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K. Hen. 8. A Dialogue betwene Bilney and Frier Brusierd.

gin & other saints are placed in the bosome of Abraham, she therfore like a good mother hath taught, and that most diligently, vs her childrē to prayse the omnipotent Iesus in his saincts, & also to offer vp by the same saintes, our petitions vnto God. Thereof it is that the Psalm saith: [illegible text] MarginaliaNote this argument, we must praise [illegible text] Rightly also do we say and affirme, that saints may pray for vs. One man may pray for another [illegible text] more may saints that do enioy the fruitiō of his [illegible text] MarginaliaRom. 1. [illegible text]

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[illegible text] I maruel doubtles, that you a mā learned are not yet deliuered out of the confuse dūgeon of heresie, through the helpe of þe holy gospell: especially seing that in the same gospel it is written: MarginaliaIohn. 16. [illegible text] [illegible text] what soeuer ye aske þe father in þe name of S. Peter, S. Paul or other saincts MarginaliaIn nomine meo. but in my name. Let vs aske therfore helpe in the name of him which is able to obteine for vs of his father, what soeuer we aske, least peraduenture, hereafter in the end of the world at þe strayte iudgement we shall heare: [illegible text] my name ye haue [illegible text]

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Brusierd. Where ye meruell (with what mynde I can not tel) that I being a learned man (as you say) am not deliuered yet frō the cōfuse dungeon of heresie, through the helpe of the Gospell: much more do you that are far better learned then I, cause me to maruel at your foolish admiratiō. Neither can I chuse but laugh at you, as one being rapt to the third heauen of suche high misteries, and yet see not those thinges, whiche be done here in the lower partes of terrene Philosophie. For what a ridiculous thing is it, for a man to looke so long vpon the Sunne, that he can see nothyng els but the Sunne, nor can not tell whether to turne hym? Moreouer, what student is there in al Cambridge be he neuer so yong, that knoweth not, MarginaliaArgumentum ab autoritate [illegible text] that the argument of authoritie brought out negatiuely, hath no force?

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Bilney. So as the Phariseis tooke Christ, you take my wordes much otherwise then I meant.

[illegible text] Your words which wander farre from the scope of Scripture, I doo not like. What is in your meanyng, and lieth inwardly in your minde, I can not tel.

MarginaliaPraying for taking away temporall infirmities. Bilney. Such as inuocate the helpe either of Christ, or of any other Saint, for any corporal infirmitie, to be deliuered frō the same, may be wel resembled to delicate paciētes, who being vnder the hand of phisitions, & hauyng medicines ministred against their diseases: not abiding the paine thereof, rap al a sunder: wherfore I say no man ought to implore þe helpe of God or of any saint, Marginalia* He meaneth absolutely without condition. * for corporal infirmitie.

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Brusierd. O most pernicious & perilous heresie of all that euer I heard. Thus you fleeing the smoke fal into the fire, & auoyding the daunger of Scylla, you run vpon Caribdis. MarginaliaScylla and Charybdis be two daungerous rockes in the sea. O hart of man wrapped in palpable darknes. I wishe M. Bilney, that you would but once searche & set out the first origine of these rogatiō dayes: For so we reade in þe church story, MarginaliaBy this church storye he meaneth bylyke [illegible text] otherwise called the legend of lies. that they were first ordeyned by pope Gregory, with fasting, prayers, & holy processions against the pestilence, by the infection of the ayre thē raigning among the people. At what tyme þe people thē going in þe procession, a certain Image like to our blessed Lady, painted with þe hands of S. Luke þe Euāgelist, dyd go before thē, about þe which image, in þe honor of þe virgin, angels dyd sing this Antheme: Regina [illegible text] &c. O Queene of heauen be glad. To the which Antheme the pope also adioyned this: MarginaliaThe Popes Letanye at Rome. Ora pro nobis dominū. &c. Pray to the Lord for vs. Wherfore, seeng the angels dyd worship the image of the glorious virgin Mary in the honor of her: & seing moreouer the holy father pope Gregory, with al the clergie, did pray for corporal infirmity, it appeareth manifestly that we ought to worship þe saints, & also to geue honor in a maner to their Images: further also to pray to almighty God & al saints, for corporall infirmitie, that we may be deliuered from the same, so that they may say the like for vs, which is said in the Gospel: Sende thē away, because they cry after vs. MarginaliaScripture well applyed. And although there be infinite places inexpugnable to be alleged out of the holy scripture, wherwith we might easily resist this you error: yet stāding herewith content as sufficient at this present, we wil procede now to your secōd pestiferous error, wherin you, like an ingrate childe go about to teare out þe bowels of your mother. MarginaliaWhether the Pope be Antichrist. For in that you say & affirme blasphemously the bish. of Rome to be the very Antichrist, & that his priuileges haue no force against the gates of hel: in so saying, what do you but like a most vnkind and vnnaturall childe, spoile your louing mother of al her treasures, & wound her being spoyled, & being woūded, plucke out her bowels most miserably vpō þe earth. But for so much as there is nothing so absurd or so heretical, but shalbe receiued of some itching eares: I would therefore now heare you declare, how he sit teth in the tēple of God, as god, being exalted & worshipped aboue al þt is named god, or how that he sheweth hym selfe as Lord in power and signes, and wonders deceitful.

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Bilney. Although incredulitie doth not suffer you, notwithstanding your learnyng, to vnderstand these thynges, yet I wyl goe about something to helpe your incredulitie herein, through the helpe of the Lorde, beseechyng you that setting all superstition aparte, you wyll vnderstande those thinges that are aboue. Do ye know the table of the tenne Commaundementes?

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Brusierd. According as the Catholique Doctours do expound them, I know them meanely. But howe you do expound them, I can not tel.

Bilney. And doo you knowe also the constitutions of men, which are deuised onely by the dreames of men, wherunto men are so straightly bound, that vnder paine of death they are compelled to obserue them?

Brusierd. I knowe certaine sanctions of the holy fathers, but suche as you speake of to be deuised by mens dreames, I knowe none.

Bilney. Nowe then let vs set & compare these two together and so shal you easily vnderstand the Bishop of Rome whom they call the Pope, to sit in the Temple of God, as God, and to be extolled aboue al that is named God. It is written, The temple of the Lorde is holye, whiche is you. Marginalia2. Thessa. 2
1. Cor. 3.
The place of S. Paule expounded concerning Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God &c.
Therfore the conscience of man is the temple of the holy Ghost: in whiche temple I wyll proue the Pope to sit as God & to be exalted aboue all that is called God. For who so contemneth the decaloge or the table of the Commaundements of God, there is but a small punishment for hym, neyther is that punishment to death: but contrarywise he that shal contemne or violate the constitutions whiche you cal the sanctions of men, is counted by all mens iudgement gyltie of death. What is this, but þe hye bishop of Rome to sit and to raigne in the Temple of God, that is, in mans conscience, as God?

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Brusierd. Although this exposition seemeth vnworthy for christē eares, yet I would heare you further how he sheweth him selfe in signes and wonders deceitful.

MarginaliaSignes and miracles wrought by illusion. Bilney. These woonders (whiche they call myracles) be wrought dayly in the Church, not by the power of God, as many thinke, but by the illusion of Satan rather, who (as the Scripture witnesseth) hath ben loose nowe abrod. 500. yeres, according as it is written in the booke of the Apocalyps: After a thousande yeares, Satan shall be let loose. &c. MarginaliaApocal. 20. Neither are they to be called myracles of true christþeþe men, but illusiōs rather, wherby to delude mens mynds, to make them put their fayth in our Lady, and in other saintes, and not in God alone, to whom be honor and glory for euer.

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Brusierd. But that I beleue and knowe that God and al his Saintes wyll take euerlastyng reuengement vppon thee, I woulde surely with these nayles of myne, be thy death, MarginaliaWe reade of a like saying of an other Fryer Augustin of Antwerpe, testified by Erasm. in hys epistles: who openly in the pulpit at Antwerpe, preaching to the people, wishing that Luther were there, that he might bite out his throte wyth his teeth. So doing, hee woulde nothing doubt with the same bloudy teeth to resort to the aultar, and receaue the body of Christ. Eras Epist. Lib. 16. Ad obtrectatorem. for this horrible and enorme iniure agaynst the precious bloud of Christ. God saith, I wyl not the death of a sinner, but rather that he conuert and lyue: And thou blasphemest hym, as though he shoulde laye priuie snares of death for vs secretely, þt we shoulde not espie thē. Which, if it were true, we might wel say then with Hugh De saint Victore in this manner: If it be an Marginalia* God leadeth not into errour, but hath left his scriptures, to lead vs into truth. * errour, it is of thee (O God) that we be deceyued, for these be confirmed with suche signes and woonders, whiche can not be done but by thee. But I am assured, it is vntrue, & heretical: and therfore I wyl leaue this matter, and wyl talke with you concernyng the merites of Saintes. For once I remember in a certayne Sermon of yours, you sayde, that no Sainte, thoughe his sufferyng were neuer so greate, and his lyfe most pure, deserued any thyng for vs with God, eyther by his death or lyfe, which is contrary to saint Austen.

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Bilney. Christe sayth one thyng, Saint Austen another. Whether of these two shoulde we beleue? For Christ willyng to deliuer vs out of this darke dungeon of ignorance, gaue forth a certayne parable of ten virgins, of which fiue were fooles and fiue were wise. By the fiue foolishe virgins wantyng the oyle of good workes, he meant vs al sinners. By the wise virgins he meant the company of al holy Saintes. Nowe let vs heare what the fiue wise virgins aunsweared to the fiue foolishe, crauyng oyle of them: MarginaliaMath. 25. No (saye they) leaste peradnenture we haue not sufficiente for vs and for you. Get you rather to them that sell, and buye of them to serue your turne. MarginaliaSaintes haue not merites sufficient for them selues, much lesse to spare to others. Wherfore, if they had not oyle sufficiente for them selues, and also for the other, where then be the merites of Saintes, wherewith they can deserue both for them selues, and for vs? Certes I can not see.

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Brusierd. You wrast the Scripture from the right vnderstādyng, to a reprobate sense, that I am scarse able to hold myne eyes from teares, hearing with myne eares these wordes of you. Fare ye wel.

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