A SERMON PREACHED AT HITCHIN IN THE yeare of our Lord, 1587 the 17, day of November, being the first day of the 29 yeare of the Queenes Maiesties reigne.

By Edward Harris, Master of Arts and Preacher of this word of God.

Printed at London by Iohn Morris & I.B. dwelling in S. Iohns streete. 1590.

TO THE FAITHFVLL AND BELOVED IN THE Lord his brethren knowne to him in Hertford-shire, grace and peace in Christ Iesu.

THere are novv three yeeres passed since at the request of some I communicated this sermon of mine in vvriting to those vvhich not long after obtained for it allovvance to go abroad in print, and novv at the last, it having receiued the fruite of that allovvance, I offer it vn­to as many of you as desire to profite by the remembrance of that vvhich yee once heard before. Vse it (I beseech you) to that end for vvhich I first spake it and novv offer it vnto you, that is, to your further building vp in the feare of our God, and honour of our Soueraigne. If you remem­ber [Page]any more than is here set dovvne, vse that also to the same end; and laying a part all vanities of the vvorld, set your minds on those things vvhich may profite in the day of the visitation of all flesh. The grace of our God be vvith you.

From my chamber at North Mimmes, this 16, of October, 1590.

E. H.

Feare God, Honor the King. I. Peter. 2.

THE sweete showers which fel in the forenoone (deere­ly beloued in Christ Iesu) might, if the ground of your hearts be not brasse or adamant, not only cause the seed of the word which ye haue so often receiued, to bring forth in you the herbe of an holy pro­fession, and fruite of an holy life, but moreouer & besides that, might make way to the better planting of any other good and godly instruction in your minds, I doubt not, but ye keepe in remembrance the summe of that which hath bene taught; namely, both who is the author of your deliuerance from all your enimies, to wit, not the arme of flesh, but God himselfe, and also by what meanes he hath brought this to passe; to wit, by the godly and Christian gouernment of our gracious soueraigne, the annointed messenger [Page 2]of the Lord in this behalfe: and as I doubt not, but yee remember these things, so I charitablie perswade my selfe, that yee make enquirie and de­mande of your owne soules, by what dueties towards God the author, and by what reuerence toward the Prince the instrument of this our common safetie and welfare, ye may shew your selues thankfull receiuers of so great a benefite. Harken therefore what the spirite of God which is in him, and onely knoweth the minde and will of God, requireth of you by the mouth of saint Peter. For his owne selfe, he seeketh no more at your hands, but that yee feare him: For the person of his annointed, he exacteth nothing else but that ye honour her. For so saith the holy Apostle, 1. Epist. Chap. 2. Feare God (saith he) and Ho­nor the king.

For the first of these two, it is no new commandement, but an ancient and old precept renewed, as being a matter of christian obedience requi­red [Page 3]in both Testaments. Moses the lawgiuer of Israel, Leuit. 19. 14. saith to the inheritance of the Lord the children which came out of th loynes of Iacob, Thoushalt feare (saith he) the Lord thy God. Againe, Leuit. 25. 17. he saith, Let euerie one feare his God. Like­wise, Deuter. 20. he chargeth them, saying, Follow the Lord your God, and feare ye him. Our Sauiour Christ, Luk. 12. teacheth men to feare him, who after he hath killed the bodie, can cast the soule into hell fire, that is, God, And besides this place of saint Peter, saint Iohn also, Reuelations the fourteenth and the seuenth, hauing seene and Angell flying thorough the midst of heauen, which had an euer­lasting Gospel to preach vnto them that dwell on the earth, euen to euery nation and kinred, and tongue, and people, testifieth howe this Angel cried with a lowd voice, saying, Feare God, and giue glorie to him. Where­fore, sith wee are compassed with such a cloud of most glorious and [Page 4]faithfull witnesses, make your recko­ning how ye heare not me, but Moses, Christ, Peter, Iohn, and the Angels of heauen crying vnto you, Feare God.

Some will say peraduenture, all this needeth not, there is none here (we hope) but feare God truely. Well bre­thren, to the lavv and to the testimonie, let that be our iudge, & our owne con­sciences witnesses, whether the true feare of God which is here comman­ded by the holy ghost, be in the grea­test part of men now adayes.

To know then, whether we be en­dewed with this true and earnest feare of God or no, there are among other, three especiall wayes whereby ye shal certainly know the same.

The first way is, the birth of it: For if the feare of God that is in you, come out of that spring, and be bred in that sort as true feare is, then haue you cause to reioice.

The second is, by the naturall and liuely effectes of the same feare: For doubtlesse euerie thing, especially the [Page 5]motions of Gods spirite, working not counterfaitly but according to it owne nature, it must needs be a false and ba­stardly feare of God, which vttereth not it selfe in conuenient measure by the proper effects of true feare.

The third way is, by such things as vnseparably follow and accompanie the true feare of God, which S. Peter speaketh of.

For the first way, yee must obserue & know, that the earnest feare of God springeth and proceedeth of a right and reuerend knowledge, and medita­tion of the surpassing power, bottom­lesse wise dome, infallible prouidence, vndefiled iustice, incomparable good­nes, and other such heauenly attributes of Gods nature, as the scripture giueth vnto it. For when the consideration of mans mind is truely fixed and set vpon the inward view & beholding of these things, the glorie of them is such, that it doth strike & possesse the heart with an vnfained reuerence of that person, who is of such a nature, as by so glori­ous [Page 6]names employing so great and wonderfull effects, is rather pointed at than fullie defined. This that I say, is manifest by the tenth chapter of the Prophet Ieremie. For considering how none was like to the Lord in power; how he was great, and incomparablie wiser then all the prudent men of the nations, and how none was like to him in all the kingdomes of the world: to shew what this meditation bredde in him, and what it worketh in all the children of God, he bursteth forth in­to these words, Who shall not feare thee O king of nations? As if he should say, that whosoeuer did rightly meditate and studie vpon these things, could not but hereby grow into a true feare of God, or at the least, that the vnfai­ned and true feare of God springeth hereupon. Prouided alwayes, that we take this view by the word of God onely, and not by the fancie or ima­gination of mans braine. Here is then the first point whereby yee may know whether yee feare God truely (as saint [Page 7]Peter commandeth.) Haue ye exerci­sed your wits in this meditation? haue yee taken a diligent view of these things out of the most faithfull asserti­ons and examples of the word of God? and hath that feare of God which is in you, proceeded and risen hereof? then is there hope, that the feare of God in you is not counterfait. But now (my brethren) if the most men be vtterly ignorant of these points, & in a manner all men remisse, negli­gent, and cold in taking such view of the nature of God, how may we not iustly feare, that the most men now a dayes are vtterly destitute of this grace and gift of the true feare of God?

2 The second meanes, whereby yee may know and discerne whether your hearts be possessed with a true feare of the Almightie, is by the ef­fects, which are diuerse, the chiefe and principall whereof are these that fol­low.

First, the true feare of God is of such [Page 8]force and working, that it maketh him in whom it is, to hate and decline that which is euill and vngodly in the sight of the Lord, I say not, how they which haue this feare do not sinne at all; but that the faithfull are by this feare, as by a most fit instrumēt of the holy ghost, kept backe from following the lusts of vngodlinesse, and haue such a watchword giuen them continually in their hearts, that they are not easily drawne to any notorious breach and transgres­sion of Gods commandements. This effect of this true feare of God is no­ted by Abraham the father of the faith full, Gen. 20. For when Abimelech the king of Gerar, who had taken a­way his wife, being brought to the knowledge of his iniquitie, demanded of Abraham what he saw in the land, that he manifested not that she was his wife: Abraham answered, saying; I thought (saith he) surely the feare of God is not in this plase, therefore they vvill slay me for my vvines sake: As if he had said, how there was no hope in [Page 9]him that he should finde any honest dealing there, where the vnfained and true feare of God was wanting. To this agreeth a most notable example which we finde written, Exod. 1. 17. where it is shewed, how that when Pharao had commanded-the mid­wines to make away the men children of the Israelites, that which restrained them from committing so horrible a fact, was the true feare of God which they had before their eyes: for so Mo­ses testifieth of them, saying, But the midvvines feared God, and did not accor­ding to the commandement of the king, but saued the men children. Yea Salomon maketh it a generall rule, that the feare of God causeth a man not onely to decline euill, Pron. 13. but more ouer to hate the euill, Pron. 8. 13. And for the more plainenesse, he maketh mention of foure points of iniquitie which cannot dwell with the feare of God: to wit, arrogancie, pride, the euill way, and a double tongue; and sheweth by ex­ample in himselfe, how if a man haue [Page 10]the vpright feare of God abiding and working in him, he will auoid and ab­hor these enormities. The first enormity is arrogancie, which is, Alying perswa­sion and boasting, that one hath those graces and that abilitie which he hath not: and this iniquitie raigneth in the greatest part of men. Yee that are of the ministerie, looke into them of our owne calling: There are infinite in a manner, which being vnable for want of gifts to fulfill any the least part of the ministers office and charge truely, notwithstanding presume and boost themselues to be sufficient men for that calling when it is nothing so, and hereupon breake in and come within the listes of the holy mount of God, & thrust themselues into the sanctua­rie of the most holy one. These are monstrously arrogant, and therefore out of all question destitute of the true feare of the Lord. Of this sort are ma­ny professors now adayes, which ha­uing not as yet profited so farre as that they know the word of the beginning [Page 11] of Christ Iesu, or first principles of re­ligion, yet boast themselues to be rich in the knowledge of God & of Christ Iesu. Of the same stampe generally are Papists, who arro gating to themselues by nature freewil to forsake cuill & to do good, which they haue not power to merit heauen by their works which all men lacke, shew the true feare of God not to be in them.

The second enormitie is Pride, which is, achalenging of glorie, praise, and dig­nitie to ones selfe, in respect of those graces and giftes which are in him. They that are carried away with this vngodly­nesse, they are also void of the true feare of God. Such are in the ministrie those now a dayes, who knowing themselues to haue those good graces and giftes which their betters in eccle­siasticall place and calling do want, thinke much that their place is none higher, their liuings no larger, their estimation no greater, and thereupon make it their chiefe studie, how they may come and attaine to better pro­motion. [Page 12]Such are among the gentrie those, that for the abundance of their outward blessings cannot content thè­selues, vnlesse they may haue some higher title than whereby they are yet called. Briefely, such are all those, who of a glory that they haue in their owne gifts, aspire to an higher place in the common welth, after the manner of Abshalom, or hunt after and striue for the preheminence in the church, after the manner of Diotrephes: for thus to do is pride, which sinne cannot raigne in any person, and the man feare God aright too.

The third enormitie abhorred of such as feare God truelie, is the euil may, that is to say, all course and trade of life and liuing, which sauoureth of vngod­linesse: as liuing by vsurie, cosinage, theeuerie, extortion, leading of ones life in filthinesse, adulterie, wanton­nesse, idlenesse, or any other crime, that the church of God is offended withall. This course whosoeuer taketh (as the world is full of such now [Page 13]adaies) they can by no coulourable meanes be shewed to fear God aright, whatsoeuer they outwardly pretend.

The fourth enormitie which cannot stand nor dwell togither with the true feare of God, is adouble tongue: with which sinne there are specially two kinds of people infected: one is of thè, who will speake as faire as Angels to a mans face, but will straight way, or whensoeuer occasion is ministred, slan­der them most beastly behind their backes: Another sort is of them, who in the company of such as professe the truth sincerely will make a great shew of godlinesse, but when they come in companie of others which are leudly disposed, wil say as they say. These are double tonged, & whosoeuer are such in them the true feare of God is not remaining.

2 A second effect and naturall pro­perty of the true feare of God is, it cau­seth a man to deale not with eyeser­uice, but faithfully, in al yt with know­ledge he take thin hand: it causeth him [Page 14]to walke not deceiptfully, but with an vpright heart; not in his ordinarie calling alone, but moreouer in the fol­lowing and performance of any god­ly businesse otherwise lawfully com­mitted vnto him. The reason is, be­cause it placeth the Lord before him sitting in his throne of iustice, and be­holding all that he doth or thinketh, whereby he is brought & kept in such godly awe, that albeit men coulde not espie his falshood, yet he know­eth how the Lord will both see and iudge the same; wherupon he imploy­eth himselfe with all diligence to do his worke faithfully, as in the sight of God. That the true feare of God is of this effect, it is manifest, 2. Chron. 19.9. For there we may reade, how Iehosha­phat king of Iuda, laboring the refor­mation of his whole king dome by due ministration of iustice, and by diligent preaching of the word, he chargeth the officers to deale vprightly: and minding to shew what would be auail­able to make them so to do, he attri­buteth [Page 15]this glorious effect to the true feare of God, saying, Thus shall ye do in the feare of God, and by way of exposi­tion addeth, faith fully and with a perfect heart: as if he had said, I may charge you to deale faithfully, but I cannot make you so to do: notwithstanding, that which my commandement can­not worke in you, that the true feare of God (if ye haue the same) will effe­ctually bring to passe in you. Now therefore, if ye feare God aright as ye pretend to do, then shew it by the true effect of that feare, that is to say, by faithfull and vpright dealing in this charge and burthen that is laid vpon you. Let euerie one, of what degree & condition soeuer, examine himselfe by this propertie, & he shall easily vnder­stád, whether the true feare of God be resident with him or no. If such as are in authoritle, be not faithfull in mini­string iustice, and suppressing the ad­uersaries of truth and godlines, it is cuident hereby what they are. If such as are in the ministerie be not faithfull [Page 16]in doing their office, but either dispéce not the word at all, or deale after the manner of hucksters deceitfully with it, they declare them selues to bee void of the true feare of God. If trades men haue and vse a false weight, and a false measure, or seeke to in­riche them selues by any manner of false dealing, there is no question but that so long as they continue such and so minded, the vnfained and true feare of God hath no dwelling place, nor a­biding in them.

3 A third effect wherby the true feare of God is made knowne to be in a má, is, that it maketh him not onely to se­parate himselfe from the defilings and corruptions of the world, when he heareth them rebuked by the word of God, but moreouer speaketh earnestly to his neighbors, whom he seeth en­tangled with such vngodlinesse, vpon purpose and intent to draw them also away from those iniquities. Forhe hath euermore his heart meditating vpon the commandemèt of the Lord, which [Page 17]chargeth him not onely to have no fel­lovvship, vvith the vnfruitfull vvorks of darknesse, but moreouver to reproue them, as is set downe Ephes. 5. This effect of the true feare of God yee may finde in the prophecie of Malachie, chap. 3. 16. For albeit the people of that generati­on were exceeding wicked, yet some there were which at ye rebuking & ad­monition of the prophet, forsook such wickednes, & laboring to draw others to gither with them, which persons the prophet noteth to haue bin led to such encouragement of their neighbors by this true feare of God, which the Lord endued thè withal: For so lie saith, then (saith he) they that feared the Lord, spake ouery man to his neighbor. This is a lesson for you, that can be content in out­ward shew and appearance to subiect your owne necks to the sweet yoke of christian reformation: yee have heard the prophets of the Lord in the spirite and zeale of Malachie, reprooue gen­tlemen & others for robbing the Lord of his portion, of his tythes, & offrings, [Page 18]as Malachie did: ye haue heard them roproue ministers for not keping kno­wledge in their lippes, that the people might aske the lawe of God at theyr mouth, as the Prophet did: yee haue hearde them rebuke many other cor­ruptions, wherein this generation hath farre exceeded and gone beyonde the people of Malachies time: yee haue profited so far in outward appearance, that ye lament for these iniquities of our time to the eie, and seeme to leaue and forsake them your owne selues, but yet are in opinion (a great num­ber of you) howe it is not within the compasse of your seuerall duties, to la­bour in calling other aware from the fame corruptions, out of which yee are escaped. Marke therefore this third ef­fect of the true feare of God, & be well assured, that it is euerie mans ductie which will shew himselfe to feare God aright, not onelie to leaue these enor­mities their own selues, but moreouer to exhort euene man his neighbors, be they Gentlemen or other, in ecclesia­fticall [Page 19]or temporall vocation, to leaue these iniquities with them, and to be­come newe men, otherwise the true feare of God raigneth not in them.

3 The third waie and meanes whereby ye may take intelligence of your owne soules, whether this true feare of God commanded by S.Peter, dwell in you or no, is by such compa­nie and fellowship as the true feare of God continuallie keepeth. The re­probates, yea the Atheists feare God, so doe the denils also: but it is in such a seruile and slauish manner, that they hate him whom they feare, whereas it is far otherwise with them which haue the true feare of God in them: for the true feare of God is, as one verie fitlie tearmeth it, Tanquam seta sutoria tra­bens, post se filum delectionis, as it were the shoomakers haire drawing after it the threed of loue, which infinite ex­amples of Gods faithful children, men­tioned in the Scripture, do confirme & proue: For so they feared the Lorde, that they loued him also entirely, and [Page 20]from the bottome of their hearts. For proofes sake, to bring one or two, it is reported of Dauid, 2. Sam. 6.9. that hee seated the Lord exceeding lie, who not withstanding Psal. 116.1. auouched trulie of himself, that he loued the Lord, Yea and Moses which in the places be­fore mentioned gaue commandement to the people of Israel to feare the Lord, doeth also charge them to loue him with all their heart, vvith all their soule, and vvith all their might, Deu. 6.5 which declareth how the true feare of God is accompanied with a loue of him in the same partie. So the we must not feare God as the deuils and repro­bates feare him, neither yet must wee feare the almightle with a popish kind of feare. How is that, will some saie, the Papists haue a feare of God in the, but it is such a kinde of feare, as is ac­companied with a distrust in God, in­somuch that they make it a principle of their religion, how wee must feare, and not be bolde of Gods fauor. This detecteth their feare of God not to be [Page 21]the true & holy feare commanded by Saint Peter in this place. For the true feare of God is accompanied and joy­ned with a trust & cōfidence in him, as may be proued cuidentlie in the hun­dreth and fifteenth Psalm, the 1. verse. Esa 50.10. Besides, the manifolde ex­amples of Gods scruants endued with a right feare of him, who albeit wrest­ling with the multitude of their sinnes, seemed to shut the doore of their harts against assured trust in the Lorde for a season, yet euermore gaue it intertain­ment in the end. By these things then (my brethren) ludge of your lelues, if yee feare God so that yee hate him, or cannot abide him, & that ye wil not be persuaded to haue boldnes and assured trust in him to saluation, because your consciences tel you how many & how grieuous your sinnes are, then haue yee not that feare which Saint Peter speaketh of abiding in you: but if your feare of God bee ioyned with an heartie loue of him, and ye so feare his punishing iustice, that notwith­standing [Page 22]ye trust in his forgiuing mer­cie, then is the feare of God in you an holie plant, which I beseech him for Christs sake to raine vppon more and more with the sweet dew of the word, and to blovv vpon with the quickning breath of his spirite, that it may florish and bring foorth fruite in you to the end,

Thus yee see (brethren) by vvhat meanes yee may haue vnderstanding, vvhether ye ansvvere to this comman­dement of Saint Peter, that is to saie, whether ye feare God truelie or no; & hereby also ye may knovv vvhat it is to feare God trulie and aright, namely not to be a fearde of the fansies of our ovvne braine, for then fooles and mad men should feare God truelie; not to tremble onelie at his judgementes, for then the verie vnsensible mountaines and hils should feare God truelie, be­cause they are readie to tremble at the angrie presence of the Lord. Psal. 18.7. not to haue a minde desperatlie tor­mented and grieued with the horrour [Page 23]of his ovvne sinnes, for then Iudas and manie of the reprobate shoulde haue feared God truelie: not to stande in avve so of Gods vengeance onelie, that there vpon vve dare not follovve those abhominations vvhich othervvise our hearts are vvell pleased vvith, for then the hypocrites should feare God true­lie: but vpon a due and deep conside­ration of Gods povver, vvisdome, pro­uidence, iustice, &c, to stande in such godlie avve of him, that by meanes therof we are brought from the liking and following of vngodlines, to deale faithfullie in all things, to dehort other from those corruptions vvhich our selues haue forsaken, and in all this to be so affectioned, that vvee delight in the Lord and loue him, at no time vt­terlie despairing though vve fulfill not our duties so fullie as wee ought, but yeelding to that comfort of Gods spi­rite, vvhereby we are put in hope that God vvil accept our endeuors, though ioyned vvith manie imperfections, as the indeuours, not of slaues, but of his [Page 24]faithfull and obedient children.

This is now the true feare of God, whereof Saint Peter speaketh, & these are some meanes whereby yee may know and discerne whether the same bee in your selues or other. And foras much as there is nothing more to bee desired at the hands of almightie God, then that all men may atraine to this feare, & retaine it also cuen to the end, it is needfull for vs to consider what those things are which may serue as the ordinatie meanes to draw men vn­to, and continue men in this true feare of God.

There are then two especial things which are of great force both to make men feare God trulie, and also to keep and preserue in them that grace and gift of God: wherof the first is the ex­cellencie and peerelesse dignitie and worthinesse of this grace. The second is the incomparable blessings of God which foolowe the same, and art promised to as manie as abide in the it.

The worthines of this feare of God the Scripture fetteth foorth, in that it spoiling the men of this worlde of those gracious titles wherein they make all true honour and commenda­tion to stand and consist, it attributeth them notwithstanding to those that feare the Lord.

It is a thing which men most de­sire of all other things, to be truly wise, insomuch that for the bare name ther­of, infinite persons of all ages and de­grees, haue thought neither any cost il bestowed, nor anie labour ill taken, so they might be reputed of the worlde for wise men; naithles the world could neuer attaine to this in deed: For when the iudgment is brough to the throne of God, they are all condemed of folly as Saint Paul declareth 1. Corinth. 1. wher he saith, hovv the vvisdome of this vvorld is foolishnes vvith God. In the meane season, such as feare God truly are by the holy Ghost himselfe pro­nounced to be rightly and truly wise. For the patient Iob saieth, The feare [Page 26] of the Lord is wisedome in deede, chap. 28 Whereunto agreeth Salomon, who Prouerbs 1. auoucheth the feare of the Lord to be Reshith dagnath, the begin­ning of knovvledge, or rather as vvee saie in our common speech, the chiefe point of knovvledge or head knovv­ledge: and again in his fifteenth chap­ter he saith, The feare of the Lord is the instruction of vvisedome. Whereby we may perceiue howe they onelie are wise in deede which feare the Lorde, & al other the children of follie and mad­nesse, so excellent and surpassing a thing is the feare of God. Besides that, the Scripture calling vpon men to san­ctifie the Lord, that is, to worship him with such a kinde of worship, as wher­by he may be declared and knowen to be holie, doth require this true feare of God for performance thereof. For so the Prophet Esaie chapter 8, comman­deth men to sanctfre the Lorde of hostes: and to shew how that should be done, he addeth immediatlie by wale of ex­position, Let him bee your feare, by that [Page 33]meanes adorning the true feare of God, with that most honorable name and title of sanctifying the Lorde of hosts. Adde hereunto, that the prophet Esay chap. 33.6, maketh account how The feare of God is a treasure to the god­ly, enriching them aboundantly which haue it, in the sight of God; whereup­pon it must needes ensue, that they which are destitute of this grace, are starke beggers before God, howsoe­uer they flow & swimme in outward wealth and prosperitie. Thus ye see of what great dignitie the true feare of God is, which ought to rauish you with a desire both to subject your selues to this commandement of S. Peter, that the holy Ghost mare worke this true feare in your heartes; and also to take heed, that the manifolde entisementes of the worlde and flesh which are laid as baites to beguile sillie soules eueric where, bereaue you not of it beeing once setled in your hearts, considering how excellent a thing it is in the iudge­ment of the holy Ghost.

[Page 34] 2 Concerning the blessings which God hath promised to those that feare him, they are so great, that greater cannot he. For what is it (brethren) that your heartes would or can wish or desire? would yee be deliuered from all such enimies at home or abroad, as do secke by subtiltie or crueltie to be­reaue you of life, of libertie, of the truth, yea and of God himselfe? Then Feare the Lord (saith the spirite) and he will deliuer you out of the hands of your enimies. 2. Reg. 17.39. Would yee haue your posteritie that they shall stand vp in your place successiuely, to encrease and prosper: Feare the Lord (saith the holy ghost) and it shall go well with you and with your children af­ter you for evermore, Deut. 5.29. would yee be strong against all assaultes of our spirituall enimies? Feare the Lord, and yee shall be so. For (as Salomon saith) In the feare of the Lord is as­surednesse of strength. Prouerb. 14. and the 26. verse. Againe, would yee be out of doubt which is the right [Page 35]and true waie, among so great di­uersitie of opinions as are now in the world? Feare the Lorde, and he vvill teach you in the vvaie that ye shall choose, yea the secretes of the Lorde shall be a­mong you if yee feare him, and he vvill shevv you his couenant. Psal. 25.11.13. To conclude, will yee be blessed, that is to say, in a state perfited with a ga­thering togither of all good thinges? Feare God, and yee shall be so. For (as Dauid saith) Blessed are they that feare the Lord. Psal. 112.1.

For all this, the greatest part of the world regard not to feare the Lord, but haue their hearts filled with con­tempt of him: whereof to consider the causes and remedies is verie needfull, that we may take heed, and giue obe­dience to this precept of S.Peter.

1 One cause then why men feare not the Lord, is the want of tea­ching and hearing the word of God, by which as by an instrument san­ctified to that purpose, the Lorde distilleth his feare into the heartes [Page 36]of men. This may be gathered out of Deut. 31. where Moses giuing charge to Iosua concerning the reading of the Law in the eares of the whole congre­gation of Israel, sheweth also where­fore it was to be done; namely, that they might learne to feare the Lord their God. vers. 12.13. If then the publishing of the word be the meanes to learne men the feare of the Lord, it must needs be, that the want of this blessing is a reason why manie are destitute of the true feare of God. For remedie wherof none other way can be found, than for the minister diligently to teach, and the people as diligently to heare the word of the Lord.

2 A second reason why men feare not the Lord is, because their hearts are possessed with a strong imaginati­on, that it is in vaine to feare God. This cause of mens not fearing the Lord, the Prophet Malachie declareth, Chapt. 3. for hauing spoken of certaine which feared not the Lord, vers. 5. he doth af­terward shew their reason that per­swaded [Page 37]them to set the Lord at naught and to giue out stoure words against him, which was, because in their cor­rupt iudgement, it was in vaine to serue God, and it was no profite to them that they walked humblie before the Lord of hostes, vers. 14. Against this pestilent perswasion which leadeth manie now adayes to the contempt of God, a re­medie of soueraigne effect is, the con­sideration of those promises before propounded to them that feare the Lord, which will be then more effectu­all, when we set before our selues in our minds as on a theatre or stage, the persons of many that feared the Lord, as of Abraham, Ieseph, Moses, Dauid, &c. enioying part of these promises in this life, and now fully possessed of the rest in the kingdome of God.

3 A third matter, where upon many take occasion to neglect & cast away the feare of God, is a grosse conceit of the nature of God, inducing them to thinke that the Lord seeth not what men do in the earth, and that they may [Page 38]do what they will for him. After this sort the wicked in Iobs time surmised, that God vvas so hidden vvith the darke cloudes, that he could not iudge thorough them, and therefore they despised him. And so the vngodly in the dayes of David spake fiercely, and the vvorkers of iniquitie vaunted themselues against God, and all was vpon this perswasion, That the Lord did not see it, the God of Iacob did not marke it. Psal. 94. Against this enchantment, that it may not preuaile in mens hearts to leade them away from the feare of God, it helpeth much to consider, that nothing is hid from the eyes of God. Heb. 4. that he sear­cheth all heartes, and vnderstandeth all the thoughts of the minde. 2. Chron. 28.9. that it is a brutish follie to thinke that he vvhich planted the care should not heare, and he vvhich formed the eye should not see, Psal. 94. which con­sideration, if it be deepely imprinted in our minds, it will make vs to see that the darke cloudes are no hinde­rance to the Lord, but that he behol­deth [Page 39]all things, even the verie purpo­ses of the heart, and therefore is the more to be feared. 1. King. the eight chapter and 39.

4 A fourth reason why men regard not the feare of God, is because they see themselues & others, who are with out al true reuerence of the almightie, to prosper well enough in the world, whilest they that fear the Lord, endure and passe through many aduersities & troubles. This reason of the wickeds contempt of God, the prophet Dauid saw & acknowledged, Psa. 73. For why (as he saith) because the vvicked come not in trouble, neither are plauged vvith other men, because there are no bandes in their death, but they are lusty and strong, therefore they glorie in their pride as in a golden chaine, they talke presumptu­ously, and they set their mouth against heaven, That is to say, they speake in defiance of God him selfe. In like ma­ner he saith of the vngodlie. Psalm. 55.19. that Because they have no changes, therefore they feare not God. To expell [Page 40]which poisoned conceits out of mens hearts, there is not anie more conueni­ent remedie, than to marke the vvaie of the vvorld, vvherin vvicked men (vvhich saie vnto God, depart from vs) haue vval­ked, and how they haue ben cut downe be­fore their time, vvhose foundation vvas as ariuer that ouerflovved. Iob. 22. To consider with Dauid, that the Lord hath set such wicked ones in slipperie places, & that the conceit which they haue of their prosperous estate, is no better then the fansie of a dreaming man, who in his sleepe imagineth himselfe and other to bee riche and in good case, but when he a waketh he findeth it no­thing so. Psal. 73. Briefly, to consider that the lesse trouble they sustain here, the more torment is behinde, and the more blessings or prouocations to the feare of God they haue receiued, the lesse mercie shall they finde, because they abused them to strengthen their heartes in contempte of the Lord.

These are the chiefe things which [Page 41]cause men to reiect the feare of the al­mightie: these are the stones whereat they stumble, and the rockes against which they make shipwrack, which e­uerie one must take heed of that is de­sirous to walk in the obedience of this commandement, and to feare God, as S. Peter counselleth him to doe.

Thus haue ye heard vpon occasion of Saint Peters words, exhorting vs to feare God, both how yee may knowe when ye feare him aright, what may serue to inflame you with an earnest desire to feare him truelie, and what causeth men not to feare the Lord. Let vs now learne other lessons ministred to vs in the same precept.

Whereas the feare of God which is not in the profession of the mouth, but in the inward affection and feeling of the heart, is here by Saint Peter com­manded to those which before hee cal­leth apeople set at libertie, to shevv forth the vertues of him which hath called the out of darknes into his meruailous light, that is to saie, vnto the professors [Page 42]of christianitie: we must make our rec­koning that would gladly be taken for christians, howe it is enough for vs to speake & talke of the maiestie, good­nes, prouidence, power, & other ver­tuous attributes ascribed to God, but especiallie it is required, that we be in­wardlie touched in our soules with a feare and reuerence of him: yea and verily they which can only say well of God, and are not endued with a true feare of him, are no better christians in comparison, than that christian man which the painter painteth vppon a cloth or wal. For the painters christian is soberly apparelled, and made to loke after the saddest manner: moreo­uer, he hath a scrowle comming out of his mouth, wherein is written some goodly sentence of the Scripture spea­king of God, and yet for all this he is no true christian, because he lacketh that which the painter can not giue him, that is to say, the true feare of God; and so these (brethren) which make an outward faire shew & speake [Page 43]well of God, are not true christians, if they wāt the true feare of God which is grafted in the heart, and is a speciall thing required in a true christian man, as by the precept of saint Peter giuen to christian men appeareth.

Besides this lesson, there are other profitable instructions which are of­fered vnto vs out of the order of this precept, Feare God, compared with that which followeth, honor the king.

As first of all, saint Peter, setteth this precept before, Feare God, and the other after, honor the king: where by he insinuateth & giueth vs to vnderstand, how the feare & obedience of God is to be preferred to the honour and obe­diēce of princes; the very same rule & lesson which S. Peter & S. Iohn togi­ther teach vs Act. 4.19. namely, That it is right in the sight of God to obey him ra­ther thā mā, as cōmō reson also maketh vs to know & cōfesse. For the souerain must be obeied before the lieutenant, the L. of the house before the steward of it, the maister before the seruaunt, [Page 44]and thérfore God before all princes, and rather than all princes and poten­tates in the worlde, because God is the soueraine king, and they are his Lieu­tenants, God is the maister, & they are his seruantes: which admonisheth vs to attempt nothing for any prince vn­der the same, which ouerthroweth, impaireth, or vndermineth the flouri­shing estate of the true feare of God, either in our selues or in any other, least we bee called into iudgement for ser­uing the creature with contempt of the creator, and preferring man before God.

An other lesson is taught vs in this order of preceptes, deliuered by saint Peter in this place. For by setting Feare God before honour the king, he insinua­teth vnto vs, howe that if princes will looke to haue true and faithfull sub­iects, such as will haue care from the verie bottome of their hearts to yeelde them that due honor which is to them belonging, them must they first pro­uide, that they be trained vp in the true [Page 45]feare of the almightie: for it is hard to say, that he which feareth not God a­right, will or can euer honor his prince truly.

1 For why? First of all, that which especiallie mooueth men so to honour their prince, is the commandement & feare of God, as saint Peter saith be­fore in this chapter, they doe it for the Lordes sake: whereupon it followeth that if a man haue not the feare of God him selfe, which is the cause of his faithfull obedience to his prince, it can not well be that he should vnfainedlie and trulie honour his soueraine, which is an effect of that feare of God.

2 Our soueraine Christ in the para­ble of the wicked iudge, noting the summe of his vngratiousnes, vttereth it in this manner, he neither (saith he) fea­red God nor reuerenced man, Luke. 18.2. as noting the same lesson which I haue said vnto vs.

3 That is most plaine which we read lerem. 32. where the holie Ghōst (who is best acquainted with our na­ture) [Page 46]doth shew and declare, howe we are of such a condition, that vnlesse we be retained and kept in order and awe by the feare of God, we will fall away euen from God him selfe. For thus the spirt of God by the prophet saith, I will put feare in their heartes that they shall not depart from me: as if he said, I know that men will not faithfully con­tinue, no not in my seruice which am their God and creator, vnlesse they be indued with my true feare: and shall we then thinke (brethren) that men which haue not the true feare of God planted in their hearts, can euer faith­fully and truly honor their prince?

4 It is not to be looked for (dere­ly beloued) that he wil regard the bla­sing of a candle, which is not moued with the most glorious brightnesse of the sunne. It is not for anie to per­swade men, that he will euer regarde the value of a pennie, which despiseth the full storehouse of all riche things, &c. no more is it likely that he which feareth not the God of vnspeakeable [Page 47]glory, will giue any vnfained honor to his prince, &c. the summe is, it is hard to deeme otherwise, but that he which is destitute of the fear of God, whether by meanes of ignorance or contēptu­ousnes can or wil euer honor his prince truly. I deny not, but the Lord so re­straineth oftentimes many godles per­sons with the bridle of a certaine feare that they breake not forth into outra­gious rebelliō against their prince, but rather stand stoutly vnto him euen vn­to the death; which is nothing against that I say: for I shew what nature be­ing not tilled with this true feare of God ordinarily yeeldeth, not what God against the force of nature many times worketh. Againe, I speake of that honouring of the prince which is a christian vertue and a worke of the spirit of sanctification, not of that ser­uice whereunto many are brought by the spirit (as they tearme it) repressing vices.

They that are gentlemen, & by rea­son of their calling haue necessarily [Page 48]to retaine manie in their seruice to waite vpon them, let them consider this well that I say. If they feede and cloth their seruants well, but teach them not the feare of God, out of que­stion they do nothing else but harten men, and make them strong to rebell against their Prince. Yee that are mini­sters also, consider this well, and let it make you diligent to instruct your flockes in the true feare of God. Alas (brethren) are they not too many alre­die, which in hellish madnesse without all feare of God, go about to bereaue out gracious soueraine of her life, the whole realme of peace, the gospel of passage? Alas than, why should ye also sinne against God and against your owne soules, by increasing the num­ber of rebellious and disloyal persons? Ye will say peraduenture, we do it not: yes verely, if yee teach not your people diligently the fear of the Lord. For vnlesse men haue their hearts pos­sessed with the true feare of God, they will not honor their Prince truely.

Honor the king.

Ye haue hither to heard me patient­lie, concerning the feare of God: heare me nowe (I beseech you) concerning our dutie toward the king. Saint Pe­ters commandement is, that kings and princes shoulde be honoured; which that it maie be more forcible both to teach vs and also to win vs, I thinke it needefull at this season, after my rude and disordered maner, to deliuer vnto you these foure especiall points.

  • 1 What it is to honor the king.
  • 2 Which are the partes of this honor.
  • 3 Of whom this honor is to be rendred
  • 4 For what causes men are to yeld the same.

Honor, in this place, in the Greeke called Timè, is a godly acknowleging and regarding of princes as the chie­fest and chosen instruments of God, for the maintenance as well of ciuill, as of ecclesiasticall society. Consi­der what I say. To honour the king, is first to acknowledge him for the annointed of the Lord, and also for [Page 50]our annointed: neither that by wordes alone, but by such other meanes also as we are able, accordingly as we read of the people of Israel in their receuing of Saul. For they did not only showre altogether, saying, God sane the king, but moreouer all the godlie despoled browght him presentes. 1. Sam. 10.24. 27. and they which did not so, are no­ted by the spirit of God for wicked mē & are held guilty of despising him be­fore the iudgement seat of the almigh­tie. Moreouer, we must make suchac­counte of them, that we set not them a footestoole here in earth, and other a throne to sit ouer them: (as the Papists make the King the vassal of their pope) but we must vnfeinedly confesse them with S. Peter the chiefest persons, & to them giue the soueraigntie and prehe­minence here in this worlde, assuring our selues, that he is Antechrist, which exalteth himself aboue them. 2. Thess. 2.4. To conclude, we must not looke vpon them as vpon disguised Kinges, browght forth on a stage or theater, [Page 51]which beside their gaie garments and great wordes haue nothing in them a­boue the common sorte, but we must receaue them as the chiefest & highest Ambassadours of God, sent among vs with largest and most ample power and authoritie, yea and suche power and authoritie, as whereof the best, the wisest, the richest, the godliest, shall haue neede to maintaine them in outward societies whether ciuill or ecclesiasticall, considering they are thereunto sanctified and sent of the Lorde, whose onely blessing enableth euerie man to worke the good of his people.

2. The partes of his honour which here is commanded by Saint Peter to be done vnto the Kinge, are three, to wit, Reuerence, Obedience, and Paying of such tribute, or other dewes or re­nenewes, as belong to a person of that calling and dignitie.

Vnder the name of reuerencing the prince, we vnderstande that men ought both to thinke honourablie [Page 52]of the prince, to pray for him, as also to frame and dispose all their outward gestures and speech in such sort, that it may carrie with it and in it a signe of their vnfained subiection to such per­sons.

Of mens reuerend thinking of such, we reade in the booke of the preacher chap. 10. where the wisedome of God in Solomō giueth charge on this wife, Curse not (saith he) the king no not in thy thought. For the bridling of our toong from all vnreuerende woordes against such, Moses giueth a commandement Exod. 22.28. on this manner, Thou shalt not (saith he) curse the ruler of thy peo­ple. Whereunto adde that saint Peter 2.Epist. and saint Iude also do account them to be vngodly per­sons and bringers in of damnable he­resie, which speake ouil of those which are in dignity: yea, they account them as presumptuous persons daring to speake that in contempt of princes & princely gouernement, which the an­gels durst not speake against the verie [Page 53]deuill him selfe. Of mans duty praying for princes, we reade 1. Tim. 2. Of the reuerend gesture which we are to vse towards such persons, we haue exáple in Nathan the prophet, who made o­beisance before king Dauid vppon his face vnto the grounde. 1. Reg. 1.23. These are continuall and ordinarie rules and examples, for the gouerning & direc­ting of our behauiour toward persons of that authority.

Some will say, if it be so, then did Elisha offende in calling Ichoram the murtherers sonne. 2. Reg. 6.32. and our Sauiour him selfe in calling Herode a fox. Luke 13.32. then also did the a­foresaid Elisha breake the cōmande­ment of God in demeaning him selfe so towarde the said Ichoram, that hee would not once haue looked vpō him had it not bin for regard that he had to the presence of Ichosaphat 2. Re. 3. the was Michaiah to be reproued for spe­king in manner of derision to Ahab. 2. Chron. 18. Hereunto I answer, how the precepts & examples before set down, [Page 54]bind vs, and not the Lorde, who maie sharpely controll the princes of this world for their misdoings, & also may vse the seruice of whome it pleaseth him in that behalse, neither shall he sinne, that hauing the extraordinarie commandement of the Lord, speaketh so vnto them in Gods name, which yet is no common rule for euerie bodie, neither yet for him at all seasons. For more cuidence herein, I vse this fami­liar similitude: if some great monarch hauing vnder him manie prouinces, & ech it own king as his lieutenant, make it a common lawe, that no person of what degree socuer within his domi­nion, shall behaue himself vnreuerent­ly in worde or decde against anie his lieutenants: this letteth not, but that the afore said monarch hauing know­ledge and intelligence of anie his lieu­tenantes vngodly practises, may him selfe commande whome hee thinkes good as Ambassadour from him to go vnto that lieutenant, and in his name to giue him such rebuke as be deser­uech, [Page 55]and suche tearmes of disgrace as are meete for him, which yet eueric one may not doe, neither yet that Ambassadour without the com­mandement of his monarch. In like sort, forasmuch as God is the onely monarch of the whole worlde, and all princes his lieutenants within their se­ucrall dominions: though he haue set it downe as a common law for his sub­iects, that is, for all other men, that no person in the world shall once dare to vse the prince vnreuerently in worde or deede, yet this letteth not but that when princes despise and breake the commandements of God whose lieu­tenants they are, the Lorde may make who me he listeth his Ambassadour to them ward, & cause the said Ambassa­dor (without any his offense) to rebuke them with what hard maner of speach foeuer, according to their desertes, it shall please his diuine maiesty to put into the mouth of that his messenger, which yet euery one may not do, nei­ther that Ambassadour, be he prophet [Page 56]or minister without such commande­ment. Thus we see the Prophets and extraordinary messengers of the Lord, as Elisha, Micaiah, &c. cleere from fault, because they had the word of the Lord so to doe, and yet no man autho­rised by their example to speake or do his wicked pleasure against his prince. Which euerie true subiect is to note & obserue, not onelie for intent that the deuill may not leade him by miscon­struction of Gods word, to vnreuerent handling of his soueraigne, but moreo­uer that we may vnderstand for a sure­tie, that they are nothing else but de­uillish treachers and hellish blasphe­mies, where with our English traitours haue opposed themselues against our annointed of the Lorde, calling her v­surping competitour, and laboring by all wicked pollicie to shed her bloud, in consideration they had no commande­ment from the Lorde, neither yet fust cause so to do.

2. The second parte of the kings honour is obedience, which is a per­forming [Page 57] of all the Princes lavvfull com­mandements (that is to saie, which iustle not against the truth of Gods worde) ioyned vvith a quiet suffering at their handes for vnlavvfull things refused. And for the first point, that the Prince is to be honored with sueh fulfilling of all his lawfull and godly ordinances, by the Scripture may bee plainlie shewed and declared vnto vs. For in as much as the worde of God maketh reckoning how the king is the chiefest of all here in this world, 1. Pet. 2. it were absurd to thinke, how the spirite of God woulde haue lesse submission rendered to such an one, then it chargeth seruantes to yeld to their common maisters. Wher­vpon it followeth, that seeing S. Paule cammandeth seruants to be obedient vn­to them that are their maisters according vnto the flesh in all things, that is to saie, in all lawfull things, Collossians the third Chapter and two and twentith verse. Much more must men be readie to obey the cōmandemēt of the prince in all things that are lawfull and god­ly [Page 58]considering that if they do not so obey, forasmuch as obedience is one part of the princes honor, they do plain ly dishonour the prince in that point.

2 In this case we find a notable ex­ample in the booke of Ioshua, chap. 16.17.18. For whereas the people of the Lorde perceaued that Ioshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, and that he was annointed of the Lord to be their gonernor now after the death of Mo­ses, they knowing what dutie they ought vnto one in that place & digni­ty, with great reuerence submit them selues vnto him, & make promise be­fore the Lord to obey him in all things lawful. For thus they say vnto him, All that thou hast commanded vs will vve do, and vvhether soener thou sendest vs vve will go, As we obeyed Mosos in all things so vvill vve obey thee, and vvhosoeuer shall rebell against thy commanlement, & vvill not obey thy vvordes in all that thou commandest him, let him be put to death. This is the promise of the people, ap­proued of God, receaued of Ioshua, sot [Page 59]downe in the worde for a president to after generations, whereby we are put out of all dout, that the prince is to be honored with fulfilling & performing of all his lawfull & godly commande­ments. That which I have shewed you in doctrine, I will also make cuidet by example in our owne selues. And first I suppose, how hir maiesty by statute or some other princely meanes, com­manded in the first, or some other yere past of her reigne, or if not comman­ded her selfe, yet ratified some statute of her noble an cestours, commanding that after such time no vnlearned and vnsufficient minister should be admit­ted to preach the worde or to admini­ster the sacraments. This if it were so, it were a most lawfull commandement, because it accordeth and is agreeable with the word of God, which not on­ly alloweth none other person to haue cure of soules, but such a one as whose lippes do keepe knowledge, and from whose mouth the people may aske & haue the law of the Lord, Malach. 2. [Page 60]1. Tim. 3: but also teacheth how if the salt, that is the minister, haue lost his saltnesse, that is, the abillitie to teach the people of God, he is thence forth (not to be imployed to meaner partes of that calling, but) good for nothing in that office, but to be cast out and trodden vnder foote. Considering than how this commandement were most lawfull, whosoeuer should after the time aforesaid wittingly and wilfully make by such vnlearned minister, dis­obey; the lawfull commandement of the Prince, and consequently so farre forth dishonoreth his Prince. The reason is apparant; namely, because obedience or fulfilling of the Princes lawfull commandements and lawes, is one part of the Princes honour, which cannot be denyed him but so much of his princely honor must be denied him also. In like maner I say of such law of our Soueraine, as commandeth cuerie subject of this realme to come and re­sort to church at time sanctified and set a part for ye same purpose by the Lord; [Page 61]it is a most lawfull & godly comman­dement: For it is euery way agreeable to the word of God, commanding all men to keepe his Sabbathes and to reue­rence his sanctuarie, Leuit. 19.30. where­fore when our English Papists refuse this, they do (for the reason aforesaid) so far forth dishonor the Prince which commandeth it. The like may be said of many things commanded in our lawes, which being compared with the word of God, appeare to be most law­full and godly.

But here, some flauering courtier will say, you auouch that obedience (that is a fulfilling of the princes law­full commandementes) is a part of the princes honor: tell me this I pray you, do not they disobey the king and con­sequently dishonor him, which do not whatsoeuer he commandeth.

No truely: for true and christian o­bedience whereby the prince is hono­red, is a performing of lawfull commā ­dements. If anie thing therefore that is commanded be vnlawfull, and against [...] [Page 60] [...] [Page 61] [Page 62]the words of God, the persourmance thereof can not truely be called by the name of true obedience (whereof we speake) And as the doing of such vn­lawfull matters can not shrwde it selfe vnder the name of obedience: so if we looke narrowely and neerelye vn­to it, it is nothing els but an vngodlie prouoking of the Lorde to shorten the life of princes, yea and on our parts which commit or admit such vn­lawfull things, so many furderances & thrustinges forward of the prince vnto death as may easily be discerned by that of Salomon Proue. 28.2. where he sayth, For the transgression of a land ther are manis princes thereof, meaning that sinne, which is a transgression of the law of God, is a cause wherefore the princes liues are shortned through the iust vengeance of God, either against the prince chiefly as one vnworthy to rule Gods people any longer, if the people haue sinned at his commande­ment, or against the people as vnwor­thy to haue a good prince any longer, [Page 63]if they haue sinned contrary to the princes will and pleasure.

2. For the second point of true obe­dience to the king, some will further aske & say, But what if a prince wil en­fer men to doe otherwise then God hath commanded, and to commit such thinges as God hath forbidden vpon paine of punishment or death may not here one withstande their prince by open warre, rather then to suffer such punishment vniustly at his hand?

I answer, woe vnto such thoughts as trayterous & accursed, refolled by the martirdomes of so many thousandes, as both in the Scripture and other eccle­siastical histories are read, when vnlaw­full thinges were commanded them, or lawfull thinges forbidden them v­pon paine of such punishment to en­sue and followe, to suffer quietely (which is the seconde pointe of true obedience to the prince) and not fu­riously to rise or rebell against them: and therefore trayterous aboue mea­sure were and are the practises of such [Page 64]as being commanded nothing but that which was godly, haue indeuoured to bereaue our Soueraine of life by open rebellion, rather than they would be obedient to iust lawes & commande­ments in the feare of the Lorde, as be­came godlie and christian subiectes to do without grudging.

3 The third part of the princes ho­nour is, paying of tribute and other such money or commodities of the worlde, as by kingly right and autho­ritie belongeth vnto him. This our Sauiour him selfe teacheth both by doctrine, and also by example. His doctrine is to be found written, Mark. 12.17. where he saith, Giue vnto Cesar that vvhich is Cesars, speaking there of tribute, as it is manifest. For he was de­manded whether it were lawful to pay tribute vnto Cesar or no: whereupon he requesting the demanders to shew him a pennie, and asking whose image and superscription the pennie had on it, when they answered, Cesars, than he replyed, saying, Giue therefore vnto [Page 65] Cesar that vvhich is Cesars, and vnto God that vvhich is Gods. His example is to be found Matth. 17.27. where he himselfe, albeit the heire of all things, yet being now in the forme of a seruant & vnder worldly iurisdiction, payeth polemony to the officers which came vnto him for it. In like manner S. Paul Rom. 13. hauing prooued by sundrie verie forcible arguments, how all men are to be subiect vnto the higher powers, when he commeth to declare by what practise we are to shew the same subiection, he inferreth on this wise, Giue therefore (saith he) tribute to vvhom tribute appertaineth: as decla­ring thereby how one cannot denie the king his tribute, but he therewith­all dishonoureth the same king, and denieth him that subiection which the Lord alloweth him in his word.

Concerning the third point of our former diuision, which was touching the persons who are to yeeld this ho­nour to the king, they are people of al degrees and callings whatsocuer, of [Page 66]whom the Prince demandeth the same and imposeth it as from the Lord, for this the plaine words of the scripture do exact and straightly commande, Rom. 13. Let euery soule be subiect (saith saint Paul) to the higher powers, and S. Peter hath a notable reason hereof comprehended in one word, when he calleth the king the chiefe among all other. For he that is chiefest of all, is to be honoured of all, of what estate or calling so euer they be. The king or Prince is the chiefe of all, and therefore all other parties, whether they serue the Lord in ciuill or ecclesi­asticall vocations, are to honour the Prince in manner aforesaid.

2 This hath plentiful and sufficient proofe out of those manifold examples of the word, wherein (as it were a ta­ble) are set before vs, and described all degrees of people honouring the king or prince as be commeth them, so that none can plead any right of im­munitie in this behalfe. If one were a Patriarch, he hath an example to reue­rence [Page 67]rēce & honor the king ministred & gi­uē him in Abrahā, who bowed him self before Ephron, and before his people, Ge. 2.3. If a minister of the church, he is taught to reuerēce & honor the king by the example of Aaron, who submitteth himself to Moses, Nu. 12.11. of the priest that obeied Saul, 1. Sa. 14.18.19. of Za­dok the priest, who readily performed the commandement & wil of Dauid, 1. Re. 1.33.38. of Hilkian the priestwhich doth as Iosiah cōāded him. 2. Reg. 22. 12.14. of the Leuits & priests which did as Iehoshaphat charged them, 2. Chro. 19. If one were a prophet, he hath an example in Nathan, who doth humble obeysance in the presence of Dauid, as we shewed before in Ieremiah which speaketh most humbly & reuerētly to Zedekiah, calling him his Lord ye king &c. though he had put him in prison wrongfully, Ier. 37.20. in Daniel, who honored Nebuchadnezzar, ca. 4. & Da­rius ca. 6.21. If one were of royal parē ­tage, he hath example to honor ye king in Mephibosheth, who fel on his face, [Page 68]& did reuerence before Dauid. 2. Sam. 9.6. If a man of verie great substance, he hath an example in Barzillai the Gileadite, whose reuerend behauiour and dealing toward the same Dauid is set forth and commended. 2. Sam. 17. & 19. If a most politike counseller, he hath example of his dutifulnesse to­ward the prince in Hushai the Archite the friend of Dauid. 2. Sam. 15. If a most valiant captaine, he hath example gi­uen him in Abner. 2. Sam. 3.21. in Ioab 1. Chron. 21.3. in the three mightie men, 2. Sam. 23.16.17. The like examples we may finde in the word for all other estates and degrees whatsoeuer.

This doctrine is cleare, yet there are which gainsay it: as the Anabaptists on the one side, the Papists on the o­ther side. The Anabaptists denie all magistracie and princely gouernment among Christians, imagining it to be a matter that cannot stand with the nature of true christianitie, for one to receiue honor as a Prince, and another to giue & yeeld such honour as a sub­iect: [Page 69]who are easily refelled. For to whom is this commandement here of honoring the Prince giuen by S. Peter? it is no giuen to christian men? yes ve­rely, euē to those whom before he cal­leth liuing stones, an holy nation, a roi­all priesthood, &c. which are the titles of all true christians. Would S. Peter haue commanded that, which was not agreeable to christianitie? No verelie, we see then, how christianitie will not bolster out any man to dishonour the king, no more than it will grant a man to cast of and reiect the feare of God. For as a duetie of christianitie the one is required of men; namely, to feare God, and honor the king or prince: and thus the mist of Anabaptistical doctrin vanisheth at the shining forth of that light, which vttereth it self in this pre­cept of S. Peter. The papists, they con­uay their poison another way: for they do not simplie denie honor to princes, but to those princes whom their Ro­mish antichrist disalloweth and is dis­pleased withall: to such they thinke [Page 70]themselues, that is to say, all papists to owe no duetie, but to be lawfully quit & discharged from their oath of allea­gance and al duetifulnes toward them by their Pope: neither that alone, but moreouer account it lawfull for them which are borne subiects to such prin­ces, to blaspheme, hurt, and murther them, if by any meanes possible they may, as hath appeared by the satanical attemps of late English traitors against our soueraine. This is as easily cōfuted by S. Peter in this place as the former opinion was, if we consider what man­ner kings and princes had then the go­uernement when saint Peter gaue this precept. Were kings at that time fa­uourers of religion? did they further the preaching of the word, wherof pe­ter was a minister? Did they esteeme Peter or any other the Apostles or faithfull children of God? No such thing; but contrariwise they were eni­mies of the gospel, they labored by all meanes to hinder the passage & course of the truth, they persecuted Peter & [Page 71]all the rest of the godly; For all this, S. Peter, who was taught & spake by the holy ghost, durst not will any man to dishonor them or to slay them, but (as this place declareth) he charged true christians and all that feared God to Honor the king, which as many as fea­red God & were true christians indeed accounted it their duetie inuiolably to performe & do. Did Peter commande­uen the vngodly kings & enimies of the truth to be honored of all yt were true christians? and may the blafphemous Pope by that fulnes of iniquitie & de­ceitfulnes, wherwithal the diuel posses­seth him, perswade mē now adays, that they may at his commandement & for wrecke of his anger, blaspheme with mouth, & assalt with sword the maiesty of their souerain prince, who laboreth by al means to bring mē to the know­ledge of true godlines & right practise of the same, & yet be right catholikes, true christiās, & such as do no more thē in duty they are bound to do? O mon­strous cōtrariety, declaring their Pope [Page 72]to be Antichrist, in that he taketh vp­on him to change this law of God, Dan. 7.25. concerning the honoring of kings set downe by saint Peter, and his complices not to be true christians or such as feare God, but the very mē ­bers of Antichrist & sons of perdition.

4 We are now come to the last point propounded in our former diui­sion: which is, for what causes the king is to be honored in manner aforesaid.

1 And first of all, a speciall matter which putteth men in minde and ex­acteth of thē to honor the king, is, be­cause this vocation is the ordinance of God, against which to spurne, or to worke or speak any thing which carri­eth matter of dishonor therewithall, were so far forth to spurne, worke, or speake against God himselfe. That the kings office and vocation is the ordi­nance of the Almighty, the scripture most plainly affirmeth. The Queene of Saba speaking to Solomon, saith on this manner, Blessed (saith she) be the Lord thy God vvhich loued thee to set [Page 73] thee on his throne as king in steede of the Lord thy God, and hath made thee king ouer Israell, &c. 1. Reg. 10. She saith that the Lorde did set him on the throne of the kingdome, and that the Lord his God made him king ouer Is­rael. Neither was this a thing peculiar and proper to Solomon onely and his kingly authority alone, but the same is true of other also. For saint Paul Rom. 13. generally auoucheth how all power is of God: and that in this respect the prince is to be honoured, saint Paul in the same place proueth, vsing this ve­rie argument and reason, Because it is the ordinance of God, and whosoeuer resi­steth the povver, resisteth the ordinance of God. Hereunto adioine the prophet Dauid, who Psalm. 2. exhorting his e­nemies quietly to yeeld him the honor of his princely power and authoritie, and not to rebell and rise still against him, vseth this amongst other as a rea­son to perswade them withall, because he was Christus Domini, the annointed of the Lord, and because The Lord had [Page 74] appointed him his king vpon his holy moūt of Sion. In cōsideration wherof, he saith not how they bended thēselues against him the anointed of the Lordalone, but affirmeth how they stood vp against the Lord & against his anointed, as reckning the Lords case & the kings in this point to be al one. Mark (derly beloued) what amōstrous sin this is, which whosoeuer wittingly cōmiteth, walketh presump­tuously and with a stiffe necke not a­gainst the streame of mans power and strēgth, but against the inuincible ma­iestie of God himself. O my brethren, I beseech you in the name of Christ Iesu do not so wickedly, be no counsellers nor partakers with any rebellious per­sons; what shal ye that are but dry stub­ble, yet by suffering your selues to bee carried headlong with the whirlwind of popish doctrine against our God, which is a cōsuming & deuouring fire.

2 A second matter which calleth vpō men to render this dutie of honour to ye king, is, the marke wherat he aimeth in all that he goeth about: which is, the [Page 75]welth & good of the subiects. For ther unto he laboreth both by power & by councell, yt the inheritance of ye Lord committed to his charge, may florish, grow & increse outwardly in abūdāce of worldly blessings, inwardly in ye ma­nifold graces of Gods spirit, yt the wic­ked may be suppressed & feared from breking forth vnto those vngodly ac­tions, wherby loosnes may be brought in amongst men: that also outward eni­mies round about thē may haue peace with those that he ruleth, & not annoy any warlike or hostil force or inuasiōs. This the Scripture and word of God a­uoucheth. S. Paul Rom. 13. affirmeth concerning the wel disposed, how the king or higher power is the minister of God to such an one for his good. King Sa­lomon Pro. 20.26. as touching the wic­ked and hurtful persons, sheweth what a soueraigne remedie is to be found in roial power & authoritie against thē, A wise king (saith Salomon) scattereth the wicked, & causeth the wheele to turne ouer them. Neither can these things be [Page 76]performed and brought to passe with­out great care, trauell, costes, coun­sell, and danger on the princes behalfe, by reason of the rebellious affections of mans nature where withal he is con­tinually to striue both by rewards and and punishmentes. In consideration whereof, for so great paines and bene­fites to requite the prince againe, not with honour and dutifulnes, but with bloudshed, rebellion, or conspiracie, can not but be a sinne vnmeasurablie sinnefull.

3 Not to stand much on this point, I will adioine but this one reason. S. Paul Rom. 13. aforenamed vers. 2. saith, how They which resist and rebell against the higher powers, get vnto them selues iudgement. And what iudgement (bre­thren) meaneth he? Verely the iudge­ment of Gods heauie plagues and of most shamefull death to carrie them out of this world, and of vnappease­able vengaunce to rest and knawe vp­pon them in that euerburning lake in the worlde to come. These are not [Page 77]bugges wordes to fraye you alone, but the verie and plaine trueth which the word will furthermore teach you. As touching the state of such persons in the world to come what it shall be, ye may take great aime hereby, consi­dering how it is hardly to be reade in the whole scripture, where the pat­ternes of Gods mercie toward sinners falling into euill are propounded, that euer God suffred any of his elect ones after their effectuall calling, to be car­ried of the deuill into this sinne of re­bellion against the prince. Adde here­unto, that saint Paule reckoneth this enormity among those which whoso­euer committeth, Shall not inherit the kingdome of heauen. Tit. 1.16. Concer­ning their most fearefull punishments in this world, marke the most certaine examples of the holy worde of God. Korah, Dathan and Abiram rebelled against Moses, therefore They died not the cōmon death of all men, but the Lord wrought a new thing, so that the earth o­pened her mouth and svvallovved them [Page 78] vp vvith all that they had, & they vvent dovvne quicke into the pit. All which was done, to make vs vnderstand, that such rebels prouoke not man but God him selfe. Num. 16.29.30. Absolom the goodly though vngodly sonne of righ­teous Dauid, rebelled against his fa­ther the king, and therefore as hee rod vpon his princely mule vnder a great oake, the verie boughes of the tree would not suffer so wicked a wretch to escape vnpunished, but caght hold on his head, And he vvas taken vp be­tvveene the heauen and the earth, there hanging till Ioab his greate friend came & thrust him through vvith three darts, beside the vvounds vvhich ten other men the seruants of Ioab gaue him. Yea, so li­tle was the face of the kings sonne re­uerenced because of his treason, that he had none other sepuchre but a dung hil pit in the wood, none other tombe or hearse but a ruinous heape of great stones cast vpon him, 2. Sam. 17. Sheba the sonne of Bichri a man of Iemini re­belled against the same Dauid: there­fore [Page 79]the Lorde destroied him by the hands of them which were his friends. For the men of Abel to whom hee fled for helpe, at the counsell of a woman cut off his head, and did cast it ouer the wall to Ioab, 2. Sam. 19. Adde hereun­to the examples of late traitors in this our owne Countrie, as Sommeruile, Throgmorton, Babington, & their com­plices, which like dunghill cockes en­tending to pearch vppon the head of this realme to the destruction thereof, were iustly constrained to crowe their last vppon the gallowes. The like (O Lord) we beseech thee bring vpon all the enemies of Elizabeth thine anoin­ted, but let peace be vpon the Israel of God, and vpon all that vnfainedly seeke her true honour in the right feare of the Almigh­tie.

Laus solt Deo.

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