Sidor som bilder

It is answered, When God first created mankind, it was his pleasure all men should derive their original from Eve, as she from Adam. For had he made (as one may say) two distinct houses of mankind, what falling-out and fighting, what bickering and battling, would have been betwixt them! If men now a-days, descended from the loins of one general father and womb of one mother, are full of so fierce hatred, how many and keen may their differences be presumed, had they sprung from several fountains, and then all their hatred would have been charged, not on their corruption, but on their creation! God, therefore, as the apostle saith, "hath made of one blood all nations," Acts xvii. 26. Now, in the beginning of mankind, absolute necessity gave brethren liberty to marry their own sisters. Yea, God himself, interpretatively, signed and sealed the same with his own consent, because his wisdom had appointed no other means, without miracle, for the propagation of mankind. But when men began to be multiplied on the earth, that necessity being removed, the light of nature dictated unto them the unlawfulness of such marriages, and of some others more remote, as coming within the compass of incest; though the corrupt practices of Pagans sometimes trespassed in that kind. God, therefore, being to give his law to the Jews, cleared and declared that light of nature, by his positive law unto his people, to whom his goodness gave a garden and forbad a tree; so inconsiderable were those few prohibited, to the many persons permitted them, in marriage. For whereas there came out of Egypt about six hundred thousand men, besides children, Exod. xii. 37, fifty persons at the most (counting those forbidden as well by consequence as expressly) were interdicted unto them; amongst whom, one was the marriage with a brother's wife. For although God permitted this by a judicial law to his own people in case of raising up seed to a brother deceased childless, Deut. xxv. 5, the will of God being the law of laws; yet otherwise it was utterly unlawful, as whereon God had stamped (as is afore said) a double note of natural uncleanness.

14. God's Laws indispensable with by the Pope.

The law, then, of forbidding marriage with a brother's wife being founded in nature, it was pride and presumption in the pope to pretend to dispense therewith. Indeed, we read that the "dispensation of the Gospel," to see it dealt and distributed to several persons, was committed to St. Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 17; whose joint successor, with St. Peter, the pope pretends to be; but a dispensation from the law of God, to free men from the same, neither Paul nor Peter ever pretended unto. Let the pope make relaxations of such churchcanons, which merely ecclesiastical authority hath made, there he

may have the specious power to remit the rigour thereof at some times, places, and persons, as he apprehendeth just occasion. But let him not meddle to grant liberty for the breach of God's law. The first dispensation in this kind is what satan in the serpent gave our first parents in paradise : “ You shall not surely die," Gen. iii. 4; and whether the granter had less power therein, or the receivers less profit thereby, we their woful posterity have little comfort to decide.

15. Carnal Knowledge not material in this Controversy. Nor doth it any thing alter the case, (what was so much controverted in the court of Rome) whether or no prince Arthur lad carnal knowledge of his wife, seeing we may observe, that in the court of heaven marriages bear date, not from their copulation, but solemn contract ; and they thenceforward are esteemed man and wife before God. For it is provided, that if a damsel be betrothed to a husband still remaining a virgin, and shall be lain with by another man, both of them shall be stoned to death, and she punished for an adulteress, he for humbling his neighbour's wife. Deut. xxii. 24. Be then the lady Catherine known or unknown by prince Arthur, “due benevolence” is the effect, not the cause, of marriage ; which was completed before God, and they two made one flesh when solemnly joined together in the face of the congregation.

16. No Christian Utility inconsistent with Honesty. Such a marriage with a brother's wife, thus appearing against the law of God, it is strange that any should maintain that publica honestas “public honesty,” was the only obstacle of this marriage : which obstruction, say they, by the pope's dispensation was removed, because publica utilitas, “the public profit," was greater, that redounded by permitting this match. Now, suppose this all the obstacle, the position is dangerous and unsound. For, first, Christians are not sensible of utility, as falsely so called, which stands at distance with public honesty. Secondly. The publicness of the profit was not adequate to the publicness of the scandal. The profit or state-benefit thereby only extended to the crowns of England and Spain as concerned therein ; whilst the scandal dilated itself to the people of all Christian provinces, justly offended thereat. And although we confess, that in this respect the world is narrower to princes than to private persons, as not affording so fit matches unto them; yet kings have no commission to enlarge themselves herein by the actual breach of God's commandment.

17. Armies of Writers pro and con in this Point. Thus far the sum of the sense of Protestants and others; no fewer than a hundred authors writing at this time against this marriage : all which were produced by the king in the next parliament. Yet very many Papists professed their judgments in print on the contrary side, both English and outlandish divines ; and, to give them their due, brought very plausible arguments. Of all these, -John Fisher bishop of Rochester led the front, whom some catholics call St. John, because beheaded like the baptist, though on contrary accounts;-John Baptist for saying, “It is not lawful,” Mark vi. 18; John Fisher for saying, “It is lawful for THEE TO HAVE THY BROTHER's wife.' John Holiman,* bishop of Bristol ; John Clerke, bishop of Bath and Wells ; Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of London; and Nicholas West, bishop of Ely. Thomas Abel, Edward Powel, Richard Featherstone, and Ridley, Englishmen and canonists. Francis Royas, Alphonse de Veruez, Alphonse de Castro, and Sepulveda, Spaniards. Cardinal Cajetan, and Lewes Nugarola, Italians. Alvarus Gometius, Portuguese. John Cochlæus, High-German. Egwinarus Baro, Franciscus Duarenus, and Conranus, Celtæ.t And Ludovicus a Schora, a LowCountryman. Erasmus, a greater scholar than divine, was very doubtful in his judgment herein. He is made, by some modem apocalyptical commentaries, to be the angel flying év uer oupavýuatı, that is, as they will have it, “in a middle distance betwixt heaven and earth ;" which how it agrees to the text, I know not. It alludeth well to his dubious posture betwixt different opinions in religion ; and particularly in this controversy, sometimes being for king Henry, and sometimes against him herein.



18. Cranmer accompanies others in an Embassy to Rome.

Return we to Cranmer employed now in his embassy to Rome: The state whereof lay on Thomas Bullen, [Boleyn,) earl of Wiltshire ; but the strength of it, as to the disputing part, on Dr. Cranmer, Dr. Stokesley, Dr. Carne, Dr. Bennet, &c. so that a little university of leamed men went along thither. These were well armed with argu· ments, being to carry a challenge to all the canonists at Rome. Coming thither, they found the pope in his grandezza proffering his toe to them; which none offered to kiss, save the unmannerly spaniel (to say no worse of him) to the earl of Wiltshire, whom the Jesuit calls “a protestant dog,"+ for biting the pope's toe. But let him tell us what religion those dogs were of which ate up Jezebel the harlot, 2 Kings ix. 36. The earl presented the pope a book of Cranmer's penning, proving God's law indispensable with by the pope; a book as welcome to his Holiness as a prison,

• We order them by the seniority of their writing. † Properly people of France, liring betwixt the rivers of Garumna and Sequana. I FATHER Floud. Masos De Minist. Ang page 157.


beholding his own power therein limited and confined. Promise was made of a public disputation, but never performed: only the pope (who is excellent at the making of nothing something by the solemn giving thereof) made Cranmer SUPREME PENITENTIARY (an empty title!) throughout all his dominions. This was only to stay, his stomach for that time, in hope of a more plentiful feast hereafter, if Cranmer had been pleased to take his repast on any popish preferment.

19. Foreign Universities determine for the King.

Meantime king Henry employed his agents to the universities in several parts of Christendom, to sound their judgments in the matter of his marriage. Some report that Reginald Pole, then living at Paris, was practised upon, by promise of preferment, to act the university there in favour of the king; but he, being a perfect Catharinist declined the employment. Sir Richard Morisin, a learned knight, was used by the king in Germany; Edmund Bonner, afterwards bishop of London, employed in Italy; and William Langée, a native Frenchman, made use of his own country. So that ten of the universities subscribed the case,-that it was above the pope's power to dispense with the positive law of God. 1. Cambridge, 2. Oxford, in England; 3. Paris, (May 2nd,) 4. The Faculty of Paris, (May 7th,) 5. Orleans, (April 7th,) 6. Tholouse, (Oct. 1st,) 7. Anjou, (July 1st,) 8. Bituriges, [Bourges,] (June 10th,) in France; 9. Bononia, [Bologna,] (June 10th,) 10. Padua, (July 2nd,) in Italy.

Wonder not herein at the silence of many Dutch universities, Wirtemburg, Heidelberg, Tubingen, Basil, that they interposed not their opinions herein; for these, having formerly utterly exploded the pope's power, were conceived partial, and therefore incompetent, judges in this point. Wherefore the king only solicited such universities, in this his case, which as yet remained in fast and firm obedience to the see of Rome.

20. The bold Declaration of the University of Bononia.

Of all the universities declaring for the pope's inability to dispense with God's positive command, most bold and daring (because largest, fullest, clearest) was that of Bononia, [Bologna,] the chief city in Romaniola, a province of Peter's patrimony, and that city the pope's retiring-place. Nor can I omit the conclusion of their declaration:" We confidently do hold and witness, that such marriage is horrible, accursed, and to be cried out upon, and utterly

• HOLINSHED in Henry VIII. page 923.

abominable, not only for a Christian man, but for an infidel, unfaithful, or Heathen ; and that it is prohibited under grievous pains and punishments, by the law of God, of nature, and of man ; and that the pope, though he may do much, unto whom Christ gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven, hath no power to give a dispensation to any man to contract such marriage. In witness whereof we confirm this our judgment, both under the seal of our university, as also with the seal of our college of Doctors of Divinity, and have subscribed it in the cathedral church of Bonony, this tenth of June, in the year of our Lord, 1530."

21. The Recusancy of other Universities. Sanders † hath little to say against so many and clear decisions of the universities ; only he tells us, that all the king's agents had not equal success in their negotiations ; and particularly that one Hutton, the king's instrument herein, could not bow those of Hamburgh and Lubeck to express themselves against the marriage. But, surely, these two places were only Gymnasia, for I find them not mentioned amongst the Dutch universities. Also he saith, that Richard Crook, another of the king's emissaries, prevailed nothing on many German Professors ; and particularly he praiseth the university of Cologne for their recusancy therein. As for such who subscribed on the king's side, he pretends that bribes bought their judgments ; as if our king Henry had learned from king Solomon, that “money recompenseth (answereth] all things,” Eccles. x. 19. The best is, the cleanly hands of the court of Rome had never (no doubt !) any bribes sticking to their fair fingers ! But though that English angels flew over to foreign universities, yet there lieth a real distinction betwixt a bribe and a boon freely bestowed, not to bow and bias their opinions, but to gratify their pains, and remunerate their industry, in studying of the point.

22. Cranmer travelleth into Germany. As for our English ambassadors at Rome, finding themselves only fed with delays, no wonder if they were sharp-set to return home. All came back again save Dr. Cranmer, who took a journey to the emperor's court in Vienna. Here he grew acquainted with Cornelius Agrippa, who had written a book of “the Vanity of Sciences," having much of the sciences, but more of the vanity, in himself. Here also he conversed with many great divines, and satisfied some of them out of Scripture and reason, which formerly were unresolved in the unlawfulness of the king's marriage.

• Speed's Chronicle in Henry VIII. page 766. † De Schismate Anglic.

pages 60, 61.

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