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1360 [1360]

K. Henry. 8. The Epistle of Volusianus, for Priestes Mariage.

pro lenitatis Christianæ consideratione, sed pro immanitate facinorum censeas coercēdum. Quod te per ipsum Christum ne facias obsecramus: sic enim peccata compescenda sunt, vt supersint quos peccasse pœniteat.

MarginaliaAugustinus.Illud etiā Augustini volumus te recordari, quod ait: Nihil nocendi fiat cupiditate, omnia consulendi charitate: & nihil fiat immaniter, nihil inhumaniter. Idem de eodem: In timore Christi, in nomine Christi exhortor: Quicunq̃ nō habetis tēporalia, habere non cupiatis: quicūque habetis, in eis non præsumatis. Dico autem, non si icta habetis, damnamini: sed si in ictis præsumatis, damnamini: si propter talia magni vobis videamini: si generis humani conditionem communem propter excellentem vnitatem, obliuiscamini. Quod nimirum poculum discretionis ex illo fonte Apostolicæ hauserat prædictionis: Solutus es ab vxore, noli quarere vxorem: alligatus es vxori, noli quarere solutionē. Vbi & subditur: Qui habēt vxores, sint tanquā non habentes: & qui vtuntur mundo, tanquam non vtantur. Marginalia1. Cor. 7.Idē dicit de vidua: Cui vult nubat, tantum in Domino. Nubere in Domino est, nihil in contrahēdo connubio quod Dominus prohibeat, attentare. Ieremias quoq; ait: 

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Jer. 7: 4.

Nolite considere in verbis mendacij, dicentes: Templum Domini, templum Domini, templum Domini est. MarginaliaIere. 7.Quod Hieronimus exponens: Potest (inquit) & hoc illis virginibus conuenire, quæ iactant pudicitiam suam impuderti vultu: præserunt castitatem, cum aliud habeat conscientia: & nesciunt illam Apostoli definitionem de virgine, vt sit sancta copore & spiritu. MarginaliaHieronymus.Quid enim prodest corporis pudicitia, animo constuprato, si cæteras virtutes, quas Propheticus sermo describit, nō habuerit? Quas quidem, quia te aliquatenus habere videm9, & quia discretionē, licet in hac re neglectā, in alijs tamen vitæ tuæ constitutionibus eam honestè conseruatam non ignoramus: huius intentionis prauitaté te citò correcturum non desperamus. Et ideo non quāta possumus grauitate, istam licet grauissimam negligentiā corripimus, vel iudicamus. Quanquam enim secūdum vocabula quæ vsus obtinuit, sit Episcopatus Præsbyterio maior: tamen Augustinus Hieronymo minor est, & à minori quolibet non est refugienda correptio: præsertim cum is qui corripitur, & contra veritatem, & pro hominibus niti inuenitur. Neque enim, vt ait sanctus Augustinus ad Bonifaciū: Quorumlibet disputationes, quamuis catholicorum & lauditorum virorum, velut Scripturas Canonicas habere debemus: vt non liceat nobis salua honorificentia, quæ illis debetur, aliquid in eorū scriptis improbare atq̀; respuere, si fortè inuenerim9 quod aliter senserint quàm veritas habeat, diamo adiutorio vel ab alijs intellecta, vel à nobis. Quid autem veritati magis contrariū, quàm hoc, quòd cū ipsa veritas de cōtinētia loquens, nō vnius hominis, sed omniū planè (nō excepto numero professorū continentiæ) dicat 
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Matt. 19: 12.

:
Qui potest capore, capitat: MarginaliaMath. 19.isti (nescitur vnde instigati) dicant: Qui non potest capere, feriatur anathemate?

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Quid verò per homines fieri potest stolidius? quid diuinæ maledictioni obligatius, quàm cum aliqui, vel Episcopi videlicet, vel Archidiaconi, ita præcipites sint in libidinē, vt neq̀; adulteria, neque incestus, neque masculorum (proli pudor) turpissimos amplexus sciat abhorrere: casta clericorum coniugia sibi dicant fœtere, & ab eis nō veræ iusticiæ cōpassione, sed falsæ iusticiæ dedignatione, non vt conseruos rogent cōtinere, sed vt seruos iubeāt ac cogāt abstinere? Ad cui9 imperij, ne dicā consilij, tā fatuā, tamq; turbem addunt suggestione, vt dicant: Honestius est pluribus occultè implicari, quàm aperté in hominum vultu & conscientia cum vna ligari. Quod profecto non dicerent, si ex illo & in illo essent, qui dicit: Væ vobis Pharisæis, qui omnia facitis propter homines. MarginaliaTurpis Papistarum vox.Et per Psalmistam: Qui hominibus placent, cōfusi sunt, quoniam Dominus spreuit eos. MarginaliaPsal. 53. 

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Psalm 53: 5.

Hi sunt, qui prius deberent nobis persuadere, vt in cōspectu eius, cui omnia nuda & aperta sunt, erubescamus peccatores esse, quam in conspectu hominū mundi esse. Licet ergo merito suæ prauitatis, nullius consilium mereātur pietatis, nos tamen memores humanitatis diuinæ, eis consilium authoritatis nunquam à pietate vacātis, per viscera ministramus charitatis. Dicimus nempe 
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Matt. 7: 4.

:
Eijce primùm hypocrita trabem de oculo tuo, & tunc perspicies vt eijcias festucam de oculo fratris tui. MarginaliaMath. 7.

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Illud quoque rogamus eos attendere, quod Dominus dicit de muliere 

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John 8: 7.

: Qui sine peccato est vestrum, primus in eam lapidem mittat MarginaliaIohn. 8.quasi diceret: Si lex iubet, si Moses iubet, iubeo & ego, sed cōpetētes legis ministros exigo. MarginaliaChrist9 legā non soluit, sed cōpetentes legit iudices exigit.Attendētes, quid adducitis, attēdite quæso & quid estis: quia, si te ipsum, vt ait Scriptura, perspexeris, nulli vnquam detraxeris. Significatum est autem nobis de quibusdā eorum, quod tanta apud se intuinescant elatione, vt gregē Domini, pro quo boni pastores animas non dubitant ponere, isti verberibus etiā absq; ratione præsumāt laniare. Quorū sententiā S. Gregori9 nimiū deplorans ait: Quid fiet de ouibus, quando pastores lupi fiunt? Sed quis vincitur, nisi qui sauit? quis verò persecutorem iudicabit, nisi qui dorsum suum ad flagella patienter ministrauit? MarginaliaGregorius. Operæ præcium est autem, vt audiatur, quo fructu tantum Ecclesiæ Deiinducant scandalū, tantum clerus despectum, & ab ipsis Episcopis, & ab eorum infidelibus patiatur. Nec enim eos infideles dicere dubitauerim, de quibus Paulus Apostolus dicit ad Timotheū 
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I Tim. 4: 1.

:
Quia in nouißimis temporibus discedent quidam a fide, attendentes spiritibus erroris, & doctrinis dæmoniorum, in hypocrisi loquentium mendacium, & cauteriatā habentium conscientiam, prohibentium nubere. Marginalia1. Tim. 4.

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MarginaliaEx cœlibatu Sacerdotum qui fructus ostiantur.Hic est autā, si diligenter inspiciatur, totius eorū manipulus zizaniæ, totius euentus insaniæ, vt dū clerici licita vnius mulieris cōsortia, pharisaico deuicti (quod absit) furore, relinquere cogantur, fornicatores & adulteri & aliarum prauitatum turpissimi ministri cum ipsis efficiantur. Qui hanc in Ecclesia Dei hæresim, ficut cæci duces cæcorum machinantur, vt videlicet illud impleatur quod Psalmista eis, vt pote doctoribus erroris, taliter imprecatur 

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Psalm 69: 17.

: Obscurentur oculi eorum ne videant. &c. MarginaliaPsal. 69.Quia ergo nemo, ô Apostolice, ignorat, quod si tu per tui decreti sententiam, tantam futuram esse pestilentiam solitæ discretionis claritate perspexisses, nunquam quorumlibet tam prauis suggestionibus consensisses: debitæ tibi subiectionis fidelitate consulimus, vt vel nunc ad tanti scandali ab Ecclesia Dei propulsionem euigiles: & qua nosti discretionis disciplina, pharisaicā ab ouili Dei extirpes doctrinam, ne scilicet vnica Sunamitis, adulterinis diutius vsa maritis, gentem sanctam, regale sacerdotium, per irrecuperabile à sponso, Christo videlicet, auellat diuortium: dum nemo sine cassimonia, non tantum in virginali flore, sed etiam in coniugali habita coniunctione, visurus sit Dominum nostrum 
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The next 15 words were added by Foxe to supply a suitable conclusion to the letter.

: qui cū Deo patre & Spiritu sancto viuit & regnat per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

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MarginaliaThe antiquitie of the Epistle befoer mentioned.As touching the antiquitie of thys epistle aboue prefixed, it appeareth by the copie, which I haue seene, and receaued 

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This indicates that Parker had actually loaned the manuscript (now Gonville and Caius 427) to Foxe.

of the ryght reuerend, aboue named Matthewe Archbyshop of Canterbury, to be of an old and auncient wryting, both by the forme of þe characters, and by þe wearing of þe Partchment, almost consumed by length of yeares and tyme.

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MarginaliaThe author of the foresaid Epistle doubtful, whether he be Hulderichus or Volusianus.And as concerning the author therof, the superscription (if it bee true) plainly declareth it to be the epistle of Volusianus Byshop of Carthage. Albeit heretofore it hath commonly bene taken and alleaged by the name of Hulderichus Byshoppe of Augusta, and partlye appeareth to bee so, both by the testimonie of Æneas Syluius, in Descriptione Germaniæ, who in the sayd treatise affyrmeth that Hulderichus Byshop of Augusta, dyd constantly resiste the Pope abolyshing the maryage of priestes. &c: and also by the recorde of Illyricus, testifying that the said epistle not onely remayneth yet to thys day in olde monumentes, but also that he hym selfe dyd see two exemplars of the same, both pretendyng the name of the said Hulderichus to be the author. Notwithstanding thys copie here aboue prefixed, beareth the title not of Hulderichus Byshop of Augusta, but of Volusianus Bishop of Carthage in Aphricke, as ye may see by the wordes of the preamble, saying: Thys is the rescripte of Volusianus Byshop of Carthage, vnto Pope Nicholas, cōcerning priestes not to be restrayned frō lawfull mariage. &c.

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Furthermore, which Pope Nicholas thys was, to whom these epistles 

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Both Bale and Parker, influenced by Flacius, believed that Pope Nicholas I was the recipient of this letter. Foxe, for reasons that he will present, doubts this.

were written, it is not plainlye shewed in the same, but that by probable coniecture it may be gessed rather to be Pope Nicholas. 2. for somuch as in hys tyme, priestes mariage began somewhat earnestly to bee called in, more then at other tymes before.

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Now as touching þe English of this Latine epistle aboue exhibited, MarginaliaRead before pag. 183.forasmuch as þe same is before inserted, pag. 183. we will referre þe reader vnto the same place 

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This letter is reprinted from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 101-9.

. Wherin if the translation of the Englishe do swarue any thing from the Latine here aboue prefixed, þe cause was, for that the Latine copie, which here we followe, came not before to our handes.

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¶ An other Epistle of the sayd Volusianus concerning mariage not to be restrayned from priestes and Ministers of the Church.

CVm sub 

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This letter is reprinted from Epistolae duae D. Voulusiani…(London, 1569), STC 24872, pp. 13-44.

liberi arbitaij potestate creati simus, & non sub lege, sed sub gratia, qualiter creati sumus, viuamus. Vos qui continentiæ legem nobis inuitis imponitis, liberi arbi-

trij
MMM. ij.
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