John Jewel

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John Jewel (alias Jewell) (24 May 1522 – 23 September 1571) of Devon, England was Bishop of Salisbury from 1559 to 1571.

Quotes

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  • This only will I speak, and that in a word: they which brought in transubstantiations, masses, calling upon saints, sole life, purgatory, images, vows, trifles, follies, babbles, into the church of God, have delivered new things, and which the scriptures never heard of. Whatsoever they cry or crack, they bring not a jot out of the word of God... These they honour instead of the scriptures, and force them to the people instead of the word of God: upon these men suppose their salvation and the sum of religion to be grounded.
    • A Learned and Godly Sermon, made in the Latin Tongue, in St Mary's, in Oxenford, Upon the Sunday after the Ascension, in the Reign of King Edward the Sixth (1550 or 1551), quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Second Portion (1847), p. 960
  • Your grace, when God sent you to your inheritance and the right of this realm, found the church in horrible confusion, and in respect of the true worship of God a church of brick, or rather (as Ezechiel saith) daubed up with unseasoned mortar. Your grace hath already redressed the doctrine: now cast your eyes towards the ministry; give courage and countenance unto learning, that God's house may be served; so shall you leave a church of God, and a testimony that the zeal of the Lord's house hath eaten you up.
    • Sermon III, quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Second Portion (1847), p. 1015
  • [W]e have exhibited to the queen all our articles of religion and doctrine, and have not departed in the slightest degree from the confession of Zurich.
    • Letter to Peter Martyr (23 April 1559), quoted in The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others, With Some of the Helvetian Reformers, During the Early Part of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1842), p. 21
  • We found every where the people sufficiently well disposed towards religion, and even in those quarters where we expected most difficulty. It is however hardly credible what a harvest, or rather what a wilderness of superstition had sprung up in the darkness of the Marian times. We found in all places votive relics of saints, nails with which the infatuated people dreamed that Christ had been pierced, and I know not what small fragments of the sacred cross. The number of witches and sorceresses had every where become enormous. The cathedral churches were nothing else but dens of thieves, or worse, if any thing worse or more foul can be mentioned
    • Letter to Peter Martyr (2 November 1559), quoted in The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others, With Some of the Helvetian Reformers, During the Early Part of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1842), pp. 43-44
  • For the rage of the papists among us at this time is scarcely credible; and rather than seem to have been in error in any respect, they most impotently precipitate and throw all things into confusion. May that God whose honour and glory alone we look to, aid our endeavours, and confound the conspiracies and wicked designs of his enemies!
    • Letter to Rodolph Gualter (2 November 1559), quoted in The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others, With Some of the Helvetian Reformers, During the Early Part of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1842), p. 48
  • If any learned man of all our adversaries, or if all the learned men that be alive, be able to bring any one sufficient sentence out of any old catholic doctor, or father, or out of any old general council, or out of the holy scriptures of God, or any one example of the primitive church, whereby it may be clearly and plainly proved that there was any private mass in the whole world at that time, for the space of six hundred years after Christ; Or that there was then any communion ministered unto the people under one kind; Or that the people had their common prayers then in a strange tongue that they understood not; Or that the bishop of Rome was then called an universal bishop, or the head of the universal church; Or that the people was then taught to believe that Christ's body is really, substantially, corporally, carnally, or naturally, in the sacrament... Or that whosoever had said the sacrament is a figure, a pledge, a token, or a remembrance of Christ's body, had therefore been judged for an heretic; Or that it was lawful then to have thirty, twenty, fifteen, ten, or five masses said in one church, in one day; Or that images were then set up in the churches, to the intent the people might worship them; Or that the lay people was then forbidden to read the word of God in their own tongue—if any man alive were able to prove any of these articles by any one clear or plain clause or sentence, either of the scriptures, or of the old doctors, or of any old general council, or by any example of the primitive church; I promised then that I would give over and subscribe unto him.
    • The Copy of a Sermon Preached by the Bishop of Salisbury at Paul's Cross, the Second Sunday before Easter, in the Year of Our Lord God 1560, quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The First Portion (1845), pp. 20-21
  • [I]f we do shew it plain, that God's holy gospel, the ancient bishops and the primitive church do make on our side, and that we have not without just cause left these men, and rather have returned to the apostles and old catholic fathers; and if we shall be found to do the same not colourably, or craftily, but in good faith before God, truly, honestly, clearly, and plainly; and if they themselves which fly our doctrine, and would be called catholics, shall manifestly see how all those titles of antiquity, whereof they boast so much, are quite shaken out of their hands, and that there is more pith in this our cause than they thought for; we then hope and trust, that none of them will be so negligent and careless of his own salvation, but he will at length study and bethink himself, to whether part he were best to join him.
    • An Apology, Or Answer, in Defence of the Church of England (1562), quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Third Portion (1848), p. 56
  • [W]e have searched out of the holy bible, which we are sure cannot deceive, one sure form of religion, and have returned again unto the primitive church of the ancient fathers and apostles, that is to say, to the first ground and beginning of things, as unto the very foundations and head-springs of Christ's church... [A]s the holy fathers in former time, and as our predecessors have commonly done, we have restored our churches by a provincial convocation, and have clean shaken off, as our duty was, the yoke and tyranny of the bishop of Rome, to whom we were not bound, who also had no manner of thing like neither to Christ, nor to Peter, nor to an apostle, nor yet like to any bishop at all.
    • An Apology, Or Answer, in Defence of the Church of England (1562), quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Third Portion (1848), p. 106
  • I am compelled, almost alone, to engage with enemies, I know not whether to call them foreign or domestic ones. They are indeed our own countrymen, but enemies in heart, dwelling in a hostile land... [O]ur enemies, when they accuse our cause of novelty, both wrong us and deceive the people; for that they approve new things as if they were old, and condemn as new things of the greatest antiquity; that private masses, and mutilated communions, and natural and real presence, and transubstantiation, &c. (in which things the whole of their religion is contained), have no certain and express testimony either of holy scripture, or of ancient councils, or of fathers, or of anything that could be called antiquity.
    • Letter to Heinrich Bullinger (8 February 1566), quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Fourth Portion (1850), p. 1268
  • I wish that all, even the slightest vestiges of popery, might be removed from our churches, and above all from our minds. But the queen at this time is unable to endure the least alteration in matters of religion.
    • Letter to Heinrich Bullinger (8 February 1566), quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Fourth Portion (1850), p. 1268
  • The philosopher telleth us, truth and falsehood are nigh neighbours, and dwell one by the other: the utter porch of the one is like the porch of the other; yet their way is contrary: the one leadeth to life; the other leadeth to death: they differ little to the shew, save that oft-times the door of falsehood is fair, painted, graven, and beautifully adorned; but the door or forefront of truth is plain and homely. Thereby it happeneth that men be deceived; they mistake the door, and go into error's house, when they seek truth. They call evil good, falsehood truth, and darkness light. They forsake that is good, deny the truth, and love not the light.
    • A Treatise of the Holy Scriptures, Gathered Out of Certain Sermons, Which the Reverend Father in God, Bishop Jewel, Preached at Salisbury, Anno Domini 1570, quoted in The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. The Fourth Portion (1850), p. 1167

Quotes about John Jewel

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  • Jewel throughout his life was a diligent student, and made methodical notes of all that he read. He thus collected a mass of knowledge which was easily available for controversial purposes. He possessed a remarkable power of verbal memory, which made him a prodigy in the eyes of his friends. These qualities gave his writings an air of cold and mechanical precision, which was the natural result of his deliberate method. First he considered carefully the points which he wished to prove; then he selected the authorities whom he wished to quote in support of his position; he gave the references to a secretary, who copied out in full the passages specified; finally he arranged his argument in proper shape and embodied his quotations. Thus Jewel's writings are always clear, and the argument is conclusive within the limits which he has prescribed; but they are strictly logical, and make no appeal to the emotions. For that very reason they corresponded with the temper of England at the time, and did much to stamp upon anglican theology its distinguishing characteristics of reasonableness and sound learning.
  • Personally Jewel had the kindliness and evenness of temper which characterise a true scholar. He was diligent in the discharge of his episcopal duties, and strove to set an example to his clergy of assiduous preaching. He showed his zeal for the advance of learning by building a library for the cathedral of Salisbury. He also used to maintain in his house and train for the university a few boys of promise. Among others whom he thus befriended was Richard Hooker, whom he educated at his expense and sent to Oxford. Hooker spoke of him as "the worthiest divine that Christendom had bred for some hundreds of years;" and it is clear that Hooker learned from Jewel the method and fundamental principles which he afterwards employed with greater fervour and literary skill than his master.
  • This [Apology for the Church of England] was the first elaborate statement of the Anglican position in a work of first-rate importance, and it was immediately accepted as a clear and powerful exposition of that view. It remains one of the classic treatises of the Anglican ecclesiology. The Apology provoked a fresh attack from the Catholics. What with these writings and controversies, the cares of the diocese, activity in the general work of the church, and assiduous preaching, Jewel's never very strong health gave way. In 1571 he came home from Parliament much exhausted, but immediately undertook a visitation of his diocese. To the remonstrance of a friend he answered, "A bishop had best die preaching," and it was not long before the end came, in September, 1571.
    • Edwin Charles Dargan, A History of Preaching from the Apostolic Fathers to the Great Reformers A. D. 70–1572 (1905), p. 508
  • As for the Apology, it hath not only in all points and respects satisfied me, (by whom all your writings are so wonderfully well liked and approved,) but it appeared also to Bullinger, and his sons and sons-in-law, and also to Gualter and Wolfius, so wise, admirable, and eloquent, that they can make no end of commending it, and think that nothing in these days hath been set forth more perfectly. I exceedingly congratulate your talents upon this excellent fruit, the church upon this edifying of it, and England upon this honour.
    • Peter Martyr to John Jewel (24 August 1562), quoted in The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others, With Some of the Helvetian Reformers, During the Early Part of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1842), p. 339
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