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John WicklifF of England, of John Huss of Bohemia, and of
Jerome of Prague.

Martin, bishop, the servant of God's servants, to our reverend brethren the Pope
archbishops of Saltzburg, Gnesen, and Prague, and to the bishops of Olmutz, JJ[_^^'_^'^.^'^
Lythomysl, Bamberg, Meissen, Passau, Breslau, Ilatisbon, Cracow, Posen, and buU to aP
Neitra, and also to our beloved children the inquisitors appointed by the pre- bishops
lates above recited, or where else soever, unto whom these present letters shall bujjop^j'"
come, greeting and apostolical benediction.

Amongst all other pastoral cares wherewith we are oppressed, this chiefly
and specially doth enforce us : that heretics, with their false doctrine and errors,
being utterly expidsed from amongst the company of christian men, and rooted
out (so far forth as God will make us able to do), the right and catholic faith
may remain sound and undefiled; and that all christian people, immovable
and inviolate, may stand and abide in the sincerity of the same faith, the whole
veil of obscurity being removed. But lately, in divers places of the world,
but especially in Bohemia, and the dukedom of Moravia, and in the straits ad-
joining thereunto, certain arch-heretics have risen and sprung up, not against
one only, but against divers and sundry documents of the catholic faith, being
land-lopers, schismatics, and seditious persons, fraught with devilish pride and
wolvish madness, deceived by the subtlety of Satan, and from one evil vanity
brought to a worse ; who although they rose and sprang up in divers parts of
the world, yet agreed they all in one, having their tails, as it were, knit together ;
to wit, John Wickliff of England, John Huss of Bohemia, and Jerome of
Prague, of damnable memory, who drew with them no small number to miser-
able ruin and infidelity. For when those, and such like pestiferous persons,
did, in the beginning of their poisoned doctrine, * obstinately sow and spread
abroad perverse and false opinions, the prelates, who had the regiment and
execution of the judicial power, Uke dumb dogs not able to bark, neither
yet revenging speedily with the apostle all such disobedience, nor regarding
coi-porally to cast out of the Lord's house (as they were enjoined by the canons)
those subtle and pestilent arch-heretics, and their wolvish fury and cruelty,
with all expedition ; but, suffering their false and pernicious doctrine negligently,
by their over-long delays, to grow and wax strong ; a great multitude of people,
instead of true doctrine, received those things which they did long, falsely,
perniciously, and damnably sow among them ; and, giving credit unto them,
fell from the right faith, and are entangled (the more the pity) in the foul errors

(I'l All these be errors and heresies, for that they speak against the pride of prelates and tlieu
cxcessi\e dignities.



658' POPE martin"'s bloody bull

Henry of paganism :i insomuch, that these arch-heretics, and such as spring of tliem,
^- have infected tlie catholic flock of Christ in divers climates of tl)e world, and
parts bordering upon tlie same, and liave caused tliem to putrefy in the filthy
dunghill of their lies. Wiiercfore the general synod of Constance was compelled,
witli St. Augustine, to exclaim against so great and ruinous a plague of faith-
fid men, and of the sound and true ftiith itself, saying: ' What sliall the sove-
reign medicine of the church do? with motherly love ^ seeking the health of
her sheep, chafing as it were, amongst a company of men frantic, and having
the disease of the lethargy. What! shall she desist and leave oft' her good
purpose ? No, not so. But rather let her, if there be no remedy, be sharp to
both these sorts, which are the grievous enemies of lier womb. For the phy-
sician is sharp unto the man bestraught and raging in his frenzy ; and yet he
is a father to his own rude and unmannerly son, in binding the one, in beating
the other, by showing therein his great love unto them both.' ' IJut, if they be
negligent, and sutler them to perish,' saith St. Augustine, 'this mansuetude is
rather to be supposed false cruelty.'

And therefore the aforesaid synod, to the glory of Almighty God, and pre-
servation of his catholic faith, and augmenting of christian religion, and for the
salvation of men's soids, hath corporally rejected and cast forth of the household
of God, the aforesaid John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome ; who, amongst
other things, did believe, preach, teach, and maintain, of the sacrament of the
altar, and other sacraments of the clnnxh, and articles of the faith, contrary to
that the holy church of Rome believeth, holdeth, preaclieth, and teacheth ; and
have presumed obstinately to preach, teach, hold, and believe many other
besides, to the damnation of themselves and others : and the said synod hath
separated the same, as obstinate and malapert heretics, from the connnunion of
the faithfid people ; and hath declared them to be spiritually thrown forth.
And many other things, both wholesome and profitable, hath the same council,
as touching the premises, established and decreed ; whereby they, who, by the
means of those arch-heretics, and by their ftdse doctrine, have spiritually
departed from the Lord's house, may, by the canonical rules, be reduced to the
straight path of truth and verity.

And, moreover, as we to our great grief do hear, not only in the kingdom of
Bohemia, and the dukedom of Moravia, and in other places above recited, but
also in certain parts and provinces near adjoining and bordering upon the same,
there be many other of the sectaries and follow ers of the aforesaid arch-heretics
and heretical opinions ; casting behind their backs as well the fear of God, as
the shame of the world, neither receiving fruit of conversion and repentance by
the miserable destniction of the aforesaid John Huss and Jerome; but who, as
men drowned in the dungeon of their sins,- cease not to blaspheme the Lord
God, taking his name in vain (whose minds the father of lies hath damnably
blinded), and do read and study the aforesaid books or works, containing here-
sies and errors, being lately by the aforesaid synod condemned to be burned;
who, also, to the peril of themselves and many other simple men, and against
the statutes, decrees, and ordinances in the synod aforesaid, and the canonical
sanctions, do presume to preach and teach the same, to the great peril of souls,
and derogation of tlie catholic f'aitli, and to the slander of nuuiy others besides :
We, therefore, considering that error, where it is not resisted, seemeth to be
allowed and liked : and having a desire to resist such evil and pernicious errors,
and utterly root them out fron. amongst the company of faithful Christians,
especially from the afore-recited places of Bohemia, IVIoravia, and other straits
and islands joining and bordering upon the same (lest they should stretch out
and enlarge their limits), we will 'ind command your discretions, by our lettera
apostolical, the holy council of Constance approving and allowing the same,
that you that are archbishops, bishops, and others of the clergy, and every one
of you by himself, or by any other or others, being grave and fit persons to have
spiritual jm-isdiction, do see that all and singular persons, of what dignity,
office, ])re-eminence, state, or condition < soever they be, and by what name
soever they are known, who shall presume otherwise to teach, preach, or observe,

(1) All are pagans, with the pope, that like not his superstitious and idolatrous lradiiiOD«.

(2) Great diflVrence between a lovinj,' mother, and the frantic whore of liabylon.

(3) We fools thought their life to be madness, and their end without honour." fWisd. v.]

(4) ' Kt OS ejus sicut os leonis.' — i.e. ' And liis mouth is like the mouth of a lion.' [Apoc xiii.]


touchina; the most high and excellent, the most wholesome and super-admirable Henry
sacrament of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, or else of the sacrament of ^•
baptism, confession of sins, penance for sins, and extreme unction; or of any ~7 77~
other sacraments of the church, and the articles of the faith, than that which the iVi q'

right holy and universal church of Rome doth hold, teach, preach, and observe ; 1.

or that shall presume obstinately, by any ways or means, privily or apertly, to
hold, believe, and teach the articles, books, or doctrine of the aforesaid arch-
heretics, John Wickliff, John Huss, and Jerome of Prague, being by the afore-
said synod of Constance with their authors (as is said) damned and con-
demned; or dare presume publicly or privily to allow or commend in any wise
the death and end of the said arch-heretics, or of any other their receivers,
aiders, and favourers, in the favour or supportation of the aforesaid errors, as
also their believers and adherents ; tliat then, as before, you see and cause them
and every of them to be most severely punished ; and that you judge and give
sentence upon them as heretics, and that as arrant heretics you leave them to
the secular court or power. Let the receivers, also, and favourers and defenders
of such most pestiferous persons (notwithstanding they neither believe, favour,
nor have devotion towards their errors, but haply shall receive or entertain
such pestiferous persons because of carnal affection or friendly love,') besides
the punishment due unto them by both laws (over and above the same punish-
ment), by competent judges be so afflicted, and for such heinous acts of theirs,
with such severe pain and punishment excruciated, that the same may be to
others in like case offending, an example of terror ; that at least those whom
the fear of God by no means may revoke from such evil doing, yet the severity
of this our discipline may force and constrain.

As touching the third sort, who shall be any manner of ways infected with
this damnable sect, and shall, after competent admonition, repent and amend
themselves of such errors and sects aforesaid, and will return again into the lap
and unity of our holy motlier the church, and fully acknowledge and confess
the catholic faith, towards them let the severity of justice, as the quality of the
fact shall require, be somewhat tempered with a taste of mercy.

And furthermore, we will and command, that by this our authority aposto-
lical ye exhort and admonish all the professors of the catholic faith, as emperors,
kings, dukes, princes, marquises, earls, barons, knights, and other magistrates,
rectors, consuls, proconsuls, shires, countries, and universities of the kingdoms,
provinces, cities, towns, castles, villages, their lands and other places,^ and all
others executing temporal jurisdiction, according to the form and exigence of
the law, that they expel out of their kingdoms, provinces, cities, towns, castles,
villages and lands, and other places, all and all manner of such heretics, ac-
cording to the effect and tenor of the council of Lateran, beginning, " Sicut ait
Ecclesia," &c. : that those who publicly and manifestly, by the evidence of their
deeds, shall be known to be such as, like sick and scabbed sheep, infect the
Lord's flock, they expel and banish, till such time as from us or you, or other
ecclesiastical judges or inquisitors, holding the faith and communion of tlie holy
church of Rome, they shall receive other order and countermand ; and tluit
they suffer no such, within their shires and circuits, to preach or to keep either
house or family, or yet to use any handicraft or occupations, or other trades
of merchandise ; or to solace themselves in any way, or frequent the company
of christian men.

And furthermore, if such public and known heretics shall chance to die
(although not so denounced by the church), yet in this so gi-eat a crime let
him and them want christian burial, and let no offerings or oblations be made
for them, nor received. His goods and substance, also, from the time of his
death, according to the canonical sanctions being confiscated, let no such enjoy
them to whom they appertain, till that by the ecclesiastical judges, having
power and authority in this behalf, sentence upon that his or their crime ot
heresy be declared, and promulgated; and let such owners as be found suspected
or noted with any such suspicion of heresy, before a competent and ecclesiastical
judge, according to the consideration and exigence of that suspicion, and

(1) Draconis lex sanguine scripta. The pope's relifrion hath left all sense of humanity.

(2) ' Et vidi bestiam et reges tenae et exercitus eorum pugnantes cum illo qui sedebat in equo,
et exercitu ejus.' Apoc. xiii. ' Et data est illi potestas in omnem tribum, et populum, et linguam,
ct geutem :' 1. e. ' And power is given him over all tribes, and people, and tongues, and nations,'
&c. [Apoe. xiii]

660 POPE martin's bloody bull.

Henry according to the quality of the person, by the arbitrement of such a judge, sliow
and declare his proper and own innocency with devotion ; as beseemcth in that

» rj behalf. And if, in his purgation, being canonically interdicted, he do fail, or
His' ^^ ^'^^ '^^^'^ canonically to make his purgation, or refuse to take his oath by

'— damnable obstinacy to make such purgation ; then let him be condemned as a

heretic. But such as through negligence or through slothfulncss shall omit to
show their said innocency, and to make such purgation, let them be excom-
municated, and so long be put out from the company of christian men, till that
they shall make condign satisfaction ; so that if, by the space of one whole
year, they shall remain in such excommunication, then let them, as heretics,
be condemned.

And further, if any shall be found culpable in any point of the aforesaid
pestiferous doctrine of the arch-heretics aforesaid, or in any article thereof,
whether it be by the report of the seditious, or else well-disposed ; let them )'et
be punished according to the canons. i If only, through infamy and suspicion
of the aforesaid articles, or any of them, any man shall be found suspected,
and in his purgation canonical for this thing, being interdicted, shall fail ; let
him be accounted as a man convicted ; and, as a convicted person, by the
canons let him be punished.

And furthermore, we, invocating and putting in execution the canon of our
predecessor of happy memory, pope Boniface VIII., which beginneth thus,
'Ut inquisitionis negotium,' &c., in exhorting-wise require,2 and also command,
all temporal potentates, lords, and judges before recited, by whatsoever dignities,
offices, and names they are known, that, as they desire to be had, esteemed, and
counted for the faithful members and children of the church, and do rejoice iu
the name of Christ, so in likewise, for defence of the same faith, they will
obey, intend, and give their aid and favourable help to you that are archbishops,
bishops, and ecclesiastical men, inquisitors of all heretical pravity, and other
judges and ecclesiastical persons by you hereunto, as aforesaid, appointed (hold-
ing the faith and communion of our holy mother the church) for the searching
out, taking, and safe custody of all the aforesaid heretics, their believers, their
favourers, their receivers, and their defenders, whensoever they shall be there-
unto of them required.

And that they bring, and cause to be brought (all delay set apart), the afore-
said pestiferous persons so seeking to destroy others with them, into such safe
keeping and prisons, as by you the archbishops, bishops, clergy, and inquisitors
aforesaid, are to be appointed ; or else unto such other place or places, as either
you or they shall command within any of their dominions, governments, and
rectories, where they, by catholic men, that is, by you the archbishops, bishops,
the clergy and inquisitors, or any others that shall be by you appointed, or are
already appointed by any of you, may be holdcn and kept in safe keeping;
Satan putting them in fetters, shackles, bolts, and manacles of iron, under most
iiir*'' straight custody for escaping away, till such time as all that business, which
chains. belongeth imto them, be, by the judgment of the church, finished and deter-
mined, and that of such heresy, by a competent ecclesiastical judge (who firmly
holdeth the faith and communion of the aforesaid holy cluuxh of Rome) they
be condemned.

The i-esidue let the aforesaid temporal lords, rectors, judges, or other their
officers and pursuivants take amongst them, with condign deaths, without any
delay to punish. But fearing lest, to the prejudice and slander of the aforesaid
catholic faith and religion, through the jiretext of ignorance, any man herein
should be circumvented, or that any subtle and crafty men should, under the
veil of frivolous excuse, cloak and dissemble in this matter ; and that as touch-
ing the convincing or apprehending of the aforesaid heretics, their receivers and
defenders, favourers, believers and adherents ; and also of such as are suspected
of heresy, and with such like perverse doctrine in any wise spotted, we might
give more perfect instruction : therefore, as well to the kingdom of Bohemia, and
parts near adjoining to the same, as all others where this superstitious doctrine
first began to spread, we have thought it good to send the articles hereuiulor

,1) Note apain the tenderness of this lovinR mother, the church of Rome.

(2) ' Kt faciei omnes, imsillos et niajinos, et divitc" et paup-res, et servos, accipere chararteiom
in nianii suadcxtra.' i.e. ' And he shall make both iitlle and great, rich and poor, free and lidiid
to take his character in tlieir hand,' &c. [Apor. xi'il


written, concerning the sect of those arch-heretics, for the better direction of the Henry
aforesaid catholic faith. ^-

Touching which articles, by virtue of holy obedience, we charge and com- ^jy "
mand you and all other archbishops and bishops, all manner of commissaries i\\^^

and inquisitors, that every of thcni, within the diocese and limits of their juris '—

diction, and also in the aforesaid kingdom and dukedom, and places near
adjoining (although the same places be beyond the same their jurisdiction), in
the favour of the catholic ftiith, do give most diligent and vigilant care about
the extirpation and correction of those eiTors, arch-heresies, and most pestiferous
sects aforesaid ; and also that they compel all defamed persons and suspected of
so pestiferous a contagion, whether it be under tlie penalty of the crime con-
fessed, or of excommunication, suspension, or interdict, or any other formidable
pain canonical or legal, when and wheresoever it shall seem good unto them,
and as the quality of the fact requireth, by an oath corporally taken, either The oia
upon the Holy Evangelists, or upon the relics of saints, or upon the image of mannej:
the crucifix, according to the observances of certain places, and according to pop/sh
the interrogatories, to make convenient answer to every article therein written, oath.
For we intend, against all and singular archbishops, bishops, ecclesiastical pei -
sons, or inquisitors, who shall show themselves negligent and remiss in the
extirpation of the leaven of this heretical pravity, and in purging their terri-
tories, dioceses, and places to them appointed, of such evil and wicked men ; to
proceed and cause to be proceeded, unto the deprivation and deposition of their
pontifical dignities : and shall substitute such others in their places, who can
and may be able to confound the said heretical pravity ; and shall proceed to
further pains against such by the laws limited. And to others yet more
grievous (if need require) we ourselves will proceed and cause to be proceeded,
according as the fact of the party, and the filthiness of his crime committed,
shall deserve. The tenor of those articles whereof we have made mention hi
this our own writing, is in words as foUov/s :

The Articles of Jolm WicklifFto be inquired upon.'
The Articles of John Huss'to be inquired upon.

I. There is one only universal church, which is the university of the predes- Aj,^:^aix.
tinate; and it afterward followeth, The universal church is only one; as there

is one university of those that are predestinate. _

II. Paul was never a member of the devil, although he did certaui acts hKe
unto the acts of the church malignant. , ^ , ,. ,

III The reprobate are not parts of the church, for that no part of the same speaking;
finally falleth from her, because the charity of predestination, which bindelh of^thejn-
the same church together, never faileth. , church,

IV The two natures, that is, the divinity and the humanity, be one Christ, thearticlo
V.'The rem-obate, although he be some time in grace, according to present « tr^^-

justice, yet is he never a part of the holy church ; and the predestanate is ever
a member of the church, although some time he fall from grace ' adventitia, but
not from grace of predestination. , . , , ^u

VI. Ever taking the church for the convocation of the predestinate, whether
they be in grace or not, according to present justice; after this sort, the church
is an article of our belief.^

VII. Peter is not, nor ever was, the head of the holy catholic church.
VIl'l. Priests liviiio- viciously do defile the authority of priesthood ; and

so as unfaithful children, do unfaithfully believe of the seven sacraments, of the
kJys of the church, of offices, of censures, of ceremonies, of the worshipping of
relics ; of indulgences, orders, and other holy things of the church.

IX. The papal dignity came and grew from the emperor, and its government
and institution sprang from the emperor's government. _ touched.

X. No man can reasonably affirm, either of himself or others, that he is the
head of any particidar church, or that the bishop of Rome is the head of tlie
church of Rome. . , i, i

XI. A man ought not to beUeve, that he wlio is bishop of Rome is the head
of every particular church, unless God have predestinated him.

XII. None is the vicar of Christ, or of Peter, unless he follow him in mr.nncrs

(1) See infra, p. 561 note (1); also the note in the Appendix on p. 567, note (2).— Kf-

(2) This article seenieth to fce wrested out of the words of Jerome of Prague.


Henry and conditions ; seeing that there is no other following more pertinent, nor

^- otherwise apt to receive of God this power procuratory. For unto the office of

■"TTT" a vicegerent of Christ is required the conformity of manners, and the authority

1418 of the institutor.

^^^' XIII. The pope is not the manifest and tme successor of Peter, the prince of
the apostles, if he live in manners contrary to Peter ; and if he hunt after
avarice, then is he the vicar of Judas Iscariot. And likewise the cardinals ho
not the true and manifest successors of the college of the other apostles of Christ,
unless they live according to the manner of the apostles, keeping the command-
ments and councils of our Lord Jesus Christ.

XIV. The doctors, alleging that, if a man who will not he amended by the
ecclesiastical censures, is to be delivered to the secular powers, do follow in this
point the bishops. Scribes, and Pharisees, who delivered Christ to the secular
power, saying, ' It is not lawful for us to kill any man' (because he would not
obey them in all things) ; and that such bo greater homicides than Pilate.

XV. The ecclesiastical obedience is such an obedience as the priests of the
cliurch have found out, beside the express authority of the Scripture.

XVI. The immediate division of liuman works is, that they be either vir-
tuous or vicious : and if a man be vicious, and doth any thing, then doth he it
viciously; and if he be virtuous, and doth any thing, then doth he it virtuously.
For like as vice, which is otherwise called crime or mortal sin, doth infect all
the doings of a vicious man ; so virtue doth quicken all the doings of a virtuous

XVII. A priest of God, Hving after his law, and having the knowledge of
the Scripture, and a desire to edify the people, ought to preach, notwithstanding
any excommunication pretended. And further. If the pope, or any other
prelate, doth forbid a priest, so disposed, to preach, the priest ought not to obey

XVIII. Every one that taketh upon him the order of priesthood, receiveth
in charge the o0ice of a preacher; and that charge ought he well to execute,
any excommunication against him pretended in any wise notwithstanding.

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