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1352 [1351]

K. Edw. 6. A fruitfull Dialogue betwene Custome and Truth.

Marginalia1552. of place to adioyne to the former discourses of Peter Martyr, and of Doctour Ridley aboue mentioned, an other certaine learned treatise in forme of a Dialogue as apperteinyng to the same Argument, compiled (as it semeth) out of the tractations of Peter Martyr and other authours, by a certaine learned & reuerend person of this Realme 

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In order to edify his readers, Foxe chooses not to offer his transcription of the disputation at this point, but to rather offer a 'Dialogue' which was compiled from the writings (and perhaps lectures?) of Peter Martyr Vermigli, the other great reformed theologian besides Bucer who had fled to Edwardian England; he became Regius Professor of Theology at Oxford. Foxe does not name the compiler other than a 'learned and reverend' Englishman. One wonders if this person is not Foxe himself.

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: MarginaliaA learned Dealogue betwen Custume and Truth. who vnder the persons of Custome and Veritie, manifestly layeth before our eyes, and teacheth all men not to measure Religion by custome, but to try custome by truth and the worde of God, for els custome may soone deceaue, but the word of God abydeth for euer.

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¶ A fruitefull Dialogue declaring these wordes of Christ: This is my body. 
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The dialogue Foxe presents is between two allegorical figures regarding the words understood as Christ's instituting the sacrament of the Eucharist: religion according to the tradition of the Church ('custom'), and religion according to the truth as found in the word of God or scripture. For Foxe and the vast majority of Protestants, beginning with the teachings of Martin Luther, all truths that are necessary for salvation are contained in the Bible or word of God. Church tradition, being unwritten and not found in the Bible, is liable to human frailty and corruption, and is therefore not worthy of trust, and certainly cannot be a reliable source of divine truth. In the Catholic understanding, there is no division between the two modes of revelation, or God's self-manifestation to humanity. Church tradition is the unwritten word of God, handed down for centuries from the time of the Apostles. The Bible is the written word of God, which was not composed until after the Church and its tradition had come into existence. The Church as a whole possesses the responsibility, given to it by Christ with the promise that in cannot err in matters of faith since it is forever guided by the Holy Spirit, to interpret the one divine revelation as found in the complementary ways in which it is revealed: written and unwritten, which are intertwined and indivisible. For Catholics, Foxe is trying to establish a false dichotomy. Moreover, some Protestants, including such leaders as Luther and Calvin, held that the Bible needed no interpretation but was rather self-explanatory; in fact these and other reformers have been criticized for viewing their own interpretations of the Bible as the only correct ones, and indeed, as self-evidently so. For Foxe the Bible and the Protestant understanding of true religion are equated as one and the same.

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MarginaliaA Dialogue betwene Custome and Veritie. CVstome. I maruell much what madnes is cropen into those mens hartes, which now a dayes are not ashamed so violently to tread downe the liuely word of God, yea and impudently to deny God hymselfe.

Veritie. God forbyd there should be any such. In deede I remember that the Romish Byshop was wont to haue the Bible for his foote stoole, & so to treade downe Gods word euermore when he stode at his Masse. 

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Veritie uses the image of the pope treading on the Bible in order to offer the Mass, which as Veritie implies, is a nonbiblical corruption of the Eucharist. But now that the pope has been revealed as the source of false religion by the reformers, none ('no moe [more]') have the power to distort the Protestant views of religious truth.

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But thankes be to God he is now detected, and his abominations be opened and blowne throughout all the world. And I heare of no moe that oppresseth Gods word.

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Cust. No mo say you? Yes doubtles there are an hundreth thousād mo, & your part it is Veritie, to withstand them.

Veri. As touchyng my part, you know it agreeth not with my nature to stand with falsehode. But what are they: disclose them if you will haue them reproued.

Cust. What, are you so great a straunger in these quarters? heare you not how that men do dayly speake agaynst the sacramēt of the aultar, denyng it to be the real body of Christ? 

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

Veri. In good soth 

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'In sooth' - truly.

, I haue bene a great while abroad, and returned but of late into this countrey 
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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 aūswere be to seeke in such questions. But go forth in your tale. You haue ben lōger here, and are better acquaynted then I. What say they more then this?

Cust. Then this? why, what can they possible say more?

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

Cust. What? me thinketh you dally 

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

with me. Seemeth it tolerable to deny the Sacrament?

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

Cust. Nay then fare you well: I perceyue you will take their part.

Veri. I am not parciall, but indifferent 

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

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

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

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

MarginaliaMath. 26. The woordes are euident and playne: there is in them not so much as one obscure or darke letter: there is no cause for any man to cauill 
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'cavill' - quibble over.

. MarginaliaChristes wordes
The Euangelistes.
The old writers:
The Catholicke Church.
And yet that notwithstandyng, where as Christ hymselfe affirmed it to be his body, men now a dayes are not abashed to say Christ lyed, it is not his body. The Euangelistes 
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'The Evangelists': the traditional authors of the four Gospels of the New Testament: Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

agree all in one, the old writers 
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'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.

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stand of our side, the Vniuersall and Catholicke Churche hath bene in this mynde these xv. hundreth yeare and more. And shall we thincke that Christ hymselfe, his Euangelistes, all the whole Catholicke Churche hath bene so long deceyued, and the truth now at length begotten and borne in these dayes? 
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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.

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Veri. You haue moued a matter of great force and waight, and whereto without many woordes I can make no full aunswere. Notwithstandyng because you prouoke me thereto, if you wil gyue me licence I will take parte with them of whom you haue made false reporte. MarginaliaThe doctrine of the papistes commonly standeth vpon false reportes. for none of them euer reproued Christ of any lye. But contrarywise they say that many men of late dayes, not vnderstandyng Christes wordes, haue buylded and set vp many fond 

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'Fond': foolish.

lyes vpon his name. Wherfore first I will declare the meanyng of these wordes: This is my body, and next in what sense the Church & the old fathers haue euermore taken them. MarginaliaThe sense of Hoc est [illegible text] 
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'Hoc est corpus meum': Latin for 'this is my body.'

, expounded.
First therfore you shall vnderstand 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. 
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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.]

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For if you folow the bare wordes, you will soone shake downe and ouerthrow the greatest parte of the Christian fayth. What is playner then these wordes: Pater maior me est: My father is greater then I am? MarginaliaIohn. 14. Of those playne wordes sprang vp the heresie of the Arrians, which denyed Christ to be equall with his father. 
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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 me? MarginaliaIohn 10. Ther of arose the heresie of them that denyed three distinct persons. 
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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 hart peculiar to hymselfe. They are now not two but one flesh, is spoken by the man and his wife. Yet hath both the mā and the wife his seuerall body. Hee is our very flesh, MarginaliaGen. 37. sayd Rubē by Ioseph his brother, whiche notwithstandyng was not their reall flesh. I am bread, sayd Christ: yet was he flesh and no bread. Christ was the stone, Marginalia1. Cor. 10. sayth Paule, and was in dede no materiall stone. Melchisedech had neither father nor mother, & yet in deede he had both. Behold the Lambe of God, sayth Iohn Baptist by Christ: notwithstandyng Christ was a man, & not a L&be. 
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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'].

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Circumcision was called the couenaūt, where as it was but a token of the couenaunt. The Lambe named þe passeouer, & yet was it eaten in remēbraunce was onely of the passeouer. Iacob raysed vp an aultar, and called it beyng made but of lyme and stone, the mighty God of Israell. Moses when he had conquered the Amalechites, set vp an aultar and called it by the names of God Iehoua 
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'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 Tetragrāmatum. 
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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.

We all are one loafe of bread, Marginalia1. Cor. 10. sayth Paule yet were they not therby turned into a loafe of bread. Christ hangyng vpon the Crosse appoynted S. Iohn to his mother, saying: Loe there is thy sonne, & yet was he not her sonne. So many as be Baptised into Christ (sayth Paule) haue put on Christ: MarginaliaGal. 3. and so many as are Baptised into Christ, are washed with the bloud of Christ: MarginaliaRom. 6. Notwithstandyng no man tooke the fonte water to be the natural bloud of Christ. the cup is the new Testament, sayth Paule, and yet is not the cup in deede the very new Testamēt. MarginaliaFiguratiue speaches most common in Scripture. You see therfore þt it is not straunge 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 chaungyng of the bread into Christes body in the Sacrament, because the wordes be playne: This is my body, then the wiues flesh to be the naturall and reall body and flesh of the husband because it is written: They are not two, but one flesh: or the aultar of stone to be very God, because Moses with euident and playne wordes pronounced it to be the mighty God of Israel. Notwithstandyng if you will needes cleaue to the letter, you make for me, & hinder your own cause. For this I wil reason, and vse your owne weapon against you. MarginaliaThe name of bread vsed in scripture. The scripture calleth it bread. The Euangelistes agree in the same. Paule nameth it so v. tymes in one place. The holy Ghost may not be set to schole to learne to speake. Wherfore I conclude by your owne Argument, that we ought not onely to say, but also to beleue that in the Sacrament there remayneth bread.

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Cust. Me thinketh your aunswere is reasonable: yet can I not be satisfied. Declare you therfore more at large, what moueth you to thinke this of the Sacrament. For I thinke you would not withstād a doctrine so long holden & taught, 

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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. First, in examinyng the wordes of Christ, I get me to the meanyng and purpose for whiche they were spoken. And in this behalfe I see that Christ mēt to haue his death and passion kept in remembraunce. For men of themselues bee and euermore were forgetfull of the benefites of God. And therefore it was behouefull that they should be admonished and sturred vp with some visible and outward tokens, as with the Passeouer Lambe, the brasen Serpent, and other lyke. For the brasen Serpent was a token that when the Iewes were stynged and wounded with Serpentes, God restored thē and made them whole. The passeouer Lambe was a memory of the great benefite of God, which when he destroyed the Egyptians, saued the Iewes whose doores were sprinckled with the bloud of a Lambe. So lykewise Christ left vs a memoriall and remembraunce of his death and passion in outward tokens 

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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 Child should demaunde of his Father what the breakyng of the bread and drinking of the cup meaneth, he might aunswere hym, that lyke as the bread is broken, so Christ was broken and rent vpon the Crosse for to redeeme 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 this do I gather by the wordes of Christ and by the Institution and order of the Sacrament. For Christ charged the Apostles to do this in the remembraunce of hym. Wherupon thus I do conclude:

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

Fe- Christ neuer deuoured hymselfe.
ri- Christ dyd eate the Sacrament with his Apostles.
son. Ergo, the Sacrament is not Christ hymselfe. 
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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.

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Beside this I see, that Christ ordayned not his body, but a Sacrament of his body. A Sacramēt (as S. Augustine

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