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first was by his engraving the letters of the alphabet in metal : who then laying blacke inke upon the metall, this gave the forme of letters in paper. The man being industrious and active, perceiving that, thought to proceed further, and to prove whether it would frame as well in words, and in whole sentences, as it did in letters. Which when he perceived to come well to passe, hee made certaine other of his counsell, one John Guttemberge' and Peter Schaffard, binding them by their oth, to keepe silence for a season. After ten yeeres, John Guttemberge compartner with Faustus, began then first to broche the matter at Strausborough. The art being yet but rude, in processe of time, was set forward by inventive wits, adding more and more to the perfection thereof. In the number of whom, John Mentell, John Prus, Adolphus Ruschius, were great helpers. Ulricus Han, in Latine called Gallus, first brought it to Rome. Whereof the epigram was made :

Anser Tarpeii custos, vigilando quod alis

Constreperes, Gallus decidit; ultor adest
Ulricus Gallus, ne quem poscantur in usum,

Edocuit pennis nil opus esse tuis.


Notwithstanding, what man soever was the instrument, without all doubt God himselfe was the ordainer and disposer thereof, no otherwise, than he was of the gift of tongues, and that for a similar purpose. And well may this gift of printing be resembled to the gift of tongues : for like as God then spake with many tongues and yet all that would not turne the Jewes ; so now, when the holy Ghost speaketh to the adversaries in innumerable sorts of bookes, yet they will not be converted, nor turne to the gospell.

To what end and purpose the Lord hath given this gift of printing to the earth, and to what great utility and necessity it serveth, it is not hard to judge, who-so wisely perpendeth both the time of the sending, and the sequel which thereof ensueth.

And first, touching the time of this faculty given to the use of man, this is to be marked: that when as the bishop of Rome with all the whole and full consent of his cardinals, patriarkes,

7 Guttemberge.] Meerman's Origines Typographicæ and Panzer's Annales Typographici, will supply all the information which a reader can desire on the subject of early printing and printers.

archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, lawyers, doctors, provoses, deanes, archdeacons, assembled together in the councell of Constance, had condemned poore John Hus, and Hierome of Prage, to death for heresie, notwithstanding they were no heretickes ;

$ and after they had subdued the Bohemians, and all the whole world under the supreme authority of the Romish see; and had made all Christian people obedienciaries and vassals unto the same, having (as one would say) all the world at their will, so that the matter now was past not onely the power of all men, but the hope also of any man to be recovered : in this very time so dangerous and desperate, where mans power could do no more, there the blessed wisdome and omnipotent power of the Lord began to worke for his church, not with sword and target to subdue his exalted adversary, but with printing, writing, and reading, to convince darkness by light, errour by truth, ignorance by learning. So that by this meanes of printing, the secret operation of God hath heaped upon that proud kingdome a double confusion. For whereas the bishop of Rome had burned John Hus before, and Hierome of Prage, who neither denied his transubstantiation, nor his supremacie, nor yet his popish masse, but said masse, and heard masse themselves, neither spake against his purgatorie, nor any other great matter of his popish doctrine, but onely exclaimed against his excessive and pompous pride, his unchristian or rather antichristian abomination of life: thus while he could not abide his wickednesse onely of life to be touched, but made it heresie, or at least matter of death, whatsoever was spoken against his detestable conversation and manners, God of his secret judgement, seeing time to helpe his church, hath found a way by this faculty of printing, not only to confound his life and conversation, but also to cast downe the foundation of his standing, that is, to examine, confute, and detect his doctrine, lawes, and institutions most detestable, in such sort, that though his life were never so pure, yet his doctrine standing as it doth, no man is so blind but may see, that either the pope is antichrist, or else that antichrist is neere cosin to the pope: and all this doth, and will hereafter more and more appeare by printing.

The reason whereof is this : for that hereby tongues are knowne, knowledge groweth, judgement encreaseth, bookes are dispersed, the Scripture is seene, the doctours be read, stories be opened, times compared, truth discerned, falshood detected, and with finger pointed out, and all (as I said) through the benefit of printing. Wherefore I suppose, that either the pope must abolish printing®, or he must seeke a new world to reign over: for else, as the world standeth, printing doubtlesse will abolish him. But the pope, and all his college of cardinalls, must this understand, that through the light of printing, the world beginneth now to have eyes to see, and heads to judge. He cannot walke so invisible in a net, but he will be spied. And although through might he stopped the mouth of John Hus before, and of Hierome, that they might not preach, thinking to make his kingdome sure ; yet in stead of John Hus and other, God hath opened the presse to preach, whose voice the pope is never able to stop with all the puissance of his triple crowne. By this printing, as by the gift of tongues, and as by the singular organe of the Holy Ghost, the doctrine of the gospell soundeth to all nations and countries under heaven: and what God revealeth to one man, is dispersed to many; and what is knowne in one nation, is opened to all.

The first and best were for the bishop of Rome, by the benefit of printing, to learne and know the truth. If he will not, let him well understand, that printing is not set up for nought. To strive against the streame, it availeth not. What the pope hath lost since printing and the presse began to preach, let him cast his counters. First, when Erasmus wrote, and Frobenius printed, what a blow thereby was given to all friers and monkes in the world! And who seeth not, that the pen of Luther following after Erasmus and set forward by printing, hath set the triple crowne so awry on the popes head, that it is like never to be set straight againe ?

Brieflie, if there were no demonstration to leade, yet by this one argument of printing, the bishop of Rome might understand the councell and purpose of the Lord to worke against him, having provided such a way in earth, that almost how many printing presses there be in the world, so many blocke-houses there be against the high castle of saint Angell: so that either

8 Must abolish printing.) So preached the vicar of Croydon in king Henry the VIIIth's days, at St. Paul's Cross, saying, either we must root out printing, or else printing will root out us.--Fox.

High castle of saint Angell.] “The castle of saint Angelo standeth on the banke of Tyber, in maner cleane without the towne; excellently wel builded and strong, and after most men's opinions is impregnable, unlesse it be by famine. Oftentymes the bishop hym selfe lieth in it, and kepeth his courte there.”Historie of Italie, by William Thomas, 1549. 4to. fol. 41.

the pope must abolish knowledge and printing, or printing at length will roote him out. For if a man wisely consider the holde and standing of the pope, thus hee may repute with himselfe, that as nothing made the pope strong in time past, but lacke of knowledge and ignorance of simple Christians: so contrariwise, now nothing doth debilitate and shake the high spire of his papacie so much as reading, preaching, knowledge, and judgement, that is to say, the fruit of printing. Whereof some experience we see already, and more is like (the Lord before) to follow. For although, through outward force and violent cruelty, tongues dare not speake, yet the hearts of men daily (no doubt) bee instructed through this benefit of printing. And though the pope both now by cruelty, and in times past by ignorance, had all under his possession ; yet neither must he thinke, that violence will alwaies continue, neither must he hope for that now which he had then; forsomuch as in those former daies, bookes then were scarce and also of such excessive price, that few could attain to the buying, fewer to the reading and studying thereof; which bookes now by the meanes of this art, are made easie unto all

Ye heard before how Nicolas Belward, bought a New Testament in those daies for foure markes and fortiepence, whereas now the same price will serve well fortie persons with so many bookes'.

Moreover, it was noted and declared by the testimony of Armachanus, how for defect of bookes and good authors, both universities were decayed and good wits kept in ignorance, while begging friers scraping all the wealth from other priests, heaped up all bookes that could be gotten, into their owne libraries ;


· With so many bookes.] See Fox's Acts, p. 611. Archbishop Usher tells us, from the Register of William Alnewick, bishop of Norwich, 1429, quoted by Mr. Fox, that the price of one of Wickliffe's English New Testaments was four marks and forty pence, or 21. 16s. 8d.”—Lewis's History of the English Translation of the Bible, p. 25.

Precisely one hundred years after, the price of the printed copies of Tyndal's New Testament, notwithstanding they were brought from abroad, and could not be sold but at the peril of life, was only three shillings and two-pence.Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. i. p. 38. Appendix.

2 Heaped up all bookes.] In the passage referred to, Armachanus (Fitz-ralph, archbishop of Armagh) complains, “ that these begging friers, through their priviledges obtained of the popes, to preach, to heare confessions, and to burie; and through their charters of impropriations, did grow thereby to such great riches and possessions, by their begging, craving, catching, and intermedling

where either they did not diligently applie them, or else did not rightly use them, or at least kept them from such as more fruitfully would have perused them.

In this then so great rarity, and also dearth of good bookes, when neither they which could have bookes, would well use them, nor they that would, could have them to use, what marvell if the greedinesse of a few prelats did abuse the blindnes of those daies, to the advancement of themselves: Wherefore almighty God of his mercifull providence, seeing both what lacked in the church,

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with church matters, that no booke could stirre of any science, either of divinitie, law or physicke, but they were both able and readie to buy it up. So that every convent having a great librarie full stuffed and furnished with all sorts of bookes, and being so many convents within the realme, and in every convent so many friers, increasing daily more and more, by reason thereof it came to passe, that very few bookes or none at all remained for other students. Which by his owne experience hee thus testifieth, saying, that hee himself sent forth to the Universitie some of his own priests or chaplains, who sending him word againe that they could neither find the Bible, nor any other good profitable booke of divinitie meet for their studie, therefore were minded to returne home to their countrie; and one of them, hee was sure, was returned by this time againe.”-Fox's Acts, p. 397. In like manner Wickliffe charges the friars, “ that they letten (hinder) curats to know Gods law, by holding bookes fro them, and withdrawing of their vantages, by which they shulden have books and lerne.”—Treatise against the Friars, p. 56. And Jack Upland (Chaucer's Works, p. 619. edit. 1687.) expostulates with them, for the same reason, thus : “ Freer, what charitie is this, to gather up the bookes of holy write, and put hem in treasorie, and so emprison them from secular priests and curats, and by this cautel let hem to preach the gospel freely to the people without worldly meed, and also to defame good priests of heresie, and lien on hem openly for to let hem to shew Gods law by the holy gospel to the Christian people ?” In fact, to make way for themselves, it was necessary to degrade the parochial clergy in the esti. mation of the people; and to effect this, they were not scrupulous as to the arts and policies which they made use of.

3 Both what lacked.] Some notion may be formed of what deficiencies were to be overcome, when sacred and other learning was confined to manuscripts, and how thankful we ought to be, under the surprising change which God's providence has wrought. From the following interesting anecdote, the ancient possessor of a copy of Wickliffe's Poor Caitiff (Brit. Mus. MS. Harl. 2335), expresses himself in a memorandum at the end of the volume, of the nature of a solemn bequest, feelingly and devoutly, as follows:

“ This book was made of the goods of John Gamalin, for a common profit, that the person that has this book committed to him of the person that hath power to commit it, have the use thereof for the time of his life, praying for the soul of the same John. And that he that hath this aforesaid use of com


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