The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe/Volume 3/The Bull of Pope Martin directed forth against the Followers of John Wickliff of England, of John Huss of Bohemia, and of Jerome of Prague

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The Bull of Pope Martin directed forth against the Followers of John Wickliff of England, of John Huss of Bohemia, and of Jerome of Prague.
Pope Martin's bloody bull to all bishops and archbishops.Martin, bishop, the servant of God's servants, to our reverend brethren the archbishops of Salzburg, Gueznen, and Prague, and to the bishops of Olumitz, Luthomysl, Bamberg, Misnia, Patavia, Uratislavia, Ratisbon, Cracow, Posnamen, and Nitrien, and also to our beloved children the inquisitors appointed by the prelates above recited, or where else soever, unto whom these present letters shall come: greeting, and apostolical benediction.

Amongst all other pastoral cares wherewith we are oppressed, this chiefly and specially doth enforce us: that heretics, with their false doctrine and errors, being utterly expulsed from amongst the company of christian men, and rooted out (so far forth as God will make us able to do), the right and catholic faith may remain sound and undefiled; and that all christian people, immovable and inviolate, may stand and abide in the sincerity of the same faith, the whole veil of obscurity being removed. But lately, in divers places of the world, but especially in Bohemia, and the dukedom of Moravia, and in the straits adjoining thereunto, certain arch-heretics have risen and sprung up, not against one only, but against divers and sundry documents of the catholic faith, being land-lopers, schismatics, and seditious persons, fraught with devilish pride and wolvish madness, deceived by the subtlety of Satan, and from one evil vanity brought to a worse; who although they rose and sprang up in divers parts of the world, yet agreed they all in one, having their tails, as it were, knit together; to wit, John Wickliff of England, John Huss of Bohemia, and Jerome of Prague, of damnable memory, who drew with them no small number to miserable ruin and infidelity. For when those, and such like pestiferous persons, did, in the beginning of their poisoned doctrine,[1] obstinately sow and spread abroad perverse and false opinions, the prelates, who had the regiment and execution of the judicial power, like dumb dogs not able to bark, neither yet revenging speedily with the apostle all such disobedience, nor regarding corporally to cast out of the Lord's house (as they were enjoined by the canons) those subtle and pestilent arch-heretics, and their wolvish fury and cruelty, with all expedition; but, suffering their false and pernicious doctrine negligently, by their over-long delays, to grow and wax strong; a great multitude of people, instead of true doctrine, received those things which they did long, falsely, perniciously, and damnably sow among them; and, giving credit unto them, fell from the right faith, and are entangled (the more the pity) in the foul errors of paganism:[2] insomuch, that these arch-heretics, and such as spring of them, have infected the catholic flock of Christ in divers climates of the world, and parts bordering upon the same, and have caused them to putrefy in the filthy dunghill of their lies. Wherefore the general synod of Constance was compelled, with St. Augustine, to exclaim against so great and ruinous a plague of faithful men, and of the sound and true faith itself, saying: 'What shall the sovereign medicine of the church do? with motherly love[3] seeking the health of her sheep, chafing as it were, amongst a company of men frantic, and having the disease of the lethargy. What! shall she desist and leave off her good purpose? No, not so. But rather let her, if there be no remedy, be sharp to both these sorts, which are the grievous enemies of her womb. For the physician is sharp unto the man bestraught and raging in his frenzy; and yet he is a father to his own rude and unmannerly son, in binding the one, in beating the other, by showing therein his great love vinto them both.' 'But, if they be negligent, and suffer them to perish,' saith St. Augustine, 'this mansuetude is rather to be supposed false cruelty.'

And therefore the aforesaid synod, to the glory of Almighty God, and preservation of his catholic faith, and augmenting of christian religion, and for the salvation of men's souls, hath corporally rejected and cast forth of the household of God, the aforesaid John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome; who, amongst other things, did believe, preach, teach, and maintain, of the sacrament of the altar, and other sacraments of the church, and articles of the faith, contrary to that the holy church of Rome believeth, holdeth, preacheth, and teacheth; and have presimied obstinately to preach, teach, hold, and believe many other besides, to the damnation of themselves and others: and the said synod hath separated the same, as obstinate and malapert heretics, from the communion of the faithful people; and hath declared them to be spiritually thrown forth. And many other things, both wholesome and profitable, hath the same council, as touching the premises, established and decreed; whereby they, who, by the means of those arch-heretics, and by their false doctrine, have spiritually departed from the Lord's house, may, by the canonical rides, be reduced to the straight path of truth and verity.

And, moreover, as we to our great grief do hear, not only in the kingdom of Bohemia, and the dukedom of Moravia, and in other places above recited, but also in certain parts and provinces near adjoining and bordering upon the same, there be many other of the sectaries and followers of the aforesaid arch-heretics and heretical opinions; casting behind their backs as well the fear of God, as the shame of the world, neither receiving fruit of conversion and repentance by the miserable destruction of the aforesaid John Huss and Jerome; but who, as men drowned in the dungeon of their sins,[4] cease not to blaspheme the Lord God, taking his name in vain (whose minds the father of lies hath damnably blinded), and do read and study the aforesaid books or works, containing heresies and errors, being lately by the aforesaid synod condemned to be burned; who, also, to the peril of themselves and many other simple men, and against the statutes, decrees, and ordinances in the synod aforesaid, and the canonical sanctions, do presume to preach and teach the same, to the great peril of souls, and derogation of the catholic faith, and to the slander of many others besides: We, therefore, considering that error, where it is not resisted, seemeth to be allowed and liked: and having a desire to resist such evil and pernicious errors, and utterly root them out from amongst the company of faithful Christians, especially from the afore-recited places of Bohemia, Moravia, and other straits and islands joining and bordering upon the same (lest they should stretch out and enlarge their limits), we will and command your discretions, by our letters apostolical, the holy council of Constance approving and allowing the same, that you that are archbishops, bishops, and others of the clergy, and every one of you by himself, or by any other or otliers, being grave and fit persons to have spiritual jurisdiction, do see that all and singular persons, of what dignity, office, pre-eminence, state, or condition[5] soever they be, and by what name soever they are known, who shall presume otherwise to teach, preach, or observe, touching the most high and excellent, the most wholesome and super-admirable sacrament of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, or else of the sacrament of baptism, confession of sins, penance for sins, and extreme unction; or of any other sacraments of the church, and the articles of the faith, than that which the right holy and universal church of Rome doth hold, teach, preach, and observe; or that shall presume obstinately, by any ways or menus, privily or apertly, to hold, believe, and teach the articles, books, or doctrine of the aforesaid archheretics, John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, being by the aforesaid synod of Constance with their authors (as is said) damned and condemned; or dare presume publicly or privily to allow or commend in any wise the death and end of the said arch-heretics, or of any other their receivers, aiders, and favourers, in the favour or supportation of the aforesaid errors, as also their believers and adherents: that then, as before, you see and cause them and every of them to be most severely punished; and that you judge and give sentence upon them as heretics, and that as arrant heretics you leave them to the secular court or power. Let the receivers, also, and favourers and defenders of such most pestiferous persons (notwithstanding they neither believe, favour, nor have devotion towards tlieir errors, but haply shall receive or entertain such pestiferous persons because of carnal affection or friendly love,[6]) besides the punishment due unto them by both laws (over and above the same punishment), by competent judges be so afflicted, and for such heinous acts of theirs, with such severe pain and punishment excruciated, that the same may be to others in like case offending, an example of terror; that at least those whom the fear of God by no means may revoke from such evil doing, yet the severity of this our discipline may force and constrain.

As touching the third sort, who shall be any manner of ways infected with this damnable sect, and shall, after competent admonition, repent and amend themselves of such errors and sects aforesaid, and will return again into the lap and unity of our holy mother the church, and fully acknowledge and confess the catholic faith, towards them let the severity of justice, as the quality of the fact shall require, be somewhat tempered with a taste of mercy.

And furthermore, we will and command, that by this our authority apostolical ye exhort and admonish all the professors of the catholic faith, as emperors, kings, dukes, princes, marquises, earls, barons, knights, and other magistrates, rectors, consids, proconsids, shires, countries, and universities of the kingdoms, provinces, cities, towns, castles, villages, their lands and other places,[7] and all others executing temporal jurisdiction, according to the form and exigence of the law, that they expel out of their kingdoms, provinces, cities, towns, castles, villages and lands, and other places, all and all manner of such heretics, according to the eftect and tenor of the council of Lateran, beginning, "Sicut ait Ecclesia," &c.: that those who publicly and manifestly, by the evidence of their deeds, shall be known to be such as, like sick and scabbed sheep, infect the Lord's flock, they expel and banish, till such time as from us or you, or other ecclesiastical judges or inquisitors, holding the faith and communion of the holy church of Rome, they shall receive other order and countermand; and that they suffer no such, within their shires and circuits, to preach or to keep either house or family, or yet to use any handicraft or occupations, or other trades of merchandise ; or to solace themselves in any way, or frequent the company of christian men.

And furthermore, if such public and known heretics shall chance to die (although not so denounced by the church), yet in this so great a crime let him and them want christian burial, and let no offerings or oblations be made for them, nor received. His goods and substance, also, from the time of his death, according to the canonical sanctions being confiscated, let no such enjoy them to whom they appertain, till that by the ecclesiastical judges, having power and authority in this behalf, sentence upon that his or their crime of heresy be declared, and promulgated; and let such owners as be found suspected or noted with any sucli suspicion of heresy, before a competent and ecclesiasticcal judge, according to the consideration and exigence of that suspicion, and according to the quality of the person, by the arbitrement of such a judge, show and declare his proper and own innocency with devotion; as beseemeth in that behalf. And if, in his purgation, being canonically interdicted, he do fail, or be not able canonically to make his purgation, or refuse to take his oath by damnable obstinacy to make such purgation; then let him be condemned as a heretic. But such as through negligence or through slothfulness shall omit to show their said innocency, and to make such purgation, let them be excommunicated, and so long be put out from the company of christian men, till that they shall make condign satisfaction; so that if, by the space of one whole year, they shall remain in such excommunication, then let them, as heretics, be condemned.

And further, if any shall be found culpable in any point of the aforesaid pestiferous doctrine of the arch-heretics aforesaid, or in any article thereof, whether it be by the report of the seditious, or else well-disposed ; let them yet be punished according to the canons.[8] If only, through infamy and suspicion of the aforesaid articles, or any of them, any man shall be found suspected, and in his purgation canonical for this thing, being interdicted, shall fail; let him be accounted as a man convicted; and, as a convicted person, by the canons let him be punished.

And furthermore, we, invocating and putting in execution the canon of our predecessor of happy memory, pope Boniface VIII., which beginneth thus, 'Ut inquisitionis negotium,' &c., in exhorting-wise require,[9] and also command, all temporal potentates, lords, and judges before recited, by whatsoever dignities, offices, and names they are known, that, as they desire to be had, esteemed, and counted for the faithful members and children of the church, and do rejoice in the name of Christ, so in likewise, for defence of the same faith, they will obey, intend, and give their aid and favourable help to you that are archbishops, bishops, and ecclesiastical men, inquisitors of all heretical pravity, and other judges and ecclesiastical persons by you hereunto, as aforesaid, appointed (holding the faith and communion of our holy mother the church) for the searching out, taking, and safe custody of all the aforesaid heretics, their believers, their favourers, their receivers, and their defenders, whensoever they shall be thereunto of them required.

And that they bring, and cause to be brought (all delay set apart), the aforesaid pestiferous persons so seeking to destroy others with them, into such safe keeping and prisons, as by you the archbishops, bishops, clergy, and inquisitors aforesaid, are to be appointed; or else unto such other place or places, as either you or they shall command within any of their dominions, governments, and rectories, where they, by catholic men, that is, by you the archbishops, bishops, the clergy and inquisitors, or any others that shall be by you appointed, or are already appointed by any of you, may be holden and kept in safe keeping; Satan raiseth his chains.putting them in fetters, shackles, bolts, and manacles of iron, under most straight custody for escaping away, till such time as all that business, which belongeth unto them, be, by the judgment of the church, finished and determined, and that of such heresy, by a competent ecclesiastical judge (who firmly holdeth the faith and commimion of the aforesaid holy church of Rome) they be condemned.

The residue let the aforesaid temporal lords, rectors, judges, or other their officers and pursuivants take amongst them, with condign deaths, without any delay to punish. But fearing lest, to the prejudice and slander of the aforesaid catholic faith and religion, through the pretext of ignorance, any man herein should be circumvented, or that any subtle and crafty men should, under the veil of frivolous excuse, cloak and dissemble in this matter; and that as touching the convincing or apprehending of the aforesaid heretics, their receivers and defenders, favourers, believers and adherents; and also of such as are suspected of heresy, and with such like perverse doctrine in any wise spotted, we might give more perfect instruction: therefore, as well to the kingdom of Bohemia, and parts near adjoining to the same, as all others where this superstitious doctrine first began to spread, we have thought it good to send the articles hereunder written, concerning the sect of those arch-heretics, for the better direction of the aforesaid catholic faith.

Touching which articles, by virtue of holy obedience, we charge and command you and all other archbishops and bishops, all manner of commissaries and inquisitors, that every of them, within the diocese and limits of their jurisdiction, and also in the aforesaid kingdom and dukedom, and places near adjoining (although the same places be beyond the same their jurisdiction), in the favour of the catholic faith, do give most diligent and vigilant care about the extirpation and correction of those errors, arch-heresies, and most pestiferous sects aforesaid; and also that they compel all defamed persons and suspected of so pestiferous a contagion, whether it be under the penalty of the crime confessed, or of excomnumication, suspension, or interdict, or any other formidable pain canonical or legal, when and wheresoever it shall seem good unto them, and as the quahty of the fact requireth, The old manner of the popish an oath corporally taken, either upon the Holy Evangelists, or upon the relics of saints, or upon the image of the crucifix, according to the observances of certain places, and according to the interrogatories, to make convenient answer to every article therein written. For we intend, against all and singular archbishops, bishops, ecclesiastical persons, or inquisitors, who shall show themselves negligent and remiss in the extirpation of the leaven of this heretical pravity, and in purging their territories, dioceses, and places to them appointed, of such evil and wicked men; to proceed and cause to be proceeded, unto the deprivation and deposition of their pontifical dignities: and shall substitute such others in their places, who can and may be able to confound the said heretical pravity; and shall proceed to further pains against such by the laws limited. And to others yet more grievous (if need require) we ourselves will proceed and cause to be proceeded, accordhig as the feet of the party, and the filthiness of his crime committed, shall deserve. The tenor of those articles whereof we have made mention in this our own writing, is in words as follows:

The Articles of John Huss to be inquired upon.

I. There is one only universal church, which is the university of the predestinate; as shall after be declared.

II. The universal church is only one; as there is one university of those that are predestinate.

III. Paul was never a member of the devil, although he did certain acts like unto the acts of the church malignant.

Speaking of the invisible church, the article is true.IV. The reprobate are not parts of the church, for that no part of the same finally falleth from her, because the charity of predestination, which bindeth the same church together, never faileth.

V. The two natures, that is, the divinity and the humanity, be one Christ.

VI. The reprobate, although he be some time in grace, according to present is true, justice, yet is he never a part of the holy church; and the predestinate is ever a member of the church, although some time he fall trom grace 'adventitia,' but not from grace of predestination; ever taking the church for the convocation of the predestinate, whether they be in grace or not, according to present justice. And after this sort, the church is an article of our belief.[10]

VII. Peter is not, nor ever was, the head of the holy catholic church.

VIII. Priests living viciously do defile the authority of priesthood; and so, as unfaithful children, do unfaithfully believe of the seven sacraments, of the keys of the church, of offices, of censures, of ceremonies, of the worshipping of relics; of indulgences, orders, and other holy things of the church.

The papal dignity touched.IX. The papal dignity came and grew from the emperor, and its government and institution sprang from the emperor's government.

X. No man can reasonably affirm, either of himself or others, that he is the head of any particular church, or that the bishop of Rome is the head of the church of Rome.

XI. A man ought not to believe, that he who is bishop of Rome is the head of every particular church, unless God have predestinated him.

XII. None is the vicar of Christ, or of Peter, unless he follow him in manners and conditions; seeing that there is no other following more pertinent, nor otherwise apt to receive of God this power procuratory. For unto the office of a vicegerent of Christ is required the conformity of manners, and the authority of the institutor.

XIII. The pope is not the manifest and true successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, if he live in manners contrary to Peter; and if he hunt after avarice, then is he the vicar of Judas Iscariot. And likewise the cardinals be not the true and manifest successors of the college of the other apostles of Christ, unless they live according to the manner of the apostles, keeping the commandments and councils of our Lord Jesus Christ.

XIV. The doctors, alleging that, if a man who will not be amended by the ecclesiastical censures, is to be delivered to the secular powers, do follow in this point the bishops, Scribes, and Pharisees, who delivered Christ to the secular power, saying, 'It is not lawful for us to kill any man' (because he would not obey them in all things); and that such be greater homicides than Pilate.

XV. The ecclesiastical obedience is such an obedience as the priests of the church have found out, besides the express authority of the Scripture. The immediate division of human works, is, that they be either virtuous or vicious; and if a man be vicious, and doth any thing, then doth he it viciously; and if he be virtuous, and doth any thing, then doth he it virtuously. For like as vice, which is called a great offence or mortal sin, doth stain all the doings of a vicious man; so virtue doth quicken all the doings of a virtuous man.

XVI. A priest of God, living after his law, and having the knowledge of the Scripture, and a desire to edify the people, ought to preach, notwithstanding any excommunication pretended of the pope. And further, if the pope, or any other magistrate, doth forbid a priest, so disposed, to preach, the priest ought not to be obedient to him. For every one that taketh upon him the order of priesthood, receiveth in charge the office of a preacher; and of that burden ought he well to discharge himself, any excommunication against him pretended in any wise notwithstanding.

XVII. By the censures ecclesiastical (as of excommunication, suspending, and interdict), the clergy, to their own advancement, cause the lay-people to aid them; they multiply their avarice, they defend their malice, and prepare the way to Antichrist. And it is an evident sign that such censures proceed from Antichrist, which in their process they call 'fulminationes;' that is, their thunderbolts, wherewith the clergy principally proceed against those that declare the wickedness of Antichrist; who, so greatly for his own commodity, hath abused them.

XVIII. If the pope be evil, especially if he be a reprobate, then is he, with Judas, a very devil, a thief, and the son of perdition; and is not the head of the holy church militant, nor any member of the same.

XIX. The grace of predestination is the band wherewith the body of the church, and every member of the same, are indissolubly joined to their head, Christ.

XX. The pope or prelate that is evil and a reprobate, is a pastor in name, and not in deed; yea he is a thief and a robber in very deed.

XXI. The pope ought not to be called the most holy one, for his office-sake; for then ought a king to be called by his office the most holy one: and the hangman, with other such officers also, were to be called holy; yea, the devil himself ought to be called holy, forasmuch as he is God's officer.[11]

XXII. If the pope live contrary to Christ, although he climb up by the right and lawful election, according to the common custom of men; yet, notwithstanding, should he otherwise climb than by Christ; yea, though we admit that he should enter by the election principally made by God. For Judas Iscariot was lawfully elect of God, Christ Jesus, to his bishopric, and yet came not he the same way he ought to do, unto the sheepfold.[12]

XXIII. The condemnation of forty-five articles of John Wickliff, made by the doctors, is unreasonable, wicked, and nought; and the cause by them alleged is feigned; that is, that none of them are catholic, but every one of them heretical, erroneous, or slanderous.

Election maketh not the successor of Peter, but imitation.XXIV. Not for that the electors, or the most part of them, have consented together with lively voice, according to the custom of men, upon the person of any, therefore that person is lawfully elect; or, therefore, is the true and manifest successor and vicar of Peter the apostle, or of any other the apostles in the ecclesiastical office. Wherefore, whether the electors have either well or evil made their election, it behoveth us to believe the same by the works of him that is elected. For in this, that every one worketh more meritoriously to the profit of the church, he hath so much the greater authority from God.

XXV. There is not so much as one spark of appearance, that there ought to be one head,[13] ruling and governing the church in spiritual causes, which should always be conversant in the church militant; for Christ, without any such monstrous heads, by his true disciples dispersed through the whole world, could, better a great deal, rule his church.

XXVI. The apostles and faithful priests of God have right worthily, in all things necessary to salvation, governed the church before the pope's office took place; and so might they do again, by like possibiliy, until Christ came to judgment, if the pope's office should fail.

Let every one that is suspected in the aforesaid articles, or else otherwise found with the assertion of them, be examined in manner and form as followeth:—

The form and manner of the pope's inquisition.Imprimis: Whether he knew John Wickliff of England, John Huss of Bohemia, and Jerome of Prague, or any of them, and how he came by the knowledge of them? and whether during the lives of them, or any of them, he had either been conversant with them, or found any friendship at their hands?

II. Item, Whether he, knowing them, or any of them, to be excommunicated, did willingly participate with them; esteeming and affirming the same their participation to be no sin?

Heresy to pray for Wickliff or Huss.III. Item, Whether after their deaths, he ever prayed for them, or say of them, openly or privily, doing any work of mercy for them, affirming them either saints, or else to be saved?

IV. Item, Whether he thought them, or any of them, to be saints, or whether he ever spake such words, and whether he did ever exhibit any worship unto them as unto saints?

V. Item, Whether he believe, hold and affirm, that every general council, as also the council of Constance, doth represent the universal church?

Heresy not to believe the council of Constance.VI. Item, Whether he do believe, that that which the holy council of Constance, representing the universal church, hath and doth allow, in favour of the faith and salvation of souls, is to be approved and allowed by all the faithful council of Christians; and that whatsoever the same council hath condemned, and doth condemn, to be contrary both to the faith and to all good men, is to be believed, holden, and affirmed, for condemned, or not?

VII. Item, Whether he believe that the condemnations of John Huss, John Wickliff, and Jerome of Prague, made as well upon their persons, as their books and doctrine, by the holy general council of Constance, be rightly and justly made, and, of every good catholic man, are so to be holden and affirmed, or not?

VIII. Item, Whether he believe, hold, and affirm, that John Wickliff of England, John Huss of Bohemia, and Jerome of Prague, were heretics or not, and for heretics to be nominated and preached? yea or not: and whether their books and doctrines were, and be, perverse or not; for which, together with their pertinacy, they were condemned by the holy sacred council of Constance for heretics?

IX. Item, Whether he have in his custody any treatises, small works, epistles, or other writings in what language or tongue soever, set forth and translated by any of these heretics, John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome, or any other of their false disciples and followers? that he may deliver them to the ordinaries of that place, or his commissary, or to the inquisitors upon his oath. And if he say that he hath no such writing about him, but that they are in some other place, that then you swear him to bring the same before his ordinary or other aforenamed, within a certain time to him prefixed.

X. Item, Whether he know any that have the treatises, works, epistles, or any other writings of the aforesaid John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome, in whatsoever tongue they are made or translated, and that he detect and manifest the same, for the purgation of their faith and execution of justice.

XI. Item, Especially let the learned be examined, whether he believe that the sentence of the holy council of Constance upon the forty-five articles of John Wickliff, and the thirty articles of John Huss, be not catholic, which saith that some of them are notorious and heretical, some erroneous, some blasphemous, some slanderous, some rash and seditious, some offensive to godly ears?

XII. Item, Whether he believe and affirm that in no case it is lawful for a man to swear?

XIII. Item, Whether he believe, that at the commandment of a judge, or any other, it is lawful to take an oath to tell the truth in any convenient cause, although it be but purging of an infamy, or not?

XIV. Item, Whether he believe that perjury wittingly committed, upon what cause soever, whether it be for the safeguard of his own life, or of any other man's life, yea although it be in the cause and defence of the faith, be a sin or not?

XV. Item, Whether a man contemning purposely the rites of the church, and the ceremonies of exorcism, of catechism, and the consecration of the water of baptism, be in deadly sin or not?

XVI. Item, Whether he believe, that after the consecration of the priest in the sacrament of the altar, under the figure of bread and wine, be no material bread and wine; but in all points the same very Christ who was crucified upon the cross, and sitteth upon the right hand of the Father?

XVII. Item, Whether he believe, that after the consecration made by the priest, under the only form of bread, and besides the form of wine, be the very flesh of Christ and his blood, his soul and his deity, and so whole Christ as he is? and in like wise, whether, under the form of wine, without the form of bread, be the very flesh of Christ and his very blood, his soul and deity, and so whole Christ, and the same body absolutely under everyone of those kinds singularly?

Heresy to minister in both kinds.XVIII. Item, Whether he do believe, that the custom of houseling of the lay-people under the form of bread only, observed of the universal church, and allowed by the only council of Constance, be to be used; and not, without the authority of the church, at men's pleasures, to be altered? and whether they that obstinately affirm the contrary to this, are to be punished as heretics, or not?

XIX. Item, Whether he believe that those who contemn the receiving of the sacraments of confirmation, or extreme unction, or the solemnization of matrimony, commit deadly sin or not?

XX. Item, Whether he believe that a christian man, over and besides the contrition of heart, being licensed of a convenient priest, is bound to confess himself only to a priest, and not to any lay-man, be he ever so devout or good, upon the necessity of salvation?

XXI. Item, whether he believe, that in the cases before put, a priest may absolve a sinner confessing himself and being contrite, from all sins, and enjoin him penance for the same?

XXII. Item, Whether he believe, that an evil priest, with due manner and form, and with the intention of doing, doth verily consecrate, doth verily absolve, doth verily baptize, and doth verily dispose all other sacraments even as the church doth?

XXIII. Item, Whether he believe that St. Peter was the vicar of Christ, having power to bind and to loose upon the earth?

XXIV. Item, Whether he believe that the pope, being canonically elect (who for the time shall be), by that name expressly be the successor of Peter or not, having supreme authority in the church of God?

XXV. Item, Whether he believe that the authority or jurisdiction of the pope, an archbishop, or a bishop, in binding or loosing, be more than the authority of a simple priest or not, although he have charge of souls?

Heresy to deny the pope's indulgences.XXVI. Item, Whether he believe that the pope may, upon a just and good cause, give indulgences and remission of sins to all christian men, being verily contrite and confessed, especially to those that go on pilgrimage to holy places and do good deeds?

XXVII. Item, Whether he believe, that by such grant the pilgrims that visit those churches, and give them any thing, may obtain remission of sins or not?

XXVIII. Item, Whether he believe that all bishops may grant unto their subjects, according as the holy canons do limit, such indulgences, or not?

Heresy not to worship images.XXIX. Item, Whether he believe and affirm, that it is lawful for faithful Christians to worship images and the relics of saints, or not?

XXX. Item, Whether he believe that those religions, which the church hath allowed, were lawfully and reasonably brought in by the holy fathers, or not?

XXXI. Item, Whether he believe that the pope, or any other prelate for the time being, or their vicars, may excommunicate their subject ecclesiastical or secular for disobedience or contumacy; so that such a one is to be holden and taken for excommunicated, or not?

XXXII. Item, Whether he believe, that for the disobedience and contumacy of persons excommunicated, increasing, the prelates, or their vicars, in spiritual things, have power to aggravate and to re-aggravate, to put upon men the interdict, and to call for the secular arm; and that the same secular arm or power ought to be obedient to the censures, by their inferiors called for?

XXXIII. Item, Whether he believe that the pope and other prelates, or else their vicars, have power in spiritual things to excommunicate priests and lay-men, that are stubborn and disobedient, from their office, benefice, or entrance into the church, and from the administration of the sacraments of the church; also to suspend them?

These popes will be sure to lose nothing.XXXIV. Item, Whether he believe that it is lawful for ecclesiastical persons, without committing sin, to have any possessions and temporal goods? and whether he believe that it is not lawful for lay-men to take away the same from them by their authority; but rather that such takers away of, and encroachers upon, ecclesiastical goods, are to be punished as committers of sacrilege, yea, although such ecclesiastical persons live naughtily, that have such goods?

Wealthy wickedness maintained.XXXV. Item, Whether any such taking-away from, or encroaching upon, any priest rashly or violently made, although the priest be an evil liver, be sacrilege, or not?

XXXVI. Item, Whether he believe that it is lawful for lay-men, of what sex soever, that is, men and women, to preach the word of God, or not?

XXXVII. Item, Whether he believe that it is lawful to all priests freely to preach the word of God wheresoever, hensoever, and to whomsoever it shall please them, although they be not sent at all?[14]

XXXVIII. Item, Whether he believe that all mortal sins, and especially such as be manifest and public, are to be corrected and to be extirpated, or not?

Furthermore, we will, command, and decree, that if any, by secret information, by you or any other to be received, shall be found either infamed or suspected of any kind of the pestiferous sect, heresy, and doctrine of the most pestilent men, John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, the arch-heretics aforesaid, or of favouring, receiving, or defending the aforesaid damned men while they lived on the earth, their false followers and disciples, or any that believeth their errors, or any that after their de.ath prayeth for them or any of them, or that nominateth them to be amongst the number of catholic men, or that defendeth them to be placed amongst the number of the saints, either by their preaching, worshipping, or other ways, wherein they deserve to be suspected; that then they, by you or some of you, may be cited personally to appear before you or some of you, without either proctor or doctor to answer for them, an oath being openly taken by them as is aforesaid, to speak the plain and mere verity of the articles above written, and every of them, or other opportune, as case and circumstance shall require, according to your discretion, as you or any of you shall see expedient to proceed against them, or any of them, according to these presents, or otherwise canonically, as you shall think good.

Also that you do publish solemnly, and cause to be published these present letters, omitting the articles and interrogatories herein contained, in the cities and other places of your diocese, .where conveniently you may, under our authority; and there to denounce, and cause to be denounced, all and singular such heretics, with their abettors and favourers of their heresies and errors; of what sex or kind soever, that do hold and defend the said errors, or do participate any manner of way with heretics, privily or apertly; of what state, dignity, or condition soever he or they be, patriarch, archbishop, king, queen, duke, or of what other dignity, either ecclesiastical or secular, he be; Papa spirat minas et cædes.also with their advocates and procurators whosoever, that are believers, followers, favourers, defenders, or receivers of such heretics, or suspected to be believers, followers, fautors, defenders, or receivers of them, to be excommunicated every Sunday and festival day, in the presence of the people.

Furthermore, that you diligently cause to be inquired, by the said our authority, upon all and singular such persons, both men and women, that maintain, approve, defend, and teach such errors, or that be favourers, receivers, and defenders of them, whether exempt or not exempt; of what dignity, state, pre-eminence, degree, order, or condition soever. And that such as you shall find in the said your inquisition, either by their own confession, or by any other mean to be defamed, or otherwise infected with the spot of such heresy or error, you, through the sentence of excommunication, suspension, interdict, and privation of their dignities, parsonages, offices, or other benefices of the church, and fees which they hold of any church, monastery, and other ecclesiastical places; also of honours and secular dignities and degrees of sciences, or other faculties; as also by other pains and censures of the church, or by ways and means whatsover else shall seem to you expedient, by taking and imprisoning their bodies, and other corporal pimishments wherewith heretics are punished, or are wont and are commanded by canonical sanctions to be used; and, if they be clerks, that you by degradation, do correct and punish, and cause them to be corrected and punished, with all diligence.

Furthermore, that you do rise up stoutly and courageously against such heretics,[15] and the goods as well of them, as of the lay-men, according to the canonical sanction made against heretics and their followers, under which we will and command them and their partakers to be subject. And also such persons as shall be infamed of the heresies or errors aforesaid, or any of the premises, shall be bound to purge themselves at your arbitrement: but the others, who, either by witnesses, or by their own confessions, or other allegations or probations, shall be convicted of the aforesaid heresies or articles, or of any the premises, they shall be compelled to revoke and abjure publicly and solemnly the said articles and errors, and to suffer condign penance and punishment, yea even to perpetual imprisonment, if need be, for the same.

And, to the intent that they shall not nourish any kind of heresies hereafter, either in word, deed, or gesture, or shall induce others either in word or deed, privily or apertly, directly or indirectly, to believe the same, they shall be forced to put in sufficient surety: who, if it so chance that they will not publicly and solemnly renounce and abjure their articles and errors, and take at your hands condign penance, though it be to perpetual or temporal punishment according to your discretion, neither will be contented to piit in sufficient surety that they will not hereafter hold or nourish these errors and heresies, neither will induce others by word or deed, privily or apertly, directly or indirectly, or by any other manner of colour to believe the same, that then you shall proceed against them, according to the quality of their errors and demerits; yea, and if you see it so expedient, as against heretics, and as infected with heresy, by our authority, according to the canonical sanctions summarily, and simply and plainly, 'sine strepitu el figura judicii,' and of office (all appellation or appellations whatsoever ceasing); and that you punish the same, according to the sanctions and traditions canonical, yea, if need be, in leaving and committing them to the secular power; and against such as be superiors or learned doctors, laying the censures of ecclesiastical excommunication, all appellation set aside: also invocating, if need shall require, aid of the secular arm. Pope Martin V. contrary to pope Boniface VIII.The constitution as well of our predecessor pope Boniface VIII. of blessed memory, wherein is decreed that no man without his city or diocese (except in certain cases), or in places being one day's journey distant from thence where he inhabiteth, shall be called into judgment; and that no man do presume to depute judges from the see apostolic, without the city and diocese, where they are deputed to proceed against any; or do presume to commit their authority to any other person or persons, or to fetch and remove any man beyond one day's journey from out his diocese where he dwelleth, or at most two days' journey, if it be in a general council; as also all other constitutions of any bishop of Rome, touching as well judges delegate, as persons not to be called to judgment beyond a certain number; Pope Martin undoeth the acts and edicts of all other popes.or else any other edict, indulgence, privilege, or exemption general or special, granted from the apostolic see, for any person or persons not to he interdicted, suspended, or excommunicated, or cited up to judgment without the compass of certain limits; or else whatsover thing otherwise may hinder, stop, or impeach your jurisdiction, power, too weak and free proceeding herein by any means to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given at Constance, the first year of our popedom.

This bloody and abominable commission of pope Martin, which I have copied out of a certain old monument remaining in the hands of Master Hackluyt, student in the Temple, seemeth to be directed and given out for the public destruction of all faithful christian men, about the latter end and breaking up of the council of Constance, A. D. 1418; Note how Antichrist rageth and riseth against which the prudent reader hath this to note and consider: what labour, what policy, what counsel, and what laws have been set, what ways have been taken, what severity hath been showed, how men's power, wit, and the authority of the whole world, have conspired together from time to time, continually, by all manner of means, to subvert and supplant the word and way of the Lord; and yet, notwithstanding, man hath not prevailed, but all his force and devised policies have been overthrown, dispatched, and, with the counsel of Ahithophel and Ammon, have been brought to nought; and, contrary to the fury of the world, the gospel of Christ hath still increased. Man's power and councel too weak against Christ.Neither yet for all this will the pope cease to spurn and rebel still against the kingdom of Christ and his gospel, against which neither he, nor yet the gates of hell, shall ever prevail. The Lord of hosts be merciful to his poor persecuted flock! Amen.

Against this pestilent bull and inquisition of pope Martin, the great Antichrist, I thought good here to adjoin and annex another contrary writing of the Bohemians, bearing the name and subscription of Procopius, Conrad, and other captains of the Bohemians; which seemeth, not long after the death of Zisca, to be written against the pestiferous see of Rome; the tenor whereof here followeth.

  1. All these be errors and heresies, for that they speak against the pride of prelates and their excessive dignities.
  2. All are pagans, with the pope, that like not his superstitious and idolatrous traditions.
  3. Great difference between a loving mother, and the frantic whore of Babylon.
  4. We fools thought their life to be madness, and their end without honour.' [Wisd. v.]
  5. 'Et os ejus ficus os leonis.'—i.e. 'And his mouth is like the mouth of a lion.' [Apoc. xiii.]
  6. Draconis lex sanguine scripta. The pope's religion hath left all sense of humanity.
  7. 'Et vidi bestiam et reges terræ et exercitus eorum pugmantes cum illo qui sedebat in equo, et exercitu ejus.' Apoc. xiii. 'Et data est illi potestas in omnem tribum, et populura, et linguam, et gentem:' i. e. 'And power is given him over all tribes, and people, and tonnes, and nations,' &c. [Apoc. xiii]
  8. Note again the tenderness of this loving mother, the church of Rome.
  9. 'Et faciat omnes pusillos, et magnos, et divites, et pauperes, et servos, accipere charaoterem in manu sua dextra.' i. e. 'And he shall make both little and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to take his character in their hand,' &c. [Apoc. xiii]
  10. This article seemeth to be wrested out of the words of Jerome of Prague.
  11. John Huss expoundeth this article with this distinction; 'Non rationo meriti, sed ratione officii.'
  12. John Huss declareth his mind touching this article sufficiently before.
  13. One head of the universal church, beside Christ, hath no foundation in all Scripture.
  14. The pope neither preacheth himself, nor yet will suffer other good priests to preach.
  15. See here the dragon casting out whole floods, to swallow up the saints.