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838 [814]

K. Henry. 8. Prophesies going before Martin Luther.

of supererogation, applicatiõ of merites, orders, rules, sects of religion, vowes of chastity, wylfull pouerty, pardons relaxations, indulgences, penaunce and satisfaction, with auricular confession, foundyng of Abbays, building of Chappels, geuyng to Churches: And who is able to recite all theyr laborious buildynges, falsely framed vppon a wrong grounde, and all for ignorance of the true foundation, which is the free iustification by fayth in Christ Iesus the sonne of God.

[Back to Top] MarginaliaThe lyfe & manners of the church corrupted

Moreouer to note, that as this newfound Churche of Rome was thus deformed in doctrine: so no lesse was it corrupted in order of lyfe & depe hypocrisie, doyng all thinges onely vnder pretenses and dissembled titles. So vnder the pretense of Peters chayre, they exercised a maiestye aboue Emperors and kyngs. MarginaliaHabentes [illegible text] sed [illegible text] Tim. 3. Vnder the visour of theyr vowed chastity, reigned adultery: vnder the cloke of professed pouerty, they possessed the goodes of the temporalty. Vnder the title of beyng dead vnto the world, they not onely reigned in the world but also ruled the world: vnder the colour of the keyes of heauen to hange vnder theyr gyrdle, they brought all the states of þe world vnder their gyrdle, & crept not onely into the purses of men, but also into their consciences: they heard theyr confessions: they knew theyr secretes: they dispensed as they were disposed, and loosed what them lysted: And finally when they had brought þe whole world vnder their subiection, yet did theyr pryde neyther cease to ascend, neyther could theyr auarice be euer satisfied. And if the example of Cardinall Wolsey and other Cardinals and popes cannot satisfie thee, I beseech thee (gentle Reader) turne ouer the foresayde booke of the Ploughmans tale in Chauser aboue mentioned 

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The 'Ploughman's Tale' is not by Chaucer. It was an anonymous medieval work, possibly partly rewritten to increase its anti-papal slant, attributed to Chaucer and printed as part of 'The Canterbury Tales'.

, where thou shalt vnderstande much more of their demeanour, then I haue here described.

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MarginaliaThe reformation of the Church necessary. In these so blynd and miserable corrupt dayes of darknes and ignorance, thou seest good Reader (I doubt not) how necessary it was and hygh tyme, that reformation of the church should come, which now most happely and graciously began to worke, through the mercifull and no lesse nedeful prouidence of almyghty God. Who, although he suffred his church to wander and start aside through the seduction of pryde and prosperity a long tyme, yet at length it pleased hys goodnes to respect hys people, and to reduce his church into the pristine foundation and frame agayne, from whence it was pitiously before decayed. Whereof I haue now consequently to entreat, intēdyng by þe grace of Christ, to declare how and by what meanes, first this reformation of the church began and how it proceded, increasing by little and little into this perfection, which now we see, and more I trust shall see.

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MarginaliaThe first beginning of reformation, how and by what meanes. And herein we haue first to behold the admirable worke of gods wisedome. For as the first decay and ruine of the church, before began of rude ignoraunce, and lacke of knowledge in teachers: so to restore the church agayn by doctrine and learnyng, it pleased god to open to man the arte of printyng, þe tyme wherof was shortely after the burning of Hus and Hierome. Printyng beyng opened, incontinent ministred to the church, the instrumentes and tooles of learning and knowledge, which were good bookes & authors, which before lay hid and vnknowen. MarginaliaPrinting the fountaine of reformation. The science of Printyng beyng found, immediately folowed the grace of God, which styrred vp good wittes aptly to cõceyue the light of knowledge and of iudgement: by which lyght, darkenes began to be espied, and ignoraunce to be detected, truth from errour, religion from superstition to be discerned, Marginalia[illegible text] as is aboue more largely discoursed, where was touched the inuentiõ of printyng. pag. 837.

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Furthermore, after these wittes styrred vp of God, folowed other moe increasing daily more and more in science, in tongues and perfection of knowledge: who now were able, not onely to discerne in matters of iudgement, but also were so armed and furnished with the help of good letters, that they did encounter also with the aduersary, sustainyng the cause and defence of learnyng agaynst barbaritie: of veritie, agaynst errour: of true religion, against superstition. In number of whom amongst many other here vnnamed, were Picus, and Franciscus Mirandula, 

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This was one person, Giovanni Francisco Pico della Mirandola, the celebrated humanist.

Laur. Valla, Franc. Perarcha. Doct. Wesalianus, Reuelinus, Grocinus, Coletus, Rhenamus, 
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I.e., Beatus Rhenanus, the German humanist and antiquarian. He initially favoured Luther, especially on the issues of indulgence and auricular confession, but he became disenchanted with his radical rejection of traditional theology.

Erasmus. &c. And here began the first push and assault to be geuen agaynst the ignorant and barbarous faction of the popes pretensed church. Who after that by their learned writings and laborious trauayle, they had opened a wyndow of light vnto the world, and had made (as it wer) a way more ready for other to come after: Immediately, accordyng to Gods gratious appoyntment, folowed Martin Luther, with other after hym, by whose ministery it pleased the Lord to worke a more full reformation of hys Church, as by their actes & procedings here after shal folow (Christ willing) more amply to be declared.

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And now comming to the tyme and story of Martine Luther, whom the Lord did ordayne and appoynt to be the principall organe and minister vnder hym, to reforme religion and to subuert the sea of the Pope, first before we enter into the tractation hereof, it shall not be impertinent to the purpose to inferre such prophecies and forewarnynges, as were sent before of god by diuers and sundry good mē, long before the tyme of Luther, which foretold and prophecied of this reformation of the church to come.

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¶ Prophecies goyng before Martin Luther.

MarginaliaThe prophecie of Iohn Hus, touching the reformation of the Church. And first, to begin 

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The following extracts from the writings of Jan Hus are taken from the two volume compendium of Hus's works, edited by Mathias Flacius, Ioannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confessorum Christi historia et monimenta (Nuremburg, 1558), I, fos. 71r-71v, 72v and 418.

with the prophecie of Iohn Husse, and Hierome, it is both notable, and also before mentioned, what the sayd Iohn Hus at the tyme of his burnyng, prophecied vnto hys enemies, saying: that after an hundreth yeres come and gone, they should geue account to God and to hym, &c.

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¶ Where is to be noted, that countyng from the yeare. 1415. (in the which yeare Iohn Hus was burned) or frõ the yere. 1416. (when Hierome did suffer) vnto the yeare, 1516. (when Martin Luther began first to write) we shal find the iust number of an hundreth yeres expired.

Marginalia[illegible text] Likewyse, to this may be adioyned the prophetical vision or dreame, which chaunced to the sayd Iohn Hus lying in the dungeon of the friers in Constance, a little before he was burned. His dreame, as he hymselfe reporteth it in his epistles writing to M. Iohn Chlum, & as I haue also before recorded the same, pag. [illegible text]: so wil I now repeate the same agayne in like effect of wordes, as he wrote it himself in latin: the effect of which Latin is this.

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Marginalia[illegible text] I pray you expounde to me the dreame which I had this night. I saw þt in my church at Bethlehem (wherof I was person) they desired and laboured to abolishe all the images of Christ, and did abolish them. I the next day followyng rose vp and saw many other painters, which painted both the same and many more images, and more fairer, which I was glad to behold: wherupon the painters with the great multitude of people said: Now let the bishops and priestes come and put vs out these images if they cã. Which thing done, much people reioysed in Bethlehem, & I wyth them: and rising vp I felt my selfe to laughe.

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This dreame maister I. of Chlum first expounded. Thē he in the next epistle after MarginaliaEx Epist. 45. I. Hus. expounded it himself to this effect. Stante mandato Dei. &c. That is: the Cõmaundement of God standyng, that we must obserue no dreames, yet notwithstandyng I trust that the lyfe of Christ was painted in Bethlehem by me through his word in the harts of men the which preaching they went about in Bethlehē to destroy, first in commaundyng that no preachyng should be neyther in the Church of Bethlehem, nor in the Chappels thereby: Secondly, that the Churche of Bethlehem should be throwen downe to the ground. The same lyfe of Christ shall be paynted vp agayne by mo Preachers much better then I, and after a muche more better sorte, so that a greate number of people shall reioyce thereat, all such as loue the lyfe of Christ: and also I shall reioyce my selfe: at what tyme I shall awake, that is, when I shall ryse again from the dead.

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MarginaliaAn other prophecie by Iohu Hus. Also in his 48. Epistle, he seemeth to haue a lyke propheticall meanyng, where he sayth: That he trusted, that those thinges which he spake then within the house, should afterwarde be preached aboue the house toppe. &c.

And because we are here in hand with the prophesies of Iohn Hus, it is not to be omitted, what he writeth in a certaine treatise, De sacerdotum & monachorum carnalium abominatione, MarginaliaVide supra. pag. 607. thus prophecying of the reformation of the Church: MarginaliaAn other prophecie by Iohn Hus.
Ioh. Hus, De Sacerd. & monachorum Carnalium abominatione. cap. [illegible text].
The church, he sayth, can not be reduced to hys former dignitie & reformed, before all thinges first be made new (the truth wherof appeareth by the tēple of Salomõ) as well the clergye & priestes: as also the people and laitie. Or els, except all such as now be addicted to auarice from the least to the most, be first conuerted and renewed, as wel the people, as the clerkes, and priestes, thinges can not bee reformed. Albeit, as my mynde now geueth me, I beleue rather the first: that is, that then shall rise a new people, formed after the new man, which is created after God. Of the which people, newe clerkes and Priestes shal come forth and be taken, which all shall hate couetousnes, and glorye of this life, labouryng to an heauenly conuersation. Notwithstandyng all these thinges shall be done and wrought in continuance and order of tyme dispensed of God for the same purpose. And this God doth and will do of his owne goodnes and mercy, and for the riches of hys pacience and sufferaunce, geuyng time and space of repentaunce to them that haue long layne in their sinnes, to amende and flye

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