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586 [530]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

The king geuing eare more willyngly, then profitably or godly imediatly receiued þe mad counsel of this bishop and by and by sent out a generall commission commaundinge all the nobles and bishoppes of his realme to come wt all spede to London to assist the king againste heretickes and heresies which þe king him selfe would sit in iudgment vpon. These thinges prepared a day was appoynted for Lambert, ther was great preparation and a great assembly of the nobles from all partes of the realme but much greater wonder and expectacion in this so straung a matter. All the seates and places wer full of men round about the scaffold.

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By and by this godlye Martyr of Christe Iohn Lambert was brought from the pryson with a gard of armed men euen as a lambe to fight with many lions, and placed right ouer against wher the kinges royall seat was, so þt now they taried but for the kinges coming to the place. To be short.

MarginaliaLambert brought before the kīg to dispute.At the laste the Kynge hym selfe dyd come as Iudge of that great controuersy enuironed with a great gard, clothed all in white like a lambe, secretly dissimuling the seueryty of iudment.

On his right hande sate the Byshoppes, and byhind them the famous Lawyers clothed all in purple according to the manner, on the left hande sat the Pyers of the realme the iustices and other Nobles in their order, behinde whome there satte the Gentlemenne of the kinges priuye Chamber, and this was the manner and forme of the iudgmente whiche all beit it was terryble inough of it selfe to abash any inocent, yet the king his loke, þt cruel countenance, and his browes bent vnto seueryty, did not a little augment this terror plainly declaring a mindefull of wrath and indignation farre vnworthy such a Prince, especially in such a mater and against so humble and obedient a subiect. And if these be þe manners & facions of our kings and princes, how greatly are we miserable wretches (o most gentle Iesu) bound vnto thy father which hath sent the so meke and gentle a prince vnto vs out of heuē: which albeit that of thy selfe thou dost so excell in power that in respect of the, al other princes are lesse then beggars or thinges of no estimacion, thou doest ioine such clemency with thy power that they al may worthely be ashamed of them selues, which by how much they are inferiour vnto thee in force and strengthe so muche the lesse solace and comforte for the moste parte doo they giue vnto the miserable in necessity. But now to returne againe vnto the story, when as þe king was set in his throne beholding Lambert with a froward countenance, after tourning him selfe vnto his counsellars he called forth doctour Day Byshoppe of Chichester commaundinge him to declarevnto the people the causes of this present plee and iudgment.

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MarginaliaThe oratiō of doctor Day.The whole effect of his oration tended in a manner to this point. That the king in this session would haue all stats, degreis, Bishops and all other, to be admonished of his will and plesure, that no man shuld conceaue so sinister opiniō of him, that now the autority and name of the bishop of Rome is vtterlye abolyshed, he woulde also extinguishe all Religion, or geue libertye vnto heretickes to perturbe and trouble the Churches of Englande wythoute punishment, wherof he is the head, and moreouer that they should not think, that they wer assembled at that present, to make any disputacion vpon the hereticall doctrine, but only for this purpose, that by the industry of him & other Bishoppes the heresies of this man ther present (meaning Lambert) and the heresies of all such lik should be refuted or openly condēpned in the presence of them all. When he had made an ende of his oration the king standing vp vpon his feete leaning vpon a cuishen of white cloth of tissue, turning him self toward Lamberte with his browes bente, as it were threatning some greuous thing vnto him, said these words. ho good felow, what is thy name? Then the humble lambe of christ, humbly kneling downe vpon his knees, said: My name is Iohn Nicolson allthough of many I be called Lambert. what said the kinge, haue you twoo names? I woulde not trust you hauinge twoo names, although you were, my brother: Lambert. O most noble prince, your bishoppes forced me of necessity to chang my name. And after diuers prefaces and much talke had in this maner, the king commaunded him to goo vnto the matter, and to declare his minde and opinion what he thought as touching the sacramēt of the altar. 

Commentary  *  Close

This oration to Henry VIII was dropped from the 1570 edition because Harpsfield had used it to question the validity of the title of Supreme Head of the English Church which had been claimed by Henry and Elizabeth.

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MarginaliaLambertes oration.Then Lambert beginning to speake for him self, gaue god thankes which had so inclined þe hart of the king that he him self would not disdain, to here and vnderstand the controuersies of religiō for it happeneth oftentimes, MarginaliaThe cruelti of Byshops noted.thorowe the cruelty of the bishopes that many good & inocent men in many places are priuily murthered and put to death without the kinges knowledg. But now for so much as that high and eternall kinge of kinges, in whose handes are the hartes of all princes, hath inspired and stirred vp the kinges mind, that he him selfe wilbe present to vnderstand the causes of the subiectes specially whome God of his deuine goodnes hath so aboundantly endewed with so great giftes of iudgement and knowledge, he doothe not mistrust, but that GOD wyll brynge some greate thinge to passe throughe hym, to the settynge forthe of the glorye of hys name.

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