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1392 [1392]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and life of the Lorde Cromwell. Alexander Alesius.

MarginaliaTruth will come out at laste.be true, but it shall finde place and be able to stāde agaynst all falsehode. MarginaliaTruth daughter of tyme.Truth is the daughter of tyme, and tyme is the mother of truth. And what soeuer is besieged of truth can not long continue, and vppon whose side truth doth stand, that ought not to be thought trāsitory or that it will euer fall. All thynges consiste not in paynted eloquence and strength or authoritie. MarginaliaThe nature of truth.For the truth is of so great power, strength and efficacite, that it can neither bee defended with wordes, nor bee ouercome with any strength, but after she hath hidden her selfe long, at lēgth she putteth vp her head and appeareth, & as it is written in Esdras: A king is strōg, vvine is stronger, yet vvemen be more strong, but truth excelleth all. Marginalia3. Esd. 4.

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To thys effecte in a maner, and much more, dyd he speake and vtter in that conuocation, both copiouslye and discretly. Through whose oration, Alesius being encouraged, proceeded further to vrge the Bishop with thys argument.

¶ The argument in forme 
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This syllogism is Foxe's addition to the account.

.
MarginaliaSacramentes be seales certifying vs of Gods good will.Ba.Sacramētes be seales ascerteining vs of Gods good will:
ro.
Without the worde, there is no certaintie of Gods good
will:
co.Ergo, without the worde there be no Sacramentes.

The first part of thys reason is S. Paules owne saying the iiij. to the Romanes, where he sayth: That circumcision is a token & a seale of the rightwisenes of faith: MarginaliaRom. 4.Ergo it requireth fayth to certifie mans hart of þe will of God. MarginaliaThe worde is the ground of fayth.But the word of God is þe foundation of faith, as S. Paule witnesseth, Rom. 10: Fayth cōmeth by hearing, and hearing commeth by the worde of God. MarginaliaRom. 10.For the minde must be taught & instructed of the will of God by the worde, lyke as the eye is taught and instructed by the outward ceremonie. And so Paul by that saying confuteth thys opinion, that the Sacramentes shoulde make men righteous and iuste before God, MarginaliaEx opere operato.for the very outward worke, without fayth of them that receaue them. And after thys maner doth Paule speake vnto the Ephesians: that Christ doth sanctifie hys Church thorow the bathe of water in þe word of lyfe. MarginaliaEph. 5.And forasmuch as he ioyneth the worde vnto the ceremony and declareth the vertue and power of the woorde of God that it bryngeth with it lyfe, MarginaliaSacramentes only to be gathered out of the word of God.he doth manifestly teach that the worde of God is the principall thyng and euen as it were the very substaunce and body of the Sacrament: and þe outward ceremony to be nothyng els then a token of that liuely inflammation which we receyue thorow fayth in the word and promise. S. Paul also in ministring the Sacrament of the Lordes Supper doth manifestly adde the wordes of Christ: He tooke bread (sayth he) and when he had geuen thankes, he brake it and sayd, take ye this and eate ye this for it is my body. Item, do ye this in my remembraunce. MarginaliaThe institution of Christ ought not to be altered.Beside this he teacheth euidently that onely Christ and none but he had power to institute a Sacrament: and that neither the Apostles, nor the Churche hath any authoritie to alter or to adde any thyng vnto his ordinaunce, where as he sayth: For I receiued of the Lord that which I deliuered vnto you. &c. Marginalia1. Cor. 11.To what purpose should he go about to moue the people to beleue hym and to winne their hartes with this Protestation, if it had ben lawful for him to haue made any Sacramētes, or to haue altered the forme and maner of ministryng this Sacrament, as some men both wickedly and shamelesly do affirme, that the Apostles did alter the forme of Baptisme.

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MarginaliaThe aunswere of the Bishop of London agaynst Alesius.When he had spokē thus much, the Byshop of London did interrupt him, & said: Let vs graunt that the Sacramētes may be gathered out of the word of God, yet are you farre deceiued, if ye thinke þt there is none other word of God but that which euery sowter & cobbler do read in their mother tong. And if ye thinke that nothyng perteineth vnto þe Christiā faith, but that only that is written in þe Bible, then erre ye plainly with the Lutherans. For S. Iohn sayth that Iesus did many thinges which be not written. MarginaliaIohn. 21.And S. Paul cōmaundeth the Thess. to obserue & kepe certain vnwrittē traditions & ceremonies. Marginalia2. Theß. 2.ij. Theß. ij. Moreouer he himself did preach not the Scripture only, but euen also the traditions of the Elders. MarginaliaActes. 16.Act. xvj. MarginaliaVnwritten verities and traditions of fathers in equall force with Gods writtē word.Finally we haue receiued many thinges of the Doctours and Coūcels by tymes, which althoughe they bee not written in the Bible, yet for as much as the old Doctours of the Churche do make mēcion of them, we ought to graunt that we receiued thē of the Apostles, and that they be of lyke authoritie with the Scripture, MarginaliaThe vnwritten worde of God.and finally that they may worthely bee called the worde of God vnwritten.

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Now when the right noble Lord Cromwell, the Archbyshop, with the other Byshops, which did defend the pure doctrine of the Gospel, heard this, MarginaliaStokesley laughed to scorne.they smiled a litle one vpon an other, for as much as they sawe him flie euē in the very beginnyng of the disputation, vnto his old rusty sophistrie and vnwritten verities. Then Alesius would haue proceeded further wt the Byshop to haue confuted this blasphemous lye, but the Lord Cromwell bad him be cōtent, for the time began to go away and it was xij. of the clocke, and thus he made an end with this Protestation. Right reuerend Master Bishop you denie that our Christen faith and Religion doth leane onely vpō the word of God whiche is written in the Bible, which thyng if I can proue and declare, then you will graunt me that there be no Sacramentes, but those that haue the manifest word of God to confirme them. Vnto this he did cōsent, and then immediatly that assemble was dissolued for that day.

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The next day when the Byshops were set agayne, the Archbyshop of Caunterbury sendyng his Archdeacon, cōmaunded Alesius to abstayne from disputation, whereupon he wrote his mynde and deliuered it vnto Cromwell, who afterward shewed the same vnto the Byshops 

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This marks the end of Alexander Alesius's account of the synod. Ostensibly, Alesius was asked to withdraw because the bishops were offended by the presence of an outsider speaking in their assembly, but it was probably because Alesius's outspoken defence of retaining only two sacraments - clearly supported by Cromwell - was too radical for most of them.

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. Thus through the industry of Cromwel, the colloquies were brought to this end, that albeit Religiō could not wholye be reformed, yet at that tyme there was some reformation had throughout all England.

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MarginaliaThe publicke care of Cromwell for the cōmon wealth.How desirous and studious this good Cromwell was in the cause of Christes Religion, examples neede not to be brought. His whole life was nothing els, but a continuall care and trauaile how to aduaunce & further the right knowledge of the Gospell, and reforme the house of God: As by so many proclamations aboue specified by his meanes set foorth, may well appeare, wherein first hee caused the people to bee instructed in the Lordes Prayer and Crede in English, then procured the Scripture also to be read & set forth in the same language for euery Englishe man to vnderstand: after that to rescue the vulgare people from damnable Idolatrie, caused certeine of þe most grossest pilgremages to be destroyed. And further for the more cōmoditie of þe poore sorte, which get their liuing wt their dayly labour and worke of their hands, he prouided that diuers idle holy dayes were diminished. Item, he procured for thē, libertie to eate egges and whitmeat in Lent. Furthermore by him it was also prouided for the better instruction of the people, that beneficed mē should be resident in their Cures & Parishes, there to teache and to kepe hospitalitie, with many other things els most fruitfully redressed for þe reformation of Religion & behoufe of Christes Church: as by the proclamations, iniunctiōs, and necessary Articles of Christen doctrine aboue specified 

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See 1570, pp. 12-46-50; 1576, pp. 1067-71 and 1583, pp. 1093-5.

, set forth in the kinges name, by his meanes MarginaliaRead afore pag. 1246. 1247. 1248. 1249. &c.may more abundantly appeare, pag. 1246. 1247. &c.

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Now to adioyne withall his priuate benefites in helping diuers good men and women at sundry tymes out of troubles and great distresses, it would require a lōg discourse. Briefly his whole lyfe was full of such examples, beyng a man to that entent ordeined of God (as his deedes well proued) to do many men good, and especially such as were in daunger of persecution for Religions sake. Amongest other infinite stories, one or two examples shall suffice for a testimonie of hys worthy doynges.

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