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1373 [1349]

Edw. 6. Winchesters letter in defence of Images, holy water, and such lyke trinckets..

Venerabiles Imagines Christiani non deos appellant, neque seruiunt eis vt dijs, neque spem salutis ponunt in eis, ne ab eis ex spectant futurum iudicium, sed ad memoriam & recordationmū primitiuorum venerantur eas & adorant, sed non seruiunt eis cultu diuino, nec alicui creaturæ.

By which doctrine, all idolatry is plainly excluded, in euident words. So as we cannot say, that the worshipping of Images had his beginnyng by popery, for Gregory forbad it, vnlesse we shall call that Synode, Popery, because there were so many bishops. And yet there is forbidden, cultus Diuinus, and agreeth with our beforesaid doctrine, by which we may creepe before the crosse on good Friday, wherein we haue the Image of the crucifixe in honour, & vse it in a worshipfull place, and so earnestly looke on it, and conceyue that it signifieth, as we kneele (a) Marginaliaa) What worke Winchester maketh to creepe to dead crosses, & to worship blockish Images. But the liuely Images of Christ, thē he brought to the crosse & burned cruelly. Therfore it is woorthely sayde of Clemens, lib. 5. Quis est iste honor Dei, per lapideas & ligneas formas discurrere, atque exanimes figuras venerari, & hominem in quo vera Dei Imago est spernere. But Winchester was so busied in his lay mens bookes, that hee had no laysure to vnderstand learned bookes. and creepe before it, whiles it lyeth there, and whiles that remembrance is in exercise, with which crosse neuertheles, the Sexton when he goeth for a corse, will not be afrayd, to be homely, and holde it vnder hys gowne whiles he drinketh a potte of ale, a point of homelinesse that myght bee left, but yet it declareth, that he esteemed no Diuinitie in the Image. But euer since I was borne a poore parishioner, a lay man, durst be so bold at a shift (if he weee also churchwarden) to sell to the vse of the Church at length, and his own, in the meane tyme, the siluer crosse on Easter Monday, that was creeped vnto on good Friday. In specialties, there haue bene speciall abuses, but generally Images haue bene taken for Images, with an (b) Marginalia(b) If things hauing the office to signifie, and worke in vs the vnderstāding of Christ and holy things, are therefore to be worshipped, censed, and crept vnto: why then do ye not worshippe the preacher, the Bible booke, the Epistler and Gospeller whiche geue a much more liuely vnderstanding to our myndes of holy and heauenly things, then Images do? office to signifie an holy remembraunce of Christ and his saints. And as the sounde of speache vttered by a liuely Image, and representing to the vnderstanding, by the sense of hearing godly matter, doth stirre vp the mynde, and therewith the body, to consent in outward gesture of worshipfull regard, to that sound: (c) Marginalia(c) The argument of Winchester reuerted against hymselfe. For if Gods word & such other sounds, geuyng a liuely vnderstandyng to vs, yet bee not had in such a worshipfull regard, that any doth cense them, or creepe and offer to them: Ergo, much lesse should you doe the same to these your dead and insensible Images. So doth the obiect of the Image, by the sight, worke like effect in mā, within and without, wherin is verily worshipped, that we vnderstand, and yet reuerence and worship also shewed to that, wherby we attaine that vnderstanding, and is to vs in the place of an instrument. So as it hath no worship of it selfe, but remayneth in his nature of stone or tymber, siluer, copper or gold. But when it is in office, and worketh a godly remembraunce in vs, by representation of the thyng signified vnto vs, then we vse it worshipfully and honourably, as many do the (d) Marginalia(d) One Idoll well compared with another. priest at Masse, whome they little regard all the day after. And me thinketh euer, that like as it is an ouer grosse error, to take an image for God, or to worship it with godly (e) Marginalia(e) Because you say that godly honor, or cultus diuinus, is taken away by you from Images, I pray you what could ye doe to God, if he were here materially hymselfe more, then you do to them? to cense them, to candle them, to tabernacle them, to sette them vp in churches, to adore and inuocate them, to kneele and knocke to them. to creepe and offer to them, to seeke vertue, and to require health at them, to make them your patrons, and to make your vowes vnto them, &c. If this be not Diuinus cultus. tell me what geue you to God more then this? honour. So to graunt that we may not haue Images of Christ, and that we may do no worship before them, or not vse them worshipfully, it is inexplicable. For it is one kynde of worship to place them worshipfully. So as if a man place an Image in the church, or hang it about his necke, as (f) Marginalia(f) All papists perchance. all vse to do the Image of the crosse, and the knight of the order (g) Marginalia(g) Yea but what knight of that order kneeleth or prayeth to that George that hangeth about his necke. Saint George, this is some piece of worship. And if we may not contemne the images of Christ and his saintes, when we haue them (for that were villanie) not neglect them (for that were to haue them without vse) which were inconuenient, (quia nec natura nec arte quicquam fit frustra) wee must haue them in estimation and reputation, whiche is not without some honour and worship, and at the least in the place, where we conueniently vse them, as in the church, as where they serue vs rather then we them, and because their (h) Marginalia(h) A worshipfull seruice to disworship God, & worship creatures. seruice is worshipfull, they be so regarded accordingly, for that time of seruice, and therefore they be called Venerabiles Imagines, and be worshipfully ordered, before whom we kneele, and bowe, and cense, not at that the Images be, but at that the Images signifie, which in our kneeling, bowyng, and censing, we knowledge to vnderstand and read in that fashion of contract writing, wherein is wrapped vp, a great many of sentences, sodenly opened with one sodaine sight, to hym that hath bene exercised in readyng of them. MarginaliaYou sayd before they were lay mens bookes, now ye make thē learned mens books also, wherein you read (ye say) many thinges at one openyng. And what read you or see you in those bookes, I pray you? nimtrum id quod pueri vident in nuhibus. And where be you bid to looke vpon these fantasticall bookes? Scrutamini scripturas, sayth the Lorde: contemplamini picturas, writeth Winchester. But rather Winchester should haue read the booke of Epiphanius, contra Encratitas, where these woordes be opened to him: Non decet Christianum per oculos susponsum teneri, sed per occupationem mentii, &c. And me seemeth, after the faith of Christ receiued & known, and throughly purged from heresies, if by case, there were offered a choise, either to retein painting and grauing, and forbeare writing, or chosing writing, to forbeare both the other gifts: it would be a probleme, seeing if grauing were ta-ken away, we could haue no printing. And therefore they that presse so much the wordes, of Non facies tibi sculptile,euer me thincketh they condemne printed bookes, the originall wherof is of grauing to make * Marginalia* If ye did see any printer yet to do worship to his grauen letters, then might you well seeke thus (as ye do) a knotte in a rushe. matrrices literarum. Sed hoc est furiosum, & sunt tamen qui putāt palmarium. And therfore now it is englished. Thou shalt make no grauen Images, least thou worship them, which (I here) is newly written in the new church, I know not the name, but not farre frō the old Iury. But to þe matter of Images, wherin I haue discoursed at large I thinke, and ye consider (as I doubt not, but ye will) the doctrine set foorth by our late Soueraigne Lord? Ye shall in þe matter see þe truth set forth by such as had that committed vnto them, vnder his highnes, amongest whome I was not, nor was not priuie vnto it, till it was done. And yet the clause in the booke, for discussion of (the Lord) and (our Lorde) hath made manye thinke otherwise, but I take our Lorde to witnes, I was not: & that declaratiō of (our Lord) was his hignes own deuise, ex se. For he saw the fond Englishing of (the Lord) disseuered in speach whom our Lord had congregate. And this I adde lest geuing authoritie to the booke, I shoulde seeme to aduaunt my selfe.

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MarginaliaHoly water.Now will I speake some what of holy water, wherein I sēd vnto you, the xxxiiij. chapter in the ix. book of thistory Tripartite, where Marcellus the bishop, bad Equitius his Deacon, to cast abroad water by him first hallowed wherwith to driue away the deuill. And it is noted, howe the deuil could not abide the vertue of the water, but vanished away. And for my part, it seemeth the history may be true. (:) Marginalia (:) Consecration of water and salt to sanctifie the people is attribute to Alexander. 1. but what credite is to be geuen to those decrees falsly fathered vpon those auncient Byshops. read Sledane, Lib. 2. de monarchijs. for we be assured by scripture that in the name of God, the churche is able and strong to cast out Deuils according to the Gospel, MarginaliaIn nomine meo. &c. If the name of Christ do & can serue only to cast out deuils. what should water doe, where Christ may and should serue onely to worke that mastery.In nomine meo dæmonia eijcient &c. So as if the water were away, by only calling of the name of God, that maystry may be wrought. And being the vertrue of theffect onely attributed to the name of God: the question shuld be onely, whether þe creature of water, may haue the office to conuey the effect of the holines, of thinuocation of Gods name. And first in Christ, the skirt of hys garment had such an office, to minister health to the womā and spettle and cley to the blinde, and S. Peters shadow, & S. Paules handkerchers. And leauing old stories here at home, the special gift of curation, ministred by the kings of this realme, not of their owne strength but by inuocation of the name of God, hath bene vsed to be distributed in rings of gold and siluer. And I thinke effectually wherin the mettall hath only an office, and the strength is in the name of God, wherein all is wrought. And Elizeus put his staffe in like office. And why the whole church myght not put water in like office, to conuey abroad the inuocation of gods name: there is no scripture to the contrary, but there is scripture how other inferiour creatures haue bene promooted to like dignitie, and much scripture, how water hath bene vsed in like and greater seruice. And the story I send vnto you, sheweth how water hath bene vsed in the same seruice, to driue away deuils. In which matter if any shall say, he beleeueth not the story, and he is not bound to beleue it, being no scripture: that man is not to be reasoned with, for the effect of the kings crampe rings. Marginalia* The kings ring geueth sanation: Ergo holy water may haue also his effect & operation. And yet for such effect as they haue wroght, when I was in Frāce, I haue bene my selfe much honoured, and of all sortes entreated, to haue them, with offer of as much for them, as they were double worth. Some will say, what is rings to holy water? Marrie thus I say, if the mettall of gold and siluer, may doe seruice to cary abroad, the inuocatiō of the name of God effectually for our purpose, water may also serue to cary abroad the inuocation of the name of God, wherewith to driue awaye deuils. Hereto will be sayde. MarginaliaResp. Non valet consequentia, for the matching of corporall things, with spirituall, ioyneth in no comparison together. But the very playne aunswere is this. Both be abuses and agaynst the worde of God.Non valet argumentum a posse ad esse. But the story saith, the water did that seruice, and other straungers say and affirme by experience, the kings Maiesties rings haue done the seruice. And our late maister continued all his life, the exercise of that gift of God, and vsed siluer and gold to doe that seruice, to cary abroad the strength of the inuocation of the name of God by him, and he vsed it among vs that serued him in it, when hee had throughly heard and seene what might be sayd in the matter, and yet he had no scripture, especially for it that spake of rings of siluer or gold, no more then is for the ashes ministred a little before ye last preached. And as our young soueraigne Lord hath receiued them reuerently: so I trust he shall be aduertised, ne negligat gratiam Dei dono curationum, but follow his father therein: also not doubting but God will heare him as he hath heard his father, and others his progenitors, kyngs of this realme to whose dignitie God addeth this prerogatiue, as he doth also to inferior ministers of his church, in the effect of their prayer, when it pleaseth hym. A man might finde some yonglings percase þt would say, how worldly, wily, wittie bishops, haue enueigled

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