¶ The ho¦lye sprite of God▪ whiche is his earneste pledge, * geuen to hys people for their cō∣fort and consolacion, bee poured into our heartes, by the mightye power and merites of our a∣lone sauiour Iesus Christ, nowe and for euer. Amen
BEcause I perceaue playn∣ly, that vnto the euils fallē vpon vs, whiche professe Chrystes gospel, greater ar most lyke to ensue, and af∣ter them greater, tyll y• measure * of iniquitie be vpheaped (except we shrynke, and hauyng put our *Page 4 hand to ye plough, doe loke back, and so, with Loths wyfe, fal in∣to * gods heauy displeasure incu∣rably, al whiche god forbid) and because I am persuaded of you, my dearly beloued brethren and sisters, through out the Realme of Englande, which haue profes¦sed vnfeinedly the gospel of our lord and sauyoure Iesus Christ (for vnto such doe I wryte thys Epystle or boke) howe yt, as you haue begonne to take part wyth gods gospell & truth, so thrōugh hys grace ye wyll persener and goe on forwardes, notwythstā∣dyng the stormes rysen and to a ryse: I can not but wryte some thing vnto you, to encourage you to goe on lustelye in the waye of the lord, and not to become faint harted or feareful persōs, whose place S. Iohn appoynteth with *Page 5•nbeleuers, murtherers and ido¦latours in eternall perdiciō, but cherfully to take the Lordes cup * and drynke of it, afore it drawe towardes the dregges and botō. Wherof at lēgth they shal drink wyth the wycked to eternall de∣struccion, which wil not receaue it at the first with gods childrē, wyth whom god begynneth his * iudgemente: that as the wycked worlde reioyseth whan they la∣mente, * so they may reioyce whā the wycked world shal mourne, and wythoute ende fele woo in∣tolerable.
The. 1. Chapter.
¶ What we be / and where we be.
Page 6 FIrst therefore, my dearlye beloued in the lorde, I be∣seche you to consyder, that thoughe ye be in ye worlde, yet you are not of ye world: * you are not of them, whych looke for theyr porcion in thys lyfe, * whose captayne is ye god of thys world: euen Satan, who nowe * rufleth it apace, as he wer wood, because hys tyme on earth is not * long.
You are of them, whose porcion is the lord, and which haue their * hope in heauen: whose captaine is Chryst Iesus the sōne of god, and gouernour of heauē & earth. Page 7 Vnto hym is geuen all power, yea he is god almighty, with the * father and the holy goste, prayse worthy for euer.
You are not of them, whyche re∣ceaue the beestes marke, whiche * here reioice, laugh and haue their hartes ease, ioye, paradise & plea¦sure: but you are of them, which haue receaued the an̄gels marke, * yea gods marke, whyche here la∣ment, mourne, sigh, sobbe, wepe and haue your wildernes to wan¦der in, your purgatorye and euen hel. You are not of them, whiche * crye: let vs eate and drynke, for to morow we shall dye. You are not of that nomber, whiche say, * they haue made a couenaunte wt death and hell for hurting them. You ar not of them, whyche take it but for a vayne thyng, to serue * the lord. You ar not of thē, which Page 8 are lulled and rocked a slepe in Iesabels bed, a bed of securitye. You are not in the nomber of thē whych say: tush, god is in heauē * and seeth vs not, nor muche pas∣seth what we dooe. You are not of the nomber of thē, which will fal down for ye muc• of ye world, to worshyp the feynde: or for dis¦pleasyng * of men, to worshyp the golden ymage. *
Finally, you are not of the nō¦ber of them, whych set more by their pygges, then by Chryste: * whych, for ease and reste in thy• lyfe, wyl say and doe, as Antio∣chus byddeth them doe or sayr And wyll folowe the multitude to do euil, with Zedechias and y•* 300. false prophetes, yea Achab, Iesabel and y• whole courte, and country. But you be of the nom∣ber of them, whiche are dead al∣ready, Page 9 or at lest in dying daylye * to your selues and to the worlde. You are of them, whyche haue made a couenaunt wyth god, to forsake themselues and Sathan in thys world. You are of them, whyche say: nay, the lorde hath * all thynges wrytten in hys me∣moriall booke for suche, as feare hym and remember hys name.
You are of them, whyche haue their loynes girded aboute, and theyr lyghtes burnyng in theyr handes, like vnto men that waite * for theyr lordes commyng. You are in the nomber of them, y• say: the lord loketh down frō heauē, * and beholdeth al the children of men: from the habitacion of hys dwelling he considereth al them, that dwell vpon the earth.
You are of the nomber of them, * which wil worship the only lord Page 10 god, and wil not worshippe the workes of mans handes, though the ouen burne neuer so whote. You are in the nomber of them, * to whom Chryst is precious and deare: which crye out rather, be∣cause * your habitacion is prolon∣ged here, as Dauid did, whyche * Mattathias folowed and ye god¦ly * Iewes: whych knew the way to lyfe to be a strayght way, and fewe to goe thorow it: which wil * not stick to folowe poore Miche as, althoughe he bee racked and * cast into prison, hauing ye Sōne, Moone, seuen starres and all a∣gaynst him. Thus therfore, dear¦ly beloued, remember firste, that (as I sayd) you are not of thys world: Satan is not youre cap∣tayne: your ioye and paradyse is not here: your companyons are not ye multitude of worldlynges Page 11 and suche as seke to please men, and to lyue here at ease in the ser¦uice of Satan.
But you ar of another world: Chryst is youre captayne: youre * ioye is in heauē, wher your con∣uersacion and ciuilite is: your cō¦panions are the fathers, patri∣arkes, prophetes, apostles, Mar¦tirs, virgins, cōfessours, and the deare sayntes of god, which fo∣lowed the lambe whether soeuer * he went, dipping their garmētes in hys bloud: knowyng this life * and worlde to bee full of euill, a warfare, a smoke, a shadow, a va¦pour, and as replenish•d, so en¦•ironed with al kid of miseries. *
The. 2. Chapter.
¶ Persecucyon is not straunge.
Page 12 THys is the first thynge, I would gaue you often and diligētly with your selues to consyder and muse vpō? namely, what you be, and where you be. Then secondarely forget not to call to mynde, that you oughte not to thynte it any straunge thyng, if misery, trouble, aduersite, perse∣cucion and displeasure come 〈◊〉 pon you. *
For how can it other wise be, but that trouble and persecucion muste come vpon your Can the worlde loue you, whych ar none * of 〈◊〉•orldiye men are 〈…〉e 〈…〉urs of your chefe enemi, and can they regarde you? Can Satan suffer you to be in reste, * which wil not doe him homage? Can thys way be easye, whyche of it selfe is strayght? Wyll you *Page 13 loke to trauayll, and to haue no foule way nor rayne? Wil shyp∣men shrinke (or saylers of ye sea) if stormes aryse? Doe they not loke for such?
And dearly beloued, dyd not we enter into gods shippe & arke of baptisme at the firste? Wyll * you then count it straunge, if pe∣rils and tempestes blowe? Are not you traueling to your heauē¦ly citie of Herusalem, where is all ioye and felicite? And wyll you nowe tarye by the waye for stormes or showers? The marte and fayer wyll then be past, the * nighte wyll fall, ye can not tra∣uayll, the dore wylbe sparred, & the bryde wylbe at supper. Ther¦fore away with deyntie nicenes. Wyll you thynke, the father of heauen wyll deale more gentlye wyth you in thys age, then he Page 14 hath done with other his dearest frendes in our ages? What waie and wether, what stormes and tempestes, what disease, trouble and disquie〈…〉ies founde Abel, Noe, 〈◊〉, Isaac, Iacob and good Ioseph? Whyche of these * had so faire a lyfe and restefull tymes, as we haue had? Moses, Aaron, Samuel, Dauid ye kynge and all the good kynges, priests and prophe•es in the olde testa∣ment, at one tyme or another, if not thorowe •u•e their life, did fele a. 1000. partes more misery, then we haue feite hetherto.
As for the newe testamente, lord god, how great was the af∣fliccion of Mari, Ioseph, •acha¦ry, Elizabeth, Iohn Baptist, thē whom among the children of we * men, none arose greater, of al the •posiles and euangelistes, yea of Page 15 Iesus Christ our lord, the deare sonne and dearlyng of god? And sithens the time of the apostles, * how many and great are the nom¦ber of martyrs, confessours & such, as haue suffred the sheding of their blo• in this life, rather then they woulde be stayned in theyr iourney, or lodge in any of Satans ynnes, so that the stor∣mes or windes, which fel in their trauelynges, myghte not touche them? Wherfore, dearli beloued, lette vs thynke what we are, and how far vnmete to bee matched wyth these: wyth whom yet we loke to be placed in heauen.
But wyth what face can we loke for thys, that are so fearful, vnwyllyng and arsward, to leus that, whych, wyll we nyl we, we must leaue: and that so shortli, as we knowe not the tyme whan? Page 16 Where is our abrenouncing and forsakyng of the world and the flesh, which we solēpnely sware in baptisme? Ah shamelesse co∣wardes that we be whyche will not folowe the trace of so manye fathers, Patriarks, kīgs, pristes prophetes Apostles, Euange∣lystes and sainctes of god, yeae∣uen of the very sonne of God? How many now goe wyth you lusreli, as I and al, your brethrē, in bandes & exyle for the gospel? Pray for vs, for (god wyllyng) we wyl not leaue you nowe: we wil goe before you. You shal see in vs, that we preached no lyes nor tales of tubbes, but euen the * very true worde of God, for the which we, by gods grace a helpe of your prayers, wyll wyllyngly and ioifulli geue our bloud to be •ed, for the confirmacion of the Page 71 same: as already we haue geuen liberally oure goodes, liuynge, frendes, and naturall countrye. For now we are certayne, yt we be in the hygh way to heauens blisse, as Paul sayth: By manye tribulacions & persecucions we must enter into gods kyngdom. And because we would goe the∣ther our selues and brynge you thether also, therfore the deuyll stereth vp the coales. And foras∣much as we al loitered in ye way, he therfore hath receaued power of god, to ouer cast the wether, & to stere vp stormes: yt we godes children myghte goe faster, ma∣kyng more spede and hast to goe on forwardes.
As for counterfeites and ypo¦crytes, they wyltary and lynger¦tyl the storme bee paste. And so whan they come, the market wil Page 18 be done, and the dores sparred, it is to be feared. Reade mat. 25. Thys wynde wyll blowe gods children forward, and the deuils derlynges backwarde.
Therefore lyke gods children let vs goe on forwarde a pace: ye wynde is on our backe: hoyse vp the sayles, lyfte vp your hartes and handes vnto god in prayer, * and kepe your anker of fayth to cast in tyme on the rocke of gods woorde, and on hys mercye in Chryst, and I warraūt you. And thus much for you secondlye to consyder, that afflyccion, perse∣cucion and trouble is no straūge thyng to gods children: and ther¦fore it shoulde not dismaye, dys∣courage or discomfort vs, beyng none other thyng, then al godes deare frēdes haue tasted in their iourney to heauen warde.
Page 19 As I would in thys trouble sōe tyme that ye shoulde consyder, what you be by the goodnesse of god in Chryste, euen citizens of heauen, though you be presently in the fleshe, euen in a straunge regiō, on euery syde ful of fearce enemyes, and what wether and way the dearest frendes of god haue founde: euen so woulde I haue you thirdly to consyder for your further comfort, that if you * shrynke not, but go on forward, preassyng to ye marke appointed, al the power of youre enemyes shall not ouercome you, neyther in any poynt hurt you.
The. 3. Chapter.
Trouble can not hurte gods chyldren.
Page 20 BVt this must not you cō∣sider according to ye iudge¦mente of reason and her sense, but after the iudg∣ment of gods worde and the ex∣perience of faith. Els you marre al. For to reason and experyence or sense of the outward man, we poore soules (whyche stycke to gods worde to serue hym, as he requyreth onely) are counted to be vanquished and ouercome, in that we are caste into prison, lose our liuinges, frends, goods country and lyfe also at length concerning this worlde.
But dearly beloued, gods word teacheth other wyse, and faith fa¦leth accordyngly. Is it not writ∣ten: who shall separate vs from ye* loue of god? shal tribulacyon, or anguishe, or persecucyon, either •onger, eyther nakednes, either Page 21 peryll, eyther sworde? As it is written: For thy sake are we kyl∣led al day longe, and be counted * as shepe appoynted to be slaīne. Neuertheles in all these thyngs we ouercome, thorow hym that loued vs.
For I am sure, that neyther death, nother lyfe, neyther aun∣gels, nor rule, neyther power, ne¦ther thynges presente, neyther thynges to come, neither higth, nor loweth nether any other cre∣ature shalbe able to part vs frō that loue, where wyth God lo∣ueth vs in Chryst Iesu our lord.
Thys spake one, whyche was in afflyccyon (as I am) for the lordes gospel sake: his holi name be praysed therfore, & he graūte me grace wyth the same to con∣tinew in lyfe sufferyng vnto the ende. Thys (I saye) one spake Page 22 whiche was in afflicciō for the gospell: but yet so farre from be∣yng ouercome, that he reioyced rather of the victory, whyche the gospel had.
For though he was boūd, yet the gospel was not bounde. And * therefore rendereth he thankes vnto god, who alwayes geueth victory in Chryste, and openeth * the sauoure of hys knowledge bi¦vs, and suche as suffer for hys trueth: although they shut vs vp neuer so much, and dryue vs ne∣uer so farre out of our owne na∣turall country in euery place.
The worlde for a tyme may dys¦ceaue it selfe, thynkynge it hath the victory: but yet the end wyll trye the contrary. Dyd not Cayn thynke he had the victory, whan Abel was slayne? But how saye * ye nowe, is it not founde other∣wyse? Page 23 Thought not ye old world, that they were wyse and well, and Noe a fole, whyche woulde crepe into an arke, leauynge hys * house, landes and possessyons? for I thynk he was in an honest state.
As for the world, they iudged that he was a dastard & a foole. But I pray you, who was wyse whā ye floud came? Abraham (I * trow) was coūted a fole, to leaue his own own country & frendes, kyth and kine, because of gods word. But, dearly beloued, we know it proued otherwise. I wil leaue al the patriarkes, and come to Mo¦ses and the children of Israell.
Tell me, were not they thoughte to be ouercome and stark madde whan for feare of Pharao, at gods worde, they ranne into the * reed Sea? Dyd not Pharao and Page 24 the Egipcians thynke thē selues sure of the victory. But I trowe it proued cleane contrary. Saul was thought to be wel, and Da∣uyd * in euil case and most misera¦ble, because he had no hole to hid hym in: but yet at length Sauls misery was sene, and Dauids fe¦licitie beganne to appeare. The Prophet Micheas, beeyng caste into prison for telling Achab the * trueth, was thought ouercome of Sedechias and the other false Prophets. But, my good brethr•• and sistern, the holy 〈…〉〈…〉orye tel∣leth 〈…〉yse.
Who dyd not thynke the pro¦phetes vnhappye in their tyme. For they were slayne, prisoned, * laughed to scorne, and rested at of euery man. And so wer all the Apostles, yea the deare beloued * frende of god, Iohn Baptyste: Page 25 who was beheaded, and that in prison, euen at a dauncynge da∣mosels desyer.
As al these, to the iudgement of reason, were than counted he∣retikes, runne agates, vnlearned fooles, fyshers, publicans &c. so now vnhappy and ouercome in¦dede, if Gods worde and fayth dyd not shewe the contrary. But what speake I of those? Loke v∣pon Iesus Chryst, to whom we * mu•t be lyke 〈…〉 here, yf we wyl be lyke hym els where.
How say you, was not he taken for a most foole, a sedicyous per¦son, a newe felow, an heretyke & one ouercome of euery body, euē forsaken both of God and men? But the ende tolde them, and tel¦leth vs another tale. For now is he in maiestye and glory ioyful. Whan he was led to Pilate or Page 26 Herode, or whan he was in pri∣sō in Caiphas house, dydde not there reason thynke, that he was ouercome? Whan he was beatē, buffeted, scourged, crowned wt thorne, hanged vpon the crosse, and vtterly lefte of all his disci∣ples, taunted of ye highe prystes and holy fathers, cursed of the cōmons, rayled on of the Magi∣strates, and laughed to scorne of the lewde heathen: would not a man then haue thoughte, that he had been out of the way, and his disciples, to folow hym and bee∣leue hym. Thynke you, y• whiles he lay in hys graue, men dyd not poynt wyth theyr fyngers, wh• they sawe any that had loued, or beleued in hym and hys doc∣tryne, saying: where is theyr ma¦ster and teacher nowe? What∣is he gone? For soth if they had Page 27 not been fooles, they myght wel haue knowne thys learnyng, he taught, could not long contynue. Our doctors and Pharisees are no fooles, nowe they maye se. On thys sorte men either spake, or myght haue spoken agaynste al suche, as loued Chryst or hys doctryne: but yet at length they and all such were proued fooles and wycked wretches. For oure sauioure arose mawgrie theyr beerdes, and published hys gos∣pel plentifully, spyte of theyr heades and the heades of all the wycked world, wyth the greate powers of the same: alwayes o∣uercommyng, and then moste of all, whan he and hys doctryne was thought to haue the gretest fall.
Now, dearly beloued, the wic¦ked world reioyceth: the papists Page 28 are puft vp agaynst poore christ and his people, after their olde kynde: now crye they: where are these newe founde preachers? Are they not in the tower, Mar shalsye, in the flete, in ye kynges benche, in newe gate &c. and be∣yonde the seas? Who wold haue thought that our old bishoppes, doctors & deanes wer fooles, as they wold haue made vs beleue, and in dede haue perswaded sōe already, whych are not of ye wy∣sesre, speciallye if they come not home againe to the holy church? These and such lyke words they haue to cast in our teeth, as try∣umphers and conquerours. But dearly beloued, shorte is theyr ioye: they begyle thē selues: this is but a lyghtning beefore theyr death. As god, after he had geuē ye wicked Iewes a tyme to repēt, Page 29 visited them by Despasian and * Titus, most horribly to their vt∣ter subuersion, delyueryng firste of all, hys people from amonge them: euen so (my deare brethre) wyl he doe wyth thys age.
Whan he hath tryed hye chil dren from amongst thē (as now he begynneth) ano by sufferyng, hath made vs like to his Christ, and by beyng ouercome to ouer∣come in dede to oure eternal com¦fort: thē wil he, if not otherwise, * come hymselfe in the clowdes. I meane our deare lord, whō we confesse, preache and beleue on. He wyl come (I saye) wyth the blast of a trōpe and showte of an Archangel, and so shall we bee caught vp in the clowds to mete hym in the ayer: The aungels ga * theryng together y• wicked wret∣ches (which now walter and wa Page 30 lowe as the worlde and wynde bloweth) to be tyed in bondels, and cast into the fier, which bur∣neth for euer most paynfullye. There and then shal they se, who hath the victorye, they or we.
Whan they shal see vs a farre of in Abrahames bosome, then * wyll they say: alas, we thought these folkes fooles, and had thē * in derision: we thoughte theyr lyfe madnes, and theyr end to be wythout honor.
But lo, how they are counted among the children of God, and theyr porcyon is wyth ye saintes. Alas, we haue gone amysse, and would not harke•.
Suche worde 〈◊◊〉 these shall the wycked say on ••y in hell, though now they triumph as cō¦querours. And th•• muche for you thirdly to lofe often vpon: Page 31 namely, that what soeuer is dōe vnto you (yea euen very death) shall not dashe or hurte you, no more then it dyd Abel, Dauid, Daniel, Iohn Baptiste, Iesus Chryst our Lord, wyth other the deare saynctes of God, whyche haue sufferd for hys names sake. Let not reason therfore be iudge in thys matter, but fayth & gods worde: in the which if we set be∣fore our eyes ye shortnesse of thys * present tyme, wherin we suffer, and consider the eternitie to cōe, we shall fynde it most certayne, that our enemyes and persecu∣tors shall be helples in intolera∣ble paynes: and we, if we perse∣uer vnto the ende, shall be daun∣gerles in such felicite and ioy, as the very hart of man in no poynt * is able to conceaue. Considering thys (I say) we can not but euen Page 32 contemne and set nothyng by ye sorows and grefes of the crosse, and lustely go thorow thick and thynne wyth good courage.
Now haue I declared vnto you. 3. thynges, necessarye to bee much ••used vpon of euerye one, whych wyl abyde by Chrys•e & hys gospel in these troublesome tyme, as I trust you al wil: name¦ly, firste to consyder that we are not of thys world, nor of ye nom¦ber of the worldlynges, nor any reteyner to S••n: that we are not at home in our own country, but of another worlde, of the cō¦gregacion of the sayntes and re∣teynees to Chryst, althoughe as * yet in a region •••lete and ful of vntractable enemyes.
Secondly, that we maye not thynke it a straunge thyng to be persecuted for gods gospel: from Page 33 the which the dearest frendes of God were in no age free: as in¦dede it is vnpossyble they shold be any long tyme, theyr enemies beyng alwayes aboute them to destroy them, if they could. And thirdly, that the assaultes of our enemyes, be they neuer so many and fearce, shal in no poynt be a∣ble to preuayle agaynste oure fayth (albeit to reason it semeth other wyse) where throughe we ought to cōceaue a good courage and comfort. For who wyll be a∣frayed, whan he knoweth, that the enemyes can not preuayle?
The. 4. Chapter.
¶ The crosse is commodyous and pro∣fytable.
Page 34 FArthermore, for ye more encouraging of you vnto the crosse, I wyll geue you a fourth memoran∣dum. Nameli, of the cōmodities and profites, which come by the trouble and affliccion now risē, and hereafter to aryse vnto vs, whyche be gods chyldren, electe through Iesus Christ. But, here ye may not loke to haue me a re∣hearsal of all the commodytyes, whych come by ye crosse to such, as are wel exercysed therein: for that were more then I can doe. I wyll onelye speake of a fewe, therby to occasion you to gather and at the length to fele and per¦ceue moo. First, ther is no crosse, whych commeth vpon any of vs * wythoute the counsayll of oure heauenly father.
We muste nedes, to the com∣mendacion of gods iustice, who in al thiges is rightuous, aknow¦ledge in our selues, that we haue deserued of the handes of oure heauenly father thys his crosse and rodde, now fallen vpon vs. We haue deserued it, if not by our vnthankfulnesse, slouth, neg¦lygence, intemperaunce and our synnes done often by vs (wher∣of oure conscyences can and wyl accuse vs, if we call them to coū¦sayll wyth the examinacyon of oure former lyfe) yet at lefte by oure originall and birth synne: as by dowtyng of the greatnes of Gods anger and mercye, by selfe loue, concupyscence & such lyke synnes, whyche as we Page 36 brought with vs into this world so doe the same euer abide in vs, * and (euen as a sprynge) they al∣way bryng forth some thynge in acte wyth vs, notwythstanding the fight of gods good spirite in vs agaynst it. *
The first commoditie there∣fore, that the crosse bryngeth, is knowledge, and that duble: of god, and of our selues. Of God, that he is iuste, pure, and hateth synne. *
Of oure selues, that we are borne in sine, and from toppe to too desyled wyth concupiscence and corrupcion: out of the which * haue sprong al the euil, that euer at any tyme we haue spoken and done.
The greatest and moste speci∣all wherof we are, by ye crosse, occasyoned to call to mynde, as Page 37 dyd the brethrē of Ioseph their euil facte agaynste hym, whan * the crosse once came vpon them. And so by it we come to the sue∣rest steppe to get health for our soules: that is, we are dryuen to knowe our synnes, originall and actual, by gods iustice declared in the crosse.
Secondlye, the ende, wherefore * god declareth his iustice against our synne original and actuall, & would haue vs by hys crosse to consider the same, and to call to mynde oure former euyll dedes: The ende herof (I saye) is thys: namely, that we may lament, be∣sory, sygh and pray for pardon, to the intente that so doynge, we myght obteyne and haue ye same, by the meanes of fayth in the me rytes of Iesus Chryst, his deare sonne: and that we beeyng hum∣bled, Page 38 because of ye euil y• dwelleth in vs, might also become thanke∣ful for gods goodnes, lyuyng in continual vigilancy & warenes, and suppressyng the euil, which lyeth in vs, that it brig not forth frute vnto death at any tyme. * This second commoditie of the crosse therfore, must not we coūt to be only a knowledge, but also * a great gayne of gods mercy, wt wonderfull ryche and precyous vertues of fayth, repentaunce, re myssyon of synnes, humilytye, thankfulnes, mortificacion, and diligence in doyng good.
Not that properly the crosse worketh these thinges of it selfe, but be cause the crosse is ye meane and may, by the whych god wor¦keth the knowledge and felynge of these thynges in hys childrē: as many both testimonyes, and Page 39 also ensaumples in scripture, are easely founde of them, that dili∣gently weye what they heare or reade therin. *
To these. 2. Commodities of the crosse, ioyne thys thirde, of gods syngular wysdome: that it may be coupled with his iustice and mercy. On this sort let vs o∣uercome it.
Whan we se the gospel of god and his churche persecuted and troubled, as now it is wyth vs: Thus I saye let vs conceaue the mater: namely, that because the great learned and wyse men of the world vse not their wysdom to loue and serue god, as to natu∣rall reason he openeth himself māifestli in his visible creaturs: * therfore doth god iustly infatuat them, and maketh them foolysh, geuynge them vp to insensyble∣nes, Page 40 especiallye herein. For con∣cerning the affliction, which cō∣meth for the gospell vpon ye gos∣pellers, they reason on thys ma∣ner: If thys were godes worde (saye they) if this people were * gods children: surely god would then blesse and prospere them and their doctrine.
But nowe, in that there is no doctryne so much hated, no peo∣ple so much persecuted as thei be therefore it can not bee of God. This is of god, which our quene and olde bishoppes haue pro∣fessed.
For how hath god prospered and kept them? What a notable victorye hath god geuen to her, where as els it was impossyble * that thynges so shoulde haue cōe to pas, as they haue done? And * dyd not the great captayne con∣fesse Page 41 hys fault, that he was oute of the way and not of the fayth, which these gospellers professe? How many are come againe frō * that, whych they professed to be gods worde?
The most part of thys realme (notwythstandyng the diligēce of preachers to persuade them, concernyng thys new learnyng, whyche nowe is persecuted) ne∣uer consented to it in heart, as ex¦perience teacheth.
And what plages haue come * vpon thys realme, sithens thys gospel (as they call it) came in a∣mongst vs? Afore we had plen∣ty, but now there is nothyng like as was.
But (to let thys pas) al ye hou¦ses of the parliament haue ouer∣throwne * the lawes, made for the stablyshing of the gospell: and Page 42 new lawes ar erected for the cō∣tinuaunce of that, whych is con∣trary, and was had before.
Al these thynges doe teache playnly, that thys theyr doctrine is not gods worde. Thus reason the worldly wyse, which see not gods wysdome. For els, yf they consydered that there was with vs vnthankfulnes, no amendmēt * of lyfe, but all kynde of contēpte of god, alkinde of shameles syn∣nyng, agaynst the preachynge of the gospell: they must nedes see, that god could not but chastise and correct. And that as he lette Satan loose, after he had boūd * hym a certayne tyme: so for mēs vnthankfulnes & to punishe the same, he hath let those chāpyōs of Satan runne abrode, to plage vs by them. Greate was Godes anger against Achab, because he Page 43 saued Benadad the king of Si∣ria, whan he had geuen him into * hys handes, and afterwardes it turned to his owne destruccion. God would, that double sorowe shoulde haue bene repayed vnto them, because of the sorow that they did to the saintes of God. Read Apo. 18. As for ye victorye * geuen to ye Quenes hyghnes, yf mē had ani godli wit, thei might se many thynges in it. First that God hath done it, to winne her hart wt kindnes vnto his gospel: and aswel because yt they, whych went agaynst her, put their trust in horses and power of men and not in god: as because y• in their doctryne they sought not the pro¦pagacion of gods gospel. Which thyng is easely now sene, by the cōfessyon of ye captain: his harte loued poperye, and hated the Page 44 gospel. Besydes thys, men maye easely se, he was purposed neuer to haue furthered the gospel: but so to haue handled the liuynges of ministers, that there shold ne¦uer haue been any ministerye in maner hereafter.
And what one of the Coun∣saylours, whyche woulde haue been taken as gospellers in oure good kinges dayes, declare now that euen they loued the gospel? Therfore no meruayll, why god fought agaynst them.
They were ypocrites, and, vn¦der the cloke of the gospel, wold haue debarred the Quenes high¦nes of her ryght. But god wold not so cloke them.
Now for the relenting, retur¦nyng and recantyng of some, frō * that whiche they haue once pro∣fessed or pāched, alas, who wold Page 45 wōder at it? For thei neuer came to the gospel but for commodite and gaynes sake, and nowe for gayne leaue it.
The multitude is no good ar∣gument, * to moue a wyse manne. For who knoweth not, moo to loue thys world better then hea¦uen, themselues better thē their neighbours? Wyde is the gate (sayeth Chryst) and broade is ye way, that leadeth to destruccion, and many there be, whyche goe in thereat.
But strayte is the gate, and * narow is the way, which leadth vnto lyfe, and few there be that fynde it. Al the whole multitude cryed oute vpon Iesus: crucifye * hym, trusse hym vp: but I trow they were not the better part, al∣though they were the bigger. Al Chaldee folowed stil their false Page 46 gods, only Abraham folowed y• true god. And where as thei sai, * that greater plages are fallen v∣pon the realme in pouerty & such * geer, then afore: it is no argumēt to moue others, thē such as loue their swyne better then Chryste. * For the deuyl chefelie desyreth, hys seate to be in religion. Yf it be there, then wil he medle with nothyng that we haue, al shal be quiete inough.
But if he be raised thēce, then wyl he begg leaue to haue at our pygges. As long as wyth vs he had the ruling of relygiō, which now he hath gotten agayne: then was he a Robyn good felow, he would doe no hurt. But whā he was tombled out of his Throne, by the preachyng of the gospell: then stered he about, as he hath done. Notwythstandyng, to be Page 47 shorte, surelye effectuall he hath not been, but in the chyldren of * vnbelefe: them in dede he hath sterred vp to be couetous, oppre¦ssours, blasphemers, vsurers, whoremongers, theues, murthe¦rers, tyrauntes.
And yet perchaunce he suffe∣red them to professe the gospell, the more therby to hinder it, and cause it to bee slaundered. How many nowe doe appeare, to haue bene true gospellers? As for the * parliament and statutes therof, no man of wysdome can thynke other wyse, but that looke, what the rulers wyll, the same muste there be enacted.
For it goeth not in those houses by the better parte, but by ye big∣ger part. It is a cōmen sayeng, & no lesse true: Maior pars vincit meliorem, ye greater part ouercō¦meth Page 48 y• better. So they dyd incō¦dēning christ, Nicodemus co〈…〉¦sail * not being regarded. So dyd they in many generall councels, which purposli I wil not recite: for al wise men know, y• actes of parliamēts are not for gods law in respecte of godes lawe, but in respecte of the people.
Now what we are god kno∣weth, and all the worlde seeth: more mete a great deale to haue the deuils decrees, then gods re∣ligion, so great is our contempte in it. And therfore iustly for our synnes (as Iob sayeth) god hath * set ypocrytes to raigne ouer vs: whych can no more abyde gods true religion, then the owle the lyght, or blered eyes the brighte Sonne.
For it wyll haue them to doe their dutyes, and waite in dili∣gent Page 49 doyng of the works of their vocacion.
If gods worde, I meane, had place, bishoppes could not play Chaūcelours and ydle prelates, as they doe: priestes shoulde be otherwyse knowne, then by their shauen crownes and typpettes, But inough of this. I wil nowe returne to the thirde commodite commyng by the crosse.
Here let vs see the wysdome of god, in makyng the wysdome of the worlde folyshe. For it kno∣weth * litle of mans corrupcyon, howe foule it is in the syghte of god and displeaseth hym: it kno∣weth litle, the porcion of Gods people to be in another worlde. It knoweth litle the patrone of Christians, Chryst Iesus: it kno∣weth litle the iudgemēts of god, the greate malice of Satan to Page 50 gods people, the pryce and esti∣macyon of the gospel. And ther∣fore in the crosse it seeth not, as gods wysdome wold men shold se: namely: that god, in punishing them which synne leste, woulde * haue hys anger agaynste synne better consydered and feared: and that, in punishyng hys peo∣ple here, he kyndleth theyr desier towards their restful and peace∣ful * home.
For, in punishyng hys seruaūtes in thys lyfe, he doth by yt meanes conforme and make them lyke to Chryste: that as they bee lyke in sufferyng, so they may be parta∣kers * in reygning.
In punishinge hys churche in the world, he doth thereby geue euen a demonstracyon of hys * iudgement, whych shall come on al men, whan the Godlye shall Page 51 there fynd rest, though now thei be afflicted: and the wicked, now wallowyng in wealth, shall bee wrapped in woe and smarte.
In punishinge the professours of hys gospel on earth, he doeth * by the same set forth the malyce of Satan, agaynst the gospell & hys people, for the more confir∣myng of theyr fayth: and ye gos∣pel to be godes worde in dede, & thē to be gods people. For els ye deuil woulde let them alone. In punishynge the louers of hys trueth more then others, whyche care not for it: he thereby putteth * them in mynde, how they haue not had in pryce, as they shoulde haue had, the rule of his worde, and gospel. Before such trial and experience by trouble, perchaūce thei thought thei had beleued, & had had faith: which now theise Page 52 was but a lyppe fayth, a mocte fayth or an opinion. All why che thynges, we see, ar occasions for us to take better hede by meanes of the crosse.
Therefore thirdly let vs se the crosse to be commodious for vs, to learne goddes wisedome, and what is mans follyshnes: gods dyspleasure at synne: howe the e¦lect desire to be wyth God, and their conformitie with Chryste: the general iudgemente: the mas lyce of Satan: hatred of synne: the gospel to be gods word, and how it is much to be estemed &c. thus much for thys.
Howe wyl I brefelye shewe you, the crosse to bee profytable * for vs, to learne and beholde bet¦ter the prouydence, presence and power of god, that al these may be coupled together, as in a cheie Page 53 to hange aboute oure nectes: I meane gods iustice, mercy, wys∣dome, power, presence and pro∣uydence.
Whan all thynges be in rest, and men be not in trouble, thē ar they forgetfull of god cōmonly, and attribute to muche to theyr owne wysedomes, policies, pro∣uisions, & diligence: as thoughe they were the procurers of their own fortune, and the workers of their own wealth.
But whan the crosse cōmeth, and that in suche sorte, as theyr wyttes, policies and frendes can not helpe: then, though ye wicted dyspayre, and runne from god to theyr avowryes, saynctes and vnlawfull meanes, yet doe the godly therin behold the presēce, prouydence and power of god. For the scripture teacheth, that Page 54 al thynges, wel and woo, shoulde be consydered as gods worke: al * though Satan, the deuil, be the instrumente, by whom god wor¦keth iustly and mercifully. Just∣ly to the wycked, and mercyfulli to the godly: as by ye ensaumples of wicked Saul, and godli Job, * we may easely see gods woorke by Satan, hys instrumente in them both.
The children of god therfore, which before forgate god in pros¦peritie, are now in aduersytie a∣waked to see god and his worke, and nomore to hange on theyr owne forecastes, power, frends, wysedome, ryches &c. But lerne to commit themselues vnto gods prouydence and power: wherby they are so preserued and gouer∣ned, and very often euen miracu¦lously deliuered, y• y• veri wicked Page 55 can not but see gods prouidence, presence and power, in the crosse and afflyccyon of hys chyldren: As these, hys chyldren I meane, to their ioy doe fele it, therby ler¦nyng to know god, to be ye gouer∣nour * of al thinges. Be it is that geueth peace: he it is y• sendeth war: he geueth plenty, and pouer tye: he setteth vp, and casteth down: he bryngeth to death, and after geueth lyfe: his presence is euery where: hys prouydence is wythin and without: hys power * is the pillour, wherby the godly stande: and to it they leene, as to a thyng, no lesse able to set vp, then to cast downe.
Concernynge thys I myghte bryng forth innumerable ensam¦ples of the afflyccyon of Gods children, both in the old and new testament: wherein we maye se, how they felt gods presence, pro¦uydence and power, plentifully. But I wyll omitte ensaumples, because euery one of vs, ye haue bene or be in trouble, can not but by the same the rather remember gods presence, whyche we feele * by hys hand vpon vs presently: hys prouidence, whiche leaueth * vs not vncared for, wythout any of oure owne prouision: his po∣wer, * whych both preserueth vs from many other euils, that els would come vpō vs, and also ma¦keth vs able to be are more, then we thought we could haue done. Page 57 So very oftē doth he deliuer vs by suche meanes, as haue bene thought most folysh and litle to be regarded.
And therfore we shake of our slepe of securitie and forgettinge of god, our truste and shyffte in our owne policie, our hangynge on men, and on our own power. So that the crosse, you se, is com¦modious fourthly for vs, to se gods presence, prouydence and power: and our owne negligēce, forgetfulnesse of God, securyte, loue, trust and confidence in our selues, and in thynges of thys lyfe, to be cut of, as the other ar to be taken hold vpon. And this shal suffice for the commodities, that come by the crosse, where through we may be in loue with it for the commodities sake: whych at length we shal fynde, Page 58 though presentli in sense we fele them not.
No castigacion or punishe∣ment is swete or ioyous for the present time, but greuous: neuer * the les, afterwarde it bryngeth the quiet frute of rightuousnesse vnto them, whyche are exercised therin. As we see in medicynes: the more wholsome they be, the more vnpleasaunte often tymes is the taiste. As in purgacions, pilles and such like bitter thīgs. Yet vpon the phisicians worde we wil gladly drynke them, for the profit whych cōmeth of thē. And, dearely beloued, although to lose lyfe, goodes or frendes, for gods gospels sake, seme a bit¦ter and sower thynge: Yet, see∣ing our phisician, whych can not lye (Iesus Chryst I meane) tel∣leth vs that it is veri wholsome, Page 59 how so euer it be toothsome: let vs with good chere take ye cuppe at hys hande, and drynke it me∣rely.
If the cup seme vnpleasaunt, and the drynke to bytter, let vs put some suger therin: euē a pece of that, whych Moses caste into the bytter water, and made it * pleasaunt. I meane an vnce or quantitie of Chrystes afflicciōs and crosse, whych he suffred for * vs.
If we cal these to mynd, and cast of them into our cuppe (con¦syderyng what he was, what he suffred, of whom, for whom, to what ende, and what came ther of) surely we cannot lothe oure medicine, but wynke and drynke it lustely.
Iustely therfore drynke ye cup.〈1 page missing〉
mes, where he promysed to geue abread, euen hys fleshe: in insti∣tutyng * the sacrament of the aul∣ter, as they calit, perfourmed the same: and that, as in al thynges, which he promised, he was foūd true, so in thys the Catholyke churche hath beleued, and doeth beleue no les.
And therfore, so sone as y• priest in the masse hath fullye spoken these wordes, thys is my body, if he purpose or if his intencyō be as he speaketh (for that is re∣quisite teach they) then y•, which before was bred, and semeth to the eye to be bred, is made in re¦rye dede Chrystes body, fleshe, bloud and bone, euen the selfe same, whych was crucifyed, rose againe, and descended vp into heauen. So y• he, which beleueth not thys, is a moste haynous he Page 63 retyke, and cut of from the Catho¦lyke churche, and is not mete to receaue thys holy sacrament: be∣cause he can not wythoute thys fayth of Chrystes natural, reall, corporal and carnal body, vnder the fourme or accident of bred & wyne, otherwyse receaue thys sacrament, then vnworthely and to eternal damnacyon. This is a shorte summe of their doctrine, concernyng the supper.
Now concerning the sacrifice * they teache, that though oure sa∣uyoure hym selfe dyd in dede make a full and perfect sacrifice propiciatorye and satisfactory, for the synnes of all the whole world, neuer more so (that is to say bloudeli) to be offred agaie: yet in his supper he offred y• same sacrifice vnto hys father, but vn Page 64 bloudely: that is to say, in wyll and desyer, whych is accompted often euen for the deed, as thys was.
Whyche vnbloudy sacrifice he commaunded hys church to offer, in remembraunce of hys bloudy sacryfyce: as the princi∣pal meane, wherby hys bloudye sacrifice is applyed both to the quick and dead, as baptysine is the meane, by the whych regene racion is applyed, by the prieste, to the infaunte or chylde, that is baptysed.
For in that, the supper of Chryste is to them not onely a sacramente, but also a sacrifyce: and that not only applicatorye, but also propiciatory, because it applyeth the propiciatory sacri∣fyce of Chryste, to whom the pryeste or minister wyll, bee he Page 65 dead or alyue. And in that, euen from the begynnig, the fathers, say they, were accustomed in the celebracyon of y• supper, to haue * a memorial of the dead▪ and also in that thys sacrifice is a sacri∣fice of the whole churche, y• dead being members of the churche, of charitie as they can not but offer for them, euen so they can not but pray for them after the en sample of the Catholyke church: because it is a wholsome thyng, sayeth Iudas Machabeus, to pray for the dead, that they may be delyuered from theyr synnes. Wherevnto, all the doctors doe consent, say thei.
Now, as for prayeng to saintes, they teache, that al be it there is * but one mediator of Redēpciō: yet of intercessyon the holy saits of god, departed thys lyfe, maye Page 66 wel be counted mediators. And therfore it is a poynt of a lowly hart and humble spirite, whiche god wel lyfeth, to call vpon the sayntes to pray for vs first: lest by our presumpcion to come into gods presence, we beeyng so vn∣worthy, and god beyng so excel∣lent and ful of maiestie, we more anger and displease god. Where as by their helpe god may be in∣treated, to make vs more worthy to come vnto hym, and the soner to graunt vs our peticions. For if the holye saynctes of God, here beeyng vpon the earth, coulde & would pray for the people, obtei¦nyng many thiges at gods hād: it is muche more to bee beleued now (say they) that they can and wyll, if we pray to them, obteine for vs our humble and godlye desyers. And therefore to ye ende Page 67 ther sacrifice propiciatori, which in the masse they offer, maye be the more avaylable, they vse a∣bout it, much praying to saintes. So of these. 4. as of. 4. pillours, theyr masse standeth.
The which masse, you may se, what it is, and how precious and worthy a pece of worke it is, by theyr doctryne concernynge the supper, the sacrifice, the praying for the dead & to the dead: wher∣of I haue geuen you a Summe, in the most honest, godly and re∣ligious wise, that the best of thē doe set it forth in.
For els, if I should haue she∣wed you thys theyr doctryne, as some of them sette it forth: as I knowe you would abhorre it, so the subtyle papystes would say, that I rayled and misreported them.
Page 68 Therfore because they shal haue no suche occasyon, nor you by their most subtile colours be dis∣ceaued, I haue, in the best maner I canne, reported a Summe of theyr doctryne.
The whyche to the ende you myghte the better consyder and haue, I wyll nowe tell you, as gods worde teacheth, how these foure poyntes are to be beleued and receaued. And then wyll I open the fylthines and abomina cyon, whyche in thys theyr doc∣tryne is deuellyshly conteined.
The. 6. Chapter.
How gods worde teacheth of the supper, wyth confutacyon of the Pa∣pystes heresie of trāsubst. about the same.
Page 69 COncernīg y• supper of our lorde, whych Chryst Ie∣sus did institute to bee a sacrament of hys body & bloud, we beleue, that his wordes in the same supper ac∣cordingly are to be vnderstande: that is, sacramentally, as he mēt them, and not symply, contrarye to hys meanyng, as the papistes wrest them.
And this is taught vs, not on¦ly by innumerable such lyke pla∣ces, as where baptisme is called * regeneracyon beecause it is a sa¦crament of it: circumcision is cal¦led gods couenaunt, beecause it * is a sacrament of it: but also by ye playne circumstaunces of ye text, as therof the Euangelistes with * the Apostle S. Paule doe write Page 70 playnly affirmyng, that our sa∣uyour Chryst did geue, and hys disciples did eate that, which he toke and brake, and bad them de∣uyde * among themselues, that is, bred and wyne.
For we maye not thynke, that Chrystes natural body was bro¦ken, nor that his bloud can be de¦uided. And playnly our sauyour sayth concernyng the cupp, that he woulde not drynke any more * of the frute of the vyne (whyche is not hys bloud, I trowe, but wyne) vntyll he shoulde drynke it newe wyth them after hys re∣surreccyon.
But to make this mater more playne: lyke as many thynges in Chrysts supper were figuratiue¦ly * done & spoken: as y• washig of the disciples fete: y• paschall lābe was called the passyon: Iudas Page 71 was sayd to haue lift vp his hele agaynst hym: so doeth Luke and Paul playnly alter the wordes concernyng the cup, calling that the new testament, whych Mat∣thew and marke cal hys bloude: yea expreslye fyue tymes the A∣postle calleth the sacramente of Chrysts body, after y• cōsecraciō spoken (as they terme it) bred. Is not the bred which we breake (sayeth he) the communyon of * Chrystes body:
Whose exposicion I wil more boldly stycke vnto, then vnto all the papistes dreames, as long as I slepe not wyth them, by gods grace. They haue none other sen¦tence but these. 4. words: this is my body
But aske thē what this, this, is, & they wil not saye as y• Apostle doth, namely that it is bread.
Page 72 No, then they wyl say, that we hang all by reason, the mater be∣ynge a mater of fayth: Wher as they themselues altogether hang on reason, as though Chryst can not be able to doe that, which he promiseth (bred stil in substaūce remaynyng, as the Accidentes doe) except it be transubstāciate. Is not thys, trow you, to make it a mater of reason, and to hedge gods power in within the limits of reason:
Yf Chrystes wordes, that fo∣lowe (which is geuē for you) be to bee vnderstande for whyche shalbe geuen or shalbe betrayed for you, and not so precyselye as they be spoken (for that were to make Chryst a lyar) why is it so hainous a mater with ye papists, because we doe not so precyselye take the wordes immedyatly go¦yng Page 73 before: namelye, thys is my body, as to admitte, that if there be bred, then Chryst is a lyar: Myght not we reason and saye then: if Christes body at y• tyme was not betrayed (as in dede it was not) nor hys bloud shed, thē is Chryst a lyar.
But here they wyll saye, all men may knowe, that Chryst by the present tence, meante the fu∣ture tence: and in the scrypture it is a most vsual thyng, so to take tence for tence.
And I praye you, why maye not we saye, that al menne maye know it is most common in scrip¦ture, to geue vnto signes y• nams of the thynges, whych they signi¦fye: And no man is so foolyshe, but he knoweth, that Chryst thē instituted a sacrament, whole sa∣cramentally to be vnderstande: Page 74 that is, that the sygne, or visible sacrament, shold haue not only y• name of the thing signified, but also some similitude there with, or els it were no sacrament.
But take bred awaye (as the pa∣pystes do) leauing there but the accidentes onely, whych do not feede the bodye: and then what shallresēble and represente vnto vs Chrystes body, broken for the fode of the soule: As wyne com forteth the hart, so doth Christs bloud, shed on the crosse, comfort the soule. But take wyne awaye by transubstanciacy on, as the pa¦pystes doe, and tell me what si∣militude remaineth: None at al∣so no sacrament at all: so Christs institucion is taken away. Wel, doe theireiect gods commaunde¦ment * for their tradicions sake: Our fayth therefore is, that the Page 75 supper of the lord is y• sacrament of Chrystes bodi & bloud. These wordes (thys is my bodi, which is brokē for you: this is mi bloud of the new testament whyche is shed for your synnes) are moste true words and plaine, accordig to Christes meaning, to al them, whych doe as he byddeth them: that is, to all suche as take, eate and drynke.
Which wordes the papistes kepe in theyr purse, or els theyr priuate masses could not stande. To such, I say, as take and eate thys sacramēt in sorowinge for their synfullyfe past, and purpo¦syng to amende, aboue al things remembryng and beleuyng, that Chrystes bodye was broken for their synnes, and his bloud shed for their iniquities: all suche (I saye) as verely as they see, take, Page 76 taist and eate bread, and drynke wyne, whyche goeth into theyr bodi, fedeth it and nourisheth it: euen so verely the soule & spirite by fayth receaueth, not onelye Chrystes bodye broken, or hys bloud shed (for the fleshe profy∣teth * nothyng, it is the sprite that quickeneth, sayth Christ) but euē whole Chryste, into whom they are incorporate, and made one wyth hym, fleshe of hys fleshe, * and bone of hys bones.
That is to saye: as Chrystes body is immortal and glorious, euen so are theirs now by fayth and hope, and at the daye of the Lord they shal be in very dede. Then whych thyng, what can be greater?
Thys we teache and beeleue concernyng thys sacrament, dete styng and abhorryng the horri∣ble Page 77 error of transubstanciacion, whych maketh bread and wyne our God and Chryste: and cau∣seth men to be gasers, gapers & worshyppers, yea ydolators, ra∣ther then takers and eaters, as Chryst cōmaundeth: and whiche maketh Christs sacrifice of none effect, as now shalbe shewed by gods grace.
For thys shall suffyse to the declaracyon of our faith, concer∣ning the Lordes supper, wher∣vnto agreeth the Catholik church and al the fathers.
As full well thou mayst see in the byshop of Canterburyes boke: whych is farre from being answered, eyther by the byshop of Worceter his boke in english, or Marcus. 〈◊〉 C. in latyn, y• thou nedest nomore to confyrme thy fayth in thys mater, but to reade Page 78 them wyth an indifferēt mynd, not beyng addict otherwyse, thē to the desyer of the trueth.
As for thys doctryne of transub¦stanciacyon, it is a newe founde thyng about a. 600. yeares olde: euen then broughte oute, whan Gatā was lattē lose after. a. 1000 * yeares, that was bounde. Euen then was it establyshed, whan there was more mischefe among the prelates, specially the pops, about the sea of Rome, who cold catche it, then euer there was a∣mong the emperours for the em∣pyre.
In the primitiue church, popes wer martird for Christs spouses safe, that is the church: but now one poysoned another, and one slew another, for ye rose coloured * whore of babilōs safe, that is, y• popysh churche. In. 160. yeares Page 79 there was nere hand. 50. popes, wheras in no such tyme therwer aboue. 33. emperours. And in the middes of this miserable state & tyme, thys doctryne of transub∣stāciacion was the popes begin∣ning, as they might haue ley sure frō cōspiring agaynst prynces, & one agaynst another, to establish it, as the very principal pilloure of al their power: and no meruel. For, thys beyng admytted, then haue they power ouer Chryste, the king of al kiges, y• he be wher they wyll, whan they wyl and as¦long as they wil vnder their po¦wer. Where throughe the other must nedes folow, y• if thei haue power ouer Christe and that in heauē, to brig him down at their pleasure: Much more thē oueral earth, emperours, kigs, prices & people. Yea euē ouer ye deuil, pur¦gatory Page 80 and hel haue they full po¦wer and iurisdiction, being now goddes in earth, whyche sytte in the holy place euen as god, yea * aboue God: to make what arty∣cle of fayth shal please them, as they haue done thys of transub∣stanciacion: whyche myghte as∣wel be denied as graunted, saith * Duns, one of their own doctors, and master Gabriel also, if it so pleased the holy father and his spouse, the church of Rome. Be∣fore thys tyme, all the fathers diligence, labour and care was to call men to the receauynge of thys sacrament, for the cōfirma∣cion of their fayth: that as vere∣lye as they dyd eate bread and drynke wyne here, so shold they not doubt, but that by fayth thei did fede on the body of Chryst, broken for theyr synnes, and on Page 81 hys bloud, shed for their iniquy∣tyes.
And therfore some times wold they call the sacrament bread, a figure or a sygne: some tyme would they call it the body and bloud of our sauiour Iesus christ as the nature of sacramentes is, to be called with the name of the thynges, whyche they doe signi¦fye: that there by mens myndes myght be wythdrawne from the consyderacyon of sensyble and visible thynges, to thynges hea∣uenly, whych they doe sygnyfye and represente.
And theyr care, and crying vn¦to the people, was to receaue it: and therfore they made decrees, that such, as woulde not receaue and be present, should be sparred out of the churche.
O how ernest was Chrysostō Page 82 herein: Reade hys. 61. homilye vnto the people of Antioche. But after that thys decree and doctryne of transubstanciacion came in, no crying out hath ther been to receaue it (no, that is the prerogatyue of the pryestes and shauen shorelynges) but altoge∣ther the ende of their crying out was, as now, to beleue transub∣stanciacion, Chryste to bee there fleshe, bloud and bone, at euerye aulter, betwene euerye pryestes handes, yea in euerye pryestes mouth, whan it pleaseth them, bee they neuer so stynkyng, fyl∣thy sodomites, adulterers, dron kardes, blasphemers, dycers &c. The crying and teachyng of the cleargy cōtinually hath bene, to beeleue transubstanciacion, and then to come to church to se their maker once a dai, to hold vp their Page 83 handes, to knock on their brests, to streke theyr faces, to mutter vp theyr laten prayers, to tak ho∣ly water and holy bread, to lyue in obedyence to the holy father and holye churche, hys spouse. Thys was all they required.
Drinke, dice, carde, fight, swere, steale, lye: no mater, so that in y• mornyng they see theyr God, all is well, good catholyke people, no man shall hurt them or perse∣cute them.
But if any man shold not alowe nor worshippe this god of theyr makig, although he lyued a most godly life, and were a man ful of charitie, sobrietye and very reli¦gious: Oh such is an heretike or schismatyke. Nothynge coulde please these wolfes, but euen the bloud and lyfe of suche a poore shepe: as men haue felte beefore, and now begynne to fele.
Page 84 Let al the packe of them burden those iustlye, whom nowe they imprison and cause to flye the realme, of any other thynge, then onelye of this, that we wyll not serue their god of bread & wyne. And then wyll we suffer shame. But I haue bene to long herein. Now to our doctryne and belef, for the second poynt, concerning Chrystes sacryfice.
The. 7. Chapter.
How gods worde teacheth of Chrystes sacry∣fyce, and the popes blas∣phemye therein re∣ueled.
Page 85〈…〉ryne and faith, 〈…〉s behalfe, is as in 〈…〉her: that is, accor∣〈…〉 to gods holiword: namely, y• Iesus Christ, the sonne of god and seconde A∣dam, by whom we receaue righ∣tuousnes vnto lyfe, as by y• firste Adam we receaued synne vnto death: our fayth is (I saye) that thys Chryst in our fleshe, whych he toke of the substaunce of the virgin Mary, but pure and with out synne, for the satisfyinge of gods ••st displeasure, deserued by and in our fleshe, dyd in the same suffer vniustly all kyndes of miserye and 〈◊◊〉∣ryng vp hymselfe vnto hys eter¦nal father, wyth a most willing, obedyent hart and ready mynd, whan he was crucyfyed vpō the crosse. And therbi as he satisfied Page 86 gods iustice, so he meryted and procured hys mercy, peace, fauor for al them, which either before that tyme were dead, either wer at that tyme present, either shold afterwarde come and beleue. By and in that offeringe, done for them and theyr synnes. So that god the eternall father (I saye) woulde be in this their Christe, their god and father, and not lai their sinnes commytted to their charge to condemnacyon.
This doctrine the holy scrip¦ture teacheth almost eueri wher, but specially in y• Epistle to the Hebrues the. 1. 7. 8. 9. Chapters this is most liuely ser forth, how that by one oblacion, once offred by this Christ himselfe, all, that be gods people, are sanctified.
For as in respecte of them, that dyed in gods couenaunte and e∣leccion Page 87 before Christ suffred his death & offered his sacrifice one alone and omnisufficient, neuer more to be offred, he is called the lambe slayne frō the begynning * of the world and the one alone mediator betwene god and man, * whose forth commyng was frō the begynnyng: Euen so, in res∣pect * of the vertue and efficacie of this one sacrifice to al gods peo¦ple, continually vnto the worlds ende, the holy ghoste doeth tell vs, that therby he hath made ho∣ly suche, as be children of salua∣cion.
And sayth not, shall make ho∣ly, or doth make holye, leste any manne shoulde wyth the papi∣stes in dede reiterate thys sacri∣fice agayne.
Although in wordes they saye otherwyse, as anone we shall Page 88 see, if herevnto I shewe you the meane, whereby to applye thys sacrifice, whyche I wil do verye brefely.
For in the. 17. of S. John our sauiour doth very playnly shew thys in these wordes: for theyr sakes, sayeth he, I sanctyfye my selfe, that they also myghte bee sanctyfyed through the trueth. I praye not for them alone, but for those also, whych shal beleue on me throughe theyr preaching. Here our sauiour applyeth hys sacrifice, in teachynge and pray∣eng for them.
And as he teacheth them, as ministers, to doe the like, that is, to preache and praye for the ap∣plycacyon of hys sacryfyce to y• churche: so doeth he teache them and al the churche, to applye it vnto themselues by beleuyng it Page 89 and by fayth. The whyche thing the Apostle S. Paule in manye places, but most playnlye in the seconde to the Corinthyans the fift chapter in the later end doth teache. Reade it, and se. So that now as ye haue Chrystes one on¦ly sacrifice, whych he hymselfe on the crosse offred once, as suffi¦cient for all that doe beleue, and neuer more to bee reiterated: so haue you, that for the applyinge of it to hys church, the ministers shoulde preache and praye, that theyr preachyng myght be effec∣tuall in Chryst.
And as Paul was ready him selfe, to suffer death for the con∣firmacion of the fayth of the e∣lect: so shoulde the churche and eueri member of the same (which is of yeares of discrecion) by be∣leuyng in Chryste throughe the Page 90 ministers preachyng, apply it to themselues. As for infauntes, I nede not in thys case to speake of godes eleccion. It is moste cer∣tayne. Thys kynde of applyinge, as it killeth y• papistical priests, whych hate not the deuil worse, then true preachyng: so doeth it cast down al their soale massing and foolish foundaciōs for such, as be dead and past the ministe∣rie of godes worde. And also it pulleth awaye the opinion of o∣pus operatū and of perseuerāce in impietie from such, as would enioye the benefite of Chrystes death.
The. 8. Chapter.
¶ Of praying for the dead, the true doctryne.
Page 91 NOw as concerninge the thirde, that is, of pray∣eng for the dead and sa∣crificing for them, as in the other we confesse, teache and beleue accordynge to gods worde: so doe we in this. Namely, that in holy scripture, thorow out the Canonical bokes of the olde and newe testament, we fynde nether precept nor en∣sample of prayenge for any, whā they bee departed thys lyfe: but that as menne dye, so shall they aryse.
If in fayth in the Lorde to∣wardes the south, thē nede they * no prayers, then are they present lye happye, and shall aryse in glorye. If in vnbelefe, withoute * the lorde towarde the north, thē are they paste all helpe, in the Page 92 damned state presently, and shal ryse to eternall shame.
Wherefore, accordynge to the scripture, we exhorte men to re∣pent. And whyle they haue time, * to worke well.
Eueri man shal beare his own burthen, euery man shall geue ac¦compt * for hym selfe, and not sir Iohn nor sir Thomas, that syng or pray for them.
Euery man shal receaue accor¦dynge to that he hymselfe doeth in thys body, whyle he is here a∣lyue, bee it good or bad: and not accordyng to that hys executors, or thys chauntry priest, and that fraternite doth for hym.
Whereby we maye well see, if we wyl, that as prayer for the dead is not avaylable or profita¦ble to the dead: so is it not of vs allowable or to bee exercysed.
Page 93 For as they, that ar departed, be past our prayers, beyng eyther in ioye or in misery, as is aboue shewed: Euen so we, hauyng for * it no worde of god, where vpon fayth leneth, can not but synne in doyng it, in that we doe it not of fayth, beecause we haue no worde of god for it.
Therfore wyth Abraham, I∣saac, Iacob, Moses, y• prophets, Chryst Iesus and the Apostles, we bury the dead in a conueny∣ent place, & mourne in measure, as men hauynge hope of the re∣surreccion, * not because of them: for that were a great poynte of ingratitude, thei being departed * out of miserable condycyon into a most blessed state.
Therfore we geue thankes to god for them, prayse hys name for hys power and myghte she∣wed Page 94 on them. And pray, that we maye departe in the same fayth, and ioyfully ryse wyth them in the resurrecciō, which we desier and wyshe the lord would hastē. We mourne (I say) not beecause of them, but of our selues, that haue lost the companye of suche our helpers and furtherers in spi¦ritual and temporall benefytes, by them beeyng admonyshed of our immortalitie, and of the va∣nitie of thys lyfe: that we might the more contemne it, and desier the euerlastyng lyfe, where they and we shall neuer be separated. Thys is our fayth and doctryne for them, that be departed: who though they be members of the same body mistical of Christe, y• we be of: yet shoulde they in this case be discerned from the myli∣taunte members, they beyng at Page 95 reste, and hauing finished their coursse and fyghte, in no poynte * neding any of our helpe, excepte we shoulde to arrogantly set vp our owne merites and prayers, and pul down Christ, as though we were able to get pardon and hyer rowme in heauē for others: where al our ryghtuousnes, and the beste thynge we doe, is so farre from helpyng others, that thereby we can not helpe oure selues, but had nede to crye di∣mitte nobis debita nostra: being no better in gods syghte, then a * defyled womans cloth, althogh to the syghte of menne, they * maye seme gorgyous and gaye. For if the papystes would saye, as whan they are pressed wyth blasphemye, in extollynge theyr owne merytes and workes of su¦pererogacion agaīst Christ, ther vse, that our prayers doe thē no Page 96 good in respecte of the worthy∣nes of their prayers, but in res∣pect of gods goodnes: in y• gods goodnes is not to be loked for o∣ther wyse, thē he hath promised, let them eyther shewe men hys p•omes, or els in this be half kepe sylence, and exercyse themselues better in doyng their dutyes to their brethren, that be alyue. To∣wardes whom theyr charytye is verye colde: all thoughe whan they are dead, then ther wyll pre¦tende much, then wyl they praye for them: but yet not for nought and freli, as true charite workth. For no penny, no pater noster.
Geue nothyng, and then thei wil neyther syng nor say Requiem, nor placebo, I warraunt you.
But of thys suffycient. Now to the last, of prayeng to the dead, or to sayntes departed this lyfe.
The. 9. Chapter.
¶ Of praying to saynctes.
HEre we confesse, teache and beleue, as before is sayd, accordyng to gods holye worde, that as all * and euery good thynge commeth only from god the fa∣ther, by y• means of Iesus christ: so, for the obtaininge of y• same, * we must cal vpō hys holy name, as he hymselfe commaundeth ve¦ry often.
But for asmuche as god dwel¦leth in a lighte inaccessible, and is a consumyng fyer, and hateth all impietie and vnclennes, and we bee blynde, stubble, grasse, Page 98 haie and nothyng but filthy, vn∣cleane and synneful: and because that therfore as we maye not, so we dare not approche to his pre∣sence: it hath pleased thys good god and father, of his loue, to sēd a spokesman and mediator, an in tercessor and aduocate betwene hym and vs, euen Iesus Christe his dearely beeloued sonne: By whom we mighte haue free en∣traunce wyth boldnes, to come before hys presence and Throne of mercye, to fynde and obteyne grace and helpe in tyme of nede. For thys our mediator and ad∣uocate * is with his father of the same substaunce, power, wisdōe and maiestye, and therfore maie way wel wyth him in al things: and with vs he is of the same sub¦staunce whyche we are of, euen flesh and mā, but pure and with Page 99 oute synne, in all thynges beyng tempted lyke vnto vs, and ha∣uing * experyence of our infirmy∣tyes, that he myght be mercyfull and faythfull on our behalfe, to pourge vs from our synnes, and * to bryng vs into such fauor with the father: that we might be not onely dearely beloued throughe him, the only dearlyng of the fa∣ther, * but also obtayne whatsoe∣uer we shal aske according to his worde and will, in the name of this same our mediator, sauiour, intercessour and aduocate. So y• easy it is to see, that as it is an o∣bedyente seruice to god ye father, to call alwayes vpon hym in all * our nede: so to come to hys pre∣sence throughe Chryste, is to the honoure of CHRISTES medyacyon, intercessyon, and Page 100 aduocatship. And therfore, as it cannot bee but agaynste the al∣mightie God and father, to aske or loke for any thyng els where, at the handes of any that be de∣parted this life, as thoughe he were not the geuer of all good thynges, or as though he hadde not commaunded vs to come vn to hym: so we see, it is manyfest∣li against Christ Iesus our lord, by any other saynte, aungell or archangel, to come and moue a∣ny thyng at our fathers handes: As though he were not our me∣diatour, aduocate and interces∣soure, or els not a sufficiente ad∣uocate, mediatour and interces∣sour, or at leest not so mercyfull, meke, gracyous, louing and rea∣dye to helpe, as others.
If his own harte bloud was not to deare for vs, beeyng hys very enemyes, & neuer desirous to doe his wil: How is it possy∣ble, that he wyl contemne vs, for cōming vnto him with purpose and desyer to serue hym? Many other reasons I could geue you, wherefore the saynctes are not to bee prayed vnto: for that pul∣leth from fayth in Chryst: It ma¦keth them godes, it is ydolatrye &c. But thys maye suffice. So yt nowe you see by godes woorde, what oure faith is concernynge these. 4. thynges.
Whyche that you maye the more loue, embrace and be cōtēt to cary wyth you throughe fyer Page 102 and water, I wil now goe about by gods grace, as brefelye as I can, to shewe, howe abominable their doctryne is: euen out of the short Summe therof, already be¦fore by me rehearced.
The. 10. Chapter.
The popishe doc∣tryne of the sacrament con¦futed more largelye.
FIrste, where they alledge the Catholyke churche to haue taughte, concernynge the supper, the doctryne of trāsubstāciaciō of Christs real and carnall presence: dearly beloued, know that this is a ma¦nifest Page 103 lie. For as the Catholyke church neuer knew of it for. 900 yeares at the least, after Christs ascension: so after that tyme, no * other churche did obstynatlye defende, cruelly mayntayne, and wylfullye wreste the scriptures and doctors for the establyshing of it, saue onli the popish church, as theyr owne doctors, Duns and Gabriel, doe teache. Reade the byshoppe of Canterburyes booke agaynste Winchester, and see.
Where as they saye, that Christe in hys supper, by takyng bread & speakynge the wordes of conse∣cracyon, dyd make it hys fleshe, accordig to hys promes in Iohn * (whan he saith: and ye bread, y• I wil geue, is my flesh &c) so y• thei wold therbi seme to haue. 2. pla∣ces of Scripture for thys theyr Page 104 doctryne of transubstanciacyon and reall or carnall presence: Al¦though diuersly I cold improue this, yet for because I wold not be ouer tedious vnto you, euen by the same their sētence you shal se, how lernedly they lye.
The sentence is this: And the bred, that I wil geue, is mi flesh, whiche I wyl geue for the lyfe of the world. First marke, that he saieth: the bread is my flesh. He sayth not: shalbe my flesh, but it is my fleshe.
Thys I trowe maketh agaist them. For the sacrament a yeare after at the lest was not institut. Agayne, he saith: that the bread is his flesh, whiche he wyll geue for the lyfe of the world.
Here woulde I aske them, whee there Chrystes death was for y• life of the world, or in vayne. If Page 105 they say, it was for the life of the world, then why doe they apply and geue it to the sacrament? Was it crucifyed? Or if it be the same sacrifice (for so they saye) eyther it was effectuall, or not. If it was effectual, then Christs death neded not.
If it was not effectuall, then Chryst was not god, and could not doe that he woulde: thus ye maye see their vngodly foolysh: nes, or foolyshe vngodlynesse, I can not tell whyche to cal it wel.
Where as they require the in tente of the prieste, to consecrate * Chrystes bodye: for asmuche as we knowe not any mans intent, (god only knoweth the hart) yea the wordes we know not, thei ar so spokē in hucker mucker: I pray you, into what a doubtfulnesse are we brought, whether it be y•Page 106 sacrament or no? In what perill are we of worshipping a pece of bred for our Chryst? Is not this (trowe you) swete and comforta¦ble geer, y• a man shall alwayes stand in doubt, whether he haue receaued the sacramente or no? Where as they wil haue it bred to the eye, and not to the mouth, iudge thē whether a dogge may not eate Chrystes bodye: iudge whether the deuyll, if he would come in the liknesse of a pryeste, might not swalow vp Chryste & so brig him into hel. Frō whēce, beecause there is no redempcion there, Christes body shoulde ne∣uer come, but be damned. Iudge whether the taist of thy mouth, is not as much to be credited, as the sight of the eye: specially in y• the scripture so often calleth it bred after ye consecracyon, as be∣fore Page 107 I haue shewed. Iudge whe¦ther Chrystes body be not verye prety, that it can lye in so litle a rowme. Iudge whether Chryste hath moo bodies then one, when perchāunce the priest hath. 20. or 100. before hym. Iudge whether the prieste breake not Chrystes bodye in breakynge of it. Iudge whether it bee semelye, to chawe Chrystes body, wyth the teeth. Iudge whether Christ did eate hys owne bodye, yea or no: for Chryst did eate the sacrament wt hys disciples. Iudge whether it be semely, that Chryst should be kept so in prison, as thei kep him. Iudge whether it be semeli, that Chrystes body should be so dyn dle danled, & vsed, as thei vse it. Iudge whether y• people knockig and knelynge at the eleuacion of that they see (for they see but the formes of bred & wyne, and not Page 108 Chrystes bodye, if it bee as the Papystes feyne) iudge, I saye, whether the people, by the pa∣pystes owne doctryne, bee not made ydolatours.
Many moo absurdities ther be, whyche I purposiye omytte. Thys lytle is inough, hereby to geue you occasyon to knowe the more.
Where they saye, that ye bred is made Chrystes bodye, fleshe, bloud &c. That is: that Christes body is made of the bred: As the Byshopp of Wynchester, in his boke for thys mater of the deuils sophistie, and els where doeth affirme: You may se; how shame leslye, yea blasphemouslye they speake.
For Chrystes body crucified was borne of the virgin Mary: euen of her substaunce. But thei Page 109 saye, the supper is that bodye, which was crucified. Nowe, I trowe, bread is one thynge, and the virgins fleshe another thing. Therefore in dede they denye Chryst in the flesh, that thei may stablish their Chryst in the bred: whych is the very note of Anti∣christ.
Last of al, where as thei say, that they receaue the sacrament to damnacion, whych doe not be leue their transubstanciacyon: If wyth Paul their wordes wer conferred, you shoulde see other∣wise.
For he sayeth: they receaue this bread (for so he calleth it af∣ter the wordes of consecracyon) vnworthely, whyche doe not e∣steme Chrystes body.
As in dede the papystes do not, whych woulde brynge Chryste Page 110 down out of heauen, for theues and whores to chawe and eate, for mothes, to corrupt, and to be in daunger of mowlynge: as yf thei kepe their hostes lōg indede thei wil moulde, and then wyll they burne thē. Doe these menne (trow you) esteme Chrystes bo∣dy: Paul playnly sheweth in y• same place, that ye wycked man, whiche receaueth y• sacrament vn worthely, eateth not Chrysts bo¦dy, but his own dānaciō: which, I trow, be not Christes bodye. And this shal serue for this time to shew you how shameles, fyl∣thy & abominable this their doc¦trine of transubstanciacion is. If in so short a sūme of their doc¦trine there be so many abomina¦cions, I pray you, howe much is in the whole summe of the same? Now for the sacrifice.
The. 11. Chapter.
The popishe doc∣tryne of the sacrifice confuted.
FIrst, in that they graunt Christes sacrifice on the crosse, done by himselfe, to be full and perfecte y∣nough, we may wel se, y• we nede not thys, which they haue foūde out, in dede to make the other vn perfect: for els it neded no reite∣racion.
But seing thei reiterate it by this and make it nedeful euen as baptisme, easely may all menne knowe, yt though they speake one thing, thei me•e another: and so are dyssemblers and destroyers Page 112 of Chrystes sacrifice, litle consy∣deringe the greate payne that Chryst suffred, seyng thei weie it no better.
Where as they saye, that it is the same sacrifice, which Christe offred on y• crosse, but vnbloude∣ly (wherin thei seme to deni tran substanciacion: for els, I trowe, it must nedes be bloudi) I wold thus reason wyth thē: in asmuch as Chrystes sacrifice on ye crosse was the only perfect, and al suf∣ficient propiciatory sacrifice for the synnes of the worlde, as thei confesse, thys coulde not be the same, because it was done before that vpon the crosse.
Or els the ful perfecte sacry∣fice was then in the supper fini∣shed, and so Christes death is in vaine and a foolysh thyng.
Yf Chrystes death bee not foo∣lish, Page 113 but in dede (as it is) the full and perfect sacryfice for y• sinnes of the world: Then thys, whiche they feine, that he offered in his last supper, is not the same, prate what pleaseth them. Or els it is not of value, take whether they wyll.
Whereas they prate of Christes wyl, that it was accepted before his father for the dead: as they shall neuer bee able to shewe so much as one word, to proue that Chryst would in hys supper, sa∣crifice himselfe to hys father for the synnes of the world (for ther is not one worde therof through out the whole byble) so doe thei belie god the father, which wold in dede haue hys sonne to drinke the cupp, that he prayed to be ta¦ken from him: or els mak christs death frustrate, and more then Page 114 nede, which is the onely thynge, that all their doctryne tendeth vnto. For if the father alowed his wil for the dede, I pray you, who seeth not now, the ded to be more then nedeth?
Where they saye, that Chryst commaunded hys churche, to of∣fre this sacrifice to hys father in remembraunce of his bloudye sa¦crifice: I woulde praye them to shew me, where he commaunded it, and then good inoughe. But, dearlye beloued, they can neuer shew it. Yf they wyll saye: Hoc facite: to take facere for to sacri∣fice, as some teache it: then will I say, that a boye of. 12. year olde can tel they lye.
For hoc facite (doe you this) perteineth to the whole action of Chrystes supper, of taking, eatīg and drynkynge of y• sacramente Page 115 &c. And aswel spoken to the laye men as to ye priestes. But, I trow they wil not suffer the laie men, to say masse another whyle now for them.
No, thys were to muche a∣gaynst theyr honor and gayne al¦so. But if one woulde aske them what they offer to the father, thē a man should se their abominaci¦ons. For if they saye, nothynge, then men woulde take them, as they be, lyars.
If they say: bread and wyne, as indede thei doe in their masse horriblye, then in that they saye they offre the same thing, whiche Chryste offred on the crosse, and he offred his bodye: bred muste nedes be Chrystes body, and so Christes body is bred and wine. If thei say yt thei offer vp christ, in that the offerer must neds be Page 116 as good at the lest, yea better thē the thing offred (for God is no strompet, to like the offer token, and gifte better, then the offerer and geuer) then must they nedes shew thēselues opē Antichrists. For they make themselues equal wyth Chryst, yea better then he: whych thyng indede their holy father and graundsire, the pope, doth.
For where Chryste woulde take vpon him to teach nothing, but that he had receaued of hys father: And therfore willed men to search the scriptures, as al his Apostles did, whether their doc¦tryn was not according thervn∣to: the pope, and his prelates, wil be bold to teach what please them more, then God byddeth, yea cleane contrary to y•, whyche god biddeth. As it is playne by Page 117 al these. 4. pointes, transubstan∣ciacion, sacrifice, praying for the dead and to the dead. But see, I pray you, theyr abominacions. The sacrifice of Christ, for the re¦dempcion of ye worlde, was not simply his bodi & his bloud: but his bodye broken, and his bloud shed. That is, all hys passyon and sufferyng in his bodye and fleshe.
In that therfore thei offre, as thei sai, the same sacrifice, which Chryst offred: dearely beloued, doe they not asmuch, as in them is, kyl, slaye, whyppe and cruci∣fie Chryst agayne? Ah wretches and Antichristes.
Who would not desier to die for his master Chrystes cause, a∣gaynst thys theyr hainous and stinking abominacion? Wher as they cal this sacrifice of y• masse Page 118 the principal meane, to apply the benefite of Christs death to the quick and dead: I woulde glad∣ly haue them to shew, where and of whom they learned it. Sure I, am thei learned it not of Christ. For whan he sent hys dysciples * abrode, to apply vnto men ye be∣nefyte of hys death, he bad them not masse it, but preache the gos¦pel, as ye meane by the which god had appoynted beleuers to be sa¦ued. The which thīg Peter tolde * Cornelius playnly, as Paul also teacheth almost euery where in hys epistles. But in dede prea∣ching they may not away wyth, aswel for that it is to paynefull, as for that it is nothing so gain¦ful, nor in auctorite or estimaciō wt the world. Nothīg so displea¦seth y• deuil, as preaching y• gos∣pel, as in al ages easely we may Page 119 wel se, if we wil mark, to our cō∣fort in this age. And therfore by geuinge his daughter, idolatry, with her dowrye of worldlye wealth, ryches and honor, to the Pope and his shauē shorelings: they haue by thys meanes in ma¦ny yeares bene begettīg a daugh¦ter, which at length was deliue∣red to destroye preachynge: euen the minion Missa, mestres Mis∣sa, who daunceth dayntelye be∣fore the Herodes of the worlde, and is the cause, euen whi Iohn Baptist & ye preachers bee put in to pryson and lose their heades. Thys daunsynge damosell, the derlyng of her mother, the fayre garlande of her fathers (for she hath many fathers) the gawdye galaunte of her graundesyre, is trymmed and trycked on the beste and moste holy maner or Page 120 wysē, y• can be: euen wt the worde of god the epistle and the gospel: with the sacrament of Chrystes body and bloud: wt the poman∣der and perfumes of prayer, and al godly thynges, that cā be: but blasphemously and horribly abu¦sed, to be a mairmaide, to amase and bewitche men, sayling in the seas of this life, to be enamored on her.
And therfore, besydes her a∣foresaid goodli apparel, she hath al kynde of swete tunes, dityes, melodies, singing, playing, ryn∣ging, knocking, kneling, standīg, lifting, crossing, blessing, blowīg •nouing, incēsing &c. Moreouer she wanteth no golde, siluer, pre¦cious stones, Iewels and costly silkes, veluettes, satēs, damastes &c. And al kind of things, which ar gorgious in the syght of men: Page 121 as, if you cal to mīd the chalices, copes, vestiments, crucifixes &c. you can not but see.
And here to she is bewtyfyed, yet more to be shewed, and sette forth in lying words and titles, geuen to her: that she hath all po¦wer in heauen, earth & hell: that she hath all thynges for soule & bodye, for quicke and dead, for man and beast.
And lest men shoulde thynke her to coye a dame, lo syr, she of∣ferth her selfe most gently to al, that wil come, bee they neuer so poore, euil, stinking and foule, to haue their pleasure on her. Come who wil, she is Ihōe good feloe. And y• not only to make her selfe common to them, that wyll: but also to plye them plentyfully, wt most pleasaunte promyses (but falsely) and geuing most licen••∣o••〈1 page missing〉
Page 124 graffed into hym: ye supper, yt we are fed wt Christ, spirituallye wt his body and bloud, yea that we be incorporated into Christ, to be fleshe of his fleshe & bone of hys bones, as he, by being borne of ye virgin Mary, was flesh of oure flesh, and bone of oure bones. A∣way therefore wt their abomina∣ble doctryne, that the sacrifice of the masse is the principal means to appli Christs death to ye quick and dead: wherin al men may se that they lye boldly.
For as the worde of god in the ministery perteineth not to the dead (for who wil be so made, as to goe and preache on dead mēs graues, yt the dead mē may hear) so likewise do not the sacramēts. Litle beholding were menne to Christ and to ye Apostles, if this were the principall meane to ap¦ply Page 125 saluaciō, y• they would vse it so litle & preache so much. Paul, hauing respect to ye chefest end, wherfore he was sent, said y• he was not sente to baptise, but to * preach. And often saith he, y• he was an apostle, segregate of god * to preach ye gospel. And y• bishop Timothi did he warne, to preach in seasō & out of season, speaking neuer a worde of this massing or sacrificing Christes body. Laste of al, wher thei mak a similitud, that as by baptisme the minister applieth to y• child regeneraciō, so in this &c. Oh, y• this simili∣tude wer wel loked on, thē wold it make thē to bluster: for thei ar no more lyke, then an apple lyke an oyster. In baptysme the child is alyue, but here y• man is dead: in baptisme the chylde is presēt, but here y• man is perchaūce. 40. Page 126 miles of if he sacrifice for ye quit, yea. 100. miles from him: in bap¦tisme the childe receaueth the sa¦crament, but here you must loke and gape.
But beware you take not, for ye may receaue but once a yeare, and then also you muste receaue but ye one halfe, the cuppe he wil kepe from you. In baptisme is re¦quired gods eleccion, if y• childe be an infaunt: or faith if he be of age. And therfore he reciteth the promes, that it maye bee heard: but here is no fayth requyred.
For how can men beeleue, whan they ar dead? No promes is thē preached or heard. So that euen thys theyr similitude maketh the mater playne inough.
For baptysme, al men knowe, to be no sacrifice.
But of thys I haue spokē a litle Page 127 before, that if applying come by the priestes massyng: then were preachyng in vayne, beleuynge in vayne, godly lyfe in vayne, ye prieste were goddes felowe, yea Chrystes superiour, as is afore sard. Now to the thirde, of pray¦ing for the dead: wherin I wilbe brefe.
The. 12. Chapter.
¶ The confutaci∣on of the papystes sacrifi∣cing and praying for the dead.
FIrst whan they say, this ap∣plicatory sacrifice may be cal∣led a propiciatory sacrifice, bee∣cause it applyeth the propiciato∣rye sacrifice, to whom the priest Page 128 wyll, bee he dead or alyue: as I woulde haue you to note, howe they graunt, that of it selfe it is not a propycyatorye sacryfyce, whereby they varye from that, which they els where teach, that it is the self same sacrifice, which Chryste offered on the crosse, vn bloudely: so I praye you forget not, that ye priest is gods felowe: for he may apply it to whom he wyll.
Therfore honor sir Iohn, and make much of sir Thomas. For though god could make thee a∣lone: yet alone, wyth oute the prieste, he can not saue thee. A∣gayne, if sir Iohn be thy frend, care neyther for god nor the de∣uill: lyue as thou wylte, he wyll bryng thee to heauen, althoughe thou slippe into hel.
So they wryte, that Gregory by Page 129 massing did with Traiane y• em∣perour. It maketh no mater how thou lyue here, so thou haue the sauior of the pope and his shaue lynges.
Wheras they say, that the fa∣thers from the beginninge were accustomed to make memorials for the dead: thys I graunte to be true, as we doe in our commu¦nion.
But to gather, that therefore they prayed for them: it nomore foloweth, then to saye, that oure englyshe seruice doeth alowe it, where it doth not. For ye muste note, that there is a memorial for the dead aswel in geuing thanks to god for them, as in praying for them: for to saye, to praye for the dead, is a generall worde, inclu∣dyng in it geuyng of thankes.
And therfore whan we read in Page 130 the aunciente fathers of the pri∣mitiue church, of the memorials for the dead or prayinge for the dead, it is not to be vnderstand, that they prayed for to delyuer them from purgatory (for y• was not founde out then) or frō hell, as oure papistes doe in theyr prayers of the masse, forther is no redempcion: or for pardon of theyr synnes, as thoughe they had it not, for if thei depart with out it, they are damned: or for to get them a hier place in heauen, for that wer iniurious to christ, that we should purchase places, and hyer rowmes in heauen for others: But eyther for the de∣syer of the more spedy cōming of Christ, to hasten the resurrecciō, either y• thei might not be thoght negligent or careles ouer y• deed: tyther that the liuing myght be Page 131 occasioned to increase in loue to the church here in earth, who stil foloweth with good wil & loue, euen men whā thei be departed: eyther to admonish the churche to be diligent ouer such as lyue, and careful to extende her loue, if it were possible, euen to the deed.
On this wise shoulde we ex∣pounde not only the former, but also y• later fathers, as Austen, Chrisostōe and others. Whyche though in some places they seme very manifestli to alow praying for y• deed, yet they are not to be vnderstād otherwise, thē I haue said for them. For neuer knewe they of our merites & purgatory: for if thei had but dreāed therō, surely thei would haue bē much more circūspect in their speakigs & writinges of this, thē theiwer. Page 132 Where they saye, that beecause thys sacrifice is the sacryfice of the whole churche, whereof the dead be members, therfore they should be prayed for: as beefore I haue shewed, that we must put a difference betwene the mēbers of the churche militaunte here on earth, and those whyche bee now in rest and peace with god: so wold I haue you to note here, that they should pray for none o∣ther dead then suche, as be mem∣bers of Chrystes Churche.
Nowe in that al such dye in the lord, and therfore are happye, I would gladly learne, what good such prayer doeth to those so de∣parted.
As for purgatory pyke pursse, they passe not vpon it. But that thys is a sacrifice applycatorye or propiciatory, the papistes cā Page 133 neuer proue. Where they saye, charitie requireth it: I answer, that in asmuche as charitie folo∣weth fayth, and wyll not goe a fote farther then fayth sheweth the waye: seyng fayth is not but of the worde of god, and goddes * woorde for thys they haue not: easy it is to perceaue, that thys praying thus for the dead is not of Christian charitie. But be it y• charitie réquired it, I then mer∣uail why thei ar so vncharitable, that wyll doe nothyng herein wt out money. Whye wyll they not pray without pens? If the pope and his prelates were charita∣ble, they woulde, I trowe, make swepe stake at once wyth pur∣gatorye.
Where they alledge the sen∣tence of the Machabees: as all men of learnynge knowe, the fa∣thers Page 132〈1 page duplicate〉Page 133〈1 page duplicate〉Page 134 alowe not that booke to be gods spirite or catholike: so doe I wonder, that in al the olde te∣stamente this sacrificing for the dead was neuer spokē of before. In all the sacrifices, that God appoynted, we reade of neuer one for the dead.
Thys geer came not vp, till the religion was wonderfullye corrupte among the Iewes.
As wyth vs it was neuer founde out, til horrible corrupci∣on of religion and ignoraunces of Godes worde came into the churche of god, whan preachyng was putte downe and massynge came vp.
Then fayth in Christ was colde, penaunce became popyshe, and trust was taughte in creatures, ignoraunce abounded: and loke Page 135 what the clergi said, that was be¦leued. Then came vp visions, mi¦racles, dead sprites walkynge and talkynge how they myghte bee releued by thys masse, by that pylgremage gate goynge.
And so came vp this pelfe of prayinge for the dead, whyche Paul, the apostles and al the pro¦phetes neuer spake one word of. For all menne maye easelye see, that it is a thinge which helpeth much vyce, and hyndreth godly∣nesse.
Who wyll bee so earneste to amende, to make restytucyon of that he hath gotten vniustli, and lyue in a Godlye loue and true frare of GOD, beeyng taught that by prayers, by masses, by foundynge of Chaunteryes &c. whan he is gone, he shall fynde case, & releafe, yea and come to Page 136 ioye eternall: Chrystes doctrine is, that the waye of saluacion is strayte. But thys teachyng, hea∣pyng of masses one vpō another whan we are dead, maketh it voyde.
Chrystes teachyng is, that we shoulde liue in loue and charite: the Sonne should not go down on our wrath. But this doctrine, to pray for the dead to be dely∣uered out of purgatory, teacheth rather to lyue in litle loue, in wrath euen tyl our deathes day. For syr Iohn can and wil helpe, syr thomas, by a masse of Scala celi, wyll bryng vs into heauen. Chrystes doctryne is, that he is the way, but thys doctryne ma∣keth the massyng priest the way. Away in dede it is, but to hell & to ye deuil. Dearly beloued, ther∣fore take good hearte vnto you Page 137 for thys geer: rather, then you would consente vnto it, to loose lyfe, and all that euer you haue.
You shal be sure wyth Chryst to fynde it, and that for euer, wyth infinite increace.
Last of al, wher they alledge the catholyke churche and consēt of al doctors in thys mater: as I wyshe you should knowe, that to be the true and catholyk church, which is grounded vpon gods worde, whiche worde they haue not for them in thys matter: So would I ye shoulde knowe, that ther is no membre of the church, but he mai erre. For thei be men, and al men be lyers, as Dauyd sayeth.
Now if al the members may erre, then you mai easeli se, wher to your fayth ought to leene: euē vnto gods wryttē worde. Heare Page 138 the churche, and the doctors of y• churche: but none otherwyse thē as teachers, and trye their tea∣chyng by gods worde. If they teache accordyng to it, then bee∣leue and obeye them.
If contrary, then knowe they be but menne, and alwayes lette your fayth leene to gods worde.
Howbeit, for thys mater of prayinge for the dead, knowe of trueth, that ther be no doctors of 400, or. 500. yeare after Christs ascension, but if thei in sōe places seme to alowe prayinge for the dead, yet they would be taken in some of the senses whiche I haue specified. In many pla¦ces doe they by diuerse sē∣tences declare it them selues. But of this ynough.
The. 13. Chapter.
The refutacion of the heresye of prayinge to sainctes, departed out of this world.
NOw to the laste of pray¦inge to saynctes. Fyrste where they say, there be moo mediators of inter¦cession then Chryst, ma∣kynge a distinction, not learned out of gods boke in suche sense, and for suche purpose as they al¦ledge: I wyshe they woulde loke on the. 8. to the Romaynes, and 1. Iohn. 2. & there shal they lerne, to take better hede.
Page 140 The one sayeth: Chryste sitteth on the ryght hand of hys father, and prayeth for vs.
The other sayth: he is our ad¦uocate, that is, a spokesman, cō∣forter, intercessor, and mediator. Now would I aske them, seyng that Chryst is a mediator of in∣tercessyon, as I am sure thei wil graunt: whether he be sufficient or no.
If they say no, then all mē wil know they lye. But if they saye yea, then maye I aske, whie they are not content wyth sufficient. What fault fynde ye wyth him? Is there any more mercyful, thē he: Any, more desyrous to do vs good, thē he? Any, that knoweth our grefe and nede, so muche as he?
Hetherto ye haue not asked a¦ny thyng in my name. Therefore my good brethren and sisters: let vs thanke god for thys medi¦ator. And as he is one alone me¦diatour for redempcion, lette vs take hym euen so for intercessiō. For, if by hys worke of redemp∣cyon, of enemyes we are made frendes: surely we, beyng frēdes and hauyng hym aboue on the * ryghte hande of hys father, shal by hym obteyne althynges.
Where they call it a poynte of a lowly and an humble spirite, to goe to saynctes, that they maye pray for them: you may caselise, it is a poynt of an arrogaūt here and a false vntrue sprete. For in Page 142 asmuch as god playnly byddeth the, that thou put naught to his * worde, nor rate aught there frō, in that hys worde is, thou shalte call vpon him in thy nede: why art thou so arrogaūt and proud, that y• wilt goe to Peter or Paul, to praye for thee? Where haste thou gods worde? Dost y• think, god is true of hys promes? Whi¦then dost thou not go vnto him? Doste y• thynke, that god at any tyme receaueth thee for thy wor¦thynes? On whom be hys eyes, but vpon hym, that trembleth at * hys wordes?
Blessed are they, that be pore * in sprite, and thynke themselues vnworthy of gods helpe. Wher∣fore hath god sworne, that he wil not the death of a syuner, but y• synners myght be moste certayn * of his loue & mercy, to be muche Page 143 greater, then they be able to con∣ceiue? His mercyes are aboue al his workes. *
But thou, that rūnest to saincts, thynkest that it is not so, for els wouldeste thou goe to hym thy selfe: that thou, seing his so much goodnesse, mighteste the more loue him, which thou canst not, if thou vse other meanes, then by Chryst only.
Where they bryng in the en∣saumple of saynctes praying for the people, and obteynyng bene∣fytes for them, whylest they wer lyuyng here on earth: And so ga¦ther, that muche more they wyll and can doe it nowe for vs, in that they be wyth GOD, if we wyll pray vnto them: very easeli maye we put thys awaye by ma∣ny reasons.
Firste, that the cases be not like. Page 144 For, whan they were alyue, they myght know the nede of the peo¦ple.
But nowe, who can tel, whether they knowe any thyng of our ca∣lamities and nede? Esaye saith: Abraham dyd not knowe them, * that were in hys age. Agayne, if the people had come to them, to haue desired theyr prayers, as they would haue taken thys for an admonishment of their dutye to the people: So woulde they agayne haue warned the people of their dewtye, that wyth them they also would pray vnto God them selfes. Wheras there be no such reciprocal and mutuall of∣fices betwene the dead and the lyuyng: nowe can not we admo∣nishe them and tell them of oure nedes.
Or if we shoulde goe aboute it, Page 145 surely we should styl stande in a doubt, whether they did perceue vs or no.
For if they dyd perceaue the miseries of their brethren, surely theyr reste would not bee wyth∣out greate grefe: and of thys we are sure, that they can tel vs no∣thyng also.
Besides this, thys their rea∣soning smelleth, as it that wente before, of mans reason, which is * a foole in gods seruice, and of a good intent, whych is not accor¦dyng * to knoweledge. We maye not do after that, which is good * in our own eyes, but accordynge to that, whych God biddeth vs doe.
In our eyes it semeth good, that as to kynges and great men we vse meanes by men, whyche are of their priuy chamber or ner Page 146 about thē, either co come to their spech, or to atteyne our sutes: so we shoulde doe to Gode by his saynctes.
But to dreame on thys sorte, wyth god to vse sainctes so, wer and is vnto fayth very foolyshe. For god vseth no such priuie chā¦bers, to hide himselfe in. He is at hand (saith Dauid) to al that call * vpon hym.
And Moses said before him: god is nere the in all thy praiers. * No nacion hath their goddes so nye vnto them, as our god is to vs in all our prayers. He nedeth none to put him in remēberaūce * of vs, for he hath al thynges opē to his eyes: the heigth of ye hilles and the botomes of the depthes are in hys syght. Nothynge can hyde it selfe from his knowledg. He hath ordayned Christ Iesus Page 147 alonely, to be the meane, by whō we shal spede and receaue our re¦questes, * which be accordynge to hys will: if we open oure purse mouth, that he may poure into y• same, I meane fayth.
For as a thynge poured vpon a vessel or other thyng, ye mouth be¦ing closed, is spilt & lost: so if we aske any thing according to gods wil by Christ, ye same doth vs no good, except the purse mouth of our harte be opened, by fayth to receaue it.
But to make an end, S. Paul tel¦leth * playnly, that wythout fayth prayer is not made. Now in that fayth is due onelye to God (for * cursed is he, that hath hys fayth in man, saynt or aungel) to God onely let vs make oure prayers, but by Iesus Chryst, and in his name onely. Page 148 For onelye in hym is the father * wel pleased.
This if we do, and that often, as Chryst wylleth (oportet sem∣per orare, we must praie alway) * then shal we vndoubtedly in all thynges be directed by goddes holy sprite, whom Chryste hath promysed to be oure doctor, tea∣cher * and cōforter. And therefore nede we not to feare, what man or deuill can doe vnto vs, eyther by false teachynge or cruell persecucion. For oure pa∣stor is such one, y• none * can take his shepe out of his handes. To hym be praise for euer.
The. 14. Chapter
¶ The knittynge vp of the mater and conclusyon or peroracion, wyth the au∣tors desier and prayer, for the persecuted brethren.
ANd thus much, my good brethren and sisters in oure deare Lorde and sa∣uyoure Iesus Chryste, I thoughte good to wryte vnto you for your cōfort in these trouble some daies, and for the cō¦firmacion of the trueth, that ye haue already receaued. From the whyche if you for feare of man, Page 150 losse of goods, frends or lyfe, do swarue or departe: you departe and swarue from Chryst, and so snarre your selfe in Satans so∣phistry, to your vtter subuersiō. Therfore, as Peter sayth, watche * and be sober: for as a roaring liō, he seketh to deuoure you. But be ye strōg in faith: that is, stagger * not, wauer not in gods promises and be assured that thei perteine vnto you, that god is your God, that he is wyth you in trouble, & wyll delyuer you and gloryfye * you.
But yet see, that ye call vpon hym, specially that you enter not into temptacion, as he taughte * his disciples to pray euen at such tyme, as he saw Satan desier to * sift them, as now he hath desired to sift vs. O most deare sauyor, preuent hym now, as thou didst Page 151 then with thi praier, we besech thee: and graunte, that our fayth faynte not, but strengthen vs to confirme the weake: that they de¦ny not thee and thy gospell, that they returne not to their vomite and puddle of myer in poperie & * supersticion: As massyng, pray∣ing to sayntes, prayinge for the dead, or worshippyng the worke of mens hande, in steade of thee their sauiour. Oh lette vs not so runne down headlong into per∣dicion, * stombling on those sines, from the whiche there is no re∣couery, but a causynge of thee to deny vs before thy father, makig our later ende worse, then the be¦gynnyng: as chaunced to Loths wife, Iudas Iscarioth, Frācisc. Spira in these our dayes, and to many other.
But rather strengthen vs all Page 152 in thi grace, and in those things, whych thy worde teacheth: that we may here hasarde our life for thy sake.
And so shall we bee sure to * saue it: as if we seke to saue it we can not but lose it. And it beyng lost, what profyt can we haue, if we wanne the whole world? Oh set thou alwaies before our eies not (as reason doth) thys lyfe, or the pleasures of the same, death of the body and prysonment &c. But euerlastyng lyfe, and those vnspeakable ioyes, whyche vn∣doubtedlye they shall haue, that take vp their crosse, and folowe the.
Set euer before vs also the e∣ternall fyer, and perpetuall des∣truccion of soule and body, that they must nedes at length leape into, whyche are afrayed of the Page 153 hore froste of aduersitie, that man or the deuyll stereth vp, to stoppe and hynder vs frō going forwarde in oure iourney to hea¦uens blysse: to the whyche, O Lorde, doe thou brynge vs for thy name sake. Amen.
Pray for al your brethrē, which be in prison and exile, and so ab∣sent from you in bodye, but yet presente with you in spirite, and hartely praye god, once to proue vs and trust vs agayne with his holy worde and gospell: that we may be suffred to speke, and you to heare his voyce, as heretofore we and you haue done, but vn∣thankfully & negligentli (I may say) yea very vnworthely & car∣nally. And therfore is his moste iust anger fallen nowe vpon vs.
He remember hys mercie to∣wardes vs, in his time, we beseche hym.