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468 [444]

K. Richard. 2. The bookes and articles of Wickliffe condemned.

the desire of the glory of þe world, haue gone about oft times to ouerthrow the same. These kyndes of warres and battayles haue bene prefigured to vs before in those carnall warres of the Israelites agaynst the Idolatrous people. For in those spiritual warres the holy catholicke Church, through the vertue & power of fayth, beyng illustrate with the beames of heauenly light, by the prouidence of God, and beyng holpen by the helpe and defence of the Saintes & holy men, hath alwayes continued immaculate, & (the darknes of errours, as her most cruell enemyes beyng put to flight) she hath most gloriously triumphed ouer all. But in these our dayes, the old and vncleane enemy hath raysed vp new cōtentions & strifes, that the elect of this world might be knowen, whose prince and captaine in tyme past was one Iohn Wickleffe a false Christian. Who duryng his lyfe tyme, taught and sowed very obstinatly many articles, contrary and agaynst the Christian Religion, and the Catholike fayth. MarginaliaThe Dialoge & trialoge of I. Wickliffe. And the same Iohn Wickleffe wrote certaine bookes which he called a Dialogue, & a Trialogue, besides many other treatises and workes, the which he both wrote and taught, in the which he wrote the aforesayd, and many other damnable & execrable articles: The which his bookes for the publication and aduauncement of his peruers doctrine, he dyd set forth openly for euery man to read. Wherby, beside many offences, great hurt & damages of soules, hath ensued in diuers regions and countreys, but specially in the kyngdomes of England and Boheme. Agaynst whom, the maisters and Doctours of the Vniuersities of Oxford and Prage, rising vp in the truth and veritie of God, accordyng to the order of the scholes, within a while after did reproue and condemne the sayd Articles.

[Back to Top] MarginaliaThe bones of Wickliffe condemned to be burned.

Moreouer, the most reuerent fathers, the Archbyshops, and Bishops, (for that tyme present) of Cāterbury, Yorke and Prage, Legates of the Apostolike sea, in the kyngdome of England and Boheme, did condemne the bookes of the sayd Wickleffe to be burnt. And the sayd Archbyshop of Prage, commissary of the Apostolicke sea, dyd likewise in this behalfe determine & iudge. And moreouer he did forbyd, that any of those bookes which did remaine vnburned, shoulde not be hereafter any more read. And agayne these things being brought to the knowledge and vnderstandyng of the Apostolicke sea, and the generall Councell: The Bishop of Rome in his last Councell, condemned the sayd bookes, treatisies and volumes, commaundyng them to be openly burned. Most straitly forbiddyng, that any men which should beare the name of Christ, should be so hardy either to keepe, read, or expound any of the sayd bookes or treatises, volumes, or workes, or by any meanes to vse or occupy them: either els to alledge them opēly or priuely, but to their reprofe and infamy. And to the intent that this most daungerous and filthy doctrine should be vtterly wyped away out of the Church, he gaue commaundement through out all places: MarginaliaWordes of autoritie without due probation. that the Ordinaries should diligently enquire and and seeke out by the Apostolicke authoritie and Ecclesiasticall censure 

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I.e. a favourer or supporter, but also a protector or patron.

, for all such bookes, treatises, volumes, and workes. And the same so beyng found, to burne and cōsume them with fire: prouidyng withall, that if there be any such found, which will not obey the same: processe to be made agaynst them, as agaynst the fauourers and maintayners of heresies. And this most holy Synode hath caused the sayd xlv. Articles to be examined and oft tymes perused, by many most reuerend fathers of the Church of Rome, Cardinals, Byshops, Abbots, maisters of Diuinitie and Doctours of both lawes, besides a great number of other notable men: MarginaliaAske my fellow if I be a theefe. the which Articles beyng so examined, it was found (as in truth it was no lesse) that many, yea a great number of thē to be notoriously for hereticall reproued and condemned by the holy fathers: MarginaliaSo we heare you say. other some not to be Catholicke, but erroneous: some full of offence and blasphemy: Certaine of them offensiue vnto godly eares, and many of them to be rashfull and seditious. It is found also, that his bookes do containe many Articles of like effect and qualitie, and that they do induce and bryng into the Church, vnsound and vnwholsome doctrine, MarginaliaVnholsome, because they teach against the pompe of the pope. contrary vnto the faith and ordinaunce of the Church. Wherfore in the name of our Lord Iesu Christ, this sacred Synode, ratifieng and approuyng the sentences and iudgements of the Archbishops & Councell of Rome: do by this their decree and ordinaunce, perpetually for euermore condemne and reproue, MarginaliaSo thought the souldiours perpetually to keepe downe Christ from rising. the sayd Articles and euery one of them, his bookes which he entituled his Dialogue and Trialogue, and all other bookes of the same author, volumes, treatises and workes, by what name so euer they be entituled or called, the which we will here to be sufficiently expressed and named. MarginaliaO merueilous sacred Synode. Also we forbyd the readyng, learnyng, exposition, or alledgyng of any of the sayd bookes, vnto all faythful Christians, out so farreforth as shall tend to the reprofe of the same: MarginaliaRub a geld horse on the backe and he will winse. forbyddyng all and singular Catholicke persons vnder the payne of curse, that from henceforth they be not so hardy openly to preach, teach, or hold, or by any meanes to alledge the sayd Articles or any of them, except (as is aforesayd) that it do tend vnto the reprofe of them: commaundyng all those bookes, treatises, workes, and volumes aforesayd to be openly burned, as it was decreed in the Synode at Rome, as is afore expressed. MarginaliaAt Rome, &c. neither barrell better hering. For the execution wherof duely to be obserued and done, the sayd sacred Synode doth straitly charge and commaund the ordinaries of the places, diligently to attend and looke vnto the matter, MarginaliaThough the sepulchre be watched Christ will rise. accordyng as it appertaineth vnto euery mans duty, by the Canonicall lawes and ordinaunces.

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What were these Articles here condemned by this Councell, collected out of all his workes, and exhibited to the sayd Councell, to the number of xlv. The copy of them foloweth vnder written.

¶ Certaine other articles gathered out of Wickleffes bookes by his aduersaries, to the number of xlv. exhibited vp to the Councell of Constance, after his death, and in the same Councell condemned 
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This list of articles is taken from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos 140v-148r. This list is printed accurately in Rerum, pp. 25-7, except that Foxe dropped the Council's commentary on each article, and he garbled the final article beyond recognition. But beginning with 1563 edition, Foxe felt free to omit or modify certain articles.

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MarginaliaOther articles of Wickliffe to the number of 45. condemned by the councell of Const. BEsides the xxiiij. Articles aboue mentioned, there were other also gathered out of his bookes, to the number of xlv. in all, which his malicious aduersaries peruersly collectyng, and maliciously expoundyng, did exhibite vp to the Councell of Constance: Which to repete all, though it be not here needefull 
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Caveat lector, this phrase is a warning that Foxe is not reproducing all of these articles.

, yet to recite certaine of them as they stand in that Councell, it shall not be superfluous.

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25. All such as be hyred for temporall liuyng to pray for other, offend and sinne in simonie.

26. The prayer of the reprobate pre. Hallowyng of Churches, confirmation of children, the Sacrament of orders, be reserued to the Pope and byshops onely for the respect of temporall lucre 

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In every edition of the Acts and Monuments, Foxe omitted an article following this one, which condemned the doctrine, supposedly held by Wiclif, that all things happen from necessity (i.e. and not by God's will); cf. Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fo. 144r and Rerum, p. 26.

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28. Graduations, and Doctorshyps in Vniuersities and Colledges as they be vsed, cōduce nothyng to the Church.

29. The excommunication of the Pope and his Prelates, is not to be feared, because it is the censure of Antichrist.

30. Such as found and build Monasteries, do offend and sinne, and all such as enter into the same, be members of the deuill.

31. To enrich the Clergy, is agaynst the rule of Christ.

32. Siluester the Pope, and Constantine the Emperour were deceaued in geuyng and takyng possessions into the Church.

33. A Deacon or Priest may preach the word of God with out the authoritie of the Apostolicke sea 

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Foxe omits the key words here 'vel episcopi autoritate' [or by the authority of a bishop]; cf. Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculis rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fo. 147r and Rerum, p. 27. The reason for this alteration was that, in the Church of England, preachers needed to secure licenses from the bishops to preach.

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34. Such as enter into order, or religion monasticall, are therby vnable to keepe Gods commaundementes, and also to attaine to the kyngdome of heauen except they returne from the same.

35. The Pope with all his Clergy, hauyng those great possessions as they haue, be heretiques in so hauyng, and the secular powers in so sufferyng them do not well.

36. The Church of Rome is the Synagoge of Sathan. neither is the Pope immediatly the vicare of Christ, nor of the Apostles.

37. The Decretals of the Pope be Apochripha and seduce from the fayth of Christ, and the Clergy that study them, be fooles.

38. The Emperour and secular Lordes be seduced, which so enrich the Church with such ample possessions.

39. It is not necessary to saluation to beleue the Church of Rome to be supreme head ouer all Churches.

40. It is but folly to beleue the Popes pardons.

41. All othes which be made for any cōtract or ciuill bargaine betwixt man and man, be vnlawfull.

42. Benedict, Fraūces,.Dominicke, Bern. with all such as haue bene patrones of priuate religion, except they haut repented, with such also as haue entred in to the same: be in a damnable state, and so from the Pope to the lowest Noues they be all together heretickes 

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The article following this one read, according to Gratius. 'Omnes religiones indifferentur introductae sunt diabolo' [All religions, without distinction, were invented by the devil]; cf. Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fo. 148r). In the Rerum (p. 27), Foxe changed this to the meaningless 'Omnes religiones privatae, indifferentur, introductae non sunt Christo' [All private religions, without distinction, were not invented by Christ]. In the Acts and Monuments, Foxe simply dropped the offending article entirely.

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Besides these Articles to the number of xlv. condemned (as is sayd) by the Councell of Constance: Other articles also I finde diuersly collected or rather wrasted out of the bookes and writynges of Wickleffe: MarginaliaW. Wodford, Tho. Waldē, Tyssington writers against I. Wickliffe some by William Wodford, some by Walden, by Frier Tyssington and other, whom they in their bookes haue impugned rather then cōfuted. In the number of whom, William Wodford especially findeth out these Articles, and writeth agaynst the same, to the number of xviij. as here vnder follow 

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Woodford's articles against Wiclif come from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculis rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fo. 95v. These are reprinted in the 1570 and subsequent editions, with no significant alterations to the original.


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