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universitie, and raised up (as ye would say) out of his ashes were partakers of the same persecution. Of whom speaketh Thomas Walden" in his booke, De Sacramentis et Sacramentalibus, cap. 53; where he saith, that after Wickliffe many suffered most cruel death, and many mo did forsake the realme.
In the number of whom was William Swinderby, Walter Brute, John Purvey, Richard White, William Thorpe, Raynold Pecocke, bishop of S. Assaph, and afterward of Chichester.
To this catalogue also pertaineth (mentioned in ancient writers) Lawrence Redman master of arts, David Sautre divine, John Aschwarby vicar of S. Marie church at Oxford, William James an excellent young man and well learned, Thomas Brightwell, and William Haulam a civillian, Rafe Grenhurst, John Scut, and Philip Norice ! which being excommunicated by pope Eugenius the fourth, in the yeere of our Lord 1446, appealed unto a generall or cecumenicall councell.
Peter Paine flying from Oxford unto Boheme, did stoutlie contend against the sophisters, as touching both kinds in the sacrament of the last supper. Who afterward among the rest of the orators was one of the 14 that was sent unto the councell at Basill; whereas by the space of three daies, he disputed upon the 4 article, which was as touching the civill dominion of the clergy, anno 1438. Also the lord Cobham, &c. with divers others besides.
To these above rehearsed and other favourers of Wickliffe, within this countrie of England, wee may adde also the Bohemians ; forsomuch as the propagation of the said doctrine of Wickliffe, in that countrie also tooke roote', comming from England to Boheme, by this occasion as in storie here followeth.
multiplied daily and increased. For so I find in registers recorded, that these foresaid persons, whom the king and the catholicke fathers did so greatly detest for heretickes, were in divers countries of this realme dispersed, and increased, especially in London, in Lincolnshire, in Norfolke, in Herefordshire, in Shrewsburie, in Calice, and divers others quarters mo." p. 485. 1 Thomas Walden.] See note at p. 169.
Also tooke roote.] Fox has adverted to this interesting topic, on another occasion, in an affecting appeal and expostulation to his own university, written from Strasburgh, about the month of August 1554, soon after the intelligence had reached that place, of recantations going on at Oxford, before commissioners sent down by queen Mary, not long after her accession; and considering that the document is extremely scarce, I shall give an extract from it here. The address is entitled “ Opistographia ad Oxonienses,” and There chanced at that time a certaine student of the countrie of Bohemia to be at Oxford, one of a wealthie house and also of a
is subjoined to his “ Commentarii Rerum in Ecclesia gestarum, &c. Liber 1 mus, Argent. 1554.” 8vo; a volume now very rarely to met with. On the subject of the early editions of Fox, the reader should consult Dr. Maitland's “ Letters " and his replies to Mr. Townsend.
Id si nunc quærimus ubi primum, obductus tam diu Evangelicæ doctrinæ vigor, reviviscere, seseque proferre cæpit, eam profecto esse Oxoniam vestram fateri necesse est. Nam utcunque nunc, ubique apud omnes ecclesias recepta efflorescat Evangelii professio, certe prima hujus initia haud aliunde quam a vobis profluxerunt. Hic enim justa sementis est, unde, velut ex traduce, tot ista divinæ cognitionis plantaria, per universos fere mortales, nunc propagata cernimus. Hic enim salutiferum illud fermentum a Deo acceptum, quo primum Boëmia, mox Germania, ac vicinæ nationes fermentari cæperunt; donec tandem, occulta divinæ virtutis efficacia, universa insuper massa Christiani populi correpta est. Agnoscitis itaque, Oxonienses, fortunæ ac muneris vestri felicitatem ; superest ut pari constantia laudibus nunc vestris respondeatis. Divinæ profecto felicitatis fuit, quod olim religionis dedistis initia, iterumque mundo Christum veluti parturiret Oxonia vestra : vobis nunc acceptam majorum virtute gloriam hanc exuperare dignum est: certe non æquare, aut non conservare vos, quam citra labores accepistis, non tam illis gloriosum, quam vobis probrosum fuerit. . . . Audio enim nuper a vobis nonnullis subscriptum esse obsoleto illi ac jam dudum exploso articulo, de Transubstantiatione.
. . Age, et quos tandem causæ hujus afflictæ veritas sibi patronos, aut quod suffugium inveniet, si vos, qui primi in hoc certamine apóua xou stetistis, primi nunc in fugam versi, ripsaspides videamini? .... Quodsi igitur Jo. Wiclevus, electissimum Evangelii instaurandi organum, simulque cum eo Oxoniensium complures ea tempestate, quum omnia adhuc tenebris obnubilata, nec usquam per totam Europam auxiliaris hypersaspistes ullus apparuit, soli tamen ipsi tam fortiter causam hanc adversus hydram illam Romanam sustinere sint ausi; quid vos nunc, Oxonienses, post tot domestica exempla, in tanta Evangelii claritudine, denique eo tempore, quum multo major, certe potior, omnium Ecclesiarum pars, velut junctis fæderibus eodem coëant, facere conveniet ?-At fingite nunc Wiclevum, cæterosque quos Schola hæc aliquando peperit, fortissimos Christianæ militiæ satellites, nunc reviviscentes, post tot labores et ærumnas suas, vestram hanc, sive ignaviam, sive inscitiam contemplari: annon stupore quodam correpti graviter meritoque vos coarguant? Imo an eandem hanc esse Academiam agnoscerent; quæ adeo a pristina forma nescio quam metamorphosin, incuria vestra pati videatur? ... Quamobrem agite tandem Oxonienses, fratres, patres, prudentiam appello vestram, ut cum Cicerone vos moneam, Hæc non numero, sed pondere metiamini.'
Quanquam dubium non est, quin plerique vestrûm vi magis ac impulsu alieno, quam vestro judicio ducti, tantæ stultitiæ subscribitis. Et fieri possit, ut non publico Academiæ consensu res sic acta sit, sed pauci qui præsunt collegiis, adjunctis sibi aliquot ex sententia confæderatis, privata conspiratione rem inter se tractarint, ubi aliis forsan cordatioribus interesse non licuit; alii invidiæ metu, alii turbarum odio conquiescere
noble stocke. Who returning home from the universitie of Oxford, to the universitie of Prage, carried with him certain bookes of Wickliffe, De realibus Universalibus, De civili jure et divino, De ecclesia, De quæstionibus variis contra clerum, &c. chanced the same time, a certain noble man in the citie of Prage, had founded and builded a great church of Matthias and Mattheus, which church was called Bethleem, giving to it great lands, and finding in it two preachers every day, to preach both holie day, and working day to the people. Of the which two preachers, John Hus was one, a man of great knowledge, of a pregnant wit, and excellentlie favoured for his worthie life amongst them. This John Hus having familiarittie with this young man, in reading and perusing these books of Wickliffe, took such pleasure and fruit in reading thereof, that not only he began to defend this author openlie in the schooles, but also in his sermons ; commending him for a good, an holie, and heavenlie man, wishing himselfe when he should die, to be there placed whereas the soule of Wickliffe should be.—And thus for the spreading of Wickliffes doctrine enough'. maluerunt; nonnulli blanditiis etiam allecti, pedibus magis quam animo in sententiam concesserunt; atque ita privato syncretismo publica fortassis autoritas prætexitur, quo magis fucus fiat populo. Postremo, ubi doctissima pars jam in exilium pulsa mittitur, quid mirum, si domi relicta pars deterior vincat meliorem?” P. 207, &c.
? Wickliffes doctrine enough.] Still, I hope I may be indulged in the liberty of adding one paragraph, as a further close to this department of our subject. I borrow it from Lewis.
“But though these barbarities, so reproachful to the Christian name and religion, terrified men's minds, and forced them to a quiet submission; yet they no way contributed to alter their judgments, and settle their belief. Nay, it was very plain, that, though by authority, or the secular arm, whereby they were devoted to destruction, the Wiclifites were oppressed ; they were not extinguished. For although it was made more than capital to have even a line of Wiclif's writings, there were those who had courage enough to preserve them, and to take copies of them; although for the crime of having them, some of them were burnt alive, with their little books. And indeed how little these cruelties served to convince men, very plainly appeared ; when, at the Reformation, about one hundred years after, these restraints were either moderated or quite taken off, the whole nation, we see, whatever their outward profession was before, unanimously, as it were, embraced these principles, and showed themselves very earnest in their defence.-Although we are now unhappily fallen into an age that has lost its first love, and is so generally corrupted both in principle and practice, as to suffer the opposition then made to popish tyranny and superstition to be condemned, and the cruelties used to force men to approve of them, to be palliated and discre. dited.” P. 135, 6. Edit. 1820.
Thus it may appeare how the gospel of Christ preached by John Wickliffe and others, beganne to spread and fructifie abroad in London, and other places of the realme: and more would have done no doubt, had not William Courtney, the archbishop, and other prelats with the king, set them so forcibly with might and maine, to gainstand the course thereof. Albeit, I finde none which yet were put to death : therefore, during the raigne of this king Richard the second. Whereby it is to bee thought of this king, that although he cannot be utterly excused for molesting the godly and innocent preachers of that time, (as by his briefes and letters afore mentioned may appeare) yet neither was he so cruel against them, as other that came after him: and that which hee did, seemed to proceed by the instigation of the pope and
3 None which yet were put to death.] “ King Henrie the fourth, who was the deposer of king Richard, was the first of all English kings that began the unmercifull burning of Christs saints for standing against the pope; and William Sautre, the true and faithfull martyr of Christ, was the first of all them in Wickliffe's time, which I find to be burned in the raigne of the foresaid king ; which was in the yeere of our Lord 1400.” Fox, p. 477. It was enacted by the parliament, A.D. 1400, that any one who preached or wrote contrary to the catholic faith, and determinations of holy church, should be arrested, and proceeded against according to the canons; and being convicted should be imprisoned, and tried at the diocesan's discretion ; and if he refused to abjure, or relapsed after abjuration, he should be delivered over to the secular power, to be burned in some conspicuous place, that the punishment might strike fear into the minds of others. See Lewis's Life of Pecock, p. 298, 299. Compare Twisden's Historical Vindication, p. 155, &c.
For proceedings against Sautre, see i State Trials, p. 163—176, 8vo. 1816. Part of the decree or writ of the king (2 Hen. IV. 1400), for Sautre's execution, was as follows: “We therefore, being zealous in religion, and reverent lovers of the catholic faith, willing and minding to maintain and defend the holy church, and the laws and liberties of the same, to root all such errors and heresies out of our kingdom of England, and with condign punishment to correct and punish all heretics or such as be convicts; (provided always, that both according to the law of God and man, and the canonical institutions in this behalf accustomed, such heretics convict and condemned in forme aforesaid, ought to be burned with fire ;) We command you as straitly as we may or can, firmly enjoining you that you do cause the said William, being in your custody, in some public or open place of your city aforesaid, (the cause aforesaid being published unto the people,) to be put into the fire, and there in the same fire really to be burned, to the great horror of his offence, and the manifest example of other Christians.” Ibid. p. 174.
Twisden, however, has shown (p. 156) that Sautre was not burnt under the new statute, A.D. 1400, 2 Hen. IV. cap. 15, but hy virtue of the ancient common law of the land. See also the note at p. 389, post.
other bishoppes, rather than either by the consent of his parliament, or advice of his counsell about him, or else by his owne nature. For as the decrees of the parliament in all his time, were constant in stopping out the pope's provisions, and in bridling his authority; so the nature of the king was not altogether so fiercely set, if that he following the guiding thereof, had not stood so much in feare of the bishoppe of Rome and his prelats, by whose importune letters and calling on, he was continually urged to doe contrary to that, which both right required, and will perhaps in him desired. But howsoever the doings of this king are to be excused, or not, undoubted it is, that queene Anne his wife, most rightly deserveth singular commendation; who at the same time living with the king, had the gospels of Christ in English, with the foure doctors * upon the same. This Anne was a Bohemian borne, and sister to Wincelaus, king of Boheme; who was married to king Richard about the fifth (some say, the sixth) yeere of his raigne, and continued with him the space of eleven yeeres. By the occasion whereof it may seeme not unprobable, that the Bohemians comming in with her, or resorting into this realme after her, perused and received here the bookes of John Wickliffe, which afterward they conveied into Bohemia, whereof partly mention is made before.
The said vertuous queene Anne, after she had lived with king Richard about eleven yeeres, in the seventeenth yeere of his raigne, changed this mortal life, and was buried at Westminster. At whose funeral Thomas Arundel, then archbishop of Yorke, and lord chancellor, made the sermon.
In which sermon (as remaineth in the library of Worcester recorded), he intreating of the commendation of her, said these words : That it was more joy of her then of any woman that he ever knew. For notwithstanding that she was an alien borne, she had in English all the foure gospels, with the doctors upon them: affirming moreover and testifying, that she had sent the same unto him to examin. And he said they were good and true. And further with many words of praise, he did greatly commend her, in that she being so great a lady, and also an alien, would study so lowly so vertuous bookes. And hee blamed in that sermon sharply the negligence
* The foure doctors.] i.e. the four great fathers of the Western church, viz., Austin, Jerome, Ambrose, and Gregory.— Fox's Acts, p. 461. Edit. 1610. Examination, &c., of Walter Brute.