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33 [33]

luerit, regna pertingant. Deus te incolumē custodiat reuerēdissi. frater. Dat. 10. kalēd. Iulii imperante Domino nostro Mauritio liberio piissimo Augusto. An. 17.

¶ The same in English.

TO the reuerend and vertuous brother Augustine, his felow bishop, Gregorius the seruant of seruātes of God. Althoughe it be moste certaine, that vnspeakable rewards, of the heauenly king, be laid vp for al such, as labore in the workes of almightie God: yet it shalbe requisit for us, to reward the same also with our benefites, to thend, they may be more incouraged, to go forward in the study of their spirituall worke. And for as muche, now as the new church of English men, is brought to þe grace of almighty God, through his mightie healpe, and your trauaile, therfore we haue graunted to you the vse of the palle, only to be vsed at the solemnitie of your Masse: so that it shalbe lawfull for you, to ordein. 12. bishops, suche as shalbe subiect to your prouince or dition. MarginaliaNote here for the bishop of Lōdon.So that hereafter alwayse the bisshop of the Citie of London, shalbe ordeyned and consecrate by his owne proper sinode, and so to receaue the paull of honor, from the holy & Apostolik seat, wherin I, here (by the permission of God) doo serue. And as touchyng the citie of Yorke, we will send also a bishop thither, whom you shall think mete to ordeyne. So that, yf that citie with other places borderyng therby, shall receaue the worde of God, he shall haue power likewise to ordein. xii. bishops, and shall haue the honor of a Metropolitane: to whō also, yf God spare me lyfe, I entend, by the fauor of God, to send a palle: this prouided, that notwithstanding he shalbe subiect to your brotherly apoyntmente. But after your decease, the same metropolitane, so to be ouer the bishops whō he ordereth, that he be no wise subiect to the metropolitane of London after you. And herafter betwixt these. ii. metropolitanes, of London, and York, let there be had such distinction of honor, that he shall haue the prioritie, whiche shall in time first be ordeined: with cōmen counsell, and affection of hart, let them both go together, disposing, with one accord suche things as be to be doone, for the zeale of Christ. Let them forethink and deliberate together prudētly, and what they deliberat wisely, let them accomplish cōcordly, not gerring, nor swaruing, one from the other. But as for your parte, you shall be indued with autoritie, not only ouer those bishops, that you constitute, and ouer the other, constituted by the bishop of Yorke: but also you to haue all other priestes of whole Britane, subiect to our Lorde Iesus Christe, to thend that through your preaching and holines of lyfe, they may learne bothe to beleue rightly, and to lyue purely, and so in directing their life, both by the rule of trew faith and vertuous maners, they may atteyne, whenGod shall call them, the fruition and kingdome of heauen. God preserue you in health reuerend brother the .x. before the Kalend of Iuly, in the raigne of our soueraine Lorde Mauritius, moste vertuous Emperoure.

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This epistle of Gregory I thought to set forth both in english and laten, because that hearein standeth all the weyght, and substance of this controuersy, to thend that if any suche contention rise againe in the churche, as much hath risē heretofore, by the meanes herby, the truth may better be decised. Firste in this letter the meaning of Gregory seameth to reduce the newe churche of Saxones, or English men, to the order that was in tholde time amōgst the britans, that is, to be vnder. ii. metropolitanes, one of Lōdon, the other of York: for so the church was ordered in that time of the Britanes, as is before declared, not withstanding, he geueth to Augustine this prerogatiue during his life time, to haue autoritie & iurisdiction, not only ouer hys xii. bishops, but vpon all other bishops & priestes in all England. And after his decease, then these ii. metropolitanes, London and Yorke, to ouersee the whole clergy, as in times past, amongste the Britanes. Now some expounde here Londō for Canterbury. But nether the words nor meaning of Augustine, nor the custome of that time can sound so. Some again folowing thexample of Augustine rather then the other of Gregory, think that because the said Augustine sat then at Douer being the head citie of Kent at that time, therfore the metropolitane seat ought now to remaine at Canterbury in Kent stil. But that order how so euer it is grounded, can not be proued by this epistle of Gregorius: For Gregory here naming no other places, but only London and Yorke, ioyneth these. ii. together after the death of Augustine, to constitute bishops, and to ouersee the churche. And that he so meaneth, Lōdon to be equall in authoritie with Yorke, it ap.peareth by. iiii. arguments: First that he wil Lōdon to be consecrat by no bishop but of his owne Synode. Secondly, in that he willeth no distinction of honor to be betwixt London and Yorke, but according only to that as eche of them is elder in time. Thirdly for that he matcheth these ii. together in commen counsell, and with one agrement to cōsent together in doing & disposing suche thinges, as they shal consulte vpon in the zeale of Christ Iesus, and that in such sorte, that one shuld not dissent nor discorde from thother. What meaneth this, but that they shoulde gouerne together, whom he wold not to dissent together? Forthly where he writeth, that þe bishop of Yorke shuld not be subiect to þe bishop of Lōdon: what meaneth this, but that the bishop of London shuld be equiualent with the metropolilitane of York, or rather superiour vnto him?And this I take to be þe simple meaning of this the forsaid epistle of Gregory.

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