AN Admonishion to the Bishoppes of VVin­chester, London and others &c.

Ecclesia, v.
Make no tariyng to turne vnto the Lord and put not of from daie to daie, for sodenly shal his wrath come, & in the time of vengeance he shall destroye the.

¶From Roane by Michaelwood, Anno. M.D.Liii. the first of October.

MAny great men and potentates of the worlde, when thei haue by their vnlauful and vnrighteous attemtes, brought themselues into extreme miseries, haue at laste much blamed their vnfortunable estate, for that they in due time lacked coun [...]el to haue withdrawen them frō such en­terprises. So it is saide in the common Prouerbe. That the riche and mightye haue seldome good councell, excepte they get it of thēselues. For riches and hye dignitie causeth them to be more insolent, so that they can abide any thing better, then to be tolde of theyr faultes, and the rewarde of hym that shoulde franckely tell them the truth: may soner be a brokehead then otherwyse. Thys prudent men perceyuing, rather wyth­drawe them selues from them, thē with wearying them selues in vayne▪ procure to them selues displeasure. And flatte­rers seyng a redy pray at theyr handes, dayly folowe vpon them, wyth vphol­dyng theyr dedes and woordes good or bad Al is excellently deuised, prudent­lye spoken, done lyke a good man. &c. Thus wyth their owne pride climbyng▪ and with flattery pricked forward, thei runne headlōg in their imaginatiōs, til they tomble downe into the pyt of de­structiō. And then thei lay the blame frō [Page] them selues to other. wher indede they wold neuer heare other, but snch as ser­ued, yea rather deceyued theyr affecti­ons wyth flatteries. But agaynst sutche headstrōg hastynes we are admonished by the holy Gost saying: Be not wise in thine owne conceit. Fear God, & depart from euil. Thys we wysh that al menne wold well consider in their enterprises. First that ther is a God, not a blynd and deafe god, as the godles Heithen pain­ted Iupiter at Create, but an euerliuyng God that seeth all the wayes of Adams children, that knoweth the oppress our and him that is oppressed, that wyl call all thynges into iudgemēt and to accōpt and wyl render to euerye one his iust re­compence vpon hys head. Hym oughte men to fear. For whatsoeuer thei attēpt yet at last, that he determineth must cōe to passe, and his wyl in all thynges shall be accomplished. This I pray you to cō ­sider now in dew time, least if you now forget it, it may hereafter chaūce to you as it hathe done to other▪ that in theyr wealth lyttle studyed on these matters. God hath maruelously saued you from the handes of sutche as hated you, and set you in hye dignitie, more then euer you had in your lyfe. And doutles it is to do good▪ and not euill, to correct and a­mend thinges amisse, not to destroy and [Page] breake downe thynges that are in good case and order. Your procedinges begin strangelye, in that you at the fyrst go a­bout to deface the holy woord of God, to set asyde Christes institution, and to cal al this realme to blindenesse and er­rour. For if you take away the lyghte of Gods woord from the worlde: what cā men loke for at your hādes, but destruc­tion and errour? Dauid saith: thy worde (O Lord) is a candel for my feete▪ Psalm cxviii. Iohn. viii. and a light for my steppes. And Christ sayeth: he that foloweth me, walketh not in darknes, but shal haue the lyght of life. we knowe that you haue in tymes past nothing fauored the Scriptures to be in English, but haue euer winsed and kyc­ked against them, but our hope was that once you wold amēd, considering how Gods goodnes called you to repētance. You were wont to alledge you dyd no­thyng but as a common Coūselour, yea you obtested by God, that when menne were burned for the truthes sake, you nothyng procured to it, but dyd all that you might to the cōtrari. we wer glad to read this in your writīgs, but we besech you let the same nowe appeare in your dedes, so shal we the better beleue your writinges. But if now you rayse a newe persecution for the wordes sake, truely it shal be manifest to al mē, that ye were [Page] gilty of al the blod that hath bene shed before time for the word of god. which blod (though it be yet vnadueuged) yet it remaineth fresh and new in the syght of God, wyth Abels bloode crying vnto God,ge. iii Ap. vi and with the bloode of the holye Martirs saying: How longe tariest thou Lorde holy and true, to iudge and to a­uenge our blode on them that dwell on the earth? Doute ye not but their crye is heard and not forgottē afore God. For he maketh inquisition for their bloode,Ps. ix. and remembreth them, and forgetteth not the complaint of the poore.i. Tim iii. Ezech xx xiii The of­fice of a Byshop is not to be a Butcher, it is to preache Gods word, not to put it downe, to help such as be captiues, not to cast into pryson the ryghteouse that are at liberty, to carry the poore lambes vpō their shoulders, not to seke al mea­nes possible to consume them with fyre or halter. O miserable lambes that shall haue sutch Shepherdes, whose study is not to feede them, but to kepe them frō the pasture of Gods word, and to poy­son them with dreames of mens imagi­nations. O horrible iudgement of God, that Christ and his Gospell shal be cal­led new learning and here sye. what can the Turcke do more then rayle agaynste Christ and blaspheme his holye Testa­ment? Yet must Christen men be compel­led [Page] to hear Antichrist, and to hold their peace, when the blood of the new Te­stament is blasphemed. what is in your lattin Masse, to edify with the churche of England?i. Co. xiiii S. Paule saith: that al thin­ges read or doone in the common con­gregation, should be done in that tonge that the congregation vnderstandeth, that the vnlearned may say Amen. And Boner hath set vp agayne in Paules Sa­lesburi latin portace, wherof the lai men vnderstādeth no word, and God knoeth no more do the greater parte of the por­tas patterers. we know that S, Paul had the spirite of Christe, and what can we iudge of Boner doing contrary to Saynt Paules doctrine? Yf the most godly and perfecte booke of seruice (whiche euen you your selfe haue both in preachynge and writing cōmended) please not him, why doth he not set out his church ser­uice in English? But he knoweth wel i­nough that there is sutche monstruouse thinges in it, that if it were in Englishe, English boies woulde laughe it scorne. Sutch lyes ar in the saītes legendes, such manifest errours, that no coullour cā de­fend them Yet muste these occupye the place, and that in lattin to make symple and plaine people beleue, that ther is in the lattin tong▪ some priuy holy mistery Truthe needeth no corners or clokes to [Page] hide it selfe, nor to be in a straunge hid tong, as errours euer seke the [...]tes of darknes to be their shield and defense Euery one that doth euil (as Christ sai­eth) hateth the lighte,Iho iii and cōmeth not to the light, that his dedes should not be reproued, but he that doth the truth commeth to the light, that hys deedes maye be knowen, for they are done in god▪ Christ ordeined the holy cōmuni­on that christen men shoulde together eate the holy bread, and drinke the ho­ly cuppe in the remembraūce of his bo­dy broken, and his blood shed. And S. Paule deliuered to vs the same that he receiued of the Lord, commaundynge vs saying: as oft as ye shal eate of thys bread, and drincke of this cup, ye shall shew the Lordes death vntil he come. I prai you, how is this obserued in your priuate masses, wher your shauē prestes (for the more parte) can as well buylde Poules steple, as fulfil Poules cōmaun­demēt. you haue not one word of scripture to maintaine this prophanation of christes institution. And it is an horrible and fearful thing that euer man mortall should presume sutch great impietie a­gainst the immortal and euerliuīg god. you rage sore agaynst maried priestes which haue for them gods woorde.i. cori. vii. but you forget the vnchaste and detestable [Page] Sodomies, incestes, aduoutries, forni­cations, murdring of infants, that hath bene foūd in the vnmaried sort of shaue linges, which haue no word of god but this: for sutche thinges sake, commeth the wrath of god vpon the children of vnbeliefe,Ephes. v. i. cori. vi. and. vii and whore mongers and ad­uouterers shal not inherite the kingdōe of Christ. You bishops shoulde laye no snares to dampne mens soules, but ra­ther helpe them oute that be in sutche dampnable estate, and that which gods word leaueth at libertie, you ought not to bring into bōdage. That you depriue the maried prestes of their offices & li­uinges, it is very straunge, and no word of god haue ye so to dooe. And we no­thing doubt it, but thoughe god at this present exercises the patiēce of his ser­uantes, yet he wil at last remember hys promise. For the rroubles sake of the oppressed, and because of the cōplaint of the poore, I wil vp (saith the Lorde) I wyll helpe them,Psal. xi. and set them at rest. And in Esai the lord saith: wo be to the thou robber, shalte not thou be robbed also?es. xxxiii. & thou that despisest other, shalt not thou also be despised? The lord wil doutles heare the sorowful wepings of the poore widdowes and fatherles children which by this robbery are dryuen to beggerie. The lord heareth the prai­er [Page] of the oppressed (saieth Sirach,eccl. xxxv) He wil not despise the praier of the fatherles, nor the widdowe lamentably com­plainyng to hym. Doth not god see the teares of the widdow, and hear her ex­clamation against sutch as cause her to wepe? from her cheke they ascend into heauen, and the lorde that fauourablye heareth her, wyll haue no pleasure in them. For gods honor therfore, and for feare of his iudgement, cal these things to your minde, and somewhat mitigate these hasty and rashe doinges, whiche are against god & his word.Eccl. xv. psalm. v. For though the lord hath called you to be a scourge to other, yet remember he cōmanudeth you to do nothing vnrighteouselye, for he is a god that willeth none vnrighte­ousenes: their may no vngodly persone dwell with him, sutch as be cruell, may not stand in his sight. He is enemy vnto al wicked doers. he destroieth the lyars and abhorieth the bloode thirstye and deceiteful. And as you now are reysed to scourge others: so if you vexe the in­nocent, doutles the lord will throw you downe, and rayse vppe them that shall scourge you againe, and fulfill Christes worde:Mat. vii. Luk. vi. with what measure ye meate to other, the same shalbe measured to you againe. Remember we besech you, that [Page] as glory groweth, so enuie against you groweth, not of good, but of euell men, who thoughe they nowe lyke Echo re­bound euer with pleasaūt soūd of your owne voice, yet wil they (if god a little withdrawe his hande from you) be the first that shal reioyse at your fall. God wil withdraw his hand from you, if you repugne against his word, if you seeke to deface his truth, to cast aside Chri­stes supper, to condempne mariage, to set vp againe idolatrie, superstition and errour, to bring in againe that sodomi­tical fained chastetie, that drew infinite vnto eternal dampnation. we neede not recite vnto you exāples what god hath done with princes and potentates, that haue enterprised to resist his truthe, or els to abuse it to their owne priuate lu­stes, seing you haue not onely read, but sene before your eyes. Onelye we praye god you may remember what was said to S. Paule. Saule Saule why persecu­test thou me? He saide: Lorde who art thou? The lord saide: I am Iesus whom thou persecutest,Act. ix. it shal be hard for the to kicke against the pricke. It is the lord Iesus that in his members suffereth, it is his worde that is hated and persecu­ted, it is he that mercifullye calleth you to repentaunce, and he is able inoughe to represse all violence done agaynste [Page] him, but as he came from heauē to saue sinners, so wolde he rather call Saule to repentance, then cast Nero into destruc­tiō. But when al thinges shal declar you impenitent, & manifest rebellour against godes worde, then without doubte the lord wil no more spare you, thē he hath before time spared other. For goddes sake therfore beware in dew time and take example at others, least other here after take example at you.actes. i. Iudas betraying the truth, purchased the blody feld, for he hong himselfe, and all his guttes burst forth. Pharao persecuting the people of god,exo. xiiii. ii. Tim. iii got gods vengeaunce & ma­nifolde plages vpon Egipt, and he that thirsted blood, was drowned in the red sea. Iamnes and Iambres his prophetes were at last compelled magre their her­tes to acknowledge the finger of god. How wel sped Hieroboam for erecting his golden calues at Bethell and berse­ba?iii. re. xiiii Looke for no better rewarde for e­rectiug your satisfactory sacrifice. But how craftely do you cloine in this. you wil commaunde no man, but they shall say you, gratifie the quene. God graunt the quenes grace plainly to se your fals­hoode, we are afraid you wil bring the wrath of god vpō her & al this realm of England, as the p̄stes & ꝓphetes of Dan & bethel brought it vpō the kings of Is­rael [Page] and Iuda. you tel the quene the people is desirous of Masses, and that they neuer fauoured the scriptures, and you tell the people, the quencs pleasure is that they receiue againe the masse and poperie. Thus you cause no small num­ber of harts to be withdrawen frō that harty loue and affectiō that thei ought to beare to the quenes highnes, and as mutch as in you is sowe the sede of dis­cention, which the lord of heauen keepe from amonge vs, and graunt you to take wiser wares. The people doubtles was fully staied in conscience, and quieted in the right way of gods word, and wolde haue continued in the same, if you and others had not wyth your dampnable perswasions, craftie surrelties, cruell hādlings. &c. gone about to peruert thē. And euerye man maye se, that some for hope of lucre and promotion, some for feare of punishment and losse, are redy to retourne as dogs to their vomit, and swyne to their former puddell. As for sutch as al this time haue dissembled, & now openly declare their cankred sto­mackes, as redye to tourne with euerye winde: as any weathercock. No marueil of their incōstantie in religion, for their groūd is not the sure foūdation of gods word, but the slipperie sand of pleasing mē. Ye shal do doutles a goodlie act to [Page] serue sutche mens affections, and to re­bell against gods truth. Dout not but at last ye shal haue some cardinals hat for your laboure.iii. Regu. xvi. xvii. xviii. xxi. iiii. Re. ix and. x. Achab with his baall and [...]emurius, gotte to himselfe thre yeares without taine, and wher the dogs licked Nabothes blood, ther was Achabs blod licked of dogs also. And he that spoiled the poore of his vineyarde, by gods iust iudgement loste his kingdome with the destruction of all his children.iiii. Regu xxi. Thincke not but god can raise a Hiehue when his pleasure is, and will doo it when Achab least loketh for it. Though poore Esai­as must be counted an heriticke, yet god wil auenge his blod, and the blood of al his seruants the prophetes that Manas­ses hath shedde.

VVe wolde ye wolde rede Helias let­ter sent to Ioram,ii. Pa. xxi and consider that ye walking in Iorams wayes, may (except ye repēt) haue Iorams reward.ii. Para. xxiii. Mathan the high bishop of Baall for his greate paines takē in Baals seruyce, was at last offred vpon Baals alter. But per chaūce ye wil righte swetely deride this letter,ii. pa. xxv and say as Amasias said to the Prophet rebuking him for his Idolatry, and say­ing: whi worshippest thou the Goddes that deliuered not their people oute of thy hande? he answered: Arte thou one of the kynges councel? Holde thi peace [Page] that Isse the not. So you wil say: Hold thi peace thou heretike, or come fourth to dispute thi matters. If ye wil dispute by the holy Scriptures, by the Doctors of the primatiue church, it is alredi pro­fred vnto you, but ye know ye can haue none aduātage that wai, for your owne consience accuseth you. that ye are not able to stande, either with Scriptures or auncient Doctours to preuaile againste the truthe. As litle honoure will come therof to you in disputyng: as is alredy wonne in writynge, therefore your olde argumentes (which your preachers now at Poules crosse, most earnestly beat in­to the peoples heades) are suresby. fyre & faggot dispatcheth at once, but hap­pie were ye, that such argumentes were not made againste you, well then, marke what the Prophet answerd Amasias at his departing, and know certainly it wil come to passe. The hande of the Lorde is not shortned. Thongh our iniquities at this present haue iustly prouoked his anger ouer vs, he will at laste pitie vs for his sonne Christe our lordes sake. And we nothīg doubt, but as he his al migh­tie & can deliuer: so he his al ful of goodnes and wil saue all that trust in his mer­cie and call vpon him day and night.Luk. xviii And thankes to God the people hathe other eyes, then they haue had in times [Page] past. The holy woord of god hathe not been all so baren, as you woulde it had been. Men haue some knowledge bee­twene a latine satisfactori popishmasse and Christes Communiō truly ministred according to the ghospel. Though you bost chastitie of pristes, men know a dif­ference betwene a single lyfe, & a chast life. It is not .Vii. yeares since some of your vnmaried pristes, yea as it said one of your great doctors, wer complained on for their hote chastitie that bournt a woman. Men remember yet since some pristes were indicted for getting wemen with childe, and murdering the childrē when thei were borne. Oh horrible cha­stitie to be suffered amonge Christians▪ God doubtles will viset these thinges in due time, as he visited the sinnes of the wicked before time.actes. xii. [...]i. Mac. ix Marke how He rod was eaten with wormes Nero slew himselfe. Iulianus confessed Christ in death against his wyl. Antiochus stanke aboue the earth. But to come nerer our daies. More ād Fisher with frier Forest & other, desperatly died in the contēpt of the gospel. Dudleia disceitful tirant deceiued with hope of pardō, blasphemed the gospel at the hour of death, of whom ye make a piller to staie vp youre Church.Mar. iii. Beware of the sīne against the holy gost, which shal not be forgeuen in [Page] this worlde, not in the worlde to come. Those that dispise Moses, die without redemption, vnder two or .iii. witnesses: but howe sorer punnishment remainethHebr c. x. for thē, that tread vnder fote the bloud of the newe testament, and rayle vppon the spirit of grace. Once again we bese­che you, for Iesus Christes sake, and for the hope of the life to come, ād for the iudgement that we all must come afore: remember these thinges, and think that he that wrote this for your admonishi­on loketh for no preferment at your hād but writeth it, if perchaūce ye be not al­together a damnable desperate, ye may conuert to God, reuerēce his holi word geue place to his truthe, & be saued frō the wrath of god that is to come. God graūt vs al mercie and grace to turne to him, that we may be able to stād before the lord at his cōming, when he shall a­rise to iudge the earth. Reade the secōd Psalme, and se what shall happē to the rebels against the Lorde and Christe his sonne. Therfore feare the lorde, do ho­mage vnto his son, serue him with trē ­bling & feat, receiu his doctrine, least he be angry with you, & so you perishe frō the right wai, for when his wrath shall be kindled like fire (which shal be shor­telie) blessed shal al those be that trust in him.

Amen.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.