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428 [428]

Actes and Monuments of the Churche.

let your Maiestie diligently forsee and delyberate, howe thorowe your moste wyse and discrete councell, if nede shall requyre, you wyll aunswere to those subtilties of the Pope.

¶ A certeine godly exhortation vnto the Emperours Maiestie.

YOur maiestie can doo nothynge more better, 

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This exhortation to Maximilian from the German estates is translatedfrom Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), p. 324.

nothyng more acceptable, or more worthy eternall remembraunce then to moderate the great exactions and oppressions of the Germaines. To take away all occasion frō the laitie, to persecute the clergie, to take away the benefices out of the handes of courtysans, 
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I.e., courtiers.

whiche can neither preache comfort nor councell any man, of whiche benefices (as Eneas Syluius wryteth) some do coequate the byshoprikes of Italy, to encrease gods honour and worship, and to brydle and auarice and vngodlines of those courtysans, 
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This is the celebrated humanist Jacob Wimpheling.

that he would prouide for the chyldren of many noble and famous men and citezins in Germanie, whiche being brought vp, euen from their yougth in the vniuersities, learning both the scriptures and other humaine learninge, that they maie without vnquiet vexatiōs, and moste sumptuous charges and contentions, aspire to the ecclesiasticall promotions, whiche by their councell and prayers, may be helpes vnto the whole churche. For there is no smal occasion, why the Realme of Fraunce shoulde so floryshe, hauing so many notable learned men in it. If the Emperour woulde abolishe this impietie, and restore Germany vnto their auncient libertie, whiche is nowe oppressed, with greuous tributes, and that he woulde make way for learned & honest mē vnto ecclesiasticall promotions. Then might he truly & perpetually be called of all men and in all places, the restorer of Germanie to his auncient libertie, and the father of his countrie, & shuld obteine no lesse glorie thereby vnto him selfe, and profit vnto Germanie, then if he hadde by force of armes, subdued any prouince vnto thē. And so shall Germanie render no lesse thankes vnto the said Maximilian, then vnto all the reste which hauing translated the Empire from the Grecians vnto Germanie, haue reigned many yeares before.

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Herafter ensweth the copie of a certaine letter of the Emperour Maximilian, geuē out in maner of a decre or commaundement against certaine abuses of the clergy. Wherunto we haue also annexed the aunswere of Iacobus Selestadiensis, 

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This is the celebrated humanist Jacob Wimpheling.

vnto the Emperores letters wherin he semeth also to haue sought aduice for the remedy of the like abuses, which wethought good here not to be omitted.

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MarginaliaA letter or decree of Maximiliā Emperor.WE according to the exāple 

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Maximilian's edict is translated from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 324-5.

of our dearly beloued father Frederick Emperore of Rome, reuerencing the chief pastor of the church and al the clergy haue suffred no small reuenewes of the ecclesiasticall dignities, to be caried out of our dominion by the Prelates and clergy that are absent, whose faultes committed by humaine fralty with cōstantine our predecessor we haue not disdeined to hide and couer. But for so much as thorow our leberality, the decay of Gods honor is risen, it is our parte to forsee which are elect vnto the Empire without any deserte, that emongst al other affaires of peace and warre, the churches doo not decaye, religion quaile not, nor gods trew worshipp be not deminished, which we haue manifestly experimented and dayly do perceue by the insaciable couetousnes of some, which are neuer satisfied in getiing of benefices, through whose absence (being but resident only vpon one), godes honor and worshipe is deminished, houses decay churches decrease, the ecclesiasticall libertie is hurt, lerning and monuments are lost and destroied, hospitallity and almes diminished, & by ther vnsaciable gredines, such of the clergy as for their lerning and verture wer worthy of benefices, and for their wisome profitable in cōmon wealthes, are hindred & put back. Wher fore according to the office and deuty of our estade, for the loue of the increse of gods honor, MarginaliaNo man to haue two canonships at once.we exhort and requir that no man from hence fourth hauing any canonship or vicarage in one city of our Empire, shall occupy or posses a prebend in another church of the same City except, he giue ouer the first, within a yeares space vnto some persone fite and profitable for the churche. Neither that he do by vniust quarels vexe or trouble any mā in getting of benefices, neither that any man do falsly faine him selfe to haue bene a reteiner whiche hath not bene of the nomber of the ordinarie reteyners accordyng to the agrementes of the Princes. Neyther that any man attempt to take awaye the patronages from anye lay man, or agrauate the small prebendes of curates of churches, with pencions, neyther that they doo vse in gettynge of benefices and bulles, anye fraude, deceyte, false instrumentes, corrupte witnesses and cloked Symony, neyther that anye man presume to opteyne anie regresse, or other thyng contrarye to the sacred Canons, ryght, honestie, equitie and reason, vpon paine of the moste greuous offence of treason, the whiche not onelye they dooe begynne contrarie to God and all honestie, but also

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