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IV.

and wyckedly to have ynformed and infected the people CHAP. of God, return and Sturn again to the unity of our mother, holy Church; and all the heresies and errors above rehearsed, and also all other heresies and errors written and contained in t my books, works, and writings, here solemnly and openly revoke and renounce; which heresies and errors, and all u other spice of heresy, I have before this time, before the most Reverend Father in God, my Lord of Canterbury, in due and lawful form judicially abjured ; submitting myself (being then and also at this time a y contrite and penitent sinner) to the correction of the Church, and of my said Lord of Canterbury. And over this 2 exhorting and requiring, in the name and virtue of Almighty Goda, into the salvation of your souls and of mine, that no man bhereafter give faith or credence to my said pernicious doctrines, heresies, and errors, neither my foresaid books keep, hold, and read in any wise; but that they all such books, works, and writings suspect of heresy, and deliver in all cgoodly haste unto my said Lord of Canterbury, or to his commissaries, or deputies, in eschewing of many inconveniencies, and great perils of souls, the d which ills might ensue of the contrary. To this declaration of my conversion and repentance, I here openly assent that my said books and writings, for consideracion and cause above rehearcid, be delivered and deputed to the fire, and openly burnt f into example and terror of all other.

41. By another writer of those times we are told, that Johan. when the Bishop had ended this his open and public ab- stede.

Whetham

• Come again to the unity of holy mother Church.
+ My foresaid books and works I do here.
u All other opinions savouring of heretical pravity.
* Father in Christ-in canonical form judicially.
y Truly penitent and truly contrite. 2 I exhort and require.
a For the salvation of all the souls that are here, and also of my own soul.
b From this time forwards.
c Possible haste, or to some commissary of his deputed for this purpose.
. Which might otherwise be caused and happen.
. And moreover for a plain. ? For an example and the terror.

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IV.

CHAP. juration, a great many of his books were immediately

brought forth and cast into the fire which was then made for that purpose, for their utter destruction, and for a sign of perpetual condemnation. To which Gascoigne adds, that the Bishop said publicly, 8 My pride and presumption have brought these calamities and reproaches upon me.

42. Thus ingloriously did this great man fall, being overcome by his own fears, and not having courage and resolution enough to hazard the poor remainder of a life almost worn out already and come to an end; and thereby has given to others this useful lesson, when they think they stand, to take heed lest they fall, and always to remember, that however willing the spirit of a man may be, his flesh is weak. But so far were the Bishop's enemies from thus recollecting themselves, and treating his memory with a spirit of meekness, considering that they themselves might be so tempted; that they treated him with all possible rudeness, and reflected on his memory

with the utmost inhumanity. Thus one of them closes Whetham- the account which he gives of his Lordship: “And thus, stede, Acta, saith he, “ that most wretched Pastor (and by how much

" the more wise he was in his own conceit, by so much “ the more he played the fool, and was the more unsound

as he seemed to himself to be more sound) was con“ victed to be of an unsound opinion. Now he thinks “ humbly of himself, is humbly wise for himself, and hum

bly, nay most humbly, confesses that he was mistaken, " and that he was more wise than he ought to have been. “ Thus also that most impious intoxicator, who had im“ bibed the poison of perfidiousness, that he might pour it “out again, and infectiously inform the simple people in “ the faith, now spewed it out and vomited it up in such

a manner, that whilst the sun darts forth a ray, or Mars

wears a sword, he shall never dare to drink and swallow “ it any more. Thus moreover that horrible monster,

& Et dixit etiam idem Episcopus publice, Superbia mea et præsumptio meu irduxerunt me ad hæc mala et opprobria. Gascoigne, &c.

1

IV.

« which the kingdom of England now lately produced by CHAP.

a miscarriage, the archiepiscopal authority reformed for “ the better, and of a rude and deformed mass made him “to be the habitation of the Holy Ghost, and the recep“tacle of better grace.” And thus yet farther, that the remembrance of his name may be more freshly kept in mind, it is written of the Bishop in verse, in the following words: “ Sic deplumatus pavo fuit et spoliatus,

“ Sicque sibi siluit vox, quia rauca fuit; “ Sic dudum volucris que nomen habebat honoris,

“ Bubo non pavo dicitur esse modo. “ Nomine privari vult atque gradu spoliari,

" Qui violat fidei dogmata sive Dei. “ Ne sic priveris, hec qui legis, aut spolieris ;

“ Nec basse tendas, nec nimis alta petas. 6 Dum medium tenuit currum patris bene rexit,

“ Alta sed ut petiit, Pheton ab arce ruit.”

43. In this manner did the zealots against what was called heresy exercise the very lowest sort of wit to abuse the Bishop, and reflect on his memory. They made puns, we see, on his name, which because it was Pecock, they therefore very wittily, as they imagined, compared him to that bird, and represented him as stripped of all his fine feathers, and changed from a peacock to an owl. But indeed the Bishop had given but too much occasion for this despiteful treatment, in yielding to declare in so public and solemn a manner, that he abjured the Conclusions before mentioned of his own pure and free will, without any manner of coercion, or dread, or compulsion; when it was very visible, that had it not been for fear of the flames with which he was threatened, he had never made any such confession or abjuration. This, however, shews the consequence of the use of force and violence in matters of conscience or religion: that though it is impossible to write the truth on men's minds with the points of swords, or to enlighten their understandings with making bonfires

IV.

38.

1457.

CHAP. of their bodies; yet they may be so far terrified by the

apprehensions of the cruelties with which they were threatened, as for the sake of avoiding them to profess outwardly what they do not inwardly and really think and mean. How far this was our Bishop's case may

be judged by what has been already said. And indeed one would think it could not be otherwise than his case; since it is notorious that some of the conclusions, for holding which his Lordship was convicted of heretical pravity, or however of error, were maintained by many of the Doctors of even the Roman Church; and that in particular the third and fourth of them have been since established and authorized by their famous Council of Trent. But to pro

ceed in the account of the prosecution of the Bishop. Reg. Geo.

44. These revocations and recantations of our Bishop Nevil , Ep: the Archbishop transmitted to the several Bishops of his .

province, requiring them to publish them in their respecMarch 9, tive dioceses. Towards the latter end of this year his

Grace issued out his archiepiscopal mandate to Thomas Kempe, Bishop of London, in which he tells his Lordship, that “ he had heard there were some of both sexes be

longing to his province of Canterbury, who would fain “ be more wise than they need, who had books of diverse “ works, not only of brother Reginald Bishop of Chiches“ ter, written in the vulgar tongue, but some others by “the same brother, and others against ecclesiastical pro“hibitions, and the decrees of the holy Fathers, translated “out of Latin into English; certain of which having been “ exhibited before him, judicially sitting on his tribunal, “ and specially examined, he had condemned, as contain

ing heresies, errors, and things sounding ill, contrary to “ the determination of holy mother Church and to the “ orthodox faith, and had decreed them to be burnt, jus“ tice so requiring. Wherefore by the tenor of the pre“sents he committed it to him, and commanded him that 6 with all fitting dispatch, he, by his letters, containing the “ contents of this mandate, admonished, or caused to be 6 admonished, all and singular his fellow Bishops and suf

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fragans within the province of Canterbury, and their CHAP. “ vicars general in spirituals, if there were any, that they “ and every of them in their respective dioceses do make

inquisition, or cause it to be made, concerning the

names and surnames of those in their dioceses who “ have such books, and that they admonish, or cause to “ be admonished, all and singular who have such books, 6 of whatever state, preeminence, degree, order, sex, or “ condition they be; that within fifteen days after admoni« tion' made to them on this account, they effectually de“ liver the said books to his said brethren or to their offi“ cials, on pain of the greater excommunication. The Bi“shop is likewise required to do the same in his own dio

cese, and to enjoin his brethren and fellow suffragans “aforesaid, that every one of them do for himself, before “ the 21st day of May next, distinctly and plainly certify “ by their letters to the Archbishop or his commissaries, “ what they have done, and the names of those who have 66 such books.”

45. The Archbishop adds, on account of the civil disturbances with which the kingdom was now infested, by the Duke of York's aspiring to the crown, that it is his “ command, that the Bishop by his letters enjoin all and

singular his brethren and fellow Bishops of the province “ of Canterbury, that they and every of them in their ca“ thedral churches, and other churches conventual and “ collegiate, as well secular and regular, and in the parish6 churches of their cities and dioceses, on the Lord's days “ and festivals, do effectually move and induce their sub“jects, both Clergy and Laity, that they first of all being “ returned from their evil thoughts and ways by confes“ sion and penance, do with all devotion of heart make “ solemn processions every Wednesday and Friday, with

chanting of the Litany in their churches or about them,

as the custom is, for the peace, unity, tranquillity, and “ prosperity of the King and kingdom of England; h that

h Ut Deus consolator in adversis, cunctos in se sperantes nec despicit, universalem Ecclesiam Anglicanam, Regem et regnum, conservare dignetur. This

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