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Herein is forbidden adoration, and then in sexto synodo was declared what manner of adoration is forbidden, that is to say, godly adoration to it, being a creature; as is contained in the chapter, venerdbiles imagines, in the same distinction in this wise.
Venerabiles imagines christiani, non deos, appellant ; neque
serviunt eis ut Diis, neque spem salutis ponunt in cis, neque ab eis expectant futurum judicium, sed ad memoriam et recordationem primitivorum venerantur eas et adorant, sed non serviunt eis cultu divino, nec alicui creaturae.
By which doctrine, all idolatry is plainly excluded in evident words. So as we cannot say that the worshipping of images had his beginning by popery : for Gregory forbad it, unless we shall call that synod popery, because there were so many bishops. And there is forbidden cultus divinus, and agreeth with our aforesaid doctrine, by which we may creep before the cross on Good Friday, wherein we have the image of the crucifix in honour, and use it in a wor• shipful place, and so earnestly look on it, and conceive that it signifieth, as we kneel and creep before it, whiles it lieth there, and whilst that remembrance is in exercise; with which cross nevertheless, the sexton when he goeth for å corse, will not be afraid to be homely, and hold it under his gown, whiles he drinketh a pot of ale; a point of homeliness that might be left; but yet it declareth that he
esteemed no divinity in the image. But ever since I was born, a poor parishioner, a layman, durst be şo bold at a shift (if he were also church-warden) to sell to the use of the church at length, and his own in the mean time, the silver cross on Easter Monday, that was creeped unto on Good Friday. In specialties, there have been special abuses ; but generally, images have been taken for images, with an office to signify an holy remembrance of Christ and his saints, And as the sound of speech uttered by a lively image, and representing to the understanding, by the sense of hearing godly matter, doth stir up the mind, and therewith the body, to consent in outward gesture of worshipful regard to that sound; so doth the object of the image by the sight, work like effect in man, within and without, wherein is verily wor» shipped that we understand; and yet reverence and worship also shewed to that, whereby we attain that understanding, and is to us in the place of an instrument; so as, it hath no worship of itself, but remaineth in his nature of stone or timber, silver, copper, or gold.
Now. will I speak somewhat of holy water, wherein I send unto you the four and thirtieth chapter in the ninth book of the history Tripartite, where Marcellus the bishop bad Equitius his deacon to cast abroad water by him first hallowed, wherewith to
away the devil. And it is noted how the devil could not abide the virtue of the water, but vanished away. And for my part, it seemeth the history may be true: for we be assured by scripture, that in the name of God, the church is able and strong to cast out devils, according to the gospel, in nomine meo dæmonia ejiciunt, &c. So as if the water were away, by only calling on the name of God that mastery may be wrought. And the virtue of the effect being only attributed to the name of God, the question should be only, whether the creature of water may have the office to convey the effect of the holiness of the invocation of God's name.
A man might find some youngling percase, that would say, how worldly, wily, witty bishops have inveigled simple things heretofore; and to confirm their blessings, have also devised how kings should bless also, and so authority to maintain where truth failed; and I have had it objected to me, that I used to prove one piece of mine argument ever by a king, as when I reasoned thus:-if ye allow nothing but scripture, what say you to the king's rings ? But they, be allowed; crgo, somewhat is to be allowed besides scripture. And another; if images be forbidden, why doth the king wear St. George on his breast? But he weareth St. George on his breasts ergo, images be not forbidden. If saints be not to
be worshipped; why keep we St. George's feast? But we keep St. George's feast, ergo, &c. And in this matter of holy water, if the strength of the invocation of the name of God, to drive away the devils, cannot be distribute by water; why can it be distribute in silver; to drive away diseases, and the dangerous disease of the falling evil. But the rings hallowed by the holy church may do so ; ergo, the water hallowed by the church may do like service. These were sore arguments in his time, and I trust be also yet, and may be conveniently used, to such as would never make an end of talk, but fake up every thing that their dull sight cannot penetrate; wherein, methought, ye .spake effectually, when
said, men must receive the determination of the particular church, and obey where God's law repugneth not expressly. And in this effect, to drive away devils, that prayer and invocation of the church may do it, scripture maintaineth evidently; and the same scripture doth authorise us so to pray, and encourageth us to it,
Albeit there hath been between you and me no familiarity, but contrariwise, a little disagreement (which I did not hide from you), yet considering the fervent zeal ye professed to teach Peter's true doctrine, that is to say, Christ's true doctrine, whereunto ye thought the doctrine of images and holy water, to put away devils agreed not, I have willing,
ly spent this time to communicate unto you my folly (if it be folly) plainly as it is, whereupon ye may have occasion the more substantially, fully, and plainly, to open these matters for the relief of such as be fallen from the truth, and confirmation of those that receive and follow it, wherein it hath been ever much commended, to have such regard to histories of credit, and the continual use of the church, rather to shew how a thing continued from the beginning, as holy water and images have done, may be well used, then to follow the light rash eloqueạce, which is ever ad manum, to mock and improve that is established, &c. &c.
Your loving friend,
The public character of bishop Gardiner is well known. In a personal view, he was a man of considerable learning and talents; but though his sentiments were, in some respects, of a liberal cast, his temper was haughty, ambitious, and cruel. Though a great persecutor of heretics, and the principal instrument of queen Mary's cruelties, it appears that he considered religion merely as an engine, of state, and used it only for his selfish and ambitious purposes.