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517 [517]

experte in the articles of their faithe, of the whiche it is to be feared a great nomber ar ignoraunt: suerly I haue harde many saye that they neuer hard speake of þe resurrection of the body, and beyng certified thereof, became much more apte and ready vnto goodnes, and more fearefull to doo euill.

To the fyfttenth article he sayeth: He wold wyshe that the holy fathers would determine that þe gospels & epistles should be read in English, for I would saieth Paule rather haue. v. wordes &c. That the church might be edified, &c. And Chrisostome exhorteth his hearers to looke vpon bookes that they might the better committe vnto memory those thinges which they had hard, MarginaliaS. Iohns gospel translated into English by Bede.& saint Bede did translate saint Iohnnes gospell into English.

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Touching the. xviii. article for the translatiō of the scripture into English 

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Translations of the Bible into English had been illegal ever since the Wycliffite heresies of the late fourteenth century. See 5 Ric. II, st. 2, c. 5 (1382); 2 Hen. IV, c. 15 (1401); 2 Hen. V., st. 1, c. 7 (1414), and also the 1408 Constitutions of Archbishop Thomas Arundel, printed in William Lyndwood, Provinciale, (seu Constitvtiones Angliae) (Oxford, 1679; rpt. 1968), p. 286. The call of the humanists, including Erasmus, to return ad fontes, and to understand sacred scripture as it had been written, was highly controversial in the late 1520s. Susan Wabuda, 'The Woman with the Rock: the Controversy on Women and Bible Reading', in Belief and Practice in Reformation England: A Tribute to Patrick Collinson from His Students, eds. Susan Wabuda and Caroline Litzenberger (Aldershot, 1998), pp. 40-59.

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, concerning the whole, he doth partly doubt, notwithstanding he desired that the gospells and epistles of the day should be readin englishe, that the people. might be made the more apt to here sermones but here some will say, ther might also be danger for error: wherunto he aunswered. But good and vigilant pastores might easily helpe that matter, by adding the plain interpretatiō of the fathers in the margents in English, vpon the darke and obscure places, which would put away all doubtes. O how greate profitte of soules, should the vigilant pastores get herby, which contrarywyse through ther slouthfullnes bryng great ruine and decay.

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To the. xxv. article as touching pardonnes, he sayeth. That as they be vsed and haue to long, bene, it were better that they should be restrained, then that they shuld be any longer vsed as they haue bene to the iniury of Christs passion.

Touching the. xxvi. article, he saieth that it is not against the doctrine of christ and his Apostles to contende in the law, so it be done with charity, if Saint Austin and the reuerēt father Marcus Marulus did not erre, which graunted that liberty to the weake christians Albeit that all trewe christians ought to giue eare vnto Saint Paules saieng, why doo ye not rather suffer iniury? And christ him selfe which saieth: He that will contend with the in the law and take away thy coate, giue him thy cloke also.

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Touching the. xxviii. he aunswereth, that god is the autor of the punishmente only, but not of þe offēce, as Basilius Magnus teacheth in his sermon vpon these wordes of the Prophet. Non est malum in ciuitate, quod non fecit dominus. And S. Augustine in another place as I remember prayeth: That he be not led into þe temptatiō, that he shuld beleue god to be the Autor of sinne and wickednes.

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And for so much as mention is made of. v. letters or Epistles, which the Bishop of Londō deliuered vnto the registers befor his face, 

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The actual number of letters that passed between Thomas Bilney and Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall is confused. What is clear is that Tunstall carefully saved Bilney's letters, and used them here in examining him in 1527.

we haue thought good here to showe you such of them as came vnto our hands, the tenor wherof here enseweth both in lattin and English.

Reuerendo in Christo patri D. Lond. Episcopo T. Bilneus salutem in Christo cum omni subiectione tanto presuli debita. 
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Bilney's attempt to persuade Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall to favour him may be compared with William Tyndale's efforts to gain Tunstall's patronage in the early 1520s.

HOc nomine pater in Christo obseruande, longe beatiorem me puto, quod ad tuæ paternitatis examinationem vocari me contigit. Ea enim eruditione es, ea vitæ integritate quod omnes fatentur, vt ipsemet non possis alioqui diuinarum in te dotium estimator non admodum magnificus, quoties tibi succurrit, quanta tibi gratis fecerit deus, in illius laudes non erumpere, ac tecum in corde tacitus exclamare, fecit mihi magna qui potens est, & sanctum nomen eius. In talem nunc me iudicem incidisse, gratulor, ac deo qui moderatur omnia, gratiam pro virili habeo. Et quanqaum (testis est mihi deus) nullius in omnibus meis cōcionibus erroris mihi conscius sum, nedum hereseos aut factionis (quod calumniantur quidam questus sui quam animarum lucri auidiores) tamen supra modum letor, diuina haud dubie benignitate prouisum esse, vt ob veritatis testimonium, ad Tunstalli tribunal si sterer, quisi quis alius, optime nouit, nunquam defuturos Iamnes ac Mambres, qui veritati resistant, nunquam defuturos Elymates, qui conentur subuertere vias domini rectas, denique nunquam defuturos demetrios, pythonissæ, dominos Balaamos, Nicolaitas, Caynos, Ismaeles, qui omnes cum quæ sua sunt, non quæ Iesu Christi auidißime sectentur & querant, qui fieri potest vt Christum sincere ac simpliciter annunciatum perferant. Nam si populus semel in christum pro se passum solide ac pure confidere occeperit, ruent mox in vere fidelium pectoribus, quecunque hactenus pro christo amplexi sunt. Tunc intelligent non hic aut illic Christum esse, sed regnum dei in semetipsis esse, tunc intelligent patrem neque in monte Samarie, neque in Hierosolymis adorandum esse, sed in omni loco in spiritu & veritate. Quod si fit, actum de lucris suis putabunt bestie agri, quorum interest impleri illud Ezechielis 34. dispersæ sunt oues meæ, eo quod non esset pastor, & facte sunt in deuorationem omnium bestiarum agri & disperse sunt. Errauerunt greges mei in cunctis montibus, & in vniuerso colle excelso & super omnem faciem terre, dispersi sunt greges mei & non erat qui requireret, non erat, inquā qui requireret. Imo si quis requirere velit ac in caulas Christi vnitatem dico fidei errabundos reducere, mox insurgunt nomine pastores, sed reuera lupi, qui non aliud de grege, quam, lac, lanam, pellem, querunt, animas cum suas tum gregis permittentes diabolo, insurgunt inquā, ac Demetrij instar exclamant: Hic hereticus vbique suadet auertitq́; multam turbam, dicēs, quod non sunt dij qui manibus fiant. Hi sunt, hi pater colende sunt, qui sub pretextu persequendi Hereticos, ventris sui negotiū agūt,

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