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646 [599]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.

was worthye, and what courage and stoutnes was in hym, it may hereby euydently appeare vnto all menne, that he alone through the synguler dexteritie of his wittee and counsell, brought to passe that, whiche euen vnto this daye, no Prynce or Kynge throughout al Europe, dare or can bryng to passe. For wheras Brytanie alone of all other nations, is and hath bene of their owne proper nature mooste superstitious: this Cromewell beyng borne of a common or base stocke, throughe a Deuine methode or policie of wyt and reason receiued, suffred, deluded, brake of, and repressed all the pollicies traynes, malice and hatred of fryers, monkes, religious menne and priestes, of which sorte there was a great rabbell in Englande. Theyr houses he subuerted throughout all the Realme, afterwarde he brought the byshoppes and Archebyshoppes, and the byshop of Wynchester hym selfe, although he was the kynges chiefe councellour, to an order, frustratyng and preuentyng all his enterpryses and complayntes, by a marueilous prouydence, but specially in those thynges whyche dyd tende to the ruyne and decaye of good mē, and such as fauoured the Gospel, vnto whom Cromwel was alwayes as a shyld against the pestiferous enterpryses of Wynchester.

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MarginaliaThe cōparison betwene Cromwel & Winchester.Briefly there was continuall emulation betwene them twoo, and mortall dissention, such as Flaccus wryteth of, happened betwene the wolues and the lambes: for bothe of theim beyng greatly in the kynges fauour, the one beyng muche more feared, the other was muche better beloued. Eyther of them excellyng in dexteritie of wytte, howebeit, the vertues in the one farre exceaded the other. For where as the byshop of Wynchester semed suche a man, to be borne for no other purpose, but onely for the destructiō of þe good, this mā contrariwyse the deuine prouidence had appoynted, as a remedy to help and preserue many, and to withstande the fury of the byshoppes, euen lyke as we do see the same grounde, whiche bryngeth fourth moste pestiferous poysone, the same agayne also doth brynge fourth moste holsome and healthfull remedies.

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It were to long and tedious a declaration here to declare howe many good men through this mans helpe and defence, haue bene relieued and delyuered out of daunger, of whome a great nomber after his fall beyng (as it were) depryued of their patrone, dyd shortly after peryshe: there are many of them yet alyue at this present daye, whiche are wytnesses of these thynges whiche we report, and greater things also then these. In this maner the omnipotent God, hath alwayes accustomed in all common wealthes, to moderate aduersitie with prosperitie and thinges hurtfull with other moreholsome and healthfull. Wherby it happeneth that as oftentymes, good and fortunate planetes, beyng ioyned with the hurtfull and noysome, they do eyther vtterly dissipate ther mad furies, or at the least somwhat kepe thē backe. whereby if they be not vtterly prohibited, yet they do lesse hurte then otherwyse they wold. Whiche thyng, if it were to be conferred with the histories of our old fathers, Iehu 

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See 2 Kings 10.

, the sharp punysher of superstitious idolatrie, in the sacred common wealth was not muche vnlyke this man. Lykewyse in prophane common wealthes, Camillus  
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Marcus Furius Camillus was credited with leading Rome to recovery after the city was dacked by Gauls in 387-6 BC. He was also credited with numerous other military victories and with crushing seditious attempts to overthrow the Roman Republic.

and Cicero,  
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Marcus Tullius Cicero, the most famous orator of ancient Rome, crushed a conspiracy, led by Lucius Sergius Catiline (more properly Catalina), to overthrow the Roman Republic in 62 BC.

who through his singular prudence ioyned with eloquence, withstode and put of the wicked enterpryses of Catyline. Albeit that the terrour conceaued vpon the conspiracie of Catiline, was not so noysom vnto the commō wealth of Rome, as the bloudy and vnsatiable crueltie and slaughter of these our byshoppes conspiracies, do euery where vexe and trouble the Christian cōmon welthe. MarginaliaThe conratiō of our Romyshe murderers compared to the cotion of Catilyne. For albeit that Catiline through his wycked enterpryse, went about the death of all good men, and the destruction of the common wealth, yet did he rather put it in feare then wound the common wealth, but all the life and doinges of these men, is nothing elles but a conspiracie, according to the prophecie of Esaie, that they do seme twyse worse then any Catiline: for whatsoeuer he wēt about by any priuy pretence of his mynde, that these menne do perfourme opēly: neither was it to be doubted but that he, albeit he were neuer so cruell or fearce of nature, yet if he had had the vpperhande, he wold once haue made an end of murthering and killyng. But these men, although they daily in euery place, kill Christ in his holy members, yet they neuer apointe or ordeyne any ende or measure of their slaughter. The whiche kynde of men, albeit there be nothyng in a maner by nature more cruel, besydes their naturall crueltie they are endewed with crafte and subtiltie, which is farre worse. Not being so hurtfull by the one, as detestable for the other, for an open enemy, be he neuer so mighty or fierce, yet if he cannot be vāquished, he may be taken hede of. And it happeneth oftentimes that violence whiche is forsene, may easely or with like violence be repulsed, or at the leaste the wounde that is receiued by an other mans violence, is lesse greuous then that which commeth by fraude or desceate. But these menne doo not kyll with armoure and weapon, but goyng a pryuier waye to worke, yet doo the same. Beyng so muche the more to be blamed, for so muche as they them selues beyng the authors of the murther, do so put of the matter from thē selues to other, as though they were free frō all suspition of crueltie, but here a mā may the more perceiue þe inueterate subtilties

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