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1179 [1178]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and lyfe of the Lorde Cromwell. Alexander Alesius.

der at the blindnes and falsehoode that hath bene hytherto. MarginaliaThe world now able to iudge vpon errours. Wherefore ye must consider earnestly, what ye wyl determine of these controuersies, that ye make not your selues to be mocked and laughed to scorne of all the worlde, and that ye bring thē not to haue this opinion of you, to thinke euer more hereafter, that ye haue neither one sparke of learning, nor yet of godlines in you. And thus shall ye loose al your estimation and authoritie with them, whiche before tooke you for learned men, and profitable members vnto the common wealthe of Christendome. MarginaliaIt is a vaine hope to trust vpon the Popes authoritie. For that whiche you doo hope vppon, that there was neuer heresie in the Churche so great, but that processe of tyme with the power and authoritie of the Pope hath quenched it, it is nothing to the purpose. But ye must turne your opinion, and thinke this surely, that there is nothyng so feeble and weake, so that it be true, but it shal finde place, and be able to stand against all falsehoode.

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MarginaliaTruth will come out at last.
Truth daughter of tyme
Truth is the daughter of time, and time is the mother of truth. And what so euer is besieged of truth, can not long continue, and vpon whose side truth doth stande, that ought not to be thought transitory, or that it wyl euer fall. All thinges consist not in painted eloquence and strength or authoritie. MarginaliaThe nature of truth. For the truth is of so great power, strēgth & efficacie, that it can neither be defended with words nor be ouercome with any strength, but after she hath hydden her selfe long, at length shee putteth vp her head and appeareth, and as it is written in Esdras:
A kyng is strong, wine is stronger, yet women be more strong, but truth excelleth all. Marginalia3. Esd. 4.

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To this effect in a maner, & much more, dyd he speake and vtter in that conuocation, both copiously and discretly. Through whose Oration, Alesius being encouraged, proceeded further, to vrge the Bishop with this argument.

¶ The Argument in fourme. 
Commentary  *  Close

This syllogism is Foxe's addition to the account.

MarginaliaSacramentes be seales certifying vs of Gods good will. Ba. Sacraments be seales ascerteyning vs of Gods good
Without the word there is no certaintie of Gods good
co. Ergo, without the worde there be no Sacramentes.

The first part of this reason is S. Paules owne saying, thefourth to the Romanes, where he saith: That circumcision is a token and a seale of the righteounes of faith: MarginaliaRom. 4. Ergo, it requireth fayth to certifie mans hart of the wyll of God. MarginaliaThe word is the ground of fayth. But the worde of God is the foundation of fayth, as S. Paul witnesseth, Rom. 10. Fayth commeth by hearing, and hearing commeth by the worde of God. MarginaliaRom. 10. For the mynde must be taught and instructed of the wyll of God by the worde, like as the eye is taught and instructed by the outwarde ceremonie. And so Paul by that saying confuteth this opinion that the Sacramentes should make men righteous and iust before God, MarginaliaEx opere operato. for the very outward work, without faith of them that receaue them.

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And after this maner dooth Paule speake vnto the Ephesians: that Christe doth sanctifie his church though the bathe of water in the woorde of lyfe. MarginaliaEph 5. And for as much as he ioyneth the word vnto the ceremony, and declareth the vertue and power of the word of God, that it bringeth with it life, MarginaliaSacramētes only to be gathered out of the word of God. he doth manifestly teach that the word of God is the principall thing, and euen as it were the very substaunce & body of the sacrament: and the outward ceremonie to be nothing els then a token of that liuely inflammation which we receyue through faith in the word: and promise. S. Paul also in ministring the Sacrament of the Lordes supper, doth manifestly adde the wordes of Christ: He tooke bread (saith he) and whē he had geuen thanks, he brake it, and said, take ye this, & eate ye this, for it is my body. Item, Do ye this in my remembrance. MarginaliaThe institution of Christ ought not to bee altered. Beside this he teacheth euidently that only Christ & none but he had power to institute a sacrament: and that neither the Apostles, nor the Church hath any authoritie to alter or to adde any thing vnto his ordinance, where as he saith: For I haue receiued of the Lord that which I deliuered vnto you. &c. Marginalia1. Cor. 11. To what purpose should he go about to moue the people to beleue hym, & to wyn their hartes with this protestatiō, if it had ben lawful for hym to haue made any sacraments, or to haue altered þe forme & maner of ministring this sacramēt, as some men both wickedly and shamelesly do affirme, þt the Apostles did alter the forme of Baptisme.

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MarginaliaThe aunswere of the Byshop of London agaynst Alesius. When he had spoken thus much, the bish. of Londō did interrupt him, and said: Let vs graunt that the sacramentes may be gathered out of the word of God, yet are you far deceiued, if ye thinke that there is none other word of God, but that whiche euery sowter and cobler doo reade in their mother tongue. And if ye thinke that nothing perteyneth vnto the Christian fayth, but that onely that is written in the Bible, then erre ye plainly with the Lutherans. For S. Iohn saith, that Iesus did many things which be not written. MarginaliaIohn. 21. And S. Paul commaundeth the Thess. to obserue & keepe certain vnwritten traditions & ceremonies. Marginalia2. Thess. 2. ij. Thess. ii. Moreouer he hym selfe did preach not the scripture only, but euen also the traditions of the Elders. MarginaliaActes. 16. Act. xvj. MarginaliaVnwrytten verities and traditions of fathers in equall force with Gods written worde. Finally we haue receiued many thinges of the Doctors & Councels by tymes, which although they be not written in the Bible, yet for as much as the old Doctors of the Churche do make mention of them, we ought to graunt that we receiued them of the Apostles, and that they be of like authoritie with the Scripture, MarginaliaThe vnwritten worde of God. and finally that they may worthily be called the word of God vnwritten.

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Now when the right noble Lord Cromwel, the Archbishop, with the other Bishops, which did defend the pure doctrine of the Gospel, heard this, MarginaliaStokesley laughed to scorne. they smiled a litle one vpō an other, for as much as they saw him flee euē in þe very beginnyng of the disputation, vnto his old rustie Sophistry and vnwritten verities. Then Alesius would haue proceded further with the Bishop to haue confuted this blasphemous lye, but the Lord Cromwel bade hym be content, for the time began to go away and it was. xij. of the clocke, and thus he made an end wt this protestation. Right reuerende maister Bishop, you deny that our Christen faith and religion doth leane only vpon the word of God which is written in the Bible, whiche thing if I can proue and declare, then you wyll graunt me that there be no sacramentes, but those that haue the manifest word of God to confirme thē. Vnto this he dyd consent, and then immediatly that assemble was dissolued for that day.

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The next day when the Bishops were set againe, the Archbishop of Caunterbury sendyng his Archdeacon, commaunded Alesius to abstaine from disputation, whereupon he wrote his minde, and deliuered it vnto Cromwell, who afterward shewed the same vnto the Bishops 

Commentary  *  Close

This marks the end of Alexander Alesius's account of the synod. Ostensibly, Alesius was asked to withdraw because the bishops were offended by the presence of an outsider speaking in their assembly, but it was probably because Alesius's outspoken defence of retaining only two sacraments - clearly supported by Cromwell - was too radical for most of them.

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. Thus through the industry of Cromwell, the colloquies were brought to this ende, that albeit religion could not wholy be reformed, yet at that time there was some reformatiō had throughout al England.

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MarginaliaThe publicke care of Cromwell for the common wealth. How desirous and studious this good Cromwel was in þe cause of Christs religiō, exāples nede not to be brought. His whole life was nothing els, but a continuall care and trauaile how to aduaunce and further the right knowledge of the Gospell, and refourme the house of God: As by so many Proclamations aboue specified 

Commentary  *  Close

See 1570, pp. 12-46-50; 1576, pp. 1067-71 and 1583, pp. 1093-5.

by his meanes set forth, may well appeare, wherein firste he caused the people to be instructed in the Lordes Prayer, and Creede in Englishe, then procured the Scripture also to be read and set forth in the same language, for euery Englysh man to vnderstand: after that to rescue the vulgare people from damnable Idolatrie, caused certaine of the most grossest pilgremages to be destroyed. And further for the more commodity of the poore sort, which get their liuing with their daily labour & worke of their handes, he prouided that diuers idle holy dayes were diminished. Item, he procured for thē libertie to eate egges and whitmeat in lent. Furthermore by hym it was also prouided for the better instructiō of the people, that beneficed men should be resident in their Cures and parishes, there to teache and to keepe hospitalitie, with many other thinges els moste fruitfullye redressed for the reformation of religion & behofe of Christes church: as by the Proclamations, Iniunctions and necessary articles of Christian doctrine aboue specified, set foorth in the kinges name, by his meanes MarginaliaRead afore pag. 1069. 1070. 107i. 1072. &c. may more abundantly appere, pag. 1069. 1070. &c.

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Nowe to adioyne withall his priuate benefites in helping diuers good men and women at sundrye times out of troubles and great distresses, it woulde require a long discourse. Briefly his whole life was ful of such examples, being a man to that entent ordeyned of God (as his deedes well proued) to do many men good, and especially suche as were in daunger of persecutiō for religions sake. Amongst other infinite stories one or two examples shall suffice for a testimonie of his worthy doinges.

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¶ Howe Cromwel holpe a poore woman with childe, out of great trouble, longyng for a peece of meate in time of Lent.

Persecuters. Persecuted. The Cause.

MarginaliaA story of one Frebarnes wife, longing for a peece of meate in Lent. Fishers wife
of Harnsey.

Thomas Fre
barne & his

IN the yeare of our
Lord god 1538. syr
William Formā, be-
yng Maior of the ci-
tie of London, three
weekes before Ea-
ster, the wyfe of one

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