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127 [1135]

conteining the same like notes of auncient antiquitie, the number of which rablement of religious persons came to a. 101. Now as I haue reckened vp the names and varieties of these prodigious sectes, it commeth to mind cōsequētly to inferre the prophecy of Hildegardis, as wel against the whole route of Romish prelates, & the fal of þe church, as especially against þe begging Friers, and such other vnprofitable belies of the church. This Hildegardis is holden of þe papistes themselues to be a great prophetisse, whose prophecy procedeth in this maner: fyrste against the priests and Prelates of the Romish church, as foloweth.

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The prophecy of Hildegardis, of the ruine of Rome, & against the begging friers.
HIldegardis a Nōne, & as manye iudged, a prohetisse, liued in þe yere. 1170 In her prophecies she doth most greuously reprehende not only þe wicked & abhominable life of the spiritual papists, but also the contēpt of ecclesiastical office, & also the horrible destructiō of the church of god. In a certain place she hath these words. And now is the law neglected amōg the spiritual people, which neglect to teach & do good things. The masters likewise & the Prelates do sleepe, despising Iustice, and laying it aside. In a certain vision the church appered to her, in the shape of a womā, cōplaining þt the priests had berayed her face wt dust, & rent her coat &c. and þt they did not shine ouer the people, neither in doctrine, neyther in exāple of life, but rather the cōtrary, & that they had driuē thinnocēt lamb frō thē. she said more ouer þt al ecclesiastical order did euery daye become worse & worse, and þe priests did not teach but destroy the law of god. And for these horrible crimes & impieties, she threatneth & prophecieth vnto thē gods most heauy wrath & displeasure, & doleful punishmēts. There is not cause why þe spiritual papists should flatter thēselues vpō this, þt she promiseth again to the ministers of the church those good things to follow, like as Iohānes de Rupe Scissa doth, and other such like prophtes. for they say it wil come to passe þt they must repēt before the times be amēded. By which thing vndoutedly they meane the godly ministers in the reformed churches, which for the most part wer of the spiritual number, & yet did forsake þe dishonest life, & those wicked idolatries. Now wheras þe priests & Mūks. i. the hole rable of the spiritualtie do account Hildegard for a true prophetisse: they ought to cōsider þt by her they are most seuerelye accused, not as by a womā, but as by god himselfe. And I pray you what abhominatiō, impiety, and idolatry hath ben cōmitted since that time by þe spiritualty? I wil note here a certain prophecy of hers, taken out of þe cōmō places of Hēry Tokē, because we se it manifestly fulfilled in our time. She prophecseth of the reformation of religion, & saith that it shalbe most godly.

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MarginaliaA prophecy for the decaye of the Romysh churche.Then shal the crown of Apostolical honor be diuided, because ther shalbe foūd no religiō amōg thapostolical order, & for þt cause shal they despise the dignity of þt name, & shal set ouer thē other mē & other Archb. insomuch that thapostolike of that time, by þe diminution of his honour shal haue scarce Rome & a few other countries therabout vnder his crown. And these thinges shal partly come to passe by incursiō of warres, & partly also by a common coūsel, & consēt of þe spiritual & secular persones. Then shall iustyce florish, so that in those daies men shal honestly apply thēselues to thauncient customes & discipline of aūcient men, & shall obserue them as þe auncient men did. The glose agreeth. &c. These things thus premised, now wil we com to the prophecy of the foresaid Hildegard concerning the foresaid begging Friers, aboue mentioned, reciting her words, not only as they are foūd in a boke, printed of late in Germany, but also as I my self haue sene & red, agreing to the same boke, word for word, & yet haue the same to shew, written in old parchmēt leaues in such sort as the thing it self most euidētly declareth a great antiquitye of time. The woordes of her prophecy be these.

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In those daies shal rise a sēseles people, proud gredy, wtout faith & subtile, which shal eate the sinnes of the people, pretending an order of certain fearful deuoute persons vnder the dissimuled cloke of beggars, & preferringe themselues before other in fained deuotion, in puffed vppe knowlege, & pretensed holines, walking wtout blushing & feare of god, finding out many new mischiefs, strong & sturdy: MarginaliaA prophecy against the beggyng Fryers.of wisemē & Christs faithful that order shall bee accursed, they shall cesse frō labor, & shal study for quietnes, taking rather vpon thē the order of flatterers then the order of beggars. They shal moreouer study al together how they may peruersly resist the teachers of the truth, & with þe mighty kil them, & how they may seduce & deceiue the mighty, for the necessitye of life, & delectation of the order. For the deuil shal rote. 4. vices in thē, Flattery, Enny, Hipocrisy & backbiting. Flattery, that they may haue boūtifully geuen them. Enuy, when other men shal haue & they go wtithoute. Hipocrisy, þt through their coūterfait behauior they may please men. Backbiting, þt they may cōmend & extol thēselues, & disprayse other, for the praise of mē, & seducinge of the simple, and wtout deuotion & example of martyrs they shal preach instantly: thei shal report euil of secular princes, wtdrawing frō the true pastors the sacramēts of the church, & receiuing the almoyse of the poore, weake, & nedy miserable, and conueying themselues into a multitude of people, hauing familiarity with women, & instructing thē how they may deceiue their husbandes and frends, flatteringly & by deceitful wordes, lyke wise how thei may cōueigh his goods by stelth,

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