By Geruase Babington Doctor of Diuinitie.


Imprinted at London by Richard Field for Thomas Chard. 1591.

TO THE RIGHT HO­NORABLE MY SINGVLAR good Lords, the Lords of her Maiesties most honorable priuie counsell.

WHAT it pleased God (right Ho­norable) to ina­ble me to speak of late before your Lordships in her Maiesties Court at Green­wich, I haue, as neare as I could remember, layd downe here now in writing, to the ende, that what then both pleased and profited some, may in the blessing of like mercie, do the same againe, and [Page] what misliked anie, may be fur­ther considered, whether it so de­serue in deed, or was but only thē mistakē. VVhich litle labor I am bold to present vnto your Ho­nors, who with most holy and re­ligious attention heard the same, that vnder the like fauour of your Honorable countenance, being foūd without cause of iust dislike, it may both passe to the view of others also that heard it not, and remaine a poore testimony of my dutifull heart and true affection towards your Lordships euer to my death.

Your Honors most humble bounden GERVASE BABINGTON.
The second of the Kings the fift Chapter.

13 BVt this seruants came, and spake vnto him, & said, Father, if the Prophet had cōmāded thee a great thing, woldest thou not haue done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash & be cleane?

14 Then went he downe and washed him­selfe seuen times in Iorden, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came againe, like vnto the flesh of a little child, and he was cleane.

15 And he returned againe to the man of God, he, and all his companie, and came and stood before him & said, Behold now I know that there is no God in all the world, but in Israel: now therefore I pray thee take a reward of thy seruant.

16 But he said, As the Lord liueth (before whom I stand) I will not receiue it. And he would haue constrained him to re­ceiue it, but he refused.

HAuing elswhere of late (right Honourable) considered of this Chapter to this place, I haue thought good to goe forward with thus much more of it at this time, hoping [Page 2] it shall not be iudged vnfit for this place, and these dayes wherein we liue. The words read as we sée, are parcell of the storie of Naman the Assyrian, a storie so wel knowne vnto vs, that I shall not néede to make any lōg rehersal of it. In few words for order sake thus much. Naman was a mightie man and verie honourable in the Court of the king of Assyria, and euen with the king him selfe verie highly estée­med. The reason is alledged in the storie, namely, [...]delitie to [...]rinces and [...]ountrey, a [...]ause of ho­ [...]our: trea­ [...]herie of cō ­ [...]usion. because by his hand the Lord had deliuered the kingdome from great danger: thereby the spirit of God teaching vs, that there is not in this world a more iust cause of honorable regard, and most high accompt to be had and made of a man, not only with people but euen with Prince, then faithful loue and fruteful seruice to king and coun­trie: as the contrarie is most worthy also of al hatred,Leprosie. shame, and confusion. But a­midst al this honor (saith the storie) Naman was a Leaper, an vgly and grieuous disease we all know, euen in a poore man, but in one of such place far more grieuous.Great men haue their humblings. We learne and sée by it how often God thinketh it good to season the pleasures and glorie that otherwise he voutsafeth great [Page 3] men in this world with some humblings & chastisements, either maladies in bodie, or miseries in minde, from which yet after triall and exercise of them to his pleasure, he is able to release them as he did here Naman, if it shalbe good for them. The sto­rie againe telleth vs, there was dwelling with Namans wife an Israelitish maid, ta­ken by ye Assyrians as they scouted abroad and placed with her: This maide séeing her Lord and master his wofull estate, like an honest seruant pitied it, and wished that her Lord were with the Prophet in her countrie, doubtlesse he would heale him. The words of the maide were brought to Namans hearing, he yéelded to the wish, & intendeth a iourney to ye Prophet, acquain­teth the king his master with his desire, who not only gaue him leaue, but writ al­so his honourable letters to the king of Is­rael in his behalfe: which letters were wonderfully mistaken when they were read, as if a quarrel by thē should be sought against him, so that he rent his clothes for griefe and anger at these letters. The pro­phet Elisha hearing of this behauiour in the king, sent word to him to send Naman to him, and he should know that there was a [Page 4] Prophet in Israel. Vpon which message Naman came to him, & receiued this dire­ction, that he should go wash seuen times in Iorden, and he should be whole. But so far was he from ioying to heare of health after this sort, yt he tooke it to be a méere mockery of him, and brake out into words, that he looked the Prophet should haue come forth to him, and haue laid his hands on him, prayed for him, and so haue healed him, as for water and washing are not Abanah & Pharpar (saith he) riuers of Damascus as good as the waters of Israel, &c. In which chafe and choller his seruants spake vnto him as we haue now heard. Father (say they) if the Prophet had commanded thee a great thing, wouldst thou not haue done it? how much more this that he saith, wash and be cleane, &c. This is the storie.

Now for the words read, if we marke them, they offer vnto our consideration foure things.

  • 1 First the speech of the seruants to their Lord.
  • 2 Secondly, his yeelding thereunto.
  • 3 Thirdly, the fruit of his obedience, health.
  • 4 Lastly, his thankefulnesse when he was healed▪

[Page 5] The spéech of the seruants againe, hath in it to be obserued:

  • The ground from whence it came.
  • The manner of it.
  • The matter of it.

His yéelding hath in it,

  • To whom he yeeldeth: euen to his seruants.
  • In what sort: readily, without check or snub.

The fruit or effect, being his health, hath in it,

  • How it was obtained, to wit, by washing in Iorden.
  • How many times: seuen times.

His thankfulnes lastly hath in it,

  • To whom, to wit, to
    • God.
    • The Prophet,
  • In what sort, vehemently, not only formally.

Concerning the first, the speach of the seruants, and therein first the ground from whence it came, what was it, but a louing, a true, a dutifull, and an affectionate heart to the good of their master. This made them speake,Faithfulnes in seruants euer blessed this made them venture, this made thē bold to perswade with him as they did: [Page 6] A thing that euer God required in ser­uants, [...]aithfulnes [...] seruants [...]er blessed. and a thing that euer God hath ho­noured with his blessings vpon it, and re­membrances of it in his word, Ephes. 6. Seruants (saith the Lord) [...]ph. 6. 5. &c. obay them that are your masters with feare and trembling, that is, with carefull reuerence in singlenes of your heart, as vnto Christ. Not with eye seruice as men pleasers, but as seruants of Christ, doing the wil of God from the heart. With good will seruing the Lord and not men, and know yee, that whatsoeuer good thing any man doth, that same shall he re­ceiue of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Gen. 24. With what remembrance is the ser­uant of Abraham registred in the booke of God for his faithfulnes and loue to his ma­ster, that hauing receiued in charge to goe séeke a fit match for his masters sonne a­mongst his owne kinred, from whom he was then farre seperate by the commande­ment of God, that willed him to remooue as he did, the seruaunt fell vpon his knées to the Lord for direction, euerie way in that businesse to his masters good: would not eate nor drinke when he came to the place, till he saw how he should spéede, &c. How also is Iacob spoken of,Gen. 29. as true a seruant [Page 7] as euer man had?Gen. 39. How Ioseph, how many moe for their true hearts and faithfull ser­uice to their masters? Therefore deare and precious (I say) was euer this disposition in seruants that here we sée in Namans ser­uants to day: Loue to master, is loue to God, seruice to master is seruice to God, & so reputed, estéemed, and blessed of God. Now if we should aske by what meanes this loue was wrought in the seruants to their master, certainly (with great proba­bilitie we may say) it was by the honoura­ble vsage of them by their master, for the whole storie speaketh of Naman as of a ve­rie honourable minded man to all sorts. A remembrance that way againe to masters,Honorable fauour and good vsage in maisters of seruants. to regard their poore seruants with comfort and fauour, as shalbe fit, if they wil possesse their hearts, as they owne their bodies for their times. For this is it yt pearceth with a sugred swéetnes, euen to the reines of a man, and maketh him thinke no toile of bo­die or braine too much for so good a master. Example Ioseph, Gen. 39. 8. 9. who inflamed in heart with his masters most honourable fauours to him, in putting him so in trust that he knew not what he had vnder his hand, de­fied all wickednes, temptations, and baits [Page 8] against him, whatsoeuer they might gaine him in the world. [...]ardnes in [...]asters. The cōtrarie in a master woūdeth the heart and the verie soule of a true seruāt whē he séeth it: Example Iacob, Gen. 31. 2. who séeing the countenance of Laban chan­ged vpon him, brake into griefe, bewayled it to his wiues, and as vtterly discouraged to serue any more, purposeth a departure, which to Labans great losse he performed. I know the masters Posie is,The masters Posie. Deserue and then desire, and but good reason that desert should go before desire: but then when de­sert is, and desire vpon desert to reléeue lacke, let not the seruant set downe his Posie againe with mourning mind,The seruāts Posie. Fidelis seruus perpetuus asinus: A good seruant and a perpetual drudge. Chapt. 7. Iesus the sonne of Syrach was a wise man we al know, and amongst many precepts he giueth this as one: Let thy soule loue a good seruant, A note for al masters. defraud him not that bestoweth himselfe for thee, neither leaue him euer a poore man. Neglect of this hath depriued men of such as were worth gold, & furnished them with slipperie ones in their places, of whom after triall, they were forced to say [...].Aristotle. O friends I finde no friend; féeling the truth of this.

Cum tot populis stipatus eas,
[Page 9] In tot populis vix vna fides.

Garded thou art with troupes of men, but faith thou findest scarse in one. Remember here Naman furnished with faithfull seruants towards him, because he was most honora­ble towards them. Loue in master makes loue in man, except in forme of man he be a diuell.

Hauing thus considered the ground of this speach,A terme gi­uen then & since to Ma­gistrates and men in au­thoritie, to teach them with what affectiō they should loue their inferi­ours, euen as children, & howe inferi­ours ought to honour them euen as Fathers. Gen. 41 43. let vs next consider the manner of it, which as we sée is modest▪ humble, re­uerent, with the title and terme of Father and no worse. Thus spake men in those dayes that tasted but of ciuilitie: If more we would sée, more we may well sée in the 23. of Genesis, where the Sichemites speake toGen. 23. Num. 12. 11. How good men speake to men of authoritie. 1. Sam. 9. 6. Abraham as to a Prince, Abraham to them againe with all reuerence. Aron speaketh to Moses his owne brother with title of Lord, Let not my Lord be angrie &c. Sauls seruant that went with him to séeke the lost asses saith, here dwelleth in this towne a Seer, an honorable man. And he that spake so of the Prophet, would haue vsed no lesse reuerence to the Prophet we may well thinke. The Angel himselfe to a man chosen to office, vseth reuerence and termes of honour,Iudg 6. 22. God saue thée Gedeon [Page 10] thou valiant man. Thus I say again spake men in those dayes to men in authoritie. But alas the change now, when we rime in verse, raile in prose, and sinne in both, against God and his chosen instrumentes here on earth, most fearefully. We ruffell with them as Corah and his company did with Moses and Aron, proudly and mali­tiously telling them that they take too much vpon them, neuer remembring the dread­full iudgement that befell those men for such behauiour,Num. 26. 10. nor that which is more, that it is said expresly in the text, that it was done in signum for a signe, to wit, of that which shall befall first or last, one way or other, to all those that euer should do the like: For Sequitur superbos vltor a tergo Deus, The plague of God followeth the proud stomake euen at the heeles: And most notable is it that Chrysostom hath to this purpose, when he saith,Humilitie. Esto, multum edifices, ha­beas elemosynas, ieiunia, preces, virtutes om­nes, omnia ista prophana sunt, impura, abo­minabilia sine humilitate. Let it be that thou edifiest much, hast almes deeds, fastings, pray­ers, and all vertues, if thy hart be proud, mali­tious, enuious against thy superiours, and void of humilitie; certainly all these are prophane, [Page 11] impure and abominable in thee. The verie same iudgement had Austen when he said, if he were asked what was the chiefe thing in pietie and religion, and what the second, and what the third; he would answere to all, and that all in al were humilitie, as the Rhetorician said, pronunciation was in eloquence.Modest speech shall not be vn­blessed. Looke we then often, euen with a religious eye at this modestie and reuerēce in Namans seruants, and be sure what the wisedome of God hath not passed vnnoted in them, he wil not passe ouer vn­blessed in vs, if we haue it.Thinke of this. He that tuneth an instrument, and will hastely hoyst a string, may happely sooner breake it then tune it, but by milde and gentle strayning, he may bring it to a pitch that shall fit his purpose. Thus of the manner also of their spéech.

The third thing in their spéech is the matter of it,The matter of the ser­uants speech which as we all sée is a plaine perswasion of their Lord & master, to that thing that disliked him, that he was offen­ded with, and could not abide to heare of at the Prophets owne mouth. And why per­swade they thus? Surely because it tended to his good, therefore they aduenture to speake. Then these seruants soothed not [Page 12] their Lord in his wrong humour, [...]othing [...]ruants. they played not as the reflection of the face doth in the glasse, euer performing that same gesture that we vse, & no other. In a word, they flattered not either for fauor or feare, but with duetie spake truely to their ma­sters good, though his present humour car­ries him then to a contrary course. O glasse of glasses for all men to looke in with great profite,A glasse for [...]ll seruants. but especially such as in this place now behold and sée it. For héere, héere are they, who if they were dealt withall truely and dutifully, would certainly avoid what many times they do with great hurt, either to themselues or others. And where as the common saying feareth many that wish the best: to wit, Veritas odium parit, ob­sequium amicos, Truth gets hatred, and flat­terie, friends: without doubt it is not so euer,Good men not offended with truth. but quite contrarie with graue, wise, and good men. My warrant is not onely expe­rience, which yet is a sure teacher, but the expresse word of God,Prou [...].23. that saith, he that re­buketh a man shal finde more fauour at the last,Flatterie. then he that flattereth with the tongue. The venom of flatterie, and the bane that is brought by smoothing tongues, no words can vtter, no thoughts of hearts abhor suf­ficiently. [Page 13] What monsters of men were those seruants of Absolon? 2. Sam. 13. 29▪ who to content their masters wicked humour slew ye kings sonne, & their masters brother in the midst of the banquet that was made for such a purpose. What a wound to the kingdome gaue those flattering young counsellers,2. Chro. 10. 10. when with their smoothing the king in his vaine of youth, and crossing ye aduise of the old and prudent counsailers, at one blow they cut from the kingdome, of twelue tribes, ten? What an vgly vice in Vriah the Priest was it to follow the kings hu­mour,2. Kin. 16. 11 and make an altar expresly against the word and will of God? Many such fil­thy flatterers with their harmes could I re­member if néedfull it were, these not suffi­sing. Not without cause therefore said An­tisthenes once,Antisthenes that it was better to fall in [...], quam in [...], amongst rauens, then amongst flatterers, for rauens féed but vpon the dead, flatterers vpon the liuing, rauens eate the bodie, flatterers deuour the mind, and what vertue so euer might be in the same. Who hastened as it were, and euen pulled out of God his hand that fearefull plague and iudgement vpon Herod, to be smitten with the Angel of God sodainly, [Page 14] and eaten with lice, but those smiling smo­thers that cried the voice of God and not of man.Act. 12. 22. This filthy flatterie maketh a Welch Prouerb that we haue in Wales true,Tre feth see a noth y dde [...]abod deen, derwin a duarnod. that it is hard to know thrée things, an oke, a day, and a man: An oke for his priuie wind­shakes that may be within, séeme it ne­uer so faire without: a day for his va­riablenesse of wether, and accidents that fall therein, and a man for his hollow hart when his words are softer then oile, and most comfortable: But let this sinne go to hell, whither it will carrie all that vse it without repentance, and let vs marke the vertue of these seruants of Naman yt were so far from it. They are dead, and yet liue for dealing plainly with duetie for their masters good, and hating to sooth him to his harme, and liue they shall with God assu­redly that euer vse it.

The reason of their perswasion is an ar­gument drawne from the greater to the lesse.The reason of the ser­uants. If the Prophet (say they) had com­maunded thee a great thing, wouldst thou not haue done it? then much more willing­ly should this small thing be performed. A maiori. The grounds of their Antecedent are two:why a great thing should be done if cōmanded The calling of the bidder, a Prophet, (ther­fore [Page 15] they say if the Prophet, The calling of the bid­der. with an em­phasis in the title and name) and the end of the thing bidden to attainment of health, and deliuerance from so grieuous a disease: either of which, but much more both togi­ther, were a sufficient reason to make a mā do a great thing, if it had béene comman­ded. Being as much in effect and sense, as if they should haue said,Ministers words to be regarded for their calling sir his calling first is reuerent and high, not to be despised or lightly regarded; He is a Prophet, the mi­nister of God, by whom God hath shewed his power greatly, as we haue heard, and therefore his words must be of weight, and his direction followed, though he had inioy­ned a great matter. Secondly what he wil­leth, tendeth to your health, and to no worse effect: for he saith Wash and be cleane. Now for a mans health verie great things are to be indured, especially if his griefe be great. Therefore, as wel for his calling that wil­leth, as for the fruite of the thing willed, this counsel of the Prophet should willing­ly and readily be imbraced and followed. This is the perswasion in substance, & the grounds they build vpon in ye same. A verie plaine, a verie true, and a verie profitable perswasion in whole and in part: Apply it [Page 16] to our selues and it may thus auaile vs.

Do Namans seruants séeme to regard the calling of the Prophet,Application. and to think his words may not be despised without great folly? Alas what knew they concerning Gods Prophets & ministers, to that which we know this day and this houre? We know the Lord now speaketh not, nor buil­deth his church in this world by his owne voyce in his owne person,Ephes. 4. 11. but he hath giuen some Prophets, some Apostles, some Euan­gelists, some Pastors and teachers for the repairing of the saincts, for the worke of the ministerie, and for the edification of the bo­die of Christ, till we all meete togither in the vnitie of faith vnto a perfect man, &c. And by these he teacheth, by these he conuin­ceth, by these he correcteth and instructeth vnto righteousnes. 2. Tim. 3. 16. To these we know he hath said,Matth. 28. 19 Go into all the world and teach, and I will be with you. We know he hath said, He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me, Contempt of ministers contempt of God. euen me my selfe and mine owne person.1. Sam. 8. 7. Non reie­cerunt te, sed reiecerunt me (said God to Sa­muel.) They haue not cast thee away, but haue cast me away: And it is true, in the contēpt of any mans ministerie duely and truely [Page 17] vsed. None of these things (as we know them) knew Namans seruants, and yet they reuerenced, they regarded, and per­swaded their Lord and master to regard, & feared a contempt of such a mans words. What iudges in the dreadfull and iudging day of God shall they then be against vs, that knowing what we know, and conuin­ced in our consciences with the trueth of that we heare, yet fearefully despise both spéech and speaker, both calling and coun­sell: and not onely so our selues, but either by example, or by perswasion, or by both, indeuour to effect ye same in others? A word is enough to men wise and learned: God will not indure disdaine and scorne for e­uer. His owne mouth hath said, he indureth it when his messengers indure it. His own hand will plague it therefore if he be God, vnlesse we leaue it. Cyprian said well,Lib. 4. Epi. [...] and to this end most truely, Qui non credit Christo Sacerdotem agenti, credet tandem vindicanti. He that beleeueth not Christ whē he doth the office of a minister, shall beleeue him to his wo, whē he doth the office of a iudge. How doth Christ the office of a minister, but in, and by those, that be our ministers? beléeue not them then, beléeue not Christ, [Page 18] and so receiue indgement for contempt of Christ.

Secondly, was the good of bodie (the re­lease from a fleshly leaprosie) such a matter in these seruants eyes,The ende of [...]ur counsell & preaching farre better [...]hen the Prophets now to Na­man. that for it euē great things were to be obeyed and done? What thinke we then of good for bodie and soule, of deliuerance from spirituall leaprosie of soule that infecteth to death eternal, both of bodie and soule? should not great things be indured for that, should not hard things be obeyed and followed for that? Such is the fruite of our ministerie, and such is the ef­fect of our perswasions if they be receiued. Hoc fac & viue, This do and thou shalt liue. In Christ and by Christ we do it when we beléeue and practise as we are taught and God inableth. And thus of the matter of the seruants spéech.

The second generall head was the obe­dience of Naman to the counsell:Namans o­bedience. wherein we may obserue first, whom he yéeldeth vn­to, and followeth. Surely his owne ser­uants, men, for place so farre inferiour to him, as seruants to such noble and honora­ble masters be, yet their counsell he imbra­ceth, and their aduise, though contrarie to his liking, he will not reiect. How true then [Page 19] do we sée it to be?Wise men regard not euer who speaketh, but what it spoken. that graue and wise men do not regard so much who speaketh, as what is spoken, knowing that Saepe etiam est holitor valde opportuna locutus. The poore gardner many times speaketh greatly to purpose. Saepe sub sordido paliolo latet sapi­entia. Often vnder a poore cloke lyeth wisedome shrowded and hidden. Daungerous therefore it is,Dangerous to pin our selues to ti­tles of men. and preiudiciall to good discretion, to tye our selues to titles and places of men that shall counsell vs, as willing to regard nothing, except it procéed from some man of note, graced with some worldly place and title of dignitie in the world: for Na­man we sée was healed, & receiued a great good by yéelding to his poore seruants, when they spake well and to good effect. And we know God himselfe tieth not his wisedome euer to men of greatest note for worldly place,1. Cor. 1. but hath often chosen the foolish things of the world to confirme the wise, and the weake things of the world, to con­found the mightie things. And vile things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, That no flesh should reioyce in his presence.

Optimus ille quidem, qui paret recta mo­nenti: [Page 20] The best man therefore is he, that im­braceth good counsell, be he neuer so meane an instrument from whom it commeth.

Next we obserue how readily and wil­lingly Naman doth it,Good coun­sel to be fol­lowed rea­dily without checks. making no replie to the contrarie, giuing them no checke, no snub, no rebuke for intermedling with his matters. Certainly a great vertue and a verie honorable minde in him, to the checke of all those that rate and reuile, beat downe and disgrace at the first, such as perhaps af­ter they follow, though not seeming so to doe. Surely he spake it moderately that spake it, and it is most worthy marking. Si merito reprehenderit quis, scito quia pro­fuit, si immerito, scito quia prodesse voluit. If a man rebuke a man and crosse his mind with some perswasion, if there be cause of that per­swasion, then hath he profited thee, if there be no cause, yet was his heart & mind to profite thee, and that is to be regarded and accepted without any vnkind checke euer.

3 And his flesh came againe like the flesh of a young child, and he was cleane. This is the frute that followed his obedience,The fruit of Namans obedience. he was healed. But you will say, Did the wa­ter of Iordan heale him? No, no more thē the clay and spittle that our Sauiour vsed [Page 21] gaue sight.God healed not the wa­ter. But there then that, and now here this was the meanes that it pleased God to vse, he him selfe both there and here healing by his diuine power and might. If we aske againe,Why he wa­shed 7. time▪ why seuen times he wa­shed, & was not healed with once or twise washing? The answer may be this, that as well at once as after seuen times washing God could haue healed him, if it had pleased him, and without any washing at all if he would, for neither the washing nor the nū ­ber auayled anie thing to his health: but the one vsed, because so it pleased God, who vseth outward things as he pleaseth, and leaueth them also when he will, and the number of times vsed onely for exercise of his faith and obedience. As he brought the children of Israel to the land of Canaan af­ter many years triall, which he could haue giuen farre sooner if he would. He could by and by haue released Ioseph frō his wrong­full imprisonment if he would, yet he let him alone a long time, and all to schoole him. Dauid he could haue brought to the kingdome, with halfe the difficultie that he did if he would, & haue deliuered also Da­niel and the thrée children, before euer they had come into such daunger: but thus he [Page 22] thought good to exercise their faith, patience and hope, that much more they might shine hauing thus bene tryed. And this is a note for all wearie suters in this place to take with them.Wearie su­ [...]ers comfort If it pleased God he could effect your desires, and dispatch you away in a day, but then should not you know, what perhaps thus you learne, neither inward faith receiue such frutefull exercise, as thus it doth, looking to God, hoping in God, and resting vpon God, to receiue frō him what shall be best, and in such time and space as shall be best. Yet may I not say that your profiting any way by your delayes may be a iust excuse to them, that without any néed are causes of the same. For surely the Lord would haue all honest sutes with conue­nient spéede euer dispatched: and that made Moses first sit him selfe from morning to night, and after to chuse others his coadiu­tors in that businesse, that men might more quickly and easily be reléeued. And thus much briefly of Namans healing.

The fourth and last thing is his thank­fulnes when he was healed,Namans [...]ankfulnes. set downe in words & in déeds, to God, and to the Pro­phet, and that not formally but vehement­ly performed. [...] words. His thankfulnes to God in [Page 23] words, that he knew now there was no God in all the world but in Israel. In deeds. In déeds, that he would thence forth offer neither burnt sacrifice, nor offring vnto any other God saue vnto the Lord. Both words and déeds a duetie swéete, performed as it should be in any man. For what may the Lord more iustly require for his mercies and benefits then a thankfull heart? Performe this and performe but duetie,Good men euer thank­full▪ yet performe this and performe what God estéemeth highly, and what godly men haue euer performed zea­lously. Iacob the great Patriarch, when he considered what he had béene, and what he was, and by whose meanes he was what he was, how brake out the flame of such swéete féeling into praise and prayer, say­ing:Gen. 32. 10. O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, &c. I am not wor­thy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shewed vnto thy seruant, for with my staffe came I ouer this Iorden, and now haue I gotten two bands, &c. God make them that haue gotten two bands with Iacob, beginning but with their staffe, as thankfull to the giuer as Ia­cob was.

What felt Dauid when he cried, Quid [Page 24] retribuam? What shall I giue, what shall I giue to the Lord for his benefites bestowed vpon me? When againe he cried,Psal. 103. O my soule praise the Lord, and all that is within me praise his holy name: O my soule praise the Lord and forget not, forget not, forget not his benefites, which gaue thee pardon for thy sinnes, &c. That is, which hath done this, and done that, and done a thousand things for thée. When againe he cryed, O Salomon (my sonne) know the God of thy father. [...] Chro. 28. That is, that preserued thy father, exalted thy father, set vp thy father, so greatly, so graciously, so mercifully and so bountifully, as euer man was. Know him (I say my sonne) and serue him with a per­fite heart and a willing minde, &c. What felt the blessed virgine Marie? when she cryed,Luc. 1. My soule doth magnifie the Lord, &c. with thousands mo I might name, euer féeling, and euer thankfull for mer­cies receiued. The contrarie, to wit a dull and dead heart in this behalfe, is as odious on the other side, and as damnable as this is swéete and acceptable: witnes the Lord Iesus, one for all, and once for all, when he said Were there not tenne clensed, [...]uc. 17. where are then the other nine? Behold there is not [Page 25] found that returneth to giue thankes but this one: As if he should haue said, O sinne of sinnes, vgly and monstrous, so manie cleansed and so few thankfull. One wri­teth a Commentarie vpon the booke of Wisdome,Holcot in Sap. and there in the end telleth cer­taine stories moralizing vpon thē, amongst which this is one:A storie of an vnthank­full woman. That a certaine woman named Nephastes being with child, went into the Temple of the gods to aske what it might be that she went withall? Vnto which desire of hers one of the gods answe­red, Faetus tuus filius est, & dabo pulchritu­dinem: Thy child is a sonne, and I will giue him beautie. Another, Faetus tuus filius est, & dabo fortitudinem: Thy child is a sonne, and I will giue it strength. The third, Faetus tuus filius est & dabo diuitias: Thy child is a sonne and I will giue him riches. Thrée great gifts, beautie, fortitude and riches: yet (saith the storie) the mother made a truth at all these, because her hart wished somwhat else, that was not named: to wit, fauour of great personages and long life. Which when the gods saw, to reward vnthankful­nesse with a condigne punishment, they chaunged their giftes, and he that said he would giue beautie, gaue the child when it [Page 26] was borne the head of an ape, he that said he would giue strength, gaue it for hands goose féete, and for armes goose legges: the third that said he would giue riches, Dedit excoriatum, gaue it so bare that it had not so much as any skin vpon it. Thus was vnthankfulnes punished, and be if storie or fable, or whatsoeuer, the drift of it is Gods truth, as true as God, that vnthank­fulnes is odious to the Lord. Naman there­fore a blessed man that had such a féeling heart of Gods goodnes towards him.

But was he onely thankful?Naman with an edge thankfull, & so ought we. No (I say) but with an edge he was thankfull, & that also is to be noted. His words haue an em­phasis in them, and a vehemencie: No God, no God, no God, but the God of Israel: I wil neuer sacrifice to any else, neuer, neuer, Yea God be mercifull vnto me when I shall but bow downe in the house of Rimmon, by reason of the king my master leaning vpon my shoulder, God (I say) be mercifull vnto me and forgiue, but euen thus much decli­ning from this my God, that hath thus healed me, &c. All which words we sée haue heate in them, and procéede from a heart that is throughly touched. Away then (saith this example) with all formall and frosen [Page 27] thanks,Word di [...] thankful [...] such as commeth not from the hart, and therfore hath scarse power to come out of the mouth, but halfe cleaueth in the téeth: Such neuer God loued, such neuer Gods children vsed or liked. Mad Machiauel tal­keth in this as in other dueties of religion, of a séeming, and not a being: but as good a politician as he, and farre better, saith, O dogma, ad principis perniciem pariter & subditorū. Lipsius, N [...] polit. To seeme not to be. O rule tending to the subuersion both of Prince and people. Whatsoeuer men say, the truth of God saith, thankfulnes to God is to be perfourmed, not in shew, but in truth: not for forme, but with féeling, as here did Naman. For what is that fire that the Lord Iesus baptizeth with all,Matth. 3. is it colder then water?Act. 2. Why came the holy ghost vpon the Apostles like tongues of fire? Surely these places tell vs that heat in heart, and heat in tongue is whersoeuer Gods spirite ruleth: and if where there is some warmth, that is a lukewarmnes,Reuel. 3. yet there the Lord threatneth destruction and confusion: saying, He will vomit such out of his mouth: how much more where there is none at all? no not euen so much as a lukewarmnes, but onely a séeming, to sooth the world withall, and no more. Far there­fore [Page 28] from all Gods children be this wicked paradox, and in stéede thereof this example of Naman thus vehemently féeling, & spea­king, togither with that most certaine and sure truth, that Religiosa pietas solum im­mobile fundamentum. Religious pietie not seeming pietie, is the onely immouable foundati­on euer to any man. Thus was he thankfull towards God. Lastly is to be considered his thankfulnes also towards the Prophet, to­gither with the earnestnes thereof againe, and so to end.

His thankfulnes to the Prophet is set downe in these words, [...]amans [...]ankfulnes [...] the Pro­ [...]het. I pray thee take a reward of thy seruant: testifying thereby, that his heart felt with a swéete tast the be­nefite done vnto him by his ministerie: a thing which likewise God euer required, and men of vertue haue euer perfourmed, as might by sundrie scriptures be shewed if it were néedfull.Our vngrat­full dayes. But alas the dayes and times wherin we liue, as farre from swéet conceipts towards men by whom we haue béene pleasured, as euer any dayes since the world began.Galath. 4. 15 The Galathians, when saint Paul had taught thē the word of God, opened their vnderstanding and brought them to the faith, thought the verie eyes in [Page 29] their heads not to much to bestow on him. We in stéede of giuing eyes, could finde in our heart to take the eies of them that haue begotten vs vnto Christ, and are the mini­sters by whom either first we beléeued, or at least were greatly increased and profi­ted in beliefe. God turne our hearts and lay not to our charge in his iudging day what the true teachers of Gods eternal te­stimonies find at our hands in these dayes. But do we deale thus onely with the mi­nisters? No, euen the ciuill Magistrate, whose cares and toyles, no loue, no life, no death cā euer requite, drinketh of the same cup, and receiueth the same measure at our hands as the ministers do: for we raile, we rime, we gird, we glance, we tel old wiues tales of them also.Note this storie. Plutarch reporteth of some Grecians in the life of Flaminius, that Philip being ouercome, and liberty proclai­med vnto them by Flaminius, they cryed with such vehemencie [...], Sauiour, Sauiour, that the verie foules in the aire fell downe dead with the sound of the crie, and they so pressed to sée the face of him that was so good vnto them, that time it was for Flaminius to make away, lest the vehemencie of the people might haue ouer­runne [Page 30] and crushed both him and others.good [...]ued far [...]e this. Here was loue and thankfulnes we sée most vehement. God doth know, and our soules and consciences testifie vnto vs this day, how farre we excéede these Grecians in fréedome and mercies bestowed vpon vs, not by a Romaine or Heathen, but by a most Christian Quéene and gracious go­uernour ouer vs (his hand and power that hitherto hath done it, long mercifully pre­serue her to vs.) Where be our cries with these Grecians [...], Sauiour, Sauiour? (Who is me to speak it) some of vs crie, and too manie of vs crie in stéede of this, No church, no sacraments, no ministers, no discipline at all, and therefore we must leaue all open assemblies in this land, and combine our selues togither to erect a forme according to our wils, in woods, in fields, in holes and corners where we can: Yea with more wo I speake it, some feare not to write, Pharao of Egypt gaue the Israe­lites leaue to worship God truely, [...]e pamph­ [...] vpon [...]atth. 23. but our Magistrates, If they should giue vs leaue yet could we not be suffered for such and such. Making an If, after these infinite mercies powred vpon vs by God, in the gracious gouernment we liue vnder, and [Page 31] casting downe the gouernours in merit to­wards vs, beneath Pharao of Egypt. O sin­full If, O damnable and vnduetifull If. If this be our thankfulnes towards mē, from whom we haue receiued health, and health not of bodie as here Naman did, but of soule and bodie infinite and vnknowne wayes, without doubt we be no Namans, a man may sweare we be no Namans, nor Greci­ans that so felt the friendship of Flaminius, nor men in this behalfe of ciuill vertue: God make vs in the end good subiects.

But from whence might this great vn­thankfulnes both to Magistrate & Minister arise & flow in these men? Surely the verie foūtaine is this (as I thinke) that they may not be suffered by either of them to alter and chaunge the lawes they like not of at their pleasures, not considering, or regar­ding, as may be thought, with that stayed­nesse of head and trembling of heart that were to be wished, what either the wisdom of God hath set downe in his word, in con­science to be followed, or what wisedome of men in gouernment and pollicie expert, haue deliuered, in discretion to be regar­ded. For the word of God, me thinke the place in the Prouerbes in stéede of manie [Page 32] moe should greatly moue vs, where the Spirit of God saith thus. [...]rou. 34. 21. [...]c. My sonne feare the Lord and the king, and medle not with them that are seditious, for their destruction shall arise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both? That are seditious, saith the English, but that are Changers or Variers saith the Hebrue gnim shonim. And that we might vnderstand what Va­riers and Chaungers are meant, Tremel­lius and Iunius say thus: Cum varijs, id est, variantibus & perfringentibus leges Dei & suorum Principum. Denique deficientibus vita sua immorigera à reuerentia Dei & Regis. With Variers, that is variers and brea­kers of the lawes of God and of their own Princes.Changers of Princes laws And finally by their vndutifull and disobedient life, making default of re­uerence to God and Prince. Cum mutanti­bus, say others,Lauaterus in Prou. scilicet leges, consuetudines, ritus bonos, statum regni. With chaungers, to wit, of lawes, customes, good rites, and state of a kingdome. With these my sonne meddle not, but feare the Lord & the king. For the destruction of such men shalbe sud­den, and who knoweth the ruine of them both? For the writings of men let Austin both for learning,Testimonies of men. vertue, and experience [Page 33] weigh somthing with vs, who setting down that chaunges sometimes may be either by adding or detracting,Epist. 18. yet setteth this down as a most tryed truth, that when a chaunge is made, Quae adiuuat vtilitate, perturbat nouitate. What it profiteth by his goodnesse, it troubleth with his newnesse. Worthie is the place aduised reading, and religious marking, if we regard any mens iudge­ments but our owne.Innouation Others haue ioyned with this iudgement of Austin fitly & fully if néede were to shew many. Tutissime a­gunt qui praesentibus moribus legibusue etiamsi deteriores sint, Alcibiad apud Thu. lib. 6. minimum variantes, rempublicam administrant. [...] [...]. They deale most safely that varying as litle as may be from pre­sent lavves and manners in vse, [...]. gouerne the common vvealth thereby, although they bee somevvhat vvorse. [...]. Positas semel leges con­stanter seruate, [...]. nec vllā earum mutate. Nam quae in suo statu eademue manent, etsi de­teriora sint, tamen vtiliora sunt Reipublicae his, quae per innouationē vel meliora indu­cuntur. Lawes once established keep constantly, Apud Dion. 52. neither chaunge anie of them. For things which remaine in their state and the same, although they be vvorse, yet are more profitable to the common vvealth, then those vvhich by innoua­tion [Page 34] are brought in better. [...]neca [...]pist. Non conualescit planta quae saepius trāsfertur. The plant that is often remoued doth not prosper. [...]uint. lib. 3. [...]stitut. Sperne cir­ca te nouatores, qui vt aliquid videantur af­ferre sui, etiam recta cōmutant. Despise about thee innouators, who that they may seeme to bring something of their owne, chaunge euen right things. Many such things out of wise mens writings might be alledged. By which all, as by these now named, my con­science profiteth but only thus: Not to think that what man doth, may neuer be chaun­ged or bettered, for I haue approued Au­stins iudgement before to the contrary, but to learne as much reuerēce towards things established by graue and godly aduise, as possibly there may appeare cause in them, to hate rash businesse, and busie rashnesse, and if things must and ought to be chaun­ged in déede, then to do it, if I were a doer, or to séeke it, if I be a séeker, as that wise O­rator sayd, Quam minimo sonitu. With as litle noise as may be. Cicero ad Attic. lib. 11. Epist. 9 Thus in mine opinion might we somewhat lessen the cause, and drie vp the fountaine from whence sprin­geth ingratitude now named towards Ma­gistrates and Ministers, and make vs crie, as thankfully as euer the Grecians did, of [Page 35] whom I haue spoken, or as Naman the As­syrian doth, whom now we intreat of. God guide vs and direct vs in his mercie.

The heat I said of Namans thankfulnes was to be obserued,Naman ha [...] tely thankfull to man not formal [...] which god his wisdome hath not concealed, but purposely noted in this (He would haue compelled him.) It affoordeth vs this doctrine, that it is not enough when we haue receiued a benefite from men, to vtter a few formall thanks, or to conceiue a few fine phrases, but both man ioyeth in and God himselfe requireth a heat, a zeale, an earnest, faithfull, and feeling thanksgiuing after God the giuer, to man the meanes of his mercie towards vs. Naman had it here in the text, and God will not conceale it, but vtter it for our knowledge. The Leaper cleansed in the Gospel, turned backe, fell downe on his face at Iesus féete,Luke 16. 17. and with a lowd voyce gaue him thanks: all words and gestures of heat and hartinesse in this duetie. The blind man when he had receiued sight, Fol­lowed Iesus, and praised him: followed him (saith the storie) which was heate, when a frosen zeale would haue slipt away after a few formall words. What heartie heate was in Marie for good receiued, when she [Page 36] lay at his féete, and with teares that came from a rauished heart washed them, and wiped them with the haires of her head. Was this an ordinarie thankfulnes, or a heat in her, honoured by God himselfe, and in vs assured euer of blessing, if we haue it? Thankfull therefore we ought to be not onely to God but to men, for so was Na­man, and that feruently, not falsely, for so was Naman.

Why the Prophet would not receiue this offred gift at Namans hands,Why the Prophet re­fused his gift two cau­ses may be coniectured: One, that he might bréed in Naman a conceipt of difference in him, and all true Prophets, from false dis­semblers, where of then were many, with whom all was fish that came to net. Ano­ther, that he might hereby occasion Naman to thinke of God, as the onely giuer, wor­ker, and effecter of his health, and not of any vertue in him (the Prophet) thereunto, which happely he might haue done, if his gift had bene receiued.A care of our name. This teacheth vs a doctrine of care to preserue our honest esti­mation in the world with all men, as we may well,Not to rob God of glo­rie. and not to robbe God of his glo­rie by ignorance in men to discerne aright, but the time is gone: The God of mercie [Page 37] and power giue his word a blessing, make it a sauour of life vnto life to vs, and let it neuer be a sauour of death vnto death: In­crease our knowledge, but increase our obedience also according to our knowledge, that we may not onely know what to do, but do it euerie day, and euerie way more and more through Iesus Christ our Lord, who with the father and the holy ghost, be blessed, praised, and honoured now and for euermore, Amen.


Faults escaped.

Pag. 13. for [...] read [...], for [...] read [...]. Pag. 33. in the margent, for Epist. 18. read Epist. 118. Pag. 14. read the Welch note thus. Tri feth sydd anodd y ddynabod, dyn, derwen, a duwarnod. Pag. 19. line. 21. for confirme, read confound.



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