Wednesday, October 7, 2015

7 October 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—pp. 94-95


7 October 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—pp. 94-95
So that these men’s part had been, first to have clearly and truly proved that the Romish Church is the true and right instructed Church of God, and that the same as they do order it at this day doth agree with the primitive Church of Christ, of the Apostles, and of the holy fathers, which we doubt not but was indeed the true Catholic Church.  For our parts, if we could have judged ignorance, error, superstition, idolatry, men’s inventions, and the same commonly disagreeing with the Holy Scriptures, either to please God or to be sufficient for the obtaining everlasting salvation; or if we could ascertain ourselves, that the word of God was written but for a time only, and afterward again ought to be abrogated and put away: or else that the sayings and commandments of God ought to be subject to man’s will, that whatsoever God saith and commandeth, except the Bishop of Rome willeth and commandeth the same, it must be taken as void and unspoken: if we could have brought ourselves to believe these things, we grant there had been no cause at all why we should have left these men’s company.  As touching that we have now done to depart from that Church, whose errors were proved and made manifest to the world, which Church also had already evidently departed from God’s word: and yet not to depart so much from itself, as from the errors thereof; and not to do this disorderly or wickedly, but quietly and soberly; we have done nothing herein against the doctrine either of Christ or of His Apostles.  For neither is the Church of God such as it may not be dusked with some spot, or asketh not sometime reparation.  Else what needeth there so many assemblies and councils, without the which, as saith Ægidius, the Christian faith is not able to stand?  “For look,” saith he: “how often councils are discontinued, so often is the Church destitute of Christ.”  Or if there be no peril that harm may come to the Church, what need is there to retain to no purpose the names of bishops, as is now commonly used among them?  For if there be no sheep that may stray, why be they called shepherds?  If there be no city that may be betrayed, why be they called watchmen?  If there be nothing that may run to ruin, why be they called pillars?  Anon after the first creation of the world the Church of God began to spread abroad, and the same was instructed with the heavenly word which God Himself pronounced with His own mouth.  It was also furnished with Divine ceremonies.  It was taught by the Spirit of God, by the patriarchs and prophets, and continued so even till the time that Christ showed Himself to us in the flesh.

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