From “The Assault of the Sacrament of the Altar”

  • But first one text I will note to the more:
  • What will you say saith Christ, when you shall see,
  • The Son of Man ascend where he was before,
  • Doth not this text now express unto thee,
  • His manhood in Heaven before that to be,
  • May not I say then, his flesh is that bread,
  • Which came from Heaven, wherewith our souls be fed?
  • Then took he no flesh here that I perceive well,
  • Yes forsooth, quod he, this doeth not that disprove,
  • For why, St. John doth write in his Gospel,
  • That the word was made flesh, even God’s son above
  • By eternal generation, none can that remove,
  • So God and man was knit, always to remain,
  • But one in personage, though in natures twain:
  • Now since our nature unto God is knit,
  • Being one in person as I before did say,
  • To know how this should be, doth pass all men’s wit
  • Yet that this is true, no man can deny,
  • But that man is God, and God is man alway:
  • Now then Christ’s holy flesh by this unity,
  • May truly be said alway in Heaven to be.

— from “The Assault of the Sacrament of the Altar” by Miles Huggarde

Miles Huggarde (fl.1533–1557) was a London hosier who made a name for himself as a pamphleteer against the English Protestant Revolt. His work was mostly propaganda in defense of Catholicism, including both prose and verse, such as the passage above. While the intellectuals of his time were critical of his closet full of skeletons work, his opponents took some notice of Huggarde and the effectiveness of his words. The fact that Huggarde was educated in neither seminary nor university indicated how effectively the newly invented printing press was increasing general literacy rates and the power of the written word.

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