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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
word and their solemn profession made in baptism, (as Stephen
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.]
of the apostles taught all countries and nations to obey and observe: and
[* 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.]