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II.

CHAP. viewed them as being especially provoked by the w burdens which a prodigal court had demanded in

the preceding session. In their address to the
king, they do not hesitate, after mature delibera-
tion, to affirm, “ that unless the administration of
“ the kingdom be speedily reformed, it must be-
“ come wholly lost. For true it is,” they proceed,
" that there are such defects in the said adminis-

tration, as well about the king's person, and his
household, as in his courts of justice, and by

grievous oppressions in the country, through “ maintainers of suits, who are as it were kings in “ the country; that right and law are come to

nothing, and the poor commons are from time “ to time so pillaged and ruined, partly by the

king's purveyors of the household, and others “ who pay nothing for what they take, partly by “ the subsidies and tallages raised upon them, “ and besides by the oppressive behaviour of the

king's servants, and other lords, and especially “ of the foresaid maintainers of suits, they are “ reduced to greater poverty and discomfort than ever they were before. And moreover, though

great sums have been continually granted by, “ and levied upon them for the defence of the

kingdom, yet they are not the better defended

against their enemies, but every year are plun“ dered and wasted by sea and land without any “ relief. Which calamities the said poor com

mons, who lately used to live in honor and

prosperity, can no longer endure.” From this statement of grievances it appears, that in proportion to the largeness of the grants which had been made to the government, had been the diminution

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II.

of the protection promised; and that while the CHAP. enemy without was suffered to menace the shores of the kingdom, the host of tyrants harboured within, were employed in daily consuming the sources of its strength. Having advanced thus far, these sturdy commoners immediately add; “ and to speak the real truth, these injuries, lately “ done to the poorer commons more than they

ever suffered before, caused them to rise and to commit the mischief done in the late riot; and “ there is still cause to fear greater evils, if suffi“ cient remedy be not timely provided against the

outrages and oppressions aforesaid.”50 The lords appear to have been satisfied of the truth of these statements no less than the commons, and their testimony must be considered decisive with respect to the origin of this ill-fated resistance of arbitrary power.

50 Hallam, iii. 93.

CHAPTER III.

TRANSUBSTANTIATION OPPOSED BY BERENGARIUS-AND BY THE VAUDO15

AND ALBIGENSES-NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE ANGLO-SAXON CHURCH

DEFENDED BY LANFRANC, AND ESPOUSED BY THE ANGLO-NORMAN CLERGY ---WYCLIFFE'S OPPOSITION TO IT SEVERE PENALTIES DENOUNCED ON ALL WHO SHOULD FAVOR HIS OPINIONS CONCERNING IT-HIS APPEAL

TO THE CIVIL POWER FOR PROTECTION HIS FEELING NDE HESE PER-
SECUTIONS-ANALYSIS OF HIS

" WICKET” PROCEEDINGS OF COURTNEY, AND THE SYNOD AT THE GREY FRIARS---WYCLIFFE FAVORED BY THE UNIVERSITY STATE OF PARTIES IN THE NATION UNFRIENDLY TO THE

EFFORTS OF THE REFORMERS INQUISITORIAL STATUTE OBTAINED BY THE
CLERGY-NOTICE OF ROBERT RIGGE, DR. HEREFORD, REPPINGTON, ASH-
TON, AND OTHERS.

CHAP.
III.

Transubstantiation.

It has appeared, that until the middle of the ninth century, the manner in which the body and the blood of Christ are present in the eucharist, was the subject of debate, or rather of a peaceful difference of sentiment among persons holding the chief dignities of the hierarchy. The same may

be said of a considerable interval afterwards. But from that period, and from causes which have also been explained, the advocates of the mysterious dogma, which in the twelfth century,

began to be designated transubstantiation, rapidly Opposed increased.

Its progress, however, was far from by Beren

being uninterrupted; and among its opponents, the most distinguished place must be allotted to Berengarus, a gallic prelate, who about the middle of the eleventh century brought his genius

garus.

Prelim. View, c. i. sect. 3.

III.

and learning, which were both greatly above the CHAP. character of the age, to an investigation of its claims. His doctrine was strictly that of the primitive church, and of the existing protestant communities. The zeal and ability with which it was supported, diffused his name through Europe, and attracted the enmity or admiration of the whole western clergy. In the cause of his opinions, the disputant patiently submitted to the spiritual censures of the pontiff, and of a council assembled at Paris; and the displeasure of his sovereign, which the same peculiarities had provoked, was followed by the forfeiture of his episcopal revenues. The burden of such evils, indeed, would be considerably lightened by remembering that his disciples in France and Italy, in England, and particularly in the states of Germany, were numerous and increasing. But such it appears was the extent of the suffering, which this advocate of truth and reason was prepared to endure in defence of his tenets. Thrice was he compelled to appear at Rome, and as often was his doctrine formally renounced but to be again avowed, as the prospect of impunity returned. Toward the close of life, he retired from the agitated scenes which for more than thirty years had been familiar to him : and the remembrance of the indecision, which had been allowed to sully his character, is said to have embittered his seclusion. But he died with the reputation of sanctity, and his followers never became extinct.

? Mosheim, ii. 558.—569, where this subject is fully and luminously treated.

CHAP.

III.

And by the Vau

Albigenses.

The Vaudois and Albigenses, who had never embraced the marvellous theory adverted to, were invigorated in their opposition to it by the labours of Berengarus and of his partisans. That they had adopted the heresy of that prelate, was often urged as their reproach ; and it is evident from certain fragments of their reasoning on this subject which their enemies have preserved, that, had the assertion been correct, the disciple must have been frequently acknowledged as by no means unworthy of his master. From the

From the pages of an adversary, we learn that they were accustomed to appeal to the Apostle's Creed, and to that of Nice, and Athanasius, as including every important article of christian doctrine; expressing their surprise that in these summaries of truth, no reference should be made to the matter of transubstantiation, though a doctrine so greatly needing the aid of external evidence to counteract in some degree its intrinsic and surpassing difficulties. These perplexities also, the same fraternities are described as exposing with a severity of criticism, which must often have bewildered their antagonists; urging with fluency almost every question tending to involve the subject in mystery, contradiction, or absurdity.3

3 See Prelim. View. c. I. sec. 2. The celebrated schoolman Alanus Magnus, thus describes the manner in which these contemporary heretics opposed this dogma of the church. “If the bread every day should be “ changed into the body of Christ, it would be infinitely increased. They “ enquire also whether the bread ceaseth to be ; and if it ceaseth to be " then it is annihilated, and so it is spoiled: Also they ask, how a body “ of so great a bulk can enter into the mouth of a man? Whether the

body of Christ be eaten, chewed with the teeth, and consequently

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