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and outer confession is but superfluous and unprofitable unto him. 6. That it is not found or stablished by the Gospell, that Christ did make or ordaine masse. 7. If the pope be a reprobate and euill man, and consequently a member of the Diuell; hee hath no power by any manner of meanes giuen unto him ouer faithfull Christians, except peraduenture it be given him from the emperour. 8. That since the time of Urban the 6, there is none to be receiued for pope, but euery man is to liue after the manner of the Greeks, vnder his own law. 9. That it is against the Scripture, that ecclesiasticall Ministers should haue any temporall possessions.

The other Articles of Iohn Wickliffe, condemned as erroneous. 10. That no prelate ought to excommunicate any man, except hee knew him first to be excommunicate of God. 11. That he, which doth so excommunicate any man, is thereby himselfe either an heretike or excommunicated. 12. That a prelate or bishop excommunicating any of the clergy, which hath appealed to the king or the councell, is thereby himselfe a traitor to the king and realine. 13. That all such, which doe leaue off preaching or hearing the Word of God or preaching of the Gospell, for feare of excommunication; they are already excommunicated, and in the day of judgement shall be counted as traitors vnto God. 14. That it is lawfull for any man, either deacon or priest, to preach the Word of God without the authoritie or licence of the Apostolike Sea or any other of his catholickes. 15. (a) That so long as a man is in deadly sin, hee is neither bishop nor prelat in the Church of God. 16. (b) Also that the temporall lords may, according to their own will and discretion take away the temporall goods from the churchmen whensoeuer they doe offend. 17. That teaths are pure almes, and that the parishioners may, for offence of their Curats, detaine and keepe them back, and bestow them vpon others, at their owne will and pleasures. 18. Also that all speciall prayers applyed to any priuate or particular person, by any prelat or religious man, doe no more profit the same person, than generall or vniuersall prayers doe profit others, which bee in like case or state vnto him. 19. Moreover, in that any man doth enter into any priuate religion, whatsoeuer it bee, hee is thereby made the more vnapt and vnable to obserue and keepe the Commandements of God. 20. That holy men which have instituted priuate religions, whatsoeuer they be (as well such as are indued and possessed, as also the order of begging friers hauing no possessions) in so doing, haue grieuously offended. 21. That religious men, being in their priuate religions, are not of the Christian religion. 22. That friers are bounden to get their liuing by the labour of

(a) This anicle peraduenture was not so straitly ment of him as it was gathered of them, as is aforesaid.

(b) This article expoundeth the ix article aboue.

VOL. I.

their hands, and not by begging. 23. That whosoever doth giue any almes vnto friers, or to any begging obseruant, is accursed, or in danger thereof.

The letter of the Archbishop directed to the Bishop of London, against Iohn Wicklife and his adherents.-William by Gods permission Archbishop of Canturburie, Metropolitane of all England, and of the apostolicall Sea legate; To our reuerend brother by the grace of God bishop of London, salutation. The prelats of the Church ought to bee so much the more vigilant and attentiue about the charge of the Lords flocke committed vnto them: how much the more they shall vidderstand the Wolues, being clothed in sheepes apparell, fraudulently to go about to worrie and scatter the sheepe. Truely by the continuall crie and bruted fame (which it grieueth me to report) it is come to our knowledge that although by the canonicall sanctions, no man being forbidden or not admitted, should either publicly or priuily without the authoritie of the apostolicall Sea or bishop of that place, vsurpe or take vpon him the office of a preacher: Some notwithstanding, such as are the children of damnation, being vnder the vale of blinde ignorance, are brought into such a doting minde, that they take vpon them to preach, and are not affraid to affirme and teache diuers and sundrie propositions and conclusions here vnder recited, both hereticall, erroneous and false, condemned by the Church of God, and repugnant to the decree of holy Church, which tend to the subuerting of the whole state of the same, of our prouince of Canturburie, and to the destruction and weakning of the tranquilitie of the same; and that as well in the churches, as in the streets, as also in manie other prophane places of our said prouince, generaly, comonly and publikly, do preach the same, infecting very many good christians, causing them lamentably to wander out of the way, and from the catholike Church, without which there is no saluation. therefore, considering that so pernicious a mischiefe, which may creepe amongst manie, we ought not to suffer, and by dissimulation to passe ouer, which may with deadly contagion slay the soules of men, lest their blood be required at our hands; are willing so much as God will permit vs to doe, to extirpate the same. Wherefore, by the counsell and consent of many of our bretheren and Suffragans, wee haue conuented diuers and sundrie doctors of diuinitie, as also professors and other clerks of the canon and ciuill lawes, the best learned within the realme, and of the most soundest opinion and iudgement in the catholike faith, to giue their opinions and judgements concerning the foresaid conclusions. But forasmuch as the said conclusions and assertions, being in the presence of vs, and our fellow brethren and other conuocates, openly expounded, and diligently examined, were in the end found by common counsell and consent as well of them as of vs, and so declared that some of those conclusions were hereticall, and some of them

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erroneous, and repugnant to the determination | a great company of babling friers, and religious of the Church, as hereunder are described. persons were gathered together to consult as We will and command your brotherhood and touching Iohn Wickliffes books, and that whole by vertue of holy obedience straitly inioine all sect; when as I say, they were gathered toand singular our brethren, and suffragans of our gether at the gray friers in London, to begin bodie and Church of Cauturburie, that with all their businesse, vpon saint Dunstans day after speedie diligence you possibly can you like- dinner, about two of the clocke, the very houre wise entoine them (as wee haue enioined you) and instant that they should goe forward with and eucrie of them. And that eucrie one of their businesse, a wonderfull and terrible earththem in their Churches and other places of quake fell throughout all England: whereupon their citie and diocesse, doe admonish and diuers of the suffragans, being feared by the warne, and that you, in your Church and strange and wonderfull demonstration, doubting other Churches of your citie and dioces doe what it should meane, thought it good to leaue admonish and warne, as we by the tenor of off from their determinate purpose. But the these presents doe adipoish and warne the archbishop (as chiefe captaine of that army, first time, the second time, and the third time; more rash and bold than wise) interpreting the and yet more straitly doe warne, assigning for chance which had happened cleane contrary to the first admonition one day, for the second another meaning or purpose, did confirme and admonition another day, and for the third ad- strengthen their hearts and minds, which were monition canonicall and peremptorie, another almost daunted with feare, stoutly to proceede day; That no man from henceforth of what and goe forward in their attempted enterprise. estate or condition soeuer, doe hold, preach, Who then discoursing Wickliffes articles, not or defend the foresaid heresies and errors or according vnto the Sacred Canons of the holy any of them; nor that he admit to preach any Scripture, but vnto their owne priuate affecone that is prohibited or not sent to preach, tions and traditions, pronounced and gaue sennor that he heare or hearken to the heresies or tence, that some of them were simply and plainely errors of him or any of them, or that hee fauour hereticall, other some halfe erroneous, other or leane vnto him either publikely or priuily; irreligious, some seditious, and not consonant but that immediately hee shun bim, as he would to the Church of Rome.--Item, the twelfth day auoid a serpent putting forth most pestiferous of June, in the yeere aforesaid, in the chamber of poison, vnder paine of the greater curse, the the friers preachers, the foresaid master Robert which wee command to bee thundered against Rigge, Chancellor of the Vniuersitie of Oxford, all and euerie one which shall be disobedient and Thomas Brightwell professors of diuinitie in this behalfe, and not regarding these our (being appointed the same day and place, by monitions, after that those three daies be past the foresaid reuerend father in God archbishop which are assigned for the canonicall moni- of Canturburie) appeared before him in the pretion, and that their delay, fault or offence sence of the reuerend father in God, lord William committed require the same: And then accord-by the grace of God bishop of Winchester and ing to the tenour of these writings, we command both by eueric one of our fellow bretheren and our suffragans in their cities and dioces, and by you in your citie and diocesse (so much as belongeth both to you and them) that to the vttermost both ye and they cause the same excommunications to be pronounced. And furthermore wee will and command our foresaid fellow bretheren, and all and singular of you apart by your selues, to hee admonished and by the aspersion of the blood of Jesus Christ wee likewise admonish you; that according to the institution of the Sacred Canons, euery one of them in their cities and dioces, bec a diligent inquisitor of this hereticall prauitie; and that euery one of you also in your cities and dioces bee the like inquisitor of the foresaid hereticall prauntie: And that of such like presumption they and you carefully and diligently inquire, and that both they and you (according to your duties and office in this behalfe) with effect doe proceede against the same, to the honour and praise of his name that was crucified, and for the preseruation of the Christian faith and re-ing to let and hinder the perill of such heresies ligion.

Here is not to be passed ouer the great miracle of Gods diuine admonition or warning; for when as the archbishop and sutiragans, with the other doctors of diuinitie, and lawyers with

diuers other doctors and bachelors of diuinitie and of the canon ciuill and law, whose names are before recited. And first the said Chancellor by the said lord Archbishop of Canturbury, being examined what his opinion was touching the foresaid articles, publikely affirmed and declared, that, certain of those conclusions were hereticall, and certaine erroneous, as the other doctors and clerkes afore mentioned had declared. And then immediately next after him, the foresaid Thomas Brightwell was examined, which vpon some of the conclusions at first somewhat staggered, but in the end, being by the said Archbishop diligently examined vpon the same, did affirme and repute the same to bee hereticall and erroneous, as the foresaid Chancellor had done. Another Bachelor of Diuinitie also there was named N. stammering also at some of those conclusions, but in the end affirmed that his opinion therein was, as was the judgement of the foresaid Chancellor and Thomas as is aboue declared. Whereupon, the said lord Archbishop of Canturbury, will

and errours, deliuered vnto the foresaid Chancellour, there being publikely read, his letters patents to be executed, the tenor whereof in these words doth follow.

William by the grace of God archbishop of

shall incurre the sentence of this instrument by vs sent forth (which God forbid) wee specially reserue into our selues: exhorting you the Chancellor by the aspersion of the blood of Iesus Christ, that to the vttermost of your

the clergie and people being subiect vnto you, if there bee any which haue straied from the catholike faith by such errours, may bee brought home againe to the laud and honour of his name that was crucified, and preseruation of the true faith. And further our will is, that whatsoeuer you shall doe in the premises, in manner aud forme of our processe in this behalfe it be bad and done: andthat you for your part, when you shall be required thereunto, plainely and distinctly doe certifie vs by your letters patents, hauing the tenour hereof.

Canturburie, primate of all England, and legate of the apostolicall Sea: To our welbeloued sonne in Christ the Chancellor of the Vnioersitie of Oxford, within the diocesse of Lincolne, greeting, grace, and benediction. The prelats of the Church, about the Lords flocke commit-power hereafter you doe your endeanour, that ted to their charge, ought to be so much more vigilant as that they see the Woolfe, clothed in sheeps attire, fraudulently go about to worrie and scatter the sheepe. Doubtlesse, the common fame and brute is come into our eares, &c. Vi in mandato præcedenti. Wee will therefore and command, straitly inioyning you, that in the Church of our blessed Ladie in Oxford, vpon those daies in the which accustomab'e the sermon is made, as also in the schooles of the said Vniuersitie vpon those daies the Lectures bee read, yee publish and cause by others to bee published to the clergie and people, as well in their vulgar tongue, as in the Latine tongue, manifestly and plainely without any curious implication, the same hereticall and erroneous conclusions, so repugnant to the determination of holy Church, as is aforesaid; to traue beene and be condemned; which conclusions wee also declare by these our letters to bee vtterly condemned. And that furthermore you forbid, and canonically admonish and cause to bee admonished, as wee by the tenour of these presents doe forbid and admonish you, once, twice, and thrice, and that peremptorily that none hereafter hold, teach, and preach, or defend the heresies and errors abouesaid, or any of them, either in schoole or out of schoole by any sophisticall cauillation or otherwise: or that any admit to preach, here or hearken vnto John Wickliffe, Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, canon regular, or Iohn Ashton, or Laurence Redman, which be vehemently and notoriously suspected of heresie, or else any other whatsoever, so suspected or defamed; or that either priuately or publikcly they either aide or fauour them or any of them, but that incontinently they shun and auoide the same as a Serpent which putteth forth most pestiferous poyson. And furthermore we suspend the said suspected persons from all scholasticall act, till such time as they shall purge themselues before vs in that behalfe: and that you denounce the same publikely by vs to haue beene and be suspended; and that yee diligently and faithfully enquire of all their fautors and fauourers, and cause to bee enquired throughout all the halls of the said Vniuersitie. And that when you shall haue intelligence of their names and persons, that ye compell all and euerie of them to abiure Neir outragès by ecclesiasticall censures and other paines canonicall whatsoeuer, vnder paine of the greater curse, the which against all and singular the rebellious in this behalfe, and disobeying our monitions, wee pronounce: so that their fault, deceit, and offence in this behalfe deserue the same (the said monition of ours being first sent) which in this behalfe we esteenie and allow canonicall, that then and againe according to the effect of these our letters, &c. The absolution of all and singular such, which

The archbishop not yet contented with this, doth moreouer by all meanes possible solicite the king to ioyne withall the power of his temporall sword; for that hee well perceiued, that hitherto as yet the popish clergie had not authoritie sufficient, by any publike law or statute of this land, to proceede vnto death against any person whatsocuer, in case of religion, but onely by the vsurped tyranny and example of the court of Rome. Where note (gentle reader) for thy better vnderstanding, the practice of the Romish prelats in seeking the king's helpe to further their bloody purpose against the good saints of God. Which king being but young, and vnder yecres of ripe iudgement, partly induced, or rather seduced by importune sute of the foresaid archbishop, partly also either for feare of the bishops (for kings cannot alwayes doe in their realmes what they will) or else perhaps inticed by some hope of subsidie to be gathered by the clergy, was content to adioyne his priuat assent (such as it was) to the setting downe of an ordinance, which was indeed the very first law that is to bee found made against religion and the professours thereof, bearing the name of an act made in the parliament holden at Westminster, anno 5. Rich. 2, where among sundry other statutes then published, and yet remaining in the printed bookes of statutes, this supposed statute is to bee found, cap. 5. & vltimo, as followeth.

Item, forsomuch as it is openly known that there be diuers euill persons within the realm, going from county to county, and from towne to towne, in certaine habits vnder dissimulation of great holinesse, and without the licence of the ordinaries of the places, or other suflicient authoritie, preaching daily not onely in Churches and Church-yards, but also in markets, faires, and other open places where a great congregation of people is, diners sermons containing beresies and notorious errors, to the great emblemishing of Christian faith and destruction of the lawes, and of the estate of Holy Church, to the great perill of the soules of the people, and of all the realme of England, as more pla nely is found, and sufficiently prooued before the reuerend father in God the archbishop of Canturbury, and the bishops and other prelats,

masters of diuinitie, and doctors of canon and of ciuill law, and a great part of the clergy of the said realme, specially assembled for this great cause; which persons doe also preach diuers matters of slander, to ingender discord and dissention betwixt diuers estates of the said realme, as well spirituall as temporall, in exciting of the people to the great perill of all the realme which preachers being cited or summoned before the ordinaries of the places, there to answer to that wherof they be impeached, they will not obey to their summons and commandements, nor care not for their monitions nor censures of the Holy Church, but expresly despise them; and moreouer, by their subtile and ingenious words, doe draw the people to heare their sermons, and doe maintaine them in their errors by strong hand, and by great routs: It is ordained and assented in this present parliament, that the king's commissions bee made and directed to the sheriffes and other ministers of our soueraigne lord the king, or other sufficient persons learned, and according to the certifications of the prelats thereof, to bee made in the Chancery from time to time, to arrest all such preachers, and also their fautors, maintainers and abetters, and to hold them in arrest and strong prison, till they will iustifie themselues according to the law and reason of Holy Church. And the king willeth and commandeth, that the Chancellor make such commissions at all times, that hee by the prelats, or any of them shall be certified and thereof required, as is aforesaid.

An Examination of the foresaid supposed Statute, and of the inualidity thereof.-Which supposed statute forasmuch as it was the principali ground whereupon proceeded all the persecution of that time; it is therefore not impertinent to examine the same more particularly, whereby it shal appeare, that as the same was fraudulently and vnduely deuised by the prelats only, so was it in like maner most iniuriously and vnorderly executed by them. For immediately vpon the publishing of this law, without further warrant either from the king or his councel, commissions vnder the great seale of England were made in this forme: Richard by the grace of God, &c. vt patet act. pag. 541. Witnesse my selfe at Westminster the 26 day of Iune, in the sixth yeare of our raigne. With out more words of warrant vnder written, such as in like cases are both vsuall and requisite; viz. per ipsum regem: per rege & concilium: or per breue de priuato sigillo. All or any which words being vtterly wanting in this place, as may bee seene in the king's records of that time; it must therefore be done either by warrant of this foresaid statute, or els without any warrant at all. Whereupon it is to be noted, that whereas the said statute appointed the commissions to be directed to the sbiriffe, or other ministers of the king's, or to other sufficient persons learned for the arresting of such persons; the said commissions are directed to the archbishop and his suffragans, being as it appeareth parties in the case, authorizing them

further without either the words, or reasonable meaning of the said statute, to imprison them in their owne houses, or where else pleased them.

Besides also, what manner of law this was, by whom deuised, and by what authority the same was first made and established, iudge by that that followeth : viz.

In the Utas of Saint Michael next following, at a parliament summoned and holden at Westminster, the sixth yeere of the said king, among sundery petitions made to the king by his commons, whereunto hee assented, there is none in this forme, article 52.

Item, prayen the commons, that whereas an estatute was made the last parlament in these words: It is ordained in this present parliament, that commissions from the king bee directed to the shiraffes and other ministers of the king, or to other sufficient persons skilfull, and according to the certificats of the prelats thereof, to bee made vnto the Chancery from time to time, to arrest all such preachers, and their fautors, maintainers and abetters: and them to detame in strong prison, vntill they will justifie themsclues according to reason, and law of Holy Church: and the king willeth and commandeth that the Chancellor make such commissions at all times, as he shall be by the prelats or any of them certified, and thereof required, as is aforesaid. The which was neuer agreed nor granted by the commons: but whatsoeuer was mooued therein, was without their assent: that the said statute be therefore disannulled. For it is not in any wise their meaning, that either themselues, or such as shall succeede them, shall bee further iustified or bound by the prelats, than were their ancestors in former times, whereunto is answered, il pluist a Roy. 1. the king is pleased.

Hereby notwithstanding the former vniust law of an. 5. was repealed, and the fraud of the framers thereof sufficiently discouered: yet such meanes was there made by the prelats, that this act of repeale was neuer published, nor euer sithence imprinted with the rest of the statutes of that parliament. Insomuch as the said repeale being concealed, like commissions and other processe were made from time to time, by vertue of the said bastard statute, as well during all the raigne of this king, as euer sithence against the professors of religion,

Meane while what became of J. Wickliffe it is not certainly knowne. Albeit, so farre as may bee gathered out of Walden, it appeareth that he was banished and diuen to exile. In the meane time it is not to bee doubted, but he was aliue during all this while, wheresoener he was, as by his letter may appeare, which he about this time wrote to pope Urbane the sixth. In the which letter he doth purge himselfe, that being commanded to appeare before the pope at Rome, hee came not; declaring also in the same a briefe confession of his faith. copie of which epistle here followeth.

The

The epistle of John Wicklife sent vnto pope Vrbane the sixth. Anno 1382.-Verily I doẹ reioyce to open and declare vnto euery man

the faith which I doe hold, and specially vnto the bishop of Rome; the which forsomuch as I doe suppose to bee sound and true, he will most willingly confirme my said faith, or, if it bee erroneous, amend the same. First. I suppose, that the Gospell of Christ is the whole body of Gods law; and that Christ, which did giue the same law himselfe, I beleeue to be a very man, and in that point, to exceeed the law of the Gospell, and all other parts of the Scripture. Againe, I doe giue and hold the bishop of Rome, forsomuch as he is the vicar of Christ, here in earth, to be bound most of all other men vnto that law of the Gospell. For the greatnesse amongst Christs disciples did not consist in worldly dignitie, or honours, but in the neere and exact following of Christ in his life and manners: whereupon I doe gather out of the heart of the law of the Lord, that Christ for the time of his pilgrimage here was a most poore man, abiecting and casting off all worldly rule and honour, as appeareth by the Gospell of Matth. the 8. and the 2 Cor. 8. chap. Hereby I doe fully gather, that no faithfull man ought to follow, either the pope himselfe, or any of the holy men, but in such points as he hath followed the Lord Jesus Christ. For Peter and the sonnes of Zebede, by desiring worldly honour contrary to the following of Christs steps, did offend, and therefore in those errours they are not to be followed.--Hereof I doe gathe, as a counsell, that the pope ought to leaue vnto the secular power all temporall dominion and rule, and thereunto effectually to mone and exhort his whole clergy; for so did Christ, and specially by his Apostles. Wherefore if I haue erred in any of these points, I

will most humbly submit my selfe vnto correction, euen by death if necessitie so require: and if I could labour according to my will or desire in mine owne person, I would surely present myselfe before the bishop of Rome; but the Lord hath otherwise visited me to the contraric, and hath taught me rather to obey God than men. Forsomuch then as God hath giuen vnto our pope iust and true euangelicall instinctions: we ought to pray that those motions be not extinguished by any subtle or crafty deuice.-And that the pope and cardinals be not moued to doe any thing contrary vnto the law of the Lord. Wherefore let vs pray vnto our God, that hee will so stirre vp our pope Vrbane the sixth, as he began, that he with his clergy may follow the Lord Jesus Christ in life and manners: and that they may teach the people effectually, and that they likewise may faithfully follow them in the same. And let vs specially pray that our pope may be preserued from all maligne and euil counsell, which we doe know that euill and enuious men of his houshold would give him. And seeing the Lord will not suffer vs to be tempted aboue our power, much lesse then will hee require of any creature to doe that thing which they are not able; forsomuch, as that is the plaine condition and manner of Antichrist.

Which John Wickliffe returning againe with in short space, either from h's banishment, or from some other place where he was secretly kept, repaired to his parish of Lutterworth, where he was parson; and there, quietly departing this mortali life, slept in peace in the Lord, in the beginning of the yeere 1381, vpon Siluesters day.

12. PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT against Alexander Nevil, archbishop of York, Robert Vere, duke of Ireland, Michael de la Pole, carl of Suffolk, Robert Tresilian, lord chief justice of England, and Nicholas Brambre some time mayor of London, and others, for High-Treason: 11 Richard II. A.D. 1388. [3 Hol. Chron. 453. Grafton, 377. Walsing. 334. 3 Tyrrel, 895. Brady, 307. 307. 1 Cobb. Parl. Hist. 188.]

THESE men being raised from mean estates by the favour of the king, and advanced to the degree of Privy-Counsellors, were the men who had the only rule of the Commonwealth, which under the king they governed for some small space with careful diligence, acquiring thereby deserved commendations: but not long did they thus steer the ship of the kingdom, for many of them being of inferior rank by birth, not having their veins dignified with noble blood, they were the sooner enticed with the libidinous baits of voluptuousness, and infected with the insatiable itch of avarice; insomuch that despising the authority of the king, and neglecting the commodity of the realm, and nly desiring to keep up the Revenues of the

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kingdom, they so wrought by their policy, that the king is impoverished, and the treasury exhausted: upon which the Commons murmur at the multiplicity of Tenths, Levies and Subsidies; the Peers repine to see themselves disgraced and their inferiors honoured; and in a word, the whole kingdom endures an universal misery.--The nobility, seeing the miserable estate wherein the whole kingdom lay, bleeding as it were to death, urged the king to summon a Parliament, to the end the Grievances of the nation might be inquired into and redressed. A Parliament was shortly after held, October 1, 1366, in which, among many other Acts, John Fortham bishop of Durhain was discharged of his office of Treasurer, and John Gilbert bishop

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