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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
How Our Religion Is Authenticall
LXVI. William Warner
 
Of the chiefe Points wherein we dissent from the Papists

Chap. LII. of the Ninth Booke

UPON 1 the onely Scriptures doth
  Our Church foundation lay,
Let pattriarchs, prophets, gospell, and
  Th’ apostles for us say;
For soule and body we affirme,        5
  And all-sufficient thay;
Yet ye adde canons, part corrupt,
  Some books ye quite denay.
We by the Hebrew, and the Greeke
  (Their primer penores) expound        10
Each Scripture, by the eldest clarks,
  Whom doubtful textes be found,
Not by the Latin onely, as
  Ye would that all weare bound:
So far forth yeat the Fathers and        15
  The councels we approve,
As doe their expositions tende
  To sincere faith and love.
Els fully Scriptures, in themselves,
  Explain themselves, say we,        20
If searched with the humble spirit
  By which they written be:
Through which is ofte from litrall speech
  A spirituall sence set free,
Upon which sence the Catholic Church        25
  Did, doth, and must agree.
Nor doth our Church admit, at least
  Allow of those in her
That teach not faith sincerely, winne
  To heaven, from hell deter.        30
That with new glozes tante the text,
  Or such as be unreade
In that sweete promise of the seed
  Should brooze the serpent’s head—
The Alpha and Omega of        35
  All Scriptures, and whereby
Of grace, through faith in Christ, our soles
  Revive, and sinne doth die:
Our Church affects, how so effects,
  Such pure theologies        40
And guides, and to our naturall prince
  Grants sole supremacie.
God’s cov’nant with the patriarchs,
  And extending to the seede,
Us Gentiles to coequall, is        45
  A primate in our creede;
And Christ we know the end of it;
  In circumcision’s place
Is baptisme; and intirely we
  The tables two imbrace,        50
Which God himselfe in Synia wrote,
  And gave to Moses then,
To publish to the people, two
  Commandements in ten:
Scriptures’ idæa, crouched in        55
  Our love to God and men.
Th’ Apostles’, Athanasian, Nice,
  And Bizain Creeds we hold
Authentic, by the Holy Spirit
  In sacred Writ enrold.        60
One Godhead of Three Persons,
  In coequall Maiestie,
Doe we beleeve; of whom the Sonne
  Did for beleevers die,
The onely ransome that redeemes        65
  From Sathan’s tyrannie;
Even Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life,
  Not crooked, glozed, fraile,
But right for rule, in promise firme,
  Guerdon near to faile;        70
Who to reprove the bad, approove
  The good, and to assure
The wav’ring, and against the divell
  Our safetie to procure,
Did giltless die, that we, lost soules,        75
  Might live, naught els did make,
That he, his Deitie adorn’d,
  Did humaine nature take.
Nor, glorifide, disclaimes he us,
  Unlesse we him forsake.        80
And what is fruitles faith, but such
  Apostasie? and what
Ensues apostasie, but to
  Be doomed dam’d for that?
No doctrine or traditions we        85
  Hold currant, save the same
The Gospell, or the Apostles’ Acts,
  Or pennes include or name.
Baptisme, incorporating us
  In Christ, and us in one,        90
Christ’s misticall last Supper, whearein
  Signe his death is knowne,
Be sacraments, except which twaine
  Doe we accept of none.
By only Christ our advocate        95
  We to the Father pray,
Nor think we saints deceased can
  Our sutes to him convay;
Howbeit, still most reuerently
  Of saints we thinke and say.        100
Vnnecessarie burthens on
  Our Christian freedome laide,
Contrarie thest, that beleefe and
  Vertuous life perswaide;
Yea, only faith doth iustice,        105
  Say we, of God’s free grace
By Christ: nor faith is idle, but
  Doth charitie imbrace.
Who may, but will not helpe, doth hurt,
  We know; and curious thay        110
That, dribling almes by art, disband
  Wel-meant from wel-don’s pay:
And he that questions one’s distresse,
  And doth not helpe indevour,
Than he that sees, and nothing sayes        115
  Or eares, is less deceivour.
Then hope we health when sinne is felt
  Repentantly in heart;
Adde then new life, and we to God,
  God doth to us conuart.        120
Thus Peter vsed his keyes, nor thus
  Play popes S. Peter’s part.
For cleargie-men and laye our Church
  Hath godly discipline,
Lawes worthie better than sometimes        125
  Are those the lawes define.
Our princes in their policies
  And lawes do we obey;
Though God his cause they seeke to crosse,
  Yeat we for them do pray        130
In patience, not peruerse attempts;
  For better times we stay.
Not as denide, but as devout,
  We doe and should abstaine
From meates euen meet, the prouder flesh        135
  From sinne’s excess to waine;
Which should we skant, and yet bee dronke
  With lust, or like, were vaine.
Saue also publique pollicie doth
  Publique sparing craue,        140
In feast or differences of meates,
  No other keepe we have.
Almes-deeds are workes of charitie
  We practively professe,
And follow saints as they did Christ,        145
  And leave wheare they transgresse.
Such and so much, as said, are we;
  Forgive vs, God, if lesse.
For godly though religion, prince
  And policie they are,        150
Yet things, that of themselves be good,
  Abuse brings out of square;
And sundrie faultes in sundrie folks
  We sometimes must forbeare;
Howbeit with best-gouerned states        155
  Our state may now compare.
 
Note 1. LXVI. William Warner.—In 1592 this author published “Albion’s England: a Continued Historie of the same Kingdome, from the Originals of the first Inhabitants thereof; and most the chiefe alterations and accidents there hapning vnto, and in the happie raigne of our now most gracious Soueraigne, Queen Elizabeth. With varieties of inuentiue and historicall mixtures.” Extracts from this work are printed in the “Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.” In 1612 Warner published a continuation of this work under the title: “Albion’s England. A Continued History of the same Kingdom, from the Originals of the first Inhabitants thereof: with the most chiefe Alterations and Accidents there hapning, unto, and in the happie Raigne of our now most Soveraigne Lord King James. Not barren in Varietie of Inuentive and Historicall Intermixtures. First penned and published by William Warner; and now revised and newly enlarged a little before his death. Whereunto is also newly added an Epitome of the Whole Historie of England.” It is from the Continuation that our extract is given. [back]
 
 
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