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3. *I do acknowledge also that church to be the spouse of Christ, wherein the word of God is truly taught, the sacraments orderly ministered according to Christ's institution, and the authority of the keys duly used : and that every such particular church hath authority to institute, to change, and clean to put away, ceremonies, and other ecclesiastical rites, as they be 'superfluous or abused; and to constitute others, making more to seemliness, to order, or edification.
4. “ Moreover I confess, that it is not lawful for any man to take upon him any office or ministry, either ecclesiastical or secular, but such only as are lawfully thereunto called, by the high authorities, according to the ordinances of the realm.
5. 6 Furthermore, I do acknowledge the queen's majesty's prerogative, and superiority of government of all estates, and in a}} causes, as well ecclesiastical as temporal, within this realm and other her dominions and countries, to be agreeable to God's word, and of right to appertain to her highness, in such sort as is in the late act of parliament expressed, and since then by her majesty's injunctions declared and expounded.
6. " Moreover, touching the bishop of Rome, I do aeknowledge and confess, that by the seriptures and word of God, he hath no more authority than other bishops hare in their provinces and dioceses, and therefore the power which he pow ehallengeth, that is, to be the supreme head of the universal church of Christ, and so to be above all emperors, kings, and princes, is an usurped power, contrary to the scriptures and word of God, and contrary to the example of the primitive church ; and therefore is for most just causes taken away and abolished in this realm.
7. “ Furthermore, I do grant and confess that the book of common. prayer and administration of the holy sacraments, set forth by the authority of parliament, is agreeable to the scriptures; and that it is catholic and apostolic, and most for the advancing of God's glory, and the edifying of God's people; both for that it is in a tongue that may be understood of the people, and also for the doetrine and form of administration contained in the same.
8. “ And although in the administration of baptism there is neither exorcism, oil, salt, spittle, or hallowing of the water now used; and for that they were of late years abused and esteemed necessary, whereas they pertain not to the substance and necessity of the sacrament, and therefore be reasonably abolished; yet is the saerament full and perfectly ministered, to all intents and purposes, agreeable to the institution of our Savior Christ.
9. “ Moreover, I do not only acknowledge that private masses were never used amongst the fathers of the primitive church, I mean public ministration and receiving of the sacrament by the priest alone without a just number of communicants, according to Christ's say
ing, Take ye, and eat ye, &c. but also that the doctrine that maintaineth the mass to be a propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and the dead, and a mean to deliver souls oat of purgatory, is neither agreeable to Christ's ordinance, nor grounded upon doctrine apostolic, but contrarywise most ungodly, and most injurious to the precious redemption of our Savior Christ, and his only sufficient sacrifice, offered once for ever upon the altar of the cross.
10. “ I am of that mind also, that the holy conimunion or sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, for the due obedience to Christ's institution, and to express the virtue of the saine, ought to be ministered unto the people under both kinds : and that it is avouched by certain fathers of the church to be a plain sacrilege, to rob them of the mystical cup, for whom Christ has shed his most precious blood, seeing he bimself hath said, Drink ye all of this ; considering also, that in the time of the ancient doctors of the church, as Cyprian, Hierom, Augustine, Gelasius, and others, six hundred years after Christ, and inore, both the parts of the sacrament were ministered to the people.
Last of all, “ As I do utterly disallow the extolling of images, relies, and feigned miracles; and also all kind of expressing. God invisible, in the form of an old man, or the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove; and all other vain worshipping of God, devised by men's fantasy, besides or contrary to the scriptures; as wandering on pilgrimages, setting up of candles, praying upon beads, and such-like superstition, which kind of works have no promise of reward in seriptore, but contrarywise threatenings and maledictions : so I do exhort all men to the obedience of God's law, and to the works of faith, as charity, mercy, piety, alms, devout and fervent prayer, with the affection of the heart, and not with the month only; godly abstinence and fasting, chastity, obedience to the rulers and superior powers, with such-like works, and godliness of life commanded by God in his word; which, as St. Paul saith, hath the promise both of this life, and of the life to come ; and are works only acceptable in God's sight.
“ These things above rehearsed, thoug! they be appointed by common order, yet do I, without all compulsion, with freedom of mind and conscience, from the bottom of my heart, and upon most sure persua. sion, acknowledge to be true, and agreeable to God's word. And therefore I exhort you all to whom I have care, heartily and obediently to einbrace and receive the same; that we all joining together in unity of spirit, faith and charity, may also at length be joined together in the kingdom of God, and that through the merits and death of our Savior Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and empire, pow and for ever. Amen."
A Copy of the LETTER sent to the Bishops and Pastors
of England, who have renounced the Roman Antichrist, and profess the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
The Superintendant Ministers, and Commissioners of Charges within
the realm of Scotland, to their brethren the Bishops and Pastors of England, who have renounced the Roman antichrist, and do profess with them the Lord Jesus in sincerity, desire the perpetual increase of the Holy Spirit.
BY word and writ, it is come to our knowledge (reverend pastors) that divers of our dearest brethren, amongst whom are some of the best learned within that realm, are deprived from ecelesiastical function, and forbidden to preach, and so by you, that they are straight to promote the kingdom of Jesus Christ, because their consciences will not suffer to take upon them (at the commandment of authority) such garments as idolatérs, in time of blindness, bave used in their idola. try, which bruit cannot be but most dolorous to our hearts, mindful of that sentence of the apostle, saying, “if ye bite and devour one another, take heed, lest ye be consumed one of another.” We purpose not at this present to enter into the ground of that question which we hear of, either part to be agitated with greater vehemeney than well liketh us; to wit, whether that such apparel is to be counted amongst things that are simply indifferent or not : but in the bowels of the Lord Jesus we crave that christian eharity may so prevail in you, we say, the pastors and leaders of the fock within that realm. That
do not to others that which ye would not others should do to you. 'Ye cannot be ignorant how tender a thing the conscience of man is. All that have knowledge are not alike persuaded, your consciences reclaim not at wearing of such garments, but many thousands, both godly and learned, are otherwise persuaded, whose consciences are continually stricken with these sentences: What hath Christ Jesus to do with Belial ? What fellowship is there betwixt dark pess and light? If surplice, corner.cap, and tippet, have been badges of idolaters in the very act of their idolatry, what hath the preachers of ebristian liberty, and the open rebukers of all superstition, to do with the dregs of the Romish beast i Our brethren ihat of conscience refuse that unprofitable apparel, do neither damn yours, or molest you that use such vain trifles : if ye shall do the like to them, we doubt not but therein ye shall please God, and comfort the hearts of many which are
wounded with extremity, which is used against those godly, and our beloved brethren. Color of rhetorie, or manly persuasion, will we use none. but charitably we desire you to call that sentence of pity to mind :-Feed the flock of God which is committed to your charge, caring for them, not by constraint, but willingly; not as though ye were lords over God's heritage, but that ye may be examples to the flock. And farther also, we desire you to meditate that sentence of the apostle, saying, Give none offence, neither to the Jews nor to the Grecians, nor to the church of God. In what condition of time ye and we both travel in the promoting of Christ's kingdom we suppose you not to be ignorant. And therefore we are more bold to exhort you to walk more eircumspectly, than that for such vanities the godly should be troubled. For all things that may seem lawful, edify not. If the commandment of authority urge the conscience of yours and our brethren, more than they ĉan bear; we unfeignedly crave of you, that ye remember, that ye are called the light of the world and the earth.
All civil anthority hath not the light of God always shining before their
eyes in their statutes and commandments; but their affections oft-time favor too much of the earth, and of worldly wisdom.
And therefore we think that ye should boldly oppone yourselves to all power, that will or dare extol itself, not only against God, but also against all such as do burthen the consciences of the faithful, farther than God hath burthered them by his own word. But herein we confess our offence, in that we have entered farther in reasoning than we purposed and promised at the beginning: and therefore we shortly reiurn to our former humble supplication, which is, that our brethren, who among you refuse the Romish rags, may find of you, the prelates, such favors as our Head and Master commands every one of his members to shew one to another, which we look to receive of your gentleness, not only for that ye fear to offend God's majesty, in troubling of your brethren for such vain trifles, but also because ye will not refuse the humble requests of us your brethren, and fellow preachers of Christ Jesus, in whom, albeit there appear no great worldly pomp, yet we suppose ye will not so far despise us, but that ye will esteem is to be of the number of those that fight against that Roman antichrist, and travel, that the kingdom of Christ Jesus universally may be maintained and advanced. The days are evil; iniquity abounds; christian charity (alas !) is waxen cold; and therefore we ought the more diligently to watch : for the hour is uncertain when the Lord Jesus shall appear, before whom we your brethren, and ye, may give an account of our administration.
And thus, in conclusion, we once again crave favor to our brethren, which granted, ye in the Lord shall coinmand us in things of double more importance. The Lord Jesus rule your hearts in his true fear to the end, and give unto you and unto us victory over that conjured enemy of all true religion ; to wit, over that Roman antichrist, whose
wounded head Satan, by all means, labors to cure again, but to destruction shall he and his maintainers go, by the power of the Lord Jesus : to whose mighty power and protection we heartily commit you.
Subscribed by the hands of superintendents, one part of injoisters, and scribed in our general assemblies and fourth session thereof. At Edinburgh, the 28th day of December, 1566. Your loving brethren, and fellow preachers,
in Christ Jesus.
John Fox's Letter to Queen ELIZABETH, to dissuade her
from burning two Dutch Anabaptists for heresy in Smithfield. 1575.
SERENISSIMA beatissima princeps, regina illustrissima, patriæ decus, sæculi ornamentum! Ut nibil ab animo meo omnique ex. pectatione abfuit longius quam ut majestatis tuæ amplissimam excellentiam molesta unquam interpellatione obturbarem ; ita vehementer dolet silentium hoc, quo bactenus constanter sum usus, non eadem constantia perpetuo tueri ita ut volebam licuisse. Ita nunc præter spem ac opinionem meam nescio qua infelicitate evenit, ut quod omnium volebam minime, id contra me maxime faciat hoc tempore. Qui cum ita vixerim huc usque, ut molestus fuerim nemini, invitus nunc cogor contra naturam principi etiam ipsi esse importunus, non re ulla aut causa mea, sed aliena inductus calamitate. Quæ quo acerbior sit et luctuosior, hoc acriores mihi addit ad deprecandum stimulos. Nonnullos intelligo in Anglia hic esse non Anglos, sed adventitios, Belgas quidem opinor, partim viros, partim feminas, nuper ob improbata dog. mata in judicium advocatos. Quorum aliquot feliciter reducti publica luerunt pænitentia; complures in exilium sunt condemnati, idque rectissime meo judicio factum esse arbitror. Jam ex hoc numero unum esse aut alterum audio, de quibus ultimum exustionis supplicium (nisi succurrat tua pietas) brevi est statuendum. Qua una in re duo coglie: