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454 [454]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

God wyll nedes be reuenged at the last.
¶ How long haue ye the worlde captiued
In sore bondage, of mens tradicions?
Kynges and Emperours ye haue depriued
Lewdly vsurping, their chief possessions.
Muche miserie ye make, in all regions.
Now your fraudes, almost at the latter cast,
Of God sore to be reuenged at the last.
¶ Poore people to oppresse, ye haue no shame
Quaking for feare, of your double tyranny.
Rightfull iustice ye haue put out of frame
Sekyng the lust of your God, the belly.
Therfore I dare you boldely certifie.
Very litle though ye be therof a gast
Yet God wyll be reuenged at the last.

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By these and suche lyke sayinges whiche may be collected innumerable, it may soone be seene what hartes and iudgementes the people had in those dayes of the Romyshe clergy. which thing, no doubt, was of God as a secret prophecie, that shortly religion should be restored: according as it came to passe in this yeare next ensuing, whiche was the yeare of our saluation. 1516. MarginaliaLautentius Valla Picus Mirandula. Erasm9 Ro. M. Luther9In the whiche yeare began D. Martin Luther first to wryte, 

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Martin Luther

Despite his occasional disagreements with Luther over theology, Foxe never lost sight of Luther's historical importance. And while Foxe insisted that there was a True Church before Luther and also that the way for Luther had been prepared by Erasmus and others, Foxe saw Luther's doctrine of justification by faith as a divinely inspired revelation. (The section introducing the life of Luther, describing prophecies of Luther's advent reveal Foxe's commitment to the concept of Luther as a divine agent). Far more than even Wiclif or Hus or Tyndale, Luther was, to Foxe, the most important figure in human history since the apostolic era.

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Unsurprisingly then, Foxe devoted a great deal of space to Luther in every edition of the A&M. In 1563, the account of Luther's life through the Diet of Worms (1521) was taken from Henry Bennet's translation of Philip Melancthon's Historia de vita et actis…Martini Lutheri (cf. A famous and godly history, trans. H. Bennet [London, 1561], STC 1881, sigs. B5v-F8r with 1563, pp. 402-15). Foxe followed this translation closely, often on a word-for-word basis. The difficulty with Melanchthon's account is that it really was two separate histories, one of Luther's background and early life, and one of the Diet of Worms. The crucial years between, including the Liepzig disputation, were not covered in it.

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In the 1570 edition, Foxe filled this gap with two additional sources. The most important of these, at least for the life of Luther, was an expanded version of Caspar Hedio's continuation of the chronicle attributed to Burchard of Ursburg (Caspar Hedio, Paralipomena rerum memorabilium [Basel, 1569]). This expanded edition contained not only Hedio's chronicle, but also his reprinting of Melanchthon's 'Epistola Lipsica disputatione', which supplied a detailed account of the Leipzig disputation. (Foxe's awareness of this text by 1570, is an indication of how closely he followed Continental scholarship. It is also important to note how much of Foxe's account of Luther came, directly or indirectly, from Melanchthon). For background, particularly the political situation, Foxe also relied on Sleidan's Commentaries and he drew slightly on Bale's Catalogus and Caspar Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle. The 1570 account of Luther was unaltered in subsequent editions.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

after that Picus Mirandula, and Laurentius Valla, and last of all Erasmus Roterodamus, had somwhat broken the way before, and had shaken the monks houses. But Luther gaue the stroke, & pluckt down the foundatiō & al by opening one vain, long hid before, wherin lieth the touchstone of all truth and doctrine, as the onely principall origine of our saluatiō. MarginaliaThe article of our free iustification betith down all errors.Which is our fre iustifiyng by our faith only in Christ þe son of god. 
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This is an important statement of Foxe's belief that Erasmus, Valla and others prepared the way for Luther, but also of Foxe's profound appreciation of the seminal importance of justification by faith alone.

The laborious trauayles, and the whole processe, and the constant preachinges of this worthy man, because they are sufficiently and at large in the history of Iohannes Sleidane, I shall not neade to stande thereupon, but onely to runne ouer some briefe touchyng, of his life and acttes, as they are briefly collected by Philippe Melanthon.

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¶ The history declaryng the lyfe and actes of D. Martin Luther.

AFter Martine Luther was growen in yeares, 

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The first sentence, on Luther's life before he attended the University of Erfurt, is based on A famous and godly history, trans. H. Bennet (London, 1561), sigs. B2r-B3r. Foxe's lack of interest in the details of Luther's childhood and his parents (of Melancthon provides a detailed account), is in marked contrast to modern scholars, particularly Eric Erikson.

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who being born at Islebē 
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I.e., Eisleben.

in Saxony. An. 1483. first was sett to the schole, then to the vniuersity of Magdeburg and Erford, 
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All of the material from here down to the accession of Leo X, is drawn from A famous and godly history, trans. H. Bennet (London, 1561), STC 1881, sigs. B5v-C1r.

wher Veselus was than an olde man (as before is mentioned) with whom Luther by like had som conference, as he semeth him selfe to declare, although he expressith not his name, but this declareth, that many times he was confirmed by conference with an old man in the Couent of Augustines at Erford. MarginaliaHe is comforted by an old man.And opening to the said old mā his trembling feares, he learned many things touching faithand also told vs he reasoned with him of that article of the Simbole, which is: I beleue the remission of sinnes. He expressed vnto Luther this article in this sort: We may not generaly beleue only that sinnes are or haue bene remitted to some, as the Deuils beleue, they wer forgeuen Peter or Dauid: MarginaliaFre remission of sins.but þet Gods expresse commaundement is, that euery man should beleue particularly his sinnes are forgeuen. And further he saide, that this interpretation was confirmed by the testimonies of S. Bernard, and he had shewed him the place in the Sermon of the Annunciation, wher it is thus set forth: MarginaliaAn excellēt declaraciō of saint Bernard toching faith.But ade thou that thou beleuest this, that by him thy sinnes are forgeuen the. This is the testimony, that the holy Ghost giueth thee in thy hart, saing: Thy sinnes are forgiuē thee. For this is the opinion of the Apostle, that man is freely iustified by faith.

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Luther said, he was not onely strengthened by these woords: But that he was also instructed of the ful meaning of saint Paule, who repeateth so many times this sentence: We are iustified by fayth. And hauing read the expositiōs of many vpō this place: He then perceiued as well by the purpose of the old mā as by the comfort he receiued in his spirite, the vanity of those interpretacions, which he had besides him. And reading by little and little, with conferring the sayinges and examples of Prophetes and Apostles, and continuall inuocation of God, and excitation of faith by force of prayer, he perceiued that doctrine more euidently.

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MarginaliaThe profite of saint Austines boks.Then he begane to reade Sainte Austines bookes, wher he found many goodly sentēces among other, in the exposition of the Psalmes and in the booke of the Spirite and the Letter, which confirmed this doctrine of faith and consolaciō whiche was illumined in his hart. And yet he laide not a side the Sentenciaries. He could recite by rote worde by word Gabriell and Cameracensis. 

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By 'sententiaries', Foxe is refering to scholastic theologians who wrote commentaries on Peter Lombard's Sentences. Gabriel Biel (c. 1420-95) and Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420) were both strong influences on Luther and both nominalists. Pierre d'Ailly was bishop of Cambrai ('Cameracensis' in Latin).

He red long time the boks of Occam & preferred his subtilty aboue Thomas Aquin, and Scotus. 
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Luther showed a marked preference for nominalist theologians, such as William of Ockham, over realist theologians such as Aquinas and Scotus. The realists insisted on the actual existence of metaphysical universals, the nominalists were denied their existence. Nominalists tended to a certain scepticism about transubstantiation.

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He red also and reuolued Gerson, but aboue al the rest, he read & perused all ouer saint Austens workes, and cōmitted them to perfect memory. And thus he began diligently to study at Erphord, where he continued foure yeares in the couent of Augustines.

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MarginaliaInstitution of the vniuersity at Witteberg.About this time one Staupicius a famous man, 

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Johann von Staupitz (c. 1460-1525) was the vicar-general of the Observant Augustinians (Luther's order) and he was indeed a spiritual mentor to the young Luther. Staupitz emphasized election and justification in his theology. When the dispute over Indulgences first broke out, Staupitz supported Luther and tried to act as a mediator. Later, Staupitz, deplored Luther's extremism although the personal ties between the two men remained close.

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who ministred his helpe to further the erection of an vniuersitie in Wittenberge, endeuoured also to haue Scholes of diuinitie foūded in this newe vniuersitie. MarginaliaStaupicius.When he had cōsidered the spirite and erudition of Luther, he called him from Erphord to place him in Wittenberge, in the yeare. 1508. & of his age. xxvi. There his towardnes apeared in the ordinary

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