The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe/Volume 3/The Protestation of William Swinderby, with his Answers to the Articles by the Promoters laid against him, to the Bishop of Hereford, taken out of the Registers in the same old English, wherein he wrote it

The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, Volume 3 by John Foxe, edited by Stephen Reed Cattley
The Protestation of William Swinderby, with his Answers to the Articles by the Promoters laid against him, to the Bishop of Hereford, taken out of the Registers in the same old English, wherein he wrote it by William Swinderby

The Protestation of William Swinderby, with his Answers to the Articles by the Promoters laid against him, to the Bishop of Hereford, taken out of the Registers in the same old English, wherein he wrote it.

In the name of God, amen. I William Swinderby, priest, vnworthy, couenting and purposing, wholie with all my hart, to be a true christian man, with open confession knowledging mine owne defaults and vnwise deedes; making openlie this protestation, cleping God to record here before our worshipful bishop John, through the sufferance of God bishop of Hereford, with witnesse of all this people, that it is not mine intent any thing to say or affirme, to maintaine or to defend, that is contrarie to holie writte, against the beliefs of holie church, or that shoulde offend the holie determination of Christe's church, or the true sen-

tences of holie doctors. And if I haue here before, through mine vncunning, been vnordered, or, by euill counsaile, bene deceiued, or anie thing saide, preached, holden, maintainetl, or taught, contrarie to the lawe of God, whollie and fullie for that time for now and euer with full will I reuoke it and withdraw it, as euerich christen man should: praying and beseeching eche christen man, to whom this writing shall come, that gif I ought erre (as God forbid that I doe), or euer erred in anie point, contrarie to holie writ, that it be had and holden of them, as for thing nought said. And all the trothes that I haue said according with ye law of God, that they maintaine them and stand by them, for life or death, to Gods worship, as a true christen man should, submitting me meeklie to the correction of our bishop that here is, or of any other christen man, after Christes lawes and holie writ; in will euer readie to be amended, and, with this protestation, I say and answere to these conclusions and articles that here followen after, the which bene put to me to aunswere to.

The first is this: That I William of Swinderby, pretending (he saith) my selfe a priest, was iudiciallie conuented of certaine articles, and conclusions of error, false, schimaticke, and heresie, by me, in diuers places and times, preached (hee saith) before multitudes of true christen men: and the same articles and conclusions, by need of law reuoked and forsworn, some as heresies, and some as errours and false: and such I affirmed and beleeued them to be. And that none of them from that time forth I should preach, teach, or affirme, openly or priuilie, ne that I should make no sermon to the people, ne preach but by lawfull leaue asked and gotten. And if I would presume in doing or affirming the contrary, then to the seueritie of the lawe I should be buxom,[1] as by nede of the lawe I swore.

To this I say, witnessing God that is in heauen to my wit and vnderstanding, that I neuer preached, held, ne taught, these conclusions and articles, the which falsly of friers were put vpon me, and of lecherous priestes to the bishop of Lincolne. For I was ordained by processe yersaid,[2] of their law, by the bishop and his commissaries, so as I graunted them to bring my purgation of thirteen priestes of good fame.Witnesses to William Swinderby. And so I did, with a letter, and twelve scales thereby, from the mayor of Leycester, and from true burgesses, and thirty men to witnesse with me, as the duke of Lancaster knew and heard, the earle of Darby, and other many great men that were that time in the towne, that I neuer said them, taught them, ne preached them. But when I should haue made my purgation, there stooden forth fiue friers or moe, that some of them neuer saw me before, ne heard me,The chastity of votaries to be noted. and three lecherous priestes openlie knowen, some lieuing in their lecherie twenty yeare (men sayden) or more, as, by their childer, was openly knowen. Some of these they clepinden denounciations, and some weren cleped comprobations, that weren there falslie forsworne, they suing busilie and crying, with manie an other frier, with great instance to giue the dome vppon me, to burne me, and boughten drie wood before, as men tolden in that towne: and these sleights, and swearing, and money giuing, as men saiden, with fauor of the bishop (by what lawe I wot not, but sothly not by Gods law), they saiden, they held me as conuicted, and might not haue forth my purgation. So as I fullie forsooke them, and neuer granted that I said them. Ouer this they made me sweare neuer to hold them, teach them, ne preach them, priuilie ne apertlie: and that I would go to certaine churches to reuoke the conclusions which I neuer said, in sclaunder of my selfe, by great instance of the friers. And so for dred of death and for fleshlie counsell that I had, I assented, and so I did. And also they maden me to sweare, that I should not preach (by instance of the friers) within that diocesse, withouten licence asked and granted, and neuer sithen I did. And now the same conclusions bene rehearsed to me againe: vhether by friers counsell I will not deme, God wot, but in slaunder of me it is: and therefore I will answere now (with God's helpe) to the conclusions, of the which the first is this: That men mowen asken thir debts by charitie, but in no maner1. Conclusion.
Answer. How debt is to be pursued.
for debt to imprison any man: and that hee so emprisoning, is accursed."

So I said not; but thus I haue said, and yet say with protestation put before: That whoso pursues his brother with malice, prisoning him cruellie for debt without mercie that faine would pay it if he might: he sinneth against Christe's teaching, 'Estote misericordes, sicut pater vester misericors est.'

2. Conclusion.The second conclusion, that false friers and lecherous priests putten vpon me was this: That if the parochiens know her curate to bene a lechour, incontinent, and an euill man, they owen to withdraw from him tithe; and else they bene fautours of his sinnes.

Answer.Thus I said not, but on this wise, and yet I say with protestation put before: That if it be knowne openlie to the people, that parsons or curates come to their benefice by simonie, and liuen in notorie fornication, and done not their office and her duties to her parochiens by good ensample of holie life, in true preaching, liuing and residence, wending awaie from his cure, occupied in secular office, he owes nought to haue of the parochiens, tithes, ne offringes, ne hem owes not to holde him for their curate, ny hem owes not to geuen him tithes, lest they bin guiltie to God of consent and maintaining of her open sinne. 'Nemo militans deo, implicat se negotiis secularibus.' 1. quest. 1. ca. Quisquis per pecuniam,' and dist. 80. cap. 'Si quis.'

3. Conclusion.The third conclusion was this, that friers and priestes putten upon me: That tithes purely bene almesses: and in case that curates bene euill men, they mowen leefullie be giuen to other men, by temporall lords, and other temporalties been done away from men of the church actuallie and openlie trespassing.

Answer.This I said not in these termes, but thus I saie with protestation made before: That it were modefull and leefull to secular lords by waie of charitie, and power geuen to hem of God, in default of prelates that amend not by Gods lawe, cursed curates that openlie misusen the goods of holy church, that ben poore mens goods and customablie against the law of God: the which poore men, lordes ben holden to maintaine and defend, to take away and withdrawe from such curates, poore mens goods, the which they wrongfullie holden in helpe of the poore, and their owne wilful offeringes, and their bodily almes deeds, and geue them to such that dulie serue God in ye church, and beene needy in vpbearing of the charge that prelats shoulden doe, and done it not. 'Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis legem Christi.' And as anenste taking awaie of temporalities I say thus with protestation made before: That it is leefull to kings, princes, dukes, and lordes of the worlde, to take awaie fro popes, cardinals, fro bishops and prelates, possessions in the church, their temporalties, and their almes that they haue giuen them vpon condition they shoulden serue God the better, vhen they verelie sene that their giuing and their taking bene contrarie to the lawe of God, to Christes liuing and his apostles: and namelie in that, that they taken vppon them (that shoulden be next followers of Christ and his apostles in poorenesse and meeknesse) to be secular lords: against the teaching of Christ and saint Peter. Luc. xxii. 'Reges gentium.' Et 1 Pet. v. 'Neque, dominantes in clero.' And namelie when such temporalties maken them the more proud, both in heart and in araie, then they shoulden bene else, more in strife and debate against peace and charitie, and in euill ensample to the world more to be occupied in worldly businesse; 'Omnem solicitudinem proiicientes in eum;' and drawes them from the seruice of God, from edifying of Christes church, in empouerishing and making lesse the state and the power of kinges, princes, dukes, and lords that God hath set them in; in wrongfull oppression of commons for vnmightftilnesse of realmes. For Paul saith to men of the church (vhose lore, prelates shoulden soueraigulie followen), 'Habentes victum et vestitum, hiis contenti simus.'

4. Conclusion.The fourth conclusion is this, that friers and priests putten vpon me falselie: That an euill curate cursing his soget for withholding of tithes, is naught else, but to take with extortion wickedlie and vndulie money from them.[3]

Answer.Thus said I not, but thus I saide, and yet doe with protestation made before: That an euill curate cursing his parochiens, vnmightie to pay their tithing, with vengeance without pitie, for his singular worldlie winning against charitie, and not for heed of their soules, there he is hold by his power reasonablie to helpe his needy parochiens, and dooth nought of the goods of the church: wickedlie and vndulie he withholds from them, that vhich is due to them by the law of God: 'Dimittite et dimittetur vobis: date, et dabitur vobis: verùm mihi vindictam, et ego retribuam dicit Dominus.'

5. Conclusion.The fift conclusion is this, that friers and priests falsly putten vpon me: That no man may curse any man, but if he wote him cursed of God, ne the commers with him rennen not into sentence of cursing in any maner."

Answer. Against.Thus said I not, but thus I said, and say with protestation put before: That no man ought to curse any man, but for charity and with charitie. '{{lang|la|Omnia vestra cum charitate fiant.' And sikerly I say, that no wrongfull cursing of pope or any prelate in earth, bindes anenst God, but when they wrongfully and wittinglie cursen men, for that men will not do their singular will, vnreasonable bidding, with highnes of heart and crueltie (standing patience and charity in them that they cursen wrongfully), he is blessed of Almightie God, and they themselfe bene cursed. Math. 5. 'Beati eritis cum maledixerint homines,' &c. Et in Psalmo: 'Maledicent illi, et tu benedices.' Et Augustinus, xi. quest. 3. chap. 'Illud.'

6. Conclusion.The sixt conclusion is this, that friers and priestes putten vpon me falselie: That each priest may assoile him that sinneth, contrition had: and notwithstanding forbiddings of ye bishop, is holden[4] to preach to the people the gospell.

Answer.Thus I saide not, but thus I said, and yet say with protestation made before: That each true priest may counsell sinnefull men, that shewen to him her sinnes after the witte and cunning that God had giuen him, to turne fro sinne to vertuous life. And as touching preaching of the gospel, I say that no bishop owes to let a true priest, that God had giuen grace, wit, and cunning to doe that office: for both priestes and deacons, that God had ordained deacons and priestes, ben holden by power giuen hem of God to preach to the people the gospel, and namelie and somelie, popes, bishops, prelates, and curates: for this is due to the people and parochiens, for to haue and aske of hem, and they duely and freely owen to done it. Math. 5. Luke 5. 'Ite, ecce ego mitto vos.' Et Marc. 16. 'Euntes in nundum vniuersum.' Et Math. 5. 'Euntes autem prædicate.' Et dist. 21. ca. 'In nouo testamento.' Et Ysidor. 'De summo bono.' 44. Et Chrysost. distinct. 34. ca. 'Nolite.' Et Aug. distinct. 34, ca. 'Quisquis.' Et Greg, in suo pastorali, ca. 38. Et in Tollitano. ca. 'Ignorantia.' Et Ierom. distinct. 95. ca. 'Ecce Ego.'

7. Conclusion.The 7. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes falsly putten vppon me: That a priest taking anie thing for annuell, through couenant: in that, he is schismaticke and cursed.

Answer.This said I, neuer in these termes; but thus I said, and yet say with protestation put before: That no priestes owes to sell, by bargaining and couenant, his ghostlie trauaile, ne his masses, ne his praiers, ne God's worde, ne hallowinges, baptisme, ne confirming, order giuing, for weddinges, for shrifte, for housell, or for ennointing: any worldly mens reward to aske or take for these or for anie of these, or for ianie ghostlie thing, he erres and doth simonie: ut patet 1. quest. 2. ca. 'Nullus;' et ex concilio Triburenti. capit. 'Dictum est;' et Christus, in Euangelio: Vendentes et ementes eiecit de templo. Math. 22.

8. Conclusion.The viii. concluson is this, that friers and priestes putten vnto me falsly, saying that I beleeue sadly as my sell sayes: That yche priest being in deadly sinne, yef he put him to make Christes bodie, rather he dos idolatrie then makes it.

Answer.Thus saide I not, but thus I said, and yet say with a protestation put before: That vhat priest ye puts himself preεumptuously and vnworthelie in deadlie sinne, wittingly to minister and to receiue that holie sacrament, and so recordes hit cursedlie and damnably, he receiues his dome: '{{lang|la|Qui manducat et bibit indignè, indicium sibi manducat et bibit.' 1. Corin. 11.

9. Conclusion.The ix. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes falsly putten vppon me: That no priestes entres into anie house but euill for to treate the wife, the daughter, or the wenche: and therefore they sayden, that I prayed the people that their husbands should beware, that they suffer no priest to enter into her house.

Answer.And if I had said thus, then I had praied against my selfe, for I come oft into mens houses: but thus I said, and yet I doe, praying christen men to beware that they nourish nor maintaine no lecherous priestes in their sinnes: for there be vhere (as men wel knowen) they ben maintained in manie places, continuing homelie with her women. And iche man there sayne they paine therefore a certaine to the B. almes. Et ideo ait Ysido. 11. quest. 4. 'Qui consentit peccantibus et defendit alium delinquentem, maledictus erit apud Deum et homines.'

10. Conclusion.The X. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes putten uppon me falslie: That a childe is not verelie baptised, if the priest that baptiseth, the godfather, or the godmother, ben in deadhe sinne.

Answer.God wot in heauen they said full false; but thus I said, and yet I say: that the praiers that an euill priest praies (liuing in lecherie or other deadlie sinne) ouer the child when it shal be halowed, ben not acceptable to God as ben the praiers of a good priest. And the better and clenner the priest is, the godfather, and the godmother, the more graciously God will heare him, if all they ben not greatest nor most rich in the world. Vnde gg. xiii. q. vii. cap. 'In grauibus.' 'Cum is qui displicet ad intercedendum peccator admittitur, irati animus procul dubio ad deteriora prouocatur.'

11. Conclusion.The xi. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes putten vpon me falsly: That no man, liuing against the lawe of God is a priest, how euer he were ordained priest of anie bishop.

Answer.Certes this is false, for I said neuer thus in these termes: but thus I said, and thus I say with a protestation put before: That what euerie pope, or cardinal, bishop or priest, or any prelate of the church, comes to his state or dignitie by simonie, and in simonie occupies that office, and holy churches goodes: I say that hee is a theefe, and that by the dome of God, and comes but to steale and kill. loh. 10. 'Fur non venit nisi vt furetur, et mactet, et perdat.' And furthermore I say, that what pope, cardinall, bishop, prelate, or priest, in manner of liuing, or teaching, or lawes making, contrarie to Christes liuing and his lawes, or anie other ground, put in ruling of the church of Christ, but by Christ and The true description what is Antichrist.his lawes is very Antichrist, aduersarie to Jesus Christ and his apostles. {{lang|la|'Aliud fundamentum nemo potest ponere, præter id quod positum est, quod est Christus.' Et patet I quæst. 3 c. 'Si quis.' Et I quaest. 6 c. 'Ego autem.' 'Quicunq.'

But this worshipfull father bishop of Hereford, that here is, sayes thus in his writing: That I William of Swinderby, notwithstanding the foresaid reuocation and abiuration (not setting at heart, but from euill to worse, he saies, peruerted so his dioces) he saies I come running about by diuers places; and by mine owne follie, he saies, that I haue presumet to preach many heresies, errours, blasphemies, schismes, and other diffames, and to holie canons and determination of holy church contrarie and repugnant, which where and when, within forth more speciallie it shall be shewed forth, that ye bee falsely enformed, ye I haue presumed in diuers places in your dioces to preach heresies, errors, blasphemies, schismes and other diftames. And sire, all the country knowes whether this be sooth or not: for sire, I presume not, sithen it is the office of a priest, by the lawe of Christ, to preach the gospell; ne nought I did for presumption; but for the charge that I haue of God by priesthood (if all I be unworthie), and to the worship of God, and helpe of christen soules, freely, without gathering of her goods, for my preaching. If I erred in this, I will bee amended. And sire, touching your mandement that ye senden to me, there was sent none. And sire, I made neuer yet disobedience vnto you, ne to your ministers: and yef all I had, me owes more to obeyche to God then to you, in that that ye bidden contrarie to Christes bidding. And sire, as ye saine that I had no mind of my hele, it is to lightlie demet: for God forbid, but yef there lie hele more then in your bidding. For God wot for hele I did it, of mine and of the people, and that was in my minde. But sire, it semes me that ye charge not, by euidence of the punishing, so greatlie the breaking of Gods hests, as ye done of your own. And sire, if it be your wil, in default that the people wanted you to teach hem (and her curates did not), by the desire of the people that weren hungrie and thirsty after Godsword, ichone to beare vp others charge as Gods law bids, I preached: not for disobedience to you; but sire, in fulfilling of the obedience that Gods law bids me doe. In excusing of my selfe to you of that ye blame me of, in open shewing to holie church, with the protestation that I first made, I answere thus to the articles that ye have put to me.

1. Article.The first is this: That I William of Swinderby, the Monday the first of August, the year of our Lord 1390, preaching to the people in the church of Witney of your dioces, helde and affirmed (as ye saine) that no prelate of the world, of what state or degree that he be, hauing cure of soules, being in deadlie sinne, and hearing confession of his suget, does nought in assoiling him, ne he assoiles him not of his sinne: and also, in amending his suget openlie sinning, and him for his desertes cursing, his sentence bindes not, but if that prelate be as clean out of deadlie sinne as was saint Peter, to whoine our Lorde gaue power of binding and vnbinding.[5]

Answer.I neuer thought this ne spake this, ne heard it to the time that I saw it written in our booke, and that will witnesse the lord of the towne that has the same sermon written, and many gentils and other that hearden me that daie; but thus I said, and thus I saie with protestation put before: The pope's binding how far it extendeth.That there is no man, pope ne bishoppe, prelate ne curate, that bindes soothlie, verilie and ghostly, but in as much as his binding or vnbinding accordes with the keyes of heauen that God gaue to Peter; and, as S. Gregorie saies, 'That power han they onlie, that hold together the ensample of the apostles with heere teaching.' 'Illi soli in hac earne positi ligandi atque soluendi potestatem habent, sicut sancti apostoli qui eorum exempla simul cum doctrina tenent.'[6]

2. Article. And what if he had said it.The seconde article that is put vpon me, is this: That I should haue saide, preached, and affirmed, in manie places, before many true men of Christ: that after the sacramentall wordes saide of the priest, hauing intention of consecration, that in the sacrament of Gods bodie, is not verie Gods bodie.

Answer.This saide I neuer, God wote, and true men that haue heard me.

3. Article.The third article is this, that our bishop put vpon me: That I should haue said in many places, and affirmed, that accidents mow not be in the sacrament of the aultar without subiect, and that materiall bread leues not there with Gods bodie in the same sacrament.

Answer.This conclusion I haue not holden, ne taught, ne preached, for I haue not medled me of that matter; my wit sufficeth not thereto. But here I tell my beleefe with protestation put before: that the sacrament of the aultar made 2. Bread and Christ's body in the vertue of heauenly words, that Christ himselfe said in the Cene, when hee made this sacrament, that it is bread and Christs bodie, so as Christ himselfe saies in the gospell, and S. Paule saies, and as doctors in the common law haue determined to this sentence. Mat. 26. Mar. 14. Luc. 22. Pa. 1. Cor. 10. et 11. De consecr. distinct. 2. 'Panis:' et De consecr. dist. 2. 'Corpus.' Io. 6. 'Verus panis.'

4. Article.The fourth article is this, that our bishop accuseth mee of: That I should haue preached about and said: that a priest being in deadlie sinne, may not, by the strength of the sacramentall wordes, make Gods bodie, or none other sacrament of the church, either performe to minister them to members of the same.

Answer. The wickedness of the priest impaireth no sacrament.Thus I neuer said, thought it, preached it, ne taught it; for well I wot, the wickednesse of a priest may appaire no verie sacrament: but the wickednesse of the prieste appaires himselfen, and all that boldnesse and example of his sinne causen the people to liuen the worse against Gods law. Vnde Greg. 'Et si sacerdos in peccatis fuerit, totus populus ad peccandum conuertitur.'

5. Article.The 5. article is this, that our bishop puts unto me: That all priests ben of euen power in al things, notwithstanding that some of this world bene of higher dignitie or more passing in highnesse of degree.

Answer. Equality of priests.Certes no man would say thus as I suppose, no more did I, ne neuer heard it that I wot of: but this I say with protestation made before, that what priest liues most holilie, next following the law of God, he is most louer of God, and most profitable to the church. If men speaken of wordlie power and lordships and worships, with other vices that raignen therein, what priest that desires and has most hereof (in what degree so he be), he is most Antichrist of all the priests that ben in earth. Vnde Augustinus, ad Valerium scribens, ait: 'Nihil est in hac vita, et maximè hoc tempore facilius et leuius, et hominibus acceptabilius, episcopi, presbiteri aut decani officiis: sed si perfunctoriè aut adulatoriè, nihil apud Deum miserabilius aut tristius et damnabilius.'

6. Article.The sixt article is this: That onlie contrition does away sin, if a man be duelie contrite: and all outward confession by word is superfluous and not requiret of need of health.

Answer.This conclusion said I neuer that I know of. But thus I say with protestation put before: That veray contrition of heart, that is neuer without charitie and grace, dos away all sinnes before done of that man that is verilie contrite. Confession.And all true confession made by mouth outward to a wise priest, and a good, profiteth much to man, and is needfull and helping that men shewe their life to such, trusting full to Gods mercie, and that he forgiues thy sinne. Vnde August, de conse. distinct. 4. 'Nemo tollit peccata mundi nisi solus Christus qui est agnus, tollens peccata mundi.'

God forgiveth sin.The 7. article is this: That I should say that lower curates haue not here power of binding and assoiling, by meane of pope and bishop, but of Christ without money; and therefore neither pope no bishop may reuoke such maner power for time and place at her will.

Answer.Thus said I not, but not for thy[7] it seemes me thus, that no man should graunt anie thing after his owne will, ghostlie, ne bodilie. But euerich man should be well aduiset, that hee graunt nothing but if it be the will of God that he so graunt it. And it is no doubt that ne God grauntes * * *[8] by meane persons, as does Antichrist to torment Christes people. Vnde et loh. 19. 'Ait Pilatus. Nescis quia potestatem habeo dimittere te?' Et Christus. 'Non haberes potestatem aduersum me vllam, nisi esset tibi datum desuper.'

8. Article.The 8. article, that our bishop puts me to, is this: That I should say that the pope may not graunt such maner indulgence of yeares; for there shall not be so manie yeares unto the daie of doome, as bene conteined in his buls, or in the popes indulgences: whereof it followes that indulgences bene not so much worth as they semen and bene preached.

Answer.This article I saide not thus; but I say that the pope may graunt indulgences written in his letter of yeares, all so far forth that he may graunt him in Gods law: so far to graunt, and farther not: yeares may he graunt no mo then God hath set. If indulgence ben forgiuenesse of sinne, I wot well all onely God forgiues sinne. Against pardon.If it bee releasing of paines in purgatorie ordeinet of God, if God haue bidden him release so many, or ordeined that hee should release so manie, he may then release hem: yet if it be in his owne disposing to release whom him likes, and howe much, then he may destroy purgatorie, and let none come there, and release his own pain, as charitie wots. So it seemes he may be liker to be saued, if himselfe list. If anie go to purgatorie, then it seemes hee full failes charitie. If buls ben the indulgence that men bringen from the court, then ben they not so much worth, as they costen there; for lightlie they might bee lost, drenched, or brent, or a rat might eaten them: his indulgence then were lost. Therefore sire, haue me excuset, I know not these termes: teach me these termes by Gods law, and truely I will learne hem.

9. Article.The 9. article is this that I should haue said: That it is not in the popes power to graunt to any man (doing penance) remission from paine, ne from blame.

Leude I am, but this article said I not thus leudly: but thus I say, that sithen it is The pope proved a blasphemer.onlie due to God to giue and to graunt plenarie remission from paines and from blame, that what euer he be, pope or other, that presumptuouslie mistakes vpon him that power that is onlie due to God; in that (in as much as in him is) he makes himselfe Christ, and blasphemeth in God, as Lucifer did, when he said: 'Ascendam et ero similis Altissimo.' Farther I say, if the pope holde men of armes, in mainteining his temporalties and lordship to venge him on hem that gilten and offenden him, and geues remission to fight and to slay hem that contrarien hem, as men sayden he did by the bishop of Norwich,[9] not putting his swerd into his sheath, as God commanded Peter. 'Mitte,' &c. he is Antichristus, for he dos contrarie to the commandementes of Jesus, yt bade Peter forgiue to his brother seuentie sithe seuen sithe. 'Si peccauerit in me frater meus, quotiens dimittam ei? Septies?' &c. ' Et Christus: Non dico tibi septies, sed septuagesies septies.'

10. Article.The 10. article is this, that our bishop puts to me: That I should haue said: that a man geuing his almes to anie man after his dome (not hauing need), sinnes, in so giuing.

Answer.This article soothlie I saide not in these termes; but of this matter I haue spoken, and will, with protestation made before, on this wise: that it is medefull to giue almes to ich man that asketh it bodily or ghostlie, but not to giue to ich shamelesse begger, strong and mightie of bodie to get his lifeloode leuefull and will not;He meaneth of begging friars. and in vhat degree so he be, men owen not to geue it to such a one, that hee vnreasonablie asketh, for if he giue it to him wittinglie, he sinnes as fautor of his idlenessie. Vnde Sap. 12. 'Si bene feceris, scito cui bene feceris, et erit gloria in bonis tuis multa.'

The 11. article is this, that is put to me, that I should haue said: That it is not in the power of anie prelate of what euer priuate religion, to graunt letters of the good deedes of their order, ne such benefices grauntet profits not to hele of soules to hem that they ben grauntet to.

Answer.I said neuer thus in these termes; but thus I say with protestation: That prelates of priuate religion mowen graunt; letters of the good deedes of her order; but the gostly mede that comes of good deedes, they mow not graunt, for that is onelie propriet to God. And if they blinde the people in misbeliefe for her worldlie winning,Good deeds of the order profit nothing. wittinglie behetting hem of her owne graunt ghostly medes in heauen by her letters and her seale (vncertaine, who shall be dammed), but make the people bolder to sinne by trust of her praiers: hit is none heal to the soules, but harmes to that one and to that other. 'For God shall yeld to echone after here werks:' 'Ipse reddet vnicuique secundum opera sua.'

12. Article.The 12. article is this, that our bishop puts to me: That I many times and oft haue come (he saies) to a desert wood, cleped Derwoldswode, of his dioces: and there, in a chappell not hallwood, but accurset shepheardes hulke,[10] by mine owne follie, haue presumed to sing (but rather to curse) in contempt of the keies.

Answer.Hereto I say, that this is falsly put vpon me of hem that told you this. For it is a chappell where a priest sings certaine daies in the yeare, with great solemnitie: and certes I neuer song therein seth I was borne into this world.

13. Article.The 13. article is this: That I should also presume to sing in an unhallowet chappell, that stonds in the parke of Newton, besides the towne of Leyntwardy, of this same dioces.

Truely I wot not vhere that place stonds.

14. Article.The 14. article is this: That I should say that no man owes to sweare for anie thing, but simply withouten oth to affirme or to denie; and if he sweare he sinnes.

Answer.This article said I not, that I haue mind of, in this maner: but oft I haue said and yet will, that men should not sweare by anie creature by the law of God, and that no man should sweare in idel, as welnigh all the people vseth. To swear by no creature.And therefore me thinkes it is no neede to comfort the people in swearing; for from the olde vnto the yong, and namely men of holie church, breken his heste, and few bishops pursuen hem therefore.

15. Article.The 15. article is this: That I should haue taught to true men of Christ, that on no maner they should worship the image of him that was done on the crosse, or the image of the blessed mayd his mother, or of other saints into honour and worship of the same ordeinet in ye mind of them. And oft sithes, ye worshipper of such image he has reprouet, saying, and stronglie affirming, that churchmen sinnen and done idolatrie.

Answer.This conclusion haue I not said in these termes. But this I say with protestation, that God commaundes in his lawe in divers places. (Exod. 20. Leuit. 19. and 26. Deut. 5. and 7. Tobiæ 1. Baruc. 6. 2. ad. Corin. 10. Esay 45. lere 2.6. 8. and 10.22. and vltimo, Sapient. 13. 14.and 15. Mac. 5. and Threnorum 4. and postremo), that men should not worshippen grauen images that ben werkes of mens hands:Images not to be worshipped. and also he bids that men should not make to hem grauen images in likenesse of the things that ben in heauen, to that end to worshippen hem: sethen neither God ne Christ by his manhood gaue neuer commandement to make these images, ne expresse counsell, ne his apostles in all his lawe, ne to worship such that bene made. But well I wote, that by mens owne relation that haue misbelieuet in hem, that many men sinnen in maumetrie worshipping such dead images: notforthy,[11] to the men bene images good to whom they haue bene but kalendars, and through the sight of hem they knowen the better and worshippen oft God and his saints. And to such men they done harme that setten her hope and trust in hem or done any worship to hem against Gods law and his heste. Vnde ait Gregorius, in Registro, libro. 10., in epistola ad Serenum Episcopum. 'Si quis imagines facere voluerit, minimè prohibe: adorare omnino prohibe. Sed hoc solicitè fraternitas tua admoneat, vt ex visione rei gestæ, ardorem compunctionis percipiant, vt in adoratione totius Trinitatis posternantur.'

These conclusions, points, and articles that I have, vnder protestation, in this booke affirmed, I will stand by hem, and maintaine hem (with the grace of Almightie God) to the time that the contrarie be prouet duelie by Gods law: and this protestation I make for my faith and my beliefe as I did at the beginning: That whensoeuer this worshipfull or any other christen man shewes me veraily by Gods lawe the contrarie of this, I will holy forsake hem, and take me to the veray trouth and better understanding of wiser men, readie to be amended by the law of Jesu Christ, and be a true christen man and faithfull sonne of holy church: and of these I beseech you all beare witnesse where ye commen.

Subsequenter vero, quia fide dignorum relatione recepimus, quod idem Gulielmus Swynderby latitabit quo minus posset in propria persona citari ipsum Gulielmum viis et modis per Edictum publicium ad instar albi prætoris in ecclesia nostra Cathedrali Herfordensi et parochialibus ecclesii de Kington Croste, et Witney nostræ diocesis; ubi idem Guilielmus solebat commotari citari fecimus, prout et quemadmodum in modo citatorio continentur, cujus tenor sequitur in hæc verba.

  1. "Buxom," submissive.—Ed.
  2. "Yersaid," that is, beforesaid
  3. Here may you see the falsehood of the papists, gathering articles against good men which they never said nor meant.
  4. "Holden," that is, bound.
  5. Note here how the papists use falsely to wrestle good men’s sayings and articles.
  6. Greg. lib. iv. Sententiarum.
  7. "Not for thy;" that is, notwithstanding.
  8. Something here lacketh in the copy.
  9. Of this Henry Spenser, bishop of Norwich, see vol. ii. p. 805.
  10. Dr. Sheptor.
  11. "Notforthy," that is notwithstanding.