The Epiphanie of the Church. GATHERED OVT OF THE HOLY Scriptures, declaring and plainly shevving, both the Church that cannot but erre, and also the Church that cannot erre. VVITH SO EVIDENT NOTES and manifest signes of either of them, that no man reading it, needeth be in doubt which he should beleue.

Written by R. P. in the yeare of our Lord God 1550. And now published in this yeare 1590. for the benefite of all such as desire the trueth concerning the church.

LONDON Printed by Roger Ward, dvvelling at the signe of the P [...]sse in the Little Old-baily. 1590.

VNTO THE REVEREND FATHER in God and honourable Lord, Nicholas Ridley, bi­shop of London, his humble Richard Phinch the vnwor­thie minister to the small congregation of [...]astham, wisheth grace, peace, and health, with increase of godlinesse in Iesu the onely health and peace-maker, &c.

AFter I perceiued (very reuerend father) that your good trauell amongest vs had not so good successe, as the vnfaithfull & superfluous doinges of other sometimes doe obtaine, I not onely mused with my selfe what should be the cause, but also studied with my whole indeuour to do that lay in me, though not a­ble to helpe good affaires forward, yet at the least, not to hinder them. For certaine ouerthwart persons (pre­tēding to cleaue earnestly vnto the faith of the church, when in very deed they do nothing els but sticke vnto their owne wils in folowing euill custome) coueted di­uers wayes to obscure the praise of your diligent labor. Being moued thereto partly because you examined thē by the scriptures, and partly for that you gaue in your visitation iniunctions to take away the principall mo­numents of superstitions, euen the altars of the po­pish masse.

Ah God helpe, to be tried by the Gospel, vvas a strange matter vnto them that were occupied onely in their pye portuase and ordinalles, but more strange vnto them that were woont to heare of nothing at visi­tations but of paying of mony, and most strange vnto them that were neuer examined before, not so much as whether they beleeued in God or no.

This vnwont maner & strangenesse made your godly indeuors, of some not to be so thankfully receiued (al­beit of the honest most thankfully taken) as they woor­thely deserued of all: insomuch that for my part I hearkened for nothing but for some congratulation of my brethren toward you: and the people looked for [Page] reformation of enormities, for the open punishment of great crime, and for the plaine setting forth of Gods word & preaching of the same after your visitation. But as I haue heard nothing of the one (honest persons ex­cepted) so do the people vvait stil for the other. Wher­fore (to speake simply) I thinke God recompenseth the omission of the one vvith the losse of the other, for praise hath beene vvont to follovv vertue, as the sha­dovv doth the body.

Furthermore, that noble king of famous memory, no lesse prudent then godly minded, king Henry the 8. put forth vnto vs in the yere of our Lord 1536▪ a booke of articles, vvherein the signification of certaine cere­monies (vvhich before vvere done) he pl [...]ly declared sensing, kneeling, offering to images, & vvorshiping of the same vvere forbid, and also the name of purgitory vvas cleane taken avvay. But hovv thankefully those things vvere then of some receiued, their setting forth & teaching of the same plainly shevved. I do vvell re­member that many vvere as loth then to forgoe theyr purgatory, as they be novv vnvvilling to take dovvne their altars, the monuments of the same: & that it was as strange a thing to say on Ashvvednesday Memento homo, &c. in English (notvvithstanding the said booke of articles vvilling the same) as it is novv to be exami­ned in the Nevv testament by a godly bishop. In the same yere also came forth godly iniunctions comman­ding parents and gouernours to teach their youth the Lords prayer, the Articles of the faith, & the cōmande­ments of almighty God in English, vvhich themselues had not learned, & therfore the curats vvere charged to recite one clause or article one day, & another on ano­ther day of the same, vntill the vvhole vvere learned. This yere likevvise by the authority of the same iniun­ctions, the Bible, Gods booke vvas set vp in the quiere, to be read both in Latine and English, vvhich thither vvas so vvell vvelcome, so much regarded, and so dili­gently [Page] studied, that he had good leaue to depart from thence into the body of the church.

For in the yeare of our Lord God 1538. the magi­strates were faine to renew the same iniunctions and speake more plainely, who commanded the said Gods booke to bee set vp in some conuenient place in the Church, and no man to be discouraged from reading of the same in English. They charged all curates againe to teach the Lordes praier, the articles of the faith, and the commandementes of God, and that they shoulde examine euerie person comming to auriculer confessi­on, in the same, and heare them say the Lordes praier, the articles &c. particularly. And also make or cause to be made one sermon euerie quarter in euerie one of their cures. O Lord God, what an eye sore & torment of minde was this vnto them that were obstinate and wayward: but what a sweete comforte to the simple that were willing to disburden their conscience? If god had then, as he hath now, sent vs some godly learned Bishops that vvoulde haue taken paines to visite their cures, and to haue examined howe these matters had gone forward, they should haue perceaued many a false cast to haue bin plaied vnder the couerlet in the shif­ting houses. And some simple folke woulde haue saide that their ghostles fathers had giuen them counsell to stick vnto their old primer, and to beware of the newe, and specially of the testament.

Diuers proclamations about this time were also set forth, concerning Gods matters, but alas they were so vnwillingly handled, and so vnthankfully receaued, that God had almost taken his word from vs againe. At the length about the yeare of our Lord God 1544. the suf­frages were put forth in english, which likewise were so wel welcome to some that the kings maiestie then was constrained to write vnto certaine prelates concerning the same, whome he aduertised, not to be so slacke in putting the said praiers in practise, as they were inser­ting [Page] forth his former articles & iniunctions. Thus God hath wrought among vs by a little and a litle to bring vs to knowledge, that at the lēgth vve might willingly embrace his holy word. Againe, forsomuch as of late Gods booke was in some places almost forgot, in some places runne out of the church into the chancel to hide himselfe amongest the popish bookes, and of some so safely laid vp, that a man might wright vpon him with his finger, Ecce nunc in puluere dormio. Therefore al­mightie God moued the heart of our moste naturall liege Lord and dearely beloued mayden king, to lift vp the same Gods booke once again out of the dust. Who in the yeare of our Lord God 1547. set foorth by hys royall visitation godly homilies, the paraphrase of that learned father Erasmus, to the great comfort of the sim­ple that be willing to learne, & also godly iniunctions, meaning thereby to root vp all superstition, abuse, and idolatry, & to set vp gods word in their place. Where­in he commanded not onely to take awaie all supersti­tion and idolatrie, but to take away, and vtterly to extinguish and destroy all monuments of superstition & idolatrie. cap. 28. But how diligently putoffes haue practised their pollicie, to hinder this his godly pur­pose: it is better to lament it with teares, then to re­hearse it in letters. Last of all, to put all out of doubt, and to make a perfect concord, we haue a booke of cō ­mon praier with an order in the same for reading of Gods booke set forth in English by the same aucthori­tie, and stablished by act of parliament. And least anie person would be so foolish & mad to looke for the ro­mish ragges againe, one statute at the last parliament abolisheth and condemneth for euer all other popish bookes of the old seruice. Notwithstanding some peo­ple be yet dased in those Gods matters that they know not vvhat to doe. Maruaile not therefore (deare fa­ther) though the vngodly sorte doe misconster, and euill interpret your godly trauaile. For they crie for a [Page] law, they must haue a law to lead them from euerie su­perstition by name, els they vvill not obey. But if they loued obedience, quietnesse, and had but one sparke of reuerend feare either toward God or their prince, or a­nie desire of godly knovvledge, there hath inough and inough againe bin said, cōcerning matters of religion, and also set forth, both by order and law.

There be articles inough, iniunctions inough, procla­mations inough, commandements inough, exhortati­ons inough, lessons inough, and lavves inough, if they vvere vnderstoode, vvillingly embraced & reuerently obeyed. Albeit for them that be self vvilled, frovvard, contentious, obstinat, & dul harted, nothing vvil serue. Therfore to none may be better applied this prophecy of Esay, Esay. 28. then vnto these. Who saith, They that be such must haue after one lesson, another lesson: after one com­mandement, another commandement: after one rule, ano­ther rule: after one instruction, another instruction: there a litle, & there a litle. For he that speaketh vnto this people, is euen as one that vseth rudenesse of speeche, & a strange language. If anie man say vnto them, loe, this is the rest wherwith ye may ease hym that is wearie, this is the refre­shing, they will not harken. Therfore the word of the Lord, lesson vpon lesson, commandement vppon commandement, rule vpon rule, instruction vpon instruction, there a little, and there a litle shalbe vnto them an occasion of stumbling that they may goe on, and fal backward, be brused, tangled, and snared. Wherefore heare the worde of the Lord, yee mockers, ye that haue rule of this people. O vvould God I might haue ouerleapt this sentēce that goeth before, that iustly novv it might not besaid. They are out of the way by reason of wyne, yea farre out of the way are they by reason of strong drinke. These things (my moste reue­rend father) haue inforced me to presume to doe that vvhich is aboue the strength both of my vvit and lear­ning, but not aboue my good vvill, that is, to collect out of Gods scriptures, a simple and plaine manifesta­tion [Page] of the Church in English, or a manifest opening or shevving of the Church, naming it the Epiphanie, be­cause that vvord (albeit borrovved of the Grecians) is frequented already among vs english men in the same signification. The obscuritie, misunderstanding and ignorance onely of this argument & article, hath bene and also is the cause of much obstinacie, contention, and disobedience. For vntill it pleased almightie God to open vnto me by his holy spirit and vvorde, this ar­ticle: credo ecclesiam &c. vvith the right meaning of the same according to the scriptures: I vvas as stiffe in the popish traditions (taking them for good customes and ceremonies of the fathers) as I am now earnest in Gods booke, and taught them vvith so good a zeale (but not according to knovvledge) as I doe novv the Gospell. Wherefore taking of the same remedy vvherof I tooke hurt, euen of Credo ecclesiam, as they that be hurt of scorpions be vvoont to do, I can do no lesse but vvrite and set forth the same, vnto and for such as be stoong vvith the same sting, and venomed vvith the same poi­son. Whose nature is, not to hurt but vvhere it findeth bloud. No more Credo ecclesiam hurteth but suche as cleaue too much to humaine reason and naturall vvit. I trust they vvill not mislike that thing that loue con­straineth me to doe for their sakes. If they doe, they shall find me as readie to defend the same by the word of god against all popish bablinges, as I haue bene to vvrite it. So that your godly learning misliketh it not, vnto vvhome vvith all other godly learned, I humbly submit the same, beseeching you to accept in good part my small industrie, as the first fruites of my pen and iudge thereof as god shall put in your minde, to vvhome be all thanke, praise and glory. Amen.

Your humble, Richard Phinch.


BEcause I couet rather to profite with homely and playn speech, then to please with sweete & faire words: I will speake liberally, but yet simply of the Church, for their sakes, and vnto them that be deceaued with euill custome, bewitched with popish iuglings, char­med with mens inuentions, and beguiled with their owne wittes, which resist the trueth of Gods holy word, kicke a­gainst the pricke, and grope at noone, and cannot see the light for the sunne: In whose mouth is euer Churche, Church, whose feete are dayly wandring vnto the church, and their eyes gasing continually vpon the Church, yet can they neyther finde nor see the Church, because themselues be none of the Church.

What is so much alleadged of the babling papistes? what so oft frequented of the common people? and so ma­nifest in all mens eyes, as the Church? Notwithanding for want of teachers of the Scriptures, few doe know the Church: Such is the knowledge among the silly people, in verie manie Churches now a dayes.

Church in the English Bible,Church hath diuers signifi­cations. is commonly called con­gregation, For ecclesia a worde borrowed of the Greeke toonge, which may be translated into Englishe, eyther Church or congregation.

Church with vs, is a common worde, signifiyng the [Page] place,Church signi­fieth the place of praier. as well as congregation,Iudith, 6. whereunto the same assem­bleth for some honest or godly purpose. It is written that all the people were gathered togither, which made their prayers all the night long in the Church. Our common places appoynted for prayer, preaching, and ad­ministration of the sacraments, be so well knowne by this name Church, that there needeth no example hereof.

Other whiles Church signifieth the whole multitude of people,Church signi­fiyng the companie of good and bad. both of good and bad congregate togither. Of this we read, that the people spake to Moyses, saying, Why haue you brought the Church of the Lord vnto this wildernesse, that both wee and our cattell should die in it. Numb. 20.

And Church betokeneth the elect people of God onely, whereof the wise man sayth, Church signi­fiyng the elect of God onely. The children of wisedome are the Church of the righteous, and their exercise is obedience and loue. Holy Paul speaking of this Church saith, Eccles 3. Ye husbandes loue your wiues,Ephes, 5. euen as Christ also loued the Church, and gaue himselfe for it, to sanctifie it, and clensed it in the fountaine of water, thorow the word to make it vnto himself a glorious congregation without spot or wrinckle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blame.

Also there is a congregation of the wicked,Ecclesia sig­nifiyng the mulitiude of the wicked. called by the name of Churche,Psalm. 26. which (for that they outwardly professe the same religion, pretend to haue the same gospel,Esay. 3. and to vse the same sacramentes with the Church) be called in Scripture,Math. 21. Church,Iohn. 5. whome God permitteth some­times to rule ouer the people for their sinnes: For the vn­godlinesse of the people, Iob. 34. doth God make an hypocrite to raigne ouer them. 2. Thess 2.

Wherefore they that crie so much, the Churche, the Church, and affirme stiffely that the Church cannot erre, and doe not declare what Church they doe meane, doe but cast a mist before the simple vnlearned peoples eyes, to blind them withall, to the end themselues might the cleaner [Page] conuey their iugling castes. Let them therefore (in Gods holy name) shew vnto vs plainly in simple wordes, what Church they doe speake of, whether of the Churche of Christ, or else of the Churche of Antichrist. So doing men will be out of doubt the sooner, trueth will come to light, and brawling will cease, for verie Christians loue not contention.

The Church of Antichrist,Churche of Antichrist. which is worthily called the Church malignant, or the congregation of the wicked, and may be called the man of sinne, childe of perdition, hypo­crite, &c. cannot but erre, what fayre shewe soeuer they make.

The Church of Iesus Christ,Church of Ie­sus Christ. which is his onely doue and spowse, sticking vnto the word of trueth, vnseparable, and gouerned by his holy spirite, cannot erre damnably, although she be trode downe vnder feete of the world, and seeme to be out of countenance.

These two be contrarie the one to the other, betweene whome there is as much difference, as is betweene sower and sweete, darkenesse and light, euill and good. Notwith­standing the world (not able to perceaue the difference, nor make distinction betweene them, but blinded with euil cu­stome and the multitude) taketh them for the other, because here in this life they be mingled togither as the good fi­shes are mixt with the bad, the goates with the sherpe, and the chaffe with the corne, so that they be not openly known vnto men at the first sight.2. Cor. 11. No maruaile, for Sathan him­selfe is changed into the Angel of light, and his mini­sters fashion themselues, as though they were the mini­sters of righteousnesse. Also woolues clothe themselues in Sheepes clothing. Math. 7. Yet is Sathan a deuill still, and hys ministers are deceiptfull workers, and a woolfe a deuourer of sheepe, which at length bewrateth himselfe by his taile, and bloudshedding. Whereas the bloud of Iesus Christ is knowne by the spirite of trueth, and by paciently suffering for his word.

[Page] Which spirit & word be the sure anchors, guids, and rule of the same, and not Rome, nor Peter, though Sathan pre­tendeth neuer so antient a title.

If Christ had appoynted his Churche to anie place or creature, for the establishing of matters of Religi­on, should Paul (that elect vessell of God,2. Cor. 12. which was rapt vp into the third heauen, and into paradise, and heart secret wordes which no man can vtter) haue bene ignorant thereof: Paul knewe well that Christ had left his Church vnto his holy spirite and word, his word to be an infallible rule both of their life and doctrine, and his spirite to be a readie interpreter of the same. Therefore when hee should depart from them,Act. 20. he said. Nowe brethren I commend you to God, and vnto the word of his grace, which is able to build further, and to giue you an inheritance amongest all them that are sanctified. These wordes are without guile and sophisticall craft, they are simple and playne, and Gods Scriptures. We must therefore beleue them. They send vs vnto the port of safegard, and touch­stone that cannot deceiue vs, we must needes therefore stick vnto thē, otherwise we cannot know the trueth & be saued.

Wherein first let vs consider why Paul did send vs vn­to God the holy Ghost For he saith, Nowe brethren I commend you to God. Hee commendeth vs not vnto Iohn, Peter, Andrew, or any other of the Apostles, much lesse vnto Rome, the Pope or Antichristian Bishops, but vnto God the holy Ghost, Why? Because hee knew well that Christ himselfe had so appointed before. For when Christ should depart from the church, he promised to send them the same holy Ghost,Iohn. 14. saying. The comforter which is the holy Ghost, whome my father will send in my name, hee shall teache you all thinges, and bring all thinges vnto your remembrance, whatsoeuer I haue said vnto you. He comforted them also vvith the same spirite, Iohn. 15 16. Commaunded them to tarrie in the citie of Hieru­salem vntill he had performed the same his promise:Luke. 24. which [Page] indeede he saythfully kept and fulfilled, for they were all fil­led with the holy Ghost,Act. 2. euen the spirite of trueth,Iohn. 15. whiche could not but teach them all trueth, whatsoeuer he had said vnto them, that was all one, and the same trueth.

Secondly let vs note, that Paul commended the Church vnto the word of grace, what is this word of grace? For­sooth the same trueth which the holy Ghost taught, is the word of grace, euen that word which God the father com­manded to be heard at the m [...]uth of his son Iesus Christ, saying:Math. 3 17. This is my welbeloued sonne, Deut. 18. in whome I am well pleased, heare him. And whosoeuer will not har­ken vnto the wordes, which hee shall speake in my name, I will require it of him: I will be reuenged of him (saith God) Of this, witnesseth Peter also, laying The time will come Paul saith (Behold nowe is the time) that euerie soule which vvill not heare him, Acts. 3. shalbe destroyed from amongest the people. 2. Cor. 6.

It standeth vs then in hand to searche diligently, and knowe that thing that God requireth so straightly of vs, which is to heare his sonne Iesus Christ, The neglecting whereof is no lesse then damnation.

But what shall we heare? verily his holy Gospel confir­med for vs by his holy spirite for the same purpose, Gospel. which Gospell is the worde of grace,Act. 20. vndefiled, conuerting soules, giuing wisedome vnto babes, making glad harts, giuing light vnto the eies, a lantorn vnto the feet,Psal. 18. and a light vnto the pathes,Psal. 119. proued by the fire & tryed more pure then siluer vii.Psal. 11. times purged, more to be de­sired then golde or pretious stone,Psal. 18. and sweeter then honie and honie combe,Psal. 119. The embassage of great ioy,Luke. 2. Ioyfull tidinges of peace, tidinges of good things:Rom. 10. The poure of God vnto saluation to euerie one that belee­ueth,Rom. 1. and able to saue their soules that imbrace it.1. Cor. 1. Wherefore lay apart (sayth the Apostle Iames) all fil­thinesse and superfluitie of maliciousnesse,Iames. 1. and receaue with meekenesse the worde that is grafted in you, [Page] which is able to saue your soules.

Thus it appeareth manifestly vnto all them that be willing to see the trueth, that God the father appoynteth vs vnto the worde of his sonne Iesus Christ our Lord. Christ referreth vs vnto his holy spirite and trueth. The holy Ghost also taught nothing else but the same trueth and word. Therefore the holy Apostle durst not to appoint vs to anie other, but straightly commendeth vs to the same trueth that cannot erre, and vnto the word of grace, which is the selfe same, and still one trueth, according to the infalli­ble word of God, that saith: Thy righteousnesse (O Lord) is an euerlasting righteousnesse, Psal. 119. and thy lawe is the trueth. So that we haue now in this time iust cause, ioy­fully to say with the prophet.Psal. 17. 1. 2. O praise ye the Lord, all ye heathen praise him all ye people. For his mercie is sta­blished vpon vs, and the trueth of the Lord endureth for euer. Then the which trueth, there can be no surer stay, guide, and rule, for the beliefe, life and doctrine of mor­tall men, in this mortall life, and world of tribulation.

The Church of Antichrist hath no such stay, The Church that cannot Fute [...]re. guide, Psal. 1. nor rule, but they are like the chaffe, which the winde scat­tereth awaie from the face of the earth, as the prophet Dauid witnesseth, who also calleth them the councell of the vngodly,Psal. 58. the way of sinners,Psal. 140. and the chaire of pesti­lence,Psal. 59. or the seate of the scornful, workers of iniquitie,Psal. 140. wicked men,salm. 81. bloud-thirstie men, the euil man, the wic­ked man, the wilde boare, the cruell beast, the slaunde­rer, blasphemer, enemie, and persecutor, the enemie in the holy place and aduersary, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitternesse, their throat is an open sepul­cher, with their toonges they haue deceiued,Psal. 4 the poy­son of aspes is vnder their lippes,Psal. 6. their feete are swift to shed bloud, destruction and vnhappinesse is in their waies, and the way of peace haue they not knowne, there is no feare of God before their eies, There were they brought in great feare,Psal. 14. euen where no feare was. [Page] Vaine persons and deceiptfull lippes, whom euer all good men abhorred and hated, after the example of the holy pro­phet, who saith, Psal. 26. I haue hated the Church of the vvicked, and will not sit among the vngodly.

Loe you see the wicked and vngodly haue the name of Church, yea they haue got the name of holy Catholicke Church. How else haue they put on sheepes clothing? How haue they fashioned themselues like the ministers of righ­teousnesse? And howe hath the deuill transformed himselfe into the angel of light? Truely in this, that his church hath got the titles of holy, and Catholicke, and his ministers the names of true shepheardes. Catholicke be the right clo­thing of the sheepe of Christes fold. Antichrist therefore hath robbed Christes fold of their right title, holy and ca­tholicke, and thereby bleared the eyes of the simple vnlear­ned multitude, which doe seeke no further for saluation then they haue bene taught (they say) by the holy Catho­licke Church. Their common sayinges be these. We be not wiser then our fathers before vs: We will doe as our fa­thers haue done. Such thinges they doe affirme because they know not Sathan from the angell of light, the wolues from the sheepe, the lyes from the word of God, neyther Church of Antichrist falsly called holy, and catholicke, from the Church of Iesus Christ, which indeede is both holy and catholicke. But in stead of the holy Catholick church, they doe beleeue the Church of the wicked, in whose dregs of detestable traditions and ceremonies, they haue bene ousted from their youth.

Verely if they would ponder their wordes with halfe indifferent iudgement, and behold them but with one of their eyes, I thinke they would keepe silence, or else blushe for shame. For to say, they will doe as their elders and fa­thers haue done before them, is nothing but to confesse thē ­selues to walke wilfully in errour and blindnesse, when their fathers wandered vnawares. And where they say, they be no wiser then their fathers, they shew themselues [Page] to be blinde, followers of the blinde, But if the blinde fol­low the blinde, Luke 6. they both fall into the ditch. Their fa­thers tooke Antichrist, the bishop of Rome, for head of the Church: they made images and worshipped them: they gadded on pilgrimage, and trusted in workes, pardons, absolutions, dirges, trentalles, masses, &c. wherein they erred, increased in error, and walked ignorantly into perdi­tion. The cause whereof was the lack of the word of God, which word is euer a rule vnto the holy catholicke church. Therefore their fathers learned not these thinges of the holy Catholicke Church, but of the Church of Rome vsur­ping the name of the holy Catholicke Church, which ab­horred and trode vnder feete the word of God, without the which, their fathers doctrine was nothing els, but olde er­rour, against whome God giueth a speciall commande­ment, saying.Leuit. 18. Keepe my commandementes: doe not those thinges that other haue done before you: be not defiled in them, I am your Lord your God. Where­fore addeth God these words,Exod. 20. I am your Lord your God, but to the end he would haue his words regarded for euer? and not his aduersaries the man of sinne, and childe of per­dition, as Paul nameth him, who deceaued their fathers. Whose coming is after the vvorking of Sathan vvith al lying povvers, 2. Thess. 2. signes & vvonders, & with al deceiuable­nesse of vnrighteousnesse amongest them that perish, because they receaued not the loue of the trueth, that they might be saued, And therefore God shal send them strong delusion, that they might beleue lyes, that all they might be damned which beleeued not the trueth, but had pleasure in vnrighteousnesse.

In these wordes hath the holy Ghost plainly shewed the fashion and comming of the man of sinne, sonne of per­dition, Church of the wicked, and kingdome of Anti­christ.

The Church or kingdome of Antichrist, is called the man of sinne, The man of sinne. because it is builded vpon a sinnefull man, [Page] gouerned by a sinfull man, instructed by euill sinfull work­men, and their doctrine defended by the lawes and power of sinnefull men. Which tooke authoritie neyther of God, nor of his worde, but of a monstrous beast with many heades, euen of the people that departed from the faith, whereof the same holy spirite of God speaketh, and pro­phecieth more plainely by the mouth of Paul, saying: The spirite speaketh euidently, 1. Tim. 4. that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall giue heede vnto the spirites of error, and deuilish doctrines of them which speake false, thorow hypocrisie, and haue their conscience marked with an hote iron, forbidding to marrie, and commaunding to abstaine from meates vvhich God hath created to be receaued vvith giuing of thankes, of them which beleeue and knevve the trueth.

Now ioyne these two prophecies together, and note di­ligently the cause, maner, increase, and force of Antichrists kingdome: and then it shall be the better perceaued.

The cause why God permitteth the wicked to deceiue the people,The cause why God suf­fered error to raigne, and the wicked to rule. was for that they did not receaue the law of the trueth, but loathed Gods word when they had it. They writ it not in their heartes, neither brought forth the fruits of the spirite, but of the flesh. To speake all in one worde, They had (as we haue) much godly teaching, and brought foorth much vngodly liuing. Of verie duetie godly liuing must followe godly teaching, otherwise Gods plague and vengeance followeth his word, where and when soeuer it be taught.

But amongest all the plagues of God,The greatest plague of God. this is the grea­test, that he taketh away his word from the people, and suf­fereth them to be fed with lies and Canterburie tales, or fables. After which sorte and maner the wicked haue come and entered into the Christian generation,By lyes the wicked haue entered into the Church. yea and haue sit in the holy place and seate of Moyses, pretending to teache the holy word of God. They haue set (I say) in the [Page] seate of Moyses, not by teaching the law and the prophets, but by name and place. whereby the people not able to dis­cerne the true session from presumptuous vsurpation haue bene deceiued with false myracles, lying powers and won­ders.

By the which feates they haue increased and growne into the greater number.By false mira­cles & lying powers, the wicked haue increased. For when by the helpe of the deuill, with their coniurations, charmes and diuers other false fleightes, they wrought myracles and wonders in diuers and sundrie places. Then the people (regarding not the simple word of God) forsooke their faith and ranne a gadding from place to place, to gaze vpon signes and won­ders. Manie beleeued lies, because many taught lies. Ly­ing powers were on their side, few durst speake the trueth, and the simple lacked good instruction, some therefore de­parted from the faith.

The sorce of Antichristes kingdome is well noted of Paul, By force the wicked haue withstood the trueth and set forth their owne do­ctrine. in that hee saith his comming shalbe with all lying power,1. Tim. 4. & in that they shall forbid mariages, & command to abstaine frō meats, and &c. yt is to say After that the multi­tude hath bin well pampered and fed with their lies, blin­ded with their coniurations, and stablished with false mi­racles: then shall they be able to make lawes in the defence of their deuilishe doctrines, and openly to withstand and re­sist the trueth and Gospel, as Iannes and Iambres (Pha­raoes coniurers) withstoode Moyses. Men they are (sayth Paul) of corrupt mindes, 2. Tim. 3. and lewd as concerning faith. 2. Pet. 2. Peter witnesseth with Paul, saying: They shall purely bring in damnable sects euen denieng the Lord that hath bought them, & bring vpon themselfes swift damnation, & many shal follow their damnable waies, by whome the way of trueth shall be euill spoken of.

No maruaile, Hipocrisie Hindeth the sillie multi­tude. for hypocrisie and outward shew of holy­nesse hath seemed so gay in the simple folkes eyes, Math. 24. yea and yet doth to some, so that as the trueth saith, if it were pos­sible, the verie elect should be deceiued. Iude also bea­reth [Page] record to the trueth with Paule and Peter, Sure notes of Antichristes generation. shewing that they be deceaued with dreames,Iude 1. defile the fleshe, despise rulers, and speake euill of them that be in au­thoritie, murmurers, complainers, walking after their owne lustes, whose mouthes speake proud thinges. These (saith he) are makers of sectes, fleshly, hauing no spirite.

Conferre these same now together with the popish an­tichristian church of Rome, and beholde if you can see the kingdome of Antichrist anie where so manifest and plaine.

Hath anie power in all the world,The first note of Antichrist. since Christes ascen­tion into heauen lift vp it selfe so high into the temple of God, and aduanced it selfe as God, like vnto this vsurped premacie and tyrannie of Rome?

Who hath more oppressed Gods booke,The second note of anti­christ. resisted the Gospel,The third note of anti­christ. and slandered the way of trueth then the pope and his rable? Who hath wrought with suche deceaueable signes and myracles? who hath fed vs with more lyes then that false prophet of Rome? Read a leafe or two of Legenda aurea, or the booke called Festinale, and you shal finde good stuffe I warrant you. Which bookes were woont to be read and taught vs moste principally concer­ning matters of religion. Yea, almost wee had no other in English. I speake that I haue knowne, heard and seene. Within these xxiii. yeares they were alledged in Sermons and read in the churche openly, and had in more price a­mongest vs, and better receaued then the holy Scriptures be of some. Also they were then better studied and more willingly taught of curates, in some places then Gods booke is now of manie of them.

Forget not I pray you,Antichristes badges. to call to memorie, how we were deceiued with images, pilgrimages, reliques, false myra­cles, iuglinges, charmes, witchcraftes, coniurations, iu­bilies, stations, holy water, fire, ashes, palmes, palme cros­ses, saint Iohns Gospel, images of waxe, Walsinghame broches, saint Iames shelles, saint Priarke his staffe, mai­ster [Page] Iohn Shornes bat, saint Cornelius horne, pardons, pardon beades, beades, Ladies Psalters, dyrges, treu­tals, Requiem Masses, &c. Who denied the Lord that had bought then more manifestly then they that taught these romish dreames?

Whosoeuer denieth the death of Iesus Christ to be a whole perfect oblation,The finall end of Antichrists iuglinges. sufficient for all sinne, denyeth the Lord that hath bought them. But they that taught or belee­ued the aforesaid dragges and such like to be expedient for the obtaining of Gods fauour & remission of sins, denieth Christ and his death to be sufficient. Wherefore so long as men sought remission of sinnes and Gods fauour in such phantasticall deuises of men, it cannot be denyed, but in so doing, they denied the Lord that bought them.

To say trueth, men little remembred the oblation of Christ by deathe vppon the crosse. For not manie yeares agone, euen when Masses satisfactory florished, to affirme Christes oblation by death vpon the crosse once offered for all, to be sufficient for remission of sinnes to all them that beleeue, was so farre out of memorie that it was counted abhominable heresie, because Masse and it could not stand together. In time of anguishe, trouble, or sickenesse, was Christes death sought to for quietnesse of conscience? No, our Lady of Wilsdon, our Lady of Walsingham, maister Iohn Shorne, and confession to some holy fryer, some holy relique, Masse of Recordare, or masse of the v. wounds: For vnto these masses, bishop Clement, and Bishop Boniface had giuen great vertue through pardons and candels, if the deuill transforming himselfe vnto Raphael the arch-angel, be a true messenger.

Also if death approched, then was Masse of Scala coeli, Trentals, Aniuersarijs, and masse of Requiem with our Lady Masse ready to be sold for mony, and song to send the soule to the Deuill with mirth, because hee might be sure of weeping and gnashing of teeth when hee commeth there.The fourth note of Anti­christ. Yet did not the poore sillie people selling their owne [Page] soules to the deuill, and giuing their monie vnto his mini­sters, perceaue that they were made a marchandise: where­of prophecied Peter, saying. Thorovv couetousnesse shall they vvith fained words, 2. Pet. 2. make a marchandise of you. The onely wifelesse life of the Romish anointlinges, so be­witched the vnlearned peoples eyes,The thing that blinded the people most. that they stoode in ad­miration of them (iudging them more then men) and thought all had bene well, whatsoeuer they had sayde or done.

To keepe this their estimation in the peoples opinions,The cause why Anti­christes pre­lates will not permit the mariages of priestes. they procured their champions to fight manfully with their lawes and tormentes against the mariages of priestes. And nowe that they doe perceaue that force will not serue them, they priuily whisper in the eares of the people that mariage is whoredome and an vncleane life: Whereby they do con­demne all honest married persons of adulterie, yet doe not manie foolish people perceaue,If marriage be not a cleane life, God is the author of vncleannesse, and Christ a bawd. how they (that teache such heresie and diuelishe doctrine) goe about to lowt them in their liuing. For they are not ashamed to make God the author of vncleannesse, to accuse Christ of bawdrie, and to condemne all men of sinne, so that themselues might still be counted angels, and not men.

This do all they that speake thus euilly of matrimony, Whereof God himselfe was the author. And Christ ho­noured it both by his corporall presence,Gen. 2. Math. 19. Iohn. 2. and first myracle turning water into wine: whereby he declared, that the wel alowed matrimonie and condemned adulterie.

But these fellowes disalowing Gods institution, and aduaunsing their owne inuention, turne wine into water contrary vnto Christ, that is to say, They dishonour holy matrimonie,Vnto God matrimonie is sweete, But vnto Anti­christ whore­dome is holy. which is sweete and pleasant in the sight of God, and make much of stincking adulterie euer abhorred and condemned of God and all good men. They admit ra­ther an harlot for money dispensed withall contrarie to the commandementes of God, then a wife according to Gods scriptures,1. Cor. 7. which sayth, If they cannot abstaine, let them [Page] marrie, yea some of them are not ashamed to say that it is more lawfull for a priest to haue six whores then one wife. And some also pretend so good fellowship, that they would sooner lend their owne wiues (they say) vnto the Priest, then to grant that he shuld marrie. Also they count it a deed of charitie, and a good worke to make a priest a cookold, (as they terme it) and in so doing, they think to please God and doe him good seruice.

Whether a man might beleeue them in these their sayinges without an othe.Antichristes prelates doe hope by the increasing of sinne, to bring the word of God in ha­tred and them selues in esti­mation. I leaue it for other men to iudge. Of this I am sure, that this their cupshot doctrine brawled in their conuenticles, and whispered in corners, their liberall fellowship, and good worke that proceedeth of their burning concupiscense, & not of charitie, hath brought in the contempt and violating of holy matrimonie, and the people to a wonderfull loosenesse of liuing. Wherein they ioy not a little, thinking it to be a good meane to set them vp againe like Gods in mens consciences. But in the meane while they shal be deuils and spirites of error accor­ding to the prophecie of Paul before said,1. Tim. 4. in that they doe forbid the mariage of priestes.

Also, who hath brought in so manie sectes into ye world as these romish wraklinges haue done.The fift note of Antichrist. Of which sorte be these, Moonks, Chanons, Friers, Prebendaries, Canons, Nuns, Sisters, Auckars, hermites, brother hoods, bawds, beades-men I should say, fraternities, craftily naming thē holy religious. How these haue bin deceiued wt dreams &c. I appeale to their owne consceence. Let them take heede that it be not marked with the hote iron of burning concu­piscence. If it be, I leaue them this also for a token of their maisters marke,The carracter of Antichrist. to make them knowne by, euen that they burne in malice against al them that speake the trueth.

If you aske me to what purpose this rable serueth, and what good they doe in the publike weale of the Lord: For­sooth I must desire the prophet to make answere for me, who saith, They are not in the trauaile of men, neyther [Page] are they plagued like other folk. Yes sir, they take great paines in prayer and in massing.The occupa­tion of Anti­christs brood. Psal. 83. 73. Of whome therefore it may be more truely spoken, as followeth. They stretche forth their mouth vnto heauen, and there toonge goeth through the worlde. Therefore fall the people vnto them: and thereout sucke they no small aduauntage. Beholde these sinfull and wealthie men in the world, haue obtained riches. Loe these be the mouthes that speake proud thinges, before rehearsed.

What prouder thinges can be saide, than to affirme that they can with fine words create their creator of a peece a bread,The sixt note of Antichrist. and offer him for the sinnes of the people, when they haue done. Whereby they haue sucked no small lucre and game from the people. But their lucre beginneth now to decay, and their idle life is perceaued to be vnneressary. Which idle life, the God that they doe make hath and must maintaine, or els they will perceiue their state cannot re­maine. This maketh them to be so stiffe necked against the setting forth of Gods worde, and against the right admi­nistration of the sacramentes. This maketh them to stu­die so diligently to keepe vp their altar, and to maintaine their good friday masse, with the which they can beguile the people well inough as they handle it.With their good friday masse, priests serue both the Pope and Gods people. Yea, to say the trueth, they can doe more with this then they could do with masse of Requiem scala coeli, Recordare, or anie other of that sorte. Wherefore I beseeche them for the passion of Iesus Christ, If there bee anie consolation in Christ, If there bee any comforte of loue, If there bee anie fellowship of the spirite, If there be anie compassion and mercie: Let them halt no longer on both partes: Let them blow no longer hote and cold: But let them make the tree good and his fruites good, or els make the tree euill and his fruite euill. To speake plainely vnto them, Let them not make a mingle mangle, and hodge podge of the Lordes supper anie longer. But let them minister it simply and plainly at the Lordes table, as Christ hath left it, and [Page] as the booke of Scriptures doe truely meane, and not af­ter their olde popish fashion as they doe, making it a sacri­fice for sinnes both of quicke and dead, offering it at buri­alles, and monethes mindes after their olde maner, where­by they make it abhomination of desolation. Dan. 9. For as the sacrifice of the popish masse was the verie desolation, de­parture, and forsaking of Christes oblation by death vpon the crosse once offered for all:The abhomi­nation of de­solation in the holie place. So is this funerall sacrifice, (as they vse it) the verie abhomination of the same desola­tion. Therefore let them looke better vpon holy scriptures written for our learning, and followe the rules and right meaning of the same, and not their popish rules, and cere­monies otherwise then is there meant, and contrarie both to the kinges maiesties statutes, and iniunctions, and also contrary vnto his maiesties proclaimation, made the xxvii. day of December in the first yeare of his moste gratious raigne.Masse forbid­den by pro­claimation. Wherein the name of masse is plainly forbidden, if ye same proclaimation be truly constured, notwithstanding in ye booke of cōmon praier his maiestie somewhat yet bea­reth with the weake learning of the multitude, which com­monly calleth the Lords supper by the name of masse after their olde woont, which thing (me thinketh) should giue no man occasion to sticke stiffely to euill custome.

In a statute made the fourth day of Nouember of the same first yeare of his maiesties raigne and in the xiiii.Masse for the dead con­demned by act of parlia­ment. Chapter: the offering of the sacrament for the dead, which is there called masses satisfactory to be done for them, is plainly condemned as a vaine thing tending to the deroga­tion of Christes death.

Also by his maiesties iniunctions chap. 28. the altar of the same sacrifice for the dead,The altars taken away by the kinges maiesties in­iunctions. is taken away, for so much as it is a monument of the superstition of the popish masse. So that, for anie thing I can perceaue, they that so fayne would holde vp their altars against them that goe about to put them downe, both by law and order, meane none other thing but to maintain a monument of superstition and ido­latrie [Page] in spight both of the kinges lawes and iniunctions. To the ende (I meane) to allure the people the more to their monie sacrifice,The papistes deserue no­thing but scoffes. and to make them beleeue the better in the God that they doe make vppon their altar or altarstone. Without the which they (I wote) can make no God. Ah where was this their God before the altar and altar­stone was made? This may well be that God vnto whome they thinke to doe good seruice in breaking of wedlock and rayling against marriage, but sure I am, that this is not that God that made both heauen and earth and all thinges in them, because the altar and the altar-stone be some thinges. Albeit, least perhappes they should thinke that I would onely answere them with scoffes (though theyr shamelesse obstinacie deserueth none other) I will rehearse a few wordes out of Gods booke to stoppe their mouthes withall. And when they haue answered and truely confu­ted them, I will forsake Gods booke and the christian faith, as truely as I haue forsaken them, and all their iugling castes. In the 7. Chapter to the Hebrues, it is written. The Lord sware and will not repent. Thou art a priest for euer after the order of Melchisedech. And for that cause was Iesus a stablisher of a better testa­ment. These words doe proue that Iesus Christ our euer­lasting Priest and mediatour hath stablished a better testa­ment then the testament of the olde law. The priestes in the olde law offered vp sacrifice first for their owne sinnes, and then for the sinnes of the people. But whereon did they offer their sacrifice verily?Leuit. 9. Vpon an altar.

Iesus Christ, vnto whome God the father sware,The newe te­stament. Thou art a priest for euer, Heb. 7. 10. &c. Offered vp himselfe once,Heb. 9. by hys own bloud,1. Pet. 3. suffering death for our sinnes,Heb. 10. and with that his owne oblation hee hath made perfect for euer them that are sanctified.

This is the better testament that Iesus Christ hath sta­blished for vs,Heb. 9. not by often offering of himself by the hands of sinners, for then must hee haue often suffered since the [Page] world began. But as it is appoynted vnto all men, that they should once die, and then commeth the iudgement, euen so was Christ once offered. For as touching that he died, Rom 6. he died once (saith Paul) to take away the sinnes of manie. Heb. 9.

By these Scriptures wee may conclude that Iesus Christ offering himselfe by death vppon the crosse once for our redemption,Christ made a perfect obla­tion for sinnes once, and that vppon the crosse, and not vpon an altar. made a full,1. Pet. 2. perfite and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sinnes of all them that be­leue in him. And that this oblation was done vppon the crosse, and not vpon anie altar, witnesse, Math. 27. Marke 15, Luke 23. Iohn 19. and Peter in the second of his first Epistle, saying. Christ suffered for vs, leauing vs an ex­ample that we should follow his steppes, which did no sinne, neither was there guile foūd in his mouth, which when he was reuiled, reuiled not againe, when he suf­fered, he threatned not, but committeth the vengeance to him that iudgeth righteously. Christ bare our sinnes on his owne bo­dy. Which his owne selfe bare our sinnes in his body on the tree, that wee being deliuered from sinne should liue vnto righteousnesse. Howbeit, he onely (saith Esay) chap. 53. Hath taken on him our infirmities, and borne our paines, hee was wounded for our offences, Christ with his death hath wholly healed vs. and smitten for our wic­kednesse, for the chastisement of our peace was layd vpon him, & with his stripes wee are healed. What is it to be healed with his stripes, but that by his death and resurrection he hath obtained for vs righteousnesse, euen forgiuenesse of our sinnes,Act. 13. euen forgiuenesse of our sinnes,Act 10. 43. according to the sayinges of the Apostle Peter, Our coue­nant with God is to be­leue remissi­on of our sins thorow the death of his sonne I [...]sus Christ. that by him all that beleeue are iusti­fied from all thinges, And vnto him giue all the pro­phetes witnesse, that thorow his name, whosoeuer be­leeueth in him shall receaue remission of sinnes. This is the couenant that is betweene God & vs, now, euen that we beleeue in his sonne Iesus Christ, to haue remis­sion of sinnes in his name thorowe hys death and resur­rection.

[Page] This article hath the holy ghost so surely graued in our heartes and written in our minds that wee cannot but say. We beleue the remission of sinnes. Which also is surely grounded vppon Gods holy word, that sayth: This is the testament that I will make vnto them,Heb. 10. 16. 17. 18. after those daies (saith the Lord) I will put my lawes in their hearts, and in their mindes will I write them, and their sinnes and iniquities will I remember no more. And where remis­sion of these things is, there is no more offering for sin.

So long as the sacrifice and offering for sinnes,How long the altars ought to haue con­tinued. tooke not away sinnes, neither brought perfect remission of sins, there remained in the Church of God altars, and conti­nuall sacrifice or oblation for sinnes.

But when Christ had once offered himselfe vppon the crosse by death, and by that his one oblation once offered, had obtained remissiō of sinnes, and finished all things that was due for man to pay: saying, It is finished, Iohn 19. 30. giuing vp the Ghost, thorough the which eternall spirite hee gaue himselfe to God without spot,Heb. 9 in a sweet sauour. Ephes. 5. Then was finished (according to his owne saying) a perfect sacrifice for sinne,The finall end of all sacrifice for sinnes. and all things due for the same. And also all sacrifice and oblations for sinnes totally ended, as it is a­foresaid. Where remission of sinnes and iniquities is, there is no more offering for sinne: if no offering for sinnes, then no altar to offer vpon. Therefore either let them prooue Gods word to be false, that saith, Where remission of, &c. the Holy ghost a liar, that promised to write the same in our hearts, &c. and take away this article of our faith, I beleeue the remission of sinnes: or else away with their altars and oblations vpon the same: I meane their mony sacrifice, the masse.

Which altar and sacrifice be nothing else but witnesses of their infidelitie,What the al­tars and sacri­fice for sinne now doe te­stifie. idolatrie, and Iewish hearts. Of their infidelitie, in that they do not beleeue remission of sinnes, through the onely oblation of Christ once offered vpon the crosse. Of their idolatrie, in that they set vp another sacri­fice [Page] and propitiation for sinnes then God hath appoynted, Wherein surely they shewe themselues to bee more than Iewish. For in their sacrificing and massing they denie Christes death and reproue God of periurie. The prophe­sie of Christes death is this:Esay. 53. With his stripes we are hea­led. By his paines and merites our paines are taken a­way (as touching damnation) and our sinnes couered. Or by his death wee are healed from eternall death. By hys oblation our sinnes are healed, for hee hath purchased vs perfect remission of the same. But this hath he not done, if there be anie sinnes taken away by the masse, The which sinnes at the least he left vnhealed. And therefore hee hath not (if this be true) as yet suffered. For heauen and earth shall faile, before these wordes be false. With his stripes we are healed. Or by his death our sinnes are forgiuen. Ergo he hath suffered, and we wholly healed. Or els if we be not wholly healed, he hath not yet suffered.

Againe, almightie God promised with an othe vnto hys sonne Iesus Christ,Heb. 7. 17. saying: Thou art a priest for euer. Psal. 10. 4. That is to say, Iesus Christ hath offered himselfe vppon the crosse by death vnto God the father once. And by that one oblation once offered, hee hath made perfect for euer them that are sanctified, as it is before by the scriptures euidently proued. For this one oblation once offered per­fect for euer. Iesus Christ is called and is indeede a Priest for euer. Whose sweet oblation remaineth in the bosome of God to our great comfort for euer. But he himself now offereth no more, for he denieth no more, but liueth for euer on the right hand of God the father, making in­tercession for vs. Heb. 7. 8. Seeing then his oblation is perfect for euer, serueth for euer, and hee himselfe making intercession for vs, liueth for euer: He is therefore (according to the othe of God) Priest for euer. But this hee were not, if it could bee proued that his oblation were vnperfect, as it must needes be, if monie sacrifice, the masse obtaineth remission of sinnes or anie part thereof.

[Page] By these fewe Scriptures and sayings grounded vpon the same, it madifestly appeareth howe blasphemous the money sacrifice, the masse is. Namely, it robbeth vs of our most comfortable articles of our faith, which is, I be­leeue the remission of sinnes: it taketh away the veritie of Gods Scriptures, which doe proue Christs oblation vpon the Crosse to bee perfect, whole, and sufficient, it maketh Christ a lyer when he sayd, It is finished. It adnihillateth his merites,To maintaine the masse and altars is great blas­phemie and abhominable heresie. and taketh away his passion from vs, and it condemneth God of periurie. If there can bee any great blasphemous, and more abominable heresies then these, let all the world iudge. Of all the which, the popish altar is a monument, and (as it were) an hand to leade the people vnto, from Christ and his merites: wherefore all good men hauing but one sparke of grace with knowledge, will not onely be content with the taking downe of them, but also will (I trowe) helpe the best they can, euery one according to his vocation, to the same.

Moreouer, if the money sacrifice, the masse, had bene so necessarie, and vnto God so acceptable, as the people haue beleeued it to be, woulde Christ haue giuen no commande­ment thereof, no example of it, no word concerning it, what not one word?

Of preaching he gaue a special commandement saying: Feede,Iohn 21. 15. Feede,Marke 16. 15. feede my lambes.Mat. 28. 19. And againe, Goe ye in to all the world and preach the Gospel to al creatures,

Yet this office of preaching is counted amongst many scant necessarie, and the messengers thereof so well looked to, that they may studie their breake fast, pray (yea beg) for their dinner, and weepe out their supper, as many other poore soules doe: which thing God will shortly plague, if speedie remedie bee not prouided, or else his worde is not true, which saith,Psal. 12. For the miserable calamitie of the poore oppressed, and for the sighing and weeping of the poore that doe lacke, I will vp, saith the Lord.

Many are sore offended thorough the outragiousnesse of [Page] vice, slime, and iniquitie increasing on euery side, a fewe (I meane) doe studie for amendement, and some wonder what should be the cause thereof. At whome I doe not a litle maruaile. For if the plough man fallowing his ground turneth it vp, and letteth it lye: and neither stirreth, haroweth, nor soweth it: what marueile is it though it bring him no corne, but weedes? England is but yet fal­lowed with the plough of Gods word, yet scant fallowed, what marueile is it then, that weedes growe faster then the corne? It must needes be so, vnlesse Gods worde be better sowne. For manie that shoulde will not: A fewe would and cannot: and some that can, may not, because they that should will not. To remedie it, albeit I know: I can­not, but this I know and am sure of. Where the worde of God is not preached, Prouerb. 29. the people perish.

Of masse, we haue not so much as one tote or title of God, Christ, or his Apostles giuen vs. Notwithstanding how haue the people cared for Masse, Masse, Masse, onely with Masse they haue bene satisfied. Why doe they not cry now as much for preaching of the worde of God: without the which, they perish? Nay, why doe they crie so much a­gainst it? Oh what murmuringes and complaininges haue they made since their masse decayed? what lyes haue these idle braines inuented, what slanders haue they imagi­ned, and what false rumours haue they sprinckled abroad in the worlde, against them that haue sincerely preached the Gospell? How conspire they against good Christian mini­sters whiche according to their vocation attend their flockes. What tumultes, vprores, and rebellions haue they raysed against their superiours, to the great hinderance of Gods holy worde? May not a man manifestly beholde in them the monstrous beast that fighteth against the lambe and word of God?Reuel. 17. 14.

No doubt, as the deuill brought vp his Church at the beginning and increased it. So would he now (if he could) vphold, maintaine, and defend the same. That is, not by [Page] preaching, but by massing: not by feeding, but by loyte­ring: not by the regall authority that proceedeth from God, but by tyranny, by authority vsurped, euen by a mon­strous beast. I call it a monstrous beast, that is, either without an head, or else hath many heads.A monstrous Subiects vsur­ping the sword of iustice, and executing vengeance vpon theyr superiours, be a body without an head, or else with many heads, and therefore a monstrous beast. This mon­strous beast hath lift vp, borne, and mainteined the whore of Babylon, which is the church of antichrist.Reuel. 17.

This monstrous beast hath put vp her hornes heere in England against the word of God, and faine would rule the same againe, if the deuill could bring it to passe: whose labour is in vaine, for we know the trueth of Gods word proceedeth euer from God, and therefore hath God set it forth amongst vs, by his owne vicegerent, a mayden king our liege lord and supreme head in his dominions next vn­der Christ, and that by act of parlement, with the consent of the nobility of the realme, and the lordes spirituall and temporall, and the commons of the same.

Let Sathan therefore leaue off with all his wicked in­strumēts, which go about to perswade the silly people that Gods booke and this new learning (as they call it) is he­resie: whereby they slander theyr godly magistrates, and speake euill of them that be in authority.The seuenth note of an. Which theyr cu­stomable so doing auaileth them nothing, for when they haue prooued it heresie (which thing they shall as easily bring to passe, as to prooue light darkenesse, and darkenesse light) then must they also compell all them that haue set it forth, and all them that willingly receiued the same, to do o­pen penance for theyr manifest heresie, as they say.

Thus to speake euill of them that be in authority, is one of their proper markes whereby they be knowen to be of Antichrists brood, which hath by conspiracy caused rebel­lion euer against such gouernors as haue done any thing a­gainst theyr tyranny, and excommunicated, cursed, and de­posed [Page] emperours, and kings that haue displeased theyr hy­pocrisie, whose authority,The kings au­thority is next vnto Gods, & l [...]ft only to his correction. as it is next vnto God,Psal 109. so hath God left the correction thereof vnto himselfe, and neither vnto priest nor people. God commandeth, saying: Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harme. If it be not lawfull to touch Gods anoynted kings, Gods offi­cers, Gods lieutenants, Gods vicegerents that be appoyn­ted by God to rule in his sted, let them take heed that do v­surpe theyr sword, for vndoubtedly Gods vengeance will fall vpon them.Numb. 16. Example hereof we haue in Chorah, Da­than and Abiram, which rose vp against Moses with other men of the children of Israel, euen two hundreth and fiftie that were captaines of the multitude, great & famous men in the congregation:Psal. 54. but Gods vengeance fell vpon them, for the earth opened and swallowed them downe aliue. Yet these rebels were not of the base and lower sort of the peo­ple, but captaines and famous men. Consider then, if God cannot abide this rebellion and vsurping of the sword of iu­stice in a captaine, surely he will not suffer it in a souldiour. If not in a famous or noble man, verely he will not leaue it vnplagued in one of the lower subiects: no he will not let it escape vnpunished in whom & whensoeuer it be, because it is high treason against himselfe.

Though they worke craftily and secretly, Treason will out, yet will theyr false traitourous hearts bewray themselues before they be ware, Eccles. 10. if Gods word (as needes it must) be true. This text is after the trās­lation of the Hebrues by Iohn Cam­p [...]se. Be not thou so bold as once to thinke or imagine euill against the king, or that thou wilt reprehend the prince al­though thou be alone in thy priuie chamber, for it will come out, if not otherwise, surely the birds that flye in the ayre will not suffer it to be hid.

Heereby it appeareth that the word of God reproueth, yea condemneth all maner of persons, of what state, con­dition, or degree soeuer they be, that in word or thought do arise vp, rebell, or resist the kings authority, specially in set­ting foorth Gods worde,Rom. 13. 1. 2. For there is no power but of [Page] God, Gods word condemneth all them that rebell in word or thought a­gainst the king. the powers that be are ordeined of God: whoso­euer therefore resisteth power resisteth the ordinance of God: but they that resist shall get vnto themselues damnation. These are Gods words and not mine.

Againe, as almighty God would that we should neither hurt nor harme his true prophets & preachers of his word: so Iesus Christ the sonne of God, giueth vs a speciall com­mandement to beware of antichrists prelats, calling them false prophets,Math. 7. 15. saying, Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are rauening wolues. Wolues are wrapped in sheepes clo­thing, when tyrants rule in the place of shepheards, vnder the titles of holy fathers, worshipfull doctours, honourable prelats,Mat. 15. 14. &c.Mat. 16. 4. These Christ painteth vnto vs,Mat. 12. 34. by the names of Blinde guides, Mat. 23. 27. Froward generation, The 8. note of Antichrist. Adulterous ge­neratiō, Pharises Sadduces, Hypocrites, Generation of vipers, Serpents, Adders brood, Painted sepulchres, Painted wall, &c. who (saith he) do binde together hea­uie burdens, and grieuous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders, but they themselues will not heaue at them with one of their fingers. The 9. note of Antichrist. All their workes do they for the intent that they may be seene of men.

Also they goe in long religious apparell, they must be had in reuerence, and saluted with names and titles of dig­nity, they shut vp the kingdome of heauen before men,The 10. note of Antichrist. both by their example and doctrine, condemning the iustifying faith for heresie.

They vse long prayers with lippe labor for lucres sake,The 11. note. they be very curious in ceremonies and trifles,The 12. note. but in great matters, as iudgement, mercy and fayth, they haue little regard,The 13. note. they see quickly a moat in another mans eye,The 14. note. but will not looke on the beame in their owne, they are great intanglers of mens consciences with meates, drinkes, holy dayes,Coloss. 2. and mens traditions: finally, they haue (as before hath beene said) theyr consciences marked with the hoat y­ron of burning malice, enuy, and hatred against all them [Page] that loue Gods word,And the 15. note of An­tichrist. forbidding to marry, and comman­ding to abstaine from meats which God hath created to be receiued with giuing thanks of them that beleeue & know the trueth. These and such like be theyr fruites: these be theyr workes, ye shall know them (sayth Christ) by theyr works.

That those should enter into the Church after that the Gospell was preached by the apostles,A true pro­phecie pro­uing Anti­christ to be come. Paul playnly shew­eth,Act. 20. 29. saying, I am sure of this, that after my departing shal grieuous wolues enter in among you, not sparing the flocke. This is the Church that cannot erre.

Furthermore that you may the better perceiue & know the Church that cannot erre, from the Church that cannot but erre: you shall vnderstand there be but two wayes,

  • The way of the
    • Spirits of truth.
    • Faithfull.
    • Godly.
    • Children of God.
    • Members of Christ.
    • Holy Catholike Church.
  • The way of the
    • Spirits of error.
    • Vnfaithfull.
    • Vngodly.
    • Children of the deuill.
    • Members of the deuill.
    • Wicked Church of Antichrist.

Call them by what names you will, Christ calleth the one The broad way, and the other The narrow vvay, saying, Mat. 7. 13, 14. Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which goe in thereat. But strait is the gate, and narrovv is the vvay vvhich leadeth into life, and fevv there be that finde it. Note diligently these wordes of the trueth. He sheweth heere two gates, two wayes, and the end of either of them.

  • The
    • Strait gate.
    • Narrow way and life.
  • The
    • Wide gate.
    • Broad way and de­struction.

The wide gate openeth into the broad way, and leadeth [Page] into destruction, that is, death, desperation and hell.

The strait gate openeth into the narrow way which leadeth into life, ioy, and eternall felicity. Many do enter in at the wide gate, & walke the vroad way, whose end is dam­nation remedilesse: for it is written of Antichrist,Habac. 2. 5. He ope­neth his desire wide open as the hel, and is as vnsatiable as death: all heathen gathereth he vnto him, and hea­peth vnto him all people. But few doe enter the strait gate, because few do finde it: for who so findeth the gate, he is in the way. In this gate whosoeuer standeth in a waue­ring, looking backeward, is neither in the way nor in the gate. No man that putteth his hands to the plough, & looketh backe, Luke 9. is apt to the kingdome of God. To stag­ger therefore in this matter, and to looke backe, is to be therewith both out of the gate and the way. He that is in the gate is in the way, and sure of life: for the gate, way, and life be so vnite in one, that it cannot be, but he that is in them, is in possession of the other, and he that is out of them, looseth the other. The gate is nothing else, but an opening or dore into the way of life. Christ is the dore, Christ is the way,Note. and Christ is the life,Iohn 10. which sayth, I am the dore, by me if any man enter in, he shalbe sare. And againe, Iohn 14 6, I am the vvay, 1. Iohn 5. the trueth, and the life, no man commeth to the father but by me. Also S. Iohn saith, God hath giuen vnto vs eternall life, and this life is in his sonne: he that hath the sonne hath life, and he that hath not the sonne of God, hath not life, Thus its Christ the gate, way, and life.

But who be they that do enter this gate? Forsooth the prophet sheweth, saying, Psal. 118. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it. The righteous O Lorde, who be righteous? Christ onely is righteous, wee all are sinners. 1. Iohn 1. For If wee say wee haue no sinne we deceiue our selues, and there is no trueth in vs, If wee acknowledge our sinnes hee is faythfull and iust to forgiue vs our sinnes, and to clense vs from all [Page] vnrighteousnesse.1. Iohn. 2. These thinges I doe write (sayth Iohn) vnto you, that you sinne not: And if anie man sinne, we haue an aduocate with the father, Iesus Christ the righteous, and he it is that obtaineth grace for our sinnes Loe here is our righteousnesse, by this aduocate, and for this aduocates sake so manie as pertaine vnto fayth, be reckoned and called righteous. Of the which righteousnes it is written. Habbak. The righteous shall liue by his owne faith:2. Rom. and if he withdraw himselfe,1. Heb. 10. my soule shall haue no pleasure in him. It is not we (saith Paul) that with­drawe our selues vnto damnation, but we pertain vnto faith, to the winning of the soule. For by fayth the soule winneth the righteousnes that is in Christ Iesu our Lord, if he withdraw not himselfe, that is, if he neither for loue of the worlde nor feare of tormentes forsake not the trueth re­ceiued, nor denie it before men. Which trueth saith He that denieth me before men,Luke 12. shal be denied before the An­gels of God.Mat. 10. Also, He that endureth to the end, shal be saued. Therefore, so manie as pertaine vnto faith, must holde faith, slicke vnto Christ, stand fast, and walke in the trueth, and then they shalbe happie, and their sinnes shall not be imputed vnto them, as witnesseth the prophet, say­ing: Blessed is hee vvhose vnrighteousnesse is forgiuen,Psal. 32. and vvhose sinne is couered. Blessed is the man vnto vvhome the Lord imputeth no sinne, and in vvhose spirite there is no guile. But who is the cause that sume is not imputed to the faithfull? Not our righteousnesse, but the righteousnes of Iesus Christ. Which of God is made vnto vs wisedome,1. Cor. 1. and righteousnesse, and sanctifiyng, and redemption. Who hath indeede for vs fulfilled all righteousnesse, Mat. 3. wherewith wee be indewed through faith, according to the word of God that saith, Rom 3. The righteous­nesse of God commeth by the faith of Iesus Christ vn­to all, and vpon all them that beleue on him: And there­fore we hold that a man is iustified by faith. To be iustified by faith is to be made by faith sure of Christes righteous­nesse [Page] our iustification. For he yt beleeueth in him that iustifi­eth the vngodly, Rom. 4. is his faith counted for righteousnes. For this cause is Iesus Christ called, Emauel, Mat. 1. which by in­terpretation is as much to say, as God vvith vs, or whole ours. This is the gate, this is the way, this is life. Iohn 10. The holy Ghost openeth the gate, Ephes. 2. for he is the porter, and sayth is the gifte of God. Faith findeth the gate, fayth entreth, and faith setteth hold on life. Gen. 6. By faith Noah found and en­tred this gate, which saued him from drowning. Into this gate entred Abraham when hee forsooke his countrie, na­nation and fathers house, cen. 12. and obeyed Gods worde. This gate found Lot whereby hee escaped burning. Gen. 18. Moyses, Aaron, Iosue and diuers of the faithful Iewes found this gate, & therby were sure of their saluation, Philip had found this gate when he said vnto Nathaniel.Iohn 1. We haue found him of vvhome Moyses in the lavv and the prophetes did vvrite, Iesus of Nazareth. Whereby it appeareth yt the fathers in the olde law before the incarnatiō of Christ, found Christ this gate, way, and life. For Nathaniel sound this gate by faith before he sawe Christ with his corporall eyes, els had not hee bene a verie Israelite without guile, Of whome Christ said, Iohn 1. Behold a right Israelite in vvhom is no guile. Nathaniel knowledged this gate when he said vnto Christ, Maister, thou art the sonne of God, Thou art the king of Israel. Peter also and the other of the Apo­stles confessed the same, when they said, Thou art Christ the sonne of the liuing God.Math. 16. All, euen so manie as our sauiour prayed for, found and shall finde this gate, which be but a verie fewe in comparison of them that finde it not. They be (as wee might say) but an handfull to the world By the which name they be also called that enter the wide gate and walke the broad way. Christ the sonne of God, saying and praying vnto the father.

Father, Iohn 17. I pray not for the vvorld, but for them vvhich thou hast giuen me, for they are thine, and all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorif [...]ed in [Page] them. And Neuerthelesse I pray not for them alone, but for them also vvhich shall beleeue on me thorovv their preaching, that they all may be one, as thou fa­ther art in me, and I in thee, and that they also may be one in vs, that the vvorld may beleeue that thou hast sent me. Iesus Christ knewe right well that the greater number would not enter this gate by faith, and therefore he said, I pray not for the world. He would haue all saued and come to the knowledge of his trueth, but they will not beleeue the trueth, but hate and persecute the trueth. And therefore he knowing the great danger that his smal slock were in, and should be in amongest the wicked, and their small strength also in sauing themselues from their tyran­nie, prayed for them that they might be one in faith and loue, hauing the spirit of trueth dwelling in them. Where­by they euer haue in possession that pretious pearle and hidden treasure that the worlde can neyther taste nor finde, because hee that will haue and taste it, must in finding it therewith renounce and giue for it all that hee hath, or else hee looseth it.Math. 13, Whiche thing onely the electe that haue the Spirite of trueth,Luke 14. whome the worlde cannot haue, doe, and none else. And thereby they haue, yea and feele in theyr great afflictions that peace of conscience, that Christ gaue vnto them, saying, Peace I leaue vvith you, my peace I giue vnto you, not as the world giueth, giue I vnto you. Iohn 14. Let not your hearts be grieued, nei­ther feare. From the which neither losse of friends and goods, neither losse of good name and fame, nor shame of the world, neither threatnings nor prisonment, nor scour­ginges and tormentes, nor yet death it selfe could separate them that had once entred, felt, and tasted how sweete the Lord is. This made Peter, Andrew, Iohn, Iames, and the other apostles to forsake all things, esteeming it to be more woorth then goodes, friendes, or life in this world. Paul being in this gate, and tasting the sweetnesse there­of with a vehement spirit sayth, Who shal separate vs frō [Page] the loue of God? Rom. 8. Shal tribulation? or anguish? or perse­cution? either hunger? either nakednes? either peril? ei­ther sword? Who saith, I am sure that neither death nor life, neither angels, nor rule, nor povver, neither thinges present, nor things to come, neither high, nor lovv, nor any other creature shalbe able to separate vs from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesu our Lord? For this the holy Catholike Church suffereth and euer shall suffer all kindes of torments vntill Christ commeth againe to deli­uer her, as euer hitherto they haue suffered, whereof some were mocked, some scourged, some prisoned, some hamshed, some drowned, some sawen, some hewen in pieces, some burned, some racked, and some stened to death. Which ho­ly Catholike Church may well say, according to the scrip­tures, Thou (O God) makest vs to be rebuked of our neighbours, Psal. 44. to be laughed to scorne, and had in derisi­on of them that be round about vs. And For thy sake are vve killed all day long, Rom. 8. and are counted as sheepe appointed to be slaine. These be the few that do finde the narrow gate: these be the righteous that doe finde and en­ter the same: these be they that Christ so louingly prayed for, whose prayer (without faile) because of his reuerence was heard: these be they that be one in faith and loue.Heb. 5. euen of one heart and one minde, in one house, the holy catholike church, vnite and knit together with one spirit, the spirit of trueth that cannot erre.

Moreouer, euery one that is of this holy Catholike church, may say with the Prophet,Psal. 119. Thy vvord (O Lord) is a lanthorne vnto my feet, and a light vnto my paths. For they stablish theyr faith by the word of God, and study to forme theyr life, & to fashion theyr maners by the same. who he knowen by three notable signes,Three sure signes of the holy catho­like church. by faith, by loue, and by the spirit of God. He that lacketh any one of these, is not in the strait gate, but wide gate: he walketh not in the narrow way, but broad way: he is not of the church of Iesus Christ, but of the church of Antichrist.

[Page] Faith is a sure confidence of things vvhich are hoped for, Faith. and a certaintie of thinges vvhich are not seene. Heb. 11. This faith bringeth vs the knowledge of God, and ma­keth vs to vnderstand our owne sinfull nature and weake­nesse: for Paule sath,Heb. 11. Through faith we vnderstand that the world was ordained by the word of God, and that thinges which are seene are made of thinges which are not seene, &c. Of our owne infirmitie by sinne, we haue example in him that brought his sonne vnto Iesus to be healed,Mark [...] 9. which with teares sayd, Lord I beleue, helpe thou my vnbeliefe. This man vndoubtedly saw by faith great imperfections in himselfe, euen his sinne, as it were, ouer­whelming his faith, and therefore he wept, and sayd, Lord helpe thou my vnbeliefe. Luke 17. The first thing that faith worketh in vs. Likewise the Apostles conside­ring theyr great burden of sinne and frailenesse, said vnto the Lord, Increase our faith. This is the first thing that faith worketh in vs, it bringeth vs the knowledge of our sinne, and vilenesse of the same, and maketh vs to crie to God for helpe and seeke remedie for our sinne, which is Iesus Christ, that gaue himselfe to death vpon the crosse for our sinne as is aforesaid. Thus wrought faith in the penitent publican that thought himselfe vnworthy to lift, vp his eyes vnto heauen, but smote himselfe vpon the brest, saying,Luke 18. God be mercifull to me a sinner. Thus fayth wrought in the Centurien or petie captaine, which iudged himselfe vnworthy of Christes presence,Luke 7. saying. Lord I am not worthie that thou shouldest enter vnder my roufe: wherefore I thought not my selfe vvorthy to come vnto thee, but say thou the word and my seruant shal be whole, &c. Such a lowe estimation did faith worke in Peter when he said,Luke 5. Lord goe from me for I am a sinfull man. And least anie man should contend herein, yt this faith (which thus bringeth vs knowledge of God & of our owne sinful nature & weaknesse) should be a fayned faith, a dead faith, or a deuils faith: heare ye praise therof by him yt cannot flatter nor lie ye truth, who saith, of the same, I say vnto you [Page] haue not found so great a faith, Luke 7. no not in Israel. Note, Christ calleth this a great faith. Verily it so great that it bringeth vs our iustification and peace with God,The second thing that faith worketh in vs. which is the second thing that faith worketh in vs. That faith brin­geth vs the righteousnesse of Christ our iustification, is al­ready plainely prooued by the scriptures and writings of Paule, who goeth further and saith,Rom. 5. Because therfore that we are iustified by faith, wee are at peace with God. And to declare the very gate, dore and way, wherby we en­ter into this peace and fauour of God, hee addeth saying, Through our Lord Iesus Christ, Rom. 5. by whom also it chan­ced vnto vs, to be brought in through faith vnto this grace wherein we stand, and reioyce in the hope of the glory of the children of God. Heere you see manifestly faith entereth into the strait gate which is Christ.The third thing that faith worketh in vs. This faith is not idle, for it maketh vs to stand, that is to say, to perseuere and walke in the narrow way by loue, which is the third thing that faith worketh in vs, and therfore it fol­loweth, Not that onely, but also we reioyce in tribulati­ons, knowing that tribulation bringeth patience, pati­ence bringeth experience, experience bringeth hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the loue of God is shedde abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost which is giuen vnto vs. No thanke then vnto our faith, no thanke vnto our loue, but all thanke and praise, and glory be giuen vnto God, whose holy spirit worketh fayth, loue, hope, patience, and altogether in vs.

Fayth that worketh by loue is much worth before God,Loue. which loue is the second note of the holy Catholike church:Gal. 5. fayth fetcheth this loue of the great loue of God, which first so loued vs, that hee gaue his onely begotten sonne Iesus Christ, to the end that all that beleeue in him should not pe­rish, but haue life euerlasting. Of this loue speaketh Paule, saying,Ephes. 5. Walke in loue euen as Christ loued vs, and gaue himselfe for vs an offering and sacrifice of a sweete sa­uour to God. This loue Paule learned of his master our [Page] sauiour Iesus Christ, commanding and saying,Iohn 13. A newe commandement I do giue vnto you, that ye loue toge­ther as I haue loued you. Iesus Christ so loued vs, that he gaue himselfe for vs, for he was obedient vnto God the father for vs vnto death, yea vnto death vpon the crosse. This loue so warmeth the heart with hope and assurance of euerlasting life (for we are saued by hope) that it put­teth away all seruile feare:Hope & feare. I say not all feare,Rom. 8. for there re­maineth and abideth in the heart an holy reuerend feare or dread of displeasing God, or lothnesse to loose God and his holy spirit, which if a man taste, is rather a reuerend ioy, and a glad loue than feare: therefore is it truely said, Per­fect loue casteth out feare, 1. Iohn 4. that is to say, Iesus Christ by his holy spirit possessing the heart of man through fayth, pntteth cleane away the feare of shame, losse of goodes or friends, the feare of torments, enemies, and prisonment, yea the feare of sinne,The office of true faith. death, the deuill and hell. So that the of­fice of true faith setteth not onely before our eyes the vile­nesse of sinne, that caused Christ to die, but it also bringeth vs Iesus Christ the attonement maker betweene God and vs for our sinne, whereof commeth loue. In the which loue is manifest the third note of the holy Catholike church,The spirit of Christ. for now we feare God no more as a terrible iudge, but tho­row his holy spirit we loue him as a most gentle & louing father, whereof speaketh Paule, saying thus: Ye haue not receiued the spirit of bondage to feare any more, but you haue receiued the spirit of adoption, Rom. 8. whereby we crie, Abba, Father. Abba is as much in English as Dad, or Deare father: it is the Syrian speech, left vntranslated both by the Latine men, & also English men, to the intent (I suppose) that it should also be English: for this I know, that the first word that an English Christian childe begin­neth to speake, is Abba, commonly, long before he can speake any thing else, which Christian babe in his innocen­cie is a witnesse with Paule that God is a deare father vn­to Christians through his holy spirit, by his sonne Iesus [Page] Christ.Faith, loue, & the spirit of God, be toge­ther in euery true Chri­stian. Thus you may easily perceiue by those scriptures that faith, loue, and the spirit of God doe go together, and be together in euery true Christian as sure notes and seales of his saluation. Faith entring the gate of saluation, stic­keth to the word of God, and taketh it onely to be the rule of life and doctrine. Loue cleaueth vnto Christ, and ma­keth faith knowen, as the fruits do the tree, and putteth a­way feare. The spirit of God quieteth the conscience, and bringeth with a reuerend dread, ioy and gladnesse ineffable. If you know this, you be a very true member of the holy Catholike church, and in the strait gate and narrow way vnto eternall life. If you know not this, I say no more but God haue mercy vppon you:Math. 7. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and ma­ny there be which go in thereat.

Heere (me thinketh) I do heare an idle braine say, that these signes and notes be of mine owne inuention, which do rather confoūd & dim the church, than make it knowen. Vnto whom I doe answere,2. Cor. 4. If it be dim and hid, it is hid vnto them that perish: but vnto the children of light it is manifest enough. Also these notes be not mine, but rather Gods books, there I do finde them.

Of the first, Christ saith, Euery tree is knowen by his fruites. Luke 6. Which words be made plaine by these sayings of Paule:The first note of Christes church. To beleeue with the heart, Rom. 10. iustifieth, & to know­ledge vvith the mouth, maketh a man safe. Faith then is not dead in the heart: if it be dead, it is not faith: faith is knowen by the mouth, as the tree is knowen by the fruits, for of the treasure of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that vvhich is good. Luke 6.

Of the second, The second note of Chri­stes church. Iohn saith, 1. Iohn 4. God is loue, and hee that dvvelleth in loue, dvvelleth in God, and God in him. He then cannot be hid in whome God dwelleth. And 1. Iohn 2.Hee that loueth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of euill in him. The light therefore must [Page] needs be seene. Heere is to be noted, that as faith without godly works is a dead faith, and therefore no faith: so loue without the same good weeks also is not loue, but naturall affection,1. Iohn 3. For vvho so hath these vvorlds goods, & seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth vp his compassion from him, hovve dvvelleth the loue of God in him? Thus is loue manifestly knowen by the good worke. Our fauiour Iesu Christ appointing this to be the notable signe of the church, faith vnto them,Iohn 13. By this shall all men knovv that ye are my disciples, if ye haue loue one to another.

Of the third note,The third note of Chri­stes church. Rom. 8. which is the spirit of God, Paule writing to the Romanes, hath these wordes, If any man haue not the spirit of Christ, the same is none of his. And a little after, he speaking of himselfe and other of the church of Christ, saith: The same spirit certifieth our spi­rit that we are the children of God. If the spirit of God certifieth a mans conscience that he is the childe of God, then hee may be sure that hee is of the church of Christ. Heereby you perceiue that these notes are appoynted by Gods booke, & not of mine inuention,The sure signes of the holy Catho­like church be gathered out of Cods booke. to be vnfallible signes of the holy Catholike church, and of euery member of the same, which be all of one faith, vnite as one by loue, & go­uerned with one and the same spirit of trueth.

Finally, if these signes of the holy catholicke Church be not yet euident and plaine inough vnto you, to knowe the same, perhappes because you your selfe be none of the Church, marke yet diligently the effectes that follow.

First,Manifest signes of the church. the simple and plaine setting forth of the worde of God, both in writing and preaching, with the administrati­on of Christes sacramentes according to the same.

Secondly, the murmuringes, complaininges, conuenti­cles, vprores, and tumultes of the wicked against the same.

Thirdly,The first ma­ [...]est note of Christes church. the persecution, and patiently suffering of the verie elect of God for the same, as the elect of God taketh nothing from his holy wordes, but wholly sticketh vnto the same without anie of their owne addit [...]ons, So doe [Page] they alwaies sincerely open the same vnto the worlde, and haue their whole delight in making it knowne vnto men. Whereof they haue of their maister Christ a speciall com­mandement so earnestly giuen vnto them, as though hee had required of them that alone, binding them as they lo­ued him, to teache, feede, and preach vnto his sheepe. And as he required of them this teaching and preaching of the Gospel most earnestly,Mat. 10. 28. so did he most often put them in me­mory of the same.Marke 6. 6. This was the principall and great com­mission that he gaue them,Iohn 21. after his resurrection, saying. All power is giuen vnto me in heauen and in earth. Math. 28. Go ye therefore and teache all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, and of the sonne, and of the ho­lie Ghost, teaching them to obserue all thinges, what­soeuer I haue commanded you. Other thingee then Christ hath commanded to be taught, may not bee taught by Christes commission, who saith also, The holy hhost shall teache you. Luke 12. What? All thinges, Iohn 14. and bring all thinges vnto your remembrance, whatsoeuer I haue said vnto you. Againe, that they might be sure of theyr vndeceaueable rule,Marke 16. he saith. Preache the gospell to all creatures, vnto thē that thus do. He saith further, He that heareth you, Luke 10. heareth me, and he that despiseth you, de­spiseth me, and hee that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. Because the children of perdition walking in the broad way, despise the narrow way of the Gospell, and teachers of the same, they doe commit high treason a­gainst Christ and against God, for that they doe not re­gard, but contemne the great commission of God, the Go­spel of his sonne Iesus. Although this Gospel should be for a time troad vnder feete and sealed vp,The Gospel. is a witnesse to all the world. as it was pro­phecied,Dan. 12. and as we haue seene it,Mat. 24. yet should it be a witnesse to all the world. Christ saith, This Gospel of the king­dome shalbe preached in all the worlde, for a witnesse to all nations, and then shall the end come. The gospel is a witnesse of Christ and his Church to al nations in the [Page] world. To the wicked it is a witnesse, that they loue darke­nesse more then light because their workes are euill.Iohn 3. To the godly it is a sure stay and witnesse that they are of the holy Catholicke Church, and members of Christ.

This is a plaine token of the holy catholicke church,A plaine to­ken of the holy catho­licke Church. that wheresoeuer this gospel is set forth in ye mother toong and countrie speache, and sincerlie taught, there bee the true members of Christes Church. Example hereof we haue in the preaching of the same by the Apostles at Hie­rusalem, in whome the holy Ghost so wrought that they spake to euerie man (many beeing there of diuers and strange languages) in their owne mother toonge, and coun­trie speeche.Actes 2.

The true ministers of the worde (in whome the holy Ghost speaketh) euer teache the people in their owne lan­guage that they vnderstand, and not in a strange toonge that they knowe not. We may therefore be glad and ioy to haue seene and heard the same Gospel here in England, set forth in our mother toonge preached according to Christes promise and sincerely taught.

O it is a worlde to behold the subtiltie of Sathan wor­king in these wicked worldlinges. When hee feeleth by preaching of the Gospel, that his counterfeit religion is espied, and that his lies and false miracles will serue to blinde and deceaue the people no longer: then he bestirreth himselfe, then hee seeketh out his trustie friendes and set­teth them a worke, to stirre the people to murmuringes, tumultes,When the deuill had men fast by false faith, hee cared not for their euill life. The second manifest note of Christes Church. and vprores, to the end that by deuisions, de­bates, and discordes, he may eyther face out the Gospel, or els for that he looseth some in their faith, hee might winne moe by their euill life: Whereby (albeit against their wil) both the deuill and his ministers doe giue an euident testi­monie of the Gospel. For Iesus Christ the wisedome of God the father knowing that it would be so, shewed that it should be so, both by his wordes and example taking vp­on him, that the wicked would lay to his charge, saying, [Page] Thinke not that I am come to send peace into the earth: Math. 10. I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at a variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in lawe against her mother in lavv, and a mans foes shalbe they that be of his owne houshold. And he prophecieth also, saying, Suppose yee that I am come to send peace on the earth. Luke 12. I tell you nay, but rather deuision. For from hence forth there shalbe fiue in one house deui­ded, three against two, and two against three. The fa­ther shalbe deuided against the sonne, and the sonne a­gainst the father. The mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. The mother in lawe against her daughter in law, and the daughter in lawe against her mother in lavv. Christ pro­pheciyng of the discord that would be thorow the preaching of the gospel, ta­keth vpon him the salt of others. In this phrase of speache Christ shewed not himselfe to be the authour and cause of discord and diuision, but hee rather declared in their owne wordes their false standers. Hee knewe right well that the wicked woulde resist the gospell with lyes, staunders and tumultes: and when they had thorow their owne malice craf­tily raysed such tragedies, then they would (disburdening themselues) lay it to Christes charge and to his holy word, or ministers of the same. Thus hath it bene in out time. The wicked hating the Gospel, haue stirred vprores and vnquietnesse amongest the people, and then they haue bur­dened the Gospel and preacher withall. Thus the Scribes and Pharisees with their Disciples, moued the people a­gainst Christ, whereby they made vnquietnesse, and then they accused Christ of blasphemie, heresie & making of di­scention,Math. 26. traitours and blasphemous heretickes,Luke 22. neither true to God nor the Prince. For this cause, Christ know­ing before, vouchsafe to bewray their malice, taking vpon himselfe the person of discord, when in verie deedele is the berie peacemaker, because he knewe they woulde so iudge him and reporte him to be, as wee can witnesse they haue [Page] doon. wherfore wee must needes beleue this his prophesie, nowe that we haue heard it, and seen it fulfilled.

Trulie,The banner of Christ goeth euer with his Church, as the shadow goeth with the body. Trulie,Mat. 10. as the shadowe followeth the bodie: so Christes crosse followeth the holy Catslolique church. And as the greater the height of the sunne is, the more is the shadow seene: so, the greater the height of the gospel shin­neth by preaching, the more manifest is the crosie of Christ, who sayth. He that loueth father or mother more then me, is not worthie of me, and hee that loueth sonne or or daughter more then me, is not vvorthie of me. And he that taketh not his crosse and follovveth me, is not vvorthie of me. Also if anie man vvill come after me, Luke 9. let him deny himselfe, and take vp his crosse dayly and follovv mee. For vvhosoeuer vvill saue his lyfe, shall lose it. But vvhosoeuer doth lose his life sot my sake, the same shall saue it. For vvhosoeuer is ashamed of me and my vvords, of him shall the sonne of man be asha­med vvhen he commeth in his maiestie, and the maie­stie of his father. It is vnpossible to sticke vnto the Go­spel without the cross, without trouble or persecution,2. Tim. 3. Paul being witnesse, saying: All they that vvill liue god­ly in Christ Iesu shall suffer persecution. Of the which crosse and persecution Christ prophecied saying, ye shall be hated of all men for my names sake. Mat. 10. But vnto this in another place he giueth a better cōfort,Iohn 15. saying, If the vvorld hate you, you knovve it hated me before it hated you. If ye vvere of the vvorld, the vvorlde vvould loue hys ovvne. Hovvbeit because yee are not of the vvorlde, but I haue chose you out of the vvorlde, therefore the vvorlde hateth you. Remember the vvord that I saide vnto you. The seruaunt is not greater them his Lorde: if they haue persecuted me they vvill persecute you. Seeing the trueth hath spoken these thinges,The third manifest note of Christes Church. they must needes come to passe. Wherefore it now remaineth, that all louers of the Gospel and trueth, doe patiently sticke vnto the trueth in all their tribulations, [Page] and call to memorie their maisters first promise and bles­sing, which is written. Where he saith: Blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousnes sake, for theirs is the kingdome of heauen. To suffer for righteousnesse and truthes sake (me thinketh) must be a signe of the elect of God. For they verily yt do liue immofluely in the world, and charitably with their neighbours, and notwithstan­ding be hated, euill spoken of, standered, and persecuted of the wicked, onely for speaking against sinne and iniquitie, and for the Gospels sake, haue great cause to ioy in their trouble and persecution, as it solloweth.

Blessed are yee vvhen men shal speake euil of you, and persecute you, and shal speake all euil against you, lying, for my sake. Reioyce yee and be glad, for plente­ous is your revvarde in heauen Loe this is the Churche that cannot erre.

Thus I haue described before your eies both the church of Antichrist, which cannot but erre, and also the Church of Iesus Christ that cannot erre, plainly, with their signes and notes: Note them therefore circumspectly. The church of Antichrist is not stablished vppon the veritie of Gods worde and spirite, which is the sure foundation of the holy catholicke Church, but vpon a sinful man, quia omnis homo mendax, because euerieman is a lyer. Christes Churche hath one iustifiyng faith which worketh by loue, for the which Antichristes Church hath manie faithes, as, a little faith, a smale faith, an vnperfect faith, a deceiuing fayth, a sick faith, and a dead faith, Dominikes faith, Basils fayth Austens faith, Bennets faith, Bernardes faith, Frances faith, and Deuils faith. All which may enter the wide gates and be admitted into the popes Church, and pertaker of his mony sacrifices. Where note they be the greater num­ber: which thing maketh them bolde to persecute the few and small flocke that entreth the straite gate of fayth, and walketh the narrow way of the Gospel, which small flock neuer persecuteth. For it is against the nature of a lambe [Page] to sucke the bloud of a Woolfe. It is the propertie of the Woolfe to sucke bloud, deuour and persecute.

The church of Iesus Christ euer suffereth, loueth, and prayeth for enemies and persecutours.

Antichriste brood do murmure, hate, & persecute, with a filthy conscience.

Vnto the church of Iesus Christ onely Gods booke is a perfect rule of beliefe, life, and doctrine, in stead whereof Antichrists generation hath many books and rules, as ho­ly decrees and decretals, fathers, coumels, holy doctours, Festiuale, Legenda aurea, Austens rule, Benets rule, Ba­sils rule, Bernards rule, Dominiks rule, Francis rule, and now last of all Canterbury tales with a dung-cart sul also of vnwritten verites. These haue beene brought in, and taught by the spirits of errour, the very guides & stayes of Antichrists church, & therfore they could not but erre. But the church of Iesus Chr [...]st, & euery member of the same, is gouerned with one spirit of trueth that cannot lie, therefore cannot they erre, euen with the spirit of Christ, the holy ghost, vnto whom, with the father, and the some, be all thanks, laud, praise and glorie. Amen.

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