76. ARMACHANUS AND THE BEGGING FRIARS
In the catalogue of these learned and zealous defenders of Christ against antichrist above rehearsed, whom the Lord about this time began to raise up for the reanimation of his church, being then far out of frame; I cannot forget nor omit something to write of the reverend prelate, and famous clerk, Richard Armachanus, primate and archbishop of Ireland: a man for his life and learning so memorable, as the condition of those days then served, that the same days then, as they had but few good, so had they none almost his better. His name was Richard Fizraf, made primate and archbishop, as is said, of Ireland; first brought up in the university of Oxford in the study of all liberal knowledge, wherein he did exceedingly profit under John Bakenthorpe, his tutor and instructor. In this time the Begging Friars began greatly to multiply and spread, unto whom this Bakenthorpe was ever a great enemy; whose steps the scholars also following, began to do the like. Such was the capacity and dexterity of this Fizraf, that he, being commended to King Edward the Third, was promoted by him, first, to be archdeacon of Lichfield, then to be the commissary of the University of Oxford, at length to be archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. He being archbishop, upon a time had a cause to come up to London; at what time here, in the said city of London, was contention between the friars and the clergy about preaching and hearing confessions, &c. Whereupon, this Armachanus, being requested to preach, made seven or eight sermons; wherein he propounded nine conclusions against the friars, for the which he was cited up by the friars before this Pope Innocent the Sixth to appear; and so he did: who before the face of the pope valiantly defended, both in preaching and in writing, the same conclusions, and therein stood constantly unto the death, as the words of John Wickliff, in this Trialogo, do well testify. The like also Waldenus testifieth of him: also Volateranus reporteth the same. Gulielmus Botonerus, testifying of him in like manner, saith, that Armachanus first reproved Begging Friars for hearing the confessions of professed nuns, without licence of their superiors, and also of married women without knowledge of their husbands. What dangers and troubles he sustained by his persecutors, and how miraculously the Lord delivered him from their hands; insomuch that they, meeting him in the open streets, and in clear daylight, yet had no power to see him nor to apprehend him: in what peril of thieves and searchers he was, and yet the Lord delivered him; yea, and caused his money, being taken from him, to be restored again to him by portions in time of his necessity and famine: and in what dangers he was of the king's officers, which, coming with the king's letters, laid all the havens for him; and how the Lord Jesus delivered him, showing him by what ways, and how to escape them: moreover, what appeals were laid against him, to the number of sixteen; and yet how the Lord gave him to triumph over all his enemies: how the Lord also taught him and brought him out of the profound vanities of Aristotle's subtilty, to the study of the Scriptures of God: all this, with much more, he himself expresseth in a certain prayer or confession made to Christ Jesus our Lord, in which he describeth almost the whole history of his own life; which prayer I have to show in old written hand, and hereafter (Christ willing) intend, as time serveth, to publish the same. Thus what were the troubles of this good man, and how he was cited up by the friars to the pope, you have partly heard. Now what were his reasons and arguments wherewith he defended his cause in the pope's presence, followeth to be declared; for the tractation whereof, first, I must put the reader in remembrance of the controversy mentioned before in the story of Gulielmus de sancto Amore; also in the story of the university of Paris contending against the friars; for so long did this controversy continue in the church, from the year 1240, when the Oxford men began first to stand against the friars, to the time of this Armachanus, that is, to the year 1360; and after this time yet more increased. So it pleased the secret providence of God, for what cause he best knoweth, to suffer his church to be entangled and exercised sometimes with matters and controversies of no great importance; either to keep the vanity of men's wits thus occupied from idleness, or else to prepare their minds, by these smaller matters, to the consideration and searching out of other things more grave and weighty. Like as now in these our queen's days, we see what tragedies be raised up in England about forms and fashions of ministers' wearings, what troubles grow, what placing and displacing there is about the same. Even so at this time happened the like stir about the liberties and privileges of the friars, which not a little troubled and occupied all the churches and divines almost through Christendom. The which controversy, to the intent it may better be understood, (all the circumstances thereof being explained,) we will first begin from the original and foundation of the matter, to declare by order and course of years, upon what occasion this variance first rising, in continuance of time increased and multiplied in gathering more matter, and burst out at length to this tumultuous contention among learned men.
Concerning therefore this present matter; first, it is to be understood, that in the year of our Lord 1215, under Pope Innocent the Third, was called a general council at Lateran, mentioned before, in the days of King John. In the which council, among many other things, was constituted a certain law or canon, beginning Omnis utriusque sexus, &c., the tenor of which canon in English is thus:
"Be it decreed, that every faithful Christian, both man and woman, coming to the years of discretion, shall confess himself alone of all his sins to the priest of his own proper parish, once in the year at least; and that he shall endeavour, by his own self, to fulfil the penance, whensoever he receiveth the sacrament of the Eucharist, at least at the time of Easter. Unless by the assent of his minister, upon some reasonable cause, he abstain for the time. Otherwise doing, let him both lack the communion of the church being alive, and Christian burial when he is dead. Wherefore be it decreed, that this wholesome constitution shall be published accustomably in churches, to the end that no man of ignorance or of blindness make to himself a cloak of excuse. And if any shall confess himself to any other priest than of his own parish upon any just cause, let him ask and obtain first licence of his own priest; otherwise the priest shall have no power to bind him or to loose him," &c.
In the time of this Innocent, and of this Lateran council, was Dominic, the first author and founder of the Preaching Friars; who laboured to the said Pope Innocent, for the confirmation of his order, but did not obtain in his lifetime.
The next year after this Lateran council died Pope Innocent, A. D. 1216, after whom came Honorius the Third, who in the first year of his popedom confirmed the order of the friar Dominic, and gave to him and his friars authority to preach, and to hear confessions, with divers other privileges more. And under this pope, which governed ten years, lived Dominic five years after the confirmation of his order, and died A. D. 1221. About which year the order of the Franciscan Friars began also to breed, and to spread in the world, through preaching and hearing confessions.fter this Honorius, next followed Pope Gregory the Ninth, about the year of our Lord 1228, who, for the promoting of the aforesaid order of Dominics, gave out this bull, in tenor as followeth:
"Gregorius bishop, servant of God's servants, to his reverend brethren, archbishops, bishops, and to his well-beloved children, abbots, priors, and to all prelates of churches, to whomsoever these presents shall come, greeting, and apostolical blessing. Because iniquity hath abounded, and the charity of many hath waxed cold; behold, the Lord hath raised up the order of our well-beloved children the Preaching Friars, who not seeing things of their own, but pertaining to Jesus Christ, to the extirpating a swell of heresies, as to the rooting out also of other pernicious pestilences, have dedicated themselves to the preaching of the word of God. We therefore, minding to advance their sacred purpose, &c. And followeth; commanding you to see the said persons, gently to be received among you; and that your flocks committed to your charge do receive devoutly the seed of God's word out of their mouth, and do confess their sins unto them, all such as list, whom we have authorized to the same, to hear confessions, and to enjoin penance, &c. Dat. Perusii. An. Pont. nostri 8."
This Pope Gregory died about the year of our Lord 1241, after whom came Celestine the Fourth, and sat but eighteen days: then came Innocent the Fourth, and sat eleven years and six months; who, although he began first to favour the friars, yet afterward being altered by certain divines of universities, prelates of churches, and curates, he debarred them of their liberties and privileges, and gave out again precepts and excommunications, as well against friars, as all other religious persons. And not long after the same he was despatched and made away.
Innocent being thus removed out of the way, about the year of our Lord 1353, then succeeded Pope Alexander the Fourth, a great maintainer of the friars, and sat seven years. He revoked and repealed the acts and writings of Pope Innocent his predecessor, given forth against the friars; wherewith the divines and students of Paris being not well contented, stirred up four principal doctors: the first and chief captain was Gulielmus de Sancto Amore, mentioned before, against whom wrote Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas; and at last he was condemned by this aforesaid Pope Alexander the Fourth, in the Extravagant, Non sine mulcta. The second was Simon Jornalensis; the third, Godfridus de Fontibus; the fourth, Henricus de Gandavo. These four, with other their complices, compiled a certain book against the begging order of friars, both Dominicans and Franciscans, entitled De periculis Ecclesiæ, containing fourteen chapters, whereof the fourteenth, which is the last, with thirty-nine articles against the friars, we have already translated and expressed. Beside these thirty-nine articles, be other seven articles, moreover, to the said book annexed, under the name of the students of Paris against the friars, proving why the said friars ought not to be admitted into their society.
"First, We say they are not to be admitted to the society of our school, but upon our will and licence; for our company or fellowship ought not to be co-active, but voluntary and free.
"Secondly, We say they are not to be admitted, forasmuch as we oft proved their community manifold ways to be hurtful and incommodious.
"Thirdly, Seeing they be of a diverse profession from us, (for they are called regular, and not scholastical,) we therefore ought not to be joined and associate together in one scholastical office; forasmuch as the council of Spain doth say, Thou shalt not plough with an ox and with an ass together; which is to say, Men of diverse professions ought not together to be matched in one kind of calling, or standing, for their studies and conditions be disagreeing and dissevered from ours, and cannot frame or couple together in one communion.
"Fourthly, We affirm by the apostle that they are not to be admitted, because they work dissensions and offences; for so saith the apostle, Rom. xvi. We desire you, brethren, that ye observe and take heed of such as make dissensions and offences about the doctrine which you have learned by the apostles, and avoid them; for such serve not the Lord, but their own belly. Gloss. 'Some they flatter, some they backbite, whereby they might feed their bellies.' That through their sweet and pleasant words, and by their benedictions, they may deceive the hearts of the simple. Gloss. 'That is, with their fine sugared and trim-couched words they set forth their own traditions, wherewith they beguile the hearts of the simple innocents.'
"Fifthly, We say they are not to be admitted, for that we fear lest they be in the number of them which go about and devour men's houses; for they thrust in themselves into every man's house, searching and sacking the conscience and states of all persons: and whom they find easy to be seduced, and women, such they do circumvent, and lead them away from the counsels of their prelates, binding them in act or oath: from such we are warned by the apostle to avoid.
"Sixthly, We say they are to be avoided, because we fear they are false prophets; which being neither bishops, nor parish priests, nor yet their vicars, nor sent by them, yet they preach (not sent) against the mind of the apostle, Rom. x., saying, How shall they preach except they be sent? for else there appeareth in them no such great virtue, for the which they ought to be admitted to preach uncalled. Seeing therefore that such are so dangerous to the church, they ought to be avoided.
"Seventhly, We say they are not to be admitted, because they be a people so curious in searching and inquiring of other men's doings and spiritual demeanour. And they yet be neither apostles, nor yet successors of the apostles, as bishops; nor of the number of the seventy-two disciples of the Lord; nor their successors, that is, parish priests, nor their helpers, nor yet vicars. Wherefore, seeing they live so in no order, by the sentence of the apostle we are commanded to avoid them, 2 Thess. iii., where he saith, We admonish and denounce unto you, O brethren! in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (that is, as the gloss saith, 'We command you by the authority of Christ,') that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh inordinately, and not after the tradition which you have received of us, &c. Look upon the common gloss of this place, and you shall find, that such are to be avoided till time they amend from so doing," &c.
Besides these articles above rehearsed, certain propositions or conclusions were also propounded in the schools of Paris the same time, solemnly to be disputed and defended against the friars; which, in a brief sum of words to collect them, were these:
"First, That the Begging Friars were not in the state of salvation.
"Secondly, That they were bound to labour with their hands that could, and not to beg.
"Thirdly, That they ought not to exercise the office of preaching, or to hear the confessions of them that will come unto them, although being licensed thereunto by the bishop of Rome, or by the diocesan, forasmuch as the same is prejudicial to the ministers and priests of the parishes."
All these aforesaid articles and conclusions, with the book set forth by these Paris men, this Pope Alexander the Fourth condemned to be abolished and burned, writing his precepts to the French king, and also the university of Paris, in the favour of the friars, willing and commanding the said friars to be restored to all their privileges and liberties in as ample manner as in Pope Gregory's time before.
Not long after Pope Alexander the Fourth followed Clement the Fourth, A. D. 1263, and sat three years: who also gave the privilege to the friars, beginning, Quidam temere, &c.; in which privilege he condemneth them that say that no man without licence of his curate or minister ought to confess him to the friars, or that a subject ought to ask licence of their ministers so to do, which was against the canon Omnis utriusque sexus, &c., made by Pope Innocent the Third, before recited.
After this Clement again came Pope Martin the Fourth, A. D. 1281, who renewed again the canon, Omnis utriusque sexus, in the behalf of the curates against the friars.
Then Pope Boniface the Eighth began to sit, A. D. 1294, and sat eight years and nine months; who, taking side with the friars, gave to them another privilege, beginning, Supra cathedram, &c.; in the which privilege he licensed the friars, that without licence of vicars of churches they shall first present themselves to the prelates to be admitted; by whom, if they be refused the second time, then they, upon special authority of this pope, shall be privileged, without either bishop or curate, to preach, to bury, and to hear confessions, whosoever will come to them, revoking all that was decreed by his predecessors before to the contrary.
By this Pope Boniface, a certain Dominic Friar was made cardinal, named Nicolaus de Tervisio, and after the death of Boniface he was also made pope, A. D. 1303, surnamed Pope Benedict the Eleventh, who, seeing the constitution of Boniface, his predecessor, to gender dissension between the priests and friars, made another constitution, beginning, Inter cunctas, &c., revoking the constitution of Boniface his predecessor. Upon which constitution of Pope Benedict, Johannes Monachus, making a gloss, revoked also his other made upon the constitution of Pope Boniface before.
Again, after this Benedict the Eleventh followed Pope Clement the Fifth, A. D. 1305, and sat nine years. Who, in his general council holden at Vienna, revoked the constitution of Benedict his predecessor, and renewed again the former decree of Boniface, by a new constitution of his, beginning, Dudum a Bonifacio VIII., &c., which constitution, moreover, was confirmed afterward by Pope John the Twenty-second, A. D. 1316. Which pope also caused Johannes de Poliaco to recant.
Upon this variable diversity of the popes (one dissenting and repugning from another) rose among the divines and schoolmen in universities great matter of contention, as well in the university of Paris as the university of Oxford, about the Begging Friars, some holding one way, some another way. But especially five principal opinions be noted of learned men, who, then disputing against the friars, were condemned for heretics, and their assertions reproved.
The first was the opinion of them which defended that the friars might not, by the licence of the bishop of Rome and of the prelates, preach in parishes and hear confessions. And of this opinion was Gulielmus de Sancto Amore, with his fellows, who, as it is said, were condemned.
The second opinion was this, that friars, although not by their own authority, yet by privilege of the pope and of the bishop, might preach and hear confessions in parishes, but yet not without licence of the parish priests. Of this opinion was Bernard, glossing upon the canon, Omnis utriusque sexus, afore mentioned.
The third opinion was, that friars might preach and hear confessions without licence of the parish priests; but yet the said parishioners, notwithstanding, were bound by the canon Omnis utriusque sexus, to repeat the same sins again, if they had no other, to their own proper curate. And of this opinion were many, as Godfridus de Fontibus, Henricus de Gandavo, Johannes Monachus Cardinalis, Johannes de Poliaco; which Johannes de Poliaco Pope John the Twenty-second caused openly in Paris to recant and retract.
This Johannes de Poliaco, doctor of divinity in Paris, being complained of by the friars for certain articles or assertions, was sent for to the pope; where, time and place being to him assigned, he, in the audience of the pope and of friarly cardinals and other doctors, was straitly examined of his articles. To make the story short he, at length submitting himself to the authority of the terrible see of Rome, was caused to recant his assertions openly at Paris. His assertions which he did hold were these:
First, that they which were confessed to friars, although having a general licence to hear confessions, were bound to confess again their sins to their own parish priest, by the constitution Omnis utriusque sexus, &c.
The second was, that the said constitution Omnis utriusque sexus standing in his force, the pope could not make, but parishioners were bound once a year to confess their sins to their priest. For the doing otherwise importeth a contradiction in itself.
The third was, that the pope could not give general licence to hear confessions so, but that the parishioner so confessed was bound to reiterate the same confession made unto his own curate; which he proved by these places of the canon law: "Those things which be generally ordained for public utility, ought not to be altered by any change, &c. Item, the decrees of the sacred canons none ought to keep more than the bishop apostolical, &c. Item, to alter or to ordain any thing against the decrees of the fathers, is not in the authority or power, no, not of the apostolical see."
The fourth opinion was, that the friars by the licence of the pope and of the bishops might lawfully hear confessions, and the people might be of them confessed and absolved. But yet notwithstanding, it was reason, convenient, honest, and profitable, that once in the year they should be confessed to their curates, (although being confessed before to the friars,) because of the administration of the sacraments, especially at Easter. Of which opinion was Gulielmus de Monte Landuno. Henricus de Gaudano also held it not only to be convenient, but also that they were bound so to do.
The fifth opinion was, that albeit the friars might at all times, and at Easter also, hear confessions as the curates did; yet it was better and more safe, at the time of Easter, to confess to the curates, than to the friars. And of this opinion was this our Armachanus, of whom we presently now treat.
And thus have ye, as in a brief sum, opened unto you what was the matter of contention between the friars and the churchmen; what popes made with the friars, and what popes made against them. Moreover, what learned men disputed against them in Paris, and other places; and what were their opinions.
The matter of contention about the friars stood in four points; first, preaching without licence of curates; secondly, in hearing confession; thirdly, in burying; fourthly, in begging and taking of the people.
The popes that maintained the friars were, Honorius the Third, Gregorius the Ninth, Alexander the Fourth, Clement the Fourth, Boniface the Eighth, Clement the Fifth. The popes that maintained curates, were Innocentius the Third, Innocentius the Fourth, Martinus the Fourth, Benedictus the Eleventh.
The learned men that disputed against the friars were, Gulielmus de S. Amore, Bernardus super capitulum, Omnis utriusque sexus, Godfridus de Fontibus, Henricus de Gandavo, Gulielmus de Landuno, Johannes Monachus Cardinalis, Johannes de Poliaco, and Armachanus. All these were condemned by the popes, or else caused to recant.
These considerations and circumstances hitherto premised, for the more opening of this present cause of Armachanus sustained against the idle beggarly sects of friars, in whom the reader may well perceive antichrist plainly reigning and fighting against the church: it now remaineth, that as I have before declared the travails and troubles of divers godly learned men in the church striving against the said friars, continually from the time of Gulielmus de Amore, hitherto; so now forasmuch as this our Armachanus laboured, and in the same cause sustained the like conflict with the same antichrist, we likewise collect and open his reasons and arguments uttered in the consistory and in the audience of the pope himself, wherewith he maintaineth the true doctrine and cause of the church against the pestiferous canker creeping in by these friars after subtle ways of hypocrisy, to corrupt the sincere simplicity of Christ's holy faith and perfect testament; the which reasons and arguments of his, with the whole process of his doings, I thought good and expedient for the utility of the church more amply and largely to discourse and prosecute, for that I note in the sects, institutions, and doctrine of these friars, such subtle poison to lurk, more pernicious and hurtful to the religion of Christ and souls of Christians than all men, peradventure, do consider.
Thus Armachanus, joining with the clergy of England, disputed and contended with the friars here of England, A. D. 1358, about a double matter; whereof the one was concerning confession and other excheats which the friars encroached in parish churches against the curates, and public pastors of churches. The other was concerning wilful beggary and poverty, which the friars then took upon them, not upon any necessity, being otherwise strong enough to work for their living, but only upon a wilful and affected profession. For the which cause the friars appealed him up to the court of Rome. The occasion whereof thus did rise.
It befell that Armachanus, upon certain business coming up to London, found there certain doctors disputing and contending about the begging of Christ our Saviour. Whereupon he, being greatly urged and requested ofttimes thereunto, at request made seven or eight sermons unto the people at London, wherein he uttered nine conclusions; whereof the first and principal conclusion was, touching the matter of the friars' privileges in hearing confessions.
By this oration of Armachanus the learned prelate, made before Pope Innocent and his cardinals, divers and sundry things there were, for the utility of the church, worthy to be observed. First, what troubles and vexations came to the church of Christ by these friars. Also what persecution followeth after by the means of them, against so many learned men and true servants of Christ. Furthermore, what repugnance and contrariety was among the popes, and how they could not agree among themselves about the friars. Fourthly, what pestiferous doctrine, subverting well nigh the Testament of Jesus Christ. Fifthly, what decay of ministers in Christ's church. Sixthly, what robbing and circumventing of men's children. Seventhly, what decay of universities, as appeareth by Oxford. Eighthly, what damage to learning and lack of books to students came by these friars. Ninthly, to what pride, under colour of feigned humility, to what riches, under dissembled poverty, they grew, here is to be seen; insomuch that at length, through their subtle and most dangerous hypocrisy, they crept up to be lords, archbishops, cardinals, and at last also chancellors of realms, yea, and of most secret counsel with kings and queens.
All these things well considered, now remaineth in the church to be marked; that forasmuch as these friars, (with their new-found testament of friar Francis,) not being contented with the testament of God in his Son Christ, began to spring the same time when Satan was prophesied to be let loose by the order of the Scripture; whether therefore it is to be doubted, that these friars make up the body of antichrist, which is prophesied to come in the church, or not; which is much less to be doubted, because whoso list to try shall find, that of all other enemies of Christ, of whom some be manifest, some be privy, all be together cruel, yet is there no such sort of enemies which more sleightly deceiveth the simple Christian, or more deeply drowneth him in damnation, than doth this doctrine of the friars.
But of this oration of Armachanus enough. Which oration what success it had with the pope, by story it is not certain: by his own life declared, it appeareth that the Lord so wrought that his enemies did not triumph over him. Notwithstanding, this by story appeareth, that he was seven or eight years in banishment for the same matter, and there died in the same at Avignon, of whom a certain cardinal hearing of his death openly protested, that the same day a mighty pillar of Christ's church was fallen.
After the death of Armachanus, the friars had contention likewise with the monks of Benedict's order about the same year, 1360, and so removed their cause, both against the monks and against the university of Oxford, unto the court of Rome; wherein, saith the author, they lacked another Richard. By this that appeareth to be true, which is testified in the first tome of Waldenus, that long debate continued between the friars and the university of Oxford. Against whom first stood Robert Grosthead, bishop of Lincoln, above mentioned, then Sevallus of York, Johannes Baconthorpe, and now this Armachanus, of whom here presently we treat; and after him again John Wickliff, of whom (Christ willing) we will speak hereafter. Against this aforesaid Armachanus wrote divers friars; Roger Conaway, a Franciscan, John Heyldesham, a Carmelite, Galfridus Hardby, a friar Augustine. Also friar Engelbert, a Dominican, in a book entitled Defensorium Privilegiorum, and divers other. I credibly hear of certain old Irish Bibles translated long since into the Irish tongue, which, if it be true, it is not other like but to be the doing of this Armachanus. And thus much of this learned prelate and archbishop of Ireland, a man worthy, for his Christian zeal, of immortal commendation.
After the death of this Innocent, next was poped in the see of Rome Pope Urban the Fifth, who by the father's side was an Englishman. This Urban had been a long waiter in the court of Rome; and when he saw no promotion would light upon him, complaining to a certain friend of his, he made to him his moan, saying, That he thought, verily, if all the churches of the world should fall, yet none would fall in his mouth. The which friend after seeing him to be pope, and enthronized in his threefold crown, cometh to him, and putting him in remembrance of his words to him before, saith, That where his Holiness had moaned his fortune to him, that if all the churches in the world would fall, none would fall upon his head; now (saith he) God hath otherwise so disposed, that all the churches in the world are fallen upon your head, &c.
This pope maintained and kindled great wars in Italy, sending Egidius, his cardinal and legate, and after him Arduinus, a Burgundian, his legate and abbot, with great puissance and much money, against sundry cities in Italy; by whose means the towns and cities which before had broken from the bishop of Rome, were oppressed; also Barnabes and Galeaceus, princes of Milan, vanquished. By whose example other, being sore feared, submitted themselves to the Church of Rome; and thus came up that wicked church to her great possessions, which her patrons would needs father upon Constantine, the godly emperor.
In the time of this Pope Urban the Fifth, and in the second year of his reign, about the beginning of the year of our Lord 1364, I find a certain sermon of one Nicholas Orem, made before the pope and his cardinals, on Christmas even. In the which sermon the learned man doth worthily rebuke the prelates and priests of his time, declaring their destruction not to be far off, by certain signs taken of their wicked and corrupt life. All the sayings of the prophets, spoken against the wicked priests of the Jews, he doth aptly apply against the clergy of his time, comparing the church then present to the spiritual strumpet spoken of in the 16th chapter of the prophet Ezekiel. And proveth, in conclusion, the clergy of the church then to be so much worse than the old synagogue of the Jews, by how much it is worse to sell the church and sacraments, than to suffer doves to be sold in the church. With no less judgment also and learning he answereth to the old and false objections of the papists, who, albeit they be never so wicked, yet think themselves to be the church which the Lord cannot forsake.
This sermon was made by master Nicholas Orem before Pope Urban and his cardinals, upon the even of the nativity of the Lord, being the fourth Sunday of Advent, in the year of our Lord 1364, and the second of his popedom.
In the fifth year of this forenamed Pope Urban began first the order of the Jesuits. And unto this time, which was about the year of our Lord 1367, the offices here in England, as the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, and of the privy seal, were wont to be in the hands of the clergy; but about this year, through the motion of the lords in the parliament, and partly (as witnesseth mine author) for hatred of the clergy, all the said offices were removed from the clergy to the lords temporal.