TWO LEARNED AND GODLY SERMONS, Preached by that reue­rende and zelous man M. RICHARD GREENHAM: on these partes of Scrip­ture folowing.

The first Sermon on this text.

A good name is to be desired aboue great riches, and louing fauour aboue siluer and golde.

Pro. 22, 1.

The second Sermon on this text.

Quench not the spirit.

1. Thessa. 5, 19.

LONDON. Printed by Gabriel Simson and William White, for William Iones, dwelling neare Holborne Condite at the signe of the Gunne: where they are to be solde. 1595.

Two learned and godly Sermons, preached by that reuerende and zelous man, M. Richarde Greenham: and the first of them is of this text folowing.

A good name is to he desired aboue great riches, and louing fauour aboue siluer and golde.

Prouerbes. 22.1.

ALl that is to be desi­red of a man, is this, that he be vertuous, godly, and truly reli­gious: this because it is in it selfe most ex­cellent, & most con­trary to our nature, therfore the Scrip­ture vseth many argumentes and rea­sons [Page] to perswade vs thereunto: as in this place, where the Wise man would stirre vs vp to the loue of Vertue, by settyng before our eyes two principall effectes and fruites, which we may re­ceiue by it. The first of these is, A good name. The seconde is, Louing fauour: both which, as they do proceede from vertue and godlynes, so they do main­teyne and encrease one another: for, as a man findeth much fauour with those which do speake and report well of him, so those that wyll shew a man louing fauour, wil, or at the least ought to shew it in this, that they can willing­ly afforde him good report. Now, that both these are preferred to great Riches, both these are accompted better then Golde and much Siluer: and surely, who so euer is truely wyse, will make this accompt of them: who so euer doth rightly know to discerne what is good, he wil first and especially labour [Page] for them: for, a good name, doth com­mende vs to God, and to his holy An­gels, in whose eyes those vertues, wher­of a good name doth arise, are most ac­ceptable: but Riches are not able to do this, no, the abundance of siluer, is often an occasion of sinne, whereby we are cast out of the fauour of God. Againe, where as riches (especially if they be euilly gotten) doe cause men many times to hate vs: this good name, and this louing fauour, doth win the hartes of many, yea, it doth sometimes cause our enemies to be at peace with vs. And this euer hath been, and euer wil­be most certaine and true, whether we loke to prosperity or aduersity, whether we loke to the cōmon callinges of this ciuill life, or the calling of the Church: for such is the corruption of mans na­ture, that naturally they do not loue the Magistrates that God hath placed ouer them, but when the Magistrate hath [Page] gotten a good report by the due exe­cution of iustice, by his pitifull dealing with the poore, and by his fatherly fa­uour to all that be good; then will his subiectes loue him, then will they im­brace him, then wyll they wyllyngly commit their matters into his handes, and then will they with faythfull and friendly hartes cleaue and sticke fast vnto him. To be short, that Lawyer hath most clyantes, that Phisitian hath most patientes, and that Merchant hath most customers, whose vertuous and godly dealing hath gottē them a good report. In the callinges of the Church this also is true: for, if any Preacher by the faythfull discharge of his duetie, and by his godly lyfe, haue once got­ten the fauour and friendshyp of men, how gladly will men heare him, how quietly will they be ruled by him, in what simplicitie will they make their griefes knowen vnto him, and how [Page] carefull will they be to procure his good. That Schoolemaister also that hath the name of learning to teach, of discretion to rule, and of godlines to trayne vp his Scholers in the feare of God, he neuer wants Scholers, but the best men of all sides will flocke vnto him. Contrary wise, yf any of them be discredited through an euyll name, yf the Magistrate be accompted an op­pressour, or a tyrant: yf the Lawyer be reported to deale deceitefully, yf the Minister be corrupted eyther in doct­rine or in lyfe, yf the Scholemaister be once knowen to be vnsufficient in lear­ning, vnwise in gouerning, prophane and of no religion, then wil all men be afrayde to haue any dealinges with thē: those things are often found true in peace and prosperitie; but in aduersi­tie, as in the time of warre, in the time of sicknes, and in the time of want and pouertie, they be found most true. Wil [Page] not all the poore commonly, in the time of warre seeke some ayde at the Magistrate, who in the time of peace did good vnto them: nay rather, will they not al with one consent come to­geather to helpe and defende with all their might, and with life it selfe, seeing he hath vsed all good meanes to saue and defende their liues? Contrariwise, how many Kinges, how many Cap­taynes, how many Magistrates, haue euen in their greatest needes been left and forsaken of their Subiectes and souldiers, because they haue too sharp­ly and vnmercifully ruled them? And which is more then this, the Subiectes haue procured the death of their Prin­ces, the Souldiers haue layde violent handes vpon their Captaynes, and the Tenantes haue been the first that haue layde violent hands vpon their Land-lordes; because no pittie, no compas­sion, no friendshyp, nor louyng fa­uour, [Page] hath been shewed vnto them. Agayne, if Magistrate, Minister, or Maister, or any other man, by exer­ciseing or executing the dueties of loue, haue won the hartes of the peo­ple, and gotten a good name, among them: then, in his sicknes they wyll pray for him, they will visite him, and they will beare with him a part of his griefe. Agayne, what can be more comfortable to a man, then this? This wyll glad him at the hart, and this wyll turne his bed in all his sicknes: in po­uertie also he is most & sonest holpen, which hath the best name, and hath obteyned through vertue, most fauour with men: for, good men do consider their owne cause in him; therefore are most ready to helpe him: the euyl and vngodly men, although they bare him no great goodwill, yet they are forced to helpe him, partly, because his godly lyfe doth witnes vnto their soules, that [Page] he doth deserue to be holpen, & part­ly, because the Lord doth turne their hartes to fauour him. The Widowe therefore that came to Elisha for helpe, vsed this argument to perswade Elisha, O man of God, sayth she, my husbande is dead, and dyed in debt, but he feared God: therfore helpe, I pray thee, seeing the credi­tours are come: and immediately Elisha did helpe her. On the other side, yf a man be euilly reported of, yf he be a theefe, an adulterer, an athist, an idola­lour, a riotous person, or a man of hard dealing; if such a man be once brought to some low sayle, if he once fall into pouertie and neede, then the hartes of men are shut vp agaynst him, no man doth pittie him, & all men will see, and say, that his owne sinne is brought vp­pon him: and this hath the testimony of the Prophets, who did often threa­ten such kinde of punishment to vn­godly men, so that no man shall say, [Page] Ah my father, or, ah my mother: but the whole should be glad of their depar­ture. This did the heathen people see in some part, and therefore all of them did greatly desire a good name: and as euery one of them excelled in strength, and in corage, or in wit, or any kind of knowledge, so they did labour by that thing, to get some credite to thēselues. And to conclude this poynt, though a man haue many good thinges in him, though a Magistrate doe feare God greately, though a Minister be excel­lent in many poyntes, though a Phisi­tian or Lawyer be skilfull in their pro­fessiō, yet if they haue not a good name, they can doe lytle good with their gyftes. All this doth teach vs, that in deede it is true which Salomon sayth here, that a good name, is to be chosen a­boue great Riches: and that louing fauour, is better then siluer and golde. Now the instructions that we may gather out of [Page] this place, be these two: The fiirst is, that we ought not to hurt our neigh­bour aboue all things in his good name: and therefore the Lord in his law or­deyned, that he which doth such a thing, should haue the same punishmēt which he purposed to bring vpon an other. Men would be loth to steale the goodes of any man from him; and yet the good name of a man, is more worth then all the Riches in the world: therfore, if any man by raysing vp false reportes, do impaire his brothers cre­dite, he doth hurt him more, and sin­neth more grosly & greeuously, then if he had taken away his landes and his lyuinges, his corne or his cattle, or any other thyng that he hath: and though the things be false which he reporteth, he sinneth neuer the lesse, for after that time, euen good men will be more sus­pitious, and the wicked will not let it go out of their mindes: but if it be a­gaynst [Page] a Preacher, or a professour of the trueth, then it is a great sinne, be­cause the very gospel of God is discre­dited thereby. The second instruction is this, That we must be carefull by all good meanes, to get and maynteyne our owne good name. For, if it be a sinne to discredite an other man; then much more is it a sinne to discredite our selues. If we be charged to further the good name of our brother, then are we straightly commaunded to helpe for­warde our owne, as much as we be a­ble: then it can not be without great sinne, that a man should cast off al care of his owne credite. The very heathen saw this to be a fault, & they did com­monly say, That who so euer regardeth not the report of men, he is dissolute in deede, and hath in effect, lost the na­ture of man. And therefore we may well say, that he is without all hope of amendement, which is not brought to [Page] some remorse or sorow, which with a shamelesse face, can face out sinne, and which hath addars eares and will not heare, charme the charmer neuer so wysely: as then, a shamelesse face ope­neth a doore to all vngodlinesse, so due care of credite, causeth a man to be carefull of his wayes. Who so euer therefore will lyue godly, he must safe­ly prouide for his good name. Seeing these thinges be so, it shalbe profitable to consider how this good name may be gotten, and preserued. And agayne, if we be discredited, what vse and profite we must make of it. For the first, it is certayne, that seeing fame and honest report be good thinges, and therefore they must needes arise and spring of those thinges that are good; as of ver­tue, godlynes, & good religion. Now, whereas here Turkes, and such vngod­ly men haue great fauour amongst the people, and be well reported of, this in [Page] deede is no good name, because it ari­seth not of goodnesse, it is only a vaine applause of the simple people: Nay, it is the great and fierce wrath of God vpon them, though they neyther see nor perceiue that, when they be well spoken off for their euyll deedes: for, by this meanes, they be hardoned in their sinne, by this meanes they be hin­dered and holden from repentance: then the which, there is not a greater punishment vnder the Sunne: Such a name then is not to be desired, nay, we ought rather to pray agaynst such a name. And if we wilbe famous and of good report, then let vs take heede that we seeke it by goodnesse and vertue, and then it wilbe a good name in deede. But let vs weigh these thinges more particulerly, and let vs know, that the first step vnto a good name, is the care­full and continuall auoydance of euil, both outward & inward: in outward [Page] and grosse euilles, we must first beware of all euill generall: which thing if we be not careful to do, then wil our good name be soone impayred. Secondly, we must narowly looke vnto some special sinnes, whereunto our nature is most inclinable and subiect: for, as one dead Flie corrupteth one whole boxe of oyntment, though it be most preci­ous: so, some one sinne, doth often cracke the credite of a man, though o­therwyse he hath been well reported off. And if it behoueth all men thus nearely to looke to their wayes, then much more it is needefull, that euery chylde of God should do so: for, the worlde through the hatred it beareth to them, dealeth with them as it doth with Witches & Phisitions: the Witch though she fayle in twentie thinges, yet if she do some one thing aright, though it be but small, the worlde lo­ueth and commendeth her for a good [Page] and a wyse woman: but the Phisitian, though he worke fiue hundred cures, yet yf through the waywardnes of his patient, or for the punishment of his patientes sinnes, he fayle but in one, that one fayle, doth more turne to his discredite, then his manifolde, goodly, and notable cures, do get him prayse: in this maner doth the worlde deale with men. If a worldly man haue but an outward gyft of strength, of speach, of comelinesse, he shalbe greatly pray­sed, & compted a goodly man, though he swimme and flow ouer in all maner of vices. But let the childe of God be truely zelous in true religion, let him be honest & holy in conuersation, yet if there be but some one infirmitie in him; or, if he haue through weaknesse fallen once into some one sinne, that one infirmitie against which he stri­ueth, that one sinne for the which he is greeued, shall drowne all the graces of [Page] God in him, be they neuer so great, and the worlde will accompt him a most wicked man. Seeing then that this is the enmitie of the world against Gods people, how warily ought they to walke in so crooked and so froward a generation: and hereof they must be so much the more carefull, because the wicked by such slippes and infirmities, will not onely take occasion to discre­dite them, but euen to speake euill of al their profession, yea, and to blaspheme the glorious worde of God, and his eternall trueth. Then, if we be carefull of our owne good name, if we haue any zeale of God his glory, if we haue any care of the worlde, if we haue any loue of the sainctes, then let vs carefully shun all and euery infirmitie whereby Gods name is dishonored, his glorious Gospel blasphemed, his children gree­ued, and we our selues discredited a­mongst the wicked. And thus much [Page] for the open and outward sinne.

As open and outwarde sinne, com­mitted in the sight of man, hath al­wayes the punishment of an ill name ioyned with it: so also secret sinnes, which are hidden as it were, in the darke corners of our hartes, do bryng vs out of fauour and credite with God, and when we are out of credite with him, then doth he further make our sinnes knowen vnto men, for our fur­ther discredite: For, nothing is so hid­den, which shall not be brought to light, and nothing so secret, which shal not be discouered, euen in the sight of the worlde. And that we may be the further perswaded of this, let vs all know of a suretie, that the Lord hath many meanes to bryng such thynges to light. For, he can make the fieldes to haue eyes to see our wickednesse, he can make the woodes to haue eares to heare our vngodly counselles: yea, he [Page] can cause the walles of our bedcham­bers, to beare witnesse against vs of our sinnes committed vpon our beddes: if this will not serue, he can go further, and cause our friendes to fall out with vs, and the men of our counsell to be­wray our wickednesse, and though we had not any such purpose, when we make him priuie to our deuises, yet in displeasure, the Lord doth cause him all at once to breake out the matter: yea, rather then thou shouldest beare no reproch for thy secret sinnes, the Lord will cause thine owne mouth to testifie agaynst thee, and thine owne wordes shall get thee discredite: For, eyther vnawares thou shalt bewray thy selfe, or, in thy sleepe by dreames, thou shalt make the thing knowen, or, in thy sicknesse thou shalt raue of it, or in some fransie, thou shalt vomit it out, or els the torment of thy euyll consci­ence shalbe so sharpe, that euen to thine [Page] owne shame and confusion, thou shalt confesse thy fault. Last of all, when thou thinkest or deuisest euyll agaynst thy neighbour, though it be neuer so secretly, yet besides all the former, the Lord hath an other meanes, whereby he will bring thee to discredite for it; and this is a very vehement suspition, raysed vp in the hart of him, of whom thou deemest this euyll▪ for, as it often commeth to passe, that good motions which aryse secretly in the minde, for the good of others, do cause that o­ther men do thinke wel of thee, though they did neuer heare of thē: so doubt­lesse doth it come to passe in euyl mo­tions. Thou deuisest euyll agaynst an­other, he in some strange maner hath a hart burning, and ielowsie ouer thee. Thou thinkest hardly of another man, & he also is hardly perswaded of thee: Thus the lord doth cause thee to be dis­credited in the hartes of others, as thou [Page] meanest euil against others in thy hart. True it is, that the partie may sinne, and doe very ill, if he suspect without iust cause: and in as much as he doth thus suspect, through an immoderate loue of himselfe: yet, the worke of the Lord is here somtime to be considered, who seeing the cause to be iust, doth stirre vp such suspitions in his minde. Then, to returne to our purpose; If we wyll auoyde an euyll name, then we must a­uoyde all euyll surmises and deuises a­gaynst others: and this the Scripture doth also forbid vs. For, Eccle. 7. the Wyse man, from the moūth of God, doth forbid vs, to thinke yll of the King in our bed chambers, because that byrdes, and other dumme creatures, shall disclose the thing, rather then it shalbe kept close. This then must make vs afrayde to do euyll, or imagine ill on our bed, or to declare our deepe counselles, euen vn­to them that lie in our bosomes: and [Page] this, as it is a good meanes to prouide for a good name, so it is a speciall rule of all godlynesse, when we be afrayde, not of open sinnes alone, but euen of the secrete cogitations of the hart. Thus we haue heard the first step that leadeth to a good name. The second re­mayneth to be declared, and that is, a godly ielowsie ouer a mans owne do­inges, that they may not breede suspi­tion of euill. For it doth often come to passe, that albeit a man doe not that, which is simply euill: yet he may iustly be suspected, and suffer some blemysh in his good name: and for this cause doth the Apostle charge vs, To procure honest things in the sight of God and man. For this cause he commaundeth vs, that If there be any thing honest, or, If there be any thing of good report, that we must folow, and that we must imbrace. It is not enough therefore, that men do say, I did thinke no euyll, I meane no [Page] harme. For if through want of care, or of discretion, thou haue ventured vpon the occasion, thou hast geuen great matter of euill speaches, to thy great discredite. If then we will auoyde this euill name, we must auoyde all thinges that bryng it: For, when men wyll care lytle to giue occasion, then the Lord doth cause an euyll report to be layde vpon them, that those which in deede are desperate, may suffer iust discredite, and they that be other­wise, may be reclaimed from the same. And surely, such is the crookednesse of mans nature, that yf the Lord should not take this course, euen his chyldren woulde fall into many sinnes: there­fore it is most requisite, that men be mindfullto auoyde occasions, and so much the rather, because, as it is com­monly sayd, Eyther God or the Deuil stand at thy elbow to worke vpon thee. Let vs see this in some example of our [Page] common lyfe. Thou art a night goer, walking abrode at incōuenient times; at that time some thing is stolen, and thou art burthened & charged with it. Agayne, thou vsest to deale too fami­liarly and lightly with a Mayde, she is gotten with chylde, and the fault is layde on thee: hereof thou hast giuen suspition, because thou hast bin a night goer, and such a one as hast dealt wan­tonly with the Mayde, albeit thou be free from the very fact. Now, yf thou be the chylde of God, and yf thou be guyded by his good spirit, then will he teach thee to take profite by this false report, and to say thus with thy selfe: Lord, thou knowest that I am cleare from this very acte, yet it was my sinne to giue any such occasion, whereby men might suspect me; this sinne, O Lorde, I am guyly of, and I know, thou, for this sinne hast afflicted me iustly, yet deare father, I see thy mercie [Page] in this, that whereas in deede, I haue committed many sinnes, thou hast passed ouer them, and taken this, whereof I am not so much guyltie: so that now mercifull father, I do rather suffer for righteousnesse, then for my transgression and my sinne: yea, holy father, I do beholde thy tender mercy in this towardes me, that by this euyll report, thou goest about to stay me from the sinne, and to preuent me, that I may neuer fall into the same: where­fore, seeing it hath bin thy good plea­sure to deale thus with me: beholde Lord, I do repent me of my former sinnes, and promyse before thee, euen in thy feare, neyther to do this, nor the like sinne hereafter. See heere, I be­seech you, the good profite which a good chylde of God, through Gods spirite, will take of this slanderous re­proch, after he hath receiued some godly sorow, for geuing the occasion [Page] of that report. But beholde the contra­rie worke of Satan in the hart of vnbe­leeuers, for he will soone teach them their lesson, and cause them to say thus: What, doth the churle accuse me with­out a cause, doth he father such a villa­nous acte vpon me, who neuer deser­ued it at his handes? surely he shal not say so for nought, I will make his say­ing true, and wil do the thing in deede. Consider then this, you that feare the Lord, and see in how tickelysh state they do stande, which haue geuen oc­casion, and in what great danger they be to be brought to, to commit the same, or lyke sinne afterwarde. There­fore, yf any man wilbe sure to keepe his good name, then must he keepe him selfe from all such occasions, as in any wyse might impayre or hinder it. And this much for this second step, where­by we ryse to a good name.

Thus we haue heard of two degrees [Page] towarde a good name, in the auoyding of euil, and the occasions thereof. And these in deede, haue a great force to stay an euil name: but surely, they be not a­ble to buylde vp a good name, & credite among men. To these therefore there must be added a third thing, which hath most speciall force to this purpose, and that is, that we be plentifull in good workes. This doth our sauiour charge vs to be carefull of, when he sayth, Let your lyght so shyne before men, that they may see your good workes. Many men re­pine at the good report of an other mā, and they be greatly greeued, because they them selues be not in the lyke, or some greater credite: But alas, they shoulde rather be greeued at them selues, because the fault is in them: For, they regarde not to doe good, they are carelesse of good workes, and therefore the Lord is carelesse of them and their credite. Well then, [Page] he that wylbe commended, must do the thynges that be commendable; he must doe good workes, yea, he must do good, and pursue it: yet we must know, that it is not one good worke, nor two, nor three, that can gayne vs a good name in deede: but it is required of vs, that we be Riche in well doing, and continually geuen to euery good worke. For as pretious oyntment (whereunto a good name is lykoned) is made of many and most excellent simples: so a good name can­not be gotten, but by many and most excellent vertues. Now when we feele our selues affected to good, and to all maner of goodnesse, then are we warely to see to two thynges. First, that all our workes be done with a simple and sinceere affection: se­condly, that they be done with good discretion. For when a thyng is done vndiscreetely, and without aduice, [Page] it looseth the grace and beautie of the deede: and therefore, though the thing be good, yet no great prayse doth come of it, because it was not done with good discretion: likewise, when men do things with sinister affections, and to some other ende, then to the glorie of God, they do commonly loose the price of their doinges: and hereof it commeth to passe, that many men, which do good workes to merite by them, or to win the fauour of their superiours, or to be of good report amongst the people, or to some such other ende: when I say, men do things to this ende, the Lord punisheth them with the contrary: and in steade of de­seruing glory, he powreth confusion vpon them: in steade of honour, he geueth contempt: and in steade of ri­ches, beggarie. And albeit men may pretende the glory of God, and face out their wickednesse with a fresh co­lour, [Page] yet the Lord will bring their wickednesse to lyght. And truely it is marueylous to see, how the Lord lay­eth folly vpon such men, so that al­though that in their wysedome, they thinke to bleare the eyes of all men, yet the simple sort doth beholde their foo­lysh shyftes, to their discredite: there­fore when thou hast done well, and yet art ill reported off, do not straight way storme agaynst him which hath raysed vp this report on the: neyther do thou ouer hastely cleare thy selfe; but rather before the Lord examine thine owne hart, and see with what af­fection thou hast done it. And if we finde wickednesse in our hartes, then let vs be humbled before the Lord, and know, that he hath caused vs to be thus euill spoken off: first, to correct, and se­condly to try vs. For, when the Lord doth see vs, lyke Scribes and Pharisees seeking rewardes, then he doth punish [Page] vs, with the losse of our labour, and with shame among men, to see if there­by he can bring vs to the fight of sinne, which before, we neither woulde, nor could see. And agayne, when we haue thus done, he doth trie vs, whe­ther there be any goodnesse in our harts, which may moue vs to continue in well doing, notwithstandyng we be euyll spoken off. Heere then we see what fruite we must make of such re­portes, namely, they must first bring vs to a sight and feelyng of our sinnes: and secondly, they must cause vs with great vprightnesse to continue in well doing. True it is, that a man may be accused, to haue had this or that pur­pose in his doinges, although he haue done the thinges in the simplicitie of his hart: but when a man through examination doth finde his hart vp­right, then he receyueth great com­fort by it, then he may commend him [Page] selfe vnto the Lord, and his cause into his handes, for the Lorde mayntey­neth good tongues and hartes: but he will cut out the tongue that speaketh lyes. He will cause the ryghteous­nesse of the ryghteous to shyne as the noone day, and as the Sunne af­ter a cloude: but the wicked shalbe couered with their owne confusion, as with a cloake. This shall the godly see, and reioyce therein: but the mouth of the wicked shalbe stopped. Thus we haue runne through these thynges, whereby a good name may be gotten: and not only that, but wherby a man may be preserued in a good name, and credite: and therfore surely more to be regarded and obserued of vs. For, first of all we see what force the good credite of the reformed Chur­ches hath to perswade men to imbrace trueth, and how soone men wilbe mo­ued to continue stedfast, when they [Page] see the steadfast continuance of good men in all godlynesse. Agayne, we know what great offence is geuen to the weake, when whole churches, or some perticuler persons, do not stande in credite, nor maynteyne by goodnes their good name, which they had got­ten by great vertues. The very heathen did see this, and therefore they say, it was as great a prayse to keepe prayse, as to get it: yea, and when they saw what great inconuenience it would a­ryse, when men did not satisfie the ex­pectation of the people, they thought much better neuer to haue any good report among men, then to loose it after it had bin gotten: therefore, to shut vp this whole matter in one word; if any man, if any household, if any towne, if any countrey, be carefull to haue an honest report amongst men, then they must eschew euyll and doe good, then must they seeke peace, and [Page] pursue it: and if once hauing gotten a good name, they would gladly keepe it, thē they must vse the same meanes. &c. so shall they haue it both of God and man. Now, because men do suffer much discredite, and are very yll re­ported of amongst men, it shalbe good to consider what profite and vse we may make of such reproches, and euill reportes; and this we shall do the bet­ter, if we consider and know, vpon what groundes these reproches do a­rise. First therefore we must learne, that men may be ill reported of, eyther for euill, or well doing. When men therefore are euill spoken of, they must trie first whether it be for euil, or good: and, if it be for euill, then must they go a degree further, to finde whether it be for some euill worke which they haue committed, or for some occasion which they haue giuen: When a man is euill reported of for some euil deede [Page] he hath done, that euyll deene of his is eyther manifestly knowen, or els vn­knowen. And sure it is a thyng most common amongst men, to suffer dis­credite for open and grosse sinnes, yet very fewe doe rightly profite by it: For, some are shamelesse, and care not what men say of them, and there­fore in deede are vnfitte to receyue any profite by suche reportes: there­fore after the most sharpe and seueere censure of the Churche, they must be committed to the handes of the Magistrate, to be punished in the purse and the body: and yet surely, suche are their whoryshe faces, that there is small hope of amendement in them. For, it doth often come to passe, that they which wyll not profite by the Churche, can not receyue profite by the Magistrate. Therefore after all this, they must be left to the Lorde to worke, yf it be his wyll, by some ex­traordinarie [Page] meanes vpon their hartes, which are exceedyngly hardoned. Other some there be, who being put to open shame, are sorowful in deede: but this sorow is, because they susteine open shame, rather then for this, that they haue sinned agaynst the Lorde. These are in some degree better then the former, and yet they come not so far as they ought to do: For the deuill hauing bewitched thē, doth perswade them, that it is no such matter as men would make it, and that as a wonder la­steth but nine dayes, so this shame shal­be of no longer cōtinuance. Thus they are letted, so that the shame can not sinke into their hartes, there to worke godly sorrowe, which may bryng foorth vnfeygned repentance. This is dayly seene in Theeues and Whores, and suche lyke malefactours, who though they make large promises of amendement, yet the punishment be­ing [Page] passed, they fall into their former filthinesse agayne: but some thynke, that they do dissemble, and deale de­ceitefully: but I thinke, that they thinke as they speake, and that they speake with sorow and griefe. For, will a Theefe purpose to steale agayne, when he is to be hanged? Will a childe pur­pose to play the wanton, when he is a beating? no doubtlesse: but in the one, there is chyldishnesse to speake without aduice; in the other, is seruile­nesse, to be mooued with nothyng but present feare. I graunt in deede, that there is hipocrasie in them: yet that grosse hipocrasie, whereby men labour to deceyue others, is not in them: but that most close and most dangerous hipocrasie, whereby the deuill hath beguyled their owne hartes through his subtiltie. This witcherie of the deuill, I say, is the cause why many promysing amendement, doe [Page] not performe the same. Thus we see how men doe misse of that profite, which ought to be reaped of open shame. We therefore are to take a bet­ter course, and to labour, that as our faces do blushe before men, so our soules may be confounded before the Lord: that being throughly humbled vnder his hande by godly sorow, it may please him in mercie, to rayse vs vp. Now, if we doubt whether our sorow be sounde or no, let vs try it by these two rules. First, whether we can with contented myndes, take the pu­nishment as a correction from the Lord, and yet mourne and be greeued for the sinne: and yet in such maner, as geuing place to Gods iustice in pu­nishyng, we can labour for mercie in the forgiuenesse of sinnes. Secondly, eyther when we could keepe the sinne close, we can yet with Dauid, freely confesse, and say, Agaynst thee O Lord, [Page] haue I sinned. This if we can do, it is a sure argument that our sorow is godly, and that we haue profited well by that reproch which our sinne did bryng vppon vs. As the sinne is sometyme so euident, that it can not be couered: so agayne, the sinne in deede may be committed, and yet eyther not kno­wen, nor suspected, or els probable by suspitions: when the sinne is in this case, the Lorde may cause a man that hath so sinned, to be accused, or euyll spoken of for that sinne. Heere the partie offendyng, must first learne to deale wysely, and in suche maner, as the sinne may be kept close styll, yf it may be done without any other sinne. But yf an othe of the Lorde be required, then yf we giue God the glory, though it be with our owne shame, and confesse the fault. Se­condly, that for the profite that must be made of such reportes, we must [Page] learne with thankefull hartes to re­ceyue this mercifull chastisement of the Lorde, and acknowledge it to his prayse, for he might haue punished vs for those sinnes, which were manifest, yet he hath passed ouer them: he might haue made these knowen, but he spared our name and our credite: therefore, for a seconde fruite, this mercie of the Lorde, must leade vs to repentaunce, and to an earnest sorow for all our sinnes. For it were too too grosse, that we shoulde continue in sinne, because we can not be con­uicted of sinne: For if the Lorde did not myslyke thy sinne, why shoulde he rayse suche a report on thee? Why shoulde he saue thy good name, yf he were not minded to shew thee mercy? And yf he woulde not haue thee, with all thy hart to repent thee of all thy sinnes, why doth he whippe thy na­ked conscience for sinne? Therefore [Page] if by this louing kindnesse, we be not ledde vnto repentance, verely it wyl­be a sinne that shal not escape vnpuni­shed. Thus we haue heard, how an euyll name doth arise of sinne com­mitted, and what profite must be ta­ken hereof. Now let vs further con­sider, how a man must profite by an euyll name, not when he hath deser­ued it by some sinne, but when he hath onely fayled in this, that he hath geuen occasion to be suspected of any euyll. This occasion is of two sort: First, when eyther good dueties are eyther altogeather omitted, or done with a grudging minde, or as it were of con­straynt. This report must teach thee, that although thou be not so euyll as men woulde make thee, yet thou art not so good, as thou oughtest to be. Therefore by this thou must learne to be more carefull of doing good, so to do it with greater and better corage: [Page] for the Lord loueth a chearefull giuer. The seconde occasion is inwarde, which although no man can finde out, yet the Lord for thy good, doth cause me to speake euyll of thee for it. This inwarde occasion is, when thy hart hath eyther giuen some full con­sent to do euyll, or at least hath much wandered in thinking of it. Heere the Lord doth take the time, and suffereth men to report of thee, that thou hast done that, which in deene thou hast not done; yet in thy hart thou hast ta­ken pleasure in it. Then the way to profite by this, is, to confesse the good­nesse of the Lord, who will not haue thee to fall into such sinne, as myght deserue discredite. For, such is the na­ture of man, that yf an euyll thought do long tary in the minde, it wilbe hardly restrayned, before it come to the outwarde acte. Agayne, by this report thus raysed on vs, we must [Page] take occasion to call backe our selues, yf we haue consented to euyll, and with griefe to be sorowfull for it: or, yf we haue not as yet consented, we must labour to represse the heate of our affections, and quench them by the moysture of the worde. And thus muche shalbe sufficient for those reportes, which aryse of some iust groundes and occasions. The last poynt to be handled in this whole case is, to see what vse must be made of those reportes, which be altogeather false, and haue neyther grounde nor good beginning. For, it may come to passe, that when a man hath auoyded euyll, and done good: when he hath shunned the occasion of euyll, and done all good with a chearefull hart, yet he may be very yll reported of, and his good name hyndered. Now if this doth befall any man, he must know, that it is the Lorde his doing, and [Page] that the Lorde doth it, eyther to cor­rect sinne, or els to preuent it: the Lorde I say, doth by this meanes, sometyme correct sinne, eyther in the same kynde, or in some other. In the same kynde he dealeth thus: he suffereth thee to be compted an ad­ulterer, yet thou doest now lyue chastly, and hatest that filthy sinne. But, then he seeth that thou hast ey­ther been an adulterer, and hast not repented at all: Or, yf thou hast so­daynely repented, yet now thou be­ginnest to fayle, and to coole in the hatred of that sinne. Agayne, yf af­ter examination, thou finde thy selfe cleere in that sinne: yet knowe, that the Lorde, by that report, doth cor­recte some sinne quite contrarie vn­to it: as, yf thou shouldest be accu­sed, because thou louest not thy wyfe, whereas in deede thou louest her too well. Or els otherwyse: He causeth [Page] thee to be counted an adulterer, that thou mightest be brought to see thy couetous hart: and to say all in one worde, we shall neuer make true vse of reportes, vntill we haue bin brought to see, and repent of some perticular sinne, which either we saw not besore, or els had not throughly repented of. Furthermore, it may come to passe, that we hauing done all good dueties, auoyded all euyll, and examined our repentance, euen for perticular sinnes, yet shall we be euyll spoken of a­mongst men: Here we must know, that the Lord by reportes, doth fore­warne vs of euyll to come. We are reported to be of the Family of loue: hereby we are warned to take heede, that we fall not into the sinne: And so foorth of other reportes, when any such reportes are caried about of vs, we must be made so much the more warie, that we fall not into that sinne: [Page] and according to the Apostles rule, We must labour to finish the course of our saluation in feare. Which, that we may do, the Lord graunt for his Christes sake, to whom be prayse for euer in the Churche. Amen.

Richarde Greenham.

Here foloweth the seconde Sermon, as it was preached by M. Richard Greenham. The text as foloweth.

Quench not the spirit.

1. Thessa. 5.19.

ALl the doctrine of the Scriptures may be briefly referred to these two heades. First how we may be pre­pared to reciue the spirite of God. Secondly, how the spi­rite may be retayned when we haue once receiued it. And therefore S. Paul hauing labored to instruct the Thessalonians, in the former part of this Epistle, how they may receiue the spi­rite, doth heere teach them how to keepe and continue this spirite vnto the ende: and this the Apostle doth by geuing them a charge and commaun­dement, that in no wise they do quench [Page] the spirit: therefore doublesse teaching, that as the sunnyng of euyll, is the first steppe vnto goodnesse; so the readie way to continue the spirite of God in our hartes, is to labour that it be not quenched. Now the Apostle vpon a great and weighty consideration, doth here deliuer this precept. For first of all, though all those be worthely and iustly condemned, that neuer tasted of the spirite of God: yet as our saui­our Christe sayth, A more iust and fearefull condemnation is like to come vppon them, that hauyng once re­ceyued it, doth afterwardes loose the same. Moreouer, without this spirit of God, no holy exercise can haue his full effect: For, the worde worketh not, where the spirit is wantyng, pray­ers haue no power to pearce before the presence of God, the sacraments seeme small and seely thinges in our eyes, and all other orders, & exercises which [Page] God hath graunted and ordeyned for man. They are vnprofitable to man, where the spirit is not present to con­uey them into our harts, there to sceale vp the fruite of them. Last of all, weare fitte to reciue no good grace at Gods handes: nay, we do not esteeme Gods graces, when we haue not the spirit to teach vs, to set a due price of them: for, speake of the Law, of the Gospell, of sinne, of righteousnesse: speake of Christ, or of our redemption, & iustifi­cation by him: yea, speake of that high and waighty heauens, of glory where­with the elect shalbe crowned; all this moueth not, we are litle affected there­with, vnlesse God giue vs of this good spirite, to profite by the same. The Apostle therefore with good reason, gaue this precept, and we for many causes, are to lysten vnto it, least by any meanes the spirit of God be quenched in vs, and so we depriue our selues of [Page] all the fruites. Now whereas the Apo­stle sayth, Quench not the spirit, it may appeare he speaketh to those that had already receyued it. For, as the fire can not be sayd to be quenched, where it is not: so they can not be sayde to quench or loose the spirit, which haue not as yet receyued the spirit. Then know, that this precept doth properly belong to them, that haue receyued the spirit of God, and they especially are to make a speciall vse of it: for the other, it can not profite them, vnlesse that, as the seede lying in the grounde a long time, doth afterwarde budde and become fruitefull, so they conti­nue in their myndes, tyll they haue ta­sted (in some good sort) of the spirit of God, and then breede in them some carefulnes, that they do not quench it. Well then, to them that haue felt and founde the spirite of God in them, to them sayth S. Paul in this place: Take [Page] heede, that ye quench not the spirite. Of this, if we do somewhat seriously con­sider, these questions will offer them selues, and soone arise in our mindes. First, how we may know whether we haue the spirit of God, or no. Second­ly, if we haue it, whether it may be lost or no: which if they be well and suffi­ciently considered, wil doubtlesse giue great force to this precept. For the first, yf we will know whether we haue the spirit or no, we must surely vnderstand, that as he knoweth that he hath lyfe, which feeleth it in himselfe: so he best knoweth whether he haue the spirit of God, that feeleth the spirit working in him. If we will further know, by the peculiar working and effectes of the spirite, then let vs marke these. First of all, if there be nothing in man, but the nature of man; if nothing but that may be obteyned by the nature and indu­strie of a man, then surely in that man, [Page] is not the spirit of God: for the spirit is from God, it is from aboue, it is a­boue nature: and therefore the Apo­stle doth set the spirit of God, against the spirit of the worlde, when he saith: We haue receiued the spirite not of the worlde, but of God. Beside, the spirit of God is eternal, and endureth for euer: but all the doinges and deuises of men they perish, and in time haue an ende. Therefore though a man haue wyse­dome with great knowledge, though in wit and skill he passe and excell the common sort of men: yet, if from a­boue he haue not bin inlyghtned, if from heauen his wysedome be not sanctified, his knowledge shall decay, his wysedome wyther like grasse, and as yet he hath not tasted of the spirite of God, that endureth for euer. And therefore sayth S. Paul: We teach the mysteries of God, which none, no not the Princes, and the men of this worlde, which [Page] are aboue others most excellent, are not able to vnderstande. Secondly, consi­der whether there be in thee any alte­ration or change: for the wyse men that were expert in nature, coulde say, That in euery generation there is a corruption: so that as seede in the grounde, so sinne in our natural body should decay, that the new man might be raysed vp, the spirit of God taking possession in our soules. Therefore the Euangelist Iohn doth make this, the first worke of the spirit, that it shall re­buke the worlde of sinne: and this so needefull, that without it, there is not the spirite of God, neyther yet can Christ come and enter into that man. Hereof it was that Christ compared the Iewes to Chyldren in the market place, who woulde not daunce, though they were piped vnto: and the reason was, because they had not first learned with Iohn to mourne: for they that by the [Page] preaching of Iohn, learned to lament their sinnes, for their sinnes were pen­siue, nay rather their owne soules, they receyued Christ, they daunced and re­ioyced to heare the ioyfull tydinges of the Gospel. Therefore Christ saith, That the Whores and Harlots entred into the kingdome of heauen (seeing they la­mented their sinnes) before the proude Pharisees, which with no remorce were touched for their sinnes. And for the same cause it is, that Christ calleth vnto him, them onely that laboure, and are heauie loden: teaching them, that yf they finde not sinne a heauy loade and burthen to them, they haue not the spirit of God, neyther are they fitte to receiue Christ. Then to be rebuked of sinne, is the first worke of the spirit, which the spirit worketh in vs by these degrees. First, it rayseth vppon vs a great and generall astonishment, be­cause of all these great and greeuous [Page] sinnes that we haue committed, and this doth strike vs downe, it doth terri­fie vs, and holde vs amazed woonder­fully: then it dealeth with vs more per­ticularly; and besides that, it bringeth vs vnto a speciall griefe for speciall sinnes, doth bereaue vs of our chiefe desires, and bringeth vs out of con­ceite of the best thinges that are in vs: for, then it doth display vnto vs the va­nitie and darkenesse of our vnder­standing, how vnfit and vnmeete we are to vnderstande and conceaue the thynges, that do aboue all others es­pecially concerne vs: then doth it let vs see the peruerse corruption of our iudgement, that before God, and in thynges belongyng to God, we be bruite beastes, not able to discerne thinges that differ, nor to put a sounde difference betweene good and euyll: then doth it let vs see that our reason is vnreasonable, nay that it is hurtfull [Page] vnto vs, a great enemie to fayth, and a great patrone of infidelitie and vn­beliefe. When it commeth to our af­fections, it turneth thē vpside downe, it turneth our myrth into mourning, and pleasure into paynefulnesse, and our great delyght into most bitter griefe: If it proceede further, and come once to the hart, and to the stomacke and courage that is in vs, then it cut­teth vs to the quicke, then doth it at once throw vs downe in humility vn­der the hand of God: for, whyle we had to deale with men, we were as stoute as any, and would not start for the best. We had reason to see for our selues, and courage to defende our selues agaynst all them that dyd deale with vs: but now the spirite draweth vs into the presence of God, it letteth vs see that we haue to do with God, and that our strength is weake­nesse in respect of him. Then our hartes [Page] begin to fayle vs, then do we lay our handes on our mouthes, and dare not answere, then do we quickly take vp our crosse, because the Lord himselfe hath done it. Beholde here now the spirite worketh, beholde how sinne is corrected: and who so can beholde here this in him selfe, may assuredly say, that the spirit of God is in him, that it is not in vayne in him, it is myghtie and liuely in operation in his hart. And the thirde note and effect, is the bring­ing forwarde of this worke vnto iusti­fication: for when as the spirite hath brought vs thus farre, then doth it be­ginne to open vnto vs a doore vnto the graces & fauour of God: it doth put it into our mindes, that there is mercie with God, and therefore styrreth vs vp to seeke mercie at his handes: after that, it doth let vs see how Christ suf­fered, to take away the sinnes of the worlde, that in the righteousnesse of [Page] Christ, we may looke to be iustified before God: And this it doth not let vs see only, but doth effectually worke a sure perswasion of it in our hartes, and confirmeth the same by two no­table effectes. The first is, a ioy vn­speakable and glorious, wherwith our hartes must needes be taken vp and ra­uished, when we see our selues by the righteousnesse of Christ, the free mer­cie and grace of God, redeemed from death, delyuered from hell, and freed from the condition of the wicked. The second is the peace of cōscience: which in deede, passeth all vnderstan­ding. While sinne, and the guilt of sinne remayned, there was no peace, no rest, no quietnesse to be founde, but feare, with terrours without, and trou­bles on euery side: But when sinne is once nayled to the crosse of Christ, when the guilt of sinne is taken out of our consciences, and the punishment [Page] thereof far remoued, then must needes ensue great peace: for our enemies dare not proceede against vs, our sinnes are forgiuen vs, and God is at one with vs: and for this, we haue the war­rant and testimonie of the spirit. Can flesh and blood perswade vs of it? can any creature assure vs how God is af­fected towardes vs? no doubtless. And therefore where this ioy and this peace is, there must needes be the holy ghost, the author and worker of the same: for as no man knoweth what is in man, but the spirit of man which is in him: so none knoweth the will of God, but the spirit of God, and therefore it is the spirite of God that must certifie our hartes and spirites of the same. And hereof doth aryse that, which we take as the note, when we see in our selues, to wit, the basenesse and vnablenesse that is in vs to do good: for when a man doth finde fauoure with God, [Page] from the forgiuenesse of sinnes, then the loue of God cōstrayneth him, that ioy which he conceiueth inforceth him, and putteth lyfe into him, for the performance of these thinges, which are pleasing vnto God: then he begin­neth to finde himselfe not onely re­tayned from euyll, but applyed and framed to that which is good, then is his vnderstanding inlyghtened, to see into the mysteries of godlynesse, and into the great rocke of his redempti­on, and into whatsoeuer concerneth the sauing health of his soule: then is his iudgement reformed, and he is made able to iudge betweene false religion and pure, betweene the workes of the fleshe and the spirite, that which is good and that which is euyll, and displeasing in the syght of God. Then are his affections in some good measure altered, his desire is set, not vpon earthly, but vpon heauenly [Page] thinges, his ioyes are not in the earth, but in the heauens, his anger is wasted and spent, not vpon his owne priuate cause and quarrels, but vpon his owne sinnes, and whatsoeuer hindereth the glory of his God: This is the lyfe of God in him; thus he lyueth that hath receyued the spirite, and thus he lea­deth his lyfe continually: for they that haue receyued the spirit, are led by the spirit, and do lyue accordingly, bryng­ing foorth the fruites of the spirit. But this hath weakenes ioyned with it, and men through frayltie may fall, and therefore their lyfe is sayd To be hid in Christ, because in full and perfect ma­ner it doth not appeare: therefore yf notwith standing these fraylties and falles, we will know whether we styll retayne the spirite of God, we must search our selues, and try our hartes by these rules. First, if through frayltie we haue fallen (for who is he that fal­leth [Page] not?) If we will then know whe­ther by our fall we haue lost the spirite of God, let vs see what lyking, or mis­lyking we haue of sinne: for, if after our fall, we do holde our formed ha­tred of sinne, and the more we fall, the more through deadly hatred we con­ceaue agaynst sinne, vndoubtedly the frayletie hath not as yet depriued vs of the spirite. Secondly, come and see how it standeth with thy sorow: for so long as this sorow encreaseth for thy sinnes, it cannot be thought that sinne and the fleshe, hath vtterly quen­ched the spirit in thee. Thirdly, try thy care: and if thou grone in a godly care, both how thou mayst be able to wage battayle in the playne fielde with sinne, and how thou mayst preuent him in all his policies, thou hast a fur­ther assurance that sinne, although it be as great as Goliah, yet it hath not preuayled agaynst thy poore and litle [Page] Dauid, I say, agaynst those fewe and small graces, which the good spirtie of God hath bestowed vppon thee: but the last, it is most certayne: and that is this. When thou art carefull to re­deeme that, which by thy fall thou hast lost, and hast a care to runne so much faster forwarde, by how much more thou hast been letted by thy fall: then it doth appeare that the spirite is in thee, yea lyuely and mighty in ope­ration, and such as shall neuer be ta­ken from the, vntyll the day of Christ. Thus may we in some good and com­petent measure proue, whether we haue the spirit of God or no: for where the fruites are to be founde, there is also the spirit of God. For further con­firmation whereof, we may note the manner of speache, where he sayth, Quench not the spirit. We do common­ly say, the fire is quenched, where the light and heate there of is taken away, [Page] and in deede nothyng can properly be sayd to be quenched, but the fire. Now wheras the Apostle saith, quench not the spirite, he giueth vs to vnder­stande, that the spirit is in some respect lyke vnto fire: therefore if we do but a lytle consider of the nature of fire, we shall the better iudge of the spirit. And among others, we finde these properties of fire. First, it wil consume thynges consumeable: and therefore lyghting vpon straw or stubble, or such lyke, it bryngeth them to ashes. Se­condly, it doth purge and purifie those thinges that can abide to be purged: and this it doth, fyrst by taking away the superfluitie of drosse, that hath ouer couered the thing to be purged. Secondly, by making the thing it selfe purer & purer: Thirdly, it geueth light in the darkest places: But last of all, it geueth heate, and doth as it were withall, put lyfe into those thynges, [Page] which are capable of lyfe: for whilest a man is frozen and starued for colde, he is numbde, and as it were without lyfe: but being brought to the fire, he is hot, he is reuiued, he is cheared, and then become actiue and nimble: these are the properties of fire, and these do in some maner part resemble vnto vs the workes of the spirite: for when the spirite of God seaseth vpon a man, and then entreth into his soule, then it be­ginneth to wast and consume in him those noysome lustes, and other stub­ble which is in him. Secondly, it doth purge vs from grosse sinnes, and dayly more and more fume vs, that we may be a cleane and holy Temple for him to dwell in. Thirdly, it is a shynyng lyght, euer burning and continually giuing light vnto vs, in that way which we haue to walke. And lastly, heateth and inflameth in vs zeale of Gods glo­rie, with a care of our duetie, and with [Page] a loue of all mankinde: yea, withall it putteth lyfe and lust into vs, to walke in that good way in which it doth leade vs, and do all those good workes by the which we may glorifie God, and be commodious to men. Thus we see what lykelihood there is betweene the spirite and fire, nay it is called fire: for Iohn sayth, That Christ should bap­tise with the holy ghost, and with fire: that is, with the holy ghost, which is lyke fire: Therefore, as truely as we may say there is fire, where we see strawe and such lyke thynges consu­med, or gold and siluer finely purged, or great lyght in darke places, or great heate in bodyes that were nummed before; euen so certainely we may per­swade our selues, that the spirit of God is in vs, when we see the corruption that is in vs consumed, our soules pur­ged from the drosse of sinne, our harts inlyghtned and made hot in walking, [Page] and working according to the lyght. The seconde question to be conside­red is, whether that man which hath once tasted of the spirite, may loose it, and haue it quenched in him. To this it may be sayd, that because the spirite of God commeth to, & worketh in di­uers men, diuesly, in diuers measures: therefore we must consider of the working of the spirite, and frame our answere accordingly. First then, there is a lyghter and a lesser working of the spirite, which may be quenched in them that haue it: and that this inferi­our or lesser kinde of working, may be taken away, appeareth playnely by the parable of the seede which our sauiour Christ propoundeth, for that besides them that receaue the worde into good grounde, and bring foorth fruites, some an hundreth, some thirtie, some sixtie folde: he doth also make mention of some others that receaued the worde, [Page] and yet continued not: and what, had not these the spirite of God in them? yes doubtles: for they recea­ued the worde, yea, they receaued it gladly, and that which is more, they be­leeued it, when as they had receaued it. Beholde then three fruites of good spirites in these men, and yet they con­tinue not: for they beleeued in deede, but their fayth was temperacie, it lasted but for a tyme, and after a tyme it vanished away, and the spirit depar­ted from them: for, eyther the plea­sures or the profites of this lyfe did draw out the graces of God, and dry them vp, or els the fierie heate of per­secution did quite consume them. More plaine & notable for this purpose is that, in that other to the Hebrewes, for there the Apostle sayth, That some may taste of the holy ghost, and thereby be made to taste of the good worde of God, to be inlightned to receaue heauenly giftes, [Page] yea, and the taste of the lyfe to come: and what then: surely the Apostle sayth, That if such fall, it is impossible they shoulde be renewed: geuing vs to vnderstande, that euen they that haue bin inlyghtned, and that haue recea­ued heauenly gyftes, and haue tasted of the power of the lyfe to come, euen such may fall away, and haue the spi­rite quenched in them. There is a se­conde kinde of working of the spirite, which is a more effectuall working, which is neuer taken from them that haue receaued it, this the Apostle de­scribeth, when he sayth, That the cho­sen of God, are begotten agayne of the im­mortall seede of the worde: that is, not a bare receauing, or lyght tasting of the worde; but it is the deepe tasting of the same, whereby we are begotten and borne agayne. The Apostle Iohn setteth downe an other note of that, saying, That they that are thus borne [Page] agayne, can not sinne: that is, can not make an occupation of sinne, they can not fall flat away by sinne: and why? Because the seede of Gods worde abydeth in them, euen that seede wherwith they were begotten to a lyuely hope of life, euen that seede doth abyde, and will abyde, euen to the ende. Who so is be­gotten agayne by this seede, and hath it abyding in him, that the spirite hath wrought in him, which shall not be ta­ken from him, for that the father is mightier then all: and therefore our sauiour Christ sayd, The wordes that I speake, are spirite and lyfe: Therefore in an other place he sayth, It is impossible that the elect shoulde be seduced. Then we see the question is answered: name­ly, that there is an inferiour working, which may be lost; and a more effectu­all working, which can not be taken from them that haue it: And this must not seeme strange to vs, neyther must [Page] we be offended that the Lord doth take some, and leaue some: or that he should begin in some, and not bryng his worke to perfection: For he dea­leth with them, as with Corne. Some Corne is sowen & neuer ryseth: some springeth, and yet shortly wythereth: some groweth vp in the eare, and yet is striken and blasted: and other some (at his good pleasure) come to a time­ly ripenesse. In lyke maner, some trees are planted, and neuer take roote: some take roote, and yet not blossome: some blossome, & neuer bring foorth fruite: and other some through his goodnesse do bring foorth fruite in good season. If the Lorde deale so with the plant and hearbe of the fielde, why may he not deale so with vs, the sonnes of men? If we can not conceaue the reason of this, we must holde our peace: for all the workes of God are done in righte­ousnesse, and all our knowledge is vn­perfect, [Page] and therefore we must accuse our selues rather of ignorance, then the Lord of vnrighteousnesse: nay, our selues do deale in lyke sort with those thynges which are vnder our handes. In Colledges, Fellowes are first chosen to be probationers, and if they be then approued, they be made Fellowes, otherwyse not. If a man (be­ing chyldlesse) do take vnto him some friendes chylde, to make him heyre of all his goodes, he wyll keepe him vpon lyking; if his manners be honest, he shalbe preferred, he may be set ouer all his familie, and yet afterward for some fact, be cast off. Some other man taketh an other chylde for the same ende, and maketh him heyre in deede: Therfore we must thinke that it is righteous with the Lorde to deale thus with vs, seeing we are in his hande: and we must not be offended, though he call some, & do not inlightē them: and al­though [Page] he do not inlyght them, and do not continue them, and do of his great mercie continue some vnto the ende: let vs rather see what vse we may haue of this doctrine. First, we must take heede that we neuer quench any grace, or gyft that God bestoweth vp­pon vs. Secondly, we must labour to haue greater measure of gyftes: for the wicked may come to haue some small gyftes, and such may be quite taken away from vs. Tastly, it doth put a plaine difference betweene the godly, and the godles, betweene them that beare a shew of holynesse, and them that are the Lordes holy ones: for the one endureth but a time, and the other lasteth for euer. Now if we require a further tryall, whereby we may know whether we haue receaued the spirite of God, which lasteth but for a tyme, and that which lasteth for euer with vs: then let vs marke those rules, which [Page] put a plaine difference betweene them. First we must marke the inlightnyng and insight we haue into the worde of God. Certaine it is, that both the godly and wicked are inlightned, but the in­lyghtning of the godly is one, and the insight of the wicked is an other: for, the knowledge and insight which the godly haue receaued, is certayne and distinct: therfore in particuler thinges, they be able to apply the threatning of Gods iudgementes, to the humbling of them selues, and the promises of God to comfort them selues. Agayne, their knowledge is sufficient to direct them generally, and particulerly. And last of all, it neuer fayleth them, but di­recteth them to the end: but the know­ledge of the wicked is not so, for it is a confused and a generall knowledge of the threatninges, and of the promises of God, yet can they not make perti­culer vse of the same. Their knowledge [Page] is not sufficient, nor able to direct them in particulars, and therefore doth leaue them in the ende. Therfore the know­ledge of the godly for the clearenes, the certaintie, and the sufficiencie of it, is compared to the Sunne: so the knowledge of the wicked, is compared to lyghtnyng, which doth not giue a­ny lyght, it doth not continue any time, and when it is gone, men are worse then they were before. So doth it fall out with the wicked; for beside that their knowledge cloth soone va­nish, there is in them greater and more dangerous darknes, then there was be­fore: therein then we see our playne and manifest note of difference. Se­condly, we must come to our affecti­ons. Certayne it is, that the wicked do desire the helpe of God: but looke to the cause, & it wil shew a difference be­tweene the wicked and the godly. The wicked do onely seeke helpe, because [Page] of some extremitie which they suffer, they onely defire to be in the fauour of God, because they woulde be freed from griefe; and therefore it is com­mon with them to say (Oh that I were out of this payne, Oh that this sorow were taken from me:) by which speach they shew, that so they myght be at rest, or at their ease, they would lytle weigh of the helpe and fauour of God. But the godly finde such sweetenes in the fa­uour of God, that for the desire there­of, they can be content to suffer much, and endure the crosse patiently, so that at the last, they may enioy Gods fa­uour. Not the godly onely, but the wicked also, are greeued when they haue sinned: but the wicked do there­fore sorow, because their sinne hath, or will, bryng some punishment vppon them: And the godly sorow, because they haue offended God, and geuen him occasion to draw his fauour from [Page] them, therefore his correction do they beare patiently: but the remembrance of their sinne, that toucheth them styll at the quicke: and so then in their ioy, and in their sorrowe, may appeare a seconde difference. The thirde dif­ference is in loue, for though both of them loue God, yet it is after a di­uers maner; the one of sinceritie, the other of wages, A poore chylde that is taken vp, fedde, and clothed, wyll loue him that doth thus feede & cloth him: but if he receaued no more of that man then of another, he woulde lyke him, and loue him no better then another: Euen so is it with the wic­ked, if their bellies be filled, if their barnes stuffed, and they haue their hartes desire, they loue God in deede, but it it onely for their belly, and their barnes. Thus did Saule loue God, but it was for his kingdome: Thus did Achi­tophel loue God, but it was because he [Page] was a counsellour: Thus did Iudas loue God, but it was because he was chosen to be an Apostle, and caried the bagg: But what became of their loue, histo­ries do testifie. Saule was a lytle affli­cted, and forsooke God: Achitophel somewhat crossed in his deuises, hang­eth himselfe: Iudas for gayne of mo­ney, betrayed Christe his maister. Some experience we may see of this among vs; Courtiers wilbe profes­sours, and Schollers wilbe religious, if Courtiers may come to be Coun­sellours, and Schollers may be prefer­red to chiefest places: but if promoti­on come not, then their profession is forsaken, and Religion layde aside. Do the chyldren of God loue on this manner? No, the holy Ghost which they haue receaued in effectuall ma­ner, doth shedde the seede of loue in their hartes, and doth worke in them a speciall lyking of his goodnes, of his [Page] righteousnes, and of his holynes: and therefore of sinceere affection they loue him, as the naturall chylde loueth his father naturally, although he beate him, yet beareth he it, and styll loueth him: so do the children of God deale. They haue powred into them, as S. Peter sayth, a godly nature, so that they freely loue God the father: and though he afflict them, or crosse them in their de­sires, yet they loue him, and in loue performe obedience vnto him conti­nually: therefore Iob sayth, Though he kill me, yet will I trust in him: they therefore are sayde to haue receaued a free spirite, and to serue God in the libertie of the spirite. And who see­eth not this to be a playne and mani­fest difference betweene them: there­fore we may take it as a thirde marke or rule, to proue and try our selues. The fourth and last rule is, in conside­ring the worke and effect which Gods [Page] mercie receaued, doth worke in vs: for, herein do the wicked shew their wickednesse two wayes. First, on the right hande the mercies of God doe worke in them wonderfull contenta­tion: but not such as causeth them to returne all glory to God, nay, rather, it is such as causeth them to take all glo­rie to them selues: for the graces of God do puffe them vp, and make them proude, and conceyted in them selues. Hereof ariseth great securitie, which bryngeth neglect and contempt of all good meanes, whereby they should grow vp in godlines. On the left hand others offend, being neuer pleased nor cōtended with the they haue in deede, forgettyng and lightly esteeming that they haue, and still desiring new. These men besides that they be vnthankeful, do also murmure and grudge agaynst God, and are neuer pleased with him. Betweene these two, the chyldren of [Page] God holde a middle and euen course: and therefore we shall see these things in thē. First, a sight & an acknowledg­ing of the wantes which do moue thē, as S. Peter sayth, Like new borne babes, to desire the sweete and sinceere mylke of the worde, that thereby the graces they haue, may be increased, and their other wantes may be supplyed: and so farre are they from being puffed vp with pride, that they reioyce whē their pripe may be pulled downe, or their haugh­tines abated, eyther by some sharpe re­buke, or by some fearefull threatning, or by some moderate correction from the Lord: for they know, if it were needefull for S. Paul to be buffited, and that by the minister of Satan, to the ende that his pride may be beaten downe: then it is much more needeful for thē, after more wayes so to be humbled. Besides that, they do not onely desire the word, but they also wayte vpon the [Page] Lord, vntil it pleased the lord to worke further in them thereby: and this way­ting is as earnest as theirs, who haue watched all the night, do wayte and looke for the dawning of the day. Se­condly, as they see their wantes, so also they see that grace they haue receiued, and for that time well appayde, & con­tented therewith: and therfore as their wantes do humble them, so the graces of God do comfort them: and as their wantes do cal vpon them, & cause them to seeke more: so that they haue, doth prouoke them to be thankfull for that they haue receiued. See then a quite contrary course of the wicked, & those that do of sinceritie worshyp God, I say how contrary the graces & gyftes of God do worke in them, & therefore from the consideraton hereof, we may well draw a fourth rule, whereby to make triall & examinatiō of our owne selues: therfore to conclude this poynt [Page] in a word, when a man by the spirit of God hath bin inlightned vnto a cer­taine & sufficient knowledge of Gods will, when he findeth his affection, chiefly & aboue al other things set vpō God, whē he findeth a pure & sinceere loue of God in his hart, not for wages, but for that worde of grace, which af­ter an vnspeakable maner doth moue him therevnto: and when he doth thankfully acknowledge mercies re­ceaued, as he doth carefully attende & wayte vpon the Lord, till he bestow some great measure of graces vpon him, he may be vndoubtedly perswa­ded, that he hath found the spirit work­ing in him, in a more effectuall maner, & therefore it shal neuer be taken from him. But what then, may such men cast off all care? No, for vnto them doth S. Paul giue this charge: for though that the spirite can neuer be taken vtterly from them, yet doubtles, if they waxe [Page] proud, if they grow secure, if they fall into sinne, the graces & giftes of the spi­rite may decay and die in them, their cleare loue, their feeling, their affectiō, and all may be gone, so that in their owne iudgement, & in the iudgement of others, it may seeme that they haue quite quenched, & put out the spirite. Neither must this seeme strange: for if the image of God, which was more perfectly placed in Adam, thē it is now in vs. If I say, this image might quite be blotted out & lost, as we see in was; then no maruell if the graces of the spirit be for a time, as it were dead & drowned in vs: and that we may be the lesse of­fended herewith, the Scriptures do of­fer vnto vs examples of men, as hauing bin once effectually and truly borne a­gaine, haue yet afterwarde through some sinnes, lost the graces of the spirit: such were the Galathians, for they were truely called, & effectually regenerate, [Page] by the spirit & Gospell of God, as may appeare by this, that for the words sake they reuerenced the Apostle as the angel of God, yet they were snared with false doctrine, & fell very dange­rously to the choaking & quenching the spirit in them, the spirit it selfe was not taken from them, nay, Christ did still continue in their hartes, yet for want of godly graces they were as it were without fashion & forme, so that the Apostle did as it were trauell a­gayne, vntill Christ was fashioned a new in them. Dauid also vpon the com­mitting of his sinne, was brought into the like case, & therfore in the. 51. Psal. he prayeth, That God wil create in him a new spirit: What, was the spirite quite gone? no, for by and by in the same Psalme he prayeth, That the Lord would not take away his holy spirite from him: how can these two stand together, first to pray, that a new spirite may be created [Page] in him, and, that the spirit of God may not be taken from him? Surely the spirit it selfe was stil in him, & therfore he pray­eth, that it may not be taken from him: but the graces, & gratious working of the spirit they were dead & gone, and therefore he prayeth that they may be renewed in him. By this then we see, that the very chiefe graces of the spirit may be quenched, euen in the most godly, when they fall into sin. But yet that no libertie may be taken hereby, let vs consider what griefe they bring to them selues, that do by any meanes loose the graces of the spirit. First of all we must know, that though the spirite of God cannot be gotten by our la­bour, yet it costeth vs much labour, and we must vndergoe much trauel, & suffer much trouble, before the spirite of God do take possession of vs. Now when the graces of the spirit are lost, all our labour seemeth to be lost, & come [Page] to nothing. Secondly, when a man re­ceaueth the spirit of God, and by the same spirit is assured that his sinne is forgiuen him, and he is in the fauour of God, there doth arise in his hart a great ioy in the holy ghost, a ioy I say, that is vnspeakable & glorious: and this ioy is lost & gone, when the graces of Gods spirite are gon: with how great griefe & wo they know it, that in any measure haue tasted of it. Againe, whē the graces of the spirit are choaked in men, they haue no haste to do good, they haue no affection to goodnesse, but all is gone, and they are made for the time, as it were an vnprofitable bur­then of earth. What griefe can be grea­ter then this? What sorowe cap sinke more deepe, then that a good man should be cleane withholden from do­ing good? Moreouer it is sure, that whē the gyftes of the spirit are in this sort gone, that he that was more righteous [Page] before, may soone fal into greater sins, yea and which is more, they shall also suffer the reproch of their sinnes: For this is a part of the couenant that God made with his, That though he will not take his mercies vtterly from them, yet he will visite their sinnes with the rodde, and their iniquities with scourges: and what griefe is this. The example of Gods childrē. What hart breaking to Dauid, by his owne sonne to be thrust from his kingdome, so greeuous, that if with­out any respect of hell or heauen, we could consider of them, we had rather want all the pleasure of sinne, which Dauid enioyed, then we would feele the payne which Dauid suffered. Last of all, when the graces of the spirit of God are decaied, they can neuer be re­paired and recouered, but with much sorow and great danger: for it can not but breede much sorow of hart, to ex­amine & see the greatnesse of them, to [Page] apply Gods iudgementes to them, and to prouoke himself to sorow for them: This is as it where to go through the pikes, and through purgatorie in this present lyfe; & yet this must be done, before we can recouer Gods grace. Agayne, it is a very dangerous thing, for in such cases men are brought as it were with Ionas, into the bottome of the sea: and as Dauid saith, into the deepe waters, so that all the surge and waues do passe ouer him. Now we know what danger it is for a man to be thrust ouer head and eares into the deepe waters: and therefore they that are in such a case, are in great danger: where­fore all these thinges considered, the losse of all our labour, the losse of all true ioy, the vnfitnesse to do good, the readinesse to sinne; the griefe and dan­ger that ensueth thereof, will, or at the least wyse may cause vs to be ware, how we quench the spirite. And this is [Page] [...] vse of the doctrine, in humblyng vs: which also doth further serue to [...]mfort vs, knowing that we may suf­ [...] a great decay of Gods graces; yet the rodde, or worde of God, they [...]ay be renewed in vs agayne. And thus much of this commaun­dement that the Apostle giueth heere, that we should not quench the spirite.


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