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499 [499]

vnto theim. But what auailed it? haue thei not gotten into their handes more landes since, thē any Duke in Englād hath, the statute notwithstāding? Yea haue they not for al that trāslated into their hands frō your grace half your kingdom throughly, the only name remayning to you for your auncetries sake? So you haue the name and they the profite. yea I feare if I shuld waye all thinge to the vttermoste, they woulde also take the name vnto them, & of one kingdō make tweyne: the spiritual kingdome (as they cal it) for they wil be named first: and your tēporal kingdom. And which of these ij. kingdōs suppose ye is like to ouergrow the other, ye to put the other clere out of memory? Truely the kingdome of the bloudsuppers, for to theim is geuen daily out of your kingdō. And that that is once geuen theim cometh neuer from theim again. Such lawes haue they, that none of thē may neither geue nor sel nothing. What lawe can be made so strong against them, that they other with mony or els with other policie wyll not breake & set at naught? what kingdom can endure that euer giueth thus from him & receiueth nothing againe? Oh howe al the substance of your Realme your sworde, power, crown, dignitie, and obedience of your people, runneth hedlong into the insaciable whyrlepole of these gredy goulfs to be swalowed & deuoured?

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Nether haue 

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This is one of Fish's theological arguments, this one against the doctrine of purgatory very much along sola scriptura lines.

they any other colour to gather these yerely exactiōs into their handes, but that they say they pray for vs to God to deliuer our soules out of the paynes of purgatory, without whose praier they say or at lest without the Popes pardon we could neuer be deliuered thēce. whiche if it be true then it is good reason that we giue theim all these thinges, all were it C. times as much. But there be many mē of great literature & iudgemēt, that for the loue they haue vnto the truth & vnto the comō welth, haue not feared to put theim self into the greatest infamie that may be, in abiection of al the world, ye ī peril of death to declare their opiniō in this matter: which is that ther is no purgatory, but that it is a thing inuented by the couetousnesse of the spiritulatie, only, to translate al kingdōs from other princes vnto theim, & that there is not one word spoken of it in al holy scripture. They say also that if there were a purgatory, & also if that the Pope with his pardōs for mony may deliuer one soule thēce: 
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Fish here rejects the sale of indulgences, very much after the tenor of Luther's Ninety-five theses. The doctrine of purgatory was nonsensical in terms of scripture and, according to Fish, the sacrament of penance was more a financial expedient than anything else. Fish seems to (consciously?) misunderstand the doctrine of penance, however, insofar as it relates to indulgences. The indulgence derives from the donation of the penitent (considered to be his act of remorse or his necessary penalty for sin) and not from the action of the pope (who could not simply pardon all the souls without some evidence of genuine remorse).

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he may deliuer him aswel without mony: if he may deliuer one, he may deliuer a thousād: if he may deliuer a thousande, he may deliuer them al, and so destroye purgatory. And then is he a cruel Tiraūt without al charitie, if he kepe theim there in pryson and in pain til men wil giue him mony.

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Likewise say they of al the whole sort of the spiritualtie that if they wil not pray for no mā but for theim that geue thē mony, thei are tyraunts and lacke charitie, & suffer those soules to be punished & pained vncharitably for lacke of theyr praiers. These sorte of folkes thei cal heretikes these they burne, these they rage against, put to opē shame & make theim beare fagottes. But whether they be heretikes or no, wel I wote that this purgatory & the Popes pardons is al the cause of translation of your kingdome so fast into their handes, wherfore it is manifest it can not be of Christ, for he gaue more to the temporal kingdom, he him self payd tribute to Cesar, he toke nothing from him, but taught that the high powers shuld be always obeyed, ye he himself (although he were most fre, lord of al & innocent) was obedient vnto the high powers vnto death. 

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Matthew 22.21.

This is the great scabb why they wil not let the testamēt go abrode in your mother tongue, lest menne should espie that they by their cloked hipocrisie, do translate thus fast your kingdom into their handes, that they are not obedient vnto your highe power, that they ar cruel, vnclean, vnmerciful, & hipocrites, that thei seke not the honor of Christ but their own, that remissiō of sinnes are not geuen by the Popes pardon, but by Christ for the sure faith and trust that we haue in him. Here may your grace wel perceiue, that except ye suffer their hipocrysie to be disclosed, al is like to run into their hādes, & as long as it is couered, so long shal it seme to euery man to be a great impietie not to geue them. For this I am sure your grace thinketh (as the truth is) I am as good a mā as my father, why may I not aswel geue thē as much as my father did? And of this mind I am sure, ar al the lordes, knightes, squiers, gentlemen & yemen in England, ye & vntil it be disclosed al your people wil thinke þt your statute of mortmaine was neuer made with no good conscience, seing that it taketh away the libertie of your people, in þt they may not as laufully bye their soules out of purgatory by geuing to the spiritualtie, as their predecessors did in times past.

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Wherfore if ye wil eschewe the ruine of your crown & dignitie, let their hypocrise be vttered & that shalbe more spedeful in this matter, thē al the lawes that may be made, be they neuer so strong. For to make a law for to punish any offender, except it were more for to geue other mē an ensample to beware to cōmit such like offēce what shuld it auayle? did not doctor Alin 

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John Alen was very active in the cardinal's suppression of monasteries in the late 1520s.

most presumptuously now in your time agaīst al his allegiaunce, al that euer he could to pul frō you the knowlege of such plees, as belōg vnto your high courtes vnto another court in derogation of your crown & dignitie? Did not also doctor Horsey & his cōplices most hainously as al the world knoweth murdre in pryson that honeste marchaūt Richard Hun? For that he sued your wryt of premunire against a priest that wrongfully held hī in ple in a spiritual court for a matter wherof the knowledge belonged vnto your high courtes? And what punishment was there done, that any mā mai take exāple of, to beware of lik offence? truly none but that the one paide v. C. li. (as it is said to the bilding of your star chamber) & when that paimēt was ones passed the captains of his kgdom (because he faught so manfully against your crown & dignitie) haue heped to him benefice vpō benefice, so that he is rewarded x. times as much. The other as it is said, paid vi. C. li. for him & his cōplices, which forbecause that he had likewyse fought so manfully against your crown & dignitie, was immediatly (as he had obteined your most gracious pardō) promoted by the captains of his kingdōe with benefice vpō benefice to þe value of 4 times asmuch. who cā take exāple of this punishmēt to beware of such like offence? who is he of theire kingdom that wil not rather take courage to cōmit like offence seing the promotiōs that fell to these men for their so offending. So weake and blunt is your swearde to stryke at one of the offenders of this croked & peruers generatiō.

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And this is by the reason that the chief instrument of your law, ye the chief of your councell and he which hath your sword in his hande, to

whome
Ss.ij.
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