A Christen ex­hortacion vnto customable swearers

What a ryght & lawfull othe is: whan / and before whom / it owght to be.

Item. The maner of sayinge grace / or geuynge thankes vn­to God.

Who so euer heareth Goddes worde / beleue it / and do therafter shall be saued.

Unto the reader.

GRace and increase of knowlege frome God the father / throughe owre Lorde Iesus Christ / be with the Cristen reader / and with all other [...] [...]untremen that loue the Lord vn [...]aynedlye. In the Lordes byneyarde / (deare frynde) I se men in this age busylye occupyed to roote owte [...]wedes of inueterate vyces and olde can [...]ed customes. Some hath preached against supersticions. Some hath wry­ten against Purgatorye and Pardons. Some hath inueyed against Pylgrimage [...] & sectes. Some hath beatten downe Monasteries and Shrynes / Idolles & their aulters▪ Some seaketh yet to this daye to de [...]roy [...] Popyshe decrees / to a­bolyshe vayne Ceremonyes / to restore necessarye rytes / and to bringe agayne all thinges to Cristes first inst [...]cion. All these thinges are Godlye / I denye it not / and men vertuouslye exercised in so doynge. But these for the more parte hath parteyned / and yet styll doth par­ [...]eyne / to the monstruous kyngdome of Antecrist or disgysed church of hypocrites. Which hath euermore had a greate shewe or glytterynge pretence of godly­nesse / though they haue (after S. Paule) denyed the power therof. But the abho­ [...]nable custome of swearinge or dayly [Page 2] blaspheming of the blessed name of god (whiche is of the de [...]ylles kyngedome right owt / without any colours to the cō trary) hath verye fewe or none re [...]uked / specially in ther wrytinges. Wherfore I haue cōceyued it a thinge most neces­sarye to setforth sumwhat concerninge the rebuke therof / to put me [...] in remembrance of them selfes / least they shuld through custome forgett God. So hath this execrable abusyon increased a­monge the people / that rather it hath bene co [...]nted a vertue than a vyce / [...]ynge the open dore vnto dampnacion. yea so depelye hath this pestilent poy­son infected the wittes of men / that no­thinge seameth pleasaunte vnto them / freshe / or worthye to be lawghed at / vn­lesse it be ioyned with the blasphemye of goddes holye name. The tale shall lacke his dewe circumstance / vnlesse it be myred with othes. As with bloode / woundes / death / and sydes / with cursin­ges and bannynges / as poxe / pestil [...]ce / fowle euyll / shame / vengeaunce / & myf­chef / to badde to be vttered amonge the deuyls in helle. Oh mercyfull God / how can they thynke themselfes worthye of the name of cristianes / vsinge such de­uyllishnes? how can they hope to be sa­ued in Crist / vtteringe out of all cristen order suche owtragio [...]s blasphemye? moch more godlye shuld the cristyan be / than eyther Iewe or pagane / yet is [Page] he a thowsand tymes worse in hys con­uersacion and lyfe. Amonge all vyces wherunto the corrupte nature of owre nacion is geuen (for the more parte) is blasphemye & whoredome / though the first of them be dyrectelye agaynst the thred commandement of God in the first table / and the other agaynst the thred in the second table (which is the seuenth in numbre) yet are they in daylye custome / God not feared / nor yet ther danger consydered. And why? They that shuld be the salte of the earth / are become vnsa­verye / and wher as they ought to geue vs the lyght of good lyuinge / they offre vs darkenesse. Neyther is the corrupciō of execrable swearinge taken from vs by the seasonable doctryne of owre pre­lates / & prestes / nor yet by ther shyninge exāples awaye lefte vs to forsake stinc­king whoredome. Rather do thei shewe vs a playne pathe vnto them bothe. For no wher shall yow fynde more othes / nor of more dyuerse kyndes / than in bis­shoppes howses. And as for comō who­res / yow shall haue so manye / not farre from some of ther howses / as are able to serue the fylthye flocke of an whole contree. Ther eyes are so spirituall / that they can not see the [...] blottes. These sa­uers can they not smell though they go by them euery daye. So small feare ha­ue they to God / and so lytle good wyll beare they / [...]o the honorable state of ma­trimonye. [Page 3] But if a pore man begynneth to fauer the verite of the lord / they cane smelle hym owt though he be .xl. myle of. But with these thinges wyl they not meadle. And why? they are bothe neces­sarye for a comon wealth. By good hansome swearinge men appere valeaunte / and no faynt harted cowerdes. The ste­wes ar permitted / as an wholesome po­lytique ordinance / to auoyed a greatter inconuenience. For elles (saye they) ho­nest mennys wyfes shuld not lyue in rest. Oh beastlye belye goddes / maye you by your polytique ordinances (con­trarye saynt Paules doctrine) s [...]ffer an euyll thinge that good maye come ther­of? Faythful wyfes wyll cōtinue in ther honeste / whan you / and all whorehūters shall go to the deuyll. It geueth rather an occasion to wyfes / and maydēs to be nowght. For when the wyfe is disposed to be an whore / she knoweth wher to be receyued. Manye a mayde lykewyse / when a wanton felowe hath gotten vpehure bealye she must strayght waye to the stewes. If hure master or maystres see anye wanton towch with hure [...] and than (as it becommeth them) tell hure of it / she sett the lesse by them / and all be­cause of the stewes. And it is a comon sayenge / ware ther no receyuer ther shuld be no thefe. So ware ther no ste­wes / ther shuld not so many honest mennis doughters rune awaye from ther fathers [Page] and playe the whores as dothe. Oh [...]testable hypocrites / what honest man can thinke the breaking of goddes commandementes to furder a Christen lande? why are princes / magistrates / & iudges / put in aucthorite but onlye to se them obserued? why are you made bis­shoppes / but onlye to persuade them to the same? Neuer bringe you an owtra­gious blasphemer / nor a comon aduow­tere [...] to open shame before the world / at Paules crosse / though ther be neuer so manye. Neuer laboure you to the kinge and his counsell for a refourmacion to be hadd of these most execrable vyces / though you know them to be most hurtefull / to a Christen comō wealth. you can wy [...]he at such greauous euylles / & suf­fer thē to be taken as no synnes. It was not without a cause that Christ called yow a blasphemous / & an aduouterous generacion. It is not for nowght / that the scripture geueth you so manye ody­ous names. As strangers / beastes / aduersaries / dreamers / colubers / belyals / do­me dogges / ra [...]onynge wolues / serpen­tes / le [...]athans / bastardes / traytors / de­stroyers / theues / idolles / men of synne / sonnes of perdicion / vnshamefast lyers / wycked doers / enemyes to the truthe vncle [...]ne fowles / deuilles incarnate blyn­de leaders of the blynde / hypocrytes / hy [...]linges / false prophettes / yll sede / with an .C. more. you wyl make goddes [Page 4] commandementes of no effecte / to auoy­ed greatter inconuenience. Oh detesta­ble enemyes to the trewth / what incon­uenience can be greatter / than to neg­lecte the lawes of god doth he not thretten to them that breake his commande­mentes all thes fearefull plages? As derth / barennesse / scarsenes / nede / hun­ger / thurst / [...]o [...]ertie / penurye / the plages and sycknesses of Egypte / pestilence / poxe / botch / feuers / collycke / heate / em [...]o­des / scalle / mange / meselles / madnesse / losse of goodes / wyndes / blastes / waters wythering / wastyng / burnyng / drought / rayne oppressyon / robberye / theues / ra­pe / yll fortune / captyuite / e [...]ile / wreched­nes / subieccion / dāger / pryson / syckenes / strypes / shame / cowardnes / blyndnes / error / dasynge of harte / desperacion / thou [...]ht / vnquyetnes / toyle / bondage / warre / fyer / swearde / battell / feare / tre­melynge / sorowgh / schorte [...] lyfe / & sodene deathe both of bodye & sowle. And all this you weye not at all. you are so vn­marcyfull / that you care not to se them droppe headelinges in to helle. So that you haue the flees / you passe not what become neyther of body nor sowle. Wel is that people / whom God hath delyue­red from suche vnpitefull g [...]ydes. Therfore we pore wreches / owght to geue most hartye thākes vnto the lord / (seyng the salte is become so vnsauerye) which hath geu [...]e vs such a prince / such a feyth­full [Page] Iosyas / & godlye [...]ynister / that hath restored agayne the pure worde of God / & hath graunted vs all free passage vn­to it / wherin we maye lerne to a voyed these vyces / with all other. This worde of God / is the mother perle / that we owght with all diligēs to seke / the pap­pe that we ought to sucke / and the table that we shuld eate vppon. From thence shuld we fetch the sustenance of health / the breade of lyfe / the wy [...]e of gladnes­se / the refresshing waters / the feadinge of the sprete / the lyght of the sowle / yea it is the verye towche stone that tryeth all thinges. And this afore tyme / was hydden from vs / by the frye of the the serpent / the satellytes of antichriste / the sorcerers of Egypte / with ther myny­sters. Geue thankes therfor yet ones a­gayne vnto God [...] which hath in these latter dayes so marcyfullye vy­syted vs from aboue / and hath sett owre feete in the path­wayes of his peace. So be it.

A Christen exhortacion

IN one naturall beyng hath the lorde from the begyn­ninge constitute all men to this ende / that they shuld naturallye loue / helpe▪ / and counforte one an nother. And to the perfourmance of that hys pleasure / added he this naturall lawe / that they shuld cōsydre within them sel­ues what they wolde haue done to ther owne bodyes / chyldren / goodes / or cat­tell / and vpon that grounde to conceyue a rewle how to vse all o [...]her particuler personnes.A necessa­rye doctry­ne of loue. If they wold not that men shulde oppresse them / yll reporte them / shame them before the worlde / hyre ther howses ouer ther heades / sell them yll wares / begyle them by false wayght & measure / with suche lyke / that thei shuld in anye wyse beware / least they do the same vnto the. This naturall lawe was vnto Adam / Seth / Enoch / Noe / Abrahā / Moyses / and other godlye men / a grounded precepte of lyuinge / whō they euer­more folowed in ther owtward occu­pyenges.Examples of the holy fathers.

Another sorte ther ware which myn­ded nothinge lesse / and they contrarye wyse / for wante of that rewle / fell in to all maner of abhominable synnes.Contemp­ners of these holy fa­thers. As Ca [...] in to the vnnatural murder of his brother.Gen. 4. The gyauntes in to fylthye de­syres of the fleshe.Gen. 9. 10. Nimroth in to cruell oppressyon and tyrannye. Cham in to a [Page] scornefull dysdayne of his father. Isma­el into a stubberne wyckednesse ageynst all men. Esau into a mortall hate of Ia­cob his brother. And such lyke. So that dayly more and more for decaye of that lawe (which god hade inwardlye wrytē in the hartes of men) greate myschefes increased.Osee. 4 And as Oseas the prophete cōplayneth / ther was no faythfulnesse / no brotherlye loue / no trewth amonge men / but bytternesse / lyenge / manslawghter / thefte / and aduowterye hath gotten the ouerhande.What so loued that contempte In ther daylye occupy­enge was moch falsehed vsed / and that was thought wel wonne good / that was gottē by deceyte. Uerye seldome in ther bargaynes ware promises perfourmed / and more seldome a greate deale / was faythfull honeste regarded. In processe of tyme therfor / were very fewe or none beleued / vnlesse they toke God to wyt­nesse that ther matter was trewe / wher vppō first of all came vpe the swearing of othes amonge men to confirme ther saynges with.

An othe is no yll matter / godlye vsed and done in loue / though the f [...]eshe from the begynning hath abused it.What is an othe & to what ende it serueth. For what is ther in the world be it neuer so clene and good / but mennys corrupte nature doth most abhominablye de [...]yle.Psal. 13.

An othe is awaye or meane wherbyExo. 22. controuersyes are ended / and promysesHeb. 6 perfourmed / by the callinge vpon the [Page 6] name of God. For it is wryten in the la­we / if a mā delyuer vnto his neyboure / oxe / asse / or shepe / to pasture / and it dye / or be hurte / or dryuen awaye (no man seynge it) than shall an othe of the lord go betwene them / and he shall sweare whether he hathe put anye hand to the takinge awaye of his neybours good or not / and the owner of the good shall re­ceyue the othe / & if he / by the othe that he hath taken sayth / that he hath put no hād to it / than shal he not make it good &c. And this must be done before the goddes / that is to saye before the iud­ges or magistrates.iudges ar called goddes in scripture. Here is the contro­uersye ended betwen neyboure and neyboure / through an othe. It is also a mea­ne wherby promyses ar perfourmed.Gen. 21. As we fynd in Genesis the .21. chapter / the wordes of Abimelech vnto Abraham / that he shuld neyther hurte hym / nor his posterite / vnto whom Abrahā sayde / I wyl sweare. And the texte sayeth / that thei sware bothe. And Abraham ded not onlye sweare / but also perfourmed it indede. This is called a ryght or lawfull othe / and none elles.A laufull othe. This othe is a certen kynde of religion / wherwith god is not onlye honored / but also / well conten­ted and pleased. This is a sure anchore / wherunto iudges may lawfully stycke / whan ther wyttes can go no furder. For who knoweth what is in man / but God onlye? This right and lawfull othe was [Page] commanded of god for the conforte / hel­pe / and secoure of owr neyboure. And it is called the othe of the lord / not onlye because he commāded it / but also whan he made his myghtye promesse vnto A­brahā he sweare hym self / to cause hym to beleue it / not to be impossyble / at the tyme appoynted.Gen. 22. Whan a matter is in stryfe before a iudge / necessarye it is to sweare / if i [...] be re [...]red / to brīge it to a cō ­clusiō.Magistra­tes may on lye requy­re it. And in lyke case is it with demandinge of an othe / as with stryking with the swearde. Lawfull is it not for eue­ry priuate persone at his owne lust to slee.Deut. 24. But to the magistrates / whan they se iuste cause / it is not onlye lawfull / but also an offyce of dewtye belongynge vnto them vnder payne of goddes hyghe displeasure.A iust comparyson.

Hely was ponnished of God / for not correctinge his childrē / & so was kynge1. Reg. 4. &. 15. Saule for sparinge the people of a Ma­lech.Luc. 22. The princes of regions haue the sworde geuen them by goddes auctho­rite / not to reuenge ther owne priuate quarell / but the iuste.Leuit. 19 quarel of God and his people.For the co­mon welth onlye. In lyke condicion is it with swearinge.Deut. 6. If the cause be not thers but ther neybours / they maye lawfullye re­ceyue an othe / and the other requyred / may lykewyse sweare in tryall of the trewth and not synne.Who sweareth a right. yet ought it non otherwyse to be done than in the name and fere of the lord / least we shuld ascribe [Page 7] the verite to enye other than to hym. And they iustelye sweare by his name & without reproue / which myndinge ney­ther frawde nor deceyte / wytnesseth on­lye the trewthe / which seaketh no per­cyalite / but the right / not them selfes / but the glorye of god / the profytt of ther neyboure / and the comō welthe of god­des people.Whan anothe is lawfull.

Lawful it is also for the magistrates / whan they put enye manne in offyce / to take an othe of hym / that he shal be tre­we / diligent / and feythfull therin / as Ia­cob / for the cōmodite and profytt of his posterite / toke an othe of Laban the idolatrer. Lykewyse Iudas Machabe [...]s / of the Romaynes / for the same purpos­se. And this is because ther hath bene / & yet are daylye fownde so many vnfeythful.An othe of allegeaun­ce. Of ther subiectes and comons maye princes demande an othe of allegyaun­ce / for the sauegard of ther landes & peo­ple. And that shuld not nede / ware ther no false traytors abrode. yet is it dys­cretlye to be cōsydered in all suche pub­lyque othes / whether they haue the .iij. aforenamed thinges or not. To sweare to do yll / as to slee / to rauishe / or to rob­be / is dampnable without fayle / and to perfourme suche an othe / or to do those wyckednesses in dede is a dowble dampnacion / both to hym that so sweareth / & also to the iudge that causeth hym to sweare.A dampnable othe. Suche a one was the cursed [Page] othe / that kynge Herode made / vnto the dowghter of Herodyas his harlott / for the heade of holye Iohn baptist / whom Christe calleth a vylye foxe for his craf­tye con [...]yaunce.Mar. 6. A coloure was this othe / of his cruell tyrannye / and a cloke to his most spyghtfull murther.Luc. 13. For through that meanes was Iohn done vnto dethe. Neyther was an othe ordey­ned (after the mynde of saynt Austen) to bynde to the perfourmaunce of man­slawghter / robberye / idolatrye / or other synnes.Ad seuerū nuleu [...]a­num. Rather hade Dauid breke hys othe / then to fulfyl it with blood shedīg.

A saynge ther is amōge men / that the word / promes or othe / of a kynge shulde stande.A kynges worde ought to stande. We graunte the same / in case it be trewe / lawfull / and expedient. Elles were it muche better / to be broken than kepte. Better were a kynge to eate his worde an .C. tymes / or to call it home a­gayne / than ones to be dampned for the perfourmance of it / if it be wycked. For a kynge or rewler is not ordeyned to do his owne luste / but to iudge accordinge to right and equite.Psal. 2 As open is hell for hym / as for a pore mane / if he rewle not his people godlye.Dauid brake his othe Dauid made a so­lempne othe / to slee Nabal / & to distroye all that perteyned vnto hym / but he ne­uer ded perfourme that othe / and yet he was a kynge. He put vppe his swearde agayn (sayth Bede) & neuer repēted hym of anye fawte done. Home. 45. [Page 8] Othes are to be obserued / whē ther ende is nor euyll / nor vn o [...]the hynderaunce of sowles helth.In sinoni­mis 11. 2 In wycked promyses (sayth Is [...]dorus) lett faythfulnes haue no place.Filthye vowes ought to be brokē In a fylthye vowe / change thy de­creed purposse. Do not the thinge in ef­fec [...]e / that thou hast without consydera­cion sworne vnto. For the promesse is euermore wycked / that can not be ꝑfourmed without synne. Therfor if the iud­ges or rewlers shuld inforce the inferi­oure subiectes to sweare to that thinge that ware agaynst sowles helth or god­des honoure as to w [...]rchipe an idolle or to an innocētes vndoynge / thei ought rather to dye / than to obeye it.2. Mach. 6 &. 7. As ded for an example the discrete man / and honorable father Eleazarus / with the .vij. feythfull brethern & ther mother in the Machabees. For muche better is it in suche case to obeye God than man / as witnesseth Peter & the other apostles.Act. 5.

Neyther ought a iudge by the laweLeuit. 19 / to compel a man to sweare agaynst hymselfProu. 30 / least he inforce hym wyckedlye to synne in for swearinge hymself / and so to dispayre of the mercye of God. But whan he taketh an othe of a pore sym­ple sowle / or of a craftye subtyll felowe / he owte to consydre all circumstances re [...]syte. And all suche as sweare othes / ought lykewyse to be circumspecte and ware. And to see alwayes that this cla [...] se be added vnto them. If my lord God [Page] wyll or if I haue no lawfull imped [...] to the contrarye.This must be added / if god wyl Rom. 1. And than shall we ma­ke o [...]r promyses perfyght. If I shulde chaunce to appoynte with the magistra­tes to come before them at [...]che an howre / and in the meane tyme be letted by terrible sycknesse / I shuld thus brea­ke no iuste promesse made with the / if I come not.August. de sermone d [...] in monte. Neyther shuld I breake con­uenaūte (as sayth saynt Austen) If I pro­mysed a payment at a daye / & were [...] ­bed of my money by the waye / comy [...]e thyder warde. With suche other lyke [...] Neuer am I for sworne nor vniuste of my promesse / so longe as my harte m [...] ­deth no deceyte.God hol­deth neces­syte excu­syd. Many other suche doubtes and perplexe cases ther be / but thes I supposse for this tyme suffycient. By thes may all other be perceyued & chri­stianlye ordred. Thus do we not denye / all maner of swearing / though we wold non othes to be vsed betwyne neyboure & neyboure / nor yet in owre priuate communicacions and daylye busynesses. As herafter we shall declare more at large. I wolde haue wryten muche more of this ryght and lawfull othe / whiche is commanded of God for the wealth and healthe of men / if other christiane ler­ned men had not wryten suffycientlye therof afore. Agayne for so muche as the matter of it selfe belongeth rather vnto the offyce of rewlers and iudges / then to suche priuate persons as I here write [Page 9] vnto yet lett bothe the iudges / and [...] subiectes / mar [...] & obserue thes lessons folowinge.

First a iudge / owght neuer to de­mande / or require an othe of enye man / withca [...]e greate heuynes of conscyens / for [...] at the partye re [...]red to swea­re / shuld for sweare hym self.Whā a iu [...]ge may re­quire all othe. Suche lo­ue and pyte ought ther to be in iudges / that the losse of ther neyboures sowle / shuld be estemed equalle with the detri­ment of ther owne sowles.Iudges ought to be piteful. Therfor be­fore they bringe them vnto an othe / they owte to seke all wayes & meanes how to trye the truth without an othe / & not immediatlye and in all the hast to cause them to sweare.

Secondlye. The iudge maye demaun­de an othe / and the inferioure subiecte lykewyse sweare / whan it is eyther to the glorye of god / the profyt of owr ney­boure / or for the comon welthe.

Thirdly / thoughe men be fully persuaded to haue lawfull and iuste occasions to sweare / as for the glory of god the profyt of owre neighbour / and the common welth / yet maye they not be i [...]dges in their owne causes / nor take ought here in hande / by their owne aucthorite / but let the ma [...]ter come before their iudges for no lawe suffreth the here to do after thyne owne pleasure / & what thou thln­kest best.Mat. v. No man may be his owne iudge. After this sorte did Christe [...] iudges vse them selues in requiringe of an [Page] othe / and lykewyse faithfull subiectes with a glade harte in renderinge their othe demanded of them.

If thou be capcio [...]s thou wilt parauēture fynde cauilla [...]ion of contrariete in the scripture? And saye / that Moyses here semeth to speake contrary vnto that Christ hath spoken in Matthew / the .v. Chap.Mat. 5. Because it is sayd here / yf anye man geueth to kepe / asse / oxe / or shepe &c. than the othe of the Lorde shall go bet­wene them / and there thou shalte in no case sweare. this was firste the error of the Manacheis / whose folowers ar now the Anabaptistes.The error of the Anabaptistes. And all this commeth because they vnderstand not the senten­ce of Christ in the .v. of Matthew. This worde / iurare / hath an other maner of signification / than they do perceyue / and is otherwyse taken in the said .v. of Mathew / than they do teache. for this is to be beleued of all men / that God the fa­ther commanded nothynge that shulde be preiudiciall or contrarye his sonne / nor yet that the sonne tawght any thing contrary his father.The agre­ment of Christ and Moyses. therfore there is a swearinge whiche is lawfull approued and commanded of God / of the whiche we haue made mencion before / called in latyne ius [...]urandum. Ther is also a swearinge which is not lawfull discommen­ded / and clearly forbyden of Christ / whicheWhat a te­ [...]erous he is. is called / deiurium / that is temerously to sweare in owre priuate communication [Page 10] / be it trewe or false. And whā Christ saith / thou shalt not sweare at al / he meaneth nothinge lesse / than by it / to destroy all maner of lawfull swearinge before a iudge / but that we shuld neuer in our priuate communicacion sweare. and as all maner of othes ware not disalowed of Christ / no more ware all othes alow­ed of God the father / but suche onely as had eyther the glory of God / the profyt of owre neyboure / or the commō wealth vppon their sydes. And that this is the very meaninge of Christes wordes / we shall well perceyue / by the weynge of the texte. yow haue hard sayth Christe / how it was sayd to thē of the olde tymene deteres / Where as owre translacion hath / non periurabis / thou shalte not for sweare.How per­iurare is taken in the .5. of Matth. And not al without cause / for as periurare can neuer be taken in a good sence / so is it not alwaye taken for the transgressinge or breakinge of a lawful othe made before a iudge. But often ty­mes it is taken for deierare / which is to take God [...]d witnesse / to lye / or to decey­ue. And periurate / is lykewyse to abuse the name of God / whiche is the trewth and righteousnes / to lye / and deceyue. And what so euer he be / that eyther re­quire his neyboure to sweare / or sweare lightly him selfe / it is a sufficient proue / that he is a pariure / yll / lyght / and one that lytle regardeth Goddes truth. now whan Christ sayth / it is sayd to them of [Page] the old tyme / non periurabis / thou shalt not forsweareExo. 20. yow shall neuer fynde in the Hebrew nor in the Greketerte that worde / but so shal you fynde in Moyses Thou shake not take the name of thy LordeLeuit. 19. God temerously / where as owre interpreter hath so. Thou shalt not take his name in vayne. [...]n another place also you haue after this sorte. Thou shalt not sweare in my name to lye. Whiche the Grekes interpretat after this faciō. thou shalt not sweare fal [...]y in my name And the La [...]ynes hath / non periurabis / Thou shalt not forsweare in my name. Here you may se how saynt Ierome vse this worde / to forsweare / for deterare / which is to sweare false. And not for the transgressinge of a right & lawfull othe It was forbydden to them of the olde tyme / (as you haue partely harde) that they shoulde in no case / temerouslye take the name of God to recorde / which is expounded in the sayd .xix. of Leuit. that they shulde not sweare in his name to lye.The Iues thought it no synne to sweare truly Wherout sprange this opinion a­monge them / that yf they dyd take the name of God to wirnesse in the trewth / and that in their dayly busynes betwen neighbour and neighbour) was no ma­ner of synne. but in a false fayned mat­ter they thought they ought in no case to sweare / nor yet compel any other mā therunto▪ And this is the thinge that Christ speaketh here against / and vtter­ly [Page 11] reproueth. that is to saye / that neither in the trouth nor otherwyse / they ought to take the name of God to recorde in their familiar and dayly communicaci­on. but to speake so truly / and to deale so faithfully one with another / that yf he sayd / yea / then his neighbour shulde be­leue him to saye truth / yf he sayd / naye / lykewyse to beleue it not to be truth.A Christen ought not to speake one thing & thinke another. Here you se well / is no maner of mention made of a right and lawfull othe. for Christ saith / audistis / ye haue hard how it was sayd vnto them of the olde tyme / non periurabis / thou shalt not forswear Where is this spoken? euen there wheras is nothinge spoken at all / of the trāsgressinge or breakinge of a lawful othe made before a iudge. as it shal appear [...] more playnlye to him that will serche the places. Therfore it is manifest that Christ spake of suche othes / wherby we bynd our selues temerously / to do or perfourme any maner of thing.They of the olde tyme were suffred to sweare in the truth. It foloweth in the terte / I saye vnto you / sweare not at all, marke now of what swearinge he speaketh / euen of suche swearinge as was (for their weaknes sake) permitted vnto them of the olde tyme / by the law. for as the Iues were suffred by the law (for their weakenes sake) to be deuor­ced from their wyues (gyuinge them a testimonial in their handes) to auoyde a further inconuenience / that was lest whan they were moued or angrye with [Page] them / they shuld either haue poysonned or kylled them.Deut. 6 So was it lykewyse permitted to thē of the olde tyme / to sweare (but not by all maner of creatures / but only in the name of god) least they dwellinge amonge the heythen / and accustominge their othes / shulde by contynuan̄ ce of tyme fall vnto the fylthye worshippinge of their Idoles / forgettinge him.Exod. 23. sweare by his name (saith Moyses) and se that you walke not after stran̄ge goddes of the nacions that you remayne a­monge.Iosue. 23 S [...] that you neyther make mencion (saith Iosue) nor yet sweare by the names of their goddes. Thus in the old tyme were they suffred to sweare in an ernest iuste or wayghtye cause.We maye not swear yf the matter be ne­uer so true but now commeth Christ and saith / that neyther in a t [...]ewe matter / be it neuer so great ernest and wayghtye / we shal not of our owne selues / nor by our owne aucthori­te and priuate power / sweare or promes any maner of thinge. Where as yet no maner of mention is made of a demaunded othe by publyque aucthorite. And the wordes that folowe make the mat­ter more p [...]yne. neither by heauē (saith Christ) for it is the throne of God / ney­ther by earth &c. Where rede you that at any tyme the Hebrwes did vse to sweare by any of these thinges? And contra­rywyse who now adayes doth not for e­uery tryfle sweare by them all. one pro­messe a gyft by Christes Crosse / another [Page 12] by heauen / the thirde by the earthe. All this doth Christ clearly forbyd / and this is the summe of all his communicaci­on. And where as the Anabaptistes expounde this to be spoken of periurye / which is taken for the transgression or breakinge of that othe / whiche is made before a iudge: they are greatlye decey­ued. for there is no mencion made / ney­ther of the place / of the iudiciall seate / nor yet of any magistrate or iuge. he spake therfore of the othes / whiche we vse one with another in oure familiar com­municacion and language. And he that will serche the aforesayd places of Exo­di and Leuitici / both in Hebrewe Gre­ke / and Latin / shall fynde it trewe that here is wryten. other reasons and argu­mentes they haue / to take from the con­gregacion / this lawfull othe / which at an other tyme shall be answered vnto. The Pharise is also had blynded & cor­rupted this commandement. for lyke as to hate in the hart / or couer another mās wyfe / was no synne with them / no more was it to thinke one thinge in the harte and to speake another with the mouth. Althoughe Moyses sayd lye not: nor deceyue any man his neighbour.Leuit. 19 They did interpretate it but for good councel / and that it did bynd no man / vnder payne of dānacion. so by that meanes were there none beleued / onles they toke god to wit­nesse. whan false / sotel and craftye merchauntes [Page] ones perceiued that for taking of Goddes name to recorde / they were beleued / whatsoeuer their cause was. To bringe their matter to passe they ly­tle cared to forsweare them selues. vn­der that coloure cloked they all maner of dissimulacion / falshede / and vngodly­nesse. so that the name of God (whiche ought to haue ben had in most reuerēce) was commonlye than vsed / for a coue­ringe of all their myschefes. in so moch the Prophete complayned and sayde / how they cowed saye the Lorde lyueth / yet did they sweare to deceyue.Ierem. 5. Christ commeth / and bringeth salte and light vnto the commandementes / restoringe them agayne to their owne natural meaninge / and right vnderstanding / and as his father wolde haue them kept / of euery Christen man. for as God is but one / so hath his word or commaundementes but one right and trewe meaninge / how so euer we turmoyle or handle them.Goddes worde hath but one true meaninge. And where as they had taught to hate in harte / to couer another mans wyfe / & to deceyue his neighboure with a lye / was not forbidden of God / vnder payne of damnacion but only the outwarde a­cte. But Christe saith / he that is angrye with his brother / is in daunger of iudgement. [...]ur word [...]nd harte / [...]ust be al [...]ne. He that seeth a womā and lusteth after. her / shall tast the punyshment that belongeth to a horemonger: he that thinketh one thinge / and speaketh another / deceyueth [Page 13] his neighboure with a lye / or promyse / shall haue the punyshement of a periurer. therfore I saye vnto you / that ye sweare not at all / but let your communicacion be / yea / yea / naye / naye. he saith twyes yea / and twyes naye / that is yea in harte / and yea in mouth / naye in hart and naye in mouthe. And yf men / whan that you meane truly wil not beleue you by your yea and nay / let them take hede (sayth Basyle) for they shal taste the payne that belongeth to the vnbeleuers.Basyle therfore it is both folysh and damnable / whan a man can not be beleued by yea and naye / withoute an othe / because he wolde be beleued to sweare.Hierome The gospel (sayth saynt Ierome) permitteth no ma­ner of priuat othe / because the hole lan­guage of a Christen / shulde be so faith­full / trewe and perfyt / that euery sentence therof shulde be able to stande for an othe.Ioh. 3 verye vnseminge is it to Christes sworne souldyoure / more to regarde the darknes than the light. for the loue that thou bearest to a worldly vanite (which thou oughtest not somoch to esteme) thou wilt take thy Lord God to witnesse. And so dost thou throwe thy self into double daunger / offending also in an other commaundement / for so canst thou not doo / onlesse thou vaynely couete.He that sweareth coueteth.

And the lawe sayth / thou shalt not co­uete.Exod. 20 Psal. 6 Dost thou not couet whan thou in­forcest thy selfe to sweare for a worldlye [Page] thinge? and for a vyle creature takest God to witnesse? yes trewly doest thou / and for it forsakest thy master with Iu­das.Psalm. 38 oh to ouermoche vanice is all the worlde gyuen. Besydes that is sayd / for this consyderacion doth Christ inhibite the all maner of priuate swearinge / be­cause thou canst not do it / without some dishonoure to his heauenly father. mar­ke the nature of thyne othe / whan thou doth sweare / & thou shalt well perceyue it.He that sweareth dishonou­reth God. In tsy communicacion parauenture thou sayst / by God it is trew that I haue sayde / or by the Lord that made me it is so / Here cowplest thou thy Lorde God / with thy wyckednes / and thy heauenlye maker with thy synne / without all reuerence / to shyfte the matter betwene thē.Psalm. 9. se now how worshiply thou hast mari­ed him. Besydes all this / intaking god to witnesse / thou makeste him iudge of the thinge to auēge it of the yf it be false but in the least pointe:Iob. 34. &. 36 Thou braggest also after this sorte / by my faith I will performe / that I haue promysed / or by Iesus Christ I wil do this thing or that thing. markewel this short sentence of myne. God will not gyne power to anye man to do or performe that thinge whiche is not done after his worde / and here by an othe contrarye goddes commaunde­ment dost thou bynde thy self / to do that thinge which is not in thy power to do / neither hast thou God vpon thy syde to [Page 14] gyue the strength to doo it / because it is not doone (althoughe it were neuer so trewe) before a iudge / whiche Goddes worde requireth. And so doest thou lose thy saluacion / and fredome in Christe. with his name sealest thou an obligaci­on / to do that thinge / wherby thou arte defeated of all thyne inheritaunce. Is this thinkeste thou a pleasaunte thinge vnto him? All this set a parte / yf it shuld chaunce that some worldly trouth were not in thy wordes / (besydes conscience) thou shuldest vtterly bleamishe the opinion of thy faith / and to shame thy Lord Iesus / whom thou hast taken to wytnes with the / for thy truthe and honeste.1. Tim. 6. In this also doest thou testifie / that thou beleuest him to be no righteous God / nor yet a iudge that will ones before al the worlde condempne thy suttel trade of falshed and hypocrisie.

Finally thou makest as though God were well contented with thy dissimu­lacion / and as thoughe he had a greate sporte at the matter / to se thy crafty conueyaunce and legerdemayne in compassinge thy Christen brother or neyghbour to deceyue him with an othe / for whom Christ spared not to gyue his lyfe / and to bestowe his moost precious bloude.Rom. 14 And thus where so euer thou becomest / these .iiij. discommodites goth with the The holy name of God is dishonored / hisEsaie. 51. Gospel of saluacion is contempned1. Cor. 1. [Page] his swete promyses ar not beleued / nor yet his sharp thrētninges feared.Ioh. 6 Psal. 13 Wheras thou art in place / these vngentle fru­tes doest thou ministre and none other / to do thy master the deuy [...] [...] pleasure with. suche a trewe seruaunte arte thou vnto him / that where as thou accompa­niest / Christ shall haue but dishonoure. Consequently whan thou swearest vp­pon the Bybel or Gospell conteyninge the scriptures and wordes of God / thou comparest the truth of thy matter / to the truth of them / and woldest haue it so a­lowed. than yf thou be a lyar / thou hartely desirest him / not to accomplyshe vnto thy behoue his promyses of mercy ther­in conteyned.Deute. 28. But contrarye vnto it / to bringe vppon the / the hole vengeaunce / curses and plages therin threttened / to all yll doers. whā thou swearest by the body of Christ / thou greatly dishonou­rest his glorified nature / includinge thy hole health / iustification / redemption / & attonemente in God. And thou doest as moche as in the lyeth (lyke as the holye doctours confesse) to plucke him oute of heauen with violence / & to crucifie him agayne a fresh. Whan thou swearest al­so by the Sacrament of God (as it is a common othe with the) both the swete frutes of thy Baptyme / and of the holye soupper of the Lorde doest thou handle so vnreuerentlye / as thou ware at defy­ [...]unce with them both.

[Page 15] In lyke case whan thou swearest by anye creature / as by this sonne / by this ayre / by this light / or by this good daye / thou doest not only breake the commandement of [...] Lorde God / but also thou doest bynde those creatures whiche he hathe mouyded to serue thy neades / to serue thy wycked vanite / rendring him no thankes but blasphemye for his gyf­tes. Whan thou swearest by other crea­tures of God / as by this breade / drinke / meate / or salt / with such lyke. Dost thou any other than blaspheme the gyuer of them? my surely. And besydes that thou destreste him to auenge them of the / yf thou lye. Perauēture thou wilt yet aske me this question / may I than sweare no maner of othe for my pastyme? yes / and yf thou wilte in thy pastymee gyue thy selfe hole vnto the deuyll.We maye not sweare for our pa­styme But Christe hath gyuen the a straight commaunde­ment to the cōtrary / that thou shalt not sweare at all / and shewed the that yf thou he his seruaunt / thy communicatiō shall be none other / but yea yea / & naye naye. All other (saith he) is of euyll.

Now yf thou thinke thy witte better than his / or that he is no holesome tea­cher for the / thou maist do it for thy plea­sure and go to the deuyll for it: who can let the. not thus contented / hapely thou wilt yet reason further / and saye. For so moche as I knowe swearinge is a blas­phemye / I will for my pleasure sweare [Page] by the deuylt / or by an Idolle / to spyght them with it.We maye not swear by the Deuyll. I am glad thou haste ones graunted me that swearinge is a spyte­full blasphemy: let it not than defyle thy Christen lippes / neither spyght thy lord God with it frome henceforthe / nor yet his holy sainctes and creatures / consy­dre firste that it is thy Christen dewtye to be no blasphemare. And nexte vnto this / that God by his expresse comman­dement hath vtterly forbidden the that kynde of swearing. you shal nor sweare (saith your lyuinge God) by the names of straunge Goddes / neyther let any mā heare thē procede out of your mouthes.Deut. 6. Exod. 23. Neyther make mencion (saith Iosue) nor yet sweare by the names of their Goddes &c. God wil refuse them for his children (sayth Hieremye) yea and vt­terly forsake them / which sweare by thē that are no Goddes.Iosue. 2. I will destroye all them (sayth God by his Prophete So­phonye) that sweare in Melchon &ce.Sopho. 1. Thinke thā it is lawful for the to swear by no maner of thinge / for thy pleasure / neyther by heauen nor earth deuyll / nor Idolle. for all that is more than yea and nay is playnly of wyckednes. Our wordes are the outward testimonies of our inward hartes. And therfor they ought to be so substanciall / as to be worthye a beleue without an othe. So syngle and pure ought our loue to be towardes our neighboure in oure dayely occupyenge / that [Page 16] no maner of crafte shuld be founde therein. Damnable it ware to deceyue oure brother with alye / and moche mo­re dampnable to seale it with a false othe.We ought to be no lō ger babes. They of the olde tyme thought it no faute to sweare in a matter of truth / but we haue now a newe scole master / and ought by his owne doctryne / to be no longer babes / but to be moche more perfyght then they ware. Now ought suche brotherly loue to reygne amonge vs / that one shulde haue no stomake / harte / nor desyre / to hyndre / hurte / or dis­please another. The eye shuld seke the profyte of the hande / and the hande the commodite of the foote / as membres of one bodye in Christ / the one beynge ca­refull for the other.The frutis of a right Christer. The one shuld be so faythfull to the other / that neyther shuld he nede to sweare / nor the other nede to put hym to an othe. And suerlye ther is none othe made betwene ney­boure and neyboure / but one of them / or bothe offendeth dedly. And it is he that heareth the trewth and wyl not beleue hym withoute an othe / and so compel­leth hym to sweare / or elles the other that without all occasyō / inforceth him self lyghtlye to sweare / or both for com­panye sake.

Customable swearinge is verye dan­gerous / though we ded not lye at al / for so moche as it doth depriue the nameEccle. 23 of the lord of his dewe reuerence and [Page] feare. And so moch vanite of wordes is in our dayly commoninge & occupienge that we haue one with another / that we can not chose but lye in many thinges.Prouer. 10 Which to confirme with an oth / though we intende no fraude / is to take the ho­ly name of God in vayne / and vnreue­rently to vse it against the second com­maundemente. If it be dampuable of it selfe to lye of purposse to deceyue / howe moche m [...]e dampnable is it than blas­phemous [...]e to coloure it with with the name of God / besydes the callinge vnto him for swyfte vengeaunce vppon our owne selues for so doynge. truly we lytle kno­we what we do ī such customable swearinge. Therfore account we it necessary to admonysh you yet farther as concer­ninge your priuate swearinge. For accordinge vnto that is sayd afore / willed vs Iesus the sonne of Sirach (which wro­te the booke of Ecclesiasticus) that weEccles. 23. shulde in no case accustome oure seluesSap. 14. in swearing / least we fall into more de­pe inconuenientes / and so taste the pla­ges belonginge thervnto. For of custe­mable swearinge commeth the damna­ble vice of peruicy.

If a man shal vse commonly to sweare / he can not chose but many tymes dā ­nably forsweare him selfe. As he that customablye [...]nyteth / sometyme he shall smyre vnto dea [...]he. That a man hath in custome he shall do at all tymes / but he [Page 17] shall not at all tymes refrayne it. What the fearfull sentence of God is against swearers / the scriptures plentuously sheweth. The Lorde (sayth Moyses)Deut. 5. will not holde him giltlesse that taketh his name in vayne.Ero. 2. The man that vseth moche swearinge (saith Iesus Syrach)Eccl. 23. shal be full of iniquire / and neuer shall the plage depart frome his house. All the­ues and swearers are vnder one curse of God after zacharie.Zach. 5. Stoned was he by the lawe / that blasphemed the name of the Lorde / in Israel.Leuit. 24. If the plage go­eth neuer from them which are continu­all swearers / how can it go frome them that are continuall periures?

Tell vnto me my frynde (saith Iohā Chrisostome) what doest thou profyt by thy swearing?Homi. 44 sup Math. If thyne aduersary shuld thinke the to sweare aright / he wolde neuer compell the to it. But because he thinketh the therby to become a periure therfore enforceth he the to an othe. Seldome hath the priuate othe a good con­clusion. But happly thou wilt saye. I cā not sell my wares / onlesse I do sweare / or my detter beleueth me not / onless I make him an othe.An obiecc [...]on. Whervnto I answe­re, Rather be contented to haue thy wares vnsolde and to lose thy money / than thy saluacion in Christ.Mat. 16. Luc. 12. Reason faithfully with thy conscience / and let thy sow­le be more dere vnto the / thā thy corruptible substaunce.The soule is better thā wares For thoughe thou lose [Page] part of thy substaunce / yet mayst thou lyne / but yf thou lose God thou canst not lyue.Iohn. 5. [...]. 17 A greater rewarde shalt thou ha­ue for losinge of it in the feare of God / than yf thou haddest gyuen it in almes. For that is done with peyne for the loue of the Lorde requireth a more worthye crowne than that is done without peyne.2. Tim. 2. Apoc. 2.

Moreouer I councell the as my frinde (saith Chrysostome) yf thou be a true Christen / that thou neuer compell anye other man to sweare. For whether he sweareth right or wronge / thou arte not without daunger afore God / cōsydering that Christ (whose [...]eruaunt thou ough­test to be) hath gyuen the here a sore cō ­maundement to the contrary.Chryso [...]. [...]. 44. Besydes that / thoughe his othewere true / yet is not thy conscience cleare frome peruiry for so moche as the matter beyng doubtful vnto the / thou puttest him to the dan̄ ­ger therof.A greate danger to sweare. And yf it were false / thā hast thou enforced him to periury / and so for lacke of Christen charite loste both his sowle and thyne owne / for whom Christ suffred his death.De sermo­ [...]e domini [...]n monte. Worse is he (sayth S. Austyn) than an homicide / that compel­leth a man to sweare / whō he knoweth to forsweare him selfe. For the homici­de sleeth but the body / wheras he sleeth the sowle / yea two sowles rather. That is to saye / his sowle whom he cōpelled to sweare / and his owne sowle for so cō pellinge [Page 18] him.

O vndiscrete personne / what so euer thou arte that compellest an other man to swear. Lytel knowest thou what thou doest therby. Moche more is it to his profyt than to thyne.Chrysos [...]. vbi prius. For that periurye is to his lucre / and to thy losse. For he hath the mony / nothinge remaining vnto the but thy part in the per [...]urye / with the curse and plage thereof. He that ca­reth not to lye / regardeth as lytle to for­sweare him selfe. And lyke as he that lyeth offendeth sore the verite / so doeth he that is periured forsake both God and all godlynesse. Thus are the commaundmentes neglected / and neyther God nor our neighbour regarded.Why Crist forbode swearing. No maruele therfore thoughe the Lorde knowinge our infirmite / and how swyst we are to cast awaye our sowles / did first inhibite vs periury / and than all maner of swea­ringe.Gregorius in homil. quadam. He hathe forbydden swearinge (saith Saint Gregory) that we shoulde the more easely auoyde all maner of occasion to periurye. He that feareth God / without an othe confesseth the verite. He that feareth him not / will not with an oth confesse it.

He therfore that doubteth not to brea­ke Goddes commaundement in swea­ringe / doubteth not to forsweare him selfe for a vauntage.The pre­stes. Take hede also (sayth Chris [...]stome) you that will be rekened for spirituall men. Uery swyft ye [Page] are to offre the sacred Gospell vnto thē that sweate / where as ye ought to reach the contrarye.Chrysost. [...]prius. If a man maye not (saith Origene) in euery light matter sweare / no more maye they that haue aucthorite for euery light matter compell a man to sweare. Howe can you be cleare frome periury / that ministre the occasiō? Maye he that beareth fyre to the burninge of an house be fre from the burning of it? Or he from the slaughter of a man that bringeth the weapon wherewith he is slayne? Naye surely. But he that gyueth occasion to periury / must nedes be a partener in the same. Withdrawe the fyre / and there shall be no burninge. Cōuaye awaye the swearde / and there shalbe no murther committed. Seqnestor swea­ringe / and there shall be no periurye. Oft swearinge (saith Iūdorus) bringeth man to an vse. [...]. 2. sol [...] [...]oquiorū. And that vse leadeth to a custome which bringeth in periurye. No nede hath the verite of an oth / where the promes is faithfull and sure.

All this is spoken for thē that sweare by the Lorde temerously. [...]o sweare by [...]. Moche more erectable is the wyckednesse of them that sweare by the creatures / and more greuous the offence / than of them that swere by him onely.Hiere. 5. For heauen / earth / the elementes / and creatures hathe he made to serue him in mans occupienge / and not that men shulde sweare by thē.Deut. 32. Col. 1. In the lawe is it also straightlye com­maunded / thatDuut. 6 [Page 19] non shuld be takē to wit­nesse in the truthe but God the auctor of all truthe. He therfor that sweareth by heauē / by earthe / or by anye other thing els / he maketh it equall to the verite / & so alloweth it for his god. For of no les­se value maye that thinge be that is ta­ken to witnesse / than is the verite yt self which standeth in tryall.Hiere. 5. A shame full idolatour therfor becōmeth he / that taketh anye other thinge than God to wytnesse in the verite yea / though it be neuer so trewe that he sweareth.Idolatrye.

For he perfourmeth not vnto the lorde his othe / but vnto the elementes & crea­turs / and so synneth double.Nu. 30 First he of­fendeth in breakinge the commaunde­ment / secondlye in that he maketh a god of that he sweareth by. This caused S. Hierome to saye in his cōmentarye vpō saynt Matthewes Gospell / that our sa­uiour ded not inhybitt swearing by god / before a iudge so that it were in a fayth­full cause / but by heauen and earthe by Hierusalem and our head / with suche lyke.Hieroni­mus sup [...] Matth. For it was graunted to the peple in Moyses lawe for a rule / that lyke as they were commaunded to offre ther sa­crifyces vnto God / because they shuld not offre them to idols / so were they permitted to sweare by ther lorde God. Be­cause it was thought better for them to geu [...] ther faythe (which is therin requy­red) vnto God than vnto deuyls. For the [Page] Iewes vpon a corrupt custome / were in [...] che geuen to swearinge by the elemen­tes.

Consydre therfor that it was not for nought that Christe commaunded you neyther to sweare by heauen nor earthe / cy [...]ye nor temple / nor yet by the heare of your owne heades.Mat. 5 &. 23. Where as the bis­shoppes & spirituall lawers sytteth in consystorye / a small matter is it rekened to sweare by the lorde / and therfor com­pell they menne to sweare by the gos­pel as by an hygher thynge.To sweare vpon the gospel bo­ke. As though the creature were aboue the creator. Not vnlyke to the pharisees / which estemedMat. 23. the golde offred in the temple mo­che greatter than the temple that sancti­fyed the golde / and the offeringe vpon the aulter moche better than the aulter that sanctyfyed the offeringe. In this proue they themselues not only blynde / but also blynde leaders of the blynde. Moche more passeth those beastlye bel­lyeMat. 15 goddes vpon the feadinge of therPhil. 3. wreached bodyes than vpon God which is the lyfe of ther soules. Ther masses and monye sacrifyes are the cause why they esteme an othe made vpon the gospell boke to be farre. about that othe which is made vpon the eternall God / and not the [...]eryte which the gospel contayneth.

O wretched idiotesHom. 44. [...]up Math.(sayth Chrisosto­ine the scriptures are ordeyned for god / and [Page 20] not God for the scriptures. Great­ter is the lorde that sanctifyeth the gos­pell / than the gospell that is of the lorde sanctifyed. The Turkes or Mahometa­nes (whom we reken to be a verye exe­crable secte) hath the holye name of god in suche reuerēce / that they neuer swea­re by it / vnlesse they be by mos [...] vrgēt ne­cessyte compelled.Guishel­nias tripo­ [...]tanus. Neyther cōmitt they the administracion of ther comon wel­thes to anye manne whom they knowe to be a swearer / be he neuer so ryche / valeaunt / wyse / lerned / courragyous / or of noble byrthe. How that matter passeth amonge vs Christyanes / all the worlde knoweth yea / though we saye nothinge of the periurye which dayly regneth a­monge vs to farre and to brode. And su­relye this dare I be bolde to saye / that all we knowe it is contrarye to the commaundemēt / wyll / and pleasure of God. yet doth the most part of vs committ it.

And they that do it not / are not ones moued with pyte (as it wolde become al christen menne) to se ther bretherne so peryshe / or to se a lawfull and charita­ble redresse for it.1. Cor. 1 [...]. Heb. 4. They also which hath the lawes in gouernance / and vnto whō the iudgementes are committed / seketh not by harde correcciōs the amendemēt of it / but euery where it regneth vnpon­nished. A verye lyght matter is swea­rige accounted now adayes in euerye mannys mouthe / hygh and lowe / ryche [Page] and poore / ruler and comonner / pryst & clarke / woman and chylde / to the vtter contempt of god.Ioannes Ealisburi­ [...]ensis in po [...]icra [...]ico. If they be in dallyann­ce / playe / and sport / nothinge semeth vn­to them pleasaūt / freshe / nor any thinge worth / no thinge cherefull or fytt to be lawghed a [...] / vnlesse the cōmunicaciō be mixed with the blasphemye of goddes name.All states [...]elyghteth [...]n blasphe [...]nye. Eccl. 27. If a matter shall be reasoned or a storre rehersed in a companye / the tale shall want his due circumstance / vnlesse it be garnished with othes.

Amonge the ruffeling rutters and ga­launtes of the worlde is not he rekened for a manne of noble blood / that can not sweare by heauen / by the elementes / by the troneIdem Ioā ­nes de nu­gis curia­lium. of God / by the won̄des / blood / crosse / in euerye assemblye / and in euery place he cometh in.Fyne ton­ges. This is the comon rhetoryck / the florishinge maner of speakinge / the cleane / fyne / pure / and bewti­full language of our baptysed brode / of our holy christen commynnalte / both in lordes howses and bysshoppes howses / more lyke bedlem beastes than christia­nes / yea / more lyke denyls of helle than menne of reason & grace.Petrus Blesenss. No faute fyn­deth our prelates in this / nor breake of christen religiō / nomore than thei do in the daylye hauntinge of the stewes and other shamefull abhominacions. But these they releace with ther masse sayn­ges for monye.Bysshop­pes. For them that rede the scriptures they can fynde out grenous [Page 21] ponnyshmentes / but not for these enor­myous excesses. This presumptuose sa­crilege / this wycked knauerye / this ma­lignaunt myschefe ageynst God offen­deth them nothinge at all.

The Iewes tare ther garmētes custo­mablye whan they harde goddes name blasphemed.Mat. 26. Mar. 14. But who amonge vs she­weth any maner of tokē that he is ones but discontented with it?Tearinge of garmentes. where are tho­se godly lawes become that were wont to be heade the blasphemer or els stone hym vnto deathe? where are the epyto­mes / pandectes / and institutes of Iusti­nianeThe swea­rer was be headed. the emprour that wolde suffre no suche offenses remayne vnponnyshed? where are the statutes ryall / that kynge Henrye the fyft made also for swearers with in his owne palace?Waldenus in quodam sermone. that if he were a duke that ded swear he shuld forfett for euery tyme .xl.s. to the aydinge of poore peple. If he were a lord or barone xx.s. If he were a knyght or a esquyre x.s. If he were a yemāne .xl.d. If he we­re a page a lackeye or a slaue / to be scourged naked eyther with a rodde or els a whyppe. All this is now forgotten and gone.

The olde phylosophers abhorred thethe philo­sophers abhorred swearing. blasphemye of god / the poetes and ora­tours thought them worthye of greatt ponnyshementes / & we thinke no thinge lesse. Cicero wylled that neyther swea­ring nor promes made by othe shuld be [Page] vsed for feare of periurye.Cicero in li. de Off. Sweare in no wyse (sayth Periander) if thou can­nist by anye meanes auoyde it. If thou be wyse (sayth Phocylydes) thou shalt not sweare with thy wyll / though the cause be neuer so good. If the matter ly­eth so (sayth Pythagoras) that thou must nedes sweare / do it with greattreuerence. Periurye (sayth Menander) can ne­uer be hydde from God. Therfor rather lose thy matter than sweare. For of hyd­den periurye (saith Tibullus) wyl a mys­chefe followe eyther at one tyme or o­ther.Tibullus li. 1. elegia 9. Se what a dangerous matter the prophane phylosophers accoūted swea­ringe that neuer knewe Christ / and we account i [...] nothinge at all. They abhor­red the wyckednesse of it / and we take it for a myrte pastyme.

Mene can seke out penaltees / and make newe constitucions for them that la­boure to knowe God and to lyue after his lawes / but for them that spyghtful­lye abuse the name and glorye of God / we can fynde non at all.Quotidia­na experi­encia. And no marue­le consydering we are the ryght sworne chyldren of periurye. Who hath so lar­gely bene periured as prelates / prestes / and religious? which at the receyiunge of ther p [...]pishe degrees hath forsworne the veryte of god / whom in baptym thei faythfully promysed to stāde by ageynst all the de [...]yls in helle?1. Ioan. 4. yea / brynge ther lawes / doctrynes / and doynges vnto theGalat. 6. [Page 22] touche stone (which is goddes worde) & thou shalt fynde that they laboure no­thinge els but the breakinge of that promes.Goddes worde try­eth al thinges. How vnreuerentlye they haue v­sed ther othe of allegeaūce to ther prin­ces and magistrates / I thinke the croni­cles kepeth not in sylence.

Whan paschal [...]s the bysshop of Rome had sworne to be trewe vnto Henry the fort emproure / he gaue hym thervpon a wrytinge / which contayned also the in­ [...]estiture of prelates.Ranulphꝰ Cestrēsis ī polycroni­ca. Not longe after that / whan he se his tyme / he called in Rome a generall synode / where as he by coūsel of his spiritual sorcerers brea­kinge both othe & priuilege / ded excom­municate the good emproure / raysed vp his sonne ageynst hym / deposed hym / empresoned hym / & fynallye caused hys bodye to be taken out of the grounde at Leodium / and in a prophane place to be beryed. yea / after his deathe / the sonne (whom he made to persecute the father) ded he also excōmunicate and greuous­lye vere. A lyke tragedye we haue of Fredericus Barbarossa / whō pope Alex­ander the thyrde made his fo [...]e stole at venys in the churche of saynt Marke / in the syght of the whole multitude to the rudiculous shame and rebuke of all the worlde.Abbas U [...] ­spergensis in cronicis The next daye after he made hym to holde his styrope and lyke a pa­ge to wayte vpon his miile.

S [...]he the hystoryes? also for those tymes [Page] in the which the holye bysshoppes of Rome assoyled the peple frō the obe­dience of ther lawfull kynges.Bagu [...]nus Platina & Polidorus As zacharye the first / which assoyled the Frenche menne from ther othe to kynge Hylde­ryck. Of Honorius the thyrde and Io­han the .xxii. assoylinge the Germanes from ther lawfull emprours. Of Inno­cent the third assoylinge oure Englishe m [...]ne of ther trewe allegeaūce frō ther good kynge Iohan / and suche other to manye to be reherced / and ye shal fynde wonders concerninge that matter.Gildas in excidio Britānie. Gyl­dos one of the most auncient wryters of this nation / moche lamented the fylthye behauer / swearing / and periurye of his cuntremenne the brytones.Actes a­geynst cu­stomable swearers. Kynge Iue / kynge Alfrede / kynge Edwarde / and dyuerse other made laudable constituciōs of penaltees within this realme concernynge the same.

Kynge Edmōde made this lawe that they which were proued ones falslye for sworne shuld for euer be separated frō goddes congregacion.Hector boetius in hi­st [...]ria sco­ [...]orum. Donaldus the kynge of Scottes made this acte with­in his lande / that all periures and comō swearers shuld haue ther lyppes seated with a burnige hoote yron. Which lawe saynt Lodowyck kynge of Fraunce put ones in execucion at Parys vpō a cyte­zen there for blasphemynge the name of Christ / to the example of other / & so cau­sed it to be proclamed through out his [Page 23] realme for a generall ponnishment.A procla­macion a­geynst swearinge Iacobus mayerus ī cronicis Flandrie. Unicenti­us in speculo historia­li.

Philippeerle of Flanders / made this constituciō within his erldome in anno M.C.lxxviij. that he that ded forswere hym self shuld lose his lyue & goodes. Item Philippe the kynge of Fraunce / whom so euer he perceyued / that eyther in taue [...]ne / or enye wher elles / ye al­though he ware a grett man of dignyte / that ded blaspheme the name of god / he shuld be drowned. And caused a stronge acte to be made of it a lytle before his dethe / and left it vnto his successors. Al­so Iosephus councell is this.Iosephus 4. li. ant. ca. 6. That he which blasphemeth shuld be stoned / and then hanged vppe by the space of one daye / and so taken downe and buryed without all maner of honoure.In parali­pomena rerum memo rabilium. Maximi lianꝰ the emperour made also a decree / that what so euer he ware / that was a comon swearer shulde for the first tyme lose a marke / and if he ware not contente with that / shuld lose his heade / which acte he & the states of the empyre com­manded to be publyshed .iiij. tymes in the yere at estern / whytsontyde / assump­cion of our lady and at cristemas.

In certen regions are yet to this daye othes so restrayned / that what so euer he be that sweareth / he shall eyther lose a fyngar / an eare / or els his tonge. For periurye was the noble cyte of Troye lost / as wytnesseth not onlye Uirgyle with other prophane auctors / but also S. Au­styn [Page] in his thirde boke and secōde chap­ter de cuntate Dei / and so hath manye other cytees els.Many cy­tees hath bene de­stroyed for periurye. Idē Augu­stinus. Tullius cicero hath in his first boke de officijs / that Marcus regulus a Ramane and a Pagane regar­ded so moche an othe that he ones ma­de / that he had rather to throwe him self into most miserable captiuite and cruell deathe of his enemyes thā to breake it / and so to become a periure. Saynt Au­s [...]yn affyrming the same also in his first boke / and .xv. chapter de cuntate dei.

A wonderfull narraciō hath S. Greg. in the [...]or [...] boke of his dyaloges / of a chylde of .v. yeares of age beynge in his fathers armes possessed of a denyll for swearinge and blasphemynge the name of God. Besydes the terryble examples of the scripture / in Nemroth / Pharao / Hieroboam / Sennacherib / Benedab / A­chab / Nab [...]chodouosor Holofernes / An­tiochus / Nicanor / Herode / and s [...]che ly­ke. The sonne of the Israelytishe wy­dowe was for blasphemynge of the na­me of God stoned vnto deathe in the desart.Leuit. 24. The blas­phemer was stoned For blasphemye of the seruauntes of Sennacherib the kynge of the Assy­rianes ded the angell of the lorde [...] h [...]ndred and .iiij.4. Reg. 19 score thousande of hys hoos [...]e.4. Reg. 10. The wycked quene Iesabel was for the same vyce throwne out of a wyndowe / trodde vpon with horses / and had her fleshe deu [...]wred of dogges. Hero­des [Page 24] antipas for be headinge Iohan bap­tistMar. 6, to perfourme his wycked othe / was eryled into leons / and there departed in most miserable periurye.Mar. 19. In swearinge ded Peter both denye and forsake hys lorde and master Iesus Christ. Consy­dre by these and by other lyke exāples / what the abhomination of swearinge is / and what vengeaūce of the lorde hangeth ouer it.

The Seytheanes & Partheaues with other Heythen peple had lawes ageynst lyenge & swearinge / whom they wolde in no wyse dysobeye. We haue the great commandement of God with the gospel of Iesus Christ / which are lawes farre passying ther lawes.Exo. 20. Leuit. 19. Mar. 5. What deuyll of hel­le shall holde vs backe more than them / that we shall not regarde them? If we haue a lorde God which create al at the begynninge / and now gouer [...]eth all to our behoue. If we haue a father which hath loued vs / a Christ which hath redemedRom. 8. vs / and an holy ghost which daylyeTit. 2. conforteth vs / where is the faythful obedyēce we owe them?Ioan. 15. If he be oure god / why do we not feare hym. If he be oure heauenlye lorde / why do we not honor hym? If he be oure father / why do we not hartelye loue hym? If he be omnipo­tent / why do we not reuerence hym? If he be wyse / why do we not lerne of hī? If he be iust of his promes / & trewe ofPlsa. 10. his worde / whye do we not both heareIoan. 3. [Page] hym / beleue hym / and folowe hym?

If he be a master / whye do we not ser­ue hym?Ioan. 13. Iudith [...] 8 yea / why do we not ones amen­de / at his most fearfull thretteninges? Is it in the gospell ernestlye spoken vnto vs Christyanes / or vnto dead stones? Let your communicacion be yea / yea / & naye / naye. What so euer is more than that / [...] cometh of the verye deuyll. Not vnto a rottē post / nor yet vnto a dumme beast was it sayd.Deut. 5. Thou shalt not vsurpe the name of the lorde God in vayne.Exo. 20. For the lorde wyll not holde hym gyltlesse that blasphemeth his name.Eccl. 23. The plage shall not depart from the howse of the swearer. But it was spoken vnto vs / to whome God hath geuen reason / discres­sion / remembraūce / vnderstāding / witte / conscience / faythe / and grace / if we wyll applye our selues to the occupyenge of them. A manne that were in trauase of lande and shuld lose it vnlesse he tolde his tale wysely / wolde take good hede vnto his wordes rather than he wolde lose it. And we for losynge oure sowles / (which Christ to wytnesse / are moche more precious (wyll take no hede at all / butMat. 6. through cure blasphemous language / &Luc. 12 daylye swearinge suffre all to go vnto nought.

We moche maruele many tymes thatDerth / wārre / and pestilence. the lorde doth ponnishe vs with derthe / warre / pestilence / and cruell ex [...]ciōs of tyrauntes. But we ought moche more to [Page 25] maruele / that heauen reyneth not wyl­defyre and brymstone vpon vs as vponGen. 19. Sodome & Gomorre / & that the eartheNum. 16. openeth not vpon vs and swalowe vs in with Chore / Dathan / and Abiron / for so vnreuerentlye vsynge the name of God with oure outragynge tonges / as the fylthye myre in the stretes that we spurne forth with oure fe [...]e.Plsa. 85. Oh / how coude the lorde suffre soche iniurye / we­re he not eternally [...] mercyful?Iohel. 2. how cou­de he pacientlye beare it / were he not gracious / pytefull / longe sufferinge / and rydye to pardone wyckednesse? Soche contynuall swearers maye well be compared vnto those spyghtfull tormētours that spailed in Christes face / that mockedMat. 26. hym with a rede / crowned withMar. 14. thorne / & saluted hym with / Aue rābbi. Nor vnlyke also are they vnto those pratlynge Iewes and scornefull hypo­crytes / prestesLuc. 23. and pharisees / that wentMat. 27. vp and downe by the crosse whā Christ hynge vpon it beckynge with ther hea­des and casting abrode ther armes / thinkinge that he coude not do so moche as ones saue hymself.

Lorde geue them repentaunce with grace ones to detest that abhominable vyce / and not with Pharao to haue therExo. 7. hartes so hardened that they fynally perishe in the rede see?Psal. [...]. A familyar exam­ple haue I redde in a boke called prece­ptorium Ioannis beets. Whom I wishe [Page] they had in dayly remembraūce / for one naturall properte in it of the chylde to­wardes his father. [...]oā. beets [...] precepto [...] p [...]ept. 2 [...]xpos. 3. [...]. A certayne manne there was (saith he) that supposed by his wyfe to haue had .iij. sonnes. Upon a daye as they chaunced to varye / she [...]est in hys tethe that there was but one of them his owne. And which was he / she wolde neuer tell hym vnto the verye deathe. It chaunced this manne as hys [...]yme was come / to depart frō the wor [...] ­de / bequeathinge vnto this vnknowen sonne of his / al his landes and goodes. As this matter came before the lawe / the iudge anon had in remembraūce the wyse facte of Salomon concernyng the two women which stroue for a childe / & thought to vse with these .iij. yōge mēne [...]. Reg. 3. contendinge for the heretage a lyke po­lycye.Sap. 7 First he caused ther dead father to be tyed vp harde vnto a poste / & than commanded them to shote ernestlye at hym. Promysing that he which most de­pelye perced into his fleshe shuld haue [...]endred vnto hym the patrimonye.

The first and the seconde ded shote. The thirde abhorrynge i [...] as a thynge most vnnaturall / wolde in no case do it / but sore rebuked his bretherne for so doynge.The wor­ke of natu­re / [...] won­derfull & [...]. And sayd / he had moche ra­ther to lose it / tha [...] to do so vncomlye an acte. By this was he iudged the natu­ral sonne of that manne / and so enioyed the inheritaūce of his father. A lyke iudgement [Page 26] is to be had of these newe cruci­fyersHeb. 6. of Christ / as the doctors doth callApoc. 11. them. No naturall chyldren of God are they / regenerate of the sprete / but verye bastardes / borne of fleshe & blood. Not the chyldren of promes are they with Isaac / but the carnall chyldren of bondage with Ismael / to whom belongeth nō heretage in Christ.Gal. 4. Gen. 21. These be no natural poyntes of a louynge sonne to buffett & beate his father / or to teare the fleshe froThe f [...]ute of bastar­des. his bones. To name him in his most an­gre and spyght / or to spytte hym our of his mouthe with cruelte and vengeaun­ce. But they are the frutes of an vnrea­sonable beast / of an outragious wode dogge / of a furious serpent / of an ympe of helle / and a verye lymme of the de­nyll.

Cham ded nomore but discouer the prenye pa [...]res of his father / and becomeGen. 9. The breakers of goddes e [...] mandeme [...] are acur­sed. both accursed for it / & also of a [...]re childe a bonde seruanaūt for euer / both in hym self & also in his posterite. What thinke ye than remayneth vnto them / which in ther daylye language grea [...]lye doth dis­honoure / vnreuerently scorne / and with most spyghtfull cruelnesse blasphemeth ther lorde God / whom they ought not to thinke vpon without feare / nor yet onesHeb. 6 to name without reuerence and trem­b [...]y [...]ge / his2. Pet. 2. omnipotent mageste consy­dered.Iude. 1. Nothinge so moc [...]e doth oure synnes displease God (consyderinge we [Page] are synners / of very nature) as doth one [...]phe. 2 wylfull continuaunce and weltringe in them. [...]ch. 5. Oure bolde contumacye / and stur­dye presumptuosnesse are the thynges that most discontenteth hym. Whan he calleth vs by his preachers / we repent not. Whan he graciouslye admonisheth vs by his warninges / we amende not. But styll multiplye oure wyckednesse / estemynge [...]ere. 44 synne as nothinge / and ly­ninge [...]hel. 3. as we had no god of ryghtuous­nesse.

Oh / let vs ones be admonished by the Apostles and Prophetes / the vnsayned massengers of the lorde / that we maye with Dauid / zacheus / Magdalene / & Peter ernestlye repent from the hart.Reg. 12. [...]. 19 Lett vs leaue one tyme or other this wanton [...]an. 12. course of contempt / this rashe ronnyng [...]ar. 26 at large / at ther wholsome warnynges / least our owne myschefe / sworde / snare / & pryde / be oure confusion / as they were the vtter cōfusion of Cain / Saul / Iudas / and the proude blasphemer Symon ma­gus. [...]en. 4. Reg. 13. Thou wylt parauenture saye vnto me / I knowe the vyce of swearīg damp­nable / and [...]. 1. &. 8. glad I wolde be to leaue yt. But verye harde it is to go from that is bredde by the bone.custome harde to [...]ake. A sore matter is it to plucke awaye that hath bene sucked out of yowthe / and that hath taken rote of so longe contynnaunce. Therfor shewe me some conuenient remedyes. Take these poore counsels / yf all other fayle. [Page 27] Praye first feruentlye vnto God.Iaco. 5.

Desyre hym to take from the that har­deEzec. 11. et. 36. stonye hart / and to geue the an hart more meke and gentle. Intreate him to make the of a lyon a lambe / of a persecuter a disciple / of a cruell Saul a meke spreted Paule.Act. 9. Ephe. 5. Consequentlye submytt thy affeccions and appetytes vnto rea­son / andRom. 16. se that thy reason be euermore obedient vnto the rewles of faythe / contayned in the scripturs. Flee from exces­se and ryott. Shurne the companye of them that be blasphemous & vycious. Carrye with the where so euer thou goest / a sure intent and purpose to leaue that vyce. Detest it greatlye in all other mēne. Consydre what felicite thou shalt lose / & what infelicite thou shalt wynne / yf thou styll vse it. And euermore with drawe those thinges that myght occasi­on the vnto it. Hyde thy purse / and thou shalt not be robbed. Laye a syde thy swearde / and thou shalt not slee. With drawe excesse / & thou shalt not be drōke. Breake the of thyne yll custome / & thou shalt no longar sweare.

Hauynge these consyderacions with soche lyke / thou mayst sone leaue it yf thou wylt. These remedyes haue I she­wed the / and these godlye admonysh­mentes haue I geuen the / as one so in­teyrlye hongeryng thy sowles profyght in my inwarde sprete as myne owne. Cōsydre how thy mercyfull father hath [Page] planted in the his owne image / and le [...] in thy f [...]eale vessell his incomparable treasure. Rendre it not ageyn vnto hym deformed with vyce / and defyled with fynne. But se [...] to be founde in the daye of his commynge with out spotte / that thou mayst receyue the in­estimable rewarde / prouy­ded for them that loue hym trewlye. Amen.

The maner of sayenge grace after the doctryne of holy scripture.

¶Grace afore meate.

THe eyes of all loke vnto the o lord / and thou geuest them their foode in due season: Thou openest thine hand / and fyllest euery lyuinge creature with thy blessynge.

O oure father which art in heauē / &c.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the / o Lorde god al­myghtye / moost deare father of heauen / for geuyng vs oure foode in due season / for openynge thy mercyfull hande / and for fyllinge vs with thy plentefull bles­sing. And we beseche the for thy sonnes sake Iesus Christ / not onely to preserue vs alwaye from abusinge of the same / but also to lende vs thy grace / that we maye euer be thanful vnto the therfore. Amen.

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

I knowe (sayth the Apostle) and am full certifyed in the lorde Iesu / that ther is nothinge vncleane of it selfe: but vnto hym that iudgeth it to be vncleane / to hym is it vncleane. But yf thy brother be greued ouer thy meate / then walkest thou not now after charite. Destroye [Page] not with thy meate / hym for whō Christ dyed.

O oure father which art in heauen.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the / o lorde God al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) for certifyeng vs by thy blessed worde / that all kyndes of meates are cleane. And we besech the lende vs thy grace / that we maye alwaye thankfully recea­ue the same / not onely without supersti­cion or scrupulo [...]ite of consciēce / but al­so without greuynge or offendinge our brethren: And so to walke in the waye of godly loue and charite / that with our meate we neuer destroye hym / for whō thy sonne Iesus Christ dyed aswell as for vs. Amen.

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

Let not oure treasure therfore be euell spoken of. For the kyngdome of God is not meate and drynke / but ryghteousnesse and peace and ioye in the holy goost.

O oure father which art in heauē. &c.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the o Lorde god al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) for openyng vnto vs thy blessed worde / which is oure treasure / oure perle / yee & oure ryches more precyous then ether golde or precious stone. And we beseche the / though corporall meate and drynke be no parte of thy kyngdome / yet ordre [Page 29] thou vs so in receauynge the same / that we neuer geue occasyon of slaundringe thy worde / or offending the weake. Amē

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

Meate doth not further vs vnto God. yf we eate / we shall not therfore be the better: [...]yf we eate not / we shall not ther­fore be the worse. But take hede / that this youre libertye be not an occasion of fallyng vnto the weake.

O oure father.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the o lorde God al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) for layeng vp our saluaciō / onely in thy selfe / and not in anye kynde of meate. And we beseche the / gyde vs so in the vse therof / that we maye folowe such thinges as make for peace / and wherby we maye edifye one another: And neuer to geue vnto the weake / anye occasyon of fallynge from thy worde. Amen.

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

Meates hath God created to be recea­ued with thākes / of them which beleue and knowe the trueth. For euery creature of God is good / and nothing to be re­fused that is receaued with thankesge­uinge. For it is sanctifyed by the worde of God and prayer.

O oure father. &c.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the o lorde God al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) for ordeyninge thy creatures to be mea­te / foode & sustenaunce vnto oure body­es / & hast sanctifyed them by thy blessed worde / &c. We beseche the / make vs so to increace in stedfastnesse of thy fayth / in perfecte knowledge of thy trueth & in cō ­tinnaunce of feruent prayer vnto the / That to vs also they maye be sanctifyed & holy / & that we maye euer both thank­fully receaue them / & vertuously vse thē / to the good ensample of other. Amen.

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

The father of mercye / & God of all con­solacion / geue vs grace to consent to ge­ther in to the knowledge of his truthe / that we maye with one mynde and one mouthe / glorifye God the father of oure lorde Iesus Christ. Amen.

O oure father. &c.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the / o lorde God al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) for brynginge agayne from death oure lorde Iesus Christ / the greate sheperde of the shepe / through the blood of the e­uerlastinge testament. And we beseche the to make vs perfytt to do his wyll / workynge in vs that which is pleasaūt in his sight / that we be not only the speakers of his worde / but the vnfayned fo­lowers [Page 30] of the same. Amen.

¶Another grace. ¶Grace afore meate.

Christe which at his last supper / gaue hym self vnto vs / promysinge his body to be crucifyed & his bloode to be shed for oure synnes / blesse vs & oure meate. Amen.

O oure father. &c.

¶Grace after meate.

Thankes be vnto the / o Lorde god al­myghtye (moost deare father of heauen) which at this tyme hath fedde vs with meate not only that perisheth / but with thy worde which abydeth in to euerlas­tinge lyfe. Graunte most marcyfull fa­ther / that we hauinge the knowledge of thy worde / may also practise the same in oure conuersacion / that we bothe intyer lye louynge and vnfaynedlye lyuynge thy holy worde / may after this lyfe lyue with the for euer. Amen.

Receaue your meate without grudging
Take hede ye neuer abuse the same.
Gene thankes to god for euery thing
And alwaye prayse his holy name.
Who so doth not / is sore to blame
No euell ensample se that ye gyue.
Thus doth gods word teach you to lyue

What so euer ye do in worde or dede / do all en the name of our lorde Iesu Christ / geuyng thankes vnto God the father by hym.

A shorte instruction to the worlde.

¶To Kynges and Princes.

Be letned ye kynges and vnderstond
Enbrace the trueth of Christes worde
your hertes be all in Gods hond
He is youre kynge / your prince / & lorde.
Stablish no lawe that maketh discorde
But do as dyd kynge Ezechias /
Dauid / Iosaphat / and Iosias.

¶To Iudges.

Accepte no personne in iudgment
Wrest not the law / kepe well your syse
To wrong for brybes do not consent.
For they do blynd the eyes of the wyse.
Thus scripture biddeth you more then twyse
And for to haue such properties
As Iethro tolde to Moyses.

¶To Councelours.

A faythfull man wyll kepe councell
And ther is welth where many such be.
Beware of false Achitophel.
The councell of God must stand trulye.
ye can it not destroye verely.
Kepe trueth and faith with secretnesse
And further the cause of godlynesse.

¶To Chamberlaynes.

[Page 31] Beware of Thares and Bagathan
Lest treason in the chambre be sowne.
For if the court be ruled by Aman
Poore Mardocheus is ouerthrowne.
but whā the trueth is thorowly knowne
He shall be founde a faythfull iue
And to his prince a subiecte true.

¶To Stewardes.

Spēd not your masters goodes ī vayne
But be faythfull in youre offyce
For though ye take therin some payne
ye haue of Christ a swete promesse
Kepe well your rekenynge more & lesse
Be faythfull euer in great and small
And Christ wil you good stewardes cal.

¶To Treasures.

ye that haue treasure in your kepinge
Committed to you for a season.
Be alwaye sure of your rekenynge.
As equyte wylleth and good reason
Iesus Syrac taught this lesson.
To set a locke wher many handes be /
It is no shame ner dishonestie.

¶To Controllers.

Go thorow the court for Christes sake.
And where ye spye anye thing abused.
Do your offyce / and some payne take
That ydilnesse maye be refused
[Page] Great mens howses are accused.
To be infecte with vnclennesse.
With pryde / with oothes / & with excesse.

¶To Prestes.

Flatre not at al / but preach gods worde
Rebuke euery euell condicion
Thynk on your dewtye to god the lorde
And forget not his commissyon.
Hyde not the trueth for promocyon
Be true apostles in worde and harte
And playe not secretly Iudas parte.
All other offycers greate and small
Whose whole dewtyes I do not knowe
Doth gods worde ascyte and call
Whether their estate be hye or lowe
None in his callinge to be slowe
But euery man in his busynesse
To watch and worke with faythfulnesse
And within the foresayde doctryne
Is conteyned the whole dewtye
How all subiectes shulde draw the lyne
Of fayth / of trueth / and honestye
And no man for to go awrye
But euery one in his lyuynge.
To shew the frute of gods lernynge.
Wher anye vyce now is occupyed
Within this world as ther is m [...]ch
It shulde rightwell be amended.
If all rulers wolde rebuke such.
[Page 32] And if preachers the quyck wold touche
Where men are now in synne so ryfe
Thei shuld right gladly mēde their lyfe
And if all other offycers
Wyll do their best / and be diligent.
Then shall they haue right good lyuers
And folowers of gods commaundment
Of good warnyng foloweth amendmēt
Which I praye god vs graunt & gyue
That we with hym in heauē maye lyue.

Amen.

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