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The council falsified
Henry tioch, where the patriarchal sees were, to have the true copy of the council of VIII. Nice, which was sent unto them. And another copy also was sent from Rome, A.D.
whither also they sent for the same purpose. 1534.
After that the copy was brought to them, and no such article found in it, but in the fifth chapter thereof the contrary, that all causes ecclesiastical should
either be determined within the diocese, or else, if any were aggrieved, then to reproved appeal to the council provincial, and there the matter to take full end, so that by the
for no such causes men should go out of their provinces; the whole council of Council of Carthage wrote to Celestine, at that time being bishop of Rome, that since the
council of Nice had no such article in it, as was untruly alleged by Faustinus, but the contrary, they desired him to abstain hereafter to make any more such
demand; denouncing unto him, that they would not suffer any cause, great or by Faustinus the small, to be brought by appeal out of their country; and thereupon made a pope's le- law, that no man should appeal out of the country of Africa, upon pain to be
denounced accursed. Wherewith the bishop of Rome ever after held him content, and made no more business with them, seeing he had nought to say for himself to the contrary. And at this council St. Augustine was present, and subscribed his hand. Read more hereof before.
It was determined also, in the sixth article of the said council of Nice, that
in the Orient the bishop of Antioch should be chief; in Egypt the bishop of cil. The Alexandria ; about Rome the bishop of Rome; and likewise in other countries fourishjes the metropolitans should have their pre-eminence: so that the bishop of Rome patriarchs equal in never had meddling in those countries. And in the next article following, the
bishop of Jerusalem (which city before had been destroyed, and almost desolate) was restored to his old prerogative, to be the chief in Palestine and in the
country of Jewry. Pope By this ye see how the patriarch of Rome, during all this time of the primiAgatho
tive church, had no such primacy pre-eminent above other patriarchs, much subjected
less over kings and emperors, as may appear by Agatho, bishop of Rome, long emperor. after that, in whose time was the sixth council general; which Agatho, after
his election, sent to the emperor, then being at Constantinople, to have his election allowed, before he would be consecrated, after the old custom at the
time used. Pope Vi. In like sort, another bishop of Rome, called Vitalianus, did the same, as it is talianus written in the decrees; distinct. 63. Cap. 'Agatho.'. The like did St. Ambrose subject
and St. Gregory before them, as it is written in the chapter ‘Cum longe,' in the same Distinction. During all this time the bishops of Rome followed well the doctrine of St. Peter and St. Paul, left unto them, to be subjects, and to obey their princes.
The sixth article of the coun
to the emperor
Thus, after that bishop Tonstal, playing the earnest Lutheran, Tignet... both by Scriptures and ancient doctors, also by examples sufficient
of the primitive church, hath proved and declared, how the bishops of Rome ought to submit themselves to the higher powers whom God hath appointed every creature in this world to obey ; now let us likewise see how the said bishop Tonstal describeth unto us the bishop of Rome's disobedience intolerable, his pride incomparable, and his malignant malice most execrable.
And first, speaking of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, then of the pride bedience, of Nebuchadnezzar, and of Lucifer, at length he compareth the bishops of malice of Rome to them all; who first, for disobedience, refuse to obey God's commandthe pope ment, and contrary to his word, will be above their governors, in refusing to
Secondly, Besides this rebellious disobedience in these bishops of Rome, not sufferable, their pride moreover so far exceedeth all measure, that they will have their princes, to whom they owe subjection, prostrate upon the ground, to adore them by godly honour upon the earth; and to kiss their feet, as if they were God, whereas they be but wretched men; and yet they look that their princes should do it unto them, and also that all other christian men, owing them no subjection, should do the same.
and the stars of
And who be these, I pray you, that men may know them? Surely (saith Henry he) the bishops of Rome be those whom I do mean, who, following the pride VII. of Lucifer their father, make themselves fellows to God, and do exalt their
A.D. seat above the stars of God, and do ascend above the clouds, and will be like
1534. to Almighty God. By stars of God be meant the angels of heaven; for as stars do show unto us in part the light of heaven, so do angels, sent unto men,
exalted show the heavenly light of the grace of God to those to whom they be sent. above the And the clouds signified in the Old Testament the prophets, and in the New clouds do signify the apostles and preachers of the word of God; for as the clouds do conceive and gather in the sky moisture, which they after pour down upon the heaven. ground, to make it thereby more fruitful, so the prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles and preachers in the New, do pour into our ears the moisture of their heavenly doctrine of the word of God, to make therewith, by grace, our souls, being sear and dry, to bring forth fruit of the Spirit. Thus do all ancient expositors, and amongst them St. Augustine, interpret to be meant in Scripture stars and clouds, in the exposition of Psalm cxlvii.
But St. John the evangelist writeth in the 19th chapter of the Apocalypse, and in the 22d also, that when he would have fallen down at the angel's foot, that did show him those visions there written, to have adored him with godly worship, the angel said unto him : "See thou do not so, for I am the servant of God, as thou art: give adoration and godly worship to God, and not to me.' Here it appeareth that the bishops of Rome, suffering all men prostrate before them to kiss their feet (yea the same princes, to whom they owe subjection), do climb up above the stars and angels too, offering their feet to be kissed, with Exalted shoes and all. For so I saw myself, being present four and thirty years ago, above anwhen Julius, then bishop of Rome, stood on his feet, and one of his chamberlains held up his skirt, because it stood not (as he thought) with his dignity that he should do it himself, that his shoe might appear, whilst a nobleman of great age did prostrate himself upon the ground, and kissed his shoe; which he stately suffered to be done, as of duty. Where methinks I saw Cornelius the centurion, captain of the Italian band, spoken of in Acts x., submitting himself to Peter, and much honouring him; but I saw not Peter there to take him up, and to bid him rise, saying, I am a man as thou art, as St. Peter did say to Cornelius : so that the bishops of Rome, admitting such adoration due unto God, do climb above the heavenly clouds ; that is to say, above the apostles above the sent into the world by Christ, to water the earthly and carnal hearts of men, apostles. by their heavenly doctrine of the word of God.
Thus Bishop Tonstal, having described the passing pride of the pope, surmounting like Lucifer above bishops, apostles, angels, and stars of heaven, proceeding then further to the latter end of his sermon, cometh to speak of his rage and malice most furious and pestilent, in that he, being justly put from his kingdom here to wreak his Stirreth spiteful malice, stirreth up war against us, and bloweth the horn of against mischief in giving our land for a spoil and prey to all, whosoever, at The trea
. his setting on, will come and invade us. But let us hear his own son of words preaching to the king and all Englishmen, touching both the Pole. pope's malice, and the treason of cardinal Pole.
Now,' saith he, because he can no longer in this realm wrongfully use his usurped power in all things, as he was wont to do, and suck out of this realm, by avarice insatiable, innumerable sums of money yearly, to the great exhausting of the same; he therefore, moved and replete with furious ire and pestilent malice, goeth about to stir all christian nations that will give ears to his devilish enchantments, to move war against this realm of England, giving it in prey to all those that by his instigation will invade it.'
And here, expounding these aforesaid words, “ To give in prey," he declareth what great mischief they contain, and willeth every true Englishman well to mark the same.
Cardinal Pole triator to
. First, to make this realm,' saith he, a prey to all adventurers, all spoilers,
all snaphaunses,' all forlorn hopes, all cormorants, all raveners of the world; A.D.
that will invade this realm, is to say, Thou possessioner of any lands of this 1534.
realm, of what degree soever thou be, from the highest to the lowest, shalt be
slain and destroyed, and thy lands taken from thee by those that will have all The pope for themselves; and thou mayest be sure to be slain, for they will not suffer giveth England
thee, nor any of thy progeny, to live to make any claim afterwards, or to be away for revenged; for that were their unsurety. Thy wife shall be abused before thy
face; thy daughter likewise deflowered before thee; thy children slain before thine eyes; thy house spoiled; thy cattle driver away, and sold before thy visage; thy plate, thy money, by force taken from thee; all thy goods, wherein thou hast any delight, or hast gathered for thy children, ravened, broken, and distributed in thy presence, that every ravener may have his share. Thou merchant art sure to be slain, for thou hast either money or ware, or both, which they search for. Thou bishop or priest, whatsoever thou be, shalt never escape, because thou wouldst not take the bishop of Rome's part, and rebel against God and thy prince, as he doth. If thou shalt flee and escape for a season, whatsoever thou be, thou shalt see and hear of so much misery and abomination, that thou shalt judge them happy that be dead before; for sure it is thou shalt not finally escape : for, to take the whole realm in prey, is to kill the whole people, and to take the place for themselves, as they will do if they can.
And the bishop of Rome now of late, to set forth his pestilent malice the
more, hath allured to his purpose a subject of this realm, Reginald Pole, coming England, of a noble blood, and thereby the more errant traitor, to go about from prince
to prince, and from country to country, to stir them to war against this realm, and to destroy the same, being his native country; whose pestilent purpose, the princes that he breaketh it unto have in much abomination, both for that the bishop of Rome (who, being a bishop, should procure peace) is a stirrer of war, and because this most errant and unkind traitor is his minister to so devilish a purpose, to destroy the country that he was born in ; which any heathen man would abhor to do.'
And so continuing in his discourse against cardinal Pole and the bishop of Rome, for stirring the people to war and mischief, he further saith, and saith truly, thus :
• For these many years past, little war hath been in these parts of Christenpope's
dom, but the bishop of Rome either hath been a stirrer of it, or a nourisher of memory it, and seldom any compounder of it, unless it were for his ambition or profit.
Wherefore since, as St. Paul saith, that God is not the God of dissension, but of peace, who commandeth, by his word, peace alway to be kept, we are sure that all those that go about to break peace between realms, and to bring them to war, are the children of the devil, what holy names soever they may pretend to cloak their pestilent malice withal; which cloaking under hypocrisy is double devilishness, and of Christ most detested, because under his blessed name they do play the devil's part.'
And in the latter end of his sermon, concluding with Ezekiel xxxix., where the prophet speaketh against Gog and Magog going about to destroy the people of God, and prophesieth against them, that the people of God shall vanquish and overthrow them on the mountains of Israel, that none of them shall escape, but their carcases shall there be devoured of kites and crows, and birds of the air; so likewise saith he of these our enemies, wishing, that if they shall
persist in their pestilent malice to make invasion into this realm, then The pope their great captain Gog (the bishop of Rome he meaneth) may come compared to Gog.
with them, to drink with them of the same cup which he maliciously
(2) I Cor. xiv.
We have heard hitherto the oaths, censures, and judgments of Henry certain particular bishops, of York, of Winchester, of London, of Durham, and also of Edmund Bonner, archdeacon then of Leicester, A.D. against the pope's unlawful usurpation. Now, for the more fortifica- 1534. tion of the matter, and satisfying of the reader, it shall not be much out of purpose, besides the consent and approbation of these aforesaid, to infer also the public and general agreement of the whole clergy of England, as in a total sum together, confirmed and ratified in their own public book, made and set forth by them about the same time, called then · The Bishops' Book ;' in which book, although many things were very slender and imperfect, yet, as touching this cause of the bishop of Rome's regality, we will hear (God willing) what their whole opinion and provincial determination did conclude, according as by their own words in the same book is to be seen word for word, as followeth, subscribed also with their own names; the catalogue of whom, under their own confession, shall appear.
Testimonies out of The Bishops' Book,' against the Pope's Supre
macy. We think it convenient, that all bishops and preachers shall instruct and teach the people committed unto their spiritual charge, that whereas certain men do imagine and affirm, that Christ should give unto the bishop of Rome power and authority, not only to be head and governor of all priests and bishops in Christ's church, but also to have and occupy the whole monarchy of the world in his hands, and that he may thereby lawfully depose kings and princes from their realms, dominions, and seigniories, and so transfer and give the same to such persons as him liketh, that is utterly false and untrue; for Christ never gave unto St. Peter, or unto any of the apostles or their successors, any such authority. And the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, do teach and command, that all christian people, as well priests and bishops, as others, should be obedient and subject unto the princes and potentates of the world, although they were infidels.
And as for the bishop of Rome, it was many hundred years after Christ, before he could acquire or get any primacy or governance above any other bishops, out of his province in Italy; since which time he hath ever usurped more and more. And though some part of his power was given to him by the consent of the emperors, kings, and princes, and by the consent also of the clergy in general councils assembled; yet surely he attained the most part thereof by marvellous subtlety and craft, and especially by colluding with great How the kings and princes, sometimes training them into his devotion by pretence and bishop of colour of holiness and sanctimony, and sometimes constraining them by force
rose by and tyranny. Whereby the said bishops of Rome aspired and rose at length ambition. unto such greatness in strength and authority, that they presumed and took upon them to be heads, and to put laws by their own authority, not only unto all other bishops within Christendom, but also unto the emperors, kings, and other the princes and lords of the world; and that, under the pretence of the anthority committed unto them by the gospel. Wherein the said bishops of Rome do not only abuse and pervert the true sense and meaning of Christ's word, but they do also clean contrary to the use and custom of the primitive church; and so do manifestly violate, as well the holy canons made in the church immediately afte the time of the apostles, as also the decrees and constitutions made in that behalf by the holy fathers of the catholic church, assembled in the first general councils. And finally, they do transgress their
(1) Concilium tertiun Carthaginense, cap. 26. First, the general council of Nice decreed, that the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch should have like power over the countries about those cities, as the bishops of Rome had over the countries about Rome. In the council of Milevitane, it was decreed. that if a clerk of Africa would appeal out of Africa unto any bishop beyond the sea, he should be taken as a person excommunicated.
(2) In the general council of Constantinople (the first), it was likewise decreed, that every cause between any persons should be determined within the provinces where the matters did lie; and
Itemny own profession, made in their creation. For all the bishops of Rome always,
when they be consecrated and made bishops of that see, do make a solemn A.D.
profession and vow, that they shall inviolably observe and keep all the ordi1534.
nances made in the eight first general councils; among which it is specially provided and enacted, that all causes shall be finished and determined within the province where the same began, and that by the bishops of the same province;
and that no bishop shall exercise any jurisdiction out of his own diocese or province; and divers such other canons were then made and confirmed by the said councils, to repress and take away out of the church all such primacy and jurisdiction over kings and bishops, as the bishops of Rome pretend now to have over the same. And we find that divers good fathers, bishops of Rome, did greatly reprove, yea and abhor (as a thing clean contrary to the gospel, and the decrees of the church) that any bishop at Rome or elsewhere, should presume, usurp, or take upon him, the title and name of the universal bishop, or of the head of all priests, or of the highest priest, or any such like title. For confirmation whereof
, it is out of all doubt, that there is no mention made, either in Scripture, or in the writings of any authentical doctor or author of the church, being within the time of the apostles, that Christ did ever make or institute distinction or difference to be in the pre-eminence of power, order, or jurisdiction, between the apostles themselves, or between the bishops themselves, but that they were all equal in power, order, authority, and jurisdiction. And in that there is now, and since the time of the apostles, any such diversity or difference among the bishops, it was derised by the ancient fathers of the primitive church for the conservation of good order and the unity of the catholic church; and that, either by the consent and authority, or else at least by the permission and sufferance, of the princes and civil powers for the time ruling, &c.
And shortly after followeth this: And for the better confirmation of this part, we think it also convenient, that all bishops and preachers shall instruct and teach the people committed unto their spiritual charge, that Christ did by express words prohibit, that none of his apostles, nor any of their successors should, under the pretence of the authority given unto them by Christ, take upon them the authority of the sword; that is to say, the authority of kings, or of any civil power in this world, yea, or any authority to make laws or ordinances in causes appertaining unto civil powers.
Truth it is, the priests and bishops may execute all such temporal power and jurisdiction as is committed unto them by the ordinance and authority of kings, or other civil powers, and by the consent of the people (as officers and ministers under the said kings and powers), so long as it shall please the said kings and people to permit and suffer them so to use and execute the same. Notwithstanding, if any bishop, of what estate or dignity soever he be (be he bishop of Rome, or of any other city, province, or diocese), do presume to take upon him authority or jurisdiction in causes or matters which appertain unto kings, and the civil powers and their courts, and will maintain or think that he may so do by the authority of Christ and his gospel, although the kings and princes
would not permit and suffer him so to do; no doubt, that bishop is not worthy shop of
to be called a bishop, but rather a tyrant, and a usurper of other men's rights, judged to contrary to the laws of God; and is worthy to be reputed none otherwise than be a ty
he that goeth about to subvert the kingdom of Christ. For the kingdom of rant and Christ in his church is a spiritual, and not a carnal kingdom of the world; that
the very kingdom that Christ, by himself, or by his apostles and disciples, sought here in this world, was to bring all nations from the carnal kingdom of the prince of darkness unto the light of his spiritual kingdom; and so himself to reign in the hearts of the people, by grace, faith, hope, and charity. And therefore, since Christ did never seek nor exercise any worldly kingdom or dominion in this world, but rather, refusing and flying from the -same, did leave the said worldly governance of kingdoms, realms, and nations, to be governed by princes and potentates (in like manner as he did find them), that no bishop should exercise any power out of his own diocese or province. And this was also the mind of holy St. Cyprian, and of other holy men of Africa. To conclude, therefore, the pope hath no such primacy given him, either by the words of Scripture, or by any general council, or by common consent of the holy catholic church.
(1) Georgius, lib. 4. Epistolarum Indictione xui. Epist. 3.