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but as soon as I was a man, I left all childishness. Now I am become a man, and therefore I am now ashamed of my childishness.” (1 Cor. xiii.)
Thus might the Prophets have said to the Gentiles, What profit had you of your gods, the sun and the moon? What profit had you of them, whereof ye are now ashamed ? So might Moses have said to the children of Israel, What profit had ye in this golden calf ? So Hezekiah, What profit had ye in this bra. zen serpent, of which ye are now ashamed ? Even thus Isaiah might likewise have said, What profit had ye in your calends, and new moons, in your holy days and sacrifices?
And so other the Prophets might well have said, What profit had ye in your dreams, in your spider cobs, in your dross, in your chaff? What commodity had ye of all these things ? Alas ! ye are now ashamed of them, and therefore ye had no profit of them had no pleasure by them; they brought you no commodity ; they brought you only shame and confusion.
Thus, good brethren, let us weigh and consider what profit we had in times past of those things, of which we are now ashamed. And let us consider how much we are beholden to God, that now we may see and know our own folly and ignorance, and so be ashamed.
But herein, good brethren, there needs not many words, for there is no man so blind, but may well see, no man so deaf, but may well hear, no man so dull, but may well perceive and understand the great error, the great blindness, the great darkness, that we have been in.
And therefore let us all now give God thanks that he hath restored his light unto us, and taken that great error and darkness from us, Loth I am here to speak of those things whereof we may be ashamed;
Joth and sorry I am to repeat, that into you whereof we are now ashamed; but this place now requireth the same; this time and place willeth me somewhat to speak thereof.
The time hath been, that we have put our trust in pardons, in bulls of the Pope's, in vain scrolls and writings of his ; yea, and in them we have had greater hope and affiance than in the death of Christ, or merits of his passion. We have fallen down before images, before stocks and stones, such as bad eyes, and saw not; ears, and heard not: before thein we prayed; before them we kneeled, and stuck up candles. But now we are ashamed of them; we all are, I think, now sorry and ashamed of this our folly; but what profit had we then of all these things.
Sometiines we prayed in a strange tongue, in a tongue
that we understood not; we prayed contrary to the use that was in the Patriarchs' times, in the Prophets' times, in the Apostles' times ; but then what profit had we of those prayers whereof we are now ashamed? We have seen lawful marriage forbidden, and men's lawful wives taken from them, and yet the use of a concubine granted, as though God were displeased with marriage, and pleased with whoredom: but what profit had ye then of that thing of which ye now are ashamed?
We had baptism, but we understood not the principles of our faith ; and even as the Prophet'spake of his time (Hosea, iv.), “ The priest is become like the people ;" so might we well have said of our own time, Blind were they both, and therefore both fell into the dike. This we are now ashamed of; but what profit had we then thereby ? “ The Prophets (said Jeremiah, chap. ix.) teach falsely, and the priests follow them, and my people hath pleasure therein."
And lo, even this same which the Prophet Jeremiah said, the priests and Prophets did, in his tiine, we
ourselves have seen done in our days, and now we are ashamed thereof, but what profit had we then by it? We had the sacrament of Christ's body, but we knew not why Christ instituted the same ; we knew not why Christ left us that sacrament; we did all things contrary to Christ's institution.
Christ ordained a communion ; but we had a private mass : Christ ordained that the whole people should receive in both kinds ; but we ministered it under one kind alone. Christ, when he instituted this sacrament, spake in the common tongue, that all might understand him; but we, contrary to Christ, contrary to the Apostles, contrary to the primitive church, consecrated the same in an unknown tongue, that no man might understand us. And hereof are we now ashamed; but what profit had we then thereby?
We have known this to be taught, that the bread in the sacrament was turned into the very body and blood of Christ our Saviour ; this we all know, and do yet remember. But Christ, when he said the sacrament should be turned, meant not that the bread should be turned mto his body, but that we which receive the same should be turned ; that we, I say, should be turned, and made one body with him.
This was the meaning ; this, I say, was the mean: ing of our Saviour Christ. And therefore St. Paul; “The bread which we break is the participation of the body and blood of Christ. For we many are one bread, and one body, inasınuch as we all are partakers of one bread.” (1 Cor. x.) Christ himself said, “I will drink no more of the liquor of the vine.” (Matt. xiv.) Christ, I say, after the consecration, said he would not drink any more of the liquor of the vine. The blood' of Christ is not wine; it is not the liquor of the vine.
St. Augustine saith plainly, “ That which you see VOL. VII.
on the table is bread." Theodoretus also : " The substance and nature of the bread is not changed," saith he. Gelasius likewise, whom peradventure ye will the more credit, because he was sometime bishop of Rome, saith, “ There leaveth not to be the substance of bread." The nature of the bread remaineth in the sacrament, Chrysostom also : “ The substance of the bread is not altered."
I could say more; but this is, for this time, enough ; this only, I trust, amongst a number of other, shall be now sufficient to persuade you the truth herein. You see here, that St. Augustine, Theodoretus, Gelasius, and St. Chrysostom, do all affirm and herein agree, that the substance or nature of the bread, after the consecration, is not changed.
Let us therefore, goud brethren, notwithstanding we have been otherwise taught; let us, I say, believe these holy doctors ; let us credit them; they will not mock us ; they will not deceive nor beguile us. But this other doctrine, this doctrine of transubstantiation, was of late devised, not past three hundred years ago, in the council of Lateran. And there, upon this new device of theirs, they made a great solemm and festival day, and called it Corpus Christi day. And now we are ashamed of this, but then what commodity, what profit had we thereof?
We found out of ourselves a new sacrifice, the sacrifice (I mean) of the mass, as though the death of Christ had not been a sacrifice sufficient; as though Christ's blood had not, once for all, washed away our iniquities; as though Christ had not said, “ I have paid the ransom for
your sins.” It were an infinite labour to repeat unto you particularly, all the abuses of late days used in the church of Christ ; you your selves can well remember them; I need not here to rehearse them unto you. But then what profit trad ye of all such things of which you are now ashamed?
But some men there be peradventure, that will not be ashamed of these abuses, but always uphold and maintain the same ; and such, if there be any, are like them whom Jeremiah prophesied of, saying, “ Thou hast taken an harlot's countenance; thou hast gotten thee a whore's forehead, and canst not be ashamed ; they are like them also whom Isaiah the Prophet speaketh of, and saith, “ Malice hath made you blind :
you bark against the truth.” This is the sin that never will be forgiven ; this is so great an offence, that it will never be pardoned.
Therefore let us, to whom God hath given eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts of understanding ; let us, I say, consider that it is no shame to confess our errors, to acknowledge our blindness; but shame it is to continue in error ; too much shame it is to remain still in blindness; and such as will not be ashamed of their evil, but laugh at, and scorn others that are sorry and ashamed, may well be likened unto them whom St. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, speaketh of, saying, " They being past repentance, have given themselves over unto wantonness, to work all manner of uncleanness, even with greediness.
And such are given over “ unto a lewd mind.” Such David the Prophet speaketh of, saying, “ They cast their eyes down to the ground.” For such as wilfully offend, and wittingly cast away themselves, there is no salvation. Paul saith (Rom. vi.), “ Their end is death ; their end is only destruction.” This is the same that St. John speaketh of, which neither s shall be forgiven in this world, nor in the world to come.”
Wherefore were they cast into hell, that now lie therein ? For what cause continue they in those en:lJess torments ? Because they would not acknowledge their errors ; because they would not be ashamed of their own folly.