Jacob Latomus
His Three Books of Confutations Against
William Tyndale

For this English translation of the Latin we are greatly indebted to James A. Willis,
   Professor Emeritus of Classics and Ancient History, the University of Western
Australia, and to Dr Richard K. Moore, of the Baptist Theological College of Western
Australia, who requested it.

Jacob Latomus to His Friend Livinus Crucius, Greeting

When William Tyndale lay in prison for the Lutheran heresy, he wrote a book on this theme, that faith alone justifies before God. In that book he strove to take away all merit of good works; for as the foundation and the key (as he called it) of the salutary understanding of Holy Writ he started from this premise, that God grants us everything freely through Christ, having meanwhile no regard to works. On this occasion I have written three books: in the first I took away the said key and put in its place another, following the Apostle Paul, from whose epistles and from other scriptural passages I shewed that in the faithful who have previously been freely justified, the merits of good works have a place, and that the just, advancing by these good works, earn the crown of glory to be granted by the Just Judge. Tyndale, having nothing that he could reasonably oppose to this reply, chose rather to seem to reply than to admit his error. Therefore he wrote a second book more fully on the same assertion and on other principal articles, indeed on virtually all articles in which the Lutherans contradict the sound doctrine of the Church. Hence it was necessary for me to reply to his examples and seasonings with which he supported his assertion in a second book, in which (if I am not mistaken) I clearly overthrew his bases of argument and shewed the absurdity of his opinion. To these was added a third, in which I briefly and clearly set out what should be thought on each point, for Tyndale made this request, that he should be able not merely to hear, but to read my opinions. I was unwilling to deny him anything, for although I feared that to him it would be of little good, I hoped that others might gain somewhat from it.

Louvain, June 12th 1542.

Jacob Latomus
Confutations Against William Tyndale
Book One

In order to satisfy your request, Tyndale, as far as the Lord shall grant, in which you ask me to reply in writing to the declaration and proof of your first assertion, in which you affirm that only faith justifies before God, it seems advantageous both for the clarity and the brevity of the discussion, that I should first set out those points on which we agree, so that only those on which we are at issue may be left for discussion. Therefore, as I estimate, we agree on this, that all Holy Writ is divinely inspired, and that every part thereof is true, as being divinely revealed. Secondly we agree on this, that predestination, election, vocation, and justification, by which men from being unjust [B] become just, and from being impious become pious, from being sinners become innocent, and by which in general terms remission of any sin takes place both as concerns the guilt and stain of it and as concerns the liability to eternal punishment - that these things, I say, occur freely and are not subject to human deserving. Thirdly we are at one on this, that the grace which is given to those who worthily receive the sacraments of baptism or penance is not subject to human merit, but is simply given freely by God through Christ from the merit of his Passion - a thing which manifestly appears in little children who are now baptized or formerly were circumcised; for since they lack the use of reason, it is plain that theM in no wise cooperate with God, who sanctifies them by the washing of regeneration.

Fourthly, as regards adults, we agree in this, that faith does not justify them unless they acknowledge their sin and confess that the law is just and that its Author is just, unless condemning themselves and their sins they flee to the refuge of Christ's blood so that they may freely receive from God not only mercy and the remission of sins, but also the spirit of grace and the strength to fulfil the law, &c. Fifthly, that the dogma [C] of those is false, who assert that an evil life can consist with the best faith, whether faith be understood as confidence or hope or sure expectation of good promised by God.

Sixthly we do not differ on this point, that you say that justifying faith is not simply any faith, but that faith which works through love, and that does not exist alone in the mind of the man justified or believing, but has companions both antecedent and following - antecedent being the fear of God and contrition and sorrow for one's sins, to which may be added the hope of forgiveness, while following are tolerance and meekness and compassion and the other fruits of Christ's Spirit. I have decided not to make it an issue that you seem to put faith before charity, when charity is the form and as it were the life of faith, as the Apostle says that the way of charity is more excellent than that of faith, and that there now abide these three, faith, hope, and charity, and that the greatest of these is charity. Setting that aside, or reserving it for another time, we agree in this, that a solitary faith, without the accompaniment of other virtues, does not justify.

[D] Seventhly we agree in this, that the Apostle in saying that man is justified by faith without the works of the Law (in Romans and Galatians, and wherever he says this) does not mean this only of the written law proper to the people of the Jews, i.e. ceremonial and judicial laws, but of moral laws which had their binding force not only from the law of Moses but from natural or written law, and that by the benefit of such laws men knew what was right action and what was sin, but that such knowledge did not suffice to fulfil the Law without the grace and spirit of Christ, and that this grace and spirit are given by Christ to whomsoever they are given. These are the points in which we do not disagree. Now having set out briefly in what matters we agree, we must next see what those are on which we disagree. First we do not agree on the 'key of the saving knowledge of Scripture', for you take that as being that faith alone in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, through the grace of Christ, and through the works of Christ, without respect of any merit or goodness of our works, justifies us in the sight of God; and this opinion you repeatedly express. [f.183v.] Now in this view, since you take away all deserving of eternal life from all the saints except from Christ alone, on that ground I differ from you. You should not be offended if in this matter I believe Holy Writ and the Apostle Paul rather than I believe you, for Paul propounds a different key to Scripture and to its salutary understanding, particularly as concerns the understanding of the Law and the Prophets, namely conversion to the Lord. In 2 Cor. 3 [v.14] we read: For until this day remaineth the same vail, ...but when he shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Likewise 2 Tim. 3 [v.14]: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. In these two places Paul clearly teaches that faith in Christ is the key to the salutary understanding of the Law and the Prophets - faith, I say, not in this or that article, but catholic and orthodox, i.e. right and entire, certainly not some particular faith in something which is contrary to Scripture or to any part of it - of which nature is that key of yours so far as concerns that part in which you deny all merit of just men as regards [B] eternal life, except of Christ alone, as will appear below, where with Christ's favour we shall shew that this opinion belongs to infidelity; which infidelity (according to the same Apostle's meaning) closes the mind so that it does not see the glory of Christ. He says (2 Cor. 4 [v.3]): But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of the invisible God, should shine unto them. In the eleventh chapter of Luke [v.52] the lawyers are not rebuked for having taken away that key of yours which I have just shewn to be false, but because by false traditions they had taken from themselves and from others the true understanding of the Law and the Prophets, by which understanding of the Law and the Prophets, as by a key, they ought to have come themselves and to have drawn others to the knowledge and recognition of Christ then present. For the Law and the Prophets were a kind of key to understand the mystery of redemption given to the Jews, whence the Law has been called a schoolmaster [C] to bring us unto Christ [Gal. 3,24]. But the heathen and the stubborn Jews who do not understand the Law come contrariwise to the understanding of the Law and Prophets when they have previously accepted faith in Christ. For the figure and that which is figured mutually declare each other. Now if, as you write, you desire to be instructed, it is needful that you seek the truth with cautious solicitude, and that in reading the Scriptures you should not so much seek wherewith to strengthen your opinions and subvert those of others, as to understand what you are reading: and this the attentive reader of your writings will see that you are not yet doing. For example, you take something from the first chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans: then with closed eyes you pass on to the third chapter, disregarding the second, in which there is matter that might make you change your mind, for in that chapter Paul plainly speaks of good works and of bad, and of what God will render to them in the day of judgement. He will render, says Paul [Rom. 2,6], to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life, and more which it would take too long to transcribe. Likewise you subjoin another passage from Paul's [second] epistle to the Corinthians which you think supports your dogma, but you omit the eighth and ninth chapters, in which Paul [D] strongly and instantly urges the Corinthians to be generous to the saintly poor, where among other things he says of the reward of this work: He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver, etc., where he shews that free-hearted giving of this kind has merit and rich reward in the sight of God. Again, when you had quoted what you chose from the epistle to the Galatians, you were unwilling to consider what is said in that same letter [6,6] concerning communication in good things: Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth in the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. I forbear to explain what is meant in this passage by sowing and reaping; for there is scarcely found one so ignorant of holy things as not to accept to sow as meaning to deserve and to reap as meaning to receive [F.184r.] according to desert. He continues: And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. You deal likewise with other passages of Scripture, as in the Epistle to the Hebrew, which might have instructed you not only concerning faith, but also concerning works and their reward: in c.6 [v.10] he says: For God is not unrighteous to forget your works and labour of love, which ye have shewed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. In the tenth chapter [v.35], after other matter be concludes: Cast nor away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward &c. In the second chapter [c.11 v.24] he says of Moses: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter... for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. In the gospel of Matthew, after speaking of the blessings that are given freely by the Spirit, you failed to add the words [c.5 v.12], Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven, because that did not support your dogma. Later in the same sermon [c.6 v.6] Christ plainly teaches that the reward of alms and prayer and fasting is given by the Heavenly Father if works of this kind be rightly done in the way and to the end that [B] Christ prescribes: this you have omitted to consider. From these few examples (to omit innumerable others) it can be seen that, if you seek the truth with care and caution, you will receive sure teaching not only on faith, viz. that it justifies us, but also on works, viz. that they are deserving before God when they are done by men previously justified and sanctified by faith. Now since these sayings of Paul and Matthew are so plain that there can be no doubt in them, it is needful so to understand justifying faith in Paul that it does not prejudice works done as a result of faith working through love so far as concerns the power of deserving. The Apostle in his Epistle to the Romans proves by efficacious reasoning and by witness of Scripture that no works of nature or of the Law earned justification, and that therefore the Jews and the heathen in this respect are equal, that the former boast vainly of the Law, the latter of nature, when both owe their evangelical salvation to God's grace and both with the same right and in the same way have been made sons of Abraham, i.e. of the promise, since God who promised sons to Abraham, gathered believers from both those groups of whom Abraham was to be [C] the father, freely granting faith to both, and purifying the hearts of both by faith, so that no one should think that the first grace by which he believed and obtained the remission of sins was rendered to him in any way for his works, whether of nature or of the Law, but that the mouths of all should be closed and the whole world subjected to God, who enchained all in sin so that forgiveness should appear to be an unowed gift of God's free granting, not something earned by human justice or paid as a reward of merit by divine justice. Thus the Apostle's entire argument for faith and grace is directed against works going before, not following after, justification.

Likewise we disagree on this point, that you make no difference between works which precede first justification and those which follow it, insofar as concerns the power and efficacy of deserving before God, while I distinguish between them, as Holy Writ cornpels us to make a distinction between those works. Works going before do not earn justification, [D] but works going after deserve beatitude. Call the labourers, he says [Matth. 20,8], and give them their hire, speaking certainly of those already justified, who by grace have received the virtue of labouring that they should be worthy of their hire. Likewise the Lord has delivered his goods to his servants [Matth. 25,14], to one five talents, to another two, and to another one, and the Lord rewards those who have gained and increased their Lord's goods, but the slothful servant, who had not put his Lord's money to usury, He rebukes and condemns. This Christ openly says: does anyone dare to contradict it who wishes to be named and considered a Christian? Likewise we are at issue on this, that by subsequent works nothing is gained for a man justified by faith, because those works only declare, do not increase, the inner existing goodness. This you prove by a simile, viz. that the fruit declares the tree but does not make it either good or bad, and in this way you seek to reconcile Paul and James, saying that the former speaks of inward justification before God, the latter of outward justification before one's neighbour. On this ground you say that Abraham was not justified by [184v.] obedience in circumcising himself [Gen. c.17], and you infer that he was not justified before God by his obedience in offering Isaac [Gen. c.22]. I say, however, that Abraham was justified before God as well by inward faith as by outward works since first from being unjust he became just by faith, then from being just he became more just by subsequent works. That he was justified by obedience in offering Isaac you have the text Genesis c.22 [v.16], where we read: By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee ...because thou hast obeyed my voice. Observe that Abraham for his part accepted the promises, adding an oath [Gen. 24,3sq.] to mark the immutability of the divine decree, because he obeyed the voice of God commanding his only son to be offered up. This argument clearly disproves the distinction between inward justification before God and outward justification before one's neighbours, since this work of obedience justified Abraham before God also. Now that simile of the tree and its fruit does not square with inward virtue and its work. The corporal bearing of trees and animals weakens the one which bears, and the more it is multiplied, the more it consumes the strength of the one which bears or produces: [B] in what the mind brings forth it is otherwise, for it does not weaken, but rather strengthens and invigorates the one that bears, as may he peen in the sciences and the arts, in prudence and wisdom, which are strengthened. more firmly rooted, and increased by their own workings. In such things a better similitude is that of a fountain, which without detriment to itself produces a river or a lake. Hence John c.4 [v.14], speaking of the water of grace which Christ gives, says: It shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. In the seventh chapter [v.38], concerning the Holy Spirit which believers were to receive, Scripture is cited, saying: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Likewise in this we are at issue: you say that we deserve nothing of God because he has no need of our works and they bring him no advantage, but that they are his gifts and that all their advantage returns to us. For I say that although God has no need of our good things, and all the good that we have or do, we have from him, and it benefits us, not him. nevertheless because we do them on his command or suggestion, freely and of our accord for [C] love of him, he has decided to reward us just as if he had needed our works and had drawn some advantage from them. In this way he values the works of mercy done to our neighbours as highly as if they had been done to him in his need: see Matth. c.25 [v.40]: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me, where Christ the Judge declares that he has been fed, clothed, taken in, and visited, saying therefore, Come ye blessed &c. In Matth. 10 [v.41] we read: He that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward, and he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Do not these and like passages so plainly, so openly, and in so many ways declare God's will concerning future retribution in the life everlasting that there is no way of getting round them? Yet you, as if Scripture were silent on the matter, declare that God's granting everything freely for Christ's sake is to be taken as meaning that to those divinely chosen he grants nothing on account of their preceding merits; you think it is injurious to God and shews ingratitude in man if the latter should ask it [D] as a reward for his good actions. You claim as tending to confirm this view the form of prayer which we find in Scripture, where those praying do not allege their own merits, but say to God. 'For thy goodness, for thy mercy, for thy name, for thy word,' &c.; yet you do not attend to what is equally attested in Scripture, that God blesses Isaac and Jacob for the sake of Abraham, and that Moses in his prayer [Deut. 9,27] calls to mind God's servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when interceding for the people, and the Fourth Book of Kings, c.20 [11 Kings 20,6] declares that God spared, guarded, and freed the City of Jerusalem for his servant David's sake. Likewise Hezekiah in his prayer reminds God of his former merits, as we read in Isaiah c.38 [v.3]; nor is it difficult to collect from the Psalms prayers in which David alleges his good actions, as in the 7th, 15th, and 118th psalms, where he alleges [185r.] his innocence, his love of his enemies, his having made just judgements, and his having inclined his heart to the Lord's commandments because of retribution [Ps.118,112]. Certainly St Peter confidently says: Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? The Lord's reply is well known - Matth. 19 [v.28-30] and Mark 10 [v.29-31]. Do you think that all these witnesses of Scripture, and others innumerable besides, are overcome by that similitude which you adduce of the physician and the sick man drinking a bitter potion - the patient deserving nothing of the physician because the potion is of use to him who takes it, not to the physician? You claim that the situation is the same when a man carries out the commands or counsels of God, because keeping God's commands is beneficial to the man, not to God. You do not rightly define what it is to deserve of someone or before someone by any work or action; for retribution or reward or payment is earned not only by him who does somewhat that works to the advantage of him who gives the reward, but by him who does the latter's will or pleasure. Return to the similitude of the physician: let the physician be a king who decrees that in his realm any sick man who yields to his [B] only begotten son and promises to be cured by him will be the king's friend and share his table and his other goods, simply because the king is pleased so to decree. The sick man, obedient to the law, earns the inheritance and justly asks for it, not because in allowing himself to be cured and in voluntarily taking medicines suited to restoring health he did any good to the king, but because he carried out the king's will, meanwhile not neglecting his own advantage. If you do not admit the truth of this, you will not find out how to defend the merits of Jesus Christ the man (which you rightly extol and magnify as you ought): he came into this world in order to do his Father's will and to fulfil his Father's purpose, not to bestow any advantage on his Father, for the blessedness of the Father would suffer no diminution of the Son never became man nor ever suffered the cross; the Father could have found another way of freeing the elect from sin and of bringing them to predestined blessedness (this way pleased him as being more suitable for saving our misery); and in fact nowhere does grace appear more pure and unowed than in Christ the man. [C] For in things that have arisen in the course of time the greatest grace is that man has been joined to God in unity of person, as Augustine says, De Trinitate C.19: in lib.1, c.15 he explains this at length concerning the predestination of the saints. For that man, or rather that humanity before man was, did not in any way deserve to be taken up by God into unity of person. Note therefore that, just as the highest grace freely (and entirely freely) bestowed on Christ the man with fullness and not according to measure did not prevent his actions and passions from being meritorious - indeed they were meritorious precisely because they proceeded from Christ as a result of such exceeding grace -, so in the Christian justified by grace his following works are meritorious before God, and the greater the grace from which they proceed, the greater is their merit. For just as Christ is just and justifying, is wise and makes us wise, holy and makes us holy, so by his merit he makes us to merit, seeking and obtaining from the Father not only health and strength for our limbs, but also the power and efficacy for them to work together with God who works in us. It should not seem strange that God should take as participants in the divine operation those whom he has deigned to make participants in the divine nature. [D] The glory of Christ is made brighter if his virtue is bestowed upon others than if it were kept for him alone. Therefore in reply to your request I say and openly declare that in all good works the grace of God goes before, accompanies, and follows, and that without this grace there is no good work in man. If anyone should deny this and think that in order to do good it is enough to have knowledge of what is to be done - either the knowledge of the Law, or together with that knowledge the faculty of free will, even of a will freed from sin by its sole remission with the general concurrence (viz. that by which God as the first efficient cause concurs with all second causes according to his wisdom by which he comes firmly to the end and disposes all smoothly) even after obtaining remission of sins -, such a man falls off towards the infidelity and error of the Pelagians; for as Augustine rightly says, 'Neither knowledge of the divine law nor nature nor the e remission [f.185 v.] of sins is that grace which is given by Jesus Christ Our Lord, but beyond the aforesaid necessaries there is another grace necessary by which nature shall be healed and a man shall have strength to fulfil the Law, so that sin shall not rule over him.' This grace he designates in another passage, saying that it is the inspiration of love, by which we may do things known to us with holy love. This grace is obtained by faith, yet this faith to deserve it is freely given. From all these premises there does not follow your subsequent assertion that good works are not deserving before God of any good to be granted in this world or in the next, as is plain from what has been said, but both these things must be frankly admitted, that without God's grace we can neither believe in God nor perform any good work, and that when faith has been received and grace has been granted by faith (which is properly love), then we can do good works and by good works earn the reward of life everlasting, because it is needful that he who approaches God should believe that God is and that he rewards those who seek him.

What I have said is not at variance with Luke 15 [c. 17 v.10]: When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded [B] you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. For the purpose of this writing is to shew that because of his condition of servitude a servant ought to be humble and not to puff himself up in pride against his master, because by serving well he has done only that which it was his duty to do in respect of his position as a servant; yet it is still consistent with this that a good master should bestow the grant of liberty or some other boon on one who serves him well as a reward for good service freely given. That this is the meaning of the passage the very words make clear. Likewise Christ does not simply use as servants those men who by reason of their creation are his servants, but he makes his servants into friends and sons by the adoption of grace, as a result of which they have a right to the inheritance to which they rightly aspire. For if they are children, then heirs, says the Apostle [Rom. 8,17], heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Also Luke 22 [v.28]: Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. It is not for a servant, in his capacity as servant, to sit at his master's table, but to attend upon his master as he dines, as in the parable [C] of the servant returning from the field [Luke 17,7], to which the passage quoted above is subjoined; yet the Father and the Son have so appointed, that the servant, taken up to be a son, shall share the table and the kingdom. Here we must consider that he who declares that God makes no return for merits seems to be denying that God is a just judge who returns or bestows reward for good works, and thus he goes against Scripture: see Ezekiel 18 [v.5ff.], where he shews that the Lord gives a just return for deserts, as well to those who do good as to those who do evil as is plain to anyone who considers the whole drift of the chapter. Many further testimonies from the Law and the Prophets could be adduced, but this one seems to suffice, being so clear and evident that there is no room for shuffling. I could add (though it is not needed) that passage of the 62nd Psalm [v. ll]: God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, 0 Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work. But your sectaries hear only one thing, namely mercy towards the good and those who are to be saved, who (they say) do not by any work merit the reward of life [D] everlasting, declaring that life everlasting is given purely freely, without any respect being had of works nor any regard of merit except that of Christ alone. From this the further consequence is that the principle of distributive justice has no place in the judgement of God repaying according to merit, except as regards the wicked, whom God justly judges and punishes according to their bad deserts. On this principle the words of the prophet, Thou renderest to every man according to his work, would have to be understood as applying to evil works only: yet the Apostle applies it to both in Romans 2 [v.6] and in II Corinthians 5 [v.10] and I Titus 5 [II Tim. 4,8], where of himself and of others looking for the coming of the Lord he says: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness &c. Likewise in II Thessalonians 1 [6-7]: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled &c. If you say God cannot be made a debtor to his own creature, which seems to be proved out of Isaiah and Paul in Romans c.11 [v.35]: Or who hath first given to him, [188 r.] and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things, the creature cannot have just ground of complaint against God if God does not pay him a reward for his good works. I admit that God is debtor to no one but himself, even in those things which he has promised and sworn, signifying the immutability of his ordinance, not of his creature, but he would do injury to himself if he did not keep his promises: yet from this it does not follow that the creature deserves nothing before God. I speak of the creature freely justified, raised by God's gift above the power and virtue of nature, and (in Peter's words [II Peter 1,4]) partakers of the divine nature, and as St John the Evangelist says [ 1,12], to whom gave he power to become the sons of God. For this is part of the reasoning of the divine wisdom, by which it pleased God so to order things that, to whom he gave freely these precious gifts, to those same for their good works going before out of grace and free will he gave payment and reward: and this ordinance he made known to us in Holy Writ through the Prophets, the Apostles, and his only begotten Son. Who is there who will ask God why he did so? Who will be his adviser and say that God ought to have decided not this way, but some other way? Are not God's promises and declarations and oaths clear and open, in which life, glory, and a crown are promised to one who does this or that, or because he does this or that? A like answer may be made to your objection that our work is not useful to God, but is useful to us or to our neighbour; therefore by our good work we do not deserve from God a prize, reward, or crown. This is not a valid inference, because God appointed this law not seeking his or our advantage, but only his own glory; and when we by good works aim at his glory, we are in concord with the will of God, and we earn a prize and reward, which God will bestow not simply according to his goodness, liberality, magnificence, and compassion, but also according to his justice - his justice, I say, not simply in acting as beseems his goodness, but in rendering according to merit good for good and deserts to the deserving, according to the words of the Apocalypse [c.3 v.4]: And they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy, and Luke 20 [35]: They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection front the dead &c. And Christ says [Matth. 10,37]: He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; from which we may infer contrariwise that he who puts Christ before all else is worthy of Christ. Further let no one falsely declare that we are of no use to God in doing good works; for although he has no need of our good things, and thus we are not useful to God as supplying by our usefulness something that he lacks (of this I spoke above, and it is usefulness in its proper sense), nevertheless good men usefully serve God as ruler of the universe; by their work and ministry God brings his elect to salvation, and thus the usefulness of his elect is reckoned usefulness to him. For the good are chosen vessels, as Scripture says of Paul [Acts 9,15] For he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name &c. Of this more largely in the second book.

The Second Book of Refutations
Against William Tyndale
On the Key to the Understanding of Scripture as Salvation

Not in that respect are you adrift, Tyndale, that you declare faith to be the key to salutary understanding of Scripture, but you err in maintaining this objection or proposition, 'God the Father so grants all things freely through Christ that he gives nothing in respect of any work or because of any work inward or outward,' in such a sense as if there were no merit of man towards God, but that just as God freely and without any cause on man's side predestines, elects, and adopts, so equally freely does he beatify, crown, and reward: which is a meaning alien to catholic faith, pertaining to infidelity, and contrary to scripture which in many places asserts the contrary. Throughout your book you apply [B] all your prolix collections and assertions to the support of this opinion, and you will not allow there to be any difference (so far as concerns freely granting) between justifying faith and crowning glory, except that faith is given first and glory later. In saying this you believe that you are attributing much to the grace of God and to the gifts which God gives to his elect through Christ, when he justifies those who have been called, pouring into their hearts the Holy Ghost; but in fact you are derogating from it in taking away from grace and the aforesaid gifts the force and efficacy of leading the justified man to the end of what is good, just as anyone would derogate from the virtue of a seed if he took from it all power of generation, saying that the fruit was not germinated from the seed but only that the seed went before, the fruit after, contrary to all common sense. For as a man would speak absurdly and go intolerably adrift if, on the ground that God does all things that are in the universe, he should seek to deny all efficacy to all other agents both natural and free, saying that not fire, but God sets straw ablaze, or that a horse does not beget a horse nor a man a man, just so does a man err not only [C] against the Scriptures and the judgement of the wise, but also against the common judgement of the crowd, if he denies that God justly rules and judges this world and especially his rational and intellectual creatures, repaying to good men and bad what is just according to their deserts. For in God mercy should not be so exalted as to derogate from justice, but we must confess a God who is pitying and compassionate and just, so that our faith may be whole and our confession not imperfect or truncated, as yours is when you take away all merit even from the just man, saying that man does not deserve from God glory or eternal life by any works of his own, any more than Paul on his journey to Damascus deserved to be justified by Christ, since (you say) by those works and intentions Paul deserved not justification but eternal damnation, or that he deserved it only in the same way as Adam's sin deserves to be redeemed by Christ's Passion, as Gregory says: 'O blessed fault, which deserved to have such and so great a Redeemer!' There Gregory used the word in a transferred sense, signifying the excellence of God's exceeding charity, but which, notwithstanding the offence, he [D] bestowed greater benefits on the human race than he had formerly given them in their innocency. In order to explain better your opinion on the merit of any good works, you imagine the case that God gave to the blessed Paul from the beginning that perfection which his soul now possesses or will posses after the resurrection, and that God yet willed him to remain in this world and to do what he did in time in his office as teacher and apostle: this case being admitted, you say that Paul with all his good works merited nothing, just as the blessed angels deserve nothing by the service by which they minister to us and under God procure our salvation. From this you conclude that he did not merit anything by his good works at the time when he was in this life. I say nothing of the reasonableness of this case or of whether it could occur: it is enough that from it you declare your opinion on the merit of works, indeed of love and [f.187r.] faith, viz. that you deny the existence of any merit towards God, to which ment God according to justice grant eternal life. Amid all this you say that you do not wish to be contentious or to argue about words. Would God you were sincere in this! For then the dispute would very soon be finished. But let us come to the examples by which you think the matter is clearly demonstrated and that victory crowns your side.

The comparisons that you draw are no true comparisons. First, because the works of that first man who cultivates his field at an agreed price and the works of others who cultivate their fields without any agreement are of one quality and value because of the equality of the agent, of the proximate purpose, of the material and of the form, if, that is, those things happen to be the same. It is otherwise with works by which we are said to earn merit before God, which are not on the same basis with works not earning merit. 'Meritorious works by their very nature, setting aside any agreement or positive ordinance, possess dignity, value, and perfection, which qualities are absent from non-meritorious works:' thus sins by their nature deserve punishment even apart from any positive ordinance, for meritorious works proceed from charity and [B] grace that makes gracious, and by these qualities the soul is perfected and raised above its own natural power. Thus Peter in his second canonical epistle [II Peter 1,4] says: He has given us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the Divine nature. This dignity and perfection are lacking to works going before justification and the infusion of grace that makes gracious, for in them man does what in himself, making good use of his natural and gratuitous gifts; for these works do not proceed from the spirit of Christ indwelling and vivifying the mind. Secondly, because all those whom you represent as working in their own fields work only for themselves, not for another; for the aforementioned men are private persons having separate goods, and the good of one is not included in the good of another. In those, however, who are working because of God the case is different, for God is king and ruler of the universe and intends the good of the whole universe, in which is included the good of each man as part thereof, and therefore in God's sight he who works his own salvation and tills the field of his own conscience deserves reward, because [C] by doing this he does something useful to the whole of which he is part. Now the good of the whole, as I have said, is God's intention insofar as he is king, ruler, or legislator. Thus contrariwise punishment in God's eyes is merited by him who corrupts himself by wickedness, since by doing this he harms the whole of which he is part. Aristotle, the heathen philosopher, perceived this by the light of nature, writing in the fifth book of his Ethics [c.11] that those who take their own lives are justly punished by the law, because they do harm to the city of which they are part. Thirdly it is unlike because those who rightly use the gratuitous gifts of God seek in using them and from using them the honour of God and the utility of God's flock, and they labour not in their own vineyard, but in God's, and insofar as they teed sheep which are not their own but God's, and till a vineyard which is not their own but God's. when they impose labour on themselves, they serve not themselves but God, since they belong not to themselves but to Christ by creation and redemption so that, as Paul says in the fifth chapter [v.15] of the second epistle to the Corinthians: They should not henceforth live or die unto themselves but unto him which [D] died for them, and rose again. Thus the utility of their work must be considered as returning not to themselves, but to God, because God rewards the labourer in proportion to his labour, not to its return. God in his retribution takes into account that we have sought his glory, even if you mentally set aside that in this way we have done something useful to the whole universe. Therefore Paul significantly says in the third chapter [v.8] of the first epistle to the Corinthians: Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

There are other differences or dissimilitudes, but let these suffice. God as Creator and Lord can justly exact from man all things that are possible from his creature and servant, and no man, not even a just or innocent one, let alone a sinner, can justly complain of his Creator and Lord, however much burden he may impose, even if he renders or promises no return for services; nay, even if he should wish to take away life itself, man has nothing to say except what Job said [1,21] when his [187v.] substance and his children were taken from him: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Yet that is not the sole relation between God and man; for God is the Father of men, and on this account God has man not as a servant, but as a son. By this name God appointed between himself and men the rights of a father, which is a name of love, just as 'Lord' is a name of fear. God was not content with that title, but approaching closer to a kind of equality, he is the bridegroom of his church, and with it has established conjugal law. Going even further, and approaching nearer to an equality of life, God so lays aside his majesty that he deigns to act with men in a kind of equality and to contract an alliance; in consequence he appoints with men a kind of civil law. He made pacts with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom he loved, and he clove unto them, as it is written in Deuteronomy 10. Bearing these things in mind, we can easily find out how a man may be deserving in God's sight. There is no force in the arguments which you adduce, e.g. that which concerns instruments, in which you argue thus: 'Man is an instrument with which God works'; therefore in any good work no praise is due to man any more than to the sling or stone or sword with which David slew the giant. Your conclusion is wrong, [B] because the multiplicity of instruments causes you confusion. There is not just one kind of instrument, but many: a conjoined instrument, as a hand, is one thing, but a separate instrument, as a sword, quite another. Further among separate instruments one may be animate, another inanimate: animate, as a servant, for the servant is an instrument of his master, which the latter uses for action, and a woman is for a man an instrument for generation, as we read in the first book of the Politics. The action of such an instrument is counted to it for praise or rebuke, for punishment or reward. For example, a master commits homicide through his servant; not only is the master punished, but the two fall under the same laws, and rightly so, and the servant's excuse alleging necessity, because he is the instrument of his master, will not be heard. The reason of this is that such a servant is by nature a free man having it in his power to obey or not to obey his master; therefore the instrument's action is counted to him, for blame and punishment if the action be evil, for praise and reward if good. The same must be said of man, although he is an instrument of God in action, because he is a separate, animate, and free instrument, [C] not merely moved, but self-moving by free will; for God so administers the things which he creates that he permits them to perform the motions proper to them. Now the motion proper to a man is that he shall act freely and have it in his power to act or not to act; therefore he is not compelled by necessity to follow the motion of the prime agent, as other instruments are. King Sennacherib, in Isaiah c.10 [v.15], is called by the Lord metaphorically a saw or an axe, yet in the same passage he is reproved by the prophet for not understanding that the reason for his prevailing against Israel is that God was using him to punish the sins of his people. The king was metaphorically a saw, but not so in fact. As it would be portentous if the saw were to rise up against its user, so it is not less absurd for man to rise up against God: yet a man can do so and often does, although unjustly and therefore not with impunity. This you yourself admit in another passage, where you enumerate the various pacts made by God with his creature; for properly there is [D] no pact if there be not free consent on both side. You are mistaken, however, in listing the pact of God with the Devil, for it is not through a pact of God with the Devil that the Devil dominates over sinful man: there is no justice in this domination except on the part of God who permits it. Justly did God permit man to come under the power of the tyrannous seducer, to whom man freely consented, despising God his creator; but God has no pact with the Devil on this matter: the Devil rules over man by injustice and tyranny, and does injury to God when he corrupts man by his instigation. As this divine permission was just against Adam, the first author of the human race, when he sinned, and against his descendants contracting sin from him by their origin, so the Devil acted against this permission when he presumed to inflict death on Christ, who did not belong to that [188 v.] condemned progeny, and thus with justice he lost his power which God's permission had given him over Adam and his posterity. Now when you say that sin is in us because our charity towards God and our neighbour is not as great as the charity of Christ, you are mistaken. It is not promised to us that we shall be equal to Christ, but that we shall be conforming to him; for to him is given the Spirit not according to measure, but to us according to measure: we receive from his fullness; we do not receive that fullness. No one therefore may aspire to equality with the charity of Christ, which from the moment of his conception was complete and neither can nor could be increased. It should not therefore be counted to us for sin that our charity is less than the charity of Christ, since it neither can be nor ought to be equally great. But having mentioned Christ's charity, you were able to satisfy your own sophistical reasoning. For when you declare, as you ought, that Christ was deserving, it necessarily follows that the Apostle Paul, if from the moment of his conversion he had had in this life as much charity as he will have after the resurrection, would nevertheless still have [B] been deserving. From the example of Christ that other argument of yours is overthrown: 'Man owes to God all that he can perform, therefore he deserves nothing.' Christ our Lord by his human nature owed to God death itself; for the Father had ordained that he should undergo it. Hence the Apostle [Philippians 2,8] praises Christ for having obeyed the Father even unto death. Nevertheless he was deserving by his death: Wherefore (says the Apostle) God also hath highly exalted hint, and given him a name which is above every name. You are mistaken also in saying that concupiscence in holy men is the greatest sin, but it is not accounted to them &c. You are speaking either of habitual concupiscence, which is commonly said to be kindling-wood of sin (but that in the baptized is not a sin, for its guilt is taken away by baptism), or you are speaking if its action or motion: yet not even that is a sin when the rational will resists it, but it is matter for the exercise of virtue. Or if its motion comes by surprise without fully deliberate will, it is only a venial sin: when its motion is fully deliberate, it is mortal sin and a transgression of the command, Thou shalt not covet... [Exodus 20,17] - a transgression such as is not [C] in the holy, in whom sin does not reign so that they obey its promptings of lust: as the Wise One says, they go not after their lusts [Ecclesisticus 18,30].

Do you ask for a definition of merit? Here it is: merit in general is a voluntary action, either good or bad, of a traveller according to God's ordinance from his goodness or his badness accounted for reward or penalty: 'voluntary', because this implies a moral type of action proceeding from a free will, 'either good or bad', because there are indifferent actions, halfway between good and bad, which as such are not deserving; 'accounted for reward or penalty', because although a good or bad action because of its goodness or badness is accountable for reward or penalty, nevertheless it does not deserve unless it be actually accounted: I add the words 'according to God's ordinance' because a good act does not deserve a reward unless we suppose an ordinance of God as wishing to return a reward for a good work; I say 'a traveller' in order to exclude the good or [D] bad actions of the blessed and the damned, because they are at the end of good and evil and outside the status of deserving. Now deserving is divided into good and evil: evil deserving is spoken of in Genesis 42 [v.21]: Deservedly do we suffer this, for we have sinned against our brother; likewise Hebrews 10 [v.29]: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot &c. Good deserving is spoken of in Ecclesiasticus 16 [v.15]: All compassion shall make a place for each according to the merit of his works, and Hebrews 13 [v.16]: For with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Yet you say that there is no such thing as good deserving, because if God did not render to the just man his reward or life everlasting, he would be doing him no injustice, nor is God obliged by the just man's good work to reward him; ergo the just man is not deserving in the sight of God. The blessed Doctors grant the antecedent, but ther deny the consequent, saying that it suffices for deserving that there be worthiness in the agent, proportion in the action, and in God a preceding ordinance. They grant that God is not under obligation to his creature, even from a promise; for if [188 v.] God did not render what he had promised, he would be doing injury not to his creature, but to himself. But to annihilate or not to reward the well deserving is repugnant to his goodness, just as it is repugnant to his justice and goodness to leave sins unpunished; for otherwise by sparing the wicked he would not be a reprover of sin, and by denying reward to the just he would not be an approver of good. Hence, just as the Apostle says [II Tim. 2,13]. He abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself - that is to say, cannot deny the fulfilment of his promises, so we also can say that he is good and just and cannot deny himself, i.e withhold himself from maintaining due order in his universe, not leaving good work without reward nor sin without punishment. But just as by not discharging his promises he would not be injuring any man, but would be unfaithful and untrue, so by not keeping due order in his universe he would not be injuring anyone, but he would simply be neither just nor good. But you say that this is a good argument: 'Life everlasting is granted to the just out of grace and because of grace; therefore not out of works, for what is given out of grace is not owed, and what is given out of works is owed. Now it is impossible for the same thing to be owed and not owed to the same person by the same person, for thus speaks the Apostle in Romans c.4 [v.4] and c. 11l [v.6] and Ephesians c.2 [v.8-9]'. This argument [B] would be convincing if we said that work which is meritorious is not a gratuitous gift of God, or if we said that there was value in the work simply because it proceeds from us, and not for this reason principally, that it proceeds from the grace of God and from charity. This is what Paul intends when he says [Ephesians 2,8]: It is the gift of God, lest any man should boast, i.e. as if this were in him of himself, as he says elsewhere [I Cor. 4,7]: What hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Here he does not simply forbid us to glory in God's gift which we have accepted, since he says in another passage [I Cor. 1,31], He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord, but he forbids us to glory in God's gift as if it were not a gift, but a man's own, i.e. existing in himself of himself, which is illicit and pertains to pride. Hence the saints regard their own merits not otherwise than as God's gifts freely given, ascribing to the divine goodness whatever they have of goodness and worth. Now in the same work God, when rewarding it in his capacity as a just judge, considers that it was done freely, voluntarily, with pleasure, with love, and without asking, that it was in the doer's power to follow or not to follow, to work [C] or not to work, to use or not to use the gifts of God, and most especially that man in his work did not seek his own glory, but that of God; that he did not work for himself, seeking what was useful to him, but for many, that they should be saved: on this basis God judges him just and to be crowned. Both these points can be seen in what is said by the just judge and in return by the just in Matthew c.25 [vv.34-40] - I refrain from quoting for the sake of brevity.

From all this it will appear to one who considers it well that everything that you say, Tyndale, against hypocrites and those who place their confidence in their works is truly said, but it is beside the point, for the holy travellers who are rich in merits do not make flesh their arm, nor does their heart depart from the Lord, but they have trust in the Lord; for the Holy Ghost teaches them to know what things God has granted them, and among these they know that they were created in good works that they should walk in them, and that by so walking they should come to the crown of immarcescible glory promised to those who strive lawfully. Nor does it tend against the notion of desert that God's love towards the predestined and elect, by which he first loved us, is eternal; for as from all eternity he preordained and proposed to give life everlasting to Peter and Paul or to any other, so from all eternity did he preordain and provide the means of coming to that life. In order to understand this more easily, reflect that under the notion of predestination three things in ordered relation are signified: the first is the eternal purpose of having mercy; the second is the temporal bestowal of grace or of the freely-given gift by which the predestined is justified; the third is the bestowal of glory everlasting. Of these three the first is without cause from our side, for it is a purpose purely of the divine goodness and of God's pure goodwill. The second also has no cause from our side because, although in adults when they are justified the free will regularly concurs and the experience is not purely passive (as in the words, He who created thee without thee will not justify thee without thee and in the words [189r.] of the prophet [Zech. 1,3], Turn ye unto me, and I will turn unto you, and in the passage of James [4,8], Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you), nevertheless nothing goes before as deserving of the gift freely given by which the impious man is justified, but it is freely instilled into the mind, and by this gift sin is dismissed and the debt of eternal death is cancelled: these things being removed he who was unworthy of temporal life is made to participate in the divine nature and he who was worthy of death both temporal and aeternal is made worthy of life everlasting, and whatever disposition may go before justification is an effect of predestination and of thy grace of God going before all our disposition or will, according to the words of Jeremy in thy last chapter of Lamentations [v.21]: Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned. Concerning thy third there is a difference, for between the bestowal of justifying grace and thy dispositions that precede it and the bestowal of glory there intervene inward and outward good works, arising from the justifying gift and from free will through thy individual direction of thy indwelling Holy Ghost; to these glory justly granted. In this sense we must take those words of Paul in Ephesians II [v.10] Created in Jesus Christ in good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk [B] in them, to come by them (that it to say) to the end divinely appointed for u, This may be clearly seen in Paul's case: having been predestined from eternity and in time justified freely, he said of thy works coming between justification and the crown [II Tim. 4,7]: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the fain: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day. To understand this more fully, consider thy ground for reprobation, which again you will find to by threefold: the eternal purpose of not having mercy, temporal hardening of heart, and eternal damnation. Of thy first there is no cause and no deserving on thy part of the reprobate. Of thy second there is deserving man's part, for he deserved on account of foregoing sin to by abandoned by God and left to himself. Of thy third there is cause and deserving, viz. thy foregoing sin. Hence if it be asked why from all eternity God purposed to have mercy on Peter and none on Juda there is no cause in particular except that God so willed it, and his will cannot by unjust. Likewise if it by asked why in time he bestowed grace on Peter, bestowing a gift by which he left this world just and [C] freed from his sin, while on Judas he did not bestow grace nor award thy gift of justice, but left him in his sin, in which hy persevered to the end, we reply that it pleased God in Peter to shew compassion and in Judas to exercise justice. If you ask why he has pity on this one and not on that one, Paul replies and checks thy boldness of thy enquirer [Rom. 9,20]: Nay but, 0 man, who art thou that repliest against God? But if you ask why God prepared eternal torments for Judas, it truly answered, 'Because of thy sins which God foresaw that hy would commit and en,: his present life in them.' If you ask why from all eternity he prepared for Peter glory everlasting, thy answer is, 'Because he wished in him to shew thy riches of his goodness.' Thus in Peter all things conspire towards grace - first, thy predestination from eternity, second, thy bestowal in time of grace and its gift, third, the good use of that gift and fourth, the consummation of grace or thy reward of glory, but not equally or entire uniformity. For in thy first we have no part; in thy second, although we claim somewhat for ourselves, that is not sufficient [D] for justification; in the third in its relation to the fourth there is worth and account of merit. Thus thy first two pertain to purl grace; not so the latter two, and consequently glory is a reward for good works; for although good works pertain to grace, they do not exclude our cooperation, on account of which grace itself leaves room for merit and does not exclude account of merit.

Thus far I have said more than enough about grace and merit, and if you apply your mind to it, you will plainly see that all that you amass at length against thy merit of works is of no effect except to lead you to a quite absurd conclusion, which I will quote verbatim so that any reader may see its absurdity, even if you yourself close your eyes (I hope you will not), which is the mark of an obstinate heart. 'Works', you say, 'are thy last things that are required in thy Law, and they do not fulfil the Law before God. In works we are always sinning, and our thoughts are unclean. The charity which would fulfil the Law is colder than ice amongst us; we live therefore by faith as long as we are [189v.] in the flesh, and by faith we conquer the world, for this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I Jn 5 [v.4]). Our faith is in God through Christ, because his charity by which he overcame all the temptations of the Devil is counted to us. From faith then comes it that the promise is firm to the seed of them that believe that by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. [Rom. 3,20]' Thus far you recognize your own words. Here you seem to open the secret of your heart, explaining the reason why you count good works for nothing, viz. because good works are the last things required in the Law, for the first thing required in the fulfilment of the Law is good thought, the second good will, the third and last the execution of that good will by work. There are similar degrees also in work forbidden by the Law: the first is evil thought, the second the deliberate willing of evil thought, the third the carrying out in word or deed of the evil will. Now it often happens that by some external impediment the full will, be it good or bad, does not arrive at the execution of the work: in this case the will is counted as the action, as John says in his canonical epistle [I Jn 3,15]: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And the Lord in the gospel [B] where he speaks of adulterers [Mat. 5,28] says: Whosoever looketh on a women to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Corresponding examples could be given of things good. Therefore you are not wrong in saying that works are the last things required in the law which commands good works. If follows that they do not fulfil the law. That is true as often as they are by themselves and the two foregoing are absent: for it is not enough for the law that a work should be good in its kind, which is relative goodness, and consistently with this a work is simply and absolutely bad whenever the former two requirements are lacking and in fact they are lacking always. You continue: 'In works we are always sinning, and our thoughts are unclean.' See, at once the first requisite for good work is lacking, namely good thought, for an unclean thought is a bad one. You go on: 'The charity which would fulfil the law &c.' Here again we are missing the second requisite for a good work, namely good will; for charity is good will, or the cause of good will, and if it were present, it would fulfil the law, according to Paul's words in Romans 13 [v.8]: He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law; and in the gospel [Matt. 22,40]: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. But [C] you are not speaking of that charity, for you significantly say 'would fulfil', not 'fulfils', and you add that it is colder than ice. To anyone who considers well it is clear that the love which naturally follows the contemplation of God's goodness and a consideration of God's gifts and promises is not that charity which is the end of instruction, the bond of perfection, the sum of the law and the prophets, but is a kind of love which arises naturally towards benefactors, which is found in the heathen and in publicans who love those who love them, as we read in Matthew c.5 [v.46]. Such charity towards God is rightly said to be colder than ice when compared with true charity, which the Holy Ghost pours into the hearts of the faithful where he deigns to dwell, which alone fulfils the law. You go on: 'We live therefore by faith while we are in the flesh, and by faith we conquer the world: for this is the victory which overcometh the world [I Jn 5]'. What do I hear? A dead faith. which neither works nor lives, conquers the world? Faith which does not work through love? Charity [D] which does not suffice for the fulfilment of the law does not save us from the power of the Devil, nor is it greater than the world; for all the transgressors of the law are under the law and will be judged by the law, and are under malediction. It not enough to say, as you say, that Christ's charity is counted to us, and that to believe this is the faith that saves. These are your words: 'Faith in God through Christ, because his charity, by which he overcame all the temptations of the Devil is counted to us. Consider, I beseech you, Tyndale, into what absurdities you have fallen since you left the beaten track and went beyond the limits set by the Fathers.

For what could be more absurd than to say that a man is saved without charity of his own, and that the personal charity of Christ is counted to men not having the Holy Ghost and their own gift of charity? This plainly contradicts Paul (I Cor. 13 [v. I]), where he says: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, &c.,' where he express [190r.] says that all the other gifts of the spirit avail nothing without charity, can contrariwise that all the other qualities profit him who has charity. Also John the Apostle [v.14]: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethen He that loveth not abideth in death. From this it is clear that each man is saved by h, own love, and although he does not have this love from himself, still he has it in himse Romans 5 [v.3]: We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. There is one charity of God by which God loves us, and another charity of God, which God creates in us, and by which we love God and our neighbour. This charity by the Holy Ghost he infuses, effuses, and diffuses in our hearts. It is not true therefore that Christ charity is counted to us; but Christ's charity makes charity in us, which although unequal to Christ's charity, is of such kind and degree to be sufficient with God's help to fulfil the law. [B] Therefore that faith by which we believe and trust in God through Christ that Christ's charity will be counted to us, to us (I say) who do not have good works, whose thoughts are unclean and whose will is not good because our charity is either nonexistent or so remiss that its remissness is a sin - that faith, I say, is not true and not catholic but feigned; it is not what God revealed to the prophets or the apostles or the church. Read all the creeds and all the explanations of our faith which were made from the beginning down to the present day against the heresies which arose at various times, and you will not find this article: 'I believe that Christ's charity will be counted to me for salvation.' to me, I say, having no charity of my own, or not having as much as is demanded of me by the law of charity written in the law, reaffirmed in the gospel, and explained by the apostles. By all sound doctrine it is clear that he who does not have Christ's spin does not belong to Christ; for he who has not Christ's spirit is not his, and in whom there is not charity, in him does the Holy Ghost not dwell.

Jacob Latomus
Confutation Against William Tyndale
The Third Book

Since at the end of your declaration you say that you have brought forth in good conscience what you think, I believe that you think as you speak. Consequently, if what you say is true, you resent those who in the name of the Roman pontiff and of the Emperor keep you captive and treat you as a malefactor. Now since you ask to hear, or rather read. my opinion on the matter under dispute, I shall comply with your wishes in the hope that in this way I may bring you back from your error to an attachment to the true catholic doctrine. Hence in good conscience I declare what I [B] believe, what I hold, what I have learned in the catholic orthodox church, or the Roman church, if you will allow it. I do not blush for the gospel or for our mother the church, knowing what I have learned and from whom.


Faith goes before charity in generation, but charity is before faith in dignity. Faith is the foundation, charity the fulfilling. The first conjoining of a soul returning to God is faith: Hebrews c. 11 [v.6]: He that cometh to God must believe that he is &c., and Romans 10 [v.14]: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? Hence Augustine rightly says in speaking to the instructor of the ignorant: 'Whatever you tell, tell it so that he to whom you speak may hear and believe, believe and hope, hope and love.'


Charity is the fulfilment of precept, it is the sum of the law and the prophets, indeed [C] of the gospel and the teaching of the apostles; hence Augustine rightly said, 'He who keeps charity in his actions holds firm both what is said and what is not said in the divine teachings,' and in another passage, 'Scripture commands nothing except charity; it forbids nothing except cupidity.' Hence is it that every mortal sin excludes charity, and whatever goes against any other virtue, goes against charity. Therefore the Apostle says [Rom. 13,10]: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not covet, and if there by any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. And James says [2.10]: Whosoever shall offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Faith and charity do not cohere inseparably, for in angels and in the blessed charity exists without faith. Charity is nowhere absent, but faith is on the journey, not in the land which is our goal. In Christ there is charity, not faith. But in travellers of pure heart faith exists without charity, being often prior in time. and it obtains charity by prayer. Furthermore faith exists in catechumens who [D] believe it Christ and make his sign; but Christ does not yet impart himself to them: when they are baptized, charity is added to their faith. Faith exists in repentant sinners who are - absolved from their sins; for it is not every sin, but only infidelity, that takes away faith. It follows that charity does not necessarily flow from faith as light or heat proceeds from the sun. The Apostle in another place [Gal. 5,6] speaks of faith that worketh throught love, but he nowhere speaks of faith that worketh love; much less does he say that love necessarily or naturally produces charity. Indeed he openly says (I Cor. 13 [v.2]): Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. This is sufficiently shewn by the testimony which you adduce, in which Peter exhorts the faithful (II Pet. I [v5]): Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue [191r.] knowledge; and to knowledge temperance, patience godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. See through how many gradations of virtue he comes to charity at the last! Now what need would there be of exhorting men who had faith to practise these virtues, if they flow naturally, necessarily, and inevitably from Faith? The blessed Peter therefore wishes all these things to be added to faith by our exertion with God grace and help, and he means that, if faith remains in us without these things, we shall be empty and unprofitable, blind and groping with our hands as men forgetful of the remission of sins. Hence in the Apocalypse, c.2 [v.2-3] the Spirit approves works and labour and patience and knows that the angel of Ephesus has home them for the name of Christ and has not fainted. Yet he adds [v.4]: Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. Here there is no charge of dereliction of faith, therefore while faith exists charity can be taken away or lessened, which would not be true charity flowed naturally from faith and followed it of necessity. [B]


The power of he keys is founded not in charity, but in the priestly order. The priestly order does not necessarily follow or accompany charity, for the Holy Ghost is given one way to sanctify the creature to whom it is given, in a different way for performing miracles, for prophecy, and for the forgiving of another's sins. Rightly therefore does Augustine say, 'It behoves the ministers of so great a king to be holy. Let them be holy if they wish: I am content with him who says, "This is he who baptizes".' Hence the Novations, who denied that priests had been given by God the power of remission of sins were expelled from the church as heretics and schismatics; so later were the Donatists who said that only virtuous and just and holy ministers could baptize or absolve, and lastly the Waldenses and their adherents, who said that all those and only those who had charity [C] possessed the keys of the church. This now seems to be your view: you not shrink from blaming the holy fathers of the church as being blind and fleshly-minded for saying that the keys are something other than you say, when you attribute the power of opening and closing only to one who as a preacher declares to the sinner r just sentence of damnation and makes him run to seek grace, like Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost. Now nothing makes this impossible for a mere layman, as is quite plain. Therefore in saying this you are destroying the sacrament of ordination, and you are not opposing just anyone, but the holy, learned, and ghostly ministers of God's sacrament Cyprian, Cornelius, Ambrose, Basil, Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, Leo, Gregory, and indeed the whole catholic church, which is the pillar and foundation truth.


[D] Episcopate, priesthood and apostolate are names of a dignity, office, ministry administration, not of a quality. Quality makes worthy or unworthy - good quality worthy, and bad quality unworthy -, but he who is worthy of the office of bishop or priest not thereby bishop or priest, nor contrariwise does one unworthy of the office cease to be priest or bishop. Judas was an apostle no less than Peter and John, and Nicolas of Antioch was ordained a deacon just as much as Stephen. Their names are recorded in Scripture that we may understand that the virtue and efficacy of the divine sacraments is derived from God, not from the quality of those who administer them. The Apostle shews this the first epistle to the Corinthians [l,11-17; 12,13] where he rebukes those who were r contention as if baptism were better when given by a better minister; which is false because the virtue of sacrament is from God, in whose name it is given. [f.191 v.]


We must also declare this: that according to the sound doctrine of the catholic church is not licit for a Christian to withdraw himself from obedience or subjection to his prelate or superior or bishop on the ground that the latter is a bad man or does not live by the rule of the divine law. This meaning cannot be assigned to Paul's words [2 Thess. 3,6] when he warns us to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly and not after the godly and apostolic traditions; in Matthew 23 [v.2-3] the Saviour bids us shun an evil life and follow good doctrine: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. All therefore whatsoever that they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works. You are wrong then in saying that, if a bishop be not blameless, but be drunken or a brawler or immoral, either he is not a bishop or that he is not to be obeyed when his teaching or commands are good. To cast down is for him who set up: a bishop is the servant of God; God set him up over his fellow servants, and God [B] casts him down acting either by himself or by those who, being his superiors are to him in God's stead. For as long therefore as God suffers them and awaits their repentance, it is our duty, being subject to such men, to endure their prefecture patiently. and not disturb the order appointed of God or rend the unity of an ecclesiastical or a bishop is the servant of God's servants, elected indeed by his fellow servants, but meanwhile appointed by God. Here lies your mistake, that you think that a over the household by the master is appointed by that household and can be disobeyed by it. In this you are making laymen the superiors of the ministers of the church, when in fact they are stewards servants of God and by him set up over their fellow servants. From him they will receive glory for good and faithful service, and for evil and faithless stewardship they will by him be punished.


[C] Sound doctrine tells us that to make a vow is a good thing and is within the free will of him who vows, but to discharge that vow is not a matter of free will, but of necessity. Whoever has vowed to God whatever is to be vowed, has turned God,s counsel into a command. Thus Peter speaking to Ananias in Acts 5 [v.3], who had vowed the whole price of a field, but had dishonestly kept part for himself, says: Whiles it remained, was it not thine own, and after it was sold, was it not thine own power? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. In I Tim 5 [v.]. speaking of widows who after a vow of chastity wish to marry, the Apostle says: When they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry: having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith, that is to say, they have violated the vow which they previously took to preserve their chastity. Therefore the power of charity is not such that he who has charity is absolved from keeping his vows, rather that he should perform willingly what he has vowed and discharge liberally what he has to discharge. Now imagine a man who vows continence yet has not from God the gift of continence, but suffers the burning of the flesh and pricks of lust: may such a man not follow the counsel [D] of the Apostle in I Cor. 7 [v.9]: But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. Quite clearly he may not; for this counsel is given to a free man, one who has it in his power to marry or not to marry. In different circumstances a woman who takes a vow of continence and then marries again, according to the Apostle's opinion [I Tim. 5,15] turns aside after Satan. Such a man must seek other remedies against the petulancy of the flesh - fasting, almsgiving, continuous prayer, by which he will certainly obtain the gift of chastity, since the Lord does not abandon those who flee to him and ask for that which is requisite to salvation, according to the words [Mat. 7,7]: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Hence Augustine in the penultimate chapter of his second book to Pollentius, speaking of husbands and wives who have beer separated because of adultery, shews that to them continence is a matter of necessity, just as continence has become [f.192r.] a matter of necessity to those who have vowed it. Here are his words: 'This therefore is my advice: what they would do if they had marriage-partners who were sinking under along sickness or were absent in some inaccessible place or were abstaining with illicit wilfulness, this they should do if they have marriage-partners stained with the iniquity of adultery and therefore divorcing themselves from their partner's intercourse; they should not seek another marriage, because that would be not marriage, but adultery. Since the marriage-bond is of the same nature for the man as for the women, just as a woman, while her husband is alive, will be called an adulteress if she goes with another man, so a man, while his wife is alive, will be called an adulterer if he goes with another woman.' A little later he says: 'Let not the burden of continence frighten them. It will be light, if it be Christ's, and it will be Christ's if faith be present, which obtains the power to obey from him who commands. Let it not trouble them that their continence seems to be a matter of necessity, not of will, because those who have chosen it by their will have made it a matter of necessity, because in theilives they cannot deviate from it without damnation; and those who have been driver into it of necessity make it a matter of will if they trust not in themselves but in him from whom is all good; they have passed over to that will [B] for the sake of a higher glory; to find something greater they have fled to it for the sake of salvation at the last, that they should not perish. Let them both remain; let both tread the path to which they have come until the end; let them be fervent in zeal and instant in prayer: for they must so think of their salvation that they fear to fall from the position which their will has taken. Nor must those despair of glory who choose to remain in that which necessity brought upon them. for it may be that with the fear of God and with his urging and converting and fulfilling their human affection may be changed for the better.' Jerome write in a like spirit: 'And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: not, however, a virgin who has dedicated herself to the service of God; for is one of these shall marry, she shall have damnation because she has cast off her first faith. Now if he said this about widows, how much more shall it be true concerning virgins? For it is not permitted even to those to whom it was once permitted.' Thus Jerome; likewise Basil writes: 'To each man from the outset it is granted to choose and enter upon what way of life he wishes (provided it be permitted), viz. to live in marriage or in celibacy; but when a man has once given himself to God in continence of life and perpetual chastity, he may not reverse his decision, [C] and he must keep himself for God like a gift or offering consecrated to him, lest God accuse us as guilty of sacrilege if, when the body has been dedicated to him, we contaminate it again with profane things and with the service of common life.' Ambrose thinks that it is a just cause of martyrdom for a priest if he opposes the marriage of a virgin dedicated to God, and thinks that his case is like that of John the Baptist saying to Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Gregory did not hesitate to place under anathema those who took in marriage women consecrated to God. Even Jovinianus, the Christian emperor, passed a law that those who dared to violate a sacred virgin upon the marriage bed should incur a capital sentence. I have added the opinion of these fathers at some length, so that you may see what great men you have abandoned for the sake of Luther and Melanchthon. I would rather imitate the negligence of the former than the obscure diligence of the latter.


[D] Sound doctrine declares that oaths are licit in a case of necessity, providing that they are made as God prescribes, viz. in judgement, justice, and truth. Now our Lord in Matth. 5 [v.34] seems completely to take away permission to swear from all Christians, and later the apostle James in the last chapter of his canonical epistle [v.12] says the same. But this is counsel, not command; or, if you firmly maintain that it is a command, it is not an absolutely binding command, such as Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and the like, which cannot for any reason be licitly done: it is instead a prohibition arising from a cause, namely to avoid the danger of perjury, and when this danger is sufficiently avoided, it is not a sin to swear, because when something is prohibited for a reason, if the reason ceases, the prohibition ceases. Here is a parallel: Paul in I Tim. 3 [v.6] will not have a novice chosen as bishop. This prohibition is not absolute, but arises from a cause, which he then adds: lest being lifted up with pride &c. Now if this cause be sufficiently guarded against and the man [f.192v.] chosen keep himself in humility, a man who chooses a novice as bishop does nothing against the Apostle's precept, as is plain in the election of Ambrose, of which he seeks in a letter to the people of Vercelli. A simple promise made to a man binds the promiser lest he be found a liar if he acts contrary to the promise - Matt. 12 [v.37]: For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. But an oath adjoined to a simple promise binds much more firmly because of the second commandment of the Decalogue: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain, which is trangressed by one who does not fulfil, when it is in his power, a promise confirmed by an oath. The power of charity then does not extend to the non-fulfilment of oaths, but to their fulfilment not by force or fear, but freely and lovingly.


[B] It is part of the church's sound doctrine that the regular fasts appointed for Christians ought necessarily to be observed, and that the power of charity does not extend to freeing its possessor from the command to fasting and from the common laws and traditions of the church, but its effect is that he should fast freely and lovingly and make up for the toil and affliction of bodily fasting by the richness of his devotion. Hence one Aerius, as Augustine related in his book on heresies, was deemed a heretic for having declared that the regularly appointed fasts were not to be observed, but that each man should fast when he chose, so that he should not seem to under a law.


I hold, as the sound doctrine of the church holds, that the saints should be cultivated and honoured and that their monuments and chapels should be frequented for the sake of imitating them, of sharing in their merits, and for the help of their prayers. [C] this is the present and the ancient usage of the church, and so we have received it by the hands our fathers. When Faustus the Manichaean blamed us for honouring the memory of martyrs, saying that we had converted idols into these, Augustine answered: 'The Christian people celebrates the memory of the martyrs with religious solemnity to kindle a wish to imitate them, to be associated in their merits, and to be helped by their prayers.' From these words you may gather that those who accept only the first of these, denying the other two or wishing men to be free to believe them or not to believe them, as if in matter it were permissible for each man to be wise in his own conceit [Rom. 14,5], are violating the tradition of the church, the religion of their fathers, and the piety of the people.


I believe what the sound doctrine of the church believes, that the bodies of saints are to be held in honour and veneration, first because of our faith in the resurrection, secondly because of the sanctity of the blessed souls to which those bodies belonged and will in time belong again, thirdly because of the Holy Ghost which dwelt in those bodies, which it used as its instruments and in which it will dwell for ever after the resurrect. We believe this honour to be pleasing to God, as if it were paid to Christ himself in friends, brothers, and members; we believe that it is pleasing to the saints themselves when they see our devotion and piety in the word of God; we believe that it is useful and expedient to ourselves for the strengthening and increasing of faith. If ordinary love the effect that he who loves anyone loves everything that belongs to the beloved, how much more does the love of charity towards God in our hearts bring it about that we love, honour, and revere those whom God has deigned to make his friends, brothers, members, and temples? Hence Vigilantius, who sought to deny this truth, was expelled from the church as a heretic. [f.193r.]


In this article I follow the same rule of faith, I think and maintain the same that has been handed down by the sound doctrine of the church, that such images are to be held in honour our and reverence as signs of Christ and of his saints, and that honour or dishonour done to images are referred to the things of which they are images. Images of this kind have power to excite the memory, and to the unlettered they serve as books. Now when Holy Writ teaches us to eschew images, it is speaking of those images in which demons - other creatures either corporal or spiritual are treated with latria, that is with a worship due to the true God alone, as the heathen worshipped idols representing something that either does not exist, or, if it does exist, is not God but creature, setting up to them ten pies, altars, sacrifices, and priests. The catholic church does not give this kind of worship to the images of saints or to the saints themselves or to any creature however excellent and when it accords latria to the signs of the incarnate God, as in the image of the crucified Christ or of a cross, [B] it does not depart from the worship of the one true God for we do not stop short at the image or sign, but refer it to the true God and Man represented by that sign or likeness or image. Hence it becomes manifest that there is no shadow of excuse for those who at this time, on the pretext of avoiding idolatry, have remove,: Christ's crosses and the likenesses and images of the saints, and that this heresy of the Manichaeans was rightly condemned long ago and expelled from the catholic church. The matter was discussed at length in the seventh general synod when Constantine and his mother Irene held the imperial throne, in the pontificate of Adrian II.


In this article also I hold to what I have learned from the catholic church, viz. that when the sacrifice of the Lord's body and blood is offered, it benefits the souls for whom it is offered - not indeed all, but only those who need purgation and who died in a state of grace. For the sacrifice of the altar, almsgiving, or any other good work done for the dead is a thanksgiving for those who are very good, and [C] for those who are very bad it is a kind of consolation to the living; for those in the middle state between good and bad it is an expiation. We find this in the Old Testament in the book of Maccabees [II Macc. 12,43], viz. that it is a blessed and healthful thought to pray for the dead that they may be absolved of their sins. The New Testament attests the same, Matth. 12, Mark 3, and Luke 12: on these witnesses we base the argument that some sins will be forgiven in the world to come. Paul also bears witness [I Cor. 3,15] that some are saved by fire, in which wood, hay, and stubble are consumed [ib. v.12] while foundation remains. Now since the opinion of the fathers and the continuous practice of the universal church down to this day accords with these passages of Scripture, it follows that it is not permissible for anyone to contradict this truth which accords with piety. If anyone should pertinaciously oppose it, he will be justly deemed a heretic. Augustine, in his book on heresies, c.53, numbers among the teachings of Anus that one should not pray or offer oblations for the dead.


[D] The normal process in the conversion of one who is impious and infidel is that the first gift is faith: this is given to one not seeking it, for believing comes before invoking, as the Apostle says in Romans 10 [v.14]: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? After faith comes fear, which is at first servile, and some hope, because faith shews to the sinner the power, knowledge, justice, and goodness, or clemency and mercy, of God. The first three cause fear, the latter hope. Likewise faith gives the sinner certainty concerning Christ, who is God, the Son of God and Man, namely that he is the mediator appointed for reconciliation between God and man, and that there is no other way of salvation except by Christ Jesus. Fourthly comes prayer or invocation of God the Father through Christ, asking for remission, salvation, liberation, and the grace of the holy love, so that by gaining this he will fear not so much damnation as separation from God. To obtain this grace more easily he laments and grieves and fasts, so that God may spare him who does not spare himself; he adds almsgiving, [f.193r.] thinking it right that he who wishes to be helped by God should help his neighbour by such means as he can, for he knows that mercy is promised to the merciful [Matth. 5,7). Such seems to have been the sequence in the conversion of Cornelius the centurion in Acts 10: his prayers and almsgiving, we are told, were acceptable to God, and therefore he was deemed worthy by God of receiving particular and detailed instruction in the faith from Peter, while previously he had a general and confused belief, without which his almsgiving and prayers would not have been acceptable. Thus Paul in Hebrews 11 [v.6) declares that without faith it is impossible to please God. If this is true, it is obvious that charity proceeds from faith not immediately, but mediately, not necessarily, but contingently; further, that these two virtues do not cohere inseparably, but it happens - indeed happens often - that they exist in separation both as regards God who gives them and as regards the man who receives them; for in the world to come is charity without faith, but on the way thither, although charity is not without faith, nevertheless in the sinner is faith without charity. For God gives faith to some to whom he does not at once give charity, as to them who believe for the moment and fall off in the time of temptation, and to that servant to whom one talent was given [B] which he did not use for it would not be counted to him for sin by his master if it had not been in his power to use or not to use the talent.


As regards essence, number, and efficacy, I hold what I learned in the catholic church following the same rule in receiving the sacraments as in receiving the canonical Scriptures. For just as those scriptures are held to be canonical which the church holds and accepts - not just the greater or more numerous part of the catholic church, but which all men recognize as canonical, so those sacraments are to be accepted which the whole catholic church accepts as sacraments. Just as the orthodox catholic is not induced by argument to doubt the authority of a canonical writing, or of any part of it, because he perceives that certain heresies or schisms do not accept that writing in whole or part, [C] so we must believe concerning the sacraments that the rule of belief is to be sought from the catholic church and from those who remain in it, not from those who have gone out or been ejected from it. As we gather the grapes for making wine from the branches that remain on the vine, not from those that have been cut off, so the truth of the faith and of the doctrine of sacraments is to be sought from orthodox catholics, not from heretics or schismatics. Also we must hold that as a sacrament which the catholic church holds as a sacrament, even if this be not proved by express testimony Scripture, for in such matters tradition is of equal weight with Scripture. Not everything pertaining to faith, religion, and the sacraments is expressly contained in Scripture, as plain from the words of the fathers and from the canonical writings themselves, for Paul [II Tim. 2,2] gave orally to Timothy certain things as committed to his trust [I Tim. 6,20], which he commands him to commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Hence, just as the truth of faith, the true understanding of Scripture, and true interpretation of obscure passages [D] is to be sought from the catholic church, so is truth and use and benefit of the sacraments. I say this not as thinking that we lack passages Scripture testifying to the sacraments, but because even if there were no such, or if there were and they were subject to exposition or interpretation that made them otherwise nevertheless to a pious and faithful mind the tradition of the catholic church should be enough.

Concerning baptism, the gateway to all sacraments, how many and how important are the passages in both Testaments? But all those not withstanding, this sacrament is nowadays being opposed with amazing blindness and obstinate pertinacity.

Concerning confirmation, I hold that it is the second sacrament. That it is admininistered by a bishop and by the laying on of hands is found in Acts 4 [Acts 8,14-17].

Concerning the eucharist it is superfluous to cite Scripture, since the texts are so numerous and so clear that Luther himself, when trying to overthrow this sacrament, confesses [f.194r.] that he could not defeat Scripture.

Concerning the fourth sacrament of penitence we have not only a tradition handed down, but figures and examples and express passages of Scripture both in the Old and the New Testament. The minister of this sacrament is the priest; its material is the sinner, baptized and backslidden from the sanctity of baptism, who by true contrition and sincere confession has come to absolution, by which absolution the sacrament is completed. For this purpose were the keys committed to Peter and in his person to the whole priestly order, to whom the words are addressed in Matth. 16 [v.19]: I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven &c. To this we must refer the passage of John 20 [v.22]: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit &c.

Concerning the order in which any man is ordained bishop, priest, or minister we have the writing of Paul to Timothy [I Tim. c.3 and 4,14 and 5,21] whom he exhorts to renew the gift given to him [B] by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, commanding him to lay hands suddenly on no man, when he is teaching the mode and form in which ordination should take place.

Concerning extreme unction, the sixth sacrament, there is a passage in the canonical epistle of James in the last chapter [v.14], beginning: Is there any sick among you?

Concerning marriage, the seventh and last sacrament of the church, there is a text in Matthew c.19 [v.6]: What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder; likewise in Mark [10,12] and Luke [20,34?] and Ephesians [5,31]. This is a great sacrament both in Christ and in the church, of which Augustine says: 'This sacrament is a little one in the individuals who are united, but a great one in Christ and in the church.'


Concerning the virtue and efficacy which the sacraments have from Christ I hold this, [C] which I have learned in the church, that (for example) baptism to him who receives it worthily remits all sin both original and actual, both mortal and venial, and all punishment, so that if one baptized should forthwith die, he suffers no torment in purgatory. Of confirmation I believe this, that to those worthily receiving it it increases, strengthens. and confirms the grace of baptism; of the eucharist, that it restores and nourishes and gives growth in the spirit to those who worthily receive it, and that the offering of the Lord's body and blood is powerful for spiritual advantage to both the quick and the dead: concerning penitence, that it has power for the remission of sins committed after baptism [D] when it is administered by the ministers of the church, to whom the keys of the kingdom of heaven are given, and that, just as he who is able to be baptized would not rightly die without baptism, so likewise he who has committed mortal sin after baptism would not rightly die without the sacrament of penitence, because each sacrament is a matter of necessity, the one to those entering the church, the other to those returning to it. On the sacrament of holy orders I hold that grace to minister worthily is conferred on the ordinand when he is ordained, unless he oppose an objection, and that the ordination of a bishop adds something beyond the order of priesthood. On extreme unction I say that for those who worthily receive it it avails for the remission of sins and it prepares the soul for entry into the heavenly kingdom. [f.194v.] Concerning matrimony I say what I have learned in the church, that to those worthily receiving this sacrament grace is given, by which the married pair know that they possess their vessel in sanctification, not in the passion of desire like the heathen who know not God, and that because it signifies the union of Christ with his church and the inseparable union of the two natures in Christ, marriage duly contracted between the faithful is inseparable.


Since, as Augustine says (De opere monachorum c.25) there is one republic of all Christians, and in any one republic there must needs be one supreme magistrate, and that the power of a supreme magistrate ought either to be in the hands of one, as in a kingdom, or of a few who are virtuous and powerful, as in an aristocracy, or of the multitude as in a democracy; if the first be granted, viz. that the supreme [B] power of the regime be in one man's hands, in whose hands (I ask) can it better be than those of the Roman pontiff, the successor of St Peter, to whom Christ gave the keys, to whom by name he entrusted the feeding of his sheep, from whom alone the succession of bishops presiding in the apostolic see has continued unbroken to this day? Add that this is in harmony with the gospels, that the principal general councils agree with it, and that it has the consensus of the Christian world, not recent but ancient, not tacit but express, as it were the voice of the spirit of Christ by which the church is ruled, instilling this truth into the hearts of all the faithful. Or if it be said that the rule of the church ought to be in the hands of the college of bishops, like an aristocratic regime or senate - and the authority of thiS senate or college is very great in the assemblies which come together from all the Christian world -, nevertheless there must needs be one or more magistrates in whom the legal power of ruling still remains when the assembly is broken up and the council is over, since it cannot always or even often be assembled. If again it be said that the power of a supreme magistrate [C] dwells in the multitude, in the people, as it were, as commonly happens in an ordinary republic, even so it will be needful that one or magistrate be created in whom the supreme power resides, to whom every Christian shall be subject and obliged to obey. Lastly, if the church should be called a mixed polity, as being made up of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, nevertheless what I have just said will he true. For to say that in every temporal kingdom or in any free community the supreme power, both in temporal and in spiritual affairs, resides in the one supreme ruler of the community - not in temporals alone, but equally in things spiritual or in those which arc proper to Christ's church, such as the appointing and deposing of bishops - this in no way accords with Holy Writ or with the tradition handed down. Nor does the unity of the church permit it. for the church, insofar as it is kingdom or state, is one kingdom and one state. If these things be well considered, it is plain to a sound understanding that one cannot justly contradict [D] the authority of the Roman pontiff, denying that he is the supreme and ordinary judge of Christians all and several in faith and sacraments and a] that pertains to them. From these considerations it is understood that those men graver err who declare and try to persuade others that one does not oppose divinely revealed truth by saying that a king or emperor or other magistrate by whom a kingdom or state is governed, because be recognizes no superior in civil affairs, can or ought to have equal power in things spiritual. As I have said, that conflicts with the unity of the kingdom, city, and republic which is Christ's church, as is apparent from the division which Aristotle makes in the third book of the Politics [1278 b9], saying: 'A republic is an ordering of the city in respect of the magistracies. especially of that one which holds the supreme authority in the city and is the highest of all; for the highest of all governs the city, and what it governs is a republic.' Therefore it is manifest that those who unjustly usurp that unaccustomed power [f.195r.] over things ecclesiastical are creating a schism and are cutting themselves off from the catholic and orthodox church, and in separating themselves from the unity of the body they lose the life of the spirit, like a branch cut from a vine. They cannot recover life unless they return whence they departed and be again grafted into the good olive so that they can share in its root. Finally it follows that the catholic church essentially and intrinsically and inseparably consists in the ordered lawful power and succession - continued without interruption and to be continued until the end of the world - of appointed rulers and of subjects according to the state in which it was constituted from the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, because of the effective and powerful word of promise made to it in the person of Peter in Matth. 16 [v.18] and in the last chapter of John [vv.15-17]. Hence Augustine setting out the divisions of faith in his unfinished book De Genesi ad litteram rightly says inter alia that: 'The holy Ghost was granted to those believing in him and believing that by him the mother church was constituted' which is called catholic because it is perfect and errs in nothing and is spread throughout the earth. [B] For just as it was impossible that the perpetual succession by the line of carnal generation should not be continued, first from Abraham himself and on to David, then from David to Christ inclusively, because of the infallible and efficacious word of promise made to them, we must speak in like terms of spiritual generation, nutriment, increment, and duration or perseverance in the catholic church until the second coming of Christ, it having received the Holy Ghost because of a promise and donation equally efficacious. For in speaking to his disciples, when his passion and death were at hand, and again after the resurrection, and on the very day on which he ascended into heaven, summing up, as it were, and recapitulating all the work that he had done on earth, he said [Luke 24,46 and Acts 1,8]: Thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth. In those words (if we believe Augustine) the church is most openly set forth - the church which, as the same author says, is to be sought not in our words, but in the words of our lord.


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