The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe/Volume 3/Articles obtruded upon Chapel to confess

Articles obtruded upon Chapel to confess.

Imprimis, I confess that bishops, priests, and other ecclesiastical persons, having no other profession to the contrary, may lawfully have, receive, and retain lands and possessions temporal, to dispense and dispose the same and the rents thereof, to the behoof of themselves, or of their church where they dwell, according as seemeth good to them.

II. Item, I confess, that it were very unlawful, yea rather unjust, that temporal men upon any occasion, whatsoever it be, should take away temporal lands and possessions from the church, either universal or particular, to which they are given; the consideration of the abuse of mortal prelates, priests, or other ministers in the church conversant (who are mixt together good with bad), abusing the same, to the contrary notwithstanding.

III. Item, I confess, that peregrinations to the relics of saints, and to holy places, are not prohibited, nor to be contemned of any catholic; but are available to remission of sins,[1] and approved by holy fathers, and worthy to be commended.

IV. Item, I confess, that to worship the images of Christ or of any other saints, being set up in the church, or in any other place, is not forbidden; neither is it any cause inductive of idolatry, being so used as the holy fathers do will them to be worshipped;[2] but rather such images do profit much to the health of Christians, because they do put us in remembrance of the merits of those saints whom they represent, and the sight of them doth move and stir up the people to prayers and devotion.

V. Item, I confess, that auricular confession used in the church is necessary for a sinner to the salvation of his soul, and necessary to be done by such a priest as is ordained by the church to hear the confession of the sinner, and to enjoin him penance for the same;[3] without which confession (if it may be had), there is no remission of sins to him that is in sin mortal.

VI. Item, I confess and firmly do hold, that although the priest be in mortal sin, yet may he make the body of Christ, and minister other sacraments and sacramentals; which nevertheless are profitable to all the faithful, whosoever receive them in faith and devotion of the church.[4]

VII. Item, I confess, that bishops in their own dioceses may forbid, decree, and ordain, upon reasonable causes, that priests should not preach, without their special license, the word of God; and that those that do against the same, should suffer the ecclesiastical censures.

Private religions profitable, if ye could tell wherefore.VIII. Item, I confess, that private religions, as well of monks, canons and others, as also of the begging friars, being allowed by the church of Rome, are profitable to the universal church, and in no means contrary to God's law, but able, if ye rather are founded and authorized thereon.

IX. Item, I promise and swear upon these holy Evangelists, which I hold here in my hands, that I will henceforth never hold, affirm, or, by any means, teach any thing contrary unto the premises either openly or privately.

Freat inquisition in England.After the setting out of the constitution aforesaid, in the days of the abovenamed Henry Chichesley, archbishop of Canterbury, great inquisition hereupon followed in England, and many good men, whose hearts began to be won to the gospel, were brought to much vexation, and caused outwardly to abjure.

Christ had the hearts of men, they had their bodies.
Notice of some who abjurded.
Thus, while Christ had the inward hearts of men, yet the catholic Antichrist would needs possess their outward bodies, and make them sing after his song. In the number of whom, being compelled abjure, besides the others aforesaid, was also John Taylor, of the parish of St. Michael's at Quern; William James, master of arts and physician, who had long remained in prison, and at length, after abjuration, was licensed with his keeper, to practise his physic.

John Dwarf.Also John Dwarf, so named for his low stature, who was sent by the duke of Bedford to the aforesaid Chichesley and other bishops, to be examined before them in the convocation: there he, at length revolting from his doctrine, recanted and did penance.

John Jourdelay abjureth.In like manner John Jourdelay of Lincolnshire, well commended in the registers for his learning, accused by the priests of Lincoln for a certain book which he, contrary to the former decree of the bishops, did conceal, and did not exhibit unto them, was therefore enforced to abjure; after whom was brought likewise before the bishops, one Katharine Dertford, a spinster, who being accused and examined upon these three articles concerning the sacrament of the pope's altar, adoration of images, and pilgrimage, answered, that she was not able, being unlearned, to answer to such high matters, neither had she any further skill, but only her Creed and Ten Commandments: and so was she committed to the vicar-general of the bishop of Winchester (for that she was of the same diocese), to be kept, and further to be examined of the same.[5]

Robert the parson of Heggeley, examined.At the same sitting was also brought before the said archbishop and his fellow bishops, by the lieutenant of the Tower, the parson of Heggeley in Lincolnshire, named Master Robert, who, being long kept in the Tower, at length, by the king's writ, was brought and examined the same time upon the like articles: to wit, touching the sacrament of their altar, peregrination, adoration of images, and whether it was lawful for spiritual men to enjoy temporal lordships, &c. To v/hich articles he answered (saith the register) doubly and mockingly, save only in the sacrament he seemed something more conformable; albeit not yet fully to their contentation. Wherefore, being committed to the custody and examination of Richard, bishop of Lincoln, in the end he was also induced to submit himself.

William Henry of Tenterden examined.The same, likewise, did William Henry of Tenterden, being suspectcd and arrested for company-keeping with those whom the bishops called Lollards, and for having suspected books.

Besides these, divers others there were also, who, in the same convocation were convented, and revoked their opinions, as John Galle, a priest of London, for having a book in English, Book of the new law.
Several persons troubled for their doctrine.
entituled, 'A Book of the new Law.' Item, Richard Monk, vicar of Chesham in Lincolnshire, who submitted himself likewise. In this race and number followed moreover, Bartholomew Cornmonger, Nicholas Hooper, servant to the lord Cobham, Thomas Granter, with others more, mentioned in the aforesaid register.

Among the rest who were at this time troubled for their faith, was one Radulph Mungin, priest, who, for the same doctrine, was arrested and sent by the lord chancellor of England to the aforesaid archbishop, and by him committed to David Price, vicar-general to the bishop of London: where, after he had endured four months in prison, he was by the said David presented to the convocation, against whom divers articles were objected.

A subsidy gathered by the pope to fight against the faithful of Bohemia.But, for the better explaining of the matter, first here is to be noted, that during the time of this convocation provincial, pope Martin had sent down to the clergy of England for a subsidy to be gathered of the church, to maintain the pope's war against the Lollards (so the papists did term them) of Bohemia. Also another subsidy was demanded to persecute one Peter Clerk, master of arts of Oxford, who, flying out of England, was at the council of Basil, disputing on the Bohemians' side. And thirdly, another subsidy was also required to persecute William Russel, warden of the grey friars in London, who the same time was fled from England to Rome, to maintain his opinion before the pope, and who there escaped out of prison, &c. of whom more largely hereafter (Christ willing) we shall entreat. Romish sleights to get English money.In the mean time mark here the pretty shifts of the pope to hook in the English money, by all manner of pretences possible.

Thus Ralph Mungin, the aforesaid examinate, appearing before the bishops in the convocation, it was articulated against him, first that he should affirm and hold, that it was not lawful for any Christian to fight and make war against the heretics of Bohemia.

Articles objected against Ralph Mungin.Item, It was to him objected, that he did hold and say, that it was not lawful for any man to have propriety of goods, but the same to be common; which he expressly denied that ever he so said or affirmed. Whereby we have to observe, how the crafty malice of these adversaries useth falsely to collect and surmise of men, what they never spake, whereby to oppress them wrongfully, whom by plain truth they cannot expugn.

Moreover, they objected against him, that he should keep company with Master Clerk aforesaid, Trialogus. The gospels translated by Wickliff.and also that he dispersed in the city of London certain books of John Wickliff and of Peter Clerk, namely, the book 'Trialogus,' and the gospels of John Wickliff, &c. He was charged, moreover, to have spoken against the pope's indulgences, affirming that the pope had no more power to give indulgences than he had.

Upon these and other such articles objected, the said Mungin, being asked if he would revoke, answered, that it seemed to him not just or meet so to do, who did not know himself guilty of any heresy. Thus he being respited for that time, was committed to prison till the next sitting; Raplph Mungin condemned to perpetual prison.who, then, being called divers and sundry times afterwards before the bishops, after long inquisition and strait examination made, also depositions brought in against him so much as they could search out, he, notwithstandinsr, still denied, as before, to recant. Wherefore the aforesaid Henry, the archbishop, proceeding to his sentence definitive, condemned him to perpetual prison.

Thomas Granter Richard Monk.After whose condemnation, the Sunday next following, the recantations of Thomas Granter, and of Richard Monk, priests above-mentioned, were openly read at Paul's Cross; the bishop of Rochester the same time preached at the said cross. The tenor of whose recantation, with his articles in the same expressed, hereunder followeth:

  1. Mark well this catholic doctrine of the pope's church, concerning remission of sins!
  2. Mark how this doctrine joineth with God's commandment and with his word!
  3. Ergo, by this doctrine the just man liveth not by his faith, but by his confession auricular.
  4. How can these priests be servants of Christ, who be makers of Christ?
  5. Ex Regist. H. Chichesley