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1245 [1245]

K. Henry. 8. Bonners preface to Winchesters booke. Tonstall.

MarginaliaQueene Anne.for that his Maiestie hath takē the most excellent & most vertuous lady Anne to wyfe, which in very dede is farre otherwise, and nothing so: to the entent therfore that all true hartye fauourers of the Gospell of Christ, whiche hate not, but loue the truth, maye the more fully vnderstand the chiefe poynt of the cōtrouersie, and because they shall not be ignorant what is the whole voyce and resolute determination of the beste and grettyst learned Bishopes, with all the nobles and commons of England, not onely in that cause of matrimonie, MarginaliaThe doctrine of the Gospell.but also in defending the doctrine of þe Gospel: here shall be published the oration of the Byshop of Winchester 

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There can be little doubt that Gardiner was one of the premier scholars of his time. He appears to have been studying at Paris when he met Erasmus in 1511 (age 15); studied Greek at Trinity Hall Cambridge (where he gained doctorates in both canon and civil law c.1520/1). He was also an able theologian. [See, Andrew A Chibi, 'The Intellectual and Academic Training of the Henrician Episcopacy', in Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 91 (2000), pp.354-72].

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(a man excellentlye learned in all kinde of learning) entituled DE VERA OBEDIENTIA, that is, cōcerning true obedience. MarginaliaSee how these clawbackes cā clunge together in truth and in falshode, and all to fashion them selues to the worlde and the tyme present.But as touching this Bishops worthy prayses, there shalbe, nothing spokē of me at this time, not onely because they are infinite, but because they are farre better knowen to all Christēdome, then becōmeth me here to make rehearsal. And as for the oratiō it selfe (which as it is most learned, so it is most elegāt) to what purpose should I make any wordes of it, seing it praiseth it selfe enough, and seing good wyne nedeth no tauerne bushe to vtter it? But yet in this oration, who soeuer thou art, most gentle reader, thou shalt besyde other matters, see it notablye and learnedly handled of what importaūce and how inuincible the power & excellencie of Gods truth is: which as it may now & then be pressed of the enemies, so it can not possibly be oppressed and darkened after such sorte, but it sheweth it selfe againe at length, more glorious & more welcome. Thou shalt see also touching obedience, that it is subiecte to truth, and what is to be iudged true obedience. MarginaliaMens traditions.
The contentes of Winchesters booke De Vera Obedientia.
Besides this of mens traditions, whiche for the most part, be most repugnant agaynst the truth of Gods law. MarginaliaThe kinges mariage with Quene Anne.And there by the way, he speaketh of the kyngs said hyghnes mariage, whiche by the ripe Iudgement, authoritie and priuiledge of the moste and principall Vniuersities of the worlde, and then with the consent of the whole Church of England, hee contracted with the moste excellent, and moste noble Ladye Queene Anne. MarginaliaSupreme head.After that, touchyng the kynges Maiesties title as perteynyng to the supreme head of the Churche of Englād. MarginaliaThe Byshop of Romes pretenced supremacie.Lastly of all, of the false pretenced supremacie of the Byshop of Rome in the realme of England, most iustly abrogated: and how all other Byshops beyng felowlyke to hym in their function, yea and in some pointes aboue hym within their owne prouinces, were before tyme bound to the kyng by their othe.

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But be thou most surely persuaded of this, good reader, þt the B. of Rome, if there were no cause els but onely this mariage, would easely contēt hym selfe, specially hauing some good morsel or other geuē him to chaw vpon. MarginaliaBonner knewe well what morsell would best please hys father of Rome, and that money and bribes would soone stoppe hys mouth.But when he seith so mighty a kyng, beyng a right vertuous and a great learned Prince, so sincerely & so hartly fauour the Gospell of Christ, and perceiueth the yearelye and great praye (ye so large a praye, that it came to as much almost as all the kynges reuenues) snapped out of hys handes, and that hee can no longer exercise hys tyranny in the kynges maiesties realme Marginalia* Seing thou knewest the pope to be such a cruell tyrant, why then wouldest thou against thy knowledge, become his slaughterman?(* alas heretofore, to cruell and bitter) nor make lawes as hee hath done many to the contumelie and reproche of the maiestie of God, whiche is euident that he hath done in tyme past, vnder the title of the Catholicke Churche and the authoritie of Peter and Paule, (when not withstandyng he was a very rauenyng wolfe dressed in shepes clothyng callyng him self the seruaunt of seruauntes) to the great damage of the Christen common wealth: here, here began all the mischief, thereof rose these discordes, these deadly malices, and so great and terrible bustlyng. For if it were not thus, could any man beleue that this Iupiter of Olympus (which falsely hath arrogated vnto him selfe an obsolute power without controlment) would haue wrought so diligently by all meanes possible, to styrre vp all other kynges and princes so traiterously agaynst this so good and godly and so true a Gospellyke Prince, as he hath done? Neither let it moue thee (gentle reader) that Winchester did not before now, applye to this opinion, for hee hym selfe in this Oration sheweth the cause, why he did it not. And if he had sayd neuer a worde, yet thou knowest well what a wittye part it is for a man to suspend his iudgement, and not to be to rashe in geuyng of sentence. MarginaliaWint. wryteth agaynst the pope with aduised iudgement.It is an olde sayd sawe: Mary Magdalene 

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Mary was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared (John 20.17). Thomas' doubts about the risen Christ are found in John 20.19-31.

profited vs lesse in her quicke beliefe that Christ was risen, then Thomas that was longer in doubt. A man may rightly call hym Fabius 
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Bonner is referring to the great 3rd century B.C. Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, who was also called 'Cunctator' or 'the Delayer' (for his successful tactics during the second Punic War.

that with hys aduised takyng of leasure, restored the matter: Albeit I speake not this as thoughe Winchester had notboulted out this matter secretlye with hym selfe before hand (for hee without doubt tryed it out longe agoe) but that runnyng fayre and softlye, hee woulde firste with hys paynefull study, plucke the matter out of the darke, although of it selfe it was cleare enough, but by reason of sondry opinions, it was lapped vp in darkenes, and then did he debate it wittely to and fro, and so at last after long and great deliberation had in the matter, because there is no better counseler then leasure and tyme, he would resolutly with hys learned and consummate Iudgement confirme it.

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Thou shouldest gentle reader, esteme his censure and authoritie to be of more weighty credence, in asmuch as the matter was not rashlye and at all aduentures, but with Iudgement (as thou seest) and with wisedome examined and discussed. MarginaliaNo newe matter, to write agaynst the Byshop of Rome.And this is no new example, to be agaynst þe tyrannye of þe B. of Rome, seyng that not onely this man, but many men often tymes, yea & right great learned mē afore now, haue done þe same euē in writing, wherby they both painted him out in his ryght colours, and made hys sleightes, falshode, fraudes, and disceitfull wiles openly knowē to þe world. Therfore if thou at any tyme heretofore haue doubted either of true obedience, or of the kynges maiesties mariage, or title, either els of the Byshop of Romes false pretensed supremacie, as if thou haddest a good smellyng nose and a sound Iudgemēt, I thinke thou didest not: yet hauyng read this Oration, MarginaliaNote.(whiche if thou fauour the truth, and hate the tyrannye of the Byshop of Rome and his Satanicall fraudulent falshode, shall doubtles wonderfully cōtent thee) forsake thyne errour and acknowledge the truth now frely offred thee at length, cōsideryng with thy selfe, that it is better late so to do, then neuer to repente. Fare thou hartly well most gentle reader, and not onely loue thys most valyaunt kyng of Englād and of Fraunce, who vndoubtedly was by the prouidence of God, borne to defēd the Gospell, but also honour hym and serue hym most obediently. As for this Winchester, who was long ago without doubt reputed among the greatest learned mē, geue hym thy good worde with highest commendatiōs.

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The end of Byshop Boners Prologe.

MarginaliaThe incōstant mutabilitie of Wint. and Boner.What man readyng and aduising this booke of Winchester De vera obedientia, with Boners preface before the same, would euer haue thought, any alteration could so worke in mans harte, to make these men thus to turne the catte (as they say) in the panne, and to starte so sodenly from the truth so manifestly knowen, so pithely proued, so vehemently defended, & (as it seemed) so faythfully subscribed. If they dissēbled all this that they wrote, subscribed, & sware vnto: what periurie most execrable was it before God and mā? If they ment good fayth, and spake then as they thought, what pestilent blindes is this so sodenly fallē vpō thē, to make that false now, which was true before, or that to be now true, whiche before was false? Thus to say and vnsay, and then to say agayn, to do and vndoe, and as a man would say, to play fast or loose with truth, truly a man may say, is not the doyng of a man, whiche is in any case to be trusted, what soeuer he doth or sayth. But here a mā may see what man is of hym self, when Gods good humble spirite lacketh to be his guide.

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MarginaliaThe Sermon of Tonstall before the king, made on Palme Sonday.Furthermore, to adde vnto them, the iudgement also 

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This was published as A sermon of Cuthbert Tonstall, Bishop of Durham, Preached on Palm Sunday, 1539, before King Henry VIII (London, 1823). The original was published in London by the T Berthelet press in 1539.

and argumentes of Tonstall Bishop of Durresme, let vs see how he agreeth with thē or rather much excedeth thē in his sermō made before kyng Henry vpō palme sonday, remaynyng yet in print. In the which sermon, disputing agaynst the wrongfull supremacie of the Bishop of Rome, he proueth by manifest groundes most effectuously, both out of the scripture, aunciēt Doctors, & of Councels, not only that the Bishop of Rome hath no such authoritie by the worde of God committed to him, as he doth chalenge: but also in requiring and chalengyng the same, he reproueth and condemneth hym with great zeale & ardent spirit to be a proude Lucifer, disobedient to the ordinarie Powers of God set ouer hym, contrary to Christ and Peter, and finally in raisyng vp warre agaynst vs for the same: he therfore rebuketh and defyeth hym, as a most detestable sower of discorde, and murtherer of Christian men.

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