PAVLS CROVVNE OF REIOYCING.OR The manner how to heare the Word with profit.

By THOMAS GRANGER preacher of the word at Botterwike in Holland, neere Boston in Lincolnshire.

IAMES 1. 12.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, hee shall receiue the Crowne of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that loue him.

LONDON: Printed by T. S. for Thomas Pauier, and are to be sold at his shop in Yuie lane. 1616.

TO THE WORSHIPFVL and vertuous Lady, the Lady, IOAN ALTHAM, temporall happinesse, and eternall blessednesse.


MAY it please your Lady­ship to accept this small treatise, of the right hea­ring of the word. Small it is, not in respect of the sub­iect; for to be a good hea­rer is no lesse excellent a gift of grace, then to be a good speaker: but in respect of the forme, phrase, and manner of handling thereof, wherein I haue fashioned my selfe to the capa­citie of vulgar ignorant people, euen such like as by Gods prouidence I haue heene called vn­to, who are fitter for milke then strong meates. [Page] Yet whatsoeuer it is, such it shall be, as your Ladiship shall accept it, and to speake ingeni­ously without flatterie, which J euer hated, your amiable disposition to Vertue, & Piety, in your yong age, as I well obserued, when here­tofore I liued at the house of the good Knight Sir Iohn Leuenthorp your father; and my often remembrance thereof vpon occasions, and now vpon this occasion also, as also the sin­gular duty that I owe to your ancient, and tru­ly honoured familie, and to you in speciall, haue moued me, and made me the bolder to of­fer this vnworthy Present vnto you, desiring you to accept it only as a token of a thankfull minde, and sincere affection; which remaine euer disposed to the performance of any seruice wherein your Ladiship by me may be pleasu­red.

Your Ladiships in all dutie to command THOMAS GRANGER.


1 THES. 2. 13.‘For this cause also, thanke we God without ceasing, that when yee receiued of vs the word of the preaching of God, yee receiued it not as the word of men, but as it is indeed, the word of God, which also worketh in you that beleeue.’

IN the former Chapter, at the second verse, the Apostle be­ginneth a congratulation, whereby he reioyceth in the behalfe of the Thessalonians for their effectuall faith, dili­gentloue, and patience in per­secution, wherein they ex­celled, as they became ensamples to all the faith­full in Macedonia and Achaia. Now in this second Chapter from the first verse to the 13. he maketh a di­gression; wherin he laboreth to confirme them in this [Page 2] effectuall and fruitfull faith, and that by an argument drawne from his true Apostleship, which by three principall reasons hee prooueth, and approueth vnto them.

1. By his entrance in vnto them, which was not in outward shew and pompe, but in trauaile, and in the feare of God. vers. 1. 2.

2. By his preaching, which was not by insincerity, that is, false and corrupt doctrine, impure affections, and guile, but wherein he approueth himselfe to God. vers. 3. 4.

3. By his intire loue and affection towards them, in that hee vsed no flattery, coloured couetousnesse, or vaine-glory, but was gentle among them, as a nurse cherisheth her children, vers. 5. 6. 7.

Now this his sincere loue and affection, hee demon­strateth by the effects, and tokens thereof, which doe testifie the sincerity, and simplicity of his heart.

1. Effect or token was his readinesse, to deale not onely the Gospell vnto them, but euen his owne soule, vers. 8.

2. Was his labour and trauell, because he would not be chargeable vnto them, whereof they had experi­ence, vers. 9.

3. Was his holy, godly, and righteous conuersati­on among them, vers. 10.

4. His faithfulnesse in executing his office for their good; in exhorting them, comforting them, and intrea­ting them (as a father his children) to walke accor­ding to their reall calling, vers. 11. 12.

Now taking occasion at these duties of his ministery; namely his exhorting of them, his comforting of them, and beseeching of them: he returneth to his for­mer gratulation in the 13 and 14 verses: wherein hee also reioyceth in their behalfe, because they receiued the word, not as his word, but as the word of God, [Page 3] that sent him; whereof this was a manifest token, euen their conuersion, their faith, and obedience, and daily increase therein.

In this gratulation, two things are to be considered, the Manner and the Matter. First, concerning the manner, or forme thereof, it is expounded by way of thankesgiuing to God, the author of this harmony & concord betweene him the Pastour teaching them from God, and them his stocke receiuing his doctrine as from God.

In that hee expounds his gratulation by way of thanksgiuing, he teacheth them two things: first▪ that his preaching, labour, industrie, and gifts, wrought not this faith, and obedience in them, but God by his spi­rit inwardly, and by his Ministery outwardly. 1 Cor. 3. 5. 6. Who is Paul, who Apollos, but Ministers by whom 1 Cor. 3. 5. 6. ye beleeued, as God hath giuen to euery man? Ego plantaui, Apollos rigauit, &c. The Apostle therefore considering how apt we are of our selues to attribute too much to the meanes, and to insist on the second cause, reuoketh them to God the principall cause, that hee alone may be praised; and glorified for all thiugs, and in all things.

2. He teacheth them hereby, that their faith is not of themselues, but of God, and that thereof both he and they by his example ought to glorifie God in gi­uing him thanks for this grace.

Againe, whereas he giueth thanks without ceasing, he first sheweth his faithfulnes, his loue, earnest desire, that hee had of their conuersion, and now his great re­ioycing in their conuersion: which two things are eui­dent tokens of a true Apostle: great thankes, and conti­nuall thankes, (you know) do presuppose a great good turne; and such a benefit that one acknowledgeth him­selfe euer the better for: so the Apostle preferres here this benefit, euen the blessing of his Ministery in their [Page 4] faith and obedience, before the cheifest earthly bles­sing, and in the 19. verse hee saith, they were his hope. Phil. 4. 1.his ioy, and crowne of reioycing, Likewise in Phil. 4. 1. he calls them his beloued, his longed for, his ioy, and his crowne.

2. Whereas he giueth thankes without ceasing, he doth put them in minde, exhort, and warne them, to be continually thankefull for this endlesse loue, mercy, and grace of God: in calling them out of darkenesse in­to his meruailous light. Such a benefit as this, whereby we doe not onely escape death, but obtaine eternall life, ought we alwaies to remember, and by all meanes to manifest our thankfulnesse for the same; both heart, mouth, and hand, ought to be enlarged, euer to praise, and thanke him by thought, word and deede, other­wise if wee be not for euer thankefull for this endlesse benefit, we may iustly prouoke the Lord to shorten his hand, and to take his graces from vs.

Lastly, whereas hee giueth thankes without ceasing we obserue what is the greatest matter of ioy, and re­ioycing to a faithfull shepheard, namely, the faith and obedience of his flock to his doctrine, instructions, and exhortations; not as from him, but as from God: as the husbandman reioyceth in a plentifull haruest, for­getting all his labours and trauels in seede time; euen so the true shepheard reioyceth in the fruits of his la­bours, and seeing a plentifull haruest towards, is glad that God hath made him an instrument to gather his wheate, euen the soules of men, into his Barne.

The Minister hath cause of reioycing, and thankes­giuing in the faithfull discharge of his calling, when his conscience doth assure him, that he hath kept himselfe innocent from the bloud of all men, and hath kept no­thing back, but to his vtmost power and grace giuen him, hath declared all the counsell of God, by word, Act. 20. 26. 27.and example of life, Act 20. 26. 27. he hath I say cause [Page 5] of reioycing herein, though hee see no fruits of his la­bours, as the Apostle saith 2 Cor. 2. 15. Wee are vnto 2 Cor. 2. 15. God the sweete sauour of Christ, in them that are saued, and in them that perish.

But when his ministerie is effectual in men to beget and increase faith in them, to regeneration, and to eter­nall life, then is he the sauour of life vnto life, and there is double matter of reioycing, and thankesgiuing. Paul little reioyced in his owne grace, and conscionable dis­charge of his owne dutie, neither esteemed much all his labours and sufferings, when he saw them not effectuall in the conuerting sinners vnto God: but when hee had done all that he could, he complaineth that he had run in vaine, Gal. 4. 11. I am in feare of you, least I haue be­stowed Gal. 4. 11. labour on you in vaine. i. seeing no fruit of my labour in your conuersion.

The matter of the gratulation, and thanksgiuing, is their Faith, which is not simply named, but propoun­ded by way of circumlocution, and as it were described by certaine degrees.

The first degree in this description, or rather definiti­on of their faith, is their hearing of the word, [when yee receiued of vs the word of the preaching of God,] which words in the greeke are thus, [because receiuing the word of hearing from vs of God:] both haue one meaning, but I rather follow the Greeke verbatim, because he spea­keth here especially of their act of beleeuing, the first degree whereof is hearing, and emplyeth his act of preaching in these words (from, or of vs.)

It is called the word of the hearing of God, because there is no light or ground of the Gospell in mans rea­son; he hath not the least sparkle of this knowledge of God in Christ in him, therefore the Apostle saith, Rom. 10. 14. Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the Prea­cher. Rom. 10. 14. Adam was created perfect man in all the faculties of his reasonable soule, yet was hee without this know­ledge, [Page 6] which was hid in God, and reuealed, and prea­ched to him by God himselfe after his fall, Gen. 3. 15. who foreseeing the fall, foresaw the remedy also. This sauing knowledge God likewise reuealed to Abraham, Gen. 18. 18. and afterward preached the same by typicall ceremonies, and by the Prophets, to his church: lastly, by his owne Sonne, who hath reuealed all the wisdome of God, concerning mans iustification, and saluation, and accomplisht the same in himselfe; and the sonne ha­uing all power and authoritie giuen of his Father in hea­uen and earth, hath preached the same to vs Gentiles, by his Apostles, and Euangelists, Pastours, and Tea­chers: Againe, it is called the word of hearing after the imitation of the Hebrew, for the word heare, or which you heard.

Now to heare this word of faith preached, is meere­ly of grace, and is the first degree of faith. The grace­lesse, viz. naturall men, will not patiently heare this word of the preaching of God: it is to them foolishnes, and vaine talke, for they make this doctrine and profes­sion groundlesse, and to no end. Groundlesse, because they comprehend not the same by their carnall reason: To no end, because they measure euery thing by the worldly vse, profit, or pleasure thereof. 1 Cor. 1. 18. Prae­dicatio Euang. est ijs qui periunt stultitia. In Act. 7. 57. 58. The Iewes stopped their eares at Stephens preaching &c. Act. 19 24. The multitude of the Ephesians when Alex­ander shewed them▪ of Paul and his doctrine, &c. Act. 23. Ananias the high Priest caused Paul to be smitten on the mouth, in the very beginning of his Apologie.

The Turkes, Iewes, and Papists are ready to stop their eares as soone as they heare the truth. Yea, and ma­ny protestant Atheists, and Epicures, would at no hand heare the word, if they were at their owne libertie: they hate and deride the very name of a Preacher, and can­not looke on a blacke coate, (as these blacke mouthed [Page 7] hell-hounds terme them) with a patient eye; which shewes that they hate our calling, and are the enemies of God, and their owne saluation: And that enuious & murtherous heart which shewes it selfe now in mocks, and taunts, would shew it selfe in open rage and cruelty, if it were not bound in with chains and bonds of iron.

2. Degree of their Faith, is in these first words, [when ye receiued of vs &c.] This is the second degree of faith; after we haue heard the word, to giue assent in general to the same, as true, and to approue of it as good. And this is also meerely of grace; for there are many which heare▪ but their hearing is not mingled with faith, and therefore they profit nothing by hearing, Heb. 4. 2. The Gospell was preached to them, as also to vs: but the word which they heard profited not them, because it was not mixed with faith in those that heard it. And Paul saith, 1 Cor. 2. 14. The naturall man perceiueth not the 1 Cor. 2. 14. things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishinesse vnto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. In Acts 17. 18. When Paul preached at A­thens, certaine Philosophers of the Epicures and Sto­ikes heard him, but some counted him a babler, and o­thers, a setter forth of strange Gods. This generall consent vnto the word preached in man, is of grace, but this is not sauing grace, for the Deuills beleeue al­so and tremble, Iames 2. 19. I say it is of grace in man, Iames 2. 16.because he cannot do this by supernaturall light; but the Diuels by light of nature, not by created light, but by obseruation.

3. Degree of their faith is expressed in the middle of the verse, in these words [ye receiued it, &c.] This word, receiued, is twise vsed in the english, but it is of differing significations, as the Greeke, and Latine doe shew: The former is in Greeke [...], accipere, the latter is [...] excipere: the former whereof sig­nifieth to receiue or take willingly, or vnwillingly, or [Page 8] after any sort: the latter signifieth to entertaine or re­ceiue willingly, to welcome: Therefore of this word commeth [...], the right hand. That which we doe vnwillingly, is done as it were with the left hand, sini­sterly and vntowardly; but that which we do willing­ly, it is done as it were with the right hand, dexterous­lie, aptly, and handsomely: to receiue the word, here, therefore signifies to welcome, to embrace with wil­lingnes and liking, and to apply it to themselues.

This is then the third degree of Faith, to welcome, entertaine, embrace the word with readinesse, willing­nesse, loue, delight, and to apply the same particularly to our owne hearts and consciences. This is also of meere grace, without which grace none can be saued. Many heare the word with the outward eare, many do also vnderstand it, and beleeue it to be true, but few receiue the same into the heart, to giue it intertain­ment, Acts 8. 21.and rooting there. In Acts 8. 21. Simon Magus beleeued the Gospell historically, yet Peter saith there, that his heart was not vpright in the sight of God. In Acts 5. 3. Acts 5. 3. Ananias beleeued the Gospell, and seemed to bring forth fruits thereof, as did the other Christi­ans, but it was not rightly receiued into the heart, for hypocrisie which is is the worke of Satan, and sauing faith, which is the worke of the spirit, cannot dwell together in one heart.

Iudas vnderstood, and beleeued the word, and was a Preacher thereof, but it was neuer intertayned and rooted in his heart, but thorny couetousnesse was roo­ted therein, which in the end choaked the word. So 2 Tim. 4. 10.2 Tim. 4. 10. Demas was a follower of Paul, but the loue of the world was neuer rooted out of his heart, therefore in time it choaked the word, &c. Iulian the Apostata, giue intertainment to the word, but pride was neuer rooted out of his heart, therefore it choaked the word in him, 1 Tim. 5. 11. Paul speakes of young [Page 9] widowes, that hauing entertained and professed the word, doe afterward waxe wanton against Christ, and break their first faith, because concupiscence and flesh­ly lust was neuer rooted out of their hearts, therefore it choaked the word in them.

When as the word is receiued into the heart, toge­ther with these and such like lusts, which our Sauiour Christ calleth thornes, Math. 13. 24. the thornes be­ing naturall to the heart, and therefore hauing strong rooting, must needs in time ouergrow and choake the word; euen as weedes being naturall to the earth, doe ouergrow and pine away the corne, that it cannot fru­ctifie. And this is the condemnation of the multitude, I meane of the common hypocriticall Protestants, which giue entertainment to the word, but expell not their beloued company, or guest, their head personall sinne, with the branches and fruits thereof: either must Christ, and that sinne dwell together; or else must Christ be expelled, that it may rule.

But cast out the bond-woman with her children, for shee and her sonnes cannot be heyre with the free, if Isaack be heyre, then must Ishmael be cast out: and if the birth-right belong to Iacob, Esau cannot haue it. Crucifie the olde man with his children, the lusts of ignorance, and the workes of darkenesse: for if the sonne of God by his word and spirit hath taken posses­sion of your hearts, and dwell therein, as owner and heyre, then cannot the bond-womans sonne be heyre, whether it be pride, or couetousnesse, or enuy, or fleshly lust, which spring out of originall corruption.

The word of God and naturall lust cannot both dwell together, they cannot both be heyres, they can­not both be maisters, but being contrary one to the other, the one of them will haue the dominion and vpper hand: sinne and Satan lay claime to all by right of antient inheritance, from many descents, but the [Page 10] word is the sword of the spirit, driuing them out of the heart, and cutting them downe. As Ioshuahs sword slue all the ancient inhabitants of Canaan, and placed the Israelites therein; euen so must wee cast out and sub­due these Canaanitish lusts and affections, the word must be as a sword, or sacrificing knife in vs to cut downe these ancient in-bred inhabitants, worldly lusts; yea, as the Land of Canaan spued forth her Inhabi­tants, so must we cleare our hearts of this menstruous filth, that they may be Temples for the holy Ghost, euen as Salomons Temple, beautified and adorned with holinesse, righteousnes, faith, goodnes, meeke­nesse, loue, truth, continence, temperance, and all vertue.

4. Degree of Faith, is their intertayning and em­bracing of the word in such sort as is peculiar, and pro­per to the word which is propounded: first, negatiuely, [not as the word of Men,] and then affirmatiuely (but as the word of God.) Heerein appeareth euidently the difference betweene hypocrites, and true beleeuers. Infidels heare the word of God altogether as the word of man: Hypocrites receiue the word of God as the word of man, that is, they allow it to be the word of God, so farre forth as it is agreeable to their liking, and wherein it differeth from them, they contemne, and put it off from them, as but the word of man: this is therefore the meere and especiall, and sauing grace of God, to receiue the word as from God, and not from Man.

The Pharisees heard the pure word of the Gospell from the mouth of the Sonne of God himselfe, but because he was in the shape and forme of man, there­fore they receiued it but as the word of man, Iohn 8. 13 Iohn 8. 13. Marke 6. 2. Thou bearest record of thy selfe, &c. Mark 6. 2. Our Saui­our Christs Countrymen, friends, & kinsfolks, hearing his wisedome, and seeing his workes, were astonied, but [Page 11] beleeued not in him: What was the cause? Vers. 3. Is not this the Carpenter, Maryes Sonne, brother of Iames & Ioses? &c. They looked with fleshly eyes on his out­ward appearance only, and esteemed his word but ac­cording to his outward appearance; therefore it be­came vnprofitable to them.

Such like Pharisees are the heads of the Romish Church, the teachers and maintainers of hypocrisie, which auouch that the written word hath no authori­ty with vs▪ but by their approbation, and what is their approbation? First, they wrest it to such a sence as may serue for the erecting and maintaining of their owne authority, and their Antichristian synagogue, and then hauing adulterated it, and made it their owne word, they giue allowance to it. Heereupon euery Impe of that Church will not heare the word, as the word of God, but as of the Church, that is, of the Pope, and his Cardinals; and in this they rest satisfied, and resol­ued, thinking it heresie to receiue the word meerely as the word of God.

Of this sort are all prophane Esaues and Epicurish Politicians, which count themselues Protestants, but are not: they acknowledge and receiue the olde and new Testament, as the word of God, but as for Do­ctrines, Instructions, Vses, and especially Applications thereof, they receiue as but the word of men, and chiefly, when the application thereof concernes their reformation in particular. As the Papist counts the true interpretation of Scriptures heresie, and vnder that name reiects it; so the carnall Gospeller counts the true vses and applications of the word, precisenes, and vnder that name or terme contemnes it. So that as the one denyes the truth and embraceth errour; so the other confessing the truth in generall, doth wilful­ly refuse it in particular, and liueth after his owne lust, without the word: and whether of these is the better?

[Page 12] What is the cause that many doe not heare and re­ceiue the word with that reuerence and obedience as they ought, as their whole life and conuersation doth shew? It is because they receiue it as the word of man: for if they were fully perswaded and seriously beleeued that it were the very word of God, they would not so lightly regard it, and liue so dissolutely: For who dare be bold to fight against God? Who dare contemne him, and deride him to his face, as many doe? If men dare not doe this to an earthly Prince, without feare, yea cold feare troubling their thoughts, and loosing the ioynts of their loynes; how comes it to passe, that they dare so boldly chalenge God the combate, and with petulant derision prouoke him?

The reason is, because they receiue it as the word of man, and thinke they haue to deale with man, and not with God; this is the cause of their contempt and dis­obedience: For if they were touched with any sence or feeling of the presence of Gods maiesty, and that they receiued the word as from his owne mouth; sure­ly there is no man liuing, that durst so dally and trifle with the word, much lesse withstand it, or haue it in de­rision. It is a maruell therefore to see and heare how many take liberty to themselues to dally with, and to make a ieast of the Word, to be touched with no re­uerence or feare of the same.

But indeed, what maruell is it to see an infant thrust his hand into the fire without feare, or doubting? or to see a blinde man goe willingly into the pit? or a drunkard inraged with wine, to run desperately on the swords point? or a madde man to kill himselfe? Did not the rebellious Israelites deride the word of the Lord sent to them by all his Prophets? Did not Corah, Dathan, and Abiram with their consorts, wittingly and wilfully rebell against the Lord in the person of Mo­ses, whose authority they saw euen with their owne [Page 13] eyes, that it was giuen him of God? Did not the Israe­lites cast off the Lord, from being their Gouernour in the person of Samuell? They haue not cast thee away, but they haue cast mee away, that I should not raigne ouer them. 1 Sam. 8 7. 1 Sam. 8. 7.

Did not the Iewes contemn and cast off the word of the Lord spoken by Ieremie, saying that it was not the Lords word, but the malicious counsell of Baruch? Ier. Ier. 43 2. 3.43. 2. 3. Did not the counsel of the Iewes with the high Priest, count the Gospell sedition, and rebellion, which the Apostles taught, as Gods owne spirit gaue them vt­terance? Acts 5. 28. Did not Tertullus the Orator count Acts 5. 28. Paul a pestilent fellow, a moouer of sedition, and an heretike? Acts 24. 5. Yea if wee recount from the be­ginning Acts 24. 5.of the world, wee shall see that infidells, and hypocrites haue alwaies heard and receiued the word of the Lord, as the word of man, and vnder that pre­tence haue euer with stood the same, and cast it off from them, especially if it were not to their owne liking, or that they could not politickely make some vse of it for their bodily turnes.

No maruell then is it, if in these latter Atheisticall and Epicurish dayes the word of the Lord take no place among many, but be turned lightly off as the word of man, yea, and had in derision, as but the vn­aduised, rash, and indiscreet speeches of a phantasti­call, spleenfull, or precise fellow, as Eli supposed the sober, and feruent prayers of Anna; and certaine Iewes termed the gifts of the holy Ghost drunken­nesse.

But this were a maruell if that God should come from heauen in the shape of a man, (for no mortall man can liue in his glorious presence) and should con­uerse familiarly with vs, preaching the glad tidings of the Gospell in all lenity and mildenesse, hauing in his person, doctrine, and conuersation matter to prouoke [Page 14] and allure all men, euen the poorest, the meanest, the ignorantest, the Publicane, the sinner, the weake-har­ted, the troubled conscience to follow him, embrace him, loue him, reioyce in him, being meeke & lowly in heart, mercifull, and pittifull, mourning and sor­rowing for the hardnesse of mans heart, weeping for our miseries, calling all to repentance, refusing none that in any sincerity came vnto him; louing all, in whom any token of present, or future grace appeared, reprouing onely the enemies of mans saluation, pride, enuy, hypocrisie, couetousnesse, and threatning iudge­ments against hard-hearted and obstinate rebels, who seeke their owne glory in the destruction of Gods glory and kingdome, and are enemies to their owne saluation, and all other mens; nay, and besides this, should not onely giue no appearance of euill, but shew forth the glory of his God-like maiesty in all his words and workes, publike and priuate. It were a maruell I say, if any man receiued not his word, as the word of God, being God himselfe, and in all humility, reue­rence, and obedience, followed not him, and yeelded not himselfe to doe homage vnto him.

Euen thus was God conuersant among his owne people the Iewes, in the true shape of man; but his owne receiued him not: they heard his word, but as the word of man, and esteemed his life and holy con­uersation, but as of an ordinary man: but this is more wonderfull, that God preaching in the forme of man should be reiected as a deceiuer, as a chiefe sinner, as a worker with euill spirits, as not worthy to liue among men. Indeede if that Christ had preached some new and strange thing neuer heard of before, they might haue had some pretence of reiecting his word; but seeing that hee taught nothing, but that which Moses, and the Prophets foretold, whose Disciples they pro­fest themselues to be, and whom they beleeued; and [Page 15] yet beleeued not him, but making him contrary to Moses, Ioh 9. 28. who plainely set before their eies, put Iohn 9. 28.into their eares, and euen thrust into their hands all that they heard, and read in Moses and the Prophets euery day, that they might heare, and see euen with bo­dily eyes and eares, and handle the word of life: It is a wonderfull thing I say, that they should not receiue his word as the word of Moses, and the Prophets, and consequently of God. What sottish stupidity is this? What should thus bewitch them, that being bereft of common sense, as it were, they should deny that espe­cially which they most professed, and reiected that by all meanes as most detestable, which they most glory in, and boasted of?

Nay, if we consider the cause hereof, it is no won­derfull or strange thing, but naturall and common, if wee could but reflect our eyes vpon our selues, to see the things within vs, as we doe the things without vs, but it is giuen to very few to discerne the times, and seasons by application of the true light to the same, which maketh euery thing manifest as it is.

The cause heereof, was the bewitching hypocrisie of the hart; for howsoeuer they pretended religion, de­uotion and zeale, and therein matched the Romish Ie­suites, yet was not the same truly rooted in their harts, but pride, ambition, vaine-glory, couetousnesse, and enuy were deepely rooted, and firmely setled therein, which sinnes being coloured with fayre pretences of religion, blinded not onely the eies of the world, but euen their owne eyes, that their religious titles, pray­ers, fastings, almes, and other outward works were but cloaked and coloured pride, vaineglory, couetousnes, oppression: and this true body, namely, their out­ward profession, had not a true soule in it, but an euill spirit or Deuill, vsing this body deceitfully, and craf­tily for his owne aduantage. For, this is the nature of [Page 16] the hypocriticall heart, to transforme euen the best, and holiest exercises of religion into the nature of it selfe, that is, to serue it selfe of them.

These holy Deuils of the Iewish Church, retayning the bare names, and liuelesse titles of their Iewish pri­uiledges, as to be called the Israell of God, the chil­dren of Abraham, &c. As also the outward ceremo­nies of the Law, together with their owne ambitious traditions, and gainfull dispensations; but being of worldly hearts and spirits, were so farre from the true knowledge, and spirituall meaning of the Law, of the types and ceremonies thereof, as also of the Pro­phets, as that they could not abide to heare the same, sounding to their eares as strange and new doctrine; for bare titles, and the outward barke serued their turnes, hauing no farther sauour of religion, nor loue of the truth in them. Therefore when Christ preached the Law and the Prophets spiritually, which they pro­fessed, and wherein they boasted carnally. It was a Iohn 6.hard preaching, who could heare it? Iohn 6.

The Papist doth marueile at the stupidity, and vt­terly condemne the obstinacy of the Pharisees, and Iewes for their contempt of the Gospell, and shamefull intreatment of the sonne of God, and for their hypo­crisie, pride, couetousnesse, enuy, &c. And the Friars and Iesuites in their Sermons worke vpon the passions of men, to prouoke and inflame their hearts to an ha­tred of them, for hating the Gospell, and putting our blessed Sauiour to death.

Surely it is a wonderful thing to consider the dark­nesse of their hard hearts, that they haue no sight at all in themselues of these things, for which they vtter­ly condemne the Iewes, being no lesse enemies of Christ then the Iewes.

The Pharisees holding, and maintayning the true principles of the law, and Prophets, did in their Inter­pretations, [Page 17] Expositions, and speciall Applications, swarue so far from the true meaning thereof, through the darkenesse of their earthly hearts, as they became vtter enemies of the truth therein contained, for Christ was the truth, the end and fulfilling thereof, whom they pointed at, and whom the Pharisees heard and saw, speaking and fulfilling the same in their eyes, and eares, yet will they not be his Disciples, but Moses Disciples, Iohn 9. making Moses and Christ contrary, Iohn 9.whereas indeede they themselues were contrary to themselues, for if they had knowne and professed Mo­ses, and the Prophets spiritually, and truly, then had they knowne Christ, and beene his followers, but be­ing carnall professours, they are vtter enemies of the truth which they professed. Let common Protestants note this well.

Euen so, in the very same manner, the Romish Sy­nagogue, with the whole Antichristian rout, houlding the true principles of the Gospell, the olde and new Testament, and the abridgements of the same, to wit, the Creede, the Commandements, and Lords prayer, doe in their Interpretations, Expositions, Glosses, and particular Applications of the word, so farre and wide run astray from the true meaning thereof, as they are vtter enemies of the truth persecuting the true profes­sours of the same, vnder the names of heretickes, as the Iewes persecuted Christ vnder the name of a sedu­cer and deceiuer.

The Pharisees built their false sect, doctrines and de­uotions vpon the true ground, or principles of the Law and Prophets, so doe the Romanists build their Antichristian Synagogue, their false doctrines, workes and deuotions vpon Christ, the Prophets, Euangelists and Apostles. But heere is the cunning of the Deuill, who as he sees God in his great wisdome to bring good good out of euill, yea, to turne all his Satanicall poli­cies [Page 18] and deuises vpon his owne head, and to worke himselfe glory out of his plot of dishonour and sub­uersion: euen so on the contrary he bringeth euill out of good, turning the truth of God into a lye, yea, vpon Gods truth and ordinance builds hee his owne king­dome, but this bay and stubble built vpon the true foundation shall be burnt by the fire of Gods spirit, 1 Cor. 3. 15. and the plant which he hath not planted shall wither away, and be rooted out, Math. 15. 13.

Now seeing that they haue built a false Church vp­on a true foundation, soothing vp themselues in their outward priuiledges, and liuelesse titles, making their owne lawes, doctrines, traditions, and innumerable deale of beggarly baggagement the rule of conscience and holy life, put the case, that Iesus Christ the onely truth were to come, or that it should please his glori­ous Maiesty, to come from heauen into the Church of Rome (which professeth it selfe to be the onely and holy flocke of Christ) in such manner as he came among the Iewes, instructing and teaching the people euery where, in truth, sincerity, and without partiality, prouing his doctrine by the written word, (which themselues acknowledge and professe) as hee did the Gospell among the Iewes by Moses and the Prophets, and confirming the Doctrine with miracles; as also conuincing and reprouing them for their Idolatry, su­perstition, false doctrine, vaine ceremonies, traditi­ons, godly lies, wicked dispensations, ambition, pride, tyranny, cruelty, excessiue couetousnesse, extortion, bribery▪ and all the heathenish abhominations of that holy denne of theeues: If I say that Christ were at Rome amongst them at this instant, in such appearance life, conuersation, and doctrine, as he was among the Iewes, I demand what manner of intertainment should be giuen him? And whether his word and doctrine should be receiued as the word of God, or as the word [Page 19] of man? whether it should be receiued as the trueth of God, or reiected as heresie?

Euen as the King of Niniueth, with the Princes, Ru­lers, Nobles and Commons beleeued the word of God spoken by Ionah, layd his robe from him, couered him with sackcloath, and sate in ashes; and proclaimed that neither man, beast, bullocke, nor sheepe should feede▪ or drinke water; that man and beast should put on sackcloth, and cry mightily vnto God, and turne from his euill way, and the wickednesse that was in his hands. Ionah 3.

So it may be that the Pope with his Cardinals, Fryers, Monkes, Priests, &c. together with the whole Citie of Rome would beleeue his word, and receiue it as the word of Christ. It may be, they would acknow­ledge him, reuerence him, and honour him, humbly submitting to his doctrine, confessing their errors and sinnes, and suffer themselues to be rightly enformed, and reformed by him, their guide, gouernour, and chiefe shepheard of their soules.

But I rather thinke, that he should haue far worse intertainment among them, then amongst the Phari­sies and Iewes, and Heathen, that they would persecute both his doctrine and person with all indignities, that might be deuised, and because of his true miracles confounding their lying wonders, would iudge him to be Antichrist, (of whom they haue already made Luther the fore-runner) euen as the Pharisies counted him the greatest Sorcerer, and to deale with the Prince of the Deuills, by whose power he exceeded all other: I suppose that they which so deuoutly worship and a­dore the Image of Christ, and of the Apostles, beauti­fying the same with such sumptuous ornaments, and ouerlaying of gold, would by all meanes dishonour the true Christ. And his Apostles, not onely contem­ning their persons, and condemning their doctrines, [Page 20] but also putting them to ignominious deaths. I sup­pose that Seruus seruorum Dei, would hardly re-deliuer the chayre, giue the right hand, or wall to Peter. For as the Pharisies did to Christ the head, so doe they to his Apostles and members likewise. And as Antichrist doth now to the true Ministers and members, so would he doe to the head: For the afflictions of Christ are accomplished in his members by Antichrist, who should also suffer the same in his owne person, if hee were in the state of humiliation vpon the earth, as he was.

Surely may some say, it were a maruellous thing, if it should be so, I would thinke rather that Christ, and his Apostles, teaching the same doctrines, and wor­king the same, or such like miracles, should be heard and receiued of the Pope, his Cardinalls, &c. as hee was of the faithfull in the Iewish Church.

I answere, if hee should come indeede, as Ignatius Loyala that prophane and bloudy souldier, a Spaniard, Vide Triumphū Papalem, Hasen­mulleri. 1539.the Father of the Iesuites, * came to Pope Paulus the third, deuoting himselfe and his Disciples to him, pro­mising absolute obedience to him, in all things, with­out any exception, and binding himselfe with an inuio­lable oath, that hee would, to his vttermost power maintaine and vphold the Romish Church and See by all meanes possible, if (I say) both his doctrine and miracles might serue for the glorifying of that carnall Idoll-gull, and vpholding of his worldly Synagogue and See; then without doubt hee shall haue great in­tertainement, and in such sort also might he haue been intertained of the Pharisies, yea of Herod, or any worldling.

But now to come neerer to our selues, what if Christ were in state of humiliation, and in the very same out­ward appearance among vs, as hee was among the Iewes; or Paul, Peter, or any of the Apostles, prea­ching [Page 21] the same Gospel that is now preached (for none other Gospell could Christ himselfe preach, than this which is already preached) and expounding the seue­rall texts thereof, as hee did of the Prophets in the Temple, and in the Synagogues, handling the same in speciall, and in particular, applying the same fitly ac­cording to all circumstances, yea, speaking as his and their manner was, to the heart, conscience, and spirit? how should his words be heard? whether as the words of God, or as of man?

It may be he should be receiued of all men, as hee was of Lazarus, of Martha and Mary, who poured a pound of very costly ointment on his head, who wa­shed his feete with her teares, and wiped them with the hayres of her head. It may be that all men would weep aboundantly, fall on his necke, and kisse him, as the Christians did at Pauls departure from them; Acts 20. 37. It may be that by all meanes possible, they would Acts 20. 37.shew their loue to him, by prostrate obeysance, and humble obedience, by contemning all worldly things in comparison of his presence, yea, and by preferring one word of his mouth before all humane learning and knowledge. It may be that all men from the high­est to the lowest, from the richest to the poorest, from the mightiest to the weakest would wholly submit, and subiect themselues to the obedience of his word and doctrine, taking more pleasure therein, than in all worldly pleasure and profit, and deuote all their worldly goods, might, wisedome, and learning to the aduancement thereof, and there is no question, but some of all degrees and estates would sincerely and de­uoutly, according to the gift of grace and measure thereof doe these things, yea, many doubtlesse would loue him, embrace him, reuerence him, for the Gos­pels sake, and admiring him would say, doubtlesse the spirit of God is plentifull, and very strong in this man, [Page 22] so gracious are his words, so holy is his conuersation amongst vs, as wee may see true Christianity perfectly acted, euen as the word teacheth and commandeth.

But on the other side, what entertainment should he finde in the world, I meane among the brutish sinners, the ciuilly honest, and the pharisaically religious, for these are they that are called the World? In what man­ner would carnall Gospellers heare and receiue his pure, spirituall, and heauenly Sermons? What man­ner of tast and relish would his words haue in their eares? What repentance would there be wrought? What confession? Contrition? Satisfaction of wrongs done, with Zacheus? What conuersion? What obedi­ence to his doctrine? What reformation either of themselues, or of those, and those things, that are in their power to alter, and order according to his do­ctrine? How would sinners and wicked liuers heare him! I meane all such as propound their owne glory and profits, or pleasures, the end of all their actions, and endeauors, inwardly and outwardly; for they that make these and such like things their principall ends, can neither doe good deed, speake good word, nor thinke good thought all their life long.

How would the greedy churle heare him, that loues to think and meditate of nothing but gaine? to speake nor doe any thing that tends not one way or other to his bodily profit? How would the lustfull person heare him, that makes his whore and wanton woman his Idoll? How would many rauening Lawyers, & such as make authority a cloake of destruction & vnhappines, (too many now a daies) heare him, that stand conti­nually waiting and gaping for the bride, whereby the poore is oppressed, the hands of reuengeful persons, & of cruell churles are strengthened against their neigh­bours; and whereby the mouthes of superstitious and prophane liuers are opened, and hands strengthened [Page 23] against God himself, in his Word and Ministers? How would (I say) worldlings of all sorts heare him? How would they entertaine him? What would they say of him?

Euen as the Iewes did say, doe, and Iudge of the Prophets and seruants of God then, and as we doe e­steeme the faithfull Ministers and religious professors now; so would too many (if authority brideled them not) speake, doe, and Iudge of Christ himselfe, or the Apostles being conuersant among vs, as then they were among them. Some sayd, he is a good man; other sayd, nay, but hee seduceth the People, Iohn 7. 12. Iohn 7. 12.Some would say he is too strict, too precise, phanta­sticall; such kinde of Christianity can no where be acted; of too spiced a conscience, malecontent, he can­not tell what he would haue, nothing can please him, there can be neither loue nor good fellowship; but contention and mislike one of another where such preaching is: hee meddles too far in matters that con­cerne him not: hee thinkes there is none so wise and godly as himselfe; his parents and friends are of small reputation among their neighbours, hee is of very meane education, few of the richer or wiser sort make any great reckoning of him. If he were of ability, pow­er, friends and learning, as hee is but meane and bare, hee would happily prooue a dangerous fellow; for he is very bold, hee vses very broad speeches, and takes too much liberty to himselfe, to speake of such things, as better men then himselfe will not talke of: he must haue an oare in euery mans boate, he makes euery man his text; a melancholy fellow, not of a sound braine, very malitious, and spleenefull; vn­lesse I and many more be deceiued, some thinke that hee hath beene beside himselfe: I haue seene him chollericke enough for all his mildnesse, and heard him raile on his betters; hee will be taken vp ere [Page 24] it be long at one hand or other.

These and such like things would worldlings speake of him, and (I feare) farre worse: for they that sticke in the outward letter and bare titles of religion and Christianity, haue beene, are, and alwaies will be, vtter enemies of the life and spirit thereof, to the true Prea­chers and sincere professors thereof, being like to the earthly and bloudy Edomites, which vnder the title of circumcision, and the children of Abraham, claimed to themselues the chiefe religion, and hated the true worshippers of God.

For the further clearing of this point, I will bring in two interlocutors, or speakers, Eulalus and Mataeo­logus, in which two persons you may easily behold the estate and conditions of these times, and see the common carnall Protestant set forth in his colours.


Au, I pray you iudge charitably of your brethren, you run out now too farre.


A man may be charitable though hee be not foolish. Hee may be charitable, though he iusti­fie not Esaus, that preferre their bellies, profits, and pleasures before Gods kingdome, and mocking Isma­els, that being heyres of worldly things, haue the chil­dren of God in derision, because they haue not, or be­cause they will not worship the golden Image Mam­mon, nor reuerence them, nor count them the happi­er for their Image sake.


These and such vnhallowed speeches are too common in the mouthes of many precise fellows, there is nothing with them but Scripture, but others that haue not the Scriptures in their mouthes, so much [and therefore neither in their hearts,] are as good as they, for ought I [blind Bayard] see. What, doe you thinke, because wee regard not them so much, that therefore we would not regard our blessed Sauiour, or the holy Apostles, if they were in mans appearance [Page 25] among vs? there is none but they would spend goods, body, and life for him: there is none vnlesse very few (such as thou art) but they would leaue all, and follow him, yea we would resigne all that wee haue, and all that wee are into his hands, to dispose at his gracious will and pleasure, or else we were as ill as the Iewes, as Pilate and the Pharisees, and worthy to goe to hell with them: (I doubt you will proue your selfe to be little better in the end.)


I would be loath to prouoke you to an­ger, my purpose is in friendly manner to reason with you, not to offend you. Let vs speake of an other mat­ter. This question was put forth to me by a friend of mine a while agoe, &c. What if a Lion were changed into a Lambe, whether would the old sheepe be afraid and run away from him?


Why, common reason answereth that question, at the first hearing, if the Lion were turned into a Lambe, hee should be counted and vsed as a Lambe, and hee might well be afraid of other things, that before were afraid of him.


You say well, and as the thing is. What is a man went to the wars in a far country, and had been forth twenty yeeres, many men supposing that hee may be aliue, some doubting that he is dead, some a­uouching that he is aliue, and will come shortly. Now if this man came in the forme of a poore man, or a seruant, to his owne house, as Vlisses did, what would his owne family say and doe to him?


I thinke he should haue Vlisses intertain­ment, they would mocke and deride him, and thrust him out by the head and shoulders if he troubled them too much, and send for the Constable to carry him away to the stockes if he would not be ruled, and be gone.


What if a King should disroabe himselfe [Page 26] of his glory, and come among his subiects, in the out­ward shew of a poore man, or a seruant? put the case that he should come to dwell in your towne, behauing himselfe harmelesly and innocently among you, o­beying all his owne lawes to the full, and good orders of your parish, what would men say, and iudge of him?


I think e there is none, but they would count him an honest poor man, though there be some that is apt to speake badly enough, whem small occa­sion is offered, and if he were neuer so good, he should neuer please all parties, for our towne is as the rest of the world is.


But what if he should begin to meddle in your townes matters, and to finde fault with your rich men for their vniust, hard, and vnlawfull dealings, likely enough, all in your parish obserue not law, nor good order, especially if it be not for their profit: some are wronged and oppressed among you, the small of­fences of some are made heynous crimes, some doe manifest wrong, and liue in bad and dishonest sort, and yet no man dare speake of it: I say not that there are such in your towne, but put the case there were such.


To tell you the truth (for I haue known their dealings, and their qualities a long time) there were no abiding for him among them, if hee speake but a word against some of them, though it were ma­nifest troth, hee were farre better runne his country than liue there; for the rich would be against him, and the poore to please the rich would doe nothing but a­buse him, some few might happily pitty his case, but they durst say naught.


But what if his kingly maiesty appeared to them in his behauiour, words, gesture, counsells, wisedome, aduise, learning, &c. they might easily see [Page 27] him to differ from ordinary and common men and to goe beyond themselues in all things, would they not reuerence him then thinke you, for all his meane estate?


They would euen doe as the Scripture saith in one place; when a rich man speakes, euery one must hold his tongue, and praise him, though he be a foole; but if a poore man speake, they say, what fel­low is this? and if they get but any aduantage against him, they will euen hang him, if they could, such a saying there is; and euen so would they say to him. I may say it well enough, and doe them no wrong, for they haue neuer yet beene better; therefore King me heere, King me there, if the King were in such maner among them as you talke of, they would make him a subiect, Ile vphold you for all his wisedome, counsell, &c. for they scorne that any meane man should teach or controll them.


But what if the King of Kings, Iesus Christ, should come downe from heauen in such appearance among them, as he was on earth in the state of his hu­miliation, and should deale plainely with them as hee did with his owne countrimen, Luke. 4. and with the Luke 4.Pharisees, Mat. 23. would they not be filled with wrath Math. 23.and indignation? would they not be ready to cling like Bees together, to make him weary of the towne? would they not seeke to intangle him in his own spee­ches?


It is like enough that if hee once crosse them, they would deale badly enough, and haue little regard to his Sermons, they are so full of pride of heart and couetousnesse, as they would turne off eue­ry thing with mocking and iesting, if otherwise they could not reuenge themselues of him. And I thinke there be too many such like euery where.


How happeneth it that your Minister in­structeth [Page 28] them no better, hee might reforme many a­buses and disorders among you, if hee were diligent in preaching and applying the Word as hee ought to doe?


Our Minister is more diligent then hee neede to be: hee might take lesse paynes, and haue the more thankes. There hath beene more disquiet­nesse since his comming, then euer there was before, but hee gayneth naught by that; for I beleeue hee feeles the smart of it in his Tithes payment. His pre­decessor made a pretty liuing of it, because mens harts were more towards him: Againe, he was a good hus­band, and neither mak't nor medled with any man, or his doings, as this man doth. And to tell you the truth, I my selfe (though he neuer harmed me) cannot fan­cy him, nor like of his doings.


Why, what are his paynes; you spake e­uen now as though he were no husband.


His paines is a deale of lip-labour, all against himselfe; there is nothing but catechizing and preaching with him, if he hold on as he hath begun, hee will catechize all the good seruants out of the towne, he makes vs euen all weary of him. Youth must not play on the Saboth day, betweene Morning and Euening Prayer: old people must not meet together at the Ale-house to make merry, as they had wont to doe. A man must not doe any small Iobb, nor walke to other townes vpon businesses, nor make bargaines on the Saboth day, and I cannot tell what a hundreth such like prattles (it would make a horse breake his halter to heare all) but if all men were of my minde, we would giue him the hearing (seeing we cannot tell how to remedy it) but wee will doe as our fore-elders haue done before vs, as for him, we know not whence he came, nor what hee would haue: when hee hath made an end, let him doe it, &c.

[Page 29]

You said euen now that he bred much dis­quietnes among you, tell me wherein he so naughti­ly behaueth himselfe, and I will talke with him: it may be I shall preuaile with him for a friends sake of mine that hath beene a Benefactor of his.


Faith, I cannot say that he is of a naugh­ty behauiour; for he neuer sues nor troubles any man. For indeede the poore pay him all his due, because they dare not withstand him; neither doth he looke for more then his due, nor all that, as the report go­eth: And as for the rich, he will not stand much with them (they are so froward) vnlesse they too grossely wrong him; and wrong him they will, doe what hee can, and I thinke in my conscience, that some counts it the best and cleerest gotten goods.

But heere is the mischiefe, hee is too bold, and too indiscreet in his Catechizings and Sermons, he neuer keepes his teske, but is alwaies roauing into Townes­matters, and mens manners, that he hath nought to doe with: We are not so ignorant (as it pleases him to terme vs sometimes) but we can see when he leaues his teske. What is it for him to stand telling vs of such things as are not in the Scripture? We haue some in our towne that can read indifferently well marry, and are good sensible men, that can finde no such matter in the Bible: Wherefore we thinke that hee is too pre­cise and curious. It comes surely of pride, that hee would haue all men ruled by him (and that our townes men know well enough) and that both his apparell and medling in high matters doth testifie; or it comes of malice, for hee hath no good neighbourhood in him: or of enuy, euen as other poore men grudge at, and enuy rich men: or of choller, for he will be angry oft times we know not for what, euen when no man hath wronged him. Well; he thinkes there is no man so good as himselfe, but I thinke there is none so bad [Page 30] as hee, and such like Putricans; but if hee cannot be content to read the Word of God to vs, and to trouble vs with no such bibble babble, some of our rich men will ouerpowre him and remoue him; hee had best to looke well to himselfe; (being among Scorpions,) you should be greatly his friend if you would adueruse him of these things, but in no case tell him, that I speake such things vnto you.


I am sorry to heare you say that hee be­haues himselfe so indiscreetly among you, especially in the worke of the ministery, doe you thinke that he speakes all of pride, enuy, malice, and choler?


He doth, he doth without doubt, euery man sees, and sayes that; for if hee would let them a­lone, they would let him alone, that's a cleare case: for I haue heard many say so, and I fully beleeue it, I know it partly by my selfe. Heere is a fine man not farre off (you cannot but heare of him) a very good scholler, he is as perfect in his Greeke and Latine as in his English, it will doe one good to heare him, hee will goe from the Ale-house to the Church, and make as good a Sermon, and a better then our Minister can doe with all his weekes study: hee goes not an hare­breadth from his teske, to meddle of any by-matters, as our minister doth. The common saying is true, the best Schollers are the least medlers: hee deales with nothing but with Gods word, and hee hath therefore the good will of all the parish, and wants nothing that they can doe for him.


If they loue so to heare him, then they are a people of good knowledge; they surely know how to order their liues after the rule of Gods word; be­cause he holdes himselfe so to the word of God, and meddles with nothing else.


Nay, I thinke they haue as little to say, as wee haue: Wee haue some talkatiue (but needy) fel­lowes [Page 31] in our parish that are able to put them all downe in reasoning, and I doubt the Minister to: but neither wee nor they care for them, they might guide their tongues, and keepe their friends if they were wise. Such poore men should mind their busines, and please their Masters, and not runne to Sermons, and busie their heads, they know not about what. We care for no such pratlers that will bee making themselues bet­ter then other men. But I know what I know, they that carry bookes in their pockets, carry the Deuill in their hearts. And to tell you the truth, wee care for none that followes or fauours our Minister: for there is no good neighbourhood, nor good fellowship in any of them. I thinke more than I will speake of, but what this world will come to, the Lord knowes.


It should seeme by the drift of your speech, that you are in your parish, as they are in many more; one man is against another, and all against the Mi­nister for his Preaching and Catechizing, as though Gods word were your common aduersary, euen as He­rod was against Pilate, and Pilate against Herod, and all against Christ; or as Simeon and Leui brethren in ini­quity.


What doe you compare vs to Herod, that killed S. Iohn Baptist▪ to Pilate that condemned our blessed Sauiour? And is our Minister to be compa­red to Christ, to S. Iohn Baptist, or to any of the Apo­stles? Hee! Whats hee? No body, almost none of our substantiall men care for him, nor any that is wise, onely a few ignorant base fellowes fauour him. It is more for a dinner, or a pot of beere, then for any good deuotion they haue, more then others.


Be not angry I pray you, I speake not of you, but of them that are such like. I take you to be my friend, and I hope neuer to giue you any iust cause to thinke hardly of me. I suppose that if Iohn Baptist, [Page 32] Paul, Peter, &c. or any of the holy men in times past, were among you, in the appearance of an ordinary Mi­nister (say, it were of your Minister) that you would reuerence him, suffer your selues to be instructed, and catechized with all readinesse and willingnes, acknow­ledge and confesse your sinnes, that you would be so farre from oppressing one another, as you would e­uen sell your possessions, and cast the money at his feete, as the Christians did at the Apostles feete, Act. 4 37. and that you would suffer your selues to be ru­led and ordered in all things by his Sermons.


I truly, I thinke that I should euen doe so.


Yea, and all your neighbours that your Minister so troubles and disquiets, with his indiscreet preaching.


I thinke they would I promise you, else wee were all euen as ill as Pilate, Herod and the Phari­sees, as you said euen now.


I thinke indeede you would bee all alike minded towards Iohn the Baptist, Paul, Peter &c. For they would be quiet, not medling with your corrupti­ons in your townes matters, nor of your euill man­ners that you complaine of; they would preach lear­nedly, in Latine, Greeke and Hebrew, and scholler­like, as that fine man doth which you told me of, that men might haue a comfort and delight to heare them, as you said of him; they would not raile against honest men, reprouing them for their couetousnesse, oppres­sion, vsury▪ bribery, enuy, lying, swearing, drunken­nesse, adulteries &c. but they would preach the Gos­pell, letting all such matters passe, doing their owne duties, and letting other men alone by them, as your fine man doth: they would keepe company, and goe from the Ale-house to the Pulpit: they would respect your rich men, and not doe as your Minister doth, [Page 33] which makes no difference between the poore and the rich: nor betweene chiefe-charge-bearers, and beg­garly persons, and thinkes well of none, but such as fauour his Preaching and Catechizing.


I perceiue now, that all this while you haue mockt mee: you seeme to be a fauourer of those hypocrite Putricans, Ile stand no longer talking with you.


My purpose was not to mocke you, but to let you see how many men do sooth and flatter them­selues in the bare title of a Christian, or of a Protestant (as the common Papist thinkes it enough to haue the bare name of a Catholike) being in the meane time so far from the knowlede of God and true Christianity, as they are indeed the vtter enemies of Christ and his members, and yet know not so much. This is the dee­pest hypocrisie of all, whereby a man blinds not o­thers so much, as he deceiues his owne heart. As for your selfe, I perceiue that you are full of the darkenesse of this world; but if it shall please God to haue mercy on you, and to open the eies of your mind, you will be ashamed of this folly that you haue vttered to mee; though now you thinke that you haue well spoken, and the rather because you haue too many abettors in such ignorant Imaginations.

As concerning your Minister, that you so contemp­tuously speake of; I haue knowne him long, and am well acquainted with him. I am sure, vnlesse you seeke occasion, and deuise matter against him, you cannot iustly taxe him for any enormity; whether it be for not obseruing the Canons, or any temporall, or Eccle­siasticall Law, or in regard of the faithfull, and con­scionable discharge of his calling, as the Lawes of God and man enioyne him; or in regard of his life and conuersation.

Whereas you say that he is more diligent then nee­deth, [Page 34] that is because you desire not the knowledge of God nor his waies. Your affections are set on the earth and earthly things: Therefore for feare of the Law you come to the Church, but for want of the Loue of God and his Word, you would soone be gone againe, to your drinking, gaming, iobs-doing, &c. as the dog returnes to his vomit, and the Sow to her wallowing in the myre.

Whereas you say, hee feeles the smart of it in his Tithes paying; this proceedes from your hatred of God, and of Iesus Christ, whose children you boast your selues to be, as the Pharisees boasted of God their Father, and of Abraham their Father. For by your owne confession it is meerely for his preaching, and catechizing sake, and also your good liking to your former idle Pastour, manifesteth the same. You haue Iewish and murtherous hearts by your owne con­fession, for you diminish his liuing by your cunning and crafty shifting; you would faine bring him into shame and obloquie, and make him a common by­word by your daily mistaking all his sayings, and do­ings. His Sermons you turne off with raging at euery thing that you thinke is spoken against you; or else with bitter mockings. Yea, you proceed so farre in your Iewish rebellion, as you can and dare, and as the bribe can giue you libertie. If the Lord had not bound your hands and feete with the chaines of good lawes and gouernment, it is like enough your ciuill substan­tiall men would throw him ouer the Pulpit, and stone him out at the townes end, as the Nazarens would haue throwne our Sauiour Christ downe headlong Luke 4.from a rocke, Luk. 4.

Whereas you so much commend your former mi­nister for his husbandrie, and nothing else; thats your blindnesse, for the Scripture teacheth you otherwise. Our Sauiour saith, He that layeth his hand to the plough, [Page 35] and looketh backe, is vnapt for the kingdome of God. You are his husbandrie, hee is to worke vpon you, to plow vp the fallowes of your hearts, to destroy and kill the vnprofitable weedes of sinne and wickednesse in you, and to make your hearts a pure and cleane soule for the Gospell, that you might bring forth the fruit of holinesse, and righteousnes; that you glorifying God vpon earth, he might glorifie you in heauen eternally; and that hee also performing this duty which Christ (whose Steward hee is) hath layed vpon him, might shine as the starres in the firmament for euer and euer, by turning you from the waies of death and damnati­on, to righteousnesse and life.

Whereas you call his paines a deale of lip-labour, and say hee will catechize all the good seruants out of the towne, and say that it would make a horse breake his halter to heare all his prittle-prattle: The Lord o­pen your heart, that you many know what you say, and see in what miserable and fearefull estate you are. There is none of these things but you heare them pro­ued & confirmed plainly by the Scriptures, and many of them are the very words of the Text. How hath Sa­tan blinded and bewitched you, that he causeth you to mock God to his face, euen as he would haue brought Iob to haue blasphemed him to his face? Iob. 1. 11. The Iob. 1. 11.Lord conuert you, and baptize you with the fire of his spirit, that you may be transformed into a member of Iesus Christ: for truely you show your selfe as yet to be but a limbe of the Deuill. What you are in Gods election, the Lord himselfe knowes, but if you neuer repent, you can neuer be saued.

Whereas you say, you will giue him the hearing, be­cause you cannot remedy it, but you will doe as you list; It would make any Christians heart bleed to heare you. For first you shew your cruell and reuengefull hearts (as the Iewes did to Stephen) in that you would [Page 36] haue a remedy, if Law would giue liberty, and like e­nough, so farre as it would permit: For the hatred of worldlings against Gods Ministers and children, is as a burning fire kindled by Sathan, and is like the vn­quenchable fire of hell.

Againe, whereas you would giue him the hearing, and make no more adoe, you shew your resolution in your obstinacie: your meaning is, that you would not contend too much with him; that you will come to the Church as late as you can, and when you are come, to while away the time in sleeping, or thinking on some earthly thing; and so let both him and the Sabaoth goe; for you thinke he cannot present you, and so long you care not.

Againe, you say he breedes much disquietnes among you, through his bold and indiscreet Sermons: In that you thinke him too bold, that is the pride of your own harts, which thinke that he should be afraid of your fa­ces, Ierem. 1. 18.contrary to Gods commandement, Ier. 1. 18. Is not the Lord able with the breath of his mouth to blow you all in a moment into the riuer of fire & brimstone, as he caused the west-winde to blow the grashoppers of Egypt into the red Sea? Alas seely wormes that creep on the earth, and sauor of nothing but the earth.

Whereas you taxe him of indiscreetnes, that is your ignorance and indiscretion, that know not white from blacke. You say he keepes not his text: What, would you haue him to doe nothing but read ouer his text an houre together? You might iustly then make him a common by-word. No, but hee roaues into townes matters, and mens manners, that hee hath nought to doe with. Though he hath naught to doe with them, yet God hath to doe with them, that, I hope you will grant. But when your Preacher applies the Word to your towne in particular, and to the hearts and con­sciences of you and other men in particular, for your [Page 37] owne instruction and reformation, then you say, he goeth from his text. Hee meddles of such things as concerne him not. You can finde no such thing in the Bible: what is this but ignorance, and hardnesse of heart? you thinke because you finde not the name of your towne and townes-matters expressed word by word in the text, and because the houses and names and particular actions of such and such men are not according to euery circumstance at large expressed (as your grounds are butted and bounded in your leases) that therefore the text concernes not you, and conse­quently none, and so would you haue God to haue nought to doe with you, no more than you would haue to doe with him. You thinke enough for you to know what you would haue; but what he would haue you cannot abide to know. Yea, your spirits (though not your tongues) doe say, depart away from vs, wee will none of thy waies.

And though you thinke, that you doe but speake and doe against your Minister: yet the truth is, that you fight like Giants against God and Christ, whom you call your Father and Redeemer; and not onely you, but Satan by you, who rides you at his pleasure. But you like the dumb horse, or mule, that haue none vnderstanding, know not whether you goe. And those Church-robbers that thinke their ministers tithes the best gotten goods, are the men that cast lots for Christs coate: for Christ is crucified, and his gar­ment hath Lots cast for it till the worlds end. (I doubt this is a mystery to you.)

Whereas you talke of precisenes, curiousnes, strict­nes, and Putricans (as it pleaseth your ignorance to terme them) these and such like termes are but the froath of an euill and mocking heart, and the scumme of a corrupt iudgement, that knowes not what the Minister, or what Christian life meaneth.

[Page 38] You your selfe thinke, that this precisenes, and too much busying of himselfe comes of pride, because he would haue all men ruled by him; whereas the trueth is, (and as his behauiour among you shewes it, vnlesse you be willfully, and starke blinde) that hee wholly and altogether set [...]eth forth God vnto you, in his word, that you might be ruled by him, and that you, (as all men are) being by nature rebels against God, might be brought into subiection vnder him. And for this cause your minister doth abase himselfe, that making himselfe no body, God may be all, among you all, and in you all. And that his rule ouer you, your hearts, consciences, and liues might the more cleare­ly appeare vnto you, and in you; that he might pre­sent you a chast and pure Virgin to Christ: arrogating nothing to himselfe, as Reualls and Antichrists doe, thereby obscuring Gods glory, but sending and deli­uering you as it were into the hands of God, and Christ, that gathereth and clocketh you to himselfe, as the hen doth her chickins, by your minister. Wherefore euen as the Churle saith, Corne is too cheape, because he cannot get so much for it as hee would haue, but the poore finde it to be too deare: euen so your own hearts are prone, stubborne, and rebellious, not his, and therefore disdaine you to humble your selues to walke with your God, and intruding your selues into the roome of God, Antichristianlike, you as Syco­phants doe in spirit say, that God is proud, which with the tongue, you as it were father vpon your Minister: being like the Libard, which for the hatred he beareth to man, teareth his image in peeces if hee finde it in paper, parchment, &c.

Did not Corah, Dathan, and Abiram rebell against God in the person of Moses? Did not the Israelites cast away God from ruling ouer them in the person 1 Sam. 8. 7.of Samuel? 1 Sam. 8. 7. See, if euer any of the chil­dren [Page 39] of God spake this of the Prophets, that spake to them in the name of the Lord, whether Kings, Nobles, or Commons? But the rebells alwaies, not only Kings and Nobles, but euen the basest miscreants, tooke oc­casion at the person of the Prophet to despise and cast away the Word of the Lord, and to intreat his mes­sengers despitefully, and as it seemes you doe, the Prophet which God hath sent amongst you, and to you.

You smile at this particular application, that I call your Minister a Prophet of God, but let mee tell you this by the way, that prophane persons can heare the word of God in generall, I meane, so long as they vn­derstand it not, and know not what vse to make of it; but when it comes to be applied in particular, they fal eyther to raging, or mocking, as Luk. 4. The Nazarens Luke 4▪willingly heard our Sauiour Christ read his Text out of Esay, and after he had begun to expound the same, they cōmended him, & wondred at his gracious words, but when hee began to reproue their vnbeleefe, and hardnes of heart, (which you call medling of townes matters, & mens manners) they were filled with wrath, and went about to breake his necke: (They lookt for a temporall kingdome without them, and not a spiri­tuall kingdome within them.) For these Nazarens boasted of Christ, and thought it a great honour to their country & city, that a Prophet should arise from among them, that could preach such high doctrine, and worke such and so many great miracles; yea they imagined also that Christ should glory in their carnall gracing and honouring of him, as if for that end hee should preach and worke wonders: which thing his owne kinsman also imagined, Iohn 7. 3. 4. For flesh and Iohn▪ 7. 3. 4.bloud can goe no further. But when Christ comes to discouer their hypocriticall and carnall hearts, to re­proue their infidelity, and that he will not carnally glo­rifie [Page 40] Iohn 5. 44. them, as they would carnally glorifie him. Iohn. 5. 44. then are they all in a rage, they will to their ability be reuenged of him, as it seemes you would be of your minister.

Againe, if they fall not to raging, then they fall to mocking, as the couetous Pharisees mocke Christ Luke 16. 14. Luke 16. 14. when they perceiued that he spake against them: and this is your deuice, by your owne confessi­on, you would not striue much with your Minister (for want of power to do euill) but you will shew your hatred in your mocks, wrye lookes, priuy taunts, nips and girds, incouraging others against him, and bringing him and the Gospell into contempt, by all the slie meanes you could, so shall rude persons and abiects be actors of your wickednesse: but carry your selfe as politickely as you can, and couer your shame with heathenish ciuility, as well as you may (as now a daies many of you are become as cunning as stage­players,) yet you shall but dance in a net.

You say hee preacheth of pride, why? because his apparell sheweth him to be proud. There may be, I hope, a proud heart in a leather doublet, like that of yours, and there may be a meeke spirit, and humble heart in a stuffe gowne like that of his; you looke on the outward appearance, but God lookes on both your hearts. His apparell is such as his calling requi­reth; and I know that for your cause also hee weareth such to take away offence, and contempt, you are so apt to stumble at euery straw; for such as you, iudge onely according to the outward appearance, and would take occasion at his meane apparell, to dispose the Gospell, as the Nazarens did. Mark. 6. 3. 4. and for this purpose the Church hath alwaies enioyned decency in apparell to Ministers.

You say, hee preacheth of malice, because he hath no good neighbourhood in him, because hee goes [Page 41] not to the Ale-house with you, and your hang-byes, haile-fellowes well met, to drinke and to game, and to preach ouer the pot (you would then heare him, with great deuotion, and not say he preached prittle-prat­tle) therefore he hath no good neighbourhood in him. If you knew what good neighbourhood were, you should see none in any of you, so much as in him.


Why, what call you good neighbourhood.


Ephes. 5. 12. The Apostle tells you in Ephes. 5. 12. sub­mit your selues one to another in the feare of God. If your fellowship and friendship be knit in God, it is good fellowship: If your feasting and meetings be as they were in the Primitiue Church among Christians, vsing your selues as in the presence of God, there is good fellowship and neighbourhood. If you be affe­ctioned to loue one another with brotherly loue, and in giuing honour one going before another, that is good neighbourhood, Rom. 12. 10. If your rich men Rom. 12. 10.prey not on the poore, by rent-racking, by small mea­sures and great prizes, but releeue them before they fall, and helpe them vp when they are fallen, Luk. 10. Luke. 10. 33. 34. 35.33. 34 35. then are you good neighbours.

But if your good neighbour-hood be acted no where but at the Ale-house, in drinking and drunken­nesse, ribaldry and swearing, in foolish iangling, rot­ten and vnsauory speeches. In dissembling, lying, cousonage in bargayning, insnarings (called ale-house bargaines) wasting your good, like Esaus: then is it such like as S. Peter speakes of, 1 Pet. 4. 3. 4. It's like 1 Pet. 4. 3. 4.the meeting of swine at their trough; and it seemes strange to such heathenish people, that good Christi­ans run not with them to the same excesse of riot, and therefore speake they euill of them.

You say also that he preacheth out of choler, and that hee will be angry when no man hurts him. You thinke belike, no man should be angry for Gods cause; [Page 42] you will take your brothers part, your kinsmans part, and your friends part, when you see him abused: yea, in his absence, you will answer for him, it may be you will not deale onely words, but blowes for him, if you loue him well, and should God haue no friends to take his part, not to speake a word for him, nay, not so much as to looke with an angry countenance against his enemies. Hath not God beene, and is not God our friend that wee should shew no loue at all to him? can a childe with patience see his Father wronged? and should the children of God not be displeased when they heare the name of God blasphemed? Surely if we loue our Fathers that begat vs, wee cannot but loue God much more which hath made both them and vs, and all the world, and maintaines vs all, and all for vs, of his own goodnes and bounty. If we loue our earthly Mothers, that endured some bodily paines in our birth, we cannot but loue Iesus Christ, that endured the cursed death of the Crosse. For our new birth; Our Mothers bring vs forth Children of wrath; fire­brands of hell, but Christ hath brought vs forth chil­dren of God, and heyres of his glorious kingdome. Surely this loue of God towards vs, which is infinite, and endlesse, should moue vs to loue him; at the least, to be displeased with his enemies, and the contemners of him.

Was not Moses angry with the Israelites in Gods Exod. 32. 19.cause? Exodus 32. 19. Did not the Leuites out of their zeale of Gods glory slay euery man his brother, companion, and neighbour? Was not Lots righteous soule grieued from day to day, because of the wicked­nesse of the Sodomites? but you say, a man is angry for nought, if it be in Gods cause, you shew, what knowledge, what faith, what loue of God there is in you. This is farre from louing him with all the heart, soule, minde, and strength. There is none so ready to [Page 43] answere for themselues as you are, yea, you will be very feruent and zealous in your owne causes: but you will hate or mocke them, that speake in Gods behalfe. Whether doe you loue God, or your selfe better? whereas you say, that some of your rich men will ouer power him, and remoue him, vnlesse he looke well to himselfe; he knowes that to be the nature of the rich, which serue the golden Deuill Mammon, to hate all them that seeke to set forth Gods glory. Hee knowes that Mammon is now strong in the world, and so full of sophistry, that hee can make the Law a nose of waxe, yea, and the Gospell also, to turne them which way he list. Notwithstanding he feares not the souldiers and seruants of Mammon, though they come like Goli­ahs, strong men, sensible men, sound cardes, well purst, cunning vnderminers against him; for God hath put a stone in his sling, euen his word in his mouth, and giuen him strength to slay a Beare, and a Lion. God hath bidden him not to feare you: where­fore should hee feare? Ezech. 2. 6. Sonne of man feare Ezech 2. 6. them not, nor be afraid of their words, although Rebells and thornes be with thee, and thou remainest with scorpions: feare not their words, nor be afraid at their lookes, for they are a rebellious house.

Wherefore I would counsell you to looke well to your selfe, that Satan and your owne sins ouer-power not you, and remoue you cleane out of Gods fauour, protection, and kingdome.

Afterward, you come to tell me of a fine man, of a great Scholler, that vseth more Greeke and Latine then English in his Sermons, and that it will doe one good to heare him. What edifying doe you thinke that any of his vnlearned hearers get by such vsing of his Greeke and Latine? You your selfe say that they profit nothing in knowledge, and I thinke they pro­fit as little in good life. What good is that you speake [Page 44] of? It is euen nothing but this, that you vse him, as an instrument to disgrace your Minister withall, by your odious comparisons-making. And because heereby you comfort, releeue, and refresh an accusing consci­ence, whiles that you dispose the plain-dealing of your owne Minister, and accounts him the right Preacher, that lets you liue securely in your sinnes.

Moreouer, doe you thinke it a decent thing for a Minister to goe from the pot to the pulpit? Should he not rather come from God, I meane from prayer, and Meditation, that he might pray and preach in fear, humility, reuerence, and zeale, as hauing the word put in his mouth from God, and speaking as from God, beeing in the glorious presence of God and his An­gells?

You say that you haue talkatiue fellows in your pa­rish, that can put them all downe in reasoning, and their minister too. It likes you well, and such as you, to call gracious words talkatiuenesse, and prattle. Marke what the Apostle saith, Colossians 3. 16. Let the word of God dwell plenteously in you, in all wisedome, &c. In another place, Let your speech be seasoned with salt; but you thinke that vaine, foolish, rotten, and vnsauory speeches, should rather be plentifull in men mouthes; for with these I neuer heare you finde any fault, oaths, lyes, foolish ieasting, ribaldry hath free passage with­out checke, or rebuke. And if such persons doe but humour and please you, then is all well, taken how bad soeuer it be, and with such like persons you loue to keepe company; but you haue no delight to tarry where there is sober talke, and Christian communi­cation; as I haue seene diuers begin to hem, and to hum, and to hang downe the head, to yawne, raspe, and stretch (as being weary with long sitting) saying that they haue businesse, and therefore must away, and so sliuing out of the doores, presently stumble into an [Page 45] other place, where they will be as merry as cuppe and cann can make them.

But heare what the holy man of God, the Prophet Dauid saith, Psal. 26. 4. 5. I haue not dwelt with vaine per­sons, Psal. 26. 4. 5.neither will I haue fellowship with the deceitfull. I haue hated the congregation of the wicked▪ and will not sit among the vngodly, And Psal. 119. 115. Away from me ye wick­ed, Psal. 119. 115.for I will keepe the commandement of my God. And Pro. 14. 7. Depart from the foolish man, when thou per­ceiuest Prou. 14. 7.not in him the lips of knowledge. And Ecclus. 9. 17. Ecclus. 9. 17.Let thy talke be with the wise, and all thy communication in the Law of the most high. This is expresly comman­ded, Deut. 11. 19. We must speake of the Commandements Deut. 11. 19.continually, when wee sit at home, when wee walke by the way, when wee rise vp, and when we lye downe: but they that do thus, by your confession, shall lose their friends; if they lose their friendship of sinners, to obtaine the friendship of God, and his Angells, it is a gainefull losse, for there be more with them then against them.

Whereas you say (a wonted Prouerbe among pro­phane people) A booke in the Pocket, a Deuill in the heart; There be some that carry no bookes in their pockets, nor yet good words in their mouthes, which notwithstanding haue the Deuill in their hearts. All are not bad that carry good bookes with them, nor all good, that haue no bookes. It is a Prouerbe a­mong you, hee that doth as the Preacher would haue him doe, shall die a beggar: but there be some which dye beggars, because they will not doe as the Preacher would haue them. And I my selfe haue heard some say, bring not vp your sonne in learning, for it will make him a bad husband; but there be some bad hus­bands that were neuer brought vp in learning.

You call your honest men needy, in way of con­tempt. It is as easie for the rich man to scorne the poore for his pouerty, as it is for the fat Oxe that is [Page 46] ready for the shambles to tread the feeble vnder feete. The holy man Dauid was pestered, and pushed at Phil. 22. 12.with such fat Bulls of Basan, Psal. 22. 12. and bark't at with such dogs, verse 16. so was Christ also, whereof he was a figure; and so are, and shall all Christians, es­pecially the poore, that can least helpe themselues Marke well, what our Sauiour Christ saith, It is as hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdome of Heauen, as for a gable rope to passe through the eye of a nee­dle: The temptations of Mammon preuaile so much with them, as that they cannot subiect their hearts to the Gospell; they will not haue Iesus Christ to be King and ruler ouer them, like the murtherous Husband­men in the Gospell, they cannot abide to do homage to Christ; such manner of seruice is too base, with the proud and licentious worldlings. It will not afford such meat, drinke, and cloth, as a man should haue, and there is no liberty but continuall paines-taking. Lewd seruants that take no pleasure in their Masters profit, nor delight in a well ordered family, loue to serue dissolute and prodigall masters, where they may haue great wages to maintaine pride, wantonnes, and gaming, and where they may haue full scope and liber­ty to say and doe what they list: Euen so, most rich men, and all worldlings, haue no pleasure at all in the profiting of Christ by their faithfull seruice, neither haue any delight in his gouernment and family, there is so much strictnesse▪ curiousnesse and base work; but they must serue golden Mammon, that will giue them wage enough, they shall want nothing that will doe them good, for there is neither pinching nor sparing, neither shall they be restrained of their liberty.

Now seeing that these worldlings are such bad and froward seruants, Christ which is a straight and hard man, and therefore lookes to haue his businesse well followed, and to receiue his owne with aduantage, will [Page 47] haue those that haue not dwelt in wanton and prodi­gall houses, where there is nothing but eating and drinking, mirth and pastime; but hee hath chosen the poore and needy to confound the rich; the foolish and simple, to confound the wise and the learned; the weake, and helplesse, to bring to naught the mighty and the strong, 1 Cor. 1. 26. 27. 28. This Scripture is 1 Cor. 1. 26. 27. 28.fulfilled in your owne eyes, in your owne towne, and yet you cannot see it, because he lookes on the heart, and hath mercy on whom he will, and you contrarily looke on the outward appearance, and iudge thereaf­ter. In Marke 6. Christ preacheth in his owne coun­try, Marke 6.and worketh miracles there also, but how do they heare him and receiue him? Whence hath he this do­ctrine? What wisedome is this that is giuen him? How doth hee worke such great wonders? Is hee not a car­penter? are not his Mother, Brethren▪ and Sisters with vs? But heere was all, and therefore Christ maruelled at their vnbeleefe. In the weake and meane outward appearance of Christ, they might the more cleare­ly haue seene the power, wisedome, and glory of God, had they not beheld him with fleshly and carnall eyes.

So may you see the mercy, grace, and goodnes of God in opening the eyes of your poore men, trades­men, labouring men, vnlearned men, men of no edu­cation, of no meanes, such as the Disciples were; not so sensible and so wise as some of your rich men are, not booke-learned as they are, not at leysure as they are, but alwaies in some labour and trauell, and yet can they put downe all your sensible men in rea­soning, and your fine Latine Preacher with them. Is not this the power of God inlightning their mindes, mollifying their hearts with the oyle of grace, and sanctifying the word vnto them which they heare? Heereupon comes this difference betweene them, and [Page 48] the rich, and betweene other poore men and them. They hunger and thirst after the word of God, there­fore God satisfieth their soules with God, and they are fatte and well-liking, the rich haue not this spirituall hungar, and thirst, and therfore they are sent empty Luke 1. 53.away. Luk. 1. 53.

These poore men among you (whom God hath re­ceiued to mercy) you call pratling fellowes, beggarly persons, Putricans, with other mocking, vngodly, and enuious termes. Our Sauiour Christs countrimen ad­mired his doctrine, wisedome, miracles, but euer in the end they came in with their (But:) He is but a Carpen­ter, but of meane parentage, but of meane education, &c. Euen so doe you come in alwaies with your But: but hee is no Scholler, but he is no linguist, but our rich men and great men regard him not; hee is but this, he is but that: so you make this But, a stumbling blocke, or rather a brazen wall to separate you from Gods Kingdome. The Lord turne your hearts.

Againe, you say such poore men should mind their businesse, and not runne to Sermons: this running to Sermons indeede is a great beame in your eyes: you commonly iudge them vnthrifts, that spend an houre in the weeke day at a Sermon: but you neuer speake of them that spend many houres in the weeke in idle talke, or at the Ale-house▪ Nay I haue heard your owne tongue commend a trades-man, for his orderly course of life; and among other things, that hee would goe twise or thrise in the weeke to the Ale-house; if hee liked the company; but he duely kept his stint, hee would not passe his houre vnlesse by great chance. Nei­ther doe I simply disallow this thing in him; but if he bestowed one of these houres in the hearing of a Ser­mon, I should thinke the better of him, and so would you to. For I am perswaded that you your selfe thinke the Church better than the Ale-house, and the [Page 49] word of God to be as needfull for the soule, as Ale for the body. And if they offer not the sacrifice of fooles, but giue diligent eare, and laying vp that in memory which they heare, shall afterward vpon occasion speak of the same, I hope that you for your part will not terme them pratlers, nor hate them for it, but rather commend them, and loue them, preferring them be­fore others that haue that care to know God, nor de­sire to heare his word.

Alasse, I am sorry to heare you say, that you care for none that followes, and fauors your Minister. You should all fauour him, and follow his doctrine: yea, and him also, wherein hee followeth Christ. You should be his fellow-helpers, and gather with him, and not scatter abroad, nor hinder the worke of the Lord in his hands. You rich men should countenance him all that you can, that thereby all sorts, and euen the worst people might be moued to reuerence him, which in the contempt of him, contemne the word of God, and God himselfe, whose messenger he is. They should couer his faults, and infirmities, that by such things the word of God be not euill spoken of among them that seeke such occasions. They should helpe and releeue his wants (as all true Christians euer haue done,) that pouerty hinder not the worke of the Mi­nistery and so your soules be starued, and famished to death through the pining of his body.

You will meate your oxen, and keepe your horses well, that they may be strong to labour, else your bu­sinesse will lye vndone: ought you not then much more to maintaine your minister, that your soules may be filled, and satisfied with good? Will you withdraw meat from your beasts, that they might not worke, and yet would haue your worke done? surely you would thinke him hardly well in his wits, that would doe so: euen so, will you sacrilegiously withdraw your [Page 50] Ministers maintenance, that he might not preach, and yet would be saued, this is spirituall madnes, and dead drunkennesse.

Alas for you, I pitty your case, I perceiue how the gods of this world, Satan and Mammon, haue blinded the eyes of some of your rich men, and hath preuai­led so much with them, as he hath brought them to be ranke Pharisees, as ill and worse then they, that per­secuted Christ.

Some few of them, it should seeme, being fat at the heart, and full in the purse, are prickt with pride and vaineglory, whereby they seeke to ouer▪power all the meaner sort, to prey vpon them at their com­mand, both to say and doe, not what truth and right is, but what they would haue. If any submit themselues and yeeld to them in all things, magnifying and prai­sing them, him they will countenance and fauour and chiefly giue him faire words; but all accompts in the end being cast, he shall finde himselfe nothing helped, or bettered by them, vnlesse it be of other mens cost; but if any dislike their doings and crosse them some­times, yea, when he can doe no other, vnlesse hee will burthen his conscience, him they will be reuenged of, disgracing him, and watching opportunity to thwart him; and as I may say, to worrie him if they could. And by those meanes haue they brought, and seeke to bring all men into their subiection, whereout they suck no small aduantage.

Now these men cannot abide your minister for his plaine dealing with them, yea like enuious Riualls they cannot abide that any respect or reuerence should be had, or giuen to him, for they thinke it great disgrace to them, that any man should be preferred before them in any thing in your parish; yea they make accompt of your minister, but as of a bodily seruant for out­ward Church▪duties, according to Law, and that there­fore [Page 51] they pay his tithes as his wages. They would not haue him to meddle or make with townes-mat­ters, which are swayd after their owne lusts, nor of their wickednesse, because they would not haue their vglinesse and shame vncouered before the eyes of the world, nor the gnawing worme of their galled conscience stirred and set on worke before the time, (the Lord conuert them if it be his gracious pleasure.) Hence it is that they seeke to single out all men from him, that being left alone, and no man daring to speak in his behalse, no not the manifest trueth, they might vpon euery light occasion vse him at their pleasure: but though all men leaue him, yet God will assist him, in his owne cause; and in the end all men shall see his power in the conuersion, or in the confusion of these wicked Caitiues.


It is euen as true, that you say, as God is in heauen. They are so fed as they are like a foole with a full belly, and a bable in his hand. No man can bee in quiet for them: they are euen the most venemous people that euer man came amongst; it is not possible to escape their hands, but they will one way or other mischiefe him: I haue had but too much experience of—&c.


How bad soeuer they be, let not vs be moued to impatience, but vse good words; If wee see their wickednesse, let vs hate it, but let vs loue their persons, God can make them vessels of holinesse and righteousnesse at his pleasure. A soft answere pacifieth wrath, and good words quench the coales of strife: we must not cease to be good because they are euill.

But to make an end of my former speech vnto you; If you remember, you were angry with me (when vp­on your owne speeches) I said you were like to Pilate and Herod, one against another, and all against your Minister; doe you not euen now say the same vpon an­other [Page 52] occasion) terming them venemous, and full fooles with bables? Whereby it appeares that you are now with them, now against them; faine would you haue their fauour, but your owne will withall; but your loue to Gods word, and your minister is like theirs. Well, I perceiue that sinne raignes in a company of you, and that Satan rules you at his pleasure. When you and they are at some variance, and the Minister, as his text doth lead him, doth reproue some sinne that you know them guilty of, that sinne you remem­ber well, and will be rehearsing of it, and curri-fauou­ring with the Minister, to shroud your selfe vnder him: this you doe out of a reuengefull heart to dis­grace and defame your neighbours, and that in ma­king others bad, your selfe might seeme good. Again, when time serues, you will side to them against your minister, and call his reprouing of sinne rayling against honest men, and say that he hath no neighbourhood, nor loue of his people in him; that hee speakes all out of pride, malice, enuy, choller: Whereby a man may easily see, that some among you are religious, some prophane and vnmoueable in their wickednesse, some crafty shifters, seruing themselues of both parties, hating the one, and not louing the other.

What say you now, being in this tune that you are in? Put the case that Iohn the Baptist, or Paul, or Peter, &c. or any of the holy men of▪former times, should come to Preach among you: put the case that Iesus Christ himselfe should come, (I meane not working miracles, nor discouering themselues) but preaching, and teaching in such manner as they did to the Iewes, & to other peoples, when they liued on earth? You say you would heare them, follow them, reuerence, and honour them, confesse your sinnes, you would spend goods, body, and life for them, you would cast all that you had at their feete, and suffer your selues to

[Page 53] But the manifest trueth is, that Christ himselfe should finde no better entertainment, than your Mi­nister now doth, nay farre worse; for Christ vsed to speake to the spirits of men, seeing hee knew the thoughts of their hearts, and their secret sinnes; and therefore would you persecute him with more deadly hatred. Hee would not preach comfort I war­rant you to obstinate and hard hearted Pharisees, nor frame his speeches to the liking of their corrupt iudg­ments, and earthly imaginations, as you would haue your Minister to doe.

But you will say hee would be innocent, harme­lesse, sinnelesse, giuing none occasion, no appearance of euill, yea, hee would stoppe the mouthes of the worst, that they could not speake one euill word of him.

But by your leaue, that is well spoken which is well taken, and that is well done, that is well constru­ed. If you be of froward dispositions, and euill harts, how would you take that at his hands, which were con­trary to you? how would you being of ignorant and corrupt iudgements interpret his words, and censure his doings? It mattereth not onely who is the speaker, and what is spoken; but also who is the hearer, and how it is heard. The serpent can finde poison there where the Bee can finde no poyson but honey. And I haue often heard them say that the cunning Alchy­mist can draw gall out of hony, and hony out of gall: you must therefore consider what heart and eares you haue: I tell you plainely, that vnlesse Christ should put new hearts into your bodies, you would heare him no otherwise then you doe your owne Mi­nister, that cannot giue you new hearts. And though hee be most holy, yet would you esteeme him a sin­ner. What I pray you said the proud and couetous [Page 54] Pharisees of him? Hee is a glutton, a drinker, a com­mon Mat. 11. 19. Mat. 27. 63. Mat. 9. 34.companion. Matthew 11 19. A deceiuer, Mat­thew 27. 63. A Sorcerer, or worker with euill Spirits, Matthew 9. 34. Hee hath a Deuill, and is madde, why Iohn 10. 20.doe you heare him? Iohn 10 20. Hee is a Samari­tane, Iohn 8. 48. Iohn 9. [...]4.and is frantike, Iohn 8. 48. They know that hee is a sinner, Iohn 9. 24. yea, his owne kinsmen layed Marke 3. 21.hands on him, supposing that hee was madde. Mark. 3. 21.

How then I pray you would the proud, couetous Pharisees in these daies receiue him? How would pro­phane mockers heare him? Euen worse then they doe your Minister, or any other faithfull Pastor else­where. For the more purely that the word of God is preached, the more doth it dissent from the corrupt heart, and more neerely searcheth it, and makes sin­ners more sinfull, working more forcibly in the con­science. Heereupon the rebellious sinner presently seekes for false releefes, ease, and comforts, and that is by returning all vpon the Minister, hee is a Puri­tane, hee is phantasticall, precise, indiscreete, vn­charitable; now he speakes to himselfe, for wee are no such men; hee speakes out of pride, malice, en­uy, choller, false information, theres none worse then himselfe, such Christianity cannot be acted &c. How I pray you, did they censure Iohn the Baptist? Hee hath a Deuill, the Deuill is in him, a grimme dogge, a melancholy fellow, [...], &c. How then would you speake of him, and of Christ? If new wine be poured into olde vessells, whosoeuer poures it in, and howsoeuer it be poured in, the vessels will burst. And if a new peece be sewed to an old garment, how good soeuer the peece be, and how cunning soeuer the taylor be, it will rent away part of the olde: for the olde vessell cannot containe the [Page 55] new wine, nor the olde rotten garment retaine the new cloath. If the pure word of God from Christs owne mouth were applied to your olde, fleshly, and rotten hearts, what containing or retaining would there be of it? Againe, so long as you are carnall, how can you iudge of those things which are spiri­tuall?

The naturall man cannot perceiue the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse to him, nothing sounds well to his eare, but that which sa­uours of flesh and bloud. And therefore many dain­ty eared men can away with none but with schol­lerlike Sermons. The Word must sauor of humane wisedome and learning, else there is no more taste in it, than in water, hee cannot abide to drinke it; but if it hath sugar in it▪ or be mixt with wine, then for the su­gar and wines sake, hee drinks it off, and commends it not simply, but secundum quid. But the pure word of God hath neither good taste, nor good farewell, it goeth downe either like water in the sottish, or like wormewood and gall in the hard-hearted and ma­litious.

Iudge now I pray you, how your froward rich men would heare, receiue, entertaine, and welcome Ie­sus Christ, in whom they say they beleeue, whom they loue aboue all, and by whom they hope to bee saued. I feare that they which so greatly commend your fine man, that preacheth more Greeke, Latine, and Hebrew, then English, and which are so delighted and comforted with his languages, if Iesus Christ were preaching to them, in such manner as hee did on the earth, would hardly giue him friendly intertaine­ment, they would hardly all agree to make him a sti­pend, or contribution, I doubt some would giue him neuer a penny, euen of them that are the most able.

[Page 56]

I am no Scripture man: I cannot answer you to euery thing: but it will not sinke into my head, but that we should all heare and obey Christ. Though wee be bad enough (as there is none good but God) yet wee are not so bad, I trust, whatsoeuer you say, I hope you are no Prophet, it is hard for you to iudge what wee are, much lesse can you tell what you would be.


I perceiue well that you are no Scripture man; for it appeares by you, that that gift is not yet giuen to you, neither doe you as yet desire it. For it may be that you are afraid to be termed a Puritane, or to be mocked of your friends & companions, and you loue not to be mocked. Whereas you say that I am no Prophet: It is enough for me that you are a Prophet in these things. For I haue said nothing but that which you haue said, and I build vpon your reason, and com­mon reason.

You said euen now that if a Lion were turned into a Lambe, hee would be but regarded and vsed like a Lambe. Euen so, when God tooke our nature, euen mans true shape vnto him, was hee not regarded and vsed as a man in the world? Yea, and was hee not more despitefully and shamefully intreated in the world, then euer any man was before him? What if hee were in the same appearance now in the world, as then hee was, should hee haue any better entertain­ment in the world then his brethren haue now, and 1 Cor. 1. 15.haue had? They that know not▪ his members. (1 Co­rinthians 1. 15. which discerne all things, and are iudged of none:) How should they know the head, if hee were among them? Surely he that knoweth the head, knoweth the members also, and hee that knowes not the members knowes not the head, for they are all Heb. 2. Heb. 2. 11.

[Page 57] You saide also, that if a man were forth twenty yeares in a strange countrey, and should returne home againe in the forme of a seruant or poore man, that his owne family would not know him: Euen so Saint Iohn 2. 10. Iohn speakes of Christ, Iohn 1. 10. Hee came among his owne, and his owne receiued him not. If they had knowne him in Moses and the Prophets, they would surely haue receiued him, as some beleeuers did. So if you know him not now in his Word preached, you could not possibly know him if hee were a­mong you: for you can no way know him but by his voyce.

You said moreouer that if a King should come in­to your towne in the forme of a seruant, or poore man, that hee would not be heard nor regarded at all, though hee shewed forth himselfe in his counte­nance, gesture, behauiour, wisedome, counsell, ad­uise, learning, &c. Euen so though Christ was the brightnesse of the glory of God, and the liuely I­mage and patterne of his person in the world, the maiesty, power, greatnesse, wisedome, and good­nesse of his God head shining in his person, face, countenance, words, workes; yet his owne knew him not. And if hee were in such sort among you, nei­ther would you know him nor heare him otherwise then now you know him, and heare him by his voyce; if he begin once to meddle with you, and to reforme you, then you would not let him alone. Why? be­cause hee will not let you alone, as you said of your Minister. Alas for you I pitty you, because you can­not see your owne hypocrisie that you might repent.

There was a certaine Bishop, that at a visitation preached a very godly Sermon, and godlily, euen to the capacity of the meanest hearers. I heard him very greatly commended for his graue gesture, for [Page 58] his distinct and sober deliuerie, for his Fatherly in­structions, speaking plainely and familiarly as a Fa­ther to his Children, not so earnest and vehement, and hotte, as young nouices are, &c. And hee was worthy to be a Bishop. As for their Minister, hee was but a youngling, and as good as no body in comparison of him. If they had such a Preacher, they would giue I know not what (for these gaue lit­tle, or nothing towards the maintenance of their owne)

This great and generall commendation was signifi­ed to the Bishop in priuate, &c. Now at the next yeare­ly visitation after, the same Bishop came in the attyre and fashion of an ordinary and poore minister, ha­uing his beard shauen, &c. offering himselfe to bee their Preacher, for there was a speech in the towne that their owne Preacher would goe away to another place. The Bishop of set purpose did choose another text differing from his former in words, but not in matter, so that in a manner he preached the very same Sermon. Now the same persons that did so much commend him before, did as muh discommend him now, and that in mine owne hearing. They said that hee had no good gesture, but a heauy kinde of moo­uing of his body, that hee bended too much forward, and stood not vpright, that hee was nothing ripe, nor ready in his deliuery, that hee could be no scholler, because hee was so plaine spoken, that almost any man might make as good a Sermon, that it differed little from ordinary talke, that hee enforst, nor fol­lowed his exhortations with no vehemencie, nor ear­nestnesse, and that his words had no life in them, to stirre vp attention, or to mooue the affections of the hearers, that none of them would giue a penny to­wards his maintainance, and that they would haue [Page 59] an other kinde of Preacher than hee, or they would haue none. Euen so if Iesus Christ should come to preach among you in mans appearance, you conceit your selfe that you would heare him as Christ, but withall; you haue a secret confused imagination of some kinde of worldlie flourish, as the Iewes con­ceiued of him: but the plaine trueth is, that you would say and iudge no otherwise of him, then of any other faithfull pastour: for you commend you know not what, and you dispraise you know not what.

But now to trouble you no longer, let mee coun­sell and exhort you, as a friend, and Christian bro­ther, cast away all these vaine and worldly Imaginati­ons, pray vnto God to enlighten the eyes of your minde, that the glorious light of the Gospell might shine vnto you, which as yet is hidden from you, pray vnto him to take the stony heart out of your body, and to giue you an heart of flesh, a penitent, humble, and sober heart, leaue that foolish ieasting, and that vaine Ale house company keeping, betake your selfe to priuate prayer, and reading, and then GOD will heare you, and come vnto you, for hee will not turne away his face from them that desire to be acquainted with him, giue diligent eare to your Ministers Ser­mons and Catechizings, and meditate seriously after of that which you haue heard and offer your selfe to your Pastour and Shepheard of your soule, be not strange vnto him, as though you cared not for him, but let him see your amendment and conuersion, and be better acquainted with him, but yet in singlenes and sincerity, and if you once be entred into a good way, bee constant in it to the end without feare, or wauering, let nothing terrifie or affright you; what­soeuer men iudge, say, or doe, care not you for that, nor be troubled, be ruled by the aduice of your mini­ster, [Page 60] before any other, and let your foote weare his threashold, for you shall finde more comfort, pleasure, and delight in his company than euer you had in any thing all the daies of your vani­tie, yea, you shall more and more perceiue in what a most miserable estate you were in, and those re­bels your rich gluttons are in, vnlesse they repent: You shall by Gods grace in time come to a more cleare, and perfect discerning of all things. You know the olde Prouerbe commonly vsed, they that are in Hell thinke there is no other Heauen, and the Oxe thinkes hee is going to the stall, when hee goes to the shambles. Bee not deceiued: The men of this world, which you doe call wise sensible men, are ledde by their sense, and worldly craft to the Deuills Larder-house. And as the Apostle sayes, when they thinke themselues to be wise, they become very fooles.

I haue spoken thus boldly vnto you, because I take you to be my friend; for I am sure that I am yours: if you any way doubt of it, try mee in any thing wherein I can pleasure you; onely let mee intreat you to consider well of this point that you and I haue thus reasoned of. I haue a good hope that howsoeuer you haue beene misledde a long time, all the Angells in Heauen shall reioyce in your conuersion. And I doe like you a great deale the better, because you haue not left mee, and gone away from mee in a chase, especiallie be­ing that I haue dealt so plainely with you as I haue done.


I can tell you, if you had spoken so to some of our towne, they would sit on your skirts while they liued.


Like enough: for it is the property of [Page 61] flesh and bloud to be reuengefull, but the Apo­stle teacheth vs another lesson: Auenge not your selues, I will repay saith the Lord: My skirts are as well able to beare a Feather, as it is to sit on them; I trust that so long as I giue them no other occasion then I haue done, they shall haue no fast sitting, for the Lord will not leaue them that feare him, in their enemies hands.

The Lord grant that I may see some fruits of this conference in you at our next meeting.

By this short Dialogue it appeareth how the word of GOD is most commonly and generally heard and receiued, , yea, euen of all, that are not sancti­fied: For they doe either altogether heare it as the word of man, or at least when it is particularly ap­plied, for their conuersion, and reformation, then begin they euer to seeke out arguments (for the So­phister the Father of lyes is at hand) for their hard hearts, for their lustfull liuing, for the saluing of an euill and corrupt conscience, drawne from the person of the Minister; yea, and to seeke out ano­ther shepheard, (some that Satan hath pickt in at the window) whom they may obiect against him: who if hee be a good Scholler, politicke and craf­ty for his owne aduantage, and of Gentleman-like fa­shion, then is hee, and such like to be preferred be­fore their owne Minister, and such like, without all compare. And indeede, to say the truth, there is no more comparison betweene them, then betweene Paul, and the learned preachers, that so flourisht at Corinth. A foole will seeke out excuses for his foo­lishnes.

Wherefore seeing that this is the fourth and high­est degree of Faith, whereby a man euen steps vp in­to heauen, the Apostle, and all faithfull Shepheards, [Page 62] haue great cause of reioycing (as the Angells in Hea­uen also haue) and of thanksgiuing without ceasing, when any man heareth the word, not as theirs, but as Gods, seeing that they alone, and none but they doe heare, know, and follow Christ their chiefe shep­heard.

This then is the condemnation of the world, that they heare indeede, but with vnbeleeuing hearts, doubting, and wauering minds, and in a dreaming and slumbering manner, being like to Salomons sluggard, Prou. 6. 10. Prouerbs 6. 10. Yet a little sleepe, a little slumber, a lit­tle foulding of the hands to sleepe; the weather is colde, there is a Beare, or a Lyon in the way; It is yet early e­nough, there is no time yet ouerpast: many labour and trauell, hauing no rest night nor day, yet doe they liue and die in pouerty; many lye and sleepe, yet wealth commeth on them vnlooked for: That which will be, will be: It is but euen happen good, haue good, one good fortune or other will befall mee. I shall doe as well as I can, and as others haue done before mee. And thus doth slothfulnesse get the vpper hand, and hold possession still, till at the length pouerty come sodenly, and necessity like an ar­med man.

This is the common practise of dead hearted, and worldly minded men, they are continually called vpon, iogged, and rouzed, yet they heare, and heare not; like dreamers, and are possest with the spirit of slumber. Their hearts are fixed, and affections set on the earth and earthly things, euen as the tree is fixed, and rooted in the earth. They loue to lye and liue se­curely in sinne, being drunken with the profits, plea­sures, delights, pompe and pride of this world, hauing no affection nor fancy to God and godly things, being adulterers, adulteresses, and fornicators of this world, [Page 63] altogether vnlike and contrary to the spouse of Christ in the Canticles.

Hence it is, that they imagine and reason in them­selues like the sluggard; yet a little more pleasure in sinne, a little more solace and delight in fleshly lusts, a little longer space of liuing after the pleasant conceits and imaginations of mine owne heart, there is yet no time ouer-past, I shall repent and amend in my latter dayes, God is mercifull, and will not so strictly deale with vs as these precise Preachers doe beare vs in hand, that would haue vs to be ruled and ordered by their phantasticall imaginations: they would haue they know not what, and for ought we see; they are as ill as others. This precise kinde of preaching is come vp but of late yeares, and I thinke there were as good Christians before, as euer there haue beene since.

These and a thousand such like follies doe they imagine and vtter, tending all to the blinding and hardning of themselues in their sinfull and rebellious courses. That which a man hath a speciall loue, li­king, and inclination to of himselfe, hee may soone be perswaded vnto by another, for any reason, though neuer so weake and seely feedeth him, and confirmeth him; whereas the strongest disswasions that may be shall preuaile little or nothing, or but for the time present: Againe, on the contrary, if a man out of his owne heart and iudgement haue no liking nor in­clination, though hee be neuer so earnestly set vpon, and by most sound and strong reasons be disswaded by another; yet can hee be little moued or stirred, but e­uer returneth backe againe to his former dislikes, like the heauy stone, that being rouled by great strength vpward, doth of it selfe retire backe againe, so soone as we hold off our hands.

[Page 64] Thus it is with obstinate sinners, whose hearts are heauy, and stony, the strongest reasons that may be though neuer so plaine and euident, yea the very bare word of the text, being the immediate word of God, can preuaile little or nothing with them, they are so strongly possest with contrary imaginations, lusts and desires: but on the contrary, any weake, sil­ly and foolish reason, any ignorant speech & ground­lesse opinion feedeth them, and confirmeth them in their sinfull courses. Any thing will perswade the slug­gard to be idle; so any thing will mooue the sinner to spirituall idlenesse: And thus will those drunken and sleepy sinners doe, till death summon them to iudge­ment, and till the house be fired ouer their heads, and round about them, I meane till the elements melt, and the heauens passe away with a noise, as our Sauiour Mat. 24. 38. 39.Christ saith, Matthew 24. 38. 39. As in the dayes be­fore the flood, they did eate and drinke, marry, and giue in marriage, vnto the day that Noah entred into the Arke, and knew nothing (for they little regarded, and lesse beleeued Noahs preaching) till the flood came, and tooke them all away; so shall the comming of the Sonne of Man be.

Therefore it is no marueile if men commonly cast away the word of God preached, as but the word of man; but it is a marueile rather that men should heare it as the word of God, taking no offence at the person of the Preacher: for this proceedeth of supernaturall grace, but the other comes of naturall blindnesse and corruption. Great cause therefore haue we to reioyce and giue thankes to God for them, that receiue the Word from vs, not as our word, but as the Word of GOD; which is an euident token of true conuer­sion.

In this manner of receiuing the word hee confir­meth [Page 65] them, by auouching that the word preached is indeed the word of Gods own mouth: By which briefe asseueration, hee preuenteth and cutteth off all obie­ctions.

Furthermore hee amplifieth this their manner of receiuing the word, by the efficacy of the word in them [which worketh in you:] The word of man worketh on the naturall affections, and moueth them but to that, to which they haue an inclination in themselues: but the word of God worketh in man by regenerating and sanctifying him, that denying himselfe hee might be transplanted into Christ, and bring forth fruit in him, to the honor of God, not to the profit of himselfe, which no naturall man can doe. Philosophy and mo­rall education instructeth and ordereth the life and manners, by restraining the brutishnesse of sinne, but it changeth not a man from being a bruit. Heerein then is the euident difference betweene Gods word, and hu­mane doctrines, and instructions.

This working of the word he restraineth to the be­leeuers [in you,] without faith we are dead in trespasses and sinnes, Ephes. 2. 1. And our Sauiour Christ saith, Ephes. 2. 1. The time shall come, and now is, when the dead (sinners) shall heare the voice of the Sonne of God, and they that hear it (with humble, penitent, and obedient hearts) shall liue. Also the Apostle saith, Ephes. 5. 14. Awake thou Ephes. 5. 14. that sleepest (in worldly and fleshly affections, & lusts) and stand vp from the dead, and Christ shall giue thee light. Now the dead receiue no nourishment▪ therefore nei­ther they that want faith, as the Apostle saith, Heb. 4. Heb. 4. 2.2. The word which they heard, profited them not, because it was not mingled with faith in them that heard it.

In the 14 verse following, hee prooueth that the word of God wrought in them by the outward worke or effect, [For ye are become followers of the Churches of [Page 66] Iudaea in Christ: For you haue suffered the same things of your owne countrimen, as they haue of the Iewes. This, is a sure and euident argument of true hearing and belee­uing, to immitate the godly, and to haue fellowship and communion with them. Further, this fellowship and imitation is proued and tryed by the fire, namely by their suffering with them, this suffering is further tryed by the persons persecuting [their owne coun­trimen, friends, kinsfolkes, &c.] for that is the greatest persecution of all, and which can least be endured, where­fore it trieth a Christian man euen to the heart.


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