The Text      

The answer to the first part
of the poisoned book,
which a nameless
heretic hath
The Supper of the Lord.
By Sir Thomas More, Knight.

The preface.
Sir Thomas More, Knight,
to the Christian reader.
Would God, good Christian readers, as I have often said, that
every good Christian man, ye man and woman both, which are of
that inward good and gracious mind that they would not for
all this world forsake the true faith themselves, had as much
burning zeal and fervor in their hearts to see it outwardly kept
and preserved among all others, as these that are fallen in false
heresies and have forsaken the faith
have a hot fire of hell in their hearts
that never can suffer them to rest or cease, but maketh them
both day and night busily labor and work to subvert
and destroy the Catholic Christian faith, with all the means
that ever they can devise.
For surely, if all such as believe well themselves were as loath to
hear any word spoken wrong against the faith as they would
be to speak it themselves, there should neither fellowship of their
matches, nor fear of any such as are after the worldly count
accounted for their betters, anything let or withstand them,
both by word and countenance, to show themselves plainly to
hate and detest and abhor utterly the pestilent contagion of all
such smoky communication.
The time hath been ere this when honest Christian people
would walk so far off from all lecherous living that they would
not come so much toward it as to abide the talking, but
followed the Apostle's precept that saith,
let not fornication or any uncleanness
be so much as named among you.
In that while was there much honest cleanness, and by shamefastness,
much was chastity conserved. But aftertime that in words
folk fell unto more liberty, and such as would forbear the

doing would yet be well content to fall in the fellowship of foul and
filthy talking, then began cleanness
greatly to decay. For as the Apostle also
rehearseth, evil communication marreth
and corrupteth good manners.
But this decay from chastity, by declination into foul and
filthy talking, hath bygone a great while ago and is very far
grown on. But the time hath been even until now very
late that, albeit of fleshly wantonness, men have not letted to use
themselves in words both lewd and very large; yet of one thing
ever would every good man be well aware, that heresy would he no
man suffer to talk at his table, but
would both rebuke it and detect it, too,
although the thing touched his own
born brother. Such hath been till of late the common Christian zeal
toward the Catholic faith.
And albeit that I doubt not, but that (God be thanked) the
faith is itself as fast rooted in this realm still as ever it was
before (except some very few places, and yet even in those few, the
very faithful folk many more than are the faithless, too), yet since
good men have of late not letted to hear the evil talk and
uncontrolled to speak blasphemous words in their company, the
courage thereof hath out of all question much given
occasion that heretics have spread their errors much the more
abroad. For it is not only lechery that the Apostle's words are verified
of, where he saith that evil communication
corrupteth good manners
(albeit thereof be they verified, too), but specially be they verified
of heresy. And against the communication of heretics did
Saint Paul specially speak them in his First Epistle to the
Corinthians, among whom some began homely then to talk
against the general resurrection, as some begin among us now
to talk against the blessed sacraments.
And such communication it is, therefore, that the Apostle speaketh
against, of which he saith also that the
contagion creepeth forth and corrupteth
further, after the manner of a corrupt cancer.

And therefore, he biddeth us that we should have none other
communication with heretics, but only of reproving
their heresy and giving them warning to leave. And yet not every
man be bold to talk too long with them, not even thereof neither,
nor over often to meddle with them, lest
as the pestilence catcheth sometimes the
leech that, fasting, cometh very near and
long sitteth by the sick man, busy about
to cure him, so some folk faint and feeble in the faith matched
with a fellow stubborn and strong in heresy may sooner themselves
take hurt than do the other good.
Saint Paul, therefore, inspired with the Spirit of God, compendiously
toucheth in very few words both these two points
at once, where he writeth unto Titus: "That man that is a heretic,
after once or twice warning" (Lo, hear
the communication that he would we
should have with him), "void and eschew him." So here ye see,
lo, that after once or twice warning of them, the bishop should as
folk incorrigible expel them; and we should, if we well did, keep
no more company nor no more communication with them; no,
saith Saint John, not so much as bid
them good speed or good morrow when
we meet them.
These biddings of these blessed apostles, if all Catholic folk
would follow (which, either of negligence or fear or for sinful
civility, while we follow not, we never discharge well our conscience
toward God), there would, without
any great suit or trouble, be shortly far
fewer heretics than there be. And they that are should shortly
perceive in every place where they ween themselves many, how very
few they be, which as few as they be, would God yet they
were yet far fewer than they be. For albeit there are of heretics
far fewer than those that are would have it seem there
were, yet are there undoubtedly, by such
dissimuling sufferance, many more than
else there should have been.

And this is also the cause that of these heretics" books there
be so many now brought in as there be. For while men may so
boldly speak out their heresies even among them whom
they know none heretics, this maketh many folk, that else durst
not meddle with such books, to buy them and look on them and
long to see what they say.
But some there are, that first begin but of such a vain
curious mind, whom the devil
driveth after forward and first maketh
them doubt of the truth. And after, bringeth them out of
doubt to a full belief of heresy.
And thus of such books, as sore as they be forbidden, yet are
there many bought. Nor the peril refraineth not much people
from the buying, since there is none house lightly that hath so
little room that lacketh the room to hide a book therein.
But when they had the books, if men would abhor their
talking, gone were all the pleasure that they take therein. But now
while men control them not, but laugh and let them babble,
pride maketh them proceed, and they procure more, and spread
the books more abroad, and draw more brethren to them.
There is no small number of such erroneous English books
printed, of which if few were bought, there would not of
likelihood so many be put in print, saving that some
brethren there are in this realm that of their zeal to their sects,
being of such substance that they may forbear it, give some
money thereto beforehand, content to
abide the adventure of the sale, or give
the books about for naught to bring
men to the devil.
And in this wise is there sent over to be printed the book that
Frith made last against the Blessed Sacrament, answering to
my letter, wherewith I confuted the pestilent treatise that he
had made against it before. And the brethren looked for it
now at this Bartholomew-tide last passed and yet look every day,
except it be come already and secretly run among them.
But in the meanwhile, there is come over another book

against the Blessed Sacrament, a book of that sort that
Frith's book the brethren may now forbear. For more blasphemous
and more bedlam-ripe than this book is, were that
book hard to be, which is yet mad enough, as men say that
have seen it.
This book is entitled The Supper of Our Lord. But I beshrew
such a shower as so serveth in the supper that he conveyeth
away the best dish and bringeth it
not to the board, as this man would if he
could convey from the Blessed Sacrament
Christ's own Blessed Flesh and Blood
and leave us nothing therein but, for a memorial only, bare bread
and wine.
But his hands are too lumpish and this mess also too great for
him to convey clean, especially since the dish is so dear and so
dainty that every Christian man hath his heart bent thereto
and, therefore, his eye set thereon to see where it becometh.
The man hath not set his name unto his book, nor whose it is I
cannot surely say. But some reckon it to be made by William
Tyndale, for that in an epistle of his unto Frith, he writeth that in
anything that he can do, he would not fail to help him forth.
Howbeit, some of the brethren report that the book was
made by George Jay. And of truth, Tyndale wrote unto Frith that
George Jay had made a book against the Sacrament, which
was as yet, partly by his means, partly for lack of money,
retained and kept from the print. Howbeit, what George Joye
would do therein afterward when his money were come, that
could he not (he saith) assure him.
Now of truth, George Joye hath long had in hand, and
ready lying by him, his book against the Sacrament. And now if
this be it, he hath somewhat lengthened it of late by a piece that
he hath patched in against me, wherein he would seem to soil
mine arguments, which in my letter I made in that matter
against the devilish treatise of Frith.
And in very deed, divers that are learned and have read the
book reckon it verily to be the book of George Jay, whereof

Tyndale wrote unto Frith, especially by certain words that were
in that letter. For therein writeth Tyndale that if George Joye did
put forth his book, there should be found in it many reasons and
very few to the purpose.
Howbeit, me thinketh by that mark that this book
should not be that. For in this book be there very few reasons, and
of them all never one to the purpose.
The maker of the book, in the end of his book, for one cause why
he putteth not his name thereto, writeth in this wise: Master
Mock, whom the verity most offendeth and doth but mock it out when
he cannot soil it, he knoweth me well enough.
This sad and sage earnest man that, mocking at mine name,
calleth me Master Mock, doth in these wise words nothing
but mock the readers of his book, save that his reason is so rude
and foolish that the mock returneth to himself.
For since he writeth not his book to me, nor sendeth me none of
them, but the brethren keep them from me as closely as they can,
what if I wist never so well who he were that wrote it, what
were this to the brethren that read it? Know they thereby who it
is to?
Now for myself also, though I know Tyndale by name, and
George Jay or George Joy by name also, and twenty such other
fond fellows of the same sect more, yet if ten of those would
make ten such foolish treatises and set their names to none,
could I know thereby which of those mad fools made which
foolish book?
Divers there are indeed of those that are learned and have
read the book that think, for the lack of learning and of wit
also that they find everywhere therein, the book should neither
be made by Tyndale nor by George Jay neither, but rather by
some young unlearned fool.
Howbeit, as for me, I think the book might be for all that
made by Tyndale or by George Jay either. For the matter being
devised against the Blessed Sacrament, the wisest or the most
fool, the most learned or the least, is all in manner one, and in that
matter maketh little difference. For I never found yet any man so

well-learned and so naturally well witted
withal, but after that he fell once to the
defense of heresies, and especially of this
abominable heresy against the Blessed
Sacrament, neither learning nor wit never well served him after.
For as for Tyndale, the captain of our English heretics
(who before he fell to these frenzies, men had weened had had some
wit and was taken for full prettily learned, too), ye see, good
Christian readers, plainly tried by his books, that an unlettered
man might be ashamed to write so unlearnedly, and a mad
man would almost wax red for shame to write in some things
so frantically.
As touching Frere Barons and George Jay, the brethren and
sistren themselves see their wits so wasted and their learning
waxed so slender that the brotherhood hath little list to read
And some of the brethren that say this new work was made by
George Jay think that the cause why he set not his name
thereto was because he wist well the brethren did not regard
him. And Tyndale had in his letter also declared him for a fool, by
reason whereof he thought that if it came under his name, the estimation
thereof were but lost.
Frith was, lo, a proper young man and a toward, till he fell unto
these fools. After which, to what decay both his wit and his
learning came, every wise man much marveled that in his open
examination heard and considered his answers.
For albeit that in the book that the brethren that are here
have sent over to print, Tyndale and his fellows, to beguile the
world withal, purpose to make many changes and amend and
advance his part, underpropping it with their own proper
lies; yet shall the means be meetly well founded to control their
falsehood, I trust, and to take away their cloaks and leave his folly
bare. And then shall men plainly see that of one whom the
brethren boast for so wise, there never died in England
before any false heretic so foolish.
But now as touching this new come over book, which the

maker hath entitled The Supper of the Lord, though the man hath
named it The Supper of Our Savior Christ, yet hath the man
made it the supper of the devil.
The special effect of all his whole purpose is to feed us with
the most poisoned heresy that laboreth to kill the Catholic
Christian faith, concerning the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar,
albeit by the way he putteth forth divers other heresies
This unsavory supper of his, without any corn of salt and
spiced all with poison, he divideth, as it were, into two courses,
that is to wit, into the treating and declaring of two
special things specified in the Gospel of Christ, whereby Christian
people plainly perceive that in the Blessed Sacrament of
the Altar is the very Blessed Body of Christ, his very flesh and
his blood.
In the first part, which I call here his first course, occupying
the one half of his book, he treateth the words of Christ spoken
in the sixth chapter of Saint John, which words our Savior
speaketh of the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood.
In his second part, which I call his second course, he treateth
the Maundy of Christ with his apostles upon Sheer Thursday,
wherein our Savior actually did institute the Blessed Sacrament and
therein verily gave his own very flesh and blood to his
twelve apostles himself.
I shall therefore divide this work of mine into two parts in like
wise, of which twain this shall be the first, wherein I shall
detect and make every man perceive this man's evil cookery in
his first course, concerning the treating of Christ's words in
the sixth chapter of Saint John.
And albeit that I shall afterward send you forth my second
part also, against his second course; yet shall I so handle this
man's mischievous heresy in this first part that though I never
wrote word more hereafter of the matter, yet to the perceiving of
the truth and detection of his falsehood this first part might suffice
for all the whole matter.

In his first part, he first expoundeth the latter part of
the sixth chapter of Saint John, and by his declaration
laboreth to draw men from the perceiving of the truth, and
setteth forth also both his principle heresy and over that
divers others.
Also in the same part, he argueth against all men in general
that expound any of those words of Christ there spoken to be meant
by Christ of the very eating of his flesh (as the Catholic
Church believeth) in the Blessed Sacrament.
In that first part also, he argueth against me by name in
special and pretendeth to soil such arguments as I made in
my letter against the poisoned treatise that John Frith had
before made in that matter against the Blessed Sacrament.
In that part also, the man bringeth in two places all in great,
which he hath picked out by long leisure among all my books,
in either of which two places, he showeth that I have notably
contraried my own writing that I have written myself in other
places before, and showeth also the places where.
I shall, therefore, good readers, in this first part of mine, give
you five books and some of them very short.
In the first will I give you the exposition of the selfsame
words of Christ mentioned in the sixth chapter of Saint John,
by which, whoso confer them and consider them together,
shall, I trust, perceive well the falsehood of his exposition and not be
deceived thereby. And for mine exposition, ye shall not
give me the thanks. For I have but picked it out here and there
out of the writings of divers old holy men.
The second shall show you, for a sample, some of the faults,
both in follies and errors, that the man hath made us in his
The third shall answer and soil his wise reasons, with which
he would make all men fools that have expounded that place
before, contrary to his heresy now -- that is to wit, all the old
holy doctors and saints from the apostles" days unto our own

In the fourth shall ye see what wit and what learning he showeth
in soiling of mine arguments made before in that matter against
his fellow John Frith.
The fifth shall declare you the diligence that the man hath
done in seeking out my negligence, leaving some places in my
writing repugnant and contrary the one place to the other.
And of such places ye shall (as I said) see him with diligent search
of three years at last bring you forth twain. And there shall you
see, good Christian readers, that in those twain my negligence shall,
for all his diligence, prove him twice a fool.
But in the treating of this matter with him, I shall lack
somewhat of the commodity that the man hath in disputing with
me. For he hath a great pleasure oftentimes, now in one manner,
now in another, now to talk of me, and now to speak to me by
name, with, "thus saith More," and, "lo, Master More," and sometime,
"Master Mock," and, "let More mock on and lie, too," and many
such goodly garnishings more. But he will be, for his own part,
sure that I shall not dispute with him by name, and therefore he
keepeth it away.
And therefore what folly and what falsehood be found in his book
he forceth very little. For shame he thinketh he can none take
thereby, while folk know not his name.
Wherein he fareth much like to some beastly body that would not
care to sit down with his face to the wallward and ease himself
in the open street, and though all the town at once toot in
his tail, take it for no shame at all because they see not his face.
And verily, as we see sometimes that such as walk in visors
have much the less fear and shame, both what they do
and what they say, because they think themselves unknown, so
do these folk oftentimes little force what they write that use to
put out their books and set not their names unto them. They
think themselves unseen while their name is unknown, and,
therefore, they fear not the shame of their folly. As some have I seen
ere this full boldly come dance in a masque, whose dancing
became them so well that if their visors had been off their
faces, shame would not have suffered them to set forth a foot.

And Master Mummer under his masquer's face forceth not much
to shift a false cast among, with a
pair of false dice.
And therefore, since this man, by withdrawing his name
from his book, hath donned on a visor of dissimulation, dissimuling
his person to avoid the shame of his falsehood, and speaketh
too much to be called Master Mummer, which name he were else
well worthy for his false dice, I shall in this dispicion between
him and me be content for this once (since by some name must I
call him) for lack of his other name to call him Master Masquer.
And thus finishing this preface, we shall begin the matter.

The First Book.
The First Chapter.
Master Masquer hath in this his poisoned treatise against
Christ's wholesome supper thirty-two leaves. In the first fourteen, whereof he
expoundeth us the latter part of the sixth chapter of Saint John.
And incidentally, by the way, the man maketh as though he
answered the reasons which I made in my letter against the
pestilent treatise that Frith made first against the Blessed Sacrament.
And in the same fourteen leaves also, he bringeth forth two
things for special notable, wherein he saith I have openly contraried
mine own writing.
I will, good reader, peruse the remanent of his book after this
first part answered. In which, containing these three
things that I have rehearsed you, the first hath he so handled that
all were there not (as there are indeed) divers false heresies
interlaced therein, yet it were for the matter of very slight effect.
For in his exposition, he nothing toucheth nor cometh near to the
thing wherein the point of all the matter standeth.
The second point hath he so well treated in his argumentation
that the reasons which I lay against Frith, Master Masquer
first falsely rehearseth, and after so foolishly soileth, that he leaveth
them more stronger against him when he hath done than he
found them when he began.
And as for the third point, concerning his notable notice of
such things as he layeth to mine oversight, them he so garnisheth
and setteth out so seemly to the show that I would no
man should ever after this day trust any word that I shall write
but if ye see Master Masquer plainly proved therein either so
foolish as no man should trust his wit or so false that no man should
trust his troth. Let us, therefore, now come to the first point -- that
is to wit, his exposition.

The Second Chapter.
The whole sum of his exposition is that our Savior, in all
those words, taking occasion of the miracle that he so late before
had wrought among them in feeding five thousand of them with
five barley loaves and two fishes, did in
those words, upon their new resort
unto him when they followed him to Capernaum, first rebuke and
blame them because they sought him not for the miracles
that they had seen him work but because they had been fed by
him and filled their bellies, and that therefore our Savior exhorted
them to labor rather to get that meat that never should perish.
Upon which exhortation, when the Jews asked him what they
should do whereby they should work the works of God, Christ said
unto them that the work of God was to believe and trust in him
whom the Father had sent.
Then goeth he further and showeth that upon the words of the
Jews, asking our Lord what token he showed for which they should
believe in him, since their forefathers had given them the bread of
manna in desert, of which it was
written, "He gave them bread from above,"
our Lord showed them that Moses gave them not that bread
from heaven, but his own Father had given them the very bread
that was descended from heaven and that our Lord there, by all
the remanent of those words in the said sixth chapter of Saint
John, declareth that himself is that very bread and is to be eaten
by the faith and the belief that Christ's flesh and body was
broken and his blood shed for our sins. And so expoundeth he
forth all these words of Christ, applying them only to the
declaration of his Passion to be suffered for our redemption, and
that our Savior would have them believe that point, and that the
belief of that point was meant by the eating, and that that faith
and belief is the meat of our souls.
The whole sum of his exposition is this, in all his said fourteen
leaves. I mean not that this is all that ever he saith therein,
for I leave out his circumstances, his garnishings, his notes, his
argumentations, his contentions with me, his mocks, his taunts

against all Catholic folk, and his manifold heresies also, withal
which here and there he furnisheth all the progress of his
painted process, all which things I shall after touch by themselves.
But the sum, the substance, and the end whereto all the
whole process of his exposition cometh is this that I have
rehearsed you.
The Third Chapter.
But now, good Christian readers, all this exposition, were it never
so true, never so comely, nor never so cunningly handled, yet
were it (as I told you before) very far from the purpose. For this
exposition might be good enough, and yet might Christ in
those words teach the thing that we speak of besides -- that is to
wit, besides the teaching them that
himself was the very bread that was
descended from heaven to give life to the world, and that he should
suffer death for the sins of the world, and that they should believe
these things and so eat him here by faith, he might, I say,
teach in those words also that he would give unto men his very
body and his very flesh to eat and his very blood to drink, and
that he would that they should believe that lesson also. And with
the spiritual eating thereof, by faith receive and eat also his
very Blessed Body, flesh and blood, by the mouth, not in his
own fleshly form, as the fleshly Jews mistook it, but (as
himself then meant it and part there expounded it, and by his
institution did after more clearly declare it) in form of bread
and wine in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
It is, I trow, good readers, to no man almost unknown that the
holy scripture of God is in such marvelous manner, by the profound
wisdom of his Holy Spirit, for the more plenteous profit of his
church, devised, indited, and written,
that it hath not only that one sense
true which we call the literal sense
(that is to wit, that sense, which for the first lesson thereof, God
would we should perceive and learn), but also divers other senses
spiritual, pertaining to the profit of our manners and instructions
in sundry virtues, by means of allegories, opening of mysteries,

and lifting up of the soul into the lively light and
inward high sight of God. And all those manifold senses
(diverse in the way and all tending to one end) may be convenient
and true, and all by one Spirit provided, and into diverse
spirits by the same one Spirit inspired, for spiritual profit to
be by many means multiplied and increased in his church.
But never hath any good man been accustomed to play the
pageant that Master Masquer playeth us here, with a spiritual
exposition of allegories or parables to take away the very first
sense that God would we should learn of the letter and, because of
some allegories, turn all the plain words from the first right understanding
into a secondary sense of allegories.
Of this manner handling of scripture, I make mention in my
letter against Frith's false handling of this same place of Saint
John. And there I showed in what wise the false heretics, the
Arians, used by the same means to take the godhead from Christ's
person as Frith and these fellows, by the selfsame manner of
expounding the scripture, do take away Christ's manhood from
Christ's Blessed Sacrament.
In that epistle, I showed also that I would in allegorical expositions
find no fault, but be well content with them, so that men
misuse them not to the taking away of the true literal sense
This thing I there showed, good readers, in the selfsame epistle
that Master Masquer maketh here as though he could and would
answer. And yet, as though he had never heard my words but
slept while he read them, he playeth here the selfsame
pageant himself, while with his allegorical exposition of
spiritual eating of Christ's godhead and of his body by belief of
his Passion, he goeth about to take away from us the very literal
truth of the very eating and bodily receiving of Christ's
own very flesh and blood.
Now will I not lay any manner blame at all to any man that
will expound all the whole process of
Genesis by allegories, and teach us certain
convenient virtues understood

by the four floods of paradise, and tell us that paradise is grace,
out of which all the floods of all virtues flow and water the earth,
calling the earth mankind that was made thereof, being barren
and fruitless but if it be watered with the floods of virtue, and so
forth in some such manner expound us all the remanent. He, lo,
that thus doth, doth in my mind right well. But, marry, if he
would do it in the manner and with the mind that Master Masquer
expoundeth us Christ's words all in allegories here, and would
teach us such a spiritual sense to make us believe that those
words were to be none otherwise understood besides, but that
there were no such floods flowing forth of paradise, nor no
such paradise at all, I would ween verily that he were a very
I find no fault also with them that expound the story of
Sampson tying the foxes together by
the tails, and setting a fire in them,
and sending them so into the field of the Philistines to burn up
the corn: in those, I say, that expound that story by the devil
sending his heretics into the cornfield of God, the Catholic
Church of Christ, with the fire of false words to destroy the
corn both of true faith and good
works, tied together by the tails in
token that all their heresies, be their heads never so far asunder,
yet are their tails tied together in that it all tends toward one
end -- that is, to wit, to the destruction of all manner grace and
goodness -- and that the tying of the fire and their tails together
signifieth also that for their foxly falsehood, finally in the end, the
hot fire of hell shall be so fast tied in all their tails, wrabbling
there together, that never shall they get the fire from their tails, nor
from the bands of hell be severed or break asunder: with this allegory
of those good men that thus expound that story, I find no
fault at all. But on the other side, if any man would expound it so
by that spiritual allegory against these heretics that he
would therewith enforce himself to take away the literal sense,
and say the text signified nothing else, and that there was no
such thing done indeed, him would I reckon for a heretic too.

And in like wise, good readers, if Master Masquer here did
only expound all those words of Christ as things spoken of
spiritual eating by way of allegory, that way would I well allow,
for so doth not only such as he is, but also good faithful folk, too.
But now when he draweth all Christ's words to those allegories, of
a false wily purpose to make men ween (and so saith himself, for
his part) that they signify none other thing, this is the point that
proveth Master Masquer a heretic.
And, therefore, as I said, all his exposition is far off from the
purpose and approacheth not to the point. For the question is
not whether those words may be well verified and expounded of
spiritual eating by way of an allegory, but whether it may,
besides all that, be truly expounded of the very bodily eating of
Christ's Blessed Body indeed. For if it so may, then is there no
man of so slender wit, but he may well see that all Master Masquer's
allegorical exposition of his only spiritual eating flitteth from the
purpose quite and dareth not come near that point.
Wherefore, to the intent that ye may clearly see that in this exposition of
his (as holy as he would have it seem) he doth but clearly mock
(saving that it is much worse than mocking, to make men
fall from the faith), I shall give you of the same words of Christ
written in the sixth chapter of Saint John another exposition
myself, in which I shall, besides all such spiritual expositions,
as this man useth therein by way of allegories or parables,
declare you the very literal sense of
those words, "My flesh is verily meat
and my blood verily drink." So that ye may see thereby that our
Savior verily spoke and meant not only such a spiritual eating
as Master Masquer saith he only meant, but also the very bodily
eating and drinking of his very flesh and blood indeed. Which
exposition of mine, if it be in that point true, then must it
needs follow (ye see well) that his exposition is far from the purpose.
For although there were not one false word therein, yet were it in
dissembling of the truth very lewd and falsely handled.
And now, that mine exposition shall be true indeed, that shall
you, ere I leave you, so clearly perceive and see, that I trust
there shall never any such heretic as this is be able to blind

any man after that readeth it, except some such as willingly list
to wink or, while he put out their eyes, will hold their heads
to him themselves.
Now, to the intent ye may the better perceive and mark
whether mine exposition agrees with the text, and whether I leave
anything untouched, I shall first give you the words of the
text itself in English altogether, and then expound it you
piece by piece after. And yet had it not been evil to begin
somewhat before, at Christ's disciples going into the ship in
the evening, and Christ's own walking after upon the sea,
and after that on the morrow the people coming after to seek him
in other ships, which piece Master Masquer left out and
would not meddle with, because it hath a hard allegory declared by
holy doctors, which showeth that the ship in which the disciples
went betokened the church, which was but one, and the
other diverse ships that came after betokened the diverse
churches of heretics. And yet in that one ship that signified
the church, there were, as appeared after, both good and bad together.
But let this piece pass for this once; I will begin the
text but there, as Master Masquer beginneth himself. Lo, good
Christian readers, these be the words.
The Fourth Chapter.
"Verily, verily, I say to you, you seek me, not because ye have seen
miracles, but because ye have eaten of the loaves and are filled. Work you
not the meat that perisheth but that abideth into everlasting life,
which the Son of Man shall give you, for him hath God the Father sealed."
They said therefore unto him, "What shall we do that we may work the
works of God?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "This is the work of God,
that ye believe in him whom he hath sent." Then they said unto him, "What
token show thou, therefore, that we may see and believe thee? What work
thou? Our fathers have eaten manna in the desert, as it is written, "He gave
them bread from heaven to eat."" Then said Jesus to them, "Verily, verily, I say to
you, Moses hath not given you the bread from the heaven, but my Father
giveth you the very bread from the heaven. For the very bread is that that is
descended from heaven and giveth life to the world." Then said they to him,

"Lord, give us always this bread." Then said Jesus to them, "I am the bread of
life; he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth in me
shall never thirst. But I have said unto you that ye have both seen me and
have not believed. All that my Father giveth me shall come to me, and he that
cometh to me, I shall not cast him out. For I am descended from heaven not to
do mine own will, but the will of him that hath sent me. This is verily the
will of him that hath sent me -- that is to wit, the Father -- that all that he
hath given me I should not leese anything thereof, but should raise it again in
the last day. This is verily the will of my Father that hath sent me, that
every man that seeth the Son and believeth in him should have everlasting
life and shall raise him again in the last day." The Jews murmured, therefore,
of that that he had said, "I am the lively bread that am descended from
heaven." And they said, "Is not this man the son of Joseph, whose father
and mother we have known? How saith he therefore, "I am descended from
heaven"?" Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, "Murmur not among yourselves.
There can no man come to me but if the Father that sent me draw him,
and I shall raise him again in the last day. It is written in the prophets,
"And they shall be all taught of God." Every man that hath heard of the Father
and hath learned cometh to me, not because any man hath seen the Father, but
he that is of God hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I tell you, he that believeth
in me hath life everlasting. I am the bread of the life. Your fathers have
eaten manna in the desert and be dead. This is the bread descending from the
heaven that if any man eat thereof, he should not die. I am the living bread
that am descended from the heaven. If a man eat of this bread, he shall live
forever, and the bread which I shall give is my flesh, which I shall
give for the life of the world." The Jews therefore strove among themselves,
saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Then said Jesus to them,
"Verily, verily, I say to you, but if ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and
drink his blood, ye shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh and
drinketh my blood hath life everlasting, and I shall raise him in the last
day. My flesh is verily meat and my blood is verily drink. He that
eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him. As the
living Father sent me, I also live for the Father. And he that eateth me, he
shall also live for me. This is the bread that hath descended from heaven, not as
your fathers have eaten manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall
live forever." These things said he in the synagogue, teaching in
Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, hearing, said, "This is a hard

saying, and who may hear him?" Jesus therefore, knowing in himself that his
disciples murmured at this, said unto them, "Doth this offend you: if ye shall
then see the Son of Man ascending up where he was before? The spirit it
is that giveth life; the flesh availeth nothing. The words which I have
spoken to you be spirit and life. But there be some of you that believe not." For
Jesus knew from the beginning who should be the believers and who should betray
him, and he said, "Therefore, I have said unto you that no man can come to me
but if it be given him of my Father." From that time, many of his disciples went
back and now walked no more with him. Then said Jesus to the twelve, "Will
you go your ways too?" Then answered unto him Simon Peter, "Lord, to whom
shall we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life, and we believe and have
known that thou art Christ, the Son of God." Jesus answered unto him,
"Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He said it by Judas
Iscariot, the son of Simon. For he it was that should betray him, being one
of the twelve.
The exposition of the said text.
The Fifth Chapter.
Whoso read and consider well, good Christian readers, the doctrine
and the doings of our Savior Christ shall by sundry places of holy
scripture perceive that of his heavenly wisdom his wholesome usage
was in many great things that he purposed to do before the doing
of the same (besides the figures of the Old Testament before figuring
the same and besides the prophecies of the old prophets before
prophesying the same) for men's more readiness toward the
things when he would execute them by his deed, to give them
some warning and information thereof before by his words.
Thus, before he made Saint Peter his chief shepherd over his
flock, three times at once, specially
bidding him to feed his sheep, he
first said unto him, "Thou shalt be called stone," and after said also
to him, when he confessed him to be Christ, "Thou art stone and
upon the same stone shall I build my
church, and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it."

Thus, before he made him his general vicar, he gave him
the name of stone, which stone he
said after he would build his church
Thus he gave his apostles and disciples warning of his betraying,
of his taking, of his death, of his
Resurrection, of his Ascension, by his
word, before the things were done in deed. And of his coming
again to the Doom also at the general resurrection, which things
surely shall be and are not yet done indeed. And always the
more strange the things were, the more he opened them with
words. And yet had he, for all that, some of those things for
that while not very well believed, not even of some of his own
disciples. But yet neither were his words fully fruitless at the
time, but that they took some hold in some folk and wrought in
some souls, though not a full faith, yet an inclination and a
disposition toward it, and now serve, and ever since have
served, and ever while the world lasteth shall serve to the planting,
rooting, and watering of the faith, in all Christian nations
all the world about.
Now, as our Lord did in many things, so did he specially in
the two great sacraments: the sacrament of baptism and in this
high Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Of the one he talked with Nicodemus that came to him
by night and durst not be seen with
him by day for dread of the Jews.
And of the other -- that is to wit, of the Sacrament of the Altar --
he talked here and taught the very thing, but not the very form
thereof, unto the Jews and his disciples among them.
And as he found Nicodemus far off from the perceiving of
the spiritual fruit that riseth in the sensible ablution and faithful
washing of baptism, so found he the substance of these folk
very far from the perceiving of the spiritual fruit that groweth
of the bodily receiving of Christ's own Blessed Body to them
that faithfully receive it in the Blessed Sacrament under the sensible
form of bread.

Our Savior also, good reader, because the thing that he now
went about to tell them was a marvelous high thing and a
strange, used in the proponing thereof unto them, divers ways
devised of his divine wisdom.
First, to make them the more meet to receive the doctrine of
that point and to perceive it, he did two miracles before he
began to speak thereof. One (which
though they were not at it, yet they perceived
well as the Gospel showeth) in going over the water without
a vessel, and another that he did not only in their presence, but
also made them all partners of the profit -- that is to wit,
when he fed them all, being five thousand
in number, of two fishes and five
loaves, and yet when all their bellies were full, gathered and filled
twelve baskets of the fragments.
Upon the occasion of this miracle, good reader, of these five
loaves by such a miracle so multiplied, as a thing very convenient,
he took his beginning to induce thereupon the feast that
he would in this world leave perpetually with his church, by feeding
of innumerable thousands with that one loaf that is his Blessed
Body in the form of bread. Not for that the miracle of the feeding of the
Jews and this feeding of Christ's church is in everything like
(between which twain there are incomparable differences), but
because the less miracle and in some part like, is a convenient
thing for an entry and a beginning wherewith to draw them
further. And unto his apostles at that time so was it, and yet unto this
time unto all good Christian people so is it.
Our Savior also to induce them the better to the belief of his
great kindness, in that he would vouchsafe to give them his own
Body to be received and eaten into theirs, he did tell them two
other things: the one that he was very God, the other that he would
die for their sakes. Of these two points, the one might make
them sure that he would do it, and the other that he could do it.
For what could he not do that was God Almighty? Or what would
he disdain to do for us, that would not disdain to die for us?

Now, good readers, remembering well these things, mark what
our Savior hath said in this Gospel, and consider well what he
The Sixth Chapter.
When that after the miracle of the feeding so many people with
so few loaves, our Lord had (as it followeth in the Gospel)
withdrawn himself aside into the
hill because he saw the people were
minded to make him their king, the disciples had entered in
the evening after into a ship, and Christ appearing to them,
walking upon the sea and calming the tempest, when they
would have taken him into their ship, the ship was suddenly
come to the land. The people, on the morrow, longing to find
our Lord again, took other little ships that came thither
after and followed his disciples, from whom they thought he
would not long be, although they knew that Christ went not
in the ship with them. And when they came on the
other side of the sea to Capernaum and found not only them
there, but him too, then, marveling much thereof, they said unto
him, "Master, when came thou hither?" Our Lord answered again
and said unto them, "Sirs, I tell you very truth, the cause that you
seek me now is not the miracles that you have seen, but it is
because that of the loaves that I gave you, you have well eaten and
well filled your bellies."
In these words, our Savior well declared his godhead in that
he told them their minds and thoughts,
which is a property belonging only
to God. For as the scripture saith, "Our
Lord beholdeth the heart." And especially
since he told them, their minds being
such as reason would have weened their minds had been the
contrary. For since that after that God had so fed and filled
them of that bread and that they had seen so much left yet
besides, they did upon the sight of that miracle say, "This is
the very prophet that shall come into the world," and by those words

declared clearly that they thought he was Christ -- that is to wit,
Messiah -- whom they looked for by the
prophecy of Moses and other prophets
that should come to save the world, and that thereupon they
would have made him king; who could have weened that they could
have had so soon upon the morrow so cold a mind toward
him as to go assail and seek him for none other devotion but for
the feeding of their bellies? But our Savior (whose deep sight
entered into their hearts and labored not upon any fallible
conjectures) both saw the sickness of their unperfect
minds and, as a perfect physician against their disease, devised
them a good and perfect medicine, saying unto them thus, "Work,
Sirs, and labor for the meat, not the meat that perisheth, but for the meat
that abideth into everlasting life, which meat the Son of Man shall give
you, for him hath God the Father sealed." As though he would say, "Ye
labor hither and seek me for such meat as I fed you with the
other day, but that meat is soon gone and perisheth. Labor and
work, and make you meet that you may eat the meat that shall
never be gone nor never perish, but shall last with you forever in
everlasting life."
By these words of the meat everlasting, our Savior did, as
the old holy doctors declare, insinuate and secretly signify to
them the meat of his own blessed person, both the spiritual
eating of his godhead by fruition in heaven and the bodily eating of
his very Body here in earth, of which both meats he more declareth
For the better perceiving whereof, ye shall understand that the
material meat that men eat here
hath two manner of perishing. One by
which through the natural operation of
the body that receiveth it, it is altered and changed and loseth
its own form, shape, nature, and substance, and is turned into
the nature and substance of the body which it nourisheth. And in
this manner of perishing, perisheth all the meat that every man
eateth, or else it nothing nourisheth.
The other manner of perishing by which the meat perisheth

is that perishing by which the meat that is taken through
gluttony is, for the inordinate appetite and use thereof,
destroyed and punished by God, and the gluttonous belly, too. Of
which manner of perishing Saint
Paul saith, "The meat for the belly, and
the belly for the meat, and God shall destroy both the one and
the other." This is spoken against those that eat not for the
conservation of their life and their health to preserve themselves to
the service of God, but eat and drink only for the voluptuous
pleasure of their body.
Now taught our Lord the Jews in these few words a doctrine
short and compendious, that they
should neither be gluttons in laboring
for the meat that perisheth of that second fashion, nor so very
highly esteem the meat that perisheth of the first fashion -- that
is, to wit, any manner of meat that only nourisheth the body -- but
that they should labor and work and endeavor themselves
that they might be meet to receive and eat that meat that shall
abide and endure with them in everlasting life, that is to say, that
as themselves were both bodies and souls, so spiritually to
receive and eat of his own godhead, with the fruition whereof they
should after this life be everlastingly fed among his angels in
heaven, and for the meanwhile in this world bodily to receive
and eat his own Blessed Body into theirs, as an earnest penny of
their perpetual conjunction and incorporation with him afterward
in the kingdom of his eternal glory, where our bodies
shall also be fed forever with the far passing pleasure of the
bodily beholding of his glorious Body there in his own beautiful
form, which we now verily receive here, hid in the
Blessed Sacrament in likeness and form of bread.
This is the meat that Christ in those words meant, and would they
should labor to make themselves meet for. For this meat will in no
wise perish. But whereas the bodily meat that the man eateth of
the sheep in the nourishing of the man perisheth and loseth its
own nature, not turning the flesh of the man into the flesh of
the sheep, but being turned from the own proper nature of

sheep's flesh into the natural flesh of the man, this meat is of
such vigor and strength that in the nourishing of the man it
abideth whole and unchanged, not being turned into the flesh
of the man, but altering, turning, and transforming, as holy Saint
Augustine saith, the fleshly man from his
gross fleshliness into a certain manner of
the pure nature of itself, by participation of that holy
blessed flesh and immortal, that is with his lively spirit immediately
joined and unseparably knit unto the eternal flowing fountain
of all life, the Godhead. This meat therefore Christ biddeth them
labor and work for in those words: "Work you not the meat that
perisheth but that abideth into everlasting life."
But yet though Christ commanded them that they should not be
idle sluggards and slothful of themselves, but that they should
work and labor for their own part to get this meat and make
themselves meet therefore: yet he let them know that no man could
by his own only power attain it. And therefore he added these
words, "which meat the Son of Man shall give you," telling them
thereby that himself, which had fed them before with that
other meat which was perishable, would also (if themselves would
work and labor for it) give them the other meat that is
permanent into life everlasting, too.
And therefore (as divers holy doctors say), when the priest
ministereth us this meat, let us not think
that it is he that giveth it us, not the
priest, I say, whom we see, but the Son
of Man, Christ himself, whose own
flesh not the priest there giveth us, but as Christ's minister
delivereth us. But the very giver thereof is our blessed Savior himself,
as himself in these words witnesseth where he saith,
"quem filius hominis dabit vobis," "which meat the Son of Man shall
give you."
Now lest the Jews might have cause to mistrust that he that
were the Son of Man could not give them that meat that
were free from all perishing and permanent into everlasting life,
he taketh away that objection and showeth them that he is not

only the Son of Man but also the Son of
God, and no more verily man by that
that he is the Son of Man (that is to wit, not of Joseph but of our
forefather Adam, the first man) than he is verily God, in that he is
the Son of God, as verily and as naturally
begotten of God the Father by generation
as he was verily and naturally descended of our forefather
Adam by lineal descent and propagation. Which thing our
Savior showed them in these words: "Hunc enim pater signavit
Deus." "For him hath God the Father sealed." This is to say, that him
hath God the Father specially sequestered and severed and set aside
out of the number of all creatures, and hath sent him into the
world, anointed, signed, and marked with the very print of his
own seal. For (as the old holy doctors declare, and among
others, Saint Cyril and Saint Hilary) the
seal of the Father with which he sealed
his Son is nothing else but himself, his
own very nature and substance. And therefore hath God caused these
words to be written in holy scripture: that God the Father hath
sealed his Son, as our Savior said here to the Jews, and that
Christ is the image, print, and character
of the Father, as saith Saint Paul;
because we thereby should learn and understand that as a true
seal truly printed leaveth in the other the very whole express
thing that it is itself, not as it is iron, steel, or copper, silver,
brass, or gold, but as it is a seal -- that is to wit, this fashioned
figure or that -- and yet keepeth it whole still nevertheless
itself, so did God the Father in the sealing of God the Son --
that is to wit, in his eternal begetting -- give him all that ever
was in himself, all his whole will, all his whole wisdom, all his
whole might and power, and finally all his whole nature, substance,
and godhead, and yet keep, nevertheless, all the same still
And thus the Son of God, so sealed by his Father, and not only
expressly representing but also verily being one equal God, in
nature, substance, wisdom, will, might, and power, with

Almighty God his Father, being sent into the world by his
Father and himself and their both Holy Spirit, equal God
with them both, took upon him the manhood, the very flesh
and the very soul of our Savior
Christ, anointed above all other creatures
with fullness of all graces, by the conjunction of his manhood
in wonderful unity with his omnipotent godhead, marvelously
making one perfect person, and one far passing perfect person of
God and man together.
Thus hath our Savior not only showed them the great gift of
everlasting lively meat, that if they would work for it he would
give them, but hath also showed them that himself is equal God
with his almighty Father, and thereby well able to give it them, and
also sent into the world for the nonce because he should to such
folk as would be well-willing to labor and work therefore, work
with their good will and willingly give it them.
The Seventh Chapter.
When that the Jews had heard our Savior speak of such a
meat that would not perish but should abide and endure with
them into everlasting life, glad men were they. For yet they
hoped to have some meat that so should fill their bellies and so
satisfy them that they should never need to labor for any more.
Now were those Jews yet somewhat less gluttons than are many
Christian people nowadays. For they could have been content, so
that they should never have felt hunger more, to have forborne
eating forever. As the woman of
Samaria, so that she might have had of
our Savior one draught of such water as might have quenched
her thirst forever, was well contented in her own mind to have
forborne drink forever. But many Christian men there are
that would not, I ween, be content to take either such meat or such
drink, though God would offer it them. For many men have such
a pleasure in eating and drinking that they would not gladly
live but even to eat and drink. And
for the pleasure thereof, they love better
hunger and thirst than the harmless

lack of them both, though God would give it them. For we see that
they seek means to make their appetite greedy. And some will
eat salt meat purposely to give them a courage to the cup.
These folk do not long to eat and drink to live the longer but
long to live to eat and drink the longer. These be those therefore
of whom the Apostle saith, "Esca ventri et venter escis, Deus et hunc
et illam destruet." "The meat for the belly and
the belly for the meat, God shall
destroy both the one and the other."
And surely, besides the punishment of God in another world, and
besides all the pains that even in this
world through sickness and sores arise
and spring of such gluttony, they that
gladly would endure a grief perpetually to have the pleasure of
the continual swaging, have in their best wealth but a displeasant
pleasure, except men be so mad as to think that he
were well at ease that might be ever ahungered and ever eating,
ever athirst and ever drinking, ever lousy and ever clawing, ever
scurvy and ever scratching.
These Jews, I say therefore, and the woman of Samaria, were
not of this mind, but so that they might
have lacked the grief of hunger and thirst,
they would have been content, as it seemeth, to have forborne meat and
Howbeit to say the truth, their words well weighed, it seemeth
that their affections were worse than they seem at the first sight.
For as methinketh, they were not so glad to put away their
fault as to make a change of one fault for another, not so glad
to lose the pleasure of the meat that is the maintenance of
gluttony as to get them to rest and idleness
that is the maintenance of sloth.
And our Lord touched the appetite of
sloth in these Jews when he bade them, "Operamini non cibum qui
perit, etc." "Work you for the meat, not that that perisheth but that
that abideth into everlasting life," noting therein, as saith Saint
Chrysostom, the slothful appetite by which they would fain

have had him feed them still by
miracle, without any labor of their
own. And the woman of Samaria said unto him: "Lord, give
me of that water that I need no more to labor hither and draw
up water here at this deep well."
But surely, whoso put not away his vice but make a change
may soon hap to take as evil as he leaveth, and not a worse
lightly than sloth. Which vice God
saw so noyous unto mankind that,
even when he set him in paradise, he
bade him be occupied in the keeping of
that pleasant garden. And afterward,
when he should be driven thence into the earth, he gave him a
necessity to labor, making the earth to be such as without
man's labor should not bring him forth his living.
And therefore an evil and a perilous life live they that will in
this world not labor and work but live either in idleness or in
idle business, driving forth all
their days in gaming for their pastime,
as though that else their time could
never pass but the sun would ever stand even still over their
heads, and never draw to night but if they drove away the day
with dancing or some such other goodly gaming.
God sent men hither to wake and work, and as for sleep and
gaming (if any gaming be good in this vale of misery, in this
time of tears), it must serve but for a
refreshing of the weary and forewatched
body, to renew it unto watch and
labor again, not all men in bodily labor, but as the circumstances
of the persons be, so to be busied in one good business or
other. For rest and recreation should be but
as a sauce. And sauce should, ye wot well,
serve for a faint and weak stomach to get it the more
appetite to the meat and not for increase of voluptuous pleasure
in every greedy glutton that hath in himself sauce malapert
already enough. And therefore, likewise as it were, a fond feast that had

all the table full of sauce and so little meat therewith that the
guests should go thence as empty as they came thither, so is it
surely a very mad-ordered life that hath but little time bestowed
in any fruitful business, and all the substance idly spent in
And therefore, to the end that the Jews should know that he would
not nourish them in their sloth and idleness, he bade them
work. And yet, lest they might ween that he would have all their
work about worldly business, he bade them work not for the
meat that perisheth, but for the meat that abideth into
everlasting life. Whereby he meant not to forbid them to labor
for the one, but to teach them to labor much more for the other.
The Eighth Chapter.
But they, as I told you (their mind set upon their belly-joy,
and therefore not understanding his words), hoped by that word
to have their bellies so well filled once that they should never need
more to labor for their living after. And therefore they said
again unto him, "What shall we do that we may work the works of
God?" For they thought (as it seemeth) that some things there
were that Christ would have them do, after which once done,
then should they have that merry feast of that meat that he spoke of,
and therefore would they feign wit what work that were,
that they might shortly rid it out of hand that they were at
dinner, for they waxed ahungered. Our Savior then, upon that
question of theirs, showed them what work it was that he would
have them do for that meat, and said unto them, "This is the work
of God, that you should believe in him whom he hath sent." As though he
would say, "This is the work that God will ye shall work, before he
will I shall give you this lively meat that I told you of; he will
ye shall first believe in me whom he hath sent unto you."
Christ here, for the getting of that spiritual meat, setteth
them about a spiritual work, bidding
them labor to believe. Why is
it any labor to believe? Yea, verily, good
readers, to believe well is no little work, and so great a

work that no man can do it of his own strength without the
special help of God.
But here shall you see clearly that Christ truly told them their
thought when he said unto them that they sought him not for
his miracles but for their bellies. For when our Savior here had
showed them that if they would have that lively meat, they must
first believe in him, their minds were so set upon their
bellies that they thought they would make him by craft come off
and give them some meat apace for their dinner. And therefore
they said unto him, "What miracle then showeth thou that we may see
it and thereby believe thee? What thing work
thou? Our fathers did eat manna in desert, as
it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat.""
Here you may see that whereas Christ told them they must
believe in him before they should have that lively meat that he told
them of, they thought they would by craft, before they would work
toward the belief, cause him to give them some other meat in the
meanwhile; and therefore they not only said that it were reason he
should work some miracle before them ere he should look that they
should believe him, but also they assigned him, in manner, what
manner a miracle they would have him do -- that is to wit, give them
some meat by miracle by and by, one or other without any work or
labor of theirs. And therefore they put him in mind of the meat
of manna that their forefathers had from heaven while they were in
wilderness and worked nothing therefore.
But against this our Lord told them again that the bread
that they did eat in desert was not given them by Moses,
nor given them verily from heaven neither. For though that
Moses was their prophet and their guide, yet was that bread
of manna given them by God. And it came not also verily down
from heaven, but from a far lower place of the air. But he
showed them that God his own Father, that gave them that bread
then out of the air, giveth them now verily down from heaven
that bread that is for spiritual sustenance and lively nourishing,
such manner of very bread, that in comparison and respect
thereof, the other bread of manna might seem no bread at all. For

"Verily, verily," said our Lord unto them, "not Moses gave you that bread from
heaven, but my Father giveth you the very bread from heaven. For the very
bread is that that cometh down from heaven and giveth life to the
Now, when they heard this, weening yet that Christ spoke of
some such bread as manna was that God would at his request give
them down from heaven, as manna was given down in Moses'
days, and that this bread should feed the body as manna did, and
yet be far better too, they prayed him and said, "Lord give us
this bread always," as though they would say, "Good Lord, give us
this very bread that thou speak of that thy Father sendeth down
from heaven, that we need not to labor and toil for bread in
tilling of the earth, and give it us, good Lord, always, not for a
season, as our fathers had the other in desert, but give it us forever,
and let us never lack it nor need no more to work and
labor for it."
The Ninth Chapter.
Then was our Lord plain with them and said, "I am the bread
of life; he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth in me shall
never thirst."
"Lo," saith our Lord, "the bread of life that I speak of is myself,
whom my Father giveth down from heaven to give not only
nourishing but also life to the world.
"The common bread doth but help to keep and conserve the life
that the man hath already. But my Father hath sent me down, me,
I say, the very bread whereof angels feed, not only to conserve
and keep the life of the body (albeit that do I too, and heal of your
sick folks full many), but also to quicken them that are dead,
many in body and all the whole world in soul, whereof none can
have life but by me.
"And therefore he that cometh to me, that is to wit, whoso will
work the work of God that I told you, that is to wit, come by
faith unto me and believe in him whom the Father hath sent -- that
is to wit, in myself -- his hunger and thirst shall I take away forever."

Good is it, good readers, to consider well these words, lest by
these words wrong understood some men might ween (as

these heretics teach that nowadays renew that old heresy
that both Saint James and Saint
Paul by plain express words
reprove) that our Lord would ask no
more of any Christian man but only bare faith alone. Which
heresy (whereof they so much boasted a
while), these heretics now feel so fully
confuted that, though they live still like those that believe
it, yet in their words and writing they be fain to retreat for
shame and to seek such glosses to save their old writing as
might make unwise men ween that they never meant otherwise
than the whole Catholic Church commonly teacheth and preacheth.
Which, if they had meant none other indeed (as indeed they meant
and yet mean far other still), then had they, ye wot well, made
much business about naught.
But letting these heretics pass, ye shall, good Christian
readers, understand that like as if a man would teach a child to
read, he must first begin at his ABCs (for without the knowledge
of his letters, he can never go forward) so, for as much as no
man can come unto Christ without faith, but faith must needs be
the first entry toward all Christian
virtues, since no man can either hope in
him or love him whom he knoweth not,
and Christ can no man Christianly know but by faith (for, as
Saint Paul saith, he that cometh unto
God, he must needs believe), so did our
Savior therefore, as a good and a wise master of his Christian school,
begin there with the Jews that there offered themselves as his scholars;
he began, I say, with faith. But yet he meant not that to salvation
they should need nothing else but only bare faith, so that if
they would believe all things that he should tell them, they should
thereby be surely saved, though they would do nothing that he
would bid them.
But then what say we to these words of our Savior? "He that
believeth in me shall never thirst." By this word of never
thirsting, he meaneth everlasting salvation, which he promiseth
here to all those that believe in him, wherefore it may seem that whosoever

believe, though he do nothing else, shall by this promise of
our Savior be saved.
Saint John the Baptist, at such time as people came to him
and asked what they should do whereby
they might avoid damnation, he
bade them give alms. And when the publicans asked him
what they should do to avoid damnation, he bade them forbear
bribes and take no more than the due customs and toll. And to
the soldiers asking him the same question for their part, he
answered that they should pick no quarrels, nor do no man no
violence, nor take nothing by force, but hold themselves content
with their wages. Yet did he not mean that any of all these
lessons was enough to save them without any more, but he told
them, for the while, each of them the thing that should be most
meetly for them and most properly pertain to their persons,
and therefore, most meetly for them to learn first, and the remanent
should each of them after learn little and little at length so
that at last they should each of them do that one thing with all
other things necessary also, and without which that one thing
could not save them.
Thus did our Savior also, because the Jews were full of
infidelity and full of incredulity, which unbelief enduring,
they could not enter into the way of salvation. He therefore first
taught them the lesson of belief and faith, which once
had, they should be meet to learn on the remanent, and
increase both in hope and in well-working charity; so that faith
once had, he told them they should not perish. For if they once
believed his word, it was a means to make them hope in him and
love him both, and those three things would make them obey him
and work in such other virtues as he would for their own
weal command them.
There are also, good readers, divers holy doctors that say
that in these words by which our Savior said unto the Jews,
"He that believeth in me shall never thirst," he meant not him that
had a bare faith alone (which is, as Saint
James saith, but a dead faith), but him
that had faith well formed with hope and charity.

And therefore saith holy Saint Augustine thus: "Christ saith not
believe him, but believe in him. For it followeth not by and by that whoso
believe him, believeth in him. For the devils
believed him, but they believed not in him. And
we believe Saint Paul, but we believe not in
Saint Paul. To believe therefore in him, is with believing to go into him
and to be incorporate in his members. This is the faith that God requireth
and exacteth of us, that is to wit, the faith that by love will work well.
Yet is faith discerned and severed from works, as the Apostle saith, a man
is justified by faith without the works of the law. And there are works
that seem good without the faith of Christ, but they be not, for they be not
referred unto that end of which all good things come. For the end of the
law is Christ, unto justice unto all that believe. And therefore our Savior would
not discern and divide faith from the work but saith that the faith
itself was the work of God, that is to wit, the faith that by love
Here ye perceive, good readers, that to believe meritoriously, so
as it shall be rewarded with salvation, may not be faith alone, but
faith with a working love. Nor it may not be a bare believing
of Christ, but it must be a believing in Christ, that is, as Saint
Augustine saith, not an idle, dead standing belief, but a belief
lively, quick, and stirring, and by charity and good works ever
walking and going into Christ. And then they that so believe in
him, not with the bare only faith that these heretics preach,
but with the well-working faith that the Catholic Church teacheth,
they shall be saved, saith our Savior, from eternal hunger and thirst.

The Tenth Chapter.
But then goeth Christ further and showeth them that they lack this
meat, though it stand before them. And showeth them also by what
means they may get it. Lo, thus he said unto them, "But I have told
you that both you have seen me and you have not believed," as though he
would say, "You have seen me do miracles, and yet it hath not
made you believe."
He bade them before that they should work to get the lively
meat, and he told them after that the work which they should

work to get it with was faith and belief. And he wrought miracles,
which they saw, to make them believe. And now he showeth them
that for all this they have not the belief yet, but yet must work and
labor to have it.
Then might they have asked him, "Which way may we come to
it?" But because they asked him not, he of his high goodness
told them the means unasked, and said, "All that my Father
giveth me shall come to me." As though he would say, "Though my
Father has sent me down to call you to me, and though I preach
to you and tell you the truth at your ear, and work miracles
before you that you may see them at your eyes, yea, and feed you by
miracles, and put them even in your belly, yet can you never come
to me by faith but if my Father bring you. Never can you be
mine by faith but if my Father give you me. Now if ye know of
any good guide that could bring you to the place whither ye
would fain go, where you should find the thing that ye would
fain have, what would you do: would you not labor to him,
would you not pray and entreat him to go with you and guide
you thither? Now have I told you who can bring you to me by
faith, that is to wit, God my Father; and therefore labor to him
to guide you to me, pray him to give you to me, without whose
help ye can never come to me. It is, I tell you, no small thing to
believe in me. For but if the grace of my
Father first prevent you, ye can never
begin to think thereon. But he hath now prevented you by
sending me to call upon you. Howbeit yet for all that, but if
he go forth with you and help to lead you forward, you may
faint and fall and lie still by the way, and come no further forth
toward me. But now he helpeth you forward by mine outward
miracles which himself worketh with me. But yet except he
work with you inwardly, with his inward help to draw
you, you can for all this never come at me. Call well upon him
therefore, and pray him to draw you and bring you and give you to me.
Which if you do and endeavor yourself for your own part, as I
bade you before to work and walk with him toward me, he
shall surely bring you into faith, and by faith into hope and into

charity both, and so give you graciously to me. And then
shall I give you the lively meat that I spoke of if ye will abide
with me. "For him that cometh to me will I not cast out." Let him
look that he cast not himself out; for surely I will not, if himself
will abide. For it is my Father's will that I should not, "and I
am descended from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him that
hath sent me. And this is verily the will of the Father that sent me: that
all that he hath given me I should lose nothing thereof, but that I should raise
up that again in the last day.""
The Eleventh Chapter
These words might, good readers, seem to an unchristian man,
or to a false christened Arian, to signify that our Savior were
not equal God with his Father, in that he speaketh so often (as in
many more places of scripture he speaketh more often) that he is
obedient to his Father, and that his Father sent him, and that he is
less than his Father, and many such other places by which the
old Arian heretics defended their heresy against the
godhead of Christ in his person, as these Lutheran heretics
and these Huessgens, Zwinglians, and Tyndaleans draw now
divers other texts to the maintenance of their false heresies
against the precious Body and Blood of Christ in his Blessed Sacrament.

But as good Christian men well know that these new heretics
are falsely now deceived in the one, so know they too that those
old heretics were falsely then deceived in the other.
For all the minority and the obedience that the scripture
speaketh of in Christ is all meant of his manhood (which was less
indeed) and not of his godhead, for they were both equal.
For how could they be in godhead unequal when that in
godhead they were both one, though in persons diverse? And therefore
our Savior by his godhead hath the
selfsame will that his Father hath,
and none other; as he hath the same
wit, and the same might, the same
nature, the same substance, and, finally, the same godhead and

none other. And therefore whatsoever the one doth, the other
doth, and as the Son was sent by the Father, so was he also sent
both by himself and by the Holy Ghost, too. And when the Holy
Ghost was sent, he was sent both by the Father and the Son and by
himself also. But incarnate was there no more but the Son alone,
who, as he had by his godhead none other will but the very selfsame
that his Father had and the Holy Ghost, so had he by his
manhood another several will and proper unto the person of his
manhood itself, as every man hath his own. And of that will is it
that he saith, "I am descended from
heaven not to do my will but the will of
him that sent me," for in the will of his manhood he obeyed
the Godhead.
But now if this obedience be understood of his manhood,
how can it stand with these words of his, "I am descended from
heaven not to do my will but the will of him that sent me"? With
that point, good reader, shall no man need to be moved. For since
both the godhead and manhood were joined and united together,
both in the one person of Christ, that whole person might say
of itself such things as were verified and true in any of the
both natures. For like as a man may say of himself, "I shall
die and return into the earth," and yet that shall not his soul do
but his body only, and "I shall after my death go forthwith to joy
or to pain," and yet that shall not his body do by and by but his
soul, so might Christ say of himself, "I am descended
from heaven," because his godhead descended from thence, though
his body did not; and he might say, "I shall suffer and die,"
because his manhood so should, and yet was his godhead neither
mortal nor passible. And for all that might it be said of Christ,
"God died for us," because he died that
then was God. And of Christ might it
well be said, "This man made heaven and earth," and yet his
manhood made it not, but was made by his godhead as other creatures
were. But those words are well verified by the reason that

he which of the person of Christ saith "this man," signifieth
and meaneth not his only manhood but his whole person, which
is not only man but very God also.
This thing and this manner of speaking expressed our Savior
very plain himself when he said unto Nicodemus in talking
with him of the sacrament of baptism, "No man hath ascended into
heaven but he that descended from heaven, the
Son of Man that is in heaven." In these
words he showeth unto Nicodemus that there was more credence
to be given unto himself alone than unto all the prophets
that ever were before. For himself more perfectly knew allthing
than all they did. For never man had there been in heaven
but he. "For never man," said our Lord, "hath ascended into heaven
but he that descended from heaven, the Son of Man, that is to
wit, I myself that am in heaven."
Here he said that the Son of Man had been in heaven, and had
descended from heaven, and was yet in heaven still. Now was not
his godhead the Son of Man, but the Son of God, nor his manhood
the Son of God but the Son of Man. But now, though, the godhead and
the manhood were not both one, but two distinct natures still, yet
since the Son of God and the Son of Man were both one -- that is to
wit, both twain one person, Christ -- Christ therefore might well
say then of himself, "I, the Son of God, am the Son of Man; and I,
the Son of Man, am the Son of God; and I, the Son of God, am
walking among men on earth; and I, the Son of Man, am sitting
with my Father in heaven."
Now that ye may, good readers, the better conceive this matter
and more easily perceive the sentence of these words of Christ, "All
that my Father giveth me, etc.," I shall expound you these words of
his in order, as it were in his own person, speaking the words of
this exposition himself.
"No man can come to me by his own labor alone. But all that
my Father giveth me shall come to me. Labor therefore to my
Father and pray him to give you to me, giving you occasion and
helping you and (with your own will working with him) making

you believe me; and so shall you, working with him by your own
good will in subduing of your reason to
the obedience of faith, by belief come to
me, and with good will of well working
also with the belief, shall not only believe me, but also believe in
me, and go into me by being a member of mine and incorporating
yourself in me; and I shall, by the gift of mine
own body to be eaten and received of yours, incorporate myself
in you, and I will not cast you out from me but be still incorporated
with you, but if you cast me out from you and so by sin cast
yourself away from me; else of all that cometh to me by my
Father's bringing, I will cast none out. For if ye came to me by
my Father through faith and that I would not then suffer death for
your salvation, then did I cast you out. For none can come into
my bliss of heaven but by his ransom paid by my death and
Passion. But I will not refuse that, but I will suffer and die for
the world to give the dead world life by my death. For I am
descended from heaven, sent by my Father not to do mine own
will, but the will of him that hath sent me. But I mean not
by these words that I will die against mine own will, but that
albeit the sensual part of my manhood would of the nature of man
abhor, shrink, and withdraw from the
grievous pain of such an intolerable
Passion, yet shall my will both of my
godhead be all one with the will of my Father and thereby, in such
manner, obedient unto his Father, as we say a man is obedient unto
his own reason, and yet is not his own reason another power
superior above himself. And my will of my manhood shall also
be so conformable to the will of my Father, the will of the Holy Ghost,
and the will of mine own godhead (all which three wills are indeed
one will, as all our three persons are in godhead one God) that I
will willingly die for them all that so come to me by my
Father's bringing, through the well-working faith, and will
abide and persevere. And likewise, as I will by mine own body,
given unto them by eating into their own, give them an
earnest penny of our incorporation together and a memorial of

that death and Passion by which I will willingly give myself
for them by being slain and sacrificed for their sin and
made the ransom of their redemption when God shall for this
obedience of my manhood unto the death,
the vile death of the cross, lift me up
and exalt me and give me the name that is above all names,
then shall I by my Resurrection again to life give them a sample
and make them sure that I shall in like wise, at the last day, leave
none of them to be lost, no more in body than in soul, but shall
so resuscitate and raise again their bodies that, like as I
shall myself ascend into heaven again from whence I came, so
shall they as members of my body ascend thither with me and
there be fed of this everlasting lively
bread that I tell you of -- that is to wit, of
the fruition of my godhead and
beholding also of my glorious manhood forever, each of you that
have use of reason, after the analogy and proportion of the well
formed faith, with hope and well-working charity that you shall
have had in this life here before. For this is, as I before told you,
the will of my Father that sent me: that every man that seeth his
Son as you do, and not only seeth him as you do but also
believeth in him as you do not, shall have (if he persevere in that
well-working belief) the meat that I speak of that shall not
perish but abide into everlasting life. For though ye see every
man die here for the while, yet I shall (as I told you), being of
equal power with my Father, raise them all up again myself at
the last day, and then shall my faithful folk be fed with this
everlasting lively bread of mine own person, both God and man,
forever. And lo, now have I plainly told you what bread I mean."
Whereas I have, good reader, in the exposition of these words of
our Savior, inserted the incorporation of him and us together
by the receiving and eating of his own body into ours; I have
not done it to make any man ween that that point appeared and
was proved by any part of those words, but because it is a very
truth indeed, and not only touched and signified in
other words of his before, but also plainly expressed and

declared by other words of his own after, as you shall hereafter
see. Therefore, so plain a truth, and so necessary, and so necessarily
pertaining to that place of the matter, me thought it not
meetly for to be left out.
The Twelfth Chapter.
But now shall you hear how Christ's audience that came to
seek him was affectionate to this everlasting lively bread
when they had heard him declare it.
All the while that he spoke those other words before, they
were yet in good hope that whatsoever he meant besides, he would
give them some meat for their bellies. And as they were gross, so
had they at the first weened. And so had they liefer that he
would have given them some such gross bread made of earthly
corn for their earthly bellies, such as he gave them and multiplied
for them before, than any manna that came down from the
air. But afterward, when they heard him tell them of far better
bread that should come from heaven than manna was, which their
fathers did eat in desert, then were they better apaid and
prayed him that they might have of that. But then when they
perceived in conclusion that he meant all of such bread as should
feed their souls, and gave them no good comfort after their gross
minds of any gross feeding for their gross bodies; then, like as
some of their forefathers murmured in desert against Moses for
manna, and said that their stomach
wambled against that light meat,
and wished their old bondage again, of which they were before
so weary while they were in Egypt, yet thought they now that
they were well then because they might then sit over the pots
that had the sodden flesh in them, of such flesh yet some of such
bond slaves had haply then but the savor. When these had
heard him now speak all of such spiritual food, their hearts so
sore arose against him that their affections were clean fallen
from him suddenly. For a day before they had him in high
estimation, and called him the prophet that should come and

redeem the world, and would have made
him king because they thought he
would feed them by miracle without their labor, where their
other kings used to pill them and poll
them and keep them under tribute so
bare that, with great labor, they could scant find themselves
meat. And therefore would they, as I say, after that feeding that he
fed them so by miracle, so fain have made him king that he
was fain to withdraw himself aside and flee from them till that
mind of theirs were gone. And that was not long, as ye see. For
now that after their great hope of such another feast for their bodies,
they heard him turn all to the feeding of their souls, and that
for the feeding of their bellies he went not about to give them so
much as one loaf among them all to their breakfast, they murmured
against that that he had said of himself, "I am the quick bread
that am descended from heaven." And then they said: "Is not this Joseph's son?
Know not we his father and his mother both? How saith he then of himself,
"I am descended from heaven"?"
Lo, here they called him a carpenter's son, and therein they
belied him unaware, but far were they now fallen from the
making him a king.
Then said our Savior to them, "Murmur not among yourselves;
no man cometh to me but if my Father draw him." As though he would
say, "leave your murmuring, and fall to prayer, and work and
walk with my Father in coming to me by faith. Men are so weak
of themselves in the walking of this way that there can no man
come to me but if my Father not only come to him and take him
by the hand and lead him, but also draw him, too. And therefore,
since he must do so much for you or else you cannot come, so
much have you the more need to leave your murmuring, and
apply yourself to pray him (if he draw you not) to draw you,
and, as the Prophet saith, to pray
him strain your jaws with a bit and
a bridle and draw you by the cheeks, maugre your teeth, and make
you turn your wills from your belly-joy to come to the soul food
with me. For whereas your belly meat shall perish, belly and all,
he that thus shall come to my feast, he shall not perish. For I

shall raise him up again in the last day unto everlasting life.
And if ye marvel at this that I say,
that my Father must bring you and
draw you -- that is, that he must, besides
all outward teaching, teach you within by leading and drawing
you into the truth of faith by his inward operation joined with
the towardness of your wills, prevented, moved, and set awork
with occasions of his former grace -- if ye marvel of this manner
of drawing and of my Father's inward teaching, remember
that your own prophets say that all
folk shall be taught of God. And now
God teacheth you, for I teach you, which am, as I told you, the bread
of life that am descended from heaven. And surely there shall no
man be taught the faith but if God teach him. Nor every man is not
full taught that heareth it, but he that heareth it and learneth it,
which no man can do by any outward voice without God
working within. And he will not work nor his wisdom will not
enter into an evil willed heart. And
therefore, leave your murmuring, and
pray my Father to teach you not only outwardly as he teacheth you
now by me, but inwardly also, that you may be learned by his
working to faith with you and within you. But why do I tell
you so often that you cannot come to his gift of faith
(without which you cannot come at me) but if my Father give it
you? Verily, because I would you should pray him for it. For
though he prevent you and give you occasions toward the getting
of that gift, yet setteth he not so little by this great gift of
learning and faith that he list to cast it away upon them that,
when it is showed them, set not so much thereby as to desire it and
pray therefore.
And therefore, I would have you desire it of him that may give it
you. And yet is not that my Father only, but myself also. Howbeit,
if I should bid you ask it of me, and pray me give you this
grace, you be so far from the belief in me that ye would not do
And therefore, not speaking of mine own power, I tell you
all of the power of the Father; that without him ye cannot come to
me, because I would have you pray to him that he would give

you the grace, that as ye know by faith and knowledge him already
for God, so ye may know by faith and knowledge him for my
Father, too; and then shall you, by the same faith, know and acknowledge
me also for his Son. And then shall you not murmur at my
words, but humbly come to me as to the Son, not of Joseph but
of God, and acknowledge me for the quick bread that is descended from
heaven. "For every man that hath heard this lesson of my Father, and hath not
only heard it but also learned it, he cometh (as I have told you) to me. But
yet this will I tell you, that never man saw my Father yet. But he that is of
God (that is to wit, myself that am his own Son), he hath seen the
Father, and so hath no man else." And therefore the lesson that any
man heareth and learneth of my Father, he must hear of him by me
and learn it by the inward work of my Father, with whose work I
work also. And so shall he come to me through perfect, well
working faith in me. And I tell you
very truth, he that so believeth in me
and persevereth at his death in that
perfect belief is sure of eternal life. For I am (as I divers times
now have told you) the very bread of life. "Your fathers that murmured
as you do now did eat the bread of manna in desert, and they be dead
and perished." Leave therefore that wrong way of your forefathers,
leave your grudge and your murmur, and labor to my Father that he
may bring you to me by such faith as ye may eat this
bread that is myself. For this bread is bread descending from
heaven, for the nonce that whoso may eat and be fed of that
shall not perish by everlasting death. For I tell you yet again that "I
am the quick bread that am descended from heaven." Whosoever
come to me by my Father's bringing, so that by perfect perseverance
and well-working faith he may eat and be fed of
this bread -- that is to wit, attain the fruition of my glorious
godhead, with the glorious sight whereof the angels are fed in
heaven -- he shall be sure of everlasting life."
The Thirteenth Chapter.
Whereas our Savior, good readers, in the beginning, upon
occasion of his miracle wrought upon the multiplication of the
bread, touched both the bread of his godhead and also of the

giving them of his own body to be eaten in form of bread, and
that he somewhat did insinuate and set forth the same in those
words, "Work you not the bread that perisheth, but the bread that abideth into
everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give you," as I somewhat told
you before, not of mine own mind, but of the mind of divers
holy doctors, Alcuin, Saint Thomas, Theophylactus, and
Saint Cyril; ye see that our Savior in many words, which I
have now declared you, hath opened and showed unto them the
bread of his godhead.
And now, good readers, take heed how in those words that now
follow, he declareth unto them, the bread of his own very body,
which he giveth us verily to eat in the Blessed Sacrament.
Wherein that exposition that I shall give
you shall be none invention of mine,
but the clear faith and sentence of all the
holy doctors of Christ's church, old and new both, from Christ's
death to this day. Of whom I shall for a sample give you, ere I
make an end, the names and the sentences of some such as yourselves
shall well see and perceive for other manner men than I am or
Master Masquer either, and that if they were good men and true,
ye shall then yourself say that Master Masquer is naught and
false, and that his exposition (though it were true as it is both
foolish and false) yet since it cometh not near the purpose, is (as I
told you before) very falsely handled.
Let us hear now, therefore, of the giving of Christ's own Blessed
Body verily to us to eat in the Blessed Sacrament, what
Christ himself saith.
After his declaration of the bread of his glorious godhead, these
are his words: "And the bread that I shall give you is my flesh which I
shall give for the life of the world."
Whereas before they murmured at the light spiritual bread of
his godhead, he telleth them now that he will not only give them
that bread to feed upon, by fruition of the beholding face to
face when the time shall come, as he hath also given it them in
one manner already by his Incarnation, to feed them spiritually in

the meanwhile by spiritual doctrine, but that the bread that
he will give them to feed upon shall, besides that, be his own
flesh, even the very same that he will give for the life of
the world, meaning that he would
verily give men the same very flesh to
eat and feed upon, both bodily and spiritually, in remembrance
of his death, that he would for man's redemption verily
give to death, and verily for a sacrifice offer up to God by death.
But now saith Master Masquer, the adversary of the Blessed
Sacrament, that our Savior meant no more in those words, "And the
bread that I shall give you is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the
world," but that he would give it for the life of the world by his
death; and meant nothing at all of the giving of his flesh
before his death or after his death; nor nothing in these words or
any that in the same chapter follow intended to speak of any
such manner of giving his body to eat as he is received and
eaten in the Blessed Sacrament; nor nothing meant in this chapter
anything to speak of that matter.
Thus would Master Masquer that all men should ween, as it
appeareth plainly by his exposition. And thus also saith Luther,
and thus saith Frith also and affirmeth this saying so boldly that
he saith it twice in his one book wherein he answereth me. Therein
saith he twice that all learned men are full and whole agreed in
that point.
And therefore will these adversaries of the Sacrament say that, in
this exposition of mine, all that ever I say whereby it may
appear that our Savior, in these words written in this sixth chapter
of Saint John, anything spoke or meant of the giving of his body
to be eaten in the Blessed Sacrament, is an imagination of
mine own head, as Master Masquer argueth and speaketh always of
"Master More his faith," as though it were no man's else but
But to the intent, good readers, that ye may clearly perceive
Master Masquer's malicious falsehood therein, I shall in divers places
of this exposition concerning specially this point of Christ's
speaking and meaning of the giving of his own very Body in the
Blessed Sacrament, rehearse you the names of some of those whom I

follow therein, and some of their words too, by which ye shall see that
I deceive you not as Master Masquer doth that through all his
exposition flitteth all from the point and dissimuleth all the words
of those old holy men that expounded it in such wise as he would
we should ween that no good man ever did.
Upon these words therefore of our Savior, "And the bread that
I shall give you is my flesh that I shall give for the life of the
world," thus saith Theophylactus:
"Consider that that bread that we eat in the Sacrament is not
only a figure of the flesh of our Lord,
but it is also the flesh of our Lord itself.
For he said not, "The bread that I shall
give is a figure of my flesh," but he
said, "It is my flesh." For the same bread by secret words,
through the mystical benediction and by the coming also of the
Holy Spirit thereunto, is transformed and changed into the
flesh of our Lord. And lest that any
man should be troubled in his mind,
weening that it were not to be believed that bread should be flesh,
this is well-known that while our Lord walked in his flesh
and of bread received his nourishing, that bread which he then
ate was then changed into his body, and was made such as his
holy flesh was, and did sustain and increase his flesh after the
common manner of men. And therefore now also is the bread changed
into the flesh of our Lord. And how is it then (will some
man say) that it appeareth not to us flesh but bread? That hath
Christ provided, to the intent we should
not abhor from the eating of it. For if
it were given us in likeness of flesh,
we should be displeasantly disposed toward the receiving of our
Housel. But now, by the goodness of God condescending to our
infirmity, this sacramental meat appeareth unto us such as we
have at other times been accustomed with." These are not my
words, lo, good Christian reader, but the words of that old holy
cunning doctor Theophylactus, which was also no Latin man
but a Greek, because Master Masquer speaketh so much of papists,
as though the Catholic faith, whereby the Catholic Church
believeth that in the Blessed Sacrament is the very Blessed Body of
Christ, were a thing but made and imagined by some pope of Rome.

Now, if Master Masquer will say that mine exposition is in this
point false, here you see, good readers, that mine exposition is not
mine but the exposition of Theophylactus. And therefore let him
leave dancing with me and dance another while with him.
But mark well two things now, good reader, in these words:
one, that this good holy doctor calleth the Blessed Sacrament bread as
Saint Paul doth, and our Savior
himself also, in these words of his in
this sixth chapter of Saint John, and so doth also every doctor
of the church almost. Upon which calling of it bread, Frere,
Luther, and Melanchthon, and their fellows take their hold to say
and affirm that it is very bread still, as well after the consecration
as afore. And Frere Huessgen, with Zwingli, George Joye,
John Frith, and Tyndale, turn forth further to the devil and not
only say that it is very bread still, but also that it is nothing else.
But now consider therefore, as I say, that Theophylactus here
calleth it bread as well as they, saying the bread that we receive
in the mysteries, or Sacrament, is not only a certain figure of the
flesh of our Lord, but it is also the flesh of our Lord itself. But
then expresseth he plainly that, though he calleth it bread, he
meaneth not that it is very material bread still as it was, but that
the bread is transformed, gone, and changed into the very flesh of
Christ. And he setteth it out also with
an example of the bread that is eaten
and turned into the flesh of the man whom it nourisheth, which
every man well wotteth that any wit hath that it is no longer
bread then.
And therefore Theophylactus calleth it bread, because it was
bread, as in the scripture the serpent into which Aaron's rod
was turned is called a rod still, while it was no rod but a
serpent. For there is it thus written. "The
rod of Aaron did devour the rods of the
magicians." And as the scripture calleth the serpent there a rod,
so calleth it the Sacrament bread. And as Theophylactus

calleth here the Blessed Sacrament by the name of bread and yet
declareth that it is no bread, even so do all holy doctors that call
it by that name of bread both mean indeed, and also do clearly
declare, that though they call it bread, they know well it is no
bread, but in likeness and form of bread under the sacramental
sign, the very Blessed Body of Christ, flesh,
blood, bones and all, and neither
without the soul nor the godhead neither.
Mark also, good reader, that Theophylactus saith, "The bread
which we eat in the mysteries, or Sacrament, is not only a figure
of the flesh of our Lord, but it is also the flesh of our Lord itself."

In these words, good readers, mark well that he saith it is a
figure and yet, for all that, the very flesh of Christ.
This thing I specially desire you to note, because that by the
marking of this one point, ye may void almost all the craft
with which Master Masquer, Frith, and Tyndale, and all these
heretics labor to deceive you in the writings of all the old
holy doctors.
For wheresoever any of them call the Blessed Sacrament a
figure, there would these fellows make us ween that he meant it
were nothing else. But here you see that Theophylactus saith it is
a figure, as it is indeed; but he telleth us that it is also (as indeed
it is) the very flesh of our Lord.
And therefore mark well these two points in this one place,
that when these heretics prove that the
Blessed Sacrament is called bread, they
prove nothing against us. For they
that call it bread declare yet that indeed it is not bread but the
body of Christ. And when they prove that it is called a figure,
they prove nothing against us. For they that say it is a figure
say it is not only a figure but also the flesh of Christ. But
when we prove that the Blessed Sacrament is not only called the
Body and Blood of Christ but also that the old holy doctors and
the expositions of holy scripture do plainly declare that it is so,
then prove we plain against them. For we deny none of the
other two points, but this point do they deny.

The Fourteenth Chapter.
Yet to the intent that ye may see that Master Masquer in his
exposition doth but plainly mock you, consider yet again
these words well, "Et panis quem ego dabo caro mea est, quam ego
dabo pro mundi vita." Which text, albeit that in the Latin it be
somewhat otherwise, that is to wit, "Et panis quem ego dabo caro
mea est pro mundi uita," without these words, "quam ego dabo" in the
second place, which Latin text were yet more for my purpose;
yet since not only the Greek text is as I rehearsed you first, which
was the language wherein the evangelist wrote, but that also both
the Greek expositors and many of the Latin expositors too, do so
expound it; and that though those words were out, yet they be
such as the sentence would well require to repeat and understand;
and finally because I find that Master Masquer himself doth in
his exposition take that text in the first fashion, only
changing one word in the second place, that is to wit, this
word (give) into this word (pay) which change he maketh as
for an exposition, I am content to take the text as himself doth,
that is to wit, after the first manner thus: "And the bread that I
shall give you is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the
Consider now, good reader, that in these words our Savior
here speaketh of giving his flesh twice,
by which he meaneth that in the one
giving he would give it to them, and in
the other giving, he would give it for them. The one giving
was in the Blessed Sacrament; the other was on the cross.
And look now whether the very words of Christ agree with this
exposition or not; the words, ye wot well, be these: "And the
bread that I shall give you is my flesh." Here is, lo, the one
giving, by which he shall saith he give his flesh to them. Then
saith he further, "which I shall give for the life of the world." Lo,
here he telleth them of the other giving, by which he should
give it for them. And because his giving to them should be a
memorial of his giving for them, therefore he spoke of them both
together. But yet because his principle purpose was to speak in

that place not of his giving of his flesh for them, but of his
giving it unto them, therefore of his giving it to them he
maketh after a very plain and express declaration in many
plain open words, but of his giving it for them, he spoke but
a little, and as it were but for a declaration of the other giving.
For when he had said, "And the bread which I shall give
you shall be my flesh," then to declare that he meant to give them
his very flesh, he added thereto these words: "which I shall give
for the life of the world." As though he would say, "Will you wit
what flesh this bread is that I will give to you? verily the selfsame
that I will give for you, and not only for you but for the
life of the whole world too, that is to wit, for as many of the
world as when they hear it preached, will not refuse to take it.
And therefore when ye know hereafter which flesh of mine I
shall have given for you upon the cross, then shall you not need
to doubt which flesh of mine I shall give you in the bread of
the Sacrament, except you list not to believe me. For now I tell
you, as plain as I can, that it shall be the same flesh."
This exposition, good readers, ye see is evident, open, and plain.
But now see, good readers, for God's sake, the falsehood of Master
Masquer in his exposition upon the same words. Whereas our
Savior, as you see, speaketh in these few words of these two
givings: the giving to eat and the giving to die, the giving
in the Sacrament and the giving on the cross, cometh me now
Master Masquer, and expoundeth Christ's words altogether of
the one giving -- that is to wit, the giving by death on the
cross -- and letteth the other giving go by, as though he saw it
not, albeit that Christ speaketh of that giving both first and
Now if Master Masquer will say that I do but feign these two
givings and say, as he saith often, that Christ meant there
but one giving, that is to wit, by his death, and will say that
Christ speaketh there no word of the Sacrament, I shall tell him
again that so might Master Masquer mar all his own
exposition utterly. For Christ when he saith, "which I shall give
for the life of the world," speaketh no word in the world neither of
his cross nor of his death. If he say that they be understood, then

must he give me leave to say the like for my part, that as death and
the cross are understood in the one giving, so eating and the
Sacrament is understood in the other giving. Howbeit for my
part yet, touching the first giving, I may say that Christ speaketh of
the Sacrament, and signifieth his meaning in this word, bread, when
he saith, "The bread that I shall give you is my flesh." And of the
eating thereof he speaketh expressly after. And therefore shall
Master Masquer never wade out thereof, but that I have the words
of the scripture much more clear for the first giving than he for
the second. And ye may see that of the two givings Master
Masquer, to mock us with, hath in his exposition of a foolish wiliness
winked and dissembled the one.
But yet if Master Masquer strive with me still upon this point,
whether our Savior speak of two givings of his flesh or but of
one; albeit that I have proved my part therein meetly plain myself,
yet am I content that a better than we both shall break the
strife between us. I shall therefore name you that holy cunning
doctor Saint Bede, whose words I trust every wise man will
believe a little better than either Master Masquer's or mine.
Lo, thus saith Saint Bede upon these
words of Christ, "And the bread which I
shall give is my body, which I shall give for the life of the world." "This
bread" (saith Saint Bede) "did our Lord give when he gave the
Sacrament of his Body and his Blood unto his disciples and
when he offered up himself to God his Father upon the altar of
the cross."
Here you see, good readers, that Saint Bede telleth you plain the
same tale that I tell you, that is to wit, that our Savior in those
words speaketh of two givings of himself: the one to his disciples
in the Sacrament, the other to death for his disciples on the
cross. And therefore, while Master Masquer with his heresy doth
utterly deny the one, and by his exposition affirmeth that Christ
in this place did speak but of the other, Saint Bede beareth
me record that Master Masquer lieth, and hath made his exposition
false. And the further ye go in the words of this Gospel, the
more shall Master Masquer's false dice appear.

The Fifteenth Chapter.
When the Jews heard our Lord say that, besides the spiritual
meat of the bread of his godhead, the bread that he would give
them should be his own flesh, then began they to contend
and dispute among them upon that word, as one of the most
marvelous and strange words that ever they had heard before.
And therefore they said, "How can this man give us his flesh to
Saint Bede saith here, and so saith Saint Augustine both that
they had conceived a false
opinion that our Lord would cut out his
own body in gobbets, and make them
eat it so, in such manner of dead pieces, as
men buy beef or mutton out of the butchers" shops. This thing
they thought that he neither could do, and also that, though he
could, yet would they not eat it, as a thing foul and loathsome.
We find, good readers, of one or two more besides these Jews
here, at the word of God, asked how.
For both our Lady asked how, and
Nicodemus also asked how.
Our blessed Lady, when the angel told her that she should conceive
and bring forth a child, asked
this question, "How shall that be? For man
I know none" -- not for that she anything doubted of the truth
of God's word sent her by God's messenger, but because
she would know the means, forasmuch as
she had determined herself upon
perpetual virginity, and thereof a promise
had passed and a vow was made, and Joseph well agreed
therewith, as it may well be gathered upon the Gospel.
For the angel said not, "Thou hast conceived," but, "Thou shalt conceive."
And therefore when answered, "How shall that be, since I
know no man?" this answer had not been to the purpose if she had
meant no more but that she knew none yet, for he said not that she
was conceived yet, but should conceive after. Which she might after
do by the knowledge of her husband after, though she knew no man
yet. And therefore we may well gather of his words and hers together,

as I have showed in my dialogue, that when she said, "How shall this be,
for I know no man?" she meant therein not only that she knew
none already, but also that she had promised and vowed that
she never would know man afterward, using therein such a
manner of speaking, as a maid might say by one whom she
would never have, "We may well talk together, but we wed not
Now that her determination was not with herself only, but
confirmed also with the consent of her spouse, it may well appear.
For without his agreement, she could not reckon herself to be sure
to keep it.
And that her determination of perpetual virginity was a
promise and a vow to God, it may well appear by this, that else
when she had word from God by the angel that she should conceive
and bear a child, she had had no cause to ask the question
how. For if she were at liberty to lie with a man, then
had that revelation been a commandment unto her to labor for
the conception, while there were upon her part no let or impediment,
neither of nature nor conscience.
And very like it is that, if she had been in that point at her
liberty, then though she had minded perpetual virginity, yet
since she had intended it neither for avoiding of the bodily pain
of the birth, nor for any abomination of God's natural ordinance
for procreation (for such respects be both unnatural
and sinful), but only for God's pleasure and of devotion, it is well
likely that, hearing by the messenger of God what manner of child
that was that God would she should have, she would have made no
question of the matter, but gladly gone about the getting.
But here may some man haply say that this reason by
which I prove her vow will serve well enough to soil itself, and
prove that it appeareth not that she had made any vow at all, but
had only some mind and desire of perpetual virginity, but yet
still at her liberty, without any promise or bond. For since she
had now by revelation from God that his pleasure was she
should have a child, a bare purpose of virginity and a vow of
virginity were all of one weight. For God was able as well to
dispense with her vow, as to bid her leave off her unvowed purpose.

Of truth, if our Lady had weighed her vow as light as haply
some light vowess would, this mind she might have had. Yea, and
some vowesses peradventure there are, which as yet never intend
to break their vow, but think they would not with the breaking
of their vow fall in the displeasure of God, though they wist to
win therewith all this whole wretched world, which yet would be
peradventure well content that God would send them word and bid
them go wed and get children.
And those vowesses, lo, that happen to have any such mind, let
them at the first thought make a cross on their breast and bless
it away. For though it be no breaking of their vow, yet is it a way
well toward it and driveth (if it be not sin) very near the
piteous brink of sin when they would be glad that God would
send them their pleasure without any sin.
And surely, if upon the delight in such a naughty mind God would
suffer the devil to illude such a vowess, and transfigure himself into
the likeness of an angel of light, and call himself Gabriel, and tell
her that God greeteth her well and sendeth her word that she
shall have a child; though he therewith went his way and never
told her more whether it should be good or bad, her secret inward
affection toward her fleshly lust lurking in her heart unknown
unto herself, covered and hid under the cloak of that
mind, that she would not for all the world take her own pleasure
without God's will, would make her understand this message for a
dispensation of her vow, and for a commandment to break it,
and so go forth and follow it without any further question, and go
get a child, and make the devil a prophet.
But this blessed Virgin Mary was so surely set upon the
keeping of her vowed virginity that she never neither longed nor
looked for any messenger from God that should bid her break
it. And therefore was she so discreet and circumspect that she
would not only consider who spoke to
her to discern whether it were man or
spirit, and also whether it were a good
spirit or an evil, but she would also weigh well the words, were
the spirit never so good, lest her own mistaking by negligence
might mar the revelation. And therefore at Gabriel's
first appearance, because he was goodly and his words were fair

and pleasantly set, and spoken somewhat like a wooer, she was
somewhat abashed and troubled in her mind at the manner of his
salutation. But after, upon his further words when she advised
him and his message well, then perceiving him to be not a
man but an angel, not an evil angel but a good, and
specially sent from God, and his matter no worldly wooing but a
heavenly message, she was not a little joyful in her heart. And as I
said, had she not vowed virginity, but had been at her liberty,
she had, as meseemeth, had no cause to doubt what God would have
her do, namely having a husband already. Nor never would she
have thought that it had been better for her to live still in
virginity than to go about that generation whereof God had sent her
word. But now, forasmuch as she was by her vow bound to
virginity, whereof she wist well she might not dispense with herself,
and the angel bade not her go about to conceive, but only told
her, as by way of prophecy, that she should conceive, and well she
wist God, from whom the message came, could make her conceive
without man if he would, therefore she neither would tempt God
in desiring him to do that miracle, nor by mistaking of his
message for haste and oversight, offend his master by the breaking of
her vow, but discreetly did ask the messenger, how and in what
wise she should conceive. Whereupon he showed her that she should
be conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Here you see, good readers, that the cause of her question in her
asking how rose of no diffidence, but of very sure faith, because
she surely believed that he could make her conceive and her virginity
saved. For else had she not had firmly that faith, she had had no
cause to ask the question, but might have reckoned clearly that
he would have her conceived by her husband.
And therefore was her question far from the question of Zachary,
the father of Saint John, which asked
not the angel how, but what
token he should have that he said true, for else it seemed that, for
all his word, because of their both ages, he was minded no more
to meddle with his wife, since he thought possibility of generation
passed. And for that diffidence was he punished by loss of his
speech till the birth of the child.
And her question was also very far from this question of the

Jews here, and from their asking how, while the cause of her
question was faith, and the cause of their question diffidence.
Nicodemus also, when our Lord began to tell him of the sacrament
of baptism and said unto him,
"Verily, verily, I tell thee, but if a man be born
again he cannot see the kingdom of God," answered our Savior and said,
"How may a man be born again when he is old: may he enter again
into his mother's belly and be born again?"
Lo, here the man was deceived in that he thought upon a
bodily birth, whereas our Savior meant of a spiritual birth, by
faith and by the sacrament of baptism. And therefore our Lord
told him forthwith that he meant not that a man should be
bodily born again of his mother, but meant of a spiritual regeneration
in soul, by the water and the Holy Ghost.
Howbeit he told him not for all that all the form and manner
of that sacrament, but what the substance should be, and by
whose power, and whereof it should take effect.
Now these Jews here, to whom Christ preached of the giving of
his body to them for meat, were not fully in the case of Nicodemus,
but in some point they were nearer the truth than he
was at the beginning. For they took our Savior's words right in
that they understood that he spoke of his own very flesh, and that
he would give it them to eat, whereas Nicodemus understood no
part of the generation and birth that Christ spoke of. But they
mistook the manner how he would give it them, and ran forth in
the device and imagination of their own fantasy. But in diffidence
and distrust they were like Nicodemus, which said, "How
may a man be born again when he is old?" And peradventure the
farther off from endeavor toward believing. For in Nicodemus,
though I find no consent of faith in conclusion, yet the Gospel
speaketh not of any final contradiction in him, nor of any desperate
departing, as these Jews and these disciples did. And Nicodemus
spoke in his cause after, but these disciples never
walked after with him.
Now Christ there unto Nicodemus, because he was clean from
the matter, told him that it should be no bodily birth but a spiritual,

and bade him marvel not thereof, no more than of the spiring or
moving of the Spirit, or of the wind (for that word diverse doctors
take diversely), whose voice though he heard, he neither wist from
whence it came nor whither he would go. But now when that Nicodemus,
perceiving what the thing was, did yet wonder on still and
said, "How may these things be?" Then our Lord did no more but
leave him with the same tale still and bid him believe, and tell him
why he so should, since himself that so told him came from heaven,
and therefore could tell it, and gave him a signification of his death,
whereby that sacrament should take the strength. But as for his
question, "How this might be?" otherwise than that it was by the
power of God, that question Christ left unsoiled.
Now did he likewise with these Jews here. Since it was so that
they perceived already that he spoke of his very flesh, and yet, for
all that, would not believe he could give it them, but thought the
thing so strange and wonderful that they thought he could not
do it, and therefore asked how he could do it; he did no more but still
tell them that he would do it, and that he verily would give them
his flesh to eat and his very blood to drink, and told them the
profit that they should have if they believed him and did it, and
what loss they should have if, for lack of belief, they would leave it
undone, and that he was come from heaven, and therefore they
ought neither to mistrust his word nor his power to perform
his word. And as for otherwise how and in what manner he
could or would do it, he left their question and their how unsoiled.

But now, lest Master Masquer might make men ween that I
make all this matter of mine own head,
ye shall hear, good readers, upon this
question of the Jews what Saint Cyril
"The Jews" (saith he) "with great wickedness cry out and say against
God: "How may he give us his flesh?" And they forget that there is nothing
impossible to God. For while they were fleshly, they could not (as Saint
Paul saith) understand spiritual things,
but this great Sacrament and mystery seemed unto

them but folly. But let us, I beseech you, take profit of their sins, and let
us give firm faith unto the sacraments, and let us never in such high
things either speak or think that same
how. For it is a Jew's word that same, and a
cause of extreme punishment. And Nicodemus
therefore, when he said: "How may these things be?" was answered as he well
was worthy, "Art thou the master in Israel and know not these things?"
Let us therefore (as I said), be taught by other
folks" faults, in God's work not to ask,
"How?" but leave unto himself the science and
the way of his own work. For likewise as, though no man knoweth what
thing God is in his own nature and substance, yet a man is justified by
faith when he believeth that they that seek him shall be royally rewarded by
him; so though a man know not the reason of God's works, yet when
through faith he doubteth not but that God is able to do allthing, he shall have
for this good mind great reward. And that we should be of this mind
our Lord himself exhorteth us by the prophet
Isaiah, where he saith thus unto men:
"My devices be not as your devices, be nor my ways such as your ways be,
saith our Lord, but as the heaven is exalted from the earth, so be my ways
exalted above yours and my devices above your devices." Christ therefore,
which excelleth in wisdom and power by his godhead, how can it be but that
he shall work so wonderfully that the reason and cause of his works shall
so far pass and excel the capacity of man's wit that our mind shall
never be possible to perceive it? Dost thou not see oftentimes what things men
of handcraft do? They tell us sometimes that they can do some things wherein
their words seem of themselves incredible. But yet because we have seen
them sometime done such other things like, we thereby believe them that they
can do those things, too. How can it be, therefore, but that they be worthy extreme
torment that so contemn Almighty God, the worker of all things, that they
dare be so bold as in his works to speak of how, while he is he, whom they
know to be the giver of all wisdom, and which (as the scripture teacheth
us) is able to do allthing? But now, thou Jew, if thou wilt yet cry out and
ask how, then will I be content to play the fool as thou dost, and ask how

too. Then will I gladly ask thee how thou camest
out of Egypt, how Moses' rod was turned
into the serpent, how the hand stricken with
leprosy was in a moment restored to his former
state again, how the waters turned into
blood, how thy forefathers went through the
mid-seas as though they had walked on
dry ground, how the bitter waters were
changed sweet by the tree, how the fountain
of water flowed out of the stone, how the
running river of Jordan stood still, how the
inexpugnable walls of Jericho were overthrown
with the bare noise and clamor of the trumpets.
Innumerable things there are in which if thou ask how, thou must
needs subvert and set at naught all the whole scripture, the doctrine of the
prophets, and Moses' own writing too; whereupon you Jews, ye should have
believed Christ, and, if there seemed you then any hard thing in his words,
humbly then have asked him. Thus should ye rather have done, than like
drunken folk to cry out: "How can he give us his flesh?" Do ye not perceive
that when ye say such things there appeareth anon a great arrogance in your
Here you see, good readers, that St. Cyril in these words plainly
showed that Christ here in these words, "The bread that I shall give
you is my flesh which I shall give for the life of the world," meant
of the giving of his flesh in the Sacrament. And that the Jews
wondered that he said he would give them his flesh, and asked
how he could do it, because they thought it impossible. And in
reproof of their incredulity and that foolish mind of theirs (by
which they could not believe that God could give them his own
flesh to eat), St. Cyril both showeth that many handcrafted men
do things, such as those that never saw the like would ween
impossible, and also that in any work of
God, it is a madness to put any doubt and
ask how he can do it, since he is
almighty and able to do allthing.

And to the intent that no Christian man should doubt of the
change and conversion of the bread into Christ's Blessed Body in
the Sacrament, Saint Cyril here, by way of objection against
the Jews, putteth us in remembrance (for us he teacheth, though
he spoke to them), among other miracles, he putteth us, I say, in
remembrance of divers conversions and changes out of one
nature into another that God wrought in the Old Law. As how the
hand was turned from whole to sore, and from sore to whole again
suddenly. How the waters were suddenly turned from bitter into
sweet, and how the waters were turned from water to blood,
and how the dead rod of Moses was turned into a quick
The Sixteenth Chapter.
But yet shall ye see that upon the words of Christ following,
Saint Cyril always more and more declareth that Christ spoke
there of his very body that he would give men to eat in the Blessed
Sacrament. For it followeth in the text of the Gospel:
"Then said Jesus unto the Jews, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, but if
ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, ye shall not have life in you. He that
eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life.""
Upon those words thus saith Saint Cyril:
"Christ is very merciful and mild, as the thing itself showeth. For
he answereth not here sharply to their hot
words, nor falleth at no contention with them,
but goeth about to imprint in their minds the
lively knowledge of this Sacrament or
mystery. And as for how (that is to wit, in what manner) he shall give them
his flesh to eat, he teacheth them not. For they could not understand it.
But how great good they should get by the eating if they eat it with faith, that
thing again and again he declareth them to drive them to faith by the
desire of eternal life, and faith first once had, they should be then the more
easy to be taught. For the prophet Isaiah saith, "But if ye believe
ye shall not understand." Therefore it was of
necessity requisite that they should first

fasten the roots of faith in their mind, and then ask such things as were
meetly for a man to ask. But they, before they would believe, would out of
season ask their importune questions first. And for this cause, our Savior
declared not unto them how it might be done, but exhorteth them to seek the
thing by faith. So on the other side, to his disciples that believed, he
gave the pieces of the bread, saying, "Take you and eat, this is my body." And
in like wise he gave them the cup about,
saying, "Drink you of this all, this is the cup
of my blood, which shall be shed for many, for remission of sins." Here
thou seest that to them that asked without faith he opened not the manner of
this mystery or Sacrament. But to them that believed, he expounded it, though
they asked not. Therefore, let them hear this, those folk, I say, that of
arrogance and pride will not believe the faith of Christ."
Here ye see, good readers, that Saint Cyril plainly declareth you
that our Savior would not teach them at that time the manner
of the eating, because of their infidelity for all their asking,
but afterward he told and taught it his faithful disciples at
his Last Supper and Maundy when he took them the bread and
bade them eat it, and told them that the same was his body,
and the cup and bade them drink thereof, and showed them
that that was his blood. And thus you see well by Saint Cyril that
Master Masquer here, which by his exposition would make us
ween that our Savior in all his words here to the Jews meant
only to tell them of the giving of his flesh to the death and that he
meant nothing of the giving of his flesh to eat in the Blessed
Sacrament, doth in all his exposition but play with false dice to
deceive you.
Now as for that Saint Cyril here calleth it by the name of bread,
that is, I trow, the thing that can nothing trouble you. For I
have showed you before, by the
words of that great holy doctor Theophylactus,
that it is called bread because
it was bread, and because of the form of bread that remaineth, and
yet is no bread indeed, but is the very Blessed Body of Christ, his
very flesh and his blood. As you see also by Saint Cyril here,
which of this Blessed Sacrament so often rehearseth and inculcateth

the miracle, exhorting all folk that no man be moved to mistrust
it, though the thing be marvelous, nor ask as the Jews
did how such a wonderful work can be wrought, but meekly
believe it, since he is God that saith it, and therefore as he saith it, so
doubt not but he can do it, as he doth other like things and did
ere he were born into this world, of which things Saint Cyril
hath here rehearsed some. As the turning of the water into
blood, as he turneth in the Sacrament the wine into blood, and
the turning of Aaron's rod into a serpent,
and that into such a serpent as devoured
up all the serpents of the Egyptian witches. Like as our
Savior in the Blessed Sacrament turneth the bread into his
own body, that holy wholesome serpent that devoureth all the poisoned
serpents of hell, and was therefore figured by the brazen
serpent that Moses did set up in the
manner of a cross in the desert, the
beholding whereof devoured and destroyed the venom of all the
poison serpents that had stung any man there.
The Seventeenth Chapter.
And albeit that I show you, good Christian readers, Saint
Cyril's words and his exposition upon the place because
Master Masquer shall not make men ween that I make all the
matter of mine own head, yet seemeth me that our Savior declareth
this matter with plain words himself. For what can be plainer
words than are his own, when that upon their wondering
and their murmuring question, "How can he give us his flesh to
eat?" he said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say to you, but if you eat the
flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye shall not have life in you. He that
eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath life everlasting, and I shall
raise him up again in the last day. For my flesh is verily meat, and
my blood is verily drink. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh
dwelleth in me and I in him."
In these words ye see, good readers, how plainly that our Lord
showeth them both the profit of the receiving and the
peril of the refusing, and also both that he not only speaketh of

his very body and blood (which thing Master Masquer agreeth)
but, over that also, that he more plainly and more precisely saith,
that they should verily eat it and drink it (which thing Master
Masquer denieth) and yet is that the thing that our Savior in
these words most specially laboreth to make them believe. For
that he spoke of his very flesh they perceived well enough. But
that he would have them verily eat it, that they thought such a
manner thing that they neither would do nor could believe,
because they mistook the manner thereof, weening that they
should eat it in dead pieces, cut out as the butchers cut the beasts
in the shambles.
And Christ therefore would at this time, for their arrogant infidelity
(as Saint Cyril hath told you), nothing declare them of
the manner of his giving it to be verily eaten, not in the proper
form of flesh (as they fleshly imagined), but in the form of
bread in the Blessed Sacrament because (as Theophylactus declared
you) men should not abhor to eat it. But leaving that untaught
till the time of his Maundy supper (whereas Saint Cyril hath
also showed you he taught it his faithful disciples at the institution
of that Blessed Sacrament), he laboreth, as I say, in these
words here most special, with as plain words as can be
devised, to tell them and make them believe that they shall verily
eat his flesh. Which thing, for anything that he could say to
them, they were so hard-hearted that they would not believe
And yet is Master Masquer here much more obdurate now and
much more faithless, too, than all they were then. For he, both
having heard what Christ said to those infidels then, and also what
he taught his faithful disciples at his Maundy after, and what all
holy doctors and saints have said thereon and believed ever
since, yet will he, with a few fond heretics, take a foolish
froward way and believe the contrary, or at the least wise, say
that he believeth the contrary. But in good faith, that they verily
believe as they say that can I not believe, except that of the scripture
and the Christian faith these folk believe nothing at all. And so,

upon my faith, I fear me that you shall see it proved at last, as
appeareth by some of them that so begin already and have
in some places put forth such poison in writing.
But surely, though neither any man had ever written upon
these words of Christ, nor our Savior himself never spoken
word thereof after that ever had in writing come into men's
hands, yet are these words here spoken so plain and so full that
they must needs make any man that were willing to believe him
clearly perceive and know that in one manner or other he would
give us his own very flesh verily to be received and eaten. For
when the Jews said, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" he
answered them with no sophisms but, with a very plain open tale,
told them they should neither distrust that he could on his
part give them his flesh to eat, nor yet refuse upon their
part to eat it, if ever they would be saved. As though he would
say, "Marvel you and mistrust you my word? And ask how I
can give you mine own flesh to eat? I will not tell you how I can
give it, nor in what form or fashion ye shall eat it, but this I
will tell you, neither in tropes, allegories, nor parables, but even
for a very plain truth, that eat ye shall
my very flesh indeed, if ever ye
purpose to be saved, yea, and drink my
very blood, too. For but if you be content to eat and with a
true faith to eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his
blood, ye shall not have life in you. But whoso with a true well
working faith eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, he
hath everlasting life." Not only because he is as sure to
have it when the time shall come as though he had it already, by
reason of the promise that Christ here maketh, where he saith,
"And I shall resuscitate and raise him up
at the last day," but also for that the very
Body of Christ that he receiveth is very
life everlasting of itself, and such a life as to them that well
will receive it in true faith and purpose of good living, it is
the thing that is able to give life and quickness everlasting. For
as the Godhead is of his own nature everlasting life, so is the
flesh joined in unity of person to the Godhead, by that immediate

conjunction and unity, made both everlasting and lively in itself,
and also everlasting life to the giving of life everlastingly to
all others that well and worthily receive him, and will persevere
and abide with him. For though every man here naturally
die for the while, yet shall Christ, as he promiseth here, raise and
resuscitate him again to everlasting life in the last day.
The Eighteenth Chapter.
And to show more and more that he meaneth plainly of very
eating and very drinking, he saith, "My flesh is verily meat
and my blood is verily drink." Upon
these words saith Saint Cyril thus:
"Christ here declareth the difference again
between the mystical benediction, that is to
wit, the Blessed Sacrament and manna, and between the water flowing out
of the stone and the Communion of the Holy Blood. And this he repeateth
again to the intent they should no more marvel of the miracle of manna,
but that they should rather receive him which is the heavenly bread and
the giver of eternal life. "Your fathers," said our Savior, "did eat manna in
the desert, and they be dead. But this bread is descended from heaven that a
man should eat thereof and not die." For the meat of manna brought not
eternal life but a short remedy against hunger. And therefore manna was not
the very meat, that is to wit, manna was not the bread from heaven, but the
Holy Body of Christ that is the meat that nourisheth to immortality and
eternal life. "Yea," saith some man, "but they drank water out of the stone." But
what win they by that, for dead they be, and therefore that was not the very
drink, but the very drink is the Blood of Christ, by which death is
utterly turned up and destroyed. For it is not the blood of him that is only
man, but the blood of that man which, being joined to the natural
life (that is to wit, the Godhead), is made also life himself. Therefore we
be the body and the members of Christ. For by this Blessed Sacrament we
receive the very Son of God himself."
Here you see, good readers, that Saint Cyril plainly declareth
here that these words of Christ, "My flesh is verily meat, etc." are
spoken and meant of his Holy Flesh in the Blessed Sacrament, of
which Master Masquer in all his exposition and in all his whole

wise work, telleth us plainly the contrary. But Saint Cyril is
here open and plain, both for that point and for the whole matter.
For who can more plainly declare anything than that holy doctor
declareth in these words that in the Blessed Sacrament is
verily eaten and drunk the very Blessed Body and Holy Blood of
Christ? And yet doth not Saint Cyril say it more openly than
doth our Savior in his own words himself.
And now further to show that it must needs be so that he
which eateth his flesh and drinketh his blood must needs be
resuscitated and raised again in body to everlasting life, our
Savior addeth thereunto and saith, "He that eateth my flesh and
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him." Upon which
words also, thus saith holy Saint Cyril:
"Like as if a man unto molten wax put other wax, it cannot be but that
he shall throughout mingle the one with the other, so if a man receive the
Flesh and the Blood of our Lord worthily and as he should, it cannot
be but that he shall be so joined with Christ, as Christ shall be with him and
he with Christ."
Thus may you, good readers, see how verily a man eateth in the
Sacrament the Blessed Body of Christ, and by that eating how
each of them is in other. And then if he so persevere, how can it be
that that body shall have everlasting death in which there is
dwelling everlasting life? For as ye
have heard, the body of Christ is by the
conjunction with his godhead made everlasting life.
But this is meant, as I say (and all the holy doctors do declare
the same), of them that receive the Sacrament not only sacramentally,
but also effectually. That is to wit,
of them that not only receive the body
of our Savior by the Sacrament into
their bodies, but also by true faith
and true repentance and purpose of good living, receive
his Holy Spirit therewith into their souls, and be made thereby very
lively members of that thing that the Blessed Sacrament signifieth
and betokeneth, that is to wit, of the mystical body of Christ, the
church, and congregation of saints.
For as you have heard by Theophylactus before, this Blessed Sacrament
is not only the very flesh of Christ, but is also a figure. And

that is it in divers wise, as I shall further declare you in my book
against Frith's answer to my epistle. With which book (were his
once come in print which is already sent over to be printed) I
shall, God willing, well make all his English brethren see and perceive
his folly that list not willingly to continue fools and wink.
But as I was about to say, they that receive our Lord by the
Sacrament only, and not by faith and purpose of amendment,
though they receive him, yet they receive him not, and though
they eat him, they eat him not. For though his Blessed Body be
received into their bodies, yet his Holy Spirit is not received into
their souls, and therefore he dwelleth not in them nor they in him,
but they eat and drink their judgment and receive him to their
damnation, for that they receive him without faith and due
reverence and therefore do not, as saith
Saint Paul, discern the body of our
And therefore saith Saint Augustine, as Prosper rehearseth in Lib.
sententiarum Prosperi, "He receiveth the meat of life, he drinketh the
draught of eternity that dwelleth in Christ and in whom Christ dwelleth. For he
that discordeth from Christ neither eateth the flesh of Christ nor drinketh his
blood, though he receive every day indifferently the Sacrament of that
great thing to the judgment and damnation of his presumption."
This text of Saint Augustine alleged Frith for his purpose in a
certain communication, willing to prove thereby that the very
body of Christ was not always verily received and eaten in the
Sacrament, as the church saith. For here (said Frith) Saint Augustine
saith plain that evil men, though they receive the Sacrament,
eat not the body of Christ.
But here Frith either had not learned or else had forgotten that
Saint Augustine meant of the effectual receiving, by which a man
not only receiveth Christ's Blessed Body into his own sacramentally,
but also virtually and effectually so receiveth therewith the
Spirit of God into his soul that he is incorporated thereby
with our Savior, in such wise that he is made a lively member
of his mystical body, that is, the congregation of saints, by receiving
it worthily, which evil folk do not that receive it to
their damnation.
For that Saint Augustine meant not to deny that the Blessed Body

of Christ is verily received and eaten in the Blessed Sacrament,
both of evil folk and good, it appeareth plain by that that, in more
places than one, he speaketh of the traitor Judas. For albeit that
in some places he putteth it in doubt and question whether Judas
received the Sacrament among the apostles at Christ's Maundy,
or else that the morsel that he received were not it, yet in divers
places he affirmeth that he did. And in those places, he affirmeth
plainly that in the Sacrament he received Christ's Blessed
Body, as evil and as false as the traitor was, as in his fifth book
De baptismo he clearly declareth in these words.
"Like as Judas, to whom our Lord gave the morsel, not by receiving any
evil thing but by evil receiving of a good thing, gave the devil a place
to enter into himself, so every man that unworthily receiveth the Sacrament of
Christ maketh not the Sacrament evil because he is evil, nor maketh not
thereby that he receiveth nothing because he
receiveth it not to his salvation. For it was
nevertheless the body of our Lord and the
blood of our Lord, even unto them of whom the Apostle said, "He that eateth it
and drinketh it unworthily, he eateth and drinketh damnation to himself.""
Here Saint Augustine, good readers, expressly declareth that not
only good folk, but evil folk also, receive and eat in the Sacrament
the very Body and Blood of Christ, though the one to salvation
the other to damnation. And therefore you see that Saint Augustine
here plainly reproveth Frith.
And that ye may plainly see also that Saint Augustine, in calling
the Blessed Sacrament the Body of Christ,
meaneth not to call it only a figure
or a memorial (besides his other plain
words in many sundry places), he
writeth in an epistle unto Eleusius, Glorius, and Felix, declaring the
great excellent goodness that Christ showed to the false traitor
Judas, he writeth, I say, that Christ gave unto Judas at his Last
Supper the price of our redemption. And
what was the price of our redemption,
but his own very Blessed Body?
Howbeit Frith was on every side deceived in the perceiving

of Saint Augustine's mind, which mishapped him, as I
suppose, for lack of reading any further in Saint Augustine's works
than those places that he found falsely drawn out into Frere
Huessgen's book.
For Saint Augustine in very many places plainly declareth that
every man, good and bad both, receiveth and eateth in the
Sacrament the very Body and Blood of Christ. And also those
words in which he saith that evil folk eat it not, he meaneth
that they eat it not so as they receive the
effect thereof, that is to wit, to be by
the receiving and eating thereof incorporated spiritually with
him as a lively member of his mystical body, the society of
saints, so that he may dwell in Christ and Christ in him, but
lacketh that spiritual effect of his eating because he is evil and
eateth not Christ's flesh in such manner as he should do,
that is to wit, worthily in true faith and purpose of clean and
innocent life, as Saint Augustine in his book De blasphemia Spiritus
Sancti declareth well in these words.
"This also that Christ saith: "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my
blood, dwelleth in me and I in him." How shall we understand it? May we
understand those folk therein too, of whom the
Apostle saith that they eat and drink their judgment
when they eat the same flesh and drink the same blood? Did
Judas, the traitor and wicked seller of his master, though he first with the
other apostles, as Saint Luke the Evangelist very clearly declareth, did eat and
drink the same Sacrament of his Flesh and his Blood made with his own
hands, did he abide yet in Christ and Christ in him? Finally, many men
which with a feigned heart eat that flesh and drink that blood, or
else when they have eaten and drunken it, become apostates after, do they
dwell in Christ and Christ in them? But there is undoubtedly a certain manner of
eating that flesh and drinking that blood, in which manner he that
eateth it and drinketh it dwelleth in Christ and Christ in him. And therefore
not whosoever eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood dwelleth in
Christ and Christ in him, but he that eateth it and drinketh it after a
certain manner, which manner Christ saw when he spoke the words."
Here you see, good readers, that Saint Augustine showeth that Judas
in the Sacrament received and did eat the body of Christ, and

declareth also the very whole thing that he meaneth concerning
the understanding of this word of Christ, "He that eateth my flesh and
drinketh my blood dwelleth in me
and I in him," that is to wit, they that eat
it in a certain manner, by which he
meaneth they that eat it well and in the state of grace, as he plainly
declareth both in his exposition upon Saint John's Gospel, and
many sundry places besides.
And those that receive him otherwise, with a feigned heart and
in purpose of deadly sin, they follow Judas and shortly show
themselves. For such as they were wont to be, such will they be
still, or yet rather much worse if they were before very naught.
And therefore saith Saint Augustine that a man to eat the flesh of Christ
is to dwell in Christ, and to have Christ
dwelling in him. For he that dwelleth not
in Christ, well declareth that though he have received and eaten his
flesh into his body by the Sacrament, yet hath he not received and
eaten his Spirit, as I said, into his soul, and therefore hath
not received and eaten his flesh effectually, but without the effect
of the Spirit and life, which is the thing whereby the flesh
giveth the life, and without which, as our Savior saith, his flesh
availeth us nothing. And so for lack of the spiritual eating,
the fleshly eater of his flesh, though he receive the Sacrament,
receiveth not the effect of the Sacrament, the thing that the Sacrament
signifieth, that is the participation of the mystical body of
Christ; that is to wit, the church and congregation of all
saints, which church and congregation is gathered together as
many members into one body Christ, as the bread which our
Lord in the Sacrament changeth into his Blessed Body is one loaf
made of many grains of wheat, and the wine which he
changeth into his Blood is one cup of wine made of many
grapes, as the Apostle declareth.
And verily to be a quick lively member of that body doth no
man attain that receiveth the Sacrament without faith and
purpose of good life, but waxeth a more weak member and a more
lame, more astonied, and more loosely hanging thereon than he
did before, and by such often receiving so rotteth more and

more that finally it falleth quite off, and is cast out into the dunghill
of hell, and shall never be resuscitated and raised again to be
made a member of that body in glory.
But, as Saint Augustine saith, if a man after the receiving of
the Sacrament do dwell still in God, that
is to wit, abide and persevere in true
faith and good works, then is it a
good sign and token that he hath effectually eaten the flesh of
Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. And thereupon must it needs, good
Christian reader, follow that he that receiveth the Blessed Sacrament
well, and eateth therein the flesh of Christ not only verily, which
every man doth good and bad, but also (which only the good folk
do) effectually, and so dwelleth in Christ and Christ in him perseverantly:
that man or woman without doubt, it must needs be
that they can never everlastingly die, but Christ dwelling in
them shall conserve their souls and resuscitate again their
bodies that so dwell in him, into everlasting life.
The Nineteenth Chapter.
For the surety and infallible proof whereof, our Savior said forthwith
upon his words fore-remembered further unto the Jews, "As
the living Father sent me, so also do I live for my Father. And he that
eateth me, shall live also for me."
The Father of heaven, being the original substance of life,
before all beginning begot his coeternal Son, and gave unto
him his own whole substance, and therefore his own whole life, as
to him whom he begot one equal God with himself, in
nothing different but in only person.
The Father, I say, gave all his own whole life to his Son, and
yet none thereof from himself. And therefore saith our Savior
Christ that himself liveth for or by his Father. And so that man,
saith he, that eateth me shall live through me. For since that by the
very eating of his very Blessed Body, the eater (but if himself be
the let) is joined with the flesh of Christ (as holy Saint
Cyril hath declared), and thereby with that Holy Spirit of his also
which from that holy flesh is inseparable, and so joined unto

the very substance of life that is life and giveth life, too, he cannot
but live through Christ.
Upon this our Savior finally for conclusion telleth them that
this bread also is come from heaven, saying, "This is the bread that is
descended from heaven." Not meaning that his flesh was first in
heaven and so sent down from thence, as some heretics have ere
this held an opinion, but that his body was in the Blessed
Virgin his mother by the heavenly obumbration of the Holy Ghost.
And also since his godhead and his manhood were joined and knit
together in very unity of person, our Savior used that manner of
speaking by the one that he used by the other. And therefore
as he said unto Nicodemus, "The Son of Man descended from
heaven," so saith he here of his flesh, "This is the bread that is
descended from heaven."
And because that the Jews had in the beginning of this communication
boasted unto him the bread of manna, bringing
forth for the praise thereof the words of
the Prophet, "Thou hast given them
bread from heaven," our Lord here showed them that this bread
that he would give them to eat, that is to wit, his own very
flesh (as himself very plainly declared them), is of another
manner descended down from heaven than the manna whose
descending from heaven they in the beginning boasted so. And
therefore he said, "This is the bread that is descended from heaven,
not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread
shall live forever." As though he would say, "This is another manner of
bread, otherwise come from heaven, than manna was that ye boast
of so. For that bread was given you but for the sustenance of the
life in this world, but this bread that is mine own body, conceived
by the Holy Ghost, and in unity of person joined with my godhead as
verily as it is joined with mine own soul, is another manner of
heavenly bread, and shall be given you to eat for another manner of
purpose. For manna that was given your fathers to eat for the
only sustenance of their temporal life, was but a figure of this
bread thus given you to eat, as I shall
begin to give it at my Maundy supper,
the manner whereof I will not tell you

now. And therefore, as the figure or the shadow of a thing is
far from the property of the thing itself, so was the bread of
manna far from the property of this bread that is my flesh. For
likewise as because it was a figure of this bread that is very life,
it served for the sustenance of life; so because it was but a figure
and not the very life itself, it served therefore not to give life, but
to sustain life, not forever but for a while. But this bread that is
my flesh (which I shall give you as verily to eat as ever your
fathers did eat manna), because it is not the figure only of the
thing that is life, but is also (by conjunction with the Godhead)
the very life itself that was figured, I shall give it you to eat in
such a manner that it shall not only maintain, feed, and sustain
the body of the eater in this present life, but it shall also
give life, yea, and that everlasting life in glory, not only to the
soul, but also to the body too, in time meet and convenient,
raising it up again from death, and setting it with the soul in
eternal life of everlasting bliss.
The Twentieth Chapter.
"This communication with the Jews had our Lord, teaching in the
synagogue at Capernaum. And many therefore of his disciples, hearing these
things said, "This word is hard, and who can hear him?""
The more and more that our Savior plainly told them that
he would give them his very flesh to eat, the more and more
marvelous hard they thought his saying, and reckoned that it
was impossible for any man to believe it. And therefore, for lack of
belief, they lost the profit. And these that thus thought
this matter so marvelous hard and strange that they would not
believe, but for lack of belief lost the profit, were not only
such Jews as were his enemies, but many of those also that were
his own disciples.
But our Savior, knowing in himself (as he that was God and
needed no man to tell him) that his disciples murmured at his
words, because he told them so often and so plainly that men
should have no life but if they would be content verily to eat his
own flesh, he said unto them, "Doth this offend you? Do you stumble

at this? What then if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up where as he
was before? The Spirit is that that quickeneth, the flesh availeth nothing.
The words that I have spoken to you be spirit and life."
In these words our Lord shortly toucheth all their objections
growing upon their infidelity and also confuteth their infidelity,
and in his words after following, putteth them yet again in
mind of the medicine that might remove their unfaithfulness and give
them the very fast faith.
The Jews had before murmured against that that he had
said, that he was descended from heaven. Against which they said,
"Is not he the son of Joseph whose father
and mother we know? And how saith he
then that he is descended from heaven?" And a great piece of their
murmur therein arose, as ye see, upon that point that they had
misconceived, weening that Joseph had been his father. For had
they believed that his manhood had been conceived by the Holy Ghost,
they would have murmured the less. And had they believed that
his godhead had descended into it from heaven, they would not have
murmured at all.
In like wise they murmured at the second point, in that he
showed them so plainly that he would give them his very flesh to
be their very meat, and said, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?"
And many of his disciples said also, "This is a hard word, and who
may hear him?" And a great part of their murmur was because
they thought that they should have eaten his flesh in the self fleshly
form, and because (as Saint Augustine
saith in sundry treatises) that they thought
they should have eaten his flesh in dead
gobbets, cut out piecemeal as the meat
is cut out in the shambles, and also because they knew him not to be
God. For had they known that the manner in which he would give
them his very flesh to eat should not be in the selfsame
fleshly form, but in the pleasant form of bread, though they
would yet have marveled because they would have thought it
wonderful, yet would they have murmured the less, because they
would not have thought it loathly. But then, had they further
known that he had been God, then would they not, I suppose, have
murmured at the matter at all. For I ween verily that there were

neither of those disciples, nor of those Jews neither, anyone so
evil as now be Master Masquer and Frith and his fellows, that
seeing the receiving nothing loathsome, and believing that
Christ was God (if they believe it), will not yet believe he can do it,
but murmur and grudge against it still.
For though Master Masquer say that if Christ said he would do it,
then himself would believe he could do it, yet it shall appear
ere we part, both that Christ saith it and he will not believe that
Christ, though he say it, meaneth it, and also that the cause why he
will not believe that Christ meaneth it is because he believeth that
God cannot do it.
But now said our Savior unto them in answering all this
gear, "Do you stumble at this? What if ye see the Son of Man ascend up
where he was before? What will you then say?" For then could they have
no cause to distrust that he descended down, when they should see
him ascend up. For that thing seemeth in men's mad eyes
such as they were that would not take him but for a man, far
the greater mastery of the both.
Also, when they should see him ascend up to heaven whole, then
should they well perceive that they mistook him by a
false imagination of their own device when they construed
the giving of his flesh to eat, as though he meant to give it
them in such wise as himself should lose all that they should eat.
And when he said they should see the Son of Man ascend up
there as he was before, he gave them again a signification that
himself, the Son of Man, was the Son of God also, and thereby himself
God also, and into the world come and descended from
In these words, our Savior showeth that his Ascension should be
a sufficient cause to make them know his power and leave their
murmuring. And therefore they that leave not murmuring at his
Blessed Sacrament yet show a great token that they believe
not his wonderful Ascension neither. For if they believed well that
he had power of himself to ascend up in body and sit in heaven
one equal God with his Father and the Holy Ghost, then would they
never ween, as they do, that God lacked power to make his own
body to be in diverse places at once, and be both in heaven and

The Twenty-First Chapter.
But now, forasmuch as a great part of these folks" diffidence
and distrust rose of that that the respect of the loathsomeness made
them the less willing to believe, in that they thought that he
meant to give them his flesh to eat in gobbets, cut out dead,
without life or spirit, our Savior answered them to that point.
And though he would not at that time tell them the manner how
he would give it them to eat, yet he told them that he
would not give it them so. And therefore he said unto them, "The
spirit is it that quickeneth or giveth life, the flesh availeth nothing. The
words which I have spoken to you be spirit and life."
As though he would say unto them, "I told you before that whoso
would eat my flesh should have everlasting life. And therefore why
be you so mad as to ween that I mean my flesh cut out in
gobbets dead without life or spirit? It is the spirit that giveth
life. And therefore without the spirit, the flesh should avail you
naught. But being knit with the spirit of my godhead, which is
the substance and very fountain of life, so it shall (to them that
worthily eat it) give everlasting life. And therefore the words
that I speak be not only flesh, for that will no more give life
alone than will faith alone give life that is dead without the will
of good works. But my words therefore that I have spoken to you
of my flesh to be eaten, be not flesh alone, but spirit also and
life. Therefore, you must understand them not so fleshly as you
do, that I would give you my flesh in gobbets dead, but you
must understand them spiritually, that you shall eat it in another
manner, animated with my soul,
and joined with the spirit of my
godhead, by which my flesh is itself
made not only lively but also giving life."
Thus meant our Lord in those words. Wherein lest Master
Masquer might make men ween that I run all at riot upon
mine own invention, holy Saint Augustine
showeth that in these
words, ""The spirit it is that quickeneth, the
flesh availeth nothing," our Savior meaneth that his flesh dead and without

the spirit availeth nothing, as cunning nothing availeth without charity,
without which, as Saint Paul saith, it doth but
puff up a man in pride. But on the other side,
like as cunning much edifieth and profiteth
joined with charity, so the flesh of our Savior
much availeth joined with his Holy Spirit."
Saint Cyril also upon the same words, declaring them by a
long process to the purpose that I have showed you, saith among
many other things in this manner, as it were in the person of Christ
speaking to those Jews, and to those disciples of his that said his
words were so hard that no man could abide to hear him, which
they said, as saith Saint Chrysostom, for
their own excuse, because themselves were
about to walk their way. To them therefore,
saith our Savior thus, in Saint Cyril's exposition.
"Ween you when I said that whoso eat my flesh shall have everlasting life,
that I meant therein that this earthly body of mine doth give life of its own
proper nature? Nay, verily. But I did speak to you of the Spirit and of
eternal life. But it is not the nature of the flesh that maketh the Spirit give
life, but the power of the Spirit maketh the flesh give life. The words
therefore I have spoken to you be spirit and life; that is to wit, they be
spiritual and spoken of the spirit and life; that is to wit, of that spirit that is
the natural life that giveth life. But yet the thing that we have already said, it
shall do no harm though we repeat it again. The thing that I have said is
this. The nature of the flesh cannot of itself give life. For what had then
the nature of the godhead more? But then, on the other side, there is not in Christ
only flesh, but he hath the Son of God joined with it which is the equal
substance of life with his Father. And therefore when Christ calleth his
flesh a giver of life, that power of giving life he doth not attribute unto
his flesh and unto his Holy Spirit both of one fashion. For the spirit
giveth life by itself and of his own nature. But the flesh ascendeth unto
that power of giving life by reason of the conjunction and unity that it hath
with that Holy Spirit. Howbeit how and by what means that thing is
done, we neither are able with tongue to tell, nor with mind to imagine, but
with silence and firm faith we receive it."
Thus have you heard, good readers, that the thing that I say,

do not only I say, but Saint Augustine also and Saint Cyril both.
Which is enough to you to perceive that I devise not mine
exposition all of mine own head, and may be enough to any good
Christian man also to perceive clearly that our Savior in
these words did speak, not only of a spiritual eating of his
flesh by belief and remembrance of his death and Passion, as
Master Masquer and Frith and these fond fellows stiffly bear us in
hand, but spoke also and meant it of the remembering of his death
and Passion by the very eating of his very Blessed Body as it is
eaten in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Twenty-Second Chapter.
But these heretics are so set upon mischief and willfulness
that they will not in any wise understand the truth. And
how could they understand the truth, when they will not
believe? For (as the prophet Isaiah saith)
but if you believe you shall not understand.
And therefore these heretics cannot understand. For
they be in the case now that those disciples and those Jews were,
with whom our Savior found that fault then in his words next
ensuing and said: "But there be some of you that believe not," as
though he would say, "As plainly as I have told it you and as often,
yet are there some of you that believe it not." But he knew from the
beginning who should believe, and who also should betray him.
And so knoweth he likewise now too, who be good and who be
naught, and who shall amend and who shall never amend. Not
that his foreknowledge forceth them to be
naught, but for it is impossible for them
to be naught but that his infinite foresight
must needs from the beginning foresee it. And yet when
he foreseeth that it so shall be, it shall so be indeed, and cannot
otherwise be but that it shall so be if he foresee that it shall so
be. For he should not foresee that it shall so be, if it so were that indeed
it should otherwise be. But likewise as if I see one sit, it
must needs be that he sitteth, for else should I not see him sit;
and that therefore it well followeth, I see him sit, ergo it must
needs be that he sitteth. And yet my sight forceth him not to

sit, nor of that argument the consequence proposition of his
nature necessary, but contingent, though of the one proposition
inferred upon the other, the consequency or consecution be
necessary. So being presupposed that God foreseeth such a thing
which he should not foresee but if the thing should be, yet his foresight
no more forceth the person that doth it in the thing
that is yet to come than my sight forceth him to sit whom I see
sit, of whom no man can say but that he must needs sit in the
while in which he will presuppose that I see him sit.
And therefore, because his prescience and his providence forced
them not to continue in their willfulness to their damnation, he
putteth them once again in remembrance of the means whereby
they may avoid that willful ignorance and infidelity, and thus he
saith unto them: "Therefore I have told you already that no man can
come to me but if it be given of my Father."
"Think not," saith Saint Chrysostom upon these words, "that every
man to whom the Father giveth it hath it
as by way of a special privilege, so that
they that have not given them lack it only,
therefore, because God will not give it them. God (saith St. Chrysostom)
will gladly give it them, if they would not by their own dealing make themselves
unworthy to receive it." And therefore saith Saint Cyril upon
the same words that "those that among the Jews lived well and were
of good conditions, had the faith given them and came to Christ. But they
that were stubborn, arrogant, malicious, and willful, as were the scribes and
the Pharisees and the stiff-necked bishops, they letted themselves from the
gift of faith."
This gift of faith without the help of God cannot be had,
nor no man can come to the Son but if
the Father draw him. And whom he
draweth and whom he draweth not, and
why him and why not him, let us not seek nor search, as Saint
Augustine saith, if we will not err.
But yet that he rejecteth no man that will seek for his soul
health, but rather calleth upon to be sought upon, that doth the
scripture well witness, where God said
himself, "Lo, I stand at the door knocking;
if any man hear my voice and open me the door, I will go in

to him and sup with him and he with me." And the prophet
Isaiah saith, "Seek you our Lord while he
may be found. Call you upon him
while he is near. Let the wicked man leave his way, and the
unrighteous man leave his devices, and let him turn to our
Lord and he will have pity upon him. For he is great in forgiveness."
Our Savior saith himself
also, "Ask and you shall have. Seek and
you shall find. Knock and you shall be let in." And finally that
no man should take these words of our Savior, that no man
can come to him but if it be given him of the Father, and these
words of his also, "No man can come to me but if my Father draw
him" -- that no man, I say, should so take these words in such a
presumptuous way of election that weening he were drawn into
such a feeling faith that could never fail and so should, as
Tyndale teacheth, make himself so sure of his own salvation
by his sure and infallible election that he should stand out of all
fear and wax slothful; the scripture crieth, "Let him that
thinketh he standeth, beware lest he fall."
And, on the other side, that no man
should upon these words take that imagination that these heretics
also teach, of desperate, inevitable destiny of damnation,
and sit still and do no good himself,
weening that his own devoir
were in vain because he feeleth not God
anything draw him, holy Saint Augustine (whose words these
heretics for election and destiny
against the devoir of man's free will
most lay for them) biddeth every man
for all their babbling, "If thou be not drawn, pray God to draw thee."
And therefore, to that intent did our Savior Christ put them
again in mind of that he had said before, that they could not
come to him but if it were given them by his Father, because he
would that they should for their part labor to remove the lets that, on
their own part, letted his Father to give them that gift. And that is

that they should have less cure and care of their bellies, the desire of
whose fleshly filling with perishable
meat made them angry to hear of the spiritual
food of his own holy flesh, by the
well eating whereof they might have everlasting life.
He taught them also by those words to perceive (if they
would) that Joseph was not his father. For when he said that they
could not have that great gift but of his Father, nor could not come
to him but if his Father drew them, they might well wit he meant
not Joseph, but his Father of heaven. And therefore would he by those
words give them warning that they should leave their murmuring,
and pray his Father give them the grace to believe him.
The Twenty-Third Chapter.
But whereas they should have taken this way and walked forward
with him, they took the contrary way, not only the other Jews
but many also of his own disciples, and went away backward from
him, and as the Gospel saith, walked no more with him.
But though that many of his disciples went away from
him, because his Father brought them not unto him, yet as himself
said before, "All that my Father giveth me shall come to me,"
all went not away. His apostles tarried. And yet, among those
twelve, tarried one false shrew. And in the stead of those disciples
that went away, which were, as Saint
Augustine saith, about three score and ten,
he chose soon after other three score and ten whom he sent to
preach about as he had sent his twelve apostles before.
But then seeing there were at that time so few left and so many
gone, he said unto his twelve apostles, "Will you be gone too?" He
neither bade them go as though he would be glad of their going,
nor yet bade them abide, as though he had need of their abiding,
but only asked them whether they would go or not, signifying
that, for all their election, they were in the liberty of their
own free will either to go after the other or to abide still with
him. Then answered Simon Peter and said: "Lord, to whom shall

we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life. And we believe
and know that thou art Christ, the Son of God." As though he
would say, "If we love life, to whom should we go from thee? For
only thou hast the words not of life only but also of life everlasting,
for all thy words and thy doctrine draw men thereto.
And we believe, and by belief we know, that thou art Christ, the
very Son of God. And thereby we know that thou art not only
very man, but also very God. And we perceive well therefore that
thou art the bread that is descended from heaven, and that thou
shalt ascend thither again, and that therefore thou art able
and of power to give us that marvelous meat of thine own holy
flesh to eat. And that thou so wilt do, we believe and wot well,
because thou so dost promise. And we perceive well that thou
wilt not give it us in dead gobbets that
could not avail us, but alive, and with
thine Holy Spirit, the fountain of life, whereby thy flesh shall
give us, if we will eat it, everlasting life, when thou shalt
resuscitate our bodies in the last day. But in what marvelous
manner thou wilt give it us to eat, that hast thou not yet declared
us, nor we will not be too boldly curious or inquisitive of thy
marvelous mystery. But therein abide the time of thine own
determination, as to whose high heavenly wisdom the season
meet and convenient is open and known, and unknown to
mortal men. And we will therefore obediently receive it and eat it,
at what time and in what wise that thy gracious pleasure shall be to
command us."
When Saint Peter, as head under Christ of that company, had
made this answer not only for himself but also for them all,
not saying "I" but "we," our Lord to let him see that he was
somewhat deceived, and had said more than he could make good.
For one false shrew was there yet still remaining among the
twelve, whereof eleven were not aware; our Savior therefore said:
"Have not I chosen you twelve, and of you twelve, yet is there one a
devil?" This he spoke by Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for he it
was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
Our Lord here, good readers, showed himself not deceived. For
though Judas' falsehood was unknown to his fellows, yet was it not

unknown to his master, which though he showed himself not
ignorant of his servant's evil mind and traitorous purpose
toward his own person (toward which purpose, as it seemeth,
Judas' heart had at this time conceived some inclination), yet had
he patience with him, and continually did use the ways to
reform and amend him, never casting him out till he clearly
cast out himself, according to the saying of our Savior, "He
that cometh to me, I will not cast him
The Twenty-Fourth Chapter.
But here do many men marvel, not only that our Savior
would keep him, so long knowing him so false, but also that
he would take him to him for his apostle in the beginning, foreknowing
by his godhead from the beginning that he would after
be false. And divers holy doctors hold also that he was never
true nor good, but naught and false from the beginning. And in this
matter whereof God hath not so fully revealed unto men the certainty
that we be precisely bound to the belief of either other part,
every man is at liberty to believe whether part that himself
thinketh most likely by natural reason and scripture.
And therefore, though some good holy men and saints have
thought that Judas was never good, but
that our Savior took him to his apostle
and so kept him in all his malice still,
for the accomplishment of the great mystery of his Passion, well
using thereby the evil of man, as man evil useth the goodness
of God, yet thinketh me that, as Theophylactus
saith, and Saint Cyril, and
Saint Chrysostom too, Judas was once
very good when our Lord did chose him for his apostle, and was
at that time given unto Christ by his Father. For proof whereof that
godly cunning doctor M. Lyre well
bringeth in the words of our Savior
himself, saying to his Father a little
after his Maundy finished: "Them that

thou hast given unto me I have kept, and none of them hath perished but the
son of perdition." Which he meant by Judas, being then yet alive in
body by nature, but dead in soul by deadly sin. Him our Lord
took unto him for his apostle while he was good, and not of the
common sort of good men but also very special good, as these
holy doctors do divine and guess.
And though Christ foresaw the wretchedness that he would after
fall to, yet would he not forbear the right order of justice, but take
him in such degree for the time as his present goodness of good
congruence deserved. For being at that time more meet for
the office of an apostle than another man, if Christ should have
rejected him as unworthy and unmeet for the fault that himself knew
he would after do, toward which fault he was at that time nothing
minded, then should he have reproached him at such time as he
was not worthy to be reproached. And then were it somewhat like
as if a man, because he maketh himself very sure that his wife
and his children will one time or other not fail to displease
him afterward, at some one time or other, be angry therefore
with them all and chide them and beat them before. Our Savior,
therefore, when Judas was very good, after such rate of goodness
as is in mortal men, took him and promoted him to the office
and dignity of his own apostle, after that order of justice
by which he rewardeth one man above another after the rate of
their merits, and yet every man of them all far above all his
Now when he was afterward through covetousness waxed naught,
yet our Lord kept him still, and would not by taking his office
from him disclose his secret falsehood and put him to shame, but
used many other means to mend him and keep therewith the
honesty of his name, not letting to procure his amendment on
his part, though he well knew the wretch would never
amend upon his part.
But likewise as though a man have an incurable sickness, it yet
becometh the physician all the time that he liveth therewith to
do his part still toward the curing thereof, so became it our
Savior to do it as he did, and not to leave off or slake his goodness

toward the cure and amendment of the man's incurable
For though Judas was, with all that goodness of Christ used unto
him, not only nothing the better but also very far the worse,
and fell far the deeper into death and damnation, yet since there
came of his traitorous dealing none harm but unto Christ, whose
goodness was for our weal very glad to suffer it, and unto the
traitor himself and such other as willfully would deserve
it, it had been neither right nor reason, that for to save them from
hell that needs would walk into it, he should have left any of his
goodness and sufferance undone, whereby he procured the
salvation of so many thousands as should be saved by his bitter
And much more reason it was that our Savior should have
respect and regard to procure the bliss of those that should be
saved, than to care for the pain of those that should be damned.
For it had been (as it seemeth) not consonant unto right if our
Lord should for avoiding of their pain that, for all his calling
back to the contrary would yet willingly run forth into damnation,
have kept away the reward of bliss from them that would
with his help deserve it.
And therefore our Lord, as I say, took Judas and made him his
apostle, being very good, and after had long patience with
him while he was very naught, till that through his immedicable
malice he fell of himself, and so was cast out and perished. But
by his perishing, our Savior lost not, but won. For of his evil
came there much more good, and his
own place of apostleship was afterward
fulfilled with Saint Matthias.
And in like wise, the other disciples that departed now, which
were (as Saint Chrysostom saith and as
the Gospel seemeth also to say) all that
then were present, save only his twelve
apostles, and were, as Saint Augustine saith, in number above three
score and ten: all they lost themselves when they willingly lost
their Savior. And he found
better to succeed in their places. For

soon after, in the stead of those three score and ten, he chose
other three score and ten disciples, as I
before showed you, whom he sent about
to preach as he had sent his twelve apostles before.
And unto Judas yet at this present time he gave a secret
warning that he might well wit
that his naughtiness was known,
which thing might make him the less bold to sin; and
yet he disclosed him not openly, because he would not shame him,
and thereby make him haply shameless, as many such wretches
wax, and after that, sin the more boldly.
The Twenty-Fifth Chapter.
His word also so spoken to all
twelve was (as Saint Chrysostom saith
and Saint Cyril both) a marvelous
goodly warning for them all. These are,
lo, the words of Saint Cyril:
"Our Lord here with sharp words confirmeth his apostles and maketh
them the more diligent, by putting before their eyes the peril of their ruin.
For this he seemeth to say unto them: "O my disciples, much need have you to
use much watch and great study about your salvation. The way of perdition
is very slippery, and not only withdraweth a feeble mind from thinking of
their fall by making them to forget themselves, but also sometime deceiveth
them by vain delectation and pleasure that are of mind very firm and
strong. And that this tale is true that I now tell you, you may see well
proved, not by the example only of them that are gone aback, but among
yourselves also that tarry and dwell still with me. For I have, you wot well,
chosen you twelve as good, well knowing that indeed you were so.
For I was not ignorant, but being God (as I am) very well knew your
hearts. Howbeit, the devil hath deceived one if you with avarice and so
pulled him away. For a man is a free creature,
and may chose his way as he will, either
on the right hand or else on the left, if he will."
"Our Lord therefore maketh them all the more vigilant, because that who

should betray him he doth not express by name. But telling them all in a
generalty that one of them should work such wickedness, he made them all
stand in fear. And by that horror and dread, lifted them up to more
vigilant diligence."
Here have you heard, good readers, the words of Saint Cyril. Now
shall ye somewhat hear what saith Saint Chrysostom.
"When Saint Peter said, "We believe," our Savior, not causeless, out of
the number of them excepted Judas and said:
"Have not I chosen you twelve and one of you is
a devil." This thing he said to remove the
traitor far from his malice. And where he saw that nothing did avail
him, yet he went about still to do well for him. And see the wisdom of
Christ, for neither would he bewray from, nor let him lurk untouched.
The one, lest he should have waxed shameless and swear nay; the other, lest
weening that none were aware, he should be the bolder in mischief."
And afterward, this in effect he saith: "It is not the custom
of God by force to make men good whether they
will or no; nor in his election he choseth not
folks by violence, but by good advice and
motion. And that ye may well perceive that his calling is no constraint of
necessity, many whom he calleth do willingly, for all his calling,
perish. And therefore it is evident that in our own will is the power
set to choose whether we will be saved or
lost. By these admonitions, therefore, let
us labor to be sober and vigilant. For if
Judas, which was one if the number of that holy company of the apostles, he
that had obtained so great a gift, he that had done miracles (for Judas himself
was sent among other to cure the lepers and raise up dead men to life),
after that he was once fallen into the grievous disease of avarice, neither the
benefits, nor the gifts, nor the company of Christ, nor the service, nor the
washing of the feet, nor the fellowship of his own board, nor the trust in
keeping of the purse anything availed from, but all these things were with
from a passage and a way to his punishment."
Lo, good readers, here have ye heard both by Saint Cyril and
Saint Chrysostom that our Savior gave that secret warning of
Judas' falsehood and said that one of the twelve was a devil, to the
intent that all folk, of what holiness so ever they were, should

stand ever in dread and fear, and not do
as these heretics teach, upon boldness of
any feeling faith or final election, presume themselves so sure of
salvation; but that while Judas fell after to naught that was once a
holy apostle, there shall no feeling faith nor proud hope upon
final election set any man in his own heart so sure but that,
with his good hope, he shall always
couple some fear, as a bridle and a bit
to refrain and pull him back, lest he fall to mischief, and
follow Judas in falsehood, and wax a devil, as Christ called him.
Which name our Savior gave him not without good cause.
For that devil's servant (saith Saint Cyril) is a devil, too. For
likewise as he that is by godly virtues joined unto God is one spirit
with God, so he that is with devilish vices joined with the
devil is one spirit with him.
And therefore good readers, he that in such plight receiveth the
Blessed Sacrament without purpose of amendment, or without
the faith and belief that the very flesh and blood of Christ is
in it, he receiveth, as Saint Augustine saith, notwithstanding his
naughtiness, the very flesh and blood of Christ, the very price of
our redemption. But he receiveth them to his harm, as Judas
did, and eateth and drinketh his own judgment and damnation
(as saith Saint Paul) because he discerneth
not our Lord's body. But
whoso doth on the other side (which, I beseech God, we may all
do) cast out the devil and his works by the sacrament of penance,
and then in the memorial and remembrance of Christ's
Passion receive that Blessed Sacrament with true faith and
devotion, with all honor and worship, as to the reverence of
Christ's blessed person present in it appertaineth: they that so
receive the Blessed Sacrament, verily receive and eat the blessed
body of Christ, and that not only sacramentally but also effectually,
not only the figure but the thing
also, not only his blessed flesh into
their bodies, but also his Holy Spirit into their souls, by
participation whereof he is incorporate in them and they in him and
be made lively members of his mystical body, the congregation

of all saints, of which their souls shall (if they persevere)
attain the fruit and fruition clean and pure once purged after this
transitory life, and their flesh also shall Christ resuscitate unto
the same glory, as himself hath promised. Of which his gracious
promise, his high grace and goodness vouchsafe to make
us all partners through the merits of his bitter Passion. Amen.
And thus end I, good readers, my first book, containing the exposition
of those words in the sixth chapter of Saint John,
whereby you may both perceive by the minds of holy saints,
whose words I bring forth, the truth of our faith concerning
the blessed body and blood of Christ verily eaten in the Blessed
Sacrament, and may also perceive and control the wily, false,
foolish exposition of Master Masquer to the contrary, such
as have his book, and they be not a few. And yet that all men
may see that I neither blame him for naught nor belie him, I
shall in my second book show you, as I promised, some part of
his faults both in falsehood and in folly, and his own words therewith.
Here endeth the First Book.

The Second Book
The First Chapter.
I have, good readers, in my first book here before perused you
the exposition of all that part of the sixth chapter of Saint John,
which Master Masquer hath expounded you before. And in the
beginning of this exposition, I have not brought you forth the
words of any of the old expositors because that (as I suppose)
mine adversaries will not much contend with me for so far.
But afterward, concerning those words in which our Savior
expressly speaketh of the giving of his very flesh and blood to be
verily eaten and drunk, there have I brought you forth such
authorities of old holy doctors and saints that ye may well see
both that I feign you not the matter but expound it you
right, and also ye see thereby clearly that Master Masquer expoundeth
it wrong. For though a man may diversely
expound one text and both well,
yet when one expoundeth it in one true
manner, of a false purpose to exclude another truth that is in that
writing by the Spirit of God first and immediately meant, his
exposition is false although every word were true, as Master
Masquer's is not.
And therefore since you see mine exposition proved you by excellent
holy men, and by their plain words ye perceive that the
words of our Savior himself do prove against all these heretics
the Catholic faith of Christ's Catholic Church very faithful
and true, concerning the very flesh of Christ verily eaten
in the Blessed Sacrament, of which eating Master
Masquer would with his exposition make men so mad as to ween
that Christ spoke nothing at all; now I say, by this exposition of
mine, ye see his exposition avoided clearly for naught, and all the
matter clear upon our part, though no man wrote one word more.
And yet will I, for all that, for the further declaration of Master
Masquer's handling, show you some pieces of his exposition in

special, by which ye may clearly see what credence may be given
to the man, either for honesty or learning, virtue, wit, or truth.
The Second Chapter.
In the beginning of the second leaf of his book, these are
Master Masquer's words.
"Consider what this meat is which he bade them here prepare and
seek for, saying, "Work, take pains, and seek for that meat, etc.," and
thou shalt see it no other meat than the belief in Christ. Wherefore he
concludeth that this meat so often mentioned is faith. Of the which
meat, saith the prophet, the just liveth. Faith in him is therefore the
meat which Christ prepareth and dresseth, so purely powdering and
spicing it with spiritual allegories in all this chapter following, to
give us everlasting life through it."
I will not lay these words to his charge as heresy, but I
will be bold by his license to note in them a little lack of wit,
and some good store of folly. For though a man may well and with
good reason call faith a meat of
man's soul, yet is it great folly to say
that the meat that Christ speaketh of
here is (as Master Masquer saith it is) none other meat but faith.
For Master Masquer may plainly see, and is not, I suppose, so
purblind but that he seeth well indeed, that the meat
which Christ speaketh of here is our Savior Christ himself.
Which thing he so plainly speaketh that no man can miss to
perceive it when he saith, "I am myself the bread of life." And
when he saith, "I am the lively bread that am descended from heaven; he
that eateth of this bread shall live forever." And when he saith also,
"That the meat should be his own flesh," (which promise he performed
after at his Maundy) which thing he told them plain
in these words, "And the bread which I shall give you is my flesh. And
he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life, and I
shall resuscitate him in the last day." And when he said, "My flesh is
verily meat."
Thus you see, good readers, how oft and how plainly that he
declareth that the meat which he speaketh of here is himself.
And now saith Master Masquer very solemnly, and with

authority biddeth every man mark it well and consider it, that
the meat that Christ speaketh of here is nothing else but belief.
And upon what color saith Master Masquer so? Because (saith
he) that our Lord bade them labor and work for the meat that
would not perish, but abide into everlasting life, and afterward
told them that the work of God, by which they should work and
labor for that meat, was nothing else but faith and belief in
First, in this construction Master Masquer lieth very large.
For though Christ said that to believe in
him was the work of God, he said not
(as Master Masquer maketh it) that
nothing else was the work of God but only belief.
But now suppose that Christ had said as Master Masquer would
make it seem, that is to wit, that the work of God were nothing
else but the belief; yet ye see well, good readers, that Christ in
saying that the belief in him is the work by which they shall
work to get the meat, saith that the belief is the means to get
the meat, and not that the belief is the meat.
But Master Masquer, because the belief is the way to this meat,
therefore he calleth the belief the meat, as wisely as though he
would call the Kings's Street Westminster Church, because it is the
way thitherward if he come from Charing Cross. And because
men must spiritually eat this meat with faith, therefore he
calleth the faith the meat as wisely as if he would, because he
eateth his meat with his mouth, therefore call his mouth his
meat. What wit hath this man?
But now will Master Masquer wax angry with my words, and
call me M. Mock as he doth once or twice in his book.
But now, good readers, I will not adjure you by God's holy
names to judge justly, but even only desire you that in way of
good company that you will say but even indifferently. Were it
not, ween you, great pity that a man should mock Master
Masquer, when every fool may perceive him in so great a matter
write so wisely?
And yet you may see that I deal with him very gently. For in

this point wherein by contrarying of Christ's own words, he
writeth plain heresy, I diminish his burden of that odious
crime and, because the matter in this place so serveth me, do cover
the botch of his cancered heresy, with this pretty plaster of his
pleasant frenzy.
And yet I ween the man hath so little honesty that he will
never can me thank for my courtesy, especially because that (as
far as I can see) the man had liefer confess himself a heretic,
then be proved a fool. And that appeareth well in this. For this
little scab of his folly he laboreth somewhat to hide and cover, so
that a man must pull off the clout ere he can spy the botch. But
as for the botch of his cancered heresies, without any clout or plaster
he layeth out abroad to show, to beg withal, among the blessed
brethren, as beggars lay their sore legs out in sight that
lie a begging a Fridays about Saint Savior and at the Sauygate.
But as for railing against images, purgatory, and praying to
saints, and against the holy Canon of the Mass, all this he taketh
for trifles, and would we should reckon all these heresies of his for
points well and sufficiently proved by that that he goeth so
boldly forth on beyond them, and denieth the Blessed Body of Christ
itself in the Blessed Sacrament too. And whereas he not only
mocketh and jesteth against the old holy doctors and saints of
Christ's Catholic Church, but against our Savior himself
in his Holy Sacrament too; yet the sage, sad, earnest, holy man all
made of gravity, sadness, and severity, must himself be reverently
reasoned with, and may have no mock of his matched with
no merry word of mine in no manner wise.
But yet like as if a right great man would wantonly walk a
mumming, and disguise himself, and with nice apparel
dissemble his personage, and with a fond visor hide and cover
his visage, he must be content to be taunted of every good fellow
that he meeteth, as merrily as himself list to jest with them; so
till Master Masquer here put off his Masquer's visor and show forth
his own venerable visage, that I may see him such an honorable
personage as it may become him to say to me what he list, and
me to requite his mocks with no merry word in this world, but
stand still demurely and make him low courtesy again, I will

not let in the meantime, while I wot ne'er what he is and while
his witless writing maketh men ween he were a wild
goose, to be so bold and homely with his mastership (as sorry as I
am for him when he playeth the blasphemous beast) to laugh yet
and make merry with him where I see him play the fool.
Yet will I now let pass his repugnance, another folly of his.
For if ever he defend his folly that I have showed you, then shall he
be fain to declare his repugnance himself. And therefore I leave
that point for himself, that in defending his folly, he may show
his repugnance, and so for defense of a single folly, prove himself
thrice a fool, first in writing folly, secondly in writing
repugnance, thirdly to be so foolish as, in defense of that one
folly, to bring in the other two.
Making therefore for this time no longer tale of his follies,
which would make mine answer overlong to bring them in all,
let us see some piece of his fruitful exposition.
The Third Chapter.
In the second leaf these are his words:
""I am the bread of life, and whoso come to me, that is to say, whoso is
grafted and joined to me by faith, shall never hunger, that is, whoso
believe in me is satisfied." It is faith, therefore, that stauncheth his hunger
and thirst of the soul. Faith it is, therefore, in Christ that filleth our
hungry hearts, so that we can desire no other if we once thus eat and
drink him by faith, that is to say, if we believe his flesh and body to
have been broken and his blood shed for our sins, for then are our
souls satisfied and we be justified."
The word of Christ, good reader, with which he beginneth, is
well and fully fulfilled, if it be understood as I have before
declared, that is to wit, that whoso come once by well-working
faith, and perseverance therein, unto the meat that is
Christ, and attain the possession and fruition of him in bliss,
he shall never hunger nor thirst after. And besides this, divers
good holy doctors expound these words of the eating of our
Savior in the Blessed Sacrament also.
But surely I believe that it will be very hard for Master
Masquer to verify the words of his holy exposition, the scant of

some such piece thereof as seemeth at the first sight well said, as
where he saith that faith so filleth our hungry hearts, and so
stauncheth the hunger and thirst of our soul, that we be
For I suppose that men are not satisfied here, neither with faith
alone, nor with faith and hope and charity too, but yet they
hunger and thirst still. For as our
Savior saith, "He that drinketh
me shall yet thirst still, and long sore as he drinketh him in grace
so to drink him in glory."
But then tempereth Master Masquer his words of never
thirsting with that that he saith, that if we eat and drink God
by faith, we shall never hunger nor thirst, but we be satisfied,
for the faith so filleth our hungry hearts that we can desire none
other thing if we once thus eat him and drink him by faith.
And then what it is to eat him and drink him by faith, he
forthwith declareth as for the whole sum and exposition of
faith, and saith:
"That is to say, if we believe his flesh and his body to have been broken
and his blood shed for our sins, for then are our souls satisfied
and we be justified."
Lo, here you see, good readers, that he saith that whoso believeth
this, here is all that needeth. For he that thus believeth is
justified, and eateth and drinketh Christ, and so his soul satisfied,
because he that so eateth him once can never after hunger nor
thirst. And why? For he can desire none other thing.
First I ween that all men are not agreed that he that longeth
for none other thing is not athirst if he long still for more of the
same. For if a man drink a pint of ale, though he found himself
so well content therewith that he do not desire neither beer,
wine, nor water, yet if his appetite be not so fully satisfied, but
that he would fain of the same ale drink a quart more, some
man would say he were a dry soul and were athirst again.
But now if this man meant any good in this matter, and would
say that whoso so eateth God as he hath him well incorporated
in him, shall so have his hunger and his thirst slaked that
he shall not hunger and thirst after the pleasure of his body, nor

after the goods and riches nor after the pomp and pride of this
wretched world, I would have suffered him go forth with his
exposition and not have interrupted it. And yet it could not (ye
wot well) have well and fully served for the text, since the text is,
"He shall never hunger nor thirst," which signifieth a taking
away of desire and longing. And by this exposition, though
there be taken away the desire and longing for other things, yet
remaineth there a desire and longing for more and more of the
But yet I would, as I say, have let it pass by and wink thereat,
if he meant none harm therein. But now cometh he after and
declareth by example what he meaneth by this his saying, that
he that eateth and drinketh God by believing that he died for our
sins, shall thirst and hunger for none other. For he saith, "He
shall desire none other; he shall not seek by night to love another before
whom he would lay his grief; he shall not run wandering here and
there to seek dead stocks and stones."
Lo, good readers, here is the end of all this holy man's purpose,
for which he draweth the words of Christ from the very thing that
Christ principally spoke of unto another spiritual understanding,
in turning the meat that Christ spoke of, that is to
wit, the meat of his own blessed person, his godhead and his
manhood both, into the meat of faith, to the intent that under
the pretext of praising the true faith, he might bring in slyly his
very false, wretched heresies, by which he would have no
prayer made unto saints, nor their pilgrimages sought, nor
honor done them at their images.
It is evident and plain that our Savior meant in this place to
speak unto the Jews neither against images nor saints, but
rather against the sensual appetite that they had to the filling of
their bellies with bodily meat, the inordinate desire whereof
made them the less apt and meet for spiritual food. And therefore
he bade them that they should less care for that perishable meat,
and labor and work to win faith by prayer, and by faith to
come to him. And because they so much hated and feared hunger
and thirst, he would give them himself for their meat his very
flesh and blood verily here to eat, not dead but quick,

with soul and godhead therewith, in this world, which if they
would well eat here with a well-working faith, he would give
them the same so in another world, that then should they never
have thirst nor hunger after.
And he meant not that they should never, when they had once
received him, thirst nor hunger after in this present world, in
which, besides that they must both hunger and thirst, or else be
ever eating and drinking to prevent their hunger and thirst,
besides this, I say, they shall hunger and thirst still after God, if
they be good.
Now if men will say that the pain of that hunger and thirst
is taken away with hope, which greatly gladdeth the heart, surely
they that neither hunger nor thirst for heaven, nor care how
long they be thence so that they may
make merry here the while, and yet have
a hope that they shall have heaven, too,
when they go hence, they feel in their faint hope neither great
pleasure nor pain. But he that hopeth well of heaven, and not only
hopeth after it, but also sore thirsteth for it, as did Saint Paul
when he said, "I long to be dissolved --
that is, to have my soul loosed and
departed from my body -- and to be with Christ," such a man, lo, as he
findeth pleasure in his hope, so findeth he pain in the delay of
his hope. For as Solomon saith, "The
hope that is deferred and delayed,
paineth and afflicteth the soul." But when men shall, with well
eating of this meat of Christ's blessed person, make them meet
to eat it, and shall eat it by very fruition in heaven, then although
they shall never be fastidious or weary thereof, but as
they shall ever have it, so shall ever desire it (so that of that state
may be said also, "He that drinketh me shall yet thirst"), yet
because they shall not only always desire it, but also always have
it, and so by the continual everlasting having thereof, their
everlasting desire everlastingly fulfilled, their desire shall ever be
without any grief and pain and ever full of everlasting pleasure;
so that of that state only, the prophet
David saith: "I shall be satiated, or satisfied,
when thy glory shall appear."
And this meant here our Savior Christ, and not that a man

shall by his faith be fully satisfied in this wretched world, and
never hunger nor thirst after here, as Master Masquer maketh
here by his exposition in turning the saturity of heaven into
a saturity in this life, and turning the very meat of Christ's
blessed person into the only belief of Christ's bitter Passion,
and then bringeth all in conclusion to the advancing of his heresy
against the blessed saints, as though Christ in those words
had meant to speak against the honoring of his saints, wherewith
he was so well content that he
promised Saint Mary Magdalene a perpetual
honor in earth for her devotion toward him in
bestowing her costly glass of ointment upon him, and
promised his twelve apostles the honor
of twelve seats, to sit with him in judgment
upon the world, for the dishonor and penury that they
should sustain for him before in the world.
The Fourth Chapter.
And see now, good reader, also how much pestilent poison
Master Masquer hath in this piece of his exposition put here, by
this one syllable, "once."
For it is not enough to him to say that whoso eat Christ by
faith shall never hunger (which words he might expound by
perseverance and abiding still with him after his once
coming to him, as Christ meaneth by his), but he saith whoso
come to him by faith once, he shall never hunger nor thirst. And
yet this word "once" is not there in the text of Christ's words, but
added by Master Masquer in his gloss.
And yet if Master Masquer were a good Catholic man, I
would not much mark his word, "once." But since he
showeth himself well, that he is of Master Tyndale's sect, or is
peradventure Master Tyndale himself,
one of whose false heresies is that
whoso have once the faith can never after
fall therefrom, nor never fall after into deadly sin, therefore I can
not let Master Masquer's "once" this once pass unmarked by me, by

which he saith that whoso come once to Christ by faith, that is
to say, saith he, whoso believe once that Christ suffered his Passion
for our sins, he shall never hunger nor thirst, but that is, he
saith, to be understood that he shall never after desire none
But now would I wit of Master Masquer once again, what he
meaneth by this word "none other." If he mean that no man that
once believeth that Christ suffered passion for us shall after, at
any time, desire any other savior, besides that he saith one false
heresy in that word "once" (for that faith may be once had and
afterward lost again, as testify not
only all holy doctors and the Catholic
faith, but the plain scripture, too), he
hath in those words, I say, besides that
false heresy, a very false wily folly. For
the Catholic Church of Christendom
which he toucheth in praying to
saints and going in pilgrimages, do
seek no saint as their savior, but only as them whom their
Savior loveth and whose intercession and prayer for them he
will be content to hear, and whom, for his sake, he would they should
honor, and whom while for his sake they
do honor, the honor that is done them
for his sake specially redoundeth to
himself, as himself saith he
that heareth them, heareth him, and he that
despiseth them, despiseth him, and in
like wise he that worshippeth them for his sake, worshippeth
Now if Master Masquer will say that by these words, "Whoso
once believeth that Christ died for us shall never after desire
none other," he meaneth that he shall so mind and desire ever
after only Christ, that he shall not hunger nor thirst nor desire
after that any other thing but God. Then since Master Masquer in
this book of his asketh me so many questions, and saith so often, "I
ask Master More this," Master Masquer must of reason give M.
More leave to ask Master Masquer some questions again.

Now might I ask him, ye see well, whether he that hath had
once that belief should never after in such wise be
ahungered that he should desire his dinner. But then would Master
Masquer call me Master Mock, and say that it were but a scoffing
question. And yet out of all question that same scoffing question
would quite overthrow his earnest exposition. But now because I
will not anger him, I will let that scoffing question go, and I will
ask him now another manner thing, a thing of that weight and
gravity, that it weigheth some souls down unto the deep pit of hell.
For if Master Masquer be Master Tyndale, then will I ask him
whether he, being a priest, desired none other thing but only
God, when since that he said he had once that belief, he hath,
being a priest, broken his promise made once to God and gone after
then once a wooing.
And if Master Masquer be Master George Joye, then would I
ask him whether that, after that belief once had, he desired
nothing but God, when being a priest he broke his promise to
God and wedded a widow, and by such wedding, never made
her wife, but made her a priest's harlot.
If Master Masquer be neither of these twain, yet since whatsoever
he be, he is a disciple of Luther and Frere Huessgen both (as
contrarious as they be both, each of them to other), I shall ask
him then whether both his masters, being both professed
ferries and having both vowed perpetual chastity to God, did
after that faith once had, never after desire any other thing but
only God, not then when they broke both their solemn vows
made unto God, and ran out of religion and wedded, the
one a single woman, the other a nun, and made them ferries"
harlots both? Did not then Frere Luther and Frere Huessgen
both, contrary to Master Masquer's words, desire another, and
each of them go seek by night to love another, before whom he
would lay his grief? What answer shall Master Masquer make M.
More to this? He must either confess, against his own exposition,
that after that belief had once, his own masters, the
arch-heretics themselves, thirsted in the desire of some other thing
besides God, or else must he fall to blasphemy and call a frere's

harlot God, or say that for God's sake they wedded, and then for
his sake they wedded against his will, or else affirm finally
that the masters of his faith had never the faith yet, not the
selfsame faith that they teach. And why should any man then be
so mad to give ear to such heretics, and believe their faithless
The Fifth Chapter.
Now handling his exposition and his doctrine of faith not
only thus falsely but also thus foolishly, too, as ye do now perceive,
yet as though he had wonderful wisely declared some high
heavenly mysteries that never man had heard of before, in the fourth
leaf he boasteth his great cunning in comparison of mine and
"Had Master More have understood this short sentence, "Whoso
believe in me hath life everlasting," and known what Paul with the
other apostles preached, especially Paul being a year and a half
among the Corinthians, determining not, neither presuming not, to
have known any other thing to be preached them (as himself saith)
than Jesus Christ, and that he was crucified; had M. More understood
this point, he should never thus have blasphemed Christ and his sufficient
scriptures, neither have so belied his evangelists and holy
apostles, as to say they wrote not all things necessary for our salvation,
but left out things of necessity to be believed, making God's
holy Testament insufficient and imperfect, first revealed unto our fathers,
written eftsoons by Moses and then by his prophets, and at the last
written both by his holy evangelists and apostles, too. But turn we to
John again, and let More mock still and lie, too.
Had Master Masquer understood the selfsame short sentence
of Christ that he speaketh of, and had Master Masquer well understood
also the other short sentence of Saint Paul that he now toucheth,
and after those two texts well understood, had looked upon his
own book again, he would rather have eaten his own book, but if
he be shameless, than ever have let any man see his false folly for
For first, as for the first text touching the bread and the belief, his
false and foolish handling ye perceive more than plain, in that he
saith it is nothing but faith, where Christ saith it is himself.

Now the place that he toucheth of Saint Paul in his First
Epistle to the Corinthians, I marvel
me much to see the madness of this
Masquer that bringeth it forth for his purpose here. For as you see,
he meaneth to make men ween that by that place it were proved,
against my Confutation, that the apostles left no necessary thing
Now of any other apostle, ye see well, he bringeth not one word
for that purpose of his, nor of Saint Paul neither, but this one place;
which place, since he bringeth forth for the proof of their heresy
that there is nothing necessarily to be believed but if it may be
proved by plain and evident scripture, it appeareth plain that
Master Masquer there mistaketh Saint Paul and weeneth that
he preached nothing to them of Christ but only his Passion.
For else he might, notwithstanding the words of that place,
preach to them divers things of Christ by mouth, and leave it with
them by tradition, without writing, too, which neither himself
nor none of his fellows never wrote any time after. And of truth,
so he did, as I have proved at length in my work of Tyndale's
Confutation. Of which things one is, among divers other,
the putting of the water with the wine in the chalice, which
thing Christ did at his Maundy when
he did institute the Blessed Sacrament,
and after he taught the order thereof to
Saint Paul himself by his own holy mouth, and Saint Paul so
taught it again to the Corinthians by mouth and left it them
first by tradition, without any writing at all. And when he
wrote unto them afterward thereof, he wrote it rather (as it
well appeareth) upon a certain occasion to put them in remembrance
of their duty in doing due reverence to it, because it is
the very blessed body of God, than in that place to teach them the
matter and the form of consecrating the Sacrament. For he had
taught them that much more fully before by mouth than he doth
there by that writing. For as ye wot well, though he tell them
there what it is when they drink it, that is to wit, the blood of
our Lord, yet he telleth them not there whereof they shall consecrate
it. For he neither nameth wine nor water. And yet saith in

the end that, at his coming to them again, he will set an
order in all other things. And where will Master Masquer show
me all those things written, and prove it to be all those?
But here you see how madly Master Masquer understandeth that
place of Saint Paul, when he taketh it in that wise that he would
thereby prove us that we were bound to believe no more but that
Christ died for us.
And of truth, you see that speaking of faith before, this is his very
conclusion. In which when I read it and confuted it here now
before, yet marked I not therein so much as I do now. For though
he said there,
"If we once eat him and drink him by faith, that is to say, if we believe
his flesh and body to have been broken, and his blood shed for our
sins, then are our souls satisfied and we be justified,"
I marked not, as I say, that he meant so madly as all men may now
see he meaneth, that is to wit, that men be bound to believe
nothing else, but that Christ was crucified and died for our
sins. Master Masquer maketh us a pretty
short creed now.
But that he thus meaneth indeed, he now declareth plainly,
when he would prove against me that no necessary thing was
left unwritten, by those words of Saint
Paul by which he writeth to the Corinthians
that he preached nothing among them but Jesus Christ
and that he was crucified.
And as Master Masquer misunderstandeth those words of
Saint Paul, so I perceive that long before Master Masquer was
born, there were some such other fools that mistook those
words, after the same fond fashion then, and therefore affirmed that
adultery was no deadly sin, as these foolish folk affirm now
that it is no deadly sin for a freer to wed a nun. And their
argument was that if adultery had been deadly sin, Saint Paul
would have preached that point unto the Corinthians. But he
preached, as himself saith in his epistle, nothing unto them but
Christ and him crucified, and thereupon they concluded that
adultery was no deadly sin.
But Saint Augustine answereth those fools, and this fool too, that
he preached not only Christ's Crucifixion. For then had he left
his Resurrection unpreached, and his Ascension, too, which both we

be bound as well to believe as his Crucifixion, and many other
things more besides. And therefore, as Saint Augustine saith, to preach
Christ is to preach both everything
that we must be bound to believe, and
also everything that we must be
bound to do to come to Christ. And not, as those fools and this
fool teacheth, that we be justified if we believe no more but only
that Christ was crucified and died for our sins.
And when Master Masquer saith that, by affirming any necessary
point to be left unwritten in the scripture, I make God's holy
Testament insufficient and imperfect, for all that it was first
revealed unto our fathers, and eft written by Moses, and then by his
prophets, and at last written both by his holy evangelists and
apostles too, to this I say that God's
Testament is not insufficient nor imperfect,
though some necessary things be left out of the writing.
For I say that his Testament is not the writing only, but all the
whole thing revealed by God unto his church and resting and
remaining therein, part in writing and part without writing
still, as it was altogether first without writing given. And see
now, good readers, the wit of Master Masquer in this word of his.
For if I make the Testament of God imperfect and insufficient
because I say that some necessary points thereof be not yet written,
doth not he, good readers, say and affirm thereby that it was altogether
imperfect and unsufficient all the while that God taught it
himself by his own revelation of Spirit, and that our Savior
taught it himself by his own blessed mouth, till Moses and the
prophets and the apostles wrote it with the pen?
And whensoever that Master Masquer is able to prove that all
these things which we be bound to believe more than that
Christ died for our sins, are so fully written by Christ's apostles,
that they left none of them all unwritten, when he shall
have proved this, let him then come hardly and bid Master
More mock on and lie on, too. But now while he saith so, so
far out of season, while my work of Tyndale's Confutation hath
proved my part so plainly that neither himself nor all the

heretics of them all shall well avoid it while they live; now may
Master More be bold to bid Master Masquer go mock on and
lie on, too.
And this may I now say to Master Masquer the more boldly,
since you see that he understandeth not, or else willingly misconstrueth
the place of the Apostle that he bringeth forth himself, and
Saint John's Gospel, too, and would make us ween that it were
enough to salvation to believe no more but that Christ was
crucified for our sins. And then should we not need indeed
to believe that we should do penance for our sins ourselves,
nor to believe the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
neither. Which point they would have now taken for indifferent,
and many necessary points more. Whereof Master Masquer would
take away the necessity, because Saint Paul saith he preached
nothing to the Corinthians but Christ and him to be crucified.
Which argument of Master Masquer were not even very strong, although
Saint Paul had at that time preached them nothing else,
because he might then have begun with that, and preach them
many more things after, or send it unto them by writing.
But now would I fain that Master Masquer had gone a little
further in the same epistle. For even within three lines after it
followeth, "My preaching was not among you in persuasible words of
man's wisdom."
These words I lay not against Master Masquer, for he keepeth
himself sure enough for that point, and is aware well enough that
he speak no persuasible words of man's wisdom. But then
saith Saint Paul further, "But my preaching was among you in
showing of spirit and of power, to the intent that your faith should not be in the
wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
Here may Master Masquer see that Saint Paul, because he
taught strange doctrine, proved his doctrine not by subtle philosophical
reasoning, nor by rhetoric and goodly fresh eloquence,
but by miracles and the mighty hand of God.
Now if Master Masquer therefore will be believed, reason is that
he do as Saint Paul did, since he teacheth as hard things and as
strange to Christian men, and as far against the Christian faith as

Saint Paul and the other apostles taught either Jews or paynims
things hard and strange and far from the fashion of their
false persuasion.
For setting aside all the whole heap of his other heresies, this
one that he setteth forth in this pestilent book of his against our
Savior himself in the Blessed Sacrament is as strange and as
execrable in all good Christian ears, and ever hath been since
Christ's days, as ever was the preaching of Christ's godhead
among the gentiles or the Jews either. And therefore, if he will look
to be believed as Saint Paul was, reason is that he do miracles
as Saint Paul did.
If he say that he needeth not, for he proveth his doctrine by
scripture, thereto first we say and say true, that in his so saying, he
lieth. And besides that, we say that though he proved his doctrine
by scripture indeed, yet since it seemeth to the whole Christian
nations that the scripture proveth not his part but the contrary,
and so have thought so long, therefore, as our Savior himself
and his apostles after him, which by the scripture proved their
part very truly to the Jews, did yet for all that prove the truth
of their such exposition by miracles, so must Master Masquer
prove his expositions by miracles to be true. For else since our
Savior though he would not work miracles at every man's
bidding, said yet of the Jews that if
himself had not done among them
such works as no man else had done, their infidelity should not
have been imputed unto them; we may well be bold to say to
Master Masquer that, except he work miracles, too, he can of
reason blame no man that, in the exposition of holy scripture, believeth
better all the old holy doctors and saints and all the
whole Catholic Church than him.
And therefore while Master Masquer would seem to play Saint
Paul and be an apostle here to teach English men a new faith as
Saint Paul did the Corinthians, and then teaching things as
strange and as incredible to Christian men, as his were to the
paynims, and cannot do miracles for his doctrine as Saint Paul
did for his, but hath against him for our part such a

multitude of miracles that for the proof of any one thing there
were never showed so many, and when Master Masquer, instead of
miracles, proveth his expositions of scripture so foolish himself
and so false, that to such as mark him well, he may surely seem
to mean nothing else but to mock, we may go forth in the
matter, and let Master Masquer yet again mock on still and lie
on, too.
The Sixth Chapter.
In the third leaf thus he saith:
"And the cause of this your blindness is (I will not say over hardly to
you) that the Father hath not drawn you into the knowledge of me, or
else ye had received me. For all that the Father giveth me must come to
Master Masquer's exposition of these words (I will not say
over hardly to him) is, I promise you, good readers, very bare, and
left off so shortly and handled so slenderly, that his own
friends could here scant think any other than that, liefer then he
would lay hardly to the Jews" charge the fault of their own infidelity,
he had liefer lay it in the neck of the Father of heaven, and
there leave it.
Those words, and all the words of Christ in which is any
hardness, his exposition so smoothly walketh over them that he
giveth no light unto the understanding of them no more than if
he never touched them.
The brethren cannot bear that my writing is so long. But
surely it is no mastery for a man to be short, that can find in his
heart to do as Master Masquer doth, leave all the hard places
For he nowhere sticketh but upon the places in which he
falsely laboreth, by the color of his exposition of a spiritual
eating by faith, to hide and withdraw the very literal truth
and the very faith indeed, by which our Savior teacheth us to
believe that the thing which in the Blessed Sacrament we spiritually
must eat and bodily both, is his own very flesh indeed.

The Seventh Chapter.
In the end of the fourth leaf, he expoundeth these words of Christ:
"And this bread that I shall give you is mine own flesh, which I shall
give for the life of the world."
And for as much as at those words specially beginneth between
him and me the way to part in twain, and he to go the one
and I the other -- he drawing it all to that point as though
Christ there began to show them none other thing of his
flesh but the giving it upon the cross, and that he nothing
in all those words meant to tell them of the giving of his flesh to
eat that he giveth in the Blessed Sacrament,
and I there expounding it that he
there telleth them of both, but specially of the giving of his
flesh to be eaten which he giveth in the Blessed Sacrament --
therefore at those words, good readers, begin to take special
good heed to Master Masquer's fingers. For there he specially
beginneth to play a mummer's cast with his false dice. And therefore,
confer his exposition upon the same words with mine,
and then shall ye bid him cast again, for that cast goeth for
The Eighth Chapter.
In the fifth leaf thus he saith:
No marvel was it though these fleshly Jews abhorred the bodily
eating of Christ's flesh, albeit our fleshly papists, being of the
Jews" carnal opinion, yet abhor it not.
What thing more false, more foolish, or more blasphemous
could any brute beast say than this? For the Jews had an opinion
that he would have them eat his flesh in
the very form of flesh, and (as Saint
Augustine saith) they thought they should
eat it dead cut out in gobbets as sheep's flesh is in the shambles.
And now is not Master Masquer ashamed to rail upon all
good Christian people under the name of papists, and say that
they be all of the Jews" carnal opinion. Doth any man that receiveth

the Blessed Sacrament think (as the Jews thought) that the
flesh of Christ that he receiveth is in form of flesh, cut
out in gobbets as sheep's flesh is sold in the shambles, and not in
form of bread? If Master Masquer were now bare faced himself,
he were wonderful shameless if he could endure to look any
man in the face for shame.
Now as this was, good readers, written (as you see) most falsely
that he saith we be of the Jews" opinion, so where he saith that we
abhor not to eat Christ's flesh in the Sacrament, that is yet
written, ye see well, as foolishly.
For the wise goodness of God hath, as the old holy doctors
declare, given us his flesh not in form of flesh, but in form of
bread, because we should not abhor it. And therefore, what
horrible sight seeth this fool in the Blessed Sacrament, for which
he should abhor to receive it?
But where was there ever a more blasphemous beastly word
spoken than this frantic fool speaketh here, that mocketh and
raileth upon all good Christian people in this fifteen hundred year because
they do not abhor to receive the blessed body of Christ, in such
wise given us by Christ that no creature can abhor it but
either devils or devils" fellows heretics.
The Ninth Chapter.
Then saith Master Masquer further in the same place,
"Neither cease they daily to crucify and offer up Christ again,
which was once forever and all offered up, as Paul testifieth [in] Hebrews 9.
Lo, what lewd boldness it giveth when a man may walk
about in a visor unknown. Master Masquer careth not what he
saith while his visor of dissimulation is on, that men know
him not. For who saith that Christ is daily new crucified?
Truth it is that the church saith that
Christ is at the altar every day offered,
his own Blessed Body in the Sacrament.
This of truth the church saith, and that Christ is our daily
sacrifice. But no man saith that he is daily crucified of new, and
daily put to new pain. But as he was once crucified and killed

and offered on the cross, so is that one death, oblation, and sacrifice
daily represented by the selfsame body, the only quick
sacrifice and oblation that God hath left unto his new Christian
Church, instead of all the manifold sacrifices and oblations of
his old synagogue the Jews. And that ye may know that I feign
you not fantasies, Saint Chrysostom declareth it very plainly,
whose words are these:
"What is that then that we do? Do not we offer daily? Yes, forsooth.
But we do it in remembrance of his death.
And this host is one host and not many.
How is it one host and not many? For
because that host was once offered, and was offered into the holiest tabernacle,
and this sacrifice is a copy or example of that. We offer always the
selfsame. Nor we offer not now one lamb and tomorrow another, but
still the same. This sacrifice therefore is one. For else, because it is offered in
many places at once, are there many Christs? Nay, verily. For it is but
one Christ everywhere, being both here whole, and there whole, one body. For in
like manner as he that is offered everywhere is but one body and not many
bodies, so it is also but one sacrifice. And he is our bishop that offered
the host that cleanseth us. We offer now also the same host which was
then offered, and cannot be consumed. And this that we do is done
in remembrance of that that was done. For
(he saith) do ye this in remembrance of me.
It is none other sacrifice, as it is none other bishop, but always we do the
same, or rather we make a remembrance of that same sacrifice."
What words can there be clearer, to prove Master Masquer a
very fond, blasphemous mocker than these? By which this
holy doctor Saint Chrysostom, against Master Masquer mocking
here the Mass, declareth his false folly clearly. And not only
showeth that it is a sacrifice and an oblation, but also showeth
that it is the daily representation of the same offering and sacrificing
by which he was sacrificed and offered up on the cross. And yet to
stop Master Masquer's mouth in the whole matter, he showeth that this
oblation, this blessed sacrifice the Sacrament of the Altar, is
all one oblation, all one host, though it be offered at once in never
so many places. And he showeth also that it is the very selfsame
body that was offered on the cross. And that in this sacrifice of

offering up the selfsame body in the Mass, we follow the example,
as a copy is written after a book, and do represent the selfsame
sacrifice by which Christ, the very selfsame body, was
sacrificed on the cross.
How can Master Masquer be more plainly confuted and confounded
than Saint Chrysostom here confoundeth him, upon
the occasion of this foolish, blasphemous jesting of his? With
which he raileth against the church, and saith that it ceaseth
not daily to crucify Christ, as though the church at this day did
put Christ to new pain because his death is represented in the
Mass, and of his goodness his very blessed body offered up daily a
sweet sacrifice for our sins.
Gracian also reciteth in the decrees, for our purpose in every
point, as effectual words of Saint Ambrose, De consecrat., Distinctione
2, Cap. In Christo semel.
Saint Augustine also, in the sixteenth book De civitate Dei, saith of
the Holy Mass in this wise:
"That sacrifice is succeeded into the place of
all those sacrifices of the Old Law, which
sacrifices were offered for a shadow of the
thing to come. And for that cause also we know that voice in the thirty-ninth
psalm, the prophecy of our mediator Christ, where he saith: "Sacrifice and
oblation thou wouldst not have, but the body thou hast perfected me." For in the
stead of all those sacrifices and oblations, his body is offered and
ministered unto them that will be partakers of it."
What speak I of Saint Chrysostom and Saint Augustine -- all the
old holy doctors and saints of Christ's church, without any
exception, were ever more clear in this point that Master Masquer
here now denieth and thus jesteth on, that the Blessed Sacrament
in the Mass is a sacrifice and an oblation.
And this cannot Master Masquer himself deny. For his own
first master, Martin Luther, the late
wellspring of all this flood of heresies,
in his pestilent book of Babylonica,
putting forth this heresy that Master Masquer toucheth here, that

the Blessed Sacrament in the Mass is no sacrifice, nor none oblation,
objecteth against himself and saith thus:
"Now must we take away another occasion
of ruin, that is, that the Mass is everywhere
believed to be a sacrifice that is offered unto
God. And for that opinion seems to sound the Canon of the Mass, where it is
said, "these gifts, these holy sacrifices, this oblation and offering." And
therefore is Christ called the host or sacrifice of the altar. Then cometh
there also on this part the sayings or sentences of the holy fathers and then
so many examples.
"Against all these things, because they be very fastly received, we must
very constantly object the words and example of Christ at his Maundy."
And afterward he saith again:
"What shall we say then to the Canon of the Mass and to the sayings of the
old holy doctors and saints? I say that if we have nothing else to say,
let us yet rather deny them all than grant that the Mass should be
any good work or any sacrifice, lest we should deny the word of Christ,
and cast down faith and Mass and all."
Thus you see, good readers, that Luther himself confesseth that
in this heresy against the sacrifice and oblation of the Mass,
which Master Masquer, with two other heresies too, bringeth here
forth now, the old holy doctors and saints are against him,
and then were we wise if we would ween that Martin Luther and
Master Masquer, evil Christian heretics, understand Christ's
words better than ever did all the holy doctors of Christ's
church before.
And thus you see, good readers, what a compendious writer
Master Masquer is that hath in less than three lines compacted up
together such three abominable, blasphemous heresies as the
devil himself never devised worse.
In the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, the tenth leaf, he hath certain
arguments against all men in general that expound those
words of Christ in the sixth chapter of John to be spoken and
meant of the very eating of his Blessed Body in the Sacrament, and
not only of a spiritual eating by belief of his death. And some
solutions hath he there, such as they be, against mine argument

in special made unto Frith -- all which things I will sort into
their places apart from his exposition, so that ye may see some
of the faults of his exposition by themselves, and his arguments
answered by themselves, and his solutions avoided by themselves,
and the notable notes that he maketh of my notable repugnances,
last of all, laid open to you by themselves, because I will
lay allthing in order plain before your eyes, so that when ye
see the things in such wise before you without interlacing, ruffle,
and confusion, ye shall the more easily judge whether Master
Masquer in his mummery be an honest man, or else a false hazarder
and play with false dice.
The Tenth Chapter.
In the eleventh leaf, after that in the other ten before he had
spoken many times of faith alone, and that the only belief of
far fewer things than we be bound indeed to believe, when it
were once had, should both satisfy the soul and also make us
safe forever, it appeareth in that leaf that either his own
mind began to misgive him, or else some other wily
brother gave him warning that this manner writing of faith
alone would make all the world to wonder on him. For Luther
himself, writing first on the same fashion that faith alone
was sufficient for salvation, though it
pleased idle unthrifts very well, that
were glad to be by bare faith discharged
of all good works, it was yet so sore abhorred among all honest
men that both himself and all his sect were fain to seek some
plasters of false glosses to heal the foul mormal of their scabbed
shins that they had gotten by that text of their false faith
And then they said that they meant that manner faith that had
always both hope and charity with it. But then could not that
gloss serve them. For that manner faith taught ever the
common Catholic Church, which they reproved. And also that gloss
marred their text, and was clean contrary to all their tale. For all
the text of their preaching had been of faith alone, and their gloss

was of faith not alone, but encompanied with two good fellows,
pardie, the one called hope and the other charity.
Now therefore, either upon this fear of his own mind, or upon
this advertisement of some other man, Master Masquer, to mend
his exposition with and to make all the matter safe, hath at the
last, in the end of the eleventh leaf, plastered his mormal of his only
faith on this fashion:
"By love, we abide in God and he in us. Love followeth faith in the order of
our understanding, and not in order of succession of time, if thou
lookest upon the self gifts and not of their fruits. So that principally by
faith, whereby we cleave to God's goodness and mercy, we abide in God
and God in us, as declare his words following, saying, "As the
living Father sent me, so live I by my Father. And even so, he that
eateth me shall live because of me, or for my sake. My Father sent me,
whose will in all things I obey, for I am his Son. And even so verily
must they that eat me -- that is, believe in me -- form and fashion them
after my example, mortifying their flesh and changing their
living, or else they eat me in vain and dissemble their belief. For
I am not come to redeem the world only, but also to change their
life. They therefore that believe in me, shall transform their lives after
mine example and doctrine, and not after any man's traditions.""
This plaster, good readers, hath some good ingredients. But it is
both too narrow by a great deal to cover his scald shin, and hath
also some dead apothecary drugs put in it that can do no good,
and something also repugnant to his remedy.
But let us now consider his words. First where he saith that
"by love we abide in God and God in us," he
saith truth, for so saith the scripture,
but that is to be understood as long as we love him and
dwell so still in him. But when we break his commandments,
and thereby declare that we love him not, as the scripture also saith;
against which scripture Master Tyndale saith that he that hath
once a feeling faith can never fall therefrom, and against the same
scripture Master Masquer saith that faith once had sufficeth for
And Master Masquer maketh yet his matter much worse than
William Tyndale. For Tyndale did yet at the least wise make

some bumbling about a color for the matter, with a long process
of historical faith and feeling faith. Whose false wily folly therein, I
have so confuted in my Confutation that, though he write again
therein, as long as ever he liveth he shall never shake off the
But Master Masquer handleth the matter both more
wilily than Tyndale doth, and yet much more foolishly, too. For
seeing that his saying cannot be defended, he ruffleth up all the
matter shortly in a few words, both for sparing of labor and
also because he would not have his words well understood, but
that his words might stand for a short text, which he would leave
for every other good brother to make some good gloss thereto to
maintain it with.
For in his next words following where he saith, "Love followeth
faith in the order of our understanding, and not in the order of succession
of time, if thou lookest upon the self gifts and not upon their fruits," in
these few dark words, he would both show his clerkliness before
unlearned men, and leave them also undeclared, because he would
have them ween that his high learning passeth their low capacities.

But yet in these words he juggleth with us, and may with his
wiliness beguile them that will take none heed. But whoso look well
to his hands shall perceive where his galls go well enough.
For true it is that, whensoever God infoundeth either the habit of
faith or the full, perfect, quick, lively
faith that is called fides formata, he
infoundeth in like wise hope and
charity both. But this is not the faith
alone. For faith is never such faith but while he hath his two
fellows with him. But faith may begin, and tarry, too, before his two
fellows come to him. As a man may believe well long ere he will
do well. And faith may tarry also when both his fellows be gone
from him, as he that hath had all three, may by deadly sin fall
from the other twain, and have faith alone remain. And
faith may come and continue still, and neither of both of his
fellows never come at him at all. As where a man believeth truly

every article of the faith and yet hath never the will to work well,
nor never will be baptized, but after dieth in despair. And in all
these cases is it faith alone. And because it neither worketh well,
nor hath will to work well, neither in act nor in habit, therefore
is it called fides informis, and a dead
faith. Not dead in the nature of faith or
belief, but dead as to the attaining of everlasting life.
Now would Master Masquer juggle and make us believe that he
meaneth the first manner of faith, that is, quick and lively, by the
reason that it hath good hope and charity therewith.
But I cannot suffer you, good Christian readers, to be so
beguiled by such a fond, false juggler. For if ye take heed unto
him, ye shall soon perceive that he is even but a very bungler.
For when that he first telleth us what belief is sufficient, and
saith that if we once eat and drink Christ by faith, and then
expoundeth the whole sum of all that faith saying, that is to say,
"if we believe his flesh and his body to have been broken, and his blood
shed for our sins, then are our souls satisfied and we be justified," and
now addeth thereunto that love followeth faith in the order of our
understanding and not in the order of succession of time, by
which he meaneth that every man hath charity ever more as soon as
he hath faith, ye may clearly see that he saith that a man hath
charity ever as soon as he hath that faith. So that by him whosoever
believeth that Christ died for us, he hath both faith,
hope, and charity, though he believe nothing else.
But now is this a very false devilish doctrine. For this is no
full faith. For a man may believe this, and yet leave many a thing
unbelieved which we be bound to believe besides. And therefore
you may well see that though the theological virtue of full and
perfect faith have always charity together infounded with it, yet
Master Masquer's faith, that is neither perfect nor full, may be, not
in the beginning only but also ever after, without any charity at
Also, where he saith that the faith that he describeth, once had, is
sufficient, and speaketh of no perseverance, a man may well see that
his saying is insufficient. For both that, faith standing, a man may

well fall from charity. And then, though he had once charity as soon
as that faith (if that bare faith without more were possible
to have charity with it), yet might it lack charity after. And also
that faith might itself fall quite away, too. For he that once
believeth every article of the faith, and then can fall from any, as
Master Masquer is fallen from many, may little and little fall from
them everyone. For I dare well say that Master Masquer
believeth no point that he believeth most surely, anything more
surely now, than he hath believed ere this, divers of those points
which he now believeth least, if he believe as he writeth.
And thus, good readers, you see that whereas his mormal is more
than a handful broad, this plaster of his passeth not the breadth
of a penny. For I dare say the devil believeth at this day as much
as Master Masquer saith that is sufficient, that is to wit, that
Christ died for our sin, and yet hath he no charity. Nor no
more hath no man that will believe no more but that, or though
he do believe more than that, will yet think that he believeth all
the remanent but of his courtesy, and not one whit more of
The Eleventh Chapter.
Now where he saith further:
"So that principally by faith, whereby we cleave to God's goodness and
mercy, we abide in God and God in us, as declare his words following,
saying, "As the living Father sent me, so live I by my Father. And even
so, he that eateth me shall live because of me, or for my sake.""
This is a very false, naughty declaration of Christ's words. For
whereas the holy doctors do declare those words, as I before
have showed you, that like as our Savior had his eternal
life of his Father before any beginning of time in that his Father
eternally, before all time, begot him, and his flesh, not of his
own nature but by the conjunction that it had with the Godhead,
had now the same life and so lived for the Father, so should he that
eateth that flesh according to Christ's institution with due
circumstances of faith and good hope, and charity well-willing

to work, attain everlasting life also, by reason of his conjunction
and incorporation with his everlasting flesh, so I say,
always if the eater eat it with all due circumstances requisite,
so that like as they receive not his holy flesh dead as the Jews had
weened, but quick with Holy Spirit joined thereto, so their souls
may join with his spirit as their flesh joineth with his;
whereas the holy doctors, I say, do expound these words thus,
now cometh Master Masquer and saith that in these words
Christ teacheth us that we abide in him and he in us not principally
by charity, but principally by faith.
Now good reader, what one word of those words of Christ any
thing soundeth to the maintenance of Master Masquer's exposition
that God is in us and we in him principally by faith?
The scripture saith, "God is charity,
and he that dwelleth in charity dwelleth
in God and God in him."
Now if Master Masquer would have said that by faith a man
might eat the flesh of Christ, and by faith might dwell in
God: if Master Masquer were a good Catholic man, I would for
so far find no fault in his exposition. For it might
have a meaning good enough, besides the literal sense of Christ's
words. But now when he contendeth that this is the literal sense,
and therewith would shake off the very eating that our Savior
meant in the Blessed Sacrament, and bear us in hand that our
Savior meant not so, but meant an only eating of his flesh by a
bare belief of his death, and not the very bodily eating at all, and
that in those words he meant that though we dwell in God by love,
yet not principally by love, but principally by faith, as to which
virtue the virtue of charity were but a follower and a perpetual
handmaid, where there is in those words of Christ not one
syllable sounding toward it -- what good Christian man can abide
it? Namely, while the scripture by plain words condemneth
it and saith, "fides, spes, charitas, tria
hec maior horum charitas." Faith, hope,
and charity, these three, but the principal of these is charity.

The Twelfth Chapter.
Now where he goeth, good reader, further forth yet upon these
words, and saith:
"My Father sent me, whose will in all things I obey, for I am his Son.
And even so, verily, must they that eat me, that is, believe in me, form
and fashion them after my example, mortifying their flesh and
changing their living, or else they eat me in vain and dissemble
their belief."
Though these words here seem very good, yet while they be all
written unto this one intent, that this gay flourish should so glitter
in our eyes that we might thereby be blinded and not beware of
the perilous pit into which he goeth about to cast us -- that is,
to make us ween that our Savior in saying that we should
eat his flesh meant no very eating thereof in the Blessed Sacrament,
but only a spiritual eating by believing that he died for
our sins, as here he declareth again, "They that eat me, that is,
believe in me, etc." -- while all draweth, I say, to that end, his tale is
naught altogether.
And yet it is a world also to see the blindness that the devil
hath driven into him, by which he cannot be suffered to see that
by these selfsame words with which he would advance his
purpose, he very plainly destroyeth it.
For his purpose is, ye wot well, to make us ween that faith were
not only the principal, but also that faith hath ever love
waiting upon her, and following her as her inseparable servant,
as heat ever followeth the fire. And now you see that he saith
here that whoso do not form and fashion them after Christ's
example, do eat him in vain. And then to eat him, he saith, is
but to believe in him. And so he saith without good living, that
is to wit, without charity, the belief is but in vain. Now to
believe in vain is, ye wot well, to believe, and yet have his belief
fruitless for lack of that love that is the theological virtue called
And thus ye see, good readers, how well and circumspectly
Master Masquer looketh to his matter, that when he hath told us

that faith never lacketh charity, forgetting himself forthwith,
telleth us himself within ten lines after that faith may lack
charity, and therefore be but in vain.
Now where he saith, "or else they dissemble their belief," I will not
dissemble with him, but tell him very plain that, as great a
dissembler as he is, he wotteth not as it seemeth what this word
dissembling meaneth, or else wot I ne'er
what he meaneth thereby. For a man dissembleth
the thing that he hath and will
not be acknown thereof, as a man dissembleth his hatred when
he hateth one and feigneth himself his friend to cover his hatred
with. And so we say that a man dissembleth a thing when he
seeth it and will not see it, but maketh as though he saw it not. But
no man dissembleth the thing that he seeth not indeed, nor the
thing that he hath not indeed, but maketh as though he saw it
or had it. For he feigneth or lieth, and not dissembleth. As in the
Latin tongue (whereof this English word cometh), ille
simulat non dissimulat. And therefore, if Master Masquer mean here
by these words, "or else they dissemble their belief," any other thing
than they feign a belief, making as though they believed and do
not, let him not dissemble with me, but tell me what other
thing he meaneth. And if he mean by those words none other
thing than that, then will I not dissemble with him, but tell
him the plain truth, that he may peradventure mean wisely
enough, but he speaketh but like a fool. For by that word he saith
the clear contrary, that is to wit, that they make as though they
believed not, but yet they do.
The Thirteenth Chapter.
But now at last he concludeth all together thus:
"For I am not come to redeem the world only but also to change their
life. They, therefore, that believe in me, shall transform their lives
after mine example and doctrine, and not after any man's traditions."
I will not here hold a long dispicion with Master Masquer
upon man's traditions, by which word he would have all the
laws made by men utterly set at naught, and would have

man bound but either by the plain word of scripture, or else
by his own express agreement and consent. For Luther saith that
neither man nor angel can make the
bond of any one syllable upon any
Christian man without his own express consent, so that no law
can be made by that wise reason, by the prince and the people, to
hang up either thief or murderer, or to burn up a heretic, but
if the thieves, murderers, and heretics will consent and agree
thereto themselves. Nor no law made this day can bind him
that shall be born tomorrow, till he come to good age and agree
thereto first himself, as our sovereign lord the King's Grace
most prudently laid against Luther.
But I let this folly of Master Masquer pass, and this also, that
the traditions which these heretics be worst content withal
be the traditions of the apostles, which they delivered to the
church, as Christ, not by writing but by tradition, delivered
the things to them. For which Saint
Paul saith, "Ego enim accepi a domino
quod et tradidi vobis" (For I have received the thing of our Lord
by tradition, without writing the which I have also delivered
unto you). As though he would say, as I have received it by tradition
or delivery of our Lord, so without writing I have delivered
it by tradition to you.
I will let pass all these advantages (which I might, as ye see,
take against Master Masquer here), and I will well allow these
words of his for this once, so that himself will stick and stand
by them stiffly, and confess that they that transform not their
life after Christ's example and doctrine have either their
belief in vain, or else make as though they believed, and have no
belief at all.
This once agreed between him and me, aye, if he will rail upon
the priests and prelates of the Catholic Church for doing of the
contrary, let him name who they be and wherein they do it, and by
my troth, in such evil doing, they shall never be defended for me.
But then of reason must Master Masquer give me leave again to
put him in remembrance of the priests and prelates of their
heretics" sects, and I will speak of none but by name. Frere

Luther, I will name him, the chief and
principal author of their heresies. I
will name him freer Lambert, Dane
Othe the Carthusian, Zwingli the priest, and the priest Pomeran,
and Frere Huessgens the freer Brigittine. These be, lo, the very prelates
and bishops, metropolitans and apostles of their sects.
Now will I then ask Master Masquer what example of Christ
or what doctrine of Christ he can show, by which those holy
prelates of these new sects, evil Christian caitiffs that have
sowed all this seduction, have broken their holy vows and
promises made unto God, and run out of their orders, and to
the shame of matrimony and holy orders both, speak of the
spirit, and fall to the flesh? Which while they have all done,
against the doctrine and example as well of Christ as of all
holy doctors and saints, and of all good Christian people since the
death of Christ unto this their own wretched time, and now teach it
forth for a doctrine, reason it is that Master Masquer confess that
all the prelates of his sundry sects either have but a vain faith,
or else make as they had faith and have no faith at all. And
then are there no man's traditions so evil as are their own,
being themselves so evil men as they be. And why should we
then hear Master Masquer preach either their faith or traditions
either, while their faith is either vain faith or else false and
none at all, and their doctrine as devilish doctrine as
themselves are devilish men, and more devilish, I ween, is
scant the devil himself.
Thus have I, good readers, noted you certain pieces of Master
Masquer's exposition, by which as by a taste of a draught or
twain, ye may see what poisoned drink is in the whole vessel.
And now shall I come to his arguments, which he maketh in
general against all them that expound this place of Christ's
words in the sixth chapter of Saint John, to be spoken or meant
of that eating by which we eat Christ's Blessed Body in the
Blessed Sacrament.
Here endeth the Second Book.

The Third Book.
The First Chapter.
In the fifth leaf upon his exposition of these words, "and the
bread which I shall give for the life of the world," thus he argueth:
"And even here, since Christ came to teach, to take away all doubt, and to
break strife, he might (his words otherwise declared than he hath
declared and will hereafter expound them) have soluted their question,
saying (if he had so meant as More expoundeth) that he would have been
conveyed and converted (as our jugglers sleightly can convey him with
a few words) into a singing loaf, or else (as the Thomistical
papists say) been invisible with all his dimensioned body under the
form of bread transubstantiated into it. And after a like Thomistical
mystery, the wine transubstantiated too into his blood, so that they
should eat his flesh and drink his blood after their own carnal
understanding (but yet in another form) to put away all grudge of
stomach. Or since Saint John (if he had thus understood his master's
mind, and took upon him to write his master's words) would leave this
sermon unto the world to be read, he might now have delivered us
and them from this doubt. But Christ would not so satisfy their question,
but answered: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh
of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye shall not have that life in
yourselves. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath life
everlasting, and I shall stir him up in the last day. For my flesh is
very meat and my blood the very drink." He saith not here that bread
shall be transubstantiated or converted into his body, nor yet the wine
into his blood."
Lo, good Christian readers, this man here in a foolish, jesting,
and much blasphemous railing manner, against the conversion of
the bread and wine into the blessed body and blood of Christ in
the Blessed Sacrament, in conclusion as for a clear confutation of
me and of Saint Thomas both, upon which holy doctor and
saint he foolishly jesteth by name, he argueth, as you see, that if
Christ had intended to have given them his flesh and his
blood in the Sacrament, then might he have declared it more

openly, with more words and more plainly. And then Master
Masquer deviseth Christ the words that he would have had him say
if he had so meant. And therein the blasphemous beast deviseth
that he would have had our Savior say that he would play as jugglers
do, and slyly convey himself into a singing loaf, and that our
Savior so doth, he saith is mine opinion. Wherein the man is
shameless, and shamefully belieth me. For I say as the Catholic
faith is, that he not conveyeth but converteth the bread into his
own body, and changeth it thereinto,
and neither conveyeth (as he speaketh)
his body into the bread (for then were
the bread and his blessed body both
together still, which false opinion is Luther's heresy and that
knoweth this man well enough, and therefore showeth himself
shameless in laying that opinion to me), nor also converteth not
his blessed body into bread, for that were yet much worse. For then
remaineth there nothing else but bread still, and that is, ye wot
well, Master Masquer's own heresy for which he writeth against
me, and therefore is he double shameless (as you see) to say any
such thing of me.
But in conclusion, the effect of all his fond argument is that, even
there in that place to break strife and to assoil all their doubt, our
Lord might and would have done at the self communication, or
else, at the least wise, the evangelist, at the time of his writing, might
and would have told them plainly that they should eat it not in form
of flesh, but in form of bread. But neither our Savior then
told them so, nor the evangelist hath told us so in the reporting
of his words spoken to them; ergo, it must needs be that Christ
meant not so.
This is Master Masquer's argument, which he liketh so specially
that, afterward in another place, he harpeth upon the same
string again. But surely if the man be in scripture anything
exercised, then hath he a very poor remembrance. And whether
he be scriptured or not he hath a very bare, barren wit when
he can ween that this argument were aught.
For first (as for the scripture) can he find no more places than
one in which our Savior would not tell out plainly all at once?

Could Christ of the sacrament of baptism have told
no more to Nicodemus if he had
would? Could he to the Jews that
asked him a token have told them no
more of his death, sepulchre, and Resurrection but the figure of
the prophet Jonah three days swallowed
into the whale's belly?
When his disciples asked him of the restitution of the kingdom
of Israel and mistook his
kingdom for a worldly kingdom,
did he forthwith declare them all that ever he could have told
them? Or all that ever he told them thereof at any other time after?
Nay, nor the evangelist in the rehearsing neither.
Hath this man either never read or else forgotten that albeit
our Savior came to be known for Christ and sometimes declared
him so himself, yet at some other times,
he forbade his disciples to be acknown
thereof? So that as for the scriptures (except he have either
little read or little remembered of them) would have made
Master Masquer to forbear this foolish argument for shame.
But now what wit hath this man that can argue thus when he
should (if he had wit) well perceive his argument answered by
the like made against himself upon the very selfsame place?
For Master Masquer saith here that our Lord meant nothing
else but to tell them of the giving of his flesh to the death for the life
of the world, and to make them believe that. Now ask I, therefore,
Master Masquer, whether Christ could not have told them by
more plain words than he did there (if it had so been his
pleasure) that he should die for the sin of the world, and in
what wise also? If Master Masquer answer me no, I am sure every
wise man will tell him yes. For he spoke there not half so plainly
of the giving of his body to be slain, as he did of giving it
to be eaten. For as for his death, not so much as once named it, but
only saith, "And the bread that I shall give you is mine own flesh,
which I shall give for the life of the world." In which words he not
once nameth death. But of the eating, he speaketh so expressly by
and by, and so spoke before all of eating, and much more afterward,

too, that he gave them little occasion to think that he meant
of his death any word there at all, but of the eating only.
And some great holy doctors, also, construe those whole
words, "And the bread that I shall give is my flesh which I shall give
for the life of the world," to be spoken only of the giving of his
Blessed Body in the Sacrament, and neither the first part nor the
second to be spoken of his death. But that in the first part,
Christ showeth what he would give them to eat, that is to wit,
his own flesh, and in the second part, he showed them why he
would give the world his flesh to eat, and what commodity
they should have by the eating of it, saying that he would give it
men to eat for the life that men should have by the eating of it.
And therefore he pursueth forth both upon the eating thereof, and
upon the life that they shall lack that will not eat it, and of the
life that they shall have that will eat it. So that, as I say,
Christ spoke and meant -- after the mind of some holy cunning
men -- but of the eating only, but -- by all good men -- of the eating
specially, and without any manner question of the eating most
plainly, as of which he speaketh by name expressly. And of his
death (if he there spoke of it as divers holy doctors think he did),
yet he spoke it so covertly that he rather meant it than said it, as the
thing whereof he nothing named, but only the giving to eat.
So that, whereas Master Masquer argueth that Christ nothing
meant of giving of his flesh to be eaten in the Sacrament but
only of his flesh to be crucified, because that if he had meant of
his flesh to be eaten in the Sacrament, he could and would have
told them plainly so, ye see now, good readers, very plain
proved by the selfsame place, that since Master Masquer cannot
say nay but that, of his body to be given by death, Christ could
have spoken much more plainly than he did in that place as
well as he could have spoken more plainly of the giving of his
body to be eaten in the Blessed Sacrament, Master Masquer's own
argument (if it were aught, as it is naught) utterly destroyeth all
his own exposition whole. And therefore, ye may see that the man
is a wise man and well overseen in arguing.

The Second Chapter.
In the eleventh leaf he hath another argument, toward which he
maketh a blind induction before. And because ye shall see that I
will not go about to beguile you, I will rehearse you his
induction first, and then his argument after. These are his
"When the Jews would not understand this spiritual saying of the
eating of Christ's flesh and drinking of his blood, so oft and so
plainly declared, he gave them a strong trip, and made them more
blind, for they so deserved it (such are the secret judgments of God),
adding unto all his sayings thus: "Whoso eat my flesh and drink my
blood, abideth in me and I in him." These words were spoken unto the
unbelievers into their farther obstination, but unto the faithful for their
better instruction. Now gather of this the contrary and say, "Whoso
eateth not my flesh and drinketh not my blood, abideth not in me nor
I in him," and join this to that aforesaid sentence, "Except ye eat the
flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."
Let it never fall from thy mind, Christian reader, that faith is the life of
the righteous, and that Christ is this living bread whom thou eatest,
that is to say, in whom thou believest."
Here is Master Masquer fall to juggling, lo, and as a juggler
layeth forth his trinkets upon the table and biddeth men look
on this, and look on that, and blow in his hand, and then
with certain strange words to make men muse, whirleth his
juggling stick about his fingers to make men look upon that,
while he playeth a false cast and conveyeth with the other hand
something slyly into his purse or his sleeve or somewhere out of
sight, so fareth Master Masquer here, that maketh Christ's holy
words serve him for his juggling boxes and layeth them forth
upon the board before us and biddeth us, lo, look on this text,
and then look, lo, upon this, and when he hath showed forth thus
two or three texts and bid us look upon them, he telleth us not
wherefore, nor what we shall find in them. But because they be so
plain against him, he letteth them slink away, and then to
blear our eyes and call our mind from the matter, up he taketh
his juggling stick, the commendation of faith, and whirleth
that about his fingers and saith:

"Let it never fall from thy mind, Christian reader, that faith is the life of the
righteous, and that Christ is this living bread whom thou eatest, that
is to say, in whom thou believest."
What are these words, good Christian reader, to the purpose? All
this will I pray you remember, too. But I will pray you remember
therewithal, whereabout this juggler goeth that would with
bidding us look up here upon faith, juggle away one great
point of faith from us, and make us take no heed of Christ's
words plainly spoken here of the very eating of his holy flesh.
And therefore, let us remember faith as he biddeth. But let us
remember well therewith specially this piece thereof that this juggler,
with bidding us remember, would fain have us forget.
But now after this induction, forth he cometh with his
wise argument in this wise.
"For if our papists take eating and drinking here bodily as to eat the
natural body of Christ under the form of bread and to drink his
blood under the form of wine, then must all young children that never
came at God's board departed and all laymen that never drank his
blood be damned."
If our Savior Christ, which is the way to truth and the
truth itself, and the very true life also, could and would say
false, and break his promise by which
he promised his church to be therewith
himself unto the world's end, and to
send it also the Spirit of truth that
should teach it and lead it into all truth, then would there, of truth,
both of these words of Christ and these other words of his
also, "But if a man be born again of
the water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot
see the kingdom of God," and of many other words of his more, many
great doubts arise, right hard and inexplicable. But now
am I very sure, since truth cannot be
but true, Christ's promise shall ever
stand and be kept, and therefore shall his
church ever more by the means of his
Holy Spirit, which maketh men of one manner and mind in the
house of his church, so fall in a concord and agreement together

upon the true sense and so be led into
every necessary truth that, by mistaking
of any part of scripture, it shall
never be suffered to fall into any damnable
error. Which thing, what prating soever Master
Masquer make, I have so often and so surely proved for the common
known Catholic Church, of good and bad both, against
William Tyndale, that neither he nor all these heretics among
them all shall never be able to void it.
Now as for his argument concerning laymen of age, it were
a little more strong if the blessed body of our Lord were
in the Blessed Sacrament under form of bread without his blood,
which while it is not, nor their receiving
is not the sacrifice nor oblation,
which to the integrity thereof requireth both the forms, that the
thing should agree with the figure, the figure, I say, of the bread
and wine that was offered by Melchizedek,
Master Masquer's argument is of a
feeble force. Of which thing because I purpose once to touch,
God willing, in answering to Doctor Baron's treatise specially
made of that matter, I will hold here Master Masquer for this
time with no long tale thereof. But to the intent ye may shortly see
how little wit is in his wise argument, with which upon
Christ's general words, "But if you eat the flesh of the
Son of Man and drink his blood ye shall not have life in you,"
he argueth universally of all men and women and children that die
and never eat his flesh or never drink his blood shall be
damned, by the selfsame form of arguing upon these general
words, "But if a man be born of water and the spirit, he
shall never see the kingdom of God," Master Masquer may argue
generally that whoso die before he be baptized by water and the
Spirit shall be damned. And thereupon conclude that many martyrs
be damned for lack of baptizing in water, for all their
baptizing in their own blood. And thus you see, good readers,
how substantial his argument is.

The Third Chapter.
In the twelfth leaf, to prove that Christ meant nothing to give his body
to be eaten, Master Masquer upon these words that the disciples
which were offended with his words said, "This is a hard
word; who may hear him?" bringeth in another wise argument
under color of expounding the text, in this wise: "These words did
not only offend them that hated Christ, but also some of his disciples.
They were offended, saith the text, and not marveled, as More trifleth
out of truth." These words, good reader, of offending and
marveling, I shall answer anon in a more convenient place.
"Which disciples said, "This is a hard saying; who may hear him?"
These disciples stuck no less in Christ's visible flesh and in the bark
of his words than doth now More, believing him to have spoken of his
natural body to be eaten with their teeth."
Here Master Masquer maketh as though the Catholic faith in
the Blessed Sacrament were but my faith. But likewise, as I do
confess that his heresy is not only his, but that he hath fellows
in the same falsehood, not only Frith and Tyndale, but Wycliffe also
and Zwingli and Frere Huessgen too, besides a lewd sort of wretched
heretics more, so must he confess, if he will say true, that my
faith is not only my faith, but that I have fellows in the same
faith, not only the common whole multitude of all good Christian
countries this fifteen hundred year, but specially by name those
holy saints whose words I have rehearsed you before upon this
same matter, as Theophylactus, and Saint Bede, Saint Irenaeus,
and Saint Hilary, and Saint Augustine, Saint Cyril, and Saint
Chrysostom, the plain words of every one of all whom I
have here already brought you forth against Master Masquer,
proving themselves fellows of mine in my faith already now in
this answer of this first part of his. And yet keep I for Master
Masquer matter enough besides of holy saints" authorities, as well
the same saints as other, to fill up the messes at the second
course. And where he bringeth forth for him in his second part
Augustine, Tertullian, and Saint Chrysostom (for in all this his
first course, he bringeth forth never one), those three dishes, I

warrant you, shall when I come to them, but barely furnish his
But where Master Masquer saith that More sticketh in the
visible flesh of Christ, to be eaten as those disciples and those
Jews did, he is bold to say what him list because he
goeth invisible. For else how could he for shame say that we that
are of the Catholic Church think that Christ giveth us his
visible flesh to eat, as those disciples and those Jews thought,
when every man well wotteth that those disciples and those Jews
thought that they should receive his flesh visible cut out, as
Saint Augustine declareth, in visible dead pieces, and every man as
well knoweth, and Master Masquer, too, that we think that we do
(and so indeed we do) receive and eat
his flesh invisible, not in dead pieces,
but his quick blessed body whole, under
the visible form of bread. And therefore you see, good readers, what
truth is in this man.
But now goeth he forth and cometh to his wise worshipful
argument and saith:
"Which offense Christ seeing, said, "Doth this offend you? What then
will you say if you see the Son of Man ascend thither where he was
before? If it offend you to eat my flesh while I am here, it shall
much more offend you to eat it when it shall be gone out of your sight
ascended into heaven, there sitting on the right hand of my Father,
until I come again as I went, that is, to judgment.""
The exposition of these words of Christ, I have, good readers,
showed you before, according to the minds of holy doctors and
saints that by those words of his Ascension he gave them warning
before that he would by his ascending up to heaven, make
them a plain proof that they were deceived when they thought it
could not be that he was descended down from heaven, and by his
ascending up with his body whole and undiminished, make them a
plain proof that they were deceived when they thought he would in
pieces cut out, and so give his flesh to them as he should
give it from himself, and thereby leese it himself. For his whole
body ascending should well prove that though his apostles had every
one eaten it, yet had he it still whole himself, that they should

thereby not doubt afterward, but that as each of them had it and
did eat it, and yet himself had it still, and all at once in thirteen
diverse places in earth, and himself ascended after whole therewith
into heaven, so should ever after all good Christian folk receive it
whole here in earth, and himself nevertheless have it whole
still with him in heaven.
This being, good Christian readers, the mind of our Savior in
those words, as by the holy doctors and saints well doth appear
of old, now cometh this new drunken doctor Master Masquer, and,
with a wise exposition of his own brain, would make us ween
that those words with which (as the old doctors testify)
Christ confirmed the Sacrament in declaring his power by
which he worketh that wonderful miracle in the Sacrament, our
Savior had himself spoken against his miracles in the Sacrament.
For thus, lo, doth Master Masquer make Christ expound his
own words and say:
"If it offend you to eat my flesh while I am here, it shall much more
offend you to eat it when my body shall be gone out of your sight
ascended into heaven, there sitting on the right hand of my Father
until I come again as I went."
There were, good readers, two causes for which those Jews and
those disciples were offended at the hearing of Christ, when he
said they should eat his flesh. One was the strangeness and
the impossibility that they thought was therein; the other was the
loathsomeness that they had thereto. Now if Master Masquer mean
here for the impossibility by reason of the difference of his
presence and his absence, I cannot see why they should be more
offended after his Ascension than before. For if it be possible for
him to make his body to be in many diverse places at once in
earth, then it is as possible for him to make it at once in those two
diverse places, earth and heaven. For the marvel standeth not in
the far distance of the two places asunder, but in the diversity
of the two places having in them both one body, be they never so
near together. And as for the difference of his presence here in
earth and his absence hence by his Ascension into heaven, Master
Masquer is more than mad to put that for a difference, as a

cause after the Ascension to make them more offended to hear of
the eating of his body. For if he make (as he can and doth)
his body to be as well here in earth as in heaven, then is his body
no more absent from hence than from thence, as for the verity of
his presence in the place, though it be more absent in consideration
to us that see not his body here, but in the form of bread.
But the blessed angels see that one blessed body of his in heaven
and here in the Blessed Sacrament both at once. And thus you see
that Master Masquer's argument hath no pith or strength if he
mean for impossibility.
Now if Master Masquer here mean that after Christ's Ascension
into heaven, it should be a thing that should of reason more
offend the Jews to eat his flesh than at the time while he was
here, as a thing that would be then a much more loathsome meat;
what devil reason hath Master Masquer to bear that mad
mind withal, and to think that his glorified flesh should be
more loathsome to receive than if it were unglorified?
And yet either he meaneth thus or else he lacketh the way to
find the words with which he would express his mind. For
these are the words that he maketh Christ to say: "If it offend
you to eat my flesh while I am here, it shall much more offend you to
eat it when my body shall be gone out of your sight." You see now that
he saith it shall more offend you to eat it when it is gone out of
your sight into heaven. Now if he had meant in the other manner
for the impossibility, he would have said (except he cannot speak)
that it should more offend them to hear it told them that they
should then eat his flesh when his flesh were so far absent from
them, than to hear it told them that they should eat it while
it were present with them, and not say it should then more
offend them to eat it. For they shall not be offended with the
eating if they eat it not. And therefore (if he can tell how to
speak and express his own mind) he meaneth here while he
saith, "It shall more offend you to eat it," he meaneth, I say, that they
should of reason think his flesh then more loathly to eat after
his glorious Ascension than it was ere he died. Thus it appeareth
that Master Masquer meant. And verily if he so mean, he hath a
mad meaning. And if he mean not so, then hath he a mad

manner of speaking. And yet besides that, his meaning is as mad
that way as the other.
For, as I have showed you, the thing is no more impossible to
Christ to give them his body to eat after his Ascension than
before, and therefore is Master Masquer a fool to say that it should
more offend them to hear that they should eat it after his
Ascension than before. For by their eating he should not leese it,
but both men may have his body here in earth with them, and the
angels may have it in heaven with them, and himself may have
it both in earth and in heaven with him, and all this at once.
Wherein, lest Master Masquer might make some ween that I
do as he saith I do, and as indeed Master Masquer doth himself,
that is to wit, mock in this matter and lie, ye shall, good readers,
hear what holy Saint Chrysostom saith:
"Helyas left unto Heliseus his mantle as a
very great inheritance. And in very deed, a
great inheritance it was, and more
precious than any gold. And Heliseus was a double Hely, and there was
then Helyas above and Helyas beneath. I know well that you think he was a
just and a blessed man and you would fain each of you be in his case.
What will you say then, if I show you a certain other thing that all we
that are seasoned with the holy sacraments have received that far excelleth
Helyas's mantle? For Helias indeed left his disciple his mantle. But the Son
of God, ascending up, hath left unto us his flesh. And as for Helias leaving
his mantle to his disciple, left it off from himself. But our Savior Christ
hath both left it still with us, and yet in his
Ascension, hath taken it with himself, too. Let
never therefore our hearts fall for fear, nor let us
not lament and bewail, nor dread the difficulties of the troublous times.
For he that neither hath refused to shed his blood for us all, and hath
also, besides that, given unto us all his flesh to eat, and the same blood
again to drink, he will refuse nothing that may serve for our salvation."

How say you now, good Christian readers? Doth not Saint
Chrysostom with these words affirm you plainly the substance
of that that I say, and as plainly destroy all that Master
Masquer saith in his heretical exposition of these words of Christ,
which he construeth so as he would thereby make a repugnance
between the being of Christ's blessed body in the Blessed Sacrament,

and the being of his body by his Ascension in heaven? For
though Master Masquer say they cannot stand together, but is
utterly repugnant that his body should be here in earth before
Doomsday, because that until Doomsday it shall be still in
heaven, yet saith Saint Chrysostom plainly that Master Masquer
in his exposition lieth. For he saith that Christ's blessed body is
both in heaven and also in earth in the Blessed Sacrament indeed.
And therefore let Master Masquer leave his jesting with me, and go
jest and rail against Saint Chrysostom. For he confuteth you,
Master Masquer, you see well, a little more clearer than I. And then
whether of them twain ye shall believe and take for the more
credible man, Master Masquer or holy Saint Chrysostom, every
man's own wit that any wit hath, will well serve him to see.
The Fourth Chapter.
But Master Masquer, to show you a further declaration of his
wit, forthwith upon his wise and worshipful exposition of
those words of Christ, he repeateth that fond argument again
that Christ meant not of eating his flesh in the Sacrament,
because that, if he had meant it, he could and would have
declared his meaning more plainly. And in that matter thus
Master Masquer saith:
"Here might Christ have instructed his disciples the truth of the
eating of his flesh in form of bread, had this been his meaning. For he
left them never in any perplexity or doubt, but sought all the ways by
similitudes and familiar examples to teach them plainly; he never
spoke them so hard a parable but where he perceived their feeble
ignorance, anon he helped them and declared it them. Yea, and sometimes
he prevented their asking with his own declaration. And think ye
not that he did not so here? Yes, verily. For he came to teach us and not
to leave us in any doubt and ignorance, especially the chief point of our
salvation, which standeth in the belief in his death for our sins.
Wherefore to put them out of all doubt as concerning this eating of his
flesh and drinking of his blood that should give everlasting life,
where they took it for his very body to be eaten with their teeth, he
said, "It is the spirit that giveth this life. My flesh profiteth
nothing at all to be eaten, as ye mean, so carnally: it is spiritual meat

that I here speak of. It is my spirit that draweth the hearts of men to me
by faith, and so refresheth them ghostly. Ye be, therefore, carnal to think
that I speak of my flesh to be eaten bodily. For so it profiteth you
nothing at all. How long will you be without understanding? It is my
spirit, I tell you, that giveth life. My flesh profiteth you nothing to
eat it, but to believe that it shall be crucified and suffer for the redemption
of the world, it profiteth. And when ye thus believe, then eat ye my
flesh and drink my blood, that is, ye believe in me to suffer for your
sins." The Verity hath spoken these words: "My flesh profiteth
nothing at all"; it cannot therefore be false. For both the Jews and his
disciples murmured and disputed of his flesh, how it should be eaten,
and not of the offering thereof for our sins as Christ meant. This
therefore, is the sure anchor to hold us by, against all the objections of the
papists, for the eating of Christ's body as they say in form of bread.
Christ said, "My flesh profiteth nothing," meaning to eat it bodily. This
is the key that solveth all their arguments and openeth the way to show
us all their false and abominable blasphemous lies upon Christ's
words, and uttereth their sleight juggling over the bread to maintain
AntiChrist's kingdom therewith. And thus when Christ had declared
it, and taught them that it was not the bodily eating of his material
body, but the eating with the spirit of faith, he added saying, "The
words which I here speak unto you are spirit and life," that is to
say, "This matter that I here have spoken of with so many words, must be
spiritually understood to give ye this life everlasting. Wherefore the
cause why ye understood me not, is that ye believe not." Here is, lo, the
conclusion of all his sermon."
Many a fond process have I read, good Christian readers, but
never read I neither a more foolish nor a more false than this is.
For the effect and the purpose of all this process is that Christ, in
all his words spoken in this sixth chapter of Saint John, meant
nothing of the eating of his Blessed Body in the Blessed Sacrament,
but only of an allegorical eating of his body, by which
he meant only that they should believe that he should be crucified
and shed his blood and die for redemption of the world.
Now that our Savior, besides all such allegories and other spiritual
understandings, plainly meant of the very eating of his
Blessed Body in the Blessed Sacrament, you have, good readers, already
seen, by so many holy doctors and saints, whose plain
words I have rehearsed you, that no man can doubt but that in the

whole conclusion of his argument and his exposition Master
Masquer hath a shameful fall, except any man doubt whether
Master Masquer be better to be believed alone, or those holy doctors
among them all.
But now this false conclusion of his, how feebly and how
foolishly he defendeth, that is even a very great pleasure to see.
In this process hath he two points. The first is that Christ
could and would have made it open and plain in this place by
clear and evident words if he had meant of the eating of his
flesh in the Sacrament. The second is that by these words,
"It is the spirit that giveth life, my flesh profiteth nothing at all. The
words that I have spoken to you be spirit and life," Christ doth plain
and clearly declare both that he meant not the eating of his flesh
in the Sacrament, and also that he meant only the belief that he
should die for the sin of the world.
Now touching his first foolish point, I have confuted it already,
and showed you some samples where Christ could at some
time have declared the matter much more openly than he did, and
that in great matters of our faith.
For I think the sacrament of baptism is a principal point
of our faith. And yet Christ taught not Nicodemus all that he
could have told him therein, as I said before.
And longeth it nothing to the faith to believe the remission of
mortal sins? I suppose yes. And yet could Christ, if he had
would, have declared more clearly those
words of his, "Whoso blaspheme the Son
of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But he that blasphemeth the Holy
Ghost, it shall neither be forgiven him in this world nor in the
world to come."
No good Christian man thinketh other but that it is a principal
article of the Christian faith to believe that Christ is one equal
God with his Father. And yet Christ (albeit that, by all places set
together, he hath declared it clear enough in conclusion to them
that will not be willful and contentious) yet did he not in every
place where he spoke thereof declare the matter so clearly as he
could have done if he then had would. Which appeareth
by that, that in some other places, he declared it more clearly after.
And yet in all the places of the scripture set together, he hath not,
nor would not, declare it in so plain words as he could have

done. For then should there never have needed any of those comments
that all the holy doctors have made upon it since. And
surely so saith Luther and these other heretics that there needed
none. For all the scripture (they say) is open and plain enough.
And therefore they put every man and
woman unlearned in boldness and
courage to be in the scripture sufficiently
their own masters themselves. But
while they thus teach them, they forget that by their own
teaching they should hold their peace themselves. And indeed, so
were it good they did, but if they taught better.
And thus for his first point, you see, good readers, that Master
Masquer maketh men perceive him for a double fool, when it was
not enough for him to come forth with this folly once, but he must
a God's name bring in this his one folly twice.
The Fifth Chapter.
Now as touching his second point, in that it is a world to see
how strongly the man handleth it. For whereas Christ hath, by so
many open plain words before, taught and declared that he
would give his own flesh to be eaten, and his own blood to be
drunken, and so often repeated it, and in such effectual wise
inculcated it, and, as who should say, beat it into their heads that
(saving for the form and manner of the eating, which he
declared by his word and his deed at his Holy Maundy) else as
for to make men sure that verily eat it and drink it they should,
there could never more clear words have been of any man desired,
nor by Master Masquer himself devised; now cometh Master
Masquer forth with certain words of Christ, by which he saith
that Christ clearly declareth that he meant clear the contrary, that
is, to wit, that his flesh should not be eaten, and also that by this
word eating of his flesh, he meant nothing else but the
belief of his death for men's sins.
Now the words of our Savior that (as Master Masquer saith)
prove these two things are these: "It is the spirit that giveth life,
my flesh profiteth nothing at all. The words that I have spoken to you be
spirit and life."

These words have, good readers, in themselves neither anything
in disproof of the very eating of his flesh, nor for the proof that
he meant the belief of his death. For these words, as Saint Augustine
declareth, speak not precisely against the eating of his flesh,
as he meant to give it them with the
spirit and the life therein, but against
the eating of his flesh alone, dead and cut out in gobbets, as
they conceived a false opinion that he meant to make them eat it.
And as I have showed you before, Saint Cyril expoundeth these
words after the same manner, and other holy doctors, too. And now
if ye read again Master Masquer's words here, ye shall find that
all that seemeth to prove his purpose is only the words of himself,
and nothing the words of Christ, but himself
expounding Christ's words in such wise that (as I have showed
you) Saint Augustine and Saint Cyril and other holy doctors,
expound it clear against him.
If his own argument were aught worth that he layeth against the
interpretation of all that expound those words of Christ to be
spoken of the very eating, by which we eat his blessed body in
the Sacrament, it would make against no man so sore as against
himself, even here in this place.
For if it be true that he saith that if Christ had meant of the
eating of his flesh in the Sacrament, he might and would have in this
place told it them plainly, and because he told them not that
point out plainly, therefore it is clear that he meant it not; then say
I that since in these words, which Master Masquer saith is
the very anchor-hold, Christ doth not so plainly declare that he
meaneth by the eating of his flesh the belief that he should die
for our sins, as he could if he had would, and would, as Master
Masquer saith, if he had so meant. This is therefore a plain proof by
Master Masquer's argument against Master Masquer's mind that
our Savior meant not so, and then is all Master Masquer's matter
Now that our Savior doth not here declare that point clearly,
that he meant nothing but that they should believe that he should
die for them, I will have Master Masquer's own words to bear
me record. Which will I ween make Master Masquer somewhat
wroth with himself, for writing them in himself so foolishly
against himself.

For where he saith that both the Jews and the disciples
murmured and disputed of his flesh how it should be eaten, and
not of the offering thereof for our sins, this declareth and witnesseth
well for our part against his own that our Savior
declared more plainly his mind for the eating of his flesh
than for the offering thereof to the death for our sins. And of
very truth, so he did indeed, though Master Masquer say nay
a hundred times. For of the eating of his flesh, as I have before
said, he spoke very precisely, and plainly, and often, and of his
offering up upon the cross he never spoke plainly so much as
one word.
For as for these words which Master Masquer calleth the anchor-hold,
"It is the spirit that giveth this life my flesh profiteth
nothing at all," hath not one plain word for his purpose at all. For
all the uttermost that he could take of these words were no more
but that Christ should tell them that the spirit is the thing
that giveth his flesh the life, without
which of itself it could not profit
them at all, and, therefore, the words that
he spoke were spirit and life and to be
understood spiritually, that they should eat his flesh with his
spirit, and not carnally, that they should eat his flesh alone
without his spirit, cut out in dead pieces of flesh, as they had
conceived a fond opinion thereof, out of which he said all this
to bring them, but yet not so much as he could have said and he
had would, nor would not because of their unworthiness to hear it,
and yet that they should eat his flesh he told them clear
But as I say, what one word is there in all these words of his
anchor-hold whereby Master Masquer may take one handful
hold that Christ here showed them so clearly that he meant the
offering of himself for our sins? He speaketh in all these words
not one word of offering, nor of crucifying, nor of death. And by
Master Masquer's own argument, if he had meant that way, as he well
could, so he would also have told them plainly thus: Sirs, I mean
not that you shall eat my flesh, but that you shall believe that I shall
die for your sins. And since he said not thus, Master Masquer's

own argument hath cut off his cable rope, and lost his anchor, and
run his ship himself against a rock. For he saith that if he
had meant it, he would have told them plain the tale to put them
out of all doubt.
And here you see now, good readers, by more means than one, as
well by the expositions of old holy doctors and saints, as by the
wise argument of Master Masquer himself, to what wise worshipful
end, this rial brag of his is come to pass, in which he
triumpheth over the Catholic Church and the Blessed Sacrament,
where he boasteth thus: "This therefore is the sure anchor to hold us by,
against all the objections of the papists, for the eating of Christ's
body, as they say, in form of bread. Christ said, "My flesh profiteth
nothing," meaning to eat it bodily. This is the key that solveth all their
arguments and openeth the way to show us all their false and abominable,
blasphemous lies upon Christ's words and uttereth their sleight
juggling over the bread to maintain AntiChrist's kingdom therewith.
And thus when Christ had declared it and taught them that it was not
the bodily eating of his material body, but the eating with the
spirit of faith, he added, saying, "The words which I here speak
unto you are spirit and life," that is to say, "This matter that I here have
spoken of, with so many words, must be spiritually understood to
give ye this life everlasting. Wherefore the cause why ye understand me
not is that ye believe me not." Here is, lo, the conclusion of all his sermon."

Since yourselves have seen, good readers, that in this matter and in
this whole exposition, there are against Master Masquer not only
the Catholic Church of our time, but also all the old holy doctors
and saints, which with one voice expound these words of
Christ to be spoken and meant of that eating of Christ's flesh,
by which it is eaten in the Blessed Sacrament, against which
point Master Masquer here rageth in this his furious boast,
railing upon them all that so teach or believe, under his spiteful
name of papists; I would wit of Master Masquer whether
Saint Bede, Saint Augustine, and Saint Ambrose, Saint Irenaeus,
and Saint Hilary, Theophylactus, Saint Cyril, and Saint Chrysostom,
were all papists or not? If he answer yea and say they
were, then shall he make no man (that wise is) ashamed of

the name of papists (as odious as he would make it) if he
grant us that such good godly men, and such holy doctors and
saints were papists.
Now if he answer me nay and say that they were no papists,
then he maketh it plain and open unto you, good readers, that he
playeth but the part of a foolish railer and a jester and doth but
deceive and mock all his own fraternity when, by railing
against papists, whom he would have taken for folk of a false
faith, he dissembleth the truth that his heresy is not only
damned by them that he calleth papists, but by them also
whom he confesseth for no papists, and whom he cannot but
confess for old holy doctors and saints, nor cannot so blind you,
but that you plainly perceive by their own words, which
I have rehearsed you, and yet shall hereafter more plainly perceive
by more holy doctors and saints of the same sort, and by more
plain words also of the same, that they do all with one voice
expound these words of Christ, mentioned in the sixth chapter of
Saint John, to be spoken and meant of that eating of his flesh, by
which we eat it in the Blessed Sacrament.
And thus have I, good readers, answered you all Master Masquer's
arguments, by which he reproveth in general, under the name of
papists, all those, that is to wit, all the old holy doctors and
saints, that contrary to his heresy expound the said words of
Christ to be meant of the very eating of his flesh, and not only
of the believing of his death for our sin. And now will I
come to his subtle disputations that he maketh against me, by
name in special, to soil such things as I in my letter wrote
against John Frith.
Here endeth the Third Book.

The Fourth Book.
In the sixth leaf, thus he saith:
"Here maketh M. More this argument against the young man. Because
the Jews marveled at this saying: "My flesh is very meat and my
blood drink," and not at this: "I am the door and the very vine," therefore,
this text (saith he) "my flesh," etc. must be understood after the literal
sense -- that is, to wit, even as the carnal Jews understood it murmuring
at it, being offended, going their ways from Christ for their so
carnal understanding thereof -- and the other texts, "I am the door," etc.
must be understood in an allegory and a spiritual sense, because his
hearers marveled nothing at the manner of speech."
I have, good readers, before this argument that he speaketh of,
another argument in that epistle of mine against Frith, which
although it went before and was read before this, yet because it
would not well be soiled, Master Masquer was content to dissemble
it. But I shall afterward anon lay it before him again and set
him to it with a fescue, that he shall not say but he saw it.
But now as for this argument of mine, that he maketh the first,
I misfortuned to make so feeble that he taketh even a pleasure
to play with it, and therefore he soileth it and soileth it again,
and that, full wisely, ye may be fast and sure, and so shall you
say yourself when you see all. But yet, though he win himself
worship in the soiling, it was no great wisdom to leese his
worship in the rehearsing, with false bearing in hand, that I say
that those words of Christ must be understood after that
literal sense that the carnal Jews took therein that murmured
and went their way therefore. For they took that of his flesh to be
eaten in the selfsame fleshly form and, as holy Saint Augustine
saith, that they should have eaten his flesh dead, without life or
spirit, as beef or mutton is cut out in butchers" shops. And I
am very sure that Master Masquer hath no such word in my
letter, whereof he may take hold to say that I say that Christ's
words should be taken so. But this is no new fashion of these
folk to rehearse other men's arguments
in such manner as themselves
list to make them, and then they make

them such as themselves may most easily soil them. Which
while Master Masquer hath done with mine, yet hath he little
advantage thereby. But to the intent that allthing shall be the
more open before your eye, I shall rehearse you first the thing
that he would be content you saw not, that is to wit, mine own
words as I wrote them, which he rehearseth as himself maketh
them new.
These were, good reader, my words.
"And over this the very circumstances of the places in the Gospel, in which
our Savior speaketh of that Sacrament, may well make open the difference of his
speech in this matter and of all those other, and that, as he spoke all those but in
an allegory, so spoke he this plainly, meaning that he spoke if his very body and
his very blood besides all allegories. For neither when our Lord said he
was a very vine, nor when he said he was the door, there was none that
heard him that anything marveled thereof. And why? For because they
perceived well that he meant not that he was a material vine indeed, nor a
material door neither. But when he said that his flesh was very meat, and
his blood was very drink, and that they should not have life in them but if
they did eat his flesh and drink his blood, then were they almost all in
such a wonder thereof that they could not abide. And wherefore? But because
they perceived well by his words and his manner of circumstances used in the
speaking of them that Christ spoke of his very flesh and his very blood indeed.
For else the strangeness of the words would have made them to have
taken it as well for an allegory, as either his words of the vine or of the
door. And then would they have no more marveled at the one than they
did at the other. But no, whereas at the vine and the door, they marveled
nothing, yet at the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood, they so
sore marveled, and were so sore moved, and thought the matter so hard, and
the wonder so great that they asked how could that be and went almost all
their way. Whereby we may well see that he spoke these words in such
wise as the hearers perceived that he meant it not in a parable nor an allegory,
but spoke of his very flesh and his very blood indeed."
Lo, good readers, here I speak of Christ's very flesh and his
very blood (as the truth is indeed). But here I say not, as
Master Masquer saith I say, that Christ meant of his flesh and his

blood in such wise, as the Jews thought that forsook him
therefore, which thought, as you have heard, that they should eat
his flesh in the self fleshly form, and also piecemeal in loathly
dead gobbets, without either life or spirit.
And now that you have seen his truth in rehearsing, you shall
see a show of his sharp subtle wit in the soiling. Wherein first, after
his juggling fashion, to carry the reader with wondering from
marking well the matter, thus he beginneth with a great gravity,
giving all the world warning to beware of me.
"Lo, Christian reader, here hast thou not a taste but a great ton full of
More's mischief and pernicious perverting of God's holy word.
And as thou seest him here falsely and pestilently destroy the pure sense
of God's word, so doth he in all other places of his books."
Lo, good readers, now have you a great high tragical warning,
with not a little taste but a great ton full at once, of
my mischievous, pernicious, false, pestilent, perverting and
destroying of the pure sense of God's holy words in this one place,
which he will shall stand for a plain proof that I do the same in
all other places.
Now good readers, albeit that it might mishap me by
oversight to mishandle this one place and yet in some other to
write well enough, yet am I content to take the condition at
Master Masquer's hand that if mine handling of this one place
be such a heinous handling as maketh it such a pernicious,
pestilent, not only perversion, but also destruction of
the pure sense of God's holy word, never make examination of
any other word of mine farther. For I then forthwith confess,
even here, that I have in all other places written wrong every
whit. But now on the other side, though you should hap to
find that, in this place, I have somewhat overseen myself in
mistaking of some one word for another, without the effect of
the matter changed, then will I require you to take my fault for
no greater than it is indeed, nor mistrust all my writing for
that one word in this one place mistaken, without the impairing
of the matter. For such a manner, mistaking of a word is

not the destroying of the pure sense of God's holy word. And
therefore if you find my fault, good readers, no further than such,
ye will, I doubt not of your equity, bid Master Masquer leave his
iniquity, and change his high tragical terms, and turn his great
ton full of pernicious, pestilent, false, perverting poison into a
little taste of wholesome enough, though somewhat small and
rough, Rochelle wine. And therefore let us now see wherein he layeth
this great high heap of mischievous perverting. Lo, thus good
readers, he saith:
"First, where More saith they marveled at Christ's saying, "My flesh
is very meat," etc. that is not so. Neither is there any such word in the
text, except More will expound murmurabant id est mirabantur. "They
murmured," that is to say, "they marveled," as he expoundeth oportet, id
est expedit et conuenit, "he must die," or "it behooveth him to die," that is to
say, "it was expedient and of good congruence that he should die," etc. This
poet may make a man to signify an ass, and black white, to blear
the simple eyes."
Now good readers, I wot well that you consider that the cause
wherefore I spoke of the marveling that they had, which heard
Christ speak of the eating of his flesh, was because that none of
those that heard him at other times call himself a vine or a door
marveled anything thereat, so that by the great difference
of the behavior of the hearers, it might well appear that there was
great difference in the speaking, and that the other two were
well perceived to be spoken only by way of allegory, and the
third to be spoken of his very flesh indeed, whereas Frith
held opinion that this was none otherwise spoken, but only by way
of an allegory, as the other twain were.
Now good readers, if you read my words again, and in every
place of them where I write "they marveled," it would like you to
put out that word "they marveled," and set in this word, "they
murmured," in the stead thereof; ye shall find no change made in
the matter by that change made in the words. But you shall see
mine argument shall stand as strong with that word, "they murmured,"
as with this word, "they
marveled." For when, at the hearing of
Christ's words speaking of the eating of his flesh, the
evangelist showeth that many of the
hearers murmured, and neither at the

calling of himself a vine, nor at the calling of himself a
door, none of his hearers murmured for that
manner of speaking; it appeareth as well
the difference in Christ's speaking, by the difference of divers
his hearers at the one word murmuring, and at the other two not
murmuring, as at the one marveling, and at the other two
not marveling.
Lo, thus you see, good readers, that in this matter in which
Master Masquer maketh his great outcry upon me for
changing of this word "murmuring," into this word "marveling,"
since there is no change in the matter by the change of the
word, but mine argument, as strong with the one word as with
the other, I neither have done it of any fraud for advantage of
mine own part in the matter, nor yet since the change is but in
the word without change of the matter; I have not thereby perniciously
and pestilently, by the whole ton full of falsehood at
once, perverted and destroyed the pure sense of God's holy word.
But it appeareth well on the other side that Master Masquer hath
given us here, I will not be so sore to say a ton full, but at the
least wise, a little pretty taste of his little pretty falsehood, with
which a little he prettily believeth me.
The Second Chapter.
But yet shall you now see his wit and his truth both a little
better tried, even upon this same place, in which, with his huge
exclamations, he maketh his part so plain.
As for oportet of which he speaketh here, we shall talk of after
in another place. But now, touching this word "they marveled,"
Master Masquer saith thus: "That is not so, nor there is no such word
in the text." So you see, good readers, that he saith two things. One
that it is not so, and another that there is no such word there in the
text. As for the word, good reader, I will not greatly strive with
him. But where he saith it is not so, and therein affirmeth that
they marveled not, I think the words of the text will well
maintain my saying. For, good reader, when they said,
"How can he give us his flesh to eat?" and when they said, "This word is

hard and who can hear it," do not these words prove that they
marveled and thought it strange when they called it so hard that
no man might abide to hear it and asked how he could do it,
because they thought it impossible?
Now you see, good readers, that the Gospel saith the selfsame
thing that I say, though it say not the selfsame word, and
therefore lieth Master Masquer in saying it is not so.
But by this wise way of Master Masquer, if I had written that
Absalom was angry with Ammon his
brother for violating his sister Tamar,
Master Masquer would say, "Lo, good reader, here thou hast not a
taste but a ton full of More's pernicious perverting of God's
holy word, and as thou seest him here falsely and pestilently
destroy the pure sense of God's word, so doth he in all other
places of his works. For where he saith that Absalom was angry with
Ammon, it is not so, neither is there any such word in the text,
except More will expound oderat eum, id est irascebatur ei, "he
hated him," that is to say, "he was angry with him," as he expoundeth
murmurabant id est mirabantur, "they murmured," that is to say,
"they marveled." And thus may this poet make a man to
signify an ass. For the Bible saith not as More saith, that
Absalom was angry with Ammon. For the text saith no more,
but that Absalom hated Ammon and caused him to be killed."
How like you now, good readers, this wise solution of Master
Masquer? This proveth not him a poet that can make a
man signify an ass but proveth him rather instead of a poet,
and instead of a man, a very stark ass indeed.
The Third Chapter.
But of very truth, good reader, not without a good cause and a
great, I did rather touch the thing that was the cause of the Jews"
murmur and their dissension when they disputed upon the
matter than I did their murmur and their dissension. For of

truth, where he said of himself that he
was a door, there grew dissension
among his hearers upon that word of his, and upon other words
that he spoke therewith at the same time, so that the Gospel saith,
"And there was dissension among the Jews
upon these words, some saying that the devil
was in him and some saying nay, and that the devil was not wont to
make blind men see," as there was here dissension and disputing
upon these words of eating of his flesh. But in the tenth chapter,
they nothing marveled of his calling himself a door, for he
expounded the parable at length so that they perceived well that he
called himself a door, but only by way of an allegory. And
therefore of calling himself a door they marveled not of that
word when he declared it, for they perceived it for a parable. But
they disputed upon that word and upon his other words also,
wherein he said that no man could kill
him against his will, and that he would
die for his sheep, and that he had power to put away his soul
and take it again. Of these things they disputed and thought
them strange and marvelous, too. But not for the words
or the manner of speaking, but for the very matter. For all they
understood the words meetly well, but many of them believed them
not. But not one of them did so take that word, "I am a door," as
that they marveled how that could be. And therefore, none of
them for any such marvel said there, "How can he be door?" as
these Jews said here, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" And
therefore, as I say, therein appeareth well that our Savior in the
one place called himself a door, by way of a parable, and in
the other spoke of the eating of his own very flesh itself,
besides all parables. Which well appeared I say by his audience.
For the one word they perceived for a parable, and therefore
none of them marveled of the manner of the speaking of that
word, though they marveled and murmured and disputed at the
thing that the parable meant. But in the other place, many
marveled at the thing by the selfsame name that he gave
thereto, saying, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?"; whereby it
well appeareth that they perceived that he spoke of very eating of

his flesh indeed, and in the other place appeareth not that they
thought he meant that he was a very door indeed, but the contrary
plain appeareth. For Christ, by his plain and open
exposition of that parable, delivered them clean from all
occasion of thinking that he meant himself to be a very door indeed.
But in these words of eating of his flesh, because he
would give his very flesh to be eaten in very deed, therefore he
more and more told them still the same and also told
them himself was God, and therefore able to do it and, over
that, gave them warning that they should not eat it in dead
gobbets, but should eat it quick with spirit and life. For his
words were spirit and life. For his flesh should else avail
nothing. And that though his body
should be eaten by many sundry men in
many sundry places, yet should it nevertheless be also still
whole and sound, wheresoever he
would besides. Which he declared by his
Ascension with his body perfect into heaven, notwithstanding
that it should be before that eaten of many men in earth.
And thus have I, good readers, as for this solution of Master
Masquer, made open and plain unto you his falsehood and his folly
both, and made it clear, for all his high pernicious pestilent
words, both that I have handled this place of the scripture
right and also taken rather the sentence than the word. And I have
also, by occasion of his wise solution, caused you to perceive that
in mine argument was and is more pith and more strength than
peradventure every man perceived before. And therefore thus much
worship hath he won by this his first solemn solution.
The Fourth Chapter.
But in his second solution, he specially showeth his deep
insight and cunning, and mine oversight too shamefully. For
therein, lo, thus he saith:
"But yet for his lordly pleasure, let us grant him that "they murmured" is
as much to say as "they marveled," because perchance the one may
follow at the other. And then do I ask him whether Christ's

disciples and his apostles heard him not and understood him not when
he said, "I am the door and the vine," and when he said, "My flesh," etc. If
he say no or nay, the scripture is plain against him, John 6, 10, and 15. If he
say yea or yes, then yet do I ask him whether his disciples and apostles,
thus hearing and understanding his words in all these three chapters,
wondered and marveled as Master More saith, or murmured, as hath
the text, at their master's speech. What think ye More must answer
here? Here may you see whether this old holy upholder of the pope's church
is brought even to be taken in his own trap. For the disciples and his
apostles neither murmured nor marveled, nor yet were not offended
with their master Christ's words and manner of speech."
Lo, good readers, here Master Masquer, because he thinketh that
not enough for his worship to show himself once a fool by his
first solution, cometh now farther forth to show himself twice a
fool, yea, thrice a fool, by the second.
And first, for a way to come thereto, he saith he will grant
me, for my lordly pleasure, that "they murmured" is as much to say
as "they marveled." In which granting, he doth me no great
lordly pleasure. For I have, as you have heard well, proved him already
that I need not his granting therein. But verily, in the cause
that he addeth thereto, when he saith because perchance the one
may follow at the other, therein he doth me a very great lordly
pleasure. For it is even a pleasure for a lord and for a king, too, to
see him play so far the fool, as without necessity, to write in that
word himself, which helpeth mine argument against himself,
and maketh all his wondering that he hath in his first solution
upon me, fall in his own neck. For if their murmuring followed
upon their marveling, as himself here saith that peradventure
it did, then playeth he first peradventure the fool to make
such an outcry upon me for saying that they marveled,
where the text saith they murmured, as though I with that word
utterly destroyed the pure sense of God's holy word. For that word
doth not so pestilently pervert the sense, if it may stand with
the sentence, as it may indeed, if Master Masquer say true
that peradventure the one may follow upon the other, that is
to wit, the murmuring upon the marveling, for so he meaneth
thereby. For as mad as he is, he is not, I think, so mad yet as

to mean that the marveling followed upon the murmuring.
For they marveled first and murmured after. And now since this
one word of his, therefore, overthroweth all his wondering that he
hath made on me, and proveth himself willingly and wittingly
in all his high tragical exclamation against his own conscience
and his own very knowledge to belie me, he hath therein, as
I say, done me a very special pleasure to see him so far play the
fool as to bring forth that word himself, specially where there
was no need at all, but even for a garnish of his induction, with
a show of his cunning, to make men know that he had not so
little learning, but that he wist well enough himself that he had
shamefully belied me in all that ever he had cried out against
me, concerning any misconstruing of that place of holy
The Fifth Chapter.
Now after this, his double folly well and wisely put forth at
once, he bringeth me to mine opposition. And therein he handleth
me so hardly that I cannot escape, which way so ever I
take, whether I say that Christ's disciples and apostles heard and
understood their master's words in all the three places, or that I
say that in any one of those three places they understood him not.
For here, to be sure, to hold me in on both sides that I escape not,
he showeth what danger I fall in, which way so ever I take.
For he saith that, on the one side, I deny the Gospel if I
answer no or nay, and on the other side, I am taken in mine
own trap if I say yea or yes.
And surely here he playeth the wisest point, and the most for
his own surety that I saw him play yet. For ye shall understand
that in the first part of my Confutation, in the third book,
the 180 side, for as much as Tyndale hath been so long out of
England that he could not tell how to use these English
adverbs, nay and no, yea and yes, I gave him a rule and a
certain samples of the rule, whereby he might learn where he should
answer nay, and where no, and where yea, and where yes.
Now Master Masquer, when he wrote his book, neither
having my book by him, nor the rule by heart, thought he would

be sure that I should find no such fault in him, and therefore, on
the one side for the answer, assigneth yea and yes both, and on
the other side, both nay and no, leaving the choice to myself,
which he durst not well take upon him, lest he might show therein
such congruity in the English tongue, as he showeth in some
other things, wherein he speaketh English as congrue as a man
might that had learned his English in another land.
But now must I answer him to his subtle questions. His first
question is this.
He asketh me whether Christ's disciples and his apostles heard
him not and understood him not when he said, "I am the door,"
and when he said, "I am the vine," and when he said, "My flesh
is verily meat," etc.
Master Masquer is so wily that I must needs take better heed
what I answer him than I should need if I were to answer a
good, plain man of the country. For Master Masquer, in the twenty-ninth leaf,
boasteth himself of his cunning royally and saith: "It is verily the
thing that I desire even to be written against in this matter. For I have
the solutions of all their objections ready."
Now, since therefore this man is so cunning, and hath his answers
so ready for all objections that men may lay to him,
he cannot be by likelihood but wonderful sure and ready, with
subtle replications against all answers that men may make to
those oppositions that he deviseth against other men himself. I
will therefore be as aware of him as I can. And first I say that his
question is captious. For he asketh one answer to three things at
once, and in each of the three, he asketh me two questions at once.
For he asketh of the door and the vine and of his flesh, all three at
once. And yet of each of these not a double question, as I told you,
but a quadruple question at once. For he asketh both of his apostles
and the disciples, and not only whether all these heard Christ at
all three times, but also whether all these understood him. And all
twelve questions Master Masquer, wilily to beguile such a
simple soul as I am, asketh in one question at once. And therefore,
lest he betrap me, I shall somewhat at the leastwise
divide them.

And then I say to the first question, whether Christ's disciples
and apostles heard him not and understood him not when
he said, "I am the door," because the question is yet double and
captious, I purpose to make sure work and answer that I cannot
tell; I think that some did and some did not, for some of them I
ween were not there.
Now, if he say that he meaneth only them that were there, so
would I, too, have taken him, if he were a good, plain soul, and not
such a subtle sophistry that longeth to be arguing, and hath allthing
so ready upon his fingers" ends.
But go to now, though I could yet have other answers for him
if I would, yet for his lordly pleasure, I shall be content to grant
him that they both heard him and understood him, wherein I
grant him more yet, I promise you, than he can precisely bind
me to by the text. All this granting for this place giveth him
no ground yet. For here I am well content not only to say all
that he saith, that is, that his apostles and his disciples understood
that Christ calleth himself the door but by a parable, and
therefore marveled not at that manner of speaking. But I say more, too,
that so did also the Jews that reproved him and repugned
against him. And say also that they repugned so much the
more against him, and so much the more murmured and
disputed against the matter, in how much they more understood
the manner of the speaking, and that it was but a parable. For they
wist well that word of the door was spoken by a parable, for
Christ plainly expounded it. But they murmured much at that that
no man might well come in but by him.
Let us now to the second, then. And where he asketh me whether
Christ's disciples and his apostles heard him not and understood
him not when he said, "I am the very
vine," here I would, for mine own
surety, ask him whether he mean by Christ's disciples and
apostles some of both sorts, or else those disciples only that were
both disciples and apostles. Howbeit if I should ask him thus, he
would say I did but trifle and that every man may well
wit, by the putting of his question, that he meaneth of either

sort some. For else he would have said no more but apostles, which
had been enough if he had meant but them. And also it were
against his purpose if Christ's other disciples understood him
not, though his apostles did. Well, I am content then to take it so.
And then unto the question whether his disciples and apostles
heard not Christ and understood him not when he said, "I am
the very vine," to this question copulative, I answer no.
But then Master Masquer replieth that the scripture is plain
against me. But unto that replication, I say nay. For I say that
the scripture there, with Saint Mark and Saint Luke set unto it.
proveth mine answer true. For it appeareth well among
them three that, besides the apostles, none of his other disciples
understood him, for none of his other disciples heard him, for
none of his other disciples were there, nor yet all his twelve apostles
neither, for Judas was gone before. So that in this part of his
first question, Master Masquer hath given himself a fall in the
subtle proponing of his question. As to the understanding, I
agree that they that were there understood him, which maketh
nothing against me.
Now to the third place, when he asketh me whether Christ's
disciples and his apostles heard him not and understood him not
when he said, "My flesh is very meat," etc. First, as for his disciples,
I say no, not all. Then saith Master Masquer that if I say
nay or no, the scripture is plain against me, John 6. But
to that say I again that when I say no, the scripture is even there
with me. For as the Gospel there plainly telleth, many of his
disciples, though they heard him well, did understand him amiss.
For though they understood him right, in that they perceived
that he spoke of the very eating of his very flesh, yet they understood
him wrong, in that they took him that they should eat it in
the self fleshly form and in dead pieces without life or spirit,
and therefore they went their way from him and left him, and
walked no more after with him. Here hath Master Masquer
another fall in this place, too, touching his first question as for the
But what say we then for the apostles? Did not they understand
him? What if I here would say nay? Then except Master
Masquer could prove yes, else is not only his first question gone,
which he maketh for a way to the second, but his second

question is clearly gone, too, wherewith he would make me be taken
in mine own trap. And therefore, first, for argument sake, I
deny that the apostles themselves understood Christ's word. How
will now Master Masquer prove me that they did? Marry, saith he,
"for they were well acquainted with such phrases. And answered their
master Christ when he asked them, "Will you go hence from me, too?" "Lord,"
said they, "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life,
and we believe that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.""
Now good reader, I think there be some texts in scripture that
Master Masquer understandeth not no more than other poor men.
But yet if he will not agree that, but say that he understandeth
them all, yet if we would put the case that there were some
such one text, he would, I think, admit the case for possible. Let
us then put him hardly none other, but even the same words of
Christ that we be now in hand withal. For no man understandeth
any word worse than he understandeth those, even yet while
he writeth on them. If himself had been then of that flock, and
had seen all other things in Christ that his apostles saw, and had
believed in him, and had not mistrusted Christ, but been ready
to do what he would bid him do, and believe what he would bid
him believe, but had yet as for those words of eating Christ's
flesh thought them hard to perceive what Christ meant by
them, but though he fully understood them not as he thought,
yet he doubted not but that good they were that God spoke,
and that Christ if he tarried his time, would tell him further of the
matter at more leisure; if now when other went their way,
Christ would have said unto him, "Wilt thou, Master Masquer, go
thy way from me, too?" Whether would then Master Masquer have
letted to say even the selfsame words that the apostles said
with others like, "Whither should I go from the good Lord? Thou
hast the words of everlasting life, and I believe and know that
thou art Christ, the Son of the living God, and art able to do
what thou wilt, and thy words be holy and godly, whether I
understand them or no, and thou mayst make me perceive them
better at thy further pleasure." Would Master Masquer have been
contented to say thus, or else would he have said, "Nay, by my

faith, good Lord, thou shalt tell me this tale a little more
plainly that I may better perceive it by and by, or else will I go to the
devil with yonder good fellows, and let them dwell with thee
that will"?
Now if Master Masquer would (as I ween he would but if he
were stark mad) have said the same himself that Saint Peter
said, or be content at the least that Saint Peter should say it for
him, though himself had not well and clearly perceived what
Christ meant by those words, how can he now prove by the
same words of theirs that the apostles understood his words then?
Thus you see, good readers, that of his two questions the first
have I so answered that it is come to nothing (if I would stick
with him still at his answer) till he have better proved
me than he hath yet that the apostles in the sixth chapter of Saint
John did understand Christ's words. And now therefore till he
have better handled his first question, he can against me never
use his second, whereby he boasteth that I could make none
answer but such as should take myself in mine own trap.
From which since I am clean escaped already by the answering
of his first question, you may, good readers, see that Master
Masquer goeth as wilily to work to take me as a man might
send a child about with salt in his hand, and bid him go catch
a bird by laying a little salt on her tail, and when the bird is
flown, comfort him then to go catch another, and tell him he
had caught it and it had tarried a little.
The Sixth Chapter.
But yet to see now how craftily he could betrap me if I would let
him alone, let us grant him, for his lordly pleasure, that the
disciples and apostles understood Christ's words well in all three
places, not only when he said he was
the door, and when he said he was the
vine, but also when he said, "My flesh
is verily meat." What now? Marry then,
saith Master Masquer,
"If More answer yea or yes, then do I ask him further whether Christ's
disciples and apostles, thus hearing and understanding his words in all
the three chapters, wondered and marveled (as More saith) or murmured
(as hath the text) at their master's speech. What think you More

must answer here? Here may you see whether this old holy upholder of
the pope's church is brought even to be taken in his own trap. For the
disciples and his apostles neither murmured nor marveled, nor yet
were not offended with this their master Christ's words and manner of
In what trap of mine own, or his either, hath Master
Masquer caught me here? Mine
argument was, ye wot well, that at the
hearing Christ say, "I am the door," and "I
am the very vine," no man marveled at
the manner of speaking because that every man perceived his
words for allegories and parables. But in
the third place, where he said, "My
flesh is verily meat," and "The bread that I shall give you is my flesh," and,
"Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you
shall not have life in you," so many marveled because they perceived
well it was not a parable, but that he spoke of very eating
of his flesh indeed that, of all his hearers, very few could abide it,
but murmured and said, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" And
his own disciples said, "This word is hard; who may hear him?"
and went almost all their way. Now when the effect of mine
argument is that, in this point, many marveled at the thing as a
thing plainly spoken and not a parable, but a plain tale that
men should verily eat his flesh, and that no man marveled at
the other two manner of speakings because they perceived them
for parables, what maketh it against me that in the third place
there were some that marveled not nor murmured not, since that
though some did not, yet many did, and both marveled and murmured
and went their way, and that for the most part, and, save
the apostles, almost everyone? And verily, the other disciples, as
Saint Chrysostom saith, those that then were present (against
Master Masquer's saying) went their ways all the many.
Where is now, good readers, this trap of mine own making
that I am fallen in? Hath Master Masquer cast me down so
deep with proving me that some marveled not where I said
many did? Be these two propositions so sore repugnant and so
plain contradictory: many marveled, and some marveled not,
that because I said the first, and he proveth the second, therefore,
I am quite cast and caught in mine own trap? This man is a
wily shrew in argument, I promise you.

The Seventh Chapter.
But now that I have, good readers, so fair escaped my trap, I
trust, with the help of some holy saint, to catch Master Masquer
in his own trap that his mastership hath made for me.
Ye wot well, good readers, that the trap which he made for
me were these two wily captious questions of his, with
which he thought to catch me, that is to wit, first whether the
disciples and apostles heard and understood our Savior in all three
places, and then upon mine answer yea or yes, his other question
further, whether they marveled or murmured. Unto which
while I have answered no; now by the traps of his questions, he
reckoneth me driven to be caught in mine own because I said
that many marveled, as though many other might not because
the apostles did.
Now before I show you how himself is taken in his own
trap, ye shall hear his own glorious words with which he
boasteth that he hath taken me, and would make men ween it were so.
Lo, these are his words:
"Here may you see whether this old holy upholder of the pope's church is
brought even to be taken in his own trap. For the disciples
and his apostles neither murmured nor marveled, nor yet were not
offended with this their master Christ's words and manner of speech.
For they were well acquainted with such phrases, and answered their
master Christ when he asked them, "Will ye go hence from me, too?" "Lord,"
said they, "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting
life, and we believe that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." Lo,
Master More, they neither marveled nor murmured. And why? For
because, as ye say, they understood it in an allegory sense, and perceived
well that he meant not of his material body to be eaten with
their teeth, but he meant it of himself to be believed to be very God and
very man, having flesh and blood as they had, and yet was he the
Son of the living God. This belief gathered they of all his spiritual
sayings, as himself expoundeth his own words, saying, "My flesh
profiteth nothing," meaning to be eaten, "but it is the spirit that
giveth this life. And the words that I speak unto you are spirit and
life. So that whoso believe my flesh to be crucified and broken, and
my blood to be shed for his sins, he eateth my flesh and drinketh
my blood, and hath life everlasting. And this is the life wherewith the
righteous liveth even by faith." Habakkuk, 2."

Lo, good reader, here have I rehearsed you his words whole to
the end. And yet because you shall see that I will not hide from you
any piece of his that may make for any strength of his
matter, I shall rehearse you further his other words written in his thirteenth
leaf, which I would have touched before, saving that I thought
to reserve it for him to strength withal this place of his where it
might do him best service, where he would prove against me to
trap me with, that the cause why the disciples and apostles
marveled not, nor murmured not, nor were not offended, was
because they understood Christ's words to be spoken not of very
eating of his flesh, but only of the belief of his Passion by
way of a parable or an allegory as he spoke those other words
when he said, "I am the door," and when he
said, "I am the vine." The words, lo, of Master
Masquer with which he setteth forth the
proof of this point in his thirteenth leaf be these,
in the end of all his exposition upon the sixth chapter of
Saint John.
"Here is, lo, the conclusion of all this sermon. Christ, very God and man,
had set his flesh before them to be received with faith that it should
be broken and suffer for their sin. But they could not eat it spiritually
because they believed not in him. Wherefore many of his disciples
fell from him and walked no more with him. And then he said to the
twelve, "Will ye go away, too?" And Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom
shall we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life, and we believe
and are sure that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." Here it is
manifest what Peter and his fellows understood by this eating and
drinking of Christ. For they were perfectly taught that it stood all in
the belief in Christ, as their answer here testifieth. If this matter had
stood upon so deep a miracle as our papists feign, without any word
of God not comprehended under any of their common senses, that they
should eat his body under form of bread, as long, deep, thick, and as
broad as it hangeth upon the cross, they being yet but feeble of faith
not confirmed with the Holy Ghost, must here needs have wondered,
stonied, and staggered, and have been more inquisitive in and of so
strange a matter than they were. But they neither doubted, nor marveled
nor murmured, nor nothing offended with this manner of speech,
as were the other that slipped away, but they answered firmly: "Thou

hast the words of everlasting life, and we believe," etc. Now to the
exposition of the words of our Lord's supper."
Lo, good readers, ye will, I trow, now bear me record that I
deal plainly with Master Masquer here, and hide nothing of his
aside that may do him any substantial service toward the
proof of his purpose. And I warrant you it shall be long ere you
find him, or any of all that sect, deal in such plain manner
with me.
But now good Christian reader, read all these whole words of
his, in both the places as often as you list, and consider them well,
and then shall you perceive in conclusion that he proveth his
purpose by none other thing in all this world than only by his
own words, expounding always the words of Christ, as Master
Masquer list himself. And upon that, that himself saith that
the cause wherefore the disciples and apostles marveled not,
nor murmured not at these words of Christ, "The bread I shall give
you is my flesh," etc., was because they perceived that Christ spoke
it in a parable (as I say of his other words, "I am the door," and "I
am the very vine") upon these words of Master Masquer's own,
Master Masquer concludeth for his purpose, the selfsame thing
that he first presupposeth, the thing that he should not presuppose
but prove, that is to wit, that Christ spoke it but by way of a
But against Master Masquer and his presumptuous presupposing,
the matter appeareth plain. For
as I have before said, our Savior
when he said, "I am the door," and when
he said, "I am the very vine," did so
prosecute and declare in both the places his own words,
that there could no man have cause to marvel at the manner of
speaking for his own declaration in prosecuting his own
words was such that it must needs make any man (but if he
were an idiot or an ass) perceive that Christ spoke in those two
places that he was the vine and the door but by way of a parable.
And this may every man soon see that list to look on the places. And
therefore no man said how can he be a vine, nor how can he be a

door, as many said in the third place, "How can he give us his
flesh to eat?" Which words, if they were so clearly spoken
but by way of parable, as the other twain were, it were far
unlikely that so many wise men would have taken it so far
otherwise ever since that take the other twain for none
other. And namely, such holy doctors and saints as are well
acquainted with Christ's phrases and parables, and in the study
thereof, have spent the great part of all their lives. And therefore,
Master Masquer, against so many wise men and so good, going
about now to prove this point but a parable by none other
substantial means than only by the authority of his own worshipful
word, proveth us his purpose very faint and slender, for
all his, "lo, Master More," as though his purpose appeared very clear.
The Eighth Chapter.
Howbeit for to furnish his matter with, and to set it the
better forth, because he would not have it seem to stand all
upon his own only exposition, that is to wit, upon his
own only word, he setteth unto his own bare word, his own
bare, bald reason, and saith:
"If this matter had stood upon so deep a miracle as our papists feign,
without any word of God, not comprehended under any of their common
senses, that they should eat his body being under the form of bread, as
long, deep, thick, and as broad as it hanged upon the cross, they
being yet but feeble of faith, not confirmed with the Holy Ghost, must
here needs have wondered, stunned, and staggered, and have been more
inquisitive in and of so strange a matter than they were. But they
neither marveled nor murmured, nor nothing offended with this
manner of speech, as were the other that slipped away, but they answered
firmly, "Thou hast the words of everlasting life, and we believe," etc.
Now to the exposition of the words of our Lord's supper."
Here hath Master Masquer given us a major of an argument,
and a minor, too. His major is his first part unto these words, "But
they," etc., and his minor is all the remanent. But we may now ask
him, ergo, what? For conclusion he setteth none unto them. If he
think the conclusion follow so clear that he needed not, but

every man must needs see what followeth upon his two premises
in good faith; for my part, if I should set ergo to it, that is, the
common note of the consequence, I see not what would follow any more
than the common verse of the compute manual, Ergo ciphos
adrifex, he hath made his major so foolishly.
In which, that first it pleaseth his mastership to trifle and
mock in this great matter, and make us poor people ween that
everything that any doctor saith in dispicions, or holdeth by
way of problem, were delivered us to believe as a necessary
point of our faith, he doth but play the false fool for his pleasure.
For as for the manner how the blessed
body of Christ is in the Blessed
Sacrament, whether with his dimensions,
as long, thick, and broad, as
he hanged on the cross, or with his dimensions proportionable to
the form of bread, as his blessed body was as verily his body in
the first moment of his holy conception as it ever was at his
Passion, and yet was it then neither so thick, so long, nor so
broad, or whether his body be there in his natural substance,
without any dimensions at all, or whether he be there in all his
distinctions of the members of his holy body, or there have all his
members without any distinction of place at all; these things and
such other in which learned men may moderately and reverently
dispute and exercise their wit and learning, the Catholic
Church in such wise leaveth at large, that it bindeth not the
people to any such straights in the matter, but only to the
points that we be bound by certain and sure revelation
to believe, that is to wit, that under what manner so ever it
be there, verily there it is, his very flesh and his very blood.
And in the form of bread, verily eat his very body there we do
when we receive the very Blessed Sacrament. Thus far have we
by certain and sure revelation, both by holy scripture and by
the tradition also, by which Christ taught it to his apostles,
and they to the church, as Saint Paul did to the
Corinthians, and the church to the people
by succession from age to age ever since
the apostles" days unto our own time.

And therefore, with those mocks and jests, Master Masquer
mocketh no man but himself, save that under the name of
papists he mocketh all the Catholic Church of this fifteen
hundred year, both clergy and temporalty, men and women and
all, and among the remanent, all the old holy doctors and
saints that have, without doubt or question, both believed and
taught, that Christ meant not to speak those words, "My flesh is very
meat," by way of a parable, as Master Masquer saith he only
meant, but that he verily spoke and meant of the very eating of
his flesh indeed.
But now shall you see that, as I said, his major is so foolishly
made that all the world may wonder where his wit was when he
made it. For he saith that if the matter stood indeed upon such
a great miracle as the Catholic Church (which he calleth the
papists) believe, that is to wit, that his very body should be eaten
in form of bread, and that also (which he putteth for a
necessary part of our faith) as long, as deep, as thick, and as
broad as it was when it hanged on the cross, then the disciples
and apostles (because they were yet but feeble in the faith)
must needs have wondered, stunned, and staggered, and have been
more inquisitive therein than they were. Now wotteth well every
child, good reader, that Christ did not in that place plainly tell
them in what manner that they should eat it, that is to wit, that
they should eat it in form of bread. For though he gave them an
insinuation and signification thereof, in
that he said, "And the bread that I shall give
you is my flesh," which words, coupled with his deed when he did
institute it indeed at his Maundy,
might then make them clearly perceive
that they should eat his flesh in form of bread, yet
at the time when the word was first spoken, it was not so
plain for that matter, but it might seem to them that he used
that word bread but by manner of allegory to signify there his
flesh because they should verily eat it as men eat bread.
Now see then, good reader, the madness of Master Masquer that

saith here that that thing must needs have made the apostles
wonder, stunned, and stagger, at the time when Christ spoke those
words in the sixth chapter of Saint John, at which time every
child knoweth that they, though they well perceived that they
should verily eat his flesh, yet they knew not that they should eat
it in form of bread. And how could it then have made them
wonder (that thing I say that he speaketh of and so sore
exaggerateth to increase the wonder), that is to wit, that his
flesh should be eaten in form of bread, and that as long, as thick,
as deep, and as broad as it was when it hanged on the cross.
How could this thing I say have made them wonder at that
time, at which time they thought not of the eating thereof in
the form of bread? Heard ever any man such a mad argument
as Master Masquer hath made us here?
Now if Christ had there told them, indeed, all that Master
Masquer hath here put in so foolishly to make the matter the
more wonderful, then would I deny his major. And so will I do if
himself put all that out again, and leave no more in his major
than Christ said indeed, that is, that they should verily
eat his flesh and have life thereby, and that they should not only eat it
bodily, but also spiritually, nor in dead gobbets, without life or
spirit, but quick and joined with the
lively spirit, by which it should give
life, and without which his flesh of
his own proper nature to the giving of life could not avail.
Now say I that if Master Masquer had made his major of this,
all this had been no cause for his apostles to wonder, nor to be
stunned and stagger, nor to murmur and grudge as they did that
slipped away. For as feeble as Master Masquer maketh the apostles in
the faith of Christ, yet at that time, without any such manner of
marvel as might make them stun and stagger and slip
away from him, they believed such other things as were
as hard to believe as this, and that without any farther inquisitions
at all.
For else why should they not at the same time have marveled
of his Ascension up to heaven, and been more inquisitive thereof.

For that was no little marvel neither, and was one of the things
that made the Jews and those disciples to stun and stagger that
there slipped away from him.
Also they believed that he was God, and had no such wonder
thereof as made them stun and stagger or be more inquisitive
thereof, which was as strange a matter as was all the other, and
which point, once believed, it was either to believe the other without
any such manner of marveling as should make them either stun
or stagger thereat.
Now as for being inquisitive thereof, holy Saint Chrysostom
saith that as strange as the thing was of eating his flesh (for that
men had been risen from death they had heard of in the scripture
before, but that one should eat another's flesh, saith Saint Chrysostom,
that had they never heard of), yet they believed Christ's word
and followed forth still, and confessed that he had the words of everlasting
life, and would not be, by and by curious and inquisitive as
Master Masquer saith they would, if they had believed him that he
meant of eating of his flesh indeed. For Saint Chrysostom saith,
"That is the part of a disciple, whatsoever
his master affirmeth, not to be
curious and inquisitive thereof, nor to
make search therein, but to hear and believe, and if they would
anything further be informed, abide a convenient time." For
they that did otherwise and were
inquisitive went away back, and that
through their folly. For saith Saint
"Whensoever it cometh in the mind to ask the question how the thing
may be done, then cometh there into the mind incredulity therewith. So was
Nicodemus troubled and asked, "How may a
man be born again when he is old? May a
man enter again into his mother's belly and be
born again?" And so the Jews said here, too,
"How can he give us his flesh to eat?" But thou Jew, if thou ask that, why
did thou not ask that in like wise in the miracle of the five loaves; why
did thou not then ask how can he feed so many of us with so little meat?

Why did thou not ask by what means he would and did increase it so
much? The cause was because they cared but for the meat and not for the
miracle. But thou wilt peradventure say the thing at that time
declared and showed itself. But then, I say again, that of that manifest open
miracle that they saw him there work, they should have believed that he could
do these things, too, that is to wit, these things that they now murmured at
when they said, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" For therefore (say the
Saint Chrysostom) did our Savior work the other miracle of his five
loaves before, because he would therewith induce them that they should not
distrust those things that he would tell them after," that is to wit, good
readers, of his godhead, and of the giving of his flesh to eat.
The Ninth Chapter.
Now, good Christian readers, here you see by Saint Chrysostom,
that though the apostles understood well that Christ spoke of the
very eating of his flesh, yet there was no cause why they
should either doubtfully wonder, stun, or stagger, or be by and by
curious and inquisitive thereof, and so destroyeth he plain
Master Masquer's reason, but if it be to such as are disposed for
their pleasure, better to believe Master Masquer than Saint Chrysostom.

For every man may here well see that Saint Chrysostom meaneth
here that Christ in those words, besides all parables and allegories,
spoke and meant of the very eating of his very flesh indeed.
Which thing, lest Master Masquer might, as he is shameless,
bring yet in question and controversy, I shall rehearse you
a few lines further of Saint Chrysostom in this selfsame place.
Lo, thus there saith he further:
"Those Jews at that time took no commodity, but we have taken the profit
of that benefit. And therefore is it necessary to declare how marvelous are
these mysteries" (that is to wit, of the Blessed Sacrament) "and why
they be given us, and what is the profit thereof? We be one body and members
of Christ's flesh and his bones. And therefore, they that are Christian are
bound to obey his precepts. But yet that we should be not only by love,
but also in very deed turned into that flesh of his, that thing is done by the

meat that his liberality hath given us. For while he longed to declare and
express his love that he bore toward us, he hath by his own body mingled
himself with us, and hath made himself one with us that the body should
be united with the head. For that is the greatest thing that lovers long for
(that is to wit, to be, if it were possible, made both one). And that
thing signified Job of his servants, of whom he was most heartily beloved.
Which to express the vehement love that they bore toward him, said, "Who
could give us the gift that we might have our bodies, even, fulfilled with
his flesh?" which thing Christ hath done for us indeed, both to the intent
to bind us in the more fervent love toward him, and also to declare the
fervent love and desire that himself bore toward us. And therefore hath he
not only suffered himself to be seen or looked upon by them that desire and
long for him, but also to be touched and eaten,
and the very teeth to be infixed into his flesh,
and all folk to be fulfilled in the desire of him. From God's board therefore
let us rise like lions that blew out fire at the mouth, such as the devil may
be afeard to behold us, and let us consider Christ our head and what a
love he hath showed us. The fathers and the mothers oftentimes put out their
children to other folk to nurse. "But I" (may our Savior say) "nourish and feed
my children with mine own flesh. I give them here mine own self, so
favor I them all. And such great hope I give them all against the time
that shall come." For he that in such wise giveth us himself in this life
here, much more will he give us himself in the life that is to come. "I
longed (said our Lord) to be your brother. And for your sakes I have
communicated and made common unto you my flesh and my blood. The things
by which I was joined with you, those things have I exhibited again and
given to you,"" (that is to say, the very flesh and blood by which I
was made natural man with you, that same have I in the Sacrament
exhibited and given again unto you). "This blood
causeth the King's image to flower in us. This blood will not suffer the beauty
and the nobleness of the soul (which it ever watereth and nourisheth) to
wither or fade and fall. The blood that is made in us of our other common
meat is not by and by blood, but before it be blood, it is somewhat else.
But this blood of Christ, out of hand, watereth the soul and with a certain
marvelous might and strength seasoneth it by and by. This mystical or
sacramental blood" (that is to say, this blood of Christ in the

Sacrament) "driveth the devils far off and bringeth to us not angels
only, but the Lord of all angels, too. The devils, when they behold and see
the blood of Christ within us, they flee far from us, and the angels run
as fast toward us."
And yet Saint Chrysostom ceaseth not with all this, but goeth
forth with a longer process, declaring the great benefit of
this blood, both by the shedding on the cross and by the receiving
in the Sacrament, which whole process I shall peradventure
hereafter in some other place rehearse.
But for this matter, good Christian readers, thus much doth more
than suffice. For, by less than this, ye may more than plainly
perceive that this old holy doctor Saint Chrysostom manifestly
declareth and showeth that our Savior in those words
that he spoke to the Jews mentioned in the sixth chapter of
Saint John, verily spoke and meant of the very eating of his
flesh. Which thing he promised there, and which promise
he performed after at his Maundy
when he there instituted the Blessed
The Tenth Chapter.
And now, good readers, to finish at last this matter of Master
Masquer's against my second argument (which he calleth my
first, because my first is such as he is loath to look upon), I
return once again to Master Masquer's two sore captious questions,
and likewise as he hath asked them of me, and I have, as
you see, so well avoided his gins and his grins, and all his
trim-trams that he hath not yet trained me into no trap of
mine own, as you see him solemnly boast, so will I now be
bold to ask of him first whether Saint Chrysostom here, yea,
and Saint Augustine, too, and Saint Cyril, Saint Bede, Saint
Irenaeus, and Saint Hilary, were of the mind that the apostles
understood their master Christ's words when he said,
"And the bread that I shall give you is my
flesh, etc. And my flesh is very meat, etc.
And I tell you very truth, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, etc."

If Master Masquer answer me to this question nay or no, then
shall he make me bold to answer the same to him. For then shall
he not fear me with his own, saying that the Gospel saith
contrary in the sixth chapter of Saint John, if he grant and
confess himself that all those holy doctors say therein
against his own saying, which among them all understood
that Gospel as well as himself alone, yea, and though he take Frith
and Frere Huessgen to him, too. And therefore if he answer nay or
no, then is he quite overthrown, as you see, and his second
question quite gone, too, for then can he never come to it.
Now on the other side, if he answer me yea or yes, then see,
good readers, whereto Master Masquer bringeth himself even to be
taken in his own trap. For then he marreth all his matter. For
since you see clearly, good readers, that all these holy doctors and
saints openly do declare by their plain words, which yourselves
have here already heard, that Christ in those words verily spoke
and meant of the very eating of his very flesh indeed, it must
needs follow against Master Masquer's mind (in the ears and the
hearts of all such as believe better all those holy doctors than him)
that this is the right understanding of Christ's words, and that
the apostles, if they understood his words, understood them after the
same fashion, that is to wit, that he spoke and meant of the very
eating of his very flesh indeed. And so serveth him his second
question of naught. For the cause why they marveled not in any
murmuring manner was because they believed it well at their
master's word, which Master Masquer doth not, and the cause why
they were not by and by curious and inquisitive was, as you have
heard Saint Chrysostom declare, because they were meek and
obedient, and not so presumptuous and malapert, as Master
Masquer would have been.
Lo, Master Masquer, here may you see, lo, what worship you have
won with your questions, with which you have not only missed
of training me into mine own trap, as you triumph and boast, but
are also driven into your own trap yourself, out of which you can
never climb up yourself, nor all the brotherhood be able to
draw you up, as long as the devil, the very father of your lying
brotherhood, lieth in the deep den of hell.

Thus have I, good readers, my first argument (as he calleth it)
that he boasteth to have twice so substantially soiled that he
maketh me therein such a feeble babe that I were not able to stand
in his strong hand; that argument have I so strongly now
defended and given him in his own turn so many great and foul
falls in every part of his process that, if this great clerk had so
many so great falls given him at Clerkenwell at a wrestling, he
would have had, I ween, neither rib, nor arm, nor leg left
him whole long ago, nor, at this last, lift his neck unbroken
neither. And now therefore let us look how he soileth my third
argument, which himself calleth my second, because he
would have the first forgotten.
The Eleventh Chapter.
Lo, thus good readers, goeth Master Masquer forth:
"The second argument of More.
"After this text thus wisely proved to be understood in the literal
sense with the carnal Jews, and not in the allegoric or spiritual sense
with Christ and his apostles, the whole sum of More's confutation of
the young man standeth upon this argument, a posse ad esse, that is to
wit, God may do it, ergo it is done. God may make his body in many
or in all places at once, ergo it is in many or in all places at once. Which
manner of argumentation how false and naught it is every sophister and
every man that hath wit perceiveth. A like argument: God may show
More the truth and call him to repentance, as he did Paul for persecuting
his church, ergo More is converted to God. Or God may let
him run of an indurate heart with Pharoah, and at last take an open and
sudden vengeance upon him for persecuting his word and burning
his poor members, ergo it is done already."
In all this tale, good readers, you see that Master Masquer is yet at
the least wise constant, and nothing changeth his manners.
For as falsely as he rehearsed mine other argument before (wherein
what falsehood he used you have yourselves seen), as falsely now
rehearseth he this other. For read, good readers, all my letter through
yourselves, and when you find that fashioned argument there,
then believe Master Masquer in this matter, and in the meanwhile
believe but as the truth is, that with his lies he mocketh you. And

since he maketh us first a loud lie for his foundation and buildeth
after his arguments upon the same, wherewith he scoffeth so pleasantly
at me that it as properly becometh the man to taunt as it
becometh a camel or a bear to dance, I will not with him argue
a posse ad esse and say he can lie, ergo he doth lie, but I will turn
the fashion, and argue ab esse ad posse, and say that he doth lie,
ergo he can lie, and so commend his wit. Lo, this form of
arguing can he not deny. And the antecedent shall you find as
true when you read over my letter as himself cannot say nay,
but that the consecution is formal.
But then goeth Master Masquer forth on and saith:
"Master More must first prove it us by express words of holy scripture,
and not by his own unwritten dreams, that Christ's body is in
many places or in all places at once. And then though our reason cannot
reach it, yet our faith measured and directed with the word of faith
will both reach it, receive it, and hold it fast, too, not because it is
possible to God and impossible to reason, but because the written word of
our faith saith it. But when we read God's words in more than twenty
places contrary that his body should be here, More must give us leave to
believe his unwritten vanities," verities I would say, "at leisure."
Here ye see, good readers, how many things Master Masquer hath
told us here and how freshly he flourisheth them forth.
The first is that I must prove it him that the body of Christ
is in many places at once or in all places at once.
The second is that I must prove it by express words of scripture.

The third is that I may not prove it by mine own unwritten
The fourth is that if I prove it so by express words of scripture,
then he will both reach it, and receive it, and hold it fast,
The fifth is that he findeth twenty places of scripture and more to
the contrary, proving that his body is not here.
The sixth is that therefore I must give him leave to believe mine
unwritten vanities, verities, he would say, at leisure.
Now for the first, good readers, where Master Masquer saith that
Master More must first prove it him that Christ's body

is in many places at once or in all places at once, I say that as for
all places at once, Master More must not prove at all. For (since the
Sacrament is not in all places at once) whether his blessed body
may be in all places at once is no point of our matter.
Now as touching the being of his blessed body in many
places at once, where Master Masquer saith that ere he be bound
to believe it, I must prove it, he is very far out of reason and
out of the right way. For is Master Masquer, nor Father Frith
before him, bound to believe no more than Master More were
able to prove them? I say again to Father Frith and Master
Masquer both that if either of them both, or any such other
fond fellow as they be, begin to deny now any such
plain article of the faith, as all good Christian nations are and long
have been full agreed upon, so long and so full as they have been
upon this, and so long reckoned the contrary believers for heretics,
either Master More or any man else might well with
reason reprove them thereof, and rebuke them therefore, and only
answer the foolish arguments that they make against the truth,
and should not once need to go about the proof of the full received
and undoubted truth, as though it were become doubtful upon every
proud heretic's blasphemous foolish argument.
For if Master Masquer would now bring up the Arians"
heresy again against the godhead of Christ, which he might as
well as this frantic heresy of Frere Huessgen and Wycliffe against the
Blessed Sacrament, or if he would now begin the other foolish
heresy, whereof the Prophet speaketh in the psalter: Dixit insipiens
in corde suo non est deus. "The fool said
in his heart, "There is no God,"" which he
might as well begin as any of the other twain, if he would now,
for the furnishing of this heresy, come forth with such unreasonable
reasons, as some foolish philosophers brought in therefore of
old, were that not enough for me to confute those foolish arguments
wherewith he would blind simple souls? Must I needs
besides that go make much ado and prove that there were a God, or else
grant this goose that there were no God at all, because himself would
say so still when his fond reasons were soiled?

Now to his second point, where it is not enough for him to say
that I must prove it (wherein, as ye see, I have proved him a
very fool), but he assigneth me also what manner of proof I must
make, and none may serve him but such as himself list
assign, and that therefore I must prove it him by express words
of holy scripture, I ask him then whether he will be content if I
prove it him by express words of Christ written in all the four
evangelists, Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, Saint Luke, and Saint
John? If he say yea, as I suppose he will, then ask I him farther
wherefore he will believe the writing of them four? Whereto what
will he answer, but because that those Gospels of theirs are holy
scripture. But then shall I farther desire him to show me how
he knoweth that those four books, or any one of all four, is the
book of him whose name it beareth, or is the holy scripture of God
at all? To this question, lo (but if he can go farther than holy
Saint Augustine could, or the master captain of his own heresies,
Martin Luther, either), he must say that he knoweth those
books for holy scripture, because the common known Catholic
Church hath so told him. Now when he shall have once answered
me thus, every child may soon see what I shall ask him again.
For then shall I say, tell me then, Master Masquer, I beseech you,
since you believe this common known Catholic Church in that
one great verity, whereupon by your own saying all the other
writers depend: why should you not as well believe it in this
other article, which it as plainly telleth you, and yet you do
deny it? Why should you not, I say, Master Masquer, believe the
church as well, when it telleth you God hath taught his
church that this is his very body, as you believe the same church
when it telleth you God hath taught his church that this is his very
scripture, namely since there are written in the same scripture other
things to man's reason as hard to conceive and as incredible
to believe as that.
Here you see, good readers, to what point I have brought Master
Masquer. I have set him here so fast in the mire that therein shall
he stick and never clean wade out while he liveth.
Moreover, Master Masquer cannot deny me this, but that the

right belief in the Sacrament and divers other things more, were
once taught and believed, and Christian men bound to believe
them, too, without express words of holy scripture laid forth for
the proof, before any word of the New Testament was written
and after peradventure, too, where the articles were preached and
written Gospels not there. Now if such things were at one time
not only believed, but men also bound to the belief thereof
without express words of scripture for the proof, Master Masquer
must then, though there be come writing since, yet either proof
us by express words of scripture that of all that God will we shall
believe, there is nothing left out, but every such thing there
written in with express words, or else may he never make himself
so sure, and face it out a this fashion with express words, that
saving the very plain express words of scripture, we be no man
of us bound to believe nothing else.
Now this am I sure enough: that such express words shall he
never find in scripture that tell him expressly that all is
written in. And then, since he cannot prove us this point by
scripture, but that at the least wise we may be bound to believe
some such things as in holy scripture is not expressly written,
which things those may be and which not, of whom will God we
shall learn, but of his known Catholic Church, by which he
teacheth us which be the very scripture?
Now, as for the third point that Master Masquer toucheth, in
which he will allow for no sufficient proof mine own unwritten
dreams, he giveth my dreams, I thank him of his courtesy,
much more authority than ever I looked for. For while he rejecteth
none of them but such as are unwritten, he showeth himself
ready to believe them, if I would vouchsafe to write
In the fourth point, he promiseth that, if I do by express words of
scripture prove that it is so, then (though it be above the reach of
his reason) yet will he, by belief, both reach it, and receive it, and
hold it fast, too. Would God Master Masquer would abide by this
word. For now I ask him again, whether he will be content if I

prove it him by express words of some one of the four
evangelists. And if he be content with express words of any one,
then will I do more for him, prove it by all four.
For Saint John rehearseth that our Savior said himself
he would give them his flesh to eat.
And that he meant of the Sacrament
you see already proved here before.
And the other three rehearse that Christ said himself when
he gave them the Sacrament, "This is my body that shall be
broken for you." What words can there be more plain and
express than these?
But here saith Master Masquer that these be not express
words. For he saith that these words be spoken but by way of
allegory. And he proveth it, as Frith doth, by that our Savior said of
himself, "I am the door," and "I am the vine."
Now remember, good readers, that Master Masquer belied me
right now and said that all my second argument was a posse ad
esse, it may be so, ergo it is so. But now consider, good Christian
readers yourselves, whether this argument of his be not a posse ad
esse indeed. For by those places, "I am the door," and "I am the
vine," and such other, he concludeth that these other places of
eating his flesh and giving of his body was spoken by
an allegory, too. And how concludeth he that it is so? But
because it may be so. And thus ye see, good readers, that the selfsame
kind of arguing which Master Masquer feigneth himself
to find with me, and falsely belieth me therein (for I needed there
none other thing to do, but answer the things that Frith laid
forth against the Catholic faith) the selfsame kind of
arguing I say Master Masquer useth himself, and so doth
young Father Frith, his fellow in folly, too.
But then again when they argue thus, "These places may be so
understood by an allegory only, as those other places be, ergo
they be to be so understood indeed," I have proved already that
his intent is false, and that they may not be understood in
an allegory only as the other be, but the plain and open
difference between the places appear upon the circumstances of
the text. This have I proved against Frith already, and that in
such wise, as yourselves hath seen here, that Master Masquer cannot
avoid it, but in going about to defend Frith's folly, hath

with his two solutions of mine one argument, ofter than twice
overthrown himself and made mine argument more than twice so
But yet good readers, because I say that those words of Christ,
"The bread that I shall give you is my flesh,
which I shall give for the life of the
world," and "My flesh is verily meat, and my blood verily drink,"
and "But if you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his
blood, you shall not have life in you," and so forth, all such
words as our Savior spoke himself mentioned in the sixth
chapter of Saint John, and those words of our Savior at his
Maundy written with all the other three evangelists: "This is my
body that shall be broken for you," be plain and express words
for the Catholic faith, and Master Masquer saith that they be
not words plain and express, but expoundeth them all another
way; therefore, to break the strife therein between him and me, I
have brought you forth, for my part in mine exposition, the
plain express words of divers old holy saints, by which you
may plain and expressly see that they all said as I say.
And Master Masquer also cannot himself say nay, but that
against other heretics, before his days and mine, divers
whole general Councils of Christendom have plainly and
expressly determined the same to be true that I say.
And all the countries christened can also testify that God
hath himself by manifold open miracles plain and expressly
declared for the Blessed Sacrament that this is the true faith,
which Master Masquer here oppugneth, and that God hath by
those miracles expounded his own words himself to be plain and
expressly spoken for our part.
And therefore now, good Christian readers, if Master Masquer will
make any more sticking with us, and not grant Christ's words for
plain and express and, according to his promise, reach and receive
the true faith and hold it fast, too, ye may plain and expressly tell
him there shall never true man trust his false promise after.
Now touching the fifth point, where he saith that he findeth
twenty places in scripture and more, too, proving that Christ's body is not
here in earth, remember this well, good reader, against he bring them

forth. For in his second part when we come to the tale, ye shall find
his more than twenty far fewer than fifteen, and of all that shall well
serve him ye shall find fewer than one.
Then where he concludeth in the last point upon these five
points afore (which five how well they prove, good Christian
readers, you see) that I must give him leave to believe mine unwritten
vanities (verities he would say) at leisure, if the things that
he calleth unwritten verities were indeed unwritten and invented
also by me, then he might be the bolder to call them mine unwritten
vanities, and (as he calleth them before) mine unwritten dreams, too.
But on the other side, since you see yourselves that I have
showed you them written in holy saints" books, and that a thousand
year before that I was born, and yourselves seeth it written in
the plain scripture, too, proved plain and express for our part
against him by the old exposition of all the holy doctors and
saints, and by the determinations of divers general councils
of Christ's whole Catholic Church, and proved plain for our
part also, by so many plain open miracles, Master Masquer must
needs be more than mad to call now such written verities mine
unwritten vanities, or mine unwritten dreams, either, except he
prove both all those things to be but an invention of mine, and
over that all those writings to be yet unwritten, and that holy
doctrine both of holy saints and of holy scripture vanities, and also
that all the while that all those holy folk were awork therewith
they neither wrote nor studied nor did nothing but dream.
Now while Master More must therefore, upon such considerations,
give Master Masquer leave to believe this unwritten vanity,
which is in all the four evangelists an express written verity,
while I must, I say, therefore upon such foolish false considerations,
give him leave to believe the true faith at leisure, if he
had put it in my choice, I would have been loath to give him any
longer leisure therein, for he hath been too long out of right belief
already. But since he saith I must, I may not choose. Whereof I
am as, help me God, very sorry. For except he take himself that
leisure betimes, leaving the business that he daily taketh in
writing of pestilent books to the contrary, he shall else not

fail to believe the true faith at a long leisure over late, that is to
wit, when he lieth wretchedly in hell, where he shall not write
for lack of light and burning up of his paper, but shall have
everlasting leisure from all other work to believe there that he
would not believe here, and lie still and ever burn there, in everlasting
fire, for his former ungracious, obstinate infidelity, out
of which infidelity I beseech God give him the grace to creep
and get out betimes.
And thus you see, good readers, what a goodly piece Master
Masquer hath made you, which pleased him, I warrant you very
well, when he wrote it. But it will not, I ween, please him now very
well when he shall after this mine answer read it.
The Twelfth Chapter.
But now goeth he further against me with a special goodly piece
wherein thus he saith:
"Here mayst thou see, Christian reader, wherefore More would so feign make
the belief that the apostles left aught unwritten of necessity to be believed,
even to establish the pope's kingdom, which standeth of More's unwritten
vanities, as of the presence of Christ's body, and making thereof in
the bread, of purgatory, of invocation of saints, worshipping of stones
and stocks, pilgrimages, hallowing of bows and bells, and creeping
to the cross, etc. If ye will believe whatsoever More can feign without
the scripture, then can this poet feign ye another church than Christ's,
and that ye must believe it whatsoever it teach you, for he hath feigned,
too, that it cannot err, though ye see it err and fight against itself a
thousand times; yea, if it tell you black is white, and good is bad, and
the devil is God, yet must ye believe it or else be burned as heretics."
Still ye see the wisdom, good readers, and the truth of Master
Masquer, in every piece of his matter. For here you see that all these
things that he speaketh of, as that the church cannot err,
and the creeping to the cross, with all other ceremonies of
the church, invocation of saints, going on pilgrimage,
worshipping of images, believing of purgatory, believing the
body of our Savior present in the Blessed Sacrament, all these
things he calleth mine unwritten vanities, and maketh as though
these things were all of my feigning. Is not this, ween you wisely,

feigned of him, that the things commonly used this fourteen hundred year
before I was born should now be feigned and imagined by me?
But yet shall it be as long after my days and his, too, ere Master
Masquer and all the many of them shall among them all be able
to confute the things that myself have in these matters written.
And yet hang not the matters upon my writing, but upon
the truth itself, revealed unto Christ's known Catholic Church,
both by Christ himself and his apostles after him, by tradition
and by writing both, and by many miracles confirmed, and with
the secret instinct and inspiration of his Holy Spirit, wrought
and brought into a full and whole Catholic agreement and consent, as
necessary points of the true Christian faith.
This is also by Master Masquer wonderful wisely feigned, that
More hath feigned all these things, even to the intent to
establish the pope's kingdom. But now what great cause should
move me to bear that great affection to the pope as to feign all
these things for establishment of his kingdom, that thing
Master Masquer telleth you not, as the thing that is so plain and
evident that he needeth not. For he thinketh that every man
knoweth already that the pope is my godfather and goeth about to
make me a cardinal.
But now, good Christian readers, they that would, at the counsel
of this evil Christian caitiff, cast off all such manner things as all
good Christian people have ever taken for good, and now neither
creep to the cross, nor set by any
hallowed thing, despise pilgrimages,
and set holy saints at naught, no more
reverence their images than a horse of wax, nor reckon their
relics any better than sheep's bones, scrape clean the litany out of
every book, with our Lady Matins and the dirge, too, and away with
our Lady's Psalter, and cast the beads in the fire, and beware also that we
worship not the Sacrament, nor take it for no better thing than
unblessed bread, and believe that the church erreth in every
thing that it teacheth, and all that holy saints have taught therein
this fourteen hundred year (for all they have taught all these things that this

man now despiseth), then would there wax a merry world, the very
kingdom of the devil himself.
And verily it seemeth that they would set the people upon mirth.
For penance, they shake off as a thing not necessary. Satisfaction
they call great sin, and confession they call the devil's drift.
And of purgatory, by two means, they put men out of dread. Some
by sleeping till Doomsday, and some by sending all straight to
heaven every soul that dieth and is not damned forever. And yet
some good comfort give they to the damned, too. For till they see
sometime to deny hell all utterly, they go about in the mean
season to put out the fire. And some yet boldly forthwith
to say there is none there that they dread a little, and, therefore, for
the season they bring the matter in question, and dispute it abroad,
and say they will not utterly affirm and say the contrary, but the
thing is, they say, but as problema neutrum, wherein they would not
force whether part they should take, and yet if they should chose,
they would rather hold nay than yea, or, though there be fire in
either place, that yet it neither burneth soul in hell, nor
paineth soul in purgatory. But Christ, I
wot well, in many places saith there is
fire there, and his holy saints after him affirm and say the same,
and with that fire he frayed his own disciples, bidding them
fear that fire that they fell not therein.
Now though that clerks may in schools hold problems
upon everything, yet can I not perceive what profit there can
come to call it but a problem among unlearned folk, and
dispute it out abroad, and bring the people in doubt, and make
them rather think that there is none than any, and that this
word fire is spoken but by parable, as these men make the
eating of Christ's blessed body. Thus shall they make men take
both paradise and heaven and God, and all together, but for
parables at last.
Though fear of hell alone be but a servile dread, yet are there
already too many that fear hell too little, even of them that believe
the truth and think that in hell there is very fire indeed. How
many will there then be that will fear it less if such words once
may make them ween that there were in hell no very fire

at all, but that the pain that they shall feel in hell were but after
the manner of some heavy mind or of a troublous dream?
If a man believe Christ's word that in hell is fire indeed, and
make the fear of that fire one means to keep him thence, then
though there were no fire there, yet hath he nothing lost, since
good he can get none there, though the fire were thence. But if
he believe such words on the other side, and catch thereby
such boldness that he set hell at
light, and by the means thereof fall
boldly to sin, and thereupon finally fall down unto the
devil, if he then find fire there as I am sure he shall, then shall
he lie there and curse them that told him those false tales, as
long as God with his good folk sitteth in the joy of heaven.
And therefore, good Christian readers, wisdom will we believe
Christ's own words, and let such unwise words and devilish
devices pass.
The Thirteenth Chapter.
But now after this pleasant discourse of his into the rehearsal
of this heap of heresies that you have heard, for which as for little
trifles his heart fretteth sore, that any heretic should be burned,
he goeth on against me and saith:
"But let us return to our propose. To dispute of God's almighty absolute
power, what God may do with his body, it is great folly and no less
presumption to More, since the pope, which is no whole God, but half a
God by their own decrees, hath decreed no man to dispute of his power.
But Christian reader, be thou content to know that God's will, his word,
and his power be all one, and repugn not. And neither willeth he, nor
may not do anything including repugnance, imperfection, or
that should derogate, diminish, or hurt his glory and his name. The glory
of his godhead is to be present and to fill all places at once essentially,
presently with his almighty power, which glory is denied to any other
creature, himself saying by his prophet:
"I will not give my glory to any other creature."
Now, therefore, since his manhood is a creature, it cannot have this
glory which only is appropriated to the Godhead. To attribute to his
manhood that property which only is appropriated to his godhead is to
confound both the natures in Christ. What thing so ever is everywhere
after the said manner that must needs be infinite, without

beginning and end, it must be one alone and almighty, which
properties only are appropriated unto the glorious majesty of the
Godhead. Wherefore Christ's body may not be in all or in many places at
once. Christ himself saying, as concerning his manhood, He is less
than the Father, but as touching his
godhead, "The Father and I be both one thing."
And Paul, reciting the psalm, affirmeth Christ as concerning his
manhood to be less than God or less than angels, as some text hath it.
Here is it plain that all things that More imagineth and feigneth are
not possible to God, for it is not possible for God to make a creature equal
unto himself, for it includeth repugnance and derogateth his glory."
Now have you, lo, good Christian readers, heard a very special
piece, wherein Master Masquer (as you see) solemnly first
rebuketh the folly and the presumption of me for that I was so
bold in my letter against his fellow Father Frith to dispute of
God's almighty absolute power. But now, good readers, when you
shall see by the matter that it was Frith which argued against
God's almighty power, denying that Christ could make his
own body in many places at once, and that I did, in effect,
nothing else but answer him, and said and affirmed that God
was able to do it, and that Frith was but a fool so to straight and to
limit the power of Almighty God, but if he could prove repugnance
(which against God's own word plain spoken in his
holy Gospel Father Frith could never do), when you see this, good
readers, I doubt not but ye will say that it is neither folly nor
presumption for the simplest man or woman in a town to
maintain that God may do this thing or that (namely the thing
that God hath said himself he doth) against him that is so
foolish as to presume, against the plain word of God, to determine
by his own blind reason the contrary, and specially since the
thing is such indeed, as though God had not spoken thereof, yet
had he none hold to say that God could not do it, for as much as
it implieth no such repugnance as should make the thing
impossible unto God.
But now see further, good readers, the wisdom and the meekness
of Master Masquer here. Which, as soon as he hath scant finished
his high solemn rebuking of me for such disputing of God's
almighty power, that I said he was indeed so mighty that he
could do the thing that we disputed upon against him

that said nay, falleth himself forthwith in the same fault that he
findeth, and yet not in the same fault (for the fault that he
found was none), but in the fault that he would seem to find.
For he disputeth and taketh the part against God's almighty
power indeed, and argueth, as you see, that God indeed cannot do
And this point he argueth in such manner fashion that in my
life I never saw so foolish an argument so solemnly set up a
high. First he maketh his reason thus: it is the glory of the Godhead
and appropried only thereunto to be present and to fill all places
at once, essentially, presently, with his almighty power, and is
denied to any creature. But Christ's manhood is a creature. Ergo it
cannot have this glory that is appropried to the Godhead.
Here is a wise argument. God hath many glories. And his chief
glory standeth not in being present at once essentially in every
place. And though he will not give his glory from him, yet of his
glory he maketh many creatures in many great parts of it to be
partners with him. It is one part of his glory to live and endure in
eternal bliss, and though no creature be without beginning, yet
maketh he many a thousand possessors of joy without ending.
How proveth Master Masquer that to be present at once in all
places is such a kind of glory so appropried unto God that God cannot
give that gift to any creature. The scripture seemeth to
appropre unto God alone the knowledge
of man's secret thought. And yet can I
not see but that God might give that knowledge to some creature, too,
and yet abide God still himself.
The Fourteenth Chapter.
Then maketh Master Masquer another argument wherewith he
would, as it seemeth, somewhat strength the first, as it hath of truth
no little need, being as it is so feeble of itself.
His other argument therefore is (as you have heard) this: "What
thing so ever is everywhere after the said manner, that must
needs be infinite without beginning and end. It must be one
and alone and almighty. Which properties are appropried

unto the glorious majesty of the Godhead. But Christ's manhood is
not such (as himself witnesseth in holy scripture); ergo his
manhood cannot be in all or in many places at once."
First, (that we labor not about naught) we must
consider what Master Masquer meaneth by these words, "after the
said manner." He said, you wot well, in the other argument before
that the glory of God is to be present and to fill all places at once,
essentially, presently, with his almighty power. And therefore
when he saith now, "Whatsoever thing is everywhere at once
after the said manner," he meaneth (you see well) present and
filling all places at once, essentially, presently, with his almighty
I let pass here his word "presently," whose presence needeth not in
that place for ought that I can see. For when he said before,
present and filling all places at once essentially, his other word
presently may take his leave and be absent well enough. For how
can he be present and essentially fill the place, and not presently?
But now when he saith by his almighty power, what is
this to the matter? For it is enough against him if any creature
may be present in every place at once, and essentially fill the
place, not by his own almighty power, but by the almighty
power of God, and yet not so fill the place neither, but that it
may have another with it in the same place. For I trow he will
not deny but that there be many creatures in those places,
which God, with his own presence, essentially filleth full.
Therefore, as for these words after the said manner, which he
putteth in to make us amazed, Master Masquer must put out
again. Now that being put out, rehearse and consider well Master
Masquer's argument. What thing so ever is in every place at
once, that thing must needs be infinite without beginning and
end, it must be one, and alone, and almighty, which properties
are appropried to the glorious majesty of the Godhead. But the
manhood of Christ is a creature and not God, ergo Christ's
manhood cannot be in all places or in many places at once. And yet
consider here that though he leave out that odious word, yet
must his conclusion be indeed that God cannot make it so, as
you see plain by his beginning, where he showeth that it implyeth
repugnance, and that therefore God cannot do it.
Now good readers, consider well his first proposition, which

we call the major, that is to wit, that God cannot make anything
created to be everywhere at once. Let us pray him to prove
it, and give him one year's leisure to it. But here he taketh upon
him to prove it, and layeth for the reason that God cannot make
any creature to be in all places at once because it should then be
infinite, and thereby God almighty's mate and high fellow. Let
him, as I say, prove us this in two year that it should then be
infinite, without beginning and without end, and almighty.
In good faith, either am I very dull, or else doth Master Masquer
tell us herein a very mad tale.
I think he will not deny but that God which could make
all this world, heaven, and earth, and all the creatures that he
created therein, could, if it so had pleased him, have created only
one man, and let all the remanent alone uncreated, and have
kept him still, and never have made heaven nor earth nor
none other thing, but only that one man alone. The soul now
that then had been created in that man, had it not then been in
all places at once? I suppose yes. For there had been no more
places than that man's body, and therein had there been
many places in many diverse parts of the man, in all which that
soul should have been present at once, and the whole soul in
every part of all those places at once. For so is every soul in every
man's body now. And yet had that soul not been infinite,
no more than every soul is now.
If God would now (as if he would, he could) create a new
spirit that should fulfill all the whole world, heaven and earth
and all, as much as ever is created, that in such wise
should be whole present at once in every part of the world, as the
soul is in every part of a man, and yet should not be the soul of
the world, I will here ask Master Masquer, were that new
created spirit infinite? If he answer me nay, then hath he
soiled his own wise reason himself. For then no more were
the manhood of Christ, though it were present in all those places
of the whole world at once. If he answer me yea, then since that
spirit were no more infinite than the world is, within the
limits and bounds whereof it were contained, it would follow
thereof that the world were infinite already, which is false.

And also, if it were true, then would it follow by Master
Masquer's reason that God Almighty had a match already,
that is to wit, another thing infinite besides himself,
which is the inconvenience that maketh Master Masquer affirm
it for impossible that God could make Christ's manhood to be in
all places at once.
Thus you see, good readers, upon what wise ground Master
Masquer hath here concluded that God cannot make Christ's
body to be in all places at once.
But yet is it a world to consider how madly the man concludeth.
His conclusion is this, ye wot well, wherefore Christ's body
cannot be in all places, or in many places at once. All his reason, ye
wot well, goeth upon being in all places at once, because that
thereupon would it, by his wise reason, follow that it should be
infinite. And now is that point of truth no part of our
matter. For we say not that Christ's body is in all places at once,
but in heaven, and in such places in earth as the Blessed Sacrament
is. And therefore, whereas his reason goeth nothing against
being in many places at once but only against being at once
in all places, he concludeth suddenly against being in many
places, toward which conclusion no piece of his premises
had any manner of motion. And so in all this his high solemn
argument, and his far-fetched reason, neither is his major true, nor
his argument toucheth not the matter, nor his premises anything
prove his conclusion. And yet after this goodly reasoning of his,
he rejoiceth in his heart highly to see how jollily he hath handled
it, and saith:
"Here it is plain that all things that More imagineth and
feigneth are not possible to God. For it is not possible to God to make a
creature equal to himself, for it includeth repugnance and derogateth
his glory."
Master Masquer speaketh much of mine unwritten dreams and
vanities. But here have we had a written dream of his and
therein this foolish boast, also so full of vainglorious vanity that
if I had dreamed it in a fit of a fever, I would I ween have been
ashamed to have told my dream to my wife when I woke. And
now shall you, good readers, have here another piece as proper.

"God promised and swore that all nations should be blessed in the death of
that promised seed which was Christ; God had determined and
decreed it before the world was made, ergo
Christ must needs have died, and not to
expound this word "oportet" as More minceth it. For it was so necessary
that the contrary was impossible, except More would make God a liar,
which is impossible. Paul concludeth that Christ must needs have died,
using this Latin term, "Necesse." Saying
wheresoever is a testament, there must the
death of the testament-maker go between, or else the testament is
not ratified and sure, but righteousness and remission of sins in
Christ's blood is his New Testament, whereof he is mediator, ergo the
testament-maker must needs have died. Wrest not, therefore (Master
More), this word oportet (though ye find potest for oportet in some
corrupt copy) unto your unsavory sense. But let oportet signify he
must, or it behooveth him to die. For he took our very mortal nature for
the same decreed council, himself saying John 2 and 12. Oportet
exaltari filium hominis, etc. "It behooveth, or the Son of Man must die,
that everyone that believe in him perish not," etc. Here may ye see also
that it is impossible for God to break his promise. It is impossible to God,
which is that verity to be found contrary in his deeds and words, as
to save them whom he hath damned, or to damn them whom he
hath saved. Wherefore all things imagined of More's brain are not
possible to God. And when More saith that Christ had power to let
his life and to take it again, and therefore not to have died of
necessity, I wonder me that his school matter
here failed him, so cunning as he maketh
himself therein, which granteth and affimeth (as true it is) that
with the necessary decreed works of God's foresight and providence,
standeth right well his free liberty."
The Fifteenth Chapter.
If this piece were, good readers, anything to the purpose of our
principle matter, concerning the Blessed Sacrament, Master
Masquer had here given me hold enough to give him four or five
such foul falls on the back that his bones should all to burst
therewith. But for as much as you shall perceive by the reading
of my letter that all this gear is but a by-matter, risen upon a

certain place of Saint Augustine, which Frith alleged imperfectly,
I purpose not to spend the time in vain dispicions with
Master Masquer in a thing out of our matter. And namely, since
the man hath, after his long babbling against me, yet in the end
answered himself well and sufficiently for me.
For when he hath said a great while that it was in such wise
necessary that Christ must die, that the contrary thereof
was impossible, at last, as though he would mock me therewith
and show mine ignorance, he bringeth in his own, and showeth
that, for anything that God hath either foreseen or decreed and
determined therein, he had left Christ at his liberty to die or
live if he would. And then if he was at his liberty not to die but
if he had would, then was it not impossible for him to have lived
if he had would. But the keeping of his life was the contrary of
his dying, ergo his dying how necessary so ever it was for
man's redemption, that is to wit, so behooveful thereto that
without it we should not have been saved; yet Master Masquer
here, to show himself a great schools man in respect of me,
confesseth himself, against himself, that Christ to die was not
in such wise necessarily constrained, that the contrary thereof,
that is to wit, Christ to live was impossible to him, if he had
would, while Master Masquer cannot say nay, but must needs
give place to the scriptures that I laid him, and therefore must
confess, and so he doth, that Christ could by no constraint be
compelled to die, but was offered because himself so would.
But the dispicions of this point is, as I say, good reader, all
beside our principle matter, and therefore I will let his other
follies that I find in this piece pass by.
Then goeth Master Masquer forth and saith:
"But Master More saith at last, "If God would tell me that he would make
each of both their bodies, too," (meaning the young man's body and
Christ's) "to be in fifteen places at once, I would believe him, ay, that he
were able to make his word true in the bodies of both twain, and
never would I so much as ask him whether he would glorify them
both first or not, but I am sure, glorified or unglorified, if he said
it, he is able to do it." Lo, here may ye see what a fervent faith this old
man hath, and what an earnest mind to believe Christ's words if he
had told him; but I pray ye, Master More, what and if Christ

never told it you, nor said it nor never would, would ye not be as
hasty to not believe it? If he told it you, I pray ye tell us where ye speak
with him, and who was by to bear the record; and yet if you bring as
false a shrew as yourself to testify this thing yet, by your own
doctrine, must ye make us a miracle to confirm your tale, ere we be
bound to believe you, or yet to admit this your argument, God may
make his body in many places at once, ergo it is so."
The Sixteenth Chapter.
Read, good readers, in my letter, the twenty-first leaf, and then
consider Master Masquer's goodly mock that he maketh here, and
you shall find it very foolish. But now Master Masquer
asketh me where I spoke with Christ when he told me that he would
make his own body in two places at once, as though Christ
could not speak to me but if I spoke to him, nor could not tell
me the tale but if he appeared to me face
to face, as he did after his Resurrection
to his disciples. This question of Master Masquer cometh of a
high wit, I warrant you. I answer Master Masquer therefore, Christ
told it at his Maundy to other good, credible folk, and they
told it forth to the whole Catholic Church, and the whole
church hath told it unto me, and one of them that was at it,
that is to wit, Saint Matthew, hath put it in writing as the
same church telleth me. For else
were I not sure whether that Gospel were
his or not, nor whether it were any part
of holy scripture or not. And therefore I
can lack no good and honest witness to bear me record in that
point that will depose for me that I feign not the matter of mine
own head. And I have a testimonial also of many old holy
doctors and saints, made afore a good notary, the good man God
himself, which hath with his seal of many a hundred miracles,
both testified for the truth of those men, and also for the
truth of the principle matter itself, that is to wit, that
Christ's very body is in the Blessed Sacrament, though the Sacrament
be either in two or in ten thousand places at once. And thus
Master Masquer's questions concerning Christ's blessed body, that

Christ hath told me that he would make it be in two places
at once is, I trust, sufficiently answered. But now as for Frith's
body (which writeth that Christ's body can be no more in two
places at once than his), though I would have believed that Christ
could have made it in two places at once if Christ had so told
me, yet since Christ hath now told me, by his whole Catholic
Church, and by writing of the old holy saints of the same, and
by his own holy scripture, too, which scripture by the same church
and the same holy saints I know, and also see declared and
expounded, and, over that, hath by many wonderful miracles
manifestly proved and testified that the opinions in which Frith
obstinately, and therewith very foolishly, died were very pestilent
heresies, whereby he is perpetually severed from the lively
body of Christ, and made a dead member of the devil; I believe
therefore and very surely know as a thing taught me by God that
the wretched body of that fellow shall never be in two places at once,
but when it shall rise again and be restored to that wretched
obstinate soul, shall therewith lie still ever more in one place,
that is to wit, in the everlasting fire of hell. From which I beseech
our Lord turn Tyndale and George Jay, with all the whole brotherhood
and Master Masquer among others (whosoever he be), betimes.

Now upon his aforesaid such a proper handled mock as you
have heard, Master Masquer goeth on, and giveth me right wholesome
admonition that I meddle no more with such high matters, as is
the great absolute almighty power of God, and therein thus he saith
unto me:
"Sir, you be too busy with God's almighty power, and have taken too great
a burden upon your weak shoulders."
The Seventeenth Chapter.
Here he should have rehearsed what one word I had said of
God's almighty power, in which word I was too busy. Read my
letter over, and you shall clearly see that I say nothing else but
that God is almighty, and that he therefore may do allthing. And
yet (as you shall hear Master Masquer himself confess) I said

not that God could do things that imply repugnance. But I
said that some things may seem repugnant unto us, which
things God seeth how to set together well enough. Be these
words, good reader, over highly spoken of God's almighty power?
May not a poor, unlearned man be bold to say that God is able to
do so much? And yet for saying thus much, saith Master
Masquer that I am too busy, and have taken too great a burden upon
my weak shoulders, and have overladen myself with mine own
harnesses and weapons, and many gay words more to utter his eloquence
withal. But Master Masquer, on the other side, is not himself
too busy at all with God's almighty power in affirming that
God hath not the power to make his own blessed body in many
places at once. His mighty strong shoulders take not too much
weight upon them when, instead of omnipotent, he proveth God
impotent, and that by such impotent arguments, as you see yourself,
so shamefully halt that never lame cripple that lay impotent by
the walls in creeping out unto a dole, halted half so sore. But then
goeth he further for the praise of young David and saith:
"You have overladen yourself with your own harnesses and weapons,
and young David is like to prevail against you with his sling and his
As for Master Masquer's young Master David, whoso look
upon his first treatise and my letter together shall soon see that his
sling and his stone be beaten both about his ears. And whensoever
his new sling and his new stone (which is, as I now here say,
very lately come over in print) come once into my hands, I shall
turn his sling into a cock-stele and his stone into a feather, for any
harm that it shall be able to do, but if it be to such as willingly
will put out their own eyes, to which they never need neither
stone nor sling, but with a feather they may do it, and they be so
But a heavy thing it is to hear of his young foolish David that
hath thus, with his stone of stubbornness, stricken out his
own brain, and with the sling of his heresies slung himself
to the devil.
Yet Master Masquer cannot leave me thus, but on he goeth further
in his railing rhetoric and thus he saith:

"God hath infatuated your high subtle wisdom, your crafty conveyance
is espied. God hath sent your church a meet cover for such a
cup, even such a defender as you take yourself to be, that shall let
all their whole cause fall flat in the mire, unto both your shames and
utter confusion. God therefore be praised ever, amen."
The Eighteenth Chapter.
As for wisdom, I will not compare with Master Masquer
therein, nor would wax much the prouder in good faith, though
men would say that I had more wit than he. I pray God
send us both a little more of his grace, and make us both good.

But whereas he jesteth concerning my defense of the church,
whoso look my books through shall find that the church, in the
truth of whose Catholic faith concerning the Blessed Sacrament
I write against Frith and Tyndale and Master Masquer, and such
false heretics more, is none other church but the true Catholic
Church of Christ, the whole congregation of all true Christian
nations, of which church I take not myself to be any special
defender, howbeit to defend it is indeed
every good man's part. And as
for hitherto, the things that I have
written are (I thank God) strong
enough to stand, as it is plainly proved against all these heretics
that have wrestled therewith, whereof they could never yet overthrow
one line, and no man more shamefully soused in the mire
than Master Masquer here himself that boasteth his victory
while he lieth in the dirt. But the Catholic Church hath another
manner defender than is any earthly man. For it hath God himself
therein, and his Holy Spirit, permanent and abiding by Christ's
own promise to defend it from falsehood unto the end of the world.
And therefore it cannot fall flat in the
mire, but God maketh heretics fall
flat in the fire.
Yet to the intent, good readers, that you should well see that I left
not untouched the point of repugnance with which Master
Masquer hath all this while set out his high solemn reason against

God's almightiness, himself showeth here, at last, that of
repugnance, I did speak myself. Howbeit indeed somewhat
more moderately than he, as ye shall not only perceive by
the words of my letter, but also by the words of Master Masquer
himself which be these.
"Then saith Master More, though it seemeth repugnant both to him
and to me, one body to be in two places at once, yet God seeth how to
make them stand together well enough. This man with his old eyes
and spectacles seeth far in God's sight and is of his privy council
that knoweth, belike by some secret revelation, how God seeth one body
to be in many places at once, includeth no repugnance. For word hath
he none for him in all scripture no more than one body to be in all places
at once. It implieth first repugnance to my sight and reason that all
this world should be made of nothing, and that a virgin should bring
forth a child. But yet when I see it written with the words of my faith,
which God spoke and brought it so to pass, then implieth it no
repugnance to me at all. For my faith reacheth it and receiveth it
steadfastly. For I know the voice of my herdman, which, if he said in
any place of scripture that his body should have been contained under
the form of bread and so in many places at once here in earth, and also
abiding yet still in heaven, too, verily, I would have believed him, ay, as
soon and as firmly as Master More. And therefore even yet if he can
show us but one sentence truly taken for his part, as we can do many
for the contrary, we must give place. For as for his unwritten verities
and the authority of his antichristian synagogue, unto which (the scripture
forsaken) he is now at last with shame enough compelled to flee,
they be proved stark lies and very devilry."
The Nineteenth Chapter.
Is not this a wise invented scoff that Master Masquer mocketh
me withal and saith that with mine old eyes and my spectacles
I see far in God's sight, and am of God's privy council, and
that I know belike, by some secret revelation, how God seeth
that one body to be in many places at once includeth no repugnance?
It is no council, ye wot well, that is cried at the cross.
But Christ hath cried and proclaimed this himself, and sent his
heralds, his blessed apostles, to cry it out abroad, and hath caused
his evangelists also to write the proclamation by which all the
world was warned that his blessed body, his holy flesh and
his blood, is verily eaten and drunken in the Blessed Sacrament.
And therefore, either all those places be one in which the Blessed

Sacrament is received at once, or else God may do the thing that is
repugnant, or else he seeth that his body to be in diverse places at
once is not repugnant. For well I wot he saith he doth it, in all
the four evangelists. And well I wot, also, that he cannot say but
sooth. And therefore neither need I to see very far for this point,
nor need no secret revelation neither, since it is the point that, to
the whole world, God hath both by word, writing, and miracles,
revealed and showed so openly. Where is Master Masquer now?
For where he saith I have no word of scripture for Christ's
body to be in many places at once no more than to be in all
places at once, if I had not, yet if God had otherwise than by
writing revealed the one to his church and not the other, I
would and were bound to believe the one, and would not, nor
were bound to believe the other, as I believe and am bound to
believe now that the Gospel of Saint John is holy scripture, and
not the gospel of Nicodemus. And if God had revealed both
twain unto the church, I would and were bound to believe
both twain, as I believe now that the Gospel of Saint John is
holy scripture, and the Gospel of Saint Matthew, too.
But now of truth, Master Masquer abominably belieth the
word of God when he saith that we have not the word of God,
no more for the being of Christ's body in many places at
once than in all places at once. For as for the being thereof in all
places at once, we find no word plainly written in the scripture.
But for the being thereof in many places at once, Christ's words
in his Last Supper and, before that, in the sixth chapter of Saint
John, be as open, as clear, and as plain as any man well could
with any reason require, except any man were so wise as to
ween that divers men's mouths were all one place. And therefore,
when Master Masquer, in his words following, maketh as though
he would believe it as well as he believeth the creation of the
world and Christ's birth of a virgin (which seem also to his
reason repugnant), if Christ in any plain place of scripture
said it, the truth appeareth otherwise. For unto him that is
not with his own forwardness blinded by the devil, the thing
that he denieth is as plainly spoken as are the other twain that
he saith he believeth. And some other wretches, such as himself is,
in folly and stubbornness deny both the other twain for the

repugnance, as well as he doth this, which thing you have
heard him already, with very foolish reasons, declare for so repugnant
that he saith that God cannot do it because it were, as he
saith, a giving away of his glory. And therefore his heart, once set
and fixed on the wrong side the devil, causeth him so to delight
in such fond foolish arguments of his own invention that he
cannot endure to turn his mind to the truth, but every text,
be it never so plain, is dark unto him, through the darkness
of his own brain.
The Twentieth Chapter.
But now, for because he saith that he will be content and
satisfied in this matter with any one text truly taken, while I
shall say that the texts that I shall bring him be by me truly
taken, and he shall say nay, and shall say that I take them
amiss and untruly, while he and I cannot agree upon the
taking, but vary upon the exposition and the right understanding
of them, by whom will he be judged, whether he or I
take those texts truly? If by the congregation of Christian
people, the whole Christian nations have this fifteen hundred year
judged it against him. For all this while have they believed
that Christ, at his Maundy, when he said this is my body, meant that
it was his very body indeed, and ever have believed and yet do
that it was so indeed. If he will have it judged by a general
council, it hath been judged for me against him by more than
one already, before his days and mine both. If he will be
judged by the writings of the old holy doctors and saints, I
have already showed you sufficiently that they have already
judged this point against him. If he and I would vary upon
the understanding of the old saints" words, besides that you see
them yourself so plain that he shall in that point but show
himself shameful and shameless, yet the general council
(which himself denieth not) having read and seen those
holy doctors themselves, and many of those holy saints being
present at those councils themselves, have thereby judged that
point against him, too. For no wise man will doubt but that,

among them, they understood the doctors then as well as
Master Masquer doth now. If he say that he will, with his other
more than twenty texts of scripture of which he spoke before,
disprove us the texts one or two that I bring for the Blessed
Sacrament, then cometh he (you see well) to the selfsame point
again, wherein he is overthrown already. For all the corps of
Christendom of this fifteen hundred year before us, and all the old
holy doctors and saints, and all the general councils, and all the
marvelous miracles that God hath showed for the Blessed Sacrament,
yearly almost, and I ween daily, too, what in one place
and other, all which things prove the texts that I lay to be
meant and understood as I say. All they do thereby declare against
him also that none of his more than twenty texts can in any wise
be well and right understood as he saith. For else should it
follow that divers texts of holy scripture not only seemed
(which may well be) but also were indeed
(which is a thing impossible and
cannot be) contrarious and repugnant
unto others.
Now, good Christian readers, here you see that in his shift that he
useth, where he saith that he will believe any one text truly
taken, we bring him for the true taking, upon our part, all
these things that I have here shortly rehearsed you, of which
things himself denieth very few, that is to wit, the old
holy doctors to hold on our part, and the people of their time.
But therein have I showed you divers of the best sort against
him. And the faith of the people of the divers times appeareth by
their books and by the councils. And then that the general
councils and the miracles are, on our part, of these two things
he denieth neither another. But since he can deny none of them, he
despiseth both. And the holy councils of Christ's church he
calleth the antichristian synagogue. And God's miracles both
Frith and he be feign to call the works of the devil. And therefore,
good Christian readers, while you see all this, ye see well enough
that the texts of the Gospel which we lay for the blessed body
of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament be clear and plain for
the purpose, and Master Masquer will not agree it so, but saith

that we take them not truly only because he will not perceive
and confess the truth.
The Twenty-First Chapter.
Now whereas Master Masquer saith of me further thus:
"As for his unwritten verities and the authority of his antichristian synagogue,
unto which, the scripture forsaken, he is now at last with shame
enough compelled to flee; they be proved stark lies and very devilry."
Consider, good Christian readers, that in these words, Master
Masquer telleth you two things. First, that I am, with shame
enough, compelled to flee from the scripture to mine unwritten
verities, and to the authority of the antichristian synagogue, by which
he meaneth the traditions and the determinations of the
Catholic Church. The other that the traditions and
determinations of the church be already proved stark lies and
very devilry. For the first point, you see that in this matter of the
Blessed Sacrament, which is one of the things that he meaneth,
he hath not yet compelled me to flee from the scripture. For I have
well already proved you this point, and very plain and clearly, by
the selfsame place of scripture which Master Masquer hath
expounded and falsely would wrest it another way, that is to wit, the
words of Christ written in the sixth chapter of Saint John. Now
if I do, for the proof of this point, lay the tradition of the whole
Catholic Church, besides which thing is also sufficient to
prove the matter alone, is that a fleeing from the scripture? If that
be a fleeing from the scripture, then might the old heretics
very well have said the same unto all the old holy doctors
that this new heretic saith now to me. For this wotteth
well every man (that any learning hath), that those old holy doctors
and saints laid against those old heretics not the scripture
only but also the traditions unwritten, believed and taught
by the church. And if Master Masquer, when he shall defend his
book, dare deny me that they so did, I shall bring you so many
plain proofs thereof that, be he never so shameless, he shall be
ashamed thereof. And if he cannot say nay but that they so did,

as I wot well he cannot, then you see well, good readers, that by Master
Masquer's wise reason those old heretics might have said against
each of those old holy doctors and saints, as Master Masquer
saith against me now, that they had made him with shame
enough flee from the scripture because he, besides the scripture,
proved the true faith and reproved their false heresies by the authority
of the Catholic Church. Such strength have always, lo,
Master Masquer's arguments.
Now touching the second point, where he calleth the Catholic
Church the antichristian synagogue, and the unwritten verities stark
lies and devilry, he hath already showed and declared partly
which things they be that himself meaneth by that name. For he
hath before specified purgatory, pilgrimages, and praying to
saints, honoring of images, and creeping to the cross, and
hallowing of bells against evil spirits in tempests, and boughs
on Palm Sunday, and believing in the Blessed Sacrament.
And Tyndale, that is either himself or his fellow, mocketh under
the same name the sacrament of aneling, and calleth the sacrament
of confirmation the buttering of the boys" forehead, and had
as lief have at his christening sand put in his mouth as salt,
and mocketh much at fasting. And as for Lent, Father Frith under
name of Brightwell, in the revelation of Antichrist calleth it the
foolish fast, which jest was undoubtedly revealed Father Frith by
the spirit of the devil himself, the spiritual father of Antichrist.

So that you may see, good readers, that to say the litany, or our
Lady Matins, and creep to the cross at Easter, or pray for all
Christian souls, these things and such other as I have rehearsed you,
Master Masquer saith are already proved stark lies and
very devilry. But he showeth us no such proof yet, neither of lies
nor of devilry. But every man may soon see that he which saith
so much and nothing proveth maketh many a stark lie, and that
thus to rail against God and all good men and holy saints, and
helping of good Christian souls, and railing against the blessed
body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, calling the belief thereof
devilry, if such railing in Master Masquer be not (as I ween it

is) very plain and open devilry that can be no less yet, at the
least wise, than very plain and open knavery.
The Twenty-Second Chapter.
Master Masquer cometh at last to the mocking of those words
of my epistle, wherein I show that if men would deny the
conversion of the bread and wine into the blessed body and
blood of Christ, because that, unto his own reason, the thing
seemeth to imply repugnance, he shall find many other things,
both in scripture and in nature and in handcrafts, too, of the
truth whereof he nothing doubteth, which yet for any solution
that his own reason could find, other than the omnipotent
power of God, would seem repugnant, too, of which manner things
other good holy doctors have in the matter of the Blessed Sacrament
used some examples before.
Now, forasmuch as in these words I speak of the appearing
of the face in the glass, and one face in every piece of the glass
broken into twenty, Master Masquer hath caught that
glass in hand and mocketh and moweth in that glass, and
maketh as many strange faces and as many pretty pots therein,
as it were an old rivelled ape. For these are his words, lo:
"Then saith he that ye wot well that many good folk have used in
this matter many good fruitful examples of God's other works, not
only miracles, written in scripture -- unde versus? (where one, I pray
ye?) -- but also done by the common course of nature here in earth. (If they be
done by the common course of nature, so be they no miracles.) And some
things made also by man's hand. As one face beholden in diverse
glasses, and in every piece of one glass broke into twenty, etc. Lord,
how this pontifical poet playeth his part. Because (as he saith) we
see many faces in many glasses, therefore may one body be in many
places, as though every shadow and similitude representing the
body were a bodily substance. But I ask More, when he seeth his
own face in so many glasses, whether all those faces that appear in the
glasses be his own very face, having bodily substance, skin, flesh,
and bone, as hath that face which hath his very mouth, nose, eyes,
etc. wherewith he faceth us out the truth thus falsely with lies? And if

they be all his very faces, then in very deed there is one body in many
places, and he himself beareth as many faces in one hood. But
according to his purpose, even as they be no very faces nor
those so many voices, sounds, and similitudes, multiplied in the air
between the glass, or other object, and the body (as the philosopher
proveth by natural reason) be no very bodies, no more is it Christ's
very body, as they would make the belief in the bread in so many places
at once."
Now good readers, to the end that you may see the customable
manner of Master Masquer in rehearsing my matter to his own
advantage, since my words in my letter that touch this point
be not very long, I shall rehearse them here unto you myself; lo,
good readers, thus shall you find it there in the twenty-sixth leaf.
"I wot well that many good folk have used in this matter many good fruitful
examples of God's other works, not only miracles written in scripture but
also done by the common course of nature here in earth, and some things made
also by man's hand as one face beholden in diverse glasses and in every piece
of one glass broken into twenty and the marvel of the making of the
glass itself such matter as it is made of. And of one word coming whole to
an hundred ears at once, and the sight of one little eye present and
beholding a whole great country at once with a thousand such other
marvels more, such as those that see them daily done and therefore marvel not
at them, shall yet never be able, no, not this young man himself, to give
such reason by what means they may be done, but that he may have such
repugnance laid against it that he shall be fain in conclusion for the
chief, and the most evident reason to say that the cause of all those things
is because God that hath caused them so to be done is almighty of himself
and can do what him list.".
Lo, good Christian readers, here you see yourself that I made
none such argument as Master Masquer beareth me in hand.
Nor no man useth upon a similitude to conclude a necessary
consequence in the matter of the Blessed Sacrament, unto which
we can bring nothing so like, but that indeed it must be far
unlike, saving that it is, as seemeth me, somewhat like in this, that
God is as able by his almighty power to make one body be in
twenty places at once, as he is, by common course of nature, which
himself hath made, able to make one face, keeping still his own
figure in his own place, cast yet and multiply the same figure
of itself, into twenty pieces of one broken glass, of which pieces
each hath a several place. And as he is able, by the nature that

himself made, to make one self word that the speaker hath
breathed out in the speaking to be forthwith in the ears of
a whole hundred persons, each of them occupying a several
place, and that a good distance asunder. Of which two things
(as natural and as common as they both be) yet can I never cease to
wonder, for all the reasons that ever I read of the philosopher.
And likewise, as I verily trust that the time shall come when
we shall, in the clear sight of Christ's godhead, see this great miracle
soiled, and well perceive how it is, and how it may be that
his blessed body is both in heaven and in earth, and in so many
places at once; so think I, verily, that in the sight of his godhead
then we shall also perceive a better cause of those two other
things than ever any philosopher hath hitherto showed us yet,
or else I ween, for my part, I shall never perceive them
But now, whereas Master Masquer mocketh mine argument,
not which I made, but which himself maketh in my name
and maketh it feeble for the nonce that he may, when he hath
made it at his own pleasure, soil it, as children make castles
of tile shards and then make them their pastime in the
throwing down again; yet is it not even so, so feeble as his own,
where he argueth in the negative, as I lay the sample for the affirmative.
For as for the one that he maketh for me, though the argument
be naught for lack of form, yet holdeth it somewhat so-so by
the matter in that the consequent, that is to wit, that God may
make one body to be at once in many places is, whatsoever
Master Masquer babble, a truth without question necessary.
But where he argueth for himself in the negative, by that that
the bodily substance of the face is not in the glass, that therefore
the bodily substance of our Savior Christ is not in the Blessed
Sacrament; that argument hath no manner hold at all. For the antecedent
is very true, and (except God's word be untrue) else
as I have already, by the old holy expositors of the same, well and
plainly proved you the consequent is very false.
Now if he will say that he maketh not that argument, but
useth only the face in the glass for a sample and a similitude,

then he showeth himself to play the false shrew when, of my
bringing in the selfsame sample, he maketh that argument for
me. And therefore now, when upon those faces in the glass,
he maketh and faceth himself that lie upon me, and then
scoffeth that I face out the truth with lies, and then proveth
never one, he doth but show what pretty words he could speak,
and how properly he could scoff, if the matter would serve him.
And yet I pray you, good readers, consider well the words of
that argument that he maketh in mine name. We see many faces in
many glasses; therefore may one body be in many places. Now spoke not
I, you wot well, of many faces seen in many glasses (as he both
falsely and foolishly rehearseth me), but of one face seen at once in
many glasses. For that is like to the
matter. For like as all those glasses, while
only one man looketh in them, he seeth but his own one face in
all those places, so be (as Saint Chrysostom declareth) all
the hosts of the Blessed Sacrament, being in so far distant
several places asunder, all one very body of our blessed Savior
himself, and all one host, one sacrifice, and one oblation.
And as properly as Master Masquer scoffeth at that sample and
similitude of the glass, I would not have misliked mine own
wit therein if the invention thereof had been mine own. For I
find not many samples so meet for the matter to the capacity of
good and unlearned folk, as it is. For as for the point of which
Master Masquer maketh all the difficulty, that one substance,
being but a creature, might be in many places at once, every
man that is learned seeth a sample that satisfieth him shortly. For
he seeth and perceiveth, by good reason, that the soul is
indivisible and is in every part of the body, and in every part it
is whole. And yet is every member a several place. And so is the
blessed substance of the spiritual body of Christ's flesh and his
bones whole in every part of the Sacrament.
But this sample of the soul cannot every man unlearned conceive
and imagine right, but of the glass hath for his capacity a
more meetly similitude, and that it, in one point, also doth more
resemble the matter. For the soul forsaketh every member that is

clean divided from the body. But the blessed body of our Savior
abideth still whole in every part of the
Blessed Sacrament, though it be broken
into never so many parts as the image and form of the face
abideth whole still to him that beholdeth it in every part of the
broken glass. And thus, good readers, as for this sample and
similitude of the face in the glass, Master Masquer may, for his
foolish facing it out, be much ashamed, if he have any shame,
whensoever he looketh on his own face in the glass.
And for conclusion, this being of the body of Christ in
diverse places at once, since the old holy doctors and saints saw
and perceived that the soul of every man, which is a very
substance, and peradventure yet of less spiritual power than the
flesh and bones of our Savior Christ be now, and yet very
flesh for all that and very bones also still, they reckoned not that
the being thereof in diverse places at once, would after their days
begin to be taken for so strange and hard a thing as these
heretics make it now. And therefore they made nothing so
great a matter of that point, but the thing that they thought men
would most marvel of was the conversion and turning of the
bread and the wine into Christ's very flesh and blood. And
therefore to make that point well open and to make it sink into
men's breasts, those old holy doctors and saints (as I said in
these words which Master Masquer mocketh) used many more
good samples of things done by nature.
But then were they no miracles, saith Master Masquer. And
what then, good Master Masquer? Might they not serve to prove that
God might do as much by miracle as nature by her common
course? Those words, lo, were by Master Masquer (you see well) very
well and wisely put in.
The Twenty-Third Chapter.
Over this, toward the perceiving and belief of that point of
conversion of the bread and the wine into the very flesh and
blood of Christ, I said that those holy doctors and saints used

examples of other miracles done by God and written in holy
Now at this word, Master Masquer asketh me, "Unde versus? Where
one, I pray you?" You have heard already, good readers, in the fifteenth
chapter of the first book, the words of that holy doctor Saint
Cyril, in which for the credence of that point, that is to wit,
the changing of the bread and the wine into Christ's flesh
and his blood, he bringeth the miracles that God wrought in the
Old Law, as the changing of the water into blood, and the
changing of Moses' rod into a serpent, and divers other
changes and mighty miracles more.
You have heard also before how Saint Chrysostom, against
them that would doubt how Christ could give them his flesh
to eat, layeth forth the miracle of the
multiplying of five loaves so suddenly to
twelve baskets full more than the sufficient feeding of five thousand
Here be, lo, some verses yet, Master Masquer, and more than one
miracle, pardie, that those holy doctors and saints have used in
this matter of the Blessed Sacrament. And yet such other more shall I
bring you at another leisure, ere I have done with your second
course, that it shall grieve you to see them. And surely where properly
you scoff at me with my many faces in one hood, I have here
in this first part already brought you for the true faith of
the Catholic Church, against your false heresy wherewith you
would face our Savior out of the Blessed Sacrament, I have
brought against you, to your face, Saint Bede and Theophylactus,
Saint Augustine, and Saint Hilary, Saint Irenaeus, Saint Cyril,
and Saint Chrysostom, so many such good faces into this one
hood that all the shameful lies that your shameless face can make
shall never against these faces be able to face out the truth. And
thus end I, good readers, my fourth book.
Here endeth the fourth book.

The Fifth Book
and the Last of the
First Part.
The First Chapter.
Now come I, good Christian readers, to the last point that I
spoke of, the two contradictions of mine own that Master
Masquer hath highly laid unto my charge, whose words I shall,
good readers, first rehearse you whole. Lo, these they be, God save
"At last, note, Christian reader, that Master More in the third book of
his Confutation of Tyndale, the 249th side, to prove Saint John's Gospel
unperfect and insufficient for leaving out of so necessary a point of our
faith, as he calleth the Last Supper of Christ, his Maundy, saith that
John spoke nothing at all of this Sacrament. And now see again, in
these his letters against Frith, how himself bringeth in John
6th chapter to impugn Frith's writing, and to make all for the Sacrament,
even thus: "My flesh is verily meat and my blood drink." Belike
the man had there overshot himself foul, the young man here causing
him to put on his spectacles and pore better and more wishly
with his old eye upon Saint John's Gospel to find that thing there
now written, which before he would have made one of his unwritten
verities. As yet, if he look narrowly, he shall espy that himself hath
proved us by scripture, in the thirty-seventh leaf of his dialogue of "quoth he" and "quoth
I," our Lady's perpetual virginity expounding non cognosco, id est, non
cognoscam, which now written unwritten verity he numbereth a little
before among his unwritten vanities. Thus may ye see how this old
holy upholder of the pope's church, his words fight against themselves
into his own confusion in finding us forth his unwritten written
vanities -- verities, I should say. But return we unto the exposition of
Saint John."
Now have you, good Christian readers, heard his whole tale concerning
my two contradictions. Of which twain I will first
answer the last that concerneth the perpetual virginity of our Lady.

Which point I have touched toward the end of the twenty-fifth
chapter of the first book of my dialogue, wherein Master Masquer
mocketh me for "quoth I" and "quoth he," and would I see well in no
wise that, in the rehearsing of a communication had between myself
and another man, I should not for shame say "quoth I" and "quoth
he," but rather rehearse our two talkings, with "quoth we" and "quoth
I have also spoken of that point in more places than one of my
work that I wrote of Tyndale's Confutation, which places, whoso
list to read, shall find this point of contradiction answered already
that Master Masquer now layeth to my charge, dissimuling such
things as I have answered it with.
And of this contradiction I am so sore ashamed that, for all
Master Masquer's words even here before in my first book of this
work, I have not letted the best that my wit will serve
me this unwritten verity to prove yet again by the selfsame
place of Saint Luke's holy writing.
For why, to say the truth, I do not so much force to have that
article taken for an unwritten verity with good Catholic folk for
the maintenance of my word as to have it for the honor of our
Lady, taken and believed for an undoubted truth, with Catholics
and those heretics, too, that will take it for no such truth but if it
be written in scripture.
Now doth the clear certainty of this article indeed depend
upon the tradition of the apostles continued in the Catholic
Church. For albeit that myself think that I find some words
written in scripture that would well prove it, and upon those
words let not to write mine own mind, and divers old
holy doctors, too, yet while I see that holy Saint Jerome himself,
a man far otherwise seen in scripture than I, arguing for the
defense of that article against that heretic Helvidius did only
soil the scriptures that Helvidius laid against it, and layeth no
scripture himself for the proof of his part, but resteth therein to
the authority of Christ's Catholic Church, which Master
Masquer here calleth the antichristian synagogue, I neither dare nor
will take so much upon myself as to affirm surely that it is

proved to be a written verity. And this lack of taking, lo, so
much upon myself is the thing that Master Masquer calleth so
shameful repugnance, to my great confusion.
And therefore in that place of my dialogue, though I upon that
word of our Lady, "In what wise shall this thing be done, for I
know not a man?" do reason and show my mind that it proveth for
this part, as indeed me thinketh it doth, yet I am not so bold
upon mine own exposition therein as to affirm that the scripture
saith there openly and plainly that she was a perpetual virgin.
For if it had been a very precise, plain, evident, open proof of
that matter, mine own mind giveth me that Saint Jerome would
not have failed to have found it before me.
I shall also for this point have Master Masquer himself to say
somewhat for me, though he do therein (as he is often wont to do)
speak somewhat against himself. For he saith here himself that if
a man look narrowly, then he shall espy that I have myself proved
our Lady's perpetual virginity. Now since that Master
Masquer saith that a man cannot spy that but if he look narrowly,
he saith, you see well, himself that it is no plain open proof. And
then is it no proof to them, you wot well. For they receive no
scripture for proof of any purpose, but only plain, open, and
And therefore, by Master Masquer's own tale, though I proved it
sufficiently a written verity unto good Catholics, yet rested it
unproved still a written verity unto such heretics, and against
them, ye wot well, wrote I.
Howbeit here will I demand of Master Masquer, touching the
perpetual virginity of our Lady to be plainly written in holy
scripture, whether I prove that point well or not? If not, then
may I well enough, notwithstanding any such proof of
mine, say still that it is an unwritten verity. If he will confess
that I prove it well, I will be content with that praise of himself
to abide his rebuke of that contradiction. For I set more, as I
said, by the profit of his soul in falling from the contrary
heresy to the right belief of our Lady's perpetual virginity
than I set by mine own praise and commendation of abiding
well by my words.
But yet if he will allow my proof made of that point, I marvel
me much but if that he allow now my proof made for the blessed

body of Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament. For I am very
sure I have proved much more clearly, by much more open and
plain words of the scripture, and the sense of those words
by divers old holy doctors, other manner of men than myself,
than I have proved or any man else the perpetual virginity of
our blessed Lady.
Howbeit, of truth, though I proved well that point of the
perpetual virginity of our Lady to be a verity written in scripture,
and that many other also proved it much better than I, as I
think there do, and that myself had affirmed it never so
strongly, for never so clear a written verity yet since William
Tyndale, against whom I specially wrote, taketh it, as in his
writing well and plain appeareth, for no written verity, and yet
agreeth that it is to be believed, but not of necessity, and yet after
upon his own words, I prove him that of necessity, too, I may,
without any contradiction or repugnance at all, lay it
against him for an unwritten verity, for as much as himself so
taketh it.
Moreover, all the proof that I make of our Lady's perpetual
virginity is no more but that she was a perpetual virgin except
she break her vow. And surely as I say, it seemeth to myself
that I prove this very clearly. And this, being proved, is indeed
enough to good Christian folk for a full proof that she was a
perpetual virgin. But yet unto these
heretics against whom I wrote, since
they set naught by vows of virginity,
but say that they that make them do
both unlawfully make them and may, when they will, lawfully
break them, and that, therefore, freres may run out of religion and
wed nuns; this proof of mine is to them no manner proof
at all. And therefore, I may to them, without contradiction or
repugnance, lay it for an unwritten verity still.
And thus, I trust you see, good readers, that as for this repugnance,
turneth to Master Masquer's confusion and not mine.

The Second Chapter.
Now come I then, good readers, to the other contradiction
that he layeth against me, his words wherein, before mine
answer, I pray you read once again. And lest ye should be loath
to turn back and seek them, here shall you have them again,
lo, these they be:
"At last, note, Christian reader, that Master More, in the third book of
his Confutation of Tyndale, the 249th side, to prove Saint John's Gospel
unperfect and insufficient for leaving out of so necessary a point of our
faith, as he calleth the Last Supper of Christ, his Maundy, saith that
John spoke nothing at all of this Sacrament. And now see again in
these his letters against Frith how himself bringeth in John
6th chapter to impugn Frith's writing, and to make all for the Sacrament,
even thus: "My flesh is verily meat and my blood drink." Belike
the man had there overshot himself foul, the young man here causing
him to put on his spectacles and pore better and more wishly
with his old eye upon Saint John's Gospel to find that thing there
now written, which before he would have made one of his unwritten
When myself, good reader, read first these words of his, albeit
that I was sure enough that in the things that I purposed
there was no repugnance indeed, yet seeing that he so diligently
laid forth the leaf in which my fault should be found, I very
plainly thought that I had not so circumspectly seen unto my
words as wisdom would I should. And taking, therefore, mine
oversight for a very truth, I never vouchsafed to turn my
book and look.
But afterward, it happed on a day I said in a certain
company that I was somewhat sorry that it had mishapped
me to take in this one point no better heed to mine hand, but to
write therein two things repugnant and contrary. Where unto
some of them made answer that such a chance happeth
sometimes ere a man be ware in a long work. "But yet," quoth one
of them, a gentlewoman, "have you considered well the place in
your book and seen that he saith truth?" "Nay, by my troth," quoth

I, "that have I not. For it irketh me to look upon the place again
now when it is too late to mend it. For I am sure the man would
not be so mad to name the very leaf but if he were well sure that
he said true." "By our Lady," quoth she, "but since you have not looked it
yourself, I will, for all the leaf laid out by him, see the
thing myself ere I believe his writing, I know these fellows
for so false." And therewithal she sent for the book, and turned to
the very 249 side, and with that number marked also. And in
good faith, good readers, there found we no such manner matter,
neither on the one side of the leaf nor on the other.
Howbeit, of truth, I cannot deny but that in a side after
mismarked with the number of 249, which should have been
marked with the number of 259, there we found the matter in
that place. But therein found we the most shameful either folly or
falsehood of Master Masquer that ever I saw lightly in any man in
my life. Which because ye shall not seek far to find, I shall
rehearse you here the very words of that place. Lo, good
readers, these they be:
"But now, because of Tyndale, let us take some one thing. And what thing
rather than the Last Supper of Christ, his Maundy with his apostles, in
which he instituted the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, his own blessed body
and blood. Is this no necessary point of faith? Tyndale cannot deny it for
a necessary point if faith and, though it were but of his own false faith,
agreeing with Luther, Huessgen, or Zwingli. And he cannot say that Saint
John speaketh anything thereof, specially not of the institution. Nor he cannot
say that Saint John speaketh anything of the Sacrament at all, since that
his sect expressly denieth that Saint John meant the Sacrament in his
words where he speaketh expressly thereof in the sixth chapter of his Gospel."
Where have you ever, good Christian readers, seen any
fond fellow before this handle a thing so falsely or so foolishly,
as Master Masquer here handleth this? He telleth you that I said
here that Saint John spoke nothing of the Sacrament at all. Now
you see that Master Masquer in that point belieth me. For I said
not here that Saint John spoke nothing thereof, but first I said
there that Tyndale, against whom I there wrote, could not say
that Saint John wrote anything of the Blessed Sacrament,

specially not of the institution thereof. And this is very truth.
For as touching the institution thereof at Christ's Last Supper and
Maundy, neither Tyndale nor no man else can say that Saint
John anything wrote thereof in his Gospel.
Then said I farther there (as you see) not that Saint
John speaketh nothing of the Sacrament, but that Tyndale cannot
say that Saint John speaketh of the Sacrament anything at all.
And that I meant not in those words to say mine own self that
Saint John spoke nothing thereof, I declare plainly there
forthwith by that I show the cause why Tyndale cannot say that
Saint John spoke anything of the Sacrament at all, that is to
wit, because that all his sect expressly denieth that anything
was meant of the Sacrament in the words of Christ written in the
sixth chapter of Saint John.
By this, ye may see plainly, good readers, that Master Masquer
plainly belieth me. For I said not myself that Saint John
spoke nothing of the Sacrament, but that Tyndale, because of
the opinion of all his sect in that point, could not say that
Saint John spoke anything thereof. Which was enough for my
purpose, while Tyndale was the man against whom I wrote,
though myself would, for mine own part, say the contrary. For
it is that kind of argument that is in the schools called argumentum
ad hominem. And thus you see, good readers, Master Masquer in this
thing either shamefully false or very shamefully foolish: shamefully
false if he perceived and understood my words, and then for
all that thus belieth me; shamefully foolish if the thing being
spoken by me so plain, his wit would not serve him to perceive it.
But now, as clear as ye see the matter already by this, to the intent
yet that Master Masquer shall have no matter left him in all this
world to make any argument of for his excuse therein, read
my words again, good readers, and bid Master Masquer mark well
my words therein, where I say expressly that Saint John spoke
expressly thereof in the sixth chapter of his Gospel. For these words
are, as you see, there the very last words of all:
"Nor Tyndale cannot say that Saint John speaketh anything of the Sacrament
at all, since that his sect expressly denieth that Saint John meant the

Sacrament in his words (where he speaketh expressly thereof) in the sixth
chapter of his Gospel."
Whose words are these? Where he speaketh expressly thereof?
Are not these words mine? And do I not in these words
expressly say that Saint John expressly speaketh of the Blessed
Sacrament in the sixth chapter of his Gospel, in which place
Tyndale's sect saith expressly that he nothing spoke thereof? And
now saith M. Masquer that I said there that Saint John
spoke nothing thereof at all. And layeth it for a foul repugnance
in me that, in my letter against Frith, I say thereof the contrary.
But how now, Master Masquer? What have you now to say?
With what shameful shift will your shameless face face us out this
foolish lie of yours that you make upon me here? If you lied so
loud wittingly, how can you look that any man should trust your
word? If for lack of understanding, how can you look then for
shame that any man should trust your wit? Why should we
think that your wit will pierce into the perceiving of hard
words in the holy scripture of God when it will not serve you to
perceive such poor, plain words of mine?
Ye write that the young man hath here made me don on
my spectacles and look more wishly on the matter to find now
written therein the thing that I said before was not written therein.
But now must you look more wishly upon my words, on
which you make here so loud a lie, and pore better on them
with your spectacles upon your Masquer's nose.
I wist once a good fellow which, while he danced in a mask,
upon boldness that no man could have known him, when he
perceived that he was well espied by his evil favored dancing,
he waxed so ashamed suddenly that he softly said unto his
fellow, "I pray you tell me doth not my visor blush red?" Now
surely, good readers, M. Masquer here, if he were not utterly past
shame, hath cause enough to be in this point so sore
ashamed that he might ween the glowing of his visage should even
pierce through his visor, and make it red for shame.
Thus have I now, good Christian readers, answered at the full in
these five books of my first part the first part of Master Masquer's

work, and taken up the first course of Master Masquer's Supper,
which he falsely calleth The Last Supper of the Lord, while he
hath with his own poisoned cookery made it the supper of the
devil. And yet would the devil, I ween, disdain to have his supper
dressed of such a rude ruffian, such a scald Colyn cook, as under
the name of a clerk, so ribaldiously raileth against the blessed
body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
The Third Chapter.
But one thing will I yet rehearse you that I have hitherto
deferred, that is to wit, my first argument against Frith,
which (as I showed you before) Master Masquer let go by, as he
hath done many things more, and made as though he saw them
not. That argument, good readers, was this:
"In this heresy, besides the common faith of all Catholic Christian regions, the
expositions of all the old holy doctors and saints be clear against Frith, as
whole as against any heretic that ever was hitherto heard of. For as for the
words of Christ, of which we speak touching the Blessed Sacrament,
though he may find some old holy men that, besides the literal sense, doth
expound them in an allegory, yet he shall never find any of them
that did as he doth now after Wycliffe, Ecolampadius, Tyndale, and Zwingli,
deny the literal sense, and say that Christ meant not that it was his
very body and his very blood indeed, but the old holy doctors and expositors,
besides all such allegories, do plainly declare and expound that, in those
words, our Savior, as he expressly spoke, so did also well and plainly
mean that the thing which he there gave to his disciples in the Sacrament
was in very deed his very flesh and blood. And so did never any of the old
expositors of scripture expound any of those other places in which Christ
is called a vine or a door. And therefore, it appeareth well that the manner of
speaking was not like. For if it had, then would not the old expositors
have used such so far unlike fashion in the expounding of them."
This was, lo, good readers, the first argument of mine
that Master Masquer met with, and which he should first therefore
have soiled. But it is such as he listed little to look upon.
For whereas he maketh much ado to have it seem that both

these words of our Savior at his Last Supper, "This is my body," and
his words of eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood,
written in the sixth chapter of Saint John, should be spoken in a
like phrase and manner of speaking, as were his other words, "I am
the door," and, "I am the very vine," I showed there unto Frith
(whom Master Masquer maketh as though he would defend) that by
the expositions of all the old holy doctors and saints that have
expounded all those four places before, the difference well appeareth,
since none of them declare him to be a very material door,
nor a natural very vine. This saith no man not so much as a very
natural fool. But that in the Sacrament is his very natural body,
his very flesh and his blood, this
declare clearly all the old holy expositors
of the scripture, which were good
men and gracious, wise, and well-learned
both. And therefore, as I said, the difference may soon be perceived,
but if Master Masquer list better to believe himself than
all them. Which if he do (as indeed he doth), then is he much
more fool than a natural fool indeed.
For as for his three places of Saint Augustine, Tertullian, and
Saint Chrysostom, whom he bringeth in his second part, I
shall in my second part, in taking up of his second course, when
we come to fruit, pare him, I warrant you, those three pears
so near that he getteth not a good morsel among them. And yet
peradventure ere I come at it, too.
For so is it now, good readers, that I very certainly know that that
book which Frith made last against the Blessed Sacrament is
come over into this realm in print, and secretly sent abroad
into the brethren's hands and some good sisters, too. And for as
much as I am surely informed for truth that Frith hath into
that book of his taken many texts of old holy doctors, wilily
handled by false Frere Huessgen before, to make it falsely seem
that the old holy doctors and saints were favorers of their false
heresy, therefore will I, for the while, set Master Masquer's second
part aside till I have answered that pestilent peevish book of
John Frith, about which I purpose to go as soon as I can

get one of them, which so many being abroad, shall I trust not
be long to. And then shall I, by the grace and help of Almighty
God, make you the folly and the falsehood of Frith and Frere Huessgen
both as open and as clear as I have in this work made open and
clear unto you the falsehood and the folly of Master Masquer here.
And whereas I, a year now passed and more, wrote and put in
print a letter against the pestilent treatise of John Frith,
which he then had made and secretly sent abroad among the
brethren, against the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, which letter
of mine, as I have declared in mine Apology, I nevertheless caused to
be kept still and would not suffer it to be put out abroad into
every man's hands, because Frith's treatise was not yet
at that time in print, yet now since I see that there are come over
in print, not only Frith's book, but over that this Masquer's book
also, and that either of their both books maketh mention of my
said letter, and would seem to soil it, and laboreth sore there
about, I do, therefore, now suffer the printer to put with this
book my said letter also to sale.
And forasmuch also as those authorities of Saint Augustine,
Saint Chrysostom, and Tertullian, which Master Masquer layeth
in his second part, I shall of likelihood find also in Frith's
book, and therefore answer them there, and all Master Masquer's
whole matter, too, before I return to his second part, which yet I
will, after all this (God willing), not leave nor let go so; in
the meanwhile, may Master Masquer (since it is, as he saith, so great
pleasure to him to be written against, having, as he boasteth, all
solutions so readily) look and assay whether he can soil these
things with which I have in this first part overthrown his
whole heresy, and proved him very plain, a very false fool already.
Of whose false wily folly to beware our Lord give us grace
and, of all such other like, which with foolish arguments of
their own blind reason, wresting the scripture into a wrong
sense against the very plain words of the text, against the expositions
of all the old holy saints, against the determinations
of divers whole general councils, against the full consent of all
true Christian nations this fifteen hundred year before their
days, and against the plain declaration of Almighty God himself,

made in every Christian country by so many plain, open
miracles, labor now to make us so foolishly blind and mad
as to forsake the very true Catholic faith, forsake the society of the
true Catholic Church, and with sundry sects of heretics fallen
out thereof, to set both holy days and fasting days at naught, and for
the devil's pleasure to forbear and abstain from all prayer to be
made either for souls or to saints, jest on our blessed Lady the
immaculate mother of Christ, make mocks at all pilgrimages,
and creeping of Christ's cross, the holy ceremonies of the
church and the sacraments, to turn them into trifling with
likening them to wine garlands and ale-poles, and, finally, by
these ways in the end and conclusion, forsake our Savior
himself in the Blessed Sacrament, and instead of his own
blessed body and his blood ween there were nothing but bare
bread and wine, and call it idolatry there to do him honor. But
woe may such wretches be. For this we may be sure, that whoso
dishonor God in one place with occasion of a false faith, standing
that false belief and infidelity, all the honor that he doth
him anywhere besides is odious and despiteful and rejected
of God, and never shall save that faithless soul from the fire of
hell. From which our Lord give them grace truly to turn in
time, so that we and they, together in one Catholic Church,
knit unto God together in one Catholic faith, faith, I say, not
faith alone as they do, but accompanied with good hope,
and with her chief sister, well-working charity, may so
receive Christ's blessed sacraments here, and specially that we
may so receive himself, his very blessed body, very flesh and
blood, in the Blessed Sacrament, our holy, blessed Housel that we
may here be with him incorporated so by grace that, after the
short course of this transitory life, with his tender pity
poured upon us in purgatory, at the prayer of good people
and intercession of holy saints, we may be with them in their
holy fellowship, incorporated in Christ in his eternal glory

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