« PreviousContinue »
by those words of Saint Paul, esteeming gayne godlines, if this be not it. This mart hath fed and still doth feed many idle bellyes, who stoutly drive away the word of God to the best of their ability, that they may not loose their swine. Howbeit at the last the truth shall prevail, how ever these men have conspired together.
“ As touching that which you adde concerning the invocation of Saints, Saint Augustine exhorteth us rather to stand to the Scriptures, then either to his writings, or the writings of others : and not to build upon his writing without the authoritie of Scriptures. And surely in this poynt my conscience is resolved, that there is not one poynt of all these which are controverted, that is proved by more evident testimonyes of Scripture, then this, that God alone is to be prayed unto, and by one mediator, namely Jesus Christ. Rom. 10. 13. Ilow shall they call on him in whome they have not be leeved? We must beleeve in God onely, therefore he onely is to bee prayed unto. That distinction touching invocation and advocation, that albeit you allow not the invocation of Saints, at the least
you allow their advocation, is frivolous: because, as those men robh Christ of his honour, who seeke another mediator, so these are no lesse injurious to Christ, who seeke another advocate because we have Christ an advocate with the father. (1. Job. 2. 1.) and Esai. 63: he attirmeth that Abraham knoweth us not. Truly I assure my selfe, that Abraham the father of the faithfull, is no lesse a Saint, then any other of the Saints in heaven. You say, you beleeve the communion of Saints, which we also doe all of us beleeve: but you inferre thereupon, that you understand not how there can be a communion of Saints, if the Saints departed doe not pray for us, and we call upon them for assistance. But the Church of Christ understandeth the communion of Saints farre otherwise. For in the usuall phrase of Scripture, Saints are not understood to be those that are departed, and whose soules are in heaven, but those who are living here on the earth. Nor shall you almost thorough the whole Scripture of the Old and New Testament find the name of Saint given to any man, but that thereby is understood a Saint living heere on the earth. Yea, sometimes the Scripture speaketh more expressely as in Psal. 16. 3: to the Saints which are on the earth: all my delight is in them. If any man ever had or could have a communion with the Saints in heaven, surely David had it. But he expoundeth the communion wherewith he was acquainted, that is the communion of Saints on earth. So Saint John expoundeth this poynt. 1. John: 1.3. What we have seene and knowne that declare we unto you, that yee also may have communion with us, and that our communion may be with God, and with his son Jesus Christ. First, all the Church of Christ have communion with the Apostolick Church, that
you may have communion with us: Secondly, this communion of Saints shall consist in the preaching the word, and in the participation of diverse gifts for the edification of the Church in publicke and private prayers. Thirdly, but in powering out of our prayers we have communion with the Father and the Sonne, or with the Father by the Sonne. Heere is no mention at all, no respect had to the Saints departed. This communion according to the words of holy Scripture extendeth no further then to the Church on earth. The Saints departed are not caried in Scripture simply Saints, but the Congregation of the first borne in heaven, and the
spirits spirits of just and perfect men. (Heb: 12. 23.) After this life we shall have communion with them, but as for those who require this communion witi them in this life, let them either product from the Scripture what they say, or let thein heare that sentence of our blessed Lord, In vaine doe ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the traditions of men. (Math: 15. 9.)
“ I confesse that if you have respect to the use of this our age, or some former ones, the deceased are called Saints; båt it is not the custome of this or that age, but the rule of the holy Scripture that is propounded for our initation. But what doe we contending about this point? Those men who stand so hard for invocation of Saints shall grant it us to be a thing indifferent: for indeed it is tlie safest way to goe to tlie fountaine of mercy it selfe, and let the streamies alone. Nor suffer those mento perswadle you, who say that they detract nothing from God, by directing their prayers to the Saints: For no man can detract from God more then he who transferreth the worship due to God alone unto the creature. For invocation is a part of divine worship: and this worship hee communicateth to no creature, who will not give his glory to another.
“ As for your arguments touching images, and fasting (which point of fasting God forbid that either I or any one should deny, yea rather we exhort all persons to the practice of it, onely we desire to have the superstition and wicked opinions remooved) together with those other 'arguments touching relicks and exorcismes in casting out'uncleane spirits torsooth, which thing when it leadeth to idolatry is the signe of a false prophet: (Deut. 13.) Although answer might be made to all these with much ease, yet because I now want leisure, as being over laden with imployments, in regard that I am destitute of a Curate at this time, and have a very large parish to visite, and also my body is weak, and subject to faint with wearinesse, being worne out with paynes taking: therefore in all these respectes, I have thought it fitting to deferre mine answere to these points untill another time.
with power and
“ If you be unwilling to come to Houghton upon Sunday next, because you will not be an offence to my parishioners (in which case you cannot blame me if I appeare very carefull of my parishioners, in regard of the great charge laid upon me, for it is apparent in the times of the prophets, and in all succeeding ages since, that the vulgar people have been too too prone to superstition, and a mischief doth increase easily, and creep further in one day, then good lessons in a whole moneth,) therefore, Sunday excepted (unlesse you will come up into the Quire, which in my judgment you ought not to refuse), if you come straightwayes after the Sabbath day is ended, and depart about Saterday noone, you shall bee heartily welcome: therefore that excuse which you pretend ought not to retarde your accesse. And although your last conclusion doe (as I told you already) take away all hope and confidence from a man who shall conferre with you, yet I will not cease to hope better things touching your conversion then you seeme to hope of your selfe. Saint Paul had once a firme resolution to dye a Pharisy, and a persecuter of Christians; but God had reserved for him the treasure of
mercy, to the end that he might ordayne him to preach that glorious name which he had formerly persecuted. I commend you to the goodnes of the Almightie God, which is able by the spirit of knowledge, to leade you into all truth. Fare
Fare ye well. From Houghton the 14. of October. 1580. Your loving Uncle
So long as Bishop Pilkinton lived, Mr. Gilpin had a most kind friend of him, after whose decease Richard Barnes succeeded 4 in the bishopricke. This man was somewhat offended with Mr. Gilpin : and hereby hangeth a story which I must fetch somewhat farre. Mr. Gilpin was accustomed sometimes to ride to Oxford, especially in his younger time when he was able to endure travell. Now it happened upon a time as he was upon his way towards Oxford, that he espyed by the way side a youth one while walking and another while running. Mr. Gilpin demanded of him who he was, whence he came, and whither he was going. He made answer that he came out of Wales, and that he was bound for Oxford with intent to be a scholler. Mr. Gilpin examineth the youth, and findeth him a prompt scholler in the Latine, and that he had a little smattering in the Greeke. « And wilt thou” (saith Mr. Gilpin) tented to goe with me? I will provide for thee." The youth was contented: whereupon Mr. Gilpin tooke him along with him first to Oxford, afterwards to Houghton, where he profited exceedingly both in Greeke and Hebrew: whom Mr. Gilpin at the last sent to Cambridge. And this was that famous Hugh Broughton so exceeding apt in learning the Greeke and Hebrew, but a man of a most inconstant nature. For when Mr. Gilpin grew olde, whether it was in expectation of Mr. Gilpins
66 be con
^ Richard Barnes succeeded.] He was elected to the see of Durbam April 5th. 157-7. Le Neve's Fasti, p. 347.