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1022 [1022]

K. Henry. 8. The Popes rayling letter to the Princes, agaynst Luther.
¶ Adrian Pope vi. to the renowmed princes of Germanie, and to the pieres of the Romane Empyre, gretyng, and Apostolicke benediction.

MarginaliaThe example of pope Adrians letter sent to the princes of Germanye.RIght honorable brethren, 

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This is an accurate and complete translation of Adrian VI's letter as it appears in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculum rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 171r-172r. But Foxe undermines the letter - of which Gratius approves - through his sardonic marginal notes, which are not from the Fasciculum.

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and deare children, gretyng and Apostolicke benediction. After that we were first promotes (through Gods diuine prouidence) to the office of the sea Apostolicke, he whiche hath so aduaunced vs, is our witnes, who we, both day and night reuoluyng in our myndes, dyd cogitate nothyng more, then how to satisfye the partes of a good pastour, in attendyng the health and cure of the flocke, MarginaliaIf these pastors care any thyng for þe shepe, it is onely for the wolle.both vniuersally & singularly committed vnto vs: so that there is no one particular sheepe throughe the whole vniuersall flocke, so infected, so sicke, or so farre gone astraye, whō our desire is not to recouer, to seke out, and to reduce into þe Lordes fold agayne. And chiefly, from the first begynnyng of our pastorall function, our care hath alwayes bene, as well by our messengers, as our dayly letters, howe to reclayme the myndes of Christen princes from these intestine warres and dissensions among them selues, to peace and cōcorde, or at least if they would nedes fight, that they would conuert their strength and armour agaynst the common enemyes of our fayth. And to declare this not onely in word, but rather in dede, God doth know with what charges and expenses wee haue burdened our selues, to extende our subsidie and releafe, to the souldiours of Rhodes, for defense of them selues & of þe Christian fayth, agaynst the Turkish tyranne, by whom they were besieged.

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And now, to bend our care from these foreine matters, & to consider our inwarde troubles at home, we heare, to the great grief of our hart, that M. Luther, a new rayser vp of old and damnable heresies: MarginaliaRather a new raser vp of þe olde doctrine of the Patriarches, Prophets, and Apostles.first after the fatherly aduertisementes of the Sea Apostolicke: then after the sentēce also of condemnation awarded agaynst hym, and that by the assent & cōsent of the best learned, and of sondry vniuersities also: and lastly after þe Emperiall decree of our welbeloued sonne Charles, elect Emperour of the Romanes, and catholicke king of Spayne, being diuulged through þe whole nation of Germanie, yet hath neither bene by other restreyned, nor of hym self hath refrayned frō his madnes begon, but dayly more & more forgetting & contemning all Christian charitie and godlynes, ceaseth not to disturbe and replenysh þe world with new bookes fraught full of errours, heresies, contumelies, and seditiō MarginaliaTermes without truth.(whether vpon his own head, or by the helpe of other) and to infecte the countrey of Germanie, and other regions aboute, with hys pestilence, and endeuoreth still to corrupt simple soules, and maners of men, with the poyson of his pestiferous tongue: MarginaliaEuill called good: and good euill.and (whiche is worste of all) hard for hys fautors and supporters not of the vulgare sorte onely, but also diuers personages of nobilitie: in somuch that they haue begon also to inuade the goodes of priestes (whiche perhaps is the chief ground of this styrre begon) contrary to theyr obedience whiche they owe to ecclesiasticall & temporall persons, and now also at last haue growne vnto ciuile warre and dissention among them selues. Whiche thyng how vnfortunatly it falleth out now, at this present season especially, amōgst vs Christiās, you may soone repute with your selues, and consider. For although the Apostle hath tolde vs afore, that heresies must nedes be, that they vvhiche be tryed, may be made manifest. 

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1 Cor. 11:19.

&c. Marginalia1. Cor. 11. yet was there neuer tyme, either so vnconuenient to rayse vp heresies, or so necessarie for the repressyng therof, when any such are raysed, as now. For where as the deuill, the perpetuall enemy of mankynd, roryng in the shape of a Lyon, 
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This is an allusion to 1 Peter 5:8.

by the power of the Turkes, doth continually inuade the flocke of Christ, how can we thē resiste the violent inuasiōs of hym oppressing vs wtout, so long as we nourish at home þe same deuill, vnder the colour of a wyly Dragon, sowing such heresies, MarginaliaWho soweth these heresies, but he which will not let the Scriptures take place. discords, & seditions amōg our selues? And albeit it were in our power easely to vanquish these foreine aduersaries: yet were that but labor lost, seruing to no profite, to subdue our enemyes without, & at home with heresies & schismes to be diuided.

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We remember, before the tyme of our Papacie, when we were in Spayne, many thinges we heard then of Luther, and of his peruerse doctrine. Whiche rumors and tydynges, although of them selues they were greuous to be heard, yet more greuous they were for this, because they proceded out of that countrey, where we our selfe, after þe fleshe, tooke our first begynnyng: 

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Adrian VI was born in Utrecht, but before becoming pope, he had been bishop of Tortosa and inquisitor for Aragon and Navarre.

but yet this comfort we had, supposyng that either for the iniquitie, or els for the folishnes therof being so manifest, this doctrine would not long hold: reputyng thus with our selfe, that such pestiferours Marginalia* He meaneth the doctrine of Iohn Hus translated into Germaine.* plantes translated frō other countreys into Germanie, would neuer grow vp to any profe in that ground, whiche euer was wont to be a weeder out of all heresies and infidelitie. But now, since this euill tree (whether by Gods iudgement correctyng the synnes of the people, or by the negligence of such as first should haue resisted such begynnynges) hath so enlarged, and spread hys branches so farre: you therfore, both princes, and people of Germanie, must this consider and prouide, lest you, whiche at the first spryngyng vp of this euill, might pereaduenture be excused as no doers thereof: now through this your ouer much sufferaunce, myght be founde vnexcusable, and seme to consent to that whiche you do not resiste.

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Here we omitte, and passe ouer, what enormitie, & more then enormitie, this is, that such a great, & so deuoute a nation, should by one Frier 

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I.e., Luther, who had been an Observant Augustinian.

(who relinquishing þe Catholicke fayth & Christiā Religiō, which he before professed, playeth the apostata, & hath lyed to God) be now seduced frō that way, whiche first Marginalia* Christ and hys Apostles taught vs, that we are saued by fayth onely in the sonne of God: the same doth Luther preache, and the pope denyeth. Holy Martyrs & fathers in the olde tyme ministred the Communion in both kindes to the people, & taught that fayth was necessarye in receauing the Sacrmamentes: the same doth Luther affyrme and the pope denieth. The olde waye of the fathers was this, that they neuer had anye aduocates and mediatours but Christ alone, and that they neuer solde the merites of Christes passion for money. In the same waye doth Luther now walke, wheras the pope hath deuised a newe waye to wealke in for money, with an hundreth other newe deuises, newe sectes, and new ordinaunces, which the olde fathers neuer knewe.* Christ our redemer and his blessed Apostles haue opened vnto vs, whiche so many Martyrs, so many holy fathers, so many great learned men, and also your own forelders and olde auncitours, haue alwayes hetherto walked in: as though onely Luther had all wyt and cunning, as though he onely now first had receaued þe holy ghost (as þe hereticke Montanus vsed to boast of hym selfe) or as though the Churche (frō whiche Christ our sauiour promised hym selfe neuer to depart) hath erred hetherto alwaies in darke shadowes of ignorance and perdition, till now it should be illuminate wt new resplendēt beames of Luther. All which thynges, there is no doubt, but to such as haue iudgement, will seme ridiculous, but yet may be pernicious to simple & ignorant myndes: and to other which being wery of all good order, do gape still for new chaūgse, maye breede matter & occasion of such mischiefes, as partly your selues haue experienced already. And therfore do you not consider (O Princes and people of Germanie) that these be but prefaces & preambles to those euils & mischiefes, whiche Luther with the secte of his Lutherians, do intende and purpose hereafter? Marginalia* The doctrine of Luther hath bene preached in Germanie, aboue these 40. yeres, and yet is there neuer a Prince nor Magistrate, nor Citizen in Germanie, God be praysed, whiche by the doctrine of Luther, is worse by one halfepenye: Wheras by the pope, good reckenyng hath bene made, that Germanie hath bene worse by 3000000. Flroenes by the yeare. Out of the territorye of theBysh. of Mentz, amounteth to the pope, for the Archb. palle 26000. Forenes. In the Councell of Basill it was openly declared that ix. Millions of gold were gathered in the tyme of pope Martyn, and translated to Rome. Pag. 857. Now let the Princes of Germanie consider thys.* Do you not see playnly & perceaue with your eyes, þt this defending of the veritie of þe Gospell, first begon by the Lutherians to be pretended, is now manifest to be but an inuentiō to spoyle your goodes, whiche they haue long intended? Or do you thinke that these sonnes of iniquitie do tende to any other thyng, then vnder the name of libertie, to supplant obedience, and so to open a generall Marginalia* The preaching of Christian libertie of the soule, breaketh no ciuile order touchyng the outward obedience of the bodye: But the pope woulde haue the soules of men in hys bondage, and therfore he can not abyde thys inward libertie of the spirite to be touched, for that were agaynst the popes purse and profite, which were an heresie intolerable.* licence to euery mā to do what hym lysteth? And suppose you, that they will any thyng regarde your cōmaundemētes or esteme Marginalia* Thys is no good consequent: Luther burned the popes styncking decretalls: Ergo he will not sticke also to burne the bokes of the ciuille lawe.* your lawes, whiche so contemptuoslye vilipend 
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I.e., to hold in contempt

þe holy Canons, and Decrees of the fathers, yea and the most holy Coūcels also (to whose authoritie, the Emperours lawes haue alwayes geuen roume and place) and not onely vilipende them, but also with a diabolicall audacitie haue not feared to rente them in peeces, and set them on a light fyre? 
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This is a reference to Luther's publicly burning a papal bull, which rejected his doctrines, together with a copy of the canon law, at Wittenberg on 10 December 1520.

They which refuse to render due obedience to priests, to Bishops, yea to the hie Bishop of all, & which dayly before your own faces make their bouties of church goodes, and of thynges consecrated to God: thinke you þt they will refrayne their sacrilegious handes frō þe spoyle of lay mens goodes? yea þt they will not plucke from you what soeuer they can rappe or reue? 
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I.e., to seize and carry off.

MarginaliaThe persecuting Pagans in the olde tyme dyd obiecte to the olde fathers of the primatiue church, the blasphemies of Thyestes supper, & of the incest of Oedipus: the worshipping also of an Asses head pag. 64. 79. In much like sort doth the pope here lay vnto Luther, riots, rebellions, and all mischiefes he can deuise, not because they be true, but because he would haue the world so to beleue.Finally to conclude, how can you hope, that they wil more spare you, or holde theyr murderyng hādes from your throates, which haue bene so bould to vexe, to kyll, to slay the Lordes annoynted, which are not to be touched? Nay, thinke you not contrary, but this miserable calamitie will at length redounde vpon you, your goodes, your houses, wiues, children, dominions, possessions, and these your temples, whiche you hallow and reuerence, except you prouide some speedye remedy agaynst the same. 
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This is an excellent example of Catholics arguing that Protestantism was socially and politically subversive. (And of course, remember that Adrian is writing to the German princes. Note also Foxe's concern in his marginal notes to refute this charge.)

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Wherefore we exhorte your fraternities, nobilities, and deuotions of all and singulare in the Lorde, and beseche you for Christian charitie, and Religion (for whiche Religion your forefathers ofttymes haue geuen theyr bloud, to vphold and encrease the same) and notwithstanding require you also in vertue of that obedience, which all Chri-

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