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Corna Imagna
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Corna Imagna

Lombardy, Italy

Coordinates: 45° 50' 0" N, 9° 33' 0" E

734 [710]

K. Ed. 4. Trouble of B. Pecocke. Mat. Palmerius martyr. Nicho. Calixtus. Pius Popes.

communion of Sayntes.

4. Item, that it is not necessary to saluation, to affirme the body materially in the Sacrament.

5. Item that the vniuersall Churche may erre in matters which perteyne vnto fayth.

6. Item, that it is not necessary vnto saluation, to beleue, that that, which euery generall Councell doth vniuersally ordeine, approue, or determine, should necessaryly, for the helpe of our fayth, and the saluation of soules, be approued and holden of all faythfull Christians.

Wherfore I Reynold Pecocke wretched sinner, which haue long walked in darckenesse, and now by the merciful disposition and ordinaunce of God, am reduced & brought agayne vnto the light and way of truth, and restored vnto the vnity of our holy mother the Church: renoūce and forsake all errors and heresyes aforesayd.

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Notwithstanding (godly reader) it is not to be beleued that Pecocke did so geue ouer these opinions, howsoeuer the wordes of the recantation pretend. For it is a pollicy & play of the bishops that when they do subdue or ouercome any mā, they cary him whither they list, as it were a yoūg Stere by the nose, and frame out his words for him before hand, as it were for a Parate, what he should speake vnto the people: not according to his owne will, but after theyr lust and fantasy. Neither is it to be doubted, but that thys Bishop repented him afterward of his recantation: which may easely be iudged hereby, because he was committed agayn into prison, & deteined captiue, where as it is vncertaine, whether he was oppressed with priuy and secret tyranny, and there obteined the crown of Martyrdom, or no.

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The articles of Reynolde Pecocke mentioned by Thomas Gascoigne.

Ex Tho. Gascog. lib. De Dictionario. Theolog. part. 3.

The Dictionary of Thomas Gascoigne, I haue not in my handes present. But if credite be to be geuen to such as haue to vs alledged the booke, this we may finde in the 8. Century of Iohn Bale, chapter 19. that the sayd Thomas Gascoigne in his third part of his sayd dictionary, writing of Reinold Pecocke, maketh declaration of his articles cōteining in them matter of sore heresy. First (saith he) Reynold Pecock, at Paules crosse preached openly, that the office of a Christen Prelate, chiefly aboue all other things is, to preach the word of God. That mans reason is not to be preferred before the Scriptures of the old and new Testament. That the vse of Sacraments, as they be now handled, is worse, then the vse of the lawe of nature. That Byshops which buy theyr admissions of the Bishop of Rome do sinne. That no man is bound to beleue and obey the determination of the Churche of Rome. Also that the riches of Bishops, by inheritage, are the goods of the poore. Item that the Apostles themselues personally were not the makers of the Creed, & that in the same Creede, once was not the Article he went downe to hell. Item, that of the foure senses of the Scripture, none is to be taken, but the very first and proper sense. Also, that he gaue litle estimation in some poyntes, to the authority of the olde Doctors. Item, that he condemned the wilfull begging of the Friers, as a thing idle and needles. This out of Thomas Gascoigne. Leland also adding this moreouer, sayth: that he, not contented to folow the Catholicke sentence of the Churche in interpreting of the Scripture, did not thinke soundly (as he iudged it) of the holy Eucharist.

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At length, for these and suche other Articles, the sayde Reynold Pecocke was condemned for an hereticke by the Archbishops, and Bishops of Roffe. Lyncolne and Winchester, with other diuines moe. Wherupon he being driuē to his recantation, MarginaliaB. Pecocke deteyned in prison.was notwithstanding deteyned still in prison. Where some say, that he was priuily made away by death.

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Halle addeth that some say, his opinions to bee, that spirituall persons by Gods lawe, ought to haue no temporall possessions. Other write that he sayde, the personall tithes were not due by Gods lawe. But whatsoeuer the cause was, he was caused at Paules Crosse to abiure, and all his bookes brent, and he himselfe kepte in his owne house, during his naturall life. I maruell that Polydore, MarginaliaPolydore noted. of the extremity of the Bishops handling, and of his Articles, in his history, maketh no memoriall. Belike it made but little for the honestye of his great maister the Pope.

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From persecution & burning in England, now out of the way, to digresse a little, to speake of forraine matters of the church of Rome 

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Eugenius IV to Sixtus IV

Between his account of Reginald Pecock and his narrative of the Wars of the Roses, Foxe digresses here to deal with church history during the pontificates of Nicholas V, Calixtus III, Pius II, Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. The material on these pontificates was added to the 1570 edition and, as usual with papal history, Foxe drew heavily on John Bale's Catalogus for his information. Most unusually, however, Foxe drew on Bartomoleo Platina's series of papal biographies for the opinions (Foxe calls them 'sentences') of Pius II. (See Bartomoleo de Sacchi di Platina, Historia de vitis pontificum Romanorum, ed. Onophrio Panvinio [Venice, 1562], fos. 248v-249r). Normally, Foxe distrusted Panvinio's work (although it was considered authoritative by contemporaries) as being too partisan to the Papacy. However, Pius's opinions, written before he became pope, sounded reformist, and fitted in with Foxe's point that the evil inherent in the Papacy corrupted even those popes who were initially devout and wise. (Foxe probably took the quotation from the second book of Pius' commentaries, on the evils of clerical celibacy from Matthias Flacius - see Catalogus Testium Veritatis [Strassburg, 1562], p.550 - this quotation is not in Platina). Pius's letter, written before he was pope, to Caspar Schlick is taken from Aeneas Sylvius Picclomini,Opera quae extant omnia (Basel, 1561), pp. 538-41; the extract quoted is on p. 539. The material on Pius II's quarrel with the archbishop of Mainz is taken from Caspar Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle; see Chronicon Carionis, ed. Philip Melanchthon and Caspar Peucer (Wittenburg, 1580), pp. 672-3. The remainder of the material on these fifteenth-century popes is from John Bale, Catalogus, pp. 550, 602, 615 and 624-5.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

: you remēber before, in þe latter end of the Councell of Basill, howe Eugenius was deposed. MarginaliaEugenius warred against Sfortia and diuers other.Of whose conditiōs and martiall affayres, how he made war agaynst Sfortia a famous Captaine of Italy, and what other warres he raised beside, not onely in Italy, but also in Germany, agaynst the City and Councell of Basill, I shal not need to make any long rehearsall. After his depositiō,ye heard also how Fœlix duke of Sauoy was elected pope. MarginaliaPope Wherupō another great schisme folowed in the church during all the life of Eugenius.

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After his death, his next successor was pope Nicholas the fift, MarginaliaPope Nicholas 5. who (as you before haue heard) brought to passe with the Emperour Fredericke the third that Fœlix was contented to renounce and resigne his papacy to Nicolas, and was therfore of him afterward receiued to the rowme of a Cardinall, for his submission: & Friderick for his working, was confirmed at Rome to be full Emperor, & there crowned. an. 1451. MarginaliaEmperours are but kinges of Romaines, before they be crowned by the Pope.For Emperors before they be cōfirmed & crowned by the pope, are no Emperors, but onely called kinges of the Romaynes.

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This Pope Nicholas here mentioned, for to get & gather great sūmes of mony, appoynted a Iubile in the yeare of our Lorde 1450. at whiche time there resorted a greater number of people vnto Rome, thē hath at any time before bene seene. At which time, we reade in the story of Platina MarginaliaEx Platina de vitis. to haue happened, that I thought here not vnworthy to be noted for the example of the thing. As there was a great concourse of people resorting vp to the mount Vaticane to behold the Image of our Sauior, which there they had to shew to Pilgrimes, MarginaliaThe example of Idolatrie punished. the people being thicke going to & fro betwene the mount & the City, by chaunce a certayn Mule of the Cardinals of saynt Marke came by the way, by reason whereof the people not being able to auoyde the way, one or two falling vpon the Mule, there was such a prease and throng vpon that occasion on the bridge, MarginaliaThe fruit of Idolatry.that to the nūber of two hundred bodyes of men, and three horses, were there strangled, and on each side of the bridge many besides fell ouer into the water and were drowned.

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By meanes of which occasiō, the Pope afterward caused the smal houses to be plucked downe, to make the way broder. And this is the fruite that commeth by Idolatrye. Ex Platin.

In the time of this Pope, one Mat. Palmerius MarginaliaMat. Palmerius, a Florentine. martyr. wrote a booke De Angelis, in defending whereof, he was condemned by the Pope, and burned at Corna. an. 1448. Ex Tritemio.

After him succeeded Calixtus the thyrd, who amongest diuers other things ordeined both at noone and at euening the bell to tole the Aues, MarginaliaToling of Aues. as it was vsed in the popish time, to helpe the souldiours that fought agaynst the Turkes: for which cause also he ordeined the feast of the transfiguration of the Lord, solemnising it with like pardons and indulges, as was Corpus Christi day.

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Also this Pope proceding contrary to the Councels of Constance and Basill, decreed that no man should appeale from the Pope to any Councell. MarginaliaS. Edmund of Cant. canonised.By whome also Sayncte Edmunde of Caunterbury with diuers other, were made Sayntes.

Next after this Calixtus, succeeded Pius secundus, MarginaliaPope Pius. 2. otherwise called Æneas Syluius, who wrote the two bookes of Commentaries vpon the Councell of Basill before mētioned. This Æneas, at the time of the writing of those hys bookes, seemed to be a man of an indifferent and tollerable iudgement and doctrine, MarginaliaPromotion choketh religion. from the which he afterward being Pope, seemed to decline and swarue, seeking by all meanes possible, how to deface & abolish the bookes which heretofore he had written.

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¶ Sentences attributed vnto this Pius.

MarginaliaThe Prouerbes of Pius.THe diuine nature of God may rather be comprehended by fayth, then by disputation.

Christian fayth is to be considered, not by what reason it is proued, but from whom it proceedeth.

Neyther can a couetous man be satisfied with money, nor a learned man with knowledge.

Learning ought to be to poore men, in stead of siluer, to noble men in stead of golde, and to Princes in stead of precious stones.

An artificall oratiō moueth fooles, but not wise men.

Suters in the Lawse, bee as Byrdes, the Courte is the bayte, the Iudges be the nettes, and the Lawyers be the Foulers.

Men are to bee geuen dignityes, and not dignityes to men.

The office of a Byshoppe is heauy, but it is blessed to him that doth wel beare it.

A Bishop without learning may be likened to an Asse.

An euill Phisition destroyth bodies, but an vnlearned Priest destroyeth soules.

MarginaliaMariage of priestes allowed by Aeneas Syluius.Mariage was taken from Priestes, not without great reason, but with muche greater reason it ought to be restored agayne.

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