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556 [50]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.

such sort, that when the booke was once sette forth, and shewed vnto the world, then he endeuoured him self all that he might to kepe it from printing. Peraduenture, least that anye copy therof shuld come vnto Frithes handes. 

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For perhaps obvious reasons, Foxe here makes more of More's reluctance to publish his refutation or answer than what was probably the case. More sent copies of the response to his friends for commentary (e.g. to Stephen Gardiner) rather than risk too much public/scholastic exposure for Frith's Zwinglianism. Of course, More also faces the very real task of trying to refute Frith's theology and scholastic arguments to a potential audience of literate men who were not, however, theologians. Too in-depth a theological or scriptural argument would have gone over their heads; too little evidence from scripture or from the traditional Catholic theologians would have merely provided ammunition to his enemies (Frith, Tyndale, etc.). More was under the additional pressure of being Henry VIII's voice of orthodoxy even though he had retired as chancellor over the divorce and supremacy issues.

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But notwithstanding, when at the last he had gotten a copy therof by meanes of his frends, disorderly wrytten, he answeared him oute of the prison, omitting nothinge that anye man could desyre to the perfect and absolute handling of the matter. 
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Foxe refers here to Frith's Quid veteres senserint de sacramento eucharistiae (A Book Answering More's Letter).

And as it were a greate laboure, so do I not thinke it necessary to repete all his reasons and argumentes, and also the testimonies which he had gathered oute of the doctors. Specially forsomuch as þe archbishop of Canterburye Cranmer in his Apologye against þe bishop of Winchester, semeth to haue collected them aboundauntly, hauinge gathered the principal & chefest helpes from thence that he leaned vnto, against the other: And I dout much whether the Archbishop euer gaue any more creadite vnto any autor of that doctrine, then vnto this afore sayd Frith. 
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Foxe here refers to Thomas Cranmer's work of 1551, An Answer to a crafty and sophistical cavillation devised by Stephen Gardiner (which was a response to Gardiner's An explication and assertion of the true Catholique fayth).

What dexterity of wit was in him, and excellency of doctrine, it may apeare, not only by his bokes which he wrote of the Sacrament, but also in them intituled of purgatory. MarginaliaRochester More and Rastal agaynst Ihō Frith.In which quarel, he withstode the violence of iii. most obstinate ennemies, that is to say, of Rochester, Moore, and Rastall. Wherof the one by the healpe of the doctors, the other by wresting of the scripture. And the third, by the healpe of naturall Philosophy had conspired againste him. 
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This refers to Frith's A Disputation of Purgatory (1531). As noted earlier, this short treatise was a response to three earlier pro-purgatory treatises written by More, his brother-on-law, Rastell and the bishop of Rochester, each of which takes a separate foundation for their argument - scripture, reason and natural philosophy, and the patristic fathers.

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But he, as a Hercules, fighting not against ii. only but euen with them al iii. at once, dyd so ouer throw, put backe, and tosse them vp & downe, MarginaliaFrith conuerted Rastall.that he conuerted Rastal 
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Rastell's book of 1530 had been in dialogue form between a German Christian and a Turk and he responded to Frith's book with An apology against John Frith which Frith may also have been responded to. Frith's theology on this point seems to reflect Luther's discussions of two kinds of righteousness, before God and before man. Because the sinner is already forgiven his sins, purgatory becomes a redundant theology - for which, see Martin Luther, 'Two kinds of righteousness', in Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, ed. by Timothy F Lull (Minneapolis, 2005), pp.134-40. Although More and Fisher were not convinced, Rastell was convinced, converted, and died a Protestant (imprisoned in the Tower in 1536). For a brief discussion of the Frith/Rastell relationship see Herbert Samworth, 'John Frith: Forging the English Reformation', at http://www.solagroup.org/articles/historyofthebible/ hotb_0011.html.

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to his part. Beside al these commendations of this yong man, there was also in him a frendly and prudent moderation in vttering of the truth, ioyned wyth a learned godlinesse. Whiche vertue hathe all wayes so muche preuailed in the Churche of Christ, that withoute it, all other good gyftes of knowledge, be they neuer so great, can not greatly profite, but oftentimes do verye much hurt. But woulde to God, that all thinges in euery place, were so free from all kinde of dyssention, that there were no mention made amonges christians of Zwinglianes and Lutherianes, when as nether Zwinglius, nether Luther died for vs, but that we mighte be all one in Christ. Neither doo I thinke that anye more greuous thing could happen vnto those worthy men, then their names so to be vsed to sects and factions, which so greatly withstode and stroue against all factions. Neither do we here discourse which parte came nearest vnto the truthe, neither so entermedle my selfe by rash iudgement, that I wyl detracte from eyther part, but I would to God I might ioyne eyther part vnto other. 
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Foxe is probably making a veiled reference to the Colloquy of Marburg (1-4 October 1529). Zwingli and Luther managed to agree to a wide range of issues but contended heatedly over the issue of the real presence. Luther eventually concluded that Zwingli was no better than a sacramentarian while Zwingli concluded that Luther was a secret favourer of the papal doctrine. The meeting had been arranged by Philip of Hesse in an attempt to unite Protestant Germany against resurgent Catholic power, only to result in permanent schism.

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But now for so mucheas we intreat of the story of Ihon Frith, I cānot chuse, but that I must neades earnestly & hartely embrace, the prudent and godly moderation, which was in that man, whiche maintaining this quarrel of the sacrament, no lesse godly then vehemently amonges the English nation, (as no man in a manner hadde eyther doone more vehemently or prosperouslye) yet he did it so moderately, wythout any occasion of contention, that he would neuer seeme to striue against the Papistes, except he were driuen to it euē of necessity. In al other matters, where necessity did not moue him to contend, he was ready to graunt all thinges for quietnesse sake, as his most modest reason, and aunswer did declare. For when as More disputing in a certen place vpon the Sacrament, vrged him with the autority of doctor Barnes, in appoynting the presence of the body and bloude in the Sacrament 
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Foxe here refers to a work of Robert Barnes, a Lutheran theologian, entitled Sentientae ex doctoribus collectae, quas papistae valde impudenter hodie damnant (1530) which featured a preface by Bugenhagen. Whether consciously or not, Barnes here discussed, using scripture and patristic sources, what would amount to the main points of the Augsburg Confession (also of 1530), including nineteen chapters on such key reformation doctrines as faith, justification, free will, ecclesiastical authority and the sacrament. For a discussion of Barnes, see Neelak S Tjernagel, Henry VIII and the Lutherans (St Louis, 1965), pp.60ff.

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, he answeared vnto More and his companions, that he woulde promyse vnder this condition, so that sentence of Luther and Barnes might be holden as ratified, he would neuer speake more woordes of it, for in that poynte they did bothe agre wyth hym that the sacrament was not to be worshipped, and that Idolatry being taken awaye, he was contente to permit euerye man to iudge what they liste of the sacrament. For then there remained no more any poyson, that any manne ought or might be afraid on. MarginaliaModeration commēded in matters of disputatyon.Wherfore if thei did agre in that which was the chefe poynt of the sacrament, they should easelye accorde and agree in the reast. Thus muche hytherto he wrote in the treatise entytuled the exile of Barnes against Moore 
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The treatise referred to here may be part of Frith's The Mind and Exposition of the old doctors upon the words of Christ's Maundy [for which, see The works of the English Reformers: William Tyndale and John Frith, ed. by Thomas Russell, 3 vols. (London, 1831), 3, pp.360-424. There are several divisions in the text, one of which is 'D. Barnes did graciously escape M. More's Hands' (pp.420-23 of the Russell edition).

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, which words of thys moost meke martir in Christ, if it woulde take place in this seditious deuisions or factyōs of these our daies, with great ease & lytle labor might the studies of these parts be brought to a vnity and concord, and there should be much more concord and loue in the church, & muche lesse offence geuen outwardly. But I knowe not what cruel pestiferous fury hath secreatly entermedled her selfe in these matters, so corrupt in all thinges, that there is almoste no so lyght a cause or occasion, wherin one man can bear with an other, if he dissent or disagre frō his opinion. And whilest euery man doth seke euen by the teethe to defend his owne quarel, many men would rather seke to geue occasion then in any case seke to relent or remit. There are also some, which will seeke to asswage the matter, but other some wil willingly take the bellowes in hand to blowe the fyre, but fewe there are that wyll seeke to quenche it. But if we had but a few like vnto this Ihon Fryth, these factions peraduenture woulde easilye be accorded, or at the least, if the opinions coulde not be agreed, their mindes notwithstanding might be vnited and ioyned. Allbeit I doo not

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thynke
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