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1120 [1119]

K. Hen. 8. The disputation of Lambert before the king.

I told you before, how þt kyng Henry for two yeares past shewyng the part of an hard husbād, had beheaded Quene Anne his wife. Which deede did not onely greatly displease the Germaine Princes (who for that onely cause had broken of the league with him, an. 1536.) but also many other good men in England.

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Moreouer, how that within a while after, Abbayes began to be subuerted, and all their goodes to be confiscate and geuen abroad. For which causes, but especially for the late abolishyng of the Byshop of Rome, the commons had conceyued a very euill opinion of him, in somuch that the seditious sort rebelled agaynst him.

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MarginaliaStephen Gardiner byshop of Winchester. At that tyme Steuen Gardiner then Byshop of Winchester, was in authoritie amongest the kynges Counsellers 

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In these passages, Foxe tries to place the blame for Lambert's prosecution and away from Henry VIII, Barnes, Cranmer and Cromwell, who were truly responsible.

: who as he was of a cruell nature, so was he no lesse of a subtile and crafty witte, euer gapyng for some occasion how to let and hynder the Gospell: albeit a long tyme he was not so greatly estemed with the kyng, that he could much preuaile to atchiue his conceaued purpose: But at length: vpon this matter aduising him selfe, he thought he had apte occasion and oportunitie to accomplish his desire. MarginaliaThe pernicious councell of the byshop of Winchester. Neither did he forslacke the occasion ministred, but went straight vnto the kyng, priuely admonishyng him, and with fayre flattering wordes, geuyng hym most pernitious counsell, declaryng how great hatred and suspicion was raysed vpon him, almost in all places:

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First, for abolishing the Byshop of Romes authoritie, then for subuersion of the Monasteries, and also for that the diuorcement of Queene Katherine was yet fresh in mens myndes: and now the tyme serued, if he would take it, easely to remedy all these matters, and pacifie the myndes of them, which were offended with him, if onely in this matter of Iohn Lambert, he would manifest vnto the people, how stoutly he would resist heretickes: and by this new rumor he should bryng to passe, not onely to extinguish all other former rumours, and as it were with one nayle to driue out an other, but also should discharge himselfe of all suspition, in that he now began to be reported to be a fauourer of new Sectes and opinions.

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The kyng geuing eare more willingly, then prudently or godly to this Syrene, immediatly receiued the wicked counsaile of the Bishop, MarginaliaThe nobles and bishopes assembled to Lāberts disputation. and by and by sent out a generall Commission, commaundyng all the nobles and Bishops of this Realme, to come with all speede, to London to assiste king agaynst heretickes and heresies, which the kyng him selfe would sit in iudgement vpon.

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These preparations made, a day was set for Lambert, where a great assembly of the nobles was gathered from all partes of the Realme, not without much wonder and expectation in this so straunge a case. All the seates and places were full of men round about the scaffold.

MarginaliaLambert brought before the king to dispute. By and by the godly seruaunt of Christ Iohn Lambert was brought from the prison with a garde of armed men, euen as a Lambe to fight with many Lyons, & placed right ouer against where the kynges royall seat was, so that now they taried but for the kynges comming to the place.

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At the last the kyng himselfe did come as Iudge of that great controuersie, with a great garde, clothed all in white, as couering by that colour and dissimulyng seueritie of all bloudy iudgement.

On his right hand sate the Byshops, and behynd them the famous Lawyers, clothed all in purple, accordyng to the maner. On the left hand sat the Peeres of the Realme, the Iustices, and other Nobles in their order: behynde whom sat the Gentlemen of the Kynges priuye Chamber. And this was the maner and forme of the Iudgement, which albeit it was terrible inough of it selfe, to abash any innocent, MarginaliaThe kinges sterne loke agaynst Lambert. yet the kynges looke, his cruell countenaunce, and his browes bent vnto seuerity, did not a litle augment this terrour, playnly declaryng a mynde full of indignation farre vnworthy such a Prince, especially in such a matter and agaynst so humble and obedient a subiect.

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When the kyng was set in his throne, he beheld Lambert with a sterne countenaunce, and then turnyng himselfe vnto his coūsaillours, he called forth Doct. Day Byshop of Chechester, cōmaundyng him to declare vnto the people, the causes of this present assembly and iudgement.

MarginaliaThe Oration of Doctor Day. The whole effect of his Oration tended in a maner, to this point: That the kyng in this Session would haue all states, degrees, Byshops and all other, to be admonished of his will and pleasure, that no man should conceaue any sinister opinion of hym, that now the authoritie and name of the Byshop of Rome beyng vtterly abolished, he would also extinguish all Religion, or geue libertie vnto heretickes to perturbe and trouble the Churches of England, without punishment, whereof he is the head: and moreouer that they should not thinke, that they were assembled at that present, to make any disputation vppon the hereticall doctrine, but onely for this purpose, that by the industry of him and other Byshops, the heresies of this man here present (meanyng Lambert) and the heresies of all such lyke, should be refuted or openly condemned in the presence of them all.

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When he had made an ende of his Oration, the Kyng standyng vp vpon his feete leaning vppon a cushion of white cloth of tissue, turnyng himselfe toward Lambert with his browes bent, as it were threatnyng some greuous thyng vnto him, sayd these wordes: MarginaliaThe kinges wordes to Lambert. Hoe good felow, what is thy name? Then the humble Lambe of Christ, humbly kneling down vpē his knee, sayd: My name is Iohn Nicolson, although of many I be called Lābert. What (sayd the kyng) haue you two names? I would not trust you hauyng two names, although you were, my brother. Lambert. O most noble Prince, your byshops forced me of necessitie to chaūge my name. And after diuers Prefaces and much talke had in this maner, the king cōmaunded him to go vnto the matter, and to declare his mynde and opinion what he thought as touchyng the Sacrament of the aultar.

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MarginaliaLambertes oration to the king. Then Lambert begynnyng to speake for himselfe, gaue God thankes which had so inclined the hart of the kyng, that he himselfe would not disdaine to here and vnderstand the controuersies of Religion: MarginaliaThe crueltye of Byshops noted. for that it happeneth oftentymes, through the crueltie of the Bishops, that many good and innocent men in many places are priuily murthered and put to death without the kynges knowledge.

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But now for somuch as that hyghe and eternall kyng of kynges, in whose handes are the hartes of all Princes, hath inspired and styrred vp the kynges mynde, that he him selfe wilbe present to vnderstand the causes of his subiectes, specially whom God of his diuine goodnes hath so aboundantly endued with so great giftes of iudgement and knowledge, he doth not mistrust, but that God will bryng some great thyng to passe through him, to the settyng forth of the glory of his name.

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Then the kyng, with an angry voyce, interruptyng his Oration: I came not hether (sayd he) to heare myne owne prayses thus paynted out in my presence, but briefly go to the matter, without any more circumstaunce. Thus he spake in Latine.

But Lambert beyng abashed at the Kynges angrye wordes, contrary to all mens expectation, stayd a while consideryng whether hee might turne him selfe in these great straites and extremities.

MarginaliaThe king fierce vpon Lambert. But the kyng beyng hasty, with anger and vehemencie sayd: why standest thou still? Aunswere as touchyng the Sacrament of the aultar, whether doest thou saye, that it is the body of Christ, or wilt deny it? And with that word the kyng lifted vp his cap.

Lambert I aunswere with S. Augustine, that it is the body of Christ, after a certaine manner. MarginaliaQuodam modo 1. after a certaine maner.

The Kyng. Aunswere me neither out of S. Augustine, neither by the authoritie of any other, but tell me playnly, whether thou sayest it is the body of Christ, or no? These wordes the kyng spake agayne in Latin.

Lambert. Then I deny it to be the body of Christ.

The Kyng. Marke well, for now thou shalt be condemned euen by Christes owne words: Hoc est corpus meum.

MarginaliaThe Archbishops reasons. Then he commaunded Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Caunterbury to refute his assertion: who first makyng a short Preface vnto the hearers, began his disputation with Lambert, very modestly, sayinge: Brother Lambert, lette thys matter be handled betwene vs indifferently, that if I do conuince this your argument to be false by the Scriptures, you will willingly refuse the same: but if you shall proue it true by the manifest testimonies of the Scripture, I do promise, I will willingly embrace the same.

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MarginaliaThe Archbishops argument. The argument was this, taken out of that place of the Actes of the Apostles, where as Christ appeared vnto S. Paule by the way: disputyng out of that place, that it is not disagreable to the word of GOD, that the body of Christ may be in two places at once, which beyng in heauen, was sene vnto S. Paule þe same time vpon earth: and if it may be in two places, why by the like reason, may it not be in many places?

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In this maner the Archbyshop began to refute the secōd argument of Lambert, which as we haue before sayd, was written & deliuered by the sayd Lābert, vnto the preacher: For the kyng had first disputed agaynst his first reason.

MarginaliaLamberts aunswer to Cranmers obiection. Lambert aunswered vnto this argument, saying: that the Minor was not thereby proued, that Christes body was dispersed in two places, or more, but remained rather still in one place, as touching the maner of his body. For the Scripture doth not say, that Christ beyng vpon earth did speake vnto Paule: but that sodenly a light from heauen did shyne round about hym, and he fallyng to the grounde, heard a voyce saying vnto him: Saule, Saule, why doest

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