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215 [215]

King Edgar. Monkes. K. Edgar. Monkes. Actes and Monum. of the Church.

MarginaliaGuliel. lib. 3. de Gest. pōtif.
Chron. Iornalense. in vita Edgari.
euer there cōuersant. By reason wherof þe other church was left naked and desolate, and all the people gathered there where the bishop was. The priestes seing them selues to be left and neglected both of the bishop and of the people, to whom nothing remayned but shame & contempte: were driuen of shame eyther to relinquishe the house (such as would not enter the monkishe profession) or ells to become monkes: such as had nothing els to staye vpon. After the like superstition (although not after the same subtiltie) dyd Ethelwold also driue oute the chanons & priestes frō the new monasterye in Winchester, afterward called Hida: and placed his monkes. So in Oxford, and in Mildune, with diuers other places moe: the secular priestes with their wiues were expelled to geue place to monkes. The cause wherof is thus pretended in certaine storye writers, whom I see also Fabian to followe: MarginaliaPrebendaryes and priestes slacke in their dutie.for that the priestes and clerkes were thought slacke and negligent in their church seruice, & set in vicars in their steede, while they liued in pleasure, and mysspent the patrimonye of the church after theyr owne luste. Thē king Edgar gaue to the vicars, þe same land which before belonged to the prebendaryes: who also not long after shewed themselues as negligent, as the other. MarginaliaPriests voyded of cathedrall churches, and monks let in.Wherfore king Edgar (as mine autors write) by the consent of Pope Iohn. xiij. voyded cleerely the priestes, and ordained there monkes. Although certaine of the nobles, and some of the prelates were therwith not well contented, as in the chapiter following may partly appeare.

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But for somuch as we haue entred into the mention of monkes and nonnes, and of their profession, which I see so greatly in our monkishe stories commended: 

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Foxe mentions an elaborate range of source here. These almost certainly were drawn indirectly from the Magdeburg Centuries, [Century V], p. 81; 1327-1334 (Cassianus); 702 (Augustine); and Cluniac monasticism (732-3).

least perhappes the simple reader may be deceaued therby, in hearing the name of monkes in all histories of times to be such an auncient thing in christian life) euen frō the primitiue church after the Apostles time) both cōmonly recited, and well receaued: therfore to helpe the iudgement of the ignorant, and to preuent all errour herein: MarginaliaThe difference order, & institution of monks examined.It shall not be vnprofitable, in following the present occasion here geuen (by way of a litle digression) to entermedle somewhat concerning the originall institution of monkes: what they were in the olde tyme, which were called Monachi, wherin the monkes of the primitiue tyme, did differ frō the monkes of the middle tyme, and from these our monkes now of this latter age. Moreouer wherin all these three do differ from priestes (as we call them) & frō mē of the clergie. Wherfore to answere to the superstitious scruple of such, which alledge the old antiquitie of the name and title of monkes: fyrst I graunt, the name & order of monkes to be of olde continuaunce, during neare from the time of. 300. yeares after Christ. Of whom diuerse olde autors do record, as Augustinus, Hieronymus, Basilius Magnus, who was also himselfe one of the first institutors and commenders of that superstition. Chrysostomus, Nazianzenus, Euagrius, Sozomenus, Dionysius, and diuerse other. MarginaliaTwo sortes of monkes in the primitiue church.In the number of these monkes (which then were deuided into Hermites or Anachorites, and into Cœnobites) were Antonius, Paulus, Ioannes, with diuerse other recluses: Among þe which was Hierome, Basile, Macarius, Isidor9, Pambus, Nilammon, Simeon, with infinite other: both in Palestina, Syria, Thebaide, Mesopotamia, in Egypt, in Africa, and Scythia. In somuch that Cassianus, lib. 2. cap. 4 de canon. Noctur. orat. MarginaliaCassianus. lib. 2. cap. 4. de. canon Noctur. orat.maketh mention of a certain monastery in Thebaide, wherin were aboue. 5000. monkes vnder the gouernment of one abbot. And here also in England mention is made before of Bangor, wherin were. ij. thousand and. 200. monkes vnder one mans ruling, in the yeare of our Lord. 596. Whereby it appeareth, that Monkes were then, and. 200. yeares before in the primitiue time of the churche. But what Moonkes these were, is to be considered. Such as either by tyran-ny of persecution were driuen in to solitary and desart places, or els such as not cōstrayned of any, but of their own voluntary deuotion (ioyned with some superstitiō among, for the loue they had to spiritual contemplaciō, and for hatred of the wycked world) withdrew thēselues from all company: either hauing nothing to themselues proper, or els all thinges common with other. And all these were then nothing els but lay men. MarginaliaTwo sortes of lay men. Monkes in the olde time were no other but lay mē, leadynge a stricte life.Of which laye men there were. ij. sundry sortes: one of the vulgar & cōmon people, which onely were partakers of the Sacramentes: the other in following a monasticall kinde of lyfe, were called Monkes (being nothing but laye men) leading a more seuere and strayghter trade of lyfe, then the other: as may sufficiently appeare by August. lib. de moribus ecclesiæ cap. 13. Item lib. de operibus Monachorum. Item epistola ad Aurelium. MarginaliaAugust. de mor. ecclesiæ.Also by Hierome ad Heliodorum, writing these woordes: Alia monachorum est causa, alia clericorum. Clerici pascunt oues, ego pascor. &c. MarginaliaHieronym. ad. Heliodor.That is: One thing perteyneth to mōkes, an other thing to thē of the clergye. They of þe clergie feede their flocke: I am fede. &c. Et ex Dionisyo. MarginaliaDionysius. Also the same appeareth lykewise by the iiij. canon of the councel of Chalcedon, where it is prouided, ne monachi se ecclesiasticis negocijs immisceant. MarginaliaConcilium Chalced. Can. A.That is. MarginaliaMonkes forbidden to intermedle wyth matters ecclesiasticall.That mōkes should not intermedle with matters of the church. &c. Et Leo Epistola. 62. vetat monachos et laicos, etsi scientiæ nomine gloriētur, admitti ad officium docendi et concionandi.

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MarginaliaMonkes differing from priestes.
Monkes in the primitiue ime differing frō Monks in the ii. age of the church.
By these foresayd autors alledged it is euident: that monkes in the former age of the churche, albeit they lyued a solitarie lyfe, yet they were then no other but onely lay men: differyng from priestes, and differyng from the other monkes, whiche succeded them afterward in the midle age of the churche, & that in iij. points. First they were tyde and bound to no prescript forme either of diet, or apparel, or of any thyng els: as we may see testified by the wordes of s. Austen, which be these: MarginaliaAugust de institutis monachorum.Neq̀ inter haæc nemo vrgetur in aspera, quæ ferre nō potest: Nulli quod recusat imponitur. Nec ideo cōtēnitur a cæteris in ф eis immitādis se fatetur inualidam. Meminerunt enim quātopere commendata sit in Scripturis charitas. Meminerunt omnia munda mundis. &c. Non quod intrat in os coinquinat hominem, sed quod exit. Itaq̀ non reijciendis generibus ciborum, quasi pollutis, sed concupiscentiæ perdomandæ, et dilectioni fratrum retinendæ inuigilat omnis industria. And Sozomenus Libr. 3. cap. 16. MarginaliaSozomen. Lib. 3. c. 16.speakyng of the monkes of the same tyme, which in cities had seuerall mansions from other, sayth: Alij in turba ciuitatum conuersabantur, sci seipsos gerentes, vt nullius momenti viderentur, & a multis nihil differrent. &c. 1. MarginaliaMonkes of the primatiue time were no clerkes but mere lay men.
Monks of the olde time some maried: none restreined from mariage
Some lyued in cities, so behauyng thē selues, as semyng nothyng worth: and they differed nothyng frō the multitude. &c. The second poynt wherin they were discrepant from the latter monkes: was, in that they remayned no other but in the order of lay men (onely beyng of a straiter lyfe then the the rest) and had nothyng to do in matters and charges ecclesiastical. Which was afterward brokē, by pope Bonifacius the. 4. as foloweth more (the Lord willing) to be sene, and sayd. Thirdly, the foresaid monkes of that age (albeit the most part of thē liued sole & single frō wiues) yet some of them were maried: certes none of thē were forbidden or restrained from mariage. Of such as were maried, speaketh Athanasius in Epistola ad Dracontium qui ait se nouisse et monachos et episcopos cōiuges and liberorum patres. &c. 1. MarginaliaAthanasius epistola ad Dracō.Which sayth þt he knew both monkes and bishops maried men, and fathers of children. &c.

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MarginaliaSuperstitiō crept in with monkrye.
The ignorāce of our free iustification by christ, is the cause of al superstitiō.
And yet the sayd monkes of the olde tyme, though they were better then thother whiche folowed them: yet all that notwithstādyng, superstition with them & emōg them began then to crepe into the churche, through the crafty subtiltie of Satan: And all for the ignorance of our free iustification by fayth in Iesus Christ. Exāples do declare the vaine and prodigious superstition of these

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