Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1144 [1143]

K. Henry. 8. A Sermon in the Saxon tongue, translated into English.

with the bloud of our Lordes suffering. Those Israelites did eate the lambes flesh at their Easter tyme, when they were deliuered, and we receaue ghostly Christes body, and drinke his bloud, when we receaue with true belief, that holy housell. That tyme they kept with them at Easter seuen dayes with great worshyp when they were deliuered from Pharao, and went from that land. So also Christen men kepe Christes resurrection at the tyme of Easter these vij. dayes, because through hys sufferyng and rising we be deliuered, and be made cleane by goyng to this holy housell, as Christ sayth in hys Gospell: Verelye, verelye I say vnto you ye haue no lyfe in you excepte ye eate my fleshe and drynke my bloud. He that eateth my fleshe and drynketh my bloud abydeth in me, and I in hym, and hath that euerlastyng life and I shall rayse him vp in the laste daye. I am the liuely bread that came downe from heauen: not so as your forefathers dyd eate that heauenlye bread in the wildernesse afterward dyed. He that eateth thys bread, liueth for euer. MarginaliaIohn. 6. He blessed breade before hys sufferyng, & diuided it to hys Disciples, thus saying: Eate of this bread, it is my bodye, and do this in my remembraunce. MarginaliaMath. 26.
Luke. 22.
Marke. 14.
Also hee blessed wyne in one cuppe, and sayd: Drynke ye all of this: This is my bloud that is shedde for many, in forgiuenesse of sinnes. Marginalia1. Cor. 11. The Apostles dyd as Christ commaunded, that is: they blessed bread and wyne to housell agayne afterward in his remembraunce. Euen so also their successors and all priestes by Christes commaundement do blesse bread and wyne to housell in hys name with the Apostolicke blessyng. Nowe men haue often Marginalia* Note how Christs wordes were takē by significatiō before [illegible text] time. searched and doe yet often * search, howe bread that is gathered of corne, and through fyers heate baked, maye bee turned to Christes body: or how wyne that is pressed out of many grapes is turned through one blessyng, to þe Lords bloud. Now saye we to suche men, that some thynges bee spoken of Christ by Marginalia* A necessary distinction. * signification, and some bee thinges certaine. True this is and certaine that Christe was borne of a mayde, and suffered death of hys own accorde, and was buried, and on this daye rose from death. Hee is sayd to bee bread by signification, and a lambe and a lyon, and a mountayne. He is called bread, because hee is our lyfe and Angels lyfe. He is sayde to bee a lambe for his innocencie: a Lyon for strength wherwith he ouercame the strong deuill. But Christ is not so notwithstandyng after true nature, neyther bread, nor a lambe, nor a lyon. MarginaliaWhy is the housell called Christes body, when it is not so truly? Why is then þt holy housel called Christes bodye, or his bloude, if it bee not truely that it is called? Truely the bread and the wyne which in the supper by the priest is halowed, shew one thing without to humane vnderstandyng and an other thyng within to beleuing myndes. Without they be sene bread and wine both in figure and in tast, and they be truly after their halowing, Christes body and his bloud through ghostly mysterye. An heathen childe is christened, yet he altereth not hys shape without, though he be chāged within. He is brought to the fontstone sinfull through Adams disobedience: howbeit he is washed from all sinne within, though he hath not chaunged his shape without. Marginalia* The water in baptisme & bread and wine in the Lordes supper compared. *Euen so the holy fonte water that is called the welspryng of lyfe, is lyke in shape to other waters, and is subiect to corruptiō, but the holy ghostes might commeth to the corruptible water through the priestes blessyng, and it may after wash the body and soule frō al sinne, through ghostly myght. Behold now we see two thynges in this one creature: after true nature, that water is corruptible moysture, and after ghostly mystery hath wholesome vertue. So also if we behold þt holy housel after bodily vnderstanding, thē see we that it is a creature corruptible & mutable. If we acknowledge therin ghostly might, then vnderstand we that lyfe is therin, and that it geueth immortalitie to them that eate it with beliefe. Much is betwixt the inuisible might of the holy housell, and the visible shape of his proper nature. It is Marginalia* No transubstātiation. * naturally corruptible bread, and corruptible wine: & is by might of Gods worde truey Christes body and his bloud: not so notwithstanding bodily, but ghostely. Much is betwixt the Marginalia* Differences betwixt Christes naturall body, & the sacrament therof. * body of Christ whiche he suffered in, and the bodye that is hallowed to housell. Marginalia* Not the bodye that suffred is in the housell. The body truly þt Christ suffered in was born of the * flesh of Mary with bloud & with bone, wt skin & with sinews, in humayn lims, wt a reasonable soule lyuing: & his ghostly body, which we call þe housel, is gathered of many cornes, without bloud and bone, without limme, without soule, and therfore nothing is to be vnderstand therein bodily, but all is ghostly to bee vnderstande. What soeuer is in that housell, which geueth substance of lyfe that is of the ghostlye might, and inuisible doyng. Therfore is that holy housell, called a mistery, because there is one thing in it seene, and an other thing vnderstanded. That which is there Marginalia* 2. Difference. * sene, hath bodily shape: & that we do there vnderstand, hath ghostlye might. Certainly Christes bodye which suffered death and rose from death neuer Marginalia* 3. Difference. * dyeth henceforth, but is eternall & vnpassible. That housell is temporall, not eternall, Marginalia* 4. Difference. * corruptible and dealed in MarginaliaMath. 15. to sundry partes chewed betweene teeth, and sent into the bellye: howbeit neuerthelesse after ghostly might, it is all in euery part. Manye receaue that holy body: and yet notwithstanding it is so all in euery part after ghostly misterye. Though some chewe the lesse, yet is there no more mighte notwithstanding in the more part, then in the lesse, because it is whole in all men after the inuisible might. This misterie is a Marginalia* 5. differēce. * pledge and a figure: Christes body is truth it selfe. This pledge we do keepe mistically, vntill that we be come to the truth it selfe, and then is this pledge ended. Truely it is so as we before haue sayd, Christes body and hys bloud: not bodily but ghostlye. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe quietly omits here two miraculous stories of the healing power which appeared in the original and (with caustic commentary) in the Parker/Joscelyn version (cf. A testimonie of antiquitie [London, 1566?], STC 159.5, fos. 39r and 40r).

But now here the Apostles wordes about this mistery. Paule the Apostle speaketh of the olde Israelites thus writing in his epistle to faythfull mē: Al our forefathers were baptised in the cloud and in the sea, and all they did eate the same gostly meate, and dranke the same ghostly drinke. They dranke truelye of the stone that followed them, and that stone was Christe. Marginalia1. Cor 10. Nether was that MarginaliaNote this exposition which is now a dayes thought new * stone then from whiche the water ran, bodylye Christ, but it signifyed Christ, that calleth thus to all beleuing and faythfull men: Who soeuer thirsteth, let him come to me and drinke, and from hys bowels shall flowe liuely water. MarginaliaIohn. 4. This he sayd of the holy ghost, which they receaued who beleued on him. The Apostle Paule sayth: that the Israelites did eate the same ghostly meate, and dranke the same ghostlye drinke, Marginalia1. Cor. 10. because that heauenly meate that fed them xl. yeares, and that water which from the stone did flowe, MarginaliaExod 17. had signification of Christes body and his bloud, that now be offred daylye in Gods Church. It was the same which we now offer, not bodely, but ghostly.

[Back to Top]

We sayd vnto you ere while, that Christ halowed bread and wyne to housell before hys sufferyng, and sayd: This is my bodye and my bloud, MarginaliaMath. 26.
Luke. 22.
Mark. 14.
Yet hee had not then suffered: but so notwithstandyng he Marginalia* Now we eate that body which was eaten before he was borne by fayth. * turned through inuisible myght, þt bread to his owne body, and that wyne to hys bloud: as he before dyd in the wildernes, before that he was borne to be a man, when hee Marginalia* Here is no transubstantiation. * turned that heauenly meate to hys fleshe and the flowyng water from that stone to hys owne bloude. Very many did eate of that Marginalia* Manna. * heauēly meat in the wildernes & drinke þt ghostly drink: & were neuertheles dead, as Christ sayd. And Christ ment not that death whiche none can escape, but that euerlastyng death whiche some of that folke deserued for their vnbeliefe. Moyses and Aaron, and many other of that people whiche pleased God, dyd eate that heauenly bread, & they dyed not that euerlastyng death, though they dyed the common death. They sawe that the heauenly meate was visible and corruptible, and they ghostly vnderstode by that visible thing and ghostly receiued it. The Sauiour sayeth: He that eateth my fleshe, and drynketh my bloud, hath euerlastyng lyfe. MarginaliaIohn 6. And hee bad them not eate that body wherwith hee was enclosed, nor to drynke that bloud whiche he shed for vs: Marginalia* What body the faythfull do now eate. * but he ment wt those wordes that holy housell, whiche ghostly is his body and his bloude and he that tasteth it with beleauyng hart, hath that eternal lyfe. In the olde law faythfull men offred to God diuers sacrifices, that had Marginalia* A signification before Christ * foresignification of Christes bodye, which for our sinnes he himselfe to hys heauēly father hath since Marginalia* A sacrifice in Christes tyme. * offered to sacrifice. Certaynly this housell which we do now halow at gods Altar, is a Marginalia* A remembraunce of Christ. * remēbrance of Christes body which he offred for vs: and of his bloude whiche hee shed for vs: So he himselfe commaunded: Do this in my remembraunce. MarginaliaMath. 26. Once suffered Christe by hym selfe, but yet neuerthelesse hys sufferyng is dayly renued at this supper through mistery of the holy housell. MarginaliaHebr. 10. Therefore 

Commentary  *  Close

At this point, Foxe omitted a passage stating that the Mass aided the souls of both the living and the dead (cf. A testimonie of antiquitie [London, 1566?], STC 159.5, fo. 47r).

wee ought to consider diligently: howe that this holy housell is both Christes bodye, and the bodye of all Marginalia* The housell is also the body of all faithfull mē. * faythfull men, after ghostly misterye. As wise Augustine sayth of it: Yf ye will vnderstand of Christes bodye heare the Apostle Paull thus speakyng: Ye truely bee Christes body and hys members. Nowe is your misterye set on Gods table, and ye receyue your mysterye, whiche misterye ye your selfes bee. Be that whiche ye se on the alter, and receyue that whiche ye your selues bee. Agayne the Apostle Paule sayth by it: We many be one bread, and one bodye. Vnderstand nowe and reioyce, many be one bread and one body in Christ. He is our head, and we be hys limmes: and the bread is not of one corne, but of many: nor the wyne of one grape, but of many. So also we al should haue one vnity in our Lord, as it is writen of the faythfull armye, howe that they were in so great an vnitie, as thoughe all of them were one soule, & one harte. Christ halowed on his table the mistery of our peace and of our vnitye. He which receyueth that, mistery of vnitie, and keepeth not the bonde of true peace, receyueth no mystery for hymselfe, but a witnesse agaynst himselfe. It is very good for christen men that they go often to housell, if they bring with them to the alter, vngiltines and innocency of hart: if they be not oppressed with sinne. Marginalia* No scripture inforceth the mixture of water with the wine. To an euill mā it turneth to no good, but to destruction, if he receyue vn-

[Back to Top]
worthe-