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1114 [1113]

K. Hen. 8. The aunsweres of Iohn Lambert to the Byshops Articles.

sclaundered, named heretickes and scismatikes, were in deed, as they be called or no.

Yea, moreouer I dyd once see a booke of the new Testamēt, MarginaliaDiuers such testamentes are yet to be seene in diuers places of a long continuance which was not vnwritten by my estimatiē this hundred yeres, & in my mynd, right wel translated after the example of that which is read in the Church in Latine. But he that shewed it me, sayd, he durst not be knowen to haue it by him, for many had bene punished aforetyme for keping of such, and were conuict therefore of heresie.

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Moreouer, I was at Paules Crosse, when the newe Testament Imprinted of late beyond the sea, was first forefended: MarginaliaErrours fuond in the translated testament where none was. and truely my hart lamēted greatly to heare a great man preaching against it, whiche shewed foorth certaine thynges that he noted for hideous errors to be in it, that I, yea and not I, but likewise dyd many other think verily to be none. MarginaliaMalice neuer sayth well. But (alacke for pitie) malice can not say wel. God helpe vs al, and amend it.

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So that to conclude, I thincke veryly it were profitable and expedient, that the holy Scripture were deliuered by authoritie of the head rulers, vnto the people, truely trāslated in the vulgare tongue, in like maner as it is in all other countreys. And where as you adde, whether they be bound by necessitie of saluation, to deliuer it to þe people? I wyl not so narowly touch that poynt nowe, but I say, that they are bound by right & equitie, to cause it to be deliuered vnto the people in the vulgare tongue, for their edifying and consolation, which the people by Gods grace, should therof gather, that now it is like they want & are destitute of.

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MarginaliaTo the 27. article.
Whether for any cause the scripture may be restrayned from the people.
In the xxvij. where you doo demaunde, whether it be lawful for the rulers, for some cause, vpon their reasonable aduisemēt, to ordeyne that þe Scripture should not be deliuered vnto the people in the vulgare language? al men may here see, that who soeuer deuised these questions, thought not contrary (what soeuer they wyll yet say) but that it is good for the people to haue the Scripture in the vulgare tongue, & that they thought that I so saying could not be well reproued, and therefore are layd out al these additions, as it were to snare and trappe me in: whether the heades be bound, and that by necessitie of saluation, to deliuer it to the people: and whether for oportunitie of tyme, they may ordeyne to restrayne it for some cause, and by some reasonable aduisement of them taken. Sed frustra iacitur rete ante oculos pennatorum: MarginaliaProuerb. 1. But without cause you spreade the nette before the eyes of the byrdes or foules. I shewe you playnely, that notwithstanding al these thynges, in myne opinion, it was not well done to inhibite it, and woorse, that the Bishoppes haue not sith amended it, if so be they could, that the people might haue it to vse and occupie vertuously.

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And here I will adde one reason. The Scripture is the spirituall foode and sustenaunce of mans soule. This is shewed to be true in many places of Scripture: like as other corporal meate is the foode of the body. MarginaliaA perfect reason why scripture ought not to be withdrawen from the people at any tyme. Then if he be an vnkinde father that kepeth bodyly meate awaye the space of a weeke or a moneth frō his children, it should seme that our bishops be no gentle pastors or fathers, that keepe away the foode of mens soules frō them (specially when other do offer the same) both monethes, yeres, & ages. Neyther do I see any oportunitie of tyme, or reasonable aduisement, that should cause it to be withdrawen & taken away, but the contrary rather: for it is reason cōuenient & needful for men to eate their meate euer whē they are right hūgry, & blessed are they that hūger & thirst after the word of god, which teacheth to knowe hym, and to do his pleasure at all tymes: for that do we craue euery day in our Pater noster saying: Geue vs Lord our heauenly bread. MarginaliaMath. 5.

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MarginaliaTo the. 28. article. In the. xxviij. where you do aske, whether I beleeue that consecrations, halowings, & blessings vsed in þe church are to be praysed? MarginaliaHalowinges and blessings, some alowed, some not. I say that I know not of al, & therfore I wyl not disprayse thē, neither can I therfore ouer much speake of them al, seeyng I know them not: such as are the halowing of belles, the halowing of pilgrimes, when they should goe to Rome, the halowing of beades, and such like. But those whiche I am aduised of and do remember, be in myne opinion, good: such as is this. MarginaliaHalowing of bread. When the prieste hath consecrated holy bread, he saith: Lord blesse this creature of bread, as you dyd blesse the fiue loaues in desart, that all persons tasting thereof, may receiue health. &c. whiche I would euery man might say in English, when he should go to meate, I like it so wel.

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MarginaliaBlessing of hym [illegible text] the Gospell. Also this is a right good one, that is said ouer him that shal read the Gospel: The Lord be in your hart & in your mynd and mouth, to pronounce and shewe forth his blessed Gospel. Which is also spoken ouer a preacher taking benediction, when he shal go into a pulpite. Al such good thinges I like very wel, and thinke them commendable, wyshing therfore that al people might know what thei meane, that they with reioyce of hart might pray ioyfully with vs, and delight in al goodnes: which should be, if they were vttered in english, accordyng to the mynd of s. Paul. 1. Cor. 9. where he wisheth, rather to speake fiue woordes in the Church hartily with vnderstanding, whereby other might haue instruction, then tenne thousand wordes in a tongue vnknowen. Marginalia1. Cor. 2. Yea to say truth, and truth it is in deede, that I shall say: a good thing, the further and the more largely or apertly it is knowen, the further the vertue thereof spreadeth, and rooteth in mens hartes and remembraunce. God send therfore the blynde to see, and the ignoraunt to haue knowledge of al good thinges.

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Thus I conclude, that consecrations, halowinges, and blessinges vsed in the Churche (so farre foorth as I remember and knowe) be commendable. Of other I can geue no sentence, wishing euen as I trust men shall once see it come to passe, that al good thinges may be song and spoken in our vulgare tongue.

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MarginaliaTo the 29. article.
Lawes and obseruaunces of the pope whether they bynde to deadly sinne
In the. xxix. where you do aske, whether I beleue that the Pope may make lawes and statutes to bynde all Christen men to the obseruaunce of the same, vnder the payne of deadly sinne, so that such lawes and statutes be not contrary to the law of God? I say, that if it be true that is written in the Decrees, that is to wyt: Lawes be neuer confirmed vntyl they be approued by common maners of them that shal vse them: then can not the Popes lawes bynd al Christen men: MarginaliaThe Popes not receiued of all men. for the Greekes, and the Bohemes wyl (as you do knowe ful wel) neuer admit them, but do refuse thē vtterly, so that I do not finde, that his lawes may bynd al Christen men.

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MarginaliaThe pope hath no power to make lawes binding vnder deadly sinne, more then hath the king or Emperour. Finally, I can not see, that he hath authoritie to make lawes, binding men to the obseruaunce of them vnder payn of deadly sinne, more then hath the kyng or the Emperour: and to say soth, I say (as I haue said afore) I thinke veryly that the Churche was more ful of vertue before the Decrees or Decretals were made (which is not very long ago, but in the tyme of Constantine, MarginaliaDist. 15. cap. Canones generalium. if it be true that is reported in the Decrees Dist. 15. cap. Canones generalium,) then it hath bene sith: God repayre it, and restore it agayne to the auncient puritie and perfection.

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MarginaliaTo the 30. article. In the. xxx. where you do aske, whether I beleue that the Pope and other prelates and their deputies in spiritual thynges, haue power to excommunicate Priestes, and laye people that are inobedient and sturdy, from entring into the Church, and to suspend or let them from ministration of the Sacramentes of the same? MarginaliaThe power of the Pope and prelates to excommunicate. I thinke, that the Pope and other prelates haue power to excommunicate both priestes and lay men, such as be rebellious against the ordinaunce of God, and disobedient to his lawe, for such are sundred from God, afore the prelates do geue sentence, by reason of their sinne and contumacie, according as it is said in Esay by almighty God: Your sinnes (quoth he) do make diuision betwixt you and me. MarginaliaEsa. 59. And the Prelates by right iudgement, should pronounce of sinners as they do finde them, and that is, to pronounce such to be excommunicate of God, and vnworthy to minister any Sacramentes, or to be conuersant with Christen folke, that wyll not amende. For thus biddeth Paul. 1. Corinth. 5. If any amongest you called a brother shalbe an whooremonger, or a couetous person, or a worshipper of Images or Idolles, or a rayler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, see that with such you eat no meate. Such ought to be put out of the Churche, and not be suffered to come within it. Marginalia1. Cor. 5.

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MarginaliaA doubte whether prelates haue any such power to exclude any from the church I am not certaine that prelates haue any such power, And though they had, I doubt whether charitie should permit them to shewe it foorth and execute it, without singular discretion. For in Churches ought the word of God to be declared and preached, through the whiche the sturdy commyng thyther and hearing it, might soone be smitten with compunction and repentaunce, and thervpon come to amendement. This confirmeth well a lawe made in the Councel of Carthage, which is this. MarginaliaDistin. 1. de consecra. A Bishop ought to prohibite no person to come into the Churche, and to heare the word of God, whether he be Gentile or Iewe, or heretike, vntyl the masse tyme of them that are called Catechumini de Conse. distinct. 1. MarginaliaDist. 1. de consecr.

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MarginaliaBishops deputies not behoueable. Moreouer, where you speake of Prelates Deputies, I thinke such be but litle behouable to Christes flocke. It were necessarye and right, that as the Prelates them selues wil haue the reuenewes, tythes, & oblations of their benefices, they them selues shoulde labour and teache diligently the worde of God therfore, and not to shift the labor from one vnto an other, tyll all be leaft (pitie it is) vndone. Such doth S. Iohn cal, Fures & latrones: Theeues and murtherers, although they make neuer so goodly a worldly shewe outwarde, and beare a stout port.

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This I saye, that the Pope and other Prelates, haue power to excommunicate rebelles agaynst Gods ordinance, and to suspend them frō receauyng or ministring the sacra-

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