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Sir Iohan Oldcastell dyed at the importune sute of the clergy, for calling upon a Chrysten reformacion in that Romishe church of theyrs, and for manfully standing by the faithfull testimonies of lesus, as all the aforesayd processe declareth. And this is both allowed in the gospell, and also required of euery Chrysten beleuer. He that confesseth me, and my worde before men,' sayth Chryst* "him will I confesse for myne before my eternall Father. And he that shall de:nie me and my veritec before men, him will I also deny for mine before my euerlasting Father whiche is in heauen.'
Thomas Becket, in the tyme of his death, commended himselfe + to: the patrones of his church, whiche were two gilded ymages of Sainct Sauer and Saint Mary, and the cause of his church unto Saint Denis, and had no more but his pryestes crown cut of (which is the Popes leuery mark) euen by the very shauing, as his story mencyoneth.
Syr Iohan Oldcastell, in the tyme of his death, commended his sowle, with Dauid, Chryst, and Steuen, into the handes of God the eternall Father, and hys cause to the rightful iudgement of his sonne Iesus Chryst, with desyre of mercifull forgeuenes concerning his ennemies, as became a. faithfull Chrystian, and had his whole body consumed in the fyre. Now, pluck from youre eyes the corrupted spectacles of carnall or Popysh judgementes, and do vpon them the cleare light ye haue by the Spyrite of Chryst: And that faithfully done, tell me whiche of these two semeth rather to be the martir of Chryst, and whiche the Popes martir? “The wayes of God sayth Esay I are not the wayes of men. But so farre as the heavens are aboue the vile earth, so farre do hys judgments excede theyrs.' That whiche semeth high and gloriouse vnto men' sayth Chryst || 'is verye abhominacion afore God. By this may ye see that the precyouse spowse, or immaculate churche of Chryst, is not a gorgiously painted, gentyll woman, nor gloryous glittering mayden, but al hidden and unknowne to the worldly infidels, whiche disdaineth to seek her in the scryptures.
Nothing is precious unto them that shyneth not unto the eye. A moost fyt membre for Chrystes mistycall body, is he that suffereth with the heade therof. As this good Sir Iohan Oldcastell did, when he was, with Chryst, examined of the proude bisshops, scorned of the priestes, disdayned of the worlde, yll reported, mocked, hated, reuiled, accursed, and so commytted vnto the laye judgement, to be condemned by them vnto moost shamful and cruell death. Yea, so extremely malicious was the spyghtfull spiritualtce agaynst him, that they wolde not suffre his body to be buried in their great cytee or holy church (which is spiritually called Sodoma and Ægyptus) to make the prophecy of Sainct Iohaus Apocalps § truly to be veryfied vpon him, and to proue him Chrystes. membre alltogether. They both resolued his body into asshes, and also made the ryuer to carye them away, lyke as they did also with the bones of Iohan Wicleuels, least any thing therof shuld remayne, because they wold also shewe themselues lyke in tyranny to lulianus Apostata, that so vsed the body of holy lohan Baptist afore them. I shuld make a.comparyson betwixt thys blessed martir of Chryst, Sir Iohan Oldcas
• Math. X. Mark viii. Luke ix. ib. xii. + Benedic. de Burgo Petri, Ioannes Capgrauc, Stefanus Langton, lib. iii. cap. 18.
Apoc. xi I De Sacramentalibus, cap. lxxxvi. ( 13. Fasciculus Zizaniorum.
cell, and Peter of Myllane, with other of the Popes martirs, which dyed for the Popes power, pardons, pilgrymages, ear-confession, and other Popish maters inore establysshed in the generall counsell of Lateran, but it wolde axe too much tyme.
And as concerning the kinde, of his contemptuous death or martirdome: More vyle was not his hanging vnder the galowes in an yron chayne, than was the hanging of his Lord lesus Chryst vpon the crosse in the tyme of his death. Nor than was the hanging of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, his holy apostles: Bisshop Simeon, Doroteus, Gorgonius, Alexander, Epipodius, Claudius, Asterius, Menon, Nemesius, Nestor, Agricola, Iulia, Zoe, the wife of Nicostratus, with many other holy martirs more. More odyouse was not his burning in the fyre, than was the cruell burning of Barnabas the Apostell, Polycarpus, the good Bisshop of Smirna, Amancius, Agaton, T'iburcius, Petulius, Simphronius, Sosthenes, Victor, Dioscorus, Eulogius, Fructuosus, Castus, Aemilius, Fidencius, Hero, Hyreneus, Aphra, Hylaria, Apolonia, Anastasia, and many hondreths more. Whan this strong witnesse of the Lord was among the fat bulles of Basan *, and moost cruelly assaulted of them, he was thoroughly assertained in his conscience for that conflyct of fayth, to taste his eternal goodness in the lasting lande of the lyuing.
Yea, soche tyme as he was reproued of his ennemies, and forsaken of his fryendes, in maner of a broken vessel t, he toke a strong stomacke vnto him, as dyd the mightee Machabees I, and thought thus in his minde, That, though those ungratiouse tyrauntes shuld put him ynto death, yet wolde the æternall Kyng (which is both 'resurrection and lyfe 10 raise him up agayn in the resurrection of life cuerlasting,' among them that hath dyed for his pure lawes. Already hath he raysed his fame, which lay long dead, by the lyuing Spyrite of his gospell, for that he was a minister therof. Which is a moost euident token that he will hereafter, with his other mysticall membres, rayse him vp in perfight glory. Whan the gospell laye dead, gloryous Thomas Becket was a sainct, and Iohan Oldcastell a forgotten heretike. But, nowe that the lyght therof shyncth, we are lyke to see it farre otherwise. For proud Becket hath already hidden his faces, and poor Oldcastell beginneth nowe to appeare very notable. Not all vnrightly did Saint Augustin speak it, and other olde doctours besides, that many were worshipped here in carth for sainctes, whose wretched soules are greuously cryciate in hell.
Such tyme as our moost worthy soueurain, Kynge Henry the viii, now lyuing, after the moost goodly example of Kynge losyas 1, visited
the temples of his realme, he perseyued the sinneful shryne of this "Becket, to be vnto his people a moost perniciouse euell, and therfore,
in the worde of the Lord, he ytterly, among other, destroyed it. If he had vpon that, and such other abhominable shrynes, brent those idol. atrouse pryestes, which were, and are yet, theyr chefe mainteiners, he bad fulfilled the godly history throughout. But that which was not than perfourmed, in hope of their amendment, may, by chaunce, lyght upon them hereafter, whan no gentell warning will seme to be regarded, I dout not at all, but his most noble discretion perceyueth much more in that wycked generacyon of the Popes norryshynge up, which alwayes hath maynteyned, and yet do, soche many fest errours, than he ener in his lyfe yet uttered. The eternall Father rewarde his Grace for that clere lyght of helthe, which we poore creaturs have receyued at his onlye hande undre God, though yt be not all without the grevouse punyshment of our bodyes. By the processe whiche we have afore here uttered of Sir Iohan Oldcastell, ye maye evydentłye sce, that great is the treasure which the Lorde hath layed up for the behove of them that hath trusted in him®, wherewith now he maketh dumme the lyeing lyppes of them that dysdaynouslye reported the ryghtuouse, to the honour and prayse of his most gloryouse name. Amen.
Psal. xxii. Amos iv. + Psal. xxx. 32 Mach. vj. Tolian xi. ib. Apo. XX a The pilgrimage to his shrine being forbidden, and his bones. by the king's order, burnt.
2 Kings xxiii.. Chron. xxxiv.
Thus eodeth the brefe chronycle concernynge the examynacyon and death of the blessed martir of Chryst, Sir Johan Oldcastell, the Lord Cobham, not canonysed of the Pope, but in the precyouse bloude of his Lorde Iesus Chryst. Collected by Iohan Bale, and imprinted, Anno Dom. 1544. and vi. Die Augusti.
LAMENTATION, OR COMPLAINT
MADE BY THE MOST VERTUOUS AND RIGHT GRATIOUS LADIE
ng the Ignorance of her blind Life, led in Superstition;
Verie profitable to the Amendment of our Liues.
Quarto, containing Forty-seven Pages.
William Cicill bauing-taken much profit, by the reading of this treatise following, wisheth vnto eucrie Christian, by the reading thereof, like profit, with increase from God.
MOST gentle and Christian reader, if matters should be rather confirined by their reporters, than the reports warranted by the matters, I might iustlie bewaile our time, wherein euill deeds be well worded, and good deeds euill cleaped. But sincere truth is, that things be not good for their praises, but be praised for their goodnesse. I doo not mooue
• Psa. XXX. Eccl. 1. Wisd. v. in the Harleian Library.
+ This is the 140th aumber in the catalogue of pamphlets
thes to like this christian treatise, bicause I haue mind to praise it; but I exhurt thee to mind it, and, for the goodnesse, thou shalt allow it, for whose liking I labour not to obteine, onelie, mooued by mine example, their iudgement I regard, chieflic confirmed by the matter. Truelie, our time is so disposed to grant good names, to euill fruits, and excellent terme sto meane works, that neither can good deeds enioie their due names, being defrauded by the cuill; neither excellent works can possesse their woorthie termes, being forestalled by the meane ; insomuch that men seeke, rather, how much they can, than how much they ought to saie; inclining more to their pleasure, than to their iudgement, and to shew themselves rather eloquent, than the matter good; so that neither the goodnesse of the cause can mooue them to saie more, neither the euilnesse lesse. For, if the excellencie of this Christian contemplation, either for the goodnesse herein to maruell appear. . ing, either for the profit, hereupon, to the reader ensuing, should be, with due commendation, followed : I, of necessitie, should either trauell, to find out new words, the old being anticipated by euill matters, or wish, that the common speech of prassing were spared, vntill conuenient matters were found to spend it; such is the plentie of praising, and scarseness of deseruing.
Wherefore, lacking the maner in words, and not the matter in deed of high commendation, I am compelled to keepe in my iudgement with silence, trusting whom my report could not haue mooued to like this present treatise, the worthinesse of the matter shall compell to giuc it honour.
Anic earthlie man would soon be stirred, to see some misterie of magike, or practise of alchumie, or, perchance, some inchantment of elements ; but thou, which art christened, hast here a wonderfull mysterie of the mercie of God, a heaucnlie practise of regeneration, a spiritual inchantment of the grace of God. If ioie and triumph be shewed, when a kings child is born into the world, what ioie is sufficient, when God's child is regenerated from heaven? The one is flesh, which is borne of flesh; the other is spirit, which is borne of spirit. The one, also, shall wither like the grasse of the carth, in short time; the other shall liue in hcauen, beyond all time. If the finding of one lost shecpe be more joilull, than the hauing of ninetic and nine; What ioie is it, to consider the returne of a straic child of Almightic God, whose retnrne teacheth the ninetie and nine to come to their fold ? Euen such cause of ioic is this, that the angels, in hcauen, take comfort herein. Be thou, therefore, ioifull, when a noble child is newlic borne ; shew thy selfe glad, when the lost shecpe hath wonne the whole flock; be thou not sad, where angells reioise.
Here maist thou see one, if the kind may moouc thee, a woman; if degree may prouoke thee, a woman of high estate; by birth made noble, by marriage most noble, by wisedome godlie, by a mightie king, an excellent queene; by a famous Henrie, a renowned Catherine, a wife to him that was a king to realmes; refusing the world, wherein she was lost, to obtaine heauen, wherein she may be saued ; abhorring sinne, which made hir bound to receiue grace, wherby she may be free ; despising Acsh, the cause of corruption, to put on the spirit, the cause of sanctification: forsaking ignorance, wherein she was blind, to come to knowledge, whereby she may see; remoouing superstition, wherewith she was smothered, to imbrace true religion, wherewith she may reuiue.
The fruit of this treatise, good reader, is thine amendment; this onlie had, the writer is satisfied. This good ladie thought no shame to detest hir sinne, to obteine remission; no vilenes, to become nothing, to be a member of him, which is all things in all ; no follie to forget the wisedome of the world, to learne the simplicitie of the gospell at the last; no displeasantnesse, to submit hir selfe to the schoole of the cross, the learning of the crucifix, the booke of our redemption, the verie absolute librarie of God's mercie and wiședome. This waie, thought she, hir honour increased, and hir state pirmanent, to make bir earthlic honour heavenlie, and neglect the transitorie for the euerlasting.
Of this I would thee warned, that the profit may ensue. These great mysteries and gracęs be not well perceiucd, except they be surelie studied; neither be they perfectlie studied, except they be diligentlie practised; neither profitablie practised, without amendment. Sec and learne, hereby, what she hath doone, then inaist thou practise, and amend that thou canst do; so shalt thou practise with case, hauing a guide, and amend with profit, hauing a zeale. It is casier to see these, than to learne: begin at the easiest, to come to the harder; see thou hir confession, that thou maiest learne hir repentance; practise hir perseucrance, that thou maiest hauc like amendment; despise thy selfe, in eschewing vice, that thou maiest please God, in asking grace; let not shame hinder the confession, which hindered not the offense. Be thou sure, “if we knowledge our sins, God is faithfull to forgiue vs, and to clense vs from all ynrighteousnes.' Obeie the prophets saieng: Declare thy waies to the Lord.
Thus far thou maist learne to knowe thy selfe; next this, be thou as diligent to releeue thy selfe in God's mercie, as thou hast beene to reueale thy selfe in thine owne repentance. For God hath concluded all thinges vnder sinne, bicause he would have mercie upon all; who hath also borne our sinnes in his bodie vpon the tree, that we should be deliuered from sinne, and should liue vnto righteousnes, by whose stripes we be healed. Here is our anchor; here is our shephcard; here we be made whole; here is our life, our redemption, our saluation, and our blisse; let ys, therefore, now feed, by this gratious queenes example, and be not ashamed to become in confession publicanes, since įhis noble ladie will be no pharisie.
And, to all ladies of estate, I wish as earnest mind, to followe our qucene in vertue, as in honour, that they might once appeare to prefer God before the world, and be honourable in religion, which now be honourable in vanities ; so'sha)l they, as in some vertuous ladies, of right high estate, it is, with great comfort seen, taste of this freedome of remission of the euerlasting blisse, which excecdeth all thoughts and vnderstandings, and is prepared for the holie in spirit. For the which, let vs, with our intercession in holines and purenes of life, offer our selues, to the heauenlie father, an vndefiled host; To whom be eternal] praise and glorie, throughout the earth, without end. Amen.