A SHORTE TREA­tise of politike pouuer, and of the true Obe­dience which subiectes owe to kynges and other ciuile Gouernours, with an Exhortacion to all true naturall Englishe men, Compyled by.

D. I. P. B. R. VV.

1556.

Psal. 118.
It is better to trust in the Lorde▪ than to trust in Princes.

TO THE GENTIL READER.

COntent thy self to reade ouer this shorte [...]reatise / wherin is neither heresie / felonye / nor treason / but all that is written here in fewe / is ment for thy pleyntifull benefite / necessary admonition / and faithfull instruction. And albeit the Printour is not sure / whether the autor be gone to God allready (as by the discourse of the mater he semeth to be) or yet still in this life / yet for as muche as the graui­tie of the Worke / the sobrenesse of the stile / and the equitie of the cause ioyned with substauntial Profes / importe a mightye zeale / and aferuent care of the autor for his countrey / he is pleased to put furthe the Worke / to thintent the trauaile of the doer be not lost / neither true Englis he hartes frustrate of so worthie an instructiō / on­les they wil willingly neglecte their owne saue garde / the state of their countrey / and the Pre­seruation of theyr posteritie. God geue thee (good reader) a will to forsee / an heart to per ceaue / and a iudgement to discerne thyne owne state in tyme / and in Christ hartily well to fare.

Amen.

VVHEROF POLITIKE povver grovveth, vverfore it vvas or­dayned, and the right use and duetie of the same: &c.

AS OXEN, SHEPE, GOATES, ād suche other unreasonable crea­tures cānot for lacke of reason ru­le themselues, but must be ruled by amore excellent creature, that is mā: so mā, albeit he haue reason, yet bicause through the fall of the furst man, his reason is wonderfully corrupt, and sensualitie hathe goten the ouer han­de, is not hable by himself to rule himself, but must haue a more excellent gouernour. The worldlinges thought, this gouernour was their owne reason. They thought, they might by their owne reason, doo what them lusted, nod onely in priuate thinges, but also in publike. Reason they thought to be the only cause, that men furst assembled together in compa­nies, that common welthes were made, that policies were well gouerned and long continued: but mensee, that suche were utterly blynded and deceaued in their ymaginacions, their doinges and inuentiones (semed they neuer so wise) were so easili and so sone (con­trary to their expectacion) ouerthrowen.

[Page]Wher is the Wisdome of the Grecianes? Wher is the fortitude of the Assirianes? wher is bothe the wis dome and force of the Romaynes become? All is ua­nished awaye, nothing almost lefte to testifie that they were, but that which well declareth, that their reason was not hable to gouerne them. Therfore we­re suche as were desirous to knowe the perfit and on­ly gouernour of all, constrayned to seke further than them selues, and so at leynght to confesse, that it was one God that ruled all. By him we lyue, we haue our being, and be moued. He made us, and not we our sel­ues. We be his people, and the shepe of his pasture. He made all thinges for man: and man he made for him self, to serue and glorifie him. He hathe taken upon him thordre and gouernement of man his chief crea­ture, and prescribed him a rule, how he should behaue him self, what he should doo, and what he maye not doo.

This rule is the lawe of nature, furst planted and graffed only in the mynde of mā, thā after for that his mynde was through synne defiled, filled with darknes se, ād encōbred with many doubtes) set furthe in wri­ting in the decaloge or ten cōmaundemētes: and after reduced by Christ our saueour ì to these two wordes: Thou shalt loue thy lorde God aboue all thinges, ād thy neighbour as thy self. The la­ter part vvherof he also thus expoundeth: vvhat so euer ye vvill that men doo vnto you, doo ye euen so to them.

[Page]In this lawe is comprehended all iustice, the per­fite waye to serue and glorifie God, and the right meane to rule euery man particularly, and all men generally: and the only staye to mayntayne euery cō mō wealthe. This is the touchestone to trye euery mā nes doinges (be he king or begger) whether they be good or euil. Bi this all m [...]nes lawes be discerned, whe ther they be iuste or uniuste, godly or wicked. As for an example. Those that haue autoritie to make lawes in a common wealthe, make this lawe, that no pynnes shalbe made, but in their owne coūtrey. It semeth but a trifle. Yet if by this meanes the people maye be kept from idlenesse, it is a good and iuste lawe and pleaseth God. For idlenesse is a uice wherwith God is offēded: and the waye to offende him in breache of these commaundemētes: Thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not be a horem [...], n [...] ger, &c. Por all these euilles come of [...] ▪ On the other syde, if the people be well [...] in other things, and the people of an other countrey lyue by pynne making, and uttring th [...] [...] if ther should be a lawe made, that they [...] not sell them to their neighbours of the [...] countrey, otherwise well oc cupied, it were a w [...]cked and an uniuste lawe. [...] [...]a­king awaye the meane, wherby they lyue, a meane is deuised [...] kill them with famyne, and so is not onely [...] commaundement broken: Thou shalt not kill, but also the generallawe, that sayeth: Thou shalt [Page] loue thy neighbour as thy self. And, vuhat so euer ye vuill that men do vnto you, euen so do you vnto thē. For you your selues vuold not be killed vuith hungre.

Likewise if ther be a lawe made, vtterly prohibi­ting any mā that can not lyue chaste, to marie: this is an vniuste, an vngodly and a wicked lawe. For it is an occasion, that wher with marieng, he might auoide synne: he not marieng dothe committe horedome in acte or thought contrary to Goddes will and com­maundemēt: Thou shalt not cōmitte horedome

Agayn, a prince forceth his subiectes (vnder the name of request) to lēde him that they haue, which they doo vnwillingly: and yet for feare of a worse tourne, they must seme to be content therwith. Afterwarde he causeth to be assembled in a Parliamēt such as per cha [...]ce lent nothing, or elles such as dare not displea­se him. They to please him, remit this general debte. This is a wicked, vngodly, and vniust lawe. For they doo not, as they [...] be done vnto, but be an occa­sion, that a great [...] be vndone, their children for lacke of sustenaunce perishe through famyne, and their seruav [...]ntes forced to [...], and perchaunce to cōmyt [...]urther. So that if men [...]ill weigh well this [...] and lawe that God hathe prescribed to man, Thou shalt loue thy lord God aboue all thinges, and thy neighbour as thy self. And, what so euer ye will that men do vnto you, do ye euen the same vnto them: [Page] they maye sone learne to trye good from euil, godly­nesse from vngodlynesse, right from wrong.

And it is so playne and easie to be vnderstanden, that no ignoraunce cā or will excuse him that therin offendeth.

Against thoffendours of this lawe, ther was no corporal punishement ordayned in this worlde, til after the destruction of the worlde with the great floud. For albeit Cayn and lamech had committed horrible murthers, yet were they not corporally pu­nished, but had a protection of God, that none should laufully hurte them. But after the flood, whan God sawe his gentilnesse and pacience could not worke his creatures to doo their dueties vnforced, but ini­quitie preuailed and mischief daily encreaced, and one murthered, and destroyed an other: than was he constrayned to chaunge his lenitie into seueritie, and to adde corporal paynes to those that wold not fo­lowe, but transgresse his ordinaunces. And so he ma­de this lawe, which he declared to Noha: He that Sheadeth the bloud of man, his bloud Shal be Shead by man. For man is made after the ymage of God.

By this ordināce and lawe he instituteth politike po­wer and geueth authoritie to mē to make more lawes. [Page] For he that geueth man autoritie ouer the body and life of man, bicause he wolde haue man to lyue quiet­ly with mā, that all might serue him quietly in holy­nes and righteousnes, all the dayes of their life, it can not be denyed, but he gaue him autoritie ouer goo­des, landes, possessiones and all suche thinges as might bried controuersies and discordes, and so hyndre and let, that he might not be serued and glorified, as he requireth. This ordinaunce also teacheth makers of lawes, how they should behaue thē selues in making lawes: that is, to set aparte all affectiones, and to ob­serue an equalitie in paynes, that they be not greater or lesse, than the fault deserueth, and that they punis­he not thinnocent or smal offendour for malice, and let the mightie and great thefe escape for affection. And out of this ordinaunce groweth and is grounded thautoritie for Magistrates to execute lawes: for la­wes without execucion, be no more profitable, than belles without clappers. But whether this authoritie to make lawes, or the power to execute the same, shal be and remayne in one person alone, or in manie, it is not expressed, but lefte to the discreciō of the people to make so many and so fewe, as they thinke necessa­rie for the mayntenaunce of the state. wherupon in som places, they haue ben content to obey suche la­wes, as were made by one, as the Israelites were with those that Moyses ordayned: the Lacede­mones with those that Licurgus made, the Athe­nes [Page] with those that Solon gaue them. And in some places with suche as were made by certayn outcho­sen men, as in Rome by the ten men. And in some they receaued none, but suche as all the multitude agreed Vnto. Likewise in some countreyes they were cōtent to be gouerned, and the lawes executed by one king or Iudge, in some places by many of the best sorte, in some places by the people of the lowest sorte, and in some places also by the king, nobilitie, and the people all together.

And these diuerse kyndes of states or policies hade their distincte names, as wher one ruled, a Monar­chie: wher many of the best, Aristocratie: wher the multitude, Democratie: and wher all together, that is, a king, the nobilitie, and cōmones, a mixte sta te: which men by long continuance haue iudged to be the best sort of all. For wher that mixte state was exerciced, ther did the cōmon wealthe longest conti­nue. But yet euery kynde of these states tended to one ende, that is, to the mayntenaunce of iustice, to the wealthe and benefite of the hole multitude, and not of the superiour and gouernours alone. And whan they sawe, that the gouernours abused their autoritie, they altred the state. As among the Israe­lites, for the iniquitie of the children of Samuel their iudge, from Iudges to kinges: among the Ro­maynes, for the tyrannye and oppression that [Page] Tarquinius vsed ouer the people (as the chief oc­casion) and afterwarde for his sonnes lewdenesse (as the outwarde occasion) from kinges to Consules, and so from Consules (for their euil demeanour) to Decem viri and Triumviri, that is, to ten rulers and three rulers: and so from chaunge to chaunge, tyll it came to the state Imperial: yet alwayes preseruing and mayntening thautoritie, albeit they altred and chaunged the kinde of gouerne­ment. For the Ethnikes themselues being ledde on­ly by the lawe of nature and their owne reason, sawe that without politike power and autoritie, man­kynde could not be preserued, nor the worlde con­tinued. The riche wold oppresse the poore, and the poore seke the destruction of the riche, to haue that he hade: the mightie wold destroye the weake, and as Theodoretus sayeth, the great fishe eate vp the small, and the weake seke reuenge on the migh tie: and so one seking the others destruction, all at leynght shoulde be vndone and come to destruction. And bicause this authoritie and power, bothe to make lawes, and execute lawes, proceded from God, the holy goost in scripture calleth them Goddes: not for that they be naturally Godds, or that they be transubstantiated in to Goddes (for he sayeth, they shall dye like men, and in dede their workes declare them to be non other than men) but for thautoritie and power which they receaue of God, [Page] to be his ministers here in earthe, in ruling and go­uerning his people, and that the people should the rather obeye them, and haue them in honour and reuerence, according to his ordinaunce.

And the wonderfull prouidence of God is herein to be wel noted and considered, of all suche as loue and feare God, that in all places and countreyes wher Goddes worde hathe ben receaued and embra­ced, ther for the tyme the people folowed God, no ti­rannye could entre, but all the membres of the body sought the prosperitie and wealthe one of an other, for Goddes worde taught them so to doo. Thou shalt loue the lorde thy God (sayeth it) aboue all thinges, and thy neighbour as thy selfe. And, what ye will that men doo vnto you, doo you euen so vnto them. The frutes of his worde is loue one of an other, of what state or degree in this worl­de so euer they be. And the state of the po­licies and common wealthes haue ben disposed and ordained bi God, that the headdes could not (if they wolde) oppresse the other membres. For as among the Lacedemonians certain men called Ephori were ordayned so see that the kinges should not oppresse the people, and among the [Page] Romaynes, the Tribunes were ordayned to defende and mayntene the libertie of the people from the pri­de and iniurie of the nobles: so in all Christian real­mes and dominiones God ordayned meanes, that the heads the prīces ād gouernours should not oppresse the poore people after their lustes, ād make their wil les their lawes. As in Germanye betwene thēperour ād the people, a Counsail or diet: in Fraūce and En­glande, parliamentes, wherin ther mette and assem­bled of all sortes of people, and nothing could be do­ne without the knowlage and consent of all. But wher the people haue forsaken God, and contēned utterly his worde, ther hathe the deuil by his mini­sters, occupied the hole countrey, and subuerted the good ordres, iustice and equalitie, that was in the common wealthe, and planted his unreasonable lu­stes for good lawes, as euery man maye see by the Re­alme of Vngarie which the Turke in our tyme ha­the occupied. And wher the people haue not utterly forsaken God and his worde, but haue begonne to be weary of it: ther hathe not God suffred Tyrannes by and by to rush in, and to occupie the hole, and to suppresse the good ordres of the common wealthe, but by litel and litel hathe suffred them to crepe in, first with the head, than with an arme, and so after with a legge, and at leynght (were not the people penitent, and in tyme conuerted to God) to bring in the hole body, and to worke the feates of Tirannes, [Page] as hereafter it shalbe declared.

This is so manifest in most places, that it shall not nede any particular example. Wherfore it shalbe the parte of all Christen men to take hede, that in forsaking God, they bring not iustly the deuil and tyrannes to reigne ouer them. And those that be called to councelles and parliamentes (and so to be makers of lawes, wherby the people should be boun­den) not to neglecte their duetie, or to deceaue the people of the trust and confidence, that was put in them. For it is no litle daunger that maye therby fo­lowe unto them, bothe in this worlde, and in the worlde to come. For that man that toke upon him to doo any thing for an other (being the thing ne­uer so litle of ualue) and therin did use him self either craftily, seking his owne gayne and profit, or she­we him self not diligent, or not passing what beca­me of the matter committed to his trust, our elders being men of honestie, iudged and condemned for a most uile uarlet and unhonest persone: and being men of wisedome, made a lawe (which continueth til this daye) not only that he should make recom­pence for the hurt he did, but also that he should not be allowed afterwarde in the company or nombre of honest men, no more than an open these. And this they did not by will, but by reason, not rashly, but aduisedly, not by the moo voices, but by the more discrete headdes, bicause they sawe, that men could [Page] not be alwayes present to doo their owne thin­ges, but of necessitie must use the helpe and trust of others. And again, nature hathe not made euery man apte for all thinges, but hathe made one man more mete for one purpose than an other: so that one hauing nede of an other, euery one should be glad to doo for an other, and all be tyed together in an un­dissoluble strong bande of frendship. And therfore was suche false and unfrendly dealing taken to be most uile, bicause it did uiolate two the chiefest uer­tues and most necessary thinges, without which man­kynde coulde not contynue: faithe, and frēdship. For noman requireth an other, to doo any thing for him, whom he taketh not to be his frende, nor trusteth him, whom he thinketh not faithfull. And therfore they thought him to be a uery wicked and vile persone, and not worthy the name of a man, that at one tyme and in one thing should thus undoo the knot of frendship, and deceaue him, whom he coulde not haue hurted, onles he hade trusted him. Now if nature, reason, honestie and lawe dothe so greuously punishe him, and cast him out of all honest mennes companies, that is necligent in a trifle, how muche more ought he to be punished and cast out of all mennes sight, that is necligent in the greatest matiers? If he ought so sharpely to be vsed, that deceaueth one poore man: how muche more sharpely ought he to be punished, and [Page] of all men to be abhorred (yea cast to the dogges) that deceaueth a hole Realme of ten or twentie hun­dred thousaunt persones? If he be thus to be abhor­red and punished, that is required to doo an other mannes busynesse, and deceaueth him: how muche more ought they to be abhorred and hated, that take vpon them to doo for others, not desired but suyng for it: not called therto, but thrusting in them self: not prayed, but payeng, geuing many lyuereyes, procuring and making frendes to geue them their uoices, obteynyng of great mennes lettres, and ladies tokens, feasting freholders, and making great banketting cheare: not by the consent of the parte, but by force and streinght, with tropes of horsemen, billes, bowes, pykes, gonnes, and suche like kynde of qualityes.

If this opinion be had, and iudgement be geuen against a man that seketh his owne gayne with the losse of his frendes in small thinges: What opinion maye men haue, what iudgemēt shalbe geuen of tho­se, that (to make them selues noble and riche) cutte the throtes of those that committed themselues, their wyues, their children, their goodes, yea and lyues vpon trust in to their handes?

If this iudgemēt be geuen for worldly thinges, what iudgemēt shalbe geuē of those that wilfully goo about to destroye mēnes soules, and to make thē a present to the deuil, so that they for a tyme maye be his deputies [Page] here in earthe? If men doo thus abhorre and punis­he suche unfaithfull and unhonest persones: how muche more will thalmightie God abhorre, con­demne, and exercice his seuere iudgement on them, that thus abuse the autoritie geuen unto them by him, and deceaue and undoo those poore shepe of his, in whom (as his ministers) they put their trust?

Hearke, hearke (while tyme of repentaunce is) to the sentence of God, pronounced by the mouthe of his seruaunt and Prophet Esaias. VVo be vnto you (sayeth he) that make vnrighteous lauues, and deuise thinges vuhich be to harde to be kept, vuherby the poore are oppressed on eue­ry syde, and thinnocentes of my people are theruuith robbed of iudgement, that vuy­douues maye be your praye, and that ye maye robbe the fatherles. VVhat vuill ye doo in tyme of the visitacion and destruction that shall come from farre? To vuhom vuill ye runne for helpe? Or to vuhom vuill ye geue your honour, that he maye kepe it? that ye co­me not among the prisoners, or lye among the dead?

This terrible wo of euerlasting damnacion was spoken not only to Ierusalem, but to Germanie, Italie, Fraunce, Spayne, Englande, Scotlande, and all other countreyes and naciones, wher the like [Page] vices shalbe committed. For God is iuste, and so hateth sinne, that he neuer leaueth it in any place vnpunished: but the more common it is, the greater plages and force dothe he vse to represse it: as we maye learne by thexamples of the cities Sodome and Gomor, and Ierusalem his owne citie. And besi­des the general plage, he whippeth the autors of it with som special scourge, that they maye be a spe­ctacle, not only to those that are present, but also a remembraunce to all that be to come.

But perchaunce som (that be put in trust and au­toritie to make statutes and lawes) will saye: [...]e doo not willingli any thing against Goddes honour, or the wealthe of our countrey, or deceaue any that put their trust in vs.

If any suche thing folowe, it is by reason that we were ignoraunt.

Tell me, If beseche thee, if thou hadest hyred one to be thy shepehearde, and thy shepe should vn­der his hande by his ignoraunce myscarie: or if thy horsekeper taking wages, should (through his necli­gence) suffre thy horse to perishe: woldest thou not compte him faulty and loke for amendes at his han­des? Should ignoraunce excuse him? No, thou wol­dest saye, I hyred thee, and thou tokest it vpon thee. And so thou woldest not onely force hym to make sa­tisfaction, but also woldest thinke it iuste to haue hi [...] punished besydes to make himself no more cōnyng [Page] than the was, not to deceaue any that put their trust in him. Than thei are muche to blame, that being put in trust in Courtes and parliamentes to make la­wes and statutes to the aduauncement of Goddes glo­rie, and conseruation of the liberties and common wealthe of their countrey, neglecte their off [...]ce and charge, being appointed to be not only kepers of Goddes people, not of hogges, neither of horses and mules which haue no vnderstāding, but of that deare stocke which Christ purchaced with the price of his hart blood: but also as phisicianes and Surgeons, to redresse, reforme and heale, if any thing be amysse. And if a phisitian for lucre or other mennes pleasure, wold take vpon him the healing of a sore diseased per sone, and for lacke of knowlage or vpō other euil pur pose wold ministre thinges to hurt or kill the persone, were he not worthy to be taken and punished as a bo­cher and a man murtherer?

But ye will saye: we gaue credit to others, and they deceaued vs. Thinke ye, that this balde excuse will serue? Is it not written, that if the blynde leade the blynde, bothe shall fall in to the pitte? Did the plea that Eua made for offending in eating the forbidden apple (whan she sayed, the serpent had deceaued her) excuse her? Nothing lesse. She was not only her self therfore punished with suche paynes (as greater than deathe none could be deuised) hut also all her posteritie.

[Page]Other perhappes of you will saie: ye dare doo non otherwise. If ye did, ye should be taken for ene­mies of the gouernour, runne in to indignation, and so lose your bodies and goodes, and vndoo your chil­dren. O faynt heartes, Thinke ye, that your paren­tes had lefte you as ye be, if they had ben so faynt harted? Or thinke ye that this will serue your turne? Was it ynough for Adam our first father, whan he fell with bearing his wife companye in eating the for­bidden apple, to saye, I durst not displease my wife: or to saye, as he sayed, The woman whome thou ga­uest me, gaue it me? No, it auailed not, but he and all his posteritie were plagued for his disobedience, as we and all that shall folowe vs, doo well fele, if we ha­ue any feare of God before our eies.

Whan the brutishe commones of Israel were so importune vpon Aaron, that he for feare was fayne to make them the golden calfe: wher­with whan Moses sharpely charged him he ex­cused him self, sayeng: alas Sir, this sedicious and ra­geing brutishe people wold nedes haue me perforce to doo it. God knoweth, it was sore against my will: did this excuse acquite him, trowe you? No surely. If he had not repented, he had ben as sure of hell fyre for his labour, as they be, which haue set vp or sayed the beastly popyshe masse, at [Page] the furious enforcement of the brutishe commones or in pretense of obedience to the Quenes procedin­ges in Englande: onles they spedily repent, and re­nounce their wicked doing, as Aaron did his.

Thus ye haue hearde not only wherof politike power groweth, and of the true vse and duetie therof, but also what wilbe layed to their charge, that doo not their duetie in making of lawes. Now see, what is sayed by God to thexecutours of lawes: See what ye doo (Sayeth God) for ye execute not the iudgement of man, but of God. and what so euer ye iudge, it shall re­dounde to your selues. Let the feare of God therfore be before your eies, and doo all thinges with diligence. For with the lorde our God ther is non iniquitie, neither difference of persones, nor yet ha­the he pleasure in rewardes or bribes.

But of the ministers of lawes and gouernours of realmes and contreyes, more shalbe sayed hereafter.

VVHETHER KINGES princes, and other gouernours haue an obsolute power and authoritie ouer their subiectes.

Forasmuche as those that be the Rulers in the worlde, and wolde be takē for Goddes (that is, the mi­nisters and images of God here in earthe, thexāples and myrrours of all godlynesse, iustice, equitie, and other vertues) clayme and exercice an absolute po­wer, which also they call a fulnesse of power, or pre­rogatiue to doo what they lust, and none maye gay­nesaye them: to dispense with the lawes as pleaseth them, and frely and without correction or offence doo contrary to the lawe of nature, and other Goddes lawes, and the positiue lawes and customes of their countreyes, or breake them: and vse their subiectes as men doo their beastes, and as lordes doo their vil­lanes and bondemen, getting their goodes from them by hoke and by crooke, with Sic volo, Sic iubeo, and spending it to the destruction of their [...]ubiectes: the miserie of this tyme requireth to examyne, whether they doo it rightfully or wrōgfully, that if it be right full, the people maie the more willingly obeie and re ceaue the same: if it be wrongful, that than those that vse it, maye the rather for the feare of God leaue it. For (no douht) God will come, and iudge the worlde with equitie, and reuēge the cause of the oppressed. Of the popes power (who compteth himself one, yea the [Page] chief of these kinde of Goddes, yea aboue them all, and felowe to the God of Goddes) we minde not now to treate: nother is it requisite. For all men, yea half wi­se women and babes can well iudge, that his power is worthy to be laught at: and were it not bolstred and propped vp with sweorde ād fagot, it wolde (as it will notwithstanding) shortly ly in the myre, for it is not buylt on the rocke, but on the sande, not planted by the father of heauen, but by the deuil of hell, as the frutes doo manyfestly declare. But we will speake of the po­wer of kynges and princes, and suche like potentates, rulers, and gouernours of common wealthes.

Before ye haue hearde, how for a great long tyme, that is vntil after the general flood, ther was no ciui­le or politike power, and how it was thā furst orday­ned by God him self, and for what purpose he orday­ned it: that is (to comprehende all briefly) to maynte­ne iustice: for euery one doing his deutie to God, and one to an other, is but iustice. Ye haue hearde also, howe states, bodies politike, and common wealthes ha ue autoritie to make lawes for the mayntenaunce of the policie, so that they be not contrary to Goddes la­we and the lawes of nature: which, if ye note well the question before propouned whether kinges and prin­ces haue an absolute power, shall appeare not doubt­full, or if any wolde affirme it, that he shall not be hable to maintene it. For first touching Goddes lawes [Page] (by which name also the lawes of nature be compre­hended) kinges and princes are not ioyned makers he­rof with God, so that therby of thē selues they might clayme any interest or autoritie to dissolue them or dispense with them, by this Maxime or principal, that he that maye knyt together, maye lose asondre: and he that maye make, maye marre: for before Ma­gistrates were, Goddes lawes were. Neither can it be proued, that by Goddes worde they haue any au­toritie to dispense or breake them: but that they be still commanded to doo right, to ministre iustice, and not to swarue, neither on the right hande or on the lefte. Than must it nedes folowe, that this absolute autoritie which they vse, must be mayntened by man­nes reason, or it must nedes be an vsurpaciō: But what can reason saye? If it be not laufull, by no lawes (no neither by honestie) for any mannes seruaunt to al­tre his maisters (a mortal mannes) commaundement: can reason saye, it is laufull for any persone to altre Goddes cōmaundement, or breake it? That a mannes seruaunt maye be wiser than his maister, that he maye be iuster than his maister, that he maye see what is more profitable and necessarie to be done thā his maister, cōmonly it happeneth: and therfore he maye haue som apparēt cause, to altre or breake his maisters cōmaun dement. But to saye, that any creature is, or that any creature wolde seme in worde or dede, to be more wise than God, more iuste than God, more prudent [Page] and circumspecte than God, or knoweth what is bet­ter for the creature than the creatour him self (as it must nedes be saied, that he dothe, that taketh vpon him to breake or dispence with Goddes will and commaundementes) what an horrible blasphemie is it? What luciferous presumpcion is it?

If we will not submit our selues to Goddes iudge­ment herein expressed by his worde, as Christianes should, let vs yet marke the sequele: and therby ga­ther Goddes iudgement, as Ethnikes doo. For whan we haue wrought our wittes out, and deuised and done what we can, we can not so exclude God, but he will haue a saieng with vs.

Goddes worde, will and commaundement is, that he that wilfully killeth a man, shall also be killed by man: that is, the Magistrate. But this lawe ha­the not ben obserued and all wayes executed, but kin­ges and princes vpon affection haue dispensed and broken it, graunting life and libertie to traitours, robbers, murtherours, &c.

But what hathe folowed of it? Haue they (whose offences haue ben so pardoned) after ward shewed them selues penitent to God, and thankfully profi­table to the common wealthe? No, God and the com­monwealthe haue hade no greater enemies. They haue added murther to murther, mischief to mi­schief, and of priuate malefactours, haue become publike, and of men killers, they haue at leinght gro­wen [Page] to be destroiers of their countrey, yea and many tymes of them that saued them from hanging and other iust paines of the lawe. And no maruail: for God dothe not oneli punishe the principalles and au­tors of suche mischief, but also those that be acces­saries and mayntenours of it, and plageth iniquitie with iniquitie. Ye maie likewise see, what frutes ha­ue folowed, wher popes, haue dispensed, that maria­ges might be made contrarie to Goddes lawes. We shall not nede to rehearse any? thende will declare all. But let vs leaue to reason that, wherein nothing can be saied for it. And let vs come to that, wherein somewhat maye be saied: that is, whether kinges and princes maye doo thinges contrary to the positiue lawes of their countrey. As for example.

It is a lawe positiue, that a meane kinde of ap­parail, or a meane kynde of diet should be vsed in a common wealthe, to thintent that men leauing thexcesse thereof, wherof many occasiones bothe to destroie nature and to offende God folowe, they might conuerte that they before euil spent, to the relief of the pouertie, or defense of their countrey.

For answer to this question, this diuision ought to be made, that ther be two kyndes of kinges, princes, and gouernours.

The one, who alone maye make positiue lawes, bi­cause the hole state and body of their countrey haue geuē, and resigned to them their authoritie so to doo: [Page] which neuertheles is rather to be compted a tiranne than a king, as Dionisius, Philippus and Alexander were, who saued whom they wold ād spilt whom they lusted. And thother be suche, vnto whom the people haue not geuen suche autoritie, but kepe it them selues: as we haue before sayed cōcerning the mixte state.

True it is, that in maters indifferent, that is, that of them selues be neither good nor euil, hurtfull or profitable, but for a decent ordre: Kinges and Princes (to whom the people haue geuen their autoritie) maie make suche lawes, and dispense with them. But in ma­ters not indifferent, but godly and profitably orday­ned for the common wealthe, ther can they not (for all their autoritie) breake thē or dispense with them. For Princes are ordained to doo good, not to doo euil: to take awaie euil, not to increace it: to geue example of well doing, not to be procurers of euil: to procure the wealthe and benefite of their subiectes, and not to worke their hurt or vndoing. And in thempire wher (by the ciuile lawes) themperours claime, that the people gaue them their autoritie to make lawes, al­beit they haue ben willing, and ofte attēpted to exe­cute their autoritie, which som Pikethākes (to please them) saie they haue by the lawes, yet haue they ben forced of them selues to leaue of their enterprise. But such as be indifferent expounders of the lawes, be of that minde that we before haue declared: and therfore [Page] make this a general conclusion, and as it were a rule, that thēperour willing any thing to be done, ther is no more to be done, than the lawes permit to be done. For (saie they) neither pope, Emperour, nor king may doo any thing to the hurt of his people without their cōsent. King Antigonus Chauncelour, saieng vnto him, that all thinges were honest ād laufull to kinges: ye saie true (quod the king) but to suche kinges as be beastes, barbarous ād without humanitie: but to true ād good Princes, nothing is honest, but that is honest in dede, and nothing is iuste, but that is iuste in dede.

Anthiochus the thrid king of Asia, conside­ring that as he was aboue the people, so the lawes we­re aboue him, wrote general lettres to all the cities of his countrey, that if they shoulde perceaue, that he by any lettres, should require any thing contrary to the lawes, they should thinke, that suche lettres were obteined without his cōsent, and therfore they should not obeie them.

Now if wher the people haue geuen their autori­tie to their gouernour to make suche lawes, yet can he not breake or dispēse with the positiue lawes: how muche lesse maie suche gouernours, kinges, and prin­ces to whō the people haue not geuen their autoritie (but they with the people, ād the people with thē ma ke the lawes) breake them or dispēse with them? If this were tolerable, thā were it in vaine to make solēne as semblies of the hole state, long Parliamentes &c? yea [Page] (I beseche the) what certayntie should therbe in any thyng, wher all should depende on ones will and affection? But it wilbe saied, that albeit kinges and princes can not make lawes, but with the consent of the people, yet maie they dispense with any positiue lawe, by reason that of long tyme they haue vsed so to doo, and prescribe so to doo: for long custome ma­keth a lawe.

To this it maye be answered, euil customes (be they neuer so olde) are not to be suffred, but vtterly to be abolished: and non maie prescribe to doo euil, be he king or subiecte. If the lawes appoint thee the time of thrittye or fourtie yeares to claime a sure and a perfit interesse of that thow enioiest, yet if thow knowe, that either thy self or those by Whom thow claimest, came wrongfully by it, thow art not in dede a perfit owner of it, but art bounden to restore it. Al­though the lawes of man doo excuse and defende thee frō outwarde trouble and punishemēt, yet cā they not quiet the cōsciēce, but whā thy cōscience remēbreth, that thow enioiest that is not thyne, it will byte the that thow haste done wrong: it will accuse the before the iudgement seat of God, and condemnethe. And if princes and gouernours wolde shew thēselues half so wise, as they wolde men shoulde take them to be, and by thexample of others learne What mischief might happen to them selues, they wolde not (if they [Page] might) clayme, muche lesse execute any suche ab­solute authoritie. No, neither wold their Counsai­lours (if they loued them) maintene them in it: nor yet the subiectes (if they did but considre their owne sauetie and felicitie in this life) wolde not if they might suffre their Prince to doo what him lusted.

For thone purchace to them selues a perpetuall vncer [...]aintie bothe of life and goodes: and thother procureth the hatred of all, which albeit it be co­loured and dissembled for a season, yet dothe it at leynght burst out, and worketh the reuenge with extremitie.

Ther lacke no examples to verifie this. It was dryven in to the head of temperour C. Caligula, that he was subiecte to no power, that he was aboue all lawes, and that he might laufully doo what him lu sted. This lesson was so swete to the fleshe, that it was no soner moued than desired, no soner taught than learned, no soner hearde than practiced. First by like that thempire should not goo out of his owne race, he coupleth not with one, but with all his su­sters, like bitche and dogge. He killeth his brother Tiberius, and all his chiefest frendes: he murdereth many of the Senatours of Rome. He delited to haue honest men to be garshed, scotched and cut in the fa­ces, and so to make him pleasure, to haue them cast [Page] to rauenous beastes to be torne and deuoured in his sight, or to be sawed asondre in the middes. It was a pleasunt pastyme for him, to see the parentes stan­de by, lamenting and weping, whiles their children were tormented and killed. He vsed to complayne and lament, that no common calamitie and notable miseries happened in his time. He reioyced muche whan newes were brought him of the slaughters of hole armies of men, great hongre, pestilence, townes burnyng, and openynges of the earthe, wherin many people were swalowed vp. But the daye he sawe any of these him self, he neded neither meat nor drinke, he was so iocunde and merye. And being glutted with the pastime of euery mannes dea­the, by him self (to procure a newe appetite) he deui­sed an other, if he could haue brought it to passe. But whan he could not haue it done, the memorie therof was so swete, that he ofte desired: that is, that all the he addes of the people of Rome stode on one mannes necke, that he might with ones was he cut it of. Ma­ny other noble actes by his absolute power he wrought: and at leynght he commaunded that his ymage should be set vp in the temple at Ierusalem, and ther worshipped: as not vnlike Saīt Gardiners (for he hathe done no smal thīges) shalbe shortly by Anti cipaciō in Englād. But what was thende of Caligu­laes absolute power? whā he had reigned three yea­res and ten monethes, his owne householde seruaūtes [Page] conspired against hym, and the general of his own [...] Armie slewe him.

Nero thēperour was of nature very modest, gen til, and mercifull, and the first fiue yeares of this rei­gne, he behaued him self very vertuously. After, other counsaillours and maisters, than Seneca crept into his fauour, who tolde him that he might doo what him lusted. He was sone persuaded therunto. And to shewe som profe that he had well caried awaye their aduise: he killed his mother Agrippina. This cruel acte did so moue his wicked conscience, that he durst not come abroade in the Senate, but kept him self secrete in his priuie chābre. For he feared the hatred of the people, and knewe not what was best for hī to doo. He lacked no flattering Counsailours. Ther were pleintie that sought their owne profit and gayne, and the satis­fieng of their lustes, more than their princes honour and sauetie, and the cōmon wealthe of their coūtreie Saie they: Sir, whi should ye be thus amased with the deathe of this womā? She was of all people abhorred ād hated: the people wōderfully reioyce in your doīg, and cōmēde you aboue the moone for so noble an acte. They desire, that ye will returne in to the citie, that they maie with triumphe expresse how muche their ioie and gladnesse is, and how they loue you for so noble a feate. These craftie knaues seing how they might blinde their maisters eies, cōmaunded in them­perours behalf, that all the people should come out of [Page] Rome, to mete themperour. The Senate in their best apparail cometh out, alle other ordres likewise after their degrees folowe, and finally man, Woman and childe.

Themperour whan he sawe them, thought all was done from the botome of their heart. The Senate shewed suche outwarde honour, the commones so great loue, eueri body pretended so great ioye and gladnesse. And thinke ye, ther were not about him that said. Dothe not your Maiestie well finde all our saienges true? maye ye not credite vs in that we coun sail and aduise you? What folowed? Themperour em­brewed with the blood of his mother, and his vnnatu­ral acte commended by his wicked Counsailours, ceas­seth not from his crueltie, but earnestly goeth for­warde He putteth awaie his wife Octauia, bicau­se she semed to be baren. He marieth his harlot called Puppie. He sendeth his wife Octauia in to an Ilan de, he byndeth her in chaines, and causeth her to be let blood in all partes: and fearing least feare wolde dry­ue the blood to the harte, and so she lyue longer than he wolde, he setteth her in a bayne of hotte water, that her blood might the soner come out. But what becometh of his deare dearling Puppie? he dalieth a while with his Puppie and at leynght his hotte loue being turned in to displeasur, he spurneth her (being with Childe) on the belye, and so she dieth. To late he repented, but yet ceassed not his crueltie. He killed [Page] his maister Seneca, he persecuted the churche of Christ most miserably, and so thinking that he might doo what him lusted, and that all was well done, were it neuer so euil done, he neuer lefte of his crueltie, til the people finding occasion and oportunitie to vttre their dissembled hatred, slewe him.

But what thinke you? who were to be blamed for these cruell actes? He for doing thē, or others for flat tring hī, or the Senate ād people of Rome in suffring him? Surely ther is none of them to be excused, but all to be blamed, and chiefly those that might haue brid­led him, and did not.

He is a good citez in, that dothe non euil (saieth a noble wiseman) but he is a better that letteth others, that they shall not doo hurt nor vniustice to others. The blood of innocentes shalbe demaunded not only at the handes of the sheaders of blood, but also of tho­se that make or consent to wicked lawes, to condem­ne innocentes, or suffre their head to kill them con­trary to iust lawes▪ or to spoile them of that they iustly enioie by the ordre of the lawe.

Now sithe kinges, princes, and gouernours of com­mon wealthes haue not nor can iustly clayme any ab­solute autoritie, but that thende of their autoritie is determined and certain to maintene iustice, to defende the innocent, to punishe the euil. And that so many euilles and mischiefes maie folowe, wher such absolute and (in dede) tirānical power is vsurped: let vs praie, [Page] that they maie knowe their duetie, and discharge thē selues to God and to the worlde, or elles that those which haue the autoritie to refourme them, maie know and doo their duetie, that the people finding and acknowlageing the benefite of good rulers, maie thāke God for them, and labour euery one to doo their duetie: and that seing the head is not spared, but euillesin it punished, they maie the more willingly absteine frō tyrā ­nie and other euil doinges, and do their dueties, and so all glori­fie God.

VVHETHER KINGES, princes, and other politike Gouer­nours be subiecte to Goddes lawes, and the positiue lawes of theyr countreyes.

HE that noteth the procedinges of princes and gouernours in these our daies, how ambicious they are to vsurpe others Dominiones, and how necli gēt they be to see their owne well gouerned, might thī ­ke, hat they beleue, that either ther is no God, or that he hathe not care ouer the thīges of the worlde: or that they thinke themselues exempt frome Goddes lawes and power. But the Wonderfull ouerthrowe of their deuises (whan they thinke themselues most sure and certain) is so manifest, that it is not possible to denye, but that bothe ther is a God, and that he hathe care ouer the thinges of the worlde. And his worde is so playne, that non can gaynsaye, but that they be sub­iecte and ought to be obedient to Goddes lawes and Worde. For the hole decalog and euery part therof is aswell written to kinges, princes, and other publike persones, as to priuate persones. A king maye no mo­re committe Idolatrie, than a priuat man: he may [...] not take the name of God in vayne, he maye not brea­ke the Sabbat, no more than any priuate man. It is not laufull for him to disobeye his parētes, to killany persone contrary to the lawes, to be an hooremōger, [Page] to steale, to lye and beare false witnesse, to desire and couet any mannes house, wife, seruaunt, mayde, oxe, asse, or any thing that is an others, more than any other priuate man. No, he is bounden and charged vnder greater paines to kepe them than any other, bi­cause he is bothe a priuate man in respecte of his owne persone, and a publike in respecte of his office, which ma [...]e appeare in a great meigny of places whe ro [...] parte I will recite. The holy gost by the mouthe of a king and prophet, saieth: And now ye kinges [...]nderstande, be ye learned that iudge the earthe. Serue the Lorde in feare, and reioi ce with trembling. Kisse the sonne, that is, receaue with honour, least the Lorde be an­grie, and ye lose the waye, whan his wrathe shall in a moment be kyndled. And in an other place thus: The Lorde vpon thy right hāde shal Smyte and breake in pieces euē kinges in the daye of his wrathe. Esaias also the prophet saieth: The Lorde shal comme to iudgemēt against the princes and elders of the people. Likewise saieth the Prophet Mi­cheas speaking to all princes and gouernours vnder the heades of the house of Iacob, and the leaders of the house of [...]srael: He are ye princes and go­uernours, saieth Micheas: Should ye not kno we what were laufull and right? But ye ha­te the good, and loue the euil, ye plucke of [Page] mēnes skynnes, and the fleshe from their bones: ye cheoppe them in pieces, as it we­re in to a Caldron, and as fleshe in to a potte. Now the tyme shall come, that whā ye call vnto the lorde, he shall not heare you, but hyde his [...]ace from you, by cau­se that through your owne ymaginatio­nes ye haue dealt so wickedly. And again he saieth: O heare ye rulers and gouernours, ye that abhorre the thing that is lauful, and wraste asyde the thing that is straight: ye that builde vp Sion with blood your magestie and tirannie with doing Wrong. For so maie Sion and Ierusalem be well expounded: O you iudges, ye geue sentence for giftes: O ye priestes, ye teache for lucre: O ye ꝓ­phetes, ye prophecie for money: yet Will they be takē as those that holde vpō God, and saie▪ Is not the lorde amōg vs? How can than any mysfortune happen to vs? But Sion (that is, your cities) for your sakes shalbe plowed like a fielde: and Ierusalē (that is, your palaces) shall become an heape of stones, and the hill of the tēple (that is, your Monasteries, frieries, and chauntries) shall be come an high woodde. The holy goost also by the mouthe of king Salomon, sayeth: Heare O ye kinges, and vnderstande. O learne ye that [Page] be iudges of the ēdes of the earthe. Geue eare ye that rule the multitudes, and dely­te in muche people. For the power is ge­uē unto you of the lorde, ād the streinght from the highest, who shall trye your wor kes, and searche out your ymaginaciones, how that ye being officers of his kingdom haue not kept the lawe of righteousnesse nor Walked after his will. Horribly and that sone shall be appeare vnto you, for vpō the most high, he will execute most seuere iudgement. Mercie is graunted unto the simple, but they that be in autoritie, shalbe sore punished. For God which is lorde ouer all, shall except no mannes person, neither shall he regarde any mannes grea­tnes for he hathe made the small and great­and careth for all alike, but the mightie shall haue the sorer punishement. To you therfore (O princes) doo I speake, that ye maye learne wisdome, and not offende.

These saienges nede no particular examples to con firme them, but loke on all gouernours and rulers named in the hole Bible, or in any other historie: and among all ye shall finde, that non hathe escaped God­des punishement, but alwayes their iniquitie hathe ben plaged in them selues or their posteritie.

The cause and maner of king Saules punishemēt [Page] and extinguishing of his posteritie, is more common­ly knowne, than nedeth any rehearsall. Roboam bicause he wold reigne as a tyranne and not be subie­cte to lawe nor counsail, hade ten tribes of his king­dome taken frō him, and geuen to Ieroboam: who also forasmuche as he contented not him selfe to be sub iecte to Goddes written worde and lawe, but fell to his owne Idolatrous inuenciones, and caused his subie­ctes to folowe his procedinges: was so stripped from the enheritaunce of his crowne, that his sede was vt­terly rooted out.

The ende of Achab and Iesabel is well ynough vnderstanden. And kyng Ioram for his stout stryuing against Goddes lawes and the ordre of his countrey was so sore striken of the lorde with hor­rible diseases, that at leynght his guttes for extreme anguishe flewe out of his bely. But wherto bring I out particular examples of Goddes plagues and pu­nishementes vpon kinges and princes that wold not be subiecte to Goddes lawes, and the lawes of nature, seing the hole body of the Bible, and writers of pro­phane histories be full of them?

Therfore seing no king or gouernour is exempted from the lawes, hande, and power of God, but that he ought to feare and tremble at it, we maye procede to the other part of the question: that is, whe­ther kinges, princes, and other gouernours ought to [Page] be obedient and subiecte to the positiue lawes of their countrey. To discusse this question, the right waye and meane is as in all other thinges, to resorte to the fountaynes and rootes, and not to depende on the ry­uers and braunches. For as if men should admyt, that the churche of Rome were the catholike churche, and the pope the head of it, and Goddes onely vicare in earthe, and not seke further how he cometh by that autoritie: than could noman saie, but that all his doin­ges (were they neuer so wicked) should seme iust: so if men should buylde vpon thauthoritie that kinges and princes vsurpe ouer their subiectes, and not seke from whens they haue theyr autoritie, nor whether that which they vse, be iuste, ther could be nothing produ­ced to let their cruell tyrannye. But for asmuche as we see from whence all politike power and autoritie co­meth, that is, from God: and why it was ordained, that is, to mayntene iustice: we ought (if we will iudge rightly) by Goddes worde examine to trie this mater.

Saint Paule treating who should doo obedience, and to whom obedience should be done, saieth: Let euery soule be subiecte to the powers that rule, for ther is no power but of God. Ther are that wolde haue this worde, Soule, taken for man, not as he consisteth of soule and body bothe to­gether, but onely of the fleshe: and that so by the wor de ( [...]) should be vnderstanden onely a worldly man, that is, a laye man or temporall man (as we ter­me [Page] it) and not a spiritual man and a minister of the churche. Wher vpon Antichrist, the bishop of Ro me seking for subiectes to be vnder his kingdom, ha­the takē for his subiectes the cleargie with tagge and ragge that to them belongeth: and hathe made lawes, that they should be his subiectes, obedient to him and not to the politike power and autoritie, wher vnto he leaueth for subiectes onely the temporaltie.

But in scripture this worde (Soule) is taken for euery kinde of mā, as may appeare whā it saieth, that all the soules (that is, man and womā) that were in the arke with Noe, were eight. And that all the soules of the house of Iacob, which cam in to Egipt were lxx. In which nombres it can not be denyed, but that ther were as holy and as spirituall persones, as any are or were in the kingdome of the bishop of Rome. And Chrisostome (a priest) expounding this texte (Let euery soule be subiecte to the higher powers) sayeth: yea if thow be an apostle, an euan­gelist, a prophet, or what so euer thow art: for this subiection destroieth not religion. So that it can not be denyed, but by this worde (Soule) is comprehen­ded, euery persone, and none excepted. Now touching this worde (Power) some wold haue it interpreted for all those persones that execute iustice, be he kai­ser, king, mayre, Sherif, constable, borseholder, or ne­uer so lowe: and some wolde haue it to be interpreted only of kinges ād chiefest officers. But it is here to be [Page] taken for the ministerie and autoritie, that all officers of iustice doo execute: and so it maie appeare by Chri stes owne wordes, wher he saieth: The kinges of the naciones rule ouer▪ thē, ād those that ex ercice thautoritie or power, be called gra­cious Benefactours, or well doers. For as all mē and womē that seme to lyue together in the ho ly ordinaunce of Matrimonie, be not mā and wife, for it maie be, that the man hathe an other wife liuing or the wife other an husbande, or that they came not together▪ for the loue of God only, and to auoide sinne, but for sensualitie, and to get riches, and so thordinaunce it self is one thing, and the per­sones, that is, the mā ād womon an other: euē so is the politike power or autoritie beīg thordinaūce ād▪ good gifte of God, one thīg, ād the ꝑsone that executeth the same (be he kīng or kaiser) an other thing. The ordi­naūce being godly, the mā may be euil ād not of God, nor come therto by God, as the Prophet Osee saieth: They haue made them a king, and not through me: a prince, and not through my counsail and will,

Neither is that power and authoritie which kin­ges, princes, and other ministres of iustice exercice, only called a power: but also thauthoritie that paren tes haue ouer their children, and maisters ouer their seruauntes, is also called a power: and neither be the parentes nor maisters the power it self, but they be inistres and executours of the power, being geuen [Page] vnto them by God: Which also S. Paule in an other place plainly sheweth, saieng to Titus: Warne them to be subiecte to the principalities ād po­wers. Which some interprete, princes and powers, to make a distinctiō betwene the minister and the Mini­sterie. And it foloweth: to obey thofficers, so that alwaies the difference maie be perceaued. So than if by this worde (Soule) is ment euery person spiri­tual and temporal, man and woman: and by this wor­de (power) thautoritie that kinges and princes exe­cute, than can not kinges and princes, but be contei­ned vnder this general worde (Soule) as well as o­thers. And they being but executours of Goddes la­wes, and mennes iust ordinaunces, be also not exem­pted from them, but be bounden to be subiecte and obe dient vnto them. For good and iuste lawes of man be Goddes power and ordinaunces, and they are but mi­nisters of the lawes, ād not the lawes self. And if they were exēpt from the lawes, and so it were laufull for them to doo what them lusteth, their autoritie beīg of God, it might be saied, that God allowed their tyrānie robbery of their subiectes, killīg thē without lawe, ād so God thautor of euil: which were a great blasphe­mie. Iustiniā thēperour well cōsidered, whan he ma de this saieng to be put into the body of the lawes. It is a worthy saieng (saieth he) for the Maiestie of him that is ī autoritie, to cōfesse that the prīce is subiect [...] to the lawes, thauthoritie of the prīce do the so muche [Page] depende on thautoritie of the lawes. And certainly it is more honour than the honour of the empire, to submitte the principalitie vnto the lawes. For in dede lawes be made, that the wilfull self will of men should not rule, but that they should haue a line to leade them, as they might not goo out of the waie of iustice: and that (if any wolde saie, they did them wrong) they might alledge the lawe for their wa­raunt and autoritie. It is also a principle of all lawes grounded on the lawe of nature, that euery man should vse himself and be obedient to that lawe, that he will others be bounden vnto. For otherwise he taketh awaye that equalitie (for ther is no difference betwene the head and foote, concerning the vse and benefite of the lawes) wherby common wealthes be maintened and kept vp. What equalitie (I beseche you) should ther be, wher the subiecte should doo to his ruler all the ruler wolde: and the ruler to the sub­iecte, that the ruler lusted?

The good emperour Traianus (whom for his iust behaueour, the Senate of Rome toke to be a God) being in possession of his office, and minding to shewe, that he was not ordained to be a tiranne, but to see the people well gouerned, and that, albeit he was the minister of the lawes, yet was he sub­iecte to the lawes, toke a sweorde, and gaue it to the Captain of the horsemen, and saied: Ta­ke this sweorde, use it for me against [Page] mine enemies in iust causes: and if I my self doo not iustly use it, than use it aga­inst me.

Zaleuchus the ruler and maker of lawes to the locres, whan he made this lawe, that an aduoute­rour should be punished with the losse of bothe his eies, and his sonne hade offended the same, albeit the people made great intercession, that his paines might be pardoned him, he wold not consent vnto it, but pul ling out one of his sonnes eies, to fulfill and kepe the lawe, he suffred one of his owne eies also to be pulled out.

But thow wilt saie: What haue we to doo with Ethnikes? Why should we be ordred by Ethnikes do­inges? I answer, that whan Ethnikes doo by nature that thow art bounden also to doo, not only by na­ture, but by the lawes of God and man, such Ethni­kes shall ryse in the vniuersal iudgement, to accuse the, and worke thy condemnacion. The bishop of Romes lawes (which albeit he vse not in him self, yet will he haue them practiced in others) saye thus: It is requisite and iust, that a prince obeie his owne lawes. For than maie he loke that others shall kepe his lawes, whan he him self hathe them in honour. Iustice will, that princes be obedient aud boun­den to their owne lawes, and that they can not in their owne doinges condem­ne [Page] those lawes which they prescribe unto others. Thauthoritie of their sayeng is iust and indifferent, if that thei suffre not them selues to doo that they prohibite unto their people. This saieth the bishop of Ro­mes lawe. And vpon this principle after in the great general counsail of Lateran, Which pope Inno­cent the thirde helde, it may seme, it was ordained and decreed (as they saie) that whan kinges and prin­ces that knowlaged no superiour, should fall out among them selues, or should misuse their power and autoritie ouer their subiecttes, that than the matier should be hearde ād corrected by the bishop of Rome

But here it maie be asked, who did this iustice on kinges and princes before that time, sith it was but than cōmitted to the bishop of Rome? To that at this time we shall not nede to answer, for that we doo not seke presētly to knowe who should be iudge, but onely to declare and proue, that kinges and princes ought, bothe by Goddes lawe, the lawe of nature, mannes la­wes, and good reason, to be obedient and subiecte to the positiue lawes of their countrey, and maie not breake▪ them, and that they be not exempt from them, nor maie dispense with them, onles the makers of the lawes geue them expresse autoritie so to doo.

Who shalbe the kinges iudges, hereafter thow shalt heare.

IN WHAT THINGES, AND how farre subiectes are bounden to obeie their princes and gouernours.

AS THE BODY OF MAN IS KNIT and kept together in due proporciō by the si­newes, so is euery cōmū wealthe kept ād maìtened in good ordre by Obedience. But as if the sinowes be to muche racked ād stretched out, or to muched shrinked together, it briedeth wonderfull paines and deformitie in mānes body: so if Obediēce be to muche or to litell in a common wealthe, it causeth muche euil and dis­ordre. For to muche maketh the gouernours to for get their vocacion, and to usurpe vpon their subie­ctes: to litel briedeth a licencious libertie, and maketh the people to forget their duetie. And so bothe waies the common wealthe groweth out of ordre, and at leinght cometh to hauocke and vttre destruction,

Some ther be that will haue to littel obedience, as the Anabaptistes. For they bicause they hea­re of a christian libertie, wolde haue all politike po­wer taken awaye: and so in dede no obedience.

Others (as thenglishe papistes) racke and stretche out obedience to muche, and wil nedes ha­ue ciuile power obeied in all thinges, and that [Page] what so euer it commaundeth, without respecte it ought and must be done. But bothe of them be in great errours. For thanabaptistes mistake christian libertie, thinking that men maye liue without sinne, and forget the fall of man, wherby he was brought in to suche miserie, that he is no more hable to ru­le himself by him self, than one beast is hable to rule an other: and that therfore God ordained ciuile power (his ministre) to rule him, and to call him ba­cke, whan so euer he should passe the limites of his duetie, and wold that an obedience should be geuen vnto him.

And the papistes neither considre the degrees of powers, nor ouer what thinges ciuile power hathe autoritie, ne yet how farre subiectes ought to obeye their gouernours. And this they doo not for lacke of knowlage, but of a spiritual malice, bicause it maketh against their purpose, that the truthe should be disclosed.

If any christian prince should goo about to re­dresse the abuses of the Sacraments (brought in and deuised by the papistes to maintēe their kingdome) to correcte their abominable life, their hooredome, bug­gery, dronkenesse, pride, and suche like vices: than is he an other Ozias, an other Osa, an heretike, aschis­matike, cursed from toppe to too, with boke, bell, and candle, as blacke as a potteside: no obedience of the subiectes ought to be geuen vnto him. But if [Page] he be contented to wynke at their abominaciones, to runne with them, to dishonour God, to commit ido­latrie, to kill the true ministers and confessours of Christ, to destroye the poore innocētes which abhor the papistes wicked vices, and be desirous that Goddes kingdome should be promoted: than is he an other Ezechias, a Iosias, a catholike prince, a deare sonne of the churche, the protectour of the churche, the defen­dour of the faithe, the fosterour of the churche, a con­fessour while he lyueth, after his deathe a saynt (yea a saint deuil) canonized with Ora pro nobis: whan Beelzebub daunceth at his Dirige.

Suche a one (saie they) must be obeyed in all thin­ges, none maie speake against his procedinges, for he that resisteth the power, resisteth thordinaunce of God, and he that resisteth, purchaceth to him self dam naciō: as though to leaue euil vndone, and to doo good, were to resi ste the power. And here also they wryng this sayeng of S. Petre (Seruauntes obeie your maisters, although they be froward and churlishe) to free subiectes vnder a king: as if boun­de men and free men were all one, and kinges and bon­demens lordes hade like authoritie. So with violent wringing and false applyeng of Goddes healthe ge­uing worde, Caiphas and Herode ryde cheke by cheke, and walke arme in arme, with bothe the sweor des and crosse before them. Frende to the one, frende [Page] to bothe: and he that is an heretike with Caiphas, must be atraitour to Herode▪

Thus they goo about to bleare mennes eies to con firme and encreace their deuillishe kingdome. But popis he prelates practices are no warraunt to dis­charge a christian mannes conscience. He must seke what God will haue him doo, and not what the sub­tiltie and violēce of wicked men will force him to doo. He maye not robbe petre to clothe Paule, nor take from God his due to geue it vnto ciuile power: neither maie he make confusion of the powers, but yelde vnto euery one that is his due, nor yet obeyeng the infe­riours commaundement, leaue the commaundement of the highest vndone. Yelde vnto Cesar, those thinges that be Cesares (sayeth Christ) and vnto God, those thinges that be Goddes. Ciuile power is a power and ordinaunce of God, ap­pointed to certain thinges, but no general minister ouer all thinges. God hathe not geuen it power ouer the one and the best parte of man, that is, the soule and conscience of man, but onely ouer the other and the worst part of man, that is, the body, and those thinges that belong vnto this temporall life of man.

And yet ouer that parte with thappurtenaunces hathe he not only not geuen man the hole power, and [Page] stripped him self quite of all thautoritie, but also he hathe reserued to him self the power therof. For we reade, that whan ciuile power (his minister) hathe ben necligent in doing his duetie, or winked at the euil life of the people, God hathe not holden his hande, but hathe whipped and plagued suche people, as he did the Sodomites, Gomorrianes, and diuerse tymes the Iewes.

And in our dayes his hāde is not shortened but he ha­the and daily dothe plage blasphemours, hooremon­gers, dronkerdes, murtherours, theues, traitours, ty­rannes, suche as in mannes sight no man durst or at the least wolde touche: som with incurable plages of their bodye, some with losse of their children, some with losse of their goodes, and some with shamefull deathes.

And contrary wise whan the worldly po­wers haue violently, tyrannously, ouer sharply, and wrongfully oppressed and condemned innocen­tes, God (to testifie that he hathe also power of the body) hathe many tymes in all ages myghtily and miraculously deliuered his people from the power of tyrannes: as the Israelites from Pharao, Mardocheus from A man, Susanna from the lecherous iudges: Sedrach Mesach, and Abednego srō the burnyng ouen: Daniel from the lyons denne, Petre from Herode, and infinite other examples we [Page] haue in scriptures and histories. And the like haue not wanted in our daies also, if we will aduisedly cōsidre the condicion and state of our tyme. So that we see God to be the supreme power of the hole man, aswell to punishe as to deliuer at his owne will.

God is the highest power, yea the power of powers, frō him is deriued all power. All people be his seruaū ­tes made to serue and glorifie him. All other powers are but his ministers, set to ouersee that euery one he haue him selfe, as he ought towarde God, and to doo those thinges, that he is iustly commaunded to doo, by God.

[...]hat so euer God commaundeth man to doo, he ought not to considre the mater, but straight to obeie the commaunder. For we are sure, what he commaun­deth, is iust and right: for from him that is all to­gether iuste and right, no iniustice nor wrong can come.

So did Abraham, whan contrary to that semed to be right and iust (yea contrary to Goddes general commaundement) he made himself ready to kill and offre in sacrifice his onely promised sonne Isaac, ac­cording to Goddes special commaundement. So did also the children of Israel, contrary to the general commaundement (Thou shalt not steale) rob­be and spoile the Egipcianes, by Goddes special com­maundement. And so did Phinees, who albeit he [Page] were no Magistrate, yet of a great zeale by the inward mocion of Goddes spirit thrust his sweorde through those two whom he founde committing Horedome,

But cōtrary in m [...]ānes cōmaundementes, men ought to considre the matier, and not the man. For all men what so euer mynisterie or vocatiō they exercice, are but mē, and so maye erre. We see coūcelles against cō ­celles, parliamētes against parliamētes, cōmaundemēt against cōmaundement, this daye one thing to morow an other. It is not the mannes waraunt that can discharge the, but it is the thing it self that must iustifie thee. It is the mater that will accuse thee, and defende thee: acquyte thee, and condemne thee: whan thou shalt come hefore the throne of the hi­ghest and euerlasting power, wher no temporal power will appeare for thee, to make answer or to defende thee: but thou thy self must answer for thy self, and for what so euer thou hast done. And ther­fore christen men ought well to considre, and weigh [...] mennes commaundementes, before they be hastie to doo them, to see if they be contrarie or repugnaunt to Goddes commaundementes and iustice: which if they be, they are cruell and euill, and ought not to be obeyed. We haue this special commaundement from God the highest power, ofte repeted by the holy goost. Forbeare to doo euil, and doo that is good. [Page] S. Paule (the true teacher of obediēce) teacheth, that ciuile power and princes be not ordayned to be a ter rour to those that doo wel but to those that doo euil, ād will not that mē should do what so euer the power commaundeth, but sayeth, wilt thou not feare the po­wer? doo that is good, and thou shalt haue praise of it: for it is the minister of God ordained for thy benefite, and not to thy destruction. But if thou doo that is euil, than feare: for it carieth not the sweorde in vayne: for it is the minister of God, a reuenger and execucionar, to punishe him that shal doo euil. And therfore it is orday ned, that euil might be taken awaye. Men must be sub iecte, not only for feare of punishement, but also for conscience sake. For not to obeye the power, that de­fendeth the good and vertuous, and punisheth the euil and wicked, is deadly synne, And the self same also S. Petreteacheth. Wherfore the marke that all men ought to shoote at, is to doo good, and in no wise to doo euil, whoso euer commaundeth it. If the mini­sters of the ciuile power commaunde thee to ho­nour and glorifie God, as God wilbe honoured, to de­fende (with thy persone and goodes) thy countreye against thenemies, to doo suche thinges as be for the wealthe and benefite of thy countreye: thou art boun­den to doo it: for it is good, and God will haue thee to doo it. And if thou doo it not, thou synnest against [Page] God, and iustly deseruest the punishement not only of the power, but of euerlasting damnacion But if the ministers of the ciuile power commaunde thee to dis­honour God, to committe idolatrie, to kill an inno­cent, to fight against thy countrey, to geue or lende that thou hast, to suche as mynde the subuersion and destruction of thy countrey, or to mayntene them in their Wickednesse, tkou oughtest not to doo it, but to leaue it vndone: for it is euil, and God (the supreme ād highest power) will not that thou shouldest doo it. Thapostles in tyme of persecution did not onely geue vs an example so to doo, whan the worldly powers wolde haue had them to folowe their procedinges, but also lefte vs a lessō so to doo. God must be obeied (saye they) rather than men. And this lesson euen from the begynning before it was written, was by the holy goost printed in mānes heart. Whan Pharao the ty ranne commaunded the mydwyues of the Egipcianes, to kill all the male children that should be borne of the Israelites wyues: thinke ye, he did only commaun­de them? No without doubt. Ye maye be sure, he com­maunded not only vpō threatned paynes, but also pro mised them largely: and perchaunce as largely as tho­se doo, that being desirous of chidren, procure the mydwyues to saye, they be with childe, whan their bely is puffed vp with the dropsie or molle, ād hauing bleared the cōmon peoples eies with processioning, Te deum singing, and bonefire banketting, vse all cere [Page] monies and cryeng out, whilest an other birdes egge is layed in the nest. But these good mydwiues fearing God (the high power) who hadde commaunded them, not to kill, wolde not obeye this tyranne Pharaoes commaundement, but lefte it vndone.

Whan the Ioilye quene Iesabel commaunded, that the prophetes of God should be destroyed, that noen should be lefte to speake against her idoles, but that all men should folowe her procedinges: did Ab­dias the chief officer to the king her husbande saye, your grace dothe very well to ridde the worlde of thē for those that worship the true liuing God, cannot be but traitours to my souerayne lorde and maistre the king your husbande, and to your grace: and it is these heretikes, that bewitche and coniure you, that your grace cannot be delyuered of your childe, nor slepe quietly in your bedde: let me alone, I will finde the meanes to despeche them all, only haue your grace a good opinion of me, and thinke I am your owne? No. Abdias (a man fearing God, and knowing this com­maundement to be a wicked womans will) did cleane contrary to her commaundement, and hidde and pre­serued an hundred of the prophetes vnder the earthe i [...] caues. Whan the wicked king Saul commaunded his howne householde wayters and familiar seruaun tes to kill the priest Ahimelech and his children for hatred to Dauid: did those his owne nerest wayting seruauntes s [...]attre him forewarde, and saye: your [Page] Maiestie shall neuer be in sauetie and quiet so long as this traitour and his prating children (that are al­wayes in their sermones and bokes, meddling of the kinges maters) be suffred to lyue? we wilbe your true obedient seruauntes, we will beleue as the king be­leueth, we will doo as the king biddeth vs, according to our most bounden duetie of allegeaunce, we shall sone ease your highnesse of this grief: other of your graces chaplaynes be more mete for that rowme than this hipocrite traitour? No. they vsed no suche court crueltie, but considering God to be the supreme power, and seing Ahimelech (by his answeres) and his householde to be giltles of suche mater in forme and intent as (by Doeges accusation) Saul charged him with all, they refused to kill any of them, or ones tolaye violent handes vpon them, but playnly and vtterly (being yet the kinges true seruauntes and subiectes) denyed to obeye the kinges vnlau­full commaundement. And whan the same hi­pocrite Saul commaunded his seruauntes or souldiours to kill noble Ionathas his sonne, who for necessitie hade taken a litel honie to recouer his streinght contrary to the king his fathers commaun­dement: did they saie, let vs kill him as we be willed, so shall some of vs be made the kinges lieutenaunt, we shalbe an ynche nerer to the succession, we shall ha­ue his landes, possessiones, goodes and offices parted [Page] amōg vs: let vs not sticke to doo it. Whan he is despe ched out of the worlde, he can make no reuenge, for dead men doo no harme. No, no, cleane cōtrary. They knewe that innocent Abels bloud did crie to the lorde, Vengeaunce, uengeaunce, uengea­unce. And that albeit Cain hade a marke, that no man might laufully kill him in this life, yet hangeth he now (as good writers saie) in chaines in hell. And thefore they wolde not obeie the wicked and cruel ti­rannes commaundement, but knowing that God will not haue innocentes blood shead, but innocentes against tyrannes defended, they toke vpon them the defense of the good sonne against the tyrannicall hi­pocrite and vnnatural father.

Iulian themperour, albeit he were an Apostata from Christ, and a great persecutour of Christes churche, yet hade he vnder him souldiours that pro­fessed Christ. Whan he commaunded them to set fore­warde to fight for the defense of the common weal­the, they obeied him, and did it willingly: but did they before they were commaūded, seke for the christianes, and bring them to the one and twentie Commissiona­res, or to the bishoppes colehouse? or whan he willed and commaunded them to destroye such as wold not denie Christ, and folowe his procedinges, worship­ping idoles: did they bring them to the fire, ād stande about, that they should not speake? and to see, that none should come nere thē, to conforte and streingh­ten [Page] them in their faithe? or whan they spake, did they cleaue their headdes in pieces with their halbeardes, or stoppe their mouthes with their billes? No, they confessed, that in that themperour of heauen thalmi ghtie God (and not thēperour of the earthe a wicked mā, and a rebelle against God) was their emperour ād Captaī: ād therin they wolde not obeie Iuliā nor doo that he commaunded in that behalfe. And this answer bothe S. Ambrose and S. Augustine, yea ād the papistes (although they thē selues doo not so) pro­pounde and set furthe for a christē doctrine ād a ca­tholike exāple, how christē ād good subiectes shoulde behaue thē selues towarde wicked prīces, ād their wi cked cōmaundemētes: that is, in no wise to obeie thē, but to leaue thē undone. And as mē ought not to obeie their superiours, that shall cōmaunde thē to doo any thīg agaīst Goddes worde, or the lawes of nature: so maie they not doo that they shall cōmaūde thē cōtra­ry to ciuile iustice, or to the hurt of the hole state. Nei ther will good prīces attēpt or goo about any suche thing: for it is the next waie to bring thē out of their seates, and to make thē of kinges no kinges. How can that head liue ād cōtinewe, wher the body is cōsumed ād dissolued? And how cā that body be lustie, wher the sinowes (the lawes) are broken, and iustice (the marie that should nourishe it) vtterly wasted and decaied?

Antiochus the thrid, king of Siria wrote thus to all the cities of his dominion, that if he did cō [Page] maunde any thing that should be contrary to the la­wes, they should not passe theron, but that rather they should thinke, it was stollen or forged without his knowlage, considering that the prince or gouer­nour is nothing elles but the minister of the lawes. And this same saieng of this most noble king semed to be so iuste and reasonable, that it is taken for a com mon principle, how subiectes should knowe, whan they should doo that they be commaunded, and whan they ought not.

Likewise a bishop of Rome, called Alexander the third, wrote to an Archebishop, to doo a thing which semed to the Archebishop to be vnreasonable and contrary to the lawes, the pope perceauing that tharbishop was offended with his writing, and wol­de not doo that he required: desired him not to be off [...]nded, but that if ther were cause, why he thought he should not do that he required, he wolde aduertise him, and he therwith wolde be satisfied.

This is a popes saiēg: which who is so hardy dar­die to denie to be of lesse autoritie than a lawe? yea not felowe, but aboue Goddes worde? Wher vpon this is a general rule, that the pope is not to be obeied, but in laufull and honest thinges; And so by good Ar­gument from the more to the lesse, that princes (being but foote stooles and stirrop holders to popes) com­maunding their subiectes that is not godly, not iuste, not laufull, or hurtefull to their countrey, ought not [Page] to be obeied, but with standen. For the subiectes ought not (against nature) to further their owne destructiō, but to seke their owne saluacion: not to maintene euil but to suppresse euil: for not only the doers but also the consentours to euil, shalbe punished, saie bothe Goddes and mannes lawes. And men ought to haue more respecte to their countrey, than to their prince: to the common wealthe, than to any one persone. For the countrey and common wealthe is a degree aboue the king. Next vnto God men ought to loue their countrey, and the hole common wealthe before any membre of it: as kinges and princes (be they neuer so great) are but membres: and common wealthes mai stande well ynough and floris he, albeit ther be no kinges, but contrary wise without a common wealthe ther can be no king. Common wealthes and realmes may liue, whan the head is cut of, and may put on a newe head, that is, make them a newe gouernour, whan they see their olde head seke to muche his owne will and not the wealthe of the hole body, for the which he was only ordained. And by that iustice and lawe, that lately hathe ben excuted in Englande (if it maie be called iustice and lawe) it should appeare, that the ministers of ciuile power doo somtimes commaun­de that, that the subiectes ought not to doo.

Whan the innocent Lady Iane contrary to her will, yea by force, with teares dropping downe her chekes, suffred her self to be called Quene of En­gland [...]: [Page] yet ye see, bicause she consented to that which was not by ciuile iustice laufull, she ād her hus­bande for company suffred the paines of Traitours, bothe headles buried in one pitte.

Whan the blessed mā of God, Thomas Cran­mer Archebishop of Cantorbury did what he might to resiste to subscribe to King Edwardes will, wherby his two sisters, the ladies Mary and Elizabeth should haue ben wrongfully disherited: yet bicause he afterwarde (to contēt the kinges min­de and commaundement, yea in dede to saue the inno­cent king from the uiolēce of most wicked traiterous tirannes) did subscribe vnto it against his will: was it not laied vnto him by the wicked Iudge Morgā (whom God not long after plaged with taking awaie his wittes that was a foole before) that he ought not to doo any thing unlaufull, bi commaundemēt of any power? And so he (an innocent) piked out among a great nombre of very euil doers (to satisfie the lawe) was condemned as a traitour before he suffred as a martir. Were not the ymages ād Roodeloftes in En­glande destroied by autoritie of ciuile power? And dothe not Boner the Archbocher of londō for all that force them that obeied the authoritie (bi­cause he saieth, it was not lauful) to make thē vp agaī at their owne charges? But Boner, thou that allow est nothing to be well done (by what so euer autoritie it be done) except it be laufull, nor nothing to be lau­full [Page] that is not agreing to thy Canon lawes: I haue to saie to thee▪ Stāde stil a while, whilest I rubbe the. Tell me plainly, and face not out a lie, as thou arte wont: speake not one thing, and thinke an other, as thy na­ture is: ones in thy life tell the truthe, and shame thy maister the deuil. If thou were the sonne of the earthe by thy fathers side, and of an erraunt hoore by the mother, and so a bastarde: hy what autoritie saiest thou thy masse, whan thy lawes suffre no bastardes to be priestes without dispensacion? how comest thou to be a bishop, whan thy lawes saie, thou maiest be no priest? How be thy iudgementes laufull, whan thou by thy Canones maiest be no iudge? All men knowe, that thy mother whan thou wast begoten, was an hoore.

The common voice and fame saieth, and the truthe is, that albeit one Boner (a bare whippe Iacke) for lucre of money toke vpon him to be thy father, and than to mary thy mother, yet thou wast persone Sauages bastarde: and of that race come thy Cousins Wimmeslowe thy Archediacon of lon­don (a mete eie for suche a grosse head) and Wims­lowe his brother, and a great meany moo notable. These thinges be so euident ād plaine, that thou can­nest not (without blushing) denie them: neither thou wilt (I knowe) denie thē. For thou boastest ād brag­gest muche, that thou comest of gentil blood.

But thou wilt saye, thou hast a bull of dispēsacion [Page] from the pope. I require to knowe, what time it was graunted. Thou saiest, whan thou wast at Rome. It is euen that I requiered. Thou wast in dede at Rome, proctour for the princes dowager the Quenes mo­ther, in the cause of diuorce betwene King Henry the viij. and her.

Whan thou sawest that no prebendes, no Arche­diacōries, no bishoprikes were to be goten by conti­nuing on her parte, thou betraiedest her cause, and becamest of Counsail with the king. O noble coun­saillour. O seuere and laufull iudge.

A mete man to sit in condemnacion of so many innocentes: yea more mete to stande on the pillarie, than in a pulpit: to be tied vp in a boare franke, than walke in a princes chambre: to weare [...] Tiburne tip­pet, than a graie amise. But what if thou haue no di­spensacion? What a murtherour art thou of true En­glishe men? What a tormentour of the people of God? How haste thou deceaued the Erles of Oxe­forde and Sussex, the Lorde Riche, the Mai­res and Sheriffes of London, and many other of the nobilitie, gentilmen, and Commones, forceing them to washe their handes in innocentes blood with thee? what consciences maie they haue through thee? How cannest thousalue their wounded soules? But thou wilt saie, it maketh no matier. The cleargie is faire ridde of a great meany of enemies. A dead man can doo no hurt. But be thou certain, thou wilt be [Page] dece [...]ued. What so euer becometh of thy bocherly bo­dy I wishe thy soule to be saued. Repent therfore in tyme: become Paule of Saul.

Whan the prince of Sebech called Adonisebech cut of the handes and fete of Seuentie kinges, and ma­de them lyue by licking vp the cromes that fell Vnder his table, he thought those poore maymed men could doo him no hurt: but God payed him home. For he him self hade his handes and [...]ete cut of, and was forced to pike vp cromes vnder the table, as he hade forced the other kinges.

King Abimelech caused his thre score and tē brethren by the father side, to be all killed, bicause he might reigne alone: he thought all was Cocke, and so did they that holpe him to execute so horrible an a­cte. But what? did they escape? No. God suffred the deuil to make discorde betwene the king and his deare dearlinges, and first thei were iustly destroied by their king, and after he him self hauing his head broken with a pece of a stone lette fall out of a weake wo­mans handes, for shame willed his seruaunt to kill him with a sweorde, that it should not be reported, a wo­man hade killed him. King Achab and Quene Ie­sabel thought non should reuenge poore Nabo­thes deathe: but contrary to their expectacion, by Goddes iustice, dogges slossed and licked vp the blood of them bothe. Quene Athalia thought her self sure whan she had killed al the kinges progenie, but God [Page] serued her with the like sawce: she reigned not long, but she was killed. All the miserie and mischief in the Realme of Naples came by a woman, called Quene Ioane (a woman of muckle lust) who after she hade ben a while maried to a noble gentilman, and waxed weary of his worke, caused him to be hanged out of an open galerie in the toppe of the house (bicause noman should see him) and not after the poore the­ues maner with an halter of hempe, but with a rope of golde Wrought with her owne and her sisters Madam Mari malecasta her owne fyngers. She triumpheth for a while, and after besides an vn­speakeable nombre of pryuie mariages she made fou­re by daye in a litle space, but at leynght God pla­geth her, and she was hanged in that place, wher she before hanged her husbande.

Whan those that conspired the deathe of the two brethren, the Admiral and the Protectour ha­de brought it to passe, so as they might robbe the king, and spoile the Realme at their pleasure: did they at leynght escape scotte free? No▪ Som of them by the iuste iudgement of God were plaged with the like pu­nishemēt, with the same axe, vpon the self same bloc­ke and in the same place. And the rest hereafter are not vnlike without repentaunce (which they shewe not) to receaue their rewardes, either in them selues or their posteritie. O wonderfull workes, O iust iudgement of God, that hat [...]th those that doo euil, [Page] and destroyeth those that worke mischief: that abhor reth blood thirstie people, and those that haue double hartes and treble tongues.

But Boner, I maye not leaue thee thus. Geue me leaue (Sauage Boner) to dispute this mater of laufull and not laufull, a litle more with thee. If thou and the rest of the traitours thy Cōpaniones should persuade the frēdeles Quene of England (whō ye haue enchaūted) to geue ouer the towne of Cale­se and Barwike to a straunge prince, and (contra­ry to her othe not to diminishe any parte of the rightes of the Crowne and liberties of the people, which kinges of England at their Coronacion in ty­mes past made, and which she also made to her subie­ctes, Whan she was crowned before she was a per [...]it Quene) she folowed your counsail, and som noble personage sent thider to deliuer the keyes, and the de putie and garison did not strike of the messagiers head, and set it on the gates, but obeyed it, and not resisted it: wer not thou ād thi felowes traitours for ꝑsuading her so doo? hade not she broken her othe and promyse? were not that tournay a traitour for doing that he was commaunded? Were not the deputie and garison traitours for suffring it to be done? Ans­wer. What cannest thou saie for thy self and thy folowes? Giltie, or not giltie? Thou standest mewet, What not a worde? Thou art sure, your good will, will [Page] stande you in as good stede, as the dede done. Neither doo ye passe, though the crowes be fedde with your carion carcases, and the deuil with your sou­les, so ye maye leaue behinde you a fame, that by your traytourie, the laitie of Englād was destroyed, and the spiritualtie restored to their pompe and lordly power.

But before the halter stoppe thy winde, Boner, let vs knowe, what thou canst saye for her. Sayest thou, princes be not bounden by theyr othes and pro­misses? ynough. [...]hat for the rest? let them remembre that not lōg agoo their neighbour Mōsieur Ver uin, Captain of Boloigne was punished as a traitour, for that by necessitie and extremitie of for­ce he rēdred vp Boloigne to king Hēry theight and did not die in the defense of it: But thou wilt saie, he did it without commaundement of his m [...]ister: and these shall doo it by cōmaundement of their maistres. But what if the commaundement be not laufull? doest thou not saie thy self, it is not to be obeied? Thou saiest to others, that non maie do that is not laufull for any commaundement. But thou wilt saie: it is the Quenes owne, and she maye laufully doo with her owne what she lusteth. What if it be denyed to be her owne? But thou wilt saie: she hathe the crowne by enheritaunce, and maie dispose of the realme, and eue­ry parte of the Realme, as pleaseth her. But I answer: that albeit she haue it bi enheritaunce, yet she hathe [Page] it with an othe, lawe and condicion to kepe and mayn tene it, not to departe with it or diminishe it. If she ha ue no more right to the Realme than her father ha­de, and her father as muche as euer ani king of Eng­lande: what neded he to require the consent of the Nobilitie and commons (by parliament) to geue the Crowne to his daughter or any other?

But thou will saie, it was more than neded: for without consent of the parliamēt, he might doo with the Realme ād eueripte therof, what it pleased him. Take hede what thou sayest. If that be true, that king Henry might do with it without cōsent of the parlia­ment: how is the Ladi mari Quene? Why might not King Edwarde his some (a prince borne in laufull matrimonie, and right heire to the Crowne) bequeathe the Crowne wher he wolde, and as he did? Take hede what thou doest. If the king and Quene geue thee a thousaūt perdones, yet shalt thou be foun de a ranke Traitour to the Realme of Englande. For albeit the king or Quene of a rea [...]me haue the Crow­ne neuer [...] iustly, yet maye they not dispose of the Crowne or realme, as it pleaseth them. They haue the Crowne to minister iustice, but the Realme being a bodi of free men and not of bondemen, he nor she can not geue or sell them as slaues and bondemen. No, they can not geue or sell awaye the holdes and fortes (as Calese and Barwike, or suche like) without the consent of the Commones: for it was purchaced [Page] with their blood ād moneie. Yea ād thine owne popes lawes (wherby thou measurest all thīges to be laufull or not laufull) saie, that if a kīg or gouernour of any realme goo about to diminishe the regalities ād righ­tes of his crowne, he ought to be deposed. Thus did Pope Honorius the thrid cōmaunde tharchebishop of Collossa ād his suffraganes to depriue a kīg of Vngarie, which wēt about to waste, sell ād geue awaye the Regalities ād rightes of his crowne, o [...]les in tyme he ceassed ād called backe that he hade done. It is so plai­ne, thou canst not denie it. But I see, Boner, I haue chafed thee to muche: thi chekes blushe ād swell for very āgre. M. D. Cheadsei, M. D. Pēdletō, M. Cosins, or sō of you Chaplaines, get my lorde a cup of secke, to cō fort his spirites My lorde ād I agree almost like bel­les: we iarre sōwhat but not muche, his lordship mea­neth that mē ought to be alwaies but not at all tymes honest. But I saie, thei must be honest alwaies ād at al tymes. His lordeship wolde fayne haue a placarde or prouiso for hī ād his, that they might sōtimes (that is frō the begīnīg to thēde of the weke) plaie their par­tes. But Isaie, albeit his lordship haue suche a priuile­ge, yet maie no honest mā at any tyme doo that is not honest, iuste, ād laufull, bi kaisers, kīges, Quenes no, neither his cōmaundement. For if those thinges which only in mennes opiniones seme to be vnlaufull maye by no autoritie be done, and those that doo thē, be no lesse to be punisshed, than if they had done them with­out autoritie: how muche lesse maye suche thin­ges [Page] by any commaundement be committed, that are in dede vnlaufull: but shalbe punished according to the desertes, by what so euer power or autoritie they be executed? Men therfore ought to take hede, that by going about to come out of the smoke, they fall not in to the fire: and by pleasing of men, they runne not in to the displeasure of God. If mennes ordinaunces and lawes, or the gouernours autoritie and commaunde­ment were a sufficient discharge for men to doo what so euer were prescribed or cōmaunded vnto thē, tell me (I beseche thee) why did Esaias the Prop het suffre rather to be sawed in pieces, than to folowe the procedinges of Manasses? why did Daniel not folowe king Darius and his counsailles commaun­dement, forbearing to worship the true God: but was content to be cast to the lyones? why did not the three children, Sadrach, Mesach, and Abednego obeye Nabuchadnesar in worshipping the gol­den idole, ād so auoide the hotte burnīg fornace? why did Eleazarus submitte him self to deathe, and not dissemble? why did he not eate his owne meat, ād ab­steyne frō porke fleshe, that the king cōmaunded the Iewes to eat cōtrary to the lawes, ād saye that he ha­de eatē it, as his olde trustye frēdes of the court coū ­sailed hī? whi did he not sue for a bul or perdō of An­tiochus, that he might vse his owne religiō, as our En glishe haltīg gospellers doo of the pope, cōfessing his autoriti, which is the thīg that he ōly passeth vpō: ād [Page] [...]areth not how many soules be ledde to the deuil? why did not the seuen brethrē and their mother obeie the kinges commaundement, and saue their lyues and goodes, as thauncient Catharistes. and newe puri stes doo, saieng: all thinges be pure to the pure, and no Idolatrie nor filthynesse can infecte him that is pu­re and cleane? Or why did they not saie, as the Pri­scianistes and Papistes did in tyme past, and as the marchauntes Hill and Petresonne with their double tongued traine ād dissembling secte at this present saie, that it is laufull (and no sinne) to saye one thing and meane another? to lye with the lyppes, so they haue the truthe in the heart? to denye God in wordes and workes, so they cēfesse him in thought ād mynde? to daunce with the deuil all daye, and lodge with Christ at night? why did Paule suffre so many imprisonmētes, so muche beating, scourgeing and tor­menting? And why at leinght did he not saue his life, and folowe Kaiser Neroes commaundement? why did not the Prophetes, thapostles, and so many thou­sauntes of martirs folowe the wicked tirannes com­maundemētes and procedinges, but resisted them, and with their blood testi [...]ied, that they allowed thē not? But all these holy mēnes doīges in confessīg ād obeiēg the highest power God, ād not thinferiour powers in wicked ād euil thīges, are cōmēded ād lefte bi the ho­ly gooste to vs in holischrift to folowe ād doo the like. If mēnes lawes ād cōmaundementes were a sufficient [Page] waraūt to mē, to doo what so eueris cōmaūded thē: tell me (I praie thee) to what purpose is suffrig of persecu ciō so ofte repeted, so earnestly taught, so highly com mended in scripture? Christ saieth: He that taketh not up his crosse and foloweth me, is not mete for me. And again: blessed be those that suf­fre persecution for righteousnesse sake, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen. Bles sed are ye, whan men shall curse you, and persecute you, and speake all euil against you, lieng for my sake: be glad and reioi­ce, for your rewarde is pleintifull in hea­uen. So did they persecute the prophetes that were before you. And thapostle saieth: All that will liue godly in Christ Iesus, shall suffre persecution. And so in a great nombre of places of scriptures.

By suche persecution can not be ment the iniuries that priuate man dothe to priuate man: for God ha­the ordained a meane, that is, the magistrate to re­dresse them. But by persecution is ment the Iniuries and tirannie that the Magistrates and gouernours exercice ouer Goddes people. For they not contented to let a christian man haue iustice in ciuile thinges aga inst a papist, nor an honest man against suche a one as fauoureth their procedinges, doo thē selues spoile the christianes and honest of their goodes: and not onely spoile them, but by all maner of force, uiolence, [Page] and s [...]ares seke their life and blood, not onely in their owne countrey, but wher they haue non au­toritie, bicause they will not obeie their commaun­dements, and folowe their wicked procedinges.

God will haue his tried by persecucion, that the worlde maie see, who loue the chief power, mo­re than the inferiour powers: his commaundemen­tes, more than mennes fonde procedinges: the soule, more than the fleshe: the sure and euerlasting en­heritaunce of heauen, more than the vncertain and temporal possessiones of this worlde. Yea he hathe non other waie to let the difference appeare to men­nes eies betwene his seruauntes and princes Para­sites, than only by persecucion. Papistes, Turkes, Iewes, gentiles can dissemble, they can seme to fast, to praie [...], to geue alniose, to builde monasteries, and chauntries, and to doo notwarde workes gaie to the eie, bicause they wold be accompted holy of men, but to refuse to doo that is euil for iustice sa­ke, to be slaundred, spoken euil of, whipped, scour­ged, spoiled of their goodes, killed of the worldly princes and tirannes, rather than they wolde dis­obeie God, and forsake Christ: this can neither papistes nor Turkes, Iewes nor gentiles, nor non other doo, but onely thelectes of God. And yet God dothe not so seuerely require of his people, that they should streight offre them selues to the princes sla­ughterhouse, their neckes to the halter, their headdes [Page] to the blocke, their blood to make princes puddinges, their entrailles to make tripes, their quartres to be boiled or rosted: but he hathe lefte them a special rule and cōmaundement, wherby to guide themselues, that is, in all thinges to seke furst the kingdome of God. If he that is persecuted, fele in his cōsciēce, that he maie doo God greater seruice and glorie by suffring than by fleing, he ought rather to suffre a thousaunt dea­thes, than to flee one foote. But if his conscience wit­nesse with him that he maie doo God greater glorie by flieng than by tarieng, he ought not to tempt God with tarieng, but is bounden by cōmaundement to de­parte. If they persecute you in one citie (sai­eth Christ) flye in to an other. And he did not only teache it, but did it him self, for saking Iewrie, ād goīg into Galile, whā he hearde Iohn Baptist was laied bi the heles, bicause the time was not yet come, wherin he was appointed to glorifie God. And bicau­se God wolde haue a refuge place, and sanctuarie for his, whan suche tirannie and persecucion should be exerciced, he wolde neuer suffre the power and ambi­cious tirannes, to make one perfite Monarchie of all, but whan they hade done their best to bring all toge­ther, and the string hade bē almost in the nicke of the bowe (as the prouerbe is) it hathe sodainly slipt, and not only destroied the doer, but it hathe fallen in to a great meany moo shiuers than euer it was before. Thus God dalieth and plaieth with his puppettes the princelinges of this worlde.

[Page]wherfore sence we be Goddes people and seruaun­tes, and he our lorde and the highest power: and the princes of the worlde be but his ministres and infe­riour powers, ordained to doo good and not euil: we ought to seke chiefly to doo Goddes cōmaundementes before all mennes, to please God rather than men. For the princes (doo they the worst they can) can but take from men their goodes and liues: but God can take from vs bothe goodes and bodie, and cast bothe body and soule in to hell. And yet should not they be hable to worke their will in this worlde, nor execute their malice, if men wolde behaue them selues towar­de their lorde and maister God, as they ought. For as be can, so wolde he sone despeche the worlde of ti­rānes. But bicause many be opē enemies of God, and many dissemblers with God, God sendeth ād suffreth euil gouernours (and will sende worse) to plage the people for their iniquitie, and to trie the faithe of his electe, from whom not one heare of the head can be taken without Goddes wil. And therfore seking al­waies to do that is good, they should alwayes eschue to doo that is euil, and committe thende to God.

But admitte ther be a great nombre that haue dronken of the hoore of Babilons cuppe, and thinke, that ther is neither heauen nor hell, and that Goddes worde is but friers maters: and that therfore (like Sardanapalus) they should seke to eat and drin­ke, and serue their lustes, and nothing elles: yet were [Page] this no sure waie for them to doo that they wolde, if they should obeie their princes in what so euer they commaunded.

The nature of wicked Princes is muche like to the molde warpes, which if they be suffred to haue their snowtes in the grounde, and be not furthewith let­ted, will sodainly haue in all the body: or to the wesel­les, that conueith in his hole body, wher he hathe ones goten in his head. So they if they be obeied in any euil thing (be it neuer so litell) wilbe obeied in all at leinght. What letteth but that they maie not only sen­de for mennes goodes, but for their headdes also, as the Turke dothe to his best Bassa, and all his sub­iectes whan it pleaseth him? Why maie not they sen­de for their subiectes children, cause them to be killed, baked, and geue it to their parentes in steade of other meat: and for a seconde course bring in to them, the heades, fete, and handes, as king Astiages did to Harpagus? All the papir of England wold not serue to set our the mischiefes, that might folowe, whā princes euil commaundements should be obeied and fulfilled. But men that be wise, maie bi a litell, considre the hole.

Seing therfore that God will not princes com­maundementes should be obeied in all thinges, but will haue his rather suffre a thousaunt deathes, than do any thing that is euil: and sence also so many euil­les and mischiefes may folowe in this life, wher wicked [Page] princes willes maie stande for lawes, men ought bo­the for Goddes sake and commaundement absteine to obeie suche commaundementes, and cleaue vnto this Maxime: we must obeie God rather than man, for whose sake if we lose bothe goodes and life, we ought to reioice, that we be called to serue him, and not doubt, but as he is hable to recompence it, so will he (according to his promise) rewarde it. And besides also they ought to considre, that princes be ordained for the wealthe and benefite of the people, and not to their destruction: to maintene common wealthes, and not to subuerte them: which rather than any man should consent vnto, he ought (being a faithfull mā to his countrey) to abide all losses, bothe of body and goodes. For next after God, men be borne to loue, honour, and maintene their countrey.

WHETHER ALL THE SVB­iectes goodes be the Kaysers and kin­ges owne, and that they maie laufully take them as their owne?

THE Anabaptistes wresting scripture to serue their madnesse, amōg other foule errours, haue this: that all thinges ought to be common, they ymage man to be of that puritie that he was before the fall, that is, cleane without sinne, or that (if he will) he maie so be: and that as whan ther was no sin­ne, all thinges were common, so they ought now to be.

But this mingling of the st [...]te of man before the fall, and of him after the fall muche deceaueth them. For by the fall, ād euer after the fall, this corruptible fleshe of man is clogged with sinne, and shall neuer be ridde of sinne, as long as it is in this corrupt worl de, but shalbe alwaies disposed ād prone to doo that is euil. And therfore as one meanes to be the rather vn­combred of the heape of sinne, God ordained that mā should get his liuing by the swette of his browes: ād that he should be the more forced to labour, the di stinctiō of thinges ād propretie (mine, ād thine) was (cōtrary to platoes opiniō) ordained, as appeareth by these two lawes: Thou shalt not steale: Thou shall not couet thy neighbours wife, nor his s [...]ruaūt, nor his maide, nor his oxe, nor his Asse, nor [Page] any thing that is his. Afterwarde in dede scriptu­re speaketh of communion of thinges, not that they ought so to be (for so scripture should be directly against scripture) but that ther was such charitie among the people, that of their owne free will, they gaue and solde all they had, to releue the miserie of their poore brethren: who for impotencie, or for mul­titude of children, were not with their labour hable to get sufficient to releue their necessitie. Nor of this so geuen might euery man take as muche as him lu­sted, but to euery one (accordig to his necessitie) suffi­cient was distributed. So that it stode in the liberalitie of the geuer, and not in the libertie of the taker.

But ther be some in these daies, not of the meanest or poorest sorte, but of the chiefest and richest: that is, many wicked gouernours and rulers, who in this errour excell the common Anabaptistes. For the common Anabaptistes doo not onely take other men­nes goodes as common, but are content to let their owne also be common, which hathe som smacke of Charitie: for they them selues doo non other, but that they them selues are content to suffre.

But the euil gouernours and rulers will haue all that their subiectes haue, common to them selues, but they themselues will departe with nothing, but wher they ought not: no, not so muche as paie for those thinges, that in wordes they pretende to buie of their subiectes, nor paie those poore men their wages, [Page] whom they force to labour and toyle in their workes. But the maner of coming therby is so diuerse, that it maketh the iustenesse of their doinges muche suspe­cted. For some doo it vnder pretēse to doo the people good: some by craftie and subtil meanes, colour their doinges: and some of right (but without right) claime them for their owne.

Of the furst sort be those, that put great taxes and imposiciones on drinke for forasmuch as the peo­ple with ouermuch drinking become dronkerdes (and so sinne against God) they wolde seme by making thē paye asmuche or more to them as the drinke is wor­the, they should force them the rather to absteyne frō ouermuche drinking, ād so from sinne. But in this it maye appeare, they seke not abstinence frōsynne, ād the wealthe of the people, but their ownepriuate pro fit. For if they had their eie to Goddes glorie and the benefite of the people, and the vice to be taken cleane awaie: they wold not croppe of the braūches of the tree, and let the roote growe, but they wolde roote vp the roote that it should no more growe. And sō of this sort do it to this ēde, to make thinges better chea pe. For (thinke they) if ther were but littell money, thā must thinges be solde better cheape. As though it laye in them to make pleyntie and scarcitie, and as though thone were not the bounteous benefite of God sentto them that feare and loue him: and the other his plage iustly powred on them that hate him.

[Page]This kinde of practice Was, if not first founde, yet vsed by Emperour Iulian thapostata, a tiranne ād persecutour of the Christianes (as before you haue hearde) who being a subtil man, and not hauing his Coūsailours, sould yours ād subiectes (at his deuociō) ready to kill whom he wolde of the Christianes (whō he knewe for no priuate cause wolde rebelle) ment by policie to murther them, spoiling them of that they had, and so not leauing them wherwith to buye to re­leue their necessitie. Saieth this enemie of God: I will vse you after your Christes gospel. For it saieth: bles­sen be ye pcore, for yours is the kingdome of God. And therfore I take from you all that ye ha ue presently, that ye maie the soner come by that is promised you. Doubtles if this waie were as good ād beneficial for the agentes and doers of it, as it maie be profitable for the subiectes and sufferers: no doubt it were to be desired that it were done out of hande, rather than one minute of an houre differred to be done. For the people from the lesse to the more, from toppe to too, all be geuen to couetousnesse, scraping, snatching and ketching.

And from Pope to the hedge massemōging priest, all be geuen to subtiltie, crafte, lieng, traiterourie, and false dealing. Their heart is so on their halpeny, that neither they considre their duetie to God (no they knowe him not) nor remembre how muche they are bounden to their countrey: but vpon a vaine [Page] hope to saue their owne, are content either them sel­ues to betraie their countreie, or to suffre it to be be­traied of others, and one of them deuoureth ād eateth vp an other, that for a litel while he maie the more liue after his owne lust: Where contrarie wise, pouer­tie maketh men to remembre, seke, and call on God, to loue and defende their countreie, one to loue an other like brothrē, and finally deuiseth and worketh what so euer good is. But none maie pille or polle, robbe or spoile, or doo any mischief (saieth thapostle) that good maie therof folowe: and specially kinges and gouer­nours of people, whom bicause they be ordained to doo good, and should doo nothing but well, Christ called Benefactours and not Malefactours. If they doo it, whilest they pretende (but meane it not) to bring others to heauen, they maie be sure to bring them selues to hell.

The seconde sorte be those that robbe the people in dede, yet wolde not haue their doinges knowne. They walke in nettes, and thinke no mā dothe see thē. And of this kinde be those, that contrary to all lawes (bothe of God and man) and contrary to their othe, countrefaicte the coine that is ordained to runne be­twene mā and mā, turning the substa [...]ce from golde to copper, frō siluer to worse then pewter, ād aduaun­ceing and diminishig the price at their pleasure. For in coines all lawes commaunde and equitie will, that these foure thinges be obserued and straightly kept. [Page] First, the purenesse of the matier, that it be not cor­rupted or countrefaicted. Seconde, that it haue the iust weight. Thirdly, that it be not clipped. The last, that it be not at the princes will somtyme priced at a more value, and somtyme at a lesse: For if a prin­ce might doo herein euen what him lusted: how might he not lightly spoyle his subiectes of all that they ha­ue, or could come by▪ Which thing the great deuil and cut throte of Englande (the papistes God) in his Ser­mon that he made at Paules crosse, vpō this The­me (now is is the tyme to wake from slepe, my brethren, for now is our ioie and pom pe more nye, than whan we before dissem­bled to beleue in Christ. Be of good chea­re, my disciples, our trouble is past, our ioye i [...] at hande) letted not to blustre out. In this Sermon to bring the dead innocent and blessed king Edwarde (whom for his vertue he hated) in hatred of the people: for he imputed to him (a childe and a warde) the lewde and wicked behaueour of his cruell Counsailours, and saied, he maruailed that the people could suffre so great iniurie, to be robbed of their prin ce, by altring the coyne from golde to copper, and sil uer to leade, and to pull it from twelue pence to sixe pence, and not rise against the king to redresse their iniurie. He sawe, that this and suche like iniuries we­re not tolerable in a prince, and wolde haue hade the [Page] people doo that against him (whom he for his vertue hated) which neither for this nor any vice he woldet haue done, where as he semed to fauour. For at the be ginning to mayntene Boloigne warres, which he deui de, to pull king Hēries minde frō matiers of religiō, or (as afterwarde good likely hood appeared) to ha­ue hym taken in the warres, and caried to the bishop of Rome: the same deuil Gardyner was than the chief Counsaillour to haue the money abased, to main­tene the same. And now lately (whan he hath bro­ken his chayne) deuised Rose mary pence, worse than euer any coyne was before, as thexperience sheweth, they being at leinght cryed to be nothing.

The thrid sorte of these euil princes be those, that clai me all their subiectes good for their owne, who allege for them this common sayeng: All thinges be the kaisers, all thinges be the kinges, all thin­ges be the Princes. And as the deuil brought fur the scripture so serue his purpose against Christ, so thei abhorring all other partes of scripture, that teache them their office or Christen duetie, pike out onely a pece that maye mayntene their tyrannye. It is thus written, saye they in the first boke of kin­ges. This shalbe the right or lawe of the king that shall rule ouer you: he will take your sonnes, and put them to his charettes, and make his horsemen of them, and they must [Page] runne before his charet, and will make him Captaines of them, ouer thousaūtes and ouer fifties, and will set them to aire his grounde, and gather in his haruest, and to make instrumentes of warre and cartes. And of your daughters he will make him oyntement makers, his cokes, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fieldes and of your olyue trees, and geue them to his seruauntes. And he will take the tenthe of your sede and of your vines, and geue it to his lordes and to his seruauntes. And he will take the best of your men seruaun­tes, and women seruauntes, and yongm [...], and of your asses, and do his worke with them. And he will take the tenthe of your shepe, and ye shalbe his seruauntes. But whan ye shall crie out at that tyme vpon your king, which ye shall haue chosen you, the lorde will not heare you at that daie,

This pece of scripture is their clooke: but it ser­ueth no more a kinges wicked doinges, than that of the wicked sonnes of Eli, and the sacrisicers (whome men call priestes) to take out of mennes pottes, what pece them lusted, or to take their porcion rawe, con­trary to Goddes ordinaunce. For as in thone place it is called the right or lawe of the king: so is it in the other place called the right or lawe of the priestes. [Page] But in nother of these places it is called the lawe or right that God appoited to kinges or priestes, which he set out in other places, but suche is they wolde vsurpe ouer the people. Nother will this mayntene the purpose, that here he speaketh of a king and not of a tyranne, for at the first a kinges name was as odious, and as muche abhorred, as a tyrannes. But this was spoken of the prophet Samuel to feare the people, that they should not goo about to altre the ordre and policie that God had ordayned: which if they did, they should fele what a plague it were to haue a king geuen in Goddes furie. And if they had onely sought to be ruled by one (as partly in this, that one alone ruleth, a king do the diffre from other gouernours) they wolde haue ben content with Samuel alone, who as he was appointed by God to ru­le alone ouer the Israelites, so did he exercite and vse his office most vprightly: but they wolde nedes haue a galaunt and pompous king, one that should ryde out with his trompettes before him, a great trope of horsemen before and behinde him, his garde all toge­ther in silke with their halbeardes about hym, and eueri one to fall flatte to the groūde that should me­te him, as the Gentiles hade, who were in dede ty­rannes, as appeareth by the first called Nem­rod, who for his rebellion against God, and deuourig of Goddes people, was called the stowte [Page] huntour before or against God. And in the same kingdome of the Israelites God shewed by an euident ter­rour to all gouernours, that he did not allowe suche right, as the prophet sayed, the king wolde vse ouer his subiectes. For whan king Achab wolde ha­ue bought of his subiecte Naboth his vineyorde (which he neded not to haue done, if the subiectes goods be the kīges) ād he refused to sel it, as he might doo, for by Goddes lawe he had a propretie therin, from which without his will and consent, he could not be forced to departe, the king fretted so muche bicau­se he could not haue his will, that he fell sicke in his bedde, ād wolde not eate. His wife Dame Iesabel, a woman full of malice and mischief (as that kynde is very [...]pte and prone to those vertues, and within shorte space doo so therin excell, as fewe men can in long tyme matche them) taketh the matier in hande. What (sayeth she) be you a mete man to be a king ouer Israel, that will suffre suche dishonour at your slaues handes, one that bi your auncient prerogatiue which hathe continued thes hundred and three sco­re yeares, yea from the first king of Israel) ye maye vse in body and goodes, as pleaseth you? Phy for sha­me, pull your courage to you, arise, eat your meat, be mery, I waraūt you the vineorde. Out goeth a Cō ­mission in the kinges name, to certain Cōmissionares where Naboth dwelt, suche as the Quenes grace was sure, fauoured her procedinges. Those she [Page] requireth to cause Naboth to be endyted and con demned for an heretike and a traitour: and so to cau­se him to be stoned to deathe. Her will is furthewith satisfied, matier ynough against Naboth prisoner at the Barre, bicause she wold so haue it: no man might be admitted nor durst speake the truthe in the priso­ners cause, least they had ben clapped fast and trussed vp also for speaking against the king and Quene: no queste durst quite him, for fear of kissing the flete: no lawes, no equitie, no iustice might defende the poore innocent. So the vineiorde is the kinges by the ordre of lawe. Those newes be caried in post to Iesable, she sheweth them to her husbande, wherwith he (as sone as he hearde them) was recouered, and goeth to ta­ke possession of the vineiorde. But what foloweth this crueltie ād tirānie? Are not bothe the kinges Maiestie and the Quenes highnesse within while after killed, ād their blood licked vp of dogges, according as the Prophet declared to hi in the vineyorde, whā he toke possession of it? and all his house so destroied, that ther was not lefte therof so muche as a dogge to pisse against the wall? Thus ye maie see thende of lustie lor­des and ladies that will haue their lustes a lawe, and their will to be folowed and obeied of their subiectes as a right in dede. The true right and prerogatiue of a king was written in a particular boke by the Pro­phete Samuel, and laied vp by the Arke, which boke (among many other) was loste, yet who so lusteth to [Page] knowe it, maie see it set out by God ī the boke of Deu teronomie. After that God had prescribed who shold be their king, that is, no aliene or straunger, but one of their owne brethren: for naturally straungers doo not fauour straungers. And a straunge prince seketh by all meanes to destroy the natural inborne, that he maie with quietnesse and suretie enioie and vse that he cometh euil by, and so leaue it to his succession: than is set furthe the right and prerogatiue of a king thus. Whā your king is made, he shall not kepe many horses, nor putting his trust in his horsemen, he shall not bring the people again into Egipte. He shall not haue many wiues, least they altre his minde frō God: nother yet great treasure of siluer ād golde. But whā he is set in his throne, he shall cause a copie of these lawes and statutes to be written out of thoriginal re­maining with the Leuites, and the same he shall haue with hī all the daies of his life, that he maie learne to feare the lorde his God, ād to kepe (not to breake) all the wordes and ceremonies that be cōmaunded in the lawe, and also to fulfill thē in his doinges: And he shal not be prowde and hault ouer his brethren, neither shall he swarue from the lawe towarde the right han­de or lifte hande, that he and his children maie long reigne ouer Israel. But besides this lawe appoīted for all kinges, he that wilbe accompted a christian king or gouernour, must remembre, that he is a christian man, and that bi being made a king, he is not exempt from [Page] the lawes and duetie of a christen mā, which eueri one professeth in Baptisme: but as he is called and exalted aboue the rest of his brethren, so should he be an ex­ample to them of good lyuing and vertue, in obseruīg the lawe, which saieth aswell to kinges as to beggers: Thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not couet any thing that is thy neighbours: and so it stablisheth and con­firmeth, that euery one maie iustly kepe that is his owne, and none maie take it from him by ani meane against his will, be it king or kaiser.

And by the doinges of Samuel, who albeit he were not a king in name, yet hade he (being the lieute­naunt and viceroie to God the chief king) as great autoritie as any king in the earthe: it maie appeare, that all thinges of the subiectes be not the kinges ow­ne propre. For if they had ben his owne, what neded Samuel (at the surrendre of his office) to offre to ma­ke an accompt? And to whom, I praie you? To any bribing Auditour? No, he offred to make it to God, and to the king that succeded him. Beholde (saieth the) I haue done all that ye desired me. I ha­ue made you a king to rule you. My chil­dren yet shall be with you. But I am olde, and hore headed: that is, I cā not long cōti nue. I haue bē amōg you frō a child to this daie. Lo, I ā ready to make mine accōpte before God and your kīg, for all thīges that cā be laied to me by any of you. whose bullocke haue i takē? whose [Page] asse haue I hade? to whom haue I done any uiolence or wrong? whom haue I oppres­sed? of whom haue I taken any bribes, to maintene him in his wickednesse, to winke at his faultes, or to stoppe iustice? let him come furthe, and I will make satisfaction. And none of them could saie, blacke was his eie.

No, saieth Samuel, I take God and your king to witnesse agaīst you: I am so nette, that ye shall not finde one iote in my fin­gres, but I am hable to laie ynough aga­inst you wicked people, &c.

O Samuel, Samuel, what king or prince can saie to the, as thou diddest to the Israelites? They loke not to make an accompt: no, they haue counsail of craftie Alcibiades, how they maie make non accompt.

But they can not escape it, they shall mete with an other maner of auditour, than any of Mousire Cinquebonets prentices: they shall reckon be­fore him, that hathe all their doinges truly totted and faire engrossed all ready before hande, and wher he shall in the daie of his general Audit, saie to Samuel and all true gouernours that rule according to God­des rule: well fare ye, ye good and faithfull seruauntes, Come, entre in to your Mai­sters ioie: He shall contrary wise committe these oppressours and tirannes not to the lieutenaunt of the towre, or to the wardein of the Flete, but vnto [Page] the Iailour of gehenna (to be chained in the warde of eternal paine) and saie: Awaie with these decea uours of mi people to the dogges of hell, ye were maisters, and not ministers? ye were beare baitours, and not bailifes, ye were stroyes, and no stuardes,

But let vs ymagine an vntruthe, that all the subie­ctes goodes were the princes, and that he might take them at his pleasure. Let vs ymagine, that the subie­ctes were only carnall men without the knowlage ād feare of God. Yea ād let it be graunted also, that they were spoiled of all their armour, and great garisones set in euery place to kepe them in obeisaunce, so that they had not wherwith to redresse their īiuries, as na ture wolde counsail them: were this a waie to make the people labour, whan others should take the bread out of their mouthe? Wolde they desire to liue, to be in suche miserie them selues? Wolde they desire to in­creace the worlde with children, whan they knewe that they should be lefte in worse case, than vnrea­sonable beastes? No surely, and that ye maie see by the worke of nature in the people of the West In­dies, now called newe Spain: Who knewe of Christ nothing at all, and of God no more than nature taught them. The people of that countreie whan the catholike Spaniardes came thider, were simple and plaine men, and liued without great labour, the lande was naturally so pleintiful of all thinges, and [Page] continually the trees hade ripe frute on them. Whan the Spaniardes hade by flatterie put in their foote, and by litel and litel made them selues stong, building fortes in diuerse places, they to get the golde that was ther, forced the people (that were not vsed to la­bour) to stande all the daie in the hotte sunne gathe­ring golde in the sande of the riuers. By this meanes a great nombre of them (not vsed to suche paines) died, and a great nombre of them (seing them selues brought from so quiet a life to suche miserie and sla­uerie) of desperacion killed them selues. And many wolde not mary, bicause they wolde not haue their children slaues to the Spaniardes. The women whan they felte them self with childe, wolde eat a certain herbe to destroie the childe in the wombe. So that where at the comming thider of the Spaniardes, ther were accompted to be in that countrey nine hundred thousaunt persones, ther were in short time by this meanes so sewe lefte, as Petre martir (who was one of themperour Charles the fifthes counsail the­re, and wrote this historie to thēperour) saieth, it was a shame for him to name.

This is the frute, wher Princes take all their sub­iectes thinges as their owne. And wherūto at leingh [...] will it come, but that either they must be no kinges, or elles kinges without people, which is all one. But thou wilt saie: wherof cometh this common saieng: all thinges be the kaisers, all thinges be the kinges? It can [Page] not come of noth [...]g. But by that that is all ready saied, ye see that euery mā maie kepe his owne, ād none maie take it frō him, so that it cā not be interpreted, that all thinges be the kaisers or kinges, as his owne propre, or that they maie take thē frō their subiectes at their pleasure, but thus it is to be expoūded, that they ought to defende, that euery man hathe, that he maie quietly enioie his owne, and to see that they be not robbed or spoiled therof. For as [...] a great mānes house, all thīges be saied to be the Stuardes, bicause it is committed to his charge, to see that euery man in the house behaue him selfe honestly, and doo his duetie, to see that all thinges be well kept and preserued and maie take no­thing awaie from any man, nor misspend or waste, and of his doinges he must rendre accompt to his lor­de for all: so in a Realme or other dominion, the real­me and countreie are Goddes, he is the lorde, the peo­ple are his seruauntes, and the king or gouernour is but Goddes minister or stuarde, ordained not to misu­se the seruauntes, that is, the people, neither to spoile thē of that they haue, but to see the people doo their duetie to their lorde God, that the goodes of this worlde be not abused but spent to Goodes glorie, to the maītenaūce and defense of the cōmon wealthe, ād not to the destructiō of it. The princes watche ought to defende the poore mannes house, his labour the sub iectes ease, his diligēce the subiectes pleasure, his trou ble the subiecttes quietnesse. And as the sunue neuer [Page] standeth still but continually goeth about the worl­de, doing his office: with his heate refreshing and cōfortig all naturall thinges in the worlde: so ought a good prince to be continually occupied in his mini sterie, not seking his owne profit, but the wealthe of those that be committed to his charge. And therfore Saleuchus king of Siria vsed to saie: if men kne­we, how muche busines and how litle quietnesse it we­re to doo the duetie of a king, none wold take vpon him that office, if he might haue the crowne for ta­king it vp out of the mire. And Antiochus the great king also of Siria, whan he was driuen out of his coūtrey by Scipio the Capitain of the Ro­manes, and had lost all Asia, and the coun­treies about: he thanked the Romaines, that by their meane he was deliuered of so great a parte of his ca­res. He sawe it was so impossible for one mā (were he neuer so diligent and watching) to execute well so great a charge.

If these two great kinges (who knewe not God, but thought them selues Goddes: that hoped not on euerlasting life, but thought ther was non other but this life: those that thought they could not be forced to make accompt of their doinges to ani persone) thought it so great a charge to haue a rule ouer coun treies: how muche more should such Princes, as pre­tende to be christianes, that knowe them selues mor­tal men, no Goddes: seruauntes, no maisters: and who [Page] must (bicause God hathe saied it shalbe so) make ac­compt for all their doings, for all soules, men, women, and children: thinke their office and ministerie an heauye burthen, and so geue ouer seking and hunting after their owne glorie, their pompe, their pride: and seke the glorie of God and the wealthe (and not the destruction) of those that be committed to their char­ge, and tremble at this sayeng of Chrisostome: I maruail that any gouernour can be saued, Which is not spoken in vay­ne.

VVETHER IT BE laufull to depose an euil gouer­nour, and kill a ty­ranne.

AS ther is no better nor happier cōmon wealthe nor no greater blessing of God, thā wher one ru leth, if he be a good, iuste and godly mā: so is ther nō worse nor non more miserable, nor greater plague of God, thā wher one ruleth, that is euil, vniuste and vn­godly▪ A good man knowing that he or those by whō he claymeth was to suche office called for his vertue, to see the hole state well gouerned, and the people de­fended frō iniuries: neclecteth vtterly his owne pleasu­re and profit, and bestoweth all his studie and labour to see his office well discharged. And as a good phisi­cian earnestly seketh the healthe of his pacient and a Shipmaister the wealthe and sauegarde of those he hathe in his ship, so dothe a good gouernour seke the wealthe of those he ruleth. And therfore the people feling the benefit comyng by good gouernours, vsed in tyme past to call such good gouernours, fathers: ād gaue thē no lesse honour, thā childrē owe to their pa­rentes. An euil persone comyng to the gouernemēt of any state, either by vsurpaciō, or by electiō or by suc­cessiō, vtterly neglectig the cause why kinges, princes ād other gouernours in cōmō wealthes be made (that [Page] is, the wealthe of the people) seketh onli or chiefly his owne profit ād pleasure. And as a sowe comyng in to a faire gardin, roteth vp all the faire and swet flow­res and holsome simples, leauing nothing behinde, but her owne filthye dirte: so dothe an euil gouernour subuerte the lawes and ordres, or maketh them to be wrenched or racked to serue his affectiones, that they can no longer doo their office. He spoyleth the people of their goodes, either by open violence, making his ministers to take it from them without payment therfore, or promising and neuer payeng: or craftily vnder the name of loanes, beneuolences, con­tribuciones, and suche like gaye paynted wordes, or for feare he geteth out of their possession that they haue, and neuer restoreth it. And whan he hathe it, consumeth it, not to the benefite and profit of the common wealthe, but on hoores, hooremongers, dyceing, carding, banketting, vniust warres, and such like euilles and mischieues, wherin he dely teth. He spoileth and taketh awaye from them their armour and harnesse, that they shall not be hable to vse any force to defende their right. And not contented to ha­ue brought thē in to such miserie (to be sure of his sta te) seketh and taketh all occasiones to despeche them of their lyues. If a man kepe his house, and meddle in nothing, than shall it be sayed, that he fretteth at the state. If he come abrode and speake to any other, [Page] further with it is taken for a iuste conspicacie. If he saye nothing, and shewe a mery countenaunce, it i [...] a token, that he despiceth the gouernement. If he loke sorowfully, than he lamenteth the state of his coun­treye. how many so euer be for any cause committed to prison, are not only asked, but be racked also to shewe whether he be pryuie of their doinges. If he de parte, bicause he wold lyue quietly, than is he proclai­med on open enemye. To be shorte, ther is no doing, no gesture, no behaueour, no place can preserue or defende innocency against suche a gouernours cruel­tie: but as an huntour maketh wilde beastes his praie, and vseth toiles, nettes, snares, trappes, dogges, firret tes, mynyng and digging the grounde, gōnes, bowes, speares, and all other instrumentes, engynes, deui­ses subtilties ād meanes, Wherby he maie come by his praye: so dothe a wicked gouernour make the peo­ple his game and praye, and vseth all kindes of sub­tilties, deceates, craftes, policies, force, violence, crueltie, and suche like deuillishe wayes, to spoyle and destroye the people, that be cōmitted to his char­ge. And whan he is not hable without most manifest crueltie to doo by him self that he desireth, than fay­neth he vniust causes to cast them in to prison, wher like as the bearewardes mosell the beares, and tye them to the stakes, whyles they be baited, and killed, of mastyues and curres, so he kepeth them in chaines, [Page] whilest the bishoppes and other his tormentours and heretical inquisitours doo teare and deuoure them. Fynally he saieth and denyeth, he promiseth and breaketh promyse, he sweareth and [...]orswea­reth, and nother passeth on God nor the deuil (as the commyng sayeng is) so he maye bring to passe that be desireth. Suche an euil gouernour proprely men call a Tiranne.

Now forasmuche as ther is no expresse positiue lawe for punishement of a Tyranne among christen men, the question is, whether it be laufull to kill su­che a monstre and cruell beast couered with the shape of a man.

And first for the better and more playne profe of this mater, the manifolde and continuall examples that haue ben from tyme to tyme of the deposing of kinges, and killing of tyrānes, doo most certainly con firme it to be most true, iust and cōsonaunt to Goddes iudgement. The historie of kinges in the olde testa­ment is full of it. And as Carnal Phoole truly citeth, England lacketh not the practice and experience of the same. For they depriued king Edwarde the secon­de, bicause without lawe he killed his subiectes, spoi­led them of their goodes, and wasted the treasure of the Realme. And upon what iust causes Richard the the secōde was thrust out, and Hēry the fourth put in his place, I referre it to their owne iudgement. Den­marke also now in our dayes did nobly the like act [...], [Page] whan they depriued Christierne the tiranne, and committed him to perpetual prison.

Zacharias the pope that inuented first the lam­pes in the churche, deposed Chilperichus, king of Fraunce, bicause he was sayed to be a lecherous per­sone, and an unprofitable gouernour of the realme: and forced him to be a monke, and made Pipine (father of Charles) king of Fraunce.

Pope Honorious (as ye hearde before) com­maunded, that the king of Vngarie should be depri­ued, bicause he diminished the rightes of the Crowne: onles he repented, and vndid all that he had done.

A certayn king of Portugale was very negli­gēt in his office: he cōsumed ād wasted awaye the trea sure of his Realme, he oppressed his subiectes, ād misu sed thē. Wherfore Pope inocēt the fourth made the kī ges brother therle of Bolone coadiutour to the king, ād gaue hī the hole charge of the Realme, discharged the people of their othe to the king, and commaūded them to be obedient to the kinges brother in all thinges, as king. But the Popes learned counsail saied, that he ought to haue bē vtterly deposed of the Crow ne. These doinges of Popes I rehearse not, as though their usurped autoritie were to be allowed, but for that ye maye see, that it is no newe thing to depose euil kinges ād gouernours: ād that those that haue the iust autoritie, maie and ought for the like causes, doo as they did. For albeit thautoritie of the pope be not laufull, yet is the reason that moued them so to doo, [Page] honest and iust, and mete to be receaued and executed among reasonable creatures. And this lawe of nature to depose and punishe wicked gouernours, hathe not bē only receaued ād exerciced in politike maters, but also in the churche. For the canonistes (the popes ow ne championes) grounding them selues upon this la­we of nature, saye, that popes who maye be in dede (by their saieng) the lieutenauntes of the deuil, albeit they call thē selues the uicares of God, maie be depryued by the body of the churche. And so at one clappe, in the coūsail holdē at Cōstaūce in Germanie, in the yeare of our lorde 1415. were three popes popped out of their places, Gregory, Iohn, ād Benet, ād the fourthe (called Martin the fifthe) chosen. Afterwarde in the Coūsail of Basil was Pope Eugenius serued with that sawce. For the unluckinesse of the coūtrey the rest of Popes haue sith refused that any general counsail should be kept in Germany, fearing least they all hauing deser­ued as muche as the other foure deposed, should haue the like punishemēt. And thus they cōfirme their doin ges. If (saye they) the Pope hade not a superiour, he might beig suffred in his euil, brig the churche to de structiō. And therfore if he cā not otherwise be bro­ught to amende him self, it is laufull to use the lawe of nature, that is, to remoue him from his office: for he is no bishop or pope, that abuseth his Popedome and bishopriche. An euil prelate ād unreformable semeth not to be ordayned by the will of God, saie the Cano­nistes, alledgeing the wordes of S. Ierome, upo [...] [Page] the sayēg of the prophet Osee, that a prince or iudge is not alwayes ordayned by God. And he bringeth for example king Saul, against whom God sayed: Seing the people haue made them selues a king, and not a ruler by me, and not by my counsail: ād yet God hade chosen Saul. But yet bycause he was not chosen ac­cording to the will of God, but according to the myn­de and desartes of the synfull people, God denyed him to be ordayned by his will or coūsail. The Canonistes also saie, that albeit the Popedome be by the lawe of God (as it is not in dede, sayeth the truthe) yet that this man or that, Paule or Iulie is pope, it cometh by the acte of man. For the Cardinales representing the uniuersal churche, chose him. And therfore if he be not according to the will of God, and for the wealthe of the uniuersal churche, that is: if he be not one that seketh Goddes glorie, ād the wealthe of christes chur­che, he maye be iustly depryued, bycause they erred in chosing him. And God semeth not to be agaīst the put ting out of suche an euil persone, but to fauour and further it. For he sayed: If the salt be unsauerie, it is good for no use, but to be cast out, and troden under foote of all mē. And agaī: If thi right eie be a let unto thee, pul it out, ād cast it frō thee. For it is better that one mēbre perish, thā that the hole bodi should be cast in to hell. And agaī saie the Canonistes (the popes la­wers) in rehearceīg Christes words: If our eie, foote▪ or hāde offēde vs, let it be takē frō the rest of the bodi: for it is better to lacke mēbres ī this woorld, thā that [Page] thei should cari the rest of the body in to hell. By salt, eie, foote, and hande, is vnderstanden the headdes and rulers, and not the other mēbres and subiectes. And not only the headdes and rulers in the churche, but also in all policies and common wealthes.

Now if it be laufull for the body of the churche to depose and punishe a Pope, being the chief priest, anointed not on the arme or sholder, as kinges be, but on the head and handes, to declare an higher au­toritie than kinges haue: nor crowned with a simple crowne, as Emperours ād kinges be, but with a triple crowne, to shewe his Regalitie and power aboue all others: how muche more by the like argumentes, rea­sones and autoritie, maie Emperours, kinges, princes and other gouernours abusing their office, be deposed and remoued out of their places and offices, bi the bo­dy or state of the Realme or common wealthe?

By this lawe and argumentes of the Canonistes and example of depriuacion of a Pope, are all clokes (wherwith Popes, bishoppes, priestes, kaisers and kin ges vse to defende their iniquitie) vtterly taken awaie. Saie they: We are anointed, ye maie not touche vs: We are only subiecte to God, and eueri man to vs. God will haue vs (O most wiked popes, bishoppes, priestes, cruell and euil princes) reigne to plage you people, for your iniquitie.

But here ye see, the body of euery state maie (If it will) yea and ought to redresse and correcte the vices [Page] and headdes of their gouernours. And forasmuche as ye haue allready sene, wherof politike power and go­uernement groweth, and thende wherunto it was or­dained: and seing it is before manifestly and sufficiētly proued, that kinges and princes haue not an absolute power ouer their subiectes: that they are and ought to be subiecte to the lawe of God, and the holsome po­sitiue lawes of their coūtrey: and that they maie not laufully take or vse their subiectes goods at their pleasure: the reasones, argumentes and lawe that serue for the deposing ād displaceīg of an euil gouernour, will doo as muche for the proofe, that it is laufull to kill a tiranne, if they maie be indifferently hearde. As God hathe ordained Magistrates to heare and determine priuate mennes matiers, and to punishe their vices: so also will he, that the magistrates doinges be called to accompt and reckoning, and their vices corrected and punished by the body of the hole cōgregacion or common wealthe.

As it is manifest by the memorie of the auncient office of the highe Constable of Englande, vnto who­se autoritie it perteined, ont only to summone the king personally before the parliament or other cour­tes of iudgement (to answer and receaue according to iustice) but also vpon iuste occasion to committe him vnto warde.

Kinges, Princes and gouernours haue their auto­ritie [Page] of the people, as all lawes, vsages and policies doo declare and testifie.

For in some places and countreies they haue mo­re and greater autoritie, in some places lesse. And in some the people haue not geuen this autoritie to any other, but reteine and exercice it themselues. And is any man so vnreasonable to denie, that the hole maie doo as muche as they haue permitted one mem­bre to doo? or those that haue appointed an office vpon trust, haue not autoritie vpon iuste occasion (as the abuse of it) to take awaie that they gaue? All la­wes doo agree, that men maie reuoke their proxies and lettres of Attournaie, whan it pleaseth them: mu­che more whan they see their proctours and attour­naies abuse it.

But now to proue the later parte of this question affirmatiuely, that it is laufull to kill a tirāne: ther is no man can denie, but that the Ethnikes (albeit they had not the right and perfite true knowlage of God) were endued with the knowlage of the lawe of na­ture.

For it is no priuate lawe to a fewe or certain peo­ple, but common to all: not written in bokes, but graffed in the heartes of men: not made by man, but ordained of God: which we haue not learned, re­ceaued or redde, but haue taken, sucked, and drawne it out of nature: wherunto we are not taught, but made: not instructed, but seasoned: and [Page] ( [...]s S. Paule saieth) mannes conscience bearing wit­nesse of it.

This lawe testifieth to euery mannes conscience, that it is naturall to cutte awaie an incurable mem­bre, which (beīg suffred) wolde destroie the hole body.

Kinges, Princes and other gouernours, albeit they are the headdes of a politike body, yet they are not the hole body. And though they be the chief membres, yet they are but membres: nother are the people ordained for them, but they are ordained for the people.

Vpō this lawe of nature, ād to cōserue the hole body the Ethnikes not knowīg that the soule is īmortall, nor that ther shalbe a Resurrection of the body and soule to iudgement, but thought the soule perished with the body, and that ther was no difference betwe­ne a brute beast and mannes life: thought it reasona­ble, and made it laufull (by their positiue lawe) for eue ry man to kill a tiranne. And to encourage men to entreprise to kill a tiranne, they estemed the dede to be worthy so great rewarde, that they thought him worthy perdone that killed a tiranne, though he had killed his owne naturall father before. And besides this, whan they sawe, that tirannes vsed to haue their bodies defended with great garisones and gar­des of forain people, or kept them selues in strong holdes and secret chambres, so as none without great hasarde and peril might come vere them: they pro­pouned [Page] great rewardes to him that should destroie a tiranne. Nother thought they rewardes or giftes to be a sufficient recompence for so vertuous an acte, but they vsed also to make the ymage of him that killed a tiranne, in brasse: and to set it vp in the most solemne place of the citie, for a perpetual memorie of the acte, the commendacion of the doer, and thencourage­ment of others to doo the like. They dedicated to hi [...] praise and honour songes and verses, and wolde haue them taken of men as Goddes worthy immortalitie.

Wherof came the name of Nobilitie, or how were those that be called heroical or noble personages diui ded from others, and had in suche honour and reue­rence, seing all men came of one man and one womans was it for their lustie hawking and hunting? for their nimble diceing and cōning carding? for their fine sin­ging and daunceing: for their open bragging and swearing? for their false fliering and flattering? for their subtil piking and stealing? for their cruel pol­ling and pilling? for their merciles man murthering? for their vnnatural destroieng of their natural coun trey men, and traiterous betraieng of their coun­trey? No, no, ther was no suche thing. The respecte only of their vertue ād loue to their coūtrey brought them therto. Bicause they reuenged and deliuered the oppressed people out of the handes of their gouer­nours, who abused their autoritie, ād wickedly, cruel ly and tirannously ruled ouer them: the people of a [Page] grate and thākefull minde, gaue them that estimacio [...] and honour. Of this kinde of nobilitie was Hercu­les, Theseus, and suche like.

Good kinges, gouernours and states in time past tooke it to be the greatest honour that could be, not to take cities and Realmes to their owne vse (wha [...] they were called to aide and releue thoppressed) as princes doo now a daies: but to rescue and deliuer the people and countreies from the tirānie of the gouer­nours, and to restore them to their libertie. So did the Romanes, the Lacedemonianes out of the tirannie of Onabis, and all Grece from the bondage that Phi lippus (Demetrius sonne) king of Macedonia hade them in. So did the noble mē of the people of God also come to their highe estimacion and honour, as Gedeō, Barac, Iepthe, and Samson, who for the deliuerie of his contrey from the power of the idolatrous cruell Philistines, pulled vpon him self present deathe. So that this principle that euil ād euil doers ought to be punished, and rotten membres to be cut awaie, was no peculiar lawe of the Ethnikes, but it procedeth of nature, and therfore common to all men, as it is plaine by the Chronicles and experience of all ages, and purposely exemplified for our sure staie and learning as wel in the boke of Iudges, as in many other histo­ries of holy scriptures, according to the expresse worde and commaundement (applied to this sense and meaning) which saieth: Let euil be taken out [Page] of the middes of the congregacion, that the rest which heare of it, maie be afraied. and not entreprise to doo the like. And Christ pronounceth, that euery tree which bringeth not furthe good frute, shalbe cut downe, and cast in to the fire: muche more the euil tree, that brīgeth furthe euil frute. And albeit some doo holde, that the maner and meane to punishe euil ād euil doers, is not all one amōg Christianes (which be in dede that they professe ī worde) ād Ethnikes, which thīke it lauful for euery priuate mā (without respecte of ordre ād time) to pu­nishe euil: yet the lawes of many christiane regiones doo permitte, that priuate mē maie kil malefactours, yea though they were magistrates, in some cases: as whā [...] gouernour shall soda [...]ly with his sworde rēne vpō an innocēt, or goo about to shoote him through with a gōne, or if he should be foūde in bedde with a mānes wife, or goo about to defloure ād rauishe a mā nes daughther: muche more if goo about to betraie ād make awaie his coūtrey to foraīers, &c. Neuertheles forasmuche as all thīges [...] euery christē cōmō wealthe ought to be done decētly ād accordīg to ordre ād cha ritie: I thīke it cā not be maītened by Goddes worde, that any priuate mā maie kill, except (wher execuciō of iuste pūishemēt vpō tirānes, idolaters, ād traiterous gouernours is either by the hole state vtterly negle­cted, or the prīce with the nobilitie ād coūsail cōspir [...] the subuersiō or alteraciō of their cōtrey ād people) [Page] any priuate man haue som special inwardecōmaun­dement or surely proued mocion of God: as Moses had to kill the Egipciā, Phinees the Lecherours, and Ahud king Eglon, with suche like: or be otherwise commaūded or permitted by common autoritie vpon iuste occasion and common necessitie to kill.

But now perchaunce thou wilt demaunde, why christen mē neuer made expresse positiue lawe of the kinde of punishement of tirannes. Might it not be answered, as Solō did (excusing that he had not made a lawe for suche as killed their parentes) that no man wolde suspecte, that so vnnatural a facte should be thought, muche lesse committed? or that those that should be the ministers, yea the ymages of God here in earthe, charged bothe by God and man, to see the people defended from iniuries, shauld so muche abuse their office and autoritie, as to conuerte the sweorde to the destruction of them, whose championes and defendours they ought to be? Yea rather of all to saie (which is most certain) the simple people deceaued by great othes, and begiled with faire promises, suf­fred their gouernours to vsurpe suche autoritie and power ouer them, and so long winked and bare with their iniquitie, that they were not hable to take it from them.

But I beseche thee, what nedeth to make one ge­neral lawe to punishe bi one name a great many offen ses, whan the lawe is all ready made for the punishe­ment [Page] of eueri one of them particularly. If a prince robbe and spoile his subiectes, it is thefte, and as a the­fe ought to be punished. If he kill and murther them contrary or without the lawes of his countreye, it is murther, and as a murtherour he ought to be punis­hed. If he committe aduoutrie, he is an aduouterour and ought to be punished with the same paynes that others be. If he violently rauishe mennes wyues, dau­ghthers or maydens, the lawes that are made against ra uishers, ought to be executed on him. If he goo about to betraie his countrey, and to bring the people vnder a foreyn power: he is a traytour, and as a traitour he ought to suffre. And those that be iudges in cōmō Wealthes, ought (vpon complaynt) to summone and cite them to answer to their crymes, and so to proce­de, as they doo with others. For the prophet speaking vnto those that haue the rule in cōmon wealthes, and that be iudges and other ministers of iustice, saieth: ministre iustice to the poore and orphan, pronounce the miserable and poore to be innocent, if he be inno­cent: take the poore, and deliuer the nedy out of the handes of the wicked. Whan ye sitte to iudge, ye shal not haue respecte of persones, whether they be riche or poore, great or smal: feare no man, for ye execut [...] the iudgement of God, sayeth the holy goost by the mouthe of Moses. Iudge not after the outwarde appe araunce of men, but iudge rightly: sayeth Christ.

God him self gaue thexample of punishement of [Page] euil gouernours. For whan the children of Israel ha­de committed Idolatrie, he commaunded moses to take the Princes of the people, and to hang them up aga­inst the Sunne, that his wrathe and furie might be tur ned from Israel.

Whan that doughtie dame Quene Athalia, the woman tyranne (seing after her sonne Ahaziahu was dead, that she was childles, and past hope to haue any childrē) ha [...]e killed all the kynges progenye (sauing Ioas, whom Iehosaba Iorams daughter hid and get with his nource out of the waye) purposing to reigne therby in securitie, and to transpose the right of the erowne to straungers or som other fauourer of her cruel procedinges at her pleasur by the helpe and sub­tilti of her traiterous Counsaillours, and so went on in all abominacion and crueltie without comptrolling a great space: Did her subiectes suffre her in her wic­kednesse still vnpunished though she was the vndoub­ted Quene and chief gouernour of the lande? No, no. But as sone as Ioas was a littell nourced vp, and crept somwhat out of the shell being a childe of seuen yea­res olde: the nobilitie and commones feling by expe­rience what miserie it was to lyue vnder the gouerne­ment of a mischieuous woman, not only garded Ioas with mē and all decent regal ceremonies vnto the hou­se of God (by thaduise and appoyntement of Ieoiada [Page] the high priest) and ther crouned himsolemnely: but also whan Athalia the Quenes highnesse cam in, mar uailing what adoo that was, and perceauing the ma­ter, rent her clothes howling and crieng, as the ma­ner of madde women is, specially in the hotte seasones of the yeare: they layed handes on her (for all her crieng, Treason, treason) and whan they hade caried her out of the house of God, they slewe her. And so was the realme ridde of a tyranne, the right enheri­tour possessed in his regal astate, the people made a newe bāde with God to serue him syncerely accordig to his worde, and banished all idolatrie and false reli gion (which the Quene had set vp and vsed) and the common wealthe florished a freshe in her former pea­ce and libertie.

The prophet Elias being no ciuile magistrate, ca [...] sed the kyng and Quenes highenesse chaplaynes Baals priestes to be killed before Achabs face, bicause they were idolaters, and taught and mayntened false reli­gion, though scarce so false and idolatrous, as the po­pes masse and religion is. And whan the Quenes maie stie dame Iesabel (that the deuil) saw Iehu cō to her p [...] lace, cried and reuiled h [...] as a traitour. Iehu not passing vpō her wordes (though she was his soueraigne ladi ād maistres) cried alowde: who is on my side, who? As though he hade saied, if ther be any among you, that setteth more by Goddes true religiō and their natural countrei than by that idolatro [...]s witche the Quene: [Page] cast her out at the wyndow. And so two or three of her priuie Chambre threwe her out to him, bursting her necke and bones against the walles. And as sone as Iehu hade trodē her vnder his fete, dogges (as ye he­arde before) eat vp her fleshe, ād slossed vp her blood,

Ioram was knowne the king and right enheri­tour of the crowne of Israel. And yet whan he sawe Iehu and his cōpanie come towarde him, he asked him whether he came in peace. Iehu saied: what peace sho­uld ther be, as long as the horedomes of thy mother Iesabel and her witchecraftes be so great? And so for his idolatrous tyrannie and euil gouernement Iehu slewe him. And many moo suche examples in scriptu­res we haue, which (as the reste of the Bible is) be lefte for the instruction of all christen common wealthes in like case, as we want not also the like experiēce and examples euen in these our dayes. Bicause the remem­braunce of the horrible destruction of the euil gouer­nours, and alteracion of the common wealthe in Sch­wuzerlande and certain other places in high Al­mayne, now in our tyme is not very pleasaunt, I will purposely passe it ouer, albeit the mater is so freshe and grene yet still in all mennes sightes, that it is spo­ken of vnyuersally through the worlde. And was not Petrus Aloysius (Pope Paule the thriddes sonne, and duke of Placenza) iustly slayne now lately of his [Page] owne people, bicause of the euil gouernement and [...] ­rannye he vsed among them?

And wher this iustice is not executed, but the prin ce and the people playe together, and one wynketh and beareth with the others faultes, ther can not be, bust a most corrupte, vngodly ād vicious state, which albeit it prospre for a season, yet no doubt at leyn­ght they maye be sure, that vnto thē shall come that came to Sodome, Gomorra, Ierusalem, ād such other, that were vtterly destroyed.

And on the other side, wher the nobilitie and peo­ple loke diligently and earnestly upon their autori­ties, and doo see the same executed on their headdes and gouernours, making them to yelde accompt of their doinges: than without faile will the princes and gouernours be as diligent to see the people doo their duetie. And so shall the common wealthe be godly, and prospre, and God shalbe glorified in all. But thou wilt saye, what if the nobilitie, and those that be cal­led to cōmon Coūselles, and should be the defendours of the people, will not or dare not execute their auto­ritie: what is than to be done? The people be not so de­stitute of remedie, but God hathe prouided an other meane, thas is, to complayne to som minister of the worde of God, to whō the keyes be geuen to excōmu­nicate not only common people for all notorious and open euilles: but also kaisers, kinges, princes, and all other gouernours, whan they spoile, robbe, undoo ād [Page] kill their poore subiectes without iustice and good lawes. And what so euer suche minister of Goddes worde byndeth vpon those occasiones here in earthe, it is fast bounden in heauen before the face of God. And no meane to vndoo it, by any good worke (mu­che lesse by popes pardone or friers prayers) with­out repentaunte of the partie offending, ād satisfactiō made to the partie offended for the iniustice and iniu ries committed: and the mercie of God through the on ly merites of our saueour Iesus Christ. Exāple we ha­ue of S Ambrose, who being no pope, nor popes Com missary, but bishop of Millane excommunicated the Emperour Theodosius. Whose doinges, bicause thou maiest the better knowe, I will in fewe wordes expres se theffecte of the historie. This Theodosius, albeit he were an Emperour, and a Christen man, yet was he of nature colerike, and muche disposed to be āgrie: and as it semeth, without consideration. It chaunced that in a sediciō at Thessalonica, sōof his officers were stoned to deathe, and some very euil intreated. He in a rage sendeth thider a nōbre of merciles men of warre, who making no differēce betwene thautours of the sediciō and thinnocent people, make an horrible slaughter of the poore people, mā, woman and childe, Afterwarde thēperour after his accustumed maner, came towar­de the churche, and S. Ambrose mette him at the churche dore, ād wolde not suffre him to entre: but not only tolde him, it was no place for murtherers, but also did excommunicate him out of all christen com­panie, [Page] til he repented and made satisfactiō for the hor rible murther cōmitted by his souldiours. Thēperour being brought vp and instructed in the worde of God (as I wolde to God all christē princes were at this pre sent) and knowing thoffice bothe of the minister of Goddes worde, ād of an Emperour, obeyed: and retur­n [...]d wepīg ād crieng to his palace. Eight monetes af t [...]r, came the feast of the natiuitie of Christ: ād Ruffi­nus lorde great maister or stuarde of his house came to thēperour, whō he founde very heauie, weping and sobbing. He beig familiar with him, desired to knowe the cause of his sorowe. Ah Ruffinus (saieth thempe rour) thou art mery, for thou felest not mi paines. I l [...] mēt ād mourne for my calamitie. It is free for slaues and beggers to goo to the churche, ād ther to praye to God, but I maie not come ther: no, heauē gats be schut to me. Christes words goo not out of my hart: what so euer ye binde on earthe, shalbe boūdē also in heauē. At leynght beīg ēcouraged by Ruffinus, that he mi­ght be absoiled of S. Ambrose, he sendeth hī before, to be a meane for hī, ād he him selfe folowed. But Ruffi­nus could not intreat the bishop. After themperour cometh, but durst not entre in to the churche, but without the dores fell on his knees to S. Am­brose, and desired absolucion. S. Ambrose saied, he was not mete to be absoiled, for his comyng was more like a tiranne, one that wolde by force be absoiled, than a christen man that shewed [Page] him self penitēt and sory. No (sayeth thēperour) I wil not presume against the ordre of the churche to entre in by force, but I hūbly beseche thee to lose me out of these bōdes of excōmunicatiō, ād that thow wilt remē bre the mercie that God useth: and that thou wilt not shutte against me the gate that God opened to all that be penitent. The bishop asked him, what worthy penaūce he had shewed syth the tyme he had cōmitted that wicked acte, or with what medicine he had healed those most greuous woundes. It is your part (sayeth themperour) to prepare the medicine, and myne to re ceaue and use it. At leynght S. Ambrose required ther might be a lawe ordayned, that thexecucion of reuēge should not be done sodainly but delaied, so as it should not proced of angre, and thēperour made that lawe. Afterwarde he was releassed of thexcōmunicatiō: ād commyng in to the churche, he made his praiers, not standing nor kneling, but lyeng flatte on the grounde, pulling his heare, beating his browe, wepīg, lamēting and cryeng with Dauid: My soule cleaueth to the pa­uement, quicken me (O lorde) according to thy wor­de: ād asked mercie ād forgeuenesse. Thus ye see, what any minister of the churche maie doo upō the greatest prince, if he will execute his office ād the power that Christ geueth him. But thou wilt saie, what if the mi­nister passe not on his duetie, but be contēt to winke at all the uices of the gouernours, be thei neuer so wic ked, so he maie haue a bishopriche, a deārie, a prebēde, or a good fatte benefice, ād liue ūpunished in all abomi [Page] naciō? Yea ād what if ther be suche special grudges be twene the nobilitie and commones, that the one sorte neither trusteth nor loueth the other, so as the one dare not open the necessitie ād meane of suche corre­ction and redresse of the euil gouernours vices, for feare least if the purpose come to light before hande, the mater be dashed, and the mocionar leape head­les for his labour, as it is in these daies often sene: What shifte than? In dede ther be certain examples and paternes in the holy Bible, Which I will not stic­ke to rehearse, though not expounde, but holly refer­re them to the further debating and iudgemēt of thi­ne owne conscience, through the holy goost, by who­se prouidence they are enrolled for our learning.

We reade that after the lorde God hade sondry times deliuered his people of Israel from wicked ti­rānes, with whom he hade plaged them for their wic­kednesse and Idolatrie: at leinght whan through a­boundaunce of wealthe and quietnesse they fell to a certain careles securitie of life, not only forgetting God and his holy sincere worde, but also seking euery one his owne singular self gaine with the hurt and contempt of his neighbour. God toke from them their natural liege lorde, the good Iudge Othoniel, and placed, yee (saieth the scripture) he streynghte­ned a straunge prince among them, an Idolatrous persone and a wicked, called Eglon. This Eglon vsed the matier so with bribing those Israelites, that [Page] for preferrement wold be traitours to their natural countrey, and specially in bringing in a great power of Ammonites ād Amalekites (two kinds of people in beggerly pride and filthinesse of life muche like to the common nature of Italianes and Spaniardes) as well to garde his pson, as to fortifie the strōg holdes ād mu niciōes: that by ād by seīg himself strōg ynough with his straungers and Inborne traitours, he brought the countrey and people vnder his subiection by fine for­ce, so that he continued their ordinary Prince and chief ruler xviij. years long. What oppressing of the poore, what robbing of the riche, what taking vp of corne and vitail for the king and his straūgers, and no money paied for it, what taxes and paimentes the people were yowked withall, what rauishing of men­nes wiues, daughters and seruauntes, what heading and hanging of the natural Israelites to make the straungers lordes and gentilmen, what common mise­ries and continual calamities ther were during that space, no doubt it is vnspeakeable.

But what remedy? No man durst make moane to his neighbour for feare of bewraieng, none durst ones whistre against the king, they must bende or breake, no remedy, pacience perforce, all were faine to serue and please king Eglon. But at leinght they sent (as their yearly accustomed maner was) a present to the king by a wittye messagier, called Ahud: who hauing accesse to the kig, saied he hade to saie vnto his Maie­stie [Page] secretly from God. And whan the king hade com­maunded all his seruauntes awaie, so that Ahud and the king were alone in his somer parlour, Ahud thrust his dagger so harde in to the kinges fatte paunche, that ther laie king Fglon dead, and Ahud fled awaie.

Now, was this well done or euil? For so the the de­de is so commended in scripture, that the holy goost reporteth Ahud to be a saueour of Israel.

But note by the waie, the texte saieth not, that Ahud was sent of the people to kill the king, nor that he tolde them what he intended: for by that meane, one Iudas or other wolde haue betraied him, and so should he haue ben drawen, hanged and quarted for his entreprise, and all his conspiratours haue lost bothe life, landes and goodes for their conspiracie.

Only the scripture saieth, that Ahud (being a priuate persone) was stered vp only by the spirite of God.

Likewise whan Sisara lieutenaunt general of king Iabins warres fleing from Barac sought succour to hide his head, hauing long noied and hurt Israel with oppression and warres, a woman named Iael cal­led him in to her house, and hidde him vnder a Coue­ring. He thought him selfe sure, and for wearinesse dropped harde on slepe.

Iael taketh a great long spikig nayle, and driueth it with a hāmer so harde in to his braines, that Sisara troubled Israel no more, nor neuer tolde who hurt hī.

[Page]Mattathias being by the kinges Commissionares required and commaūded to conforme him self to the kinges procedinges (which was to committe Idola­trie) as all his countreymen the Iewes hade done (and as the like case standeth now in Englande) not only refused to obey king Antiohus commaundement, or to folowe his procedinges in that behalfe, but also whan he sawe a Iewe committee Idolatrie before his face, he ranne vpon the Iewe in a great zeale and slewe him, and fell also vpon the ordinary Commissio­ners sent from Antiochus the ordinary king of the Realme, and slewe them out of hande. These exam­ples nede no further exposicion, the scripture is plai­ne inough. But if neither the hole state nor the mini­ster of Goddes worde wolde doo their common duetie, nor any other laufull shifte before mencioned can be hade, nor dare be attempted: yet are not the poore people destitute all together of remedy: but God ha­the lefte vnto them twoo weapones, hable to con­quere and destroie the greatest Tirāne that euer was: that is, Penaunce and Praier. Penaunce for their owne sinnes, which prouoke the angre and displeasure of God, and make him to suffre tirannes, warres, fa­mine, pestilence and all plages to reigne among the people. And praier, that he will withdrawe his wra­the, and shewe his mercifull countenaunce.

Hereof we haue not only commaundement, but also manifest examples in the scriptures. For whan [Page] the Arke of God was taken awaie from the people of Israel by the Philistines in batail, and the glorie of Israel brought vnder foote (the people being misera­bly for their sinnes pressed and plagued by the Phi­listines twentie yeares long) so that the people despe­ring of their honour and libertie, and seing no mar­ [...]ial wepon, nor helpe of man hable to redresse their state, cried and continued in lamenting their thraldom and greuous condicion: at leynght by the aduise and commaundement of the good Prophet Samuel, the people fell to these two meanes: Penaunce, and praier, with fasting: and the lorde God not only deliuered them out of thoppression of the Philistines vnto their former libertie, but also gaue them suche victories, that the Philistines many yeares after, durst not ones moue warre against them.

Thus was also the cruel tiranne Herode vainquis­hed. Thapostles ād people in the primatiue churche lamenting their sinnes, and calling to God for mercie, the angel of God stroke Herode sitting in his throne, in his princely apparail, making an Oracion to the people, and they cōmending it to be the voice of God, and not of man, and so he was eatē vp of lice or wor­mes. Likewise whan Iulian themperour and Apo­stata had long persecuted the churche, at leinght wh [...] the people fell to repentaunce and common praier, he going in to Persia, was slaine, and none of the fa­milie of Constantine (wherof he came) after that was [Page] Emperour. And in like maner not long sith whan that tiranne Duke George of Saxonie persecuted all suche as professed the worde of God, reuiued and pul­led out of purgatorie, by the worthy instrument of God D. Luther: and at leynght threatned, that he wolde burne and destroye the vniuersitie of witten­berg, which whan Luther hearde, he went in to the pulpit, and exhorted eueri man to put on his armour: that is, Penaunce and prayer. And sone after, God rid the worlde of that tiranne, and so not only deliue­red his churche, but also augmented it with an other vniuersitie, called Lipsia, and all the hole countrey of this cruel duke was conuerted to Christes Gospell.

These be the wonderfull workes of almightie God, whose power is as great and as ready at a pinche as euer it was, and his mercie as willing to be shewed, if his poore afflicted people wolde doo on their weapon: that is, be sory for their sinnes, and, desire him to with drawe his sourges, and to holde his mercifull hande o­uer them.

VVHAT CONFIDEN­ce is to be geuen to princes and potentates.

WHAN the kīg of Macedonia, Alexan­der the great, hearde the philosopher Ana­xagoras saye ther were many worldes, the worme of ambicion so tickled and troubled his harte, that the water gushed out of his eies. And whan he was asked, what made him to wepe: haue I not iuste occasion to wepe (saieth he) that hearing of so many worldes, I am not yet lorde of one? This worme with­out faile was the deuil, who not contented that kinges (the ministers of God) should serue God in their vo­cation (to haue them the soner fall from God, and ser ue him) putteth them in hope they shalbe lordes of all the worlde, if they will take him for their chief lorde and soueraigne. But bicause he seeth the inconstaun­cie of kinges, that they no lōger abyde by their othes and promises than they maie therby haue profit, gay­ne, and their desire, he dothe not furthewith put them in possession, but to trye their fidelitie, he sheweth them bi what meanes they shall come to it, putting to their good will, helpe, and industrie. He doubteth not, but if he maye bring them ones in to the puddle ouer the shoen, they will through thicke ād thine whatsoe [...]er cometh of it, to come to that thei loked for. These waies of the Deuil p [...]de out of his schole of practices [Page] and they be in a generalitie, two: that is, opē force and secret subtiltie: the one wherof, that is, force and manhood, hauing ofte tried and most tymes it ha­the not succeded after their minde, they haue not so muche put in vse, but haue rather trusted on thother, that is, subtiltie ād crafte wherby they worke a great deale more mischief than by open force and streinght of men, and with lesse peril of them selues. For whan they goo about it by force, the deuil their maister is not hable to warraunt them the successe. For all vi­ctorie and good successe cometh of God, who whan he seeth the people (against whom the deuil and his kin­ges worke) fall to repentaunce for their sinnes, he o­uerthroweth his and their enemies with a fillip, as he did prowde Olofernes ād Sēnacherib: the one being slaine by the good and faithfull woman to God and her countrey Iudith: all his power being an hundred and twentie thousaunt fotemen, and twelue thousaūt archers on horsebacke destroied by a fewe. And the others armie being an hundred foure score and fiue thousaunt personnes was destroied by the angel of God without the worke of man, and he for­ced to flie: and at his returne home was killed of his owne two sonnes.

But the other meanes, that is, subtiltie and crafte (which the world calleth policie) they more practi­ce: and therin daily do so procede, that within short time many of them haue bē doctours. And they haue a [Page] priciple of this arte, which is, that to come by a kingdome, to com by that they desire, they maye breake all mennes lawes, all othes, all promises, yea the lawes of God and honestie. This arte of subtiltie of princes (otherwise called policie) consisteth chiefly in this, for a mā to appeare outwardly that he is not inward­ly: to saye one thing with the mouthe, and thinke an other in the hart: to smyle vpon him, whose throte he wolde gladly see cutte: and so pretende to the eie all amitie, beneuolence and loue, wher they beare grea­test hatred, enuye, ād malice, till conuenient tyme maie be had with least daungier, to execute their concea­ued mischief. And bicause they be not hable alone to doo their feates, loke wher they can vnderstande of any of their nature, them they reteyne, to them geue they great chaynes of golde, fede them with great pensions ād fees promised. And yet they be not igno­raunt, that such vile men (as will for money betraye their owne countreye, and serue their wicked purpo­ses) are like vnto common souldiours and launce knightes, who serue him that geueth a peny more: and will, whan they maie haue greater bribes of an other, sone buye and sell their present maister. For how is it possible for any man to thinke, that he whom he ha­the corrupted with rewardes to serue his purpose▪ will or can be faithfull to hi that is a straūger, that so well knoweth what they be, and findeth them false [Page] to their natiue countrey: in the defense wherof all he nest men be bounden, and be content to bestowe their life, their blood, their goodes, and what so euer they haue? Doo not princes vse traitours, as men vse Co­loquintes, Turbith, Elleborum, and such like poiso­nes? that is, to serue their purpose, whan they haue nede of them, and after can not abyde their sight, no, not their sauour, but cast them out on the dong hill?

Yes doubtles it is most certain. Whan one had be­trayed in to Cesars handes certain townes: what saied Cesar? I loue treason (sayeth he) but traitours I doo abhorre. So saied also king Antigonus. I loue trai tours (sayeth he) whilest they betraye, but whan they haue betrayed, and serued my purpose, I vtterly hate and abhorre them,

Aurelianus themperour hauing long besieged the citie of Tiana in Asia, and being without hope to get it by force, practiced with one Heracleo (a great riche man ād citezin of the citie, than being in the citie) to betraye the citie to him.

This Heracleo fearing least if the citie should be wonne by force, he should also lose his riches, and ho­ping of great gayne by this bargayn, consented to themperour, and did that he required. Themperour assone as he came into the citie, caused this traitour Heracleo to be killed (albeit he had done alone that for themperour, that all themperours power was not habie to obteyne for thèperour) bicause he could not [Page] abyde his sight, that had betraied his countrey, the de­ [...]e was so horrible and against nature. Yet bicause he wold not seme to haue done it for desire of his riches, he gaue them to his children, whom he preserued. And writing to his frende the mater as it was done, she­weth that he could not loue nor abyde Traitours, nor that he could kepe promise with suche as should not be faithfull and louing to their countrey.

It is written of one called Cacanus king in Ba­īerland in Germanie, that he inuaded a countrey som tyme called Carnia, now called Frioly in Italie, and other places belonging to the Venecianes with a great power: and at the furst meting of him and the­nemies, he ouercame and killed one Gisulfus a Lom­barde, Duke of that countrey. After that he besieged a citie, wherin Romilda the Dukes wife was.

She desiring to see this king what maner man he was, neded not to haue his ymage pourtred vnto her, but loked ouer the walles aduisedly vpon him. Whan she sawe he was a goodly ād faire persone, she was by and by in loue with him. She whisheth, that she mi­ght fele him entre in to her owne holde. Meat nor drin ke could do her good, she could not sleape, she sobbeth she howleth, she soūdeth, she teareth her heare, and is more thā halfe madde, for lacke of her lust.

To be shorte, contrary to all honestie and womanly shamefastenesse, she woeth him to be her husbande: and hauing no regarde of the loue [Page] that eueri honest creature ought to beare to his coun trey, she promiseth to geue him citie, countrey, iewel­les, goodes, and what so euer she could polle of her subiectes, and make for him, so that he wolde marie her. The kīg lacking no witte (or at least wanting no wyttye counsail) and knowing what peril might chaūce vnto him, if he should seke to winne it by for­ce, taketh the offre.

And according to his promise he maried her, and one night toke paynes to shake vp her lecherous rot ten ribbes. In the next morning he leaueth his cham­bre, and her gates open free to euery man: and (as so­me, God geue them grace to repent in tyme, did to the wicked woman of Feuersham in Kent, that not long since killed her husbande) he gaue euery man libertie that wolde, to offre his deuocion in to her corporesse. So at leynght whan he thought her tyred, and her vnsaciable luste somwhat staunched (for by li ke it wolde neuer haue ben fully glutted) he caused her to be thrust on a stake naked, that all mē might see those vgli partes, which to satiffie she was content to betraye her natural countreie: and that it should be an example to all others, to take hede to doo the like, he causeth the hole citie to be cleane ouerthrowen.

This maye ye see, that kinges spare neither male nor female, great nor small, that for any respecte be­traye their owne natural countrey: bicause they kno­we, those can neuer be faithfull to straungers that be [Page] false to their parēt, their countrey. And wold to God they were as earnestly set to absteyne frō doing euil, as ì these exāples they to haue bē ready to doo iustice.

But what shall we nede to bring furthe examples of practicers, of straunge and farre countreyes, whā euery man maye fynde pleyntie in his owne? To what purpose shall it be, to alledge those of a great meany yeares past and stale, whan ther be pleyntie euery daye freshe to be founde? Only to let men see by com­parison of the olde with the newe, and the newe with the olde, the present with the past, and the past with the present, that the deuil hathe alwayes ben, is and shalbe the deuil: and such fetches as he hathe vsed, su­che he dothe and will vse. And that his disciples, as thei neuer forget the principles of their science, so ha ue they at leynght their maisters rewarde, worthy their desartes.

Whan wriothesley, Arundell and South­well conspired with thambicious and subtil Alcibia­des of England, the Erle of warwike (afterwar­de duke of Northumberland) to pull the good duke of Somerset king Edwardes vncle and protectour out of his authoritie, and by forgeing a great meany of false lettres ād lies to make the Protectour hated, brought to passe war wikes purpose: who than for a while, but they three? Wriothesley that before was banished the Court▪ is lodged with his wife and son­ne next to the king. Euery man repaireth to [Page] Wriothsley, honoureth Wriothesley, sueth vnto Wrio thesley (as the Assirianes did to Ammon) and all thin ges be done by his aduise: and who but Wriothesley [...] Arundell his promised to be next to the king, grome of his stole, or Comptrollour of his house at the least. Southwell (for his whisking and double diligence) must be a great Counsaillour in any wise. But what was thende? The erle as craftie as the best (seing that his desire should not take place, if these men might haue that they hoped for) so handleth the matier, that Wriothesley is fayne in the night to get him out of the court to his owne house: wher vpon narowe exa­mination, fearing least he should come to some open shamfull ende, he either poisoned him self, or pyned awaye for thought.

Southwell is committed to the Flete, wher being examined, he confessed ynough to be hanged for, and hade gone very nere it, hade not his examiners vpon hope of his amendement breaking out of his eie, but not out of his hart, obteyned therles fauour.

And at therles sute Arundel hathe his head with the axe diuided from the shoulders.

And how at leinght was P. the maister of practices handled, that will haue one parte in euery pagent, if he maye by prayeng or paieng put in his foote? But before I procede to speake of this maister of practices [Page] it shall not be amysse, that I tell you somwhat of his maister the doctour of practices. For albeit this do­ctour be now (but to late) throughly knowen, yet it shall be requisite, that our posteritie knowe what he was, and by his description see, how nature had shaped the outwarde partes, to declare what wa [...] within. This doctour hade a swart colour, an han­ging loke, frowning browes, eies an ynche within the head, a nose hooked like a bussarde, wyde nose trilles like a horse, euer snuffing in to the wynde, a sparowe mouthe, great pawes like the deuil, talaun­tes on his fete like a grype, two ynches longer than the naturall toes, and so tyed to with sinowes, that he coulde not abyde to be touched, nor scarce suffre them to touche the stones.

And nature hauing thus shaped the forme of an out­warde monstre, it gaue him a vengeable witte, which at Cambridge by labour and diligence he hade made a great deale worse, and brought vp many in that fa­cultie: Wriothesley, Germayne Gardiner (whom he caused spedily to be hanged, least he should haue to mu che disclosed his maisters arte) ād among many other, this maister or proctour of practices, whom we are now entred to speake of.

This doctour to geuesome significatiō of his nature ād cōning to come alofte, that he might doo the more mischief, betrayeth his M. Carnall wolsei: and more [Page] than any other laboureth the diuorse betwene king Henry and the dowager. And by and by he earnestly sought to haue riddē in the kìges bootes: worse could not content him. But whan he sawe that wold not be, and considred it better to haue stoare than one only paire (for so perchaunce he might haue founde them somtymes not all cleane whan he wolde haue vsed thē, ād also it should be a let to bring to passe that he pur posed) he chaungeth his purpose [...]: and bycause none shoulde remembre his practices before, nor suspecte the rest to come, he shaueth his crowne as broade as a sawcer, and decketh him self with a white smocke li­ke a portour of the Stiliarde. But what nedeth suche circumlocucion, whan euery body knoweth this do­ctour of practices was called D. Stephan Gardi ner? After this, his lucke was to be committed to the towre, whan Tyburne hade ben a place more worthy his desertes. His scholar the maister or proctour of practices, remembring how muche he had prospred by the meanes of the doctour, and bending his disposi­cion to make thankefull requital of parte of his re­ceaued benefites, putteth the doctour in memorie of an olde lesson he had taught him: that is, to geue backe twoo fote with the ramme, that he might winne the thrid. But whether this D. Gardiner was offended with his scholar the proctour, for his ouerranke practiceing, or how it happened, I can not tell, I am sure that in this one, he answered hone­stly: [Page] let my scholar goo on as he hathe begonne (saieth he) for Gardiner can not plaie the knaue so. Wordes of Gardier: but he was not vnskilled (I saie) ì the arte of practices. No in dede, he was excellent in that feate, as it well appeared. For whan he had wrought and made sure the great mariage to auoide the hatred of the people, he made his scholar to fa­ther it, and to haue the outwarde thankes. And no maruail of his conning. For he was his maister, and hade studied longer the arte, than the proctour, and hade a better witte, and spent yearly the halfe of his bishopriche in bribing, or elles he had lost his head long before: for his treasones were not alltogether vnknowem, albeit they were couered and hidden.

But what dothe this maister or proctour of pra­ctices? Dothe he not dissemble with the erle of war­wike, serueth his turne ì al that his wittes wold serue?

But what at leinght becometh of our practiceing P.? He is committed to warde, his garter with shame pulled from his legge, his robe frō his backe, his coa­te armour pulled downe, spurned out of Windsore churche, troden vnder fote, and he him self at leinght with great fauour obtein [...]th, that he might redeme the rest of his corporal paines with open confession at the barre in the Starre chambre on his knes of his bribery, extorcion, dissimulacion, ambicion, robbing of the king, and suche like vertues, wherby he became noble.

[Page]If we minded in this place to displaye the packing and practiceing of the Nobilitie and counsail of En­glande in the sickenesse and at the deathe of king Ed­warde the vi. for the pretensed placeing of the lady Iane in the regaleseat, and their sodain slipping the coler. and deceauing of one an other: it were mater ynough to teache men, how litel confidence and trust ought to be geuen either to the smothe coūtenaunces, faire wordes, confident promises, bloody othes, or swearing vpon the holy Euangelies, either yet to the lettres ād hāde writinges of the Princes ād potenta­tes of the worlde. They that were sworne chief of counsail with the lady Iane, and caused the Quene to be proclaimed a bastar [...]e throughout all Englan­de and Irelande: and they that were the sorest forcers of men (yea vnder the threatned paines of Treason) to sweare and subscribe vnto their doinges, bewraied the mater them selues vnder hande by their wiues ād other secret shiftes, and afterwarde became coun­saillours (I will not saie, procurers) of the innocent Lady Ianes deathe: and at this present are in the highest autoritie in the Quenes house, and the chie­fest officers and doers in the common wealthe.

And som of them that wrote most earnestly to a certain auncient lorde of the Realme (among many other, in the fauour of the Lady Iane, bebastarding and railing vpon the Quene, were not ashamed within fewe daies after (whan the same lorde was [Page] locked vp in the towre, for his constaunt although constrained obedience to the common ordre of the Counsail) to be his most straunge and rough exami­ners on the contrary part, as though they them sel­ues hade neuer halted in the mater.

But I knowe these practicers answer: that if they hade not vsed that practice, they should not only ha­ue standen in hasarde them selues, but also failed of their priuie purpose. Well. In the meane tyme it is ynough to knowe, that a man maie not trust nor be­leue them, either by their wordes, othes, or hande writinges further thā he seeth and heareth them, and scarcely so farre.

And I praie you, hathe not the realme good cause to thanke and trust the potentates, Prelates and Par­liament men for banishing the sacred testament and Gospel of God with the sincere administracion of his holy Sacramentes, and for bringing the deuillishe po­wer of the Romishe Antichrist in to Englande again with his miserable Masse and all popishe slauery? By the which they haue not only brokē their othe ād loy altie to God, and to themperial Crowne of Englande, pullìg eternal cōdēnaciō vpō thēselues, ād ▪puokig the heauie hād of Goddes wrath ād plage vpō their sede, ād vpō the hole realme, ì cōpellìg the people to sinne by fallìg frō the true seruice of the liuìg God ìto most wicked supersticion and idolatrie (alas therfore) but also haue ben and are giltie of the innocent blood of [Page] thankes, and the Quenes fauour increaced towarde him. But his iuste rewarde yet is not come, let h [...] not loke to spede any better than Heracleo, if he continue Iudas still. I wolde wishe, he wolde in time become a Petre, I trust he is not so farre past, but he maie be praied for. He is my good lorde, and Mason ones my great frende, ād nere neighbour. I wishe them bo­the well. Thus ye see the final successe and rewarde of traitours. Wherfore it is to be wondred, that suche practicers which worke so muche mischief for others, can not take hede of the euil that is towardes them selues. But Goddes worde must be verified of the wic­ked. Beholde, the wicked trauaileth with mischief (saieth the worthy prophet and king Da­uid, a man of great experience) He hathe cōcea­ued unhappines, and brought furthe a lie. He hathe grauen and digged up a pit­te, but he shall fall him self in to the pitte that he hathe made. For the mischief that he mindeth to others, shall come on his owne head, and his wickednesse shall fall on his owne pate.

But forasmuche as all these fetches and practices be only made and laied to disceaue those that be honest, faithfull, true, and natural to their countreie: it is re­quisite to treate how they maie be auoided. Deceat wold not be knocked out with deceat, if it might so be, but honest men should alwaies and at all times [Page] deale plainly and honestly. And therfore the honestest meane before thinges be done, is to be wise and cir­cumspecte: and to forsee thende, what mischief maie folowe, before they sodainly, rashely and vnaduisedly consent to ani thing. To vse suche honest wisdom and forsight, is permitted bothe by Goddes worde and na­ture. Yea Goddes worde and nature commaunde ho­nest men to vse it. For those thinges that can but ones be done, and wheron so great weigh thangeth, ought to be well done. Therfore men ought not to geue cre­dite to faire wordes, large promises, and great othes (for these are the instrumentes to deceaue the honest and well meaning) but the fairer the wordes be, the larger the promises, ād the greater the othes, the mo­re to suspecte. For godly and honest thinges maie be well ynough done without painted and smothe wor­des, faire promises and othes. Ther ought to be such equalitie in doing of thinges, that such deceates nede not. Only subtiltie and crafte deuised long writinges, great promises, and many solempne ceremonies. Whā the great mariage was treated in the priuie Counsail ād so great promises made, the olde Duke of Nor folke saied, they were golden wordes, but how shall they be perfourmed, saied he? Afterwarde whan it was propouned to the lordes in the parliament to be ratified, the Lord Windsori like maner asked who should be suertie for the perfourmaunce therof, ād who should sue the forfaite? Nother of thē lacked [Page] wisdome and forsight, to see that vnder painted pa­pir, muche mischief was hidde. Long erperience had taught it the duke, being long trained in Princes practices: and nature suffred not the other lorde to be vtterly voide of it. But bothe of them lacked that courage, magnanimitie, and fortitude, that ought to be in noble men. But it might be, that they hade it, but durst not vttre it, partly for that thone was in hope to recouer that he had a time lacked, and the other for feare to lose that he hade: but chiefly (as it maie be gathered) bicause they sawe their peeres mou­th [...]s stopped. But let them be sure, all will not serue, if practicers parte; maie take place. For suche thinges wold be all together ouerthrowen, or not meddled with: for at leinght the least let wilbe called to memo­rie, they maie be sure. And bicause publike maters of a Realme, that concerne all and euery mannes life, wi­fe, children, landes, goodes, and what so euer can not be tretted vpon by all mē, but all must put their trust in a fewe: men ought to be wise and circūspecte whō they trust. For ther be to many that passe not what become of their neighbours, so they maie prospre them selues: what become of the hole Realme, so their owne families maie stande still. He that maketh sute to be a deputie for a multitude, semeth to sue for his owne vainglorie or profit. Those that sende lettres, not to chose this man, but to chose suche a man: haue in their headdes more than the vniuersal wealthe of [Page] all. He that bringeth lettres to be preferred, meaneth not the benefite of them that he wolde serue. He that geueth moneye, and maketh great feastes, thinketh som other fetche, than the seruice of his neighbours. He that refuseth or releasseth his ordinarie wages, loketh for som greater extraordinarie rewarde. He that is alwayes or ofte at prīces platters, or in practi cers Palaces, cā not long cōtinue the peoples true pro ctour. And therfore in Venece (as they write) none of the Senate and officers vpon payne of his head, da­re talke pryuily with an other, nor take rewardes or fees of any forayn Prince. For they are so gelous of the hole state, bicause they haue ben so often decea­ued by practicers in their owne companies. Which lesson all wise men and honest men should learne, and by all meanes suspecte princes promises and withstan­de practicers doinges, and not beleue one worde that they saye, be it neuer so gentil: nor yet their dedes, what so euer shyne or pretense of loue they declare. Such a realme as Englād is, is well gottē, how so euer it is gotten. But thou that arte a true englishe man, seing the fetches ād fal [...]ehead of these named and such other [...]s they be, loke in tyme to thy selfe and to the state of thy naturall countraye, and trust not vnto them, though their vse neuer so muche fliering, though they sweare neuer so fast, though they speake neuer so faire, and though they geue thee their hande wri­ting. Be thou Pr [...]metheus and not Epime­theus. [Page] Remembre that our countrey man Adam Afterwitte hathe a great while ben the lorde For rewittes foole. Be taught therfore in tyme, before thou be taken. Saye not to late: Hade I wist. Thou hast sufficient warning, God geue thee grace to considre it and vse it.

AN EXHORTACION or rather a warnyng to the Lordes and Commones of Eng­lande.

IHARTILY wishe (natural englishe­men and good countreymen) that it had pleased God, to haue geuen som cause, wherby ye with me, and I with you might haue reioyced, and not to haue lamented one of vs to an other of our miserie. For so­rowfull thinges are neither grate to the hearer, nor pleasaunt to the teller. But as if one should come to his deare frende or good neighbour, finding him very so re wounded, and did but lament with him, ād not went about to helpe him to cure his woundes, he should ra ther augment his paynes and increace his sorowe: so if in this miserable miserie, wherin we and our poore countrey of England stande, and yet is not come to the full and ripenesse, I should but lament and way­le with you, which I can not but doo, onles I should shewe my seelf toto vnnatural and vn­kynde, I should but encreace (I thinke) your sorowes and paynes: but most certaynly I am sure myne owne. But as it is a most sure [Page] token of deathe, whan the sicke man feleth not his di­sease, nor cā tell wher his grief is, being asked in what place his payne lyeth: so in all Realmes and congre­gaciones of people, whan they doo not fele the com­mon calamities and miseries that are among them, it is a most certain and infallible signe that the destru­ction and thende of it is at hande. And therfore geue me leaue (I beseche you) to open your woundes, and to searche the cause of your calamities, and than to ministre and powre in to them some holsome baw­me, and couer them with some comfortable plastre.

And albeit I doo it not so finely as som others can, but boisteously after my rude maner, yet I doubt not, but by Goddes grace ye shall finde confort, or at least perceaue, that I haue an earnest desire to see you holpen. For I meane your wealthe and healthe, as o­ne brother ought of an other, that is borne of the same father and mother.

Ther was neuer great miserie, destruction, plage or visitacion of God, that came on any nacion, citie or countrey, which as they be in dede, so may they iustly be called woundes, but be sent of God for sinne, and be not sodaynly layed on the people, but are be­fore prophecied and declared by the prophetes and ministers of Goddes worde, or by some reuelaciones, wondres, monstres in the earthe, or to kens and si­gnes in thelement.

[Page]For God as he is most iust, and will not faile to punishe synne, so is he most mercifull, and will not the deathe of sinners, but rather that they should turne to him and lyue.

And therfore before hande geueth them warning what shall folowe, if in tyme they repent not, as by the histories of all ages it dothe appeare. And no­ne of these admoniciones haue ye lacked, countrey men.

For the preachers and ministers of Goddes wor­de, in the tyme of the godly Iosias king Edwarde the Sixthe preached and prophecied vnto you, what mi­series and plages should certaynly come to you: the foode of Goddes worde to be cleane taken away frō you, famyn of the body, pestilence, warres, the losse of your goodes, the deflouring and rauishing of your wyues and daughters before your eies, the captiui­tie of your bodies, wyues and children: the subuer­sion of the policie and state of the Realme: that a straunge king and straunge people (not only in coun­trey, but also in condiciones and maners in respecte of your owne) should reigne and rule by force ouer you, if ye in tyme repented you not of your wic­kednesse, amended your lyues, and called to God for mercie.

But than ye passed nothing on it, but as the Iewes being downed in sinne, mocked, scorned and murthred the prophetes of God which long before prophecied [Page] vnto them their captiuities and vtter destruction: so ye laughed and iested at your preachers wordes, no­thing regarding the threattes of God, but contēnyng thē, yea increaceīg in your wickednesse, ādnowat leyn ght murthering most cruelly the ministers of God.

And seing wordes of warnyng toke no place with you, God for his louing mercie hathe warned you al­so by monstrous maruailes on the earthe, and horri­ble wonders in thelement, to put you beside all maner of excuses. What wonderfull monstres haue ther now lately ben borne in Englande? What celestial signes most horrible? A childe borne besides Oxforde in the yeare, M. D. LII. with two heades and two partes of two euil shaped bodyes ioyned in one. A childe borne at Couentree, in the yeare M. D. LV without armes or legges. A childe borne at Fulhā by Londō euen now this yeare, with a great head, euil shaped, the armes with bagges hanging out at the Elbowes and heles, and fete lame. A childe newe bor­ne at Lōdō furthewith speaking as a prophet and mes sager of God. An horrible Comete this year, besides diuerse eclipses, whiche folowe. But what were these? only bare signes? No certaynly, they doo and must signifie the great wrathe and indignacion of God.

Not long after the passion of our saueour Christ, whan the Britaines our cōtreymen went about to re couer their libertie, and to be despeched of the most cruel seruitude and miserie which the Romaines kept thē in, wherein no Britayn was certayn of wife, childrē [Page] goodes, no, not of their liues, all thigs were so in bōd [...] ge of the cruel Romaynes pleasur: ther were of our coūtreymē slayne at one tyme three score ād ten thou­saūt mē, ād at an other tyme thrittie thousaūt. Before which slaughters ther were many wōders sene in Eng lād. Thimage of the Idole which the Romaines hade in their tēple called Victorie was turned backe, as thou­gh she gaue place to thenenies. The sea was like blood, ymages of mēnes bodyes founde on the sea syde. And womē were out of their wittes, ād cried: destructiō at hāde, destructiō at hāde: so that the Britaynes were in great hope, ād the Romaynes in great feare. Before Britayn (now called Englād) came in to the full power of the Danes, kīg Edmūde the sōne of Ethelberte beīg slayne, ther were diuerse straūge thinges, wherby all men gessed, that an alteration of the Realme was to­warde: but chiefly they gessed the great calamitie by the sodain swelling of the sea without any euidēt cau­se, which so brake in to the lande, that it destroyed many townes and people. Before that great slaughter of Englishe men and Normādes which was by reason of the warres that were in Normandie, betwene king Hēri the furst, king of Englāde, and Robert Duke of Normandie his brother (at which tyme Normandie was ioyned to Englande) the ryuer of Trent did not runne one hole daye together, but was so emptie, that men passed ouer on fote: and at that tyme a sowe brought furthe a monstre with the face of a man, and [Page] a henne a foure foted monstre. So that by that that is past, ye maye the boldlier diuine of that that is to come.

The childe by Oxforde, what did it betoken, but that our one swete head, king Edwarde should be ta­ken awaye (as he was in dede) and that ther should be in his place two headdes, diuerse gouernours, and a towarde diuision of the people, but not all together: which so manyfestly folowed, that no man can denye it: or two people should be knytte together, but not in god proporcion nor agrement. The childe of Co­uentrie without the principal membres to helpe and defende the bodye, must nedes signifie, that the natu­ral body, that is, the people of Englande shalbe helpe­les, ready to be troden vnder the fote of euery creatu­re, and non to releue or succour it.

The childe of Fulham, what can it signifie, but that the natural body of England shalbe weake, the chief membres (tharmes and legges) which is the no­bilitie, so clogged with chaynes of golde, and bagges of money, that the hande shall not be hable to drawe out the sweorde, nor the heles to spurre the horse to helpe and defende the body, that is, the commones. And as the head of it is the greatest part, and grea­ter than it ought to be, with to muche superflui­tie of that it should not haue, wherfore it must pull from the other membres to confort it, and lacke of [Page] that good proporcion it ought to haue: so shall the gouernours and headdes of Englande sucke out the wealth and substaunce of the people (the politike bo­dy) and kepe it bare, so that it shall not be hable to helpe it self, yet shall the head neuer come to that na­ture requireth. What is to be gathered of the yōg chil de, I doo not saie it is true, bicause the father was forced (onles he wold haue lost his life) to r [...]cant it: but might it not be true? Is ther not as muche to be saied for it, as for the popes trāsubstāciacion? Dothe not Eusebius Pamphili (a man of as good credite, as Thomas Aquinas, Scotus, Gratianus, and suche other the inuētours and mainteners of transubstanciacion) write, that a lambe contrary to nature and possibili­tie, did in plaine wordes before declare the nature and disposicion of Bochorus king of Egipt? They that write the cronicles of the Romaines saie, that a dog­ge, a serpent, and oxen did speake. But scripture plain­ly saieth, that Baalams asse (a creature vnreasonable, without possibilitie to speake) did saie to his maister: why beatest thou me? And Iohn the baptist contrary to the common course of nature, lept and reioiced in his mothers wombe, whan Christes mother being with childe came to see Elizabeth his mother.

If men that beleued not the miracles, which the gogle [...]ied Roode of Boxley, the Idole of walsinghā, the bawde of willesdō, which euery foole might see to be deceates and open illusions, were condemned and [Page] burned for heretikes: how should they be taken, that doo not beleue the manifest workes of God?

The horible Comete and blasing starre that was sene this yeare greater in Englande than elles wher, what elles dothe it betoken, but the great displeasure of God? and therfore famin, pestilēce, warres, sediciō, deathe of princes, inuasion of forain naciones, destru­ction of som or many cities and countreies, and the alteracion and chaungeing of the state and gouerne­ment? For if it be laufull for man to diuine of Goddes wonderfull workes, and by the like thinges past, con­iecture those that be to come: why should we not affirme, that these plages will folowe? Before the great warres made by Xerses against the Grecia­nes, and the ouerthrowing of the hole state of Grece, ther was a blasing starre sene of the shape of an hor­ [...]e, and an eclipse of the sunne.

Before the last and vtter destruction of the citie of Ierusalem, ther was sene hanging in thelement ouer the tēple a burning sweorde almost the space of a hole yeare. In the time of cruel Nero, ther was a Comete that continued sixe monethes.

After that folowed great sedicion and alteracion in thempire: and the kingdome of the Iewes (marke well) was vtterly destroied. Before the deathe of our countrey man Constantine the great, who was the furst professour of the Gospell of Christ among all themperours: and no doubt a special fauourour and [Page] promotour of it. For he did not prohibite laie men to reade Goddes worde, as som princes doo at this ty­me, but he caused examples of the Bible to be written at his owne charges, and sent in to all countreyes: ther was a great Comete, and afterwarde folowed a wonderfull and cruel warre, which who so deliteth in histories, maie perceaue.

Before the dissension and deadly warres that was be­twene the brethren of Lotarius themperour, sonne of Lodouicus Piu [...] ▪ for the diuision of thinheritaunce (whereby suche slaughter grewe in Fraunce, that the Frenchemen were neuer after hable to recouer per­fitly their force) ther were many Cometes sene.

About the yeare of Christ M. I. ther was an hor­rible Comete sene, and than folowed wonderfull fami­nes and pestilence?

In the yeare MLXI. before thinuasion of Williā Conquer our in to England, and the conquest of the same, and in which Heralde king of England with twentie thousaunt true Englishemen in the de­fense of their countrey against the tiranne were slai­ne [...]ther was sene a wonderfull Comete, which euery man thought (as in dede it folowed) to be muche mi­schief and thalteracion of the state, as herafter ye shall heare. A litle before the great warres in Nor­mandie (wherof ye haue hearde before) ther was sene in Normandie a great Comet, and two full mones at one time shyning, thone in the easte, thother in the [Page] west. In the yeare MCCXXI. whilest the warres were in Asia betwene the christen men and the vn­christen, wher vnto king Henry the thrid sent a power of Englishemen vnder therle of Chestre (for the maintenaūce wherof the nobilitie furst graū ted the king the wardeship of their children, as Poli­dore writeth) before the Christen men lost the citie of Damiata, and a great ouerthrowe of them was in Egipt, many wonders were sene in diuerse places, and also in Englande a very great Comete, a wonderfull great earthequake, all the wynter horrible thonders, which in Englande seldome in Somer be hearde: suche great raines, and tempestes of windes, that it ouer­threwe many houses: and the sea drowned mani pla­ces, which euery man saied, betokened the hurt that folowed on christen men. In the yeare MCCXLI. a little before wales was brought to the subiection of the king of Englande, ther appeared in England a terrible Comete, by the space of xxx. daies?

In the yeare M. D. XXXI. ther was an horrible Comete. And what folowed of it? The Turke occu­pied a great parte of Vngarie: the kig of Denmarke Christierne inuading his coūtrey with a great armie, and so minding to recouer his kingdome, was taken and his sonne. And why should not ye of England t [...]ike, that these signes be only (or at the least chiefly) for you? Compare your selues, and your liues and doinges with the Iewes, or the worst nacion, if any [Page] can be worse: ād see whether ye be not hable to mat­che them, yea to ouermatche them, and to droppe vie, three for one? In what nacion vnder the cope of heauen, hathe God shewed greater tokens of his sa­uour, and it so litle set by, as in Englande? What con­tempt of him, his worde and ministers hathe bē ther? What dissimulacion with God? what hipocrisie? What swearing and soreswearing? What traiterye to their countreye? What disobedience to the gouernours in good, godly and necessary thinges? What ready obe­dience to their rulers in wicked and euil thiges? What vnnatural bitcherie vsed betwene the father and daughter, brother and sister? What abominable hoo­redome suffred vnpunished? yea in many and the chie­fest places the greatest hooremongers, the impudentest ribauldes, the peltingest bribers, and the lewdest per­sones made Iustices of the peace, and correctours of vice? What railing and reuiling of the worthy pure preachers of Goddes gospell for only rebuking of vi­ce? What horrible murdres secret and open, not only of priuate persones, but also of the most honou­rable peeres and reuerende ministers of God? What bochering and burning of true Englishe christianes, yong and olde, hole and lame, seing and blynde, man, woman, and childe, without respecte of age, sexe or astate? What pillig and polling, taking and snatching, stealing and robbing, not only among the meane sor­te, but among the greatest? Wher is so great hatred [Page] and malice, so litle loue and charitie, as in Englande▪ I should neuer make an ende, if I should tell but that I haue my self sene and knowē, muche lesse if I should declare all that other credible persones of their owne knowlage report to be most certain and true.

But to retourne to the mater. Loke well England, loke well, whether this Comete past, and eclipses to come, touche the? Art thou not all ready plaged with famin? Yes, and with suche a famin, as thou neuer be­fore heardest of. It is true, ye had darthes in the time of kinges Henry and Edwarde, but those were dear­thes without nede: only they were occasioned by the gredinesse and malice of naughtie men without scar­citie or lacke of thinges: ād for lacke of diligēt ouer­seing and good gouernement, and not by the directe plage of God. But these two yeares since kīg Edwar­des deathe, from the restitucion of your cursed popis­he masse, ye haue had scarcitie by the directe plage of God. The earthe not brought furthe suche plaintie as it customably did before. Wher before time the coun­trey fedde London, London contrary wise was and is forced of her former prouision to fede the countreie. Wher Dantis [...]e ād other the northe east partes were the barnes and garners of corne, for they had the prouision of corne for many yeares before hande, ād nourished all the lowe partes of Germanie, Denmar­ke Friselande, holande, Zelande, Brabaunt, Flanders, Hispaine and many other: now by reason of their [Page] bringing so muche to releue Englande, onles a staie be made in time, they them selues will perishe of famin. Whan were euer thinges so deare in Englande, as in this time of the popish masse ād other Idolatrie resto­red? Who euer hearde or redde before, that a pounde of beefe was at iiij. d. A shepe xx. s. A poūde of Can­delles at iiij. d. A poūde of Buttur at iiij. d. ob. A poū ­de of Chese at iiij. d. two egges a penie, a quarter of wheat, lxiiij. s. A quartre of malt at l. s. or aboue: the people driuen of hongre to grinde accornes for bread meale, and to drinke water in stede of ale? And what? Shall this famin awaie, before his walkīg mate and felowe (pestilence) come? No surely, without your earnest spedy repentaunce, and Goddes exceding mi­raculous mercie, it is not possible: for hitherto the one went neuer before, but the other cam either arme in arme, or elles quickly after.

But it shall almost come to late for common persones, for they be so hanged vp by xx. and xl. in a plumpe (and a great nombre of them, bicause they confessed and professed, that they should be sa­ued by thonly merites of Christes passion) that the pestilence shall haue litel matier amōg the meane sor­te to be occupied on: but therfore must be the more occupied with the great.

And hast thou (England) had no sedicion and inwarde grudge? Yes, so muche that the headdes and [Page] gouernours durst not pepe out of their priuie cham­bres: nor one neighbour seme to talke with an other, for feare to be noted and accused of conspiracie. Yea and that (that is worst of all, and to be lamented of all englishe men) ther is inwarde grudge, and secret malice betwene the membres, that is, the Nobilitie ād Commones.

The one hateth and contemneth the other, which is the worke of the deuil, and his ministers the popi­she Prelates and priestes. They cast water in to the coles, to make the fire greater: for they knowe, onles such diuision and dissension be fostred and nourished, their kingdome wolde sone lie in the dirte. This is the practice of suche as minde the conquest or vtter destruction of any people, to maintene and pricke fo­rewarde dissension, diuision and discorde among the people. For Christes wordes are true, who saieth, that euery kīgdome diuided in it self shalbe desolate, and euery citie or house diuided against it self, shall not continue. The prophet prophecieng of the de­struction of the kingdome of the Iewes, saied befo­re, that ther should be ciuile and inwarde sedicion, as ther was in dede in Ierusalem, betwene three pestilent factiones and partes, wherof Symon, Ioannes, and Eleazarus were the autors and headdes. This was Xerses practice to set the Grecianes by the eares, to maintene Ciuile warres and dissension among them, that so whan one had destroied an other, he [Page] might easily enioye all. This policie haue all other ambicious monark [...]s hitherto in all places practiced. And as Gardyner whan he should dye, did not lament his synnes, but sent for the Quene, and wept to her, that he could no longer lyue to serue her grace, that is, to vndoo the nobilitie and cōmons of the Realme: but he desired her to procede as he counsailed her by his worde and writing: so Granuell whan he should also dye, sent worde to thēperour Charles, and requi­red him, not to forget his counsail, but still vse it, th [...]t is, to nourishe and mayntene dissension among the sta tes of Germanie, and so he should at leynght easily come by the hole. In like maner if the traiterous bis­hoppes and priestes can ones set the cōmones against the nobilitie and gentilmen, they will sone (the nobili­tie being ones suppressed) sende the cōmones to clym­be a dawes nest, and vse them at their pleasur. But wi­se mē and suche as loued their countrey in tyme past, foresawe this mischief that came by inwarde grudge and ciuile discorde: and euer (as muche as in them laie) went about to let it. They thought it was most neces­sare to prouyde for the sauegarde of the hole by all meanes, and not for any particular parte: which maye wel appear by the wisdō of Thrasibulus, who beīg dry uen out of Athens (his countrey) by the xxx. tiran­nes, bicause he wolde not consent to their tirannye, ad to see his countrey destroyed: at leynght gathered to gether all those that were banished with him, and by [Page] the helpe of the Thebanes their neighbours, toke a castle besides Athenes, and afterwarde in batail he ouercame the tirannes, and restored all those that wer banished, to their coūtrey, ād their olde lawes that we re takē awaie by the tyrānes. And seīg what mischief might folowe, if he did not tak awaie thīwarde grud­ge that was among the people, and make an vnitie be­twene thē, albeit the poore banished men were spoiled of all that they had, and their goodes in those handes, that hade no right therto, yet made he thē all to geue a promyse, that non should claime any thing of an other, but that all should be forgeuen and forgoten. And the same wisedom did the Romaynes many tymes vse, to make quietnesse among the people, and to pre­serue the hole common wealthe. Yea the noble men of Rome, albeit they were as ambicious as others, and o­ne enuied an others glorie, yet whan the common wealthe was in hasarde, and that their seruice must be vsed for the defense of their countrey, they did cleane forgeue and forget all priuate iniuries and in­warde grudge: yea it was the chief meane to recon­cile enemyes. And no maruail among wisemen, for they sawe, if the hole body of their countrey should perishe, they could not prospre. Ther can be no ar­me, wher ther is no body: and it is a feble body that lacketh the armes and legges. Yea it is a most misera ble body wher the armes and leggs beate the body, ād the body goeth about to shake of tharms and legges. [Page] And albeyt ther be no people, that haue ben more pla ged by inwarde sedicion and ciuile discorde, than En­glishemen: yet is ther none that lesse considre it. I can not tell, wherof it cometh, but commonly they neither remembre that is past, nor forsee that is to come, but only (as vnreasonable creatures) loke vpō those thin ges that be present. The dissension and discorde that was in Britayne our coūtrey (which now is called En glād) and betwene our owne coūtrey mē, brought first the Romaynes in to England: who after they were en tred, sone toke all to thē selues: they murthered a great nōbre of the Britaynes, of som they toke their childrē pledges, and sent thē to Rome: ād to ridde the Realme of strong ād lustie ꝑsones, that ther might be none to withstāde thē, they sent armies ād garisones of thē out of the realme, to serue in forayn coūtreies. Those that were lest at home, they spoiled of their goodes with great taxes and imposiciones: and a great nombre made slaues and bondemen, and glad was he, that could fynde fauour to enioye any litel parte of his owne as long as he lyued. By this meanes was the real me almost made desolate, and than the Pictes (a barbarous and cruel nacion) inuaded Britayne, and destroied man, woman, and childe, that came in to their handes: and so greater miserie folowed, the people forced to flye in to montaynes, wooddes and caues for their sauegarde, and by that meanes the grounde not tilled, great famyncame on them, and [Page] than wonderfull pestilence, as lightli thone goeth not without the other. Thus our countreimen the Britay­nes being oppressed by the Pictes, sought aide of the Saxones (men of great force, but of little truthe) who whan they were come in to the Realme, and sawe the fertilitie of it, subtily deuysed, to marie Ronix daughter to their captayn Hengistus, to the king of Britayne called Vortiger. She being instructe what she should doo foūde the meanes, that her owne countreymen should be placed nyghest the kyng, and haue the greatest offices. Thus were our countrey­men the Britaynes remoued from their king, straun­gers placed in all offices and holdes, and at leynght the lande was ouerrunne, and possessed of Straungers. And the mane of Britayne put awaye, and the realme called Englande.

The Danes after vnderstanding how fertile and pleyntifull England was, sought meanes by litle and litle, to place themselues in Englande, and after a king of Dēmarke in his owne persone inuaded Englād in the Northe, ād made wōderfull cruell warres, they spared none, they burned and wasted Yorkeshire, Northumberlande, and all places, so that the enhabi­tauntes were forced to sue for peace at the Danes han des. Then built they the towne of Dancastre (that is, the Castle of the Danes) and whiles they had peace, sent for moo Danes: and whan they thought their for ce and power bigge ynough, they passed not vpon pro­myses [Page] and leagues that they had made, but renued the warres, killed, burned ād spoiled in euery place, til thei came to Excestre: the people and realme was most miserably tormented, and made tributarie to them. Diuerse of the nobilitie of England vpon light yea no occasiones, but only bicause they were thought not to fauour the Danes, were taken, their nose trilles most villanously slytted, their handes cut of▪ Ah good God, who can remembre these thinges without we­ping? Who that feareth thy wrathe (lorde) will not am [...]de his life, ād call to thee for mercie? What naugh tie nobilitie were that, that wolde oppresse the commo nes, and afterward be vsed and oppressed them selues, by straungers, as their predecessours haue ben before tyme? What deuillis he Cōmones might that be called, that wolde repyne or rebelle against the nobilitie and gentilmen, and than to be ouerrunne them sel­ues with priestes and forayners, and to be pyned with suche miserie, as ye heare that our auncettours were: and all bicause the gentilmen and cōmones agred not among them selues? Who is a natural Englishe man, that will not in tyme forsee and considre the miserie towarde his countreye and him selfe, ād by all meanes seke to let it? who is it, that cā hope for quietnesse, pea ce, healthe, pleyntie, and such like giftes of God, with­out Goddes fauour and mercie. And how is it possible that God should vse mercie with them, that beare in­warde hatred and grudge one to an other, ād will vse [Page] no merci with others? If ye forgeue other mē their offenses that thei cōmitte agaīst you (saieth Christ) your heauenly father will forgeue thoffenses that ye haue cōmitted against him. But if ye doo not forgeue other mē their faultes, neither will your father forgeue you your faultes. No whilest ye saye the lordes praier, ād be full of rācour, malice, hatred, ād ēuie towarde your neighbour, ye cōdemne your selues, and desire Goddes plages and vengeaunce to fall on your selues: for ye meane vēgeaūce to your neighbours, ād wishe all euill to fall on them. And so it dothe fall on you: as ye see by experiēce of the playes ād miseries that are ād shall come to you. But from inwarde sedicion and ciuile discorde, that briedeth so muche mischief, let vs come to outwarde warres and inuasiones made by straūgers. But ye will saye, ye haue no warres with any forain prince. It is true: but shall ye haue none? yes, yes: the tyme is not yet come, all is not hatched that is vnder the henne. Your winges must be dubbed, your fethers must be pulled, your cōbes must be cut, you must be cleane piked, your substaunce shalbe gotten by littel and littell out of your handes, by taxes and subsidies, by beneuolences and loanes, and so frō a litell to more, and frō more to more: and at leynght all the marchauntes goodes to be confiscate in Flaunders by an inquisitiō, and others in England by an opē excōmunicatiō. And whan ye be ones cleane stripped of your stoare, and thus weakened out of courage, ād your harte in your hose, as they saie: than shall your king returne to his [Page] welbeloued wife, England, with great pōpe ād power, and shall cōpell you (in despight of your hartes) to rē dre and deliuer her holly in to his handes. Than shall the easter linges (vpon hope to recouer their olde and greater priuileges) aide him with mē, money and ship pes: as allready they haue offred and promised, as di­uerse credible lettres haue declared. Thā shall they in uade Englande, and shalbe by shiploades (if no worse happē vnto you) caried in to newe Spaine, ād ther not lyue at libertie, but bicause ye are a stubburne and vn faithfull generaciō, ye shalbe tyed in chaynes, forced to rowe in the galie, to digge in the mynes ād to pike vp the golde in the hotte sande. And so with soro we to your soppes, your three mānes song shall be, Alas, and Weale awaye. Than shall ye knowe the pride ād lorde lynesse of the Spanyardes, though for a while til they maie get the ouer hande, they crepe and crouche, fe­de men with swete wordes (Baso las manos) and wo­men with confettes, swete wynes, pleasaunt pfumes, gaye apparail, and suche like vayne to yes: but wh [...]n they be ones alofte, ther is no naciō vnder the cope of Christ, like thē in pride, crueltie, vnmercifulnesse, nor so farre frō all humanitie as the Spanyardes be: which thig the realme of Naples, the Dukedome of Milane, the citie of Siena, many partes of Duchelande, and the lande of Iulike Cleuelande and Geldre lande can to theyr coste right well testifie.

And maie it not be thought, that the Frēche kìg (whā he seeth oportunitie) wil set in a fote, makìg clayme to [Page] Englande, in the right of the Quene of Scottes, as hei­re to hing Hēry theight by his eldest syster? And maie it not be suspected, that the pope (to doo the Frenche king a pleasure) shall saye the Diuorce betwene king Henry and the dowager was by the canon lawes lau­full: and shall excommunicate the realme, onles they reuoke thacte of parliament, wherby the Dyuorce of late was iudged vnlaufull?

Remēbre, remembre (good countrey men, and true English hartes) the miserie that folowed in our poo­re countrey vpon the conquest made by thambicious William Duke of Normādie: vpon how small a title he entred, ād how tyrānously he vsed him self. His only colour was a bequest or promise made to him by king Edward, brother to Cauntus and Heraldus kinges of England, whā he was a banished man in Normandie, if he should dye without issue, as he did. At his first en trie, he had a great batail with the newe chosē king of Englād, ād slewe hì ād twētie thousaūt of our coūtreye mē, which put suche a feare in all men, the Nobilitie, the cleargie, the Lōdoners, ād others the cōmons, that it m [...]de thēsue for peace, ād to geue pledges for their [...]delitie, whom he sent in to Normandie. At the first he made thē many fayre promises of peace, quietnesse ād iustice, wherwith the folishe fōde people were sone begyle [...]. They thought they had hade God by the too, but they h [...]de the wolfe (yea the deuil) by the eares. He first fortified the holdes and portes by the sea side, [Page] ād in his absence (as many times he was forced vpō re­belliones in Normādie, to tetourne) he made a Coūsail of his owne coūtrey mē, ād made the Bishop of Ba [...]on his brother, his lieutenaūt ì Englāde. But whā he was ones satled, ād thought him self strong ynough to ke­pe the Englishemē vnder: thā Fare well all faire pro­mises, he begìneth to plaie Rex, yea the deuil in dedc. He spoiled the nobilitie of their goodes ād possessio­nes, made thē slaues, ād his owne slaues Lordes: and vpō the Cōmōs he put wōderfull taxes ād imposicio­nes. He toke frō the people their weapones ād harnes­se, ād made a lawe, that no mā should come out of his house after the bel rōg, which was at eight of the clo cke, but to couer the fire ād to bedde. Wherfore vntill this daie the bel that thā ringeth, is called Couerfiewe. And thā he built at Notinghā, lyncolne, yorke, ād ha­sting, ād set in thē garisons of Normādes. And not cō ­tented herewith, he executed many wonderfull cruell thiges, ād specially on the nobilitie, ād suche as he sa­we to be stowte mē: som he caused to be murthred, som their nosetrilles to be slitte, and their handes cut of. Happie was he that could flie out of the Realme: he so spoiled yorke shire, ād durhā, ād all the northe ꝑtes, that tē yeares together it laie waste ād vnhabited. He could in n [...] wise abide the English nobilitie, but vtter ly destroied thē. And all this he did by the lawe of the deuil, whiche they cal the lawe of armes. The good la­wes ād. ustomes of Englād he cleane toke awaie, and [Page] made his owne lustes his lawes, ād put thē in his owne Normāde tongue, that his frēdes might alwaies haue thin terpretacion of thē, and that he might catche the poore Englishemā, whā it pleased him: ād wolde haue the lawes to be pleaded ād al thīges to be done in Frē che. And he was not takē to be the Normādes frēde, nor no gentilman, that could not speake frenche. And therof cometh the olde ꝓuerbe: Iacke wold be a gē tilmā, but he cā no frēche. He remoued then­glishe bishoppes, and placed Normādes by the aide of the bishop of Rome. He pulled downe townes, villa­ges, and houses, and put out the poore people to make him sportīg places, prīcely pleasures, forestes, ꝑkes ād chaces. O miserable Englāde, th [...]t ones thus wast by a tiranne and outwarde enemies plaged. But how muche more miserable shalt thou be by the warres that are most certain to come shortly ont hee. God be mercifull vnto thee. But me thinkes I heare your papistes bi­shoppes, priestes, friers, and suche like Antichristiā mō stres saie, that these plages which haue fallen and shal come to England (for they knowe, they can not be a voided, no they are occasioned ād holpē forewarde by them) haue growne for thinges done in king Henry and king Edwardes time, for that their abominacion was disclosed, their buries and dēnes digged vp, their monasteries throwē downe, and the landes diuided ād solde to the laitie. Ah hipocrites, Ah subtil wolues, ah viperous generacion. Whan the foxe preacheth, bewa [Page] re your geese. Wher in scripture do they finde, that a­ny suche bely Goddes as they are▪ should be maītened? No, scriptur wold haue such marchaūtes whipped out of the churche, such buiers ād sellers of mēs soules. wo be vnto you hipocrites (saieth Christ) for ye swalo we vp the houses of the poore and miserable, that is, that which should be cōuerted to the relief of the poore ād nedy: ād that vnder pretēse of lōg praiers. Wo be vnto you (ye masking Mahoundes) which goo frō place to place, by sea and by lande, to make a nouice of your owne ordre, and whan ye haue him, ye make him the childe of hel fire two folde more thā your selfe. I kno we you not (saieth Christ) awaie frō me, ye workers of iniquitie. It is only their God the bely, that they se­ke to serue, they nother passe on the God in heauen, nor the deuil in hell, so they maie haue wherwith to maintene them selues on earthe, in their hooredome, burgerie, pride and al abominacion. And this that I saie, is not feined nor ymagined, but euident in all mennes eies that will not be wilfully blinde.

Those that be desirous to be rulers in monasteries, ab bottes and priours before they come to it, they pine them selfe awaie with fasting, weare heare, and vse the rest of thīstrumētes of hipocrisie for a while: but whā they haue ones caught the fishe they cast for, they she we what they be plainly. Who so great bely Goddes? Who so great hooremongers? Wher suche knauerie vsed? I am ashamed to tell it. In like maner plaie these [Page] Chaplaines of honour, that seke for bishopriches: all sauing one M. doctour Westō (the cōmō bull of dissembled virginitie, and the boare of olde rusted wi­do whead) who before hāde shewth what he wilbe. But as the worlde goeth, his plaine dealing hathe not nor wil put hī to any afterdeale. Wher is suche an hoore­mōger (yea worse thā an hooremōger) as this olde hi­pocrite Paule the fourthe now bishop of Rome? Who so great a gluttō? Who so ꝓwde ād ambicious? Who so great a tirāne ād tormētour? Who so great a warriour? And yet before he came to that highe seat of antichrist, he wold seme a saint, no religiō nor or­dre of hipocrites was strait ynough for him. He was a frier, a monke, a Capuccine an anchorite, yea what was he not? But ye see the marke these hipocrites sho ote at. And I cā tel thee somwhat of mine owne know lage, which maie not be denied: for the autor is a man of good credēce bothe abrode ād at home with the gre atest ād meanest. After the begīnīg of the Quenes rei gne, ād the sodain alteraciō of all thinges (cōtrary to othe ād ꝓmise) ther came one of mine ordre vnto me, as I walked in a gardeī, ād wēt about to ꝑsuade me to īcline to the Quenes ꝓcedīges: Plaie the wise mā) sai­eth he) ād doo as I ād other mē doo: I haue knowē thee of lōg time, to be a good felowe. I warraūt thee, thou shalt recouer thy losse ād liue in honour, if thou wilt be ruled by reason. And with that helept vp to clappe me on the sholder, for onles he stode on tippe to, he [Page] could not reache it. Tushe (saied he) thou art a foole: If the Turke ruled in Englād, I wold frame mi self to liue accordīg. I maie not nor wil tel you his name, bi­cause I hope he wil ones remēbre hīself, ād cal to God for grace. But to put you somwhat frō musing, I will tel you somwhat. In king Henries time, whā Gardiner was called the beare, he was called the ape. What saied drōkē doctour Westō in the middes of his cuppes (for wine will disclose secretes, if it be as well plied, as his maistership dothe) by the masse, saieth he, that bocher the bishop of Lōdō wil cut al the gētilmēs throtes in Englād, if he cā. Thus ye maie see the marcke, wherat these hippocrites the papistes shoote. They make re­ligiō ād Goddes worde nothing elles thā a colour to couer their wickednesse, ād to maītene their lewdnes­se. And therfore they wraste and wrythe scripture to serue their purpose, and so they haue nede to doo: for ther is not one worde in all the scripture for thē, but euery worde against thē. And bicause ye be retourned to their deuociones, haue forsaken God ād his worde, ād cleaue to the pope and his tradiciones, ād maintene suche a sorte of hipocrites, dissemblers, and open ene­mies of God ād the Realme of Englāde: therfore haue all these plages lighted on you, ād the rest will shortly folowe without faile. Loke vpon the xxviij. Chap. of deuteronomie, wher it is writtē thus. If thou wilt not hearkē to the voice of the Lorde thy God, to kepe and to doo all his cōmaūdemētes ād his ordinaūces, which [Page] I cō [...]aūde the this daie, al these curses shal come vpō thee ād ouertake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the tow ne, ād cursed ī the fielde, cursed shal thy basket be and thy stoare. Cursed shalbe the frute of thy body, ād the frute of thy lande, and the frute of thyne oxen, and the flockes of thy shepe. The lorde shal sende vpon thee cursing, destruction and rebuke, to all that thou set­test thy hande to, and that thou doest, vntil he destroie thee, and bring thee to naught quickly, bicause of the wickednesse of thyne inuenciones, and bicause thou hast forsaken me. The lorde shall smite thee with mad nesse, blyndenesse, and dasing of heart. Thou shalt be oppressed with wrong, and be polled euermore, and no man shah succour thee. Thou shalt be betrouthed to a wife, and an other man shall lie with her. Thou shalt builde an house, and not dwell therin. Thine oxē shalbe killed before thine eies, and thou shalt not eate therof. Thine asse shalbe violently taken from the, ād shall not be restored to the againe. Thy shepe shal­be geuen to thine enemies, and noman shall rescue thē. The frute of thy lande and all thy labours shall a na­cion which thou knowest not, eat: ād thou shalt con­tinually suffre violence, and be oppressed alwaie, so that thou shalt be cleane beside thy self, for the sight that thine eies shall see. Thou shalt cary muche sede out in to the felde, and shalt gather but a litel in, for the gresse hoppers shall destroie it. All thy trees and fr [...]te of thy lande shalbe marred with blasting. [Page] The straunger that is among you, shall climbe aboue thee on highe, ād thou shalt come downe beneathe a­lowe. Moreouer all these curses shall come vpon thee, ād shal folowe the ād ouertake the, til thou be destroi­ed: bicause thou herkenedest not to the voice of the lor de thy God, to kepe his cōmaūdemētes ād ordinaūces, which he cōmaūded the, ād they shalbe vpō the as mi­racles, and vpō thy sede for euer, bicause thou serue­dest not the lorde thy, God with ioifulnesse ād with a good heart, whan thou hadest aboūdaūce of al thīges: therfore thou shalt serue thine enemie, which the lorde shal sende vpō thee, in hūgre and thirst, in nakednesse and in nede of all thing: and he shall put a yowke of Iron about thy necke, til he haue brought the to naught. And the lorde shall bring a nacion vpō thee, a nacion whose tongue thou shalt not vnderstande: an harde fauoured naciō, which shal not regarde the persone of the olde, nor haue cōpassion on the yong. The same shall eat the frute of thy catail, and the fru­te of thy lande, til he haue destroied thee: and shall leawe thee neither corne, wine nor oile, neither the increace of thine oxen, nor the flockes of thy shepe, til he haue brought the to naught. And the lorde shall sende vpon the and thy sede great plagues and of long continuaunce, euil sickenesses and of long duraunce. And it shall come to passe, that as the lorde reioiced ouer you to doo you good, and to multiplie you: euen so he will reioyce ouer you, [Page] to destroie you, ād to bring you to naught, And amōg these naciones thou shalt finde non ease, neither shall the sole of thy foote haue rest. But the lorde shal geue the an vnquiet hart, ād dasing eies, ād sorowe of min­de, &c. And in the ende of the xxix. Chap. of the sa­me it foloweth. Than shall all naciones saie, wherfore hathe the lorde done on this facion vnto this lande? And men shall saie▪ bicause they lefte the Testamēt of their fathers, which he made with them, whan he brought thē out of the lāde of Egipt. For they went ād serued straunge goddes, ād worshipped the. Goddes which they knowe not, and which hade geuen them naught. And the wrathe of the lorde waxed hotte a­gainst this lāde, to bring vpō it all the curses that are writtē ī this boke. &c. By this scripture ye are plain ly tolde the vndeniable cause ād mater, wherfore the lorde God threatneth and sendeth plages. Reade all the histories of the bible, ād the ꝓphecies of the Pro­phetes, ād ye shal euidētly see, how people ād nacio­ns haue bē destroied for maintenīg of suche Idolaters ād wicked liuers, as the papistes are, and wher suche wickednesse hathe bē vsed (as is amōg you) ād not cor rected, as I haue before declared. But thow wilt saie: what shall we doo, to auoide the calamitie ād mi­serie that is bothe present and towarde? wolde to God thou diddest aske it frō the botome of thy harte. But I feare thou doest dissemble ād speake it with thy lip­pes only, as thou wast wont. Whā the great sweat was [Page] in England in the tyme of king Edwarde, a litle signi ficatiō of a greater scourge foloweing: and many that were mery at dyner, were buried in the euenyng: som that went at night to slepe lustie, were founde in bedde dead in the morning: some that went not far­re frō their owne house, neuer returned. Than as long as the feruētnesse of the plage lasted, ther was cryeng Peccaui, peccaui, peccaui: I haue synned, I haue syn̄ed, I haue sīned, mercie good lorde, mercie, mercie, mercie. The ministers of Goddes worde were sought for in eueri corner, thei could not rest, they might not slepe: ye must come to my lorde, ye must come to my lady, my maister prayeth you to come straight vnto hī, my maistres must nedes speake with you. Come, if ye loue God: and if ye loue their saluaciō, tarye not. For Goddes sake, M. Minister (saye the sicke folkes) tell vs what we shall doo, to auoide Godds wrothe. Ta ke these bagges, paye so muche to suche a man, for I deceaued him: geue him so muche, for I gate it of him by [...]surie: I made a craftie bargain with suche a one, restore him so muche, and desyre him to forgeue me. I haue taken bribes of suche a one, I pray you geue him so muche more again. I haue spokē euil of suche a mā, God forgeue it me, I haue ben a hooremōgre, a bawde, God perdone me. Dyuide this bagge among the poore, carie this to the hospital, pray for me for Goddes sa­ke. Good lord forgeue me, I haue dissembled with thee: I pretended to loue thy worde with my lippes, but I [Page] thought it not with my hart: but now I see thou kno­west the secretest secretes, ād wilt not leaue euil vnpu­nished. Haue mercie on me, and forgeue me good lord, I beseche thee from the botome of my harte. This was the dissimulaciō of the people for three or foure daies whiles thexecucion was: but after whā the rage was somwhat swaged, than returne they to their vomite, worse than euer they were. Than that they had before caused to be restored and geuen in almose, they seke to recouer by more euil fauoured Cheuisaunses. But God is not blynde, nother is his hande shortened: he hathe begonne to mete with you, and will paye you that he oweth you to thuttermost. But whether thou requi­rest me vnfaynedly, to knowe how to auoide the plage to come, or doest dissēble with me, I hade rather thou shouldest be founde in fault, than I not to doo that I before promised thee. Goddes worde requireth and cō maundeth euery man to helpe his neighbour in worde and dede, as muche as in him lieth. I will therfore tell thee my best aduise, and hartily pray God thou maiest earnestly folowe it. All these plages that before thou hast hearde rehearced, famyn, pestilence, sediciō, war­res, destructiones of countrayes, captiuitie of people▪ and alteraciones of states, are the instrumentes of God sent ād powred on the people for their synnes, that they should be sorie ād repēt thē of their former wic­ked life, call to God for mercie, ād leade a newe life in holynesse and righteousnesse al the dayes of their life: [Page] Which if ye will earnestly doo, no doubt but as God is mercifull, so will he vse mercie towards you. For God that neuer deceaued any, but abhorreth all practices, all deceit, and all practicers (the workers of deceipt) promiseth it by the mouthe of his prophet Ezechiel. If (sayeth he) the vngodly will turne awaye from all his sinnes that he hathe done, and will kepe all my cō ­maundementes, and doo the thing that is iust ād right, doubtles he shal lyue ād not dye. For al the sines that he did before, shall not be thought vpō any more: but in his righteousnesse that he hathe done, he shall lyue. For I haue no pleasur in the deathe of a synner (saieth God) but that he should repent him of his wicked ly­fe ād lyue &c. It foloweth in the prophet thus▪ wher fore repēt and returne frō your wickednesse, ād your wickednesse shal not be your destructiō. Caste frō you all your vngodlynesse, make you a newe hart ād a new spirite: wherfore will ye dye, O you house of Israel (that is, all such as trust to be saued by christ) seing I hare no pleasur in the deathe of him that dieth, sayeth the lorde God. Turne therfore, and ye shall lyue.

This is not holy water of the court, bare wordes of course, as the princes of the worlde vse, whiles they goo about to deceaue the poore people with their practices, but he saieth no lesse, than hewil doo: he pro miseth no more, than he will iustly and fully perfour­me. Scripture is full of exāples to proue it. After th [...] deathe of Gedeon, the children of Israel fell from the [Page] worshipping of the true God, became Idolaters, and worshipped Baalim and Astaroth, and other Goddes as the Ethnikes did, wherfore God plaged them won­derfully with inuasiones and ouerrunning of the Philistines by the space of xviij. yeares: they semed in wordes to doo penaūce, but god sawe they did but dis­semble with him, and therfore he wold not heare thē. But after they hade done penaunce in dede, that is, destroyed the Idoles, and cast them out of their coun­treye, than God sent thē the noble captain Iepte, who defended them, and reuenged the malice of the phili­stines, Likewise wher the children of Israel had in the tyme of Hely the priest receaued by the Philistines many slaughters of the people, and had lost many ci­ties and townes for the Idolatrie thei had committed, yet whan by thadmonicion of Samuel they repented (as ye heard before) and turned to God, God turned to them, and was mercifull. And whan the philistines had prepared a wonderfull great force against the children of Israel, God sent sodaynly such a terrible thondre and lightenyng, that they were dispersed and rā [...]e awaye. The childrē of Israel ꝑsecuted thē ād sle­we thē, ād recouered their cities, ād all that they had lost. Whā the moabites, āmonites ād Idumites thought to haue ouerrūne Iuda in the tyme of king Iosaphat, yet whan the king ād his people lamented to God and called for mercie, God turned awaie his wrathe, and poured▪ it on their enemies, and made them to fal out [Page] among them selues, and so to kil one an other. Whan Benadab the king of Siria besieged Samaria, ther was so great a fami in the citie, that womē e [...]e their owne children: but whan king Ioram ād the people fel to re pentaūce, ād called to God for mercie, they had in one daie pleītie of al thinges. For God sent such a terrour among the Sirianes with the noise of armour, that they fled, ād lefte all their vitaile bagge and baggage behinde them for those of Samaria. Ye haue hearde before also, how Olofernes and Sēnacherib that inua­ded Israel, were with their hole armies destroied of God, after the people repēted thē of their sinnes, and called for mercie. And so ye haue īnumerable exāples of the great mercie of God towarde al that repented truly, and called for mercie. As of the citie of Niniue, whom albeit God had threatened vtterly to destroie thē, yet whā God sawe they were penitēt for their for mer wicked life▪ ād called vnto hī for mercie, he with­drewe his plage, ād held out his mercifull hande ouer thē: euē so ye (good coūtrey mē ān true englishe har­tes) if ye wil in time earnestly repēt you of your sin­nes, leaue your Idolatrie, ād honour and worship God truly, as ye were taught▪ ī blessed kīg Edwardes time, abhorre the fonde phātasies and folishe tradiciones of mē ▪ ād cleaue to the sincere worde of God, ād be desi­rous of the knowlage of it: leaue your blasphemie and vaine swearing ād horrible for swearing ād periurie, no lōger hate your countreie, but be true and faith­full [Page] to it, ād by all godly meanes seke the wealthe and sauegarde of it: if ye wil obey Goddes cōmaūdemētes before your gouernours, ād your gouernours in that is godly, honest, and iust, and not [...]lles: [...]f ye will leaue your bawdrie, horedome ād bitcherye, ād driue out of al places al hoores, hooremōgers ād stuehouses▪ ād all suche as fauour ād maītene thē: [...]f ye will absteine frō cruel murthering of the Saintes of God ād innocētes, ād rather your selues be cōtēt to suffre all martirdo­me, thā ye wil embrewe your fingres ī their blood, or cōsent to it: if ye wil leaue oppressing of your neigh­bours, your subtiltie, crafte and deceat, ād your selues leaue to loue gredinesse, and inordinate desire of the trashe of this worlde: if you leaue your inwarde hat reed, grudge ād malice one to an other, if the nobilitie will loue ād chearishe the cōmonaltie, ād the cōmones honour ād loue the nobilitie: if one wil shewe him self a brother and neighbour in dede to an other: thā no doubt if ye doo these shīges frō the botome of the har te, that the mouthe ād harte agree together, your sai­enges ād doinges be al one: than shall ye ꝑceaue, that God wilbe easily intreated to turne. Thā maie ye bol­dly aske of God in Christes name, ād your desires shal be hearde ād graūted. But ye maie ī no wise dissemble with hī, as the Israelites did, whā they saied thei wold cōmitte no more Idolatrie, ād yet kept their Idoles, as you pulled downe your ymages, but yet kept them se­cretly in your chābres: nor yet as Iudas Iscarioth did, [Page] who lamented his sinnes ād repēted, but returned not to God: nor yet as your selues did dissemble in the last sweat, whiles Goddes whippe was in your neckes, but ye must cleane doo awaie the olde mā and put on the newe: ye must refuse ād cast awaie all euilles, and doo that is good, ād euer studie to do that shal please God, ād in no wise loke (as lottes wi [...]e did) backwarde: but still goo forewarde. And thā if ye call to God for mer­cie, putting your ful ād onely trust in him, he wil hea­re you, ād take frō you those plages that lie on you, ād the other which most certainly (if ye repēt not, hang ouer you, and wil come vpon you. Than will he sende you his benedictiō for maledictiō, pleītie for famī, heal the for pestilēce, peace for warres, quietnes for trouble, for cruel tirānie, a godly ād iuste gouernemēt: for sedi­ciō, suche force ād power, that you beīg a fewe, shalbe hable to withstāde all the tirannes of the worlde, and enemies of God ād our coūtrey, ād vtterly cōfoūde thē ād destroie thē. Ye shall auoide the eternal paines of hel prepared for sinners: and at leinght ye shalbe sure also to make a chaūge frō your earthly coūtrey, to the heauēly Paradise: frō variable Englād, to the cōstaunt Ierusalem: frō the cōpany of men, to the feloweship of Angelles: from mutable and frowning coūtenaūces of worldely powers, to the vnchaūgeable ād most cōfor­table sight of the kīg of all kinges, our most merciful eternal heauēly father. To whō with the sonne ād the holy goost, be all honour, praise and glory now and euer.

Amen.

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