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49 [49]

The state of the primitiue church And compared with the old Church of Rome.

in all thinges to be don, with strength againste sinne: with hatred of this world: with gyft of faith: power of the keys in spiritual causes, as to minister the word, the sacraments and excommunication when the word biddeth, that the spirit may be saued, and to recōcile again, as case requireth, &c. These and suche like are the matters wherin consisteth the sinewes and strength of the church, and the true gouernaunce of the same. But cōtrary these aforesaid both the bishop and clergie of this latter church of Rome, proceeded in their administration and gouernance, as who vnder the name and pretence of Christ and his word, haue exercised of lōg time nothinge els but a wordly dominion, MarginaliaPreposterus gouernmēt of the church by the Pope.seekynge in dede their owne glory, not the glory of Christ: ryches of the world, not the lucre of soules: not feeding the flock, but fillyng the purse: reuengynge his owne wrongs, but neglecting Gods glory: striuyng against man onely, & kyllyng him, but not kyllyng the vice, not cōfuting the error of man: strong against flesh and blood, but weake against the deuil: stout against the simple, but meke againstee the mightie: brieflye, doing almost all thinges preposterously, more like to a secular prince, thē a spiritual pastour of Christs flock, with his outwarde forcement, and feare of punishment, with his prisonyng, famishyng, hanging, rackyng, drownyng, headyng, slaying, murderyng, and burnyng, and warryng also: on the other side with his riches & treasures, with his garde and gardiuiaunce, with his strength of men, with his court and Cardinals: with his pompe and pride about him, with his triple crowne, with his naked sworde: with his ordinarie succession: with his lawes, and executions: his promotions and prefermentes: his biddings and commaundynges: threatninges and reuengynges, &c.

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MarginaliaA cōparisō betwene the kingdome of this world & the kingdome of the Pope.In fine, to cōpare therfore þe image of a wordly kingdome, with this kyngdom of the Pope, ther is no differēce, saue onely þt this kyngdome of the Pope vnder hipocrisie maketh a face of the spiritual sword, whiche is the worde of God: but in very dede doth all things with the temporall sworde, that is without outward forcement & coaction: differing nothing from ciuile and secular regiment in all properites and conditions, if it be wel cōsidered. For as in an earthly kyngdome first ther is a prince or some chiefe magistrat appointed, hauinge dominion ouer his nobles and commons, containing all his subiectes vnder his statutes & lawes, with the which lawes notwithstandinge he dispenseth at his pleasure: vnder whome all other inferior magistrates haue their order and place to them appointed to rule ouer the subiectes, and yet to be subiect vnder him: So if the state & forme of the Pope be well aduised, we shall see it altereth nothing from the same, but onely in names of the persons. In ciuile gouernment, all subiection is referred to one head ruler, whose autoritie surmounteth all the rest, and kepeth them vnder obedience: In like maner the gouernment of the popishe churche is committed to one man, who as chiefe steward, ouerseer and ruler of Christs household in his absence, hath supreme power ouer all churches, to moderate and direct all the affairs therof. But here standeth the difference, in ciuil policie he is called a kyng or prince: here he is called a Pope.

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MarginaliaSecular Nobilitie compared with ecclesiastical nobilitie.The kynge hath next vnto him, his Dukes and Earles: The Popes nobility stādeth in his Cardinals and Legates, who though they be no Dukes in name, yet in pompe and pride will not onely geue cheke to them, but also mate to kynges themselues, if they mighte be suffered, as did Theodorus, Lancfrancus, Anselmus, Thomas Becket, and so would Thomas Woulsey had don, had not the kyng geuen him a necke to his mate by tyme. MarginaliaCiuile Magistrates cōpared with ecclesiasticall.In ciuile policie nexte to Dukes and Earles foloweth the order of Lords, Barons, Knights Esquiers,Gentilmen, with Mayers, Sheriffes, Constables, Bayliffes, wardens &c. The like case is to be seen also, although vnder other names, in the Popes policie, of primats, byshops, Suffraganes, Prouosts, Deanes, Canons, Vicars, Archdeacons, Priests, Deacons, subdeacōs, Acolites, Exorcistes, Lectors, dorekepers, singsters, with other clerkes. And as in the other vnder wardens cometh the order of scauyngers: so neither doth the Popes monarchie lack his kaynilrakers, to whom may welbe compared the rablement of Abots, Prouincials, Priores, Monkes, Friars, with their couents and Noniries.

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MarginaliaOfficers of the tēporal court compared with the officers of the spirituall court.Moreouer from Iustices, Iudges, Lawyers, Sergeants, attorneis, which be necessary offices in the commō welth, what differeth the Popes inquisitors, Canonistes, Doctors and bacchelers of the Popes law, Commissaries, Officials, proctors, promotors, with suche other, which serue no lesse in spiritual court, and in the consistory, then the other aforesaid do in the temporall court, or in the yeld hal. MarginaliaGlory compared. Power cōpared. Riches cōpared.Now who so list to compare the glory and magnificence of the one, with the glory of the other: also the power and strength of the one regiment, with the power of the other: and so the riches of the one, with the riches of the other, I suppose hee shall see no great oddes betwen them both, taking the Popes kingdome as it hath stand in his ful ruffe, and yet doth, wher churches are not reformed. MarginaliaSubtletie compared.As for subtletie and politike practise, there is no man that doubteth, that is indifferent, nor that seeth not, that hath his eyes, but that the Popes hierarchie in holding vp their state, for excelleth all the Empires and kyngdoms of worldlye Princes, of whom all other maye take example to learne.

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MarginaliaThe difference betwene the popes regimēt, & the order of the primatiue churchThus in comparyng the Popes regiment with ciuile gouernaunce as they doo little or nothing disagre assunder: So in comparynge againe the same with the order of scriptures, or with the regiment that was in the old auncient church of Rome, we shall see no resemblance betwen them. As we read in the Apostles time, al the armour of Christs ministers was spiritual & full of godly power, against the spirituall ennemies of our saluation, gouernyng the church then with peace, pacience, humilitie, true knowledge of God, the sword of the spirit, the shilde of faith, the brest plat of rightuousnes, hartie charitie, sincere faith, and good conscience: Marginalia2. Cor. 10.
Ephes. 6.
1. Timo. 1.
so after the Apostles in the tyme of Ambrose, by his own testimonie is to be vnderstand, þt the armour of church men was then, preces, & lachrymæ, prayers and teares: MarginaliaThe armor proper to church mē. wher now the armour of the Pops priesthod is nothing els but ignis & ferrum. i. fire and sword, wherwith they kepe all things vnder their subiection. MarginaliaHorrible abuse of excōmunication in the Popes church.And here cōmeth in the enorme & horrible abuse of excōmunication, suspension, & interdiction in cases friuolous, or worldly, & for such, as for which the ciuil magistrat wil not cōmit any citisen to the stockes, the Pops censure wyll not sticke to cōmitte a Christian to the deuel: not to speake of their other vsurped dealynges & doings in matters, that belong to the ciuile sword, and be to them impertinent. MarginaliaThe Popes gouernyng in matters to thē not perteining.As in punishing whordom & adultery, in administration and probates of testaments, in bearyng ciuile office, as Pops to be Senators of Rome, and Emperor also sede vacante. Cardinals to be capitaines in warre, and rulers of regions: bishops to be presidents or Chācelors: priests to be stuards in greate mens houses, or masters of mints, or clerks of the market, or gardiners to Gentlemen. &c. All which here I ouerpasse referryng them to the deeper consideration of such as haue more leasure to marke the order of their doings, and so to iudge of the same with indifferencie, accordinge to the rule of trueth, touched with Gods word, & publique examples of the auncient church of Christ in the primitiue time.

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Thus
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