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591 [591]

K. Richard. 2. The story of Walter Brute with his declarations. Actes and Mon. of the church.

Apocalips, and the Chronicles therto agreing. And as concerning the fall of Babilon aforesaid, it is manifest in the Apoc. where it is said: MarginaliaThe fall of Babilon.
Apoc. 14.
In one day shall her plages come, deathe, lamentation, and famine, and she shall be burned with fire. For strong is the Lord which wyll iudge her. And againe, Babylon that great city is fallē, which hath made all nations to dryncke of the wyne of her whooredome. And thirdly, one mightye angell tooke vp a myll stone that was a very great one, and dyd cast it into the sea, saying: wyth suche a violence as thys is, shall that great citie Babilon be ouerthrowen, & shal no more be found. For her marchauntes were the princes of the earth, and wyth her wytchcrafte all nations haue gone astray, and in her is there found, the bloud of the sayntes and prophetes. MarginaliaEsay. 13And of her destruction speaketh Esay in the. xiij. chap. And Babilon that glorious city, being so noble amongest kingdomes in the pride of the Caldeans, it shalbe: that like as the Lord dyd ouerturne Sodome and Gomorre vpside downe, it shall neuer more be inhabited, nor haue the foundation layde in no age, from generation to generation. Ieremy sayth: Your mother that hath borne you, is brought to verye great confusion, and made euen with the ground. And againe: The Lord hath deuised and done as he hath spokē against the inhabiters of Babilon, which dwel richly in their treasures vpon many waters, thine end is com. And thirdly: Drouth shall fal vpon her waters, and they shall begyn to be dry, for it is a land of grauen images, and boasteth in her prodigious wonders: It shall neuer more be inhabited, neither be buylded vp in no age nor generation. Verely, euen as God hath subuerted Sodome and Gomor with her calues.

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MarginaliaIerem. 51Pardon me (I beseche you) thoughe I be not plentyfull in pleasant wordes: For if I shoulde runne after the course of this wicked world, and shoulde please men, I should not be Christes seruaunt. And because I am a poore man, and neither haue, nor can haue notaries hired to testify of these my writinges: I call vpon Christ to be my wytnes, which knoweth the inward secretes of my hart, that I am ready to declare the things that I haue written after my fashion, to the profit of al Christen people, and to the hurt of no man liuing, and am readye to be reformed, if any man wyl shew me where I haue erred: being ready also (miserable sinner thoughe I be) to suffer for the confession of the name of Christ and of his doctrine, as muche as shall please him by his grace and loue to assist me, a miserable sinner. In wytnes of all these thinges, I haue to this writing set the seale of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christ, which I beseche him to imprint vpon my forehead, and to take from me all maner of marke of Antichrist. Amen.

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¶ These two suppositions (as they are termed in the scholes) writen by Walter Brute, and exhibited vnto þe bishop, although they contained matter sufficient either to satisfy the B. if he had ben disposed to learn, or els to haue prouoked him to reply again, if his knowledge therin had ben better thē his: yet could they worke nether of thē, effect in him. But he receuing and perusing the same whē he neither could confute þt which was said, neyther would replye or answer by learning to that which was truth, finding other bycauillations, sayd: that thys hys writing was to short and obscure, and therfore required him, to write vpon the same agayne more playnlye and more at large. Whereupon the sayd maister Walter (satisfieng the bishops request, and ready to geue to euerye one an accompt of his faith) in a more ample tractation renueth his matter agayne before declared, writing to the bishop in wordes and forme, as foloweth. 

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Having been asked by Trefnant for a more detailed explanation of his beliefs, Brut readily responds. He begins with more detail on his Apocalyptic beliefs, which not only refute most features of medieval tradition regarding the Antichrist (e.g., that Antichrist is a human , born of the tribe of Dan, that he will slay Enoch and Elijah), but which also place the Welsh at the centre of opposition to Antichrist, because they excel everyone in strength, courage and steadfast faith. From there, Brute went on to attack the clergy, deny papal claims to temporal authority, maintain that auricular confession was not based in Scripture and to maintain that the Eucharist was a memorial,. All of this material, Foxe prints accurately, although, in marginal notes he tries to spin aspects of Brut's thought, such as the Lollard's denunciation of tithes or of just wars. Where Foxe draws the line, is in Brut's defence of the duty of women to preach, which Foxe deletes. Brut's defence is taken from Trefnant's register; see Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopis Herefordensis, ed. W. W. Capes, Canterbury and York Society (London, 1916), pp. 289-358.

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MarginaliaAn other declaration of the same matter before, after aREuerende father, forasmuche as it seemeth to you, that my motion in my twoo suppositions or cases, and in my two conclusions, is to shorte and somewhat Marginaliamore ample tractation exhibited by W. Brute to the B.darke: I wyll gladly now satisfy your desire, according to my small learning, by declaring the same conclusiōs. In opening wherof it shall plainly appeare, what I doo iudge in all matters, that I am accused of to your reuerence: desiring you first of all that your discretion wold not beleue that I doo enterprise of anye presumption to handle the secretes of the scriptures, whiche the holye and iust, and wyse doctours haue left vnexpounded. It is not vnknowen to many, that I am in all poyntes far inferiour to them, whose holynes of lyfe and profoundnes in knowledge, is manifold wayes allowed. But as for myne ignorance, and multitude of sinnes, are to my selfe and others sufficiently knowen: wherfore, I iudge not my selfe worthy to vnloose or to cary their shoes af- them. Do you therefore no otherwyse deeme of me, then I do of myne own selfe. But if you shall finde any goodnes in my writinges, ascribe it to God onely: MarginaliaThey that so humbly iudge of themselues and do not so carelesly condemne, are of God.who according to the multitude of his mercy, doth sometymes reueale those thinges to Idiotes and sinners, whych are hidden from the holye and wyse, according to thys saying: I will prayse & confesse thee O father, for that, thou hast hiden these thynges from the wise and prudent, and hast disclosed them to the litle ones. Euen so O father, because it hath thus pleased thee. And in an other place. I am come to iudgement into this world, þt they which see not may see, and that they whiche see, may be made blind. And Paule sayth: That God hath chosē the weake thyngs of the world, to confound the mighty, that no mā shall boast in hym selfe, but that all men should geue the honour to God.

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It was commaunded to Esay, bearyng the type of Christ: Go and say to this people, Heare ye with your hearyng, and do not vnderstand? Beholde ye the vision, and yet know ye not the thyng that ye see? Make blynde the hart of this people, and make dull their eares, & shut their eyes, least that perchaunce with their eyes they should see, and with their eares they should heare, and with their hartes they should vnderstand and be conuerted, and I should heale thē. And I sayd, how long Lord? And he sayde, vntill that the cities bee made desolate without inhabitantes, and the house without anye person within it. MarginaliaEsay. 6.Also in Esay thus is it written: And the multitude of all nacions, whiche shall fighte agaynste Ariel, and all personnes that haue warred, and besieged and preuailed agaynste it, shall be as a dreame that appeareth in the night, and as the hungry person dreameth that he eateth, but when he shall awake out of hys slepe, his soule is empty. And like as the hungry person dreameth that he eateth, & yet after that he shall awake, he is still wery and thirsty, and his soule voyde of nourishment: euen so shall it be with the multitude of all nacions that haue fought agaynst the moūt Syon. Be you amased, and haue great wonder: reele ye to and fro and staggre ye: be ye drunken and not with wyne: staker, but not through drunkennes: for the Lorde hath mingled for you the spirite of drousines. MarginaliaEsay. 29.He shall shut your eyes, he shall couer your Prophetes and princes that see visions. And a vision shalbe to you all together, lyke the wordes of a sealed booke, whiche when he shall geue to one that is learned, he shal say: Read here, and he shall aunswere, I cannot, for it is sealed. And the booke shalbe geuen to one, that is vnlearned and knoweth not his letters, and it shalbe said vnto him, Read. And he shal aūswere, I know not þe letters, I am vnlearned. Wherfore the Lord saith: For asmuch as this people draweth, nigh me with theyr mouthes, & glorifieth me with their lyps, but their harte is farre from me, and they haue rather feared the commaundementes of men, and haue cleaued to their doctrines: Behold therfore, I will adde besides, & bryng such a muse and meruell vpon this people, whiche shall make men amased, with meruelyng. For wisedom shall perish from their wisemen, and the vnderstandyng of their pru MarginaliaEsay 29.

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