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151 [1433]

ought to folow, nether the Pope him selfe, neither any other of the holy mē, but in such poyntes, as he hath followed the Lord Iesus Christ. For Peter and the sonnes of Zebede by desiring worldly honor, contrary to the following of Christes steppes did offend, and therefore in those errors, they are not to be followed.

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MarginaliaThe Pope ought to renounce al tēporal dominyon.Hereof I do gather, as a Councell, that the Pope ought to leaue vnto the seculer power, al temporal dominion and rule, and there vnto effectually to moue & exhort his hole clergy, for so did Christ, and specially by his Apostles, wherfore if I haue erred in anye of these poyntes, I will most humbly submit my self vnto correction, euen by death if necessitie so require, and if I could labour according to my wil or desire in my own person. I wold surely present my selfe before þe bishop of Rome, but þe Lord hath other wise visited me to þe contrary, & hath taught me rather to obey God then menne. For so muche then, as God hathe geuen vnto our Pope, iuste and true Euangelical instinctions, we ought to pray, that those mocions be not extinguished by any subtle or crafty deuise.

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And that the Pope and Cardinals, be not moued to do any thing, contrary vnto the lawe of the Lord. Wherfore let vs pray vnto our God, that he will so sturre vp our Pope Vrbane the sixt, as he began, that he with his cleargy, may follow the Lord Iesus Christ, in life and manners, and that they may teach the people effectually, and that they likewise maye faithfullye follow them in the same. And let vs speciallye pray, that our Pope may be preserued from all maligne and euell counsell, as whyche we do knowe that euell and enuious men of hys houshold, would geue vnto him. And seing the lord wil not suffer vs to be tempted aboue our power, much lesse then wyll he require of any creature to do that thinge whiche they are not able. Forsomuch as þt is the plain condition and māner of Antichrist.

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Thus muche wrote Ihon Wickleffe to the Pope. Now foloweth conseqnently to declare also, concerning his aunswer made vnto king Richard the seconde, in the firste yeare of his raigne, when he demaūded of him as touching the righte of the kinge, and of the Pope, which I thought here, not vnworthy of memory.

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¶ Ihon Wickleffes answere, vnto king Richard the second, as touchynge the right and title of the kinge, and the Pope.

IT is demaunded, whether the kingdome of England, may lawfullye in case of necessitie, for hys owne defence, deteine and keepe back the treasure of the kingdom,that it be not caried away to forren and straūge nacions, the Pope him self demaunding and requiring the same vnder pain of censure, and by vertue of obedience.

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Wickleffe setting aparte the mindes of learned men, what might be said in the matter, eyther by the cannon law, or by the law of England or the ciuil law, it resteth now only to perswade and proue, the affirmatiue parte of this doubte by the principles of Christes lawe. And first I proue it thus. Euery naturall body hath power geuen of God to resist againste his contrary, and to preserue it self in due estate, as the Philosophers knew very well.

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Insomuch, that bodies without life, are endued with such kinde of power, as it is euident vnto whome hardnesse is geuen to resiste those thinges þt wold breake it, & coldnesse to wythstand the heate that dissolueth it. For so muche then as the kingdome of Englande (after the manner and phrase of the scriptures) oughte to be one body: and the cleargy, with the commonaltie, the members therof, it seemeth that the same kingdome hath suche power geuen hym of God, and so muche the more apparaunt: by how much the same body, is more precious vnto God, adorned with vertue and knowledge. Forsomuch then as there is no power geuen of God vnto anye creature: for any ende or purpose, but that he may lawfully vse the same to that end and purpose. It followeth that oure kingdome maye lawfullye kepe backe and deteine their treasure, for the defence of it selfe, in what case so euer necessity do require the same.

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Secondarely the same is proued by the lawe of the Gospell. MarginaliaThe popes riches is but thalmes of good menFor the Pope cannot chalenge the treasure of this kingdome, but vnder the title of almes, and consequentlye vnder the pretence of the workes of mercy, accordinge to the rule of charitie.

But in case aforesaide, the title of almes ought vtterlye to cease, Ergo, the right and title of chalenginge the treasure of our realme, shall cease also in the presupposed necessitye. MarginaliaNecessity taketh awai the Popes almes.For so muche as all charitie hathe his beginninge of him selfe, it were no worke of charitye, but of meare madnesse, to send awaye the treasures of the realme vnto forren nations, whereby the realme it self may fal into ruine, vnder the pretence of such charitie.

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It appeareth also by this, that Christe the head of the church, whome all christen Priestes ought to follow, liued by the almes of deuoute wemen Luke vii. viii. He hongred and thirsted he was a straunger, and manye other miseryes he sustained, not onlye in his members, but also in his owne body, as the Apostle witnesseth. Corin. 8. He was made pore for your sakes, that thorow his pouerty, you might be rich, wherby

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