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698 [672]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

for the whiche on the behalf of the sayd court, they haue power and authoritie fully to absolue them, and where as they of Merindole beyng so conuicte by the worde of God, wyll not make abiuration as is in suche case requisyte, then there shalbe proces made vpon all that is doone, and thereupon proceade according as shalbe determyned by the sayd court.

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After this decree made, the byshoppe of Cauallion coulde not attende to proceade in this matter at the terme appoynted, but he hym selfe with a doctour of Deuinitie, came vnto Merindole to make them to abiure, vnto whome on the behalfe of the Merindolines, it was aunswered that he enterprysed agaynste the authoritie of the suffraunt court, and against the commission whiche was there decreed. Nothwithstandyng, he was so earnest with them of Merindole, that they ought to abiure, that he promysed them in so doyng to take them vnder his wynges and protection, euen as the henne doth her chickens, and that they shoulde bee no more robbed or spoyled, whereunto they of Merindole aunswered, requyring that he woulde declare vnto them what they shoulde abiure. The byshop aunswered, that there neded no declaration of disputation by the worde of God, but onely a generall abiuratiō of all errors, and that thereby there coulde not happen any maner of domage vnto them, for he hym selfe woulde not stycke to make the lyke abiuration, they of Merindole aunswered hym agayne, that they would doo nothynge contrarie to the ordinaunce of the Court, or that whiche was prouided by the kyng, wherfore thei were fully resolued, to vnderstande and knowe al the errours and heresies, þt they were supposed to be infected with all. To the ende that hauyng declaratiō made vnto them by the worde of God, they myght satisfie the kynges letters, otherwyse it were but hypocrisie and dissimulation, and a contempte of so iuste and vpryght a meane made them by the kynge. Wherfore they concluded, as is before sayde, that if they could make it appeare vnto them by good and sufficient informatiō, that they had holden any errours and heresies, or were conuicte thereupon, by the woorde of God, they woulde wyllyngly abiure, or if in their confession there were any woorde contrary to the scriptures, they would reuoke the same. Contrariwyse, if it were not made manifest vnto them, that they had holden any heresies, but that they had alwayes lyued accordyng to the doctrine of the Gospell, and that their confession was grounded woorde for worde vpon the same. Then they ought not by no meanes to constrayne or moue them, to abiure any errors whiche they helde not, but that it were playnely against equitie and iustice.

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The byshop of Cauallion was marueilouslyangred and woulde not heare no worde spokē of any demonstration to be made by the worde of God, but in a furie gaue hym to the deuyll, that fyrst inuented that meane. Then the doctour of deuinitie whiche the byshop broughte thether, demaunded what articles they were that were presented by the inhabitauntes of Merindole, for the byshop of Cauallion hadde not yet shewed them vnto him, then the bishop of Cauallion delyuered the doctour the confession, whiche after he had read, the byshoppe of Cauallion sayd, what wyl you any more witnes or declaration? This is ful of heresie, then they of Merendole demaunded in what poynt, whereunto the byshop knewe not what to answere. Then the doctour demaunded to haue tyme to loke vpon the articles of the confession, and to cōsider whether they were against the scriptures or no. Thus the byshop departed, beyng very sore agreued that he could not bryng his purpose to passe.

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After eight dayes, the Byshop sent to seeke this doctour, to vnderstand howe he myght order hym selfe to make those heresies appeare whiche were in the sayde confession, wherunto the doctour aunswered: that he was neuer so muche abashed, for whan he hadde beholden the articles of the confession and the authorities of the scripture, that there were alleaged for the confirmation thereof, he hathe founde, that those articles were wholy conformed according to the holie scriptures, and that he had not learned so muche in the scriptures all the dayes of his lyfe, as he hath done within those eyght dayes, in loking vpō those articles and þe authorities therein alleaged. Shortly after the bishop of Caualliō came vnto Merindole, accōpanied with none but only his own seruants, and callyng before hym the chyldren as well great and smalle, gaue them monye, and commaunded them with fayre wordes to learne the Pater noster and the Crede in latin. The moste parte of them answered that they knew the Pater noster and the Crede already in latin, but that they coulde make no reason of þt whiche they spake, but onely in the vulgare tongue. The byshop aunswered, that it was not necessarie they shoulde be so conning, but that it was sufficient that they knewe it in latin, and that it was not requisit for the saluation to vnderstand or to expounde the articles of their faith, for there were many byshoppes, Curates, yea & doctors of deuinitie, that shuld be troubled for to expounde the Pater noster, and the Crede, whereunto answere was made by the Bailief of Merindole, named Andrewe Mainarde. To what purpose woulde it serue, to saie the Pater noster and the Crede, and not to vnderstande the same? for in so doyng, they do mocke and deride God. Then sayde the byshop vnto hym: doo you vnderstande what is

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