15 October 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”— “Scriptures be like to a nose of wax, or a shipman’s hose: how they may be fashioned and plied all manner of ways, and serve all men’s turns… with a contempt they rejected the Holy Scriptures, that themselves knew many more and better things than either Christ or the Apostles ever knew,” p.105-106
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.
Therefore the Holy Scriptures, which our Saviour Jesus Christ did not only use for authority in all His speech, but did also at last seal up the same with His own blood, these men, to the intent they might with less business drive the people from the same, as from a thing dangerous and deadly, have used to call them a bare letter, uncertain, unprofitable, dumb, killing, and dead: which seemeth to us all one as if they should say, “The Scriptures are to no purpose, or as good as none.” Hereunto they add a similitude not very agreeable, how the Scriptures be like to a nose of wax, or a shipman’s hose: how they may be fashioned and plied all manner of ways, and serve all men’s turns. Woteth not the Bishop of Rome, that these things are spoken by his own minions? or understandeth he not he hath such champions to fight for him? Let him hearken then how holily and how godly one Hosius writeth of this matter, a bishop in Polonia, as he testifieth of himself; a man doubtless well spoken and not unlearned, and a very sharp and stout maintainer of that side. One will marvel, I suppose, how a good man could either conceive so wickedly or write so despitefully of those words which he knew proceeded from God’s mouth, and specially in such sort as he would not have it seem his own private opinion alone, but the common opinion of all that band. He dissembleth, I grant you indeed, and hideth what he is, and setteth forth the matter so, as though it were not he and his side, but the Zuenckfeldian heretics that so did speak. “We,” saith he, “will bid away with the same Scriptures, whereof we see brought not only divers but also contrary interpretations; and we will hear God speak, rather than we will resort to the naked elements, and appoint our salvation to rest in them. It behoveth not a man to be expert in the law and Scripture, but to be taught of God. It is but lost labour that a man bestoweth in the Scriptures. For the Scripture is a creature, and a certain bare letter.” This is Hosius’ saying, uttered altogether with the same spirit and the same mind wherewith in times past Montane and Marcion were moved, who, as men report, used to say, when with a contempt they rejected the Holy Scriptures, that themselves knew many more and better things than either Christ or the Apostles ever knew.