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Cologne (Köln; Colonia Agrippina)

[Colen; Colleyn; Collen; Colon]

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Coordinates: 50° 57' 0" N, 6° 58' 0" E

Cathedral city

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Ferrara [Ferraria]

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Cathedral city

Coordinates: 44° 50' 0" N, 11° 37' 0" E

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Frankfurt am Main

[Francford; Franckforde; Frankford]

Hesse, Germany

Coordinates: 50° 6' 37" N, 8° 40' 56" E

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Heide [Heida; Heyda]

Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Coordinates: 54° 11' 46" N, 9° 5' 36" E

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(Maguntiacum) [Mentz; Moguntia; Moguntina]

Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Coordinates: 50° 0' 0" N, 8° 16' 16" E

Cathedral city; seat of the prince-elector of Mainz

749 [725]

K. Edward 4. Persecution, and examination of Johannes de Wesalia.

ched: that being done, they deuided hys bookes amongest them selues, seuerally euery man to find out what heresies and errors they could. His articles & opinions were these.

MarginaliaThe articles and opiniōs of Iohn de Wesalia.That all men be saued freely, and through meere grace by faith in Christ. MarginaliaFree will nothing.Free will to be nothing. Onely that we shoulde beleeue the word of God, and not the glose of any mā, or fathers. That the worde of God is to be expounded with the collation of one place with an other. MarginaliaPrelates haue no more power ouer scriptures, then other men.That Prelates haue no authoritie to make lawes, or to expounde the scriptures by any peculiare right, geuen them more then to an other. That mennes traditions, as fastings, pardones, feasts, long prayers, peregrinations and such like, are to be reiected. MarginaliaExtreme vnction reproued.Extreme vnction and confirmation to be reprooued: confession and satisfaction to be reprehended. MarginaliaAgainst the primacy of the Pope.The primacie of the Pope also he affirmed to be nothing.

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Certaine other articles also were gathered out of hym by his aduersaries, but in such sort, that they may seme rather to followe their owne malicious gathering, then any true intelligence of his minde: whereof more is to be vnderstanded in this processe hereafter.

Thus when Wesalianus was commanded to appear, there conuented together, first the Archbishop, the inquisitor, the doctors of Colen, and the doctors of Heidelberge, with the masters of the same, and the Rector of the vniuersity of Mentz, the Deane of faculties, Bachelers of diuinity, and many other maisters of the same vniuersitie, Canons, doctors, with the bishops Chanceller, and his councellers, besides many religious prelates, schollers, wyth a doctor of Franckforte, the sumner & bedels, which all met together in the great hall of the Minorites, for the examination of this Ioannes de Wesalia.

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Frier Elton the Inquisitor, first sitteth in the hyghest place, then after him others according to their degree. In the beginning of the examination, first the Inquisitor beginneth with these wordes: Most reuerent father and honorable doctors. &c. Our reuerent father and prince Elector hath caused this present cōuocation to be called, to hear the examination of M. Iohn de Wesalia, in certaine suspected articles concerning the catholique faith. But something I will say before, that may doe hym good, and desire that two or three of them that fauoure hym, or some other, will rise vppe and geue him counsaile, to forsake and leaue his errours, to recognise himselfe, & to aske pardon, which if he wil do, he shal haue pardon: if he wil not, we wil procede against him without pardone. MarginaliaIohn de Wesalia brought before the prelates.And thus Wesalianus being cited and brought in the midst betwixt 2. minorites, being very aged, and hauing a staffe in his hand, was sette before the Inquisitor. Who beginning to answer for hym self with a long protestation, could not be suffred to prosecute his Oration, but was cutte off and required briefly, to make an end, MarginaliaThe Inquisitour speaketh. and to tell them in fewe woordes whether he would stand to his opinions, or to the determination of the church. MarginaliaThe answer of Wesalianus reasonable.To this he aunswered, þt he neuer spake any thing against the determination of the Church, but sayde that he had written diuers and sondry treatises, in the which if hee had erred, or were found to say otherwise then wel, he was content to reuoke and cal backe the same, and do al things that was requisite. Then said the Inquisitor, do you aske then pardon? The other answered, why shuld I aske pardon, when I know no crime or error committed? The inquisitour sayd: well we will call you to the remembraunce thereof, and proceede to the examination.

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In the meane time, others called vppon him instantly to aske pardone. Then sayd Wesalianus. I aske pardone. MarginaliaThe cruell proceeding of the Inquisitour.Notwithstanding the Inquisitor proceeded to the examination, reading there two instruments, declaring that hee had authority from the Apostolicke sea: after this cited the said Iohn to appeare to hys examination. Thirdly he commaunded him vnder paine of disobedience, in the vertue of the holy Ghost, MarginaliaThe greater cause of the Pope described.and vnder paine of excōmunication of the greater curse, (from the which no man coulde absolue him, but onely the Pope or the Inquisitour, except onely at the poynt of death) to tell plainly the truth vppon such things as should be demanded of him concerning his faith, without ambages and sophistication of wordes. And so being demanded first, whether he did beleue vpon his oth taken, that hee was bounde to tell the trueth, although it were against himselfe or any other: to this he answered, Scio, MarginaliaScio. that is: I know: Thē the Inquisitour biddeth him say, Credo, MarginaliaCredo. that is, I beleeue. To the which hee aunswered agayne, what nede I say that I beleeue that thing I know. There the Inquisitor something stirred wyth the matter, as hote as a toste (as they say) cried out with a loude voice, maister Ioannes, maister Ioannes, maister Ioannes, say Credo, say Credo. Then he answered Credo.

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After thys, being demaunded whether he had wrytten any treatise, concerning the binding of humaine lawes, to one Nicolas of Boheme, and whether he had written anytreatise of the Ecclesiasticall power of indulgences & pardons, and of fasting and other treatises: he beleued that he had so written, and had conferred wt diuers learned men: Also that he had sent to the Bishops of Wormes, a certaine treatise of fasting.

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Many other interrogatories were ministred vnto him, whereof some were vaine, some false. Such as were more principal, here we will briefly touch, leauing out superfluities.

Being demaunded whether hee was a fautour of the Bohemians, he sayde he was not. MarginaliaHis opinion of the sacrament.Also being demaunded concerning the Sacrament of the holy body and bloude of our Lorde, whether he thought Christe there to be contained really, or only diuinely, and whether he dyd beleeue in the sayde Sacrament the substaunce of breade there to remaine, or onely the fourme thereof: to thys he aunswered, not denying but the body of Christe was there really contained, and also wyth the body of Christe, the substaunce of bread to remaine.

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MarginaliaHis opinion of Monkes and Nunnes.After this he was demaunded his opinion concerning religious men, as Monkes, Nunnes, or begwines, whether he thought them to be bound to the vow of chastitie, MarginaliaThe vowe of chastitie. or to the keping of any other vow, and whether he said to the Friers Monorites any such worde in effecte: I can not saue you in this your state and order. Thys he confessed, that he had sayde, howe that not your religion saueth you, but the grace of God, &c. not denying but they might be saued.

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MarginaliaMortall sinne founnd by the Pope, beside that which is expressed to be mortall in the scripture.Item, being required whether he beleued or had wrytten, that there is no mortall sinne, but whyche is exprest to be mortal in the canon of the holy Bible: to this he answered, that he did so beleue as he hath written, til he was better informed. Likewise being required what he thought of the vicar of Christ in earth, MarginaliaWhat is this article, but to make the Pope a god. he aunswered, that he beleeued that Christe left no vicare in earth: MarginaliaChrist left no vicar in earthe. For the confirmation whereof he alledged and sayde, that Christ ascending vp to heauen, said: Ecce ego vobiscum sum. &c. Behold I am with you. &c. In the which wordes he plainly declared, that hee would substitute vnder him no vicare in earth, and sayde moreouer, if a vicare signified any man, which in þe absence of the principal hath to do the works of the principall, then Christ hath no vicar here in earth.

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MarginaliaPardons and indulgences be of no effect.In like maner, concerning indulgences and pardons, such as the church doth vse to geue, they demanded of him, whether they had any efficacy, & what he thought thereof: who answered againe that he had written a certaine treatise of that matter, & what hee had wrytten in that treatise, he would persist therin, which was thus: that he beleeued, MarginaliaThe treasure of saintes merites is not in earth.that the treasure boxe of the merits of Saints could not be distributed of the Pope to others, because that treasure is not left here in earth: For so it is wryttē in the Apocalips: Opera enim illorum, sequuntur illos, &c. that is: their workes follow them.

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Item, that theyr merites could not be applied to other men, for the satisfaction of theyr paine due vnto them, and therefore that the Pope and other Prelates cannot distribute that treasure to men.

It was obiected to him moreouer, that in the sayde his treatise, he called pardons & indulgences, MarginaliaThis saying wae taken out of one Cantor Pariensis, which was wont to say, that pardōs were holy decertes, because the laye men there were prouoked, by naughtie decertes to geue good almes.Pias fraudes fidelium, that is, holy fraudes and deceits of the faithful.

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Also, being demaunded what he thought of the halowing and blessings of altars, chalices, vestiments, wax candels, palmes, herbes, holy water and other diuine things, &c. Hee aunswered that they had not spirituall vertue and power in them to driue away deuils, and that holye water hath no more efficacie then other water not hallowed, as concerning remission of veniall sinnes, and driuing away deuels and other effectes, which the schoole doctours do attribute to it.

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MarginaliaDegrees in scripture forbidden to marry.Item, for degrees of mariage forbidden in the Scryptures, he beleueth that all Christian men vnder deadly sin, are bound vnto the same.

Item, that he beleeueth that God may geue grace to a man hauing the vse of reason, without all motion of Free wil. Also he thinketh that S. Paule in his conuersion, dyd nothing of his owne free wil for his conuersion. He beleeueth moreouer, that God may geue such grace to a manne hauing the vse of reason, not doing that which is hym is.

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MarginaliaNoting to be beleued, but which is in scripture conteyned.Item, he affirmed that nothing is to be beleued, which is not conteined in the Canon of the Bible.

Also, that the elect are saued onely by the grace of God.

Besides al these moreouer, he was charged with þe old opinion of the Grecians, which they dyd holde contrary to the Romaine church, vnto the time of the councell of Ferraria aboue mentioned, concerning the proceedyng of the holy Ghost. 

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I.e., Ruceruth believed that the Holy Spirit proceeded from God the Father, but not Jesus Christ. As Foxe observes, the Greek Orthodox church held (and holds) the same opinion, but in the late medieval Catholic church, this belief was heresy.

The Wednesday next following 

Commentary  *  Close

The following paragraph is taken from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculi rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fo. 166v. It was added in the 1570 edition, in response to Nicholas Harpsfield's attacks on Ruceruth. Harpsfield maintained that Ruceruth's belief that the Holy Spirit proceeded only from God the Father, made him a heretic. (Nicholas Harpsfield, Dialogi sex contra summi pontificatus, monasticae vitae, sanctorum Sacrarum imaginum oppugnatores et pseudomartyres [Antwerp, 1556], p. 822). Foxe is not concerned to conceal Ruceruth's belief, which he did not regard as necessarily heretical. Instead the purpose of this addition is to demonstrate that Ruceruth's beliefs were grounded in his study of Scripture.

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, 3, Doctours, the suffragane, Herwicus & Iacobus Sprenger, were sent vnto

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