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those days to idolatry, hypocrisy, and superstition, through BOOK traditions of Pharisees, and therefore he moved the rest of. the Council to beware, that they did not rashly and unadvisedly condemn that doctrine and religion which was approved by God, lest in so doing they should not only resist the Apostles, but God himself. Which counsel if you had marked and followed, you would not have done so unsoberly in many things as you have done.
And as for the prosperity of them that have professed Christ and his true doctrine, they prospered with the papists, as St. John Baptist prospered with Herode, and our Saviour Christ with Pylate, Annas, and Cayphas. Now which of these prospered best say you? Was the doctrine of Christ and St. John any whit the worse, because the cruel tyrants and Jews put them to death for the same?
This is my
But all this set apart, and putting aside all testimonies of the These old Church, and resorting only to the letter of the Scripture, there words, to search out an understanding and in doing thereof, to forget body, agree what hath been taught hitherto how shall this author establish in sense upon Scripture that he would have believed? What other text is rest of the there in Scripture that encountereth with these words of Scrip- Scripture. ture, This is my body, whereby to alter the signification of them? report. There is no Scripture saith, Christ did not give his body, but the 2 figure of his body; nor the giving of Christ's body in his supper, words of verily and really so understanded, doth not necessarily impugn Scripture and contrary any other speech or doing of Christ expressed in ground of 3 Scripture. For the great power and omnipotency of God excludeth that repugnance which man's reason would deem of Christ's departing from this world, and placing his humanity in the glory of his Father.
This author hath no
his faith. [1580.]
body, is no
The Scripture is plain, and you confess also, that it was This is my bread that Christ spake of, when he said, This is my body. proper And what need we any other Scripture to encounter with speech. these words, seeing that all men know that bread is not Christ's body, the one having sense and reason, the other
BOOK none at all? Wherefore in that speech must needs be sought another sense and meaning than the words of themselves do give, which is, as all old writers do teach, and the circumstances of the text declare, that the bread is a figure and sacrament of Christ's body. And yet as he giveth the bread to be eaten with our mouths, so giveth he his very body to be eaten with our faith. And therefore I say, that Christ 2 giveth himself truly to be eaten, chawed, and digested, but all is spiritually with faith, not with mouth. And yet you would bear me in hand, that I say that thing which I say not that is to say, That Christ did not give his body, but the figure of his body. And because you be not able to confute that I say, you would make me to say that you can confute.
As for the great power and omnipotency of God, it is no 3 nipotency place here to dispute what God can do, but what he doth. I know that he can do what he will both in heaven and in earth, and no man is able to resist his will. But the question here is of his will, not of his power. And yet if you can join together these two, that one nature singular shall be here and not here both at one time, and that it shall be gone hence when it is here, you have some strong cement, and be a cunning geometrician: but yet you shall never be good logician, that would set together two contradictories. For that, the schoolmen say, God cannot do.
An answer to the
In this author, without force of necessity, would induce it by the like speeches, as when Christ said: I am the door, I am the vine, he is Helias, and such other, and because it is a figurative in appear speech in them, it may be so here, which maketh no kind of proof faith of this that it is so here but yet if by way of reasoning I would yield to author is him therein, and call it a figurative speech, as he doth; what 2
but to be
lieve a story. The
other point of faith is there then in the matter, but to believe the story, that Christ did institute such a Supper, wherein he gave per hath no bread and wine for a token of his body and blood, which is now miracle in after this understanding no secret mystery at all, or any ordinance it by this author's un- above reason? For commonly men use to ordain in sensible things derstand- remembrances of themselves when they die, or depart the country. ing. No
So as in the ordinance of this Supper, after this understanding, BOOK Christ showed not his omnipotency, but only benevolence, that he loved us, and would be remembered of us. For Christ did not promise say, Whosoever eateth this token eateth my body, or eateth my token in the supper flesh, or shall have any profit of it in special, but, Do this in remembrance of me.
made to a
or in the sixth
I make no such vain inductions as you imagine me to do, but such as be established by Scripture and the consent of all the old writers. And yet both you and Smyth use such fond inductions for your proof of transubstantiation, when you say, God can do this thing, and he can make that thing whereof you would conclude, that he doth clearly take away the substance of bread and wine, and putteth his flesh and blood in their places: and that Christ maketh his body to be corporally in many places at one time; of which doctrines you have not one jot in all the whole Scripture.
And as concerning your argument made upon the history Jujury to of the institution of Christ's Supper, like fond reasoning baptism. might ungodly men make of the sacrament of baptism, and so scoff out both these high mysteries of Christ. For when Christ said these words after his resurrection, Go into the Matt. ult. whole world, and preach unto all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: here might wicked blasphemers say, What point of faith is in these words, but to believe the story, that Christ did institute such a sacrament, wherein he commanded to give water for a token? which is now, after this understanding, no secret mystery at all, or any ordinance above reason: so as in the ordinance of this sacrament after this understanding, Christ showed not his omnipotency; for he said not then, Whosoever receiveth this token of water shall receive remission of sin, or the Holy Ghost, or shall have any profit of in it especial, but, Do this.
And albeit this author would not have them bare tokens, yet Tokens be and they be only tokens, they have no warrant signed by Scrip
but tokens, howsoever
BOOK ture for any apparel at all. For the sixth of John speaketh not of any promise made to the eating of a token of Christ's flesh, they be gar- but to the eating of Christ's very flesh, whereof the bread, as this author would have it, is but a figure in Christ's words, when he said, This is my body. And if it be but a figure in Christ's words, it is but a figure in St. Paul's words, when he said: The bread which we break, is it not the communication of Christ's body? that is to say, a figure of the communication of Christ's body, if this author's doctrine be true, and not the communication in deed. Every spe- Wherefore if the very body of Christ be not in the Supper de- 2 cial sacra- livered in deed, the eating there hath no special promise, but only commandment to do it in remembrance. After which doctrine
ment hath promise
without Scripture. Untrue
why should it be noted absolutely for a sacrament and special a secret hid- mystery, that hath nothing hidden in it, but a plain open ordinance
of a token for a remembrance: to the eating of which token is an-
If I granted for your pleasure that the bare bread, having no further respect, were but only a bare figure of Christ's body, or a bare token, (because that term liketh you better, as it may be thought for this consideration, that men should think that I take the bread in the holy mystery to be but as it were a token of 'I recommend me unto you,') but if I grant, I say, that the bare bread is but a bare token of Christ's body, what have you gained thereby? Is therefore the whole use of the bread in the whole action and ministration of the Lord's holy Supper but a naked or nude and bare token? Is not one loaf being broken and distributed among faithful people in the Lord's Supper, taken and eaten of them, a token that the body of Christ was broken and crucified for them? and is to them spiritually and effectually given, and of them spiritually and fruitfully taken and eaten, to their spiritual and heavenly comfort, sustentation, and nourishment of their souls, as the bread is of their bodies?
Bread is not a vain and bare token.
And what would you require more? Can there be any BOOK greater comfort to a Christian man than this? Is there nothing else but bare tokens?
But yet importune adversaries, and such as be wilful and obstinate, will never be satisfied, but quarrel further, saying, What of all this? Here be a great many of gay words framed together, but to what purpose? For all be but signs and tokens as concerning the bread. But how can he be taken for a good Christian man, that thinketh that Christ did ordain his sacramental signs and tokens in vain, without effectual grace and operation? For so might we as well say, that the water in baptism is a bare token, and hath no warrant signed by Scripture for any apparel at all: for the Scripture speaketh not of any promise made to the receiving of a token or figure only. And so may be concluded after your manner of reasoning, that in baptism is no spiritual operation in deed, because that washing in water, in itself, is but a token.
But to express the true effect of the sacraments: as the washing outwardly in water is not a vain token, but teacheth such a washing as God worketh inwardly in them that duly receive the same: so likewise is not the bread a vain token, but showeth and preacheth to the godly receiver, what God worketh in him by his almighty power secretly and invisibly. And therefore as the bread is outwardly eaten in deed in the Lord's Supper, so is the very body of Christ inwardly by faith eaten in deed of all them that come thereto in such sort as they ought to do, which eating nourisheth them unto everlasting life.
And this eating hath a warrant signed by Christ himself A warrant. in the sixth of John, where Christ saith, He that eateth my John vi. flesh and drinketh my blood, hath life everlasting. But they that to the outward eating of the bread, join not thereto an inward eating of Christ by faith, they have no warrant by Scripture at all, but the bread and wine to them be vain, nude, and bare tokens.
3 And where you say that Scripture expresseth no matter of signification of special effect in the sacraments of bread