Of the auctorite of the word of god agaynst the bisshop of london / wherein are contey­ned certen disputacyons had in the par­lament howse betwene the bisshops a bowt the nomber of the sacra­mēts and other things / very necessary to be known / made by Alexāder Alane Scot and sent to the duke of Saxon.

There is nothing hydden that shal not be opened and come to lyght.

Math. x.

Of the auctoryte of the word of god.

ABowt .v. yere agone I wrote to the noble king of scottys the father of my contry complay­ning of a certen proclamacyon wherin the bisshops had forbidden the holy scripture to be redd in the mother tong. I answered also to certen slaunderos lyes of cochleus / whom the bisshops had hyred to spewe out all the poison in his bely against me. For I was at antwerp whan a contry man of myne whose name was Iohn fo­ster did send a sōme of mony vnto Cochle­us by a marchant from the bisshop of. S. Andrews which geueth him yerely so long as he liueth a certen stipend. And it chāced by the goodnes of god / wherby he disclo­seth the wickednes of these hipocytes / that a pistle of Cochleus which he sent vnto a certen bisshop of pole / came vnto my han­des / wherin he complayneth that he hath gret losse and euel fortune in setting forth of bokes for as moch as no man wil wete­saue to rede his bokes. And he beggeth a y [...] rely [Page] stipend of the bisshops of pole saing that he hath bene nobly rewarded of the king of scottys and of the archbisshop of. s. Andrews and of the bisshop of glasguo. And were it not for the loue of my contry and of the kinges grace I wold cause his pistle to be printed with the copy of the kin­gs letters which he send vnto a certen biss­hop of pole / & because he shal knowe that I haue a copy of the kings letters the king doth write manifestly that Cochleus boke dyd more please him for the cōmendacyon of Kyng Ferdinandus and of Erasmus than for any study or diligēce of the autor. I wil not vtter other things contayned in the sayd letters neyther wold I haue disclosed thus moch but that I wold wissh that the king were admonisshed to cōsidre whether cochleus were a man worthy to be pre­sented with his letters and his princely re­ward or no. And because I wold auoyde the furios enuy of this blasphemos impu­dent rayler whō the bisshops had hyred to [Page] bark agaynst me (for beside slanderos ray­lyng wordes he made me no answer at all / and he threatned me that he wold send me home agayne if he could bring it to passe / vnto the bisshops with my handes bownd behynd me) for the which cause / I say / I did cast in my mynd to chang agayne that cōtry where I was specially seing I was called in to Ingland by the right noble lord Crumwel and the Archbisshop of cā ­terbery. for the railyng wretch Cochleus did manifestly wright that he was sorer greued with me for dwelling in that place where I did remayne / than he was with my matter or with any other thing els. I considered that christ gaue place somtymes vnto the furiosnes of the Iewes & agay­ne that curr dogges which be tyed at mens gates to bark / whā no man is by them thā thei slepe and make no besynes at all. And therfor I thought to auoyde his rayling writings by no meanes so well / as if I sh­uld goo in to Ingland and euen stopp my­ne [Page] eares at his rauyng. And in dede I was not deceiued / for the serpēt left his hissing / and I was louingly receyued not only of the Archbisshop / and of the honorable lord Crumwel / but euen of the right noble king himselfe also / and I was sent vnto Cambridge to reade a lecture of the scripture there / but the crosse foloweth alweys christes doctrine / wher soeuer it goeth / & the deuel hath euer enuye that christ shuld haue any rest / for euen in the wildernes he wold not suffer him to be quiet a lone / vntil he had brought him vnto the crosse. I had scasely declared out the .viij. psalme / but I perceyued myne enemy going a bout to wrap me in contencions. the which although I hate naturally and haue studied always to my powr to auoyde them / yet I neuer submit­ted my self cowardly to the deuel nor neuer recanted any thing sins I had any knoulege of christes true gospel. And whan I wold haue made answer there for such do­ctrine as I had tawght / I came to the scholes [Page] of the vniuersite where a gret nomber of auditors was gathered / and there before the whole multitude I taryed an howr or ij loking whan myne aduersary shuld come. but he although he refrayned from dispu­tacyon (for what purpose or consideracyon I can not tel) yet he cōspired me such enuy that there were some that were not a frayd to threaten me that it shuld cost me my life which thing after I had opened to the vy­chanceler by the councel of certen of the wisest men there / and sawe him winke at the matter / I gaue place to this malyce also and departed from thens / specially for as moch as I perceyued there were statutes sent forth from the bisshops and from the whole councel of the reame which were su­ch that it had bene wickednes not to haue spoken openly against them and yet to ha­ue reproued them it shuld haue bene coun­ted a poynt of sedicyon. The man was not hyndered nor put in feare by me / but the chanceler of the vniuersyte which sent me [Page] thether by the commandment of the king wold suffer none of his vniuersyte to speak against any of the comon lawes. wherfor I determined with my self to serue the ty­me and to change the preaching of the cro­sse with the scyence of physik wherin I had a litle sight before / And thus I went vnto a very well lerned phisyciā called doc­tor Nicolas which hath practised phisyk in lōdō thes many yeares with high pray­se / whose company I dyd vse certen yea­res wherby I did both see and lern many things euen the principal poyntes concer­ning that science. In so moch that at len­gth certen of my frindes did moue me to take in hand to practise / which thing I did I trust not vnluckyly. But yet not with­stonding this / cōtrary to all my expectacion I chanced to fall agayn in to such a di­sputacyon as I was in before / and in ma­ner with like aduersarys / for before I was vexyd with my contry bisshops and with an hyred railer Cochleus about the rea­ding [Page] of the scripture in the mother tong. And it fortuned me to haue a like conten­cion with certen bisshops of Ingland (which maynteyne still the bisshop of rome so farre as thei dare) whether all things necessary vnto our saluacyon be conteyned in the scripture / or but a part only and the re­sydue to be taken out of the gloses of the do­ctors / out of the actes of old councels and out of popes lousy decreys. And vnto this disputaciō I came sodenly vnprepared / for as I did mete bi chance in the streate the right excellent lord Crumwel going vnto the parlament howse in the yeare .1537. he whan he sawe me / called me vnto him / & toke me with him to the parlamēt hou­se to westmyster where we fownd all the bisshops gathered to gether. vnto whom as he went and toke me with him / all the biss­hops and prelates did rise vp and did obei­sance vnto him as to their vicar general and after he had saluted them he sate him down in the highest place & right against [Page] hym sate the Archibisshop of cantorbery / after him the Archbisshop of yorke / and than London / Lincoln / Salisbery / Bathe Ely / Herford / Chichester / Norwich / Ro­chester and Worcester and certē other whose names I haue forgoten / all these did sit [...] at a table couered with a carpet with certē prystes standing about them.

Than the lord Crumwel being vicar general of the reame / lord of the preuy sea­le and chefe secret counceler vnto the king turned him self to the bisshops & sayd. Ri­ght reuerend fathers in christ / The kings maiesty geueth yow high thankes that ye haue so diligently without any excuse as­sembled hether acording to his command­ment / and ye be not ignorant that ye be called hether to determyne certen cōtrouersys which at this tyme be moued concernyng the christen religion and faith not only in this reame but also in all nacions thorowt the world: for the kīg studieth day & night to set a quietnes in the church / and he can [Page] not rest vntil all such controuersis be fully debated and ended thorow the determina­cyon of yow and of his whole parlament. For all though his special desyre is to set a stey for the vnlerned peple whose conscien­ces are in dout what thei may bileue / and he him selfe by his excellent lerning kno­weth these controuersys welinough / yet he wil suffer no comon alteracyon / but by the consent of yow and of his whole parlamēt By the which thing ye may perceiue both his high wisdom / and also his gret loue to­ward yow / & he desiereth yow for christes sake that all malyce obstynacy & carnal respect set apart / ye will frindly & louingly dispute among your selues of the cōtrouersys moued in the church and that ye wyl cōclude all things by the word of god with out all brauling / or scolding / neither will his magesty suffer the scripture to be wr [...] ­sted & defaced by any glosys / any papisti­cal lawes or by any auctoryte of doctors or councels and moch lesse wil he admit any [Page] articles or doctrine not conteyned in the scripture but approued only by cōtynuan­ce of tyme and old custome and by vnwritton verytes as ye were wont to doo. Ye know wel īough that ye be bound to shewe this seruice to christ & to his church & yet notwithstōding his magesty wil giue you high thanckes / if ye wil set & cōclude a godly and a perfight vnyte / wherunto this is the only way and meane if ye wil determyne all things by the scripture as god com­mādeth yow in deuteronomy / which thing his maiesty exhorteth and desyreth yow.

Whan the lord crumwel had spoken his mynd after this sort with high grauyte (as he was a man of a gret witt / of excellent wisdom and of goodly eloquēce) all the bis­shops did ryse vp and gaue thankes to the kings maiesty for his feruēt study and de­syre toward an vnite and for this vertuos exhortacyon most worthy a christen king. After this began thei to dispute of the sa­cramentes. And first of all the bisshop of [Page] london which was an ernest defender of the popes part / whom a litel before the lord crumwel had rebuked by name for defen­ding of vnwritton verites / this bisshop of london / I say / went about to defend that there were .vij. sacramētes of our christē religion which he wold proue by certē stinck­ing gloses and old lousy writers / and he had vp on his syde the Archbisshop of york the bisshop of lincoln / bath / chichyster and norwich / The bisshop of salisbery / Ely / herford and worcester and certē other with the Archbisshop of Cantorbery / were against him. And after thei had made moch strife and cōtencyon about the saings of the doctors one contrary to a nother / The bisshop of cantorbery spake and sayd thus. It bese­meth not men of lerning & grauyte to make moche babling and brauling about bare wordes so that we agree in the very substā ­ce and effect of the matter. For to braule abowt wordes Is the property of sophisters and such as meane disceight and suttilty [Page] which delight in the debate and dissencyon of the world and in the miserable state of the church / and not of them which shuld seke the glory of christ and shuld study for the vnyte and quietnes of the church. There be waighty controuersis now moued & put forth / not of ceremonis & light things but of the tru vnderstanding and of the right difference of the lawe and of the gospel / of the maner and way how synnes be forge­uen / of cowmforting doutful and wauer­ing consciēces by what meanes thei may be certifyed that thei please god seing thei fele the strength of the lawe accusing them of sinne / of the true vse of the sacramētes / whether the outward work of them doth iustifye man or whether we receyue our iustificacyon thorow fayth. Item which be the good workes and the true seruice and honor which pleaseth god / and whether the choise of meates / the difference of garmentes / the vowys of monkes and pristes and other tradicyōs which haue no word of god [Page] to cōfirme them / whether these / I say / be­right good workes and such as make a perf [...] ght christen man or no. Item whether vaine seruyce and false honoryng of god and mans tradicyons do bynd mens conscien­ces or no. Finally whether the ceremonis of confirmacyon / of orders and of annealing and soch other (which can not be proued to be institute of christ nor haue any word in them to certifye us of remissyon of sin­nes) ought to be called sacramentes and to be cōpared with baptim and the supper of the lord or no. Thes be no light maters but euen the principal poyntes of our christen religiō / wherfor we contend not about wordes and trifles but of high and ernest matters. Christ saith. Blessed be the peace ma­kers / for thei shal be called the sōnys of god And Paul cōmandeth bisshops to auoyde brawling and cōtencion about words whi­ch be profitable to nothīg but vnto the subuersion and destructiō of the hearers. and be monissheth specially that he shuld resist [Page] with the scriptures whan any man dispu­teth with him of the fayth & he addeth a cause wher as he sayth. Doing this thou shalt preserue both thy selfe and also them which heare the. Now if ye wil folow th [...] ­se councellers Christ and Paul / all contencyon and brauling about wordes must be set apart and ye must stablissh a godly and a perfight vnyte & cōcord out of the scrip­ture. Wherfor in this disputaciō we must first agree of the nomber of the sacramen­tes and what a sacrament doth signify in the holy scripture / and whan we cal bapty­me and the supper of the lord sacramentes of the gospell / what we meane therby. I knowe right wel that. s. Ambrose and oth­er autors calle the wasshīg of the disciples fete and other things / sacramētes / which I am sure yow your selues wold not suffer to be nombred among the other sacramen­tes.

This exhortacyon did the archbisshop make most soberly & discretely as he is a [Page] man of a singular grauyte / with such swetenes that it did my hart good to hear him And bicause I did signifye bi some token of my countnance that this admonicyō of the archbisshop did please & delight me ex­cellētly wel / the lord cromwel bad me spea­ke what I thought of this disputacyō / but he told the bisshops before that I was the kings scolar and therfor he desiered them to be cōtent to heare me indifferently. Than I after the rude maner of the scholes rather than after any courtly solemny­te / bowing my knee for a token of curtesy and reuerence / as It became me / with out any preface at all / begā to speake after this maner. Ryght honorable & noble lord and yow most reuerend fathers and prelates of the church / although I come vnprepared vnto this disputacyon / yet trusting in the ayde of christ which promiseth to geue bo­th mouth and wisdom vnto vs whan we be required of our fayth / I wil vtter my sē tence and iudgement of this disputacyon. [Page] And I think that my lord archbisshop ha­th geuen you a profitable exhortacion that ye shuld first agree of the significacyon of a sacramēt. whether ye wil call a sacramēt a ceremony institute of christ in the gospel to signifie a special or a singular vertu of the gospel and of godlines (as paul namith remissyon of sinnes to be) or whether ye mene that euery ceremony generally whi­ch may be a token or a significacyon of an holy thing / to be a sacramēt. For after this latter significacyon I wil not stike to gra­nt yow that there be .vij. sacramentes and more to If ye wil. But yet Paul semeth to describe a sacrament after the first sig­nificacion wheras he sayth that circūcisiō is a token and a seale of the rightwisnes of fayth: This diffinycion of one particu­lar sacrament must be vnderstōd to pertei­ne vnto all sacramentes generally / for the Iewes had but one sacrament only as all the scholastical writers do grant. And he describeth baptyme after the same maner [Page] in the .v. to the Ephesians wheras he sayth that Christ doth sanctifye the church) that is to say all that be baptised) thorow the bath of water in the word of life. For here also he addeth the word and promes of god vnto the ceremony / and Christ also requi­reth fayth where as he saith / who so euer bileueth and is baptised / shal be saued. And s. Austen describeth a sacramēt thus / The word of god coming vnto the element / ma­keth the sacrament / and in a nother place he saith a sacrament is a thing wherin the pour of god vnder the forme of visible thinges doth work secretly saluacyon. And the master of the sentences doth describe a sa­crament no nother wise. A sacramēt saith he is an inuysible grace and hath a visible forme / and bi this inuysible grace I mea­ne / saith he / remissyon of sinnes. Finally s. Thomas denieth that any mā hath auc­torite to institute a sacrament. Now if ye agree vnto this diffinicyon of a sacramēt / it is an easy thing to iudge of the nomber [Page] of those sacramentes which haue the ma­nifest word of god and be institute bi christ to signifye vnto us the remissyon of our sinnes. s. Austen saith that there be but .ij. such sacramentes in the .cxviij. pistle vnto Ianuarius: His wordes be these. First I wold haue the to vnderstōd the somme and effect of this disputacyō / which is this that our lord Iesus Christ (as he him self saith in the gospel) hath ladē us but with a light and easy yock or burden. Wherfore he hath glewed the felowship of his newe peple with sacramentes / very fewe in nomber / very easy to be kept / and very excellent in signifycacyon / which be baptyme and the supper of the lord and such other if there be any moo commanded in the holy scripture those except which were burdēs for the ser­uytute of the peple in the old lawe for the hardnes of their hartes et ce. And agayne in the .iij. boke of the lerning of a Christen man he saith the scripture hath taught us but fewe signes / as be the sacramēt of bap­tyme [Page] and the solemne celebracyon and re­memberance of the body and blode of the lord et ce.

The bisshop of london could scarsly suf­fer me to speake thus moch / but he brake forth and said thus vnto me / where as ye affirme all right and true sacramentes to be institute of Christ or to haue the mani­fest scripture to proue them or that all sa­cramentes must haue a significacyō of re­missyon of sinnes / It is all false. Than I answered that I wold proue all that I had sayd to be true not only by the scriptu­re but by the old doctors and by the schole writers also.

But the bisshop of herforth (whom the kings grace fauored highly both for his singular wisdom and lerning / which was thā newe comne out of germany where he had bene Imbassytor) being moued with the frowardnes of this bisshop of londō sayd vnto me brother Alexander contend not moch with him about the myndes and [Page] sayngs of the doctors and schole writers / for ye knowe that thei in many places doo differ among them selfes and that thei are contrary to them selues also almost in eue­ry article. And there is no hope of any con­cord to be made if we must leane to their iudgementes in these maters of controuer­sy / and we be commāded by the kings grace to dispute by the holy scripture / et c. And he turned him to the bisshops and made a short and pythy oracyon. Think ye not / sayd he / that we can by any sophistical sut­tiltes steale out of the world agayn / the light which euery man doth see / Christ hath so lightned the world at this tyme that the light of the gospel hath put to fli­ght all misty darknes and it wil shortly haue the higher hād of all cloudes though we resist in vaine neuer so moch. The lay pe­ple do now knowe the holy scripture better than many of us. And the germanes haue made the text of the Bible so playne and easy by the hebrewe and the greke tōg that [Page] now many things may be better vnder­stand without any gloses at all than by all the commentarys of the doctors. And more ouer thei haue so openned these controuer­sys by their writings that womē and chil­dern may wonder at the blindnes & fals­hode that hath bene hetherto. Wherfor ye must consider ernestly what ye wil deter­myne of these controuersys / that ye make not your selues to be mocked and laughed to storne of all the world / and that ye bring them not to haue this opinion of yow to think euer more here after that ye haue neyther one sparke of lerning nor yet of godlines in yow. And thus shal ye lose all your estimacyon and auctoryte with them which before toke yow for lerned men and profitable membres vnto the comon welth of Christendome. For that which yow do hope vpon / that there was neuer heresy in the church so gret but that processe of tyme with the pour and auctorite of the pope hath quenched it / it is nothing to the pur­pose. [Page] But ye must turne your opinyon and think this surely that there is nothing so feble and weake / so that it be true / but it shal find place and be able to stand against all falshode. Truth is the doughter of ty­me / and tyme is the mother of truth. And what so euer is beseged of truth can not long continue / and vpon whose syde truth doth stand / that ought not to be thought transitory or that it wil euer falle. All things consist not in painted eloquence & strenght or auctorite. For the truth is of so gret pour / strength and efficacite / that it cā neyther be defended with wordes nor be ouercomne with any strength / but after she hath hidden hir self long / at length she putteth vp hir head and appereth / and as it is written in Esdra / a king is strong / wy­ne is strongar / yet wemen be more strong But truth excellyth all.

He spake many more things to this pur­pose & effect very discretely to the high de­lyte of all that hard him. And I thinking [Page] my selfe to be encoraged by his oracyon / I began thus to reason against the bisshop of london.

Sacramentes be signes or ceremonys which make us certē and sure of the wil of god. But no mans hart can be certen and sure of the wil of god with out the word of god / wherfor it foloweth that there be no sacramentes without the word of god / and such as can not be proued out of the holy scripture ought not to be called sacramen­tes. The first part of this reason is Sanct Pauls own saing the .iiij. to the Romanes where he saith that circumcisyon is a tokē and a seale of the rightwisnes of faith. Ergo it requyreth faith to certify mans hart of the wil of god. But the word of god is the foundacyon of faith / the .x. to the Roma. Faith cometh bi hearing / and hearing cometh by the word of god. For the mynd must be taught and instruct of the wil of god by the word / like as the ey is taught & instruct by the outward ceremony. And [Page] Paul by this saing confuteth this opinyō that the sacramētes shuld make mē righ­tuos and iust before god for the very out­ward work without faith of them that re­ceyue thē and after this maner doth Paul speak vnto the Ephesyans that christ doth sanctifie his church thorow the bath of wa­ter in the word of life. And for as moch as he ioyneth the word vnto the ceremony & declareth the vertu and pour of the word of god that it bringeth with him life / he doth manifestly teach that the word of god is the principal thing & euyn as it were the very substance and body of the sacrament and the outward ceremony nothing els thā a token of that lyuely inflāmacyon which we receyue thorow faith in the word and promes. S. Paul also in ministring the sacramēt of the lordes supper doth manifest­ly adde the wordes of Christ: He toke bre­ad / saith he / and whan he had geuen than­kes he brake it and sayd / take ye this and eate ye this for it is my body. Item do ye [Page] this in my rememberans. Beside this he teacheth euidently that only christ and no­ne but he had pour to institute a sacramēt and that neither the apostels nor the church hath any auctorite to alter or to adde any thing vnto his ordināce / where as he saith / For I receiued of the lord that which I d [...]lyuered vnto yow et ce. To what purpose shuld he go a bout to moue the peple to bile­ue him and to wīne their hartes with this protestacyon if it had bene lauful for him to haue made any sacramentes or to haue altered the forme & maner of ministring this sacrament / as some men both wicked­ly and shamelesly do affirme that the apo­stles did alter the forme of baptyme. Whā I had spoken thus moch / the bisshop of lō ­don did interrupt me / and sayd / let us grāt that the sacramentes may be gathered out of the word of god / yet are you farre decey­ued if ye think that there is no nother word of god but that which euery sowter and co­bler do reade in their mother tong. And if [Page] ye think that nothing perteyneth vnto the Christen faith but that only that is writ­ton in the byble / than erre ye playnly with the Lutheranes. For. S. Iohan saith that Iesus did many things which be not writton. And. S. Paul commandeth the Thessalonians to obserue and kepe certē vnwritton tradicyons and ceremonys .ij. Thessa. ij. Moreouer he him self did preach not the scripture only but euen also the tradicyons of the elders Act. xvj. Finally we haue re­ceyued many things of the doctors and councels by tymes which although thei be not writton in the bible / yet for as moch as the old doctors of the church do make men­cyon of thē / we ought to grant that we re­ceiued them of the apostles / and that thei be of like autoryte with the scripture / and fi­nally that thei may worthily be called the word of god vnwritton.

Now whan the right noble lord Crum­wel / the Archbisshop with the other biss­hops which did defend the pure doctrine of [Page] the gospel hard this / thei smyled alytle one vpō a nother for as moch as thei sawe him flee euen in the very beginning of the di­sputacyon vnto his old rusty sophistry and vnwritton verites. And I wold haue di­sputed further with the bisshop to haue cō ­futed this blasphemos lye / But the lord Crumwel bad me be content for the tyme began to go away and it was .xij. of the clock / and thus I made an end with this protestacyon. Right reuerend master biss­hop ye denye that our Christē faith and religyō doth leane only vpon the word of god which is writton in the bible / which thing if I can proue and declare / than ye wil grant me that there be no sacramētes but those that haue the manifest word of god to confirme them / vnto this he did consent and than immediately that assemble was dissolued for that day.

Now the next day whan the bisshops were assembled agayne and I was present with the lord crumwel / there came vnto me [Page] a certē archdeacon in the name of the archbisshop of cātorbery which told me that the other bishops were greuosly offended w [...]th me / that I being a stranger shuld be ad­mitted vnto their disputacyō / which thing whan I had shewed vnto the lord crum­wel he thought it best to gyue place vnto the bisshops specially be cause he wold not procure me their hatred / for he knewe wel that if thei had ones conceiued in their har­tes any malyce against any mā thei wold neuer cease til thei had gotē him out of the way / and thei had before brought to death diuerse whom the king did highly fauor / before the king him self (whom thei mo­ued by all meanes to put them to execucy­on quickly) could perceyue & spye out their craft and suttilty. But he bad me gyue hym the paper wherin I had writton my disputacyon that he might shewe it to the bisshop of londō & to the other bisshops in the councel / the cōtentes wherof was this.

Right honorable and noble lord / and ye [Page] right reuerend fathers / yesterday whan I disputed of the sacramentes with the bis­shop of london / we came thus farre that those only ought to be called sacramentes which haue the word of god for them / and this point only remained to be further de­clared that nothing ought to be taken for the word of god but only the holy bokes of the old and newe testamēt. For the bisshop of london affirmed that the tradicions and ceremonys wherof the old ecclesiastical writers do make mencyon / were receiued of the apostles and geuen us of the fathers from hand to hand and therfor thei may be lau­fully called the word of god vnwrittō / and our faith must be proued by them as well as by the holy scripture which is writton in the bible.

Now I haue determined to cōfute this saing and opinyō and to shewe by the ma­nifest testimonys of christ / of the Apostles of the prophetes and also of the old doctors that the Christen faith ought to leane on­ly [Page] vpon the holy scripture and that the bo­kes of the old & newe testament only ought to be had and taken for the word of god. And because there hangeth a nother disputacyō vpon this / that is to say / of the auctorite of the doctors and of councels / I wil also speake of them. For cochleus and other blasphemos lyers which for the bellys sake haue salable tūges and in whom the saing which Paul alledgeth against them that mainteyne wicked doctrine for their bellys sake doth very wel agre / saing. The cretyās are alweys false lyers / wicked beastes and slowe bellys. These hipocrites I say / do plainly hold that the church (that is to say the bisshops / as thei vnderstond) hath pour to iudge ouer the scripture and to examyne it / and also that it hath auctoryte to allo­we or to refuse the gospel / and to dispense with the .x. commandments and to alter the forme of baptyme and to make newe articles of our faith beside those which be conteined in the scripture. Some there be [Page] that speake yet more reuerently saing that thei contend not of the scripture or of the word of god but of the exposicyon theroff which thei wil haue to be taken and sought of the church and of the doctors which be a­lowed of the church / vnto whose iudgemēt thei say we ought to stand in all cōtrouer­sys of our faith what so euer thei deere whether thei haue any scripture for them or no.

This sophistical suttelty although it hath more coning than the first grosse blas­phemy / yet it is to the same effect and thei both haue one end and defend both one opi­nion. But yet / before the bisshop of londō / there was neuer none so farre past shame as to say that the rytes and ceremonys in the church which can not be proued by the scripture ought to be called the word of god vnwritten▪ and that we ought to byld our faith vp on them as vp on the holy scripture written in the bible.

This threfold maze / or rather one tra [...] formed [Page] .iij. ways / couered & painted with diuers wordes hath those reasons onli to cō ­firme it which the bisshop did before alled­ge for the vnwritton word / and certē other which I wil reherse and confute in the end of this writing.

But first I wil beate downe this gros­se blasphemy / and I wil shewe and decla­re that our whole fayth and all the articles of the christē religiō be cōteined in the scripture of the prophetes and apostles / so that a christen man is bownd to byleue no other thing than such things as may be proued out of that scripture.

This horrible blindnes of men / and the boldnes & malycyos obstinacy which foloweth therup on (wherthorow thei blas­pheme god and his holy word / ) is rather to be lamented than to be conuict with many reasons the thing being so manifest. But the nerer that the brightnes of the sonne of reightwisnes doth cōe / and the more clere­ly that the light of the gospel doth shyne / so [Page] moch more blinder and more obstynate are the vnfaithful made / in so moch veryly that thei are more blynder now in the gret light than thei were before and thei stom­ble in very dede vp on the stomblyng stone and vp on the rock of sclander. For the false teachers euen whan thei were in the most blind darknes were neuer so bold nor impu­dent as to breake out in to such a blasphe­my as to say the church might make ne­we articles of the faith not cōteyned in the scripture / or that it hath auctorite to dispē ­se with the .x. cōmandmēts and to alter the forme of baptyme. Gerson / duns / dorbel / Decam / Tomas / Bonauēture / do plain­ly condemne this heresy / and thei affirme that the truth reueled of god and conteined in the body of the bible or in the holy scrip­ture / is the foundacion of our faith / that is to say the thīg where vp ō our fayth ought to be bylded / & thei wold neuer haue byle­ued that there shuld euer be so gret blindnes in the church that any man shuld be so [Page] bold as to affirme that the articles of the christen faith ought to be sought not in the scripture but in the gloses of men and in bisshops lawes / or that mans tradicions / rites and ceremonys receyued in the church and not conteyned in the scripture / ought to be called the word of god vnwritton.

But I wil cease my cōplayning seing I know that now is the latter tyme wherof the prophetes / christ / and the apostles did prophecy that there shuld come false pro­phetes which shuld face out the gospel and imagyne a newe gospel euen stynking / he­thenyssh / old wiuyssh and capcyos fables inuented by the suttyl wit of man as peter and paul calle them / and of these false pro­phetes (that is to say Antichrist) did daniel christ and paul admonissh us that he shuld extolle him self a boue god and shuld robbe god of his name / pour / wisdom / and mercy and shuld accuse him of right wisnes / cru­elnes and weakenes & vnabylyte / which thing we do manifestly see in maner in all [Page] their doctrynes / as in their pardons / in the popes your / in purgatory / in pryuate mas­ses / in the prayng vnto saintes / in worshi­pyng of Images / in the vowes of monkes and pristes / and in all mans tradicyons. And I pray yow is not this to accuse god of ignorance / of malice and of sluggissh­nes & neclygence / to say that god hath not writton in his holy bokes of scripture all things necessary vnto our saluacyon? as though either he did not remember althin­gs whan he gaue the scripture to be writ­ton / or els that he could not tell all things or els that he hidde certē things from us of purpose that so he myght damne and dest­roy us where as he had sayd before euidently that we shuld be iudged at the latter day by the word which he had spoken vnto us. But thei be so blynded by the deuel that thei can not perceyue the abhominacion of this blasphemy.

[Page]Now to confirme all godly myndes / and to call them back from their dotyng I haue gathered in order certen testimonys which do euidently proue that the wrytton word of god is the fowndacion of our chri­sten fayth and that all the articles of our christen fayth ought to be prouyd by the holy scriptures.

The first is in the .iiij. of Deuterono [...] ye shal not adde vnto the worde which I speake vnto yow neyther mynissh from it. And who dyd euer expownd this to be vn­derstand of the vnwritton word before thes lying false prophetys and antichrystes? And if it ought to be vnderstōd of the writton scripture only / than do thei playnly a­gaynst gods word which Imagyne that there shuld be any vnwritton word. But I am not ignorant how these mockers are wont to iest or scoff a way and to face owt this place / sayng that there is one kynd of adding which minyssheth / a nother which altereth / a nother which maketh largyer [Page] and a nother which fulfilleth / & thei gra­nt that this sayng refuseth all maner of addings sauyng the last maner / wherby the scripture is made more manifest and open. But to cōfute this fansy & Imagi­nacyon the manifest scripture is suffycyēt deute. the .vj. what I command that shalt thow do only vnto the lord / thou shalt ney­ther adde nor minyssh any thing. And in the last chapt. of the Apoca. Who so euer addeth any thing vnto this / the lord shal sēd hym the plages which be writō in this boke / which place all the duns men euen duns him self granteth that it ought to be vnderstond of the whole scripture. wherfo­re it is manifest that those synne against the commandment of god which affirme that there is any word of god vnwriton / li­ke as thei do which expownd the scripture after their own fansis or gyue iudgement of the wil of god with owt the manifest word of god. For it is a deuillyssh lye to say that the scripture can not be vnderstond [Page] with owt mens commētarys or glosys / be­cause it is so darke & dowtful that it may be applyed to cōfirme all maner of heresys. In the .xxviij. of deuter. are proffred bene­dyccyons of all sortys vnto them that kepe those things which are writton in the boke of the lawe. And in the .xxxij. chap. of the same boke Moyses doth manifestly say thus: Set and fyxe your hartes vpō all the wordes which I testyfye vnto you this day / that ye may command your childern to kepe and obserue all things which are writton in the boke of this lawe: for thei be not geuen and commanded vnto yow in vayne: but that euery one of you should ly­ue after them. Marke / here is euerlasting life promysed vnto them which kepe those things that are writton in the scripture. And Moyses doth playnly say that this is the fynal and only cause why god wold haue his word to be writton / that all men in general and euery one in s [...]eciall of what order / degre or occupacyon so euer he be / [Page] shuld haue the word of god where by thei might be saued. wherupō it foloweth that it is a manifest blasphemy to say that we may be saued or damned by any tradicyōs of man. And here thei are conuyct to be starck idyotes which asscrybe this ignorā ­ce & neclygence vnto god / as though he ei­ther could not or els wold not cōmyt all ar­ticles necessary vnto our saluacyon to be writton in the holy scripture. For thei de­clare euydently that thei knowe not the fi­nal cause why the scripture is geuen vnto us / but thei Imagyne god to be lyke some ignorant poete which hath geuen us a pat­ched and an vnperfight worke. For god wo­ld that in the scripture / his will shuld shy­ne as it were in a glasse / and that the perfi­ght image of hys deyte (which paule cal­leth the prynt and seale of his substance) shuld appeare therin. Item. s. Iohn sayth that this word doth shyne in darknes / and that it is the lyght which shineth in mens hartes blynded of the deuyl thorow sinne: [Page] and that christ doth open vnto us the wil of god thorow his gospel / which will no mor­tal man did euer knowe / but so farre as this word which is in the fathers bosom / dyd open vnto him. Wherfor we may percey­ue that it is not only thorow the ignorance of man that the word of god is thus blas­phemed / but thorow the malyce of the de­uyl. For the deuel neuer ceaseth to disfigure this word / namely the son of god whom he despysed before the world was made / and shal fight with him euen with all his pour vntyl the day of iudgement.

In the .xvij. of deute. The king is cō ­manded to haue alweys in his handes and in his sight / the boke of the lawe / and to re­ade owt of it all the dayes of his life / for this purpose that he shuld lerne to feare his lord god. And for his study & diligēce this promes is made him / that he shuld lyue lōg and that his kingdome shuld be geuen to many of his progeny & lynage. And wold to god all christen kinges and princes wold [Page] think surely the reading of the holy bokes of scripture to be a part off their offyce, not to reade them in latē which thei vnder­stand not / but so to reade it as thei may ler­ne the wil of god / how he wil be feared by his word only / and not by any popish law­es and mans tradicyons. And if thei wo­ld do thus I durst surely warāt them both that thei shuld lyue longer / and also that thei shuld haue lesse tumult and sedicyon in their life tyme. For now seing thei play the tyrānes ouer the scripture and ouer the readers of it / it is no meruel that god doth ponissh them for their cruelnes / and that there be fewe of them but that dye some shameful and cruel death / for such is the end of tirannes wont to be. Ioachim king of Iuda sawe all his sonnes headed and he him self (his eyes before put out) was bownd and led presoner in to babylon / and it was sayd openly vnto him because thow hast brent the boke of Iheremy there shal be none left of thy sede which shal sit vpon [Page] the throne of dauid / and thy cark as shal be cast out in to the heate in the day time / and in to the frost in the night tyme.

Antiochus which cōmanded the holy bokes of scripture to be burnt perisshed mi­serably in desperacyon and thorow a mer­uelos falle. Both daniel and paul do testi­fye that he was the figure of the last Antichrist that euer shuld be. Wherfor I wil not spend my wordes in vayne vnto these most damnable Antichristes / but I wryte only for the cōfort of the faithful / and for them which sinne thorow ignorance / if it shal please god to put in to their hartes to knowlege the veryte and to repent and co­me out of the deuyls snare at whose wil and pleasure thei are now led captyue pry­soners. And because it were a long work to serch all the aucthorytes thorowt the scrip­ture / I wyl alledge but one place more out of the lawe / and then wil I come to the prophetes and to the gospel. In the .xxx. of deutero. it is writton thus / The cōmandment [Page] which I gyue vnto the is not aboue thy po­ur neyther is it farre from the / it is not set in heauē that thou canst laufully say / which of us all can clyme vp in to heauen to bryng it down vnto us that we may heare what it is and fulfyll it: Neyther is it set beyond the see / that thou canst laufully say which of us all is able to swymme ouer the see and to fetch it vnto us that we may he­are what it is and fulfill that which is cō ­manded vnto us therin. But the word is nygh yea & very nygh vnto the in thy mouth and in thy hart.

These wordes be spoken vnto the glo­tēs and belly goddes of this last tyme / whi­ch for all the gret pretēce and outward she­we that thei make of holines / and say that thei murder men for the preseruacyō of the true fayth and of the autorycte of the chu­rch / yet thei declare euydently inough that thei denye the vertu of holinesse seing thei be spotted and shamefully defiled with blo­de / murder / whordome / disceyte / and with [Page] all kyndes of filthinesse and of wickednesse so that it may manyfestly appeare that thei be fully persuaded that god taketh no care at all for mankynde / yea that there is no god at all which will ponish these abho­mynacyons? Leo the .x. called a cowncel to determine whether the soule of man were īmortal or no / and whan he had heard eue­ry mans sentence and mynd he sayd that the matter was more diffycult than that he could determine or iudge which part had strongar reasons for it / but whether the so­ule were mortal or īmortal / he said he wo­ld not defraude his sowle of the cōmodytes delycyosnes and pleasures which were pre­sent / and if there were any life after this / he wold be contēt to make good chere with other there also if he shuld see that thei wo­ld be as good felows there as thei were here This was the voyce of the high and supre­me bisshop / after whose sentence all men must determine of the word of god / and vp on whose arbytermēt our fayth and saluacyon [Page] must depend / This I say / is the iud­gement of the holy see wherunto men must sayle out of Aphryca / Asya / and europe / Denmarke / Inglād and Irland and out of all other landes euen in to Italy vnto this vicar of christ and vnto his .xij. Car­nals the postys of the church / which succe­ded the apostels / to these must thei come to aske councel of the wil of god / & of the vn­derstonding of the scripture which in their owne nacyons and in the councels of their own contrys thei can in nowyse vnderstād But moyses drawyth us from this deueli­ssh sentence where as he sayth. The word is very nygh vnto the / euen in thy mouth and in thy hart & before thy eyes / marke / sayth he / & remember that I haue set it before thy eyes that thou maist reade in that boke yea and vnderstond it also. For els in dede it had bene but a very madnes to ha­ue writtō such thīgs as no man could vn­derstond. It had bene moch more worship for god to haue wryton nothing at all than [Page] so to haue mocked man kynd / where as he sayd he had set before hym good and euyl / life and death / blessyng and curse etc.

He ment not good and euel after the mea­ning of the serpent persuading Adam that he thorow trangressyon of gods command­mēt in eating of the forbiddyn frute / that he shuld haue the knoulege of good and euel that is euerlasting dānacyon. for so ment the deuel.

But god wil not be honored after the doctrine of the serpent / nor after the doctry­ne of the deuel nor yet he wil not be feared after the cōmandmētes / tradiciōs and doc­trines of men cōtrary to his word / or other wise than his word appoynteth. He for­biddeth all maner of honor and condēnyth all maner of worship and seruyce done vn­to him / which he hath not ordeyned or commāded. For these things must be lerned out of the word of god / and the wil of god both what pleaseth him and what pleaseth him noti / [...] known only by the holy writtō scri­pture. [Page] And if we byleue not this / euen heauen and erth at the latter day / shal witnes against us that we folow & obey the ser­pent (which / is now waxen a gret Anti­christ) euen wetyngly of a sett purpose and obstynacy contrary to the exhortatiō and monicion of Moyses. For he saith / I take and call to witnes heauen and erth that I haue set before the in thy sight / life & de­ath / blessing & curse (not that curse that the puppy bloweth out vnder the name of almighty god & the holy saintes Peter & Paul) but euen this curse which / if we re­gard or obey the pope / we shal heare of ch­rist go your way ye cursed in to euerlasting fire which is prepared for the deuel & his messengers. For christ geueth us warning there / as Moises did / of the belly goddes of the last time / of the fals lying prophe­tes & of the fals christes which shuld ima­gyne a newe word and a newe Christ bo­wnd to certen appointed places dayes / me­ates / othes / vowes & bandes to absteyne [Page] from the lauful creatures and ordinances of god / which shuld driue christ out of the comp [...]ny of men and out of the ordinary & comon life / in to the w [...]ldernes againe / and shu [...]d shutte him vp in deanes & klo­sters / or presons rather / among the capti­ue presoners / he saith also that thei shal byld & cōfirme their preaching / doctryne / & lawes / not by the word of god / or by the holy wordes of the old Prophecyes / that is to say by the scripture / but by false sig­nes & lying miracles / & that thei shal so myghtily blinde and deceyue the vnfaith­ful & such as haue not receyued the truth of gods word but haue suffred thē selues to be ledde a way from it & to be seduced tho­row miracles / that euē the elect / if it were possible / might be deceyued. And he mo­nissheth us of these thīgs so ernestly / that he calleth vpon heauē & erth to beare him witnes / that he did premonissh and declare these things vnto us before / of the Anti­christes that shuld come / wherby he declareth [Page] what sorow and care he taketh for us & how sore he lamenteth that we shuld perissh & be damned thorow such blasphe­my of Antichrist. And euen after this sa­me maner & with like wordes doth the prophete Esay thonder for the defence of gods word against the doctrynes & tradicyons of men / saing. All flessh is euen grasse / & all the glory of it / that is to say euen his most excellent wisdom & pour / is euen ly­ke the floure of an herbe. the grasse widde­reth away and the floure of the herbe fal­leth a way for the spyryte & breath of the lord hath blowne vpon it. And the peple be very grasse. the grasse / I say / widdereth & the floure falleth / but the word of the lord endureth for euer &c. He threatneth also euerlasting night of infidelyte or vnbyle­fe / if we beleue eyther any newe reuelacyons withowt the word of god / or els any apparicyōs of dead spretes. The wordes after the true hebrue text be these. Shal the pe­ple [Page] seke councel of their god / or shal thei a­re councel of the deade for the liuyng? shal thei not rather loke & serch in the lawe of the lord / and tak the testimony of god vnto councel? Iff thei tel you not (saith he) ac­cording vnto this word / thei shal haue no mornīg lyght. Sureli this is a sore threat­ning vnto them which vnderstond what this voyce is / what this derknes signify­eth and who is the auctor & causer of it. Iohn calleth christ the light that shyneth in darknes & that lightneth all mē which come in to this world / he saith that the true life is in the word of god / & that life is the light of men / & again that god is the light in whom is no darknes at all / & that who so euer walketh in darknes / hath no felow­ship with god. And christ calleth hī self the life of the world / & he saith vnto us. Walk in the light whyle ye haue it / that no dark­nes compasse now &c. Now the deuel is the prince of all darknes / he did first steale this light from mankind thorow infidelite / he [Page] did first robbe us of the true knowlege of god and brought us in to all darknes of in­fydelite / and in to all kindes of errors. But the sonne of rigtuosnes hath restored this light vnto the world agayne / and his co­ming was vnto us the bright mornīg wherof Esay speaketh in this place. And it is no meruel that we haue walked in a continual darknes thus long / for we haue forsa­ken the word of god and sought the light in the deuils doctrine / in our own wisdom / in mans tradicyons / & we haue had so gret confydence in fantasyes / that we haue by­leued deade spyrites & made newe artycles of our fayth euen owt of the appearing of them / as namely that there is a purgatory after this life out of the which soules may be redemed thorow the sacrifice of the masse / which the pope and the deuyl haue ordeyned to be a sacrifice for the quick and the deade contrary to the institutyon and ordi­nāce of christ. But now let us heare what witnesse christ him selfe the euerlasting [Page] word of god geueth of his scripture. For the same question was disputed of / euē in christes tyme among the high doctors which thought that the scripture without the tradicyons of the elders / was not sufficient vnto their saluacyon and one of those doc­tors came to christ and saide / master what may I doo to enioye euerlasting life? But christ sēt this curios infidele vnto the scripture / sayng / what is writton in the lawe? How dost thow reade thereī? as though he shuld say. Doist thou thinck that god is a wauerer or a changeling that wil alter his mynd euery howr as men change their la­wes / and imagine dayli newe opinions of god? I tell the the word of god continueth for euer / and do thou nothing but euen the selfe thing only that thow seyst writton in the law / and so thou shalt liue: he saith not now how thinkest thou / or how dost thow heare the pharises & the scribes preach & teach / but he sendeth hym to the scriptu­re and sayth what readest thou there? Do [Page] that & thou shalt lyue. And although the scribes / pharises and doctors did euer patch their lawes and tradicyons vnto t [...]e word of god / yea and preferred thē also before it / as christ sheweth in the .xv. & .xxiij. of Mathew / yet all other among w [...]om the true church did raygne had on iudgement & bylefe / namely that the wil of god must be known by the scripture only & that a [...]l articles must be iudged and examyned by it / as christ declareth where as he saith vn­to the iewes. Serch the scriptures for ye beleue surely that ye shal haue euerlasting li­fe in thē by the which wordes christ testifi­eth playnly that this was the opynion and iudgement of the o [...]d church / that all men shuld knowe the wil of god by the scriptu­re only / and that thei shuld iudge all arti­cles of the faith necessari vnto saluacyon / by that only. And where as he biddeth thē exam [...]ne his preaching by the scripture / he sheweth euidently euin the whole gospel to becōteyned in the old scripture. And who [Page] so euer denieth the cōmandment of Moy­ses before rehersed to perteyne vnto us be­cause the Apostles had not yet writtō the­ir bokes / thei be very asseheades withowt any knoulege or vnderstōding. For this ru­le did the Apostels folowe whan thei testified vn to the church of the gospel / that no boke shuld be receyued / except it consentyd with the old scripture / and by this rule the church refused the bokes which confirmed their storys by the prophetes. And by this rule do the Euangelistes proue their wri­tings / & Paul also procureth auctorite vn to his pistle to the Roma .j. by this same rule / where as he saith that his gospel was before promised by the prophetes in the holy scriptures. To this purpose also serue these saings of christ. If ye beleued Moyses / ye wold bileue me also / for he wrote of me &c. and agayne this / Serche the scriptures &c. for euen thei beare witnesse of me. Now this controuersy of the vnwritton word & of mans gloses and tradicyons / if we wil [Page] folow the councel of our fore fathers and stande to the iudgement of the church in christes tyme / I wil lay this sentēce of the old church confirmed of christ for me / aga­inst all that my aduersarys can make or say / writton in the xij. of Iohn / The word which I haue spoken shal iudge them in the last day. And if this word were not writtō / or if it were not all writton / who could besure & certen of his saluacyon / or of the wil and pleasure of god. And if our faith and the saluacyon of mankynd did depend only of mennes doctryne / so that the sōme & rule of our religion were not writton in the scripture / who durst trust & bileue that one hole / perfight and vnblemis­shed sentence of christ were left vnto us? For seing the deuel wresteth the scripture vnto eueri wicked opinyon and durst refu­se the scripture thorow the Manicheis / as he doth now adays cause it be burnt by the bisshops / who dowteth but that he wold rather haue destroyed the whole scripture at [Page] ones more than .xv. hundreth yere agone / and to haue set vp in the steade of it / his own blasphemes / and that thei shuld ha­ue bene called the writton word of god ra­ther thā the vnwritton & inuented word. Oh lord / the holy gost had euel prouided for us if he had left us in the holy scriptu­re only part of the word and will of god. And how could god haue lauffully dāned us for receyuing strange doctrines euen after the commandmentes of the bisshops if he had not left all things necessary for our saluacyon / writton in his holy word? And againe where as christ cōmandeth us to heare the church / if we shuld not know the true church only by the scripture / but by pour auc torite & saccession: who shuld haue durst ones to haue opened his lippes against the Idolatrissh seruice and false tradiciōs of the bishops or ones haue whisspred against any wickednes / had it bene neuer so manifest?

But thei being thorouly blīded do not per­ceyue [Page] this most shameful and detestable blasphemy: Thei doo not consyder / what ignorance / neclygence & vnmerci­fulnes thei ascrybe vnto god / whā as thei say that god did not regard that the word shuld be writton whereby he saith that we shal be iudged at the latter day. But the holy gost esspyed before the malyce of the deuel and also this blasphemy / and therfor to represse and confownd his purpose and tyranny / and agayne to stopp the mouthes of all other / he enioyned his scribes (that is to say the Prophetes / Apostels and euan­gelistes) to wryte this word: that we shuld haue by us a sure and a perpetual testimo­ny whereunto we might surely trust and wherby he might shew & declare hym sel­fe to damne the wicked lawfully. And he cōmanded the apostels that thei shuld bea­re witnes of this scripture / and that thei shulde reiecte all other writinges whose so euer thei were / which went abowt to mixe their lyes with the gospel / lyke as. s. [Page] luke in the prologe of his gospel / sayth / I thought it good to wryte vnto the / gentil brother Theophyl / all things which I ha­ue serched out with all dilygence from the beginning / that thou mightest haue a per­fight groūde to bild thy fayth vp on which thou le [...]nydst in thy youth &c. By this so euydent a testymony hath the holy goost stablysshed & confirmed our hartes agay­nst the blasphemy of antichrist which accuseth the holy gost of most shameful wickednes and vnrightuosnes / saing that he did not regard to wryte all Articles of our christen religyon and faith / but that he wold thei shuld depend vpon vncerten doctrynes which the bisshops might make and alter as oft as thei list. And the holy gost was not content with this one testimony / but he caused the self same euangelist which had promised him self to wryte all things from the beginnig with all diligēce / to te­stifye agayne that he had fulfilled his pro­mes / for in the begīnig of the actes he saith [Page] that he hath writtō in the story of his gos­pel of all things which christ both did and taught euē vntyl that day that he left this world. And because there were certē which did falsely wrytte and wrest this place / the holy father Chrisostome doth expownd it thus / There be some that enquire / how lu­ke could wryght of all things which christ both did & taught seīg Iohn sayth it were impossible to wryte all thīgs / whom I answer / saith he / luke meneth not al thīgs but of all things necessary vnto our saluaci­on. But the holy gost nedeth no helpe of a­niman to cōfirm his wordes / for he which is the most coning craftesman of all and hath the knoulege of all wordes did espie before what cauillacyon the deuel wold make at that / & therfor he maketh answere vn­to it euen by the self same euangelist. For where as Ihon had sayd that Iesus had done many miracles which be not writtō / he addeth immediatly and saith / These be writtō that ye shuld bileue that Iesus [Page] is the son of god & that ye beleuing / shuld haue euerlastīg life hy his name. By th [...]s wordes it is manifest that the sōme of all christes doctrine and so many miracles al­so were writton / as be sufficyent to confirme our faith & all maner of articles whi­che we be bownd to byleue. For this article that Iesus is the son of god & the promi­sed seede which shuld breake the serpentes heade and restore that lyfe which the deuel had stolen from us and had brought agay­ne & restored thorow the apperyng of the gospel / that light which was darckened & hidden by the prince of darknes / vnto the­myserable world sitting or liuing before in darknes & in the shadowe of death / this article I say is the sōme of the whole scripture and the principal point or article of s. Iohns gospel. And for this articles sake he sayth in his first pistel that he wrote all things vnto all men / and that he which byleueth in the son / hathe the witnesse ī him selfe / that is to say / he doth vnderstonde [Page] the somme of the whole scripture. And because god wold haue the holy bokes wr [...]ttō testifye of this sede that was to come / na­mely / the son of god / the whole scripture is a testimony of this christ and son of god / & there are many t [...]m [...]s dyuerse witnesses alledged in the scripture to beare witnes of christ that he is the son of god cōceyued by the holy gost / borne of the virgine suffred death / & is rysen vp agayn &c. And vnto this had he respect wh [...]n he sayd. Serche the scriptures for thei beare witnes of me. And peter speaketh in like maner s [...]īg. All the prophet [...]s do witnesse with h [...]m that god forgeueth all the syn̄es vnto them which bileue and put their confydence in this christ. And Paul saith in lyke maner that rightuosnes was testifyed of / in the lawe & in the prophetes. Wherfore thos testimonys which proue Iesus to be the son of god do sufficiently proue also our whole christē faith / and all maner of articles necessar [...]y to saluacyon and to euerlasting life.

[Page]And it were no hard thing to dyduce and drawe all the articles of the faith euen owt of this one. For he that byleueth Ie­sus to be the son of god / must nedes also gr­ant god the father almyghty / maker of he­auen and erth / to be the natural father of our lord Iesus christ and that for his sake he is our father and we be the sōnes of god for Iesus sake and thorow him. And christ saith byleue ye in god? so byleue in me also: do ye not byleue that I am in the father and the father in me? And Iohn saith / who so euer confesseth Iesus to be the son of god / khe hath both the father & the son. Item who so euer bileueth Iesus to be the natural son of god / must nedes acknoulege that he is that Emanuel of whom Esay did Prophecy that he shuld be borne of a virgyn and shuld suffer death lyke as other scriptures had before testifyed & he saythe O ye folisshe hartes harde to by­leue all thīgs which the prophetes haue told yow. Must not Christ nedes haue suffred [Page] all these things & so entre in to his glory? Agayne it was impossyble that the son of god shuld be holdē down of death / but that he shuld breake the paynes of hell & ryse vp agayne. As peter doth proue in the ac­tes out of Dauyd / and lyke wise Paul to proue his ascensyon vnto heauen alledgeth this verse out of the psalm / Thou didst asc­end vnto the highth / And tokest captyuyte prysoner / and gauest dyuers gyftes vnto men. And dauyd speaketh of this son saing The lord sayd vnto my lord / syt at my ri­ght hand vntyl I make thy emnys thy fo­testole: Which place paul expowndeth of the kingdom of christ after his resurrectiō and ascensyon .j. to the coryn .xv. Further­more if thou byleuest Iesus to be the son of god / than thou shalt grant that he hath sent the holy gost to sanctifye the congre­gacyon that is to say all the faythful according to his promes / and that he is the god in whose name he cōmanded that we shuld be baptysed / lyke as in his fathers name [Page] and his. Itē all the prophetes do beare wit­nes of the holy gost / namely that we must receyue remissyon of synnes thorow his name and he promyseth that he wil rayse us vp againe vnto euerlastīg life. These thin­ges haue I spoken the more largely for the shameful cauellacyon and blasphemy of London which denyeth that all the articles of our faith can be proued by the scripture / because. s. Iohn saith that Iesus dyd ma­ny miracles which be not writton in this boke.

Now wil I alledge the myndes of Ciril­lus and. s. Austen to confute this wicked and blasphemos opinyon.

Cyrillus writing vpon Iohn. the .xij. chap. speaketh thus: Iohn saith there is a gret multitude and an infinyte nomber of the myracles which the lord did / but those / saith he / which we haue shewed yow be sufficyent to them that reade them diligently for the stablysshing & confirmacyon of a perfight fayth / and I am not to be blamed [Page] though I haue not writton them all. For if all were gathered one by one / none left out / the whole world wold not receyue the multytude of the bokes. Wherfor all that he did were not writtō: But all things which the writers thought sufficyent both for the fayth and bylefe / and also for the life and conuersacyon of men / that we myght shyne with a right and perfight fayth and with true workes & vertues / and so come vnto the kyngdom of heauen thorow our lord christ be wrytton / wherfor it is a newelye / lately inuēted in the deuels shop to say that all the articles of the christen fayth can not be proued by the scripture / and that mēs tradicyōs besyde the scripture be good workes and please god. Now ye may see that the church in Cyrillus tyme did not acknoulege this wicked blasphemy.

Austen affirmeth the same writing vp on this place of Iohn / these be writton that ye shuld byliue etc. Our lord Iesus saith he / did many miracles but all be not writ­ton [Page] / for those that shuld be writtō were specialy chosen & pyked owt as many as wer thought necessary and sufficient for the saluacyō of the faithful. By these auctorites ye may see that thei belye the old doctors which say that they maynteyne any such blasphemy. But now to make an end of alledging any more testimonies. I wil cy­te only .ij. specyal and most faithful wit­nesses against this deuelyssh sophistical cauillacyon and opinyon / namely Peter and Paul and so wil I make an end. For euery man that hath any witt at all may plaīly perceyue that Peter wrote his second pistle against such blasphemers as do imagine a new word of god besyde that which is writton. For he calleth the scripture euen a ve­ry true prophecy and he calleth them false / or lyeng Prophetes which teach cōtrary to this prophetical and Apostolical prophecy or any thing which is not conteyned in it. and he teacheth this rule wherby we shuld auoyde all maner of lyes that we shuld [Page] trye and examine them by this prophetical word or prophetical scripture wherunto he cōmandeth us to haue a specyal eye as vn­to the candel which dryueth out and banisheth away all darknes and lyes of the deuel. His wordes be these.

I wryte vnto yow this second pistle to prick you vp & to quyckē your hartes that ye might remember the wordes which ha­ue bene told now before by the holy prophetes / and also the wordes of our message and cōmandment which be the Apostles of the lord and sauior / for ye must knowe that in the latter dayes there shal come mockers

Now these mockers he paynteth with specyal colors wher by thei may be known. Thei shal bring in saith he / pernicyos and dānable sectes / or as Paul saith / thei shal speake lies in hypocrisy vnder the color and pretense of holynes. Forbidding to mary & to absteyne from the meates which god hath created to be receyued of the faithful with thankes geuyng / And thei shal denie [Page] the lord (saith he) which hath bought or re­demed them / and the way of the truth shal thei slander and reuyle / as certen blasphemers do now a dayes speake blasphemosly of paul / because he doth manifestly confute mans satisfaccyons / rightwisnes / and re­dempcyō by workes. And therfor / saythe he for couetosnes sake thei shal make marchā dise of now thorow fables and false doc­tryne inuēted of their own braynes / and he compareth thē to Sodom and Gomor and he sayth that thei haue eyes ful of adulte­ry. But their doctryne peter calleth disceitful fables and he sayth that their sut­telty must be disclosed by the lantern of the prophetycal scripture. And we haue the word of prophecy / saith he / wher unto ye do well to harken as vnto a candel geuyng lyght in the dark nyght tyl the daye lyght appeare and the mornyng sterre ryse in your hartes / for as moch as ye know that no prophetycal scripture belongeth to mās interpretacyō nor it was neuer thrust vn­to [Page] us by mās wil / But the holy men of god were inspyred of the holy gost / and moued to speake it.

This is a sure and a substancyal testi­mony to cōfute all maner of doctrines and tradicyons besyde the scripture / yea and to refuse all maner of doctors and writars which speake any thing of their own brayne without scripture to confirme it. For. s. Peter putteth a speciall difference betwene prophecy or prophetical scripture / and an Interpretacyon which is inuented of mās own brayne and tradicyons which are made and enioyned at mans cōmandmēt / and he calleth all maner of doctrines which be not conteined in the scripture of the holy goost / capcyos & disceyghtful fables / and he ascribeth an high auctoryte vnto the old prophecy and prophetical scripture. For whan he had alledged for his doctryne the diuinite of christ which he had sene and the voyce of the father which he had hard / and agayn the witnes of Moyses and Elyas [...] [Page] te in wickednes / and thei shal subuert & bewitch their hearers that thei shal haue gret delight in the deuels cauillacyons and blasphemis. Such fals & lying prophetes doth paul set forthe in such lyuely colors as thei ought be paynted with / and maketh a comparyson betwene a faythful preacher of the gospel and a false hipocryte and dissembler. And he describeth both by these tokēs.

The tokens of a good and faithful bisshop be these.
  • j. The husband of one wife.
  • ij. Sobre.
  • iij. Discrete.
  • iiij. Lowely and meke.
  • v. A keper of hospitalyte.
  • vj. Apt to teach.
  • vij. No dronkerd.
  • viij. No fighter / but a iust dealer / hating all quarelling and contencyon.
  • ix. Not desieros of filthy luker / but ab­horring all couetosnes.
  • x. Not doble tunged.
  • [Page] [...]j. No yong scolar / butt holding the mistery of the fayth wyth a pure conscyence.
False hypocrytes and dissemblers be these.
  • j. Forbydders of mariage.
  • ij. Vnthankful or vnkynd.
  • iij. Geuyn to all pleasures and ryot.
  • iiij. Proud and vayn glorros.
  • v. Vnmercyful and cruel.
  • vj. Slanderers / blasphemers / seducers of other men in to errors / & suffring themselues to be seduced.
  • vij. Vnchast and geuen to all voluptu­osnes.
  • viij. Vnpacyent / braynles / braulers about wordes / froward and sensual myn­ded.
  • ix. Couetos and louers of them selues.
  • x. Betrayers of secret councel & rass [...] blabbes.
  • xj. Hauing a color and out ward shyne of holynes / and yet denyēg the specyal vertu and pyth therof.

[Page]Now there is no man so blynd or of [...]o lytle witt which can not discern and know false seducers from true preachers by these tokens / but yet because there be many hi­pocrytes which pretend to be as holy and deuowt as angels thorow their fylthy wyue­les life / and abstynence from meates / and difference of garmentes / he reproueth this doctrine of theirs by name: saing that thei shal forsake the fayth and the vertu and pyth of holynes. that is to say / the rigtuos­nes of faith / & that thei shal teach lyes & the deuyls doctrine thorow hypocrisy / na­mely this / that mariage is vnlauful and forbidden vnto certen persons. Item thei shal put difference betwene meates & garmentes / that one kynd is more holy than a nother. &c. And thei shal affirme that the­se doctrynes do conteyne in them saluacy­on / the pyth of holynes / and the perfeccyon of a christen man. And he sayth that these do turn & stopp their eares from the truth and from the holy scripture / turning them [Page] vnto vayne fables / that thei shal not abyde holsom doctrine nor the swete word of our lord Iesus christ that thorow fayth is profytable vnto true holines / but thei shal procure them selues a multitude of masters / which shal preache vnto them after their own appetites / & that thei shal dote abowt vayn questyons and contencyons of wor­des because the truth is takē from them & thei shal byleue surely euen luker to be ho­lynes because thei be infect and poysoned in their hartes and myndes / and thei shal haue but lytle delight or pleasure in the do­ctryne of fayth but put their confidence in opynions & articles inuēted of their own braynes and of other men / and those shal thei highly esteme euen for heauenly wis­dom and true holynes. For thus doth paul him self affirme vnto the thessalonyans / that god shal send them a strong & mygh­ty blyndnes that thei shal byleue lyes and that all which byleue not the truth and the holsom word of our lord Iesus christ / shal [Page] be damned. he saith also that thei shal ha­ue delyght and pleasure in vnrigtuosnes that is to say thei shal think them selues saued by those things which haue no ver­tu of saluaciō in them / namely by the workes of their own handes which are not confyrmed by the word of god but only by fal­se and lying myracles. Such do not harkē vnto the angels singyng glory be vnto god aboue / and peace delyght & ioy vnto men in the erth &c. For thei can not delight them selues vpon this infant / because he is sym­ple myserable / abiect / and disfigured with the crosse of affliccion / for thei think luker to be holynes / thei seke ryches and hygh empyres or kyngdoms / thei geue no eare vnto god speaking from heauen. This is my dearly beloued sonne in whom I delight / but thei delight in other things than in him / in whom god wold us to delight and reioyse. And ther for paul biddeth us to­shunne them / saing / that thei ought not to he herd / and that no man ought to dispute [Page] or reason with them / but that we ought to fle from them as from an infectuos canker / and to stop our eares at theyr bablyng & capcyos disceyght ful wordes and folissh and wicked questyons / & he wil not suffre us to moue one hear brede out of the scripture to cople or reason with thē / but to resist and withstand them with the holy scripture / for he saith. But thow stand fast in those things which thou hast lerned & in tho­se things which are cōmitted vnto the / re­membrīg of whom thou hast lerned them and that euersyns thou wart a child / thou hast known the holy scriptures which be able to make the perfyghtly lerned / thorow faith / vnto the saluacyō which is in christ Iesus / for as moch as all scripture inspi­red by god / is profitable to teach / and to re­proue. &c. And paul reasoneth thus. A biss­hop ought to resist his aduersarys with that lernīg wherby he maye be enstruct in the doctryne of faith / eschew the doctrines of the deuel / and saue both himself and his [Page] hearers. But the holy scripture is such ler­ning / wher for he ought to resist by the ho­ly scripture. which reasō he proueth by the propertys of a good and faithful preacher. For the property sayth he of a true teacher is eyther.

To teach / to improue false doctryne to amend and edyfye / or to instruct in rightwisnes.

For / as he sayth / a bisshop must be apt to teach and to reproue the aduersarys of the faith / and he must be such one as must be myghtie and also able to conuynce them that be aduersaris to the truth / & further more such as erre thorow ignorance or in­firmytie / thei must reforme them in to the ryght way / fynally it is necessary for chil­dern to be norisshed with mylke and gentle instruccyons. Now if the holy scriptures be sufficyent to teach & instruct perfyghtly / thā it must nedes folow that all thīgs necessary vnto saluacyon may be taught owt of them. And agayne if thei be sufficient to cōuynce them which resist the truth [Page] or fight agaynst the articles of the fayth & vphold the deuels doctrynes / thā it must folow also / that all heresis may be confu­ted by them / and that thei lye abhominab­ly which imagyne a newe vnwrtttō word for that cause. And this refuge or excuse to say that although the scripture be profi­table for such thīgs / yet it is not sufficyēt. That is false sayth paul / For I affirme / sayth he / that the holy scriptures do teach us abundantly all thyngs / wherby a man of god that is to say a christen man / may be perfight and apt or ready vnto all good­nes. and thus it foloweth also / that thei te­ach lyes which affirme any workes to be good / that are not conteyned in the scrip­ture.

Now the other part of his reason he proueth thus. Those which folowe foliss [...] questyons / contencyons of wordes / stran­ge old wyues fables / and to be short / the do­ctrines of men not conteyned in the word of god / do swarue and erre from the faith [Page] and are vngodly wiked hypocrites / wher­for if thou stand fast by the holy scriptu­res and wade no further than thei teach the / thou shalt saue both thy self and also them which heare the from this capcyos snare and suttelty of the deuel. Specially if thou wilt monissh the christen brethern both of the holsom doctryn and also of the deuels erronios doctrine / as it becōmeth a faythful minister of Iesus christ. Preach & teach these things saith he / to all faith­ful men / namely to such as may be apt to teach other likewys. And agayne / If thou puttest them in remēberāce of these thīgs / thou shalt be a faithful minister of Iesus christ / brought vp in the word of faith and of the true doctrine which thou hast folowed vntil this day. But se that thou ba­nisch & contemne all vnholy and old wy­uissh fables / and rather exercyse thy selfe vnto vertu and godlines. Take deligent hede to thy self and to thy doctrine & stand fast in it / for so doīg thou shalt saue both [Page] thiself and them that hear the. Afterward he geueth him a commandment and saith this precept do I charge the with O son timothy / acordinge to the prophecies that be past befor thy daies / that thou fight a good battel in thē / with a sure perfight faith & a good or right vp conseyence / which / certē not regarding haue suffred gret harme & losse in their fayth &c. And euen in these wordes he teacheth us to fight agaynst the deuel euen with the old prophecy or prophe­tical scripture / and to confirme our faith by it and also to forme and rule our conscyence by it. And he sheweth a cause / for els we shal lose our faith as other haue done / & we shal procure our selues a wauering and a dowtful consciēce. Finally he is not content and satisfied to haue geuen hym this monicyon / but he also entreateth & besechith him by all meanes / saing I besech the for gods sake and for our lorde Iesus christes sake which shal iudge both quick and dead at his coming / and for his king­doms sake / preach the word / be instant / [Page] be ernest and importune in season and out of seasō / reproue / chide / & exhort with gentilnes or sobrenes & with doctryne. For the time shal come whā mē shal not suffer the holsom doctrine / but thei shal procure thē selues masters acordīg to their own affeccions and appetices &c. This tyme which he speaketh of heare / if it be not now / let us neuer loke for it. For now our faith is confirmed with a vnwrittō word with mās tradicyons / with custome / ceremonis / fathers and cowncels with out any word of god / and the manifest scripture is moked out with euery crafty hipocrites Imaginaci­on and glose. yea it is takē out of our han­des and burnt. Now if these men be not louers of them selues and estemers of their own wisdom / if thei be not couetos / if thei be not arrogant and vaine glorios / if thei be not braggers and blasphemers / which ymagin a new vnwrittō word / if thei be not dissobedient & vnthankful vnto their parentes which wil not ones moue their fote [Page] out of their deanes to helpe an old man or to comfort their parentes lying at the point of death / if thei be not vnkind & vnnatural which for their fayned chastite dare not knowe their own childerne / if thei be not truse breakers that vnmercifully war­re against vertu and godlines / if thei be not deuels & quarelers and the very members of the deuel / which do nothīg but ymagine cauillacyōs to mocke a way the truth / if thei be not voluptuos / ryetors / merciles neglectors of their office / despisers of all lerning and of all true good workes / if thei be not traiteros betrayers of kings / kingdōs / & of the whole world / if thei be not louers of wordly pleasures and lustes rather than louers of god / which condēne matrimony lest thei shuld be compelled to mary wiues / but might still liue in whordome with other mennes wiues / if thei denie not the vertu / pyth and effect of godlines / & that vnder a color and pretence of true holynes which esteme mans tradiciōs higher than [Page] the .x. commandmentes of god / and teach that their own tradicyons and ceremonys be sufficiēt to make a perfight christē man that thei may minissh & drowne the iustyficaciō of faith / ther were neuer none such nor neuer shalbe.

Paul whan he shuld take his last vale of the church or congregaciō and byd them farewel for euer / he called a cowncel whose auctoryte and testimony he wold haue to be estemed and regarded of all men / and in that councel he preached thus vnto the bis­hops. I take you all to witnes / and testifye vnto you all this day that y am innocēt pure & clere frō the blode of you all / for I haue kept secret frō you none of those things which concerne your profyght and salua­cyon / but I haue opened vnto you all the councel of god for the space of .iij. yeares / day & night without ceasing and I mo­nisshed & exhorted euery one of you euen with weping teares. For I know right wel that after my departing there shal co­me [Page] among yow rauening wolues which shal haue no pyty or compassyon vp on the flock / and certen among you shal teach false and wicked doctryne to allure discyples after them / Wherfore take diligent hede both vnto your self and to all your floke / and watch / remembryng that I haue mo­nysshed you of these things / for the space of .iij. yere together with gret lamentacyō. And now brethern / I commit you vn­to the word of his grace which is able to edifye you and to gyue you an inherytance with all them that be sanctifyed. &c.

Here doth paul monissh the councel of the false and lying prophetes and he exhorteth the whole church that thei remember diligētly his monicyon wher of he had put them in rememberāce continually for the space of .iij. yeares that thei shuld take hede of those wolues which had deuoured both bodis and soules of men with wicked doctrine / opinions & tradicions which thei wold thrust in to the church vnder this color and [Page] cloke / that the apostles could not teach all things necessary vnto our faith and saluacyon / and that all the articles of the chris­ten faith are not conteyned in the word of the grace of god. I haue taken yow to re­cord this day / sayth he / For this cause that if ye cast a way & damne your selues tho­row bileuing theyr persuasions / I am pure & clere from your bloude / & christ shal not reken vnto me your damnacyon. For I know that this thing wil come to passe and I tremble and shake / euery ioynt of me / for the miserable perturbacyons and aduersites of the church whā the propheci­es which speake of the latter dayes / come to my remembrance. And I feared lest christ shuld reken it vnto me vnd lay it vn­to my charge / if I shuld not haue moni­shed you before.

And this thing with the horrible blasphemys and Idolatry which shal opresse the church / hath made me so heauy & ca­reful / and hath caused me to water myne [Page] eyes so oft. But what shal I doo whan I heare danyel sayng. The determinacion is concluded: I can no notherwise do than monissh you that ye heare or receyue no newe opynions vnder any such cloke or color as though I had not opened vnto you all the councel of god somoch as perteyneth vn to you to know / or as though I had hidden any thing from you which shuld be neces­sary vnto your saluacion. I can not tell what to say more / but only to commit and referre you vnto the word of the grace of god / that is to say / to the holy scriptures which all are able to edifye and to bilde you vpon the tru foundacion which is christ / wherupon the whole church / all the patri­arckes / prophetes and apostles be bylded and grounded / Christ is the foundacion of the church we be the stones and stikes whi­ch are proued and assayed with diuers ten­taciōs and aflictions / The holy gost is the master bylder or worck man / and the word of god is the clay & lyme which holdeth [Page] the whole bildīg to gether. For by the word of god we are incorporate vnto the church / and by it we abide and remayn in the churche. This word also incorporateth ioyneth / & groundeth us perfightly to christ / that we shuld not be drawn away and ledde a­bout with euery blasing wynd of doctryne and so fall a way agayne. This is a good bucler agaynst all the fiery dartes of the deuel. This is the sterne wherby alone / the shyp of the church is ruled. This is the an­ker which ones brokē or lost / our faith must nedes vtterly perissh. To this word peter biddeth us loke as vnto a lantern which in the dark night of ignorance / of the cōtem­pt of god of infidelite and of all weakenes of such hartes as be blinded of the deuel sheweth the light of faith and the knouledge of gods will that we fall to no heresis nor receyue the doctrine of the false lying pro­phetes. And by this light which chaseth a way all darknes of errors / Christ and Pe­ter cōmand us to examen and trye all ma­ner [Page] of doctrine as by the true toche stone. And Paul biddeth us ronn vnto this in all stormes as vnto the most sure anckar / & to resist or withstand all maner of strā ­ge doctrines with the holy scripture / and Christ doth plainly pronounce that by this we shal be iudged at the last day. Iohn writeth / this to be sufficient to obteyne euer lasting life by. And christ sendeth the man which enquired of him by what meanes he might be saued / vnto this scripture / which luke saith that he hath writton with all dyligence. Esay sent them which sought ne­we reuelacions vnto this word / Christ also sent them which required myracles vnto this: saing Thei haue Moyses and the prophetes if thei wil not byleue them / neither wold thei bylefe if any shuld ryse from death. By this word doth Moyses command kings to feare god / and he biddeth the prist­es to iudge by this word / and at last he say­th / let this word be writō out to you before your eies / that no man may be excused of [Page] ignorance / and he saith further / that heauē & erth shal witnes against us at the latter day / that we geue ouer our selues agayne frely / willingly and wetingly vnto the de­uel / if we receyue any doctryne not appro­ued by the word of god / or if we iudge & de­termyne any thing of the wil & plesure of god without some testymony of the holy scripture. Now these testimonys gathered out of the holy scripture be sufficient against this grosse blasphemy of the vnwritton word.

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