Obrazy na stronie
[merged small][ocr errors]

III. Who is a schismatic?

He that is divided or separate from the unity of the catholic church in ministration or receiving the sacraments or divine service, is a schismatic and in state of perdition.

The Answer to the Second and Third Questions.

He would gladly appear to be well seen in logic, if he had any. If all be heretics that defend an erroneous opinion, then many disputations shall be condemned.

In disputing, it is oft seen that of ignorance, or for his learning sake, many defend an untruth: yet God forbid that they should all be heretics! Austin says well, “I may err, but I will not be an heretic.” Then he is an heretic properly, that defends an error obstinately, and will not be corrected. So teaches St Paul, “Flee from an heretic after one or two warnings:” he says not, for once teaching or defending of it. Also he is not a schismatic, that differs in small points or circumstances of ministering the sacraments from other; for then should all the Greek church be in a schism, because they differ in some ceremonies from the Latin church, and also one from another, as I declared afore in the ministration of Basil, Chrysostom, St James, &c.: the same may be said of the Latin church too, as for Ambrose’ order, Gregory's, &c. And because ever under the catholic church he signifies Rome, we say that no country, which uses other ceremonies than they do, is in this case a schismatic ; for that their Romish orders and ceremonies be of their own devising for the most part, and not commanded by God, nor never were used generally in the universal catholic church, as I proved afore, and therefore they be free to use or not use, as shall be thought meet. To differ in the substance and doctrine of sacraments may make a schism or heresy: but such ceremonies are free to all countries, which may edify, as appeared in Anselm's epistle afore." These few words are sufficient to let him see his own foolishness: more might be said, but I will not be so curious nor tedious to note all. St Paul calls the Corinthians schismatics in hanging on men's sleeves for opinions in religion, and for misusing the communion; and not for every diversity of trifling ceremonies, as he defines it here.

[* See p. 538. Ed.]

IV. Whether be priests in schism that have subscribed to the religion now used in England?

In subscribing to this religion now used in England, they have both refused the power and authority which was given to them by the bishop, when they were made priests, (that is to say, power and authority to consecrate and offer, and to celebrate mass for the quick and the dead;) and also they have refused their canonical obedience solemnly promised to the bishops with a kiss. And where the bishops of this realm with the clergy assembled at time of parliament would agree to no part of this religion, (in witness whereof the bishops be in prison, and put from all their livings, and a great number of the clergy have lost all their livings, some be in prison, some banished from their friends; both the bishops and all the clergy that has lost their livings, are all ready to suffer death afore they will consent to any part of this religion; but all they which have subscribed, have forsaken the bishops, their true pastors and captains, obeying and following wolves and apostates; in witness whereof they have subscribed their names;) so separating themselves from the bishops and clergy, they must needs be in schism.

The Fourth Answer.

Where he lays to the priests' 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, and also their canonical obedience promised to the bishops by a Judas kiss, because the old bishops in parliament did not agree to it; he does the priests more honour than he knows of, or thinks well bestowed. If he would call to remembrance the answer that the pillar of their church, stout Stephen, makes in his book De Vera Obedientia to the like reason, where he was charged with falling from the pope, and breaking that oath and vow of subjection which he made unto him, when he was first made bishop; he might better defend the priests of our time than accuse them. In our baptism we all make a solemn vow to God our Lord, that him only we will serve, and believe his word: all vows following, which are contrary to that, not only may and ought to be broken, but it is wicked to keep them; for we must serve God only, as he has taught us in his holy word. 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, and bids us also obey our king as chief and highest governor: therefore the priests, forsaking these later wicked vows and powers, which are contrary to God's

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

word and their solemn profession made in baptism, (as Stephen
did well then, though he flattered afterward, and turned to his
old vomit,.) are more worthy to be praised than these obstinate
prelates, which now, misusing the gentleness of the prince, deny
with mouth that which they know in conscience to be true,
and yet charge the priests with it, although they subscribed to
the same things themselves under that good king Edward, be-
cause both they knew it to be true, and see the rod then more
sharply shaken than it is now.
And though he crack in their name, that they will rather
die than agree to any part of this religion, which they them-
selves used, ministered, taught, and received afore; I doubt
not but, if they were opposed as they opposed other, they would
as soon eat the fagot, as feel it burn them. The apostle says,
“By one offering he has made perfect all them that be sancti-
fied.” 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 sacri-
ficing. “We must obey God rather than man,” as St Luke
teaches: therefore that unlawful obedience promised to the pope
and his prelates, contrary to their due allegiance to their prince
commanded in the scripture, not only may, but ought with safe
conscience to be broken. At the preaching of Christ our Lord
and his apostles, many forsaked the traditions of the elders and
Pharisees, receiving and believing the gospel of Christ Jesus,
and forsaking the Jewish ceremonies, and were not counted
forsakers of God and his word: no more are they surely to be
reckoned apostates, that forsake the pope's draft, the clog of all
good consciences, and cleave to the simplicity of God's truth,
taught in the scripture.
And where he cracks much, that they have lost their livings,
and be in prison, or banished, let the world judge whether they
ever lived more merrily, quietly, fared better, lay easilier, had

more plenty of all things, than they have now. They are far

short from such handling as they dealt with other. Some they hungered to death, some they beat in prison, some they cast on dunghills, being so murdered at their hands, some they burned, after they had been long buried : but every one was so miserably handled, that christian ears and hearts abhor to think or hear of it; and yet, like shameless beasts, they blush not nor repent, but wish and look to be murdering again. They are as pale in prison as a butcher's boll: they are as lean as a fat hog; they lie at ease unto their bones ache with rising early; J they fare of the best; they take no thought, but look for a day, and think long unto they may imbrue their hands in blood again, and make all officers to be their hangmen, and the stoutest to be afraid of a priest's cap, as they did afore. They provided so well for themselves in their summer, that they need not to starve in this gentle winter: the world is so much their friend, that they can lack nothing: they would fain be counted to suffer for religion, if any man would believe it'. The poor protestant, which has his liberty, lives in more misery, need, debt, reproach and contempt, than these the pope's prisoners, who, he says, have lost all. It is better in the world to be the pope's prisoner than Christ's preacher. God amend all !

W. Whether be priests in schism that minister the communion and other sacraments according to the book of common prayer now Set forth 2

This manner of ministration of sacraments, set forth in the book of common prayers, was never allowed nor agreed upon by the universal church of Christ in any general council or sacred synod; no, not by the clergy of England at the last parliament: but only it was agreed upon by the laity, which have nothing ado with spiritual matters or causes of religion, but ought to stand to the decrees, judgment and determination of the clergy in causes of faith and religion. For so it was used in the apostles' time, as appears in the Acts of the Apostles: As when the apos-Acts vi. tles took then order to make seven deacons, and when they put away Acts xv. the ceremonies of the old law. Such decrees as the apostles and clergy made at Jerusalem, without any council of the laity, St Paul and other

[* The papists had much liberty in the early part of queen Elizabeth's reign, till the bull of Pius V. in 1570 required them to rebel against their sovereign. Even of Bonner, who was committed to the Marshalsea in 1560, Strype says: “He grew old in prison, and died a natural death in the year 1569, not suffering any want, or hunger, or cold. For he lived daintily, had the use of the garden and orchards, when he was minded to walk abroad and take the air; suffering nothing like imprisonment, unless that he was circumscribed within certain bounds. Nay, he had his liberty to go abroad, but dared not venture: for the people retained in their hearts his late bloody actions. Strype, Annals, 1. chap. xi. p. 214. Oxford, 1824. Ed.]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

of the apostles taught all countries and nations to obey and observe: and
sith the apostles' time the clergy has ever decreed matters of religion and
faith. Nor it cannot be proved, that ever the laity in any country or
nation, afore the last parliament, did presume to set forth a religion against
the whole consent of the clergy. Therefore this manner of ministration
of sacraments now used, being against the consent and determination of
Christ's church, which ought to be ruled and governed by bishops, it
must needs be schismatical, and they that use this manner of ministration
must needs be in schism. The blessed martyr, St Cyprian, does declare
what danger they do stand in, that do use this manner of ministration
against the order of Christ's church, saying these words: “They be
enemies of the altar, and rebels against the sacrifice of Christ, contemning
the bishops and forsaking the priests of God: they are bold to set up
another altar with unlawful voices, to make another manner of prayer,
to profane with false sacrifices the verity of the blessed sacrament of
the altar: nor they will not know them that fare about to do against
the ordinance of God, for their bold rashness, by the punishment
of God they shall be punished; as he punished Chore, Dathan, and
Abiron, which would offer up sacrifice against the consent of Moses
and Aaron: some were swallowed up of the earth, and the rest
brent with fire, to the terrible example of all others.” Hitherto be
St Cyprian's words.
Also Almighty God, by his holy prophet Malachi, does cry out upon
such priests as minister against the ordinance of Christ's church, saying,
“they despise his name in offering up polluted bread.”
The prophet Osee does call the sacrifice of such priests “bread of
mourning, and all that eat thereof shall be defiled,” says the prophet.
Almighty God does complain by his prophet Ezechiel, saying: “The
priests have condemned my law, and have polluted mysanctuary.” “Woe
be unto you, that go from the truth,” says our Lord by Esay. Our Lord
says by his prophet, “except such priests will amend quickly and give
glory to his name, they shall be brought into great necessity and poverty,
and he will curse their blessings; and because they have made void the
pact of Levi, they shall be in contempt in all people.”

[* Hostis altaris, adversus sacrificium Christi rebellis, pro fide perfidus, pro religione sacrilegus, inobsequens servus, filius impius, frater inimicus, contemtis episcopis et Dei sacerdotibus derelictis, constituere audet aliud altare, precem alteram illicitis vocibus facere, Dominicae hostiae veritatem per falsa sacrificia profanare; nec dignatur scire, quoniam qui contraordinationem Deinititur, ob temeritatis audaciam divina animadversione punitur. Sic Chore et Dathan et Abiron, quisibi contra Moysen et Aaron sacerdotem sacrificandi licentiam vindicare conati sunt, poenas statim pro suis conatibus pependerunt. Terra compagibus ruptis in profundum sinum patuit, stantes atque viventes recedentis soli hiatus absorbuit. The fire and example of others are afterwards mentioned. Cypr. De Unitate Ecclesiae, p. 83. ed. Fell. Oxon. 1700. Ed.]

« PoprzedniaDalej »