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12 [934]

To the Persecutors of Gods truth, commonlye called Papistes, an other preface of the Author.

IF anye other had had the doyng and handelynge of thys so tragical an history, and had sene the madde rage of thys your furious cruelty, in spyllyng the bloud of suche an innumerable sort of Christes holy Sayntes and seruauntes, as in the volume of thys hystorye maye appeare by you (O ye Papistes, geue me leaue by that name to call you) I know what he would haue done therein, what vehemency of wryting, what sharpnes of speche and woordes, what roughnes of style in termyng and callyng you he would haue vsed, what exclamations he would haue made agaynst you, howe lytle he would haue spared you: So I lykewyse, if I had bene dysposed to followe the order and example of their doyng, what I myghte haue done herein, let your own cōiectures geue you to vnderstand, by that which you haue deserued. And if you thinke you haue not deserued so to be entreated as I haue said, & worse then I haue done: then se and behold I beseche you here in this story the pityfull slaughter of your butchery. Beholde your own handy woorke, consider the nomber almost out of nomber of so many, silly & symple lambes of Christ, whose bloud you haue sought and suckt, whose lyues you haue vexed, whose bodies you haue slayne, racked and tormented, some also you haue cast on dunghils, to be deuoured of Foules and Dogges, wythout mercy, without measure, without al sense of humanity. See I saye and behold here present before your eyes, the heapes of slayne bodies, of so many men and wemen, both old, yonge, chyldren, infantes, new borne, maryed, vnmaryed, wyues, wydowes, maydes, blynde men, lame men, whole men, of all sortes, of al ages, of al degrees. Lordes, Knightes, Gentlemen, Lawyers, Merchauntes, Archbishops, Bishops, Priestes, Ministers, Deacons, Lay men, Artificers, yea whole householdes, and whole kyndredes together, Father, Mother and Daughter, Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, and Chylde. &c. whose woundes yet bleedynge before the face of God, cry vengeaunce. For whom haue you spared? What country coulde scape your handes? See therfore I say, reade, and behold your actes and factes. And when you haue sene, then iudge what you haue deserued. And if ye fynde that I haue tempered my selfe with much more moderation for myne own part (but that I haue in some places inserted certayne of other mens workes) then eyther the cause of the Martyrs, or your iniquitye hathe required: then accept my good wyll in the Lord, whych here I thought to signify vnto you in the begynning of thys preface, not to flatter or seeke for your acceptation (which I care not greatly for) but onely as tendering the conuersion of your soules, if perhaps I may do you any good. Wherfore as one that wysheth wel vnto you in the Lord, I exhort you, that with pacience you wyl reade and peruse the history of these your own actes and doinges, being no more ashamed to reade them now, then you were then to do them, to thentent that when you shal now the better reuise what your doings haue ben, the more you may blush & detest the same. Peter preaching to the Iewes & Phariseis, after they had crucified Christe, cryed to them: Delictorum pœnitentiam agite, and turned three thousand at one sermon. So the sayd Peter sayth and writeth styl to you, and we with Peter exhort you: Repent you mischiefes, bee confounded in your doynges, and come at length to some confession of your myserable iniquitye. Fyrst, you see now your doinges so wicked can not be hid, your cruelty is come to light, your murthers be euident, your prety practises, your subtyle fleightes, your secrete conspiracies, your fylthy liues are sene, and stincke before the face both of God and man. Yea, what haue you euer done so in secrete and in corners, but the Lorde hath founde it out, and brought it to lyght? You holde, maintayne, and defend that Ministers ought and may lyue sole without matrimony: what filthynes and murthering of infantes followed therupon, your eare confessions can saye somthing, but God knoweth more. And yet the world knoweth so much, that I nede not here to stand vpon any particular examples of Cardinals, Doctors, and others, taken in manifest whoredome at Londō, at Oxford, at Cambridge, at Chester, and other places mo.

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But to passe ouer thys styncking Camerine of your vnmaidenly lyues, I returne againe to your murthers and slaughters, whych you maye here in this volume not onely see, but also nomber them if you please. God so hath displayed and detected them, that now al the worlde may rede them. As I haue sayde, God I assure you hath detected them. Who hath so marueilously wrought such helpe and successe in settyng foorth the same, that I dare assure you it is not without the wyll of hym, that these your murthers should be opened and come to lyght. And what if they were not opened, nor made to the world notorious, but secrete onely betwyxt God and your conscience? yet what cause haue you to repent and to be confounded, nowe the worlde also seeth them, hateth and abhorreth you for the same? What wyl you say? what wyl you or can you alledge? Howe wyll you answer to the hygh Iudge to come? Or whether wyl you flee from his iudgement when hee shall come? Thynke you bloude wyl not requyre bloud agayne? Dyd you euer see any murther, whych came not out, and was at length repayed? Let the example of the Frenche Guyse woorke in your Englysh hartes, and marke you wel hys ende. If Christ in hys Gospell, whiche cannot lye, dothe threaten a mylstone to such as doo but hurte the least of hys beleuers, in what a daungerous case stand you, which haue smokte and fyred so many hys woorthye preachers and learned Ministers? And what if the Lord should render to you double agayne, for that whych ye haue done to them? where should you then become? And hath not he promised in his woord so to doo? And thynk you that Iudge doth sleepe, or that hys cōmyng day wyl not come? And how wyll you then be able to stand in hys syght when he shal appeare? Wyth what face shal ye looke vpon the Lord, whose ser-

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