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Wittenberg
 
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Wittenberg

[Wittenberge; Wyttenberge]

Saxony, Germany

Coordinates: 51° 52' 0" N, 12° 39' 0" E

Capital of the duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg; university town

754 [730]

K. Hen. 7. The great learning of Maximilian. Weselus. Rodol. Agricola.

from her horse, fell into an agew, and departed. Other warres many mo, the same Maximilian also achieued, both in France, in Italy, in Hungary and diuers besides.

MarginaliaThe learning of Maximilian cōmended.So happy was þe education of this Emperour in good letters: so expert he was in tongues and sciences, but especially such was his dexteritie and Promptnes in the latin stile, that he imitating the exāple of Iulius Cæsar, MarginaliaMaximilian writer of his owne stories.did write and comprehend in Latine historyes, his owne actes and feates done, and that in such sort, that when he had geuen a certayne tast of his history, to one Pircamerus a learned man, asking his iudgemēt how his warlike stile of Latine did like him, the sayd Pyrcamerus did affirme and reporte of him to Iohn Caron MarginaliaEx Ioā Carione. (the witnes and writer of this story) that he did neuer see nor read anye Germane storye, a thing more exactly (and that in such hast) done as this was of Maimilian. Moreouer, as he was learned himselfe, so was he a singular patrone and aduauncer of learned studentes, MarginaliaMaximilian first ordeiner of the vnyuersitie of Wittenberg.as may well appeare by the erecting and setting vp the vniuersitie of Wittenberge. By this Emperour many in those dayes were excited to the embrasing as wel of other liberall artes, as also namely to the searching out of old antiquities of historyes, whereby diuers were then by him first occasioned in Germany, to set their mindes & to exercise their dilligence, in collecting & explicating matters pertayning to the knowledge of history, as well of ancient as also of latter times, as namely Cuspinianus, Nauclerus, Conradus Peutingerus, Manlius, and other.

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MarginaliaLearned mē begin to grow in Christendome.Here now it began right well to appeare, what great benefite was broched to the world, by the Arte and facultie of Printing, as is before mentioned. 

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Once again Foxe praises printing as an aid to the reform of the Church.This passage may have been inspired by a similar reflection by Peucer (see ChroniconCarionis [Wittenberg, 1580], p. 687) but the list of names of enlightened (and anti-papal) writers appears to have been culled from John Bale's Catalogus.

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Through the meanes of which printing, the church and common wealth of christ began now to be replenished with learned men, as bothe may appeare by this Emperour being so induced himsesfe with such excellent knowledge of good letters, and also by diuers others famous and worthy wittes, whiche began now in this age erceedingly to encrease and multiplye, as Baptista Mantuanus, Ang. Politianus, Hermolaus Barbarus, Picus Mirandula, and Franciscus his cousin, Rodol. Agricola, Pōtanus, Philippus, Beroaldus, Marsilius Ficinus, Volateranus, Georgius Valla, 
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This is a mistake; the celebrated humanist Lorenzo Valla is meant.

with infinite other.

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MarginaliaDoct. Weselus Groningensis.Among whom is also to be numbred Weselus Groningensis, otherwise named Basilius, who was not longe after Ioan de Wesalia aboue recited, 

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See C 174/1.

both muche about one tyme, and both great friendes together. 
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The person whom Foxe refers to as 'Johannes Wesalia' is JohannesRuceruth von Wesel. 'Johannes Weselus' is Johannes of Wesel, better known asWesel Gansforth, a well-known humanist philosopher and theologian. Foxe's account of Wesel Gansforth is entiely - including the anecdotes about him attributed to Noviomagus and Philip Melancthon - derived from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus Testium Veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 561-3.

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This Weselus dyed the yeare of our Lord. 1490. After that Ioannes Doctor De Wesalia aforesayd was condemned this Weselus being familiar with him, thought that the Inquisitour woulde come and examine hym also, as he himselfe in a certaine Epistle doth write. MarginaliaWeselus called Lux Mundi.He was so notable and worthye a man that of the people he was called Lux Mundi. That is: The light of the worlde.

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MarginaliaThe doctrine of Weselus Groningensis.Concerning his doctrine, first he reprehended the opinion of the papistes, as touching repentaunce, which they deuided in three partes, of the which three partes, satisfaction and confession he did disalow. Likewise Purgatorye and supererogation of workes & pardons he did disproue, both at Rome and at Paris. He spake agaynst the popes indulgences, by the occasion whereof diuers of the Popes court, perswaded by hym, began to speake more freely agaynst the same matter, then he himselfe had done.

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The abuses of Masses and praying for the dead he disalowed: and likewise the supremacy of the Pope, he vtterterly reiected (as appeareth in a booke of his De Sacramento pœnitentiæ) MarginaliaEx lib. D. Weseli, De sacramēto penitētiæ. denying vtterly that anye supreme head or gouernour ought to be in the world ouer all other: affirming also & saying many times, þt the pope had no authoritie to do any thingby commaundement but by truth: MarginaliaThe Popes supremacie written against. that is, so farre as trueth goeth with hym, so farre hys sentence to stand: neither þt he ought to preuayle by commaunding but onely by teaching, so as euery true christian Bish. may preuayle ouer an other. Also in some place in his writings he denyeth not, but that popes and their spirituall Prelates, proceeding agaynst Christes doctrine, be playne Antichristes: such as were infirm and not able to perform the bond of chastitie taken vpon them, he sayd they might wel breake their vow.

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Also the sayd Weselus witnesseth, that the forefathers which were before Albert and Thomas, did resiste and wtstand the popes indulgences, calling them in theyr wrytinges playne Idolatry, mere fraude and erroure: adding moreouer that vnles the seueritie of some good Diuines, had not withstand these pardons and indulgences of the Pope: innumerable erroures had ouerflowne the church.

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Amongest these workes of Weselus, there is a certaine Epistle of one written to hym, in which the authour of the Epistle confesseth, that in hys time there was a certayne learned man at Paris called maister Thomas de Curselisa Deane: MarginaliaEx Epist. cuiusdam in opere Weseli. who being in the councell of Basill, wheras diuers began to aduaunce the power of the pope to farre, declared and affirmed, to be sayd to him of Christ: Quicquid ligaueris super terram erit ligatum & in cœlo: &c. Et non, quicquid dixeris esse ligatum. MarginaliaChristes aunswere to Tho. de Corselis touching this place Quicquid ligaueris. Not what so euer is said to be loosed in earth, is loosed in heauen: but whatsoeuer is loosed in very deede in earth, that is also loosed in deede in heauen. That is. What soeuer thou shalt bynde vpon earth shall be bound in heauen, but not, what soeuer thou sayst to be bound. As who should say the pope cannot nor doth not binde therfore, because he so sayth, except truth and righteousnes go also with him: then he doth so bynde in deed. There is a certayne booke of this man amongst diuers others, which he intituleth, De subditis & superioribus, in þe which he disputeth greatly against þe pope & his Prelates: affirming that the pope vnlesse hys faith & doctrine be sound, ought not to be obeyd. He affirmeth also that the pope may erre, and when he erreth, men ought by all manner of meanes to resist him. MarginaliaAgainst riches in the Church.Item, that great & superfluous riches in the clergy do not profite, but hurt þe church. That the pope doth wickedly distribute the rentes of the Church, and the Church it selfe, to vnworthy Ministers by Simony for hys owne profite and gayne, wherby it may appeare that he neyther careth for GOD, nor the health of the Churche. MarginaliaThe preceptes of the Pope & prelates how they binde.Item, that the preceptes and commaundementes of the pope and prelates be no otherwise but as the Councels and preceptes of Phisitions, binding no further then they are founde to be holesome and standing with the trueth of the word. Item, that the Pope can commaunde no man vnder payne of deadly sinne, except God commaund him before MarginaliaThe Popes keyes.He sayth that the keyes of the Pope and of the prelates be not such, wherwith they open the kingdome of heauen, but rather shut it, as the Phariseis did. MarginaliaVowes.Concerning vowes, he disputeth that suche as be foolish and impossible, ought to be brokē: MarginaliaDoctrine not to be receaued without examinatiō.that the hearers ought to discerne and iudge of the doctrine of their Prelates, and not to receiue euery thing that they say, without due examination.

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MarginaliaExcommunication.He sheweth moreouer that the sentence or excommunication is of more force, proceeding from a true godly honest, simple and learned men, then from the Pope, as in þe Councell of Constance, Bernard was more esteemed then Eugenius. Also if the pope with hys prelates, gouern and rule naughtely, that the inferiours, be they neuer so base, ought to resist him.

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Writing moreouer of two Popes, Pius the second and Sixtus the fourth, he sayth, that Pius the second dyd vsurpe vnto hymselfe all the kingdomes of the whole world & that Sixtus the pope did dispense with al maner of othes in causes temporall, not onely with suche othes, as haue bene already, but also with all suche, as shalbe made hereafter: which was nothing els but to geue libertie and licence for men to forsweare themselues and deceiue one an other.

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MarginaliaEx Nouiomago.This Weselus beyng a Phrisian borne, and now aged in yeares, vpon a certayne time, when a yong man called mayster Ioannes Ostendorpius, came to hym, sayd these wordes: MarginaliaA prophesic of Weselus.Well my childe, thou shalt lyue to that day, when thou shalt see the doctrine of these new and contentious diuines, as Thomas and Bonauenture, with others of the same sort, shalbe vtterly reiected and exploded from al true Christen deuines: And thys which Ostendorpius MarginaliaThis Ostendorpius was a man well learned and Canon of the minster of Lubecke. then being young, heard Weselus to speake, he reported himselfe to Nouiomagus, which wrote this story. an. 1520. & heard it of the mouth of the sayd Weselus, an. 1490. Martij. 18.

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Philippus Melanchton writing of the lyfe, of Rodolphus Agricola, MarginaliaHere it appeareth that this R. Agricola was of good iudgement, though the Friers afterward buried him in a Friers weede. sayth: that Iosquinus Groningensis, an auncient and a godly man, reported that when as he was young, he was oftentimes present at the Sermons of Rodolphus and Weselus, MarginaliaRodol. Agricola. Weselus lamenteth the darcknes of the Church wherein they many times lamented the darckenes of the church, and reprehended the abuses of the Masse: and of the single life of priestes. Item, that they disputed oftentimes of the righteousnes of fayth, why S. Paule so oftentimes did inculcate, that men be iustified by faith and not by workes, the same Iosquine also reported, that they did openly reiecte and disproue the opinion of monks, which say that men be iustified by their works. Item, concerning mens traditiōs their opinion was, that all snche were deceiued, whatsoeuer attribued vnto those traditions any opinion of Gods worship, or þt they could not be broken. And thus much for the story of doctour Wesellianus and Wesilus.

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By this it may be seene and noted, how by the grace of God and gift of printing, first came forth learning: 

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Once again, Foxe takes the opportunity to associate the invention ofprinting with the advent of Protestantism.

by learning came light to iudge and discerne the errors of þe pope from the truth of Gods word, as partly by these abouesaid may appeare partly by other that followe after by þe grace of Christ) shall better be seene.

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About the very same tyme and season, when as þe Gospell began thus to braunch & spring in Germanie: the host

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