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without beginning God almighty, and many holy prophets that were deadly men, were martyred violently in the old law, and also many men and women then died confessors : why was it not then as lefull and necessarie as now to have made an image of the father of heaven, and to have made and had other images of martyrs, prophets, and holy confessors, to have bin kalenders to advise men and move them to devotion, as ye say that images now doe?
And the archbishop said: The synagogue of the Jewes had not authoritie to approve those things as the church of Christ hath now.
And I said ; Sir, saint Gregorie was a great man in the new law, and of great dignitie, and as the common law witnesseth, he commended greatly a bishop, in that he forbad utterly the images made with mans hand should bee worshipped.
And the archbishop said : Ungratious losell, thou savourest no more truth than an hound. Since at the rood at the north-dore at London ', at our ladie at Walsingham', and many other divers
North-dore at London.] “Towards the great north door was a crucifix, whereunto pilgrimages and offerings were frequently made, whereof the Dean and Canons had the benefit.” Dugdale's History of St. Paul's Cathedral, p. 22. edit. 1716.
2 Our ladie at Walsingham.] “The people in speaking of our lady; Of al our ladies, saith one, I love best our lady of Walsingham. And I, saith the other, our lady of Ippiswitch. In which woordes what meneth she but her love and her affeccion to the stocke that standeth in the chapel of Walsingham or Ippiswiche? What say you, when the people speke of this fashion in theyr paines and perils, Helpe holy crosse of Bradmen, helpe our dere lady of Walsingham ? Doth it not plainly appere that thei trust in the images, in Christes stede?" Sir Thomas More's Dialogue concerning Heresies. Works, p. 140. “This village,” says Camden, speaking of Walsingham, (Camden in Norfolk) was much renowned throughout all England for a pilgrimage to our lady, the Virgin Mary ; whom he who had not, in the former age, visited, and presented with offerings, was reputed irreligious.” Erasmus in his Colloquy, intitled Peregrinatio religionis ergo, has described this place, and a pilgrimage made thither, in a very entertaining manner. A small part of the description here follows, as it is translated by Camden. “ In that church, which I said was unfinished, there is a small chapel, but all of wood, whereunto on either side at a narrow and little door, are such admitted as come with their devotions and offerings. Small light there is in it, and none other in a manner but by tapers or wax candles, yielding a most dainty and pleasant smell. Nay, if you look into it, you would
it were the habitation of heavenly saints indeed; so bright shining it is all over with precious stones, with gold and silver.” Queen Katharine of Arragon, in a letter to Henry VIII. during his absence in France, announces her intention of paying a visit to Our Lady of Walsingham, on his behalf.
places in England, are many great and praisable miracles done ; should not the images of such holy saints and places, at the reverence of God and our ladie and other saints, be more worshipped than other places and images, where no miracles are done?
And I said; Sir, there is no such vertue in any imagerie, that any images should herefore bee worshipped; wherefore I am certaine that there is no miracle done of God in any place in earth, because that any images made with mans hand should be worshipped. And herefore sir, as I preached openly at Shrewesburie and other places, I say now here before you; That no bodie should trust that there were any vertue in imagery made with mans hand, and therefore no bodie should vow to them nor seeke them, nor kneele to them, nor bow to them, nor pray to them, nor offer any thing to them, nor kisse them, nor encense them. For loe the most worthie of such images, the brasen serpent (by Moises made, at Gods bidding) the good king Hezechias destroyed worthily and thankfully, and all because it was encensed. Therefore sir, if men take good heed to the writing and to the learning of S. Augustine, of S. Gregorie, and of saint John Chrysostome, and of other saints and doctors, how they spake and wrote of miracles, that shall bee done now in the last end of the world; it is to dread, that for the unfaithfulnes of men and women, the feend hath great power for to worke many of the miracles that now are done in such places. For both men and women delight
: now more to heare and know miracles, than they doe to know Gods word, or to heare it effectuouslie. Wherefore, to the great confusion of all them that thus do, Christ saith; The generation of adulterers requireth tokens, miracles, and wonders. Neverthelesse as divers saints say, now when the faith of God is published in
3 Done in such places.] So in a dialogue between Bilney and friar Brusierd, Bilney says, “ These wonders, which they call miracles, be wrought daily in the church, not by the power of God, as many thinke, but by the illusion of Satan rather; who, as the Scripture witnesseth, hath bin loose now abroad five hundred yeeres, according as it is written in the booke of the Apocalypse : After a thousand yeeres, Satan shall be let loose;" to which Brusierd, in his reply, says, “God saith, I will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he convert and lice. And thou blasphemest him, as though hee should lay privie snares of death for us secretly, that we should not espie them. Which if it were true, we might well say with Hugh de Sancto Victore in this maner; If it be an error, it is of thee, O God, that we be deceived; for these be confirmed with such signes and wonders, which cannot be done but by thee.” Fox, p. 914. Compare Lewis's Life of Pecock, p. 112, 113.
Christendome, the word of God sufficeth to mans salvation, without such miracles; and thus also the word of God sufficeth to all faithfull men and women, without any such images. But good sir, since the father of heaven, that is God in his godhead, is the most unknowne thing that may bee, and the most wonderfull spirit, having in it no shape nor likenesse, and members of any deadly creature ; in what likenesse* or what image may God the father be shewed or painted ?
And the archbishop said; As holy church hath suffered the images of the Trinitie, and all other images to be painted and shewed, it sufficeth to them that are members of holy church. But since thou art a rotten member, cut away from holy church, thou favourest not the ordinance thereof. But since the day passeth, leave we this matter.
And then he said to me; What saiest thou to the third point that is certified against thee, preaching openly in Shrewsburie, that pilgrimage is not lefull ? and over this thou saidest that those men and women that go on pilgrimages to Canturburie, to Beverley, to Karlington, to Walsingham, and to any such other places, are accursed and made foolish, spending their goods in wast.
And I said; Sir, by this certification I am accused to you that I should teach, that no pilgrimage is lefull. But I said never thus. For I know that there be true pilgrimages and lefull, and full pleasant to God; and therefore sir, howsoever mine enemies have certified
I told at Shrewsburie of two maner of pilgrimages.
And the archbishop said to me; Whom callest thou true pilgrimes ?
And I said ; Sir, with my protestation, I call them true pilgrimes travelling toward the blisse of heaven, which in the state, degree,
- In what likenesse.) Lewis, in his Life of Bishop Pecock, p. 85, has published an engraving, of two of the usual representations of the Trinity, taken from the Salisbury primer, and has communicated, in the same place, several curious particulars, taken from documents of their own, respecting the gross and idolatrous practices of the church of Rome in reference to the same subject. On the customary representations more immediately referred to in this passage, the reader may also consult, bishop Taylor's Dissuasive from Popery, in his Polemical Discourses, p. 307, 308, and p. 550—555. But it is a topic which can impart no pleasure in further enlarging upon it.
or order that God calleth them to, doe busie them faithfully for to occupie all their wits bodilie and ghostly, to know truely, and to keepe faithfully the biddings of God, hating and fleeing all the seven deadly sins', and every branch of them ; ruling them vertuouslie (as it is said before) with all their wits; doing discreetly, wilfully, and gladly, all the works of mercy, bodilie and ghostly, after their cunning and power; abling them to the gifts of the holy ghost, disposing them to receive them in their soules ; and to hold therin, the right blessings of Christ ; busying them to know and to keepe the seven principall vertues, and so then they shall obtaine here through grace, for to use thankfully to God, all the conditions of charitie. And then they shall be moved with the good spirit of God, for to examine oft and diligently their conscience, that neither wilfully nor wittingly they erre in any article of beleefe, having continually (as frailtie will suffer) all their businesse, to dread and to flie the offence of God, and to love over all, and to seeke ever to doe his pleasant will. Of these pilgrimes I said, whatsoever good thought that they any time thinke, what vertuous word that they speake, and what fruitfull worke that they worke; every such thought, word, and worke is a step numbred of God, toward him into heaven. These foresaid pilgrimes of God, delight sore when they heare of saints or of vertuous men and women, how they forsooke wilfully the prosperitie of this life, how they withstood the suggestion of the feend, how they restrained their fleshlie lusts, how discreete they were in the penance doing, how patient they were in all their adversities, how prudent they were in counselling of men and women, moving them to hate all sinnes, and to flie them, and to shame ever greatly thereof, and to love all vertues, and to draw to them, imagining how Christ, and his followers, by example of him, suffered scornes and slanders, and how patiently they abode and
6 The seven deadly sins.] “ Ye shall knowe that there are seven capitale, or pryncypall deadely sinnes, it is to witte, pride, envy, wrath or anger, slouth, covetousness, glottony, and lechery. And also there are seven pryncipall, or cheyfe vertues, it is to wytte, fayth, hope, charytie, prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude or strength.” Bonner's profitable and necessarye Doctryne, signat. B b b 2. The expressions which follow, viz. “all their wits,” “works of mercy, bodily and ghostly," "gifts of the Holy Ghost,” and “right blessings of Christ,” are also all of them of the nature of technical divisions in the religion of those times. See also archbishop Peckham’s Constitutions, the form of Confession in the primer of Cardinal Pole, signat. D d 3. A.D. 1555. Lewis's Life of Wickliffe, p. 136, n. edit. 1820, &c.
tooke the wrongfull menacing of tyrants; how homely they were and serviceable to poore men to releeve and comfort them bodily and ghostly, after their power and cunning; and how devout they were in prayers, how fervent they were in heavenly desires, and how they absented them from spectacles of vaine sayings and hearings ; and how stable they were to let and destroy all vices, and how laborious and joyfull they were, to sow and to plant vertues. These heavenly conditions and such other, have pilgrimes, or endevor them for to have, whose pilgrimage God accepteth.
And againe, I said, as their workes shew, the most part of men and women that
goe now on pilgrimages, have not these foresaid conditions, nor loveth to busie them faithfullie for to have. For as I well know, since I have full oft assaid, examine whosoever will twenty of these pilgrimes, and hee shall not find three men or women that know surely a commandement of God', nor can say their Paternoster, and Ave Maria, nor their Creed readilie in any maner of language. And as I have learned, and
6 A commandement of God.] For some ages before the Reformation, the ignorance of the people in regard to religion was alınost universal, and pitiable in the extreme. In a supplication of certain inhabitants of Norfolk and Suffolk tendered to the commissioners of queen Mary, about the year 1556, they complain, in their expostulations, against the revival of the Latin service: “Afore the blessed reformation, begun by the most noble prince of godly memorie the queenes good father, and by our late holie and innocent king, her good brother, finished; it is not unknowne what blindnesse and error we were all in, when not one man in all this realme, unlearned in the Latine, could
say in English the Lord's prair, or knew any one article of his beleefe, or rehearse anie one of the ten commandements. And that ignorance, mother of mischief, was the very root and wel-spring of all idolatry.” Fox, p. 1727. Again, in a Dialogue or familiar talk, by Michael Wood, A.D. 1554. signat. C 2 b. “Who coulde twenty yeares agone saye the Lordes prayer in English? Who could tell anye one article of his faith? Who had once heard of anye of the ten commaundements? Who wist what Cathechisme ment? Who understoode anye point of the holye baptisme? If we were sycke of the pestylence, we run to sainte Rooke, if of the ague to saint Pernel, or master John Shorne. If men were in prison, thei praied to saint Leonarde. If the Welch-man wold have a pursse, he praied to Darvel Gathorne. If a wife wer weary of her husband, she offred otes at Poules at London, to saint Uncumber.” In another part, the dialogue is thus carried on.
“ Oliver. Cannest thou saye the Lordes praier ? Nicholas. Nay, nor our Ladies neither. I can say my Pater Noster. Oliver. What is Pater Noster? Nich. Mary, Pater Noster : what can ye make of iti? Oliver. But why have you not learned the Lordes praier in English al this while ? Nich. Sir John bad me kepe me to mi old pater noster, for he said the newe wold not abide alway. And nowe I see he is a true man.” Signat. C 8.