Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
456 [432]

K. Edward.3. The historie of Iohn Wickliffe. His conclusions. His protestation.

handled) that you woulde vouchsafe euen for the reuerence of God. and the fayth aforesayd, and also of the Apostolicke seat, and and of our person, that you will with your helpe and fauour, assist the sayd archbishop and all other that shall goe about to execute the sayd busines. Wherby besides the prayse of men, you shall obtayne a heauenly rewarde and great fauour and good will at our hand, and of the sea aforesaid. Dated at Rome at S. Mary the greater, the 11. Kal. of Iune, in the 7. yeare of our Byshoprick. an. 1378.

[Back to Top]

The Articles included in the popes letters whiche he sent to the Bishoppes, and to the king against Wickliffe, were these as in order do follow.

The conclusions of Iohn Wickliffe exhibited in the conuocation of certayne Bishops at Lambeth 
Commentary  *  Close

These conclusions of Wiclif are taken from Arundel 7; see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Society 28, 2 vols.(London, 1863-4), I, pp. 353-5. Foxe's version of them is accurate.

ALl the whole race of mankinde here on earth besides Christ, hath no power simply, to ordayne that Peter and all his offspring should politickely rule ouer the world for euer.

2. God cannot geue to any man for him and hys heyres anye ciuill dominion for euer.

3. All writinges inuented by men, as touching perpetuall heritage, are impossible 

Commentary  *  Close

This conclusion is a slap at the notorious Donation of Constantine; it is not saying that it is a forgery, it is saying that it lacks legal or moral validity.


4. Euery man being in grace iustifiyng, hath not onely right vnto the thing, but also for his time hath right in deede aboue all the good thinges of God.

MarginaliaCertayne conclusions of Iohn Wickliffe. 5. A man cannot onely ministratoriously geue any temporal or continuall gift, eyther as well to his naturall sonne, as to his sonne by imitation.

6. If God be, the temporall Lordes may lawfully and meritoriously take away the riches from the Church, when they do offend habitualiter.

7. We know that Christes Vicar cannot, neyther is able by hys Bulles, neyther by his owne will and consent, neither by the consent for his colledge, eyther make able or disable any man.

8. A man cannot be excommunicated to his hurt or vndoyng, except he be first and principally excommnnicate by himselfe.

9. No man ought, but in Gods cause alone, to excommunicate, suspend, or forbid, or otherwise to proceede to reuenge by anye ecclesiasticall censure.

10. A curse or excommunication doth not simply binde, but in case it be pronounced and geuen out agaynst the aduersarye of Gods law.

11. There is no power geuen by any example, eyther by Christ or by his Apostle, to excommunicate any subiect, specially for the denying of any temporalties, but rather contrariwise.

12. The disciples of Christ haue no power to exact by anye ciuill authoritie, temporalties by censures.

13. It is not possible by the absolute power of God, that if the Pope or any other Christian, doe pretend by any meanes to bynd or to lose, that thereby he doth so bynde and loose.

14. We ought to beleue that the Vicar of Christ, doth at suche tymes onely bynde and loose, when as he worketh conformably by the law and ordinaunce of Christ.

15. This ought vniuersally to be beleued that euery priest rightly and duely ordered, according vnto the law of grace, hath power according to his vocation, whereby he may minister the sacramentes, and consequently absolue any man confessing hys faulte, being contrite and penitent for the same.

16. It is lawfull for kinges (in causes licenced by the lawe) to take away the temporalties from the spiritualty, sinning habitualiter, that is, which continue in the custome of sinne, and will not amend.

17. Whether they be temporall Lordes or any other men whatsoeuer they be, which haue endowed any Churche with temporalties: It is lawfull for them to take away the same temporalties, as it were by way of medicine, for to auoyd sinne, notwithstanding any excommunication or other ecclesiasticall censure, for so much as they are not geuen but vnder a condition.

[Back to Top]

18. An ecclesiasticall minister, and also the Byshop of Rome may lawfully be rebuked of his subiectes, and for the profite of the Church, be accused eyther of the Clergy or of the Laitie.

These letters 

Commentary  *  Close

The following account, of Wiclif being summoned to Lambeth and of Sir Lewis Clifford's orders - Foxe does not say so, but Clifford was sent by Joan of Kent, the mother of the king - that Wiclif not be sentenced come from Arundel 7. (See Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 356).

[Back to Top]
with the articles inclosed being thus receiued from the pope, the bishops tooke no litle hart, thinking and fully determining with themselues and that in open profession, before their prouinciall Councell, that all maner respectes of feare or fauour set apart, no person neither high nor low should let them, neither woulde they be seduced by the intreaty of any mā, nor by any threatnings or rewards, but that in this cause they would execute most surely vpright iustice and equitie: yea albeit presēt danger of life should follow thereupon. But these so fierce brags, & stout promise, with the subtile practises of these Byshops, which thought them so sure before: the Lord (against whō no determination of mans counsaile can preuayle) by asmall occasion, did lightly confound & ouerthrowe. MarginaliaThe stout brags of the Byshops ouerthrowne.For the day of examination being come: a certayn personage of the princes court, & yet of no great noble byrth, named Lewes Clifford, entring in among the Byshops: commaunded them that they shold not proceed with any diffinitiue sentence against Iohn Wickliffe. MarginaliaWickliffe againe called before the Byshops. Lewes Clifford.With which wordes all they were so amased and their combes so cut, that (as in the story is mentioned) they became so mute and speachlesse,as men hauing not one word in their mouth to answere. And thus by the wonderous worke of God his prouidence, escaped Iohn Wickliffe the second time out of the Byshops hands, and was by them clearely dismissed vppon his declaration made of his articles as anone shall follow.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaIohn Wickliffe againe deliuered from the Byshops. Moreouer here is not to be passed ouer, how at the same tyme, and in the sayd Chappell of the Archb. at Lambeth, where the byshops were sitting vpon Iohn Wickliffe, the story writing of the doing therof, addeth these wordes, saying: Non dico ciues tantùm Londinenses, sed viles ipsius ciuitatis se impudenter ingerere præsumpserunt in eandem capellam, & verba facere pro eodem, & istud negotium impedire; consisi, vt reor, de ipsorum præmissa negligentia prælatorum. &c. That is, I say 

Commentary  *  Close

This passage was added in 1570; it comes from Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 356).

not onely, that the Citizens of London, but also the vile abiectes of the Citty, presumed to be so bold in þe same Chappell at Lambeth, where the Byshops were sitting vppon Iohn Wickliffe: both to entreat for him, and also to let and stoppe the same matter; trusting as I suppose, vpon the negligence which they sawe before in the Byshops. &c..

[Back to Top]

Ouer and beside, here is not to be forgotten, how þe sayd Iohn Wickliffe, the same time of his examination, offered and exhibited vnto the Bishops, in writing a protestation, with a declaration or exposition of his owne minde, vpon the sayd his articles, the effect whereof here followeth.

The protestation of Iohn Wickliffe.

MarginaliaThe protestation of Iohn Wickliffe. FIrst 

Commentary  *  Close

Wiclif's protestation is actually a preamble to his commentary on the articles attributed to him. Foxe had access to two sources that contained both the protestation and the commentary. These were Arundel 7 and the Fasciculi Zizaniorum. Foxe followed the longer version of the protestation in Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 357), although he gave the version of the commentary found in the Fasciculi Zizaniorum.

[Back to Top]
I protest (as I haue often before done) that I doe minde and intend with my whole hart (by the grace of God) to be a true Christian, and as long as breath shal remayne in me, to professe and defend the law of Christ. And if it shall happen that through ignoraunce or otherwise, I shall fayle therein, I desire my Lord God of pardon & forgeuenes. And now againe as before also, I do reuoke and make retraction, most hūbly submitting my selfe, vnder the correction of our holy mother þe church. And for somuch as the sentence of my fayth, whiche I haue holden in the scholes and els where, is reported euen by children, & more ouer, it is caried by children euen vnto Rome: Therefore lest my deare beloued brethren should take any offence by me, I will set forth in writing the sentēce and Articles, for the which I am nowe accused and impeached: the whiche also euen vnto the death I will defend. As I beleeue all Christians ought to doe, and specially the Bysh. of Rome and all other priestes and ministers of the Cchurch. For I do vnderstand the conclusions after the sense and maner of speaking of the scriptures and holy doctours, the whiche I am ready to expound: And if they shall be found contrary vnto the faith, I am ready to reuoke and speedily to call them backe agayne.

[Back to Top]
An exposition vpon the conclusions of Iohn Wickliffe, exhibited by him to the Byshop. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's source for Wiclif's commentary on the articles attributed to him is the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (see Bodley Library MS, Musaeo 86, fos. 64v-66v). Foxe's version is an accurate reproduction of what is in the Fasciculi Zizaniorum.

ALl the race of mankinde, here in earth beside Christ, hath no power simply to ordayane, that Peter. &c.

MarginaliaExposition of Iohn Wickliffe vpon his cōclusions. This conclusion of it selfe is euident, for as muchas it is not in mans power to stop the cōmiing of Christ to hys finall iudgement, but he must needes come, according to þe article of our Creede, to iudge both the quick and the dead. And then (as the scripture teacheth) shall surcease all ciuill and politicke rule here, I vnderstand the temporall and secular dominion, pertaining to men here dwelling in this mortall life. For so doe the Philosophers speake of ciuill dominion. And although the thing which is terminable, & hath an end, is called sometimes perpetuall: yet because in holy scripture, and in vse of the Church, and in the bookes of Philosopers most commonly that is takē to be perpetuall, which hath no ende of tyme hereafter to come: according to the which sense, the Church singeth Gloria Patri. &c. nunc & perpetuum. I also after the same signification do take here this woorde (perpetually) and so is this conclusion consonant to the principles of the Scripture, that it is not in mans power to ordayne the course and voyage of the Church, here perpetually to last.

[Back to Top]

2. God can not geue to any man. &c.

¶ To the second conclusion I aunswere, vnderstanding

Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield