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First, I send unto you herewith (which I am sure ye have read) that Eusebius writeth of images, whereby appeareth, that images have been of great antiquity in Christ's church. And to say we may have images, or to call on them when they represent Christ or his saints, be over gross opinions to enter into your learned head, whatsoever the unlearned would tattle. For you know the text of the old law, -non facies tibi sculptile,-forbiddeth no more images now, than another text forbiddeth to us puddings. And if omnia be munda mundis, to the belly, there , can be no cause why they should be to themselves, impura to the
wherein ye can say much more. And then when we have images, to call them idols, is a like fault in fond folly, as if a man would say, fregcm) a tyrant, and then bring in old writers to prove, that tyrannus signified once a king, like as idolum signified once an image. But like as tyrannus was, by consent of men, appropriate to signify an usurper of that dignity, and an untrue king ; so hath idolum been likewise appropriate to signify a false representation and a false image : insomuch as there was a solemn anathematization of all those that would call an image an idol; as he were worthy to be hanged that would call the king our master (God save him) our true just king, a tyrant;, and yet in talk he might shew, that a tyrant signified sometime a king. But speech is regarded in his present
signification, which I doubt not ye can consider right well.
I verily think that for the having of images, ye will say enough, and that also, when we have them, we should not despise them in speech, to call them idols, ne despise them with deeds, to mangle them or cut them, but at the least suffer them to stand untorn. Wherein Luther (that pulled away all other regard to them) strove stoutly and obtained (as I have seen in divers of the churches in Germany of his reformation) that they should (as they do) stand still.
All the matter to be feared is, excess in worshipping, wherein the church of Rome hath been very precise; and specially Gregory, writing Episcopo Mastilien; which is contained, de consecratio. Distinct, 3. as followeth :
Perlatum ad nos fuerat, quod inconsiderato zelo succensus sanctorum imagines, sub hac quaque excusatione. ne adorari debuissent, confregeris; et quidem eas adorare retuisse omnino laudamus, fregisse vero reprehendimus. Die frater, a quo fuctum esse sacerdote aliquando , auditum est, quod fecisti? Aliud est enim picturam adorare, aliud per picturam historiam, quid sit adorandum, aờdiscere. Nam quod legentibus scriptura, hoc et idiotis præstat pictura cernentibus, quia in ipsa ignorantes vident quid sequi debeant in ipsa legunt qui literas nesciunt. Nude et præcipue gentibus pro lectione pictura est.
Herein is forbidden 'adoration, and then in sexta 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, venerabiles imagines, in the same distinction in this wise.
Venerabiles imagines christiani, non deos, appellant ; neque serviunt eis ut Diis, neque spem salutis ponunt in eis, neque ab eis expectant futurum judicium, sed ad memoriam et recordationem primitivorum venerantur eas et adorant, sed non serviunt eis cultu divino, nec alicui creature.
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 bem fore the cross on Good Friday, wherein we have the image of the crucifix in honour, and use it in a worshipful 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 a corse, will not be afraid to be homely, and hold it under his gown, while he drinketh a pot of ale; a point of homelia. ness 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 so 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 worshipped 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 ta
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.
Ar 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 bý 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; ergo, 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 breast; ergo, iniages be not forbidden. If saints be not to