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a ay withdrawing of power, and he thus can direct all Christian nations in temporal matters." But, said the knight, "Christ's life plainly shows that He made no claim whatever to temporal power. Also in Peter's commission He gave him not the keys of the kingdom of the earth, but the keys of the kingdom of heaven. It is also evident that the bishops of the Hebrews were subjects of the kings, and kings deposed bishops; but," he adds, fearing to go too far, "God forbid that they should do so now." Then he goes on to quote St. Paul in the epistle to the Hebrews to prove that St. Peter was Christ's Vicar only in " the godly kingdom of souls, and that though some temporal things may be managed by bishops, yet nevertheless it is plain and evident that bishops should not be occupied in the government of the might and lordship of the world." And indeed, he urges, "Christ neither made St. Peter a knight nor a crowned king, but ordained him a priest and bishop." If the contention that "the Pope is the Vicar of God in temporal matters be correct," then of necessity you must also grant that "the Pope may take from you and from us all the goods that you and we have, and give them all to whichever of his nephews or cousins he wills and give no reason why: and also that he may take away from princes and kings principalities and kingdoms, at his own will, and give them where he likes."1 This statement by the layman of the advanced clerical view is somewhat bald, and is probably intentionally exaggerated; but that it could be published even as a caricature of the position taken up by some ecclesiastics shows that at this time some went very far indeed in their claims. It is all the more remarkable that the argument is seriously put forward in a tract, the author of which is evidently a Catholic at heart, and one who fully admits the supreme jurisdiction of the Pope in all matters spiritual. Of course, when the rejection of Papal jurisdiction became
imminent, there were found many who by sermons and books endeavoured to eradicate the old teaching from the people's hearts, and then it was that what was called "the pretensions" of the successors of St. Peter in matters temporal were held up to serve as a convenient means of striking at the spiritual prerogatives. As a sample, a small book named a Mustre of scismatyke bysshops of Rome may be taken. It was printed in 1534, and its title is sufficient to indicate its tone. The author, one John Roberts, rakes together a good many unsavoury tales about the lives of individual Popes, and in particular he translates the life of Gregory VII. to enforce his moral. In his preface he says, "There is a fond, foolish, fantasy raging in many men's heads nowadays, and it is this: the Popes, say they, cannot err. This fantastical blindness was never taught by any man of literature, but by some peckish pedler or clouting collier; it is so gross in itself." And I "warn, advise, beseech, and adjure all my well beloved countrymen in England that men do not permit themselves to be blinded with affection, with hypocrisy, or with superstition. What have we got from Rome but pulling, polling, picking, robbing, stealing, oppression, blood-shedding, and tyranny daily exercised upon us by him and his."1
1 f. A. ii.; c. i.; c. iiij. The author recommends those who would understand the Pope's power to "resort unto The glasse of truth or to the book named the Determination of the universities." The book named here A glasse of truth is written in favour of the divorce. "Some lawyers," the author says, "attribute too much to the Pope—at length there shall be no law, but only his will." The work was published by Berthelet anonymously, but Richard Croke, in a letter written at this period (Ellis, Historical Letters, 3rd series, ii. 195), says that the book was written by King Henry himself. It was generally said that Henry had written a defence of his divorce; but Strype did not think it was more than a State paper. Croke (p. 198) says that people at Oxford, "Mr. John Roper and others," did not believe that the king was really the author. He says that the tract has done more than anything else to get people to take the king's side.
Again, as another example of how the mind of the people was stirred up, we may take a few sentences from A Worke entytled of the olde God and the new. This tract is one of the most scurrilous of the German productions of the period. It was published in English by Myles Coverdale, and is on the list of books prohibited by the king in 1534. After a tirade against the Pope, whom he delights in calling " anti-Christ," the author declares that the Popes are the cause of many of the evils from which people were suffering at that time. In old days, he says, the Bishop of Rome was nothing more " than a pastor or herdsman," and adds: "Now he who has been at Rome in the time of Pope Alexander VI. or of Pope Julius II. he need not read many histories. I put it to his judgment whether any of the Pagans or of the Turks ever did lead such a life as did these."1
The same temper of mind appears in the preface of a book called The Defence of Peace, translated into English by William Marshall and printed in 1535. The work itself was written by Marsilius of Padua about 1323, but the preface is dated 1522. The whole tone is distinctly anticlerical, but the main line of attack is developed from the side of the temporalities possessed by churchmen. Even churchmen, he says, look mainly to the increase of their worldly goods. "Riches give honour, riches give benefices, riches give power and authority, riches cause men to be regarded and greatly esteemed." Especially is the
1 Of theolde God and the new, B. I. As another sample of what was at this time said about the Popes, we may take the following: Rome, says the author, "was by Justinian restored from ruin and decay, from whence also came the riches of the Church. At the coming of these riches, forthwith the book of the gospel was shut up, and the bishops of Rome, instead of evangelical poverty, began to put forth their heads garnished with three crowns." This is taken from the preface of Hartman Dulechin, who claims to have "taught the book to speak Latin." It was originally printed and published in German. The English version is a translation of the Latin.
author of the preface severe upon the temporal position which the Pope claims as inalienably united with his office as head of the Church. Benedict XII., he says, acted in many places as if he were all-powerful, appointing rulers and officers in cities within the emperor's dominions, saying, " that all power and rule and empire was his own, for as much as whosoever is the successor of Peter on earth is the only Vicar or deputy of Jesus Christ the King of Heaven."1
In the body of the book itself the same views are expressed. The authority of the primacy is said to be "not immediately from God, but by the will and mind of man, just as other offices of a commonwealth are," and that the real meaning and extent of the claims put forward by the Pope can be seen easily. They are temporal, not spiritual. "This is the meaning of this title among the Bishops of Rome, that as Christ had the fulness of power and jurisdiction over all kings, princes, commonwealth, companies, or fellowships, and all singular persons, so in like manner they who call themselves the Vicars of Christ and Peter, have also the same fulness of enactive jurisdiction, determined by no law cf man," and thus it is that "the Bishops of Rome, with their desire for dominion, have been the cause of discords and wars."2
Lancelot Ridley, in his Exposition of the Epistle of Jude, published in 1538 after the breach with Rome, takes the same line. The Pope has no right to have "exempted himself" and "other spiritual men from the obedience to the civil rulers and powers." Some, indeed, he says,
1 The Defence of Peace, written in Latin more than 200 years ago, and set forth in the English tongue by Wyllyam Marshall. R. Wyer, 1535, folio.
2 The Defence of Peace, f. 42. The well-known anti-papal opinions of Marsilius of Padua are, of course, of no interest in themselves, but their publication at this time in English shows the methods by which it was hoped to undermine the Papal authority in the country.
"set up the usurped power of the Bishop of Rome above kings, princes, and emperors, and that by the ordinance of God, as if God and His Holy Scripture did give to the Bishop of Rome a secular power above kings, princes, and emperors here in this world. It is evident by Scripture that the Bishop of Rome has no other power but at the pleasure of princes, than in the ministration of the Word of God, in preaching God's Word purely and sincerely, to reprove by it evil men, and to do such things as become a preacher, a bishop, a minister of God's Word to do. Other power Scripture does not attribute to the Bishop of Rome, nor suffer him to use. Scripture wills him to be a bishop, and to do the office of a bishop, and not to play the prince, the king, the emperor, the lord, and so forth."1 It is important to note in this passage that the writer was a reformer, and that he was expressing his views after the jurisdiction of the Holy See had been rejected by the king and his advisers. The ground of the rejection, according to him—or at any rate the reason which it was desired to emphasise before the public—would appear to be the temporal authority which the Popes had been exercising.
In the same year, 1538, Richard Morysine published a translation of a letter addressed by John Sturmius, the Lutheran, to the cardinals appointed by Pope Paul III. to consider what could be done to stem the evils which threatened the Church. As the work of this Papal commission was then directly put before the English people, some account of it is almost necessary. The commission consisted of four cardinals, two archbishops, one bishop, the abbot of San Giorgio, Venice, and the master of the Sacred Palace, and its report was supposed to have been drafted by Cardinal Caraffa, afterwards Pope Paul IV. The document thanks God who has inspired the Pope "to put forth his hand to support the ruins of
1 Exposition, &c., ui supra, f. i.