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1228 [1227]

K. Hen. 8. The Kinges Oration with Notes.

withall, I render to his goodnesse and my most humble thanks, entendyng with all my wytte and dilgence, to get and acquire to me suche notable vertues and princely qualities, as you haue alleged to be incorporate in my person:

MarginaliaThe kinges thankes to his commons. These thankes for your louing admonition and good [illegible text] first remembred, I eftsoones thanke you againe, because that you considering our great charges (not for our pleasure, but for your defence, not for our gayne, but to our great coste) whiche we haue lately susteyned, as wel in defence of our & your enemies, as for the conqueste of that Fortresse, whiche was to this Realme mose displeasaunt and noysome, and shalbe by Gods grace hereafter, to our nation moste profitable and pleasaunt, haue freely of your owne mynde, graunted to vs a certaine subsidie here in an acte specified which veryly we take in good part, regarding more your kindnes, then the profite thereof, as he that setteth more by your louing hartes, then by your substance. Beside this harty kindnesse, I can not a litle reioyce when I consider the perfecte trust and sure confidence, which you haue put in me, as men hauing vndoubted hope, and vnfayned beliefe in my good doinges, and iust proceedinges for that you, without my desire or request, haue committed to mine order and disposition, all Chauntries, Colleges, Hospitalles, and other places specified in a certaine act, firmely trusting that I wyl order them to the glory of God, and the profite of the common wealth. MarginaliaThe kinges promises for the wel bestowing of Chauntreis and Colledges. Surely, if I contrarye to your expectation, should suffer the Ministers of the Church to decaye, or learnyng (whych is so great a Iewell) to be minished, or poore and miserable people to be vnrelieued, you might say that I being put in so special a trust, as I am in this case, were no trusty frende to you, nor charitable man to myne euen Christen, neither a louer of the publique wealth, nor yet one that feared God, to whom accompt must be rendred of all our doinges. Doubt not I pray you, but your expectation shalbe serued, more godly and goodlye then you will wishe or desire, as hereafter you shall playnely perceiue.

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[illegible text] sithens I finde such kindnes on your parte toward me, [illegible text] and fauour you, affirmyng [illegible text] prince in the worlde more fauoreth his subiectes, then I do you, nor no subiectes or commons more loue and obey their soueraigne lord, then I perceiue you do me, for whose defence my treasure shall not be hidden, nor [illegible text] thy person shall not be vnaduentured. Yet although I with you, and you with me, be in this perfecte loue and concorde, this frendly amitie can not continue except both you my lords Temporal, and you my lords Spiritual, and you my louyng subiectes, study & take paine to amende one thing, whiche is surely amisse, and farre out of order to the which I most hartily require you: which is, that charitie and concorde is not amongest you, but discorde and dissension beareth rule in euery place. Saint Paul saith to the Corinthians, in the. xiij. chap. Charitie is gentle Charitie is not enuious Charitie is not proude, and so forth in the the saide Chapter. Marginalia[illegible text] Beholde then what loue and * charitie is amongest you, when the one calleth the other Hereticke and Anabaptist, and he calleth hym agayne papist Hypocrite, and Pharisee? Be these tokens of charitie amongest you? Are these the signes of fraternall loue between you? No, no, I assure you, that this lacke of charitie amongest your selues, wyll be the hynderaunce and asswagyng of the feruent loue betweene vs, as I saide before, except this wound be salued, and clearely made whole. I must needes iudge the fault and occasion of this discorde, to be partly by negligence of you the fathers and preachers of the spiritualtie. For if I knowe a man whiche lyueth in [illegible text] I must iudge hym a lecherous and a carnall person. If I see a man boast and bragge hym selfe, I can not but deeme hym a proude man. I see and heare dayly, that you of the Clergie preache one against an other, teach one contrary to an other, inueigh one against an other, without charitie or discretion. Marginalia[illegible text] Some be to stiffe in their olde Mumpsimus, other be to busie and curious in their newe Sumpsimus. Thus all men almost be in varietie and discord, and fewe or none preache truely and sincerely the worde of God, accordyng as they ought to doo. Shal I nowe iudge you charitable persons [illegible text] this? No, no: I can not so do. Alas how can the poore soules lyue in concorde, when you preachers sowe amongest them in your Sermons, debate and discorde? Of you they looke for light, and you bring them to darkenesse. Amend these crimes I exhort you, and set forth Gods worde both by true preaching, and good example geuing, or els I whom God hath appointed his vicar, and high minister here, wyll see these diuisions extinct, and these enormities corrected according to my very duetie, or els I am an [illegible text] vntrue officer.

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Although (as I say) the Spiritual men be in some fault, that charitie is not kept amongest you, yet you of the Temporaltie be not cleane and vnspotted of malice and enuie: for you rayle on Bishops, speake sclaunderously of priestes, and rebuke and taunt preachers, both contrary to good order, and Christian fraternitie. If you know surely that a bishop or preacher erreth, or teacheth peruers doctrine, come and declare it to some of our Counsaile or to vs, to whom is committed by God the authoritie to refourme and order such causes and behaueours, & be not iudges your selues, of your owne phantasticall opinions, and vaine expositions, for in such high causes ye may lightly erre. Marginalia* Thys can touch none but onely the papistes, who will needes be both acusers, and also iudges in their owne opinions and causes.

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And although you be permitted to reade holy scritpure, MarginaliaHow are they permitted to read Gods worde, when none is permitted to read it vnder the degree of a gentleman. and to haue the word of God in your mother tounge, you must vnderstand, that it is licenced you so to do, only to informe your own conscience, and to instruct your children & familie, and not to dispute and make scripture a rayling and a taunting stocke against priestes & preachers, as many light persons do. I am very sory to knowe & heare how vnreuerently that most precious iewel the worde of God is disputed, rymed, Marginalia* S. Hierome wisheth the Scriptures not onely to be read of all mē but also to be song of women at their rockes, of plowmen at the plow, of weuers at their loome. &c. * song, & iangled in euery Alehouse & Tauerne, contrary to the true meanyng and doctrine of the same. And yet I am euen as much sorye, that the readers of the same folow it in doing so faintly & coldlye. For of this I am sure, that charity was neuer so faynt amongst you, & vertuous & Marginalia* Godly liuing though it encrease not with the Gospell so much as we wishe: yet the defect thereof is not to be imputed to the Gospel. And yf if we well cōpare time with time, we shal finde by vewing the bookes of the olde warmot questes, of whores & baudes & wicked liuers, x. presented to one now, besides priestes and the common stues. * godly liuing was neuer lesse vsed, nor god hym selfe amongest Christians was neuer lesse reuerenced, honored or serued. Therefore, as I said before, be in charity one with an other, like brother and brother. Loue, dread, & serue God (to the which I as your supreme head and soueraigne Lord exhort and require you) and then I doubt not, but that loue and league that I spake of in the beginnyng, shall neuer be dissolued or broken betwene vs. And as touching the lawes, which be now made and concluded, I exhort you the makers, to be as diligent in puttyng them in execution, as you were in making and furthering the same, or els your labor shall be in vaine, and your cōmon wealth nothing relieued.

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¶ Notes vpon the foresayd exhortation.

MarginaliaThe kinges Oration expended, with notes vpon the same. PRinces which exhort 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe added this criticism of Henry's oration, in effect declaring that reform of the Church should be accomplished even at the price of controversy and discord, as an injunction to Elizabeth and her ministers to proceed with a complete reformation of the English Church.

to concord and charitie, do wel: but Princes which seeke out þe causes of discord, and reforme the same, do much better. The Papist & Protestant, Heretike and Pharisee, the olde Mūpsimus, & the new Sumpsimus, be termes of variance & dissension, and be (I grant) Symptomata, of a sore wound in the cōmon wealth: but he that wyll amend this wound must first begynne to search out the causes, and purge the occasion therof: otherwise to cut the sore outwardly, which inwardly doth fester and rancle styl, it is but vaine.

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The roote & ground of al this greeuaunce riseth hereof: the prelates & clergie of Rome, seeking as it seemeth, altogether after riches, pompe, & honor of this worlde, to mainteyne the same vnder pretence of religion, doo in very deede subuert religion: vnder the title of the Church, they bring into the Church manifest errors, and absurdities intolerable, who pretēding to be fathers of the church, if they transgressed but in maners and lightnes of lyfe, or negligence of gouernment, they might be borne withal for peace and concordes sake, and here modestie, ciuilitie, quietnes, vnitie, and charitie might haue place amongest modest natures. But nowe they obscure the glory of the sonne of God, whiche in no case ought to be suffered: they extinct the light & grace of the Gospell: they clogge mens consciences: they set vp Idolatrie, and mainteyne Idols: they bring in false inuocation: they restrayne lawfull matrimonie, wherby groweth filthy pollution, adulterie, & whoredome in the Church vnspeakable: they corrupt the Sacramentes: they wrast the scripture to worldly purposes: they kyll & persecute Gods people. Briefly, their doctrine is damnable: their lawes be impious: their doings are detestable. And yet after al this, they creepe craftily into the hartes of princes, vnder the title of the church & colour of concord, making kynges & princes beleue, that all be heretickes and schismatikes, whiche wyl not be subiect to their ordinary power.

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Now almighty God, who is a ielous God, & not suffering the glory of his sonne to be defaced, nor his truth to be troden vnder foot, stirreth vp agine the hartes of his people to vnderstand his truth & to defend his cause. Wherupō of these two. partes, as two mighty flints thus smityng together, cōmeth out the sparcle of this diuision, which by no wise can be quenched, but that one part must nedes yeeld & geue ouer. There is no neutralitie, nor mediation of peace,

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nor
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