Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 136. THE PROUD PRIMACY OF POPES


Illustration -- Various Martyrdoms

The proud primacy of popes described, in order of their rising up by little and little, from faithful bishops and martyrs, to become lords and governors over kings and kingdoms, exalting themselves in the temple of God, above all that is called God, c. 2 Thess. ii.

In the table of the primitive church above described, hath been, gentle reader, set forth and exhibited before thine eyes, the grievous afflictions and sorrowful torments which, through God's secret sufferance, fell upon the true saints and members of Christ's church in that time, especially upon the good bishops, ministers, and teachers of the flock; of whom some were scourged, some beheaded, some crucified, some burned, some had their eyes put out, some one way, some another, miserably consumed; which days of woeful calamity continued (as is fore-showed) near the space of three hundred years. During which time the dear spouse and elect church of God, being sharply assaulted on every side, had small rest, no joy, nor outward safety in this present world, but in much bitterness of heart, in continual tears and mourning under the cross, passed over their days, being spoiled, imprisoned, contemned, reviled, famished, tormented, and martyred every where; who neither durst well tarry at home for fear and dread, and much less durst come abroad for the enemies, but only by night, when they assembled as they might, sometime to sing psalms and hymns together. In all which their dreadful dangers and sorrowful afflictions, notwithstanding, the goodness of the Lord left them not desolate, but the more their outward tribulations did increase, the more their inward consolations did abound; and the further off they seemed from the joys of this life, the more present was the Lord with them with grace and fortitude, to confirm and rejoice their souls. And though their possessions and riches in this world were lost and spoiled, yet were they enriched with heavenly gifts and treasures from above, a hundredfold. Then was true religion truly felt in heart. Then was Christianity not in outward appearance showed, but in inward affection received, and the true image of the church not in outward show pretended, but in her perfect state effectual. Then was the name and fear of God true in heart, not in lips alone dwelling. Faith then was fervent, zeal ardent, prayer not swimming in the lips, but groaned out to God from the bottom of the spirit. Then was no pride in the church, nor leisure to seek riches, nor time to keep them. Contention for trifles was then so far from Christians, that well were they when they could meet to pray together against the devil, author of all dissension. Briefly, the whole church of Christ Jesus, with all the members thereof, the further it was from the type and shape of this world, the nearer it was to the blessed respect of God's favour and supportation.

The first rising of the bishops of Rome.

Illustration -- Constantine the emperor embracing Christian bishops

After this long time of trouble, it pleased the Lord at length mercifully to look upon the saints and servants of his Son, to release their captivity; to release their misery, and to bind up the old dragon the devil, which so long vexed them, whereby the church began to aspire to some more liberty; and the bishops, which before were as abjects, utterly contemned of emperors, through the providence of God, (which disposeth all things in his time after his own will,) began now of emperors to be esteemed and had in price. Furthermore, as emperors grew morein devotion, so the bishops more and more were exalted, not only in favour, but also preferred unto honour, insomuch that in short space they became not quarter-masters, but rather half emperors with emperors.

After this, in process of time, as riches and worldly wealth crept into the clergy, and that the devil had poured his venom into the church, (as the voice was heard the same time over Constantinople,) so true humility began to decay, and pride to set in his foot, till at last they played as the ivy doth with the oak tree,which first beginning with a goodly green show, embraceth him so long, till at length it overgroweth him, and so sucketh all his moisture from him, setting his root fast in his bark, till at last it both stifleth the stock, and killeth the branches, and so cometh to be a nest for owls and all unclean birds. Not untruly therefore it was said of Augustine, Religio peperit divitias, et filia devoravit matrem, that is, Religion begat riches, and the daughter hath devoured the mother. The verity whereof notoriously may appear above all other in the Church of Rome, and the bishops of the same. For after that the Church of Rome, through favour of emperors, was endowed with lands, donations, possessions, and patrimonies, so that the bishops thereof, feeling the smack of wealth, ease, and prosperity, began to swell in pomp and pride; the more they flourished in this world, the more God's Holy Spirit forsook them; till at last the said bishops, who at the first were poor, creeping low upon the ground, and were persecuted a long time, every man treading upon them in this world, now of persecuted people began to be persecutors of others, and to tread upon the necks even of emperors, and to bring the heads of kings and princes under their girdle. And not only that, but, furthermore, through pride and riches, they were so far gone from all religion, that in the very end they became the great adversary of God, (whom we call antichrist,) prophesied of so long before by the Spirit of God to come, sitting in the temple of God, &c. Of whom thus we read in the Epistle of Paul, 2 Thess. ii., where he saith, We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our fellowship together in him, that ye be not suddenly moved in your mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor letter, as it were from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand. Let no man in any wise deceive you, for that day shall not come except there come a departing first, and that man of sin be revealed, even the son of perdition, that adversary which exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he shall sit in the temple of God, as God, and set forth himself as he were God, &c.

By which words of St. Paul, we have divers things to understand: First, that the day of the Lord's coming was not then near at hand. Secondly, the apostle giving us a token before, to know when that day shall approach, biddeth us look for an adversary first to be revealed. Thirdly, to show what adversary this shall be, he expresseth him not to be as a common adversary, such as were then in his time. For although Herod, Annas, and Caiaphas, the high priests and Pharisees, Tertullus, Alexander the coppersmith, Elymas, and Simon Magus, and Nero the emperor, in Paul's time were great adversaries; yet here he meaneth another besides these, greater than all the rest, not such a one as should be like to priest, king, or emperor, but such as far exceeding the state of all kings, priests, and emperors, should be the prince of priests, should make kings to stoop, and should tread upon the neck of emperors, and make them to kiss his feet. Moreover, where the apostle saith, that he shall sit in the temple of God, thereby is meant, not the personal sitting of the pope in the city only of Rome, but the authority and jurisdiction of his see exalted in the whole universal church, equal with God himself. For let men give to the pope that which he in his laws, decrees, and in his pontifical requireth, and what difference is there between God and the pope? If God set laws and ordinances, so doth he. If God have his creatures, so hath he. If God require obedience, so doth he. If the breach of God's commandments are punished, much more be his. God hath his religion, the pope also hath his, yea, for God's one religion, he hath a hundred. God hath set up an Advocate, he hath a hundred. God hath instituted but a few holy days; for God's one, he hath instituted forty. And if the holy day that God hath appointed be simplex, the feast that the pope appointeth is duplex et triplex. Christ is the Head of the church; so is the pope. Christ giveth influence to his body; so doth the pope. Christ forgiveth sin; the pope doth no less. Christ expelleth evil spirits by his power; so pretendeth the pope by his holy water. Furthermore, where Christ went barefoot upon the bare ground; he with his golden shoes is carried on men's shoulders. And where Christ was called sanctus sanctorum; he is called sanctorum sanctissimus. Christ never practised but only the spiritual sword; he claimeth both spiritual and temporal. Christ bought the church; he both buyeth and selleth the church. And if it be necessary to believe Christ to be the Saviour of the world, so it is necessary to believe the pope to be the head of the church. Christ paid tribute unto Cæsar; he maketh Cæsar pay tribute unto him. Finally, the crown of Christ was of sharp thorns; the pope hath three crowns of gold upon his head, so far exceeding Christ the Son of God in glory of this world, as Christ exceedeth him in the glory of heaven. The image and pattern of whose intolerable pride and exaltation, according as St. Paul doth describe him in his Epistle aforesaid, we have here set forth, not only in these tables to be seen, and by his own facts to be noted, but also in his own words and registers, Clementines, Extravagants, and Pontificals expressed, as in order (the Lord willing) shall follow.

The exaltation of popes above kings and emperors, out of histories.

Illustration -- Bishops of Rome advanced by emperors, Constantine, Theodosius, &c.

First, after that Italy and the city of Rome were overrun by the Goths and Vandals, so that the seat of the empire was removed to Constantinople, then began John, patriarch of Constantinople, to put forth himself, and would needs be called universal bishop of the world; but the bishop of Rome in no case would suffer that, and stopped it. After this came the emperor's deputy, and exarch of Ravenna, to rule Italy; but the bishop of Rome, through aid of the king of Lombards, soon quailed him.

Not long after, about the year of our Lord 500, came Phocas the murderer, who slew the emperor of Constantinople, his master Mauritius, and his children. By which Phocas the bishops of old Rome aspired first to their pre-eminence, to be counted the head bishops over the whole church, and so together with the Lombards began to rule the city of Rome. Afterwards, when the Lombards would not yield unto him in accomplishing his ambitious desire, but would needs require of the bishop the said city of Rome; he stirred up Pepin, but first deposed. Childeric the king of France, and so thrusting him into an abbey, set up in his place Pepin and his son Charlemagne to put down the said king of Lombards, called Aistulphus. And so he translated the empire from Constantinople into France, dividing the spoil between him and them; so that the kings of France had all the possessions and lands which before belonged to the empire, and he to receive of them the quiet possession of the city of Rome, with such donations and lordships, which now they challenge unto them under the name of St. Peter's patrimony, which they falsely ascribe to that donation of Constantine the Great.

It followeth then in process of time, after the days of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis, (who had endowed these bishops of Rome, called now popes, with large possessions,) when the kings of France were not so appliable to their beck, to aid and maintain them against the princes of Italy, who began then to pinch the said bishops for their wrongful usurped goods, they practised with the Germans to reduce the empire to Otho first of that name, duke of Spain, referring the election thereof to seven princes, electors of Germany, which was about A. D. 1002; notwithstanding, reserving still in his hands the negative voice, thinking thereby to enjoy that they had in quietness and security, and so did for a good space.

At length, when some of these German emperors also after Otho began a little to spurn against the said bishops and popes of Rome, some of them they accursed, some they subdued and brought to the kissing of their feet, some they deposed, and placed other in their possessions.

So was Henry the Fourth by these bishops accursed, the emperor himself forced, with his wife and child, to wait attendance upon the pope's pleasure three days and three nights in winter, at the gates of Canossus. Read before. Besides all this, the said pope raised up Rodulphus to be emperor against him; who, being slain in war, then the said Pope Gregory the Seventh, not resting thus, stirred up his own son, Henry the Fifth, to fight against his own natural father, and to depose him, which Henry the Fifth was also himself afterward accursed and excommunicated, and the Saxons at last set up by the bishops to fight against him.

After this, the emperors began to be somewhat calmed, and more quiet, suffering the bishops to reign as they listed, till Frederic the First, called Barbarossa, came and began to stir coals against them. Howbeit they hampered both him and his son Henry in such sort, that they brought first the neck of Frederic, in the church of Venice, under their feet to tread upon; and after the said bishops, crowning Henry his son in the church of St. Peter, set his crown on his head with their feet, and with their feet spurned it off again, to make him know that the popes of Rome had power both to crown emperors, and depose them again. Whereof read before.

Then followed Philip, brother to Henry aforesaid, whom also the popes accursed, about the year of our Lord 1198, and set up Otho, duke of Saxony. But when the said Otho began to be so saucy, to dispossess the bishops of their cities and lands which they had encroached into their hands, they could not bear that, but incontinent they put him beside the cushion. The like also fell upon Otho the Fourth, that followed after Philip, who was suffered no longer than four years to reign, about the year of our Lord 1209.

At this time Frederic the Second, the son of Frederic Barbarossa, above mentioned, was but young, whom the bishops of Rome, supposing to find more mortified and tamed to their hand, advanced to be emperor after his father. But that fell out much contrary to their expectation. For he, perceiving the immoderate pomp and pride of the Roman bishops, which he could in no case abide, so nettled them and cut their combs, and waxed so stout against them, intending to extirpate their tyranny, and to reduce their pompous riches to the state and condition of the primitive church again, putting some of them to flight, and imprisoning some of their cardinals, that of three popes, one after another, he was accursed, circumvented by treason, at last deposed, and after that poisoned, and at last forsaken and died.

After this Frederic followed his son Conrad, whom the aforesaid bishops, for his disobedience, soon despatched, exciting against him in mortal war the landgrave of Thuringia, whereby he was at length driven into his kingdom of Naples, and there deceased.

This Conrad had a son called Conradinus, duke and prince of Suevia. When this Conradinus, after the decease of his father, came to enjoy his kingdom of Naples, the said bishops stirred up against him Charles, the French king's brother, in such sort, that through crafty conveyance, both Conradinus,whieh descended of the blood of so many emperors, and also Frederic, duke of Austria, were both taken, and after much wretched handling in their miserable endurance, unseeming to their state, at length were both brought under the axe by the pope's procurement, and so both beheaded. And thus ended the imperial stock of Frederic the First, surnamed Barbarossa.

The like as happened to Frederic the emperor, had almost also fallen upon Philip the French king, by Pope Boniface the Eighth, who, because he could not have his commodities and revenues out of France after his will, sent out his bulls and letters patent to displace King Philip aforesaid, and to possess Albert, king of Romans, in his room.

Illustration -- Emperors kissing the pope's feet.

And thus hitherto in foreign stories. Now touching our country princes here in England, to speak somewhat likewise of them: did not Pope Alexander the Third, presumptuously taking upon him where he had nothing to do, to intermeddle with the king's subjects, for the death of Becket the rebel, albeit the king sufficiently cleared himself thereof, yet, notwithstanding, did he not wrongfully bring the said King Henry the Second to such penance as it pleased him to enjoin, and also violently constrained him to swear obedience to the see of Rome? The like also was showed before in this story to happen to King John his son. For when the said king, like a valiant prince, had held out the tyranny of those bishops seven years together, were not all the churches in England barred up, and his inheritance with all his dominions given away, by Pope Innocent the Third, to Louis the French king, and he afterward compelled to submit both himself, and to make his whole realm feudatory to the bishops of Rome, and moreover the king himself driven also to surrender his crown to Pandulph, the pope's legate, and so continued as a private person five days, standing at the pope's con rtesy,whether to receive it again at his hands or no. And when the nobles of the realm rose afterward against the king for the same, was not he then fain to seek and sue to the aforesaid pope for succour, as by his own letter, taken out of the rolls, may appear?

And yet, all this notwithstanding, that the said King John did so yield to the pope, he was both pursued by his nobles, and also in the end was poisoned by a subject of the pope's own religion, a monk of Swinstead; as I have sufficiently to prove, not only by William Caxton, above in my story alleged, but also have testimony of the most part of Chronicles for the same, (a few only excepted,) as of Thomas Gray, in his French Chronicle; also of another French Chronicle in metre; of Ranulphus Cestrensis. Thomas Rudburn also doth witness the same; so doth Richard Bede, in Novo Chronico ad Tempora Henr. 6. The like also doth the chronicle ealled Eulogium Monachi Cant. The words of Walter Gisborn, an ancient historiographer, be plain. No less is to be found in Joan. Major. de Gestis Scotorum, libr. 4. cap. 3. fol. 56, where he not only maketh mention of the monk and of the poison, but also of the abbot, of his absolution, and of the three monks every day singing for the said monk's soul. To these I could also annex divers other writers both English and Latin, without name, which witness that King John was poisoned; one beginning thus, "Here beginneth a book in the English tongue, called Brute," &c. Another beginneth, "Because this book is made to tell what time any thing notable," &c. The third in English beginneth, "The reign of Britain that now is called England," &c. Of Latin books which have no name, one beginneth thus, Britannia, quæ et Anglia dicitur, a Bruto nomen est sortita, &c.; another hath this beginning, Adam pater generis humani, &c.

Besides this King Henry the Second, and King John his son, what kings have here reigned in England since their time, until the reign of King Henry the Eighth; who although they were prudent princes, and did what they could in providing against the proud domination of these bishops, yet were forced at length, sore against their wills, for fear, to subject themselves, together with their subjects, undertheir usurped authority, insomuch as some of them (as Matthew Paris writeth by King Henry the Third) were fain to stoop and kiss their legate's knee.

Illustration -- Pope Celestine the Fourth crowning the Emperor Henry the Sixth, with his feet.

Illustration -- Henry the Fourth, emperor, waiting three days upon Pope Gregory the Seventh.

Illustration -- King John offering his crown to Pandulph the pope's legate

Illustration -- Henry the Fourth, emperor, surrendering his crown to the pope

Illustration -- King Henry the Second kissing the knee of the pope's legate coming into England

The image of antichrist, exalting himself in the temple of God, above all that is named God, out of his men Decrees, Decretals, Extravagants, Pontificals, &c., word for word, as it is out of the said books here alleged and quoted.

ORASMUCH as it standeth upon necessity of salvation, for every human creature to be subject unto me the pope of Rome, it shall be therefore requisite and necessary for all men that will be saved, to learn and know the dignity of my see and excellency of my domination, as here is set forth according to the truth and very words of mine own laws, in style as followeth. First, my institution began in the Old Testament, and was consummate and finished in the New; in that my priesthood was prefigured by Aaron, and other bishops under me were prefigured by the sons of Aaron, that were under him. Neither is it to be thought that my Church of Rome hath been preferred by any general council, but obtained the primacy only by the voice of the gospel, and the mouth of the Saviour. And hath in it neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such like thing. Wherefore as other seats be all inferior to me, and as they cannot absolve me; so have they no power to bind me or to stand against me, no more than the axe hath power to stand or presume above him that heweth with it, or the saw to presume above him that ruleth it. This is the holy and apostolic mother church of all other churches of Christ. From whose rules it is not meet that any person or persons should decline; but like as the Son of God came to do the will of his Father, so must you do the will of your mother the church, the head whereof is the Church of Rome. And if any other person or persons shall err from the said church, either let them be admonished, or else their names taken, to be known who they be that swerve from the customs of Rome. Thus then forasmuch as the holy Church of Rome, whereof I am governor, is set up to the whole world for a glass or example, reason would, what thing soever the said church determineth, or ordaineth, that to be received of all men for a general and a perpetual rule for ever. Whereupon we see it now verified in this church, that was foreprophesied by Jeremy, saying, Behold, I have set thee up over nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to build and to plant, &c. Whoso understandeth not the prerogative of this my priesthood, let him look up to the firmament, where he may see two great lights, the sun and the moon, one ruling over the day, the other over the night; so in the firmament of the universal church God hath set two great dignities, the authority of the pope, and of the emperor. Of the which two, this our dignity is so much more weightier, as we have the greater charge to give account to God for kings of the earth, and the laws of men. Wherefore be it known to you emperors, which know it also right well, that you depend upon the judgment of us; we must not be brought and reduced to your will. For, (as I said,) look what difference there is betwixt the sun and the moon, so great is the power of the pope ruling over the day, that is, over the spiritualty, above emperors and kings ruling over the night, that is, over the laity. Now seeing then the earth is seven times bigger than the moon, and the sun eight times greater than the earth; it followeth, that the pope's dignity fifty-six times doth surmount the estate of the emperor's. Upon consideration whereof, I say therefore and pronounce, that Constantine the emperor did naught setting the patriarch of Constantinople at ins feet on his left hand. And although the said emperor wrote to me, alleging the words of St. Peter, commanding us to submit ourselves to every human creature, as to kings, dukes, and other, for the cause of God, &c., I Pet. ii., yet in answering again in my decretal, I expounded the mind and the words of St. Peter to pertain to his subjects, and not his successors, willing the said emperor to consider the person of the speaker, and to whom it was spoken. For if the mind of Peter had been there to debase the order of priesthood, and to make us underlings to every human creature, then every Jack might have dominion over prelates, which maketh against the example of Christ, setting up the order of priesthood to bear dominion-over kings, according to the saying of Jeremiah, Behold, I have set thee up over kings and nations, &c. And as I feared not then to write this boldly unto Constantine, so now I say to all other emperors, that they, receiving of me their approbation, unction, consecration, and crown imperial, must not disdain to submit their heads under me, and swear unto me their allegiance. For so you read in

the decree of Pope John, how that princes heretofore have been wont to bow and submit their heads unto bishops, and not to proceed in judgment against the heads of bishops. If this reverence and submission was wont to be given to bishops, how much more ought they to submit their heads to me, being superior, not only to kings, but emperors! and that for two causes: first, for my title of succession, that I, pope of Rome, have to the empire, the room standing vacant; also for the fulness of power that Christ, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, hath given to me, though unworthy, in the person of Peter. By reason whereof, seeing my I power is not of man, but of God, who by his celestial providence hath set me over his whole universal church, master and governor, it belongeth therefore to my office, to look upon every mortal sin of every Christian man; whereby all criminal offences, as well of kings as all other, be subject to my censure, in such sort, that in all manner of pleading, if any manner of person at any time, either before the sentence given, or after, shall appeal to me, it shall be lawful for him so to do. Neither must kings and princes think it much to submit themselves to my judgment; for so did Valentinian, the worthy emperor, so did Theodosius, and also Charles. Thus you see, all must be judged by me, and I of no man. Yea, and though I, pope of Rome, by my negligence or evil demeanour, be found unprofitable or hurtful, either to myself or others; yea, if I should draw with me innumerable souls by heaps to hell, yet may no mortal man be so hardy, so bold, or so presumptuous to reprove me, or to say to me, Sir, why do you so? For although you read that Balaam was rebuked of his ass, by the which ass our subjects, by Balaam we prelates, are signified; yet that ought to be no example to our subjects to rebuke us. And though we read in the Scripture, that Peter, who received power of the kingdom, and being chief of the apostles might by virtue of his office control all other, was content to come and give answer before his inferiors, objecting to him his going to the Gentiles; yet other inferiors must not learn by this example to be checkmate with their prelates, because that Peter so took it at their hands, showing thereby rather a dispensation of humility, than the power of his office; by the which power, he might have said to them again in this wise, It becometh not sheep, nor belongeth to their office, to accuse their shepherd. For else why was Dioscorus, patriarch of Alexandria, condemned and excommunicated at Chalcedon? not for any cause of his faith, but only for that he durst stand against Pope Leo, and durst excommunicate the bishop of Rome; for who is he that hath authority to accuse the seat of St. Peter? Albeit, I am not ignorant what St. Jerome writeth, that Paul would not have reprehended Peter, unless he had thought himself equal unto him. Yet Jerome must thus be expounded by my interpretation, that this equality betwixt Peter and Paul consisteth not in like office of dignity, but in pureness of conversation. For who gave Paul his licence to preach but Peter, and that by the authority of God, saying, Separate to me Paul and Barnabas, &c. Wherefore be it known to all men, that my Church of Rome is prince and head of all nations; the mother of the faith, the foundation cardinal, whereupon all churches do depend as the door doth depend by the hinges; the first of all other seats, without all spot or blemish; lady, mistress, and instructor of all churches; a glass and a spectacle unto all men, to be followed in all whatsoever she observeth; which was never found yet to slide or decline from the path of apostolic tradition, or to be entangled with any newness of heresy. Against which Church of Rome, whosoever speaketh any evil, is forthwith a heretic; yea, a very pagan, a witch, an idolater or infidel; having fulness of power only in her own hands in ruling, deciding, absolving, condemning, casting out, or receiving in; albeit I deny not but other churches be partakers with her in labouring and carrying. To the which Church of Rome it is lawful to appeal for remedy, from all other churches. Although it was otherwise concluded in the general council of Millevitane, that no man should appeal over the sea under pain of excommunication, yet my gloss cometh in here with an exception, Except the appeal be to the see of Rome, &c. By the authority of which Church of Rome all synods and decrees of councils stand confirmed. And hath always full authority in her hands to make new laws and decreements; and to alter statutes, privileges, rights, or documents of churches; to separate things joined, and to join things separated upon right consideration, either in whole or in part, either personally or generally. Of the which Church of Rome I am head, as a king is over his judges; the vicar of St. Peter; yea, not the vicar of Peter properly, but the vicar of Christ properly, and successor of Peter; vicar of Jesus Christ, rector of the universal church, director of the Lord's universal flock; chief magistrate of the whole world; cephas, i. e. caput, the head and chief of the apostolic church; universal pope, and diocesan in all places exempt, as well as every bishop is in places not exempt; most mighty priest; lex animata in terris, i. e. a living law in the earth, judged to have all laws in the chest of my breast; bearing the .room of no pure man, being neither God nor man, but the admiration of the world, and a middle thing betwixt both; having both swords in my power, both of the spiritual and temporal jurisdiction; so far surmounting the authority of the emperor, that I of mine own power alone, without a council, have authority to depose him, or to transfer his kingdom, and to give a new election, as I did to Frederic and divers other. What power then or potentate in all the world is comparable to me, who have authority to bind and loose both in heaven and earth? that is, who have power both of heavenly things, and also of temporal things; to whom emperors and kings be more inferior, than lead is inferior to gold. For do you not see the necks of great kings and princes bend under our knees, yea, and think themselves happy and well defenced, if they may kiss our hands? Wherefore the sauciness of Honorius the emperor is to be reprehended, and his constitution abolished, who with his laity would take upon him to intermeddle, not only with the temporal order, but also with matters ecclesiastical, and election of the pope. But here perchance some will object the examples and words of Christ, saying, That his kingdom is not of this world; and where he, being required to divide betwixt two brethren their heritage, did refuse it. But that ought to be no prejudice to my power. For if Peter, and I in Peter, if we, I say, have power to bind and loose in heaven, how much more then is it to be thought, that we have power in earth to loose and to take away empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and what else soever mortal men may have, and to give them where we will? And if we have authority over angels, which be the governors of princes, what then may we do upon their inferiors and servants! And for that you shall not marvel that I say angels be subject to us, you shall hear what my blessed clerk Antoninus writeth of the matter, saying, that our power, of Peter and me, is greater than the angels in four things; 1. In jurisdiction, 2. In administration of sacraments, 3. In knowledge, 4. And in reward, &c. And again, in Bulla Clementis, do I not there command in my bull the angels of paradise, to absolve the soul of man out of purgatory, and to bring it into the glory of paradise? And now, besides my heavenly power, to speak of mine earthly jurisdiction, who did first translate the empire from the Greeks to the Al-mains, but I? And not only in the empire am I emperor, the place being empty, but in all ecclesiastical benefices have full right and power to give, to translate, and to dispose after my arbitrement. Did not I, Zacharias, put down Childeric the old king of France, and set up Pepin? Did not I, Gregory the Seventh, set up Robert Wysard, and make him king of Silieia, and duke of Capua? &c. Did not I, the same Gregory, also set up Rodulph against Henry the Fourth, emperor? And though this Henry was an emperor of most stout courage, who stood sixty-two times in open field against his enemies, yet did not I, Gregory, bring him coram nobis, and made him stand at my gate three days and three nights bare-foot and bare-leg, with his wife and child, in the deep of winter, both in frost and snow, entreating for his absolution, and after did excommunicate him again; so that he was twice excommunicated in my days? Again, did not I, Paschal, after Gregory, set up the son of the said Henry against his father in war, to possess the empire, and to put down his father, and so he did? Item, did not I, Pope Alexander, bring under Henry the Second, king of England, for the death of Thomas Becket, and cause him to go barefoot to his tomb at Canterbury with bleeding feet? Did not I, Innocent the Third, cause King John to kneel down at the feet of Pandulph my legate, and offer up his crown to his hands; also to kiss the feet of Stephen Langton, bishop of Canterbury, and besides merced him in a thousand marks by year? Did not I, Urban the Second, put down Earl Hugo, in Italy, discharging his subjects from their oath and obedience to him? Did not I, Paschal, excommunicate also his son Henry the Fifth, and get out of his hands all his right and title of elections and donations of spiritual promotions? Did not I, Gelasius the Second, bring the captain of Cintius under, unto the kissing of my feet? And after Gelasius, did not I, Calixtus the Second, quail the aforesaid Emperor Henry the Fifth, and also bring in subjection Gregory, whom the said emperor had set up against me to be pope, bringing him into Rome upon a camel, his face to the tail, making him to hold the tail in his hand instead of a bridle? Further, did not I, Innocent the Second, set up and make Lotharius to be emperor for driving out Pope Anacletus out of Rome? Did not I, the said Innocent, take the dukedom of Sicily from the empire, and make Roger to be king thereof, whereby afterward the kingdom became the patrimony of St. Peter? Did not I, Alexander the Third, suspend all the realm and churches of England for the king's marriage? A. D. 1159. But what do I speak of kings? did not the said Alexander bring the valiant Emperor Frederic the First to Venice, by reason of his son Otho, there taken prisoner, and there in St. Mark's church made him fall down flat upon the ground while I set my foot upon his neck, saying the verse of the Psalm, Super aspidem et basilicum ambulabis? &c. Did not I, Adrian, pope, an Englishman born, excommunicate William, king of Sicily, and refuse his peace, which he offered? and had not he overcome me in plain field, I would have shaken him out of his kingdom of Sicily, and dukedom of Apulia. Also, did not I, the said Adrian, control and correct the aforesaid Frederic, emperor, for holding the left stirrup of my horse, when he should have holden the right? and afterward did not I excommunicate and curse him, for that he was so saucy to set his own name in writing before mine? And although a poor fly afterward overcame and strangled me, yet I made kings and emperors to stoop. Did not I, Innocent the Third, eject Philip, brother to Frederic, from the imperial crown, being elected without my leave, and after set him up again? and also set up Otho of Brunswick, and after did excommunicate and also depose the same four years, setting up the French king to war against him. Then was Frederic the Second set up by me, and reigned thirty-seven years; and yet, five years before he died, did not I, Honorius, interdict him, for not restoring certain to their possessions at my request? Whom also Gregory the Ninth did excommunicate twice together, and raised the Venetians against him. And at length Innocent spoiled him of his empire; after that he caused him to be poisoned, at length to be strangled by one Manfred, and did excommunicate his son Conrad after him, not only depriving him of his right inheritance, but also caused him, with Frederic duke of Austria, to be beheaded. Thus then did not I excommunicate and depose all these emperors in order? Henry the Fourth, Henry the Fifth, Frederic the First, Philip, Otho the Fourth, Frederic the Second, and Conrad his son? Did not I interdict King Henry the Eighth, and all his kingdom of England? And had not his prudence and power prevented my practice, I had displaced him from his kingdom also. Briefly, who is able to comprehend the greatness of my power and of my seat? For by me only, general councils take their force and confirmation, and the interpretation of the said councils, and of all other causes hard and doubtful, ought to be referred and stand to my determination. By me the works of all writers, whatsoever they be, either be reproved or allowed: then how much more ought my writings and decrees to be preferred before all other! Insomuch that my letters and epistles decretal be equivalent with general councils? and whereas God hath ordained all causes of men to be judged by men, he hath only reserved me, that is, the pope of Rome, without all question of men, unto his own judgment. And therefore, where all other creatures be under their judge, only I, which in earth am the judge of all, can be judged of none, neither of emperor, nor the whole clergy, nor of kings, nor of the people. For who hath power to judge upon his judge. This judge am I, and that alone, without any other assistance of any council joined to me. For I have power upon councils; councils have no power upon me. But if the council determine amiss, it is in my authority alone to infringe it, or to condemn whom I wish without any council. And all for the pre-eminence of my predecessor, blessed St. Peter, which by the voice of the Lord he received, and ever shall retain. Furthermore, and whereas all other sentences and judgments, both of councils, person or persons, may and ought to be examined, for that they may be corrupted four ways, by fear, by gifts, by hatred, by favour, only my sentence and judgment must stand, as given out of heaven by the mouth of Peter himself, which no man must break nor retract, no man must dispute or doubt of. Yea, if my judgment, statute, or yoke, seem scarcely tolerable, yet for remembrance of St. Peter it must be humbly obeyed. Yea, and moreover obedience is to be given, not only to such decrees set forth by me in time of my popedom, but also to such as I do foresee and commit to writing before I be pope. And although it be thought by some writers, to be given to all men to err, and to be deceived, yet neither am I a pure man. And again, the sentence of my apostolic seat is always conceived with such moderation, is concoct and digested with such patience and ripeness, and delivered out with such gravity of deliberation, that nothing is thought in it necessary to be altered or detracted; wherefore it is manifest, and testified by the voice of holy bishops, that the dignity of this my seat is to be reverenced through the whole world, in that all the faithful submit themselves to it as to the head of the whole body. Whereof it is spoken to me by the prophet, speaking of the ark; If this be humbled, whither shall you run for succour, and where shall your glory become? Seeing then this is so, that so holy bishops and Scriptures do witness with me, what shall we say then to such as will take upon them to judge of my doings, to reprehend my proceedings, or to require homage and tribute of me, to whom all other are subject? Against the first sort the Scripture speaketh, Deut. Thou oughtest not to put thy scythe into another man's corn; which thing to attempt against me, what is it but plain sacrilege? According to my canonists, which thus define sacrilege to consist in three things; either when a man judgeth of his prince's judgment; or when the holy day is profaned; or when reverence is not given to laws and canons. Against the second sort maketh the plaee of the Book of Kings, where we read the ark of God was brought from Gaba to Jerusalem, and in the way the ark inclining by reason of the unruly oxen, Ozias the Levite put to his hand to help, and therefore was stricken of the Lord. By the ark is signified the prelates; by the inclination thereof, the fall of prelates; which also be signified by the angels that Jacob did see going up and coming down the ladder; also by the prophet, where he saith, He bowed down the heavens and came down, &c. By Ozias, and by the unruly oxen, are meant our subjects. Then like as Ozias was stricken for putting his hand to the ark inclining, no more must subjects rebuke their prelates going awry. Albeit, here may be answered again, that all be not prelates which so be called; for it is not the name that maketh a bishop, but his life. Against the third sort, of such as would bring us under the tribute and exactions of secular men, maketh the New Testament, where Peter was bid to give the groat in the fish's mouth, but not the head nor the body of the fish; no more is the head or body of the church subdued to kings, but only that which is in the mouth, that is, the external things of the church. And yet not they neither; for so we read in the Book of Genesis, that Pharaoh in time of dearth subdued all the land of the Egyptians, but yet he ministered to the priests, so that he took neither their possessions from them, nor their liberty. If then prelates of the church must be neither judged, nor reprehended, nor exacted, how much more ought I to be free from the same, which am the bishop of bishops, and head of prelates for it is not to be thought that the case betwixt me and other prelates, betwixt my see and other churches, be like. Although the whole catholic and apostolic church make one bride chamber of Christ; yet the catholic and apostolic Church of Rome had the pre-eminence given over all other by the mouth of the Lord himself, saying to Peter, Thou art Peter, &c. Thus a discretion and difference must be had in the church as it was betwixt Aaron and his children; betwixt the seventy-two disciples and the twelve apostles; betwixt the other apostles and Peter; wherefore it is to be concluded, that there must be an order and difference of degrees in the church betwixt powers superior and inferior; without which order, the universality of the whole cannot consist. For as amongst the angelical creatures above in heaven there is set a difference and unequality of powers and orders, some be angels, some archangels, some cherubims and seraphims; so in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the church militant in the earth, priests must not be equal with bishops, bishops must not be like in order with archbishops, with patriarchs, or primates, who contain under them three archbishops, as a king eontaineth three dukes under him. In the which number of patriarchs cometh in the state also of cardinals or principals, so called, because as the door turneth by his hinges, so the universal church ought to be ruled by them. The next and highest order above these is mine, which am pope, differing in power and majority, and honour reverential, from these and all other degrees of men. For the better declaration whereof, my canonists make three kinds of power in earth; Immediata, which is mine immediately from God; Derivata, which belongeth to other inferior prelates from me; Ministralis, belonging to emperors and princes to minister for me. For the which cause the anointing of princes and my consecration doth differ; for they are anointed only in the arms or shoulders, and I in the head, to signify the difference of power betwixt princes and me. This order therefore of priests, bishops, archbishops, patriarchs, and other, as a thing most convenient, my Church of Rome hath set and instituted through all churches, following therein, not only the example of the angelical army in heaven, but also of the apostles. For amongst them also there was not a uniform equality or institution of one degree, but a diversity or distinction of authority and power. Albeit they were all apostles together, yet it was granted notwithstanding to Peter, themselves also agreeing to the same, that he should bear dominion and superiority over all the other apostles. And therefore he had his name given him Cephas, that is, head or beginning of the apostlehood, whereupon the order of priesthood first in the New Testament began in Peter, to whom it was said, Thou art Peter, and upon thee I will build my church, And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And thou being converted, confirm thy brethren. I have prayed for thee that thy faith shall not fail. Wherefore seeing such power is given to Peter, and to me in Peter, being his successor, who is he then in all the world that ought not to he subject to my decrees, which have such power in heaven, in hell, in earth, with the quick and also the dead? commanding and granting in my bull of lead sent to Vienna, unto all such as died in their peregrination to Rome, that the pain of hell should not touch them: and also that all such as took the holy cross upon them should every one, at his request, not only be delivered himself, but also deliver three or four souls whomsoever he would, out of purgatory. Again, having such promise and assurance that my faith shall not fail, who then will not believe my doctrine? For did not Christ himself first pray for Peter that his faith should not fail? Also have I not a sure promise of Paul's own mouth, writing to my church by these words; God is my witness whom I serve in my spirit, in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers? Rom. i. Wherefore as I condemn all such worthily, which will not obey my decrees, to be dispossessed of all their honour without restitution. So all they that believe not my doctrine, or stand against the privilege of the church, especially the Church of Rome, I pronounce them heretics. And as the other before is to be called unjust, so this man is to be called a heretic. For why, he goeth against the faith which goeth against her who is the mother of faith. But here may rise perchance a doubt or scruple, that if my faith and knowledge stand so sure by the promise of Christ, and by the continual prayer of St. Paul; whether is it true, or is it to be granted that any other should excel me in knowledge, or interpretation of Holy Scripture? For look whose knowledge is grounded on most reason, his words would seem to be of more authority. Whereunto I answer and grant, that many there be, and have been, more abundantly endued with fuller grace of the Holy Ghost and greater excellency of knowledge; and therefore that the tractations of Augustine, Jerome, and others ought to be preferred before the constitutions of divers popes; yet I say in determination of causes, because they have not the virtue and height of that authority which is given to me, therefore in expounding of Scriptures they are to be preferred, but in deciding of matters they stand inferior to my authority. By virtue of which authority, both they themselves be allowed for doctors, and their works approved, and also all other matters be ruled, through the power of the keys which is given to me immediately of Christ. Although I deny not but the same keys be also committed to other prelates, as they were to other apostles besides Peter, yet it is one thing to have the keys, another thing to have the use of the keys. Wherefore here is to be noted a distinction of keys, after the mind of my school doctors: one key which is called clavis ordinis, having authority to bind and loose, but not over the persons whom they bind and loose; and this authority they take not immediately of Christ, but mediately by me the vicar of Christ. The other key is called clavis jurisdictionis, which I, the vicar of Christ, take immediately of him, having not only authority to bind and loose, but also dominion over them on whom this key is exercised., By the jurisdiction of which key the fulness of my power is so great, that whereas all other are subjects, yea, and emperors themselves ought to subdue their executions to me; only I am subject to no creature; no, not to myself, except I list in foro p?nitentiæ to my ghostly father submitting myself as a sinner, but not as pope. So that my papal Majesty ever remaineth unpunished; superior to all men, whom all persons ought to obey, and follow; whom no man must judge nor accuse of any crime, either of murder, adultery, simony, or such-like; no man depose, but I myself. No man can excommunicate me, yea, though I communicate with the excommunicate, for no canon bindeth me. Whom no man must lie to; for he that lieth to me is a church robber; and who obeyeth not me is a heretic, and an excommunicate person. For like as all the Jews were commanded to obey the high priest of the Levitical order, of what state or condition soever they were; so are all Christian men more and less bound to obey me, Christ's lieutenant in earth. Concerning the obedience or disobedience of whom ye have in Dent. xvii., where the common gloss saith, that he who denieth to the high priest obedientiam, lieth under the sentence of condemnation, as much as he that denieth to God his omnipotentiam. Thus then it appeareth, that the greatness of my priesthood, begun in Melchisedec, was solemnized in Aaron, continued in the children of Aaron, perfected in Christ, represented in Peter, exalted in the universal jurisdiction, and manifested in Silvester, &c. So that through this pre-eminence of my priesthood, having all things subject to me, it may seem well verified in me that was spoken of Christ, Psal. viii., Thou hast subdued all things under his feet, sheep and oxen, and all cattle of the field, the birds of heaven, and fish of the sea, &c. Where it is to be noted, that by oxen, Jews and heretics, by cattle of the field, pagans, be signified. For although as yet they be out of the use of my keys of binding and loosing, yet they be not out of the jurisdiction of my keys, but if they return I may absolve them. By sheep and all cattle, are meant all Christian men both great and less, whether they be emperors, princes, prelates, or other. By birds of the air you may understand the angels and potentates of heaven, who be all subject to me, in that I am greater than the angels; and that in four things, as is before declared; and have power to bind and loose in heaven, and to give heaven to them that fight in my wars. Lastly, by the fishes of the sea, are signified the souls departed in pain, or in purgatory, as Gregory by his prayer delivered the soul of Trajanus out of hell, and I have power to deliver out of purgatory whom I please. Lastly, by the fishes of the sea are signified such as be in purgatory; insomuch that they stand in need and necessity of other men's help, and yet be in their journey, passengers, and belonging to the eourt of the pope; therefore they may be relieved out of the storehouse of the church, by the participation of indulgence. And forasmuch as some do object that my pardons cannot extend to them that be departed, for that it was said to Peter, Whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth; and therefore seeing they are not upon earth, they cannot be loosed of me: here I answer again by my doctors, that this word, upon the earth, may be referred two manner of ways; first to him that is the looser, so that he which shall loose shall be upon the earth; and so I grant that the pope being dead can loose no man. Also it maybe referred to him that is loosed, so that whosoever is loosed must be upon the earth, or about the earth; and so the souls in purgatory may be loosed, which albeit they are not upon the earth, yet they are about the earth, at least they be not in heaven. And because oftentimes one question may rise upon another, and the heads of men now-a-days are curious, a man hearing now that I can deliver out of purgatory, will ask here a question, Whether I be able also to empty all purgatory at once, or not? To whom my canonist, August. de Ancho., doth answer by a triple distinction: Quantum ad absolutam meam jurisdictionem, quantum ad ordinatam executionem, quantum ad divinam acceptationem. First, touching my absolute jurisdiction, he saith, I am able to rid out all purgatory together, for as many as be under my jurisdiction, as all be, except only infants unbaptized, in limbo, and men departed only with the baptism of the Spirit, and such as have no friends to do for them that wherefore pardons be given; these only excepted. For all other besides, the pope, he saith, hath power to release all purgatory at once, as touching his absolute jurisdiction. Albeit Thomas Aquinas, part 4, denieth the same, forasmuch as Christ himself, he saith, when he came down, did not utterly at once release all purgatory. As touching my ordinary execution, they hold, that I may if I will, but I ought not to do it. Thirdly, as concerning the Divine acceptation, that is, how God would accept it if I did it, that (they say) is unknown unto them, and to every creature, yea, and to the pope himself.

{Illustration: Frederic the First, emperor, corrected for holding Pope Adrian's stirrup on the wrong side.


{Illustration: The order of the pope's riding, the emperor holding his bridle, and kings going before him.


Illustration -- The pope carried on men's shoulders, the emperor and king going before him.

And to the intent I would all men to see and understand that I lack not witnesses more besides these, if I list to bring them out, you shall hear the whole choir of my divine clergy brought out, with a full voice, testifying in my behalf in their books, tractations, distinctions, titles, glosses, and summaries, as by their own words here followeth. The pope (say they) being the vicar of Jesus Christ through the whole world, in the stead of the living God, hath that dominion and lordship which Christ here in earth would not have, although he had it in habitu, but gave it to Peter in actu, that is, the universal jurisdiction both of spiritual things, and also of temporal, which double jurisdiction was signified in the two swords in the gospel, and also by the offering of the wise men, who offered not only incense, but also gold, to signify not only the spiritual dominion, but also the temporal, to belong to Christ and to his vicar. For as we read, The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; as Christ saith, All power is given to him both in heaven and earth: so it is to be affirmed inclusive, that the vicar of Christ hath power on things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal; which he took immediately of Christ; all other take it immediately by Peter and the pope. Wherefore such as say that the pope hath dominion only on spiritual things in the world, and not of temporal, may be likened to the counsellors of the kings of Syria, 1 Kings xx., which said, That the gods of the mountains be their gods, and therefore they have overcome us; but let us fight against them in the low meadows, and in valleys, where they have no power, and so we shall prevail over them. So evil counsellors now-a-days, through their pestiferous flattery, deceive kings and princes of the earth, saying, Popes and prelates be gods of mountains, that is, of spiritual things only, but they be not gods of valleys, that is, they have no dominion over temporal things; and therefore let us fight with them in the valleys, that is, in the power of the temporal possessions, and so we shall prevail over them. But what saith the sentence of God to them, let us hear. Because, saith he, the Syrians say that the god of mountains is their god, and not the god of valleys, therefore I will give all this multitude into your hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. What can be more effectually spoken to set forth the majesty of my jurisdiction, which I received immediately of the Lord; of the Lord, I say, and of no man? For whereas Constantine the emperor gave to Silvester, endowing him with this possession and patrimony; that is so to be expounded and taken, not so much for a donation, as to be counted for a restitution made of that which tyrannously was taken from him before. And again, whereas I have given at sundry times to Louis and other emperors, of my temporal lands and possessions, yet that was done not so much for any recognising of homage to them, as for keeping peace with them. For I owe to emperors no due obedience that they can claim; but they owe to me as to their superior. And, therefore, for a diversity betwixt their degree and mine, in their consecration, they take the unction on their arm, I on the head. And as I am superior to them, so am I superior to all laws, and free from all constitutions. Which am able of myself, and by my interpretation, to prefer equity not being written before the law written; having all laws within the chest of my breast, as is aforesaid. And whatsoever this my see shall enact, approve, or disprove, all men ought to approve or reprove the same, without either judging, disputing, doubting, or retracting. Such is the privilege given of Christ, in the behalf of Peter, to the Church of Rome, that what country soever, kingdom, or province, choosing to themselves bishops and ministers, although they agree with all other Christ's faithful people in the name of Jesus, that is, in faith and charity, believing in the same God, and in Christ his true Son, and in the Holy Ghost, having also the same creed, the same evangelists and Scriptures of the apostles; yet, notwithstanding, unless their bishops and ministers take their origin and ordination from this apostolic seat, they are to be counted not of the church. So that succession of faith only is not sufficient to make a church, except the ministers take their ordination by them which have their succession from the apostles. So their faith, supremacy, the chair of Peter, keys of heaven, power to bind and loose, all these be inseparable to the Church of Rome; so that it is to be presumed, that God always providing, and St. Peter helping the bishopric and diocese of Rome, it shall never fall from the faith. And likewise it is to be presumed and presupposed, that the bishop of that church is always good and holy. Yea, and though he be not always good, or be destitute of his own merits, yet the merits of St. Peter, predecessor of that place, be sufficient for him, who hath bequeathed and left a perpetual dowry of merits, with inheritance of innocency, to his posterity. Yea, though he fall into homicide or adultery, he may sin, but yet he cannot be accused, but rather excused by the murders of Samson, the thefts of the Hebrews, the adultery of Jacob. And likewise, if any of his clergy should be found embracing a woman, it must be expounded and presupposed that he doth it to bless her. Furthermore, the pope (say they) hath all the dignities, and all power of all patriarchs. In his primacy, he is Abel; in government, the ark of Noah; in patriarchdom, Abraham; in order, Melchisedec; in dignity, Aaron; in authority, Moses; in seat judicial, Samuel; in zeal, Elijah; in meekness, David; in power, Peter; in unction, Christ. (Nay, thou art antichrist.) My power (they say) is greater than all the saints. For whom I confirm, no man may infirm: I may favour and spare whom I please, to take from one and to give to another. And if I be enemy to any man, all men ought to eschew that person forthwith, and not tarry and look while I bid them so to do. All the earth is my diocese, and I the ordinary of all men, having the authority of the King of all kings upon subjects. I am all in all, and above all; so that God himself, and I the vicar of God, have both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do, Clave non errante.

Item, it is said of me, that I have a heavenly arbitrement, and therefore am able to change the nature of things, and of nothing to make things to be; and of a sentence that is nothing to make it stand in effect; in all things that I list, my will to stand for reason. For I am able by the law to dispense above the law, and of wrong to make justice, in correcting laws and changing them. You have heard hitherto sufficiently out of my doctors. Now you shall hear greater things out of mine own decrees. Read there Dist. 96. Satis. Also 12. Cans. 11. q. 1. cap. Sacerdotibus. Also 12. q. 1. cap. Futuram. Do you not find there expressed, how Constantine the emperor, sitting in the general council of Nice, called us prelates of the church, all gods? Again, read my canon Decretal De transl. Episc. cap. Quanto. Do you not see there manifestly expressed, how not man, but God alone, separateth that which the bishop of Rome doth dissolve and separate? Wherefore, if those things that I do be said to be done not of man, but of God, what can you make me but God? Again, if prelates of the church be called and counted of Constantine for gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods. Wherefore no marvel, if it be in my power to change time and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea,with the precepts of Christ. For where Christ biddeth Peter put up his sword, monishing his disciples not to use any outward force in revenging themselves, do not I, Pope Nicolaus, writing to the bishops of France, exhort them to draw out their material swords in pursuing their enemies, and recovering their possessions, setting against the precept of Christ, the prophet saying, Dissolve colligationes impietatis, &c.? Item, where Christ was present himself at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, do not I, Pope Martinus, in my Distinction inhibit the spiritual clergy to be present at marriage feasts, and also to marry themselves? Item, where matrimony by Christ cannot be loosed but only for whoredom, do not I, Pope Gregory, Junior, writing ad Bonifacium, permit the same to be broken for impotency or infirmity of body? Item, against the express caution of the Gospel, doth not Innocent the Fourth permit vim vi repellere? Likewise against the Old Testament I do dispense in not giving tithes. Item, against the New Testament, in swearing, and that in these six causes: Pax, fama, fides, reverentia, cautio damni, defectus veri, poscunt sibi magna caveri.

Wherein two kinds of oaths are to be noted. Whereof some be promissoria, some be assertoria, &c. Item, in vows, and that ex toto voto, whereas other prelates cannot dispense ex toto a voto, I can deliver ex toto a voto, like God himself. Item, in perjury, if I absolve my absolution standeth; where also note, that in all swearing always the authority of the superior is excepted. Moreover, where Christ biddeth to lend without hope of gain, do not I, Pope Martin, give dispensation for the same? and notwithstanding the council of Turin enacted the contrary, yet with two bulls I disannulled that decreement. What should I speak of murder, making it no murder nor homicide to slay them that be excommunicated. Likewise, against the law of nature. Item, against the apostle. Also, against the canons of the apostles I can and do dispense. For where they in their canon command a priest for fornication to be deposed, I through the authority of Silvester do alter the rigour of that constitution, considering the minds and bodies also of men to be weaker than they were then. Briefly, against the universal state of the church I have dispensation, scilicet quando status ecclesiæ non decoloratur. And for marriage in the second degree of consanguinity and affinity, between the brethren's children, although not inæquali linea, so that the uncle may not marry his niece, unless for an urgent and weighty cause. As for all such contracts betwixt party and party, where that matrimony is not yet consummated by carnal copulation, it is but a small matter for me to dispense withal. In summa, if ye list briefly to hear the whole number of all such cases as properly do appertain to my papal dispensation, which come to the number of one and fifty points, that no man may meddle withal, but only I myself alone, I will recite them in English, as they be set forth in my canonical doctors.

Cases papal, to the number of one and fifty, wherein the pope hath power only to dispense, and none else besides, except by special licence from him.

First, determination of doubts and questions belonging to faith.

Translation of a bishop elect, or confirmed: likewise of abbots exempted.

Deposition of bishops.

The taking of resignation of bishops.

Exemptions of bishops, not to be under archbishops.

Restitution of such as be deposed from their order.

The judicial definition, or interpretation of his own privileges.

Changing of bishoprics, or dismission of convents, &c.

New correction of bishops' seats, or institution of new religions.

Subjection or division of one bishopric under another.

Dispensation for vowing to go to the Holy Land.

Dispensation for the vow of chastity, or of religion, or of holy orders.

Dispensation against a lawful oath, or vow made.

Dispensation against divers irregularities, as in crimes greater than adultery, and in such as be suspended for simony.

Dispensation in receiving into orders him that had two wives.

Dispensing with such as being within orders do that which is above their order, as if a deacon should say mass, being not yet priest.

To receive into order such as be blemished or maimed in body.

Dispensation with murder, or with such as willingly cut off any member of man's body.

Dispensation to give orders to such as have been under the sentence of the greater curse or excommunication.

Dispensation with such as being suspended with the greater curse do minister in any holy order.

Dispensation with such as be unlawfully born to receive orders or benefices.

Dispensation for pluralities of benefices.

Dispensation to make a man bishop before he be thirty years old.

Dispensation to give orders under age.

The pope only hath power to make and call a general council.

The pope only hath power to deprive an ecclesiastical person, and give away his benefice being not vacant.

The pope alone is able to absolve him that is excommunicate by name.

The pope only is able to absolve him whom his legate doth excommunicate.

The pope both judgeth in the causes of them that appeal unto him, and where he judgeth, none may appeal from him.

Only he hath authority to make deacon, and priest, whom he made subdeacon, either upon Sundays, or upon other feasts.

Only the pope, and none else, at all times, and in all places, weareth the pall.

The pope only dispenseth with a man, either being not within orders, or being unworthy to be made bishop.

He only either confirmeth or deposeth the emperor when he is chosen.

A man being excommunicated, and his absolution referred to the pope, none may absolve that man but the pope alone.

The same hath authority in any election, before it be made, to pronounce it none, when it is made.

He doth canonize saints, and none else but he.

Dispensation to have many dignities and personages in one church, and without charge and cure of soul, belongeth only to the pope.

To make that effectual which is of no effect, and contrariwise, belongeth only to the pope.

To pluck a monk out of his cloister both against his own will and the abbot's, pertaineth only to the pope.

His sentence maketh a law.

The same day in which the pope is consecrate, he may give orders.

He dispenseth in degrees in consanguinity and affinity.

He is able to abolish laws, quoad utrumque forum, that is, both civil and canon, where danger is of the soul.

It is in his dispensation to give general indulgences to certain places or persons.

Item, to legitimate what persons soever he please, as touching spiritualties; in all places, as touching temporalties, as honours, inheritance, &c.

To erect new religions, to approve or reprove rules, or ordinances, and ceremonies in the church.

He is able to dispense with all the precepts and statutes of the church.

Item, to dispense and to discharge any subject from the bond of allegiance, or oath made to any manner of person.

No man may accuse him of any crime, except of heresy, and that neither, except he be incorrigible.

The same is also free from all laws, so that he cannot incur into any sentence of excommunication, suspension, irregularity, or into the penalty of any crime, but in the note of crime he may well.

Finally, he by his dispensation may grant, yea, to a simple priest, to minister the sacrament of confirmation to infants; also to give lower orders, and to hallow churches and virgins, &c.

These be the cases wherein I only have power to dispense, and no man else, neither bishop, nor metropolitan, nor legate, without a licence from me.

After that I have now sufficiently declared my power in earth, in heaven, and in purgatory, how great it is, and what is the fulness thereof, in binding, loosing, commanding, permitting, electing, confirming, deposing, dispensing, doing and undoing, &c., I will treat now a little of my riches likewise, and great possessions, that every man may see by my wealth and abundance of all things, rents, tithes, tributes, my silks, my purple, mitres, crowns, gold, silver, pearls and gems, lands and lordships, how God here prospereth and magnifieth his vicar on the earth. For to me pertaineth first the imperial city of Rome; the palace of Lateran, the kingdom of Sicily is proper to me; Apulia and Cappua be mine. Also the kingdom of England and Ireland, be they not, or ought they not to be, tributaries to me? To these I adjoin also, besides other provinces and countries, both in the occident and orient, from the north to the south, these dominions by name: as Surrianum, Montembordon, et Lunæ insulam, Corsicæ regnum, Parvam Mantuam, Montemselete, Insulam Venetiarum, Ducatum Ferrariæ, Canellum, Caniodam, Ducatum Histriæ, Dalmatiam, Exarchatum Ravennæ, Faventiam, Cesenam, Castrum, Tiberiatus Roccam Mediolanum, Castrum Ceperianum, Castrum Cusianum, Terram Cornulariam, Ducatum Armini, Contam, Montem Ferretum, Montem Capiniæ seu Olympicum, Castrum exforii, Robin, Eugubin, Urbin, forum Sempronii, Galli, et Senogalli, Anconam, Cosam, Ducatum Perusii, Urbenetam, et Tudertum, Castrum, Sinianum, Ducatum Spoletanum, Theanum, Calabriam, Ducatum Neapolim, Ducatum Beneventi, Selernum, Sorenti insulam, Cardinam insulam, Anciæ insulam, Territorium Cutisan, Territorium prænestinum, Terram Silandis, Terram Clusium, Terram fundan, Terram Vegetan, Terram Claudianan, Terram Camisinam, Terram Fabinensem, Terram Siram, Terram portuensem, cum insula Archis, Terram Ostiensem cum maritimis, Civitatem Aquinensem, Civitatem Lamentum, et Sufforariam, Civitatem Falisenam, Fidenam, Feretrum, Cliternam, Neapolim, Galiopolim, with divers other more, which Constantine the emperor gave unto me, not that they were not mine before he did give them; for in that I took them of him, I took them not in gift (as is before mentioned) but as a restitution; and that I rendered them again to Otho, I did it not for any duty to him, but only for peace sake. What should I speak here of my daily revenues, of my first-fruits, annats, palls, indulgences, bulls, confessionals, indults and rescripts, testaments, dispensations, privileges, elections, prebends, religious houses, and such-like, which come to no small mass of money! Insomuch, that for one pall to the archbishop of Mentz, which was wont to be given for ten thousand florins, now it is grown to twenty-seven thousand florins, which I received of Jacobus the archbishop, not long before Basil council: besides the fruits of other bishoprics in Germany, coming to the number of fifty, whereby what vantage cometh unto my coffers, it may partly be conjectured. But what should I speak of Germany, when the whole world is my diocese, as my canonists do say, and all men are bound to believe, except they will imagine, as the Manichees do, two beginnings, which is false and heretical; for Moses saith, In the beginning God made heaven and earth, and not in the beginnings. Wherefore as I begun, so I conclude, commanding, declaring, and pronouncing, to stand upon necessity of salvation, for every human creature to be subject to me.