Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

his head to be worshipped, and the people to stand gazing at it, and be content with looking at it: and when they receive, to take both the bread and the cup, and not to rob God's people of the one half of the supper, the blood of our Saviour Christ, which he shed for the lay-people, as well as for priests; and bad them drink it, as well as the priests: for he loved them, and died for them, as well as for the priests. And priests can no more save themselves than they can, but have the same Saviour that they have, and must go to heaven the same way that they do. And because they crack so proudly of the ancienty of their Mass. mass', let me see in what ancient writer they read of it or find the word written. I know they would fain have the word 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. The apostle to the Hebrews says, that “if Heb. vii. the priesthood be taken away and translate to another sort, then the law is taken away too:” but the priesthood of Aaron is taken away and all his sacrifices, (or else Christ is come in vain); why, then the law of sacrificing must be taken away too, as the apostle there says. If they consider the nature of the Hebrew word, they would not strive so much about it. They glory much that the name of their mass is missah in Hebrew, and should be written, Deut. xvi. 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 other 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; for every man may willingly bring what he lust to offer; and then priests have spun a fair s thread in alleging this against themselves, and proving that every man may say their mass. But the word signifies also a

[.. In the Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, a contemporary of bishop Pilkington, will be found an interesting and valuable treatise on the Origin and Canon of the Mass. See the beginning of Book x. Edit. 1583. and in Vol. III. Edit. 1684. Ed.]

[ocr errors]

lifting up, as some do take it, and therefore they prove their
elevation by it. Thus they be driven to hard shifts, that they
cannot well tell what to make of 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. Read the
place, and then judge the meaning: “Thou shalt keep the holy
day of weeks,” says Moses (that is, Whit-sunday seven weeks
after Easter), “and thou shalt bring a gift of thine own free will
according to thy power, as the Lord has blessed thee with
much or little.”
This free gift is called missah, and the people must give it:
then, if it make any thing for mass, it makes also that the peo-
ple should say mass; for they bring every one this gift as they
be able. The priests say not mass freely, but for money, and
therefore it cannot be called a freewill gift on their part. But
because they are delighted with gifts, and will not say mass
freely, they rather ground themselves hereon, that they may not
only sell, but raise the price of them, and lift it high over
their heads. They may speak well of the gospel, if they would,
or had any good natures in them. For their mass was never so
honoured, nor at so great a price, as the gospellers have made
it, at a hundred marks, where they will sell it for a groat; and
God forbid that ever it be better cheap ! Surely, if it be so good
as they report it to be, it is too good cheap yet, and they with
selling so good cheap have brought it out of estimation. A
good thing cannot be too dear: and surely he that will lie broil-
ing in purgatory for sparing one penny, a groat, or ten shillings
for a trental, he has few friends; and if he be able to pay it and
will not, I will never be sorry for him, though he lie there still.
There is another Hebrew word called mass, that signifies a
tribute, which may well be applied to it, (because they be de-
lighted with ancient names, I shall help them,) for it is the
greatest tax that ever was laid on the world. All princes, hea-
then and christened laid together, never took such a tribute of
the people, as the pope and his collectors do by mass. For mass
princes have given whole countries, noblemen their land, and
the people their goods; they have disherited their children, and
impoverished themselves, to feed the pope's chaplains and buy
masses. Alas, dear pennyworths for so vile a thing ! The

Dutch word messe helps them well too, which signifies a free mart or fair for all people to resort to with all wares to buy and sell, and with such liberty, that those evil men, which dare not nor may not come near at other times without danger, then may freely go and come without harm after that the market-bell be rung, as they use. So is their mass. What ware soever is brought for it, it is welcome, they refuse none: wool, bacon, cheese, freers never refused; and be he never so wicked, it is not denied him; it is a salve for all sores, and heals all wicked- Z. ness and sorrows, that fall either on man or beast. They would fain have it ancient, and therefore they seek the old authors, where the word missa may be found. They allege Ignatius, Clemens, Dionysius, Sozomenus, &c., where they would make men believe it were read. Indeed, in translating these out of Greek they use the same word; but he that has read his Greek grammar can soon understand, that there is no such word in Greek. Therefore, as the interpreter does foolishly use the word, so foolishly they follow and believe him. The word is Latin, and is used in no Latin writer commonly afore Gregory the first, who lived six hundred year after Christ, or save twice or thrice only in Ambrose in his Epistle', and yet he lived four hundred year after Christ. Then they have not so great cause to crack of ancienty of the thing, nor of the word, seeing neither Hebrew, Greek, nor Latin can be proved to have such a word in such a signification the space of four hundred year after Christ, no, nor then neither; for though Ambrose used the word, yet it signifies far otherways, as Ambrose's order of communion well declares. I will not stand to rehearse the manifold interpretation of the Latin word, and what the meaning of it is, lest ye would laugh: hereafter, if occasion be given by them, I shall more fully entreat of it. One thing I would demand of master proctor; and if his answer be not ready, I am content he ask counsel, so that he answer substantially, that it may abide trial. Good Friday- *:::::::... mass, why does it differ from all the year beside? One of these three must needs follow, either that one mass only is good, and the rest naught; or the rest good, and that naught; or else (as I am sure he will say) both are good. If both be

[' Ego tamen mansi in munere; missam facere coepi. Class. 1. Epist. xx. § 4. Ed.]

good, then there may be divers sorts of them: if there may be two divers sorts, and both good, why may there not be a third or a fourth as good? Why then may not the order now appointed in English be good too? On Good Friday there is neither epistle, nor gospel, gloria in earcelsis, nor creed, sanctus nor agnus, canon nor privity, crossing, toying nor blowing, nor their words of consecration, pax, nor Ite, missa est, not so much as Dominus vobiscum, but straight after confiteor he leaps post haste over all to the Paternoster. Surely, if this be good one day, it may be used oftener: and this agrees best with that that Gregory says, “The apostles consecrated only with the Lord's prayer:” and therefore it seems, that if any of their masses should be good, that this goes next to the best and simplest sort, without all curiosity. If they may do all perfectly this day without their canon, then their canon and privity is not of so great force as they make it to be. For sure, if this be well on this day, it may be well on other days too; for God is no changeling, nor he commands not one sort of communicating his supper to-day and another to-morrow, but always such a one which agrees with his word. Their common answer and solution is known, but it will not serve: they must provide better stuff, or else their doings be foolish. But to make an end of this great controversy for the ancienty of their mass, ye shall hear it determined by a miracle from heaven. When there were divers sorts of masses, as they be called, used in Latin in divers places, as at Milan, and every where almost generally, there was used St Ambrose's order of communion, which there continues to this day, and Gregory's order was used also in other places; the pope, to determine the matter, would try whether should be allowed through his dominion; for Gregory's was not used at all in France, and it was thought shame that Ambrose's order, being but a bishop, should be preferred to the pope's. Therefore he took either of their mass-books, as they term them, in an evening laid them on the altar, locked the church-doors, and desired God to declare by some miracle, whether book should be used generally of all sorts. In the morning Gregory's book-leaves were found scattered all the church over, and Ambrose's lay still ; the doors being fast locked all night, as he says, but wise men may doubt. This miracle master pope, like a wise expounder of dreams, says, that as the leaves were torn and blown abroad all the church over, so should Gregory's book be used throughout the world. For this was done by God, as well as their great god Bel did eat up all the meat that was set afore him all night, as Daniel writes. But that a man may not be wiser than mounser pope, I would interpret this great miracle thus: That God was angry with Gregory's book, and therefore rent it in pieces, and scattered it abroad; and the other, as good, lay sound untouched, and at the least so to be preferred. This was done by pope Adrian the first, more than seven hundred and seventy-seven years after Christ; and thus long their holy mass was in controversy afore it was determined. Then it lacks much of one thousand five hundred, as they untruly and proudly crack. These things are not written by any new men, or heretics, as it pleases them to term them, but by their own catholic fathers, Durandus and Nauclerus'. Yea, Polychronicon, lib. vii. chap. 10, writes, that the white observant monks” use by their profession St Ambrose's order, and not Gregory's, even at these days: wherefore their mass is not general. I would they did make an end of lying, that we might make an end of reproving them, and both join together in worshipping the living God only, and believing his holy word afore all other. St Austin, in a like controversy of religion [* Concilio igitur iterum congregato, omnium patrum fuit una sententia, quod missale Ambrosianum et Gregorianum super altare sancti Petri apostoli ponerentur, plurimorum episcoporum sigillis munita, et fores ecclesiae clauderentur, et ipsi tota nocte orationi insisterent, ut Dominus per aliquod signum indicaret, quod horum magis ab ecclesia servari vellet; sicque per omnia factum est. Mane igitur ecclesiam intrantes, utrumque missale super altare apertum invenerunt; vel alii asserunt, Gregorianum penitus dissolutum et huc illucque dispersum invenerunt; Ambrosianum vero solummodo apertum super altare in eodem loco, ubi positum fuerat, invenerunt. Quo signo edocti sunt divinitus, Gregorianum officium per totum mundum dispergi, Ambrosianum vero tantum in sua ecclesia observari debere; et sic usque hodie servatur. Gul. Durandi Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, Lib. v. cap. ii. p. 139–40. Venet. 1609.-Nauclerus's account, after the introductory circumstances, proceeds: Mane facto invenerunt missale Ambrosianum in loco suo clausum, Gregorianum vero apertum et per quaternos dispersum : ex quo statuerunt, &c. Chronica, Generat. xxi. p. 628. Colon. 1579. Ed.] [* “That order is named order Cystersiensis in Latin. *** They use Ambrose's office, and have chargeofsick men, &c.” Polychron. vii.10. Ed.]

« PoprzedniaDalej »