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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 547

542 EOGER OF WENDOVEB. [A.D. 1164. least rather muttered their disapprobation than openly resisted. Archbishop Thomas, therefore, recovering his selfpossession, and reflecting on his rashness in having conceded these impious laws, which all Christians should abominate, and in having sworn to observe them, inflicted a heavy penance on himself for the same : he subdued his body by the use of harsher food and a coarser kind of dress, and suspended himself from the service of the altar, until by confession and fruits meet for repentance he was thought worthy to be absolved by the sovereign pontiff : for he immediately sent messengers to the court of Rome, to lay before the Roman pontiff a writing containing the cause of the church, which was also his own, and he entreated the pope to release' him from his rash vow. This release he obtained in the words of the following letter :— The absolution of the archbishop from his rash oath. "Alexander, bishop, &c*—Be it known to you, my brethren, that intelligence has reached our ears, of your having, on account of some irregularity, proposed to cease from saying mass and consecrating the body and blood of our Lord. The gravity of such a determination, particularly in so exalted a personage, and the possibility that scandal may arise from thence, should be subjects of serious meditation with you, aud occupy all your vigilance and discretion. Your prudence should consider the difference between a deliberate and voluntary act, and one which is committed in ignorance or from necessity; for we read that sin must always be voluntary, for, if it is not so, it ceases to be sin. If, therefore, you can charge yourself with any act, by which your conscience is annoyed, whatever it may be, we advise you to repent thereof and to confess it to some discreet and prudent priest ; which done, the merciful Lord, who looks rather to the heart than to the outward deed, will of his clemency forgive you ; and we, also, trusting in the merits of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, absolve you from what you have done, and by our apostolical authority set you free therefrom ; advising you, moreover, and commanding you, that you do not cease from henceforward on this account from the celebration of the mass." * Dated Sens, April I, 1164.

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