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1268 [1267]

K. Hen. 8. The Bull of Pope Leo. X. Agaynst M. Luther.

Now as you haue heard the presumptuous and arrogant Sentence of Pope Clement, wherein he taketh vpon hym, contrary to the ordinaunce of God in his Leuiticall law (as before is shewed pag. 1025.) and contrary to the best learned iudgementes of Christendome, to commaunde and compell the kyng against his conscience, to reteine in Matrimony his brothers wife: here followeth in lyke order to be inferred, accordyng to my promise, MarginaliaPope Leo hys Bull agaynst Luther, 

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Exsurge Domini

Martin Luther's excommunication by Pope Leo X was a classic moment of definition as far as the Reformers were concerned, and there are numerous biographies and other studies of Luther's development to this point. The best are probably H. Boehmer, Martin Luther: Road to Reformation (trs.J.W. Doberstein and T.G. Tappert) (London, 1946); R.H. Fife, The Revolt of Martin Luther (London, 1957); and M. Brecht, Martin Luther: His road to Reformation, 1483-1521 (trs J. L. Schaaf) (Minneapolis, 1985).

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David Loades
University of Sheffield

and the appellation of M. Luther, from the Pope by way of an Appendix. an other like wicked, blasphemous, and sclaunderous Bull of Pope Leo agaynst Martin Luther, with the iust Appellation also of the sayd Martin Luther, from the Pope to a generall Councell. Wherein may appeare to all men the lying spirite of the Pope, both in teachyng most hereticall doctrine, derogatyng from the bloud of Christ, and also falsely deprauyng and peruertyng the sounde doctrine of Luther, falsely and vntruely chargyng him wyth heresie, when he is the greatest hereticke him selfe. For what hereticke would euer say that the Churche of Rome was consecrate and sanctified by the bloud of Peter, but onely the Pope? Or who would call this heresie, to referre all our saluation and sanctification onely and totally to the bloud of the sonne of God, vnlesse he were an hereticke of all heretickes himselfe?

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MarginaliaThe Pope playeth with Luther as Achab played with Elias, saying that he was the troubler of Israell, when it was he hym selfe and hys fathers house that so did. After the like dealyng we read. 3. Reg. 18. of wicked kyng Achab, who beyng onely the disturber of Israell him selfe, cryeth out vpon Elias, for troublyng Israell. So here in semblable wise Pope Leo, with what heape of tragicall wordes and exclamations doth he fare and rage agaynst the true seruaūt of God poore Luther, for disturbing the church of God, when it is the Pope onely & his fathers house that troubleth, and long hath troubled the true Church of the Lord, as by his doyngs all the world may see inough and to much. In the meane tyme read, I besech thee, with iudgement this impudent & false sclaunderous Bull of the Pope, with the appeale also of Luther agayne from the sayd pope. The copie wherof because they be rare to be gottē, and hath not bene hetherto commonly sene, 

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The Bulla contra errors M. Lutheri et sequacium, had been published by J. Schott in Strasbourg in 1520. Luther's response had been published at once, but the version which Foxe probably used appeared in the Tomus primus omnium operum, published in Wittenberg by Johannes Lufft in 1545. The translation and commentary appear to be Foxe's original composition. The Latin texts of both the Bull and of Luther's response were omitted after 1563.

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beyng before omitted I thought to cōmit here to history as I had it out of certaine Registers: the maner & tenor wherof is this as foloweth.

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A copy of the Bull of Pope Leo x. no lesse sclaunderous then barbarous, agaynst Martin Luther and his doctrine. Leo Papa. x.

MarginaliaThe Bull of pope Leo agaynst M. Luther. LEo Episcopus seruus seruorum Dei ad perpetuam rei memoriam: Exurge Domine & iudica causam tuā. Memor esto impropriorū eorum quæ ab insipientibus fiunt tota die. Inclina aurem tuā ad preces nostras, quoniā surrexerunt vulpes querētes demoliri vineam, cuius tu torcular solus calcasti, & ascensurus ad patrem, eius curā, regimē, & administrationem Petro tanquam capiti, & tuo vicario eiusq; successoribus instar triumphantis Ecclesiæ commisisti. &c.

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¶ The said sclaūderous and barbarous Bull of Pope Leo the. x. agaynst Luther, in English with the aunswere of Luther ioyned to the same.
MarginaliaThe Popes Bul in Englishe.

LEO Bishop, seruant of the seruaūtes of God, for a perpetuall memory hereof. Rise vp O Lord, and iudge thy cause. Remember the rebukes wherewith we are scorned all the day long of foolish rebukers. Encline thyne eare to our prayers: for Foxes are risen vp, seekyng to destroy thy Vineyard, the vinepresse wherof thou onely hast troden, and ascendyng vp to thy Father, hast committed the charge and regiment thereof vnto Peter as chief head, and to thy Vicare and his successours. The wylde Bore out of the wood seeketh to exterminate and roote vp thy Vineyard. Rise vp Peter, and for this thy pastorall charge committed to thee from aboue, entēd to the cause of the holy Church of Rome, the mother of all Churches, and of our faith, which thou by the commaundement of God didst consecrate wich thyne owne bloud: MarginaliaNote here and marke good reader how the Church of Rome holdeth by the bloud of S. Peter and not by the bloud of Christ. agaynst which (as thou hast foretold vs) false lyers haue risen vp, bringyng in sectes of perdition, to their own speedy destruction. Whose toung is lyke fire, full of vnquietnes, and replenished with deadly poyson: who hauyng a wicked zeale, and nourishyng contentions in their hartes, do bragge and lye agaynst the veritie.

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Rise vp Paule also, we pray thee, which hast illuminate the same Church with thy doctrine and like Martyrdome. For now is sprong vp a new Porphyrie, who, as the sayd Porphyrie then vniustly dyd sclaunder thy holy Apostels, so semblably doth this man now sclaunder, reuile, rebuke, byte, and barke agaynst the holy Byshops our predecessours, not in beseechyng them, but in rebukyng them. And where he distrusteth his cause, there he falleth to obprobrious checkes & rebukes, after the wonted vse of heretickes, whose vtmost refuge is this (as Hierome sayth) that when they see their cause go to wracke, then like Serpentes they cast out their venome with their toung, and when they see themseues, neare to be ouercome, they fall to rayling. For though heresies (as thou sayest) must needes be, for the exercise of the faythfull: yet lest these heresies should further encrease and these Foxes gather strength against vs, it is needefull that by thy meanes and helpe, they be suppressed and extinguished at the begynnyng.

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Finally let all the whole vniuersall Churche of Gods Saintes and Doctours rise vp, whose true expoundyng of holy Scripture beyng reiected, certaine persons (whose hartes the father of lyes hath blynded) & wise in their owne cōceites (as þe maner of heretickes is) do expoūde the scriptures otherwise then the holy Ghost doth require, followyng onely their owne sense of ambition and vaynglory: yea rather do wrast and adulterate the Scriptures: so that as Hierome sayth, now they make it not the Gospell of Christ, but of man, or which is worse, of the deuill.

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Let all the holy Church I say, rise vp, & with the blessed Apostles together make intercession to almighty God, that the errours of all schismatickes beyng rooted & stocked vp, his holy Church may be conserued in peace and vnitie.

For of late (which for sorow we can not expresse) by credible information and also by publicke fame it hath come to our eares, yea we haue sene also and read with our eyes, diuers and sundry errours, of which some haue bene condemned by Councels and constitutions of our predecessours, cōtainyng expresly þe heresies of the Greekes & of the Bohemians: MarginaliaRespectiuely some agayne respectiuely, either hereticall, or false, or sclaunderous, or offensiue to good eares, or such as may seduce simple myndes, newly to be raised vp, by certaine false pretensed Gospellers: who by curious pride, seekyng worldly glory agaynst the doctrine of the Apostle, would be more wise then becommeth them, whose bablyng (as S. Hierome calleth it) without authoritie of the Scriptures, should finde no credite, vnlesse they should seeme to cōfirme their false doctrine euen with testimonies of the Scripture, but yet falsely interpreted. Which worketh vs so much the more grief, for þt those heresies be sprōg in þe noble nation of the Germaines, vnto the which nation we with our predecessours, haue alwayes borne speciall fauour and affection. For after the Empire was first translated by the Church of Rome, from the Greekes vnto the Germainies, MarginaliaThe Germanes in olde tyme most addicted to popery aboue all other nations the sayd our predecessours and we, haue alwayes had them as speciall fautours & defenders of this our Church, and they haue alwayes shewed themselues as most earnest suppressours of heresies: as witnes wherof remayne yet those laudable constitutiōs of the Germane Emperours, set forth and confirmed by our predecessours, for the libertie of the Church, and for expulsing heretickes out of all Germanye, and that vnder greuous penaltie and losse of all their goods and landes. Which constitutions, if they were obserued this present day, both we and they should now be free from this disturbaūce.

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Furthermore, the heresie of the Hussites, Wicleuistes, & of Hierome of Prage, being condemned and punished in the Coūcell of Constance, doth witnes þe same. Moreouer doth witnes the same, so much bloud of þe Germaines spilt fightyng agaynst the Bohemians. To conclude, the same also is confirmed & witnessed by the learned & true confutation, reprobation and cōdemnation set forth by the Vniuersities of Colene and Louaine in Germany agaynst the foresayd errours. Many other witnesses also we might alledge, which here, least we should seeme to write a story, we pretermit.

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Wherfore we for the charge of our Pastorall office committed vnto vs, can no longer forbeare or wincke at the pestiferous poysen of the foresayd errours: of the which errours we thought here good to recite certaine. The tenour of which is this, as foloweth.

MarginaliaArticles of Luther.

It is an old heresie to say, that the Sacramentes of the new law doth geue grace to them, qui non ponunt obicem. I. which haue in themselues to the contrary, no let.

In a child after his Baptisme, to denye that sinne remaineth, is to tread downe Paule and Christ vnder foote.

The origine of sinne, although no actuall sinne do folow after, doth staye the soule leauyng the body, from the entraunce into heauen.

Vnperfite charitie of a mā departyng, must needes bryng with it great feare, which of it selfe is inough to deserue the payne of Purgatory, and stoppeth the entraunce into the kyngdome of heauen.

To say that penaunce standeth of three partes, to wytte, cōtrition, confession, and satisfaction, is not founded in holy Scripture, nor in auncient, holy and Christian Doctours.

Contrition, which a man styrreth vp in him selfe, by discussing, remembryng, and detesting his sinnes, in reuoluyng his former yeares in bitternes of soule and in pondering the waight, nūber, and filthynes of his sinnes, the leesing of eternall blisse, and getting of eternall damnation: this contrition

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