An apologye made by the reuerende fa­ther and constante Martyr of Christe Iohn Hooper late Bishop of Gloceter and Worceter againste the vntrue and sclaunderous report that he should be a maintainer and enco­rager of suche as cursed the Quenes highnes that then was, Quene Ma­rye. Wherein thou shalte see this Godlye mannes innocency and modest behauioure: and the falsehode and subtyltye of the aduesaryes of Gods truth.

¶Newelye set foorth and allowed accor­dinge to the order appoynted in the Quenes Maiesties iniunc­tions.

Anno. 1562.


¶To the Godly reader Hen­ry Bull wysheth grace and peace with vnfayned fayeth and a good conscience in Christ Iesus our Lorde.

IT hath alwayes bene the practise of Sathan and his subtill souldiers the papistes, euen the sworne ad­uersaries of Gods truth, that when thei can not preuail against the same by tyrannye and tormentes, they la­boure to deface it by most impudente sclaunders and lyes (the chiefest de­fence and staye of their kingedome) as thou shalt see (good reader) in this treatise folowynge. For when they coulde by no tiranny nor cruel hand­linge dyscourage this man of God frome the constante confession of the truth, they stirred vp most shamfull & cursed lies against him that he should be a priuye maintayner of suche as cursed the Quene, but to their owne perpetuall shame and ignomye. For whilest they haue soughte by thys [Page] meane to bringe Gods eternall veri­tye in to contempte and too make it more odious to the worlde: what els haue they done but dysclosed theyr owne wickednes and malice and ge­uen him occasion so to paint out their falsehode and lyinge spirite in their righte coloures, by this pithye, lear­ned, and worthy little pece of worke: that all men may hereby clearly per­ceaue whose children they are, and they them selues shall nede no other glasse to see how like their father thei looke, the father of all falsehode and lyes. And to the ende that this theyr wicked dealinge, whiche haue thus proudly set them selues against God and agaynste his Christ in his poore members, may be ye better knowen & regestred to the worlde and the poste­rity to come, to their shame and con­fusion, and to the auauncing of gods glorye in the innocente sufferinge of his saintes, thus torne and rente by tiranny, tormentes, lyes, and sclaun­ders for his names sake: beholde the prouidence of god, who hath now [Page] brought this worke to lighte, which otherwise by the negligence of some was like to pearishe. And here haue I iust occasion to discommende those men whiche do defraude the congre­gation of such worthye monuments. Greate was the care of this blessed man and other for the church of God, and manye frutefull workes did they write in prison, in bands, in setters, but fewe are come to lighte: and shal we like carelesse and ingratfull peo­ple suffer these Godly laboures, these painfull trauales, thus to pearishe? how desirous thei were to haue them published, to wytnesse to the worlde that whiche they taughte and sealed with theyr bloud, and to profyt their bretheren: it appeareth by this au­thors earnest request to the readers of this treatise, which is that they wyll not kepe it close to thē selues, but as sone as thei haue red it, set it abroad & communicate it to other. And that request whyche he make the concer­ning this treatise, do I here general­lye make in his name and others and [Page] in the behalfe of the churche of God for the rest of their workes, to them in whose hands they remayne, that they wyll not suffer them to be sup­pressed any longer (for that is it whi­che Sathan and the ennemies of the crosse of Christ do mooste desire) but cause thē to be set abroad in printe to the cōmodity of many. And trulye it mighte seeme to be a laboure no lesse cōmendable for the learned then pro­fitable for the houshold of God to be as diligent in searchinge and setting foorth of suche worthye works, as in penning and publishing of new. So full are they of heauenlye doctryne, so full of power of Gods spirite, so full of comforte, and consolation, be­inge wrytten as it were out of gods sanctuary, wyth the fynger of God, by menne euen then out of the world and in heauen alreadye: that in dede thei are most worthy to be sought for as precious Iewelles and treasures.

For God knowethe what lacke we haue of such trumpettes to stirre vppe oure dull hartes in these daun­gerouse [Page] dayes, wherein all states of menne haue turned this greate bles­synge of God bestowed vppon vs (I meane theese breathinge dayes and tyme of rest from antichristes tyran­nye) in to a securitye, and are become like men rocked a sleepe. And manye that semed to be zelous, earnest, and constant in the Lords quarell so long as theese captaynes were in the bat­tayle, and they them selues wyth in the sounde of the trumpette, are now well cooled. Praye wee therefore that the Lorde woulde warme them, heate them, enflame them agayne wyth the zeale of hys house, that we maye haue manye suche valyaunte captaynes, suche worthye prelates and sheepeheardes as thys was, o­uer theyr lambes watchful and care­full, in preachynge dylygente and paynefull, in zeale feruente, harty, and syncere, and of lyke fortytude of spirit to helpe and maintayn the tra­uailinge saith of the gospell, that we may enioy styll this fatherly blessing [Page] of our gratious God, and escape the wrath to come and plagues at hande for our vnworthy receauinge againe of this greate benefite of his woorde and libertye of conscience. Whhiche plagues we maye assuredlye loke for with double woo, vnlesse by speedye repentaunce we seke, to remoue the cause thereof. God for hys Christes sake, graunte vs hartelye, earnestlye, and effectuouse­lye so to do.


¶An apologye agaynste the vntrue and sclaunderouse reports made against me Iohn Hoo­per late byshoppe of Worcetour and Gloceter that I shuld be a main­tainer and encourager of such as cursed the Quenes Maiesties high­nesse.

IT is the vse and fashion of all wicked and euyl de­sposed personnes (gentle reader) that whē one way wyll not serue too bringe their wickednesse to passe, they assay & proue (as Terence sayth) an other. The whole congregation & company of Godlye & charitable people be not ignoraunte howe falsely and vncha­ritablye the papisticall cleargye hath for this yeare and halfe, openly and priuelye by all meanes laboured to perswade not onely the common sort of people but also the magistrates, to iudge and condempne me in theyr [Page] conscience for an heretyke. By the which means thei haue much preuait led against me, but yet not as much as they desyre and loke for. Where­fore seynge plaine allegacion of pre­tensed and falselye surmised heresye as yet sheadeth not my bloude, with­oute the whyche that whoryshe and vnbrideled false supremacy of Rome was neuer satisfyed: nowe because the princes and the magistrates may be their hangemen, althoughe that wicked power of Antichriste (as all cronicles and true historiographers do record) wold haue no power aboue it, equall with it, nor none vnder it, but such as hold theyr kingdoms and autorities in the worlde (as it were in capite) of that wicked and pesty­lente sea and chaire of Rome, which is in dede the verye whore of Babi­lon that saynt Iohn describeth in the reuelation of Iesus Christ,Apo. 17. sittinge vppon a seuen headed beast, which S Iohn him selfe interpretateth to be seuen hylles, and the children in th [...] gramer schole do knowe that Rom [...] [Page] is called ciuitas septem montium, the cy­tye of seuen hylles. This generation (I say) that alwayes hath shedde in­nocente bloude (least the chyld should degenerate from the fathers condici­ons, for he that gaue the bishoppe of Rome his supremacye was a bloudy murtherer and traytoure one Pho­cas that kylled his master Maurici­us the Emperoure, his maistres the Empresse and syre of their lawefull children) woulde beare the worlde in hande, that I were not onelye an he­retike, but also a traytoure[?]. And to affyrme that assertion, they saye I haue written to comforte, encorage, and maintayne suche as cursed the quene. But if I may (as I oughte) be hearde indifferently, I shall trye my selfe a true man, and proue mine ac­cusers to be false in the face of all the world. There be (as I here say) nowe certain in the counter in London that wished euyll vnto the Quenes[?] high­nes, vnto whome myne aduersaries saye I wrote letters of encorage­mente, that they did well in so do­ynge: [Page] and that if they contynued doynge the same styll, they shoulde do better. First I do require all good men too marke the tenaure and con­tentes of the letter whiche my trende sent vnto me, to aduertise me of such men as were taken and imprisoned vppon newe yeares daye at nyghte last past: also to marke the contentes of myne aunswere vnto hys letter, where withall I did sende this letter, that the wicked calleth treasonne. I haue set at the ende of this apologye the true copy of all three letters, and other letters then these I wrote not to them that were taken at that time:

Nowe marke howe my letters wyll proue thys twoo penye treason that the wycked woulde charge mee with all. Fyrst I knewe of nothing the congregation dyd but of prayer whiche they vsed, as they be bounde by Gods lawes in the vulgare tonge (let the papistes saye too the contra­rye what they wyll) and there they gaue[?] God thankes for that they had receaued at his handes, and asked of [Page] him the thinges that they lacked and prayed also for the Queene and the magistrates. Marke the informati­on of the letter that aduertysed mee wherefore they were taken. Nowe doo the wicked papistes fayne mat­ter, and chaunge prayer, wherein I requyred them too perseuere for the Quene, in to cursinge of the Quene. Marke againe the place where pray­er and seruinge of God that I com­mended was done: in a Godly mans house (saieth my frende) in bow chur­cheyard. The place where the quene by reporte was cursed, was in the counter by the stockes in London. Further marke the tyme when the thinge was done that I commended: before they were taken, as my letter to them doth testify. Marke also what the personnes be that are accused of this cursinge: suche as yet vntyll the tenth of Ianuarye I knewe not nor haue hearde of. And to those that be accused of the crime, my letters were not sente nor neuer came. Yet doeth the wickednesse of the wicked papy­stes [Page] saye that I encoraged them in e­uyll doynges, my letters neuer com­myng vnto them, nor when I wrote knew I of any such cursing. Farther, suche as bee taken and imprisonned for that faulte, I neuer knewe of, nor of anye suche thinge too be done by them, vntyl (as I sayd) the tenth daye of Ianuary, whiche was (as I haue learned) at the leaste syre dayes after the faulte was done, and three dayes also after my letter was writ­ten and deliuered to them that were in an other prisonne, frome suche as did thys crime. Wherfore if the wic­ked were not paste all shame, chari­tye, loue, and honesty: howe coulde they of conscience blowe and blaste[?] abroade such wicked lyes and scaun­ders, that neither agreeth wyth the matter of my letter, nor with the personnes, nor with the place wher the crime was commytted, nor yet wyth the tyme when the curses were vsed.

There was neuer true subiectes in [Page] suche daunger as we poore English men be at theese present dayes. The falsest menne of the worlde, yea the Satanicall papistes, may saye what they wyl, so that they speake against any that lauoureth God, his word, & the holye catholike church of Christ: and his accusation vs it neuer so false by that time it hathe bene in the con­sistorye courte and handlinge of the Bishoppes one daye or two, it shall haue some fayre pretensed colour to make it appeare true, and also to be done only for conscience sake, as all their religon is hipocrisye and colou­red with holynesse in name. I haue bene alwayes a true manne to al the estates of thys realme, I wyll stande with the lawe in that pointe and re­proue myne accusers what so euer they be. As for my truthe and loy­altye to the Quenes hyghnesse, the tyme of her mooste daungerouse e­state can testifye wyth me, that when there was both cōmaundements and cōmissions out against her, whereby [Page] she was to the sighte of the worlde, the more in daunger, and lesse lyke to come to the croune: yet when she was at the worste, I rode my selfe frome place too place (as it is well knowen) to wyn and stay the people for her party. And wher as an other was proclaymed, I preferred her not wythstandynge the proclamations. And to helpe her as much as I could when her highnesse, was in trouble, I sente horses oute of bothe shyres, Gloucester shyre and Worcester shire too serue her in her greate daunger, as Syr Iohn Talbot knyghte and Wylliam Ligon Esquier can testify the one dwellynge in the one shyre, and the other in the other. Seyng in aduersitye I was wyth her, and did her seruyce, then I beyng at liberty: It is falselye and wickedlye conspy­red by the papystes, that nowe she being in reall possession of the croune and in prospertytye, and I a pryso­ner in captiuitye, woulde be againste her.

[Page] But wher as the pope wyll for a pe­nye of two pence geue remission of all synnes a pena et culpa the wicked may saye and do what thei luste: and the innocent lambes of Christ suffer what so euer God shall permytte the members of Antychristes kyngdome to laye vppon them. Yet maye the Godlye see the pretensed and false y­magined treason of theese Antichri­stes against me. Doubtlesse it is not because they bear good will and loy­altye to the Quenes highnesse that they would bringe me in to her dys­pleasure. For all the world knoweth she hathe no more nor no greater e­nemies then those that desire to leaue no mouthe open in this realme too speake and sound the name of Iesus Christ in fayeth and vnderstanding. I take recorde hereof at the bishoppe of wynchesters booke of true obedy­ence, of Bonners Epistell intoo the same booke, of Culbert Tonstalles sermons, and Doctoure Sampsons, oration made onelye aduisedly, pur­posely, and deliberately against the [Page] Quene and the pope, and be openly in all mens handes, aswell with in the realme as withoute. But such be the inscrutable iudgementes of God that her highnesse should punysh her poore, true, and louing subiects that neuer offended her, and also make false trayterous bishops Iudges of truer men then they be them selues. Doubtlesse if euer I had written or spoken the tenth parte of treasonne that her owne bishops bokes do con­tayne, I knowe theyr charitye is so burning and seruent that the crowes and byrdes of the ayre shoulde haue eaten my fleshe before this daye. Yet I am not sorye, but doubtelesse (I speake and write frome the bottome of my harte before God) very glad to se mercy shewed vnto offenders. But I speake it to this ende that I verely suppose, as the Quene doth forgeue offenders: so wold she not wittingly punish me and other true men that al wayes haue done her good and no harme. For she is by the lawes of God as much bound to be indifferent [Page] and fauourable to true men, as true men be bound to geue her obedience. And (be it spoken withoute all pride and malice) I defye him whatsoeuer he be (the magistrates beinge honou­red) that dare open his mouth to the contrarye. But alas sauinge I wold not offend the law of my liuing God, that cōmaundeth me to obey al ma­gistrates and lawes (which disagree not from his holy worde) it were for me a more easye death to be hanged like a traytoure, then burned like an heretyke. But seinge death must en­sue the true religion and faith of Ie­sus Christe: I wyll not appoint God what deathe he shall take me oute of this lyfe by. I am in Christe wholy and throughly at a pointe wyth the worlde. I praye dailye and wyll pray for my persecutors euē as for myself. But their tirāny[?] and death, that they will kyll me with all, I contemp [...]e & passe nothing of. I am no better then my master Christ was in his seru [...]ce. if I dy therfore by his grace whether it be by fyer[?], or sworde, or halter, it [Page] is all one to me: and the rather death commethe the better shall it be wel­come. For the soner shall my soule rest wyth Abraham Isaac and Iacob in my heauenly fathers kingedome: Whereof in Christe I am assured to bee[?] a ryghte heire, ordayned to the same of mercye by hym: before the worlde was made.

The phariseis did not laye onely he­resye to Christes charge: and in dede the manner of his deathe vppon the crosse was not appointed for heresye amonges the Iewes, but rather sto­ned too deathe. There was neuer a pair of stocks in the town that Iere­mye the prophet scoured not, but still his accusers, the false priestes made theyr acusations in bothe states as­well in heresye as in treason: leaste the kinge shuld not punish the poore preacher for preachinge, but let him go. So Christes accusers (the holye bishops and preastes) when they per­ceaued that Pilate sauoured the in­nocenie cause of Christe, and sayd he found nothing that they layd against [Page] him worthy of death, they made him (poore man) eate that wordes (iudge as he was) and told hym, if hee let Christ liue and woulde not proceade to condemne him he was not the em­peroures frende. This hath bene al­wayes the pleadinge of the Satany­cal cleargy euen sithens that wicked see of Rome falsely chalenged supre­macye, euen to put the princes and iudges of the earth in the headde that all true preachinge of Gods word a­gainste theyr wickednes, superstiti­on, and ydolatry, was treason. But all kinges, Quenes and magistrates ciuile, shall at the daye of their death aunswer with eternall dampnation of their soules, for the sheading of all innocent bloud wythin their realms and offices. God doeth not bydde the kyng and Quene commit matters of religion to the bishops, neither doeth he wyl them to geue byshops power to condempne when they lust, and so afterwards commit such as thei haue condempned to the secular powers: but doeth commaunde all princes to [Page] be learned them selues,Deu. 17. to hear them and to iudge them selues such doubt­sull and weighty causes by the word of God.Iosu. 1. It is bothe againste Goddes lawes and mans,Psal. 11. that the bishoppes and cleargy should be iudges ouer a­ny subiecte within this realme. For it is no part of their office. They can do no more but preach Goddes word and minister Gods sacramentes, and excommunicate such as Gods lawes do pronounce worthye to be excom­municated. Who wold geue a sword in to a madde mans hand? There be not liuinge more malicious, cruell, craste, dyuelishe nor tyrannicall ty­rauntes, more mercilesse, then the bishops and cleagye vnder that wyc­ked bishop of Rome: as the cromcles and the histories of the bishops liues do plainly record. And no meruayle: for as the bishop of Wincher sayeth in his bake of true obedience: where so euer the Pope hathe supremacye, there Christ is dishonoured: and the kinges suffer wronge. Yea he sayeth more (let his boke be iudge) that ther [Page] can be no truthe where as the bishop of Rome is chiefe heade. And there­fore he saieth that no prince canne or may geue ye pope any such autority. For a king canne no more geue that parte of his office that toucheth the gouernaunce of the one parte of hys people whiche is the cleargye, for matters of relygion to the bishoppes of Rome: then a wyfe maye geeue the vse of her bodye frome her hus­bande too an other manne. Yet as Saynte Iohn sayeth, the princes of the earthe shall be made so droncken with the cuppe of that whore of Ba­bylon, that they wyll deliuer their power to the beaste: but yet Saynte Iohn sayeth playnelye, althoughe the kinges doe geue too the beaste a­gainste Goddes lawes theyr kynge­domes, yet bee they none of the bea­stes.

But nowe the byshoppe of Wyn­chester and the reast of hys fellowes againste theyr othes, theyr sermons, theyr preachinges their bokes, yea their own knowledge and conscience [Page] fall vnder that wicked and false pre­tensed power agayne: and do make him the headde of Christes churche, whom they al be not able to proue to be anye member of Christes churche. Graunte it wer as true as it is false that Christ hadde geuen suche supre­macye to Saint Peter (who they say was bishop of Rome although I ne­uer knewe man yet able to proue it) and his successoures, yet no manne shoulde obey the thinges done by the Pope, For the word of God is plain that he is an excommunicate person in that he teacheth doctryne besydes and contrary to the worde of of God. As Saint Paule sayth plainly. And how farre both the doctrine and the vse of the sacraments vnder the tira­nye of the bishop of Rome, be from the word of God, it shal appear plainly to all the estates of this realme, if my Lorde Cardinall of his charitye wyll accomplish the reasonable and gentyll requestes that I haue made vnto him, I trust as gently he recei­ued my letters: so he[?] wyl graunt me [Page] and my fellowes that be in duraunce oure lawfull requests. But this I do wryte (good reader) not to make dis­course of any matter, but only for the maiestye and honour of Gods word, to declare mine innocency of treason or anye euyll wyll or malyce that I beare to the Quenes highnes or any superiour power. Doubtles I thank our heauenlye father I haue reade to many times the word of life and marked it to well, to fyghte agaynst or curse the magistrates. I praye God to geue them vnderstandinge of hys holy truth, wyth loue to followe it: and the harme that I woulde to any man liuing happen to my selfe. For the cōmauudement of God is that we should not only loue our frends,Mat. 5. but also our enemies. And not only wish good and pray for our frends as det­tours vnto God and them for the be­nefites we take at their hands, but also praye for our ennemies, lamen­tinge the tirannye and wickednes of synne that causeth them too hate and persecute whome God requireth to [Page] loue.1 Ioa. 5. Yet doeth Saynte Iohn in his Epistel commaund the readers ther­of to beware they praye not for such as be subiecte to the synne whiche is to death. But I suppose that in these late dayes, wherein the spirite of iudgement and discreation or discer­ning of sins, is not so abundantly in men as it was in his time: no man shoulde withoute a speciall testimo­nye of the holye ghost, particularlye or expresselye iudge that synne to be in anye man. For the iudgementes of God, who shall tourne from wic­kednesse, or who shall fall from ver­sue, before this mortall life be ended, be not reueyled nor knowen vntoo menne[?]. And yet in case I knewe (as saint Iohn saieth) a man that synned vnto death, for whome by the com­maundemente of God I shoulde not pray: it foloweth not that I shoulde curse him for whom I may not pray. And I reioyce yt the inscrutable iudge ment of god suffreth ye wicked to slaū ­der me with that euil that of al others I haue ben all my life time (I thanke [Page] God) least troubled and in daunger withall. For I neuer cursed man nor beaste otherwyse then the woorde of God wylied me for the tyme whyles I preached hys word to rebuke syn.

I do remember that Saynte Au­gustine in his booke of Christes ser­mon in the mounte, hathe manye Godlye sentences and sayinges in this matter. But I mynde not to write a boke of it but only to speake the truth of my self agaynst wycked sklaunderers, that care not so they maye hurte, how they hurte, nor so they kyll by what meanes they kyll.

In the psalmes and in the prophets he maruelous execrations of the wicked, and speciallye agaynste suche as wyth the death of the Godlye god[?] aboute to condempne the woorde of God and to oppresse it. Christe also and his Apostels vsed maruelous ex­ecrations, when he sayed, woo be vn­to the Chorozain,Mat. 11[?], wo be vnto thee Bethsaida. &c.

Saint Paul wyshed them destroied that troubled the church of the Gala­thians. [Page] Also he called the high priest painted wall to his face:Act. 23. and Peter killed with a word Ananias and Sa­phira his wyfe.Act. 5. Saint Paule strake blynde Elimas the witche. Eliseus caused the wylde beare to teare and kyll the chyldren that mocked hym.Act. 13. Elias caused syre from heauen to fal4. regu. 2. vpon the messengers of Ochosias the kinge.4. regu. 1.

These thinges declare that there were at all tymes cursings vsed, and extreame punishment followed such as were by Gods commaundemente cursed: and yet suche as did curse re­mayned styll in the fauour of God.

But these examples no priuate man may folow, for these men were publike preachers of Goddes word, whose office was by all meanes so to rebuke and condempne sinne, as thes were instructed by the word of God. And he that marketh the condicion of these persons, shall perceaue that in euerye one of them was two per­sons: thone publik that could speake no more pleasaunte nor gentlye to [Page] the sinful world then God bad them: whiche was to pronounce them cur­sed and damned for their sinnes and iniqutye: yet as priuate menne they wepte and sorowfullye lamented the miserye and losse of the same persons that they cursed as publik ministers.

Ieremye as a publike preacher,Iere. 5. 6. threatned the destruction of his own countrey, the captiuitye of his natu­rall prince and kinge, and the ser­uitude and bondage of al his cuntre­men: yet as a priuate manne wept and cried out rather with floudes ofTren. 1. 2. tears then with droppes of weping. So did Christ vpon Ierusalem,Mat. 23. 2. regu. 18. Dauid vppon Saule and Absolon, and Saint Paul vppon the Iewes, and yet offended nothinge at all.Rom. 9. For al­thoughe God require of publike mi­nisters to doe that appartamethe to their publike office in cursinge and threatning of his ire and displeasure yet he taketh not frome them his na­turall affection to pitty and bewaile euen such as they knowe most iustly to be punished: but yet so in measure [Page] that the affection of mercy and com­passion murmure not against the wil & iust iudgement of God.Rom. 12. 13. Wherfore as it is forbydden a pryuate manne to reuenge by force his own wrong: so it is forbydden hym too curse or execrate any personne magistrate or other. Yea the publike personne that preacheth, in this poynt hadde neede to be cyrcumspecte and too be ware he speake nothinge of affection: but all for the correction of synne to the amendemente of synners, as the Sayncts do aske[?] vengeaunce in hea­uen,Apo. 6. sayinge: when wylte thou re­uenge oure bloud vppon them or the earthe? where as it maye not bee thought that the Sayntes praye vn­charitablye agaynst theyr neighbou­res that the worlde and the kynge­dome of synne myghte make an ende in them. And so doo all good menne praye nowe vppon the earthe, that the kyngedome of God may come, as it is in the Lords prayer.Mat. 7.

But what doo theese vn­Godlye papysies fynde faulte wyth [Page] cursynge, when not onelye all hy­storyes, chronycles, and recordes frome tyme too tyme, euer sythens the pretensed and wycked authoritye of the Romyshe byshoppe doo testy­fye, besydes dayelye experience, that they haue cursed kynges and realms of malyce, pryde and indignation: and for money haue blessed them a­gayne, and so vsed kynges and real­mes (as their wicked lustes haue mo­ued them) as slaues and beastes con­trarye to Gods expresse worde. And dayelye it is seene in euerye consy­storye courte, that at the wyll and pleasure of a wycked manne that is the Byshoppes offycer, the innocen­tes be cursed and vsed woorsse then dogges, vntyll suche tyme as the of­fycers furye be pacified wyth Golde or syluer.

If they knewe Gods lawes ( [...] they doo not in deede) they shoulde see and fynde, that no ordynarye ex­communication shoulde bee vsed by the Byshoppe alone, but by the Bi­shoppe and all the whole paryshe.

[Page] So we reade in the olde lawe that when suche excommunications wereDeu. 21. vsed, the whole congregation stode the one partye of the one hyll and the other partye of the other hyll. Also when the incestious man was excō ­municated. S. Paul alone did not ex­communicate him but Saynt Pauls consente and also the whole churche1. Cor. 5. with him.

Extraordinary excommunications that then the holye men vsed, whiche our bishops at this day neither haue power to do nor know what they be: be not in vse. As Saint Paule alone by Gods power made blinde the wit­cheAct. 13. Elimas. And Peter alone by the same power kylled Ananias and sa­phiraAct. 5. his wife. The bishops can but strike and excommunicate with the worde of God: If that serue not, thei shoulde commend the matter to God and medle no further. But nowe the bishops haue learned Gods worde[?] and preache and teache fables and li­es: and who so wyl not beleue them in suche wickednes, they strike them [Page] with losse of goodes, landes, liber­ties, frendes, wyfe and children, yea with imprisonmente, swearde fire, coarde and suche like. And to make all appeare wel, they strike true men with the false slaunder of treasonne. But such is Goddes iuste punishe­mente for oure synnes, most iustelye happened vnto vs. When we amend oure lyues he wyll withdrawe hys scourge. Thus maist thou see (gentle reader) that suche cursinge as theese vngodlye papistes slaunder me wyth all, is bothe againste my knowledge and my doyinges. And as I knowe I shoulde not curse any man: euen so I knowe I should praye for all men, and for mine ennemies also diligent­lye and Chirstianly: for geuyng them as much as lyeth in me here and be­fore God: prayinge him to send them more grace and louing charity.

But here I woulde men shoulde note and marke that as they be for­bydde to curse the magistrates, so be they forbyd to saye, allowe, or com­mend anye thinge they shall do that [Page] is not agreeable with the woorde of God. For the scripture doth not on­ly curse such as make wicked lawes, but also holdeth them accursed (whatIsa. 5. so euer they be) that call good euyll and euyl good.

And althoughe God doeth require me to obey the magistrate yet he for­byddeth me to flatter the magistrate, eyther styre him vp so do euyll, or so commend the euyll, when it is done. For we know not onely euyll doers shall be damned but also such as con­sente to euyll doinge. And this olde sayinge is true,Rom. 2. the consenters and docrs shall haue like paine.

Now these[?] be the bees and stinging waspes that make the bishops so sore too rage and startle. They haue ta­ken the worde of God from the peo­ple out of all churches in this realm, that nothinge maye bee sayed in the vulgare[?] tonge: which is cleane con­trarye to the woorde of God and ex­pressely against the same, as sainte Paule sayeth.1. Cor. 14. But they saye saynte Paul ther speaketh but of preaching [Page] alone, whiche shoulde be in the vul­gare tonge. But I saye and wyll iu­stifie it, that they saye vntruely in so sayinge, for the texte plainly and ex­presselye maketh as well mension of praier said or song, as of preaching. I wyll pray in my spirit and in mine vnderstrndinge saith sainte Paul. &c. And so do the olde fathers altogether say as I say. Read Iohn Chrisostom and S Ambrose vpon thesame place.

Further, they haue banished the holye supper of the Lorde, and call the table wher the communion was vsed, an oyster borde, and the breade appointed to that vse, oyster bread: and yet those thinges bothe by name and effecte, be conteined & commaun­ded vs moste plainely by the expresse word of god, And for ye supper of the Lorde, they haue brought in priuate masses of their owne, or elles of their wicked predecessours inuētion: why­che is clene cōtrary to ye word of god: let the boke of the Apostles andMat. 26. Mar. 14, Luc. 22. euan gelistes be iudge. And who so euer wyll compare the masse (as they vse [Page] it) with the supper of the Lorde: shal see them as wel agree as Christ and the wicked Phariseis agreed. Nowe because men can not condescende vn­to these wicked things, and call that holy whiche is dampnable, and that good which is euil: Therfore be lies, slaunders, and false matters picked & fayned against them. But if they wil saye good is euyll and euyll good, the deuyll God and God the deuyll: then shall men haue peace with them and not before.

As I am sorye with all my harte[?], that anye manne for troubles should curse hys persecutors, except he haue more speciall testimony of Gods spi­rite that he doth well then I haue: so I like wise I doe lamente that those menne that be cursed (who they be I knowe not) do not examine them sel­ues and search their own consciences whether iustlye God stirreth the peo­ple to hate them or no, as Dauid did beinge a lauful king and also a good king. When Semei called him bloud sucker and murtherer, with manye [Page] foule words: he entred into yt iudge­ment of his owne conscyence and felt that the Lorde hadde stirred the same wicked man vp, beinge his own sub­iecte to curse. Whereby he learned (good kinge) to lamente and beware of the sinne that made him thus to be cursed. Alas what manne or woman liuinge is there that one wayes or o­ther hathe not deserued to be cursed both of God and man. But these car­nall and fleshly bishops neuer consy­der that whiche is principallye to be taken hede of in euery plage that god sendeth: which is the sinne in the per­son plaged.

When the scourge of God so com­meth, it were best for euery man too say to him selfe: good Lord although I haue not deserued thus to be spokē of one way, yet an other way I haue, for none is pure and innocent in thy sighte. Let euery manne remoue by grace the cause of cursings and other troubles, whych be the very messen­gers of God and his scourges: and then God wyll remoue the effectes, [Page] whiche be the troubles them selues. If the party cursed by manne be in­nocente:Mat. 5. he maye reioyce to be euyll spoken of for iustice sake, and assure hym selfe that God wyll blesse that man curseth.Mal. 2. If he be gilty, the curse is as a preacher sente vnto him from God to admonishe him of his sinnes. And as for the person that curseth, if Gods spirite beare not recorde with his spirit that he did it for Gods sake and the hatred he did beare onely to sinne, and styrred thereunto by the[?] spirite of God, as the prophetes and Apostels were: he hath greate cause to lament. For the curse that he wold to others shall lyght vpon him selfe. And suche offendours had most nede of coumforte, to call them againe to God and to the order of charitye: for that we be bounde to do as the scrip­ture of God doeth teache. Not too coumforte them or ayde them (as my false accusers saye of mee) as tray­toures in treason, but as creatures made vntoo the symilytude of God, [Page] fallen in too synne. The whiche si­milytude and dignity of God in man shoulde not be abhorred nor detested for anye cryme that manne commyt­teth, but rather pittyed and comfor­ted: not leafte alone, as the manner of the worlde is at this presente: but diligentlye sought and laboured for, as Christe dyd for the loste sheepe, who did not onely seeke for it but al­so caryed it home vppon his owne shoulders when he had founde it.

Thus haue I spoken and witten (gentle reader) againste the papistes proceadinges, as it is my bounden dewtye, and all mennes elles that feare God. For I am sworne by the terryble, venerable, holye, and bles­sed name of God, as I truste too be saued by the ryches, treasure and meryties of Christes deathe: nother dyrectelye nor indyrectelye too agree vntoo the wycked and pretensed[?] su­premacye of the Bishoppe of Rome: but with all my wytte, learning and other meanes resyst him.

[Page] This othe (by Gods helpe) I wyll not violate break: let the wicked persured men, that he the wicked popes adherentes, saye what they wyll, and do what God shall permitte them. I feare not deathe, nor passe of their cruell imprisonment, which is more vile and cruell towards vs true men, then euer it was against murtherers traytoures, and theues. But that is no now thing. For there is no offence irremissible with the popishe bishops but to beleue trulye in Christ, as his word teacheth. Cipriane in a sermon de mortalitate, hath these words eius est mortem timere qui ad Christum nolit ire, he feareth death yt wold not go to christ. But we desire and grone too be dis­solued frō this wicked life and world if it please God. How be it we wyll not gladlye prouoke enmitye nor yet suffer vnprofitable persecution: but when the glorye of God shall perishe withoute the truth be testifyed: I de­fye all tormentes and tormentours. And let al good men and women re­ioyce also in Christe, for doubtelesse [Page] the churche of Christ was first planted vnder the gospell by the deathe of Christ and his poore seruaunts: and nowe it shall take no more harme by the persecution of the Satanicall pa­pistes, then golde taketh by the gold­smythes fornace. There is no deathe canne come to the creature withoute Goddes good leaue and permission. Therefore let vs reioyce that oure tyme draweth so nere to go from this ruinous and decayed cytye and ta­bernacle of oure bodyes: for there is an euerlastynge mansion in heauen prepared for vs. And whyles we doo liue let vs pray to god for this our naturall countrey. For where as before it was cursed but by wicked manne the Antichriste of Rome: nowe is it cursed of God. And where as before it was interdicted but by a false wretche that would be Christes vicare in earthe: nowe is it interdicted by the maker and creatour of al the earth: as the woord of God doeth shew vs, and all the olde counsayles and doc­toures. Besydes that loke vppon the [Page] Bishops boke, Winchesters oration, doctour Sampsons oration, the by­shoppe of Duresmes sermon and the Bishop of Londons Epistle. I praye thee (gentle reader) as soone as thou readest this treatise, kepe it not close. but make it open and spare not. For it is not by sworde and fyre that the papystes canne feare vs frome the truth of Goddes word. Grace and peace bee wyth thee. A­men.

¶The copy of the letter wherby Master hooper was certyfy­ed of the takinge of a God­lye companye in bowe churcheyarde at prayer.

MY duty humbly remembred, you heare (I know) of a god­ly company imprisoned whi­che were taken vppon newe yeares nighte: yet notwithstandinge for as muche (perhaps) as you knowe not perfectelye how nor wherefore, you shall vnderstande that beinge vppon their knees in ending of praier (wherin thei gaue god thankes, prayed for the magistrates & estates of the realm and required thinges necessary at his bountefull handes) two of my Lorde chauncelours mē (as I am informed) came first into yt chamber wher they wer in bow churchyard & immediat­lye afterwards folowed. M. shyryeffe with others, who cōmaunded thē all to staye in ye king & quenes magisties name, wherunto thei humbly obeyd: [Page] for they came not thether weapened to conspire or make any tumult, but onely like Christians, Christianlye to praye and too be instructed in the vulgare tounge by the readinge and hearinge of Gods woorde, as theyr conscience did enforce them (without the dyspleasure of God) to do. For (as you well know) there is nothing so greuouse too the paciente in this worlde, as the gnawinge and byting worme of a troubled conscience, be­inge accused by Goddes lawe, for the wylfull transgressing of the same: as by experience we knowe by iudge Hales: who contrarye to the know­ledge of Gods woorde, consented to the wicked traditions of the papists, Which although in name they wold be of the holye church, and preachers of the gospell of Christ: yet in facte and deede do they dissente frome the same, and mostedetest that godly so­cietye: as by the cruell handlinge of the Christians by the prelates at this presente it doeth euidentely appear. Therefore (I saye) that they might [Page] (without the offence of God) quietly praye together as they be taught by his worde, there assembled a Godly companye together to the number of xxx, deuyded and sente to bothe the counters, where at commaundement they yet remayne. And with master Chambers, master Monger, and the rest in the counter at breadstreate, I was yesterday: who (god be thanked) be stronge and doo reioyce, that for well doing they are imprysoned: Not doubting but ye as god hath vouchsa­ued to accept them worthy to sustain imprisonmente for his sake so he wil strengthen thē rather to suffer death, then to deny his truthe. As the Lord knoweth, who assist you with his ho­lye spirite that vnto the end you may perceauer in his truthe: vnto whose tuition in my pore prayer I humbly cōmend you. 3. of Ianuary. 1554. M. Chamber. M. Monger, M. Sh. and the rest in the counter do pray for you & in Christ salute you mooste humbly.

¶The aunswer of Master hoopers letter, vnto the former letter.

THe grace of God be with you, amen. I perceaue by your let­ter, how that vpon new years daye at nighte, there were taken a Godly company of Christians, whi­lest they were prayinge. I do reioyce in that men can be so well occupyed in this perilous time, and flye vntoo God for remedye by prayer: as well for their own lackes and necessityes, as also charitablye to pray for them that persecute them. So doeth the word of God commaund all men, to praye charitablye for them that hate vs, and not to reuile anye magistrate with woordes, or too meane him e­uyll by force or violence. They also maye reioyce that in well doynge, they were taken too the prysonne. Wherefore I haue thought it good to send them this lyttle wrytinge of cōsolatiou: praying god to send them pacyence, charitye, and constancye in [Page] the truth of his most holi word. Thus fare you well and praye too God too sende his true woorde into this realme againe amongest vs which the vngodlye bishops haue nowe banished. 4. Ianua­rye. 1554.

¶The coppye of Master hoo­pers letter delyuered in the counter at breade­streete.

THe grace, fauour, consolation and ayde of the holy ghoste be wyth you nowe and euer so be it.

Dearly beloued in the Lorde, euer sythens your imprisonmente, I haue bene maruelously moued with great affections and passions, as well of myrth and gladnes, as of heauynes and sorowe. Of gladnesse in this, that I perceaued how ye be bent and geuen to prayer, and inuocation of Gods helpe in these darcke and wic­ked proceadinges of men, agaynste Gods glorye. I haue bene sorye to perceaue the malice and wickednesse of men, to be so cruell, diuelish and tirannycall, too persecute the people of God, for seruinge, sayinge and hearinge of the holye psalmes, and the word of eternall life. These cruel doynges do declare, that the papistes [Page] churche is more bloudy and tiranni­call, then euer was the swearde of the Ethnickes[?] and gentyles. When I hearde of youre takinge, and what ye were doynge, wherefore, and by whome ye were taken: I remem­bred howe the Christyans in the pri­mityue churche were vsed, by the crueltye of vnchrystenned heathens, in the tyme of Traiane the Empe­rour about. 77. years after Christs ascension in to heauen: and howe, the Christians were persequuted ve­rye sore, as thoughe they hadde bene traytoures and mouers of sedition. Whereuppon, the gentyll Empe­rour Traiane requyred to know, the true cause of Christian mens trou­ble. Agreate learned manne called Plinius wrote vntoo him and sayed: it was because the Christians sayed certayn psalmes before day, vnto one called Christ: whom thei worshipped for God. When Traiane the empe­roure vnderstode it was for nothing but for conscyence and religion: he caused by his commaundementes e­uery [Page] wher, that no man shuld be per­secuted for seruinge of God. Lo, a gentyle and heathen manne woulde not haue such as were of a contrarye religion punished for seruing of god: but the Pope and his churche hathe caste[?] you in to prison, beinge taken euen doynge the worke of God, and one of the excellentes workes that is required of Christian menne: that is to wit, whiles ye wer in prayer, and not in suche wycked and superstyti­ous prayers, as the papistes vse: but in the same prayer that Christe hath taughte you too praye. And in hys name onelye ye gaue God thankes for that ye haue receaued, and for his sake ye asked for suche thinges, as ye wante. O gladde waye yee be that euer ye were borne, to be apprehen­ded whilest ye were so vertuously oc­cupied. Blessed be they that suffer for ryghteousenesse sake. For if God had suffered them that toke your bo­dies, then too haue taken youre lyfe also: nowe hadde ye bene folowinge the lambe in perpetuall ioyes, away [Page] frome the companye and assemble of wycked men. But the lorde woulde not haue you sodaynly so to depart, but reserueth you, gloriously too speake and maintaine his truths too the worlde, Be ye not carefull what you shall saye: for God wyll go oute and in with you, and wyll be present in your hartes and in your mouthes, to speake his wisedome, althoughe it seeme folishenes to the worlde. He that hathe begonne this good worke in you, continue you in the same vn­to the ende and praye vnto him, that ye maye feare him onelye, that hath power to hyll both bodye and soule, and to cast them in to hell fire. Be of good comforts, all the heares of youre heades be numbred, and there is not one of them can perishe excepte your heauenlye father suffer it to pe­rishe. Nowe ye be euen in the fielde, and placed in the forefront of Christs[?] battailes doubtelesse it is a singular fauoure of God, and a speciall loue of him towardes you, too geue you this forewarde and preheminence, [Page] and a signe that he trusteth you be­fore others of his people. Wherfore (deare brethren and sisters) continu­allye fighte this fighte of the Lord. youre cause is most iuste and Godly: Ye stande for the true Christ (who is after the fleshe in heauen) and for his true religion and honoure, which is amplye, fullye, sufficientely, and a­boundantelye conteined in the holye Testament, sealed with Christs own bloude. Howe muche be ye boundes[?] to God, to put you in truste with so holye and iuste a cause? Remember what lokers vppon you haue, to see and beholde you in youre fighte: God and all his holye Aungelles, who vs readye alway to take you vppe in to heauen, if ye be slayne in this fight[?]. Also you haue standynge at youre backes, all the multitude of the faith­full, who shall take courage, streng­the and desire, to folowe suche noble and vallaunte Christians, as you be. Be not a fearde of your aduersaries, for he that is in you, is stronger then he that is in them. Shryncke not al­thoughe [Page] it be payne too you. Youre paines be not nowe so great as hear­after youre ioyes shall be. Reade the [...]oumfortable chapiters too the Ro­maines. 8. 10. 15. Hebrues. 11. 12. And vpon your knees thank god that euer ye wer accōpted worthy to suffer any thinge for his names sake. Reade the second chapter of S. Lukes gospell, and ther you shal see how the shepe­heardes that watched vppon theyr shepe all night, as sone as they heard that Christ was borne at Bethelem, by and by they went to se him. They did not reason nor debate with them selues, who shuld kepe the wolf from the shepe in the meane time, but dyd as they wer commaunded, and com­mitted their shepe vnto him, whose pleasure they obeyed. So let vs doo now we be called, commit all other things vnto him that calleth vs. He wyl take hede that all things shal be well. He will healpe the husband, he wyll comfort the wife, he will guide the seruauntes, he wyll keepe the house: he wyll preserue the goodes: [Page] Yea rather then it should be vndone he wyll washe the dishes, and rocke the cradell. Cast therefore all youre[?] care vpon god, for he careth for you Besides thys, [...] Pet. 5. you maye perceaue by youre imprisonmente that youre ad­uersaries weapons againste you, be nothing but flesh bloud & tirāny[?]. For if they were able, they would main­tayne their wicked religion by Gods word: but for lacke of that they wold violentlye compell, such as they can not by the holy scripture perswade [...] because the holye worde of God and all Christes doynges, be cleane con­ [...]rarye vnto them. I praye you praye for me, and I wyll pray for you. And althoughe we be a sunder after the world: yet in Christ (I trust) for euer ioyninge in the spirite, and so shall mete in the palace of the heauenlye ioyes, after this short and transitory lyfe is ended. Goddes peace be with you, amen. 4. of Ianuarye. 1554.

IMPRYNTED at London, by Iohn Tisdale, and Thomas Hacket and are to be sold at their shoppes in Lombarde strete.

Anno. 1561.

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