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1298 [1298]

K. Henry. 8. The aunsweres of Iohn Lambert, to the Byshops Articles.

fyrst part of your riddle, I neither can, ne will giue any diffinityue aūswere, for so much as it surmounteth my capacitie, trusting that God shall send hereafter, other that shalbe of better learning and wit then I, for to endite it. As concerning the second parte, where as you do interprete, that it to saye, MarginaliaFree will to deserue ioy or paine.whether man haue free will or no, so that he may deserue ioye or payne: as for our deseruing specially of ioy, I thinke it very slender or none, euen when we do the verye cōmaundementes and law of God, & that am I taught by our Sauiour, in S. Luke where he saith thus: Which of you (quod he) hauing a seruaunt that hath eared your lande, or fedde your beasts, wil say vnto him whē he cometh home out of the field, go thy way quickly, and sitte down to thy meat: and rather wil not say vnto him, make ready my supper, seruing me therat vntill I haue made an end thereof, and afterward take thy selfe meate and drinke. Thinke you that he is bounde to thanke his seruaunt which thus shall doe his commaundement? I trow (sayth he) nay. Euen so you (sayth he) when you haue done all thinges to you commaunded, say yet you be vnprofitable seruaunts, and haue done that which you were bound to do. MarginaliaMerites not to be stemed.In which wordes you may clearly see, that he would not haue vs greatly esteme our merites, whē we haue done that is commaunded by God, but rather reckening our selues to be but seruantes vnprofitable to god, for somuch as he hath no nede of our wel doing, for his own auauncement, but only that he loueth to see vs do wel for our own behoufe: & moreouer, that whē we haue done his bydding, we ought not so to magnifie, neyther our self, ne our own free will, but laud hym with a meeke hart, thorowe whose benefite we haue done (if at any tyme we do it) hys lykyng and pleasure: not regardyng our merite, but hys grace and benefite, wherby only is done all that in anye wyse is to hym acceptable. MarginaliaObseruing of Godes workes worketh in vs no merite: Ergo much lesse the obseruinge of mens tradicions.And thus if we ought not to attende our merites in doing the commaundement of God, much lesse should we looke for merite, for obseruyng our owne inuentions or traditions of men, vnto whiche there is no benefite in all scripture, which Paule calleth the woord of truth and of faith, promysed.

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But here may be obiected against me, that rewarde is promysed in manye places to them that do obserue the preceptes of God. That I affirme to be very soth. Notwithstanding such reward shall neuer be atteyned of vs, except by the grace and benefite of hym, whiche worketh all things in all creatures. And this affirmeth wel S. Augustin, S. Ambrose, Fulgentius, with other, as you may see euery where in their workes, MarginaliaVnio dissidentium.and specially in the treatise called Vnio dissidentium, where he entreateth de gratia & meritis. MarginaliaReward, how it is promised to workes.And of S. Augustine I remember. ij. or. iij. right notable sentences, concerning the same. One is in the 9. boke of his Cōfessions, in this fourme: Væ etiam laudabili vitæ hominum, si remota misericordia discutias eam. Quia verè non exquiris delicta, vehementer fiducialiter speramus aliquem locum aput te inuenire indulgentiæ. Quisquis autem tibi enumerat vera merita sua, quid tibi enumerat nisi munera tua? O si cognoscerēt se omnes, & qui gloriatur in Domino gloriaretur: MarginaliaAug. libr. Cōfession. 9.Woe be to the life of men, be they neuer so holy, if thou shalt examine them, setting thy mercy asyde. Because thou doest not exactly examine the faultes of men, therfore we haue a vehement hope and trust to finde some place of mercye with thee. And who so euer recounteth vnto thee hys merytes, what other thynge doth he recounte, but thy benefites? O would God all men would see and knowe them selues, and that he which glorieth, would glorie in the Lord. Agayne, in the fyrst booke he sayeth thus vnto God: Nunquid inops es & gaudes lucris? Nunquid auarus & vsuras exigis? Superogatur tibi vt debeas? & quis habet quicquam non tuum? Reddis debita nulli debens, donas debita nihil perdens. MarginaliaConfes. lib. 1.Doth any man gyue that he oweth not vnto thee, that thou shouldest be in his debte? and hath any man ought that is not thyne? Thou rendrest debte, and yet owestto no man. Thou forgyuest debts, and yet loseste nothing. And therfore his vsual praier was this: Domine da quod iubes, & iube quod vis. Lord giue that thou commaundest, and commaunde what thow wilt.

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Also in the booke called, Manuale Augustini, or De contemplatione Christi, he sayeth in this wise: Tota spes mea est in morte Domini. Mors eius meritum meum, refugium meum, salus, vita, & resurrectio mea. Meritum meum miseratio Domini. Non sum meriti inops quamdiu ille miserationum Dominus non defuerit. Et si misericordiæ Domini multæ multus ego sum in meritis. All my hope is in the Lordes death. His death is my merite, my refuge, my health, and my resurrecion. My meryte is the mercye of the Lord. I am not without merite, so long as the Lord of mercie shall continue. And if the mercies of the Lorde be great and riche, then am I also great and riche in merites.

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MarginaliaGood workes how they be Gods and how they be ours.And to conclude, they be Christes owne merites and good workes (as sayeth S. Ambrose well nygh euerye where) that hee worketh in vs, whiche hee doth rewarde and crown, and not ours, if one shoulde looke narrowlye vpon the thing, and speake properly. Howbe if they yet neuerthelesse are ours by him, for so much as hys mercifull bountie imputeth his goods to be ours. So that in thys, I wote not howe other doo meane, which lust to sel their merites vnto their neyghbours, that happly haue skarse enough for them selues: but I do wholy deeme and beleue, according as the scripture with these holy Doctours, and such other, doo teache, wishyng that men euer for good doyng, shoulde not so much (as the common people doth) regarde their merite or rewarde, for that is not the thinge that engendereth the loue of God in vs, MarginaliaTo walke with God after a seruile fashion, is to worke for merite.but rather maketh men to honour God in a seruile fashion, & for þe loue of them selues, in doing workes for loue of reward, or for dreed of payne,more then because it so pleaseth God, and liketh him: MarginaliaReward followeth good workes, but yet good workes be not done for rewarde.where as if we regarded fyrst (yea and all together) that it is our duetie to doo wel (which is the keeping of his commaundementes) and that so we should contente hys pleasure, rewarde shoulde vndoubtedlye ensue good dedes, although we minded no whit þe same, as heat followeth euermore the fire vnseparate therefrom. And thus we should serue God with hartye loue as children, and not for meede or dread, as vnlouing thraldes and seruauntes.

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MarginaliaNo abilitie in man to do the will of God.Concerning free will, I meane all together, as doth S. Augustine, that of our selfe we haue no libertye ne habilitie to do the wyll of God, but are subiect vnto sinne, & thraldes of the same, conclusi sub peccatum, & vænundati sub eodem: MarginaliaRom. 7. 11.Shutte vppe and solde under sinne, as withnesseth both Esaye, and also Paule, but by the grace of God we are rydde and set at libertie, according to the portion that euerye man hath taken of the same, some more some lesse.

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¶ Aunswere to the 6. Article.

MarginaliaAnswer to the 6. article.
The Sacrament of the body & bloud of the Lord.
Where as in your sixt demaunde, you do enquire whether the Sacrament of the aultar be a Sacrament necessary vnto saluation, and whether after the consecratiō of the bread and wyne done by the Priest, as by þe Minister of God, there is the very body and bloud of Christ in lykenes of bread and wyne: I neither can ne will aunswere one worde, otherwise then I haue told sith I was first deliuered into your handes. Neither would I haue aunswered one whit thereunto, knowyng so much at þe first as I now do, till you had brought forth some þt woulde haue accused me to haue trespassed in the same: whiche I am certeine you can not do, bringyng any that is honest and credible.

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¶ Aunswere to the 7. Article.

MarginaliaAunswere to the 7. article.As concernyng the other vj. Sacramentes, I make you the same aunswere that I haue done vnto the Sacrament of the altare, and none other. That is, I will say nothyng, vntill some men appeare to accuse me in the same, vnlesse I know a more reasonable cause, then

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