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and commanded also his apostles and disciples to do the semblable, as it was said Henry before; whatsoever priest, or bishop will arrogate or presume to take upon him VMI. any such authority, and will pretend the authority of the gospel for his defence
A. D. therein, he doth nothing else but in a manner as you would say) crowneth
1534. Christ again with crown of thorn, and traduceth and bringeth him forth again with his mantle of purple upon his back, to be mocked and scorned of the world, as the Jews did to their own damnation.
This doctrine was subscribed and allowed by the witness and testimony of these bishops and other learned men, whose names hereunder follow, as appeareth in the bishops' book before named.
Testimonies of Bishops and Doctors of England against the Pope. Thomas Cantuariensis.
Edmundus Bonner, Archidiacon. LeiEdovardus Eboracensis.
cester. Johannes Londinensis.
Gulielmus Skippe, Archidiacon. DorCuthbertus Dunelmensis.
set. Stephanus Wintoniensis.
Nicolaus Heth, Archidiacon. Stafford. Robertus Carliolensis.
Cuthbertus Marshal, Archidiac. NotJohannes Exoniensis.
tingham. Johannes Lincolniensis.
Richardus Curren, Archidiacon. Oxon. Johannes Barthoniensis.
Gulielmus Cliffe. Rolandus Coventr. et Lichfield.
Galfridus Dounes. Thomas Eliensis.
Robertus Oking: Nicolaus Sarum.
Radulphus Bradford. Johannes Bangor.
Richardus Smith. Edovardus Herefordiensis.
Simon Mathew. Hugo Wigorniensis.
Johannes Prin. Johannes Roffensis.
Gulielmus Buckmaster. Richardus Cicestrensis.
Gulielmus May. Gulielinus Norwicensis.
Nicolaus Wotton. Gulielmus Menevensis.
Richardus Cox. Robertus Assavensis.
Johannes Edmunds. Robertus Landavensis.
Thomas Robertson. Richardus Wolman, Archidiacon. Sud- Johannes Baker. bur.
Thomas Barret. Gulielmus Knight, Archidiacon. Rich- Johannes Hase. mond.
Johannes Tyson. Johannes Bel, Archidiacon. Glocester.
These were doctors of divinity, and of both laws.
Judge now thyself, loving reader, “per confessata et allegata ;' that the biis, by these things heretofore confessed, alleged, allowed, proved, and England confirmed; by pen set forth, by words defended, and by oath sub- were, scribed by these bishops and doctors, if either Martin Luther him- Lutherself, or any Lutheran else, could or did ever say more against the prond usurpation of the bishop of Rome, than these men have done. If they dissembled otherwise than they meant, who could ever dissemble so deeply, speaking so pithily? If they meant as they spake, who could ever turn head to tail so suddenly and so shortly as these men did ? But because these things we write for edification of others, rather than for commendation of them, let us mark therefore their reasons, and let the persons go.
And although the said proofs and arguments, heretofore alleged, might suffice to the full discussion of this matter against the pope's usurped primacy; yet because many do yet remain, who will not be satisfied, to refel therefore and confute this popish article of the pope's
The epistle of
and Stokesley, to Pole.
Henry vain and proud primacy with as much matter and furniture of reasons
and allegations as the writings and testimonies of these bishops and A. D. others do minister unto us; we inind (the Lord willing) to annex to 1534.
these former confirmations of the bishops aforesaid, another supple
ment also of a certain epistle sent by bishop Tonstal, and by John Tonstal Stokesley, bishop of London, to cardinal Pole, for a more ample con
futation of the usurped power. Concerning the argument of that epistle, here is first to be understood, that about this time, or not much after, cardinal Pole, brother to the lord Montague, was attainted of high treason, and fled away unto Rome, where, within a short time after, he was made cardinal of St. Mary Cosmeden; of whom more is to be spoken hereafter, the Lord so permitting, when we come to the time of queen Mary. In the mean time, he remaining at Rome, there was directed unto him a certain epistle exhortatory by Stokesley, bishop of London, and Tonstal, bishop of Durham, persuading him to relinquish and abandon the supremacy of the pope, and to conform himself to the religion of his king. The copy of which his epistle, for the reasons and arguments therein contained about the same matter, we thought here not unworthy to be put in, or unprofitable to be read. The tenor thereof here followeth.
The true Copy of a certain Letter written by Cuthbert Tonstal,
Bishop of Durham, and John Stokesley, Bishop of London, to Cardinal Pole, proving the Bishop of Rome to have no special superiority above other Bishops.?
For the good will that we have borne unto you in times past, as long as you continued the king's true subject, we cannot a little lament and mourn, that you, neither regarding the inestimable kindness of the king's highness heretofore showed unto you in your bringing up, nor the honour of the house that you be come of, nor the wealth of the country that you were born in, should so decline from your duty to your prince, that you should be seduced by fair words and vain promises of the bishop of Rome, to wind with him, going about, by all means to him possible, to pull down and put under foot your natural prince and master, to the destruction of the country that hath brought you up, and for a vain glory of a red hat, to make yourself an instrument to set forth his malice, who hath stirred, by all means that he could, all such christian princes as would give ears unto him, to depose the king's highness from his kingdom, and to offer it as a prey for them that should execute his malice; and to stir, if he could, his subjects against him, in stirring and nourishing rebellions in his realm, where the office and duty of all good christian men, and namely of us that be priests, should be to bring all commotion to tranquillity, all trouble to quietness, all discord to concord; and in doing contrary, we do show ourselves to be but the ministers of Satan, and not of Christ, who ordained all us that be priests to use, in all places, the legation of peace, and not of discord. But since that cannot be undone that is done, secondly it is to make amends, and to follow the doing of the prodigal son spoken of in the gospel, 3 who returned home to his father, and was well accepted; as no doubt you might be, if you would say as he said, in acknowledging your folly, and do as he did, in returning home again from your wandering abroad in service of him, who little careth what cometh of you, so that his purpose by you be served.
And if you be moved by your conscience, that you cannot take the king your master as supreme head of the church of England, because the bishop of Rome hath heretofore many years usurped that name universally over all the church,
(1) This letter was testified by Cuthbert Tonstal, to Matthew, archbishop of Canterbury, and others, to be his own, about fourteen days before his death.
(2) Read his traitorous oration to the emperor, in his book entitled, “De Ecclesiæ Concordia,'
of Matt. xviii. Tu
under pretence of the gospel of St. Matthew, saying, “Thou art Peter, and Henry upon this rock I will build my church :' surely that text many of the most holy Vii. and ancient expositors wholly do take to be meant of the faith, then first con- A.D. fessed by the mouth of Peter; upon which faith, confessing Christ to be the
1534. Son of God, the church is builded, Christ being the very lowest foundation stone, whereupon both the apostles themselves, and also the whole faith of The place the church of Christ, by them preached through the world, is founded and builded; and other foundation none can be, but that only, as St. Paul saith, es Petrus’ • No other foundation can any man lay besides that which is laid, which is expoundChrist Jesus.''
And where you think that the gospel of Luke proveth the same authority of The place the bishop of Rome, saying, Peter, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith of Luke should not fail; and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren :' surely pounded. that speaketh only of the fall of Peter, known to Christ by his godly prescience, whereof he gave an inkling, that after the time of his fall he should not despair, but return again, and confirm his brethren, as he, being ever most fervent of them, was wont to do. The place doth plainly open itself that it cannot be otherwise taken, but this to be the very meaning of it, and not to be spoken but to Peter: for else his successors must first fail in the faith, and then convert, and so confirm their brethren. And whereas you think that this place of The place the gospel of John, 'Feed my sheep,' was spoken only to Peter, and that those of John words make him shepherd over all, and above all, St. Peter? himself testifieth pounded. the contrary in his canonical epistle, where he saith to all priests, • Feed the flock of Christ which is among you;' which he bade them do by the authority that Christ had put them in, as followeth : “And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive the incorruptible crown of eternal glory.'
The same likewise St. Paul, in the Acts, testifieth, saying, Give heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath set you to govern the church of God; where, in the original text, the word signifying regere,' to govern,' Tolpaivelv,' is the same that was spoken to Peter, pasce,' feed, for it signifieth both in the Scripture. And that by these words he was not constituted a shepherd over all, it is very plain by the fact of St. Peter, who durst not enterprise much conversation among the Gentiles, but eschewed it as a thing unlawful, and much rather prohibited than commanded by God's law, until he was admonished by the revelation of the sheet full of divers viands, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles : whereas, if Christ, by these words, ' Feed my sheep,' had given such a universal governance to Peter, then Peter, being more fervent than others of the apostles to execute Christ's commandment, would of his own courage have gone, without any such new admonition, to Cornelius :- except peradventure you would say, that Peter did not understand the said words of Christ, for lack of the light which the later men have obtained to perceive, and thereby understand the words of Christ to Peter, better than Peter himself did. And strange also it were to condemn Peter as a high traitor to his Master after his ascension ; as he indeed were worthy, if his Master had signified unto him that the bishops of Rome, by his dying there, should be heads of all the church; and he, knowing the same by these words, • Feed my sheep,' yet, notwithstanding his Master's high legacy and commandment, would flee as he did from Rome, until his Master, encountering him by the way, with terrible words caused him to return. And because this history, peradventure, cannot weigh against an obstinate
As great mind to the contrary; what shall we say to the words of St. Ambrose, declaring primacy and affirming that as great and as ample primacy was given to Paul, as to given to Peter? Upon these words of Paul, *He that wrought by Peter,' &c., thus he Pameras writeth:6 He nameth Peter only, and compareth him to himself, because he received a primacy to build a church; and that he, in like sort, was chosen himself to have a primacy in building the churches of the Gentiles.' And shortly after it followeth : Of those (that is to say of the apostles) that were the chiefest, his gift,' he saith, 'was allowed, which he had received of God; so that he was found worthy to have the primacy in preaching to the Gentiles, as
(2) 1 Pet. v.
(4) Acts xii.
(1) 1 Cor. iii.
Henry Peter had in preaching to the Jews. And as he assigned to Peter, for his
companions, those who were of the chiefest men amongst the apostles, even so
also did he take to himself Barnabas, who was joined unto him by God's judgA.D.
ment; and yet did he challenge to himself alone the prerogative or primacy 1534.
which God had given him, as to Peter alone it was granted among the other Equality apostles. So that the apostles of the circumcision gave their hands to the of degree apostles of the Gentiles, to declare their concord in fellowship, that either of the apo- them should know that they had received the perfection of the Spirit in the
preaching of the gospel, and so should not need either the other in any matter.' And shortly after, saith St. Ambrose, Who durst resist Peter the chief apostle?' But another such a one, who, by the confidence of his election, might know himself to be no less, and so might reprove boldiy that thing which he inconsiderately had done.'
This equality of dignity which St. Ambrose affirmeth by Scripture to be equally given to Peter and Paul, St. Cyprian and St. Jerome do extend to all the apostles; Cyprian saying thus :' ' All the rest of the apostles were the same that Peter was, being endued with like equality of honour and power.' And St. Jerome thus :: All the apostles received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and upon them, as indifferently and equally, is the strength of the church grounded and established.' The same St. Jerome also, as well in his Commentaries upon the Epistle to Titus, as in his Epistle to Euagrius, showeth that these primacies, long after Christ's ascension, were made by the device of men; whereas before, by the common agreement and consent of the clergy, every of the churches were governed, yea, the patriarchal churches.
The words of St. Jerome' be these : “Let the bishops understand, that they be greater than other priests, rather by custom, than by virtue and verity of the Lord's ordinance.' And in his said epistle to Euagrius he hath the like sen
tence, and addeth thereunto,4 •Wheresoever a bishop be, either at Rome, or at enes be- Eugubium, or at Constantinople, he is of all one worthiness, and of all one bishops priesthood.
And that one was elected who should be preferred before others, it was devised for the redress of schisms, lest any one, challenging too much to
, how it is himself, should rend the church of Christ.
These words only of St. Jerome be sufficient to prove that Christ, by none of these three texts (which be all that you and others do allege for your opinion), gave to Peter any such superiority as the bishop of Rome by them usurpeth ; and that neither Peter, nor any others of the chief apostles, did vindicate such primacy or superiority, but utterly refused it, and therefore gave pre-eminence ahove themselves to one, that though he be sometimes called an apostle, yet he was none of the twelve, as Eusebius, in the beginning of his second book, called · Historia Ecclesiastica,'
doth testify, alleging for him the great and ancient clerk Clemens Alexandrinus, James the saying thus,s · Peter, James, and John, after Christ's ascension into heaven, the bishop
although they were by him preferred almost before all others, yet they challenged
not that glory to themselves, but decreed that James, who was called Justus, apostles. should be chief bishop of the apostles.' By these words, it is clear that James was Seeing the bishop of the apostles, not because, as some men do gloss, he was elected chief pri
by the apostles, but because he had thereby the primacy and honour of a mate of bishop in Jerusalem, above the rest of the apostles.
And one thing is especially to be noted, and also marvelled at, that the against " bishops of Rome do challenge this primacy only by Peter, and yet St. Paul,
who was his equal, or rather superior by Scripture, in his apostleship amongst the Gentiles, whereof Rome was the principal, suffered at Rome where Peter
did, and is commonly, in all the Roman church, joined with Peter in all appelchallenge lations and titles of pre-eminence, and both be called “principes Apostolorum,' macy by the chief of the apostles. Upon both is equally founded the church of Rome.
The accounting of the bishops of Rome many years agreeth thereunto. For
the Gentiles, it is
reason that the Romans should
(1) ' Hoc erant utique et cæteri Apostoli, quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio præditi, et honoris et potestatis.'-- Cyprian. De Simplicitate Clericorum.
(2) • Cuncti Apostoli claves regni cælorum acceperunt et ex æquo super eos Ecclesiæ fortitudo fundatur.'Contra Jovinianum.
(3) 'Sciant ergo Episcopi se magis ex consuetudine, quam dispensationis Dominicæ veritate, presbyteris esse majores ' Cap. I. super Titum.
(4) Ubicumque fuerit, Episcopus, sive Romæ, sive Eugubii, sive Constantinopoli,' &c.
(5) 'Petrus, Jacobus, ac Johannes, post assumptionem Salvatoris, quamvis ab ipso fuerant omnibus pene prælati, tamen non sibi vindicarunt gloriam, sed Jacobum, qui dicebatur Justus. Apostolorum Episcopuni statuunt.'
founda tion of a
Eusebius 7 saith, that Clement was the third bishop after St. Paul and Peter, Henry reckoning them both as bishops of Rome, and yet therein preferring St. Paul ;
VIII. with like words, saying of Alexander bishop of Rome, that? Alexander obtained
A. D. the governance of the people by succession, the fifth bishop after Peter and
1534. Paul.' Irenæus also saith, as Eusebius reciteth, that 3 after the church was once founded and builded, the holy apostles charged Linus with the bishopric; whereby appeareth, that they both jointly constituted him bishop of Rome, and received only their apostleship enjoined to them by Christ. And therefore, if the bishops of Rome challenge any pre-eminence of authority by Peter, they should as well, or rather challenge the same by Paul, because they both founded it, and both there preached, and both there suffered, resigning first that bishopric to Linus, and all at once.
And if peradventure you will lean to the former preaching there by Peter, The firšt which by Scripture cannot be proved, yet then at least St. Paul and his successors in Ephesus should have like primacy, because he founded first that church, church though St. John, after that, did build it, as witnesseth Eusebius, saying • The maketh
no prichurch which is at Ephesus, was founded by Paul, but it was built by St. John. And so Peter should have no other primacy in Rome, but as Paul had in Ephesus, that is to say, to be counted as the first preacher and converter of the people there to the faith of Christ. And as well might all the bishops of Ephesus challenge primacy of all nations, both Gentiles and Jews, by St. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, their founder, as the bishop of Rome, by St. Peter, the apostle only of the circumcision, in case he were the first founder, challenging primacy over all. But undoubtedly, this primacy over all, that the bishops of Rome of late do challenge, was not allowed, nor yet known or heard of amongst the ancient fathers, though they had their church of Rome in high estimation, as well for the notable virtuous deeds that the clergy did there show and exercise abundantly to their neighbours (as witnesseth the said Eusebius, alleging there the epistle that Dionysius Alexandrinus wrote to Soter, bishop of Rome, testifying the same), as for that the city of Rome was the most ample and chief city of the world, witnessing St. Cyprian, saying,« «Certainly, because that Rome ought, for the greatness thereof, to excel Carthage, there No tus committed the greater and more grievous offences.'
This St. Cyprian also, when he had ordained and appointed certain decrees and statutes unto the bishop of Rome, did not submit them to his reformation or judgment, but only signified his own sentence to like him also; and yet adding thereunto, that if any bishops (meaning as well of Rome as others) who were of the contrary opinions to him, would otherwise think or do, he would not then that his sentence should be to them prejudicial, neither would he thereby compel them to any thing, but would that they should follow their own minds and customs; partly, for that every one of the bishops hath liberty of his own will, and partly, for that every governor shall make an account to God of his own deed, as it appeareth plainly in his epistle to Stephen and Julian. And in the third epistle to Cornelius, towards the end, speaking of the appeal that one Felicissimus, a Novatian, after his condemnation in Africa, made to Rome, he impugneth such appeals, saying,7 • Forasmuch as every Appeal to pastor hath his own flock committed unto him, which every one ought to rule Rome and govern, and must give account to the Lord of his administration, it is decreed den. by us all
, and we think it both meet and just, that every man's cause and plea should there be heard, where the crime is committed. This holy and excellent clerk and martyr, St. Cyprian, would never have either impugned their appeal to Rome from their own primacies, or so earnestly have maintained his determinations in the councils of Africa, contrary to the opinion of the bishops of Rome and to their customs, without any submission by word or writing, if the primacy over all, which the bishops of Rome do challenge and usurp, had
(1) 'Clemens tertius post Paulum et Petrum pontificatum tenebat.' Lib. iii. c. 21.
(4) Ecclesia quæ est apud Ephesum a Paulo quidem fundata est, a Joanne vere ædificata.' Euseb. lib. iii. cap. 23. [Rather Irenæus, as quoted by Eusebius ; this quotation is not quite accurate in the latter clause. -ED)
(5) Lib. iv. c. 24. (6) • Plane, quoniam pro magnitudine sua debeat Carthaginem Roma præcedere, illic majora et graviora commisit.' Cypr. Lib. ii, ad. Cornelium.
(7) 'Quia singulis pastoribus portio gregis est ascripta, quam regat unusquisque et gubernet. rationem sui actus, Domino redditurus,'&c. Cypr. lib. iii. Epist. ad Cornelium.