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1313 [1313]

K. Henry. 8. The aunsweres of Iohn Lambert, to the Byshops Articles.

and trappe me in: whether the heades be bound, and that by necessity of saluatiō, to deliuer it to the people: and whether for oportunitie of tyme, they may ordayn to restrayne it for some cause and by some reasonable aduisement of thē taken. Sed frustra iacitur rete ante oculos pēnatorū. MarginaliaProuerb. 1.But without cause you spread the nette before the eyes of the byrdes or foules. I shew you playnly, that notwithstandyng all these thynges, in myne opinion, it was not well done to inhibite it, and worse, that the Bishops haue not sith amended it, if so bee they could, that the people might haue it to vse and occupy vertuously.

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And here I will adde one reason. The Scripture is the spirituall foode and sustenaūce of mans soule. This is shewed to be true in many places of Scripture: like as other corporal meate is the foode of the body. MarginaliaA perfect reason why scripture ought not to be withdrawen from the people at any tyme.Then, if he be an vnkynd father that kepeth bodely meate away the space of a weeke or a moneth from hys childrē, it should seeme that our Bishops be no gentle pastours or fathers, that keepe awaye the foode of mens soules frō them (specially when other do offer the same) both monethes, yeres, and ages. Neither do I see any oportunity of tyme, or reasonable aduisement, that should cause it to be withdrawen and taken away, but the cōtrary rather: for it is reason, conuenient, and nedefull for men to eate their meate euer when they are ryght hongry, and blessed are they that honger and thyrst after the word of God, which teacheth to know hym, & to do hys pleasure at all tymes: for that do we craue euery day in our Pater noster, saying: giue vs Lord, our heauenly bread. MarginaliaMath. 5.

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¶ Aunswere to the. 28. Article.

MarginaliaTo the. 28. article.In the xxviij. where you do aske whether I beleue that consecrations, halowynges, and blessynges vsed in the Church, are to bee praysed? MarginaliaHalowinges and blessings, some alowed, some not.I say, that I know not of all, and therfore I will not disprayse them, neither can I therfore ouer much speake of them all, seing I know them not: such as are the hallowyng of belles, the hallowyng of Pilgrimes, when they should go to Rome, the hallowyng of beades, and such lyke. But those whiche I am aduised of and do remember, bee in myne opinion, good: such as is this. MarginaliaHalowing of bread.When the Priest hath consecrated holybread, he sayth: Lord blesse thys creature of bread, as you did blesse the fiue loaues in desert, that all parsons tastyng therof, may receaue health. &c. which I would euery mā myght say in Englishe, when he should go to meate: I lyke it so well.

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MarginaliaBlessing of him that goeth to reade the Gospell.Also this is a right good one, that is sayd ouer hym that shall read the Gospell: The Lord be in your heart and in your mynde and mouth, to pronounce and shew forth hys blessed Gospell. Which is also spoken ouer a preacher takyng benediction, when hee shall go into a Pulpite. All such good thynges I lyke very well, and thynke them commendable, wyshyng therfore that all people might know what they meane, that they with reioyse of heart, myght pray ioyfully with vs & delight in all goodnes: whiche should be, if they were vttered in English, accordyng to the mynde of S. Paul. 1. Cor. 9. where he wisheth, rather to speake fiue woordes in the Churche hartely with vnderstandyng, wherby other might haue instruction, then ten thousand wordes in a toūgue vnknowen. Marginalia1. Cor. 1.Yea to say truth, and truth it is in deede, that I shall say: a good thyng, the further and the more largely or appertly it is knowen, the further the vertue therof spreadeth, and rooteth in mens hartes and remembraunce. God send therfore the blynd to see, and the ignoraunt to haue knowledge of all good thynges.

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Thus I conclude, that consecrations, hallowynges, and blessynges vsed in the Churche (so farre fourth, as I remember and know) be commendable. Of other I can gyue no sentence, wyshing euē as I trust men shall once see it come to passe, that all good thynges may bee songe and spoken in our vulgare toung.

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¶ Aunswere to the. 29. Article.

MarginaliaTo the 29. article.
Lawes and obseruaunces of the pope, whether they bynde to deadly sinne.
In the xxix. where you do aske, whether I beleue that the Pope may make lawes, and Statutes to bynd all Christen men to the obseruaūce of the same, vnder the payne of deadly sinne, so that such lawes & statutes be not contrary to the law of God? I say, that if it bee true that is written in the Decrees, that is to wit: Lawes be neuer confirmed vntill they be approued by common maners of them that shall vse them: then can not the Popes lawes bynd all Christen men: MarginaliaThe popes not receiued of all men.for the Grekes, and the Bohemes will (as you do know full well) neuer admitte them, but do refuse them vtterly, so that I do not finde, that hys lawes may bynde all Christen men.

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MarginaliaThe pope hath no power to make lawes binding vnder deadly sinne, more then hath the king, or Emperour.Finally, I can not see, that he hath authority to make lawes, byndyng men to the obseruaunce of them vnder payne of deadly sinne, more then hath the kyng or the Emperour: and to say soth, I say (as I haue sayd afore) I thynke verely that the Churche was more full of vertue before the Decrees or Decretals were made (which is not very long agoe, but in the tyme of Constantine, MarginaliaDist. 15. cap. Canones gneralium.if it bee true that is reported in the Decrees Distinct. 15. cap. Canones generalium) then it hath bene sith: God repayre it, and restore it agayne to the auncient puritie and perfection.

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¶ Aunswere to the. 30. Article.

MarginaliaTo the 30. article.In the xxx. where you do aske, whether I beleue that the Pope, and other Prelates & their deputies in spirituall thynges, haue power to excommunicate Priestes, and lay people that are inobediēt and sturdie, from entryng into the Church, and to suspende or let them frō ministration of the Sacramētes of the same? MarginaliaThe power of the Pope and prelates to excommunicate.I thinke, that the Pope and other Prelates haue power to excōmunicate both Priestes, and lay men, such as be rebellious agaynst the ordinaunce of God, and disobedient to hys law, for such are sondred frō God, afore the Prelates do geue sentēce, by reason of their sinnes and cōtumacie, accordyng as it is sayd in Esai by almyghty God: Your sinnes (quoth he) do make diuision betwixte you and me. MarginaliaEsa. 59.And the Prelates by ryght iudgement, should pronoūce of sinners, as they do finde them, and that is, to pronoūce such to be excommunicate of God, and vnworthy to minister any Sacramentes, or to bee conuersaunt with Christen folke, that will not amend. For thus biddeth Paul. 1. Cor. 5. If any amongest you called a brother, shall be an whoremonger, or a couetous person, or a worshipper of Images or Idols, or a rayler, or a dronkard, or an extortioner, see that with such you eate no meate. Such ought to bee put out of the Churche, and not bee suffered to come within it. Marginalia1. Cor. 5.

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MarginaliaA doubte whether prelates haue any such power to exclude any from the church.I am not certain þt Prelates haue any such power. And though they had, I doubt whether charitye should permitte them to shewe it forth and execute it, without singuler discretion. For in Churches ought the worde of God to be declared and preached, thorow the which the sturdy comming thether and hearing it, might sone be smitten with compunction and repentaunce, and there vpon come to amendement. This cōfirmeth well a law made in the Councell of Carthage, which is this. MarginaliaDistin. 1. de consecra.A Bishop ought to prohibite no person to come into the Churche, and to heare the word of God, whether he be Gentile, or Iewe, or hereticke, vntill the masse time of thē that are called Catechumini de conse. distinct. 1. MarginaliaDist. 1. de consecr.

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MarginaliaBishops deputies not behoueable.Moreouer, where you speake of Prelates deputies: I thinke such be but litle behouable to Christes flocke. It were necessary and right, that as the Prelates them selues will haue the reuenues, tithes, and oblations of their benefices, they them selues shoulde labour and teach diligently the worde of God therfore, and not to shift the labour from one vnto an other, till all be lefte (pity it is se) vndone. Such doth S. Iohn call, fures & latrones, theues and murtherers, though they make neuer so goodly a worldly shewe outwarde, and beare a stout porte. This I say, that the Pope and other Pre-

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