Obrazy na stronie

Our sin is the cause


The prac

tice oi


highest degree, that for the sin of the people

hypocrites shall reign over them. What shows, that hypo- what faces and contrary pretences are made, reign.

and all to stablish them in their theft, falsehood,
and damnable lies, and to gather them together
for to contrive subtilty to oppress the truth, and
to stop the light, and to keep all still in dark-
ness. Wherefore it is time to awake, and to see
every man with his own eyes, and to judge, if
we will not be judged of Christ, when he cometh
to judge. And remember that he which is
warned hath none excuse, if he take no heed.
Herewith, farewell in the Lord Jesus Christ,
whose Spirit be thy guide and doctrine, and the
light to judge withall. Amen.

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tions of the


which every man may do of his own power, and in doing with works,



THIS word church hath divers significations.

First Significa: it signifieth a place or house, whither Christian people word were wont in the old time to resort at times convenient, church are for to hear the word of doctrine, the law of God, and the faith of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and how and what to The minispray, and whence to ask power and strength to live godly. church are For the officers thereto appointed preached the pure word ap poriented of God only, and prayed in a tongue that all men under- to the peo

ple surely stood. And the people hearkened unto his prayers, and the word of said thereto Amen; and prayed with him in their hearts, God, and and of him learned to pray at home, and every where ; atorgue and to instruct every man his household.

Where now we hear but voices without signification; and buzzings, howlings, and cryings, as it were the halloo

of foxes, or baitings of bears; and wonder at disguisings and toys whereof we know no meaning. By reason whereof we be fallen into such ignorance,

we know of the mercy and promises which are in And of the law of God we think as do the Turks, and did the old heathen people, how that it is a thing cannot be

fulfilled thereof becometh good, and waxeth righteous, and de- be the younger serveth heaven; yea, and are yet more mad than that.

holy. we imagine the same of fantasies, and vain ceremonies of our own making; neither needful unto the taming

our own flesh, neither profitable unto our neighbour, neither honour unto God.

ters of the

that all men understand.


Christ nothing at all.


The law



A great

And of prayer we think, that no man can pray but at abuse in

church, and that it is nothing else but to say Pater nosier prayer.

unto a post. Wherewith yet, and with other observances of our own imagining, we believe we deserve to be sped

of all that our blind hearts desire. The church In another signification it is abused and mistaken for a taken for

multitude of shaven, shorn, and oiled, which we now call the spiritualty. the spiritualty and clergy. As when we read in the chroKing Wil- nicles, king William was a great tyrant, and a wicked man liam.

unto holy church, and took mnch lands from them. King John. King John was also a perilous man, and a wicked unto

holy church, and would have had them punished for theft, murder, and whatsoever mischief they did, as though they had not been people anointed, but even of the vile rascal and common lay people.

And Thomas Becket was a blessed and an holy man, St. Thomas of Cauter- for he died for the liberties (to do all mischief unpunished) bury. and privileges of the church. Is he a layman, or a man

of the church? Such is the living of holy church. So Holy church men say of holy church. Ye must believe in holy church bath Lurne a great

and do as they teach you. Will ye not obey holy church? swinge. Will ye not do the penance enjoined you by holy church?

Will ye not forswear obedience unto holy church?
Beware lest ye fall into the indignation of holy church,

lest they curse you, and so forth. In which all we underand his rab- stand but the pope, cardinal, legates, patriarchs, archble taken

bishops, bishops, abbots, priors, chancellors, archdeacons, church. commissaries, officials, priests, monks, friars, black, white,

pied, grey, and so forth, by (I trow) a thousand names of blasphemy, and of hypocrisies, and as many sundry fashions of disguisings.

It hath yet, or should have, another signification, little The church isa congre- known among the common people now-a-days. That is to gation of

wit, it signifieth a congregation, a multitude or a company people of all sorts ga- gathered together in one, of all degrees of people. As a gether.

man would say, the church of London, meaning not the spiritualty only (as they will be called for their diligent

The pope

for the

thered to

it is taken


serving of God in the Spirit, and so sore eschewing to
meddle with temporal matters) but the whule body of the
city, of all kinds, conditions, and degrees : and the church
of Bristol, all that pertain unto the town generally. And
what congregation is meant, thou shalt alway understand
by the matter that is entreated of, and by the circunstances
And in this third signification is the church of God or The church

of God how Christ taken in the Scripture, even for the whole multitude of all them that receive the name of Christ to believe in in Scriphim, and not for the clergy only. For Paul saith (Gal. i.)

Gal. i. persecuted the church of God above measure: which was not the preachers only, but all that believed generally. As it is to see Acts xxii, where he saith : I persecuted this

Acts xxii. way even unto the death, binding and putting in prison both men and women. And (Gal. i.) I was unknown con- Gal. i. cerning my person unto the congregations of the Jews which were in Christ. And (Rom. xvi.) I commend unto Rom. xvi. you Phebe the deaconess of the church of Cenchris. And the churches of Asia salute you. (1 Cor. the last.)

I Cor. xvi. And if a man cannot rule his own house, how shall he take the care of the church of God? (1 Tim. iii.) If I Tim. iii. any faithful man or woman have widows, let them find them, that the church be not charged. (1 Tim. v.) And 1 Tim. 5. (Matt. xviii.) If thy brother hear thee not, tell the church The church or congregation, and so forth.

In which places, and tude of all throughout all the Scripture, the church is taken for the them that

multitude of them that believe in Christ in that Christ place,

wheresoin that parish, town, city, province, land, or through

ever they out all the world, and not for the spiritualty only.

be gatherNotwithstanding, yet it is sometimes taken generally for

ed toge:

ther. allthen that embrace the name of Christ, though their faiths be nought, or though they have no faith at all. And some significa

it is taken specially for the elect only, in whose tion of this

God hath written his law, with his holy Spirit, and church. given them a feeling faith of the mercy that is in Christ


A double

times hearts

Jesu our Lord.



WHEREFORE inasmuch (as the clergy, as the nature

of those hard and indurate adamant stones is to draw all to them) had appropriate unto themselves the term that of right is common unto all the whole congregation of them that believe in Christ, and with their false and subtle wiles had beguiled and mocked the people, and brought them into the ignorance of the word; making them understand

by this word church, nothing but the shaven flock; of them The cause

that shore the whole world; therefore in the translation of why Tyn- the New Testament, where I found this word ecclesia, I dale translated the interpreted it, by this word congregation. Even, thereword church into

fore did I it, and not of any mischievous mind or purthis word

pose to stablish heresy, as master More untruly reporteth congregation. of me in his dialogue, where he raileth on the translation

of the New Testament.

And when M. More saith, that this word church is known well enough, 1 report me unto the consciences of all the land, whether he say truth or otherwise, or whether the lay-people understand by church the whole multitude of all that profess Christ, or the juggling spirits only. And

when he saith that congregation is a more general term, Congrega

if it were, it hurteth not. For the circumstance doth tion is un ever tell what congregation is meant. Nevertheless, yet derstood by the cir- saith he not the truth. For wheresoever I may say a concumstance. gregation, there may I say a church also, as the church of

the devil, the church of Satan, the church of wretches, the church of wicked men, the church of liars, and a church of Turks thereto.

For M. More must grant (if he will have ecclesia

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