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438 [414]

K. Edward. 3. A Sermon of N. Orem before the Pope

MarginaliaThe third opinion, or errour.of all such as say, veniat, let come that will come: Let vs conforme our selues to this world, and take our tyme with those Temporisers which say in the booke of Wisedome. Sap. 2. Come let vs enioy our goods and pleasures that be present, and let vs vse the creature as in youth quickly, &c. MarginaliaSap. 2. Such as these be, are in a daungerous case, and be greatly preiudiciall to good men in the Church: And if the heades and rulers of the Church were so vile to haue any such detestable cogitation in them, there were no place in hell to deepe for them. This Church founded by the Apostles in Christ, consecrated with the bloud of so many Martyrs, enlarged and increased with the vertues and merites of so many saintes, and indued so richly with the deuotion of so many secular princes, and so long prospered hitherto: If it now should come into the handes of such persons, it should fall in great daūunger of ruine, and they for their negligence and wickednes well deserued of God to be cursed, yea here also in this present worlde to incurre in temporall tribulation and destruction, which they feare more: by the sentence of the Lord saying to them in the booke of Prouerbes cap. 1. All my counsayles ye haue despised, and set my correction at naught. Therfore shall I also laugh in your destruction, when tribulation and anguish shall fall vpon you. MarginaliaProu. cap. 1.

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MarginaliaThe fourth opinion, or errour. Fourthly, an other opinion or errour is of such as beyng vnfaythfull, beleue not any such thyng to come. And this errour semeth to haue no remedy, but that as other thinges and other kingdomes haue their endes and limites set vnto them, which they can not ouerpasse: So it must nedes be, that such a domination and gouernmēt of the Church haue an ende, by reason of the demerites and obstinacies of the gouernours prouokyng and requiring the same: lyke as we read in the Prophet Ieremy cap. 8. There is no man that taketh repentaunce for hys sinne, that will so much as say, wherfore haue I done this. But euery mā rūneth forth stil lyke a wylde horse in a battayle. MarginaliaIerem. 8. And the Prophet Ieremy in the 13. chap. of hys prophecy: Lyke as the man of Iude may chaunge hys skin, and the cat of mountayne her spots, so may ye that be exercised in euyll, do good. MarginaliaIerem 13. Wherunto also accordeth that which is written of the same Prophet. cap. 17. speakyng of Iuda signifiyng the Church: The sinne of Iuda (sayth he) is written in the table of your hartes, and grauen so vpon the edges of your altars with a pen of iron, and wyth an Adamant claw, MarginaliaIerem. 17. which is as much to say, as indelible, or which cannot be rased out: as also Ezechiell speakyng of the punishment. cap. 21. sayth: I the lord haue drawn out my sworde out of the sheth, and can not be reuoked. MarginaliaEzech. 21. Notwithstandyng, all these signifie no impossibility, but difficulty, because that wycked men are hardly conuerted: for otherwyse the Scripture importeth no such inflexibilitie wyth God, but if conuersion come, he wil forgeue. So we read in the prophet Ionas cap. 3. Who can tell? God may turne and repent, and cease from hys fierce wrath that we perish not. MarginaliaIonas. cap. 3. And to the lyke effect sayth the same Lord in Ieremy, cap. 26. Looke thou kepe not one word backe, if peraduenture they wyll harken and turne euery man from hys wycked way, that I also may repent of the plague which I haue determined to bring vpon thē, because of theyr wycked inuentions, &c. MarginaliaIerem. 26. For the further proofe wherof, Niniuy we see conuerted, and remained vndestroyed, &c. Likewyse, the Lord also had reueled destruction vnto Constantinople by sondry signes and tokens, as August. in a certayne Sermon doth declare. And thus for the third part or member of my deuision.

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MarginaliaThe fourth part or member of the subdiuision. Fourthly and lastly remayneth to declare, some wholesome concludyng now vpon the causes precedyng: That is, if by these causes and signes (heretofore declared) tribulation be prepared to fall vpon the Church, then let vs humble our myndes myldly and wysely. And if we so returne wyth hart and in dede vnto God, verily he wyll rescue and helpe after an inestimable wise: and wyl surcease frō scourgyng vs, as he promiseth by hys Prophet Ieremy 18. If that people agaynst whom I haue thus deuised, conuert frō theyr wyckednes: immediately I wyll repent of the plage that I deuised to bryng vpon them: speakyng here after the maner of men. &c. MarginaliaIerem. 18. Now therfore, for so much as tribulation and affliction is so nere commyng toward vs, yea, lyeth vpon vs already, let vs be the more diligent to call vpon God for mercy. For I thinke verily, these many yeres there hath not been so many and so despightfull haters and euill willers, stout, and of such a rebellious hart against þe church of God, as be now adayes: neyther be they lackyng that would worke all that they can against it, and louers of new fanglenes: whose hartes the Lord happily will turne that they shall not hate hys people and worke deceyte agaynst hys seruaunts, I meane agaynst priestes whom they haue now in litle or no reputation at all: Albeit many yet there be, through gods grace, good and godly. But yet the fury of the Lord is not turned away, but still hys hand is stretched out. And vnlesse ye be conuerted, he shaketh hys sword, he hath bent hys bow, and prepared it redy. Yet the Lord standeth waytyng, that he may haue mercy on you. Esay. 30. MarginaliaEsay. 30 And therefore as the greatnes of feare ought to incite vs, so hope of saluation may allure vs to pray and call vpon the Lord, especially now toward this holy and sacrat tyme and solemnitie of Christes natiuitie: For that holy & contynuall prayer without intermission is profitable and þe instant deuotion and vigilant deprecation of the iust man, is of great force. And if terrein kinges in the day of celebration of their Natiuitie, be wont to shew them selues more lyberall and bountuous, how much more ought we to hope well, that the heauenly kyng of nature most benin, now at his natail and birth day, will not deny pardon and remissiō to such as rightly call vnto him.

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And now therfore as it is writtē in Iosue chap. 7. Be you sanctified agaynst to morow. &c. MarginaliaIosue. 7. And say vnto hym as it is written in the first booke of kinges chap. 25. Now let thy seruantes I pray the finde fauour in thy sight, for we come to thee in a good season. Marginalia1. Reg. 25. Moreouer ye may finde that ye aske, if ye aske that which he brought in the day of his Natiuitie, that is, the peace of the church: not spirytuall onely but also temporall, which the angelycall noise did sound, and experience the same tyme did proue, testyfied by T. Liuius, Plinius, and other heathen storywryters, which al marueyled thereat saying: that such an vniuersall peace as that could not come on earth but by the gift of God. For so God did forepromise in the Prophet Esay. chap. 66. Behold I will let peace into Ierusalem lyke a waterfloud. &c. MarginaliaEsay. 66. And in the Psalme. 71. In hys tyme ryghtuousnesse shall florish, yea and aboundaunce of peace. &c. MarginaliaPsal. 71.

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Therfore now (O reuerend fathers in the Lord,) and you here in this present assemblie, behold I say the day of lyfe and saluation: Now is the oportune tyme to pray vnto God, that the same thing which he brought into þe world at hys byrth, he wil now graūt in these dayes to his church, that is, hys peace. And lyke as Niniue was subuerted ouerturned, and not in members but in maners: so the same wordes of my theame, Iuxta est iustitia mea vt reueletur, may be verified in vs, not of the primitiue iustice, but of our sanctification by grace, so that: As to morow is celebrated the natiuitie of our sauiour, our righteousnes may ryse together with hym, and hys blessing may be vpon vs, which God hath promised, saying: My sauyng health is neere at hand to come. &c. Wherof speaketh Esay the Prophet, chapiter. 51. My sauyng health shall endure for euer. &c. MarginaliaEsay. 51. Thys health graunt vnto vs the father, sonne, and holy Ghost. Amen.

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This Sermon was made by master Nicolas Orem before Pope Vrbane and hys Cardinals, vpon the euen of the Natiuitie of the Lord, beyng the fourth sonday of Aduent, in the yeare of our Lord. 1364 

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Nicholas Oresme

In this section Foxe follows two lines of attack on the medieval church which he followed throughout the pre-Reformation section of the Acts and Monuments. The first was to cite medieval critics - in this case St. Catherine of Siena and St. Bridget of Sweden - of the papacy as proof of its corruption. Foxe's source for this was Matthias Flacius's Catalogus Testium Veritatis. The second was to attack the papacy for usurping the authority of princes and to recount the struggles of monarchs, particularly English monarchs, to re-assert their control over the clergy in their realms. In this section, Foxe draws on the Parliament Rolls to print legislation of Edward III, notably the statutes of Provisors and Praemunire, which increased royal control over the clergy.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

. and the second of hys Popedome.

MarginaliaThe order of Iesuites.
1367>In the v. yere of this forenamed Pope Vrbane, began first the order of the Iesuites 

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Not the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) but the Jesuati, a penitential order founded by St. John Columbini around 1366. The order followed the rule of St Augustine and specialized in caring for the sick. It was suppressed by Clement IX in 1668. This account of the Jesuati is drawn from Bale's Catalogus, p. 438.

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. And vnto this tyme which was about the yere of our Lord, 1367, MarginaliaThe chiefe offices of the realme translated from the clergie, to the Lordes temporall. the offices here in England, as the lord Chauncellor, Lord Treasurer, and of the priuy seale: were wont to be in the handes of the clergy. But about this yeare through the motion of the lordes in the Parliament, and partly (as witnesseth myne autor) for hatred of the clergy: all the sayd offices were remooued from the clergy, to the Lordes temporall..

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Foxe is drawing this from the Parliament Rolls. See Rotuli Parliamentorum, ed. J. Strachey et al., 6 vols (London, 1783), II, p. 337.

MarginaliaPope Gregory xi. After the death 
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The following paragraph on Gregory IX returning the papacy to Rome is drawn from Sabellicus, Enneads, 3 vols. (Basel. 1560), II, col. 824.

of Pope Vrbane, next succeeded Pope Gregory the xj. who among hys other actes, first reduced agayne the papacie out of Fraunce vnto Rome, which had from thence bene absent, the space now of 70. yeares, beyng therto moued (as Sabellicus recordeth) by the aunswer Marginalia1370.
The papacie reduced agayne from Fraunce to Rome.
of a certayne bishop, whom as the Pope saw standyng by him asked, why he was so long from hys charge and Church at home, saying: not to be the part of a good pastor, to kepe him from hys flocke so long. Wherunto the Bishop aunsweryng agayne, sayd: And you your selfe beyng the chiefe Byshop, who may and ought to be a spectacle to vs all: why are you from the place so long where your Church doth lye? By the occasion wherof, the Pope sought all meanes after that to remoue and to rid hys Court out of Fraunce againe to Rome, and so he dyd. 
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The following two paragraphs on repeated, through inadvertence, a few pages later.

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This xj. Gregory in a certayne Bull of hys sent to the Archb. of Prage, maketh mention of one named MarginaliaMilitzius a Bohemian, for the truth persecuted by the pope.
Ex Bulla Gregory 12.
Militzius a Bohemiā, & saith in þe same bull þt this Militzius should hold opiniō, and teach an. 1366. that Antichrist was alredy come. Also that the sayd Militzius had certaine congregations followyng hym: and that in the same congregatiō were certain harlots, who beyng conuerted from their wickednes

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