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999 [998]

K. Hen. 8. Articles against Thomas Bilney, and Tho. Arthur with his aunsweres.

pretation of the fathers in the margents, in English, vpon the darke and obscure places, which woulde put awaye all doubtes. O how great profite of soules should the vigilant pastors get hereby, which contrariwise through their slothfulnes, bryng great ruine and decay.

To the. xxv. article, as touching pardons, he said, MarginaliaThe Popes pardons iniurious to Christes passion. that as they be vsed & haue too long ben, it wer better that they should be restrained, thē that they should be any longer vsed as they haue ben, to the iniurie of Christes passion.

Touching the. xxvi. article, he said, that it is not against the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, to MarginaliaHow Christians may goe to the lawe. contende in the Lawe, so it be done with charitie, if Saint Austen, and the reuerēd father Marcus Marulus dyd not erre, which graunted that libertie to the weake Christians: albeit that true Christians ought to giue eare vnto S.Paules, saying: Why doo ye not Marginalia1. Cor. 6. rather suffer iniurie? And to Christ him selfe which saith:He that would cōtend with thee in the law, & take away thy coate, geue hym thy cloke also.

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Touchyng the. xxviij. he answeared, that God is the authour of the punishment onely, but not of the offence, as Basilius magnus teacheth in hs Sermon vppon these wordes of the Prophet: Non est malum in MarginaliaAmos. 3. ciuitate quod non fecit dominus. And S. Augustine in an other place (as I remember) prayeth: That he be not ledde into that temptation, that he shoulde beleue God to be the authour of sinne and wickednes.

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¶ Here ensueth a briefe summarie or collection of certaine depositions, deposed by the seuerall witnesses aforenamed, vpō certeine interrogatories ministred vnto them, for the inquirie of Maister Bilneyes doctrine and preachyng.
MarginaliaDepositiōs agaynst M. Bilney.

FIrst it was deposed, that in his sermō in Christes MarginaliaHeresie in the Popes church to confesse Christ onely to be our mediatour. church in Ipswich, he should preach and say, our saueour Christ is our mediatour betwene vs and the father: what should we neede then to seke to any Saint for remedie? 

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To write that Christ is our only mediator, as Foxe does here, is meant to dismiss the role that any of the saints had in salvation, and most particularly was a criticism of the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Wherfore it is great iniurie to the bloud of Christ, to make suche petitions, and blasphemeth our Saueour.

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That man is so vnperfect of him selfe, that he can in no wise merite by his owne dedes.

Also that þe cōmyng of Christe was long prophecied before, & desired by the Prophetes: but Ioh. Baptist being more thē a prophet, did not onely prophecie, but with his finger shewed hym, saying: Ecce agnus Dei, qui tollit peccata mun MarginaliaIohn. 9. di. Then if this wer the very lambe which Iohn dyd demōstrate, that taketh away the sinnes of the world, what iniurie is it to our saueour Christ, that to be buryed in Saint Frances MarginaliaS. Fraunces cowle remiteth 4. parts of penaunce: What remayneth then for Christ to remitte. cowle 

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For the practice of burying the dead in the cowls of Franciscan friars, see Susan Wabuda, Preaching during the English Reformation (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 108, 122-139.

should remit foure partes of penance, what is then leaft to our saueour Christ, which taketh away the sinnes of the worlde? This I wyll iustifie to be a greate blasphemie to the bloud of Christ.

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MarginaliaAgainst pilgrimage. Also that it was great folly to goe on pilgrimage, and that preachers in tymes past haue bene Antichristes, and now it hath pleased God somwhat to shew forth their falshood and errours.

MarginaliaAgainst blinde miracles.

Also that the myracles done at Walsingham, 

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The famous pilgrimage shrines to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Walsingham in Norfolk (which was established soon after the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century); St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury (Becket was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170), and the shrine to Our Lady of Grace in Ipswich (dating from the 1100s). Willesden also had an important pilgrimage site in its shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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at Canterbury, & there in Ipswich, wer done by the deuil, thorow the sufferance of God, to blynde the poore people: and that the Pope hath not the keyes that Peter had, except he folow Peter in his liuyng.

Moreouer, it was deposed against hym, that he was notoriously suspected as an heretike, and twise pulled out of the pulpit in the dioces of Norwich. 

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The interesting details of these episodes remain obscure.

Also it was deposed against hym, that he should in the parish Church of Willesdon 

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Bilney was accused of preaching at Willesden in the week of Pentecost in 1527.

, exhort the people to put away their gods of syluer and gold, and leaue their offrings vnto thē, for that such things as they offred, haue bene knowen oftentymes afterward to haue ben geuen to whores MarginaliaThe Idolatry of the papistes is a lette to the Iewes and Turkes, why they are not conuerted. of the stewes. Also that Iewes and Sarasens would haue become Christen men long ago, had it not ben for the idolatry of Christen men in offring of candels, waxe, and money to stockes and stones.

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Ouer and besides these cauellyng matters, articuled & deposed against hym, here folowe certaine other articles, wherupō he was detected, gathered out of his sermō, whiche he preached in the parishe Churche of S. Magnus, in Whitson weeke, in the yeare of our Lord. 1527.

¶ Certeine other Articles producted against maister Thomas Bilney.

FIrst he said, pray you only to God, and to no Saints, rehearsing the Letanie, and when he came to Sancta Maria ora pro nobis, he sayd, stay there.

He sayd that Christen men ought to worship God onlye and no Saintes.

He said that Christian people should set vp no lightes before the Images of saintes, for saintes in heauen neede no light, and the Images haue no eyes to see.

He said, as Ezechias destroyed the brasen Serpent that Moses made by the commaundement of God, euen so should kinges and princes now adayes destroye and burne the Images of Saintes set vp in the Churches.

These five hundred yeres there hath ben no good pope, MarginaliaOne fiftie good popes since Christ. nor in al the tyme past, we can find but fiftie, for they haue neither preached, ne lyued wel, or comformably to their dignitie: Wherfore tyl now they haue borne the keyes of Symonie. Against whom, good people, we must preache and teache vnto you. For we can not come to them, it is great pitie, they haue sore sclaundered the bloud of Christ.

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The people hath vsed foolishly of late, pilgrimages, which for them had bene beter to haue bene at home.

Many haue made certaine vowes, which be not possible for them to fulfil and those nothing meritorious.

The preachers before this, haue bene Antichristes and now it hath pleased our Sauiour Christ, to shew their false errours, and to teache an other way and manner of the holy Gospel of Christ, to the comfort of your soules.

MarginaliaThe prophesie of Bilney.

I trust that there shall and wyll come others besides me, whiche shall shewe and preach to you the same fayth and maner of liuyng, that I do shew and preach to you, whiche is the very true Gospel of our Saueour Christe, and the mynd of the holy fathers, wherby you shalbe brought from their errours, wherin you haue bene long seduced: for before this, there haue bene many that haue sclaundered you, and the Gospel of our saueour Christ, of whom spake our Saueour, Math. xviij. Qui scandalizauerit vnum de pusillis istis, qui in me credit. &c.

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These & many other suche like depositions were deposed against hym by the deponentes and witnesses before sworne, which wholy to recite, would be to long & tedious: wherfore these shal suffice at this tyme, being the principall matters, & in maner the effect of all the rest. But nowe, before we wil returne againe to the order of his examination, we thinke it MarginaliaA Dialogue good here to inferre a certaine Dialogue contaynyng a communication betweene a Frier named Iohn Brusierd, 

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Details concerning the identity and career of Friar John Brusierd continue to be sparse. Craig W. D'Alton, 'The Suppression of Lutheran Heretics in England, 1526-1529', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 54 (2003), pp. 228-53.

and Maister Thomas Bilney, whiche we haue thought meete for this place, because it was done in Ipswiche, and also about the tyme of these examinations: the copie wherof we haue, written with the fryers owne hand in Latin, & haue expressed the same in our former edition. Wherfore referring the reader for the Latin copie, vnto the editiō aforesaid, pag. 475. it shal suffice here to expresse the same in English, the copie wherof here ensueth.

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¶ A Dialogue betwene Fryer Iohn Brusierd 
Commentary  *  Close

Details concerning the identity and career of Friar John Brusierd continue to be sparse. Craig W. D'Alton, 'The Suppression of Lutheran Heretics in England, 1526-1529', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 54 (2003), pp. 228-53.

and maister Thomas Bilney, in Ipswich, concernyng worshipping of Images.

MarginaliaA Dialogue betwene Bilney and Frier Brusierd. Brusierd. ALthough you haue blasphemed most perniciously, þe immaculate flocke of Christ, with certaine blasphemies of yours: yet being moued partly with your gentle petitions, partly pitying your case & towardly disposition, I am come hyther to talke with you secretly, before the rumor be disclosed, vpon the consideration of the threefold errors which I see in you.

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First for that, whē you began to shoot þe dart of your pestiferous errour more vehemently thē you ought, against the brest of þe ignorant multitude, you seeme to poure vpon the ground, the pretious bloud of Christ, as with a certain vehemēt violence out of þe miserable vessel of your hart. Wher as you said that none of the saints do make intercession for vs, nor obtaine for vs any thing, you haue perilously blasphemed the efficacie of the whole church, MarginaliaA great blasphemye among the Fryers to set vp Christ onely to be our mediatour. cōsecrated wt the precious bloud of Christ. Whiche thing you are not able to deny, especially seeing the same so incessantly doth knocke at the gates of heauen, through the continuall intercession of the saints, according as in the seuenfold Letanie manifestly appeareth to be seene.

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Bilney. I maruel at you, and doubtles can not meruell enough, but that the strong & vaine custome of superstitious mē, thinking thēselues not to be heard but in much babling, doth put an end of my admiratiō. For our heauenly father knoweth what we haue neede of before we aske. MarginaliaOne mediatour and no moe. Also it is written: There is one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Iesus. If then there be but one mediatour of God and men, the man Christe Iesus, where is our blessed Lady? Where is then S. Peter and other saints?

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Brusierd. I suppose no man is ignorant, but that þe Diuines of þe primitiue church haue al affirmed to be one mediatour betweene God and man. Neither could any at that tyme prayse or pray to the saints, whē as yet they lyuing in the calamities of this body, and wrastling with the cōtrary windes of this worlde, were not yet com to the port of rest wherunto they wer trauailing. Paul (I grant) did rightly affirme to be but one mediator of God & men, MarginaliaThe popes Calender maketh moe Mediatours now, then were in the primitiue church. what time as yet there was no saint canonised or put in þe Kalēder. But now seing the church doth knowe, & doth certainly beleue, through þe vndoubted reuelatiōs of God, that þe blessed vir-

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