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Thirst for Persecution.
“ONE of this sorte of this new kynde of prechers beyng demaundyd why that he usyd to saye in his sermons about, that now adayes men prechyd not well the gospell, answered that he thought so, bycause he saw not the prechers persecutyd, nor no stryfe nor busynes aryse upon theyr prechyng. Whiche thynges, he sayd and wrote, was the fruyte of the gospell, bycause Cryste said Non veni pacem mittere sed gladium: I am not come to sende peace into the world, but the sworde. Was not this a worshypfull understandyng, that bycause Cryst wolde make a devycyon amonge infydels, from the remenaunt of them to wynne some, therfore these apostels wolde sowe some cocle of dyssensyon amonge the Crysten peple, wherby Cryst myght lese some of them? For the frute of stryfe amonge the herers, and persecucyon of the precher, can not lyghtly growe amonge Crysten men, but by the prechynge of some straunge neweltyes, and bryngynge up of some new fangell heresyes to the infeccyon of our olde fayth.”—SIR Thomas MoRE's Dialoge, ff. 39.
Defiance of Authority.
“SoME have I sene whiche when they have for theyr paryllous prechynge ben by theyr prelates prohybyted to preche, have (that notwithstandyng) proceded on styll. And for the mayntenaunce of theyr disobedyence, have amended the matter with an heresy, boldely and stubburnly defendynge, that syth they had connynge to preche, they were by God bounden to preche. And that no man, nor no lawe that was made, or coulde be made, had any authoryte to forbede them. And this they thought suffycyently proved by the wordes of the appostle, Oportet magis obedire Deo quam hominibus. As though these men were appostles now specyally sent by God to preche heresyes and sow sedycyon amonge Crysten men, as the very appostles were in
“The fayth came in to Saynt Peter his harte as to the prynce of the appostles, without herynge, by secrete inspyracyon, and into the remenaunt by his confessyon and Crystes holy mouthe; and by theym in lyke maner, fyrste without wrytynge by onely wordes and prechynge, so was it spredde abrode in the worlde, that his fayth was by the mouthes of his holy messengers put in to mennes eres, and by his holy hande wrytten in mennes hartes, or ever any worde therof almost was wrytten in the boke. And so was it convenyent for the laue of lyfe, rather to be wrytten in the lyvely myndes of men, than in the dede skynnes of bestes. And I nothynge doubte, but all had it so ben, that never gospell hadde ben wrytten, yet sholde the substaunce of this fayth never have fallen out of Crysten folkes hartes, but the same spyryte that planted it, the same sholde have watered it, the same shold have kepte it, the same shold have encreased it.”—SIR THoMAs MoRE's Dialoge, f. 46.
“By my trouthe, quod he, I have another tale to tell you, that all thys gere graunted, tournyth us yet into as moche uncertayntye as were in before. Ye, quod I, then have we well walked after the balade, ‘the further I go, the more behynde.' I pray you what thynge is that? For that longe I to here ere yet we go. Nay, quod he, it were better ye dyne fyrste. My lady wyll I wene be angry with me that I kepe you so longe therfro, for I holde it now well towarde twelve. And yet more angry wolde waxe wyth me, yf I sholde make you syt and muse at your mete, as ye wolde I wote well muse on the matter, yf ye wysta what it were. If I were, quod L. lyke my wyfe, I sholde muse more theron mowe, and ete no mete for longynge to knowe. But come on than, and let us dyne fyrst, and ye shall tell us after.”—SIR Thomas MoRE's Dialoge, ff. 61.
“IN some countries they go on hunting commonly on Good Friday in the morning, for a common custom. Will ye break the evil custom, or cast away Good Friday? There be cathedral churches into which the country cometh with procession at Whitsuntide, and the women following the cross with many an unwomanly song, and that such honest wives as out of that procession ye could not hyre to speck one such foul rybaudry word as they there sing for God's sake hole rebaudous songs as loud as their throat can cry. Will you mend that lewde manner, or put away Whitsuntide? Ye speak of lewdness used at pylgrymages; is there, trow ye, none used on holy days? And why do you not then advise us to put them clean away, Sundays and all? Some wax dronke in Lent of wygges and cracknels; and yet ye wolde not, I trust, that Lent were fordone."—SIR THoMAs MoRE's Dialoge, ff. 79.
lady, your wife, Popess too. Well, quod I, then sholde she devyse for nuns. And as for me, touchyng the choyce of prestys, I could not well devyse better provysyons than are by the laws of the Chyrche provyded allredy, if they were as wel kept as they be well made. But for the nomber, I wolde surely see such a way therin that we sholde not have such a rabbell, that every mean man must have a preste in his house to wayte upon his wyfe, which no man almost lackett now, to the contempt of presthed, in as vyle offyce as his horse-keeper. That is, quod he, trouth in dede, and in worse too, for they keep hawkes and dogges: and yet me semeth surely a more honest servyce to wayte on an horse than on a dogge. And yet I suppose, quod I, yf the laws of the Chyrch which Luther and Tyndall wolde have all broken, were all well observed and kept this gere sholde not be thus, but the nomber of prestes wolde be moche mynyshed, and the remenaunt moche the better. For it is by the laws of the Chyrch provyded, to the entent no preste sholde unto the slaunder of presthed, be dryven to lyve in such lewd maner, or worse, there sholde none be admytted unto presthed, untyll he have a tytell of a suffycyent yerely lyvyng, eyther of his own patrymony, or other wyse. Nor at this day they be none other wyse accepted. Why, quod he, wherefore go there then so many of them a begging? Marry, quod I, for they delude the law and themself also. For they never have graunt of a lyvyng that may serve them in syght for that purpose, but they secretly dyscharge it, ere they have it, or els they could not gete it. And thus the Bysshop is blynded by the syght of the wrytyng, and the prest goth a beggynge for all his graunt of a good lyvynge; and the laue is deluded and the order is rebuked by the prestes beggynge and lewd lyvynge, which eyther is fayne to walke at rovers, and lyve upon trentalles, or worse; or ellys to serve in a secular mannes house, which sholde not nede yf this gappe were stopped." —ff. 103.
“WHERE as many thynges be layde against it, yet is there in my mynde not one thyng that more putteth good men of the clergy in doubte to suffre it, than this that they se somtyme moche of the worse sorte more fervent in the callyng for it, than them whom we fynde far better. Which maketh them to fere lest suche men desyre it for no good, and lest if it were had in every mannes hande, there wold grete parell aryse, and that sedycyous peopl sholde do more harme therwith, than good and honest folke sholde take fruyte thereby. Which fere I promyse you nothynge fereth me; but that who so ever wolde of theyr malyce or foly take harme of that thynge that is of itselfe ordeyned to do all men good, I wold never for the avoydynge of theyr harme, take frome other the profyte whiche they myght take, and nothynge deserve to lese. For els, yf the abuse of a good thynge sholde cause the takynge awaye therof from other that wolde use it well, Crystsholdehymself never have been borne, nor brought his fayth into the worlde, nor God sholde never have made it neyther, yf he sholde for the losse of those that wolde be dampned wretches, have kept away the occasyon of rewarde from them that wolde with helpe of his grace, endevoure them to deserve it.”—SIR THoMAs MoRE's Dialoge, ft. 114-5.
Sir Thomas More's Opinion.
it that he did it in the defence of his own master, and the most innocent man that ever was. And unto this they lay, that syth the time that Christen men first fell to fyghting, it hath never encreased, but alway mynyshed and decayed. So that at this day the Turk hath estrayted us very nere, and brought it within a right narrow compass, and narrower shall do, say they, as long as we go about to defend Crystendome by the sword: which, they say, sholde be as it was in the beginning encreased, so be contynued and preserved, only by pacyence and martyrdome."—SIR Thomas MoRE's Dialoge, ff. 145.
Readiness of Belief in the Reformed People.
“SURELY for the most part such as be ledde out of the ryght way, do rather fall thereto of a lewde lyghtnesse of theyr owne mynde, than for any grete thynge that moveth theym in theyr may ster that techeth theym. For we se theym as redy to byleve a purser, a glover, or a wever, that nothynge can do but scantely rede Englysshe, as well as they wolde byleve the wysest and the best lerned doctor in the realme."—SIR Thomas MoRE's Dialoge, ff. 147.
Sectaries at Chelmsford.
“THERE was but one church at Chelmsford, the Parishioners were so many that there were 2000 communicants, and Dr. Michelson the Parson was an able and godly man. Before this parliament was called of this numerous congregation there was not one to be named, man or woman, that boggled at the Common Prayers, or refused to receive the sacrament kneeling, the posture which the Church of England (walking in the footsteps of venerable antiquity) hath by act of Parliament enjoined all those which account it their happiness to be called her children. But since this magnified reformation was set on foot this town (as indeed most Corporations, as we
find by experience, are nurseries of faction
Dr. Featley's Sermon against Sectaries.
“The Scripture," said Dr. FEATLEy,
and their Precise and Holy Ones, are all
“THERE are three heads of Catechism and
Testimony of our own Lives to the Spirit.
“If the Spirit be obeyed, if it reigns in
Covenant and the Number 666.
“It will not,” says the Querela Cantabri-
Presbyterians win the Women.
“MADAM," says JEREMY TAYLoR (vol. 9. 314) in a Dedication to the Countess Dowager of Devonshire, “I know the arts of these men; and they often put me in mind of what was told me by Mr. Sackville, the late Earl of Dorset's uncle; that the cunning sects of the world (he named the Jesuits and the Presbyterians) did more prevail by whispering to ladies, than all the church of England and the more sober Protestants could do by fine, force and strength of argument. For they, by prejudice or fears, terrible things and zealous nothings, confident sayings and little stories, governing the ladies consciences, who can persuade their lords, their lords will convert their tenants, and so the world is all their own.”
Prophecy against Elizabeth.
ARchbishop PARKER concluded the last letter which he ever wrote to Burleigh, “with an old prophetic verse, that often as
he said, recurred to his head, though he was not much led, he said, by worldly prophecies: namely this, “Formina morte cadet, postguam terram mala tangent.” Hereby hinting his fears of the Queen's life, occasioned by those that now so neglected her authority, (he was speaking of the sectaries;) and his apprehensions of formidable evils that might fall upon the nation afterward. “This old prophecy," continues Strype, “ (whereof the Archbishop repeated only the first verse, and had it seems some weight with it in those times, among the better sort that dreaded the issue of the Queens death,) I have met with in the Cotton Library, as pretending some disaster to befall the Queen, and the invasion and conquest of the kingdom by the king of Spain, or some other king. They are an hexastich of old rhiming verses, with an old translation of them into English: as follow.