A proper dyalo­ge / betwene a Gentillman and a husbandmā / eche complaynynge to other their mise­rable calamite / through the am­bicion of the clergye.

¶ An A. B. C. to the spiritualte.

¶ Awake ye gostely persones / awake / awake
Bothe preste / pope / bisshoppe & Cardinall.
Considre wisely / what wayes that ye take
Daungerously beyngelyke to haue a fall.
Every where / the mischefe of you all.
Ferre and nere / breaketh oute very fast
Godde will nedes be revenged at the last.
¶ Howe longe haue ye the worlde captyued
In sore bondage / of mennes tradiciones?
Kynges and Emperoures / ye haue depryned
Lewedly vsurpynge / their chefe possessiones.
Muche misery ye make / in all regiones.
Nowe youre fraudes / almoste at the latter cast
Of godde sore to be revenged at the last.
¶ Poore people to oppresse / ye haue no shame
Qwakynge for feare / of your donbble tyranny.
Rightfull iustice ye haue put out of frame
Sekynge the lust of youre godde / the b [...]y.
Therfore I dare you boldely certifye.
Very litle though ye be therof a gast
Yet god will be revenged [...]r the last.
[Page] O Christen reder / from rashnes refrain [...]
Of hastye iudgemēt / & lyght sentence.
though sū reckē it frowardnes of bra [...]
Thus to detecte ye clergyes incōueniēce. (ne
Vnto christes wordes geue / thou aduertence
Which saieth nothinge to be done so secretly
But it shall'be knowen manifestly.
Where as men discerne no grefe of darcknes
F [...]ll litle is desyred the confortable lyght
The daye is restrayned to sheme his clerenes
Tyll the clowdes be expelled of the night
As longe as we perceyue not wronge frō righ [...]
Nether holynes from false hypocrisye
The truthe can not be knowen manifestly.
¶ Cursed they are / as Esaye dothe expresse
Which presume the euyll for good to commēde
Sayenge that swete is soure / & light darcknes
As nowe in the clergye / we may perpende.
Whos disguysed madnes in the later ende
As seynt Paule to Timothe did prophesye
Shall be knowen to all men manifestly.
¶ Example of twayne he doth [...] th [...]e recyte
Whos names were called I [...]nes & Iambres
Which by enchauntmēt / through deuels might
Strongely resisted the prophete Moyses.
Doynge lyke merueyles and wonderfulnes
So that none could the very trouth espye
Tyll their Iugglynge was knowen manifestly
[Page] Christe / likewise / with his predicacion
The phariseyes shewynge outwarde holynes
Was a counted of sma [...] reputacion
Vyce cloked vnder shyne of vertuousnes.
Vntill at the last their furiousnes
Accusyng the woman taken in aduo [...]ery
They sawe their fautes detecte manifestly.
Their vyces opened / they could not abyde
Shame drevynge them to confusyon
Which afore season through pope holy pryde
They bolstred out vnder abusyon
It is the practyse of their collusyon.
Zele of rightuousnes to fayne outwardly
Tyll their fautes be detecte manifestly /
Which in oure clergye is evidently sene
Fayned godlynes falsly pretendynge
Wherby moste parte of people do wene
That they seke goddes honour in all thing [...]
How be it / men shuld se that their sekynge
Is to confounde christes gospell vtterly
Were their fautes [...] manifestly.
What greater despyte can they ymagine /
Agaynst god his hye honour to deface
Than to vsurpe on them his power diuine
Abhominably sittinge in holy place▪
Which hath continued longe tyme & space
And shall with outragious blasphe [...]
Till their fautes be [...] manifestly.
[Page] Scripture vnto them was first proferyd
Mekely without any prouocacion.
Which to receyne when it was offeryd
They refused with indignacion.
Wherfore touchinge their reformacion.
Litle trust is to be had certaynly
Ty [...] their fautes be detecte manifestly.
¶ Thus to conclude / [...] christen reder
Vnto pacience / I the exhorte.
Aduertesynge / howe & in what maner
Christe rebuked this pharisaycall sorte.
Whom as Mathew in the. xxiij. doth reporte.
With fearefull sentence he cursed ernestly
Their wicked fautes detectynge manifestly.

¶ Nihil est opertum q [...] nō reueletur. Mtah. x.

¶ Here foloweth the Dialoge / the Gen tillmā beginige first his cōplaynte.

¶ Gentillman.
WIth soronfull harte / maye I cōplayne
Cōcerninge the chaunce / of my misery
Although parauēture it is but vayne
Trueth oporessyd / with open tyranny.
My enheritaunce and patrimony.
Agaynst right / from me they kepe awaye.
Which saye / for my frendes soules they praye.
[Page] ¶ Myne aunceteres of worthy progeny
With rentes and lyuelood largely endued
Mayntayned their estates honorably
Aydynge the poore / indigence to exclude.
Tyll at the last / the clergy to them sued.
Pretendinge godlynes / vnder a fals waye
Sayenge they wold for their soules praye.
¶ Stoutely they alleged before their syght
Howe after this lyfe is a purgatory.
Wherin their soules both daye & night
Shuld be tormented with out memory
Excepte of their substaunce transitory.
Vnto their seactes / they wold some what paye
Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye.
They bare them in hande that they had myght
Synners to bynde & loose at their owne plesure
Takynge vpon them to leade thyem a right
Vnto ioye / that euer shuld endure.
Of popes pardones they boosted the treasure.
Chalengynge of heuene & hell the faye
Sayenge / that they wold for their soules praye.
To trust wife or childern / they did disswade
Eyther any frendes or persones temporall.
Affermynge / that oure loue shuld a way vade
Without any memory of them at all
Onely to hope in their seactes spirituall.
They entyced / with persuasiones gaye
Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye.
[Page] Thus with wylines and argumentes vayne
Myne aunceters brought in to perplexite
Partely thorough feare of eternall payne
And partely for desyre of felicite.
They consented makynge no difficulte
To graunte their requestes without delaye
Sayenge that they wold for their soules praye
Their chefe lordshippes and londes principall
With cōmodytes of their possessyon
Vnto the clergye they gaue forthe with all
D [...]sheretinge their right successyon.
Which to receiue without excepcion
The couetous clergy made no denay
Sayenge that they wold for their soules pray
By the meanes wherof / I and suche other
Suffrynge the extremyte of indigence
Are occasioned to theft or mourder
Fallynge in to moche inconuenience.
Because the clergye agaynst conscience
Deuoureth oure possessiones nighte and daye
Sayeng y for oure frendes soules they praye.
I haue wife and childern vpon my hande
Wantinge substaunce / their lifes to sustayne
Wherfore to the clergy that haue my lande
Sometyme I come and pituously complayne
Whos statelines / to helpe me hauyng disdayne
With oure any comforte to me they saye
That for my frendes soules they dayly praye.
[Page] Shuld I and my houshold for houngre dy [...]
They wold not an halfe peny with vs parte
So that they lyue in welthe aboundantly
Full litle they regarde oure woofull smerte.
To waste oure goodes they nothinge aduert [...]
In vicious lustes and pompous araye
Sayenge yt for our frendes soules they praye.
They take vpon them apostles auctorite
But they folowe nothinge their profession
Often tymes they preache of christes pouerte
Howe be it towarde it they haue no affeccion.
Yf so be they pleate ones in possession
Harde it is to get ought fro them awaye
Sayenge / that for our frēdes soules they praye.
Thus must we beare their oppression
Whiles to complayne there is no remedye
The worlde they haue brought in subiection
Vnder their ambicious tyranny.
No respecte they haue to the mysery
Of vs poore gentillmen that be laye
Sayenge that for our frēdes soules they praye.
Alas / is it not a myserable case?
To se ydle persones voyde of py [...]
Occupyenge the landes before oure face
Which shuld pertayne vnto vs of ducte.
They haue richesse / and we calamyte
Their honour encreaced / oures must de [...]
Sayenge that for our frēdes soules they pray [...]
[Page] ¶ The husbandman.
Syr / god geue you good morowe
I perceiue the cause of youre sorowe
And most lamentable calamyte.
Is for the oppression intollerable
Of thes monstres so vncharitable
Whom men cast the spiritualte.
Trouthe it is / ye poore gentillmen are
By their craftynes made nedy and bare
Your landes with holdinge by violence
How be it we husbandmen euery where
Are nowe in worsse condicion ferre
As it may be marked by experience.
¶ Gentillman.
In worse caas? nay / that can not be so
For loke ouer the hoole worlde to and fro
Namely here in oure owne region.
And thou shalt fynde that in their handes
Remayneth the chefe lordeshippes and landes
Of poore gentillmens possession.
They haue oure aunceters lyuelood and rentes
Their principall fearmes and tencamentes
With temporall fredomes and libertees.
They haue gotten vnto their kingdomes
Many noble baronries and [...]rldemes
With esquyres landes and knightes fees.
¶ Husbondeman.
Notwithstandinge yet they saye prceysely
That your Auncerers gaue to theym freely
Soche worldly dominion and lyulood.
¶ Gentillman.
Freely quod a [...]nay / that is but fayned
[Page] For they ware certeynly therto constreyned
By their couetous disceite and falshod
¶ Husbondman.
Howe dyd they youre annceteres compell:
¶ Gentillman.
Mary in threatnynge the paynes of hell
And sharpe punishment of purgatorye.
Wher to brenne / they made them beleue
Excepte they wolde vnto them geue
Parte of their substaunce & patrimony.
¶ Husbondeman.
But howe wold they delyuer them frothence:
¶ Gentillman.
As they saide by their prayers assistence
Which with boostynge wordes they dyd alowe
¶ Husbondman.
Prayer? god geue her a shamefull represe
For it is the mdost briberynge these.
That euer was / I make god a vowe.
For by her the clergy without dowte
Robbeth the hole countre rounde aboute
Bothe comones and estates none excepte.
I wote they haue prayed so longe allredy
That they haue brought the lande to begg [...]
And all th [...]nes clene awaye [...] epte.
What soeuer we get with sweate and [...].
That prolle they awaye with their prayour
Sayenge they praye for oure soules [...]
But is their prayer nor [...] avaylynge
To the deade soules / than to the lynynge
So is it not worthe a ro [...]en aye.
¶ Gentillman.
[Page] To the soules departed it is not profitable
For whye / thos that are in case dampnable
No assistence of prayour can attayne.
And as for purgatory ther is none
Allthough there be clerkes many one
Which to seke it take moche payne.
¶ Husbondman.
Than I wold their prayenge were at an ende
For yf they pray longe thus so god me mende
They shall make y lande worsse than nought.
But nowe I will rehearce seriously
Howe we husbandemen full pituously
Vnto miserable wrechednes are brought.
Fyrst whan englonde was in his floures
Ordred by the temporall gouernoures
Knowenge no spirituall iurisdiccion.
Than was ther in eche state and degre
Haboundance and plentuous prosperite
Peaceable welthe without affliccion.
Noblenes of blood / was had in price
Vertuousnes avaunced / hated was vyce
Princes obeyd / with due reuerence.
Artificers and men of occupacion
Quietly wanne their sustentacion
Without any grefe of nedy indigence.
We husband men lyke wise prosperously
Occupyenge the feates of husbandry
Hyerd fearmes of pryce competent.
Wherby oure lyninge honestly we wanne
And had ynough to paye euery manne
Helpinge other that were indigent.
Tyll at the last the rauenous clergye
[Page] Through their craftynes and hypocrisye
Gate to theym worldly dominacion.
Than were we ouercharged very sore
Oure fearmes set vp dayly more and more
With shamefull pryce in soche a fasshyon.
That we paye more nowe by halfe the sume
Than a fore tymes we dyd of custome
Holdinge ought of their possession.
Besyde this / other contentes of brybery
As payenge of tythes / open and preuy
And for herynge of confession.
Also presies dueties and clerkes wages
Byenge of perdones and freres quarterages
With chirches and aultares reparacion.
All oure charges can not be nombred
Wherwith we are greatly acombred
Ouer whelmyd with desolacion.
We tourmoyle oure selfes nyght and daye
And are fayne to dryncke whygge and whaye
For to maynteyne the clargyes facciones
¶ Gentillman.
This were a great shame to be knowen
Seynge halfe the realme is their owne
That they charge you with soche exaccions.
Me thyncketh so to do is no small cryme
For they kepte as good houses a fore tyme
Whiles theyr feanne hyers was ferrelesse.
¶ Husbandman.
Ye / more plentuous houses a great deale
How be yt in hyndrynge the comone [...] eale
They vse also this practyse doutles.
Where as poore husband men afore season
[Page] Accordinge vnto equite and reason
House or lande to fearme dyd desyre.
Without any difficulte they might it get
And yet no hygher price was ther vp set
Than good conscience did require.
But nowe their ambicious suttlete
Maketh one fearme of two or thre
Ye some tyme they bringe. vi. to one.
Which to gentillmen they let in farmage
Or elles to ryche marchauntes for avauntage
To the vndoynge of husbandeman [...]ch one.
Wherby the comones sufferinge damage
The holelande is brought into rerage
As by experience ye may well see.
Thus is the wealth of village and towne
With the fame of honorable renowne
Fallen into my scrable pouerte.
Plentnous housholdes hereby ar dekayde
Relefe of poore people is awaye strayde
Allmes exyled with hospitalyte.
By soche meanes / all thinge waxeth dere
Complaynte of subiecres cryenge ferre and ne [...]
Oppressed with grenous calamyte.
¶ Gentillman.
Truely thou shewest the very abuse
Neuerthelesse concernynge oure excuse
Why we gentillmen fearmes occupye.
The principall occasion is onely this
That oure patrimony geuen awaye is
Vnto thes wolffes of the clergye.
By whos oppression we are so beggeryd
That necessite hath vs compellyd
[Page] With fearmes soche shyft to make.
For asye husbandmen can well vnderstande
Touchinge expences and charges of the lande
They disdayne any parte with vs to take.
¶ Husbandman.
Ye by seynte Marye / I you warrante
In soche cases / their ayde is very scant
Makinge curtesye to do any goode.
Let the realme go what way it wull
They hauynge ease / and their belyes full
Regardelitle the comone weale by the rode
Yf princes demaunde their succour or ayde
This answere of them is comonely saide
We are pore bedemen of youre grace.
We praye for your disceaced auncetryes
For whom we synge masses and dirigees
To succour their soules in nedefull case.
¶ Gentillman.
Oh / they afoorde prayers good cheape
Sayenge rather many masses by heape
Than to geue a poore man his dyner.
Wherfore as thou saydest / so god helpe me
I se of their prayenge no comodyte
Nether a [...]untage in any maner.
For whye with in thes. iiij. hundred yere
Thorough oute christendome was not a free [...]
Of thes / whom we mendicantes call.
And syth that tyme dyuers facciones
Of collegianes / monkes and chanones
Haue spred this region ouer all.
Also of prestes / were not the tenthe parte
Which as they saye / haue none other ar [...]
[Page] But for vs worldly people to praye.
And yet the worlde is nowe farre worsse
As euery man felyth in his poorsse
Than it was at that tyme I dare saye.
Wherfore the trueth openly to betryde
I wolde they shuld laye their prayenge a syde
And geue theym selfes to labour bodely.
¶ H [...]sbandman.
It were harde to bringe theym therto
Vtterly refusynge any labour to do
Because they are people gostely.
¶ Gentillman.
Were not the apostles gostely also?
¶ Husbandman.
Yes syr / but it is solonge ago
That their lyuynge is oute of memorye.
¶ Gentillman.
We fynde it well in the newe testament.
¶ Husbandman.
The clargye saye / it is not conuenyent
For layemen therwith to be busye.
¶ Gentillman.
Wotest thou wherfore they do that?
¶ Husbondman.
In fayth syr I coniecture somewhat
And I suppose I do not m [...]che erre.
Might men the scripture in Englishe rede
We secular people shuld than se in dede
What Christ and the apostles lyues were.
Which I dout nothinge are contrarye
Vnto the lyuynge of oure clargye
S [...]uyn to pomp [...]us ydlenes euery where.
[Page] Whos abhominacion ones knowen
Their pryde shuld besone ouer throwen
And fewe wold their statelynes for beare.
¶ Gentyllman.
Thou hyttest the nayle vpon the heed
For that is the thinge that they dreed
Least scripture shuld come vnto light.
God commaundyd man in the begynnynge
With sweat of vysage to wynne his lyuynge
As Moses in his fyrst boke dothe wryte.
And as Marcke sayeth in the. vi. chapter
Christe here vpon erthe was a carpenter
Not dysdayninge an occupacion.
Also the disciples vniuersally
With their handes laboured busyly
Exchewynge ydle conuersacion.
¶ Husbandman.
Oure clargye lyue nothynge after their rate
¶ Gentillman.
No / they seke ydelly to anaunce their estate
And to be had in reputacyon.
¶ Husb [...]ndman.
Are they worldly [...] [...]ely to saye the tr [...]the?
¶ Gentyllman.
So god helpe me I [...]e we none of bothe
As it apperyth by their fasshion.
For in matters of worldly busynes
The clergye haue moche more [...]tresse
Than temporall men I ensure the.
The landes of lordes and dukes to possesse
Thei abasshe not a whit the seculernes
Chalengynge tytles of worldly honour
[Page] But is the realme in any necessyte
Where as they shuld condescend of ducte
To stande by their prince with succour
Than to be of the world they denye
Sayenge that their helpe is spiritually
From the worlde makinge a separacion.
¶ Husbandman.
Whiles they vse soche craftynes to contryue
The temporalte ought theym to depryue
Of their worldly dominacyon.
And euen as they saye that they are gostely
So without any assistence worldly
To lyue gostely they shuld haue no let.
¶ Gentillman.
That were an expedyent medicyne
Accordinge vnto saynt Paules doctryne
Qui non laborat / non manducet.
Nowithstanding their power is so stronge
That whether they do ryght or wronge
They haue their owne will without fayle.
Their enormytees so ferre out breaketh
That all the worlde agaynst theym speaketh
But alas man what dothe it avayle:
¶ Husbondman.
The remedy that I can ymagyne
Were best that we together determyne
To get vs to london incontynent.
Where as it is here for a suretetolde
The kinge with his nobles dothe holde
A generall counsell or parlament
¶ Gentillman.
What woldest thou that we shuld do there?
[Page] ¶ Husbondman.
The constraynte of oure myserye to declare
Under a meke forme of lamentacion.
¶ Gentillman.
So shuld we be sure of soche answeres
As were made vnto the poore beggers
For their pituous supplicacyon.
Against whō ye clergyes resons nought worthe
The soules of purgatory they brought forthe
The beggers complaynte to discomfyte.
Wherfore against oure peticion I the tell
They wold bringe out all the deuells in hell
For to do vs some shamefull despyte.
¶ Husbondman.
And was ther none other waye at all
But the sonles of purgatory to call
In ayde and assistence of the clergye.
¶ Gentillman.
It was the suerest waye by seynt Ihone
For had they to playne scripture gone
I wousse they hadde be taken tardye.
The beggers complaynte was so grounded
That the clargye hadde be confounded
Had they not to purgatory hasted.
¶ Husbondman.
Where sayd they purgatorye shuld be?
¶ Gentillman.
By scripture they shewed no certente
Albeit with stowte wordes they it faced.
Euen like vnto the man / which ment
A certeyne straunge ylonde to inuent
But whan he sawe [...] could it not fynd [...].
[Page] [...][Page] [...]
[Page] Least his wit & travaile shuld seme in vayne
Reporte of other men he beganne to fayne
The symplicite of rude people to blynde.
But touchinge oure communicacion
Ther is another consideracion
Which somewhat more troubleth my mynde.
Thou knowest that in the parlament
The chefe of ye clergye are resident
In a maruelous great multitude.
Whos fearce displeasure is so terrible
That I iudge it were not possible
Any cause against them to conclude.
As for this ones we shall not be herde
And great men I tell the are a ferde
With them to haue any doynge.
Whosoeuer will agaynst them contende
Shall be sure of a mischefe in the ende
Is he genttllman lorde or kynge.
And that vnto kynge Ihon I me reporte
With other princes & lordes a great sorte
Whom the cronycles expresse by name.
Whiles they were a lyue they did them trouble
And after their deathe with cruelnes double
They ceased not their honour to diffame.
Dyd not they so longe striue a wrastle
Against the good knight syr Ihon oldecastle
Other wise called lorde of [...]obham.
That from hyghe heresye vnto treasone
They brought him to fynall destruction
With other many a noble man.
Moreouer at seynt Edmūdes bury some saye
That the famous prince duke Humfray
[Page] By them of his lyfe was abreuiate.
Sythe that tyme I coulde reckenmo
Whom they caused to be dispatched so
Parauenture some of no lowe estate.
¶ The husbandman.
Their tyranny is great without fayle
Neuerthelesse yf we wold them assayle
With argumentes of the holy gospell.
They shuld n [...] be ones able to resiste
For the wordes of oure sauiour christe
Shuld stoppe them were they neuer so fell.
Who in the. xxiij. chapter of seynt Luke
To their great confusyon and rebuke
Forbydeth secular ambicion.
Wherin he himselfe example gaue
Contempnynge worldly honour to haue
Of this world claymynge no kingdome.
Also when his disciples forthe he sent
He commaunded them to be content
With foode and apparayle necessary.
Wherto saint Paules doctrine accordinge
Saieth: hauynge mea [...] d [...]inke and clothinge
We shuld no thinge couer super [...]uosly.
¶ Gentillman.
Yf the holy gospell allege we shuld
As stronge heretike sta [...]e vs they would
Vnto their churche disobedient.
For why they haue commaunded straytely
That none vnder great payne be so hardye
To haue in englishe the testament.
Which as thou knowest at London
The bisshop makinge ther [...] sermon
[Page] With shamefull blasphemy was bre [...].
¶ Husbondeman.
Alas that cruelte goeth to my hert
Wherfor I feare me we shall all sm [...]rt
At lengthe with bitter punisshment.
¶ Gentillman.
Undouted it is greatly to be fearyd
Least the hole region shalbe plagyd
For their outragious blasphemy.
In kynge Henryes dayes of that name ye fyft
The clergye their pride aboue to lyft
Persecured christen brothers haynously.
The gospell of Christ a syde to cast
Which at that tyme prospered fast.
With all their puysaūce they dyd conspyre.
Euery where they threwe theym in presones
In sharpe gayles / and horrible doungeones
Causynge many to be brent in fyre.
Their furious malice neuer stentyd
Tyll they had the light oute quenchyd
Of the gospell and holy scripture.
Wherof all bokes that they could get
They caused on a fayre fyre to be set
To expell goddes worde doynge their cure.
But consyder what ther of did chaunce
Moste terrible plages of fearfull vengeaunce
And endles sorowe to oure nacion.
For within shorte season after they lost
Which many a mans lyfe dyd cost
In fraunce their dominacion.
Amonge them selfes moste hatefull mourdre
Many stronge batayles / one after another
[Page] With great effusyon of englisshe bloode.
Frende against frede / brother against brother.
Euery man at variaunce with other
The realme longe season in myschefe stood [...]
¶ Husbondman.
This is nowe a dayes clene oute of mynde
¶ Gentillman.
I praye god / hereafter we do not fynde
The same vengeaunce for like offence
For as it is in the byble playnely red
God left neuer lande yet vnpunished
Which agaynst his worde made resistence.
¶ Husbondman.
Well syr / yf scripture ye forthe bringe
I beseche you / what is their answeringe
Are they so bolde goddes worde to denye:
¶ Gentillman.
[...]aye but after their ymaginacion
They make there of an interpretacion
Vnto the texte clene contrary
They allege the popes auctorite
Customes of auncyent antiquite
With diuers counseiles approbacion.
Also the holynes of religious fathers
With the bloode sheadinge of marters
For their chirches preservacion.
Besyde that contynuaunce of yeres
Myracles of bishoppes / monkes and freres
Whom for speciall patrones they holde.
And fynally to make a conclusion
In fortefyenge their abusion
Other practyses they vse many folde.
[Page] They resorte to lordes and great estates
With whom they are dayly checke mates
Ye to saye therrouthe their soucraynes.
Where amonge other communicacion
They admonishe them with protestacion
To beware of thes heretikes Lutheranes.
Whom they saye is a secte newe fangled
With execrable heresyes entangled
[...]inge the chirches perdicion.
Which oure fore fathers as wise as we
Were contente with humble simplicite
To honour / obeynge their tuycion.
Also none presumed till nowe a late
Against the clergye to beare any hate
Or grudged at their possession.
¶ Husbondman.
By seynt mary syr / that is a starcke lye
I can shewe you a worcke by and by
Against that poynte makinge obiection.
Which of warantyse I dare be bolde
That it is aboue an hundred yere olde
As the englishe selfe dothe testifye.
Whe [...] the auctour with argumentes
S [...]th against the lordshippes & rentes
Of the clergye possessed wrongfully.
¶ Gentillman.
Is itso olde as thou doest here expresse
Reprouynge their pompous lordlynes
So is it than no newe found heresy.
¶ Husbondman.
No! but alas / halfe the boke we want
Hauynge no more left than a remenant
[Page] From the begynnynge of the. vi. chapter verely.
¶ Gentillman.
As for that it maketh no matter
Begynne hardely at the sixte chapter
Redynge for the to the ende seriously.
For though old writinges apere to be rude
Yet notwithstandinge they do include
The pithe of a matter most fructuously.
¶ Husbondman.
To rede it I shall be diligent
Though the style be nothinge eloquent
With ornate speache set out curiously.

¶ Here foloweth an olde trearyse ma­de aboute the tyme of kynge Ry­charde the seconde.

WHere as the clergy perceyueth that lordlynes & worldly dominiō can not be borne out biscripture / thē flie they to argumentes of mēnes per­suasyon sayenge after thys maner Seynt Huge & seynt Swithune were thus lor des / & in this they ensued Christes lyuyng & his doctrine / therfore we may be laufully thus lor­des. But I wote well that Gabriel shall blowe his horne or they haue proued the minor. That is / that thes sayntes or patrones in this sued the doctrine or the lyfe of Iesu Christe. And of this thou mayst se that soch argumentes that ar not clothed with Christes lynynge or his teachin­ge / beright nought worthe all though the cler­kes blynde with thē moch folke in yt world. But here haue Inoleyser to tell though I coulde / [Page] what chefesaunce and costes the churche ma­keth and what werres they hold to cōtynue this fymony and heresy so vnavisely brought in to ye chirche. And yet they seke all the wayes therto that they can. Ye in so moch that they go opēly armyd in to the felde to kyll christen men / for to get and holde soche lordshippe. And notwith­stondynge seynt Peter was so pore that he had nether golde nor syluer as he saieth in the Ac­tes of the apostles. And his other worldly good Act. iij. he left / whan he beganne to sue Christe. And as tow chynge the tytle of worldly lawe that he had to soch worldly goodes / he made neuer cley me ne neuer resceyued after any worldly lord­shippe. And yet they call all their hole kingdom seynt Peters grounde or lordshippe. And ther­for seynt Bernarde writeth to Engenie ye pope sayenge. Yf thou wilt be a lorde / seke by a no­ther Lib [...]. ij waye to attayne it / but not by thys apostles ryght For he may not geue the that he had not / that he had he gaue / the whiche was busynes vpon chirches. Whether he gaue lordshippe or no / here what he saieth. Be ye not lordes in the clergy / but be ye made forme and example off i. Petri. Christes flocke. And least ye trowe thys be not sayde of trothe take kepe what Christe saieth in ye gospell. The kinges of hethen haue lordshippe vpon theym / forsot he ye not so. Se howe playn ly lordshippe is forboden to all apostles / for yf thou be a lorde howe darest thou take vpon the apostleshyp / or yf thou be a bysshoppe / howe da rest thou take vpon the lordship? Pleynly thou [Page] art forboden bothe. And yf thou wylt haue bo­the to get her thou shalt lese bothe / and be of the n [...]mber / of whych god ple [...]h by the prophe­te [...] sayenge. They reygnyd but not by me sayeth god. And yf we holde that / that is forbo den / here we that is boden of Chryste. He that is greatest of you se yt he be made as younger in symplenes / and he that is a fore goere loke he be as a seruaunt. Thys is ye forme of apostles lyfe / lordshyppes forboden ād seruys is boden thys sayeth saynt Bernerdethere. And therfor no man may put a nother grounde besydes yt that is put whych is Christe Iesu.

But yet I wote well that clarkes and rely­gyous fol [...]ke that loue [...]nkyndly these lordlynes wyll glose here & saye / yt they occupre not soche lordshyppes in proper as secular lordes doo / but in comone / lyke as the apostles & perfyte pe­ople dyde in the beginnynge of Christes chirche as w [...]yteth Saynot Luke in the fourthe chaptre of the Actes of the apostles / the whyche had all thynges in comone / lyke as soche clarkes and re ligyous saye they haue nowe. In tokeninge wherof no mā sayde of any thinge at that tyme / thys ys myne / so oure clarkes and namely rely gyous people whon they wyll speake in termes of their religyō. A pryuate person wyll not saye this or thys is myne / but in parsone of all his bretheren he wyll saye / this is oures. And ouer thys they saye more s [...]elly that they occupye not this by tytle of secular lordshyppe / but by ty­tle of perpetuall allmes. But what euer thy [Page] people saye here / we mo [...]e take hede to the rule of prefe that fayleth not. The whiche rule Chri­ste teacheth vs in the gospell in dyuers places / where he sayeth / beleue ye the workes. For why by their workes ye shall knowe thei. And thys rule is wonder nedefull to a mā that hath a do with any man of the Pharyseys condycyones. For as Christe sayeth Math. xxiij. They saye but they do not. And so as Christes workes be re witnesse of hym as he hym selfe sayeth / and sheweth what he was and howe he lyued / so the dedes and maner of lyuinge / or the thynge in it selfe bearyth wytnesse wyth out fayle howe it stondyth amonge theym in thys poynte. And yf we take hede thus by thys rule we shall se at oure eye howe the clargye sayeth other wyse than it is in dede. For in some place in pryuate parsone / ād in some place in comone or parsone aggregate / whiche is all one as saynct Austyne sayeth vppon the psalter / y clar­gy occupyeth the secular lord shyppe secularly / & so in propere. For in the same maner wyse as yt Barone / or the knyghte occupyeth and gouuer nyth hys baronrye or hys knyghtes fe / so after the amortesyenge occupyeth y clarcke / ye Mon ke / or Chanon / the College or Conuente / the sa me lordshippe & gouerneth it by ye same lawes in iudgement & punishinge as presonnynge ād hangynge with soche other worldly turmētyng the which some tyme belongyd to the secular arme of the chirche. Ye oft tymes we may se ho we they busye theym selfes to be kinges in their [Page] owne / and reioyce them full moche in that ciui­lyte or secularite yf they may get it. And this is an euidence that they wold gladly be kynges of all the realme or the world. For where their londes & secular mēnes fraunchyse ar to gether they striue who shall haue the galowes / or other maner tourmētes for fela [...]nes. They kepe also vnder bondage their tenauntes and their yssue with their londes. And this is the moste ciuilite or secular lordshyppinge that any kynge or lor­de hath on his renaūtes And therfore we maye se howe they cleyme in their goodes a maner of proper possessyon cōtrarye to the c [...]monnynge of the comone goodes in tyme of the perfyte mē in the begynnynge of Christes chirche. And so what so euer the clergy sayeth the dede sheweth well that they haue not their goodes in como­ne lyke as Christe with his apostles and perfyte men had in the begynnynge of christes chirche. For in holdynge or hauynge of their goodes / is properte of possessyon and secular lordshippin ge. The which stondith not with ye plente of chri stes perfeccyon in prestes as it sueth of this pro cesse and of that / that is declared before. And as for that o [...]her glose that clerkes haue here / where they saye that they holde thes lordshyp­pes by tytle of perpetuall almes. But here ye shall vnderstandeth at mercy or almes is a will Almes. of releuinge of some wretche oute of his my sese as Lyncolniensis sayeth in the begynnynge of his dicris. So that yf a man shuld effectual­ly Dicto. [...] do almesse he must loke to whom he shulde do [Page] almesse to / were in my sease and had nede to be releuyd. In tokeninge wherof / christ onely assi­gneth almesse to thos / in whom he marketh my sease. And so here of this it will sue / that yf a man will releue one wretche and make a nother or [...]o / he dothe none almesse / but rather ma­keth mysease. And moche more he dothe none al messe yf he make riche thos persones that haue no nede. For as moche as they be sufficient to theym selfes / this hath no coloure of almesse. For this may be better called a woodnes or a wastynge of goddes goodes. And ouer this yf a man take thos goodes / the which god in the best wyse euen and with oute erroures hath as­sygned to the state of secular lordes / and geue thos goodes to another people that hath no ne­de of theym / ye to ye which people soche goodes are forfendid. This shuld be called no almesse / but peruertinge of goddes ordinaunce / and the destruction of the state of secular lordes ye which god hath approued in his chirche. For as saynt Paule sayeth. Almesse dede shuld be ruled so ye ij. Cori. viij. it were releuīge to thos ye receiue it. And moch rather it shuld not be vndoynge of thos that do it. And therfore Christ teachith in the gospell to do almes of the thinges that be nedeles or super fluite. And in this dede a man shuld haue re­garde Qd su­perest da te [...]lemo sinā. Lu ce. xiiij. to the nede of him that he dothe almes to and to the charge of his owne house. What al­mes was it then I praye you / to vndo the state of the Emperoure / ād to make the clarkes riche with his lordshippes / namely syth Christ con­firmyd [Page] to ye Emperour his state / with tho thin­ges that longe therto / notwithstonding at that tyme the emperoure was hethen. And he hath forfendyd expresly hys clergy in worde & in exā ple soche lordshyppe. And as thys was no all­mes / so we mote saye of other kynges / dukes ād erles / barones and knyghtes that are vndone hereby / & the clerkes made ryche and worldly lor des with theyr goodes. And though it had be so yt the clergy myght haue occupyed thus wor ldly lordshyppe / & also though it hadde be no de struccion nor appeyrynge of any other state / yet it hadde be no allmes for to geue to theym so­che goodes / wherfor it may be ryghtfully say­de. No man may put a nother grounde besydes that is put / which is Christe Iesu.

Here we may se by the grounde of y gospel and by the ordynaunce of christe / that the cler­gye was sufficiently purueyd for lyuelood. For god is so perfyte in all his werckynge / yt he may ordeyne no state in hys chirche but yf he ordey­ne sufficient lyuelood to the same state. And this is opē in goddes lawe who so takyth hede / and that vnder euery lawe of god / as vnder ye lawe of innocencye and of kynde / vnder ye lawe geuē by Moyses and also vnder ye lawe geuē by chri ste. In ye tyme of the state of innocencye we kno­we well by beleue ye god hadde so ordeyned for man kynde that it shuld haue hadde lyuelood ynough withoute any tedious laboure And of ye lawe of kynde / christ speakyth in ye gospell sayen Mat. v [...] ge thus All thynges ye ye wyll y other men do [Page] to you / do ye to theym. And yf thys lawe hadde be kepte ther shuld no man haue bene mysche­uously nedy. And in the tyme of ye lawe geuē by Moyses / god made a full ād a sufficient ordy­naunce for all hys people howe & wher by they shuld lyue. For he dealyd ye londe amonge the laye people and he assygned y fyrst frutes & ty­thes to ye prestes & deakenes. And all though yt he wold yt ther shuld be all waye pooremen in ye lande of ysraell / yet he made an ordinaunce Seu [...]e. [...]. agaynst myscheuous nede. And comandyd all the people that ther shuld be in no wyse a nedye man and a begger amonge them as it is wryt­ten. And so in thys lawe he ordeyned sufficiēt­ly ynough for hys people. And in ye tyme of the newe lawe christe assigned ye seculer lordshyp­pes to temporall lordes as it is taught before / And alowed ye comonte her lyuelood gotten by true marchaundyse & husboundrye & other craf tys. And in worde & ensaumple he taught hys prestes to be proctoures for nedye people & poo­re at y ryche men / & specifyed thes poore / & tau­ght howe they that were myghty / shuld make a purueaūce for soche poore folke yt they were not cōstrayned by nede for to begge / as great cler­kes marcke vpon thes wordes of ye gospell whe re chryste sayeth thus. Whan thou makest thy feast / yt is of allmes / call poore people / feble / la­me & blynde▪ He sayeth not lett soche pooremen Luc [...]. xiiij. call vpon ye / but call thou vpon theym meanyn ge in yt / that thou shuldest make a purueaunce for soche people / yt they be not myscheuously fa [...] [Page] tye. And for ye clergy he ordeined sufficiētly / re­ching theym in worde and ensample howe they shuld holde theym appayde with lyuelood and hylynge mynistred to theym / for theyr true la­boure in the gospell as it is written before. Of thys than thou mayst se howe god in all hys la wes hath sufficiently ordeyned for all y stares that be founded and approuyd And howe it is agaynst ye goodnes and wysdom of god / to or­deyne any state / but yf he ordeyned sufficient ly­uelood therto. Syth than thys ordenaunce of god was sufficient as well for the clergye as for other men it semeth a foule presumpcion to brynge in a newe & a contrarye ordinaūce of ly­uelood for clerckes vpon the ordinaūce yt Criste hath made for theym before. Of ye whiche ordy­naunce / the clergye full many yeres after the begynnynge of Chrystes chyrche / whan it was best gouuernyd / held theym well a payde. For thys meaneth that Christes ordynaūce was in­sufficient / and worthy to be vndone And yf we take good hede / they hadde no more nede to pl [...]y ne theym of thys ordynaunce / than hadde the other two states of hys chyrche / which vnto this daye holde theym a payde with thys ordynaū ­ce of chryst / were it fully kepte. And more sekir­nes & ensuraūce maye no man make of any thin ge than chryst hath of hys lyuelood to the cler­gye For chryst not onely affermyth to ye people yt he wyll not fayle theym in lyuelood ād hylin­ge / but also prouyth thys by argumētes yt may not be assoyled / So yt they be true seruauntes [Page] to him. For Chryste meanyth thus in his argu ynge there. Syth god fayleth nor bryddes and lyles and grasse that groweth in ye felde / nether herhen men. Howe moche rather shall he not fayle his true seruauntes? And so this purne­aunce of perpetuall almes yt oure clerkes spea ke of / meanyth faute of beleue & despeyre of the gracious gouernaūce of god. Syth than as it is sayde before / it is no allmes to releue one wretche & to make another or moo / & to make thei ryche wyth temporall lordshippe / the whiche be ne forfendyd to soche people & namely yf soche al mes geuynge be destroyenge or appeyringe of any state approuyd by God in his chirche / it willsue that the endowynge of ye clargye with worldly lordshippe / ought not to be called all­messe / but rather all a mysse / or wastynge of goddes goodes or destroyenge of his ordinaū ­ce / for as moche as the clergye was sufficiently ordeyned be Christe. For why / this almes that clerckes speake of here / made many wretches & it was geuen to theym that had no nede. And [...]s it is em [...]y [...] not only of one estate of ye chyrche / but of all [...] of the which I spake in ye begynynge. And so this almes geuynge hath made all oure realme nedy / ye ād as I suppose fullnygh all christendom full poore & nedy and mischeuous ouer that it shulde haue bene yf the clargye had held theym a payde with christes ordinaūce. But nowe thou rough this perpetu­all all a mysse / that the clarkes call almes / chri­stes ordinaūce ys vndō in some landes holly ād [Page] in Englonde for yt more party & it is lykely to be all vndone in processe of tyme. For by a mortesy enge of lordshippes / ye lordes be yndone in gre­at party. And many noble mē because they lac­ke their owne parte through folishe gifte of the­ir aunceters be full nedy. Forthermore it may be vnderstōde of this processe / yt withdrawyng of this lordshippes frō ye clergy & restoringe againe of thē to the states yt god hathe assigned thē to / shuld not be called robbery of holy chirche as oure clerkes faye / but rather rightwise restituciō of good wrongfully & theefly with old. And therfore ther maye none othe or vowe binde any mā to maytayne this theft & destrucciō of goddes ordinaunce / & this great harmynge of Christes chirche. As y vowe of Iepte shuld not haue bo­unde him to kill & sacrifice his owne doughter. Ne the othe of herode shuld not haue bounde him to kill innocent Ihon. But as Iepte shuld a broken his othe or vowe & haue offered a no­ther thinge that had bene pleasynge to god & accordinge with his lawe: As saynt Austyne sa­yeth vpō the same storye. So Herode shuld ha­ue broken his othe & a saued innocēt blood & so­re a repented him for his vnavysed swerynge. And so shuld lordes nowe a dayes breake they: othes that they haue vnavysely & without coun­seyle of holy scripture sworne to maynteine this theefte / ye heresy & symony as it is proued befo­re / the which oure clerkes call perpetuall almes And not sue theire folishe dedes & othes yt they haue made to maynteyne this mischeuous per­uertinge [Page] of chhristes ordinaunce. For as the sta te of the clergye hath no power or leaue / to ma­ke the people or lordes to synne deadly or to de­stroye gods ordinaunce in his chirche. So they haue no leaue or power of god to counceile or to [...]oke well [...]ponthis [...]ason constrayne in any case the lordes or y people to swere for to maynteyne this endowēge of ye cler kes & religious folke / which is full great thefte heresy & symony / & wounder harmefull to chri stes chirche as it is shewed in this processe & in other writen before. But the lordes specially shuld se here / what were pleasynge not to these clerkes / but to god / & that shuld they do. For her to they be bounde by vertue of their office vppe peyne of dampnaciō. And there may no no mā dispence with thē of yt bound stondinge her sta te. For no mā shuld put another grounde besy­des that / yt is put which is christ Iesu.

And therfore mē deme it a great synne to ge ue londe entayled by mennes lawe from ye par sone or kynred that it is entayled to / ye although it be so that the parsone or kynred that soche lan de is geuen to be nedye & haue leaue by goddes lawe to occupye soche maner londe or lordship­pe. And this is demyd full great synne among the people not onely to the geuer but also to the taker. For both they do dampnable wronge to him that it is entayled to / as the people demyth ye although it be geuen for good and true ser­uyce that the receyuer hath done to the geuer before / or elles by waye of almes of releuynge of the perone or kinred that it is geuen to. How [Page] moche rather than I praye you without compa rison is it a greater synne / as well to the reacey ners as to the geuers / to take the lordeshippes / the whiche god that hath full lordshippe vpon all the world hathe geuen by perpetuall lawe or right to the state of secular lordes / and geue this from the state to the whiche god entayled this lordshippe to another straunge people off another lyne / the which hadde neuer neade / ne leaue of god to occupye it. And yf priestes cley­metythes because god graunted them to y kyn­red of leuy / yet ther argument is voide. For chri ste came of the lynage of Iuda / to whiche lyne was no tythes graunted and so as men suppo se this entayle was not confermyd by christe & his apostles to the priestes in the newe lawe. Polic [...] Lib. vii.

For Gregory the tenthe ordeyned first tythes to be payed to curates only. And yet they clcyme so forforthe tythes that no man maye lawefully with holde theym or ministre than saue they. Ne they maye be turned or geuen to any other state or kynred saue onely to theym. All though men wolde do that vnder coloure or by tytle off perpetuall allmes. For this shulde be demyd of the clergye a dampnable synne and destroy­enge of holy chirche and sacrilege. How moche rather is it then an hydeous & dampnable syn­ne / to geue or to take awaye the secular lordship pes from the state of secular lordes / the whiche god had geuen and entayled to them by the sa­me lawe and right / by the whiche he hadde ge­uen the tithes to the priestes in the olde lawe. [Page] And this entayle was neuer interrupt nor bro­ken vnto christes tyme & his holy apostles. And than they cōfermed this entayle by lawe so strō ­ge to the seculer parte yt no mā (saue Antichriste & his disciples) may opēly impūgne this entay­le as it is shewed before. And so as no mā shul­de presume to withdrawe with holde or turne the tithes from the state of presthod / as they saye / so moche rather shuld no mā presume by genynge or takinge to aliene ye temperall lordshippes frō the state of seculer lordes. And thus clerkes ha ue nor so moche coloure to saye yt the lordes and the laye people robbe thē for as moch as they ta ke their temperalties in to y handes of ye clergy hath neuer the lesse malice in it selfe. For as mo che as it is done by simulaciō of holynes / ye whi che is double wickednes. For thus Lucifer rob­bed Adā both of goodes of fortune / of kinde ād Gene. iij yet dothe the chirche of thes thre maner goodes. For right as lucifer dyd this harme to Adam & Eue vnder coloure of loue & frendshippe & hel­pinge of thē: so do nowe his angell's / those ypo­crites that tranfigure thē selfes into angells of light / & deceyue ye people by false beheste of he­uēly helpe yt they will procure to theym for their goodes as they saye / & yf a bishope & his colle­ge oe an abbate & his conuent maye not aliene fro thē any of ye temporalties yt thei haue / nor ge ue to their founder any of thos possessiōs that he hath geuē thē / what nede that euer he haue / bo unde [...] by a posityfe lawe or a tradiciō that they thē selfe saue made. And yf any foche lord [Page] shippes be withdrawen / aliened / or taken fro th [...] by rechelesnes of their predecessoures / they ou­ght on all wise / ye to the deathe laboure to get ye possessiones in to their hondes agayne as they saye: Howe muche more than shuld not a secu­lar lorde or a laye al [...]ne fro him ād his yssue or fro the state of secular lordes / ye secular lordship pes the whiche god hath lymyted to that state / syth he is bounde by the lawe of kynde to ordey­ne for his childern. And ou [...] this he is bounde by godes lawe to susteyne the state of secular lor des / the whiche is auctory sed in the chirche and his aposiles. Of this processe than yf a man ta­ke hede he shall perceyue the fals [...]s of this glo se / whan oure clerckes and religions folke saye that they hold these lordshippes onely by title of perpetuall allmes. For certis syth these tythes and offerynges the which as I suppose coun­teruayle the secular lordes re [...]s of the real­me or elles passe as it is full lyely / for though they belesse in one chirde they passe in a nother and be sufficient for all the poi [...] in [...]isten­dome yf they were [...]. Than it were no nede to [...] se secular lordshippes to the sta te of the clergye. The which amortesyenge is vndoynge of lordes / apost [...] of the [...]. And yf this amor [...]enge were not nedefull / then were it no allmes as it is declared. And o­uer the tythes and offerynges that be nowe off certeyn [...]e / the clerckee haue many great & small perquysytis / the whiche sma [...] of symonye and [...]cion. As the fyrst frutes of [...] bene­fyces / [Page] prouynge of testamentes and money for halowenge of chapelles / chirches / chauncelles / and other ornamentes of the chirche / and for sa cryng of ordres / ād full many mo that for mul titude may not well be numbred. For wellnigh all theire blessynges be set to sale and to prijs / in to chrystenynge and confumacion. Wherfo­re I may nowe saye as I sayde at the begynni­ge. No man may put a nother grounde besy­des that / that is put / the whiche is Christe Iesu The which grounde of lyuynge christe graun­te vs to kepe that we maye escape the euerlastin ge peynes of hell. AMEN.

¶ The husbandman.
Loo / nowe by this treatyse may ye well se
That af [...]etymes against the spiritualte
Men dyd invey / shewinge their vyces.
Also here after this auctour dorhe test.
What great Ieoparde it is and perell
For priestes to be in secular offices.
Ye / and rolordes which against right
Suffre them therein or therto excyte
Prouynge it by their owne doctours & lawes
¶ Gentillman.
I besechethe rede forthe the processe
That the people may se their unhappenesse
Which make all the world foles & dawes.

¶ Seynt Eipriane sayeth yt by the counceile of bisshops ther is made a statute / that all y bene [...]ist. xxi. [...]. iij. ca. [...]ipriane charged with priesihede & ordeyned in ye seruys of clerfes / shuld not serue but to the aulter and to ministre y sacramentes / to prcache gods wor [Page] de / & to tale hede to prayers and orysones. It is for sorhe writen. No man bering his knighthos­de to god: entryketh him with secular nedes. The which oure bisshops & oure predecessours beholdinge religiously & purueynge holsomly / deme that whosoeuer taketh ministres of ye chir­che / from spirituall office to secular / that ther be none offrynge done for him / ne any sacrifice ho lowed for his sepulture. For they deserue not to be named before ye aulter of god in ye prayer off priestes / the whiche will clep [...] awaye priestes & ministres of y chirche frō ye aulter. Thus sayeth seynt Cipaiane. Here mē maye se how perelous it is to ye kyng & secular lordes to with holde any prieste of christ in secular busynes. This is pro ued thus. For euery secular lorde by the lawe of the gospell is gods bayly. But yf any bayly hy red a worclman with his lordes good and put him to his owne seruys / he must be vntrewe to his owne lorde. Right so is any secular lorde to oure lorde Christ Iesu / but yf he amende hym / that taketh a prieste and putteth him in his se­cular office breafinge the heest of his lorde god that cōmaundeth / thou shalr coueyet none other mannes servaunte. And he with draweth hym fro the seruys of god and fro the kepinge of chri sten mennes soules / yt which he hath taken char ge of / for which soules oure lorde Iesu Christe toke flesche and bloude & suffered harde dethe / & shedde his owne harte bloode. This pardous deynge of secular lordes is bothe against god­des lawe and mannes. It is ageinst gods lawe [Page] for as seynt Paule saieth. No mā yt is a perfyte ij. Chi. ij knight of god / as euery priest shuld be by his or dre / ētromedleth him with worldly deades & bu­synes. And for this ende that he may so please ye lorde to whose seruyce he hathe put him selfe / & that is good. For soche worldly busynes in cler­kes is against their ordre. And therfore y apost les said as it is writē in ye dedes of y apostles / it Acto. vi is nor euē / vs to leue ye worde of god & ministre to boordes of poore folke. And yf it was vnequi te as the apostles saide in their comone decree / them for to leaue ye preachinge of goddes wor­de / and ministre to the boordes of poore folke: Howe moche more vnequite ād wronge to god and man is it / preastes to leaue contemplacion / studye / prayer and preachinge of goddes wor­and ministrynge to poore folke for the servyce of a secular lorde? It is also agaynst the Popes lawe / for he speaketh to a bisshoppe and byd­deth hym that he warne preastes and clerckes / Lin̄. iij. de [...]e. in fine that they be not occupyed in secular offices ne procurators of secular lordes deades & her goo des. And yf presies and clerckes be so bolde to occupye theym in soche busynes and if they fall after by losse of lordes goodes / then sayeth the lawe it is not worthy yt they be holpē & socou­red of holy chirche / sythe through ther holy chir­che is sclaundred. And saynte Gregorye wrote to the defensoure of Rome in this maner. It is tolde to vs that oure moste reuerēte brother Sa­syle ye bysshoppe is occupyed in secular causes and kepith vnproffitable moote halles. Which [Page] thinge makyth him foule & destroyeth y reuerē ­ce of presthood / therfore anone as thou hast rea ceiued this mādemēt / cōpell him with sharppe execucion to turne a gayne. So yt it be not lefull to y by no excusacion totarye fyue dayes / lest in any maner thou suffre hym any lōger to tarye there in / thou be culpable with hym agaynst vs And so bysshoppes & other prestes be bounde to teache & ēforme lordes / to withdrawe theym fro this synne & sharpely to reproue prestes & cura tes vnder thē yt they occupye no secular office. This is proued thus by ye holy prophet Ezechi­ell sayēge. Yf ye wayte or y watchemā se enemi­es Ezechie. xxxiij. come / & yf ye people be not warned & kepe not thē selues but enemies come & [...]sle ye people / thē sayeth god that ye people is take in their wicked nes. And of ye wayte yt shulde haue blowen his horne god will are acountes & rekeninge of the bloode & of the deathe of yt people. But nowe to gostely vnderstandinge / euery bisshoppe shuld be a wayte or a warche mā / totell & warne befo­re to all ye people by his good lyuinge & reachin ge ye perell of synne / & this is ye reason why bis­shopes & other prelates ād presies shuld not be occupyed with worldly deades & causes. For so che occupaciōs & charges make prestes slepin­ge ād slomobringe in synne. And therfore it is great perell to make ouer thē gostly waytes and watchemē / as bisshopes / parsones / vicarres / y bē slepers in lustes of ye flesshe & in slomebernes ād blinded with pouder of couctyse of worldly deades yt they nether cā ne maye kepe thē selfes [Page] ne no nother man. For of this perell and soche other / a prelate that hath witte and cunninge shuld sharpely reproue and warne all maner men to the shedinge of his oune bloode as christ did And yf he so leaue & blame not thē he assen tyth to their trespases and synneth deadly. For as sayeth Malach. Prestes lippes kepe cunnin ge & the people shall aske the lawe of god of his Mala. ij mouth / for he is the Angell of god / yf he kepe well the ordre & degre of presthood. And ther­for it is not lefull to any mā to drawe to seculer offices & busynes ye messangeres of christe / that hath so vtterly for fendyd theym bothe in wor­de & deade secular offices in presthood. &c.

¶ Husbandman.
Syr howe lyke ye nowe this oldetreatyse
Yf so be noble men wold it aduertyse
Puttynge a parte pryuate affeccion.
Shuld they not perceyue here euydently
That the clergye dothe theym great iniury
Retaynynge thus temporall possessyon?
¶ Gentyllman.
Nowe I promyse the after my iudgement
I haue not hard of soche an olde fragment
Better groundyd on reason with scripture.
Yf soche [...] thynges myght come to ly ght
That noble men hadde ones of theym a s [...]ght
The world yet wolde chaunge perauenture
For here agaynst the clergye can not bercke
Sayenge as they do / thys is a newe wercke
Of heretykes contryued lately.
And by thys treatyse it apperyth playne
[Page] That before oure dayes men dyd compleyn [...]
Agaynst clerkes ambycyon so stately
¶ Husbandman.
Concernynge thys treatyse and lyke matters
I haue hard saye of my fore fathers
Bowe in kynge henry the. v. raygne.
What tyme as ye dyd specyfye
The clergye persecutyd the gospell fercely
Causynge moche chrystē people to be slayne
The kynge at the last hauynge informacyon
Thourough seryous consyderacyon
Of soche proper matters as thys is.
Beganne to note the clergyes tyranny
And what temporaltees / they dyd occupye
Their spirituall state ferre a mysse.
Wherfore he determyned certeynly
To depryue theym temporally
Of all theyr worldly gouuernaunce.
Whos pretence / as sone as they perceyued
Amonge theym selfes they Imagyned
To get the kynge ouer in to fraunce.
That whyles he conqueryd ther his ryght
In england do what they lyst they myght
Theyr froward [...]yranny to fulfyll.
Which counseil / thus brought to passe
The kynge euer after so busyed wasse
That he could not performe hys sayde wyll.
¶ Gentyllman.
So moore I the / it was happye for the kynge
That by soche a colour they could hym brynge
From medlynge with that case any more.
For hadde he it ones ernestly begonne
[Page] They had put hym to a confusyon
Euene as they dyd other kynges before.
¶ Husbandman.
What suppose ye they wold haue done?
¶ Gentyllman.
Mary / fyrst with a fayre interdyccion
To coursse the lande as blacke as pytche.
Than to inhybyt sayenge and syngynge
Of mattyns / masse / and belles ryngynge
With christen bury all of poore and ryche.
Besyde that precheres euery where
Shuld haue brought men in soche fere
By theyr threatnynge exclamacyon.
That their malycyous partye to take
Subgettes shuld theyr prynce for sake
Contrary to goddes ordynacyon.
Euene as they dyd in hygh Germany
To the Emperour lewes of Bauerye
Whom Pope Ihone sought to confounde
And so dyd the clergy as Ivnderstande
Unto kynge Ihon here in Englande
To kynge Sreuen / & henry the secounde.
¶ Husbandman.
They saye kynge Ihone was poysoned
Because an halfe peny lofe of brced
Besayde / he wold make worthe. xij. pence.
¶ Gentillman.
Tushe that is a cast of theyr comon gyse
Soche infamy of prynces to deuy [...]e
To cloke theyr oune tyrannous vyolence.
For hadde not kynge Ihon gene aboute
From their temporaltees to put theym ow [...]
[Page] Be hadde bene longe after a lyues man.
But murder they neuer so shamefully
They can geue it a cloke full craftely
Sayenge / nobis non licer occidere quenq [...]
Whan they brennyd the newe testament
They pretendyd a zele very feruent
To maynteyne onely goddes honour.
Which they sayde with protestacyon
Was obscured by translacyon
In englysshe / causynge moche errour.
But the trueth playnly to be sayde
Thys was the cause why they were a frayde
Least laye men shuld knowe theyr iniquite.
Which through goddes worde is so vttred
That it were not possyble to be suffred
Yf to rede scripture men had lyberte.
Also after the same maner a fasshyon
Subtelly to colour theyr abhomynacyon
They destroyed cronicles not longe a gone.
Which for certeyne poyntes vnreuerently
Soundynge agaynst the kynges aunce [...]rye
As they saye / were brent euery chone.
But for all that / they shulde haue been spared
From burnynge: had they not so declared
The clergyes abhomynable excesse.
¶ Husbandman.
I suppose then / that they vse the same wayes
In burnynge of heretykes nowe a dayes
Whom they pursue with great furyousne [...].
¶ Gentillman.
No fayle / they perswade temporall menne
Thes heretykes (as they saye) to brenne
[Page] Least other good christians they shuld ifecte
But ye cause why they wolde haue theim rydde
Is onely that theyr vnhappynes nowe hydde
They dreede least they shuld openly detecte
¶ Husbandman.
By my trouth it is nothinge vnlickly.
For let one lyue neuer so wyckedly
In abhominable scandalisacion.
As longe as he will their church obaye
Not refusynge his tithes duely to paye
They shall make of him no accusacion.
Howbeyt let him ones begynne to pynche
Or withdrawe their tithinge anynche
For an heretike they will him ascite.
Wherfore I wonder moche of the temporalte
That in performyngethe clargyes cruelte
To burne soche parsones they haue delyte.
¶ Gen­tillman
It is no merueil yf th [...]n marcke well
The clargye sayenge yt it is goddes quarrell
Their mischeuous murdre to execute.
¶ Husbandman.
So they are not a knowen by their wyll
That it is their cause christen men to kyll
But the faute vnto other they impute.
¶ Gentyllman.
Touchinge that / another tyme atleyser
I shall shewe the more of their maner
But nowe I can not [...]ary verely.
¶ H [...]sbandman.
Well syr / yf ye may no longer abyde
Oure lorde be your continnall gyde
Grauntiuge y trouth to be knowen openly.

A compēdious oldetreatyse / shewynge / howe that we ought to haue the scripture in Englysshe.

¶ Thexcusacyon of ye treatyse

Though I am olde / clothed i barbarous wede
Nothynge garnysshed with gaye eloquency
Yet I tell the trouth / yf ye lyst to take hede
Agaynst theyr frowarde / furious frenesy
Which recken it for a great heresy
And vnto laye people greuous outrage
To haue goddes worde in their natyfe langage
Enemyes I shall haue / many a shoren crowne
With forked cappes and gaye croosys of golde
Which to maynteynether ambicious renowne
Are glad laye people in ignorance to holde
Yet to shewe the verite / one maye be bolde
All though it be a prouerbe daylye spoken
Who that tellyth trouth / his head shalbe brok [...].

¶ Vnto the Reader.

GRace ād peace: not that ye worlde ge­uyth / but from god the father & oure sauioure Iesu Christ with increace of the holy spryt be with the and all that thurste ye truthe. Amē. ¶ Cōsyderynge ye mal [...]ciousnes [Page] of oure prelatz & theyr adherentes whiche so fu riously barke ageynst ye worde of God / ād speci­ally the new testamēt translatyd & set forthe by Master Williā Tyndale / which they falsely pre tende to be sore corrupte. That ye may knowe yt yt is only the inwarde malyce whiche they ha­ue euer had ageynst the worde of God. I haue here put in prynte a tretyse wrytten aboute ye ye­re of oure lorde a thousande foure hundryd. By which thou shalte playnly perceyue / yt they wol de yet neuer from the begynnynge admytte any trāslaciō to ye laye people / so yt it is not ye corrup­te trāslacion yt they withstōde. For yf that were true the ydle bellyes wolde haue had leyser I­nough to put forth a nother well trāslatyd. But yt is theyr owne myscheuous lynyn ge y monith thē accordyng as Christe sayd Ihon̄. iij. Euery man that workyth euyll hatyth ye lyght / ner co­myth to ye lyght lest hys workes shulde be repro ued. &c. Thus mayst thou se that bycause their workes are nought and not bycause yt is euill translatyd / they so furiously resyste the worde of god whiche is the trew lyght. For yet was ther neuer none translatyd but other with falshed or tyranny they put yt downe. Wherfore I exhorte the reder not to cōsydre & note ye wordes but the matter. And praye to god to sende y rulers har tes to vnderstonde ye trewth & further ye same ād the god of all cōforte be with the AMEN

¶ Thys treatyse more than an. C. yere olde
Declareth howe owre prelatis do ferre a mysse
[Page] Which of frowarde presumpcion are so bolde
To forbede the worde of god in englishe
For as the prophete saieth blessed he is
That exercyseth him selfe diligently
Psal. 1.
In scripture night and daye continually.

FOr to make vpon antichrist I ta ke figure of king Antioche of who in [...] gods lawe speaketh in ye bo­ [...] of Machabeijs / for righte as [...]ge Antioche came in the ende wellnygh of ye olde lawe / & brēt the bokes of gods lawe / & compelled ye people to do maumentry. So now Antichrist ye kinge off clergy that lyuen worse then hethen presies / brē neth nowe nygh thēde of ye new lawe thenāge­ly of Christe that is nygh [...] ye ende of ye world / to deceyue well hygh all the worlde / ād to proue ye seruauntes of god. For nowe god shall knowe who will stande by his lawe / for Sathanas as prophetes saye is nowe vnbounde & hathe ben. CCCC. yeres and more for to inhabit oure cler­gye / as he did the clergye of the olde lawe / but now with moche more malyce. For as they d [...] Ye may se it is no no uelte [...]s yt the bishop pes burne ye gospell. ned Christ so now oure bisshopes dampne and bren goddes lawe / for bycause it is drawen into our mother tounge. But it ought to [...] (and we saued shuld be) as we shall proue by open euidē ce thorowe goddes helpe. First we take witnesse of Bo [...]tius de disciplina scolari [...]n / that say the that childerne shulde be taught in the bokes off Seneke. And Bede expoundeth this sayen [...] [Page] and saythe that childerne in vertues shulde be taught. For the bokes of Seneke ben moralles and for they be not taught thus in there youthe they cōtynue still euyll maneryd & be vnable to conceyue the subtyle science of trouthe sayng / ye wise man is as a cleane myrror new pullished Wisdome shall not enter into a wicked soule. Reade ro bynhode / saye oure masters▪ And moche is herof the sentence of Bede. And Algasell in his logyke saieth / the soule of mā is a cleane myrror newe pulished in which is seyn lightly the ymage of vertue. And for the people haue not cunnynge in youthe they haue darke soules and blinde with ignorance / so that they profyt not in vertue but in falsnes & malice and other vices / & moche is therof ye matter. Sythē hethen philosophers wolden the people to pro­fyt in naturall science / howe moche more shuld christē clerckes will ye people to profyt in science of vertues / for so wold god. For when the lawe was genē to Moses in ye mount of Sinai / god gaue it to his people in ther mother tonge of E­brue / that all the people shuld vnderstande it / & cōmaunded Moses to reade it to them vntyll they vnderstode it / and so he did / as it is playne Dente. xxxi. And E [...]dras also redde it in their [...] mother tonge / fro morowe vntyll none as it is playne in the first boke of E [...]dras Ca. viij. And he redde it apertly in the streate & the eares of ye people were intently geuē therto / in so moche yt the people fell into greate weping for y mis [...]es ping of ye lawe. Also gods lawe saith Deutero. xxij. that fathers shuld make the lawe knowē to [Page] their sonnes / & the sonnes yt shulde be borne of thē shuld ryse & teache these thinges to ther son nes. And yt holy apostle seynt Peter in y fourth chapter of his first boke speaketh after this ma­ner / sayenge. Whosoeuer speake / speake he as ye worde of god: & euery man as he hath takē gra ce of knowinge / so ministre he forth to other m [...] It is wrytten playnly in the boke of noumbres Chapter. xi. When the prophet Moses hadde chosen seuenty eldermen / and the sprite of god rested on them and they prophesyed. Two men besydes them / Eldad and Medad / prophesyed in ye tentes / & Iosue the ministre of Moses said to Mos [...]s / forbyd thou them. And Moses say moses let­ted no mā to prophe sye. de / what enviest thou for me? Who shall let yt all the people prophesye / yf god gyue them his spi­rite? Also it is redde in ye gospell yt sayn ct Ihon [...]uāgelist said vnto Christ / lorde we shall forbid one that casteth out spirites in thy name / which Luce. ix. foloweth not vs. And Christ said do not forbid for who so is not against vs is with vs. And vn­to the same agreyth well the prophesy of Iohell whiche seynct Petre preachinge to the Iewes strongly alleged as Luke recyteth in the secōde chapter of the acres of the apostles sayenge af­ter this maner. That god nowe in the laste da­yes shall shede out his spirite vp [...] euery flesch. But they saye only master do ctor cā vn derstāde y scripture. For god sayeth your sonnes & doughters shuld prophesy / and your yong men shall se visyons. And vpon whit sond [...]y god gaue knowlege of his lawe to diuerse naciōs without any excepci ons in ther mother tonge / by the vnderstanding [Page] of one tounge. And of this it is notabyll sithen the laye people in the olde lawe had their lawe in ther mother tounge / that the lay englishe peo­ple in the newe lawe haue it as all other naciōs haue / syns Christ bought vs as he did other & hath geuen to vs the same grace as to other. For saynt Peter. Actu. xi. was reproued for he had baptysed Cornelij and his felows that we re hethen men. And Peter answered and sayde Yf god haue gevyn the same grace to them that he hath to vs / who am Ithat may forbyd god? As who saythe it lyeth not in the power of men. Than who art thou yt forbiddest ye people to ha­ue gods lawe in ther mother tounge? we saye yt thou art Antichrist himself. For Paule saieth. i. Corin. x. I will euery man to speake with toun­ges / more forsothe to prophesy / also he saith ho we shall he saye Amen vpon thy blessynge that woteth not what thou sayst. Vpō this saith doc­tor Lyre. Yf the people vnderstōde ye prayer of ye Here you re owne master Li [...]e yf ye wil not here Paul. priest it shall the better be ledde vnto god / & the more deuoutly answere Am [...]. Al [...]o▪ Paule saith in the same chapter. I will rather fyue wordes to be spoken to the vnderstāding of m [...] / then ten thousand yt they vnderstand not. And. lxx. doc­tours with other m [...] before the incarnacion of christe translated ye bible out of Ebrue into Gre­ke. And after ye ascension many translated all ye bible in diuerselangages / as into spanysh ton­ge / frenshetunge / almanye / & italy / ād by many yeres haue had it. It was hard of a worthy mā of Almaynye that ye same tyme was a flēmyng [Page] wh [...]se name was Iames Merland which tra [...] ­flated all the bible into flemysh. For whiche de­de he was semonned before the Pope of great malyce. And the boke was taken to examinaci­on. And truely he approued it. And then it was delyuerd to him agayn vnto confusion of all his enemyes. Worshupfull Bede in his first boofe called de ges [...]s Anglo [...]m. chapter. iij. telleth that saynt Oswolde the Kyng of Northumber lande asked of the skottes an holy bisshoppe Ai dan to preache to his people / and the kyng him selfe interpreted it in englishe to the people. Sy­then this blessed deade of this Kynge is alo­wed of all holy churche / whye not nowe ought it as well to be alowed / a man to reade ye gos­pell in Englishe to the people / sythen that seynt Paule saith yf oure gospell be hidde / it is hidde A feare­full sayē ge. in thē that shall be dampned. And he saith also he that knoweth not shall not be knowen of god And therfore venerabilis Bede ledde by the spi rite of god translated a greate parte of the bible into Englishe / whose originalles ben in many Abbeyes in England. And Cisterciensis. libro v. chaptre. xxiiij. saythe that the Euangely off Ihon was drawen into Englishe by the for­sayde Bede whiche Euangelye off Ihon and other Gospels ben yet in many places of so olde englishe that skant can anye englishe man rea­de them. For this Bede reygned in the yere off oure lorde god. vij. hundred and. xxxij. Also Ci­stercien. libro. vi. chaptre. i. saythe that kyng Al red ordyned open scoles of diuerse artes in Or­forde [Page] and he turned the bestlawes into hie me ther tounge and the Psalter also / he reygned in the yere of oure lorde god. viij. hundred. lxxi [...]. And saynt thomas sayth super librū politic [...] expounding this worde / barbarus / that barba rus is he that vnderstondyth not y he readeth in his mother tonge. Wherforethe apostle saith If I knowe not the vertue of the voice to who­me I speake I shalbe to him barbarus / that is to saye / he vnderstandeth not what I saye / nor I what he saith. And so all tho prestes that vn derstonde not what they readyn by ther mother tonge be called barbarus / and therfore Bede did drawe into englishe liberall artes leste en­glishe men shuld be come barbarus / hee Tho­mas. Also Lincoln sayeth in a sermon that be­gynnith / Scriptum est de leuitis. Yf any prie­ste saye he can not preache / one remedye is / re­signe he vppe his benefyce. Another remedy yf Resygne in no wise but apon a good pē syon. he will not thus / recorde he in the meke the na­ked texte of the sondaye gospell that he haue the grosse storye and tell it to the people / that is yf he vnderstonde latyn / and do he this euery we­ke in the yere he shall profyt moch. For thus pre ched oure lorde sayenge. Ihon̄. vi. The wordes that I speake to you be spirit and lyfe. Yf he do not vnderstonde latyn go he to one of his neigh boures yt vnderstondeth / which will charitably expoune it to him / & thus [...]difye he his flocke. Vpō this argueth a great clerke & faithe / yf it be laufull to preache y naked texte to ye people / it is also lefull to write & read it to thē. Also sir Wil­liā [Page] Thoris by archebishop of Yorke did do draw The same treatise is in ye chirch over agaī ste Lōdon stone at th [...] is houre. a treatyse in englishe by a worshipfull clercke / whose name was Gatryke / in the whiche were conteyned the articles of belene / the seuen dedly synnes / the seuen workes of mercy / the. x. com­maundmētes. And sent them in small pagines to the cōmyn people to learne it and to knowe it / of which yet many a copye be in england. Also Richard the heremyte of Hampole drewe into englishe the Psalter with a glose ād the lessons of dirige and many other treatices / by the whi che many engleshemen haue ben greatly edify­ed. And they bē cursed of god yt woldēlet ye peo­ple to be lewder thē they ber. But many mē no­we be lyke vnto ye frēdes of Hiob / yt whiles they enforced to defende god they offended in hi gre uously. And though suche as be slayne do my­racles / neuertheles they bē stynkynge marters. This saieth Richerd y heremyt expouning this verse / Ne auferas de ore meo verbū veritatis vs (que)qua (que).This prophesye of christ must be fulfilled take hede And Christ saieth ye mē shuld deame thē self to do great plesaunt seruice to god in kil ling of his people. Arbitretur se obsequiū pres [...]a redeo. &c. Also a mā of londō whose name was Wyrynge had a bible in english of northē spea che whiche was seyne of many mē & it [...]yd to be. CC. yeres old. Also it is knowē to many mē in ye tyme of king Richerd ye. ij. yt into a parlemēt was put a bible by thassent of. ii. archbisshops and of the clergy to adnusse the bible that tyme translated into Englishe with other Englishe bookes of thex posicion off the gospells whiche [Page] whē it was harde and seyn of lordes and of the comones. The duke of Lancaster Thou answe­red thereto ryght sharpely sayenge this senten­ce / we will not be refuse of all other nacions.

For sythen they haue goddes lawe whiche is the lawe of oure belefe in there owne langage / we will haue oures in Englishe whosoeuer say naye. And this he affermyd with a greate othe Also Thomas Arundell Archebisshoppe off Canterbury sayde in a sermon at wes [...]mester / Ypocrisy is y natu­re of all bi shoppes. at the buryenge of Quiene Anne / that it was more ioye of here than of any woman that euer he knewe. For she an alien borne hadde in en­hlishe all the. iiij. gospels with the doctours vpō them And he said that she had sent them to him to examen / and he saide that they were good & trewe. And he blamyd in that sermon sharpely the negligence of the prelates and other men.

In so moche that he saide that he wold leaue vp the office of Chaunceler and forsake worldly bu synes / and gyue him to fulfyll his pastorall of fyce / for that he had seyn / and redde in tho bo­kes. And after this promyse he became ye moste cruell enemye that mighte be againste englishe Neuer tr­ust bishop as longe as he ke­ [...]eth hys possessiōs bokes. And therfore as many men sayne God smo [...]e him with a cruell dethe as he didde also Richard flemyng bisshoppe of Lincolne. And yet oure bisshops ben so indurate & so ferre stra­yed frō god that they haue no grace one to be­ware of another / but proudely against all rea­sons & euidence of gods lawes / & doctours sen­tences / they brenne gods worde the whiche ha­the [Page] brought thy [...] realme to vndoynge for euer Wher is y aūciēt blo­de yt was in englād in these dayes. but if godes grace be the more / for thys cruell deade is cause of pestilēce / hungers / warres / ād that also this realme shalbe conqueryd in short tyme / as saynct Edward ye kyng & cōfessor prophesyethe in his booke y beginnith thus / Sāc­tus Edwardus rex vidit spiritualibus oculis. And therfore it were good to the Kyng and to other lordes to make some remedy agaynst this cōstitucion of Antechrist that saythe it is vnlawfull to vs englyshemen to haue in englyshe god Et nūc reges intel­ligite eru­dimini qui iudi­catis ter­ram. des lawe / & therfore he brennythe & sleythe thē yt maynteyne this good deade / & that is for de­fault that the kyng & lordes knowē not ne wyll not know ether owne office in maitenāce of god and his lawe. For as sainct Austen saithe the Ryng with his knyghtes representyn the god­hede of Christe / & prestes the manhode of Chri­ste / Rex est vicarius diuinitatis / et sacerdos est vicarius Christi humanitatis / hec Augustinus in de questionibus veteris et noue legis. ca. xci. And if the kyng desyer to knowe perfytly his of fyce / he maye fynde mē to shewe to hym bookes that truely & perfytly shall enforme hym to doo his office to the plesaunce of god. But this can not he lerne of Byshoppys for they enforme hym after Antichristes lawe and ordenaunce for his lawes nowe reignen. Yet agaynst them Bisshops will not teache aga­inst their god their bely. that sayn ye gospell in englyshe wold make mē to erre / wote they well yt we fynde in latyn lan­gage more heretykes then of all other langages for the decre. saythe. xxiiij. xciij. Quidam autem [Page] heretici / that there be founden syxty laten herety­kes. And yf mē shuld hate any lāgage for here sy thē must they hate latē. But god forbede that any lāgage shuld be hated for heresy sythē ma­nye heretykes wer of ye disciples of ye apos [...]les. For sainct Ihon̄ saithe they haue gon̄ owt of vs but they were not of vs. And Paule saithe it behouyth heresys to be / & ātichrist maky the ma How Anti­ch [...] is can se of al here­syes. ny mo herctykes then there shuld be for he stop­pythe so the knowyng of gods lawe / & punys­heth so them that he knowyth y haue it / yt they dare not comē therof opēly to haue trewe infor­maciō / & thys makyth laye men y desyrē & lou [...] to knowe gods law to goo to gyther in pry [...] [...] cōceyuen by theyr owne wyttes many tymes heresys ye whiche heresies in shorttyme shuld be destroyed / yf men myght haue free comenyng opēly / & but if this maye be had moche of ye peo ple shall dye in heresy / for it lyethe neuer in An tichristes power to destroye all englyshe bookes for as fast as he brennethe / other mē shale dra­we / & thus ye cause of heresy ād of ye people that dyeth in heresy is ye frowardnes of byshoppes that wyll not suffer mē to haue opyn comoning and fre in the lawe of god and therfore they be cowntable of as many sowlys as dyen in thys default / ād are traytors to god in stoppynge of Is r [...] this tur nin [...] y rotys of y tres vpw [...]d his lawe ye whiche was made in saluacion of ye people. And nowe they turne his lawe by ther cruell cōstitucyōs into dāpnaciō of ye people as it shalbe prouyd apon thē at the dayte of dome for gods lawe saithe / Stabunt iusti in magna const [...] [Page] tia aduersus eos qui se angustiauerunt, & qui abstule­runt labores eorum. &c. For that the other Reade Sapi [...]n vi. &. vii. men laborē they brennē / & yf owre clergy wold [...]dy well this lessen of sapi [...]ce to ye ende / they shuld mowe rede therin theyr oune dāpnacion / bu [...] yf they amend this defaulte with other de­faultes. Saithe not the holy mā Ardemakan in the booke of questiōs that ye wurshupfull sacra­mēt of ye alter maye be made in eche comē lāga ge. For he saithe so diden y apostles. But we co uer not thys / but y Antechrist geue vs leaue to haue the lawe of ower beleue in englishe. Also they y haue comonyd moche with ye Iewes / sa­ye yt they haue in euery lāde yt they be borne in / ye byblein ther mothertoūge / yt is Ebrewe And they be more practysetherin thā annye men / ye aswell ye lewde m [...] as ye prestes. But it is redde in her synagoges amōgest y people ofther pre­stes to fulfyll ther prestes office & to y edificaci­on of ye p [...]raile / that for worldly busynes & slew­the maye not studye it. Also the. iiij. enāgelistes wrote ye gospell in diuerse langages / as Ma­thewe in Iurye / Marke in Italy / Luke in A­chaie / and Ihon̄ in Asie. And all these wrotte in y lāgages of the same contreys / also T [...] bye saithe Chap. xiij. that god disperged / sprede / or scaterid yt Iewes abrode among the hethen pe ople yt they tellynge vnto theym ye merueylles of godde: they shuld knowe that there were no­ne other god / but god of Israell. And god or dyned his people to beleue his lawe wrytten among them in ther mother tounge / vt patet [Page] Ge. x. vij. and Exo. xiij. In so moche the [...]e of Iudithe is wryttē in Calde speche / vt patet per Hieronimū in prologo eiusdē. Also the bookes of Daniel / and of Esdre ben written in Calde / vt patet per Hierom. in prologis eorundem / al so the booke of Iohel is in Arabyke and Syre speche / vt patet per Hieroni. in prologo ciusdē. Also Ezechiell the prophet prophesyed in Ba­bylon / and lefte his prophesye vnder the mother tounge of Babylon / vt patet per Hieronimū in prologo ciusdē Also the prophesye of Isaie is translated in to the tounge of Ethiope / as Hie. concludyth in primo prologo Gene. Then sy­then the darke prophesyes were translated amō ges the hethen people yt they myght haue know lege of god and of the incarnaciō of Christ / mo che more it ought to be translatyd to englyshe people that haue receiuyd the faythe and boun­den them selfe to kepe it vpon payne of dampna cion / sythen Christ commaunded his apostles Mathei. xxviij. to preache his gospell vnto all the worlde and exceptyd no people nor langage. Also Origen translated the byble owt of Ebrewe into Greke with helpe of other in the yere of ow [...] lorde god CCxxxiiij. Also Aquila translated it in thery me of Adriā the emperoure in the yere of oure lor­de. C. xxiiij. also Theodosion trāslaid it in ye ty­me of thē perowre Comede. luij. yere after Aqui la / also Simacus trāslated it in the tyme of thē perowre Serene. xxx. yere after Theodosiō. viij yere after Simacus it was translated the auc­tor vnknowen yn the tyme of Alexāder the em­perowre / And [Page] Ierome translated it into latyn / vt in cronicis Cistercien. li. ij. ca. xxxij. And af­ter that Ierom had translated it into laten / he translated to women moche of the bible. And to the maydens Eustochia and Paula / hetransla­ted the bookes of Iosue of Iudicum and Ruth and Hester / and Ecclesiastes / Ieremy / Isai [...] and Daniell / and the. xij. prophetes / and y. vij. canonyke epystylles / vt patet in prologo eorun­dem. And so all men maye se here by Ierom / yt it was neuer his entent to bynde ye lawe of god vnder his translacion of laten but by his owne dede geuythe leaue to translate it into euery spe che / for Ierom wrytythe in his. lxxviij. epystle to this man A [...]leta / that he shuld enforme his daughter in the bookes of the olde lawe and the newe / Also in his. lxxv. epistle he wrytythe to ye virgin D [...]metriadis / that she shuld for to encre ase her selfe in vertue rede nowe vpon one boo­ke / and nowe vpon another. And he specifiethe vnto her that she also reade the gospell / and the epistylles of the apostles And thus Thenglys­hemen But my lordes say yt it ma­keth men heretikes and per­uerteth soules. desyre to haue the lawe of god in en­glyshe / sythen it is called the lawe vndefyled cō uertyng sowlys into clennes / lex dn̄i immacula ta conuertens aīas / but Antechrist saithe that it is corrupte with ye litterall lettre y sleyth sow­lys takyng his auctorite of Paule / that saithe / litera occidit spiritus autem viuificat. That is the le [...]tre of the ceremonies of y olde lawesleyth the Iewes / and them that nowe [...]sen them / but the spirite of the newe lawe quykenethe trewe [Page] Christen men / sythen Christ saythe my wor­des ben spri [...]te and lyffe. Also we take ensam­ple of holy virgyns to loue to reade the go­spell as they d [...]den / as [...]atheryn / Cecyle / Lu­c [...] / Agnes / Margaret / whiche alegyd the holy gospell to the infidels / that slewe them for the keping therof. Of these foresaid aucto rites it is prouyd laufu [...]l / that both men and women laufully may reade and wryte gods lawe in their mother tonge / and they that for­fenden this they shewe them selfes heyers and sonnes of the first tormentors / and werse / for they shewen them selfes the veraye dis [...]les of Antichrist / whiche hathe and shall passe all the malyce of tyrauntes that haue ben before in stoppyng and peruertynge of gods lawe whiche deade engendrythe greate vengeaunce to fall in this realme / but yf it be amendid For Paule saithe Roma. i. The wrathe of god is shewyd from heuyn vpon cruelnes & vnryght fulnes of these men that with holden the trow­the of god in vnryght wysnes / Reuelatur enim ira dei super omnem impie [...] et iniusticiam hominum eorum qui veritatem dei in iniusti­tia detinent. Now god of hys mercy geue vn­to ower kyng / and to ower lordes grace of trewe vnderstandyng to amende this default princi­pally and all other / then shall we mowe easely to be amendid. For vntyll it be amendid there shall neuer be rest and peace in thys realme. Who that fyndythe or redythe this. lettre put it furthe in examinacyon and suffer it not to be [Page] hydde or destroyed / but multyplyed for no man knoweth what proffyt maye come therof. For hethat compiled it / purposyth with goddes helpe to mayntayne it vnto the deathe / yf neade be. And therfore all christen men and women / praye that ye worde of god maye be vnbounde / and de liuered from the po­wer of An tichrist / and renne amonge his people. Amen.

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

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