199. FURTHER PERSECTION ARISING FROM THE SIX ARTICLES.
Thus, having discoursed the order of the six articles, with other matter likewise following in the next parliament, concerning the condemnation of the Lord Cromwell, of Dr. Barnes, and his fellows, let us now (proceeding further in this history) consider what great disturbance and vexations ensued after the setting forth of the said articles, through the whole realm of England, especially among the godly sort: wherein first were to be mentioned the strait and severe commissions sent forth by the king's authority, to the bishops, chancellors, officials, justices, mayors, and bailiffs in every shire, and other commissioners by name in the same commissions expressed; and, amongst others, especially to Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, to the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen of the same, to inquire diligently after all heretical books, and to burn them. Also to inquire after all such persons whatsoever, culpable or suspected of such felonies, heresies, contempts, or transgressions, or speaking any words contrary to the aforesaid act, set forth, of the six articles. The tenor of the said commissions being sufficiently expressed in ancient records, and in the bishops' registers, and also partly touched before,therefore, for tediousness I here omit: only showing forth the commission directed to Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, to take the oath of the mayor of London, and of others, for the execution of the commission aforesaid; the tenor whereof here followeth:
"Henry the Eighth, by the grace of God, king of England and of France, defender of the faith, lord of Ireland, and in earth supreme head of the church of England, unto the reverend father in Christ, Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, and to his well-beloved the bishop's chancellor, health. Know we that we have given you, jointly and severally, power and authority to receive the oaths of William Roche, mayor of London; John Allen, knight; Ralph Warren, knight; Richard Gresham, knight; Roger Cholmley, knight, serjeant-at-law; John Gresham; Michael Dormer, archdeacon of London, the bishop's commissary and official; Robert Chidley, Guy Crayford, Edward Hall, Robert Broke, and John Morgan, and every of them, our commissioners for heresies, and other offences done within our city of London and diocese of the same, according to the tenor of a certain schedule hereunto annexed. And therefore the command you that you receive the oaths aforesaid; and when you have received them, to certify us into our chancery, under your seals, returning this our writ.
"Teste me ipso at Westminster the twenty-ninth of January, in the thirty-second year of our reign."
What the oath was of these commissioners whereunto they were bound, read before.
A note how Bonner sat in the Guildhall in commission for the six articles: also of the condemning of Mekins.
Upon this commission given unto Edmund Bonner, he, coming to the Guildhall, with other commissioners, to sit upon the statute of the six articles, began eftsoons to put in execution his authority after a rigorous sort, as ye shall hear. And first, he charged certain juries to take their oath upon the statute aforesaid, who, being sworn, had a day appointed to give their verdict: at which day they indicted sundry persons, which, shortly after, were apprehended and brought to ward; who, after a while remaining there, were, by the king and his council, discharged at the Star-chamber, without any further punishment.
Not long after this, Sir William Roche being mayor, Bonner with other commissioners sat at the Guildhall aforesaid, before whom there were a certain number of citizens warned to appear; and after the commission read, the said parties were called to the book, and when five or six were sworn, one of the said persons, being called to the book, Bonner seemed to mislike, and said, "Stay awhile, my masters," quoth he; "I would you should consider this matter well that we have in hand, which concerneth the glory of God, the honour of the king, and the wealth of the realm; and if there be any here among you that doth not consider the same, it were better that he were hence than here." Then communed the commissioners with Bonner about that man, so that at length he was called to the book and sworn, not altogether with his good will.
When the two juries were sworn, Bonner taketh upon him to give the charge unto the juries, and began with a tale of Anacharsis, by which example he admonished the juries to spare no persons, of what degree soever they were. And at the end of his charge, he brought forth to the bar a boy, whose name was Mekins, declaring how grievously he had offended by speaking certain words against the state, and of the death of Dr. Barnes; and produced into the said court two witnesses, which were there sworn in the face of the court. So a day was assigned upon which the juries aforesaid should give up their verdict; at which day both the commissioners, and the said juries, met at Guildhall aforesaid. Then the clerk of the peace called on the juries by their names, and when their appearance was taken, Bonner bade them put in their presentments. Then said the foreman of that jury, whose name was William Robins; "My Lord," with a low courtesy, "we have found nothing:" at which words he fared as one in an agony, and said, "Nothing? have ye found nothing? what nothing? By the faith I owe to God," quoth he to the foreman, "I would trust you upon your obligation; but by your oath I will trust you nothing." Then said some of the commissioners; "My Lord, give them a longer day." "No," quoth he, "in London they ever find nothing. I pray you, what say you to Mekins?" "My Lord," quoth the foreman, "we can say nothing to him, for we find the witnesses to disagree. One affirmeth that he should say the sacrament was nothing but a ceremony; and the other, nothing but a signification." "Why," quoth Bonner, "did he not say that Barnes died holy?" Then pausing awhile, he bade call the other jury. "Put in your verdict," quoth he. "My Lord," said one, "we have found nothing." "Jesus!" quoth he, "is not this a strange case?"
Then spake one of the same jury, whose name was Ralph Foxley, and said, "My Lord, when you gave us charge, we desired to have the parsons and curates of every parish to give us instructions; and it was denied us." Then stood up the recorder, and said, it was true indeed that he had spoken; and therewithal said, "This last year were charged two juries, which did many things naughtily and foolishly, and did as much as in them lay to make an uproar among the king's people; and therefore it was thought not meet that they should give information to you." "Nay, nay," quoth Bonner, "this was the cause: If the parson or curate should give information according to his knowledge, then what will they say? 'I must tell my confession to a knave-priest, and he shall go by-and-by and open it." "What!" said my lord mayor, "there is no man, I trow, that will say so?" "Yes, by my troth," quoth Bonner, "knave-priest, knave-priest." Then said my lord mayor, somewhat smiling, "There be some of them slippery fellows; and as men find them, so will they ofttimes report." Bonner, not well contented with those words, said to the jury, "My masters, what say you to Mekins?" They answered, "The witnesses do not agree, therefore we do not allow them." "Why," quoth Bonner, "this court hath allowed them." Then said one of the jury to the recorder, "Is it sufficient for our discharge, if this court do allow them?" "Yea," said the recorder, "it is sufficient;" and said, "Go you aside together awhile, and bring in your verdict." After the jury had talked together a little while, they returned to the bar again with their indictment, which at Bonner's hand was friendly received; so both they and the other jury were discharged, and bidden take their ease. Thus ended the court for that day. Shortly after they sat for life and death. Mekins being brought to the bar, and the indictment read, Bonner said to him, "Mekins, confess the truth, and submit thyself unto the king's law, that thy death may be an example to all others."
This Richard Mekins, being a child that passed not the age of fifteen years, (as Hall reporteth,) as he had heard some other folks talk, so chanced he to speak against the sacrament of the altar; which coming to Bonner's ears, he never left him (as afore doth plainly appear) before he had brought him to the fire. During the time of his imprisonment, neither his poor father nor mother, for fear, durst aid him with any relief; whereby he there endured in great misery. At what time he was brought unto the stake, he was taught to speak much good of the bishop of London, and of the great charity he showed to him, and to defy and detest all heretics and heresies, but especially Dr. Barnes, unto whom he imputed the learning of that heresy, which was the cause of his death. The poor lad would, for safeguard of his life, have gladly said that the twelve apostles had taught it him; such was his childish innocency and fear. But for this deed many spake and said, "It was great shame for the bishop, whose part and duty it had been rather to have laboured to save his life, than to procure that terrible execution; seeing that he was such an ignorant soul, that he knew not what the affirming of heresy was."
Richard Spencer, Ramsey, and Hemet, martyrs, who suffered at Salisbury.
About the same time also a certain priest was burned at Salisbury, who, leaving his papistry, had married a wife, and became a player in interludes, with one Ramsey and Hemet, which three were all condemned and burned; against whom, and especially against Spencer, was laid matter concerning the sacrament of the altar. He suffered at Salisbury.
Although this inquisition above mentioned was meant properly and especially concerning the six articles, yet so it fell out, that in short space doubts began to arise, and to be moved by the quest: whether they might inquire as well of all other opinions, articles, and cases of Lollardy, or for speaking against holy bread, holy water, or for favouring the cause of Barnes, of Friar Ward, Sir Thomas Rose, &c.: whereupon great perturbation followed in all parishes almost through London in the year aforesaid, which was 1511, as here ensueth in a brief summary table to be seen.
A brief table of the troubles at London, in the time of the six articles, containing the persons presented, with the cause of their persecution.
In St. Alban's parish in London.
John Dixe was noted never to be confessed in Lent, nor to receive at Easter, and to be a sacramentary.
Richard Chepeman; for eating flesh in Lent, and for working on holy-days, and not coming to the church.
Mrs. Cicely Marshall; for not bearing her palm, and despising holy bread and holy water.
Michael Hawkes; for not coming to the church, and for receiving young men of the new learning.
Master John Browne; for bearing with Barnes.
Anne, Bedike's wife; for despising our Lady, and not praying to saints.
Andrew Kempe, William Pahen, and Richard Manerd; for disturbing the service of the church, with brabbling of the New Testament.
In the parish of Trinity the Less.
William Wyders denied, two years before, the sacrament to be Christ's body, and said that it was but only a sign.
William Stokesley; for rebuking his wife at the church for taking holy water.
Roger Davy; for speaking against worshipping of saints.
Master Blage; for not coming to his parish church, not confessing, nor receiving.
St. John Baptist in Wallbrook.
William Clinch; for saying, when he seeth a priest preparing to the mass, "Ye shall see a priest now go to masking." Item, For calling the bishop of Winchester, "False flattering knave." Item, For burying his wife without dirge, and causing the Scot of St. Katharine's to preach the next day after the burial.
William Maine; seeing a priest going to mass, said, "Now you shall see one in masking." Item, When he came to the church, with loud reading the English Bible he disturbed the divine service.
St. Botolph's at Billingsgate.
Herman Johnson, Jerome Akon, Giles Hosteman, Richard Bonfeld, Thomas Cowper, Humphrey Skinner, John Sneudnam, Richard Philips, John Celos: these nine persons were presented, for that they were not confessed in Lent, nor had received at Easter.
St. Nicholas, in the Flesh Shambles.
John Jones, William Wright, Peter Butcher, Roger Butcher: these four were presented for not keeping the divine service in the holy days.
Brisley's wife, for busy reasoning on the new learning, and not keeping the church.
St. Andrew's in Holborn.
Mrs. Castle; for being a meddler, and a reader of the Scripture in the church.
Master Galias, of Bernard's Inn; for withstanding the curate ceasing the altars on Corpus Christi even, and saying openly that he did naught.
Master Pates, of David's Inn, and Master Galias; for vexing the curate in the body of the church, in declaring the king's injunctions and reading the Bishop's Book, so that he had much ado to make an end.
St. Mildred in Bread Street.
William Beckes and his wife; suspected to be sacramentaries, and for not creeping to the cross on Good Friday.
Thomas Langham, William Thomas, Richard Beckes, William Beckes: these four were presented for interrupting the divine service.
Ralph Symonds; for not keeping our Lady's mass, which he was bound to keep.
John Smith, apprentice; for saying that he had rather hear the crying of dogs, than priests singing matins or even-song.
St. Magnus' Parish.
Thomas Bele, John Sturgeon, John Wilshire, Thomas Symon, Ralph Clervis and his wife, James Banaster, Nicholas Barker, John Sterky, Christopher Smith, Thomas Net: these eleven persons of St. Magnus parish were presented and accused for maintaining of certain preachers (as then it was called) of the new learning, as Wisedom, Rose, Friar Ward, and Sir William Smith, alias Wright.
Nicholas Philip; for maintaining heresies and Scripture books, and for using neither fasting nor prayer.
Richard Bigges; for despising holy bread, putting it in the throat of a bitch, and for not looking up to the elevation.
St. Mary Magdalene in Milk Street.
Mrs. Elizabeth Statham; for maintaining in her house Latimer, Barnes, Garret, Jerome, and divers others.
John Duffet; for marrying a woman which was thought to be a nun.
St. Owen's parish, in Newgate Market.
William Hilliard and Duffet; for maintaining Barnes, Jerome, and Garret, with others.
Grafton and Whitchurch; suspected not to have been confessed.
St. Martin's at the Well with two Buckets.
John Greene, Mother Palmer, Christopher Coots, William Selly, Alexander Frere, William Bredi, John Bush, William Somerton, George Durant, Master David's apprentice: all these being of the parish of St. Martin's at the Well with two Buckets, were presented for contemning the ceremonies of the church: also some for walking in the sacring time with their caps on: some for turning their heads away: some for sitting at their doors when sermons were in the church, &c.
St. Michael's in Wood Street.
Robert Andrew; for receiving heretics into his house, and keeping disputation of heresy there.
John Williamson, Thomas Buge, Thomas Gilbert, W. Hickson, Robert Daniel, Robert Smitton: these other six were suspected to be sacramentaries and rank heretics, and procurers of heretics to preach, and to be followers of their doctrine.
St. Botolph's at Billingsgate.
John Mayler; to be a sacramentary, and a railer against the mass.
Richard Bilby, draper; presented for saying these words, "That Christ is not present in the blessed sacrament."
St. Giles's Without Cripplegate.
Henry Patinson and Anthony Barber: these two were detected for maintaining their boys to sing a song against the sacrament of the altar: also Patinson came not to confession.
Robert Norman also refused to come to confession, saying, that none of his servants "should be shriven of a knave-priest."
John Humfrey; for speaking against the sacraments and ceremonies of the church.
William Smith and his wife, John Cooke and his wife: these two couple were presented for not coming to service in their parish church, and for saying it was lawful for priests to have wives.
William Gate or Cote, William Aston, John Humfrey, John Cooke: to these four it was laid, for saying, that the mass "was made of pieces and patches." Also for depraving of matins, mass, and even-song.
John Miles and his wife, John Millen, John Robinson, Richard Millar, John Green and his wife, Arnold Chest; all these were put up for railing against the sacraments and ceremonies.
John Crosdall, John Clerke, John Owel: these three labouring men, for not coming to divine service on holy-days, and for labouring on the same.
Thomas Grangier and John Dictier; noted for common singers against the sacraments and ceremonies.
John Sutton and his wife, and John Segar: these three were noted to be despisers of auricular confession.
John Rawlins, John Shiler, William Chalinger, John Edmonds, John Richmond and his wife; for despising holy bread and holy water, and letting divine service.
Margaret Smith; for dressing flesh-meat in Lent.
Thomas Trentham; for reasoning against the sacrament of the altar, and saying that the sacrament was a good thing, but it was not as men took it, very God.
St. Thomas the Apostle.
Robert Granger, William Petingale, William May and his wife, John Henrison and his wife, Robert Welch, John Benglosse, John Pitley, Henry Foster, Robert Causy, William Pinchbeck and his wife: all these thirteen were put up by the inquisition, for giving small reverence at the sacring of the mass.
St. Benet Finch.
Martyn Bishop's wife: she was presented by her curate, for being not shriven in Lent, nor receiving at Easter: also she did set light by the curate, when he told her thereof.
Robert Plat and his wife: these were great reasoners in Scripture. saying, that they had it of the Spirit: and that confession availeth nothing; and that he, not able to read, would use no beads.
St. Michael at Queenhithe.
Thomas Aduet, John Palmer, and Robert Cooke; the cause laid to these three persons, was for reasoning of the Scripture, and of the sacraments.
The register saith, that they denied all the sacraments: but this popish hyperbole will find little credit, where experience, acquainted with popish practices, sitteth to be the judge.
John Cockes: this man was noted for a great searcher out of new preachers, and maintainer of Barnes's opinions.
John Boultes: for forbidding his wife to use beads.
Thomas Kelde; he refused to take penance and absolution, and did eat flesh upon a Friday before Lent.
St. Mary Woolchurch.
Nicholas Newell. a Frenchman; presented to be a man far gone in the new sect, and that he was a great jester at the saints. and at our Lady.
John Hawkins and his servant, Thomas Chamberlain and his wife, John Curteys, Master Dissel, his wife and his servant: these eight were great reasoners and despisers of ceremonies.
St. Katharine Coleman.
The curate of St. Katharine Coleman: he was noted for calling of suspected persons to his sermons by a beadle, without ringing of any hell: and when he preached, he left his matters doubtful.
Item, for preaching without the commandment of his parson.
Item, for that he was a Scottish friar, driven out of his country for heresy.
Tulle Bustre, his wife and his son-in-law: these were noted for coming seldom to the church, and many times were seen to labour upon the holy-days.
St. Matthew's Parish.
William Ettis and his wife were noted for maintaining certain preachers; and for causing one Taverner, being a priest, to preach against the king's injunctions.
Merifield, and his son-in-law, Nicholas Russel; the good man of the Saracen's Head in Friday Street; William Callaway, John Gardiner, with three apprentices: against this company presentation was made for gathering together in the evening, and for bringing ill preachers, (that is to say, good preachers,) amongst the people.
Thomas Plummer was presented, for saying that the blessed sacrament was to him that doth take it, so; and to him that doth not, it was not so.
Shermons, keeper of the Carpenters' Hall in Christ's parish, was presented for procuring an interlude to be openly played, wherein priests were railed on, and called knaves.
Saint Benet at Paul's Wharf.
Lewes Morall, a servant; also James Ogule and his wife; noted not to have been confessed certain years before.
Saint Margaret in Fish Street.
Thomas Babam; accused not to have been confessed nor houseled in his parish church.
The parson and curate of St. Antholine's; for not using the ceremonies in making holy water, nor keeping their processions on Saturdays.
Lewis Bromfield; for not taking his housel, and for absenting himself from the church on holy-days.
Saint Mary Hill.
John Sempe and John Goffe; for dispraising a certain anthem of our Lady, beginning Te matrem, &c.; saving that there is heresy in the same.
Gilbert Godfrey; for absenting himself from the church on holy-days.
Saint Mary Magdalene in Old Fish Street.
Thomas Cappes; for saying these words, "That the sacrament of the altar was but a memory and a remembrance of the Lord's death."
Saint Botolph's at Billingsgate.
John Mailer, grocer; for calling the sacrament of the altar "the baken god," and for saying that the mass was called beyond the sea, "miss," for that all is amiss in it.
Saint Martin's in Ironmonger Lane.
John Hardyman, parson of St. Martin's in Ironmonger Lane; presented for preaching openly that confession is confusion and deformation; and that the butcherly ceremonies of the church were to be abhorred. Also for saying, "What a mischief is this, to esteem the sacraments to be of such virtue! for in so doing they take the glory of God from him:" and for saying, that faith in Christ is sufficient, without any other sacraments, to justify.
Saint Bridget's in Fleet Street.
Christopher Dray, plumber; for saying of the sacrament of the altar, that it was not offered up for remission of sins; and that the body of Christ was not there, but only by representation and signification of the thing.
Saint Andrew's in Holborn.
Robert Ward, shoemaker; presented by three witnesses, for holding against the sacrament of the altar: he died in prison in Bread Street.
Nicholas Otes; for not coming to the housel at Easter, he was sent to Newgate.
Herman Peterson and James Gosson; for not coming to shrift and housel at the time of Easter. These were committed to prison in Bread Street.
Saint Olave's in the Old Jewry.
Richard White, haberdasher; for saying, that he did not think that Christ was in the sacrament of the altar within the sepulchre, but in heaven above.
Saint Botolph's Without Aldgate.
Giles Harrison, being in a place without Aldgate, merrily jesting in a certain company of neighbours, where some of them said, "Let us go to mass:" "I say tarry," said he; and so taking a piece of bread in his hands, lifted it up over his head; and likewise taking a cup of wine, and bowing down his head, made therewith a cross over the cup, and so taking the said cup in both his hands, lifted it over his head, saying these words, "Have ye not heard mass now?" For the which he was presented to Bonner, then bishop of London; against whom came these, namely, Thomas Castle, William Greene, Andrew Morice, and John Margetson, as witnesses against him.
Richard Bostock, priest: for saying that auricular confession hath killed more souls than all the bills, clubs, and halters have done since King Henry was king of England, &c. Also for saying, that the water in the Thames hath as much virtue, as the water that the priests do hallow.
Margaret Ambsworth; for having no reverence to the sacrament at sacring time. Item, for instructing of maids, and being a great doctress.
John Leicester, Christopher Townesend, Thomas Mabs, Christopher Holybread, W. Raynold, Thomas David Skinner, Thomas Starckey, Martyn Donam, and W. Derby: all these noted and presented for maintaining of Barnes, and such other preachers; and many of their wives, for not taking holy bread, nor going in procession on Sundays.
Lawrence Maxwel, bricklayer; for speaking and reasoning against auricular confession.
Saint Martin's the Great.
John Coygnes, or Livelonde; for holding against the sacrament of the altar, and not receiving at Easter.
Saint Clement's Without Temple Bar.
Gerard Frise; presented by two witnesses, for affirming that a sermon preached, is better than the sacrament of the altar; and that he had rather go to hear a sermon, than to hear a mass.
Dominick Williams, a Frenchman; for not receiving the sacrament of the altar at Easter. Thomas Lancaster, priest; be lay in the Compter in the Poultry, for compiling and bringing over books prohibited.
Item, Gough, the stationer; troubled for resorting unto him.
Friar Ward; laid in the Compter in Bread Street; for marrying one Elizabeth to his wife, after his vow made of chastity.
Wilcock, a Scottish friar; prisoned in the Fleet, for preaching against confession, holy water, against praying to saints, and for souls departed; against purgatory, and holding that priests might have wives, &c.
John Taylor, doctor in divinity; presented for preaching at St. Bride's in Fleet Street, that it is as profitable to a man to hear mass and see the sacrament, as to kiss Judas's mouth, who kissed Christ our Saviour, &c.
W. Tolwine, parson of St. Antholine's; presented and examined before Edmund Bonner, for permitting Alexander Scton to preach in his church, having no licence of his ordinary; and also for allowing the sermons of the said Alexander Seton, which he preached against Dr. Smith.
To the said Tolwine, moreover, it was objected, that he used, the space of two years, to make holy water, leaving out the general exorcism, beginning Exorcise te, &c.; using these words for the same, Benedicite, Dominu: ab eo sit benedicta, a cujus latere fluxit sanguis et aqua: adjoining thereto, commixtio salis et aquć fiat, in nomine Patris, et Fill, et Spiritus Sancti.
The like usage of making holy water was also used in Aldermary church, where Dr. Crome was, and in Honey Lane.
Against this objection thus Tolwine defended himself, saving, that he took occasion so to do by the king's injunctions, which say, that ceremonies should be used, all ignorance and superstition set apart.
In the end this Tolwine was forced to stand at Paul's Cross, to recant his doctrine and doings.
The same time also Robert Wisedom, parish priest of St. Margaret's in Lothbury, and Thomas Becon, were brought to Paul's Cross, to recant and to revoke their doctrine, and to burn their books.
Sir George Parker, priest and parson of St. Pancras, and curate of Little Allhallows, was noted, suspected, and convented before the ordinary, for certain books; especially for having Unio dissidentium, &c.
Sir John Burch, priest of St. Botolph's Lane, was complained of by one Master Wilson, for being a busy reasoner in certain opinions which agreed not with the pope's church.
Alexander Seton, a Scottish man, and a worthy preacher, was denounced, detected, and presented, by three priests, of whom one was fellow of Whittington College, called Richard Taylor; another was John Smith; the third was John Huntingdon, who afterwards was converted to the same doctrine himself.
This Seton was chaplain to the duke of Suffolk, and by him was made free denizen. In his sermon preached at St. Antholine's, his adversaries picked against him matter containing fifteen objections, or rather cavillations, which, for example, I thought here to exhibit to the reader, to the intent that men may see, not only what true doctrine Seton then preached, consonant to the Scriptures; but also what wrangling cavillers can do, in depraving what is right, or in wresting what is well meant, or in carping at what they understand not, or in seeking out faults where none are; as by these their sinister cavillations may appear.
Certain places or articles gathered out of Alexander Seton's sermons by his adversaries.
The sayings and words of Alexander Seton, spoken and preached by him in his sermon, made the thirteenth day of November, at afternoon, in the parish church of St. Antholine's in London: "Paul saith, Of ourselves we can do nothing; I pray thee then where is thy will? Art thou any better than Paul, James, Peter, and all the apostles? Hast thou any more grace than they? Tell me now, if thy will be any thing or nothing: if it be any thing, tell me whether it be to do good or ill? If thou say, to do ill, I will grant thou hast a great deal. If thou say, to do good, I ask whether is more, somewhat or nothing? for Paul said, he could do nothing, and I am sure thou hast no more grace than Paul and his companions."
"Scripture speaketh of three things in man; the first is will, the other two are consent and deed. The first, that is will, God worketh without us, and beside us. The other two he worketh in us, and with us."-- And here he alleged St. Augustine, to prove that we can will nothing that is good. Moreover he said, "Thou hast not one jot, no not one tittle, to do any good."
"There is nothing in heaven or earth, creature or other, than can be any mean towards our justification; nor yet can nor may any man satisfy God the Father for our sin, save only Christ, and the shedding of his blood."
"He that preacheth that works do merit, or be any mean to our salvation, or any part of our justification, preacheth a doctrine of the devil."
"If any thing else, save only Christ, be any mean towards our justification, then did not Christ only justify us."
"I say, that neither thy good works, nor any thing that thou canst do, can be one jot or tittle towards thy justification. For if they be, then is not Christ a full justifier; and that I will prove by a familiar example. Be it in case I have two servants: the one is called John, and the other Robert; and I promise to send you such a day twenty pounds by John my servant, and at my day I send you by John my servant nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and eleven pence three farthings, and there lacketh but one farthing, which Robert doth bring thee, and so thou hast thy twenty pounds, every penny and farthing: yet will I ask, if I be true of my promise, or no; and thou mayst say, 'Nay.' And why? Because I promised to send thee that whole twenty pounds by John, and did not, for there lacked a farthing, which Robert brought. Wherefore I say, if thy works do merit or bring one little jot or ittle towards thy justification, then is Christ false of his promise, which said that he would do all together."
"One scripture I will bring you, which they cannot writhe, to prove that Christ only was promised to be our only justifier, our only mean; and that is in the twenty-second of Genesis, where it is written. In thy seed shall all people be blessed; meaning thereby only Christ: and he said not, in thy seeds, nor, in the works of thy seeds. Wherefore, all they that preach that works be any part or mean toward our justification, do make God false of his promise."
"They that preach that works do merit, do make works the tree, which are but the fruits of justice, wrought by him that is already a just man, which cannot choose but bring forth good fruit."
"I would ask a question, whether he that worketh be a good man, or bad; for he must be one of them. If he be a good man, he cannot choose but bring forth good fruits; if he be an ill man, he can bring forth no fruit but ill fruit; for a good tree cannot bring forth ill fruit."
"He that saith that works do merit any thing towards our salvation, doth make works checkmate with Christ, and plucketh from Christ what is his, and giveth it to works. Some will ask, Wherefore then should I do good works? I answer, Good works are to be done for no cause else, but only for the glory of God, and not that they do merit any thing at all. And he that saith that good works are to be done for no other cause than for the glory of God only, and will have them to merit, or be any mean towards our justification, I say, he lieth, and believe him not."
"He that can show me in any scripture, that works do merit, or be any mean to our justification, for the first scripture I will (without any further judgment) lose both mine ears; for the second, my tongue; and for the third, my neck. For of this I dare say he cannot prove in all the whole Scripture one tittle. Wherefore believe them not."
"Men say that we deny good works, and fasting and prayer. They lie on us: we deny nothing but popish works, and popish fasting, and popish prayer; and he that preacheth that works do merit, or fasting doth merit, or prayer doth merit, doth preach a popish doctrine."
"If you ask me, when we will leave preaching only Christ: even when they do leave to preach that works do merit, and suffer Christ to be a whole satisfier. and only mean to our justification; and, till then, we will not cease, in God's cause, to set forth only Christ, to be a full, and perfect, and only satisfaction."
"If you ask, if good works shall be rewarded, I say, Yea, and with no less than eternal glory; but for no merit that they deserve, for they deserve nothing; but only because God hath promised, not for the merit of the work, but for his promise' sake; and he will not break his promise."
Other articles gathered out of Alexander Seton's sermons.
Touching reconciliation, spoken of by Dr. Smith, preaching in the forenoon at Paul's Cross, Alexander Seton, preaching at afternoon at St. Antholine's, and, reciting his sayings and scriptures, reproved him for alleging this saying, Reconcile yourselves to God; because it is there spoken passively, and not actively; so that there should be no thing in man pertaining to reconciliation, but all in God.
Also, reproving the said Dr. Smith, for that the said doctor said, that man, by his good works, might merit: which saying of Dr. Smith the said Alexander Seton reproved in the pulpit at St. Antholine's, the thirteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord 1541, as naughtily spoken.
Moreover the said Alexander Seton said, in the same place, that it was a shame that any such preacher should be suffered so openly to preach such erroneous doctrine as to say that works should merit; adducing, When ye shall have done all those things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
Finally Seton said, "Peradventure ye will say the church hath determined this matter touching works. And I say," quoth he, "that it is ecclesia malignantium, so determining any thing against Scripture."
To these pretended objections of his adversaries he made his answer again by writing, first denying many things there presented, taking upon his conscience, that he never spake divers of those words, and again many things that he never meant to such end or purpose; as in the said register may appear. But all this notwithstanding, for all that he could say for himself, the ordinary proceeded in his consistory judgment, ministering to him certain interrogatories (after the popish course) to the number of ten articles. The greatest matter laid against him was for preaching free justification by faith in Christ Jesu; against false confidence in good works; and man's free-will. Also it was laid unto him, for affirming that private masses, dirges, and other prayers, profited not the souls departed: so that in the end, he, with Tolwine aforesaid, was caused to recant at Paul's Cross, A.D. 1541.
Add to these aforesaid, Dr. Taylor, parson of St. Peters in Corn Hill; South, parish priest of Allhallows in Lombard Street; Some, a priest; Giles, the king's beer-brewer, at the Red Lion in St. Katharine's; Thomas Lancaster, priest: all which were imprisoned likewise for the six articles.
To be short, such a number out of all parishes in London, and out of Calais and divers other quarters, were then apprehended, through the said inquisition, that all prisons in London were too little to hold them, insomuch that they were fain to lay them in the halls. At last, by the means of good Lord Audeley, such pardon was obtained of the king, that the said Lord Audeley, then lord chancellor, being content that one should he bound for another, they were all discharged, being bound only to appear in the Star-chamber, the next day after All-Souls, there to answer, if they were called; but neither was there any person called, neither did there any appear.