Brief Confutation of Anabaptistical Opinion, A

Becke, Edmund

STC 1709
Ringler 1709 and TP 1604. Rpt. John P. Collier, _Illustrations of Early English Popular Literature_, 2 (1864), No. 3. UMI microfilm reel 71

A brefe confutacion of this ... anabaptistical opinion, that Christ dyd not take hys flesh of the blessed vyrgyn Mary... For the maintenaunce whereof J. Bucher was burned the .ii. day of May M.D.L.
London: John Day and William Seres,[1550].

Composition Date: 1547-1550.

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¶A brefe confutacion of this most detestable, and Anabaptistical opinion, that Christ dyd not take hys flesh of the blessed Uyrgyn Mary nor any corporal substaunce of her body. For the maintenaunce whereof Ihone_Bucher otherwise called Ihone_of_Kent most obstinately suffered and was burned in Smythfyelde, the .ii. day of May.
Anno domini M.D.L.
Cum privilegio ad Imprimendum solum.
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SO subtile is sathan, our Enemy Immortal
When he is transformed into an angell of light
He captiuates oure sences, so fond and phantastical
That we doubt not to deme the day to be night.
5 By Suche lieng spirites seduced is the sight. Histori. Ecclesi. Lib. iiii. ca. xiiii
And with pernicious opinions amased in a miste
Are al they that beleue not, the incarnation of Christ.

¶In the primatiue churche, within fortie yeres,
After Christes asencion, this darnell begonne,
10 To springe vp by Marcion, his complices and feers
Whom Policarpus called, the deuyls eldest sonne
The Anabaptistes hold herein, an erronius opinion
So did the wayward Uirago, that wold not repent
The deuils Eldest doughter, which lately was brent.

15 ¶Beware of such errours, and reuerentlye reade
Gods worde with humilitie, and modestie of mynd,
Geue faith to the same, and sticke to thy Crede
For the deuyll nowe bestirs him, and doth but hys kind
To hinder the Gospell, many meanes doth he finde.
20 He rages and raunges, the wyde worlde ouer wyde] wyld 1550
He makes many lose with shorte, and some with ouer.

¶This the scripture is wrested, and all to be Rackte 'This' perhaps emend to 'Thus'; but see OED s.v. this, adv.
Of Such as with spirites of errour are ledde
Th'assistance of God, and his meke spirite is lacte
25 To teach them the true sence, whan his word is redde
It serues not to mayntayne fonde ioyes in their heade. sidenote illegible here
And where the proude spirite is halt, and voyde of goddes feare.
Non ibidem dominus. The Lorde is not There.

God promised to Eue, that the sead of a womanne Gen. i[ii]
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30 Shulde treade downe the head of the subtill serpente,
This Promise was fully accomplyshed than
When Christ became man and made the attonemente.
This seade was of his mother and not from heauen sente Math. i.
How can it be called the sede of a woman truly
35 Which taketh no substaunce, nor parte of her bodye.

To Abraham and Iacob, the same sead was promysed
The boke of Genesys, is playne and manifest:
In thy sede, shall all the people of the worlde be blessed
Not brought from aboue, but borne to performe the behest
40 Was Christ of his mother, and not from heauen sent
To this sence and meanyng thy wittes thou enclyne,
And marke well what is meant by thys pronoune thyne

How could it be their sead, whiche take not their substaunce
But came downe from heauen, and was not of their kind?
45 The scripture Conteineth no such repugnaunce
Who shalbe able by the same, to proue or to finde
To warrant Christes humanyty, or beleue it in his mynd?
If ye make it vncertayne, of whom he did take it
It appereth by thys opinion the deuyll is awaked.

50 God promised to rayse vp the same sede to Dauyd
Of the frute of his belly to sit on his seat.
In the second of Samuell and the seuenth ye may haue it
God is full Iust and did not forgette
To conquere the dyuel and his deuise to difeate,
55 To vanquish his iudgement and putt awaye synne,
Christ was this sede borne of his mother the virgyn.

Esaye the prophete confirmed the same
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A virgyn shall conceiue and brynge forth a chylde,
With this the Gospell of Mathewe doth frame
60 The fruite did growe in the wombe vndefilde
And the mother waxt greate, nature was begild
This came not by fortune or casuall chaunce
That Christe toke of his mother his corporall substance.

From the rote of Iesse procede shall a bud,
65 And a flower of this rote, for so the prophete saies.
This bud was Marye, of whose fleshe and bloud
Came Christe the flowre, my fayth shalbe alwayes
The fruite of her wombe whyche neuer decayes,
And not as water which runnes to a Condit,
70 And passes thorowe a pipe, as the Diuell nowe hath found it.

¶To conceyue and beare a chylde what other thinge is mente,
Than the mother to her child to geue and participate,
As the tree to the fruit? for euen so dyd this parent
Of her body with thys chylde communicate.
75 Nourished him in her wombe where he was incorporate
And not as rayne comes from heauen as Martian spoke.
Whyche is as true as an oringe springes of an oke.

Mathewe discribing the Lineall dessente
In his genealogye, thus he writtes of Marye
80 Of whome is borne Christ, learne what he meant
By this terme of, for he doth not saye by
Whom, or through whom: the holy ghost cannot lye.
Beleue than gods worde though the deuel be neuer so loth
And let thy wyl and thy wyt gaue place to the troth

85 As touchyng the flesh Christ was borne of Dauids sede
And whan the tyme was perfourmed, God than did send
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His sonne borne of a woman, let this be the Crede,
And forget not the Aue, with what wordes it doth ende 'Aue': i.e. the prayer 'Ave Maria' (Hail Mary)
Blessed is the fruyte of thy wombe, pray to god he may defende
90 The, from this errour, and so from al other,
That thou may beleue, Christe toke fleshe of hys mother.

But if froward fondnes, haue so wedded the to thy wyl,
Both piuyshe and peruerse, that these will not perswade
The fourth of the Galathians I wyl write in my bille
95 The place is pithy, to tourne the from that trade.
But when the ful tyme was come, God sent his sonne made
Of a woman, the greke hath it made, written by Poulle,
And not bourne: beleue this scripture, and dampne not thy soule.

Tyme wil not serue to vtter the store
100 Of sundry textes, which scripture contaynes
Agaynst this opinion, and most dyuelish erroure,
Lately maintayned by a sort of Idle braines.
And all to seme singuler but marke well their gaynes
They are so sturdy and stoute, they wyll be take for no starters
105 Thei had rather goo to the Dyuel, like stinking marters.

Scripture disdaynes not, to cal Christ the sonne
Of Marye his mother, in Luke and in Mathewe , [Ma]the. i [Luk]e. ii.
But their hartes are so hardened they will not be wonne
They make a tush at a text, be it neuer so true.
110 They wyl beleue Paule no more, than a turcke or a Iewe,
To aledge them scriptures, it greately skylleth not
Ther is none so blind as they that can se, and will not.

Thys doubt were discussed if they vnderstode
And wold rede and beleue, the second to the Ebrues,
115 Forasmuch as the chyldren were pertakers of flesh and bloude,
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He also him-selfe likewise did not Refuse
But toke part with them, wherby he subduse
Through death the deuyll, our mortall aduersary
Where had Christe his fleshe, but of his mother Mary?

120 Christ toke the sede of Abraham , he toke it not of Aungelles
So that he became like to his brethren in al thinges
Synne only excepte, thus playnly Paule telles,
Where came he by thys flesh, which amongst vs he brings?
Had he fethers as well as flesh and came downe with winges?
125 Christ came to be a mediatoure, it was requisite that he
Shuld be partaker of the godhede, and of our humanitye.

Christe preached the worde, and sowed forth good sedes,
The Apostles trauayled, and toke greate paynes,
But Belsebub besturred him, and vp came the wedes
130 Whiche shortly sprong vp in fantasticall braynes.
Such Deuilishe deceyuers, the Deuyll intertaynes.
Many entred in Iohns tyme whyche woulde not confesse:
That oure Sauioure Iesus_Christe was come in the fleshe.

It semed most mete to gods hyghe prouidence
135 And also most necessarye for our redemcion,
That wher the fyrst man in our nature committed disobedience.
The second Man Christe shoulde make satisfaccion.
Repayre and recompence in the same nature and parson
And paye the payne of synne this was not omitted
140 In the fleshe of man wherein it was committed.

Howe standeth to the Corinthyans Paules dysputacion
If Christ had not his nature common wyth vs?
In whom now rysen Paule proueth an vniuersal resurreccion
It were easy to reply agaynst the same thus:
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145 If it myght be alledged (as it cannot) that Iesus
Broughte downe from heauen an heauenly body
In-to the wombe of the Uyrgyn Mary.

What maruell is it, if an heauenly substaunce
Be vtterly voyde and exempte from corrupcion
150 It cannot well folowe ther must be variaunce,
That our bodies subiecte to putrefaccion,
Shoulde ryse vp agayne wythout corr[up]cion corrupcion] corrpucion 1550
That we doute not hereof let vs beleue sure
That Christe toke parte wyth vs in our nature.

155 Esay the Prophet sayd he was made Emanuell
The worde soundes and signifieth God is wyth vs,
Howe it should be other-wyse, I cannot tell.
But I am assured that Dauyd in the parson of Iesus
Reade the .xxii. Psal. where he this doute doeth dyscus [Ps]alme. [xxii]
160 Thou toke me from my mothers wombe to performe the behestes
Thou wast my hope when I h[an]ged vpon my mothers breastes. hanged] hnaged 1550

Let vs praye vnto god longe to mayntayne and defende
The state of this realme and goddes true religion,
Let vs also geue thankes to god whiche hath sende
165 Us a kynge to al princes a president and patron
A counsell most catholike for a christian congregacion
To surceasse al sedicion to punyshe false teachers
And to stablishe true doctrine god sende vs good preachers.

By me Edmon_Becke.

Imprinted at London by Iohn_day dwellynge ouer Aldersgate, and Wylliam_Seres dwellynge in Perse_Colledge.