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1296 [1296]

K. Henry. 8. The aunsweres of Iohn Lambert, to the Bishops Articles.

be, in so doyng, excommunicate from God, and all hys Saintes, and cursed as blacke as pitche, whether the bookes be in Latin, English, French, Dutch, or any other tongue: as in deede men seyng the frute conteined in them haue set them forth in all languages. But this ought not Christen men to thinke any neweltie, for so did their forefathers the Prelates in Christs time, and after to the Apostles, yea, and if it were well tryed, I thinke it should bee soone founde out, that they haue so dealt euer since, vnto this day. MarginaliaThe time of popishe prelates, and of the Phariseis resembled and compared together.For when Christ went about preachyng, the Scribes and Phariseis which were Byshops then and Prelates, gaue a generall cōmaundement, þt who soeuer cōfessed hym to be Christ, should be cursed and put out of the Synagoge, that we call the Church, and so they were. Looke in the Actes of the Apostles, & you shall finde how they were in like maner serued: yea, looke in the olde Testamēt and you shall finde (as I remember) how they procured of one, that was a temporall Ruler at that season, to haue the Prophecie of Ieremye (for he of all other is most vehement agaynst the dissimulation of Priestes) to be burned: MarginaliaThe papists render no reason of their doings.why thē should we eschewe them or their workes, vnles we knewe a better cause why, whom our Prelates reiect and cast away, seyng they render no reasonable cause of their enterprise? but presumyng of theyr power, wtout any due authoritie, that I cā finde, graūted vnto thē so to do, MarginaliaThe proud procedinges of the papistes, only vpon will and commaundement, without all reason.will, because they so commaunde, so haue all done, according to the tyrannicall saying (as I trow) of Sardanapalus 

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In legend, Sardanopalus was the last Assyrian emperor.

: Sic volo, sic iubeo, sit proratione voluntas. That is to say: So wil I, so do I cōmaunde: and that my will for reason stand.

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But I would to God that such knew what spirite they haue in them. MarginaliaThe spirit of Christ, and the spirit of the papistes farre vnlike.For if they had in deede, the spirite whiche they clayme and pretende to haue, I meane the spirite of Christ, I dare saye, it should soone alter thē frō such hawtie language & doyng, & cause them to turne a new leafe: for that spirit is full of softnes and lenitie, lowlynes and humilitie, pacience and temperancie, voyde of all wilfulnes and tyranny, yea, it should cause them not to preuent, but easely to folow the counsell and doctrine of Christes Apostles, and holy Saintes that bee theyr interpretours. As S. Paul whiche writyng vnto the Thessalonians, would them all, to proue all things, and to reteyne or holde that onely, whiche is good, in refraynyng from all that hath semblaūce of euill. Marginalia1. Theß. 5.And S. Iohn would haue Christen people, to trye the spirites of them that should speake, whether they were of God or no. MarginaliaChristians bydden to try sprites.
1. Iohe. 4.
Also he writyng in an other Epistle vnto a noble woman and vnto her children, sayth: If any person shall come vnto you, brynging with hym the doctrine that is not of Christ, receiue him not into your house, ne make him any chere. Marginalia2. Iohn. 1.So that in this he would haue wemen to knowe the doctrine of Christ and to loue that, refusing to geue credence vnto foreine teaching, not sauering the same.

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In the j. Epistle also to the Corinthiās, S. Paul writing in general to al þe inhabitantes of that Citie, saith: Brethren, be you no childrē in witte & vnderstādyng, but as cōcernyng maliciousnes, be you children. In witte I woulde haue you perfite: Marginalia1. Cor. 14.and why? Verely for none other cause, but þt we should (as he writeth vnto the Hebrues) haue discretion to iudge the good from ill, and the ill from the good, and so to be lyke men differyng from beastes, accordyng to the saying of the Prophet: See that you be not lyke vnto an horse or a mule, whiche lacke vnderstandyng. MarginaliaPsal. 32.And we should pray with hym, in an other Psalme: O Lord teach me the waye that I shoulde walke in, for I lift vp my soule vnto thee. MarginaliaPsal. 143.

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Sainte Chrysostome accordyng vnto this, in a certaine of his Commētaries vpon Mathew, the booke is called Opus imperfectum, writeth after this fashion, so neare as my remembraūce doth serue, and certaine I am that I shall not misreport hym, and that I wilbe tried when soeuer it shall please you to bring the booke. MarginaliaChrysost. in opere imperfecto.The Priestes that were Phariseis in the tyme (sayth hee) of Christ, made an ordinaunce, that who soeuer should knowledge Iesus to be Christ, should be accursed & excommunicate. If then the Phariseis or Priestes that now do occupye their rowmes, should make a lyke ordinaunce, because they would not haue Christes doctrine to be professed for hindryng of their lucre, should we therfore geue in all pointes credence vnto thē, and leaue of to seke after þe knowledge of Christs doctrine? MarginaliaAuthoritie of rulers will not discharge our ignorance.Nay truly, Why (quoth hee) shall we not bee excused here in by ignoraunce, seyng we bee forfended by the rulers to haue knowledge? He aunswereth, no verely: for if (sayth he) when thou desirest to bye cloth, thou wilt not be content to see one Marchauntes ware, but goe frō the first to the second, frō the second to þe thyrd, and so farther, to know where is the best cloth and best cheepe: thou vsing such carefull diligence for a temporal profite, art well worthy great reproche, that wilt bee more remisse and negligent for thy soule health. Seeke therfore about from one Doctour or teacher vnto an other, that thou mayest know who doth most duely and truly teach Christ, and him folow, accordyng to the saying of þe Apostle: Proue all and hold the good: Marginalia1. Thess. 5.and as it is sayd in the Gospell, that thou mayest know: Qui sunt probati nūmularij, & qui nō. MarginaliaMath. 25.That is to witte, know who be true or lawfull chaūgers or coyners, and who bee not.

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He also addeth an other similitude or parable. MarginaliaChrysost. ibid.Whē thou goest (quoth he) a iourney, not knowing perfitely the way thou wilt, lest thou shoulde fayle of the ryght way, inquire of one man, and after of an other, and if thou shouldest chaunce to go somewhat wyde, yet thou wilt not so leaue of thy iourney vndone, but make inquisition agayn, to come where thou wouldest rest: So likewise (sayth he) ought we to seeke about intentiuely for þe welth of our soule: Qui sunt probi clauigeri, et qui non, that is to say, who are the right keye bearers & who not: meaning there by þe key bearers, Christs Apostles, & bearers of his testimonie or message. Which saying, although it were writtē euen of him whom I shewed you in the sayd worke) but vttered of one that were in litle estimation, euery indifferent person hauyng wyt and reason, would assent (I doubt not) that it is full true.

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MarginaliaPsegmata Chrisost.The same author also, in an Epistle which you shall finde in a worke called Psegmata Chrysostomi, sheweth (as I remēber) how certain men deemed ill of him, for because hee did study Origines workes, whiche afore was condemned for an hereticke: MarginaliaLawfull to read and try all bokes.but hee maketh an Apologie to the same, shewyng that Christian men ought not to bee reprehended for so doyng. In whiche Apologie he bringeth for his defēce, the saying of Paul aboue rehearsed, Proue all thinges. &c. MarginaliaHierome.Likewise did S. Hierome, I wote not wel in what place of his workes, but you shall finde it in a treatise called Vnio dissidentium, where he entreateth, De mandatis hominum. When it was obiected against him that he retayned by him the workes of Eusebius and of Origene, studying vpon them: he bringeth for him that it was so lawfull, the sayd place of the Apostle, makyng therewith an aunswere worthy to be greatly noted:

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The same is also reported in the booke called Ecclesiastica historia, or els in Historia tripartita: I wote not now precisely whether. 

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Lambert is having to quote authors from memory in his replies. He is referring to Eusebius' ecclesiastical history and the Historia tripartita, which is a Latin translation of three continuations of Eusebius.

So that these & other moe authorities of the Scripture, and semblable ensamples of holy interpretours, shall proue, that I and other may safely (no good law inhibityng, vnles constitutiōs Pharisaicall) read and search the woorkes, not onely of Luther, but also of all other, bee they neuer so ill or good: namely seyng I am a Priest, whō the Byshop of Norwich ought not to haue admitted into orders, vnles hee had seene me to haue had iudgement to discerne good from ill, neither ought any of you to geue orders to any such, in whō you do not finde lyke habilitie for to iudge the light from darkenes, and the truth from falshode: and therfore, if for this you would punish me, I cā not see but you shall condemne your selues, iudgyng rather

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