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hath done? Neither let it move thee, gentle reader! that Winchester did not Henry before now apply to this opinion: for he himself, in this oration, showeth the vi. cause why he did it not. And if he had said never a word, yet thou knowest
A.D. well what a witty part it is for a man to suspend his judgment, and not to be
1531. too rash in giving of sentence. It is an old-said saw; Mary Magdalen profited us less in her quick belief that Christ was risen, than Thomas that was longer in doubt.' A man may rightly call hin Fabius, that with his advised taking of leisure restored the matter. Albeit I speak not this as though Winchester had not bolted out this matter secretly with himself beforehand (for he without doubt tried it out long ago); but that running fair and softly, chester he would first, with his painful study, pluck the matter out of the dark (although of itself it was clear enough, but by reason of sundry opinions it was lapped up the popo in darkness), and then did he debate it wittily to and fro; and so, at last, after with long and great deliberation had in the matter, because there is no better coun-judgsellor than leisure and time, he would resolutely, with his learned and con- ment. summate judgment, confirm it.
Thou shouldest, gentle reader, esteem his censure and authority to be of more weighty credence, inasmuch as the matter was not rashly, and at all adventures, but with judgment (as thou seest), and with wisdom examined and discussed. And this is no new example, to be against the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, seeing that not only this man, but many men oftentimes, yea and right great learned men afore now, have done the same even in writing; No new whereby they both painted him out in his right colours, and made his sleights, matter to falsehood, frauds, and deceitful wiles, openly known to the world. Therefore, against if thou at any time heretofore have doubted either of true obedience, or of the the king's majesty's marriage or title, or else of the bishop of Rome's false pre- Rome
bishop of tended supremacy, as, if thou hadst a good smelling nose, and a sound judgment, I think thou didst not: yet, having read this oration (which, if thou favour the truth, and hate the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and his satanical fraudulent falsehood, shall doubtless wonderfully content thee), forsake thine error, and acknowledge the truth now freely offered thee at length, considering with thyself that it is better late so to do, than never to repent.
Fare thou heartily well, most gentle reader; and not only love this most valiant king of England and of France, who undoubtedly was by the providence of God born to defend the gospel, but also honour him and serve him most obediently. As for this Winchester, who was long ago, without doubt, reputed among the greatest learned men, give him thy good word, with highest commendation.
The end of bishop Bonner's prologue.
What man reading and advising this book of Winchester, De The inVera Obedientia, with Bonner's preface before the same, would ever have thought any alteration could so work in man's heart, to make lity of these men thus to turn the cat in the pan, as they say, and to start so and Bon suddenly from the truth so manifestly known, so pithily proved, so vehemently defended, and (as it seemed) so faithfully subscribed ? If they dissembled all this that they wrote, subscribed, and sware unto, what perjury most execrable was it before God and man! If they meant good faith, and spake then as they thought, what pestilent blindness is this so suddenly fallen upon them, to make that false now, which was true before; or that to be now true, which before was false ! Thus to say and unsay, and then to say again, to do and undo, and, as
would say, to play fast or loose with truth ; truly a man may say is not the doing of a man who is in any case to be trusted, whatsoever he doth or saith. But here a man may see what man is of himself, when God's good humble Spirit lacketh to be his guide.
Furthermore, to add unto them the judgment also and arguments of Tonstal, bishop of Durham, let us see how he agreeth with them, or rather much exceedeth them, in his sermon made before king
before the king, made on Palm
Henry Henry upon Palm-Sunday, remaining yet in print; in which sermon,
disputing against the wrongful supremacy of the bishop of Rome, 4:2 he proveth by manifest grounds most effectuously, both out of the
Scripture, ancient doctors, and of councils ; not only that the bishop mon set of Rome hath no such authority by the word of God committed to Tonstal him, as he doth challenge; but also, in requiring and challenging the
same, he reproveth and condemneth him with great zeal and ardent spirit
, to be a proud Lucifer; disobedient to the ordinary powers of Sunday. God set over him ; contrary to Christ and Peter: and finally, in
raising up war against us for the same, he therefore rebuketh and defieth him, as a most detestable sower of discord, and a murderer of Christian men.
to their sove
Notes on Tonstal's Sermon against the Pope's Supremacy. Popes First, by the Scripture, he reasoneth thus, and proveth, that all good men bishops
ought to obey the potestates and governors of the world, as emperors, kings, ought to and princes of all sorts, what name soever the said supreme powers do bear or be subject use for their countries in which they be ; for so St. Peter doth plainly teach us,
saying, ' Be ye subject to every human creature for God's cause, whether it be reigns. king, as chief head, or dukes or governors,' &c.' So that St. Peter, in his
epistle, commandeth all worldly princes in their office to be obeyed as the ministers of God, by all Christian men: and according unto the same, St. Paul saith, Let every living man be subject to the high powers; for the high powers be of God, and whosoever resisteth the high powers, resisteth the ordinance of God, and purchaseth thereby to himself damnation.'2
And in the same place of Tonstal it followeth: and lest men should forget their duty of obedience to their princes, it is thrice repeated, that they be the ministers of God,' whose place in their governance they represent : so that unto them all men must obey, apostles, patriarchs, primates, archbishops, bishops, priests, and all of the clergy, &c. And therefore,' saith he, 'the bishop of Rome oweth to his sovereign and superior like subjection by the word of God, taught unto us by Peter and Paul, as other bishops do to their princes, under whom they be,' &c.
Also, another express commandment we have of Christ, who, upon the occasion of his disciples striving for superiority, discusseth the matter, saying on this wise, 'The kings of the people and nations have dominion over them, and those that have power over them be called gracious lords ; but so it shall not be amongst you : but whosoever amongst you is the greater, shall be as the younger; and whosoever amongst you shall be chief, shall be as a servant and minister, '3 &c.
And again, Christ speaking to Pilate of bis kingdom, declareth that his kingdom is not of this world, and therefore' saith Tonstal, those that go about to make of Christ's spiritual kingdom a worldly kingdom, do fall into the error of some heretics, that look that Christ, after the day of judgment, shall reign with all his saints here in the earth carnally in Jerusalem; as the Jews do believe that Messias is yet to come, and when he shall come, he shall reign worldly in Jerusalem.'
By these and such other places it may well appear, that Christ, neither before his incarnation (as Tonstal saith), nor after his incarnation, did ever alter the authority of worldly kings and princes, but by his own word commanded them still to be obeyed by their subjects, as they had been in the ancient time before,
&c. And for example of the same he allegeth first the example of Christ himples of self, who, being asked of the Jews, whether they should give tribute to Cæsar,
or no, he bade them give to Cæsar those things that be his, and to God those humble subjec- things that be his; signifying, that tribute was due to Cæsar, and that their souls
were due to God,5 &c.
Also in the seventeenth of Matthew, it appeareth that Christ bade Peter pay tribute for him and his disciples, when it was demanded of him. And why? (1) 1 Pet ii. (2) Rom. xiii.
(4) John xviii. (5) Matt. xxii.
(3) Luke xxii.
Because he would not change the order of obeisance to worldly princes due by Henry their subjects, &c. Another example of Christ he citeth out of John vi., where, after Christ had
A.D. fed five thousand and more, with a few loaves, and fewer fishes, and that the 1531. Jews would have taken him, and made him their king, he fled from them, and would not consent unto them: “For the kingdom,' saith he, “that he came to set in earth, was not a worldly and temporal kingdom, but a heavenly and spiritual kingdom;' that is, to reign spiritually, by grace and faith, in the hearts of all christian and faithful people, of what degree, or of what nation soever they be, and to turn all people and nations, which at his coming were carnal and lived after the lusts of the flesh, to be spiritual, and to live after the lusts of the Spirit, that Christ, with his father of heaven, might reign in the hearts of all men, &c.
And here, in these examples of Christ's humility further is to be noted, how Christ the Son of God did submit himself not only to the rulers and powers of this world, but also dejected himself, and in a manner became servant to his own apostles : so far off was he from all ambitious and pompous seeking of worldly honour. For so it appeared in him, not only by washing the feet of his apostles, but also the same time, a little before his passion, when the apostles fell at contention among themselves, who among them should be superior, he, setting before them the example of his own subjection, asketh this question: Who is superior; he that sitteth at the table, or he that serveth at the table? Is not he superior that sitteth? but I am amongst you, as he that ministereth and serveth,' &c.
The like examples Tonstal also inferreth of Peter's humility. For where we Examread in the Acts, how the centurion, a nobleman of great age, did prostrate please himself
the ground at the feet of Peter; then Peter, not suffering that, subjeceftsoons took him up, and bade him rise, saying, 'I am also a man as thou art.' tion.
So likewise did the angel, to whom when John would have fallen down to have adored him who showed him those visions, the angel said unto him, “See thou do not so; for I am the servant of God, as thou art,' &c.3
Again, in the aforesaid Peter, what an example of reverent humility is to be seen in this, that notwithstanding he, with other apostles, had his commission to go over all the world, yet nevertheless he, being at Joppa, and sent for by Cornelius, durst not go unto him without the vision of a sheet let down from heaven; by which vision he was admonished not to refuse the Gentiles : or else he knew in himself no such primacy over all people and places given unto him, nor any such commission so large above the others, &c.
Furthermore, the said Peter, being rebuked of Paul his fellow brother, took no scorn thereof, but was content, submitting himself to due correction.
But here, saith Tonstal, steppeth in the bishop of Rome, and saith that Peter The had authority given him above all the residue of the apostles, and allegeth the pope's ob
jections. words of Christ spoken to him, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven.' • This said Christ,' saith the pope, and St. Peter is buried at Rome, whose successor I am, and ought to rule the church, as Peter did, and to be porter of heaven gates, as Peter was,' &c. * And Christ said also to Peter, after his resurrection, Feed my sheep; which he spake to him only, so that thereby he had authority over all that be of Christ's flock; and I, as his successor, have the same. And therefore whoso will not obey me, king or prince, I will curse him, and deprive him Ambiof his kingdom or seigniory : for all power is given to me that Christ hath, and
pride of I am his vicar-general, as Peter was here in earth over all, and none but I, as the pope. Christ is in heaven.'
This ambitious and pompous objection (saith Tonstal) of the pope and his The adherents, hath of late years much troubled the world, and made dissension, Scripdebate, and open war in all parts of Christendom, and all by a wrong inter
falsely pretation of the Scripture; who, if he would take those places after the right perverted sense of them, as both the apostles themselves taught us, and all the ancient by him. best learned interpreters do expound them, the matter were soon at a point. But otherwise, since they pervert the Scriptures, and preach another gospel in that point to us, than ever the apostles preached, we have therein a general rule to follow : That though an angel came from heaven, and would tell us such 11) Luke xxii. (2) Acts x. (3) Apoc. xix. and xxii. (4) Matt. xvi. (5) John xxi.
of Matt. xvi. ex
The church builded
Henry new exposition of those places as are now made, to turn the words which were
the A. D.
sacraments, to a worldly authority, we ought to reject him; as St. Paul
willeth us in Galatians i. 1534.
To open therefore the true sense of the Scripture in the places aforesaid, and The place first to begin with Matthew xvi., here is to be observed, that the question being
put in general of Christ to all his apostles, what they thought or judged of him, pounded. Peter, answering for them all (as he was always ready to answer), said, “Thou
art Christ the Son of the living God.' To whom Jesus answered again, * Blessed
to be the Son of God, I will build my church; for this faith containeth the Faith the whole summary of our faith and salvation, as it is written in Rom. x. “The mother of word of faith that we do preach is at hand, in thy mouth and in thine heart. salvation.
For if thou confess with thy mouth our Lord Jesus Christ, and with thy heart
confession of his, and not upon the person of Peter, Christ buildeth his church, upon the as Chrysostome expoundeth that place in the twenty-sixth sermon, of the feast
of Pentecost, saying, 'Not upon the person of Peter, but upon the faith, Christ Peter, not
hath builded his church. And what is the faith? This : Thou art Christ the upon the Son of the living God. What is to say, Upon this rock? That is, Upon this person of confession of Peter,' &c. And with this saying of Chrysostome all ancient ex
positors (saith Tonstal) treating of that place, do agree; for if we should expound
And because Peter was the first of all the apostles that confessed this, That
And as Peter was the first of them that confessed Christ to be the Son of the primacy of
God, so was he most ardent in his faith, most bold and hardy in Christ, as ap-
vehement in his master's cause, as appeared by drawing out his sword; and
in faith, was ever most ready to defend the faith against the impugners thereof, honour
speaking for them all unto the people, &c.; and therefore hath these honour
able names given him by the ancient interpreters, that sometimes he is called paines of the mouth of the apostles; "the chief of the apostles;' sometimes the prince
of the apostles, sometimes the president of the whole church, and sometimes doctors, hath the name of primacy or priority attributed unto him. And yet that the Wherand said Peter, notwithstanding these honourable names given to him, should not fore they have a rule, or a judicial power, above all the other apostles, it is plain by be given. St. Paul and many others. The
First, St. Pauls plainly declareth the same, saying, that as the apostleship of authority
the circumcision, that is, of the Jews, was given by Christ to Peter; so was the apostles apostleship of the Gentiles given to me among the Gentiles. Hereby it ap
peareth that Paul knew no primacy of Peter concerning people and places, but
Also in Acts x., when Peter was sent for to Cornelius, a Gentile, he durst
Item, That all the apostles had like dignity and authority, it appeareth by
be citizens with the saints, and of the household of Almighty God, builded,' saith (1) 1 Cor. iii, (2) Chaps. ii. iii. iv.
(3) Gal. ii,
Peter in the old
nath his part
le, "upon the foundations of the apostles and the prophets, Christ being the Henry corner-stone; upon whom every edifice being builded, groweth up to an holy VIII. temple in our Lord,' &c. Here he saith that they be builded not upon
A.D. foundation of Peter only, but upon the foundation of the apostles : so that all
1534. they be in the foundation set upon Christ the very rock, whereupon standeth the whole church.
In the Apocalypse also, the new city, and the heavenly Jesusalem of Almighty God, is described by the Holy Ghost, not with one foundation only of Peter, but with twelve foundations, after the number of the apostles.
St. Cyprian: giveth record likewise to the same, that the apostles had equal Every power and dignity given to them by Christ ; and because all should preach one bishop thing, therefore the beginning thereof first came by one, who was Peter, who confessed for them all, that Christ was the Son of the living God. Saying wholly to
himself. further, that in the church there is one office of all the bishops, whereof every man hath a part allowed wholly unto him. Now, if the bishop of Rome may meddle over all, where he will, then every man hath not wholly his part,
for the bishop of Rome may also meddle in his part jointly with him; so that now he hath it not wholly: which is against Cyprian.
St. Augustine likewise, expounding the gospel of John, in the fiftieth Treatise, speaketh there of the keys of Peter, which he saith were given of Christ to Peter, not for himself alone, but for the whole church.
Cyril, expounding the last chapter of John, and there speaking of the words · Pasce of Christ spoken unto Peter, · feed my sheep,' &c. thus understandeth the presa same: That because Peter had thrice denied Christ, whereby he thought himself he had lost his apostleship, Christ, to comfort him again, and to restore nothing him to his office that he had lost, asked him thrice whether he loved him; and
pope's so restored him again to his office, which else he durst not have presumed universal unto; saying unto him, “ Feed my sheep,' &c.; with which exposition the pasturalancient holy expositors of that place do likewise agree. So that by these words of feeding Christ's sheep, the bishop of Rome can take no advantage to maintain his universal pastoralty over all christian dominions.
Again, whereas the bishop of Rome saith that Peter, by these words of Christ spoken to him, hath a pre-eminency above the others, St. Pauls proveth the contrary, where he, speaking to the bishops assembled at Miletus, saith to rovásthem, "Take heed to yourselves, and to all your flock, in which the Holy Ghost verv. hath put you to govern,' &c.
And Peter himself likewise 6 saith, ‘Ye that be priests, feed the flock of God among you,' &c.
So that by these scriptures conferred together, it may appear, that neither ScripMatthew xvi., nor John xxi., do prove that Peter had power, authority, or dignity given him of Christ over all the others, that they should be under him. fully alAnd yet, notwithstanding his primacy, in that he, first of all the apostles, con- leged for
the pope's fessed Christ to be the Son of the living God (with which confession all the other apostles did consent, and also preached the same), standeth still; which cy. confession first by Peter made, all others that will be saved must follow also, and be taught to confess the same. And thus the bishop of Rome's power over all, which he would prove by those places wrongfully alleged for his purpose, utterly quaileth, and is not proved. And thus much for the Scriptures and doctors.
Now, further proceeding in this matter, the said Tonstal cometh to councils, and examples of the primitive church, as followeth :
Faustinus, legate to the bishop of Rome, in the sixth council of Carthage, Examalleged that the bishop of Rome ought to have the ordering of all great matters, ples of the
primitive in all places, by his supreme authority, bringing no scripture for him (for at
church, that time no scripture was thought to make for it); but alleged for him, and against that untruly, that the first council of Nice made for his
the pope's After this,
purpose. when the book was brought forth, and no such article found in it, but the con- cy. trary, yet the council at that time sent to Constantinople, Alexandria, and An
(1) Ephes. ii.
(2) Chap. xxi.
(3) Lib. de Simplic. Prælat.