❧ A Lesson of the Incarnation of Christe that he toke, his humanite in and of the Blessyd Uirgine: made the twentithe daye of June by John Hoper. 1549.

Roma. 9.
¶ Christe is of the fathers concernynge the fleshe.

¶ A daylye prayer to be sayde before the Lesson.

OH eternall and most mer­cyfull God: whois word is the lyght vnto oure stappes, and the lanterne vnto oure fete. We moost humble be­seche the, to illuminat our myndes, that we maye vnderstand the mysteries conteynyd in thy holye lawe. And into the same selfe thynge that we godlye vnderstond, we may be vertu­ouslye transformyd, so that of no parte, we offend thy hyghe maiestie, through oure sauiour Jesus Christ▪ So be it.

¶ A Preface.

SEyng we be euen so appoyntyd by the ordinaunce of God, to lyue, & take the experience & dan­gere of the laste tyme, in the whych (as the scripture sayth) iniquite shall abound and the trewe knoulege of God so ob­scuryd, that skarse the sonne of man when he commythe shall fynde onye faythe vpon the earthe: it is the office of all Christianes, and espetiallye of souche as teache the worde of God, not onlye to remoue and take awaye false & pernicious doctrine, and then to plant the truythe: But also in tyme to croppe & cut of the spryngyng. [Page] and towardelye euyles, before they be full rype, lest they shuld oppresse & kepe vnder the doc­trine of truythe.

Amonge all other pernitiouse doctrine contrarye vnto the truythe, there is one most pestilent and dangerous whych de­nyithe Jesus of Nazareth our sauioure to haue receauyd hys humanite and manhede of the blyssyd & holye virgine Marye and supposithe ether he brought hys humanite wyth hym from heauen, or else toke it of some other, thē of here. For asmouch thefore as thys vngodlye opy­nyon, crept not onlye into the churche immediatlye after the Apostelles, but also the same (beynge buryd and condemnyd by the scripture) in oure mise­rable, and most perillouse tyme [Page] is goten into the hartes of manye: for whom Christ in hys humanite shedde hys preciouse bloud, and some it holdithe in troble, and perplexite of con­science: to confyrme and helpe the well persuadyd in the Christiane and Catholick fayth, and also to call agayne (yf God wyl) souche as begone: I purpose to intreat and reason thys mater of Christes incarnation at large, that the truythe maye as right is in thys case, take here place.

Nothyng else in thys preface I demande, but that ye Christiane reader tarye with the truythe, and not to be offendyd thoughe in thys tyme, manye erroures (vpon the begynnynge of the Reformatiō of trew religion in thys realme) dayly be brought [Page] in, seing it was so in the Apo­stelles tyme by the craufte of the deuyll that men by the di­uersite of opynions troublyd ye trueth of ye gospell. Which was and is done to proue the fayth­full. Now therfore to the ma­ter, in the which I will obserue thys ordre. Fyrst I wyll shew, out of the olde Testament, and the new, that Christe toke hys humanite of the blyssyd virgine: after wardes I wyll answer to the obiectiōs of the cōtra­ries. †

Reasons out of the olde Testament.

THe fyrste is the pro­mese of GOD vnto Adamme and Eue: Gene. 3. that the sede of a woman shuide breake the Serpenteshed. This promese was spokē of Christ, for he solye and onlye brake the Serpētes hed, that is to saye destroyede the workes of the deuylle, satisfyed for synne and ouer came it, and also the worlde, hell, and the Deuylle, and set God and manne at one, remouynge the occasion of Ennimite, and the Ennimite it selfe in hys preci­ous blud. Brekynge the wry­tynges of oure condemnation [Page] vpon the crosse, Ephe. 2. & thys oure Sauioure and peace ma­ker is callyd the sede of a wo­man. The whyche word alone were sufficient to confounde the contrarye part, that saythe Christ toke not the substaunce of hys humanite of the blessyd Uyrgyne. Where so euer ye fynde thys worde, the sede of a woman in the holye scripture, ye shall see alwayes it is taken for the chyld, and byrthe that hathe of the substaunce of hys mother: and not for any thyng that passithe throughe the mother, as the water passithe throughe a pype: But that part of the mothers substaunce doothe concurre and necessa­rielye is requyryd to the pro­creation of the chylde as all Phisicke holdithe.

[Page]And this waye wrought God almightye the humanite of hys onlye sonne oure Sauyour Jesus of Nazareth wythoute the knowledge of man, vsynge the blessed virgine by the operatiō of the holy Ghost to conceyue & brynge forth thys blessed sede, whyche was made of her, and toke the original of hys huma­nite of, and in her, by the opera­tion of the holy Ghost, and nei­ther norished in her wombe, neither brought forthe she, the hu­manite of Christ, as a thing that God hadde geuen Christe from heauen, or els from some other where, but noryshed in her, and brought forth the blessed sede, that God had made by his ho­lye poure, of her own substaūce. Other els were thys promyse false, the sede of a woman shall [Page] breake ye serpentes heade. It is no sede of a womā nor hath anythyng to do to be called the sede of a woman, that neuer take thought of a woman. But God doeth warraunte that he that shall breake the Serpētes head shalbe the sede of a woman. If it be true (as it can not be false) that the Serpentes heade is broken: who can denye but that it is broken by the sede of a wo­man. That is, by hym that toke his humanite of the womannes substaunce. Men must be ware, they be not deceiued in this case with allegoryes, and wrong in­terpretacion of the worde: but plainlye make answere, Christe is the sede of a woman, and not a thynge that passed throughe here, nor was partetaker of her nature. For then should she not [Page] haue broughte forthe her sone, but such asone as she know neyther father neyther mother of.

Othere promises made god vnto Abraham and vnto Jacob of the same sede. To Abraham Gene. 22. In thy sede shall they say all the nacyons of the earth to be bsessed. Unto Jacob, Gen. 26. God saith thus: In thy sede shal al ye people of ye world be blessed. Here agayn se we Christe called the sede: for none other purpose doutles, but onelye to take away all suspycion & dout, that the worlde myght haue of hys humanyte. And leaste the worlde myghte haue sayde, as nowe a daye (the more pytye) many doth say, we belieue that Christe is of the sede of the fa­thers, but he brought that sede with him from heauen, or elles [Page] wroughte the same sede, and made it not oute of the synneful nature of the fathers, but some other wayes, vnknowen vnto man. The scripture in these promyses, and in other that shal folowe putteth expresselye, thys pronown, Thyne, Saying, thy Sede. In thy sede, not in the sede that Christe shall brynge from heauen shalbe the blessing of all people. Howe can that be Abrahames, or Jacobes sede, that neuer toke any of their substaunce, but came from heauen, and was made of an other kind of nature, then Abraham and Jacob was of. Who is able by good auctorite of the scrypture to warraunt Christes humani­te, incase it be vnknown of whō he shoulde take it. As these mē knoweth not yt denyeth Christe [Page] to take the nature of man of the blessed virgine. Unto Dauid God made the lyke promyse of Christe to be borne of hys sede. 2. Samuel. 7. When thy dayes be paste, and thou slepeste wyth thy fathers, I wyll suscitat thy sede after the, that shall come out of thy bely. The same haue ye. 1. Paral. 17. and also Psalm. 132. The Lorde swore a trueth vnto Dauid, and wyll not go fromit. I wyll set vpon thy sete (one) of the fruyte of thy belye. Nothinge is more clere, then these wordes. Noman douteth but all these places appertayne vnto Christ, the sonne of the holye virgine. Who is called here the sede of Dauid. Also that it shoulde come out of hys owne belye, concernynge his posteri­te. Thē is Christ called the fruit [Page] of Dauid belye. God did sware he would thys do. Except he be for sworne he hathe done it, and in that God be presyde, we be agryed. Therfore we wyll not tarye long in the proue therof, seinge it neadeth no probation. One thing I desyre ye Christiā Reader of, that he marke well euerye worde of the promyse▪ where as he callethe hym that is promysed, nowe the sede of Dauid, then the fruyte of hys wombe: yf he so do, it shalbe easy to comprehende, howe far these men be from the veryte, that Christe shoulde be a man of the fathers nature, accordynge to the scriptures, and yet neuer receyued hys humane nature of none of them all. Loke in the scrypture, and se what the fruit of the belye is, and thou shalte [Page] find in euery where, it is taken for the child that taketh the be­ginnynge of hys humanite not onlye in hys mother, but also of hys mother, and parente. And calleth not that the fruyt of the belye, that passeth the bely with out the commixtion and participation of the mothers substaūce as the water runneth, and pas­sethe thoroughe the pype, that mengleth it selfe nothyng with substaūce of the led. For a more ample declaration, and defence of the trueth concernynge the humanyte of Christ, and the originall therof, Esaie the prophet hath more open propheties, not only assuringe of what familie, and trybe, Christ shuld be borne but also namethe the condicion of hys mother, saying. Behold a virgyne shall conceyue, & bare [Page] a chylde, the. 7. Chapt. S. Mathew sayth, not onelye that she had conceiued, but also that the blessed fruit grew in her, so that she was great, Chap. 1.

Esaie in the. 11. Chap. sayth. There shall come forthe of the rase of Jesse a braunche, and a floure of hys rote, and so forth, reade the place. Now note the wordes of the holy Ghost, Conceyue, beynge great, & to bring for the chylde: whether euer ye did read in the holy scriptures, or in any other boke, yt these propertes were found, or may be founde in anye, sauynge in her, of whose nature and substaunce the chyld is formed, and made. Therfore the virgin, which E­say here saythe shall conceyue, & bryng forth, must ministre the part of her substaūce to her fruit [Page] otherwyse, howe shal it be cal­led her sonne? The text ampli­fyeth thys mater so it self: that it neadeth no help of any rethoricall amplificacion. Fyrst, with thys worde, beholde: for thys worde declareth that it should be wōderfull, and aboue reason that the nature of a virgyne shoulde ministre mater and substaunce to any childe, neuer be­ing knowē of mā. Had she done no more, thē waxed great with nothing of her self, and brought forth the thing that was made wt out her, it had not bē a thing to be wondred at, at al, so much as the Prophet speaketh. But it is a greater miracle a virgine of her owne nature to be father vnto a chylde (by Goddes o­peration) and neuer touched by mā: then to bring forth ye burdē [Page] that she taketh from another, made wythoute her assistaunce and helpe.

Then goeth forth the Pro­phete, and discusseth the doute forther by a similitude, and me taphore taken from atre, after this sort. Ther shal sayth Esay come forth of the stocke of Jesse a braunche. That is to say, the blessed virgin Mary, note (the processe of the texte) and from the rote of thys braunche shall sprynge a floure, to say Christe our sauiour. Thys is the ordre of the text, & the meaning ther­of. I make the Christiā reader iudge. Oute of the which texte note those thinges. Firste, that Jesus of Nazareth our sauiour concerning his humanite hath not his beginning from heauen nor els where but from the sub [Page] staunce of the route of Jesse. Marke the wordes of the pro­phete. He sayth not that Christ shalbe a floure grafte or fay­ned to be annexed to the route, but he shalbe borne of the same route. Cōsider the symylytude and the wordes of the scripture Christ is called the flour of the braunche. It is not vnknowen vnto all men, but that the flour is of the nature & substaunce of the tre that bareth the floure. How can they thē proue (tarye in ye text of Esaie) seing our sauiour Christ is the flour of that sa crate virgine Mary, should not be of her substance and nature? Shew vs any floure, that is e­ther of appel tre, nut, or other yt is not of ye same nature and substaunce that the tre is, of whō it springeth. If ye graūt the flour [Page] to be of the nature & substaunce of the stock that bareth ye flour: be nomore iniuryouse, & cruell against Christ the flour & fruyt (by Gods ordinaūces) of the sacrate virgin, thē vnto the stock, and route of euery floure of the felde. Shew vs the flour of an Orange to spring of an Oke, & thē we wil graunt the humani­te of Christe, nor to take hys o­rygynall of man, but from hea­uen, or elles from somother be­gynnynge, as you do fayne, ye knowe not what. And then (it muste be graunted) euen as of ye nature of no▪ Orange cā come no orange: so of none of Abrahames nature and stocke, cā come Abrahames naturall kynsman oure Sauyoure Christ Jesus accordynge to the fleshe. But ye wyl not contrary to reason, [Page] graunt to vs the fyrste, nomore can we cōtrary both to reason and to the holy scripture, graūt you the seconde. These places and promyses of the olde testa­ment consydered: we wil bring forth the autoryte of the newe Testament, that shall confirme the same.

¶ Testimonyes of the new Testamente.

OUte of the olde Testament we haue heard yt Christ should be born according to the holy scripturs. Nowe let vs heare how ye effect answereth to y for more propheties. In case the new testament should not in ef­fect performe asmuch as ye olde testament figured by shadows and sawe before by prophetye, they bothe myghte be iustlye [Page] suspected, and no forse though both of the were denyed. And for a probacyon, let vs take the experyence of it in this matter concernynge the humanyte of Christ, and that it toke hys be­gynnynge in and of the holye virgine, by the operation of the holye Ghost. The Aungel sayd vnto the blessed vyrgine, Luce the fyrste. Beholde thou shalte conceyue in thy wombe, & bare a sonne, the whyche thynges S. Mathewe expresseth thus. Thou shaltbe great, and bare a sonne. Marke the whole state of the scripture, and the words here rehersed, to conceyue and bare a child: and ye shal alwaies fynd, it is none othere thynge but that the mother shalbe a verye true and natural parent wyth partycypatyon of here [Page] own substauuce with her child. Therfore Sayncte Mathewe in the fryste Chapiter to helpe this dout, amonge other thyn­ges touchynge the genealogie and stocke of Christ, sayth thus speakynge of the blessed virgin Mary, Of whom is born christ and doeth not say by whome or through whome Christ passed. The same worde Of, vseth S. Paule twysse to the Romains, and ones to the Galathians, ye whyche worde he woulde not haue vsed so manye tymes, in­case Christ hathe taken no sub­staunce of hys mother, but pas­sed through her without participation of her nature as ye water throughe a conduit. To the Romaynes in the first chapter he saith thus, which was borne of ye sede of Dauid as touching [Page] the fleshe. And in the in the. 9. Chapter Christ after the fleshe is of the fathers, & in ye fourthe to the Galathiās he sayth, whē the tyme was fulfylled, God sende hys sonne borne of a wo­man. What can be more playn­lye sayde to proue oure sauiour Jesus Christe to haue taken of the virgyne the substaunce of humane nature. Namelye be­cause the newe Testamente, & the authorytes therof, doeth so Godlye corresponde and an­swere to the propheties of the olde lawe, Gene. 22. 26. In thy sede, sayth Moses, and not in an other sede, or in a heauenlye sede. The same doeth S. Paul repet, saying. Christe is of the fathers as concernynge to the flesh. Mark ye word Of, & it shal destroy, yt fond opiniō of them yt [Page] say, true it is, we graūt ye Christ is of the sede of Dauid, yet it foloweth not he shuld take of the nature, and substaunce of the sacrate virgin. Note well ye wor­des, and they shall satisfye the. Unto this obieccion and other I wyll answere vnto here af­ter, in the ende of the oration. Now to the proue of our proposytion, reade the fyrst of Saint Luke, and marke the gretinge of Elizabeth vnto the holy vyr­gyne beyng great: Blessyd said she is the fruyte of thy wombe. Thys holye womanne callyth Christ the fruite, but wherof, & from whens had she this fruite of heauen, or othere where? no treulye: but it was the fruyte of her owne belye, then of her owne substaunce, or else it were a manifest lye to call Christ the [Page] fruyte of her belye. Nether I thynke, there is no man that would call a thing the fruite of a tre, that neuer had the nature of a tre. What man was euer so founde to saye, that a Pere were the fruyt of a Chery tre. Or who is he that can say, that Jesus of Nazareth takyng his humanite frō heauen or of some other thinge besyde hys mo­ther, can truely call him, ye fruit of hys mothers wombe. The scripture sayeth: Christe is her sonne, and she is hys mothere, not a faynyd mother, but a true and verye naturall mother.

So sayeth saynct Mathew in the fyrst Chapt. She broughte forth her sonne. And so the vir­gyne callyd hym Luke the se­cond, Sonne why haste yu done thus vnto vs. Belyue the scry­ptures [Page] and pondre accordingly the words and sentences ther­of. Math. 1. Luce. 3. Jo. 2. 19.

One place more there is in S. Paule wryten in the second to the Ebrew: which is thys, for asmuche then as the chyldren were partakers of fleshe and bloude, he also hymselfe lyke­wyse toke part wyth thē. And in the same place he sayeth: He toke the sede of Abrahā, & not of the Angels so that he muste be lyke vnto his brothers in all thynges. This place appertei­ning to the natiuite of Christe, let vs consydere dilygently the wordes of S. Paules oration, how he prouyth Christ to haue oure nature, whiche he toke of hys mother. If it be so sayeth S. Paule that the chyldren, that is to say men be partakers [Page] of fleshe and bloude: Christe be­cause he myghte destroye hym that hath ye dominion of death, by the death in his owne body, was made partaker of ye same, to wyte of fleshe and bloude. Here he vsythe thre wordes, Lykewyse, Partaker, Of the same. Reade the text and note the wordes.

¶ Fyrst it is out of doute, that oure fleshe is of the nature and substaunce of a woman. Nowe sayeth S. Paule Christe lyke­wyse, that is to saye after the same maner toke fleshe as hys brothers. I saye not lyke vnto vs, for we receaue oure nature wyth synne, and in synne, and by naturall coniunccion. Christ receaued his humanyte of hys mother wythoute synne, by the operacyon of the holye ghoste. [Page] But to Saynct Paules wor­des: like as man taketh his na­ture of hys parentes, so lyke­wyse toke Christe hys humane nature of the blessyd vyrgyne, or else S. Paules symyle pro­ued nothynge.

¶ The second word of Saynt Paule sayth, that he was made participant, or partaker. Now there is no participatyon nor can be, except it be of such thin­ges, as is commune betwene them that be partakers of one thynge. It cannot be therfore that Christe hath taken other fleshe then hys brothers had, whych was of the sede of man. Forther he addeth. Christ toke the sede of Abraham, and not of Angelles, that is asmuche to say Abrahams fleshe verely humane, and not any body or flesh [Page] celestiall, or made of the ayer. In this place S. Paule shew­eth playnely from whens, and of whom Christ toke his humanite. In the same chapter S. Paule sayeth, Christe is made lyke vnto hys brothers in all thynges.

¶ Howe can thys I praye you be true, in case he neuer toke hys humane nature of anye of hys brothers substaunce. The whyche thynge if ye take from Christ, there is nothinge can be more vnlyke, then Christe, and vs, that be hys brothers. In the last reason S. Paule sayth that Christ was tempted, that he myght succour such as were tēpted. Now there is no fleshe, cā be tempted, but mans fleshe. And there is no mannes fleshe, but hath taken his begynnyng [Page] of ye substaunce of man, except it were Adam the fyrste man that was made of the Earth, Gen. 1. Farther howe can he helpe vs as S. Paule sayth beyng in an other flesh from vs. If he haue an other fleshe then we haue (I except synne, & nowe mortaly­te) how or wherin is the iustyce of God satisfied for sinne? How can he be a faythful medyatour betwene God and man, that neuer toke hys humanite, of ye substance or natur of any man.

¶ These places and autorytes I trust suffycyth euerye Chry­stian hart for the stablyshement of thys Article of oure beleue, where we confesse that Christe was conceaued by the holye ghost, and borne of the vyrgyn Marye. By the whyche word Of, we beleue that he toke hys [Page] humanite of her substance, and had none othere begynnynge as touchynge hys humanyte, then in her, and of her, by the operatyon of the holye ghoste. There now restyth nomore to be sayd of me in thys parte, but to answere vnto suche obiecci­ons, as the contrary part resy­styth thys trueth wythall.

The fyrst obieccyon.

¶ If Christe toke hys fleshe of a woman, then were he a syn­ner, and partaker of the synne, that naturally dwelleth in eue­rye of Adams posteryte, Ro­mano. 5. 11.

We answere.

¶ Incase Christ had bene in all thynges conceaued and borne as we be, there obieccyon were true. But the Angel in the first of Saynt Luke declareth the [Page] dyuersyte betwene the concep­tyon and byrth of Christe and oures. The holye ghoste sayth he vnto the holye vyrgyne shal come vpon the, and the mighte of the hyest, shall shadowe the. And incase the almightye had not sanctified and halowed the sede of Dauid in the sacrate virgyne, whych Christ toke in her wombe, it mighte haue myny­stred some suspiciō, that Christ beynge man of synfull nature, shuld also ben a synner him self. But the scrypture declareth, not only Christ to be the sede & fruyte of the vyrgyne, but also a sede and fruyte wythout syn. Saying, the thynge that shal­be borne of the is holye, & shall be called ye sonne of God. This testimony of the wyll of God in the scrypture shulde suffyce the [Page] people of God. Whye seke we a knot ina roush, & put doute in a manyfest veryte, or to feare of ye thynge, yt Gods worde play­nelye puttyth out of feare, and sayth, It shalbe no synful fruit, nor vyciated sede that the bles­sed vyrgyne shall brynge forth, but it shalbe an holye fruyte. Luc. 1. And in ye same place Eli­zabeth saith, Blessed is ye fruyte of thy bely. The holye woman wyll admytte no curse or male­dyccyon of synne in thys fruyt. The Prophet Hier. 23. sayeth, that God promysed to suscy­tat vnto Dauid a ryghtuous braunche.

¶ In thys Prophete, there is conteyned, [...]wo veriteis of Christe. The [...]rste is, that he shalbe of the sede of Dauyd, as the braunche of a tre, is of ye tre [Page] it selfe. Now it is knowen, that the tre, and the braunche ther­of, is partycypant of one, and of the same nature, of the same sape, and condycyon. So is Christe, touchynge hys huma­nyte of the same nature that hys mothere was of. That is to saye, of the seede of Dauid. And thys proueth the Artycle of oure fayth, He was borne of the vyrgyne Marye.

¶ The seconde parte of the Prophesye proueth the confu­tacyon of suche as woulde in­fer, and make to folow, if Christ be of the substaunce and nature of hys mothere, then is he a synner. Marke the texte and it wyl answere the cōtrary. The texte sayth it shall not only be a braunche, but a iuste braunche. That is to saye, innocente and [Page] wythout synne before the face and iudgemente of GOD, as thoughe the Prophete hadde sayd, Thys braunche shall take hys beynge & orygynall of Dauid posterite & yet want synne. ¶ So doeth the Prophete E­say saye. cap. 53. speakynge of thys blessed, and innocent sede. Who did no sinne, nether fraud was founde in his mouth. The same wryteth Saynt Peter. 1. Petr. 2. and Saynt Johan 1. Johan. 3. He appered to take away oure synne, and no synne was founde in hym. Of these places we humble beseche all Christyan men to iudge, whe­ther the word of God proueth not, as well, Christe to take of the substaunce of hys mother, as to proue the same braunche and fruyte of here belye to be [Page] voyde of all synne, the holye ghost workyng the same as it is wryten Luc. 1.

The seconde obieccyon.

¶ S. Math. in hys fyrst Cha­pter sayeth: That whyche is borne of here, is of the holye ghoste: then it is not of the na­ture and substance of ye virgin.

We answere.

¶ If the cyrcumstaunce of the place be marked, they shall know, they do iniuries to ye text here, as in othere places. For when the vyrgyn harde, there shoulde be a chyld borne of her, & she yet in ye grace & perfeccion of her vyrgynyte, as of a thyng impossible by nature to be done wondreth at the tydyngs, and requyreth the Angell of the meanes, how it maye be done. where vnto the Angell ma­keth [Page] answere, to satisfy the ad­myration of the troubled vyr­gyne thus. The holy ghost shal come vpon the, and he shall worke thys wonderfull worke in the, although aboue the con­sent of thy reason, yet not with­out thassystaunce of thy nature whych shalbe shadowed by the holye ghost. Thys interpreta­tyon of S. Luke admitteth, S. Mathew in the fyrste Cha­pter, where as Joseph was no lesse troubled to se hys affiaun­ced, and promysed wyefe, to be wyth chylde, (thoughte it had bene by some synystre, and for­bydden meanes,) as wel as the poure vyrgyne wyth reason, thought it could neuer be with­out the knowledge of man. As from heauen her reason was confunded and made to geue [Page] place vnto faith, and the power of GOD, so was Josephe by nyght admonyshed of hys ouer hasty iudgement, and lyght su­spycyon, that hys promysed wyfe was not greate by anye man, but by the holye ghoste. Thus myndyth the Euange­liste, to take oute of Joseph the suspycyon yt he had of the God­lye virgine for her beyng wyth chylde, and not to proue, that the chyld wythin her, was not of her owne substaunce and na­ture. Reade the place, & marke the state and argument there­of, then shal the text interprete at it selfe. If it be so (as God forbyd, it shoulde) anye would wrest & constrayne thys worde (of the holy ghost) against ye circumstaunce & meanynge of the Euangelyste. We wyshe and [Page] requyre it to be admitted of all men for the scryptures sake, all the Prophetyes that sayth Messyas shoulde be borne of a woman, and not by a woman, or passynge through a woman. If they wyll not thus be con­tendyd, but forse the lettre that sayeth (of the holye ghost) that is to saye: Christe was borne of the substaunce of the holye ghoste, then should they proue ethere Christ to haue no fleshe, because the holye▪ ghoste hath none, nor neuer hadde: or else the God to be turned into ye nature of man. And so where as God before was and is euer immortal: should by there rea­son be made mortall, whyche were a blasphemye to graunt.

The thyrd obiection.

¶ Christ the sonne of God toke [Page] not oure nature, but by a cer­tayne chaunge & commutatiō, the word that before was God, to be made flesh, accordyng to ye scriptures, Jo. 1. & the worde is made fleshe.

We Answere.

¶ This wrong interpretation of the scriptures comineth by the equiuocation, or diuerse signifycatiō of thys word (Made) Whyche hath in the scriptures two sygnifycatiōs. The fyrst, it sygnifyeth a chaunge of one na­ture into an other as Jo. 2. the water was made wyne. And also Gene. 19. The wief of Loth was made into a stone of salt.

Thys word (Made) in ye scrip­ture in many other places syg­nifyeth asmouche as to saye re­ceauyd, as S. Paule wryteth Gala. 3. Christe is made for vs [Page] the curse or execration. That is to saye receauyd in hym the curse and maledictiō of God for our synnes. And agayn, 2. cor. 5 He that knew no synne, Made synne for vs. That is to saye was the sacrifyce for oursynne. Good Christiane reader, remē ­bre to take the meanyng of the scripture accordyng to ye circū ­staunce therof, and then thou shalt perceaue for the immuta­bilyte of Godes nature, that where sayncte Joanne sayth, and ye worde was made fleshe, is euen asmouche to say, as the sonne of God, receauyd fleshe, And no other sense nor mea­nyng can it haue then thys, ex­cept ye woulde the worde that was God before, & immortall is now chaumged into man, & becōme mortal, which sentence [Page] repugneth euerye booke of the scripture. Farther it should fo­lowe, that he that was before God, as S. John sayeth, now leueth to be God, and is made man, as the water that was turned into wyne Jo. 2. Lefte to be wyne and become water. And as the corne of salt was no more the wyefe of Loth, but a corne of salt.

¶ Beside all thys, yf God be turned into man, how standeth there fyrst interpretacion, that hys fleshe and trew humanite is of the holye Ghost?

¶ Nomaner of waye doutles for no substaunce of fleshe is of the substaunce of ye holye ghost, nor no substaunce of the holye Ghost can or maye be the sub­staunce of the fleshe. Thus therfore wyth the scriptures we cō ­clude [Page] the worde remaynynge styll the word, annexyd vnto it the nature of man whyche he toke of the blessed Uirgine, and truelye is called the fruyte of here bellye.

The fourthe Obiection.

¶ Whatso euer is borne of a woman, hath a carnall bodye, but Sainct Paule attrybuteth vnto Christe a spirituall bodye 1. Cor. 15. therfore he was not conceyued nor borne of the wo­mannes nature.

We Answere.

¶ S. Paule in that place spea­keth not of the incarnation of Christ, whether it be of the Uirgyne, or from heauen: as it is easelye to be sene by the mater he intreateth of. But he wry­teth of the state and condicion of the bodye after the resurrec­tion. [Page] And answereth there to the obiection of them that de­maundyd in what bodye the dead shoulde ryse: in the same sayeth he that they lyuyd, but nomore mortall, nor subiecte vnto the payne of mortalite, as Adames bodye was after he synned: but spirituall as Chri­stes body was after his resuer­rection (spirituall I saye, not that it losteth hys humanyte, or is turned into the nature of a spiryte. But because it shall lacke all mortall qualytes.)

Thus proueth S. Paule whē he saeyth, it is sowen a naturall bodye, it shall ryse a spirituall bodye. Here saynct Paule speaketh of ye bodye of Christe after the resurrection, and not of his incarnation. Wherfore there reason concludeth nothynge. [Page] For they infer a wronge conclusion of an euele vnderstonde principall.

The fyfte Obiection.

¶ If Christ should receyue his humanite of the nature of man it shoulde be to the ignominye and contempt of hys persone▪ whois holynes wyll not admit any coniunction wyth the vn­perfection of man.

We Answere.

¶ It is no ignomyne, or cōtēpt at all, but rather a certayne argument of Goddes mercye (which passeth all hys workes) that he woulde not abhor to be partaker of our infirme nature.

¶ Other cōmune Obiections.

S. Paule, Col. 1. Ephe. 3. Heb. 1. Jo. 3. .1. Cor. 15. Jo. 6. Hebr. 13. Ephe. 4. In these pla­ces it is playne that Christe is [Page] callyd the fyrst begoten of crea­toures. That he came frō hea­uen. That he is the bread geuē from heauen. He is to day, and was yester daye also. He ascen­ded, that fyrst descēded. These places saye they, proue he toke not hys original of his mother.

We Answere.

¶ Christe as he is verye God, so is he very man & accordyng to hys godhed he hath ben, is, and euer shalbe wyth out be­gynnynge and of thys hys di­uine nature speaketh the pla­ces afore rehersed, and not of hys humanyte. Farther it is ye maner of the scripture by cause of the vnion and coniunctiō of these two natures in one per­son, manye tymes to ascribe & put yt vnto ye one nature, which properly is dewe vnto ye other.

The conclusion.

¶ Seinge the scripture hath in this poynt as wel stablyshed the truyth that Christ our sauioure toke hys humanite of the blessed Uirgine, as also ansue­red all the obiections that can be brought agaynst the truyth: It shalbe the dewty and office of as manye as loue the Lorde in Christ wyth humblenes ra­ther to cōsent vnto the truyth: then of affection, to stand at the defence of a lye. The lyuinge God graūt vs hys holye spirit, that ones we may all know one thynge in Christ Jesu, to oure saluation. So be it.

¶ Imprented at London by Edwarde Whitechurch 1549. Cum Priuilegio ad Im▪ primendum solum.

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