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And then the afflicted gentleman began his palinode, as sect. follows: “The acknowledging of an error is the right entry “ into a truth. For even as in life, the first degree [of Anno 1556. “goodness) is to avoid evil, and then to do good; so in Cheke's re
cantation, « faith errors must be avoided, that the right religion may pronounced “ take place. Wherefore, as before I made my humble before the “ submission unto my Lord Cardinal's good Grace, who first
accepted the same well, and so received me as a member “ of Christ's Catholic Church; so now, before your Majesty, “ whom God hath marvellously brought unto your noble “ and due place of government under him, I do profess and
protest, that whatsoever mine opinion of the blessed Sa“ crament of Christ's body and blood, and of the sense of “ Christ's words spoken of the same, hath been hereto“ fore; I do now, after conference had with certain learned
men, your Majesty's Chaplains, and especially the right “worshipful Master Dean of Paul's, believe firmly the “ real presence of Christ's very body and blood in the Sa“ crament, and none other substance there remaining : “ moved thereunto by invincible reasons of the Catholic “ Doctors against the Arians, of Christ's very true and “ natural being in us, and also by the consent of Christ's “Catholic Church. Unto the which, both in these and in “ all other matters of my faith, I most humbly submit “ myself. Wherein, [as] for the success, (so] I do most “humbly thank God for the manner and the clemency “thereof, shewed in drawing me with mercy thereunto. “I do most humbly give thanks unto the ministers of
mercy in Christ's Church, whereof I do acknowledge the “ Pope's Holiness to be head; and especially my Lord “ Cardinal's good Grace, Legate of England from the “ Pope's Holiness, and Primate of the same. Unto whom “ I made my submission; not moved by policy and worldly
respects, but persuaded by learning and conscience, when 6 otherwise I could have been contented to yield myself to “ the contrary. And also I do give most humble thanks " to your Majesty for your great mercifulness towards me:
“ who as in other excellencies do follow your heavenly
“Father, so in this precise quality of mercifulness do exAnno 1556." press his holiness, that commandeth you to be merciful.
“ Your Majesty herein hath great cause to give God “ thanks, as in all other your princely gifts, that ye need “ not under God to seek no example of mercifulness to
follow, but yourself: who, daily inclining to follow God “ in mercy, shew great evidence whose heavenly child your Majesty is. “ And, as I beseech God, your Majesty do continue the same grace to others that have need of mercy, so I trust “ God our Saviour will work the like in others, that he by your Majesty hath wrought in me.
For as they may “ well learn of me to beware of singularity, and trusting “unto certain sayings of Doctors, rather than to the “ Church, and preferring private judgments before the “ Catholic consent of Christ's Church; so shall they easier “ be led from error to truth, when they see them drawn “ by your Highness's mercy, and not plucked by extre“ mity; and that their life and mendment is sought, not “ their (death] and shame. In the which lesson they shall “ find, I doubt not, as I do, much contentation of mind “ and quietness of conscience. Which I trust, for my part, “continually to keep in all matters pertaining to the Ca“tholic faith of Christ's Church: and hope to shew “ myself, in the residue, so faithful a subject to your “ Highness, as my bounden duty serveth me for; and in “ matters of religion so obedient, as becometh a Christian
“ According unto the which my doings, I most humbly “ þeseech your Highness to shew your clemency and fa
vour; none otherwise. And I shall pray unto God, ac“cording to mine humble duty, that as he hath trodden « down errors, and set your Highness marvellously in this
your high state of your most lawful kingdom, so he will
preserve your Majesty with the same providence, to the “ increase of his glory, and honour both of your Highness
« and of the noble King and Prince, King Philip, your SECT. “ Majesty's dear husband; and the quietness of your Ma“jesty's subjects.”
Anno 1556. Besides this recantation, I meet with another, framed Another refor Sir John Cheke's mouth by Cardinal Pole's pen or Cheke, direction: the above written recantation, spoken before spoken bethe Queen, being, in the Cardinal's judgment, not enough ; Court. but, since he had lived long in the Court, and had been instrumental to sow the doctrine of the Gospel in the hearts of many there, it was thought convenient, that he should recant likewise in the face and hearing also of the Court. And this also the poor man was forced to do. This form of recantation is long, according to the usual tedious style of the Cardinal : however, I shall here exemplify it.
“I am come hither afore this most honourable and E Fuxii gracious audience, to accuse myself, and to give thanks
to Almighty God, especially for this cause, that he hath “ given me the grace to accuse myself : which, without “ his great special grace, I could never have done, being
gone in mine own conceit, and so much delighting “ in the same. So that being now brought from the same, “ and willingly to confess my error, I count one the great“ est grace that ever came unto me; and such, without “this, no other gift of God (of whose grace cometh all the “ good that I have ever had, or can be in me) may do me
any good. But the more his gifts have been towards “ me aforetime, the more they be to my condemnation, “ without this grace that God hath given me now, which “ is willingly and gladly to accuse myself. And the same, “ for to be called a grace, must bring with it a knowledge “and detestation of my most grievous and horrible offence, “ with desire of mercy of that is past, and submitting “ myself most humbly to that order that it shall please “ them to set, whom God, the Lord of mercy, hath made
governors in his Church, of like offenders as I have
“ And all this having pleased the goodness of God to “ work in the secret of my heart, I am come now to utter
CHAP. “ the same openly before you, to the praise of his mercy,
" and, as I trust, to the edification of some other; which I Anno 1556.« do, following the order which hath been given unto me
“ by them whom in such case I am most bound to obey. “ Wherein also I do knowledge the goodness of God, that “ hath put in their mind to enjoin me to make the confes“sion of my grievous error, in that place where I did most “ grievously offend, both to the ruin of myself, and of other “ that were conversant with me, which are here in the “ Court; where I had more occasion to do hurt, for the
place of schoolmaster I had with young King Edward, “ and with all the youth of the nobility, than any other “ had. And albeit mine office was not to teach him the “ matters of religion, which was committed to others; yet “I confess, touching my pestilent error, I peradventure “ did no less to confirm and set forward the same in his “mind, and all the rest of the youth, than any other.
“ And what mine error was, though it be not unknown, “ I think, to any in this honourable assembly, yet coming “ to confess the same, which I myself, a little before, took “ for no error, it may please you to understand the quality “ thereof: which was a blasphemy of the holy name of “ God, under colour to glorify the same; and a persecution “ of the name of Christ, more grievous than ever were “they, that, deceived by others, crucified Christ, or af“ terward did persecute those that were his disciples; I “ having a greater cause than ever St. Paul had to say so, “ when he went from town to town, having obtained au“thority of the chief heads of the Priests, to imprison “those that professed the name of Christ. But that per“ secution I made was not so open as his was, as my blas“ phemy also was more hid; and so hid to myself, that I “ thought all were blasphemers that held contrary opinion. “ Wherefore I may well say in this part with St. Paul, “ Misericordiam consecutus sum, quia ignorans feci.
“ Albeit mine ignorance was not such, but that it did “ rather aggravate mine offence than excuse it ; being “ much more excusable the ignorance of the Jews that grace of God.
“ killed Christ, and also of St. Paul, that did persecute SECT.
V. “ his servants; both following the motive of those whom “the law of God gave authority to be judges in all such Anno 1556.
matters, as were principes sacerdotum; of whom St. “ Paul had letters to persecute Christ's servants; and by “their motion the people were set up to cry against Christ, “ Crucifige eum: for whom Christ did pray to his Father,
Ignosce illis, quia nesciunt quid faciunt. And St. Paul “ might well ask Christ, Quis es Domine? having no
knowledge of him by the doctrine of his superiors, that “it was Christ he did persecute. But mine ignorance was “ not such; for if I would have believed my superiors, all “ told me contrary to that I did; all did forbid me to do
as I did, and curse me if I did attempt the same. Which “they did, following the rule and knowledge of their forefathers, that were counted most to have lived in the
So that mine ignorance can have no “ colour of excuse, but all to aggravate my greater damna“ tion; entering into the same by mine own election, and
prosecuting the same by mine own authority, when I « would be wiser than all other : and by the justice of “ God was made more ignorant than all other, as the “ effect did shew. For what an arrogant blindness was “this, what great madness, to think I saw more touching “the Sacrament of the Altar, than first all the Prelates of “ the Church in this realm, since the time the faith was “ received! For if it were true that I took for true, that “ the sacrifice of the Mass was idolatry, never-ceasing “ Mass to be said in that manner it is now, and never no “ fault to be found therein; either this must be a deep “ignorance in them that brought in the faith, that saw
not this, or in me the most execrable, that condemned 6 both them and the rest of the world in the same. Which " is the most blasphemy that could be said against the “providence of God, and against the love that Christ “ beareth to his Church: making him more benevolent to “ the old Synagogue than to the Church, quam acquisivit “sanguine suo; letting them never to fall into idolatry,