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1396 [1371]

Q. Mary. Disputation of Doct. Ridley Byshop of London at Oxford.

Marginalia1554. Aprill.  

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In the edition of 1570, Foxe transposed a section of the first informant's eyewitness account of the disputations, summarising Ridley's disputation (see textual transposition 5). Foxed used this as an introduction to Ridley's narrative of his disputation.

Archb. to aunswer in the diuinitie schole. MarginaliaDisputers agaynst D. Ridley.Agaynst whome also besides D. Smith disputed D. Weston, D. Tresham, D. Oglethorpe, D. Glyn, D. Seton, D. Cole, M. Warde. M. Harpsfield, D. Watson, M. Pye, M. Hardyng, M. Curtop, M. Fecknam. To all them he aunswered very learnedly. He made a preface to these questions, but they would not let hym go forth in it, but caused hym to make an end of the same, and sayd it was blasphemy, and some sayd he droue of the tyme in ambiguous thinges, nothyng to the purpose, and so they would not suffer hym to say his mind. Doct. Smith could get nothyng at his hand: in somuch that other did take his arguments and prosecuted thē. He shewed hymselfe to be learned, and a great Clarke. They coulde bryng nothing, but he knew it as well as they.

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The disputation beginneth.  
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Weston's initial speech and Smith's proposing the three questions to be debated first appear in the 1570 edition (see textual variant 56). These were probably added from an account made by one of the notaries; it is probably the only aspect of this disputation for which Foxe did not rely on Ridley's account.

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West. Prolocutor. Good christen people & brethren, we haue begon this day our schole, by gods good spede I trust, and are entryng into a controuersie, whereof no question ought to be moued, concerning the veritie of the body of our lord Iesu Christ in þe Eucharist. Christ is true, which said the wordes. The words are true which he spake, yea truth it selfe that can not fayle. Let vs therfore pray vnto God to sende downe vnto vs his holy spirite, which is the true interpreter of hys worde: which may purge away erroures, and geue that veritie may appeare. Let vs also aske leaue & libertie of the Church to permit the truth receyued, to be called this day in question, without any preiudice to the same. Your partes therfore shall be to implore the assistaunce of almighty God, to pray for the prosperitie of the Queenes maiesty, & to geue vs quiet and attentiue eares. Now go to your questions.

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Doct. Smith. This day (right learned M. Doctor) 3. questions are propounded, wherof no controuersie among christians ought to be moued, to wit:

> MarginaliaThe questions. 1 Whether the naturall body of Christ our Sauiour conceiued of the virgin Mary, and offred for mans redemption vpon the crosse, is vereIly and really in the sacrament by vertue of gods worde spoken by the priest. &c.

2 Whether in the sacrament after the wordes of consecration, be any other substance. &c.

3 Whether in the masse be a sacrifice propiciatory. &c.

Touchyng the which questions, although you haue publikely and apertly professed your iudgement and opinion on Saterday last: yet beyng not satisfied with that your aunswer, I will assay agayne to demaund your sentence in the first question: Whether the true body of Christ, after the wordes pronounced, be really in the Eucharist, or els onely the figure? In which matter I stand here nowe to heare your aunswere.

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¶ The Preface or protestation of D. Ridley, before hys disputation.

MarginaliaThe protestation of B. Ridley. I Receiued of you the other day, right worshipfull M. Prolocutor, and ye my reuerend Maisters, Commissioners from the Queenes maiesty and her honourable Counsell, three propositiōs: wherunto ye commaunded me to prepare agaynst thys day, what I thought good to aunswer concernyng the same.

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Now whilest I weyed with my selfe, how great a charge of the lordes flocke was of late committed vnto me, for the which I am certayne I must once render an accompte to my Lord God (and that how soone, he knoweth): and that moreouer by the commaundement of the Apostle Peter, I ought to be redy alway to geue a reason of the hope that is in me with mekenes and reuerence, vnto euery one that shall demaund the same: besides this, considering my duty to the Church of Christ, and to your worships beyng Commissioners by publike authoritie: I determined with my selfe to obey your commaundement, and so openly to declare vnto you my mynde touchyng the foresayd propositions. MarginaliaWhat moued Doct. Ridley to alter hys iudgemēt from the Church of Rome.And albeit plainly to confesse vnto you the truth) in these thynges which ye now demaund of me, I haue thought otherwyse in times past then I now do, yet (God I call to recorde vnto my soule, I lye not) I haue not altered my iudgement, as now it is, eyther by constraint of any man, or lawes, either for the dread of any daungers of this world, eyther for any hope of commoditie: but onely for the loue of the truth, reueled vnto me by the grace of God (as I am vndoubtedly perswaded) in his holy worde, and in the reading of the auncient Fathers.

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These things do I the rather recite at this present, because it may happen to some of you hereafter, as in times past it hath done to me: I mean if ye thinke otherwise of þe matters

propounded in these propositions, then I now do, God may open it vnto you in tyme to come.

But howsoeuer it shall be, I wyll in fewe wordes doe that which I thynke ye all looke I should doe: that is, as playnely as I can, I wyll declare my iudgement herein. Howbeit of thys I would ye were not ignoraunt, that I wyll not in deede wittingly and willingly speake in any poynt agaynst Gods word, or dissent in any one iote from the same, or from the rules of fayth and Christian religion: MarginaliaB. Ridley submitteth himselfe to the Church of Christ.which rules that same most sacred word of god prescribeth to the Church of Christ, whereunto I now and for euer submit my selfe, and all my doynges. And because þe matter I haue now taken in hand is weyghty, and ye all well know how vnready I am to handle it accordyngly, aswell for lacke of tyme, as also lacke of bookes: therfore here I protest that I wyll publickly thys day require of you, that it may bee lawfull for me concerning all myne aunsweres, explications, and confyrmations, to adde or diminishe whatsoeuer shall seeme hereafter more conuenient and meete for the purpose, through more sound iudgement, better deliberation and more exact triall of euery particular thyng. Hauyng now by the way of preface and protestation, spoken these few wordes, I wyll come to the aunsweryng of the propositions propounded vnto me, and so to the most briefe explication and confirmation of myne aunswers.

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West. Reuerend maister Doctor, concerning the lacke of bookes, there is no cause why you should complayne. MarginaliaThys promise was not kept.What bookes so euer you wyl name, ye shall haue thē, and as concernyng the iudgement of your aunswers to bee had of your selfe wyth farther deliberation: it shall (I say) be lawfull for you vntyll Sonday next to adde vnto them what you shall thynke good your selfe. My mynde is that we should vse short arguments, lest we should make an infinite processe of the thyng.

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Ryd. There is an other thyng besides, which I woulde gladly obtayne at your hands. I perceiue that you haue wryters and Notaries here present. By all lykelihood our disputatiōs shal be published. I beseech you for Gods sake, let me haue libertie to speake my mynde freely & wythout interruption, not because I haue determined to protract þe tyme with a solemne preface, but least it may appeare that some be not satisfied. God wote I am no Oratour, nor I haue not learned Rhetoricke to set colours on the matter.

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MarginaliaTwo Notaryes permitted to Doct. Ridley. West. Amonge this whole company, it shall be permitted you to take two for your part.

Ryd. I would chuse ij. if there were any here with whom I were acquainted.

West. Here are two MarginaliaThese 2. Notaryes were M. Iuell, sometime Byshop of Salisbury, and M. Gilbert Moūsō. which Mayster Cranmer had yesterday. Take them if it please you.

Ryd. I am content wyth them: I trust they are honest men.

¶ The first proposition.

MarginaliaThe first proposition. In the Sacrament of the aultar, by the vertue of Gods word spoken of the Priest, the naturall body of Christ borne of the vyrgin Mary, and his naturall bloud is really present vnder the formes of bread and wyne.

¶ The aunswere of N. Ridley.

MarginaliaD. Rydleys aunswere to the first proposition.In matters appertaining vnto God, we may not speake accordyng to the sense of man, nor of the worlde: Therfore this proposition or conclusion is framed after an other maner of phrase or kynde of speech, then the scripture vseth. MarginaliaThe proposition put forth in darcke termes.Agayne, it is very obscure and darke, by meanes of sundry wordes of doubtfull signification. And beyng taken in the sence which the Schoolemen teach, and at thys tyme the Church of Rome doth defend, it is false and erronious, & plaine cōtrary to þe doctrine which is according to godlines.

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¶ The explication.

How farre the diuersitie and newnes of the phrase in all thys first proposition, is from the phrase of the holy scripture, & that in euery part almost, it is so playne & euident to any that is but meanely exercised in holy wryt, that I neede not now (especially in this company of learned men) to spend any tyme therein, except the same shall be required of me hereafter.

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MarginaliaThe first doubt.First, there is a doubtfull sense in these words [by the vertue of Gods word]. For it is doubtfull what worde of God thys is: whether it be that which is read in the Euangelists, or in Paul, or any other. And if it be that which is in the Euangelistes or in S. Paule, what that is. If it be in none of them, then how it may be knowen to be Gods worde, and of such vertue, that it should be able to worke so great a matter.

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Marginalia2. doubt, in the worde Priest.Agayne, there is a doubt in these words [of the priest] whether no man may be called a Priest, but he which hath

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