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621 [621]

K. Richard. 2. The letter of Lucifer to the Pope. Actes and Mon. of the church.

O our citizens, whiche from the transmigration of Ierusalem, came hether: MarginaliaPope successor not of Simon Peter but of Simon Magus.we loue you for your desertes, we reioyse ouer you, whiche contempne the lawes of Symon Peter, & imbrace the lawes of Simon Magus our frend, and haue thē at your fingers endes, and exercise the same publiquely, byeng and sellyng spirituall thynges in the churche of God, and agaynst the cōmaundement of God. Ye giue benefices and honours by peticion, or els for money, for fauour, or els for filthy seruice. MarginaliaWicked and vnworthy ministers admitted in the popes church.And refusing to admit those that be worthy, to ecclesiasticall dignities, & preferring those þt are vnworthy, you call vnto the inheritaunce of Gods sanctuarie, MarginaliaVnworthy bestowing of benefices.baudes, lyers, flatterers, your nephewes, and your owne children, And to a childishe boy, ye geue many prebēdes: the least wherof ye denie to bestow vpon a poore good man: ye esteme the person of a man and receaue gifts, ye regarde money & haue no regarde of soules. Ye haue made the house of God a denue of theeues. All abuse, all extortion, is more exercised a hundreth folde in your iudgemēt seates, then with any seculare tyraunt. MarginaliaAcception of person.Ye make lawes and keepe not the same, and ye dispence with your dispensacions as it pleaseth you, you iustifie the wicked for rewardes, and ye take away the iust mans desert from him. And briefly ye perpetrat or commit all kynde of mischief, euen as it is our wil ye shuld. MarginaliaBribery.
Loue of lucre.
Extortion.
And ye take much payne for lucres sake in our seruice, and especially to destroy the Christiā fayth. For nowe the lay people are almost in doubte what they may beleue, because that if ye preache any thyng to them at sometymes (although it be but seldome seene, and that negligently inough, euen as wee would haue it) yet not withstandyng they beleue you not, because they see manifestly that ye do cleane contrary, to that ye say. MarginaliaPeruertyng of Iustice.
Destruction of true faith.
The lyfe of papistes contrary to their teaching.
Wherupō, the common people doyng as ye do, whiche haue the gouernement of them, and should be an example to them of well doyng: now many of them leanyng to your rules, do runne hedlong into a whole sea of vices: And so continually a very great multitude flocketh at the strōg and well fenced gates of our dongeon. MarginaliaThe pope encreaseth hell.And doubtles, ye send vs so many day by day of euery sorte and kind of people, that wee should not bee able to intertaine them, but that our insatiable chaos with her thousand rauenyng iawes is sufficient to deuour an infinite nomber of soules. And thus the soueraintie of our Empire, by you hath been reformed, and our intollerable losse restored. Wherefore most specially we commend you, and giue you most hartie thankes: Exhortyng all you, that in any wise ye perseuere and cōtinew, as hetherto ye haue done: neither that you slake hence foorth your enterprice. For why, by your helpes we purpose to bryng the hole worlde agayne vnder our power and dominion. MarginaliaAntichrist.Ouer and besides this, we cōmit vnto you no small authoritie, to supply our places in the betraying of your brethren, and we make & ordein you our vicars, & the ministers of Antichrist our sonne, now hard at hand: for whō ye haue made a very trymme way and passage. MarginaliaThe pope a fayned procurer of peace betwene princes.Furthermore, we counsell you whiche occupye the hyghest roumes of all other, that you worke subtillye, and that ye (faynedlye) procure peace betwene the princes of the worlde, and that ye cheryshe and procure secrete causes of discorde. MarginaliaThe Romaine empire craftely subuerted by the pope.And lyke as craftelye ye haue destroyed and subuerted the Romane Empyre: so suffer ye no kingdome to bee ouermuch enlarged or enriched by tranquilitye and peace. Least perhappes in so great tranquilitye (all desyre of peace sette asyde) they dispose them selues to vewe and consider your most wycked workes, suppressing on euerye syde your estate: and from your treasurers take awaye suche substance, as we haue caused to be reserued and kept in your hands, vntyl the cōming of our welbeloued sonne Antichrist. We would ye should do our commendations to our entirely beloued daughters, pride, deceit, wrath, auarice, bellychere, and lechery, & to all other my daughters: MarginaliaSymonie the popes nurse.and especially to Lady Symony, whych hath made you men and enriched you, & hath geuen you sucke with her owne breastes, and weaned you, and therefore in no wyse see that you call her synne. And be ye lofty & proud, because that the most high dignity of your estate doth require suche magnificence. And also bee ye couetous, for whatsoeuer ye get and gather into your fardell, it is for saynt Peter, for the peace of the church, and for the defēce of your patrimonye and the Crucifixe, and therefore ye may lawfully do it. MarginaliaPromoting of proud and rich Cardinals.Ye may promote your Cardinals to the hyghest seate of dignities without anye let in all the worlde, in stopping the mouth of our aduersarye Iesus Christ, and alledging agayne: that he preferred his kinsfolkes (being but of poore and base degree) vnto the Apostleship, but you do not so, but rather call, as ye do, those that lyue in arogancy, in hautynes of mynde, & fylthy lechery, vnto the state of welthye riches, and pride, & those rewardes & promotions, whych the followers of Christ forsooke, do ye distribute vnto your friendes. MarginaliaCloked holines.Therefore as ye shall haue better vnderstanding, prepare ye vices cloked vnder the similitude of vertues. MarginaliaWrastyng of scripture.Alledge for your selues the gloses of the holye scripture, and wrest them, directly to serue for your purpose. And if any man preach or teach otherwyse then ye wyll, oppres ye them violentlye with the sentence of excommunication, and by your censures heaped one vppon an other, by the consent of your brethren. MarginaliaTyrannie and cruelty by the pope.Let hym be condemned as an heretycke, and let him be kept in most straight prison, and ther tormented tyll he dye, for a terrible example to all suche as confesse Christ. And setting all fauour apart, cast him out of your temple: least paraduenture the ingraffed woorde may saue your soules, which woord I abhorre, as I doo the soules of other faythful men. And do your indeuour, that ye may deserue to haue the place which we haue prepared for you, vnder the most wycked foundation of our dwelling place. Fare ye well, with suche felicitye as we desire & intend finally to reward & recompēce you wth.

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¶ Geuen at the centure of the earth, in that our
darke place, where all the rablement of Deuils
were present, speciallye for this purpose called
vnto our most dolorous Consistorye, vnder the
Charecter of our terrible seale, for the confirma-
tion of the premisses.
Ex Registro Herefordensi ad verbum. MarginaliaEx Registro Hereford.

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Who was the true author of this poesie or Epistle aboue writen it is not euidently knowen: neither yet doth it greatly skill. The matter beyng well cōsidered of their part, whiche here be noted: may minister vnto them sufficient occasiō of wholesome admonition, either to remēber them selues what is amisse, or to bethinke with thē selues what is to be amended. Diuers other writynges of lyke argument both before and since, haue ben deuised: as  

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This discussion of other examples of letters from Satan is taken virtually word-for-word from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Strassburg, 1562), pp. 546-7.

one bearyng the title Luciferi ad malos principes Ecclesiasticos, imprinted first at Paris in Latine. And vnder the writyng therof, bearyng this date. Anno a palatij nostri fractione, consortiumq; nostrorum subtractione. 1351. whiche if ye counte from the Passion of the Lorde: reacheth well to the tyme of Wickleffe. 1385. which was aboue sixe yeares before the examination of this Walter Brute.

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MarginaliaEpist. Lucif. ad prælatos.There is also an other Epistle of Lucifer, prince of darkenes, ad prælatos, mētioned in the Epistle of þe schole of Prage, to the vniuersitie of Oxford, set forth by Huldericus Huttenus, about the yere of our Lord (as is there dated) 1370. which semeth to be writē before this epistle.

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MarginaliaVincent. spec. hist. lib . 25. ca. 89.Also Vincentius in Speculo histo. lib. 25. cap. 89. 

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I.e., Vincent of Beauvais, a thirteenth-century Dominican and author of an enormously popular universal history, the Speculum historiale.

inferreth like mention of a letter of the fiendes infernal, vnto the clergy men as in a vision represented, before 400. yeares. In which, the deuils geue thankes to the spirituall men, for that by their silence and not preaching the Gospell, they send infinite soules to hell, &c.

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Diuerse other letters also of like deuise, haue been written, and also recorded in authors. Wherunto may be added, that one Iacobus Cartusiensis, writing to the byshop of Wormace, alleageth out of the prophecie of Hildegardis in these words: MarginaliaEx prophetia Hildegardis.Ideo et diabolus in semetipso de vobis sacerdotibus, ait: Escas epulantium, cōuiuia et omnes voluptates in istis inuenio, sed et oculi, et aures, et venter meus, et venæ meæ, de spuinis illorum plenæ sunt, et vbera mea plena sunt diuicils illorum, &c. 1. Therefore, sayth he, the deuill may say of you priestes in hymselfe: The meates of banketing dishes, and feastes of all kind of plesure, I find in these mē: Yea also, mine eyes, mine eares, my bellye, and all my vaines be full of their frothing: and my brestes be full stuffed with their riches, &c. Furthermore, sayth he, they labour euery day to rise vp higher with Lucifer, but euery day thei fal wt him more depely. Hereunto also apertaineth a storye written, and commonly found in many olde written bookes. In the yeare of our Lord. 1228. at Paris in a Synode of þe cler

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