Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1599 [1599]

K. Edvvard. 6. Declaring the meaning of Christes wordes: Hoc est corpus meum.

Marginalia1552.tread þe broad Seale vnder his foote, although he haue broken and defaced nothing but syluer and waxe. Yet is the iniury the Kinges, and the doer shall be taken as a Traitour. Saint Ambrose declareth the meanyng of S. Paule by these woordes. Reus est corporis domini, quia pænas dabit mortis Christi quoniā irritam fecit mortem domini. MarginaliaAmbrosius.The cause of the ordinance therof was the remembrance of the death of Christ, which who so forgetteth, receiueth the sacrament to their condemnation. That same witnesseth S. Augustine. For the sacrament, saith he, is an outward token of loue and charitie. For like as many graines of corne are become one peece of bread, euen so they that receiue it ought to be one. Then sayth he. Mysterium pacis ac vnitatis nobis Christus in mensa sua consecrauit. Qui accepit mysterium vnitatis, & non seruat vnitatem, non mysterium accepit pro se, sed testimonium contra se. MarginaliaAugustinus.
The place of Sainct Paul, of receauing vnworthely, expounded.
He that readeth the Gospell wherein is declared the passion and death of Christ, and liueth contrary to the Gospell, shall doubtles be the more gylty of the death of Christ, because he heareth and readeth the word of God, and regardeth it not. In a certayne countrey the maner is, that when the Gospell is read, the King shall stande vp with a naked swoord in hys hande, declaring thereby that he beareth hys sword in defence of the Gospel. But if he himself oppresseth the Gospell, he beareth the sword against him selfe, for the Gospel shall turne to his iudgement, and condemnation. So will Christ so much more extremely punish a man which knowing him selfe to be wicked and without repentance and therefore none of the flocke of Christ, yet notwithstanding wyll impudētly creepe into the company of Christian men, and receiue the sacramentes with them, as though hee were one of the nomber. And this ment S. Paule by the vnworthy receiuing of the Sacrament of Christes body. Wherefore a man may vnworthely take the sacrament, and be giltie of the death of Christ, although hee receiue not Christes body into his mouth, and chawe it with his teeth. But what if I proue that euery Massing Priest is gilty of the body and bloud of Christ?

[Back to Top]

CVST. I dare say, you can not proue it.

VERI. But if I do proue it, will you beleue me?

CVST. I may well ynough, for it is impossible to doe it. For Priestes commonly are confessed before they goe to Masse: and how can they then take the Sacrament vnworthely?

MarginaliaConfessiō.VERI. In deede confession, if it bee discretely vsed, is a laudable custome, and to the vnlearned man, and feable conscience so good as a sermon. But notwithstanding because it was neuer neyther commaunded of Christ, nor receiued of the Apostels, nor much spoken of the old doctors, it can not make much for the due receiuing of the sacrament 

Commentary  *  Close

An aside against the Catholic Sacrament of Confession; Protestants denied that it was instituted by Christ and was thus not a Sacrament. Catholics believed that it was instituted when the Risen Christ commanded the apostles to bind and loose sins (see John 20:21-23).

. But how lyke you these wordes of S. Ambrose? Is indigne sumit, qui aliter sumit, quam Christus instituit. i. MarginaliaAmbrosius.Hee taketh it vnvvorthely, that taketh it othervvyse then Chirst ordeined it.

[Back to Top]

CVST. This liketh me verye well. But what gather you of it?

VERI. This wyl I gather. The massing Priest taketh the sacrament otherwyse then Christ eyther commaunded or taught: Ergo he taketh it vnworthely, and so consequently to hys condemnation.

CVST. That is not so, for he doth altogether as Christ commaunded hym.

MarginaliaThe priest taketh the sacrament not as Christ ordayned it: Ergo the good taketh it vnworthely.VERI. That shall appeare. For Christ commaunded it to be done in his remembraunce: the Priest doth it in remembraunce of dead men. Christ tooke bread, and left it bread: the Priest taketh bread and coniureth it away. Christ tooke bread and gaue thankes: the Priest taketh bread, and breatheth vpon it. Christ toke bread, and brake it: the Priest taketh bread and hangeth it vp. Christ tooke bread and delt to his Apostles: the Priest because he is an Apostle hym selfe, taketh bread and eateth it euery whitte alone. Christ in a Sacrament gaue his owne body to bee eaten in fayth: the Priest for lacke of fayth receiueth accidences, and dimensiōs. Christ gaue a Sacrament to strengthen mens fayth: the Priest geueth a sacrifice to redeme mens soules. Christ gaue it to be eaten: the Priestes giueth it to be worshipped. And to conclude, Christ gaue bread: the Priest sayth he giueth a God. MarginaliaDifferēce betwene Christes ordinancie and the PriestHere is difference ynough betwene Christ, and the Priest. Yet moreouer Christ at his Supper spake his wordes out and in a plaine tounge: the Priest speaketh nothyng but Latin, or Greke, which tounges he ofttymes perceiueth not, & much he whispereth leste any other pore mā should perhaps perceiue him. So it cōmeth to passe that the Priest knoweth no more what hee him self sayth,then what he doth. This you may see that the Massysng priest receiueth þe Sacramēt of Christes body farre otherwise thē euer Christ mynded, & so therfore vnworthely & to hys condemnation 

Commentary  *  Close

Another aside in which Verity offers a series of objections to the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, some of them more caricatures of the doctrines than actual discussions of them. Many of them have also been raised in the disputations which Foxe has just related. Such objections include: offering masses for the intentions of the living and for the dead; reservation and worship of the Sacrament; the language in which the liturgy is prayed; the ritual of the mass.

[Back to Top]
. Now if you thinke your self satisfied, I wil returne to my former questiō, and proue more at large that Christes body can not bee eaten of the wicked, which thyng must necessarily ensue if the bread were turned into the body of Christ. Christ in the vj. of Iohn, speakyng of the eatyng of hys body, sayth: He that eateth of this bread, shall lyue for euer. MarginaliaIohn. 6.Wherof I gather thus: But sinnefull men take the Sacrament to their condemnation and lyue not for euer: Ergo, in the Sacrament they receiue not the body of Christ. Againe, Christ sayth: He that eateth me, shall lyue for my sake. Hereof I cōclude thus: But impenitent persons can not lyue for Christes sake. Moreouer Christes body must be receiued with fayth & not with the mouth, as Gregory recordeth saying, MarginaliaGregorius.that it is eaten with the teeth of the soule, not of the body, as I haue aboue more largely declared. But wicked, and impenitent persons lacke fayth: Wherfore they can not eate the body of Christ. Agayne Christes body can not be diuided from his spirite, but wicked men haue not the spirite of God, Ergo, they haue not Christes body. Hereunto agreeth all the old writers affirmyng constantly that the vnfaythfull be no meete vessels to receiue the body of Christ. S. Augustine sayth: Qui non manet in Christo, & in quo non manet Christus, procul dubio non māducat carnem Christi, nec bibit eius sanguinem, quamuis tantæ rei mysteriū ad iudicium suum manducet, ac bibat. MarginaliaAugustinus.And in the person of Christ he sayth lykewise: Qui non manet in me, & in quo ego non maneo, ne se dicat, aut existimet manducare corpus meum, aut sanguinem meum bibere. Ambrose auoweth the same, by these wordes: Qui discordat a Christo, non māducat carnem eius, nec bibit sanguinem, etsi tantæ rei Sacramētum accipiat. MarginaliaAmbrosius.In lyke maner writeth Prosperus: Qui discordat a Christo, nec carnem Christi edit, nec sanguinem bibit, etsi tantæ rei Sancramētum, ad iudicium suæ præsumptionis quotidiè accipiat. MarginaliaProsperus. And therfore S. Augustine sayth: Mali Sacramentum habent, rem autem Sacramenti non habent. MarginaliaAugustinus.Thus by the wordes of God, by reason, and by the olde fathers it is playne that sinnefull men eate not the body of Christ, receyue they the Sacrament neuer so ofte: Which thyng could not be, if in the Sacrament there remayned nothyng but the body of Christ.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe Sacrament called breaking of bread.The sacrament in the scriptures is named Fractio panis, the breaking of bread: which, to say the truth, were but a colde breaking if there remayned no breade to breake, but certayne phantasies of white, and round. Yet where as they with wordes, crossinges, blessinges, breathings, leapings, and much a doo can scarcely make one God, they haue such vertue in theyr fingers, that at one crosse they be able to make. xx. gods, for if they breake the sacrament euery portion, yea euery mite must needes be a god. After the Apostels tyme there arose vp hereticks 

Commentary  *  Close

The heretics Verity describes are the Gnostics (from the Greek 'gnosis' - 'knowledge'), among the earliest and largest groups that denied elements of fundamental Christian belief; in this case, the incarnation: that God became a true human being in the person of Jesus.

which said that Christ walking here amongest mē bodily vpon the earth, had no very body, but a thing like a body, and so therewyth dimmed mens sight. Against whō the old fathers vsed these argumentes: Christ increased in growing, fasted, hūgred, eate, wept, sweat, was weary, and in conclusion dyed, and had all other properties of a very body: wherfore he had a body. MarginaliaAgaynst transubstantiation.I wyll vse the same kinde of reasoning. It feedeth, it casteth like bread, it looketh like bread, the little seelye 
Commentary  *  Close

'Sely': simple.

Mouse taketh it for bread, and to be shorte, it hath all the properties and tokens of bread: ergo it is bread. The old Fathers, when there remayned any parte of the Sacrament, more then was spent at the Cōmunion, they vsed to burne it, and of it there came ashes. MarginaliaReasons prouing bread in the Sacramēt.But there is nothing in the Sacrament that can turne to ashes, but onely bread (for I thinke they burned not Christes body to ashes): Ergo in the sacrament there remayneth bread. Henry the Emperour the. vj. of that name was poysoned in the host: and Victor the Bishop of Rome in the Chalice. But poyson can not hange in Gods body, and bloud: Wherefore there remayneth bread and wyne. What needeth many wordes in a matter so euident? If you demaunde either Gods word, or the Doctours and the auncient wryters, or your reason, or your eyes, or nose, or tong, or fingers, or the Cat, or the Ape, or þe Mouse, all these agree in one, and aunswere together there is breade: wherefore if you reiect so many and so constant witnesses, and so well agreing in their tale, specially being such as wyll lye for no mans pleasure, I wil appeale from you, and take you as no indifferent iudge. If all these wytnesses suffice you not, I wyll call the sacrament it selfe to record. It crieth vnto you, & plainly doth aduertise you what you should

[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