy made no delay

Saying that they would for their souls pray.

By the means whereof I and such other

Suffering the extremity of indigence

Are occasioned to theft or murder

Falling into much inconvenience.

Because the clergy against conscience

Devours our possessions night and day

Saying yet for our friends souls they pray.

I have wife and children upon my hand

Wanting substance, their lives to sustain

Wherefore to the clergy, that have my land

Sometime I come and piteously complain

Whose stateliness, to help me having disdain

Without any comfort to me they say

That for my friends souls they daily pray.

Should I and my household for hungery die

They would not an half penny with us part

So that they live in wealth abundantly

Full little they regard our woeful smart.

To waste our goods they nothing advert [1]

In vicious lusts and pompous array

Saying yet for our friends souls they pray.

They take upon them apostlesí authority

But they follower nothing their profession

Often times they preach of Christís poverty

How be it, toward it, they have no affection.

Us, so be, they pleate [2] one in possession

Hard it is to get aught from them away

Saying that for our friendís souls they pray.

Thus must we bear their oppression

While to complain there is no remedy

The world they have brought in subjection

Under their ambitious tyranny.

No respect they have to the misery

Of us poor gentlemen that be lay

Saying that for our friends souls they pray.

Alas, is it not a miserable case?

To see idle persons void of pity

Occupying the lands before our face

Which should pertain unto us of duty.

They have riches and we calamite

Their honor increased, ours must decay

Saying that for our friends souls they pray.

The Husbandman

Sir, God give you good morrow

I perceive the cause of your sorrow

And most lamentable calamity.

Is for the oppression intolerable

Of these monsters so uncharitable

Whom men call the spirituality.

Truth it is, you poor gentlemen are

By their craftiness made need and bare

Your lands with holding by violence

How be it we husbandmen every where

Are now in worse condition far

As it may be marked by experience.

Gentleman

In worse case? Nay, that cannot be so

For look over the whole world to and fro

Namely here in our own region.

And thou shall find that in their hands

Remains the chief lordships and lands

Of poor gentlemenís possession.

They have our ancestors livelihood and rents

Their principal farms and tenements

With temporal freedom and liberty.

They have gotten unto their kingdoms

Many noble baronies and earldoms

With esquires lands and knights sees.

Husbandman

Notwithstanding yet they say precisely

That your ancestors gave to them freely

Such worldly dominion and livihood.

Gentleman

Freely quod a? Nay, that is but feigned

For they were certainly thereto constrained

By their covetous deceit and falsehood.

Husbandman

How did they your ancestors compel?

Gentleman

Mary in threatening the pains of hell

And sharp punishment of purgatory.

Where to brenne, they made them believe

Except they would unto them give

Part of their substance and patrimony.

Husbandman

But how would they deliver them from thence?

Gentleman

As they said by their prayers assistance

Which with boasting words they did allow.

Husbandman

Prayer? God give her ashamed represe

For it is the most bribing these.

That ever was, I make God avow.

For by her the clergy without doubt

Robs the whole country round about

Both commons and estates, none excepted.

I wot they have prayed so long already

That they have brought the land to beggary

And all thriftiness clean away swept.

Whatsoever we get with sweat and labor

That prolle they away with their prayer

Saying they pray for our souls always

But is their prayer not more availing

To the dead souls than to the living

So is it not worth a rotten aye.

Gentleman

To the souls departed it is not profitable

For why, those that are in case damnable

No assistance of prayer can attain.

And as for purgatory, there is none

Although there be clerks many one

Which to fake it take much pain.

Husbandman

Then I would their praying were at an end

For if they pray long, thus so God me mend

They shall make your land worse than naught.

But now I will rehearse seriously

How we husbandmen full piteously

Unto miserable wretchedness are brought.

First when England was in his flower

Ordered by the temporal governors

Acknowledging no spiritual jurisdiction.

Then was there in each state and degree

Abundance and plenteous prosperity

Peaceable wealth without affliction.

Nobleness of blood, was had in price

Virtuousness advanced, hated was vice

Princes obeyed, with due reverence.

Artificers and men of occupation

Quietly won their Sustenance

Without any grief of needy indigence.

We husbandmen likewise prosperously

Occupying the seats of husbandry

Hired farms of price competent.

Whereby our living honestly we won

And had enough to pay every man

Helping other that were indigent.

Till at the last, the ravenous clergy

Through their craftiness and hypocrisy

Got to them worldly domination.

Then were we overcharged very sore

Our farms set up daily more and more

With shameful price in such a fashion.

That we pay more now by half the sum

Than aforetimes we did of custom

Holding ought of their possession.

Beside this, other contents of bribery

As paying of tithes, open and privy

And for hearing of confession.

Also priests duties and clerks wages

Buying of pardons and frŤres quarterages

With churches and altars reparation.

All our charges cannot be numbered

Wherewith we are greatly encumbered

Overwhelmed with desolation.

We turmoil ourselves night and day

And are feign to drink whygge and whaye

For to maintain the clergyís factions

Gentleman

This were a great shame to be known

Saying half the realm is their own

That they charge you with such exactions.

Me thinks so to do is no small crime

For they kept as good houses aforetime

While their farm hire was far less.

Husbandman

Yea, more plenteous houses a great deal

How be it in hindering the commonweal

They use also this practice doubtless.

Whereas poor husbandmen afore season

According unto equity and reason

House or land to farm did desire.

Without any difficulty they might it get

And yet no higher price was there up set

Than good conscience did require.

But now their ambitious subtlety

Maketh one farm of two or three

Yea, sometime they bring six to one.

Which to gentlemen they let in farming

Or else to rich merchants for advantage

To the undoing of husbandman each one.

Whereby the commons suffering damage

The whole land is brought into rerage [3]

As by experience you may well see.

Thus is the wealth of village and town

With the same of honorable renown

Fallen in to miserable poverty.

Plenteous households hereby are decayed

Relief of poor people is away strayed

Alms exiled with hospitality.

By such means, all thing wax dear

Complaint of subjects crying far and near

Oppressed with grievous calamite.

Gentleman

Truly you show the very abuse

Nevertheless concerning our excuse

Why we gentlemen farms occupy.

The principal occasion is only this

That our patrimony given away is

Unto these wolves of the clergy.

By whose oppression we are so beggared

That necessity has us compelled

With farms such shift to make

For as you husbandmen can well understand

Touching expenses and charges of the land

They disdain any parte with us to take.

Husbandman

You by saint Mary, I warrant you

In such cases, their aid is very scant

Making courtesy to do any good.

Let the realm go what way it will

They having ease, and their bellies full

Regard little the commonweal by the rode

If princes demand their succor or aid

This answer of them is commonly said

We are pore bedemen [4] of your grace.

We pray for your deceased ancestors

For whom we sing masses and dirges [5]

To succor their souls in needful case.

Gentleman

Oh, they afford prayers good cheap

Saying rather many masses by the heap

Than to give a poor man his dinner.

Wherefore as you say, so God help me

I see of their praying, no commodity

Neither advantage in any manner.

For why with in Thes. 4, hundred year

Throughout Christendom was not a friar

Of these, whom we call mendicants.

And since that time divers factions

Of collegians, monks and canons

Have spread this region over all.

Also of priests, were not the tenth part

Which, as they say, have none other art

But for us worldly people to pray.

And yet the world is now far worse

As every man feels in his pores

Than it was at that time, I dare say.

Wherefore the truth openly too betrayed

I would they should lay their praying aside

And give themselves to labor bodily.

Husbandman

It were hard to bring them thereto

Utterly refusing any labor to do

Because they are people ghostly [6].

Gentleman

Were not the Apostles ghostly also?

Husbandman

Yes sir, but it is so long ago

That their living is out of memory.

Gentleman

We find it well in the New Testament.

Husbandman

The clergy say, it is not convenient

For laymen therewith to be busy.

Gentleman

Know you wherefore they do that?

Husbandman

In faith sir I conjecture somewhat

And I suppose I do not much err.

Might men the scripture in English read

We secular people should than see indeed

What Christ and the Apostles lives were,

Which I doubt nothing, are contrary

Unto the living of our clergy

Given to pompous idleness everywhere.

Whose abomination once known

Their pride should be soon overthrown

And few would their stateliness forbear.

Gentleman

You hit the nail upon the head

For that is the thing that they dread

Lest Scripture should come unto light.

God commanded man in the beginning

With sweat of visage to win his living

As Moses in his first book does write.

And as Mark says in the 6th chapter

Christ here upon earth was a carpenter

Not disdaining an occupation.

Also the disciples universally

With their hands laboured busily

Eschewing idle conversation.

Husbandman

Our clergy live nothing after their rate

Gentleman

No, they seek idly to advance their estate

And to be had in reputation.

Husbandman

Are they worldly or ghostly to say the truth?

Gentleman

So God help me I trust none of both

As it appears by their fashion.

For in matters of worldly business

The clergy have much more interest

Than temporal men I assure thee.

The lands of lords and dukes to possess

They abash not a whit the secularness

Challenging titles of worldly honor

But is the realm in any necessity

Where as they should condescend of duty

To stand by their prince with succor

Than to be of the world they deny

Saying that their help is spiritually

From the world making a separation.

Husbandman

Whiles they use such craftiness to contrive

The temporality ought them to deprive

Of their worldly domination.

And even as they say that they are ghostly

So without any assistance worldly

To live ghostly they should have no let [7].

Gentleman

That were an expedient medicine

According unto saint Paulís doctrine

Qui non laborat, non manducet [8].

Notwithstanding, their power is so strong

That whether they do right or wrong

They have their own will without fail.

Their enormities so far outbreak

That all the world against them speak

But alas man what does it avail?

Husbandman

The remedy that I can imagine

Were best that we together determine

To get us to London uncontent.

Whereas it is here for a surety told

The king with his nobles do hold

A general council or parliament.

Gentleman

What would you that we should do there?

Husbandman

The constraint of our misery to declare

Under a meek form of lamentation.

Gentleman

So should we be sure of such answers

As were made unto the poor beggars

For their piteous supplication.

Against whom you clergiesí reasons naught worthy

The souls of purgatory they brought forth

The beggarsí complaint to discomfit.

Wherefore against our petition I thee tell

They would bring out all the devils in hell

For to do us some shameful despite.

Husbandman

And was there none other way at all

But the souls of purgatory to call

In aide and assistance of the clergy.

Gentleman

It was the surest way by saint John

For had they to plain Scripture gone

I would they had been taken tardy.

The beggars complaint was so grounded

That the clergy had been confounded

Had they not to purgatory hasted.

Husbandman

Where say they purgatory should be?

Gentleman

By Scripture they showed no certainty

Albeit with stout words they it faced.

Even like unto the man, which went

A certain strange land to invent

But when he saw, he could it not find.

Lest his wit and travail should seem in vain.

Report of other men he began to feign

The simplicity of rude people to blind.

But touching our communication

There is another consideration

Which somewhat more troubles my mind

Thou knowest that in the parliament

The chief of your clergy are resident

In a marvelous great multitude.

Whose fierce displeasure is so terrible

That I judge it were not possible

Any cause against them to conclude.

As for these ones, we shall not be heard

And great men I tell they are afraid

With them to have any doing.

Whosoever will against them contend

Shall be sure of a mischief in the end

Is he gentleman, lord or king?

And that unto king John I me report

With other princes and lords a great sort

Whom the chronicles express by name.

Whiles they were alive they did them trouble

And after their death with cruelness double

They ceased not their honor to defame.

Did not they so long strive and wrestle

Against the good knight Sir John Oldecastle

Otherwise called Lord of Cobham.

That from high heresy unto treason

They brought him to final destruction

With other many a noble man.

Moreover, at saint Edmundsbury, some say,

That the famous prince duke Humphrey

By them of his life was abbreviated.

Since that time I could reckon more

Whom they caused to be dispatched so

Peradventure some of no low estate.

Husbandman

Their tyranny is great without fail

Nevertheless, if we would them assail

With arguments of the Holy Gospel,

They should not be ones able to resist

For the words of our Savior Christ

Should stop them were they never so fell [9].

Who in the 23rd chapter of saint Luke

To their great confusion and rebuke

Forbid secular ambition.

Wherein he himself example gave

Contemning worldly honor to have

Of this world claiming no kingdom.

Also when his disciples forth he sent

He commanded them to be content

With food and apparel necessary.

Where to saint Paulís doctrine according

Saith: having meat, drink and clothing

We should nothing covet superfluously.

Gentleman

If the Holy Gospel allege we should

As strong heretics take us they would

Unto their church disobedient.

For why they have commanded straightly

That none under great pain be so hardy

To have in English the (New) Testament.

Which as thou knowest at London

The bishop making there a sermon

With shameful blasphemy was brent [10].

Husbandman

Alas that cruelty goes to my heart

Wherefore I fear me we shall all smart

At length with bitter punishment.

Gentleman

Undoubted it is greatly to be feared

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Friend against friend, brother against brother.

Every man at variance with other

The realm long season in mischief stood

Husbandman

This is nowadays clean out of mind

Gentleman

I pray God, hereafter we do not find

The fame vengeance for like offence

For as it is in the Bible plainly read

God left never land yet unpunished,

Which against his word made resistance.

Husbandman

Well sir, if Scripture you forth bring

I beseech you, what is their answering

Are they so bold Godís word to deny?

Gentleman

Nay, but after their imagination

They make there of an interpretation

Unto the text clean contrary

They allege the popeís authority,

Customs of ancient antiquity

With divers councils approbation.

Also the holiness of religious fathers

With the blood shedding of martyrs

For their churches preservation.

Beside that continuance of years

Miracles of bishops, monks and friars

Whom for special patrons they hold.

And finally to make a conclusion

In fortifying their ablution

Other practices they use manifold.

They resort to lords and great estates

With whom they are daily check mates

You to say the troth their sovereigns.

Where among other communication

They admonish them with protestation

To beware of these heretic Lutherans.

Whom they say is a sect new fangled

With execrable heresies entangled

Seeking the Churchís perdition.

Which our forefathers as wise as we

Were content with humble simplicity

To honor, obeying their tuition.

Also none presumed till now of late

Against the clergy to bear any hate

Or grudged at their possession.

Husbandman

By saint Mary, sir, that is a stark lie

I can show you a work by and by

Against that point making objection.

Which of warrant I dare be bold

That it is about a hundred years old

As the English self do testify.

Wherein the author with arguments

Speaks against the lordships and rents

Of the clergy possessed wrongfully.

Gentleman

Is it so old as thou doest here express

Reproving their pompous lordliness

So is it than no newfound heresy.

Husbandman

No, but alas, half the book we want

Having no more left than a remnant

From the beginning of the 6th chapter verily.

Gentleman

As for that it maketh no matter

Begin hardly at the sixth chapter

Reading forth to the end seriously.

For though old writings appear to be rude

Yet notwithstanding they do include

The pith of a matter most fructuously.

Husbandman

To read it I shall be diligent

Though the style be nothing eloquent

With ornate speech set out curiously.

___________________________

[1] advert: regard (H&F).

[2] pleate: perhaps Ďdeplete,í but more likely Ďplight,í as to pledge one in possession for the performance of services rendered (H&F).

[3] rerage:

[4] bedemen: from beode (to pray), those who pray for others (H&F).

[5] dirigees: dirges, from dirige or dyrge, a song sung in office for the dead (H&F).

[6] ghostly: spiritual (H&F).

[7] let: hindrance (H&F).

[8] Qui non laborat, non manducet: (Latin) "Whoever will not work, let him not eat" (H&F).

[9] fell: (Mid. Eng.) wicked (H&F).

[10] brent: burnt (H&F).

[11] sift: (Mid. Eng.) see (H&F).

[12] stentyd: (Mid. Eng.) from stent, to stop or to cease (H&F).

Here follows

An Old Treatise made about the time of King Richard II.

Whereas the clergy perceives that lordliness and worldly dominion cannot be borne out by scripture, then fly they to arguments of menís persuasion saying after this manner saint Huge and saint Swithune were thus lords, and in this they ensued Christís living and his doctrine, therefore we may be lawfully thus lords. But I know well that Gabriel shall blow his horn or they have proved the minor. That is, that these saints or patrons in this sued the doctrine or the life of Jesus Christ. And of this thou may see that such arguments that are not clothed with Christís living or his teaching, be right naught worth all though the clerkís blind with them much folk in the world. But here have I no leisure to tell though I could, what chesesaunce [1] and costs the Church makes and what wars [2] they hold to continue this simony and heresy so unadvisedly brought in to the Church. And yet they seek all the ways thereto that they can. Yay, insomuch that they go openly armed into the field to kill Christian men, for to get and hold such lordship. And notwithstanding saint Peter was so pore that he had neither gold nor silver, as he says in the Acts of the apostles, Acts 3. And his other worldly goods he left, when he began to sue [3] Christ. And as touching the title of worldly law that he had to such worldly goods, he made never claim, no never received after any worldly lordship. And yet they call all their whole kingdom saint Peterís ground or lordship. And therefore saint Bernard writes to Eugene your pope, Libro. ii, saying. If you will be a lord, seek by another way to attain it, but not by this Apostleís right. For he may not give thee that he had not, that he had he gave, the which was business upon churches. Whether he gave lordship or not, here what he says. Be ye not lords in the clergy, but be ye made, 1 Peter, form and example of Christís flock. And lest you trust this be not said of truth, take keep [4] what Christ says in the Gospel. The kings of heathen have lordship upon them, forsooth you not so. See how plainly lordship is forbidden to all Apostles, for if you be a lord, how dare you take upon the Apostleship, or if you be a bishop, how dare you take upon thee lordship? Plainly you are forbidden both. And if you will have both together, you shall lese [5] both, and be of the number, of which God pleineth [6] by the prophet Osee saying, They reigned but not by me, sayeth God. And if we hold that, that is forbidden, here we that is boden of Christ. He that is greatest of you see yet he be made as younger in simpleness, and he that is a fore goer [7], look he be as a servant. This is the form of Apostles life, lordships forbidden and servant is boden [8] this says saint Bernerde there. And therefore no man may put another ground (or foundation, 1 Cor. 3:11) besides that that is put which is Christ Jesus.

But yet I know well that clerks and religious folk that love unkindly this lordliness will glose [9] here and say, yet they occupy not such lordships in proper as secular lords do, but in common, like as the Apostles and perfect [10] people did in the beginning of Christís church as writes Saint Luke in the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the which had all things in common, like as such clerks and religious say they have now. In tokening whereof no man said of anything at that time, this is mine, so our clerks and namely religious people when they will speak in terms of their religion. A private person will not say this or this is mine, but in person of all his brethren he will say, this is ours. And over this they say more subtly that they occupy not this by title of secular lordship, but by title of perpetual alms. But whatever this people say here, we must take heed to the rule of priest that fails not. The which rule Christ teaches us in the Gospel in divers places, where he says, believe ye the works. For why by their works ye shall know them. And this rule is wonderfully needful to a man that has ado with any man of the Phariseesí conditions. For as Christ says Math. 23, They say but they do not. And so as Christís works bear witness of him as he himself says, and show what he was and how he lived, so the deeds and manner of living, or the thing in itself bears witness without fail how it stands among them in this point. And if we take heed thus by this rule, we shall see at our eye how the clergy says otherwise than it is indeed. For in some place in private person, and in some place, in common or person aggregate which is all one as saint Austin says upon the Psalter, the clergy occupy the secular lordship secularly, and yea, so in property. For in the same manner wise as the Baron, or the knight occupies and governs his barony or his knightís see, so after the amortizing occupies the clerk, the Monk, or Canon, the College or Convent, the same lordship and governs it by the same laws in judgment and punishing as imprisoning and hanging with such other worldly. A tormenting the which some time belonged to the secular arm of the Church. Ye often times we may see how they busy themselves to be kings in their own, and rejoice them full much in that civility or secularity if they may get it. And this is evidence that they would gladly be kings of all the realm or the world. For where their lands and secular menís franchise are together they strive who shall have the gallows, or other manner tournaments for felons. They keep also under bondage their tenants and their issue with their lands. And this is the most civility or secular lordshipping that any king or lord has on his tenants. And therefore we may see how they claim in their goods a manner of proper possession contrary to the communizing of the common goods in time of the perfect men in the beginning of Christís church. And so what so ever the clergy says the deed shows well that they have not their goods in common like as Christ with his apostles and perfect men had in the beginning of Christís church. For in holding or having of their goods, is property of possession and secular lordshipping. The which stands not with the plenty of Christís perfection in priests as it sues of this process and of that, that is declared before. And as for that of their glose that clerks have here, where they say that they hold these lordships by title of perpetual alms. But here you shall understand that mercy or alms is a will of relieving of some wretch out of his mis-ease as Lyncolniensis saith in the beginning of his dictis. So that if a man should effectually do alms he must look to whom he should do alms to, Dicto. ii, were in mis-ease and had need to be relieved. In token whereof, Christ only assigned alms to those in whom he marked mis-ease. And so here of this it will sue, that if a man will relieve one wretch and make another or more, he does no alms, but rather maketh mis-ease. And much more he does no alms if be made rich those persons that have no need. For as much as they be sufficient to themselves, this hath no color of alms. For this may be better called a woodnes [11] or a wasting of Godís goods. And over this if a man take those goods, the which God in the best wise enen [12] and without errors has assigned to the state of secular lords, and give those goods to another people that has no need of them, yea, to the which people such goods are forfendid [13]. This should be called no alms, but perverting of Godís ordinance, and the destruction of the state of secular lords the which God has approved in his church. For as saint Paul saith, 2 Cor. 8. Alms deed should be ruled so that it were relieving to those that receive it. And much rather it should not be undoing of those that do it. And therefore Christ teaches in the Gospel to do alms of those things that be needless or superfluity [14]. Quod superset date elemosinam, Luck 14. And in this deed, a man should regard to the need of him that he does alms to and to the charge of his own house. What alms was it then I pray you, to undo the state of the Emperor, and to make the clerks rich with his lordships, namely since Christ confirmed to the Emperor his state, with those things that long thereto, notwithstanding, at that time the Emperor was heathen. And he has forfendyd expressly his clergy in word and in example such lordship. And as this was no alms, so we must say of other kings, dukes, and earls, barons and knights that are undone hereby, and the clerks made rich and worldly lords with their goods. And though it had be so that the clergy might have occupied thus worldly lordship, and also though it had been no destruction nor appearing of any other state, yet it had been no alms for to give to them such goods, wherefore it may be rightfully said. No man may put another ground besides that is put, which is Christ Jesus.

Here we may see by the ground of the Gospel and by the ordinance of Christ, that the clergy was sufficiently purveyed for livelihood. For God is so perfect in all his working, that he may ordain no state in his church but if he ordain sufficient livelihood to the same state. And this is open in Godís law, who so takes heed, and that under every law of God, as under the law of innocency and of kind, under the law given by Moses and also under the law given by Christ. In the time of the state of innocency we know well by belief that God had so ordained for mankind that it should have had livelihood enough without any tedious labor And of the law of kind, Christ speaks in the Gospel saying thus, Matt. 7, All things that ye will that other men do to you, do ye to them. And if this law had been kept, there should no man have been mischievously needy. And in the time of the law given by Moses, God made a full and a sufficient ordinance for all his people how and whereby they should live. For he dealt the land among the lay people and he assigned the first fruits and tithes to the priests and deacons. And all though that he would that there should be all way poor men in the land of Israel, yet he made an ordinance against mischievous need, Deut. 15, And commanded all the people that there should be in no wise a needy man and a beggar among them as it is written. And so in this law he ordained sufficiently enough for his people. And in the time of the new law Christ assigned the secular lordships to temporal lords, as it is taught before. And allowed the commonality her livelihood gotten by true merchandise and husbandry and other crafts. And in [no] word and ensample he taught his priests to be proctors for needy people and poor at the rich men, and specified these poor, and taught how they that were mighty should make a purveyance for such poor folk that they were not constrained by need for to beg, as great clerks mark upon these words of the Gospel where Christ saith thus, Luck 13, When thou makest thy feast, that is of alms, call poor people, feeble, lame and blind. He saith not, let such poor men call upon ye, but call thou upon them, meaning in that, that you should make a purveyance for such people, that they be not mischievously sautye [15]. And for the clergy he ordained sufficiently, teaching them in word and ensample how they should hold them as paid with livelihood and hylynge [16] ministered to them, for their true labor in the Gospel as it is written before. Of this than you may see how God, in all his laws has sufficiently ordained for all the states that be founded and approved. And how it is against the goodness and wisdom of God, to ordain any state, but if he ordained sufficient livelihood thereto. Since then this ordinance of God was sufficient as well for the clergy as for other men it seems a foul presumption to bring in a new and a contrary ordinance of livelihood for clerks upon the ordinance that Christ has made for them before. Of the which ordinance, the clergy full many years after the beginning of Christís church, when it was best governed, held them well paid. For this means that Christís ordinance was insufficient and worthy to be undone. And if we take good heed, they had no more need to pleyne [17] them of this ordinance, than had the other two states of his church, which unto this day hold them paid with this ordinance of Christ, were it fully kept. And more sekirnes [18] and assurance may no man make of anything than Christ has of his livelihood to the clergy. For Christ not only affirms to the people that he will not fail them in livelihood and hylinge, but also proves this by arguments that may not be assailed. So that they be true servants to him. For Christ means thus in his arguing there. Since God fails not birds and lilies and grass that grows in the field, neither heathen men; how much rather shall he not fail his true servants? And so this purveyance of perpetual alms that our clerks speak of, means faute [19] of belief and despair of the gracious governance of God. Since then, as it is said before, it is no alms to relieve one wretch and to make another or more, and to make them rich with temporal lordship, the which being forfeited to such people and namely if such alms giving be destroying or appeyringe [20] of any state approved by God in his church, it will sue [21] that the endowing of the clergy with worldly lordship, ought not to be called alms, but rather all amiss, or wasting of Godís goods or destroying of his ordinance, for as much as the clergy was sufficiently ordained by Christ. For why, this alms that clerks speak of here, made many wretches and it was given to them that had no need. And thus it is impairing not only of one estate of the church, but of all three of the which I spoke in the beginning. And so this alms giving has made all our realm needy, yea, and as I suppose full nigh all Christendom full poor and needy and mischievous over that it should have been if the clergy had held them paid with Christís ordinance. But now through this perpetual all amiss, that the clerks call alms, Christís ordinance is undone in some lands wholly and in England for the most part and it is likely to be all undone in process of time. For by amortizing [22] of lordships, the lords be undone in great party. And many noble men because they lack their own part through foolish gift of their ancestors are full needy. Furthermore it may be understood of this process, that withdrawing of this lordship from the clergy and restoring again of them to the states that God has assigned them to, should not be called robbery of holy church as our clerks say, but rather right wise restitution of goods wrongfully and by theft [23] withheld. And therefore there may none oath or vow bind any man to maintain this theft and destruction of Godís ordinance, and this great harming of Christís church. As you vow of Iepte [24] should not have bound him to kill and sacrifice his own daughter; neither the oath of Herod should not have bound him to kill innocent John. But as Jepte should have broken his oath or vow and have offered another thing that had been pleasing to God and according with his law: As saint Austin saith upon the same story. So Herod should have broken his oath and a saved innocent blood and fore [25] repented him for his unadvised swearing. And so should lords nowadays break their oaths that they have unadvisedly and without counsel of Holy Scripture sworn to maintain this theefte, yea, heresy and simony as it is proved before, the which our clerks call perpetual alms. And not sue their foolish deeds and oaths that they have made to maintain this mischievous perverting of Christís ordinance. For as the state of the clergy has no power or leave to make the people or lords to sin deadly or to destroy Godís ordinance in his church. Look well upon this reason. So they have no leave or power of God to counsel or to constrain in any case the lords or the people to swear for to maintain this endowing of the clerks and religious folk, which is full great theft, heresy and simony, and wonderfully [26] harmful to Christís church as it is shown in this process and in other written before. But the lords specially should see here, what were pleasing not to these clerks, but to God, and that should they do. For hereto they be bound by virtue of their office upon pain of damnation. And there may not any man dispense with them of that bound standing her state. For no man should put another ground besides that, that is put which is Christ Jesus.

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For Gregory the tenth ordained first tithes to be paid to curates only, Policro Lib. vii. And yet they claim so ferforthe [28] tithes that no man may lawfully withhold them or minister them save they. Not they may be turned or given to any other state or kindred save only to them. Although men would do that under color or by title of perpetual alms. For this should be deemed of the clergy a damnable sin and destroying of Holy Church and sacrilege. How much rather is it than an hideous and damnable sin, to give or to take away the secular lordships from the state of secular lords, the which God had given and entayled to them by the same law and right, by the which he had given the tithes to the priests in the old law. And this entayle was never interrupted nor broken unto Christís time and his holy Apostles. And then they confirmed this entayle by law so strong to the secular part that no man (save Antichrist and his disciples) may openly impugn this entayle as it is shown before. And so as no man should presume to withdraw, withhold, or turn the tithes from the state of priesthood, as they say, so much rather should no man presume by giving or taking to alienate the temporal lordships from the state of secular lords. And thus, clerks have not so much color to say that the lords and the lay people rob them for as much as they take their temporalities into the hands of the clergy have never the less malice in itself. For as much as it is done by simulation of holiness, the which is double wickedness, Gen. 3. For thus, Lucifer robbed Adam both of goods of fortune, of kind and yet does the Church, of these three manner goods. For right as Lucifer did this harm to Adam and Eve under color of love, and friendship, and helping of them: so do now his angels, those hypocrites that transfigure themselves into angels of light, and deceive the people by false behest of heavenly help that they will procure to them for their goods, as they say, and if a bishop and his college, or an abbot and his convent may not alienate from them any of the temporalities that they have, nor give to their founder any of those possessions that he hath given them, what need that ever he have bound only by a positive law or a tradition that they themselves have made. And if any such lordships be withdrawn, alienated, or taken from them by recklessness of their predecessors, they ought on all wise, that to the death labor to get the possessions into their hands again, as they say. Howe much more than should not a secular lord or a lay alienate from him and his issue or from the state of secular lords, the secular lordships, the which God has limited to that state, since he is bound by the law of kind to ordain for his children. And over this, he is bound by Godís law to sustain the state of secular lord, the which is authorized in the church and his Apostles. Of this process then, if a man take heed, he shall perceive the falseness of this gloss [29], when our clerks and religious folk say that they hold these lordships only by title of perpetual alms. For certainly [30] since these tithes and offerings, the which, as I suppose, countervail the secular lordís rents of the realm or else pass, as it is full likely, for though they bless in one church, they pass in another, and be sufficient for all the priests in Christendom if they were even dealt. Than it were no need to amortize secular lordships to the state of the clergy. The which amortizing is undoing of lords, apostasy of the clergy. And if this amortizing were not needful, then were it no alms as it is declared. And over the tithes and offerings that be now of certainty, the clerks have many great and small perquysytis [31], the which smack of simony and extortion. As the first fruits of vacant benefices, proving of testaments and money for hallowing of chapels, churches, chancelleries, and other ornaments of the Church, and for sacryng [32] of orders, and full many more, that for multitude, may not well be numbered. For well nigh all their blessings be set to sale and to price, in to christening and confirmation. Wherefore, I may now say, as I said at the beginning. No man may put another ground besides that that is put, the which is Christ Jesus. The which ground of living Christ grants to keep that we may escape the everlasting pains of hell. A M E N.

Husbandman

Lo, now by this treatise may you well see

That aforetimes, against the spirituality

Men did inveigh, showing their vices.

Also hereafter this author does tell

What great jeopardy it is and peril

For priests to be in secular offices.

Yea, and to lords which against right

Suffer them therein or thereto excite

Proving it by their own doctors and laws

Gentleman

I beseech you, read forth the process

That the people may see their unhappiness

Which make all the world foles and dawes [33].

Saint Cyprian saith that by the counsel of bishops there is made a statute, that all that have been charged with priesthood and ordained in the service of clerks, should not seem but to the alter and to minister the sacraments, to preach Godís word, and to take heed to prayers and orphans, hist. xxi. [li.] iii. ca. Cyprian. It is forsoothe written. No man bearing his knighthood to God: entryketh [34] him with secular needs. The which our bishops and our predecessors beholding religiously and purveying wholesomely, deem that whosoever takes ministers of the church from spiritual office to secular, that there be none offering done for him, nor any sacrifice hollowed for his sepulture. For they deserve not to be named before the altar of God in the prayer of priests, the which will clepe [35] away priests and ministers of the church from the altar. Thus saith saint Cyprian. Here men may see how perilous it is to the king and secular lords to withhold any priest of Christ in secular business. This is proved thus. For every secular lord by the law of the Gospel is Godís bayly [36]. But if any bayly hired a workman with his lordís goods and put him to his own service, he must be untrue to his own lord. Right so is any secular lord to our Lord Christ Jesus, but if he amend him that takes a priest and puts him in his secular office, breaking the heest [37] of his Lord God, that commands, thou shalt covet none other manís servant. And he withdraws him from the service of God and from the keeping of Christian menís souls, the which he has taken charge of, for which souls our Lord Jesus Christ took flesh and blood, and suffered hard death, and shed his own heartís blood. This perilous doing of secular lords is both against Godís law and manís. It is against Godís law, for as saint Paul saith, 2 Thes. 2. No man that is a perfect knight of God, as every priest should be by his order, intermeddles him with worldly deeds and business. And for this end, that he may so please the lord to whose service he has put himself, and that is good. For such worldly business in clerks is against their order. And therefore the Apostles said, as it is written in the deeds of the Apostles, Acts 6, it is not even, us to leave the word of God and minister to boards [38] of poor folk. And if it was inequity as the Apostles said in their common decree, them for to leave the preaching of Godís word, and minister to the boards of poor folk: How much more inequity and wrong to God and man it is, priests to leave contemplation, study, prayer and preaching of Godís word and ministering to poor folk for the service of a secular lord? It is also against the Popeís law, for he speaks to a bishop and bids him that he warn priests and clerks, that they be not occupied in secular offices nor procurators of secular lordís deeds and her goods, Linn. iii. de re. in fine. And if priests and clerks be so bold to occupy themselves in such business and if they fall after by loss of lordís goods, then says the law it is not worthy that they be helped and succored of Holy Church, since through them Holy Church is slandered. And saint Gregory wrote to the defense of Rome in this manner. It is told to us that our most reverend brother Basil the bishop is occupied in secular causes and keeps unprofitable moote halls [39]. Which thing makes him foul and destroys the reverence of priesthood, therefore anon, as thou hast received this commandment, compel him with sharp execution to turn again. So that it be not lefull [40] to you by no excuse to tarry five days, lest in any manner you suffer him any longer to tarry there in, you be culpable with him against us. And so bishops and other priests be bound to teach and reform lords, to withdraw them from this sin and sharply to reprove priests and curates under them that they occupy no secular office. This is proved thus by the holy prophet Ezekiel saying, Ezek. 33. If the wayte [41] or the watchman see enemies come, and if the people be not warned and keep not themselves, but enemies come and slay the people, then saith God that the people are taken in their wickedness. And of the wayte that should have blown his horn God will ask accounts and reckoning of the blood and of the death of the people. But now to ghostly [42] understanding, every bishop should be a wayte or a watchman, to tell and warn before to all the people by his good living and teaching the peril of sin, and this is the reason why bishops and other prelates and priests should not be occupied with worldly deeds and causes. For such occupations and charges make priests sleeping and slumbering in sin. And therefore it is great peril to make over them ghostly waytes and watchmen, as bishops, parsons, vicars, that been sleepers in lusts of the flesh and in slumberness and blinded with powder [43] of covetousness of worldly deeds that they neither can nor may keep themselves, nor no other man. For of this peril and such other, a prelate that has wit and cunning should sharply reprove and warn all manner men to the shedding of his own blood as Christ did And if he so leave and blame not them, he assents to their trespass and sins deadly. For as says Malachi. Priests lips keep cunning and the people shall ask the law of God of his mouth, for he is the angel of God if he keep well the order and degree of priesthood, Mal. 2. And therefore it is not lefull to any man to draw to secular offices and business the messengers of Christ that has so utterly forfeited them, both in word and deed, secular offices in priesthood, &.

Husbandman

Sir, how like you now this old treatise

If so be, noble men would it advertise

Putting a parte private affection.

Should they not perceive here evidently

That the clergy does them great injury

Retaining thus temporal possession?

Gentleman

Now I promise you after my judgment

I have not heard of such an old fragment

Better grounded on reason with scripture.

If such ancient things might come to light

That noble men had ones of them a fight

The world yet would change peradventure

For here against the clergy cannot bercke [44]

Saying as they do, this is a new work

Of heretics contrived lately.

And by this treatise it appears plain

That before our days men did complain

Against clerks ambition so stately.

Husbandman

Concerning this treatise and like matters

I have heard say of my forefathers

How in king Henry the Vís reign

What time as you did specify

The clergy persecuted the Gospel fiercely

Causing much Christian people to be slain

The king at the last having information

Through serious consideration

Of such proper matters as this is,

Began to note the clergyís tyranny

And what temporalities they did occupy

Their spiritual state far amiss.

Wherefore he determined certainly

To deprive them temporally

Of all their worldly governance.

Whose pretence, as soon as they perceived

Among themselves they imagined

To get the king over in to France.

That while he conquered there his right

In England do what they list they might

Their froward tyranny to fulfill.

Which counsel, thus brought to pass

The king ever after so busied was

That he could not perforate his said will.

Gentleman

So moote [45] I you, it was happy for the king

That by such a color they could him bring

From meddling with that case anymore.

For had he it once earnestly began.

They had put him to a confusion

Even as they did other kings before.

Husbandman

What suppose you they would have done?

Gentleman

Mary, first with, a fair interdiction

To curse the land as black as pitch.

Than to inhibit saying and singing

Of matins, masse, and bells ringing

With Christian burial of poor and rich.

Beside that preachers everywhere

Should have brought men in such fare

By their threatening exclamation.

That their malicious party to take

Subjects should their prince forsake

Contrary to Godís ordination.

Even as they did in high Germany

To the Emperor lewes of Bauerye [46]

Whom Pope John fought to confound

And so did the clergy, as I understand,

Unto king John here in England

To king Steven, and Henry the second.

Husbandman

They say king John was poisoned

Because an half penny loaf of breed

He said he would make worthy 12 pence.

Gentleman

Tufhe [47] that is a cast of their common gift

Such infamy of princes to devise

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From burning: had they not so declared

The clergyís abominable excess.

Husbandman

I suppose then, that they use the same ways

In burning of heretics nowadays

Whom they pursue with great furiousness.

Gentleman

Not to fail, they persuade temporal men

These heretics (as they say) to burn

Lest other good Christians they should infect

But the cause why they would have them rid

Is only that their unhappiness now hid

They dread lest they should be openly detected.

Husbandman

By my truth it is nothing unlikely.

For let one live never so wickedly

In abominable scandalization.

As long as he will their Church obey

Not refusing his tithes duly to pay

They shall make of him no accusation.

Howbeit, let him once begin to pinch

Or withdraw their tithing an inch,

For a heretic they will him ascite [51].

Wherefore I wonder much of the temporality

That in performing the clergyís cruelty

To burn such persons they have delight.

Gentleman

It is no marvel if you mark well

The clergy saying that it is Godís quarrel

Their mischievous murder to execute.

Husbandman

So they are not unknown by their will

That it is their cause Christen men to kill

But the fault unto other they impute.

Gentleman

Touching that, another time at leisure

I shall show the more of their manner

But now I cannot tarry verily.

Husbandman

Well sir, if you may no longer abide

Our Lord be your continual guide

Granting you truth to be known openly.

___________________________

[1] chesesaunce: from chesoun, cause or account (H&F).

[2] werres: wars (H&F).

[3] sue: to seek (H&F).

[4] take keep: take possession, as to keep in mind (H&F).

[5] lese: weaken or lose (H&F).

[6] pleineth: from pleinte, Mid. Eng., to complain or lament lose (H&F).

[7] fore goer: one who would go before, as to be first (H&F).

[8] boden: commanded (H&F).

[9] glose: flatter (H&F).

[10] perfyte: perfet (Mid. Eng.), perfect (H&F).

[11] wooden: (Mid. Eng.), madness (H&F).

[12] enen: once (H&F).

[13] forfendid: archaic; perhaps from forfaiten, as forfeited (H&F).

[14] needless or superfluity: that is, that be not lacking but of oneís abundance; not out of oneís need or necessity (H&F).

[15] sautye: perhaps saut (Mid. Eng.) for assaulted, as sought (H&F).

[16] hylynge: hilynge (Mid. Eng.), covering (H&F).

[17] pleyne: to complain (H&F).

[18] sekirnes: surness, from sekir (Mid. Eng.) or sure (H&F).

[19] faute: (Mid. Eng.) fault or failing (H&F).

[20] appeyringe: (Mid. Eng.) apeyryng or appairing, injuring (H&F).

[21] sue: suen (Mid. Eng.) follow (H&F).

[22] amortizing: the alienation of lands or tenements, considered formerly as transferring them to Ďdead hands,í as such alienations were mostly made to religious houses for exclusive use of the Church (H&F).

[23] theefly: from (Mid. Eng.) theef or theif, by theft or thievery (H&F).

[24] Iepte: or Jepte; this is a reference to the story of Jephthah in Judges 11 (H&F).

[25] fore: perhaps, fore, as before or sore, as sorely repented him (H&F).

[26] wounder: Wonder (Mid. Eng.), as wonderfully, fearfully, or awfully (H&F).

[27] entayled: (Mid. Eng.) carved up (H&F).

[28] ferforthe: so far, completely (H&F).

[29] glose: (Mid. Eng.) gloss, explanation (H&F).

[30] certis: (Mid. Eng.) certainly (H&F).

[31] perquysytis: archaic.

[32] sacryng: consecrating, from (Mid. Eng.) sacren, to consecrate (H&F).

[33] foles and dawes: fools and trusting; dawes (Mid. Eng.) to give trust (H&F).

[34] entryketh: archaic, but the meaning is 'entangleth,' from, 2 Tim 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life." (H&F).

[35] clepe: (Mid. Eng.) call (H&F).

[36] bayly: archaic.

[37] heest: from heste (Mid. Eng.), command (H&F).

[38] boordes: (Mid. Eng.) boards or table (H&F).

[39] moote halles: (Mid. Eng.) halls of assembly (H&F).

[40] lefull: perhaps 'lawful' (H&F).

[41] wayte: (Mid. Eng.) one who waits, watches, a watcher or watchman (H&F).

[42] ghostly: spiritual (H&F).

[43] pouder: or powder, as flavoring (H&F).

[44] bercke: or berken (Mid. Eng.), bark (H&F).

[45] moote: archaic.

[46] lewes of Bauerye:

[47] Tufhe: archaic (H&F).

[48] nobis non licet occidere quemquam: ďto us it is not lawful to murder anyĒ (H&F).

[49] brennyd: from brennen (Mid. Eng.), to burn: burned (H&F).

[50] euerychone: every and Ďychoneí (Mid. Eng.) each one. (H&F).

[51] ascite: archaic (H&F).

A Compendious Olde Treatise showing how that we ought to have the Scripture in English.

The Apology for the Treatise

Though I am old, clothed in barbarous wede [1]

Nothing garnished with gay eloquence,

Yet I tell the truth, if you list to take heed

Against their froward, furious frenzy

Which reckon it for a great heresy

And unto lay people grievous outrage

To have Godís word in their native language.

Enemies I shall have, many a shorn crown

With forked caps and gay crosses of gold

Which to maintain their ambitious renown

Are glad lay people in ignorance to hold

Yet to show the verity, one may be bold

Although it be a proverb daily spoken

Who that tells truth, his head shall be broken.

Unto the Reader

Grace and peace: not that the world giveth, but from God the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ with increase of the Holy Spirit be with thee and all that thirst the truth. Amen.

Considering the maliciousness of our prelates and their adherents which so furiously bark against the word of God, and specially the New Testament translated and set forth by Master William Tyndale, which they falsely pretend to be sore corrupt. That you may know that it is only the inward malice which they have ever had against the word of God. I have here put in print a treatise written about the year of our Lord a thousand four hundred. By which you shall plainly perceive, that they would yet never from the beginning admit any translation to the lay people, so that it is not the corrupt translation that they withstand. For if that were true the idle bellies would have had leisure enough to put forth another well translated. But it is their own mischievous living that moves them according as Christ said. John. 3. Every man that worketh evil hateth the light, nor cometh to the light lest his works should be reproved. &c. Thus may you see that because their works are naught and not because it is evil translated, they so furiously resist the word of God which is the true light. For yet was there never none translated but other with falsehood or tyranny they put it down. Wherefore I exhort the reader not to consider and note the words but the matter. And pray to God to send the rulers hearts to understand the truth and further the same, and the God of all comfort be with you. AMEN

This treatise, more than an. C. year old

Declares how our prelates do far amiss

Which of froward presumption are so bold

To forbad the word of God in English.

For, as the prophet saith, Blessed he is

That exerciseth himself diligently

In scripture night and day continually, Psalm 1.

___________________________

[1] wede: (Mid. Eng.) garment (H&F).

A Compendious Olde Treatise showing how that we ought to have the Scripture in English.

FOR to make upon antichrist I take figure of king Antiochus of whom Godís law speaks in the book of Maccabees, for right as king Antiochus came in the end well nigh of the old law, and burned the books of Godís law, and compelled the people to do maumentry [1]. So now Antichrist the king of clergy that lives worse than heathen priests, burns now nigh the end of the new law the evangely [2] of Christ that is nigh the end of the world, to deceive well nigh all the world, and to prove the servants of God. For now God shall know who will stand by his law, for Satan, as prophets say is now unbound and has been 400 [3] years and more for to inhabit our clergy, as he did the clergy of the old law, but now with much more malice. [You may see it is no novelty that the bishops burn the Gospel (1).] For as they damned Christ so now our bishops damn and burn Godís law, for because it is drawn into our mother tongue. But it ought to be (and we saved should be) as we shall prove by open evidence thorough Godís help. First we take witness of Boethius de disciplina scolarium (2) that saith that children should be taught in the books of Seneca. And Bede expounds this saying and saith that children in virtues should be taught. For the books of Seneca be morals and for they be not taught thus in their youth they continue still evil mannered and be unable to conceive the subtle science of truth saying, the wise man is as a clean mirror new polished wisdom shall not enter into a wicked soul. [Read Robin Hood, say our masters.] And much is hereof the sentence of Bede. And Algasell in his logic saith, the soul of man is a clean mirror new polished in which is seen lightly the image of virtue. And for the people have not cunning in youth, they have dark souls and blind with ignorance, so that they profit not in virtue but in falseness and malice and other vices, and much is thereof the matter. Since heathen philosophers wolden [4] the people to profit in natural science, how much more should Christian clerks will the people to profit in science of virtues, for so wold [5] God. For when the law was given to Moses in the Mount of Sinai, God gave it to his people in their mother tongue of Hebrew, that all the people should understand it, and commanded Moses to read it to them until they understood it, and so he did, as it is plain, Deut. 31. And Ezra also read it in their mother tongue, from morning until noon, as it is plain in the first book of Ezra, chap. 8. And he read it apertly [6] in the street and the ears of the people were intently given thereto, insomuch that the people fell into great weeping for the mis-keeping of the law. Also Godís law saith Deut. 22, that fathers should make the law known to their sons, and the sons that should be born of them should rise and teach these things to their sons. And the holy Apostle saint Peter in the fourth chapter of his first book speaks after this manner, saying, Whosoever speak, speak he as the word of God: and every man as he hath taken grace of knowing, so minister he forth to other men. It is written plainly in the book of Numbers, chapt. 11, when the prophet Moses had chosen seventy elders, and the Sprit of God rested on them and they prophesied. Two men besides them, Eldad and Medad, prophesied in the tents, and Joshua, the minister of Moses, said to Moses, forbid you them. [Moses letted no man to prophesy.] And Moses said, what enviest thou for me? Who shall let that all the people prophesy, if God give them his Spirit? Also it is read in the gospel that saint John evangelist said unto Christ, [Luke 9], Lord we shall forbid one that casteth out spirits in thy name, which followeth not us. And Christ said, Do not forbid, for whoso is not against us is with us. And unto the same agree well the prophesy of Joel, which saint Peter preaching to the Jews strongly alleged as Luke recites in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles saying after this manner. That God now in the last days shall shed out his Spirit upon every flesh. For God saith, your sons and daughters should prophesy and your young men shall see visions. [But they say only master, doctor can understand the scripture.] And upon Whitsunday God gave knowledge of his law to diverse nations without any exceptions in their mother tongue, by the understanding of one tongue. And of this it is notable since the lay people in the old law had their law in their mother tongue, but the lay English people in the new law have it as all other nations have, since Christ bought us as he did other and has given to us the same grace as to other. For saint Peter, Acts 11, was reproved for he had baptized Cornelius and his fellows that were heathen men. And Peter answered and said, If God have given the same grace to them that he has to us, who am I that may forbid God? As who saith it lies not in the power of men. Then who art thou that forbid the people to have Godís law in their mother tongue? We say that you are Antichrist himself. For Paul saith, 1 Cor.10, I will every man to speak with tongues, more forsooth to prophesy, also he saith, How shall he say, Amen, upon thy blessing that knoweth not what thou say. Upon this, saith doctor Lyre. [Here your own master. Lire if you will not here Paul.] (3). If the people understand the prayer of the priest, it shall the better be lead unto God, and the more devoutly answer. Amen.

Also Paul saith in the same chapter. I will rather five words to be spoken to the understanding of men, than ten thousand that they understand not. And 70 doctors with other more before the incarnation of Christ translated the Bible out of Hebrew into Greek. And after the ascension, many translated all the Bible in diverse languages, as into Spanish tongue, French tongue, Almanye [7], and Italian, and by many years have had it. It was heard of a worthy man of Almayne that the same time was a Flemming, whose name was James Merland, which translated all the Bible into Flemish. For which deed he was summoned before the Pope of great malice. And the book was taken to examination. And truly he approved it. And then it was delivered to him again unto the confusion of all his enemies. Worshipful Bede, in his first book, called De Gestis Anglorum, chapter 3, tells that saint Oswold the King of Northumberland, asked of the Scotts an holy bishop Aidan to preach to his people, and the king himself interpreted it in English to the people. Since this blessed deed of this king is allowed of all Holy Church, why not now ought it as well to be allowed a man to read the Gospel in English to the people, since that saint Paul saith, If our Gospel be hid, it is hid in them that shall be damned. [A fearful saying.] And he saith also, He that knoweth not shall not be known of God And therefore venerable Bede led by the Spirit of God translated a great part of the Bible into English, whose originals have been in many Abbeys in England. And Cisterciensis, libro v, chaptre 24, saith that the Evangely [8] of John was drawn into English by the foresaid Bede which Evangely of John and other Gospels have been yet in many places of so old English that scant can any Englishman read them. For this Bede reigned in the year of our Lord God seven hundred and 32. Also Cistercien.libro. vi. chaptre. 1. saith that king Alfred ordained open schools of diverse arts in Oxford and he turned the best laws into his mother tongue, and the Psalter also, he reigned in the year of our Lord God, eight hundred 73. And saint Thomas saith super librum politicorum [9] expounding this word, barbarous, that barbarous is he that understand not that he reads in his mother tongue. Wherefore the Apostle saith, If I know not the virtue of the voice to whom I speak, I shall be to him barbarous, that is to say, he understands not what I say, nor I what he saith. And so although priests that understand not what they read by their mother tongue be called barbarous, and therefore Bede did draw into English liberal arts lest Englishmen should become barbarous, haec Thomas [10]. Also Lincoln (4) saith in a sermon that begins, Scriptum est de Levitis [11], If any priest says he cannot preach, one remedy is, resign he up his benefice. [Resign in no wise but upon a good pension.] Another remedy, if he will not thus, record he in the week the naked text of the Sunday Gospel that he have the gross [12] story and tell it to the people, that is if he understand Latin, and do he this every week in the year he shall profit much. For thus preached our Lord saying John 6, The words that I speak to you are Spirit and life. If he do not understand Latin, go he to one of his neighbors that understands, which will charitably expound it to him, and thus edify he his flock. Upon this argues a great clerk and saith, If it be lawful to preach the naked text to the people, it is also lawful to write and read it to them. Also sir (5) William Thorisby archbishop of York (6) did do, drawing a treatise in English by a worshipful clerk, whose name was Gatrick, in the which were contained the articles of belief, the seven deadly sins, the seven works of mercy, the 10 commandments. [The same treatise is in the church over against London stone at this hour.] (7). And sent them in small pages [13] to the common people to learn it and to know it, of which yet many a copy is in England. Also Richard (8), the hermit of Hampole, drew into English the Psalter with a gloss and the lessons of dirige [14] and many other treatises, by the which many Engleshmen have been greatly edified. And they have been cursed of God that wolden [15] let the people to be lewder [16] then they have been. But many men now are like unto the friends of Job, that, while they enforced to defend God, they offended in him grievously. And though such as be slain do miracles, nevertheless they have been stinking martyrs. This saith Richard the hermit expounding this verse, Ne auferas de ore meo verbum veritatis usquequaque [17]. And Christ saith that men should deem themselves to do great pleasant service to God in killing of his people. [This prophesy of Christ must be fulfilled, take heed.] Arbitretur se obsequium prestare deo, &c. [18] Also a man of London, whose name was Wiring, had a Bible in English, of northern speech, which was seen of many men and it seemed to be 200 years old. Also it is known to many men, in the time of king Richard the 2nd, that into a parliament was put a Bible by the assent of two archbishops and of the clergy to adnulle [19] the Bible that time translated into English with other English books of the exposition of the Gospels, which, when it was heard and seen of lords and of the commons. The duke of Lancaster, John, answered thereto right sharply saying this sentence, we will not be refuse of all other nations. For since they have Godís law, which is the law of our belief, in their own language, we will have ours in English, whosoever say nay. And this he affirmed with a great oath. Also Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, said in a sermon at Westminster, at the burying of Queen Anne (9), that it was more joy of here than of any woman that ever he knew. For she, an alien borne, had in English all the four Gospels with the doctors upon them. And he said that she had sent them to him to examine and he said that they were good and true. And he blamed in that sermon sharply the negligence of the prelates and other men. In so much that he said that he would leave up the office of Chancellor and forsake worldly business, and give himself to fulfill his pastoral office, for what he had seen and read in those books. And after this promise he became the most cruel enemy that might be against English books. And therefore, as many men say, God smote him with a cruel death (10) as he did also Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln (11). And yet our bishops have been so indurate and so far strayed from God that they have no grace one to beware of another, but proudly against all reasons and evidence of Godís laws and doctors sentences, they burn Godís word, the which has brought this realm to undoing forever, but if Godís grace be the more, for this cruel deed is cause of pestilence, hunger, war, and that also this realm shall be conquered in short time, as saint Edward the king and confessor prophesied in his book that begins thus, Sanctus Edwardus rex vidit spiritualibus oculis [20]. And therefore it were good to the King and to other lords to make some remedy against this constitution of Antichrist that says it is unlawful to us Englishmen to have in English Godís law (12), and therefore he burns and slays them that maintain this good deed and that is for default that the king and lords knowing not nor will not know their own office in maintenance of God and his law. For as saint Austin saith, the King with his knights representing the godhead of Christ, and priests the manhood of Christ, Rex est vicarius divinitatis, et sacerdos est vicarius Christi humanitatis, haec Augustinus in de questionibus veteris et novae legis. ca. xci. And if the king desire to know perfectly his office, he may find men to show to him books that truly and perfectly shall inform him to do his office to the plesaunce [21] of God. But this cannot he learn of Bishops, for they inform him after Antichristís law and ordinance for his laws now reign. Yet against them that say the Gospel in English would make men to err, know they well that we find in Latin language more heretics than of all other languages, for the decree saith, xxiv, 93, Quidam autem heretici, that there be found sixty Latin heretics. And if men should hate any language for heresy then must they hate Latin. But God forbade that any language should be hated for heresy since many heretics were of the disciples of the Apostles. For saint John saith, They have gone out of us, but they were not of us. [How Antichrist is cause of all heresies.] And Paul saith, It behooveth heresies to be, and Antichrist maketh many more heretics than there should be, for he stops so the knowing of Godsí law, and punishes so them that he knows that have it, that they dare not come [22] thereof openly to have true information and this makes laymen that befyren [23] and love to know gods law to go together in private and conceive by their own wits many times heresies the which heresies in short time should be destroyed, if men might have free coming openly, and but if this may be had much of the people shall die in heresy, for it lies never in Antichristís power to destroy all English books, for as fast as he burns, other men shall draw, and thus the cause of heresy and of the people that die in heresy is the frowardness of bishops that will not suffer men to have open coming and free in the law of God and therefore they be accountable of as many souls as dye in this default, and are traitors to God in stopping of his law which was made in salvation of the people. And now they turn his law by their cruel constitutions into damnation of the people as it shall be proved upon them at the day of doom for Godís law saith, Stabunt iusti in magna constantia adversus eos qui se angustiaverunt, & qui abstulerunt labores eorum. &c. [24][Read Sapien vi. and vii.] For that the other men laboring, they burn, and if our clergy would study well this lesson of sapience [25] to the end, they should mowe [26] we read therein their own damnation, but if they amend this default with other defaults. Saith not the holy man Ardemakan in the book of questions, that the worshipful sacrament of the altar may be made in each common language, for he saith so did the Apostles. But we covet not this, but that Antichrist give us leave to have the law of our belief in English. Also, they that have communed much with the Jews say that they have in every land that they be born in, the Bible in their mother tongue, that is Hebrew. And they are more practiced therein than any other men, yea, as well the lewde [27] men as the priests. But it is read in her synagogues among the people of their priests to fulfill their priests office and to the edification of the poraile [28], that for worldly business and slewthe [29] may not study it. Also the four evangelists wrote the Gospel in diverse languages, as Matthew in Jewry, Mark in Italy, Luke in Achaia, and John in Asia. And all these wrote in the languages of the same countries, also Tobit saith, chap. 13, that God dispersed, spread, or scattered the Jews abroad among the heathen people that they, telling unto them the marvels of God: they should know that there was none other God, but the God of Israel. And God ordained his people to believe his law written among them in their mother tongue, ut patet [30] Ge. 10:7 and Exo. 13. In so much the book of Judith is written in Chaldean speach, ut patet per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the books of Daniel and of Ezdra having been written in Chaldea, ut patet per Hieronimum in prologis eorundem; also the book of Joel in Arabic and Syrian speach, ut patet per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also Ezekiel the prophet prophesied in Babylon, and lest his prophesy under the mother tongue of Babylon, ut pater [31] per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the prophesy of Isaiah is translated into the tongue of Ethiopia, as Hieronimum conclude in primo prologo Gen. Then since the dark prophesies were translated among the heathen people that they might have knowledge of God and of the incarnation of Christ, much more it ought to be translated to English people that have received the faith and bound themselves to keep it upon pain of damnation, since Christ commanded his Apostles to preach his Gospel unto all the world and excepted no people nor language. [Matthew 28.] Also Origen translated the Bible out of Hebrew into Greek with help of others in the year of our Lord God 234. Also Aquila translated in the time of Hadrian the Emperor in the year of our Lord 124. Also, Theodosion translated it in the time of the Emperor Comede, 54 years after Aquila; also Simacus translated it in the time of the Emperor Serene, 30 years after Theodosion. Eight years after Simacus it was translated, the author unknown, in the time of Alexander the Emperor. And Jerome translated it into Latin, ut in cronicis Cistercien. li. ii. ca. xxxii. And after that Jerome had translated it into Latin, he translated to women much of the Bible. And to the maidens Eustochia and Paula, he translated the books of Joshua of Judicum and Ruth and Ester, and Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Daniel, and the 12 prophets, and the 7 canonical epistles, ut patet in prologo eorundem. And so all men may see here by Jerome that it was never his intent to bind the law of God under his translation of Latin but by his own deed gives leave to translate it into every speech, for Jerome writes in his 78th epistle to this man Acleta that he should inform his daughter in the books of the old law and the new. Also in his 75th epistle, he writes to the virgin Demetriadis, that she should, for to increase herself in virtue, read now upon one book and now upon another. And he specifies unto her that she also read the Gospel and the Epistles of the Apostles. [But my lords say that it makes men heretics and perverts souls.] And thus the Englishmen desire to have the law of God in English, since it is called the law undefiled converting souls into clean, lex domini immaculata convertens animas [32], but Antichrist saith that it is corrupt with the literal letter that slay souls, taking his authority of Paul that saith, litera occidit spiritus autem vivificat [33]. That is the letter of the ceremonies of the old law slay the Jews and them that now use them, but the Spirit of the new law quickens true Christian men, since Christ saith, My words are sprit and life [34]. Also we take ensample of holy virgins to love to read the Gospel as they did, as Katherine, Cecile, Lucy, Agnes, Margaret, which alleged the holy Gospel to the infidels that slew them for the keeping thereof. Of these aforesaid authorities it is proved lawful that both men and women lawfully may read and write Godís law in their mother tongue and they that forfenden [35] this they show themselves heirs and sons of the first tormentors and worse, for they show themselves the very disciples of Antichrist, which has and shall pass all the malice of tyrants that have been before in stopping and perverting of Godís law which dead engenders great vengeance to fall in this realm, but if it be amended. For Paul saith, Romans 1, The wrath of God is showed from heaven upon cruelness and unrighteousness of these men that withhold the truth of God in unrighteousness; Revelatur enim ira dei super omnem impietatem et iniusticiam hominum eorum qui veritatem dei in iniustitio detinent [36]. Now God of his mercy give unto our king and to our lords grace of true understanding to amend this default principally and all other, then shall we mowe [37] easily to be amended. For until it be amended there shall never be rest and peace in this realm (13). Who that finds or reads this letter, put it forth in examination and suffer it not to be hid or destroyed, but multiplied, for no man knoweth what profit may come thereof. For he that compiled it purposes with Godís help to maintain it unto the death, if need be. And therefore, all Christian men and women, pray that the Word of God may be unbound, and delivered from the power of Antichrist, and run [38] among his people. Amen.

Printed at Marborow, in the land of Hessen, by me, Hans Luft, in the year of our Lord, 1530.

Reprinted 1 OCTOBER 1870 by

EDWARD ARBER,

Associate, Kings College, London.

REPRINTED 2009

HAIL & FIRE

(1) The marginal notes are evidently inserted by the Editor of 1530, and do not belong to the original text.

(2) It must be recollected that the whole of these references are to manuscript copies.

(3) Nicholas de Lyra, a voluminous writer. He was a converted Jew who became a Minorite at Verneuil in 1291, and died at Paris in 23, Oct. 1340.

(4) The famous Robert Grosse-Tete, who was Bp of Lincoln, between 11 June 1235-9 Oct. 1253.

(5) The usual prefix at the time to a priest's name.

(6) Rather John De Thoresby, who was Archbishop of York between Sept. 1348 - Nov. 1356.

(7) This must be the Speculum Christiani, which exists in MS., and was also printed by Machlinia. If so, this paragraph fixes the authorship; respecting which see Mr. Halliwell in Archoeologia. xxxiv.

(8) Richard Rolle de Hampole [b. at Thorntpn in Yorkshire, d. 1349.] His Pricke of Conscience was published by the Philological Society in 1863, and some of his Prose Treatises by the Early English Text Society in 1866.

(9) Anne of Bohemia, the first wife of Richard II. She was buried on Monday, 3 August 1394, at Westminster. Arundel was at this time Archbishop of York.

(10) Thomas Fitz Allan of Arundel, also called Thomas Arundel, was consecrated Bishop of Ely, 9 Apr. 1374, was five times Lord Chancellor of England, was translated to York on 3 Apr. 1388. and thence to Canterbury on 25 Sept. 1396. He died 19 Feb. 1414. "His end (being as some report it) was very miserable; his tongue swelled so big in his mouth, as he was able neither to eat, drink nor speak in many daies before his death, and died at last of hunger." - F. Godwin, Bishop of Landaff, A Catalogue of the Bishops of England, &c. p. 155. Ed. 1615.

(11) The see of Lincoln was filled in succession by two men who at one time had been disciples and coadjutors of Wyckliffe. Philip De Repingdon who was Bishop between 24 Mar. 1405 - 10 Oct. 1419: and Richard Fleming, who was consecrated Bishop by the Pope's own hand on 28 Apr. 1520, and died at Sleaford on 25 Jan 1531, respecting whom Bishop Godwin says: - "For two things he is famous: one, that he caused the bones of Wickcliffe to be taken vp and burnt in the yeare 1425, being required by the Council of Sienna so to do, and the other, that he founded Lincoln College in Oxford 1430." - Idem. p. 300. Bishop Fleming's death seems the latest personal allusion in the text. It is alluded to in so distant a manner as to afford a presumption that the treatise was not written for a number of years after.

(12) The Constitution of Archbishop Arundel is to the following effect: - "Therefore we enact and ordain that no one shall henceforth translate of his own authority any text of Holy Scripture into the English or other tongue by way of book, pamphlet, or tract: neither shall any such book, pamphlet, or tract be read, whether composed in recent times by the said John Wycliffe, or since, or which may hereafter be composed, in part or entire, openly or in secret, under pain of the greater Excommunication. Unless the same translation be approved by the Diocesean of the place, or if need be, by the Provincial Council. Whosoever shall act contrary to this shall be punished as guilty of Heresy and error." - Lyndewode's Provinciale, &c. V. c. 4. De Magistris, p. 286. Ed. 1679.

(13) From this, it would seem that this Treatise was written in the turmoil and troubles of the Wars of the Roses.

___________________________

[1] maumentry: (Mid. Eng.) idolatry (H&F).

[2] evangely: the good tidings, the Gospel (H&F).

[3] CCCC: or rather, CD, 400.

[4] wolden: (Mid. Eng.) desired (H&F).

[5] wold: desires (H&F).

[6] apertly: (Mid. Eng.) openly (H&F).

[7] Almanye: German (H&F).

[8] Evangely: Gospel (H&F).

[9] super librum politicorum:

[10] haec Thomas:

[11] Scriptum est de Levitis:

[12] gross: the main body or chief part (H&F).

[13] pagines: pages or writings (H&F).

[14] dirige: or dyrge, a song sung in office for the dead (H&F).

[15] wolden: (Mid. Eng.) was desirous or willing (H&F).

[16] lewder: (Mid. Eng.) more ignorant (H&F).

[17] Ne auferas de ore meo verbum veritatis usquequaque:

[18] Arbitretur se obsequium prestare deo. &c.:

[19] adnulle:

[20] Sanctus Edwardus rex vidit spiritualibus oculis:

[21] plesaunce: (Mid. Eng.) pleasure (H&F).

[22] comen: (Mid. Eng.) coming, as of gathering together (H&F).

[23] befyren: perhaps befriend, or likely a typographical error for 'desire' (H&F).

[24] Stabunt iusti in magna constantia adversus eos qui se angustiaverunt, & qui abstulerunt labores eorum. &c.:

[25] sapience: wisdom (H&F).

[26] mowe: (Mid. Eng.) grimace (H&F).

[27] lewde: (Mid. Eng.) ignorant (H&F).

[28] poraile: (Mid. Eng.) poor people (H&F).

[29] slewthe: or sleythe (Mid. Eng.), falsehood or trick (H&F).

[30] ut patet: that to be accessible or open; to be well known (H&F).

[31] ut pater: likely ut patet (H&F).

[32] it is called the lawe vndefyled conuertyng sowlys: a reference to Psalm 19:7, ďThe law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.Ē (H&F).

[33] litera occidit spiritus autem viuificat; or ďthe letter killeth but the spirit enlivens,Ē that is, in full: ďWho also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.Ē 2 Cor. 3:6. The authorís explanation of the text is well said and contrasted against the gross misuse of the text by the Church (H&F).

[34] Christ saythe my wordes ben spritte and lyffe: referring to Joh 6:63, ďIt is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,Ē which was spoken in explanation of the saying (Joh 6:56), ďHe that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him,Ē (H&F).

[35] forfenden: archaic; perhaps from forfaiten, as to forfeit; forfeiting (H&F).

[36] The text: ďFor the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousnessĒ Rom 1:18 (H&F).

[37]mowe: (Mid. Eng.) grimace, as to be affected (H&F).

[38] renne: (Mid. Eng.) hastened, to run or to be rushed (H&F).

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the
helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" Eph 6:17 KJV

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