[Page] A comfortable Sermon of Faith, in temp­tations and afflictions. Preached at S. Botulphes wyth­out Aldersgate in London, the. xv. of Februarye. 1573. By Maister VVilliam Fulke, Doctor of Diuinitie.

1. IOHN. 5. 4. ¶ All that is borne of God, ouercommeth the world: and this is the victorye that ouercommeth the world, euen our fayth.

Imprinted at London by Iohn Awdeley, dwellyng in little Brittaine streete with­out Aldersgate. 1574.

¶ To the right worshipfull and godly Gentlewoman Maistres Mary Harrys Wyddow.

I Haue alwaies liked well (as you know) the plaine dealing of our friend Maister Fulke wyth the Scriptures of God, which is so much the more commendable in him, as he is berter able to make a shew in the perswasible wordes of mans wisedome, if he were disposed, For although he be ig­norant of no kynde of learning, by which a man might set forth him selfe vnto the world, and vnderstandeth more straunge languages then a great number of our bre­thren: yet when he sheweth the testimo­ny of God, he taketh not vpon hym to know any thing as saint Paule sayrh, but Iesus Christ, and him crucified. For by this foolishnes of preachyng the wyse­dome, power, and goodnes of God appea­reth greatest, and woorketh most essectu­ally [Page] in them that are the children of God. And therefore I maruail not, if you which haue heard hym and others that vse the same simplicitie in teaching, do couet ro heare them still, where as many are more desirous of variety to delight their itching eares, then carefull of sound doctrine, to conuert their synfull hartes. But where as you wer not onely content to haue heard this Sermon preached once at Saynt Bo­tulphes without Aldersgate in London, but that you did instantly desire to haue the copy thereof, that you might reade it often: As it was godly for you to require it, so it was hard for me to obtayne it. For our friende wyll sooner be intreated to preach ten Sermons, then to wryte one. Neuerthelesse at the length by many per­swasions hee was ouercome to put it in writing, so that I got the copy out of hys handes, which now I send vnto you, not doubting but you wyll vse it, both to the renuing of your own remembraunce, and [Page] to the profit of many others.

I neede not to adde any commenda­tion of the matter, especially to you which knoweth it, and as to any others, I wysh them first to reade it, and then to iudge of it as they shal finde it. Thus I commit you to God.

Yours to commaund in the Lord. I. Y.

A Sermon preached in S. Botulphes Church without Al­dersgate in London, the 15 day of February. 1573. by Maister Wylliam Fulke Doctor of Deuinitie.
[Page]¶ A comfortable Sermon of fayth,

Mathew. 15. 21.

¶ And Iesus departing from thēce, went aside into the partes of Tyre and Sydon. verse 22 And behold a certain woman which was a Cana­nite comming out of those quarters, cryed out vnto him saying: Haue mercy vpon me Lord thou sonne of Dauid, my daughter is pitiously tormented with a Diuell. verse 23 But he answered her not a word. And hys Dis­ciples came vnto hym, and besought hym, saying: Send her away, for she cryeth after vs. verse 24 But he aunswered and sayd, I was not sent but to the lost sheepe of the house of Israel. verse 25 Then she came and woorship­ped hym saying: Lord helpe me. verse 26 But he answered: It is not good to take the chil­drens bread, and to cast it to Dogs. verse 27 But she sayd: True Lord, but yet the dogs eate of the crooms that fall from theyr Lordes table. verse 18 Then Iesus answered and sayd vn­to her: O woman, great is thy fayth: Be it vnto thee as thou wylt. And her daughter was healed from the same houre.

THis part of scripture (beloued in our sauiour Christ) declareth how our sa­uiour Christ begā to shew some bright beames of his grace vnto the Gentyls. For although the ful time wer not yet come, that he should shew him selfe openly vnto the whole world, yet by this and such like exam­ples he would geue some foretaste of his goodnes, which afterward should be offered vni­uersally. Euen as the Sun before it ascende in the Mornyng aboue the vpper face of the earth where we dwell, yet casteth vp some beames of hys lyght, wherby we know that he shal shortly arise: so our sauiour Christ, by stretching forth some fruit of hys grace vnto the heathen would geue good hope of that cō ­mon mercye, which shortly afterward was exhibited both to the Iewes and the Gentils indefferētly. Which thing is both profitable and comfortable for vs that are of the Gen­tils to consider, that we may know by what meanes & degrees the Gospel which is ye po­wer of God to saluatiō, was brought vnto vs

Ther is also set forth in this Gospel a won­derfull commendation of a most strong & in­uincible faith in a woman that was a Cananite, to set forth the great infidelitye & ingratitude of the Iewes, y wer the chosen people of God: yt by comparyng them together, we [Page] might vnderstād how iustly the Iewes wer depriued of the promised redemption, which so disdainfully reiected it beyng offered, that the Heathē so willingly embraced whē they heard of it. Which thing also we may note in the occasion of his departure out of the land of Iewrye into the partes of Tyre & Sidon, which the Euangelist discribeth to be this, in the begining of this chapter. The Scribes & Pharises that came frō Ierusalem, picked a quarel against him, because his disciples did eate wt vnwashed hands, wherby they trans­gressed the tradition of the Elders: our saui­our Christ in defēce of his disciples, chargeth ye Scribes & Pharises which wer so zealous to mayntame their own ceremonies, yc they were careles to breake the cōmaundemēt of God. And so it cōmeth to passe alwaies, that they which are most earnest in vpholding & defending traditions & ceremonies inuented by man, are most forgetful in keping the cō ­maundementes of God. But this is the iust iudgement of God against those yt inuent a new worship of their own brain: That first they léese their labour, that so séeke to please God: & secondly that they are depriued of al right vnderstāding, because they haue presu­med to be wiser then God. And therfore our sauiour Christ cōfuteth them by the testimo­nye [Page] of Esay, wher God complaineth that the hiprotical people came neare vnto him with Esay. 29. their mouth, & honoured him with their lyps, but their hart was far frō him: And, in vaine do they worship me (sayth God) whyle they teach doctrines that are the precepts of men. Therfore I wil againe do a meruelous work in this people euen a meruelous worke and a wonder: for the wisedome of their wyse men shal perish, and the vnderstanding of the pru­dent men shalbe hyd. And as the same Pro­phet threatneth in another place: Their eies shall be blynded that they shall not see, theyr Esay. 8. eares stopped that they shall not heare, their harts made grosse yt they shal not vnderstād, least they sée with their eyes, and vnderstand with their hartes and be conuerted, and God should heale them. This got the hye Priests, Scribes & Pharises by multiplying their ce­remonies, & namely ablutions and washings, It is true that God in the law cōmaunded di­uers Leuit. 15. Num. 19. ablutions & washings, which did rather testify their vncleanes, thē purge away their filthines: but they had added many others, as washing of cups & cruises, dishes & platters, brasen vessels and tables, & often washing of Mark. 7. their hands before they did eate, & especialy if they had come from the market, they myght not eate before they had washed their hands, [Page] rant: they were Iewes, she was a Gentile: they were of the blessed séede of Abraham, she was of the curssed race of Canaan: they were of the chosen people of Israel, she was of the excommunicate & castout people of the Cana­nites: they wer brought vp in the knowledge of God & his lawes, euen from their infancy, she was brought vp in the supersticiōs of ido­latry: they were Doctors & teachers of Gods people, she had but smal knowledge, as one yt was an Heathen womā, and therfore might not come into the congregation where Gods people were taught. Yet they reiected Christ when he was offered, she folowed Christ whē he departed from her: They were Infidels, she was faithful, and endued with such faith as might be a shame to al the Israelites that began so long before her, & yet wer left so far behind her. For of her it might be said which our sauiour Christ speaketh of the faith of the Centurion: Verely I haue not found such faith in Israel. The Centurion was an Heathen Math. 8. man, a Romane, a man of warre that came to subdue the slauish nation of ye Iewes, yet God gaue him so great fayth, that he excelled euen the Israelites them selues. And surely if the circumstances of this poore womans faith be considered, it shal appeare far more excellent then hys. And especially if we behold wyth [Page] what bitter temptatiōs her faith was exami­ned and tryed, we shall playnly confesse how far it passed: for her fayth was tried vnto the vttermost. And first wyth great and extreme aduersitie: for her Daughter was miserably tormented wyth a Deuyll.

Good Lord what a temptacion was thys to her that was of the curssed stocke of the Cana nites, which Gods people were commaunded vtterly to destroy, & to make no leage or coue­nant with them: then hauing newly forsakē the religion of her forefathers & people where she lyued, & lately receiued the religion of the Iewes? What a great temptacion (I say) was it to her, that her daughter should be pos sessed with the Deuil? She might either haue thought that she had made an euil chaunge of her old religion, to be thus welcomed by the Deuil into a new religion: Or els, that God the author of this religion, would not accept her to be one of his worshippers, being a cur­sed. Cananite, & therfore suffered the deuyl to haue such power ouer her daughter, as that he did wholy possesse her, and miserably torment her. For of al aduersities that can be laid vpō a man or a woman this goeth nerest, to make them think they are out of the fauour of God, to behold that they are geuen ouer as it wer a pray into the Deuils possessiō. The losse of [Page] tion was openly talked of among the Iewes, so the promises of God concernyng Christ their Redéemer were commonly knowen a­mong them, as: That all nations of the world should be blessed in him: That whosoeuer cal­leth Genes. 12. and, 8. and, 12. vpon the name of the Lord, shal be saued: That he shal deliuer the poore when he crieth, the needy also, and him that hath no helpe: He shal be mercyful to the poore & nedy, & shal Ioel. 2. preserue the soules of the poore: He shall re­deeme their soules from deceit & violence, and Psal. 72. deare shall their bloud be in his sight: That he that putteth his trust in him, shall not be con­founded. Esay. 28. Upon these and such lyke generall promises of God, contained in the old Testa­ment, her faith was builded & founded so sted­fastly, that no storme of temptacion was able to ouerthrow it. Which thing is very neces­sary for vs to consider, that when our fayth shalbe tried & examined, as this womās was, we may know how to wythstand all the as­saultes of most gréeuous temptacions, as she did. That the trial of our faith, which is much 1. Pet. 1. more precious then gold yt perisheth (though it be tryed by fire) myght be found vnto our prayse, honor & glory at the appearing of our Lorde Iesus Christ. Let vs therefore make much of the general promises of God, let vs willingly embrace thē, diligently wey them, [Page] and dayly remember them: For in them our faith being grounded, it shal stand like a most sure bulwark & inuincible fortres against ani thing yt shal assault our euerlasting saluatiō.

Upon this boldnes & confidence this wret­ched woman commeth vnto Christ. For thus her fayth concludeth: Seyng all nations of the world shalbe blessed in him, the very Ca­nanites are not excluded. For although the Cananites wer once curssed of God aboue al other natiōs, yet by this blessed séed al cursse should be taken away, seing he is not restrai ned to one nation more then another, but is the cōmon blessing vnto al nations. And se­ing he shal heare the poore that cry vnto him, & succour the néedy that hath none other hel­per, he must heare me also being so poore a creature & helples that crieth vnto him. And for asmuch as whosoeuer putteth his trust in him, shal not be confounded, he cānnot refuse my humble request, yt repose my whole trust and confidence in him. Therefore she is bold with open mouth to cry out vnto him: O lord thou Sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon me.

These words are diligently to be conside­red: first that through confidence of fayth, al­though he do not cal vnto her, yet she cryeth after him. And the vehemency of her request is expressed by the word of crying, y she doth [Page] not speake vnto him, but with opē mouth she cryeth vnto him. For a strong faith sendeth forth earnest requestes, as a foeble faith vtte­reth cold & formall praiers. And concerning the forme of her peticiō, it declareth that her faith was not a conceued fantesy of her own braine, but an assured perswasion out of the word of God. For seing ye Messias was pro­mised to be the sonne of Dauid, & that al feli­city was promised in ye kingdome of Dauid, according to the holy oracles of God, she cal­leth Christ the sonne of Dauid. For she had learned yt God said of Messias, figured in the 2. Sam. 17 person of Salomon, which was the sonne of Dauid: I wyl be his father, and he shall be my 1. Cro. 22. sonne. She had heard the prophecy of Esay, ye God promised that out of the old withered Esay. 11. stump of I say the father of Dauid, a rod shuld come forth, & a graffe should grow out of his rootes: the spirit of ye Lord shal rest vpō him: the spirit of knowledge & vnderstandyng. &c. And that which Ieremy writeth of the righ­teous braunch that God would raise vp vnto Dauid, which king should raigne and execute iudgement, whose name should be, The Lord Iere. 23. and. 33. our righteousnes: Upon these or such like pla­ces of Scripture her faith was grounded, by which she had learned to cal him the sōne of Dauid. Wherby she declared yt she acknow­ledged [Page] him to be the same which was descri­bed & set forth in the scriptures, & that she loo­ked to obtain at his hands those things which were promised of him in the scriptures. In which it was promised yt he should heare the cry of the poore when thei made their humble Esay. 22. supplication to hym: that he shuld succour ye afflicted, who had none to help them: that he Math. 8. Luke. 4. Math. 11. should take vpon him al our infirmities, and beare all our diseases: that he should preach sight to the blynde, lyms to the lame, lyfe to the dead, & deliuerance to al that ar afflicted.

This request of hers therfore, being in the compasse of those thinges which wer promi­sed to be graunted by him, she is bold to call & cry vnto him, saying: O Lord, thou sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon me, my daughter is miserably tormented with a diuel. And note yt she desireth hym to bee mercyfull vnto her, wher as her sute chiefly cōcerned her daugh­ter. For not onely the naturall loue of her daughter made her to accompt ye miseries of her childe to be her own griefe, but also she acknowledgeth that God in plaging of her daughter, plageth the mother also, & therfore she desireth Christ to haue mercy, pity & com­passion of her self, as wel as of her daughter. And further note, yt she challengeth nothing by desert, merit, or worthynes, but onely of [Page] some comfort of deliueraunce. So thys poore woman no doubt reioyced not a litle, whē she heard that Christ was come into those quar­ters: but when she commeth vnto him, whom she was glad that she had found, she findeth no comfort at al in him, but great discourage­ment & discomfort, if any thing could discou­rage a strong & lyuely faith. We sée therfore what a strong temptacion her faith endured.

But it is maruel how she could retain such constancie of faith, when he that is the onely Author and finisher of our faith, euen Iesus Hebr. 12. Christ, disdayneth to speake to her, in whose woord all our hope and trust consisteth. But here we must vnderstand that Christ by this his silence did not reiect her sute, but rather inflamed her with greater feruency to conti­nue the same. For although he suppressed his audible voyce for a tyme, yet in tyme of thys silence he spake vnto her by two most effectu­all kindes of speaking? First, by his general promises contayned in the Scripture, which sounded so lowd cōtinually in ye eares of her hart, that by them she was assured ye Christ called her vnto him, although by his tēporal and particuler silence he séemed to reiect her from hym. Secondly, although he spake no word with his toūg, yet by his spirit he spake continually to her soule, setling & sealyng the [Page] truth of Gods promises so stedfastly in her hart, that she knew it was vnpossible for her to mysse of hys grace at the length, although for the tyme she séemed to be refused of hym. And so vndoutedly almighty God dealeth of­ten times euen with his best beloued childrē, when he differreth ye answer of their request for a time, so yt he seemeth to hold his peace, notwithstāding that he hath promised to an­swer thē when they pray. In which perplexi­tie they must remember, that how so euer he seemeth to keepe silence by not graūting their request, yet he speaketh to them continually in his promises contained in hys holy word, by which they must be assured that God wyl be mercyfull vnto them, albeit that he with­hold his promised help for a season. So Christ at one time speaketh and holdeth his peace, not to extinguish the faith of this Cananite, but rather to enflame her earnest affection in praier, which thing we sée tooke effect in her.

Then if so smal light of knowledge as was possible to be in her, according to the state of the tyme, & her own condition wrought such constancie of fayth: if so litle séede of doctrine brought foorth suche aboundant fruit: what shame is it for vs in so cleare light of the gos­pel, not to see with ye eyes of our faith the vn­moueable & vnchaungeable truth & certainty 1, Pet. 1. [Page] perish before he send his deliuerāce. For God can no more forget our delyuerance in due time, then he can deface his own glory.

And touching the meane tyme in which he suffereth vs to be afflicted, that all shall turne to our euerlasting cōfort, for thereby he trieth our faith, patience, obedience, and other ver­tues. And the tryall of our fayth, as S. Peter saith, beyng much more precious then golde which is tried in the fire & yet perisheth, shall 1. Pet. 1. be found to our prayse, honour & glory, at the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ. And lest we should doubt to faint in troubles, we are taught that God is faythful, & wyll not suffer vs to be tempted aboue our strength, but in al 1. Cor. 10. perplexities & most desperate cases wil open a way howe we shall auoide them. For as he sendeth vs affliction and temptation with the one hand, so he wil send vs strength and com­fort with the other hand. And this was liuely figured in the wrestlyng of God wyth Iacob: where the Lord by wrestling & striuing wyth Genes. 23. him, seemed to fight with him with one hand, and by geuing him strength not onely to abide temptacions & afflictions, but also to preuaile and to ouercome them, he declared that he did sustayne him with the other hand.

Let vs not therefore be discomforted if God him selfe séeme to wrestle wyth vs, & to fight [Page] against vs by sending vs great troubles and temptacions, for hys purpose is in thys most noble combate, both to geue vs strength to o­uercome, and also the prayse of the victory, as s. Peter testifieth in the place euen now alled ged. Such a noble champion was this simple woman, that by fayth contended euen wyth Christ him selfe, and in the end obtayned the victory. Declaring therby, that altthough she wer a cursed Cananite according to the flesh, yet she was a true Israelite by fayth, whych preuailed euen with God him selfe. Such & so wonderful are the works of God, yt when al the glory of our saluatiō is properly his own, yet he vouchsafeth to geue vs such strength of faith, that therby we are receiued into part of that praise which is due vnto him, but yet so yt al the glory redoundeth againe from vs vnto him onely, to whom properly it belongeth.

Wel, hetherto we haue heard yt our sauiour Christ refused to speake one woord wyth hys mouth, & yet inwardly he spake by his spirite to her mynde: It followeth now in the text, That his Disciples came vnto him & besought him saying: Send her away, for she crieth after vs. Here his Disciples do not intreate hym to shew her any fauour, but onely to dispatch her either one way or other, because she made such a bawling and crying after them, yt they [Page] were ashamed to heare her. And herein as in many other thinges reuealed in the history of the Gospell, they take vpon them to be wyser thē their Maister. For if he had thought it cō ­uenient, he would haue dispatched her sooner, for he heard her importunate outeries as wel as they, but hée respected another matter, which they could not conceiue. It were best therfore for men to let God alone wt hys own affaires, & not to presume to geue him counsel what he hath to doo, but rather to looke what he cōmaundeth them to do, & therin to occupy their heads & their hands. But such curiosity raigneth in many mens minds, that they had rather take vpon them to teach God how hée should gouerne the world, then submit them selues quietly to obey his cōmaundements.

But the Papists are here to be pytied, that for lacke of better arguments to proue the in­uocation of sayntes, are fayne to abuse this place of ye Apostels request, to haue this wo­man dispatched: But alas we what colour or likelyhood of reason? For first this womā de­sireth none of them all to be her spokesman, but crieth vnto the Maister him self: O Lord thou sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon me. Secondly, they make no intercession for her, but onely desire that she might be sent away, because she troubled them. But whether she [Page] obtained her request or no, al was one to thē, so they might be rid of the exclamation & out­cry that she made after them, to cause all the world to wonder at them. Thirdly, Christ graūteth nothing at their request, but rather flatly denieth yt he wyl haue any thing to do with her. Fourthly, if she had praied to them, and they made intercession for her, & obtained their desire: yet there is great difference be­twene praying to them that are dead, & pray­ing to them that be alyue. And therefore it is maruel what they meane to gather an ar­gument for the inuocation of dead Sayntes out of this place, where neither the woman praieth to the Apostles, nor the Apostels pray for her, nor Christ graūteth any thing at their request, & beside all this, the Apostles wer not dead, but alyue. They should haue smal com­fort I trow in this example: yet such for all the world be the rest of their argumēts. The virgin Mary praied for the Bridegrome whē she sayd, They haue no wyne: If this was a Iohn. 2. request, what was her answer? woman what haue I to do wyth thee? But aboue the rest they haue one notable example of the rytch man, that being in ye torments of hel, prayed Luke. vnto Abraham. No doubt a worthy example for vs to folow, that of a damned spirit in hel we must learn to make our praiers to saynts [Page] in heauen. By such authority the doctrine of Deuils may wel be established: but the chil­dren of God are taught an other forme of praier by their heauenlye Schoolemaister. But what remedy found the ritch man by praying to Abraham, that we might be encouraged by his example to pray to Saints? He made two requests, & neither of them both was graun­ted. Alas what comfort should any man take by these examples to pray to dead Saintes? & yet these be the best reasons they haue out of the scripture. Sure it is a pityfull case, that men wyl leaue God, who hath commaunded vs to call vpon him, & promised to heare vs, Psal. 50. to call vpon dead men, to whom we haue no commaundenent, nor example of any godly person to pray, neyther haue they made any promise: neyther if they had made any pro­mise, were they able to performe it.

But let vs leaue the Papistes wyth their woful argumentes, & returne to the Apostels in their request made vnto Christ: Dismisse her (say they) for she cryeth after vs. By these words we may easely perceue how im­portunately she continued her sute, although he held his peace, and answered her not one word: for styl she cried & was nothing discou­raged, whereby we sée that this first repulse did so litle deminish her desire, that it kindled [Page] it more & more. And so doth God often tymes in suspending & differring the answer & effect of our prayers, prouoke vs most earnestly to pray: both that we may know of whom we haue receyued a benefit, & that we may the more estéeme it when we haue it, & so render worthy thanks to him that is the author of it For such is our malignitie, that if we be pre­uented with Gods benefites (as often times we are) or els obtaine them immediatly vpō our request, we forget that we receiued them of God, & so become vnthankfull for thē. Also we do not greatly estéeme those things which we haue not long wanted, nor much desired, wherby, as for smal benefits & not great gifts we render slender thankes to God. Therfore God in great wisdom prolongeth some times the performāce of his promised benefits, that men myght acknowledge of whom they ob­tayn them, worthely esteeme them, thankful­ly receiue them, and profitably employ them.

But now let vs sée what answer our saui­our Christ maketh to the request of hys Dis­ciples: I am not sent (sayth he) but vnto the lost shepe of the house of Israel. An vncomfor table answer doubtles to the poore woman, wherby he pronoūceth that he hath no cōmis­sion of God to do any thing for her, in asmuch as his vocatiō extended onely to ye Israelits, [Page] was promised, for vnto thē all it was first of­fered: which because it was of them refused, it was afterwárd made cōmon vnto the Gen­tiles. For our sauiour Christ acknowledgeth a lytle before hys passion, that he hath other shéepe which wer not of the Iewish fold, whō he must bryng home, that there may be one Iohn. 10. told, as there is but one Pastor. And in that most earnest and harty praier which he made immediatly before his death, wherin he com­mendeth to God the preseruation of his Dis­ciples, whom hée sent to conuert the whole world, hee prayeth generally for hys whole Church, collected both of the Iewes and the Gentiles, saying: I pray not onely for these, Ioh. 17. but for al thē that shall beleuein me through their preaching, that they all may be one, euen as thou father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may bee one in vs, that the world maye know that thou hast sent me. So that the Is­raelites haue now no priuiledge nor preroga­tiue aboue the Gentiles. For in Christ Iesu ther is neither Iew nor Gentile, for Christ is now as common vnto the Gentiles, as before Galat. 3. he was proper vnto the Iewes. Then seyng we be grafted into the body of Israel, this say ing is as comfortable to vs, as it was vncom­fortable to this poore woman. For Christ can now make no more excuse by his vocation, for [Page] we are al the Israel of God, though somtimes we were Gentils, now we are Citizens with the Saintes, & of the houshold of God, though sometime we wer straungers from the com­monwealth of Israel, & foreners from the co­uenants of promise. But this especially is worthy to be considered, y Christ calleth them the lost shéepe vnto whom he was sent: In which saying we haue two thynges to be ob­serued: first, that we must acknowledge that we are al lost, or els Christ hath nothing to do with vs. We must euery one confes with the Psalmist, yt I haue wandred like a lost sheepe, O seeke thou thy seruaunt. They therefore that are proud in opinion of their owne good workes, & thinke to be saued by their deserts, are not for Christ to medle wt al: for he is sent but vnto the lost shéepe of the house of Israel, or as he sayd vnto the Pharises: The whole haue no neede of the Phisition, but the sicke. First therfore we must acknowledge that we are altogether cast away, & that we haue no more wyt nor power to returne or saue our selues, then hath a shéepe that is wandring in the wildernes among the Woolues, Beares, & Lyons. Secondly, if we confesse & finde our selues to be such, then are we here comforted, yt Christ is properly appointed of God to saue the lost shéepe of the house of Israel, like as he [Page] saith in another place: The sonne of man is come to sane that which was lost. And in S. Math. 18. Lukes Gospell, concerning the conuersion of Zacheus: The sonne of man is come to seeke and to saue that which was lost. Therefore it ought to be no discomfort vnto vs to confesse yt we are vtterly lost, séeyng therby we are as­sured that we appertaine vnto Christ, who came of purpose to séeke & to saue that which was lost. O the wonderfull wisedome, power and mercy of God, shewed vs in Christ that euen then when we féele our selues lost, we are found: when we sée our selues destroyed, we are saued: when we heare our selues cō ­demned, we are iustified, onely in beleuyng these wordes: The sonne of man is come, to saue that which was lost. Let vs therefore wt inuincible courage of fayth take hold of these general promises of God, and apply them vn to our selues, as this poore woman did, & we shall finde it to bee true which our Sauiour Christ sayth vnto vs: There is nothing im­possible Math. 17. Mark. 9. &. 11. vnto hym that beleueth.

Let vs now consider the waight of this tēp­tacion, how heauy it was for the woman to beare this answer: that where as the dyd re­pose her whole confidence in him, he affirmed that he hath nothyng to do with her, because he was not sent, but vnto ye lost shéepe of the [Page] house of Israel. Of all other temptacions it is the sorest, when the word of God semeth to be contrary to our hope. As when God cōmaun­ded Abraham to kil his sonne Isaac, in whom Gene. 2 [...]. his hope was that the promise should be ful­filled, as God him selfe had said: In Isaac shal Gene. 21. Gene. 17. thy seede be called, and my couenant wil I esta­blish with Isaac. After the same maner it is here with this poore Cananite, for euen by the woord of Christ, in whom she trusted for grace, according to the promises of God con­cerning him, she is excluded frō grace, because she is a Gentile, and none of the lost shéepe of the house of Israel, to whom onely, and not to the Gentiles at that time he was sent to offer grace. What could be said more to discourage her, then to tel her that the promised redemp­tion pertayned not vnto her? Agayne, who could haue bene chosen out of al the world, to put her so much out of comfort, as Christ him selfe? For if an Angell or an Archangell had come frō heauen, & told her that Christ would not accept her peticion, & bestow his grace vp­on her, she might easely haue riected him, be­cause her faith was grounded vpon the woord of God, agaynst which if anye Angell should speake, we may hold him accursed. But whē the sonne of God him selfe, euen the promised Messias, in hys own person, and by hys own [Page] word, which is the same truth in whych the Oracles of the Prophets were deliuered, whē he him selfe refuseth her request, & denieth his grace to her, how can she retain any hope, but that her faith is quite ouer come, & all comfort taken away from her? And yet so mighty and strong was the fortresse of her faith, that this most bitter assaut preuailed not to ouerthrow it. For as though she had felt no discomfort at al by this his answer, she approcheth nere vn to him, & falling downe before him, she conti­nueth her humble sute, saying: Lord help me.

And here we may sée how much true fayth differeth from proude presumption: yea, we may plainly perceiue that true faith is alway ioyned with great humility. The Papists cal the assured confidence in Gods mercy, by the odious name of presumption, but rather we may iustly cal yt proud perswasion that they haue of their own merites and deserts, by the right name of presumption. For who so tru­steth most in god, hath least opiniō of his own worthynes: as we may plainly sée in this ex­ample of the Cananitish woman, who as she had most certayne perswasion & assurance of helpe in the mercy of God, so had she no pre­sumption at al in her own worthines. And yt she declareth plainly by her humble submissi­on: Therefore she falleth downe at hys féete, [Page] most lowly beseching him to be good vnto her & to succour her. Wherby she testifieth yt she requireth nothing of dutye, in respect of her own worthines, but onely of fauour & mercy, in respect of Gods promises. Wo be therfore vnto the papists yt cal true humility presūpti­on, & contrari wise pride they terme humility.

But here we may wel doubt how the faith of this woman should be so highly cōmended, when it séemeth to presume against the word of God, wher as true faith is alway groūded vpon the word of God. And secondly, seing al ye promises of God are Yea & Amen in Christ, and be stedfast & established in Christ onely: when she heareth by Christes own mouth, yt the promised redemption pertayneth not to her, how can she continue her confidence in him? I answer, that first her faith was groū ­ded vpon the word of God, which because she knewe most certainlye to bee an vndoubted truth, she wyl not be brought from that by a­ny thing that may séeme cōtrary vnto it. And what so euer she heareth of Christ, although she do acknowledge it to be true, yet she is per swaded that it is so true, that it taketh not a­way the truth of Gods former promises. And seing Gods general promises did appertayne to her yt did beleue them, she retaineth hope a­gainst al hope. And as Abraham beleued that [Page] God would rayse vp Isaac from death to lyfe to fulfil his promise, & therfore doubted not to obey the cōmaundement of God in sacrificing hym: so thys woman doubted not, but God must nedes finde a meane wherby his promi­ses might be verified to her, howsoeuer Christ was not sent but to the lost shéepe of the house of Israel. And therfore as she doth not reason nor dispute agaynst the woord of God, so shee doth styll simply continue her sute, and saith: Lord helpe me. Which importeth as much as if she had sayd: Although thou art not sent to offer thy grace vnto the Gentils, but vnto the Iewes onely, yet in as much as God hath promised, that whosoeuer putteth his trust in thée, shal not be confounded, and I am one of Isay. 28. those that put my trust in thée, thou canst not send me away confounded, and therfore help me. For Gods promise must néedes be true.

Let vs learne here so firmly to hold the ge­neral principles of our saluation, yt we admyt nothing that may seeme contrary vnto them. For of this we may be assured, that how soe­uer any thing may seme contrary vnto them, yet frō god procedeth nothing either in word or déede that is contrary vnto them. And as for all the creatures of y world beside, if they should oppose & set them selues against them, they are not able to preuaile. Therfore saint [Page] Paule saith with great confidence: I am per­swaded Rom. 8. that neyther death nor lyfe, neyther Angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor thinges present, nor thinges to come, neyther heigth nor depth, nor any creature can seperate vs from the loue of God which is in Christ Iesus our Lord. For if God bée on our side, who can be against vs? or if any be agaynst vs, how can they be able to hurt vs? But if God him self séeme to be against vs, whō haue we then to comfort vs? For the iustice of God pronoū ­ceth damnation to all that transgres his law. But for asmuch as God of his infinite mercy hath promised saluatiō to al penitent sinners, he hath found a meane by which both hys iu­stice is satisfied, & yet no penitent sinner that beleueth his promise shalbe damned.

This onely meane is Christ our Sauiour, who by his obedience hath throughly satisfied for all our disobedience and transgression, as many as beleue to haue remission of our syns by hym. Seyng therfore we haue not onely the general promises of God contained in the old Testament, but also the ful execution, per formance & establishment of them in Christ: what shame is it for vs, to be found inferiour in faith to his Cananitish woman, which had no more but the first: wherunto neuertheles she cleaned so fast, yt by no meanes she would [Page] be drawen from them. And surelye euen the very generall promises of God are sufficient that our fayth being builded vpon them, shuld neuer be remoued. For by them God hath so bound him self vnto vs, that by no meanes he can reuoke his promised saluation. And yet for more confirmation, and to take away all scruple of doubt and wauering, as the Apostle saith to the Hebrues, he hath established them with an othe, that by two thinges immutable (in which it is impossible that God shuld lye) we might haue consolation & comfort, as ma­ny as flee for refuge to take hold of the hope that is propounded and set forth vnto vs.

Therfore the ancker of our fayth hath two most vnchaungeable holdes, namely the pro­mise of God, and the othe of God: In both which it is impossible that God shuld lye. For as it is impossible that God should lye whē he simply affirmeth: so is it more impossible (if there may be degrées in impossibilities) that God should lye when he swareth. And as it is impossible yt God shuld lye or be forsworn: so is it impossible that anye man or woman, which taketh hold of Gods promises by faith, should mysse the performance of them, what­soeuer séemeth to be lets or impediments vn­to them. For ther can be no let or impedimēt so great, as should be able to compell God to [Page] lying or periury, which be as great impossi­bilities as can be thought of. For if the gene­rall or vniuersall promises of God should not be graūted to any one person that embraceth them by faith, God should be no more true of his word & his othe, which is as impossible as that God should be no more God. For exam­ple, seyng God hath sayd: whosoeuer calleth Ioel. 2. vpon the name of the Lord, shall be saued, if I pore wretch embracing this promis of God by fayth, doo call vpon the name of the Lord, whatsoeuer lets or impediments be in the way, it is impossible but that I shall be saued. Therfore if all the Angels in heauen shuld tel me on their own credite, or as it wer by Gods commaundement, that I should be damned, I must hold them all accurssed, rather then to graunt that God should be a lyer or periured person. And for asmuch as Christ hath sayd: who soeuer beleueth and is baptised shall be saued, if I beyng baptised into the name of Christ, repose my whole trust & confidence in him: whatsoeuer can be obiected against me, I must of necessity be saued. For neither the iustice of the law, nor the gyltynes of my syn, nor the accusation of the Deuyl, nor wytnes of myne own conscience, shall be able to con­demne me, so long as I depend vpon the pro­mise of God. For there is now no condemna­tion Rom. 8. [Page] to them that are in Christ Iesu. For what soeuer can be obiected out of the word of God, how soeuer contrary at the first sight it may séeme to be, yet it is not in déede directly con­trary to these & such lyke generall promises. As these sayinges: They that are in Christ, walke not after the flesh, but after the spirite: Rom. 8. If Christ be in you, the body is dead vnto syn: They that are Christes, haue crucified the flesh Gala. 5. with the lusts and concupiscence therof. It is manifest that these and such lyke places are not to be vnderstood of perfect innocencye frée from all syn, but onely of such innocencye as is but inchoacted and begun in this lyfe, and made perfect in the lyfe to come Therfore if thou feelest in thy selfe with thy faith in God, an hatred of syn, and a desire of righteousnes, which refraineth thée from much wickednes, & styrreth thée vp to some workes of vertue, although there remaine in thée the relickes of syn, yea a lust vnto syn, contrary to the spirit of God, which also breaketh out some tymes into actual syn: yet by the spirit of Christ that dwelleth in thée, thy body is dead vnto synne, thou hast crucified the flesh with the lusts and concupiscences therof, thou walkest in the spi rit, & not in the flesh, and therfore according to Gods promis thou shalt be saued through thy fayth: For thy syns and infirmities shall not Rom. 4 [Page] be imputed vnto thée, but the righteousnes of Christ shall be imputed to thée by fayth.

Let vs therfore admit nothing yt may séeme contrary to our assured confidence, which is grounded vpon the woord of God: for in the word of God ther is nothing contrary to it, & whatsoeuer els doth wythstand it, is of no force to ouercome it. For heauen & earth shal Mat. 24 passe, but the word of God shal not passe. But let vs folow the fayth of this woman, whych though she had neuer so manye repulses, yet would she neuer be driuen away, vntyll she had obtayned her request: styll crying, Lord helpe me, as though she would say: thou mai­est wel differ thy helpe, but thou canst not de­ny it me. Yet see what answer Christ maketh vnto her: It is not good (saith he) to take the Chyldrens bread, and cast it to the whelpes, What an hard & vncurteous answer is thys? Not onely to deny her humble request, but al­so to accompt her no better thē a Dog, & to tel her that it is no more reason yt she should ob­taine her sute, then that bread should be taken from childrens mouthes, & geuen to a Dog.

What a great temptatiō was this? that he which onely hath the bread of lyfe to bestowe vpon all that he wil, doth compt her no more worthy to haue part of it, then a Dog to eate yt which is prouided for the sonnes of God. For [Page] seing that God made a couenant wyth Abra­ham & his séede, they onely wer the sonnes of God, and therfore those special graces & gifts of God that were appointed for them, were so proper vnto them, as who soeuer should make them common to the Gentils, should abolish the couenaunt of God. Christ therefore with all his benefites, was the bread appoynted to féede the holy chyldren of God, whych at that time were the Iewes onely. Al other nations of the world wer but prophane Dogs, & ther­fore not worthy to be fed with that holy bread which was ordayned for Gods own children. Therfore this Heathen woman presuming to leape vpon the table of Gods children like an vnmanerlye Cur, deserued euen lyke a Cur Dog to be beaten downe, and whipped out of the house, rather then that the childrēs bread should be taken from them, and cast vnto her: For so much is implyed in ye words of Christ. For as it were not méete for him to take the Childrens bread, and cast it to Dogs, so she like an importunate Dog, ready to pull it out of their mouthes, deserued great punishment. Alas poore woman, how could she auoyd this temptation? And yet by force of fayth shée found meanes how to wt stand this most eger assault, and in the end to obtaine the victory.

But here to beate downe the pride of the [Page] flesh, we are taught what we are al by nature and without Christ, euen no better then Cur Dogs. For this which Christ sayth of Dogs, is ment of al the Gentiles & Heathen people, as we are all. Emperours, Kings, noblemen, gentlemen, wisemen, valiant men, ritchmen, poore men, all Dogs without Christ. For al­though Man by his first creation was ye most excellent of all creatures in the world, and in déede the sonne of God: yet by his fal & trans­gression, he is become the basest & the vilest, and no better then a Dog, except he be raysed vp and restored by the benefit of our onely sa­uiour Iesus Christ. By this we sée what me­rite or worthynes we haue to pleade before God, and likewyse what cause we haue to be proude among men. Which thing if all men would consider, that by kynde without Christ they are no better then Dogs, they woulde learn to make lesse of their painted sheathes, and more to estéeme the benefit of Christ, by which they excel, if they finde them selues to be better by grace, then they are by nature.

But to returne to thys poore woman: Al­though she be called & accompted of Christ no better then a Dog, & that she wyllingly con­fesseth: yet she wyll not therefore geue ouer her sute, because her fayth could not be ouer­throwne by thys assault. For of faith procée­deth [Page] inuocation and earnest calling for Gods helpe & saluation. For although the aunswer Rom. 10 of Christ séemeth to take away all hope from the Gentiles, yet because she knewe that he was promised also to the Gentiles, she is cer­tainly perswaded that this promis must take effect, & that doth Christ him selfe partly sig­nify by these wordes which are rehearsed by S. Marke: Let the Children be first satisficed. Wherby he sheweth that the first place was Mark. 7 for the Iewes, which then wer the children of God. But thys helpeth not her, because the time was not yet come in which the Gentils also should be made the children of God. And therfore she fleeth to an other refuge, & thus she answereth: Yea Lord, but yet the whelps eate of the crums that fall frō their Lords table.

First by thys aunswer it appeareth howe much the certaintie of fayth doth differ from vayne & foolish importunitie of ignorant per­sons, which wyll be answered by no reason, & yet haue no reason to continue their sute. For this woman doth not here directly contrarye the woordes of Christ, but sheweth how the wordes of Christ may be true, and yet she ob­taine her request also. Therfore where as he had first said she was a Dog, she willingly cō ­fesseth it, that she was no better then a Dog, it is true Lord saith she, I am no better. Se­condly, [Page] wher as he had said: It is not good to take the Childrens bread, and cast it to Dogs, she confesseth that also, saying: Yea Lord it is true, neither wyl I presume further then the place of a Dog, & that is vnder the table. For although it is not conuenient that Dogs shuld be equal with their Maisters at the table, yet they are allowed to waight vnder the table, & to licke vp some few crooms that fal frō their Maisters. I know Gods children are so libe­rally & plentifully feasted at Gods table, that some litle crooms may fall from them, & they haue inough to satisfice them. No man in the world could deuise a more proper answer, to auoyde the obiection of Christ. For although the grace of God was peculiar vnto the nati­on of the Iewes, yet it was neuer so scantly & pinchingly poured vpon them, but that some drops might ouerflow vnto the Gentils. And although the bread was prepared accordyng to Gods dispensation onely for the Children, yet it could not sparingly be parted among them, but some crooms might fall from their table, vnto the Dogs that lay vnder & waigh­ted for them. For Naaman the Syrian, the woman of Samaria, the Centurion, and some such other, were refreshed with some crooms that fell from the table of the children of God the Israelites, euen at such tyme when God [Page] was knowen onely in Iewry, & Christ was proper vnto the Iewes. She graunteth ther­fore that Christ maye fulfill the office where­vnto he was called of God, namely to satisfie the Iewes with the bread ordained for them, and yet let some crooms or chyppinges of the same fall downe to refresh her a poore whelpe that lay vnder the table.

Here also we may note the true humility y followeth this certayne perswasion of Gods mercy. This woman confesseth her selfe to be no better then a Dog, and yet she trusteth in the mercy of God. By this place also we may perceiue what horrible punishmēt the Iewes deserued at Gods hand, whych eyther negli­gently or disdaynfully loathed those dainties of Gods table offered vnto them, which other poore wretches so gréedely desired, and could be content euen with the crooms that fel from their table. And we our selues also haue two matters here to consider: first the vnspeake­able goodnes of God, which of cur Dogs hath made vs his own childrē by adoption: and of such as had no place in ye house of God, but of greatest fauour to lye vnder the table of hys children, hauing conuerted vs from Dogs in­to his children, hath aduaunced vs to sit at his own hye table with his Children, euen with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, as he sayth in the [Page] Gospel: Many shall come from all partes of Math. 8. the world, and syt down with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob in the kyngdome of heauen, when the children of the kingdome shal be cast out into vtter darknes, wher shalbe weeping and gnashing of teeth. The second thing that we haue here to consider is, that we being turned frō Dogs into Gods children, do not retayne styl the nature of Dogs, that is, to returne a­gaine to their filthy vomite, which they haue 2. Pet. 2. once cast out: yt being extolled to such dignity that we are made partakers of Gods heauen­ly table, we do not behaue our selues vnreue­rently, vnthankfully, vnholyly, but as it becō ­meth the children of God, the table of God, the presence of God, with al reuerence, obedience & thankfulnes, to expresse the nature of Gods children, vnto which honour we are called.

Ye know the punishment of him which pre­sumed Mat. 22. to syt downe at the mariage feast with out his wedding garment, he was pulled out by the eares, and thrust into vtter darknes, wher shalbe weeping & gnashing of teeth. And the same penaltie remayneth all hipocrites, which entruding themselues into the Church of God, neuer care for repentance, newnes of 1. Thes. 4 life, holynes & righteousues, wherunto we are called of God, & not to vncleanes & filthynes. Remember that whych was read in the fyrst [Page] Lesson this day at Morning praier, cōcerning Esau, who because he was a prophane felow, that made no more accompt of hys birthright Gene. 25. (in whych was encluded all the hope of the Church) but that he sold it for one messe of po­tage, Gene. 27 Hebr. 12. as the Apostle saith to the Hebrues, he was afterward depriued of the blessyng, and coulde not bee restored vnto it, although hee sought it wyth teares. Remember also the Iewes, who beyng compted the Children of God, for the couenaunt that God made with their fathers, because they did obstinatly re­fuse the grace when it was offered, & would not beleue the promise whē it was exhibited, they are broken of from the stocke of Israel, & we that were straungers, & braunches of the wylde olyue by kynde, are graffed into the tree by fayth: But so, that if we fall frō fayth (as S. Paule saith) God shall no more spare Rom. 11. vs, then he did spare them, yea we shall be bro ken of, & they graffed in againe. For God is able to graffe them in againe. Let vs therfore continue in faith, and shew forth the fruits of faith, for by the fruits the trée shal be knowē.

Hetherto we haue heard how the fayth of this woman hath bene tryed to the vtter­most, which hauyng thrée repulses euen of Christ himself, yet ceaseth not to put her trust in him: Now let vs sée what successe she had [Page] in the ende. Although she had neuer so many repulses and discouragementes, yet because she continued styll constant and vnmoueable in faith, she departed not away confounded. She obtained her request, she enioyed the pro­mise, that who soeuer putteth their trust in him, should not be confounded. Let vs there­fore with inuincible courage of faith hold fast vpon Gods promises, and it is impossible that we shall mysse of eternall saluation.

But some wyl peraduenture obiect, she sued here but for a temporall benefite, namely the recouery of her daughter, what pertayneth this to eternall saluation? I answer: Thys temporall benefite was to her a confirmation and assurance of euerlasting saluation, which she had conceiued by fayth. Which thing the answer of Christ playnly declareth, who doth not onely graunt vnto this her faith the deli­ueraunce of her daughter from the deuill, but generally what soeuer she would: O woman (sayth he) great is thy fayth, be it vnto thee euen as thou wylt. First he commendeth the greatnes of her faith, by which he is ouercome that he can no longer withhold his grace frō her. Secondly he sayth, Be it vnto thee what soeuer thou wy [...]t. Who doubteth but that she would as well haue remission of her synnes, and assurance of eternal lyfe, as the health of [Page] her daughter, & rather to? Therfore he sayth: Be it vnto thee euen as thou wylt. As though he would say, wyth this fayth thou mayest ob­taine whatsoeuer thou wilt. Let vs therfore bryng such a fayth to God, and we shall ob­taine whatsoeuer we wyll. Mark. 9.

If it were true would some man say, that I might haue whatsoeuer I wold, I wold wish to haue this Church full of gold, or some such lyke matter. But ye must remember that Christ here speaketh of faith, which is groun­ded onely vpon Gods promises, and therefore whatsoeuer ye wyll aske by fayth that God hath promised, you shall obtayne. Moreouer, they that be endued with true faith wyl wish nothing that is contrary to Gods glory, and therefore there is no such vayne wishyng nor woulding with them. And therfore what soe­uer God hath promised vnto them, they make their full accompt to obteine it: that which he hath not promised, they require but vnder con dition, if it may stand with hys wyll, and the setting forth of his glory.

Wherefore as we are taught by thys ex­ample, let vs in all temptacions and afflicti­ons flée vnto the generall promises of God, with inuincible courage of faith. For there­of we shall be sure to preuayle in the ende, howsoeuer it please God to try our fayth in [Page] the meane time. For fayth doth not onely o­uercome the whole world, as S. Iohn sayth, 1. Iohn. [...] which is in déede a noble victorye, but fayth preuaileth euen with God him selfe: when he proueth and trieth vs by most great temp­tacions. Let vs therefore folow the faith and confidence of Iacob, when he wrestled wyth God: For by fayth wee wrestle wyth God when he proueth our fayth by temptacion. Therefore as Iacob answered, when the An­gell, which represented God that wrestled with him, required him to let him depart, be­cause it waxed day: I wil not let thee go (quoth Gene. 22. he) before thou blesse me: So let vs boldlye answer God when he wrestleth with vs, as­sailing our fayth by sundry temptacions, we wyll not let thee go before thou blesse vs. For thys example hath God left in wryting for our comfort, & by this example he hath com­maunded Hose. 12. vs by the Prophet Hosea to trust in God. For Iacob by fayth had power wyth God, and had power ouer the Angel, and pre­uayled, whereby he was called Israel, that is, one that preuaileth with God. And we, if we be true Israelites, by fayth must preuayle with God. Therefore let vs not faynt in any temptacions, but rather (as S. Iames sayth) Iames. [...]. let vs reioyce when we fal into sundry temp­tacions, knowing that the tryall of our faith [Page] worketh pacience, which if she haue her per­fect worke, we shall be perfect and sound, not faynting in any thyng.

Wherfore as temptacions encrease, let vs encrease our confidence & prayers. Let vs say with the Prophet Dauid: Euen as the eyes of seruantes looke vnto the hand of their May­sters, Psal. 123 and as the eyes of a Mayden vnto the hand of her Maistres, so our eyes waight vpon the Lord our God vntyll he haue mercy vpon vs. Finally let vs follow this woman of Ca­naan, whose fayth could not be ouercome by three repulses, euen of Christ him selfe, but in the ende obtayned euen that she would. For God by tēptacion séeketh not our ouerthrow, but our greater victory, that the tryall of our fayth which is much more precious then gold (which though it be purged with fyre, yet pe­risheth not) might be at the last to our prai [...]e, honour, & glory, at the appearing of our Lord 1. Pet. 1. Iesus Christ: To whom with the father and the holy Ghost be all honour, glory, power, and dominion both now and euer.


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