Rudolph Gualther (1519-1586)
Secondary Sources: Brief Biography:
1) Gwalther, Rudolf (also Walther, Walthard, Gualther; 1519-1586), third Antistes (or Bishop) of the Reformed Church of Zurich, following Bullinger and Zwingli in that office. Gwalther was Bullinger’s student at Kappel in 1528, and later, upon taking up residence in Bullinger’s house in Zurich in 1532, came to be treated almost as a son. In 1537 Gwalther traveled to England, and from 1538 to 1541, with a scholarship from Zurich, he studied at Basel, Strasbourg, Lausanne, and Marburg. He attended the Colloquy of Regensburg with the theologians from Hesse in 1541, where Calvin was also present. Upon returning to Zurich in 1541, Gwalther married Regula Zwingli, the daughter of the reformer, who also was a resident in the Bullinger household. After her death in 1565, he married Anna Blarer. In 1541 Gwalther became pastor at Schwamendingen. The following year he succeeded Leo Jud as pastor of Saint Peter’s church in Zurich. For more than thirty years he worked closely with Bullinger until the latter’s death in 1575. In his Testament, Bullinger named Gwalther his successor.
As the leader of the Zurich church, Gwalther defended the Zurich version of the Protestant faith, especially against the Lutheran authors of the Formula of Concord. He was instrumental in developing good relations between the Zurich church and other Reformed churches in Europe. He had many contacts in England, where he was very influential, particularly as an advocate of the Zurich model of the state church. Gwalther’s son, Rudolf, received a master of arts degree from the University of Oxford in 1574, and Gwalther regularly corresponded with English bishops and others.
Gwalther’s works include Latin homilies on all the gospels, as well as on Acts of the Apostles, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and the twelve minor prophets. He also edited three volumes of the works of Zwingli and translated many of Zwingli’s German works into Latin. Gwalther’s famous work on the Anti-Christ (Der Endtchrist, 1546) was translated into several languages. He wrote poems and two works on metrics. He even tried his hand at drama (Nabal comoedia sacra, 1562). After his death his sermon notes on Esther, Isaiah, Psalms 1 to 94, and on all the books of the New Testament except Revelation were published. J. Wayne Baker, “Gwalther, Rudolf,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand (Oxford University Press, 1996), 2:203.
2) Gualter, Rodolphus, son-in-law of Zwingli, and one of the first Swiss Reformers, was born at Zurich Nov. 9, 1519, succeeded Bullinger as pastor, became superintendent at Zurich in 1575, and died Nov. 25, 1586. His commentaries are highly esteemed and rare, viz. HomiliF cccxi in MatthFum (Zurich, 1590-96, 2 vols. fol.):–Homil. clxxv in Acta (Zurich, 1577, fol.). He wrote also a strong anti-papal treatise, Antichristus (Zurich, 1546, 8vo). A complete edition of his works appeared at Zurich in 1585 (15 vols. 8vo).–Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Généale, xxi, 810; Winer, Theol. Literatur, ii, 555; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliographica, i, 1350. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, eds. John McClintock and James Strong (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), 3:1024.
Online Source: Theological Meditations
Salvation pertains to all men:
1) Howbeit, because this bliss or felicity shall not seem to pertain to a few persons, or to one Nation only: he shows expressly how far it ought to be extended, including within the blessing that comes by Christ, all the kindreds of the earth. For (as Paul says) he that ordained these things, “is not the God of the Jews only, but of all Nations also.” And we are everywhere warned, that touching our salvation, there is no difference of nations before God, but (as Peter afterward testifies) “in all people they that fear him, and work righteousness, are accepted with him.” Further Christ himself says, that the salvation, whereof he is the author, appertains to all men, where he testifies in the Gospel, that “many shall come from the East, and from the West, and rest with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Whereunto this also appertains, where he gives the commandments to his Apostles to preach the Gospel over all the world, Mark 16, Act. 1. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 187.
Christ sent into the world to save mankind:
1) It is known both to Barbers and bleary eyed (as they say) what hard and unworthy things, either to be spoken or believed, they beat into tender minds. Such as these are, must needs be enemies of the Gospel, which accused and condemns these mad and furious errors. But we must not therefore give place unto them, but rather according to Paul’s ensample, strive earnestly against them. And what way we must do so, we are taught by the same ensample. For it is no doubt but the Philosophers defended their matter with quaint fallacies, and many words. But Paul avoiding vain contention of words, sets before them Jesus Christ only, and his resurrection, declaring that these two things are sufficient to convince all the dotages of Philosophers and Heretics. For if God sent Jesus into the world to purge the sins of men, and to save mankind, neither can the opinion of Epicureans, Stoics, nor Justisciaries stand, which either say God regards not the things appertaining to man, or attribute salvation to the merits of our works. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 662.
Christ, the promised savior to mankind:
1) Paul acknowledges both these natures. For how can he but acknowledge his human nature, which entreats of him that was taken and crucified by the Jews, and who he knew died, and who elsewhere he testifies was born of the Jews concerning his manhood? But where he says, he is the Son of God, he cannot deny his divinity. For what other thing should be born of God, than God? So he taught that Jesus was both God and man: God from everlasting, and in a time thereunto ordained made man, as otherwise he shows. Furthermore, he declared his office, and shows that he was Christ, that is, anointed of God. Kings and Priests in time past were anointed according to an ancient and old usage. And because the savior promised to mankind must be a king, and a Priest, therefore God would have him called by the name Messiah, or Christ, that is to say anointed. The other point of Paul’s doctrine is that Jesus, which is true God and man, was also that promised Savior of the world, whom the ceremonies of the law did shadow, and the oracles of the Prophets said was to come. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 407.
Christ, the Savior of the world (sample):
1) And peter teaches us that by the Prophets in times past, were inspired with the Spirit of Christ, by revelation of which Spirit, they, they prophesied long before, both the afflictions that Christ should suffer, and also the glory that he should have. Also the Archangel Gabriel promises that Mary the Virgin should conceive and bring forth through the operation of the Holy Ghost. As touching the Apostles, there is no man will affirm, that is in his wits, that they utterly lacked the Spirit of God, until the day of Pentecost. For although their weakness and imperfection was great: yet they both knew Jesus Christ, and plainly confessed, that he was the promised Savior of mankind, which thing, as Christ testifies, they could not do, without the revelation of the Holy Ghost. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 74.
2) But let us see the end of this Sermon which Peter infers in these words: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for surety, that God has made the same Jesus Christ whom you have crucified, Lord and Christ.” This is a very brief, but yet a grave sentence, and very Apostolic, every word whereof is able to minister an argument, and matter of a long sermon. But because we shall everywhere have occasion to speak more at large of these things, we will in a few words note unto you, what Peter means by this saying. First he speaks to “all the house of Israel.” In the name of “the house,” he comprehends all sorts and degrees of men, teaching us that Christ is the universal savior of all men, with whom there is no respect of persons. And this is no light or slender token of the goodness of God, that to a most corrupt people, and yet imbued with the blood of Christ, he does vouchsafe to promise all salvation in his Son. Furthermore, “let them know for a surety,” says he. Ergo, our salvation in Christ is certain, and such as any man may safely trust to, for he cannot deceive, which is the very truth itself. Thirdly, he shows what all men ought to know: “that God has made this Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ.” He calls “Lord” because he is the redeemer. For who is ignorant that redeemers have a certain rule or Lordship over them, whom they have either redeemed with their money, or with peril of their life: for this cause he says in the Prophet: “I am the Lord: This is my name, and my glory will I give to none other.” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 127.
3) In the mean time, living in the court, among the Nobles of the Realm, he [Moses] seemed to have little regard of the people, which thing Steven manifestly teaches, where he says, when he was full forty years of age, it came into his heart to visit his brethren? Who out that thought into his heart? Or else could it spring of itself, in such a one, as had been brought up in Courtly pastimes, and taught in the sciences of Egypt? No. Then it was the secret motion of the Holy Spirit, which twitched Moses by the ear, being as one in a sleep, and awoke his mind, with the consideration of ancient promises, making him join himself to that people, of whose stock he understood, that the Savior of the mankind should be born. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 320.
4) And again afterward, he says, it was[?] & though whose working and power Moses wrought signs and wonders in Egypt, and which was guide unto the people by the way of the desert, when Paul the Apostle testifies to have been Jesus Christ that promised savior of the world (I. Cor.10.). Steven therefore calls this Jesus the Angel of the Lord, not for that he acknowledged in him, no greater thing, or of no more excellence than in an Angel, but as seeming to imitate Isaiah, who on a time called him the Angel of messenger of the great Counsel, not in that he took on him a nature Angelical (which thing Paul to the Hebrews. 2. chap. expressly denies), but in that the was sent of God the Father into the world, and accomplished the great and eternal devise, and counsel of God concerning the redemption of mankind. For Paul teaches, that we were chosen in him “before the foundations of the world were laid.” And peter says, he was predestinate or foreordained from everlasting, that we should be redeemed though his merit. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 326.
5) Because God has appointed Jesus Christ his Son, to be the universal Savior of the whole world: therefore it behooved that the Gospel also wherein is contained the way of salvation, purchased by him, should be preached among all Nations. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 375.
6) As God the Father has included all the means of our salvation in Jesus Christ his Son: so he would that he should be the savior and Redeemer of all nations, and not of one people only. Whereof may be gathered evident arguments, both for the first promises and oracles of the Prophets, and also of the last commandment of Christ, when he sent forth his Apostles into all the world, to preach the Gospel. And whereas the Jews being puffed up with the prerogative of the law and ceremonies therefore, used to despise other Nations, and would not vouchsafe to admit them into their congregation: it was need there should be some peculiar demonstration, to declare that the stop of the law was broken down by Christ, and that the grace of God was offered unto the Gentiles also without the righteousness of the law. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 460.
7) Because God had appointed Jesus Christ his Son, to be the Savior of all the world: therefore it was requisite that all nations should be brought unto him by the preaching of the Gospel, as appears by the Oracles of the Prophets, and by the commandment of Christ, where he bade the Apostles to go into all the world, and bring him Disciples out of all nations. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 475-476.
8) As God ordained his Son from everlasting, to be the savior of mankind: so he prophesied in the beginning of the world, that there should be perpetual enmity and contention, between the Devil and him, when he said unto the Serpent: “I will set enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed: the same shall tread down thy head, and though shalt tread upon his heal.” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 650.
9) Thirdly, is declared the fountain whence this doctrine springs. For Paul reasons of Christ, out of the law of Moses and the Prophets, proving that in him were performed, whatsoever things they foreshowed of the promised savior of mankind. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 900.
10) Now it is not possible, that there should be any salvation, where it is sure, that the wrath of God abides. But for as much as the bishop of Rome believes not in the Son of God, nor has not all his faith & trust set in Christ alone, that only savior of the world: it must needs be, that the wrath of God abides upon him, and that he is the lost and bond-slave of damnation. And the bishop of Rome’s hole life & doctrine argues, that he is most far off from the faith in Jesus Christ, which having redeemed us all with his precious blood, upon the alter of the cross, broke the power of and lordship of death through his death, and by his glorious ascension into heaven, set upon the gates of everlasting blessedness unto us wretched sinners, and now before God the Father of heaven, he appears our only patron and mediator, and makes sure entrance for us, unto the throne of grace. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 96a-b.
11) Now remains the seventh and last work of Anti-Christ, which is specified in a few words, by Daniel in his 7th chapter where he writes, that the little horn (that is to say, Anti-Christ) made battle against the saints, & prevailed against them. And indeed, this is his own right natural work, for without it he could in no wise be Anti-Christ. For seeing Anti-Christ is the adversary of Jesus Christ, our Lord & only savior, both in name and matter, he must needs make war against all them, that faithfully believe in Christ, & are sanctified by his merit & death. For they are not only called saints in the Scriptures, which are departed this life, and reign in heaven (as the rude sort of Popish people are wont to think), but all such also as are sanctified, cleansed, & washed by the blood of the Son of God, yea & all manner of faithful people, that know that they are scoured clean, from the filth of their sins, by the only merit of Christ’s death & passion, and steadfastly believe, that they are made righteous before God the Father, & shall live after this life for ever, and enjoy the benefits of such a joyous sanctity, as never shall end. And these saints has the B. of Rome always made battle against, with violent force of his tyranny, as one that could never abide the faith & religion that they were of. For if men hold of none, but only Christ, if they put their whole trust in the merit of his death, & if they confess him to be the sole & only savior and redeemer of the whole world: then may the B. of Rome put up his pipes, that he may take his leave of his great gaining money mart, then his pardon merchandise stinks, that his Bulls are not set a straw by, then goes his great gains of gold and silver away, that he had wont to come in for the souls, that lye pewling in the pains pains of his pike-purse purgatory. Then may he piss out the flaming fire of that cold scolding house, for any more vantage it brings. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 148a-149a.
Christ sent to reconcile mankind:
1) And it was not like that such a Prince2 could delight in other Nobles and Counselors, than such as were like to himself, what public corruption of manners was in all degrees, at that time, may easily be conjectured by the writers of those days, and by the continual sermons of John, of Christ, and his Apostles, concerning repentance, whereof there had been no such need, if all had been naught. And for an accomplishment of all vice, there was the contempt and hatred of God and his Word. For where God had sent his Son into the world, and by him had appointed to reconcile mankind again unto himself, and had everywhere published the healthful word of grace, a great many were bold, not only to contemn and hate it, but also most cruelly to persecute it: insomuch that even among the Jews, which gloried in the name of God above all other nations, the word of God could not be brooked. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 482.
Salvation purchased for all:
1) Before we enter unto Peter’s words, we have an example in him to mark, which teaches us the right trade how to preach the Gospel: That consists herein to make all men understand how the promises of the gospel appertain unto them. For unless they be hereof assured, they neither can make great account of them, nor3 yet surely trust unto them. Which thing is the case that Paul is so diligent in proving the vocation of the Gentiles. For in vain should the Gospel have been preached unto them, except they had known that the salvation purchased by Christ, had as well belonged to them as to the Jews. For this case all the promises of the Gospel, are universal, and may be applied to all men, which with true faith will embrace them. “Come unto me,” (says Christ), “all ye that labor and heavy laden,” (Matt. 11.) &c. “So God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son for us, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish but have life everlasting,” (John. 3.) And in another place he says, that he prays for all them that should believe in him through the preaching of the Apostles (John. 17.). Whereunto also is to be referred that that John says, that is, how “all which are sinners, have Christ for their advocate, because he has given himself an atonement for the sins of the world,” (1 John. 2.). And Paul oftentimes in the business of salvation excluded all respect of persons, and testifies that all they that believe in Christ, have salvation given them of God in him. See Rom. 10. Gal. 3. Col. 3. Ministers must so mind and remember these things, that they must debar no man from the universal promises of God, but mist so devise and order the word of the Gospel, that no many may doubt of the certainty of his salvation, but may understand that the merit of Christ belongs to them all indifferently. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 184.
Salvation restored to mankind:
1) First, of the place he admonishes them, commanding them that they depart not from Jerusalem, but to wait there fore the promise of the Father. Here the City of Jerusalem is appointed, to be the singularist affairs and purposes that ever happened in the world. And as the Son of God, by the sacrifice of his body and blood, in this City restored mankind again to his salvation: for in the same place, he would first have his Apostles illuminated with his Holy Spirit, and begin the preaching of the Gospel. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 16.
Christ died for the sins of all men:
1) “Again, when he commends the preaching of the Gospel to his Apostles, he will first have repentance to be taught, next after which, he will have remissions of sins to be joined. Therefore Peter does not without a cause proceed in this order, that speaking of the death of Christ, he first proves his hearers to be guilty, and to be the authors thereof. And so it is necessary to have Christ’s death preached in these days, that all men might understand the Son of God died for their sins, and that they were the authors thereof. For thus it shall come to pass, that men shall learn to be sorry in their heart for their sins, and shall embrace the salvation offered them in Christ with the more fervency of faith.” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 108.
Sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world:
1) But now let us speak also of such matters, as have chanced in our time, that we may see, how Paul the Apostle’s prophecy is fulfilled at this day. At such time as it pleased God our Father, to set his people at liberty, which had been long held in bondage, and to bridle Anti-Christ’s tyranny, he chose the small vessels and as were of no reputation, to confound by them these things that seemed most mighty & invincible. For two or three faithful doctors & ministers of churches being illumined with the Spirit of God, when they grown to more prefect knowledge pf the Scriptures, uttered openly the breath of the Lord’s mouth, that is to say, the word of God, and weaponed many a one with the same sharp sword. That what men had once gotten that weapon in their hands (to keep their heads against the crafty wiles of the false prophets) they began to acknowledge Jesus Christ, and to believe, that he is the only head of his church, the chief priest and king, sufficient for the sins of the world, and the only mediator and advocate with the heavenly Father, yea and such a one that is never absent from his church, and needs not the service of any vicar in his room. And indeed, the knowledge of these matters does also reprove the lies and legier demayne of the B. of Rome, to the intent they might see on the other part, that he is neither the head of the church, nor the high priest and king, & much less the vicar of Christ our Savior. They have moreover learned, that the Mass is no sacrifice for sins, nor the Popish absolution is of any authority. Rodulphe Gualter, AntiChrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 175a.
Sins of the World:
1) Secondly, it is very worthy the consideration, that Christ takes an argument from baptism, to prove to us his Apostles the truth of his promise. We are taught hereby that the Sacraments do so seal the promises and benefits of God, that we need no wit to doubt of the same. For God mocks us not with vain shows and promises, but whatever he promises in word, and seals with sacraments, the same he uses to perform in deed. He promises us by the preaching of the gospel forgiveness of sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of adoption, whereby w are made the children of God. Therefore whosoever believes the promise of the Gospel, he is so certain of the forgiveness of his sins, of his adoption, and the possession of the heavenly inheritance, as he is certain he is washed with baptism. By the like reason we are taught in the Gospel, that the flesh and blood of Christ were given and offered on the altar of the cross, for the life of the world, that the sins of the world should be purged with the sacrifice of the immaculate lamb: Christ has joined to this promise his supper, the remembrance of his death, in stead of a seal thereof. Therefore whosoever believes the Gospel, is as certain that Christ’s body and blood was offered for his sins, and is as surely fed with the merit of Christ’s body and blood, unto life everlasting, as he is sure that he receives part of the bread and wine of the Lord’s table, according to Christ’s institution. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 23.
2)Yet no man so understands these things, as though Peter went about to excuse Judas’s heinous offence, and to lay all the fault thereof in God. For that is not the meaning of the doctrine providence which governs all things, that we should make God the Author of sin, because whatsoever men do that is naught, they do it not to fulfil God’s purpose, bit to satisfy the cogitations and desires of their own wicked will. It is plain indeed that it was God’s determination, that his Son Jesus Christ should be betrayed, through the craft of his Disciple, and should come into the hands of his enemies, and being condemned to death, should be nailed to the cross where he should purge the sin of the world by the Sacrifice of his body. But if a man consider Judas, the worker of this treason, he in so mischievous a deed, had nothing less before his eyes than God’s purpose, and the redemption of mankind, but being blind and wounded with covetousness, fir pollutes himself with theft (as John says) &c, afterward with treason. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 53.
3) But there is another cause also, why Peter would make mention of the resurrection. For this is the end & accomplishment of our redemption, as Paul shows at large in the first epistle to the Corinthians, in the xv Chapter. For sin is the sting & power of death, whereunto all men were subject. But that death is overcome and vanquished, the rresurrection of Christ does manifestly declare. Wherefore sin also, by means whereof death had power over us, by the merit of the same Christ, must needs be taken away. And if the guilt of sin be taken away, & death spoiled and unarmed, then who sees not how the Serpents head is all to crushed, and the tyranny of the Devil utterly subdued? Indeed he rages yet, and makes a horrible ado, but Christian minds are not afraid of his terrors. For how should he be able to hurt us, who having the darts of sin and death taken from him, is all naked and of no force? But this Christ has taken away, while he purged the sins of the world, upon the altar of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection has killed the force of death. Therefore, since Peter will have him, which must be taken into the number of the Apostles, to be witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, he appoints him the same office that the residue had, to whom it was said: “God into all the world, and preach the Kingdom of God unto all creatures. Whosoever believes and is baptized, shall be saved.” In the insane reason, they that in these days, will be called and taken for successors of the Apostles, are admonished of their duty. For although no man can require of them, to be such witnesses as saw Christ’s resurrection, yet their office is, truly and boldly to bear witness of Christ, and of all those things that he as well did, as suffered for us: that all men may understand, how the redemption and salvation of mankind, is contained in Christ only. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 65.
4) “Again, when he commends the preaching of the Gospel to his Apostles, he will first have repentance to be taught, next after which, he will have remissions of sins to be joined. Therefore Peter does not without a cause proceed in this order, that speaking of the death of Christ, he first proves his hearers to be guilty, and to be the authors thereof. And so it is necessary to have Christ’s death preached in these days, that all men might understand the Son of God died for their sins, and that they were the authors thereof. For thus it shall come to pass, that men shall learn to be sorry in their heart for their sins, and shall embrace the salvation offered them in Christ with the more fervency of faith.” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 108.
5) Furthermore, it is manifest, that he offered himself upon the altar of the Cross for the sins of all the world, and did there fully accomplish the business of our salvation, so that he truly said” It is done or fulfilled.” Therefore it must not be suffered that any shall say, Christ’s soul suffered anything after it departed his body. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 118.
6) He calls him Christ, that is to say, anointed, because he is a king and a priest. For it is plain by the Scriptures, that in the old time, kinds and priests were used to be anointed. And concerning the office of a king we spoke somewhat before, whereunto also belongs the name of redeemer or Lord. Surely, Christ makes laws as a king: according to them he governs the citizens of his kingdom, and defends & enriches them most liberally with heavenly treasure. He is also a priest. For both in times past he taught, & at this day teach us by the ministry of that word, whereof he is the Author of his Church. And he has made a full satisfaction by he sacrifice of his body, once offered upon the cross, for the sins of all the world. And as while he was one upon the earth, he prayed for us: so even at this day he “appeared before God for us a faithful high Priest and advocate.” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 127.
7) Further, let us see the confession that the Eunuch made, which in marvelous brevity, comprehends things of most importance: “I believe,” (says he) “that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This confession is much like to that that Peter made in the name of all the Apostles. He attributes unto Christ, whatsoever is spoken of him in Holy Scripture. Yea, if the matter be narrowly marked, it comprehends all the articles of our faith, or Creed Apostolical. For he acknowledges him to be God, no doubt, that God which Scriptures say was Creator of heaven and earth. He confesses no such God, as the Jews and Turks do, but such an one as has a son, born of himself, coeternal and consubstantial with him. He believes that this son was incarnated, as may be gathered for the things which we read in Isaiah. Further, he believed, that the Son of God is Christ, that is to say, anointed, where he understands his kingdom and Priesthood. Unto the Priesthood belongs all the passion of Christ, where he offered the sacrifice of his body and blood for the sins of the whole world. In the name of the kingdom, is conveyed his glorious resurrection; whereby he overcame death: also his ascension, whereby as by a most gorgeous triumph, he entered into heaven, and is sitting on the right hand of the Father, which declares him to be a most mighty King, to whom all power is given in heaven and earth, and which shall come again to give judgment and sentence upon all flesh. But he confesses Christ to be a king, must needs also confess that he has a church, wherein he reigns and governs. This Church is the Communion or fellowship of all Saints, to whom Christ has committed his inestimable treasures, to say, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the flesh, and fellowship of eternal life. These mysteries, I say, this short confession of the Eunuch comprehends. ” Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 386.
8) Although Peter made this sermon at Caesarea, in the house of Cornelius the Captain: yet the same appertains to all men, and is meet at this day to be most diligently considered of us. For beside that many things are gone before, which teach us that the Spirit of God was the author hereof: in this part peter fully included the whole order of our justification and salvation. And hereof he admonished his hearers in the proposition, as erewhile we saw, whereas he promised them to speak of the eternal word of God, which is Jesus Christ, who being Lord of all things, and therefore very God, did yet vouchsafe to come into the world, to reconcile mankind unto God the Father, and to be the author and preacher of that most wholesome peace. Now because by the words, he plainly testified, that our salvation is contained in Jesus Christ alone, he now begins by narration of the history, more at large to explicate and dilate the same, and that in such sort, that it may easily appear how all the things that belong to the redeeming of mankind, are performed by Christ…
Having now declared the beginning of the Gospel, he shows that Jesus Christ is the author thereof, to the end he would notify unto us, what and what manner of one we ought to believe he is. He expressly calls him Jesus of Nazareth, for that we should acknowledge it is he, whom by reason of the baseness of his country, and because of his poor and lowly conversation outwardly, all men condemned. Him he testifies that God anointed, teaching by these words, that he is the Savior of mankind, which unto God had long before been ordained. For he makes mention of anointing, because of the old figure. For of the old time the Priests and kings of Israel used to be anointed, who it is manifest, were figures of the Savior promised. And it was a received opinion that the promised Savior was called by the name Messiah or Christ, that is to say, anointed, because this denomination did declare his Priesthood and kingdom, and all the whole order of our redemption, whereupon the Disciples being asked in the gospel, whom they said Jesus was, they confessed he was Christ, that anointed of God. Moreover, least some man might thing him to be of no more excellency than other Priests and kings, who by reason of their outward anointing were called by the same name: Peter teaches that he was anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power, alluding no doubt to that verse of David, who prophesying of the kingdom of that promised Savior, says: “God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Thus he called the Holy Ghost, by whose guiding the Son of God became man, and so administered his kingdom and Priesthood, that there is perceived no grief or sorrow therein, but all kind of pleasantness and delight. For so he interprets the same in the Prophet, saying:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, for the Lord hath anointed me, and sent me to preach good tidings unto the poor, that I might bind up the wounded hearts, that I might preach deliverance to the captive, and open the prison to them that are bound, to restore sight unto the blind, and to declare the acceptable year of the Lord.
He is said to be anointed above his fellows, because God has not given unto him his Spirit by measure, but so abundantly that we all receive of his fullness. For he came down upon him in the visible form of a Dove, when he was baptized by John, so that John thereby knew, that he was the Savior that God did declare and manifest unto mankind. See John, the first chap. There be also other arguments, which prove he passed all other anointed of the Old Testament, whether they were kings or Priests. For although they were called Christs or anointed, yet had none of them power so to anoint their subjects, that they could call them after their anointing, Christians, that is, anointed. But this the Son of God has performed, who has anointed us, and made us kings and Priests, to God his Father. Also none of the anointed in the Old Testament, was worthy of divine honor and worship. None other has reformed the whole world. None has been had in such estimation among his scholars, that after his Master’s death he could find in his heart to die for his master’s namesake. Moreover, no man’s kingdom or priesthood has endured from ever unto this day. And because they were mortal men, they had need of Vicars and successors, to administer the office whereunto they were called. But the Son of God, being made the administrator of the everlasting kingdom, has received “all power in heaven and in earth.” And because he is present with his Church, he has need neither of Vicar nor Successor. The same is a king for ever, “after the order of Melchizadek.” For “he blesses us with all spiritual benediction.” He teaches us by the outward word, and inspiration of his Holy Spirit, and he “gives unto his church some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and teachers.” The same has “with one offering,” that is to say, with the price of his body and blood, purged the sins of all the world, and “has made perfect for ever, them that are sanctified.” Furthermore, being gone up into heaven, “he makes intercession for us, and is a faithful Bishop for us, in all those things that are to be done for us with God.” Wherefore it is truly said of Peter, that he is the anointed of God, that is to say, appointed to be the king and Priest of his people. Whereupon we gather that all they sin against the eternal decree of God, which make to themselves any other patrons of salvation, any other Saviors of their souls, any other Priests or intercessors. For in so doing, they rob the Son of God of his honor. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 449-450, and 451-452.
9) But Paul continues on in describing of God, saying that “God has needs of nothing.” Whereupon he gathers that heis not worshiped with hands, and that religion consists not in outward obsequies and duties of men. He proves the Antecedent, in that he says, “he giveth life and breath unto all men.” By this argument he impugns the vain affiance in priests, in whom our Ancestors reposed the chief part of religion. It seems Paul took his argument out of God’s word, where he accuses the Israelites, that thought he was worshiped and pleased with sacrifices. For he says: “I will take no Bullock out of thy house, nor he Goats, out of thy folds. For all the beasts of the forest are mine, and so are the cattles upon a thousands hills. I know all the fowls upon the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are in my sight. If I be hungry, I will not tell thee,” &c. But by this argument it appears all popish religion is condemned. For what else do they in that religion, but being deceived by wicked superstition, to Saints that have no need, yea, which know us not. Yea, the most of their oblations sever for Idols of all senses, or for Priests, that live wantonly and in riot. In the mean season superstition has taken in deep root, that it is thought a less offence, to kill a man and rob him, than to take a piece of a veil from an Idol, or the altar, to clothe a poor body with. O manners, O times.
But some man may say: “If God be not worshiped by sacrifices why did he appoint them for the people, by Moses and command them?” Let us consider, there were two kinds of sacrifices. The one was expiatory for sins, so called, not for that sins could be purged by the blood of Oxen and Goats (for that Paul plainly denies Heb 10) but, they prefigured Christ, whom, all the holy and godly men believed should die for the sins of the world, at a time long before appointed. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 667.
Furthermore, as Paul would have gone forward, and have declared a reason of his doctrine, the Jews with furious clamors cry out upon him, yea required to have him put to death. For as soon as they heard the Gentiles were mentioned, they could keep patience nor modesty no longer. The cause of this their importunity & unreasonableness was the proud conceit & opinion they had of themselves. For where they claimed to them only the name of God’s people, & upon the merit of their Levitical law, they thought it an heinous offence for any man to match the Gentiles, which were uncircumcised, & not under the discipline of the law, with them in the state of salvation. So arrogant & proud a thing is hypocrisy & dissimulation. Thus we know the Pharisees sometime were offended with Christ, for that preached salvation unto publicans. So nowadays the doctrine of the gospel seems a thing intolerable to the monks & their adherents, because it shows salvation in Christ unto sinners, & teaches that they are justified by faith only. For hereby they see their inventions, wherein they put all their trust thrown down. But let us confess the goodness of God, & not be grieved to have sinners converted unto the faith, to be partakers of salvation with us, seeing that Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, and our Savior did vouchsafe to be hanged among thieves, and there purged the sins of the whole world, to whom be praise, honor, glory and power, for ever. Amen. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 794-795.
10) This word Christ is taken out of the Greek & signifies the same, that the Hebrews understand by their word Messiah, & sounded in English, anointed. And the manner of anointing among the people of Israel was this, that the chief Bishops & kings should be anointed with holy oil, & so dedicated to their offices: insomuch, that (as concerning kings) anointing was the same among them, that the custom of Coronation is among us. Here unto the places of Scripture do bear record, as Exo. 29, Lev. 7, and, 8, and also 1 Kings 10th, & 16th, chap., where the anointing of Saul & David is treated of. And of this manner custom of anointing of Bishops & kings, that seed was promised from the first beginning of the world, even the savior of all mankind is called in Hebrew, Messiah: & in English, Anointed: for this case sake, that he is anointed with the oil of gladness, that is to say, with the Spirit of God, even he (that ever chief Bishop) which came into the world, & was made man: and in offering himself up for ours sakes, took away the sins of the world by his death, and delivered us quite from the cruel tyranny of the devil, death and hell: and so by this means he is become our most mighty valiant King, that proclaims the laws of everlasting salvation, and defends and revenges us, from all the crafty wiles and assaults of our enemy the devil. Finally like as he is the only Son of God, that for us was made man, and is the one only redeemer & savior of us all: even so must all they needs be false Christ, that set out themselves for redeemers and saviors of men. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 22b-23a.
11) To be brief, inasmuch as the name of Anti-Christ founded contrary and against Christ, it behooves us first of all to know & acknowledge our lord & savior Christ, with all those things, that properly[?] belong unto him. For thereby shall we openly see who is rthe right Anti-Christ, & who ought to be rightly called Anti-Christ.
Now as touching Christ Jesus, the Holy Scripture paint and set him out unto us of such sort, as him that being from everlasting very God (and of all one essence and substance with his heavenly Father) took upon him for our sakes (at the times appointed) the very flesh and nature of man, being like unto ours in all things, sin excepted, to the intent that he might be our chief high bishop: whose office he has so accomplished, that in offering himself on the altar of the cross, he made oblation unto God the heavenly Father, with a perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all the world. And when he had finished the business of our redemption on the altar of the cross, he was buried, & by his own divine power he raised up from death his body, that is to wit, the very manhood, which he had taken, to the intent he might break & put quite away the power of death, which he had over us. Then afterward he carried his body into the heavens, that he might set open unto us again the gates of heaven, which the transgression of our first parent, and the sins of us all, have shut up before: and that he might appear before God the Father, a faithful advocate and mediator for us, and might also be in instead of a pledge and a gauge, whereby our faith should be confirmed, whereby also we believe, that our bodies shall (through faith) have possession in the very same Kingdom of Heavens & everlasting blessedness. For which causes sake, the Holy Scripture is accustomed, to have the self-same Christ, our Head and High Priest, our King and Savior, our Redeemer, and Mediator, and even the one only way of life and everlasting salvation, which the Scripture also does make good, which most abundant testimonies as much as we have now spoken of. For Paul the Apostle writing in his Philippians, in the 2. Chap., says thus:
Christ Jesus wen he was in the shape of God (that is to say, very God) thought it not robbery to be equal with God: nevertheless he made himself of no reputation, taking on him the shape of a servant, and became like unto man, and was found in his apparel as a man (that is to say, a very man, made like unto us in all things, sin excepted), he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Again in the first epistle to Timothy the 1 Chap., “Christ Jesus,” (says[?] he) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief,” &c. And in another place, Hebr, 9, he writes on this wise: As it is appointed unto all men, that they shall once dye, and then comes judgment, even so was Christ once offered, to take away the sins of many, & unto them that look for him, shall he appear again without sin, unto salvation.
And a little before these words, we read that the same Apostle wrote on this manner:
For Christ is not entered into the holy places, that are made with hands (which are similitudes & examples of true things) but he is entered into very heaven, for to appear now in the sight of God for us, not to offer himself often, as the High Priest entered into the holy place, every year strange blood, for then must he have often suffered, since the world began. But now in the end of the world has he appeared once, to put out sin to flight by the offering up of himself.
All those saying belong also to this purpose, which the Apostles speak of Christ Jesus, in this meaning: as these be: “Christ is of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption,” 1 Cor. 1. “God forbid that I should rejoice, but in the cross of our Lord Jesus by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world,” Gal, 6. Also: “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ,” 1 Tim 2. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is it, that obtained mercy for our sins, not for our sins only, but also for the sins of all the world,” 1 John 2:2. “There is none other name given unto men under the sun, where they may be saved, but only the name of Jesus,” Acts 4. To this same end, pertains the voice of God the heavenly Father, wherewith he sounded once and eftsones[?] from heaven, saying: “This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am pleased,” Math. 13th &. 17th chapter. Hereunto must the saying be referred, that the Lord huimself (by his Holy Spirit) speaks in Isaiah the Prophet: “I the Lord, this is my name and i will not give my glory to any other.” But the glory of Christ our Lord is this, that he along (with his ransoming blood) has set us free from the tyranny of sin, death, hell, and Satan: and is therefore the Lord of us all (that is to wit, whom he has redeemed with his own blood, which was shed for us) and so ought to be acknowledged of us all. Concerning this glory and honor he says, and professed, that he will give it to none else. Out of which words of Christ, it shall appear by evident and steadfast demonstration, that he is Anti-Christ: whosoever goes about to rob our Lord and Savior Christ, of this glory and honor, and take it upon himself. Whosoever then takes upon himself, to give remission of sins, the benefits of the grace of God, the gifts of salvation & the kingdom of heaven, is Anti-Christ. Whosoever takes upon himself that honor of priesthood, to say, that he sacrifices for the sins of the world, is Anti-Christ. Whosoever makes himself an intercessor of God the Father, for the wick and the dead, by any other reason or manner, than we are commanded to pray mutually one for another (according to the trade of Scripture) is Anti-Christ. Whosoever declares, that we have now rehearsed (either altogether, or singularly by themselves) may be had any where else, than at our Lord Jesus Christ only: and teaches men to seek them elsewhere, than at him alone, which was offered once for all, & now sits bodily in heaven: he sets out unto us a false Christ, yea even Anti-Christ, and is of the number of those false prophets, whom Christ our Lord reckons up here by name. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 31a-34a.
12) Christ is described by the doctrine of the Gospel, as the only head of the church. But the B. of Rome challenging that that honor to himself, says, that he is the head of the church. And in thus saying, he either robs the church her head, Christ: else in making himself the head, making the church a double-faced church, and a most ugly monster. Christ’s doctrine sets out but one only Priest [Heb. 4. 5. 9. 10], that is to wit, Christ the very Son of God, being made man for our sakes, offered himself upon the altar of the cross for the sins of the whole world, once for all: with his sacrificing, he found eternal & sufficient remission of sins. But th B. of Rome not contented with this so excellent priest, challenges the title of the high priesthood to himself, & commonly consecrating new priests daily, to offer up Christ Jesus every day, for the sins of the quick and the also the dead. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 106a-b.
13) But we are told in other manner of tail (far wide from their minds) by the oracles of Christ and the Prophets, which testify with one accord, that Anti-Christ (even the bishop of Rome) with all his members shall cast hole into the unquenchable fire of everlasting damnation. This we are taught not only by oracles reporting this matter, but there are infallible reasons of this sentence contained in the word of God, and in the holy articles of our faith. For we learn by both, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the only way, the only door, and gate of salvation, whereby we may enter in to a kingdom of heaven. Furthermore they teach us, that Christ Jesus is the only head of his church, the only and chief priest, the only sacrifice for the sins of the world, and the only mediator and advocate unto God the Father for mankind: so that as many as vouchsafe to believe in him, shall live forevermore, and as many as will receive and acknowledge him to be their savior, shall be utterly cast away. Rodulphe Gualter, AntiChrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 178b-179a.
14) Hereof than this must needs follow, that must reckon them undoubtedly cast away from salvation, and (as John the Baptist says), under the wrath of God, that will not believe in him. Finally if we will believe in Christ Jesus, we must of necessity acknowledge him to be the only savior of the world, after such sort, as the Scriptures purport him to be. But that shalt thou never do, nor never shall be able to do, if thou will follow the bishop of Rome, and receive his faith and doctrine. For how shall thou acknowledge Christ to be the only head of the Church, if thou say, the bishop of Rome is the head of the same also? How will thou also confess Jesus Christ truly, to be the chief high Priest of all the whole world, if thou will acknowledge the bishop of Rome also to be the head and universal bishop (or priest) of all churches? How shall thou believe Christ to be thy only righteousness and satisfaction, of thou seek to be saved by the righteousness of thy own works & miracles? How shall thou be able to believe Christ to be the only sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and that being offered upon the altar of the cross, made full satisfaction unto his Father’s righteousness, if thou will not confess, that he in his own natural human body is offered up daily by drunk & whore-mongering filthy varlets, I mean the greasy mass-priests, for the sins of both the quick and the dead? Now shall thou believe that Christ Jesus is the only mediator and advocate for all men, if thou pray and call upon the saints departed continually, to be mediators for thee? Finally with what faith, shall thou acknowledge Christ to be the only way of salvation, and the door of true blessedness, if thou strive to go to heaven by the merits of thine own works: that is to say, by fasting, shrining, masses, stations, and by the protection and aid of Popish bulls and pardons, or by broiling in burning coal pit of the Pope’s purgatory. Rodulphe Gualter, AntiChrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 180a-181a.
15) In these words (most loving brethren in Christ) we are taught three things, which it is convenient for us (during the reign of Anti-Christ) not only to know, but also to follow. And first he repeats the same that he had spoken before, and bids us to believe them not, that say Christ is here or there: that is to say, that go about to show us a false Christ, or tell us that the gifts of God, which are given us by none, but only by Christ, are to be had elsewhere. Now that we may understand & follow this warning, as we should do, it is necessary for to cast remembrance, the sayings that are spoken in the Homilies before, both of the true Christ, I mean, the only Savior of the world, & also of the false Christs. He is the true Christ, whom the authority of the Holy Scripture describes to be very God and very man, the only Savior of the world, the only priest, the only sacrifice for the sins of the world, yea the only head of the Church, and men’s intercessor in heaven. As many that as show this Christ anywhere else, than in heaven: as many as appoint other heads of the Church, or other redeemers of the world, there sacrifices for the sins of the world, and other advocates, intercessors, and mediators, are comprehended in these words of Christ: and those even they, whom it is not lawful for us to believe, or give credence unto. And this is so openly done in the Papacy, of the Pope himself and his members, that no man can say nay to it. For first, that they are not wont to show Christ our Lord in heaven, which was crucified for us, and died, which rose again and descended into heaven, according to the articles of the Apostle’s Creed: but to tell folks, that he is either contained in a pretty little white cakes, or in churches consecrated for that purpose, which they are not afraid to address with these written words: Hic Deum adora, “Here worship God.” Rodulphe Gualter, AntiChrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 188a-190b.
16) This word describes our Savior unto us, after this sort. Jesus Christ is the true and natural Son of God the Father, of all one substance, nature & majesty with the Father from everlasting. And at the time appointed, he became for our sakes, not by laying away his Godhead, so that he which was God from everlasting, is now both very God & very man, in one inseparable person. And forasmuch as he became man, he suffered all things that a man may do, sin excepted. For he was born as a man, & grown & waxed strong in body, strength, & process of age. he was weary with travailing, he rested, & he suffered both hunger & thirst, he also wept for sorrow of heart. Yeah he was afraid of death, & the pains of death, & yet he abide them patiently & strongly, for our sakes. But before the time of his death approached, his will was to have his divinity known to men, not only by miracles & wondrous signs, but also opening the will of his Father, he gave is certain, and an absolute doctrine of salvation and blessedness. He chose disciples also & and he had instructed them with his Spirit, & in the doctrine of the truth, he might at his ascending into heaven, send them further into all the wide world. And when he died, he satisfied his Father’s righteousness by his death, and offering himself for us once for all, he made a sufficient sacrifice for the cleansing of the sins of the world. For by his death he broke the old serpents head, all to clattred[?] his power, and took his strength from him, and then by his glorious resurrection he overcame death itself. At last, when he went up into heaven, he set heaven’s grates wide open for us again, the which, sin had locked us out of: and would have the flesh which he took of us, to be the earnest penny and pledge of our resurrection and salvation in heaven. And now he sits in heaven, and is our only supreme bishop: which as he offered his body a sacrifice for our sins, even so does he make intercession for us continually before our heavenly Father, so as we (as much endangered with sin as we are) may safely approach the throne of grace. Rodulphe Gualter, AntiChrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 189b-190b.
Christ died for the salvation of mankind:
1) And to understand this matter the more fully. If we mark the B. Rome, he will profess with his mouth the selfsame God, whom we acknowledge in the articles of the Apostles Creed: howbeit playing the hypocrite in ths point, as he does in all other matters, he believes him not to be such a God, as he uses to profess him to be. For if a man mark his traditions, and strain him a little harder, he shall see, that he believes not that God the Father has a Son, which became man for our sakes, and (being offered up once for all on the altar of the cross for us) obtained forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and salvation for mankind. But he imagines a far other manner of God, that is daily conjured by mass-mongering priests, to come down into bread, or into the form of bread, and the substance of bread being changed into the very substance of Christs’ body, to be offered every day by the priests, upon the alter, for the sins of the quick & the dead. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 136a-137b.
Christ died for the life of the world:
1) It is to be marked how unto Christ’s ascension into heaven, he joins the sending of the Holy Ghost. This does he very prudently, and in order. For hereby he teaches us that though Jesus Christ have taken his body out of this world, yet ought he not be contemned. For he has not for all that, cast off the care of the Church, but by his Spirit is present with the same, by the which Spirit he works more effectually in the minds of those that be his, than before he did when he was conversant with us in body: wherefore he says unto the Disciples, that is expedient for us that he leave the world, and go to the Father. For so place should be given to the Holy Ghost, which we could not have so long as we did stick to his bodily presence. And surely, after that Christ had given his body upon the altar of the Cross for the life of the world, and had by the raising up thereof again, overcome death, there was not more for his body here to do upon earth. It remains therefore that by his glorious ascension, he should open the gates of heaven, which our sin had shut against us, and should become a pledge for us in heaven, whereby we might be assured of the inheritance & possession of heaven. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 125.
2) The Apostle Peter has taught Cornelius the Centurion, being appointed thereunto of God in such wise, that he has also set out before all men a general and most absolute doctrine of salvation. For he preaches unto him Jesus Christ the only savior of mankind, in whom all the Scriptures testifies, that all the means of our salvation is contained. And hereof in the discourse before now, he said two things. First that God anointed him, that is, ordained him to be the king and Priest of his people. Whereupon we gather that all those which appoint to themselves any other mediators or patrons of salvation, do sin against the eternal purpose of God. Next, he teaches how diligently and faithfully Jesus Christ used himself in his office. For he says he went about, and of his exceeding liberality offered the benefit of salvation to them that sought it not. And this was the end and purpose of all his doing, to bring all those that were oppressed of the devil, into the kingdom and liberty of the sons of God, which delivery he declared and showed by miracles, through the which he most faithfully relieved those that were vexed and troubled as well with incurable diseases, and with rage of devils, by the wholesome help and power of his word. Now, these things Peter in his place adds that which persisted and makes up the doctrine of salvation. For first he declares the order and manner that Christ used in the redeeming of mankind, then he shows what utility and profit comes to us thereby. Wherefore this place is worthy to be considered of us very diligently.
Before he declares the order and manner of man’s redemption, he confirms his doctrine by witnesses, saying: “And we are witnesses of all the things which he did in the land of the Jews, and at Jerusalem.” And it ought to seem no absurd or strange thing to any man, that Peter so boldly produces himself among his fellows, as witnesses of his sayings. For we have already oftentimes heard, how Christ appointed them to that charge, and a little hereafter, it shall be declared, that they were chosen of God, to bear witness of Jesus Christ, and of those things that he did concerning our salvation. These things teach us how grievously they offend, which disdain to believe the Gospel. For where the narration of the things that Christ did, is not bare and empty, but r has the testimony of God: it easily appears that this contumely or reproach must needs redound unto God, as has been otherwise, at large declared.
Howbeit, as concerning the manner of our redemption, which we said is chiefly entreated of this place, there are three things said of Christ, in which all those things are contained, that was needful to be done in this behalf. Among which, the first is the death of Christ, the which he touches but briefly, because it was well known. He says he was by the Jews hanged on a tree and killed. He makes mention of a tree, not so much because he would express his cruel and horrible death, as to put the hearers in remembrance of the mystery of that sacrifice, that Christ offered when he died for our sins. For it appears that sacrifices were wont to be offered and burned upon bundles of wood. And thus does Peter himself seem to interpret this place, where as in the second chapter of his first epistle, he writes, that “Christ bare our sins in his body, on the tree,” that is, he purged them by the sacrifice of his body, upon the altar of the cross. Christ teaches us the very same, where he says, that he will “give his flesh for the life of the world,” which is plain, he did nowhere but on the cross. Isaiah the Prophet is a copious expositor of these things, who says, Chap. 53, “He was wounded for our offenses, and smitten for our wickedness. For the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. We have all gone astray like sheep, every one hath turned his own way. But the Lord hath heaped upon him the iniquity of us all, &c.” All this pertained unto the Priesthood of Christ, “whom it behooved after this sort,” (as Paul says), “to enter heaven, not only by the blood of Oxen and Goats, but by his own blood, and offering up himself to put our sin to flight, and to take away the sins of many.” And of him, it behooved our redemption should take beginning, forasmuch as God being very angry with us, because of our sins, it was not lawful for us to come before his presence. And this is that profitable consideration of Christ’s death, if we thing upon the sacrifice of his body, which he offered for our sins. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 454-456.
Christ the redeemer of us all:
1) Hereof also that other matter is gathered, that as like as he himself is lost, even so does he make all the dispiples of his religion and sect, bond-slaves to perdition and everlasting death. For how can it possibly be, that they shall be able to come to the heavenly all of blessedness, which follow a guide, that goes (with straight and stedfast steps) the highway to hell?
Now shall we also say, it may be, that they should be united to Jesus Christ, the only redeemer of us all, which have chosen such a one to be their guide, that is against Crhsit in all things, and robs him of his honor, and shamelessly attributes the same to the other? In this case therefore, it is necessary to use most diligent circumspection. In this behalf it stands us in hand, strongly to sharpen our wits. Herein it behooves us to open the eyes of our mind, most dearly beloved brethren in Christ. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 97b-98a.
Redemption pertains to all men:
1) The chief thing here to be considered, was th remembrance of the law, which the Scripture says, was given that day and uttered by the mouth of God’s Majesty. It shall appear that this day, was appointed by God for this business, not without a cause, if we consider the number of the people which used to be present at this feast,4 and well mark Christ to be the truest, and best expositor of the old law. For it is every where seen that God used to notify and publish to all men, the things that concern our salvation. For he would have, (as Paul says) “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” It was therefore most commodious, that the preaching of the Gospel should begin upon one of the greatest holy days, and among the greatest number of people, that both the more people might be instructed, and also that the miracle of the Holy Ghost, which should shortly be published to divers nations, might after a sort prepare for the Apostle’s way of preaching. And the Lord observes in the Apostles, that thing which we read himself observes, while he was on the earth. For as he chose public places always to preach in: so was he wont on the holy days to go to Jerusalem, that as well his doctrine as miracles might be known to the more people. Yea, he would be crucified at the feast of Passover, that the knowledge of his death being profitable, might the sooner, and the wider be published abroad. It shall teach us, that the redemption made by Christ Jesus, is offered of God to all men, and appertains to all men, neither can we have any other surer consolation, anywhere in our temptations. Verily Satan will not lightly deny that Jesus Christ is a Savior and a Redeemer. But he uses this policy in assaulting our faith, that the redemption which is by Christ, appertains not unto us, and teaches us to measure the merits of Christ and the limits thereof, according to our worthiness or unworthiness. And it cannot be chosen, but here our faith must quail, forasmuch as there is no man, but finds himself most unworthy of salvation, when he thoroughly has considered his own nature. But the consideration of those things, which teach Christ to be the universal Savior of all them that believe in him, and a most bountiful Author of health, that is glad to benefit most men, does not strongly prop and bear up faith thus faltering. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 75.
Redeemer promised to mankind:
1) Luke has been very diligent in describing Paul’s conversion: so has he (as you have heard) declared his doctrine with no less diligence. The sum whereof was, that Jesus which was born of Mary the Virgin, was also the Son of God, and Christ, that is to say, our King and Priest, and that Redeemer that was once promised unto mankind. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 409.
2) As God promised unto our first parents his Son Jesus Christ, for a redeemer, who being made man of a woman should crush and break in pieces the head of the serpent: so did he afterward oftentimes preat that same promise, yea & would have all others to be grounded thereon. For inasmuch as in him he is reconciled to us, whatsoever good we receive from him. As oft therefore as the prophets promise to the ancient people either deliverance from enemies, or peace, or plentiful increase of the earth, or other temporal benefits of the like sort, they always for the most part interlace their promises prophesies as touching Christ, to the end of that by them, the godly may understand that God will not be wanting to his people, of whom it behooved the promised redeemer of mankind to be born, nor that they should doubt of the promises of common benefits, when as God would perform greater matters in his Son. Rodolph Gualther, The Homilies or familiar Sermons of M. Rodolph Gualther Tigurine upon the Prophet Ioel, (Imprinted in London for William Ponsonby, 1582), 71[a].
Redeemer of mankind:
1) For where long before, to acquit the Apostles of suspicion of drunkenness: it was needful the truth of the matter should be more openly declared. Therefore Peter teaches, that this was the work of the Holy Ghost, the sending of whom he proves by the z of Joel, to have been promised long before in the kingdom of the Messiah. This Joel prophesied in the time Isaiah and Micah, and forewarned the people of the wars that Sennacherib should make against them. And lest the godly should despair, and think that God had left off to care for his people any more, he comforts them, and shows how Israel should not quite be destroyed, because the be born of that people, whom God had ordained to be the Savior and redeemer of mankind, and for the more comfort of them, describes in few words, the kingdom of the Messiah. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 93.
2) The Apostle Peter in our yesterday’s Sermon, declared the chief articles of our Christian faith, showing us how Jesus Christ was very God and man, how he suffered death for us, and rose again from the dead. The end and use of all which, is to teach us to acknowledge him to be the redeemer of mankind that was promised. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 112.
3) Secondly, he declares the office of Christ, calling him a Prophet. Howbeit, Moses was not ignorant that Christ should be both a king, and the Redeemer of mankind, and denies it not in this place, but makes mention of office, which for his purpose and matter in hand, was chiefly to be required. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 179.
4) But that all the Scripture both of the Old and New Testament with one consent declares, that same in this sermon, Paul does plainly and consistently teaches, namely that Jesus Christ is the only redeemer and savior of mankind, in whom alone we have the blessing, righteousness, salvation, and life. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 532.
Redeemer of the world (sample):
1) And himself says in another place, power or virtue went from him, when he healed the woman that was sick of the bloody flow. Then he calls Christ’s works wonders, because they exceeded the common course of nature, and drew the minds of the beholders into an admiration and amazement. But because of things whose causes we know not, are oftentimes taken for wonders, when indeed they pretend nothing, at length he calls the things that Christ did, signs. For the works of Christ had a certain end, which was to bear witness of his Godhead, and of his office. For by them he was known to be both the Son of God and also that he was promised to be the redeemer of the world. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 106.
2) For Paul had seen, and not seen only, but had also proved by experience that Christ lived and reigned, and was an earnest defender of his people. Where it was easily for him to gather, that he [Christ] was the redeemer of mankind, and not only a mere man, but also such a God as he knew the Aposltes preached that he was. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 859.
3) O Lord Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God, the only redeemer and undeniable Doctor of the world, talking with his disciples, concerning the latter times, and the perils of the same (among other things) tells them beforehand, that false Christs and false Prophets shall rise up, to the destruction and marring of many men. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556), 41a.
Redeeming of mankind:
1) This also declares the unspeakable favour and mercy of God, wherewith he so tenderly loved us, that he had rather see his own Son dye on the cross, than that we all should be condemned. Herein also appears the infallibly truth of God. For he what would not then deceive us, when his Son’s life was in hazard, how should he deceive is in other things. This commends to us besides, the invisible omnipotency of God, which being covered with vile and mortal flesh, was able to vanquish Satan, and all his power, together with sin, death, & the gates of hell. This is an argument of his unsearchable wisdom, whereby he could invent such a remedy for the redeeming of mankind, which both served to set forth the mercy of God, and also satisfied the rigor of God’s justice. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 86.
Redemption of mankind (general statements):
1) But before we speak of his punishments, this is not to be passed over, that the Holy Ghost, being provoked with covetousness, & not for that he would further the redemption of mankind, according to God’s ordinance, his transgression can be excused by no means, which if we observe, it shall easily appear, that God’s providence defends them not, nor that our sins out to be laid at God’s charge: forasmuch as men sin of their own voluntary accord, who unless they be born again, of the effectual power of God’s Spirit and grace, can of themselves do nothing else but sin. Yet because it is evident that all things are ordered by his providence, sins may not be exempt or taken from his governance, unless we will deny the omnipotence of God, and attribute unto man, power to do any thing against the will of God. The providence of God stays not the sin of man, but going further, prescribes due pains for sins, and appointed divers executioners of the same pains, according to his own pleasure. Therefore let us acknowledge God no author of our sins, but rather an avenger, and by the consideration of his providence, we shall be and by perceive, that all his judgements are righteousness and truth. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 59.
2) Again, least the name of Ministry might seem to signify any vile or base condition, & that the contemners of the Gospel should take no occasion of ungodliness thereby, nor that Ministers themselves esteem ever the worst of their office, they make mention also of an Apostleship. By the which word we are taught that they are the Ministers of Christ & his Church which are occupied in that ministry. For an Apostle signifies as much as a Legate or one that is sent. But he is no Legate that runs of his own head, and handles his own matters, but he that is sent from the more excellent and superior, and is appointed for the entreaty and discussion of public affairs. Insomuch that Legates are not esteemed with wise men, so much for their own person’s sake, as they be for his worthiness from whom they are sent. And the Apostles were sent from Jesus Christ, as we heard before, who would have them be witness over all the world, of the redemption and salvation of mankind, which he had purchased by the merit of his incarnation and death. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 71.
3) Although Jesus Christ the Son of God by the merit of his death, has so overthrown the kingdom of the Devil, that he has no more power against the kingdom of Christ, yet ceases not, according to his ancient visage, still to assault the same: and Christ intermits nothing belonging to the redemption of mankind: So Satan for his part leaves nothing unsaid, to pull men from Christ their savior, and from the way of salvation. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 727.
1) We have here in this place to ob serve how great the outrageousness of sins and wickedness is, in God’s sight. For seeing that there is nothing dearer unto God than man, whom of his free grace he created at the beginning, and being lost, redeemed him afterward again by the blood of his son, horrible of necessity must that guilt be, whereby he is moved to turn upside down whole nations together. Rodolph Gualther, Certain godly Homilies or Sermons upon the Prophets Abdias and Ionas: Conteyning a most fruitefull exposition of the same, (Imprinted at London by Henrie Bynneman, for Rafe Newberie, dwelling in Flettstrete a little above the Conduue. 1573), 236.
1) Forasmuch as all the promises of God are founded in Christ Jesus, in whom alone the Father is well pleased with us: Joel (as well as the rest of the Prophets) does so entreat of the deliverance of the Jewish people, that withal he comprehends the mysteries of the universal redemption, which we have in Christ. Rodolph Gualther, The Homilies or familiar Sermons of M. Rodolph Gualther Tigurine upon the Prophet Ioel, (Imprinted in London for William Ponsonby, 1582), 105[b].
1) The third reason is deduced of the dignity of the Church, which appears in this, for that God has purchased it with his blood. He attributed blood unto God by a figured called communione or property of tongues, because Jesus Christ which is God from everlasting, at a time long before appointed, became man, and redeemed the Church with the price of his blood. Therefore the church is dear unto Christ, and they are guilty of the blood of Christ, that neglect the Church, and either abolish the profit thereof themselves, or else suffer it to perish and decay. Mark how the Church belongs to no one man, but unto God, who has redeemed and purged her with his blood, and espoused her unto himself. Therefore as no man may challenge unto himself, must look that they consecrate themselves to God only, and addict not themselves to worship any creature. All so this serves for our consolation, that it is impossible, that God should neglect them, whom he redeemed with so great a price. Think that there is the like reason before God of all creatures. For as every man is created after the image of God: so are they redeemed and purchased with the blood of the Son of God. Shalt thou go unpunished, if thou slander any of them, do him wrong, violently hurt him, or contumaciously disdain him, or offend him in religion, or conversation of life? Read the things written of Paul. Rom. 14. Which make much for this place, and the 8 chapter of the first to the Corinthians. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 751-2.
Redeemed souls perishing:
1) Hark (brethren) the presumptuous & horrible words of Anti-Christ, yea hear them not, but rather spit them out of your ears, & out of your hearts, that you are not polluted with them. For what Christian man can away with the hearing of them? Who is it, that can patiently abide them? We see (brethren) that readiness of God towards us, we see that softness and hearty purpose of God’s righteousness towards us to be such, that he disdains not to declare unto us wretched persons (which shall live here but a short space), a plain reckoning (almost) of all his judgments. But this man of sin, & that son of perdition, & that brothel of all fleshly filthiness, & all wickedness, when he is waited upon, with his train of dancing lecherous ruffians, & buggerers, will be under the judgment of no man, nor rend account of his office using unto no manner of man in the world, although he bring infinite souls of men, (that were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ), and bind innumerable people prentices, with the common enemy of mankind the Devil, unto the slaughter-house of everlasting damnation. And even this man it is, that takes upon him, to be the head of the church, and the only and most high shepherd of Christ’s sheepfold.
Is it then with property of an head, to rage against his own members, and to cast them upon sword and fire, to be destroyed? Is it the propriety of a shepherd, to run men mad upon his flock, worse than a wolf would? If the B. of Rome hurt the body of such as be his, if he rashly hurt the name that be his, if he take away their goods for filthy lucre’s sake, the apostolic canons despeche [to send away] him write out of his office: And shall all the holy Church than suffer him ragingly to run upon men’s souls, to destroy them, without correction? But to the intent they might mitigate the outrage of their blasphemy, by some manner of cloaked pretense, they devised to add this to: Except he be deprehended [to seize capture or arrest] out of the way from the faith.
For sooth a goodly addition, “O you block-head Cannonists.” Will you then say, that these be the works of faith, for the Pope to make innumerable people bond men, to the everlasting fire of hell? Or shall we say, that he has faith which makes them subjects to the torments of hell, whom Christ (the Son of God) has by his death and bloodshed, delivered from hell?
But this conclusion of this Canon was not added without the providence of God. For by this means it is evident, that the B. of Rome’s faith is not a lively and health giving faith, whereunto justification and salvation is commonly attributed in the Scriptures, but a certain other faith, far contrary from it. Which, like as it is in their power, to withdraw men’s souls from salvation, and make them bond-slaves unto perdition, so it pulls all then that obey his laws, away from Christ, the only redeemer of the world, and deprives and damned, so has he bound all other[s] that obey his voice, unto damnation: he is also that great and notable Adversary, which is contrary to Christ in all things, and repugns clean contrary against his life and doctrine, and is a tyranny most insolent, most arrogant, and most disdainful, exalted in his blasphemous heart, not only above miserable and mortal men, but also above e almighty and immortal God. Rodulphe Gualter, Antichrist (Imprinted in Sothwarke by Christopher Trutheall, 1556),120b-121b.
1) And when covetous men brag of religion, they use religion but for their gain also, and the more holy a pretense they set upon their covetousness, the more they offend. So through the covetousness of the Jewish Priests, it came to pass, that the Temple of the Lord was made a fair or market, and under the pretense of long prayers, the houses of the widows and fatherless were devoured. And the Apostles attribute this unto deceivers of the latter days, that they shall deny the Lord that redeemed them, and make money and merchandise of his members (2 Pet. 2.). Which Oracle if a man would compare with the usage of our days, he should confess that Peter had hit the nail on the head, for that now these many years all things have been old in the Popedom for money. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 632.
Mankind delivered from the power of the Devil:
1) Thirdly, as Moses delivered the people of God from the cruel tyranny of Pharaoh, brought them out of Egypt, and drowned them in the surges of the Read Sea: so the Son of God has delivered mankind from the power of the devil, and bursting[?] the bonds of sin and death, has slain Satan the spiritual Pharaoh, with all his preparation, engines and armor, through the merit of his blood. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 180.
1) Even so Christ ascending into heaven, commended the care of his Church to his Apostles, whom he testifies in the Gospel, to take as his friends. He instructs them with commandments, lease they through rashness or unfaithfulness should offend. The parables in the xxiiii , and xxv of Matthew, make for this exposition of this place. Let no man therefore think that he is in such danger of Tyrants, an deceivers, that he is left destitute of the aid of Christ, and so lies open to their pleasure, & cruelty: for he that has redeemed his sheep with the price of his own blood, and gave such charge of them, to his Apostles going out of this world, he undoubtedly beholds them still, and will not suffer any of them, to be taken out of his hand. Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 8. SEE p 15b
Christ prayed for those who crucified him:
Moreover by this Priesthood, he taught us, he prayed for us, and for all them which hanged him on the Cross, and he offered his body & blood, which he took of us to be a sufficient sacrifice, and acceptable to God for our sins… Radulpe Gualthere, An Hundred, threescore and fifteen Sermons, uppon the Acts of the Apostles, trans., by Iohn Bridges, (London: 1572), 6.
1For the following excerpts, I have not included the marginal references. I have modernized some of the spelling, but have retained the original idiom. I have indented the one extended quotation in Gualther’s sermons on Acts. The pagination for the sermons on Joel is irregular. I have signified left or right page by adding [a] or [b].
2The Emperor of Rome.
4Gualther is here speaking of the Feast of Pentecost.