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Henry provided and instituted of princes, to the end that both the people of Christ
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 the uni- 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.
Porasmuch therefore as we, having heard, 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
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
THE BOOK OF GARDINER,' BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
“DE VERA OBEDIENTIA."
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, riage 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
Gardiner against the mar
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.
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 for- VII. bidden 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 entendexcommunication, 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.5
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,'s &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) I Kings xxji.
(6) 1 Mac. xiv. (7) Matt. xvi.
(5) I Mac. x.
the head of the
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 1534. of ambition to be seen; but rather rebuked them for seeking any manner of
majority amongst them.
And where he reasoneth of the king's style and title, being called king of style and England and of France, defender of the faith, lord of Ireland, and supreme title 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 therekingdom.
fore doth not alter the authority of the master over the servant, nor of the husband 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
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.
(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 pristatus. Jews, first he stood in defence of the verity, an
rst 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 Surresthereby 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 va'e.' 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 big vale' of
ing, and ruling.
To this book of Stephen Winchester, De Obedientia, we will The ofadjoin, for good fellowship, the Preface also of Edmund Bonner, teach" archdeacon then of Leicester, prefixed before the same; to the intent 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 the
my The Preface of Edmund Bonner, Archdeacon of Leicester, prefixed
before Stephen Gardiner's book, De Vera Obedientia.
variable), who think the controversy which is between the king's royal majesty
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
tavern-bush to utter it? But yet in this oration, whosoever thou art, most gentle
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,
But be thou most surely persuaded of this, good reader! that the bishop of
, especially having some good morsel or other given him to chew upon.?
n oasainst this so good and godly, and so true a gospel-like prince, as he
(2) Bonner knew well what morsel would best please his father of Rome, and that money and
(3) Seeing thou knowest the pope to be such a cruel tyrant, why then wouldst thou, against thy
themselves to the world, and the time present.