A Dialogue, betweene a ver­tuous Gentleman and a popish priest, verie pleasaunt and profitable, both for ministers and gentlemen, men and vvomen, old and yong, made by I. B.

¶ Imprinted at London, by Robert Wal­degraue, dwelling without Temple-barre, neere vnto Sommcrset-House.

1581.

Deut. 6.6.

The words which I commaund thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt reherse them continually vnto thy chil­dren, and shalt talke of them when thou tarriest in thine house, and as thou walkest by the way, and when thou lyest down, and when thou risest vp.

Leui. 19.17.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart, but thou shalt playnely rebuke thy neighbour, and suffer him not to sinne.

Ezech. 34.

Wo be vnto the shepherds of Israel, that feede themselues: shoulde not the shepe­heards feede the flocks.

[...]sai. 5.18.

Wo bee vnto them that drawe iniquitie with cordes of vanity, and sinne as with carte ropes.

To the worshipfull, and his very good Master, master H. S. Esquire I. B. wisheth the fauour of God, the faith of Abraham, the vvisdome of Salo­mon, the patience of Iob, a vertu­ous lyfe in this transitory world, and a heauenly kingdome in the vvorlde that neuer shall haue end.

BEcause there can not bee a better worke taken in hand, and not mat­ter may haue so good successe, or any time be so well bestovved, as that which is spent in seeking to set forth the glory of god: therfore for mine own part, when I did see the slackneesse of many, the loose líuing of the most part, and fewe or none, to seke for, or set forth those things that might redound to the praise of God: although of al others most vnable, (yet as one lamenting the miserable condition of the multitude) haue done that which in me didly, that God might be honoured, true re­ligion imbraced, and vice suppressed and troden vn­der foot: and sory I am that it [...]ath now fallen out for my lot to play this part, for I had rather to haue scene it of some other that might haue done it bet­ter [Page]then my selfe, but I do vvel perceiue it to be the solly of many of those that thinke them selues vvise men, rather to bestovve their knovvledge vvhere it shall little profite, then vvell to vse that good talent that God hath lent them, they haue vvit ynough to get them selues promotion, they are skillul ynough to vvaxe riche in the vvorld, and they know how to do al things, saue that they shoulde: the vvisedome of God is counted neere madnesse, the preaching of theCor. 1.18. cros [...]e, to them that perish, foolishnesse, to feare God is counted a life by it selfe, and such as the proude Rabbies of this vvorlde, yea, and such as can teach others, in this matter, are to learne many things them selues: it is this worlde that they de­sire, the vvorlde to come they are not for, so they may aduaunce them selues, they care not thoughe the glorye of God fall to the grounde, they liue as though there were an imortallitie to be found here on earth, and that their dwellinges should continue for euer: if they may be rich in substaunce, they re­garde not hovv farre they be behind hande in god­lines: so they haue pleasure and hearts ease here a vvhile, they may haue as it were (to buy it) laide their souls to pawne for the same. This is true, yea and too [...]rue, if it pleased God better to dispose vs, and that their madnesse maye manifestly appeare: and that greeuous sinners may feare to offende. I haue layde vvide open their shame, and displaying their vngodly behauiour, that they may see vvhat daunger they are in that liue vngodly, & that there is no man so godly, as he thatPsal. 91.1. dwelleth vnder the defence of the almighty. And hauing finished that I tooke in hand, I knevv not vnto whom I might so vvell offer the fruits of this my labour, as vnto your [Page]vvorship, vvhome experience hath taught mee to be a fauourer of the trueth, a detester of vice, and to nourish vertue in your brests, as that which you dearest loue. In this little rreatise you shall see the great vvickednes of our time displayed, betweene a ver­tuous Gentleman, and a Popish Priest, you shal find in the Gentleman, his talke and behauior bo bee such, as may be an example to the most part, in these our daies, his vertuous talke, and strong persuasions, with sure warrant out of the vvorde of God, that it will make the hearts of all Popish Priests: and coue­tous ministers, if they be not as hard as the adamant stone, to yeeld to the sweete dropping of his sugred words: and contrarily in the Priest, the very picture of a poysoned life, with wordes full of vanitie pro­ceeding from the aboundaunce of a corrupt heart, vvhich vvould not yeeld vnto any persuasions, nor hearken to any instructions of a long time, before the vvord wrought vvith him more mightily, that at the length he was contented to amende his maners and to forsake three benefices vvhich he did vnlaw­fully possesse, and to become a new man, and spende the rest of his daies in the seruice of God. I vvishe all proud Prelates and Popish priestes, vvoulde cut their coates by the same paterne, & learne to repent by his example, and leaue their sinnes in season, lost as they haue plovved vvickednes, so they shall [...] iniquitie. Let no man thinke euil of me, for whishing of them vvell, if they vvill count him an enemy, that vvould giue them good counsell, or couer their [...]il­thinesse with [...]ig leaues of shamefulnesse, or thinke them selues giltlesse, vvheras they are faulty, here is as much sayde for them, as they can say for them­selues, vvhich are vvordes that deserue poroofe, and [Page]a life that will aske amendment: for let them flatter themselues as fayre as they can, and thinke they do as much as is required of them, when they haue got ten them so many liuinges that they may be called of men Rabby, and haue fed themselues so wel that their hearts are so fatte as Brawne, yet if their lippes keepe not knowledge, that the people may se [...] the law of the Lorde at their mouth,Mal. 2.8. they haue bro­ken the couenant of Leui, and caused many to fall. And let not such as can say something thinke they haue knowledge ynough to serue all men, for al­though they knowe howe to gette them many li­uings, and to take vpon them the charge of so ma­ny soules, that for want of teaching, some of them must needes goe to the diuell for their sinnes, they shall one day be founde negligent shepheards, andEzek. 3.18. the bloud of their sheepe will be required at their handes. And because the ministerie is so maymed that many of them can skarse helpe themselues, and are set as candles to giue light vnto others, and yet themselues are full of darkenesse, it standeth euery man vpon to looke to himselfe, and not to trust vn­to suche as haue no helpe in them. Therefore I vvould wishe euery man that doth tender his owne saluation, to leaue no meanes vnsought for, that might bring it to passe, and to be most carefull for the same, as that which doth deserue greatest labor, if there be any that will say they would willingly do it if they knewe vvich vvay to beginne, letIohn. 5.39. them bring themselues acquainted vvith the vvorde of God vvhich is able to2. Tim. 3.16. make them vvise vnto sal­uation: if they vvill say their knowledge is smal, and the scriptures are hard to be vnderstoode, let them seeke, diligently,Mat. 7.7. pray hartily, and knocke hard, and [Page]the Lorde vvill open the doore of knowledge vnto them, and giue them right hearts of a good vnder­standing, if any vvill say they haue so much to deale in worldly affayres, that they cannot spare one hour in the day, to read the vvord of God, let thē knovv, except all their actions be measured by the lyne of Gods vvorde, their labor is lost, their time ill spent, their hope is vaine, their vvroks vnprofitable, andDeut. 28.17. all that they take in hande accursed: if there be a­ny that thinke themselues so well spedde that they need no more teaching, let them learn to put their knowledge in practise, in framing their liues accor­ding, lest when they knowLuk. 12.56. much & doe little, their damnation be the greater: if there be any that vvill say there are none so vnwise, to do that which they know to be vnlawfull, let them know that of that number there are too many, and although the most part must of necessitie confesse that there is a God whom they ought to serue, yet the diuell doth draw many with great force to liue as those that knovve no God: such is the corruption of mans nature and so great are the assaultes of our enemie the diuell, that vvhen vve knovv our duetie, and see the path way that will lead vs vnto eternall lyfe, yet through the suggestions of Satan, and the deceitfulnesse of sinne, we are drawne to tread the steps of death and euerlasting destruction. And some there be to ex­cuse this their fooly, will defende their life, though neuer so vile: and that they may haue the bridle of licentiousnesse, to tunne at ran done, though against their consciences, they will not spare to call euill good, and good euill, darknesse light, and light dark­nes, they that may make a faire shew in the worlde, and regard not at all how manifestly they lye before [Page]the face of almighty God: this fault vvas found inAct. 5.4. Ananias Saphira his vvife, for the vvhich they both lost their liues: and this vvickednesse doth still remain amongst vs, although the punishment be not so euidently seene: of this number are so many as know their dutie and lead a life cleane contrary, that knovv lying to bee a faulte, and yet vvill not sticke to lye for aduantage: that knovv it to be sinne to sweare, and yet haue their mouthes full of vayne othes; that know adultery to be abominable in the sight of God, and yet liue in whordome al the dayes of their life: that knovv murther to be a breach of the lavve, and yet vvish their brothers throates cut, that they may haue their good: that know coue­tousnesse to be the roote of all euil, and yet thinke lucre to be godlinesse: that knovve the rewarde of sinne to be death, and yet liue in vvickednesse al the dayes of their life: these men knovve it, yea and vvith all their hearts they knovv it, and vvith shame ynough vvill not sticke to say it, and shut vp al with tushe, God is mercifull, and vvith this cloake they thinke to couer their shame, and by that meanes to set God besides his iudgements: but vvhen they shall be arraigned before his iudgement seate, to aunswere for the breache of his lavves, I feare me, this cloake of hypocrisie beeing founde on their backes, vvill be taken for the liuery of their maister the diuell, vvhom as they haue serued in this worlde vvithout any feare of God, so shal they dwell vvith him for euer in fire euerlasting, vvhich is prepared for him and his Angels. These are the faultes of our time, and such punishments doe follow such sinnes: and the wickednes of the people is so great, that we haue good cause to say vvith Dauid, that it isPsal. 119. time [Page]O Lorde, for thee to lay to thine hand. But because these thinges are farre from you, vvhich doe so ill like of them, that you are an enemye to those that vse them, you may thinke your self happie and thrise happie, vvhom God hath deliuered from so great e­uils, And for my selfe, as I am by duety bounde to do you the best seruice that I may, and haue recey­ued more benefites at your handes then euer I de­serued, I can but vvishe you that vvhich no man can giue you, and pray for that vvhich you may obtaine, that you may so serue the Lorde of heauen and earth, during the time of your pilgrimage in this shorte and transitory vvorlde, that vvhen this life shall cease, and all vvorldly helpes shall fayle you, you may haue God your father, Christ your brother, the holy Ghost your comforter, the Angels your companions, your inheritance aboue the Heauens, vvith ioyes vnspea­kable, in a life that shall last for euer. Amen.

Your worships humble seruant. I. B.

To the godly Reader.

THe estate of these our dayes is so dangerous, the people so vngratious, wt sin so aboun­ding, & vertue so little set by of almost al euery where, ye it may melt a christiā hart to meditate there­on: such negligence in Magistrates, suche rebellion in subiects, such carelesnes in fa­thers & mothers, and suche disobedience in sonnes & daughters, that wheras we looke to receiue ye fruits of ye earth, & the blessings of heauen powred out vpon vs, according so the prourise of the Lorde vnto his children: ye maruel is great, ye the sun doth not skorch vs, the water drowne vs, & the earth gape redy to deuour vs, for our disobedience and vnthākfulnes for the same. What blessings are there which we haue not receiued? and what sinn is ther but we haue committed? what could a father do more for his owne children, then to keepe them as the apple of his eye? & what tokens of [...]asterdly impes can there be greater, then to liue as vaga­bounds, ye regard not their father? oh howe wel may this complaint of the Prophet be applied vnto vs? yt theEsai. 12. Lord hath brought vp children, & they haue done vnfaithfully against him, ah sinfull nation, a people la­den [Page]with iniquitie, a seede of the wicked, such as haue forsaken the Lord, and proud­ [...]ed the holy one of Israell to anger, and as the Prophet Osee said of Israel, so may it [...]e sayd of England, thatOse. 14.41. ther is no truth, no mercy, no knowledge of god in the land, but swearing, lying, & manslaughter, theft & adultery haue gotten the vpper hand, and one blood guiltines followeth another. Oh yt we knew such an estate to be dangerous, & that such sinnes wil be punished except re­pentaunce, what shall it profite vs to haue [...]eace vnder our prince, & yet liue as rebels vnto our god? what good shal a fruitful coū ­try bring to a faithles people? What if wee [...]ight liue long in this world, aboūding in [...]elth & prosperity, & in the end [...] bee ouerta [...]en in our sinne, & rewarded for our iniqui­ [...]y? what happinesse is ther in mans estate? although he might liue as a prince in this world, and at last becom a firebrand in hel: [...]et thus shall it fare with such as feare not God, and great plagues are imminent ouer he Palaces of the wicked, and such as liue vngodly, and it is through the great mercy of our God, and not for deseruinges, that our eys are not witnessed that this is true, [...]ut since it is the Lordes pleasure to hee as [Page]mercifull vnto vs, as euer he was vnto his own children the people of Israel, although our rebelliōs be nothing inferior to theirs, and do with partience & long suffering, en­dure our wickednes, although all the day long he call, and no man doth hear, and still stretch out his arme, and no man regards it, yet let vs once looke about our selues, & like wise children, though long first, yet at last be come obedient, to so bountifull a fa­ther. And because the veryEsai. 1.6. heade is sicke, and the whole heart is heauy and from the sole of the foote vnto the crowne of the head there is nothing sound, but wounds, blains & putrifying sores, let vs all in time seeke some remedy for so daungerous diseases, that we grow not rotten in our sinnes, and be past cure: and that it fare not with vs as it did with the Iews, that like as the Lord did call vntoZacha. 7.13. them, and they woulde no heare, so they cried vnto him and he would not heare: now is it wt vs as it was with them, nowe doth the Lorde cry vnto vs by the preachers of his word, and call alowd with the sound of his gospel. God graunt we neuer see the time in which we may say for our disobedience that like as he did call [Page]and we woulde not heare, so we shall cry & [...]ot be hard, And that we may not be found guilty of so great sinnes, and runne in dan­ [...]er of so many miseries, let vs learne to be wise in time, and not say with the vngrati­ [...]us seruant, my master wil be long a com­ming, and so fall to surfferting and drunken [...]esse, and in the ende receiue the wages of vnrighteousnes, but let vs be penitent with [...]he Publican, that we may intreat ye Lord [...]o haue mercy vpon vs, and that the wrath of his countenaunce, may be far from vs: Let sin be forsaken, and mercy will be got­ [...]en, let repentance be found and forgiuenes [...]s at hande: let amendment of life be a wit­nesse of our true repentance, and heauen & [...]arth shal testifie, that the Lord wil be mer­ [...]ifull vnto vs, but if our sinns remaine stil, [...]f to haue pleasure in wickednesse, be our greatest delighte, if vertue bée not regar­ded, but vice hath the highest roome: if reli­gion be onely in our lippes, and the deuill possesse our hearts: if we be wise to do euil, and haue no knowledge to doe well: if to liue as Bulles of Basan vpon the earth, be all we séeke for, and the heauenly Ierusa­ [...]em we nothing care for: if to haue ye muck [Page]of this wolrde, we will become bondslaues to ye deuil, we shalbe sure to serue a maste that doth pay his seruants eternal damnation for their wages, which wilbe receiued with weeping and gnashing of teeth. And although this mischeife bee a working for the wicked, and great plagues remaine for the vngodly, who are as hard hearted as Pharao, that neuer wil leaue to do euil, be­fore they be ouertaken in their sin: yet let not the faithful feare, but be alwayes gladPhil. 44. and reioyce in the Lorde for euer: For he will be their father,2. Cor. 6.18. and they shall be his sonnes and daughters, and hee will keepe them as ye signet vpon his finger: let them be contented to abide with patience a little while, and he that wil comeHeb. 10.36. will not tar­ry long: let them suffer a while for Christ, and they shall reigne with him for euer: let them bee accompted as the abiectes and offscouring of the people, yet shall they one day be found the sonnes of God, and heires of the kingdome of heauen: let them water their Couche a while with weeping, and the Lorde will onceEsa. 15.6. Apoc. 7.17. wipe all teares from their eyes: let them be cast amongest the pottes, and the vilest places be thought to [Page]good for them, yet shal they one day be trim­med as the spouse to méete the brydegrome, and be Citizens of that new Hierusalem, which shall not war old for euer: let them bee as sheepeRom. 8.36. that are dayly ledde to the slaughter, yet shal they at length be deliue­red out of their enemies hands, & death shal haue no more power ouer them. Let them not faint in the waye, that haue begon to tread the path that leadeth to eternall, life, for their troubles will once haue an ende, and their reward shall last for euer, there is a day comming when al shall be well, and they shall see Ierusalem in prosperity, and peace vpon Israel. Thus much gentle rea­der, haue I thought sufficient for an ente­rance into the rest, which I haue written, & through intreaty is put in print, that the sinnes of our time maye bee knowne, and therby the better auoyded. And as it is the duety of euery man to seeke by all meanes possibe to bring so waightie a matter to passe, so for mine owne parte, although as vnable as the least, yet as willing as the best, haue done what I might, though not as I would, that vertue might be aduaun­ced, and vice ouerthrowne, and do wishe it [Page]to be read for the end it was written, which was to set foorth the glory of God, that our wickednes may be done away, and amend­ment of life embraced: but if there be any that would seeke for painted speech or rou­ling Rhethorike, which is not here to bee found: when they haue opened the booke I woulde wishe them to goe no further, for if they seeke till they haue reade the whole, they shall find in the ende, that they haue but lost their labour: but if they wold know the truth, here they shall finde no lyes, but many thinges that are too true and I wish it to be a booke in euery mans hand, that al estates might learne somewhat, and that the sounde of it might ring in the cares of all Popishe Priestes, couetous Ministers, and vnlearned Pastors, that when they sée as in a glasse their sinnes laid before them, their duetie shewed them, and in the ende, and example of repentance: they may learne of the best, and forsake the worst, that God in them may be glorified, and them selues in Christ sanctified.

Farewell gentle Reader, I pray thee reade through the booke before thou iudge of it.

A Dialogue betweene a vertuous gentleman, and a Popish Priest, riding on the way.

Gentleman.

YOu are well ouertake­ten master Parson.

Parson,

You are welcome gen­tleman.

Gen.

I pray you ma­ster Parson, how farre ride you this way?

Par.

Truly sir, I haue fourty miles to go, and I meane not (by Gods grace) to stope before I come to my iourneis end.

Gen.

And I must ride as far, an almost so much farther, and I am glad that it is my chance to fall into so good company as a man of your coat, for they are (or should be all) such as the company where they are present should be the better for: & I know that with thePsal. holy, men shalbe holy, with [Page]the perfect, me shall be perfect, with the cleane men shalbe cleane, and with the froward, men shall learne frowardnesse: ther­fore, to come in company wher a man may b [...]e best taught, is to haue the greatest bles­sing that in this world may be founde, and I pray you sir what is your name?

Par.

The name that was giuen me in my baptisme, is Iohn,

Gent.

And I beseech you (master parson) If I may be so bold to aske what is youre sirname?

Par.

Truely gentleman, my sirname is bad (sauing that I know the name doeth neuer make nor mar the man) I would be so, to shewe you.

Gent.

What euer be your name, you need feare, no shame thereof, for as it is not your good name that coulde profite you, if your life be euill: so shal not your bad name hurt you, if your life be good.

Par.

To tell you my name, and to saye the troth, it is Neuer be good.

Gen.

What? master Neuer be good? I know many worshipfull gentlemen of that name, and therefore you neede not to disdaine the name.

Par.

In deede there are many gentle­men of that name, and I my selfe am a gentleman borne.

Gen.

Are you so? it is no cōmon thing to see a gentlemans sonne to take vppon him the ministerye, for they will chuse rather some faculty, whereby they may liue at ease, then betake themselues to the ministery, which is a painfull vocation being vsed as it ought.

Par.

Truely you say the trothe, it is a new thing to see gentlemens sonnes giuen to the ministrie, and I promise you it was neuer my desire to take vpon me that func­tion, but if you will giue me leaue, I will shewe you howe I came to it, and by what meanes I did attaine to my liuing.

Gen.

Yes, I praye you (maister Par­son) say on, let me hear the whole discourse therrof, it will cause our long iourney to seeme much the shorter.

Par.

The troth is, my father hath ma­nie children, & of them all I was the yon­gest, and for his eldest sonnes he had great care to bring them vp in learning, some at the vniuersitie, and some at the Innes of the Courte: but I beeing the yongest of [Page]them all, was kept at home, to be my mo­thers wanton, and I was so trained vp in pleasure, and had in my yong yeeres so much mine owne desire, that when I came to riper age, my parentes, which in my youth had kept me at home to serue their turne, coulde not by any meanes perswade me to goe from them, althoughe it mighte haue beene the better for me: but as they had begun to keepe me at home? and tray­ned mee vp in wantonnes, so I meant al­wayes to continue at home, and leade my life in lewdnesse: and my father at length perceiuing where vnto I was inclined, ha­uing alwayes a desire that I shoulde doe well, was sory to see me so ill disposed, and behelde the same to his great griefe: and did vse as many means as he might, to in­graffe in me some goodnesse: but he seeing that I was made of such mettall, that no goodnes would hang about mee, (and ha­uing to much experience thereof) it had all most cost him his life, to se al the rest of his sonnes brought vp to his contentatiō, some Lawyers, and some Courtiers, and all had somewhat, and I being as deare his childe as the rest of my brethren, he was sory that [Page]I had not soed so well as they had done, & when he wel perceiued, ye sighing could not salue this matter, nor his thought taken (which did hurt him selfe) could do me any good, although full sore against his will, when he saw I was paste all hope of any goodnesse, had no shift for me but to make me a minister, and when I was a minister it was not long before I had a benefice (al­though I payed well for him) and when I was once mine owne man, and had gotten my selfe aforehand, it ws not long before I had another, and hauing enioyed these 2. benefices, 3 or 4. yeeres, I was gotten in such credite amongst the gentlemen of our countrey, what by house keeping, & what by good felowship, that there was not a be­nefice that should lightly fall in that coun­trey, but I shoulde be heard for my money before another: so that now I thanke God & good friends, I haue 3. benefices whiche bee worth me 3. hundred good markes by the yere, and although I be no lawyer nor Courtier, with the rest of my brethren, yet I dare bè bold to say, I liue as merry at my hearts case as the proudest of them all.

Gen,

Were these the steppes whereby [Page]you came to such promotiō? I perceiue you are not the man that I took you for, nor yet the man that you shoulde bee: are you but one minister and haue you so many benefi­ces? and hauing so many? haue you gotten them all by simonie? beleeue mee, beleeue me (master Parson) I am sorie to heare so ill of you.

Par.

Why sir, is there suche hurt in ha­uing so many benefices? and it is not lawfull to come by them as a man maye haue them?

Gen.

Truely I will tell you what I thinke, and to shewe you may iudgement in matter (to be plane with you) I esteeme it to be starknaked naughte, for the buy­ing of your benefices howe tollerable it is, you maye knowe it to bee as lawfull for a minister to buy a benefice, as it is for the Patron to sell that whiche is none of his owne: and it is as lawfull for the Patron to sell a benefice, as it was forActs. 8.18. Simon Magus to obteine the giftes of the holye Ghost for monie, and because both Patron and Priest are gyltie of the same, I would wishe them to repent of this their wicked­nesse, vnlesse them selues with their monie [Page]do perish together.

Par.

What then? would you not haue a minister to haue a benefice before it be gi­uen him freely? so hee may goe without a benefice a good while.

Gen.

I woulde not haue the ministerye to be corrupted with such faultes, of al the men in the worlde, for it becometh them as they oughte to teache the trueth vnto their flocke, so they1. Pet. 5.2. are to bee an example vnto them of good liuing.

Par.

But (by your leaue Syr) before you condemne the matter, you must prooue it to be a fault.

Gen.

Why? doe you not acknowledge your fault? in so doing you make the faulte greater: for, to sinne and not to be sorye for sinne, is to heape sinne vponEccle. 23.11. sinne, and in the end to reape the reward of iniquitie.

Par.

But I pray you Syr, doe you think there is such a fault in buying of benefices, as you speake of? and that it is any offence against God?

Gen.

Truely I am perswaded that if Christ were now amongst vs (as he was sometime amongst the Iewes) and did see the marchandize that is made of benefices [Page]now a days, he that could then so ill like ofMatt. 21.12. buying and selling in the churche, would woorse like of buying and selling of the churche, and therfore I think they that buy and sell benefices doe better deserue a whip to be scourged out of the churche, then to have any thing at all to doe concorning the Church.

Par.

Me thinkes you take the matter very hardly, for truely I am of this mind, that if a man buy a bencefice, when the mo­ny is once tolde, the benefice is cleane sold, and then it is lawful for the minister to vse it as his owne.

Gen.

And I thinke it is more lawfull for you to vse it as your owne when you once haue it, then it is to pay for it, when it is in your choyse to leaue it.

Par.

And are you of the same minde of hauing many benefices, that it is not law­full for one man to haue more then one?

Gen.

I thinke it to be as lawfull for you to haue 3. benefices, as it is for me to haue 3. wiues, and as the one by the law of man is vnlawfull, so are they both in the sight of God most abhominable.

Par.

I pray you Syr shewe me some [Page]reason for these matters, I neuer hard man so dislike with these thinges (as you doe) before.

Gen.

These bee the reasons that cause me to thinke that the hauing of more then one benefice for one man to bee vnlawfull. First because it is not lawfull for one man to haue more then one man can discharge: secondly that the minister shoulde not the so fed with the vaine desires of this corrupte worlde, that it mighte drawe him from the loue of the worlde to come: for as they feede them selues, so they feede others, and such meate as they receiue into their owne bellies, the breth thereof they blowe vppon their whole parishioners, & being perswa­ded that it is lawfull for themselues, to liue as hogges in a Stye, connot teach their flocke any other doctrine then to feede thē selues as the Oxe yt is fed to the flaughter.

Par.

Nay, I pray you Syr (sauing your tale) cannot one man discharge three bene­fices:

Gen.

No, I muste tell you nowe, as I tolde you before, I knowe it, and I woulde wish you to remember it, that it is not law full for one man to haue more then one mā [Page]can discharge.

Par.

That is wel said, I wil say so too, & of this matter I can speake by experience, yt one man may wel discharge thrée benefi­ces, for I my selfe haue had three benefices almost these twenty yeres, and (I thanke God) I know not the man that can aske a penny of me for the discharge of the same.

Gen.

Oh (master parson) I praye you mistake me not, I meane not but you may agree with the world for greater matters then these, but when you haue discharged your self of this world, & this world shalbe discharged of you, then haue you the grea­teste account of all to reckon for, for when you are deade and leuiled all youre ac­countes with man, then shall you bee ar­raigned beforeHeb. 9.27.20.24.12. te iudgemente seate of God, there to aunswére to such thinges as shalbe layd to your charge, and if you can­not then answer for your self, no man shall be aloud to speak for your if you be deman­ded how you entred into ye ministery, what will you say, your father did compell you? so you & your Father for simning together shal without repentance be destroied for e­uer: if you be demanded how you came by your benefices, wil you say, you haue paid [Page]sufficiently for them, and your Patrons and you did agree wel ynough? so you may prooue your selfe well friended amongst men, and be vtterly cast out of the fauoure of God: if you be demanded howe you haue liued, will you say you haue beene a good fellowe, and haue fed youre Parishioners with the fruites of their owne handes? so you may haue heauen and earth to beare witnes against you, for liuing by the swet of other mens brows: if you be asked when you haue fed their bodies, how you haue fed their souls, if you said so manie benefices, ye you could not be resident on thē al at once, & therefore doe what you could, you coulde not do as you should, you shall be sure to receiue the reward of an vnprofitable seruāt.

Par.

Yea: but sir I say not so, neither do I thinke, but that I doe discharge my 3. benefices as well as if I had but one, for because I cannot my selfe be in all places at all times: I haue two ministers that do see as good order in my other 2. benefices, as if I were there my selfe.

Gen.

I beleeue you (Master Parson) that the order of your ministers, and your owne, is much like: but doe you thinke to [Page]doe your dutie by an attorney? so you may chaunce to go to heauen by an attorney.

Par.

You are the straungest gentleman that euer I talked withall, do you find such faulte in me, for hauing 3. benefices, and these 3. lie somewhat rounde togeather? what if I can tell you of one man that hath 4. benefices, and euery of them is fourscore miles a sunder: howe thinke ye, may hee supplie so many, & beeing so farre one from the other?

Gen.

I thinke hee maye better supplie these 4. then you do your 3,

Par.

What doe you thinke so? I woulde fain know how so vnlikely a matter might be brought to passe.

Gen.

Thus in my iudgement it might very well be done: first, if he were hanged, then if vpon euery of his foure parish chur­ches were hanged one of his four quarters, so shoulde all his parishioners bee sure, al­waies to haue some part of their parson re­sident.

Par

Ah, I perceiue you are a merie Gentleman, and disposed to lest, therefore and you say the worde (by my faith) let vs haue a little merrie talke another while.

Gen.

What (master Parson) doe you sweare?

Par.

Oh I cry you mercy sir, can you not abide swearing.

Gen.

Nay, cry God mercie, for it is him that you haue offended and not me.

Gen.

Why, is there suche an offence in swearing one little othe, as by my faith?

Gen.

Yea no doubt, although the othe seeme little in your eies, yet the offence is great in the sight of God: and I maruaile that you which haue taken vpon you to be a teacher, are now to learn that lesson: therfore I woulde wishe you, either learne to leaue your swearing, or leaue your name of teaching, for commonly suche a master, such schollers, and where the blind lead the blinds, they both fall into the dike.

Par.

Me thinkes you take vppon you to be master controller, and I thinke you haue (since our first talke) spoken more then you can prooue.

Gen.

No, (master parson) I meane not to Controle you, but I seeke by all meanes to amend you, and as for that which I haue saide, or doe meane to saie, I doubt not, but I am able to auouch it by the word of God [Page]and if you thinke that you can disproue me and proue that you saye by the scripture, I am contented to be taught of you.

Par.

Naye I promise you I haue no scripture

Gen.

What haue you no scripture? then you are woorse then the Diuell, for he had some scripture, when heMat. 4.6. tempted Christe he was not without scripture: but you say you haue none, and therfore in that respect you are inferiour to the diuell.

Par.

Truely Gentleman you make but a homely comparison, but I am contented you shal say your pleasure.

Gen.

And you are a very homely mini­ster, that you shame not to say you haue no knowledge in the scripture. What a pitiful thinge is this? that you whiche are in the roome of a master, and haue manie schol­lers to teache and see well brought vp, or else a hard an account to make: that you are altogeather without knowledge. You take it vpon you to be on of them that will giue light (as a randell) to them that sit in darkenesse, and are placed in Moses chaire to shew the law of the Lorde vnto his peo­ple: but I perceiue you may goe amongste [Page]the number of those shepheards whom theEsai. 56.16.Prophet complaineth of, that are altogea­ther without vnderstading, that are blind that are dumbe dogges and cannot barke. For I see well you are no preacher of the word.

Par.

No in deed, it was neuer my brin­ging vp.

Gen.

What, can you say nothing? then you maye goe learne of Balaams Asse, for heNom. 22.27. could saie somewhat, and feare before the Angel of the Lorde, but you can say no­thing, nor fear the iudgements of God due for so great a sin: (although you are in such estimation that you are called master par­son) yet you are worse then Blaaams Asse in condition.

Par.

I thinke I am so not bad as you make me, for I can read the word vnto the people, and is not that sufficient?

Gen.

No, that will not suffice, for one of your calling must not onely read the word, but be able to expound the same, and suche thinges as are harde to be vnderstoode, to make plaine vnto the people, for faith com­meth by hearing,Rom. 10.14. and hearing by the word of God, and howe shall they heare without [Page]a Preacher, and Solomon sayth, wherePro. 11.14. Gods worde is not preached, the people goe to decay: so that you may now see (if you be not starke blind) how farre you are out of the way, and how vnfitte you are to haue the charge ouer soules, which are vnable to preach, and cannot vse that ordi­nary meanes to saue the people, which is ordeined to bring them vnto faluation.

Par.

I perceiue you are a Puritant out right, you are one of these new mē yt would haue nothing but preaching, it was neuer merry world since yt sect came first amongst vs: for I dare be hold to say, that there was more good fellowship in the old time, and all thinges were better cheape when wee had little preaching or none at all, and a man might haue more for a peny, then he can haue now for a groat, therfore I think we haue now so much preaching that wee are the worse for it.

Gen.

What (master parson) are you of that minde? that the preaching of the word of God (which is the greatest blessing that we haue amongst vs) is ye cause of our vn­happines? Oh in any wise thinke not so: for the vngodly people in the time of the Pro­phet [Page] Ieremie, were of the same wicked o­pinion, and tolde him the like tale, that when they didIere. 44.17. seruice vnto the Queene of Heauen, they were in prosperity, and had all things plemie: but when they did leaue such vngodly behauiour, all thinges went wrong with them, and their estate was vn happy, and therefore they though that to serue God, was the cause of their punish­mentes: but the Prophet tolde them, as I may tel you, thatIere. 44.22. our sinnes are the cause of our troubles, and we are punished for not walking in the waies of the Lord. There­fore (master parson) you are farre deceiued to thinke that the preaching of the Gospell doth hurt the people, and now I well per­ceiue that there is not that in you, which I thought to haue found in a man of your calling, therefore to discharge mine owne du­tie, and for the loue I beare vnto the truth, I (will according to my small knowledge) shew you what is the duetie of true sheepe­heardes, of the which number I know you would goe for one. First it is sayde in the prophesie of Ezechiel, that theEzek. 33.7. shephard is made a watch man ouer his flocke, to giue them warning from the lorde, and if they [Page]sinne, and he shew them not of it, that then they shall dye in their sinnes, & their bloud shall be requyred at the pastors handes: but if hee giue them warning and thye a­mend not, they shall die in their sinnes, but the minister hath saued his own soule, another Prophet saith, that the Priests lippes shouldeMal. 2.7. keepe sure knowledge, that the people may seek the law at his mouth, be­cause hee is the messenger of the Lorde of Hostes. And the Apostle Paule sayth: that a minister2. Tim. 3.2. must be baamelesse, watching, sober, apt to teach, not greedy of filthy lucre holding the mistery of faith in pure con­science, and Peter agreeing with him, would haue them to feed3. Pet. 5.2. their flocke, not as though they were Lords ouer their pa­rishioners, but that they giue a good en­sample vnto them of wel doing, and that of good will, and Paule (in another place) would haue them to be instant, in2. Tim. 4.2. season, and out of season, and no time exempted wherein they may be doing good. This is your duetie, and if this be in you, then doe you play the part of a wise seruant, whom his master, when hee commeth shall finde wel doing: but if this be sarr from you, and [Page]the name of shepheard be only to be found, you are a Wolfe, cloathed in a Sheepes skinne, and shall haue your portion with the vngodly, in that lake of fire and Brim­stone, which shall not bee quenched for e­uer.

Par.

Truely sir, it is a harde matter to finde all this in one man, and although I haue not this in me, yet I trust I shal haue no parte in that fierie lake whereof you speake, nor there is no such daunger in the matter.

Gen.

That you may not thinke it to be an vntruth, or any inuention of mine own making, marke what the scripture sayth, which cannot lye. WoIere. 48.10. be vnto him that doth the worke of the Lord negligently A­gaine,Ezek. 34.2. Wo be vnto the Shepheardes that feed themselues, shoulde not a Shepheard feede his flocke? Paule cryedCor. 9.16. Wo vnto him selfe if hee preache not the Gospell, and you shall one day cry, Wo vnto your selfe if you preache not the Gospel,Ezeck. 23.3. Wo vnto the foolishe Prophetes that followe their owne braines.Iere. 23.1. Wo vnto the Shep­heardes, that destroy and scatter my flocke (saith the Lorde) and so thruste them out [Page]that they once looke not vppon them: ther­fore will I one day visite the wickednes of their vaine imaginations, here you haue heard a great many of Woes, and al these and a great many more, shall fall on you, if in time you seeke not some meanes to a­uoide them.

Par.

In deede Syr, I must needes saye you haue told me of many woes, and yet I trust what so euer you say, there shal none of them light on me.

Gen.

Truely I haue sayde nothing of my selfe, but that which I haue tolde you are the reportes of other men, which vsed not to lye.

Par.

And doe you thinke in deede, that all these woes are pronounced against such ministers as preach not the Gospell, and ye if they continue in that state, they shal haue them in their portion?

Gen.

I pray you (master Parson) let me first aske you this question: do you thinke that the Prophets and Apostles haue spo­ken any thing in vaine?

Par.

I doe not thinke so, but peraduen­ture it may be true.

Gen.

Nay I will tell you, without per­aduenture, [Page]that which they haue spokē is so true,Math. 5.18. that heauen and earth shal fal, before that one iot that they haue said shal perish.

Par.

I doe not deny but that the worde of God must needes stand, but if you will so conster the scriptures, that all ministers that preach not the Gospell shall be cryed Woe vnto, you will make a mad peece of worke, and sende most of the ministers in these dayes to the deuil.

Gen.

I go not about to send any man to the deuill, but I doe what in me lieth to drawe them vnto God: and therefore I would wish you and your fellowes, to looke to this geare in time, vnlesse you repent hereafter when it will bee too late, for if your dueties be neglected, and this great charge can not be answeared when it shall be examined, you and your fellowes shal be sure to smart for it.

Par.

Why? what would you haue me to do? that you find such fault in vs.

Gen.

Truly I would wish you to deale no longer in the matter you haue taken vp­on you, and are not able to go throgh with it, out repent for that which is past, and a­mend that is to come, and let it not be long [Page]a doing: but take the councell of the Pro­phet that would haue vs toEsay. 55.6. seek the Lord while he may be found, and call vppon him while he may be heard, let the vngodly mā (saith he) forsake his owne waies, and the wicked his vain imaginations, and return vnto the Lorde, so shall he be mercifull vn­to him, and vnto our God, for he is ready to forgiue. Oh refuse not this offer (ma­ster parson) as you loue your owne soule, for if you take it not while you may haue it hereafter you may chance to seeke it with teares and goe without it, for nowe is the acceptable time, and euery tree that bring­eth not foorth good fruite, theMath. 13.10. axe is layd to his roote, that it may be cut downe and cast into the fire: therefore be not leaue off from sinn, which without shame you haue greedily committed, be no longer amongst the number of thoss whome Paul spcaketh of, that they are the enemies of thePhi. 3.10. crosse of Christe, whose end is damnation, whose God is their belly, & glory to their shame, which are worldly minded, let no longer ye loue of this world, draw you frō the loue of God: butIam 4.7. draw neere vnto him, and he wil [Page]drawe neere vnto you: resist the deuill and hee will fly from you, purge your handes, and clense your heart, & humble your selfe in the sight of the Lorde, and hee shall lift you vp. Let the same mind be in you which was in Moses, who when hee was great,Heb. 11.2. refused to be called the sonne of Pharaobs daughter, and chose rather to suffer aduer­sity with the children of God, then to enioy the pleasures of sinne for a season: estee­ming the rebuke of Christe more riches, then al the treasure of Egypt. And with Sainte Paul saye that youPhil. 3.8. account al the world but dung that you may win Christ, & giue ouer your liuings, vnlawfully pos­sed, in this short and transitory world, that you may liue for euer in the world to come.

Par.

What do you mean by al this talk, that I shuld giue ouer my benefices? so you may chaunce to beginne a peece of worke which you shal neuer finish, for I had as leeue loose my life as loose my liuing, and I haue not had them this long, to forgo thē at last, therefore gentleman, I shal desirs you to haue me excussd for this matter, and I wil here you in any thing saue this: ther is no man so vnwise I thinke, to forsake [Page]his liuing and become a begger, when it is in his choise to vse it at his pleasure.

Gen.

In deed (master Parson) I thinke few men be so wise, to doe that which may be best for them.

Par.

What, doe you account that wise­dome? I am sure there are many wise men of the ministerie, as you know as well as I, that haue more liuings then I haue, and yet I thinke you can not tel me of one that doth loue the Gospell so wel, that he would depart with any of his benefices, to dis­charge his conscience.

Gen.

In deed (as you say) a man shall hardly finde one amongest so many double beneficed men, that will preferre the truth, before their benefices, or loue the Lord bet­ter then them selues: but such deserue not the name of wise men, for if their be any wisdome in them, it is such as the prophet speaketh of, thatIere. 4.22. are wise to doe euill, but to doe well they haue no knowledge, and if scripture will no serue to perswade you, yet let me see what reason may mooue you: do you think that our Lord Christ, who is heire of heauen and earth, whose seruantes we will say we are, & vnder whose banner [Page]we will say we fight: if he then being our master, andPhi. 4.21. thought it no robberie to bee equall with God, and yet made him selfe of no reputation, and refused notto take vpon him the shape of a seruaunt, and to humble himselfe vnto the death of the crosse for our sakes, that we by his example, might learn for his great loue, to loue him againe, and was taught obedience by the thinges that he suffered, to submit himself to his fathers will, and was contented for our sakes to beare this heauy burden, before hee entred into his glory: and do you thinke it reason that a gret many of you, which are drawn from the Carts taile and set with Princes, that you shall mocke him with the name of seruaunts, and yet liue as master, and say you fight vnder his banner, and strike the stroke with his enemies, & in the end be accounted as his brethren, & eate and drinke in his kingdome? no, no, (master Parson) deceiue not your selfe,Gal. 6.7. he will not be moc­ked, they are those that2. Tim. 2.12. suffer with him, and such as deny him, he will deny them: or thinke you that there is any new way to heauen, better then Christe him selfe hath found? no, doubt you not, if theer had beene [Page]any way easier, then through many tribu­lations to enter into heauen, ye father wold haue reuealed it to his onely begotten son. Therefore (master Parson) seeing the case standeth as it doth, I maruaile that before you meant to be a builder in this woorke, you had not first made your account what it would haue cost you, for it is such a péece of worke as wil not be done without great charge, for experience doth teach vs, that it hath coste many a man all that they haue had, yea and their liues also, ye they might be found painfull labourers in so sumptu­ous a building.

Par.

Truely Gentleman, I must needs confesse that the scripture is true, and your reasons are verye good, and if I thought there were no other sence to bee gathered out of the scripture, then you haue shewed me, I might chance to do that which some times I neuer thought to haue done: but although there be many places that threa­ten punishment to the greeuous offen­ders, yet I know there are some that teach vs: that God is mercifull: and I for my part doe not meane to come to heauen by mine owne desertes, but I do only hope of [Page]the mercy of God.

Gen.

To trust in Gods mercy you doe wel, for if you should think to come to hea­uen by your own merites, you should sure­ly be deceiued, but so to hope of his mercy as those that care not for it, is to trust to a broken staffe, and in the ende to be decei­ued.

Par.

Tushe I know God is merciful, and some there be (and that a great many) that shal tast of his mercy, and why shold not I be one of them, as soone as an other?

Gen.

But (master Parson) in any wise deceiue not your selfe, but take the counsel of the wise man, which saith,Eccle. 5.6. say not tush the Lorde is mercifull, he shall forgiue me my sinnes, by they neuer so many, for as he is mercifull, so departeth wrath from him, & in the time of vengeance he shal destroy thee: but because it is true, that God is mercifull, and some there be that shall tast of his mercie, and you are one of them that woulde faine tast of his mercie, I will tell you how you maie get it, and also how you shal know when she is sure to haue it. The prophet Esay saith,Esay. 55.7. Let the vngodly man forsake his owne waies, and the wic­ked [Page]his owne imaginations, and turne a­gaine vnto the Lorde, so shall he be merci­full vnto him: so by this you may see, that the way to haue Gods mercy, is to forsake your sinne, and when you find from the bottome of your heart, ye you do loth your wic­kednesse and hate your sinnes as the grea­test enemies you haue, and leaue them as thinges daungerous to bee had in keeping: when you finde this in you, be sure that the mercy of the Lorde, is not farre from you, but if a man will not turne, he will whettePsal. 7.13. his sworde, and bend his bowe, to the cut­ting down and vtter destruction of the wicked and vngodly.

Par.

And must I needes put away my benefices (thinke you) before I am like to obteine the mercy of God, and atteine to his heauenly kingdome.

Gen.

Truly (Master Parson) I will tell you,Math. 7.14. the way to heauen is very straite: and it will be a harde matter, for one man with three benefices to passe throughe so narrowe a place: therefore if you will bee sure to come thither your selfe, I woulde wish you to leaue youre benefices behinde you.

Par.

Why? do you think yt I meant to carry my benefices with me? ther is no mā so vnwise (I thinke) but knoweth he shall leaue al things behind him, when he dieth

Gen.

But if you bee not discharged of them while you may, you shall bee sure to be troubled with them, when you wil wish that you had neuer seene them, when the bloude of your sheepe shall be required at your handes, their sinnes will lie so heauy on your backe, that when you are come to the gate ready to enter into heauen (I feare me) they will plucke you downe as farre as the bottomles pit of hel: therefore if you will follow the counsel of him that wisheth you well, now so deal with the worlde, that hereafter you repent not your bargin: andMath. 5.2. agree with your aduersary while you are in the way, least he deliuer you vnto the iudge, and the iudge deliuer you vnto the Gailor, and he cast you into prison, & thence not to come out, till you haue made good the vtmoste farthing.

Par.

For your good counsel I most hear­tely thanke you, and follow it I would if I thought if best for me, the pathes that lead to heauen I would fain tread, and the way [Page]to hell I wold willingly auoid, for I know that these places, the one from the other do so farr differ, that to know the way to hea­uen is onely my desire, and that I might be sure not to misse the waie, I coulde be contented to depart with one of my benefi­ces (with all my hart) so that I might en­ioy the rest quietlie.

Gen.

I am glad that you are come one step lower, and it putteth me in hope ye you will not stick to take a little more paine in this vile and transitorie world, ye you may rest for euer in the world to come, and that this world may not deceiue you, consider it as it is, and think no better of it thē it doth deserue, & loue it no dearer then you would your enemie: for the Apostle saith,1. Iohn. 2.15. if we loue the world or the things in the world, the loue of God is not in vs: and if you wil say youIoh. 14.2.4. loue God and keepe not his com­mandementes, you will prooue your selfe a liar, & there is no truth in you. Know ther­fore, ye this world is vaine, and al worldlie things are vanitie, ye righteousnes is per­fect blessednes, and to know God in truth, is the cheefest felicitie: and to put away confidence in man, or any worldly helpe, is [Page]to trust to a broken staffe, which in thende will deceiue you: thinke no fréedome so to be desired as the seruice of God, & to know that better it is for you to be Christs Chap­lin without a benefice, then to haue all the liuinges in the worlde, and bee out of his seruice, and thinke it not inough to depart with one benefice and keepe two in your hand, but if you may be vnburdened of that which you cannot discharge, and haue par­don for your former sinnes committed, say you are well vsed and finne no more: and Christe teacheth vs, that he that wil be his disciple,Mat. 16.2. must deny himselfe, and take vp his crosse and follow him. Now if I should counsel you to keepe any thing that might hurt you or hinder Gods glory, I shoulde go beyond my commission, and commit sin with you: therefore to tel you the troth, be­cause you are an vnpreaching Prelate, and vnmeet for that office, I would wish you to giue ouer the function you haue no skill-of, and leaue al your benefices, as things that perteine not vnto you. Let not so many soules perishe, through one mans negli­gence, but haue a care of your selfe as well as of them, & flatter not your selfe any lon­ger, [Page]least you & your flock perish togeather: let suche haue your roome that can teache them better, and let such shere the sheepe as can feede the flocke, that you may saue your selfe and thē, let not worldly perswa­sions worke you destruction, but let such flatterers goe for lyers, that will tell you, you are vnwise if you so doe, you shall loose your credite, you friends wil faile you, no man wil regard you, let these and such like tales goe for chaffe, that is blowne awaye with the winde, and whose substaunce will soone haue an ende, for if the Lorde will be serued, and his iudgement executed for so great a sinne, al the world cannot pay your ransome, neither shall any man be able to set you free. Therfore in this matter deale wisely for your selfe, for it is your selfe that shall stand to the stake for the whole: de­part with this vngodly promotion, which this wicked worlde hath brought you, and you shall haue treasure in heauen, and be­cause it is so that you are not able to take vppon you the charge of soules, withoute the destruction of your selfe and them, dis­charge your selfe quite of so great a daun­ger, and keepe not a benefice for feare of [Page]displeasure.

Par.

What, wil you not haue me keepe one benefice? then you deale more hardly with mee then I thought you woulde: but there shal be no more adoe of the matter, I will kepe my selfe as I am, and therefore in vsing these perswasions, you doe but loose your labour, the charge is mine, and I one­ly shall auswere for it, therefore I woulde wish you to looke to your selfe, and take no farther care for me.

Gen.

What, are you nowe come to this passe? and is this the thanke that for my good will I shall receiue? I was in good hope when you were once running, you would not haue staied before you had come to the goale: but oh howe true is that say­ing nowe fulfilled in you, which was spo­ken so long agone? that2. Pet. 2.2 [...]. the dogge is tur­ned to his old vomite againe, & the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in yt mire: Oh couetousnes, couetousnes, howe well may it be called the roote1 Tim. 10.6. of all euil? that sendeth so many soules headlong to ye diuel.

Par.

What, you are farre deceiued (gen­tleman) do you thinke that couetousnes is in mee, no, I abhorre it with al my heart, [Page]and loue of monie is farre from me.

Gen.

What are you not couetous: I pray you, what did then moue you to take 3. benefices? when as one of them is liuing sufficient for you?

Par.

I perceiue you knowe not what you say, for I tel you troth, I can not liue with one benefice.

Gen.

No? I praye you what is one of your benefices (that doth yeelde you leaste) worth you by the yeere?

Par.

I thinke it bee woorth me, a fortie or fifie pounds.

Gen.

And I pray you what do you giue vnto your Curate by the yeare, that doeth serue your benefice.

Par.

I giue him ten pound by the yere.

Gen.

And why can you not liue with fourty or fiftie pounds by the year? as well as your Curate that hath but ten pounde by the yeare?

Par.

I see well (Gentleman) you take all things at the worst, but I will tell you, and not lye vnto you, wherfore one benefice would not content mee, and so small a li­uing will not satisfie me, I did consider my calling, how that I was a gentleman, and [Page]therefore I thought it not ynough for mee to liue as the common sorte doe, which are but plaine fellowes of the country, and I knew no way how to make any difference, but onlie by procuring my self such liuings as might mainteine me like a gentleman, and being once a minister, you knowe it is not lawful to possesse other liuinges, then such as belong to the ministerie, and there­fore I had no way to make vp the matter, or bring my purpose to passe, but onelye by hauing two or thrée benefices: and now you see the worlde what it is, howe that he that hath nothing shalbe nothing set by, and ha­uing a good liuing and being able to beare some countenance, he may be a companion for a right good Gentleman: and I promise you, these were the causes that did moue me to take so many liuings, & not for coue­tousnes sake as you do imagine.

Gen.

Was it your chiefest regarde to haue greatest respect vnto these vanities, I perceiue you are a right worldling, and by a wrong dore haue entred into the ministe­rie, you say you did respect your calling, and that was how you were a gentleman: [...]ut I perceiue you had forgotten another [Page]calling, which al ministers ought to haue regarde vnto, and that is, that you are no longer called to be a gentleman, and to liue at ease: but if you will be the man that you ought to be, you must forsake your selfe and follow Christ, and as neer as you may imi­tate his steps, and then see what examples are laid before you, & what a life you ought to liue. Christ him selfe, who although now heire of heauen & earth, when the time was come, that he must be a minister of the gos­pel, hee left heauen and the glory thereof, and tooke vpon him the shape of the seruant. Paul, which sometimes was in authoritie beeing an enemie to the Gospell, when it pleased God to make him a minister of the Gospell, he was contented to forsake suche promotion, andGal. 6.14. reioice in nothing but in the crosse of Christ. Mathewe sittingMat. 9.9. at the receite of custome, and in the middes of his worldlie affaires, when Christ ment to make him a Gospeller, hee willingly for­sooke all and followed him, Peter, Andrew, Iames, and Iohn, which got their liuing by fishing and busied about the same, someMat. 4.18. casting their nets into the sea, & other mē ­ding of their nets being brokē, which did require [Page]some hast, whē Christ came by thē, & told thē that he would make them fishers of men, they made no more adoe of the mat­ter, but left all and followed him, but you as thoughe you had a prerogatiue aboue Christ and his disciples, thinke you may be a minister and a Gentleman too, that you may bee a Christian and a worldling too, that you may serue God and the Diuel too, that you may liue at ease and yet beare the name of a painful labourer: but he that wil be a minister of the Gospel, and a seruaunt to Christ, is taken on this condition, that if he wil looke to reign with him in his king­dom, he must suffer for him a while in this world: and deny the vaine titles of a proud Prelate: and forsake the vanities of this vaine worlde: and to be be a1. Tim. 4.12. paterne to the godly, in word, in conuersation, in charitie in faith, and in chastety, and to giue atten­dance vnto teaching, reading, doctrine and exhortation: this is the calling that you are called vnto, and as for the credit and conti­nuance that you seeke to haue in the world that you may be a companiō of such as are worldlinges, I will tell you (Maister par­son) if you shape not to liue another kind of [Page]life, you wil one day be found a fit compa­nion for the diuell, you must beare with me though I bee somewhat plaine with you, and that which I tell you is nothing but trueth, and therefore I would wish you the sooner to beleeue me.

Par.

Nay, I promise you, I will not be­leeue you for this matter, all the scripture you haue in your belly, will not make that sinke into my head, that I being a minister should forgoe the calling of a Gentleman, for if I had thought so much before I was minister, I wold neuer haue taken the mi­nistery vppon mee as long as I had liued: what is a minister now a dates without a liuing? and what is one benefice for a man to keepe house vpon? or how can he bid his friends welcome, & giue them sufficient en­tertainment except he haue some other help as well? me thinks you being a gentleman, haue least cause to complaine of any man, for I am sure you & your fellows fare neuer the worse for vs of the ministerie, especially as many of vs as are vnmarried and haue no man to care for but our selues, we spare not to spend vpon good fellowes, and gen­tleman as you are, but you may come to [Page]our houses at any time, when we are resi­dent, and be welcome. We keepe good hou­ses at Christmas, we are merie & haue our friendes about vs, and many a poore bodie at our gates doe fill their bellies with that which we leaue when our bellies are full.

Gen.

This is an Oration, that if it had bene made before the diuell, it woulde haue pleased him verye well: you are a man for his owne toothe, for I perceiue you are al for the bellie, and care neither for youre owne soule, nor the soules of suche as you shal answere for: but your greatest desire is to be in credite & fauour with the worlde. I dare warrant you (M. Parson) as long as you behaue you selfe in this order that you speake of, you shal haue friendes y­nowe in this world, and be alowde to haue recourse to the diuel, which is the Prince of this worlde, &Iosh. 2.13. Ephe. 6.21. gouernour of suche as are worldlinges: but knowe this withal, that his kingdome doth last no longer then this worlde doth endure, and that wil haue an ende you knowe not how soone: & although it be long before that time come: yet you shal beare no longer swaye in it then your owne life doth last, and that wil bee taken [Page]from you, it may be very shortly, and when your life is gone, your work will bee at an ende, and you shall haue your wages home with you, & for the greedy desire you haue had to fill your paunch, you shall haue fire & br [...]mston your belly full: & for yourEsay. 65.13. Luk. 8.24. mirth & merry pastime, wherewith you thoughte your selfe neuer satisfied, you shall haue more weeping and gnashing of teethe then you would desire: and for the friendship you haue had in the worlde, you shall haue as much of the wrath of God as you are able to beare: and because you haue serued your master the diuell diligently, you shal haue a losse in this, that shal last for euer. There­fore (M. Parson) if you like not of such an alteration, I woulde wish you to lead a life of another fashion, for such sweete meate will haue soure sauce, and these plagues doth follow such an vngodly life.

Par.

Why, is there such vngodlinesse in vsing these thinges that I haue spoken of? or is it not commendable to keepe a good house, or to be merrie amongst our friends.

Gen.

It is your duetie alwaies to bee a louer of [...]. Tim. 3.2. hospitalitie: but in that you prefer one time before another, as your Christ­mas, [Page]which you speake of, and such like it may go amongst the number of the rest of your faultes, for the same fault did Sainte Paul finde amonst theGal. 4.10. Galath [...]ans, and was in feare least he had bestowed his la­bour on them in vaine, because they made a difference of da [...]es, monethes, & times, and where as you say, that the mea [...]e which you leaue when your bellies are full, doth feede many poore at your gates: you may know that you thruste them out of your gates, which ought to be guests at your tables.

Par.

This is more then euer I hearde before, therefore I thinke it to be some new order of your owne making.

Gen.

If you thinke it strange or a newe order, you may knowe that it was an order set down by our master Christe for a thou­sand and fiue hundred yeres agone at the least, that when wee made our feastes, wee shouldeLuk. 14.13. call the poore, the maimed, the lame and the blinde: and not our friendes, our kinsmen, or rich neighbours, least they recompence vs againe.

Par.

I tell you plaine, this is a strange order in deede in my iudgement, for I pro­mise you, I neuer saw it on this fashion be­fore, [Page]neither doe I meane to beginne anye new orders, for I neuer made feast yet, nor neuer will againe, but I mind to haue my friends and kinsmen at it, that they maye do as much for mee another time, for if I had not vsed these meanes to get in credite amongst my friends, and the gentlemen of our countrey, I had neuer had that whiche nowe I haue.

Gen.

Now it ddth plainly appear, what master you serue: for Christ diddeth you do one thing, and you shame not to say with open mouth, that you wil do clean contrary wherefore I may be a witnes, that you set more by the felowship of the world, then by the friendship of Christ: but I woulde wish you to take another order in your fe [...]tings, and frame to liue another life, or else there is an order taken for you, that you shal bee accursed, and al that you haue.Deut. 28.16. Curssed shal you be in the Citie, and cursed in the field, cursed shall bee your basket and your store, cursed shall bee the increase of your kine, and the flockes of your sheepe, cursed shal you bee when you goe out, and cursed when you come home, & al that you take in hand shalbe accursed, if you serue not God.

Par.

Alasse what wil you haue me to do? you know I am no preacher, and therefore cannot giue them spirituall foode, it is rea­son that I should feede them one waie or a­nother, for you haue tolde me that a Shep­heard must feede his flocke.

Gen.

Alas, what meant you to take that worke in hand, which you cannot tel howe to labour in? whie haue you taken vpō you the office of a preacher, and yet say you can not preach? whie haue you this long borne the name of a shepheard, and know nor yet how to feede your sheepe, whie haue you entred as a workman into the Lordes har­uest, and doe bestowe al your time in lo [...]te­ring and idlenes, whie are you let to keepe the wolfe from the sheepe, and are a dumb dogge that cannot barke, howe hath the diuel bewitched you, and set you a feeding onlie of their bodies, while he in the mean time goeth aboute, readie to deuoure bothe bodies and soules: leaue of leaue of for shame (master Parson) and bee no longer deceiued & led away with the subtil slights of Satan: for let him tel you what hee wil, and so blinde your eies that you can not see your sinne, yet although you haue atteined [Page]to great liuings, and are not without three benefices: because you are no preacher of ye gospel of Christ, you ought not to keep one.

Par.

Then I would I were a preacher, for then I thinke you coulde be contented ye I should haue liuing inought.

Gen.

In deede as it is good reason that he that will not2 Thess. 3.10 labour should not eate, so is it as good reason that they that1. Cor. 9.14. Luk. 10.7. preache the Gospell, and such1. Tim. 5.18. as labour faithfully should be well rewarded.

Par.

Then I see well, if I could preach, you could be contented that I should keepe my three benefices.

Gen.

No (master parson) I said not so.

Par.

No? did you not say that hee that did labour faithfully shoulde haue enough?

Gen.

Yes, but I did not say that he should haue too much.

Par.

Why, do you think three benefices to much for a good preacher?

Gen.

Yea, I thinke three benefices to be two to manie for him ye can preach best.

Par.

What doe you thinke so? then I would there were a preacher here that hath three or foure benefices, that he might aun­swere for himselfe: but for want of suche a [Page]one, I doubt not, but mee selfe am able e­nough to defende so good a cause: for if it were not lawful for him that can preach to haue two benefices, it must needes be vn­lawfull for me to haue three which am no preacher.

Gen.

In deede you say true, therefore I pray you (master parson) let me heere what you can say, & what skil you haue to make darknesse lighte, and light darknesse, euill good, and good euill, the hauing of two or three benefices for one man to bee lawfull, which in the sight of God is moste abhomi­nable.

Par.

You haue tolde mee that there is nothing required of a Pastor, but to preach the word, and féed his flocke, and this may one man do, in three or foure benefices very well: for you knowe by the lawes of the realme, that if euery parisly haue a sermon once in a quarter of a yeere, it is sufficient.

Gen.

What (master parson) you slaun­der the lawes of the reaime, for I knowe there is no law to the contrary, but that the minister maye preach euery Sabboth day: by the lawe of God hee oughte not toAct. 20.28. 2. Tim. 4.2. neg­lect any time, that hee may bestowe in in­structing [Page]and feeding of his flocke.

Par.

But doe you not thinke, that this may be sufficiently done, in preaching once in a quarter of a yeare?

Gen.

If the Diuell woulde appoint two too meete the Shepheard there cuerie quar­ter, and so trie who might haue the victory, and neuer came amongst the sheepe, but at such time as the shepherd is ther, it were y­nough: but because ye diuel, as a Wolfe doth alwaies and at all times, seeks the destruc­tion of the shéep, therfore the minister as a good Shepheard, ought continually to bee watching, and ready to withstand him.

Par.

In deede I muste needes confese, that it were best if it might be so, but séeing the case standeth as it doth, that there are not Preachers ynough to place in euerye parish one, is it not better thinke you, that one Preacher haue three or foure benefices that can teach the flocke sometimes? then to haue a doult that can saye nothing at a­ny time.

Gen.

Here (M. Parson) you haue giuen your selfe a sore blowe, which are amongst the number of the dolts, whom you speacke off.

Par.

But you must imagine, that what I say now for others, is but for talkes sake and not condemne my selfe, neither do I thinke the worse of my selfe, what euer I say: for I knowe if you had had this talke with a Preacher, he woulde haue saide as much for me, but this doth not answere the question, do you not think it better to haue the flocke fed at sometimes, then not at all.

Gen.

Truely I am of this minde, that it were as good neuer a whit, as neuer the better.

Par.

In deede that is true, but you must not thinke but that it wil be somewhat the better, for although at I must needes faye that the continuall presence of the Pastors be moste prositable, yet I thinke not the contrary, but that if it be so that hee maye come amongest his flocke but seldeine, yet that wil doe them much good: for I praie you, let me aske you this question: if one of them hauing 2. benefices, in both which hee cannot at one time be resident, if hee spend halfe in another, is it not almoste as good as if hee. were alwayes at one of [Page]them?

Gen.

This difference there is, that where as the careful minister being alwaies resi­dent to defend his sheepe from their enemie the diuell (which doth continually watche for spoil, being ready to deuour them) maye stande them in as good steede as a strong defence, against al the assaultes of Satan: so such a one as you speake of, that is a long time from them, may haue (in his absence) his flocke scattered, and so hee himselfe bee found a negligent shepheard.

Par.

But he may so applie them at his being amongst them, that they shal be able to spare him a while without any danger.

Gen.

Truely (M. Parson) I can tel you, the diuel is a subtil byrd, and the shepheard shall no sooner bee from his flocke, but hee wil be amongst them, and if the minister haue two benefices, when hee is at one, the diuell will be at another, so that you maye now see howe needefull it is for the Pastor to be alwaies amongst his flocke, since Sa­tan is so greedie to worke them their vt­ter destruction.

Par.

But if all this that I haue tolde you will not suffice, yet if the worst fal out, [Page]they that haue so many liuinges that they cannot be at them al at one time, maye in their absence, place honest ministers that may supplie their rooure, almost as well as themselues.

Gen.

What doe you meane? that others shal feede, an they will sheere, that they shal haue the hier, and others do the work? that they shall but beare the name of Pa­stors, and liue by the sweate of other mens browes? is this that you meane by others supplying of the roome?

Par.

Truely my meaning is, that in the absence of the pastors, he shoulde place one amongst his flocke, that may keepe them in order?

Gen.

What woulde you that he shoulde onely receiue the fruites for him? and take vp his tithes, an shere his sheepe in due time, and by that meanes keep them in or­der?

Par.

I meane that there shoulde bee an honest man set ouer them, that may seede as well as shere.

Gen.

And who shall haue the fleese mean you.

Par.

It is reason that the Parson of the [Page]parishe haue the fruites of his benefice, al­though he be not alwaies resident, and the minister that doth supplie his roome, maie haue some reasonable matter, according as he doth deserue.

Gen.

Then he must haue all, for I haue shewed you out of the Scripture, that theLuk. 10.7. laborer is worthie of his hire, but he that wil not labor1. Tim. 5.18. 2. The. 3.10. should not eate.

Par.

Although you haue scripture, that doth make for your purpose, yet there are verie good reasons for the which a minister may verie well, and for good consideration be absent.

Gen.

Haue you so good reason for it (M. Parson) I knowe there is no reason that is contrary to the scripture, for althoughe you dreame of reason, and thinke to prefer your owne deuises before the word of God yet what euer you saie touching these mat­ters, although it séeme neuer so reasonable if it agree not with the worde of God, it is altogether without reason: but I prate you what are your reasons that you thinke [...] good.

Par.

For this cause I thinke a minister maie verie well be absent from his flocke [Page]as if he bee but a young scholler, and is like to profit by being in the vniuersitie a while, whereby he maie be able (for euer after) the better to discharge his duetie: maie hee not for so good a consideration (for a while) bee a non resident.

Gen.

Did you neuer heare this prooued (master Parson) that (many times) whiles the grasse groweth, the horse starueth? so no doubt of it, is it with such a minister that is yet to learne, and hath taken vpon him the office of a teacher: while hee is in the vni­nersitie fraighting of himself with learning to bring home to his flocke, manie a sillie sheepe doth in the meane time perishe for lacke of knowledge, & this did saint Paule verie well know, and therefore hee woulde haue a minister not to be1. Time. 3.6. a young scholler: but such a one as isver. 10. alreadie able to take care of his charge, and2. Time. 2.24. apt to teach, before he take so waightie a matter in hand.

Par.

Then if it be so that hee must first be a good scholler, and able to teache before he take on him the ministerie, there is good reason that hee shoulde vse the meanes that he may continue his knowledge, and therfore hee maie lawfullie be alowed, two [Page]or three benefices, that he may furnish him selfe like a scholler, and prouide him books, without the which he cannot studie.

Gen.

Why are they nowe so deare that they must sell soules, to buy bookes? you doe not see howe you ouershoote your selfe in your talke (master Parson) for you thinke it no matter, though many soules goe to the diuell so that one mans study may be well furnished.

Par.

I know there be some that coulde answere you for these matters if they were here, and prooue that they maye lawfully haue more benefices then you are willing that they should, for ther are some that are very good schollers, and knowe what they doe, and yet they are not amongst their pa­rishioners skarse once in halfe a yere: ther­fore I am fully persiwaded that euen the very name of a preacher, if it bee nothing els, although be neuer (almost) come amon­gest his flocke, will doe some good, doe you not thinke so?

Gen.

I thinke the name of a Preacher onely, will doe the people so much good, as the smell of a messe of pottage to a hungrie bodye, or an empty potte to a thirstie soule: [Page]which is no good at all, but doth cause him to languish in vaine, with an earnest desire to haue that which hee can not obteine: If this be al that you can say, master Parson, I perceiue you want skill to defende so bad a cause, yea and so doe they that thinke them selues beste able to say moste in the matter: and vnder that pretence of a loue to the people (for lucres sake) they seeke the destruction of them selues, and suche as are their charge: they feed onely themselues and are such as the prophet Ezechiel cryed woe vnto,Ezech. 34.3. they eate vp the fat (sayth hee) and cloth them with the wooll, the best fed do they slay, but the sheep they do not feed, the weake they haue not strengthened, the sicke they haue not healed, the broken they haue not bound togeather, the driuen away they haue not brought againe, the lost they haue not sought, but with force and cruelty they rule them.

Par.

Me thinkes there shoulde not be all these faultes in them that you speake of, for there are some of them that are very, good fellowes, and keep good houses, which doth deserue great commendations.

Gen.

In deede there are some of them [Page]that loue to fare well, and can make their guests good cheere, but this is not it, (M. Parson) that they ought onelie to bee care­full for, nor it is not such sacrifice that plea­seth God: for do you thinke that the Lorde will be bolde with your owne inuentions, which the vanitie of your own brains hath brought forth: with the keeping of a great house for great men, and feeding onlie the bodies of the people, when as the Lorde doth chieflie require that the soule, (which is the principallest part) should be best fed? or will you giue the fruites of your benefi­ces for the sinne of your soule? or doe you thinke that the Lorde hath as greate plea­sure in burnt offernings, as when his voiyce is obeyed? No (M. Parson) know it, and knowe it so well that you neuer forget it, that to1. Sam. 15.22. obey is better then sacrifice, and to harken is better then the fat of Rams: for rebellion is as the sinne of witchcraft, and stubbernesse is as the wickednesse of idola­trie, whose rewarde is an euerlasting life full of continuall miserie.

Par.

I marnaile that other men as wise as you, can not see these faultes as well as you, (if these bee faultes) I woulde [Page]faine know the cause thereof.

Gen.

Truely I can shewe yon no other cause, nor knowe not to what and they giue themselues to the loue of so manie liuings, but only for the desire of filthie lucre, which doth spring of a conetous minde, which is the roote of all euill: and now may we take vp againe the complaint of the Prophet, Iere, 24.2. like priest, like people, thatIere. 6.13. from the lest vnto the most, they hang all vpon couetous­nesse, and from the Prophet vnto the priest they go about falshood and lyes, the priestesMiche. 3.11. preache for lucre, and the Prophetes prophesie for gaine, butIud. 11. woe be vnto them for they haue gone the way of Caine, and are vtterly giuen ouer to the erroure of Balaam for Iucres sake: and without a­mendment shall perishe in the gainesaying of Cora, they are such as Paule speaketh of, that canRom. 2.22. teach others and not them selues, they preach that a man shoulde not steale, yet they steale: they abhorre Idols, and yet commit sacriledge: they make their boast of the lawe, and yet through breaking of the law they dishonour God, and cause his name to be euill spoken of.

Par.

What thinke you of these doctors [Page]which are men of great learning, and of the number of those whome we speake of, howe is it possible they should so be deceiued:

Gen.

I pray you (M. Parson) can you tell mee what was the cause that all the words which Pharaoh heard from ye Lord, and all the myracles that were wroughte before him, coulde not make him to obeye God, but still to constinue in his wicked­nesse before hee was ouergotten in his sinne?

Par.

I haue hearde that it was because his heart was hardened.

Gen.

You say very true, for thatExod. 14.17. was the onely cause therof, and the same disease of hardnesse of heart hath taken such holde in the stomackes of these whom we speake of, that it hath made them so sicke, that (I feare me) it hath brought many of them to their graues.

Par.

If it be true that they are deceined, I maruel why they seek to bear the names of doctors, and to couet such promotion as many of them are in.

Gen.

I know not (for my part) what to thinke them, nor what they meane by these glorious titles and great liuings, but [Page]that they are such as Christe spake of, thatMat. 23.6. loue the vppermost seats at feasts, and to sit in the cheefe places of the Sinagogues, and loue greetings in the Market places, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi

Par.

What, can you see nothing else in them but that? then I perceiue I can see more then you, for suche as they are, that heare the names of doctors, & are in some credite and estimation amongst the people, shal the sooner be beléeued in that they say, and the worde that they preach will be the better imbraced.

Gen.

Oh (M. Parson) you are deceiued in your sight, I thinke you lack your spec­tacles that you can see no better: if ye worde of God should work more in ye people, being deliuered of great men, and such as are in authoritie, I maruel that Christe had not foreseene it, which was equall with his fa­ther in glorie, and yet made himselfe of no reputation during the time of his being v­pon the earth, when he had alwaies a care to goe about his fathers businesse, whiche was to preach the gospell, that as many as were ordeined vnto eternallife, might haue redemption through him in his hloude, and [Page]why had he not chosen the great and migh­tie men of the world, and made them his Disciples? but chose rather poore Fishers & men of no estimation in the worlde, to be ministers of his word, & distributers of his misteries: but you are deceiued (M. Par­son) and that is true which Sainte Paule saithe, that1. Cor. 1.27. God hath chosen the foolish things of this world, to consound the wise, and the weake things of the worlde to con­found the mightie, and things of no repu­tation & despised, to bring to naught those thinges that are highly essteemed, that no flesh should reioice in his sight.

Par.

For all this, I cannot yet be per­swaded, but that it is lawful for a preacher to haue as manie benefices as he can get: & he that cannot preache, maie haue three or four, and be verie wel dispensed withal: for you see that it is so, and if it ought not to be so, men are worse then madde to doe that which is not lawfull.

Gen.

In deede it is too true, that it is so with the most parte (although not with all) and therein they shewe their madnesse, for amongst a great many of them, onelye a fewe ercepted, which the Lorde dothe re­serue to himselfe, and hath giuen better [Page]heartes vnto, if hee be once a minister, hee thinkes by and by that hee is made onelye to get him manie liuinges: and if hee bee a Preacher and haue a wife and children, he hath a conscience large ynough, to wish for as many benefices as he can get: but if his greedie desire can not so be satisfied: yet if it bee possible, he will haue three at the least, one for himselfe, another for his wife, and a thirde for his children, and that they maye haue these liuinges to maintaine them­selues so, that they may goe amongst the Gallants of the worlde, that their diet may be of the best, their tables traught with all kinde of dainties, and that they may not be behind hand, but in their apparel as braue as the proudest, themselues in their silkes, their wiues in their trench hoodes, and their children parinted like puppets, & that they may a while enioy this geare, and liue at ease in this worlde, they care neither what shal become of themselues, their wiues and their children in the world to come: but are contented flock and al shal go to the Diuel, for any farther care they take for them. Is this toIohn. 21.15. feede, feede, feede, as Christe said vnto Peter: Nay this is rater to kill, [Page]kil, kil, as the Sheepe that are led to the slaughter, I thinke if the Prophet Ieremy were now liuing, and did see the lamenta­ble estate of our time, be woulde say for vs, as he did for the people in his time, that he could finde in his heart toIere. 9.1. weepe daie and night, for the slaughter of the people. Oh that their hearts were circumcised, and the vilens of their eies taken from them, that they might once see & vnderstand, ye to haue so great a charge, that some must needes perishe for wante of looking vnto, and to shere the sheepe, and not to feede the flocke, is toIohn. 10.10. spoile, murther, and destroye: there­fore what euer he bee, or by what title so e­uer he be called, whether he be a doctour by name, a Parson of manie benefices, or Sir Iohn Lacklatin, that can saie nothing: if hee haue no more regarde, but to satisfie his owne greedie desire, and is carelesse for the safetie of such as doe paie him for a better worke, let him think of himselfe as wel as he list, yet these are the titiles that hee doth best deserue, doctor Spoiles, Parson Theefe and Sir Iohn Murtherer, for in taking a­waie of the goodes from their Parishioners (without doing of their dutie) is before the [Page]maiestie of God no better then theft: and to let their soules perish for want of foode, is to be a murtherer and spoiler of the soules of them which Christe did sh [...]d his bloude for.

Par.

But mee thinkes you mighte vse milder speeches, for ther are manie of these I tel you, that are of good wisedome, and beare some countenance, and therefore wil take it, as an offence, to haue these names at your hands.

Gen.

Are they ashamed to bear ye names, and doe they take no shame to deserue the names? doe they set more by the counte­nance of the worlde, then by the fauoure of God? haue they a more desire to please men then they haue to serue Christe? can they wt brasen brows, commit such faultes in open places, & are they not ashamed so to offend before the Lorde and his Angels? doe they rather chuse to liue at ease a while in this transitorie worlde, then to line for euer in ye world that neuer should haue end [...]or wil they persecute Christ in his members, and yet saie stil, they are good Christians. If it be true, they shew their vnsdome that it is nothing but follie, and if they [...] to bee of­fended [Page]with him that giueth them these names, let them looke in the tenth of Ihon and there they shal find, that he that regar­deth not his flocke, isIohn. 10. a theefe, & commeth for nothing but to spoile, kil, and destroie: & he that spake the words, is Christ himselfe, and if because they cannot touch him, they wilbe offended with mee, that haue saide it after him, they shalbe sure to make a wrong matche: for in so good cause I knowe Christ wil take my parte, and hauing him on my side. I care not though al the worlde were set against me: for if the Lord himslef take the matter in hand, mark howe his e­nimies are like to speed, he can fight with them, form heauenIosua. 10.11. with hailstones, as hee did for his seruant Iosua. He can send them as muchGen. 19.24. fire and Brimston, that shal con­sume them al, as he did the Sodomites. He can cause the earth to open andNum. 16.32. swallowe them vp quicke, as hee did Corah, Dathan and Abiram, with theire wicked compani­ons, if they thinke themselues so strong & so manie in [...]nmber, that their aduersa­ries are not able to withstand them: God is able in steede of other help, to cause one of thē to kilIud. 7.22. another, as it fel out amongst the [Page]Madianites, and if there be any that doe e­scape the sword, and flie vnto houses for succoure: God is able to throwe downe the3. Kin. 20.30 walles vpon them, as he did vpon the Si­rians, which at one time slewe seuen and twentie thousand, if such as are left wil continue stil deriding the seruaunts of God, he is able to send as maine shee4. Kin. 2.24. Beares oute of the woodes as shal deuour them al, as he did for such as mocked his seruant Eliseus, and if this bee not ynough, there is no mis­cheefe that they would wish to fal vpon o­thers, but God is able to make it fal on thē selues, this can the Lorde doe, and greater thinges then these, for what is it? but that is possible with him: but although he doeth with patience endure the wickednesse of his enemies for a while, yet he can and wil at length, plague them through lie, to their vtter destruction: and for his owne seruants althoughe theire enemies rage, as doe the waues of the sea: yet shal they not goe be­yonde the boundes, that the Lorde hath set them, if they would cast them into prisous, thinking by that means to vse thē at their pleasure, God is able to send hisAct. 5.16. Angel to open the doores vnto them, as he did for his [Page]Apostles, & by ye meanes set them at liberty If they wold thrust thē into the fierie ouen, thinking that waie to consume them, God is able ynough to keepe them fromDan. 3.25. bur­ning, as he did Sidrach, Misach, and Abed­nega, If they woulde cast them amongst the Lions, thinking that way to destroy them: God is able to stopDan. 6.22. their mouthes: ye they shall not hurt them, as he did for Daniel, If they woulde keepo them from meate, that they might kil them with hunger, God is able to cause the3. Kin. 17.9. Kauens to feede them, as he did for Elias, If they woulde make a Gallowes to dispatche others, God can cause them to bee hanged thereon them­selues: as it fel oute betweene wickedEster. 7.9. Haman, and good Mardocheus, all this can the Lorde doe for suche as serue him faithfully: but although he suffer them to be persecuted for a while, yet he can and wil at length, deliuer them oute of their enemies hands: though they were as many in num­ber as al the people in the worlde, and as terrible to looke on as al the Diuelles in Hell, yet shal they once haue the vic­tory: and al their foes shal bee made their footestoole, and shal bee faine to confesse, [Page]though sore against their willes, that suche honour shall all the Saints of God be sure to haue, therefore (M. Parson) if these men whome you speake of, be so whse as you make them, they wil beware how they plai the fooles, and take heede that they hurt not Christes annointed, and doe his Prophetes no harme.

Par.

They shall answere for themselues for me, you are so full of the scripture, that I know not what to make of you: I maruel ye your father had not made you a minister, since you are giuen to bee so holy, When I was made minister, I had no scripture at all, and yet my father did perswade mee that I was fit inough for that function.

Gen.

What did hee so? the more foole your father, and the greater was his sinne: did he meane to make you a teacher before you were a good scholler? or had he so little regarde of his childe, that he coulde finde in his hart to set you in such a place, that you must needes runne to the Diuell headlong: a great token of an vnnatural Father. But althoughe your Father were carelesse in these matters, and had no regarde to that which was chiefest to bee sought for: yet I [Page]maruell, how the vishop did let you escape, finding you so vnmeete for that office, for it is his duetie to examine you, and (as Saint Paule saith)1. Tim. 3.10. a minister must first be pro­ued before he bee alowed to minister: and were not you so examined and prooued (M. Parson?)

Par.

Yes that I was, and that through­ly.

Gen.

What were you so? I praie you (if you remember them) what were the questions that the bishop did propose you? and after what maner did hee examine you?

Par.

I will tell you what they were, for I do verie well remember them, and shall neuer forget them, as long as I liue, this was the manner of mine examination: when I came to the Bishop, and be vnder, stoode that my comming was to bee made minister, he would not admit me, nor grant me my letters of orders, before he had exa­mined me whether I were able to paie for them or no, and when I had answered him yea, yet he would not so be satisfied, but be­cause I was a yong man, and not worthie to be beleeued at the first, he would needes [Page]examine me farther, where I had ye mony about me or no, and whē I had told him yea, yet he would not so be cōtented, but he must haue it out of hand, that he might examine my mony, whether it were as much as hee would haue or no: and my Lorde finding it to his minde, and that I had answered him verie Clarklike to euerie question, he was verie well satisfied, and to be made minister I was graunted: and then to his officer for my letters of orders I must goe, and there I must be prooued, and whē I came to him, he seing that I was a yong man, and but a reasonable Clarke, & did consider with him selfe that I mighte commit manie faults before I came to olde age, he woulde needes prooue me whether I would bestow a bribe on him or no, to speake a good worde for me vnto my Lorde if need did so require, and I hauing granted him is request: such of the bishops men, as did know what I was and vnderstood of my liberallitie, they wold needes prooue also, whether I woulde do as much for them, & they would dor any thing they could for me: & thus I was prooued of ye most part of my Lordes men, and they had prooued mée so long, ye at last I was able to [Page]prooue that they had not left me a penie in my purse, now iudge you whether I were examined and prooued or no?

Gen.

Yes, I must needes saie that you were both examined & prooued, for they had prooued you so long til they had prooued you a verie foole, in bestowing your mony vpon such lewde fellowes as did loue to liue by bribes: belike my lord (their master) neuer taught his seruants the story of Gehezi (the seruant of Elizeus) and how he sped for his labor, which for his bribing became [...]. Kin. 5.27. a Le­per as white as snowe: is this the proofe that they vse to make of ministers?

Par.

What it is now I know not, for this that I tell you of was done for long a­goe: but I thinke it be otherwise now.

Gen.

So it had neede, or else it is starke naught: for they ought to haue prooued and examined, whether that had beene in you which is required of a minister, as to bee1. Tim. 3.2. blamelesse, sober, waiting, apt to teache, not gréedie of filthie lucre, and such like: but by your owne saying there was not a word of that matter.

Par.

Truelie no otherwise then I tolde you.

Gen.

I praie you what good counsel did your father giue you, whē he (ment to make you a minister) seeing you were so vnable to do anie thing of your selfe, did he promise that if you did not discharge your duetie, he would go to the diuel for you?

Par.

No, he ment nothing lesse: but this counsell he gaue me, that I shoulde seeke to please all men as neere as I might, & that I should take heede of my selfe: for beeing once a minister, euery man would be on my iack, and it would be, who that might haue a fling at me, and these words haue I found true, & my fathers counsel haue I alwaies folowed, and I doe what I maie to get the good will of all men, I am free harted, and spare not to spend euen all that I haue, for of three hundred markes, which I receiue by the yere: I can not fetch three hundreth pence at the yeares ende: I am a good fel­low, and as I receiue it of my parishioners so I spend it amongst them againe, neither am I high minded, as manie of you gen­tlemen are, whom a man maie not speake withall vnder a couple of Capons: I can drinke a Pot of Ale with a good fellowe at anie time, and can sit at Cardes or Tables [Page]a whole day together, and am contented to be a companion (in these matters) for the meanest in my parishe: and thus doe I be­stow my time, and spende my money in goodfellowship, for I haue no man to care for but my selfe, and therefore I knowe not for whom I should keepe it.

Gen.

Are you so good a fellow (Master Parson) as you speake of? Beware that it be not such fellowship as the Apostle spake of, when he said that the [...]am. 4.4. fellowship of this world is enemitie with God: & in that you saie you haue no man to care for, appeareth the little care you haue of those for wh [...] you shall answere for: haue you taken vpon you to be a Sheepheard, and can you be conten­ted to be fed of your sheepe? will you there their f [...]ises and sell their skins? will you for this promise to bring them to good pasure that they maie be fed vnto eternal life, & yet saie stil you haue no man to care for? Well, wel (M. Parson) this geare must bee loo­ked vnto in time, or els for your carelesnesse you shall be sure to answere.

Par.

You mistake me Syr, I meane not my Parishioners, which I knowe are my tharge, but my meaning is, I haue no wife [Page]nor any childe for whome I neede to care for.

Gen.

Then I perceiue you are not mar­ried.

Par.

No in deed I am not, neither doe I meane to marrie.

Gen.

Why? doe you not thinke it lawfull for one of your calling to marrie, or haue you that gift of chastitie, that you neede no such helpe?

Par.

As touching chastitie, I am a man as another man is, but how lawfull it is for a priest to marrie, I coulde neuer as yet at­taine to the knowledge.

Gen.

What are you a teacher, and haue not yet learned so muche? truely by mine aduise, before you had been allowed a Ma­ster, you should first haue prooued your selfe a better scholler. What can you saie for the defence of so wicked an opinion, is not the word of God a Lantern to your steps, and a guid vnto your pathes? If not, no maruell though you be out of the waie: doth not S. Paul saie? that to1. Cor. 7.2. auoide fornicatiō let [...]ue­ry man haue his wi [...]e? how dare you then saie that Ministers may not marrie? If you can prooue them to be no men, I will agree [Page]with you, if not, I praie you answere me.

Par.

What Saint Paule saith, I can not tell, but I can shewe you good reason whie a minister should not marrie.

Gen.

Haue you so good reasons for it (M. Parson) I praie you let me heare some of them, that I maie bee acquainted with them, and I will promise you, if you can shew me better reasons, ye ministers ought not to marrie, then I can shewe you to the contrarie, I will binde my selfe to be con­formable vnto you.

Par.

You know that ministers can not assure their wife nor children of any liuing: and is it not better (thinke you) that they remaine vnmarried, then to fill the world ful of beggers.

Gen.

But you knowe that all haue not the gift of chastitie, and is it not [...]etter (thinke you) that they marrie, then to fill the world full of bastards?

Par.

As for that matter, there are many shiftes, so that although a minister be not married, he neede not to bee troubled with manie bastards.

Gen.

What your shifts are (M. Parson) that you vse I know not, but this I am sure of, that if you haue not the gifte of chastitie, [Page]you were better1. Cor. 7.9. to marrie then to burne: therefore, M. Parson, if you finde not that gift in you, I wold wish you to take a wife of your owne in the feare of God.

Par.

What, would you haue me to haue a wife of mine owne? fye vpon her, naie, yet I had rather to take a snatch sometimes a­mongst my neighbours, thē to haue a wife of mine owne, what if there should come an alteration, and the lawes shoulde change, I pray you in what case shoulde married ministers be then?

Gen.

But what if you should finde an al­teration before that time, and from a proud prelate become a firebrand in hell, in what case I [...]ay you should you be in then? for I can tell you, thatHeb. 13.4. whoremongers, and and adulterers, God wil iudge.

Par.

As for that take you no care, for you [...] be no iudge of the matter, neither for al your thretninges can I be perswa­ded that it is lawful for ministers to mar­rie, but if they would needes marrie, they must be married to their bookes.

Gen.

What would you haue a man mar­ried to a booke? I perceiue you knowe not wherefore matrimonie was ordeined.

Par.

Yes, so simple a scholler as you make me, I know so much.

Gen.

Then I trust you remember, that God saide vnto man and womanGen. 1.20. increase and multiply, and if you wil haue a popish priest married to a Masse booke, the Diuel may bee a gossip to the childe that they be­get, and Sainte Paule saith that it is theTim. 4.1. doctrine of diuels to forbid marriage, and that in ye latter daies there should be some of that wicked opinion, of the which num­ber (I feare me) you are one.

Par.

You are al in S. Paul, and nothing but scripture, I would fain haue you shewe me some doctor that mighte make for your warrant, amongest al our talke you haue not recited one.

Gen.

No: I maruell that you are so for­getful, haue I not laide before you many doctors?

Par.

None, to my remembrance.

Gen.

No, did I not recite you, Doctor Esay, Doctor Ieremy, Doctor Peter, and Doctor Paule?

Par.

What, doe you account them doc­tors? they be but Prophets and Apostles.

Gen.

What (M. Parson) doe you make [Page]a but of them? I praye you who are they that you account doctors?

Par.

I meane Augustine, Cyprian, Ierome, and their fellowes.

Gen.

Are there none Doctors but these thinke you? I pray you how wil you know a Doctor?

Par.

I wil knowe a Doctor by his lear­ning.

Gen.

That is very well said, and doe you thinke these men whom you speake of, bet­ter learned, then Prophetes and Apostles, which were taught of God himselfe?

Par.

No, I doe not thinke so: but yet these are they that our frefathers haue ta­ken holde on, to defend their opinions.

Gen.

What our fathers haue done, to vs it shall not skil, or what opinions they held we neede not care for, but if your doctours agree with our Doctours, wee agree with them, if not, wee wil leaue Augustine, Ie­rome, and their fellowes, and learne of the Prophetes and Apostles, which are their masters.

Par.

I perceiue (Gentleman) it is a great matter whereof you can say nothing, and for your kowledge I must néeds com­mende [Page]you, but because youre eie sighte is good, that you can finde so manye faultes in other men, me thinkes your own life should be such as dothe aunswere your profession, therefore if I might bee so bold to intreate you, I would craue to know what hath bin your bringing vp, and how in these dange­rous daies you shape to liue.

Gen.

Your commendations doth farre exceede my desert, but to fulfill your desire to know mine estate, I wil be as readie to shew you, as you are to heare it, but sorie I am to leaue you no better perswaded, then yet I finde you: but in hope that the Lorde wil worke more in you, after you haue paused a while, I wil keepe promise with you touching my selfe, and talke more of your owne estate anon.

Par.

But before you goe anie further (Gentleman) I shal first desire you that I maie be so bolde to know your name.

Gen.

What, would you so faine know my name (M. Parson) I wil not sticke with you in so smal a matter, neither is my name suche that I shoulde refuse to shewe it you.

Par.

Then (I praie you sir) what is it?

Gen.

My name is Chistopher Consci­ence.

Par.

What are you a Gentleman, and are you called Conscience? mee thinkes it is an vnfit name for you, as might be deuised.

Gen.

Whie should you think so (M. Par­son) is it not as meet for a Gentleman, as anie other man?

Par.

No, for I woulde alwaies haue a man called according to the qualities that are in him.

Gen.

And maie not conscience bee it? a Gentleman think you?

Par.

Truely (Gentleman) it is possible inough, but it is so vnlikelie, that for mine own part, amongst a great number I could neuer finde manie, that had anie conscience in them at all.

Gen.

Oh (M. Parson) I think you speak either of malice, or of affection.

Par.

Noe I promise you, I speak as I thinke, and if it be true that you are a gen­tleman that doth deserue the name of Con­science, I maruel what you doe here in this place.

Gen.

Why (M. Parson) where shoulde I be?

Par.

Mee thinkes it is a greate maruail that you are not presented to the Queenes Maiestie, for the greatest wonder that euer she saw.

Gen.

Why is it such a straunge sight, to see a Gentleman with a good conscience?

Par.

What it is in the Court I cannot tel, but in the countrie I am sure it is so.

Gen.

Nay, (M. Parson) you are not so sure of it, as you make youre felfe, for al­though you haue met with some that haue vsed you hardly, yet you may not think but there are other some, & that a great many, that are honest Gentlemen, and will chuse rather to loose their credite, then crack their conscience.

Par.

I will not deny but that there bee a few, but to say there are many of them in a Country, I will neuer yéeld to it, as long as I liue.

Gen.

You may notMat. 7.1. iudge any (M. par­son) but hope the best of all, and leaue suche matters vnto the iudgement of God, whichApoc. 2.23. searcheth the heart, and raines of al men, and knoweth those that are his.

Par.

Wel, I am contented to hope well of them, although I haue small cause to say [Page]wel of any of them: for I haue not forgot­ten, what scraps and paringes they haue fetched out of my benefices, and yet forsooth they woulde be counted such as will doe no man harme, and perswade themselues, that they are men of very good consciences: but if this be the fruites of a good conscience I had as lieue haue a badde conscience as a good.

Gen.

There is no doubt of it, but that a good conscience wil cause a good life, and a bad consience will alwaies shewe it selfe.

Par.

That I thinke (in deed) to he verie true: but this grieueth mee, that they will say they haue good consciences, when they are starke naughte, but because you are a Gentleman, & thinke your selfe to be a man of a good conscience, I praye you let mee here (according to your promise) howe: ou doe behaue your selfe, that I may knowe how to discern a good conscience from a bad and first let me be so bold to intreat you to shew me your [...]rudition from your childe­hoode vnto this time, and what care your Father had of you in your tender yeeres, to see you so wel brought vp vntill mans e­state.

Gen.

First you muste obserue, that my father was a man ordeined to beare the of­fice of a iustice in the common wealth: and amongst manie children, I was his eldeste sonne; and my father being one that feared God, had no desire so greate, as to bring vp his children in the same feare, and because of them al, I was (by nature) most able to beare the greatest charge, his cheefest care was to see mee wel brought vp, ye I might thereby learne to discharge my dutie, and the better to bring this to passe, I was from my infancy trained vp in learning, & when I came to bee of discretion, I was sente to the Vniuersitie, that I might the sooner at­taine to that which was his desire, and I being but young of yeares, and wanton by nature, my father for so long time wold not suffer mee to haue the bridle, but spared no charge to keepe me vnder Masters and tu­tors, that might inforce me to that, which of my self I was vnwilling: & of al times, I thoughte those daies moste greeuous wherein they wrought best for me, and did like of no companie so wel as of theirs whi­che did moste hurt me: & in this case I con­tinued [Page]the space of my childish yeares: but when I was able to discerne good from e­uill, and my dearest friends, from my grea­test enemies, and thought those that feared God could giue me best counsel: I was ne­uer before so vnwilling to take their in­struction, as I was desirous at laste to fol­low their admonition, and coulde like of no companie so well, as theirs that were con­uersant with such as were faithfull: so that at length, through the prouidence of God, their good instructions, and gentle perswa­sions, I was gotten so far in loue with the law of the Lord, that I coulde saie with the Prophet Dauid, that his word wasPsal. 119. swee­ter vnto my soule, then hony vnto my throte and I founde suche pleasure in the reading thereof, that all the day long my studie was in it, and the more I read, the better I lear­ned, and the deeper I tasted, the sweeter I felt it, so that from that time to this, I haue alwaies loued the lawe of the Lorde aboue golde or precious stone, and am as gladde when I see it, as those that haue foūd great spoiles? and when it pleaseth God, to take awaie my father, and place me in his roome to beare the like office that he did, I kn [...]we [Page]there wasVVis. 6.4. Rom. 13.1. no power but was ordeined of God, and that it was my duetie (aboue all thinges) to seeke his glorie, & I was taught by the example of Iosua, thatIos. 1.8. the lawe of the Lorde ought not to departe oute of my mouth: but that I shoulde studie in it day & night, that I might do al thinges that were written therein. Thus did I begin, and so doe I continue, and no longer doe I desire to liue, then this may be found in me, for I know that rightPsal. 116.13. deare in the sight of the Lorde, is the death of his saintes: and that theVVis. 3.11. hope of the vngodlie is vaine, their la­bours vnfruitfull, and their workes vnpro­fitable, & though theyVVis. 3.17. liue long, yet their end shal be without honor.

Par.

If all this bee true that you haue saide, you haue told me of a strange matter: for it is as hard a thing to finde this which you haue spoken of in a man of youre cal­ling, as it is to obteine that which is past hope of finding: for you being a magistrate and placed in so high a roome, are set in a p [...]rrilous place, and in great danger of fal­ling: I know many of your fellowes, that can saie well, and make almoste as faier a shew as this, but when they come to search­ing, [Page]and their secretes are wel knowne, be­tweene their wordes and their déedes, there is found greate difference: they can all saie they are set to execute iustice, but when it should be put in practise, they straine curte­sie who shall begin: and few loue so wel to execute iustice, as they doe to neglect it tho­roughe corruption of bribes, for iustice wil be solde for many, and the diuell maie haue your soules for gaine, and as for your religion, it is al in your lips, and it is to bee found no where else, it will bee boughte for goodfellowship, and you can frame youre selues to euerie companie, amongst the holy you can counterfaite grauitie, & saie as they do, but when you come in companie, where they keepe other rule, you can be as bad as the worste. I can speake by experience, of more then a good manie of you, that it is but dissimulation, all that euer you doe, you can prate & talke, and make so faire a shewe in words, as though they were so holie, that the best reports were to bad for you: but hee that might open your budgets, and looke in your boxes, and take a viewe of your liues, & your liuings, which you haue purchased, ye houses that you haue builte, the goods that [Page]you possesse, and the mony that hath bought you all this, which you haue gotten by pil­ling, polling, bribing, vsurie, and such like, should find that if you had your deseruing, hanging were to good for you.

Gen.

You are verie plain (M. par) I fear me you begin to wax angry: in anie wise be ware of that for theIam. 1.20. wrath of man doth not worke that which is righteous before God.

Par.

No (Gentleman) I am not angrie, but I am somwhat plaine with you, for you haue bene méetlie plain with me, and ther­fore I am the bolder with you.

Gen.

But you must be aduised what you saie, and impute these faultes whereas you finde them.

Par.

So doe I, for I spake not to anie, but such as haue these faultes in them, but this is the troth of it, you gentlemen are so tender that you maie not be touched: you can be contented to talke your pleasure of other men, but your selues take scorne to be tolde of your owne faultes, you can see moates in othermens eies, & kéepe beames in your owne, you stimble at strawes, and leap ouer blockes, you straine at gnats, and swallow Camels, you laie heuie burthens [Page]vpon other mens shoulders, but wil not lift at them your selues with one of your fin­gers: and yet you gentlemen neuerthelesse thinke well of your selues, and that there is no fault but in vs of the ministerie: but he that might make an anatomie of all the partes of you, and searche you throughly, should find al these, and a great many more faults then I haue spoken of.

Gen.

Although you finde these faultes in some, yet you maie not condemne all, for as there are manie such as you speak of, so there are some which deale wel and true­lie: I meane not to e [...]cuse anie that deserue not commendations, but if my selfe were as faultie as those whome you speake of, my conscience would condemne me, for dealing vniustlie: and I confesse that it is a hard matter, in so greate an office to deale vp­rightlie: but seeing we are called of god to defend his cause, we ought to set to it head and shoulders, that no iote thereof maie fall to the ground: and the harder the matter is to be brought to passe, the more paine ought we to take about the same, that we may be found faithfull seruants, to make a iust ac­count of so great a stewardship, & I know [Page]that in a matter of iustice we ought neither toExod. 23.2. reuerence the mightie, nor esteeme the person of the poore to perfect iustice, & thatLeui. 19.15. Exo. 23.8.gifts blinde the eies of the wise: andEccle. 40.12. bri­bing is forbidden, and I haue not forgotten what the wise man saith of negligent Ma­gistrates, heareVVis. 6.2. & learne (saith he) ye that be iudges of the earth, giue eare yee that rule the multitudes, and delite in the num­ber of people: the power is giuen you of the Lorde, which shall trie your workes, and search out your imaginations, how that ye beeing his officers, haue not giuen true iudgement, haue not kept the laws of righ­teousnesse, nor walked after the wil of God, this doe I know to be true, and at this doe I quake and tremble: for euen as thePsal. 123.2. eies of seruaunts looke vnto the handes of their masters, and the eies of a maiden vnto the handes of her mistresse: so ought we to at­tend vpon the Lorde our God: no prince so mightie, no estate so stout, but he must stoup at the Lords beck, and tremble at his coun­tenaunce: nor no man that euer was, is, or shall be,Rom. 14.12. but shall once appeare before the maiesticall seate of the mightie Iehoua, to acknowledge him to be the onelie Lorde a­boue [Page]all others, and he that will not submit himselfe, as unworthie to be made his foote­stoole, shal one daie find that the wickednes of so proude a heart, hath wrought him his vtter destruction, & that this fault may not be found amongst vs, let other mens harms teach vs to beware: proudeDan. 5.20. Nabuch [...]d [...] ­noser, was (for his pride) chaunged from a man to a beast, harde hartedExod. 14.28. Pharao was (for his disobedience) drowned in the red sea.2. Chr. 33.1 [...] Manasses, for his idolatrie was linked with bolts of yron. Saul for his good in­tents yl wrought was1. Sam. 15.28 rent from his king­dome. Herod for his vaine glory was eaten vp with lice:Act. 12.23, Mar. 27.5. and Iudas for his trecherie was giuen ouer to desperation, who know­eth this, and will not know himself▪ What vain man wil set himselfe against his God? or what miserable creature wil not submit him selfe to him that made him? Oh that they knewe that GodIam 4.6. 1. Pet. 5.5. Luk. 14.12. resisteth the proude, and giueth grace vnto the lowly: and that such as humble them selues shalbe exalted, & such as exalt them selues shal be brought lowe, Then shoulde they be as wise as So­lomon: as faithful as Abraham: as patient as Iob: as iust as Iosua: and be found with [Page]Dauid, euen m [...]n after the lords own hart: for it is God that wil make all his enemies his footestoole, and giue vnto wicked Ma­gistrates a hardVVis. 6.6. iudgement. This is our duetie, looke so it as we will, although we be neuer soPsal. 99.1. rebellious, yet hee is king still

Par.

I perceiue (gentleman) that you haue learned by many examples, what you ought to doe, and if you doe as much as you know, you are worthie to bee commended: you haue tolde me of many matters, and shewed me many examples, which you saie may teach vs wisdome: but me thinkes you make more adoe then you néede: for I haue heard that if a man loue God aboue al, and his neighbour as himselfe, he hath done as much as the law doth require.

Gen.

Yea, and that is true: for out of true loue which we owe vnto God, springeth o­bedience to his lawes, wt loue towards our neighbour: & without loue our other deedes will nothing profite vs (for as Saint Paul sayth) if we [...]. Cor. 13.2. had all prophesie, and coulde vnderstand al secretes, and all knowledge: and if we had as much faith as to remoue mountaines, and were as liberal as to giue all our goods to the poore, and our bodyes [Page]to the fire, and being without loue it should profite vs nothing.

Par.

In deede as you say, & as I thinke, that loue is the cheefest thing ye wee ought to haue in keeping: so in my iudgement, a­mongest the most part of you gentlemen, it is the greatest thing that is wanting: for your loue doth so farre differ from the loue that ought to be amongst men, that it may better bee compared to the loue amongest dogges: for the dogges will goe together, sleep together, play together, and lye toge­ther, as though there were such friendship amongst them, that nothing shoulde make them enemies, but in the middest of theire familiaritie, if there bee but a bare bone throwne amongst them, that hee may haue it that can catch it: you shal see them al goe together by the [...]ares, that amongst many, one may haue it: so is it amongest many of you iustices and gentlemen, you wil talke, walke, sleepe, and lye together, as though true loue were in you, but let there be but a bad bargaine, or a poore mans liuing that it maye bee his that can catche it, a man shall finde on the suddaine your loue to bee wanting, and euerye man will seeke to [Page]get it.

Gen.

This that you speake of in deede is too true and of that number there are too manie: and that this couetous minde dothe so reigne amongst vs, doth appeare the litle knowledge they haue in the Lawe of the Lorde, by the which they so direct all theire doinges: I woulde wishe them to doe as I would my selfe, be content with that which their parentes left them, & giue themselues whollie, to the executing of Iustice, & leaue off from purchasing other mens liuings.

Par.

And are you so wel contented (gen­tleman) that you like not of purchasing the liuinges of other men? if it be true, you are such a one as I thought litle to haue found you, and although I haue spoken againste the pilling and polling of poore men, yet I neuer meant, but that men maie lawfullie buie and sel ech others liuinges, for is it not lawful think you to buie a peece of land sometimes, when a man hath his monie ly­ing by him? what woulde you haue them to doe with their monie, if they should not im­ploy it that way?

Gen.

I woulde haue them to doe asLuk. 19.8. Za­cheus did, giue halfe of their goodes to the [Page]poore, & if they haue doone anie man wrong restore him foure fould.

Par.

Bring you that in their heads, and I wil giue you my necke, and I thinke you teach others that lesson which you wil not learne your selfe: for I pray you, could you be contented to giue a way half of your goodes to the poore, and make a restitution of the wrong gotten goodes that you pos­sesse.

Gen.

If I mighte haue heene so happie, to see Christ in my house, asLuk. 19.5. Eliseus did in his, that I mighte haue giuen entertaine­ment to so greate a peere, as such a one as is Lord of heauen and earth, I coulde vpon that condition be contented to giue awaie al my goodes, and take a bag and a staffe, and followe him. But because there is no such commaundemente giuen vs, therefore we are not bounde to it. But to make a re­stitution ofExo. 22.5. goodes gotten wrongfully, we are straightlie commanded.

Par.

But what shall suche doe with theire monie, that be good honest gentlemen, and haue done no man wrong?

Gen.

They shoulde take the counsaile, that Tobias gaue to his Sonne: if they haue [Page] Tobit. 4.8.much, they shoulde giue liberally, if they haue litle, yet do their diligence gladly.

Par.

To whō should they giue? there are some ye haue no almes deed in thē, how then shal they be sure to giue as they ought?

Gen.

S. Paul hath set downe a rule that we ought to do goodGal. 6.10. vnto al men, but spe­cially vnto those ye are of ye houshold of faith.

Par.

What, is there no other order set down in the scripture, but that a man must giue stil? a man may giue so long, til hee giue awaie al that he hath, and so he maye beg himselfe.

Gen.

There is no commaundemente for any man so to do: but you may reade in the Gospel of a pooreMark. 12.42. Luk. 21 4. Widowe that did so, and Christ commended her for the same.

Par.

Did hee so? truelie if I mighte see one that did so, I woulde counte him verie wise, but I had almoste forgotten to aske you one question.

Gen.

I pray you what is that?

Par.

Doe you not thinke that a man may lay his monie to vsurie, and imploy it that way?

Gen.

No: I knowe it isExod. 22. [...]4. Leui 25.36. Deut. 23.9. forbidden, and therefore it ought not to be vsed at al.

Par.

Yes, I think a little, ten of the hun­dred, or some reasonable master.

Gen.

If it bee reasonable it must not be at al, for God hath saide by the mouthe of his Prophet, that hee shal onely bee accep­ted with him, that in lending of his mony,Ezech, 18.17 Luk. 6.35.taketh no increase.

Par.

Truelie I tel you there are manie wise men, that thinke they may take some­what lawfullie and not offend at al.

Gen.

Then belike, they thinke them­selues wiser thē the holy Ghost, and so they shalbe sure one daie, to haue a fools reward.

Par.

But I pray you Sir (because you woulde wish Gentlemen to giue ouer pur­chasing of other mens liuinges) do [...] you not thinke in deede, that they may lawfully be­stow their monie that waie?

Gen.

This muche I can tel you, that a man may offende in such dealinges manie waies: and he that doth not vse it at al, shal be sure not to offend (in the same) at all, but to say that it is not lawful in any respect, I am not able to proue it, but I would such as do loue it, did knowe what the Prophet Esay saith of such matters. Wo (saith hee) be vnto thoseEsai. 5.8. that i [...]ine house to house and [Page]lande to lande, and bring their liuinges so neere together, that the poore can gette no grounde: do they thinke to dwel vppon the earth alone? this Wo do I heare alwaies sounde in my eares, and it causeth mee to stand in awe, fearing least for suche an of­fence it might fal on my selfe, and therfore (M. Parson) to tell you my minde plainlie, and what I thinke of these matters: I doe so abhorre such couetous men, and suche miserable wringing, as is now a daies to much put in practise, that I cannot like of those that vse it.

Par.

You must like of them, as the world is now, or else few wil like of you.

Gen.

How many doth dislike with mee, for disliking with sinne, I make no recko­ning: for I secke not the praise of men, but my whole studie is, that I may knowe best, which waye to set foorthe the glorie of God, and discharge my duetie vnto him, of whome I am placed in office, and I am taught not toExod. 23.2. follow a multitude, to doe e­uil: & I know the most parte goe the wrong waye: and I had rather deale iustly by my selfe, then deale wickedly with companie: for he that will commit sinne for company, [Page]may chaunce to goe the diuel for companie. If Noah and his companie had been com­panions with the wicked when the World was ouerflowed with water for the sinnes of the people, no doubt of it, but Noah and his companie, had bene drowned for com­panie. If Lot and his housholde had offen­ded for companie, they had (no doubt) beene burnt with the other Sodomites for com­panie, If Caleb and Iosua had murmured (againste God) with ye rest of the people for comapanie, they had surelie haue bene kept out of the Land of promise with the rest for companie, but let this hee oure comforte as it was theirs: that if there be but eight per­sons in a whole Worlde, but one housholde in a great citie: but two men amongest ma­nie thousand, that feare God, yet when the Lord sendeth his punishments amongst the people for their sinne, the righteous shal be sure to haue no hurte: aPsal. 91.7. thousande shal fal on their left hande, & ten thousand on their right: & yet there shal no harme come nere them. Therefore (M. Parson) for mine own parte, it is so farre from mee to participate with their offences, that I abhor the com­panie of such as liue vngodlie.

Par.

Mee thinkes you are to presise (be­ing a gentleman) it were inough for mee & my fellows, to lead such a life as you speak of, and yet I would not be bounde to liue so singuler a life for any thing, a man may be holy and to holy, if he be, and if wee shoulde make choise of no company, but such as are so holy, wee may chaunce to seeke a greate while, and yet go alone at the last.

Gen.

I for my parte had as leaue to bee without companye, as to bee in companye of those that liue wickedlie, for he that tou­cheth pitchEccle. 13.1. 2. Thes. 3.14. Ephe. 5.7. shal bee defiled therewith, and such as are conuersaunt with the vngodlie, may chance to be infected, with their dan­gerous diseases, and S. Paul willeth suche as feare God, not to bee companions of the wicked, nor to haue any fellowshippe with the workes of darknesse.

Par.

If the case doe stand with you, that you wil chuse rather to bee alone, then in such companie as dothe not like you, and you wil like of none, but those that liue vertuously I thinke it stoode you vppon to take greate deliberation, in making choise of a good wife, since the companie of the wicked doe so ill like of you.

Gen.

You may well suppose that to bee true, for so was I sure to finde it, and be­cause that amongest so manie women there are few good, and as Salomon saide, that amongstEccle. 7.30. a thousand he had not found one, you maie well thinke a good wife harde to be gotten.

Par.

What are they so scarse as you make them?

Gen.

I haue tolde you what Salomon said, and he was a man of great wisedome.

Par.

Although good women were not plentie in his time, yet there is good reason why there shoulde bee more liuing in these daies then euer there were: for there dyed not a good woman a great while.

Gen.

Oh (M. Parson) you speake more then you can prooue: for death doth take the good, as well as the bad, and it was prepa­red for the one as well as for the other: but belike you doe not knowe a good woman that you are of that mind.

Par.

I praie you Sir, by what tokens shall I know a good woman?

Gen.

If shee be one that feareth God, if she be holie as was Hester, if shee bee con­stant as was Iudeth, if she be vertuous, as [Page]was Rebecca: if she be chaste as was Su­sanna: if she be obedient as was Sara: if she loue Christ and his worde more then al the vanities of the worlde as did Mary: if you find this in a Woman, deubt not of her goodnesse, but praise God for her, and wishe her manie fellowes.

Par.

What muste shee haue all this in her before she be good? What if shee haue but two or thrée of these vertues, is not that ynough? if she be holie and obedient some­times, maie she not be a little curst, a little couetous, and maie not shee plaie the good-fellow a little somtimes, when her husband is out of the waie?

Gen.

No: she must be altogether vertuous or else it were as good she were altogeather wicked: for if she wil serue God, shee must serue him alone: for he is a ielous God, and wil not part stakes with anie: he will haue al or none, & if there be but one sinne found in a woman, wherby she doth dishonor god, it is inough to condemne her, although shee thinke her self fraught with manie vertues.

Par.

What do you thinke so? I woulde faine know how you can proue that?

Gen.

I will prooue it by this place of [Page]Scripture, which saith, theyMath. 5.19. Iam. 2.10. that offende in one point, are guiltie of the whole law.

Par.

In deede you saie true, such a place there is: but yet me thinkes it is harde dea­ling, that when a man or woman hath kept a great manie of the commaundementes a great while, and shal goe to the diuel at last for the breach of one of them: beleeue me if you wil, if it be true, I thinke there is not a woman in this country, that shall be sa­ued: for I neuer hard of the woman nor yet man, that hath kepte the lawe so preciselie, but that they haue offended one waie or o­ther: and what shal they then doe, if the case do so stand?

Gen.

This maie bee our comfort: that that which of our selues wee can not doe, and that part of the lawe which we doe not fulfil, Christ1. Ioh 2.2. hath done it for vs, if we take hold on him by faith, and trust in him as our onelie Mediator and Redeemer.

Par.

This is wel saide, nowe I like you wel, for of that minde haue I alwaies bene, that it is no matter what we doe our selues, nor how we liue, for Christe by his death hath purchased pardon for al.

Gen.

Oh now I perceiue you are farre [Page]deceiued, to thinke you maie liue at your pleasure, and that Christe will be a baude to your sinne: for Christe died not for vs to the intent that we should continue in sinne, but that weRom. 6.4. should die vnto sinne, and liue vnto righteousnesse [...] and let no man take such libertie by the death of Christ, that he may liue as he list, and yet goe for a good Christian: for S. Paule saithGal 5.24. they that are Christes haue crucified the fleshe, with the affections and lusts thereof: and again, [...]. Tim. 2▪ 9. all that will cal on the name of Christ mast de­part from iniquitie.

Par.

What are you there now? I praie you let vs talke no more of that matter: but let vs returne to our women againe which we had in talke but now: me thought that communication did like me well, I praie you by what tokens shall a man knowe a bad woman?

Gen.

If she serue not the true God, but false Gods of her owne inuention, as did2. Chr. 5.16.Maacha, whome her owne sonne Asa, put from her authority, and burnt the idole that she had made. If she be as very a harlot asGen. 39.12.Putyphars wife, which whould haue com­mitted Whoredome, with her seruaunt Io­seph, [Page]if he had not beene the honester man. Af she be as couetous asGen. 3.15. Rachell, that was contented to giue another woman leaue to lie by her husband Iacob, for a little Man­drago [...]as. If she be such a one as Paul spea­keth of, that do wāder from1. Tim. 5.13 house to house idle, and not idle onely? but as a tatler and busibodie, speaking thinges that are not comly. If she be worldly minded, wretched­lie giuen, & so drunken with the same, that she set more by the carefulnes of the worlde then by Christ & his Gospel: as didLuk. 10.4. Mar­tha, if she be as Popeholy, as the péeuishe woman in the Popishe time, that could not saie their Paternoster without a payre of beades. If you find anie of these in a Wo­man, praie for her, that she maie amend her maners, and haue grace to come out of the snare of the diuell, of whom shee is holden captiue at his pleasure.

Par.

I praie God amend them all, and now you haue shewed me how I shal know the difference betweene a good woman and a bad: I praie you let me heare what good councell you would giue vnto your women and maidens, that might be a staie for them in their tender yeares.

Gen.

I would wish them aboue al things, first to seeke to serue God, and leade their liues in his feare▪ and by the example of Sara: (R [...]uels daughter) to fli [...] vnto the Lorde in al their dis [...]esses: and to say with her oute of the [...] of a good consci­ence:Tob. 3.16. thou knowest Lord that I had neuer desire vnto man, but haue kept my soule cleane and from [...]nely l [...]st, I haue not kept company with such as passe their time in sporte, neither haue [...]iade my self par­taker with their [...] walke in light beha­uiou [...] husband haue I consented to take, not for my pleasure, but in thy feare, and in any wise I would withe them to beware of gadding, by the example ofGen. 34.1. Dina, ye daugh­ter of Lea, which on a time would needs go abroade, to see and to be seene, and loste her virginitie before she came home, let them beware of proud hear [...] and wanton lookes, by the daughters of Sion,Esai. 3.16. which did walk wt stretched out neckes & coy lookes, going & tripping nicely and tinkling with their féet that these plagues fal not on them, whiche the Lord promised the daughters of Sion: that he would shaue their heades, and disco­uer their filthinesse, and take away the gor­geousnesse [Page]of their attire, their Caules, and the round tyres, after the fashion of the Moone, the sweete perfumes, the bra [...]lets and the Wimples, the bonnets & the slops, the headbandes and the Tablets, the eare ringes and no [...]eiewels, the costly apparel, the vailes, the crisping pinnes, the glasses and the fine linnen, the hoods, and the launs and in steed of good smel giue them stinch, and for their girdle a rent, and for wel set hatre, baldnesse, and in steed of a stomacher a sackcloth, and for their beautie, sunbur­ning.

Par.

But what shal they haue for their Dublets? doe you finde that mentioned in the Scriptures?

Gen.

No, I neuer did read of it, and therfore I thinke there was no abhomination so great before.

Par.

Why, is it an abhomination for a Woman to weare a dublet thinke you?

Gen.

The holy Ghost thought so, when he gaue a commaundemente, to the contra­rie.

Par.

I praie you what commandement is there for it?

Gen.

This we may find writtten in Deu­tronomium, [Page]thatDeut. 22.5. a Woman ought not to weare that which perteineth to a man, nor a man that which perteineth to a woman, for all that doe so are abhomination vnto the Lorde.

Par.

Then by this saying, it is no more lawfull for a woman to were a dublet, then it is for a man to weare a Peticoate.

Gen.

In deed as you saie, they be both alike, and both abhominable in the sight of God.

Par.

I thinke our gentlewomen doe not know this, that they doe (now a daies) so much vse it.

Gen.

Whether they doe or no, I knowe not, but if they doe not, it is through want of knowledge in the worde of God, which is the cause of this, and a great manie such faultes, but if there be anie that doe know it, and vse it, I would wish them to leaue it, if they set more by the fauour of God, then they do by the pride of a dublet.

Par.

Some there may bee that will re­forme themselues, if they haue committed this fault through ignoraunce, but manie of them I thinke, wil still continue, as fine as a dogge in a dublet.

Gen.

Well, let them looke to this, and all other such faults, as they wil aunswere for it, and because ignorance is the cause of manie of these faultes, & some there be that would frame themselues to better maners, if they knew which way: I would wish thē euerie morning before they attire them sel­ues, to set the bible before them as a glasse that they maie be sure to put on such cloths as they maie seeme comely in the sighte of God: and there they shal see,1. Pet. 3.3. the Apostle wil tel them, that they must beware of em­broidered haire, or hanging on of Golde, ei­ther putting on of gorgeous apparel: and the hid man which is in the heart must bee without corruption, of a meeke and quiet spirite, which is before God, a thing muche set by: and after this maner, in the old time did the holie women, which trusted in God, attire themselues, let them take heede in a­nie wise ye they put not on pride with their apparel, forIam. 4.6. God resisteth the proude, and giueth grace vnto the lowlie. This is the counsel that I woulde wishe them to take, which is not mine own aduise, but the coū ­sell of the holie ghost, which did know what was best meete for them: and therefore I [Page]would wish al such as feare God, gladly to accept it.

Par.

In deede I thinke the counsel bee good: and how it wil bee accepted hereafter I cannot tel: but I am sure that it is nowe, litle or nothing regarded: neither doe I thinke that amongst the moste part, it wil be any thing followed: for women wil bee fine and handsome I tel you: say you what you wil.

Gen.

If they set more by the fauoure of God, then they doe by the praise of man, let them frame themselues to that order which God himselfe by the mouth of his seruants hath set down, and he wil blesse them, and make them ioyful mothers of vertuous children, and shal spend their daies in hap­pinesse, and end their liues in peace: if not, they shal one daye finde, that their glorie wil be their shame, such pride is their vtter destruction, and the breach of Gods lawes, their euerlasting confusion.

Par.

They are bound to thanke you for your good wil, but I feare mee a greate ma­nie of them woulde like you better if you had held your peace.

Gen.

I knowe not, nor I care not what [Page]thanks I haue for the same, but that which I haue saide: is for good wil yt I beare vnto them, and to discharge my duetie which I owe vnto God.

Par.

I pra [...]e you sir, if a man woulde chuse a good wife, amongest the like of all these women whom you haue spoken of: by what tokens shal she bee knowne?

Gen.

Saloman doth teach vs, that fauorPro. 31.3. is deceitfull, and beautie is a vaine thing, and a woman that feareth the Lorde is on­ly to be praised. Therefore to chuse a good Wife by Salomans aduise, is (in a Wo­man) to respect the feare of God, as the chée­fest thing that is to be sought for.

Par.

And I praie you Sir, haue your selfe met with so good a one as you speake of?

Gen.

Truelie it is not for me to answere to that question: but such as she is, I prayse God for her, and this she could saie in ma­king [...]hoise of a husband, that she wold non but him that would chuse a wife for vertue: for hee that marrieth his Wife for riches, promotion, beautie or such like, which are the delights of a corruptible eye, and maye soone vanish and vade awaie: when the wo­man [Page]shal want these thinges, the good man wil lacke his wife, and for her selfe, if shee might haue al the worlde in iointer, and a husband that coulde bring her al world lye delightes, and yet without vertue, is like a painted sepulchre that is faire withoute, and within ful of deade mens bones. But where the marriage is made for vertue, which doth continue for euer, they shal bee sure alwaies to loue, and liue wel toge­ther.

Par.

If you haue founde so good a Wife, you maie think your selfe happie.

Gen.

I doe confesse it, and knowe it to be the greatest blessing that in this worlde man may possesse. For examples to teache vs what inconueniences wicked women vnto their husbandes haue wrought.3. Kin. 11.4. 3. Kin. 21.9. Sa­lomons wiues did turne his heart, and cau­sed him to commit idolatrie: wicked Ieza­bel wrought the destruction of her husband as wel as herselfe. Iob hisIob. 2.9. wife bid him curse God and die, and the wise man saith, that it is better to dwel with aEccle. 25.8. Lion and a Dragon, then with a wicked and a brau­ling woman.

Par.

You are verie ful of your Scrip­ture, [Page]I maruel how a man of your calling coulde atteine to this knowledge: for you haue manie lets, and a great charge to looke vnto, which (in my iudgement) woulde oc­cupie so much of your time, that you might not haue leasure to studie for this learning.

Gen.

It was my first studie, before I had so great a charge: to knowe howe I mighte aunswere it, before I tooke it in hande: for in al my affairs I ought to make thePsal. 119. sta­tutes of the Lorde my counsellers, that I may be sure alwaies to bee wel aduised of that which I take in hand.

Par.

What, you are a Gentleman, and me thinkes this grauetie dothe not become you: for you must be lustie as the world go­eth now a daies, or else you wil bee little or nothing set by.

Gen.

Howe I am accounted of in the worlde, I set no store: for I hunt not after the praise of men: if I did, IGal. 1.10. could not bee the seruaunt of God, I am contented to let the worlde goe as it is, with the vanities thereof, & leaue the idle praises of a vaine man, to those that loue them: and my selfe doe esteeme them no better woorth, then a blast of winde blown into the ayre, whiche [Page]is come vnlooked for, & gone we knowe not whither: but if there be any that wil think euil of mee, for framing a life to liue accor­ding to the worde of God: I woulde they knew the daungers are greate, and their e­nimies more then they are ware of: for by what meanes, they may chaunce to plucke al the powers of heauen and earth aboute their eares, for the cause is the Lordes, and although hee do a whilePsal. 50.2. Pro. 12.6 wink at their sin, yet in the end he wil laugh at their destruc­tion. Therfore I woulde wishe them to bee wise in time, and be no longer a friende to filthinesse and an enemie to vertue: but let them thinke it sufficient to haue spente the time past of their life: in1. Pet. 4.3. wantonnesse, drunkennesse, gluttonie, and such like: and to return, though long first, yet at last, that the Lord may haue mercie vpon them.

Par.

You say wel: but yet there is a time for al things, I thinke you are not alwaies in your booke: nor so holy but that you can be contented to vse lawful exercises, which are fit for a Gentleman, as hauking, hun­ting and such like?

Gen.

Lawful exercises, being lawfully vsed I can very wel like of: and as for hau­king [Page]and hunting, they are such exercises, as many men in these daies do make them their occupations: and as the thinges are indifferent, beeing indifferently vsed, so as they are now amongst the most part put in practise they are shamefully abused.

Par.

I pray you Sir, let me know what you dislike in these thinges? mee thinkes there is no such fault to be founde therein: I pray you giue me leaue to speake for thē, for I loue to keepe a Hauke my selfe, and course a Hare sometime, me thinkes it is a goodly sport.

Gen.

It is not vnlike, but you loue it wel, for there are some of your coate that are so [...]n loue with these thinges, that they haue greater care ouer their Dogges, then for the soules of the people.

Par.

But to let that matter passe, I pray you let me know what bee the faultes that you finde in hauking and hunting?

Gen.

For hunting this I may saye, and such as are hound kéepers shal bear me witnesse, that there is as much spent, about the feeding of their vile dogges, as woulde fill the bellies of many a poore body, as deere in the sight of the Lord, as they themselues. [Page]And the time that they bestowe vainlie, al the daie, al the weeke, a whole moneth, a whole yeare, yea, and some their whole life in these, and such like vanities, mighte and ought to be spent much better. Their vaine talke, their blasphemous othes, for whiche they shal aunswere, are the fruites of this their pleasure, which in the end (withoute amendment) wil work them their vtter de­struction.

Par.

Although in manie these faultes maie be found, yet there are some that can hehaue themselues better, and vse none of these things whereof you speak.

Gen.

Some there maie bee of that num­ber you speake of, or else they were naught al: but they are so few, that amongst twenti a man shal hardlie find two, that can keepe their mouths from cursing, & their tongues from blaspheming, the glorious name of God: and he that can thinke best of himself, and hath kept his tong a great while, yet when it is come to that passe, that his pati­ence shall bee tried, as when his houndes are at a fault, or his hauk cannot be serued: then he himself wil be at a fault, and think the greatest othe he can inuent, to little to [Page]help the matter: and then with shame they shewe their religion, that they set not so much by the dishonouring of their God, as they doe by the rating of a vile Cur. But I woulde wishe suche faultes to bee looked vnto in time, that they be not ouertaken in their sinne, and rewarded for their iniquity they haue manie orders to bee obserued in these pastimes, and many lecinges there is amongst them for trifles: I wish they wold leaue these vaine matters, and lece one a­nother for greater faultes, as cursing, lying swearing and suche like: that the name of God be not blasphemed, & in the end, them­selues for their sinnes, accordingly rewar­ded: for if the Lord fall a lecing of them, he will pay them home, and giue them suche stripes, as they shall feele the smart there­of for euer, for let them flatter themselues, as fayre as they can, and thinke better of themselues then they do deserue, yet if their pastimes be full of abuse, and their mirth be not in the feare of God, they drawe ini­quitie with coards of vanitie, and sin as it were with a Cartrope.

Par.

In deed (as you saie) it were verie wel, if this that you haue spoken of might [Page]be put in practise, & that this lying, curs­sing, and swearing, might be vtterlie aboli­shed: but yet mee thinkes a Hauking othe sometimes is a smal matter, and they are but Gentlemens faultes, and therefore I thinke they may the better bee borne with all.

Gen.

What, doe you thinke (M. Parson) that the Lorde doth regarde the person of one man more then another for that he can be contented to suffer than in a gentleman, which he doth punishe in others? No, holde this for an euerlasting trueth, that wt him there is no2. Chr. 19.7. Act. 10.3.4. Rom. 2.11. Ephe. 6.9. respect of persons, but such as continue in well doing shall receiue accor­ding: & they that offend his maiestie (with­out amendment) shal find no mercy.

Par.

But I will tell you (Gentleman) some there bee, that are so accustomed to these faultes, that they ran not leaue it if a man woulde hand them: and therefore you must beare somwhat with the world, or else there wilbe no pastime.

Gen.

What (M. Parson) woulde you haue mee to bee a baude to the wickednesse of the people, and to soothe them in their sinne▪ Fye vpon you, fye vpon you, are you [Page]a minister, & wil vtter such vngodly speech? I perceiue you sauour of the things that are not of God. And I woulde you knew it, it is so farre from me to alowe of their wicked­nesse, that I seeke by al meanes possible, to suppresse the same: for I know it is not lawful for me to sowEzec. 13.18. pillowes vnder mens el­bowes, nor to laugh at their sinne. If I did I might chance weepe for my wickednes, and be guiltie of their sinne. Therefore I woulde they al knewe, that suche asPsal. 119. Leu [...]. 1 [...].11. de­light in cursing, it shal fal on them selues: and thatApoc. 21.8. lyinge is forbidden, and they that vse it shal haue their partEccle. 23.12. in that la [...]e which burneth with [...]i [...]e and Brimstone: & that theExod. 20.7. mouth of the swearer, sle [...]eth the soule, and the Lorde will not holde them guiltlesse that take his name in vaine, now if they thinke it good to sweare, cursse, and lye, and loue the punishmentes due for the same, let them vse it stil, if not, let thē learn to feare before the maiestie of God, & trem­ble at his iudgements: for as the night doth follow the day, so doth these punishmentes, so vngodly a life: for such as offend without any scare of God, shall be punished for euer without repentance: and they ye neuer leaue [Page]their sinne, shall be sure neuer to bee forgi­uen: but because repentaunce is a remedie at all times, and time must be taken while it is: I would wish it be sought for while it may be founde, vnlesse they seeke it hereaf­ter, when it will not be gotten.

Par.

I perceiue you are verie seuere in punishing of sinne where you may beare rule, and therefore I thinke you are a harde master to your seruauntes, or else they are verie good seruants to their Master.

Gen.

As for me and my seruants, my de­sire is, that we may be such as may serue God: so shall I be sure to vse them well, and they shall not faile to serue me faithfullie.

Par.

And are all your housholde such as feare God?

Gen.

If they be not, they are not such as may please me, and if I knewe them to bee otherwise, they shoulde not remaine in my house, for I know where the feare of God is not, that place isPro. 3.33. Deut. 28.16. accursed, but the dwel­linges of the righteous shall euermore bee blessed, and to my knowledge I haue not one, but is so reformed of his life, that hee doth not giue any example of euill.

Par.

If it bee true, you may saie more, [Page]then any that euer I heard of before, and I praie you what orders haue you taken to bring this to passe?

Gen.

First I haue according to theDeut. 6.7. com­maundement, shewed them the lawe of the Lorde, that they might knowe what they ought to doe: and if I find anie so obstinate that will not learne, or so vngodly that doth refuse to reforme his life, I reforme my house, and send him out of the doores: for I knowe the roome of such to bee better then their companie: and that one skabbed shéepe may marre a whole flocke, and the compa­nie of the vngodly to be so dangerous, as no plague nor pestilence is so infectious: and I haue learned of Dauid, to looke vntoPsal. 10.16.such as are faithfull in the land that they may dwel with me, and such as feare God, those I make my seruants.

Par.

These orders in bringing vp of your seruants in the feare of God, deserue great commendations. But if they doe their seruice faithfully as it becommeth them, do you keep them continually in the seruitude of Egypt?

Gen.

No: for I am taught toEccle. 7 21. Deut. 15.13. loue a dis­crete seruaunt as mine owne soule, and not [Page]to defraud him of his libertie, nor leaue him a poore man, and it is my duetie to doe vnto my seruants, that whichColo. 4.1. is iust and equall, knowing that meself haue a master in hea­uen. Thus (M. Parson) haue I shewed you my bringing vppe, and howe from my Childehoode vnto this daie, I haue lead my life, and of these orders if it please you, I can be contented you shal be a part­ner: and if you be now any better perswa­ded, then heretofore, I wil willingly bestow the charge on you, to finde you meate and drinke, and all other thinges necessary for you as long as you liue, if you will accept such intertainment as I can make you.

Par.

Sir I am bound to thanke you (for your good will) moste heartelie, but I doe not yet find any such necessity, to be charge­able vnto any man, as long as I am a­ble to discharge my selfe.

Gen.

Oh it gréeueth me to heare you, are you alwaies one manner of man? you haue tolde me that you haue no wife nor child to care for; and what can you more desire then food and raiment?

Par.

But what neede I become subiect to any mā, when as I maie be master of ser­uantes [Page]my selfe?

Gen.

For any subiection at your handes, I neuer meant to looke for, but if you can like of this offer, you shal haue a chamber as your owne, a man at your commaunde­ment, and you shall fare no worse then my selfe, which I trust shal be sufficient to con­tent either of vs both. Therefore if you can finde in your hearte to forsake your vngod­lie promotion, and liuings vnlawfullie pos­sessed, and becom a new man and seruaunt to God, saie no longer nay, but take this of­fer while you maie haue it.

Par.

To haue a Chamber in your house and to forgoe a house of mine owne, is so exchaunge the better for the woorse, and to shut my selfe in a prison, wheras I am now at libertie, and whereas you offer mee one man to attend on me, you maie knowe that I now am able to keepe thrée or foure faule fellowes, which are readie at all times to serue my tourne: and I am so well beloued amongst my parishioners, that ther are few men or their wiues, but are at my comman­dement to do for me the best that they maie: therefore you to counsell mee to leaue all these commodities, and bee chargeable to [Page]you, is to trouble your selfe, and doe me no pleasure.

Gen.

Oh (M. Parson) I would not wishe you to thinke so, but that I can be content to be at greater charge, so that I might thereby doe you any good. And these vani­ties, which you account commodities, are nothing but trains of the diuel to trap you in his gin, for he could be contented to giue you all this worlde (if it were his) that hee might haue but your soule in the worlde to come: therefore (M. Parson) I woulde you knew it, that that which I haue sayde, I wish you for the best, and that you might be vnburdened of that great charge which is too heauie for you to beare. Oh, let not the loue of money worke the losse of your soule, but be contented to lose somwhat for Christ, which was contented to laie downe his life for you: ohVVis. 1.12. seeke not your death in the er­ror of your life: make no tarying to turne vnto the Lorde, and put not of from day to day, vnlesse his wrath come suddenly, and in the time of vengeance he do destroy you, doe no longer sel your selfe to sinne, & this miserable world, but set your affections in heauen, where your redemer liueth for euer. [Page]Come awaie from that whoore of Babylon: drinke no longer of her poison: leaue of from Papistrie, and defie the Pope and al Poperie.

Par.

Why, I trust (gentleman) you doe not thinke that I am a Papist, for so you might prooue me a traitor both to God and the Quéene.

Gen.

Truelie (M. Parson) I haue taken you for no other al this while.

Par.

Then I perceiue you haue beene farre deceiued, for I would you knewe it, I am as good a Protestant as the proudest of you al.

Gen.

What are you so? I praie you what protestation can you make thereof, that I maie be so wel persuaded of you:

Par.

I can eate fleshe on Fridaies, I care not if there were not one fasting daie in a whole yeare: I can fal to my vittailes al the Lente: I care not if the Pope were hanged, so I mighte fare a penie the better for it. I can bee as holy in the Church as a­ny man, although ye flesh be somwhat fraile when I am abroade, and a thousande such thinges can I doe, which woulde be to long to reherse.

Gen.

Oh I perceiue you are deceiued of your self, for you are an Epicure out right. What doe you account this to bee a Prote­stants life: No, (M. Parson) a Protestaunt is not knowne by these marks.

Par.

No? I praye you, howe wil you know a Protestant.

Gen.

If hee professe that there is no re­demption,1. Tim. 2.5.but in the bloud of Christ: if the wordGal. 3.24. of god dwel in him plentifully: if his talke be alwaies of theHeb. 9.26. commaundements of the Lorde: if his profession andColo 6.7. Deut. 6.7. Rom. 2.13. his life doe agree: if hee loue such as feare God, for his sake: if the world bePsal. 15.4. Gal. 5.24. crucified vnto him, and he vnto the world: if he be not hie min­ded, but doth make himself equal with those of the lower sort. If hePhil. 3.8. count al the worlde but dung that he may winne Christ: if hee louePsal. 119. the lawe of the Lorde aboue golde or pretious stone: If he be noEphe. 5.5. whoremonger, no drunkard, no vsurer, no theefe, no swea­rer, no filthie talker, no couetous person: If he be no negligent Pastor: if he be sory for his sinnes committed, and doth seeke to be­come a new man: if he loue Christ and his Gospel so wel,Luk. 14.26. that he can be contented to loose his life for the same. If you finde this [Page]in a man, knowe him to be a Protestant, as wel in deed as in name, for this is required of him that wil be a professour of the gospel, and bear the name of a Protestant.

Par.

What are there no Protestaunts, but such as haue al this in them? then I think there be not manie Protestauntes, a­mongest a great number of professors.

Gen.

In deede I knowe, Christes flocke is a litle flocke: & that it is an easier matter to bee called a Protestaunt, then prooued a Protestant: but yet some there are, and that manie more then we knowe which do wor­ship God, in spirite and trueth, and are ap­pointed to be heires of the kingdome of hea­uen. Of the which number (M. Parson) I long to finde you one, and if you will once turn vnto Christ, he wilbe be merciful vnto you: and there wil bee more ioie of so peni­tent a sinner, then ofLuk. 15.7. ninety and nine iust persons. If you did know the rewarde you should haue for following of Christe: you would make haste to goe after him: If you did knowe the ioies, that God hath prepa­red for those that loue him, were such as the1 Cor. 2.9. eye hath not seene, the eare hath not hard, nether the hart of man hath euer conceiued, [Page]you woulde thirste after them as the Hart doth for the water brooks. If you did knowe howePsal. 84.1. amiable are the dwellinges of the Lorde of Hostes, your soule woulde haue a desire and longing to enter into ye courts of the Lorde, yea your heart and your fleshe would reioice in the liuing God. If you did know that in his presence is thePsal. 16.12. fulnes of ioy, & that at his right hand there are plea­sures for euermore: you wil chuse rather to be aPsal. 84.11. doore keeper in the house of youre God, then to dwel in ye tentes of the vngod­lie. If you did know ye glorie they shal haue in his kingdome, that suffer for his sake in this world, you would set more by the [...]eb. 11.16. re­buke of Christe, then by al the treasures of Egipt. Beware of that subtil serpent the Diuel, which goeth aboute like a [...]. Pet. 5.8. roaring Lion, readie to deuour you: it is his persua­sions, ye makes you in loue with this world▪ and if it lay in him, he would saie vnto you, as he did vnto Christ, that heMat. 4.8. woulde giue you al the kingdomes in the worlde, to fal downe & worship him: for riches and other vanities of ye world, being vnlawfully pos­sessed, are nothing but baites of that subtile Serpent, to intrap such as be not warie of [Page]him. Therefore as you loue the safetie of your self depart from that which is euil: re­memberRom. 6.23. that euerlasting life is the gift of God, and the reward of sinne is euerlasting damnation: and know that one sweete loost from Christes cheekes, is better then al the faire countenances of the world: and an an­grie countenaunce from his face, is able to crush al their enimies in peeces. Therfore auoid his displeasure, beware of his wrath, get into his fauor, and continue in his fear and you shal stand though the earth fal, and shal be sure of the victorie, though al the world were set against you.

Par.

For your good councel I most hear­telie thank you, & with your gentle persua­sions, you haue greatlie moued me, & there­fore I mean to take another order with my self which I trust shal like you wel enough

Gen.

I pray you (M. Parson) let me hear that order.

Par.

Thus I doe determine to lay my plot, because it is a feareful thing to fall in­to the handes of the liuing God, and greate dangers are like to befal those that cōtinue in their sinne: I wil take such a order, that I wil not spende much, but liue sparingly a [Page]while, vntil I haue gotten a good peece of mony in my purse, that may maintaine me during my life: and then I wil departe from my liuings, and repent for al matters halfe a dozen yeares hence.

Gen.

But what if you should chauuce to dye (M. Parson) before these yeares come out?

Par.

In deede that is the worst, I neuer thought on that.

Gen.

Oh in any wise haue care of that, for death commeth manye times vnlooked for, and you are not sure of your life one houre: and if death should ouertake you in your sinnes: you are lost for euer. There­fore I wold wish you, not to delay the time any longer, but deale wisely for your selfe while you may: for if you be once gonePsal. 50.22. no man may deliuer you, nor make agreement vnto God for you.

Par.

Truely (Gentleman) you say ho­nestly, & your persuasions are verie strong, and if I might be sure to obteine the fauor of God and inherite the kingdome of hea­uen by suche meanes as you haue shewed me, and that there were no doubte of it: I could be contented to yeeld vnto you: but I [Page]must tel you plain, my benefices are swéete, and if I should forsake them all, and go to the diuel at last, it would grieue me.

Gen.

To put you oute of doubte for that matter, heare what Christe himselfe saith, which is the dore whereby you must enter into heauen: whosoeuerMar. 19.29. (saith he) forsa­keth house or brethren, father, or mother, wife or children, goodes or landes, for my names sake, shal receiue an hundred folde in this world, and in the world to come, life euerlasting.

Par.

What is ment by that hundred fold? that if I put awaie my benefices, I shall haue them againe and manie more? then I care not how soone I depart with them.

Gen.

No, (M. Par.) you must not thinke so, but this knowe, that God is able to giue you a thousande times more, as you maie see by the example ofIob. 42.10. Iob, but the mea­ning is this: that you shal in this whorlde haue such peace of conscience, which the vngodlie are without: that you shal saie with Paule, you are as2. Cor. 6.10. hauing nothing, and yet possessing all things: and in the world to come, ioies vnspeakable, in a life that shal last for euer. Therefore (M. Parson) [Page]think no time so happie, as that which you bestow in procuring of your self that which wil stick by you for euer.

Par.

Oh this comfort is great, and these wordes haue stroken me to the heart.

Gen.

How doe you (M. Par) me thinkes your collour doth begin to change.

Par.

Oh, oh, oh.

Gen.

What are you not wel, that you looke so ill?

Par.

Oh, sicke, sicke.

Gen.

I woulde we had some Ginger for you, or a little Aquauitie.

Par.

Oh I am sicke, I am sicke.

Gen.

Wil you ride to some towne? and we will send your water to some phisition.

Par.

Oh, no, al the Phisitians in Eng­land are not able to cure this disease.

Gen.

Why (M. Parson) where dothe it greeue you?

Par

Oh at the heart, at the heart.

Gen

I maruell what it shoulde bee, that doth take you so suddenly: haue you not ben so troubled with it before?

Par.

Oh no, I neuer was in this case since I was borne before.

Gen.

Be contented to tarrie the Lordes [Page]leasure a little while, and you shall see, that it will mend anon.

Par.

Oh Lord help me, oh Iesu help me, God and our Lady helpe me.

Gen.

Oh (M. Parson) that is very ill sayde: do you not thinke that God can helpe you of himselfe but that you must intreate our Ladie, to do somwhat for you? in so say­ing you haue greatly dishonored God.

Par.

Oh, the Lord forgiue it me. I con­fesse I haue offended him in it.

Gen.

God bee praised, that you are so soone reformed. But I maruaile what it thoulde bee, that doth trouble you so at this time.

Par.

Oh it lieth heauie at my heart.

Gen.

What should it be thinke you that doth lye so heauy?

Par.

Oh it is my sinnes, which are more then I am able to beare, for now I feel my selfe pricked at the heart, with griefe of my former life. Oh Lord be mer [...]ifull vnto me a sinner. Howe greeuously haue I offended so louing a father? how wickedly did I en­ter into the ministery? howe negligently haue I taught, how vitiously haue I liued? how many soules through my negligence [Page]haue gone to the Diuell, and I haue bene carelesse and taken no thought for them: oh forgiue me these mine offences, or take mee out of this vale of miserye, that I sinne no more.

Gen.

Oh comfort your selfe and knowe, that with thePsal. 130.7. lord ther is mercy, and with him ther is plenteous redemption: yea likePsal. 103.13. as a father pitieth his owne child, so is the Lord mercifull to them that feare him.

Par.

Oh how comfortable are these say­ings nowe vnto me? which sometime I lo­ued not to heare thereof. Oh my benefices, my benefices, that haue wrought mee this wo: Fye vpon them, fye vpon them, fye vp­pon them: Oh I was neuer so farre in loue with them, as I do now detest and abhorre them. Oh that al dumb doggs, vnpreaching prelates, popish priests, non residentes, and vnlearned ministers, would learn by mine example to be wise in time. Oh that such as can preach woulde preach: and such as can say nothing would giue ouer the place whi­che is vnméete for them: Oh that suche as are set as Cyties vpon a high hill, woulde preach Christe the Lorde, and them selues seruants: oh that this saying were not to [Page]true,Phil. 2.21. that euery man seeketh his owne, & no man that which is Christes: oh that la­bourers might be sent into the Lordes har­uest, and loiteres might bee rooted out: Oh that such as know nothing, but to shear the Sheepe, and feede themselues, did nowe knowe so much as I doe, for I neuer had such pleasure in keeping my benefices, as I doe nowe finde ioy, being willing to for­goe them. You tolde me (Gentleman) that you thought your self happy to come in my company, but I may blesse the time that e­uer I saw you Oh how much am I bounde to the Lorde, ye hath ordeined such a means to worke mee my saluation: praised be his name therefore.

Gen.

Oh the Lorde bee praised for euer, that now I finde that in you, which long I haue sought for. My minde did giue mee that the Lord had his worke in you, & now experience doth teach mee, that it is vnfei­nedly true, and I doubte not, but you are now willing to forsake your benefices and to goe home with me.

Par.

I am more willing to depart with them, then euer I was to haue them: and am so out of loue with thē, that it gréeueth [Page]me to think on them and my desire is, that I were so cleane discharged of them, that I might neuer here more of them.

Gen.

You shall not neede to take anye further care: but [...]ntent your selfe, and you shal haue that which is yours, and be trou­bled no longer.

Par.

But thinke you not, that I maye haue my monye againe, that I paied for them vnto my Patrons?

Gen.

That question is not woroth the asking, for they wil be farre from making a restitution, that they wil not be knowen you paide any thing for them. But I pray you what did your be [...]e sires cost you?

Par.

I thinke my three benefices did stande me, one way or another, aboute a fiue hundred pounds.

Gen.

What did they so? Oh vnsatiable. Symmonie: I praie you in what order did they deale with you? and with what shame lesse faces coulde they d [...]n [...]aunde monie for them?

Par.

I haue of a long time kept secrete their counsell, but now I will disclose their pollicie. First you must obserue, that my three benefices, I had of three Patrons, [...] [Page]the first after sute made vnto him, saide hee was contented that I should haue it before another, on this condition, that I would be thankful for the same: and it should cost me nothing: but my friends (he said) were con­tented to bestow the same vpon me: and I should not be priuy of a peny that was gi­uen, before the mony came to be paid, and then I should reape the fruites of my bene­fice in two or three yeares after. Another of my patrons would take no mony, for hee knew it to be vnlawfull: but if I would be­stow a dish of Angels (of Apples I shoulde saie) vppon him when the time of the yeare did serue, hee was contented I shoulde bee heard before another, but the apples muste be very ripe and as yellowe as golde. My third patron was counted a man of a very good conscience, and he woulde no mony at any hand, but his wife must haue a gowne and that made of Satten, laid with a siluer lace, and the coller stiffened with as manie olde angels, as came to a hundred pounde: and she was so in loue with the same, that if it la [...]e in her she would neuer were other fashion: and when her husband saw it, he li­ked the stuffe so wel, that he woulde haue [Page]a suite of apparell of the same making: so that to make them this gorgeous suite of apparel, I was faine my selfe to weare a thred bare coate, I knowe not how long.

Gen.

Oh most wicked, and Diuelish de­uises, is there such chopping and changing buying and selling of mens souls? but that the mercy of the Lord, is aboue al workes, ye for so wicked an abhomination, the earth doth not grone vnder vs, as being wery to beare vs. Haue they such shifts to dazle the eies of mē? or do they think by such means, to escape the iudgements of God? Let them know that when the Lord wil make inqui­sition for sinne, and the secretes os al hearts shal be opened, this their wickednesse shall shew it selfe, and without amendment shal not go vnpunished, Oh how happy are you whome God hath drawne from dangerous dealings? your happinesse is more then I can expresse, you haue by these meanes got­ten heauen and earth on your side, the Lord himself doth fauor you, the Sunn & Moone will shew you a cheereful countenauce: the earth shall serue for your pleasure, the dew in the morning wil giue you a sweet sauor, the flowers in the field wil cast you a plea­sant [Page]smell, The stones in the streetes are at league with you, neither is there anye thing vnder the heauens, that shal hurt you but all are sworne to your safety: the Lorde shall send his Angelles toPsal. 34.7. pitch their tents about you: so that al your enemies shal doe you no harme, but death it selfe shall giue you the victorie, when it commeth to playe his part, it shall set you free from a greate many of miseries, andApoc. 14.13. place you in an e­uerlasting happinesse. But as for suche as▪ continue in their wickednesse, woe be vnto them, it were better for them, that they had neuer bene born, for their state, is accursed, and the best of them is butMich. 7.4. as a brier, or a rotten stake in a thorny hedge, and though they florish a while, as doth the flower of yt field, yet shal they wither as doth the grasse andEsai. 51.8. worms shal eate them, euen as moths eat cloth and wool: Wo be vnto them that through the stubbernesse of their hearts can not repente, but heape vp for them selues wrath, against the day of wrath, and decla­ration of the righteous indgement of God,Rom. 2.5. which will rewarde euery man according to his workes.

Par.

Then Woe the vnto all Patrons, [Page]which buie and sell benefices.

Gen.

Yea, and happie are such Patrons, as bestow them vpon such as are worthie of them, and that take no monie for them, but seeke onelie the glorie of God, and the sal­uation of their brethren.

Parl

Are there some such Patrons think you, that doth so bestow their benefices?

Gen.

Yea, no doubt of it, there are some such, and that manie, although because you haue not found them, you think the contra­rie, Elias thought (whē ther was a slaugh­ter, amongest the prophetes of the Lorde) that there had bene none left, that did serue the true God, but himself, beacuse he knew them not: but the3. Kin. 19. [...]4.18. Lorde tolde him, that there were seuen thousand, which he had reserued, that did neuer bowe their knees to B [...]al. So no doubt hath he now a remaant, whome he doth preserue from that sinne of simmonie, and do leaue it as a thing which doth highlie displease the Lorde: the which number, I beseech him dailie to encrease: yt the feete of the ministers [...]aie beEsai. 52.7. Rom. 10.15. beauti­ful, and themselues mess [...]ngers, that maie bring glad tidings of peace, and tidinges of good things.

Par.

I shall bee counted but a foole a­mongst my felows, for playing of his part and they will make it a game to laugh at, for dealing in this maner: but the best waie is, to giue them leaue, and abide their skoffs, with patience, vntil the Lorde roote them out, or giue them heartes of repen­tance.

Gen.

You saie verie well, it is our parts toPsal. 27.16. tarrie the Lords leasure, and be conten­ted to bear the railinges of our aduersaries for a while: these daies will not continue for euer, there will come a laughing time for vs, when they shal weepe and howle for the miserie that shal come vpon them: and shalbe faine (one day) to saie of you, thisVVis. 3.5. is he whome we somtimes had in dirision: we [...]ooles thought his life madnesse, and his end without honor: but lo, how he is coun­ted amongest the Sonnes of God, and his portion is amongst the saints, these words shal the vngodlie saie with griefe of heart: when themselues are tormented, and you shalbe comforted, when you shal haue ioies vnspeakable, and they shalbe cast into vtter darknesse, where shalbe weeping, and gna­shing of téeth, And nowe that you may set [Page]some order concerning your selfe, and suche stuffe as you haue at home; I wil send two of my men with you, that shal deale for you as they woulde for me, and in hope that it shal not be long, before I see you againe.

Par.

I thanke you sir moste heartelie, and I praise God highlie that haue stirred vp such an instrument to cal mee to repen­tance, I will ride to my benefices, and dis­charge my selfe clean of them, and with as much speed as I may, I wil waite on you, in the meane time: I pray God blesse you, and yours, and continue that good mind in you, which now you are of, that you and I with al our housholde, maie so serue God in this transitorie worlde, that wee may ioie with him for euer in the world to come.

Gen.

Amen.

FINIS.

A godly and necessary prayer into this booke.

O ETERNALL and euerlasting God, which hast made thy dwellings aboue the heauens, & by the Scepter of thy mighte, doest rule all the powers in the world, all which should sound to thy praise, and redounde to the honour of thy glorious name: we most vile wretches, whom thou hast made of the dust of the earth, throw down our selues here before thy maiesty, as vnworthy to be made thy footestoole, submitting our selues vnto thee, and acknowledging our sinnes, we appeal to thee for mercye. VVe confesse (O Lorde) that our wickednesse is great, our misdeedes many, & our sinnes innume­rable, and thou art iust, thy iudgements are ouer all the worlde, and the punishments due for our sinnes are intollerable. Forgiue them, O Lord forgiue thē, mollifie our hard hearts, and gyue vs right spirites, that we may see our sinne, and learn to tremble be­fore thy maiesty, & fear to offend any longer. Oh be thou fauourable vnto vs, or els we are lost for euer: If thou be angry, what may make vs merry? if thou be offended, how may we be pleased? If vve haue lost thy fauour, what friendship can help vs? If thou withdraw thy grace from vs, what good shal our ri­ches do vs? If thou be not on our side, what shal we do with the help of man? If we be whole in body & sick in soule, rich in substance & poore in godlines: haue the worlde at will, and know not how to vse it: If we haue such liberty to do waht vve vvould, any yet so sinfull to do nothing as vve shoulde, Oh the finne of so corrupt hearts, what miserie vvill it [Page]bring vs? vvhat vvoe will it vvorke vs? howe many plagues are there ordeined for so great sinnes? and vvhat a continuall paine vvill our vngodly pleasure purchase for vs? O Lorde if thou let vs liue heere a vvhile, in wealth & ease, to the end vve shal liue for euer hereafter in misery & wo? alasse that euer vve were born, to see such wo [...]ul days: oh far be that frō vs (O Lorde) and continue thy mercy tovvardes vs for euer. VVe confesse that our sinnes haue wel de­serued thy vvrath, and our vvickednesse, is great y­nough to prouoke thy anger, and we know that thy mercies already shewed vnto vs, haue beene more then our deseruinges, vve haue alwayes felt thy fa­therly affection towardes vs, vvhen we haue shewed our selues vnnaturall children, and revvarded thee euill for good: Oh lord forgiue it vs, forgiue our vn­godly behauiour, & lay not our sins to our charge, but continue thy mercy tovvardes vs still. Looke fauourably vppon this Realme, blesse va vvith thy goodnesse, and defende vs from Sathan and all his ministers, ouerthrow their deuelish deuices, and be­vvray their vngodly pollices: preserue our Queene vvhome thou hast placed ouer vs, let her rule faith­fully in thy feare, make her dayes happy, and sende her a long life if it be thy good pleasure, and vvhen this her earthly princely state shall ceasse, giue her a heauenly kingdome where shee may reigne for e­uer, make her counsellers vvise in thy feare, to giue such councel, as may tende to thy glory: let he no­bles know that their honors consisteth in thy wor­ship. Teach magistrates to humble themselues, and seeke the aduancement of thy glory, let them know that they are not placed in office by thee, to gouern as they list, or do that which seemeth good in their [Page]owne eyes, but to suppresse sinne & support vertue, let them draw their swordes to cut downe vice, and imbrace godlines, as that which is onely their wor­ship, teach the ministerie, to teach the trueth vnto their flocke, and seeke the safety of thy people, and not their owne priuate gayne: let them not be such as can teach others and not them selues, that can shere the sheepe, and not feed the flocke, let not the desire of filthy lucre, make them carelesse to do their duety, but let the remembrance of thee (which wilt call them to an account) cause them to haue a care of their charge. Teach masters of housholdes, my­stresses and Dames, children and seruauntes to serue thee, and lead their liues in thy feare, O Lord learne thē to know that to dwell vnder thy defence, is on­ly to be happy, and not to obey thee, is to be accur­sed, and to heap vp for our selues, wrath against the day of wrath, vvhen, euery man shall be revvarded according to his vvorkes: let the power of thy ma­jestie (vvhich canst vvith a vvorde shake all the po­vvers in heauen and earth) strike so deepe into our hearts, that we may set more by thy fauour, then all the fayre countenaunces of the world (which are but vaniti) let not any thing be our delight but that vvhich may please thee, & let nothing make vs so­ry but that which doth offend thy maiesty. Also we beseech thee to looke vppon thy vvhole Churche (vvheresoeuer) with fauour beholde it, comfort the afflicted members therof, deliuer them with speed, or giue them patience to tarry thy leasure: let them not faint in that good course they haue begon that suffer for thy truch, but be thou their help in trouble and lay no more vppon them then they are able to beare. And although we at this time here at home, [Page]haue not so great cause to complayne, as many of our brethren in other countries. But thou (O Lord) hast delt more fauourably vvith vs then with them, yet let vs not be proude of our estate, but giue vs heartes of humilitie, to prostrate our selues before thy maiestie: for vve know that our deseruings are not such, nor thy hande is not so shortned, but that thou canst strike vs as well as them, let not so great wickednesse lodge in our brests, that our prosperity shoulde make vs to forget thee, for although vve sleepe now in secutitie and thinke our selues out of danger, yet thou canst quickly set the nations about vs vpon our eares, and giue vs ouer to a worse mis­cheefe euen amongest our selues: thou canst soone make a whole man a sicke body, and of a liuing bo­dy a dead corps, and all our pleasures may soone be gone, the aduersitie of one howre may make vs to forget: all our sinnes haue truly deserued these and greater plagues, but that thy mercy tovvardes vs, hath beene great, vvhich I beseech thee for euer to continue. Forgiue vs our sinnes and pardon vs, for thy sonne Christs sake, quicken vs as thou art wont to do thy chosen, giue vs a taste of the ioyes of thy kingdome, that vve may knowe it is better to be a dore keeper in thy house, then to dwel in the tentes of the wicked & vngodly, let not the vaine delights of this corrupt world lead vs vnto vanity nor let the alterations of this changeable time turne our harts from thee, but teach vs to knovve that thou art al­vvayes one and the same, & dost neuer forget such as doe put their trust in thee. VVe know that thy fa­therly care ouer thy children is great, that they shal not loose a haire of their head, but thou wilt knowe how [...] [Page]they come for̄ it: oh learn vs for so gret loue, to loue thee againe, and feare to offend so deare a Father: keep farre from vs the breach of thy laws, couetous mindes, lying lipes, swearing tongues, malicious hearts, vnchast and vngodly behauiour, which doth offend thee, and prouoke thine anger againsty vs: & beate down our stoute stomcks, that we may stand in awe & feare thy displeasure, that the plagues due for our sinnes may be turned away from vs. O Lord make vs wise in time, plāt in our harts a loue to thy iudgements, and alwaies haue im minde that thou which madest the eye must needs see, which madest the eare must needs heare, and thou which sea [...]chest the hearts and reins, must needs find out our wic­kednesse. And because of our selues we are not able to doe any thing that is good, but prone and apt to all kinde of sinne and wickednesse, we beseech thee so to assist vs with the ayde and help of thy holy spirite, that we may through the same, do those things vvhich of our selues we are not able, that it may be to thy glory and for the health of our owne soules. Oh let these our praiers pearce the heauens, and enter into thine eares, and giue vs this and all other things necessary for vs, from this time to the end of our liues, and after death a life to liue for euer, for thy deare sonnes sake, in whose name vve beg it of thee in that praier vvhich he himselfe hath taughte vs, saying. Our father. &c.

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