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1374 [1349]

Q. Mary. Talke betwene the Lady Iane and Fecknam. A Letter to her father.

Marginalia1554.Christes bloud saueth vs.

Feck. How many Sacramentes are there?

Marginalia2. Sacramentes. Iane. Two. The one the Sacrament of Baptisme, and the other the Sacrament of the Lordes Supper.

Feck. No, there are seuen.

Iane.By what Scripture finde you that?

Feck. Well, we will talke of that hereafter. But what is signified by your two Sacramentes?

Iane. MarginaliaThe Sacrament of Baptisme what it signifieth.By the Sacrament of Baptisme I am washed with water, and regenerated by the spirite, and that washyng is a token to me that I am the child of God. MarginaliaThe Sacrament of the Lordes Supper what it signifieth.The Sacrament of the Lordes Supper offered vnto me, is a sure seale and testimony that I am by the bloud of Christ, which he shed for me on the Crosse, made partaker of the euerlastyng kyngdome.

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Feck. Why? what do you receiue in that Sacrament? Do you not receiue the very body and bloud of Christ?

Iane. No surely, I do not so beleue. I thinke that at the Supper I neither receiue fleshe nor bloud, but bread and wyne: Which bread when it is broken, and the wyne when it is dronken, putteth me in remembraunce how that for my sinnes the body of Christ was broken, & his bloud shed on the Crosse, MarginaliaWhat we receaue with the sacramēt.and with that bread and wyne I receiue the benefites that come by the breakyng of his body & shedyng of his bloud for our sinnes on the Crosse.

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Feck. Why? doth not Christ speake these woordes: Take, eate, this is my body? Require you any playner woordes? doth he not say it is his body?

Iane. I graunt he sayth so: and so he sayth, I am the vyne, I am the doore, but hee is neuer the more for that the doore nor the vyne. Doth not S. Paule say, MarginaliaRom. 4. He calleth thynges that are not, as though they were? God forbid that I should say that I eate the very naturall body and bloud of Christ: for then either I should plucke away my redemption, either els there were two bodyes, or two Christes. One body was tormented on the Crosse. And if they dyd eate an other body, then had he two bodyes: either els if his body were eatē, then was it not broken vpon the Crosse: or if it were brokē vpon the Crosse, it was not eaten of his Disciples.

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Feck. Why? is it not as possible that Christ by his power could make his body both to be eaten and broken, as to bee borne of a woman without seede of man, and as to walke vpon the Sea hauyng a body, and other such lyke miracles as he wrought by his power onely?

Iane. Yes verely: if God would haue done at his Supper any miracle, he might haue done so: MarginaliaChrist had power to turne the bread into hys body, is no argument to proue that he did so.but I say that then hee mynded no worke nor miracle, but onely to breake his body, and shed his bloud on the Crosse for our sinnes. But I pray you aunswere me to this one question: where was Christ when he sayd: Take, eate, this is my body? Was he not at the table when hee sayd so? He was at that tyme alyue, and suffered not till the next day. What tooke he but bread? What brake hee but bread? and what gaue hee but bread? Looke what he tooke, he brake: and looke what hee brake, he gaue: and looke what he gaue, they dyd eate: and yet all this while he himselfe was alyue, and at Supper before his Disciples, or els they were deceiued.

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Feck. You grounde your fayth vppon such authours as say and vnsay both with a breath and not vpon the MarginaliaFecknam goeth from the word, to the Church.Church, to whom ye ought to geue credite.

Iane. No, I grounde my fayth on Gods worde, and not vpon the Churche. MarginaliaFayth to bee grounded vpon the worde and not vpon the Church. For if the Churche be a good Churche, the fayth of the Churche must bee tryed by Gods worde, and not Gods woorde by the Churche, either yet my fayth. Shall I beleue the Churche because of antiquitie? or shall I geue credite to the Churche that taketh awaye from me the halfe parte of the Lordes Supper, and will not let any lay man receiue it in both kyndes? Whiche thyng if they denye to vs, then denye they to vs parte of our saluation. MarginaliaA note of the false ChurchAnd I say that is an euill Churche, and not the Spouse of Christ, but the Spouse of the Deuill that altereth the Lordes supper, and both taketh frō it, and addeth to it. To that Church (say I) God will adde plagues, and from that Churche will hee take their parte out of the booke of lyfe. Do they learne that of S. Paule, when hee ministred to the Corinthians in both kyndes? Shall I beleue this Churche? God forbyd.

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Feck. That was done for a good intent of þe Church, to auoyde an heresie that sprong on it.

MarginaliaGods worde not to be altered for good ententes. Iane. Why? shall the Churche alter Gods will, and ordinaunce for a good intent? How dyd kyng Saul? The Lord God defend.

With these and such like persuasions he would haue had her leane to the Churche, but it would not be. There were many more thynges whereof they reasoned, but these were the chiefest.

After this Fecknam tooke his leaue, saying MarginaliaThese wordes were spoken openly.that hee was sory for her: For I am sure (quoth hee) that we two shall neuer meete.

Iane. True it is (sayd shee) that we shall neuer meete except God turne your hart. For I am assured vnlesse you repent and turne to God, you are in an euil case, and I pray God in the bowels of his mercy, to send you his holy spirit: for he hath geuen you his great gift of vtterance, if it pleased hym also to open the eyes of your hart.

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¶ A letter of the Lady Iane sent vnto her father.

MarginaliaLady Ianes letter sent to her father. FAther, although it hath pleased God to hasten my death by you, by whom my lyfe should rather haue bene lengthened: yet can I so patiently take it, as I yelde God more harty thankes for shortening my wofull dayes, then if all the worlde had bene geuen into my possession wyth lyfe lengthened at my owne will. And albeit I am well assured of your impacient dolours, redoubled manyfolde wayes, both in bewayling your own woe, & especially (as I heare) my infortunate state, yet my deare father (if I may wythout offence reioyce in my owne mishaps) me seemes in thys I may accōpt my selfe blessed, that washing my hāds with the innocencie of my fact, my giltles bloud may cry before the Lord, mercy, mercy to the innocent. And yet though I must needes acknowledge, that beyng constrayned, and, as you wot well inough, continually assayed, in takyng vpon me I seemed to cōsent, & therin greuously offēded the Queene and her lawes: yet do I assuredly trust that this mine offēce towards God is so much the lesse, in that beyng in so royall estate as I was, mine enforced honour beyng neuer wyth mine innocent hart. And thus good father I haue opened vnto you the state wherein I presently stand. Whose death at hand, although to you perhaps it may seeme right woful, to me there is nothyng that can be more welcome thē from this vale of misery to aspyre to that heauenly throne of all ioy and pleasure with Christ our Sauiour. In whose stedfast faith (if it may bee lawfull for the daughter so to write to the Father MarginaliaThe Parenthesis includeth with a prayer, a priuie admonitiō to her father that he fall not from his religion ) the Lorde that hetherto hath strengthened you, so continue you that at the last wee may meete in heauen with the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost.

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At what tyme her father was florishyng in freedome & prosperitie in the tyme of Kyng Edward, there belōged vnto hym a certayne learned man, student and Graduate of þe Vniuersitie of Oxforde. Who then beyng Chaplayne to the sayd Duke, and a sincere Preacher (as he appeared) of the Gospell, accordyng to the doctrine of that tyme set forth & receiued, shortly after that the state of religion began to alter by Queene Mary, altered also in hys profession wyth the tyme, and of a Protestant became a frende and defender of the Popes proceedinges. MarginaliaFebruary. At whose sodayne mutation and inconstant mutabilitie, thys Christian Lady beyng not a lyttle agreeued, and most of all lamentyng the daungerous state of hys soule in slydyng so away for feare from the way of truth, wryteth her mynde vnto hym in a sharpe and vehement letter: which as it appeareth to proceede of an earnest and zealous hart, so woulde, God it might take such effecte wyth hym, as to reduce hym to repentaunce, and to take better holde agayne for the health and wealth of hys owne soule. The copye of the letter is thys as followeth.

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¶ An other letter of the Lady Iane to M. H. late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolke her father, and then fallen from the truth of Gods most holy worde. 
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The evolving headings to this letter - from a letter to an unnamed 'learned man of late falne from the truth' (1563, p. 920) to a letter to 'M. H. late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolk' (1570, p. 1582; 1576, p. 1399) and finally a letter to 'M. Harding late Chaplayne to the Duke of Suffolk (1583, p. 1420), as well as the appearance of marginal notes in the edition of 1570 identifying Harding and describing his apostasy in detail, (see textual variant 204M and textual variant 205M) reflect Foxe's increasing desire to embarrass Thomas Harding (Jewel's adversary and a bitter critic of the Actes and Monuments.

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SO oft as I call to mynde the dreadfull and fearefull saying of God: MarginaliaLuke 9. That he which layeth holde vpō the plough and looketh backe, is not meete for the kyngdome of heauē: MarginaliaA sharpe letter or exhortation of the Lady Iane to M. Harding.and on the other side, the comfortable wordes of our Sauiour Christ to all those that forsakyng themselues, do folow hym: I can not but meruell at thee and lament thy case: which seemedst sometime to be the liuely member of Christ, but now the deformed impe of the deuill, sometime the beutifull temple of God, but now the stinkyng and filthy kenell of Sathan, sometyme the vnspotted spouse of Christ but now the vnshamefast paramour of Antichrist, sometyme my faithfull brother, but now a straunger and Apostata, sometyme a stoute Christen souldiour, but now a cowardly runneaway. Yea, when I consider these thynges, I can not but speake to thee, and cry out vpon thee, thou seede of Sathan, and not of Iuda, whom the deuill hath deceiued, the worlde hath begyled, and the desire of lyfe subuerted, and made thee of a Christian an Infidell: wherefore hast thou taken the Testament of the Lord in thy mouth? Wherfore hast thou preached the law and the will of God to others? Wherfore hast thou instructed other to be strōg in Christ, MarginaliaThis man a little before K. Edward dyed, was heard openly in his Sermōs in London to exhort the people vvith great vehemencie after this sorte that if trouble came, they should neuer shrinke frō the true doctrine of the gospel vvhich they had receiued, but should take it rather for a triall sent of God to proue them vvhether they vvould abyde by it or no. All vvhich to be true, they can testifie that heard hym, & be yet aliue: vvho also foreseing the plague to come, vvere then much confirmed by hys vvordes. when thou thy selfe doest now so shamefully

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