Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

III.

CHAP. where, ready to shed or pour forth his gifts and graces,

wherfore it was vain, waast, and idil, for to trotte to Walsingham rather then to ech other place in which a ymage of Marie is, and to the rode of the u north-dore at London, rather than to ech other rood in whatever place it be; that Christ's discourse with the woman of Samaria witnesseth, that God is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, and that his worship is not to be confined to this or that place. To these arguments the Bishop replies to this effect; that it is not true, that all places are alike in God's sight, since God often chooses to dispense his favours in one place rather than in another, and in the manner of his own approving, rather than in another of man's devising; and has pointed out the places, or the images, which he most accepts by his miracles wrought in them: That the Samaritans worshipped God as a bodily thing, and so not in spirit, or not as a pure spirit, and by idolatry, and so not in truth. Wherefore Christ's caution affects not the use of images under the rules before laid down; and as to his saying, that neither upon this mountain Gerizim, nor in Jerusalem, the time would come, that they should not there worship the Father, it was no more than a prophecy of the destruction of that city and country by the Romans.

35. The Bishop concludes this his discourse of images and pilgrimages with the following wise and excellent advice. That though he had said, as he thought, sufficient to justify the use of images and pilgrimages, especially to such as cannot read or hear the word of God, yet he would not advise any, to haunte as it were alwey, the exercise in such visible signes whanne thei coveten to be maad spiritual, sweet, and devoute with God, and strong for to do and suffre for him. Neither, that haunte so miche, or so ofte the uce of suche visible signes, that thilk haunte and uce lette hem from uce of a better exercise ;-speciall, that thei not drenche al the leiser which tho men migten and

u Towards the great north door was a crucifix, whereunto pilgrimages and offerings were frequently made, whereof the Dean and Canons had the benefit. Dugdale's History of St. Paul's Cathedral, p. 22. ed. 1716.

[ocr errors]

III.

C. 13.

Irish.

schulden have for to reede or heere the word of God. СНАР. .
For certis how the sunne passith in cleernes, cheerte, and
coumfort the moone; and as a greet torche passith a litil
candel ; so in these seid pointis, reding and heering in
Goddis word, which is an exercise in hereable signs govum
to us fro God, passith in cleernes of teaching, and in
cheerte of deliit, and in coumfort of strengthe-geving for
to do and suffre for God in his lawe-kepeing, al the exer-
cise had, or whiche can be had, in suche nowe biforeseid
visible signs deuised bi man.
36. The next governance of the Church which the Bi-Repressour,

&c. part iii.
shop here vindicates is, the possessions of the Clergy, or
rather those of the Pope, since his whole defence consists
of a confutation of that fiction, that the Emperor Constan-
tine founded and endowed the Church of Rome. Thus
our John of Salisbury in the reign of Henry II. contended, A.D. 1172.
that all the isles, and consequently Ireland, belonged to Usher of the
the Roman Church of ancient right, by the donation of Religion of

the ancient
Constantine, who founded and endowed that Church. To
the same purpose Marsilius de Padua, that Constantine in de translat.
the seventh year of his reign changed the seat of his em-

Imperii.
pire, going himself to Constantinople, and committing A.D. 1824.
Rome to Sylvester the then Pope, and to his successors.
Dr. Wiclif seems to have been of the same opinion; Before Life of Dr.
Cæsar, says he, endowed the Church of Rome, no one took Wiclif

, p.
this honour of priesthood upon him, unless he was called
of God. So in another place, * The angel said full sothe, Dialogo-

rum lib. iv. when the Church was dowed, that this day is venom shed into the Church. In the same manner our poet Chaucer Plowman's refers to this fable as then a current opinion. Laurentius Vallensis about 1440 wrote a book which he entitled, Of the false Donation of Constantine. But then he is repre- Bar. Picer. sented as doing this with some hazard, librum scribere au- arduo ad Jusus est.

lium II.Pre

fatio, &c. s Narrant chronica quod in dotatione ecclesiæ, vox audita est in aere angelica tunc temporis sic dicentis, Hodie effusum est venenum in ecclesia sancta Dei. Dial. lib. iv. c. 18. which is thus reported by Thomas Sprott, a Monk of St. Austin's near Canterbury, illo tempore viz. anno iii. c. xv. dyabolus in aere volando clamavit, Hodie venenum ecclesiis Dei infusum est. Chron. p. 43.

c. 18.

p. 29.

CHAP.

III.

37. Our Bishop thus sets himself to oppose this donation: Constantyn, says he, endewid not the Pope Silvester neithir eny chirche in Rome, with eny greet habundaunt immoveable possessiouns, but oonli with possessiouns competentis and mesurabily, with sufficience servyng for the fynding of the prestis and mynystris of the chirchis which he endewid; except oon chirche clepid Constantynyana,

into whiche chirche' he gaf a certein of possessioun for oil, balm. fynding of ligtis, and for fynding of bawme into brennyng

of laumpis, ouer the competent unmovable endewing which he made into the same chirche for fynding of prestis and mynistris seruing in the same chirche. But al the habundant and riche endewing of the Pope and his see-chirche in Rome, came bi other persoones long aftir Constantyn, as by y Pipyn King of Fraunce, and by Charles King of Fraunce and Emperour, and bi Lodowic King of

Fraunce and Emperour, and bi Matilde, a greet ladi, Avignon. which gaf the greet and riche and rial marchionat of Au

chon to the Pope togidere at oonis, and became therbi to be the doughtir of Seint Peter, as in chronicles and stories it is open for to see.

38. The Bishop's reasons to confute this 2 fiction of Constantine's donation are these. 1. Pope Damascus makes no mention of it in his Epistle to Jerome. 2. This Pope was not in possession of any such endowment when he wrote to Jerome. 3. No authentic and credible records or chronicles take notice of it, nothing but the legende or storie of Silvestris gestis, and oon epistle putt and ascryved

unlikeli to Constantyn, and tho stories and cronicles which Historia tri-taken of it and folewen it. 4. The thre-departid storie, partita.

maad of thre moost famese and credible storiers in Greeklond, relates, that Constantine divided his whole empire into three parts among his three sons, and particu

y Nulli plus contulerunt Ecclesiæ Romanæ, nec magis potentiam ejus auxerunt, quam Pipinus, Carolus, et Ludovicus, Francorum reges. Fran. Duaren. de Sacris Ecclesiæ Ministeriis ac Beneficiis, lib. ii. c. 1.

2 Constantini donatio est ficta et ementita. Roberti Coci Censura quorundam Scriptorum, &c. p. 87-92.

III.

larly he biquathe the lordschip of the west-parti which was CHAP. Rome, with al the cuntrey aboute, to his eeldist sone Constantyn ; whiche sone * rejoiced the same parti to him de- * enjoyed. vysid, and, that thorug al his liif, and his brother Constans next aftir him rejoiced the same west-parti and his brother Constancius, after the deeth of hem bothe, al the hool empire of eest and west. 5. Boniface the IVth, about two hundred and fifty years after Silvester's death, begged of the Emperor Phocas to give him the Pantheon in Rome, in order to convert it into a Christian church; which the Pope need not have begged of another, had Rome been all his own. 6. Histories plainly evidence, that Charles the Great and Lewis were the first that invested the Popes with such large territories and dominions. 7. Manye hundrid yeeris after the deeth of Pope Silvester, the eleccioun of the Pope, maad at Rome, was sende into Grekelond-for to be confermed or admittid of the Emperour, as can be proved bi sufficient credible cronicles and stories -- this y seie not for this, that it so doon was weel doon; but herfore y seie it, that it hadde not be so doon if the Emperour of Greeklond hadde not be thanne in tho daies as ful Lord and Emperour of Rome, &c. 8. Lastly, the Bishop questions the genuineness of the letter ascribed to Constantine, since it mentions a false Fasciculus fact, and is evident from three departid history, which he Rerum, &c.

vol.i. p. 124, reckons more authentic, since he observes, that the Greek &c. writers who were with the Emperor at Constantinople, or near him, are more to be credited than other men dwelling ferther fro thens in it rombe.

+ at a dis 39. The fourth governance of the Church defended by our Bishop, is the divers orders or degrees of Clergy. His Lordship thus represents or states the question as it was then disputed betwixt the Church and Wiclifists. In the Clergie, saith he, ben dyverse statis and degress of Repressour, overtie and nethertie, as, that above manye prestis soortid &c. part is.

c. 1, &c. togidere into oon cuntree or diocise is oon Bischop for to overse and attende, that alle tho prestis lyve and do as it

tance.

G

III.

CHAP. longith to hem bi her presthode, and for to juge querelis,

and pleintis and causis and strives, if eny such rise among summe of tho prestis, and for to redresse the wrongis whiche prestis doon to her parischenys, or ministris, if thei eny such doon. And above manie Biscopis of a large cuntree, or a province is oon Archibiscop, for to in liik maner overse and attende, that tho Bischopis lyve and do as it longith to her bischophode, and for to juge querilis, and pleintis and debatis if eny such arise among tho Bischopis, and for to redresse the wrongis which the Bischopis doon to her prestis, if they eny such doon. And liik maner above many Archibischopis is oon Patriark for to overse and reule and amende the gouernauncis of tho Archibischopis. And above manie and alle Patriarkis is oon Pope for to overse and reule and amende the gouernaunces of tho Patriarkis, and for to redresse wrongis, 8c. Al this now rehercid gouernaunce and policie in the Clergie, summe of the lay-peple deemen and seien to be naugt, and, that it is brougt in bi the Devel and Anticrist; so that thei wolen alle priestis to be en oon degree, and noon of hem be above other of hem, and thei wolen that undir prestis be dekenys, and no mo ordris, statis, or degrees in the Clergie at al. And bicause, that suche bifore rehercid statis and degrees above prestis ben in the Clergie, théi bacbiten and detracten the Clergie, cleping the hige Pope Anticrist, and cleping all the othere louger rehercid statis, above prestis, the Antecristis lymes or membris.

40. Dr. Wiclif thus delivered his opinion. Unum audacter assero, quod in a primitiva Ecclesia, vel tempore Pauli, suffecerunt duo ordines Clericorum, scilicet, sacerdos, atque dyaconus. Similiter dico quod tempore Pauli fuit idem presbyter atque episcopus. Patet 1 Tim. iii. et

Dial. lib. iv. c. 15.

a The same was asserted by the two Archbishops, the Bishops, &c. of the Church of England, in the reign of King Henry VIII. The trouthe is, say they, that in the Newe Testamente there is no mention made of any degrees or distinc. tions in Orders, but only of Deacons or Ministers, and of Priestes or Byshops. The Institution of a Cristen Man, fol. 41. b. 42. a.

« ZurückWeiter »