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Convocation of 1751.-Queen's Council, 1582.—Bilson.

man by means of the Mass: or that it was then thought a sound doctrine to teach the people that the Mass ex opere operato, that is, even for that it is said and done, is able to remove any part of our sin, &c. &c. . . . . if any one of all our adversaries be able to avouch any one of all these articles, by any such sufficient authority of Scriptures, Doctors, or Councils, as I have required, as I said before, so say I now again, I am content to yield unto him and to subscribe. But I am well assured that they shall never be able truly to allege one sentence. And because I know it, therefore I speak it, lest ye haply should be deceived.*— Works, pp. 57, 58.


They shall in the first place be careful never to teach any thing from the pulpit, to be religiously held and believed by the people, but what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old or New Testament, and collected out of that very doctrine by the Catholic Fathers, and ancient Bishops.-Canon about Preachers.


If the Papists shall show any ground of Scripture, and wrest it of their sense, let it be showed by the interpretation of the Old Doctors, such as were before Gregory I. But if they can show no Doctor that agreed with them in their said opinion before that time, then to conclude that they have no succession in that doctrine from the time of the Apostles, and above four hundred years after (when doctrine and religion were most pure,) for that they can show no predecessor whom they might ucceed in the same.—Rules given to the Bishops; vide Strype's Whitgift, p. 98.

BILSON, BISHOP.-On Subjection and Rebellion.

PHI. What one point of our Religion is not Catholic?

THEO. No one point of that, which this realm hath refused, is truly Catholic. Your having and adoring of images in the Church: your public service in a tongue not understood of the people your gazing on the Priest while he alone eateth and drinketh at the LORD's table: your barring the people from the LORD's cup your sacrificing the Son of GOD to His Father for the sins of the world: your adoring the elements of bread and wine with Divine honour instead of CHRIST: your seven sacraments: your shrift your releasing souls out of Purgatory by prayers and pardons: your compelling Priests to live single: your meritorious

* Vide also Apol. pp. 43. 53-5. 62, 63. Defence, pp. 614-617.

vowing and performing pilgrimages: your invocation of Saints departed: your rules of perfection for Monks and Friars: your relying on the Pope as head of the Church, and Vicar General unto CHRIST: these with infinite other superstitions in action, and errors in doctrine, we deny to have any foundation in the Scriptures, or confirmation in the general consent or use of the Catholic Church.

PHI. We stick not on your words, which you utter to your most advantage: but be not these things as we defend them, and you reject them, Catholic?

THEO. Nothing less.

PHI. What count you Catholic?

THEO. You were best define that: it toucheth you nearest. PHI. I mean Catholic, as Vincentius doth, that wrote more than one thousand one hundred years ago.

THEO. So do I. And in that sense no point of your Religion, which this realm hath refused, is Catholic.

PHI. All.

THEO. None.

PHI. These are but brag.

THEO. Indeed they are so.

Nothing is more common in your

mouths than Catholic: and in your Faith nothing less.

PHI. Who proveth that?

THEO. Yourselves; who, after you have made great stir for Catholic, Catholic, and all Catholic, when you come to issue, you return it with a non est inventus.

PHI. Will you lie a little?

THEO. I might use that sometimes, which is so often with you: but in this I do not.

PHI. I say you do.

THEO. That will appear, if you take any of these points which I have rehearsed.

PHI. Which you will.

THEO. Nay, the choice shall be yours, because the proof must be yours.

PHI. Take them as they lie. Having and worshipping of images in the Church, is it not Catholic?

THEO. It is not.

PHI. Eight hundred years ago the General Council of Nice, the second, decreed it lawful, and ever since it hath been used.

THEO. Catholic should have four conditions by Vincentius' rule, and this hath not one of them. There can nothing be Catholic, unless it be confirmd two ways: first by the authority of GOD's law, and next by the tradition of the Catholic Church, not that the Canon of Scripture is not perfect and sufficient enough for all points of Faith, but because many men draw and stretch the Scriptures to their fancies, therefore it is very needful that the

line of the Prophetical and Apostolical interpretation should be directed by the rule of the Ecclesiastical and Catholic sense. Now in the Catholic Church herself we must take heed we hold that which hath been believed at all times, in all places, of all persons, for that is truly and properly Catholic.

By this rule your erecting and adoring of images in the Church is not Catholic. For first it is prohibited by GoD's law and where the next goeth against you, the gloss cannot help you. If there be no precept for it in the word of God, in vain do you seek in the Church for the Catholic sense and interpretation of that which is no where found in the Scriptures. If it be not Prophetical nor Apostolical, it cannot be Catholic nor Ecclesiastical.

Again, how hath this been always in the Church, which was first decreed seven hundred and eighty years after CHRIST? It is too young to be a Catholic that began so late: you must go nearer CHRIST and His Apostles, if you will have it Catholic or ancient.


Thirdly all places and persons did not admit the decrees of that Catholic. For besides Africa, and Asia the greater, which never received them, the Churches of England, France, and Germany did contradict and refute both their actions and reasons. And in Greece itself not long before, a synod of three hundred and thirty Bishops at Constantinople condemned as well the suffering as reverencing of Images.-p. 546.

Id.-Perpetual Government of CHRIST's Church.

"Were the word of God in this point indifferent, which for aught I yet see is very resolute against them, the general consent of all antiquity, that never so expounded St. Paul's words, nor ever mentioned any Lay-Presbyters to govern the Church, is to me a strong rampire against all these new devices."..... "For my part, what I find generally received in the first Church of CHRIST, I will see it strongly refuted before I will forsake it."— Epistle to Reader, and p. 280.

HOOKER, PRESBYTER AND DOCTOR.-Ecclesiastical Polity.

But our naming of JESUS CHRIST our Lord is not enough to prove us Christians, unless we also embrace that Faith which CHRIST hath published unto the world. To show that the Angel of Pergamus continued in Christianity, behold how the Spirit of CHRIST speaketh, "Thou keepest my name, and thou hast not denied my Faith :" concerning which Faith, "the rule thereof," saith Tertullian, "is one alone, immoveable, and no way possible to be better framed anew!" What rule that is, he showeth by rehears

ing those few articles of Christian belief. And before Tertullian, Ireney: "The Church, though scattered through the whole world, unto the utmost borders of the earth, hath from the Apostles and their Disciples received belief." The parts of which belief he also reciteth, in substance the very same with Tertullian, and thereupon inferreth, "This Faith, the Church being spread far and wide, preserveth, as if one house did contain them: these things it equally embraceth, as though it had even one soul, one heart, and no more it publisheth, teacheth, and delivereth these things with uniform consent, as if God had given it but one only tongue wherewith to speak. He which amongst the guides of the Church is best able to speak, uttereth no more than this; and less than this the most simple doth not utter" when they make profession of their faith.-Book iii. § 1.


Following the royal steps of our most worthy King, because he therein followeth the rules of the Scriptures and the practice of the Primitive Church, we do commend to all the true members of the Church of England these our directions and observations ensuing. . . . . The honour and dignity of the name of the cross begat a reverend estimation even in the Apostles' times (for aught that is known to the contrary), of the sign of the cross, which the Christians shortly after used in all their actions... This use of the sign of the cross in baptism was held in the Primitive Church, as well by the Greeks as the Latins, with one consent and great applause... This continual and general use of the sign of the cross is evident by many testimonies of the ancient Fathers... But the abuse of a thing doth not take away the lawful use of it. Nay, so far was it from the purpose of the Church of England to forsake and reject the Churches of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, or any such like Churches, in all things which they held and practised, that, as the Apology of the Church of England confesseth, it doth with reverence retain those ceremonies, which do neither endamage the Church of God nor offend the minds of sober men; and only departed from them in those particular points wherein they were fallen both from themselves in their ancient integrity, and from the Apostolical Churches, which were their first founders.-Canon 30.

OVERALL, BISHOP.-Letter to Grotius.

I believe there are few things in your book which will not be approved by the Bishop of Ely (Launcelot Anndrews) and the rest of our more learned Divines: unless, perhaps, they may hesitate respecting those passages which seem to give to lay

powers a definitive judgment in matters of Faith; to deny the true power and jurisdiction of Pastors of the Church; and to rank Episcopacy among unnecessary things. For our Divines hold, that the right of definitive judgment, in matters of Faith, is to be given to Synods of Bishops, and other learned Ministers of the Church, chosen and convened for this purpose, according to the usage of the Ancient Church; who shall determine, from the Holy Scriptures, explained by the consent of the Ancient Church, and not by the rival spirit of Neoterics.*


I do therefore here solemnly profess, in the presence of Almighty God, that by His grace preventing and assisting me, I have always lived, and purpose to die, in the true Catholic Faith wherein I was baptized; firmly believing all the Canonical Scripture of the Old and New Testament, and fully assenting to every article of all those three Creeds, (commonly called the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene or Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed,) which in the Ancient Church were accounted the adequate rules of Faith, and have, accordingly been received as such, by the Church of England.

As for Councils, that are free and generally consisting of competent persons, lawfully summoned, and proceeding according to the word of GOD, such as were the four first, viz. those of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon; I do reverence them as the supreme tribunals of the Church of CHRIST upon earth, for judging of heresies, and composing differences in the Church. And as I utterly condemn all heresies that have been condemned by any of them, so I heartily wish that all the present differences in the Church of GOD might be determined by such a free General Council, as any of those four were already mentioned. His last Will.†

FIELD, PRESBYTER.-Of the Church.

For first, we receive the number and names of the authors of books Divine and Canonical, as delivered by tradition. This tradition we admit, for that, though the books of Scripture have not their authority from the approbation of the Church, but win credit of themselves, and yield sufficient satisfaction to all men, of their Divine truth, whence we judge the Church that receiveth them to be led by the Spirit of God; yet the number, authors,

Vido Bp. Jebb's Pastoral Instructions, p. 306.

+ Vide Christian Remembrancer, Nov. 1823, p. 658.

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