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653 [597]

of the truthe be it neuer so strong or stable, it can not continue: whereas contrariwise whatsoeuer is ioyned with the truthe, is not to bee counted decaying or of no continuaunce. For all thynges consiste not in power and authoritie, neyther in the finenes of eloquence.

For suche is the force and power of þe truth that it can not be defended wt wordes, neither can be ouerthrowen with power, but albeit she be neuer so muche afflicted and oppressed for a tyme or season, yet, at the length she lyfteth her selfe vp agayne with muche greater victorie, and fynally euen as it is sayde in Esdras, the kyng is strong and myghtie, a woman is stronger, but the holy truthe is mooste myghtie and strongest of all.

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To this effect in a maner, but muche more, did he speake and vtter in that conuocation, both grauely and haboundantly. Through whose oration, Alesius being encouraged, proceaded to vrge them with this argument.

MarginaliaAlesius disputation vpon the sacrament. 

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This syllogism is Foxe's addition to the account.

The Sacramentes sayeth he, are eyther seales or ceremonies, whereby we are assertained of Gods good wil toward vs. And for as much as this certaintie can not be without the word of God, therfore the Sacramentes whiche are not grounded vpon the worde of God, neither vpon any autoritie of the scripture, are not to be counted as Sacramentes. The fyrst proposition is confyrmed by saynt Paule to the Romaines the fourth chapter, where as he calleth circumcisiō the seale of iustice and fayth, wherby a man may see, that fayth doth of necessitie perteine hereunto, to testifie the good wyll of God toward vs. Furthermore all menne doo knowe, that the worde is the grounde and foūdation of faythe, as saynt Paule witnesseth Rom. x. fayth commeth of hearyng, and hearyng by the worde of God, for the instruction of our minde, and the certaine knowledge and vnderstandyng of the will of God, proceadeth of his worde, euen by lyke reason, as the externall ceremonies of the Sacramentes, doo properly serue to instructe & teache our outwarde sences. Also by the same place of Paul, is their errour confuted, which falsly attribute vnto the Sacramentes, that they do make vs righteous before God, (as they terme it) ex opere operato, euen without the faythe of hym that doeth them.

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In like maner þe Apostle writing to þe Ephe. sayeth: Christ hath purified his church by the fountayn of water through his worde. &c. For in that he ioyneth the worde with the ceremony, geuyng lyfe: he teacheth vs manifestly therby, that the worde of God is chiefly to be loked vpon in the Sacramentes, as the body & substaunce whereon they chiefly consiste. That whiche is outwardly ministred in the sacramentes, is of it selfe nothyng but a motion of a lyuely inspiration, whiche we receyue byfayth through the worde and promes of God, what maketh it to the purpose that þe Apostle in instytuting the supper, addeth also the wordes of Christ saying: he toke the bread, & when he had geuen thankes, he brake it and sayde: Take and eate this is my body, also, doo this in the remembraunce of me. Moreouer in the same place he doth admonyshe vs, that besides Christ, no man, no not the Apostles, haue any power to institute any Sacramentes in the churche, or to chaunge anye thynge in theim whiche is ordeyned by Christe. Where as he sayeth. That whiche I receaued of the Lorde, I haue delyuered vnto you &c. for otherwyse what neded this protestation vnto the people whereby he should establyshe credyt vnto hys wordes, if he had free lybertie either to institute new sacramēts, or to inouate or chaunge the olde into what forme he pleased, as diuerse doo slaunderously report, touchyng the forme of baptisme brought in by the Apostles.

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MarginaliaThe aunswer of the byshop of London against Alesius.The byshop of London againe replied vpon the same. Admitte (sayd he) that the sacramēts may be gathered of the word of God, notwithstandyng if ye thynke that there is no other worde of God but only that, whiche euery cobler or souter, redeth in his owne tongue, you are farre deceyued. And agayne, if you thynke Christen menne are bounde to beleue nothing but that whiche is wrytten only in the sacred bylles, you are lykewyse deceyued with the Lutherians. For S. Iohn writeth: that Christ did mamy other thinges whiche are not wrytten &c. and saint Paule. ii. Thessa. ii. Commaundeth his tradition should be obserued, not only those whiche were expressed in wrytyng, but also by worde of mouth without the scriptures. Moreuer in the xvi. of the Actes, we vnderstande that the Apostles did commaunde not only those thynges whiche are in the scriptures to be obserued, but also the decrees of the auncient fathers. And fynally, we haue receyued many thynges by the doctours and councelles, whiche albeit they are not cōmaunded in the scriptures, yet, because they are geuen out by auncient doctores, they are in lyke maner to be receyued of vs, as if they had come from the Apostles, & to be obserued with no les religion, then if they were comprehended in the scriptures. Briefly it were also no maner of absurditie, if it were called þe vnwrytten worde of God. whylest he was speakynge these thynges, Cromewell and the byshop of Caunterbury, laughed together secretlye in their sleues, noting (as I suppose) the grosse & dull disputation of that man, whiche so grosly semed to contende in so fryuolous a matter. Then Alesius, went forward with the disputation that he had begonne, but beyng letted for lacke of time, because it was xii. of the clock he was commaunded by Cromewell to leaue

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