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sent at your sermon in the court, wherein I heard you confirm the doctrine in religion, set forth by our late sovereign lord and master, whose soul God pardon, admonishing your audience, that ye would specially travail in the confutation of the bishop of Rome's pretended authority in' government and usurped power, and in pardons, whereby he hath abused himself in heaven and earth. Which two matters I note to be plain, and hear without controversy. In the other two ye spake of, touching images and ceremonies; and as ye touched it, specially for holy water to drive away devils, for that you declared yourself always desirous to set forth the meer truth, with great desire of unity as ye professed, not extending any your asseveration, beyond your knowledge; but always adding such like words (as far as ye had read) and if any man could shew you further, ye would hear him (wherein you were much to be commended) Upon these considerations, and for the desire I have to 'unity, I have thought myself bound to communicate to you that which I have read in the matter of images and holy water; to the entent you may by yourself consider it, and so weigh, before that ye will speak in' those two points, as ye may (retaining your own principles) affirm still that ye would affirm, and may indeed” bě affirmed and maintained, wherein I have seen other forget themselves.
First, I send unto you herewith (which I am sure ye have read) that Eusebius writeth of images, whereby appeareth, that images have been of great antiquity in Christ's church. And to say we may have images, or to call on them when they represent Christ or his saints, be over gross opinions to enter into your learned head, whatsoever the unlearned would tattle. For you know the text of the old law, -non facies tibi sculptile, --forbiddeth no more images înw,
than another text forbiddeth to us puddings. And if omnia be munda mundis, to the belly, there can be no cause why they should be to themselves, impura to the eye, wherein ye can say much more. And then when we have images, to call them idols, is a like fault in fond folly, as if a man would say, (regem) a tyrant, and then bring in old writers to prove, that tyrannus signified once a king, like as idolum signified once an image. But like as tyrannus was, by consent of men, appropriate to signify an usurper of that dignity, and an untrue king ; so hath idolum been likewise appropriate to signify a false representation and a false image: insomuch as there was a solemn anathematization of all those that would call an image an idol; as he were worthy to be hanged that would call the king our master (God save him) our true just king, a tyrant; and yet in talk he might shew, that a tyrant signified sometime a king. But speech is regarded in his present
signification, which I doubt not ye can consider right well.
I verily think that for the having of images, ye will say enough, and that also, when we have them, we should not despise them in speech, to call them idols, ne despise them with deeds, to mangle them or cut them, but at the least suffer them to stand untorn. Wherein Luther (that pulled away all other regard to them) strove stoutly and obtained (as I have seen in divers of the churches in Germany of his reformation) that they should (as they 'do) stand still.
All the matter to be feared is, excess in worshipping, wherein the church of Rome hath been very precise; and specially Gregory, writing Episcopo Mastilien ; which is contained, de consecratio. Distinct. 3. as followeth :
Perlatum ad nos fuerat, quod inconsiderato zelo sucCENSUS sunctorum imagines, sub hac quaque excusatione ne adorari debuissent, confregeris; et quidem eas adorare vetuisse omnino laudamus, fregisse vero reprehendimus. Die frater, a quo factum esse sacerdote aliquando auditum est, quod fecisti? Aliud est enim picturam adorare, aliud per picturam historiam, quid sit adorandum, addiscere. Nam quod legentibus scriptura, hoc et idiotis præstat pictura cernentibus, quia in ipsa ignorantes rident quid sequi debeant in ipsa legunt qui literas nesciunt. Nude et præcipue gentibus pro lectione pictura est.
Herein is forbidden adoration, and then in sexto synodo was declared what manner of adoration is forbidden; that is to say, godly adoration to it; being a creature ; as is contained in the chapter; venerabiz les imagines, in the same distinction in this wise:
Venerabiles imagines christiani, non deos, appellant ; neque serviunt eis ut Diis, neque spem salutis ponunt in eis, neque ab eis expectant futurum judicium, sed ad memoriam et recordationem primitivorum venerantur eas et adorant, sed non serviunt eis cultu divino, nec alicui creaturæ.
By which doctrine, all idolatry is plainly excluded in evident words. So as we cannot say that the worshipping of images had his beginning by popery : for Gregory forbad it, unless we shall call that synod popery, because there were so many bishops. And there is forbidden cultus divinus, and agreeth with our aforesaid doctrine, by which we may creep before the cross on Good Friday, wherein we have the image of the crucifix in honour, and use it in a worshipful place, and so earnestly look on it, and conceive that it signifieth, as we kneel and creep before it, whiles it lieth there, and whilst that remembrance is in exercise; with which cross nevertheless, the sexton when he goeth for a corse, will not be afraid to be homely, and hold it under his gown, whiles he drinketh a pot of ale; a point of homeliness that might be left; but yet it declareth that he
esteemed no divinity in the image. But ever since I was born, a poor parishioner, a layman, durst be so bold at a shift (if he were also church-warden) to sell to the use of the church at length, and his own in the mean time, the silver cross on Easter Monday, that was creeped unto on Good Friday. In specialties, there have been special abuses; but generally, images have been taken for images, with an office to signify an holy remembrance of Christ and his saints. And as the sound of speech uttered by a lively image, and representing to the understanding, by the sense of hearing godly matter, doth stir up the mind, and therewith the body, to consent in outward gesa ture of worshipful regard to that sound; so doth the object of the image by the sight, work like effect in man, within and without, wherein is verily wors shipped that we understand; and yet reverence and worship also shewed to that, whereby we attain that understanding, and is to us in the place of an instrument; so as, it hath no worship of itself, but remaineth in his nature of stone or tịmber, silver, copper, or gold.
Now will I speak somewhat of holy water, wherein I send unto you the four and thirtieth chapter in the ninth book of the history Tripartite, where Marcellus the bishop bad Equitius his deacon to cast abroad water by him frst hallowed, wherewith to