Homily 1.5 - Of Good Works Annexed to Faith.

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  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    First Book of Homilies - Homily 5

    Of Good Works Annexed to Faith.

    No Good Works Can Be Done Without Faith.

    In the last Sermon it was declared what the lively and true faith of a Christian is, that it causes no-one to be idle, but to be occupied in good works, as occasion serves. Now by God's grace shall be declared the second thing that before was noted of faith, that without it can no good work be done, acceptable and pleasant to God.

    For as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself (says our Saviour Christ) except it abide in the vine: so can not you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, and you are the branches, he that abides in me, and I in him, he brings forth much fruit: for without me, you can do nothing (John 15.4-5). And St. Paul proves that the eunuch had faith, because he pleased God. For without faith (says he) it is not possible to please God (Hebrews 11.6). And again to the Romans he says, whatsoever work is done without faith, it is sin (Romans 14.23). Faith gives life to the soul, and they be as much dead to God that lack faith, as they be to the world, whose bodies lack souls. Without faith all that is done of us, is but dead before God, although the work seem never so happy and glorious before people.

    Even as the picture graven or painted, is but a dead representation of the thing, and is without life, or any manner of moving: so are the works of all unfaithful persons before God. They appear to be lively works however they are dead, not availing to the everlasting life. They are simply shadows and shows of lively and good things, not good life-giving things.

    For true faith, gives life to works, and out of such faith comes good works, that be very good works indeed, and without faith, no work is good before God, as says St. Augustine (Exposition on Psalm. 31 2, 4 [PL 36.259]). We must not allow good works before faith, nor think that before faith someone may do any good works: for such works, although they seem to people to be praiseworthy, yet indeed they are but vain, and not allowed before God. They are as the course of a horse that runs out of the way, which takes great labour, but to no purpose. Let no one therefore reckon upon their good works before faith: Where faith was not, good works were not. The intent (he says) makes the good works, but faith must guide and order the intent of all. And Christ says, If your eye is blind, your whole body is full of darkness (Matthew 6.23).

    The eye signifies the intent (says St. Augustine) wherewith someone does a thing. So that the good works they do without godly intent and true faith, works of love: the whole body beside (that is to say) all the whole number of those works, is dark, and there is no light in them. For good deeds be not measured by the facts themselves, and so discerned from vices, but by the ends and intents for the which they were done. If a heathen clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and do other such works: yet because they do them not in faith, for the honour and love of God, they are but dead, vain and fruitless works to them.
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Faith it is that commends the work to God: for (as St. Augustine says) whether you will or not, the work that comes not of faith, is nothing: where the faith of Christ is not the foundation, there is no good work, whatever building we make. There is one work, in which be all good works, and that is faith, which works by charity: if you have it, you have the ground of all good works.

    For the virtues of strength, wisdom, temperance, and justice, are all referred to this same faith. Without this faith we don’t have them, but only the names and shadows of them (as Saint Augustine says). All the life of them that lack the true faith, is sin, and nothing is good, without him that is the author of goodness: where he is not, there is but feigned virtue, although it be in the best works, and St. Augustine, declaring this verse of the Psalm, The turtle has found a nest where she may keep her young, says that Jews, Heretics, and Pagans do good works, they clothe the naked, feed the poor, and do other good works of mercy: but because they be not done in the true faith, therefore the birds be lost. But if they remain in faith, then faith is the nest and safeguard of their birds, that is to say, safeguard of their good works, that the reward of them be not utterly lost.

    And this matter (which Saint Augustine at large in many books disputes) (Ambrosiaster, De Vocatione Gentium 1, 3 [PL 17.1078], De vocatione gentium, lib.cap.). Saint Ambrosiaster concludes in few words saying, those who by nature would withstand vice, either by natural will, or reason, in vain garnish the time of this life and attain no true virtue: for without the worshipping of the true God, that which seems to be virtue, is vice. And most plainly to this purpose wrote Saint Chrysostom in this way, (Pseudo-Chrysostom, De Fide et Lege Naturae 1 [PG 48. 1081-82], In sermone de fide, lege, & spiritu sancto). You shall find many who have no true faith, and be not of the flock of Christ , and yet (as it appears) they flourish in good works of mercy: you shall find them full of pity, compassion, and given to justice, and yet for all that, they have no fruit of their works, because the chief work lacks.

    For when the Jews asked of Christ what work good works should they do: he answered, This is the work of God, to believe in him whom he sent (John 6.29): so that he called faith the work of God. And as soon as one has faith, alone they shall flourish in good works: for faith of itself is full of good works, and nothing is good without faith.

    And similarly, he says that they which glisten and shine in good works without faith in God, they are like dead people, which have godly and precious tombs, and yet it avails them nothing. Faith may not be naked, without good works, for then it is not true faith: and when it is adjoined to works, it is above the works. For as people who are very human, first we have life, and after we are nourished: so must our faith in Christ go before, and after be nourished with good works. And life may be without nourishment, but nourishment cannot be without life. We must be nourished by good works, but first we must have faith. We who do good deeds, yet without faith hath no life. I can shew someone that by faith without works lived, and came to heaven: but without faith, they never had life. The thief that was hanged, when Christ suffered, did believe only, and the most merciful God justified him.

    And because no one shall say again that they lacked time to do good works, for else they would have done them: truth it is, and I will not contend therein, but this I will surely affirm, that faith only saved them. If they had lived and not regarded faith and the works thereof, they should have lost their salvation again. But this is the effect that I say, that faith by itself saved him, but works by themselves never justified any one. Here you have heard the mind of Saint Chrysostom, whereby you may perceive, that neither faith is without works (having opportunity thereto) nor works can avail to everlasting life, without faith.
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    THE SECOND PART OF THE SERMON OF GOOD WORKS.

    Of three things which were in the former sermon especially noted of lively faith, two are declared to you.

    What Works they are that Spring From Faith.

    The first was, that faith is never idle, without good works when occasion serves. The second, that good works, acceptable to God, cannot be done without faith. Now to go forward to the third part, that is, what sort of works spring out of true faith, and lead faithful folk to everlasting life? This cannot be known so well, as our Saviour Christ himself who was asked of a certain great man the same question; What works shall I do (said a prince) to come to everlasting life? To whom Jesus answered, if you will come to everlasting life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19.16-17). But the prince not satisfied with that, asked further, Which commandements? The Scribes and Pharisees had made so many of their own laws and traditions, to bring men to heaven, besides God's commandments, that this man was in doubt whether he should come to heaven by those laws and traditions or by the law of God, and therefore he asked Christ which commandments he meant.

    The Works that Lead to Heaven, be Works of God’s Commandments.

    Christ answer plainly, rehearsing the commandments of God, saying, You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honour your father and your mother, and love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 19.18-19). By which words Christ declared that the laws of God are the way that leads to everlasting life, and not the traditions and laws of men. So that this is to be taken for a most true lesson taught by Christ's own mouth, that the works of the moral commandments of God are the very works of faith, and lead to the blessed life to come. But the blindness and malice of man, even from the beginning, hath ever been ready to fall from God's Commandments.

    Man from his first Falling from God’s Commandments has ever been ready to do the like,
    and so Devise Works of his own Fantasy to please God with All.


    As Adam the first man, having but one commandment, that he should not eat of the fruit forbidden: notwithstanding God's Commandment, he gave credit to the woman, seduced by the subtle persuasion of the Serpent, and so followed his own will, and left God's commandment. And ever since that time all that came of him, have been so blinded through original sin, that they have been ever ready to fall from God and his law, and to invent a new way to salvation by works of their own device: so much that almost all the world, forsaking the true honour of the only eternal living God, wandered about in their own fantasies, worshipping some the Sun, the Moon, the Star, some Jupiter, Juno, Diana, Saturn, Apollo, Neptune, Ceres, Bacchus, and other dead men and women. Some therewith not satisfied, worshipped diverse kinds of beasts, birds, fish, fowl, and serpents, every country, town, and house in manner being divided, and setting up images of such things as they liked, and worshipping the same. Such was the rudeness of the people, after they fell to their own fantasies, and left the eternal living God and his commandments, that they devised innumerable Images and gods.

    In this error and blindness they remained, until such time as Almighty God, pitying the blindness of people, sent his true Prophet Moses into the world, to reprove and rebuke this extreme madness, and to teach the people to know the only living God and his true honour and worship. But the corrupt inclination of people, was so much given to follow their own fantasy, and (as you would say) to favour his own bridle, that he brought up himself, that all the admonitions, exhortations, benefits, and threatenings of God, could not keep him from their own inventions.

    The Devices and Idolatries of the Israelites.

    For notwithstanding all the benefits of God shewed to the people of Israel, yet when Moses went up into the mountains to speak with Almighty God, he had tarried there but a few days, when the people began to invent new Gods. And as it came in their heads, they made a calf of gold, and knelt down, and worshipped it (Exodus 32.1-6). And after that, they followed the Moabites, and worshipped Beelphegor the Moabite God. Read the book of Judges, the book of the Kings, and the Prophets, and there you shall find how unsteadfast the people were, how full of inventions, and more ready to run after their own fantasies than God's most holy commandments.

    There shall you read of Baal, Moloch, Chemos, Melchom, Baal Peor, Astaroth, Bell the Dragon, Priapus the brasen Serpent, the twelve signs, and many other to whose images the people with great devotion invented pilgrimages, precious decking and censing them, kneeling down, and offering to them, thinking that a high merit before God, and to be esteemed above the precepts and commandments of God, and where at that time God commanded no sacrifice to be made but in Jerusalem only, they did otherwise, making altars and sacrifices everywhere, in hills, in woods, and in houses, not regarding God's commandments, but esteeming their own fantasies, and devotions to be better than they.

    The error was so spread abroad, that not only the unlearned people, but also the priests, and teachers of the people, partly by glory and courteousness were corrupted, and partly by ignorance blindly deceived with the same abominations. So much, that king Achab having but only Helias a true teacher and minister of God, there were eight hundred and fifty priests, that persuaded him to honour Baal, and to do sacrifice in the woods or groves. And so continued that horrible error, until the three noble Kings, as Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah, God's chosen ministers, destroyed the same clearly, and brought again the people from such feigned inventions, to the very commandments of God: for the which thing their immortal reward and glory, does, and shall remain with God for ever.

    Religions and Sects among the Jews.

    And beside the aforesaid inventions, the inclination of people to have their own holy devotions, devised new sects, and religions, called Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes, with many holy and godly traditions and ordinances (as it seemed by the outward appearance, and a goodly glistering works) but in very deed all tending to idolatry, superstition, and hypocrisy: their hearts within being full of malice, pride, covetousness, and all wickedness. Against which sects, and their pretended holiness Christ cried out more vehemently, than he did against any other persons, saying, and often rehearsing these words, Woe be to you Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you make clean the vessel without, but within ye be full of ruin and filthiness: you blind Pharisee, and hypocrite, first make the inward part clean (Matthew 23.25-26).

    For notwithstanding all the goodly traditions and outward shows of good works, devised of their own imagination, whereby they appeared to the world most religious and holy of all, yet Christ (who saw their hearts) knew that they were inwardly in the sight of God, most unholy, most abominable, and further from God of all. Therefore said he to them, Hypocrites, the Prophet Esau spake full truly of you, when he said, This people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, they teach the doctrines and commandments of men: for you leave the commandments of God, to keep your own traditions (Matthew 15.7-9, Isaiah 29.13-14).
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Man’s Laws Must be Observed and Kept, but Not as God’s Laws.

    And though Christ said, They worship God in vain, that teach doctrines and commandments of men: yet he meant not thereby to overthrow all men's commandments, for he himself was ever obedient to the princes and their laws, made for good order and governance of the people, but he reproved the laws and traditions made by the Scribes and Pharisees: which were not made only for good order of the people, (as the civil laws were) but they were (set up so high, that they were made to be right and pure worshipping of God, as they had been equal with God's Laws, or above them: for many of God's Laws could not be kept, but were replaced by them.

    This arrogance God detested, that man should so advance his laws, to make them equal with God's Laws, wherein the true honouring and right worshipping of God stands, and to make his laws for them to be left off. God hath appointed his laws, whereby his pleasure is to be honoured. His pleasure is also, that all men’s laws, not being contrary to his laws, should be obeyed and kept, as good and necessary for every common well being, but not as things wherein principally his honour resteth: and all civil and man's laws, either be, or should be made, to bring men the better to keep God's Laws, that consequently, or following God should be the better honoured by them.

    Holy Traditions were Esteemed as Gods Laws.

    How is it, the Scribes and Pharisees were not content that their laws should be no higher esteemed than other positive and civil laws, nor would not have them called by the name of other temporal laws: but called them holy and godly traditions, and would have them esteemed not only for a right and true worshipping of God (as God's Laws are indeed) but also for the most high honouring of God, to the which the commandments of God should give place.

    Holiness of Man's Device, is Commonly Occasion that God is Offended.

    And for this reason did Christ so vehemently speak against them, saying, Your traditions which you esteem so high, be abomination before God. For commonly of such traditions, follow the transgression or breaking of God's commandments, and having more devotion to keeping such things, and a greater conscience in breaking them, than of the commandments of God. As the Scribes and Pharisees so superstitiously, and scrupulously kept the Sabbath, that they were offended with Christ, because he healed sick people, and with his Apostles, because they being so hungry, gathered the ears of corn to eat on that day, and because his disciples washed not their hands, so often as the traditions required: the Scribes and Pharisees quarrelled with Christ, saying, Why do the disciples break the traditions of our ancestors (Matthew 12.1-14)? But Christ laid this charge, that they, to keep their own traditions, did teach people to break the very commandments of God (Matthew 15.2). For they taught the people such a devotion, that they offered their goods into the treasure house of the Temple, under the pretence of God's honour, leaving their fathers and mothers (to whom they were chiefly bound) without help, and so they break the commandments of God, to keep their own traditions. They esteemed more offerings made of gold or oblation in the temple, than another made in the Name of God himself, or of the temple.

    They were more studious to pay the tithes of small things, than to do the greater things commanded by God, such as works of mercy, or to do justice, or to deal sincerely, uprightly, and faithfully with God and man. These said Christ ought to be done, and the other not be left undone. And to be short, they were of so blind judgement, that they stumbled at a straw, and leaped over a block. They would (as it were) nicely take a fly out of their cup, and drink down a whole Camel (Matthew 23.16-24). And therefore Christ called them blind guides, warning his disciples from time to time to eschew their doctrine. For although they seemed to the world to be most perfect, both in living and teaching, yet was their life but hypocrisy, and their doctrine sour leaven, mingled with superstition, idolatry, and obsolete judgement, setting up the traditions and ordinances of man, instead of God's commandments.
     
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  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    THE THIRD PART OF THE SERMON OF GOOD WORKS.

    That all might rightly judge of good works, it has been declared in the second part of this sermon, what kind of good works they be that God would have his people to walk in, namely such as he has commanded in Holy Scripture, and not such works as men have studied out of their own brain, of a blind zeal and devotion, without the word of God: And by mistaking the nature of good works, man have most highly displeased God, and have gone from his will and commandments. So that thus you have heard how much the world from the beginning until Christ's time, was ever ready to fall from the commandments of God, and to seek other means to honour and serve him, after a devotion found out of their own heads: and how they did set up their own traditions, as high or above God's commandments, which has happened also in our times (the more it is to be lamented) no less than it did among the Jews, and that by the corruption, or at least by the negligence of them that chiefly ought to have preserved the pure and heavenly doctrine left by Christ. What man having any judgement or learning, joined with a true zeal for God, does not see, and lament, to have entered into Christ's religion, such false doctrine, superstition idolatry, hypocrisy, and other enormities and abuses, so little by little, through the sour leaven thereof, the sweet bread of God's Holy Word has been much hindered and laid apart?

    Sects and Religion Amongst Christians.

    Never had the laws in their most blindness, seen so many pilgrimages to images, nor used so much kneeling, kissing, and sensing of them, as has been used in our time. Sects and feigned religions were never the fortieth part so many among the Jews, nor more superstitious and ungodly abuses, than of later days that have been among us. Which sects and religions, had so many hypocritical and feigned works in their state of religion (as they arrogantly named it) that their lamps (as they said) ran always over, able to satisfy, not only for their own sins, but also for all other their benefactors, brothers, and sisters of religion, as most ungodly and craftily they had persuaded the multitude of ignorant people: keeping in many places, as it were, markets of merits, being full of their holy reliques, images, shrines, and works of overflowing abundance ready to be sold. And all things which they had were called holy, holy cowls, holy girdles, holy pardons, holy beads, holy shoes, holy rules, and all full of holiness.

    And what thing can be more foolish, more superstitious, or ungodly, then that men, women, and children, should wear a friars coat, to deliver them from plagues and pestilence? Or when they die, or be buried, cause it to be cast on them, in hope thereby to be saved? Which superstition, although (thanks be to God) it has been little used in this Realm, yet in divers other realms, it has been, and yet it is used among many both learned and unlearned. But to pass over the innumerable superstitions that have been in strange apparel, in silence, in dormitory, in cloister, in chapter, in choice of meats, and drinks, and in such like things, let us consider what enormities and abuses have been in the three chief principal points, which they called the three essentials, or three chief foundations of religion, that is to say, obedience, chastity, and wilful poverty.

    The Three Chief Vows of Religion.

    First, under pretence or colour of obedience to their Father in religion (which obedience they made themselves) they were made free by their rule and canons, from the obedience of their natural father and mother, and from the obedience of emperor and king, and all temporal power, whom of very duty by God's laws they were bound to obey. And so the profession of their obedience not due, was a forsaking of their due obedience. And how their profession of chastity was kept, it is more honestly to pass over in silence, and let the world judge of that which is well known, then with unchaste words, by expressing of their unchaste life, to offend chaste and godly ears. And as for their wilful poverty, it was such, that when in possessions, jewels, plate, and riches, they were equal or above merchants, gentlemen, barons, earls, and dukes: yet by this subtle sophisticated term, Proprium in commune, that is to say, ‘Proper in common’, they mocked the world, persuading, that notwithstanding all their possessions, and riches, yet they kept their vow, and were in wilful poverty.

    But for all their riches, they might never help father nor mother, nor other that were in deed very needy and poor, without the licence of their Father Abbot, Prior, or Warden, and yet they might take of every man, but they might not give as they ought to anyone, no not to them whom the laws of God had bound them to help. And so through their traditions and rules, the laws of God could bear no rule with them. And therefore of them might be most truly said, that which Christ spake to the Pharisees, You break the commandments of God by your traditions: you honour God with your lips, but your hearts be far from him (Matthew 15.3, 8).

    And the longer prayers they used by day and by night, under pretence or colour of such holiness, to get the favour of widows, and other simple folks, that they might sing 30 requiems and service for their husbands and friends, and admit or receive them into their prayers: the more truly is verified of them the saying of Christ, woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you devour widows houses, under cover of long prayers, therefore your damnation shall be the greater (Matthew 23.14-15). Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, for you go about by sea and by land to make more novices, and new brethren, and when they be let in, or received of your sect, you make them the children of hell, worse than yourselves.

    Honour be to God, who did put light in the heart of his faithful and true minister, of most famous memory King Henry the Eighth, and gave him the knowledge of his word, and an earnest affection to seek his glory, and to put away all such superstitions, and Pharisaical sects invented by the Antichrist, and set up against the true word of God, and glory of his most blessed Name, as he gave the like spirit unto the most noble and famous Princes, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. God grant all of us the King's Highness's faithful and true Subjects, to feed on the sweet and savoury bread of God's own word, and (as Christ commanded) to eschew all Pharisaical and Papistical leaven of man’s feigned religion. Which, although it were before God most abominable, and contrary to God’s commandments, and Christ's pure religion, yet it was praised to be a most godly life, and highest state of perfection: as though a man might be more godly, and more perfect by keeping the rules, traditions, and professions of men, then by keeping the holy commandments of God.

    Other Devices and Superstitions.

    And briefly to pass over the ungodly and counterfeit religion, let us rehearse some other kinds of Papistical superstitions and abuses, as of Beads, Marian Devotions, and Rosaries, of fifteen Oes, of Saint Bernards verses, of Saint Agatha’s letters, of Purgatory, of Masses of Satisfaction, of Stations, and Jubilees, of feigned reliques, or hallowed Beads, Bells, Bread, Water, Psalms, Candles, Fire, and such other: of superstitious fasting, of fraternities or brotherhoods, of pardons, with such like merchandise, which were so esteemed and abused to the great prejudice of God’s glory and Commandments, that they were made most high and most holy things, whereby to attain to the everlasting life, or remission of sin.
     
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  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Decrees and Decretals.

    Yea also vain inventions, unfruitful ceremonies, and ungodly laws, decrees, and counsels of Rome, were in such wise advanced, that nothing was thought comparable in authority, wisdom, learning, and godliness to them. So that the laws of Rome, (as they said) were to be received of all, as the four Evangelists, to the which all laws of Princes must give place. And the laws of God also partly were left off, and less esteemed, that the said laws, decrees and counsels, with their traditions and ceremonies, might be more duly kept, and had in greater reverence. Thus were the people through ignorance so blinded, with the godly show and appearance of those things, that they thought the keeping of them to be a more holiness, a more perfect service and honouring of God, and more pleasing to God, than the keeping of God's commandments. Such hath been the corrupt inclination of man, ever superstitiously given to make new honouring of God of his own head, and then to have more affection and devotion to keep that, then to search out God's holy commandments, and to keep them.

    And furthermore, to take God's commandments for mens commandments, and mens commandments for God's commandments, yea, and for the highest and most perfect and holy of all God's commandments. And so was all confused, that scant well learned men, and but a small number of them knew, or at the least would know, and do affirm the truth, to separate or sever God's Commandments from the commandments of men. Whereupon did grow much error, superstition, idolatry, vain religion, obsolete judgement, great contention, with all ungodly living.

    An Exhortation to the Keeping of God's Commandments.

    Wherefore, as you have any zeal to the right and pure honouring of God, as you have any regard for your own souls, and to the life that is to come, which is both without pain, and without end, apply yourselves chiefly above all things, to read and hear God's word, mark diligently therein what his will is for you, and with all your endeavour apply yourselves to follow the same.

    A Brief Rehearsal of God's Commandments.

    First you must have an assured faith in God, and give your selves wholly to him, love him in prosperity and adversity, and dread to offend him evermore. Then for his sake love all people, friends and foes, because they are his creation and image, and redeemed by Christ , as you are. Ponder in your minds, how you may do good to all, as you are able, and hurt no one. Obey all your superiors, and governors, serve your Masters faithfully and diligently, as well in their absence, as in their presence, not for dread of punishment only, but for conscience sake, knowing that you are bound so to do by God's Commandments. Do not disobey your Fathers and Mothers, but honour them, help them, and please them as much as your can. Oppress no one, kill not, beat not, neither slander, nor hate anyone: but love all, speak well of all, help and succour everyone, as you may, yes, even your enemies that hate you, that speak evil of you, and that hurt you. Take no one's goods, nor covet your neighbor's goods wrongfully, but content yourselves with that which you get truly, and also bestow your own goods charitably, as need and case requires. Flee all idolatry, witchcraft, and perjury, commit no manner of adultery, fornication, or other unchastity, even in your mind, nor indeed, with any other mans wife, widow, or maid, or otherwise.

    And travailing continually, (during this life) thus in keeping the commandments of God (wherein stands the pure, principle, and right honour of God, and which wrought in faith, God has ordained to be the right pathway to heaven) you shall not fail, as Christ has promised, to come to that blessed and everlasting life, where you shall live in glory and joy with God for ever: to whom be praise, honour and empire, for ever and ever. Amen.
     
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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The third part of this homily seems to be addressing a number of issues, perhaps more related to the specifics of the time it was written, which we take to be around 1542-3. In this later part of his life, Henry VIII, the once popular favourite dashing young 'party king' had become a little more scary, Catherine Howard was executed in February 1542, and by this stage he had more or less executed most of the Plantagenet's with any possibly viable claim the throne, and he had three heirs to secure the line, and hopefully in Edward the Tudor name. The closing of the Monasteries had generated a deal of angst, as despite the corruptions that were asserted by Henry VIII and Cranmer, they were popular among the people, they had provided a circuit breaker to hardship for many and represented some sense of the redistribution of wealth. They also enables many common folk to travel as they did provide a level of hospitality. They were certainly well regarded in the North, and whilst there may have been some(!?) politics in it, there was also a genuine affection for the monasteries among the people. The ill fated pilgrimage of grace which ended with dishonest promises and was followed by retribution had contributed to a feeling of mistrust.
    PilgimageOfGrace.jpg

    The third part of this homily moves into a more political era, speaking well of Henry VIII was a good strategy for keeping your head on your shoulders, though in fairness in Henry VIII's time few Bishops (beyond John Fisher) faced with scaffold or block, and the need to provide good arguments to support the Dissolution of the Monasteries, though by this stage the process was concluded is probably evidence of the need to continue to help people think it was a good idea. There is a sense in which this third part of the Homily may have been authored by, or heavily influenced by, a mind other than the pen of the first two sections, which may well have been Cranmer himself.
     
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