Sunday, September 13, 2015

13 September 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”— new and strange sects: Anabaptists, Libertines, Menonians, and Zuenckfeldians


13 September 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”— new and strange sects: Anabaptists, Libertines, Menonians, and Zuenckfeldians… Epiphanius rehearseth up fourscore sundry heresies; and Augustine many more, which sprang up even together with the Gospel?, pp.57-59
Jewel, John. “The Apology of the Church of England.” Project Gutenberg. 5 Aug 2006. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17678/17678-h/17678-h.htm. Accessed 1 Aug 2015.

Indeed, we grant that certain new and very strange sects, as the Anabaptists, Libertines, Menonians, and Zuenckfeldians, have been stirring in the world ever since the Gospel did first spring.  But the world seeth now right well, thanks be given to our God, that we neither have bred, nor taught, nor kept up these monsters.  In good fellowship, I pray thee, whosoever thou be, read our books: they are to be sold in every place.  What hath there ever been written by any of our company which might plainly bear with the madness of any of those heretics.  Nay, I say unto you, there is no country this day so free from their pestilent infections, as they be, wherein the Gospel is freely and commonly taught.  So that if they weigh the very matter with earnest and upright advisement, this thing is a great argument, that this same is the very truth of the Gospel of Christ, which we do teach.  For lightly neither is cockle wont to grow without the wheat, nor yet the chaff without the corn.  For from the very Apostles’ times, who knoweth not how many heresies did rise up even together so soon, as the Gospel was first spread abroad?  Who ever had heard tell of Simon, Menander, Saturninus, Basilides, Carpocrates, Cerinthus, Ebion, Valentinus, Secundus, Marcosius, Colorbasius, Heracleo, Lucianus, and Severus, before the Apostles were sent abroad?  But why stand we reckoning up these?  Epiphanius rehearseth up fourscore sundry heresies; and Augustine many more, which sprang up even together with the Gospel?  What then?  Was the Gospel therefore not the Gospel, because heresies sprang up withal? or was Christ therefore not Christ?  And yet, as we said, doth not this great crop and heap of heresies grow up amongst us, which do openly, abroad, and frankly teach the Gospel.  These poisons take their beginnings, their increasings, and strength, amongst our adversaries, in blindness and in darkness, amongst whom truth is with cruelty and tyranny kept under, and cannot be heard but in corners and secret meetings.  But let them make a proof: let them give the Gospel free passage: let the truth of Jesu Christ give his clear light, and stretch forth His bright beams into all parts: and then shall they forthwith see how all these shadows straight will vanish and pass away at the light of the Gospel, even as the thick mist of the night consumeth at the sight of the sun.  For whilst these men sit still, and make merry and do nothing, we continually repress and put back all those heresies which they falsely charge us to nourish and maintain.

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