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737 [681]

to the saide act made Anno. xxxiiii. or. xxxv. shall before the last day of August next comming deliuer the same english booke or bokes to his maister in that houshold, if he be a seruante or dwell vnder any other. And the maister or rule of þe house and such other as dwell at large, shall deliuer all such books of þe sorts aforesaide as they haue, or shall come to there hands deliuered as afore or otherwise, to the maior, balliefe or chiefe constable of the toune where they dwel, to be by them deliuered ouer openly with in forty daies, next following after the said deliuery, to the Shirife of the shire or to the bishop, chancellor or commissarye of the same dioces to the entent the sayde bishop channcellor, commissary and Shirife, and euery of them shal cause them incontinently to be openly burned, which the kinges maiesties plesure is, that every of them shall see executed in most effectuall sorte. And of there doinges therof make certificate to the kings maiesties most honorable counsel, before the first of October next comminge. And to the intent that no man shal mistrust any danger of such penal statutes as be passed in this behalfe, for keping of the saide books. The kings maiesty is most gratiously contented by this proclamation to perdon that offence to the saide time apointed by this proclamation for the deliuery of the said bookes. And commandeth that no bishop chauncellor, commissary, Maior, bailiefe, Shirife or Constable, shalbe curious to marke who bringeth forth such bookes, but onely order and burne them openly as is in this proclamation ordered. And if any man after the the last daye of August next comminge shall haue any of the said bookes in his kepinge, or be proued convinced by sufficient witnes before fower of the kinges most honorable counsaile, to haue hidden them, or vsed them, or any copy of any of them, or any part of them, wherby should appere that he willinglye hath offended the true meaninge of this proclamation, the same shall not only suffer imprisonment & ponishment of his body, at the kings maiestis will and pleasure, but also shal make such fine and raunsome to his highnes for the same, as by his maiestie or four of his graces said councell shall be determined. Moreouer the kinges maiestie straightly chargeth and commaundeth vppon the paine aforesaide, that from hence forthe no printer doo printe any manner of english bokes, ballet, or play but he put in his name to the same, with the name of the autor and day of the print, and shall presēt the first copie to the maior of the toune where he dwelleth and not to fuffer any of the copies to go out of his handes, within twoo dayes next folowing. Finally hs maiesty straghtly chargeth aud commaundeth that no person or persones of what estate, degre, or condiciō, so euerhe or they be from the daye of this proclamation, presume to bring anie manner of englishe booke concerninge any maner of christen religion printed in the parties of beyond the seas into this relme, or sell, giue, or distribute, any english boke printed in outward parts, or the copy of any such booke or any part therof to any person dwellinge within this his graces realm, or any other his maiesties dominions, vnles the same shalbe specially licenced so to do by his highnes expresse graunt to be obteined in writing for the same. Vpō the paines before limited, and therewithal to incurre his maiesties extreame indignation.

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Here now the Prelates and þe popes side thought, they had made a greate hand against the gospell, and had established ther kingedome for euer. As in dede to all mās thinkinge, it might seame no lesse. For who would haue thought, after so straight, so precise and so solemne a proclamation setforth & armed with the kinges terrible autority: also after the cruell execution of Anne Askew, lacels and the rest: Bysides after the busy serche moreouer & names taking of many other, of whome some were chased away, some apprehended and laid vp, diuers in present perill & expectation of there atachment: Who would haue thought, I say, otherways possible, but þt the gospell must nedes haue an ouerthrowe, seing what suer worke the papistes here had made in sittinge vp there side, and throwinge down the cōtrary. But it is no new thing in the lorde to practise his power euer againste mans presumption, that whan man iudgeth him selfe most surest, thā he is furthist of. And whan he supposeth to haue don all, than is he new to begine a gaine. So it was in the primitiue church before Constantinus time, that whan Nero, Domicianus, Maxentius, Decius and other Emperours impugning the gospell and profession of Christ, did not only constitute lawes and proclamations againste the christians but also did ingraue the same lawes in tables of brass, minding to make al thinges firme for euer and a day: yet we see, how with a litle turning of Gods hand, all their puisāt deuises and brasen lawes turned all to winde and dust. So litle dothe it auaile for man to wrastle against the lord and his procedinges. Howsoeuer mans building is mortal and ruinous, of brikle breke & moldring stone: The Lord neuer taketh in hand to build, that either time can wast, or man can plucke doun. what God setteth vp, ther is nether power, nor striuing to the contrary. What he intendeth, stādeth. What he blesseth, þt preuaileth. MarginaliaTowers of Babell against the Lorde.And yet mās vnquiet presūptiō wil not cease stil to erect vp towers of babel agaynst þe lord, which the higher they are builded vp, fall with the greater ruine. For what can stand, that stan-

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