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469 [445]

K. Richard. 2. I. Wickliffe. The burning of Wickliffes dead bones.

MarginaliaArticles against Wickliffe by W. Woodford 1. The bread remayneth in his owne substaunce, after the consecration therof vpon the aultar, and ceaseth not to be bread still.

2. As Iohn was figuratiuely Helias, and not personally, so the bread figuratiuely is the body of Christ, and not naturally. And that without all doubt, this is a figuratiue speach, to say: this is my body, as to say: This Iohn, is Helias.

3. In the Decree, Ego Berengarius, the Court of Rome hath determined that the Sacrament of the holy Eucharist, is naturally true bread.

4. They which do affirme, that the infantes of the faythfull departyng without the Sacramēt of Baptisme, are not to be saued: be presumptuous, and fooles in so affirmyng.

5. The administration of the Sacrament of confirmation, is not onely reserued to Byshops.

6. In the tyme of S. Paule, onely two orders of Clerkes did suffice in the Church: Priestes, and Deacons. Neither was there in the tyme of the Apostles any distinction of Popes, Patriarches and Archbyshops, and Byshops, but these the Emperours pride did finde out.

7. Such as in tymes past either for couetousnes of temporall lucre, or of hope of mutuall succour by kindred, or for cause to excuse their lust (although they dispayred of issue) were maryed: were coupled together, not by true Matrimony.

8. The causes of diuorcement, either for spirituall consanguinitie or for affinitie, be not founded in Scripture, but are onely ordinaunces of men.

9. These wordes I will take thee to wife, are rather to be taken in contracte of matrimony, then these wordes I do take thee to wife. And the contract with any partie by the wordes of the future tence, ought not to be frustrate for the contract with any partie afterward made, by the wordes of the present tyme.

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10. There be xij. disciples of Antichrist, Popes, Cardinals, Patriarches, Archbyshops, Byshops, Archdeacons, Officials, Deanes, Monkes, Chanons, Friers, and Pardoners.

11. In the booke of Nombers the. xviij. chapter and in Ezechiel. xliiij. chapter it is commaunded simply, that neither the Priests of Aaron, nor the Leuites should haue any part of inheritaunce with other tribes, but should liue meerly of tithes and oblations.

12. There is no greater hereticke or Antichrist, then that Clerke which teacheth that it is lawfull for Priestes and Leuites of the law of grace, to be indued with temporall possessions. And if there be any heretickes, Apostates, or blasphemers, these Clerkes be such.

13. It is not onely lawfull for the Lordes temporal to take away goodes of fortune from the Churchmen, sinnyng vsually: but also are bound so to do, vnder payne of eternall damnation.

14. He that is the more humble and more seruiceable to the Church, and more enamoured with the loue of Christ, he is in the Church militant, the greater and the more nearest Vicar of Christ.

15. If corporal vnction or anelyng were a Sacrament (as now it is fayned to be) Christ and his Apostles would not haue left the ordinaunce therof vntouched.

16. Vnto the true dominion secular, is required vertuous lyfe of hym that ruleth.

17. All thynges that happen, do come absolutely of necessitie.

18. What soeuer the Pope or his Cardinalles can deduce clearly out of the Scripture: that onely is to be beleued, or to be done at their monitiō: and whatsoeuer otherwise they do commaunde is to be condemned as hereticall.

MarginaliaTractatus frat. VV. VVodford contra trialogū Wickleus. Besides this W. Woodford afore mentioned, diuers other there were which wrote agaynst these articles of Wickleffe aforesayd, mayntayning the Popes part, as seemeth for flattery, rather then folowyng any iust cause so to do, or shewyng forth any reason or learnyng in disprouyng the same. Notwithstandyng, on the contrary part some there were agayne both learned and godly, which takyng the part of Wickleffe, without all flattery defended the most of the sayd Articles, openly in scholes and other places, as appeareth by the workes of Iohn Hus: who in his publike determinations in the vniuersitie of Prage, stode in defence of the same agaynst all his aduersaries. Whose reasons and disputations because they aske a lōg tyme here to discourse, I shall therfore referre the Reader to the first Edition of these actes and monumentes, where the contentes therof are to be found more fully and at large set forth.

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Wherfore cuttyng of the tractation hereof, because the matter hath bene handled already in the former booke, we wyll now returne to the sayd Councell of Constance again. declaryng what cruelty they vsed not onelye agaynst the bookes and articles of Iohn Wickliffe, but also in burnyng his body and bones, commaundyng them to be taken vp. 41 yeares after he was buried, as appeareth by þe decree of the sayd Sinode, the forme wherof, we thought hereunto to annexe as followeth.

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The decree of the Synode of Constance touching the taking vp of the body and bones of Iohn Wickliffe to be burned 41. yeares after he was buried in his own parish at Lutterworth 
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This decree is taken from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculis rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 150v-151r. It was reprinted in the Rerum (pp. 22-23) and translated in all editions of the Acts and Monuments.


MarginaliaThe decree of the councell for the burning of Wickliffes dead bones. FOrsomuch as by the authoritie of the sentence and decree of the Councell of Rome, and by the commaundement of the Church and the Apostolicke see after due delayes beyng geuen, they proceded vnto the condemnation of the saide I. Wickliffe, and his memory: hauyng first made proclamatiō, and geuen commaundement to call forth whosoeuer would defend the sayd Wickliffe, or his memory (if there were any such) but there did none appeare, which would either defēd hym or his memory. MarginaliaEx Actis concilij Constant. And moreouer witnesses beyng examined by Commissioners appoynted by Pope Iohn & thys Councell, vppon the impenitencie and finall obstinacie and stubburnnes of the sayd Iohn Wickliffe (reseruyng that which is to be reserued, as in such busines, the order of the law requireth) and his impenitencie and obstinacy euen vnto hys end, beyng sufficiently proued by euident signes and tokens, and also by lawfull witnesses of credite, was lawfully geuen thereunto. Wherefore at the instaunce of the steward of the treasury, proclamation being made to heare and vnderstand the sentence against this day: the sacred Sinode declareth, determineth, and geueth sentence, that the sayde Iohn Wickliffe was a notorious obstinate hereticke, and that he dyed in hys heresie, cursing and condemnyng both him and his memory.

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This Sinode also decreeth and ordeyneth, that the body and bones of the sayd Iohn Wickliffe, if it might be decerned and knowen from the bodies of other faithfull people, to be taken out of þe ground, and throwne away farre from the buriall of any Church, according vnto the canon lawes and decrees. Which determination and sentence definitiue beyng red and pronounced, the lord president, and the foresayd presidents of the 4. nations, being demaunded and asked whether it did please them or no? They all aunswered (and first Hostiensis the president, and after hym the other presidents of the nations) that it pleased them very well, and so they alowed and confirmed all the premisses, &c.

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¶ What Heraclitus would not laugh, or what Democritus would not wepe, to see these so sage and reuerēd Catos, to occupy their heades to take vp a poore mans body, so long dead and buried before, by the space of xli. yeres: and yet peraduēture were not able to find hys right bones, but toke vp some other body, and so of a Catholike made an heretike. Albeit, herein Wickliffe had some cause to geeue them thankes that they would at least spare hym so long tyll he was dead, and also to geue hym so longe respite after his death xli. yeres to rest in hys sepulcher before they vngraued hym, and turned hym from earth to ashes: which ashes also, they toke and threw into the riuer. And so was he resolued into 3. elements, earth, fire, and water, thinking therby vtterly to extinct and abolish both the name and doctrine of Wickliffe for euer. Not much vnlyke to the example of the old Phariseis and sepulcher knights, which when they had brought the lord vnto the graue, thought to make him sure neuer to rise agayne. But these and all other must know, that as there is no counsaile agaynst the Lord: so there is no kepyng downe of veritie: but it will spring and come out of dust and ashes, as appeared right well in this man. For though they digged vp his body, burnt hys bones, & drowned hys ashes, yet þe word of God and truth of his doctrine, with the fruit & successe therof they could not burne: which yet to this day for the most part of his articles do remayne. Notwithstanding, the transitory body and bones of the man was thus consumed and dispersed, as by this picture here set forth to thyne eyes (gentle reader) may appeare.

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