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1113 [1112]

K. Hen. 8. The aunsweres of Iohn Lambert to the Byshops Articles.

They are condemned, you wote wel, and I perhaps shall haue a litle lesse fauour because I tel þe truth freely, for such thinges are called offensiue. But would God, that al persons so thinking, would remember what answeare Christe made vnto his disciples in the xv. of Math, whē they came vnto hym and warned hym to beware, saying: MarginaliaMath. 15. You knowe that the Pharisees are offended, hearyng such wordes spoken. I wyl leaue out Christes answeare, least I should be thought ouer free and playne in tarying or vttering of abusions, and speake no further.

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A like demaunde with answeare thereto annexed, shall you find in the xi. of Luke, MarginaliaLuke. 11. where Christ woulde not refrayne to speake any deale more easily. Therefore I beseeche them that deeme me (God wotteth whether righteously or no) sclaunderously to reuise the sayde places, and thē counsel me to do that shalbe most expedient to folowe, if their charitie wyl so require. Yet woulde I that all people should knowe, that I do not reproue that saying of the. xv. Oos, which (so farre forth as my remembrance doth serue) is a very good prayer, or such like prayers: MarginaliaFasting commended. ne would I that any person should think me to disallow any discret fastings, for such, not only present with you, but euen from hence absent, haue I commended in earnest speaking, and so entend to do by the assistaunce of Gods grace. Neuertheles suche vayne promises I do abhorre, as be with thē annexed, with the vpholders of the same. For such doo cause vayne confidence in the people, withdrawing and seducyng them from the right beliefe of the Gospel, (which Christen men ought onely to builde their fayth vppon) vnto newe inuentions of vanitie. S. Paul calleth such, old womens tales, where he writeth vnto Timothe, biddyng hym to beware of them, & to throwe them away.

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The Prophete Dauid likewise doth accorde thereunto, saying: Beatus vir cuius est nomen Domini spes eius, & non respexit in vanitates & insanias falsas. MarginaliaPsal. 40. Blessed (quoth he) is the man that hath in the name of God his affiance or hope, and hath not looked backe to vanities and false dotage, or madnes. MarginaliaMattens saying instituted by fantasye. And this I say againe, that the Mattens saying, hath no more promise of God made to the sayers, thē hath the other aboue named, for they were institute by the fantasie or mynd of men, and not by the rule of scripture. Neither do I think þt priests which wyl truely folow þe rule of God, written in þe Bible, ought to be so charged or encombred with saying of them, that they shoulde thereby be hindered from the study of that, which to know, belongeth principally both to their owne soules saluation, and also to the discharge of their duetie, and which God most highly of Priestes doth require, (I meane the study of his Gospell) wherby they them selues shoulde be spiritually nourished, and thereafter should feede Christes flocke, the congregation of his people, accordyng to the saying of our Sauiour in Iohn. I (quoth he) am the doore, who soeuer shall come in by me, shall both come in, and goe out, and finde good pasture or feedyng. MarginaliaIoh. 10. That is to saye, whosoeuer shall enter to be a Pastour or Minister in Christes church or congregation by Christ, shal both enter in to contemplation of Gods glory declared abundantly in scripture, and after goe forth and shew that same abroad to other for their wealth and edifiyng.

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To this accordeth that is written in Luke, whereas our Saueour speaketh to all his Churche, signified in the person of S. Peter. Peter (quoth he) I haue prayed that thy faith should not faile, and thou being conuerted, go thē about to cōfirm thy brethren. MarginaliaLuk. 22. So that he would haue Peter stablished first in fayth of his sure doctrine, & then to go forth as he dyd, to teache other to be grounded in the same likewise. And thus ought al priests to be called Presbyteri, which wil be ministers in the church, for so byddeth s. Peter in hys first Epistle, in the last chap. saying thus: Marginalia1 Pet. 5. I beseech the priestes (quoth he) that are among you, I my selfe beyng a prieste, and a witnes bearer of Christes afflictions, and also a partaker of the glorye which shalbe reuealed, see that you with all diligence doe feed the flock of Christ: takyng care of the same not as enforced thereto, but willyngly: not desiring filthy lucre, but with a louyng mynde: neither as men exercising dominion ouer the children or inheritours of God, but so that you be paternes, or ensample geuers to the flocke. See, how he requireth of priestes that they should spend al their diligence to feede Christes flocke, and to shewe good ensample of lyuing, making no mention of long Mattens saying, whiche then were not mentioned nor spoken of.

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MarginaliaIgnorance mother of errour. According to this, is written in your Decrees after this fourme: Ignorance, sayth the Lawe (marke it well I beseche you al) is the mother of all errours. Whiche ought to be eschewed especially of Priestes: that among the people of God haue taken vpon thē the office of preaching: priests are commaunded to reade holy Scriptures, as saith Paul the Apostle to Timothe: Geue hede to readyng, exhortation, and teaching, and continue alwayes in the same. Marginalia1. Timo. 4. Let priestes therfore knowe holy Scripture, and let all their labour be in preaching and teaching, and let them edifie all men both in knowledge of fayth, and in discipline of good workes. MarginaliaDist. 38. These be the wordes of the lawe in the Decrees Dist. 38. Where you see howe the Lawe lamenteth ignoraunce in all persons: for it is the original of all errours. God send vs therfore the knowledge of his true Gospel. MarginaliaPriestes ought to geue them selues rather to study, then to saying of mattens. It biddeth that ignorance should be vtterly eschewed, and principally of priestes, whose labor and diligence it would shoulde be bestowed all in reading of scripture & preaching the same, bringyng in for the same purpose, the saying of the Apostle, which willeth in like maner.

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MarginaliaWhat priestes ought to study. Moreouer, it requireth that priestes should geue al their study to edifie other in fayth and vertuous liuyng. Wherof I dpo gather both by the saying of the Prophet, that wylleth vs to be studyous in the Lawe of God daye and night, and by the saying of the Apostle, which would haue Timomothe to be occuped euer in readyng and teachyng, and by the report of your owne Lawe, which saith likewise, that a priest ought to bestowe al his labour in reading & preaching. So þt a priest set thus truely to study, that he may stablish hym selfe in the fayth of Christes doctrine, intendyng after to helpe other with true preaching of the same, or doyng other like deedes of charitie assigned in the law of God shall not offend deadly, if so spendyng his tyme, he omitteth to say Mattens, which is an ordinance of men.

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MarginaliaNegligence of Byshops in making priestes noted. Neuertheles, concerning the huge multitude of such as be nowe made priestes by negligent admission of Bishops, and their owne presumption, that labour to be made priests before they be any Clerkes, and ere euer they knowe what is the very office of a priest, do not feare to take vpon them, if they may attayne therto, to be a Curate, they recke not of howe many, so they may get a good lumpe of money, neuer mynding after that the study of Scripture, after they are come to Dominus vobiscum: for such I do thinke long mattens to be needefull, for to restrayne them from other enormities, that they should els runne in. Of which you may be weary to see the experience dayly therof arising. Yea and if such would be content to admit it, I would euery one mattens were as long to them as fiue, except they could bestow their tyme better.

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MarginaliaTo the. 26. article.
Scripture in the vulgare toung.
In the xxvi. where you do aske, whether I beleue that the heades or rulers by necessitie of saluation, are bounde to geue vnto the people, holy scripture in their mother language? I say, that I thinke they are bounde to see that the people may truely know holy scripture, & I do not knowe, how that may be done so wel, as by geuyng it to them truly translated in the mother tonge, that they may haue it by thē at al times to passe þe tyme godly, whē soeuer they haue leysure therto, MarginaliaThe French Bible translated into the French tongue, with the kinges priuiledg aboue 50. yeares before Lābertes tyme. like as they haue in France vnder þe French kyngs priuilege, and also with the priuilege of the Emperour, & so do I know that they haue had it this fiftie yeres and foure in France at the least, and it was trāslated at the request of a kyng called I trowe, Lewes, as appeareth by the priuilege put in the begynnyng of the booke.

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In like maner haue they it in Flaunders printed with þe priuilege of the Emperour. In Almayne 

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I.e., Germany.

also and in Italie, & I suppose through al nations of Christendome. Likewise hath it bene in England, as you may finde in the Englishe story called Polychronicō. MarginaliaThe Psalter translated by a king of England into the Saxon tongue.
Read before Pag. [illegible text].
There it is shewed, how whē þe Saxons dyd inhabit the land, the king at that time, which was a Saxon, dyd hym selfe translate the Psalter into the language that then was generally vsed. MarginaliaS. Guthlakes Psalter. Yea I haue seene a booke at Crowland Abbey, which is kept there for a relique, the booke is called Saint Guthlakes Psalter, and I weene veryly it is a copie of the same, that the kyng dyd translate for it is neither Englishe, Latine, Greeke, Hebrue, nor Dutche, but somewhat soundyng to our English, & as I haue perceiued sith þe time I was last there, beyng at Antwerp, the Saxon tongue doth sound likewise after ours, and it is to ours partly agreeable. MarginaliaBede translated the Gospell of S. John into English. In the same storye of Polychronicon is also shewed, howe that Saint Bede dyd translate the Gospel of Iohn into Englishe, and the author of the same booke promised that he would translate into English al the Bible, yea & perhaps he dyd so, but (I wot not how it cōmeth to passe) al such thyngs be kept away. They may not come to light, for there are some walking priuyly in darknes, that wyll not haue their doynges knowen. It is no lye that is spokē in the Gospel of Iohn: Omnis qui male agit, odit lucem. MarginaliaIoh. 3. Al that doth noughtyly, hateth the light, and will not haue their doynges knowen. And therfore they keepe downe the light strongly: MarginaliaThe causes why the scripture is not suffered to come to light. for that opened and generall: knowen, all wrongfull conueyaunce should anone be disclosed and reproued, yea & al men should see anone, whether those that holde agaynst vnrighteousnesse, beyng therefore sometyme horribly infamed and

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sclaunde-
EEE.iij.
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