« PoprzedniaDalej »
visions, distinctions, and sorts of grace; gratis data, gratum faciens, preveniens, and subsequens. And with con- The pa
pists may fession they juggled, and so made the people, as oft as they not forbear spake of it, understand shrift in the ear. Whereof the
their jugScripture maketh no mention : no, it is clean against the gling
ternis. Scripture as they use it and preach it, and unto God an abomination, and a foul stinking sacrifice unto the filthy idol Priapus. The loss of those juggling terms is the matter whereof all these bots breed, that gnaw them by the bellies and make them so unquiet.
And in like manner, by this word penance, they make Penance. the people understand holy deeds of their enjoining, with which they must make satisfaction unto Godward for their Penance sins. When all the Scripture preacheth that Christ hath made
able to the full satisfaction for our sins to Godward, and we must now be papists. thankful to God again, and kill the lusts of our flesh with holy works of God's enjoining, and to take patiently all that God layeth on my back. And if I have hurt my neighbour, I True penam bound to shrine myself unto him and to make him ance what amends, if I have wherewith, and if not, then to ask him forgiveness, and he is bound to forgive me. And as for their penance, the Scripture knoweth not of. The Greek hath Metanoia and Metanoite, repentance and repent, or forethinking and forethink. As we say in English It forethinketh me, or I forethink ; and I repent, or It re- Faith in penteth me, and I am sorry that I did it. So now the Christ
bringeth Scripture saith, Repent, or let it forethink you, and come and true rebelieve the gospel or glad tidings that is brought you in pentance. Christ, and so shall all be forgiven you, and henceforth live a new life. And it will follow if I repent in the heart that I shall do no more so, willingly, and of purpose. And if I believed the gospel, what God hath done for me in Christ, I should surely love him again, and of love prepare myself unto his commandments.
These things to be even so M. More knoweth well enough. For he understandeth the Greek, and he knew them long ere I. But so blind is covetousness and drunken
desire of honour. Gifts blind the eyes of the seeing, and Deut. xvii. pervert the words of the righteous. (Deut. xvii.) When
covetousness findeth vantage in serving falsehood, it riseth up into an obstinate malice against the truth, and seeketh all means to resist it and to quench it. As Balaam the false prophet, though he wist that God loved Israel, and had blessed them, and promised them great things, and that he would fulfil his promises, yet for covetousness and desire of honour, he fell into such malice against the truth of God, that he sought how to resist it and to curse the people. Which when God would not let him do, he turned himself another way and gave pestilent counsel to make the people sin against God; whereby the wrath of God fell upon them and many thousands perished, Notwithstanding God's truth abode fast and was fulfilled in the rest. And Baalam, as he was the cause that many perished, so escaped he not himself. No more did any that maliciously resisted the open truth against his own
conscience, since the world began, that ever I read. For The sin
it is sin against the Holy Ghost, which Christ saith shall against the neither be forgiven here nor in the world to come: which Holy Ghost.
text may thiswise be understood, that as that sin shall be punished with everlasting damnation in the life to come, even so shall it not escape vengeance here. As thou seest in Judas, in Pharaoh, in Balaam, and in all other tyrants which against their consciences resisted the open truth of God.
So now the cause why our prelates thus rage, and that moveth them to call M. More to help, is, not that they find
just causes in the translation, but because they have lost 2 Pet. ii.
their juggling and feigned terms wherewith Peter prophesied they should make merchandise of the people.
WHETHER THE CHURCH WERE BEFORE THE
ANOTHER doubt there is, whether the church or con
The church **gregation be before the gospel or the gospel before gospel, or
the gospel the church. Which question is as hard to solve, as whether before the father be elder than the son, or the son elder than his church. father. For the whole Scripture and all believing hearts testify that we are begotten through the word. Wherefore, if the word beget the congregation, and he that begetteth is before him that is begotten, then is the gospel before the church. Paul also (Rom. ix.) saith, How shall ko they call on him whom they believe not ? And how shall they believe without a preacher ? That is, Christ must first be preached ere men can believe in him. And then it followeth, that the word of the preacher must be before the faith of the believer. And therefore, inasmuch as the The word word is before the faith, and faith maketh the congre
gospel, was gation, therefore is the word or gospel before the congre- before the
church. gation. And again, as the air is dark of itself, and receiveth all her light of the sun; even so, are all men's hearts of themselves dark with lies, and receive all their truth of God's word, in that they consent thereto. And, moreover, as the dark air giveth the sun no light, but contrariwise the light of the sun in respect of the air is of itself, and lighteneth the air, and purgeth it from darkness : even so, the lying heart of man can give the word of God no truth ; but contrariwise, the truth of God's word is of herself, and lighteneth the hearts of the believers, and maketh them true, and cleanseth them from lies, as thou readest, John xv. Ye be clean by reason of the word. John xv. Which is to be understood, in that the word had purged their hearts from lies, from false opinions, and from thinking evil good, and therefore from consenting to
sin. And (John. xvii.) Sanctify them, O father, through thy truth : and thy word is truth. And thus thou seest that God's truth dependeth not of man. It is not true because man so saith or admitteth it for true : but man is true, because he believeth it, testifieth and giveth witness in his heart that it is true. And Christ also saith himself, (John v.) I receive no witness of man. For if the multitude of man's witness might make ought true, then were the doctrine of Mahomet truer than Christ's..
Note well this.
WHETHER THE APOSTLES LEFT OUGHT UN-
Whether BUT did not the apostles teach ought by mouth, that the apos
they wrote not? I answer, because that many taught tles taught any thing one thing, and every man the same in divers places, and that they did not
unto divers people, and confirmed every sermon with a write.
sundry miracle ; therefore, Christ and his apostles preached an hundred thousand sermons, and did as many miracles, which had been superfluous to have been all written. But the pith and substance in general of every thing
necessary unto our souls' health, both of what we ought to So much believe, and what we ought to do, was written; and of the is written
miracles done to confirm it, as many as were needful. So as is necessary for our that whatsoever we ought to believe or do, that same is salvation.
written expressly, or drawn out of that which is written.
For if I were bound to do or believe, under pain of the
loss of my soul, any thing that were written, nor depended The Scrip- of that which is written, what holp me the Scripture that is ture writ ten, must
written? And thereto, inasmuch as Christ and all his confound apostles warned us that false prophets should come with the unwritten verities. false miracles, even to deceive the elect if it were possible,
wherewith should the true preacher confound the false,
except he brought true miracles to confound the false, or else authentic Scripture of full authority already among the people ?
Some man would ask, How did God continue his congregation from Adam to Noah, and from Noah to Abraham, and so to Moses, without writing, but with teaching from mouth to mouth? I answer, first, that there Writing
hath been was no Scripture all the while, they shall prove, when our from the lady hath a new son. God taught Adam greater things beginning, than to write. And that there was writing in the world long ere Abraham, yea, and ere Noah, do stories testify. Notwithstanding, though there had been no writing, God from
the beginthe preachers were even prophets glorious in doing of ni miracles, wherewith they confirmed their preaching. And written his
will in the beyond that, God wrote his Testament unto them alway, hearts of both what to do, and to believe, even in the Sacraments.
his elect. For the sacrifices which God gave Adam's sons, were no dumb popery or superstitious Mahometry, but signs of the Testament of God. And in them they read the word of God, as we do in books, and as we should do in our Sacraments, if the wicked pope had not taken the significations away from us, as he hath robbed us of the true hath taken
from us the sense of all the Scripture. The testament which God significamade with Noah, that he would no more drown the world
tions of the
Sacraments with water, he wrote in the Sacrament of the rainbow. And the appointment made between him and Abraham, he wrote in the sacrament of circumcision. And therefore, said Stephen (Acts vii.) He gave them the testament of Acts vil circumcision. Not that the outward circumcision was the whole testament, but the sacrament or sign there. For circumcision preached God's word unto them, as I have in other places declared.
But in the time of Moses, when the congregation was increased, that they must have many preachers, and also rulers temporal, then all was received in Scripture, insomuch, that Christ and his apostles might not have been