A VERIE PROFI­TABLE SERMON PREACHED before her Maiestie at the Court, about xiij. yeares since: By H. B.


LONDON, Printed by Iohn VVolfe.


[...] euen great enuie tovvards such as are godly and vvell affe­cted; he vvill in that respect beare the more vvith me, nei­ther take it indignantly at my hands, that his godly labours are rather thus preserued for the vse of men, then reserued (as afore) to be consumed of mothes. The argument of this sermon may appeare vnto thee by this one vvord in the fore­head of it (Moriemini.) And thus not doubting, but that after thou shalt once aduisedly haue perused it, thou vvilt allovv both of him that first did pen it, and of my poore selfe also, vvho thus did print it for thy be­hoofe and benefit. I bid thee farevvell.

A VERIE PROFITABLE SERMON PREACHED BEFORE her Maiestie at the Court, about xiij. years since, by H. B.

Psal. 82. 6. 7.‘6 I haue sayd, ye are Gods, and ye are all the children of the highest:’‘7 But ye shall die like men, & fall like one of the princes.’

I haue sayd, ye are Gods: But ye shall die like men.

THe princely Prophet Dauid, being himself aduaunced by the goodnesse of God, to be king ouer Israell, by dayly experience plainly saw, how common a thing it is, that the great and mightie, the rich and wealthie men of this world, doe many times forget both them selues, what they be, and their God, from whom they be. And glorying in nobilitie, and swelling in au­thoritie, and swimming in worldly wealth, do trust in their treasures, and seeke their owne pleasures, & thinke them selues Gods.

Therefore, that the great personages of this world should not be deceiued with their great estates in this [Page 2] world, and thinke them selues Gods to worke their own willes, and neglect the will and wayes of the euerliuing God. The Prophet here doth plainely tell them, that though they be Gods, that is, Gods in maiestie, Gods in authoritie, Gods in wealth and glorie, & in all the things of this world liue like Gods among men: yet are they but Gods on earth, and Gods of earth, that is, earthy and mortal Gods, and must die like other men, and part from all their pompe, & render accompt to the God of heauen for their earthy Godhead. And this (me thinke) is the purpose of the Prophet in these words, I haue said, ye are Gods: But ye shall die like men.

Wherein the Pro­phet setteth downe two special pointes of Princes and great personages

  • 1. The Maiestie and
  • 2. The mortality

1. Their Maiestie, in these words, I haue said, ye are Gods, there­in giuing to note

  • 1. The dutie done vnto them. and
  • 2. The dutie required of them, for that they be Gods.

2. Their mortality, in these wordes, But ye shall die like men: therein also noting death. For that they shall die, like men.

  • 1. The certainty of their death and
  • 2. Their rising againe from

I haue sayd, yee are Gods.

As the Prophet Dauid by the spirit of God in this place, euen so the same spirit in sundry places of the holy Scrip­tures doth call the Princes and great personages of this world, Gods.

[Page 3]1 So the Lord God himselfe said vnto Moses, I willExod. 12. 12. be auenged of all the Gods in Egypt: meaning Pharao, & all the men of might in Egypt.

2 And Moses the man of God amongst other, gaue this law to the people of God; Thou shalt not speakeExod. 22. 28. euill of the Gods: meaning the heads and rulers of the people.

3 And our sauiour Christ in the gospell saith; Is itIoh. 10. 34. not written in the law, I haue said, ye are gods? Ratifying and confirming, that the men of this world are well cal­led Gods in the word of God.

And the reason why they be called Gods, the queene of Saba rendreth, when she saith to king Salomon; Blessed2. Para. 9. 8. be the Lord thy God, which had a loue to thee, to set thee king on his seat, that thou maist be king, for the Lord thy God. Plainly testifying that the Princes and great perso­nages in this world, do sit on Gods seat, by Gods appoint­ment, in stead of God, therefore called gods.

I haue said, ye are Gods, that is, Ye sit on Gods seat by Gods appointmēt, in stead of God, ye represent Gods ma­iestie, and beare Gods authoritie, therefore ye are Gods.

And for that ye are gods, that is, set on Gods seate, by Gods appointment, in stead of God, therefore this dutie is due vnto you by all, that are vnder you, to honour and o­bey you euen for the Lord.

1 For so the Lord God himselfe in the first comman­dement of the second table commandeth, To honour Fa­therExod. 20. 12. and mother, that is, to honor and obey all superiors, rulers, and gouernors, and promiseth long life for fulfil­ling the same.

2 And our sauiour Christ comming not to breake the law, but to fulfill the law, in token of his obedience, [Page 4] according to the law paid tribute to Caesar, commanding Peter to take a hooke, and cast into the sea, and in theMat. 17. 27. mouth of the first fish he gat, he should find a peece of twentie pence, that take (saith he) and giue them for tri­bute for thee and me.

3 And when the Iewes came vnto him, and asked him, whether they should pay tribute to Caesar, or not, heMat. 22. 21. sayd vnto them, Giue vnto Caesar the things that are Cae­sars: teaching all subiects obedience to their Caesars, that is, their Princes, heads, and gouernours.

4 S. Paul in the 13. to the Romanes, setteth downeRom. 13. 1. sundrie reasons to proue, that euery soule ought to be sub­iect to the higher powers, as to the ordinance of God.

5 And S. Peter is plaine: Submit your selues to eue­ry1. Pet. 2. 13. ordinance of man, [...] that is, euen for the Lord: whether it be to the king, as hauing the prehemi­nence: or to the rulers appointed by him, for the punish­ment of euill doers, but for the praise of them, that do wel.

Thus the Spirit of God doth teach the people of God in the word of God, that the Princes and great personages of this world are gods, that is, set on Gods seate, by Gods appointment, in stead of God: they represent Gods maie­stie, and beare Gods authoritie: and therefore this dutie is due vnto them by all, that are subiect to them, to honor and obey them euen for the Lord.

Whence then is that spirite, and whence is that do­ctrine, that setteth on subiects to conspiracies, rebellions, and treasons? and teacheth them by gunshot, by witch­craft, by coniuring, by sorcerie, by dealings with the de­uill him selfe, to worke mischiefe against their naturall Prince, and their natiue countrey? and yet telleth them, that therein they do God seruice, and promise them par­dons, [Page 5] and hight them heauen for their disobedience?

Surely, surely, spiritus mendax in ore Prophetarum, that3. Reg. 22. 2 [...] is, a lying spirit, the spirit of the deuill and Antichrist is in the mouths of such teachers, and the harts of such dealers.

For the Spirit of God by the wiseman saith: Wish noEccles. 10. 20 euill to the king in thy thought, & speake no euill against great men in thy secret chamber: for the foules of the aire will bewray thee. The foules of the aire, that is, the de­uill (for so our Sauiour Christ in the parable of the sowerMatt. 13. 15. expoundeth the foules of the aire to signifie the deuill.) The deuill, that setteth traitours on worke, he will paye them their hire, that is, he wil bewray their wicked pra­ctises against their Princes, to their shame and confusion.

For ye are Gods, that is, set on Gods seate, by Gods ap­pointment, in stead of God, ye represent Gods maiestie, and beare Gods authoritie: therefore this dutie is due vn­to you by all that are vnder you, to honor and obey you, euen for the Lord.

Yet some thinke them selues set free from this dutie of obedience to their naturall Prince, by betaking thē selues to the protection of the holy father, and by reconciling them selues to his subiection. As for their natural Prince, the present state, and Religion, they are in doubt of the goodnesse of them, that they be not of God, nor agreeable to the word and will of God.

Yet haue they seene, and full wel do know, how won­derfully God hath blessed, prospered, and preserued vs by this Prince, in this state, and for this Religion by the space of these two and twentie yeares and vpwardes. And in all this time, neither Balac his treacherie, nor Ba­lam Num. 23. his curse for money hath preuayled against vs. For howe could they curse whom God doth blesse? how [Page 6] could they hurt whom God doth defend? And yet too well they know, that Balac hath bragged, and Balam hath banned, that is, the Pope hath cursed, and the popish haue cōspired: Papists haue deuised, & Atheists haue practised cunning conspiracies, trecherous treasons, pestilent pra­ctises, and diuelish deuises against the Prince, against the state, and against the religion; onely God his holy hand hath still from time to time preserued and maintained the Prince, the state, and the Religion: whereby they might see (were they not too too blind, & will not see) that God doth loue and like, prosper & blesse, the Prince, the state, and the Religion.

But these busie rebellious Frogs, that cannot yet like the blessed blocke of so peaceable a prince, must needs at length haue a deuouring Storke.

God for his mercies sake turn their harts, or ouerturne all that take their parts.


I haue sayd, yee are Gods.

And for that ye are Gods, set on Gods seat by Gods ap­pointment, in stead of God, therefore this dutie is also due vnto you by them that are vnder you, to pray continually to the liuing God for you.

So S. Paul teacheth saying; I exhort you, 1 That1. Tim. 2. 1. praiers, supplications, intercessions, and giuing of thanks, be made for all men, especially for kings, and all that are in authoritie.

2 And the reason why, the wise man rendreth, where [Page 7] he saith, The hart of the king is in the hand of the Lord:Pro. 21. 1. Therefore the people are to pray to the Lord to dispose the hart of the king and all that are in authoritie, to his good will and pleasure.

3 So Dauid praied for the king & said; Giue the kingPsal. 72. 1. thy iudgements, O Lord, and thy righteousnesse to the kings sonne: then shall hee iudge the people according vnto right, and defend the poore.

4 And when our sauiour Christ came to Hierusa­lem riding like a king, the people that went before him,Matt. 21. 9. and they that came after him, cried vnto him Hosanna, i. Hoschianna, i. Lord saue the king, Lord saue the king. Which action allowed by our sauiour Christ, teacheth the Christians to cry Hosanna, that is, to pray continually for the peace, wealth and safetie of the Prince, and all that are in authoritie.

Ye are Gods to be praid for to the superior God, yet not to be prated of by inferior men: by the wise to be ad­uised, yet not to be chatted of by euery vnaduised.

The law of God by Moses, Thou shalt not speake euillExod. 22. 28. of the Gods, was giuen to bridle the licentious libertie of mens tongues, in pratling of Princes and other great per­sonages.

For, that euerie prentise should prate of Princes, and e­uerie Cobler seeme a Counsellor, and euerie Iack Straw deuise a new law, and euerie medling mate mislike the whole state, is neither commendable by the word of God, not tollerable in a Christian common-wealth: yee are Gods to be praied for, not to be prated of.

And thus much breefly of the dutie due vnto you, for that ye are Gods.

The God of heauen grant, that all dutie due vnto you, [Page 8] may of all parts be faithfully performed vnto you, to ho­nor and obey you, and pray to God for you.


I haue sayd, yee are Gods.

And for that ye are Gods, that is, set on Gods seate, by Gods appointment, in stead of God: therefore there is a dutie also required of you towards that God, that hath made you gods.

For you are gods, not the gods of the heathen, siluer & gold, the workes of mens handes, which haue eyes andPsal. 115. 3. see not, eares and heare not, mouthes and speake not, hands and handle not, feet and walke not, neither is there any breath in their nosthrils: but ye are gods, liuely gods, and haue eyes to see, and eares to heare, mouths to speake, and hands to worke the things, that are good and plea­sing to the euerliuing God.

Therefore the Prophet Dauid saith vnto you: BringPsal. 29. 1. vnto the Lord, ô ye mightie, bring yong rammes vnto the Lord, ascribe vnto the Lord your worship, and your strength: giue the Lord the honor due vnto his name, & worshippe the Lord with an holy worshippe. By which words the prophet teacheth plainly, that there is a dutie required of you that are mightie, towards that God, that hath made you gods.

But it becomes not me, perhaps, to tell you gods your dutie, yet thus much without offence, I hope, I may say, saying it truly: that the God of heauen is angrie with the gods on earth for want of dutie.

Reuelatur enim ira Dei, &c.

Rom. 1. 28. For the wrath of God in heauen is reuealed, & made manifest against the gods on earth by sundrie signes and tokens of Gods wrath, both in the heauens aboue, and in the earth beneath. For euen of late dayes amongst vs the often eclypses of the Sunne and the Moone, the diuerse Cometes and blazing starres, the sundrie sights and lights in the aire, the rise resemblances of fire and bloud in the clouds, the maine monstruous & strange birthes (though some seeme to render some naturall reasons for them) yet are they vnnaturall, and the wrath of God is reuealed by them. As for the late earthquake amongst vs, that was soone forgotten of vs, because it passed away so soone, and did so litle hurt amongst vs. Yet the prophet Dauid saith,Psal. 18. 7. The earth trembled and quaked, the verie foundations of the hilles shooke, and were moued, because God is wroth. The prophet telleth plainly, that the trembling and quaking of the earth, is a sure signe and token of the wrath of God in heauen. And that the late earthquake a­mongst vs, did passe so soone away from vs, and with so litle hurt among vs, is an argument, that the wrath of God against vs, is yet mixed with much mercie towards vs, threatning vs so terribly, and yet sparing vs so merci­fully.

Thus then by sundrie signes & tokens it is euident and plaine, that the God of heauen is angry with the gods on earth for want of dutie.

For some being aduanced by God to be gods, do liue without God, that is, without the knowledge and feare of God, and become Dauids fooles, and saye in theirPsal. 14. 1. hearts, There is no God. But set vp their hornes on high,Psalm. 75. 6. and say with a stiffe necke, That promotion commeth [Page 10] from the East and from the West, that is, They say, their honour and authoritie, their lands and great liuings, their credit and their countenaunce comes to them by heritage, by birth and parentage, or by the worthinesse of their wit and policie, or by the deserts of their labours and industrie.

Therefore they offer sacrifice to their nets (sayth theHabac. 1. 16. Lord by the Prophet) and burne incense to their yarne, because by thē their portion is made fat, that is, they boast of their birth, they vaunt of their value, their wisedome, and their worth, because by them they thinke they haue whatsoeuer they haue. And so set their whole delightLuc. 16. 19. with the rich glutton to be finely fed and trimly clad, and hauing wealth inough in store for many yeares, they sayLuc. 12. 19. to their soules, Soule take thine ease, eat, drinke and bee merrie; and grow to be like to that wicked iudge, Nec Luc. 18. 4. Deum timere, nec hominem reuereri, that is, neither to feare God nor care for man.

For these godlesse Gods haue commonly, if not conti­nually about them, bewitching Elimasses, that is, besottingAct. 13. 8. epicures, Machiuilists, and Atheists, which feed thē with the follies of their owne fansies, and peruert them from all care and feare of God, from reading, hearing, or belee­uing the word of God.

But when God had giuen his people rest in the daies of Asa king of Iuda, the king and all the people made a2. Pat. 15. 12. couenaunt with the Lord to seeke and serue the Lord their God with all their harts, and with all their soules: And they made a law, that whosoeuer would not serue the Lord God, should die for it, were he small or great.

Oh if we would well consider the peace and rest, the prosperitie and plentie, where with the Lord hath blessed [Page 11] vs in the daies of our Asa, that is, our gratious queene Elizabeth, we haue great cause to make a couenant with the Lord, to seeke and serue the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our soules. But if Asa his law were in England, That whosoeuer would not serue the Lord God should die for it, were he small or great, then surely God should be a great deale better serued both of small and great. For our peace and rest, our prosperitie and plentie, hath bred a godlesse securitie both in small and great: and the God of heauen is angrie with the gods on earth for want of dutie.

For some being aduanced by God to be gods, do yet with Achab mislike good Elias, and maintaine Baals 3. Reg. 16. 32. priests, that is, they cannot like of the preaching & prea­chers of the word of God, but maintaine bald priests to nusle them in Idolatrie and superstition still: such must be their chaplens, their schoolemaisters, stewards of their houses, clearks of their kitchins, and beare all the sway. By sufferance whereof it is come to passe, that not onely themselues are hardned in their superstition, past hope to be wonne, but also their children, a great number that haue bene borne since your Maiesties raigne, are so taught in their trade, that they are become more obsti­nate enemies to the state and religion, then their fathers are. And this is one great cause, why after so long prea­ching of Gods truth, the enemies of truth are so smallie decreased, nay so mightily increased amongst vs.

O what a happie thing had it bene for this land, if the children of such as are knowne to be superstitious, had bene taken from their parents at the yeares of discretion, and committed to the education of such, as are knowne to loue the state and religion. But better late then neuer, [Page 12] they say, Nunquam sera est ad bonos mores via.

Christ and his Gospell hath a long time, two & twen­tie yeares bene on foot in England, and faine would ride, as he did somtime in Hierusalem, with some glorie. And [...]. 1. 2. for this purpose he hath sent foorth his two Disciples to bring both the old Asse and the yoong Colt vnto him. The two disciples are Doctrine and Discipline, the word and the sword, ministers and magistrats: both which are sent out, that is, appointed and commaunded by Christ, to bring both the old stubborne asses, and the yoong wild colts to Christ, that is, to the preaching & teaching of the gospell of Christ. These two disciples haue a long time bene in bringing, and haue not yet brought neither the old asles nor the yoong colts to Christ, because they do not go togither to bring them; disciple Doctrine faine would bring them, but disciple Discipline is verie slacke to go with him: the one seekes means by counsell to bring them to Christ, the other makes means manie times by countenaunce to staie them from Christ. And the one without the other cannot bring them to Christ.

Surely, Dominus his opus habet, that is, The Lord hathMatt. 21. 3. need of them.

Now therfore I most humblie beseech your Maiestie euen for Christ his sake, and on Christs behalfe, to giue a new and a straight charge to these two disciples, to go togither speedilie, and to ioine togither effectuallie, to bring both the old stubborne asses, and the yoong wild colts to Christ, that is, to the preaching and teaching of the gospell of Christ, to the saluation of their soules through faith in Christ. Let Christ now no longer staie on foot amongst vs, least at last he be troden vnder foot of vs: for whilest we be still carelesse of their conuersion, [Page 13] they seeke and worke our vtter subuersion. And the God of heauen is alreadie angrie with the gods on earth, for want of this dutie.

For some being aduaunced of God to be gods, do countenaunce such as seeke to discountenaunce the prea­ching and preachers of the word of God: both the car­pers at their liues, and the catchers at their liuings. Euerie accuser hath too too manie hearers, and too many bea­rers against Gods ministers, to abate their credit & their countenaunce: and euerie shifter now becomes a suter, to pill and pull away their liuings and their maintainance. But when these dallying Dalilaes, haue curtold Sampsons Iudic. 16. 21. locks, and robbed him of his strength, that is, when they haue curtold the clergies countenance, and robbed them of their maintenance, Sampson shall become a blind Sampson, that is, the Clergie shall become a blind Clergie, and pull downe the house of Gods wrath and vengeance both vpon themselues, and vpon those pilling Philistines that sought their decay.

To be short and plaine, Gods word and religion is contemned by Atheists, condemned by Papists, slaunde­red by schismatikes, hindered by too many, not faithfully furthered by anie. And because the loue of Gods word and religion thus in England is decreased, therefore the wrath of God against England is increased.

For as the Oracle told the men of Athens, that the strongest state and best defense of their citie, was [...] i. Their rotten wood; meaning their good laws that were graued in wood, and by antiquitie were waxen rotten. Euen so the heauenly oracles of the liuing God tel vs, that the strongest staie, and best defense of a christian common wealth, is the preaching and teaching of the [Page 14] word of God, the true religion and seruice of God.

So sayth the Prophet Dauid; There is no king thatPsal. 33. 16. can be saued by the multitude of an hoast, neither is anie mightie man deliuered by his much strength: a horse isPsal. 118. 16. accounted but a vaine thing to saue a man, but the hand of the Lord hath the preheminence: the hand of the Lord is mightie in operation, the hand of the Lord bringeth mightie things to passe.

1 Nymrod and his confederates thought themseluesGen. 11. 1. safe, when they builded their Babell vp to the heauens: but all their high Babell was but a bable, that is, a verie vaine deuise, and came soone to confusion.

2 Arphaxad trusted in his strong and well fenced ci­tieIudith 1. 1. Ecbatanis, but Ecbatanis could not hold him when the hand of the Lord was against him.

Pharao trusted in the multitude of his chariots andExod. 14. 28. horsemen, and how soone were they all ouerwhelmed in the red sea.

So, not Nymrods high Babels, that is, not high castels and towers: not Arphaxads Ecbatanis, that is, not strong townes and well fenced cities: not Pharaos chariots and horsemen, that is, not the multitude of men and muniti­on, but the holie hand of the Lord, for his word, and by his word is the strength and stay of the people of God.

Not the wals of Bethulia, but the hand of the LordIudith 13. 4. held out Holophernes, and strengthened weake Iudith to hacke off his head.

Therefore that we in England haue bene so long, so mightily, and so miraculously saued and deliuered from the hands of them that hate vs, (which are so many, so mightie, and so maliciously bent against vs) that their tre­cheries and conspiracies, their counsels & confederacies, [Page 15] haue bene so many times reuealed, and so many waies preuented, that they haue not taken from vs our most gratious Queene Elizabeth by their gunshot, their witchcraft, their coniuring, their sorcerie, and their dealings with the Diuell himselfe, to the vtter ouer­throwe of the present state and Religion. All this, and all else hath not bene so much by the wisedome of man, by the counsell or carefull circumspection of man, but by the mercifull goodnesse of the Lord our God towardes vs, and by the holie hand of the Lord our God ouer vs, onely for his word and religi­on amongst vs.

For so the prophet Elyzeus, when he saw Elias taken4. Reg. 2. 12. vp from him, he cried after him: O my father, ô my fa­ther, the chariots and the horsemen, the chariots and the horsemen of Israell. Plainely testifying, that Elias the Prophet of the Lord, who had plentifully preached the word of the Lord in Israell, he was the chariots and the horsemen, that is, the strength and staie of Israell. And euen so doubtlesse Elias, that is, the preaching and teaching of the word of God, the true religion and ser­uice of God in England, is the chariots and horsemen, that is, the strength and the stay of England.

Make much then of Elias, O make much of Elias. 3. Reg. 17. 3. Let not Achab his accusations make you beleeue, that Elias troubleth all England: not Elias, but Achab, that is, not the religion, but the enemies of the religion, their trecheries and conspiracies, their counsels and confede­racies, their crackings, and their priuie packings, trouble all England.

Make much of Elias, O make much of Elias. Let not3. Reg. 18. 10 the godlesse Iezabels driue Elias out of house and home, [Page 16] and make him to liue in the wildernesse and be fed of the rauens, or else to liue vpon the poore pittance of the wid­dow at Sareptha, that is, Let not the godlesse greedie sort take away the preachers lands and liuings, and put them to liue vpon small pensions, or little deuotions.

Make much of Elias, O make much of Elias, yet make not a cloake of Elias to cast about you in foule weather, and cast from you in faire weather. Thinke it not inough3. Reg. 18. 10. to seeke for Elias in the time of drought and dearth, and care not for him in the time of plentie and rest, that is, Thinke it not enough when any trouble or aduersitie comes, then to crie Religion, Religion, the Gospell, the Gospell, and when all is quiet and well, then to haue no care of Religion and the Gospell. O make much of religi­on both in weale and woe, Religion is your strength and stay both in weale and woe. And the more the loue of Gods word and religion in you decreaseth, the more the wrath of God against you increaseth. For the Lord is2. Par. 15. 2. with you whilest you are with the Lord, and when you seeke him, he will be found of you, and when you forsake him, he will also forsake you.

The God of all mercies graunt, that you gods on earth may carefully performe your dutie to the God of heauen, that al want of dutie being speedily amēded, Gods wrath for the same may in time be preuēted, that God may con­tinue a good God towards England still,


But yee shall dye.

1 When God made man first, he made him after theGen. 1. 27. [Page 17] image and likenesse of God, but his bodily substance heGen. 2. 7. made of the dust and slime of the earth, that man should not boast himselfe of the image of God, whereunto he was made, considering the earthly substaunce wherof he was made.

2 And when God had giuen him the Lordship ouerGen. 3. 19. all the things of the earth, that man should not swell with his great authoritie, God put man in mind of his mor­talitie, saying; Thou shalt turne againe to the earth, from whence thou camest.

3 And when good father Abraham found fauor withGen. 18. 27. God to talke with God, least in talking with God he should forget himselfe towards his God, he still abated himselfe with the consideration of his mortalitie, saying; Puluis & cinis, quid loquar ad Dominum? that is, O dust and ashes that I am, why should I presume to speake vnto the Lord?

Euen so the spirit of God in this place to abate the glo­rie, to bridle the vanitie, and daunt the delights of men that are mightie, doth put them in mind of their mortali­tie: telling princes and all great personages, that though they be gods, that is, gods in maiestie, gods in authoritie, gods in wealth and glorie, and in all things of this world liue like gods among men: yet all your godhead, that is, all your honour and authoritie, all your pleasures & your treasures, all your beautie and your brauerie, all is but earthie, fickle, and transitorie, and all shall leaue you, or you shall leaue all, for you shall die.

1 For so the voice of the Lord commanded the Pro­phet to crie, That all flesh is grasse, and all the godlinesseEsa. 40. 6. thereof is but a flower of the field: man is but grasse, to day fresh and greene, to morrow cut downe and withe­red [Page 18] away: man is but a flower of the field, to day sweet and goodly, to morrow faded and fallen away.

2 And S. Iames sayth, What is our life but a vapourIac. 4. 14. or a smoake, which for a while appeareth, and suddenly vanisheth away?

3 And the Poet sayth; Puluis & vmbra sumus, i. We be but dust, we be but a shadow. The wind bloweth, the dust is soone puffed away: the sunne shineth, and the sha­dow is suddenly carried away: Man is but dust soon puf­fed away, man is but a shadow suddenly carried away.

And it is a common prouerbe: Homo bulla, i. Man is but a bubble of the water, soone vp, soone downe. Man is but grasse, soone withered away: but a flower soone faded away: but a smoke soone vanishing away: but dust soone puffed away: but a shadow suddenly carried away: but a bubble of the water soone sunk away: And though ye be gods then, yet must ye die.

And as the Prophet sayth; Your pompe and yourEsa. 14. 11. pride shall be layd into the graue: wormes shall lie vn­der you, and wormes shall be your couering.

For all your goodly estate in this world, is but like the great glorious image that Nabuchodonosor saw in aDan. 2. 3 [...]. dreame, whose head was of gold, the shoulders of siluer, the bellie of brasse, the legges of yron, but the feet of clay: & a little stone was cast against the great glorious image, and hit him vpon the earthie feet, and downe it fell, and brake all in peeces.

Euch so all your golden heads, that is, al your honours and great glorie: all your siluer shoulders, that is, all your beautie and your brauerie: all your brassie bellies, that is, all your pleasures and worldly treasures: all your yron legges, that is, all your strength, youth, and health, all [Page 19] stands vpon earthie, clayie fickle feet, and a little stroke of death shall hit vpon their earth and clay, and footing fails, and downe fals all.

For all is but like vnto Ionas his guord, which for a day,Ion. 4. 7. for a time, for a while, makes a goodly shadow (and yet but a shadow) ouer Ionas his head, and suddenly, euen in one night, the worme of Gods wrath pierceth the root, and all your goodly guords wither cleane away. And then your pompe and your pride is laid into the graue: wormes lie vnder you, and wormes be your couering.

Though Ezechias for a while boast of his treasures,Esa. 39. 2. his gold, his siluer, and all his goodly iewels, yet he hea­reth this message from the Lord: Man set thine house inEsa. 38. 1. an order for thou shalt die.

Though Balthasar for a while seemes to bath in blisse,Dan. 5. 25. feasting and banquetting with his nobles and his concu­bines, yet suddenly he seeth the fingers write vpō his wal; Mene, mene, Thecell, Vpharsin, that is, Thy daies are num­bred and come to an end.

Though man for a while seeme neuer so honourable and mightie, neuer so rich and welthie, neuer so yoong, and lustie, neuer so beautifull and comely, neuer so for­tunate and happie, yet must he in time set his things in an order, for he shall die, and the finger of God shall suddenly write vpon his painted wall, Mene, mene, that is, Thy daies are numbred and come to an end: and thy pompe and thy pride shall be layd into the graue, wormes shal lie vnder thee, and wormes shall be thy couering.

  • 1 Abraham was rich,
  • 2 Salomon was wise,
  • 3 Sampson was strong:

Yet are they all dead.

  • [Page 20]1 Iosua was fortunate,
  • 2 Ionathas was amiable,
  • 3 Absolon was beautifull:

Yet are they all dead.

  • 1 Moses Gods seruaunt,
  • 2 Aaron Gods Priest,
  • 3 Dauid Gods darling:

Are all dead.

  • 1 The proud Herode,
  • 2 The rich Glutton,
  • 3 And the poore Lazar:

Are all dead.

And you that be gods, must also die. Veniet enim ho­ra, &c. (sayth S. Chrysostom) Doubtlesse the houre will come, when thou must needs part from all thy worldly wealth, and shalt carrie nought away therof: (for nought thou broughtest into this world, nought shalt thou carrie out.) Then what shall become of thy beautifull face, thy glistering eyes, thy pampered body, so finely fed, so trimly clad? Nónne omnia puluis? omnia cinis? omnia putredo & foetor? that is, Shall not then all be dust? all a­shes? all rottennesse and filthinesse? Haec est via vniuersa carnis, that is, This is the way that all flesh must go.

I haue sayd: Ye are gods, But ye shall dye.

Lyke men.

And as it is certaine that ye shall die, so is it, that ye shall die like men: and if you shall die like men, then shall you rise againe from death.

So sayth S. Paul, As by a man death came to men: euen1. Cor. 15. 21. [Page 21] so by a man came the rising againe from death to men. For as by Adam all men shall die, euen so by Christ, all men shall rise againe from death.

Christ is the resurrection and the life, whosoeuer be­leeuethIoh. 11. 26. in him shall neuer die.

Therefore the Prophet Dauid sayd of himselfe: I shallPsal. 117. 17. Psal. 26. 13. not die but liue: and shall see the goodnesse of God in the land of the liuing.

And good Iob sayd of himselfe: I know that my Re­deemerIob. 19. 25. liueth, and that I shall rise againe in the last day, and shall be couered againe with my skin, and shall see God in my flesh, and I my selfe shall behold him, not with other, but with these same eies.

And our sauiour Christ sayth of the dead Damosell:Matt. 9. 24. She is not dead, but sleepeth.

And the scriptures of God do often testifie of the dead, that they sleepe: for that euen as they that sleepe, do wakeIohn 11. 11. 1. Cor. 15. 18. 1. Thes. 4. 3. and rise againe, euen so the dead shall rise againe. As ma­ny as die in Christ, shall be partakers of the resurrection vnto saluation: and as many as die without Christ, shall rise againe to condemnation.

But what need I stand to prooue the resurrection of the dead?

The sect of the Sadduces, that beleeue no resurrectionAct. 23. 23. of the dead, neither angell, nor spirit, is sufficiently confu­ted by our sauiour Christ in the gospell.

And that godlesse sort that say: Our life is but a breathSap. 2. 2. in our nosthrils, and our bodies shall returne to dust and ashes, and our soules shall vanish into the softaire, are al­readie condemned by the wise man.

To spend speech then in that point, it needs not, or it boots not.

[Page 22]Therefore to conclude, I haue sayd, Ye are gods, but ye shall die like men, and your bodies shall returne to the earth from whence they came, and your soules shall re­turne to God that gaue them, there to render an account to the God of heauen for your earthy godhead, and to receiue the iudgement, either to the ioy that neuer shall haue end, or els to the paine that neuer shall haue end.

So sayth S. Paul, All must appeare before the iudge­mentRom. 14. 10. seat of Christ, that euerie one may yeeld vnto God an account of himselfe.

For all in this life are but the Lord his stewards, andLuc. 16. 1. when Death the Lord his bailiffe, shall arrest you with his writ, Non amplius villicabere, then must you appeare before the great iudge, and render an account euerie one of his stewardship.

Then, then (O man, whatsoeuer thou art) then shalt thou see vpon thy right hand, thine owne sinnes accusing thee: vpon thy left hand infinit leagions of diuels plea­ding against thee: aboue thee, the terrible countinance of the iust iudge against thee: vnderneath thee, the ga­ping gulfe of hell fire to deuoure thee: within thee, thine owne conscience condemning thee. Miser homo, quid tum facies? i. O miserable man, what wilt thou then do? La­tere impossibile, apparere intollerabile, i. To hide thee then it is not possible, to shew thy selfe then is a thing intolle­rable.

For then the Lord shall trie out thy workes, & searchSap. 6. 3. out thine imaginations, and all thy secret thoughts, shall be layd open before thee, And the heauens shall bewraieIob. 20. 27. thine iniquities, and the earth shall rise vp against thee, and all thy sinnes shall lie at thy doore, and all thy mis­deedsGen. 4. 3. shall be rife in thy remembrance.

[Page 23]Then they, that now account it but a sport to sinne, and take great pleasure in the workes of wickednesse, shall then houle and crie in the anguish of their owne soules, and say: O we haue sinned, we haue dealt wicked­ly, we haue forsaken the wayes of the Lord, and haue followed the paths of perdition in sinne. Woe there­fore vnto vs: for the Lord shall heape sorrowe vp­on sorrow vnto our soules, and we shall neuer find rest.

Then shall they crie to the hilles, fall vpon vs, and toApoc. 6. 16. the mountaines, Couer vs from the face of the Lambe. Nay, they shall creepe into the holes and caues of theEsa. 2. 19. earth, to hide themselues from the feare of the Lord, and from the glorie of his Maiestie: yet shall they not escape the iudgements of the Lord, and they that beare rule, shalSap. 6. 6, 7. haue the sorer triall: and the mightie shall be mightilie tormented.

Heare therefore, heare euerie one the good counsell of that good father to euerie one: Cogita, vndè sis, & e­rubesce: [...]ern. in serm. quodam. vbisis, & ingemisce: quò sis iturus, & contre­misce, that is, Thinke still, O man, whence thou art, vz. of the dust and slime of the earth, be not high minded, but humble thy selfe.

Thinke still, O man, where thou art: vz. In a world of woe and wickednesse: delight not in it, but mourne and lament it.

Thinke still, O man, whither thou shalt, vz. to the iudgement seat of God: forget it not, but tremble at it.

So that whither thou catest or drinkest, or whatsoeuerHierom. super Matth. thou doest, thou still thinke, thou hearest the trumpet sound, Arise ye dead, and come to iudgement.

And this continuall cogitation of death, wil be a greatAug. lib. ex­hortat. [Page 24] moderation to the actions of this life, to make preparati­on in time for death.

Knowing, that though ye be gods, that is, set on Gods seat, by Gods appointment, in stead of God: though ye represent Gods maiestie, and beare Gods authoritie, and in all the things of this world, liue like gods among men, yet are you but gods on earth, and gods of earth, that is, earthie and mortall gods, and must die like other men, and part from all your pompe, and render account to the God of heauen for your earthie godhead.

And thus I haue sayd, Ye are gods, but ye shall die like men.

God be mercifull therefore vnto vs, and blesse vs, and graunt vs his heauenly spirit and grace, that we that be vnder you; may honour and obey you, and pray to God for you, as our dutie is to you, for that ye are gods: and that you gods on earth may carefully performe your du­tie to the God of heauen, that when you shal die like men, and part from your earthie godhead, you may returne to the God of heauen, and haue the fruition of the eternall godhead, by the death and merits of Christ Iesus the sonne of God, To whom, with the Father, and the Holy-ghost, be all honour, praise, and glorie▪ for euer and euer,



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