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how shall we know it? by the Scripture? who then must be judge of the true sense of Scripture, with reference to the question ? The Pope says, it is a plain case on his side. But it may be, neither the king says it nor his subjects. Who therefore must be the judge between the king and the Pope, or between his subjects and the Pope? Not the private spirit, for the world, for thence come wars. So that the Pope must be judge, because the Scripture says so : and the Scripture says so, because the Pope must judge. Now if instead of Pope you put in Council, you will find the circle go as round with one, as the other. Nor do I see how you can avoid it, but by running out into the long line of a judge upon a judge, without end, which I gave you some warning of before. To conclude. When you have tired yourselves with these frivolous expedients for the ending of controversies, do what you can, you will find it best to come to that which you disgrace under the name of a private spirit ; the good use whereof is that which must do the business. Men must be honest, and hearken to instruction, and love truth, and remember that the day of judgment is coming. This you cannot deny to be the duty of all: and if you and everybody else could be brought to it, then about plain things there would be no controversy at all; and those about points that are indeed difficult, might do a great deal of good, but would be sure to do no hurt at all, either to the Church or to the world.
Sect. 34. Quer.-- Why did so many noblemen under Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth, so readily embrace the Reformation ? Was it for conscience sake, or the lucre of church lands.
Answ.—The noblemen under those princes were generally for wisdom, fortitude and manners, a glory to their age and nation. But now they are dead and gone, and it will be time enough to know the secret into which you are inquisitive, when the day of judgment comes; and till then I can be contentedly ignorant, whether it be for conscience sake, or the lucre of church lands, that you wrote these queries.
Sect. 35. Quer.—Why do Englishmen (so desirous of novelty) hate Popery? Perhaps because Popery is no novelty.
Answ.—If you are an Englishman, methinks it is no good sign of the religion you are of, that it has inspired you with the scorn and hatred of your own countrymen to that degree as to spend a reproach upon them, which all the world sees there is not the least appearance of cause for. Friend, you
took no little care to hedge in this abuse, when you were fain to turn
answerer to your own query, to compass it to your mind. But as your anger had been less, so your wit had been more, to have let alone both question and answer, for there is that in them to clear us from your reproach. You say we hate Popery because it is no novelty : and yet neither we, nor our fathers, nor our grandfathers, have professed or practised Popery, and therefore in spite of your heart, Popery must be a novelty to us; who, consequently, if we may be judged of by this instance, are not so desirous of novelties. But if
had given us leave to answer your question, why we are not in love with Popery? I should have answered to this purpose : That it is not so far a novelty neither ; but though we are strangers to the profession of it, yet we have so true an idea of the doctrines and practices of your Church, that yourselves are not able to deceive us into another.
Sect. 36. Quer.—The Church of England is either fallible or infallible ; if fallible (as is confessed by all) then is she not founded upon a rock, because she may deceive and be deceived.
Answ.—After all the exquisite discourses that have been published upon this subject : it is (what shall I call it ?) to think that such a pitiful argument as this is worth a thought. Try, if you please, this knotty piece of work upon your own dear self, for no other answer you shall have from me : you, sir, are either fallible or infallible ; if fallible, as I humbly con
then you are not founded on a rock, because you may deceive and be deceived. But this argument, thus turned upon yourself, is, now I look upon it again, a monstrous dull one, I confess; and that for proving you not to be built upon a rock, because you may be deceived, when it is so notorious, that thou art all over actually deceived, as thy lamentable paper shews thee to be. There is indeed a little life in that other part of the argument, that you may deceive, for perhaps that is not very much more than possible ; so that I think this little pains I have taken, might have been spared : for I dare say there are very few whom
and your queries will be able to deceive. Sect. 37. Quer.—Whether Cardinal Wolsey did wisely, by demolishing monasteries to found colleges ? The reason of this doubt is, because the tree of knowledge was not the tree of life.”
Answ.—So, so! monasteries were the tree of life, and colleges are the tree of knowledge. Very neat and witty, I promise you! Henceforward we shall not want a text to prove that ignorance is the mother of devotion. If Erasmus had not happened
ceive you are,
upon something like this in his Enconium Moriæ, by my consent it should have been written upon your tombstone : “Here lies the author of this query, "Whether Cardinal Wolsey,"" &c. But what have we to do with Cardinal Wolsey? Or rather, what have you to do to say anything against him? Was it a small matter for you to trample upon the ashes of Cranmer, that nothing will now serve you but to perk over Wolsey's too? I have taken your size, sir, and must needs put you in mind, that in you it is want of manners, almost, to talk of archbishops and cardinals ; when you but think of such great men as Wolsey and Cranmer, the one a cardinal of the Roman Church, the other an archbishop of Canterbury, men, indeed, of different religions, but both of extraordinary abilities, as well as high station : I say,
you but hear them, or such as they mentioned, you should presently reflect upon your own little self, and not dare to open your mouth, till persons of much meaner rank come into discourse.
Sect. 38. Quer.—Is there not wanting in the Church of England, a more correct translation of the Bible ?
Ans.—I warrant you expect that I should say I or No to this query presently. But in such a case, a wise and honest man must have the putting of the question. In few words, I do by no means deny, that the English translation can be more correct than it is : after the exactest care, it is likely there will be some defects in so great a work. But this we say, that we need not a better translation than it is; and in particular, that for the skill and fidelity shewn that is in it, we will compare at any time with the Vulgate Latin. And therefore whereas
Sect. 39. Quer.—That many material errors are found in our present English Bible, tending to schism and liberty of the flesh.
Ans.—I answer, that you are very much mistaken to say so, which I will first shew against your instances, and then leave the reader to say what other name your importunity in this place deserves.
The first instance you refer to, is Gal. v. 17, “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Now I suppose the material error in this translation lies in these words, "so that ye cannot do;” which you would say,ought to have been, “so that ye do not.” To this
I answer, that the words* will bear both versions, though I confess the latter seems to me to be more grammatical. The reason, I conceive, why our translators chose the former, was, that the following verse seems to imply, that in this verse the apostle speaks of those that are led by the flesh; who in that state cannot do the things which their conscience prompts them to. Now this, I say, is so far from being a material error, tending to liberty of the flesh, that it is no error at all, unless St. Paul was mistaken when he said, “ the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Rom. viii. 7, 8.
“The next is Daniel iv. 24, where the prophet speaks thus to king Nebuchadnezzar ; 'Quamobrem Rex consilium meum placeat tibi, et peccata tua eleemosynis redime, et iniquitates tuas misericordiis pauperum.' Which text the present English translation thus renders vitiously enough; Wherefore, o king, break off thy sin by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor.' Whereas it ought to have been translated, “Redeem thy sins by alms-deeds, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor.'
But suppose it should have been translated redeem, rather than break off, where is the material error ? where is the tendency to schism, or liberty of the flesh ? Surely, if righteousness and alms-deeds will redeem sins, they are not further from doing it, by breaking them off
. I should rather think that our translation, if we consider the difference, presses the necessity of universal reformation something more than the other, because it will not suffer a man to fancy that he may keep some of his sins now he knows how to redeem them, viz. by alms-deeds, and shewing mercy to the poor ;
but teaches him that he has no other way to escape, but by breaking off his former sins, and doing all the good things that are contrary to the evils he has done ; which doubtless was the meaning of Daniel's exhortation. And now after all, it was pitifully done of you to examine our translation by your vulgar Latin ; the authority whereof, in these critical disputes, you know we deny. And it was done according to your wisdom too; for the truth of the matter is, that our translation is right, and
is wrong; for though the Chaldeet word signifies to redeem, when it is applied to persons, as Psalm cxxxvi. 4, “ Thou hast
redeemed us ;" yet when things are spoken of, it signifies to divide, or to break them off. So it is taken, Gen. xxvii. 40, “ Thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck," and Exod. xxxii. 2, 24, and elsewhere. In a word, the vulgar interpreter was so far from shewing his skill here, that he'slundered manifestly; and it must be a very favourable construction of his translation, that can secure it from the charge of false doctrine, viz. that a man can redeem himself from the justice of God. Again, you say,
“ How are St. Paul's words to the Corinthians misrendered, 1 Cor. vii 9, Quod si non se continent, nubant : But if they cannot contain, let them marry ; where this word (cannot) not being found in the Greek, was devised in favour of the flesh.”
That is to say, in favour of marriage. Now this objection does but shew your want of skill, and the little honesty of those that helped you to it; for assure yourself, that although there is not a distinct word in the Greek for cannot, yet the force of it is discernible enough to those that understand these things, in that one Greek* word, of which our translators made two English ones, and were obliged so to do, because we have not one that expresses it sufficiently. It signifies to have the command or power over oneself, which yourf Latin does better express, than if we had rendered your Latin word for word, - If they do not contain themselves. For not to contain, does in our language and way of speaking, fall short even of the Latin phrase, and much more of the Greek ; and therefore to make true translation, it was needful to say cannot contain. And if the force of the word did not lead your masters to this construction, yet at least the scope of the place might have done it: for a very little consideration had been sufficient to have seen, that the Apostle did not mean to give this counsel of marrying to those only that had been guilty of actual incontinence, but to those also that could not subdue their own desires. And that he speaks here of a power that all have not, is evident also from verse 7, « For I would that all men were even as I myself ; but every one hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” The truth is, if there be a defect in any part of our translation of these passages, it is in verse 5, where the translators put incontinency to answer the Greek word, I for as Dr. Hammond has observed, the English there does not reach the original, so
* Εγκρατεύονται. .
+ Se Continere.
+ Ακρασία. .