Obrazy na stronie

who having a great yearly revenue in his own country, forsook all for Christ's sake, and for the truth and glory of God came into strange countries where he had neither land nor friends, but as God of his goodness, who never forsaketh them that put their trust in him, provided for him.



door and

BUT after his exclamation, this papist returneth to the matter, saying, "Tell me, why may not Christ's body be The arguwell in the sacrament and in heaven both at once, as ment of the "that his body was in one proper place with the body of sepulchre. "the stone that lay still upon his grave, when he rose from “death to life? and as his body was in one proper place at


"once with the body of the door or gate, when, the same being shut, he entered into the house where the Apostles "were ?"

Make you these two things all one, Mr. Smyth, divers bodies to be in one place, and one body to be in divers places? If Christ's body had been in one place with the substance of the stone or door and at the same time, then you might well have proved thereby, that his body may as well be in one place with the substance of bread and wine. But what availeth this to prove that his body may be in divers places at one time? which is nothing like to the other, but rather clean contrary. Marry, when Christ arose out of the sepulchre, or came into the house when the doors were shut, if you can prove that at the same time he was in heaven, then were that to some purpose, to prove that his body may be corporally in heaven and earth both at one time.

And yet the controversy here in this matter is not what may be, but what is. God can do many things, which he neither doth, nor will do. And to us his will, in things that appear not to our senses, is not known but by his word. Christ's body may be as well in the bread and wine as in the door and stone, and yet it may be also in the door and stone, and not in the bread and wine.

But if we will stretch out our faith no further than God's word doth lead us, neither is Christ's body corporally present in one proper place with the bread and wine, nor was

Matt. xxviii.

also with the stone or door. For the Scripture saith in no place that the body of Christ was in the door, or in the stone that covered the sepulchre, but it saith plainly, that an angel came down from heaven, and removed away the stone from the sepulchre, and the women that came to see the sepulchre found the stone removed away. And although Mark xvi. the Gospel say, that Christ came into the house when the door was shut, yet it sayeth not that Christ's body was within the door, so that the door and it occupied both but one place.

John xx.

Acts v.

The appearing of

Christ in


But peradventure Mr. Smyth will ask me this question, How could Christ come into the house, the door being shut, 'except he came through the door? and that his body must 'be in the door. To your wise question, Mr. Smyth, I will answer by another question: Could not Christ come as well into the house when the door was shut, as the Apostles could go out of prison the door being shut? Could not God work this thing, except the Apostles must go through the door, and occupy the same place that the door did? Or could not Christ do so much for his own self, as he did for his Apostles?

But Mr. Smith is so blind in his own phantasies, that he seeth not how much his own examples make against himself. For if it be like in the sacrament as it was in the stone and door, and Christ's body was in one proper place with the body and substance of the stone and door, then must Christ's body in the sacrament be in one proper place with the body and substance of bread and wine. And so he must then confess that there is no transubstantiation.

THEN from the door and sepulchre, Dr. Smyth cometh to the revelations of Peter and Paul, which saw Christ, as his ascen- he saith, bodily upon earth after his ascension. Which declareth, that although Christ departed hence at the time of his ascension into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, yet he may be also here in the blessed sacrament of the altar. I am not so ignorant but I know that Christ h [See Cranmer's discussion of this point with Lambert, in a note to


appeared to St. Paul, and said to him: Saul, Saul, why Acts xi. dost thou persecute me? But St. Augustine saith, that Christ St. Augusat his ascension spake the last words that ever he spake upon earth. And yet we find that Christ speaketh, saith he, but in heaven and from heaven, and not upon earth. For he spake to Paul from above, saying: Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me? The head was in heaven, and yet he said: Why dost thou persecute me? because he persecuted his members upon earth.

And if this please not Master Smith, let him blame St. Augustine and not me, for I feign not this myself, but only allege St. Augustine.

and xvii.

And as the Father spake from heaven, when he said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am pleased, and also Matth. iii. St. Stephen saw Christ sitting in heaven at his Father's right hand even so meant St. Augustine, that St. Paul, and all other that have seen and heard Christ speak since Acts vii. his ascension, have seen and heard him from heaven.

Now when this papist, going forward with his works, The seeth his building so feeble and weak that it is not able Church. to stand, he returneth to his chief foundation, the Church and Councils General, willing all men to stay thereupon, and to leave disputing and reasoning. And chiefly he shoreth up his house with the Council Lateranense, whereat, saith he, were thirteen hundred fathers and fifteen. But he telleth not, that eight hundred of them were monks, friars, and canons, the Bishop of Rome's own dear darlings and chief champions, called together in his name and not in Christ's. From which brood of vipers and serpents what thing can be thought to come, but that did proceed from the spirit of their most holy father that first begat them, that is to say, from the spirit of Antichrist.

And yet I know this to be true, that Christ is present with his holy Church, which is his holy elected people, and shall be with them to the world's end, leading and govern

Examination before Brokes at Oxford, or in Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. ii. p. 425.]

[blocks in formation]

The true

ing them with his holy Spirit, and teaching them all truth necessary for their salvation. And whensoever any such be gathered together in his name, there is he among them, and he shall not suffer the gates of hell to prevail against them. For although he may suffer them by their own frailness for a time to err, fall, and to die, yet finally, neither Satan, hell, sin, nor eternal death, shall prevail against them.

But it is not so of the Church and see of Rome, which accounteth itself to be the holy catholic Church, and the Bishop thereof to be most holy of all other. For many years ago Satan hath so prevailed against that stinking whore of Babylon, that her abominations be known to the whole world, the name of God is by her blasphemed, and of the cup of her drunkenness and poison have all nations tasted.

AFTER this cometh Smyth to Berengarius, Almericus, faith was in Carolostadius, Ecolampadius, and Zuinglius, affirming that the Church from the be- the Church ever sithence Christ's time a thousand five hunginning, dred years and mo, hath believed that Christ is bodily in and was not taught the sacrament, and never taught otherwise until Berengafirst by Berengarius. rius came, about a thousand years after Christ, whom the other followed.

But in my book I have proved by God's word and the old ancient authors, that Christ is not in the sacrament corporally, but is bodily and corporally ascended into heaven, and there shall remain unto the world's end.

And so the true Church of Christ ever believed from the beginning without repugnance, until Satan was let loose, and Antichrist came with his papists, which feigned a new and false doctrine contrary to God's word and the true catholic doctrine.

And this true faith God preserveth in his holy Church still, and will do unto the world's end, maugre the wicked Antichrist and all the gates of hell. And Almighty God from time to time hath strengthened many holy martyrs for this faith to suffer death by Antichrist and the great harlot of Babylon, who hath embrued her hands, and is made drunken with the blood of martyrs. Whose blood

God will revenge at length, although in the mean time he suffer the patience and faith of his holy saints to be tried.

Church it is


ALL the rest of his Preface containeth nothing else but What the authority of the Church, which, Smith saith, cannot that canuot wholly err: and he so setteth forth and extolleth the same, that he preferreth it above God's word, affirming not only that it is the pillar of truth, and no less to be believed than holy Scripture; but also that we should not believe holy Scripture but for it. So that he maketh the word of men equal or above the word of God.

And truth it is indeed, that the Church doth never wholly err, for ever in most darkness God shineth unto his elect, and in the midst of all iniquity he governeth them so with his holy word and Spirit, that the gates of hell prevail not against them. And these be known to him, although the world many times know them not, but hath them in derision and hatred, as it had Christ and his Apostles. Nevertheless at the last day they shall be known to all the whole world, when the wicked shall wonder at their felicity, and say: These be they whom we sometime had in derision ' and mocked. We fools thought their lives very madness, Sap. v. ' and their end to be without honour. But now lo, how they be accounted among the children of God, and their 'portion is among the saints. Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, the light of righteousness hath not shined ' unto us, we have wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction."

[ocr errors]

But this holy Church is so unknown to the world, that no man can discern it, but God alone, who only searcheth Psal. vii. the hearts of all men, and knoweth his true children from other that be but bastards.

2 Tim. ii.

This Church is the pillar of truth, because it resteth upon God's word, which is the true and sure foundation, and will not suffer it to err and fall. But as for the open 1 Tim. iii. known Church, and the outward face thereof, it is not the pillar of truth, otherwise than that it is, as it were, a register

or treasury to keep the books of God's holy will and testa

« PoprzedniaDalej »