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1171 [1170]

K. Hen. 8. An Epistle of Philip Melancton to K. Henry against the vi. Articles.

MarginaliaWhy priestes vowes ought not to stand. But they breake their vowes, will the Byshops say. For (as I said) that vow ought not to stād seyng it is turned to a false worship of God, and is impossible to be kept. Agayne, although it stode in force, yet it should not extend to them which forsake the ministery. Finally, if the Byshops here would haue a care and regarde to mens consciences, they should then ordaine Priestes without any such profession or vow makyng, as appeareth by the old Canons, how that many were admitted to the ministery without professing of any vowe, and the same afterward, when they had maried their wiues, to haue remained in the ministery, MarginaliaDist. 28. cap. Diaconi. as is testified Cap. Diaconi. Distinct. 28.

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Certeinely what here I may complaine, I can not tell. MarginaliaByshops restraine Priestes mariage agaynst all reason and excuse. First, in this Article I can not impute it to ignoraūce that they do. For no man is ignoraūt of the commaundement of God, which saith: Let euery man haue his wife for auoyding of fornication. Agayne, who is so blind but he seeth what a life these vnmaried Priestes do liue? The complaintes of good men are well knowen. The filthynes of the wicked is to to manifest. But peraduēture your Bishops holdyng wt the Sect of the Epicures, do thinke that God is not offended with filthy lustes. Whiche if they so thinke, then do we susteine doubtlesse a hard cause where such must be iudges.

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I am not ignoraunt that this single life is very fitte to set out the glory and brauerie of Bishoppes and Colleges of Priestes, and to mainteine their wealth and poortly state, and this I suppose to be the cause why some do abhorre so much that Priestes should be maried. But O lamentable state of the Church, if lawes should be so forced to serue, not the veritie and the will of GOD, but the priuate gayne and commoditie of men. MarginaliaComplaint of vniust lawes seruing to the luker of men agaynst the glory of God They erre which thinke it lawfull for them to make lawes repugnaunt to þe cōmaundement of God and to the law of nature, so that they be profitable to attaine wealth and riches. And of trouth from my very hart I do mourne and lamēt, right noble Prince, both for your sake and also for the cause of Christs Church. You pretende to impugne and gainestand the tyranny of the Romish Byshop, and truly do call him Antichrist, as in deede he is: and in the meane tyme you defend and maintaine those lawes of that Romishe Antichrist, which be the strength & sinowes of all his power, as priuate Masses, single life of Priests, and other superstitions. You threaten horrible punishmentes to good men and to the members of Christ. you violently oppresse and beare downe the veritie of the Gospell beginnyng to shyne in your Churches. This is not to abolish Antichrist, but to establish him.

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I beseech you therfore for our Lord Iesus Christ, that you file not your conscience in defendyng those Articles which your Byshops haue deuised and set forth touchyng priuate Masses, Auricular confession, vowes, single lyfe of Priestes, and prohibition of the one halfe of the Sacrament. It is no light offence to establish Idolatry, errours, cruelty þe filthy lustes of Antichrist. If þe Romane bishop should now call a Councell, what other Articles chiefly would he deuise and publish vnto the world, but the very same which your Byshops haue here enacted.

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MarginaliaThe subtilty of Sathan in abusing the power of princes to maintayne his kingdōe. Vnderstand and consider I praye you, the subtile traynes and deceites of the deuill, whiche is wont first to set vpon and assayle the chief gouernours. And as he is the enemy of Christ from the begynnyng of the world, so his chief purpose is by all craftie and subtile meanes, to worke contumely agaynst Christ in sparsing abroad wicked opinions and settyng vp Idolatrie: and also in pollutyng mankynd with bloudy murthers and fleshly lustes: to the workyng whereof he abuseth the policies and wittes of hypocrites: also the power and strength of mighty Princes: as stories of all tymes beare witness what great kyngdomes and Empires haue set themselues with all might & maine, agaynst the poore Church of Christ.

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MarginaliaExample of good princes And yet notwithstandyng God hath reserued some good princes at all tymes, out of þe great multitude of such giātes, and hath brought them to his Church, to embrace true doctrine, and to defend his true worshyp: as Abraham taught Abimelech, Ioseph the Egyptian kynges, and after them came Dauid, Iosaphat, Ezechias, Iosias excellyng in true godlynes. Daniell conuerted to the knowledge of God the kynges of Chaldea and Persia. Also Britanny 

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I.e., Brittania or Britain. Constantine was born in England and his mother was believed to be English.

brought forth vnto the world the godly Prince Constantine. In this number I wishe you rather to be, then amongest the enemyes of Christe, defiled with Idolatrie and spotted with the bloud of the godly: of whom GOD will take punishement, as he doth many tymes forewarne, and many examples do teach.

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Yet agayne therefore I pray and beseeche you for our Lord Iesus Christ, that you will correct and mitigate this Decree of the Byshops. In which doing you shall aduaūce the glory of Christ, and prouide as well for the wealth of your owne soule, as the sauegarde of your Churches.

Let the harty desires of so many godly men throughe the whole worlde, moue you, so earnestly wishing that some good kynges would extende their authoritie to the true reformation of the Church of God, to the abolishyng of all Idolatrous worshyp, and the furtheryng of the course of the Gospell. Regarde also and consider I besech you, those godly persons, MarginaliaHe meaneth Shaxton, Latimer, Cromer and others. which are with you in bandes for the Gospels sake, being the true members of Christ.

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And if that cruell Decree be not altered, the Byshops will neuer cease to rage agaynst the Churche of Christe without mercy or pitie. MarginaliaThe deuills instrumentes by whom he worketh. For them the deuill vseth as instrumentes and ministers of his furie and malice agaynst Christ. These he styrreth vp to slay and kill the members of Christ: Whose wicked and cruell procedynges and subtile sophistications, that you will not preferre before our true and most righteous request, all the godly most humbly and hartly do pray and besech you. Which if they shall obteine, no doubt but God shall recompence to you great rewardes for your pietie, and your excellent vertue shalbe renowmed both by penne and voyce of all the godly, whiles the world standeth. For Christ shall iudge all them that shall deserue either well or euill of his Church. And whiles letters shall remaine, the memoriall worthy of such noble desertes, shall neuer dye or be forgotten with the posteritie to come. And seyng we seeke the glory of Christ, and that our Churches are the Churches of Christ, there shall neuer be wantyng such as both shall defend the righteous cause, and magnifie with due commendation such as haue well deserued, & likewise shall condemne the vniust crueltie of the enemies.

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Christ goeth about hungry, thyrstie, naked, prisoned, complainyng of the ragyng fury of the Byshops, and of the wrongfull oppression and crueltie of diuers Kynges and Princes, entreatyng that the members of his body be not rent in peeces, but that true Churches may be defended and his Gospell aduaunced. This request of Christ to heare, to receiue, and to embrace, is the office of a godly kyng, and seruice most acceptable vnto God.

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Intreating a litle before, pag. 1143. col. 1. 

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There is no evidence that Foxe consulted the life of Oda attributed to Osbern, although it is possible. It is also possible (and more likely) that that John Joscelyn informed Foxe of its contents. This life was once a part of BL, Arundel MS 16, which is heavily annotated by John Joscelyn. Unfortunately the life of Oda is now missing. The question is: was the life of Oda still in the volume when Joscelyn consulted it? First Parker informed Foxe about this martyrology, and then, while the 'allegations' against the Six Articles were being printed, Parker sent the original manuscript to Foxe. This is another indication of the close cooperation between Foxe and Parker in the writing of this section.

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of certaine old instrumentes for proufe of Priestes lawfull Mariage in tymes past, I gaue a litle touche of a certaine recorde taken out of an old Martyrologe of the church of Cant. MarginaliaLiuingus Priest, and his wyfe. touching Liuingus a Priest, and his wife, in the tyme of Lanfrancke. Wherein I touched also of certaine landes and houses restored agayne by the sayd Lanfrancke to the Church of S. Andrew. Now for asmuch as the perfect note thereof is more fully come to my handes, and partly consideryng the restoryng of the sayd landes, to be to Christes Church in Canterbury and not S. Andrew in Rochester: and also for that I haue founde some other presidentes approuyng the lawfull Mariage of Priestes, and legitimation of their children, I thought good for the more full satisfying of the reader, to enter the same, as foloweth.

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¶ A Note out of an old Martyrologe of Caunterbury.

MarginaliaEx Archiuis Eccle. Cant. OBijt Gullielmus Rex Anglorum. &c. Hic reddidit Ecclesiæ Christi ōes fere terras. &c. That is: After the death of William kyng of England, the sayd Lanfrancke restored agayne to Christes Church in Cant. all the landes whiche from auncient memory vnto these latter dayes, haue bene taken away from the right of the sayd Church. The names of whiche landes be these: In Kent, Raculfe, Sandwich, Rateburch, Wodetun, the Abbay of Limming, with the landes and customes vnto the same Monastery belongyng, Saltwude, &c. (Stocke and Denentun, because they belōged of old tyme to the Church of S. Andrew, MarginaliaS. Andrewes Church in Rochester. them he restored to the same Church.) In Sutherey, Murtelac MarginaliaLiuingus Priest and maried man. lac, the Abbay of S. Mary in London, with the landes and houses, which Liuingus Priest, and his wife had in London. All these Lanfranke restored agayne for the health of his own soule, freely and without money. &c.

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¶ A note for the legitimation of Priestes children 
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John Ford may have directed Foxe to this reference and may not only have provided Foxe with the eleven charters, but he may also have provided the knowledge of English law displayed at points in this 'allegation'.

, ex termino Michael. Anno. 21. Henry. 7. fo. 39. pag. 2.

MarginaliaM. 21. H. 7. NOte that in the xix. yeare of this kyng in an Assise at Warwicke, before Syr Guye Fairfax, and Syr Iohn Vaulsour, it was founde by Verdite, MarginaliaA Deacon taketh a wyfe, hath issue and dyeth, the issue adiudged not Bastarde. that the father of the tenaunt had taken the order of Deacon, and after maryed a wife, and had issue the tenaunt and dyed, and the tenaunt dyd enter. Vpon whom the pleyntife did enter as next heyre collaterall to the father of the tenaunt. Vpon whom he dyd reenter. &c. and for difficultie the Iustices dyd adiourne the Assise. And it was debated in the Escheker chamber: If the tenaunt shall be a Bastard. &c. And here by aduise it was

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adiudge
KKK.ii.
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