An Exposition of the Thirty Nine Articles, by the Reformers
An Exposition of the Thirty Nine Articles,
By the Reformers
Bring Extracts carefully and fully selected from the Works of Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, Hooper, Jewel, Philpot, Pilkington, Coverdale, Becon, Bradford, Sandys, Grindal, Whitgift, Etc.
By Thomas R. Jones
Hamilton, Adams And Co.; J. Farquhar Shaw; and Ducker and Bayne; 1849.
[Punctuation and spelling selectively modernized. Footnotes moved into or near place of citation. Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals.]
The gathering storm never fails to attract the mariner’s attention and to put him on his guard. His anxious eye measures the breadth of the cloud, and he notes the growing strength of the gale. His vessel is put in a state of preparation – anchors are in readiness, sail is taken in, and the helm lashed. The tempest comes on apace; and but for its preparedness, the loss of the ship and the crew must be the inevitable result.
The writer of these introductory pages, perplexed by reason of contending opinions, and alive to the danger of being “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,” was led deeply to feel the necessity of examining the true condition of the vessel in which he was embarked, and her capability of withstanding a tempest which has assailed and still threatens, he fears, more terribly to assail her. Believing that his position is not singular, but that many members of the Church of England, both clerical and lay, may have felt the shock, and may be equally desirous of safety, he has ventured to invite attention to the true structure of their vessel – “the ark of Christ’s Church” – as it exists in England; lest any on the one hand, through careless security, should suffer themselves to be washed over board; or, on the other, under the influence of excitement, should cast themselves into the waves; and thus, as far as they are individually concerned, rush into the most fearful of all shipwrecks, “the shipwreck of their faith.”
In order to know whether the members of the Church of England hold the truth, two steps are requisite. The first is to ascertain what the Church teaches; and the next, whether this teaching is in accordance with the word of God. Now it must be evident that the first of these steps is of as much importance as the second. Unless we have a definite figure to measure, it is of little use to refer to a standard, however true. A mistake as to the subject is as fatal to our inquiry as a misuse of the test to which it is applied. If a man be ignorant of his own opinions, that is to say, have so indefinite an idea of them as to be unable clearly to represent them to his own mind or to the mind of another, it is plain that, even though he appeal to the infallible word of God, he can no more know whether he is in the truth or in error than the man who has a correct knowledge of his own sentiments but possesses only a glossed and unfaithful translation of the Bible. It is as important then to know the thing measured as the rule by which it is measured; and this not superficially or vaguely, but distinctly. In applying the same principle on a larger scale; if we would learn whether the Church of England is a true and Apostolical Church, we must know what the Church of England is; what she holds and what she inculcates. Were the question as to her accordance with the word of God put to one usually denominated a low or Evangelical Churchman [The writer would avoid the use of party names as frequently offensive, but brevity and distinctness seem to require it, and must be the apology for their introduction here.] and to a Tractarian, both would reply in the affirmative. But they would use the term Church of England in very different senses. How then is it to be understood – where is the common ground? If it be answered that the Liturgy and the Thirty Nine Articles are the repository of her doctrine, both parties would again assent. But still they would approximate no nearer, for the one understands them in one sense, the other in a different; both at the same time believing themselves sincere and true interpreters of the voice of the Church. The fact seems to be that the words of the whole Liturgy are most cautiously chosen; and for this reason, that while they might fully embody the truth, yet that they should flow in a channel as little at variance with the prejudices of a semi-enlightened age as it was possible: thus adopting the Apostolic principle of becoming all things to all men, that by all means they might save some. But still the fact remains that the most sincere searcher for truth, if he confine himself to the authorized teaching of the Church, will differ on some points at least from another equally sincere. Is each then to form his own opinion of the doctrines of the Church of England; or is he at once to appeal to the Scriptures, and the writings of the early Christian Fathers for a rule of interpretation? Most persons are apt to forget that they are not merely members of the Catholic Church, but that they are members of the Church of England. This places them in a position very different from that of the early Christians. They had no code of doctrine definitely drawn out and embodied in their services, but such as the word of God immediately supplied. It was their code, and its writers were the immediate founders of their Church. As councils were convened, and Christian doctrine took the particular form of articles or decrees, in that proportion was the Church which adopted these forms of belief removed from immediate appeal to Scripture. It was through their forms, whether of doctrine or discipline, that they had to look to the first “form of sound words.” A member of the English Church is differently situated from one of the first Christians then, inasmuch as he must make his first appeal to the constitution of that Church; and it is not until afterwards that he can appeal to the word of God. This distinction, though simple, is necessary; and from its very simplicity, it is probably so generally overlooked. It is no uncommon thing to hear it said, “I take my faith from the Bible, and from the early Christian Church. I am a member of the Apostolical Church, which was planted in this country at a very early age, perhaps, even in the first century. This is the holy Catholic Church of which I am a member, and whatever I find in the Bible, as understood and explained by the fathers of the first four centuries, this is the faith of that early Church.” But he who speaks thus forgets that he is a member of the Church of England – a branch of the Church Catholic no doubt, but still a particular or national Church, having a code of laws relative both to doctrine and practice. Such a man would make a Church to suit himself, and then would declare himself a member of it. This ideal Church would exist only in his own mind, and would vary with every change which his views underwent. But this is not the Church of England. She has a definite existence; and he who claims to be a member of this Church must learn what she is, and what she teaches.
But it was found that her Liturgy and Articles might in some cases be understood differently; why then may not immediate appeal be made to the Scriptures? For this reason; the word of God is referred to, in order to ascertain what ought to be and not what is; and these are as distinct in themselves as the sources whence we derive information concerning them. What a true Church ought to be, we learn from holy writ; but what the Church of England is must be gathered elsewhere. How can that which was written in the first century, expound articles which were not drawn up till the sixteenth? Just as well might we refer to the writings of Copernicus for an exposition of the Principia of Newton. What course then presents itself? This question may be answered by an example. Suppose the Commander-in-chief sent to a subordinate officer written orders respecting his company; and suppose these orders were indefinite, or not easily understood, what would be the proper step whereby he might come to a correct understanding of his commander’s letter? He might, in the first instance, consult his brother officers, but if they were not agreed, how is he to satisfy himself as to the real intention of the writer? Would he consult Caesar’s Commentaries, or Xenophon’s Anabasis? Certainly not. He would at once apply to the commander himself for further and more detailed explanation. Surely he, and he alone, would be the best interpreter of his own letter. A similar course, then, seems the only legitimate one for coming to a correct understanding of the doctrines held and inculcated, by the Church of England. In conferring one with another, differences arise as to the interpretation of her code, and the only proper reference that can be made is to the men who drew it up, and to their contemporaries. Their works are for the most part extant; let them speak; and surely a voice which issues from amid the flames of martyrdom is worthy our attention. The following brief summary of the opinions of the Reformers, has been drawn up for the purpose of enabling every one to possess himself of the language and sentiments of the best expositors of the faith of his Church. It is a subsequent step, and one not attempted in the present volume, to shew that that faith is scriptural; but that it is so, the extracts themselves abundantly prove, for they, for the most part, give the scriptural authority on which they are based.
It is scarcely to be expected that all will utter the same accents – that upon every subject even the Fathers of the English Church will be wholly agreed. And yet there is an almost incredible unanimity of opinion among them. The differences which do exist do not assume the character of light and darkness, but may more justly be compared to that variety existing between different lights, one more and another less brilliant; or, “like as one star differeth from another star in glory.” This affords no inconsiderable reward for the study of their writings, especially, too, when it is recollected concerning what important truths it is that their agreement is ascertained. Such harmony will be found by every one who carefully studies their writings. It is true that an adversary might select isolated passages from the works of the Reformers, by which he might make it appear, that they differed upon many subjects. A careful comparison of their whole writings, however, with a due regard to their use of terms, would soon dissipate such differences, and like the diversity of expression in the holy Gospels, only prove the accordance more indubitably.
There is one key to the writings of the Reformers of which it is necessary to be possessed; it is this, that they often speak of things as they ought to be, rather than as they are. For example, when they say, “I confess a Catholic Church spread throughout all the world, in the which no man may err, without the which unity, no man can be saved,” it must be remembered that they speak of the Church in the proper and strict sense, as “a Congregation of faithful men,” consisting of “the elect, and the elect only.” So when they attribute to baptism the washing away of sin and being born again, they speak of real baptism – baptism as it should be – baptism as described by St. Peter, “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God.” Nor let it be thought, that this manner of interpretation is invented for the purpose of doing away with the authority of the Reformers in favour of the external unity of the Church, or of baptismal regeneration. Quite otherwise. It is their own explanation. Those of them who have written at any length on these subjects have in some parts of their works used expressions as strong as it is possible in favour (as it would at first appear) of some of the so called high Church doctrines; which expressions are afterwards so modified, as totally to change the impression at first conveyed. For example, on the subject of baptism, Archbishop Cranmer says, “As in baptism we receive the Holy Ghost, and put Christ upon us, as well if we be christened in one dish full of water taken out of the font, or if we be christened in the whole font or river; so we be truly fed, &c.” Again, “For, as in every part of the water in baptism, is whole Christ, and the Holy Spirit sacramentally, so be they in every part of the bread, &c.” Can any language be stronger in favour of baptismal regeneration, if by the term baptism be meant the using of water in the name of the Trinity; but if here he means that baptism which only those receive who come aright, – who “receive baptism rightly,” then his language does not uphold the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. And that he does use it in this latter sense, that he speaks of baptism as it ought to be, and not as it always is, is plain from his own shewing; for he says in another place, “therefore, as in baptism those that come feignedly, and those that come unfeignedly, both be washed with the sacramental water, but both be not washed with the Holy Ghost, and clothed with Christ; so in the Lord’s supper, &c.” And again, “But to express the true effect of the sacraments; as the washing outwardly in water is not a vain token, but teacheth such a washing as God worketh inwardly in them that duly receive the same; so, &c.” By these latter statements does Cranmer explain the sense in which he before used the term baptism. But, without this explanation, how triumphantly would the first quotation have been urged in support of baptismal regeneration. Many similar cases occur, and will continually remind the reader of the caution here offered.
Moreover, the Reformers not only use these terms in the manner represented, but they refer to this mode of using them in the writings of the early fathers. Thus Bishop Hooper, “They,” the fathers, “thought it best to name the sacraments, by the name of [the] thing [that] was represented by the sacraments. Yet, in many places of their writings they so interpretate themselves that no man, except he will be willfully blind, can say but that they understood the sacrament to signify, and not to be the thing signified; to confirm and not to exhibit grace; to help and not to give faith; to seal and not to win the promise of God (Rom. 4); to shew what we be before the use of them, and not to make us the thing we declare to be, after them; to shew we are Christ’s, to shew we be in grace, and not by them to be received into grace; to shew we be saved, and not yet to be saved by them; to shew we be regenerated, and not to be regenerated by them; thus the old doctors meant.” But to shew that this mode of interpretation was not an invention even of the Reformers for parrying statements they did not like; we find that the early Christian Fathers have supplied them with the same key to their own writings. Hear Augustine: – “Solet autem res quae significat, ejus rei nomine quam significat nuncupari sicut scriptum est, ‘Septem spicae, septem anni sunt.’ Non enim dixit septem annos significant. ‘Et septem boves, septem anni sunt,’ et multa hujusmodi. Hinc est quod dictum est; ‘Petra erat Christus.’ Non enim dixit petra significat Christum, sed tanquam hoc esset, quod utique per substantiam non hoc erat, sed per significationem.” (Super Levit. Lib. iii. Quest lvii. Tom. iv. p. 95). “A thing which signifieth, is wont to be called by the name of the thing which it signifieth, as it is written, ‘seven ears are seven years.’ For it saith not, signify seven years. And ‘seven kine are seven years,’ and many in the same manner. Hence, what is said is, ‘The stone was Christ.’ For it does not say, the stone signifieth Christ, but as if it had been he, which verily, was not he by substance, but by signification.” This form of speech was not new therefore, even in Augustine’s day, as his references to Scripture shew; and no doubt Augustine and the other Christian Fathers had learned it in part from the sacred oracles themselves. Thus, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul addresses them as “the Church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,” &c.; and yet, we find in the Church thus designated some who were any thing but what we should be led to expect. In chap. 5 he says, “It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you,” &c., and the unclean person is required to be put away, verse 5. They were “to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh,” &c. Again, in chap. 11:16–19, the Apostle reproves this same Church, for contentions and divisions; and in verse 20–22, he reproves them for making a feast of the supper of the Lord, and “one is hungry and another is drunken.” How then can we understand the Apostle’s salutation, unless we suppose him to speak of the Church as it ought to have been, and not as it was. The same occurs in other of his Epistles, as well as in the writings of the other Apostles. Thus, the sacraments have frequently the name of the thing they signify given to them. “When he had given thanks,” says St. Paul, (1 Cor. 11:24) “he brake it,” (the bread) “and said, Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you.” Thus the bread had the name given to it, of the thing which it represented – the body of Christ. In like manner, baptism is termed (Titus 3:5) “the washing of regeneration,” not that every one baptized in water is regenerated, but the name of the thing signified is given to the sign, and if the sign be “rightly received,” then baptism is what it ought always to be. True, baptism is described by St. Peter as “the answer of a good conscience towards God,” and “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh;” or the washing of water. And that the “washing away of sins,” does not always accompany baptism is plain, from the sad case of Simon Magus; notwithstanding, however, the sacred writers generally speak of baptism, and of the Lord’s supper, as though they always were what they ought to be. The one as, “the washing of regeneration,” and the other as the body and blood of Christ.
It need scarcely be pointed out how strikingly the same mode of speech is adopted throughout the Liturgy. Forgetfulness of this has driven many to separate from the Communion of the English Church, and has led some to adopt the very reprehensible method of omitting parts of the service. As the Book of Common Prayer was drawn up at the time of the Reformation, and by the very men whose writings have been considered, it is but natural to expect that, although some portions of the Liturgy are translations, yet that the same mode of speech should be found. It will only, therefore, be pertinent to trace in one or two instances the same usus loquendi. At the very threshold of the morning and evening services stands a confession of sin; and immediately after follows the absolution, addressed to all the congregation, and supposing the confession really to have been what it professes to be, the language of true contrition, issuing from “a pure heart” as well as from an “humble voice”. So in the communion service, the Priest in distributing the bread and the wine pronounces to each, “The body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee,” &c. And, “The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee,” &c. These sentences surely imply that those who receive the bread and wine are spiritually partaking of the same; for to none others is it “the body” or “the blood,” and to none others can it with propriety be said that His body is given for them, and His blood shed for them. But that the sentences alluded to, are not to be understood of all, is plain from the second prayer which follows, where thanks are rendered, “for that Thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Here then is another instance where the Church regards things as they ought to be, and not as they are. Her communicants ought to be sincere and believing; this granted, then they spiritually eat the body, and drink the blood of Christ.
The next service is that of the Baptism of Infants, wherein prayer is offered up to Almighty God that he will “mercifully look upon this child; wash him and sanctify him with the Holy Ghost.” Again, “We call upon Thee, for this Infant, that he coming to Thy holy baptism, may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration.” After the sacrament is administered, the congregation give thanks to God, that it hath pleased him “to regenerate this infant with (his) Holy Spirit.” In this office we find another case wherein the Church takes for granted that baptism has been what it should have been; viz.: that the prayer of faith has been offered up, that the sponsors [That the Church of England requires faith as a pre-requisite to the right reception of baptism in the case of the infant, as well as in that of the adult, is evidently taught in the Catechism, where, in answer to the question, “What is required of persons to be baptized?” it is said, “Repentance, whereby they forsake sin; and Faith, whereby they steadfastly believe the promises of God, made to them in that Sacrament.” (See further Bishop Marsh’s Lectures on the interpretation of the Bible, Lec. vii. Also, Wheatly on the Public Baptism of Infants; and the Rubric of Edward VI’s Liturgy, “Then shall the Priest demand of the child these questions following.”) And that this faith is imputed or reckoned to the child, in consequence of the faith of those who present it is strongly implied in the office of baptism – to wit, the exhortation and the prayers – as well as in the 29 Canon, which requires that the sponsors shall be communicants.] have answered on behalf of the child with a sincere and believing heart, and that in consequence, the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been granted to accompany the sign. That the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or regeneration, is held by the Church to be contingent on the sign being “rightly received,” is most strongly implied in this very service, as well as in the twenty seventh article. For example, in those prayers already alluded to, not only is it sought that God will wash him and sanctify him with the Holy Spirit, but it is added, “that finally he may come to the land of everlasting life.” And in the next petition along with, “we call upon thee for this Infant that he, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration,” along with this is joined, that he “may come to the eternal kingdom, which Thou hast promised by Christ our Lord.” In both these prayers the “everlasting benediction,” and the “heavenly washing,” are intimately united, both are equally the subjects of prayer; and we are specially told in the “Exhortation upon the words of the Gospel.” “Doubt ye not, therefore, butearnestly believe that he will ... give unto him the blessing,” (not merely of being an “heir of everlasting salvation,” which heirship might be lost, but) “of eternal life” itself. “Wherefore, we being thus persuaded,” &c. Now, it will be granted, surely, that “eternal life” is not always connected with baptism by water, yet this is as much sought by prayer, as regeneration; and of this “blessing of eternal life,” we are exhorted not to doubt any more than of the “heavenly washing,” and yet, the one is allowed on all hands to be contingent, while the other is maintained by many to be invariably certain. So the thanksgiving, not only embraces the one, but the other –“We yield thee hearty thanks most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church.” Nothing can be more plain. Thanks cannot be returned that the Infant is made “an inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom,” because that change does not arrive until after death; but the thanksgiving goes as near as it is possible, for it represents the person as received into the family of God “by adoption;” and if we compare this expression with the seventeenth article, we shall there find that those who are the “sons of God by adoption, they be made like the image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, they walk religiously in good works, and at length by God’s mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.” When in the thanksgiving, therefore, it is said, “We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, &c.” This last expression surely refers the person thus received to that class of whom it is said in the article already quoted that “they attain to everlasting felicity.” And thus regeneration, and ultimately attaining “to everlasting felicity,” are placed on the same footing; and as the one is allowed to be contingent, surely the Church teaches the same with regard to the other! Such appears the most natural construction of the words of this beautiful service; and understood thus, it harmonizes not only with the articles of predestination and of baptism, but with the form of expression adopted by the Church in her other offices, viz., the taking for granted that things are what they ought to be. When baptism is indeed the “heavenly washing,” then, such as receive it “be called according to God’s
purpose by his Spirit working in due season ... they be made sons of God by adoption ... they attain to everlasting felicity. [It would be plainly out of place here to attempt an argument either in favour of baptismal regeneration, or in opposition to it. The writer has merely endeavoured to point out what he understands the Church to teach in this office, and he arrives at this mode of understanding it by comparing the language and form of speech with that of the other writings of the Reformers, as well as with the language of the Liturgy itself.]
In “the ministration of baptism to such as are of riper years,” a prayer, similar to that in the Baptism of Infants is offered, “wash them and sanctify them with the Holy Ghost, that finally they may come to the land of everlasting life.” And similarly after the sacrament, “then shall the Priest say, Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that these persons are regenerated.” But is it meant that they are always regenerated, or is it only intended to signify that they ought to be; and are, if they have received baptism rightly? That the latter is the case, there can be no doubt in the present instance. For, first, the exhortation speaks on this wise, “doubt ye not therefore, but earnestly believe, that He will favourably receive these persons truly repenting, and coming unto Him by faith; that He will grant them remission of their sins, and bestow upon them the Holy Ghost.” And, secondly, lest there should be any doubt upon the question – lest men should take it for granted that they are regenerated because baptized with water, the thanksgiving expresses that such may not be the case; and, therefore, not before, but after the sacrament it is said, “give Thy Holy Spirit to these persons.” In this service, then, all who are baptized are spoken of as being regenerated – “seeing now, that these persons are regenerate,” and yet, before the sacrament is administered, the congregation is exhorted to believe, not that all coming, but that those “truly repenting, and coming unto Him by faith,” will receive “remission of their sins” and “the Holy Ghost”. And lest some should not so have come, but have only received the sign of baptism, a prayerfollows the administration of the sacrament, “give Thy Holy Spirit to these persons.” Nothing, therefore, can be more evident than that the Church here, speaks of the baptized as theyought to be, and not as they are – as having received “baptism rightly” – in this sense, “these persons are regenerate.”
The burial service supplies another case – “Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, of His great mercy, to take unto Himself the soul of our clear brother here departed,” &c. Here it is taken for granted, that the deceased is what, by his profession in baptism, and at his confirmation, he ought to be – “a child of God and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.” Otherwise how is it a “great mercy” that God hath taken his soul? and how can it be said that He hath taken it “unto Himself”? And why should it be added, “we give Thee hearty thanks for that it hath pleased Thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world,” unless it were taken for granted that he was not gone to a place of greater and eternal misery? These things, then, are spoken of, as though the departed were indeed what he professed to be. And in passing; what a solemn admonition is given to the officiating minister; for on his part it is supposed that he is what he ought to be! When burying one who is a true child of God, if he himself is not such, it is only by the most charitable allowance indeed, that he can call the departed a “brother”. The very term while it implies, on the part of the dead, that he is made partaker of everlasting life, so it implies on the part of the minister, that he is dead to sin, and living unto God. Both characters, then are spoken of as they ought to be, and not as they always and of necessity are. Nor could it be otherwise. For the Church must regard her children – those who are born to her in baptism, or severed from her visible communion by death – either as all good, or all bad, or as belonging some to the one class, and some to the other. To regard all as bad would be manifest absurdity and injustice. To view men as they really are, and to attempt to suit her services to every varying shade of character is equally absurd and impossible. The only other way open is to look upon all who have made any profession of faith, whether in their baptism or afterwards, as being what they should be – the children of God. And as no mortal eye can discern the heart – as it is emphatically the office of the Church’s Spouse and Judge, to separate the sheep from the goats – the wheat from the tares – so would she refrain from the usurpation of an authority not delegated to her.
Having briefly shown, that the first step in ascertaining whether the Church of England is, or is not, a true and Apostolical Church, is to gain a distinct knowledge of what the Church is – what her doctrines, and what her practices; the writer has endeavoured to afford a means for the attainment of this end. It has been shown that the Reformers are themselves the best expositors of their own works; but it is not to be supposed that all have time or inclination to enter into an examination of the whole of their writings. It has, therefore, been attempted to make extracts from their works on the subject matter of the thirty-nine Articles, so as to embrace all the chief topics of interest, and yet to comprise the whole in a volume of small size. It may here be stated that the selections give, in the fullest manner, the opinions of the writers. No party sentiments have been suffered to interfere – the entire views have been given, no portion having been knowingly withheld; and where the same subject occurs more than once, those passages have been chosen which appeared most full and succinct.
Further, it has been endeavoured to put the reader on his guard respecting the use of peculiar terms; how necessary this precaution may be, he will judge for himself. And here, once for all, lest it should be supposed that the writer undervalues the Scriptures as a standard of reference on all points of religion, he would most seriously avow his consent and assent in the fullest and most cordial manner to the sixth article, that “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein; nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.” His object has, merely been, to shew the necessity of a correct acquaintance with the teaching of the Church of England as a preliminary step to her being tested by Scripture; but still, and in every case, let the Word of God be the standard for ultimate reference.
And lastly, the compiler of this volume, claiming for it, as a matter of course nothing new, unless it be in the arrangement, would acknowledge how greatly he has been indebted to Legh Richmond’s “Fathers of the English Church,” and to the invaluable works of the Parker Society. And he has only to express a hope that his humble efforts may in some measure be the means of establishing in their most holy faith some at least who have been sent adrift from the haven where they had so long been moored, and of safely and for ever anchoring them in the great doctrines of the Reformation, “the ground of the truth,” where “being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, they may so pass the waves of this troublesome world, that finally, they may come to the land of everlasting life.”
Biographical Notices of the Writers, From Whose
Works the Following Extracts Have Been Made.
“Thomas Cranmer was born at the village of Aslacton, in Nottinghamshire, in the year 1489. He was sent at the early age of fourteen to Cambridge, and studied at Jesus’ College, where he was, in course of time, elected fellow, but marrying soon after, lost his fellowship, and obtained in its place, the appointment of reader at Buckingham (Magdalene) College. So high was the esteem in which he was held, that upon the death of his wife he was re-elected to his former fellowship, and became Divinity Lecturer, being also frequently appointed one of the examiners for the University. In this position he insisted on the study of the Scriptures as a necessary qualification for taking the usual degrees. But Cranmer was not destined to spend his years within the walls of a college. The fortuitous expression of an opinion that the cause respecting the King’s divorce might as well be discussed by the learned in England as at Rome was the first step of that ladder by which he was brought to the notice of his sovereign, and by which he ultimately reached the highest ecclesiastical position. Henry sent him on an embassy to the Roman Pontiff and to the court of Charles V, but on the whole he was not very successful, in securing the approval of the step which the King desired. His zeal, however, was rewarded by an appointment to the Archbishopric of Canterbury on the death of Warham, in 1532. The chief concern of the newly created Archbishop was the Reformation of the Church; to promote which, he secured, through the authority of his royal patron, the circulation of the English Bible; he urged that the monasteries should be visited with a view to their better answering the purposes of religion; and further, he endeavoured to obtain the assent and support of the King on behalf of the marriage of the clergy. The Romish party however, was strong, and Cranmer had to endure much disappointment. His favourite schemes were continually assailed, and his general conduct condemned. But Henry was his friend, and he was enabled, though with much difficulty, to obtain a mitigation of the act of the six articles, [This act, to which reference is frequently made in the lives and writings of the Reformers, comprehends the following six articles; the doctrine of the real presence, the communion in one kind, the perpetual obligation of the vows of chastity, the utility of private masses, the celibacy of the clergy, and the necessity of auricular confession.] and to introduce into public worship the use of the Liturgy and Responses in English. Just at this important period the King died, and Edward VI, a boy ten years of age, succeeded to the throne in 1547. Although this event increased Cranmer’s responsibility, it also extended his influence; and before the close of the year, he was enabled to produce an ordinance for the receiving of the sacrament in both kinds, and to obtain an entire repeal of the six articles. To this succeeded the abolition of images from the churches; the conversion of the mass into the communion service; and the arranging and authorizing, of the whole Liturgy in English. Reform advanced, and in its train fresh trophies of victory might be observed. The marriage of the clergy was legalized in 1549; and in the year following, the communion table took the place of the altar. Shortly after, the Liturgy was revised by the Archbishop, Ridley, Cox, and others; and the Book of Common Prayer now in use differs but little from the form then agreed upon. In 1552 Cranmer, in accordance with his instructions from the King in council, compiled certain articles of religion, which, after having been twice revised at the suggestion of the council and the royal chaplains, were, in 1553, confirmed, and required to be signed by the clergy. The accession of Queen Mary blighted the hopes of the Archbishop and dashed his schemes to the earth. He was imprisoned in the Tower in September of that year. In March, 1554, he was sent to Oxford, where, with Ridley and Latimer, he had to hold disputations with the Romanist party. They were all three condemned as heretics in April following; but it was not until nearly two years afterwards that Cranmer suffered martyrdom. He was burned on the 21st of March, 1556, in the 67th year of his age, and the 23rd of his consecration.
Edmund Grindal was born in 1519, at St. Bees, in Cumberland, where he afterwards founded a free school. He was fond of learning, and at the usual time was sent to Cambridge, where he studied at Magdalene and Christ’s College, and finally at Pembroke Hall, where he became a fellow, president, and master. In 1549 he was selected as one of four disputants out of the whole University to oppose the doctrine of transubstantiation; and, “in the same year he was appointed Lady Margaret’s preacher, and also president or vice-master of his college.” He became one of Bishop Ridley’s chaplains in 1550, and in the year following was appointed precentor of St. Paul’s, and chaplain to King Edward. On the death of the King, Grindal, with several others, sought refuge on the Continent; and here it was that he employed himself in collecting many of those incidents connected with the lives and writings of the martyrs and others who suffered in England, and which have been embodied in Foxe’s “Acts and Monuments”. Upon the accession of Elizabeth, Grindal returned home, and was soon employed with Cox, Sandys, Whitehead, Pilkington, Parker, May, and Bell, in a revision of the Book of Common Prayer. He was nominated to the mastership of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, in 1559, and in the same year to the see of London, vacant by the deposition of Bonner. In 1562, he was elected as one of the “learned men appointed to propose and adjust matters for to lay before the synod” held in that year. Grindal was preferred to the see of York in 1570, and at the death of Archbishop Parker, in 1575, he was removed to Canterbury. Now his trials commenced; for having incurred the displeasure of the Queen in conscientiously withstanding one of her requirements, he was for a considerable time suspended and sequestered; until, becoming afflicted with blindness, he tendered his resignation. But Elizabeth chose rather to reinstate him, and was “generously pleased to say, that as she had made him, so he should die an Archbishop.” This event occurred on the 6th of July, 1583, and he was buried in the Chancel of Croydon Church.
Edwin Sandys was born near Hawkshead, in Lancashire, in the year 1519. He was of good family, and descended from the ancient barons of Kendal. It was at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he entered in 1533, that he commenced his literary career. In 1547 he was elected master of Catherine Hall; and subsequently Vice-chancellor of the University. He was also appointed Prebendary of Peterborough; and in 1552 obtained the second stall at Carlisle. On the accession of queen Mary, however, the University at once refused to acknowledge him, and demanded that the keys and books, &c., should be given up to a successor whom they had elected. These he yielded, after delivering an address to the congregation which had been called, in which he declared himself to have been a friend to them in all that he had done, and charged their conduct towards him with ingratitude. On the following day, mounted on a wretched horse, he was led under guard to London, when, after being jeered and ill treated during the whole journey, he was lodged in the Tower. All his linen and other necessary articles of dress were seized by the unprincipled guard, and nothing but a Bible was left him. After a confinement of some weeks, the day appointed for the coronation of Queen Mary arrived, and the keepers of the Tower neglecting their duties, had left the doors, open and unwatched. A friend of Sandys entered, and, offering his cloak, urged him to escape; but this he refused to do, conscious that he had been unjustly placed in confinement. During his imprisonment, he had the good fortune of having keepers who treated him kindly; allowing him to stroll into the fields, and occasionally to preach and administer the communion to such as resorted to him. Sir Thomas Holcroft at last obtained for him his liberty, but being hated by the popish party, he was still in great danger, and it was not until after several narrow escapes, that he reached the coast. There he was delayed some days by an unfavourable wind, but at length set sail on Sunday, the 6th of May, being yet within sight of the land, when two of the guard arrived to apprehend him. Dr. Sandys reached Antwerp in safety, and subsequently took up his abode at Strasburgh. On the accession of Elizabeth, he and Dr. (afterwards Archbishop) Grindal, whom he met on the Continent, returned to England; and Sandys, being well known for his literary attainments, had not long to wait for preferment. He was consecrated to the see of Worcester in December, 1559. During eleven years, he conscientiously discharged the duties of his office, though not without meeting with some annoyances. In 1570, he was translated to the diocese of London, and in 1576, was appointed Archbishop of York. Accumulated vexations, involving processes of law, disturbed the latter years of Sandys, and are thought to have hastened his death, which took place on the 10th of July, 1588. Archbishop Sandys was one of the number engaged in preparing that translation of the Bible, generally known by the name of the “Bishops’ Bible”. He was also present at the convocation of 1571. His first wife, having died while with him abroad, he married again on his return to England, and at his decease left his second wife with a family of six sons and two daughters.
John Whitgift was the son of a merchant, residing at Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and at that place he was born in the year 1530. His mind was early impressed with the errors of the Church of Rome, and these predispositions in favour of the Reformation were fostered by the care of an uncle, then abbot of a monastery near Grimsby. He was sent to London to commence his studies at St. Anthony’s school, at that time in high repute; and in 1548, he was removed to Cambridge, where he was entered at Queen’s College, but afterwards studied at Pembroke Hall, under the superintendence of John Bradford. In 1555 he was elected a fellow of Peterhouse, and had nearly fallen a victim at the visitation of Cardinal Pole in the year 1557; but being screened by the vice-chancellor, he escaped the storm which laid low many of his Protestant brethren. On the accession of Elizabeth, Whitgift was induced to take orders, which he did in 1560, and was soon after made chaplain to Dr. Cox, Bishop of Ely. In 1563 he was appointed Margaret professor of divinity, and two years afterwards was made chaplain to the Queen. He became master of Pembroke Hall in 1567, and soon after was nominated Regius professor of divinity. In the same year he was made master of Trinity College, receiving, at the same time, the degree of D.D.; and in 1571 he became vice-chancellor of the University. He now engaged most zealously in controversies with the Puritans, and in 1577 was rewarded for his devoted services by being appointed to the see of Worcester; and on the death of Archbishop Grindal in 1583, Whitgift was elected as his successor at Canterbury. In this elevated station he exhibited most decided hostility both to the Romanists and the Puritans, carrying out his views it is said, beyond the line marked out by prudence and Christian charity. His private character, however, is allowed to have been unexceptionable; and though not as deeply read as some of his contemporaries, he used every effort for the encouragement of learning. Archbishop Whitgift died in February, 1603, in the 73rd year of his age.
Myles Coverdale was born, it is believed, in the year 1488, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. He was sent to the monastery of the Augustines at Cambridge, and must have distinguished himself in the University, as he is said to have enjoyed the friendship of Lord Crumwell. Little is known of this excellent man, except in connection with his Bible, which first appeared in 1535, and went through several editions, both in England and on the Continent. His incessant labours in the translation of the Scriptures, pointed him out as a fit person for the royal favour, and he was accordingly, made one of the King’s Chaplains; and soon after in 1551 was preferred to the see of Exeter. At the death of King Edward VI in 1553, he was deprived of his bishopric, but in consequence of the intercession of the King of Denmark, he obtained permission to leave England, which he did in 1555. Retiring to the Continent, Coverdale awaited a change in the government at home; and on the accession of Elizabeth, returned to England. After declining several pieces of preferment, on account of scruples as to the vestments then in use among the Reformers, he died at the age of 81 in the year of our Lord, 1569.
John Hooper was born in Somersetshire, about the close of the fifteenth century. He studied at Oxford, probably at Merton College, and afterwards embraced the monastic life. After the dissolution of the monasteries, and when the act of the six articles was in force, he withdrew to the Continent, where he was kindly received at Zurich by Bullinger. He remained abroad till the accession of Edward VI. In 1548 he returned to England, and residing in London, preached continually to large congregations, taking also an active part in the proceedings of that period.” He was consecrated to the Bishopric of Gloucester in 1551, but on the accession of Queen Mary, was deprived, and committed to prison, and in February, 1555, he was burnt in sight of his own Cathedral.
John Jewell was born on the 24th of May, 1522, in the parish of Berinber, Devonshire, and sprang from a good family. While young, his natural talent and love of learning attracted the admiration of those who knew him, and at the age of thirteen he was admitted to Merton College, Oxford, being placed under the care of M. Parkhurst, from whom he learned the truths of Christianity. He afterwards migrated to Corpus Christi, where he was chosen “humanity Lecturer,” but the fire of persecution was lighted, and he was soon obliged to flee for safety. Meanwhile, however, deceived by the protestations of the Queen and the nobles, he delayed his departure until he was entrapped by the inquisitors, who required his subscription to certain papistical articles; and in an hour of frailty he signed his name – an act which he bitterly lamented, and ever after regarded as the foulest stain. His conduct, however, belying his signature, he was placed in great danger, and set off on foot for London, in the midst of the snow and tempest of a winter’s night; and had it not been that the hand of Providence guided Latimer’s servant in the same direction, he would have died on the road from cold and weariness. Thus saved at the commencement of his journey, he was enabled to escape to Frankfort. During his absence from England, he spent most of his time in the company of Peter Martyr, the friend of persecuted Protestants. But the day of the Reformation again brightened, and in 1558 he returned to his native land. In the general visitation determined by Parliament, Jewell was appointed to the Western Circuit; and soon after, he was consecrated Bishop of Salisbury. This post he occupied with much self-denial and zeal; and in the management of his diocese, he invariably sought to combine lenity with severity. The extraordinary diligence of Bishop Jewell, his works, most of which were produced between 1560 and 1566, will testify. His memory, naturally retentive, acquired by training an almost incredible power, and he was able, it is said, to repeat any thing he had written, after once reading over, and could, as easily, repeat passages backwards as forwards. This excellent and highly gifted man was called from his earthly labours, on the 22nd of September, 1571, in the 50th year of his age. The testimony of an adversary, in itself speaks volumes in his behalf. “I should love thee Jewell,” said Moren, “if thou wert not a Zwinglian; in thy faith I hold thee an heretic, but surely, in thy life thou art an angel.”
This Champion of the cause of Christianity was the son of a husbandman in Leicestershire, and was born, it is thought, about the year 1490 or 1491.” [This is the date given by the Parker Society, and as it accords with other dates which occur in the history of Latimer, and differs only about two years from the period mentioned by Foxe, it is here adopted, though it makes Latimer much younger than his biographers generally state him to have been at his martyrdom.] Exhibiting, at an early age, a great aptitude for learning, he was sent to Cambridge, where he became a scrupulous, and even servile observer of the Romish decrees. He exercised his talents against the Protestants, and especially in opposition to Melancthon, until it pleased God to reveal to him the truth through the instrumentality of Thomas Bilney, himself a martyr. Coming to Latimer’s study, Bilney requested leave to make his confession to him; to which Latimer readily assented, and upon hearing it, was so struck, as immediately to lay aside his study of the school doctors, and to become an earnest student of true divinity. This course led to his conversion to the faith he once despised, and in its furtherance he became as zealous, as he had been in his hostility to it. This soon procured him enemies, who, through their subtlety of purpose, and malice of design, ensnared and finally destroyed him. After spending three years in preaching, and teaching in the University, he was at last summoned before Cardinal Wolsey, to answer a charge of heresy. From this however he escaped, and soon after obtained a benefice in Wiltshire. In the year 1532 this laborious man was once more cited before the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, but was again rescued from the snare laid for him; and, as in the former case, a benefice awaited his liberation, so now a miter was in preparation for him; and in 1535 he was appointed to the see of Worcester. For some years he sedulously exercised his high functions, till the promulgation of the six articles, to which he could not conscientiously subscribe, forced him to resign his office. He was now placed in the Tower, where he remained until King Edward came to the throne, when prosperity once more beamed upon him. Upon being set at liberty, Latimer addressed himself afresh to the duties of his calling, preaching twice every Sunday, though nearly seventy years of age, and rising at two o’clock in the morning, winter and summer, in order to prosecute his studies. But the accession of Queen Mary, threw a cloud once more over the declining days of this excellent servant of God. Severe trials attended him during his confinement in the Tower, which, notwithstanding his age, he was enabled manfully to bear. The day of execution (the 16th of October, 1555) at length arrived, and the scene of his last sufferings was in the vicinity of Balliol College, Oxford. Ridley, who was his companion in “the valley of the shadow of death,” endeavoured to cheer the path of his fellow traveler, with the words, “Be of good heart brother, for God will either assuage the fury of the flame, or else strengthen us to abide it.” The brother martyrs were at last fastened to the stake, and as a faggot was laid at the feet of Ridley, Latimer in his turn desiring to strengthen his fellow sufferer, uttered that memorable prophecy, “Be of good comfort Master Ridley, and play the man, we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” In a few minutes the flame kindled upon his own body, and crying out vehemently, “O Father of heaven, receive my soul,” he died with apparently little suffering.
James Pilkington was born of an honourable family in the year 1520 at Rivington in Lancashire. In his sixteenth year, he commenced his studies at St. John’s, or as some say, at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge; but he appears to have been a fellow of St. John’s, in 1539. Like many others of the Reformers, he spent some time in Germany and Switzerland, and returned to England when the storm of persecution had blown over, and Queen Elizabeth had ascended the throne. He was one of those who were appointed to revise the Book of Common Prayer, in 1559; and in the same year was admitted Master of St. John’s College, and Regius Professor of Divinity. He was consecrated to the see of Durham early in 1561, and discharged the onerous, and often, unpleasant duties of his office, in a vigorous and judicious manner. During the Northern rebellion, in 1569, the Bishop and his family had nearly lost their lives, as the rebels took possession of Durham, and celebrated Mass in the Cathedral. Peace was, however, soon restored, and Pilkington returned to his diocese. He died in the year 1575, aged 55, at Bishop-Auckland, where he was buried; but his remains were subsequently removed to Durham Cathedral. Bishop Pilkington founded a free Grammar School, at Rivington, the place of his birth.
Nicholas Ridley was the descendant of an ancient family, and was born early in the sixteenth century at Wilmontswick in Northumberland. In 1518 he went to Cambridge, and entered at Pembroke College, where he was elected Fellow, and afterwards Master. He carried out his studies at Paris, and then returned to reside at his College until in 1540 he was made Chaplain to Henry VIII. Seven years afterwards he was consecrated to the see of Rochester; and in 1550 to that of London. In every station of society, and in every duty of life, Ridley’s conduct was marked with extreme gentleness and kindness; and this was especially manifested towards the mother of Bonner. With this affectionate manner was associated the most profound learning, the most persevering diligence, and the most uncompromising love of truth. Queen Mary who remembered Ridley with feelings of dislike, no sooner came to the throne, than she had him committed to the Tower; and on the 16th of October, 1555, he and Latimer suffered martyrdom together. The scene of this fiery trial was the vicinity of Balliol College, Oxford, where, after mutually cheering each other, they were bound to the stake. The chariot of fire soon bore away the faithful Latimer, while his fellow sufferer was permitted to undergo the most severe tortures, his lower extremities being gradually burnt away before the flames reached any vital part. But to the end he steadfastly committed himself to the Lord, and died in the faith.
John Philpot was born in 1511 at Compton, in Hampshire. His father was Knight of the Bath, and twice sheriff of the county. John was educated at Wykeham’s school, where he gave evidence of good abilities. His chief delight was the study of languages, and Hebrew seems to have had peculiar charms for him. He studied civil law at New College, Oxford, and in the year 1534 was admitted fellow. Soon after this period he went abroad, and although he had misgivings as to the truth of Romanism, his mind had not as yet decided in favour of Protestantism. After a residence of some years on the continent, Philpot returned to England, and entered into holy orders. He lectured occasionally in Winchester Cathedral, and in or about the year 1551 he was made Archdeacon of Winchester. At the close of the year 1553, a convocation was held at which the catechism and the forty-two articles of Edward VI were considered; and it was for refusing to sign a document, describing this catechism as heretical, that proceedings were commenced against Philpot. He was excommunicated, and sent to the King’s bench, whence he was removed in October, 1555, and after an examination by the Queen’s commissioners, was committed to the care of Bonner until the 18th of December, when he was burned at Smithfield; thus in the prime of life Offering up his “body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”
Lancelot Ridley, D.D.
Lancelot Ridley, who was a cousin of the Bishop, Nicholas Ridley, was the descendant of a very ancient family whose seat had for many generations been in Northumberland. He was educated at King’s Hall, Cambridge, and was deeply skilled in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages. He was a staunch advocate of the Reformation during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. On the accession of Queen Mary, he was ejected on the plea of having been married, and seems at once to have retired into seclusion, and concealment. Little, however, is known of the latter part of his life, further than that he wrote several excellent works peculiarly displeasing to the Papists.
Thomas Becon, D.D.
Becon was born about the year 1511, and entered at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took his degree of B.A. in 1530. Here he became an ardent admirer of Latimer and gave himself up to the study of the Scriptures. The veil of superstition was gradually withdrawn from his mind, and in 1538 he was ordained. Soon after, he published some of his writings, which, although carefully worded, brought him under the lash of the six articles, and caused him some trouble. Conscious that the current of the times was too strong for him to baffle with, he retired to the hamlet of Alsop in Derbyshire, where for a time he found a friend in the chief proprietor of the place. Becon wandered from one place to another, and gained his livelihood in part by instructing pupils; much of his time was also spent in writing, although he could not venture at the time to publish. But the accession of Edward relieved him from anxiety; he was preferred to the Rectory of St. Stephen, Walbrook, in 1547, and was made chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer, and one of the six preachers in Canterbury Cathedral. It would seem that he was at one time divinity lecturer at Oxford. But no sooner was Edward dead, than the fangs of the enemy were fastened upon Becon, and he was committed to the Tower. The particulars of his escape are not given, but it is supposed to have arisen from a mistake on the part of Gardiner respecting his name. Strasburgh was the place of his abode until the overthrow of Popery in England, when he returned, and was reinstated in his former position, having, in addition, two or three other benefices given to him. He was one of those who were marked for preferment, but it does not appear that he obtained any thing of particular value. Becon was, however, eminently useful in the cause of the Reformation; and his works exhibit much diligence, and a high tone of Christian feeling. He died probably in the year 1567.
William Fulke, D.D.
Little is known of the early life of this distinguished man; but it is supposed that he was born in London in the year 1538, receiving his education at St. John’s, Cambridge, of which College, he was elected fellow in 1564. From this time he gave up the study of law, to which he had been brought up, for that of theology and the oriental languages. Deserted by his father in consequence of this change, and driven from his college on suspicion of holding Protestant opinions, Fulke was placed for a time under pecuniary difficulties; but being singled out by the Earl of Leicester, as a deserving man, he was presented to the living of Warley in Essex; and in 1578 he was preferred to the mastership of Pembroke College, where he applied himself to the study of polemical theology. His indefatigable diligence needs no other testimony than the works which he has left will abundantly supply. He died in August, 1589.
Roger Hutchinson, M.A.
The earliest authentic accounts of Roger Hutchinson, declare him to have been educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and to have been contemporary with Lever, Sandys, Grindal, and others of eminence. He became fellow of his college in 1543, and was early engaged in a disputation at Cambridge respecting the Mass. He was one of those who visited the celebrated Joan of Kent during her imprisonment. At the commencement of the persecution under Mary, he was deprived of a fellowship which he held at Eton College, and no doubt other trials awaited him, had he lived to endure them; but it pleased God to remove him in the summer of 1555.
Archdeacon Calfhill, D.D.
James Calfhill was born in 1530 in Shropshire; or, as some have it, in Edinburgh; and was sent to Oxford about the year 1545, and became a student at Christ Church. In 1560 he was made second Canon of the second Prebendship of that Church, and subsequently succeeded to the offices of Dean of Bocking in Essex, and Archdeacon of Colchester. In 1570 he was nominated to the see of Worcester, vacant by the translation of Bishop Sandys, but his death, which took place in that year, prevented his consecration. Archdeacon Calfhill was “appointed Proctor for the clergy of London and the chapter of Oxford, in the convocation, that determined on the thirty nine articles,” held in 1562.
John Bradford, M.A.
This excellent man was born in Manchester, and though of humble origin, made such proficiency in learning as soon to be able to gain his livelihood. He afterwards became a servant to Sir John Harrington, whose favour and confidence he was not long in obtaining. After a faithful service of some years, during which time he must have laid by some money, he earnestly desired to give himself up to the public service of God, and went to Cambridge, where he studied at Pembroke Hall. So great was the estimation in which his diligence and talents were held, that he had the degree of M.A. conferred upon him at the expiration of one year’s residence. He immediately obtained a fellowship, and soon after was ordained by Bishop Ridley. But he had not long to exercise the duties of his office, for in three years after his ordination he was committed to the Tower. During the latter part of his imprisonment, he was permitted to preach and administer the sacraments; but his fate was sealed, and he was burned at Smithfield, unshaken in his confidence and hope in God. On being informed of his approaching martyrdom, he took off his cap, and lifting up his eyes to heaven said, “I thank God for it; I have looked for the same a long time; and, therefore, it cometh not now to me suddenly, but as a thing waited for every day and hour; the Lord make me worthy thereof.” At the stake he embraced the fagots, saying, “Strait is the way, and narrow is the gate, that leadeth to eternal salvation, and few there be that find it.”
William Turner, M.D.
William Turner was born at Morpeth, Northumberland, and received his education under the superintendence of Latimer, at Cambridge. He chiefly studied medicine, and took the degree of M.D.; but philosophy and theology were subjects of deeper interest to him. During the reign of Henry VIII, he was imprisoned for his adherence to the Lutheran doctrines; but making his escape, he resided in Italy until the accession of Edward VI, when he returned home. He was made Prebendary of York, and subsequently Canon of Windsor, and Dean of Wells. By the troubles of Queen Mary’s reign, he was driven again to the Continent, but was replaced in his former position under Elizabeth.
This was a summary of religious doctrine, which was drawn up by Nowell, Dean of St. Paul’s; and which, after some corrections, introduced by the convocation of 1562, was authorized by that assembly as a public document. It was not, however, printed until 1570, when, at the request of both Archbishops, it was published.
Bible Prefaces, &c.
The Bible Prefaces, and other Tracts from which some quotations are made, receive their authority, as expressive of the opinions held by the Reformers, from the fact of their being bound up with the different editions of the Bible and Books of Common Prayer; which would never have been suffered by a cautious party jealous of the truth, unless they had been of acknowledged authority.
This paper was drawn up by Bradford while in prison, and sent to his fellow sufferers for their signatures, as a last declaration of the faith which they embraced, and for which they were about to die. The confession was signed by R. Menaven, (alias Farrer) Bishop of St. David’s; R. Taylor, Rector of Hadley, Suffolk; John Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester; John Bradford, Dean of St. Paul’s; John Wighorn and Gloucester, (alias John Hooper) Bishop of Gloucester; Edward Crome; John Rogers, Prebendary of St. Paul’s; Lawrence Saunders, Rector of All-Hallow’s, London; Edmund Lawrence, J. P. and T. M.; also, Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter.
Catechism of Edward VI.
The most important services rendered by Edward VI to the cause of the Reformation were the enacting of several laws against Popish abuses and errors, the drawing up of the Book of Common Prayer, the framing of forty-two articles of religion, and a catechism explanatory of this design. This catechism, from which several extracts are made in the following pages, was drawn up by a private individual, and being sanctioned by several of the Bishops to whom it was submitted, was published under the authority of Edward.
Of faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions: of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be Three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Edward VI: Catechism – “There is one certain nature, one substance, one ghost, and heavenly mind, or rather an everlasting Spirit without beginning or ending, which we call God, whom all the people of the world ought to worship with sovereign honour and the highest kind of reverence.”
Bible Preface – “The holy writings of the Bible teach us that there is only one God Almighty that hath neither beginning nor ending; which of his own goodness did create all things.”
Bishop Latimer – “You must understand that there be three persons in the Deity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.” – Sermons.
Bishop Ridley – “Blessed be the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for your three-fold confession.” – Letters.
Bishop Hooper – “I believe that the three persons are of the one and the selfsame essence and substance, nature, authority, power, will, goodness, wisdom, and eternity; and that there is but one Spiritual substance, eternal, without end or beginning; true, good, just, merciful, of a sovereign power and wisdom, having and containing in itself all goodness, not needing any thing.” – Confession.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Are there three persons in the Godhead and yet but one God? Yes most certainly; when man should be made, God the Father said to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, Let us make man like unto our own similitude or image. In these two words, us and our is declared the plurality of persons, and in those two words, similitude and image, is expressed the unity and singularity of the Godhead in the trinity of Persons ... The Prophet Esay heard Seraphim crying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. By the thrice repetition of this word holy, the three persons in the Trinity are expressed unto us; but by the one denomination of God, one Deity or one divine substance of these three persons is declared unto us. ... In the evangelical history we read that when Christ was baptized, the Father, from heaven, was heard saying, ‘This is my well beloved Son, in whom I have a great delight.’ We read also that the Holy Ghost came clown from heaven in the likeness of a dove, and rested upon Christ. Here is it most evident that in that most blessed, glorious, and everlasting Godhead, there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And when our Saviour Christ sent forth his Apostles to preach, he commanded them also to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The unity of the divine essence is set forth in this, that Christ saith ‘in the name,’ and not in the names; as, likewise, by these three names, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is declared that there are three Persons in the divine substance.” – Becon’s Catechism.
John Bradford, M.A. – “Thy people (O Lord God, the Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ) do here, in saying this article (I believe in God the Father Almighty, &c.) by faith know that thou, together with Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, didst create all things that be in heaven or in earth ... and as they know this, so they, by the same faith, do see thee the same God, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost; to govern all things after thy great wisdom, power, righteousness, and mercy.” – Bradford on the Belief.
Nowell’s Catechism – “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Those be not the names of sundry gods, but of three distinct Persons in one Godhead. For in one substance of God, we must consider the Father, which of himself begat the Son, even from eternity, the beginning, and first author of all things; the Son even from eternity begotten of the Father, which is the eternal wisdom of God the Father; the Holy Ghost, proceeding from them both, as the power of God spreads abroad through all things, but yet so as it also continually abideth in itself; and yet that God is not therefore divided. For of those three Persons, none goeth before the other in time, in greatness, or in dignity. There is, therefore, one eternal, immortal, almighty, glorious, the best, the greatest God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. For so hath the universal number of Christians, which is called the Catholic Church, taught us by the Holy Scriptures.” – Nowell’s Catechism.
Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very Man.
The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance, with the Father, took Man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man: who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.
Bible Prefaces – “In the New Testament it is most evidently declared that Jesus Christ, the true lamb and host, is come to the intent to reconcile us to the Father, paying on the cross the punishment due unto our sins.” – Pref. Bib.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “By Christ you be received which were before aliens, to be made of the household and citizens by the blood of Christ, shed on the cross to save all those that were lost by sin, and will believe truly in Christ, and know him to be a whole Saviour and no botcher or part-saviour.” – On Eph. 2:13.
Bishop Latimer – “We must consider our Saviour Christ, two ways, one way in his manhood, another in his Godhead. In his Godhead he suffered nothing; but now he made himself void of his Deity, as Scripture saith, ‘Whereas he was in the form of God he emptied himself of it,’ he did hide it. This was, in that he was man, he took upon him our sins, not the work of sin; not to do it, nor to commit it, but to purge it, to cleanse it. He suffered for you and me in such a degree as is due to all the sins of the whole world. It were as if you would imagine that one man had committed all the sins since Adam; you may be sure he should be punished with the same horror of death in such a sort as all men in the world should have suffered. ... And this he suffered for our sins, and not for any sins that he had committed himself, for all we should have suffered, every man according to his own deserts. – Ser. on Good Friday.
“You must know what manner of Saviour he (Christ) be; how far he saveth. Christ is such a Saviour which saveth us from eternal damnation, from the power of the devil and all our enemies. The Angel of God himself sheweth us what manner of Saviour Christ is in the first of Matthew, ‘For he shall save his people from their sins.’ So we must believe him to be such a Saviour which relieved us from all our sins as well our original, as actual wickedness.” – Ser. on St. John’s day.
“It is a great unity between the two natures in Christ, between the manhood and Godhead, for the body and the soul make a man, but the manhood and the Godhead are joined so together, they make but one Christ, and yet they are not confounded; so that the Godhead is not turned into the manhood, neither the manhood into the Godhead.” – Ser. on St. Stephen’s day.
Catechism of Edward VI – “At length was he sore scourged, mocked with pouting, scorning, and spitting in his face, last of all his hands and feet bored through with nails; and he fastened to a cross. Then he truly died and was truly buried, that by his most sweet sacrifice he might pacify his Father’s wrath against mankind, and subdue him, by his death, who had the authority of death, which was the devil.” – Ed. VI. Cat.
“These three Persons (Trinity) decked the Son with manhood; so that neither the Father, neither the Holy Ghost, took flesh upon them, but only the Son, he took our flesh upon him, taking it of the Virgin Mary.”
Bishop Pilkington – “It is harder to repair an old rotten house than to build a new one, and to make an old man strong than a young. God made Adam with a word easily, and breathed life into him; but after that, Adam fell what trouble and misery fell, afore he could be restored. Christ Jesus must come down from heaven unto the earth, nay, into hell to pull us out of hell: he must be accused, whipped, scourged, falsely condemned, thrust to the heart with a spear, die and be buried, ascend unto his Father again, open heaven gates which afore our sins had locked up, and abide many more sorrows afore we could be restored into God’s favour again, and follow him where he sitteth on the right hand of his Father.” – On Nehemiah.
Bishop Hooper – “I believe in the Son as the divine word and wisdom of the Father, which is eternally and before all works, engendered of the Father of his proper substance and nature.” – Confession.
“He (Christ) is the Son of the living God and the perpetual Virgin Mary; both God and man, the true Messias promised unto man from the beginning of his fall. ... Remaining always as he was very God immortal, he received the thing he was not, the mortal nature and true flesh of man in which he died, as Peter saith (1 Peter 4). He ‘submitted’ himself unto the ignominy and contempt of the cross; suffering pains innumerable without grudge or murmur against the holy will of his Father; his Godhead hiding itself until the third day, when it restored the soul again unto the body, and caused it to rise with great triumph and glory.” – Decl. of Christ.
Bishop Coverdale – “‘Of the woman.’ Our Lord was not conceived and born of man’s seed, but of the Holy Ghost out of the Virgin Mary. Therefore cannot this sentence be understood of Eve but of the Virgin Mary. ... The holy Apostle Paul expoundeth this word seed clearly and plainly, and saith it is Christ. (Gal. 3). ... What doth he else in his whole gospel but evidently and strongly prove that Jesus is very God? ... In these things that are written doth John comprehend the whole sum of faith, which consisteth in this, that Jesus is the Son of the living God, who for our salvation came down from heaven, died, rose again, and purchased for us eternal life.” – Fruitful Lessons.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Now have we learned, both truly and fully of the Holy Scriptures, which are infallible verities, that Christ was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. By the which word ‘of’ we believe that he took his humanity of her substance, and had none other beginning as touching his humanity, than in her and of her by the operation of the Holy Ghost; so that we may truly conclude, that as Christ is very God of God the Father without a mother, so is he very man of Mary his mother without any father. Therefore may his Godhead be as justly denied, as his manhood and flesh-taking of the blessed Virgin Mary. But Christ abideth very God and very man whatsoever the wicked heretics babble.” – Government of Virtue.
John Bradford, M.A. – “Thy servants, O Christ Jesus, and people do know by faith that as thou art almighty and God with the Father, by whom all things were made and are ruled, for thou art God eternal, co-equal and co-substantial with the Father and the Holy Ghost; so that thou art man, and hast taken our nature upon thee by the operation of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and art become the blessed seed which hast bruised the serpent’s head.” (Gen. 3). – On the Belief.
Of the going down of Christ into Hell.
As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed, that he went down into Hell.
Catechism of Edward VI – “Not only the living, but also the dead, were they in hell, or elsewhere, they all felt the power and force of this death; to whom lying in prison (as Peter saith) Christ preached though dead in body yet relieved in spirit.” – Ed. VI. Cat.
Bishop Latimer – “I perceive not what evil can come of it in saying that our Saviour Christ did not only in soul descend into hell, but also that he suffered in hell such pains as the damned spirits did suffer there. Surely I believe verily for my part that he suffered the pains of hell proportionably as it correspondeth and answereth to the whole sin of the world. He would not suffer only bodily in the garden and upon the cross, but also in his soul when it was from the body, which was a pain due for our sin. I see no inconvenience to say that Christ suffered in soul in hell. ... It sets out the unspeakable hatred that God hath to sin. ... If ye like not that which I have spoken of his suffering let it go, I will not strive in it; I do but offer it you to consider It is like his soul did somewhat the three days that his body lay in the grave. – Ser. Good Friday.
Bishop Pilkington – “He loved us so tenderly, that he would go to hell that we might go to heaven.” – Nehemiah.
Bishop Hooper – “I believe, also, that while he was upon the cross dying, and giving up his spirit unto God his Father, he descended into hell; that is to say, he did verily taste and feel the great distress and heaviness of death, and likewise the pains and torments of hell; that is to say, the great wrath and severe judgment of God upon him, even as if God had utterly forsaken him, yea as though God had been his extreme enemy.” – Confession.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Suffered Christ also pains in hell? Nothing less. For whatsoever pains were to be suffered for our sins and wickednesses, he suffered them all in his blessed body on the altar of the cross. He went not down into hell as a guilty person to suffer, but as a valiant prince to conquer, and as a most puissant and glorious King, to triumph over his enemies, and to make us also lords and conquerors of Satan and all his infernal army. ... By this means are we well assured that Christ hath overcome the devil ... destroyed the gates of hell ... and utterly delivered us from everlasting damnation, as Christ himself saith by the Prophet, ‘O death, I will be thy death. O hell, I will be thy destruction.’ So that now with joyful hearts and triumphant voices we may well say with the Apostle, Death is swallowed up in victory. Death where is thy sting? Hell where is thy victory?’” – Catechism.
William Fulke, D.D. – “We do expound it of his descending into hell, therefore our translation is to prove Christ’s descending into hell ... You will say that by our exposition we exclude his descent after his death: we do indeed in such sort as your error teacheth altogether without the Scripture. For if there had been an history of Christ’s going into hell, and delivering the patriarchs and others the faithful from thence, all the evangelists would not have omitted so notable a matter, and that, also, an article of our belief.” – Defence of Translations of the Bible.
Nowell’s Catechism – “Christ suffered not only a common death in the sight of men, but also was touched with the horror of eternal death: he fought and wrestled as it were hand to hand with the whole army of hell: before the judgment-seat of God he put himself under the heavy judgment and grievous severity of God’s punishment ... As Christ in his body descended into the bowels of the earth, so, his soul severed from the body, he descended into hell; and that therewith also the virtue and efficacy of his death so pierced through to the dead and to very hell itself, that both the souls of the unbelieving felt this most painful and just damnation for infidelity, and Satan himself, the prince of hell, felt that all the power of his tyranny and darkness was wrecked, vanquished, and fallen to ruin.”
Of the Resurrection of Christ.
Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.
Edward VI Catechism – “The third day after he uprose again, alive in body also, and with many notable proofs, the space of forty days he abode among his disciples eating and drinking with them. In whose sight he was conveyed away in a cloud up into heaven, or rather above all heavens, where he now sitteth at the right hand of God the Father; being made Lord of all things, be they in heaven or in earth; King of kings; our everlasting and only high Bishop, our only Attorney, only Mediator, only Peace-maker between God and man.”
Bishop Ridley – “The substance of the natural body and blood of Christ is only remaining in heaven, and so shall be, unto the latter day, when he shall come again in glory, accompanied with the angels of heaven, to judge both the quick and the dead.” – Decl. of the Lord’s Supper
Bishop Hooper – “I believe that as Jesus Christ was put to death for our sins, so also he rose again the third day for our justification into everlasting life. ... I believe Jesus Christ is ascended into heaven, and that he is there corporally, that is to say, in flesh, in body, and in soul. ... That the same Jesus Christ is sat on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, that is to say, that he reigneth in one and the same majesty and equal power with God his Father. ... That when the number of the elect children of God shall be accomplished, the Lord Jesus, in the self-same body in the which he suffered and was crucified with, the which he rose and ascended into heaven; in the self-same shall he come with great power and majesty, visibly in a cloud even as he ascended, and that to judge both the quick and the dead.” – Confession.
Bishop Coverdale – “We must also believe that he by his godly power arose again from death, by a new, glorious, and immortal life. For if we thought that he died, and believed not that he were risen to life again, we should have no life in him. For as he died for our sakes, he rose again: for our welfare reigneth he for ever.” – Fruitful Lessons.
Archdeacon Philpot – “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which died for our sins, and rose again from death to life for our justification; he sitteth and reigneth at the right hand of the Father, that he may shew us favour and grace, and lead us with his Spirit; that he shall come at the day of doom, then when all folk as be dead shall arise.” – Curio’s Defence.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Inasmuch as it is not sufficient that this your new King, Jesus Christ do die for your sins, except he also riseth again for your justification; therefore do I also declare unto you these most joyful and comfortable news, that after he be once dead and buried, he by the power of his Deity shall gloriously rise again the third day from death to life, for your justification according to the Holy Scriptures. Furthermore, after that this Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from death to life, then shall he by the wonderful power of his Godhead ascend up into heaven, very God and very man, in the presence of his disciples. ... When the time is once come that this world shall have an end, then shall this your Lord and King Jesus Christ, come full gloriously from the right hand of his Father in his majesty, ‘and before him shall be gathered all nations’.” – News out of Heaven.
John Bradford. M.A. – “In like manner the Article of the resurrection of the flesh have often in thy mind, being assured by this, that thy carcass and body shall be raised up again the last day, when the Lord shall come to judgment, and shall be made incorruptible, immortal, glorious, spiritual, perfect, light, and even like to the glorious body of our Saviour Jesus Christ, (Phil. 3). For he is the firstfruits of the dead; and as God is all in all, so shall he be unto thee in Christ. Look therefore upon thine own estate; for as he is so shalt thou be. As thou hast borne the image of the earthly Adam, so shalt thou bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor. 15). – Against the Fear of Death.
Of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
Edward VI Catechism – “Now since he” (Christ) “has entered into his most glorious majesty, by sending down his Holy Spirit into us, (as he promised) he lighteneth our dark blindness, moveth, ruleth, teacheth, cleanseth, comforteth and rejoiceth our minds, and so will he still continually do to the end of the world.” – Catechism.
Bishop Hooper – “He hath commended the government and protection of his Church unto the Holy Ghost, the same God, and one God with the Father and his divine nature.” – Decl. of Christ.
“I believe in the Holy Ghost as a virtue and eternal power, which neither is made nor created, neither engendered, but proceeding of the Father and of the Son eternally, even as a love proceeding from both persons.” – Confession.
Archbishop Cranmer – “The Holy Ghost is very God, because he is in many places at one time, which no creature can be. And forasmuch as the Holy Ghost is in many men at one time, therefore saith he (Didymus) the Holy Ghost must needs be God.” – Of the presence of Christ.
Bishop Coverdale – “Every man of knowledge wotteth well that the Holy Ghost is not a dove, neither a wind, a tongue, fire, nor water; for God is not a thing corporeal, neither a thing that can be felt, nor comprehended with outward senses.” – Fruitful Lessons.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “I unfeignedly believe with my heart, and freely confess with my mouth, that the Holy Ghost is one and equal God in glory, majesty, power and might, with the Father and the Son, proceeding from the Father and the Son after an unknown and inexpressible manner. The Spirit of God and God himself is he, by whom God the Father through his Son Christ, and in Christ, worketh and quickeneth all things.” – Becon’s Sick Man’s Salve.
John Bradford, A.M. – “O Holy Spirit, the third person in Trinity ... thy children know that with the Father and the Son thou madest and rulest all creatures visible and invisible; they know thee in their redemption to be no less willing and loving than the Father and the Son; for thou didst always declare Christ to be the Son of God, and gayest testimony inwardly in the hearts of the elect to believe and embrace the same.” – On the Belief.
Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The First Book of Esdras, The Second Book of Esdras, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or Preacher, Cantica, or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the greater, Twelve Prophets the less.
And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine: such are these following: – The Third Book of Esdras, The Fourth Book of Esdras, The Book of Tobias, The Book of Judith, The rest of the Book of Esther, The Book of Wisdom, Jesus the Son of Sirach, Baruch the Prophet, The Song of the Three Children, The Story of Susanna, Of Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, The First Book of Maccabees, The Second Book of Maccabees.
All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.
ARCHBISHOP SANDYS – “The foundation of our religion is the written word, the scriptures of God, the undoubted records of the Holy Ghost. We require no credit to be given to any part or parcel of our doctrine, further than the same may be clearly and manifestly proved by the plain words of the law of God, which remaineth in writing to be seen, read, and examined of all men. This we do first, because we know that God has caused his whole law to be written; secondly, because we see that it hath been the practice of all the defenders of the truth since the beginning to rely their faith only upon the scripture and written word; thirdly, because it is evident and plain that we cannot receive any other foundation of heavenly truth without the overthrow of Christian faith. ... ‘The doctrine of Christ,’ saith Clemens Alexandrinus, is most absolute, neither wanteth it anything.’... St. Cyprian saith, ‘the foundation of all religion and faith is laid in the word of God.’ And St. Jerome, ‘that which hath not authority out of the word of God, is altogether as easily refused as proved.’ Which rule of religion, if the Latin Church had as well observed, as it is often given and often commended by the godly fathers, the Church of Christ had never been burdened with so many unprofitable traditions and new inventions of men.” – Sermons.
Bishop Latimer – “All Popish things (for the most part) are men’s inventions; whereas they ought to have the Holy Scripture for the only rule of faith. When Paul made allegation for himself before Felix the high deputy, he did not extend his faith beyond the word of God written, ‘Believing all things,’ (he saith), ‘which are written in the law and the prophets’; making no mention of the rabbins. ... ‘Therefore whether it be of Christ, or of his Church, or of any other manner of thing which belongeth to our faith and life, I will not say if we,’ saith St. Augustine, ... ‘but if an angel from heaven shall teach anything besides that ye have received (in the Scriptures of the law and gospel) accursed be he.’ ... But how are the Scriptures to be understanded? St. Augustine answereth, giving this rule, ‘The circumstances of the Scriptures lighten the Scriptures; and so one Scripture doth expound another to a man that is studious, well willing, and often calling upon God in continual prayer, who giveth his Holy Spirit to them that desire it of him.’” – Conference with Ridley.
Bishop Pilkington – “What a treasure it is to have God’s word amongst us, seeing it is the ordinary way that he hath ordained to bring us unto him. ... Men fall chiefly into heresies when they trust to their own wits and learning, forsaking or not submitting their wits unto God’s wisdom contained in his infallible word and truth.” – Expos. on Prophet Aggeus.
“I would not have men think that the Scripture taketh its authority and credit of the man that writeth it; but the writer is to be credited for the Holy Ghost’s sake, who inspired him with such heavenly knowledge, and whose instrument he is for God to speak by. Scripture cometh not first from man, but from God, and therefore God is to be taken for the author of it and not man. The Holy Ghost, who is the author of the Holy Scripture, hath not put down any one word in writing, whether in the New Testament or the Old, that is either superstitious or unprofitable, though it seem so to many.” – On Nehemiah.
“All the canonical Scriptures we do so reverently receive and faithfully believe, that we stand in contention with the Papists, that nothing is to be believed as necessary to salvation, but only the Old Testament and the New.” – Confutation &c.
Bishop Ridley – “By the abomination thereof. (Babylon of St. Peter) I understand all the whole trade of the Romish religion, under the name and title of Christ, which is contrary to the only rule of all true religion, that is God’s word.” – Lamentation of the Church.
Bishop Hooper – “Sure we are that Christ, the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles be sound, and believed no more, nor any otherwise than they have left unto us by their writings. ... If they (Papists) say unto thee, that thou must not take the text after thine own mind, but after the mind of holy Christians who have written in the Scripture, think with thyself that God hath given thee the Scripture to read therein to thy salvation, as well as unto the doctor. ... Be not afraid of this holy name, but trust to the holiness of the Scripture, then shalt thou not be deceived.” – On the Ten Commandments.
Archdeacon Philpot – “There is no cause then why we should look for, from the Holy Ghost, any new learning, either diverse from that which those heavenly men and messengers of the Lord have left written in books to us, either that we do make him the author and teacher of our lies: for the Spirit is true, and always one, whom Christ hath given to the Church, not for to teach new matters, but for to expound and put in our remembrance those things which were whilom committed and taught to us. Wherefore, although the Church may interpret and expound, with the Holy Ghost their guide and master, the divine writings; therefore it may not prescribe and constitute a doctrine, or else any laws for salvation and immortality to be obtained. ... This we do, nay, that by any man’s interpretation any new doctrine ought to be enacted which cannot stand and be upholden by manifest and certain pleas of the said Scriptures. He that saith that all things which Christ wrought be not written, the self-same witnesseth that such things as be necessary to attain salvation and immortality be written.” –Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Archbishop Crammer – “Know whether they be learned, godly minded, and able to instruct by the Scriptures or no. And yet if they be, believe them no further than they can show their doctrine and exhortation to be agreeable with the true word of God written. For that is the very touchstone which must, yea, and also will, try all doctrine or learning, whatsoever it be, whether it be good or evil, true or false. ... But, (say the Papists) when Scriptures be hard and doubtful, and seem to be contrary one to another by mistaking and wrong understanding, whereof divers heresies do arise, how shall we more know the truth in such diversity of opinions, both parties grounding themselves upon the Scriptures; but only by the Church, which (as they say) cannot err. St. Augustine shall make answer herein for me, saying on this wise: ‘dark places are to be expounded by more plain places; for that is the surest way of declaring the Scriptures, to expound one Scripture by another.’ And again, he saith, ‘that in things openly contained in the Scriptures, we found all things that concern faith, good living, and charity. And if any thing cannot be tried by the certain and plain places of the Scriptures, let man’s presumption’ saith he, stay itself, not leaning to either part.’ ... But in seeking of the Scriptures, let us seek no further than is left in writing by God our Saviour lest in desiring too much we lose all. For this is most true, that no unwritten verity is, or can be, necessary for our salvation; for then should the sacred and holy Scriptures written by the Apostles in the Spirit of God, and sealed with their blood, seem to be insufficient and not able to bring us unto salvation. Augustine saith, ‘I owe my consent to the canonical Scriptures only, without any refusal.’... The same in his second book of the Christian doctrine, cap. 9. After that he hath numbered the canonical books, he saith thus, ‘In all these books they that fear God and are turned through holiness do search the will of God.’”
“Cyprian in the exposition of the Creed, after that he hath rehearsed the canonical books of the Bible, he saith, ‘These be they which our fathers have included within the canon, out of the which our fathers would the doctrine of our faith to be certain: nevertheless, there be other books which of our elders were not called canonical, but ecclesiastical; as the book of Wisdom, the books of Sirach, Tobii, Judith, Machabees, and other.’ All which books they would have to be read in the Church, but not alleged as of authority to confirm any article of our faith.” – Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
Prison Declaration – “We confess and believe all the canonical books of the Old Testament, and all the books of the New Testament to be the very true word of God, and to be written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and are therefore to be heard accordingly as the judge in all controversies and matters of religion.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “So becometh it all men to do, not rashly to admit and receive, nor yet furiously to condemn at the first sight, but as St. Paul saith, ‘to prove all things, and to choose and hold that which is best.’ Things must be proved by the Scriptures, and not by the spirit of pride, contention, despite, and contumacy. Christ and Christ’s truth is only learned of the Holy Scriptures. They that teach any other thing than the Scriptures, teach not Christ, but human inventions. Neither ought any thing as a necessary truth to be believed under pain of damnation, nor to be admitted in the Church of Christ, except it may be established by the Holy Scripture and pure word of God. ... Hereto agreeth Origen. ‘It is needful,’ saith he, ‘to call the Holy Scriptures into witness, for our judgments and expositions without these witnesses have no faith.’ Also, St. Jerome, ‘that, we affirm must be established and approved with the testimonies of the Holy Scriptures, in the which God speaketh daily to them that believe.’” – Pref. to ‘Potation, for Lent.’
Bishop Jewel – “The Scriptures are the word of God. What title can there be of greater value? What may be said of them to make them of greater authority, than to say, ‘the Lord hath spoken by them? that they came not by the will of men, but, holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ?’ (2 Pet. 1). ... They may not read them, (say some) they are not able to wield them; the Scriptures are not for the people. ... But God himself and the ancient fathers of the Church said otherwise. God saith (Deut. 30) ‘This commandment which I command thee this day is not hid from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it us, and cause us to learn it, that we may do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, who shall go over the sea for us, and cause us to learn it, that we may do it? But the word is very near thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, for to do it.’ But all this, notwithstanding, some take exception, and say, the Scriptures are dark and doubtful, the matters are deep, the words are hard, few can understand them. One taketh them in this sense, another in a sense clean contrary. ... The prophet David saith, (Psa. 19) ‘The commandment of the Lord is pure and giveth light unto the eyes. ... Human knowledge is dark and uncertain, philosophy is dark, astrology is dark, and geometry is dark. ... But the Holy Spirit of God, like a good teacher, applieth himself to the dullness of our wits; he leadeth not us by the unknown places of the earth, nor by the air, nor by the clouds; he astonished’ not our spirits with natural vanities; he writeth his law in our hearts; he teacheth us to know him and his Christ; he teacheth us (Tit. 2) that we should ‘deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,’ &c. ... Some things in the Scriptures are hard, I deny it not. It is very expedient that somewhat should be covered. But it is true also that they which pervert them unto their own destruction are unlearned and unstable; that is, they to whom they are hard have not their eyes opened that they may see the light of the word; or they be wicked, and turn the truth of God into lies, and abuse the Scriptures to their own damnation. The owl, it seeth not by the brightness of the sun, not because the sunbeams are dark, but for that his eyes are weak, and cannot abide so clear light.” – On the Holy Scriptures.
John Bradford, M.A. – “Other word of God have we none than in the canon of the Bible; and all things written therein are written for our learning, (saith St. Paul) whereby he proveth, seeing that it is a learning, yea our learning, that we must learn it. Therefore, woe be to all them which either persuade men that there is other doctrine of like authority, or that dissuade men from embracing this word, this word of God.” – Letters.
Bible Preface – “‘All the whole Scripture,’ saith the holy apostle St. Paul, inspired from God alone, ‘is profitable to teach, to reprove, to reform, to instruct in righteousness.’ &c. Search, therefore, good reader, (on God’s name) as Christ biddeth thee, the Holy Scripture, wherein thou mayest find thy salvation. Though many things may be difficult to thee to understand, impute it rather to thy dull hearing and reading, than to think that the Scriptures be insuperable to them, which, with diligent searching, labour to discern the evil from the good. ... Christ himself will open the sense of the Scriptures, not to the proud, or to the wise of the world, but to the lowly and contrite in heart.”
“What meant the fathers of the Church in their writings, but the advancing of those holy books? where, some do attribute no certainty of undoubted verity but to the canonical Scriptures. ... Some say that our faith must needs stagger if it be not grounded upon the authority of Scripture. Some testify that Christ and his Church ought to be avouched out of the Scriptures, and do contend in disputation that the true Church cannot be known but only by the Holy Scriptures. ... Wherefore, let men extol the Church practices as highly as they can, and let them set their traditions and customs, their decisions in synods ... yet will we be bold to say with St. Peter, ‘We have for our part a more stable ground, the prophetical words (of the Scriptures,) and doubt not to be commended therefore of the same.’ ... Now, therefore, knowing and believing with St. Paul, ‘Whatsoever is afore written, is written for our instruction, that we, through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope;’ the only surety to our faith and conscience is to stick to the Scriptures.” – Archbp. Parker’s Prefaces to the Bible.
Nowell’s Catechism – “Dost thou then affirm that all things necessary to godliness and salvation are contained in the written word of God? Yea, for it were a point of intolerable ungodliness and madness to think either that God hath left an imperfect doctrine, or that man were able to make that perfect which God left imperfect. Therefore the Lord hath most straitly forbidden men, that they neither add anything, not take anything from his word, nor turn any way from it, either to the right hand or to the left.”
Roger Hutchinson. M A. – “God’s book is no imperfect work, but a perfect book, containing all things to be done, the whole duty of a Christian man, and sufficient doctrine to instruct a God’s man in all good works, and to make him perfect, as St. Paul witnesseth, writing to Timothy. (2 Tim. 3). And he must needs accuse God either of ignorance, or of folly, or of negligence, which saith that he hath left anything untouched and undeclared, which concerneth a Christian man’s office, and is needful and necessary unto salvation. All such things be expressed in God’s book.” – Ser. on Lord’s Supper.
“Again, how they understood the word Canonical, it may be gathered both out of the words of the same canon, where they give none other reason of the approbation of all these books of Scripture, but that they have received them of their fathers to be read in the Church. ... St. Jerome, a priest of Rome, and Ruffinus Aquileia, in symbolo, both declare what books were received in their Churches as canonical and of irrefragable authority to build principles of faith upon them, and what books were admitted only to be read for instruction of manners. [Sciendum tamen est, quod et alii libri sunt qui non canonici, sed ecclesiastici a majoribus appellati sunt: ut est Sapientia Salomonis et alia Sapientia quae dicitur filii Syrach, qui liber aput Latinos hoc ipso generali vocabulo Ecclesiasticus appellatur; quo vocabulo non auctor libelli, sed scripturae qualitas cognominata est. Ejusdem ordinis est libellus Tobiae, et Judith, et Machabaeorum libri. – Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum Ruffini, p. 397. 8. ed. Ald. 1563. (See Parker Society Edn.)]
ARCHBISHOP WHITGIFT – “There is nothing necessary to eternal life which is not both commanded and expressed in the Scriptures. I count it expressed, when it is either in manifest modes contained in Scripture, or thereof gathered by necessary collation. I have learned of St. Augustine to give this reverence only to the writers of canonical Scripture, that I think none of them to have erred in writing. And I do firmly believe, that only the books of the canonical Scriptures are of that absoluteness and perfection, that nothing may be taken away from them, nothing added to them. ... I also confess that in all other things we must be so directed by the Scriptures, that we do nothing contrary to the true sense and meaning of them; no, not in external and in the least matters; neither do I otherwise write, teach, or speak of the perfection and authority of the Scriptures, than all other learned men and the reformed Churches teach, write, and believe. ... When I say that the Scriptures contain all things necessary unto salvation, I do not mean that it containeth those things only, neither do I deny but that the word of God so containeth generally the direction of all things pertaining to the Church, or that can fall to any part of man’s life, that nothing ought to be done in that Church or in the life of man contrary to the word of God, or not according to the true intent and meaning of the same. Yet do I deny that the Scriptures do express particularly every thing that is to be done in the Church.” – Defence of the Answer to the Admonition.
Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.
Bible Preface – “Christ Jesus his Son was promised of God the Father to be a Saviour to this Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the other fathers; which should deliver them from their sins, and tyranny of the devil, who with a quick and living faith would believe this promise, and trust to this Jesus Christ, hoping to have this deliverance of and by him. And truly this promise is very oft rehearsed in the books of the Old Testament; as that is called the New which teacheth that this promise is fulfilled. – Pref. to Bible of Henry VIII and Ed. VI.
L. Ridley. D.D. – “Christ hath taken away the law as touching the ceremonial and judicial laws. Yea, and the moral law also, that it shall be done no more for fear ... as in time past. Christ hath taken away the law as touching the ceremonials and judicials, that it is not now necessary to keep them. ... For life everlasting may be without circumcision and other such like ceremonial laws. ... As touching moral precepts Christ hath not taken them away, but that they shall not be done for fear of the law, for fear of hell, but for the love of God, with all gladness of heart.” – Comment. on Eph.
Bishop Latimer – “Our Saviour Christ was revealed long before he came to suffer. First in Paradise, when God spake of the woman’s seed. ‘The seed of the woman shall break the serpent’s head.’ And this was a gospel, a glad tiding. ... Now there cometh God with his gospel, and promiseth that there shall be one born of a woman which shall quash the serpent’s head; and this was a gospel. And no doubt, as many as did believe these words, and did put their hope in the seed of the woman, and believed to be delivered from their sins through that seed – as many I say as believed so, were saved; as Seth, Enoch, and other good and godly men, which were at that time. Further this gospel was revealed unto Abraham, when God did promise him, saying, ‘In thy seed all nations shall be blessed;’ so that it appeared that without Christ we are under the curse of God; and again, by Christ we have the benediction of God. Likewise this gospel was opened unto David and all the holy prophets.:—Sermon in Advent.
Bishop Pilkington – “For although these ceremonies in the old law were given by Moses for the hardness of the people, to keep them exercised, that they fall not to idolatry of the gentiles; yet is there no mention of any of these in the New Testament, nor yet commandment now, neither to us nor them, but forbidden to be used of all, both of us and them. We be no longer under shadows, but under the truth. Christ hath fulfilled all, and taken away all such dark kind of ceremonies, and hath placed the clear light of his gospel in his Church to continue to the end.” – On Prophet Aggeus.
Bishop Hooper – “The means” (of salvation) “was showed unto Adam at his first and original transgression, the seed of the woman which should break the head of the serpent; destroy the kingdom of the devil, and restore Adam, and as many as knew and believed in this seed unto life everlasting. And as the sin of Adam, the only occasion of all man’s misery, was derived unto all his posterity, and made subject unto death and the ire of God for ever; so was this seed from the beginning a very true and sufficient remedy to as many as believed.” –Decl. of Christ.
Archbishop Cranmer – “This is the Christian faith which these holy men (Heb. 11) had, and we also ought to have. And although they were not named Christian men, yet was it a Christian faith that they had; for they looked for all benefits of God the Father, through the merits of his Son Jesus Christ, as we now do. This difference is between them and us, for they looked when Christ should come, and we be in the time when he is come. Therefore saith St. Augustine, ‘the time is altered but not the faith.’” – Homily of Faith.
Bishop Coverdale – “Such faith in Christ Jesu as we now have spoken of, did the holy father Adam no doubt teach his children, that they also might plant into their children the promise of God, his mercy and device concerning the Messias or Saviour that was for to come. ... Inasmuch then as it cannot be denied bat that all they which are just and righteous, be made righteous through the blessed seed, and Abel was justified; (Heb. 11) it followeth that he was made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.” – The Old Faith.
“No doubt the sacrifices of the Old Testament were celebrated with divers ornaments and ceremonies ... it was not for nought that the Lord preserved such a form for a time, to the intent that at the length it should have an end, and be abrogate. No doubt because he had not as then declared his doctrines so plainly, he would so much the rather that his people should be exercised in figures, that the thing which wanted in that Testament, might be repaired in the other. But since that Christ appeared in the flesh, look by how much more the doctrine is lightened, so much are the figures diminished. Seeing, therefore, we have the body, we must leave the shadows. For if we will replenish the abolished ceremonies, we shall patch again that veil that Christ brake in sunder by his death; and so shall we obscure and darken the light of the gospel.” – On the Sac. of the Body and Blood of Christ.
“As for all the laws and ordinances which afterward were added unto these two tables,” (the ten Commandments) “they were not joined thereunto as principal laws, but as bylaws. ... For the perfect sum of all laws, the very right rule of godliness, of God’s service, of righteousness, of good and evil conversation, is comprehended already in the two tables.” – The Old Faith.
Nowell’s Catechism – “That same most joyful and altogether heavenly doctrine of restoring salvation by Christ which in old time was disclosed by the holy prophets, the servants of God, he himself at length, the Lord of prophets, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and also the Virgin, even the same promised seed, hath most clearly taught all men,” &c. – Catechism.
Archdeacon Calfhill, D.D. – “If they say that this commandment” (the second) “concerneth the Jews only to whom the law was given; I answer with all the fathers of the Church, that it was moral and not ceremonial: therefore it bindeth as well us as them.” – Pref. to Treatise on the Cross.
William Fulke, D.D. – “Neither our Saviour nor his Apostles, citing any place out of the Old Testament, do bring anything disagreeing in sense and substance of matter from the truth of the Hebrew text.” – Defence.
Of the Three Creeds.
The three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius’s Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.
Bishop Hooper – “The creed of Nice calleth him, (Christ) ‘Light of light,’ the natural Son of God, in whom dwelleth the fountain of all divinity naturally – meaning that he is not the Son of God by adoption or acceptation into grace, but naturally the Son of God.” &c. – On Christ and his office.
Archbishop Cranmer – “That the Creed which is commonly and universally used to be said by the common people, was made by the twelve apostles: and though the articles thereof are firmly and steadfastly to be believed of every Christian man, as articles sufficiently proved by Scripture; yet that they were gathered together by the twelve apostles ... cannot be proved by Scripture, ne is it not necessary to be believed for our salvation.” – Appendix of unwritten verities.
Prison Declaration – “We believe and confess all the articles of faith and doctrine set forth in the symbol of the apostles, which we commonly call the creed; and in the symbols of the Council of Nice, kept An. Dom. 324; of Ephesus, kept An. Dom. 432; of Chalcedon, kept An. Dom. 464; of Toletum, the first and fourth. Also in the Symbols of Athanasius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and of Damascus, which was about the year of our Lord 376.”
Nowell’s Catechism – “Why is it called the symbol” (or creed) “of the Apostles? Because it was first received from the Apostles’ own mouth, or most faithfully gathered out of their writings, and allowed from the very beginning of the Church, and so hath continually remained among all the godly, firm, steadfast, and unmoved, as a sure and staid rule of Christian faith.” – Catechism.
Bishop Pilkington – “There is no creed made at any general councils, nor Athanasius’s Creed, but we willingly embrace it, receive it, and believe it. Seeing then we openly profess and teach all things contained in the Holy Scriptures, and all the Articles of any creed determined in general council, or written by Athanasius, or any Catholic father, how can it be that we be out of the faith?” – Burning of St. Paul’s, &c.
Of Original or Birth-sin.
Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk:) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated: whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, phronema sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
Bishop Latimer – “‘Lo in iniquity am I born, and in sin hath my mother conceived me.’ He (David) doth signify by his words what he had inherited of his parents – of Adam namely, sin and wickedness; and he speaketh not of himself only, but of all mankind. He painteth us out in our own colour; showing that all we, be contaminate, from our birth, with sin, and so should justly be firebrands in hell, world without end. ... ‘Whatsoever is born of the flesh is flesh,’ that is to say, is sinful, wicked, and so, destitute of the glory of God, and the child of the devil.” – Ser. on St. Stephen’s Day.
Edward VI Catechism – “By original sin and evil custom, the image of God in man was so, at the beginning, darkened, and the judgment of nature so corrupted, that man himself doth not sufficiently understand what difference is between honesty and dishonesty, right and wrong. ... And forthwith the image of God was defaced in them; and the most beautiful proportion of righteousness, holiness, truth, and knowledge of God was confounded, and in a manner utterly blotted out. Hereof grew the weakness of our flesh; hereof came this corruption and disorder of lusts and affections; hereof came that pestilence; hereof came that seed and nourishment of sins wherewith mankind is infected, and it is called sin original.” – Catechism.
L. Ridley, D. D. – “Men that be out of the favour of God, walk from one sin to another, do the lusts of their flesh, and of their own will, contrary to the will of God. Here we may learn what we can do of ourselves, left to our own might and power, if we lack the grace of God; surely we can do nothing else but sin, and follow the desires of our corrupt flesh, of the which come death and eternal damnation.” – On Ephesians.
Archbishop Sandys – “Touching ourselves, we teach with the blessed apostles and prophets, ‘that by nature we are the children of wrath,’ that corruption is bred and settled within our bones; that we are both born and begotten in it; that with it all the powers and faculties of our nature are infected; that still it cleaveth fast unto our souls, and although the deadly sting be taken from it, yet there it sticketh as long as life doth endure, so irksome, and so grievous, that it forceth the most upright and perfect to cry, ‘miserable man, who shall deliver me?’ By this inbred corruption our understanding is so darkened, that naturally we cannot perceive the things which are of God; no, we count them foolishness; our will is in such thraldom and slavery unto sin, that it cannot like of any thing spiritual and heavenly, but is wholly carried unto fleshly desires.” – Sermons.
Bishop Hooper – “The sin of Adam, the only occasion of all man’s misery, was derived unto all his posterity, and made it subject unto death and the ire of God for ever. ... Man fallen from his first dignity and original perfection, is now the creature that fighteth with the law of God; full of darkness, ignorance, and of the contempt of God, without obedience, fear, and love of God; oppressed, and subject unto all calamities and willful concupiscence both of body and soul.” – Declaration.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Hereby you perceive, good children, how our first parents Adam and Eve, poisoned with the venom of the serpent, were cast into four horrible vices. And as our first parents were infected and corrupted, even so be we that be their children. ... And as they loved not God, so their children love him not; and as they followed their own concupiscence, lust, and appetites, and not the will of God, even so do all their issue. So that all their posterity upon earth be sinners, even in their mother’s womb.” – Catechism of 1548.
“This is a great feebleness, or rather, a horrible sickness, leprosy, corruption, and pestilent contagion of original sin, by means thereof, they that be most holy here in earth, be not perfectly just and righteous, but even they, want many things that belong to their perfection.” – Ibid.
“No man shall be damned for the offences of Adam, but for his own proper offences, either actual or original.” – Annotations.
“Although our heavenly Father doth most mercifully forgive us our offences, yet he doth not take sin clean away, but during this life we fight against sin until we die, and so be tried and proved whether we love him and his commandments better than our own wills and pleasures.” – Catechism of 1548.
Bishop Coverdale – “The words of the prophet are these, ‘All we are become as an unclean man, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ ... In your Latin ye read the text thus, ‘All we are unclean, and as filthy rags.’ So that ye leave out all our righteousnesses. Now if the text may stand still for you, as the Holy Ghost left it, that all our righteousness and best works are unclean, and not without some blemish; then happily you will have little thank, not only for holding against it, but also for minishing the text. As touching the Germans (to whom ye impute error in this behalf), their doctrine is, that when the servants of God have done all that is commanded them, they must acknowledge themselves to be unprofitable, to have occasion continually to cry unto God, and to say, ‘O forgive us our trespasses,’ to acknowledge ‘that in their flesh dwelleth no good thing;’ yea, and to confess, that though they ‘delight in the law of God after the inward man, yet there is another law in their members, which striveth against the law of their mind, and taketh them prisoners in the law of sin, which is in their members;’ that ‘there is no man but he sinneth,’ that ‘the whole life upon earth is a very battle,’ where ‘the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;’ so that Christian men cannot bring every thing to such a perfection as they feign would.” ... Thus taught also St. Augustine.” – Confutation of Standish.
W. Turner, M.D. – “Concupiscence, which showeth itself by its evil fruits, even in a man that is baptized, is sin of itself. (Rom. 7) Here the Apostle saith, ‘Now, I mine own self do not this, but the sin which dwelleth and remaineth in me.’ The Apostle doth not here speak in the person of wicked men; for wicked men do not consent to the law, they serve and obey not the law of God with their mind. Of its own nature indeed it is evil; but a man truly regenerate, and not walking after the flesh, doth repress and hold down sin with the spirit of grace, that it reign not, nor have the over hand; that there be no damnation unto them that be grafted in Christ.” (Rom. 8). – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “What is original sin? It is the poison and corruption that we have in our birth, through the infection of our nature in Adam, which doth bring forth in us the fruit of incredulity, and all wickednesses, and maketh us unable to the works of the law, as the law requireth them to be done of us, until Christ and his word hath made us a new creature.” – Demands of Holy Scripture.
John Bradford, M.A. – “Adam (I say) being made after God’s image which he received for us all, to have derived the same unto us all, by natural propagation; by transgressing the commandments, lost and mangled so the same image of God in himself, and in us all, that for immortality came death; for wisdom came foolishness; for righteousness came unrighteousness; for holiness came corruption, ... the which all we by propagation do from our mother’s womb receive, so that we may well see our state now to be far from the state we had before Adam’s fall.” – On Election.
“A man that is regenerate consisteth of two men (as a man may say), namely of the old man and of the new man. The old man is like to a mighty giant, such a one as was Goliath, for his birth is now perfect; but the new man is like unto a little child, such a one as was David, for his birth is not perfect until the day of his general resurrection.” – Letters.
See also Articles X, XI, XIII.
The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
Bishop Latimer – “We are fleshly, we are carnal, we can do nothing perfectly as we ought to do; wherefore we have need to say with St. Augustine, ‘Domine fac quae praecipis, et praecipe quod vis,’ ‘Lord do thou with me what thou commandest, and then command what thou wilt.’ For we of our own strength and power are not able to do his commandments; but that lack, our Saviour will supply with his fulfilling, and with his perfectness the will take our imperfectness.” – Ser. on Lord’s Prayer.
“We can do nothing but commit sin, and are not able to make amends for the least sin that we commit.” – Ser. St. John’s day.
Archbishop Sandys – “But what, is it in our own will and power to return? or doth God command that which is impossible for us to perform? Truth it is ‘all our sufficiency is of God.’ Of ourselves we are not able to think a good thought. It is God that giveth both to will and to perform. ‘Without me,’ saith Christ, ‘you are able to do nothing.’ No doubt we have power and free will to run from God; but to draw near unto him is his grace and gift. ‘Ad malum sufficit sibi liberum arbitrium, ad bonum non,’ ‘free will hath in itself ability enough to evil but none to good.’ He commandeth us therefore to do that which of ourselves we arc not able to do, that seeing our want we may crave his grace and help, which will enable us to draw near unto him. ‘Convert us, O Lord, and we shall be converted.’ If he convert us not, we shall remain as we are, or rather, proceed to worse. ‘No man cometh unto me,’ saith Christ, ‘except the Father draw him.’ The Spirit and grace of God, of (the) untoward and unwilling, maketh forward and ready; and so by the efficacy of the Spirit being changed, we which were far off are drawn near.” – Sermons.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “This place (Phil. 1:3–8,) showeth that we of our own free will, without the grace of God, are not able to begin any good work, nor to go forth with it, nor to finish it. ‘For we of ourselves are not able to think any good thought, as of ourselves, but all our ability is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3). Then what shall we ascribe to our free will without Christ and without the grace of God? Surely nothing that is good. Evil cometh of ourselves, and all goodness of God the Father of lights. (James 1). ... I would ask one question; whether to assent to the grace of God offered, and to receive it is good or no? And if it be good, as I trust none will deny, then it is of God the Father, and not of us. To this question St. Austin maketh answer and saith, that in outward works, indifferent, neither good nor evil in themselves, we have a certain free liberty to do them or not to do them; but to do any thing that is acceptable to God, or meritorious, (as they were wont to call works pertaining to justification, or to the salvation of a Christian man,) we cannot do it without the grace of God, nor yet will it, nor assent to it. ‘Therefore,’ (saith Austin) ‘God without us worketh that we may have a good will, but when we have that good will, and so will that we perform it, he worketh with us; yet without him either working in us that we may have a good will, or working with us when we have that good will, we can avail nothing towards good works of piety.” – On Phil.
“Albeit, that we be justified by faith, ... yet we have no cause why we should glory in ourselves. For faith is not of us, but it is the gift of God, and not the work of our power, as saith St. Paul.” (2 Cor. 3). – On Eph. 2:8–10.
Bishop Hooper – “The nature of man by the infection of original sin is so corrupted, and the heart so oppressed with contrary motions and violent resistance unto virtue, that men never consent so willingly and steadfastly unto the knowledge of virtue as they should do. (Rom. 1). ... The man is drawn with his own lusts and love of the world unto the contempt of God, and consenteth not unto his true knowledge. ... This aversion and malicious obstinacy of the will must be daily mortified, or else it will work thine eternal displeasure, and make thee the everlasting enemy of God.” – Answer to Bishop of Winchester.
“God requireth an inward and perfect obedience unto the will of God; the which this nature of man, corrupted by original sin cannot perform, as St. Paul proveth manifestly in the seventh and eighth chapter to the Romans. There remaineth in man as long as he liveth ignorance and blindness, that he knoweth not God nor his law as he ought to do, but rebelleth by contumacy against God. ... Likewise the will as froward and perverse, that it willeth nothing of God nor of his law.” – On the Use of the Law.
Archdeacon Philpot – “For he” (Florebell, with whom Philpot agrees on this point,) “judgeth God to be the author of all those things which we do rightwisely (righteously,) and that without his inspiration and help we are not able anything of ourselves well; yea, neither to endeavour nor to begin; and that the blissful and everlasting life cometh not to us by violence and by that self nature of our good doings, but by the abundance of the divine goodness, recompensing our good deeds and wills, whatsoever they be, with so great a reward.” – Transl. of Curio’s Defence.
Bishop Coverdale – “Immediately after the resurrection, he breathed upon his disciples and giveth them the Holy Ghost; to declare that he is the same who at the beginning created our nature and sealed it with his Spirit; and that it is even he who now in the beginning of a new life, must by his Spirit renew and restore our decayed nature again. ... Now cannot Christ the image of God be right proportioned and renewed in us, but by the Holy Ghost.” – Fruitful Lessons.
W. Turner, M.D. – “‘Whatsoever is not of faith, that is sin;’ then that motion of free will before grace is sin. Then what madness is it when a man cannot do well of himself but only evil? What health is that, to have power to fall and not to rise or stand, without the help of another. (2 Cor. 3). ‘Our sufficiency or ableness to do good is of God.’ Consider well the words of the Holy Ghost, (Rom. 10) where he calleth his own ‘the vessels of mercy.’ And (Rom. 8) ‘The children of God be led with the Spirit of God.’ (Isa. 26) ‘Lord thou hast wrought all our works in us.’ ... Thou indeed consentest, willest, and workest; but God maketh thee to consent, will, and work, so that this saying also may be always justly laid before thine eyes, ‘What hast thou that thou hast not received.’ – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D. D. – “After his offence, he” (Adam) “came not to God as he ought to have done, neither sought he grace and remission of his sin at the goodness of God by confessing his sin with a faithful repentant heart; but straight way, after the transgression of the precept he fled from God, and hid himself from the face of God, and as they use to say, put his head in a bush like a coward for fear. O where are the powers of free will, if man be once without the Spirit of God? Man hath now no power to seek for salvation, but rather continueth still in his old wickedness, and seeketh to be far from the face of God.” – Christmas Banquet.
“What is free will? It is the liberty that man hath in doing outward things, and the natural work of man in such things as be not spiritual; as in ordering himself after a civil and political fashion, and outward fulfilling of the moral virtues. Howbeit, he hath not the power, no, nor yet the will to love God, dread God, and to know him, until that he be renewed, and that Christ hath set him at liberty.” – Demands of Scripture.
Bishop Jewel – “But as touching the freedom of the will and power of ourselves, we say with St. Augustine, ‘O malum liberum arbitrium sine Deo,’ ‘Oh, evil is free will without God.’ ... Again, ‘Quid tantum de naturae possibilitate praesumitur? Vulnerata, saucia, vexata, perdita est. Vera confessione non falsa defensione opus habet,’ ‘What do men so much presume of the possibility of nature? It is wounded, it is mangled, it is troubled, it is lost; it behoveth us rather truly to confess it than falsely to defend it.’ Again, ‘Liberum arbitrium captivatum non nisi ad peccatum valet,’ ‘Free will, once made thrall, availeth now nothing but to sin.’” – Defence of the Apology.
John Bradford, M.A. –“In our first creation we had a life not only with the creatures but also with God, which life utterly Adam lost and this he lost for us also as well as for himself, in respect whereof the Scripture calleth us dead. Concerning this life therefore that is with God we have no will at all, much less any free will; for how can a dead man have any will? The will therefore we have is only for this life, and with men; that is, it is not good and free, but in respect of men and in this life; in respect of God and life with him, all our will is as we are, even dead. A man regenerate, that is born of God, hath the Spirit of God: and as a man born of flesh and blood hath the Spirit thereof, whereby as .he can stir up himself to do more and more the deeds of the flesh, so the other can by the Spirit of God in him stir up in himself the gifts and graces of God, to glorify God accordingly. Howbeit, here let us remark, that as the old man is a perpetual enemy to the newborn man, so accordingly to his strength, the works of the new man are letted and made ineffectual.” – Bradford on Election.
William Fulke, D.D. – “Our meaning for free will is, that we confess it at all times, to be free from constraint, but never free to embrace that which is good indeed, but only when it is reformed by the grace of God: who also, in all good things that we take in hand, doth not only make us willing, but also giveth all the strength we have to perform them.” – Defence.
Archbishop Whitgift – “The doctrine of free will, because it is an enemy to the grace of God, must needs be of itself a damnable doctrine, yet doth it not prejudice the mercy of God, nor shut out repentance, the gift of God. And full well do you know that he cannot hold the foundation of faith (that is in Christ) perfectly, which is a maintainer of free will.” – Defence of the Answer, &c.
Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings; Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
Bishop Latimer – “‘They are the enemies of the cross of Christ.’ – A man may be an enemy of the cross of Christ when he is a right Papist, given to monkery; I warrant you he is in this opinion, that with his own works he doth merit remission of his sins, and satisfieth the law through and by, his own works; and so thinketh himself to be saved everlastingly. ... Now all these that be in such an opinion, they be the enemies of the cross of Christ, of his passion and blood-shedding. For they think in themselves Christ needed not to die, but so they despise his bitter passion: they do not consider our birth-sin and the corruption of our nature; nor yet do they know the quantity of our actual sins. ... All faithful and true Christians believe only in his death, they long to be saved through his passion and blood-shedding, this is all their comfort. ... For Christ only and no man else merited remission, justification, and eternal felicity for as many as will believe the same; they that will not believe it shall not have it; for it is no more, but, ‘believe and have’. For though we do our uttermost, yet is it all unperfect, when ye examine them by the rigour of the law; which law serveth to bring us to the knowledge of our sins, and so to Christ; and by Christ we shall come to the quietness of our conscience.” ... Ser. 23rd Sun. after Trinity.
“So that we are now fulfillers of the law by his fulfilling, so that the law may not condemn us. For he hath fulfilled it, so that we believing in him are fulfillers of the law, and just before the face of God. For Christ with his passion hath deserved that all that believe in him shall be saved, not through their own good works, but through his passion. Here thou seest whereupon hangeth thy salvation, namely, believing in the Son of God, which hath prepared and gotten heaven for all those that believe in him, and live uprightly according to his word.” –Ser. on Luke 2:42.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “Our salvation cometh not of ourselves, of our works, or merits of men, but only of the grace of God through faith. In the which words (Eph. 2:8–10) St. Paul reproveth all them that think our justification doth come by other things than by the grace of God and by Christ. ... To faith in the Scripture is attributed our justification, not because faith is the author of our justification; for the author of our justification is Christ; but justification is attributed to faith, because faith receiveth the mercy of God, and believeth the promises of God made to just men and believers to be fulfilled. So faith is the organ and the mean, by the which we perceive our justification to come of the only mercy of God, and it maketh us to believe the Scriptures, that show that we are justified by grace through faith without all works.” – On Eph. 2:8–10.
Bishop Pilkington – “God hath not found a new way of late for us to be saved by, but hath appointed one means for all ages, by which only we shall please him; that is, the merits and death of his dear Son Christ Jesus our Lord. He is the strong rock, upon whom what house soever is builded, shall stand: all other be builded on the sand, and therefore shall fall.” – Exp. Aggeus.
Archbishop Sandys – “The mean whereby we are made partakers of this free remission of sins in the death and resurrection of Christ is faith in Christ. ‘For all’ (saith Peter) ‘that believe in him shall receive remission of sins through his name,’ God doth freely offer unto us remission of sin and peace in Christ: the mean and instrument to receive it withal is faith. ... This doctrine of justification by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus is witnessed by all the prophets. It is no new doctrine, but old, not only proceeding from the apostles but also from the prophets.” – Ser. Acts 10:34.
Bishop Hooper – ... “Now to attribute justification to our merits or works, is to make of none effect the merit of Christ, to make grace no grace.
“He” (Christ) “was made partaker of man’s mortal nature, that by death he might destroy him that had imperic and dominion of death, to say the devil. ... His death so obedient with the Father’s will, that it was not only a sacrifice, but also a just recompense to satisfy for all the world, solely and only, as Christ taught Nicodemus, John 3 and such a sacrifice as once for all sufficeth.” – Decl.
“Faith doth not only show us Christ that died and now sitteth at the right hand of God; but also applieth the merits of his death unto us, and maketh Christ ours; faith laying nothing to gage unto the justice of God but the death of Christ, and thereupon claimeth mercy of God’s promise, the remission of sin. ... Although faith be the means whereby it is received, yet hath neither faith, nor charity, nor contrition, nor the word of God, nor all those knit together, sufficient merits wherefore we should obtain this remission of sin; but the only cause wherefore sin is forgiven is the death of Christ. Now mark the words of St. Paul. ‘Freely’ (saith he) we are justified by his grace.’” – Ibid.
Archdeacon Philpot – “‘By the works of the law no man shall be justified before God.’ Thou hast here, that together all good deeds, yea, the very best as those of God’s law, cannot bring us just before God, and do justify no man; for that it was not made for this purpose to justify, but that through the same, sin might be known. ... Show me why dost thou so much detest to grant that we obtain the divine justice through faith, and that all our sins be freely and for nought forgiven us, for Christ’s sake alone, if that we put our confidence in him? Doth not Peter the apostle confess and preach this, when he saith, that God by faith, that is, through the affiance of his mercy, purgeth the hearts and souls of men? Also when he proclaimeth, that there is none other name besides that one of Christ given to men under heaven, by the which they may obtain salvation. Whether is not Paul wholly in this. ... ‘Therefore, we being justified by faith, have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’” – Curio’s Decl.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Because all men be sinners and offenders against God, and breakers of his law and commandments, therefore, can no man by his own acts, works, and deeds, (seem they never so good) be justified and made righteous before God; but every man is constrained to seek for another righteousness or justification to be received at God’s own hands. ... In these foresaid places, (Rom. 3, 10, 8,) the apostle toucheth specially three things, which must concur and go together in our justification; upon God’s part, his great mercy and grace; upon Christ’s part, justice, that is, the satisfaction of God’s justice, or price of our redemption by the offering of his body and shedding of his blood, with fulfilling of the law perfectly and thoroughly; and upon our part, true and lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours but by God’s working in us.” – Hom. on Salvation.
Bishop Coverdale – “Now because none other virtue can so apprehend the mercy of God, nor certify us so effectually of our salvation as this living faith doth; therefore hath the Scripture imputed our justification before God, only unto faith among all other virtues; not without other virtues following, but without any other work or deed justifying. ... This is the faith without the which ‘it is impossible to please God.’ ... Through Christ Jesus is all fulfilled that the prophets prophesied of him afore; thus is he become the salvation of all faithful believers, even the Lamb of God, which hath been sacrificed since the beginning of the world.” – The Old Faith.
“Lord God what a derogation unto God’s high glory is this, to teach that we may trust in our works, that we may challenge our inheritance by our working, that our working may deserve to receive immortality ... good works must needs follow faith; but not that we may set any of them in the room of Christ, nor make them the satisfaction to God for our sins.” –Confutation of Standish.
W. Turner, M.D. – “We suppose that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3). ... Wherefore works do not justify, but faith. ... ‘If Abraham (saith he) was justified by works, he hath whereupon he may boast, but not before God.’ For what saith the Scripture? (Gen. 15). ‘Abraham gave credence to God, and that was reckoned unto him for righteousness.’ And in the end of the fourth chapter, he saith, it was not written for him only that it was reckoned to him for righteousness, but also for us to whom it shall be reckoned. ... Christ deserved all things unto us with his blood. And we are justified freely. (Rom. 3). The heritage was not gotten by our labour, but by Christ’s.” – Old Learning and New.
Prison Declaration – “We believe and confess concerning justification, that as it cometh only from God’s mercy through Christ, so it is perceived and had of none who be of years of discretion, otherwise than by faith only, which faith is not an opinion, but a certain persuasion wrought by the Holy Ghost in the mind and heart of man, where through as the mind is illuminated, so the heart is suppled to submit itself to the will of God unfeignedly; and so showeth forth an inherent righteousness, which is to be discerned in the article of justification, from the righteousness which God endueth us withal, in justifying us, although inseparably they go together. And this we do ... for conscience sake, that it may be quiet, which it never can be, if we confound without distinction forgiveness of sins, and Christ’s justice imputed to us, with regeneration and inherent righteousness.”
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Thus see you, that repentance without faith availeth nothing, but enunied and joined with faith is a singular and high treasure. For by faith doth God hear us. By faith are we blessed. ... By faith are we purified. By faith are our hearts made clean. By faith are we made the sons of God. By faith are we justified. ... Thus have I declared unto you ... that the only means to obtain remission of your sins, and to be made heirs of eternal glory, is unfeignedly to repent and faithfully to believe, that through this repentance and faith, God will undoubtedly, for Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all our sins, receive us again into favour, and make us heirs of his eternal glory.” – Christmas Banquet.
“What is justification? Of unrighteous to be made righteous by the righteousnesses of Christ, which we conceive by faith.” – Demands.
“Proving by the manifest Scriptures of God that faith only, justifieth before God, yea, and that without works; as St. Paul saith, ‘we hold that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law.’ Again, ‘we know that a man is not justified by the deeds of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.’ For this” (justification) “cometh only by the alone faith in the merciful promises of God made to all faithful penitent sinners in the blood of Christ; as the apostle saith, ‘by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and cometh not of works, lest any man should boast himself.’” – Pref. to ‘Common Places,’ &c.
Bishop Jewel – “We say that man is born and does live in sin, and that no man can truly say his heart is clean; that the most holy man is an unprofitable servant; that the law of God is perfect, and requires of us a full and perfect obedience; and that we cannot in any way keep it perfectly in this life, and that there is no mortal who can be justified in the sight of God by his own deserts; and therefore, our only refuge and safety is in the mercy of God the Father by Jesus Christ, and in the assuring ourselves that he is the propitiation for our sins, by whose blood all our stains are washed out; that he has pacified all things by the blood of his cross; that he, by that only sacrifice which he once offered upon the cross hath perfected all things. Now if there be any who think not that this sacrifice is sufficient, let them go and find out a better; but as for us, because we know this is the only sacrifice, we are contented with it alone, nor do we expect any other.” – Apology of the Church.
Haddon and Fox – “Lively faith is not alone without charity; ergo not faith only but coupled with charity doth justify.’ (Osorius.) If all things that go commonly after a certain manner together, and be done together, must be coupled and applied to one and the self-same operation, by this reason it must come to pass, that he that hath feet, eyes, and ears, and have them not by themselves alone, therefore he shall be supposed to go not upon his feet only, but to walk upon his eyes, and to see with his ears. For the matter goeth none otherwise in faith, hope, and charity. ... If a question be demanded, what thing it is that doth justify us in the sight of God, and obtain us everlasting life? I do answer, that it is faith, yea, and faith only. ... By what means? ... Through Jesus Christ the Mediator. ... What kind of faith is that? ... not an idle nor a dead faith, but a lively faith and a working faith.” – On Justification, against Osorius.
See also Articles XII, XIII, and XV.
Of Good Works.
Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s Judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.
Archbishop Sandys – “We were not redeemed to be idle and do nothing, but to glorify him in body and spirit that hath bought us. We are not called to stand or sit still, but to walk every one in that vocation wherewith he is called. ... ‘To say we have faith, what availeth it, except we have works also? See we not that the faith of Abraham was effectual and wrought with his works, and that through his works his faith was made perfect? ... God accepteth good works and will reward them. He accepteth them for the man’s sake, in that the man is faithful and therefore accepted. In which sort the sacrifice of Abel was accepted through the faith of Abel. He rewardeth our works, not for their worthiness, but for his own sake, for his love and promise.’” – Ser. Acts. 10:34.
“Now if God, notwithstanding for his Son’s sake, do so allow and accept the work of our hands, that he bountifully rewardeth our weak service with an excellent and eternal weight of glory, how much we are bound both to praise his mercy and to hate the insolence of those men, who, besides all this swelling in the proud conceit of their works, will have eternal life, which is his gift, to be their merit!” – On Isa. 55:1–3.
Bishop Hooper – “The law is also necessary for the justified man, to teach him with what works he should exercise his faith withal and obedience unto God. The Scripture is more diligent and more ample in teaching the Christian, justified man, the obedience unto God and virtuous life, than it is to spew us our salvation in Christ; and that is for this purpose only, that we should not by our licentious liberty receive the grace of God in vain.” – Decl.
“What the office of a justified man is, Paul declareth. Tit. 2:11–14. By these words Paul forbiddeth all impiety and dishonest life, and showeth man that is justified what he should do; not to live after the concupiscence of the flesh, but soberly,” &c. – Ibid.
Archdeacon Philpot – “We teach the sincere and lively faith which is right firmly grounded upon the promises of God, out of the which do spring all good deeds and honest and virtuous actions, as it were fruit out of a quick and plenteous tree, and not an idle, neither dead opinion, or vain confidence.” – Curio’s Defence.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Faith doth not exclude the justice of our good works necessarily to be done afterward, of duty towards God, (for we are most bounden to serve God in doing good deeds commanded by him in his holy Scripture all the days of our life) but it excludeth them so that we may not do them to this intent, to be made good by doing of them. ... Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly after that we are baptized or justified, not caring how few good works we do to the glory of God and profit of our neighbours. ... Augustine saith, ‘good living cannot be separated from true faith which worketh by love.’ How plentiful this faith is of good works, and how it maketh the work of one man more acceptable to God than of another, St. Paul teacheth at large in the 11th chapter to the Hebrews, saying, ‘that faith made the oblation of Abel better than the oblation of Cain,’ &c. ... And by all the declaration of St. Paul, it is evident that the true lively and Christian faith is no dead, vain, or unfruitful thing, but a thing of perfect virtue, of wonderful operation and strength, bringing forth all good motions and good works. All holy Scripture agreeably beareth witness, that a true lively faith in Christ doth bring forth good works, and therefore every man must examine himself diligently to know whether he hath the same true lively faith in his heart unfeignedly or not; which he shall know by the fruits thereof.” – Homily on faith.
Bishop Coverdale – “He” (Barnes) “affirmeth plainly that we must needs do them, and that4they which will not do them, because they be justified alone by faith, are not the children of God, nor children of justification Now to do good deeds, to bring forth good fruits, to walk in a new life, to show God’s wonderful works, to lead an honest conversation in the world, what is it else, but to show and set forth our profession, the life that we have promised and taken us to, at the font-stone, even the holy covenant and appointment that we have made with the eternal God?” – Confutation of Standish.
W. Turner, M.D. – “Good works are not forbidden by this doctrine,” (justification by faith) “but faith the well of good works is taught. ... And so the old learning taketh not away works, but setteth them in their place, that they may be witnesses of our faith, subdue the flesh and serve our neighbour, but not that they should justify; seeing that only faith of the mere mercy of God through his word doth justify a man.” – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “For if your repentance, faith, and love be Christian and unfeigned, then shall good works ensue and follow agreeable to the same. ... St. Ambrose saith, ‘faith is the mother, and bringer forth both of good will and righteous working.’ Yea, they that boast of faith and bring not forth the works of faith, derogate much the glory of faith. ... For that faith which is approved of God, ‘worketh by charity,’ and charity cannot be idle, but bursteth out into good works whensoever it seeth an occasion given. Therefore is a faithful man compared in the first psalm to a tree which is planted by the water’s side, and bringeth forth her fruits in due time.” ... But unto what good works is the faithful created in Christ? Unto Rome running? gadding on pilgrimage? setting up of Candles ... and such other trifling fantasies invented of the idle brains of the papists for lucre’s sake? Nay verily. For these are no good works indeed before God Unto what good works then are they created? In good faith to those good works which God hath prepared that we should walk in them. ... We read, that the Jews said to Christ, ‘what shall we do that we may work the works of God? Christ answered and said to them, this is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent.’ ... He that fulfilleth this work doth very easily accomplish the residue, for out of this work, as out of the head fountain, do all other works of God spring and proceed,” – Christmas Banquet.
Bishop Jewel – “Though we say there is no trust to be put in the merits of our works and actions, and place all the hopes and reason of our salvation only in Christ; yet we do not therefore say that men should live loosely and dissolutely, as if baptism and faith were sufficient for a Christian, and there were nothing more required. True faith is a living faith and cannot be idle. Therefore we teach the people that God hath not called us to luxury and disorder, but as St. Paul saith, ‘unto good works, that we might walk in them’. (Eph. 2:10). –Apology of the Church.
Haddon and Fox – “Indeed works are the fruits of Christian faith, and tokens, not causes of salvation. Even as a tree that bringeth forth fruits; if the tree be good, it appeareth by the fruits, not because the fruit maketh the tree good, but because the tree maketh the fruit good. ... But if they” (the deeds of the godly) “find any grace or reward, the same may not be ascribed to their own merit; but partly to mercy, partly to imputation through the Son that is the Redeemer; to mercy, I say, which doth forgive our evil deeds; to imputation which accepteth our good works, though they be of themselves never so imperfect, as though they were perfect, and doth reward them with a crown of glory.” – Against Osorius.
Nowell’s Catechism – “The dutiful works of godliness which proceed out of faith working by charity, are indeed acceptable to God, yet not by their own deserving; but that for he of his liberality vouchsafeth them his favour.” – Catechism.
Of Works before Justification.
Works done before the grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the school authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
Archbishop Sandys – “This angel was a good angel of God, sent to comfort and instruct Cornelius, the devout and righteous man. He doth comfort him, declaring unto him that his prayers and alms are ascended up in remembrance before God; which is as much as to say, as that God doth accept and allow of them. The Papists abuse much these words of the angel, striving thereby to set forth their own righteousness to the overthrow of the merit and righteousness which we have by Christ. For they infer thereof that our own works before we have faith are preparations to grace. Secondly, they attribute our justification to our works. Things more absurd than that they need confutation. For what preparation can there be in us of ourselves to grace, when St. Paul saith plainly, that ‘we are not able of ourselves as of ourselves to think any good?’ ‘The natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.’ And how can our prayers or alms which are not done in faith please God, when ‘without faith it is impossible to please him.’ And if Cornelius had faith, as it must needs be granted that he had, that also was ‘the gift of God,’ as St. Paul teacheth us. – Ser. Acts 10:34.
Bishop Hooper – “The signs of his” (God’s) “ire and displeasure unto man is this, that he would not accept man again into his favour, for no penance, no sorrow, no trouble, no anxiety, no weeping, no wailing, no, nor for the death of any person, until his own Son, most dear beloved, by death appeased his displeasure, and became surety to satisfy the justice of God, and the right that the devil had unto all mankind.” – Decl. of Christ and his Office.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Without it (faith) can no good work be done acceptable and pleasant unto God. ‘For as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself,’ saith our Saviour Christ, ‘except it abide in the vine, so cannot you, except you abide in me.’ ... And St. Paul proveth that Enoch had faith because he pleased God. ‘For without faith,’ saith he, ‘it is not possible to please God.’ And again to the Romans he saith, ‘Whatsoever is done without faith, it is sin.’ Without faith, all that is done of us is but dead before God, although the work seem never so gay and glorious before men. ... As saith St. Augustine, ‘We must set no good works before faith, nor think that before faith a man may do any good work.’” – Homily of Good Works.
Bishop Coverdale – “The text (Acts 10) saith, in order first that Cornelius was a devout man, and feared God with all his house; and then speaketh it of his good works, as alms, prayers, &c., whereby it is manifest that he himself was first accepted of God and justified. ... By this it is manifest that those good works of Cornelius were fruits of his faith and of the fear of God, and he justified afore he did them. The text then proveth not that our justification deserved only by the death of Christ, is a false justification, nor that Cornelius’ works deserved much of Almighty God afore he was justified.” – Confutation of Standish.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Now seeing that not we only, but also all that ever we do of ourselves, is unpure and unclean in the sight of God, until both we and all our deeds be purified by the divine Spirit; therefore, before we can bring forth anything that may be approved and accepted before God, we must be delivered from that most miserable captivity whereunto we were cast of Satan through the sin of Adam.” – David’s Harp.
“David also prayeth on this manner. ... ‘Thou hast tried me with fire, and yet hath there none iniquity been found in me.’ Again, ‘I will be without spot with him, I will keep me from iniquity, and the Lord shall reward me according to my righteousness.’ ... ‘Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in my innocence.’ In these, and such like, David layeth out his own innocence, purity, and righteousness, and seemeth to desire to be heard for them. I answer, if David desired to be heard for his own righteousness, then should he fight with himself, when in divers and many places he confesseth his sin. ‘Enter not into judgment, O Lord,’ saith he, ‘with thy servant; for no man that liveth shall be justified in thy sight.’... What shall we then say to this matter? I answer, yea, and that not without the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the mind of the ancient doctors, that as in divers other places of the psalms, so in these, and such like, he speaketh in the person of Christ, and not in his own.” – Pathway to Prayer.
Nowell’s Catechism – “Can we not therefore prevent God with any works or deservings whereby we may first provoke him to love us and be good unto us? Surely with none. ... In good works two things are principally required. First, that we do those works that are prescribed by the law of God; secondly, that they be done with that mind and faith which God requireth. ... It is evident therefore, that all works, whatsoever we do before that we be born again and renewed by the Spirit of God, such as may properly be called our own works, are faulty and so grievously offend God.” – Catechism.
William Fulke, D.D. – “The true Augustine in Ps. 70. Con. 1. thus writeth, ‘Thou art nothing by thyself, call upon God; thine are the sins, the merits are God’s; to thee punishment is due, and when the reward shall come, he will crown his gifts, not thy merits.’ Finally, Augustine in nothing is more earnest than in denying the reward which is of grace, to be due in respect of merit or worthiness of works.” – Defence.
Of Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary Works besides, over and above God’s Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety: for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly, when ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
Bishop Latimer – “But these merit-mongers have so many good works that they be able to sell them for money, and so to bring other men to heaven too by their good works; which no doubt is the greatest contempt of the passion of Christ that can be devised.” – Ser. 23rd Sun. after Trinity.
Archbishop Sandys – “How much we are bound ... to hate the insolency of those men, who besides all this swelling in the proud conceit of their works, will have eternal life, which is his gift, to be their merit! nor only that, but the worthiness of their deserts to be so great, that many of them doing God more service than can be sufficiently rewarded in their own persons, deserve heaven not only for themselves, but for others too. These shipwrecks of faith they have made by reason of their inward pride.” – Isa. 55:1–3.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Which sects and religions, had so many hypocritical works in their state of religion, as they arrogantly named it, that their lamps, as they said, ran always over, able to satisfy not only for their own sins, but also for all other, their benefactors, brothers and sisters, of their religion ... keeping in divers places, as it were, marts or markets of merits, being full of their holy relicts, images, shrines, and works of supererogation, ready to be sold.” – Homily of Good Works.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Out of these Scriptures, (Rom. 2) ‘God shall give to every one according to his own deeds,’ &c., we learn that we shall not be rewarded according to other men’s deeds, but according to our own deeds. ... If we consider well the history of the ten virgins, it shall easily be perceived that no man have scarcely oil enough for himself. Yea, were not the great mercies of God set forth to all faithful penitent sinners in the precious blood of Christ, we with all our oil should perish.” – Sick Man’s Salve.
“What trust reposed we in the masking masses of the momish mass-mongers believing to have as plenteous remission of all our sins in them, as in the precious death of our Lord and Saviour Jesu Christ, that immaculate and undefiled Lamb of God! Into how foolish a paradise were we brought, through the crafty juggling of the spiritual sorcerers, to believe that the work of a sinful man (I mean, saying of the popish private mass for the quick and dead) was a propitiatory, satisfactory, expiatory sacrifice, for the sin of so many as it was offered for, yea, and of greater strength and virtue than the sweet-smelling sacrifice of the high bishop Christ Jesu!” – Pref. to the Jewel of Joy.
See also Articles XI, XII, XIII, and XV.
Of Christ alone without Sin.
Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world, and sin, as Saint John saith, was not in him. But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Bishop Latimer – “Now the same Christ was born as this day of the Virgin Mary, very man except sin, for sin hath not defiled his flesh; for he was not begotten of the seed of man after the manner of other men, but by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mary was his very natural mother, and he was born to that end that he might deliver us from our sins and wickedness.” –Ser. St. Stephen’s Day.
“He (Christ) was her natural Son in all other points, but yet this his humanity was preserved from all sin and wickedness. In all other things he was very man, and she his very natural mother.” – Ser. St. John the Evangelist.
“Christ made one perfect sacrifice for all the whole world, neither can any man offer him again neither ... is there any propitiation for our sins saving his cross only.” – Examination.
“But now since he is come indeed, and hath overcome the devil, and redeemed our sins, suffered the pains not for his own sake, but for our sakes; (for he himself had no sin at all, he suffered to deliver us from everlasting damnation; he took our sins and gave us his righteousness), now since these things are done and fulfilled, therefore, saith Paul, Our salvation is come nearer now than when we believed.” – Ser. 1st Sunday in Advent.
“It is not enough to believe Christ to be a Saviour, you must know what manner of Saviour he be; how far forth he saveth. And therefore, you must understand that he was not such a Saviour as Moses. ... Christ is such a Saviour which saveth us from eternal damnation, from the power of the devil, and all our enemies. The angel of God himself shewed us what manner of Saviour Christ is in the 1st of Matthew, ‘For he shall save his people from their sins.’ So we must believe him to be such a Saviour which released us from all our sins as well original as actual wickedness. But the Papists, as it is most manifest, make him but half a Saviour. They think that they with their good works must help him to save them half. So they blaspheme him, take away his dignity; for he only hath merited with his painful passion to be a Saviour of the whole world; that is to deliver all them that believe in him from their sins and wickedness.” – Ser. St. John’s Day.
Bishop Ridley – “St. Paul saith, ‘Christ being become a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood entered once into the holy place, and obtained for us eternal redemption,’ &c. ‘And now in the end of the world he hath appeared once to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.’ (Heb. 9). And again, ‘Christ was once offered to take away the sins of many.’ Moreover he saith, ‘With one offering hath he made perfect for ever those that are sanctified.’ These Scriptures do persuade me to believe that there is no other oblation of Christ (albeit, I am not ignorant there are many sacrifices) but that which was once made upon the cross. The testimonies of the ancient fathers, which confirm the same, are out of Augustine ad Bonifac Epist. 23. ... And in his book against Faustus the Manichee, Bk. xx. chap. 18, thus he writeth: ‘Now the Christians keep a memorial of the sacrifice past with a holy oblation and participation of the body and blood of Christ.’” – On the Sacrament.
Bishop Pilkington – “But the Scripture condemns all such sacrificing now for sin, save only that sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered once for the sins of the whole world. ... The Apostle says, ‘By one offering he has made perfect all them that be sanctified.’ If one offering once made have made all perfect, then cursed be they that will correct or amend Christ’s death as though it were not perfect to save all without their often sacrificing.” – Questions and Answers.
Archbishop Sandys – “The Priest according to the order of Melchisedec hath offered the sacrifice of his own flesh, acceptable even for the worthiness of it, and by the virtue which is in it, forcible and more than sufficient to wash away all sin. This he did willingly, ‘He made himself an offering for sin.’ He did it perfectly, ‘with one offering he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified.’ Where full remission of sin is, there needeth no further sacrifice for sin; and the Holy Ghost beareth us record that we have full remission of all our sins. ‘Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.’ ... Not that we have no sin, but acknowledging that we have it, it is as if we had it not, because he is faithful to forgive it, and just to cleanse us from it. ‘The blood of Jesu cleanseth us from all sin.’ The blood of Jesus once shed, the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. So that there remaineth no other sacrifice to be daily offered, but the sacrifice of ‘righteousness,’ which we must all offer.” – Ser. Ps. 4:5.
Bishop Hooper – “All the sacrifices of the old law were figures and types of this only sacrifice, which was appointed by God to die, and to suffer the ire and displeasure of God for the sin of man, as though himself were a sinner and merited this displeasure. ... We must therefore only trust to the merits of Christ, which satisfieth the extreme jot and uttermost point of the law for us. – Decl.
“All these promises, and other that appertained unto the salvation of Adam and his posterity, were made in Christ and for Christ only, and appertained unto our fathers and us, as we appertained unto Christ. ‘He is the door the way and the life.’ John 10, 14. ... The means of our peace and reconciliation with God is only in Christ, as Esay saith, ch. 53. ‘by whose passion we are made whole.’ Therefore, Christ is called by John the Baptist, ‘The Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1. And as the devil found nothing in Christ that he could condemn, John 14, likewise now he hath nothing in us worthy damnation, because we be comprehended and fully enclosed in him; for we be his by faith. ... As we were in Adam before his fall, and should if he had not sinned been of the same innocence; so were we in his loins when he sinned, and participant of his sin. And as we were in him, and partakers of the ill, so were we in him when God made him a promise of grace, and partakers of the same grace, not as the children of Adam, but as the children of the promise. As the sins of Adam, without privilege or exception, extended and appertained unto all Adam’s, and every of Adam’s posterity, so did this promise of grace generally appertain as well to every and singular of Adam’s posterity, as to Adam; as it is more plainly expressed, Gen. 15, 17, when God promiseth to bless in the seed of Abraham all the people of the world; and Paul maketh no diversity in Christ of Jew nor gentile.” – Int. to Decl. of Ten Commandments.
Archdeacon Philpot – “Christ’s conception was prophesied before by the angel to be a supernatural; but after he had received our nature by the operation of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin’s womb, he became in all points like unto us, except sin.” ...
... “Malachi speaketh thus of Christ, his only sacrifice and oblation by the which he offered himself and his body upon the cross to his Father, an host for our sins. For what is that clean and pure oblation, but Christ ‘which hath wrought no sin, and in whose mouth was found no deceit.’” – Curio’s Defence.
Archbishop Cranmer – “And though Christ hath paid a sufficient ransom for all the sins of the world, and is a sufficient Redeemer and Saviour of all the world, yet shall they (the unrepentant) have no part thereof, for they belong not unto Christ. – Annotations.
“Whatsoever God hath commanded in the Ten Commandments, which we have not fulfilled because we be all sinners, that Christ himself hath fulfilled for us; and whatsoever punishment we have deserved ... that Christ hath taken upon himself and suffered for us. ... Wherefore it was necessary (if he should satisfy for us) that he should be conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin, that his nativity might be pure without sin, and not corrupt as ours is, that our corrupt and damnable nativity might be purified and made holy, by the holy and pure nativity of Christ. ... For if Christ should redeem us and satisfy for our sins, then must he needs be holy and without sin, for if he had been guilty and a sinner, then could not he have holpen his own self, but he must needs have had another Saviour and Redeemer for him, as well as we have for us.” – Catechism of 1548.
Bishop Coverdale – “This Scripture (1 John 1) now maketh clearly against you, and proveth your opinion to be false, for Christ’s blood cleanseth us from ‘all sin,’ none except, so long as we walk in his light and not in darkness. Why ascribe ye then the purgation of men’s sins to any kind of penance, seeing Christ’s blood hath and must have, the honor thereof.” –Confutation of Standish.
“Inasmuch as Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was the only perfect and all-sufficient propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the world, as they confess; this” (Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper) “could not be the same, because it was done before that upon the cross. Or else the full perfect sacrifice was then in the supper finished, and so Christ’s death is in vain and a foolish thing. If Christ’s death be not foolish, but indeed as it is, the full and perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, then this which they feign he offered in his last supper, is not the same, prate what pleaseth them; or else it is not of value; take whether they will.” – Carrying of Christ’s Cross.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Moreover, when it was not possible because of the great enormity of our sin that we could of our own power, strength, merits, deservings, and good works, save and win ourselves again into the favour of God, how lovingly, without any deserts of our part, even of his own mere goodness and free mercy, did he promise to save us by his dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and at his time predefined and appointed from everlasting, sent him down into this world! Which for our sake, unfeignedly by the wonderful operation of the Holy Ghost, took flesh of the blessed pure and undefiled Virgin Mary, and became very man, like unto us in all things, sin alone except. Which, also, after he had lived here certain years, even of his own free will ... gave himself unto the very death, yea even the most spiteful and heinous death of the cross. He offered his most blessed body ‘a sweet smelling sacrifice to God’ the Father for our wickedness. He suffered his most precious blood to be slick upon the altar of the cross to pay the ransom for our sins. ... We ourselves, our sin, our iniquity, our ungodliness, our abomination, our corrupt manners, did slay him, and put him to that most cruel death. We are they that killed him. We sought his death. We did betray him. We did falsely accuse him. ... We buffeted him, we bruised him, we were the authors of all the tyranny which was wrought against him. Yet for the love that he bare toward us, did not he disdain to suffer all these intolerable pains, by whose passions and sufferings we are perfectly made whole; by whose most blessed blood all our sins are washed away; by whose death everlasting life chanceth abundantly unto us.” – Pathway to Prayer.
John Bradford, M.A. – “The grace of God our merciful Father keep your mind and soul in Christ Jesus, who alone is our full sufficient Saviour, for in him we be complete, being made through his death and one only oblation made and offered by himself upon the cross, the children of God and fellow heirs with him of the celestial kingdom, which is the free gift of God, and cometh not of merits, but of the mere grace of God.” – Letters.
Haddon and Fox – “We are made the righteousness of God through Christ by the very same reason whereby Christ was made sin for us. But Christ was not made sin but by imputation only; ergo neither are we made righteous in the sight of God but by imputation only.” – Justification.
See also Articles II and XI.
Of Sin after Baptism.
Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
Bishop Latimer – “For all such as through the goodness of God have received faith, and then wrestle with sin, consent not unto it, but are sorry for it, when they fall, and do not abide nor dwell in the same, but rise up again forthwith, and call for forgiveness thereof through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, all such are called just ... but not through their own merits or good works.” – 5th Sun. after Epiphany.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Although we through infirmity or temptation of our ghostly enemy do fall from him” (God) “by sin, yet if we return again unto him, by true repentance, that he will forgive and forget our offences, for his Son’s sake, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and will make us inheritors with him of his everlasting kingdom. ... And that though sometime he doth send us sharp adversity, yet that ever more he will be a loving Father unto us, correcting us for our sin, but not withdrawing his mercy finally from us, if we trust in him and commit ourselves wholly to him.” – Homily of Faith.
“Although our heavenly Father doth most mercifully forgive us our offences, yet he doth not take sin clean away, but during this life we fight against sin until we die.” – Catechism, 1548.
Bishop Coverdale – “The sixteenth rule is, to have our minds so armed afore hand, that though we be fallen into sin and overcome, we yet despair not, but take thereby occasion of greater courage to wrestle more strongly, to come again quickly to ourselves, to take a good heart upon us, to repair again the rebuke and shame of the fall, with new courage and lustiness of virtue, after the ensample of David, Solomon, Peter, Paul, &c., whom God no doubt suffered to fall, lest we after we are fallen should despair.” – Abridgement of Erasmus’s Enchiridion.
W. Turner, D.D. – “But this is the difference, namely, before the baptism of the Spirit and water, that concupiscence or lust was a sin reigning, but after the washing of regeneration, it is a sin overcome and subdued.” – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “After ye be renewed by the most blessed Sacrament of baptism and the Holy Ghost, remember how soon ye lose again those benefits through your own sin and wickedness, which before ye freely obtained of Christ. This shall also move you to cast away all pride, and to be humble ... and fleeing continually unto God, for fervent prayer, for grace, mercy, favour, and remission of your sins, lest ye be damned for your iniquity according to your deserts.” – Nosegay.
“What should it profit us, by Christ to be delivered from that wretchedness into the which Adam did cast us, if there were not also a remedy to expulse that danger into the which we cast ourselves through sin after baptism. Therefore, here also doth the goodness of God appear very large and bounteous toward us. For though we sin after baptism never so grievously, yet doth not be straightways take vengeance on us, and cast us headlong into hell-fire, as he did the angels; but he patiently abideth our conversion, and looketh daily when we will repent and amend, as the prophet saith, ‘The Lord long abideth us that he may have mercy on us.’” – Pathway to Prayer.
Roger Hutchinson. M.A. – “The Novatians, Anabaptists, and Catharoi abuse this place (Heb. 6) to prove that all such as do fall after baptism cannot rise again, but are damned, and not recoverable. I trust my exposition do more accord to the truth than this damnable assertion, against which, I think it necessary somewhat to speak. ... In the old Testament ... Moses displeaseth God at the waters of strife; David falleth into advoutery, Manasses into idolatry. ... God ordained two manner of offerings among them,” (the Israelites) “one for sins done of ignorance; another for trespasses done willingly: promising forgiveness unto both. ... ‘Brethren, I would not ye should be ignorant of this, how our fathers were all under a cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized under Moses in the cloud and in the sea.’ Wherefore after baptism God forgiveth sin done both of ignorance and also willingly. ... In the New (Testament) Peter denieth his master thrice; the Galatians follow another gospel and are recovered by Paul; Peter exhorteth Simon Magus unto amendment; Paul desireth the Corinthians to receive him again whom he had excommunicate.” – Image of God.
Of Predestination and Election.
Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God’s promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture; and in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “As he hath chosen us before the foundation of the earth was laid, so lie hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings before the foundation of the world was laid. And as this election of God was only of the mere grace, will, and pleasure of God, so were all his blessings toward us intended of his only goodness, and not of our merits or deservings; what thing could we deserve before we were born that provoked God to love us, or was the cause why that God loved us? Nothing. ... God of his own goodness electeth and choseth whom he will, only of his mere mercy and goodness, without all the deservings of man: whom he hath elected, he calleth them, far the most part by preaching of the gospel, and by the bearing of the word of God to faith in Christ Jesus: and through faith he justifieth them, forgiveth sins, and maketh them obedient to hear his word with gladness. ... We were elected of God in him (Christ) to be saved before the beginning of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before God by love. ... God hath ordained us that we should be his children by adoption, and that not of our deserving, but only by his mercy and grace, and by the merits of Christ’s passion, that all the praise and thanks should be given only to God for it; and nothing to ourselves: he hath made us his children by adoption, that we should shew our Father in all holiness of life, that we should follow his footsteps in our life.” – On Eph.
Archbishop Sandys – “Holiness is the end of our election. ‘He chose us before the foundations of the world that we might be holy.’ ... So that unless we esteem vilely of our own election, unless we refuse to satisfy the will, to obey the commandment, to follow the example, and to answer the vocation in which God hath called us, we must be holy.” – Luke 1:74, 75.
Bishop Latimer – “When you find these three points to be in you; namely: – first, when you know your sin and be sorry for the same, and afterward believe to be saved through the passion of Jesus Christ, and thirdly, have an earnest desire to leave sin, and to fly the same; when you find these three things in your hearts, then you may be sure that your names are written in the book.” – Ser. 3rd Sun. after Epiphany.
“Set before your eyes the wonderful joy and felicity, and the innumerable treasures which God hath laid up for you that fear and love him, and live after his will and commandments; for no tongue can express, no eye hath seen, no heart can comprehend nor conceive the great felicity that God hath prepared for his elect and chosen.” – 5th Sun. after Epiphany.
“‘Many are called and few chosen.’ These words of our Saviour are very hard to understand, and therefore it is not good to be too curious in them, as some vain fellows do, who, seeking carnal liberty, pervert, toss, and turn the word of God after their own mind and purpose. Such I say, when they read these words, make their reckoning thus, saying: ‘What need I to mortify my body with abstaining from all sin and wickedness? I perceive God hath chosen some, and some are rejected. Now if I be in the number of the chosen I cannot be damned; but if I be accounted among the condemned number, then I cannot be saved, for God’s judgments are immutable.’ Such foolish and wicked reasons some have, which bring them either to desperation, or else to carnal liberty. Therefore it is as needful to beware of such reasons or expositions of the Scriptures, as it is to beware of the devil himself. But if thou art desirous to know whether thou art chosen to everlasting life, thou mayest not begin with God: for God is too high; thou canst not comprehend him. The judgments of God are unknown to man; therefore thou mayest not begin there: but begin with Christ, and learn to know Christ and wherefore he came. ... Consider, I say, Christ and his coming, and then begin to try thyself whether thou art in the book of life or not. If thou findest thyself in Christ, then thou art sure of everlasting life. If thou be without him then thou art in an evil case. For it is written, ‘No man cometh unto the Father but through me.’ Therefore, if thou knowest Christ, then thou mayest know further of thy election. ... There are none of us all, but We may be saved by Christ; and therefore let us stick harder to it, and be content to forego all the pleasures and riches of this world for his sake, who for our sake, forsook all the heavenly pleasures, and came down into this miserable and wretched world; and here suffered all manner of afflictions for our sake.” – Septuagesima Sunday.
Bishop Hooper – “The cause of our election is the mercy of God in Christ. (Rom. 9). Howbeit, he that will be partaker of this election, must receive the promise in Christ by faith. For therefore we be elected, because afterward we are made the members of Christ. Eph. 1, Rom. 8. ... As in the justification or remission of sin, there is cause, though no dignity at all in the receiver ... even so we judge him by the scripture to be justified, and hath remission of his sin, because he received the grace promised in Christ; so we judge of election by the event or success that happeneth in the life of man, those only to be elected that by faith apprehend the mercy promised in Christ.” – Int. to Decl. of Ten Commandments.
Archdeacon Philpot – “The question of necessity shall not be so hard indeed as it seemeth, if we separate a little the divine providence from our will; and do say all things to be done, necessarily, if we regard the purpose or providence of God; but if the same be referred unto our will, we do work them freely and of our own accord.” – Curio’s Defence.
“Some other there be, that for an extreme refuge in their evil doings, do run to God’s predestination and election, saying, that if I be elected of God to salvation, I shall be saved, whatsoever I do. But such cast themselves down from the pinnacle of the temple in presumption that God may preserve them by his angels through predestination. God’s predestination and election ought to be with a simple eye considered to make us more warily to walk, in good and godly conversation according to God’s word ... and not to put all on God’s back, to do wickedly at large. ... Therefore St. Peter willeth us through good works to make our vocation and election certain to ourselves, which we know not, but by the good working of God’s Spirit in us, according to the rule of the gospel.” – Letters.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Certain it is that our election cometh only and wholly of the benefit and grace of God for the merits of Christ’s passion, and for no part of our merits and good works, as St. Paul disputeth and proveth at length in the Epistle to the Romans and Galatians, and divers other places, saying: ‘If by works then it is no more of grace, if by grace then it is no more of works.’” – Annotations.
“The elect, in whom finally no fault shall be, but they shall perpetually continue and endure. ... Likewise the elect shall not willfully and obstinately withstand God’s calling.” – Ibid.
Bishop Coverdale – “The Christian faith which hath endured since the beginning of the world, is the eldest, undoubted, right and true faith, which all the holy patriarchs had, and in the which they served God and pleased him. ... This holy faith also had all righteous, and such as were of godly understanding, in all the congregations of Israel from the beginning. In this were saved all they that from the beginning were preserved and ordained to salvation.” – Old Faith.
W. Turner, M.D. – I will declare the manner of justification ... to how many things it is applied. Unto God ... unto Christ ... unto mercy ... unto his election. (Eph. 1). ‘According as he hath chosen us by him,’ or ever the foundation of the world was laid, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “What is predestination? it is the secret election of the wisdom of God to eternal life without our deserving. They be predestinate and called to everlasting life which hear and receive the word of God.” – Demands, &c.
“The elect are so written up in the hand of God, that nothing chanceth unto them without the singular providence and fatherly appointment of God.” (Acts 4). “‘For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and also Pontius Pilate, with the gentiles and the people of Israel gathered themselves together,’ for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” – Pref. to the Summary of New Testament.
Bishop Jewel – “God hath chosen you from the beginning, his election is sure for ever. The Lord knoweth who are his. You shall not be deceived with the power and subtlety of antichrist; you shall not fall from grace; you shall not perish. This is the comfort which abideth in the faithful when they behold the fall of the wicked. ... When we see these things in. order, we must say, Alas! they are examples for me, and they are lamentable examples. Let him that standeth take heed, that he fall not. ... But how may we know that God hath chosen us? how may we see this election? or how may we feel it? The Apostle saith, through sanctification and faith; these are tokens of God’s election. Have you received the Gospel? – On Thessalonians.
Haddon and Fox – “For whereas that most sacred purpose of the divine predestination and reprobation doth issue and spring from out the only will of God, being indeed most unsearchable, yet most righteous; and whereas, also, men are first fashioned in the same will, as in God’s workshop, to be either vessels of wrath, or vessels of mercy, before that any lenity or mercy do appear to be extended towards any of them from God; by what means then will Osorius affirm that the defence of justice consisteth wholly in mercy, and that there be no vessels of wrath, but such as will not be vessels of mercy? ... I do answer that this is true ... that no man perisheth at all, but whoso perisheth by his own procurement and default,” ... nevertheless, “as he is a judge he doth punish sinners indeed; but as he is a creator he doth fashion his creatures according to his will, even as the potter doth fashion his pots.” – AgainstOsorius, Election, &c.
Of Obtaining eternal Salvation only by the name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of nature. For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
Bishop Latimer – “Herein standeth our absolution or remission of our sins, namely, when we believe in him, and look to be saved through his death; none other satisfaction we are able to make.” – Ser. First Sunday in Advent.
“These,” (the Pharisees) “were enemies to Christ and his doctrine. They would be ordered by old wont, customs, forefathers; and to maintain their traditions, set aside the commandments of God, refused Christ and his word.” – On Matt. 22:31.
Bishop Pilkington – “But how many ways hath the pope devised to build his house and authority, that a man may choose which him lust to follow, so that he follow not Christ. ... How many orders of monks, friars, nuns, &c. ... what diversity is among them ... But never one seeks Christ as he should according to the Scripture. They have made them schoolmasters whom they will follow of their own devising, whereas God the Father hath appointed his Son Christ and said, ‘This is my well beloved Son, in whom I am well delighted; hear him.’” – Exp. Aggeus
Archdeacon Philpot – “Many affirm their conscience will bear them well enough to do all that they do, and to-go to the idolatrous Church to service — whose conscience is very large to satisfy man more than God. ... If our conscience be led of herself, and not after true knowledge, yet we are not so to be excused; as St. Paul beareth witness, saying, ‘Although my conscience accuseth me not, yet in this I am not justified.’” (1 Cor. 4). – Letters.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “If thou be moved unto strange religion, or new-found worshipping of God, either by Satan, by the Pope, or by any subtle hypocrite, look that thou by no means dost lean unto their wicked motions, but rather valiantly withstand them. ... ‘These people draw nigh unto me with their mouths, and honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Behold, they worship me in vain, teaching doctrine even the commandments of men.’ Our Saviour Christ when he lived in this world did all things according to his heavenly Father’s commandments, as he himself saith, ‘As my Father hath given me commandment so do I.’ This did he, to give us example that in matters of religion we should attempt nothing as a due service unto God, but that only which we have learned out of his holy word. ... Of these aforesaid Scriptures and histories mayest thou learn that God is not worshipped as carnal reason and fleshly wisdom imagineth and prescribeth, but as God by his holy word biddeth, appointeth, and commandeth.” – Governance of virtue.
See also Articles XI and XV.
Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
Bishop Latimer – “I confess there is a Catholic Church, to the determination of which I will stand; but not the church which you call catholic, which sooner might be termed diabolic.” – Before the Commissioners.
“I confess my lord, a Catholic Church spread throughout all the world, in the which no man may err, without the which unity no man can be saved: but I know perfectly by God’s word, that this church is in all the world, and hath not his foundation in Rome only, as you say.” ... “The bishops of Rome have turned regere secundum verbum Dei into regere secundum voluntatem suam; they have turned the rule according to the word of God into the rule according to their own pleasures, and as it pleaseth them best.” – Ibid.
Archbishop Sandys – “Christ hath always had a church here on earth: it was begun in paradise; sithence it hath remained and continued even unto this day. And as Christ hath his boat, so hath antichrist also his. Wherefore it behoveth us to know and discern the one from the other. ... Where nothing is taught but according to the written word, where the sacraments are sincerely ministered, where the rod and scepter of government is used, there is Christ, there is the Church.” – Sermons.
“But we must consider which is true unity. For every agreement is not that concord whereunto we arc in this place exhorted. Lucifer with other angels consented together; Eve and Adam and the serpent were all of one mind. ... But it is unity of the Spirit, unity in the truth, unity in Christ and in his gospel, whereunto our apostle here exhorteth us. (1 Cor. 1:10). ‘Nor is he joined to the Church,’ saith Cyprian, ‘who is severed and sundered from the gospel.’ ... And here we have to praise our God, that in public doctrine touching the substance of religion, we all agree in one truth; we all build upon one foundation – Christ Jesus slain and offered up for our full redemption according to the doctrine of the Scriptures. So much the greater pity is it that there should be such dissent in matters of small importance, in rites and ceremonies. ... Be it granted that some rites upon some consideration might be bettered or omitted; yet, can I not say, neither any man, I suppose can prove, that any thing is set down to be observed in the church, wicked or contrary to the word. ... In this mystical body of Christ, in this spiritual society of the faithful, if any part be cut off, the whole is defaced and deformed. ... The members rejoice and suffer together; ... that member which hath not this sympathy, this mutual suffering, this feeling of other men’s hurts, is dead and rotten.” – Ibid.
Archdeacon Philpot – “Let us go to the definition of the church. What is it? it is a congregation of people dispersed through the world, agreeing together in the word of God, using the sacraments, and all other things according to the same.” ... The church “is both visible and invisible. The invisible church is of the elect of God only; the visible consists both of good and bad using all things in faith, according to God’s word. ... The Church was catholic in the apostles’ time, yet was it not universally received of the world. But, because their doctrine which they had received of Christ, was perfect, and appointed to be preached and received of the whole world, therefore, it is called the catholic faith, and all persons receiving the same, to be counted the catholic church. And St. Augustine in another place writeth, ‘that the catholic church is that which believeth aright.’ ... I deny, my lord, that succession of bishops, is an infallible point to know the church by; for there may be a succession of bishops known in a place, and yet there be no church, as at Antioch and Jerusalem, and in other places where the apostles abode, as well as at Rome. But if you put to the succession of bishops, succession of doctrine withal, (as St. Augustine doth,) I will grant it to be a good proof for the catholic church.” – Examination.
“But lest we may be deceived, here of the church, we must make a distinction, that we may understand how it may be said that it may err, either not err. ... The universal Church which dwelleth upon the earth may be divided into three sorts or kinds. So that the one kind be of those whom the scripture calls the elects ... this is thilk only spouse of Christ, which he hath cleansed for himself. Unto this also there is one other, adversary and contrary, whom men clepe” (call) “the church of the reproved rant; of all such, which, with Christ and his saints bear a continual hatred. ... Betwixt these two kinds, there is a third intermeddled; or rather out of these two sorts is become the third church, mixed of either kind. ... To err in this place, is to forsake the faith ... for so St. Paul, (2 Tim. 2:18) ... that second church, and always false, of the reproved sort, continually erreth ... of a truth the first church ... of the elects, may err, truly, but not continually; and that Christ himself witnesseth. ... ‘So that the very elects also (if it were possible) might be brought into error.’ ... But let us come to that third church, whereof is all the controversy ... It is clear among all men, that this church, as touching the outward administration and worship, doth consist together of good and evil. Already, before we have said that both these may err.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Bishop Coverdale – “Where these four things be, there is Christ’s church. First, the church of Christ, which is the fellowship of all saints and faithful believers, endureth, abideth, and continueth ‘in the doctrine of the apostles.’ ... The doctrine of the apostles is nothing else but the holy gospel. ... What gospel was preached by the apostles, it is easy to perceive by the aforesaid sermon of Peter and of others in the Acts.” ... It is “comprehended in certain articles, which we call the creed. ... The second thing that must be constantly and inviolably kept in the church of God, is the ‘communion of fellowship’. ... All faithful believers are one body. ... The third thing is the breaking of bread, the token of the new and everlasting covenant which Christ upon the cross confirmed with his body and blood. The fourth thing now in the church is prayer; namely as Christ taught them to pray unto the Father of heaven. ... This is the necessariest thing of all, and if we lack this, in vain are all our good works no oblation is sanctified, all is impurity that we either do or think.” – Fruitful Lessons.
Bishop Ridley – “We believe an holy catholic or general church, which is the fellowship of saints. ... To this church pertain all they that since the beginning of the world have been saved, and that shall be saved unto the end thereof.” – Coverdale’s Defence of a certain poor Christian Man.
“The holy catholic or universal church, which is the communion of saints, the house of God, the city of God ... the body of Christ the pillar and stay of the truth; this church I believe according to the creed. ... The guide of this church is the Holy Ghost. The marks whereby this church is known unto me in this dark world, and in the midst of this crooked and froward generation, are these – the sincere preaching of God’s word; the due administration of the sacraments; charity; and faithful observing of ecclesiastical discipline according to the word of God. ... Forth of this (I grant) there is no salvation. ... ‘From that time,’ (saith Chrysostom) ‘that heresies did take hold of the churches, it is only known by the Scriptures, which is the true church.’ And in the end concludeth, ‘Wherefore only by the Scriptures do we know which is the true church.’ ... The church which I have described is visible; it hath members which may be seen; and also, I have before declared by what marks and tokens it may be known. ... I grant that the name of the church is taken after three divers manners in the Scripture. Sometimes for the whole multitude of them which profess the name of Christ. But as St. Paul saith of the Jew, ‘Not every one is a Jew that is a Jew outwardly,’ ... even so not every one which is a Christian outwardly is a Christian indeed. ... Therefore that church which is his body, and of which Christ is the head, standeth only of living stones and true Christians. ... But, forasmuch as this church, which is the second taking of the church, as touching the outward fellowship, is contained within that great house, and hath with the same, outward society of the sacraments and ministry of the word; many things are spoken of that universal church, (which St. Augustine calleth the mingled church) which cannot truly be understood, but only of that purer part of the church ... that is, either for the multitude of good men, which is the church indeed; or for the evil men which is the malignant church and synagogue of Satan. And this is also the third taking of the church, of the which although these be seldomer mentioned in the scriptures, in that signification, yet in the world, even in the most famous assemblies of Christendom, this church hath borne the greatest swing. This distinction presupposed, of the three sorts of churches, it is an easy matter, by a figure called synecdoche, to give to the mingled and universal church that which cannot truly be understood, but only of the one part thereof.” – Conferences.
Bishop Pilkington –“This is that which we defend, that the church is gathered by Christ and the apostles first, and continues, not in the papistical, but in the apostolical faith, under Christ our head, who rules his church still by his Holy Spirit and word, and has not put it into the hands of any one only general vicar in the earth.” – Questions and Answers.
Bishop Hooper – “Think which was the most pure church and free from heresies; the church before the doctors wrote, that only was. taught by the simple text and words of the apostles, or the church that hath been taught this many years by the blind doctrine of men? ... God hath bound his church and all men that be of the church, to be obedient unto the word of God. It is bound unto no title or name of men, nor unto any ordinary succession of bishops, or priests, longer than they teach the doctrine contained in the Scripture. ... God hath preserved in all captivities and persecution of the church, miraculously one book – the holy bible; delivered the same unto the church; and bound the church unto this book. ... They only be the church that embrace this holy book – the bible; heareth it, learneth it, and followeth the judgment of it.” – Answer to Winchester’s Book.
Archbishop Cranmer – “There are two manner of churches; one true, perfect, and holy in the sight of God; another false, imperfect, and ungodly. Truth it is, that the true church of God being grounded and set upon his holy word, (I mean the gospel of grace) cannot err unto damnation. But the other, how shining and glorious soever it appear, if it wander abroad, and be not contained within the compass and limits of the word written, is no true, but a feigned and forged church. That church, as, it is without the compass of God’s promises made in truth, not only may, but also doth, commonly, yea, continually, err and go astray; for they are not coupled to the head Christ, which is the life, the way, and the truth. ... Such gross ignorance ... is entered their heads, and such arrogant boldness, possesseth their hearts, that they are bold to affirm no church to be the true church of God, but that which standeth by ordinary succession of bishops, in such pompous and glorious sort as now is seen. For if there be, say they, no such outward and visible Church, how shall any man know whether he be of the church of Christ, and in the right belief, or no? To this I answer, that if our faith should be stayed upon the outward, glistering, and pompous church, not ruled nor governed by the determinate counsel of God, in his word written, we should never be certain thereof, but ever wavering and doubting.” – Pref. to Unwritten Verities.
“If we shall allow them for the true church of God that appear to be the visible and outward church, then shall we make Christ, which is an innocent lamb, without spot, and in whom is found no guile, to be the head of ungodly and disobedient members.” – Pref.
“‘Wherefore,’ saith Chrysostom, ‘he that will know which is the true church of Christ in this so great a confusion of things so like, how shall he know it but only by the Scriptures?’” –Confutation, &c.
“I know this to be true, that Christ is present with his holy church, which is his holy elected people; and shall be with them to the world’s end, leading and governing them with his Holy Spirit, and teaching them all truth necessary for their salvation. And whensoever such be gathered together in his name, there is he among them; and he shall not suffer the gates of hell to prevail against them. For although he may suffer them by their own frailness for a time to err, fall, and to die; yet, finally, neither Satan, hell, sin, nor eternal death, shall prevail against them.” – Answer to Smith’s Preface.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “I both believe and confess, that there is but one holy universal church or congregation of the faithful, albeit they be dispersed and scattered abroad throughout the world, in divers and sundry places, which are gathered and knit together through the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the unity of the Spirit; and joined together in one faith, as members of one body, whereof Jesus Christ is the head. This holy church or congregation, linked together in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, is ‘a spiritual house builded of living stones, a chosen generation,’ &c. ... This church is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth. ... And because no man shall doubt of what church I speak, I confess that to be the holy catholic and apostolic church, which is the company and fellowship of the saints, that is to say, of the faithful, which are sanctified and made holy by the Spirit of God, and by the blood of Christ our Saviour; which have the pure word of God truly and sincerely preached, and the sacraments duly and faithfully ministered among them; which excommunicate all disobedient notable sinners, and receive into their fellowship such as unfeignedly repent and turn from their wickedness; which study in all things to please the Lord, and to live ‘in all godliness and honesty’. Whosoever is in this church and congregation, he may be- sure to be saved. But whosoever is not in it, he is without all doubt damned.” – Sick Man’s Salve.
Edward VI Catechism – “Now remaineth that thou speak of the holy church. ... The apostles and the ancient fathers that wrote in Greek, called it Εκκλησία, in English, a congregation or assembly, into the which he hath admitted an infinite number of men, that should all be subject to one king as their sovereign, and only one head: him we call Christ. ... To the furnishing of this commonwealth belong all they, as many as do truly fear, honor, and call upon God, wholly applying their mind to holy and godly living. ... But as many as are in this faith steadfast, were fore-chosen, predestinated and appointed out, to everlasting life before the world was made. ... Your pleasure is, master, as I take it, that I point you out some certain congregation that may be seen. ... That congregation is nothing else but a certain multitude of men, which, wheresoever they be, profess the pure and upright learning of Christ; and that, in such sort as it is faithfully set forth in the holy Testament by the evangelists and apostles: which in all points are governed and ruled by the laws and statutes of their king and high bishop Christ, in the bond of charity: which use his holy mysteries, that are commonly called sacraments, with such pureness and simplicity (as touching their nature and substance) as the apostles of Christ used, and left behind in writing. ... To this church belong the keys wherewith heaven is locked and unlocked: for that is done by the ministration of the word.” – Catechism.
Nowell’s Catechism – “The church is the body of the Christian commonweal, that is, the universal number and fellowship of all the faithful, whom God, through Christ, hath before all beginning of time appointed to everlasting life. ... The company or assembly of the godly is not pent up in any certain place or time, but it containeth and compriseth the universal number of the faithful that have lived, and shall live, in all places and ages, since the beginning of the world, that there may be one body of the church, as there is one Christ, the only head of the body. ... Because this communion of saints cannot be perceived by our senses therefore it is here rightly placed among those things that lie in belief. ... Yet there is a church of God visible, or that may be seen, the tokens or marks whereof, he doth shew and open unto us. ... In whatsoever assembly the word of God, the calling upon him, and his sacraments are purely and sincerely retained, it is no doubt that there is also the Church of Christ. ... Are not then all they that be in this visible Church of the number of the elect to everlasting life? Many by hypocrisy and counterfeiting of godliness, do join themselves to this fellowship, which are nothing less than true members of the church. But, forasmuch as wheresoever the word of God is sincerely taught, and his sacraments rightly ministered, there are ever some appointed to salvation by Christ, we count all that whole company to be the church of God, seeing that Christ also promiseth that himself will be present with two or three that be gathered together in his name.” – Catechism.
Bishop Jewell – “It is true that God hath always a church invisible, and a number of elect known only to himself alone. Neither is this our only saying. St. Paul also saith the same. ‘This foundation standeth sound and firm, having this seal, the Lord knoweth who be his own.’ (2 Tim. 2). ... Therefore St. Augustine, ‘according to God’s secret predestination, there be many sheep without the church, and many wolves within the church, for he knoweth them, and hath them marked, that know neither themselves nor God neither.’ As for the whole body and company of all them that be called Christians, reckoned universally together, which you call the church catholic; Cardinal Cusanus calleth it ‘a church conjectural’; for that we know it not by certainty, but by conjecture. For in this church, thus largely taken, they that seem predestinate before men, are oftentimes wicked and reprobate before God; and they that before men seem the members of Christ, are oftentimes before God the members of antichrist. ... Thus the general outward church of God is visible and may be seen, but the very true church of God’s elect is invisible and cannot be seen or discerned by man.” – Defence of the Apology.
“We have departed from a church whose errors are attested and manifest, and which has apparently departed from the word of God ... for the church of God is not of that nature that it cannot possibly be darkened with any spots, or sometimes not need a reformation; for if it were so ... why are they” (Bishops) “called watchmen, if there be no city that can be betrayed? Where was she when ... Isaiah (2 Kings 19) said, the silver of the people of God, that is, the church, was become dross, and the once faithful city was become an harlot. ... St. Paul hath found the same errors and defects under the gospel ... so that he was forced to write thus to the Galatians. ... ‘I am afraid of you lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain, and that you have to no purpose heard the gospel.’ ... There is no need of speaking how fearfully the church of Corinth was corrupted. And now could the churches of Galatia and Corinth fall, and is the church of Rome the only church that can neither fall nor err?” – Apology of the Church.
Archbishop Whitgift – “You must of necessity admit this distinction; some be of the church, and some be only in the church, else can you not make any visible church, for we only know who be in the church; but who be of the church is known to him alone, who knoweth those that be his. If they communicate with us in hearing the word and receiving the sacraments, though otherwise they be drunkards, superstitious, or infected with errors in doctrine, yet must we count them in the church until they be cut off from it by excommunication. ... The incestuous Corinthian was in the church until he was excommunicated. And the Apostle there speaking of whoremongers, idolaters, &c. saith, “If any which is called a brother be a fornicator,” &c. By the name of brethren were those only then called which did profess themselves to be Christians, and were so accounted to be.” – Defence of the Answer, &c.
Compare also Article XX.
Of the authority of the Church.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in controversies of Faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.
Archdeacon Philpot – “Wherefore, if when as yet no books were published, the church did enact or teach nought concerning our salvation, than that afterward was written by the same; neither then, the books being set forth, any assent of the Church may either prescribe or teach anything as though it were necessary unto salvation ... for the gospel hath not its being out of the church, but the church out of the gospel.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Bishop Hooper – “They say the holy church must be heard and obeyed. True it is; but our faith is not grounded upon those that be of the church, though they be the true ministers of God’s word; but upon the word itself as it appeareth. Matt. 16. Therefore, when the authority or testimony of the church is alleged, man that loveth his salvation must search where and what the church is, what times and when the writers were most sincere.” – Decl. of Ten Commandments.
“But as touching the church of Christ, which governeth the soul of man, only the law of God must be obeyed; the ceremonies ordained for a good order to be observed in the church should not be neglected, as the assemblance of people in the Sabbath day, and other feasts, wherein the word of God is preached and the sacraments rightly ministered.” – Decl. of Christ and his Office.
Archbishop Crammer – “The testimony of the church is but as a public office of a record; as the exchequer, the court of roll, (&c.) in which office men may search and have of the keepers of such offices, the true copies of such lands, or other moveables as be due to them by the law. And yet may neither the registers, recorders, (&c.) put to, or take away any thing from, the first original writings; no, nor the judge himself. But all things ought to be judged by those writings. So likewise we believe the holy Canon of the Bible, because that the primitive church of the apostles and eldest writers, and next to their time, approved them in their register, that is, in their writings, which partly saw them and partly heard them of the apostles.” – Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
“They and every one of such ceremonies, as be neither sacraments, nor commandments of faith and charity, may be altered and changed, and others set in their places, or else utterly taken away, by the authority of princes and other their rulers and subjects in the church. Yea, also, the traditions made by the apostles in full council at Jerusalem may be, and already are taken away; as to abstain from things offered unto images, from blood and strangled, are no where kept.” – Ibid.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Their last and most strong bulwark, where the keys were given to the true ministers, is this text, ‘Whosesoever sins ye forgive they are forgiven unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained.’ ... Christ speaketh here after the manner of our speech, which diligently must be noted, unless we will deprive God of his glory. When we see a man restored to his health ... we used to say, Doctor Turner made this man whole ... and yet it is not the Doctor, but rather emplastures and medicines that he ministered unto him, yea, rather God, if we will speak truly. ... So doth the Scripture speak. Sometime it attributeth our health to the ministers of the word, as in this aforesaid place, sometime and most commonly to God himself ... and sometime to the word of God, as it is written, ‘Now are ye clean for the word’s sake which I have spoken unto you.’ ... ‘He sent his word and healeth them, and delivered them from their destructions.’ ... By a metaphor Christ calleth the preaching of his word a key. For as a key hath two properties, one to shut, another to open, so hath the word of God. These keys are given to so many as being truly called unto the offices of ministration preach the word of God. They loosen, that is to say, they preach to the faithful remission of sins by Christ. They also bind, that is, they declare to the unfaithful damnation.” – Castle of Comfort.
Bishop Coverdale – “Whereas ye say that it is the church which hath this authority to restrain the things that are free by the gospel; I answer the church of Christ is his spouse, and the fold of those sheep that hearken to his voice. ... He himself, also, sending out his apostles, biddeth them teach all that he hath commanded them, and not to bind that he hath made free, neither to make free that he hath bound. ... That church, therefore, which taketh upon her any such authority, as is not given her by Christ, is not his lawful spouse.” – Defence of Barnes.
Archbishop Sandys – “Concerning rites and ceremonies by political constitutions authorized amongst us, I am and have been persuaded, that such as are now set down by public authority in this Church of England, are no way either ungodly or unlawful, but may with good conscience, for order and obedience sake, be used of a good Christian.” – The Archbishop’s Will.
See also Articles VI and XIX.
Of the authority of General Councils.
General Councils may not be .gathered together without the commandment and Will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to Salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.
Archdeacon Philpot – “There is a certain rant of men which in manner of a worldly kingdom doth obtain a certain dominion and avaunteth itself for the true church; when for all that, there is nothing farther from the true church than it. This church oftentimes gathereth together councils and congregations of men: many times it judgeth of religion, either of some things controversed. But because it followeth not in judging the sincere doctrine of Christ, as already I have said, but her own commodities, her own riches, and her proper power; it cometh to pass that she falleth into huge and felonious errors: right as it came to pass in the time of Elias, when Jezebel and Ahab waxed cruel upon good folks. ... What, in the troublesome time of Arius did not the east and south parts almost all agree together with the bishops of Rome and Constantinople, and also the emperor himself, unto the wicked doctrine of Arius? At the which time, only five bishops being vexed and exiled, therefore did judge aright; and were deemed of that church, which then was falsely called catholic, heretic, ungodly and seditious folks.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
“They” (the doctors and prophets of the Pope) “turn upside down unto their own opinion and sentence (as Austin saith,) by allegories whatsoever is contained in the holy bible that might supplant their errors. Neither that may be despised of the Pope which the Priscillanists had in their institutions. Swear, forsware – the thing which, in the council of Constantine was openly practiced, where the Pope persuaded the emperor to break his open promise to the intent he might put to execution Jerome of Prague, with other holy men and faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ.” – Ibid.
Bishop Pilkington – “So far as either general council or the doctor’s writings do agree with the body of the holy Scriptures, we do not only reverently and willingly receive them, but diligently, so far forth as we may, practice them. They crack much of the authority of a general council, and blear the people’s eyes with so glorious a name, and also with the reverend name of the fathers, doctors and ancienty, where indeed they make more for us than them. If they considered what Gerson and Panormitanus write, which were ancient fathers, and not new protestants, and were at the council of Basil, where it was disputed what authority a council has, they would not so stiffly stick to so weak a staff: ‘we must rather believe one simple layman,’ say they, ‘alleging the scripture, than the whole council to the contrary.’ De Elect. ca. Significasti. ... They allege much general councils, when indeed very few of them be general: if it be but a provincial council, they themselves grant that it may err. Now then look how many may be called general in their own books, and ye shall find very few. ... There is no creed made at any general councils, nor Athanasius’ creed, but we willingly embrace it, receive it, and believe it. Seeing then we openly profess and teach all things contained in the holy scriptures, and all the articles of any creed determined in general council, or written by Athanasius or any catholic father, how can it be that we be out of the faith.” – ...Burning of St. .Paul’s, &c.
Bishop Ridley – “But now that councils have sometime erred it is manifest. How many councils were there in the east part of the world which condemned the Nicene council? ... I will recite one place only out of St. Augustine, which, (in my judgment) may suffice in this matter instead of many, ‘Who knoweth not,’ saith he, ‘that the holy scripture is so set before us, that it is not lawful to doubt it, and that the letters of bishops may be. reproved by other wiser men’s words, and by councils; and that the councils themselves which are gathered by provinces and countries do give place to the authority of the general and full councils: and that the former general councils are amended by the latter, when as by some experience of things, either that which was shut up, is opened, or that which was hid is known.’” – Conferences with Latimer.
Bishop Hooper – “And by the scripture we may come alone unto all perfection, confute all heresies and false doctrine, though there had never doctor written, ne never decree made by any general council, as Paul teacheth. 2 Tim. 3, 2 Pet. 1.” – Answer to Winchester’s Book.
Archbishop Crammer – “Though that in old time, when the empire of Rome had his ample dominion over the most part of the world, the first four general councils, which at all times have been of most estimation in the church of Christ, were called and gathered by the Emperor’s commandment, and for a godly intent, that heresies might be extinct, schisms put away, good orders and manners in the ministers of the church and the people of the same established. ... Yet now, forsomuch that the empire of Rome and the monarchy of the same hath no such general dominion, but many princes have absolute power in their own realms, and an whole and entire monarchy; no one prince may by his authority call any general council.” – State Paper.
“‘A simple layman bringing forth the scriptures is to be believed rather than a whole council. For a council may err, as it hath aforetimes erred.’” (Gerson) “As did the council of Melchidense and Aquisgranum of contracting of matrimony. The council of Constance among other articles of John Hus, and Hierome of Prague unjustly condemned, condemned also this article for heresy: that the two natures, that is, the divine and humanity be one Christ; which is a necessary article of our faith expressed in the creed of Athanasius, called Quicunque vult;” ... Augustine against Maximinum the bishop of the Arians, lib. iii. cap. 4. ‘But now neither ought I to allege the council of Nice, nor than the council of Arimine to take advantage thereby; for neither am I bound nor held by the authority of this, nor than of that. Let matter with matter, sense with sense, or reason with reason, try the matter by the authority of scriptures, not proper witnesses to any of us, but indifferent witnesses for us both.” – Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Neither let them lay in any councils, either national, or general, either private or public. For neither have these any authority except they be confirmed and established by the word of God, although they be never so greatly garnished with the presence of most noble princes and with the company of pope, cardinals, &c. ... Of men’s councils St. Hierome speaketh on this manner, ‘The doctrine of the Holy Ghost is that which is expressed and set forth in the canonical letters, against the which, if councils determine any thing, I count and judge it wicked.’ A council may not enact anything against the word of the Lord; for it is a plain error whatsoever is determined against the Scripture. For we may not give heed to the trifles of men, but to the doctrines of the Holy Ghost.” – Comparison, &c. to the godly reader.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
Bishop Latimer – “There be some when they cry ‘forgive us our trespasses,’ they think that God will forgive culpam only, sed non poenam, guiltiness and not the pain; and therefore they believe they shall go into purgatory, and there to be cleansed from their sins; which thing is not so: they be liars which teach such doctrine. For God forgiveth us both the pain and the guiltiness of sins, like as it appeared in David when he repented; Nathan said unto him, ‘The Lord hath taken away thy wickedness.’” – Sermon on Lord’s Prayer.
“For you must understand that there are but two places appointed of Almighty God for all mankind; that is heaven and hell. And in what state soever a man dieth in, in the same he shall rise again; for there shall be no alteration or change. ... For when a man dieth in that faith in Christ, all the masses in the world are not able to relieve him; and to conclude, all the travails that we have had in time past, by seeking of remedy by purgatory, and all the great costs and expenses that may be bestowed upon any soul lying in the state of damnation, it can avail nothing, neither can it do any good.” – Ser. Fifth Sun. after Epiphany.
“Images of saints are called saints, and inhabiters of heaven are called saints. Now by honoring of saints is meant praying to saints. ... Dead images are not to be prayed unto, for they have neither ears to hear withal, nor tongue to speak withal, nor heart to think withal, &c. ... As touching the saints in heaven, I said, they be not our mediators by way of redemption, for so Christ alone is our mediator and theirs both. ... Scripture doth set saints that be departed before our eyes for ensamples; so that the chiefest and most principal worship and honouring of them is to know their holy living, and to follow them as they followed Christ.” – Articles imputed to Latimer.
“Here I may dilate the matter as touching praying to saints. Here we may learn not to pray to saints. Christ bids us ‘pray to thy Father that is in heaven.’ To the Creator, and not to any creature.” – Ser. on Rom. 15:4.
“To whom shall we call, not unto the saints. Poscentibus illum, saith he. Those that call upon him shall be heard. Therefore we ought to come to him only and not unto his saints.” –Ser. Matt. 6:9.
“Let us run to him,” (Christ) “ and pray unto God for his sake. Allege him;. put him before thee; and beware that thou call not upon any creature or saint; for that is a great wickedness before God, in praying to saints; for with the saints we have nothing to do but to keep in memory and follow their godly life and righteous living. But our prayer must be made unto Christ only, like as this man doth here in this gospel. – Ser. on Matt. 8:1, 2, 3.
Bishop Ridley – “That none maintain purgatory, invocation of saints, the six articles, beadrolls, images, reliques, rubrick primars, with invocation of saints,” &c. – Injunctions.
“St. John says, ‘My little children beware of images;’ but to set them in churches, which are places dedicated to the service and invocation of God ... is not to beware of them, nor to flee from them, but rather to embrace and receive them. ... Images in the Church either serve to edify or to destroy. If they edify, then is there a kind of edification which the scriptures neither teach nor command, but always disallow: if they destroy, they are not to be used; for in the church of God all things ought to be done to edify. ... The use of images is to the learned and confirmed in knowledge, neither necessary nor profitable. To the superstitious, it is a confirmation in error. To the simple and weak an occasion to fall, and very offensive and wounding to their consciences; and therefore very dangerous.” – Treatise concerning Images.
Bishop Coverdale – “The opinion of purgatory, I suppose, is taken out of the books and writings of the heathen; forasmuch as in the holy scripture of the Old and New Testament we have no manner of record for the confirmation of any such thing. ... We read in the book of the Maccabees, Judas sent to Jerusalem, twelve thousand pieces of silver to offer for the sins of the dead ... (2 Mac. 12). The same words do not I so esteem that they ought to be taken for a certain; forasmuch as the author of the same book is unknown, and the book itself not approved with any testimony of holy scripture. ... The invocation of saints hath even such a foundation as purgatory hath, namely, none at all.” – Defence of a Certain Poor Christian Man.
Bishop Hooper – “The ignorance of this true doctrine to teach men to live and die well, hath brought in that false and untrue opinion of feigned purgatory. ... It abolisheth one of the chief articles of our belief, which is, ‘I believe the remission of sin.’ And here St. John sheweth the cause why the souls that die be not drawn through purgatory, nor passeth through no pains to come to heaven, ‘because,’ saith he, ‘they may rest from their labours,’ that is to say, from the pains due for sin, and from all other miseries of right, annexed and laid upon men for sin.” – Funeral Sermon.
“The church of the Old Testament nor the New never taught the people with images ... As for the praying unto dead saints, or to have their images in the church, it is not a ceremony matter, but very plain and manifest idolatry, contrary unto the express word of God, who forbiddeth to make any image.” – Declaration of Christ. &c.
Archdeacon Philpot – “Doth not the scripture of the New Testament and the Epistles of the apostles condemn all worshipping of images, and command one God only, in mind and in spirit alone, for to be worshipped, because he is both spirit and mind ... for if religion is the worshipping of the true God, and we cannot see God with our eyes but with our mind; it is not to be doubted that there is no religion wheresoever an image is worshipped.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Archbishop Sandys – “Vain, therefore, and dangerous is the opinion of purgatory. Vain, because it hath no foundation at all in God’s word. Moses prescribing all kinds of sacrifices in the old law, maketh no mention either of sacrificing or praying for the dead. Paul instructing the Thessalonians what they ought to do in funerals, neither doth remember unto them sacrifice nor prayer. Just Simeon never dreamed of purgatory when as he said, ‘Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.’ Small peace is there in purgatory as papists report.” – Sermon on Job 14:14.
Archbishop Cranmer – “To maintain their idolatry beside, yea and contrary also to, the word of God, (as invocation and praying to saints, worshipping of images and relics, &c. ... and pardons, to deliver dead men’s souls from purgatory ... ) they allege revelations of angels, of our lady, and other saints. ... By the manifest and plain words of the scriptures and the consent of the most ancient authors before written, it is evident that neither the visions of angels, apparitions of the dead, nor miracles, nor all these joined in one, are able or sufficient to make any one new article of our faith, or stablish any thing in religion without the express words of God.” – Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
“But yet these shameless wretches be not abashed to say that images are necessary, because they be laymen’s books, teaching them, instructing them, and leading them to the true worship of God. ... God giveth his word written to be every man’s book, and his pure everlasting and undefiled commandments, as sufficient instructions for all men to the true worship of him. But these earthly wroters, (the pope, I mean, and his prelates) as though they were wiser than God, will teach men to worship him with images, although the same be utterly forbidden by God throughout the whole course of his holy scriptures.” – Pref. to Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
For if the honoring of the cross, as creeping and kneeling thereunto be taken away, it shall seem to many that be ignorant that the honor of Christ is taken away, unless some good teaching be set forth withal to instruct them sufficiently therein.” – Letter to Henry VIII.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Can that move unto devotion which itself is without all motion and devotion? Can the dead corpse of a captain encourage the soldiers unto the battle? Can a featherless eagle teach other birds to fly? Can a waterless whale teach other fishes to swim upon the dry land? No more can these blockish idols, which are utterly without all senses, affects and motions, move us unto devotion, and unto the true worshipping of God, they themselves also being utterly godless and most estranged from all that is godly. ... Let them show by the word of God, that the beholding of images is no less an ordinary way appointed of God to bring men unto the knowledge of God and unto everlasting salvation, than the preaching of the word is, whereof St. Paul speaketh on this manner; ‘Faith cometh by hearing; but hearing cometh by the word of God.’” – Catechism of the Law.
“The scripture knoweth no such place” (as purgatory). “Hell and heaven are set forth in the word of God: more places than this life the scripture knoweth not.” – Catechism of Rich Men.
William Fulke, D.D. – “Indeed there is nothing more plain in all the holy scriptures, than that the worshipping of .images of all sorts is forbidden. ... We may be bold to say with St. Augustine, We believe, according to the authority of God, that the kingdom of heaven is the first place appointed for God’s elect, and that hell is the second place, where “all the reprobate, and such as be not of the faith of Christ shall suffer eternal punishment. Tertium penitus ignoramus, imo nec esse in scripturis sanctis invenimus,’ The third place we are utterly ignorant of, yea, and that it is not, we find in the holy scriptures!” – Defence of Translations of the Bible.
Of Ministering in the Congregation.
It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of publick preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have publick authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord’s vineyard.
Bishop Latimer – “This is also to be looked for, that he be one whom God hath called and put in office, and not one that cometh uncalled, unsent for; not one that of himself presumeth to take honor upon him. ... He” (Christ) “is also the good man of the house: the church is his household, which ought with all diligence to be fed with his word and his sacraments. These be his goods most precious; the dispensation and administration whereof he would bishops and curates should have.” – Sermon before Convocation.
“To preach God’s word, it is a good thing, and God will have that there shall be some which do it; but for all that, a man may not take upon him to preach God’s word, except he be called unto it. When he doth it, he doth not well, though he have learning and wisdom to be a preacher; yet for all that, he ought not to come himself without any lawful calling; for it was no doubt a good thing to keep the ark from falling, yet for all that, Oza was stricken to death because he took in hand to meddle with it without any commission.” – Ser. on St. Andrew’s Day.
Bishop Pilkington – “This is an example for all ministers to follow, that they do not with bribery or flattery thrust themselves into any office, but patiently tarry the calling of the Lord their God, which can and will call them at such time as he judges them necessary to serve him.” – Exp. on Aggeus.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Your wisdoms see what a sort of unmeet men labour daily to run headlong into the ministry, pretending a very hot zeal, but altogether without necessary knowledge, bearing a face of doing good to the congregation of God, when indeed the greatest part seek nothing but riches, dignities,” &c. “They presume to teach before they have learnt. They take upon them to rule, when they themselves ought most chiefly to be ruled.” – Pref. to News out of Heaven.
“So likewise is the spiritual magistrate, I mean the minister of God’s word, the ordinance of God; and hath a sword also committed to him for the comfort of the good, and for the chastisement of the evil. ... May every man that will, take upon him this ecclesiastical function or office of spiritual ministry? Nothing less. For St. Paul saith, How shall they preach except they be sent?’ Aaron and the prophets, Christ and his apostles, preached not till they were sent. Those that take upon them the ministry before they be called, are of the number of those whom God by the prophet describeth on this manner, ‘I sent them not and they ran; I spake not unto them and they preached.’ How many ways may the ministers be called unto the ministry? Two. One is when they be called immediately of God, as the prophets and apostles were, which were raised up of God to prophecy and to teach, without any vocation or calling of man. And this kind of vocation, God useth customably, outwardly to approve and confirm with wonderful testimonies and signs, as we may more see in Moses, Hellas, &c. But this calling is now ceased. The other is, when the ministers be called mediately, as they say, and in order of men, that is to say, of the magistrate and of the people. They that are thus called unto the ministry may right well persuade themselves that they are called of God, and that their calling is lawful; and that they, living in that vocation, please God, and their service is acceptable unto God. ... Whosoever perceived himself to be apt and meet to rule in the congregation, both in life and doctrine, and feeleth in himself to be moved thereunto by the instinct of the Holy Ghost, and hath in himself also an ardent zeal and fervent desire to help and profit the church of Christ, and to advance God’s true religion; the same man may with a good conscience deserve the ministry.” – Catechism, Offices of all Degrees.
Archbishop Cranmer – “All Christian princes have committed unto them immediately of God, the whole cure of all their subjects, as well concerning the administration of God’s word for the cure of souls, as concerning the ministration of things political, and civil governance. And in both these ministrations they must have sundry ministers under them, to supply that which is appointed to their several offices. ... All the said officers and ministers, as well of the one sort as of the other, be appointed, assigned and elected in every place by the laws and orders of kings and princes. ... In the apostles’ time, when there was no Christian princes, by whose authority ministers of God’s word might be appointed ... sometime the apostles and other unto whom God had given abundantly his Spirit, sent or appointed ministers of God’s word.” – Questions and Answers concerning the Sacraments.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “Apostolus, is a Greek word, and betokeneth one that is sent forth of another, to do a message. So Paul did not send himself to preach the gospel of Christ, but he was sent of God, and appointed to that office by Ananias, as it is written in the Acts 9. So it becometh others to be called of God and by man, that shall be preachers. There are four manners of Apostles, as St. Jerome sheweth. (Gal. 1). First be they which be sent of God only, as the prophets were. Secondly, be they which be called of God and sent also by man, as Paul, Titus, and Timothy were. Thirdly, be they which be not called of God, but sent by man; by favour, love, money. ... Fourthly, be they which be neither called of God nor of man, but they thrust themselves into that common office, seeking their own advantage, lucre, profit ... and such like. Therefore it behoveth every man to tarry his vocation, be he never so well learned, lest he for his hastiness, run into damnation, taking upon him and usurping a common power, before he be called to it by the superior power to whom the vocation as touching the outward vocation belongeth. And if it be so that the high powers in this behalf be negligent to seek for true ministers of God’s word, and would not have faithful preachers of the gospel, or care not for them, or care not whether the people be fed with God’s word or no, which thing principally they should look for and provide, that the people be fed with the word of life: that then, he that is called of God being well learned in the holy scriptures, intending nothing else but God’s glory and the people’s salvation, may and ought to offer himself to the high powers, and desire their authority and license to preach the gospel, as St. Paul saith, (1 Tim. 7) ‘He that desireth the office of a bishop, he desireth an honest labour.’ If the superior powers will not give him license, in whom they find no fault, then may he which is called of God walk in his calling, and do the office that he is called to of God, for a man is more bound to obey God than man. (Acts 4). Wherefore I would no man of his private authority should take upon him this high office of God, as to preach his word openly, before he be called of God and by man, or at the least of God, and have attempted by lawful means the vocation of men, sliming himself alway obedient to the lawful civil ordinances. Of this place,” (Eph. 4:11–13,) “we may learn how God hath distributed his gifts, and set in his church divers ministers for divers offices, and willeth that every one should use himself in his office according to his office calling and gift. ... In that God hath in his church so many ministers, he would have some to be hearers and not all to be pastors. And in this be reproveth them that would have every man to be a preacher. ... Here he sheweth how long it is necessary to have apostles, preachers, and teachers of God’s word in the church of God; they be necessary till we come all to the unity of faith and full knowledge of God, and till we come to be perfect men in Christ; which is not in this world but in the world to come.” – Commentary on Eph.
Nowell’s Catechism – “The Lord himself, immediately before his ascending to heaven, gave principally in charge to his apostles whom he had chosen, that they should instruct all men throughout the world with his word. And Paul following his example, ordained that some should be appointed in every church to teach the people, for that he well knew that faith and all things pertaining to godliness do hang upon the reading and hearing of the word of God, and that, therefore, apostles, teachers, prophets). and expounders, are most necessary in the church of God.”
Bishop Jewel – “We know that the priest, or minister of the church of God, is divided from the rest of his brethren, as was the tribe of Levi, from the children of Israel, and hath a special office over the people; neither may any man force himself into that office without lawful calling.” – Defence of the Apology.
“We say that a minister ought to have a lawful call, and be duly and orderly preferred in the church of God, and that no man ought, at his own will and pleasure, to intrude into the sacred ministry; so that a very great injury is done us by them, who so frequently affirm that nothing is done decently and in order by us, and that with us, all (that will) are priests, teachers, and interpreters.” – Apology.
William Fulke, D.D. – “The name of priest, according to the original derivation from presbyter, we do not refuse; but according to the common acceptation, for a sacrificer we cannot take it, when it is spoken of the ministry of the New Testament. The Holy Ghost never calleth the ministers of the word and sacraments of the New Testament ιερεις or sacerdotes. And although many of the ancient fathers have abusively confounded the terms of sacerdos and presbyter, yet that is no warrant for us to translate the scripture, and to confound that, which we see manifestly the Spirit of God hath distinguished.” – Defence of translation of Bible.
Archdeacon Calfhill – “Christ gave commandment to be faithful ministers, not bloody conjurers. Christ gave an injunction to feed the flock, not to offer sacrifice. The priesthood and sacrifice that the Apostles had, were to convert the simple souls, to daunt the cruel courages of men, to make an offering of them unto the Lord; not through gross miracle or bloody knife, but by the spiritual armour of the power of God. ... And whosoever will be successors unto the apostles, must use this ministry, this trade of doctrine, which, if they continue in, being lawfully called thereunto by God, and have gifts competent to approve their calling unto the world, they need not to care for the sign of the cross to be imprinted on them, the virtue whereof never departeth from them.” – Answer to the Treatise of the Cross.
Archbishop Whitgift – “Surely I think that I am able to prove divers of you to have insinuated yourselves to places (which pleaseth you) before you were called thereunto. And I am of that ignorant, that a man may lawfully so do, if he desire to do good and to profit; for St. Paul saith, 1 Tim. 3, ‘If a man desire the office of a bishop, &c.’ which place, by the judgment of all the interpreters that I have read, doth signify that a man may offer himself with a mind to do good, so that he do not intrude himself, or seek by unlawful means, to obtain that which he desireth; for then it is like that he seeketh not to profit other, but to profit himself. ... It is true that in the old church trial was had of their ability to instruct, and of their godly conversation, but the place in the margin alleged out of the first chap. of the Acts of the Apostles maketh nothing for that purpose, being therein no mention at all of any trial made, either of learning or manners, but only of presenting two, and of praying, and of casting lots: and M. Calvin, in his Institutions, saith plainly, that out of this place of the acts and example, there can be no certain rule gathered of electing and choosing ministers; for as that ministry was extraordinary, so was the calling so. I think it necessary that such as be admitted into the ministry (unless they be very well known), should be tried both in learning and life; but this place maketh nothing at all for that purpose. That the minister may be well assured of the lawfulness of his calling, though he be not called of the people, you have also heard of Musculus, who of purpose answereth that doubt. He that is sure of an inward calling, need not doubt of his outward calling if it be according to the manner of that church wherein he is called. Musculus indeed confesseth that in the Apostles’ time, ‘ministers were chosen by the people, and ordained or confirmed by the elders.’ And after that he hath showed this manner of election to have been used in Cyprian’s time, be addeth and saith: ‘Ad hunc itaque modum eligebantur,’ &c. After this manner, in times past, were ministers, bishops, and deacons, elected: the which form also of election churches retained unto the time of Christian princes and magistrates, whose consent was required in the election of bishops, and that worthily; for it is not meet that those things which are to be done publicly, and concern the people which be their subjects, and pertain unto them in respect of religion (except we will say with the Anabaptists, that Christians ought not to be magistrates) should be done without their consent.’ After this he declareth how the Bishop of Rome, in the end, spoiled the magistrates and the people also of this liberty; and when he hath spoken against the abuses of the Roman Church, in that matter he maketh an objection of such churches as possess the gospel ... than which, what can be more directly spoken to my purpose: which is to prove that no certain manner and form of electing ministers, is any where appointed to be general and perpetual, but the same may be altered according to place, time, and persons; and that the manner used in the Apostle’s time, is not meet and convenient for this time. Musculus saith that this manner of ordaining ministers (for he doth not call it forced election) is a remedy against corrupted tastes, not in respect of laws, government, magistrate, or religion by authority established, but of men’s minds that are corrupted with errors, contentions, and sinister affections. ... You add, ‘that the church’s consent should be had in the election of the minister.’ You have no warrant so to do in any apostolical election, or in any form used in the apostles’ time. Wherefore either you must break that rule which you would have both to be perfect and perpetual for all times and states, or else do you dissemble with the magistrate, and mind nothing less, than that, you say you would do.” – Defence of the Answer, &c.
Of speaking in the. Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have Publick Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people.
Bishop Latimer – “For ye have changed the Common Prayer called “The Divine Service with the administration of the Sacraments,” from the vulgar and known language, into a strange tongue, contrary to the will of the Lord revealed in his word.” – Disputation with Smith.
W. Turner, M.D. – “For we spend the whole day in singing, sacrificing, and mumbling, we speak with tongues, but no man preacheth which should speak unto men, to edify, exhort, and comfort, (1 Cor. 13). The apostle will speak five words with his understanding, that he may instruct and teach others also, rather than ten thousand, with tongues.” – Old Learning and New.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Heretofore we had in the temples, when we came together to pray and to give thanks unto thee, all our prayers and thanksgiving in the tongue that we understood, whereby we received great comfort and were much edified, but now the papists (which wish thy people to be more rude than asses, more blind than beetles, more ignorant than dastards, that they might make them their riding fools and laughing stocks) contrary to the usage and practice of the primitive church, yea contrary to thy commandment given by thine apostle, which willeth all things in the congregation to be uttered in such a speech as all might understand and be edified, or else silence to be kept, have brought the matter to this point, that all English service driven out of the churches, they have stablished this popish Latin service which the most part of thy people understand nothing at all.” – Supplication.
Of the Sacraments.
Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.
Bishop Hooper – “To what end, and to whom the sacraments must be given, St. Paul teacheth, Rom. 4, where he calleth circumcision, ‘Sphragida ejus justitiae acceptationis in gratiam Dei, quae per fidem apprehenditur.’ It is the mark and seal of acceptation into God’s grace, received before by faith. And this external sacrament was as the conclusion and sealing up of all that God had promised unto Abraham before, to say In te benedicentur omnes gentes terrae, with many other promises, as it is expressed in the book of Genesis, from the 12th ch. to the 17th, where as circumcision was given; for this word sphragizo signifieth ‘sigillo notare, insignire, et concludere,’ (to seal, to sign, and to conclude). ‘By the which word and text of Paul it is manifest that by the sacraments God’s promises be not first given unto man, but that by the sacraments, the promise received is confirmed, for Paul, discernit applicationem gratiae, ab ipsa circumcisione’ (distinguishes the impartation of grace from circumcision itself) as in the same 4th chapter he sheweth more plainly, where he declareth the condition of Abraam; what he was before he received this sacrament, proveth him first to be the friend of God. As a man first assured of God, he received this sacrament, and sought not first to find him in an external sign. ... Read the tenth chapter of Numbers, when as the children of Israel departed from the desert of Sinai into the desert of Pharan, in warlike order, every man appointed unto his captain, and under what banner he should be. ... Now note what a sign is in this place. A mark or, open token whereby every man in the host knew unto what captain and company he should resort; and when every man was in his proper place, the one knew by these signs and banners of what lineage and progeny the other was. Here seest thou, Christian reader, what a sign is, a declaration of the person unto what captain and tribe he appertained. The signs made no man of the tribe of Juda, but declared him that was in that ward to be of the tribe of Juda. Here is the sign, and the thing signified by the sign well declared ... all the sacraments that be, or in time past hath been, are none other thing than testimonies of this goodwill and favour of God towards us, appointed in the church to lead our faith unto Christ the only sacrifice for sin.” – Answer to Bishop Winchester’s book.
“They take from the sacraments too much that say they be but external signs to know the church of Christ by, from such as be not of the church ... or those that say they may be done and left undone, as it pleaseth man that useth them. They add too much to the sacraments that attribute as much unto them, as unto the grace and promise that they confirm: as to the sacrament of baptism, remission of sin, when it is but an external confirmation of it, Rom. 4; and unto the holy supper of the Lord they attribute a distribution, deliverance, or exhibition of Christ’s natural body; whereas it is but a confirmation of the grace and mercy that he bought for us upon the cross, with shedding his precious blood, and death of his innocent body.” –Decl. of the Ten Commandments.
Rodger Hutchinson – “St. Austin, an elder and holy father of Christ’s Church, and a man of a most ripe judgment and sharp wit in the scriptures, in his book De Catechizandis Rudibus, defineth a sacrament thus, Sacramentum est signaculum invisibilis gratiae, a sacrament is a visible, a sensible, and an outward sign or token of an invisible grace or benefit. And he expresseth the meaning of this definition more plainly in a certain letter ... where he witnesseth all sacraments to be figures and similitudes of the benefit and grace which they do represent and signify, saying, ‘If sacraments have not certain similitudes of these things whereof they are sacraments, then are they no sacraments? And for this similitude for the most part they take the names of the very things.’” – Second Sermon on the Lord’s Supper.
Bishop Ridley – “I remember there be many definitions of a sacrament in Augustine; but I will take that which seemeth most fit to this present purpose. A sacrament is a visible sign of invisible grace. True it is every sacrament hath grace annexed unto it instrumentally. But there is divers understanding of this Word habet ‘hath,’ for the sacrament hath not grace included in it; but to those that receive it well, it is turned to grace.” – Disputation at. Oxford.
Bishop Pilkington – “St. Augustine saith that Christ in the New Testament was content with few sacraments in number, but which were in signification most worthy, as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; but the Pope hath made so many as pleased him, and that such as no Scripture can allow.” – Expos. on Aggeus.
“And because he says that we swerve from St. Austin, and other blessed fathers and saints, which had mass and seven sacraments; who those fathers and saints be, I would he had named them, that it might be seen how truly he says. I think he durst not, nor yet can, lest he be taken with a loud lie.” ... “We use six of them that he calls sacraments as well as they, though not without great reason we forbear to call them sacraments; and differ much in the doctrine, the order, and the using of them, with other ceremonies and language than they do. ... He says here, that there be seven sacraments necessary to salvation; and yet within few words following he denies marriage to priests; and that is as much to say, as either that marriage is no sacrament, or that priests shall not be saved.” – Confutation of an addition.
Archdeacon Philpot – “I do not say that the receiving only maketh it a sacrament; but I say that a common receiving must needs be concurrent with the true sacrament as a necessary member, without the which it cannot be a sacrament; because Christ hath made this a principal part of the sacrament, ‘Take ye, eat ye,’ which you do not in your mass according to Christ’s institution. Wherefore, it can be no sacrament, for that it wanteth of Christ’s institution.” – Ninth Examination.
Archdeacon Calfhill – “And now to Confirmation ... I shall prove to be no sacrament. And first, where ye snatch a piece of Augustine wherein he calleth the Chrism a sacrament, I answer; that he attributeth no more thereto, than otherwise to prayer and to the word of God. Yea, the master of the Sentences himself teacheth you, that many things improperly be called sacraments, which must not in reasoning be numbered among the sacraments of Christ His church. ... I will reason with you as Christ did with the Pharisees. Is the Confirmation (which you call a sacrament) ordained to be so from heaven or of men? If it be of men, it is no sacrament. If it be of God, then shew the word. Ye have the example of the Apostles in the cha. 8 and 19 of the Acts; but no example sufficeth for a sacrament. ... To come to your Holy Orders; which, among your sacraments, ye put in the third place. ... The Ministry of the word, commended unto us by Christ himself, I can well admit to be a sacrament; and therefore allow, in a right sense, the title that Augustine doth give unto it. For therein is a ceremony, that is taken out of the word of God, and a sign of spiritual grace conferred, as Paul doth witness: yet am I not contrary to myself herein who before affirmed that there were only two sacraments of the church – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. ... But ordering of ministers is a special thing; contracted to a few belonging only to a peculiar function; so may it well be called a sacrament, and yet be denied to be a sacrament of the Church. ... For before Gregory’s time, although every man granted matrimony to be an holy ordinance of God, yet, who ever affirmed it to be a sacrament? Forsooth (say you) Ambrose Augustine and Leo. So the same Ambrose calleth the words and works of Christ whereby he showed his divinity, hidden otherwise in God, a sacrament. And Augustine hath nothing more familiar in him, than sacramenta scripturarum, ‘the sacraments of the scriptures.’ ... But to your reason, whereby ye prove penance to be a sacrament. ... ‘The visible sign is the external act of the priest absolving the penitent.’ By this reason ye prove better absolution ‘to be a sacrament than penance. ... Now as for extreme Unction. ... The apostles anointed with oil many sick folks and they were healed: the priests anoint every sick body, and none of them is the better. Ye have a common proverb in your law, Accessorium sequi naturam principalis: ‘That the accessory thing doth follow the nature of the principal.’ Wherefore since the principal is gone, the working of miracles and healing of the sick, what shall we do with the accessory, the sign thereof; and outward anointing? – Answer to the Treatise of the Cross.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “The sacraments of themselves do not confer and give grace, neither bring salvation of their own virtue, power, and dignity, (as the papists teach) but that they are testimonies, signs and seals of God’s grace, favour, and mercy toward us, and do lively represent and set forth unto us the great clemency and singular goodness of God toward all such as repent and in fine, that the sacraments are the very same to the believing Christian, that ‘the word of God is,’ as St. Austin saith, ‘A sacrament is a visible word.’ For look what the word of God is to the ear of a Christian, the very same is the sacrament to the eye of a Christian; and the Holy Ghost worketh mightily by them both. ... They are not received in vain of them that come worthily unto them, and know the right use of them, and unto what end they were ordained of our Lord and Master Christ’.” – Pref. to Early Writings.
Archbishop Cranmer – “The Scripture sheweth not what a sacrament is: nevertheless where in the Latin text we have sacramentum, there in the Greek we have mysterium. ... The scripture sheweth not how many sacraments there be; but incarnatio Christi and matrimonium be called in the scripture mysteria, and therefore we may call them by the scripturesacramenta. But one sacramentum the scripture maketh mention of which is hard to be revealed fully, (as would to God it were!) and that is mysterium iniquitatis, or mysterium meretricis magnae et bestiae. ... By the ancient authors there be many sacraments more than seven; for all the figures which signified Christ to come, or testify that he is come, be called sacraments, as all the figures of the old law and the new law ... and all the parables of Christ, with the prophecies of the Apocalypse and such other, be called by the doctors sacramenta. ... The determinate number of seven sacraments is no doctrine of scripture nor of. the old authors. ... I find not in scripture the matter, nature and effect of all those which we call the seven sacraments, but only of certain of them: – as of baptism ... of eucharista, of penance. ... But the scripture speaketh not of penance, as we call it, a sacrament, consisting in three parts – contrition, confession, and satisfaction; but the scripture taketh penance for a pure conversion of a sinner, in heart and mind, from his sins unto God. ... Of matrimony, also, I find very much in scripture ... and in this matrimony is also a promise of salvation, if the parents bring up their children in the faith, fear, and love of God.” “Of the matter, nature, and effect of the other three, that is to say, confirmation, order, and extreme unction, I read nothing in the scripture, as they be taken for sacraments.” – Questions and Answers concerning the Sacraments.
“I say (according to God’s word and the doctrine of the old writers) that Christ is present in his sacraments, as they teach also, that he is present in his word when he worketh by the same in the hearts of the hearers .. he worketh with his word, using the voice of the speaker as his instrument to work by; as he useth also his sacraments whereby he worketh, and therefore is said to be present in them.” – First Book of the Sacrament.
“This word ‘sacrament’ I do sometimes use (as it is many times taken among writers and holy doctors) for the sacramental bread, water, or wine. ... But where I use to speak sometimes (as the old authors do) that Christ is in the sacraments I mean the same as they did understand the matter; that is to say, not of Christ’s carnal presence in the outward sacrament, but sometimes of his sacramental presence. And sometime by this word ‘sacrament,’ I mean the whole ministration and receiving of the sacraments either of baptism or of the Lord’s supper: and so the old writers many times do say that Christ and the Holy Ghost be present in the sacraments; not meaning by that manner of speech that Christ and the Holy Ghost be present in the water, bread, or wine, (which be only the outward visible sacraments) but that in the due ministration of the sacraments according to Christ’s ordinance and institution, Christ and his Holy Spirit be truly, and indeed present, by their mighty and sanctifying power, virtue, and grace, in all them that worthily receive the same.” – Pref. to First Book, on the Sacrament.
Bishop Jewel – “Christ hath ordained them” (the sacraments) “that by them he might set before our eyes the mysteries of our salvation, and might more strongly confirm the faith which we have in his blood, and might seal his grace in our hearts. As princes’ seals confirm and warrant their deeds and charters, so do the sacraments witness unto our conscience that God’s promises are true, and shall continue for ever. Thus doth God make known his secret purpose to his church; first he declareth his mercy by his word, then he sealeth it and assureth it by his sacraments. In this word we have his promises; in the sacraments we see them St. Augustine saith, ‘A sacrament is a visible sign of grace invisible,’ and ‘a sign is a thing that besides the sight itself which it offereth to the senses, causes of itself some other certain thing to come to knowledge.’ Again Augustine saith, ‘Join the word of Christ’s institution with the sensible creature, and thereof is made a sacrament.’ Join the word to the creature of water, and thereof is made the sacrament of baptism; take away the word, then what is the water? ... The first cause why they were ordained is, that thereby one should acknowledge another as fellows of one household, and members of one body. ... Another cause is, to move, instruct, and teach, our dull and heavy hearts, by sensible creatures. ... For if any man have the outward seal, and have not the faith thereof sealed within his heart, it availeth him not; he is but a hypocrite and dissembler. ... When one that is unlearned and cannot read looketh upon a book, be the book never so true, never so well written, yet because he knoweth not letters and cannot read, he looketh upon it in vain. ... But another that can read, and hath judgment to understand, considereth the whole story ... the very drift and meaning of him that wrote it. So do the faithful receive the fruit and comfort by the sacraments, which the wicked and ungodly, neither consider nor receive. ... The sacraments instituted by Christ are only two. The sacrament of baptism and of our Lord’s supper. ... Confirmation was not ordained by Christ. Penance hath not any outward element joined to the word; the same may be said of orders. And matrimony was not first instituted by Christ, but God ordained it in paradise long before.” – Treatise on the Sacraments.
Archbishop Whitgift – “You say that we attribute to the sign that which is proper to the work of God in the blood of Christ, as though virtue were in water to wash away sin. You know very well that we teach far otherwise, and that it is a certain and true doctrine of all such as possess the gospel, that the outward signs of the sacraments, do not contain in them grace, neither yet that the grace of God is of necessity tied unto them, but only that they be seals of God’s promises, notes of Christianity, testimonies and effectual signs of the grace of God, and of our redemption in Christ Jesus; by the which the Spirit of God doth invisibly work in us, not only the increase of faith, but confirmation also. You understand likewise that this difference there is, betwixt these external elements being selected to be sacramental signs (for example, betwixt water in baptism and common water; bread and wine in the eucharist and usual bread and wine), that these now be sacraments sanctified to another use, to a spiritual use, to the nourishing of faith and feeding of the soul, to be instruments of the Holy Ghost, by the which as by instruments we be fed to eternal life. Furthermore you cannot be ignorant, that whosoever contemneth these external signs, and refuseth them, cannot be a member of Christ, neither yet saved. Last of all you have learned that there is such a similitude betwixt the signs and the thing signified, that they are not only in scripture usually called by the names of those things whereof they be sacraments (as bread the body of Christ, and water regeneration), but also that the contumely or contempt done to the one, doth redound to the other; that is, the contempt of the figures, is the contempt of the things signified; and therefore St. Paul saith, 1 .Cor. ‘He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation.’” –Defence of the Answer.
Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the eject of the Sacrament.
Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ’s, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving of the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ’s ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God’s gifts diminished from such as by faith and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ’s institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that enquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences: and finally being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.
Bishop Latimer – “And yet as long as they minister the word of God or his sacraments, or any thing that God hath ordained to the salvation of mankind, wherewith God hath promised to be present, to work with the ministration of the same to the end of the world, they be to be heard, to be obeyed, to be honored for God’s ordinance sake, which is effectual and fruitful, whatsoever the minister be, though he be a devil, and neither church, nor member of the same, as Origen saith, and Chrysostom; ... but there is required a judgment to discern when they minister God’s word and ordinance of the same, and their own ... and ye know that to follow the blind guides is to come into the pit with the same.” – To Sir Edw. Baynton.
Archbishop Sandys – “The ministers, you see should teach the right way. He which beareth that name and performeth not this office, is but an ‘idol’. ‘Let another take his bishopric.’ Such drones were better smothered than suffered in that hive, where none should live that will not labour. Such as sow not why should they reap? Neither is it any new thing to cast out unworthy ministers who cast off care of their duty. Solomon deposed Abiathar the high priest: and Justinian deprived Sylverius and Vigilius, bishops of Rome. These are good precedents for princes in like case to follow.” – Ser. 1 Sam. 12:23, 24.
Bishop Coverdale – “Whereas they require the intent of the priest to consecrate Christ’s body; forasmuch as we know not any man’s intent (God only knoweth the heart), yea, the words we know not, they are so spake in hucker mucker; I pray you, in what a doubtfulness are we brought, whether it be a sacrament or not! In what peril are we of worshipping a piece of bread for our Christ. Is not this, trow you, sweet and comfortable gear, that a man shall always stand in doubt whether he have received the sacrament or no?” – The Carrying of Christ’s Cross.
Bishop Pilkington – ... “Whether the evilness of the minister do defile his ministry and God’s sacraments which he ministers. First, mark, that the minister, if he be a drunkard, an adulterer, or covetous, &c. he doth not hurt the strength of the sacrament which he ministers; neither yet defiles any man that receiveth at his hands; but to himself he ministers damnation. ... If we should flee ministers because of their sin, whom shall we then hear? for who wants sin? So in preaching as long as they say true, hear them, though their doctrine condemn themselves: for Christ saith, ‘In Moses’ chair sit the Scribes and Pharisees; do as they bid and teach you, but do not as they do.’ So he that is baptized of an evil minister is as well baptized as he that receives it of the good, and as much doth it profit him: or else so much difference should be betwixt their baptisms, as is betwixt the goodness of the ministers; and the baptism of the better minister should exceed the baptism of. the worse; and then might we well say, ‘I am Paul’s, I am Apollos’, I am Cephas’ which Paul forbids. The goodness of baptism hangs upon God, who did institute it, and not on the minister which gives it.” – Exp. on Aggeus.
Archbishop Whitgift – “But where doth this church of England allow any woman to baptize, or deacon to celebrate the Lord’s Supper? And if it did, the dignity of the sacraments do not depend upon the man, be he minister or not minister, be he good or evil.” – Defence of the Answer.
Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, Whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or new Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed: Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The Baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.
Bishop Latimer – “Then we begin; we are washed with water; and then the words are added; for we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, whereby the baptism receiveth his strength, Now this sacrament of baptism is a thing of great weight; for as it ascertaineth and assureth us, that like as the water washeth the body and cleanseth it, so the blood of Christ our Saviour cleanseth and washeth it from all filth and uncleanliness of sins. ... And so it appeareth that we may not seek Christ in the glistening of this world: for what is so common as water? what is so common as bread and wine? Yet he promised to be found there, when he is sought with a faithful heart.” – Ser. on St. John’s Day.
“I heard of late that there be some wicked persons, despisers of God, and his benefits, which say, ‘tis no matter whatsoever we do; we be baptized: we cannot be damned; for all those that be baptized and be called Christians, shall be saved.’ This is a false and wicked opinion, and I assure you, that such which bear the name of Christians, and be baptized, but follow not God’s commandments, that such fellows, I say, be worse than the Turks and heathen; for the Turks and heathen have made no promise unto Christ to serve him. These fellows have made promise in baptism to keep Christ’s rule, which thing they do not. ... And, therefore, such Christians must be wicked perjured persons, and not only be perjured, but they go about to make God a liar, so much as lieth in them.” – Sec. Ser. on the Lord’s Prayer.
“‘Except a man be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ But how cometh this regeneration? By hearing and believing the word of God: for so saith St. Peter, ‘We are born anew, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God.’” – Ser. on Matt. 22:2, 3.
Bishop Hooper – “Although baptism be a sacrament to be received and honorably used of all men, yet it sanctifieth no man. And such as attribute the remission of sin unto the external sign, doth offend. John (Matt. 3) preached penitence in the desert and remission of sin in Christ. Such as confessed their faults, he marked and declared to be of Christ’s Church. So that external baptism was but an inauguration or external consecration of those, that first believed and were cleansed of their sin, as he declareth himself in the same place: Ego (inquit) baptizo aqua: I christen with water. As though he said, My baptism maketh no man the better – inwardly it changeth no man. ... Such as be baptized must remember that penance’ [repentance] ‘and faith preceded this external sign, and in Christ the purgation was inwardly obtained, before the external rite was given. So that there is two kinds of baptism, and both necessary: the one interior which is the cleansing of the heart, the drawing of the Father, the operation of the Holy Ghost: and this baptism is in man when he believeth and trusteth that Christ is the only author of his salvation. Thus be the infants examined concerning repentance and faith before they be baptized with water; at the contemplation of the which faith God purgeth the soul. Then is the exterior sign added, not to purge the heart but to confirm, manifest, and open unto the world that this child is God’s. And likewise baptism, with the repetition of the words, is a very sacrament and sign that the baptized creature should die from sin all his life, as Paul writeth, Rom. 6. Likewise no man should condemn, nor neglect this exterior sign for the commandment’s sake, though it have no power to purge from sin, yet it confirmeth the purgation of sin, and the act itself pleaseth God, for because the receivers thereof obey the will of his commandment.” – Decl. of Christ and his Office.
“This ungodly opinion, that attributeth the salvation of man into the receiving of an external sacrament, doth derogate the mercy of God as though his Holy Spirit could not be carried by faith into the penitent and sorrowful conscience, except it rid always in a chariot and external sacrament.” – Answer to Winchester’s Book.
Archbishop Sandys – “And as praying and hearing, so the worthy receiving of his sacraments is not only a sending of his grace unto us, but also a testifying of our godliness towards him ... by the one which is baptism we are received and incorporated into the Church of Christ. ... These” (sacraments) “are God’s seals added unto his most certain promises for the confirmation of our weak faith, weak, by reason of the infirmity of our flesh. ‘For if we were spiritual,’ saith Chrysostom, ‘we should not mind these corporal signs.’” – Ser. on 1 Tim. 2:1, 2.
“ Now as the graces of God, purchased for us by Christ, are offered unto us by the word, so are they also most lively and effectually by the Sacraments. In baptism, the outward washing of the flesh declareth the inward purging and cleansing of the Spirit.” – Ser. on 2 Cor. 6:1, 2.
Archbishop Grindal – “So in baptism men regard not greatly the water, but account themselves washed with the blood of Christ. So saith St. Paul: whatsoever we be that are baptized, we are washed in the blood of Christ. Wherefore, to the faithful receivers you may say, that the water of baptism is the blood of Christ, and the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ.” – Dialogue between Custom and Veritg.
Archdeacon Philpot – “If any come worthily to receive, then do I confess the presence of Christ wholly to be with all the fruits of his passion, unto the said worthy receiver, by the spirit of God, and that Christ is thereby joined to him, and he to Christ.” – Sixth Examination.
“Indeed you look upon the papistical synagogue only ... you might seem to have good handfast of your opinion against the baptism of infants. But forasmuch as it is of more antiquity, and hath its beginning from God’s word, and from the use of the primitive Church, it must not in respect of the abuse in the popish Church be neglected, or thought not expedient to be used in Christ’s Church. Auxentius, one of the Arians’ sect,” (who died in 374,) “with his adherents was one of the first that denied the baptism of children; and next after him, Pelagius the heretic. ... But the catholic truth delivered unto us by the scriptures, plainly determineth that all such are to be baptized, as whom God acknowledgeth for his people, and voucheth them worthy of sanctification or remission of their sins. Therefore since that infants be in the number or scroll of God’s people, and be partakers of the promise by their purification in Christ, it must needs follow thereby that they ought to be baptized as well as those that can profess their faith. ... But God promiseth that he will not only be the God of such as do profess him, but also of infants, promising them his grace and remission of sins, as it appeareth by the words of the covenant made unto Abraham, ‘I will set my covenant between thee and me, (saith the Lord) and between thy seed after thee in their generations, with an everlasting covenant, to be thy God and the God of thy seed after thee.’ ... ‘Take heed, therefore, that ye despise not one of these babes; for I tell you their angels do continually see in heaven my Father’s face.’ ... It is not the will of the heavenly Father that the infants should perish. ... Since, then, that the word of the promise which is contained in baptism pertaineth as well to children as to men, why should the sign of the promise, which is baptism in water, be withholden from children. ... St. Peter could not deny them to be baptized in water, to whom he saw the Holy Ghost given, which is the certain sign of God’s people. (Acts 10). ... None be received into the kingdom of heaven but such as God loveth, and which are endued with his Spirit: for ‘whoso hath not the spirit of God, he is none of his.’ But infants be beloved of God, and therefore want not the Spirit of God; wherefore if they have the spirit of God as well as men ... who (I pray you) may well withstand children to be baptized with water in the name of the Lord? ... But baptism is come instead of circumcision, as St. Paul witnesseth, saying to the Colossians, ‘By Christ ye are circumcised with a circumcision which is without hands, when ye put off the body of sin of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; being buried together with him through baptism.’ Behold Paul calleth baptism the circumcision of a Christian man which is done without hands ... For that children are accounted of Christ in the gospel among the number of such as believe, as it appeareth by these words; ‘He that offendeth one of these little babes which believe in me, it were better for him to have a millstone,’ &c. Where plainly Christ calleth such as be not able to confess their faith believers, because of his mere grace he reputeth them for believers. ... If the order of words might weigh anything in this cause,” (implying that children should be taught before baptized) “we have the scripture that maketh as well for us; for in St. Mark we read that John did baptize in the desert, preaching the baptism of repentance. In the which place, we see baptizing go before, and preaching to follow. And, also, I will declare this place of Matthew, exactly considered, to make for the use of baptism in children; for St. Matthew hath it written in this wise; ‘All power is given me,’ saith the Lord, ‘in heaven and in earth; therefore, going forth’, μαθητευσατε, that is, ‘disciple ye,’ that is, make or gather to me disciples of all nations. And following, he declareth the way how they should gather to him disciples out of all nations, ‘baptizing them and teaching’: by baptizing and teaching ye shall procure a church to me. ... Now then, baptism goeth before doctrine.” – Letters.
Archbishop Cranmer – “But how can be taken for a good Christian man, that thinketh that Christ did ordain his sacramental signs and tokens in vain, without effectual grace and operation? For so might we as well say, that the water in baptism is a bare token, and hath no warrant signed by scripture for any apparel at all: for the scripture speaketh not of any promise made to the receiving of a token or figure only. And so may be concluded after your manner of reasoning, that in baptism is no spiritual operation indeed, because that washing in water in itself is but a token. But to express the true effect of the sacraments; as the washing outwardly in water is not a vain token, but teacheth such a washing as God worketh inwardly in them that duly receive the same; so likewise, is not the bread a vain token.” – Of the Sacrament.
... “But as in baptism we receive the Holy Ghost, and put Christ upon us, as well if we be christened in one dish full of water taken out of the font, as if we christened in the whole font or river; so we be as truly fed,’ &c. ... ‘For as in every part of the water in baptism is whole Christ and the Holy Spirit sacramentally, so be they in every part of the bread broken,’ &c. ... I grant that Christ is really not only in them that duly receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, but also in them that duly receive the sacrament of baptism; and in all other true Christian people at other times, when they receive no sacrament.” – Of the Presence of Christ.
“Our Saviour Christ ordained the water of baptism to signify unto us, that as that water washeth our bodies outwardly, so be we spiritually within washed by Christ from all our sins. And as the water is called water of regeneration, or new birth, so it declareth unto us, that through Christ we be born anew, and begin a new life towards God; and that Christ is the beginning of this new life.” – Answer to the fifteen Articles, &c.
“‘In Sacraments,’ (saith Augustine) ‘is to be considered not what they be, but what they show. For they be signs of other things, being one thing, and signifying another.’ Therefore, as in baptism, those that come feignedly, and those that come unfeignedly, both be washed with the sacramental water, but both be not washed with the Holy Ghost and clothed with Christ: so in the Lord’s Supper,” &c. – Of the Eating and Drinking.
“For as baptism is no perfect sacrament of spiritual regeneration, without there be as well the element of water, as the Holy Ghost spiritually regenerating the person that is baptized, which is signified by the said water; even so the supper of the Lord can be no perfect sacrament of spiritual food, except there be as well bread and wine as the body and blood of our Saviour Christ, spiritually feeding us, which by the said bread and wine is signified.” – Against Transubstantiation.
“St. Augustine sheweth this matter ... where he saith, ‘we ought not to be reprehended as vain men, or liars, forasmuch as in common speech we use daily to call sacraments and figures by the names of the things that be signified by them, although they be not the same thing indeed. As every Good Friday, as often as it returneth from year to year, we call it the day of Christ’s passion ... and the sacrament of his body, we call it his body ... and our baptism, St. Paul calleth our burial with Christ. ... But so they be called because they be figures, sacraments, and representations of the things themselves which they signify, and whereof they bear the names. ... Therefore, as after a certain manner of speech, the sacrament of Christ’s body, is Christ’s body, the sacrament of Christ’s blood, is Christ’s blood; so likewise the sacrament of faith, is faith ... And, therefore, when we answer for young children in their baptism that they believe, which have not yet the mind to believe, we answer, that they have faith, because they have the sacrament of faith. ... And likewise speaketh the Apostle of baptism, saying, that ‘by baptism we be buried with him into death’; he saith not that we signify burial, but he saith plainly that we be buried. So that the sacrament of so great a thing, is not called but by the name of the thing itself.’ The answer of St. Augustine is this: that forasmuch as baptism is the sacrament of the profession of our faith and of our conversion unto God, it becometh us so to answer for young children coming thereunto, as to the sacrament appertaineth, although the children indeed have no knowledge of such things. ... Like as in baptism, Christ and the Holy Ghost be not in the water, or font, but be given in the ministration, or to them that be truly baptized in the water. And although the sacramental tokens be only significations and figures, yet doth Almighty God effectually work in them that duly receive his sacraments, those divine and celestial operations which he hath promised, and by the sacraments be signified. For else they were vain and unfruitful sacraments, as well to the godly, as to the ungodly.” – Of the Presence of Christ.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “The virtue of Christ’s sacrifice is so great, of so much dignity before God the Father, that it lasteth ever in full strength to put away sin; yea, and that not only before, but also after baptism. ... At baptism we are purged through Christ’s blood from original sin, and all other that we have committed before, so that we are reconciled to God, and recounted for righteous.” – The New Year’s Gift.
“As for an ensample, baptism beareth witness unto us that we are washed in the blood of Christ; that all our sins be put away and cleansed by the death and passion of Christ: and that Christ by his blood hath so purified us, that he hath, made us unto himself a glorious congregation, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, that we should be holy and without blame.’ ... Baptism, after the definition of St. Paul, is ‘the fountain of the new birth, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.’ Or thus: baptism, as St. Peter doth define it, is ‘not the putting away of the filthiness of the flesh, but a good conscience consenting to God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ Or on this manner: baptism is an holy sacrament, instituted of the Lord Jesu, to this end, that so many as will shake off the cruel yoke of Satan, the world, and the flesh, and become his faithful soldiers and trusty servants, should be washed with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. ... To be baptized with the Holy Ghost, (is) to be regenerate, to be born anew, to he made of earthly heavenly, of carnal spiritual, &c. ... Is the baptism of the Spirit necessary unto everlasting salvation? So necessary, that without it, the baptism of water profiteth nothing. As in the Old Testament, the circumcision of the flesh profited the Jews nothing at all without the circumcision of the Spirit; so likewise in the New Testament, the baptism of water availeth nothing without the baptism of the Spirit. ‘He is not a Jew,’ saith St. Paul, ‘which is a Jew outward; neither is it circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew,’ &c. ... And St. Peter saith, ‘baptism now saveth us; not the putting away of the filthiness of the flesh, but a good conscience consenting unto God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ What did it profit Simon Magus that he was baptized with water, not being also, through his hypocrisy, baptized with the Holy Ghost. Verily, nothing at all. ‘They that are led with the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ ... The wicked and the unfaithful have the element of the sacrament, which is water, but the godly and the faithful have both the sacrament and also the virtue and strength of the sacrament, which is the Holy Ghost; as Christ saith, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ ... If our sacraments which of themselves are nothing else than (as St. Paul termeth them) ‘the seals of righteousness,’ or of our righteous-making by faith, and witness of God’s favour toward us, were of such virtue, that they could give grace, that is, the favour of God, remission of sin, justification, the Holy Ghost, everlasting life, &c. by the work wrought, as they say, or by any power that remaineth in the outward signs; so should it follow that our justification depend not only of the free grace of God, but of works; which is most false: ‘If it be of grace,’ as St. Paul witnesseth, ‘then is it not now of works.’ ... Who seeth not now evidently by the testimonies of these two apostles,” (St. Peter and St. Paul) “that the outward sacraments of themselves give not grace, justify not, neither bring the Holy Ghost, which only are the works of Almighty God. ‘I baptize you with water unto repentance,’ saith St. John, ‘but he that shall come after me,’ (he speaketh of Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’ Of these words of the holy Baptist, it is manifest, that washing with water bringeth not the Holy Ghost, but it is the gift of God. Man baptizeth with water; but God baptizeth with his Spirit and grace. Without the inward baptism of the Holy Ghost, the outward baptism of water profiteth nothing, as St. Austin saith, ‘Moses sanctifieth not for the Lord, but Moses, with invisible sacraments through his ministry, and the Lord with invisible grace through the Holy Ghost, sanctifieth; where is the whole fruit of the visible sacraments. For without this sanctifying of the invisible grace what do the visible sacraments profit?’ And afterward, in the same place, he sheweth that the invisible sanctifying, may both be present and also profit, without the visible sign, as in the thief; and again, that the visible sign without the invisible sanctifying may be present and profit nothing, as in Simon Magus. ... St. Ambrose also saith, ‘to forgive sins (in baptism) and to give the Holy Ghost, is the office of God alone. ... For we know that the Holy Ghost was given of God without laying on of hands, and that he which was not baptized obtained remission of sins. ... Now what other thing is it to be the God of the faithful people’s children, than to be their Saviour and blessed-maker? If God, which is faithful in all his words, which also is not only true, but also the self-truth, saveth the children for his promise sake; is it to be thought that the want of a little water, (where necessity compelleth) can make God to fall from his truth, and his promise to be both vain and void; so that without the water, he cannot save the Christian infants, whom notwithstanding he hath promised to save? What other thing is this than to make God servant to his sacraments, and to bind his grace and Spirit to an outward ceremony or sign. ... Who seeth not now that baptism itself bringeth not grace, but doth testify unto the congregation that he which is baptized hath already received grace and the Spirit of God, and is accepted of God for his merciful promise sake, a dear child and heir of everlasting glory. ... And it is not to be doubted, but that even among the Turks and the other heathen, there are many spiritually baptized, and SQ are saved, although their bodies want the water of baptism. ... Item, who doubted that many and divers infants of the Israelites died without circumcision? Shall we say that all these perished and were damned for lack of circumcision? God forbid. ... Besides all these things, what shall we say of God’s election? ... Can the lack of outward baptism destroy and make of none effect the election of God; so that when God hath chosen to everlasting salvation, the want of an external sign shall cast down unto everlasting damnation? ... But what is to be said to this sentence of Christ, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?’ The like manner of speaking read we in the Gospel of St. John, and they also are the words of Christ: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.’ Some of the ancient fathers understanding these words literally, thought that whosoever died without the receiving of the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ was in great danger of damnation; and, therefore, they ordained that the young infants also, as soon as they were baptized should receive the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ ... when, to say the truth, these words of Christ are not to be understood literally, but spiritually, not of the sacramental, but of the spiritual eating and drinking of Christ’s body and blood, which is done by faith. And as these fathers grated too hard upon this sentence of Christ, ‘Except ye eat,’ &c., so likewise did these fathers cleave too much to these words of Christ, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ ... For, as many of the people of God are saved which never received the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, so likewise are many saved though they were never outwardly baptized with water; forasmuch as the regeneration of the Christian consisteth rather in the Spirit than in the flesh. ... This text therefore of Christ, ‘Except a man be born of water,’ &c. is to be understand of such as may conveniently be baptized, and yet, notwithstanding, contemptuously refuse baptism, and in this behalf despise the ordinance of Christ, and by this means, seclude themselves from the company of God’s people. ... It is notably said of St. Augustine, ‘Then is it fulfilled invisibly, when not the contempt of religion, but the article of necessity excludeth the mystery of baptism.’” – Catechism of the Sacraments – Baptism.
Bishop Coverdale – “Here also” (Acts 2:37–41.) “we learn how faithful believers use themselves in the outward sacraments. They that being moved by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost in their hearts do hear the eternal word preached, giving credit unto it and gladly receiving it, these do not afterward despise the outward sacraments, which God hath instituted for the welfare of his Church, but use the same with all obedience, good will, and reverence. To use the sacraments without faith profiteth not, but rather hurteth: to be loth to use them declareth a compulsion and unbelief. For though the water in baptism be an outward thing and cannot cleanse the soul from sin; yet the faithful do know right well, that Christ, the eternal wisdom, in whom they believe, did not institute it in vain; and therefore will not they condemn, or leave unexercised, the ordinance of their Head, to whom they as members are incorporated by faith. ... They know also that sacraments are evidences of the promise and grace of God, which they after a visible and palpable manner do set forth, declare, and represent unto us.” – Fruitful Lessons. Of sending of the Holy Ghost.
“Truth it is that to believe with the heart justifieth; but the confession that is made with the mouth belongeth unto health, and serveth unto love and unity of the Church and congregation of God. ... Therefore did Christ institute the sacraments, that is to say, exterior signs of his grace; that his people might be associate together in the unity of faith. ... Not that the grace and health is therefore to be ascribed to the elements and outward things, but that it may appear how effectuous faith is, and what it worketh through charitable love in the Church.” – Ibid. The Resurrection of Christ.
William Fulke, D.D. – “The sacrament of baptism, how far we are from disgracing, or taking away altogether, when we affirm that the grace of God’s Spirit is not so tied unto it, but he may work regeneration without it in them that by necessity are deprived of it, let all men of reason and indifference judge. ... And a great absurdity he thinketh he hath found out, in that we expound the water and Spirit to signify one thing: as though in Mat. 3:16. ‘The Holy Ghost and fire’ are not put both for one thing; and he may as well in the one place urge the element of fire in the baptism of Christ, as by this place prove the necessity of baptism in water. And yet, we take not away the sacrament of baptism, or the water, the external matter thereof, which in other places is expressly commanded: when we say it is not spoken of in this text, which is of the thing signified in baptism, rather than of baptism; as in John 6 our Saviour speaketh in like terms of the thing represented in the sacrament of his supper, not of the sacrament itself.” – Defence of English Translations of the Bible.
L. Ridley, D.D. – “Here he sheweth” (Eph. 5:25–27,) “how Christ hath purged his church truly in the fountain of water, by his word. Although God of his mere mercy and goodness, without all man’s deserts, or merits, only for Christ’s sake hath washed and purged man from sin; yet he useth a mean by the which he cleanseth men from sin, which is by baptism in water by the word of God; and so in baptism are our sins taken away, and we from sins purged, cleansed and regenerated in a new man, to live a holy life according to the Spirit and will of God. It is not the water that washes us from our sins, but Christ by his word and his spirit given to us in baptism, that washeth away our sins that we have of Adam by carnal nature. In that the apostle saith that Christ ‘hath cleansed his church in the fountain of water by the word,’ he sheweth plainly that baptism is a mean whereby Christ taketh away original sin, and maketh all them that be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according to Christ’s institution, (Matt. 28) to be cleansed from all the sin of Adam. ... Children be born in sin, and shall be damned if they be not cleansed from their sin. Although God do purge us from sin only, yet he useth means whereby he taketh and washeth away our sins. That means, saith St. Paul, here, is by the fountain of water in the word of God, by the which means Christ purgeth his church and his congregation. ... This saying of St. Paul (Tit. 3) proveth that children of necessity must be christened, or else they cannot be purged of their sins, nor yet saved by Christ and come to life everlasting. ... It may be proved by many places of the holy scripture, that children must needs be christened, or else they cannot be saved, except God of his absolute power do save them. ... Children may have faith, although they have it not by hearing, yet they have faith by infusion of the Holy Ghost, as the holy prophets had, and many holy men in the old law had. Also faith is the gift of God and the work of the Holy Ghost. Who should let God to give his gifts where he will, seeing faith is the gift of God. (Eph. 2, Phil. 1). He may give faith as well to children as to old men.” – Com. on the Eph.
Bishop Jewel – “We say that baptism is the sacrament of the remission of sins, and of that washing which we have in the blood of Christ, and that none are to be denied that sacrament who will profess the faith of Christ; no, not the infants of Christians, because they are born in sin and belong to the people of God.” – Apology of the Church.
“St. Augustine saith, ‘it is good and godly to believe that the child is holpen by the faith of them by whom he is offered, or brought unto baptism.’ ... The like sayings might be alleged out of Justinus Martyr, St Cyprian, St. Jerome, and others. For thus they write, how truly I will not say. But their words be plain. The prophet Habakuk saith, ‘The just man shall live (not by the faith of his parents, but) by his own faith.’ Of this faith, Jerome saith, ‘They that receive not baptism with perfect faith, receive the water, but the Holy Ghost they receive not.’ St. Augustine saith, ‘true baptism standeth not so much in washing of the body, as in the faith of the heart,’ as the doctrine of the Apostles hath taught us, saying, ‘By faith purifying their hearts’ and in another place, ‘Baptism maketh us safe;’ not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examining of a ‘good conscience before God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ ... Touching the virtue or power of this sacrament, (the outward element of water) it is a common resolution amongst all his (Mr. Harding’s) own school doctors, ‘Gratia Dei non est alligata sacramentis,’ ‘The grace of God is not tied to any sacraments.’ The meaning thereof is this; – that God is able to work salvation both with them and without them. ... Notwithstanding we must consider that the learned fathers, in their treatises of the sacraments, sometimes use the outward sign instead of the thing itself that is signified; sometimes they use the thing signified instead of the sign. As for example, sometimes they name Christ’s blood instead of the water. Sometimes they name the water instead of Christ’s blood. This figure is called Metonymia; that is to say, an exchange of names, and is much used among the learned, specially speaking of the sacraments.” – Defence of the Apology.
Archbishop Whitgift – “Augustine also in his epistle written ad Bonifacium answering this question; why seeing we dare promise nothing of the infant’s behaviour and manners when he cometh to man’s estate, yet when he is brought to baptism, and the question is asked of those that offer him to be baptized, whether the infant believe or no, they answer that he doth believe; saith on this wise ‘Nisi sacramenta quandam haberent similitudinem, &c. Except sacraments had a certain similitude and likeness of those things whereof they be sacraments, they were no sacraments at all; and by reason of this same similitude, oftentimes they are called. by the names of the things themselves; therefore as after a certain manner of speaking, the sacrament of the body of Christ is the body of Christ; the sacrament of the blood is the blood of Christ; so the sacrament of the faith is faith: neither is it anything else to believe than to have faith; and therefore when answer is made that the infant doth believe, not having as yet faith indeed, it is answered that he doth believe for the sacrament of faith.’ ... And a little after he saith, ‘Therefore, although that faith which consisteth in the will of the believers doth not make the child faithful, yet doth the sacrament of that faith make him faithful: for even as it is answered, that he doth believe, so is he also called faithful, not by signifying the thing itself in his mind but by receiving the sacrament of the thing.’ ... Baptism is truly called by him the sacrament of faith, because it is signaculum justitiae fidei as circumcision the figure of it was, according to the word of the Apostle (ad Rom. 4). ... The outward sacramental signs are seals of God’s promises, and whosoever refuseth the same shall never enjoy the promises, and although the necessity of salvation is not so tied to these sacraments that whosoever hath the external signs shall therefore be saved, yet is it so tied unto them that none can be saved that willingly and wittingly is void of them. ... You say that we attribute to the sign that which is proper to the work of God in the blood of Christ, as though virtue were in water to wash away sin. You know very well that we teach far otherwise, and that it is a certain and true doctrine of all such as profess the gospel that the outward sign of the sacraments do not contain in them grace, neither yet that the grace of God is of necessity tied unto them, but only that they may be seals of God’s promises, notes of Christianity, testimonies and effectual signs of the grace of God, and of our redemption in Christ Jesus, by the which the Spirit of God doth invisibly work in us not only the increase of faith but confirmation also.” – Defence of the Answer, &c.
Of the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death; insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
Bishop Latimer –“But the Almighty God which prepared this feast for all the world, for all those that will come unto it he offereth his only Son to be eaten, and his blood to be drunken. Belike he loved his guests well, because he did feed them with so costly a dish. Again, our Saviour, the bridegroom, offereth himself at his last supper, which he had with his disciples, his body to be eaten, and his blood to be drunk. And to the intent that it should be done to our great comfort: and then again to take away all cruelty, irksomeness, and horribleness, he sheweth unto us how we shall eat him, in what manner and form; namely spiritually, to our great comfort; so that whosoever eateth the mystical bread, and drinketh the mystical wine worthily, according to the ordinance of Christ, he receiveth surely the very body and blood of Christ spiritually, as it shall be most comfortable unto his soul. He eateth with the mouth of his soul, and digesteth with the stomach of his soul, the body of Christ. And to be short: whosoever believeth in Christ, putteth his hope, trust, and confidence in him, he eateth and drinketh him; for the spiritual eating is the right eating to everlasting life; not the corporal eating as the Capernaites understood it. For that same corporal eating, on which they set their minds, hath no commodities at all: it is a spiritual meat that feedeth our souls. ... But I pray you wherefore was it ordained principally? Answer: it was ordained for our help, to help our memory withal; to put us in mind of the great goodness of God in redeeming us from everlasting death by the blood of our Saviour Christ; yea and to signify unto us that his body and blood is our meat and drink for our souls, to feed them to everlasting life. If we were now so perfect as we ought to be, we should not have need of it; but to help our imperfectness it was ordained of Christ; for we be so forgetful when we be not pricked forward, we have soon forgotten all his benefits. ... Now ye have heard what shall be the chiefest dish at this marriage, namely the body and blood of Christ. But now there be other dishes which be sequels, or hangings on, wherewith the chief dish is powdered, that is remission of sins; also the Holy Ghost, which ruleth and governeth our hearts; also the merits of Christ which are made ours. For when we feed upon this dish worthily, then we shall have remission of our sins; we shall receive the Holy Ghost. Moreover all the merits of Christ are ours; his fulfilling of the law is ours; and so we be justified before God, and finally attain to everlasting life.” – Ser. on Matt. 22:2, 3.
“I say that there is none other presence of Christ required than a spiritual presence; and this presence is sufficient for a Christian man, as the presence by the which we both abide in Christ, and Christ in us, to the obtaining of eternal life, if we persevere in his true gospel. And the same presence may be called a real presence, because to the faithful believer there is the real or spiritual body of Christ: which thing I here rehearse lest some sycophant, or scorner, should suppose me, with the Anabaptist, to make nothing else of the sacrament but a bare and naked sign. ... Concerning the second conclusion” (that after the consecration there remaineth no substance of bread and wine, nor none other substance but the substance of God and man) “I dare be bold to say that it hath no stay nor ground of God’s holy word; but is a thing invented and found out by man, and therefore to be reputed and had as false. ... The third conclusion” (‘that in the mass there is lively sacrifice of the Church, which is propitiatory, as well for the quick as the dead’) “as I understand it seemeth subtly to sow sedition against the offering which Christ himself offered for us in his own person, and for all, and never again to be done; according to the scriptures written in God’s book. In which book read the pithy place of St. Paul to the Hebrews, the 9 and 10. ... I will speak nothing of the wonderful presumptions of man that dare attempt this thing without any manifest calling; specially that which intendeth to the overthrowing and fruitless-making (if not wholly yet partly) of the cross of Christ. ... I am sure if God would have had a new kind of sacrificing priest at mass, then he or some of his apostles would have made some mention thereof in their master Christ’s will. ... But he spake never a word of sacrificing or saying mass; nor promised the hearers any reward, but among the idolaters with the devil and his angels, except speedy repentance with tears. Therefore sacrificing priests should now cease for ever: for now all men ought to offer their own bodies a quick sacrifice, holy and acceptable before God.” – Disputation with Smith.
Bishop Pilkington – “They would fain have the word” (mass) “to be Hebrew: but if it be so it rather makes against them than with them. For if it be a sacrifice of the Jews then it is taken away by our Saviour Christ, and fulfilled by him as all other sacrifices of Moses be; or else they be Jews using those sacrifices which God forbad to use at these days after the coming of Christ. They glory much that the name of their mass is missah in Hebrew, and should be written Deut. 16 and thereof should missa come in Latin, or else the Hebrew name to remain still. The word missah signifies a freewill gift that a man offers willingly unto the Lord; and not only that which the priests offer of themselves, but also which any man freely brings to be offered: therefore if this word or place make for them it proves that all manner of men may say mass. ... But the word signifies also a lifting up as some do take it, and therefore they prove their elevation by it. ... They are well content with either signification, or both if they might keep it; for the one bids men bring and they would gladly take; the other to lift up as a sacrifice and that maintains their state.” – Confutation of an Addition.
“For as it is not enough to write the conditions of a bargain in an indenture except it be sealed; so God for our weakness thought it not sufficient to make us promise of his blessings in writing in his scripture; but he would seal it with his own blood, and institute his sacraments as seals of the same truth to remain to be received of us in remembrance of him, and strengthening our faith. ... The supper is a sacrament wherein he feeds us spiritually, thus taken into his service with his own precious body and blood; and we, reckoning with ourselves wherein we have offended him, ask mercy, nothing doubting to obtain it, and renew our bond to him which we have so often broken, and promise to do so no more. So that when God giveth these his sacraments to us by his ministers, and we receive the same, the bargain is full made betwixt God and us, the writing sealed and delivered, we are become his people and he our God.” – Exp. on Prophet Aggeus.
Bishop Hooper – “Of this infallible verity, ‘only the death of Christ to be the sacrifice for the expiation of sin,’ may be necessarily taught the right and true use of the Lord’s supper, which men call the mass. First it is manifest, that it is not a sacrifice for sin, as men teach contrary unto the word of God, that saith, ‘Christ by one sacrifice made perfect all things.’ Heb. 7 ... and to take away all doubt that remission of sin cannot be obtained for the merits of the mass, Paul saith plainly, that without blood-shedding no sacrifice can merit remission of sin. ... As concerning the use of this sacrament, and all other the rites and ceremonies that be godly, they should be so kept and used in the Church as they were delivered unto us of the high bishop Christ, the author of all sacraments. ... The best manner and most godly way to celebrate this supper, is to preach the death of Christ unto the Church, and the redemption of man, as Christ did at his supper, and there to have common prayers, as Christ prayed with his disciples; then to repeat the last words of the supper, and with the same to break the bread and distribute the wine to the whole church; then giving thanks to God, depart in peace. ... Although Christ said of the bread, ‘This is my body,’ it is well known that he purposed to institute a sacrament, therefore he spake of a sacrament sacramentally. To speak sacramentally is to give the name of the thing to the sign; so yet, notwithstanding, that the nature and substance of the sign remaineth, and is not turned into a thing that it signifieth.” – Declaration of Christ, &c.
“This is the definition of the Lord’s supper. It is a ceremony instituted by Christ to confirm and manifest our society and communion in his body and blood until he come to judgment. Every word of this definition is in the scripture. That is, it is a ceremony instituted by Christ; Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul testifieth: that it confirmeth the conjunction and society of Christ and his Church, these words of Paul proveth; ‘For we being many are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.’ 1 Cor. 10. And that it shall be done till the end of the world, Paul proveth, 1 Cor. 11. ... Against such imaginations,” (fear of God’s wrath) “and perilous temptations, availeth greatly the ceremony and use of Christ’s supper. For as man is by his senses drawn to accomplish the act of all inward and secret conceived mischief and sin ... so where as a good opinion is conceived of God in the heart ... the will that with great difficulty consenteth unto this assured promise of God in Christ,” (the pardon of sin) “is the more constrained to obey the knowledge of faith, because the mind is not only inspired by divine operation of God’s Spirit, that his sins be forgiven, but also by the object ... the celebrating of this holy supper. ... And lest this thing once done by Christ should fall into oblivion, and out of remembrance, most diligently he himself sheaved the manner and form how he would his church might best be kept in mind of this inestimable benefit; gave and instituted this holy sacrament, to be used for the consolation of the fideles (faithful) till the world’s end.” – Answer to Bishop of Winchester’s Book.
Bishop Ridley – “But this remembrance which is thus ordained, as the author thereof is Christ, (both God and man) so by the Almighty power of God it far passeth all kinds of remembrances that any other man is able to make either of himself or of any other thing: for whosoever receiveth this holy sacrament thus ordained in remembrance of Christ, he receiveth therewith either death or life. ... It is not meant that they which are dead before God, may hereby receive life; or the living before God can hereby receive death. For as none is meet to receive natural food whereby the natural life is nourished, except he be born and live before; so no man can feed (by the receipt of the holy sacrament) of the food of eternal life, except he be regenerated and born of God before: and on the other side, no man here receiveth damnation which is not dead before.” – Decl. of the Lord’s Supper.
Archdeacon Philpot – “But his omnipotence will not do, as you say, contrary to his word and to his honour. It is not God’s honour to include him bodily into a piece of bread, of necessity to tie him thereto. It is not God’s honour for you to make a piece of bread God and man, which you see before your face doth putrefy after a certain time. Is not God’s Omnipotence as able to give his body with the sacramental bread, as to make so many turnings-away of the bread, as you do, and that directly against the scripture, which calleth it ‘bread’ many times after the consecration. Are you not ashamed to make so many alterations of the Lord’s holy institution as you do, and to take away the substantial parts of the sacrament, as, ‘Take ye, eat ye, drink ye all of this; do ye this in remembrance of me,’ and to place in their steads, ‘Hear ye, gaze ye, knock ye, worship ye, offer ye, sacrifice ye for the quick and the dead.’ If this be not blasphemy to God and his sacraments, to add and to pluck away in this sort, and that contrary to the mind of all ancient writers, and contrary to the example of Christ and all his apostles, tell me.” – Ninth Examination.
“Christ taketh in his hands bread which was upon the table; Christ giveth his disciples thilk same bread; Christ whiles he giveth the bread speaketh. Tell me, I desire thee, whiles the disciples eat this bread, thaw it with their teeth, and swallow it down into their stomach, where was Christ? was he not sitting at the table? did not his apostles behold him before them? ... In whether of these two places was the body of Christ; whether under the teeth of his disciples, other else, where they both saw and heard Christ? ... I grant Christ to have given his body, and his disciples to have received the same, not after a natural fashion, but supernatural; that is after a heavenly and divine sort. ... What, I pray thee, took he but bread? what brake he but bread? what gave he but bread? But for that they be mysteries which be done, therefore they contain high and divine things. ‘This is my body,’ saith he, that is given for you; do ye this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise of the cup of wine, ‘This cup is the New Testament through my blood which is shed for you.’ The which words what mean they? what contain they? what signify they? Truly no wonderful thing, but the sum of our salvation, and a full certain testimony thereof, which by the death of Christ we have obtained.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Archbishop Grindal – “Christ charged the Apostles to do this in the remembrance of him. Whereupon thus I conclude, ‘Nothing is done in remembrance of itself. But the sacrament is used in the remembrance of Christ. Therefore the sacrament is not Christ. ... Besides this, I see that Christ ordained not his body, but a sacrament of his body.’ ... St. Augustine saith, “Aliud est sacramentum aliud res sacramenti. Sacramentum est quod in corpus vadit: res autem sacramenti est corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi.” (The sacrament is one thing, the matter of the sacrament is another. The sacrament is that which goeth into the body: but the matter of the sacrament is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ). ... Furthermore, Christ’s body is food not for the body but for the soul; and, therefore, it must be received with the instrument of the soul, which is faith. ... Now if a man may eat and drink righteousness with his spirit, no doubt his spirit hath a mouth. ... Wherefore, whoso will be relieved by the body of Christ, must receive him as he will be received, with the instrument of faith, appointed thereunto not with his teeth or mouth. And whereas I say that Christ’s body must be received and taken with faith, I mean not that you shall pluck down Christ from heaven and put him in your faith, as in a visible place; but that you must, with your faith, rise and spring up to him, and leaving this world, dwell above in heaven.” – Dialogue between Custom and Verity.
Archbishop Sandys – “This food offered us at the Lord’s table is to feed our souls withal; it is meat for the mind and not for the belly. Our souls being spiritual can neither receive nor digest that which is corporal; they feed only upon spiritual food. It is the spiritual eating that giveth life. ‘The flesh,’ saith Christ, ‘doth nothing profit.’ We must lift up ourselves from these external and earthly signs, and, like eagles, fly up and soar aloft, there to feed on Christ. ... ‘How shall I,’ saith Augustine, ‘lay hold on him which is absent? how shall I put my hand into heaven? Send up thy faith and thou hast taken hold. Why preparest thou thy teeth? Believe, and thou hast eaten.’ ... Abusing the scriptures,” (they are) “dreaming evermore, with the gross Capernaites of a carnal and fleshly eating. Behold the one part of this sacrament consecrated is termed bread, the other a cup, by the apostle himself.” – Ser. 1 Tim. 2:1, 2.
“Now as the graces of God purchased for us by Christ are offered unto us by the word, so are they also most lively and effectually by the sacraments. ... In the eucharist or supper of the Lord, our corporal tasting of the visible elements, bread and wine, sheweth the heavenly nourishing of our souls unto life by the mystical participation of the glorious body and blood of Christ. For inasmuch as he saith of one of these sacred elements, ‘This is my body which is given for you,’ and of the other, ‘This is my blood,’ he giveth us plainly to understand that all the graces which may flow from the body and blood of Christ Jesus are in a mystery here not represented only but presented unto us. So then although we see nothing, feel and taste nothing, but bread and wine; nevertheless, let us not doubt at all but that he spiritually performeth that which he doth declare and promise by his visible and outward signs; that is to say, that in this sacrament there is offered unto the Church that very true and heavenly bread which feedeth and nourisheth us unto life eternal; that sacred blood which will cleanse us from sin and make us pure in the day of trial. Again, in that he saith, ‘Take eat: drink ye all of this,’ he evidently declareth that his body and blood are by this sacrament assured to be no less ours than his. ... And thus hath he made himself all ours; ours his passions, ours his merits, ours his victory, ours his glory. ... If we be not of the sanctified household of God, not Christ’s servants and faithful disciples, shall we dare presume to press in? ... But such as will worthily feed at this blessed feast, must earnestly and truly mourn for their sins past, in a settled purpose and resolution never willingly to defile themselves again.” – Ser. 2 Cor. 6:1, 2.
Archbishop Cranmer – “And doth not the nature of sacraments require that the sensible elements should remain in their proper nature to signify an higher mystery and secret working of God inwardly, as the sensible elements be ministered outwardly? And is not the visible and corporal feeding upon bread and wine a convenient and apt figure and similitude to put us in remembrance, and to admonish us how we be fed invisibly and spiritually by the flesh and blood of Christ, God and man? And is not the sacrament taken away when the element is taken away? Or can the accidents of the element be the sacrament of substantial feeling? Or did ever any old author say, that the accidents were the sacramental signs without the substances? ... For I do not say that Christ’s body and blood be given to us in signification, and not in deed. But I do as plainly speak as I can, that Christ’s body and blood be given to us indeed, yet not corporally and carnally, but spiritually and effectually. ... But when Christ said, ‘The bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world,’ if he had fulfilled this promise at his supper, as you say he did, then what needed he after to die that we might live, if he fulfilled his promise of life at his supper? ... Why doth the catholic faith teach us to believe that we be redeemed by his blood-shedding, if he gave his life (which is our redemption) the night before he shed his blood ? And why saith St. Paul that there is no remission without blood-shedding. ... But the true, faithful, believing man, professeth that Christ by his death overcame him that was the author of death, and hath reconciled us to his Father, making us his children and heirs of his kingdom; that as many as believe in him should not perish, but have life everlasting. Thus saith the true Christian man, putting his hope of life and eternal salvation, neither in Christ’s supper, (although the same be to him a great confirmation of his faith) nor in any thing else, but with St. Paul saith, ‘God save me that I rejoice in nothing but in the cross of our Lord Jesu Christ.’ And when this true believing man cometh to the Lord’s supper, and (according to Christ’s commandment) receiveth the bread broken, in remembrance that Christ’s body was broken for him upon the cross, and drinketh the wine in remembrance of the effusion of Christ’s blood for his sins, and unfeignedly believeth the same, to him the words of our Saviour Christ effectuous and operatory: ‘Take eat; this is my body which is given for thee: and drink of this, for this is my blood which is shed for thee to the remission of thy sins.’ And as St. Paul saith, ‘The bread unto him is the communion of Christ’s body, and the wine the communion of his blood.’ For the effect of his godly eating (as you truly herein gather of St. Paul’s words) is the communication of Christ’s body and blood, but to the faithful receiver, and not to the dumb creatures of bread and wine, under whose forms the catholic faith teacheth not the body and blood of Christ invisibly to be eaten. And as to the godly eater, (who duly esteemeth Christ’s body, and hath it in such price and estimation as he ought to have) the effect is, the communication of Christ’s body; so to the wicked eater the effect is damnation and everlasting woe.” – First Book; Of the Sacrament.
“Who is so ignorant that hath read any thing at all, but he knoweth that distinction of three eatings? But no man that is of learning and judgment, understandeth the three diverse eatings in such sort as you do, but after this manner: that some eat only the sacrament of Christ’s body, but not the very body itself; some eat his body and not the sacrament; and some eat the sacrament and body both together. The sacrament (that is to say, the bread) is corporally eaten and chewed with the teeth in the mouth: the very body is eaten and chewed with faith in the Spirit. Ungodly men when they receive the sacrament, they chew in their mouths, like unto Judas, the sacramental bread, but they eat not the celestial bread, which is Christ. Faithful Christian people, such as be Christ’s true disciples, continually from time to time record in their minds the beneficial death of our Saviour Christ, chewing it by faith in the cud of their spirit, and digesting in their hearts, feeding and comforting themselves with that heavenly meat, although they daily receive not the sacrament thereof; and so they eat Christ’s body spiritually, although not the sacrament thereof.” – Third Book; Of the Presence of Christ.
“Unto the faithful, Christ is at his own holy table, present with his mighty Spirit and grace, and is of them more fruitfully received than if corporally they should receive him bodily present: and, therefore, they that shall worthily come to this God’s board, must, after due trial of themselves, consider first who ordained this table; also what meat and drink they shall have that come thereto, and how they ought to behave themselves thereat. He that prepared the table is Christ himself; the meat and drink wherewith he feedeth them that come thereto as they ought to do, is his own body, flesh and blood. They that come thereto must occupy their minds in considering how his body was broken for them, and his blood shed for their redemption; and so ought they to approach to this heavenly table, with all humbleness of heart and godliness of mind, as to the table wherein Christ himself is given.” – Fourth Book; Of the Eating and Drinking.
Bishop Coverdale – “First, where they allege the catholic church to have taught concerning the supper, the doctrine of transubstantiation, of Christ’s real and carnal presence, dearly beloved, know that this is a manifest lie. For as the catholic church never knew of it for nine- hundred years at the least after Christ’s ascension; so after that time no Church did obstinately defend, cruelly maintain, and willfully wrest the scriptures, and doctors, for the establishing of it, save only the popish church and their own doctors, Duns and Gabriel do teach. ... This is a sacrament and not a sacrifice; for in this using if as we should, we receive of God obsignation and full certificate of Christ’s body broken for our sins, and his blood shed for our iniquities.” – Carrying of Christ’s Cross.
“And besides, that with such additions they thought to garnish the supper of the Lord, peradventure of a good intent, they have almost utterly lost the principal points of the remembrance of the supper: so that now the right name of it is altered, and no more called the Lord’s supper, but is called mass, which name is both strange and unknown in the scripture: yea, and that worse is, it is named a sacrifice that may be done for other folks. ... Hereof was renewed the dangerous idolatry, that we ran unto the mass as to a special work, thinking there to fetch all salvation, which we should have looked for only at Christ’s hand.” – Defence of a Certain Poor Christian Man.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “This sacrifice is a spiritual meat. For as corporal meat, when it findeth a belly occupied with adverse and corrupt humours, doth both hurt the more, noy the more, and helpeth nothing at all; so this spiritual meat likewise, if it findeth any man polluted with malignity and evil, shall destroy him the more, not of the own nature of it., but through the fault of him that receiveth it. ... Ye must give serious diligence that ye come unto this table of the Lord with a fervent desire, with an hungry stomach, with a greedy mind, and with a thirsty soul. ... It proposeth and setteth forth all kind of celestial dainties to the hungry soul, as the most blessed virgin saith, ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things, but the rich hath he let go empty away.’ ... Therefore, when we sit down to receive the sacrament of the body of Christ, call straightways to your remembrance the death of Christ. Remember that his body was broken for you upon the altar of the cross. Remember that he ‘offered himself a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God’ the Father for the abolishment of all your sins. ... In consideration whereof ye now receive the holy mysteries of Christ’s body and blood, because ye should nothing doubt of the remission of your sins, and of the favour of God toward you, as Christ himself witnesseth, ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is very meat, and my blood is very drink. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.’ ... So shall it come to pass, that with the receiving of the sacrament ye shall also receive all the benefits, gifts and graces of Christ, if ye believe; so that not only Christ is become altogether yours, but also all that ever he hath besides is yours, as St. Paul saith; ‘He that hath not spared his own Son, but gave him for us all, how is it possible that he also should not give us all things with him?’ O the inestimable treasures that lie bent out in the most holy sacrament of the body and blood of Christ for the faithful! Blessed is he that is a faithful guest of this celestial table. Blessed is he that with a pure faith and sincere charity eateth the body of his Lord. ... Such one may be sure to dwell in Christ and Christ in him.” – Potation for Lent.
“‘Even as images are wont to be called (as St. Austin saith) by the names of those things whereof they arc images, as when we behold a table or wall painted, we say, that is Cicero, that is Sallustius;’ so likewise, forasmuch as the celebration of the Lord’s supper is a certain representative image of the passion of Christ, which is the alone true sacrifice, therefore the holy fathers many times call the Lord’s supper a sacrifice. Now if the Lord’s supper be not properly a sacrifice, but only a memorial of the true sacrifice which is the passion and death of Christ; how the massing papists brag that their mass (in the which many things are done contrary to the institution of Christ) is a propitiatory, satisfactory, and expiatory sacrifice for the sins of the quick and of the dead? ... The papists greatly abused the Lord’s supper while they made of it a gazing-stock, by carrying it about in public processions, or by heaving and lifting it up above their heads, to make it a spectacle to the people; by this means provoking them unto the worshipping of it, and so to fall unto idolatry, unto the great danger of their soul health. For this sacrament was not ordained of the Lord Jesu to be carried about like a puppet, as the manner is in the pope’s wicked kingdom, nor to be made an heave-offering, as the papists use in their masses; but to be meat unto the faithful, and to be broken and eaten in the remembrance of Christ’s passion and death. ... Neither is this custom so greatly old, but brought in as it may appear, of Pope Honorius the Third, about the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and twenty-two. ... Yes, verily, divers,” (errors are there) “but three principally. ... The first is the doctrine of transubstantiation ... thrust into the church by ... Pope Innocent the Third ... in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and fifteen. ... Whereas the holy scripture calleth the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ bread and wine; this doctrine of transubstantiation teacheth plainly that there is neither bread nor wine. ... This word transubstantiation (meaneth) a conversion or changing of a thing from its own natural substance into the substance of another creature, as if chalk should be changed into cheese, or a fox into a friar. ... The second error is the doctrine of the papists concerning the corporal presence of Christ in the sacrament, as he was born of Mary the Virgin, and hanged on the cross. This must needs follow of the doctrine of transubstantiation. For if the substance of bread and wine be turned into the substance of the natural body and blood of Christ, then must this doctrine also be true, that Christ is in the sacrament really, naturally, substantially, corporally, &c.; yea, that the sacrament is the true, real, natural, corporal and substantial body of Christ. But as the doctrine of transubstantiation is vain and false, so likewise the doctrine of Christ’s corporal presence in the sacrament is most vain, false, and erroneous. ... The third error the papists teach (is) that not only the faithful and godly, but also the unfaithful and wicked eat and drink in the sacrament the body and blood of Christ.” – Catechism of the Lord’s Supper.
Bishop Jewel – “The other sacrament of Christ’s church is the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, which some have called the sacrament of the altar, some the sacrament of the holy table; some the sacrament of bread and wine; but we most properly call it the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. ... We say and believe, that we receive the body and blood of Christ truly, and not a figure or sign; but even that body which suffered death on the cross, and that blood which was shed for the forgiveness of sins. So saith Christ, (John 6) ‘My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.’ And again, ‘Except ye eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.’ We say there is no other substantial food of our souls, and that he is divided among all the faithful; and that he is void of salvation and the grace of Christ whosoever is not partaker of his body and blood. ... Yet, lest haply any should be deceived, we say, this meat is spiritual, and therefore it must be eaten by faith, and not with the mouth of our body. ... ‘This is my body and this is my blood.’ These words you say are plain. Christ saith, ‘My Father is greater than I.’ His words are plain, yet did the Arians gather thereof an heresy. ... Christ saith of John Baptist, ‘This is Elias which was to come.’ He saith not he doth signify Elias. ... John saith of Christ (Matt. 5) ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’ These words are plain; yet hereof some raised this error, that children at the time of their baptism should be marked in the forehead with a hot iron. St. Paul saith, (2 Cor. 5). ‘He hath made him to be sin for us, which knew no sin.’ The words are plain; yet Christ never sinned. ... These speeches and infinite others the like are plain, open, and evident; yet are they not true as the words sound them literally. ... We see the bread and wine; but with the eyes of our understanding we look beyond the creatures; we reach our spiritual senses into heaven, and behold the ransom and price of our salvation, we do behold in the sacrament not what it is, but what it doth signify. ... When we speak of the mystery of Christ, and of eating his body, we must shut up and abandon all our bodily senses. ... In this work we must open all the inner and spiritual senses of the soul, so shall we not only see his body, but hear him, and feel him, and taste him, and eat him. This is the mouth and feeding of faith. By the hand of faith we reach unto him, and by the mouth of faith we receive his body.” – On the Sacraments.
Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper.
The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ: but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.
Bishop Hooper – “Yea, when they” (the sacraments) “be not used according to their institution, God so abhorreth them as things repugnant unto the law: as we read Hiere vii. et Psa. 1. ‘I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them ... concerning burnt offerings.” Thou delightest not in burnt offerings.’ The prophets by these words declared that no ceremonies are required of any man without the knowledge and confidence of the promise confirmed by the ceremony, or without true repentance and faith; for the sacraments in the church of Christ neither maketh the love, nor reconciliation between God and man, nor retaineth not; it must be received and kept by one means, to say by lively faith. Rom. v. Judas by the sacrament received not the promise, nor by the sacrament was preserved from desperation. Matt. 26.” – Answer to Bishop of Winchester’s Book.
Archbishop Sandys – “If incredulity, if impenitency, if hatred and malice have possessed thine heart, then abstain from the Lord’s table, lest with Judas thou receive the Lord’s bread against the Lord, the food of salvation to thy condemnation.” – Ser. 1 Tim. 2:1, 2.
“If we be not of the sanctified household of God, not Christ’s servants and faithful disciples, shall we dare presume to press in, being aliens and strangers to the Lord’s, as most comfortable, so also most dreadful table? No: let no impenitent blasphemer of God, no whoremonger, or vile and unrepented sinner, presume to touch or taste this food; for such shall not feed upon Christ and his merits, but they receive their own damnation.” – Ser. on 1 Cor. 6:1, 2.
Archbishop Cranmer – “And as he that eateth the bread worthily, may be well said to eat Christ and life; so he that eateth it unworthily may be said to eat the devil and death, as Judas did, into whom with the bread entered Satan. For unto such it may be called mensa demoniorum, non mensa Domini; not God’s board, but the devil’s.” – Fourth Book; Of the Eating and Drinking.
“Wherefore ‘every man,’ as St. Paul saith, ‘must examine himself,’ when he shall approach to that holy table, and not come to God’s board as he would do to common feasts and banquets; but must consider that it is a mystical table, where the bread is mystical and the wine also mystical, wherein we be taught, that we spiritually feed upon Christ, eating him and drinking him. ... And whosoever cometh unto this heavenly table, not having regard to Christ’s flesh and blood, who should be there our spiritual food, but cometh thereto without faith, fear, humility, and reverence, as it were but to carnal feeding, he doth not then feed upon Christ, but the devil doth feed upon him, and devoureth him as he did Judas.” – Answer to Smith’s Preface.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “The papists teach that not only the faithful and godly, but also the unfaithful and wicked eat and drink in the sacrament the body and blood of Christ. ... And, notwithstanding, the papists are fallen to such impudence and shamefacedness, while they affirm the corporal presence of Christ in the sacrament, that they shame not to say, that not only the wicked and ungodly, but also the brute beasts, as the mouse, the cat, the rat, the weasel, &c. eating the sacrament, eat also the very true and natural body of Christ, as he was born of Mary the virgin, and hanged on the cross; which is so monstrous doctrine, that nothing can be invented more prodigious and monster like ... Christ himself, which is not only true, but also the self-truth, saith thus: ‘I am that living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever.’ ... ‘But whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day,’ &c. ... Of these words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, it is manifest, plain, and evident, that the virtue and power of his flesh and blood is so great and mighty, that whosoever eateth and drinketh thereof shall live for ever, and have everlasting life. But the wicked and unfaithful, although they eat the sacramental bread, and drink the sacramental wine, have not everlasting life, as we have Judas for example: therefore it followeth that the wicked and unfaithful do not eat nor drink the body and blood of Christ.” – Catechism of the Sacraments.
Roger Hutchinson – “Now meat doth hurt where it findeth a belly corrupt with naughty humours. Even so this spiritual food, if it find a man defiled with sin, increaseth his damnation, bringeth him unto destruction, not of the nature of it, but through the default of him that receiveth it. Yea, if we be defiled with corrupt humours, we be no partakers of these dainties. ... If it were not lawful for the uncircumcised in flesh to eat the figurative paschal Lamb, how much more is it unlawful for the uncircumcised and unclean in heart to taste of the dainties.” – The Layman’s Book.
Bishop Jewel – “Let no unclean or filthy person, no adulterer, no usurer, no cruel extortioner or devourer of God’s people, offer himself to the receiving of this sacrament. If any be such a one, I require him, by the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and by the Judge of the quick and dead, that he come not to the Lord’s table; that he betray not the Son of God. It were better he had never been born, and that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he thrown into the sea. Let us not deceive ourselves; God will not be mocked. He receiveth damnation that receiveth unworthily.” – On the Sacraments.
Of both kinds.
The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.
Archdeacon Philpot – “As I may touch but one of the least abuses, you minister it not in both kinds as ought you to do, but keep the one half from the people, contrary to Christ’s institution. ... I believe not so,” (that there is as much contained in one kind as in both,) “for if it had, Christ would have given but one kind only; for he instituted nothing superfluous; and, therefore, you cannot say that the whole effect of the sacrament is as well in one kind as in both, since the Scripture teacheth otherwise.” – Eleventh Examination.
Bishop Ridley – “And because I see in the use of the Latin mass the sacrament of the blood abused, when it is denied unto the lay people, clean contrary unto God’s most certain word; for why, I do beseech thee, should the sacrament of Christ’s blood be denied unto the lay Christians more than to the priest? Did not Christ shed his blood as well for the lay godly man as for the godly priest? If thou wilt say, yes that he did so; but yet that the sacrament of the blood is not to be received without the offering up and sacrificing thereof unto God the Father, both for the quick and for the dead; and no man may make oblation of Christ’s blood unto God but a priest; and therefore, the priest alone (and that but in his mass only) may receive the sacrament of the blood; and call you this, my masters, mysterium fidei? Alas! Alas! I fear me, this is before God mysterium iniquitatis, the mystery of iniquity.” – Decl. of the Lord’s Supper.
Bishop Hooper – “As concerning the both kinds of the Sacraments, it was not forbidden in the time of the Master of the sentence, who lived anno 1182, Frederico Suevo Imperatore Augusto, nor in the time of Thomas Aquinas. ... For in a certain hymn he speaketh thus of the distribution of the sacrament unto the whole Church:
Sic sacrificium istud instituit,
Cujus officium committi voluit
Solis presbyteris, quibus sic congruit,
Ut sumant et dent ceteris.”
(‘Thus did he institute that sacrifice, the administration of which he willed to be committed to priests, whom thus it beseemeth that they should take and give it to others.’) “If the priest gave unto the people that he received himself, there was no part of the sacrament taken from them as it is at this day.” – Answer to Winchester’s Book.
Archbishop Sandys – “This sacrament was delivered to the Corinthians in both kinds. As Christ saith so Paul saith, ‘Bibite ex hoc omnes,’ ‘drink ye all of this.’ That the whole sacrament should be received of the people and no mutilation permitted, the ancient writers are most clear; as Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom, Gelasius, Cyprian, &c.” – Ser. 1 Tim. 2:1, 2.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Christ ordained both the kinds as well for the laymen as for the priests; and that to be eaten and drunken at all times. What enemies be you to all laymen and to yourselves also, to refuse to drink of Christ’s cup, which he commanded all men to drink upon saying, ‘Take and divide this among you,’ and ‘drink ye all of it!’ But what need any more be brought for the reproving of this article, than your own first article where you will have kept all decrees and councils? Now in the decrees De Consecrat. Di. 2, there is one decree that commandeth all men to receive the communion at least thrice in the year, at Easter, Whitsuntide, and Christmas ...and the decree of Gelasius, that the receiving under one kind is great sacrilege.” – Answer to the Fifteen Articles.
“Where, in the parliament lately holden at Westminster, it was, amongst other things, most godly established, that according to the first institution and use of the primitive church, the most holy sacrament of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ should be distributed to the people under the kinds of bread and wine, &c.” – Letter Missive from the Council to the Bishops of the Realm, &c.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Did not Christ give his body to be crucified and his blood to be shed for the salvation of the layman so well as he did for the minister? Are not the lay people also members of Christ’s Church? And the Lord Jesus instituted his holy supper to be received of his whole church, I mean, so many as are able to discern this mystical meat from the common food, and to prepare themselves worthily to come unto it. ... But here it is objected, Christ spake these words to his disciples, which were consecrate priests, and not to laymen; and, therefore, the priests alone ought to receive the cup of the mystery of Christ’s blood. So likewise spake Christ of the mystery of his body, these words only to his disciples: ‘Take ye, eat ye.’ ... If ‘take and eat’ belong to the common people, so likewise doth take and drink appertain unto the common people. ... For who knoweth not that the apostles of Christ in that holy supper represented the whole church of Christ? ... As St. Paul saith, ‘So oft as ye shall eat this bread and drink of this cup, ye shall spew the Lord’s death till he come.’ And thus did both the Apostles of Christ and Christ’s primitive church, and all the ancient fathers many hundred years after, understand, take, and use the Lord’s supper, as both divine and human letters manifestly declare. ... See we that the apostle entreating of the Lord’s supper, joineth always the bread and the cup together, to declare that it cannot be the Lord’s supper except there be distribution both of the bread and of the wine. And hereof may we learn that the Corinthians, which, I am sure, were not all consecrate priests, but the greatest part of them were lay people, received in the days of St. Paul the holy sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, under both kinds, and not under the kind of bread alone.” – Catechism of the Sacraments.
Bishop Coverdale – “It is past all doubt by every man that Christ in the holy supper gave his disciples both the kinds. ... And methinketh the other do err sore that hold the contrary: and specially because they put such difference between priests and lay people, not considering the priestly office that is committed unto all faithful believers. ... St. Paul also writing of this holy supper of the Lord to the common congregations at Corinthium, maketh mention not only of the bread, but also of the cup. If the cup then at that time was common unto all Christian men, why is it now withdrawn from the lay people?” – Defence of a Certain Poor Christian Man.
Roger Hutchinson – “And to impress the same” (transubstantiation) “deeply into the hearts of all men and women they have withholden from the laity many years Christ’s cup, for fear, as they say, of shedding his blood. ... Christ our Master commandeth all men and women to drink of his cup; which commandment the apostles observed, as long as they lived, making no promise nor tradition to the contrary. And the universal church followed and observed religiously the said precept for the space of a thousand years after Christ.” – Ser. on the Lord’s Supper.
Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.
Bishop Latimer – “‘I will draw all things to myself.’ He meaneth drawing of man’s soul to salvation. ... And that he said he would do per semetipsum by his own self; not by any other body’s sacrifice. He meant by his own sacrifice on the cross, where he offered himself for the redemption of mankind; and not the sacrifice of the mass to be offered by another. For who can offer him but himself? He was both the offerer and the offering. And this is the prick, this is the mark at the which the devil shooteth to evacuate the cross of Christ, and to mingle the institution of the Lord’s supper; the which although he cannot bring to pass, yet he goeth about by his sleights and subtle means to frustrate the same. ... For whereas Christ, according as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so would he himself be exalted, that thereby as many as trusted in him should have salvation; but the devil would none of that; they would have us saved by a daily oblation propitiatory, by a sacrifice, expiatory, or remissory. ... And this way the devil used to evacuate the death of Christ, that we might have affiance in other things, as in the sacrifice of the priest; whereas Christ would have us to trust in his only sacrifice. So he was ‘The Lamb that hath been slain from the beginning of the world’; and therefore he is called juge sacrificium, ‘a continual sacrifice,’ (Dan. 8:11, 12,) and not for the continuance of the mass, as the blanchers have blanched it and wrested it; and as I myself did once betake it. But Paul saith ‘by himself.’ and by none other, Christ ‘made purgation’ and satisfaction for the whole world.” – Ser. on Rom. 15:4.
“For all those that be mass-mongers be deniers of Christ; which believe or trust in the sacrifice of the mass and seek remission of their sins therein. ... ‘The Lamb was killed from the beginning of the world,’ that is to say, all they that believed in him since Adam was created, they were saved by him. They that believed in Abraham’s Seed, it was as good unto them, and stood then in as good effect, as it doth unto us now at this day: so that his oblation is of such efficacy, that it purifieth and taketh away all the sins of the whole world.” – Ser. Phil. 3:17, 18.
Bishop Hooper – “For only Christ is the sacrifice propitiatory, and he that alone meriteth before God the remission of sin. If then in the time of the shadow Jonas knew the Lord to accept the sacrifice of the heart and mouth, that was endued with faith, above the sacrifice of the bloody calves, how much more now of us will he do the same, above the idolatrical sacrifice of the mass.” – Ser. iv. on Jonas.
“Oh that people for whom Christ hath shed his most innocent blood would understand and perceive this sensible and manifest abomination, why they believe those seductors and deceivers of Christian souls, that hath not as much as one iota or prick of the scripture to help themselves withal! Read, read, I beseech thee, Christian reader, Matt. 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and see how far their abominable mass is from the word of God: and think who was the priest that ministered this sacrament, and what people received it. Then shalt thou find the Son of God, the Wisdom of the Father, the Light of the world, the Lamb that died for thy salvation, to be minister of this holy sacrament, and the church or people that received it, to be elect and chosen apostles, Christ’s friends that taught the gospel in all the world, and died for the same as testimonies of the truth ... Acts 2 ... God will have none other works of man than he requireth in his express word. He condemneth by this law the wicked sacrifice and idolatry committed in the private masses, where as people doth not only take from God and Christ their due honour, but also, make another God of bread.” – Decl. of the Ten Commandments.
Archdeacon Philpot – “No, my lord, I deny not the presence of Christ in the sacrament, but I have denied the sacrament of the altar, as it is used in your mass, to be the true sacrament of Christ’s institution.” – Ninth Examination.
“Yea also, this your goodly mass, either that daily sacrifice, as thou termest it and whereof thou makest so much ado, is it not plainly the invention of men, and invented to the greatest injury of Christ as might be? ... Malachi (Mal. 1:11,) speaketh there of Christ his only sacrifice and oblation, by the which he offered himself and his body upon the cross to his Father as an host for our sins: these jugglers draw it unto bread and wine, or rather unto their fable of the mass. For what is that pure and clean oblation, but Christ, which ‘hath wrought no sin, and in whose mouth was found no deceit?’ Wherefore he alone was pleasant and acceptable unto God. Here, here, is that oblation and pure sacrifice, innocent, immaculate by the sweet savour whereof the Father is pacified: and dare ye say that thilk wicked mass of yours was ordained to pacify God; the which nothing can be to God more filthy, nothing more hideous, nothing more displeasant?” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Bishop Ridley – “They pluck away the honour from the only sacrifice of Christ, whilst this sacramental and mass-sacrifice is believed to be propitiatory, and such a one as purgeth the souls both of the quick and the dead. Contrary to that is written to the Hebrews: ‘With one offering hath he made perfect for ever them that are sanctified.’ And again, where remission of these things (that is, of our sins) is, there is no more offering for sin.” – Conferences with Latimer.
“The testimonies of the ancient fathers, which confirm the same, are out of Augustine ad Bonifac. Epist. 23. ... And in the same book (Book 20) against the said Faustus, Chap. 18, thus he writeth: ‘Now the Christians keep a memorial of the sacrifice past, with a holy oblation and participation of the body and blood of Christ.” – Concerning the Sacrament.
Bishop Pilkington – “He lays to the priest’s charge that in subscribing to this religion, they have refused both the power that was given to them to offer sacrifice and celebrate mass for the quick and dead. ... But the scripture condemns all such sacrificing now for sin save only that sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered once for the sins of the whole world.” – Questions and Answers.
Archbishop Sandys – “Sacrificing is a voluntary action whereby we worship God, offering him somewhat in token that we acknowledge him to be the Lord, and ourselves his servants. ‘Ye arc made,’ saith St. Peter, ‘an holy priesthood, to offer up Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’ God therefore doth require this duty at our hands ... Aaron offered sacrifice which could not in itself be accepted of God, nor take away the sins of them for whom it was offered. ... But the Priest after the order of Melchisidec hath offered the sacrifice of his own flesh acceptable even for the worthiness of it, and by the virtue which is in it, forcible and more than sufficient to wash away all sin. This he did willingly: ‘He made himself an offering for sin.’ He did it perfectly: ‘With one offering he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified.’ ‘Where full remission of sin is there needeth no further sacrifice for sin.’ ... ‘The blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin;’ the blood of Jesus once shed, the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. So that there remaineth no other sacrifice to be daily offered but the sacrifice of righteousness, which we must all offer.” – Ser. on Psalm 4:5.
Bishop Coverdale – “The sacrifice of Christ for the redemption of the world was not simply his body and his blood, but his body broken and his blood shed, that is, all his passion and suffering in his body and flesh. In that, therefore they offer, as they say, the same sacrifice which Christ offered, dearly beloved, do they not, as much as in them is kill, slay, whip and crucify Christ again with wretches and antichrists? ... Whereas they call this sacrifice of the mass the principal mean to apply the benefit of Christ’s death to the quick and the dead, I would gladly have them to shew where and of whom they learned it. Sure I am they learned it not of Christ. ... This is most lively for faith, how that by one oblation once offered by this Christ himself, all that be God’s people are sanctified. For as in respect of them that died in God’s covenant and election before Christ suffered his death and offered his sacrifice, one, alone and omnisufficient, never more to be offered, he is called the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, and the one alone Mediator between God and man, whose forthcoming was from the beginning; even so in respect of the virtue and efficacy of this one sacrifice to all God’s people continually unto the world’s end, the Holy Ghost doth tell us, that thereby he hath made holy such as be children of salvation; and saith not, shall make holy, or doth make holy; lest any man should with the papists indeed reiterate this satisfaction again. ... For in the seventeenth of John, our Saviour doth very plainly shew this in these words; ‘For their sakes,’ saith he, ‘I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. I pray not for them alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their preaching.’ Here our Saviour applieth his sacrifice in teaching and praying for them. ... So that as ye have now Christ’s one only sacrifice, which he himself on the cross offered once as sufficient for all that do believe, and never more to be reiterated; so have you that for the applying of it to his church; the ministers should preach, and pray that their preaching might be effectual in Christ,” (2 Cor. 1) in the latter end. – The Carrying of Christ’s Cross.
Archbishop Cranmer – “The greatest blasphemy and injury that can be against Christ, and yet universally used through the popish kingdom, is this, that the priests make their mass a sacrifice propitiatory to remit the sins as well as of themselves as of other, both quick and dead, to whom they list to apply the same. Thus under pretence of holiness, the papistical priests have taken upon them to be Christ’s successors, and to make such an oblation and sacrifice as never creature made, but Christ alone, neither he made the same any more times than once, and that was by his death upon the cross. ... For Christ offered not the blood of calves, sheep, and goats, as the priests of the old law have used to do, but he offered his own blood upon the cross. And he went not into an holy place made by man’s hand, as Aaron did; but he ascended up into heaven, where his eternal Father dwelleth, and before him he maketh continual supplication for the sins of the whole world, presenting his own body which was torn for us, and his precious blood, which of his most gracious and liberal charity he shed for us upon the cross. ... One kind of sacrifice there is which is called propitiatory, or merciful sacrifice, that is to say, such a sacrifice as pacifieth God’s wrath and indignation, and obtaineth mercy and forgiveness for all our sins, and is the ransom for our redemption from everlasting damnation. ... Another kind of sacrifice there is which doth not reconcile us to God, but is made of them that be reconciled by Christ to testify our duties unto God, and to show ourselves thankful unto him. ... The first kind of sacrifice Christ offered to God for us; the second kind we ourselves offer to God by Christ. ... He was such an high bishop, that be once offering himself was sufficient by once effusion of his blood, to abolish sin unto the world’s end. ... He was so perfect a priest, that by one oblation he purged an infinite heap of sins, leaving an easy and ready remedy for all sinners, that his one sacrifice should suffice for many years unto all men that would not shew themselves unworthy. And he took upon himself not only their sins, that many years before were dead, and put their trust in him, but also the sins of those that until his coming again should truly believe in his Gospel. So that now we may look for none other priest or sacrifice to take away our sins, but only him and his sacrifice? – Oblation and Sacrifice of Christ.
Bishop Jewel – “As for the mass, would God they that so much desire it, knew what it is! Would God they knew how the people of God are mocked by it; and how the precious blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ is blasphemed by it !” – On Thessalonians.
“And forasmuch as he striveth to make the world think our doctrine is injurious to the Godhead and glory of Christ; first we protest, that as we believe ‘that Christ is the Lamb of God that hath taken away the sins of the world, and that there is none other name under heaven whereby we can be saved.’ (John 1, Acts 4) ... and that as St. Paul saith, (2 Tim. 3) ‘He is God revealed in the flesh’; even so we yield unto him the very honour that is due unto God.” – Tract against Harding.
“The Word of God teacheth us forgiveness of our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ once offered; they” (the papists) “teach contrary, that the same blood is daily offered, and Christ as often new born as pleaseth the priest to say mass.” – On Thessalonians.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Moreover, this doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass is plainly injurious to the blood of Christ, obscureth the price of Christ’s death, and disannulleth the virtue of Christ’s sacrifice, which he offered on the altar of the cross for our sins, and maketh Christ no perfect Saviour and Redeemer. For if any of our sins be put away through the sacrifice of the popish mass, then was not our redemption perfect in the death of Christ, neither were all our sins washed away by the blood of Christ. But if all our sins be put away by the death of Christ, according to the doctrine of Christ and of his apostles, then is their doctrine of the missal sacrifice vain, false, wicked, and worthy to be hissed out of the Church of Christ; seeing it so greatly embaseth the dignity of the sacrifice of Christ’s death, and plucked away our trust and confidence from the merits of Christ’s passion and death unto the trifling traditions and devilish doctrines of men. For to stablish a new sacrifice to take away sin, is nothing else than to affirm and grant that the old sacrifice (I mean the death of Christ) is either of no force or else it is imperfect. For if the death of Christ be of full force and sufficiently perfect, yea, and to the uttermost able to take away the sins of the whole world, (as it is indeed) what need we the missal sacrifice lately brought in by the devil and antichrist. ... Christ is an everlasting priest; and as his priesthood is everlasting so likewise is his sacrifice everlasting, I mean it endureth for ever in full virtue and perfect strength to put away at all times all the sins of all people that do unfeignedly repent and believe.” – Catechism of the Sacraments.
See also Articles II, XV, and XVIII.
Of the Marriage of Priests.
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God’s Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
Bishop Latimer – “Hear learn to abhor the abominable opinion of the papists, which hold that marriage is not an holy thing; and that the ministers of the word of God be defiled through marriage if they enter into the same; which is an abominable doctrine and clean against God and his word. Therefore, St. Paul seeing beforehand in the Spirit, ‘In the latter times there shall come deceivers and false teachers which should teach doctrinam daemoniorum, that is, the doctrine of devils, forbidding marriage which prophecy of St. Paul is verified now in this our time, in the papists; for they say and teach that marriage is not lawful to every man, despising also the ordinance of God. ... But here ye may see it is the very ordinance of God, and is commended by Christ himself; for he cometh unto it, and with his presence he sanctifieth it. And not only that, but he did a miracle at this marriage; whereby he confirmed marriage to be good, holy, and acceptable before God. Therefore all those that go about marriage ought to know that it is good, holy, and lawful before God. Only thus I admonish you, have a respect to God-ward: that is to say, endeavour yourself so that God may be with you at your marriage, and that Christ be one of the guests; for if he be there, you shall have no lack of any thing.” – Ser. John 2:1.
Bishop Pilkington – “He burdens us with breaking all laws of the Church, civil, canon, and the realm, in that we say marriage of priests is lawful. This is that which may not be borne; this is thought so heinous that Christian men should not suffer it. If he were learned he could never have heaped so many lies together. All writers confess that the Greek church in the east part of the world (which is the greater part of Christendom) never forbad their priests marriage, nor do at this day. ... Hildebrand, commonly called Gregory VII, was the first that ever brought about (but with much ado) that priests should not marry, and the married should lose either their wives or livings: but the priests of Spain withstood him by their bishop. Some afore attempted it, but never one could compass it. This pope lived about the conquest, five hundred year since; and since the beginning of the world unto his time it was not brought to pass.” – Confutation of the Addition.
Archdeacon Philpot – “But in thy judgment they be of Jovinian’s sect and Epicureans, divines that take away the difference of meats, that approve the marriage of priests and of others that be appointed to minister in the church, and improve the unmarried state of living. Then Paul is a Jovinian and Epicurean, which willeth it to be free to eat any kind of meat, and which doth not only condemn such as forbid marriage, but also commandeth bishops, priests, and others that be called to ministration of the Church to be married.” – Translation of Curio’s Defence.
Bishop Coverdale – “I suppose, dear judges, that as touching these matters, Paul hath with these words sufficiently answered for us, seeing he saith evidently, that they which forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats, are departed from the faith and follow the devil’s doctrine. ... Even as great wrong do they through their damning of priest’s marriage. But to the intent that men should judge them to be excellent maintainers of chastity, they praise virginity out of measure, which in very deed is a singular gift of God, but given unto few. Nevertheless, that they go about to maintain not virginity, but a state to live unmarried, it appeareth plainly by this that when a priest taketh a wife, they will not only have him deposed from his ministration, but judge him worthy to be put to death also, but if he against all honesty take an harlot, or keep another man’s wife, he is suffered as a profitable member of the Church, (of Rome, I mean). Oh what an horrible wickedness is this.” – Defence of a Certain Poor Man.
Bishop Jewel – “They are offended at the marriage of the ministers of the church: yet Gratian their great master saith, ‘the marriage of priests is not forbidden by any authority, either of the law or of the Gospel or of the apostles.’ The holy fathers that lived in the apostles’ time, and shortly after, report that Peter and all the other apostles, excepting only John, were married and had wives; the prophet Isaiah was married, and yet he saw the Lord sitting upon an high throne; Moses was married, and yet he saw God face to face. Will they reform the prophets and apostles? Will they account that to be unholy which the apostle calleth honourable in all men? Ignatius the scholar of St. John saith, ‘I wish to be found meet for God, as was Peter and Paul and the other apostles that were married.’” – On the Thessalonians.
Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.
That person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereunto.
ARCHBISHOP GRINDAL – “Excommunication by the law was never used, nor could be used as a punishment of any crime, saving of notorious heresy, usury, simony, piracy, conspiracy against the person of the prince, and of his estate, dignity, and crown, perturbers of the common peace and quietness of the church, or realm, willful murderers, sacrilegers, perjurers, and incorrigible and notorious committers of incest and adultery, false witnesses and suborners thereof, violent layers of hands upon ecclesiastical persons, demanders of more cured benefices than one without authority; and such other great and horrible crimes which are called sententiae canonum. Wherein, besides the particular penances that bishops and their officers did impose it was for more terror promised by ancient canons, that there should be a general open denunciation of this excommunication in every cathedral and parish church twice in the year. For other light faults there was no excommunication permitted or used as a punishment, other than for manifest and willful contumacy, or disobedience in not appearing when persons were called and summoned for a cause ecclesiastical, or when any sentence or decree of the bishop or his officer being deliberately made, was willfully disobeyed or not performed. ... The means that were thought fit to be used instead of excommunication by Archbishop Cranmer, Peter Martyr, Bucer, Mr. Haddon, and others that did assemble for that purpose at that time, were imprisonment or mulct pecuniary; and besides in persons ecclesiastical, sequestrations of their livings, and suspensions from the execution of their offices. But these means will be as commonly offensive in some respects as the excommunication is now. ... And, therefore, if the course that hath so long continued cannot hold, but must needs be altered, I would wish it to be done by some other means.” – Opinions on Ecclesiastical Discipline.
Bishop Pilkington – “Indeed excommunication rightly executed is a fearful bond to all good consciences; for it locketh up heaven gates, and throweth into the pit of hell. ... How many papists at this day do contemn the church and all the discipline in it, because it is so soft. ... If ye did but excommunicate them they would heartily thank you and laugh you to scorn; for they willingly excommunicate themselves, and will come at no congregation. ... This overmuch softness that is used, and an opinion of some that be zealous in religion, whereby they think they may not punish an ill man for his conscience and religion, doth much harm, and emboldeneth them in their ill doings. ... Excommunication is the common remedy for such disobedient persons, which God for his mercy sake, grant that it may be restored to his true use, that every one may willingly submit himself to godly correction! ... If any due correction be offered, we laugh it to scorn, despise the ministers of it, and by this means shall cause the Lord to take the whip into his own hands; and then ‘who shall be able to stand?’” – Exposition upon Nehemiah.
Bishop Hooper – “Because the Gospel teacheth that we are only saved by the mercy of God for the merits of Christ, our gospellers hath set all at liberty, and careth not at all of such life as should and ought to follow every justified man and disciple of Christ. And it is no marvel; for there is no discipline and punishment for sin; and wheresoever the gospel is preached, and this correction not used as well against the highest as the lowest, there shall be never a godly church. ... For by this means the sinner is taught by the scripture to know himself. 1 Cor. 5. God would not only the fideles,” (faithful) “but also the infideles,” (unfaithful) “to be kept in an order by the discipline of the law, as Paul saith, ‘The law is ordained for the unjust.’” –Declaration of Christ and His Office.
Archbishop Sandys – “The third net to take these foxes in, is discipline: it held that incestuous Corinthian, whom no other way could have taken. ... ‘Doth it not appertain unto pastoral diligence,’ saith St. Augustine, ‘with fear, yea, if they resist, with feeling of stripes, to recall to the fold of the Lord those sheep, when we find them, which have not been violently carried away, but by fair and soft usage, being seduced, have gone astray, and began to be held in possession of strangers?’ Those willful cubs, which neither by teaching nor by example will be reformed, must feel the smart of the rod. ‘We have,’ saith Paul, ‘in a readiness punishment against all disobedience.’ ... Now if they cannot be so recalled that themselves perish not, they are to be cut of or tied up, that they destroy not others.” – Ser. on Canticles 2:15.
Archbishop Cranmer – “A bishop or a priest by the scripture is neither commanded nor forbidden to excommunicate, but where the laws of any region giveth him authority to excommunicate, there they ought to use the same in such crimes as the laws have such authority in; and where the laws of the region forbiddeth them, there they have none authority at all; and they that be no priests may also excommunicate, if the law allow them thereunto.” – Questions and Answers.
Bishop Jewel – “If any man despise or will not follow our doctrine, forsake him and let him have no fellowship with you, that so he may be ashamed and repent, and turn again to the obedience of Christ. But lay apart all bitterness and anger, and wrath. Reprove him, but hate him not. Kill the sin that is in him by all the means that you can, for it is the work of the devil; but recover again the man that did offend, and restore him. ... Here I have good occasion to speak of excommunication, a principal part of the discipline of the church, a matter which many know not, which some do foully abuse, and over-lightly give forth, and which many regard not as they ought. It cutteth us off from the body of Christ, and removeth us from the fellowship of the gospel. Let no man despise it. It is the sword of God, the power of the Holy Ghost, the discipline of Christ; it is an ordinance which the church hath received from above.” – On the Thessalonians.
Of the Traditions of the Church.
It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one and utterly like: for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word. Whosoever through his private judgment, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, (that others may fear to do the like) as he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.
Every particular or national Church hath authority, to ordain, change, and abolish, ceremonies or rites of the Church, ordained only by man’s authority, so that all things be done to edifying.
Archbishop Sandys – “And here we have to praise our God, that in public doctrine touching the substance of religion we all agree in one truth; we all build upon one foundation. ... So much the greater pity it is that there should be such dissent in matters of small importance, in rites and circumstances, that by contention in such things, the course of the gospel should be hindered, Christ’s adversaries strengthened, and his church offended. The ministry cannot be well executed without her rites; which rites are left indifferent to every policy, so that they be not disagreeing from the word, so that they tend unto edification, so that they be seemly and according to decent order. Be it granted that some rites, upon some consideration might be bettered, or omitted; yet can I not say, neither any man I suppose can prove, that anything is set down to be observed in the Church wicked or contrary to the word of God. And it were scarce wisdom, when as in many years a beautiful and a costly house is builded, if a window be set a little away, or some small like eyesore do appear in respect thereof, to disturb the whole house, to pull it down and lay it flat with the ground. For every change being so full of peril, surely these great alterations upon so slight advice, these new commonwealths howsoever they be shadowed with the plausible name of reformation, yet in seeking (for undoubtedly this is sought, and that by many) to have the patrimony of the Church divided, mangled, and impaired, they threaten the utter overthrow of learning and religion.” – Ser. Phil. 2:2–5.
“That certain learned men, bishops and others, may by her majesty be appointed to set down ecclesiastical orders and rules in all ecclesiastical matters, for the good government of the church of England, as shall be by them thought most meet” – Advice concerning Rites and ceremonies in the Synod, 1562.
Bishop Coverdale – “Thus do we perceive that this multitude of ceremonies which is seen in the mass, is the form of the Jewish law, utterly contrary to the Christian religion. I am not of that mind that I would disprove all ceremonies which do serve to honesty and a public order, whereby the more reverence is given to the sacrament; so that they do well agree to the purpose and be sober. But that unmeasurable labyrinth may by no means be suffered forasmuch as it hath engendered infinite superstitions and made the people, as it were, amused without any manner of edification.” – On the Sacrament.
Bishop Pilkington – “The universal Church of Christ agrees in the necessary articles of our salvation; but in certain outward orders and ceremonies, every country differs from other without any dishonour to God.” – Confutation of an addition.
“I said afore (and no man is able to improve it) that the universal church never made any one order of service through the whole world, but every country has and may have divers, without offending, so they agree in one substance of true doctrine. He knows no church but Rome, and yet Rome never decreed any one general order for the whole world: nor the whole world never obeyed nor received any. The pope’s portus and missal has been oft changed, as I proved afore, and every country has their divers order of service.” – Questions and Answers.
James Calfhill, D.D. – “I answer, that of traditions there be three kinds. Some that necessarily are inferred of the Scripture. Such were the Apostles’ traditions: as, that a woman in the congregation should not be bare-headed ... these and the like I confess to be necessary, and of all Christians to be retained. ... But there have been other things delivered to the church direct contrary to the word: as Latin service. ... These ought not in anywise to be received. ... The third kind of traditions is of such as be indifferent; neither utterly repugnant to the word of God, nor necessarily inferred in it. Herein we must follow the order of the church; and yet not absolutely, but limitation. First, we see that those observances be not set forth as a piece of God’s service, wherein some special point of holiness or religion shall consist. For they may be kept, for order, for policy, for profit of the church; but otherwise the scripture itself hath God’s store. ... Therefore we must especially beware, that in our traditions, indifferent of themselves, we repose no holiness or devotion. Then also that we think them not to be such of necessity, that at no time they may be removed. The church must still retain her right to be judge and determiner of such traditions; either to bear with them, or else abolish them, as best may serve for edification.” – Answer to the Treatise of the Cross.
Archbishop Cranmer – “Moreover, Paul speaketh not here of doctrines of faith and charity, which ever continue without changing, adding, or minishing; but of certain traditions, observations, ceremonies, and outward rites and bodily exercises, which as he saith, is little worth to God-ward, but to be used for comeliness, decent order, and uniformity in the church, and to avoid schism; which ceremonies every good man is bound to keep, lest he trouble the common order, and so break the order of charity in offending his weak brethren, so long as they be approved, received, and used by the heads and common consent. But they, and every one of such ceremonies, as be neither sacraments nor commandments of faith and charity, may be altered and changed, and other set in their, place, or else utterly taken away, by the authority of princes, and other their rulers and subjects in the church.” – Confutation of Unwritten Verities.
Archbishop Whitgift – “England is not bound to the example either of France or Scotland. I would they were both (if it pleased God) touching religion, in that state and condition that England is ... I do not deny but that examples may be followed, and one ought to follow another in that which is good and convenient. But I have showed before, that one church is not bound of necessity, in all things to follow another. ... There is no reformed church that I can hear tell of, but it hath a certain prescript and determinate order, as well touching ceremonies and discipline, as doctrine, to the which all those are constrained to give their consent, that will live under the protection of it; and why then may not this church of England have so in like manner? ... That matters of ceremonies, discipline, and kind of government, be matters necessary unto salvation, is a doctrine strange and unheard of to me. ... I confess, that in a church collected together in one place, and at liberty, government is necessary, but that any one kind of government is so necessary, that without it, the church cannot be saved, or that it may not be altered into some other kind, thought to be more expedient, I utterly deny; and these reasons that move me to do so be these. The first is, because I find no one certain and perfect kind of government prescribed or commanded in the scriptures to the Church of Christ, which no doubt should have been done, if it had been a matter necessary unto salvation of the church; secondly, because the essential notes of the church be these only: The true preaching of the word of God, and the right administration of the sacraments. My third reason is this, If excommunication (which is a kind of government) be necessary to salvation, then any man may separate himself from every church wherein is no excommunication; but no man may separate himself from every church wherein is no excommunication; therefore excommunication (which is a kind of government) is not necessary to salvation. ... Every particular thing that pertaineth to decency or comeliness, at what time, in what place, with what words, we ought to give thanks, is not particularly written in scripture ... and therefore (as I have proved before) in such cases the church hath to determine and appoint an order.” – Defence of the Answer, &c.
Of the Homilies.
The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.
Of the Names of the Homilies.
1. Of the right Use of the Church.
2. Against peril of Idolatry.
3. Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
4. Of good Works; first of Fasting.
5. Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
6. Against Excess of Apparel.
7. Of Prayer.
8. Of the Place and Time of Prayer.
9. That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.
10. Of the reverend estimation of God’s Word.
11. Of Alms-doing.
12. Of the Nativity of Christ.
13. Of the Passion of Christ.
14. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
15. Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
16. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
17. For the Rogation-days.
18. Of the state of Matrimony.
19. Of Repentance.
20. Against Idleness.
21. Against Rebellion.
Bishop Latimer – “Some call them (the Homilies) homelies, and indeed so they may be well called, for they are homely handled. For the priest read he them never so well, yet if the parish like them not, there is such talking and babbling in the church that nothing can be heard; and if the parish be good, and the priest naught, he will so hack it and chop it that it were as good for them to be without it for any word that shall be understood. And yet (the more pity) this is suffered by Graces’ bishops in dioceses unpunished.” – Ser. on Rom. 15:4.
Archbishop Cranmer – “As well for the conservation of the quietness and good order of the king’s majesty’s subjects ... his highness, by our advice, hath thought good to inhibit all manner of preachers, who have not such license as in the same proclamation is allowed, to preach or stir the people in open and common preaching of sermons by any means; that the devout and godly homilies might the better in the meanwhile sink into his subjects’ hearts, and be learned the sooner, the people not being tossed to and fro with seditious and contentious preaching, while every man according to his zeal, some better some worse, goeth about to set out his own fantasy, and to draw the people to his opinion. Nevertheless it is not his majesty’s mind hereby clearly to extinct the lively teaching of the word of God by sermons made after such sort, as for the time the Holy Ghost shall put into the preacher’s mind, &c.” –Letter of Council, May 13th. 1548.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “Heretofore we had read in our temples every Sunday, and at divers other times a godly and learned homily or sermon, and certain chapters out of the holy Bible in the English tongue, that all the people might understand what was done or said; which gave occasion to forsake vice, to embrace virtue, to live in thy fear, and diligently to call upon thy blessed name.” – The Supplication.
Archbishop Grindal – “Ye shall, every Sunday and holyday, when there is no sermon in your church or chapel, distinctly and plainly read in the pulpit some one of the Homilies set forth by the Queen’s Majesty’s authority, or one part thereof at the least, in such sort as the same are divided and appointed to be read by the two books of the Homilies.” – Injunctions at York.
“Whether you have in your parish churches and chapels all things necessary and requisite for Common Prayer ... the two tomes of the Homilies, &c.” – Articles of Inquiry for Canterbury.
Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering: neither hath it any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the Rites of that Book, since the second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.
Archbishop Cranmer – “It is evident unto all men, diligently reading holy scripture and ancient authors, that from the apostles’ time there hath been these orders of ministers in Christ’s church; bishops, priests, and deacons: which offices were evermore had in such reverent estimation that no man by his own private authority might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as were requisite for the same; and also by public prayer, with imposition of hands, approved and admitted thereunto. And therefore to the intent these orders should be continued, and reverently used and esteemed in this Church of England, it is requisite that no man (not being at this present bishop, priest, nor deacon) shall execute any of them except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted according to the form hereafter following, &c.” – Preface to the Form and Manner of making and consecrating Archbishops, Bishops, &c.
Bishop Pilkington – “In the Acts of the Apostles, where Matthias was chosen instead of Judas the traitor, where the seven deacons were chosen, and when Paul and Barnabas were sent forth to preach, how few ceremonies were used in comparison of that multitude which the papists use now! And how much does it agree with our kind of ordering ministers better than with theirs. ... Acts 1 Peter calls the disciples together, preaches unto them; they fall to prayer, and chose Matthias instead of Judas. In the sixth of the Acts, the apostles assemble the people, declare to them how they themselves should follow preaching, and will them therefore to pick out men of honesty and godliness to serve the poor: they pray together, lay their hands on them, and made them deacons to provide for the poor. In sending forth Paul and Barnabas, when they were assembled to their ministry, they fasted, prayed, laid their hands on them, and send them forth. ... In these places of the scripture there be these things to be noted in sending forth ministers. First an assembly of the clergy and people, to bear testimony of their honesty and aptness that be called; ... Secondly, I note they used exhortations with fasting, prayer, and laying on of hands. These ceremonies, we be sure, are good and holy, because the apostles used them so oft: and these except some great cause to the contrary are to be used of all in calling of the ministers. All these things the order now appointed observes, and no more. ... Then if our bishops now use all such order as the apostles themselves used (as in comparing them together it will easily appear), why should any proud papist be so bold to correctmagnificat, to reprove them, and say that the pope has devised a better way than the apostles used?” – Confutation of an addition.
Of the Civil Magistrates.
The Queen’s Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other her Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.
Where we attribute to the Queen’s Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended: we give not to our Princes the ministering either of God’s Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself: that is, that they should rule all states and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.
The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.
The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.
It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.
Bishop Pilkington – “In the year from Christ’s passion one hundred and sixty-nine, the lord Eleutherius, pope, wrote thus to king Lucius, king of Britain, ... ‘Ye have received of late, through God’s mercy, in the realm of Britain, the law and faith of Christ: ye have with you in the realm both the parts of the Scriptures: out of them, by God’s grace, with the counsel of your realm, take ye a law, and by that law, through God’s sufferance, rule your kingdom of Britain. For ye be God’s vicar in your kingdom, according to the saying of the psalm, &c. ‘O God, give thy judgment to the king, and thy righteousness to the king’s son.’ ... The people and folk of the realm of Britain be yours, who, if they be divided, ye ought to gather to concord and peace, to call them to the faith and law of Christ, and to the holy church, to cherish and maintain them, to rule and govern them. ... The Almighty God grant you so to rule the realm of Britain, that ye may reign with him for ever, whose vicar ye be in the realm.’ Mark, I pray you, what this good pope grants. He calls the king ‘God’s vicar’ twice in this letter. He says the king ought to call the people to the faith of Christ.” – Confutation of an addition.
Roger Hutchinson – ‘If kings would earnestly believe this, which is God’s own voice, and behold how many kings be deposed in the bond of kings, and for what causes, they would be as earnest to set forth God’s glory, that is to cause the gospel to be preached through their dominions, and to relieve their poor brethren ,which be members of the same body that they be ... as they have been diligent, politic, yea, rather deceitful in increasing their revenues.” – Layman’s Book.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “To whom is it unknown, with how miserable captivity we have been detained and suppressed these many hundred years, through the usurped power and grievous tyranny of the bishop of Rome. ... Where was this doctrine of Christ and his apostles become, that all men shall be subject to the high powers? This sentence lay buried, ‘Be subject to every human creature for the Lord’s sake, whether it be unto the king, as supreme head, or to the rulers that are sent by him to the punishment of the evil-doers, but unto the praise of them that do well.’ The Christian princes were not had in reverence and honour as they ought. O miserable ease and detestable abusion.” – Pathway unto Prayer.
“The charges which the king’s grace’s majesty sustaineth daily for the wealth of all us his subjects are infinite, and far exceed the unexpert capacity of the rude simple people, as we may see before our eyes ... as I may learn oft to speak of the building of many castles, block-houses, strongholds, &c. ... again of the common schools and teachers of them, of sending forth preachers into every part of this realm, of procuring learned magistrates, of giving exhibition to many virtuous and learned men, and of a thousand things more.” – The Nosegay.
Archbishop Crammer – “Whether (if it be fortune a prince Christian-learned to conquer certain dominions of infidels, having none but temporal-learned men with him) it be defended by God’s law that he and they should preach and teach the word of God there or no? and also make and constitute priests or no? It is not against God’s law; but contrary, they ought indeed so to do; and there be histories that witnesseth, that some Christian princes, and other laymen unconsecrate have done the same. Whether it be forfended by God’s law that (if it so fortuned that all the bishops and priests of a region were dead, and that the word of God should remain there unpreached, the sacrament of baptism and others unministered), that the king of that region should make bishops and priests to supply the same or no? It is not forbidden by God’s law.” – Questions and Answers, &c.
Bishop Latimer – “Consider also the presence of the king’s majesty, God’s high vicar in earth, having a respect to his personage. Ye ought to have reverence to it, and consider that he is God’s high minister, and yet alloweth you all to be partakers with him of the hearing of God’s word.” – Ser. on Rom. 15:4.
“The kingdom of God is general throughout all the world, heaven and earth are under his dominion. As for the other kings, they are kings indeed, but to God-word they be but deputies, but officers. He only is the right king; unto him only must and shall all creatures in heaven and earth obey, and kneel before his majesty.” – Ser. on Matt. 6:13.
“Every man must labour; yea though he be a king, yet he must labour: for I know no man hath a greater labour than a king. What is his labour? To study God’s book, to see that there be no unpreaching prelates in his realm, nor bribing judges; to see to all estates; to provide for the poor.” – Ser. on Rom. 15:4.
“Certainly every governour and ruler, every king, may defend his realm, chase and put by the invaders. Again the subjects are bound in conscience to fight wheresoever they be required of their king and lord: and no doubt that man that so fighteth, being lawfully called thereunto, he is in the service of God, he is God’s servant. ... But subjects may not, of their own private authority take the sword, or rebel against their king; for when they rebel they serve the devil.” – Ser. on Eph. 6:10–12.
“I have thought in times past, that the pope, Christ’s vicar, hath been Lord of all the world, as Christ is; so that if he should have deprived the king of his crown, or you of the lordship of Bromeham, it had been enough; for he could do no wrong.” – Letter to Sir Edward Boynton.
“For to fight against the king’s enemies, being called unto it by the magistrates, it is God’s service, therefore, when thou diest in that service with a good faith, happy art thou.” – Ser. on Matt. 6:12.
Archbishop Whitgift – “I pray you what authority in these matters do you give to the civil magistrate? Methink I hear you whisper, that the prince hath no authority in ecclesiastical matters. I know it is a received opinion among some of you, and therein you shake hands also with the Papists and Anabaptists. ... The words of the ‘Admonition’ be these, ‘And to these three jointly, the Ministers, Seniors, and Deacons, is the whole management of the church to be committed.’ Wherefore they spoil the civil magistrate of all government in ecclesiastical matters; for if the whole government of the church is to be committed to Ministers, Seniors, and Deacons, what authority remaineth to the civil magistrate in the government of it? Agreeable to this disobedient spirit, and erroneous and papistical doctrine, is that in the second admonition, when the author of that book take from the civil magistrate all supremacy in ecclesiastical matters, and by evident circumstances, call his authority used in those things, usurped. ... In divers places he” [the author of the admonition] “maketh such a distinction between the church of Christ and a Christian commonwealth, that hath a Christian magistrate, as he would do betwixt the church and a heathenish commonwealth, that hath a persecuting and an unbelieving magistrate, and separateth the commonwealth of England, as far from the church of England, as he can do the commonwealth of Turcia, from the church of Christ in Turcia. All this I have noted to this end, that the good subject, and those that be careful for the preservation of the state of this realm, and the lawful authority of her majesty, may the better consider and beware of this doctrine; the which, unless I prove to be the self same with the papists in substance, let me sustain that punishment that is due unto them whom I burden and charge with forgetfulness of duty in this point. ... The papists give to the Christian magistrate in ecclesiastical matters, potestatem facti and not juris; that is, to see those laws executed and put in practice, that the pope and his clergy shall make, and to be, as it were, their executioner; but not to make any laws or orders in ecclesiastical matters. ... Who placed those Levites and priests in Jerusalem for the judgment and cause of the Lord, or who prescribed unto them what they should do, or who gave to them that authority? Did not Jehosaphat; – the text is plain. Jehosaphat had chief authority and government, both in things pertaining to God, and in things pertaining to the commonwealth; but for better execution of them, the one he did commit to be executed by Amaria the priest, the other, by Zabadiah, a ruler of the house of Judateven. As the Queen’s Majesty, being supreme governor in all cases, both ecclesiastical and temporal, committeth the hearing and judging of ecclesiastical matters to the archbishops, and bishops, and temporal matters to the Lord Chancellor and other judges; neither can you any more conclude that Jehosaphat had no authority in ecclesiastical causes, because he made Amarias the priest judge in the same, than you can that he had nothing to do in temporal affairs, because he appointed also Zabadiah to hear and determine them. For if this reason be good, the Queen of England hath nothing to do with ecclesiastical matters, because she hath made the archbishops, and bishops, judges in them; then is this as good, her Majesty hath no authority in civil matters, because she hath committed the same to the Lord Chancellor and other judges. For the subjection and bondage of the church which you so often talk of, this is my answer in few words: that subjection to lawful magistrates, in matters lawful, is no bondage to any, but to such as think dutiful obedience to be servitude and bondage.” – Defence of the Answer.
Of Christian men’s Goods, which are not common.
The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “But the word of God teacheth us that a Christian man may with a good conscience have riches, enjoy and possess them, and use them as his own. For riches is the good gift of God, as Solomon saith: ‘The blessing of the Lord maketh men rich.’ ... St. Paul wrote not bishop Timothy, “that he should command the rich men of this world that they should not be rich, nor have any riches nor possessions, but rather cast away their goods from them as things unlawful to be possessed; but he chargeth him to command the rich men, that they be not high- minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, &c. ... It is not forbidden the Christian to have riches, but to set their whole heart upon them.” – Catechism of the Law.
Of a Christian Man’s Oath.
As we confess that vain and rash Swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle, so we judge, that Christian Religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophet’s teaching, in justice, judgment, and truth.
Thomas Becon, D.D. – “May magistrates then lawfully require an oath of their subjects? Yes, most lawfully. Where is that declared in the word of God? We read that Abraham required an oath of his servant; and the servant swore – at his master’s commandment. King Abimelech required an oath of Abraham, which was a stranger in his land; and Abraham did swear. ... Divers such like examples are to be found in the holy scriptures, which do plainly declare that Christian men may lawfully take an oath when it is required of them by such as arc in authority. Are not these the words of the law of God. ‘If a man delivers his neighbour money or vessels to keep, and it be stolen from him out of his house; if the thief be found, he shall restore double. But if the thief be not found, then shall the good man of the house be brought before the gods, (that is to say, before the magistrates or head rulers) and shall swear that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s good?” – Catechism of the Law.
Bishop Hooper – “There is two manner of oaths; the one of custom or of sport; the other serious and grave, required and taken before the magistrate or judge. The first is devilish, damnable, and naught of every part, and forbidden by God to all Christian men. The other that is taken for the glory of God, the defence of the truth, or help of a man’s neighbour, as necessity shall require, is lawful and godly. But in this lawful oath, a man may offend two manner of ways: first, if his heart and mind be not according to his words, but that his mouth speaketh one thing, and the heart thinketh another thing; the second, if he that sweareth swear by any creatures. Both these be blasphemous before God.” – Ser. on Jonas.