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Author: Talpin, Jean.
Title: A forme of Christian pollicie drawne out of French by Geffray Fenton. A worke very necessary to al sorts of people generally, as wherein is contayned doctrine, both vniuersall, and special touching the institution of al Christian profession: and also conuenient perticularly for all magistrates and gouernours of common weales, for their more happy regiment according to God.
Publication Info: Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2012 November (TCP phase 2)

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Print source: A forme of Christian pollicie drawne out of French by Geffray Fenton. A worke very necessary to al sorts of people generally, as wherein is contayned doctrine, both vniuersall, and special touching the institution of al Christian profession: and also conuenient perticularly for all magistrates and gouernours of common weales, for their more happy regiment according to God.
Talpin, Jean., Fenton, Geoffrey, 1539?-1608,

Imprinted at London: By H. Middelton for Rafe Newbery, dwelling in Fleetestreat a little aboue the Conduit, Anno. 1574.
Alternate titles: Police chrestienne. English La police chrestienne.
Translation of: Talpin, Jean. La police chrestienne.
Numerous errors in pagination.
Variant: title page has "gathered out of French".
Reproduction of the original in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.
Subject terms:
Conduct of life -- Early works to 1900.

title page
To the right Ho∣norable Sir William Cecill Knight, Baron of Burghley, Knight of the Honorable order of the Garter, one of the Lordes of hir Maiesties priuie Councell and Lord high Treasurer of England, Ieffray FENTON wisheth long life.
¶ A Table of the particular Chap∣ters thorow the whole treatise.
book 1
¶ What is first requisite in the well gouerning of a common weale: howe Cyuil pollicie ought to be conformable to the cele∣stiall gouernement: what good commeth of good pollicie: what maner of gouer∣nours and Iudges ought to be cho∣sen to direct publique states. ❧ The first Chapter.
¶ What gouernors God hath cho∣sen, and howe he hath declared them by myracles: they ought all to be instructed at the entree of the Tabernacle, and why: the great benefite which commeth of good Iudges: and why God doth ordaine some wicked. ❧ The .2. Chapter.
¶ Gouernours chosen according to God, do make present proofe of their election to the pro∣fite of the common vveale. Let them knovve hovv to commaund, and subiectes hovve to obeye, the bet∣ter to make their common vveale florishe, as in∣feriour members obeye the more vvorthy: Magistrates ought to be as Fathers. Let the lavve be inuiolable, and speciallye one true amitie be∣tvveene the gouernour and the subiect. ❧ The .3. Chapter.
¶ There be twoo principalities or pollecies, which ought to bee knit together in vnitye of friendship, as the soule and the body without diffe∣rence, they ought to ayde one another with mutuall and perpetuall succour, for so shall not one of them passe an other. The .4. Chap.
¶The Faultes of the Clargie ought to be corrected: Gouernors ought aboue al things to pro∣uide good Preachers, that the rude and plaine sort should be taught in familiar doctrine: all sortes ought to be constrained to be at the Sermon: such con∣straint is aucthorised by the Scripture, and is both profitable to the common vveale and vvholsome to suche as are constrai∣ned. ❧ The .5. Chapter.
¶ The wyse worldelinges nowe a daies would not willinglye haue Sermons, as also certaine Pastours desire nothing lesse then to preache, laying the blame of the miserye of this time vppon sermons: but such people are ouerthrowen by the worde of God, and by this reason that to all sortes of people, Preaching is necessary. The .6. Chap.
¶ Suche are refuted, as holde that people are not bounde to heare so many Sermons: wherfore are they Pastours If they feede not their flocke with the foode of the Scrip∣ture? If the Pastours had done their duties, the VVolues had not entered the folde. ❧ The .7. Chapter.
¶ In howe muche good Phisitions are necessary to common vveales, by so much such as bee euill, are hurtfull and daungerous: VVho ought to bee chosen Phisiti∣ons in a Toune. The .8. Chapter.
❧ The discourse continued of the abuses happening in the vvorlde by the supposed name of Phisitions, Pothecaries, and Surgeons. The .9. Chapter.
God hath erected Phisicke, and vvilleth that the Phisition be honoured, but that vve vnderstande that all sicknesse comes of him, and therefore vvoulde haue vs to aske health of him, and to pourge our consciences of sinne: Abuse of Phisi∣tions, vvith counsell hovve to kepe vs from diseases. ❧The .10. Chapter.
¶ The Second booke.
¶ Iudges and gouernours of com∣mon VVeales, haue of God many seuere commaunde∣ments in the Scriptures to exhibite iustice by rightful lavves, vvherin as they are threatened of God if they faile, so because they shall not erre, the fourme hovve to Iudge, is prescribed them, God so being set afore them in imitacion of Judgements vvhich he doeth, vvhich, by reason they ought to doe, because as he is of him selfe iust, and his iudgementes righteous, yea, iustice it selfe: so they are his liefetenauntes, ordeyned of him to administer his iustice, vvherein because they shal not be fearefull to exercise theyr estate, he promiseth them his asistaunce: Jf they be fearefull, they deserue not to be Judges, because in suche a seruice of his, hee vvill haue no faint hearted ministers. The .1. Chapter.
Here Iudges are warned not to be credulus, nor to iudge by reportes, to take heede of affections, and not to iudge by particuler opinion: to resiste vvhich euils, God ordeyned in the Lavv seuentie Counsellers, to vvhom he enioyneth sobrietie, chastitie, integritie, and wis∣dome, to be followers of the iudgement of God, in the exact examining of offences, and to punishe them according to the grauitie of the transgressions: that they be not couetous, seeing that for couetousnesse the sonnes of Samuel vvere deposed: they must leaue no sinne vnpunished: terrible sentence for vnrighteous iudgementes: an aduertisement of Dauid to Iudges, vvith a prophecie of their miserie if they iudge not in equitie. ¶ The .2. Chapter.
¶ In humane thinges, Magistrates ought to follow the lawe naturall: and in causes deuine, the Doctrine of faith, and the loue of God: It vvas necessary that God by his Scripture reneued the lavve naturall, for it vvas darkened by sinne: and the lavve of faith and of loue deuine, vvas altogeather vnknovven vvithout the doctrine of God according to both the one and other lavve, the Ma∣gistrate maye make ordinaunces, so that they tende to the confirmacion of the same, or haue a likenes vvith them. The .3. Chapter.
¶ Men may vse the morral Lawes of the olde Testament, but not the Ceremoniall and Iu∣diciall, applied to the times and maners of the Jevves, vvhich Iesus Christ, and also Saint Paul doeth confyrme. These vvere natural, and therefore ought to bee eternall: notvvith∣standing, for charitye to our neyghbour, and loue of God, and for aduauncement of faith, that lavve sometimes is not to bee vsed, at the time vvhen men do greatest ser∣uice to God, vvhich then is an acte of per∣fection. The vvise man can not faile to Judge vell according to the lavve of nature. The .4. Chapter.
¶ The lawe naturall grounded vp∣on reason vvas two thousand yeres in vse vvithout other ordinaunces (sauing the Sabboth and Circumsition) and God hath geuen fevve lavves concerning this naturall and ciuill right, nor the auncient vvise gouernors of cōmon vveales for iust causes: the people of God according to reason haue made iudgementes, and follovved the interpretacion of their moral lavves by the instinct of reason, by the vvhich God did insti∣tute them, and therefore vvhen the Scribes and Pharisies per∣uerted that reason, they vvere condemned. Gouernours as∣vvell in theyr ordinaunces as constitucion of paines to pu∣nishe offences, ought alvvaies to follovve those lavves vvhich God hath ordeyned according to that reason. ¶The .5. Chapter.
¶ Gouernors ought to punishe by death such as God condemnes to eternall and temporall death, and vvhome the Gospell detesteth and pronounceth vvorthy of eternall fire: So that all sinnes committed against the ten commaundements ought to be so punished, so that they vvere committed directlye and by a deliberate vvill: but a∣boue all, such deserue greeuous punishment as are done contrarye to the three preceptes of the fyrst table. The .6. Chapter.
¶ Sinnes committed against the se∣conde table, are worthy of death, euen so deserue they eternall damnation: Yet must vvee vnderstand vvhen they are done vvillingly, and more vvhen they are done by pride and malice, and the more that the obiect is noble and excellent, so much are they more greeuous. The .7. Chapter.
¶ Diuers punishmentes of whore∣dome, according to the diuersitie of kindes of the same sinne. ¶The .8. Chapter.
❧ Continuaunce of the punish∣ment of this sinne according to his other kindes.The .9. Chapter.
Theft was not punished in the Lawe, but by restitucion of double, treble, and foure folde, yea and seruitude: but novve for iust causes, it is puni∣shed vvith death. Theft by necessitie in some sort excusable, in the prohibition of theft, the causes are also contained. By this commaundement it is defended to take avvay the honour of another. False vvitnesse is more vnlavvfull then theft, neither hath it any grace in the Lavve. All decei∣uers, hypocrites, and lyars, are condemned by these last preceptes. ❧ The .10. Chapter.
¶ There is a double lust or vnlaw∣full couetousnesse forbidden vs, as the vvife, daughter, or handemayde of our neighbour, by the vvhich is forbidden all fleshly lust: and the desire of the vvealth, honour, and life of any man: this couetousnesse is the cause of all sinnes, and the resistaunce of it is a counter defence against all sinnes to our neighbour: meanes to resist it, and not to suffer to seede any roote of sinne, for by litle and litle it grovves great, and becomes desperate against all remedies. The .11. Chapter.
¶ The thirde Booke.
Enumeration of sinnes wherof men make no conscience, and are oftentimes in the con∣dicion of greeuous sinnes: their qualetye and grauetye doo varye according to the matters and ob∣iectes, as lying dissembling, scoffes, flatteries. &c. ❧ The .1. Chapter.
¶ Heare flatterye is declared verye hurtfull to common weales and families: It makes yong People ryse into great Pride, to furnishe the vvhich they fall into fonde and vvastfull expenses: VVhat is to bee done for the remedye of the same. ❧ The .2. Chapter.
Let none glorifie him selfe, but in his pouerty, necessitie, and affliction: such as glorfie them selues in goodes, scienses, &c. are vaine: but much more do they offende vvho vaunt of their euyll doing: the euyls that come by intemperance: what great faults are cōmitted by glut∣tons, and people geuē to delicacy. ¶ Chap. 3.
Scoffers and men of pleasaunt conceyte pretending none other ende but to encrease pleasure, are rebukeable: But more if their I esting turne to the reproche of any: so do they offend God: Hovve vvee are bounde to employe our time: It is not forbidden for all that, to recreate our selues for honest purposes, nor to vse our pastime and pleasure. ❧ The .4. Chapter.
¶ Plaies which of them selues beare no vice, are not disalowable, in respect of their endes and lavvfull causes: Vnlavvfull games at Dice, are causes of muche euill. ❧ The .5. Chapter.
Daunces with their wanton songes at this day are vaine and vnchaste: Musicke, of an Arte li∣berall, is conuerted to an vnvvorthy vanity: vvhat Daunces shoulde be lavvfull: vvhat Daunces, Musicke, and Songes vve ought to vse a examples of holy men, vvho neuer vvould be seene in Daunces. ❧ The .6. Chapter.
Minstrels are vnworthy of the state and felowship of Townes men, as also Puppet Play∣ers, and such as are called shovves and sightes. VVhat Har∣monie ought to be vsed: Players vvere cast out of the Church, tyl they had done penaunce: such people corrupt good moralities by vvanton shevves and Playes: they ought not to be suffred to prophane the Sabboth day in such sportes, and much lesse to lose time on the dayes of trauayle: All dissolute playes ought to be forbidden: All comicall and Tragicall shovves of schollers in Morall doctrines, and declamations in causes made to reprooue and accuse vice, and extoll vertue, are very profitable. ❧ The .7. Chapter.
Idlenes is a vice most common, bringing with it most other offences, and yet no conscience made of it: An ausvvere to suche as saye they haue inoughe, and haue no neede to trauaile. A declaration to the Ma∣gistrates and Churchmen, shovving hovve aboue all o∣thers they ought to bee more vigilaunt and paine∣full in their vocations. ❧ The .8. Chapter.
¶ The Ritche sort haue more to tra∣uaile then the poore, and in what: Such as labour in mind, trauaile more then the painefull labourer. A proofe hovve idle∣nes is the cause of other euilles: Idle men are malice dreamers: Exhortacion not to follovve idlenes: Exhortacion to trauaile by apte comparisions, vvherein idle Beastes are expulsed from the societye of others that trauaile. The .9. Chapter.
Gouernors ought not to suffer any ydle men in their commonweales, vvho as they be vn∣profitable, and a charge to the vvorlde, so in the ende they bring ruine to their commonvveales: therefore it is necessary that fa∣thers put their children to some trade, and masters their ser∣uants, and so all others. The magistrat and Churchman ought to shevv example of trauell to others, according to their profession. ❧ The .10. Chapter.
¶ In all creatures is seene a perpetual labour, whether in Heauen, in Earth, or in the Sea: The profite vvhich riseth in a Citie by the trauaile vvhereunto the idle sort are constrained. Exhortacion to the Magistrates to purge their common vveales of vnprofitable people, declaring the euill vvhich comes of them, and the authoritie vvhich they haue to doo it. The .11. Chapter.
There bee diuerse sortes of Idle pople, some worcke certaine howres onelye, and they bee certaine Artificers: Some as vacabondes vvill neuer doo any thing, vvho bringing vp theyr children in the same trade, traine them to the vvallet betime: Discourse of poore Beggers vvandring in Countreyes, and of the euill that they doo. ❧ The .12. Chapter.
Loyterers accustomed to beg, vvill be applyed to no other trade: The poore religious beggers ought to be entertayned by them in vvhose seruice they trauell, as Byshops and Pastors: Hermittes ought to trauell according to their fyrst institution: the Hermites of The∣baides in Aegypt of their trauels nourished the poore the vvell reformed religion trauell certaine hovvers of the day. ❧The .13. Chapter.
¶ The fourth Booke.
The simple impotent and true needy poore, we ought to holde in singuler and deere care, asvvell for Gods commaundements, as for that he hath promi∣sed vs great recompences both temporall and eternall, by the vvhich many haue bene stirred vp to giue all their goodes to the poore, but specially such as vvould follovve Iesus Christ to doe holy profession. The .1. Chapter.
¶ Many haue giuen all that they had to the poore to follow Iesus Christ, in hope to be hap∣pie: so did the first christians leaue all their goodes: God requi∣reth not of euery one such a feruent liberality, but to giue by mo∣deration, vvhich is at the least, their superfluitye. VVe must nourish the poore according to their qualitie: if they be strong and able, they deserue no almes: vve are bound to giue them meane to liue: Hovv vve ought to giue to some, and lend to others. The .2. Chapter.
¶ Compassion ought chiefelye to be shewed to poore maydes, for the infirmitie of the kinde, and not to suffer them to begge: Exhortation to vvomen to take them into seruice for Gods sake, for the vvhch, they are assured to haue great re∣vvardes according to the scriptures: The maner hovv they ought to be prouided for: vvhat vvas the auncient custome of the church for the releefe of the poore, vvherin poore vvid∣dovves and Orphanes vvere fyrst prouided for. ¶ The .3. Chapter.
Hospitallitye and Almes in all times haue beene in sin ular estimation: Howe hospitalles haue beene na∣med: By vvhat reasons the Scripture inuiteth vs to hospitality, in calling vs al straungers: Exhortacion to be housekeepers: Ex∣amples of hospitalitye, and the recompense thereof. Obiections a∣gainst the ayde of straungers in necessity, and their confutacion. ¶ The 4 Chapter.
¶VVee must not feare, that by geuing Almes, wee shalbe poore, for God vvho is iust and true, hath promised not to suffer the almes geuer to haue necessitye: Strangers, aboue al other sortes of poore, are to be fauored in necessity: Let the countreyes as vvell as Cities norish their perticular poore: Such as distrust the prouidēce of God, not norishing the poore, are conuinced by the Turkes: rea∣sons by the vvhich vve ought not to haue distrust: In times of plague, ought such prouision to bee made, as the poore dye not of vvant and pouertye. ¶ The .5. Chapter.
Still touching the recōmendation of hospitalitie and almes.
¶ Generall, and speciall recommendation for prisoners, and that for debtes, vve ought not lightly to imprison one another. The .7. Chapter.
The v. Booke.
¶ Of the institution of youth, which is a thing profitable and necessarie in a common weale: the prayse of free scholes: what prouision ought to be made to builde and endue them. The 1. Chapter.
¶What Principall and Regents ought to be called to institute a Colledge: it is requisite they be learned & of good life: instructions who they ought to be by many comparisons. Chapter. ij.
¶ A continuance of the discourse of Colledges by other comparisons. Chapter. iij.
¶Wisdome, science, vertue, dili∣gence, and feruent zeale with loue to their Disci∣ples, are very necessarie for Schoolemaisters. The iiij. Chapter.
¶Instructions to know by the way of contrary oppositions, by the comparisons of the other Chapters, the miseries which happen to the world by reason of leude schole Masters. Chapter. v.
¶ Amplifications of the sayd com∣parisons touching wicked Masters: with aunswere to the obiections made to reiect Doctrine: prayse of Science: euils of ignorance, and leude education. Chapter. v.
¶Continuance of the said comparisons. Chapter. vij.
¶Masters ought to instruct their Disciples whome they receiue into commons tou∣ching the body with the same labour wherwith they institute their mindes, prayses of Science. Chapter. viij.
¶ A continuance of the praise of science: exhortation too builde Colledges in Townes. The 9. Chapter.
¶Examples of commodities which Science bringeth to the learned: with a briefe enu∣meration of the profites which happen to the world by men of knowledge. Chapter. x.
¶ It is necessary for many reasons that all schollers remaine in one colleadge. Chapter. xj.
¶In a Colledge or Schoole, there ought to bee statutes authorised by the Vniuersi∣ties: the dutie of Gouernours and townesmen to the Principalles and Regentes: the office of maisters to their Disciples, and of the schollers to their maisters. Chapter. xij.
Refutation of the false iudgements of some proude worldlings touching the profession of schoolemasters: with a praise of that profession. Chapter. xiij.
An exhortation to young children to studie. Chapter. xiiij.
The vi. Booke.
¶Of the office of euery estate, and first of the dutie of the husbond to his wife. Chapter. j.
¶ A continuance of the matter of marriage, and the dutie of the husband to his wife, as also of hir office to her good man. Chapter ij.
¶ Still touching the dutie of the wife. Chapter. iij.
¶The office of Fathers and Mo∣thers towardes their children, and the dutie of chil∣dren to their parentes. Chapter. iiij.
¶ Still touching the education of young children. Chapter. v.
¶In what dutie children are bound to their Fathers and Mothers. Chapter vj.
¶ The dutie of Maisters to∣wards their Seruauntes. Chapter. vij.
¶ How men haue ben made noble, and of their dutie towards their subiects or tenants. Chapter. viij.
¶ The dutie of Aduocats, or Councellours at Law. Chapter ix.
¶The dutie of Marchants. Chapter x.
¶ How the Marchaunt maye per∣forme his lawful trades and gaine iustly in his estate. Chapter. xj.
book 7
¶All other estates are comprehen∣ded in those that haue bene already debated: the ex∣plication of the qualeties of persons. Chapter. j.
¶ Still touching the qualities of personnes. Chapter. ij.
Of Christian amitie, and how ma∣ny sortes of friendships there be. Chapter. iij.
¶How a common weale is go∣uernened and wherein it erreth. Chapter iiij.
¶ Counsell of the remedies to cure and preserue common weales from miserie, Chapter. v.
¶ How God some times punisheth a whole people for a secret sinne: howe Gouernours ought to enquire therof, to the ende miserie happen not to the whole common weale. Chapter. vj.
¶ To remedie all euils the causes must be taken away, the discrtion and wisdome re∣quisite there vnto. Chapter. viij.
Confutation of humaine Philoso∣phie touching the affaires of faith, wherein, and in things serious, men ought not to decide but accor∣ding to the Scripture. Chapter ix.