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only I, but all those who encountered him, plainly felt, unless indeed those whom he deemed more eager for glory than is meet (for such he repressed). In his manners he was most placid and saintly, yet without any hypocrisy or monastic severity; for very often he would exercise himself with me both with the bow and at hand ball”.
Of his beneficence towards the poor, if there were no other witness, I desire to bear my public testimony, that before he had arrived at any ecclesiastical dignity, he would take me with him to the nearest hospital, and when I had not wherewithal to give to the poor, he, in addition to what he largely for his means distributed, would often supply me with somewhat to bestow upon them. How much assistance, even when in prison, he sent out of England to us who were exiles in Germany, that most learned man, and, as it were, his fidus Achates, Doctor Edmund Grindall, now bishop of London, can testify, and many others who were relieved by his liberality. Such a kind of man, then, as this was—most learned, most chaste, and in every sense most holy—what fierce, inclement, and cruel persons did England at that time contain ; as well sovereigns as bishops; who, taking counsel together, conspired his death and gave him up to the torturers to be burned, for no other crime than because against the Roman antichrist he asserted for Christ, as very man, a fixed, and not a shifting seat in heaven ; and on earth the supreme government ! Oh heavy crimes, on account of which so illustrious a prophet and bishop of Christ was afflicted with so heavy a penalty! You who conspired his death, while you yet live, repent, and before all men acknowledge and confess your tyranny, and seek with many prayers pardon of Almighty God, lest, on account of your horrible wickedness, this whole realm should suffer the most severe punishments.
Doctor Taylor, who was burnt at Hadley, was born also
[Hand-Ball, called by the French “Jeu de paume” (Palm-Play), and in Latin “Pila Palmaria." It may be denominated hand tennis, still played under a different name, and probably a different modification of the game, resembling that now called Fives. Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, book 11. chap. 3, p. 73–75. ED]
in Northumberland, in the town of Rothbury, not far from • Redesdale. Ridesdalea. With this man I lived for many years on terms
of intimacy, and used to exhort him zealously to embrace the evangelical doctrine ; and that he might the more easily come to think with ourselves, I secretly procured for him the “Unio Dissidentium?,” with which and with the sermons of Latimer he was so taken, that he entered with readiness into our doctrine. If you desire to know more particulars of Latimer than are written in your book, the archbishop of Canterbury and Doctor Lancelot Ridley can inform you. I greatly regret that the book of that most holy martyr Thorp? is not edited in the old English, which was in general use at the time in which he lived. For so great an admirer am I of antiquity, that I could ill bear treasures of such antiquity to perish from amongst us. On which account I feel no great obligations to those persons, who have translated Piers Plowman, Gower, and Chaucer, and authors of a similar stamp into a mongrel language, neither true English nor pure French. In my opinion, therefore, you will do well, if you can any where find the autograph copy of Thorp, to edit it in that language in which he wrote. Consider, I pray you, for whose sake chiefly you have written your book; which if you do, I doubt not that, though the printer will be
[The “Unio Dissidentium Tripartita" was an important book at the period of the Reformation; as is plain from its being included in a short list of books prohibited by Cuthbert Tunstall, A.D. 1527. See Wilkins. We find also—“The abridgment of Unio Dissidentium', translated out of Latin into English” in an Index Prohibitorius given by Fox sub an. 1546: and among the books Incertorum Auctorum prohibited by the Roman Inquisition in their index, Rome, 1559, and by Sixtus V., A.D. 1589, occurs the “Unio Dissidentium Tripartita.” It was a continental production, being mentioned in the sentence on Richard Bayfield, Martyr, (sub an. 1531,) among various books imported by him. See Fox. Ed.]
[ This refers to the history of William Thorpe's persecution, written by himself. Fox published it in his Acts and Monuments, altered in its language by William Tyndale; he states, however, his regret at not being able to exhibit it in its original diction, and adds that a "Mr Whitehead” (then living) “had seen the true ancient copy in the hands of George Constantine.” Ed.]
[Piers Plowman or Ploughman. The proper title is "The Ploughman's Complaint against the abuses of the world." ED.]
enraged, you will put forth a book of greater utility to the true church; for, such useless and superfluous matters being omitted, the price of the book need not exceed ten shillings. Farewell, dearest brother.
Wells, Nov. 26.
Copy of the Letter of STEPHEN GARDINER sent to MASTER
Ridley; containing Matter and Objections against a certain Sermon of the said MASTER RIDLEY, made at the Court.
From Fox, Acts and Monuments.
MASTER Ridley, after right hearty commendations: It chanced me, upon Wednesday last past, to be present at your sermon in the court, wherein I heard you confirm the doctrine in religion set forth by our late sovereign lord and master, whose soul God pardon! admonishing your audience that ye would specially travail in the confutation of the bishop of Rome's pretended authority in government and usurped power, and in pardons, whereby he hath abused himself in heaven and earth. Which two matters I note to be plain, and here without controversy. In the other two, ye spake of, touching images and ceremonies, and as ye touched it, specially for holy water to drive away devils ; for that you declared yourself always desirous to set forth the mere truth, with great desire of unity, as ye professed; not extending any your asseveration beyond your knowledge, but always adding such like words, as far as ye had read,' and, if any man could shew you further, ye would hear him,' (wherein you were much to be commended)—upon these considerations, and for the desire I have to unity, I have thought myself bound to communicate to you that which I have read in the matter of images and holy water; to the intent you may by yourself consider it, and so weigh, before that ye will speak in those two points, as ye may (retaining your own principles) affirm still that ye would affirm, and may indeed be affirmed and maintained; wherein I have seen others forget themselves. First, I send unto you herewith (which I am sure ye have read), what Eusebius' writeth of images: whereby appeareth, that images have been of great antiquity in Christ's church. And to say we may have images, or to call on them when they represent Christ or his saints, be over gross opinions to enter into your learned head, whatsoever the unlearned would tattle: for you know the text of the old law, Non facies tibi sculptile, forbiddeth no more images now, than another text forbiddeth to us puddings. And if omnia be munda mundis to the belly, there can be no cause why they should be of themselves impura to the eye, wherein ye can say much more. And then, when we have images, to call them idols is a like fault in fond folly, as if a man would call regem a tyrant, and then bring in old writers to prove that tyrannus signified once a king, like as idolum signified once an image: but like as tyrannus was by consent of men appropriated to signify a usurper of that dignity, and an untrue king, so hath idolum been likewise appropriate to signify a false representation, and a false image: insomuch as there was a solemn anathematization of all those that would call an image an idol; as he were worthy to be hanged that would call the king our master (God save him!)—our true just king, a tyrant; and yet in talk he might shew, that a tyrant signified sometimes a king: but speech is regarded in its present signification, which I doubt not ye can consider right well.
I verily think, that for the having of images ye will say enough; and that also, when we have them, we should not despise them in speech, to call them idols, nor despise them with deeds, to mangle them or cut them; but at the least suffer them to stand untorn. Wherein Luther (that pulled away all other regard to them) strove stoutly, and obtained,
['Hist. Eccles. lib. vii. cap. 18. Ed.]
as I have seen in divers of the churches in Germany of his reformation, that they should (as they do) still stand.
All the matter to be feared is excess in worshipping, wherein the church of Rome hath been very precise; and especially Gregory, writing to the bishop of Marseilles : which is contained in the chapter De Consecratione, dist. 3, as followeth :
· Perlatum ad nos fuerat, quod inconsiderato zelo succensus, sanctorum imagines sub hac quasi excusatione, ne adorari debuissent, confregeris. Et quidem eas adorari te vetuisse, omnino laudamus: fregisse vero reprehendimus. Dic, frater, a quo factum esse sacerdote aliquando auditum est, quod fecisti?***** Aliud est enim picturam adorare ; aliud per picturam historiam, quid sit adorandum, addiscere. Nam quod legentibus scriptura, hoc idiotis præstat pictura cernentibus, quia in ipsâ etiam ignorantes vident, quid sequi debeant: in ipsâ legunt, qui literas nesciunt. Unde et præcipuè gentibus pro lectione pictura est.'
Herein is forbidden adoration, and then, in the Sixth Synod, was declared what manner of adoration is forbidden; that is to say, godly adoration to it being a creature, as is contained in the chapter Venerabiles imagines, in the same distinction, in this wise:
· Venerabiles imagines Christiani non Deos appellant, neque serviunt eis ut Diis, neque spem salutis ponunt in eis, neque ab eis expectant futurum judicium: sed ad memoriam et recordationem primitivorum venerantur eas et adorant; sed non serviunt eis cultu divino, nec alicui creaturæ."
By which doctrine all idolatry is plainly excluded in evident words ; so as we cannot say, that the worshipping of images had its beginning by popery; for Gregory forbade it, unless we shall call that synod popery, because there were so many bishops. And yet there is forbidden cultus divinus ; and agreeth with our aforesaid doctrine, by which we may creep before the cross on Good Friday; wherein we have the image of the crucifix in honour, and use it in a
[ See Corpus Juris Canonici a Pithæo. Paris, 1695, vol. i. p. 467. Ed.] [Ibid. ED.]