KEY Commentary Side Textual Bibliographic Scriptural

to heare them raue and rage as mad men. And therfore saith the scripture cursed is he that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arme / that is to saye / his strength. And euen so cursed is he that hath no nother beleffe but because men so saye. Cursed were he that had no nother why to beleue then that I so saye. And even so cursed is he that beleueth only be cause the pope so saith / and so forth thorow oute all the men in the worlde.

99/10–11 these . . . life. Cf. John 20.31.

99/11–12 these . . . deceaue you. Cf. 1 John 2.26.

99/12–13 Paul and Peter . . . places. Cf. 1 Cor. 4.14, 2 Pet. 3.1.

¶The faith that dependeth of a nother mans mouth is weke.

99/16–18 kinges . . . not erre. Cf. CWM 6/1.183/31–184/19. Henry VIII's Assertio septem sacramentorum (1521) met Luther's claims that the sacrament of Holy Orders is not found in Scripture by constructing an argument for God's teaching the church not only by Scripture but also by apostolic oral traditions. The starting point was Luther's own statement that the church is endowed with the power rightly to discern God's word from human words, as in its delimitation of the biblical canon, Babylonian Captivity, 1520 (WA 6.561; LW 36.107). If this be the case, the royal Assertio argues, then the church must also be able to discern the "divine sense" of Scripture from human glosses and comments; otherwise having the Scriptures would not suffice for the transmission of true teaching. Then Henry goes a step further by claiming that the same reason, the avoidance of error, grounds a power by which the church discerns God's teachings et in his quae non scribuntur ("also in these things that are not written"). This third point is especially relevant regarding the sacraments, so that the church would not err by placing its trust in spurious signs that do not mediate God's grace (Assertio, CC 43.208–9). The king's book against Luther has long been considered to be the work of royal theological advisors, but the identity of those who shaped the arguments has eluded scholars. David Daniell (252) acknowledges that "Thomas More himself claimed only a minor role" in Henry VIII's book. Yet Daniell finds in the Assertio the bitter attack on Luther's character and the cautious approach to papal primacy found in More's known writings. At his trial More stated that he was "only a sorter out and placer of the principall maters therin contayned" (Roper 67/18–19), a claim that would have been foolish if at odds with Henry's own recollections, cf. Alistair Fox, Thomas More: History and Providence (New Haven: Yale UP, 1983) 128. In his critical edition, Pierre Fraenkel sees More contributing only minimally to the content of the Assertio, less than John Longland, Bishop of Lincoln, and Edward Lee, later Wolsey's successor as Archbishop of York (1531–44). Fraenkel also holds that John Fisher 's role was greater than is ordinarily thought (Assertio, CC 43.20–21). But Henry's three-step argument for ecclesial inerrancy in discerning non-written traditions, as related above, has no echo in the "ten truths" of Fisher's criteria of doctrinal validity, as set forth in the Prooemium of his 1523 Assertionis Lutherianae confutatio , now in Fisher's Opera omnia (Würzburg: Fleischmann, 1597) 277–96. (JW)

If I haue no nother fealynge in my faith then because a man so saith / then is my faith faithlesse and frutelesse. For if I haue no nother felynge that lecherie is synne then that the pope so preacheth / whom I se before my face sett vppe in Rome a stues of .xx. or .xxx. thousand hores / takynge of every pece tribute yerly / and his bisshopes with all other his disciples folowynge the ensample mightily / and the pope therwith not content / but to sett vpp therto a stues of younge boyes agenst nature / the committers of which synne be burnt at a stake amonge the turkes / as Moses also commaundeth in his lawe / and the pope also to forbid all the spiritualltie / a multitude of .xl. or .l. hundred thousand to mary / & to geue them licence to kepe euery man his whore who so wyll: if I saye / I haue no nother felynge in my faith that lechery is synne then this mans preachinge / I thynke my faith shuld be to weake to beare moch frute. How coude I beleue a man that wold saye he loued me / if

99/20 his grace. Henry VIII's Assertio was placed first in Fisher's Opera omnia (6–79), followed by a treatise that Fisher certainly wrote, Assertionum defensio (81–100, misnumbered 110). Thanks to Nelson H. Minnich for these references from the reprint (Farnborough , Hants.: Gregg, 1967). There is an English translation, not easily accessible: Assertion of the Seven Sacraments, ed. Louis O'Donovan, tr. anon. (NewYork: Benziger, 1908). Tyndale discussed the traditional seven sacraments in Obedience (M1-P3v). Elsewhere (in Prelates C3r-v, K4v and Obedience E6v) Tyndale writes scornfully of opposing the authority of the king's book to the authority of Scripture. He also mocks the title "Defender of the Faith," which Leo X gave Henry VIII in 1521 as a reward for writing the Assertio. Tyndale reviews the major events of the reign of Henry VIII (king, 1509–47) from his accession to the dismissal of Wolsey in 1529 (Prelates G4—K4v). These include the shifts of alliance among England, France, and the Empire, the marriage in 1514 of Henry's sister Mary to Louis XII of France. For further references to Henry VIII's military and diplomatic moves against France, cf. Prelates F8v; ObedienceV2v, V4v. Unlike the other English reformers, Tyndale upheld the validity of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536) (Prelates H4v—K1v). His defense was omitted from the 1548 and 1549 editions of Prelates, as well as from the 1573 Whole Works, but was restored in the 1831 edition by Thomas Russell and the 1849 edition by Henry Walter (PS 2.319–34).

99/23–25 whatsoeuer . . . liuinge. Cf. CWM 6/1.185/1—3. More does not limit the church to "the pope and his brode" (99/23), but includes the Fathers (e.g., CWM 6/1.38/22), general councils (CWM 6/1.62/24, 125/12), and "the hole congregacyon of crysten people" (CWM 6/1.107/23). In Dialogue More does not deny the witness power of miracles, which he examines in Bk. 1, Ch.4– 17. In Bk. 2, Ch. 11, More discusses various saints honored for their martyrdom or good works; he also acknowledges the existence of superstitious devotions to the saints.

99/27 though one pope condemne a nother. Tyndale refers to Honorius I (pope, 625–38), whose utterances about Christ's having a single will and operation were condemned by his successors and then by the sixth ecumenical council Constantinople III in 680–81. The last judgment, by Leo II (pope, elected 681, reigned 682–83), mentions Honorius by name (DS 510–22, 544, 556, 566; 2NPNF 14.351). See Georg Schwaiger, "Honorius I," TRE 15.566–68. (JW)

99/30–32 layde . . . polaxes. Cf. Matt. 27.60, 66, Mark 15.46, Luke 23.53, John 19.40.