Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1596 [1596]

K. Edward. 6. A fruitfull Dialogue betwene Custome and Truth,

Marginaliaters? heare you not how that men do dayly speake agaynst the Sacrament of the aultar, deniyng it to be the reall body of Christ? 

Commentary  *  Close

Custom remarks that religious truth is being denied by those who deny Christ's corporeal presence in the Eucharist.

VERI. In good soth 

Commentary  *  Close

'In sooth' - truly.

, I haue bene a great whyle abroad, and returned but of late into this contrary 
Commentary  *  Close

Protestants claimed that religious truth has only recently reappeared in England and the rest of the world after about 1000 years of corruption of the primitive church in the medieval period, with the advent of the Protestant Reformation.

. Wherfore you must pardon me if my aunswere be to seeke in such questions. But go forth in your tale. You haue ben longer here, and are better acquaynted then I. What say they more then this?

CVST. Thē this? why, what cā they possible say more?

VERI. Yes there are many thynges worse then this: For this semeth in some part to be tolerable.

CVST. What? me thinketh you daly 

Commentary  *  Close

'dally' - tease; custom is shocked by Veritie saying the denial of the Catholic view of the Eucharist is a small matter.

with me. Semeth it tolerable to deny the Sacrament?

VERI. They denye it not, so much as I can gather by your wordes.

CVST. Nay then fare you well: I perceiue you will take their part.

VERI. I am not parciall, but indifferent 

Commentary  *  Close

'indifferent' - open to the truth, rather than not caring about it.

to all parties: For I neuer go farther then the truth.

CVST. I cā scarsly beleue you. But what is more true then Christ, which is truth it selfe? or who euer was so hardy, before this tyme to charge Christ with a lye, for saying these wordes: This is my body? 

Commentary  *  Close

Matthew 26:26: 'This is my body.'

MarginaliaMath. 26.The wordes are euident and plaine: there is in them not so much as one obscure or darke letter: there is no cause for any man to cauill 
Commentary  *  Close

'cavill' - quibble over.

. MarginaliaChristes wordes:
The Euangelistes:
The olde writers:
The Catholicke Church.
And yet that notwithstandyng, where as Christ him selfe affirmed it to be his body, men now a dayes are not abashed to say Christ lyed, it is not his body. The Euangelistes 
Commentary  *  Close

'The Evangelists': the traditional authors of the four Gospels of the New Testament: Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

agree all in one, the olde writers 
Commentary  *  Close

'The old writers': the Fathers of the Church, the theologians of the first 500 years of Christianity, whose writings were held as important test for the veracity of disputed doctrines. For Protestant theologians they were an important but fallible source of information. For Catholics they were part of the Tradition of the Church, and the common and historical interpretation of their writings, especially if they were seen to largely agree on a doctrine, were held as a vital test in discerning Christian truths.

[Back to Top]
stand of our syde, the Vniuersall and Catholicke Church hath ben in this mynde these xv. hundreth yeare and more. And shall we thincke that Christ hym selfe, hys Euangelistes, all the whole Catholicke Church hath bene so longe deceyued, and the truth now at length begotten and borne in these dayes? 
Commentary  *  Close

A common argument against Protestant belief by Catholics was how could God allow his own Church, with which he had promised always to be, to adhere to heresy, and the truth about Christian doctrine to be only realized with the advent of Luther and the other reformers.

[Back to Top]

VERI. You haue moued a matter of great force and waight, and whereto without many wordes I cā make no full aunswere. Notwithstādyng because you prouoke me therto, if you will gyue me licence I will take parte with them of whom you haue made false reporte. MarginaliaThe doctrine of the Papistes commonly stādeth vpon false reportes.For none of them euer reproued Christ of any lie. But cōtrarywise they say that many men of late dayes, not vnderstandyng Christes wordes, haue builded and set vp many fond 

Commentary  *  Close

'Fond': foolish.

lyes vpon his name. Wherefore first I will declare the meanyng of these wordes: This is my body, and next in what sense the Church and the old fathers haue euermore taken them. MarginaliaThe sense of Hoc est corpus meum 
Commentary  *  Close

'Hoc est corpus meum': Latin for 'this is my body.'

, expounded.
First therfore you shall vnderstād that Scripture is not so to be taken alwayes as the letter soundeth, but as the intent and purpose of the holy Ghost was, by whom the Scripture was vttered. 
Commentary  *  Close

The Bible must not always be interpreted literally, which Catholics do in the context of 'This is my body.' Verity's form of argument is problematic, since it seems to assume that since some words or phrases in the Bible must not be taken literally, therefore the phrase, 'this is my body,' must not be as well. [The issues at stake here were at the heart of the Reformation debates over the eucharist, and took theologians to the equally central question (raised by 'sola scriptura') of how literally scripture should be interpreted.]

[Back to Top]
For if you folowe the bare wordes, you will soone shake downe and ouerthrow the greatest part of the Christian faith. What is playner then these wordes: Pater maior me est: My father is greater then I am? MarginaliaIohn. 14.Of those playne wordes sprange vppe the heresye of the Arrians, which denyed Christ to be equall with his father. 
Commentary  *  Close

Jesus' words in John 14:28 'The Father is greater than I' was taken literally by the Arian heretics, beginning in the fourth century, as proof that Christ was not co-equal with God the Father or divine.

What is more euidēt then this saying: I and my father are both one? MarginaliaIohn. 10.Therof arose the heresy of thē that denyed three distinct persons. 
Commentary  *  Close

John 10:30 was taken by the Modalist heretics who held that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three modes of God's presence, and not three distinct persons united by God's one divine nature.

They all had one soule and one hart, MarginaliaActes. 4.was spoken by the Apostles. Yet had ech of them a soule and harte peculiar to hym selfe. They are novv not tvvo but one flesh, is spoken by the man and his wife. Yet hath both the man and the wife his seuerall body. Hee is our very flesh, MarginaliaGen. 37.sayd Ruben by Ioseph his brother, which notwithstandyng was not their reall flesh. I am bread, sayd Christ: yet was hee flesh and no bread. Christ vvas the stone, Marginalia1. Cor. 10.sayth Paul, and was in dede no materiall stone. Melchisedech had neyther father nor mother, and yet in deede he had both. Behold the Lambe of God, sayth Iohn Baptist by Christ: notwithstandyng Christ was a man, and not a Lambe. 
Commentary  *  Close

Further examples of figures of speech in the Bible that cannot be taken literally. Mark 10:8 [Foxe does not offer a reference for 'They are not two, but one flesh', and other citations below.]; Genesis 37:27 [Foxe is mistaken in attributing these words to Rueben; according to v. 26, these are the words of Judah.]; I Corinthians 10:16, 10:4; Hebrews 7:3 [for Melchizedech]; John 1:36 [for 'Behold the Lamb'].

[Back to Top]
Circumcision was called the couenaunt, where as it was but a token of the couenaūt. The Lambe was named the passeouer, and yet was it eaten in remembraunce only of the passeouer. Iacob raised vp an aultar, and called it being made but of lyme and stone, the mightie God of Israell. Moses whē he had conquered the Amalechites, set vp an aultar and called it by the names of God Iehoua, 
Commentary  *  Close

'Jehovah': taken by William Tyndale in his translation of the New Testament into English as the proper name for God; in fact it was a medieval allision of the Hebrew words 'Yahweh' ('I am who am' - the name for God) and 'Adonai' ('the Lord').

and Tetragrammatum. 
Commentary  *  Close

The 'Tetragrammaton' is devout way of speaking of the name of God, without actually saying it, due to the utmost reverence given to it among the Jews. It refers to the four consonants found in the name, Yahweh (YHWH), since the ancient Hebrew alphabet did not possess characters for vowel sounds.

VVe all are one loafe of bread, Marginalia1. Cor. 10.saith Paul, yet were they not thereby turned into a loafe of bread. Christ hangyng vpon the Crosse appoynted S. Iohn to his mother, saying: Loe there is thy sonne, and yet was he not her sonne. So many as be Baptised into Christ (sayth Paul) haue put on Christ: MarginaliaGal. 3.and so many as are baptised into Christ, are vvashed vvith the bloud of Christ: MarginaliaRom. 6.notwithstandyng no man toke the fonte water to be the naturall bloud of Christ. the cup is the nevv Testa-ment, sayth Paul, and yet is not the cuppe in dede the very new Testamēt. MarginaliaFiguratiue speaches most cōmon in Scripture.You see therfore that it is not straūge nor a thyng vnwont in the scriptures, to call one thyng by an others name. So that you can no more of necessitie inforce the chaunging of the bread into Christes body in the Sacrament, because the wordes be playne: This is my body, then the wiues flesh to bee the naturall and reall body and flesh of the husband because it is written: They are not tvvo, but one flesh: or the aultar of stone to bee very God, because Moses wyth euident and playne woordes pronounced it to be the mighty God of Israel. Notwithstanding if you wyll nedes cleaue to the letter, you make for me, and hinder your own cause. For thus I wil reason, and vse your own weapon agaynst you. MarginaliaThe name of bread vsed in scripture.The scripture calleth it bread. The Euāgelistes agree in the same. Paule nameth it so v. tymes in one place. The holy Gost may not be set to schole to learne to speake. Wherfore I conclude by your own argument, that we ought not only to say, but also to beleue that in the sacrament there remayneth bread.

[Back to Top]

CVST. Me thinketh your aunswere is reasonable: yet can I not bee satisfyed. Declare you therefore more at large, what moueth you to thynke this of the sacrament. For I thynke you woulde not wythstand a doctrine so long holden and taught, 

Commentary  *  Close

Custom queries about the antiquity of belief in Christ's corporeal presence in the Eucharist; antiquity being held as one of the signs of the authenticity of Christian doctrine, as described in the writings of one of the Fathers of the Church, Vincent of Lérins.

vnlesse you were inforced by some strong and likely reasons.

MarginaliaThe meaning of Christes wordes examined.VERI. Fyrst, in examinyng the wordes of Christ, I get me to the meanyng and purpose for which they were spoken. And in thys behalfe I see that Christ ment to haue hys death and passion kept in remembraunce. For men of them selues bee and euermore were forgetfull of the benefites of God. And therefore it was behouefull that they shoulde bee admonished and sturred vp wyth some visible and outward tokens, as with the Passeouer Lambe, the brasen Serpent, and other like. For the brasen Serpent was a token that when the Iewes were slynged and wounded with Serpentes, God restored them and made them whole. The passeouer Lambe was a memorye of the great benefite of God, whych when he destroyed the Egyptiās, saued the Iewes whose doores were sprinkled wyth the bloud of a Lambe. So likewise Christ left vs a memoriall and remēbrance of his death and passion in outward tokens 

Commentary  *  Close

Verity seems to equate the benefits of the Old Testament Passover sacrifice with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Catholics would argue that necessarily Christ's New Covenant surpasses the Old (otherwise what is its value?), and therefore the Eucharist is more than a metaphor, as Verity describes it.

, that when the Chylde should demaund of his Father what the breakyng of the bread and drynking of the cup meaneth, he might aunswere hym, that lyke as the bread is brokē, so Christ was broken and rent vpon the crosse for to redeme the soule of man: and lyke as wyne fostereth and comforteth the body, so doth the bloud of Christ cherish and relieue the soule. And thys do I gather by the woordes of Christ, and by the institution and order of the Sacrament. For Christ charged the Apostels to doe thys in the remembraunce of hym. Whereupon thus I do conclude:

[Back to Top]

Fes-Nothyng is done in remembrance of it selfe.
But the Sacrament is vsed in the remembrance of
no.Therefore the Sacrament is not Christ.

Fe-Christ neuer deuoured hym selfe.
ri-Christ did eate the Sacrament with his Apostles:
son.Ergo, the Sacrament is not Christ him selfe. 
Commentary  *  Close

Verity employs syllogisms, forms of logical argumentation using three points that often beg more questions than they answer. Catholics would respond to these arguments in a variety of ways; the most simple being 'with God, all things are possible,' along with evidence found in Scripture and Tradition and how the Church has interpreted these modes of divine revelation in regards to the Eucharist since Apostolic times.

[Back to Top]

Beside this I see, that Christ ordayned not his body, but a sacramēt of his body. A Sacramēt (as S. Augustine declareth) is an outward signe of an inuisible grace. His wordes are: Sacramentū est inuisibilis gratiæ visibile signū. 

Commentary  *  Close

The Catholic understanding of Augustine's definition of a sacrament in the context of the Eucharist is that the outward signs of bread and wine conceal the invisible grace of Christ's corporeal, glorified body and blood. Protestant objections included the argument that a corporeal body (as opposed to a spiritual one) can only be in one place at one time.

[Back to Top]
Out of whych wordes I gather two argumentes. The fyrst is thys, the token of the body of Christ is the thing tokened: wherfore they are not one. The second is this.

[Back to Top]

Fe-One thyng can not be both visible and inuisible.
But the Sacrament is visible, & the body of Christ
son.Therefore they are not one.

Which thyng S. Augustine openeth very well by these wordes: Aliud est sacramētū, aliud res sacramenti. Sacramētū est quod in corpus vadit: res autē sacramēti est corpus domini nostri Iesu Christi. Moreouer, I remēber þt Christ ministred this Sacramēt not to great & deepe Philosophers, but to a sort of ignorant and vnlearned Fishers, whych notwithstanding vnderstoode Christes meaning ryght well, and delyuered it euen as they tooke it at Christes hand, to the vulgar and lay people and fully declared vnto them the meaning thereof. But the lay pople, nor scarcely the Apostles themselues could vnderstand what is ment by transubstantiation, impanation, dimensions, qualitates, quātitates, accidens sine subiecto, terminus a quo, & terminus ad quem, per modum quanti. This is no lear-

[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield