sure of the uni


supre macy.

Henry provided and instituted of princes, to the end that both the people of Christ might, in the law of God, be instructed; and also that false errors, if


did A.D. rise, might, through the vigilant care and industry of learned divines, be dis1534.

cussed, extinguished, and utterly rooted out. For which cause we, in our

assemblies and convocations (after our accustomed manner), resorting and conThe cen- ferring together upon the question aforesaid, and studiously debating and

deliberating with ourselves how and by what order we might best proceed for versity of the finding out of the truth of the matter; and at length choosing out certain bridge

of the best learned doctors and bachelors of divinity, and other masters, have against committed to them in charge, studiously to insearch and peruse the places of the pope's holy Scripture, by the viewing and conferring of which places together, they

might certify us what is to be said to the question propounded.

Forasmuch therefore as we, having hear], and well advised, and thoroughly discussed in open disputations, what may be said on both parts of the aforesaid question, those reasons and arguments do appear to us more probable, stronger, truer, and more certain, and sounding much more near to the pure and native sense of Scriptures, which do deny the bishop of Rome to have any such power given him of God in the Scripture. By reason and force of which arguments,

we, being persuaded, and conjoining together in one opinion, have with ourbishop of

selves thus decreed to answer unto the question aforesaid; and in these writings thus resolutely do answer in the name of the whole university, and for a con

clusion undoubted do affirm, approve, and pronounce, that the bishop of Rome England hath no more state, authority, and jurisdiction given him of God in the Scrip

tures, over this realm of England, than any other extern bishop hath. And in

testimony and credence of this our answer and affirmation, we have caused our bishop. common seal to be put to these our aforesaid letters accordingly.

At Cambridge, in our Regent House, A.D. 1534.


Rome hath no more state in

than hath any other

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DE VERA OBEDIENTIA." You have heard before of Stephen Gardiner, of Lee, of Tonstal, and of Stokesley, how of their voluntary mind they made their profession unto the king, every one severally taking and accepting a corporal oath, utterly and for ever to renounce and reject the usurped superiority of the bishop of Rome. Now, for a further testimony and declaration of their judgments and opinions which then they were of, following the force both of truth and of time then present, ye shall hear, over and besides their oaths, what the aforesaid bishops, in their own books, prologues, and sermons, do write, and publish abroad in print, touching the said cause of the pope's supremacy,

And first, God willing, to begin with Stephen Gardiner's book

'De vera obedientia,' we will briefly note out a few of his own words, The of wherein, with great scriptures and good deliberation, he not only with his confuteth the pope's usurped authority, but also proveth the marriage

beween the king and queen Katharine his brother's wife not to be good nor lawful, in these words.

Gardiner against the mar

brother's wife.

Of which moral precepts in the old law, to speak of some (for to rehearse all it needs not), the Levitical precepts touching forbidden and incestuous marriages, as far as they concern chaste and pure wedlock, wherein the original of man's increase consisteth, are always to be reputed of such sort, that although they were first given to the Jews, yet because they appertain to the law of nature, and expound the same more plainly to us, therefore they belong as well

(1) The book of Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, • De vera obedientia.' The original of this treatise appears in Browne's Fasciculus Rerum expetend. et fugiendarum, vol. 2, pp. 800—820; and an old translation is given in Mr. Stevens's Memoirs of Bradford. London, 1832. Appendix, pp. 62–138. In the Hari. MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 418, is Cranmer's answer to Gardiner's book, translated into Latin (according to Strype) by John Foxe, employed therein by the direction of Peter Martyr at Basle, and begun about 1551.- ED.

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to all manner of people of the whole world for evermore. In which doubtless Henry both the voice of nature and God's commandment agreeing in one, have forbidden that which is contrary and diverse from the one and from the other.

A. D. And amongst these, since there is commandment that a man shall not marry 1534. his brother's wife, what could the king's excellent majesty do, otherwise than he did, by the whole consent of the people, and judgment of his church; that is, to be divorced from unlawful marriage, and use lawful and permitted copulation? and obeying (as meet it was) conformably unto the commandment, cast off her, whom neither law nor right permitted him to retain, and take him to chaste and lawful marriage? Wherein although the sentence of God's word (whereunto all things ought to stoop) might have sufficed, yet his majesty was content to have the assisting consents of the most notable grave men, and the censures of the most famous universities of the whole world, and all to the intent that men should see he did both what he might do, and ought to do uprightly; seeing the best learned and most worthy men have subscribed unto it; showing therein such obedience as God's word requireth of every good and godly man; so as it may be said, that both he obeyed God, and obeyed him truly: of which obedience, forasmuch as I am purposed to speak, I could not pass this thing over with silence, whereof occasion so commodiously was offered me to speak.

Moreover, the said Gardiner, in the beforenamed book “ De vera Gardiner, Obedientia," what constancy he pretendeth, what arguments he an, in his inferreth, how earnestly and pithily he disputeth on the king's side, book De against the usurped state of the bishop of Rome's authority, by the dientia." words of his book it may appear : whereof a brief collection here followeth,


Reasons of Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, against the Pope's

Supremacy. In the process of his aforesaid book, he, alleging the old distinction of the The papists, wherein they give to the prince the regiment of things temporal, and sword of to the church that of things spiritual, comparing the one to the greater light, church, the other to the lesser light, he confuteth and derideth the same distinction, how far it declaring the sword of the church to extend no further than to teaching and excommunication, and referreth all pre-eminence to the sword of the prince; alleging for this the second Psalm : • And now you kings be wise, and be learned ye that judge the earth,'&c.

Also the example of Solomon, who, being a king according to his father's appointment, ordained the offices of the priests in their ministries, and Levites in their order, that they might give thanks, and minister before the priests, after the order of every day, and porters in their divisions, gate by gate.?

And speaking more of the said Solomon, he saith : • For so commanded the man of God; neither did the priests nor Levites omit any thing of all that he had commanded,' &c.3

Beside this, he allegeth also the example of king Hezekiah. He allegeth moreover the example and fact of Justinian, who made laws touching the faith, bishops, clerks, heretics, and such others.

Aaron (saith he) obeyed Moses : Solomon gave sentence upon Abiathar the high priest.

Alexander the king, in the Maccabees, writeth thus to Jonathan : 'Now we have made thee this day the high-priest of thy people,'5 &c. So did Demetrius to Simon.

Then, coming to the words of Christ spoken to Peter, ‘Thou art Peter,'? &c. upon which words the pope pretendeth to build all his authority: To this he answereth, that if Christ, by those words, had limited to Peter any such special state or pre-eminency above all princes, then were it not true that is written, *Cæpit Jesus docere et facere; forasmuch as the words of Christ should then

(1) Ps. ii.

(2) 2 Kings xxviii. (3) Exod. xxxii. (4) 1 Kings xxji.
(6) 1 Mac. xiv.

(7) Matt. xvi.

(5) I Mac. x.


of the

of his

Henry be contrary to his own facts and example, who, in all his life, never either VIII. usurped to himself any such domination above princes (showing himself rather A.D. subject unto princes), nor yet did ever permit in his apostles any such example

of ambition to be seen; but rather rebuked them for seeking any manner of 1534.

majority amongst them.

And where he reasoneth of the king's style and title, being called king of king's style and England and of France, defender of the faith, lord of Ireland, and supreme tiile ap- head in earth of the church of England immediately under Christ, &c., thus proved by he addeth his mind and censure, saying, that he seeth no cause in this title,

why any man should be offended, that the king is called head of the church of England, rather than of the realm of England; and addeth his reason thereunto saying, “ If the prince and king of England be the head of his kingdom, that is, of all Englishmen that be his subjects, is there any cause why the same English subjects should not be subject to the same head likewise in this respect, because they are christians; that is to say, for the title of godliness ? as though that God, who is the cause of all obedience, should now be the cause of rebellion?'

At length thus he concludeth with an exclamation saying, "To say,' saith he, ' that a king is the head of the kingdom, and not of the church, what an absurd

and a foolish saying is this!' The king And further, adding further for example the subjection of the servant and is as well wife: • If the servant,' saith he, 'be subject to his master, or wife to her

husband, being infidels, doth their conversion afterwards, or the name of church as Christians, make them less subjects than they were before? As religion there

fore doth not alter the authority of the master over the servant, nor of the huskingdom.

band over the wife ; ‘no more,' saith he, doth it between the prince and subject.'

Paul, making no exception or distinction of subjection, save only of that which belongeth to God, willeth all men to obey their princes; and what princes? Those princes who bear the sword. And although we are bound by the Scripture to obey our bishops and spiritual pastors of the church, yet that obedience diminisheth nothing the chief and head authority that ought to be given to the prince, no more than the obedience of the servant to his master, or of the wife to her husband, exempteth them from subjection due to their superior powers.'

And herewithal he inferreth a principle of the law: 'divers jurisdictions,' saith he, 'proceeding from one person, do not mar nor hinder themselves, but rather do confirm and fortify one another.'

Again, whereas the bishop of Rome, under the name of Peter, doth appropriate to himself the highest place in the church, for that he is the successor of

Peter; thereunto he answereth in one word, but in that one word he answereth Winches- enough, and to the full: ‘I would,' saith he, he were; for so in very deed he that the might well exceed and pass all kings and princes, if not in pre-eminency of pope were dignity, yet in admiration and excellency of virtue: in which kind of superiority

the Lord Christ would his apostles and ministers to go before all kings and emperors in the whole world.

After this, in prosecuting the argument' of Peter's confession, he argueth thus and saith, that as flesh and blood did not reveal to Peter that confession, so neither was that prerogative given to the flesh and blood of Peter, but to the better part, that is, to the spirit of Peter; which is to mean in respect of the spiritual confession of Peter, and not in respect of any carnal place or per

Item, If the scholar ought not to be above the master, how then could either Peter take that upon him, which Christ his master so constantly did refuse; or how can the bishop of Rome now claim that by succession, whereof no example is to be found either in the head, or his predecessor before him? for so we read in Eusebius, both of Peter, James, and John, that they did arrogate no such

primacy unto them, but were content that James, surnamed Justus, should be primacy, the bishop of the apostles. what ti signi

And as for the name and signification of the word 'primatus,' i. e. primacy, if it be taken for the first nomination, or the first place given, so he granteth

A rule of the law.

Peter's successor

son, &c.

Primatus or


(1) The argument: The prerogative was given to him who confessed. Flesh and blood in Peter did not confess Christ : ergo, the prerogative was not given to the flesh and blood of Peter.


that Peter had the preferment of the first name and place in the order of the Henry apostles. But it followeth not, that with this primacy he had also a kingdom given. And though he were bid of the Lord to confirm his brethren, yet was

A.D. he not bid to exercise an empery upon his brethren: for so were they not his

1534. brethren, but his subjects.

That Peter was primus,' that is, first or chief in the number of those who Primus confessed Christ, it is not to be denied; for first he confessed, first he taught the


First, Jews, first he stood in defence of the verity, and was the first and chief pro- primacy locutor among them. But yet that maketh not, that he should therefore vindi- is the cate a general primacy and rule over all other states, and potestates of the world, virtue, no more than Apelles, because he is noted the first and chief of all painters, and not therefore ought to bear rule over all painters; or because the university of

of power. Paris is nominated for the first and chief of other universities, shall therefore the French king, and all other princes in their public administration, wherein they are set of God, become subjects and underlings to that university?

Thus, after many other reasons and persuasions contained in said book De Obedientia (for I do but superficially skim over the top only of his probations and arguments), finally, in the end of his probation, he concludeth the whole sum of his mind in this effect; first, he denieth that the bishop of Rome had ever any such extern jurisdiction assigned to him absolutely from God, to reign over kings and princes : for the peroration whereof he hath alleged sufficiently, as he saith, the examples and doings of Christ himself, who ought to be to us all a sufficient document.

And as concerning the term of . Primacy,' albeit it be used sometimes by the fathers, yet the matter, being well considered and rightly expounded, maketh nothing for the large dominion of the bishop of Rome, which now he doth usurp.

Also as for the prerogatives granted unto Peter, by the which prerogatives our Saviour would crown his own gifts given unto him, crowning not the flesh and blood of Peter, but the marvellous testimony of his confession, all this maketh nothing for the pope's purpose.

Likewise as concerning the local succession of Peter, the pope hath nothing Surcesthereby to claim. If he will be successor of Peter, he must succeed him in sion of faith, doctrine, and conditions; and in so doing, he neither will seek, nor yet shall need to seek, for honour, but shall be honoured of all good men, according as a good man should be; and that much more than he being a good man would require.

And thus Stephen Winchester, taking his leave, and bidding the pope fare- Gardiner well, endeth with a friendly exhortation, willing him to be wise and circumspect, and not to strive stubbornly against the truth. The light of the gospel,' saith the pope, he, ‘so spreadeth his beams in all men's eyes, that the works of the gospel be but not known, the mysteries of Christ's doctrine are opened; both learned and unlearned, men and women, being Englishmen born, do see and perceive, that vale.' they have nothing to do with Rome, or with the bishop of Rome, but that every prince, in his own dominion, is to be taken and accepted as a vicar of God, and vicegerent of Christ in his own bounds. And therefore, seeing this order is taken of God, and one in the church should bear the office of teaching, another should bear the office of ruling (which office is only limited to princes), he exhorteth him to consider the truth, and to follow the same, wherein consisteth our true and special obedience, &c.


taketh his 'vale' of

his 'ultimum


To this book of Stephen Winchester, De Obedientia, we will the of adjoin, for good fellowship, the Preface also of Edmund Bonner, teacharchdeacon then of Leicester, prefixed before the same; to the intent insinand that the reader, seeing the judgments of these men as they were then, and again the sudden mutation afterwards of the said parties to the contrary opinion, may learn thereby what vain glory and pomp of this world can work in the frail nature of man, where God's grace lacketh to sustain. The preface of Bonner, before the said book of Winchester, De Obedientia, proceedeth thus in effect, as followeth:


The doctrine of

ter's book.


Henry vnt. The Preface of Edmund Bonner, Archdeacon of Leicester, prefixed

before Stephen Gardiner's book, De Vera Obedientia. A.D. 1534. Forasmuch as some there be, no doubt (as the judgments of men be always

variable), who think the controversy which is between the king's royal majesty and the bishop of Rome, consisteth in this point, for that his majesty hath taken the most excellent and most virtuous lady Anne to wife, which in very deed is far otherwise, and nothing so: to the intent, therefore, that all true hearty favourers of the gospel of Christ, who hate not, but love the truth, may the more fully understand the chief point of the controversy, and because they shall not be ignorant what is the whole voice and resolute determination of the best and greatest learned bishops, with all the nobles and commons of England, not only

in that cause of matrimony, but also in defending the doctrine of the gospel: the gos- here shall be published the oration of the bishop of Winchester (a man excelpel.

lently learned in all kind of learning), entitled De vera Obedientia'; that is, Concerning True Obedience. But as touching this bishop's worthy praises, there shall be nothing spoken of me at this time, not only because they are infinite, but because they are far better known to all Christendom, 'than becometh me here to make rehearsal. And as for the oration itself (which as

it is most learned, so is it most elegant), to what purpose should I make any The con- words of it, seeing it praiseth itself enough, and seeing good wine needeth no tents of tavern-bush to utter it? But yet in this oration, whosoever thou art, most gentle Winches

reader! thou shalt, besides other inatters, see it notably and learnedly handled, of what importance, and how invincible the power and excellency of God's truth is, which as it may now and then be pressed of the enemies, so it cannot possibly be oppressed and darkened after such sort but it showeth itself again at length more glorious and more welcome. Thou shalt see also touching obedience, that it is subject to truth, and what is to be judged true obedience. Besides this, of men's traditions, which for the most part be most repugnant

against the truth of God's law. And there, by the way, he speaketh of the king's king's said highness's marriage, which, by the ripe judgment, authority, and marriage privilege of the most and principal universities of the world, and then with the

consent of the whole church of England, he contracted with the most excellent

and most noble lady, queen Anne. After that, touching the king's majesty's Supreme title, as pertaining to the supreme head of the church of England. Last of all,

of the false pretensed supremacy of the bishop of Rome in the realm of England pope's most justly abrogated: and how all other bishops, being fellow-like to him in pretensed

their function, yea and in some points above him within their own provinces, were beforetime bound to the king by their oath.

But be thou most surely persuaded of this, good reader! that the bishop of Rome, if there were no cause else but only this marriage, would easily content himself

, especially having some good morsel or other given him to chew upon.? But when he seeth so mighty a king, being a right virtuous and a great learned prince, so sincerely and so heartily favour the gospel of Christ, and perceiveth the yearly and great prey (yea so large a prey, that it came to as much almost as all the king's revenues) snapped out of his hands, and that he can no longer exercise his tyranny in the king's majesty's realm (alas, heretofore too cruel and bitters), nor make laws, as he hath done many, to the contumely and reproach of the majesty of God, which is evident that he hath done in time past, under the title of the Catholic church, and the authority of Peter and Paul (when notwithstanding he was a very ravening wolf, dressed in sheep's clothing, calling himself the servant of servants), to the great damage of the christian commonwealth—here, here began all the mischief; hereof rose these discords, these deadly malices, and so great and terrible bustling : for if it were not thus, could any man believe that this Jupiter of Olympus (who falsely hath arrogated unto himself an absolute power without controlment) would have wrought so diligently, by all means possible, to stir up all other kings and princes so traitor

with queen Anne.



n oasainst this so good and godly, and so true a gospel-like prince, as he (1) See how these clawbacks can cling together in truth and in falsehood; and all to fashion

(2) Bonner knew well what morsel would best please his father of Rome, and that money and bribes would soon stop his mouth.

(3) Seeing thou knowest the pope to be such a cruel tyrant, why then wouldst thou, against thy knowledge, become his slaughterman ?

themselves to the world, and the time present.

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