A discourse wherin is debated whe­ther it be expedient that the scripture should be in En­glish for al men to reade that wyll.

¶Fyrst reade this booke with an indifferent eye, and then ap­proue or condempne, as God shall moue your heart.

Non quis dicat, sed quid dicat animaduertas velim.

¶EXCVSVM LONDINI IN aedibus Roberti Caly, Typographi: Mense Decembris Anno. 1554. Cum priuilegio.

¶A question to be moued to the highe courte of Parli­ament.

WHether it be neces­sary that the scrip­ture shoulde be in the vulgare tonge for al men to reade at their pleasure withoute re­straynt? Yea, or whether it may wel be permitted so to be? Con­siderynge on the one parte, the manifold inconueniences which haue sprong therby these yeres paste, as obstinacie, disobedi­ence, fleshely libertie, losse of de­uotion, swarmes of errours, and heresies, with damnation of thousande soules: and on the other parte weyenge discretlye [Page] not onelye the great difficultie that is in scripture with the causes thereof, but also diuerse and sundrie most manifest pro­bations, whiche fully persuade that the scripture by no meanes ought to be suffred to be in eue­rye mans hande in the vulgare tonge for all men to descant vp on & to wraste after their flesh­lye appetites: which all appeare euidentlye to be moste true, by that whiche is here set furth in this processe. That is to saye: in these sixe chapters folowing.

The fyrst.
The scripture is very harde to be vnderstande.
The seconde.
God woulde the scripture to be obscure & harde, & the myste­ries not to be playne to al men.
The thyrde.
Sundrie causes wherof the hardnes in scripture doth come.
The fourth.
Howe many wayes the let­ter doeth kyll.
The fifth.
The best meanes to vnder­stande scripture by.
The sixte.
Fiftie probations that scrip­ture ought not to be in english.

Neuerthelesse to the entent none shoulde haue occasion to misconstrue the trew meanyng herof, it is to be thought that if all men were good and catho­like, then were it lawfull, yea and verye profitable also, that the scripture shoulde be in En­glishe, so that the translation were trewe and faythfull: But [Page] neyther all the people be good and catholike, nor the transla­tions trewe and faythfull. As for the common translations, whiche haue been vsed in moste mennes handes, are so full of faultes, that to correcte and a­mend them wer euen as a man woulde goe aboute to sowe vp euery hole in a nette to make it a whole clothe. Yea and yet be­side this, yf your enemye should geue you bread, which ye knew well he hadde poysoned before, would ye not be afrayd (though it be after scraped neuer so cleane) to eate of it? At al times heretikes haue laboured to cor­rupte the scriptures, that they might serue for their noughtye purposes to confirme theyr er­rours therwith, as Dionyse bi­shoppe [Page] of Corinth testifieth: but speciallye nowe in our tyme, O good Lorde, howe haue the translatours of the Bible into Englishe purposelye corrupted the textes, oft maliciously put­tinge in suche wordes as might in the readers eares serue to the profe of suche heresies as they went aboute to sow? Whi­che be not onely set furth in the translations, but also in certain Prologues and gloses added therevnto. And these thynges thei haue so handled (as in dede it is no greate maistrie to doe) with probable reasons verye apparent to the simple and vn­learned, that an infinite num­bre of innocentes they haue spi­rituallye poysoned and corrup­ted within this realme, & caused [Page] them to perishe obstinatlye.

Nowe for the other parte, all the people, namelye the feruent readers of scripture in English, be not onely not good, but the moste parte of them be starke noughte, so frowarde, so per­uerse, so leude, and so wicked, that they be euer readye to per­uert that whiche is good, and to take a selfe wyllye opinion, contrarye to the true sense of scripture and meaninge of tho­lye ghost, as God knoweth ex­perience hath shewed euer since the Bibles were set vp in chur­ches, common for all men that woulde to reade.

But yf all men (I saye) were good and catholike, and the translations trewe and fayth­full, ye Bible in English (though [Page] it be nowe muche hurtfull) then might be muche profitable.

And that is the cause that the Clergie did agree (as it is in a cōstitution prouincial) that the Bibles which were translated into Englishe before Wycliffes dayes might be suffred: so that only such had them in handling as were allowed by the ordina­rie and approued mete readers thereof, & that their readynge shoulde be onely to the settinge furthe of Goddes glorie. For thoughe scripture to good peo­ple be a norisher of vertue, and to them that bee noughte the meane of amendment, and for him that is whole, liuely foode, and for him that is sicke, euen as a medicine: yet often tymes we see that one stomacke ta­keth [Page] harme of that meat wher­of another taketh profit, and that whiche helpeth one sicke man hurteth another. Some men mighte be admitted to the readynge of S. Mathewes ghospell, whiche yet be not ha­ble well to wey the ghospell of S. Iohn. Manye hable to per­use the actes of the Apostles, whiche be farre vnmete to me­dle with Thapocalyps. Many might be allowed to handle the Epistle to the Colossians, whi­che be to weake for the Epistle to the Romaines. The father ofte permitteth to one of his childrē a knife to cut his meate withal, wheras he taketh from another of hys children (fore­seyng his wantonnes) the knife for feare of cutting his fingers. [Page] Manye in these our miserable dayes nowe past haue so mise­rablie abused the scriptures a­gaynst the meaninge of tholye ghost, that vnder the colour of great zeale and good affection they haue peruerted and wra­sted all amisse. Yea and scantly two of them haue in all poyn­tes wel agreed together: neuerthelesse in this one poynt they all euer agreed. That is to say, to destroye vtterlye all vnitie and comely order, all holye sa­cramentes, all holye prayers and fastinges, with all godlye deuotion.

And yet beside this, nothing should sooner cause vs to iudge that scripture ought not to be in English for euery one to read and descant vpō that wyll, then [Page] to see that the busie readers be euer for the moste parte of the wycked sorte: suche be euer bu­sie bodies to dispute and reason (but al wtout reason) of thinges farre passing their capacities: where as S. Gregory Nazian­zen rebuketh all those, saying, that onely Moyses ascended vp into the hyll & spake with God,Exod. but the people taryed beneth & receiued the lawes & preceptes that they should kepe, and the pointes that thei shuld beleue at him, saiyng vnto him (as would god our leude gospellers would nowe say to the true preachers) heare you God, and let vs heare you. Saint Hierome also in his tyme greatly complayneth that the comen ignorant people did presume to medle with the [Page] misteries of scripture▪ seing that saint Paule sheweth that tholy ghost so ordeyned his churche that he wold haue some reders and some hearers, some techers and some learners. But these quite turne vp side doune the right ordre of Christes churche, the one part medling with the others office: & the more blinde the more bolde, the more igno­raunte the more busie, the lesse witte the more inquisitiue, the more leude the more bablynge of great doubtes and high que­stions of Christes Sacramen­tes, and of his priuye and vn­searcheable mysteries, and that oft most presumptuously with out al reuerence or godly feare, bothe at drinkinge and eating, as though it were but a Can­terburye [Page] tale, and that when the ale is in the witte is oute. Then flowe furthe manye er­rours and heresies. Then are the simple catched in the snare of the Deuyll without hope of recouerie. And all this (alas and woe is me) haue we ful ex­perince of in these yeares paste. But nowe, thankes bee to Ie­sus Christe, that by his onelye might and power, when it was paste all mans helpe, hath deli­uered vs from the Deuill and the bondage of Pharao, and brought vs furthe of darknes of scismes and heresies into the cleare light of the trueth againe by sendynge vs oure blessed queene Mary (euen another Helena to bringe againe the ho­lye crosse) whiche euen from her [Page] infancie hath sticked faste and cleued surelye vnto the sounde piller of trueth (the catholyke churche) whiche wyll neuer faile: she hathe euer defended it to the vttermost of her power. Lorde graunt her longe life to continue the same, and graunte her ioyfull deliueraunce of her moste comfortable burden.

When God of his great mercye sente her to be our liege ladye, our quene and gouernesse, then we receyued of him as great a benefit, as euer did the Israeli­tes of Hester or Iudith. O lord, before her comminge, the chur­che was troden downe and pi­tifully (spitfully I might saye) spoyled, by might, by tiranny & heresy: the great Deuyl was let lose, al was quite plucked vp by [Page] the rotes, vnder the colour and false name of vice superstition and ydolatrie, they vtterlye de­stroyed all deuotion, all vertue, and godlye religion. The feare­ful Serpent Python, that gre­uous dragon with manye hea­des mencioned of in the Apoca­lips, did still persecute the wo­man in the sun: That is to say, our mother the church, deuou­rynge her children here in this realme incessauntly, tyll Gods merciful pitie, gods pitiful mercy did electe & send this blessed woman Mary our Queene in stede of Michael tharchāgel to ouerthrow him, & to restore his temple and furnishe agayne his house, which now of late with­in these .xxii. yeares was here in Englande worse spoiled and [Page] defaced then euer was his temple at Hierusalem, eyther by the Chaldies, or by Antiochus. Marye therefore oure noble queene, God him selfe dyd ap­pointe euen as he did Iosue, Esdras, or Iudas Machabe­us to bringe vs into the ryghte waye agayne towarde the land of promise (for we were farre strayed amisse throughe synne, auarice▪ and lecherye) and to reedifie his temple through her wisedome, she beynge the perfit mirrour and pearle of all chri­stian queenes and princes. Yea, and if the olde prouerbe be true (as it is most true in dede) whi­che sayeth, euery prince is to his realme & subiectes, ether a very precious Iuell, or els a deadlye poyson, because suche as the [Page] prince is, suche will the people laboure to be, whether it be in vertue or vice. What a precious Iewell then haue we receyued of God, in receyuynge her noble estate to be our ladye & queene, an example of all vertue, deuo­tion and prayer, a spectacle to al realmes? And suerly the common voice is that her grace is not onelye moste noble, moste vertuous, moste wittie, and moste studious, but also moste excellent in learning, farre pas­singe eyther the noble Romai­nes, Cornelia & Hortensia, or the godly learned womē of whom S. Hierome writeth Eustochi­um Paula and Blesilla. Therefore if queene Saba iustlye sayde it was a signe that God loued his people, [...]. Barall. 9. for sendynge them [Page] Salomon to raygne ouer thē, maye not we as iustly now say the same to Englande? And yf the wisdome, pietie, and vertue, of Onias was sayde to be the cause of the prosperous estate of their citie,2. Mach. 2. shall not we like­wise saye to this our realme? Besides this,Roma. 12. if gouernours be highlye praysed in scripture, whiche rule with great solici­tude and carefulnesse, what shal we then saye to her, whiche for all our wealthes bothe bodilye and ghostly is styll moste vigi­lant and carefull? And finallye nowe to conclude, if amonge the heathen, the noble Princes haue euer highlye been extolled for sundrie vertues, howe high­ly is she worthie thē to be extol­led for so plentifull and so ma­nifolde [Page] kindes of vertue?

Whiche doeth not onely excell in godlynesse, in deuotion, in prayer, in fastyng, in abstinence, in humilitie, in charitie, in mer­cie, pitie, and compassion, in dis­cretion, in knowledge, in wise­dom, in excellencie of witte, be­inge of no small studie in godly literature, but beinge of exqui­site learnynge, of profounde knowledge, & of exacte iudge­ment, beside notable diligence and great painfulnesse euen frō her childhode (as for her polli­cie and affayres of the realme, in settinge furthe the wealthe and commoditie thereof, and in defendinge vs from outwarde and inwarde enemies I speake not of) but also whiche doeth farre passe all other (as it is e­uidently [Page] seen) in her most godly innated zeale, that she beareth styll moste earnest towarde the vnitie and faythe of Christes trew religion, and towarde the cheife head therof vnder Christ whiche by the space of these xx. yeres, euen tyll she came, was banished this realme, throughe scisme and heresie, through co­uetousnes and letcherye, Lorde be mercifull vnto vs.

Wherfore if in the Gospel of. S Luke many holy womē for god­lines, deuotiō and zeale toward Christes church be highly pray­sed by name, & likewise in tha­ctes of the Apostles, and in the laste Chapter to the Romans: yea and if. S. Hierom wrote a whole booke of suche holye and vertuous women, what lesse [Page] prayse is her highnes worthye now to haue, being inferiour to none of the all? being euin now amonge al princeli womē in the worlde a verye Phenix. But I wyll let this passe: I wyl say no more but only this, yt the doughter maye welbe knowen by the Mother, and that as we fell from all goodnes at the moste vniust fall of her Mother that most noble Lady Queene Ca­theryn: So doe we nowe rise a­gayne at the moste iuste risinge agayne of her noble estate to the Crowne of Englande: So that in her moste godlye person is shut vp all our worldly ioye, comfort, and hope, whom with her most noble & vertuous hus­bande, Philip our Lord & King (not much inferiour to her highnes [Page] in grace, vertue, and godly­nes, as credible menne reporte) Iesu longe prosper in honoure, grace, and vertue daylye increa­singe. But nowe to the processe intendid,

The fyrst Chaptre. Scripture is very harde to be vnderstande.

IF nothing els shuld moue the Scripture to be takē furthe of the irreuerente and lewde handling of the mul­titude, this one thing were suf­ficient, to consider the great dif­ficulty, the great obscurity and hardnes, that all the aunciente writers with one consente af­firme to be in Scripture: yea [Page] Scripture it self graunteth the same. Scrutamini Scripturas, sear­che the scriptures (sayth Christ) but if they haue nede of a scru­teney,Ioan. viii. thē they be not easy: christ wold not so haue bid if thei had bene light. Nor Peter wolde haue sayde manye thinges be harde to be vnderstand in Pau­les epistles, which then the peo­ple did peruerte (saythe he) as they did other Scriptures to their condemnacion. And what dyd Paule meane of the myste­ries of Scripture whē he cried O Altitudo diuitiarum. &c. O the depnes,Rom. xi. O the heigth of the secretes of God.

Herken now the testimonies of of auncient writers concer­ninge this matter.

GReg. Nazian. sayeth: Non cuiusuis christiani est de dei mysterijs disserere, Greg. Naz. li. primo theol. suae. non adeo res hec est vilis, &c. It is not for e­rye Christian to dispute of the misteries of god, the matter is not so vile. &c. Agayne he sayth:Greg. Naz. in appollogia et Hier. in proaemio in Ezech. Non oim librorum sacrae scripturae tractatio omnibus aetatibus per­mittitur apud hebraeos, the Iewes did not admitte all men to the readinge of Scripture cōside­ringe the great difficultye and highe mysteryes therin.

The testimony of S. Ambrose.

Scriptura diuina magnum mare est habens in se abissū sensuū pro­fundorum. &c, Ambr. lib. vii Epist. xliiii. The holi Scrip­ture (sayeth he) is a great Sea hauing depnes without botom [Page] of many profound senses.

Two testimonies of Chrisost.

Nihil est in scriptura quod non multas sensuū habet diuitias: Chrisost. hom xxi. in Gen. ne (que) enim vel syllaba vel apiculus est in sacris litteris in cuius profūdo non sit nobis quispiam magnus thesaurus. There is nothing in Scrip­ture (sayeth he) but it cōteyneth great spirituall tresure through the manifolde senses: there is neither syllable nor letter wherin some great riches is not hid. O what difficultie is then in it? Can it then be turmoyled of al, as it must nedes be, being stil in thenglishe translation?

More ouer he sayth. In Sacris literis nihil est quod non ingentē thesaurum contineat modo scruta­torem habeat. Hom xxi. et xxiiii. in Gen. At nō cuiuis contin­git [Page] adire Corynthum. There is nothinge in scripture, but it cō ­teineth greate treasure, so that there be a diligēt searcher. Howbeit, it is not for euery one to searche furthe the secretes or difficulties.

Diuers testimonies of S. Hiero.

Scriptura tātis obscuritatibꝰ et futurorū typis obuolutaē, Hier. ad Al­gas. tom. iii. vt ols in­terpretatione egeat. Est porta oriē ­talis de qua verum lumē exoritur, quae clausa est communi populo et soli illi patet, qui habet clauem Da­uid. et ce. Scripture is wrap­ped (saieth he) in so great dark­nes, and figures of thinges to come, that it hath all nede of in­terpretation. It is the east gate (that Ezechiell speaketh of) whereout the true light dothe spring, which is euer shut to the [Page] comen people, and is onely open to him that hathe the keye of Dauid. &c.

An other testimonie of S. Hiero.

Hie. de cano­nicis episto­lis. Iacobus, Ioannes, Petrus, & Iudas. vii. Epistolas scripserunt succinctas & breues in uerbis, sed longas in sē tentijs, ut rarus sit qui in earum lec­tione non caecutiat, Apoca. Ioannis tot habet sacramenta quot uerba▪ Iames, Iohan, Peter, & Iude (saieth he) wrote .vii. Epistels, quicke & breffe in wordes, but long in sense, that fewe there be whiche doe not erre in readinge of them Thapocalyps of saint Iohn, is as full of mysteries as of wordes.

An other testimonie of S. Hiero.

Fateor me nun (que) in diuinis uo­luminibus proprijs uiribus credi­disse et ce. Hie. in prolo­go in Parali. I confesse (saieth he) that I durst neuer credit myne owne wytte, in triyng the sense of scripture, but euer searched of other &c. But what place of scripture durst not our men in these daies take in hande? And all throughe thenglishe transla­tions, awaye with thē therfore.

Yet an other testimonie of S. Hierom.

Totum quod legimus in scrip­tura [...]et quidem & fulget in corrice, sed dulcius in medulla est: Hier. ad paulinum. qui edere vu [...]t nucleum frangat nucē. Reuela (inquit Dauid) oculos me­os, et considerabo mirabilia de lege tua. Al that we rede in scripture (saieth he) dothe florish & shine [Page] in the letter: but it is much swe­ter in the spirituall sense. He thē that will eate the curnel let him breake the shelle. And Dauid saied. Open thou mine eyes (O lorde) geue thou me knowledge & I shall vnderstande the won­derfull mysteries of thy lawe. Marke then hereby the hard­nes of it.

The testimonie of Cyrill.

Cyrill lib. v. in leuit. Ex hostiis quae offeruntur et con­ceduntur sacerdotibus, pars igni traditur et sic deo offertur, vt scia­mus ꝙ nobis aliqua ex scriptura apprehendere et cognoscere con­ceditur: aliqua tamē sūt quae deo reseruantur. & ce. Of the sacrifices of tholde lawe (sayeth he) parte was geuen to the priestes, but [Page] part was committed to the fire and so reserued to God. Wher­by we maye vnderstande, that parte of scripture is geuen to vs to apprehende and vnder­stande, & part is reserued onely to the knowledge of God, as appeareth more playnlye in the laste sentence, but one, of this chapter.

The testimonie of Damascene.

Quaedam in sacris literis quae de deo traduntur sunt effabilia, Damas. lib. i. Capi. ii. quae­dam ineffabilia: quaedam cognosci­bilia et quaedam incognoscibilia. Some thinges in scripture (sai­eth he) concernynge God maye be spoken as that God did cre­ate the worlde: some maye not be spoken, as thunitie of sub­staunce with trinitie of per­sons, [Page] and the eternall genera­tion of the sonne, whiche none can expresse sayeth Esay: some maye be knowen as that God is eternall, God is incorporeal, but some can not be knowen, as of the iudgementes of God. O what great depenesse with­out botome?

The testimonie of Erasmus.

Eras. in ecclesiast. lib. iii. Sunt qui fortiter negant in cano­nicis libris vllam inesse obscurita­tē, modo assit peritia sermonis, et sanū iudiciū. Quorū opinioni ha­ctenus certe fauco, vt optarim esse verissimam: sed vna voce recla­mant omnes ecclesiae doctores: et in his ij quo (que) qui nec linguarum peritia, nec sano iudicio caruerūt. There be whiche denye anye [Page] hardnesse to be in scripture, so that right iudgement and lear­ninge in the tongues be not lac­kinge. And surelye hitherto I haue so euer fauoured this opi­nion, that I haue wished it to be moste true, but all the doc­tours of the church crie against it with one voyce: yea euen thei whiche neyther lacked good iudgement, nor connynge in the tongues.

Finally all thauncient holye writers affirme that nothynge is nowe commaunded in the newe testament, but the same was commaunded in tholde. Nec quicquam esse gestum quod non sit vel a Prophetis praedi­ctum, vel typis adumbratum. And that there is nothing done now in the newe, but the same was [Page] eyther spoken before by the prophetes, or els darkelye sha­dowed in figures. Oh is there not then greate hardenesse in scripture? More ouer, the auncient writers doe affirme that neuer man was able to di­scusse fullye al the mysteries of scripture, and that tholy ghost would them not fully to be per­ceyued, as the times, the consū ­mation of the worlde &c. And the middest of the seconde chap­ter of the .ij. Epistle of Paule to the Thessaloniās. (Tantū quite­net teneat &c. donec de medio fi­at. Whiche place S. Augustine plainly confesseth that he doeth not vnderstande). The begin­ninge of S. Iohns Ghospell, Thappocalyps, the beginning of Ezechiell about the wheles, [Page] and from the xl. chapter the di­scriptions & dimensions of the temple. &c. Yea and beside this howe manye places be in scrip­ture not easie to be perceiued of ye vnlearned? As that of Paule:Phillip. i. I do fulfil that which lacked in Christes passiō. &c. Worke your saluation &c.Phillip. ii. Doe not these to the simple seeme very blasphe­mie? With many hundred tex­tes as harde as these.

All this nowe well conside­red (concerninge the contentes of this first chapter) and with indifferent eares hearde, and euery thing that is here spoken weyed to the bottom, hauynge a godly zeale to Christes flock, doe you thinke it expedient, yea or tollerable for all leude and wicked without restraynte to [Page] be iudges and arbitrers vpon scripture, as they wyll nedes be if it be in the vulgare tongue?

The seconde Chapter God woulde the Scripture to be obscure, and the mysteries not to be playne to al men.

CHrist ofte so mingled hys communication (sayeth E­rasmus in the preface of Matthew) that I think his wil and pleasure was to bee harde, and not to be vnderstande. Yea, there be certayne places (sayeth he) almost not possible to be ex­pounded: and yet God woulde his secretes to be so hidde from the wicked and ignoraunte by tropes, figures, and other [Page] obscurities (lest lyke swyne thei shoulde treade downe pearles) that yet sufficient light myght be opened & shewed to the stu­dious, learned, & godly. Againe God would for our exercise, for our labour, for our studie, and diligence,August. lib. de doctrina christ. cap. the mysteries to bee sought furth not without great difficultie, that they might ap­peare moore precious beynge deare bought.

Moreouer God ordeyned suche obscuritie and hardenesse to be hidde in tropes and alle­gories, that the high mysteries might more clearly shyne furth of cloudes and darkenesse.

Beside this, as the son beame geueth more heate agaīst glasse or plate, so doe ofte the myste­ries of scripture moore delite, [Page] and geue more spirituall heate beynge searched & tryed furth of darcke cloudes and thycke shadowes.

Finallye God this ordeyned for that he would not man to be to busy in triyng aboue hys capacitie, as the two penye do­ctours haue euer been. Beatus homo qui semper est pauidus.

Blessed is he that euer kepeth a godly feare. Nolite altū sapere nec sapere plusquam oportet. Be not to wise in your owne eyes. The wise man saide not with­out cause: alti [...]ra te ne quaesieris. Seke not aboue thy reach. For thinke surely that they whiche goe aboute to apprehende the high mysteries, do folowe as it wer to ouertake their own sha­dowes: the faster they folowe, [Page] the faster it slippeth awaye.

Marke also that it was not without highe mysterie, that God reproued Esdras for sear­chinge to highe in his secretes:iiii. Esd. iiii. iiii. Esd. xii. and in another place, bad him open his mysteries only to the wise. And againe it was not without highe mysterye that God woulde not suffer the peo­ple to ascende into the mounte,Exod. nor the wicked to builde vp the tower of Babilon so highe as they woulde.Genes. Thinke that her­by the ignoraunt multitude are taught not to climbe to hyghe into Gods secretes and priuie mysteries. Remembre (I be­seche you) howe Thisraelites coulde not behold Moyses face for brightnesse.ii. Cor. iii. And consider likewyse howe Dionyse sainct [Page] Paules disciple, sayeth, yf thou canst not well loke vp to the shinyng of the sunne with open eyes, but they wyll dasell, and thou must hold vp thine hande betwene thine eye and the son: how many handes then haddest thou nede to holde vp, yf thou shouldest behold the vnsearche­able mysteries of the sunne of righteousnesse God hym selfe? The shinyng beames of ye hea­uenlye influence thou canst not beholde, but as it were vnder a cloude.

Luke. viii. Math. xi. and xiii. Iohn. xv. Rom. xi. and xvi. Ephes. i. and .vi. Col. i. & .ii. Phil. iiii.Marke well, it was not with­out greate cause, that bothe Christ and Paule oft do speake of mysteries. As in Luke, Ma­thewe, & Iohn: And in the Epi­stles to the Romaines, to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, [Page] and Philippians.

Consider also with howe great feare and reuerence the mysteries ought to be touched,Phil. iiii. yea and that onely of the lear­ned men. And ponder ear­nestlye with youre selfe howe Christ woulde his mysteries to be opened but to fewe (myste­sterium est archanum vel secre­tum dei consilium paucis cogni­tum, seu occultum dei iudicium at (que) sacramētum) neyther to the wicked, nor yet to the infirme that be not able to weye them. Yea and that manye mysteries be receyued in the churche of Christ, whiche neuer were written, as S. Basil witnesseth.

Beside this S. Dionyse say­eth:Dion. in cael. hier. cap. iii. Decentissimum est mysticis scripturarum eloquijs sacram et [Page] obstrusam caelestiū spirituum ve­ritat [...]m archanis velamentis et sa­cratissimis signis occultare. It is most decent to hide the holye & vnsearcheable veritie of ye hea­uēly sprites in the mystical speakinges of scripture with secret coueringes & most holy signes.

And S. Augustine affirmeth, that sacrae scripturae obscuritas cū diuersas pariat sententias vtilis est, the darkenesse of holy scripture when it bringeth furth diuerse senses then is it profitable.

This gere our newe fangled readers doe smally passe vpon. Therfore it can not be chosen, but the Englishe translations whiche haue been the occasion of most mischiefe must nedes be taken awaye.

The thirde Chapter. [Page] Sundrie causes wherof oftymes difficultie and great hardnes in scripture doeth arise.

THe causes whereof ofty­mes the great difficultie in scripture doeth arise,j. are very many: one is, for that there be so manye tropes, figu­res, and darke sayinges in scripture.

Another is,ij. hardnes in scrip­ture ofte doeth arise of the pro­prietie of the tongue, that eue­rye tongue hath his owne pro­per phrase not perfitlye to bee knowen beinge translated into another tongue.

A thirde cause is,iii. lacke of knowledge of the antiquitie: which ofte causeth great hard­nes, seing it is not for euery mā to knowe the antiquitie: but [Page] only for them which be of great studie, wisedome, and learning in sundrie authours.

iiii.A fourth cause, that ofte one name is cōmon to diuerse: yea, & oft one hath diuerse names.

A fifth cause, that one word oft doeth signifie diuerse thin­ges:v. or that one worde is ofte diuersllye taken: as this worde lex, the lawe, is taken in one place for the figures and cere­monies:Math. xi. in another for the threateninge of the lawe: in a­nother for the wholle Byble:Rom. iiii. Hec Orig. lib iii. in Ro. iii. in medio et in eccl. Eras. lib. iiii. in another for thold testament: in another for the lawe of na­ture before the fal, & in another after the fall: in another for the lawe wrytten: and in another for the lawe of the ghospel.

A sixt cause, that repugnance ofte apperith in scripture:vj. as I and my father bee one, my fa­ther is gretter then I:Iohn .x. and .xiiii. Rom. iii. Iames .ii. Ephes. iiii. Psalm. iiii. Math. v. we iudge man to be iustified by faith with out the workes of the law, man is iustified by the workes of the law, and not by fayth only: be angry and offend not, euery one that is angry is worthy Iudgement: be angry and offend not, let all indignation and anger be taken frō you:Iohn .xiiii. mathew .x. mat. xxviii. I leaue my peace with you, I came not to brynge peace but the sworde: goe not to the heathen, goe in to all places of the worlde: with suche lyke many hundreth places.

A seuēth cause,vij. that one thing in scripture is oft diuersly told, as Stephans rehersal, Actes the vii. is not recited streight as [Page] it is in the Genesis. And saint Luke Actes the ix. speakyng of Paules cōuersion telleth it not as Paule doth him selfe, Actes the xxii. and xxvi.

viij.The eight cause, that textes in the newe testament are recited furth of the olde, and not worde by worde:Math. ii as that of Matthew quoniam Nazereus vocabitur, He shall be called a Nazarite. Yea & somtymes fourth of the new and yet not so to be founde: as that of the Actes: Christ sayde beatius est dare (quam) accipere. Actes. xx. It is more blessed to geue than to receyue.

ix.The .ix. cause, that ofte ap­pereth variaunce in the yeares and tymes, yea and that the di­uersytie of the tymes oft to them that be well lerned cau­seth [Page] great confusion.

The .x. cause, that textes ma­ny tymes which ought spiritu­ally to be vnderstand,x. they take carnally, and lyke wyse take the contrarie.

The .xj.xj. cause, that somty­mes it appereth to the sensuall man not to be possible: as Opor­tet vos nasci denuo, Iohn .iii. Ye muste bee borne agayne: Nisi efficiamini sicut paruuli, &c. mat. xxviii▪ Excepte ye be made lyke chylderne. &c.

The .xij. cause, that ofte it se­meth blynd and no profyt in it: as that of the Iudges:xij. the trees went fourth to anoynt theym a kynge: yea and that of Deut. (Yf. S. Paule had not expoun­ded it) thou shalte not mussell the Oxe that treadyh fourth the corne.

xiij.The .xiij. cause, that ofte­times the persō that speketh is not euer well marked. AsPaul. loquu tus est in persona imperfecti hoīs: non quod volo bonum hoc ago. &c, The good that I woulde, doe I not: but the euyll whiche I would not, that doe I.Chri­stus Ioquitur in Matheo sub persona vulgaris Iudaei. Non est bonum, sumere panem filiorum et mittere canibus. It is not mete to take the chylderns bread and to cast it to dogges.Et in psa. loquitur sub persona corporis sui mystici Roma. vii. Math. xv. Psal. xx. Psal lxviii Longe a sa­lute mea verba delictorum meorū, The wordes of myne offenses are farre from myne healthe. Delicta mea a te non sunt abscon­dita: Myne offenses are not hyd from the. &c. Yea & besyde this ofte in the Psalmes, in the Pro­phetes, in the gospels, & other places moo also very harde (to the knowledge wherof the vn­lerned by theym selfes can ne­uer [Page] attayne) the wordes be somtyme spoken as in person of the Prophet hym selfe, somtyme in person of God, somtyme of the aungell, somtyme of the Deuyl, somtyme of man, sometyme of Christe as God, sometyme of Christe as man, sometyme as head of the church militant, somtyme as head of the church tri­umphant, somtime as in the person of his sensual parties of his owne body, and somtyme in the person of some particular parte of his body misticall. &c.

The .xiiii. cause, that scrip­ture ofte vseth this terme all, where as some or parte be but ment. Cum exaltatus fuero a terra omnia traham. &c. Iohn. xii▪ When I am lyfte vp from the earth, I wyll drawe all men vnto me. Omnes [...] [Page] loue. &c. besyde that which lyeth hydde within?

xix.The .xix. cause, that they marke not (and in dede it is not for euery man to marke) what thinges were geuen but for a tyme to continew, and what for euer: As the workynge of myracles was gyuen but for a tyme,mar. xvi. as S. Augu. in his dayes dyd witnesse sayeng: he that then wold, loke for a myracle was a mira­cle to the worlde hym selfe. And that of the actes,Actes. xv. to absteyne from that was offred to Idols, to absteyn from blood, and from straungled.

xx.The .xx. cause, that scripture is full of diuerse and soundry senses. It is the boke wrytten (as it is in the Apocalyps) both within and without, in the spi­rit [Page] and in the lettre: within by the spiritual meanyng, without by the sense of the letter: within, bycause it promiseth inuisible thynges, without, for that it disposeth the visible thinges: with­in, bycause it moueth to desire heuenly thynges, without, for that it teacheth worldly thyn­ges to be contemned.

The .iiii, Chapter, The letter doeth kyll and that sondry wayes.

SEing the letter doth kyl (as. S. Paule saith) and that diuerse wayes, the ignoraunt people ought to be sore aferde to couet after that whiche causeth present death. [Page] How be it mās nature is such euer to desyre that which is for­byd.Nitimur in vetitū sēper, cupimus (que) [...]egata. Neuertheles for as muche as the letter doth kyll, and that sōdry waies, and that the rude simple and vnlerned (yea ofty­mes the proude, arrogant, and captious) be euer redy to take rather that whiche shall hurte then that which shall helpe, shal the scripture then be so lefte, that the leuyng of it may be oc­casion of spirituall death to the multitude?? God forbyde: It ought in no wyse to be suffered.

j.The letter euer doth kylle when a mystery is to be vnder­stande (and yet not of the rude to be piked fourth, and therfore not to be had in English) where the reders wyl sticke styll to the bare wordes, as the Iewes dyd [Page] being prohibited to plow with oxe and asse together (whiche was ment, that Iudaisme and Christianisme could not be ioy­ned in one, nor that a christian could serue both God and the world) And as some haue done in the gospell (saith. S. Augu.) with these textes:Luc. xxii. Selle youre coote and bye a sworde. &c. I neither receyued nor lerned the gospell of man (Galath. i.denyeng therby Christ to be man) And as the Anabaptistes play with that of Mathew:mathew. v. thou shalt not sweare at all, with many textes in lyke maner wrasted.

The letter doth kylle in all places,ij. where as the holy ghost did meane a mystery after any facion, and yet the reader wyll nat take it. (Yea ofte he can not [Page] take it, and therfore not mete to be Iudge in the matter ha­uyng it in englysh) after the ex­ample of the Iewes, which styll seke at the letter in these textes: the Adder and Dragon thou shalt treade vnder thy feete.Psalm. c. &c. The wolfe and the lambe shall feede together.Esay. xi. &c. Eleuabitur mons domus domini super omnes colles. Esaye. ii. Esay. ix. Psal. xx. &c, & sedebit super solium Dauid. &c. Et ponet super caput eius coronā de lapide precioso, &c, The hylle where the house of God shalbe buylded shalbe exal­ted aboue all hilles. &c. He shall syt vpon the seate of Dauid. &c He shall set a crowne of golde and precious stones vppon his head. &c. where as these textes and many moo were only to be vnderstande of Christe and of [Page] his commyng, though they did not so appeare then, nor yet doe to the carnall.

The letter doeth kyll,iiij. as ofte as the scripture meaneth any other thynge then the wordes doe sounde as Comediie amici mei & inebriamini, &c. Cant. v. Hierm. xxv inebria­mini & vomite, &c. Eate my frendes and be dronkene. &c. Dryncke and be dronken, spewe and fall. &c. And that of the gos­pell, when thou hast a blowe on the one cheke, turne the other:Math. v. which neither Christ nor Paule dyd fulfyll,Iohn. xvii. Actes. xxiv. as appereth in the gospell and in thaucters. Therfore it is Hyperbole disswading from reuengement.

The letter doeth kyl yf time be not obserued as appeareth in the sacrifices, figures,iiij. and [Page] prophecies. &c.

v.The letter doeth kylle the Iewe, which yet doeth affirme the obseruation of the law.

The letter doeth kyll the Iewe which doeth sticke onlye to the letter of the law,vi. and wil not know that all was writen for vs, [...]om. xv. [...] Cor. x. and that all chaunced to them in figure, but wyll stycke styll to theyr sacrifice, circumci­sion, choyse of meates, cleane and vncleane. &c, And wyll not fynde fourth Christ there.

vii.The letter ofte doeth kylle where men take examples to folow, that be not to be folowed, but rather to be merueld at: as Phinces a priuate person pray­sed in scripture for manslaugh­ter:Num. xxv. Dan. xiii. Daniel a priuate person re­prehended the Iudges: And [Page] Samuel dyd kyl Agag:i. Reg. xv. Iud. xvi. More­ouer the exāple of holy Samp­son (nūbred in Cathalogo sanc­torum) for kyllynge hymselfe: and so lykewyse of theim which woulde goe kyll theymselfes willingly, bicause Christ said: he that loseth his lyfe shall saue it.

Be all our Englysh readers so discrete that none of theym play as mad partes as these, taking occasion at their english bible? Haue not we as euyll now (though not wholly in the same heresies) as euer were from the begynnyng: eyther Simon magus, Martion, Valen­tinus, Cherinthus, Cherdō, Hermogenes, Montanus, Tatia­nus, Porphyrius, Nouatus, Arrius, Aetius, Eunomius, Pho­tinus, Donatus. Manicheus, [Page] Pelagius, Wyclyffe, Husse, Swynglius, Oecolampadius, or Luther? Yes truly. But euē as at all tymes God hath sent catholyke Fathers to ouer­throwe theym, so doeth he now in our dayes. Praysed therfore and glorified be his name for euer and euer, whiche after he had greuously scourged vs with errours and heresies a long season and many yeares, fyrst sent Marye our blessed Quene ioy­nyng with her oure most godly Kynge Philyp (whose reignes together, in ioye, vertue, and ho­nour Iesus longe preserue and prosper) and sence then by theyr meanes beinge inspired by the holy ghost, hath sent oure hygh Prelate of noble blood my lord Cardinals grace, Legate from [Page] the Popes holynes (as for my Lord Chaunceler, my lorde of London, with many other infe­riours, which styll watche and trauell I speake not of) to re­duce vs in to the vnitie, and to brynge vs agayne in to Noes shyp, which haue lyen a greate tyme in the maine sea lyke to be drowned and almost in dispaire of recouerie into the ship again.

The letter doeth kylle all theym that flee from the letter to imaginacion of theyr owne where the letter must nedes be taken as it lyeth.viii. And thus the testimonie of the true meanyng of the letter doeth kyll all oure sacramentaries, whiche denye Christes naturall and reall bo­dy in the sacrament of the alter, he sayinge it is the same bodye [Page] that honge vpon the Crosse, but they wyll set Christe to schole, and say he wolde haue sayde, it had ben but a figure. &c. Hath not the english Bible broughte many to this heresie? both ma­ny that haue ben burnt, and many mo yet alyue in theyr bodies but deade in theyr soules? Was not Ione of Kent thus kylled with the letter, phantastically fleyng from it, and not takyng Verbum caro factum est: arygbt? But denyeng therby Christes trew humanitie? Also dyd not the letter thus kyl the late Ar­rian (cōuinced by a lerned yong man named maister Proctour) which fondly fled from the trew letter: Ego & Pater vnum sumus, I and my father are both one? So that betwene hym and [Page] Ione of Kent Christ shoulde be nothynge, neyther very God, nor very man,

The letter doth kylle the fleshly libertines,ix. which gather that the Gospell is so free, that they may doe what they wyll: Where as in dede nowe in the new lawe lesse libertie is geuen to synne: and the more perfyte the gospell is, the more harde it is: and it is not lyght to the car­nall man, but to hym whiche through charytie and a lyuely fayth, wyllyngly doth all that the law commaūded, ascribing all goodnes euer to God.

The letter doth kyll all suche as only doe stycke to the gram­maticall sense (x.which Paule calleth the letter) wher thei ought to seke a mystery.

And thus the letter doeth kyll a secte of heretikes [...]alled An­thropomorphitae, whyche rea­dinge in the Genesis, that God sayde,Geue. i. let vs make man to our owne image: & readyng also in sundrie places bodily membres attribute to God, doe boldelye saye that the Godhead is cor­porall: Readynge also that he sayde.Gene. v. Paenitet me fecisse homi­nem. It repenteth me that I made man, ascribed to hym mans affections: and readyng that he sayde. Descendam et vi­debo. Gene. viii. &c. I wyll go downe and see, &c. Did impute ignoraunce vnto him. Likewise it kylleth the secte of Euchitas, which con­tinuallye vse to praye wyth mouthe,i. Thei. v. Luke. xiiii. because Christe and Paule bad praye styll. And it [Page] killeth thus another sorte, that cutte and mangle them selues, readinge in the ghospell,Mat. xviii. Coll. iii. Math. xix. plucke out thine eye, cut of thine hand, mortifie your membres vpon the earth. &c. Blessed is he that geldeth him selfe. &c.Luc. xiiii. Rom. xii. Math. iii. And an­other sort the letter here doeth kyl, he that hateth not father & mother. &c. Caste hote coles on your enemies head. &c. He shall baptise you with the holy ghost and fyre. Yea and thus it kylleth the Pharisees which superstici­ously doe wryte the commaun­dementes in the hēmes of their garmentes,Deut. vi. in scrolles on po­stes. &c. bycause God bad kepe them in theyr heartes, and talke of theym euenynge and mor­nyng. &c, they dyd not marke that God ment nothyng els by [Page] that phrase of speaking, but on­ly a vehement studie and desire to obserue the law. Haue not our Englyshe men (namely in the citie of London) had now of late lyke Iewish affection in settynge vp wrytynges on the Churche walles and pyllers, euer falsely wrasting thē awrie and applyeng theym to an euyll purpose? And thus they painted vp the textes of the new testa­ment vpon theyr walles: which onely doo serue agaynste the Iewyshe fastes to blynde and deceiue the symple sorte there­with, as though they had ben spoken against our holy Vigils and fastinges. These textes I meane & such like:Mat. xv. That which entreth in to the mouthe doeth not defile &c Bie al that cōmethi. Corin. x. [Page] into the shābles. &c.Tit. i. All thinges be cleane vnto theym that be cleane, &c. Ye that doe not eate misiudge not them which eate:Rom. xiiii. with many moe. And likewise they sette vp theyr textes wic­kedlie applied both against the blessed Sacramēt of the Altar and other holye sacramentes, and also against oure holy fa­ther the Pope. Of suche dam­nable applications of scriptu­res many churches were full. But I would haue wished that in stede of these they wold haue set vp that of, s. Peter: my dere­ly beloued brother Paul,ii. Pet. iii. wrote many thinges heard which. &c.

The letter doeth kyll beyng red and not trewly vnderstand,xj. or trewelye vnderstande and not obserued.

The letter is counted to kyl for that it forbyddeth synne,xij. and by occasion therof augmenteth the desyre, or els for that it is a witnes against vs.

The letter doeth kylle,xiii. for that it discloseth oure synne: Concupiscentiam nescirem esse peccatum &c, Rom. vii. I had not knowē that concupiscence or lust had ben synne, if the lawe had not saide, thou shalt not couet or luste, &c.

xiiii.The letter doeth kyll as ofte as ye take or applie any texte contrary to the trew meaning of the holy ghost.

xv.Finally the letter doth kyll all theym that searche aboue theyr reache in Gods mysteries (as I feare many haue done in these yeares past)Luc. ix. one desyred to [Page] folowe Christe, and was not permitted:Math. viii Another commaun­ded to folowe and yet not desy­ryng:Actes. ix. Yea and Paule greatlye resisting was drawen in maner by compulsion. Consilia dei oc­culta: gods counsels are vnsear­chable. But in these miserable yeares now past what mystery is so harde that the ignoraunte with the Bible in englysh durst not set vppon, yea and say they vnderstod it, all was but lyght? They desyred no declaratiō, but theyr owne euyn in the, hyghest mysteries: wher as the prophet teacheth that the declaryng or expoundynge of Gods worde doeth gyue lyghte and vnder­standing to the yonglynges and ignoraunt:Declaratio sermonū tuorum illuminat et intellectū dat paruulis. And God thretneth that (P [...]ou. xxv) Scrutator maiesta [Page] tis opprimetur a gloria: these ar­cher to hyghe in his mysteries shalbe thrust frome his glorie: whiche thinge causeth the Pro­phet to say:Psal. cxxx. Ne (que) ambulaui in magnis, ne (que) in mirabilibus super me: I haue not walked to hygh in great mysteries nor wōders aboue my reache. But alas ex­perience doeth showe that oure men through hauyng the Bible in englisshe haue walked farre aboue theyr reache, beyng son­dry wayes kyld & vtterly poiso­ned with the letter of thenglysh Bible. Therfor for Iesus sake away with it, let it kyll no moo,

The. v▪ Chaptre, The best meanes to vnderstand the Scriptures by.

BYcause there is such great difficulty and hardnes in Scripture, and bycause ye letter doeth kill many wayes, I thinke nothing can be told more nedefull then to shewe playnlye howe we maye best come to the trew knowledge of the Scrip­ture. And therfore here note wel that sundry and diuerse thinges be required to obteyne the trew vnderstanding and meaninge of Scripture by.

One is, by discrete and godly conferrynge place to place,j. and Scripture to Scripture. And this affirmeth S. Aug. sayinge,Aug. lib. iii. de doct. cap. xxvi. the beste interpretation is to ex­pounde one place of Scripture by an other more manifest.

An other is, by consideringe the time, the men,ij. with other cir­cumstances, [Page] as how, where, and when they were written.

An other is, by searchinge di­ligently the processe both before and after.iij.

iiij.An other is, by dayly exercise searching, and askinge the coun­sell and iudgement of other learned men.

v.An other is, by feruent pray­our and pure deuotion with an humble heart and simple spirite knowinge that GOD withstā ­deth the proude,Iohn. iiii. and also that conninge makethe to swell in arrogancy,i. Cor. viii. yf grace be wanting. Wherefore Origen sayeth that bothe great studye and feruente Praiour be requyred to obteyne the trew intellection of Scrip­ture by.Homil. xii. in xxxiiii. Exod. Qu. lxxxxv. [...]oui et Vet. [...]esta. And S. Aug. witnesseth that the holy spyrite openeth the [Page] meaninge of Scripture onlye to the studious, diligent, & deuoute,prius amemus sacras literas quādiscamus, Ia (que) certo per su [...]sum habeamus in illis nil esse ne (que) falsum n [...] (que) leue. aut humana mente scriptum: sed om­nia plena caelestis Philosophiae digna (que) sancto spirituquacū (que) specie sese offerant, si vt oportet tutelligantur. haec Aug. de vtili. cred. capi. vi, & deuoute, and to suche as haue a firme be­lefe in the articles of the Catho­like faythe receyued. vj.

And an other is, by ouerseing the olde and aunciente wryters Iudgementes vpon Scripture, and by conferring theyr exposi­tions together.

Hereby plainly appereth that with the Englishe Bible alone (though it were trewly translated) man coulde not be brought fully into the trew meaninge of Gods word. But we se and wel perceyue, that thousandes haue ben brought from the trew mea­ning of goddes worde throughe the Englishe Byble: therefore a­waye with it. It hathe kilde to many soules alredy, GOD best [Page] knoweth: whom I beseche sende a spedy redresse.

The .vi. Chapitre. Scripture ought not to be in the vulgare tonge, that al men with­out restraynt may rede it.

Fyfty probations of this assertion, The first Probation.

I Neuer heard nor red that GOD would hys people to haue the booke amonge themselues to towse or type at their pleasure. God gaue the booke to Hieremye and bad him rede to the people that whyche he had written.Hier. xxxvi. Esay. viii. GOD bad Esai take the Booke to him for the same purpose: Yea and it was [Page] not without great mysterie that God bad Ezechiell fyrst eate the Booke,Ezech. iii. and then rede it in thau­dience of all the people.Dan. xiii. Agayne Moyses gaue the booke to the Leuites to kepe and rede to the people:iiii. Re. xvii and in kinge Iosaphat­tes time the Priestes and Leui­tes did read the booke and teche the people: like as did also after­warde Elchias the Priest & Sapha the Scribe Esdras did sun­dry times take the booke & read it to the people,iiii. Re. xxii. ii. pa. xxxliii. ii. Esd. viii. and .xiii. iii. Esd. ix. Bar. i. Hier. xxxvi. they diligentlye hearinge him. And Baruch the Prophet redde the booke to the kinge and to the people, they ge­uing eare vnto him:Luc. iiii. Yea & Christ our maister toke the booke of the Prophet for this cause, and red and expounded to the people: his doing herein was for our exam­ple. [Page] Wherby we may easely lerne that all people should not haue the Scryptures in their owne handlinges at their pleasure, as they haue had these dosen yeres past to their vtter spirituall de­struction.

The seconde Probation.

God sente Ionas to preache to Niniue:Ion. i. & iii. he sente not a booke writtē to euery one of the Nini­uites to reade them selues. God sayde by Hieremy (speakynge of the time of the Gospell) that the time should come he wold write his law in thartes of his people:Hier. xxxi. So that the writtinge of tholde law in tables of stone (signifieng the stony hartes of the Iewes) is not to be reioysed at, but ra­ther to be lamēted & to be asha­med of, knowinge that Scryp­ture [Page] was only wryttē for sinne, els neuer had ben written, but only in the heart of mā. It was three thousande yeres after the creation of the world before the olde lawe was written: and yet then only writtē for wickednes and synne. It was also a longe space after the ascension before the new Testament was writ­ten, some parte at one tyme and some at an other, and yet euery parte only writen for synne and scisme: so that the simple igno­raunt people, this wel conside­red, ought not to be so desyrous of the scripture written, as they ought to be desyrous to heare the trew meanyng of scripture: for that onlye is the scripture and the gospell of Christe. For sayth. S. Hierom. Euangelium [Page] non est in scriptura, sed in sensu: non in superficie, sed in medulla: non in sermonum folijs, sed in ra­dice rationis. The gospell is not in the wryting, but in the sense: it is not in the outwarde appe­raunce, but in the inward mea­nyng: it is not in the leaues of the bokes, but in the ghostly vn­derstandynge. Christ neuer bad goe write his gospell or holye worde, but badde preache it. Then yf thou hast an humble heart, and canst but reade the englysh Bible, thinke thou must haue it taught thee, and not to take it thy selfe.

Saye as the Eunuche dyd to Philip:Actes. viii. howe can I vnderstand it except I be taught? Christe did preache ofte to the people,Math. iiii.v but he wrote not to them at all: [Page] and he sent his disciples and bad them preache to the people his ghospel,Mark .i. Luc. viii. Math. x. and .xxviii. Mar. vi.iii.xvi. Luc. ix.xxiiii Luc. xii. and then they went and preached, but he bad them not write at all. That whiche ye haue hearde (sayeth he) in se­crete places shalbe preached on the toppes of the houses: he said not it shalbe written in youre churches (as it hathe been Ie­wishly vsed on late here in Eng­lande) nor written in Bybles to be read of euerye one in hys mother tongue, and set vp for that purpose in euerye churche, Peter sayeth the holye fathers did speake Gods worde by the holye ghost:ii. Pet. i. he telleth nothinge of writyng it.Math. xxvi Christe where he spake of the memorial of Ma­ry Magdalene, saide: whersoe­uer this ghospell shalbe prea­ched. [Page] &c. He sayde not wherso­euer this Ghospell shalbe writ­ten.Mark .i. Luc. iii. Iohn Baptist preached muche, but where did he either write or commaund to be writ­ten?Mat. xxiiii. Christe ofte promised that hys Ghospell shoulde bee preached in all the worlde:Mar. vi. Luc. x.

And therfore sent fourth bothe the apostles, and the lxxij. dis­ciples, and all godly preachers euer since (so that none canne preache except he be sent.Rom. x.) But in no place we rede that he bad go write his ghospel. I can not then but meruayl that men to their owne confusion are so de­sierous to haue the scripture in their mother tongue. O howe oft speaketh Paule, and S. Peter also of preachinge the ghos­pell?Rom. x.xv. In the Epistle to the Ro­maynes, [Page] in either Epistle to the Corinthians,i. cor. ix.xv: ii. Cor. i.xi. Gal. i.iiii.v. Ephes. ii. Phillip. i. Col. i. i. Thes. ii. i. Tim. ii.iii. ii. Tim. iiii. Act. ix.xv.xx i. Pet. iii, iiii Act. vix.xv. Luc. x. Math. vii. Luc. xi. Actes. x. Actes. xix. to the Galathi­ans, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossiās, to the Thessalonians, to Ty­mothe, and in Thartes. And S. Peter also bothe in his first Epistle & also thrise in thactes Besides this, Martha is pray­sed in the Ghospell for hearyng Christes worde taughte: and Christ in his sermō in the moūt saieth, he that heareth my word and doeth it (not he that rea­deth it or writeth it) shalbe like ned to the wise man buildynge vpon the rocke. &c. And agayne blessed be they that heare gods worde and kepe it: and as it is in the Actes when Peter prea­ched, the holy ghost fell vpon al that heard him: yea and they of [Page] Asia were praised for hearynge Gods word. But wher (I pray you) haue you of writynge it for all men to read? Howe be it the onelye drifte (as I thynke) of all suche as obstinatly sticke to haue the scripture in writing in the vulgar tongue, is therby to be Iudges of the sense of scripture them selues, contra­rye to the vniuersall churche of Christ. But therfore it may not be suffered.

The thirde probation.

THrough the damnable libertie of hauinge it in the vulgar tongue haue not all holye mysteries been de­spised? Haue they not therby vtterly condemned all that hathe [Page] not been expressed in the letter of their Englishe Byble? Haue they not made vs worse here­by then the Iewes? To take all mysteries from vs excepte they be expressed in their Englishe▪ The Iewes durst not expresse the highe name of God Iehoua, But what mysterie durste not our men medle withal? Yea rea­son, turne & tosse at their plea­sure? The Iewes had Cabala their tradition left among them by Moyses without writynge, receyued as it were by hande from generation to generation, concernynge the mysticall sense included in the wordes of scrip­ture: But through this damna­ble heresye our men haue whol­lye condemned all that is not expressed in the letter of theyr [Page] Englishe. And yet S. Iohn sayde, I had manye thinges to write vnto you, neuerthelesse, I woulde not write with paper and ynke, but I truste to come and speake with you mouthe to mouth:Aug. ad Ianu. yea and S. Augustine sayeth: quae non sunt scripta sed tradita custodimus, quae to­to terrarum orbe obseruantur: we kepe and obserue not only such thinges as be written, but also traditions not written, whiche be obserued in all places of christendome. Agayne, yf ye wil nothinge to be Gods word but that whiche is expressed in the letter written, what say ye then to Moyses? Were not the wor­des of God spoken to him gods worde tyll they were written? Wer not the wordes of God spoken [Page] to the Apostles gods word tyl they were written? Christ in sayinge to Peter blessed arte thou &c,Mat. xvi. declareth that that high mystery came into S. Peters heart) as to the prince of Chap postles) onelye by secret inspi­ration, and not by the worde written. And so doeth lykewise this, that neyther Euangelist nor Apostle did euer by writing sende the faith to anye nation, but where they were firste in­formed by preaching. For faith commeth by hearynge (sayeth Paule) and not by writynge.Rom. x. Furthermore, Paule bad the Thessalonians (as I sayde) kepe the traditions whiche he had geuen them by mouth:ii. Thes. ii. be­cause the wordes that he spake to the people by mouth, our lord [Page] and vsed aboute the sacrament of the Altar, or about the sacra­ment of baptisme, who can shew the reason fully of all ye wordes, gestures, orders, questions, and aunsweres there vsed? And yet all these wee haue receiued of Christ and his Apostles. Thus muche sayth Origene.

And here marke I beseche you of Origenes woordes (whiche was liuīg wtin lxxxx. yeres after saint Iohn the Euangelist) that many suche traditions were left by Christ & his Apostles, which bee not in the Byble expressed, and yet to be obserued of all faythful Catholike people.

Beside this what they wyl saye to manye thinges moe not ex­pressed in Scripture and yet vnder the payne of damnation [Page] to be beleued I cannot tel: as to the Baptim of infantes: the .iii. persons in Trinitie to be of e­quall power and of one essence, that God the Father is ingenitꝰ not begot, the procedinge of the holye gost from the father & the Sonne: the deity & equalitye of the Holy Goste with the father and the Sonne: the obseruynge of the Sonday: the order of our Crede: the continuance of the virginite of our Lady: that she is Theorocos mater dei, the mo­ther of God: the receyuinge the Sacrament of thalter fasting: the mixtinge water with wyne in the Chalice: the Sonne to be consubstantial with the father: that Christes soule descended in to hel: the making of the signe of the Crosse: the numbre of the [Page] Sacramentes: that there be .ii. natures in Christe knit toge­ther in vnitate diuine supposite: & that Soules departinge hens streyght wayes haue the fruitiō of the deitye: And that men and women haue power to ministre the Sacrament of Baptym, It is not expressed in scripture, neyther by commaundement, coū ­sell, licence, or example.

what they will say to this gere, I wot not: but this one thynge I am wel assured of, that hauīg the Scripture in Englishe hath brought tholy mysteries of God into contempte and hatred.

Where as the wisedome of God (as S.Basil. despiritu s [...] ̄cto. cap. xxvij. Basill testifieth) neuer wolde all the misteries of our faith to be put in writing there­by [Page] to be a laughinge stocke both to the Iewes and Gentils. For if Christe himselfe were counted a sclaunder to the Iewes, and folishnes to the Heathens, how muche rather shal the high my­steries of our fayth so be coun­ted being most harde to be per­ceyued?Mysterium nō est quod ad po­pulares aures effertur. patr [...]s ergo in occu [...]to ac silentio mis­terijs suam ser­uauere digni­tatē. Basi. xxvii de spū sancto. Agayne it is not a my­stery (sayeth he) that is open to euery man, or that is blowen in to euery mans eare. Tholy Fathers euer kept tholy misteryes in most secrecy reuerencyng the dignitie therof. S. Dionise,Dioni. cap. i. in celes. hierarch. Iren. lib. 3. ca 4 Epiphan. cōtra Aeriū. Tertul de cor. mili. O­rig. homil. v, in num. Cypri. de Lot, pedū. Hila in psal, ij. I­reneus, Epiphanius, Tertuliā, Origen, Ciprian, and Hylari with one consent do firmelye e­stablisshe this agaynste the ap­prouers of thenglisshe transla­cions: Yea and S. Basill dothe [Page] affirme that there be so manye mysteries without Scripture whiche must be credited, that he can in no small time recite them al: Deficier me dies (inquit) si ecclesiae mystria citra scriptū tradita per­gam recensere. Howe can it then be that the Englisshe Bible can continue, many such mē taking occasion thereby to condemne al holy mysteries receiued by the Catholyke Churche euen from the begynninge, S. Iohn testi­enge that so many moe thinges wer done, that the whole world were not hable to conteme all if they were wryttē? And s. Paule bidding the Thessalonians (as ye haue hearde) obserue all his tradicions, receyued by mouthe, & not by writyng (sayeth Theo­philact) and yet aswel to be be­leued [Page] as thother? Yea and in the time of s. Peter, Linus, Cletus, Anacletus, Clement & Euaris­tus. &c. S. Iohns Gospell was not written: but these men wyll nothing to be beleued but onlye that whiche is in their Englishe Byble: so that all that time the Christians by this their iudge­ment should not haue ben boūd to beleue that whiche is now in S. Iohns Gospel, bycause then it was not written. Howe be it al faythfull people beleue that the Churche of Christe taught aboue .lx. yeres after Christes ascension all that is now in S. Iohns Gospell, beinge yet not then written. In the time our mother the Churche was a vir­gin. I meane not corrupt nor adulterate with sundry heresies [Page] there were almost no scriptures of the new Testament in Paper and Inke.

All the monitions, wordes, and workes of Christe were then writen in the hertes of the faythfull: but sone after when through synne it begāne to wax colde, then was writing for the simples sake to preserue theyr faith: and yet that not withstanding the authorite of the church (the fundacion of all treuth) of as greate strenght as it was before the new testament was all writen. For were there not heretikes (I pray you) which denyed diuerse bokes of scrip­ture, as Martion and other? wherewith were they subdued? euyn with verities not written, Marke wel that Moyses (saith [Page] Origene) greatly passed not for the letter writen when he dyd breake the tables: nor Christe when he sayd to the Iewes, the scripture shalbe takē from you, spake of the letter (whiche they kepe styl) but of the sense. Wherfore awaye with the englishe damnable translation and lette them lerne the mysteries of god reuerently by hert: and lerne to geue as muche credit to that whiche is not expressed, as to that which is expressed in scrip­ture: Knowing that in .iij. poin­tes thautoritie of the churche is aboue the aucthoritie of scrip­ture. One is in fortifieng veri­ties not writen to be necessary to saluation (as plainly appea­reth by manye verities in this probation) another is for that [Page] the church receyued the gospels of Luke and Marke (whiche Marke neuer saw Christ) and did reiecte the Gospels made by his high Apostels, Thomas and Bartilmew: as for the gos­pell of Nicodeme (which yet was familiar with Christe) I speake not of. The thyrde is, bycause the church in all doubt­full causes and matters of con­trouersie must euer be iudge of the trew sense of scripture. For she alone hath euer ye true sēse of scripture. So yt by her authori­tie onely Ireneus did conuince Valētin: Tertulian, Mertion: Origen, Celsum: Ciprian, No­uatum: Nicen councell, the A­rians: Hierom, Iouinian: and Augustine, ye Donatistes: with many other. And no meruell, [Page] for so muche Christ him selfe made his Churche the Iudge ouer scripture, when he sent the Apostels & disciples to preache sayeng: He that heareth you, heareth me. And also when he sayd: Who so would not heare the Churche, should be reputed and taken as an Ethnycke, or Publican. Seyng then that God thus appointed, who wyll refuse to seke the trew vnder­standynge of scripture at that iudge, whome Christ appointed hymselfe? Surely none but selfe willie heretykes.

And here nowe to speake a worde or two of the Saboth, and of mixtinge water wyth wine in the chalice (whereof I should haue spoken before, when I recited manye verities not written) and firste concernynge [Page] the Saboth. Albeit the matter of the precept be morall and the daye legal, so that it myght be chaunged: yet the church would neuer haue done that, without speciall ordinaunce of God be­inge made iudge in the cause.

And likewise it is to be sayde of mixtinge water wyth wyne in the chalice. The Ghospel speaketh of wine onely tourned into Christes precious bloude, who durste then mixte water there­with? But the church is so assu­red of Goddes pleasure therein without any scripture, that they dare not only put in water, but also dare not leaue it oute. And wherby knewe the church these thinges, but by Christe and hys holy Apostles whiche taught in their time? And so in these thin­ges [Page] and manye other moe went it furth from age to age conti­nuinge in the churche tyll thys daye, begonne by Christ in the beginninge withoute mention made in scripture written.

The .iiij. probation.

Some desire to haue it in the englyshe tongue only for know­ledge, and this is but curiositie: some only for vain praise, & this is but vain glory to be sene learned: Some only to taunt poore priestes and other therewith, and this is but deuelishnes: so that for none of these it ought to be in english. Nowe where some would desyre it in english only to be edified thereby (for this desyre only is to be embra­sed) treuth is they may be suffi­ciently edified by sermons and [Page] holsom doctrine of the scriptu­res expounded vnto theym by such as haue the key of knowe­ledge, as ofte as they shall well requyre: and herewith a godly minde wyl be content, knowing that the contrary is against the catholyke church. So that euin the good and catholyke people which would doe good and noo hurt with the Bible in english, yet may not be permitted to kepe it in the english tōge: part­ly lest the infirme and weake thereby should be offended, ey­ther in misiudging, or in taking example (yf occasion serue) to get the same libertie to theyr destruction, and partly that no occasion be geuen therby to ob­stinate heretikes to murmur that they haue it not in english [Page] them selues as wel as thother. And this answer I geue vnto theym which seme of a godlye zeale to say, scripture ought to be in english for the vse and commoditie of such people as with an earnest zeale and deuoute study doo hunger and thurste the simple and plaine knowlege of Gods worde, not for conten­tious bablyng, but for innocent lyuyng, not to be curious sear­chers of the high mysteries, but to be faithfull doers of Gods byddyngs: not to be troublous talkers of the Bible, but sincere folowers of Gods preceptes therin conteyned: not to be vn­reuerent reasoners in holy scripture for vain settīg out of their painted sheathe, but to be hūble and louly workers of Gods glory: [Page] not to be curious disputers in the Gospell for the maynte­naūce of theyr inordinate lustes and carnall libertye, but to be vpryghte walkers in holye conuersation of lyfe in the rule of the gospell prescribed.

The fyfte probation.

Hauyng the scripture in en­glysh they presume to know all the scriptures perfitly (and that to theyr condemnation) con­trary to .s. Hieroms rule which is this, Si non succedat idoneus interpres, potius nescire oportet (quam) cum periculo discere. &c. Yf there be not one present that is mete to expounde the scriptu­res, it is better not to know the mysteries, then with ieoperdie [Page] and peryll to searche theim. &c.

The syxte probacion.

The most parte of the peo­ple be euyll: but Christe wolde none such should haue the hand­lyng of his secrettes: as appe­reth by that he willeth precious stones not to be caste amongest swine, nor holye breade to dog­ges. Therfore scripture ought not so to be lefte, that all with­out anye discretion or difference may hādle it at their pleasures: whiche muste nedes be, if it be sette at libertie in the vulgar tongue in euerye churche.

The seuenth probation.

The moste part of the people be ignoraunt & not hable to dis­cerne betwene the letter and the [Page] mystery: but none suche be mete iudges in suche high matters (& yet none wylbe more bolde then blynde bayarde) therefore the scripture must be kepte furth of the handling of all suche: which cānot be, if it cōtinue in English as it doth, for all men to dispute of it that wyll.

The eight probation.

Is not the scripture ful of fi­gures and tropes? Shal it then be so lefte, that euery one shalbe iudge therof?

The ninth probation.

The vniuersal church of Chrst did neuer allowe nor approue Scripture to bee in the vulgare tongue, weying the manifolde inconueniences, that haue issued thereof: but euer from tyme to tyme amonge other errours [Page] did tread that doune & suppresse it. If we therfore, according to the article of oure Crede, beleue the vniuersal Churche, we must not admit the scripture to be in our Englishe tongue, knowing that as S. Ciprian sayeth, that whiche hathe been done and or­deyned by the church (the holye ghost being the guyde) is of as great weyght, as that whiche was done by Christ him selfe.

The tenth probation.

Scripture is coūted to be somtimes meate, somtimes drinke:Greg. lib. i. moral. drinke in light places, meate in obscure places, which in expoū ­dinge is as it were eaten being broken. It was not therefore withoute great mysterie that Christ caused the Apostles to breake the breade to the multi­tude [Page] of the people, whom he fed with v. loaues, signifiynge the spirituall breakynge of the bread of the soule amonge the people euer to bee done by the ministers diligentlye: and that it should not be complayned vp­on by the Prophet,Hierem. Thren. iiii. sayinge: my children haue desired bread, and there was none to breake it to them: and likewise by Amos: there is a great hunger (sayeth he) not of lacke of bodily foode, but of hearinge the worde of God. And also by Esay, the no­bles did perish for lacke of mete and the multitude for lacke of drinke.Esay. v. By these it maye well appeare that the common peo­ple shoulde not presume to ex­pounde ye scriptures thē selues, nor to be iudges therof: whiche [Page] yet they wyll doe (as experience sheweth) yf they haue it in the vulgar tongue. Therfore away with it.

The eleuenth probation.

There be diuers and sundrie senses in the scripture (as bothe Origen and Augustine doe de­clare) whiche be not for euerye simple brayne to finde out.Orig. homil. 2. [...] 11. in Ge. Aug. de vtilitate cre. ad honor. cap. 3. The mysterie oft is hidde, the well of scripture is depe, puteus altus est: euery ones strength is not hable to drawe vp the water of lyfe furth of the botome of it. Ther­fore the welle muste be couered, lest the yonglinges fall into it, and so be drowned.

The xii. probation.

Paule thought not the Co­rinthians hable to haue the my­steries opened vnto them,i. Cor. iii. say­ing: [Page] I feede you with milke, & yet our most ignorant people wyll murmur, if they may not fede thē selues with the highest mysteries of all, euen in theyr owne natiue language. Paule s [...]th he fedde the Corinthians as younge children, whiche yf they fede thē selues wyl defile & slober their clothes. And do not these nowe in oure dayes defile theyr weddinge garmente with presuming to feede them selues with spiritual fode of the soule? And marke here I prai you that it was not without cause that Paul vsed here this similitude, seinge children not suffered to fede them selues ofte strike the meate (throughe frowardnes) furth of the nources hande, ofte forsake it, and tourne awaye: euen as doe styl the wicked whi­che [Page] woulde feede them selues spirituallye with the englishe translation of scripture to theyr vtter poysoning after the ma­ner of children, which being permitted to fede them selues, may gather vp poyson or ven [...]m, and fede thereon: not that I meane that in scripture shoulde be any poyson: but that a medi­cine ministred by the Phisitian oft healeth, which takē by your selfe not knowinge how, where nor when to take it, poysoneth and kylleth. The Bee and the Spider gather on one floure, the one honye, the other poy­son: the floure ministring no oc­casion thervnto, but onely their owne natures. Where vpon S. Augustine sayeth:Aug. in psal. xlviij. omnia diuina eloquia salubria sūt bene intelligen­tibus: [Page] periculosa ijs qui eam volūt ad sui cordis peruersitatem detor­quere: all holye scriptures be holsome and moste profitable to them that vnderstande them a­right: but they be perilous to al suche whiche wyll wrast them after the frowardnesse of theyr owne heartes. O lorde howe manye haue wrasted the scrip­ture amisse throughe the wic­ked libertie of hauinge it in En­glishe these many yeares?

The xiii. probation.

Christ sayd to ye Saduces, ye do erre not vnderstāding the scrip­tures:Math. xxii. Ioseph. lib. 2. de bel. Iud. et. li. 18. de antiquit. & the cause was, that thei receyued no interpreters vppon scripture, not muche vnlike vn­to our men, which only with the Englishe translation (though it be neuer so false, so corrupt, and [Page] dampnable) woulde take vpon them the full vnderstandynge of scriptures.

The .xiiii. probation,

Saincte Peter testified (as it is in my fyrste chapter) that many thynges in. S.ii. Pet. iii. Paules epistles were hard to be vnder­stand, which the vnlearned did then peruert to theyr destructi­on, as they dyd other places of scriptures. And yet for all this dare our vnlearned men be styll desyrous to haue the same scriptures in theyr owne speache to peruerte to theyre owne con­demnation?

The ,xv, probation

Dyd Christ ofte testifie that it was not for euery one too knowe the high mysteries, and yet dare the blynde so presume [Page] styll onely with theyr English translation? It was not wtout great cause that Christ woulde not his mysteries to be publi­shed to al people. For the comen sort neuer vsed them well. And therfore many hyghe mysteries there be (sayth. S. Basyl) which neuer were wrtten, but in the heart of the elect. And. S. Hie­rom vpon, Labia sacerdotis custo­diunt scientiam: Malach. ii. sayeth that the ministers of Christes Churche whose duty is to teach the scripture, must not styll vtter, but kepe,Tertull. in lib. de praescript. haeret. in medio li­bri tribuit omnibus apostolis arcana cognoscere, quae ignobili vulgo nō licuit▪ that in tyme and place it may be published: Theyr office is this to do, & not for euery mā to searche the secretes. Christe wold, not euery one to be a med­ler, when he sayde to his disci­ples: it shall be youre office to [Page] know the mysteries: and to Ni­codeme: Art thou a Master in Israell, and knowest not this gere? as who should saye, it be­longeth to teachers to be rype in scriptures, and for other to be hearers.iiii. Esd. xii. God said to Esdras speakyng and declaring hygh misteries: put these secretes su­rely vp, and teache theym to the wise mē that be hable to vnder­stande theym:iiii. Esd. iiii. as for the lewde he rebuketh theym as vnmete to knowe suche highe secretes and mysteries. Euery Idiote can beare stones to the building of a house, and lay a hepe toge­ther, but none can couche theym as they ought to be in theyr places, but the mason: euery foole can reade and bable of the scripture, but only the godly learned [Page] teachers can play the spirituall masons parte in couchyng the lyuely stones in the spirituall buylding of Christes house.

The .xvi. probation.

God sayth by Malache the prophet (I recited the text euin now) that the people must re­quyre the law and the meaning therof at the mouth of the prist:Mala. ii. but then is it not for euery one to take it himselfe, to controlle & descaunt at his own pleasure.

The .xvii, probation.

Can the vnlearned only with the english bible and with rea­ding only the english translatiō discerne or know how Christes wordes be trewe that he came to fulfylle the lawe,Math. v. and not to breake it, and how many maner of wayes that is trewe, and yet [Page] how he is the ende of the lawe? Agayn can he perceyue therby how the old testament and the new are both one in substaunce,Vetus lex oc­cultatio nouae, nona reuelatio veteris, Aug. and yet diuerse in perfectiō and in imperfection, & what nedeth the olde styll to remayne, yea or what neded the newe to be ge­uen, seyng Christe answered to the lawyer askinge howe to come to heauen:Luc. [...]. In the lawe what readest thou? Loue thy lord God. &c. Moreouer can he see in his english booke how the gospel is easy and lyght? (for so Christ calleth it) and that thold was ouer hard and importable as it is in thactes the .xv. seyng that in thold only manslaughter was forbyd, here to be angry is is condemned: there loue thy frende, here loue thyne enemy: [Page] there, eye for eye, here, yf thou hast a boffet on thone side, turne thother: there, commytte no ad­ultery, here, yt thou beholdest a woman vnchastly thou art an adulterer: there, thou shalt not be forsworne, here thou shalte not sweare at al: there, for stea­lyng other mens goodes yu must restore fourefold, here, for not geuyng thyne owne thou mayst be dampned? Can ye with then­glish bible tell these and many moo as hard thynges as these be? I am sure ye can not. And therfore if ye might be suffered (whiche God forbyde) styll to wade in thenglish translation, ye muste nedes styl walke from blindnes to blindnes.

The .xviii. probation.

In the Law and the Pro­phetes [Page] o how many hard thyn­ges be cōteined? yea what part of scripture is so lyghte that a godly learned man dare take in hand fully to discusse, expound, and declare by his owne witte, yf he doe not see nor neuer haue sene anye doctor or expositoure theron? And yet shall scripture be suffered to continew in then­glish tongue for all men to ex­pounde at theyr pleasure.?

The .xix. probation.

What thinges haue we got­ten by the scriptures beyng in englysh these yeares past? ser­uauntes stubbourne, frowarde and disobediēt to theyr masters and mastres, fleshly liberty, contempt of all godly order, losse of deuotion and godlynes, prayer and fastyng set at nought, and [Page] vnbrydled boldnesse to all mis­chefe. See then whether it be high tyme to take it awaye a­gayne. Suffer the sword of the spirit to continew no longer in the mad mans hande.Hebre. iiii.

The .xx. probation.

Who is hable to tell at the fyrst sight how many hūdreth fautes be euyn in theyre best transiation (yf there were any good) and yet shall they be suf­fered styll to continewe? shall they styll poyson moo? lyke as doo a thousande damnable en­glysh bokes sette furth within these .xxij. yeares. Lord delyuer vs from theim al, and that with all spede. I take God to record (yf I may speake only of one faute in the translation and touche no moo) my herte dyd [Page] euer abhorre to here this word dominus, (whiche most comonly doth include noster) to be trans­lated the Lorde, where as it ought to be trāslated our Lord, the very latyn phrase so decla­ryng: as appeareth sufficiently by that one exāple of the comike where one sayth to Pamphilus Pater est, what man that hath a iudgement in the latyn tonge can denie this word Pater here in this place to include tuus, & so to be translated in to Englyshe thy father? is not the same iud­gement to be geuen of. S. Io­hans sayeng to Peter, Iohan the .xxj. Dominus est: It is oure Lorde our Maister: where as they haue falsely translated it, as in many other places, calling him the Lord? And lykewise in [Page] the salutatiō of our Lady, Haile Mary full of grace dominus te­cum: doth not here this worde dominus include noster? woul­dest thou make tharchaungell lyke a deuyll to calle hym the lorde? he is the lord to the deuyl, but to vs he is our most merci­full Lorde, and so to be called. Our father which art in heauē halowed be thy name. &c. And S. Thomas cryed, my Lorde & my God. Agayn, seing God is Lorde of Abraham, Lorde of Isaac, and Lorde of Iacob, would then Abraham, Isaac, or Iacob call hym the Lord? no trulye: but my Lorde, or oure Lord. This I speake not now so much for the translatiō, seing it swarmeth as full of faultes as leaues (I wil not say lines) [Page] as I doe for that I would wish that the comen speache amonge people (sprōg of custom through the fond translation) I thanke the Lord, the Lorde be praysed, the Lorde knoweth, with all suche phrases might be left, and that ye people might be taughte to call hym our Lord, I thanke our Lord, our Lord be praysed, our Lorde knoweth. &c.

The xxi. probation.

The holy martyr and chiefe by­shoppe, S. Clement writynge to S. Iames Thapostle wyl­leth the worde of God not to be read after euerye mans toye in his brayne, seinge manye places of scripture (sayeth he) without the leadinge of the holye ghost, maye be wrasted and taken af­ter euerye mans leude mynde [Page] and fonde iudgement (whiche thinge hath been put in practise of late) and not as the spirite of God dyd meane.Oportet ab eo intelligētiā discere scriptura­rū, qui eā á maioribus secūdū veritatem sibi traditā seruat. Haec diuus Clemens lib. x. re­cog. Idem quo (que) docēt Iren. Ter­tull. Athan. et Epiphan. But (sayeth he) we must euer learne the true meaninge of scripture of hym whiche doeth obserue it, as he hath accordinge to trueth recey­ued it of the elders. Hereby we maye perceyue that we muste e­uer take the meanynge of scrip­ture at his hande that went be­fore in the trueth of Christes vniuersal church. But how can it then be in the Englysh tonge, for al mē to read & take as they haue done at their pleasure? thei haue made scripture no scrip­ture, by false recitynge, by false wrastyng and tournyng. For as Martiall [...] sayeth: Quem recitas meus est o Philentine libellus, At [Page] male cum recitas incipit esse tuus. O my frende the boke that thou recitest is myne, but when thou makest false recitall, then thou makest it thine owne booke and none of myne. O lorde in howe many places maye scriptuce by the wicked be tourned into sun­drie facions (as God knoweth it hath been) euen after the ora­cle of Apollo. Aio te aeacida Ro­manos vincere posse? Is it thē to be continued in thenglish tonge?

The xxij. probation.

If scripture in the vulgar tongue had been nedefull, God woulde haue sent it to the Eu­nuche, to Saule, and to Corne­lius in the viij.ix. and x. of thac­tes: but there ye reade that god sent them teachers, Philip, Anany, and Peter: and not the scripture: [Page] whiche hadde been but in vayne as appeareth by the Eu­nuches sayinge: howe shall I vnderstāde scripture by reading except I be taught? Whervpon S. Hierom sayth. Ego (vt de me loquar) nec sāctior sū hoc eunucho, nec studiosior, qu [...]cū librum tene­ret &c. ignorabat tamen eum quē in libro nesciens venerabatur. O howe manye this daye, muche more ignorāt then Theunuche, will take in hande onelye with their English boke to open my­steries bothe to theyr owne de­struction and others.

The xxiij. probation.

Our men wyll nothinge but theyr english booke, but the holy man Ireneus which dyd see. S Iohans disciple (or as some affirme, whiche was scholer to [Page] S. Iohans disciple named Po­licarpus) doeth testifie that we must folowe the order of the traditions whiche the forefathers dyd leaue vnto them, vnto whō they committed the cure of Christes people: vnto whiche ordinaunces the very heathens (sayth he) comming to Christes stocke did obey, hauing their be­lefe written by the sprit of God in theyr hartes, and not writen with ynke in velom or perche­ment. What shal we say then to theym whiche yet bewaile their Iewish scriptures plucked be­syde ye postes and walles, & on­lye desyre theyr scripture with inke and paper in the booke? As for saluation only wryten in the hart by the holy spirit, it should seme, they passe not of.

The .xxiiij. probation.

The heathen Philosopher would not youth to be the med­lers with moral philosophy, by­cause they were vnapte therun­to, eyther to be Iudges therof, or to take any profyt thereby: and he ment not only youthe in yeares, but also in maners: a childe (saieth Esaie) of an hun­d [...]eth yeares old shal dye.Esay. lxv. What then shal we saie shal we admit vnto the hādling of our heauēly philosophy whome the heathen thought vnmete, & vnworthy to handle theyr lerning whiche was but prophane? woulde not the Iewes permitte all ages to the reading of all the bokes in the olde testament, and shall we christen men doe it? wyll we be worse then the Iewes? Yea [Page] worse thē the prophane ethnic­kes and more out of order? O Lord be mercifull vnto vs.

The .xxv. probation,

It was neuer admitted (though somtymes permitted) in any place of christenedome scripture to continew in the vulgar tongue, but only in tyme of scisme or heresy, shall it nowe then be suffred to continew any longer in this realme, so many mischefes yssewyng therout as haue done daily increasing these many yeares, and would do styl more and more?

The .xxvi. probation.

When it is in the vulgar tonge, the comen sorte play with Gods worde, as the deuyll did disputing with Christ, brought Gods worde, but to a wronge purpose. Christ said man lyueth [Page] not only by breade, but by euery worde that procedeth fourth of Gods mouth. The deuill spake Gods worde, but it was not fourth of Gods mouth: so did the olde Prophete of Bethell speake Gods word,iii. Reg. xiii. but not out of Gods mouthe. Likewise did the .CCCC.iii. Re. xxii. Prophetes whiche deceyued Achab. All sorcerers, witches, and cōiurers vse gods worde, but not oute of Gods mouthe: so haue all heretikes in tymes past, and doe at this day. But when is it Gods worde furthe of Gods mouthe?

Howe shall we know or proue that? Euer when it is spoken according to the consent & faythe of the catholike churche.

For very scripture doeth shewe that the trew vnderstandynge [Page] of Goddes worde, and that is furth of gods mouth spoken, is euer to be soughte in the catho­like churche, for the catholike church alone hath euer the true sense of scripture, whiche is for that cause called of S. Paule the pyller and foundation of all trueth:i. Timo. iii. wherein also for this cause God ordeyned some apo­stles, some Euangelistes,Ephes. iiii. some Prophetes and teachers, styl to cōtinue, lest we shoulde be ouer­throwē with blastes of errour. And therfore Ireneus wttnes­seth,Iren. li. 3. cap. 3. and longe after him S. Augustine that the trewe mea­ning of scripture is to be hadde by the triall of the succession of the holye bishoppes and fathers since Peters time in the see of Rome, which thinge caused S. [Page] Augustine to say, I would not beleue the ghospell if thautori­tie of the churche caused me not so to doe.Aug. in epist. fund. So that we must be­leue that hath been receyued of all men, at all times, and in all places of christendome, and we muste leane to thantiquitie, to the generalitie, and consent of the fathers: and the true sense and meanyng of scripture must euer be proued and tried oute herby. How be it to none of this our new men wil agre, because it whollye maketh agaynst thē: but thei euer do studie to bring al into question & to deny al ge­neral councels, all ordinaunces, decrees, canons, and exposi­tours vpō scripture. And much of this disorder thenglish Bible doeth cause: wherfore me thinke [Page] it maye not well be permitted to continue.

The xxvij. probation.

Can it be chosen, but so long as all people haue the Byble in English at their pleasure, there shal euer be some amonge them readie ministers of the deuyl to dispute, reason, and teache the residue, to the vtter destruction of all deuotion and good order? And yet amonge them selues they shall saye, the cause is they can not be taught truelye of the preachers abrode. And hereby heresye shalbe sowed plentiful­lye, and Gods worde pitifullye abused vnder a colourable de­fense therof. Thei shal say: o the Ghospell ought not to be kept from christen men: and that is verye trueth: it oughte to bee [Page] taught them and preached vnto them, but not to teache them selues for wrastynge it amisse.

The xxviij. probation.

It is the occasion of manye heresies to haue the scripture in the vulgar tongue. Howe be it heresie dyd neuer spring furth of scripture, but only of the per­uerse vnderstandynge of scrip­ture (sayeth Hilarius).Hilar. lib. ij. de triuitate. And yet then seing the rude ignorāt sort be euer prone peruersly to wrast the scriptures, we muste thinke that to haue scripture in english, is to minister occasiō to ye cōmon sorte to fall into errours· & that it so shall doe appeareth by that they be not hable to weye nor beare the mysteries, nor to vn­derstand the tropes and allego­ries whiche the greate learned [Page] men ofte are scant hable well to digeste, howe much lesse the cobler, carter, or coryer?

The ,xxix, probation,

Hilarius vpon In corde meo abscondi eloquia tua Sheweth that the high mysteries oughte not to be publyshed abrode a­monge all people. It is good (saieth he) to hyde the kynges priuetie and secret. And s. Paul (saith he) was aferd to fede the people with any other but with mylke.Math. xiii. Christ in the gospell tel­leth of inestimable treasur foūd and hid in the fylde that was bought:Math. vii. and of the precious sto­nes not to be cast before swyne, nor the holy vnto dogges. &c. What doeth all thys but plaine­lye forbydeth thee Byble in Englishe or the mysteries therof [Page] to be set abrode?

The ,xxx, probation,

Lyke as GOD appointed tholde lawe to bee written in stone, tables, or boke, so did he appoint (as Hieremie witnes­seth) the new to be writen only in the heart of man.Hier. xxxi. Why should the writing in bookes then be so highlye regardyd? But this carnall, this fleshly regardyng by no meanes can be so well ex­tenuate or rather quyte taken awaye, as by taking the scrip­ture fourth of the vulgar tonge and fourth of thandling of the lewde ignoraunt.

The ,xxxi, probation,

God appointed the Gospell onelye to be writen in the hert of man. And therfore the Apo­stels did fulfyll theyr office con­cerning [Page] this matter, in that thei only wrote theyr epistles to the people being absent, but euer taught by mouthe theym that were present, as appeareth to the Corinthians, where Paule saith: othere thinges,i. Cor. xi. when I come and am present, I wyl or­der: And .S. Iohn. sayde,Epistle .ii. I had mani thiges to write, which I wil not write, but tel you and teache you mouth to mouth.

The same teachinges then and many other haue bene receiued in the Church euin as it were by hande, and so continued styll and shall doo, tholye ghost tea­ching frome tyme to tyme, as Christe promised, if the Bible were ones taken forthe of the ignorauntes iudgementes.

The ,xxxij, probation.

i. Timoth. i.Paule writeth to Timothe rebukynge many whiche then woulde presume to be doctours and teachers not mete for that office: but how many thousādes be in Englād English teachers now, yea rather seducers and only sowers of heresies through the englysh translacion muche worse and more ignoraunt then they of whō Paule then spake?

The ,xxxiij, probacion.

Yf it be laufull for all to haue the handeling of scripture, then made not tholy ghost a iuste di­uision of giftes appointing but som doctours and teachers and thother to be taught: Yea and Christ cald in vain the Apostles and theyr successours the salt of thearth, & the light of ye world, if euery one that wyll shal haue [Page] that office, as no doubte they haue had this longe tyme, and wyll haue styl, if it shoulde con­tinue in English, which GOD forbyde-

The .xxxiiij, probacion.

Gregorius Nazianzen saieth, Oportet paulatim infirmis fideli­bus ea que perfectiora sunt ape­rire, &c. Greg. Nazian. concione de spiritu sancto. We must by lytle and litle open the secretes of scrip­ture to the infirme christians. How can it be suffred thenne to be in englysh for euery one too open it to him selfe?

The ,xxxv, probation.

Paule would all to be taught the scripture: and therfore he wrote his epistles to al: but not all to descant vpon them. For then he would not haue saide,i. cor. xiiii. if any be thought to be a prophet [Page] let him know what I write vn­to you &c.

The .xxxvii. probacion.

Moises did committe the boke only to the pristes & not to the people.Deut. xxxi. And the priest was euer made iudge in hard causes of the scripture.Deut. xvii. But our men wil be iudges them selues: & where lerned they that? euen of the deuil the autour of arrogancy. God said in Deut. he that will not obey in this to the preiste,Deut. xvii. shall suffer death. But what o­bedyence woulde the englishe readers geue to the preist? yea to the highest Priest of all in earth vnder Christ?

The xxxvij. probation.

S. Basil biddeth be circum­spect that ye blabbe not out the holy mysteries, nor suffer them [Page] to be defiled with prophane eyes, but ye shall rather bee a­frayed to handle them: yea, ye shall reuerence the hydde my­steries of God with spirituall and not corporall beholdynges, and kepe them not touched nor to be handled of the rude, igno­raunt, and common people. What can be more playne then this againste the Byble in the vulgar tongue?

The xxxviij. probation

O howe manye scrupules and doubtes haue spronge in manye mens heades (whiche neither they nor their fathers euer imagined before) through the scripture in Englishe? How many alterations, scismes, and deuisions amonge the simple haue rysen, yea betwene man [Page] and wyfe, maister and seruant? How manye women heretikes haue taken vpon them thoffice of teachinge hereby in these ye­res paste,Women he­retikes. and all contrarye to Paules doctrine?

The xxxix. probation:

Amonge other, one of the greatest inconueniences that hath these wretched yeres sprōg by hauing the Byble in english, is this, that many, yea very ma­nye, God best knoweth, haue presumptuouslye taken vpon them beinge yet moste vnmete thervnto, thoffice of doctours and teachers in corners and conuenticles, beinge not sent, but arrogantly and presumptuous­lye, saying, God did send them, and they woulde seke for none other sending, howe be it they [Page] did not marke the plague of O­sias kyng of Iuda for vsurping thoffice of the priest, whervnto he was not called. They did not marke howe Christ being very man did chose the xij.Math. x Luc. x. Apostles and lxxij. disciples, and sent thē furth, where ye see bothe the outwarde chosynge and out­warde sendyng.Actes. i. Mathias was outwardlye by men chosen to succede Iudas: and so were the seuen deacons outwardlye cal­led:Actes. vi. and thactes the xv. it hathe pleased tholye ghost and vs &c. Beholde here bothe the inward and outward sending. And the holye ghost sayde,Actes. xiii. seperate me Paule and Barnabas, & they put theyr handes on them and sente them furthe. Here ye see outwarde sendynge. Yea, and [Page] Paule sayeth:Rom x. howe shall they preache except they be sent?

Nowe yf we shoulde take onely inwarde sendinge without the outwarde, then the Churche coulde neuer bee certayne who were sent and who were not.

Agayne Christ appoynted cer­tayne Apostles, doctours, and teachers &c. Whiche order, saith Paule,Ephes. iiii. shall continue in the church for euer. But thē it must nedes be that ye churche shal stil appoynt them as they did then &c. Moreouer he that shall be called to the office of a priest or byshop must haue a good report of them whiche are without.i. Timo. iii. Marke here the outwarde sen­ding. And S. Augustine sayth▪ if because Thappostles were taught of god,Aug. in prolo. li. de doct. Chri. none own ought [Page] to bee outwardelye called or taughte, then (sayeth he) lette none reade the gospel, nor none heare sermons. Paule had tho­lye ghost and yet he went not to preache tyl Ananias had layde his handes vpon him.Actes. ix▪ He was sent (sayth he) to man to receiue the sacramentes and to be ioy­ned to the church. Neuertheles all might be done and wrought onely inwardlye by thangell or spirite of God: but then shoulde neuer be any certayntie. Ther­fore God hathe ordeined that like as in temporal gouernaūce none is made ruler but beynge outwardly sent and appointed by men, euen so in the spirituall functiones. Wherfore nowe to conclude, seing the only remedy to redresse this damnable er­rour [Page] of theym whiche teache se­cretly and do [...] much hurt in cor­ners through the english trans­lation is to take it awaye (for by other meanes it wil not be stopped) it can not be permitted that the Bible shoulde continue in english. Here in this I might haue had iust occasion to speake against preachers which hadde authoritie (wickedly geuen) to preache, and did comenly preach vnderstandinge not the latine tonge (as it was saide) but were called some from one occu­pation, and some from another, and some frome plaieng the vi­ces parte in enterludes: but I wil not medle with this matter

The ,xl, probation.

Hierom. in Ezech. 44.S. Hierom saith, Alta, & profunda dei mysteria non sunt mon­stranda [Page] vulgo, nec proferenda ad populum, ne si maiora se audie­rint, maiestatem scientiae ferre non possint, & quasisolido suffocentur cibo, qui adhuc lacte infantiae nu­triendisunt. The depe and pro­founde mysteries of God are not to be shewed to the common people, nor to be vttred to thē: lest they hearinge greater thin­ges then they can beare, be not hable to atteyne to the know­ledge therof: and be as it were choked with harde meate, whi­che yet oughte to haue been fed but with milke of infancie.

The .xli, probation.

It helpeth well and is a good probation against the en­glish Bibles that Christe euer vsed paraboles to the rude vn­learned sorte: yea and that [Page] the wordes of the gospell do te­stifie that ofte when he spake they vnderstode hym not: Nihil (inquit) horum intellexerunt: but yet he saide to his disciples and theyr successours: Vobis datum est nosse mysteria: It belongeth to you to knowe the mysteries: Yea and whan he would teache theym high secretes, he ascen­ded into the mount from the co­men people, wherof Esai hadde spoken.Esay. vi. Ye shall heare with youre eares and not vnder­stand. &c. In expounding which place. S. Hierom doeth vtterly dryue awaye the comen people from medling or handlyng the mysteries of scripture. Agayne doeth not Christe showe in the Gospell,Luc. xii. that he is a good stew­arde, which geueth in measure [Page] to the seruauntes theyre meate in dewe season? what a wicked stewarde were he then, whiche withoute all measure or discre­tion, obseruing no order, regar­ding no mans person or bloode, wold set on the table before all men indifferently, were he Lord or lorell, master or seruaunt, all kyndes of disshes at ones bothe grosse and fyne?

The .xlij, probation.

Chrisosostom vpon,Chrisost. lib. iiij de sacerdotio. Intende lectioni. i. Ti. iiij, sheweth thoffice of Bisshops to be to studye the scripture, & thoffice of the laitie to know the scripture by theyre teaching and preaching suffici­ent for theyr saluation.

The .xliij, probation,

S. Augustin sheweth certen places of scripture to be for pregnauntAugust. epis [...]. Volusiam. [Page] wittes, and certen for the rude & dolardes: But how then can the scripture be in thenglish tongue for all indifferentlye to reade?

The ,xliiij. probation.

O how many Englyshe rea­ders doe take hurte of the Pro­phetes and canticles not know­wing the mysteries, nor when it is a trope? not knowyng when it is to be taken to the lettere, and when the letter doth kylle?

The .xlv. probation.

Gregorius Nazianzen saieth I is conuenit de rebus diuinis disse­rere, lib. i. suae theol▪ qui contemplandi acumine coeteris antecellunt. &c. It is mete for theym too intrete of Gods mysteries, whiche doe ex­cede and passe other in excellen­cie of gyfte, &c, But then it shall [Page] not be lawfull for euery one to haue it in the vulgare tonge.

The ,xlvi. probation.

S. Hierom saith that the Ie­wes dydde not permitte any to reade the beginning of Genesis,In proaemi [...] E [...]echielis. nor the canticles, neyther the beginning nor the ende of Eze­chiell before .xxx. yeares. And the Romayns suffered none to rede the bokes of Sibylla but onlye the tenne commissioners named decemviri, Fenestella. lib i. capi. xiii. and before theym the .ij. commissioners na­med duumviri, So muche re­uerēce they gaue to theyr boke, And shall we christians suffer the hyghe mysteries to be mise­rably tormoyled of all handes? But ye wyl say: S. Hierom and Chrisostom also in certein pla­ces seme to allow the laitie vnto [Page] reading of scriptures: And. S. Hierom did translate scripture vnto the Dalmatians. Truth is, many thīges for a time haue ben permitted of deuotion, but after seing the successe nought, they haue been taken awaye. After the beginninge, maydes, wiues, boyes, and men kept vi­gils together aboute martyrs tumbes: and Vigilantius for reprouing it was sharply taun­ted of S. Hierom: yet after­ward for inconueniēces it was taken away.Euseb. lib vi. cap. xxxiij. And at the begin­ninge the bodie of Christ was geuen to the laytie in their han­des to carye home. &c. But tho­rough witchecraftes and other abuses cōmitted, that custome was taken awaye. Likewyse the laytie receyued once vnder [Page] bothe kindes, whiche custome throughe offenses and perils that chaunced, and that might chaunce still, is iustly prohibited and taken awaye vtterlye. And likewise answere is to be geuen to all them that make these for­sayde obiectiōs to haue the scriptures in englishe.

The .xlvii. probation.

If that which Eusebius doth testifie in his time to be trewe, had been nowe verified in these our daies, we neded not then to be so ferd of hauinge scripture in euery mans hand.Libro eccl. cap. xvi. His wor­des be these. Imperiti obseruant ne disputare audeant de ijs quae ig­norant, et de illis testimoniū per­hibere quae nesciunt. The vnlear­ned euer obserue this, that they dare not once dispute or reason [Page] of those thinges that thei be ig­noraunt of, nor beare testimonie of those thinges whiche they know not. But alas nowe the more ignoraunt, the more obsti­nate in madde boldnesse, so that by no meanes thenglish translation maye be suffered.

The .xlviij. probation▪

Scripturarum intelligentiam non ex propria praesumptione, sed ex maiorū scriptis & autoritate se­quebātur quos et ipsos ex apos­tolica successiōe intelligendi regulā suscepisse constabat, Haec Eusebi. lib. xi. Eccl. cap. ix.The example of Grego. Na­zian. and Basil be to faythfull christians a sufficient rule to fo­low, which if we do, we wyl say awaye with thenglishe Bibles, away, they can not be abiden.

For the readers therof passe of no expositions of the fathers, but onlye stycke to theyr owne bare taking of scripture as thei phancye it, and as they please: where as these .ii. holy doctours studied scripture together, not [Page] presumptuously folowing their owne imaginatiō, but folowing the doctrine and authoritie of the elders, whom they knew to haue receyued the vnderstāding of scripture euyn by succession from the Apostels.

The xlix. probation.

If Spiridion iustlye repre­hended Triphillius but onelye for chaunginge of one worde in scripture (cubile for lectū) what reprofe are our men worthye,Lib. i. Tripere. capit. x. whiche chaunge many hundred wordes, yea sentences and all? If holy Basilius wold not suf­fer one syllable of scripture to be corrupted or altered,lib. vii. tripert. cap. xxxvi. but ra­ther would haue suffered many deathes, what shall we then say [Page] to the great and damnable cor­ruption and alteration that hath been among our men? If holy Basilius bad the Empe­rors coke medle with his coke­rye & let scripture alone,tuū est (inquit) de pulmētarijs cogitare, nō dog mata diuina de coquere lib. vij [...]rip. ca. xxxvi. what woulde he haue sayde to oure men these yeres past?

The .l. probation.

Hauinge the scripture in En­glishe causeth manye braynles bodies to dispute and reason they know not whervpon, and euer to lay scripture for the wickedlye, as al heretikes euer did, where as in dede in reasoninge with suche, scripture wyll not serue.Tertull. de praescrip. haerettcorū et lib. iiij. cōtra M [...]rtionem. For as Tertullian saieth, in disputing with an heretike we muste not flee to scriptures, nor [Page] pitche our battel there: for ther eyther neuer or els very hardly the victory shalbe gotten. Here­tikes wylbe ouercome (sayeth Sisinius vnto Nectarius in ye storie of Socrates li. 9. trip. ca. 19) neither with scriptures nor wt dis­putationsApprobata ab [...]cclesia nō oportet rursus rationibus fulcire etc. Nam quē ­admodū par est spiritui fācto et Cbristo diuini­tas, ita in suis institutis est ae­qua authoritas & potestas: Nec minus ratū est quod eeclesia dictāte spiritu sancto tradidit quā quod ipse tradidit. Haec Cypri. de Lot. ped. but only by the au­thoritie of the churche, and by the traditions of the fathers & elders. So that beside the scripture written we muste receyue manye traditions not written: many generall councels in whō the holye ghost did speake: and sundrie interpretations vpon scriptures made by the holy fathers beinge replenished wyth Gods spirite.

¶The conclusion of this simple discourse.

SEing now these probations which be euident against the scripture in Englishe: seing al­so the great hardnes that is in scripture with ye causes therof, and how many waies the letter doth kyl: And seing againe that the vniuersall churche of Christ hath vtterly forbid the scripture to be in the vulgare tongue, consideryng the manyfolde incon­ueniences that ryse therof, as great numbres of heresies, dis­obedience, and contempt of po­wers, with fleshely libertie &c. And finally, seing that by no meanes so soone as by the scrip­ture in english, heresies do both spryng daily, and be also main­teined, wherin should good men [Page] be more diligent than in thexter patiō hereof? wherfore it shalbe euery faithful christians duetie, being in authoritie, to lay to his healping hande to the taking a­way quite (& that with al spede) the Englishe translations with all hereticall Englishe bookes, whiche no doubt haue been the greatest occasion of all the mis­cheifes we haue hadde in this realme of late dayes. Through these, our newe founde religion hath euer strongly been main­teined and vpholden. Our new found religion (I say) which ye must nedes confesse to haue ben starke nought and damnable, because the beginnyng was ad­uoutry, the continuaunce extor­tion, & the ende plaine treason. Yea, & euen from the beginning [Page] their procedinges (for so they termed them, beyng rather worthy the name of retrocedinges) were styll from synne to synne: Fyrst,Peccatū quod per paenitētiā nō deletur suo pondere ad aliud peccatū grauius trabit: Et hoc suppliciū domini longe omniū est grauissimū, quād [...] vnū peccatū per aliud p [...]nitur, quod peccatur quum in profundu [...]enerit, contēnit. forsaking the head of the churche, falling from the vnitie therof: then despising all gene­rall counselles, all ordinaunces frō the beginning kept through out christendome: After this spoyling, pollyng, pylling, rob­bing and stealing all landes, or­namentes & goodes of the chur­che (being more fearse then euer was Iulian thappostata) with­out mercy or pitie: And finally spytefully contemninge all the holy sacramentes, with all cen­sures and iudgementes of the churche and fathers vpon scrip­ture, only sticking to their own, what pleased them to phansie. [Page] O lorde, was not this a tyme most miserable? Iesu be mercy­full vnto vs, and graunt vs ne­uer to fall againe into the lyke palpable darkenes.

¶Of Masse & all other diuine seruice in the churche to be in Latine and not in the vulgare tongue.

ANd here note further (I be­seche you) that like as it is nowe spoken of scripture not to be in English, euen so is it ment that as vnlawful it is (yea and more too, if more may be) that the high mysteries in the sacri­fice of Masse or other diuine seruice should be in English: where as the preist is a comon person and offereth vp for al the people beyng the meane betwene God and them, so that his communi­cation, [Page] is to God, and not to the people. What cause is there then why diuine seruice should be in Englishe, except ye thynke that God vnderstandeth no Latine? Neither the Italians nor Gre­ciās haue diuine seruice in their vulgare tongue. Moreouer, at that tyme of diuine seruice all the comen people then present, shuld onely put their whole affi­aūce in fide ma [...]ris ecclesiae in the fayth of oure mother the catho­lyke churche: like as our beleif is in the baptisme of infantes. Yea, & note further, that it was not without great mystery the writyng of Christes tytle at his passion in Hebrewe, Greke, and Latine. Also it was not with­out great mysterye that many wordes were neuer translated, [Page] as Alleluya, Osanna, Amen, Saba­oth, Kirieleison &c. And that Christ praied in secret & silence alone, the head for the whole bodie, to signifie vnto vs thereby, that the priestes office is like­wise to doe the same, the cōmon minister for al the people, being meane betwene God & them. As for that of Paule to the Corinthians,i. Cor. xiiii. which might appeare to the simple to make for theyr purpose to haue all in the vul­gar tonge, yf ye marke it well, it is onely spoken for them whi­che doe preache, expounde, or in­terprete scriptures in ye church: that is to saye, that their ser­mons, their expoūdinges, or in­terpretatiōs of scriptures (they beinge authorised therevnto) must euer be made in that tōge [Page] whiche the hearers doe vnder­stande and perceyue.

And this (ye know well) bothe is and euer hath ben vsed. And therfore here now further, A man might demaunde a questiō wherfore ye com to the Churche I suppose ye wyll saye (as ye muste no doubte, yf ye tell the treuthe) that the chiefe intente of your comming is or ought to be, to pray (though sermōs and diuine seruice, and the ministration of the holy sacramentes be causes also) seing that Christe called the Church the house of prayer,Luc. xix. bringyng for him the te­stimony of Esaie: and seing also we haue in scripture so manye notable examples concernynge the same purpose.Luc. ii. Anna the pro­phetisse cōtinued day and night [Page] in the temple in fastynge and prayer:Luc. xxiiii. the Apostles after Christes ascension remayned styll in the temple in laudyng and blessyng God: Peter and Iohn went vp in to the temple at the ninth houre of prayer:Actes. iii. Salomon besought GOD to graunt the petition of all that prayed in the temple:iii. Re. viii. and Da­niel beinge a prisoner in Babi­lon,Dan. vi. euer loked toward the tem­ple, when he prayed, vppon his knees thryse in the daye. This suerly doth proue that the chief intent of cōming to the churche ought to be to praye. But all this tyme which now (thankes be to God) is past, hauynge the diuine seruice in Englishe was an extreme enemie to all godly prayer and deuotion. For then [Page] men phansied so to heare what was redde (striuing ofte ther­vppon in simple iudgemente) that feruente prayer whiche ought to be, was smally regar­ded. And here now for this time I make an end besechig al god­lye people (as for Momus his iudgement I passe not of) well to accepte this my labour: seing that herein is nothinge spoken but that whiche hath bene taught for treuthe and beleued of al men, in all places, and at al times since ye primatiue church: seing also that herein we leane onely to the generalytie of all christendome to the antiquitie of the elders whiche haue recei­ued it as it were by hande euyn tyll this day, and to the consent and agrement of all the holy fa­thers: [Page] Whose wittes were as muche as our new mens, theyr diligēce as great, theyr lerning greater, theyr studye more fer­uent, theyre deuotion hotter, theyr nombre more, theyr conti­nuaunce longer, they alway ta­ken for catholikes (but thother euer for heretikes) alwaye la­boring and studiyng that might be whollye to the profyt of the churche of Iesus Christe: To whome, with the father, and the holye ghost, be all honoure and glorye, for euer and euer.

Memor [...]e nouissima: Eccl. vii. & in aeter­num non peccabis. I. S.


IESV God and man we beseche thy Maiestie,
Of mesureles mercie tender our miserie,
Hast to helpe, that helpe hast in thy hande,
Ne cesse with thy [...] repaire this Ilande,
Suffer not Satan and his cursed progenie
To bewitche thy people with scisme and heresie
And strengthē vs O God of power & puisaunce,
Neuer to quaile throughe thy gracious gouernaūce
Dede and worde in vs so proportion
Infinitly yt we acknowledge thy heauēly wisdō
Snared we were and nigh snatched to confusion
Scisme and heresie preuailing in this region.
Haue thankes and praise for our restitution.
As we may and can we must and wyll willingly
Vvaking and sleping exalte thy Maiestie.
Thy mercie for our selues as we aske and haue,
Haue like mercie we humblie crie and craue
On Philip and Mary, graunt thē of thy mercie
Reigne, peace, and power in longe life & felicitie.
Autoris nomen libri nō scribitur huius,
Vt placido vultu quis (que) probaret opus.
Plus circa nomē (quam) verū plebs stomochatur,
I is adhibens solum, qui placuere, fidem.

¶Fautes escaped the printer in many of the bokes.

A.v.ij..iiii. reade, ofte hurteth.
C.viii.i.in the margēt, math .ix
D.v.i.xvii. rede, Actes
E.iii.i.xv. put oute.,.
E.iiii.ii.in the margēt, Iac. iiii.
H.viii.in the margent writte,
Iren. lib. tertio. capit. iiii.
I.i.i.i. rede, and it is.
I.i.ii.v. rede, that which hath
I.ii.ii.xviii. reade, doe, apereth
I.vi.i.xx. rede, Altercations,
I.viii.xxii. rede, sending, Howe
I.vii.ii.xxii. rede, none now.

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