John Rainolds On The Jewishness Of Roman Masses And Instruments

I have showed, how. And if you see it not: the veil may be the cause, which is very likely to be laid on your heart in reading of the new testament, as it was on the heart of others, in reading of the old. …Whereas Christians, of the other side, neither have those altars, or offerings made thereon to join with their spiritual sacrifice of praise, and they may sing the songs of the Lord in all places. No land is strange: no ground unholy. Every coast is Jewry, and every town Jerusalem, and every house Zion, and every faithful company, yea every faithful body a temple to serve God in. …But these points of difference between us and them be perhaps the harder for you to understand, because your Popish worship is so like the Jewish, both for the temple, and the ceremonies, that you may justly think their worship was in spirit and truth as much as yours. For as the Priest with them was severed from the people by the division of the sanctuary and court of the temple: s so with you, by the chancel and body of the church. As with them he burned incense at the altar: so with you he doth. As with them he was clad in an Ephod, a miter, a broidered coat, a girdle, a breastplate, and a robe, and they who served him were in their linen coats too: so with you he must have an amice, an alb, a girdle, a fanel, a chisible, and a stole, and they who are about him have surplices, yea, copes also. Their Priests had a laver whereat they must wash before they sacrificed: so have yours. Your veil between the choir and the altar in lent, resembles theirs, that severed the holy place from the most holy. Your Pyx with the sacrament and their ark with the mercy seat: your phylactery with saints relics, and their pot with manna: your monstrancy with the host, and their table with the show-bread: your holy oil of balm, and theirs of myrrh with spices: their purifying water made of the ashes of an heifer, and a yours of other ashes with water, wine, and salt: their fire sent from heaven, and yours fetched thence by art: their rod of Aaron, and your cross of Christ: finally your candles, or tapers, or torches, and their candlestick with lamps, do match one an other in proportion of rites: nay. you surpass them in your candles. For theirs were lighted in the night: yours, in the day too. Theirs, in the temple only: yours, abroad also. Theirs, before the Lord: yours, before images. Theirs, in one manner: yours, with great variety. Theirs, in small number: yours, at times, and places, as many as the sand of the sea. And what should I speak of the rest of the things in which you do not only follow their ceremonies, but also go beyond them? Your consecrating of Bishops, of Churches, of altars, of patents, of chalices, and other instruments of your priesthood, by anointing them, according to the order of Aaron and the tabernacle. Your shaving, as of Levites: your imagery, as from Solomon: your hallowing of men, bells, ashes, boughs, bread, the paschal Lamb, the paschal taper, agnus-Dei (and what not?) with exorcised water: wherewith almost all things are purged by your law, as by theirs with blood. Your purifying (as they called it) or (as you term it) reconciling of a churchyard, or other sacred place, if it be polluted. In conclusion, to pass over your festival days, exceeding theirs in shadows: your mystical devices in sacraments, to their pattern: your pontifical robes, in figures incomparable, in number double unto theirs: and infinite solemnities of your highest priest, who enters once a year into the place most holy, as did the high priest of the Jews: your daily sacrifice of the mass, though inferior to theirs in that it is no burnt offering, wherein yet I marvel you came no nearer them, for as they kept fire on the altar always, so do you require it, and what should you have fire upon your altar as they had, unless you burn as they did? but your daily sacrifice of the mass is celebrated in such Levitical sort, as if you contended to set forth a Jewish worship more lively then the Levitical priests could. In attire like them, in mysteries above them, in orders more exquisite, in cauteles more diligent, in furniture abundantly: in lifting up the whole host, and not (as they) a part of it, in ringing of the sacring bell to countervail their trumpets: in washing often, in blessing and crossing, in censing often, in soft speech and whispering, in kissing of the amice, kissing of the fanel, kissing of the stole, kissing of the altar, kissing of the book, kissing of the priests’ hand, and kissing of the pax: in smiting and knocking, in gesturing by rule and measure, in bowing and ducking, in spacing forward, backward, and turning round about, and traversing of the ground, beside the sweet music of organs, and so forth, where it may be had, as in the temple it might. …But in very truth it is more than Jewish: and his conceit thereof is childish, and carnal. For although it might be delightful to the flesh, the eyes with gallant sights: the ears, with pleasant sounds: the nose, with fragrant savors: the mind, with show of godliness, to him that does not understand: yet a spiritual man would be grieved at it, as Paul was in Athens, and lament that the people should dote upon that by which they are not edified, and weep over them as Christ over Jerusalem, O if you had known at least in this thy day those things which belong unto your peace: but now are they hidden from your eyes. The Lord take away this veil from your heart, if it be his good pleasure: that you may see at length, what it is to worship him in spirit and truth, and when you see it, do it.

John Rainolds, | The summe of the conference between John Rainoldes and John Hart: touching the head and the faith of the Church (London, 1598), 490–93. [spelling modernized]


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  1. This post, added to this audio: , makes for an eye-opening double feature presentation.

    The Reformation was a second deliverance, out of a (Babylonian) captivity. What madness is it, what blindness–of some pastors no less–that reverts them to chains once again?

    Somehow, the church (seminary) must not fail to teach this history, connecting it thoroughly to the teaching of Gal.4 (and 2Cor.3-4).

  2. Typically the reformed remark is that at least the Jews had a command for the ceremonial worship of the temple, even if it has been superseded by Christ today, but the Roman church has no such excuse/cloak for their sin. (That not to mention, Leithart’s recent prosecutor thinks there is precedent for Jewish practices among the early church fathers – because they are no doubt as inspired and infallible as the apostles!?).

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