A Way of reconciliation
of a good and
Trueth, Nature, and Substance
of the Body and Blood of Chriſt
in the Sacrament.
Tranſlated out of Latin into Engliſh by the
Right Honourable , Dowager
to the Right Honourable the Lord John
Ruſſell, Baron, and ſonne and heire to
Francis Earle of Bedford.
Printed by R.B.
The Author to the Reader.
To ſeeke the attonement of men is to be commended, and it hath a ſure promiſe of God: Bleſſed bee the peace-makers. But I feare me, leſt in greedily following the ſame, it happen to me which chanceth to them that part fraies, while they ſeeke others ſafetie, they beare the blowes themſelves. And I, while I ſtudy to make enemies friends, perhaps ſhall have ſmall thankes of them. Which if it happen, the example of him ſhal comfort me, which ſaid: If I ſhould pleaſe men, I should not be the ſervant of Chriſt. Farewell, and indeavour thy ſelfe to pleaſe Chriſt.
To the right Honourable my moſt entierly beloved and onely daughter, the Lady Anne Herbert, wife to the Lord Henry Herbert, ſonne and heire apparant to Edward the moſt noble Earle of Worceſter.
Moſt vertuous and woorthilie beloved daughter, Even as from your first birth and cradle I ever was most careful, above any worldly thing, to have you ſucke the perfect milke of ſincere Religion: So willing to ende as I beganne, I have left to you, as my laſt Legacie, this Booke. A most precious Jewell to the comfort of your Soule, being the woorke of a moſt good, A2 learned, iv A2v learned, and worthy man; Made above fiftie yeeres ſince in Germanie, After by traveile a French creature, Now naturalized by mee into Engliſh like to his learned Author, to whom from my part moſt Honour and ſervice is due. Surely at the firſt I meant not to have ſet it abroad in Print, but my ſelfe onely to have ſome certaintie to leane unto, in a matter ſo full of controverſie, and to yeeld a reaſon of my opinion. But ſince by my lending the Copie of mine owne hand to a friend, I am bereft thereof by ſome; And fearing leſt after my death it ſhould be Printed according to the humors of other, and wrong of the dead, who in his life approved my Tranſlation with his owne allowance: Therefore dreading, I ſay, wrong to him above any other reſpect, I have by Anticipation prevented the worſt. I meant this to you, good daughter, for a New-yeeres gift, but altered by griefe for your Brothers broken arme. Farewell my good v A3r good ſweet Nanne. God bleſſe thee with the continuance of the comfort of his holy Spirit, that it may ever worke in you, and perſevere with you to the ende, and in the ende.
In Annam Filiam.
Vt veniens Annus tibi plurima commodet Anna, Voce pia Mater, ſupplice mente precor, Vt valeas, paritérque tuo cum Coniuge, Proles, Officijs iunctis, vita ſerena fluat.
Elizabetha Russella, Dowager.
A certaine Man wiſheth to all Chriſtians the health and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The queſtion of the Supper of Jesus Christ, and Sacrament of Thankeſgiving, hath brought foorth to us, above other things, a cruel and pernitious contention. For the other Authors of ſects, Anabaptiſts, and Suencfeldians, be neither learned nor of our family. But this is a civill and domesticall evill, a bloody and deadly wound hidden in our bowels. Surely it is a lamentable and horrible matter, that the thing which was first instituted for the confirmation of mens minds in love, and concord, and fellowſhip of the body of Chriſt, which is the Church, is now wreſted to variance, and confuſion. And if there have bene any good in this broile, it hath bene in the ſilence and ſorrow of good and learned men: of whom aſwell the miſliking ſheweth that there is ſomewhat in both parts that might be amended, and prayer and earneſt deſire may percaſe ſomewhat obtaine at Gods hand, that contention taken away, the agreement of minds may againe joyne in one. But this booke which is made touchingching vii A4r ching this queſtion, whoſe ſoever it bee, ſure it ſeemeth to be the worke of a good, learned and modeſt man, and one that hath bene long, much, and well exerciſed in the Monuments of our Fathers and Elders. Neither doeth it move mee, that he would not be named; for becauſe there is no bitter word in this disputation, and he doth reaſon of the matter learnedly, well, and truely, neither doth ſeeme willing to crave thankes at mens hands, nor to have taken this Treatie in hand, either for deſire of praiſe or greedines of Honour, but to be mooved thereunto by the common ſorrow and hurt, to make an entry to that thing, the which many men greatly deſiring the peace of Chriſts Church, have wiſhed with earneſt and continuall prayers: namely, the remembrance of the Chriſtian peace, and the forgetting of deviliſh debate.
Bucer, whom I with honour ſpeake of and for remembrance ſake, had found and made a way to this concord, and there was great agreement of minds betweene him and Luther: and hee pacified the Churches of the Helvetians, and while hee lived there was peace and quietneſſe: but when they were both dead, beholde againe bitter bookes on both ſides. And ſurely they be to be pardoned which write unwillingly: but thoſe which without cauſe have renued this wound, (if there be any ſuch) theſe ſurely ſeeme to me little to feare what men judge of them, or to eſteeme the peace which Chriſt gave and left unto us. But I returne to this Booke, which pleaſeth me beſt above other in this kinde of argument; not, that I will altogether allow it to the Congregation, but viii A4v but becauſe it seemeth to come neereſt to the taking away of this contention. For which cauſe he that cannot invent a better, if he be not content with this, and cannot defend his owne, let him take heed that hee doe not that for mans ſake, which he ought to leave undone for Chriſtes cauſe: namely, that he nouriſh not contention, which is the greateſt enemie the Church can have. I ſee nothing concluded in this disputation, that either is repugnant from the nature of our Religion, or not honourably ynough ſpoken of this ſo great & ſinguler myſterie; both which things if both the parts had retained or followed, we ſhould have had quietneſſe long ere this. I blame neither part, I beare good will to both, I love both. And if that were done in writing that is done, and that of many, with good conſcience in the leading of our life, and retaining and eſteeming the friends on both ſides, men ſhould both have written and diſputed of this queſtion on both ſides, with leſse offence and bitterneſse. But now wee write in ſuch ſort, as though wee did defend the perſons, and not the cauſe, and apply the trueth of the cauſe, not to the ordinance of Chriſt, but to the interpretation of men. Jeſus Chriſt reſtore to us his peace, which he gave and left unto us when he departed hence, which we have lost by theſe our contentions: Jeſus Chriſt, I ſay, whoſe Victory, Triumph, Honour, Praiſe, and Glory, be for ever and ever. Amen.
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