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viting all men thereby to serve the Lord with inward heart and true affection, and not with outward ceremonies; adding, moreover, to the praise of that triumph, that though it were never so small, yet it would take up the best court card beside in the bunch, yea, though it were the king of clubs ; i. e. meaning thereby how the Lord would be worshipped and served in simplicity of heart and verity, wherein consisteth true Christian religion, and not in the outward deeds of the letter only, or in the glistering show of man's traditions or pardons, pilgrimages, ceremonies, bows, devotions, voluntary works, and works of supererogation, foundations, oblations, the pope's supremacy, i. e. so that all these either were needless where the other is present, or else were of small estimation in comparison of the other.
It would ask a long discourse to declare what a stir there was in Cambridge upon this preaching of Master Latimer. Belike Satan began to feel himself and his kingdom to be touched too near, and therefore thought it time to look about him, and to make out his men of arms. First came out the prior of the black friars called Buckneham, otherwise surnamed Domine Dewface, who, thinking to make a great head against M. Latimer, about the same time of Christmas, when M. Latimer brought forth his cards to deface belike the doings of the other, brought out his Christmas dice, casting them to his audience cinque and quater; meaning by the cinque five places of the New Testament, and the four doctors by the quater ; by which his cinque quater, he would prove that it was not expedient for the Scripture to be in English, lest the ignorant vulgar sort, through the occasion thereof, might haply be brought in danger to leave their vocation, or else to run into some inconvenience : as for example : The ploughman, when he heareth this in the gospel, No man that layeth his hand on the plough and looketh back is meet for the kingdom of God;' might, peradventure, hearing this, cease from the plough. Likewise, the baker, when he hears that a little leaven corrupted a whole lump of dough, may, percase, leave our bread unleavened; and so our bodies shall be unseasoned. Also, the simple man, when he heareth the gospel, 'If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee,' may make himself blind and so fill the world full of beggars.
These with more this clerkly friar brought out, to the number of five, to prove his purpose.
M. Latimer hearing this friarly sermon of Dr. Buckneham, cometh again the afternoon, or shortly after, to the church, to answer the friar, where resorted to him a great multitude, as well of the university as of the town, both doctors and other graduates, with great expectation to hear what he could say; among whom, also directly in the face of Latimer, underneath the
pulpit, sat Buckneham, the foresaid friar, prior of the Black Friars, with his black friars' cowl about his shoulders. When Master Latimer, first repeating the friarly reasons of Doctor Buckneham, whereby he would prove it a dangerous thing for the vulgar people to have the scripture in the vulgar tongue, so refuted the friar; 'so answered to his objections; so dallied with his bold reason of the ploughman looking back, and of the baker leaving his bread unleavened, that the vanity of the friar might to all men appear; well proving and declaring to the people, how there was no such fear nor danger for the scriptures to be in English as the friar pretended ; at least requiring this, that the scriptures might be so long in the English tongue till Englishmen were so mad that either the ploughman durst not look back, or the baker should leave his bread unleavened; and proceeding moreover in his sermon, he began to discourse of the mystical speeches and figurative phrases of the scripture; which phrases, he said, were not so diffuse and difficult, as they were common in the scripture, and in the Hebrew tongue are commonly used and well known; and not only in the Hebrew tongue, but also every speech, saith he, has his like metaphors and figurative signification, so common and vulgar to all men, that the very painters do paint them on walls and on houses. As for example, saith he, looking towards the friar, that sat over against him, when they paint a fox preaching out of a friar's cowl, none is so mad as to take this to be a fox that preacheth, but know well enough the meaning of the matter, which is to paint out unto us what hypocrisy, craft, and subtil dissimulation lieth hid many times in these friars' cowls, willing us thereby to beware of them. In fine, friar Buckneham with this sermon was so dashed, that never after he durst peep out of the pulpit against M. Latimer.
Besides this Buckneham, there was also another eviling friar, not of the same coat, but of the same note and fashion, a gray friar and a doctor, an outlandishman, called Doctor Venetus; who, likewise, in his brawling sermons, railed and raged against Doctor Latimer, calling him a mad and brainless man, and willing the people not to believe him, &c. To whom Master Lạtimer answering again, taketh for his ground the words of our Saviour Christ, Matthew v. Thou shalt not kill,? &c. but I say unto you, whosoever is angry with his neighbour shall be in danger of judgement; and whosoever shall say unto his neighbour Racha, or any other like words of rebuking, as brainless, shall be in danger of counsel: and whosoever shall say to his neighbour, Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. But why should I here stand deciphering the names of his adversaries, when whole swarms of friars and doctors flockt against him on every side almost through the whole university, preach
ing likewise and barking against him. Amongst whom was Doctor Watson, master
of Christ's college, whose scholar Latimer had been afore ; Doctor Notaries, master of Clare Hall; Doctor Philo, master of Michael House; Doctor Metcalfe, master of St. John's; Doctor Blythe, of King's Hall; Doctor Bullock, master of the Queen's College; Doctor Cliffe, of Clement House; Doctor Downes, of Jesus College ; Doctor Psalmes, master of St. Nicholas Hostel; Bain; Rud; Greenwood, bachelor of divinity, all three of St. John's College; also Brikenden, bachelor of divinity ; of the same house, and scholar sometimes to the said Latimer. Briefly, almost as many as were heads then of houses, so many impugners did this worthy standard-bearer of Christ's gospel sustain. Then came at last Doctor West, bishop of Ely, who, preaching against Master Latimer, at Barnwell Abbey, forbade him, within the churches of that university, to preach any more. Notwithstanding so the Lord provided that Doctor Barnes, prior of the Augustine Friars, did licence Master Latimer to preach in his church of the Augustines, and he himself preached at the church by, called St. Edward's church, which was the first sermon of the gospel which Doctor Barnes preached, being upon Christmas, even upon a Sunday. Whereupon certain articles were gathered out of his sermon and were commenced against him by Master Tirrell, fellow of King's Hall, and so by the Vice Chancellor presented to the cardinal (Wolsey).
This M. Latimer (as you have heard) being baited by the friars, doctors, and masters of that university, about the year 1529, notwithstanding the maugre and malice of these malignant adversaries, continued yet in Cambridge, preaching for the space of three years together, with favour and applause of the godly, also with such admiration of his enemies that heard him, that the bishop himself coming in, and hearing his gift, wished himself to have the like, and was compelled to commend him upon
the same. So M. Latimer, with M. Bilney, after this continued yet in Cambridge a certain space, where he, with the said Bilney, used to confer and company together, insomuch, that the place where they most used to walk in the fields was called long after, the Heretics' Hill.
The society of these two, as it was much noted of many in that university, so it was full of many good examples to all such as would follow their doings, both in visiting the prisoners, in relieving the needy, and in feeding the hungry. In a place of his sermons Master Latimer maketh mention of a certain history which happened about this time in Cambridge, between them two and a certain woman, then prisoner in the castle or tower of Cambridge, which I thought here not unworthy to be remembered. The history is this : It so chanced that after Master Latimer had been so acquainted with the aforesaid Bilney, he went with him to visit the prisoners in the Tower of Cambridge ; and being there, among other prisoners there was a woman which was accused that she had killed her own child, which act. she plainly and stedfastly denied, whereby it gave them occasion to search for the matter and at length they found that her husband loved her not, and therefore sought all means he could to make her away. The matter was thus : a child of hers had been sick a whole year, and at length died in harvest time, as it were in consumption; which, when it was gone, she went to have her neighbours to help her to the burial, but all were in harvest abroad, whereby she was enforced, with heaviness of heart, alone to prepare the child to the burial. Her husband coming home, and not loving her, accused her of murdering the child. This was the cause of her trouble, and Master Latimer, by earnest inquisition of conscience, thought the woman not guilty. Then immediately after was he called to preach before King Henry the eighth at Windsor, where, after his sermon, the king's majesty sent for him, and talked with him familiarly. At which time Master Latimer, finding opportunity, kneeled down, opened this whole matter to the king, and begged her pardon, which the king most graciously granted, and gave it him at his return homeward.
In the mean time, the woman was delivered of a child in the prison, whose godfather was M. Latimer, Mistress Cheek godmother. But all the while he would not tell her of the pardon, but laboured to have her confess the truth of the matter. At length the time came when she should look to suffer, and Master Latimer came as he was wont to instruct her; unto whom she made great lamentations and moan, to be purified before her suffering, for she thought to be damned if she should suffer without purification. When Master Bilney being with Master Latimer, both told her that that law was made to the Jews, and not to us, and how women be as well in the favour of God before they be purified as after; and rather it was appointed for a civil and politic law, for natural honesty sake, than that they should any thing the more be purified from sin thereby, &c. So thus they travelled with this woman, till they had brought her to a good trade, and then at length showed her the king's pardon, and let her go.
After M. Latimer had thus travelled in preaching and teaching in the university of Cambridge, about the space of three years, at length he was called up to the cardinal for heresy, by the procurement of certain of the said university, where he was content to subscribe and grant to such articles as then they propounded unto him, &c. After that he returned to the
university again, where shortly after, by the means of Doctor Buts, the king's physician, a singular good man, and a special favourer of good proceedings, he was in the number of them which laboured in the cause of the king's supremacy. Then went he to the court, where he remained a certain time in the said Doctor Buts' chamber, preaching then in London very often. At last, being weary of the court, having a benefice offered by the king, at the suit of the L. Cromwell, and Doctor Buts, was glad thereof, seeking by that means to be rid out of the court, wherewith in no case he could
and so having a grant of the benefice, contrary to the mind of Doctor Buts, he would needs depart, and be resident at the same. This benefice was in Wiltshire, under the diocess of Sarum, the name of which town was called West Kingston, where this good preacher did exercise himself with much diligence of teaching to instruct his flock, and not only to them did his diligence extend, but also to all the country about. In fine, his diligence was so great, his preaching so mighty, the manner of his teaching so zealous, that there in like sort he could not escape without enemies, so true it is, that St. Paul foretelleth us, Whosoever will live godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution.'
It so chanced, that whereas, he preaching upon the blessed Virgin, Christ's mother, (whom we call our Lady,) had thereupon declared his mind, referring and reducing all honor only to Christ our only Saviour, certain Popish priests, being therewith offended, sought and wrought much trouble against him, drawing out articles and impositions, which they untruly, unjustly, falsly, and uncharitably imputed unto him. First, That he should preach against our Lady, for that he reproved in a sermon the superstitious rudeness of certain blind priests, which so held together upon that blessed Virgin, as though she never had any sin, nor were saved by Christ, the only Saviour of the whole world.
Item, That he should say, that saints were not to be worshipped.
Item, That Ave Maria was a salutation only, and no prayer.
Item, That there was no material fire in hell.
Item, That there was no purgatory, in saying, that he had liefer be in purgatory than in Lollard's tower.
The chief impugners and molesters of him, besides these country priests, were Doct. Powel of Salisbury, Dr. Wilson, sometime of Cambridge, Dr. Hubberdin, and Dr. Sherwood. Of whom some preached against, some also did write against him, insomuch, that by their procurement, he was cited up and called to appear before Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, and John Stokesley, Bishop of London, 1531, Jan. 29.