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223 [223]

that nowe reigne in this worlde.

Marginaliapriests seke þe pleasure of this world.For from the hiest priest to the lowest, all (as who saye) studie that is they Imagine and trauell besely, howe they may please this worlde and their fleshe. This sentence and manye suche other dependeth vppon them if it be well considered, MarginaliaGood odds betwixt the life of popes and Christ and his Apostles.other God the Father of heauen hath deceyued all mankinde by the liuing, specially & teaching of Iesu Christ, & by the liuing & teaching of his Apostles & Prophets: or els al the Popes þt haue ben, since I had any knowledge or discretiō, with al the college of Cardinalles, Archebishops & Bishops, Monkes, Chanons and Friers, MarginaliaWhen priestes forgett Gods truth ye see whether they run hedlōg.with all the contagious flocke of the comunaltie of priesthode, which haue all my life tyme & mekell lenger reigned and yet reigne and encrease damnably from sinne into sinne, haue bene and yet be proude, obstinate heretikes, couetous Symoners, and defouled adulterers in the ministring of the Sacramentes, and specially in the ministring of the Sacrament of the altar. For as their workes shewe whereto Christ biddeth vs take hede, the hiest priestes and prelates of this priesthod chalenge and occupie vnlefully temporall lordshippes. MarginaliaThe great, infect the small.And for temporall fauour and mede they sell and geue benefices to vnworthy & vnable persones yea these Symoners sell synne, suffering men and women in euery degree and estate to lye, and continue from yeare to yeare in diuerse vices sclaunderously. And thus by euill example of hie priestes in the churche, lower priestes vnder them are not only suffered, but they are mainteined to sel full dere to the people for temporall mede all the Sacramentes. MarginaliaFleshly priestes cā not away with those thinges.And thus all this forsayd priesthod is blowen so hie and borne vp in pryde & vayne glory of their estate and dignitie, and so blynded with worldly couetousnes, that they disdayne to folowe Christ in very mekenesse & wilfull pouertie liuing holily, and preaching gods word truely, frely and continually, taking their lyuelyhode at the fre will of the people of their pure almose, where and whan they suffise not for their true and besie preachinge to gette their sustenaunce with their handes. MarginaliaThey hunt after this with tothe and nayle.To this true sentence grounded on Christes owne liuing & teaching of his Apostles, these forsaid worldly and fleshlye priestes, wyl not consent effectually. But as their workes and also their wordes shewe, boldly and vnshamefastly these forsayd named priestes and prelates couet, & enforse them mightely and besely, that all holy scripture were expounded and drawē acordingly to their maners and to their vngrounded vsages and findinges. For thei will not (since they holde it but foly and madnesse) conforme their maners to the pure & simple liuing of Christ and his Apostles, nor they wyl not folow frely their learning. MarginaliaAn exhortation to all degrees, to se priesthod amended.Wherfore all the Emperours and kynges, and all other Lordes and Ladies, and all the common people in euery degree and state, which haue before tyme knowen or might haue knowen, and also all they that nowe yet knowe or might knowe this forsaide witnesse of priesthode and would not nor yet wil enforce them after their conning and power, to withstande charitably the foresayd enemies and traytours of Christ and of his church, all these striue with Antichrist against Iesu. And they shall beare the indignatiō of God almighty without end, if in conuenient time they amende them not, and repent them verely, doing therfore dew mourning and sorowe, after their conning and power. MarginaliaPrelates & priestes negligent in their dutiesFor thorowe presumptuousnes and negligence of priestes and prelates (not of the church of Christ but occupiyng their prelacy vnduely in the churche, and also by flattering and false couetousnes of other diuerse named priestes) lousengers and lounderers, are wrongfull made and named Heremites, and haue leue to defraude poore and neady creatures of their lyuelode, and to lyue by their false wynninge and begging in slouth and in other diuerse vyces. And also of these prelates, these coker noses, are suffered to lyue in pryde and hypocrisie and to defoule them selfe bothe bodely and ghostly. Also by the sufferyng and counsell of these foresayde prelates and of other priestes, are made vayne both brotherhodes and susterhodes full of pryde and eniue, whiche are full contrary to the brotherhode of Christe. since they are cause of mekyll dissention, and they multiplie and susteine it vncharitably: for in lusty eatyng and drynking vnmesurably and out of tyme they exercyse them selfe. Also this vayne confederacie of brotherhodes is permitted to be of one clothynge, and to holde together.

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And in all these vngrounded and vnlefull dooynges, priestes are parteners and great medlers and counsel-lers. And ouer this viciousnes Heremites and Pardoners, Ankers and straunge beggers are lycensed and admitted of prelates and priestes, for to begyle the people with flatterynges and leasinges sclaunderously agaynst all good reason and true beleue, and so to encrease diuers vyces in them selfe and also among all them that accept them or consent to them.

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And thus the viciousnes of these forsayde named Priestes and Prelates haue been longe tyme, and yet is, and shall be cause of warres both within the Realme and without. And in the same wyse these vnable priests haue bene, and yet are, and shalbe chief cause of pestilence of men, and moren of beastes, and of barenesse of the earth, and of all other mischiefes, to the tyme that Lordes and commons able them thorowe grace for to knowe and to kepe the commaundement of God, enforsing them than faithfully and charitably by one assent for to redresse and make one this forsayde priesthode to the wilful, pore, meke and innocent lyuing and teachynge, speciallye of Christ and his Apostles.

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Therfore all they that knowe or myght knowe the viciousnes that reigneth, nowe cursedly in these priestes and in their learnyng, if they suffise not to vnderstande this contagious viciousnes: let them praye to the Lorde hartely for the health of his churche, absteyning them prudently from these indurate ennemies of Christe and of his people, and from all their Sacramentes, since to them all that knowe them or may knowe, they are but fleshlye deades and false: as saint Cipriane witnesseth in the first question of decrees, and in the first cause. Ca. Si quis inquit. MarginaliaCipr i. que. i. Capit. Sāquis inquit.For as this saynt and great doctours witnesse there that not only vicious priestes, but also al they that fauoure them or consente to them in their viciousnes, shal together peryshe with them if they amend them not duely: as all they peryshed that consented to Dathan and Abiron. For nothyng were more confusion to these forsayde vicious priestes, than to eschewe them prudently in all their vnliefull Sacramentes while they continue in their synfull lyuyng slaunderously, as they haue long tyme doone and yet doo. And no bodye nede to be afrayde (though deathe dyd followe by one wyse or other) for to die out of this worlde without takyng of anye Sacrament of these forsayde Christes ennemies, since Christe wyll not fayle for to minister hym selfe all lefull and healfull Sacramentes and necessary at all tyme, and specially at the ende, to all them that are in true fayth in stedfast hope, and in perfite charitie.

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But yet some mad fooles saye for to eschewe sclaunder, they wyll be shriuen ones in the yeare, and comuned of their proper priestes though they knowe them defouled with sclaunderous vyces. No doubte but all they that thus doo or consent priuely or apertly to suche doynge are culpable of great synne, synce saint Paule witnesseth that not only they that doo euyll, are worthy of death and dampnacion: but also they that consente to euyll doers. Also (as theyr sclaunderous workes wytnesse) these forsayde vicious Priestes, despyse and caste from them heauenly connynge that is geuen of the holy ghoste. Wherefore the Lorde throweth all suche despysers from hym, that they vse nor doo anye priesthode to hym.

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No doubt than all they that wyttyngly or wylfully, take or consent that any other body should take any Sacrament of any suche named prieste, synneth openly and dampnably against all the Trinitie, and are vnable to any Sacrament of health.

And that this forsayde sentence is altogether true, in to remission of all my synnefull lyuynge, trustinge stedfastlye in the mercy of God, I offer to hym my soule.

And to proue also þe forsaid sentence true with the help ofGod. I purpose fully for to suffer mekely and gladly my mooste wretched body to be tormented, where God wyll, and whome he wyll, and whan he wyll, and as longe as he wyll, and what temporall payne he wyll and death, to the praysinge of his name, and to the edification of his churche.

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And I that am mooste vnworthy and wretched caytife shall nowe thorowe the speciall grace of god make to hym pleasaunt sacrifice with my mooste synnefull and vnworthy body.

I beseche hartely all folke that reade or heare this ende of my purposed testament, that thorow the grace of God they dispose verely and vertuously all their wittes, and able in like maner all their members for to vnderstande

truely
R.ij.
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