I, on the contrary, plainly see that usury is prohibited by all laws—divine, human, civil, canonical, new, old, Christian, and pagan—and that it is approved by no law or human ordinance. Therefore, I do not consider this kind of contract lawful.
Do not defraud your brother; he is your brother, whether he is rich or poor: he is your brother and the son of God. Will you wrong your brother? Will you oppress the son of God, and that even in the sight of God? God is his Father; he will not leave you unpunished for it. If he is naïve and inexperienced, do not abuse his naivety. God is the God of righteousness. Deal justly so that your own conscience does not accuse you.
Now I think good to speak of the Sacraments of the Church, that all you may know what they are, because you are all partakers of the holy Sacraments. Christ hath ordained them, that by them he might set before our eyes the mysteries of our salvation, and might more strongly confirm the faith, which we have in his blood, and might seal his grace in our hearts.
Wherefore, O Christian and godly reader, forasmuch as thou seest the reasons and causes, both why we have restored religion, and why we have forsaken these men, thou oughtest not to marvel, though we have chosen to obey our Master Christ, rather than men.
Peter verily, whom the Pope hath oftener in his mouth, and more reverently useth to speak of than he doth of Jesus Christ, did boldly stand against the holy council, saying, “It is better to obey God than men.” And after Paul had once entirely embraced the Gospel, and had received it, “not from men, nor by man, but by the only will of God, he did not take advice therein of flesh and blood,” nor brought the case before his kinsmen and brethren, but went forthwith into Arabia, to preach God’s Divine mysteries by God’s only authority.
Questionless, there can nothing be more spitefully spoken against the religion of God than to accuse it of novelty, as a new come up matter. For as there can be no change in God Himself, so ought there to be no change in His religion.
You must pardon us, good reader, though we seem to utter these things more bitterly and bitingly than it becometh divines to do. For both the shamefulness of the matter, and the desire of rule in the Bishop of Rome is so exceeding and outrageous, that it could not well be uttered with other words, or more mildly.
The whole world seeth plainly enough already, what we and ours have endured at these men’s hands for religion and our only God’s cause. They have thrown us into prison, into water, into fire, and imbrued themselves in our blood: not because we were either adulterers, or robbers, or murderers, but only for that we confessed the Gospel of Jesu Christ, and put our confidence in the living God.
We believe, that this our self-same flesh wherein we live, although it die, and come to dust, yet at the last day it shall return again to life, by the means of Christ’s Spirit which dwelleth in us: and that then verily, whatsoever we suffer here in the meanwhile for His sake, Christ will wipe away all tears and lamentation from our eyes: and that we through Him shall enjoy everlasting life, and shall for ever be with Him in glory.
We have judged it should be to good purpose, and not unprofitable, if we do openly and frankly set forth our faith wherein we stand, and show all that confidence which we have in Christ Jesu; to the intent all men may see what is our judgment of every part of Christian religion, and may resolve with themselves, whether the faith which they shall see confirmed by the words of Christ, by the writings of the Apostles, by the testimonies of the Catholic fathers, and by the examples of many ages.