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531 [531]

K. Edw. 3. The Oration of Armachanus against the friers.Actes and Mon. of the church.

all because we would not burden you. &c.

Marginalia4Item, wher we rede in the scripture, the slothful mā reprehended, Proue. 6. Why sleepest thou O sluggard, thy pouerty and beggery is comming vpon thee like an armed man. &c. And agayne in the same booke of Prouerbs. The slouthfull man (sayth the scripture) for colde would not go to the plough: therefore hee shall begge in sommer, and no man shall geue hym. &c. Also in the said booke of Prouerb. last chap. The diligent laboryng woman is commended, whose fingers are exercised about the rocke and spindle. And all these places make against the wylfull beggyng of sturdy Friers.

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The rule of frier Fraunces.
Item, friar Frances their own founder in hys own testament sayth: And I haue laboured wyth myne own handes, and will labour, and wil that all my fryerlings shall labour and lyue of their labour, wherby they may support themselues in an honest meane. And they that can not worke, let them learne to worke, not for any couetousnes to receaue for their labour, but for exāple of good workes, and to auoide idlenes. And when the price of their labour is not geuē them, let them resorte to the Lordes table, & aske theyr almes from doore to doore. &c. Thus much in his testament. And in hys rule he sayth: Such brethren to whom the Lord hath geuen the gift to labour, let them labour faythfullye and deuoutlye. &c. Wherfore it is to be marueyled, howe these friars with their wylful begging, dare trāsgresse the rule & obediēce of friar Francis their great graundfathers testamēt.

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Marginalia6Item, if Christ at anye tyme dyd beg or dyd lacke, it was more because he woulde vse a miracle in his owne person, then because he would beg wylfully: as when he sent Peter to the sea to fynde a groat in þe fishes mouth. Whych thyng yet he thought rather to doo, then to beg the groat of the people, which he might soone haue obtayned.

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Marginalia7Item, by diuers other hys examples hee seemeth to teache the same, as where he sayth: The woorkeman is worthy of hys hier. Also, the workeman is worthy of his meate. Math. x. Luke. x. And when he spake to Zachee, that he would turne into hys house. And so lykewyse in Bethanie & all other places he euer vsed rather to burden hys frendes then to beg of other, vnaquaynted.

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Marginalia8Item, with playne precept thus he sendeth forth hys disciples, wyllyng them not to go from house to house, Luke. x. so as Friers vse now to go. Manye other scriptures there be, which reproue beggyng: as where it is sayde, The foote of a foole is swyft to the house of hys neyghbour. Eccle. 29. And in an other place: My chylde sayth he, see thou want not in the tyme of thy life, for better it is to dye, then to lacke. Ecclesiast. 21.

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Marginalia9Item, where Christ counsaylyng the yong man, bad him go and sell that he had and geue to the poore, and folow him if he would be perfect: doth not there cal him to wylfull beggyng, but calleth hym, to followe hym, whych dyd not beg wylfully.

MarginaliaThe seuenth conclusion of Armachanus against the friersThe seuenth conclusion of Armachanus is: that no wyse nor true holy man can take vpon hym wylfull pouerty to be obserued alwayes, which he proued by. iiij. reasons.

Marginalia1First, that wyfull beggerye was reproued both by the doctrine of Christ and of the Apostles, as in the conclusion before hath bene declared.

Wilfull beggery not to be promised.
Item, a man in takyng vpon hym wylfull beggery, in so doyng shoulde leade hym selfe into temptation, which were agaynst the Lordes prayer. For as muche as Salomon Prouerb. 30. sayth: O Lord, beggerye and great riches geue me not, but onely sufficiencye to lyue vpon: least if I haue to much, I be driuen to deny thee, and say: who is the Lorde. Agayne, if I haue to litle, I be forced thereby to steale, and to periure the name of my God. Wherfore sayth Ecclesiast. 27. For nede many haue offended. And therefore they that chuse wylfullpouerty, taketh to hym great occasion of temptation.

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Marginalia3Item, they that take wyllfull pouertye vpon them when they neede not, induce them selues voluntarely to breake the commaundement of God: Thou shalt not couet thy neighbours house. &c. Againe, where it is commaunded, there shalbe no beggar among you. &c.

Marginalia4Item, he that taketh vpon hym nedeles & wylfully to beg, maketh hymselfe vnapt to receaue holy orders, hauyng (as is sayd) no sufficient title thereunto, according to the lawes of the church.

MarginaliaThe 8. conclusion of Armachanus against the Friers.The eight conclusion of this matter: That it is not agreyng to the rule of the Friers obseruant, to obserue wilfull beggerie. Which (sayth he) may be proued, for that Frier Francis, both in his rule and in hys Testament beyng left to hys Franciscans, doth playnly preferre labour before beggyng.

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MarginaliaThe 9. conclusion of Armachanus. Touching this booke of this masters of Paris condemned, looke pag. 503.The nynth & last conclusion of this matter is. That the Bull of pope Alexander the iiij. which condemneth þe booke of the masters of Paris, impugneth none of these cōclusiōs premised. For þe profe therof, he thus inferred.

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1. First, that Pope Ihon the xxiiij. in his constitution, beginning thus: Quia quorūdam, MarginaliaEx Clemēt. Quia quorundā.
Pope Nicolas the 3. reuoketh the Bull of pope Alexāder the 4.
affirmeth expresly, how Pope Nicolas the third, reuoked and called backe þe said Bulle of pope Alexander the iiij. and all other wrytyngs of his: touchyng all such articles, which in the same foresayd cōstitution of this pope Ihon be conteyned, & declared. Wherin also is declared how straite the pouertie of the Friers ought to be, which they call wilfull pouertie.

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2. Item, it is manifest and notorious to all men, how þe sayd Pope Nicholas the iij. in hys declaration sheweth, how the Friers both ought to labour with theyr hands, and how moreouer the said Friers ought not to preach within the dioces of any bishop, whersoeuer they be resisted. Which being so, the conclusion appeareth, þt the bul of Pope Alexander the iiij. as touchyng these articles, is voyde and of none effect. Beside the which articles, there is nothyng els in þe said Bulle of Alexander (that I remēber) whiche impugneth any of these cōclusions premised.

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MarginaliaThe ende and conclusion of this Oration of Armachanus before the pope.
Ex defensoria curatorum.
Many thyngs mo (said he) I had beside these, both to obiect & to answere agayne to the same: & to confirme more surely and firmely these my reasons and assertions premised. But I haue already to much weryed your holynes, and your reuerend Lordshyps here present. Wherfore I conclude, and humbly and deuoutly beseche you, accordyng to my former petition premised in the begynnyng of this matter: that you iudge not after the outward face, but iudge ye true iudgement. Ioan. 7. Ex libro Armachani, cui titulus Defensorium Curatorum.

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¶ Notes to be obserued in this former Oration of Armachanus.

MarginaliaNotes to be obserued Cōtrarietie among the popes 

Commentary  *  Close

In these notes, which are entirely his own composition, Foxe's makes it clear why he devoted so much space to Fitzralph and the 'Defensio curatorum': Foxe regarded it as a faithful description of the corruption not only of the mendicant orders but of the entire medieval church.

.BY this Oration of Armachanus the learned prelate, thus made before pope Innocent and hys cardinals: diuers and sondry thynges there be for the vtilitie of the church, worthy to be obserued. First, what troubles and vexations came to the churche of Christ by these Friers. Also what persecution folowed after, by the meanes of them, agaynst so many learned men, and true seruauntes of Christ. Farthermore, what repugnance and contrarietie was among the popes, and how they could not agree among them selues about the Friers. Foruthly, what pestiferous doctrine, subuerting wel neare the Testamēt of Iesus Christ. Fiftly, what decay of ministers in Christes church, as appeareth pag. 507. Sixtly, what robbyng and circumuenting of mens children, as appeareth pag. 507. Seuently, what decaye of vniuersities, as appeareth by Oxford. pag. 507. Eightly, what damage to learnyng, & lacke of bookes to studentes came by these Friers as appeareth pag. 508. Ninthly, to what pride vnder colour of feyned humilitie: to what riches, vnder dissimuled pouertie, they grewe vnto, here is to be seen. In so muche, that at lengthe through their subtile, and most dangerous hypocrisie: they crept vp to be Lordes, Archbishops, Cardinals and at last popes also, chaūcelors of realmes, yea and of most secret counsaile with kynges and quenes, as appeareth pag. 508.

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