Two Epystles One of Henry Bullynger, wyth the consent of all the lernyd men of the Church of Tigury: another of Ihon Caluyn, cheffe Preacher of the Church of Geneue: whe­ther it be lawfull for a Chrysten man to communycate or be per­taker of the Masse of the Pa­pystes, wythout offendyng God and hys neyghboure, or not.

i. Corint. x.

They that eate of the sacry­fyce, are partakers of the altare. Vvherfore dearely beloued, fle from the worshyppyng of ydolls.

¶The Prologe vnto the Christen Reader.

HEre hast thou Christen Reader the sentences and iudgementes of the excellent and godlye lernyd men / Henry Bullynger / wyth all the lerned men of the church of Tygury / and also the sentence and iudgement of Ihon Caluyne of Geneua / Whether a Christen man may lawfully cōmuny­cate or be pertaker with the Masse and ceremonyes of the Papystes / without offendyng God and hys neyghboure or not. Therfore haue I set forth this epistle of those godly and lernyd men / to the intent that thou mayest the better knowe what ydolatrye is / and wherin it consisteth / wherby also thou mayst the better ler­ne and knowe how to auoyde it: Consyderinge that it is the greatest offence that may be commytted a gaynst God. For it is forbydden in the fyrst commaundemēt / sayenge: Thou shalt haue no nother goddes but me. Also all the holy Prophetes of God euer cryed out thervpon. And agayne it is manyfest thorow the hole Byble how greuouse a synne it is / by the greuousnes of the plages with the which God euer plagyd the children of Israel therfore. But here some wyll answere and saye: We know that ydolatrye is a greuouse syn­ne / and sore dyspleaseth God: But wyll yow saye that the holy Masse and Ceremonyes that haue bene vsed in the church thys many hundryd yeares / and also set vp by holy counsayles be wycked / and that men com­mytte ydolatrye by vsyng of them?Deut. xij. Deut. iiij Deut. v To that I answere that what so euer lawe or Ceremonye / the church hath made or set vp / & the same not expressed in the worde of God / it owght not to be alowed / folowed / nor kept: For God commaunded the chyldren of Israel / Deuter. xij. that they shoulde not do euery man what thynketh hym good in his own eyes? And agayne Deuter .iiij. Ye shall put no thinge to the worde of God / nor take no thinge therfrom. And agayne in the .v. chap. of the same boke. Take hede therfore that yow do as the Lor­de your God hath commaundyd you: and tourne not asyde / nether to the ryght hande nor to the lyfte: but walke in all the wayes which the Lorde thy God commaundyd the. &c. Now wher can it be founde in any worde of God / the inuencyon of the Papistes Masses / or that ymages ought to be in churches / or soch lyke. Parauēture thou wilt answere me that they were or­deyned and set vp for a good intēt and purpose.Leui. x Ther­to I answere / that Nadab & Abihu the sonnes of Aa­ron [Page] were consumeth wyth the fyre / as appeteth Leui. [...] for offring straūge fyre before the Lorde / that the Lor­de cōmaunded thē not. Therfore whatsoeuer is inuen­tyd by the fantasye of mans ymaginaciō without the worde of God / we ought not to consent to do it:Galat. i. For s. Paul sayeth to the Galathiās. Yf we oure selues or an angell of heauē come / & preache an other gospell vnto you / then that we haue preached / holde him acursyd. And although the masse a ceremonyes haue a gloryous shyne of holynes / yet owght we not therfore, the lesse abhorre it / seing Christ sayeth Mat. xv.Matt. xv. They worshyp me in vayne / teaching doctrynes & tradycyōs of men. Also Christ sayeth Luk. xvi.Luke. xvi That whych is in high estimacyō before men / is abhomynable before God: Sig­nyfyeng therby vnto vs that the most gloryous wor­kes & ceremonyes / that be had in most hygh estimacyō before the worlde / yf the same be not agreinge to the most holy worde of God / they be abhomynable & very folyshnes before God. &c.i. Cori. ii [...] And wher as oure mercy full saueyoure Christ ordeyned his holy Sacrament of his body & bloude: not to be worshypped / but to the intēt that all that are stōge in the cōsciēce with synne / shuld come & seke helpe only in hym / the whych is the onely helper of all that call vpon him / as s. Peter sayeth: ther is no helth in any other / nether is ther any other name geuen vnto men wherby they shalbe sauyd.Act. iiij. Antichrist with his disciples haue peruertyd it / cleane from the vse that owre Sauyoure dyd instytute it / lyke as the chyldrē of Israel also dyd peruert the vse of the brasen serpent / that God commandyd Moses to make and to hange vp in the wyldernes / to the intēt only / that they that were stōge with the fyrye serpētes myght be hea­lyd only by beholdynge the serpent of brasse that Mo­ses had hangyd vp:Numr xx [...] The which brasen serpent dyscry­byd lyuely the hangyng vp of Christ vpō the crosse / as apperyth Iohn .iij. to the intēt that none that beleue in hym should peryshe / but haue lyffe euerlastyng. Wherfore lyke as the good kynge Ezechias brake down the serpent of brasse / because the chyldren of Israel dyd cō myt ydolatrye / & worshypped it / contrarye to the vse that it was set vp for.Iohn. iij. Euen so thankes & prayse be vnto God hath other Kynges and Princes in this dayes in other cōtres / causyd the Masse of the papystes to be abolysshed & to be no more vsyd nor sayd / because that therin the people cōmytted ydolatrye by worshyhping the bread / lyke as the chyldren of Israel cōmytted ydo­latrye with worshipping the brasen serpēt. Nether is [Page] it any other thinge then ydolatrye to beleue that a vy­syble ceremonye of it selffe is a seruyce to the inuysy­ble God / whose seruyce is spirituall as he is a spryte / and therfore wylbe worshypped in spryte and treuth. Iohn. iiij.Iohn. iiij. Roma. vi Therfore do I exhorte the Chrysten Reader / whatsoeuer thou be that shall reade this epistles of thes godlye lernyd men / that thou wilt folowe s. Pau­les cōsayle / wher he sayeth: As ye haue geuē your mē ­bers seruauntes to vncleanes & wyckednes / runnyng out of one wickednes into another:i. Corin. x ij. Cor. vi Euen so now geue your members to serue ryghtuousnes. And remēber al so that they that eate of the sacryfyce are pertakers of the altare. And consyder what a godlye lesson s. Paul geueth his Corinthiās in the second epistle the .vi. cha. sayeng: Beare not the yocke with the vnbeleuers: for what felowshyp hath righteousnes with vnrighteous­nes / what cōpany hath lyght with darknes / what cō ­corde hath Christ wyth Belyall / ether what part hath he that beleueth with an infydell / how agreith the tē ­ple of God with the ymages: For ye are the temple of that lyuyng God / as sayd God: I wyll dwell amonge them / & walke amonge thē / & wilbe their God / & they shalbe my people: wherfore come out of the middes of them (sayeth the Lorde) & touch none vncleane thinge: so wyll I receyue you / & wilbe a father vnto you / & ye shalbe my sonnes and doughters sayeth the Lorde al­mighty.ij. Cor. vij i. Corin. x For as much as we haue such promyses derely beloued / let vs clense oure selues from all filthynes of the fleshe and spyryte / & grow vp to full holynes in the feare of God. Wherfore derely beloued / fle from the worshippinge of ydoles / least by thyne euell example thou confirme the weake brother in his erroure / & so thy weake brother peryshe for whom Christ dyed / and so will God requier his bloude of thy hande:i. Cor. viij wherfore I hartely requyre the Christen reader / that thou wilt diligently reade the .iij. chap. of Daniel / & marke how Sydrack / Mysach & Abdenago / the whych were great rulers / dyd rather chose to be cast in the kote brēning ouen / then they wolde outwardly bowe them selues to the ymage that the Kyng hath set vp.Dani. iij. Matth. v. Therfore Christē Reader do I the exhorte yet once agayne / that thou wilt put thy thrust onely in the lyuynge God / & beleue stedfastly in thyne hart / that he is able & will fulfyll all his good promyses / that he hath promysed / & that heauen and earth shal passe / but one tote or tytle of the lawe shall not passe / tyll all be fulfylled.i. Corin. x And he hath promysed / that he will not suffer his to be tēpted abo­ue [Page] their strength: but will in the middes of the temptacyon make a waye to escape out. That is / yf thou put thy hole trust onely in hym / seking onely his glorye & prayse in all that thou goest about / he wyll (I saye) ac­cordyng to his acustomable mercyes delyuer the: ether by blyndynge the eyes of thyne aduersaryes / that they shall take no hede of the:Dani. i. or els geue the fauour in the syght of them as he gaue Danyel with the .iij. yonge men fauour in the sight of the keper / whē they were in captyuyte / because they had determyned with thē selfes to kepe thē vndefiled.Tobi. i And also gaue Tobias fauour in the sight of the Kyng Salmanaser / with many other / as Ioseph / Ieremy. & c: Or elles yf they espye the / he shall geue the strength to glorifye his name by suffryng for his truth / as he hath done many holy Prophetes / Apostles & martyrs / whose hope and trust was onely in the resurreccyō. And for that cause the mother with her .vij. sonnes dyd chose to suffer cruell tormen­tes & martyrdome / rather then they wold eate swynes flesh that was forbydden in the lawe / not fearyng the tyrauntes that coulde do no more but kyll the bodye / beleuynge and sayenge that God wold rayse them vp agayne / which dye for his lawes in the resurreccyō of euerlastynge lyfe.ij. Mach. vij. And also note the constancye of ol­de Elcazare / the which rather then he wold but make a countynaūce as though he wolde haue eaten of such meates as were forbiddē in the lawe / dyd rather chose to suffer the most cruell death / as appereth in the secōd boke of Machabees in the .vj. Chapter / the which yf thou do marke with a syngle eye / I put no dowbt but thou shalt easely perceyue how greatlye all maner outwarde symulacyon of wyckednes doth displease God / and therfore also how greately euery Christen man ought to abhorre it.ij. Mach. vij.

Thus I commyt the Christen reader to the defence & kepyng of the most hygh God / whych dwellyth not in temples made wyth hādes / nether is woshypped with mens inuencyons / but whose seate is the heauens / and the earth his fote stole / as sayth the prophet / that with the breth of his mouth shall dystroye all antychrystes with all ther venemus lawes that hath coriupt & poy­sonyd the precyos soule of man.Act. vij. Esai. lxvi ij Tes. ij. i. Tim. vi. For whome our mer­cyfull saueyour Christ shedd his most precyus blude / The which onelye hath immortalyte / and dwellyth in the lyght that no mā can attayne / whō neuer mā sawe nor can see / to him onlye be al honoure glorye & prayse for euer and euer world with out ende. Amen.

Here folowyth the Epystle of Henry Sullengers.

IT is shewed vs worshipfull brother Hermā ne / by the excelēt & ryght godly man mayster Iohn Beck­stayne / that ther goeth abrode a certayne epystle from one to a nother amonge the congregaciōs of lowe dowchlande / wherin it is playnely taught to be lefull for Christen men to goe to hyghe masse as they call it. And that because of this epystle some be great­lye trobled in conscyence / & other some coniecture all the mynisters of the congregacions of highe dowch­land to be of the same iudgement. Wherfore we of the church of Tigurye thowght it good to purge the old & true fayth & lernynge whych we hold / from this vnhappye suspicion / openly confessing vnto you (a minister by the grace of God / in the congregacions of lowe Germanye / both of good lernynge & conuersacy­on) that we nether be our selues of that mynde / nor yet alowe that sentence. As for thynges which be cal­lyd meane & indifferent / we beleue a christen mā may vse them in all tymes & places without scrupulosyte of conscience / so that all thynge be done discreatlye / & accordyng to charite. That is to saye / to the glorye of God & the edifyeng of our neyghboures / & the hole congregation. But the popes masse / be it hygh or lo­we / ymages / & other lyke / which be expresselye against the worde of God / & the pure fayth / we reckē not amō ge indifferent thynges: an indifferent thynge is that which is nether good nor euell / for whether thou do it or do it not / thou shalt nether be ryghtwise nor vn­rightwise therfore. For thus doth Iherome hym selfe diffiue it / in a epystle to saynct Augustyne. Now what man hauyng his right vnderstondinge can saye the high masse / & the vse of ymages in churches not to be euell? or who can lyghtlye graunt it to be good? The lawe of God doth euedentlye condemne one & other / all straunge worshippynge & ceremonies / or goddes seruyce (/ that is to saye) such as are not institute of God / or such as are inuentide by mā with out the worde of God. But what is the high masse / els saue a ryte or ceremonye set vp by mā besyde the worde of God? For as for Christes supper what it is / [...] after what fassyon christ commandyd it to be celebrate we be not [Page] ignoraūt.Libro. ij [...] epist. iij This is also to well knowne that they wich kepe the high masse / do condēpne the supper of the lor­de / and the maner therof as barbarouse / rude and he reticall / when as not withstondyng the holy marter saynct Ciprian sayth that in the supper we owght ne­ther to folowe or receyue any other thing / then what the Lord him selfe hath deliuered vnto vs.iiij. Reg. ij. c And agayne it is false and counterfayte sayth he / it is wycked ād dishonoryth God / what so euer is institutid by the made brayne of man / yf that goddes ordinaunce be bro­ken therbye.iij. Regū xviij. v Besydes this Helias the holy Prophet of God which we beleue was conuayed into heauen in a fyrye charete dyd not he forbyd to cuple goddes & mames ordinaunce to gether other to mingle the one with the other. Yf the Lorde (sayth he) be God folowe hym how long wyll you halt on both sydes?Sophon. l. v In lyke māner Sophonias also I wyll distroye sayth he / tho­se persones that swere by the Lorde and by Malchom. Verelye yf the onlye sacrifice of Christ once offryde for the synnes of the worlde / maketh the beleuers perfecte: what nede they in ther high masses / daylye to offer the bodye and blude of Christe for the synnes of the quycke & deade.Iohn. v. Marke xvi. v If they which departe in fayth passe from death vnto lyf? If they whych dye in vnbe­leue / escape not dampnacyon to what intente I praye you sacrifyce they for the deade?Ioh. iiij. If the Lord must be worshipped in spyrite and truth / why wynke thes persones at the doctryne and facte of them whych byd men to worshyp him in breade? Therfore may we crie wyth Elyas / how longe halt ye on both sydes? If the sacryfyce of Christ be absolute or sufficyent: thynke stedfastlye that by that only sacryfice you be made perfecte for euermore. But yf ther be sacryfice made day­lye in the masse. Then beleue that you be clensyd thorowe daylye sacryfices. Thes thynges can not ston­de nor agre to gether. More ouer no man nede to blinde hym selfe with thes wordes / high masse / and lowe masse: In the hyghe masse are the selffe and same ab­hominacyons whych are in the loweste. In both of them / is the institucyon and ordynaunte of Chryst peruerted / in both of them is he worshipped in the broade / in both of them are ydolles serued / in both / speci­ally in the seruyce of saynctes is helpe aske de at crea­tures. In both of them is the wicked cānon the grea­test portyon of the masse. [Page] Ther is nothyng in it of old antiquite: nothyng of the apostolique simplycite. Furthermore we must also marke in specially / in this matter / how the scripture re­quyreth of vs no cloked / but an open confession. Now by ceremonyes and the vse of ceremonyes we do chefelye confesse whath fayth we be of. He that be­ynge requyryd stondyth by at the Turkes and genty­les seruyce / grauntyth hym selfe to be a pertaker or fauerere of the supersticion of the Turkes and gen­tyles. He that is present at the masse when▪ he is re­quyryd / doth openlye testifye / that he doth acknow­ledge the masse / and the masses relygyon to be the true seruyce of God. Therfore bi his presence / he esta­blysseth all the erroures of the masse. He that wyll not be present at masse / hym take the aduersaryes for a cō tēner of ther seruyce / & all the whole papistrye. Wherfore by what reason that we knowe that the open confession of Christ is requyryd of euery one of vs / how lytle of reputacyon so euen he be: By the same beleue we also / that they be vtterlye forbydden to haue any parte wyth the masse. Nether is it sufficient for vs to beleue in the herte and secretlye to confesse God. The syncerefull & playne confession of the tonge must goe wyth all. We haue of Orygene / that ther was a cer­tayne secte called Helchesaytes / which tawght thys heresy that yf in persecucyon any man showld denye / (I vse Eusebius wordes in his ecclesiasticall historie / the .vi. boke the .xxviij. chap.) the same were in no tau­te / because he that hath a stedfast hart to God / alltough he denye with his mouth for necessyte / yet in his har­te he abydyth in the fayth. But I purpose not to dys­pute now this questyon at large. I haue notyd some what concernynge this matter long agoo / in my commentaryes vpon the .viij.ix. & .x. chapters of the fyrst epystle to the Corynthians: & vpon the epistle to the Hebrwes / agayne in the booke de origine erroris / which I last ouerlokyd & enlargyd. And thys much haue I wrytten to the intent you may perceyue that we be playnelye / not of ther iudgement / which put afflic­ted persones in conforte to goo to masse / we beleue & do teach rather that the truth should be playnlye con­fessyd / & that all erroure owght to be spoken agaynst / abhorryd & shunnyd / & that we owght to dye / rather then to haue any thyng adoe wyth that wycked seruyce. We knowe that throwgh much pacyence we must saue owr soules: we knowe that it behouyth vs thorow [Page] many tribulacions to enter into the kingdome of heauen. But yf we may after such a sorte accordyng as the world goyth / semble & dissemble / chope & chaū ­ge at oure pleasure in matters of religion / suerlye the most holy marters of god were ioles / that wold haue nothing to do with ceremonyes which were playne wycked. But ther vpryghtnes &, stedfastnes was acceptable vnto the Lorde / wherfore he also wyll not be dyspleasyd at ther holy pertynacite / which had rather suffer al maner of extremite then once to make or medle with the wycked seruyce of the papystes. Thes thinges may you be bolde to saye of vs a foore good men & such as be in troble for the truthe / prayeng them to comend vs wyth ther prayers vnto god. More of this matter shall mayster Iohn Becstayne declare you. For be herde myne other bretherne in the mynistracion of goddes worde dispute of this same thynge. Both Leo Iuda / Casper Megander / Erasmus Fabricis / Conra­dus Pellicanus / Theodorus Bybliander / & the reste / which all wyshe you good / fare you well brother in the Lord. Loue me / and remember me with your pra­yets vnto Christ.

The Epistle of Iohn Caluyne.

THe man to whom ye gaue commyssion / requy­red vs to wryte your aouyse / how ye myght kepe you from stayninge your selfe amonge so many spottes of supersticions / as in the stede of the pure & true seruyce of god haue gotten place in the church ther with you. As for me I suppose it shalbe sufficient / to declare you my mynde brefely. Also / not hydyng from you what other men do thynke in the meane season / consyderinge that ther is some variaū ­ce in this behalfe. The same that other men wolde ether deny or wyncke at / stonde I at no dowbte to af­fyrme / namelye / that I vtterlie do not subscribe vnto ther opinyon: So that at the least by this my symple confessyon / ye maye vnderstonde / that it shalbe farre from all feydnednesse what so euer I will saye. But this one thinge wyll I hartelye praye you that in hearynge me speake of variaunte / ye wyll not be sore of­fendyd / as though ye myght haue no thynge of vs / but that is wrappyd with controuersyes. For as ye shall heare / ther is very litle varyaunce betwene vs. [Page] They pondrynge how daungerous a thynge it is to snare mens conscyences in relygion / dare not condē ­ne owght no vnlawfull / that maye by eny meane be excusyde. More ouer whan they consyder how many greuouse wayes they be oppressid on euery syde / wich syue in that captiuite of Babylon / they must nedes fa­uer them in some thynges / least that yf they shoulde be to importune apon them / it myght vtterlye dyscomfort such as elles haue a good zeale / and be indewed with a ryght feare of God. But I contrarie wyse do holde / that it cannot be to straightlye kepte / which the Lorde hath bounde by his worde / and that the godlye oughte not to flatter them selues in euell thynges / lest they be carelesse in remaynyng therin. Neuerthe­lesse I do not denye / but that both the same theire rea­sons are very good: they also graunt me gladlye my­ne obiection. But it comyth to passe (I can not tell howe) that whyle they are to feruent vpon ther consyderacyons me thynke they are to mercyfull. They al­so iudge me to cruell whyle I remytte nothynge. Ve­rely ther is nothyng that I am more loth to do / then to swerue / (how lytle so euer it be) from the mynde of suche men as the whole church hath worthelye in high estimacyon / and whome I also pryuatelye haue in re­uerence with all my hart. Onelye of ther goodnes let them graunte me this to receaue nothyng against the iudgement of my conscience. First with out any con­trauersye / we all agre in this / that a Chrysten mā is bounde not only to worshyppe god spirituallye in his hart / but also to testefye the same outwardlye. For as the Lord hath consecratyd our sowle to gether with the body vnto hym selffe / so showlde his glorye ap­peare in both / as S. Paul sayth: They do but fable therfore that aftyrme it to be sufficyent / yf a man kepe the purenes of relygion inwardlye: and that God re­gardyth not owtward thinges / so that the mynde re­mayne whole. And yet not withstondyng / we do not requyre of euery one / an open confessyon of his fayth / But that a godly man neuerthelesse endeuoure him selfe / to professe that worshippe of the only God & Christ which is commendyd vnto vs in hys worde. Agayne / we haue not appoynted this professyon with certayne lymites / saue only that euery man (accordyng to the measure of his vnderstonding facultye / & as occasion is offryd hym) do in any wyse applye hym selfe to san­ctifye the name of god. Wherfore in this matter / we [Page] must hādle more with exortacions / then with determinable rulers. For as the faythfull nether may nor owght to be constraynyd to any certayne rule / so do they fauoure them selues to much / yf but in parte one­ly & that slenderlye they vse the worshippe of God / ād folow not styll vpon it continuallye & with diligēt laboure as long as they lyue. Let euery mā therfore be dyligent & constāt inforcyng hym selfe & let him not leue of / tyll he haue specially perswadid hym selffe in this / that he omitte no occasyon of glorifieng god.

But one thynge we affirme preciselye / that they which receyue such vsages as are notable in manifest vngodlynes / do swarue from that professyon of fayth which all Christen men owe vnto ther Lord. For seyn­ge that the Lord hath instituted ceremonyes / wherby we may be exersysed towerd the sincere worshippin­ge of hym / verely lyke as in practisynge the same / we testefie our selues to be the worshippers of the lyuing God / euen so in vsyng such other as haue the appera­unce either of idolatrye or supersticion / we both dishonoure the name of God / & defile our selues.iij. Regū. xij. For they finally remaine vndefiled / that nether bowe ther knee vnto Baal / nether kysse his hād / ner sweare with ther tonge by another name / then by the name of the ly­uyng God. In these thinges we do not varye. But whan we come to discerne vngodly vsages frō such as be good & accordynge to relygion / ther we some what varye: Wherin yet I graunt them this / that some vsages therbe which either came vp of a lytle supersticyon / or els are degenerate into some supersti­cyon from ther good origenall / the obseruinge wherof were not to be reprehended / yf it lacked supersticyon. As for ensample: They that fyrst lighted candels at the table of the Lorde / swarued some what from the purenesse of the gospell / bryngynge in a ceremony which yet beinge good / was at the cōmyng of Chryst abrogate with other persels of the Iewesdome / yet the same affliction of comlinesse / (as fonde as it is) whan it proceadeth not to vngodlynesse / ther is no of fence of God in obseruynge it. Other thynges were well institute / which thorow abuse are swarued from ther trueth / which I permytte the godly also to obser­ue / so that the abuse be not fallen to manifest ydola­trye. Neuerthelesse as conseruing thē both / it were verelye to be desyred / that they were either wholye abolyshed / or els playnlie that they were refourmyde. [Page] But because that lyeth not in a pryuate mans hande / let hym not refuse to folowe the custome receaued in his church / which custome by right he had rather were taken awaye / or els reformyde: let hym not refuse it / I saye / yf he be brought to it hy necessyte: but as long as he may with out offence / let him refrayne from it / that by his rare vsyng therof / he may declare / that he doth not greatly alowe it.

Here now am I constrayned to dissente from certay­ne lerned men / whom I els esteme as fathers / because that amonge this sorte they reken the hygh masse and certayne other such ceremonyes: for they esteme it to proceade of the supper of the Lorde / though it be dy­uersely stayned & polluted. And yet do they not denye / but that the opynyons which are of it be wycked and agaynst God such as a godly hert ought to abhorre. Neuertheles they iudge that a pryuate man is to be excused / whiche whyle he may not haue the supper of the Lorde purely mynystred / doth not refuse it / torne and rent as it is. But I can not be brought to esteme it for the supper / though the authoures therof do coloure the name of it neuer so much.iij. Reg. xij. c For Hieroboam also wolde that the calfes which he set vp / shulde sheme to be instrumentes of the Iewes religion: And the same verely was done contrary to the Lordes commaunde­ment / so that it was no more lawfull to offer there / then to do sacryfyces vnto the ydolls of the heythen. Consideryng therfore that I esteme the masse for a very abhomynacyō / which after no other wyse is deckte with the name of the holy supper / then as an angell of sathan transfygureth hym self into an angell of light / I can not se vnder wat pretence a godly man beinge illumynate with Goddes worde / may haue it in reue­rence as a pure ceremonye of God.lj. Corin. xi. v For ouer and besy­des that it is manyfest / that Christ with the holy my­nystracyon of his supper is there had in derysyon: a deuoute conscience will not presume to applye vnto it / the promyses that were geuen vnto the supper. Nether auayleth the excuse whych some men brynge in / that a godly man and such one as feareth God / commeth not saue only to be partaker of the prayers and Sacramē ­tes wyth the faythful / but abhorreth from all the vn­godly actes which ther are executed / and in the secrete affection of his hart doth hate the thinges that he opē ly can not improue. For he onlye auoydeth ydolatrye / that refrayneth from the sacrifices of ydolles.

[Page]The masse verely is an ydoll set vp in the temple of God: when thou therfore art at it / thou stondest before the symple / and geuest very euyll ensample / for they thynke / thou worshyppest whatsoeuer abhomynacyon is in the masse.i. Cor. x. [...] I wyll stond no longer in this matter / whan Paul to the Corinthians doth suffycyently de­clare / that he is a partaker of the cuppe of deuells / which although he do it without conscience of super­stycyō / only by outwarde ensample / medleth with prophane vsages: and moreouer that he is gyltye of blou­de / because he confirmeth the erroure of the ignoraūt by his ensample.

Where as it is alledgyd / that there with you the churche is / whose communyon is not vtterlye to be excluded / that argumēt also is easelye dyssolued. For the church is taken sondrye wayes. Therfore according to the dyuerse estimacyon therof / we must prudentlye dy­scerne / after what sorte the church of yours is to be re­puted. As for me verelye / I beleue that the catholyke churche is scattered abrode in all suche places as are kepte vnder / thorowe the tyrannye of the Pope.Rom. xi. v For seing that the Apostle doth testyfye / that God can not repent hym of hys callynge / as he gathereth of the Ie­wes that they shall neuer departe wholy frō the grace of God / whych are ones receyued into the inuyolable couenaunte. Euen so may we reason now / that amōge all nacyons to whom so euer the Lorde hath apoynted the eternall couenaunt of the Gospell / the powre therof remayneth styll: yea they haue Baptyme also a scale of the couenaunt / which can not be without effect: For how greatly so euer the multytude selfe haue swarued vnto ydolatrye / yet thorowe the vnthankfulnes and vnfaythfulnes of man / can not the wyll of the Lorde be hyndred / but it must forth / wherfore we conclude that the Lorde hath allwaye had & yet hath his electe / whose saluacyon is scalyd with such a seale of bapty­me / as is nether vayne nor wythout any vndoubted strength. And because Baptyme is a sacrament of the church / the Lorde wold that the callyng vpō his name and some apperaunce of the mynystracyon should styll remayne there. But as concernynge the very proper bewtye of the church such as is expressed vnto vs in the scrypture / that do not I knowledge to be the con­gregacyons of the papystrye. The church is it whome Chryst commaunded to obeye and harken vnto: but whye? euen because it is the pyller and stablyshement [Page] of the truth. As for those they are the nestes of errours and heresyes / which by all meanes go aboute to ouer throw the word of God / & set vp ydolatry in the stead of Goddes true worshype: yea all kynd of abhomyna­ciō in the place of true godlynesse. Finally I iudge her to be suche a shape of the church / as was amōge the Israelytes / after that Hieroboam had set vp a temple & the calues / contrary to the worde of the Lorde.iij. Reg. xij. [...] For wyckedly all thinges were peruertyd amonge thē / yet for the honour of Circumcision the Lorde vouchsaued to graunt the people the name of a church / and therfore by Ezechiel he called them his chylderne that came of them. But wold not the Prophetes therfore haue graū ­ted / that any man might haue worshypped in Bethel / vnder that pretence because the churche was there.Amos [...]. [...] Thus ye se now how farre we agree / & how great dy­uersyte is betwene vs. This do certayne & godly men requyre of a Christen man as well as I: fyrst that he serue God with the inwarde purenes of his hart / & then with owtwarde exercyses of godlynes to testifye the worshype of the sprete: This profession do we thynke to consiste in two partes / in the confession of the tōge / and in holy obseruaunces. In declarynge your fayth we can prescrybe you no measure / but that accordinge to your vocacyō / ye seke all occasyons / that the name of God may be sanctyfyed by you. But specyally ye must labour to haue your housholde well taught in religion. For the Lorde in makyng you ruler ouer your chyldren and seruaūtes hath not onely put you in trust with them that ye should gouerne them in ther duties of cyuilite / but also to brynge them vp in godlynesse. Touching the secōd parte we thinke thus / that al such ceremonies as do conteyne ether manyfeste ydolatrye or open vngodlynesse / are contrary to the profession of that religiō / which a godly man is bounde vnto: wherfore the worshipping of ymages & sellyng of Masses (that a man should bye thē with monye) and such other lyke thinges / we playnly disalow. And in this are not godly & lerned men agaynst me / that it is also a Chri­sten mans dutye to eschue those ceremonyes / whiche sprange of erroure and couetuousnesse / & sayntes holy dayes / wher ther is nothinge that resembleth or is ly­ke the holy antiquite of the church: but many thinges are ther prophane and impure. For the worde of God is ther shamefully and miserably peruerted: and pray­ers [Page] ther be which are either fonde and vnsauerye / or els full of blasphemyes. Vnder the same kynde do we comprehende pardons / brotherheades or fraternites / holy water and such lyke / whose begynnyng hath not bene alowable / and the abuse (yea the very vse of thē) doth playnely robbe God of his honoure. Now haue we to speake of such as do perteyne nye to the kepyng of the communyon of Christen felashippe / concernyng the which my consciēce will not suffer me to be of lyke opinion with those ryght vertuous and excellēt men. For they iudge that men owght not to forsake the cō ­munion of a congregacyon / wherin the couenaunte of the Lorde remayneth / & wher his name is called vpō. Ther counsayle is therfore / that men (specially on the sondayes) do perticipate with thē in prayers / because that then comonly the people assemble for this intent / to call vpon God: And the prayers whych are made / be the more pure / because they are of the old church: They consayle men also to be present at the Masse as at the Lordes supper / which how wonderfullye so euer it be defyled / deformed / rent as [...]nder on euery syde / corrupt and poluted with wicked opinions / yet by meanes of the certaynte of Godes promes / it remayneth the sup­per for the faythfull. Neuertheles in the meane season they inioyne two thinges / that as oft as a Christen man goeth to the Masse / whyle he him selfe may not reforme the abhominacions that ther appeare / he re­ [...]uyre of God by his prayers a reformacion therof: And that then to his poure / as occasion requyreth / he doth his diligēce that he seme not to consent vnto ydolatrye / nor to such rytes or vsages as do robbe God of his honoure / but that he maye be perceaued to seke God and his pure worshepe / and vtterly to refuse all such thinges as are contrary to his Gospell. A certay­ne godly and lerned man addeth more ouer / how that he wyssheth that the same persone who soeuer he be / should communicate at the table / wherby he may the better testyfye / that he seketh ther the supper of the Lorde. But I wolde wyshe verely with all my hart / that the seruaūt of Christ should reuelently take what so euer he seith ther apperteynynge to his Lorde / so that he defyle hym selfe with any vncleanesse. Notwithstanding because I se no waye wherby the filthy­nesses of sathan might be seperatyd from the holy ce­remonyes of oure Lorde and sauyoure Iesu Christ. [Page] I can in no wyse suffer the outwarde exercyses of religion to be had in such pryce that the temple which is dedicate vnto god / shoulde be stayned with ydolatrie. Wherfore yf ye can ther vse the thynges appertey­nyng vnto Christ / so that ye Ioyne your selfe to no wycked and vngodlye ceremonies I wyll gladly gra­unt it you. Els I can in no wyse be brought to geue you leaue for to do that which in my iudgemēt is cler­lye agaynst the profession of a Christen mā How then (wyll ye saye) must I not then other chaunge my dwellynge / or els dispayre? That do not I so presyselye requyre. Neuerthelesse my desyre is / that ye daylye call your selfe vnto an accomptes / and cast with your sel­fe earnestlye how farre from rendrynge vnto god the worshyppe that ye owe hym. And this may ye bem o­ne the myserye of your captyuite vnto hym which on­ly can amende it / and in treate hym bi your continu­all prayers / that he wyll restore lybertye vnto his people / and renue his holy cyte / wherin pure and sincere sacrifyces of prayse or thākes geuynge may be offrid vp vnto hym. For it is no small scourge of the lorde / that ye are cōstrayned to serue straunge goddes. Therfore must ye nether mynyshe it with vayne consolaci­ons ner fauoure your selfe in so greate infyrmyte. Wherfore se that ye haue allwayse in mynde / what miserable case ye stande in. That ye may with the mo­re earnest desyre go aboute to be rydde of it. Such an humble mynde wyll not the lorde for sake / but eyther make some waye of fynall delyueraūce or els so­coure you thorow his mercye. Fare well. The Lorde blesse you and your howsolde.

Amen. Laus Deo.

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