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810 [810]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

bey, where Gods law repugneth not expreslye. And in this effecte, to driue away deuils, that prayer and inuocation of the churche, may doo it, scripture mainteyneth euidentlye, and the same scripture doth autorise vs, so to pray, and encourageth vs to it. So as if in discussion of holy water, we attribute all theffect, to the holines which procedeth from God, by inuocatiō of the church, & take water for an only seruaūt to cary abrode holines: there can be no supersticion, where men regarde only prayer: which scripture authoriseth. And if we shall say that the water can not doo such seruice: we shall be conuinced, in that it doth a greatter seruice, in our baptisme, by gods speciall ordinaunce. Marginalia* The water of baptisme hathe an expresse ordinance, where holy water hath none. So as we can not say, that water cā not, or is not apte, to do this seruice, only the stay is, to haue a precise place, in the new Testament, to saye, vse water thus in this seruice, as we doo in holy water, which me thinketh nedeth not where all is ordred, to be well vsed by vs: & when the hole church agreed vpō such an vse: or any perticuler church, or the commen minister of it, & by the exorcisme ordred for it, the thing to be vsed, purged, there can be but slender matter to improue that custom, wherin God is onely honoured, & the power of his name setforth, wher unto all thing boweth and geueth place, all naturall operation set apart & secluded. And whē any man hath denyed, that water may do seruice, because scripture appointeth it not, that (because) driueth away muche of the rest, the churche vseth, & specially our cramp rings. For if water may not serue to cary Marginalia* Christe vseth not now in his church dom creatures of Gold and siluer. &. but ministers, by the liuely ministring of his word to cary abrod hys grace.* abrode, theffect of Goddes grace obteyned by inuocation from God, by the cōmen prayer of the church, Howe can the metall of siluer or golde, cary abrode, theffect of the kinges inuocation, in the cramp ringes? which maner of reasoning (ad hominē) Christ vsed with the Iewes, when he sayd, Si ego in Belzebub, eiicio dæmonia, filii vestri, in quo eiiciunt? And if by oure owne principles, we should be enforced to saye that our Marginalia* Crampe rings & holy water, bothe together in like case of abuse and supersticion. * cramp rings be supersticion (where truth enforceth vs not, so to do) it wer a meruelous punishment. Si cæci essemus (as Christ saith) pecatū nō haberemus, sed videmus, and this realme hathe lerning in it, and you a good portion therof, according wherunto I doubt not, but ye will waye this matter non ad popularem trutinam, sed artificis stateram. I meane that artificer that teacheth the church our mother (as ye full well declared it) and ordred our mother, to geue nourishment vnto vs. In which poynt speakinge of the church, although ye touched an vnknowen church to vs, and knowen to God onelye, yet declared the vnion of that Churche in the permixt Churche, whiche God ordereth men to complayne vnto, and to here agayne. wherin thabsurditie is taken away, of them that wold haue no churche knowen, but euerye man be-leue, as he wer inwardly taught himself, wher upon foloweth the olde prouerbe. xxx[illegible text] Whiche is farre from the vnitie, ye so ernestly wished for, wherof (as methought) he sayd pride is the let, as it is vndoubtedly, whiche fault God amēd, and geue you grace, so to facion your words, as ye maye agree with them in speche, with whō ye be enclined to agree in opinion. For that is the way, to releaue the world. And al beit there hathe ben betwene you and me, no familiaritie, but contrarywise a litle disagremēt (which I did not hide from you:) yet cōsidering the feruent zeale ye professed, to teache Marginalia* After Peters doctrin the bloud of christ only purgeth vs from all sin. Ergo what should holy water doo. * Peters true doctrine, that is to say, Christes true doctrine, wherunto ye thought the doctrine of images & holy water, to put away deuils agreed not: I haue willingly spent this time, to cōmunicate vnto you my foly (if it be foli) Marginalia* Plainly as it is his pē will not let him lye.* plainly as it is, wheruppon ye may haue occasion, þe more substantially, fully and plainlye to open these matters for the relief of such as be fallen from the truth and confirmatiō of those that receiue and folow it, wherin it hathe ben euer much cōmended, to haue such regard, to histories of credite & the continuall vse of the church, Marginalia* The beginning of holy water came first frō the Gētiles, who vsed to sprincle aqua lustrati stāding at the dore such as went into the temple. * rather to shew, how a thing continued from the beginning, as holy water & images haue don, maye be well vsed: then to folowe, the light rashe eloquence, whiche is euer ad manum, to mocke and improue that is established. And yet again I come to Marcellus, that made a crosse in the water and bad his deacō, caste it abrode, Marginalia* Cum fide et Zelo, Socerers and coniurers with such a wrōg fayth ioyned to dom creatures may and do with like reason call vp deuils, as holy water may driue them away. * cum fide et zelo, after which sort, if oure holy water wer vsed, I doubt not, but there be many Marcellus, and many Elizeus, and many at whose prayer, God forgiueth sinne, if such as will enioye that prayer, haue faythe and zeale, as Equitius, and wer as desirous to dryue the deuil out of the temple of their body and soule, as Equitius out of the temple of Iupiter. So as yf holy vse wer coupled with holy water, there should be more plentie of holines then there is, but as men be prophane in their liuing so they can not byde to haue any thing effectually holye, uot so muche as breade and water, fearing lest they shoulde take awaye sinne from vs, whiche we loue so well. Solus Christus peccata diluit who sprinckleth his blood, by hys mynisters, as he hath taught his spouse, the church in whyche those ministers, be ordered, wherin many wayes, maketh not many sauiours, as ignorauntes doo iest, whereof I neede not speake further vnto you, no more I neded not in the rest, in respecte of you, but me thoughte, ye coniured all menne in your sermon, to saye what they thought to you, id quod hanc mihi expressit Epistolam, quam boni consules, Et Vale.

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Your louing frende,
Steuen Winche.

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