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1364 [1364]

K. Henry. 8. The Epistle of Volusianus, for Priestes Mariage.

liciam vel maculam humanæ pollutionis excludit, qua declaratur ac dicitur: Hic est qui baptizat. &c. MarginaliaMath. 3.Nam si visibilis solis istius radij cum per loca fœtidissima transeunt, nulla cōtactus inquinatione maculantur: multo magis virtus illius qui istum visibilem solem fecit, nulla mysterij dignitate constringitur. Quicquid ergo ad hominum profectum quilibet in Ecclesia minister pro officio suo videtur operari, hic totū continetur iplendo diuinitatis effectu. Ita ille per quem Christus loquitur Paulus, affirmat: Ego plantaui, Apollo rigauit: sed deus incrementum dedit. Marginalia1. Cor. 3.A Deo non quæritur quis vel quatis prædicet: sed sic prædicet, vt inuidos etiam benè de Christo prædicare confirmet. Tanta est namq; diuinæ potentia gratiæ, vt per malos acquirat bonos, & per reprobos & improbos acquirat & colligat probos.

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His itaq; authoritatibus & alijs prædictis rationibus persuaderi debetis, neq; nos à diuini officij celebritate arcere, neq; illos quorum nihil interest, ab eius communione suspendere. Quodsi mali sumus, nobis ipsis sumus, & plus nobis quàm alijs nocemus: & quos fortaßè malos conspicitis, quid bons intersus habeant, ignoratis. Sunt enim pleriq; quos de incontinentia iudicatis, qui continentiores sunt quàm illi quos de continentia glorificatis. Qui habemus vxores, iuxta Apostolum tanquam non habemus. Marginalia1. Cor. 7.Quam videlicet cōtinentiam quia nobis non potestis dare, orate nobiscum & pro nobis, vt ille nobis donet, cuius hoc donum noscitur esse, & sine quo nemo poterit continens eße. Aliter enim illam habere nō poßumus nisi ex totis precordijs illum oremus cuius hoc donum esse cognoscimus. Et hoc ipsum (inquit Salomon) est sapientia, sciræ cuius hoc donum est, MarginaliaSap. 8.& quoniā super hoc nihil est.

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¶ The same in Englishe.

MarginaliaThe epistle of Volusianus Bishop of Carthage, for priestes mariage.FOr as much 

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Parker did not provide translationsof either of the pseudo-Volusianus letters; this is Foxe's translation.

as we are created vnder the power of

Marginalia#42; What he meaneth here by free will, he expoundeth playnlye hereafter.* free will 

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Rom. 6: 14.

, & not vnder the law, but vnder grace, let vs so lyue as we are created. You whiche lay vppon vs the law of continencie against our will, do depriue vs of the libertie of free will. You commaund vs, and by comaundyng compell vs to will that we woulde not, and not to will that we woulde doe. You bynd vs to the law, from the whiche by grace we are made free: and you constayne vs to receyue the spirite of bondage agayne to feare: and go about to make the grace of God of no effect, without the whiche we can doe nothyng: so that, as the Apostle saith: Grace is novv no grace, and the gift of God is not the gift of God. And not of God, but of man: not of hym that calleth, but of hym that worketh: where as the Apostle saith 
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Rom. 9: 16.

: It is not in hym that vvilleth, nor in hym that runneth, but in God that shevveth mercie. MarginaliaRom. 9.

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For where as there bee three principall and effectuall thyngs wherby euery humane soule endued with reason apprehēdeth and perceiueth what soeuer spirituall thyng it is hable to apprehende and perceiue, and without the whiche it can perceyue nothyng: the whiche thre thinges be these: Marginalia1. Free will.
2. The Cōmaundement, or the lawe.
3. Grace.
to witte, free will, the commaundement, and grace (for by free will we discerne & chose the good from the euill: by the commaundement we are prouoked and styrred vp to do all thynges; by grace we are furthered and holpen to performe the same) MarginaliaGrace Lady and Queene ouer the cōmaundement and free wyll.yet of all these, grace is the Lady and mystres, and as a mighty Empresse and Queene, vpon whose becke the other do wayt and gyue attendaunce, receyuing of her both strength and efficacy, and without her can doo nothyng, but remayne as thinges of them selues dull and dead, much lyke as amongest þe Philosophers their Materia without Forma being therto adioyned. MarginaliaFree will lykened to Materia: Grace to Forma.For in þe stede of Materia, we may, after a maner, not vnfitly place free wil: and in þe place of Forma we may set grace: and the cōmaundement (which is the meane betwene them both, as a certeyne instrument) to haue respecte to both: whereby the principall artificer whiche is God, furthereth and setteth forward free will as a rude and dull matter, and applyeth to it hys grace as the forme thereof. And lyke as the sayd Materia without Forma is rude and shapelesse, so free will is a thyng rude and deforme, if it bee not holpen with grace commyng therunto, to moue it and to further it, the commaundement commyng as a meane betwene them both in the stede of the instrumentall cause, as is before sayd.

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Therfore lyke as Forma is in respect of Materia, the lyke resēblance beareth free will in respect of grace. And agayne, as Materia is in respecte of Forma, the same also is free wil in respect of grace. And as the instrument serueth betwene the foresayd Materia and Forma, so doth thecommaundement betwene free will and grace. MarginaliaFree will, which after he calleth voluntarie deuotion, without the law, and the lawe without grace, can do nothyng.The instrument commmyng and workyng vpō the sayd Materia, being of it selfe ougle, rugged, and a thyng without all shape and fashion, doth forme it, shape it and pullishe it, and maketh it hansome, sightly, lightsome, bright and cleare: euen so lykewise the commaundement commyng and workyng vppon free will, beyng of it selfe a thyng rude, grosse, vnshapen and deforme, blynd and obscure, doth clarifye it, decke it, adourne it, bewtifie it, and lyghten it through the brightnes of grace commyng vnto it, accordyng to the saying of the Prophet 

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Psalm 19: 7.

: The commaundement of the Lord is bright and cleare, giuyng sight to the eyes. MarginaliaPsal. 19.

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MarginaliaFree will, and the law without grace, haue no power.And as the matter and the instrument without the forme can doe nothing, euen so free will and the commaundement without grace haue no power to worke. For what can eyther free will or the commaundement doe, excepte they bee holpen with grace both goyng before and folowyng? For grace sendeth the commaundement as a messenger & minister, to free will: the commaundement prouoketh freewill and styrreth it vp, as out of a slepe, to do good workes, & leadeth it as a blynd man, by the hand, teachyng hym the way wherin to goe. Whiche both if they be destitute of grace, are hable of thē selues to do nothing. And if they begyn, yet they procede not, neither do they performe or accomplishe any thyng: and if they presume, it prospereth not, and is but labour lost. For where the commaundement commeth, eyther by man or by Aungell: and also where freewil is moued, prouoked and informed either by the motion of man or of Aungell, yet vnlesse Gods grace go withall preuēting and folowyng the same, what is it hable to do? For whē man was put in Paradise, what auayled hym the commaundement whiche he heard 

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Genesis 2: 16.

: Thou shalt eate of euery tree of Paradise, but only of the tree of knovvledge of good & euill, thou shalt not eate. MarginaliaGen. 2.
The cōmaundement without grace auayled Adam nothyng in Paradise.
Whiche commaundement wrought not to hys saluation, but to hys condemnation. And why? because grace that saueth & helpeth, was wantyng, whiche he presumyng vniustly vppon his owne strength, despised. Or what dyd the commaundement of the law gyuen by Moyses, profite the people of Israell in the wildernes, whiche law they refused to obey? Or what profite wrought it to hym whiche presumed to folow the Lord of his owne free will and not of the Lordes callyng, saying vnto hym 
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Matt. 8: 19.

: Lord I vvill folovve thee vvhether so euer thou goest. MarginaliaMath. 8.By these and many other places of holy Scripture both of the old and new Testamēt, it may be proued that neither the commaundemēt nor free will haue power to woorke of them selues, vnlesse they bee holpen by Gods grace preuentyng and folowyng them.

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MarginaliaContinencie onely the gift of God.Seyng therefore the gift of continencie, as all other giftes be, is the gift onely of Gods grace, and commeth not by the commaundement nor by free will: they erre therfore and stryue in vayne, which labour to obteyne it by theyr owne power. And much more they also do erre, whiche by force constrayne men agaynst theyr will therunto, mouing them to offer giftes into the Sanctuary of God, not of theyr own accord but by coaction, either not knowyng or els not remēbring the saying of the Lord to Moyses 

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This is a conflation of Leviticus 22: 19 and 29.

: Separate amongest you the first frutes vnto the Lord, & let euery man of his ovvne voluntary and vvillyng mynde, come and offer the same vnto the Lord. MarginaliaNum. 15.What is this, to separate with you the first fruites to the Lord, but onely to waye and consider diligently in your hartes, and with discretion to lay downe and separate vnto the Lord, what we ought to presēt vnto hym out of the treasure of our hart? For if thou offer ryghtly and doest not rightly diuide, thou sinnest. And what is to offer with a wyllyng and ready mynd, but as the Psalmist, sayth 
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Psalm 54: 6

: I vvill offer sacrifice vnto thee vvillingly & chearfully? MarginaliaPsal. 54.And the Apostle sayth 
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2 Cor. 9: 7.

: Not grudginglye or of neceßitie: for God loueth a chearfull giuer. Marginalia2. Cor. 9.And Salomon sayth 
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Ecc. 35: 8-10.

: Gyue the Lord his glory vvith a good and free hart, and in euery gift thou giuest, shevv a ioyfull countenaunce, and sanctifie thy tythes vvith gladnes: and vvith a cherefull eye do all that thou takest in hād. MarginaliaEccle. 35.And the Apostle Iames sayth 
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This a loose quotation of James 1: 5.

: The Lord loueth not constrayned seruice: And 
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Jeremiah 48: 10.

, cursed be he that doth the vvorke of the Lord negligently, MarginaliaIerem. 48.that is, not carefully and with a willyng mynde.

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Wherefore, as the Lord willeth vs not to offer anythyng to hym agaynst our willes: so doth hee forbyd vs to compell any man to offer any thyng agaynst theyr willes by the foresayd Moyses where he sayth 

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Lev. 19: 13.

: Thou shalt not do thy neighbour vvrong, neither oppresse hym vvith violence. MarginaliaLeuit. 9.To do wrong to thy neighbour, is to correct him for his synne, not of any compassion or mercy towardes hym, but to reproue hym and to accuse him in disdainyng, vpbraydyng, and rebukyng hym: not to informe hym in

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MMM. iiij.
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