The Gratu­lation of the mooste famous Clerke M. Martin Bucer, a man of no lesse learninge and lyterature, then Godlye studie and example of lyuing, vnto the churche of Englande for the restitucion of Christes religion. And Hys answere vnto the two raylinge epistles of Steuē, Bisshoppe of Win­chester, concerninge the vnmaried sta­te of preestes and cloysterars, wherin is euidently declared, that it is against the lawes of God, and of his churche to require of all suche as be and must be admitted to preest­hood, to refrain from holye matrimonie.

Translated out of Latin in to Englishe.

Hebru. xiij.

Wedlocke is to be had in price amonge al men, & is a chamber vndefyled. As for hoore keapers, & adulterers, God wyll iudge them.

To his right worshypfull Brother Syr Philyppe Hobye knight, M. of ye Kin­ges maiesties ordinaunce, Thomas Hobye wishethe grace and peace throught our lorde Iesus Christe.

EMonge the sundrye and manifolde benifittes, whi­che from my tender child­hod I haue foūde in yow, and receaued at your han­des (most especiall good brother) thys is not the leaste: that ye haue now af late dayes, of the good zeale ye beare to Gods worde (which at all tymes hath byn moste feruent in you) caused me to be sent not only in to such a regiō whe­re as florissheth Gods worde, all good letters bothe holye and prophane, all honestie, & puritie of lyfe, & men in all artes and sciences moste cunning and experte: But also to such a man who is of no lesse wisdom, knouledge, & godli­nes, then of fame, reporte & renoune, & [Page] by all godly mens iudgementes, one of the perfectest, and greatest Clerkes nowe lyuinge namelye M. Martyne Bu [...], in whose daylye conuersation and companye, and by whose wisdome learninge, and documētes, I shoulde receaue and learne, that shoulde belonge not onlie to myne owne fu [...]herance & profyt, but also to the consolation and comfort of you, & all my frendes, whō hytherto I haue founde moste benefi­cyall towardes me. Sythe therfore it hath thus chaunced by your most godly procurement & prouision, that I should for a season here remaine with this profounde and famous Clerke, ye myght not vnworthelye & in dede, with iuste cause, impute vnto me, either the vyce of igname, or els obliuion and forget­fulnes of your moste large and ample benefittes, if I should let slippe suche a mete, apt, and necessarye epistle of his, and especiallie beinge writtē and indi­ted to the whole churche, or congrega­tion of Englande, bothe learned & vn­learned, & in the which he expresseth not only the assured and vnfained loue that [Page] he beareth, & at all tymes hathe borne towardes this realme, and rulars and ministers of the same, but also very euidentlye declareth, and with moste manifeste testimonies of scripture, set­teth furthe at large suche thinges as maye be to the profitt and furtherance of many, and wherin he hath confuted (not al, for it were in maner an infinite worke to stande aboute all, but) as ma­ny sophisticall & wranglinge schoolishe reasons, as are of any probabilitie or likehoode, whiche my lorde of Uvyn­chester (farre vnsemely for a sober Bis­shoppe) hath expressed & set forthe in his two moste cōtumelious & railing epist­les agaīst him, winkīg at, & ouerhippīg his wel most innumerable opprobrious wordes, checkes, tauntes, rebukes, quarellinges scoffinges, reuilīges & scoldinges railinges, wherwith they are filled as full, as they may be heaped to ge­ther. In the which are so fewe argumē ­tes or reasons of any probabilitie: that had not the vrgēt and instant requeste of his frendes, certain of oure coūtray men bien, he wold neuer once haue put [Page] penn to the paper, nor yet haue made anye a do about them, but wolde haue left them to the iudgemēt & arbitrimēt of the reader, notwithstanding now of late dayes it chaunced that he gate a litle vacant tyme to do the same (seing he promised it to certaine) from his mani­folde impedimentes, & necessarie eccle­siastical busines (wher with we knowe such men are no smale dele let) & to re­concile him selfe (which the Bisshoppe scornfullye, after his olde wōte, casteth in his tethe) to his brother, before he [...]ay his offringe vpon the altare. The whiche thoughe it be brefe, and cōpen­cious & not set forth to the largeste, yet is it verye dilucidious, pithie, & full of argumentes concluded not onlye vpon ye holy gostes vnfained decrees, apoīt­mentes and ordinaunces, but also the olde and holye doctores of the church, and for the brefnes of tyme sufficient inough. The which when he had finis­shed, I furthe with toke in hande acor­ding to my childishe talent, to translate into our vulgare and cōmune speache, and haue sent it vnto yow to then [...]ent [Page] some well disposed and better learned which purchaunce wyll not bestowe so moch tym as the translation therof re­quireth, maye yet at the least wyse pe­ruse it acording as he thinketh beste, so that at lengthe it may be worthy to co­me abroade for the profit and instruc­tion of the ignoraunt, whiche haue not receaued the knowledge of the Latin tonge, because it is written to them, as wel as to the other. Wherin I will de­syre yow to accept my good wyll, as thought it colde extende farther and do moch better, which yf ye do, it shalbe a great incourage and vrgent cause vnto me to employ and bestowe the reste of my studie, dilygence and laboure her­after in other affayres, which I truste shalbe no lesse acceptable vnto yowe, then great furtherance to myne onne profyt & vtilitie. The spirite of treuthe be with yow, who guide yow in all your pathes, acording to his will, and lead yow into all go [...]tlye knowlege. Amen. At Argentyne, Kalendis Februarij.

To the holye churche of God, the churche of England, & ministers of the same oure lorde Iesus Christe geue increace of this grace and spirite.

WE geue thankes, and that not without cause to God and the father our lord Iesus Christe, throughe this his sonne and our sauiour (moste worthye & louinge brethren) for that maruelous cōsolation, which of his infinite bountie, he bringeth at this present time vnto vs, because that emonge you he repaireth & renueth ye founda­tio [...]s of his kingdome so excellentlye, so perfecctly, & so luckylye. For it chaū ­ced now of late dayes that youre ser­mons or Homelies came vnto oure hā ­des, wher with ye godlye & effectious­lye exhorte youre people to the rea­ding of holye scripture, and therin ex­pounde to thesame the faithe (wherby we holde our christianitie, & iustificatiō [Page] wherevpon al oure healthe consisteth) and other most holye principles of our religion,The re­stitutiō of Chri­stes do­ctryne through Englād with a most godly zeale. For these foundations truely layde, what may then longe after wante in youre churches to the ful perfection of Christ hys doctryne and discipline▪ For when suche as wil be of Christe, shal reade the holye scriptures (as you most god­ly instruct and suade) & prefarre them so much before all the decrees of mans wisdome, as God is greater & hygher then man. Oure especial and moste boūteful heauēly mayster Iesus Chri­ste, wil so largely powre hys spirite (the onely guyde vnto al veritie) vpon them, that hereby instructed to helthe by fayth, they may be dayly more per­fecte and apte to all good workes, as Gods seruaunte, accordynge to the promyse of the holye ghooste, many­fested by the Apostle Paule.

To the whiche felicitie,ij. tim. iij ye prepare awaye for them,The tre­we and lyuely fayth is well se­parated from the deade & false. and specially in ex­poundynge so plainelye and substan­cially the nature and efficacye of the trew and Christiane fayth (which first [Page] of al, must be learned by ye scriptures) & separate it so religiously frō the dead faythe. Here also ye declare, a [...]d with most euydent testimonies of scripture confirme, Fyrste into how great my­serye & deathe we are al caste headlōg through the synne of our former parēt Adam. Afterwarde how we are dely­uered from thys perdition by the one­ly grace of God, by the merytes and resurrection of hys sonne, & iustifyed in Gods syght, taken by adoption of hym for children and heyres. Finallye what the studye & workes of thē ought to be, which are so iustifyed & renued: By thys so happye and perfect a restitutiō of Christes doctryne ye so enlar­ge al christes kyngdom with your mē, yt there can remaine for no long season any remnant of the olde leuen in anye parte of the ceremonyes or discypli­ne.

For whiche your men can be igno­rant from hensforth, that Gods sacra­mentes ought so whollye to be myny­stred, as Christ hym self left, add gaue them vnto vs: so that throughe them, [Page] hys grace and helth some partakynge may be preached, [...]et furth & signed vn­to al moste plainelye and godly, whi­che oughte to be partakers of them, so that they maye profitte greatly to the vndoubted settyng furth and ree­difyenge of faythe, and all godlynes? Uvho also can not know, that al the ceremonies of the churches & al discipli­ne, as wel of the Clergye and the lay­tye shoulde be so repayred, retayned, and daylye had in practyse, that the gospell and Christes sacramentes may be ministred and receaued with so mo­che the more dignitie and holynes.

The whiche happye obtaynynge of Christes gyftes and workes the old aduersary of mankynde, bearynge in mynde, goeth aboute with toothe and nayle, as in fore tymes, so nowe also to brynge to passe, that men shoulde eyther not reade the scriptures at all, or at the least wyse not reade them as thynges that myght teach and instruc­te vs suffiefficiētly for our helth, or els not be vnderstanded of thēselues without the traditions and interpretatiō of the [Page] churche, as they falsely name it: For whome he can perswade, that those which are called the traditions of the church, shoulde be had in like estimatiō and honour, with the verie scripture of God, & that there is no right inter­pretation of the scripture vnlesse the Romishe seat hathe approued it vnder the name of al Christes church: Those can he also easely afterward make be­leue, and cause to receaue any of hys iuglinges, cloked with the titles, other of the traditions or interpretations of the churche: and so withdrawen by a litle and litle from Gods liuely worde and gouernaunce, addict them altoge­ther vnto hys moste detestable doctryne and tyrannye.

For vnto those furthwith (as we see experience) he establyssheth thys hys determination of deade faythe, that they thinke, that who so is indued the­rewith, that is to witte, who so say and affirme that they obserue all thynges what soeuer the Romysh seate geueth furthe to be beleued, whether it be of ye scriptures or theyr fayninges, they [Page] are strayght furthe and must be coun­ted (notwithstanding though they de­nye apparantly in theyr dedes, Chri­stes trewe and lyuely faythe) not one­ly to be of the commune sorte, but also the chiefe rulers of the churche (yf thei once come into that place by the permissyon and fauoure of the Romysh sea­te). Uvherevnto immediatly he ad­deth another, one of the chief [...]st sna­res of soules the determination of the infinite dignitie, immunitie, and power of hys cleargye,Of the infinite power of ye cle­argye & the By­shop of Rome. but chiefly of the By­shop of Rome, whiche he beateth into mens heades, that al those whome the Bysshop of Rome once admitteth, & acknowlegeth in hys cleargye, muste be iudged and corrected of none, but onely of the Bysshoppe of Rome, and he, of no lyuyng creature, no not of the very counsayl, though he drawe with hym manye milians of soules to hell.

Also that heauen gates can be opē to no man,Distin­ctio .xl. li. Papa whiche commeth not thy­ther fauored of him and purged with his ceremonies. Finally that he hathe in his keapinge the keyes of heauen [Page] earth and hell, so that it is in hys po­wer to bynde and to [...]oule at hys wyll and pleasure al lawes and Empires. And that he is the veraye Lorde of the whole worlde, and trew possessor of al the ryches therof, and yet nother man, nor God. Yes truely a God of ye earth

The ly­fe of thē that put more trust in the Po­pe then in christUvith these snares meny entangled and kepte, folowe moste communlye theyr lyfe, whome they suppose are a­pointed guydes vnto them to the bles­sed and happye lyfe. And albeit they treade vnder foote the Sonne of God with theyr manyfest mischeues, & fla­gitiousnes, and counte hys blood pro­phane, notwithstādyng they promyse that God wyl be mercyfull vnto thē, and at lengthe after tollerable purga­tion obtayne the happye and blessed lyfe, so that perseuerynge in the obey­ [...]aunce towardes the Romyshe seate, & communicatynge of the ceremonyes, how soeuer they be approued by the same seate, get and obtayne the i [...]dul­genties of the same seate, and interces­syon of the sayntes, by those wayes, whiche the same seate hath prescrybed. [Page] This is the cause yt al they yt be are the name of Christians, few excepte, haue ben seduced, and gone headling into so muche vngodlines, & abomination, yt we are therfor abominable euen vnto the Turkes.Than­kes ge­uing for the resti­tutiō of christes kyngdō in En­gla [...]de. ¶Uve ought therfore of bounde dutye to thanke God greatly & our sauyour for you, whome he hath minded, breaking so happilye these, which were ones most strayte bondes of ye deuil, and driuyng away that dar­kenes, to bryng your selues & youres vnder ye happie & plesaunt yoke of our Lorde Iesus Christ, into a kingdom of lyght and euerlastyng libertie, for by­cause ye restore & prayse vnto al the readyng, & authoritie of holye scripture on thys maner, as we se by thes hedde princyples of al christiā doctryne, & expound thē so godly & holy. Cōcerning yt trew and li [...]ely fayth in Christ. The perditiō of al mankynd by the former & [...]arthlye Adā The rest [...] tution and renouation of the elect, by the other & he­auenly Adam, And then duties which are so restored & renued. For now your men (who so will thankefully receaue [Page] these so great benefittes of Christe at your hande) shalbe instructed daylye more and more by these holye letters to all godlynes and helth: and framed to all good worke bothe openly & pri­uately: And that not alonelye the stronge in faythe, but also the weake, for hereof, as ye declare agreyng with S Fulgentius, Christes suckelynges may sucke no lesse theyr milke, [...]. reason & simplicitie, then the strong in faythe comprehende sounde meate, the mea­te of euerlastyng lyfe.

U [...]herfore we wil continually praye God, & our father through his Sonne our sauiour, yt he wil vouchesafe as so­ne as may be to make perfect the good worke grounded in you, to restore hys sonnes kyngdome, & so to kepe it per­fecte vnto the daye of hys sonne.

Of the whiche worke of the Lorde so luck [...]ly begonne amonge you. I thoughte beste in thys place to make some mention, for two causes, the one is, [...]hat I may some what cal to memo­rye, that wonderous beneficence of God, & worthye great renoune amōg [Page] all Christians, which he hath shewed vnto you, for the comforte and conso­lation of many of Gods children. The other is, that I may speake vnto you familierly of youre countrey man Steuen, my Lord of Winchester, and so take my beginning of a more accep­table place & not far frō the purpose.

Uvithowt fa [...]le many of yow hawe read the two epistles whiche this man writ a pretie while a go agaynste me, as full of reproches as they may be thruste: And not a fewe of yow haue wondred (as I haue byn oft certified) why hitherto I diferred to make hī an­swer, the cause of the which differring or prolonging of tyme, I thowght me­te here to declare, esspeciallye seing in the reueylinge and dis [...]losinge of oure disputation begone at Ratisbona a­bout the nature & disposition of faithe which iustifieth (that is to say) which attacheth so perfectly the mercy of god that iustifyeth vs in Christe our Lord, that it maketh vs assuraunt of euerla­stynge helth) I disclosed and confuted certayne of hys deceytfull argumen­tes, [Page] wherwith he wēt about to dispro­ue oure right confessiō & verie aposto­like doctrine.

Causes why Bu [...]er dif­ferred in an­swere Wyn­chesters ca [...]illa­tions.Trew it is, I tooke in hande oft ty­mes to answere him as towehinge the vnmaried state & other places, whiche he laide so spitefullye againste me, and to paint his sophistrie, and quarellin­ges in their coloures, but euer some busines was in the waye, whiche I knewe par [...]eyned more to my ministe­rye, then to confute his sophistical and captions reasons, no lesse vaine & trif­ling, then vngodly and ful of reproche, how so euer he stande in his owne con­ceipt.

For I thought thus with my selfe: They that shal reade thes so great re­proches, which procede of such an im­potent hatred & suche sophistical cauil­lations will know the cause whiche is in cotrouersye betwixt vs, or will not▪ yf they will not, they shal styl remaine in their plesant [...]ies, and reproches, & is not fet that they sholde be anye more offended with the defense of the truth: But yf they wyll and are fauorers of [Page] the tre [...]the and rightousnes, they may sone perceaue by Uvynchesters verie writinges, & such places as he bringeth out of my booke, that he hathe ons de­creede to peruerte withe his scholishe reasons, and to debilitate withe his e­uel reportes, what so euer I haue spo­ken, thowgh it be Godlie and a right. Uvherfor they will i [...] no case permit them selues to be lead in to anie preiu­dice or foreiudgemēt against me by any of Uvynchesters raylīges, before thei haue in lyke case read my booke agaīst the which he is in suche a rage. The which yf they do, they shall knowe for a certaynitie, that thys man of an ob­stinate and stubborne mynde resisteth Christes doctryne and the syncere re­stitutiō of the churches: And that, whē he colde bryng no probabylitie against it, he went about (pretermitting therin oure perfecte demonstratio [...]s, whiche were concluded vpon the authoritie of God and all the Apostolike churche) here & there in my bookes to scrape together certaine wordes, & to take some doubtful places & of an vncertayn sēse [Page] wherin he myght manifeste his witt [...] profoundnes in peruerting the treuth and conuitiating them that haue not deserued.

For in that booke vnto Latomus (wherin I noted certayn prouisions of the Apostle, which U [...]ynchester went about to destroy & to cōfute so wood­dilie) I declared by Gods manifeste wordes & cōsente of the trewe aposto­like churche, that the same whiche La­tomus tooke vpon him to defende as the lawe of the churche wherbye pres­tes are forbid to mary, is not the lawe of Gods churche, but rather the pesti­lence and plage of the lawes,Tracta­tus de celibatu Buceri ad Lato­mum. whiche after an horrible fassiō bringeth to de­caye al the holines bothe of the Clear­gye, & of the people of God as manye as folow the chastitie of their shepherdes, bycause this lawe reiectethe & set­teth a side many apt to redresse godes churches: and hath oppressed the chur­ches wythe suche mē that turne vp set downe, and vtterlie bringe to confusiō the doctrine and discipline of Christ.

I shewed that mariage of it selfe is a [Page] holye kynde of lyfe,Princi­ples wherby the Po­pish law concer­ning the abstinē ­ce & cha­stitye of preestes is confuted. and that therin is som thinge contayned which colde hel­pe no smale dele the ofice & ministerye of a preest: and yt for the self same cause the holy ghoost set in the fyrst & chiefe place amonge the gyftes and veriues of a Bisshop, that he be an honest ma­ryed man, and a godly and profytable housholder.

I taught furthermore that the mat­ter it selfe geueth euydent iudgement how so many ministers of religion are not found, that make them selues chast for the kyngedom of heauens sake, as there shoulde be, whiche abstinence is onely meate for preesthode.

Afterwarde I made playne that ye holy ghooste willeth them [...]at burne, and are in ieopardye of vnpure chasti­te, to marye withoute any lette, other of vowes or mans lawes.

Finallye I layde againste him with the scripture of God, both the decrees and aucthorities of holy fathers, & of suche fathers as sought by all meanes to haue preestes vnmaryed, whose de­crees and sentences, yf they be had in [Page] any estimatiō, as they ought to be (for they hange vpon Gods verie worde & lawe) proue that of a thousande pree­stes at this daye, scarse on can be foun­de whiche may remaine in this holye ministerye: & that not allonlie for their vitious and filthie castitie, but also be­cause they be entangled in the busines of the worlde & are nother learned nor diligent to feade the lordes flocke, so that they take not their v [...]maried state vpon them for the kingdom of heauēs sake, but for fatte benefices & ecclesia­sticall dignities.

Aud so by thes vndoubted princi­ples of holie doctrine,The de­monstration of hys con­futation & concluded by gods very decrees, I declared that, for so moche as it is ernestlie sought for in them at this daye, whiche muste be admitted to take cure of the churches, to vowe chastitie, els muste be cōstray­nid to forsake this ministerye, in case (that they maye the better lyue) they take wiues acordinge to the lordes cō maundemēt in their preesthood, or af­ter they haue vowed their solitary ly­fe: it can be attributed to no churche, [Page] but muste be worthilie coūted the doc­trine of dyuels, wherbye they bring to [...]ecay, and throwe vnder foote, after a moste miserable fassion the lawes of Christe and the churche, & by the which the whole order of the Cleargie hath made exile, and banished all holmes and godlines of the lyfe.

But what (I besech yow) doth Uvin­chester bring againste thes thinges?Wyn­chester bringeth nothing agaynst the foundations of the cause. Uvhich of thes prīciples wherby my purpose hangeth together and is most euidentlye concluded, hathe he labou­red to cōfute? Uvhat sholde the cause be then that in answeringe so vngodlie and spitefull schoolishe reasons and checkes I spent not good houres well and more profitablye? Notwithstan­dinge as I fore saide (le [...]e I sholde de­ceaue the expectation of my brethern requiringe myne answere so feruent­lye, I purposed with my self eft sones to set it a side, whiche I began a good whyles paste. For all I coinected with my self that thes bretheren whi­che were so instante vpon me in thys behalfe were more moued wythe a [Page] certayn indignation against Wynche­sters most importune boastindes, then yt they perceaued my silence to be any great hinderaūce to gods church. But I minded in myne answer vnto Wyn­chester to entreat of more at large by the opinyons of holy fathers, ye place cōcerning the vnmaryed state of pree­stes & professors of solitarines, whiche I spake of before vnto Latomus in a maner altogether by the holy scriptu­res (although also here & there I added the authoritie of holy fathers, & of the churche) and to publyshe al such thyn­ges as before I declared by ye scripture now in the more frequent testimonyes of the olde churche.An Ar­gument of hys iuste de­fence a­gaynste Wyn­chester. And besydes that to confute not Uvy [...]chesters sophis­mes only, but al other mens, which in thys behalfe haue ben at any tyme ob­iected agaynst vs, as many as were of any apparaunce of trueth or probabi­litie. But when about the edition of this work sone after I had caused the moste royall and puyssant Prince of moste famous memorye, Kyng Henry the .viij. of ye nam [...] to be made priuy [...], [Page] who made answere again that he had rather I should differ for a season the publisshinge a brode therof,Kinge Henri ye viij. his first purpose. for he trus­ted to come to passe that I should spea­ke of this and other controuersyes in relygion at some tyme peacablie with winchester, & other learned of his real­me, to thentent a godlye concorde and vnitie in religiō might be sought forth, and a farther iustauration of the chur­ches, which his purpose I might haue hindred, if winchester (whose bitternes in writinge he did in no maner wise aloue) shoulde haue byne prouoked to writ anie more openlie againste vs, And so this the kinges godlie and pru­dent answere receued, when els (as I tought with my self) I should not seme by this my labour to profyt the chur­ches anie thing: my worke which I had in minde to go forwarde withal I laid asyde againe: for all in the mean season therin I bestowed very moch diligence and in maner to the hindraunce of the necessarie busynes of my offyce.

But now seinge I haue sett abrode in the treatyse of the question of iusti­fycation, [Page] Uvicester craftie and subtyll reasons, which he with his great brag­ges, after his accustomed arrogancye obiected against me, and not so moche against our catholike & right opinioned doctrine,The cause whye here he maketh answere of the ō ­maryed state al­so. as the holye fathers (for I thought not beste to escape ought whi­che semed anie thinge probablye layde agaynste vs of oure aduersaries) I thought it conuenient [...]ow at this pre­sent tyme to add somthing ther vnto to yow, concerning the vnmaried state, and the false lye which the same Wy [...] ­ [...]heste [...] hathe forged vpon me, teste he [...] [...]hold be a greuous to the good brethrē with his our ragious boastīgs, and reproches yt I dare not contende with him in writinge of theis places, [...] I perceaue my selfe throughlye [...] of h [...]m, to remaine in thē still. [...] shewe mine [...]

[...] chapters of this pre­sent de­fense & answersNanswere of [...] of this, b [...]cause I affirmed god [...] and truly that God calleth and geueth manie me [...]ne to mariage, which ther­for can not take vpon them verie holye abstinence, to say for to obtaine ther­bye [Page] the kyngdom of heauen.

Secondarilye, that though it were ij. so that euery man may take ye saing of holy abstinēce if he be onlye willinge, & obtaine the gift of the same, as Uvin­chester contēdithe. Yet that abstinence is at this day required againste the au­thoritie of the olde churche, of all thos which will applye them selues to pres­tinge, or remaine therin, and of all that professe solitarinesse.iji.

Thirdlye of the false lye whyche Uvinchester hath wronghfullye for­ged vpon me.iiii.

Last of all, of the naturall interpre­tation of this place. Neuerthelesse he that purposeth suerlye in his harte, & hathe no nede, but hathe the power ouer his owne will, and hath so de [...]red in his harte that he wil kepe his virgin [...]oth wel. Uvhich done, I wil also breiflye touche theis places, It is not good for a man to be alone. And, It is good [...] to touch a womā. Also to [...] e [...]erie man ha­ [...] eschewe [...] [...]e his wyfe. &c.

Fyrst therfor, yt I may teache wt what wicked tyrannye the state vnmaryed [Page] is so required of all, none except which are eyther thruste in to monasteries, or compelled vnto presthoud, whiche all mē perceaue to be no other thing, thē a pernicious snare of Sathā, wher with he hath ouerthrowē in to such horrible vncleannes of lyuinge in a maner the wholle ecclesiasticall and monasticall order, whiche emonge all other haue wrested and writthed thys the Lordes s [...]iuges:mat. xix. All men can not away with that sainge, sauinge they to whom it is geuen. Also, he that can take it, let hym take it. And the Apostles saing: I wold al mē were as I my self ame,i. cor vij. Of the proper interpretation of christes sainges, all men can not awaye this saīg sauing they to whō, &c. And, he that can take it let hym take it. but euery mā hathe his proper gifte of God, on after this maner, an other after that.

This foundations therfor of oure trenth, Uvinchester going about to vn­derminde, fyrst hath taken vpon him to defende that interpretaciō of Christes wordes, All men can not awaye with that saing &c. And he that can take it, let him take it: wherin not a fewe wold haue this words (take, & cā take) to be of like signification wt (wil take) as tought the lord wolde haue saide: All men wil [Page] not take this sainge, & he that will take it, let hym take it: and hereof he pic­ked a quarell that I wold haue this the lordes sainges spoken by a fygure in Rhetorike named Ironia, no otherwise then it is communely said of a thi [...]ge which is impossyble to be gotten. Let him take it,In prio­re Wyntonien: epistola contra Buce­rum ca. ij. that cā get it, as who should saye, no man can wyn or ouercome it.

For soethe (as all men may reade in my booke vnto Latomus) I spake not a worde of Ironia, but haue therin ma­nifefflye confessed that it is graunted to manye to take thys sainge, yet not to al. And I go about there that which the lord spake euidently: All take not this saing. And let him take it that cā, for he said not, all wyll not take this, & he that will, let him take if.

Uvho doubteth that Christ our lord the onlye geuer of trewe & holy chasti­tie, and chefe alower of the same, yf he had put in euerie mans wyll to take it, and had not thought to permit manie more to receaue copled chastitie, then abstinence, at the sai [...]g of his disciples, yf it be not lefull to put awaye an vn­thankeful [Page] wife, it were better to marie no wife at al. Uvold haus ansured that it were farr better, yf it be done for the kingdom of heauens sake. But that he wolde not haue all to folwe this kinde of lyuing, yet that they shoulde whiche are willinge, and he wyll not fayle to helpe suche as secke and laboure for it. But now it is not so, for he said on this maner. All can not away with that sa­ing, sauinge they to whom it is geuen. By the whith wordes (if ye wreste and writhe them not) what other thinge I praye yow may a man gather, but that the lord saide: All take not this thinge, because it is not geuen to al, but to cer­taine men only, electe from aboue to this kinde of lyuinge.

But Uvinchester [...]aithe to my charge, yt this interpretatiō is takē of mine own braine, & yt he hathe his which he alleagethe of mē yt were of ye right opi­niō & faith. Which how vainely he hath written I reporte me to ye witnesse of ye faithfull and right opinioned fathers and such as affyrme trulye and godlye [Page] the vnfainid and holye chastitie.

S. Hierom in dede a great defender of the solitarie lyfe writ against Ioui­nianus,S. Hier. in that booke wherin he defen­deth to the vtter moste, the diguitie of trewe chastitie. If al might be virgiues the lorde wold neuer haue said,‘he that can take it, let him take it: And the A­postle wold neuer haue sticked to swa­de the same.’ Also he writtinge vpon the selfe same place of Mathewe, after he had denied yt this the lordes sainge (they alone take that saing to whom it is geuen) shold be referred to destyme, fortune or chaunce, but muste be vndr­standed that it is geuen to such as pra­ye, make dilygence inquisytion and la­boure to get it, shewed this reason of that his exposytyon. Bycause all that aske, do receaue, & that seke, do fynde, and to them that knocke, the dore is opeind. Notwythstandynge sone af­ter he expounded (he that can take it, let hym take it) he added this whervpō (he saith) the lord bringeth in. ‘He that can take it, let him take it, that euerye [Page] man should loke vpon his possybylitie, wether he be able to performe the pre­ceptes of virginitie and chastitie.’ For chastitie of her selfe is amiable and en­tiseth euery mā vnto her.Marke, he yt cā, and not he that well. But he must consyder his strength, that he which cā take it, maye take it, this is his sainge. Uvherfor he percea [...]ethe yt the chasti­tie taken for the kingdō of heauēs sake, is not geuē to euery man, but to whom it is geuen, it is not geuen by destinye, fortune or chaunce, but by the gyft of GOD, and by suche a gyft that must be receaued & kept with prayers, diligens and laboure. And therfor vpō whom so euer God inspirithe his spi­rite to praye and to s [...]ke for this gift by faith, they praye for it and obtaine it. But God inspirethe this spirite vpon thos only, whō he hath called to chas­titie, as he inspirethe with his spirite to praye and to laboure for copled chasti­tie, thos whom he hath called to holye matrimonie. For God bringeth to ef­fect in euerye one by hys spyrite that he hathe decred, and distributeth hys giftes to eche o [...]e as he thinketh belle, [Page] and to eche one acordyng to hys voca­tyon .i. Corinth .xij.

And for thys cause Sanctus Hila­rius vpon the selfe same place of Ma­thewe write the,S. Hila. that the lorde wolde therbye admonishe vs to be lyke vnto him, which hath willingly decred to be vnmaried, yf we can: he saith not, if we will So S. Austine also wher as he writteth.S. Au­gustin. De adulterinis nuptijs .xix. capi. ad Pollentium, speaketh of that the Apostle writ (he that ioyneth hys virgin in mariage▪ doth well, but he yt doth not ioyne his virgin in mariage, doth better) and saith,he is prouoked yt can take it. who so can take it, is motioned vnto the better by the Apostles counsayle. Marke, he saith not, that euerye man is motioned to chastitie by the Apostles cousayll, but they onlye which can take it.

Upon this S. Gregorie also in his booke De pastorali cura,S. Gre. capi. xxix. Part. iij. writeth that the faithfull and godlye shepherdes should admonishe the chast, that if they sustaine the stor­mes of temptatiōs with the diffycultie of their helth, they should drawe to the [Page] hauen of matrimonie. And in the chapter followinge of the same booke he wretteth: Leth the ignorant of sinners fleshe geue eare, because treuthe spea [...]keth of him selfe concerninge this in­tegritie a [...]d purenes: All men can not a wye with this saing, which he sygni­fyeth to be the chefeste thinge of all, in that he put a negatiue.Christ denied yt all men take the worde of chastitie. Beholde he witnesseth, how God saith plainlye, that this gifte is not in euerye mannes power.

Also S. Bernarde writt vnto the clearkes whiche then in his tyme began to runne to take holie orders without re­uerence or consyderation, I wold God (saithe he) that suche as are not able to abstaine, wolde not be so bolde to pro­fesse perfectnesse or to take vpon them to lyue vncorruptely. For it is a sump­tious bulwarke,All can not take it. and a waightie worde which all can not take. In sermone ad clericos, de contempt [...] mundi cap. 29.

Ye se therfor (moste deuowte bre­thern) how many of the holy and faith­full fathers vnderstood and expoun­ded thos the Lordes saynge that all [Page] take not holye chastitie, after the sa [...]e fassyon, as we. Yet is not Uvynches­ter ashamed to affyrme, and write that we interpreted it of oure owne braine, and otherwise then the right opinionid haue done. And therfor ye see by thys one place what a thankelesse thinge it is to answere such manifeste, and im­pudent quarellynges, and brablinges. Yet do I not gainsaye but Uvinches­ter hathe certaine of the olde writers whom he recitethe for the authores of his interpretation, though they be ve­rye fewe, and in thys exposytyon not to be compared withe ours. And besy­des that, the lordes verie saing maketh with vs. Ye se therfore by what auda­citie Uvynchester hath written that we brought this interpretation out of our owne brayne, and contrarie to the meaninge of the right opinionid.

And when I had confyrmed oure interpretation which we brought, by S. Pauls anthotitie, alleaginge this place: I wold all men were as I my selfe ame. But euerie man hathe [Page] his proper gyft of God, one after this maner an other after that. Uvynche­ster went about to wreste and writhe this place also. For he saith: In that, so­me men haue not the gyfte of Chastity it is by theyr owne defalt, for God of­fereth thys gyfte equally. And of this hys saynge he bringeth thre reasons. One bycause Saynt Paule sayth.Uvyn­chester taketh it to be spoken vn­determinatly, thoughe it be spokē determinatly It is good for a man not to towche a wo­man: and sayth not, it is good for hym, or hym, but vndeterminatelye for all. And for a more probation thereof he addeth. I wolde all men were as I my selfe am, but the Apostle wolde not ha­ue wysshed for all, the thynge that col­de by no meanes agre to al, or disagre to Gods bountyfull goodnes, that he shold geue it to some only with respe­cte of parsonnes, whiche he spake by the Apostles mouthe to be expedyent for all men.

Bicause ye Apo. wisshed all to be chaste, it is not cō cluded, ye chastitie is profi­table for all.Do ye not se (most deuout mē) how moche thys Bysshope presumeth vpō Gods worde? Dyd the Apostle then speake vniuersally and vndeterminat­lye (It is good, & to be desyreth for of [Page] all men not to touche a woman) becau­se he saide I wolde all men were as I my selfe ame? Dyd he not furthwithe add a contraction and exposytion of his sauing. But euerie man hathe hys proper gift of God, one after this ma­ner an other after that, and immediat­lye after. They that can not abstaine, let them marye. Also, It is better to marie, thē to burne. As to his forsaing, It is good for a mā not to touche a wo­man. He added incontinently hys expo­sytion. But for to auoide fornicatiō, let uery man haue his wyfe?

Uvhich when Uvinchester interpreteth of him yt is now already maried, & saith that it is good for such an one to touche his wyfe, if she also agre not to vnmaried state. Notwithstāding euery maried man ought to rendre mutualle beneuolence of wedlocke to his wyfe, agreable to the holie ghoste. How dare he be so bolde to saye that God speake by the mouthe of Paule that it is con­uenient and good for all vniuersallye and vndeterminatlye, not to touche a woman? Uynchester therfor after his [Page] accustomed maner vnderstod it here to be spoken vniuersallye & vndeterminatlye, which is spoken particulerlye and determinatlye. And so of a false argument a man may brynge in what he lyste.

Also if Paule had not added suche an euident and oft recited exposytyon after thys hys saynge vndeterminate. Yet by thes wordes (I wolde all men were, as I my selfe ame) it colde not be gathered, that abstinence therfor shold be such a gift whiche God of hys in­fynyte bountie sholde geue vnto all, vnlesse he wylbe counted parciale, and to haue respect of parsons. The selfe same thynge dothe he write to the Co­rinthians in the same Epistle, xiiij. chap. (I wolde ye all spake with tun­ges,Bicause the Apostle said, I wolde yt ye all spaeke wt thūgs and prophecie­ed, it fo­loweth not yt it is good for al to speake with tū ­ges. bnt rather that ye propheryed) & addeth to thys hys wyshe no contrac­tion, as he dyd before cōcerning chasti­tie. Hereof therfor (yf Uyinchesters argumet be trew) we may conclude that all they whiche onlye put to theyr [Page] wyll and praye, maye receaue the gift of tunges & prophecie of GOD. And that it is contrarie to Gods bountyful goodnes to geue that thinge to certai­ne with respecte of parsons, whiche he hath spoken by the Apostles mouthe so manifestlye to be good and worthie to be desyred for of all men. But the holy ghost spake by Paul yt he distributeth his giftes as he thinketh mete and that without respect of parsons. For he hathe respect of no parson, but onlie hys holye and iuste will, and vtylytie of his churche, when to one he geueth the gyft of prophetye, to an other the gift of thunges, to an other the gift to discerne spirytes, to an other the gyft to heale, to an other the gyft to gouer­ne & rule. So in lyke case dothe he ge­ue to an other the gift to leade a solita­rye life, to an other to [...]e coopled in ho­lye matrymonye, regardinge no par­son, but onlye accordinge to his voca­tion, and commoditie of his churche.

Uverfor as by ye saīg of ye apostle (I [Page] wolde ye all prophecied) is it not con­cluded that this gyft is therfor geuen of Gods immunifycens to all, or that there is respect of parsons before God So maye it be moche lesse concluded, that because the Apostle wisshed all to be vnmaried as he hym selfe was, chastitie sholde therfor be good for all men in this present lyfe, and geuen of God, or that God hathe respecte of parsone. For when the Apostle had wisshed chastitie vnto all, he added a moderation of this his generall wishe, whiche after the wyshe of prophecye he did not. Also it is manifeste that the gift of prophecye, of it selfe, bryngeth a lytle more profyt to the churches, then dothe the gyft to be vnmaried.

But what nede so moche a do? Did not the Apostle playnlye saye, and wythout anye exposytyon, the fyrst Timothe. fyfte, I wyll the yonger we, men to marye? May we therfor her­of conclude takynge for example Uvinchesters argument, that it is good for all yonger Uvomen to marye, [Page] and euyll, yf any vnmaried kepe her selfe chaste in the lorde? And whē the same S. Apostle said:Rom. ix I haue wysshed my selfe to be cursed from Christ, may we cōclude that it were better for him to be caste out of Christes fauoure, thē raigne with him in heauen? Ye se ther­fore (Christiā people) yt so much erudi­tion & foresight is not in this Bisshop­pe, as furiousnes & crakyng agaīst vs.

Let vs now come to Uvinchesters other reason wherewith he goeth a­boute to proue,Uvyn­chesters seconde reason▪ that God geueth the gyfte of chastitie equallye to all men. He sayth, there are onlye two conditi­ons of oure lyfe,Iu. i. Episto­la Uvin tonien­sis Ca. 4 the maryed and the vnmaryed state, and God geueth to euery man the possybylytie of them both. And ther for offereth vnto euery man the election of them bothe also, and al necessaryes appertaynyng the­re vnto. Uvhich yf he should not, to ye one condition should pertayne no wil, election or possibilitie agreable to hys gyft: but rather compultion, & should ryghtlye to the one parte be named constraynt, which is farre alienate frō [Page] the gyfte and vocation:Uvyn­chesters two fal­se princi­ples that God of what thī ges he leaveth fre election, he ge­ueth also the facultie of the same thī ges, and excepte he do so, he com­pelleth them. and that God sholde not seme to be liberall towar­des some. This is Uvynchesters secōd reason, wherin he declarethe agayne his stiffe audacity in taking principles whiche God neyther graunted him, nor we. Uvhereof the one is, That what thinges or cōditions of lyfe, god hathe graunted euerye mā in general­lye to chose which of thē he wil, therof also he geueth euerye man powre to take whiche he will & to vse it to him selfe. The seconde is For all that god by his Apostle offerithe to euery man fre election of Chastitie or matrimo­nie: & yf he geue not power acording­lie to eche one yt he may receaue whe­ther of thē he willi yet dothe he not in dede geue yt fre electiō, though in wor­des he setteth it furth by yt Apostle ge­nerallye, but euery mā muste be dr [...]uē to the one kinde of lyfe: And that he seemeth not to shewe like liberalitie to all men. By thes argumentes Vvyn­chester concluded hys seconde reason, which are bothe false.

The falsenes of the firste proposy­tyon [Page] euerye man may knowe hereof: GOD hathe pu [...]te all good artes in mans fre power, no lesse then chastitie and matrimonye. For yf any man chose to hym the arte of tyllynge the grounde, or any handy craft, or anye arte whiche hathe the vse of reason in it,God geueth not furthe with the power of thes thī ­nges, wherof he hath made fre e­lection. in that forsoeth by it selfe he sinneth not. For good neuer prohibited anye to learne these artes. Wherof truelye can not followe that God therfore ge­ueth to euerye one the verye facultie, that what arte soeuer a man hath cho­sen to him, the same also he may throu­ghlye learne, and that without God geue it, he shoulde seme not to be libe­rall towardes some. As for exam­ple, yf anye be made and borne to the workes of the bodye, and verye vn­apte to those artes, wherevpon the ex­ercyse of the mynde consisteth, but yf he put hys wyll to, and wyll pray that he maye be indued with the facul­tye to learne many tunges, and the Philosophycall artes muste it ther­for be graunted that god (yf he wyll [Page] not seme to shewe more liberalitie to some then to other) will graunte hym that facultie that he may be shortlye cunnynge in many tunges and artes? But to spreade abroade and to furnish Gods kyngedom, the knoweledge of tunges and good artes are of more ef­fecte, then to be without a wyfte: whi­che thyng chauncheth bothe to childrē and fooles, and yet by their chastitie may they not profit the churche, as the other can that are indued with good artes.

God in verye dede hath left to men fre chose of al thynges, conditions of of lyfe, and actions, wherof he gaue not preceptes expressedly. And thys chose he wyll not haue done rashely, & vnknowen to him, but circumspectely and godlye: that is to saye, makynge diligent inquisition therfor (after the inuocation of hys spirite) wherevnto God hath created euery man apt and called hym. For we must with diligēce searche out in all thynges, what plea­seth the Lorde and looke that we lyue circumsyectely not as fooles, but as [Page] wyse: not as vnwyse, but as vnderstā ­dyng what the lordes pleaser is.Eph. v. And by Gods verye gyftes and faculties, whiche he hath geuen to euerye man, it muste be knowen, to what kynde of lyfe, to what artes and actions he hath destyned eche one. For to what kynde of lyfe so euer god hath destined euery one and made hym, to the same also ge­ueth he vnto euerye one aboundantly gyftes and facultyes, whiche the wy­se men emonge the Heythen acknow­leged. And therfor in the educatiō and bryngyng vp of youth, they gaue commaundement firste of all to looke vn­to what arte and estate euery one se­meth to be borne and made.

Nother may God therfore be coun­ted to kepe backe hys liberalitie from some, yf he geue not to al lyke gyftes, seynge he geueth verye manye to all men:i. Co. xij althoughe to some one and to so­me other. Nother maye it therfore be sayde, that God heareth not the pray­ers of some contrarye to hys promyse. For God promysed not to geue eare to oure prayer, whatsoeuer we aske [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] of hym:God wil geue all thynges whiche we aske in the name of hys son­ne, but by hys name we can aske nothyng perfect­lye, but suche thynges as belōg to hys glorye. but yf we aske oughte of hym throwghe the name of his sonne, by whose name we cā aske nothinge per­fectlye, and without this condition, yf the father will haue that we aske to be of anye valu to sanctyfye his na­me, granishe and aduaunce his kyng­dome, sauinge thos gyftes, wherof we haue receaued his expressed precep­tes, that we sholde desire them. Yf that be trew we haue no precept to require of him anie power to lyue without a wife. as we haue to pray for the incre­ace of faithe and loue, and all thinges in general which the father wolde ha­ue to preuaile anie thinge to the sancti­fiynge of his name, and aduauncement of his kingdome. Therfor Whynchesters firste principle of his second rea­son is false. that is to say. That God geuethe to euery man the facultie and gyftes to obtaine & performe al thin­ges wherof in his scriptures he hathe left fre election. or that he semethe to withdrawe his liberalitie from some.

And no lesse vaine is Uvynchesters other principle, That God hathe not [Page] left to man fre wil to chose chastitie or mariage, but euerye man must of ne­cessitie be compelled and constrayned to the one,God therfore compel­leth not to anye kynde of lyfe, by­cause he callethe theyder, and lea­deth wi­the hys gyftes. Yf God geue not lyke fa­cultye to euery one, to take eyther, whether it be chastitie or matrimony. For Christes spirite (whereby al gods chyldren are leade) bryngeth to passe, that euerye one which is willyng ta­keth the kynde of lyfe, wherevnto he feeleth hymselfe to be called from a­boue by thesame spirite and giftes ge­uen to the same. And seyng that God distributeth to hys chyldren hys gyf­tes and spirituall facultyes, for thys onely purpose, that they shoulde take in hande the functions of lyfe, whiche he hathe appoynted before vnto euery man with a more sure iudgemente of mynde, and a more ready and constant wil. In verye dede Wynchester brin­geth in thys verye vncircumspectlye and to baselye for a diuine, that men stopped from free wyll and electi­on, shoulde be compelled to chastitie or matrimonye. Yf it be trewe whi­che we affirme, that one receauethe [Page] of God that gyft of matrimonie, & an other the gyft of chastitie, and that no man can take vpon him holie chastitie, but he to whom it is peculierlie geuē: like as he cā not also take holie matri­monie, whiche hathe not receaued the gyft therof.God le­aueth vnto his the fre election of many thynges but that he ru­leth ac­cordyng to hys arbitry­ment. And God dothe not so di­stribute the fre election of thinges, cō ­ditions, and actions, of this presēt lyfe to his, that when as he hathe geuen to euerie man some certaine kinde of lyfe and actiōs, he sholde so moche the lesse lead and guide him withe his spirite & instructe him withe his gyftes. And barrethe them not therfor from their fre electiō & arbitrimēt, nor cōstraineth them, bycause he leadeth hys in al pa­thes to the whiche he hath chosen, de­stined, & made eche one, & distributed his gyftes, for he bringeth to effect in his, bothe to will ād to do what so euer shalbe for their profit, acordinge to his fatherlie beneuolence towardes thē.

In his lawe hath set furthe lyfe and deathe to euery mā, and therof geueth fre choyse. Yet dothe he effectouslie moue his electe to chose lyfe, that is, [Page] the obedience of the lawe,God draweth hys to hys son­ne, yet for all yt they co­me vnto hym of theyr fre wyl. and to refu­se deathe, that is, the disobedience of the lawe, and mouethe not the other so effecteouslie, whiche also the better schoolmē knewe. And by this meanes it is that as thei nother heare nor lear­ne of the father, and he drawethe them not to his sonne, so maye they not co­me to Christe oure lorde: Yet are they nother compelled to deathe, nor the o­ther to lyfe: Nother maye the other boaste that they haue receaued lyfe, without the peculier gyft of God, and suche a gyft as is not shewed to some: nor they complaine that they haue in­iurye, yf owght be kept from thē, that is geuen to other. Of this pointe s. Austine speakethe verie wiselie in his booke:S. Au­styne cōcernyng the gyft of conti­nence. De sancta virginitate, cap. 40. And the Apostle speakethe of Continence it selfe (but I wolde al mē were as I my selfe ame, notwithstan­dinge euerie mā hathe his proper gyft of God, one after this maner, an other after that) who therforgeuethe thes thīges? Uvho distributeth his owē to euery man as he thinketh beste? True­lye [Page] GOD, with whome is no parcialitie. And hereby to knowe by what equitie he distributeth to one after thys maner, to an other after that, it is other impossyble for man to knowe, or verye harde. Yet is there no doubte, but he doeth it with equity. For what hast thou, whiche thou receaueste not? or by what frowardnes wilt thou loue hym lesse, of whome thou hast re­ceaued so largelye? These are hys wordes, In the whiche marke howe thys man of God graunteth that suche as make them selues chaste for the kyng­dom of heauens sake, receaue a farre greater gyfte of God, then other, and that of Gods very fre wil, who distri­buteth hys owne to euery man, as he thinketh beste, and not for theyr po­wers and facultyes whiche they haue receaued equallye with other. It is therfor manyfest, by that we haue he­re alleaged, making with vs the better parte of the holye fathers, that some are so indued with holy matrimonye, and other with holye chastitie, that the one can not commodyously receaue [Page] matrimony, nor the other chastitie for their furtherance, and therfor it cā no [...] be gathered how the one sholde be cō ­pelled and constrayned to chastitie, or the other to matrimonie, hauing their fre will and electiō barred from them: so that therbye the cleane contrarye may well be concluded: that is to say. That euery man shold take and folow the kind of lyfe destined vnto him, wi­the a sure and Godlie election, and a pure and fre wil, seing he hathe recea­ued of God gyftes, and spirituall fa­culties to the same.

The thirde reason he saithe he brin­gethe againste me bycause that in his opinion,Uvyn­chesters thyrd reason. I denied the extremitie of his induction agaynste reason, seinge I graunted the first parte. For belike he supposethe that God geuethe the gyft of chastitie to all, by such an inductiō: God gaue this gyft to Paul, he gaue it to S. Iohan, and gaue it to manie a thowsande in tymes paste bothe Mō ­kes & Nunnes: Nother hath he at this day withdrawē it cleane a way. Ther [Page] for he geuethe it to all desiring it har­telie, and labouring greatlye to obtay­ne the same: Uvhich when I denie, he requireth of me an expressid testimonie of scripture, wherby the largenes of this gyft sholde not extende so farr as to al: & accuseth me of vnshamfastenes and rashenes for denijnge I knew not what. To say, bycause I denyed with­out an expressed testimonye of scriptu­re, that God geueth the gyfte of cha­stitie to all willynge, and to suche as laboure for it, seing I graunted he ga­ue it to some.

Uvyn­chester layth to Bucer, that he speketh with­out scri­pture, yet doth he hym­self reci­te the scriptu­res whiche he follo­weth in thys be­halfe & teacheth not whether thei be well recyted or no.But when Uvynchester had be­thawght hym self that I denyed not without authoritie of scripture, that God geueth the gyfte of chastitie to al: at lengthe he hym selfe recyteth the testimonyes of scripture, whiche I fo­lowe in thys behalfe, after he had suffi­cientlye refresshed hym selfe with hys [...]aylynge wordes: namelye thys .i. Co. iij. Euery man hathe hys proper gyfte of God, one after this maner, an other after yt. And that one is called to matrimony, & an other to chastitie, as god calleth [Page] one to bōdage, an other to liberty. But whē he seeth yt these testimonyes of scripture are more euydent, then he can cōfute, he passeth them ouer stout­lye, and in the meane season maketh an out crye, that I am a stowte defen­de, and sayth. I had not in mynde by these thynges, to debilitat and ouer­throwe my reasons, whiche I brynge concernynge Goddes diuerse gyftes, & vocation. But he bryngeth no other argumente of thys hys crakynge, sa­uynge allonely that schoolishe reason, which ryght nowe we confuted. That bothe gyftes are offered vnto all men, els shoulde there be no chose of the one because of one parte there is no chose, & it can not be wel sayd, yt he may take chastitie, which maye not also leaue it.

But we haue shewed that bycause God hath offered to hys in hys scrip­tures the fre election of diuerse thyn­ges, it foloweth not therfor that he ge­ueth to euerye one lyke power for bo­the partes, and for euerye thynge lyke gyftes. For God hathe set furth (as I foresayd) to all men death and lyfe, and [Page] the fre election, whiche he hath lefte of them bothe: But for so muche as the holpe chose lyfe, receauynge Christ in faythe, that can they not do withoute they be indued with the spirite of fay­the: and they can not sinne, that is cho­se deathe, bycause they haue remay­nynge vpon them the seade of God, that is to saye, the efficacye & strength of faythe, and blessed regeneration, and yet by thys gyfte of fayth it is so farre of, that ye fre wyll is taken frō the godlye, In so moche that by thys gyfte theyr wyll is made fre in dede at the fyrste,Ioh. viij. as the trewe libertie com­meth of the Lorde onelye and of hys spirite.ij. Co. iij. ¶These thynges whiche he bryngeth oute of hys philosophye.Thys is false yf a man can do any thynge by the gyfte of god, that he maye as well not do thesame. He that can take, maye also leaue, els were it false, that he can take, pertayne no­thyng at al to this present disputatiō, & are verie vaine, in this ow [...] matter. For we entreat of here Gods gyftes and faculties which are not geuen to bothe partes, but to one. For he that is indued withe the gyft of wisdome or faithe: we say with good reasō that [Page] he maye be wise, and not as well, that he may be foolyshe, That he may bele­ue and not as well that he can not be­leue. And so after the same maner, he that hathe the gyfte of holye, chastitie, we saye with good reason that he can lyue a solitary life with godlynes: and not as well that he can receaue the cō ­trarye waye of lyuynge. Ye se (moste deuout men) into what scoolyshe rea­sons (vnsemelye for our profession) we are wrapped, whyles we wyll answe­re thys Bysshop to euerye poynt?Uvho so hath any good thynge aboue o­ther, yt hath he not but by ye pe­culier gifte of god where­with tho­se other are not indued.

Yet wolde I, that Uvynchester wolde made answer to thys, whyles he contendeth that the gyfte of cha­stitie is geuen equally to all men, and that they which burne in the vnmary­ed lyfe, and are destitute of thys gyfte are destitute of it by theyr owne igna­uye and sluggyshenes. Howe com­meth thys facultye and wyll to recea­ue and to vse thys offered gyft of cha­stitie to other, who lay [...]ge a syde al ig­nauie & sluggishnes receaue yt gyfte of chastitie offered thē: whether haue thei it of [Page] them selues or of God?A secte of here­tiques, Yf he say of thē selues, he shall affirme with the Pela­gianes, that a mā may haue some good thyng, which he receaueth not of gods free gyfte. But yf he saye of God, thē must he nedes graunt that they which burne not, and vpon that receaue the worde of chastitie promptlye and sted­fastlye, haue receaued a gyfte from a­boue, which is not geuen to suche as burne and therevpon refrayne not thē selues, how soeuer theyr ignauye and sluggyshnes be in the cause. And so let Uvynchester turne hym whiche waye he wyll, yet shal he eyther falle to the Pelagyans, or graunte that suche as make them selues chaste for the kyng­dom of heauens sake, receaue a gyfte, which is not geuē to other, that refrai­ne not themselues, but burne, & there­fore are licensed to marye.

Mana­chei, a secte of he retiques wherof the head was cal­led Manes who hym toke vpō christes shape & spirite Eusebi­us ecclesias hist.But yf he go forward nowe to im­pute the wāt of thys gyft vnto synne, & specyally in those which as thei haue receaued theyr gyft, so frame them sel­ues to holye matrimony: let hym kno­we that he maketh withe the Mana­cheis, [Page] yea with the doctrine of dyuels, forbedding holye matrymonie, and gaensaynge the holye ghost, which she­weth euidentlye, that matrymonye is a holye thinge, and that they syn not which receaue it, but do well, and that such as burne shold marie, and therbye do better, then if they remayne vn­maried.

In this point Uvinchester laiihe against me, that I dreame certayne vocacions in chastie,In hys fyrst E­pistle D. i. &. ij and that I retayne with my selfe a sense in the worde of vocation, whiche is farr alyenat from the trenth of the catholike churche. As thought God had fayned to chastytye certaine bodies of mē,Bucer neuer spake nor writ no suche thynge therfore Uvyn­chester maketh a lye vpon hym. and thos by the moderation of humors, wherwith he shold be pleasyd and contēt to receaue this gift, that they shold retayne and kepe it without all striuing of nature and without al force. Thes he saith are my wordes.

Trulye seing the holye ghost by his seruaunt Paule settheth Godlye ma­trymonie emonge Gods holye voca­tions, Christian men can not cast me in [Page] the tethe, for gladly vsing this word. Uvhereby vnto god & our maker with a more ful confessyon I may referre all good thinges, who bringeth to effect al thinges in all men. Nother do I retayn wyth my selfe anye sense of this worde contrarye to the treuthe of the catoly­ke church. For thos thinges, concer­ning the moderation of humors, which should bringe to passe that suche as are indued with the gift of abstinēce sholde retaine and kepe this gift, against all stryfe and force of nature. Uvynches­ter hath brought furthe of his owne, and not of myne, for he neuer read thē in anie of my writtynges.

god ma­keth & a­pointeth his, ye­uen frō the mo­thers wombe vnto thos thī ­gs whervnto he hath des­tined e­uery māBut this (takinge for example the eternall worde of God, set forthe in the holye scryptures) I confesse not without cause, that God, who bringeth in all men all thinges to effecte by hys euerlastinge wisdome, reachinge mightylye from ende to ende, and guidinge all thinges plesently, lyke as he calleth his elect, beinge nothinge, to be somwath so calleth he them also to their being, and to thos thinges wherunto he hath destinid euerie man. And that [Page] he fassyonithe thē to thes giftes assig­ned of hym to eche one, in theyr mo­thers wombe. And also that from the mothers womb, he seperateth them to him selfe, and that he maketh apt aud instructed them with the giftes both of bodie and minde to the selfe same offy­ces, that they may receaue them well and happilye to the glorie of his name and edifijng of his churche.

Notwythstandinge God hath the heares of oure head numbred, and not one of them perissheth from our heade without his sure prouidens, and sholde he not then certainelye determine before, in whether kynde of lyfe euerie mā shold serue him, other in the state vn­maried or maried?

Euerie wise workeman in his worke forcasteth and shapeneth all thinges to the ende, which is apointed in the same worke. And should we doubt that god (who alone shapeneth all our membres in ye darkenesse of our mothers wōbe) forechasteth and apointeth all partes and possibilities both of bodie and minde, to ye selfe same functiōs of life whervnto he hath chosen eche one before [Page] the creation of the worlde.

Dioni­sius Bisshope of corinth writ an Epistle to ye Gu­osians, wheryn he admonissheth & instanly exhorteth ther Bisshop Pinitus that he will not layd the brethren with the great burthēs of cōpultion to vowe chastitie for so he might chaunce to put ye ī firmite of manie in a ha­sarde. Eusebe­us de ec­clesias. Histo. li. iiij. Ca. xiiij.But bycause our flesh and Sathan do euer striue agaist gods spirite with in vs, as longe as we lyue here, in all vocation and commaundemēt of God, we acknouledge and that gladlie, that in receauing & retaining godly chastye we sholde striue and fight against thes oure perpetual ennimies. Yet notwithstanding, bycause the holie ghoste him selfe willeth them that can not refraine to be copled in matrimonye, and decla­rethe openlye that this is better for such as burne: and willethe thos wemē that are in ieopardie of vnpure lyfe to marie, we affyrme hereof that the vocation of matrimonie sholde be obserued and proued, if anie fele him selfe to be in a hasarde by the reason of to feruent burning. yet not furthwithe. For we teache that first of al christes spirite must be called vpon, which is the guide vnto all veritie, and wherwith Gods chyl­dren are leade in all pointes. After­ward that counsayle must be demaun­ded of godlye and wyse men, and spe­cyallye of suche vnto whom the Lorde [Page] hath peculyerly committed the charge of them. Laste of all, that it must well be consyderyd by the same spyryte of Christe, what thos offyce and functiōs of lyfe be, wher vnto God hath called enerye man, and whether kynde of lyf chastitie or matrimony (in going about thos gyftes Godlye) is moste comme­dious & profytable, or incommedious & vnprofytable. For he is a very foole that consyderithe not Gods worke in other, but he is more foole that consy­derith them not in hym self. Uhich the wyse men of the worlde knewe so, that they iudged them not without cause to stryue against God, which go about to applye them selues to other actions of lyfe, [...]. then they perceaue them selues to be borne and made vnto. Upon this ye holye fathers also, as it is to be sene by the places aboue rehersed, geueth them counsayll that will take vpon them the vnmaried state, fyrste of all deuoutly to examine them selues, and to knowe whether they haue receaued strengthe and giftes of God to this kinde of lyfe.

[Page]Emonge all thes thinges, what is not taken owt of the holy letters, what is not agreable to the catholyke cōsent oft he holye fathers, what fynallye dothe not condescende to the trewe holines. And by this ye perceaue howe vngodly Uvinchesters quarellīg is,Uvin­chesters notable quarel­ling. in that he layeth to vs, that we make such a gift of chastitie, whiche may now be properlye named n [...]ther continence, nor abstynence, nor impotence, nor yet the vnaptnesse of the bodye to fylthye lustes. And that we make the tokens of thes gift, to be moued by no pricking­ges of nature to fylthye lustes: lyke as the tokens of the vocation to matrimonye, yf men (after they haue loste with riatousnes and excesse in carnall plea­sures, the gift of chastitie) fele them selues to be inclyned to matrymonye. But where hathe he read thes thinges in anie of oure writtinges, or in what communication hath he euer harde thē of vs? Seinge therfor he hathe reple­nisshed his writinges with such many­feste and open lyes, ye perceaue what credite a man should geue to their testi­monies. [Page] Uve folowing our onlye M. Iesus Christe in heauen,what ye gift of chastitie is called and of what effect it is name the gyft chastitie, abstinence for the kingdome of heauēs sake & a spirite of chastitie & vncorrupt holynesse, wherby they may that are indued therwithe, beinge fre from matrymony, cleaue so moche the more without seperation vnto God, and receaue so moche the sooner and stedfaster the holy ministeries and of­fyces, to the whiche matrymonie shold be a hinderance and impediment. As for impotence, and the vnfitnes of the bodye to fylthye lustes, are mete na­mes for him, that maketh a sporte of such things, for the whiche the sonn of God was crucyfyed. So therfor we make not that, no man or some man fe­leth motion vnto fylthie lustes, or to­kens of the offeryd gyft of chastye and matrimonie. But as I said, the coun­sayles of parentes, and of godlye and wyse men in Chryst,Signes of ye gift of chastitie. and the very functions of the lyfe offerid from aboue, & the Godlye affayres readie at hande, whiche in chastitie or matrimonie may cōmodiously be takē to gods glorie, & to [Page] the furtherance of the church. Also the Godlye propentions and inclinations of mindes to eyther kinde of lyfe, & the facuties both of body & minde. Certainlye the vnmaried state of it selfe plea­seth not God, and they receaue the re­warde of the fooliysh virgines whiche take and kepe it not for the kingdome of heauens sake that is to say, that they may be the more readye, stedfaste, and frutfull to serue the lord in more large charges and duties, then the maryed lyfe can sustayne, and whose vtilitie extendeth farther. Thes tokens therfor wolde we haue suche to obserue, that make inquisytion whether they are called to the state vnmaried or no.burning is also a token of the vocation to matry­monie. But bycause (as I haue said) the holye gooste, the thefe teacher and distributer of trew holynes pronunceth euidentlye hym selfe that suche as burne, that is, (as Chrisostome expoundeth) such as sustaine moch force and burninge, and for that cause are in ieopardie of fal­lyng, shold put them selues out of such a dauniger be matrimonie. Uve cā not gain saye nor ought nor, yt they whiche [Page] sustaine such force and burninge, and can not auoide it by prayers or trew mortifying of the fleshe, and also per­ceaue that they haue more occations offered vnto them to serue God accor­dinge to his preceptes in matrymonye then castitie, do wel and Godlye seing thes tokens declare their vocation to matrymonye.

Now haue I sufficiently spoken concerning the fyrste place of our defense, wherin I purposed to proue, that cer­taine are so called and geuen from a­boue to holye matrimony, and emonge them, not a fewe indued and geuen to the holye ministerye of the churches, that they sholde frustrat theyr laboure in praynge for the gift of chastitie, and should neuer lead this kinde of life godlye nor yet happily. The which things (most deuout men) I commit to yowr iudgement, and all other mens that wyll read and ponder godlye what the holye letters in all places both teache in preceptes and set furth in examples.of what princi­ples▪ mā may decerue & iudge of ye pre­sent dis­putatiō. Fyrst concerning Gods [...]nipotent powr, godnes and wisdom which, brin­geth [Page] to effecte all thinges in al men. Secondarelye, concerninge the vacatiō of the children of Gods reuocation, & cer­taine motion in all mē through his spi­rite. Laste of all, concerning the verye matrimony and chastitie, and the vse of them bothe in the church. Besydes this consider ye, what that greatly to be la­mented experience of so longe time, teacheth, monissheth & vanquisseth, which the holye ought neuer to contemne, by­cause it is a token of Gods workes & giftes. Nother do I doubt but who so knoweth and wayeth all thes thinges Godlie, shall throughly perceaue, that the far greater parte of men, & emong them, verie manye holye and Godlye, whiche are by all meanes prepared & ordained of god to minister ye churches are so made, called and geuen to holye matrimony from aboue, that they can not demaunde of God, nor yet vse the gift and vse of the acceptable chastitie vnto GOD, that is to saye, whiche auaileth to ye fetting furth of his king­dom, seing that his pleasure shold be altogether by faith prefarred before all mans iudgement and vowe. And that all thinges what so euer Uvinchester [Page] hath brought to the contrarye ar vaine vngodly, & brauling scholishe reasons.

Now therfor wil we passe ouer to ā other place of oure present defense, and teache, that what so euer be in the offe­rid gift of chastitie geuē other to all mē indisserentlye (which Uvinchester will haue) or to certaine onlye, and men cho­sen from aboue for the same purpose, (which we haue proued and vanquis­shed by the worde of God & authoritie of the holy fathers) And other place of this defense, what so euer be of ye gift of chastitie, yet y this is against ye lawes of god and the churche, bycause ye abstinence from holy matrimony is required of al preestes and solytarye parsōs. Yet that this is cleane contrarye to the lawes of God, and of the church, & againste the autho­ritie of holye fathers, to require at this daye the foreswearinge of matrimony and abstaininge from the same, of all such as muste be admitted or are admitted into presthood or professyon of solytarines. Fyrst therfor I exhorte all mē that loue christes kingdom, & that desy­re the comelynes of Gods howse, and the trew holines of preestes to be restored again, that it maye be Godly pon­dered what God him selfe (who alone konweth what gyft he hath geuen or will geue to euerye man, and what is more deceut and furtheraunce to the [Page] prystlye lyfe teacheth and cōmaundeth concerning the mariage of prestes, in that he dothe it in two places by hys Apostle Paul, & in thos places wher as he speaketh euidentlye of the holynes and vertues of preestes, that a prest should be the husbande of one wife, & a good instruct [...]r of his children, Thys doth he set to be the chefe of thos ver­tues which he requireth in a Bisshop & other ministers.

Then do I desyre them to confert Godlye with this holy precept, ye lawe of ye romish seate (whose defense Uvinchester hath taken vpon him) wherbye no man be he neuer so holy in all his tyme, or furnisshed with all giftes of the holy ghost to the ministerye of the holye church is admitted in to the order of prestes, without he vowe him selfe to be the husbande of no wife & is put besyde his presthod, who so euer ma­rieth a wife therin, and then let them iudge whether this lawe of the pope of Rome, be not cleane contrarye to the lawe of God? For God as well in the order of preestes as of Bisshops doth [Page] both require, and also plainlye admyt, a maried mā. But the pope of Rome [...]oth nother admitt a maried man in to this order, nor yet bye any meanes sufferith him therin. Let Uvinchester therfor expounde vnto vs, how the pope of Rome, an erthly God, therin speaketh not cleane contrarye to the heauenlye, and trewe God?

Here yf Uvinchester flie to the au­thoritye of thos fathers which wolde haue this precept of God so to be vn­derstanded, that therbye they should be excluded from presthoode, which haue more wyues then owne, and yet they should not be admitted to presthod whiche haue one, and will kepe her in the vse of matrimonye, and laye againste vs the church of Egipt, of the chaste, & of the apostolycall seate, which now in S. Hierōs tyme were wont to receaue for prestes none, except they wer other no maried men, or els had resigned it. Uve again laye vnto him. Fyrst the saing of the holye ghost, in the whiche is not one worde wherbye may be ga­thered, that he onlye should be admit­ted [Page] to presthood which was, and is not the husbande of one wife. Further mo­re Uvinchester is not ignorant, that no lawe, necessarye for oure helthe, can be apointed by the authoritie of holye fa­thers. Also he can not denye that S. Chrisostoms authoritie and others yt make with vs, sholde be anie lesse sett bye, then the authoritie of his holye fa­thers, yea theirs sholde be so moche the more sett by, as their interpretation is more agreable with the wordes of the holy ghooste. But they vnderstoode & expounded this saing (the husbande of one wife) in the same meaning as we, & tawght plainelye that the holye ghoste by this precept, that a Bisshope shold be the husband of one wife) wold commē ­de the dignitie of matrimonye, and condemne before thos heretiques, whiche blasphemed that there was some vnpurenes in matrimonye, & that bicawse he teachethe in this place, that matrimo­nye is such a holy thing and honeste, yt therwith a man may ascende, yeuen vnto ye holye throne, that is to say, the seat of a Bisshoppe. In fine Uvinchester knoweth also this, yt S. Chrisostoms [Page] interpretation, & others making with vs, is reiected of none of the holye fa­thers, that it shold not be counted to be of the right opinion, no truly not of S. Hierom, who notwithstāding alleaged it in expoundinge this place. Let win­chester therfor now declare, by what authoritie ye romisshe seate prohibiteth to followe S. Chrisostoms opinion, & other fathers that agre wyth vs, and constraineth (leauinge this as erroni­ous) to followe the interpretatiō of S. hierom, and such other that make with him. Let hym shewe, whye it is thrust furth vnto vs for a catholik law which was neuer catholike, no not by thos fathers yt alowe it.1. Tim. 3. Act. i. Furthermor Uvīchester knoweth that the holye fathers made fyrme with manie lawes, and that with the lawes of God, that no man, what so euer he be, sholde be admitted in to anie degree of the Cleargie, or els if anie be admitted, shold be sufferid to remaine therin, if he be foūde to haue liued or do lyue, of anie likelihood, with impuritie & vncleannes of life: moch lesse if he be founde to liue dishonestly in [Page] the face of the worlde. And so therfor let him make answere, what spirite the Romains folowe, and suche as make with them, whē they exalt to the chefe orders of holye ministerye, and suffer therin to remain, & that now such a lōg continuance of tyme, them that lyue wt open dishonestie. Let him also shewe what spirite shold be thanked for this, that they not contented to caste from holye ministeries, but besydes that pu­nishe cruellye prestes that marie wi­ues, against diuerse lawes, & thos apoī ted by mā, lyue they neuer so Godly & holyly, and be they neuer so studious & apt to edifie Gods churche. And in yt mean season prestes and Bisshops im­plicated in manifest hore huntinges, defyllinges of virgines, adulterie, and other greather myschewes, and which newer came to the perfect knowledge of anie parte of the pastorall mynyste­ry, & moch lesse purposed by al meanes to go about it, they do not onlye leue vnponisshed, but also eft sones ador­ne them with the chefe and highest de­gres of ye ecclesiastical dignitie & powr.

[Page]Besides this Uvynchester knoweth also that all the fathers acknowleged that chastitie,Chasti­tie yf it be not taken yt thou mayest haue the more le­ser [...]o godlye dedes & ministe­ryes, is abomi­nable to God. thowghe it be purelie kept for as much as pertayneth to the bodie, yet that the hypochrysye of it is abominable before God, yf it be not taken and kepte for thys intent, that e­uery man maye cleaue so moche the more without separatyon vnto God, and exhibite hys mynysterye vnto hym the more perfectely to the edify­enge of the churche. It is knowen vn­to hym well ynoughe, as I suppose, yt Saynte Chrysostome writteth vpon thys place of Saynte Paule. (Thys do I saye for your profitte, not that I shoulde tangle you in a snare, but for that which is honeste and comely vnto you, and whiche herevnto conduceth, that ye maye perfectely, and without separation sticke vnto the Lorde) that she is nother virgyn, nor yet honeste, whiche is wrapt, and tyed faste in the cares of the worlde. For the Apostle when he said, that a woman and a vir­gyn are separated, in so saynge he sette the difference betwext them, that is to [Page] saye, because the one taketh care for the thynges of the worlde, and the o­ther for the thynges of God, and gaue a definition of a virgyn, not maringe nor continence, [...] other to be deliuered from the cares of the worlde,The ho­ly fa­thers had ra­ther ha­ue had shepeherdes ma­ryed mē geuē to holy thī ges, then vnmaryed, im­plicated in the cares of ye worlde. or to be wrapped in them: Uvherfore the holye fathers made neuer so mo­che of chastitie, for all they counted it of great valu, but that they supposed maryed men shoulde rather haue the gouernaunce ouer the churches, which setting a part a worldly busines, shoul­de be more geuen to heauenly cares? then virgynes and vnmaryed, whiche shoulde be slacker in the trewe studye of religyon. Uvherof S. Hierom writ these thīges agaynst Iouinianus. And howe commeth it to passe (ye will say) that the vnmaryed eft sones in ye prest­lye ordinaunce is not regarded, and the maryed chosen? Because purchaunce he hath no other workes agreable to hys vnmaryed state. Or els is tho­ught to be chaste and is not, or elles hys chastytye is slaunderous, or els [Page] at the least wyse by hys chastitie he waxeth hye mynded, and whyles he standeth in hys owne concept of the onelye chastitie of the bodye he neg­lecteth other vertewes: Nouryssheth not the poore, is greadye of money: these are hys wordes. Beholde thys man of God graunteth worthilye to be secluded from holy ministerye, not them all onely whose virginite is fay­ned, slaunderous and suspicious: but they also whose virginite wanteth o­ther vertues and workes correspon­dent to virginite: whiche nouryshe not the poore, whiche are couetous or gre­ady of money.

Here let Wynchester make answer by what face or audacitie,That whiche shoulde be chief­ly sau­ght for in the chastitye of pree­stes the abstinence frō ye busynes of the worlde is cleane neglec­ted of the Ro­manes. the Romysh seat and suche as make with it, may in thys cause brynge forthe agaynste vs the authoritie of holy fathers, whiche requyre not of theyr preestes so moch as the chastitie of the bodye, and moch lesse suche a chastitie, whiche (al world­ly cares set a parte) shoulde be one­lye geuen to Heauenlye thynges, by suche seueritie and such cruelnes, [Page] as they make diligente searche that no man haue a leaful wyfe? And here lett Uvynchester also examyne hys lyfe, hys dedes, and hys Episcopalle go­uernaunce, and acknowelege hym self, how farre wyde he had declared hym, to be from suche an one as the holy fa­thers confesse to be onely a Christian, moche wyder from the chastitie that ought to be in a preeste. And that fyrst of all performe in hym selfe: then re­quyre and put it from other, whether they be of the Cleargye or of the Lay­tye, which at some tyme were fruetful vnto hym.How vacant Wyn­chester is from the cares of the worlde I call not here to remem­braunce how he refused or tooke vpon hym worldlye busynes, and functions whiche pertayned not to a Bysshope: howe he diminysshed or increaced the pōpious court in his familie. Let him be his owne accuser and iudge: but ac­cordinge to the lawes of God and the churche. In verie dede I chatter not furthe as he reproued me in his last epistle (yf he haue done his prince anie seruice to the weale publike, and edifi­inge of the church: For I knowe what [Page] ambasages S: Ambrose hath gone for his rulars: and busines S: Gregorye hath done for the Romanes. And what other moste holye fathers tooke vpō them at the present necessities of their princes, and of Christes people, & for the commune weale and tranquilitie? But for all that what a crosse it was to them to be absent the space of one houre from their proper ministeries, they haue witnessid in verie deed: and not in wordes onelye.

But Uvynchester doubteth not of thys also,The old auncient iudged it a mad thynge yf the chur­ches had bē soner mini­stred by no pastores or els very ill vnmaryed, that emonge al the olde an­tiquitie of the church it hath ben coun­ted a madde thynge, yf any had rather the churches shoulde be destitute of all pastorall cure, or destroyed by many­fest wicked shepeherdes: then to be mi­nistrede Godlie & helthsomlie, by god­lie & apt ministers, thowghe they were maried.

Epiphanius writethe that when in his tyme the lawes were purelie obserued, ther were none taken in to the order of elders, deacons, or subdeacōs but they that wer eyther withowt a [Page] wyfe, or els had refrayned thē selues frō their wyfe: yet doth he graunt that at the same tyme in certaine places, the custome was to chose thos, that as yet begat childrē in to this order. And wri­teth that the cause therof was emōge some of the multitude of churches that wanted ministers, and the lacke of ve­rie chaste men, which notwithstāding shold haue byne instructed in other ne­cessarye gyftes also of holie ministery emonge other the fainte obseruation of the lawe,Epiphaniꝰ was in opinyon, that wheras wante mete ministers, there shoulde maryed mē haue the go­uernaū ­ce ouer ye Chur­ches wt good ryghte and the proper minde of tho [...] churches & bisshopes wich recea­ued in to the higher orders of holye ministery, such that as yet, begat chil­dren. For all that, this man of God is not in opinion that thos churches, or bisshops shal be excluded from the ec­clesiastical cōmunion, or that thei shol­de be barred from this libertye.

It appeareth also ye S▪ Hierom was in the same opinion. wherfore Epiph. reputethe it not vnto them for anie re­proche, which receaued maried men in to the order of preestes driuen by the want of vnmaried ministers, whiche [Page] had ben apte to feade the Lordes she­pe. For he acknowleged to be farre better to haue apte shepeherdes of the people, thoughe they be maryed men, then none and vnapte.Epiphanius and Hierom coūt not thē fla­gitious, whiche by no necessitie made maryed men the gouer­nars o­uer the Chur­ches. Albeit he iud­ged them, whiche dyd it, other by the wante and imperfection of more seue­re or sharpe disciplyne, or els because they supposed it to be more fyt and cō ­modyous, to haue declyned by so do­ynge from the receaued discyplyne of the churche, yet dothe he not count thē scismatyques, nor writte oughte ve­hementer agaynst thē. He noteth them onelye to make a certayne declinati­on from the more syncere discyply­ne.

He that shall nowe reade withe a good zeale and depelye consyder the­se thynges, whiche the holye fathers haue lefte in writynges, partely con­cernynge the relygyon of holy ministery, & the holynes of ministers, & par [...]ly also concerninge chastitie. He shal ne­uer stande in doubte, that those verye holye fathers, thowghe they praysed [Page] the vnmaryed lyfe.The ho­ly fathe­rs wold at thys day cast forth the vnma­ryed yt take the cure e­uer the chur­ches: and wold set maryed men in theyr place. Yf they were now present, and sawe those vnmaryed mē, which now many yeares haue had the gouernaunce ouer the churches, wold by all meanes exhorte that, by admit­ting maryage of prestes. Yet some re­garde of godlynes, & disciplyne might be renued in thys order, and that (set­tynge a syde those vnmaryed men, whiche nowe destroye the churches so miserablye) maried men, yf they were indued with anye godlynes, and kno­welege and cure of Christes kyngdo­me, shoulde verye sone be receaued to take the cure of the churches. And ma­ryed men (yf they be godlye, & instru­cted to Christes kingedome, and of a good iudgement) maye edifye Gods churches: whereas vngodly men, and suche as haue nother the studye nor in­telligens of Christes kyngdome, may rather destroye the churches, then edi­fye them: Though they be more chaste then stones. They are vngodlye and without all knoweledge and studye of Christ, whosoeuer persiste in theyr manyfest mischeues. ¶Here therfore let [Page] Uvynchester answere what authority of the olde auncyent, the Bysshops of Rome with theyr adherentes folowe,The old fathers suffered the chur­ches to be mini­stred by laye mē and that in theyr presens. for so moche as now of late they haue sufferid Christes people not onlie to be robbed of all apte and mete shepeher­des (which how great a damnage it is, ye most deuout men, now perceaue & fele, whiles ye go about to repaire e­monge yow the ecclesiastical busines) but also to be dissipated and oppressed in the steade of shepherdes, withe so manie reproches of men, & to be with­out all Christian religion: and that at this daye they had rather all christian religion, sholde go to wracke, then to suffer suche afflicte & decaide churches to be ministred by maried mē, that are godlie and instructed to Gods kindo­me.The old Bys­shops receaued both the lay men and also husban [...] men, & prefar­red thē before them selues to teach ye people when they founde thē more mete thervn­to then themsel­ues. Eusebius de ecclesia­stica hi­sto. Li. vi. Ca. xv. Moreower auntient trewe bis­shops receaued to teache thei people in their presens lay men, and thos also maried: wheras they founde them to be more apt for this office then themselues. But our bisshops (which in thē selues and theirs no lesse contēne the authoritie of the olde auntient then [Page] obiect it odiouslie against vs (before they wil licēse maried men, be they ne­uer so holie and apt to teache Christe to bestowe the talentes they haue re­ceaued of the lorde in feadinge the lor­des flockes, suffer rather that the lor­des flockes want not onlie the pasto­res of euerlastinge lyfe? but also be scattred abroad, torne, and lost by ma­nifest theues & robbars, that is to say. suche as come vp some other waye, & fede thē selues, For how many deuout mē, and such as were called of the lor­de him selfe to feade Christes people, haue byne dryuē from this ministery, by this forbeddinge of matrimonie, y greatlie to be bewayled wāt of good pastores declarethe more thē so moch, And this seing Uvynchester percea­ueth sufficiently, why doth he not sup­pose & thinck yt therin the authoritie of the olde auncient sholde be folowe, to thentent he sholde iudge that princes & bisshops owght most especiallye to re­garde thys, that Christes doctryne, and discyplyne maye therebye be pu­relye and faythfully ministred to his [Page] people: and that they sholde admitt to this office, whome so euer it appeared were made and instructed of the Lorde therevnto: and therfore also called: whether they lyue holilye and godlye in matrimonye or chastitie: seynge that the trew chastitie whiche the ho­lye fathers sowghte for in the mini­sters of the churches, and whiche alone is acceptable before GOD, hathe a good whyle a go ben lefte of to be searched for: and that whiche is accustomed to be searched for, hathe brought suche a great stynkynge pud­dle of impuritie into the order of pree­stes. For that the Churches shoulde haue very holye and profytable pree­stes. Uve knowe it muste nedes be profytable to all mens helthe. But that preestes shoulde onelye be with­oute lefull wyues, whome I pray you dothe it profyt a pynne:No con­strained vowes please God. yet what a ruyne and decay it hathe ben and is to the churches, who can expresse it, as it shoulde be? Fynallye thys is also manyfest vnto Uvinchester, yt a vowe [Page] can not be acceptable before GOD,Uvhat vowes are ac­ceptable to God without it be taken by the faythe of hys worde and be of power to sancti­fye hys name. And he knoweth howe vncircumspectlye, and constraynedlye and howe many tymes vngodly vo­wes are made of diuers preestes, and monastical parsons, whiche emonge a thousande, truelye scarse one hath in mynde to kepe, especyally godlye, to saye, to serue God therebye, and to execute the ministerye of the church so moche the more holye and fru [...]tfully. Uvhiche they all declare to grosselye, who are by no externall compultyon restraynt, and had rather take vpon them any labours or paynes, then tho­se that properlye pertayne to the mo­nasticall and priestlye order.

Howe gentlye God & ye holye fathers remyt­ted rash vowes.To be short Uvynchester knoweth thys also with what clemencye God hym selfe and the holye fathers remit­ted them the vowe of chastitie, that ob­serued it euell. The holy ghooste pla­nelye commaunded the yonger wemē to marye, which had broken theyr first [Page] promyse, after they were in ieopardy of vncleannes and euell reporte. The­se, seynge they are Gods wordes, bo­the belonge vnto all, that fynde them­selues in that ieopardye, that is here expressed, and also are greater then all the exception of mans vowe or decre. Saynte Cyprian perceauynge thys,Cipria­nus. writte concernynge the vyrgynes, which professed chastitye, and that not of hys owne opinyon onlye, but also of certayn that were of the same order, yea and of the whole churche to. Yf they wyll not continewe, or can not, it is better for them to mary, then to fal­le into the fyre, by theyr deliciousnes: Truely they shoulde offende nother bretherne,Epiphanius. It is better in ta­kynge a wyfe after the vowe, & to fall in to iudgement. then in nor systerne. So Saynt E­piphanius declareth also that it is bet­ter for hym that leaueth the iournaye, and vowe of chastitie to marie a wyfe openly agreable with the lawe, and so to fall [...]. that is, as he him selfe interpreteth it, into the iudge­mente of repentaunce done for a sea­son, whiche fynysshed, he maye be bro­ught into the churche agayne, then [Page] vnder the dissimulation of chastitie, to be dayelye wounded with priuye dartes, and so for fornication to falle [...], that is, into con­demnation, wherebye suche are cleane expelled out of Christes kyngedome.

Augu­stynus de bono viduitatis. Ca. v. & xx. In di­stinctio [...] xxiij. quedā [...]. xxvij. ij. Nup­tiarum.For thys cause also were not the ma­ryages in Saynt Austines tyme, whi­che were made after the vowe of chastitye dissolued, nor yet counted damna­ble. And the great assemble at Cal­cedonia licensed expressedly Bysshop­pes to remit the vowe of chastitie. Also Galatyus the Pope left the we­men, that maryed after they professed and vowed chastitie to God, to theyr owne conscience.

¶Here therfore let Wynchester answere fro whens he and hys fellowes haue so moche the more seueritie and cruelnesse graunted them to make in­quisition for vowes, then those holye fathers had? But what saye I? to ma­ke inquisition for vowes? To seeke, I [Page] shoulde haue saide, that no man after he ha [...]he vowed chastitie be lefullye maried. For that the vowes of holye Chastitie shoulde excell: that is to say: that they who so haue made suche vo­wes, shoulde cleaue so moch the mo­re without seperation vnto God, and serue the churche more fruetefullye, who maketh inquisition? Nother may that fayned matter concernynge the symple and solemne vowe make anye thynge agaynste thys. For the religy­on of all vowes made vnto GOD is equalle, so that the godly shoulde ob­serue it, yf it agre with the lawe of God: and forsake it, yf it disagre to the worde of God. It is also euydente y­nough, that no greater thyng can be in suche vowes, as the authoures of that fayned matter make solemne, then is in the other, whiche the holye fathers (whose opinions I haue alledged) thought best to be remitted and bro­ken: For with these vowes men haue consecrated themselues vnto God, as it is the chiefest thynge requyred in euerye godly vowe.

[Page]Thes thinges let Uvynchesters waye, and depelie consyder, and yf he cā, shew that it is not here made plain, that the same lawe (whose defense he hathe taken vpon him) whiche forbid­dethe al that are ons receaued or must be receaued in to the order of prestes or salitarie lyfe, to marye, cā not onlie be defended by no authoritie o [...] Christes churche or holye fathers, but also is cleane cōtrarye both to Gods very lawe, and also to the trewe and catho­like Canons of Gods holye churche, and to the wholl consent of all the ho­lye and right opinionid fathers.

Herin therfor let Uvynchester do the office of a bisshop, & shewe (yf he cā) by trewe argumentes that we are in an erroure, and cease to depraue by suche triflinge and vngodlie tawntes the dyuine and holie fathers sentenses. and to peruerte and mistake with his rayling sophistrie, owre confessiō sett­forthe plainelie and holilie, & to scrape to gether withe moche a do (wynking at oure perfecte & sounde argumētes here and there a worde by his scoffin­ges [Page] & to boaste an derake hym selfe in doubtfull places, wherin the cause cōsis­teth not, leapinge ouer to fauorablie & gently the trewe foundations of oure confessyon, and the moste clere testimonies of the holy scriptures.

For thes thinges are farr vnseme­lye, not onlye for a Bisshope, but for an other man, with that currishe and dog­gishe eloquence, wherof he coulde in thes his writinges against me, make nother measure nor ende.

And this I suppose be suffycyentlye spoken concerninge the seconde place of oure defense. Uvherin I tooke vpō me to teache, that the aucthoritie of the holye fathers is cleane contrarye both to the lawe of God, and also of his church: for so moche as they require and compell all that are, or must be ad­mitted to preesthod or monasticall lyfe to forsweare, and to abstain from ho­lye matrimonie.

Now let vs make answere to the lye whiche Uvinchester falselye and wrongefullye laythe to my charge, wher­of I entended to speake in some certain [Page] place Uvinchester denieth that ye same fained matter, concerning the necessite wherbye ye father shold be constrained to geue his doughter in mariage, by ye reason of his smale substāce, came into his braine, which I affirmed vnto Latomus, I harde of him in oure communi­cation together.

I / in faith call to recorde Christe oure lord the iu [...]ge of the quicke and the dead / and the keaper in memorie of all our dedes / & wordes: and wishe his anger to extēde vpon me / if euer I minded to faine one word against him: & haue not plainelie declared without anie thought of deceipt what so euer I remember / I harde of him. Certainlie it seme to me a verie absurde interpretation / whe­ter he speake it in erneste / or to proue or mocke be with all. yet as farr as I colde gather / [...]e seemed to me to speake it in earneste: notwithstan­ding he soake manie thinges with great arrogā ­cie in thesame communication whiche were no lesse made. For what maner a thing iuge ye this that he durste defende thos princes and rulars to do well / whiche punishe more straitlie a sharplie their owne lawes / then gods: and which make it death / if anie prest marie a wife / but adul­terie / and horei [...]unting they leaue vnpunisshed? This dare I be bolde / before God the searcher of hartes to boaste of his gift / that I euer tooke care for this / and was verie circunspect in all strife of religon emonge my aduersaries / least I sholde [...]ake or declare their fainges or writtin­ges otherwise thē they ment spake or wrat thē.

In alte­ [...]a epistola cōtra Bucce­rum.But as holilie and firmelie as I denie that I made anielye vpon Winchester euen as boldlie [Page] doth he affirme thesame. Who therfor shalbe the iudge betwext vs? He despaireth of witnes­se and writeth that I receaue no witnesse / but such as are conspired: whom I should call God­lye men / and worthie credit. And therfor he re­quireth witnesse of the marter it selfe: And as Sophocles purged him selfe of dotage by the settinge furth of the tragedie he had at the same time in hande: So doth he demaūde of the righ­tous good reader whether it be likelie that he answered me at anie time such foolishe thinges / so vnsauerie / and so farr alienat from all knowleg of scriptures / seing he wrate thos thinges / that I shold kepe secrete / and suche thinges again as he publisshed abroad against me the second time: For he wold haue thes his writinges to seme to haue some affinitie with the knowledge of holie scripture / & with the quicnesse of iudgement / so that it should be rekened incredible that he ans­wered me anie thinge so foolish / and vnworthie for him that hath taken vpon him to entreat of diuinitie / thes thinges doth he writ in his laste epistle against me.

In verie dede I wyll with all my hart admit,Uve admit gladlye anye mete witnesse. to geue sentence of oure communication, anie whose iudgemēt and sentense in suche a cause owght and may haue anie waight. Nother do I knowe anie conspired, without he meane suche as haue holylye and Godly sworne, as I haue done, to chri­ste, and vnto their prynces and magi­strates. Also I esteme them Godlye [Page] and worthie credit, yt may be knowen to be suche by theyr fructes of godly­nes. Suche therfor whether they per­taine to his householde, or are peculierlye ioyned to me in the lorde, may de­clare & witnesse, what so euer they re­membre of oure communication.

Nother do I refuse the testimonies of his owne writtinges, but a me con­tented therof to iudge, both how trew Uvinchester is in alleaging oure sain­ges, and how sure and trustie in inter­pretinge Gods scriptures.Uvin­chester complaineth ye Bucer keapeth close his writing and yet he set­teth it not forth in print hī selfe. He repro­ued me, bicause I kepe secrete his wri­tinge: but if he suppose that his cause hath therby anie with the more furthe­rance, whye did not he him selfe longe a go put them forthe? For he affyr­med that he hath with him his owne hande writtinge. Trulye I thought it euer best to reserue it to myne answere as now euerie day the matter it selfe wyll declare. But at this present tyme, seinge I haue nother tyme ne place to set owt all that, I will shewe as moche therof as is requisyte for this present cause, and that wyll I compare with [Page] hys writinges imprinted, to thentent all men maye se what credite his wri­tinges deserue, & how they shold be estemed. For yf so be the lawe of witnesse be commune to vs both, that theyr tes­timonies may not be receaued whiche speake contrarye to themselues. Win­chesters owne writinges shall conuin­ce him selfe of vanitie and quarellinge, and not me.

For in his writing which after oure communication he sent vnto me, when he had gone about to proue that this place of Paule (But if anye thinke it vncomelye for his virgine if she passe the tyme of mariage) should be vn­derstanded of the virgin now affyaun­ced, and whose tyme is past, when the father promised to geue her to a hus­bande. He writ thus.

But (saith Paule) that father being of a fyrme and stedfaste minde to kepe his doughter a virgin nothinge waue­ring and which as yet hath in his han­des to apointe with him selfe to marye her or to kepe her chaste.Uvin­chesters wordes owt of hys hād writīge. Also the whi­che is constrainid by no necessytie that [Page] rise the eyther of that, that he can not easelie finde her a husbande, eyther is alleaged, by the reason of the cōuenantes that are to be obserued, is compel­led to marye his doughter: but hathe the power ouer his owne will so, that as yet he maye chose whether he will geue her to matrimonye or no. Final­lye hathe decreed withe the sure decree of his minde to kepe his virgin, this father, I saye, by Paules iudgement, whiche keapeth his virgin by the per­petual stedfastnes of his minde as cō ­secrated and dedicated vnto God, doth a dede whiche profiteth not onlie the virgin, as he said before, but also the father him self before God, And ther­for saithe Paul, he dothe wel. And this is Paules proper meanīg, thus moch hathe he writtē, whiche he maye know by his hande writing that he hath kept withe him,

Trulie in thes wordes is not ex­pressidlie set that interpretation, which Winchester brought in oure communication together, concerninge the ne­cessitie to marie ye doughter, for ye pe [...] rie [Page] & smalle portion of substans, as far as I vnderstande his wordes, nother do I knowe what he meaneth by ye ne­cessitie to marie the doughter, whiche shoulde rise of the dyfficultie to get her a husbande. But that is no maruail, if by ye space of one night geuen him to respect, and to inuent he changed and cor­recked yt in oure disputation he hadde sodenly forgotten, if he haue correcked it at all. For I vnderstande not (as I haue said what he meaneth by that ne­cessitie to marie ye doughter, whiche he writeth to springe of the difficultie to get her a husbande. For ye se yt he put­teth a dobble nede, wherby the father shold be cōstrainid to mary his dough­ter, one yt is alleaged by the pactes and conuenantes of mariage, an other that shoulde rise of ye difficultie to get her a husbande, which saing if it be not con­trarie to it selfe, yet is it very vna [...]ply and obscurely cōpacte, for it appeareth not what necessitie to marie ye dough­ter, can rise of ye difficultie to get her a husbād, therfor he him selfe shold interprete, what difficultie to gether a hus­band he meaneth here, whether [...]hat ye [Page] riseth of the tēnnitie and smale portion of patrimonie, or some other.

I wyll continewe on to shewe how manye wayes his writinges disagre to thē selues, and euerte one an other. Uvherof that shal not only be manifes­te, how he with his owne with witnes­se shalbe conuinced of falshoode, but also it shalbe knowen that it is no mar­uayle, if he changed afterwarde in writinge that in oure disputation he spake vnaduisidlie, seinge he reuoked afterwarde thos thinges whiche he writt with great deliberation, and that not onlye in his other, but also in the selfesame writinge, and that openlye publysshed abroade.

Understande ye therfore of thys thinges, which I haue brought owt of his owne hand writinge. Fyrste howe Uvynchester interpreted this sainge of Paule (and hath no nede) not onelye out of hande,Winto­nien ad­sertor stoicus. and without puttinge anie doubt, and in one simple meaning▪ but also that he added vnto this his in­terpretation an assured affyrmans. For this is (saith he) Paules proper mea­ninge, [Page] Afterwarde, that he hath inter­preted this place of the necessitie to ma­rie the doughter, and not to kepe her. Last of alle concerninge the necess [...]tie yt either riseth of the difficultie to gether a husbande, either that is aleaged by ye partes and conuenautes.

Now with thes thinges conferr that he writ against me in his fyrst epistle which he publisshed abroade. For ther­in he accuseth me of vngodlye audaci­tie, bycause I brought of this place of Paule, whiche is harde and of an vn­certaine sense, one sense & that certaine, which he wil not presume vpon him to do.Uvin­chester is an vncertan sceptical coniectu [...]rar In very ded (he writeth) I take not so vpon me Bucer that I can owt of hande opon the harde places of scripture. And my semeth it is a point of more modestie in doubtfull thinges, to make coniecture and to be a Scepticus, than (as yow do) at the fyrst dashe to deter­mine ye wat not what.

And to make men to haue a farther opinion of this my ignoraunce and arrogantye, he subscrybeth greke glo­ [...]es which being of an vncertain author [Page] are asscribed vnto one Photius & Oec­menius, nother auncient interpreters, nor yet of anie approued authoritie. And whiche both interprete this place (And hath no ned) not to marye, but to kepe the vyrgyn. And toughe the one of them, Photius writeth that this palce may as properlye be vnderstan­ded of the necessytye to marye the doughter. Yet doth he meane the same necessytie that we whiche shold come of the condition and wyll of the doughter, and not that whiche Uvinchester hath fained, that it shold eyther ryse of the diffycultie to get her a husband, eyther be alleaged by the conueuantes of mariage.

Furthermore this same interpreta­tion of Photius, concerninge the neces­sytie to kepe the doughter whyche he graunteth to be longe no lesse proper­lye to this place of Paule, then the o­ther he spake of before. Uvinchester in his hande wrytynge sent vnto me, and in the same also he hath imprin­ted, oppugnethe and ouerthrowethe [Page] with all his myght and with his moste presumptious scoldinges, namynge it colde, foulysh, tryflynge, and not agreable wyth Paules wordes, but cleane contrarye vnto them, wherof sone af­ter I wyll speake more.

To be short, besydes this, that he op­pugneth so greatlye, and so shameful­lye rebuketh this interpretation, no more owrs and Photius ys. Then all the olde very holy fathers, he laith also againste vs, that in this behalfe, we bringe in oure owne fayninges, and prefarr them before the interpreta­tion of the olde auncient antiquitie. For one this maner, after he had allea­ged in his booke the exposytions of Photius and Oecomenius, of whose antiquitie for all that he hathe no cer­tainetie that he maye effyrme,Se how this Bisshope is prepa­red to speake well. he [...]ay­leth vpon vs.

But I leaue this to other mens iudgement whether we shoulde ra­ther geue credyte to the playne antyquytye, whyche pleaded the vnyuersall cawse of Chrystians, and set­tinge [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] a part all affections, had relygiō in reuerence, or to ther arrogancye whiche being moste impudent patrones of the bellye and fylthye lustes, dare de­fe [...]de (all relygion despised and trode vnder foore) poluted and wicked copu­lations before the iudges seat of the worlde, and lest they sholde seme to haue offended against Godlynes, he la­boureth sore with horse and sayle, han­de and foote to drawe hedlonge all in to the bottomelesse pitt of wickednes. Thes are Uvinchesters wordes, whi­che declare manifestlye enoughe what ma [...]er a Bisshope he is how Godlye, how prudent, how meke, how sober, how chaste, and how quiet.

Thus therfore it is made euydent vnto yow (moste deuout men) how manye wayes and how greatlye Uvin­chester syghteth with hym selfe in his writinges, and how he euerteth hys owne [...]amges him selfe, and not onlye in his latter writtinge, thos thinges that he affyrmed in the fyrst, but also in o [...]e, a [...]d the same writing [...] publysshed abroade. For in hys hande writinge he [Page] brought foorthe vnto vs after the ma­ner of a Stoike not o [...]lye with owt a­nye question: but also withe affyrmance of his owne authoritie, one certaine and proper exposytyon of this place of Paule, for all it be harde and darke. But in his imprinted writīg he attributeth this to vngodlye ignoraunce and arrogauncye, and to the settinge at nought and contempt of the auntient antiquitie, and craketh him selfe (ma­kinge coniecture of diuerse and sundrie thinges) that he now seketh not for an exposytyon of a [...]ie lykelihood (yet one notwitstandinge, after the custome of Academikes) but leauinge all affyrmā ­ce, wauethe vpe and doune emonge cō ­trarye sentenses lyke a Scepticus. And notwithstandinge in hys hande writinge he expounded thys sainge of Paule, for the necessytie to marye the doughter. And in his imprinted wry­tynge he bryngeth forth hys glose mē, and of them bostehte so, that who so followeth them not is verye ignorant and arrogant, whiche interprete thys place to the contrarye, for the neces­cessitie [Page] to kepe ye doughter. And al that he casteth in oure teethe wythe hys hye lookes the authorytye of the olde auncient, and thes hys glose men, and the one of them vnderstandethe here wythe the olde auntyent, the necessy­tye to marie the doughter, wherbye the father throughe the state and wyll of hys doughter is constrayned to marye her. Yet in his hande wrytinge he bryngethe a new fayned lye, vn­knowen to al the olde antyquitye, con­cerninge the necessytye that eyther spryngeth of the dyffycultie to get her a husbande, eyther that is alleaged by the fathers conuenautes. And in hys imprynted wrytynge he oppugnethe wyth all hys myght, and rebukethe wyth spytifull raylynges the other in­terpretation of hys Photius and of the olde auntient. A point therfor now pow power selues what credyte a man shoulde geue to Uvynchesters wry­tinges, whyche ye se how manye wa­yes they dyssent emonge them selues, and euer [...] one an other. And for so [Page] moch as he is contrarye to him selfe in his writinges & that not onlye in dy­uerse, but also in one and the same wri­tynges,The conclusion vpō Wī chesters lye. who supposeth not to be cre­dyble inough that he spake one thinge in the same dysputatyon, and after­warde wythe hym selfe, alone wryt an other?

And seynge he is espyed to haue wryttenn suche absurde thynges and so farr from the Apostles mea­ninge, and also whiche are cleane con­trarye to hym selfe in hys wrytynges, and in the one that was sawght, for ye space of thre yeres (for so moch was betwext the communycatyon we had to gether, and the making of the same wryting) who may say, that it is not verye lykelye, that this Sophocles (whose fable so longe sawght for be­fore is so yll wrytten) dyd not also speake in that troublous and feruent dysputation suche thinges as were far vnsemly for him, & moch lesse sēbly for [Page] an Apostle.

He deniethe that he made anye con­tention wyth me,How Uvy [...] ­chester burned in oure disputa­tion▪ in thys dysputatyon. But I sawe hym in suche an heat throughe contention, that his verye vay [...]es in hys handes shooke and trē ­bled (whyche I neuer saue in all my lyue tyme in anie man before) as oft and he herde ought of vs that offen­ded and myslyked hym, and specyallye yf the verye well learned and Godlye dyuine Alexander Alesius (whom I brought in companye with me) had spoken anye suche thynge. But let this be suffycient concerninge Uvynches­ters lye.

But for so moche as here in thys point he rebukeht vs to be moste im­pudent patrones of the bel [...]ye and fyl­thye lustes, and suche other his moste fowle reproches, whether they agre more fyttlye in him or vs, next after GOD let them iudge whiche haue narrowlye sought foorth the open lyfe of vs bothe. Uve through Chryste his grace, geue diligēt laboure to reprehēd [Page] these workes of the fleshe and darke­nes, and not to defende them, and la­boure diligently to restore Christe hys syncere religion to her dignitie and honoure whiche the Romanes so oppro­bryously contemne and set at naught. And also take in hande that we maye at the least wyse drawe some out of the depe pit of vngodlynes, whereunto they haue calte headlonge so manye milians of men, takynge dilygent hede as farre as the Lorde shall geue vs grace, that we neyther make anye of­fence agaynste godlynes, ne yet geue anye occasyon for other to do the sa­me.

Yf Uvynchester do,Uvyn­chesters repro­ches hāg in hym selfe. and endeuoure hym selfe to the same, and whether he felte the sauoure swete vnto hym of the luker, which he receaued o [...]t of the fylthye commune brothelhouses or stewhouse, and not onely of the abo­mynable whoredome of hys chaplay­nes, as certayne Bysshops of Rome are wonte. And whether he hym self of hys owne accorde, or the other Kyng commaunded to be a reformation of [Page] those hys houses at London,It shold haue bē long ere he wold haue do­ne it him selfe. o [...]t of the whiche he receaued suche fylthye lu­ker, and to be let to hyred of honeste parsons, and so to diminysh therby his abomynable luker, let hym witnesse of hymselfe, and suche as haue a farther knowlege in that gere. I passe ouer he­re how he hath oppressed with such le­gerdemaynes & ioyglynges the trewe godlynes so manye yeres in consay­lynge, prickynge forwarde and com­pellynge as many as he colde withe hys pernicyous deceyptes, brawlyn­ges, flatterynges, threatenynges, fay­re speakynges, bribryes, clokynges, violence and cruelnes. I am sorye & asha­med to recyte these thynges by mouth yet ought they not to be euer wynked at, that by thys they maye know, whi­che vnfaynedly loue Christe hys king­dome, that these men are dryuen to op­p [...]gne holye matrimony by no trewe loue of chastitie, but alonelye by the feruent desyre to retayne theyr tyran­nye, and licentious libertye into al the fylthye excesse of lyfe.

But referrynge these thynges to ye [Page] [...]uste iudge, let vs go one withe the la­ste place of oure defense, concernynge the trew interpretatyon of this place of the Apostle.i. Co. vij Neuerthelesse he that purposeth surely in hys harte, and ha­the no nede, but hathe power ouer his owne wyll, and hathe this decreede in hys herte to kepe hys virgyn, dothe well. But before I come to ye interpre­tation of thys place,Uvhat thynges were in cōtrouersye bet­wext Uvyn­chester & Bucer in▪ theyr commu­nication together I wyl brefely tou­che vpon what occasyon we came into disputation therof. Uvynchester recy­teth this truely of our disputatiō, how he began that, concernynge ye cōmune principles & way (whereby euery man may be ouercome) of ye places, which in our relygyon are in cōtrouersy. Thys also is no lesse trew, yt I iudged & cōfuted it to be not only [...] ▪ but also playne false, for because he denied yt we had any principles & sure reasō at hād, whereby we might declare the de­cres of our religion to be trew, & con­fute the cōtrary. For I had at hand ready, whiche I layde agaynst him, name­lye that ye scripture inspired frō aboue, is ynoughe to do bothe: as the holye [Page] goost him self hath witnessid by Paul. But when Uvynchester had brought for excuse,The cō ­futation of ye pa­pistes obiectiō yt say e­uery mā maye wreste & writ ye scriptu­res, not regar­dynge ye old fa­thers of ye chur­che, to what sē ­se he thi­keth beste. this which is a cōmune [...] he in the mouthe of the aduersaries to the trew doctrine: that euerye mā ge­ueth what sense to the holy scriptures he lystethe, and that the interpretation of the olde auncient fathers is no mo­re se [...]t bye: I answered again that such as want not the faithe of Christe, and the zeale to imitate Gods worde, haue an easelye demonstration by Goddes scriptures bothe what they should fo­lowe and what eschewe in Christes re­ligyon: and also that they may obtay­ne without greate paynes the trewe fense of scripture▪ as moche as belon­geth to the necessarye doctryne of our helthe, whiche after prayer make in­quisition by the true desyre & study of godlynes for the trewe sense and mea­nynge of the scriptures, and by those wayes onelye, wherby in other writ­tynges the opinyon of authours is to be searched for, when there ryseth any doubte therof. But he wolde haue the matter broughte to thys conclusyon, [Page] that whatsoeuer the rulars apointe cō cernynge religyon,Uvyn­chesters horrible principle yt mans lawes are iust­ly pony­shed with greater punysh­mēt thā Godes, whā thei are transgressed. the same euery mā shoulde followe. And vpon thys we fell in disputation about the power of rulars in suche matiers as belonge to relygyon: and therin we spent not the leaste parte of oure communication, bicause Uvinchester tooke vpon hym to defende, that rulars d [...] wel when they punyshe the transgressyon of theyr owne lawes more sharpelye, then the transpressyon of Gods lawe. And when they make it an offense worthye deadlye punyshmente, yf any within the sext weake, eat the flesshe of foure feted beastes, and byrdes, in lyke ma­ner as the flesshe of fyshe: or yf a preest or monasticall parson marye a wyfe, thoughe in the meane season they full of lecherye and adulterye, and kyllyn­ge them selues, and other with vnmeasurable drynkynge, count it for a sport or play.

And vpon thys we fel in disputati­on concernynge the iniquitie and wic­kednes of that lawe whiche forbiddeth preestes to marye, the ryght and powr [Page] of ye which lawe to reueng & se kept he wolde ascribe vnto princes vpon this. Bicause they haue no lesse right and power, ouer their subiectes, then the father hathe ouer his dowghter.Uvyn­chesters argumēt The fa­ther may kepe his dough­ter a­gaynste her wyll vnmaryed: ther­for may rulars lefully [...]ōstrain preestes to cha­stitie. And therfor as the father hath that power that he may kepe his dowghter vnma­ried yf he wil: So is it also in the hāde of princes to make preestes kepe them selues chaste, and to fe them fulfill the same, after they haue on [...] promissed it▪ There I obiected vnto hym the con­traction of this power, which the holy gooste expressid in thes wordes: And hathe no nede, but hathe they powere ouer his owne will. For seinge no mā can haue anie power ouer anie man, without it be to the edif [...]ng of Godli­nes, I saide, that the father hathe no power geuen him of God to kepe his dowghter vnmaried: without he per­ceaue, that it is & shalbe for his doughters furtherance & vpon that, ordayn somthinge for her wherbye she maye serue God more conuenientlye and fittlye: yf not, that the father hathe not so moch power in this behalfe to kepe [Page] hys doughter a virgyn, as he hath ra­ther necessitie to marye her. There Uvynchester denyed that the father hathe necessitie to marye hys dough­ter, of the doughter her selfe, and then he cam in, withe hys fayned matter, concernynge the tenuite and smalle portyon of substaunce, whiche somty­me constrayneth parentes to marye theyr dowghters. But I stooke in thys vndoubted pryncyple of holye scripture, that the father [...] haue no power to kepe hys doughter, excepte he perceaue it to be for her profyt. Yf he feareth that it wyll chaunce other­wyse, that he hathe nede to marye her, ouer whome he hathe the gouer­naunce in steade of her GOD, that trewe father, as farre as her profitte extendeth.

Thys when Wynchester had bely­ke wayed more exactely with him self, he sent a wrytynge vnto me, wherein he interpreted thys clause, (And ha­the no nede) as before I recyted [Page] hys wordes of the necessitie to marye the dowghter, whiche eyther riseth of that, that he can not easely fynde her a husbande, eyther that is alleaged by the couenauntes of wedlock. Uvherin before thys he brought also this glose, that Paul in thys place answereth of the virgyn nowe betrothed by the fa­ther, & not cleane fre Uvherof he spake not a worde in oure communication together lyke as he hath fayned it of hym selfe alone without anye author. In thys behalfe Uvynchester writeth that I answered hym beynge trobled in mynde with moche stammerynge & stutrynge, and therfore had great maruayll at me. But coniecture you your selues (most worthy people) what tro­ble or stammerynge myghte let me in thys behalfe to answer Uvynchester. For what thynges in our communica­tion came into hys mynde and mouth, ye maye easelye coniecture, for so moch as he clothed them afterwarde withe wrytynges depely purposed for. The whiche nowe after what sorte they are and howe groundlye Uvynchester [Page] hathe proued them, let vs marke dili­gentlye.

First he castethe in ower tethe that of this oure interpretatiō, of ye necessitie to marye the dowghter (which the father is constrayned to do, yf he per­ceaue that his dowghter is called and geuen to mariage, and not to chastitie) we be the onlie authores, and that it is oure inuētion and fayninge.

Secondarily that it is very foolesh, absurde, and nothinge agreable withe the Apostles▪ wordes, [...] con­trarye to them, In fine that it is suche an interpretation which yf it take pla­ce it must nedes be graunted yt Paule vsed an obscure wrappynge together of wordes, and nothynge pertaynyng to the matter he wolde entreat of, and that he caste forthe or [...]abled wordes in vayne, and without sense.

Thys doth Uvynchester lay agaīst oure interpretation in hys fyrste im­printed writynge against me. The lat­ter two obiections he goith aboute to proue, but with what argumentes we shall se hereafter. Fyrste he counteth [Page] it sufficient, that he hathe onely made obiection agaynst vs, saynge he alle­aged the gloses of Photius and Oeco­menius whiche haue interpreted thys clawse (and hathe no nede) otherwyse For all that Photius, as I afore sayd, alleaged oure interpretation, and de­clareth it to belonge no lesse properlye to thys place of Paule, as soone after we will shewe.

But that the vanitie of Uvynche­sters fyrst obiection, may more play­nelye manyfeste it selfe, wherewith he laythe agaynste vs, that the same in­terpretation, whiche we alleaged he­re is oure owne inuention and fay­nynge, we thynke conuenyent to brin­ge forthe of thys owre interpretatyon not the authores (for the verye author therof is the holy ghooste, of whose wordes we gathered it) but the mete & ayte witnesses of the old auntient antiquitie of the church, whiche folowin­ge the same authore gaue the self same interpretation also vpon Saynt Pau­les wordes.

S. Am­brose.Saynt Ambrose therfore vpon this [Page] (Yf any man thinke it vncomelye for his virgyn, yf she passe the tyme of mariage, &c.) for so he interpreted this place of Paule, after he had spoken diuer­se thynges before his interpretation, after other thynges writ thus also. Yf therfore anye virgyn be in desyre of mariage, now rype for a man, the A­postle teacheth here that it is better she marye openly agreable with the lawe, then priuately do it dishonestlye, and so turne to her shame. And vpon these the Apostles wordes (neuerthelesse he that hathe stedfa [...]y appoynted in his harte, and hath no nede &c.) he writ so. This he sayth, that who so hath a vir­gyn, whiche hathe no mynde to mary, shoulde kepe her: and not lay vnto her the playster of matrimonye, whome he perceaueth hathe no mynde to ma­rye.

Truely in these expositiōs ye se cle­rely howe S. Ambrose also ment that the Apostle wolde here teache, that it is the offyce of a good and GOD­lye father to consyder the disposition and wyll of hys doughter: and yf he [Page] perceaue her to haue a desire to mary, to know yt he hath no powr to kepe her but hathe rather nede to se her mary­ed and so behouethe it to be done, least the doughter haue therebye occasyon to fall. But yf he se that hys dough­ter hath no mynde to marye, that he shoulde then kepe her, and in no wyse laye the plaister of mariage vnto her, but minyster all necessaryes accordyn­glye, wherebye she may kepe her vir­ginite to Christe oure Lorde. And in thys commentaryes which are assery­bed to S. Hierom, we reade, vpon this (And so ought it to be done) yf it shall so be requysite for the doughters wyl: For the parentes ought to kepe her, vntyl she come to her leful age, and to instrucie her to the better. But yf she wyl not, let that be done whiche muste nedes. And vpon thys (notwithstan­dynge he that hathe stedfastlye apoynted in hys harte &c.) he hath stedfastly apoynted, whose virgines agremente establyssheth the wyl of the father: and the necessitie of the doughter cōpelleth hym not to do, that she wolde. And [Page] therfor it is playne, that this same in­terpreter sawe the same thynge in the Apostles wordes that we do. To say, that the pore to kepe and necessitie to marye the virgin consisteth in the con­dition and will of the virgyn.

The self same thynge vpon these wordes of Paul, and in a maner in the same wordes dyd saynte Primasyus the Bysshop of Utica and disciple of Saynt Austyne writte.S. Pri­masius. For thys (and so oughte it to be done) he interpreted on thys sorte.Necessi­tie for ye wyl of ye mayden So must it nedes be for the necessitie of the damsell. And this. (He that hath stedfastly appoynted in hys harte) He hath stedfastly appoyn­ted▪ whose wyll is establysshed by the wyll and mynde of the doughter.He byd­deth euery man to take counsail of hys fleshe what he can sus­tayne. The same also he writteth in thys place. Yf euery man confer this matter withe hys flesshe, and seeth that he can not kepe hys virginite, let hym marye, lest in playinge the adulterer he dishonest hym selfe.

In lyke maner concerning the dou­ghter, yf she wyll, let that be done whi he muste nedes.

[Page] The lat­ter interpreters agre al­so.In the same meanynge dyd Tho­mas Aquinas, and the ordinarye glo­se, and Nycolas Lyranus expound the­se the Apostles wordes: and Erasmus Roterodamus, who in the interpreta­tion of the same place a [...]ded this also. That mariage is a lefull thynge, ho­neste, and for some necessarye.

Nowe let vs marke Photius his o­ther interpretation vpon thys same place of Paule, whome Uvynchester hathe brought forthe agaynste me, as a chiefe witnesse of the olde antiquitie. He added thys, after hys fyrste inter­pretation, concernynge the necessitie to kepe the virgyn.

Notwithstandynge this sentense (And hathe no nede) may be otherwy­se taken, and no lesse properlye, that he hathe no nede to do the contrarye to hys doughters wyll. For yf he se the disposition of hys doughter to be so that he muste nedes geue her to mari­age, he ought not to kepe her a virgin: and so compell her to do the contrarye agaynste her inclination and wyl. For [Page] virginitie is a thynge vuluntarye and not vnuoluntary. For yf she be kept a virgyn agaynste her will, and encly­neth to the euill parte, she excuseth her self, and laythe the cause of her fall v­pon hym that constrayned her to kepe her virginite. This sayth Photius.

Here I beseche you, what one thing of all those thynges, whiche I haue written aboute thys place, do ye [...]ot se expressed? Dothe not thys interpreter also euidently witnesse, that to haue no nede, is as moche, as the father is not constrained by his doughter to marye her? And that the father oughte to make diligent inquisitiō for those thin­ges, yt are in hys doughter, [...], that is the disposition of her nature and inclination of her mynde: and not agaynst her mynde to kepe her a virgin.

But when Uvynchester forcaste with hym selfe at the fyrste dashe, that I wolde obiecte thys vnto hym pre­uentynge my obiection writteth, that he graunteth howe Photius [Page] iudgement is that a man shoulde not kepe his virgin against her will. But by what meanes (saith he)? bicause she is not called? No, not so. But, bissope, what is this to your purpos [...]? Though for all that, when Photius commaun­dethe to consider suche thinges as per­taine to the dowgther the disposition of her nature & inclinatiō of her mind, trulie he willethe to haue a respecte in the virgin bothe vnto her gyft, & also vnto her vocation: as it is manifeste. Inoughe by the forsainges, & herafter I will make it more plaine. But that Uvynchester cōtended in oure cōmu­nication,Uvyn­chester wil haue that the father may tangle hys dough­ter in ye snare of virgini­tye. was this: Seinge the father hathe right by this place of Paul to kepe his virgin agaynst her will, and to tangle her in the snare of virginitie whiche Paul wolde not do (For thes are his wordes, in his hande writinge vnto me) It is also in the princes hāde to tangle anie of his subiectes whō he will, be they neuer so lothe, in the sna­re of chastitie. Doth not Photius such and olde and laudable interpreter of Paul (in wynchesters opiniō) planilie [Page] speake againste this fained glose? For he sheweth very plainlye how the Apostle teacheth here that the father ought not to kepe his doughter a virgin a­gainst her wyll, nor to constrain her a­gainste the dissposition of her nature & inclination of her will. And that virgi­nitie is a thinge voluntarie and not vn­uoluntarie. And if anie interprise to geue his virgin an occation, that she sinne that shal not be imputed vnto her, but to him whiche hathe vp compultion constraned her to leade suche a kinde of lyfe.

It is therfor manifeste that so farr as the gift and vocation extendeth, Photius maketh therin, against Uvin­chester, with vs, bycause he acknow­leged that the holy ghost teached herebye his Apostle, how the father ought not to tangle his vnwillynge dough­ter in the snare of virginitie, and that he should measure the steadfastnes of his iudgement concerning the keaping of his doughter, by her cōdition & will, though she be weake of age and kynde. And that it can not therfor be conclu­ded [Page] by this place of Paul, that anie potestate of the worlde hathe anye ryght to tangle anie of his subiectes in the sna­re of chastitie. And fynally that Uvī ­chester scorneth no lesse his Photius and other moste holye fathers & trewe interpreters of the Apostle, then vs, for so much as he writeth. Speake Bu­cer whens cōmeth steadfastnes?Uvin­chesters scoffin­ges. sholde he (yow beinge the author) take coun­saile of the mayden whiche is weake both in kinde & age? And in his hand writinge vnto me: The father had nede to be a cunninge phisitian, and verye well practysed that sholde fynde by the behauioure of his doughters body, maners, or wordes som thinge, wherby he may stedfastlye determine and apoint in his harte about the keapinge of her a virgin,Photiꝰ will ha­ue ye giftes & vo­catiō of God cō sidered. without all ieopardie of for­nication. But now let vs se whether Photius willeth not, that the Apostle commaunded the father to consyder Gods gift and vocation in his dough­ter, for so moch as he graunted, that he commaunde the father to beholde and marke suche thinges as belonge to his [Page] doughter, & the disposytion of her nature and inclination of her minde. Truly he expounded Paul and was no pelia­gian as I suppose. And so seinge the Apostle in this selfe same chapter ma­keth it the peculier gift of God & cer­taine vocation to take chastitie or matrimonie vpon one godlye, how shold not Photius also acknowledg that the in­clination of the doughters nature and intention of her minde to eyther kinde of lyuinge, is ye gift of God which he hath geuen to the doughter for her vo­cation? For what hast thow (said the Apostle) which yu hast not receaued?

But what nede so moche a do about so vngodly and wrangling schoolyshe brawlynges? For whether (I beseche yow) shold a godly father consyder in his doughter sooner such thinges as a­re vitions of her selfe, and pernicy­ous, layd vnto her by the dyuell, or such helthsome thynges as are geuen her of GOD, from whom proce­dethe all good gyft? Sholde the God­lye father count it temerious desyre or [Page] [...]upiditie in his mayden, or rather whi­ther as Gods wyll calleth her who le [...] de [...]h so his children with his spirite, & so bringeth to effect in them to wyll & to do that that is good, that euerye mā may be the more certain of his voca­tion and others that belong vnto him, yf he searche Godlie for it after praier and obserue the tokens and apointmē ­tes of the same.

And so by this it is manifeste that the interpretation whiche we alleaged vpon this place of Paule (And hath no nede) is knowen and geuen as the verye proper and peculier interpreta­tation both by ye Apostles very words and also by the trew author therof, the holye ghost, and taken of all that inter­terprete it anye thinge to the purpose both olde and newe: Yea and euen of Photius him selfe whom Uvinchester brought against vs with suche a supercelyous and proude preiudice, as a wit­nesse of all the olde antiquitie.Uvin­chesters mani­fest vanitie.

Therfor let Uvinchester acknow­lege him selfe her of to be conuict not onlye of a moste impudent lye, seinge [Page] he dare write, that we are thonlye au­thores of this interpretation, and that it is oure inuention and faiuinge: but also to be a detestable babler and railer against the trewthe, and the reuerent antiquitie of holye fathers for bycawse thos his scoldinges and raylinges (of a foolyshe interpretation, colde peruerse not agreable to the Apostles wordes, and cleane con [...]ye to them) be longe no lesse to them then to vs, who gaue ye selfe same interpretation vpon this place, as we do.

Now therfor let vs se with what ar­gument Uvinchester went about to shew that she's his reproches sticke in this interpretation, whiche is no more ours, then his Photius and all holye fathers that were ye beste interpreters of Paul. [...]elyke he hath suf [...]ycientlye declared it to be a colde interpretation absurde, foolyshe and vnworthie for an Apostle, by thes argumentes.

It appeareth not (saith he) yf we re­ceaue this sense what ambiguitie or doubt the Apostle made plaine here with so manie wordes and so waighty [Page] (Yf anie think that it is vncomelye for his vyrgin &c.) or to what dowbt he answered the Corinthiās. Nother that there is anie apointed tyme to marye a virgin, or that anye man sholde doubt to kepe his virgin that forsaketh ma­trymonye. Also (he saith) the Apostle myght haue spoken that we interpre­te, yf he had minded to teache it, in more open and lesse wordes, to saye. Let the father kepe his virgin, yf she be dysposed to lyue in her virginitie: Yf not, let hym marye her, wheras (yf we wyll ascribe oure sense to the Apostle) he sholde seeme to haue vsed an obscure tumblynge together of wordes, and farr from the purposed matter, and to speake wordes in vayne and wyth­out sense. On this fassyon doth Uvin­chester reason in two of his writinges, in his hande writinge that he sent me and in the fyrst imprinted.

Now therfor we are put to our shif­tes to shewe bothe to what dowbtfull matter it is lykelye Paule made ans­were, and wyth how apt and mete wordes he dyd the same. Surelye the [Page] holye fathers thought this no strange thinge, nor yet do anye at this day thinke the contrarie, yf they are indued with the cūmune sense, that at the same tyme in the churche of Corinthe, when they sowght for the Apostles mynde in thys behal [...]e, there were not a fewe fathers (of the which sorte diuerse are founde emonge ours) which thought it an vncomelye thinge for them selues, and theyr doughters, and that they did not wel therin, if they kept their doughters at whome longe after they came to the age, mete to be maried▪ For Paule sayth [...] that is, paste theyr yonge age. For they lyued emonge the Heythen, and in a cytie that was so geuen to lecherye and excesse in car­nall pleasures, that thervpon came the prouerbe. It is not for euerie man to visitie Corinthe. And besydes that, certain as yet of the Corinthians had in suche estimation the good wyll, & vi­tious iudgementes of the citisyns, and their frindes whiche were also of the Heythen, that they communycated of their Idolatrous sacrifices. And as yet [Page] had suche peruerse iudgementes con­cerninge trew chastitie, that they had nede of admonissyon, how Christian men, and specyallye so manie, sholde [...]e fornication, and that it did expell them owt of Gods kingdom. And fur­thermore who dowbteth that there was at Corinthe emonge the holyeste men, whiche fearinge the iudgement of god thē ye iudmēt [...]g of ye cōmune peo­ple, supposed to be vndecent for them & their doughters to kepe theer dough­ters past ye age, when as they be ready to mariage, other for fear of the vice whiche might be offerid vnto thē, or els for ye shame, wherby their good report might be blemisshed, and speciallye in suche a lycentious citie.

And therfor who seeth not that of lykelyhood ther was verye moche dowbt and more then behoues, emonge the Corinthians, about the keaping of their doughters in their virginitie, af­ter the tyme of mariage, whiche the A­postle ought by his doctrine to put out of dowbt, in the teachinge how they may kepe their doughters Godly, vir­gines, [Page] or marie them. Therfor there is nothinge at all accordinge to our inter­pretation in this the Apostles answere whiche maye seme to be in vaine, and written for a iuste & necessary cawse.

As moch appearethe therin, that it shold seme to be spoken subtyllye, ob­scurely or not aptlye and fyttlye to the matter. The Apostle preached to very manie the holy [...]es and comodities of chastitie, so that it may seme therby (as Ambrose writ vpō this place) that wedlocke is vnprofitable and nothing to be regarded. Lyke as therfor he did in his firste answeres written in this chapter, so wolde he do in this answere also, yt is to saye, to take dilygent hede to the estimation and vse of holye matrymo­nye, and to teache by what deuotion the trew and exceptable chastytye vnto God sholde be taken and preserued. For he sawe before in speryte yt cruell ruinge and destruction of the churche, which Sathan had brought in to it by the preposterous and superstytyous praysynge of chastitie.

He writ therfor. Yf anie man count it [Page] litle honestie for him selfe & his dough­ter, other for the fore iudgemētes of o­ther men, or in his owne iudgement, namelye bicawse he standeth in fere, that other vice or reproche will fall vpō his doughter to kepe his doughter after ye tyme, when as they are counted mete to be maried and behoueth so to be, let him do what he lysteth, he synneth not, let her be coopled in matrimonie. In thes wordes when he added. And behoueth so to be, did he [...]ot euidentlye te­ache, that the father owght to haue a religious respect of his iudgement, and ye Godlye, and also to ponder circonspectlye agreable to the word of God, what God hath apointed for his doughter, But whē he added this also (he sinneth not let her be coopled in matrimonye) therbye he confyrmed the holie estima­tion and Godly vse of mariage, wher­of to be diligently admonisshed, if they had no nede to whom he wrate at that present tyme, yet he sawe before that their posteritie sholde haue. For he knewe he had the destribution of Gods worde, and doctrine, wherby the God­lye [Page] sholde be instructed and gouerned vnto the ende of the worlde. Uvherfor he admonished suche as entended to kepe their doughters virgines, in manye wordes, who (so he saith) ha [...]he surelye purposed in his harte, and hath no ne­de &c. Uvherbye he taught how de­voutly the father owght to enquire whether God hath ordained & iudued his doughter with his giftes to God­lye virginitie, and whether he hath ge­uen him power to kepe his doughter, or offerithe him rather necessitie to ma­rie her, wherupon it behoueth not ra­shlye and without anie aduisement of his owne, or his doughters affection or persuasyon to decer [...]e, but owght ra­ther to iudge by Chrystes worde and spirite in his harte, to say, po [...]deringe wiselye and Godlye all thinges and cyrcunstances, that he may stande sure­lye in his purpose befor God, his con­sciens not accusynge him, that he hath apoynted that of his doughter, whiche by no meanes cōduceth to gods glory & ed [...]fiynge of the church. Uvhiles ther­for we interprete thees the Apostles [Page] wordes on this maner, what I beseche yow, may seme there, specially to god­lye men not to be written playnly euy­dentlye, to the purpose and Godlye? But though Uvinchester supposethe that thes wordes of the Apostle, want their trewe and right sense, and seme foolyshe and vnmete for the purpose, yet wyll they neuer iudge it, which are indued with ye spyrite of Christe, and a pure mynde.

He myght haue expressid this sentē ­se (saithe Uvinchester) if he had myn­ded to teache the same in fewe wordes, and mete for the matter he had in hā ­de. Let him therfor shew him selfe what according to oure interpretation, is su­perstuous in them, or disagreeth to the matter he intreated vpon. Not onlye we perceaue no such thinge, but also so manye moste holye fathers and mete interpreters of ye Apostle sawe no such thinge. Herof therfor it may be sufficiē ­lye knowen with what vngodlye ma­lepertnes Uvinchester hath spitefully reproched, that this not so moch oure interpretation, as all the holye fathers, [Page] and his Photius is, & therfor hitherto his own also, is verie foolish, colde, obs­cure, and which maketh the holye ghos­tes wordes to be frustrated, and spokē in vaine, and without sense.

Now let vs throughlye marke whe­ther in thes the Apostles wordes, takē after this oure interpretation and the holye fathers, there seme to be anye [...], or owght contrary to it self. For that will Uvinchester haue to ap­peare by thes his two gloses. The one is that Paul saith: Notwithstanding [...] if anie haue purposed surelye in his hart, but ther can be nothing stedfastly apoī ted by the father, concerning his doughter? Yf he ought to take into his coun­sayl her waueringe condition and wyl, and speciallye seinge we saye that no man at all, can at anie tyme knowe for a certaintie whether he him selfe be cal­led to perpetuall chastitie. The other is yf the father folowe Gods vocation in his doughter, whether he shold apoint, to kepe her or to geue her to matrimo­nye, he shold euer haue necessitie of his iudgemēt, & neuer y fre power of hys [Page] will, so that it sholde neuer be verifyed of him. And hath no power, when he must of necessitie folowe the vocation of God. Unto the first scholishe reason we answere, that in verie dede no mā, and moche lesse the mayde beinge a virgin, can for a suretie know by him self, what God hath apointed of him, no not so moch as at the tyme presēt, moch lesse for the tyme to come or for euer. But such as vnfainedly pray vnto god that he wolde vowchesafe to teache thē to knowe and in all pointes to folowe his will, and to lead them in his pathes thos doth not the moste bountifull fa­ther suffer to stycke in anye doubtfull deliberations,God maketh stedfaste the condici­ous of his. but openeth vnto them (as the spalmiste declareth) and teache them his wayes and pathes. For the lorde guideth the gentle in the iudge­ment, and teacheth the meeke his wa­yes. O who is he? The mā I saye, that feareth the lorde, for he wyll teach him the waye whiche he hath chosen. But this benefit of God and all other thin­ges, muste be sowght and prayed for with Godlie studye and holy praiers. [Page] Therfor the Christian father inten­dinge to prouide for his dowghter, whi [...]he now is not so moche his as Gods, firste of all callinge vpon the spirite of Christe by him selfe and his doughter, withal his housholde, & with the whol­le churche (for out [...]ept he estable she ye iudgement of the father, what so euer he ordain shalbe variable and vnstead­faste) shall trie owt with most Godlye ernestnes, what condition she is of, and what is her entēt, and what giftes she hath receiuid of God, and what not, so that herupon God him selfe maye she­we to whether kinde of lyfe he hath called his doughter. And when the father prayeth, and maketh inquisitiō one this maner to knowe and to accomplishe what so euer God him selfe will haue done with her, God oure moste bouti­full father will graunt that he shall so determine of his doughter, and apoint the thinge whiche like as God hath a­pointed and ordained it before, so must it nedes be to the furtherance & honesty both of the father and of his doughter. And yt will God hī selfe make so firme [Page] and steadfaste, yt ye doughter shal serue him in the stedfaste sanctitie of her bo­dye and sowle, albeit she be weake and of an vncertaine purpose of her selfe. For ye lordes counsaille endureth for e­uer,Psal. 39. & establissheth the worke him selfe, what so euer he worketh in his, that it maye continue for their furtherans to the verie ende. And so God will make fyrme and stedfaste holye chastite also, in all them whom he hath called ther­unto, so long as it shalbe to their furte­rance. When it beginneth to be to ye cō ­trarie, it is their dutie to follow God yt calleth them, and at his cōmaundement to make a permutatiō of the vnmaried state with holye matrimonye, and he wil not any man̄ of vnstedfastes or any other vice, especially emonge the chil­dren of God. For they whom God iustifieth and glorifyeth are wonte to be condemned, and to be mocking stockes to the men of this worlde.

Thes thinges may Uvynchesters holynes and stedfastnes now mocke & scorne at his pleasure, yet do such as in yt trew obediēce of god, studie for trew [Page] holynes and stedfastnes, place all their tymes,Psalm. xxxi. Ps lxxiij Ps. Cxi▪ and momentes of lyfe in the hande of the Lord, vnto hym thei stret­che forth theyr ryght hand, and permit themselues to the vttermoste to be go­uerned in all thynges by hys counsay­le, and at all tyme, and the constance & stedfastnes of al theyr counsayles and dedes they demaunde of hym, whose commaundementes are al stedfaste, & sure for euermore.

Thes thynges therfor who so god­ly ponder, shall knowe sufficientlye, yt there is nothynge in oure interpreta­tion vpon thys place of Paul, whiche dothe not manifestlye condescend and agre with those the Apostles wordes, wherewith he requyreth, that the fa­ther shoulde appoynte and iudge sted­fastlye in his harte about the keapyng of hys doughter.

But for so muche as Uvynchester now agayne playeth the blynde sophi­ster about the necessitie of the fathers decree, because the father, after oure interpretatyon, whiche requyreth that he folowe the vocation of the Lorde, [Page] should euermore haue the necessitie of doynge, a [...]d neuer the power ouer his owne wil, because the holy father must nedes folowe Gods vocation in hys doughter, these thynges ye se your sel­ues howe vnworthy they are, that we shoulde speake moche of them. For yf the father perceaue that his doughter is called to chastitie, hathe he then any necessitie to marye her? But fre power he hath to kepe her a virgin. On the contrary parte, Yf he know, she is cal­led to holy wedlock hath he any nede to kepe her a virgyn? But he hath fre po­wer to marye her althoughe in verye dede it behoueth, and is necessarye so to be seynge it so pleaseth God. Uvynchester euer sticketh in that erroure, as thoughe all necessitie shold fight with fre wyll because yt necessitie is agaynst the lyberty of the wyl, which hath in it any compultion or force: but no suche necessitie can happen to them, that in trewe faythe folowe Gods worde. For lyke as in God and in the blessed with hym vpon this, there is great ne­cessitie [Page] of ryghte wyl and lyfe, because it is moste fre vnto them,Al necessitie is not a­gaynste fre wyll but that necessi­tye only which is of com­pultion. and all wyll of good and ryght is moste plesaunt so in the faythe of Christ, and in the de­des of faythe, wherbye we haue here a lytle taste to lyue a heauenly and holy lyfe, there is so moche the more fre and glad wil, as the necessitie of trueth and goodnes is more abundaunt in them, that is to saye, a more pure and per­fect action of God. It is a requysite thynge vnto helthe to loue God: and who so knoweth hym perfectly of ne­cessitie also loueth God. But vpon that who maye saye, that they that be­leue in God, loue God agaynst theyr wyll, and haue not, as a fre wil so also fre power to loue God? He that is borne of God, can not synne, doth he ther­for abstayne from synne beyng cōstrained, or hathe he not fre power to do well? But here of we entende to spea­ke more in oure iuste defense agaynste Uvynchesters quarellynges.

Notwithstandynge those thynges we haue nowe spoken are sufficient to thentent, thys maye be seene, that it [Page] commeth not to passe by thys Uvyn­chesters faynynge the propriete and difference emonge them selues of these voyces, and matters of power and ne­cessitie, that anye thynge is contayned in oure interpretation, which in al poī ­tes is not agreable and consentient to the Apostles wordes and meanynge. And so it is manifest that those Uvin­chesters raylinges, of a colde interpre­tation, folyshe, peruerse, and not agre­ynge, but fyghtynge with the Apost­les wordes, be all founde in hys owne gloses: and that not one of them maye cleaue or sticke in the enar [...]atyon of thys place, whereof we entreat, which we haue alleaged after so manye holy fathers and approued interpreters of the Apostle. And that Uvinchester hym selfe, and not we is conuict of an vngodly malepertnes against the wordes of the Apostle: and agaynste the auncient antiquitie of the churche, not onelye of a proude despecte and con­tempte, but also of a wicked detractiō, and yll reporte.

The cō ­clusyon.Thus muche I thought beste to an­swere [Page] somewhat at large concernynge the interpretation of this place (yf any thynke it vncomelye for hys virgyn &c.) agaynst Uvynchesters quarellin­ges and sophisticall determinations: because the trewe and naturall vnder­standynge of thys place maketh well to oure instituted defense of Christian libertye, whiche euer extendeth to holy matrimonye, as well, as to holy chasti­tie: And also, because Uvynchester in thys place braggeth to importunatelye agaynste vs. The matter it selfe con­strayneth me to serue for oure iust de­fense agaynst hys checkes and sophy­strye, those thynges wherin he hathe played the sophyster agaynst the fyue prepositions of Paul, which I noted in my answere vnto Latomus he made in the commendation of chastitie, sy­the our present answere hath stretched so farre.

Notwithstanding I thynke it neces­sary to admonyshe the reader of two places, because that by the proper vn­derstandynge of them, it is very mani­feste, how the holye gooste wolde con­firme [Page] vnto his the lyberty of matrimony, by suche thynges as in the fyrste Epistle to the Corinthians, the .vii. Chapter, he disputed concernynge the maryed and vnmaryed state. And also about the handelynge of these places, Uvinchester maketh great triumphes ouer vs, not yet vanquyshed. The one of those places is, the agremente and exposition of these sentenses. It is not good for a man to be alone, And it is good for a man not to touche a woman The other place is the interpretation of thys saynge: But for to auoyde for­nication let euery man haue hys wyfe. &c.

It is not good for a mā to be aloneConcernyng therfore the first place, Uvynchester blameth vs, because we affyrme, that the saiynge of the Lorde, whiche he spoke of Adam as the parēt of mankynde, and spake it not of euery man, pertayneth to al men, whiche are apte for matrimony: and not called to chastitie. But what man not cleane ignorāt of Christ hys doctryne knoweth not that they whiche are nother vnapt to matrymonye: nor destyned nor cal­led [Page] in mynde nor bodye to the solitary lyfe for the kyngdome of heauens sa­ke, That is to saye, which are compre­hended in no kynd of those men, who­me the Lord hath except from the vocation of holye matrimony (Math. xix.) are (forsomoch as pertayneth to holye matrimony) in the same condition, that Adam was fyrste made in, so that it is not good for thē to passe hys lyfe with out wyues. For because the bountiful God hath called thē to matrimonye, & willeth them to serue hym in thys vo­cation, and not in the vnmaryed lyfe. And so it is good for these, both to tou­che a womā, yf they haue any (as Uvī chester graunteth) and also to take one, Yf they be without, which in lyke ma­ner he must nedes grāt without he wil speake agaynst the holy ghost in these. Yf they can not refrayne, let them be coopled in matrimonye. It is better to marye then to burne. I wyll the yon­ger woman to marye. Albeit the mat­ter be so about y called vnto matrimo­ny, yet because we shal at some tyme [Page] be lyke vnto the Angels of God,It is good for a mā not to touch a womā clea­ne without matrimonye, and the holye ghoost pronounced thē so moch the mo­re blessed, which by the holye chastitie drawe nerer vnto thys felicitie. Uvhy shoulde we not as wel say, that it is a good thynge by it selfe for euery man, not to touche a woman for the kyng­dome of heauens sake. Yf we marke yt vniuersall condition, and not the voca­tion in thys lyfe, yf it be to matrimo­nye?

Lyke as Paule sayde it was moche better for hym to be lowsed, and so to be with Christe, To saye, whan he sa­we throughlye hys vniuersall vocati­on, and the lyfe euerlastyng recouered by Christ, and yet incontinently after he added to thys hys saynge.Phil. i But to abyde in the fleshe, is more nedeful for you, and therfor hitherto also better, namely for hys vocatyon, and the worke of the helthe of many, whiche the Lord intended to do by thys his Apostle. And so that whiche the Apostle thou­ght to be of it selfe better and more to be desyred, he acknoweleged was not [Page] so good, because of the tyme, & cōmaundement of God, as the contrarye, and in so doynge he requyreth it the more, but yet for hys owne tyme onlye, by so muche as he knewe it to be more necessary, to saye more acceptable to god and greater furtheraunce vnto men.As anye thyng is more neces­sary, so is it to ye godly more voluntary So dothe necessitie and fre will agre together, as I foresayd, in matters of faythe.

These thynges I desyre the (moste Christian reader) to loke vpon more narrowlye, and then iudge thy selfe yf altogether after the same maner the vnmaryed lyfe. Yet in no wyse y for the, whiche Wynchester fyghteth so stoutlye, but the Godlye and angely­call to saye, whiche al together ser [...]eth with great diligence to promote & ad­uaunce Christe hys kyngdome by the pure holynes of the body and spirite [...] be not of it selfe more to be desyred for of all GODS electe, and ther­for better, then the maryed lyfe, becau­se it conteyneth a more full meditation and taste of the heauenly lyfe, then do­the the other? Notwithstandyng, seyn­ge God wyl dayly prolonge & brynge [Page] vp men, euē vnto the very ende of this worlde, and that by the ministerye of hys sayntes, whiche may here also call vpon, and glorifye hym, euery one of hys sayntes, whome God hath cal­led to the maryed lyfe, maye well saye with the Apostle. I wold wyshe truly beynge delyuered of the bonde of ma­trimonye, to stycke without separation vnto my God, and to aduaūce and for­nyshe hys kyngdome, to serue hym so moche the more diligently and holilye, and thys shoulde be moche better: but sythe I se the other to be more necessa­ry, because it is my Goddes pleasure (vpon whome alone dependeth to be good and profytable, whatsoeuer is ly­ke therevnto) that I shoulde serue my God vnder the yoke of matrimonye, hsy wyl be done, and let hym graunt, that in thys condityon of lyfe, whiche is harder & fuller of calamitie, I maye performe my ministerye acceptable vnto hym, and helthsome to hys chur­che.

Uvhat I beseche you, of those thyn­ges which be lōg to trauayle & paynes do we herin confounde or meddle to­gether [Page] with suche thynges as belōg to y ende [...] rewarde. Uvherof Uvynche­ster accuseth me, what new thynge do we bryng, or what vnconuenient? what finally which agreeth with no place of scripture, or disagreeth in one iote with the doctryne of holy fathers? Yet how arrogātly & bitterly doth this Byshop here delude and stor [...]e me for this in­terpretation and agrement of thes recited places.Let eue­ry man haue his wyfe. He dyd thesame, & trustyng to as vayn lyes in this, because I interpreted this: But to auoyde fornication Let euery man haue his wife: let euery man take a wyfe, as the precept of ha­uynge is as moch in thes the Lordes saynges.Marc. i and .ix Haue confydens. Se that ye haue salt in your selues. For Uvynchester wyll haue thys word (haue) to ha­ue as moche strengthe as, Let hym kepe her, and vse her whiche he hathe nowe already. In dede there wante not here to Uvynchester authores of thys hys interpretatyon of the ho­lye fathers: as of hsy coniecture also, whiche he followeth, about the questi­on of the Corinthiās, whereunto Paul in this place maketh answere. But Uvyn­chester [Page] knoweth also thys, that by the authoritie of the holye fathers there cā no rule of faythe be authorysed or ap­poynted: nor yet any interpretation of scripture, whiche all men ought of ne­cessitie to receaue. He knoweth also, yt the demonstration of oure opinyon cō ­cernyng chastitie consisteth not vpon the interpretation of this worde (haue) nor yet vpon the coniecture of the que­stion of the Corinthians. The princi­ples wherevpon it consisteth I haue here to fore recited: they remayne vnto vs vnlyfted at, whatsoeuer he hath cō ­cernynge the question of the Corinthi­ans, or the proper sense of this precept. For to auoyde fornication, let euerye man haue hys wyfe. The trew and na­turall interpretation of the whiche I haue graunted to hange vpon the que­stion of the Corinthyans, whereunto the Apostle in thys place purposed to make answere: but what thys questiō shoulde be, it must be coniectured by the Apostles answeres: for a certany­tie it can not be knowen. But Uvyn­chester declareth openly as it were for a suretye, that the Corinthians were [Page] in a doubt,Uvyn­chesters hold af­firmans in a doubt­ful mat­ter. whether it were leful for a Christian to cleaue styl vnto hys wyfe which he maried before his Christiani­tie, and that they requyred of the Apostle to be instructed therof: and hath no other reason of thys hys coniecture, but that the Lorde sayd. Who so forsa­keth no theyr parentes, wyfe, and chil­dren, can not be hys discyples, and su­che lyke thynges concernynge the con­tempte of the world and this present lyfe: and that through these the Lordes saynges the Corinthyans conceaued suche a feruent burnynge to the vn­maryed lyfe, that they were in doubte of matrimonye, whether it myghte be kepte in Christianitie: here haue ye the reason and cause of Uvynchesters cō ­iecture. But confer ye thys with those the Apostles reprehentions and admonicions, wherebye he noted the Corin­thians of very great negligence in kea­pynge the trewe chastitie of the lyfe, & in dryuynge a waye, and expellyng frō them manifeste vncleannes, fornicatiō, and adulterye. These reprehentions & admonicyons I say, whiche we read in the first Epistle to the Corinth. the .v. [Page] vi. and .vij. chapt. And in the laste the xij. chapt. ponder ye godly and then discerne, what lykelyhode Uvynchester and his coniecture and the cause of his coniecture haue, and iudge howe it a­greeth with suche great desyre of cha­stitie as Uvynchester attributeth vnto them. For yf the Corinthiās vpon tho­se the Lordes saynges, wherin he requireth the forsakynge of wyues, childrē, the whole worlde, and of a mans own lyfe▪ began to be so feruent in the desy­re of the chaste and heauenly life (whi­che glose Uvynchester bryngeth in) yt they shoulde stande in doubt, whether it were leful for a Christian to reserue his wyfe now maryed: how colde they come into so moch lightnes and astoni­yng in christes discipline, yt they had nede to be quickened of the Apostle with such a sharp taunt,i. Cor. v & reprehētiō, yt they shold not suppose suche fornication in theyr churches to be winked at, or dissē bled, as was not hard of emōg the gē ­tiles, yt any should haue his steppe mo­ther to wyfe? & had nede to be taught & admo [...]yshed with so many and so sore argumentes, yt fornication is to be fled [Page] of Christians, & that it separateth thē from Christe, and excludeth them forth of hys kyngdome. Now, after these so sore and quycke reprehentions & admonitions,i. Co. xij the Apostle wrate vnto them, that he feared hym, lest when he returneth to them agayn, God should hum­ble hym, so that he shoulde be dryuen to take vpon hym the sorowe of repen­taunce for them, which dyd no repen­taunce for theyr vncleannes, fornicati­on and wantonnesse, which they cōmit­ted. Is it therfor any thyng likely that they were so by yonde al reason feruēt in the studye of chastitie, that the Apo­stle (as Uvynchester writteth) shoulde bestowe great labour to moderate thē in y feruētnes. May it not moch more probable, that firste there were a fewe in the churche of Corinthe, whiche vn­derstode the makyng chast for the kingdome of heauens sake, and in dede to­ke in hande to receaue it, and were to theyrs the authores that they shoulde take it vpon thē. Then that other as well they whiche were so hardely kept in coupled chastitie, as very many also which by ye misorderīg of thes feared yt [Page] chastitie of others, which began to professe chastitie, were cleane against this new studye of chastitie emonge them, and perceaued thys kynde of lyuynge to be other litle worthy, or not very ex­pedient for Christians. Lyke as not o­nelye the wise men of the world, who­me certayne of the Corinthians as yet yonglynges in Christ, & carnall, made more of, then it behoueth, but also the Hebrues whiche professed the doctrine of God, rebuked chastitie, and praysed matrimony. For the moste auntient e­mong the Hebrues declared them opē ­ly, which remayned vnmaryed after theyr leful age to mary, yf it were not for the cause to learne Gods lawe, to be gilty of the cryme of bloud, sheddinge, and of the diminisshyng of the glo­rye and honour of God emong the people of Israel, and therfor vnworthy to be suffered emōg Gods people. They made so moche of the offyce of beget­tynge children emonge the people of Israel. The wise men emong the Gre­cyans agreynge with thes, were in o­pinyon, that they which were vnmaryed vnto fyue and thyrthye yeres, shold [Page] not only be punisshed by the purse, but also put to shame, & that expressidly, to thentent no man shold do them yt honoure, which is accustomed to be done of ye yonger vnto the elders. By thes caw­ses therfor it is verye lyke, that there arose contentions emonge the Corin­thians about this matter, as they were besydes full of cōtention. And for that cawse the wholl churche though mete to demaunde by epistle of the Apostle whether chastitie, & what chasttite shold be comelye for Christian relygion? In dede the Apostle in this place maketh farr greater a do and tarieth lenger in praysing chastitie then matrimony, for what shold ye prayse therof nede emōge them, whiche were now so feruent in ye studie of chastitie. But for somoch as ye Apostle in thes his answeres passed not matrimonye without commenda­tion, it semeth he did it rather for this cawse, leaste the cōmendation of chastitie (which yet came to passe) sholde be taken in a backewarde sense of their posteritie, then yt the Corinthians had nede at that tyme to be taught, yt matrimonie is lefull and holye, which were [Page] so hardlye persuaded that fornication is vnlefull, and against the holynes & profession of Christians.

Make yow iudgement both of the coniecture & also of the reasons of ye coniectures of them both: yet (for all ye see how moche oure coniectures are more probable, then Uvinchesters) we sticke not vnto them in this cause, but vnto thos clere, and manifestlye pronunced oracles of God, which I haue here to fore recited, and wherupon I haue con­cluded oure demonstrations: Thos yf Uvinchester can, let him disconfecte, & bring forth the perfect foundations of his opinion, not such not trifling sophi­strie, and querelinge scholishe reasons. But he in both his epistles against me braggethe hī self moste in thos places, wherin cōsisteth not the state of the sta­te of the controuersyes betwext vs let­tinge stippe like a valiaunt mā thos ar­gumentes wherupō oure doctrine spe­ciallye consysteth, and the contrarye therof, cleane ouerthrowen.

How he hath also done in the inter­pretation of that place, in the first epistle to ye Corinthiās the xiiij. chap. which [Page] we obiected against Latomus, & other oure aduersaries which go about to addict the faithe of Gods people to the Pope of Rome, and his obnoxious coū sailes, let other geue iudgement, for bi­cause this saing of the Apostle may be vnderstande by ye other prophetes only though it be no necessitie, & oure inter­pretation agre moch more both to Paules wordes, & to the sentēce also, which S. Ambrose in lyke maner taught, that by this place it is graunted to all in ye churche to examine suche thinges as were harde of the prophetes, & to rea­son therin, as S. Ambrose turned this worde [...]. Yet doth Uvī ­chester so scolde and raile against vs bicause we are wont to vnderstande yt of all that here in ye churche, as though he had founde, yt we wold ouerthrowe some principalle article of oure faithe. In ye meane season he maketh not word of the state it selfe of oure controuersy. And though we graunt the authoritye of this place to oure aduersaries, yet with how many euident and vndoub­ted testimonies of scrypture haue weshewed that whyche we conten­de together in this controuersye, to say [Page] that it behoueth euerie Christian mā to knowe & to iudg him self by ye spirite of God, what so euer be offerid him in ye steade of Gods worde or precept, of whom so euer it be offerid, so that eue­rye man shold be truelye instructed of God, & vnfainidly beleue not man, but God, and recken it cursed if an Angell come from heauē and teache yt cōtrary.

And in euerie point after the same fassion he inuaded vs also about the sacrament of thankes geuing & the wor­shippinge of the same. But of thes and other quarellinges of this man I shall in mete place commune at the full, and will shewe what open iniurie he doth me in casting in my teethe both ye strife he had with such as are of oure opiniō about this matter, & also the recantatiō and retractation of the doctrine they at the fyrst defended. Though I haue de­clared vnto the godlie, the wholle drift as it is all to gether cōcerning thes ma­ters, in my e [...]arrations & retractatiōs vpon the Euangelystes.

Now sithe I haue gone somthinge far­ther then the maner of a preface requi­reth, I will ende to confute this mans [Page] quarellinges and sophistries, & will cō ­mit and leaue all thes thinges to youre and all godlye mens iudgemens. And I desyre God & the father of oure lord Iesus Christe, that he wil vowchsafe to iud [...]e with his spirite, and to illumi­ne with the lyght of his gosspell this mans and all other mens mindes whi­che are not so moch aduersaries to vs, as to the kingdom of his son, that they maye in tyme turninge from the hope they put in thē selues, imbrace his son, before his anger waxinge hott against them, they perish owt of the waye.

The same sauiour & oure good shep­herde, kepe and preserue & cumulate with all his heauenly benediction your most redoubted & famous kinge both in godlynes and mightie prowes. The most noble & victorius Protectour of all his realmes. The most godlye and prudēt Archebisshop of Canterburye primate of the churches of Engeland, And all the kinges moste honourable counsaill. And the ministers of both ye administrations Ecclesyastical and politicall, with all the people of Christe, wherbye whē youre churches are ous [Page] cleane reedified, ther may afterwarde some of them be sent to repaire ye chur­ches in manie other natiōs, as in times paste, when in manie places of fraunce and Germanie Christes religion stode well moste in decaye, with ye knowlege of holie scripture & of good artes, your churches gaue the right reuerende fa­ther Beda, Alcuinus, Claudius Iohan Scotus mē of notable religiō & doctrin and befor their tyme Bonifacius, & manie other verie studious (as thos times by the secrete dispensation of God, permitted) repairers of christes churches. That this moste large benefit of God, shall through yow passe through manie regions of Europa, ye feruent loue and vnfeaseable studie of youre Kynge in this age, & puissance of royaltie which he beareth towarde Christes pure re­ligion & good letters, bringeth vnto vs no smale hoope, then that singuler and durable beneuolence of God towardes youre realme, wherbye he hath vow­ched safe to geue yow eft sones kinges which were chefe fauores and no wris­shers of good letters and artes nowe euer sins ye moste prudēt king Sigiber­tus, [Page] whiche abowt ye yere of oure lorde fyrste of al founded & adourned not only ye vniuersitie of Cambrig▪ but also manie other schooles throughe his realme. By ye whiche gift of God the moste prudent & victorious kinge Henry the viij. so excelled that at this daye there is not one realme yt hath more well learned & godlye men in autho­ritie, nor none wherin Bisshops excell in so moche doctrine and puritie of life who so euer my Uvinchester hath not yet made subiect to the crosse of Christ his erudition which he hath verie lar­gely receaued of God.

It is therfor our parte, & all others that beare feruent loue to Christes kingdom continuallye to praye oure father most feruently through his sonn oure lorde Iesus Christe, that it wolde be his pleasure to continewe, & to brīg to passe with lyke prosperitie this his worke, begone emonge yow so luckily the worke of healthe, and not of yowrs onlye, but of manye of Gods Chyldren, throwghe yow the resty­tututyon I meane, of hys Kyng­dome. [Page] [...] [Page] [Page] And to the [...]tent this work [...] with more power incre [...]se, yt [...] [...] preserue, and of [...] [...] with his giftes both your [...] [...] king, and also al his [...] faithfull [...]unsaylers, and ministers [...]n the [...]y [...]ste and ecclesiaticall adminst a [...]. The lorde therfor st [...]re vpe and corroborate with his spirite to praye yt sathe both [...], vs and all his, & ol his mere mercie vowchosafe to geue care vnto oure prayers, So [...]e it.

Ye shall also desyre God and oure father through his sonne oure Lorde Iesus christe with feruent desyres, for vs [...]ermaine [...], that [...]ing he hath mad vs in this tyme the fyrst to spreade a brode and to restore his kingdome he will not permitt vs throughe oure in­gratitude to be the laste in the fruition of the same ben. fy [...].

The Grace of God be with yow all.

Amen. Finis. Yowre humble and daylie oratoure in the Lorde. Martine Bucer.

Imprynted ad London by me Richard Iugge dwelling at the nourth dore of Poules.

Cum Priuilegio, ad imprimendum solum.

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