That the doctrine of the Albigenses spread itself in England, and continued there till the time of the Reformation.
HENRY KNIGHTON tells us, that the Albigensian heretics came over into England in the reign of King John, and that some of them were burnt alive. But yet we must not think that their doctrine by this means was wholly extinguished; for we find the same appearing again in the persons of the Lollards and Wicklefites. I distinguish the Lollards from the Wicklefites, as being more ancient than they, having appeared in Flanders and Germany from the beginning of the 14th century, as appears from the testimonies of Johannes Hoesemius and of the Abbot Trithemius; though the same name was afterwards given to the Wicklefites, as is evident from the writings of Walsingham and William Thorn. They seem to have come from the Waldenses and Albigenses, by what Kilianus tells us; Lollardus quoque dicitur hereticus Waldensis:
“A Lollard is also called a Waldensian heretic.” I need only therefore speak of their numbers, which, as Knighton assures us, covered all England: but since they have been charged with most horrid crimes, because they spoke against the images of the saints, and the rest of the Romish superstitions, as well as the vices of the clergy; it will be absolutely necessary to clear them from these false imputations, in the most authentic manner that may be.
Let us therefore examine the calumnies charged upon them by Trithemius, in his Chronicle of Hirsauge, on the year 1316, as they were copied by Natalis Alexander, a jacobite Friar, in his Ecclesiastical History. The heads of the heresies which Trithemius reckons up are these:
“I. That masses were vain things, to which neither any reverence was due, nor were they of any use or profit.”
“II. That Lucifer, with his devils, being unjustly driven out of heaven, should be restored to bliss again; and that Michael, with all the angels, should be sentenced to everlasting punishment; and that all those that were not of their sect should be damned after the same manner.”
“III. That the blessed Virgin Mary, if she continued a virgin after her delivery, must have brought forth not a man but an angel.”
“IV. They boasted themselves to have twelve Apostles, who every year visited the whole empire; and that two of these being elders in order and profession, did every year enter paradise, and there receive from Enoch and Elias the power of binding and loosing, which they afterwards communicated to the other professors of their sect.”
“V. They derided the sacrament of Baptism; saying, if baptism be a sacrament, then every bath is a sacrament, and by consequence every keeper of a bath must be God.”
“VI. They shamefully abused the sacrament of Penance, by confessing their sins not to Priests but laymen, and expressing them only in general, and not in particular, and yet they hoped by this their confession, to obtain full and perfect forgiveness both of guilt and punishment.”
“VII. The sacrament of the Lord’s body they did not believe at all, calling the consecrated Host, a God made with hands.”
“VIII. They called the sacrament of Matrimony that was sworn to, fornication.”
“IX. They derided the sacrament of Extreme Unction; and being examined what they thought of it, they unanimously answered, We believe that herbs, the more they are laid in oil, the better they are: and they vilified all the consecrations and blessings used in the Church, as so many vain and useless ceremonies.”
“X. They blasphemously asserted, that God neither knew nor punished any sins that were committed under the earth, for which reason they used to meet in caves and places under ground, where fathers committed filthiness promiscuously with their daughters, and brothers with their sisters.”
“XI. That the Church of Rome was not the Church of Christ, but of infidel heathens; and they despised all ecclesiastical laws, together with all the Bishops and Ministers of the Church.”
“XII. Fasts they mocked at, eating flesh at all times, Good-Friday not excepted.”
“XIII. They kept no holydays, but wrought even upon Easter-day.”
“XIV. They denied that perjury was a sin.”
“XV. They denied that the merits or intercessions of the saints could prevail with God for the pardon of men’s sins. And he says, that beside these they professed many other errors, which he omits, for fear of being tedious to his readers. He adds also, that this heresy did so far prevail, that in Austria, Bohemia, and the neighboring provinces, there were above fourscore thousand men who were sworn to the profession of this sect. From these dregs of heresy, saith he, Bohemia being then infected, continues tainted with the same to this day. He subjoins, that many of these heretics were at the same time burnt in divers places of Austria, who all of them continued obstinately in their heresy, with great cheerfulness, until death. Walter, a chief man of that sect, was burnt at Collen in the year 1323, as Trithemius tell us in his Chronicle of the monastery of Hirsaugen, in the diocese of Spires.”
Nothing can be imagined more horrid than these calumnies, and we need not doubt but they were supported by many pretended convictions made by the Inquisitors of Germany: but it is easy to demonstrate, that there is scarce any ground for all these accusations, which therefore is a plain proof of what I have elsewhere maintained concerning these persecuted persons, who used it for a proverb in England, He lies like a Monk. We have an authentic piece of the Lollards, which Roger Dimmock, a jacobite Friar, hath confuted in a manuscript, whereof there are two copies at Cambridge, the one in the public library, and another, older than that, in Trinity college. They presented this confession of theirs to the Parliament, which gave occasion to this Monk to insert it in English, together with his Latin translation, into a book which he dedicated to King Richard II. I need only set down the original, with the Latin translation of Roger Dimmock, which will be sufficient to confound all the calumnies of the Inquisitors.
The Petition of the Lollards
Nos pauperes homines thesaurarii sive thesaurus Christi et Apostolorum ejus, denunciamus vobis Dominis et Communibus praesentis Parliamenti certas quaestiones et veritates pro reformatione sanctae Ecclesiae Anglicanae, quae caeca extitit et leprosa annis plurimis per manutenentiam superbae praclaciae supportatae adulationibus privatarum religionum, sive privatae religionis multiplicatae ad magnum onus, et est effectus populis onerosus in Anglia. Secunda conclusio hanc continet sententiam.
We pore men tresorers of Christ and his Apostels, denouncyn to the Lordes and Commens of the Parliament, certeyn conclusions and treuthes for the reformation of holi Church of Inglond, the which hath ben blend and leprouse many yere, be the mayntenance of the proud prelaci, born up with flateryng of privat religion. The which is multiplied to a grete charge, and onerous to pepil here in Inglond. Quando Ecclesia Anglicana incoepit delirare in possessione temporalium secundum novercam suam magnam Romanam Ecclesiam, et Ecclesiae mortificatae erant sive occisae per appropriationem diversorum locorum: fides, spes, et caritas, coeperunt fugere extra Ecclesiam nostram, quia superbia cum sua prole perversa peccatorum mortalium vendicabant Ecclesiam nostram titulo haereditario. Ista quaestio est genemlis, et probata, ut dicunt, experientia et more, ut Whan the Chirch of Inglond began to dote in temperalte after hir step-moder the grete Chirche of Rome, and the Chirches were slayn be appropriacion to divers places: feythe, hope, and charite, begon for to fle out of our Chirch, for pride wit his sori genealogy of dedely sinnes chalangith it, be title of heritage. This conclusion is generale, and is proved by experience, custum, and manner, as you shall heryn affter.
audies in sequentibus. Haec est secunda quaestio: sacerdotium nostrum usuale quod incoepit in civitate Romana ficta altioris potestatis potestate angelica, non est sacerdotium a Christo suis discipulis ordinatum. Probatur sic Haec quaestio, sacerdotium Romanum fictum cum signis et ritibus ac Episcoporum benedictionibus, est pravae virtutis, nullibi in sacra Scriptura exemplatum: quia ordinalia sive rubricae Episcoporum pravae sunt fidei vel autoritatis in Novo Testamento, et nescimus videre quod Spiritus Sanctus dat dona sua propter aliqua talia signa, quia ipse et nobilia dona sua stare non possunt cum peccato mortali in aliqua una persona.
The secund conclusion is this: our usuel priesthode, the which began in Rome, feyned of a power heyer than angels, is not the priesthode, the which Christ ordeyned to his Apostells. This conclusion is proved; for the priesthode of Rome is marked with signes, rites, and Bishopes blessyngs, and that is of litel virtu, no whet ensamplede in holi Scripture. For the Bishopes ordinals in the New Testament ben litel of record, and we can not se that the Holi Gost for any such signes gifbs any gifts: for he and his holy giftes mai not stond with dedely synne in no manner person.
Corrolaria hujus quaestionis est, quod valde extraneum sive novum est pluribus hominibus sapientibus videre Episcopos ludere cum Spiritu Sancto in suorum ordinum collatione, quia coronas conferunt in caracteribus loco servorum alborum, et illa est libemta Antichristi sive ejus signum in istam Ecclesiam introductum ad otium palliandum.
The correlary of this conclusion, that it is full unketh to many that be wise, to se Bishopes play with the Holi Gost in makyng of her orders, for thei gif crownes in carecters in stede of whit hertes, and that is the liveray of Antichrist brought into holi Church to colour idleness.
Tertia quaestio dolorosa est ista, lex continentiae sacerdotio annexa quae in pracjudicium foeminarum
The trid conclusion sorowful to here, is that the law of continence enexed to priest-hode, fuit primitus introducta, inducit sodomiam in universalem sanctam Ecclesiam: sed per Bibliam excusamus nos propter suspectum decretum quod dicit quia nempe non deberemus nominare id peccatum: ratio et experientia hanc probat quacstionem, quia deliciosi cibi et potus ecclesiasticorum requirit necessariam purgationem naturalem vel pejorem, experientia occultac probationis talium, ergo non habent delectationem in mulieribus, et cum talem repereris, nota eum bene, quia ipse est unus ex illis. Correlaria hujus quaestionis est quod dignum valde esset adnullare privatas religiones hujus peccati incoeptores: sed Deus ex sua magna potestate de peecatis privatis manifestam sumat vindictam.
that in prejudice of wymmen was frst ordegnet, inducyth sodomy in all holi Chirch: bot we excuse us be the Bible, for the suspecte decre that saith, that we shall not it. Reson and experience provyth this conclusion, for delicious metis and drynkes of men of’ holi Chirch, will haf nedful purgation of kind or wers. Experience for the privy asay of such men is, that thai lik no wymmen, and whan thow provest such a man, mark him wele, for be is on of tho. The correlary of this conclusion, that the privat religions begynners of this synne, were most worthi to ben anulled: but God of hys might of prive synnes send open vengeance.
Quarta quaestio quae plus damnificat populum innocentem, est quia fictum miraculum sacri panis inducit omnes homines, paucis exceptis, ad idolatriam, quia ipsi acstimant quod corpus Domini quod nunquam exibit coelum, virtute verborum sacerdotis sit in exiguo pane quem ipsi populo ostendunt; sed utinam vellent credere quod Doctor evangelicus dicit in suo Trialogo, quia panis altaris est habitudinaliter corpus Christi; quia supponimus quod The ferth conclusion, that most harmeth the innocent pepel is this, that the feyned miracle of the sacrament of bred inducyth al men but a few, to idolatre; for thai wen that Goddis bodi that nevere schal out of heven, bevirtu of Priestis wordes be closed essentiali in a litel bred, that thai shew to the people: but would God they would believe what the Doctor evangelicus seis in his Trialoge, quod panis altaris est habitudinaliter corpus isto momento potest quilibet vir et foemina in lege divina conficere sacramentum panis sine aliquo tali miraculo. Correlarium hujus quaestionis est, quod si corpus Christi sit dotatum gloria actema, officium corporis Christi compositum per Sanctum Thomam non est verum, et depictum plenum falsis miraculis; et hoc non est mirum, quia Frater Thomas illo tempore tenens cum Papa, voluit fecisse miraculum de ovo gallinac; et bene novimus quod quodlibet mendacium aperte pracdicatum, cedit illi in verecundiam et injuriam qui semper est fidelis et sine defectu.
Christi. For we suppose that on this wise, mai every trew man and womman in Goddes law, mak the sacrament of this brede without any such miracle. The correlary of this conclusion is, that if Christes bodi be dowid with everlasting joi, the servys of corpus Christi, made be Frere Thomas, is untrew, and peynted ful of fals miracles; and that is no wonder, for Frere Thomas that same tyme holdyng with the Pope, wold haf mad a miracle of an hen egge: and we know well, that every lesyng openly preached, turneth him to vilany that ever was trew, and without defaut.
Quinta quaestio est Haec, exorcismi, sanctificationes, consecrationes sive benedictiones factac in Ecclesia sancta vini et panis, aquac, olei, salis, cerei incensi, sive thuris, mensac altaris, murorum Ecclesiae, vestimentorum mitrac, baculi pastoralis, baculorum peregrinorum et hujusmodi, vem practica sunt nigromanciae potius quam sanctae theologiae.
The fift conclusion is this, that exorsyms and holowyng mad in the Chirch of wine, brede, and way-water, salt, oyle, and encense, the stone of the altar, upon vestment, myter, croys, and pilgrim staves, be the veray practis of nygromancy, rather than of the holi theologi. Haec qusestio probatur sic, per tales exorcismos et consecrationes creaturac sunt onemtac esse altioris virtutis quam sunt ex natura propria, et nihil mutationis This conclusion is proved thus; for be such exorsymes creatures be charget to be of heyer virtu then her own kynd, and we see nothing of chaunge in no such videmus in hujusmodi creaturis exorcizatis vel consecratis nisi per falsam fidem, quae est principale in omni arte diabolica.
creature, that is so charmed but be fals beleve, the which is the principal of the develes craft. Correlarium, si liber qui exorcizat aquam benedictam aspersam in Ecclesiam Dei esset totus verus nobis, videtur vemciter, quia aqua benedicta in sancta Ecclesia usitata optima esset medicina, cujus contrarium experimur. The correlary of this, that if the boke that charmeth hali water sprede were al trewe, us thenk verely, that holi water used in hali Chirch, schuld be the best medecyn to all manner of seknes. Sexta quaestio quae sustentat multam superbiam, est, quod Rex et Pontifex in eadem persona, Praclatus et Judex temporalis causac, Curatus et Officiarius in servicio mundiali quod libet regnum reddit sine regula debita vel convenienti regimine. Haec quaestio probatur sic, potestas temporalis et spiritualis sunt duac partes totius sanctae Ecclesiae, et in eo qui se uni eorum deputavit non deberet se interponere cum altero, quia nemo potest duobus dominis servire, et nobis videtur quod Hermefodrita vel Ambidexter esset conveniens nomen talibus hominibus duplicis status.
The syxt conclusion that maynteneth mychel pride is, that a Kyng and a Bisshop al in on person, a Prelate and a Justice in temperal cause, a Curate and an Officer maken any roem out of gode rewle. This conclusion is oponly schewed, for temperalte and spiritualte be two partis of an holi Chirch, and therefore he that hath taken hym to that one schuld not mell him with that other, quia nemo potest, duobus Dominis servire; and us think that Hermifodrita or Ambidexter were a gode name to such manner of men of dowble estate.
Correlarium, nos procuratores Dei in ista causa instamus et prosequimur ac petimus in isto Parliamento, quod omnesmodi curatores tam alti quam bassi sint plene excusati ab omni officio The correlary is, that we the procuratours of God in this cause, do prosu to this Parlement, that al manner of Curates, both hey and low, ben fully excused of temperel office, temporali, et se occupent cum curis suis, et de nullis aliis se interponant. and occupy hem with her cure and not elles. Septima quaestio quam nos potenter affirmamus, est, quod speciales orationes factac in Ecclesia nostra pro animabus defunctorum, proferendo unum ex nomme potius quam alium, est falsum fundamentum elemosinac super quod omnes domus elemosinariac in Anglia male fundantur. Haec quaestio probatur duplici ratione; primo quia oratio meritoria et valoris deberet esse opus procedens ex alta caritate, et perfecta caritas non accipit personas, quia diliges proximum, etc. quia propter nobis videtur donatio bonorum temporalium collatorum sacerdotibus et domibus elemosinariis, est causa principalis hujusmodi orationum specialium, quae non multum distat a simonia; quia speciales orationes factac pro hominibus damnatis ad poenam actemam multum Deo displicent, et quamvis dubium sit, tamen verisimile est fideli populo, quod fundationes domorum elemosinariarum propter ipsorum venenosam dotationem pro majori parte transiissent viam latam. Correlarium, oratio valoris procedens a perfecta caritate debet se extendere in genemli ad omnes The sevent conclusion that we myghtily afferm is, that special praiers for dede mens soules mad in owre Chirch, preferring on be name more than another, this is the fals ground of almes dede, on the which al almes houses of Inglond ben wikkidly grounded. This conclusion is proved by two skilles, on is, for praier meritory and of valew schold be a werk procedyng of hey and perfit charite, accept no persones, quia diliges proximum, etc. Wherefore us thenkes that the gift of temporel godes to Priestes and to almes-houses, is principal cause of special praier, the which is no fer fro symony.
Another skil for special praier, mad for men dampned to everlastand payne, is to God gretly displesant, and thow it be dowt, it is likli to trewe Christes peple, that the fownders of almes-howses, for her venymous dotation ben for the most part passed the brode well. The correlary is, the prayer of value springand out of perfect charite schold embrace in general, al tho that God wold hal saved, and leve merchaundys now usyd for quos Deus vult salvare, et dimittere debent mercancias orationum spiritualium modo usitatarum pro mortuis hominibus factas mendicantibus Possessionatis et aliis Presbyteris peculiaribus animarum, qui sunt populus magni oneris toti regno manutenentes in otio; quia probatum extitit in quodam libro quem Rex audivit, quod centum domus elemosinarum sufficerent toti regno, et ex hoc contingeret maximum commodum possibile parti temporali. spiritual prayers, ymade to mendicaunts, possessioners, and other soul Priestes, the which ben a pepel of grete charge to al the reme mayntenyd in idlenes; for it was proved in a boke, that the Kyng hard that a hundreth of almes-hous suffised to all the reme, and there schold fal the gretest encrease possibil to temporel parti.
Octava quaestio necessaria referri populo decepto, peregrinationes, orationes, et oblationes, caccis imaginibus crucifixi et surdis imaginibus de ligno et lapide sunt propinqua naturac idolatriac et multum distant ab operibus caritatis sive elemosinac, et quamvis prohibitac imagines sint liber erroris.populo laicali, adhuc imagine sauctac Trinitatis usualis est maxime abominabilis. Hanc quacstionem Deus aperte monstravit, mandando opemm misericordiac fieri hominibus indigentibus quia ipsi sunt imago Dei in majori similitudine quam lignum vel lapis; quia Deus non dixit, Faciamus lignum vel lapidem, etc.sed hominem ad similitudinem nostram, quia altus honor latria a
The eight conclusion nedful to tell to the pepel begiled, is the pilgrinage, prayers, and offering made to blind rodes, and to defe ymages of tre and of ston, that be ner of kyn to ydolatri, and fer fro almes dede. And thow this forboden ymageri, be a boke of error to the lewde pepul, yit the ymage usuel of the Trinitie, is most abhominable. This conclusion God openly schews, commandyng to do almes-dede to men that be nedy, for thai be the ymage of God in a mor liknes than the stok or stone: for God sais not, Faciamus lignum ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram, bot Faciamus hominem, etc. for the hey worchip that Clerkes clepen latria, longes to Clericis vocatus soli debetur Deitati; et honor vocatus dulia debetur homini vel angelis, et aliis creaturis inferioribus. Correlarium: officium de ligno crucis bis in anno celebtatum in nostra Ecclesia est plenum idolatria, quia si lignum crucis, Christi lancea, et elavi essent tanto honore venemndi, tunc labia Judac proditoris solennes essent reliquiac, si quis posset illa obtinere: sed nos rogamus to peregrine quam oblationem facis ossibus sanctorum incrismatorum in aliquo loco ut intendis relavare indulgentiam sanctam in coelo, vel domus pauperis elemosinariac quae ita bene dotatur, qui Deus novit quomodo homines qui modo canonizantur, et ut apertius loquamur fideles Christi supponunt quod puncta propter quae moriebatur nobilis vir quem homines appellant Sanctum Thomam, non sunt causa martyrii nec fuerunt. the godhede alone; and the low worchip that they clepen dulia, perteneth to man and to angels, and to lower creatures. The correlary is, that the service of the rode tre donn twyes every yer in our Chirch, is ful filled of ydolatrie; for if the rode-tre, nail, sper, and the crowne of God schoul be so heyle worchiped, than were Judas lippes, who so myght ham gete a wonder gret relick. Bot we pray the pilgrine us to tell, what thow offfers to seintes schryned in any place, wheder releves you the seint that is in blis, or the pore almes-hous that is so well endowed for men canonized God wot how. And to speke more in plain, trew Christen men supposen, that the point of that noble man, that men clepen Seint Thomas, were no cause of martirdome. Nona quaestio quae deprimit populum,est, quod articulus confessionis dictus necessarius hominum salvationi cum potestate ficta vel practensa absolutionis, exaltat sacerdotum superbiam, et dat iis opportunitatem occultac vocationis alterius quam dicere volumus in pracsenti: quia domini The nint conclusion that holdes the pepel low is, that the articles of confession that is said necessari to salvacion of man, with a feyned power of absolucion, enhaunceth priestes pride, and gyf hem oportunite of prive calling, other than we will now say. For lordes and ladys et dominac sunt arrestati propter timorem suorum confessorum qui non audent dicere veritatem: et tempus confessionis est tempus valde aptum precationi et continuatiionis peccatorum mortalium; dicunt etiam se esse commissarios Dei ad judicandum de quolibet peccato ad deformandum et purgandum illos quos volunt. Dicunt se habere claves coeli et infemi, et excommunicare possunt vel benedicere, ligare vel solvere, secundum propriam eorum voluntatem in tantum quod propter bursellum frumenti vel duodecim denarios annuatim ipsi volunt vendere gloriam regni coelestis cum clausa warantisationis sigillata communi sigillo eorum. Haec quaestio est visa in usu, quae alia non indiget probatione.
ben arrested that for fete of here confessours they dur not seyn a trewth. And in tyme of confession is the best tyme of wowing, and of prive continuance of dedely synne.
Thai seyn thai ben comissaries of God to deme of every synne, to foulen and to clense whom so thai like. Thei sai that thai have the keyes of heven and of hell, they may curse and bless, bynd and unbynd, at her own will; insomuch that for a busshel of whete or twelve pence be yer, thei will sell the bliss of heven be chartir, of clause, of warrantise en sele with the commun sele. This conclusion is so seen in use that it nedyth no other prof. Correlarium: Papa Romanus se fingit altum thesaurarium totius Ecclesiae, habens dignum jocale passionis Christi in custodia, cum meritis omnium sanctorum coeli, per quod dat fictam indulgentiam a poena et a culpa, est thesaurizarius maxime bannitus extra caritatem ex quo potest libemre omnes prisinarios existentes in poenis ad voluntatem propriam, et scriptum facere nunquam venire ibidem: sed Correlarium, the Pope of Rome that feynet him hey tresorer of holi Chirch, havand the worthi jewel of Christes passion in hys kepying with the desertes of al hollowen of heaven, by which he geveth the feyned pardon, a poena et a culpa, he is a tresorer most banyst out of charite seyn he may deliver the prisoners that ben in payn at his own will, and mak himself so that he schall quamlibet Christianus fidelis bene potest videre quod multa secreta falsitas est abscondita in Ecclesia nostra. never com there: her may every trew Christen man wel se that ther mich prive falshede hid in our Chirche.
Haec est decima quaestio; homicidium per bellum, vel per legem justiciac aliquam practensam, perpetratum propter causam temporalem vel spiritualem, sine speciali revelatione, expresse est contrarium Novo Testamento, quod est lex gratiac et plenum misericordiac. Haec quaestio manifeste probatur exemplo Christi pracdicantis hic in terra, qui maxime docuit dimittere inimicis et misereri adversariorum, et non occidere eos: cujus ratio est, pro majori enim parte quando homines pugnant post primum, ictum dirumpitur cantas, et quicunque caritate in morte exuitur, transit recta via ad infema. Et ultra hoc nos bene novimus quod nullus Clericus scit per sacram Scripturam invenire vel rationem legalem ostendere quod poena mortis est infligenda potius uni peccato mortali quam alteri; sed lex misericordiac, quacst Novum Testamentum, prohibet omne homicidium in Evangelio, dictum est antiquitus, Non octides. The tent conclusion is, that manslaut be batail or onn law of rigtwisenes, for temporel cause or spirituel, without special revelacion, is expresse contrarious to the New Testament, the which is a law of grece, and full of mercy. This conclusion is oponly proved be ensample of Christes preching here in erthe, the wyche most taugte for to lowe and have mercy of his enemys, and nogt for to sle hem. The reason is of this, that for the more party ther men figt affter the first stroke charite is ybroke, and who so deyth out of charite goth the hey wey to hell. And over this, we know wele that no Clerk can fynde be Scripture or be reason, lawful punischment of deth, for on dedely synne and not for another. Bot the law of mercy, that is, the New Testament, forbede al manslaugte in Evangelio, dictum est antiquis, Non occides. Correlarium est, sancta spoliatio pauperis populi, quando domini The correlary is, it is holi robbing of the pore pepil whan lordes premant indulgentias a poena et a culpa hiis qui subsidia conferunt exercitui eorum collecto ad interficiendum Christianum populum in terris remotis propter bona temporalia obtinenda sicut alias fieri vidimus, et milites qui discurrunt ad Paganiam vel Sarracenos ad obtinendum sibi magnum nomen in occisione hominum, acquirunt sibi indignationem magnam Regis pacis, quia per humilitatem et tolemntiam lex nostra extitit multiplicata, et pugnatores ac homicidas odit Christus, et eisdem minatur, dicens, Qui gladio percutit gladio peribit.
purchas indulgence a poena et a culpa to hem, that helpeth to his ost to al the Christen men in ferre londes for temporel goode as we haf seen, and knygtes that renne to heyennes to geten hem a name, in sleying of men get mych maugre of the Kyng of pees; for be meknes and sufferaunce, our beleve was multiplied, and figters and mansleyrs, hem Christ hateth and manasseth, Qui gladio percutit gladio peribit.
Conclusio undecima verecunda; dictum votum continenciac factum in nostra Ecclesia a mulieribus quae sunt fragiles et inperfectac in natura, est eausa horribilissimi peccati possibilis naturac humanac; quia quamvis occisio puerorum ante baptismum eorum, procuratio aborcii, aut destructio seminum ante formatum foetum, facta per medicinas, sint gravia peccata valde: adhuc conjunctio mutua foeminarum contra naturam in actu camali, vel earum coitus cum bestia irrationali, vel cum creatura insensibili non viva, transcendit in demeritoria actione, dignum poenis infemi.
The elevent conclusion ys scham for to say, that the avowe of continence made in our Chirch of wymmen, the wych ben febil and unperfite in kynd, is cause of brynging of most horribel synne possible to mankynd; for thow sleying of childeren or thei ben christened, abortyfe, or stroying of kind be medicine ben ful synful: yit knowing hem self, or unreasonable best, or creature that bereth no, passyd in worthiness to ben punisched in paynes of hell.
Correlarium; nos vellemus quod viduac et tales quae voverunt castitatem, investitac annulo et mantello, deliciose pastac, vel delicate nutritac, essent desponsatac, quia eas nescimus excusare de occultis peccatis. The correlary is, that wydewes, and such as han taken the mantel and the ryng, deliciouslych fed, we wold thei were wedded, for we ne can excuse hem of pryvy synnes.
Duodecima quaestio: multitudo artium non necessariarum homini in nostra Ecclesia, multum peccatum nutrit in superflua curiositate et diffiguratione hominum per vestes curiosas: hoc ostendit experientia, et ratio probat, quia natura cum paucis artibus sufficeret humanac naturac. The twelf conclusion is, that the multitude of crafftes nogt nedful used in our Chirche norisch mykel synne in wast curiosity and disgysing. This schewes experience, and reason proveth, for nature with a few crafftes sufficed to nede of man.
Correlarium; ex quo Apostolus Paulus dicit, habentes victum et quibus tegamur, his contenti simus; nobis videtur quod aurifabri, et fabri armorum, et omnia genem artium non neeessariarum homini secundum Apostolum, destrui debent propter augmentum virtutum: quia quamvis istac duac artes nominatac, necessariac fuerunt in veteri lege, Novum tamen Testamentum has artes cum multis aliis evacuavit. The correlary is, that sais Seint Poule, we havand our bodily fode, and cleying we schuld hold us payed. Us think that goldsmythes and armorers, and al manner crafftes, not nedful to man afer the Apostel, schuld be destryed, for the encres of virtu. For thow this twey crafftes nemed wer mych more nedful in the old law, the New Testament has voyded these and many other.
I suppose it is not necessary, after the perusal of this piece, to observe, that the Romish Clergy cast those crimes upon the Lollards, whereof themselves were guilty, and which the Lollards laid to their charge in the face of heaven and earth.
It will be said, perhaps, that this petition contains several errors; I own it: but we are to observe, first, that it is part of the frailty of mankind, to fall into the contrary extreme, whilst we endeavor to avoid those things that appear to us to be mortal. Secondly, that these failings may be easily extenuated by the same charity which we commonly make use of, when we speak of the ancientest fathers of the Church.
But this, will some object, respects only the Lollards of England, and cannot be extended to the justifying of the Lollards of Germany, who might have been guilty of the crimes whereof they are accused. To this objection I answer, first, that since the Lollards, according to the testimony of Kilianus, reported by M. du Cange, were the same with the Waldenses; the Bishop of Meaux hath already drawn up their apology, by maintaining, that they differed only in a very few things from the Papists. Secondly, that if one should reject the Bishop’s opinion, yet sufficient matter for their justification may be found in the writings of the more honest authors of the Romish communion, such as AEneas Sylvius and some others, without speaking of their own writings or apologies, whereof we have some few remnants printed.
Be it as it will, to return to our English Lollards; Fox, in his Acts and Monuments, gives us a bull of Pope Boniface IX. directed to John, Bishop of Hereford, to oblige him to put King Richard II. upon persecuting of them. As likewise the bull sent to King Richard on the same subject, which imports, that he had commanded the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to prosecute them with the utmost rigour and severity; and afterwards sets down the commission of Richard II. for the trial of one Walter Brute, one of that party.
He hath also given us the history of the manner of their being hanged and burnt by the King’s order in 1414. But because it will be of moment to acquaint the public in what points they chiefly differed from the Church of Rome; and because there is come into my hands a register of some of the ancient Bishops of Salisbury, wherein are contained many trials of these ancient Christians, I thought it necessary to add some of those trials at the end of this book, faithfully copied from the original. There is no doubt but that there are many of them in the registers of Canterbury, of York, and of several other sees, which could demonstrate, that the Romish Clergy have never, till the very Reformation, omitted their utmost endeavors towards the extirpation, by fire and fagot, of all those that rebuked them for their vices, and for the corruption of their doctrine.