« PoprzedniaDalej »
First, the right church was under Moses and Aaron, and so forth, in whose rooms sat the scribes and phari- A like reasees and high priests in the time of Christ. And they were before Christ. And Christ and his apos
One argutles came out of them, and departed from them, and futed with
another of left them. Wherefore the scribes, pharisees, and high like nature. priests were the right church, and Christ and his apostles and disciples, heretics, and a damnable sect! And so the Jews are yet in the right way and we in error. And of truth if their blind reason be good, then is their argument so too. For they be like, and are both one thing.
But inasmuch as the kingdom of God standeth not in The soluwords, as Paul saith, (1 Cor. iv.) but in power, therefore look unto the marrow and pith of the things self, and let vain words pass. Under Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the church great in faith, and small in number. And as it increased in number, so it decreased in faith until the time of Moses. And out of those unbelievers God stirred up Moses, and brought them unto the faith right again. And Moses left a glorious church, both in faith and cleaving unto the word of God, and delivered them unto Joshua, Eleazer, Phineas, and Caleb.
But as soon as the generation of them that saw the miracles of God were dead, they fell to idolatry immediately, as thou seest in the Bible. And God, when he had delivered them into captivity, for to chastise their wickedness, stirred them up a prophet evermore, to call them unto his testament again." And so he did well nigh an hundred times, I The right
faith did suppose, ere Christ came, for they never bode any space in never long the right faith. And against the coming of Christ, the continue in
the greater scribes, pharisees, Caiaphas, Annas, and the elders, were number of
the church, crept up into the seat of Moses, Aaron, and the holy prophets and patriarchs, and succeeded them lineally, and had the Scripture of God, but even in captivity, to make merchandize of it, and to abuse it unto their own glory and profit. And though they kept the people from outward idolatry of worshipping of images with the heathen, yet they
brought them into a worse inward idolatry of a false faith and trust in their own deeds and in vain traditions of their own feigning. And had put out the significations of all the ceremonies and sacraments of the Old Testament. And taught the people to believe in the works self, and had corrupted the scripture with false glosses. Asthou mayest see in the gospel, how Christ warneth his disciples to beware of
the leaven of the pharisees, which was their false doctrine and Matt. xvi. glosses. And in another place he rebuked the scribes and Matt. xxiii. the pharisees, saying: Wo be to them, because they had
taken away the key of knowledge, and had shut up the kingdom of heaven, and neither would enter in themselves nor suffer them that would. How had they shut it up? verily with their traditions and false glosses, which they had sewed to the Scripture in plain places, and in the taking away the meaning of the ceremonies and sacrifices, and
teaching to believe in the work. Hypocrites
And our hypocrites are in like manner crept up into op the the seat of Christ and of his apostles, by succession ; not up into the seat of to do the deeds of Christ and his apostles, but for lucre Christ and
only, (as the nature of the wily fox is, to get him an hole 2 Pet. ii.
made with another beast's labour) and to make merchandise of the people with feigned words, as Peter warned us before, and to do according as Christ and all his apostles prophesied, how they should beguile, and lead out of the right way, all them that had no love to follow and live
after the truth. '. The pope And in like manner have they corrupted the Scripture, and his clergy have and blinded the right way with their own constitutions, the Scrip.
with traditions of dumb ceremonies; with taking away the tures of significations of the Sacraments, to make us believe in the
work of the Sacraments first, whereby they might the better make us believe in works of their setting up afterward; and with false glosses which they have patched to the Scripture in plain places, to destroy the literal sense, for to set up a false feigned sense of allegories, when there is none such. And thereby they have stopt up the gates of
God with their tra. ditions.
heaven, the true knowledge of Christ, and have made their own bellies the door. For through their bellies must thou creep, and there leave all that fall behind thee.
And such blind reasons as ours make against us, made John ii. they against Christ, saying : Abraham is our father; we be Moses' disciples; how knoweth he the understanding of the Scripture, seeing he never learned of any of us ? only the cursed unlearned people that know not the Scripture believe in him. Look whether any of the rulers or pharisees do believe in him!
Wherefore, the Scripture, truly understood after the The Scripplain places and general articles of the faith, which thou
witness findest in the Scripture, and the ensamples that are gone who are
the right before, will alway testify who is the church. Though the church. pharisees succeeded the patriarchs and prophets, and had the Scripture of them, yet they were heretics, and fallen from the faith of them, and from their living. And Christ and his disciples, and John the Baptist, departed Christ. from the pharisees which were heretics, unto the right John Bapsense of the Scripture, and unto the faith and living of the tist. patriarchs and prophets, and rebuked the pharisees. As thou seest how Christ calleth them hypocrites, dissimulers, blind guides, and painted sepulchres. And John called them the generation of vipers and serpents. Of John, the angel said unto his father (Luke i.) he shall turn many Luke i. of the children of Israel unto their Lord God, which yet before John believed after a fleshly understanding in God, and thought themselves in the right way. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children. That is, he shall, with his preaching and true interpreting of the Scripture, make such a spiritual heart in the children, as was in their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And he shall turn the disobedient unto the obedience of the trine of righteous, and prepare the Lord a perfect people. That brought is, them that had set up a righteousness of their own, and the heart
of the Jews were therefore disobedient unto the righteousness of faith, unto the shall he convert from their blindness, unto the wisdom of righ
them that believed in God, to be made righteous; and with those fathers, shall he give the children eagles' eyes to spy out Christ and his righteousness, and to forsake their
own, and so to become perfect. Our popish And after the same manner, though our popish hypohypocrites have need
crites succeed Christ and his apostles, and have their of a John Scripture, yet they be fallen from the faith and living of Baptist to convert them, and are heretics, and had need of a John Baptist to them.
convert them. And we depart from them unto the true Scripture, and unto the faith and living thereof, and
rebuke them in like manner. And as they which depart Those from the faith of the true church are heretics, even so they part from that depart from the church of heretics and false feigned the faith of faith of hypocrites, are the true church; which thou shalt hypocrites are the true alway know by their faith examined by the Scripture and
by their profession, and consent to live according unto the laws of God.
ANOTHER like blind reason they have, wherein is all Their
their trust. As we come out of them and they not of second
us, so we receive the Scripture of them, and they not of us. How know we that it is the Scripture of God, and true, but because they teach us so? how can we believe, except we first believe that they be the church, and cannot
err in any thing that pertaineth unto our soul's health ? Note here For if a man tell me of a marvellous thing, whereof I can this popish have no other knowledge than by his mouth only, how argument.
should I give credence except I believe that the man were so honest that he could not lie, or would not lie? Wherefore, we must believe that they be the right church that cannot err, or else we can believe nought at all.
This wise reason is their sheet anchor, and all their hold,
their refuge to fly unto, and chief stone in their foundation; whereon they have built all their lies, and all the mischief that they have wrought this eight hundred years. And this reason do the Jews lay unto our charge this day; and this reason doth chiefly blind them, and hold them still in obstinacy. Our spirits first falsify the Scripture The pope
and his sect to stablish their lies. And when the Scripture cometh to light, and is restored unto the true understanding, and their are the
church, and juggling spied, and they like to suffer shipwreck, then cannot 'err. they cast out this anchor, they be the church and cannot err, their authority is greater than the Scripture, and the Scripture is not true, but because they say so and admit it. And therefore, whatsoever they affirm, is of as great authority as the Scripture.
Notwithstanding, as I said, the kingdom of heaven The solustandeth not in words of man's wisdom, but in power and spirit. And therefore, look unto the ensamples of the Scripture, and so shalt thou understand. And of an hundred ensamples between Moses and Christ, where the Israelites fell from God, and were ever restored by one pro- John Bapphet or other, let us take one: even John the Baptist. tist was a John went before Christ to prepare his way, that is, to sitor of the
law. bring men unto the knowledge of their sins, and unto repentance, through true expounding of the law, which is the only way unto Christ. For except a man knowledge his sins, and repent of them, he can have no part in Christ. Of John, Christ saith, (Matt. xvii.) that he was Elias that Mattevii should come, and restore all things. That is, he should restore the Scripture unto the right sense again, which the pharisees had corrupted with the leaven of their false glosses and vain fleshly traditions. He made crooked things straight, as it is written, and rough smooth. Which is also to be understood of the Scripture, which the pharisees had made crooked, wresting them unto a false sense with The phariwicked glosses, and so rough that no man could walk in
false the way of them. For when God said, Honour father and glosses to
the Scripmother, meaning, that we should obey them, and also help ture.