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578 [554]

K. Henry. 4. Persecution amongest the Bohemians. Ringing of curphew.

the matter, when out of hys countrey into Hungarie, to complaine vnto Sigismonde kyng of Hungarie, and brother to the sayd Winceslaus. But this quarelling Archbyshop, whether before (as the Bohemians say) or after (as Syluius sayeth) that he had spoken with Sigismond: immediatly there (by the iust iudgement of God) died in Hūgary, as the story saith for sorrow. MarginaliaThe Gospel seldom times long quiet.Wherby a little more liberty and quiet was geuen by the Lord vnto hys Gospel, newly beginning to take rote among the Bohemians. Albeit, this tranquility there, did not long continue without trouble and persecution, neither coulde it in those furious daies and raigne of Antichrist. For after this Alexander aforesayde succeeded Pope Iohn 23. MarginaliaPope Iohn 23. Who likewise playing hys parte in this tragedy, bent all his might and maine to disturbe the Bohemians, as more heereafter (Christ willing) shalbe declared in further processe of our history, comming to the yere of our Lord. 1413.

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Thus the poore Christians (as ye see) like to the seely Israelites vnder the tyrāny of Pharao, were infested and oppressed in euery place, but especially heere in England: and þt so much the more here, because that the king not like to Winceslaus, went ful and whole wyth the pope and his prelates against the Gospellers.

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MarginaliaThe pride and glory of the clergie of England in those dayes.By reason wherof, the kingdome of the Pope and hys members here in this realme began to be so strong, þt none durst stirre or once mute agaynst them. The Byshops hauing the king so full on their side, armed moreouer wyth lawes, statutes, punishments, imprisonments, sword, fire and fagot: raigned and ruled as they lifted, as kings and princes wythin thēselues. So strong were they of power, that no humaine force was able to stande against them: so exalted in pride and puft vp in glory, that they thought all things to be subiect to their reuerent maiesties. What so euer they set foorth or decreed, it must of all men be receyued and obeyed.

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And such was their superstitious blindnesse and curious vanitie, that whatsoeuer toy came once in their fantasye: it was straightwayes determined and stablished for a lawe of all men to be obserued, were it neuer so friuolous or superstitious. As wel appeareth by Thomas Arundell Archb. of Cant. and other, who hauing now a litle laisure from slaying and killing the innocēt people, Martyrs and Confessors of the Lord, & hauing nowe brought their enemies (as they thought) vnder feete: began to set vp themselues, and to inuent newe customes, as the guise is of the Popes church, euer to intrude into þe church of God, some ceremony or custome of their owne making, whereby the Churche of Christ hath bene hitherto exceedingly pestred. So likewise this Thom. Arundel, thinking the church yet not sufficiently stuffed with ceremonies and vaine traditions of men: bringeth in a new found gaud, commonly called the tolling of Aues, in honour of our Ladye, wyth certaine Aues to be saide, MarginaliaXl. dayes of pardon geuen by Tho. Arundel Archb.and daies of pardon to be geuen for the same. For the ratification wherof, vnder the pretence of the kings request, he directed his mandate to the Byshop of London, well stuffed wyth woordes of Idolatry, as by the reading thereof may appeare, in forme of termes as followeth.

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A mandate of Tho. Arundel directed to the Bishop of London, to warne men to say certayne prayers at the tolling of the Aues, or ringing of Curphew.

MarginaliaRinging of Curphew.THomas, &c. To the right reuerend our brother, the Lorde Robert by the grace of God bishoppe of London, greeting. &c. While we lift our eyes rounde about vs, and beholde attentiuely with circumspect consideration, how the most high woorde that was in the beginning with God, chose to him an holy and immaculate virgin of the kingly stocke: in whose wombe he tooke true flesh by inspirall inspiration, that the mercifull goodnesse of the sonne of God that was vncreate, might abolish the sentence of condemnation, which all the posterity of mankind that was created, had by sinne incurred. Amongst other labours in the vine of the Lorde of Sabaoth, we song to God our sauiour with great ioy in him: carefully thinking, that though all the people of the Christian religion did extol with voices of praises so worthy a virgin, by whō we receiued the beginnings of our redemptiō, by whom the holy day first shined to vs, which gaue vs hope of saluation. And although all the same people were drawen to reuerēce her, which being a happy virgin, cōceiued the sonne of God, the king of heauen, the redemer and sauiour of all nations, ministring light to the people that were miserably drowned in the darkenesse of death: We truely as the seruaunts of her owne * Marginalia* If this be not blasphemous & derogatory to Christ: let the reader iudge. inheritance, and such as are wrytten of , to be of her peculiar dower, as we are by euery mans confession acknowledged to be: we I say, ought more watchfully then any others, to shewe the endeuours of our deuo-tion in praising her. Who being hetherto mercifull to vs, yea being euen cowardes, would that our power being, as it were spred abroad euery where through all the coastes of the world, shoulde with a victorious arme, feare all foreine nations. That our power being on all sides so defended with the buckler of her protection, did subdue vnto our victorious standards, and made subiect vnto vs, nations both neare at hand and farre off.

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MarginaliaThese men make a Bellona of our Ladie.Likewise our happy estate (all the time that wee haue passed since the beginning of our liues) may be well attributed onely to the helpe of her medicine: to whom also we may worthely ascribe nowe of late in these our times vnder the might gouernment of our most Christian king, our deliuerāce from the rauening wolues, and the mouthes of cruell beasts: MarginaliaFalse helpe sought, and set vp of Idolaters.which had prepared against our bankets, a messe of meat mingled full of gall, and hated vs vniustly, secretly lying in wait for vs, in recompence of the good wil that we shewed to them. Wherfore, that shee being on high sitting before the throne of the heauenly maiestie, the defendresse & patronesse of vs all, being magnified with al mens praises: may more plentifully exhibite to vs the sonnes of adoption the teates of her * Marginalia* The Papists would sucke our Ladies pappes. grace, in all those things that we shall haue to do. At the request of the speciall deuotion of our Lord the king himself, Marginalia* Will you stand to this doctrine yee Catholikes. we commād your brotherhode, straightly enioyning you: that you commaund the subiects of your citie and diocesse, and of al other suffraganes, to worship our Lady Mary the mother of God, and our * Marginalia* Popishe blasphemy fighting against the grace of Christ. patronesse and protectresse, euermore in all aduersity: with such like kinde of prayer and accustomed maner of ringing, as the deuotiō of Christes faithful people is wont to worship her at the ringing of coure le feu. MarginaliaRinging of Curphew. And when before day in the morning ye shall cause them to ring, that with like maner of praier & ringing, she be euery where honored deuoutly by the aforesaid our and your suffraganes and their subiects as wel religious as secular, in your and their monasteries and collegiate churches: That wee so humbly calling vpon the mercy of the heauenly father, the right hande of the heauenly piety, may mercifully come to the helpe the protection & defence of the same our Lord the king, who for the happy remedy of quietnesse, and for our succour from tempestuous flouds, is ready to apply his hands to worke, and his eyes with all his whole desire to watching. We therefore coueting more earnestly to stirre vp the mindes of all faithfull people to so deuout an exercise of God. &c. Wee graunt by these presents, to all and euery man. &c. that shall say the Lordes prayer and the saluation of the Angell fiue times at the morning peale with a deuout mind, totiens quotiens, (how oft so euer) MarginaliaXl. dayes pardon, for 5. Aues.40 dayes of pardon by these presents. Geuen vnder our seale in our manor of Lamheth the 10. day of February, Anno nostræ trans. 9. Ex Regist. Thom. Arundel.

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By this friuolous and barbarous constitution wt many other of like sort heaped into the church by the papists: MarginaliaHeaping vp ceremonies in the church. appeareth the proper nature and cōdition of this catholick generation. Who being thēselues not greatly exercised nor experienced in any serious cogitation of spirituall matter (as semeth) take vpon them to gouern the spiritual church of Christ, wherof in deede they haue no skill or very little. And therefore according to their vnskilfull handling, they lead and rule the church after such outward sights and ceremonies, seemely perhaps to their owne grosse affection: but not agreeing (nay rather cleane contrary) to the ryght nature & condition, of the spiritual house and kingdome of the Lord. And like as in their inuentions they swarue vtterly from the right handling of all spiritual gouernment: so in their maners & forme of life likewise, they do resemble little or no part almost, of such as are and ought to be, true pastors and ministers of the mysticall body of Christ.

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Examples heereof are plenty and plaine, in these Romaine Prelates to be noted: who so well considering the humble state and lowly spirite which ought to be in pastorall leaders of the church, will compare the same wyth the vsuall pompe of these glorious potestates.

MarginaliaThe pompe of the popes Church noted.As for example, what can be more conuenient for a true pastor ecclesiasticall, then humility of hart and spirit, according to the example of the head bishop himselfe? So, what greater shew of arrogācy and pride could there be, then in this: whom I haue oft named before. Th. Arundel, archb. of Cant. who passing by the high streat of London, did not only looke and waite for the ringing of the belles, for a triumph of his comming, but tooke great snuffe and did suspende all suche Churches in London (not onely wyth the steeple and bels, but also with the organes) so many as did not receiue his comming with the noyse of bels: according as out of his own registers may appeare, þe wordes wherof written to his owne Somner, I haue hereto annexed in his owne forme as followeth.

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¶ A Commission directed to the Somner, to suspende certaine churches of London, because they rong not their bels, at the presence of my Lord the Archb. of Canterbury.

THomas by the permission of God, &c. To oure well beloued Thom. Wilton our Somner sworn, health, grace, and blessing.