Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/35

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death, so much they would fear the clergy more than the King.

A. And though perhaps the Roman clergy will not maintain that a priest hath power to remit sins absolutely, but only with a condition of repentance, yet the people were never so instructed by them; but were left to believe, that whensoever they had absolution, their precedent sins were all discharged, when their penance, which they took for repentance, was performed. Within the same time began the article of transubstantiation. For it had been disputed a long time before, in what manner a man did eat the body of our Saviour Jesus Christ, as being a point very difficult for a man to conceive and imagine clearly; but now it was made very clear, namely, that the bread was transubstantiated into Christ’s body, and so was become no more bread, but flesh.

B. It seems then that Christ had many bodies, and was in as many places at once, as there were communicants. I think the priests then were so wanton, as to insult upon the dulness, not only of common people, but also of kings and their councillors.

A. I am now in a narration, not in a disputation; and therefore I would have you to consider at this time nothing else, but what effect this doctrine would work upon kings and their subjects, in relation to the clergy, who only were able of a piece of bread to make our Saviour’s body, and thereby at the hour of death to save their souls.

B. For my part, it would have an effect on me, to make me think them gods, and to stand in awe of them as of God himself, if he were visibly present.

A. Besides these, and other articles tending to the upholding of the Pope’s authority, they had many fine points in their ecclesiastical polity, conducing to the same end; of which I will mention only such as were established within the same time. For then it was the order came up of preaching friars, that wandered up and down, with power to preach in what congregation they pleased, and were sure enough to instil into the people nothing that might lessen