¶A Postill, or Ex­position of the Gospels that are vsually re [...] in the chur­ches of God, vpon the, Sundayes and Feast dayes of Sai [...]s. Written by Nicholas Heming [...] Dane, a [...] the [...]spell, in the Vniuer­sitie of Ha [...]nie. And translated into English by Arthur Golding.

[...] of the same [...] the Ministers of [...] the continuall agrement of [...] the doctrine and true worship­ping of God▪ least any being offended at the varietie of opinion [...] [...] of sectes, might either for­sake their profession, or do their duetie more slouth­ [...]ly.

¶ Imprinted at London by Henry Bynneman, for Lucas Harrison and George Byshop.

TO THE RIGHT honorable Sr. Walter Myld­may Knight, Chaūcelour of the Queenes Maiesties Courte of Eschequer, & one of hir highnesse most honorable pri­uie Counsell, Arthur Golding wi­sheth helth & prosperitie, with ful perfection of all Chry­stian knowledge and Godlinesse.

IT is, and alwayes hath bin the custome of god­ly and well disposed Wryters, too imploy theyr time and tra­uaile too the maintenaunce of vertue and Godlinesse, and too the furtherance of suche as are willing for too learne. Whiche thing appeereth by the many­folde woorkes of suche as in tymes paste, too theyr owne great paynes & our ease, haue searched out, not onely the groundes of those things that naturall reason is able too reache vntoo, but also the misteries of suche mat­ters as haue neede of the light and secret woorking of a higher and more diuine power, than reason is. Whereby they haue lefte vntoo vs, a plaine and pleasaunt pathway, vntoo all knoweledge and vn­derstanding: and the neerer that euery of them approcheth vntoo the truthe, the greater commendation doothe hee deserue too haue and the greater profit yeeldeth hee too his Reader. But neyther is [Page] there any certeintie in mortall mennes woorkes, so long as they speake but of their owne. Neyther is there any assured truthe too bee founde, elsewhere than in the woord of GOD. Wherefore like as Gods woorde is the fountayne of truthe, the keye of knoweledge, and the lanterne of lyghte, or rather the very truthe, knoweledge, and light it selfe: So is cheefe (or rather only) account too be made of their authoritie and doctrine, whiche vnderstanding the same a­righte, doo sette it foorth purely and sincerely, eyther by preaching or wryting, too the behoofe and commoditie of others, For the scrip­ture accounted him a leude seruaunt, that hidde his Talent in the grounde, and occupyed it not. And certeine it is, that hee hathe the true vnderstanding and sense of the Scripture, whose interpre­tation beeing alwayes one without varyablenesse, agreeth with the groundes of our fayth, wyth the meaning of the holye Ghoste vtte­red in the whole bodye of the Byble, and with the vniforme iudge­mente and opinion of the Primatiue Churche. Of suche teachers hathe GOD at all times raysed vp some, and in these dayes hathe giuen many too his Churche: whiche labouring like good woorke­men in the Lordes Vineyarde, endeuer for too cutte vp the Bram­bles and Bryers of Ignoraunce, Errour, Hypocrisie, and Super­stition, nowe long time rooted in the hartes of Christians, and in steade of them too plant ageine true knoweledge, feare of GOD, holynesse, and religion, vntoo the aduauncement of Gods glory and enlarging of Chrystes kingdome, and too the vtter ouerthrowe of Antichryste, and Sathans tyrannie. Suche a one is the author of this presente woorke, Nicholas Heminge a Mynister of Gods woorde in the Vniuersitie of Hafnia in Denmarke, who wrate this Postill in Latine, for the helpe and furtheraunce of his fel­lowe Mynisters. Wherein hee opening the Gospelles after the ma­ner of our Prophecyings, setteth foorth a Confirmation of the Ar­ticles of oure beleefe: and confuteth the cheefe errours, heresies, and abuses wherwith the Church is troubled. Ageine, he teacheth the ryght vse of Chrystes Gospell and Sacramentes, and sheweth the frute of the miracles and examples of Chryst, and of all holy men.

[Page]Moreouer he toucheth the dueties of all Estates, from the Magistrate, too the poore afflicted outcast among men, and de­clareth the right vse of things indifferent. Finally hee instruc­teth the minister, and comprehendeth the whole summe of Chri­stian lyfe and doctrine. And these things doth he, both breef­ly, playnly, distinctly and orderly, which are great helpes of re­membraunce: And also aptly, fully, pithely and learnedly, which are great furtherances too instruction. As for the Doctrine that he teacheth, it is sound and wholsome: in which respecte he de­serueth credit and estimation. Besides this, he applyeth himselfe too the capacitie and edifying of the simple and weaker sorte, whome he rather dieteth with sweete milke, than combereth with strong meates. And in this respect, he dooth (as it were) glaunce ouer certaine poyntes of deepe misterie, leauing them too the consideration of suche as are more profounde in knowledge and vnderstanding, and growne too more perfection and ripe­nesse in Christ. Yet wanteth he not whereby the wyser and stronger sort also may bee furthered. For he hath diuers wordes that cary the effect of whole sentences: and sentences that con­teine large matters. By bothe which, he oftentimes giueth in­cling of more too be gathered, than is openly expressed: and so dooth he bothe sharpen the witte, and open the vnderstanding. Therfore at suche time as Lucas Harison and George Bishop Stacioners, men well mynded towards godlynesse and true Reli­gion, taking vppon them too Imprint this woork at their proper charges, requested mee too put the same intoo English, I willing­ly agreed too their godly desire: bothe for that I hoped it might bee a furtherance and helpe too the simple and vnlearned sorte of our ministers in England, (of whom would God the knowledge were as great as is their number): And also for that I thought it a meete occasion whereby I might testifie my duetyfull good will towardes youre honoure, for your great goodnesse extended vntoo mee at the commendation of your deere freende and my speciall well willer Sir Thomas Smith. To whome I thinke my [Page] selfe in many respects greatly beholding: and yet in no one re­spect more, than for procuring mee an entraunce intoo your hono­rable fauour. The continuance whereof (God willing) I shall not cease too seeke by all wayes and meanes of dutie: of which I beseeche you too accepte this Booke as a first hansel, and to suffer this my trauell so necessarie & behoof­full, too passe foorth vnder your fauourable protectiō, to the profit of our comon coū ­trey, and the glorie of GOD.

¶Too all the seruaunts of God, and Ministers of Iesu Chryst, his deere beloued brethren in Chryste, within the famous Realmes of Denmark and Norvvey, Nicholas He­minge Minister of the Gospell in the vni­uersitie of Hafnie, wisheth grace, mer­cie and peace from God the Father, and from our Lorde Iesu Chryste.

IT is very behooue­ful (right déere beloued bre­thren) too marke the conti­nuall consent of Chrystes Catholike Churche, in the doctrine and true seruice of God: specially in this moste great varietie of opinions, which maketh many, (and those not of the woorst sort) too bée troubled in theyr mindes, douting with what company they may ioyn themselues in felowship. For while some boast of one maister and some of another, glorying of his wisdom and godlynesse, not without contempt of others, whom they outface with their lofty lookes: it cōmeth to passe that according as they perceiue any mā affectioned towards them to holde with them or ageinst them, so they with blind iudgement commend or discommende his doctrine and Re­ligion. Héereuppon growe hartburnings, froward suspici­ons, hatred, fallings out, and desire of reuenge: wherthrough all things are turned vpsidedowne. And from hence (to passe ouer other things with silence) springeth a double pleasure. For both the enemies of the Gospell are boldned in theyr stubbornesse and vngodlinesse: and also the weaker and vn­skilfuller sort, which earst were more forward in imbracing [Page] of the truth, are not a litle trobled, wauering and vncertein, too whether part they were best too ioyne themselues▪ Amōg whom, not a few (as though nothing certein could be taught or determined of all the whole Religion) begin too dout, not only of al the partes of it, but also of all maner of Religions. In this case it is our duetie (my déere brethren) too succor the weake bothe with our Prayers and aduertisements, that they stumble not at this huge heape and dunghill of opini­ons, and so fall headlong intoo certeine destruction. The best remedie for this mischéefe, is to marke the continuall con­sent of the Catholike church, in Doctrine and in the true ser­uice of God. For as there is but one God: so is there also but one euerlasting, stedfast, and infallible truthe of God, one true religion, one faith: one rule wherby to liue well, and one Church of Chryst, which only knoweth the true maner how too serue God aright. He that is not a Citizen of this Churche, is falne from grace and saluation, though he boast himselfe too haue neuer so great maisters. Contrarywise he that in this Church woorshippeth God in spirit and truthe▪ is the heir of grace and saluation, though he had but a Cow­herd too his maister or teacher. For this matter hangeth not vpon the worthinesse or vnworthinesse of man, but vppon the mastership of Chrystes spirit, whose wil is, that his pure and vncorrupt woord should be oure rule of life & saluation. In the which woord and woorshipping taught in the woorde, there hath bin a most sound and perfect consent of all the ho­ly Patriarkes before the flud and after the flud: of the Pro­phets and Apostles: yea and of al godly men. Wh [...]se doctrin and manner of worshipping if wée holde aright, wée may lawfully glorie in Chryste, that wée are Citizens of the Churche of Iesu Chryst, althoughe the whole world hated vs, and abhorred vs as Heretikes. I méene therefore (bre­thren) too say somewhat concerning this contynuall agrée­ment, too the intent wée may bée assured in our selues, whi­ther wée bée in that consent of the Catholike Church, or not, [Page] or whither oure aduersaries bée in it, who making great [...] braggs of theyr maysters (whom they call fathers) endeuer with sword and fire too stop the course of the doctrine of the Prophets & Apostles. In the handling of this matter, many things surely do méete, which all ame as it were at this one marke. For of necessitie it must come héere in question, from whence true religion hathe his begynning, and what assu­rance is therof: how great hath bin the consent of the church in the same doctrine through all ages: by what sleights Sa­than is woont too assault the true religion: and finally what aduisednesse the Godly ought too vse ageinst the treasons and crafts of Sathan: least (as oure first parents did) wee suffer our selues too bée led with faire words, from the foun­tains of saluation, too the Diuels puddles, that is, too mens traditions and wilworshippings.

Wée should not néede to shew from whence true religi­on hath his beginning, but that the rage of men and féends, bothe hath bin in olde time, and is at this day so greate, that they durst set vp newe religions, after the blynd imagina­tion of their owne brayn, maynteyning them with swoorde and fyre, and persecuting that Religion, whiche is onely of God: that they may fulfil the prophecie whiche was spoken of the serpents séede that should byte the héele of the womās séede. But muche more rightly than these, iudged that hea­then man Socrates, who being demaunded in Xenophon, which was the true religion: answered: It was that whiche God himselfe had appointed▪ For in as muche as the Lord sayth playnly by his Prophet, that he abhorreth the doctri­nes and worshippings of men: Let vs be out of all doute, that the true and continuall abyding Religion, hath his be­ginning from the euerlasting God himselfe. Apollo Pithius béeing asked of the Atheniens what religions they shoulde chéefly folow, answered, those that their auncetors had vsed. When they obiected ageyn, that the custome of their aunce­tours had oftentimes bin chaunged: hée sayde that the best [Page] was too bée folowed. For (as Hesiodus sayeth) the auncient custome is euer best: After the same maner, our aduersaries in these dayes boast of antiquitie, vtterly suppressyng the name of the author of true Religion, where as they oughte rather too aunswere as Socrates did, than as the wicked féend did. For like as Sathan abused the authoritie of antiquitie, to stablish errors, so do they. True it is in déede, yt the aunci­entest religion is best: so as it haue his beginning from God who is best, and not from the olde serpent, who frō the first beginning brought into the worlde his Religion, fighting full but ageinst the religion of God. Wherefore there is a distinction too bée made betwéene the twoo Antiquities. For the one antiquitie is referred too God, and the other too Sa­than. The first of these antiquities is the auncientest of all antiquities, as which hath neither beginning, nor shall haue ending. Out of this most ancient antiquitie sprang the truth of God, whereby is taught whiche is the true Religion, for the confirmation whereof, God hath added woonderfull re­cordes, which should bee as it were certeyne euerlasting and authorised seales of his heauenly truthe. The later an­tiquitie is such a one as both had beginning and shall haue ende, out of which issued all superstition, and vngodlynesse. Either of these religions hath his furtherers, and as it were certeine Patriarks whome the men of late yéeres haue ter­med fathers, of whome they glorie not a litle. The Papists haue alwayes in theyr mouthe, the Fathers, the Fathers: And in all controuersies concerning the doctrine and ser­uice of GOD, they flée to them as too theyr last Anchor­holde. Wee also acknowledge the Fathers, howebéeit farre after another manner than they doo. For wee ad­mitte those for Fathers, who hauing receiued theyr Re­ligion at Gods hande, haue also deliuered the same fayth­fully too posteritie, as are the Patriaks, holy Kings, Pro­phetes, Chryst himselfe, and the Apostles. These onely doo wée reuerence as fathers, and too vary from them in opinion [Page] wée iudge it a falling away from saluation. Of the fathers that folowed the times of the apostles, wée déeme according too the rule of Ambrose. We iustly condemne al new things which Chryst hath not taught, bycause Chryst is the way too the faithfull. Therefore if wée teache any other thing than Chryst hath taught, let vs iudge it detestable. And according too this rule of Paules: If any man teach any other gospel, accursed bée hée. But the Papistes to bleare the eyes of the simpler sort, doo tell them they must enquire of the auncient wayes, and that they must not passe the olde bounds whiche our fathers and anceters haue stablished: which thing if it be scarce lawfull too doo in the boūds and buttels of fields; howe much lesse shal it be déemed lawful to be doon in the bounds of Religion? Surely we passe not the boundes whiche God the first founder of religion hath pitched: which the holy Pa­triarkes and Apostles receiuing by heauenly inspiration, maynteined: from which the holy Martyrs (among whom holy Abel holdeth the first place) with inuincible courage of mynd draue back the Bores and Wolues: and finally which the son of God hath stablished with his owne precious blud: but we abyde within thē constantly. As for ye bounds which the old serpent with his broode hath pitched, within which is enclosed nothing but mere dānation, wée make no consci­ence too passe them. Therfore wée father ye true religiō vpon God, who is called of Daniell, the auncient of dayes. Wher­by it wil appéere, bothe that the same is the auncientest, and that it representeth the nature and disposition of the firste founder of it. Wherfore as it is most stedfast euermore: so it always continueth like it selfe.

But whiche is that Religion continually stedfaste in it selfe? What is the effecte of it? Whiche are the partes? Gods woorde, and the signe added to the woorde appoynteth the true rule of Religion and seruice of God, for God hath alwayes bin woont too vtter his will too men by his woord, and by some outward signe. For loke what the word putteth [Page] into mens eares too be conueyed vntoo the mynde, the same thing doth the signe set before the eyes too bée séene, to the in­tent that by them as it were with windowes, a certain light myght be conueyed in vnto the soule, so as the woord and the signe might bée a double warrant, audible and visible, the end and drift of which is all one: Howbéeit, so as the inter­pretation of the signe is to bée fetched alwayes out of the woord alone. What maner of things these be, the fiue times in whiche GOD vttered his woorde, and gaue signes, will shew most openly: as are the state of man before his fall: the time wherin he was promised recouerie: the time of renuing the promise: the time of Moyses publike weale: and finally the time of the performaunce of the promise, by exhibiting Iesus Chryste our Lorde. It is too bée shewed by Gods worde and heauenly signes, that in these fiue tymes the religion was one selfsame, and alwayes agréeable with it selfe in all poynts.

Before mans fal when Adam was garnished with Gods image, God had deliuered too man bothe the worde and the signe. The woorde required the knowledge of God and obe­dience towards him: It forbad man too attempt any thing ageinst Gods prohibition, vnder a threat of punishment: and it had a promise of immortalitie, which promise Adam embraced by faith. And the trée of life as a visible warrant conueyed the same by the eyes intoo the mynde. All whiche things tended too this end, that Adam representing Gods I­mage as it were in a glasse, shold cōtinually serue and praise God. Wherby it is manifest, that the true religion before mans fall, was the pure woorshipping of God according too Gods woord, the rule wherof was the woord and the signe. The parts therof were the acknowledging of God, beléefe of the immortalitie that was promised, and obedience to­wards God both inward and outward. And the end therof was to represent gods image, & too praise and magnifie him. And in that estate was the seruice of God most perfect, such [Page] as it shal be after the resurrection, sauing that as then it shal bée much fuller, not in substance, but in degrées. This man­ner of seruing God in such sort as was enioyned too the first man, is required of vs also after his fal. Neither is ther any alteration made in the maner of woorshipping: but there fo­lowed an horrible mayme in all mankinde after the fall of our first Parents, insomuche as no man is able too perform this seruice too the ful, no nor too begin it, vnlesse he haue ac­cesse too the trée of life, whiche is Iesus Chryst.

Ageine, after that mankinde was falne in our firste Pa­rents, God eftsoone vttred his wil by woord and signe: wher­by is learned with what seruice God would bée woorshipped after the fall. By the woorde hée rebuketh the transgression of his commaundement: by the woorde hée made promise of the Messias, who becomming man, should pay the raunsome for Adams giltinesse, and restore too man the image of God, which he had lost by sinning. And he added a sign too ye woord which was as it were a certeine visible sermon concerning the Messias. The signe was the killing and offering vp of beasts and frutes of the earth. Héerevpon it followeth, that God requireth the selfe same manner of woorshipping after the fall, whiche was before the fall, although it haue not the same perfection, in his degrées, whiche it had before the fall. For God requireth héere an acknowledging of him: hée re­quireth an acknowledging of our owne sinne: hée requireth an acknowledging of Chryst, who is in steade of the trée of life that was in Paradise: hée requireth fayth in the Messias: hée requireth obedience through Faith, too the intent that by little and little Gods Image may bée more and more repay­red in man by Chryst, that is too say, that in the minde may shine assured knowledge of God: in the soule, holinesse: and in all the powers, obedience too be perfourmed according too the precisenesse of the woorde. These things are bréefly she­wed by woorde and signe in the beginning of Genesis. For (that I may vse Platoes woords) the auncient fathers béeing [Page] better than wée, and dwelling néerer vntoo GOD: were better and more substancially taught by shorte grounds and outwarde signes, than wée bée taughte by long Sermons. For in olde tyme thys manner of teachyng was common and familiar, as well vntoo Diuines as Philosophers, that what soeuer they hadde vttered in short groundes, the same thyng they auouched wyth certeine outwarde signes. As soone as man was falne, GOD vttered this grounde with his owne voyce. The womans séede shall breake the heade of the Serpent. The outwarde signe (whiche in a certeyne Image purported the same thing) was the offering of Sa­cryfises commaunded too the Fathers by GOD. There­fore when Abell offered hys Sacryfises, hée hadde an eye al­wayes too the firste grounde that had bin vttered, and in of­fering, hée thoughte of these things. Firste by beholding the deathe of the Sacrifise, hée was putte in mynde of the death whereintoo all mankinde was falne throughe sinne: Whereby no doubte but his minde was mooued too ryghte great gréefe. Ageine, by looking vppon the bloud of the Sa­cryfise, hée was put in remembraunce of the promisse con­cernyng the Messias, by whose merite and intercession hée assured himselfe, that Gods wrath was pacifyed according vntoo the promisse: whereby there grew bothe comforte in his harte and also Fayth, by whiche hée was accepted intoo Gods fauor through Iesus Chryste. Béeing iustified by this Fayth onely, hée minded true holinesse according too Gods woord praysing and magnifying God for his ryghtuousnesse and mercy. And so Abell, hauing after a sort repayred Gods Image in himselfe, performed true seruice vntoo God: which seruice hee afterwarde confirmed with his death. For when his brother Cain béeing an Hipocrite, went about too with­drawe him from acknoweledging the promised séede, and from the true seruice of GOD, hée chose too die rather than too consent vntoo his brothers wicked purpose, giuing vs too vnderstande by thys his stedfastnesse, that hée onely woor­shippeth [Page] God aright, which preferreth his obedience to­wardes God and the profession of Chryste, before all thin­ges in the worlde, yea and before lyfe it selfe, than whiche nothing is woonte too bée déerer vntoo man. By this woorde and signe deliuered too our first parents, after their fall, it appéereth, that the Religion after the fall, was all one with that whiche was before the fall. And although cer­teyne outwarde circumstaunces were added in respecte of the corruption of Nature, and the promise of the repayre­ment of it ageine: Yet the substaunce or grounde of Gods seruice continued all one, and tended too the selfe same ende, thoughe muche more imperfectlye. This pure woor­ship of GOD endured in the Churche (whiche was very small) vntill the floud, that is too wit, a thousande sixe hun­nred and sixe and fiftie yeres. For Cains ofspring vnder­standing the promisse after a fleshly manner, persecuted the true Church: vsurped too themselues the title of the Church: and chaunged the true woorshipping of GOD intoo Hea­thenish Hipocrisie and Superstition. Moreouer, after God had punished this Hipocrisie and superstition and other hor­rible crymes, with the floud, he deliuered the true Religion ageyne by woord and outwarde signe vntoo Noe: not a new religion, but euen the very selfesame that he had appoynted from the beginning. Howebéeit, when Iaphet by Hypo­crisie and Superstition, and Cayn by crueltie had put this true Religion too flyght: It remayned onely in the house of the Patriarke Sem. For he vnderstanding the promisse and the signe thereof aright, woorshipped GOD through fayth, and obeyed him after the same manner that Abell and Noe did. And although that Noe and Sem hilde still the same woorde and outwarde signe that was deliuered too our firste fathers: Yet notwithstanding, by reason of a newe occasion there was added another newe signe. For when God destroyed the wicked world by the flud, for their [Page] falling from the true and pure worshipping of God: he pro­mised Noe and his ofspring, that he would no more destroy the world by water: Untoo this promis he added a token namely the Raynbow, which was a certeine remembrance of the promise. Therfore God printed a marke of his woord in the Raynbow whiche is woont too appéere in the cloudes, too the intent he might (as it were with a seale) warrante that promise of his too bée ratified: wherby he gaue assurance not onely that he would bée the God of Noe and his posteri­tie, who had put them selues in his tuition, and seruice: but also that he would neuer destroy the world any more with water. Noe and Sem therefore beholding this signe, did af­ter the example of holy Abell▪ perfourme true and spirituall seruice vntoo God.

Now foloweth Abrahams age vntoo the time of Moyses, in which age the same religion is betaken too the Patriarks, bothe by Gods owne voyce, and by a newe signe. For in as muche as the wisedome that had bin in the forefathers was now decreased: as there was néede of more euident woord: so was there néed also of a more apparant token. Therefore was this woorde vttered vntoo Abraham: In thy séede shall all kinreds of the earth bée blissed. And the sign or token that was added, was the circumcision of the member of genera­tion in the male childrē. Then like as by the woord he taught and required the true woorshipping: so did he lykewise by the signe, whiche was the seale of the doctrine and religion. For when he sayth, shal bee blessed in thy seede, he conueieth therein thrée things moste euidently. Whereof the first is a rehersall of the accusation of all mankinde for sinne, and falling away from GOD. For in that he promiseth blis­sing, he giueth too vnderstand that all men sticke in cursse, which curse soked into al mankinde with [...]. The second is a rehersal of the promis of the séed and of his benefits, which was spoken too Adam in this forme of woords: the womans séede shal breake the serpents head. Which selfe same thing [Page] is expressed héere by a more pithie terme of blissing. For by the terme of blissing is ment Gods fauour, attonement, for­giuenesse of sinnes, and rightuousnesse for Chrystes sake, according as Paule the interpreter of Moyses expoundeth it. The third thing is a bewraying of our weaknesse, that wée can not attayne blissing by our owne power: but that wée must obteyne it by fayth in the promysed séede. Too this fayth of his, Abraham added obedience in his whole lyfe, ac­cording too the commaundement: Walke thou before me, and bée perfect: which obedience the holy Patriarke shewed by the offering vp of his owne sonne. For héerby it appéereth howe muche he regarded his obedience towardes God, that hée woulde rather at Gods commaundement offer in sacri­fise his onely begotten sonne Isaac, whom he had begotten in his olde age, and too whom so royal promises were made: than too step backe from his obedience towards God. Nowe must the signe that is added too the woord, borow his inter­pretation of the woord. For the signe is nothing else but the visible woord. This signe therfore setteth three things before our eyes: Namely that our fleshly birth is corrupted: agein that there is a séede promised, whereby nature shall bée re­paired: and also that by the circumcision of the flesh is signi­fied the circumcision of the hart, wherby is cut of ignorance of God, the filthinesse of affections, and the stubbornesse of hart: that a man may bée borne a newe, bearing the image of God in true holynesse and rightuousnesse. Beholde, howe fitly these things matche with the former things. The form of woords is altered: but the méening abideth still. This va­rietie of the woorde and signe, serueth mans weaknesse, and remedieth our ignorance: but it appoynteth not any newe fashion of seruing God as the fleshly séede of Abraham hath surmised. For like as Cains broode embrasing hipocriste, and reiecting the pure vnderstanding of the woord and signe, per­secuted Abel & the folowers of his faith: So the Ismaelites sticking in the letter of the circumcision, and neglecting the [Page] spirituall méening of it, persecuted the true children of A­braham: whereby it came too passe, that the true woorship­ping remayneth with very fewe. For whyle the Fathers so­iourned in Egipte, onely the house of Ioseph did after the death of the Patriark Iacob, holde still the true Religion, whiche being after the decease of Ioseph, little better than quite quenched, then was Moyses borne: In the fourth­scorth yéere of whose age, being the thrée hundred and for­tith yéere after the promise was made vntoo Abraham, God renued ageyne the woorde of promise, adding thervnto ma­ny signes: and too the intent the true Religion myghte bée preserued, he set vp a kingdom and a presthood. And although he betooke the same woord & the same sign too Moyses, which he had betaken afore too the Patriarks: yet notwithstanding he addeth longer sermons & mo signes besides, according as the state of that age required. All which things did leuell at one marke, and deliuered vntoo men one selfe same maner of spiritual woorshipping God. For in the wildernesse (to passe ouer the burning bushe, and the pillers of fire & cloude) the Manna, the Rock, & the brasen serpent were set foorth as sig­nes or sacraments of ye doctrin & worshipping of God: which thrée things signified Chryst yt was promised lōg ago. For ye Manna, according to ye interpretatiō of Paul, signified ye spi­ritual foode wherby men being made new by Chryst are sed in Chrysts kingdom. The Rock betokened ye spiritual drink wherwith the beleuers ar refreshed. The serpent being han­ged vp, did foreshadowe Chryste, that should bée hanged vp vpon the alter of the crosse for the sinnes of the world accor­ding as Chryst himself interpreteth this signe. The looking vpon ye brasen: serpent was a figure of faith, wherby mē be­ing iustified & quickned, doo walk before God, and séeke after rightuousnesse. But after that the people was brought in­too the lande of promise, which was a figure of the heauen­ly dwelling place: there were yet mo signes, as it were vi­sible sermons deliuered too them: of which I will touche a [Page] fewe, for my purposed bréefnesse wil not suffer mée for too go through with them all. All their whole common weale beto­kened the Churche: the Préesthood & Princehood did figure Chryst: who with his Préesthood pacified his fathers wrath according too the firste promise, and with his soueraintie des­stroyeth the Deuilles kingdome, sinne and death: and with his Préesthood and soueraintie toogither, repayreth Gods I­mage in man, according vntoo which, man was created: that béeing so garnished agein with Gods Imag [...], hée might serue him in true obedience, and set foorth his prayses.

Many ceremonies were added, of which the ghostly mea­ning openeth the first promise, and setteth out the spirituall woorshipping of God. Howbéeit forasmuche as they bée ma­ny, I wil picke out a few of them (and those of the notablest) whiche I wil expounde in few woordes. The furniture of the Préeste, the yéerely oblation of the hyghe Préest, the Arke of Couenant, the Paschall Lambe, the sprinkling of the bloud, the washings, and the dayly offerings, hadde a singular sig­nification of spirituall things, all whiche doo swéetely put vs in minde of the conditions of our mediatour, and the duetie of the godly. The highe Préeste ware a plate on his foreheade, and cleane garments. The plate of Golde betokened Chry­stes Godhead, and his cleane garmente betokened his man­hood, howbéeit pure and cleane from all sinne. The going in of the Preest once euery yéere, intoo the holy place, was a fi­gure of Chryst the high préest, who with one oblation should make perfecte all that were too bée sanctified. This is shewed plainly in the .38. of Exo. where the Lord sayth, that the Lord may bée wel pleased with him. Ageine, the Préestes rayment betokeneth holinesse, wherwith the Lord wil haue his Prée­stes too bée garnished, according as Dauid the interpreter of Moyses expoundeth when hée sayeth: Let thy Preestes bée clothed with Rightuousnesse, and let thy Sainctes leape for ioye. The Arke of couenaunte betokeneth Gods people with whom the Lord hathe made a couenaunt by expresse woords. [Page] In this Arke were the tables of the lawe, which were coue­red in the Arke with plate of Golde. Whereby was none o­ther thing signifyed, than is conteyned in the firste promyse. The womans séede shall treade downe the Serpentes head, sauyng that the outwarde signe expresseth the thyng more pleasauntly. For the Table of the ten commaundements is couered in the Ark with a plate of Golde, which is called the propiciatorie. That is too saye, Chryste, who is the propitia­tion for our sinnes, doth in his church hide the sinnes of men, ageinst the wrath and horrible iudgement of GOD. I pray you what is this else, than that the womans séede shall tread downe the Serpentes head? Thus dooth Paule the interpre­ter of Moyses, expound this figure in the third vntoo the Ro­maynes: Wée are iustifyed fréely by his grace throughe re­demption that is in Chryste Iesu, whom God hath set foorth too bée a propitiation thorough Faith in his bloud. For as the high Preeste of the Hebrues was woont euery yeare once too embrew the propiciatorie with bloud, when hée entred intoo the holy of all holyes. So our high Préest Iesus Chryst offe­red himselfe once vp too his father for the sins of the world, and found euerlasting redemption. The paschall Lambe had also a secrete meaning, wherein the first promise was pein­ted oute as it were in liuely coloures: The figure whereof, Paule openeth, when hée sayeth: And Chryst was offred vp oure Passeouer. And whereas this Lambe was taken out of the flocke, it signified that Chryst tooke our fleshe vppon him and bare the infirmities of our flesh, and that hée was temp­ted as wée are in all respects, sinne excepted, too the intent hée might make vs also heauenly that are earthly, and spirituall which are carnall. And wheras it is sayd of the Lambe: And all the multitude of the Children of Israell, shall offer hym vp: it is ment that Chryste dyed not for one or twoo, but for the whole Churche, that is too saye, for the whole corporati­on of those that are registred in the booke of life. The sprink­ling of the bloud hathe a manyfest signification. For it was [Page] a token of Chrystes bloud shed vppon the alter of the Crosse, wherwith our consciences beeing sprinkled, are clensed from dead woorks, according as the author of the Epistle vntoo the Hebrues expoundeth this figure after a godly maner. Too the same purpose perteine their washings and dayly offerings. For these things in generall, did betoken as well that clen­zing, wherwith Chryst washeth and purgeth vs cleane from all iniquitie, as also the true holinesse, wherewith the belée­uers are garnished: so as from hencefoorth they may begin too represente Gods Image too his glorie and praise. These sha­dowes of the Lawe were couert interpretations of the firste promise: whiche who so vnderstood with Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noe, Abraham. &c. Those yéelded true and ghostely seruice vntoo GOD, not vnlike (as in the respecte of the sub­staunce of the seruice) but altoogither like and the very selfe same. But what is doone héere? Like as Caines brood vnder­stoode the promise carnally, and of the signe that was added, did make a seruice or woorshipping by it selfe: Euen so héere the moste part of the Iewes, leauing the spirite, gazed vppon the letter, and determined Gods seruice in these outward ce­remonies without fayth: whiche errour the Lord reproueth moste sharply in the Prophete, where hée sayth: What passe I for the multitude of your Sacrifices (sayth the Lord?) And anone after: Offer mée no more Sacryfises in vayne, your incense is abhomination vntoo mée. And streight after, he ad­deth the cause of this matter, when hée sayeth: Your assem­blies are wicked, my soule hateth your newe Moones and so­lemn feasts. By these woords GOD dooth vs too vnderstand that hée hath not so ordeyned Ceremonies, as though hée re­quired them as a ghostly woorship, but that the people should enure themselues in them vntoo godlynesse, and strengthen their fayth by them, and keepe themselues more and more in the pure woorshipping of God. Howbéeit, according too mans superstitious nature, the moste parte are led away by Hipo­crisie from the true vse of Ceremonies, and haue grounded [Page] the whole weyght of their saluation vpon the obseruation of them. Whose errour when the Prophets that were sent did reproue, they were drawen too punishement as blasphemous folke ageinst Gods lawe.

By these things it is manifest, that those godly personnes whiche lyued in Moyses common weale, agréed fully bothe in Doctrine and Relygion, with the holy Fathers before the flud and after the flud, vntoo the calling of Moyses, and from Moyses euen vntoo Chryste. For what is required héere but acknoweledgement of sinne, beléefe in Chryste, inuocation, holinesse, obedience, and other vertues, whiche are required as partes, too the reparation of Gods Image in vs? Now re­mayneth the last age, wherein the eternall woorde according too the prophesies, tooke vppon him the womans séede, that is too say, mannes nature, that hée might tread down the ser­pentes heade, that is too say (as Iohn expoundeth it) that hée might destroy the woorkes of the Deuill.

This Chryste béeing interpreter and fulfiller of Moyses & the Prophetes, did by woorde and outward signes raise vp a­geine the same seruice of GOD well néere falne too the ground: commaunding repentance and forgiuenesse of sin­nes too bée preached: garnishing thē that beléeue in him with his owne rightuousnesse: enduing them with his holy spirit: stirring vp in them newe motions agréeable vntoo the Lawe and will of GOD: and too bée shorte, repayring Gods I­mage, according too whiche, the firste man was created, bid­ding vs let our light shine so before men, that our father may bée glorifyed in Heauen. This selfe same seruice cōmendeth hée too his Disciples, whiche they bothe taught by woorde and expressed in their life. Notwithstanding, too the intente the Churche might kéepe this seruice continually, hée deliuered them his assured woord, & put as it were twoo outward seales too the woord, namely Baptim, and the Lordes Supper. The word interpreteth the first promise more cléerly. The sacra­ments are as it were certeine visible sermons, which proffer [Page] the same thing too the senses, which the woord teacheth. But what is done in this case? Like as in olde time Cains broode, Chams broode, and the false Israelites corrupted the woorde, and by their fleshly foolishnesse patched mens dreames vpon it: So the hipocrites fléeting from the woord in this last age of the world, haue defiled the seruice of GOD, so long tyll through the outrage of heretikes and the tyrannye of Anti­chryst, the sacramentes were partely distayned with mens traditions, and partly mangled, and the doctrine with the true Religion welnéere ageyne ouerwhelmed. Notwith­standing, about a fortie yéeres ago, God raysed vp a prophet that blissed Luther, who brought agein the auncient doctrine and religion, which both our first fathers receyued of God, and Chryst deliuered too his disciples. And that this seruice of God whiche our Church holdeth at this daye, is the true and continual seruice of GOD, he shall most clerely vnder­stand, which trieth it by the rule of the Patriarks and of the Apostolike Church. But what hapneth vntoo vs? Ueryly the same that hapned too our first fathers, too the folowers of Abraham, and too the Apostolike Churche. For the diuell rusheth in with all his force, too destroy the Gospell, and too abolish the true seruice of GOD. And this dooth he the more outragiously in these our dayes, bycause he knowes hée hath but a small tyme too execute his crueltie ageynst Chrystes Churche. Now what sleightes, this aduersary of Chrystes vseth too wype out the sincere doctrine and true woorshipping of GOD: the matter it selfe at this daye o­penly declareth. For firste he hath set vp a kingdome, and that a right large one, namely of the Turks, which openly blasphemeth the name of Chryst. Ageine he hath planted a­nother kingdome, whiche men call the Popedome: whiche though it professe not it selfe openly too bée agaynst Chryste, dooth neuerthelesse with singuler wylynesse and craft, step intoo Chrysts kingdom, marring the doctrine, defiling the sa­craments: [Page] and finally ouerthrowing the true seruice of god. For the Pope hauing gotten the primacie vnder colour of the ministerie, hath brought all kinde of superstition and Idolatrie intoo the worlde, so that since man was created, there was neuer yet a more vyolent and intollerable ty­ranny herd of, neyther was there euer any kinde of Idol-seruice, whereby was wrought more spytefull deroga­tion too Gods maiestie, or wherewith Chrystian mennes myndes haue bin more monstrously bewitched. And now that Sathan perceyueth his sleyghtes too bée founde out in this behalfe, he taketh no truce, but calles toogither the maysters of mischéefe, suche as are the Lybertines. Ana­baptistes, Seruetians, Antynomians, and other: wh [...] with their foule snoutes endeuer too béerays ageyne the purged doctrine and Sacramentes. And when he sées he can not by these his practises hinder the course of the Gos­pell and the pure woorshipping of GOD, he goes too it a­nother waye, drawing asunder by inwarde debates, and setting toogither by the eares among themselues lyke e­nymies, those whome hée perceyued too mynde earnestly aboue others, the restorement of the Churche, and of true Religion: Uerely least by ioyning in endeuer and coun­sell toogither, they shoulde with one minde goe throughe with this so excellent a woorke. Besides this, from tyme too tyme he chaseth some out of Chrystes campe, who becom­ming forsakers of their order, doo excéeding great harme too the Churche: among whom there are that inuent new de­uyses whereby too bring the pure doctrine in hatred with the weake and vnskilfull. For they gather toogither the contraryeties in the sayings of those, whose trauell GOD hath vzed too the clenzing of his Churche in this laste olde age of the worlde: when as notwithstanding, they are not able too shewe any true contrarietie in no part of the foun­dation of the doctrine and woorshipping of God, howsoeuer [Page] these Prothëuses transforme themselues intoo a thousande shapes. By these practises of Sathan wée sée it brought too passe, that the wilful sorte are made more stoute in their su­perstitiō: and the weaker and vnstedier sort doo for the most part giue ouer, too the great gréef of all the godly: and vnlesse Chryst make hast of his cōming, it is too bée feared least ma­ny wil bée wrapped ageine in their former darknesse. What is too bée doone in this case my brethren I beséeche you? Wée muste beware of Sathans wyles: Wée muste haue an eye backe too the examples of our aunceters, Abel, Abraham, the Prophets, Chryst, and his Apostles. Let vs accompany oure selues with them in doctrine, woorshipping, and Inuocation. Let vs not bee disquyeted at the multitude of our enimies. Let vs not bée mooued at the number of the runnagates. Let vs not bée dismayed in harte at the persecution and miseries, whyche the godly are fayne too suffer in this worlde. Let vs not onely haue an eye too the lowlynesse of the church, which in this world lyeth vpon the ground despised: but also let vs haue an eye too Chryst tryumphing, who wil in time to come reward those with the glory of blissed immortalitie, whome hée maketh like vntoo hym selfe in thys life, so they continue stedfast too the ende. Let vs beare in minde this most weigh­tie saying of Chrystes: Watche and pray, that yée enter not intoo temptation. That whiche I say too you (sayth hée) I say too all. The world tempteth: the fleshe prouoketh: the armies of Heretikes trouble: the stumbling blockes of doctrine and manners offende: the fonde quarellings of proude persones vexe: ageinste all these things the surest remedie is too call vppon GOD. For it is not for nought, that Salomon say­eth: The name of the Lorde is a moste strong Towre: the ryghtuous man shall flée vntoo it, and bée saued. In oure cal­ling vppon God, let vs haue an eye too the Propheticall and Apostolike churche, and let vs arme our mindes ageinst the Idoll gaddings of Mahomet and the Papistes, and ageynste the wranglyngs of the Heretikes. Lette vs oftentimes be­thinke [Page] vs, vppon how sure and vnmouable foundations the continuall doctrine of the Churche, and the stedfaste religion of the Catholike Churche is grounded. Lette vs bethinke vs of the heauenly Reuelations, wherby GOD himselfe reue­led his will vntoo men, when hée spake too the holy Patriar­kes and Prophets: whiche wil of his, hée hath confirmed by many woonderful miracles, bothe in the olde and new testa­ment. Let vs beholde the moste swéet consent of Moyses, the Prophets, Chryst, and the Apostles in doctrine and religion. Let vs bée stirred vp too the acknowledging of GOD, by the example of many Martirs, who (with Abell the firste Mar­tir) confirmed the heauenly doctrine with their owne bloud. Let vs absteyne from fonde disputyng, by whiche the bonde of peace (whiche is charitie) is broken: and let vs rather applye oure selues too godly life, than too suttle and vnprofita­ble disputations, by meanes of whiche, what euill hathe ry­sen in the Churche, it gréeueth mée ryght sore at the harte too thynke. For although in these realmes (GOD bee thanked) there bée a very great calme and a godly agréement in al our churches: yet notwithstanding godlinesse wold we should bée sory for the miseries of those, whiche at this day are afflicted through the vnsesonable strife of certein persons, wherwith ye mindes of many princes & diuers others are woūded. How béeit sith wée are not able too remedy these euils, let vs flée too him, who alonly is able too doo al things. Pray yée therfore wt the whole church of Chryst, vnto ye eternal God the father of our Lord Iesu Chryst, yt he wil gather to himself a church in this world, & that he wil in ye same church mainteine ye pure­nesse of doctrin, & the true worshipping of him: so as wée may woorship him aright, & for euermore magnifie & praise him. Pray him too gouerne wt his spirit our most méeke soueraine Lord king Frederike the secōd of ye name, who as he hath suc­céeded his most holy father in ye kingdom: so also is hée ye very right heir of his fathers vertues: & is not only a prince yt bea­reth special loue too iustice & equitie: but also a singuler fauo­rer [Page] and patrone, or rather a most faithfull foster father of the churches & schooles. Pray too Chryst that he wil with his spi­rite rule the counsellers and nobilitie of the realm, & the go­uerners of churches, ciuill offices, schooles, and housholdes, giuing them courage too mainteyne Gods glorie, true doc­trine, and honest discipline, so as wée may leade a peaceable and quiet lyfe, with all godlynesse and honestie. Pray for all the states of this realm, yt all may knit them selues toogither in swéete concord, & one reléeue an other, so as the superiors may think that their inferiors shal be coheires with them of Gods kingdom: & the inferiors obey their superiors in the Lord, as Paul willeth them: so yt al the degrées of this realm béeing setled in a moste swéete tunablenesse, wée may liue peaceably & quietly. Pray ageinst the enimies of the king & this realme. Pray Christ too represse the rage of Sathan, & too graunt vntoo his church teachers & shepherds agréeing in true doctrine and godlinesse, which may set foor [...]h gods glorie by teaching aright, & by example of godly life: too the intent that at the length all of vs fully beholding the glorie of the Lord with open face, as it were in a glasse, may bée transfor­med intoo the same likenesse, as it were from glorie too glo­rie, by the spirite of the Lord. So bée it.

Now remayneth that I should say somwhat concerning mine own purpose, namely wherfore I haue published these expositions of the gospels vpon ye Sundays. About a fourten yéeres ago, I vttred priuatly certein short notes vpon ye sun­days Gospels too my scholers at home at my house, to ye intēt I might by this my small trauell, further their studies, not thinking at all too haue put them foorth. But what folowed? The things that wer end [...]ed too a few scholers, were cōmu­nicated too many. And when I perceyued, that diuers sought earnestly after them: I enlarged them somwhat a sixe yée­res ago. And n [...]at length the entreatance of certeine god­ly Shepherds, compelled me too publish them and put them foorth in print. Wherfore séeing that this woorke is wholly [Page] ordeyned for the godly ministers of the Gospell, I thought it good (right déere brethren) too put foorth this my trauaile vnder your name. If yée shall reape any thing thereby, giue GOD the thanks, and commende me too God with your Prayers. This one thing haue I earnestly regarded, name­ly too set foorth purely the doctrine of the Catholike Church, whiche bothe the vniuersitie of Wirtemberge ▪ maynteyned a fortie yeres agon, and yet stil mainteineth: And also which those most excellent men the studentes of this Uniuersitie, D. Iohn Machabeus of the Alpes: D. Peter Palladie, D. Iohn Seming, and D. Olaus Chrisostomus, (all which doo now rest in the Lord, looking for full deliueraunce by the comming of the Sonne of God) haue taught. In this consent stande wée also, who haue succéeded them in office in this Schoole: and wée pray God hartily, that wée may liue and die in this con­sent. For wée doo not dout but that this is the continu­all consent of Gods Churche, as wée haue suffici­ently shewed before. I beséech God the Fa­ther of our Lorde Iesus Chryst, too knit vs toogither with his spirite, that wée may bée at vnitie in him. Fare yée well, and God sende yée good lucke in Chryste.

The fyrst Sunday in Aduent. ¶The Gospell. Math. xxj.

AND WHEN THEY drevve nigh vntoo Ierusalem, and vvere come vntoo Beth­phage vntoo mount Oliuete, then sent IESVS tvvoo of his disciples, saying vntoo them: Go intoo the tovvne that lieth ouer againste you, and anon yee shall finde an Asse bound, and hir colte vvith hir, loose them and bring them vntoo mee. And if any man saye avvght vntoo you, say yee the Lorde hath neede of them, and straight vvay hee vvill let them go. All this vvas doone, that it might bee fulfilled vvhich vvas spoken by the Prophet, saying: Tell yee the daughter of Sion: beholde thy King commeth vntoo thee meeke, sitting vpon an Asse and a colte, the foale of an Asse vsed vntoo the yoke. The disciples vvent and did as Iesus commaūded them, and brought the Asse and the colte, and put on their clothes, and sette him thereon. And many of the people spred their garments in the vvay. Other cut dovvne braunches from the trees, and stravved them in the vvay. Moreouer the people that vvent before, and they also that came after, cryed, saying: Hosanna too the sonne of Dauid: Blissed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

The exposition of the Text.

FORASMVCH AS this feast (of Aduent or) of the comming of our Lorde, is the first of all in order, which is solemnized in the church: It is necessarie that wée bée put in minde what things are too bée considered in euery seuerall feast, least either with the wicked and Heathe­nish [Page] world we abuse them too the dishonor of God: or else solemnize them with lesse deuotion than it béecommeth vs, not without the offence of many. In generall, there are thrée things too bée considered in euery feast. The storie, which is the foundation of the feast: the benefite, whereof the storie maketh mention: and the true and lawfull vse of the feast. For as the storie instructeth the mind: So the benefite of God, (the remembrance wherof the storie stablisheth) dooth nourish and strengthen Faith. Out of which Faith issueth thankfulnesse, which praiseth God for the benefite receiued, with mind, with voyce, with confession and with behauior: In which thankfulnesse the true vse of the Feast is too bée séene. These thrée things are too bée applied vntoo all feastes. Wherfore inasmuch as this feast is instituted concerning the comming of our Lord, the storie of his comming, which perteineth too the Conception, birth, doctrine, and dooings of Christ, (which are the chéef Articles of our beléef,) is too bée lerned. The benefite of God, (which is to saue the lost shéepe by the sacrifise propiciatorie,) is too bée recorded in remem­brance. With the first the mind is too bée instructed, & with this latter, Fayth is too bée cherrished and strengthened: too thentent that theruppon may spring thankfulnesse of mind, wherby wée both with mind, voice, confession and behauior▪ set out the glory of God whoo hath voutchsaued to giue his sonne for vs. Now too the entent this present feast may be­come the more behoouefull, bothe too the glory of God, and too the instruction of our selues: I will entreat of thrée places in order, which are these.

  • 1 Of the comming of the Lord.
  • 2 The description of Christ our king, & of his kingdome.
  • 3 Of the Citizens of this king, of their duetie, and in con­clusion of the true vse, and healthful meditation of the Lordes comming.

¶Of the first.

TO the intent wée may the better & certeinlier be instruc­ted of the cōming of our Lord Iesus Christ, too the praise of God and the helthful edifiyng of our selues: Let vs with S. Bernard propound sixe circumstances to bée weyed in it, whiche are these. Whoo hée is that commeth: from whence: whither: too what purpose: when: and what way.

1 He that commeth is (according to the testimony of Ga­briel) the sonne of the highest, equall too the moste high Fa­ther in true Godhead. Heereby we may learne how great is his maiestie, dignitie & power. Hée that commeth is the séede of the woman, very man of the séed of Abraham and Dauid, according too the oracles of the Prophets, & the testimonies of the Apostles: lesse than ye father as touching his very mā ­hood. Whereby wée may lerne, with what societie of nature hée is alyed vntoo vs, so as we néed not too bée afraid too come vntoo him. It is Christ then that commeth: whoo is bothe ve­ry God and very man: béeing one persone in twoo natures: whoo is bothe able too saue, bicause hée is God: and wil saue, bicause hée hath taken our nature vppon him, that he might bée made a sacrifice for vs.

2 From whence commeth hée? he commeth from heauen: hée commeth out of the bosome of the father, whoo filleth all things, and is inuisible euery where. Also, he commeth in the virgins womb, conceiued by the woorking of the holy ghost. Hée is nourished with the virgins bloud: hée is borne: hée is brought vp: hée is circumcised.

3 Whither commeth hée? Hée commeth intoo the world, which was made by him. He commeth intoo his owne, & his owne receiued him not. Hée came intoo the lower partes of the earthe. And out of all dout, this is that great misterie wherof the Apostle speaketh. 1. Tim. 3. God was shewed o­penly in the fleshe, iustified in the spirit, beholden of the An­gels, preached of vntoo the Gentiles, beléeued vppon in the world, and receiued vp intoo glorye.

[Page]4 Too what purpose came hée? The causes of the Lordes comming intoo the world, the voyce of God foretelleth: the Types prefigurate: the sayings of the Prophets proclaime: the woordes and woorkes of the Lord being come, doo proue: the writyngs and Preachings of the Apostles witnesse: and the ioyfull congregation of all Sainctes confesseth.

God sayd too the Serpent Gen. 3. The séede of the woman shall tread downe thy head. Which text the Apostle expoun­ding sayth: Christ appéered too destroy ye woorks of the diuel. The same god did oftētimes beat the méening of this saying intoo the holy Fathers heades, and specially intoo Abrahams, saying: In thy séed shal all natiōs bée blissed. By these things then it is too bée vnderstād, that Christ came for twoo causes. The first is to destroy the works of the diuel: and the other, too bring the blissyng vpon the children of Abraham, yt is too say, vpon all that shall receiue Christ by fayth, as Abraham did. For when Adam had by his fall yéelded him selfe and all his ofspring bondslaues vnder the Tirannie of Sathan, and cast them intoo deserued curse: the rightuousnesse of God re­quired, that either wée should suffer due deserued punishmēt, or else that some of mankinde should satisfie Gods iustice. Now forasmuch as no meane power was able too vanquish the diuell and pacifie Gods wrath: the sonne of God cōmeth foorth of his secret dwelling place: he cōmeth intoo ye world: he becomes man: he taketh our case vpon him: he ouerthro­weth the kingdome of the deuill, and pacifieth his Fathers wrath being made vntoo vs both our sacrifice and our préest.

This selfe same thing doo many types figurate: as the sa­crifices of the Fathers, the pascall Lambe, the sprinklyng of the red cowes blood vpon the people and moreouer the Arke of couenant, and all the Aaronical sacrifice with all the rites and ceremonies thereof.

Innumerable sayings of the Prophetes doo declare these selfe same causes of the Lordes commyng with agréea­ble consent: as Esay. 53. He suffered our diseases, and bare [Page 3] our sorowes in déede, he was wounded for our transgressiōs and was torne for our iniquities. The Lord did take vpon him the iniquities of vs al. Many such testimonies as these, are in the Prophets, which for bréefnesse sake I omit.

The woordes and woorkes of Chryst at his comming, doo proue the same thing: Come vntoo mée (sayth he) all yée that labour, and are heauie loden, and I will refresh you. Also, he that beléeueth in mée shall not perishe, but haue life euerla­sting. Also: For these do I sanctifie my self, that is to say, I of­fer my selfe a sacrifice too God the father for the purgyng of their sinnes. Which thing, not onely the great numbre of miracles that he did, and by which he destroyed the woorkes of the diuell, doo assuredly proue: but also his very death, and his glorious victorie ensuing the same.

The testimonies of the Apostles, who is able to numbre? Paule sayth, He dyed for our sinnes, and rose ageine for our iustification. The same man wryteth thus: Him that knewe no sinne, hée made sinne, too the intent that wée might bée made the rightuousnesse of god in him. Iohn Bap­tist cryeth out: Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sinnes of the worlde. Iohn the Apostle: Iesus Chryst clenseth vs from al our iniquitie. The same apostle making a bréefe summe of Christes benefites, writeth: Christ appée­red too destroy the diuels woorkes.

Finally, the whole Churche of Christ ioyfully through Christes spirit confesseth these selfe same causes of Christes cōming, singing thus: Thou taking vpon thée to deliuer mā didst not abhorre the virgins wombe. Thou when thou had­dest ouercome the sharpnes of death, didst set open the king­dome of heauen to all beléeuers.

Now if yée demaund the time of his cōming, the Apostle Paul answereth: After that the fulnesse of time was come, God sent out his sonne borne of woman, boūd vnder ye law, too the intent he should redéeme them that were giltie of the law, that wée might receiue the adoption of childrē. He came [Page] therfore neither later nor slowlyer than hée ought too come. Concerning this time of the Lords comming, the Prophets Iacob and Daniell spake before. Of which thing more shalbée spoken in the day of the Lordes birth.

One thing more is yet behind: namely the way by which hée commeth. This also is too bée sought out diligently, that wée may méet him rightly. Therfore like as too our saluatiō he came once in the flesh visible, so too saue eche mans soule, wheresoeuer his woord is thought vpon, red, or preached, hée commeth daily in spirit and inuisible: yea rather hée is there alwayes present according too his promise: I will bée with you vntoo the end of the world. And then againe shal hée ap­péere visible too iudge the quick & the dead, too the intent that they which héertofore held scorne too take him for their phisi­tian and sauyour, shall then féele him a most iust iudge and punisher of their wickednesse. Of which comming wée shall héere more the next Sunday. And thus much bréefly concer­ning the comming of the Lord.

¶Of the seconde.

THe second place which the text of the Gospel conteineth, importeth the description of Christ our king, and of his kingdom. Which description is confirmed by the testimonie of Zacharie: which the Euangelist alledgeth that wée may vnderstand, how this pomp was not instituted rashly, but foreshewed long before, according too the wil of God and the secrete counsell of the Trinitie. For this pomp teacheth vs many things, of the state of Christ our king and of his king­dome. First this pomp of Chrystes riding intoo Hierusalem, maketh a difference betwéen Christ our king and the kings of the world, and sheweth the diuersitie of their kingdomes. For this base pompe dooth sufficiently argue, that neyther Chryst is a worldly king, nor the administration of his kingdom worldly. For worldly kings (to the intēt they may bée counted honorable of their people,) are gorgeously appa­relled. [Page 4] In likewyse the administration of worldly king­domes requireth gorgeousnesse, and sumptuous furniture. Secondly this storie teacheth yt vnder this base pompe, lieth hid a certeine almightinesse & godhead. For when hée sayeth, loose yée and bring vnto mée: and ageine, the Lord hath néed of them: and also, he shall by and by let them go: Christ our king giueth vs too vnderstand, that by his heauenly power hée is able too bring too passe what hée listeth: yea and that hée hath the hartes and willes of men in his hand.

Therefore although the kingdome of Christ séem dispisa­ble in this world: yet notwithstanding if a man look vpon ye power & diuinitie of ye king, nothing is more stately: nothing is more mightie: nothing finally is more glorious, than it.

Moreouer the prophecy of the Prophete conteyneth thrée things. First an exhortation too the churche, at that time cast downe and vtterly vnder foot. Be glad (saith he) and leap for ioy thou daughter of Sion. Héereby wée are taught that the Gospel perteyneth too them that are cast down & vnder foot, and altoogither broken in spirit. Secondly this prophecie co­teyneth a cōmaundement from God, that wée should doo ho­mage too this king, like as ye second Psalme exhorteth wher it sayeth, kisse the sonne. Thirdly this prophecy conteineth a description of the person of Christ: namely that he is ye king that was promised too the church. Beholde (saith it) thy king cōmeth. As if he should haue said, héer is at length that king that was promised thée, of whom are written so many testi­monies, which shall restore the kingdome of God, that the diuel hath inuaded & destroyed through sinne. He saieth, that this king is gentle & méek, too the intent we should not shu [...] him as a cruell Tirant, but rather come vntoo him with full confidence, and demaund of him the saluation promised. And wheras hée setteth him foorth poore, that is too bée referred too the state of this present life. Whoose will it was too bée poor for this purpose, that he might with his spirit enrich vs that are poore, and make vs blissed for euer.

¶Of the thirde.

THe Citizens of this King are described vnder the per­sons of Christes disciples, and of the people, whoose ex­ample wée must followe, if wée wil bée reckened among the Citizens of Christes kingdome. First therefore, let vs with Chrystes disciples bring the Asse vntoo him. That is to say, let vs too whom the ministration of the woord is committed, doo all things that are appointed vs, too the glorie of Christe, and the enlarging of his kingdome.

Secondly let vs lay our clothes vpon the Asse: whiche thing wée shall then rightly doo, when wée employ all oure power and abilities too the preseruation of the Ministerie. Also wée must cut downe bowes from the trées, & cast them before Christe, that is too say, wée must preache Christe, and acknowledge him too bée the eternall king, whose kingdome wée shall wishe too flourish for euer like the Palme trée, that it may not sinck downe vnder the burthens of the miseries of this world. Wée must cry Hosanna, that is too say, wée must call vpon him with faith, and confesse him too bée our King, assuring our selues that his kingdome is blissed in the highest. And héerevpon wée may bréefly gather, what is the right vse and helthfull meditation of this feast, concerning the helthful comming of Christe. The first vse therfore is, to endeuour that this king may come vntoo vs. And how shall that bée brought too passe? He is called too vs by true repen­tance, kept by substanciall faith, and delighted by pure wor­shipping. The second is too put vs in minde of thankfulnes, that wée glorifie him with heart, voice, confession and beha­uiour. Whoo for our sakes came vntoo vs: who béeing made man, gaue him selfe for our sinnes, too deliuer vs out of this present euil world, according too the wil of God our father, too whom bée glorie for euer and euer. Amen.

The ij. Sunday in Aduent. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xxj.

THere shall bee signes in the Sunne and in the Moone, and in the Starres: and in the earthe the people shall bee at their vvits end, thorovv dispaire. The Sea and the vvater shall roare, and mennes heartes shall fayle them for feare, and for looking after those things vvhiche shal come on the earth: For the povvers of Heauen shal moue: And then shall they see the Sonne of man come in a Cloude, vvith povver and great glorie. VVhen these things begin to come to passe, then look vppe, and lift vp your heades, for your redem­tion dravveth nie. And he shevved them a similitude: Beholde the Fig tree, and all other trees: vvhen they shoot foorth their buddes, yee see and knovve of your ovvne selues, that Sommer then is nigh at hand. So likevvise yee also (vvhen yee see these things come too passe) bee sure that the kingdome of GOD is nie. Verely I say vntoo you: this generation shall not passe, til all be fulfilled. Heauen and earth shall passe, but my vvoor­des shall not passe. Take heed vntoo your selues therefore, least at any time youre hartes bee ouercome vvith surfetting and dronkennesse, and cares of this lyfe, and that that day come on you vnvvares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that sit on the face of the vvhole earth. VVatche therefore continu­ally and pray, that yee may obtaine grace too flee all this that shall come, and that yee may stand before the sonne of man.

The exposition of the text.

LIke as the last Sunday the church celebrated the remembrance of Christs comming in the fleshe: so this lesson of the Gospell entreateth of his second coming, and belongeth too that Article of our faith, wherin wée confesse with hart and mouth, that the same Lorde whiche came héeretoofore too bée a mediator and Sauior of them that beléeue in him, shall come héereafter too iudge the quick and [Page] the dead: that they which in this life haue receiued Christe, and acknowledged him too bée their sauior, should bée raysed ageine in their bodies, & be rewarded with euerlasting life: and that those whiche haue despised him, in following their owne affections too the dishonor of God, should bée punished euerlastingly with deserued torments. Of this Euangelical lesson, let there bée made thrée places.

  • 1 Of Christes comming too iudgement.
  • 2 The vse & frute of the forewarning of ye same comming
  • 3 Christes exhortation too his Disciples, that they should bée ready without let.

¶Of the first.

OCcasion of this sermon concerning Christes comming, arose vpon the talke betwéene Christe and his disciples in the Temple of Ierusalem. For when the disciples woon­dred at the sumptuousnesse of the Temple: the Lorde him selfe answered, that the time would come, it shoulde bée so wasted one day, that one stone should not bée left vpon ano­ther. His disciples hearing this, demaunded him of the time. Too whom hée answering, declared the tokens that should go before the destruction of Hierusalem, strengthning them leaste they shoulde bée discouraged in their mindes, for the euils that were at hand. Héerevpon taking occasion, hée pas­seth on too the vniuersall and last iudgement, and reckeneth vp the signes that shall goe before it.

Howbéeit, too the intent al things may become the cléerer vntoo vs, first wée will examine fiue circumstaunces whiche the text comprehendeth. And afterward wée wil describe the iudgement it selfe according to the Scriptures.

The first of the circumstances therfore, is concerning the time▪ For he sheweth the time by signes, & cōfirmeth ye same by comparison. And there are many kindes of signes whiche go before the comming of the Lord vnto iudgement.

The first signe is séene in the Sunne and the Moone, and [Page 6] the starres: which what maner of one it shall bée, Marke in his .xiij. chapter vttereth in these woords. The Sunne shalbe darkned, yt is too say, there shal be many Eclipses of ye sunne. And ye moone shal not yéeld foorth hir light, namely while she also suffreth eclipse. And ye starres shal fal frō heauen, yt is too wit, shal séeme too fal. That many of this kinde of signes are alredy past, our present age beareth witnesse. For there ne­uer hapned so many eclipses, either of the sun or of ye Moone.

The second signe of the iudgemēt at hand, is the perplexi­tie of people through despaire: the méening whereof is (as Mathew and Marke interprete it:) that nation shall rise a­gainst nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and no place shall bée frée from warres. And doth not these dayes testifie the world too bée full of such signes?

The thirde kinde of signes, are of the sea, of flouds, of the aire, of tempests, of horrible tumultes, and of certaine vn­accustomed and vehement windes. And hathe not our age séene very many signes of this sort?

The fourth kind of signes issueth out of the second & third, which is a pining away for feare, and for looking after those things that shall come vpon the whole world.

The fifth sort is: that the powers of heauen shall bée mo­ued, that is too say, there shalbée vnwoonted sights in heauē, and earthquakes in the earth. Too bée short, both heauen and earth shall (after a sort) resemble the countenaunce of the angry iudge, that sinners béeing moued by these tokens of Gods wrath, should repent and turne vntoo the Lord.

These signes doth the Lord apply in this wise too the last iudgement. Behold the Figtrée, & all other trées: when they haue shot foorth their buddes, yée séeing it, doo know of your selues, that sommer is nye at hand. So likewise when yée sée these things come too passe, vnderstand yée that the kingdom of god is nye. For these signes out of all creatures which are caried vp & downe, shal bée as it were messengers, by whose mouth such men shal bée summoned to appéere at yt dreadful [Page] iudgement seat, as running at ryot héere in this world haue neglected their owne saluation, and like dronken men haue despised Christ, the author of saluation.

Besydes these fiue sortes of signes, whereof the text ma­keth mention, there are others also. Math. 24. Marke. 13. 2. Thes. 2. Daniel. 2. &. 7. Apoc. 17. all which are as it were cer­taine visible sermons of repentance, by which god forewar­neth men too flée too his sonne our Lord Iesus Chryste, in whom only is saluation.

The second circumstance is, that he which is the sonne of God, and man, Iesus Christ, shalbée a iudge. Wherin bothe the godly and vngodly haue to learne. The godly, too knowe that hée shall bée their iudge, who had promised eternall life too all that beléeue in him, adding an othe: Uerely I say vntoo you, all that beléeue in mée, shall not perishe, but haue life euerlasting. This promis confirmed with an othe, cannot by any meanes fayle. And the vngodly haue too lerne, either too repent and forsake the rable of the wicked, and so too en­ioy their saluation purchased by Chryst: or else too remem­ber that he whom they haue refused too bée theyr Sauyoure, shal adiudge them to endlesse paines: that then at least wise, they may (too their great miserie) learne, howe horrible a thing it is, too fall intoo the hands of the liuing God.

The third circumstance is, that hée shall come in the clouds, glorious and terrible, not a seruaunt as before, but a Lord: not too bée iudged, but too iudge: not now too allure men too repentance, but too punish vnrepentant persones with eternall paines: and that as a righteous iudge.

The fourth circumstance is, that he shall come mightie, with power and great glorie: wherby it is too bée learned, that he can bothe damne the rebellious, & is able too rewarde the beléeuers with eternall life.

The fifth circumstance expresseth the cause of Chrystes comming vntoo iudgement, so farre forth as it perteineth too the godly. Your redemption is at hād. By which saying, like [Page 7] as Christ sheweth that his Churche shall not bée wel at ease in this world (for before that day, it can not be deliuered frō the vanitie of the world) so he dooeth too vnderstand, that the accomplishment of Chrystes benefits towards his Churche, is the ful deliuerance from all euils: wherwith is ioyned the perfect fruition of the eternall God, with euerlasting ioy. These things therfore perteine too the comfort of the godly. But as touching the vngodly, this day of the Lordes com­ming, shall bée a day of wrathe and sorrowe and not of deli­uerance: a day of mist and darknesse and not of light: a day of moorning, and not of mirth: a day of destruction, and not of saluation.

And the maner of the iudgement is described in the .25. of Mathew by these words. When the sonne of man shal come in his maiestie and all the Angels with him: then shall he sit vppon the throne of maiestie, and all nations shalbée gathe­red toogither before him, and he shal seperate them a sunder, as a shepeherd putteth his shéepe a side from the Gotes, and shall set the shéepe on his right hand, and the Gotes on his left. Then shal the king say too them on his right hand: come yée blissed of my Father, and possesse you the kingdome pre­pared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and yée gaue mée too eate. &c. And vntoo them on his left hand he shal say: Away from mée yée cursed intoo euerla­sting fyre which is prepared for the Diuell and his Angels. For I was hungry and yée gaue mée no meat. &c. And so the vngodly shall go intoo euerlasting punishment, but the righ­tuous intoo euerlasting life. And in the Apocalipse. 20. chapt. Hée shall sit vppon a great white throne, at whose looke the heauen and earth shal flée away, and the dead both great and small shall stand in the sight of his throne: and then shalbée opened the booke of life and the bookes of consciences, & they shall bée iudged by those things that are written in those bookes, according too their woorks. They that haue doon good, shal go intoo euerlasting life: and they that haue doone euill, intoo euerlasting fire.

[Page]Now in the sentence of iudgement, twoo things are too be considered. On Gods behalfe, blissing: on mennes behalfe, good woorks. When he sayth, come yée blissed of my Father, he méeneth that they are fréely saued through Iesus Chryst, whom they haue receiued by Faith. For in Chryst only are men blissed, receiued intoo Gods fauor, & fréely iustified. But when he calleth foorth too good woorks, the Lord dooth it, not for that they are causes of saluation, but for other respectes. Namely, for that they are witnesses of true fayth & the feare of God: and moreouer, that by setting before them a recom­pence of the miseries which they abide in this life, hée may the more stirre them vp too godly and holy conuersation.

¶Of the seconde.

WHy Christ forewarned his disciples of his cōming too iudgement, he declareth, when he sayth: When these things begin too come too passe, looke vp and lift vppe your heads. &c. All these things wil put vs in minde of a certaine continuall repentaunce in this life. But what doo wée? wée sée the last day redy too light in our necks, and yet neuerthe­lesse wée delay too repent, and féede our owne fansies. What doo noble men? What doo princes? what doo learned men? what doo vnlearned men? what doo townes men? what doo countrey folke? and too bée short, what doo (in maner) al men? What is hée that earnestly myndeth this forewarnyng of Christes? Wée make more accompt of a ferme in the coun­trey, than of the kyngdome of GOD. Yea rather who is hée that preferreth not the commodities of this life (bée they ne­uer so slender) before the health of his soule?

¶Of the thirde.

BIcause Chryst foresaw with what euils the world should ouerflow about the time of his comming, hée framed an exhortation, partly to the intent they shuld eschue the things which at that time should exclude the greatest part of the [Page 8] world from the promised saluation: and chiefly too the intent they should shewe them selues stout souldiers, too fight with watching and Prayer against this world, vnder the stan­darde of only Iesus Chryst. And too the intent they may bée the readyer vntoo bothe, hée alledgeth reasons too persuade them. For hée both telles them that that day shall come vp­on the sodain: and also declareth plainly, that by this meanes they shall bée quite rid from all euils, and bée set in the pre­sence of the sonne of God.

Therfore he sayth: Take héede too your selues that your harts bée not at any tyme ouerloden wyth surfettyng and droonkennesse, and the cares of this worlde. These then are the thyngs that are too bée eschued, that is too say: sur­fetting, dronkennesse, and the care of this world: namely vngodly and Heathenish care, which quencheth the faith of Christ. In as muche as it is most manifest, that all estates of the worlde are wrapped and snarled in these euils: so much the more ought this exhortation of Chrystes too bée in our sight, least wée perishe béeing deceiued with the euill trades of this world.

Furthermore, where as the Lorde addeth: Watche yee continually in Prayer, hée teacheth with what things it bée­houeth those too bée occupied, ye couet too escape the euils that are too come. In that summe he requireth, the shunning of euill things, and the earnest folowing of good things. Bothe these the Apostle ioyneth toogither in his Epistle vntoo Ti­tus, writing: Renouncing all vngodlinesse & worldly lusts, let vs liue sobrely, vprightly, and godlily in this world, loo­king for the blissed hope, and the coming of the glorie of the great GOD, too whome bée praise, soueraintie and glorie world without end. Amen.

The thirde Sunday in Aduent. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xj.

WHen Iohn being in pryson heard the vvorkes of Christ, he sent tvvo of his disciples, and said vntoo him: Art thou hee that shall come, or doo vvee looke for an other? Iesus ansvvered and sayd vntoo them: Go and shevv Iohn a­geine vvhat yee haue hearde and seene. The blinde receiue their sight, the lame vvalk, the leapres are clen­sed, and the deafe heare, the deade are raised vp, and the poore receiue the glad tidings of the Gospell, and happie is he that is not offended by mee. And as they departed, Iesus begā too say vntoo the people cōcerning Iohn: VVhat vvent ye out in­too the vvildernesse too see? A reede that is shaken vvith the vvind? or vvhat vvent yee out for to see? A man clothed in soft rayment? beholde, they that vveare soft clothing, are in kings houses. But vvhat vvent yee out for to see, a Prophet? verily I say vntoo you more than a Prophet. For this is he of vvhome it is vvritten: Beholde, I sende my messanger before thy face, vvhich shall prepare thy vvay before thee.

The exposition of the text.

THis gospel describeth vntoo vs the kingdom of Chryst, and peinteth it out in his proper colours: so much at least wise as perteyneth too the outward appéerance therof, which is séene with outwarde eyes. For if yée regard his secrete power with the eyes of faith, it is a most bright & a most glorious thing. In this place there­fore is intreated only of his outward shape. The forerūner lieth in prison. Wherby wée are warned y Christes king­dome is put vnder the crosse. The disciples being in doute, are sent foorth: howbeit vntoo Chryst only. Chryst the king himself is conuersant among the poore, the blind, the deafe, and the leapres. These are healed and receiue the glad ty­dings [Page 9] of saluation, which things the mighty, noble and wise men of the world despise. In fewe woords, as this Gospel peynteth out the Kingdome of Chryst: so it confirmeth the mynistery of Iohn, & by assured arguments proueth, that Christ is the true Messias, that was promised to the fathers. Notwithstanding, for more plentiful doctrines sake, let this Gospell bée distributed intoo foure parts which are these.

  • 1 Is shewed bothe the lot and office of the ministers of the woorde.
  • 2 The question of Iohn.
  • 3 The aunswere of Chryst.
  • 4 The commendation and praise of Iohn.

¶Of the first.

ANd vvhē Iohn being in prison, heard the vvorks of Christ, he sent tvvoo of his Disciples vntoo him. Iohn béeing bound in gyues, teacheth by his owne example what is the lot of the ministers of the word. And the same Iohn by sen­ding his disciples vnto Chryst, sheweth the true dutie of the ministers of the worde. I will therfore speake of either of them in order, and first of their state in this lyfe.

Iohn exhorteth men to repentance, and findeth fault with their wickednesse. And what happens to him for it? that doth the storie tell Math. 14. for there it is shewed, that bycause Iohn reproued Herode, and told him it was not lawfull for him to haue his brothers wife, he was cast in prison, and at lengthe lost his heade. This rewarde receiued the holy Baptist at the vngodly tyrantes hande. For as a Surgion if he touch the wound of a mad man, and go about too cure it, can looke for none other thyng, but that the mad man should fall vpon him, and render euil for good: euen so if the minister of Gods woorde reproue the sinne of any vngodly man (& especially of any tyrāt) to the intent he should repēt and hée heled of the wound of sin: let him loke for none other than threats, reuilyngs, and death. How true thys is, not [Page] only Iohns example techeth, but also the storie of the whole Churche, and the storie bothe of the olde and newe Testa­ment. For this haue so many béen famous through martyr­dom: For this haue so many Prophets béen put to death: for this were the apostles persecuted: for this was Paul mur­thered, Peter crucified, & diuers others diuersly tormented: which things doo put vs in mynd of the lot of the sain [...]tes in this life. But happy is ye Crosse which Chryst auoucheth too bée noble. Blissed is the Crosse, whiche is the waye too true and euerlasting victorie by Chryst Iesus.

And therfore the mynisters of the Gospell must not bée slack in their dutie bycause of persecution: but béeing stir­red vp by the example of Iohn, they must doe theyr duetie manfully, which consisteth chéefly in these poynts: First, let them preache Chryst, and shewe the Lambe that taketh a­way the sinnes of the world. Then let them rebuke sinne. For they are the instrumēts of the holy Gost, who by them reproueth the world of sinne, as wée sée in Iohn. Thirdly let them beautifie their mynisterie by their holy and godly life. Fourthly let them despise the threatnings of the world as Iohn did, putting them selues in a redynesse too suffer a­ny tormēts rather thā to séeme slack in their office. Fifthly, if it happen them too bée cast intoo prison, and too bée put too torture for performing their dutie accordingly, what shall they then doo? Shall they denie Chryst? in no wyse. But they shall sende theyr Disciples vntoo Chryst: not fearing them that an doo no more but kil the body: but him rather, who as hée can destroy bothe body and soule, so also can hée saue them bothe. Thus much is spoken bréefly concernyng the first place.

¶Of the second.

ARt thou hee that shall come, or doo vvee looke for an o­ther? The errour of Iohns disciples con [...]erning ye Mes­sias, gaue occasion of this message and demaunde. For they [Page 10] béeing partly offended at the outward appéerance of Chryst (as it appereth by the Lords answer) and partly béeing be­giled through affection too theyr maister, mystooke Iohn too haue béen the Messias. Iohn too the intent too rid his disciples of this errrour, sendeth them too Chryst, too enquire of hym whether hée were the very Messias, or whether some o­ther were styll too bée looked for: that by this meanes they myght bothe by words and déedes of Chryste himselfe, bée more fully instructed concernyng Chryste, that he was the true Messias and not Iohn. Iohn then sendeth not his disci­ples to Chryst, for that he himselfe douted of Chryst: but too procure the saluation of his douting disciples. Let vs there­fore learne of Iohn, too haue a lowly opinion of our selues, that wée take not any thing vppon vs arrogantly. And let vs learne of his disciples, to performe obedience too our su­periours: and specially too them that by woorde and lyfe doo send vs the right way to Chryst.

¶Of the third.

BUt what aunswereth Chryst? Go and beare Iohn vvoord vvhat ye heare and see. The blinde see, the lame vvalke, the lepres are clensed, the deafe heare, the dead rise ageyne, the poore receyue the glad tydings of the Gospell, and blissed is he that is not offended at mee.

This answer conteineth foure things: signes vndoutedly shewing the true Messias: the image of the Churche in thys life: to whome the Gospell perteyneth: and an admonition that no man should bée offended at the outwarde appéerance of Chryst and his Church.

The proofe that Iesus himselfe is the very Messias is this. Whosoeuer by his owne power, giueth sight too the blinde: to the criples, ablenesse too go vpright: to the lepres, helth: too the deafe, hearing: to the dead, lyfe: and preacheth the glad tydings of the gospel too the poore, (that is to say) too the consciences that are broken and sorowful with the féeling of [Page] sinne:) Hée out of all doubte is the true Messias. For Esay prophesieth of the Messias in these: Ye weake hearted bée of good comfort, feare not: Behold your God shall bring a discharge of vengeance. God himself shall come, and saue vs: Wherby shal we know him? the Prophet answereth: Then shall the eyes of the blinde bée opened: and the eares of the deafe shall heare: and the lame shall leape as a hart: and the toongs of many shalbe loosened. And the same prophet sayth: The spirit of ye Lord is vpon mée, bicause he hath annointed mée to preach glad tidings to the poore, that I should remedie them that are broken in heart, and preach libertie too priso­ners, and let them out that are shut vp. In as much then as yée sée mée (according too the foresayings of the Prophets) too perfourme these things by mine owne power: why doo yée not acknowlege mée to be the Messias? And so Christ by this demonstration proueth himselfe to be the true Messias, and teacheth that it is his office too giue aide too the miserable and afflicted.

Furthermore, ye image of the church & kingdom of Christ is séene héere to be despised before the world. The hearers of Christ, are, the poore, the sick, and the despised in the sight of the world: vnto these doth Christ preach ye way of saluation, and healeth their diseases. And like as he did then heale the diseases of the body: euen so at this day healeth he the cōsci­ences of sinners woūded with sin, & bringeth spiritual glad­nesse to their hartes: whiche thing they féele in very déede which in true inuocation doo heare the voice of the Gospel.

Where he sayeth that the poore receiue the glad tydings of the Gospell, he sheweth to whom the Gospel belongeth: namely to the poore, that is to say, to the broken in hart for the filthynesse of their sinnes. Whereupon it is sayd in the psalme. A sacrifice too god is a troubled spirite: a contrite and humbled hart, O God, shalt thou not despise. And an o­ther Psalme: Whiche healeth them that be of a broken harte. And Esaye the .57. GOD dwelleth with the bro­ken [Page 11] and lowly spirite, too quicken the spirite of the lowly, and too quicken the heart of the broken. The Gospell then perteineth only too such as féeling their owne sinnes, are so­rie for them, and are afrayde of Gods iudgement, and cast a­way purpose of sinning any more. The Gospell therfore is a ioyfull tydings of the forgiuenesse of sinnes, and a comfort in the heart through the woord and the holy ghost, which be­longeth vntoo them only that repent and beléeue the Gos­pell, receyue remission of theyr sinnes, are endued with the rightuousnesse of Chryst (which béeing imputed too them for theyr owne, they appéere as ryghtuous in the sight of God) are endued with the holy Ghost, and being now made a newe creature in Chryst, beginne too obey Chryst through Faith, and endeuer daily too abounde in all knowledge and vnderstanding. Philip. j.

The Lords admonishment, Blissed is hee that is not offen­ded at mee, giueth an inckling héere, first that Iohns Disci­ples were offended at the person of Christ: secondly it war­neth all men in generall, not too bée offended at the outward appéerance of Chrystes kingdome: so as they should eyther not receiue the Gospell at all, or else hauing receiued it, should reiect it: after which sort many are in all times offen­ded, Cicero in his time was so offended at the bondage of Gods people, that hée would not receiue the Doctrine of the Churche. Euery citie (sayth hée too Laelius) hath his peculiar religion, and wée haue ours. Though Hierusalem were in prosperitie, and that the Iewes were in quietnesse: yet not­withstanding should wée for the glory of our Empyre, the maiestie of our name, and the traditions and customes of our auncetors, holde scorne of the superstitions of their reli­gion: and now much more, bicause that nation hath shewed what good wil it beareth to our empire, by warres, and how déere it is too the Gods immortall, in that it is subdued and let out too ferme. &c.

These foure things doo the Papistes also boast of at this [Page] day, Glorie, maiestie of name, traditions of elders, & Lord­ship. But Christ in this place biddeth vs take héede, that wée suffer not our selues too be deceiued with such ghosts: but ra­ther that we should ioyne our selues with the litle and despi­sed flock, which heareth the voice of the shepherd Christ. For it is more wisedom too enter intoo the Arke with Noe and a fewe other, and too bée saued from the daunger of the floud, than with the greatest and most florishing part of the world to perish. It is better too reioice with Lazarus full of biles in Abrahams bosome, than with the riche glutton too bée puni­shed with the torments of hell.

¶Of the fourth.

AS they departed, Iesus began too speake to the people con­cerning Iohn. VVhat vvent yee out intoo the vvildernesse too see? &c. This commendation of Iohn serueth too this end, yt the people should highly estéeme the ministery of Iohn & beléeue his voice, as that which was heauenly. And Christ in this cōmendation, ioyneth toogither al the things that bée­come a right Apostle, and he praiseth him for foure vertues: first for constancie, for he compareth him too an immoueable rock, which is not shaken of the windes as a réede. VVent ye out too see a reede shaken vvith the vvind? as if hée shold haue sayd, Iohn is no such mā: but rather like a firm rocke, which yéeldeth too no tempestes nor waues. The true preacher of the Gospell therfore must neither for feare of men, nor for fauour, swarue from the truthe: Which thing (alas for so­row) too many doo now adayes.

Secondly, he commendeth Iohn for his kinde of life, that is too wit, for that hée liued not a nice life, as the flattering courtiers: nor sought estimation, as they that hunt for the fauor of men: but led a life méete for his office and calling, suche as neither hindred the seruice of God, nor made him slouthful in executing his duetie. This generally perteineth also too all the ministers of Gods woorde: Namely that they [Page] should liue in suche wise, as neither nicenesse may be séene in their behauiour, nor they them selues bée by other vaine things hindred too doo their dutie.

Thirdly hée commendeth Iohn for the excellentnesse of his Prophecie, for hée preferreth him before all other Pro­phets. Fourthly hée commendeth him for the message that hée commeth of. For this is hée of whom it is said: Beholde I sende my messenger before thy face, whiche shall pre­pare thy way béefore thée. Therfore is Iohn the ambassador of Messias, & the forerūner that maketh way for the king cō ­ming after, by preaching of repentance. This mans exam­ple must the ministers of the Gospell (after a certaine ma­ner of theirs) followe. They must prepare the way vntoo Christe: they muste bring men vntoo Christe. They muste shew the only way vnto saluation, Christ Iesus: Too whom bée honour and glorie for euer. So bée it.

The fourth Sunday in Aduent. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. j.

THis is the recorde of Iohn: vvhen the Ievves sent Preestes and Leuites from Ierusalem, too aske him: vvhat art thou? And he confessed and denied not, & sayde plainly: I am not Christe. And they asked him: vvhat then, arte thou He­lias? and he saythe: I am not art thou the Pro­phet? and he ansvvered, no. Then sayd they vntoo him: VVhat art thou that vvee may giue an ansvvere vntoo them that sente vs? vvhat sayest thou of thy self? he said: I am the voice of a cry­er in the vvildernesse: make streight the vvaye of the Lorde, as sayde the Prophet Esay. And they vvhiche vvere sent, vvere of the Phariseys: and they asked him, and sayd vntoo him: vvhy baptisest thou then, if thou bee not Christe, nor Helias, ney­ther that Prophete? Iohn aunsvvered them, saying: I doo Bap­tise [Page] vvith vvater, but ther standeth one among you, vvhom you knovve not, he it is, vvhiche though he came after me, vvas be­fore mee, vvhoose shoo la [...]het I am not vvorthy too vnloose. These things vvere doone at Bethabara, beyond Iordan vvhere Iohn did baptise.

The exposition of the text.

THe occasion of this Gospell was this: The Phariseys had heard how that Iohn set vppe a new manner of doctrine, and broughte in new ceremonies: and that without authori­tie from the Bishops: As how hée [...]ad men prepare the way of the Lorde: how he recey­ued all Iewrie vntoo baptisme: how he cryed yt the promised king and Messias was at hand. The Phariseis being moued at the reporte of these things, sent messengers too him intoo the wildernesse too demaunde of him by what authoritie hée did those things. This they did, not for that they were desi­rous to giue eare too his doctrine: but rather that they might destroye bothe Christe and him: that they might kéepe styll their owne gainful ceremonies: and that (without any re­garde had too the welfare of the people committed too their charge) they might mainteine their owne authoritie. The example of whom our Papists doo lay before them selues & folow it stoutly inough.

The summe therof is this: that they enquire of Iohn whe­ther hée bée Christe: and that Iohn (as a true seruaunt of Christ) beareth record vntoo Christ, and biddeth them make streight the way of the Lord: couertly confirming his own vocation too bée heauenly. For instruction sake let this Gos­pel bée deuided intoo thrée places.

  • 1 Iohns recorde concerning Christe.
  • 2 The description of Iohn: and in him of all godly ministers of Gods woord.
  • 3 What it is too prepare the way of the Lord.

¶Of the first.

IN the record of Iohn, six things are too be considered. First whoo are sent, and why they are sent. Those that are sent, are Pharisies, and they are sent from Pharisies: moste holy men (too outward appéerance) from moste holy men: whiche séemed too them selues the pillers of Gods church which had prerogatiue of succession: whiche chalenged too them selues alone the title of the churche. But beholde, they that séemed too bée the heads of the church, are enemies of Christ. Wher­by we may lerne, that credit is too bée giuen neither to titles nor too successions, but only vntoo Gods woord. Also we may mark the craft of Sathan, which these Pharisies had lerned of their master Sathan. For they enquire héere, not bicause they fauoured eyther Christ or Iohn (as they would séem to haue doone): but too the intent too haue destroyed them both, as did the Serpent in Paradice.

2 Too whome is recorde borne? vntoo Christe. Whoo bea­reth record? Iohn. By this, lerne twoo things. First, that the ministerie of the woorde must shoote at the marke, that is, too beare recorde vntoo Christ. Secondly, that it is the arte of a Christian, too stay him self vpō the pure confession of Christ, ageinst the crafts of Sathan.

3 Before whom is recorde borne? Before the world and Christes enemies. Wherby it is too bée lerned: that the god­ly mā must confesse Christ before all the whole world, with the perill of his estimation, his goodes, and his life, whereun­too, partly the promise, and partly the threatning will pro­uoke vs. The promise is this: whoosoeuer shall confesse mée before men, him also will I confesse before my heauenly fa­ther. The threatning is this: whoosoeuer shall bée ashamed of mée before men, of him also will I bée ashamed before my heauenly father.

4 The summe of Iohns record cōcerning Christ, is this. That Christe is very man, very God, the true Messias, and [Page] the forgiuer of sinnes. For when hée sayeth, he it is that vvas too come after mee hée sheweth his true manhood: and wher he addeth, and yet vvas before me, hée confesseth his godhead. But wheras hée sayeth, and hee standeth among you, vvhome you knovve not, he answereth too their question, & pronoun­ceth Iesus too bee the Messias. The lauer of baptism dooth o­pēly declare, yt it is thoffice of the Messias to forgiue sinnes.

5 The vse and frute of this recorde is, that wée ought too beléeue the witnesse of Iohn, and embrace Christe the true forgiuer of sinnes, whoo hath washed vs from all our sinnes with his owne blood: whereof hée hath deliuered vntoo vs an effectuall signe, namely Baptisme, of whiche wée wil intreat else where.

6 The Phariseis are an Image of disguised Christians, (that is too say, hipocrites) which cannot away with the doc­trine of true godlinesse: but feine them selues godly in out­ward behauior, and pretend too bée most holy, whereas they beare another persone inwardlye: and thereupon it is, that such are called hypocrites. For like as they are hypocrites in Enterludes, which in apparel and outward gesture represēt persons absent: Euen so the Pharisies set foorth as it were but onely a visor of godlinesse which is farre from them, for men to looke vpon: where vpon they are called Hypocrites, as whoo (althoughe in very déede they bée vngodly in their hearts: yet) doo séeme outwardly moste holy.

¶Of the seconde.

I Am the voice of a cryer in the desert. First Iohn defineth all Prophets, Apostles, and ministers of Gods woord that they are a voice. Secondly that they are not a vain voice, but ye voice of a cryer, that is to say of a preacher. Thirdly, in the desert, that is too say in the whole world. Fourthly the hea­rers are doon to vnderstand of the woorthinesse of the voice, for it is not the voice of man, but of God, that cryeth. &c. Fiftly, that Iohn alledgeth the testimonie of Esay. For the [Page 14] godly preacher must auouch nothing without the testimonie of the holy scriptures. This present testimonie is taken out of the .40. Chapter. Sixthly, the preachers also are warned, that they father not another mannes voyce vppon God, than his owne. For such as doo so, are not the ministers of God, but the bellowes of the Deuil, which kind of men wée ought to flée no lesse than woolues.

¶Of the third.

TOo make way too the lord, is (by the witnesse of the same Iohn Baptist,) too woorke repentance. And not without great cause did Iohn vse this figure of spéech, which properly perteineth vntoo worldly kingdomes. For the wayes where kings shall passe, are woont too bée prepared or made leuel a­geinst their cōming, too the intēt they may go without peril and stumbling. This dooth Esay expound, when he sayth. E­uery vally shall bée raised, and euery mountaine and hil shal bée made leuel, and the crooked wayes shalbée made streight, and the rough places shalbée made smoothe. These things are too bée vnderstoode spiritually, concerning all impedimentes bothe inward & outward, which may hinder the comming of Christ our king vnto vs. Inward impediments are lacke of the knowledge of God, lustes, leudnesse, foolish boldnesse and such like. Outward impediments are, all stumbling blockes which Sathan casteth in our wayes, in doctrine, in the Sa­craments, & in cōuersation. And (too speake the matter in few woords,) the mountains (that is to say, whatsoeuer is high in ye world) are to be cast down by ye preaching of the law. The vallies, (that is too say, such as are broken in spirit) are [...]o be raised vp by preching of ye gospel. Bréers (yt is to say, euil life & leud affections,) are too bée stubbed vp by new obedience, & with an earnest desire too frame the life according to goddes woord. And too thentent that that may bée doon, it is required first, yt there bée criers in ye desert. Secondly there is néede of wholsom doctrine, which is ye lāpe of them yt prepare ye way. [Page] Thirdly it is requisite, that when the Lord commeth, (that is too say, when the grace of God shyneth in our hearts) wée yéeld our selues obedient through true repentance, and shew our selues too bée gods people, by dooing homage vnto Christ our Lord. Lastly it behooueth vs too offer vntoo him gifts and the sacrifice of our lips, that is too say, too acknowledge him, both with mind, voice, confession, and conuersation.

Howbéeit in as much as these things cannot bée vnder­stood without applying of examples: We wil bréefly declare the méening of Iohn and of the Prophet by examples. The summe of Iohns sermon was this: Doe penance, and beleue the Gospell: which is all one with that which he sayeth out of Esay, prepare the way of the Lord. How did hée that? He did beate downe the hilles: For when he saw many of the Pharisies and Saduces come vntoo his Baptim, hée sayd vn­too them. Yée generation of Uipers, whoo taught you to flée from the wrath that is too come? Say not within your selues wée haue Abraham too our Father. For I say vntoo you, that god is able, euen out of these stones, too raise vp children vn­too Abraham, for now is the axe layd too the roote of the trée. Euery trée that yéeldeth not good frute, shalbée hewen down and cast intoo the fire. Sée héere, how Iohn maketh the moū ­taines lowe. First when hée calleth them the generation of Uipers, he findeth fault with their leud hart, which was de­sirous of blood, and vnthankful. Secōdly he taketh away the cause of their chéefe boasting. For they had a pride in them­selues, bycause they were the children of Abraham. But hée telleth them, that this auaileth them nothing. For GOD is not an accepter of persones. Neither are those by and by the children of Abraham, which are borne of the fleshly séede of Abraham: but those are Abrahams children, which followe Abraham in faith and obedience, like as Christ beareth wit­nesse in the Gospell of S. Iohn, calling them the children of the Deuill, which boasted themselues too bée the children of Abraham. Thirdly hée addeth a threatning, vnlesse they a­mend, [Page 15] The ax (sayth he) is layd too the roote of the trée. That is to say, Gods vengeance is not farre of, that euery euil trée may be cut downe, and cast into the fire. In likewise must other ministers of Gods word dig downe the mountaines, by telling men their faultes, by taking away the cause of boa­sting, and by laying before them the punishmēts, which rest vpon all them that amend not. Then shal they also raise vp the vallies: and how? Euen as Iohn did in shewing Chryst, when he sayd: behold the Lamb of god that taketh away the sinnes of the world. When he sayth, behold, he allureth them to faith. When he addeth, the Lamb of God which taketh a­way the sinnes of the world, he expresseth the ground of re­conciliation. Thirdly he cutteth vp the bréers, whē he sayth: bring yée forth fruts worthy of repentance.

A like example haue wée in the Prophet Nathan. First he did cast downe the mountaine, that is to say, the hipocri­sie in Dauid: who hauing cōmmmitted aduoutry and murder, liued carelesse as though he had done very well. And this did he by propounding a parable of twoo men, of whome the one was poore and the other rich. The rich man had many Oxen and shéepe, & the poore man had nothing but only one shéepe, which he had bought and nourished, and which had growen vp in his house among his owne children, eating with hym of his bread, and drinking of his cuppe, and sléeping in his bosome, and was to him as his daughter. But when a strā ­ger came to the rich mans, the riche man tooke this poore mannes shéepe, and set it on the table for his guest, sparing his owne. When Dauid heard this, he was sore displeased, saying: he is the child of death that hath done this déede. Na­than aunswered, thou art the same man. Thou hast slaine U­rias the Hethite with the sword, and hast taken his wife too bée thy wife. Behold (sayth the Lord) I wil raise vp mischief ageinst thée. Sée how Nathan chargeth Dauid with his sin, taketh away the matter of boasting, least he should think he ought not too bée punished bycause he was a king: and he [Page] threatneth punishmēt vntoo him. Héere is that great moun­taine and hipocrisie beaten downe. But when Nathan saw Dauid cast downe & vnder foote, in so much that he sayd with a great outcry, I haue sinned ageinst the Lord: hée raiseth vp this vallie, saying: the Lord hath taken away thy sinne, thou shalt not dye. Afterward also he cutteth vp the Bréers, when by prophecying the death of his sonne for a punishment, hée kéepeth him in his dutie.

After the same sort, Peter in the Actes of the Apostles, first by preaching the law, cutteth the combes of the Iewes, and maketh low their mountaines. He chargeth them with their sinnes: he telleth them it bootes them nothing at all too bée of the posteritie of Abraham, and he layeth before them the threatnings of punishments vnlesse they amend. By and by after, when he héereth how they are stricken too the hart, and cast downe with consideration of their sinne, he rayseth them vp, by offering Chryst vntoo them. He biddeth them re­pent and bée baptised in the name of Chryst. And finally he taketh héede that no Bréers grow vp, by promising them the holy Ghoste.

These examples are notable, and agree to the conuersi­on of the first mā. Adam by folowing his new schoolemaster the Deuil, wexed proud. Him dooth God first cast downe too the ground by rebuking him, in setting before his eyes the greatnesse of his sinne. Anon after, he raiseth him vp ageine, by giuing him a promis of the séede that should tread downe the Serpents head.

Likewise the Lorde abaseth the proude Pharisies, and raiseth vp the troubled Mary Magdalene, whom he encou­rageth too godly and holy lyfe, saying: Thy faith hath made thee whole, goe in peace.

But as for those ministers of the woord, which after this sort do neither beate downe the mountaines, nor raise vp the vallies, nor cut vp the brambles: they de [...]e not like the seruants of God, but like the bondslaues of the Deuil, and of [Page 16] their owne bellye. Many make outcries in generall termes ageinst whordome, incest, vsurie, and other vices: but there are few that wil chardge a man with his faults too his face, as Iohn did Herod, the Pharisies and hypocrites: as Chryst did to his héerers: as Ambrose did to Theodosius. And why doo they not so? Partly bicause they wey not earnestly whose roome they supply: and partly bycause they feare hazarde of their life and goodes. But let them ageinst this blindnesse and fearfulnesse, set the commaundement of their calling, & the promis whereby Chryst hath assured his seruaunts that he wil be present with them, and that he imputeth doone vn­too himselfe whatsoeuer is doone vnto his ministers. Fur­thermore they must cōfirme themselues by the stedfastnesse and example of Iohn & of other holy ministers, & they must from tyme to time pray vnto god, to giue them corage, that they may bée bolde too doo those things which may make too the furtherance of his glorie, too whom bée honor world with­out end. Amen.

The feast of Christes birth. ¶The Gospell. Luke. ij.

THere vvent out a commaundement from Au­gustus the Emperour that all the vvorlde should be taxed. And this first taxing vvas made, vvhen Cyrenius vvas liuetenannt in Syria. And euery▪ man vvent vntoo his ovvne Citie too bee taxed. And Ioseph also as­cended from Galylie, out of a Citie called Nazareth in­too Ievvrye vntoo the Citie of Dauid vvhich is called Beth­leem, bycause he vvas of the house and linage of Dauid, too bee taxed vvith Mary his spoused vvife, vvhich vvas vvith child. [Page] And it fortuned vvhyle they vvere there, hir tyme vvas come that she should bee deliuered, and shee brought foorth hir first begotten sonne, and vvrapped him in svvadling clothes and layd him in a maunger, bycause there vvas no roome for them vvithin the Inne. And there vvere in the same region shepherds abyding in the feeld, and vvatching their flocke by night. And loe, the Angel of the Lorde stoode hard by them, and the brightnesse of the Lord shone round about them, & they vvere sore afrayd. But the Angel sayd vntoo them, Bee not afrayd. For behold I bring you tydings of great ioy, that shall come too all people. For vntoo you is borne this day in the Citie of Dauid a sauior, vvich is Chryst the Lorde. And take this for a signe: ye shall find the child svvadled and layd in a maunger. And streight vvay there vvas vvith the Angel a multitude of heauenly souldiers lauding God and saying. Glorie too God on high, and peace on the earth, and vntoo men good vvil.

The exposition of the text.

THYS Storie is a confirmation of the Article of oure beléefe, Whiche was borne of the Uirgin Marie. Which Article setteth forth vntoo vs hys newe byrth, whiche sanctifieth the olde, Adamish and corrupte byrth, in all them that take holde vppon this CHRISTE by Fayth: And albeit that this Article of Chrystes birth oughte too bée throughly knowne, euen vn­too the children of the Chrystians: yet notwithstandyng, the Church for great causes hath appointed a certeine Feast thereuntoo: verely that the Storie thereof, with his circum­staunces, may bée set foorth and learned: not onely that wée might bée delighted with the declaration of this most goodlie storie: but rather much more that the vse and profite of this most high Article, may bée séen in strengthening and raising vp of mens consciences. For the holy stories are not too bée red as the stories of men, but too the intent wée should conti­nually [Page 17] thinke vppon them, and exercise our selues in them, for our teaching, instruction, and comfort, and too the intent that by reading the scriptures, wée may haue hope. Hereof wée wil make but twoo places, wherin lie hid many other as shall appéere: and these they bée.

  • 1 The storie of Christes birth with his circumstances and members.
  • 2 The vse and practise of this storie.

¶Of the first.

IN the Storie let vs consider nine members: whereof the first is concerning the time. Christe was borne after the building of Rome, the 751. yéere: after the creation of ye world the .3963. yéere. the 42. yéere of the reigne of the Emperor Au­gustus. From the birth of Christe vntoo this present day, are fulfilled .1560. yéeres. But why dooth the Euangelist make mention so euidently of the time, of the Emperoures com­maundement, and of the léeuetenant Cyrenius? There are thrée causes. The first is, the foresayings of the Prophets. The Prophecies of Christes comming, are of twoo sortes. For some doo simply declare that Messias should come, with out foreappoynting any certeine time: Of which sorte are these: The séede of the woman shall treade downe the Ser­pents head. Also, in thy séede shall all nations be blissed. And Esay. 7. Behold a mayd shall conceiue. &c. Also Dauid: The Lord sayd vntoo my Lord. &c. And Balaam, there shall ryse a Starre out of Iacob. Other Prophecies foretell the time and yéere of Christes passion, and of his reigne. Iacob: The Scepter shall not bée taken from Iuda, vntill Zilo come, that is too say, hir sonne, namely the sonne of the woman. As if he had sayde, the séede of the woman that is promised, too destroye the woorkes of the Deuill, shall then come, when the Scepter shall bée taken from Iuda. Therefore when as Luke maketh mention of Augustus, of the tribute, [Page] and of the foreine gouernour, he meaneth that euen then the time was come, wherein it behoued Chryst to bée borne, ac­cording to the Prophecie of Iacob. Danyell also expressed in his ninthe Chapter the yéere of Christes crucifying and re­surrection, in this wyse. Know thou and vnderstande, that from the end of this talke of the leading backe of the people, and building ageine of Hierusalem, vntoo Chryst the Cap­teine, there shall bée seuen wéekes, and thrée score and twoo wéekes. And after thrée score and two wéekes Christ shalbée slaine. And in one wéeke shall he stablish his couenant with many, and in halfe a wéeke shall he make the Sacrifise too cease.

Héere dooth Daniell foretell plainely the time of Chri­stes deathe. But thrée thinges are too bée marked héere. What a wéeke is: when the account is to bée begonne: and why he disposeth the thrée score and tenne wéekes intoo thrée sortes.

A wéeke in this place is not too bée taken for a wéeke of dayes, but of yéeres, as in Leuit. 25. so that a wéeke may con­teine seuen yéeres, and seuentie wéeks, foure hundred, foure score and ten yeares.

But from what tyme must wée begin too account them? from the end of the talke. This end of the talke, diuers men vnderstand diuersly. Some referre it to the decrée of Cyrus, who after the accomplishment of the thrée score and ten yéeres of the Captiuitie, graunted the Iewes leaue too returne and build the temple of Hierusalem. How bée it for as much as the building of it was letted by their neighbors the space of fortie and two yéeres, vntill Artaxerxes with the long hands, graunted new licence ageine, at which time Haggeus and Zacharias also prophecied of the building of the Temple, that it should goe foreward: there are that begin too recken from the second yéere of Longhand. If wée folow the first reckening, there sha [...] bée thrée score and ten wéekes of yéeres vntoo the birth of Christ.

[Page 18]If we follow the latter, there shall bée thrée score and ten wéekes of yéeres, vntoo the baptim of Christe, sauing halfe a wéeke, that is too say, thrée yéeres and a halfe, in which time Christe stablished his Testament, according to the saying of Daniell. If yée conferre these thinges with the storyes, yée shall finde that Luke noted the time of Christes birth accor­ding to this reckening.

The second cause, is that the Iewes may be confuted whiche looke still for a Messias, now after that the common weale of Moyses hath béene vtterly extinguished many hun­dred yéeres ago.

The third cause is that we should bée assured, that Christe is borne and giuen vnto vs in very déed already, whom God long agoe promised too bée the deliuerer of mankinde out of the chappes of the serpent.

The second is of the place. Hée is borne in Bethléem, and in wayfaring. In Bethléem, for too fulfill the Prophecie of Micheas whiche Mathew alledgeth in his second Chapiter, out of the fifth of Micheas: And in wayfaring, too giue vs too vnderstand, that Christes Churche shall in this world conti­nue in wayfarings, and that not without contempt and per­secution. The same thing dooth Iohn declare, by his thryce repeating of one sentence. The darknesse comprehended him not: the world knew him not: his owne receyued him not. And these things doo argue that Christes kingdome is not worldly.

The third is of his parents. According too his manhoode, hée is borne in wedlocke truely: but of a mayden: of which thing there are right weightie causes. The first is, pro­misse. The séede of the woman shall treade downe the Ser­pentes heade. Also: Beholde a maide shall bréede childe and bring foorth a sonne. The second is necessitie: for no manne that is borne according too the course of nature, is without spot and sinne. Therfore was it of necessitie, that the Messias should by the holy Ghost bée conceiued of the séede of a mayd, [Page] without the séede of man, too the intent he might bée cleane from all spot of sinne, as it became the true Emanuell God and man too bée.

The fourth for that Christe is very God and verye man, I must out of the first Chapiter of Iohn speake of the God­head of Christe, and declare the circumstances of time, ma­ner, matter, place, déede, and cause. Therefore if thou de­maunde when Christe was as touching his Godhead? Iohn answereth. In the beginning was the woorde, that is to say, the woord was before the beginning of all things that were created. Christe then is no creature. If thou aske how hée was? Iohn answereth, and the woorde was with God: Er­go he is another person than God the father. If thou enquire what he was? He answereth & the woord was God: by which saying is mente, that the substaunce of the Godhead is all one. If thou demaunde what hée did? Hée answereth, all thinges were made by him. If thou aske what hée doeth? He answereth, hee lightneth euery man that commeth intoo this worlde. If thou aske whether hée came? He answereth, intoo this worlde he came, intoo his owne hée came. If thou aske in what manner hée came? Hée answereth, the woorde became fleshe. If thou demaunde wherefore he came? He answereth that he myght giue power too as many as beléeue in him, too bée made the sonnes of GOD. If thou aske when hée came? He answereth, there was a man sente from GOD whoose name was Iohn. &c. These things I thought good too touche bréeflye concerning the Godhead of Chryst.

The fifth is of the Cradle of Chryst, whiche signifieth no­thing else than contempt of the worlde and vtter pouertie, whiche pouertie it was Christes will too taste of, too the in­tent hée might make vs riche. Let proude folkes looke intoo this Cradle, and lay downe their loftinesse. Let poore men looke into it, and cease to despaire, as though they were des­pised for their pouertie.

[Page 19]Héere is too bée noted the abuse of all things created by God. Bethléem serueth for lucre, & the Inne for guests: & Christe the King and Lorde of all things is thrust out intoo a stable. So also at this day, the Church is despised, while the vngod­ly flowe in riches, honor and power.

The sixth is of the appéering of the angels, whoo first testi­fie that the Lord is come: and secondly shewe by their very brightnesse, what maner of king the new born Christ shuld bée: and thirdly they declare by their himne, what maner of benefits he shall bestow, and what maner of glory is yéelded therby vntoo God.

The seuenth is of the preaching of the Angels vntoo the shepeherds. Feare not: for beholde I bring you glad tidings of greate ioye that shalbee among all people, bycause there is borne vntoo you this day a Sauiour (vvhich is Christ the Lord) in the Citie of Dauid. And this shalbee a signe vntoo you: you shall finde the childe vvrapped in svvadling clothes, and layd in a maunger.

This Sermon is the excellentest of all Sermons that euer were made in the worlde before, wherof there are ma­ny partes.

First the Angels forbid the shepherds too bée afraid: wher­by they shew that Christ came too take away the curse of the law, and sinne, for which the curse came vpon men.

The second is the preaching of glad tidings: I bring you tidings of great gladnesse. When hée saith greate, hée put­teth a difference betwéen it, and the ioy of the world, which la [...]teth but a shorte time, and is grounded vppon a weake foundation. But this ioy whiche the Angels bring tidings of, is called greate for foure causes. First for the matter or substaunce of it, whiche is great: namely the reconciling of vs vntoo GOD. Secondly for the continuance and stedfast­nesse of it, for it endureth for euer, and it abideth constant. Thirdly for that it dooth not perteine too a few only, but vn­too all men that by faith receiue this tidings of the gladnesse. [Page] Fourthly for that it is spirituall, perteyning too the saluati­on of the whole man.

The third point is: the cause and ground of this gladnesse. Bicause (saith hée) this day is borne vntoo you a Sauioure whiche is Christe the Lord.

The fourth: he sheweth the place. In the Citie of Dauid (saith hée) that is too wéete, Bethléem.

The fifth: a signe is added too the woord. For hée sayeth: this shall bée a signe vntoo you. Yée shall finde the childe lap­ped vp in clothes, and layed in a maunger. This signe dooth twoo things. First it leadeth them the right way vntoo the Childe, least in séeking him they should mistake him. For albéeit that all moothers doo wrappe their children in swad­ling cloutes, yet they lay them not in maungers. Secondly it putteth a difference betwéene the kingdome of this childe, and the kingdoms of this world. For the worldly kingdoms haue outward gloriousnesse. And these are the partes of the Angels sermon.

The eyght is of Christes birth. First hée is reuealed vntoo the Shepeheardes. Whereby twoo things are too bée lear­ned. One, that Christes kingdome is not worldely. Ano­ther, that Christes kingdome belongeth too the poore: accor­ding too this saying, the poore receiue the glad tidinges of the Gospell.

The ninthe is of the song of the Angelles: whiche is: Glorye vntoo God on high, in earth peace, and too men good vvill? This song dooth in a meruelous bréefnesse, comprehend the frute of the Lords birth, which consisteth in thrée things. For first, glorie is attributed vntoo God. Secondly peace is made vntoo men. And thirdly is shewed the good will of God towardes men.

First therefore when the Angelles say, Glorye vntoo God on high. Their meaning is, that no man can yéelde true glorie vntoo GOD, without the true knoweledge of Chryste. Uerely man was created vntoo this ende, that hée [Page 20] should glorifie his creator. But through the fall of our first parentes it came too passe, that neyther hee knew GOD aryght, nor glorified him aright. If thou demaund what it is too giue glorie vntoo God? too giue glorie vntoo any bodye: is nothing else but too attribute true vertue vntoo him. As when some king dealeth iustly, wisely, valiant­ly, and mercifully, his subiectes yéelde him glorie: that is too say, his subiectes like well of his doings, and wyth singular good will doo blaze them abrode. And in like wise is glorie giuen vntoo God, when his vertues are right­ly acknowledged and felt, as his wisdome, his rightuous­nesse, his puissance, his mercifulnesse, his truth, and suche others.

The wisdome of God is séene in this, that he repaireth a­geine man whom he had created too his glory: so as he might by his sonne borne of a virgin, recouer ageine the Image of God which he had lost through sinne, and so giue glorie too the wisdome of God.

His rightuousenesse is séene by this, that hée would not receiue intoo fauour man that had sinned, without amendes made for the wrong that hée had done. For whereas it was of necessitie, that eyther man muste haue perished euerla­stingly for his sinne, or else that some one of mankynd must haue made satisfaction vntoo God, by abyding punishment for all mankind, God gaue his owne sonne, whoo taking manhood vppon him, hath in the same satisfied the rightu­ousenesse of God: and therefore is the praise of rightuous­nesse worthily too bée attributed too God, for the birthe of Chryst our Lord.

His puissance is commended, in that hée hathe through Chryst ouercome the Serpent and his séede, yea and roo­ted out his kingdome, so farre foorthe as pertayneth vn­too all them that take holde by fayth vppon thys Iesus that is borne.

His mercyfulnesse shineth in this, that by his sonne and [Page] for his Sonnes sake, hée taketh ageyne intoo fauoure Man­kinde forlorne and oppressed by the tyrannie of the Deuyll, and ouerwhelmed wyth excéedyng great myseries, cala­mities, death, hell, and damnation. Thys mercyfulnesse of God excéedeth all the woorkes of God, whych both the good Angels and the elect men shall set out euerlastingly, yea and the verye Deuyls shall acknowledge, though against theyr willes.

His truth is made manifest in this, that bearing in minde his promises of olde time, hée performeth that which hée had promised long agoe. For at such time as our first parents fell intoo sinne, hée promysed them the séede of the woman, which should treade downe the head of the Serpent: and this pro­mise hée fulfilleth now in giuing vs his sonne.

For these vertues therfore, glorie is too bée giuen too God, and that specially by those that féele his benefites. This glo­rie is then rightly yéelded vntoo him, first as soone as wée ac­knowledge this woonderful benefit of God: Secondly, when we imbrace his sonne by fayth: Thirdly, whē we praise God with minde, with voyce, with confession, and with behaui­our: And fourthly when wée allure as many as wée can too the knowledging of him.

Afterwarde, when the Angels say, Peace on earth, there is noted the chéefe benefite of Chryst, for which hée came in­too the worlde, namely that peace might bée made betwéene GOD and man. Thys peace is the mutuall consent of God and men. Of GOD receyuing men intoo his fauoure for hys sonnes sake: And of men receyuing through fayth the benefite offered, wyth rendryng of thankes and conti­nuall thankfulnesse of minde. Most swéete are the frutes of this peace: that is to say, accesse vnto God, ioyfulnesse of spi­rite, a good conscience, and gladsome passage out of this lyfe. The things that breake this peace, are sinnes doone against conscience, carelessenesse, and neglecting of the woorde. And therfore they are too bée shunned no lesse than plagues.

[Page 21]In the last place they adde: And too men good vvill. That is too wéet: As soone as God is reconciled vntoo men through Christ, hée fauoreth and embraceth them with a true and fa­therly affection, as moste déerely beloued children, whom hée holdeth right déere, as adopted in Christe. Of this good will speaketh Dauid also in his fifth Psalme. Bicause thou shalt blisse the righteous, O Lorde, thou defendest him with thy good wil as with a shéelde.

When as Dauid in this place compareth Gods good will too a shéeld, he sheweth the true vse and frute thereof. For hée meaneth, that Gods fauoure is too vs in stéede of a buckler, wherewith wée are defended against the weapons of them that assault vs. The deuil brandisheth his fiery dartes at vs: but this shéeld kéepeth vs safe. And so of all others.

¶Of the seconde.

THe vse of it is double. Generall, which is deriued of the whole historie: and Speciall, which is deriued of the se­uerall parts. The generall vse therefore, is that wée should learne to receiue and embrace our true Sauiour God & man borne of the virgin, by setting him against all our miseries, sinne, death, curse, Gods wrath, and hell: assuring our selues that this sonne of God and Mary (is according vnto the pro­phecie of Esay) borne too vs, and giuen too vs: yea and that, too the intent hée shoulde bée righteousnesse and saluation too all that beléeue in him. The speciall vse of it is manifolde: First that wée should learne of Christs parents, too bée obe­dient too magistrates. Secondly, that wée should lerne of the shepherds, to giue credite to ye testimonies cōcerning Christ: too séek Christ: and too return too the woorks of our vocation. Thirdly that we should learn of the Angels, first too preache Christe too them that are vnknowen: wherby all the godly ministers of Gods woord may comforte them selues in their ministerie, for that they teache the same thing that was de­liuered [Page] béefore by so princely spirites. Moreouer, wée may learn of the Angels and shepherds togither, too confesse this Christ. Finally wée may learne too glorifie God, and too sing with the angels, Glory be to God on high, too whom bée ho­nour and praise world without end. Amen.

The second holyday in Christmas called S. Stephens day. ¶The Gospell. Math. xxiij.

BEholde, I sende vntoo you Prophets and vvise men and Scribes, and some of them yee shal kil and crucifie: and some of them shal ye scourge in your Synagoges, and persecute them from citie too citie: that vpon you may come all the rightuous blood vvhich hath been shed vppon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abell, vntoo the blood of Zacharias, the sonne of Barachias, vvhome yee slevv betvveene the Tem­ple and the aultare. Verely I say vntoo you: all these things shall come vppon this generation. O Ierusalem, Ierusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them vvhich are sent vntoo thee, hovve often vvoulde I haue gathered thy children toogither, euen as the henne gathereth hir chickens vnder hir vvings, and ye vvould not? Behold, your house is left vnto you desolate. For I say vntoo you: Yee shall not see mee hence­foorth, til that yee say: Blissed is hee that commeth in the name of the Lord.

The exposition of the Text.

BEFORE wée goe in hande with the Exposi­tion of the Text, bicause this day is dedicated to Saint Steuen, I will declare why the feastes of saincts are woont too bée halowed in the church of God; and what wée ought too marke in the [Page 22] example of Saint Stephen.

Dayes are kept holy in the Churche of GOD, not after the maner of the heathen, as is woont too bee among the Pa­pists, that wée should cal vpon the saints as patrons & inter­cessors: which thing cannot be doon wtout horrible sacriledge & cōtempt of ye son of god: but there are many right weighty causes why it is profitable that the feasts of certeine saints, should bée reteyned in our Churches, & they bée chéefly sixe.

The first cause is, yt the continual historie of ye church may bée alwayes before our eyes, which must bée vnto vs both a rule to liue by, & a mean to put vs in mind of gods prouidēce For if it bée a pleasure too reade the histories of heathē men, in whō apéered a visor of some vertue: vndoutedly it wil bée much more pleasure to read ye histories of those in whō shoon bright ye liuely images of true vertues, as in Paule, Péeter, Mary, Stephen, Magdalen, the théefe, and many others.

The second is, that the testimonies of the doctrine, of the ministerie of teaching, and of the Church, might bée conside­red. For there were miracles doone, there were woonderfull callings too the ministerie of the Churche, and the doctrine was set open throughe the whole Churche. In these testi­monies it is a moste beautifull sight, too behold the continu­all consent of the true Churche, in the writings of the Pro­phets and Apostles, and in the groundes or chéefe articles of the faith, and too discerne the true doctrine of the Churche from the corruptions, lies, and deceits of all ages.

The third is, that GOD should bée glorified, and thanks yéelded vntoo him, for opening him selfe vntoo vs, for dely­uering vs his doctrine, for shewing his presence in the chur­che, & for making vs frée Denizens of that company, whiche is witnessed too bée his true Churche, and true woorshippers of him.

The fourth is, that the examples may strengthē our faith when wée reade that their prayers were hearde, and that they were helped from heauen, as it is sayde in the .xxxiij. [Page] psalme: This poore man cried vntoo the Lord, and the Lorde heard him: we conceiue assured hope, that hée will likewise helpe vs when wée call vpon him. Let euery one of vs ther­fore determine and reason with him selfe in this wise: God receiued Magdalene, the Théefe, and Paule intoo fauor vp­pon repentance, notwithstanding their excéeding great sin­nes, wherwith they had offended God before. Therfore wil I flée vntoo the same Lorde God, that hée may take mée intoo fauour also. Hée vouchsafed to pardon Péeter after his hor­rible fall: and therfore though I bée falne, I wil not dispair: for hée is alwayes stable in him self, and euermore like him selfe, and there is no respect of persons with him.

The fifth is, that euery one of vs should follow the exam­ple of the Saincts in our vocation. Paule was not quayled with the hugenesse of persecutions, but taught the Gospell constantly. His example let the ministers of Gods woord fo­low. Iohn feared not the threats of Herod: therefore let the godlye preacher learne by his example, too set lighte hy the woodnesse of the world. Abraham through faith trayned vp his house holylie in the true feare of God, and in calling vp­on him. Therfore let all godly housholders lern at his hād, and so let all other examples bée applyed.

The sixt is, that the memoriall of Saincts may bée plea­sant vntoo vs, and their vertue bée commended, for that they vsed well the gifts of GOD, for that they are Gods houses and witnesses of him, for that they are garnished with great vertues, and for that they are vntoo vs, liuely examples of conuersion, faith, repentaunce, stedfastnesse, pacience, and o­ther vertues.

These sixe causes are the weightiest, for whiche bothe the memoriall of the Sainctes (according too the example of the auncient Churche) is reteyned, and their feasts halowed: which points béeing rightly obserued, all things turn too the glory of God, and too the welfare of our selues.

Now must I speak a litle concerning Stephen, in whose [Page 23] storie let vs consider these circumstances: his religion, his office in the Church, the defence of his religion, his constan­cie in confessing it, his calling vppon Chryste, his comforte, and the ende of his life.

The religion of Stephen. Stephen was a christian, a man full of faith and the holy ghoste, full of grace and manlinesse. For where as is true faithe there is the holye Ghoste. The greater encreasment that faith taketh so muche the more dooth the holy Ghoste witnesse him self too bée present, kind­ling motions in mens heartes agréeable with the lawe of God. Contrarywise, where the holy Ghoste is not felt effec­tuall, there also it is manifest that true faith is away. Wée haue héere therfore that which we may followe in Stephen, that is too wéete, an effectuall faith, whervntoo the holy ghost beareth witnesse. Those men followe not Stephens faith, which haue it in their mouth, and yet therewithall wallowe in wicked lustes, and runne headlong whither soeuer their blinde affections leade them.

Stephens office in the church, was too minister too ye poore and too kéepe the treasure of the church too the vse of the poore sainctes: in whiche office no dout but hée was diligent. For he had the holy ghoste his gouerner, and true faith and chari­tie as a rule too woorke by. Let maisters of Hospitalles and Deacons then set thys man before their faces. Firste let them bring faith with them, without whiche no charge nor office can be executed as it ought for to bée. Secondly in the execution, let them shew them selues too bée gouerned by the holy ghoste, that they doo not eyther deale too hardly with the poore, or laye out the goodes at other mennes pleasure, or bée slacke in their dutie, or purloyne it away them selues, or els bestowe that vppon others whiche of right belongeth vntoo the poore: but let them performe all faithfulnesse in their of­fice, bearing in minde, that God is a looker vppon their dea­ling: assuring them selues, that those of whom they haue the chardge, are the membres of Christe: and beléeuing verily, [Page] that they ouer whome they are set, are the temples of God, how muche soeuer they bée brought vnder foote with pouer­tie, diseases, and store of biles and botches.

How Stephen defended the religion that hée professed, hée sheweth in the sixt and seuenth chapters of the Acts. He dooth not in daunger forsake his profession: hée cloketh it not, as many doo. But hée is a constant and manfull defender of his religion. The multitude of sects whiche at that time swar­med, hindred him not at all. Hée was not abashed at the au­thoritie of the Phariseys and great men in Iewry. But set­ting him self manfully against sects, he susteyneth the brunt of the people alone, and defendeth his religion with a long oration: whiche example let vs followe also.

His constancie in his confession appéereth héereby, that he is not feared from his confession, neyther by threatnings, nor by excommunication, nor by stoning: but as (an inuin­cible Souldiour) holdeth faste his Confession, euen in the myddes of peryls. This also is set foorth as an exam­ple too vs.

His calling vpon Christe, at suche tyme as hée lay ouer­whelmed with stones, bothe sheweth hys fayth, and also beareth recorde of the charitie of this man. For hée made in­tercession for them that put him too death, and he made not intercession for them in vain. For Paule whoo was the kéeper of their garmentes that stoned Stephen, was afterward conuerted.

Comfort is founde in thys inuocation. For he sawe the sonne of God (for whose sake he suffred these things) stan­ding at the right hand of GOD, and making intercession for him, through which consolation the bitternesse of his pu­nishment, was not a little asswaged. If wée therfore followe the example of this man in our Crosse or persecution, wée shall assuredly féele the present help of GOD, comforting vs with his holy spirite.

The end of his life was moste ioyfull. For in this prayer [Page 24] Lorde Iesu receyue my soule, he yéelded vp his ghoste, and fell a sléepe in the Lorde. And so hée bothe finished his race, and kept his faith, and also (as a stout conqueror) obteined a garland with glory. Let vs therfore at the time of our death also, set him for an example before our eyes.

Now let vs looke vpon the text of the Gospel, the summe wherof is this: Christ foretelleth the daungers of the mini­sters of Gods woord, and threatneth punishment too their persecuters. Wée for instruction sake, will entreat of foure places which are these.

  • 1 The foretelling of the persecutions of the ministers of Gods woord.
  • 2 The aggrauating of the sinne of the persecuters.
  • 3 The threatning of punishment.
  • 4 The vpbraiding of the vnthankfulnesse of them that refuse Christ, when hée allureth them too repen­taunce.

¶Of the first.

BEhold I send vntoo you prophets and vvise men, and scribes, and of them some yee shall kill and crucifie, and some of them you shall vvhip in your synagoges, and yee shall perse­cute them from Citie too Citie. Thys speaketh Christ too the Iewes, who séemed at that time too bée the very chur­che of GOD, and dooth them too vnderstand with howe greate outrage they shoulde in time too come, persecute his Ambassadors the Prophets and Apostles. Uerily God sendeth his woord, too the intent that such as receiue his woorde and beléeue it, might bée saued. Nowe that some by meanes therof become worser, it is not too bée imputed vn­too God, but too the malice of men, which will not followe God that draweth thē by his woord. Why the vngodly shall persecute the apostles, the Lord sheweth plainly in the tenth of Mathew, where he sayeth: And yée shall bée hated of all [Page] man for my names sake. Iohn the .xvj. And the houre com­meth, that vvhosoeuer sleaeth you, shall think he doth God hye seruice. And these things shall they doo too you, bycause they knovv not the father nor mee. Héere hée alledgeth the cause, why the vngodly are so mad vppon the godly, that is to say: bicause they knowe not God: which want of knowing God bringeth too passe, that the murtherers them selues doo think they offer holy sacrifices vnto God, when they put the faith­full too death. Yea and they that knowe not God, runne hed­long into hipocrisie, and out of hipocrisie intoo murther, vntill they haue filled vp the measure of their wickednesse.

What then dooth Christ? He commeth too the sicke. But they as folke out of their wittes, set them selues against Christe, whom they couet too dispatch out of the world. He by his mi­nisters sheweth them their disease. They on the other side, will be knowen of no disease: and therfore they bothe dispise the Phisitian and persecute his messengers.

¶Of the seconde.

THat vppon you may come all the righteous blood that is shed vpon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel. &c. How sore the persecuters of the church doo sinne, he sheweth héere. For hée sayth that they shall bée giltie of all the blood of the Sainctes that euer was shed, no lesse than if they wyth their owne hands had slaine all the godly men and sainctes, yea and Christ him selfe. For amongst all the vngodly, there is a certeine alyance of vngodlynesse, whiche maketh their punishementes a lyke gréeuous, and their giltinesse a lyke equall.

¶Of the thirde.

VErely I say vntoo you, all these thinges shall come vppon this generation. Althoughe these things are peculiarlye spoken of the Iewes béeing persecuters: yet generally they perteine to all persecuters of the Church. The othe that the Lorde addeth, teacheth vs two things. First that the vngodly [Page 25] shall one day in déede bée caried too punishment, how long so euer hée séeme too delay their iudgement. And secondly, that the godly which suffer persecution, shal one day bée glorious­ly deliuered, and their ennimies bée put too euerlasting tor­ments. Whereby the godly may learne, not too grudge at the vngodly persecuters, but rather too bée moued with com­passion for their assured damnation, and too make intercessi­on for them, that the Lord will turne them, that they bée not al damned, according as Stephan did, as wée haue heard before.

¶Of the fourth.

O Hierusalem, Hierusalem, vvhich sleaest the Prophets. &c. These woordes of Christ calling vppon Hierusalem by name, conteine first an vpbraiding. Secondly, they declare Christes affection towardes them. Thirdly, they doo vs too vnderstand, that they perish through their owne default: and lastly they threaten punishment.

For when he sayth, how often wold I haue gathered thée toogither: hée vpbraideth them with vnthankfulnesse, for that they would neither receiue the benefite that was offe­red them, nor had any regarde of their owne welfare, and much lesse would acknowledge the liberalitie of their bene­factor, or be thankful too him for it. Would God that a num­ber of them that heare the Gospell at this day were not like them, which thing verily they shew by their frutes.

The Lord declareth his affection towards them, when he compareth himself too a hen, which loueth hir chickens most entierly, and doth al that shée is able too doo, too the intent shée may kéepe them from the foules that are ennimies too them. God forbid that it should enter intoo any godly hart, too think that Christ determined otherwise with him self concerning the Iewes by some secrete wil, than he pretended by his tea­res and by his spéech. For it is a horrible thing too think, that there are contrary willes in Chryst, who himselfe condem­neth [Page] a double heart. Therefore hée willed their saluation in déede, according too the saying of the Prophet: I will not the death of a sinner: but that hée should conuert and liue.

In the third place, when the Lord sayth, And thou vvoul­dest not ▪ he opēly testifieth, that the Iewes peryshed through their owne default, and that of their owne malice they stri­ued against Christ, who offered them saluation. Hée sayeth not, And God vvould not receiue thee intoo fauoure but, thou vvouldest not. Wherfore wée may learne twoo things héere­by: One is, that béeing made warer by the harme of the Iewes, wée giue eare too Gods woorde, and yéeld our selues obediēt too Christ, when he allureth vs, & that wée striue not against the holy Ghost, who stirreth vp the witts of al men, that héere the Gospell. An other is, that whosoeuer héere the woord & obey it not, doo perishe through their owne fault. Whose destruction and damnation is not too bée ascribed too any destinie or secrete will of God, as thoughe there were some whom hée would not haue saued.

Fourthly when he addeth, And your house shall bee left desolate vnto you: Although this threatning of punishment perteine in speciall too the Iewes that were persecuters, too whom he threatneth the vtter ouerthrow of their religion, common weale, and priuate state: yet in generall, it pertey­neth too al persecuters of the gospell. And he thretneth them, that at least wise some of them shoulde amende. For all the thretnings of the prophets haue a couert condition, namely vnlesse yée repent: like as wée sée in the Niniuites, and as wée héere Chryst witnessing in these woords: Unlesse yée re­pent, yée shall perish all toogither. Luke. xiij.

Let vs then bée warned by this threatning (if wée minde too scape the wrath of God) too repent vs in good earnest, and too call vpon Chryst our sauiour with true gronings, that he may kéepe vs in true faith and inuocation: Too whom with GOD the father and the holy Ghost bée praise, honour, and glorie for euer and euer. Amen.

The third holiday in Christmas, common­ly called S. Iohn the Euangelists day. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. xxj.

IEsus sayd vntoo Peter: Folovv thou mee. Peter tur­ned about, and savv the Disciple vvhom Iesus loued folovving (vvhiche also leaned on his brest at Sup­per) and sayd, Lorde, vvhiche is hee that betrayeth thee? VVhen Peter therefore savv him, hee sayde vntoo Iesus: Lorde, vvhat shall hee heere doo? Iesus sayde vntoo him: If I vvill haue him too tarrie till I come, vvhat is that too thee? Fol­lovv thou mee. Then vvent this saying abroade among the brethren, that that Disciple should not die. Yet Iesus sayed not too him, hee shall not die: but if I vvill that he tary til I come, vvhat is that too thee? The same Disciple is he vvhich testifieth of these things: and vvrote of these things: and vvee knovve that his testimonie is true. There are also many other things vvhiche Iesus did, the vvhiche if they should bee vvritten euery one, I suppose the vvorlde could nor conteine the bookes that should bee vvritten.

The exposition of the text.

THe summe of the Gospell. After that Christe had asked Peter thrice, whether hée looued him, hée commaunded him too followe him: meaning thereby, that he should glorifie him by his death. Furthermore, by correcting Peters errour, the Euangelist correcteth the opinion of the other disciples: who misvnder­standing the Lordes woordes, were in a wrong opinion, that Iohn should not die. Last of al he auoucheth, that the Gospel whiche Iohn wrate concerning Christe is true. And of this Gospel let vs make foure places: whiche are these.

  • 1 The talke betwéene Christ and Peter, & Christs com­maundement that he should folow him.
  • 2 As euery mans vocation is commended too him: so is curiousnesse condemned.
  • [Page]3 The correcting of the errour of Christes disciples risen of the mistaking of the Lordes woordes.
  • 4 A commendation of the Gospel written by Iohn.

¶Of the first.

ANd vvhen he had sayd so, he said vntoo Peter, folovve mee. Bicause Peter had denied Christ thrice, it was the Lor­des wil to restore him too his former estate and Apostleship, by his thrice confessing him. For it was méete that hée whi­che had so often denied his Lord and maister, should by this meane (and as it were by this discipline) bée chastised and tried, and that his conuersion should bée made knowen.

There are thrée things whiche Christ dooth héer with Pe­ter. First, hée asketh him thrée times whither hée looueth him: Too whom Péeter answereth thrice also, that by this thrée times confessing, hée might washe away his thrice de­nying of him, and so bée restored into his place againe. Se­condlye hée commendeth vntoo him the office of Apostleship thrice, saying: Féed my shéepe, that is too say, bée my Apostle too gather my shéepe vntoo me, by the doctrine of the Gospell, by my sacramentes, and by holy life. Here it is giuen vs too vnderstand, that the duetie of the Apostleship (yea and of all ministers of Gods woord) is too féede Christes shéepe. Be­sides this, by the metaphor of Shéepe, is signified what ma­ner a companie of men that shall bée, whiche is figured vn­der the name of shéepe. First therefore somewhat must bée sayde héere of the manner of féeding, and secondlye of the Shéepe.

Christ féedeth, and the apostles and other ministers of the woorde, féede: but the manner of them all is not alike. For Christ féedeth as owner and shepherde of the shéep: the apo­stles féede as his seruantes. Christe inwardly by his spirite: the Apostles, by their outwarde ministerie. For suche as in crueltie of cōditiōs were Beares or Lions: they make tame through the Lordes woorking inwardly by his holy spirite. [Page 27] And so they bring them intoo the shéepfolde of Christ, that is too say, Christes kingdome: and this they doo by putting too the keys of Christes churche, giuen them of Chryst the true shepeheard. Nothing else are these keys than the woord and Faith. The minister applyeth the woorde outwardely, and the spirite of Chryste inwardly ioyneth fayth too the prea­ching. For the preaching of Gods woorde concerning the forgiuenesse of sinnes too bée obteyned through Christ, is the onely key too open the kingdome of heauen. Now, if he that heareth, ioyneth also thervnto true faith, and do verily agrée vnto the Gospell: then commeth also the other key. With these two keis is the kingdom of heuen opened, and forgiue­nesse of sinnes obteined. That is too say, the Ambassage of Chryst sheweth, wherein that which is spoken figuratiuely vnder the name of keyes, is expressed in cléere and plaine meanyng woordes. When hée sayth: Go and preach the gos­pell too all creatures: Behold, héere haue you the firste key. And when hée addeth, hee that beleeueth, shall bee saued. Hée sheweth the other key. The woord and fayth therfore are the twoo keys wherewith the kingdome of heauen is opened. The woorde is applyed outwardly by the Minister, which béeing receyued by the vertue of the spirite, engendreth Faythe, wherethrough men enter intoo the shéepefolde of Chryst.

And when the shepherds haue let in the shéepe into Chri­stes shéepfolde, they must féede them with the woord, and with his Sacraments. When any stray from the shéepfold, they must fetch them backe againe wyth theyr shéepehookes: that is too say, with rebuking them. If any bée weake and sickely, they must refresh them with chéerfull comforte. And they must alwayes kéep watche about their flock, least wolues come and breake vp the folde, and scatter the shéepe. All these things the Lorde committed too Peter, and the o­ther Apostles, or rather too all the ministers of the Gospell, when hée sayd too Peter: féede my shéepe.

[Page]But why calleth he them shéep whom the apostles bring vntoo Chryst? I finde specially thrée causes. Wherof the first is, for that it behoueth them too bée méeke which professe Chryste, or will bée named Christians. For it becommeth not them that will bée registred intoo Chrystes houshold, too bée cruel like Lions, rauening like Wolues, wylie like fox­es lecherous like Goats, filthy like swine, or too shewe them selues in affections like too other wilde beastes.

The second cause is, for that like as shéepe doo know the voyce of their owne shepeherde, and flée from a straunger: so the godly acknowledge Chryste onely for their teacher, and will héere those onely that vtter his woord, and not any other: how greatly renoumed so euer they bée: no thoughe they were Angels from heauen.

The thirde cause is, for that like as shéepe followe their owne shepherde whither so euer he goeth: so must the godly folowe Christ in life, in persecution, and in glorie: beholding hys lyfe as a rule too leade their life by, bearing his Crosse through pacience, as often as néede shall require, and after­warde becomming partakers of his glorie, whose compani­ons they had bene in persecution: according as Paule sayth: If wée suffer with him, wée shall also bée glorified with him. Hereby therfore may the godly ministers of ye woord learne too féede Christes flock. And let the shéepe bée méeke, let them héere the voyce of their shepherd only: and let them folowe him in life, in crosse, and in glorie.

The thirde thing that Christ dooth héere, is that he doothe Peter too vnderstand with what kinde of death, hée shoulde glorifie God, when he sayth: VVhen thou vvert yong, thou diddest girde thy selfe, and vventest vvhither thou vvoldest: but vvhen thou art olde, thou shalte stretche out thy hande, and an other shall girde thee and leade thee vvhither thou vvoldest not. It is ment by these woordes, that Peter for confessing Christ, should one day be crucified: which thing Irenaeus and diuers of the auncient writers testifie too haue béene done at [Page 28] Rome, in the reigne of Nero.

Herevntoo Christ addeth his commaundement vntoo Pe­ter, and bids him folow him, & not deny him any more, as he had heretofore done: but too shew him self stoutly an inuinci­ble souldier of Christ euen vntoo death. And let euery one of vs think the same too bée spoken too him selfe.

¶Of the second.

PEter turning about, savve the disciple vvhom Iesus loued, fo­lovving, vvho also leaned vpon his breast at the Supper: and vvhen hee savv him. Peter sayde vntoo Iesus: Lorde, and vvhat shall he doo? too vvhom Iesus ansvvered: If I vvil haue him ta­rie till I come, vvhat is that too thee? folovv thou mee. Peter hearing of the Lorde that hée shoulde one day suffer sharpe punishement for Christes sake, considereth not so muche what was too bée doone on his owne parte, as hée is carefull what shall become of others. Hée is ready too beare the crosse for Christes sake: but by the way throughe weaknesse of the flesh there cōmeth vpon him a certeine curiousnesse whiche maketh him inquisitiue of those things that belong not vnto him self. For, so great is the frailtie of man, yt always in our own aduersities, wée haue an eye too the happines of others: wherby wée make our crosse more bitter and harder too our selues. Wée would with a good wil that none should be hap­pier than ourselues. For according too the common prouerb. It dooth a man good too haue company in shipwreck. But whē as the Lord rebuketh this curiousnesse in Peter, wée ought too knowe, that this reproofe perteyneth too vs also.

And too the intent too correcte this faulte in the Apostle, he sayth, VVhat is that too thee? follovve thou mee. As if hée had sayde. Looke not thou vpon the happinesse of other men, but rather sée too this, that thou doo thine owne duetie, and that thou beare what so euer the Lorde shall lay vppon thée too beare. So is it the Lordes will that wée shoulde take héede too our owne vocation, in the feare of GOD. Hée will not that wée shoulde thinke oure selues the more vnhappie, [Page] though other séeme too bée in better case. For euery vocation hath his crosse annexed thervntoo, whiche is to be born with a quiet minde. All (sayeth Paule) that will liue godlily in Christ, shall suffer persecution. No man therefore (so hée bée godly) shalbe exempted from the Crosse. Wherefore casting away heathenishe curiositie, let euery man abide in the vo­cation that hée is called vntoo. Let him bée quiet, and meddle with his owne matters, according too Paules counsell. Hée willeth vs too bée quiet, that wée bée not busied in other mēs matters as wicked men bée: and as many bée now a dayes. Hée wil haue vs too meddle with our owne matters, that is too say, hée wil haue euery one of vs too looke too the thinges that pertaine too his owne calling. And too the intent that may bée doone, there are fiue things too bée regarded in eue­ry vocation. First the calling or vocation muste bée lawful. Secondly faith and charitie must bée the rulers too direct our dooings by in our vocation. Thirdly, if any thing chaunce amisse in our vocation, a man must comforte him self in that his conscience assureth him that his vocation is lawful. Fourthly, a man must employ his vocation too the glorie of God and the profite of Christes churche. Lastly forasmuche as nothing hath luckie successe in a mans vocation, without Gods blissing: hée must pray too God too put too his helping hande. If a man doo this in the true feare of God, verelye hée shall finde, that his vocation shall not bée vnprofitable vntoo the Churche of God.

¶Of the third.

THere vvent a saying among the brethern; that that Disci­ple should not die. Sée how easely men slip intoo errour, Christe sayth, if I wil haue him tary, what is that too thée? and his disciples tooke it as thoughe he sayde, I will that hée shall tarie and not die til I come. Héere therfore wée are ad­monished too take good héed in the reading of holy scripture, that wée builde not therevppon any other things than are [Page 29] spoken. Then let vs embrace those things that are cléer and euident: Such things as are spoken with condition or dark­ly, let vs confer with playner places: & let vs call vpon God too giue vs the key of true knoweledge, that wée may vnder­stand without error, such things as perteine too our saluati­on. From vnprofitable questions, (such as make nothing too edification,) let vs absteine: knowing that God liketh wel this simplicitie, according too this saying: Séek not for things that are aboue thy reache.

¶Of the fourth.

THe Euangelist him selfe closeth vp his Gospel, saying: This is the same disciple vvhich beareth vvitnesse of these things and vvrate them. And vvee knovve that his vvitnesse is true. This is as it were a sealing vp of the Gospel yt Iohn wrate. When hée saith vve knovve, he meaneth that the Gospell is certeine, true, and infallible. This Gospell hée calleth a wit­nesse, bicause it beareth witnesse of Christe and his benefits. Too what end Iohn wrate his Gospel, hée him self declareth in the end of the xx. chapter, where hée saith: And these things are vvritten, that yee may beleue that Iesus is Christ the sonne of God, and that by beleeuing yee may haue life throughe his name. There are therfore twoo ends of the Gospel: namely, the knowledge of Iesus Christ: and saluation through trust in him, too whom bée glory for euermore. Amen.

The Sunday within Crristmas weeke. ¶The Gospell. Luke. ij.

ANd his Father and Mother marueyled at those things that vvere spoken of him. And Simeon blissed them, and sayde vntoo Mary his Moo­ther. Beholde he is set for many too fall vpon, and too raise vp many in Israell, & for a signe that is spoken agaynst. Moreouer the svvoord shall passe [Page] through thy soule, that the thoughtes may bee discouered out of many hartes. And there vvas Anne a Prophe [...]isse the daugh­ter of Phanuell of the tribe of Aser. Shee vvas grovven very olde, and had lyued vvith a husband seauen yeeres from hir vir­ginitie. And this vvidovve being almoste foure score yeeres of age, departed not out of the Temple, but serued in fasting and prayer day and nighte. And shee comming in the same houre, in likevvise confessed vntoo the Lorde, and spake of him vntoo all that looked for redemption at Hierusalem. And after that they had made an ende of all things according too the lavve of the Lord, they returned intoo Galilee intoo their ovvne Cittie Nazareth. And the Child grevv vp and vvexed strong in spirit, and hee vvas filled vvith vvisdome, and the grace of GOD vvas vpon him.

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospel is a part of the things that were doone in the temple vpon the day of the puri­fying of the blissed virgin, after that the Pa­rents of Iesus, according too the law of Moy­ses, had offred vp & set the Childe before the Lord. The summe of this part is, that Sime­on and Anne giue witnesse vntoo Christe, and acknowledge him too bée their king & Messias that was promised, against whome the wicked worlde shall set it selfe too his owne de­struction: but the godly shall embrace him too them selues too their resurrection and saluation. Let vs make héereof thrée places, whiche are these.

  • 1 The maruelling of Christes parents.
  • 2 The witnesse of Simeon & Anne, concerning Christe.
  • 3 The proofe of Christes manhood.

¶Of the first.

THe maruelling of Christes parents, sheweth that reason perceiueth nothing of heauenly matters. We must ther­fore [Page 30] beléeue the voice of God, and maruell at it rather than deny it, or renounce it. They woonder that God (now accor­ding too his eternall and secret purpose,) hath sent the Messi­as, whom so many Prophets, Patriarkes and kings looked for. They wonder at the testimonie of the angel. They won­der at old Simeons saying, whereby they are also confirmed the more substancially in the fayth.

This woonderment is a certein holy bethinking of them­selues, wherethrough they reuerently consider and embrace the prophecie of the holy Ghost, whereby they profite more and more in the knowledge of Chryst. This also is too bée set before our eyes for an example. For we wil by and by shake of those things that reason comprehēdeth not. But wée must with holy woonderment embrace the heauenly Oracles: and too the intent our Faythe may take new encreasement, wée must gather toogither all the helpes that may bée out of the prophecies, out of miracles, out of examples, and finally out of all things, too our greater admiration. For he is like too profit best in Chrystes schoole, which with the encreasement of his faith, woondereth daily more and more.

Furthermore, Ioseph is héere called the father of Chryst, bicause Marie was maryed vntoo him, and bicause Ioseph by Gods commaundement, had the charge of the childe and his moother, and bicause he was commōly thought too bée the fa­ther of Chryst. Paule sayeth too the Hebrues that Chryst is fatherlesse and motherlesse. Fatherlesse in respect of his fleshly birth: and motherlesse in respect of that woonderfull and e­ternall birth of his, wherby he is borne the sonne of God, be­gotten of the father without moother from euerlasting: Of which birth the beginning of S. Iohns Gospel preacheth, as wée haue heard of late.

¶Of the second.

IN the testimonie of Simeon foure things are too bée con­sidered. First he blisseth them. By which dooing Simeon [Page] declareth his affection towardes Christe and his kingdome: namely that hée wisheth well too the newe kingdome of this new king: and this did Simeon according to the custome of the holy Patriarkes, which being olde were wont too wishe well too the yonger. For, too blisse, is in the Hebrew maner of spéeche, nothing else but too wish one happy successe, and to desire good things for him. Héerby euery one of vs may lern, first too confesse Chryst, & then too wish wel too his kingdom: which thing perteineth too the second commaundement, and too the second petition.

One thing that is too bée considered in Simeons testimo­nie, is his prophesie: which comprehendeth two things. First that Christ shall bée vntoo many an occasion of falling, that many dashing against him, may stomble and not perish: not through his fault, but through their owne, for that they will not embrace this Chryst. But some man wil demaund how Chryst is put too bée a fall too the vnbeléeuers, which are al­ready cast away. The vngodly perish twice. First they are lost through their owne vnbeléefe: and secondly for that they wilfully depriue themselues of the saluation that is offered them. For they deale in like wise, as if a man being once al­ready condemned too death for theft, should afterward spit at the kings sonne that sueth for his pardon, and despise the de­liuerance offered by him. Such a one may woorthily bée cal­led twice cast away: partly for his owne theft, but more by­cause hée holdeth skorne of his deliuerer, too his greater pu­nishment. Therefore although that all the vngodly which haue not heard of Christes name, are assured of perdition for their vnbeléefe: yet notwithstanding, those that wittingly & willingly refuse Christ, shal féele the second fall, and receiue gréeuouser punishment. For the seruaunt that knowes his masters will, and doeth it not, shall bée beaten with many stripes. Therfore the Turks and heathen men shalbée more gently delt withal in the last day, than they: vnlesse they re­pent. An other thing is, that the same Christ shall bée the ri­sing [Page 31] ageine of many in Israel: that is too say, their deliuerāce from sinne, their rewarde of righteousnesse, their resurrecti­on from death, and their heritage of all good things.

The third thing that is too bée considered in Simeons testi­monie, is the turning of his talke vntoo the virgin Christes moother, too whō he prophecieth crosse & persecution, saying: And through thy soule shall the svvoord passe. Although these woords pertaine properly to Mary: yet they are too bée refer­red too the whole churche, wherof Mary bare a figure. Mary néeded this admonishment in twoo respects. First that being warned by this Oracle of the holy ghost, shée should settle hir selfe too beare the sorowfull aduentures that were too come, when she should sée hir sōne euil entreated of his owne coū ­trie folk, & at the length hanged vpon the crosse. And secōdly that béeing so fensed against the assaults that were too come, shée should neuerthelesse reioyce through assured confidence, for yt in the end hir sonne should become conqueror of his e­nemies. Therfore being stablished with this confidence, shée stood by his crosse, looking for his triumphe with a stout cou­rage. Also these woords perteine too the whole Churche. For by this Prophecie is shewed, that the churche it selfe in this world shalbée vnder the crosse, whiche after the example of ye virgin, must raise vp it selfe with hope of the glory too come.

The fourth thing that is too be considered in this testimo­nie of Simeons, is that Simeon sayeth that the thoughtes shalbée disclosed out of ye harts of many. By which spéeche he signifieth, there shall bée many that shall shewe them selues openly too bée Christes enemies, and many ageine that shall confesse Christ, yea and that euen with vtter perill and she­ding of their bloud. The one serueth too comforte vs against the offence or stumbling block of the crosse, the other to nou­rishe our trust or faith.

In the testimonie of Anne, twoo things are too bée conside­red. First the description of the persone of Anne, whome hée cōmendeth for the spirite of Prophecie, that is too say, for hir [Page] knowledge of spirituall things, or of the kingdom of Christ: for hir parents: for hir age: for hir chastitie: and for hir ear­nestnesse in praying.

These things tend too the end too purchace greater credite too that moste holy matrone, too the intent wée should more beléeue one holy matrone, than all the pack of the Pharisies and priests, which acknowledge not this Christe.

Let vs therfore rather folow the example of a few godly, thā an innumerable multitude of the vngodly which perse­cute the Gospel. Also wée may here beholde the Image of Christes Churche, whiche is a small flocke, and sheweth no countenaunce of glistering too the worlde, but the Cresset of Gods heauenly woorde.

The other is Annes confession, whiche conteyneth thrée things. One is, that with Simeon shée confessed Christ, and ioyntly toogither with him did set foorthe Christe with some kinde of melody: wherby the godly may lerne too encourage one another, too set forth and too vtter the praise of God.

Another is, that shée teacheth the people. For when as the Scribes & Pharisies ceased, a holy woman commeth forth & speaketh of him vnto all ye looked for redemptiō in Ierusalē.

The third is, that shée openly acknowledgeth Christe too bée the Sauiour and redéemer. For shée vnderstoode that this babe was the promised séed, that should tread down the ser­pents head, and so deliuer man that was lost, out of the De­uils tiranny.

¶Of the third.

ANd the Childe did grovve, and vvas strengthned in spirite, and vvas filled vvith vvisdome, and the grace of God vvas vvith him. This is as much too say, as, according as the childe Iesus grew in age, so the diuine nature vttered it selfe in him, and he profited from day too day more and more in wis­dome, and toogither with his age encreased also the giftes of mind in him. How bée it in as much as the Godhead can by no meanes bée increased, it is manifest that these things perteine [Page 32] too his manhode. For as he grew vp by little and little in his body: so (in respect of his soule,) the giftes of the mind encreased daily more and more. Neither is this a straunge thing in Chryst, whoo for our sakes tooke vppon him the shape of a seruant, wherein he was also abased. For like as he was abased for our sake: so also grew he ageine by little and little, vntill that by his resurrection he entered ageine intoo his glorye. Neither was this doone without a lesson and warning vntoo vs. For wée are taught that the cause why he grew, was for that we should out of his fulnesse re­ceiue grace for grace. Wée also are admonished by the ex­ample of the sonne of God, too endeuer our selues continu­ally too encrease, that wée may daily more and more abound in the true knowledge of God, and all vnderstanding: and that wée should with an vpright iudgement and affection, try what things are godly, holy, and honest, and daily bring foorth the true fruites of faith: and that in such wise that the day folowing may surmount the day that went before. For he that goeth not still forward in the knowledge of GOD, and vnderstanding of godlinesse: goeth backeward. For by little and little, fayth is quenched in him, and Chryst is bu­ried ageine in his heart, whereby it commeth too passe, that he falleth againe intoo sinne against his conscience. Héereof wée haue example in Dauid. For he had profited in Ghostly wisdome, aboue al the men of his time, and the grace of God was wt him. But what came too passe? By sitting still in his Princely throne, he became somewhat faint. That glowing zeale of Gods glory which was in him, when he fought a­geinst Golias & ouercame him, & which was in him when he was in perill through the daily persecution of Saule, was by little and little alayed. And what ensued theruppon? There came in hys sight a faire and beautifull woman, and his lustes were stirred vp without any let. For the heate of the spirit was then become starke cold. Wil giueth place too affection: and by & by he falleth into sinne ageinst conscience, [Page] by committing aduoutrie: wheruntoo within a while after, he addeth the murder of one of his best subiects: which wic­kednesses he afterward recouered with hipocrisie, by ye space of a whole yéere: although in the meane while, he pretended godlinesse, which notwithstanding was banished from him, as long as Gods spirit was not with him.

There are many other suche examples, which admonishe vs too folow herein the example of the childe Iesus, that wée fall not from the state of grace. Therfore like as he grew in wisdome, and the grace of God was vpon him: so let vs also grow in wholsome wisdome, and let vs pray too Iesus the fountaine of wisdome, that he will giue vnto vs abundantly of his fulnesse. Which thing if wée doo, it will come too passe that the grace of God which wée obteine by Chryst, and for Chrystes sake, shal abide vppon vs. For as the only grace of God is the cause of our daily procéeding and furtherance in spirituall giftes: so grace is reteined and abideth, when wée are not drowsie, but worke lustely, so as wée may not séeme too haue receiued grace in vaine. Too this purpose maketh ye saying of ye Apostle. Yée are made partakers of Christ: if wée hold stedfast vntoo the end, the faith that is begon in vs.

Too this purpose also maketh this sentence of Paule. Quenche not the spirit. Gods gifts therfore must bée chéered vp with continuall exercise, that wée may profit daily more and more, too the glory of God the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghost. Too which onely God bée honor and glory for e­uermore. Amen.

The day of the Circumcision of the Lord, commonly called Newyeeres day. ¶The Gospell. Luke. ij.

ANd after that eight dayes vvere finished, that the childe should bee circumcised, his name vvas called Iesus, ac­cording as he vvas named by the Angel, before he vvas conceiued in his moothets vvombe.

The exposition of the Text.

THis feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, is solemnized in the Churche for thrée causes. Of which the first is, that the storie may bée knowen. The second is, that the benefite of God toward mankinde (which the storie set­teth out) may bée vnderstoode. The third is, yt we may vse the benefit of God aright, both too the glory of god, & also too our owne saluation and the edifying of others.

The storie is, that our Lord Chryste the eyghte day after his carnall birth, was circumcised according too the Law of Moses, that the name was giuen him, which was foretolde by the Angell, and he was called Iesus.

The benefit which the storie setteth out, is that that was done for our sake, according as Paule teacheth: He was made subiect too the Lawe, too the intent he might redéeme them that were vnder the Lawe.

Lastly, the vse consisteth in these things: that knowing the benefite, wée may bée thanckfull too God, confirming our fayth by this déede, and (after the example of God the father and his Sonne Iesus Chryst) endeuer too deserue well to­wards al men. And too the intent these things may serue the more effectually too informe vs of this benefite, I will han­dle twoo places, which are.

  • 1 Of the Circumcision.
  • 2 Of the most swéete name Iesus.

¶Of the first.

TOo the intent wée may the more distinctly vnderstande this doctrine of the circumcision: these are the things that séeme méete too bée expounded in order. Howe God is woont too instruct man of his will: what maner a thing that Cir­cūcision of the flesh was, and what things are too bée marked in it: whereupon shall bée grounded the order of the Sacra­mentes, both of the old Testament and of the newe: Why [Page] Christ was circumcised: and which is the spirituall circum­cision, without which, saluation neuer falleth too any man.

God, bothe before mannes fall, and after his fall, before the law and vnder the law, and after Christ is sent vntoo vs, is alwayes woont too certifie man of his wil, by twoo things. The one is by a perceiuing minde, the other by perceiuing sense: that that thing which is offered too the mind too vnder­stand, may after a sort bée perceiued by the outwarde senses. For so liked it God (whoo is most mercifull,) too prouide for mannes weakenesse.

Untoo the mynd he offereth his woord, whereby he disclo­seth his will vntoo man. Untoo the senses he offereth visible signes, which teach the same things visibly, that the woordes sound and offer to the mind. When God had created man, he put him in Paradise, and gaue him his woord as a witnesse of his wil. Unto the woord he added a double outward signe: namely the trée of life, and the trée of knowledge of good & il. After mannes fall, he gaue him a promise of the séede: wher­unto he added outward signes, which were sacrifices. When ye fl [...]d was ouerpast, he made a promise by woord of mouth, and made the Rainbow a signe of the same. Untoo Abraham is made a promise of the séede, and vntoo the same promise he added the signe of circumcision, in perpetuall remembrance of the thing. He promised deliuerance from the bondage of Egipt, which he performed also: but he sealed this promise with the paschal Lamb. He betooke a promise to Moyses: but he did as it were signe it and seale it with the blood of a red Cow. At length God giueth his own sonne, and by him pro­miseth euerlasting life too them that beléeue: which promisse he confirmeth with the two most royall sacraments of Bap­tim and of the Lords supper. Too be short, the Lord is woont alwayes to adde some outward testimonie or other, too his word, too the intent that both with mind and with sense wée may as it were féele what his will is towards vs. For whatsoeuer is perceiued by man, that is doone either with minde, [Page 34] or with sense, or with both toogither. Now God (too the intēt wée may bée assured of our saluatiō) setteth his woord before the minde, and an outward signe before the sense, & leaueth nothing vndoon which he thinketh may turn too our salua [...]iō. And after this sort is God woont too instruct man of his wil.

This foundation béeing layde, it is easie too bée vnderstood what maner a signe that carnall and visible circumcision is: so that wée set before vs the woorde wherevntoo this signe is added. For the signe is nothing else than a certeine effectuall assurance and lawful sealing vp of the promise.

What then is the woord wheruntoo circumcision is added? The Lord in the .9. of Genesis promiseth that he wil bée the God of Abraham, and of his séede: he requireth of Abraham, that he should beléeue this promis. He commaundeth him to walke before him, & too be perfect: that is too say, too prefer the obedience of him before all thinges, and too kéepe fayth and a good conscience. Untoo this promis & couenāt betwixt them, God him self added outward circumcision, too the intent that there shoulde bée in Abrahams fleshe, a witnesse of the coue­nant betwéene God and Abraham. For the Lord saith: This is the couenant that thou shalt obserue betwéene mée & thée, and thy séede after thée. Euery male childe among you shal­be Circumcised, & yée shall cut of the foreskin of your priui­ties, that it may bée a signe betwixt mée and you. &c.

Wée sée héere how the promis goeth before, and the com­maundemēt of the signe foloweth after: how the sign is pre­scribed, & the beléefe of the promise exacted, according too the forme of the couenant. Wheruppon it is gathered, that there are foure things in circumcisiō. That is to wit, the promis, the commaūdement of God, the visible signe, and the beléefe of the promis, which the promis requireth of necessitie. And these foure thinges are too bée looked vntoo in Circumcision, which must be included in the definition therof in this wise. The circumcision of the flesh cōmaunded by god, is a cutting off of the foreskin of a mannes priuities, wherby God confirmeth [Page] his couenant made with man, & man on the other side beeing warrāted by this record of gods fauor, raiseth vp him self with liuely faith. Therfore dooth Paule in the iiij. too the Romaines call circumcision, the seale of the righteousnes that is by faith. For it is (as it were) an outward sealing vp of ye promise of Gods frée fauour. For the same cause Stephen in the actes of the Apostles termeth Circumcision by the name of a Testament. Then for asmuche as the promise goeth of necessitie before, & faith foloweth after whiche hathe an eye too the promise: the couenant runneth indifferently on both sides. Circumcision is on the partie of God that promiseth, & on the partie of man that receyueth the promised grace by faith: which faith of the promise is confirmed by an outward signe. And this is the true meaning of Circumcision. Nowe are twoo other things of necessitie too bée added. The one is, why the Lords wil was to haue that signe in the member of generation. The other is, why the same continueth not now also, séeing the promise is euerlasting.

The cutting of the foreskin of that member whiche is the instrument of generation, signifieth first, that our whole na­ture, (as it issueth frō Adam,) is altoogither corrupted. Se­condly it signifieth, that the same is too bée shredded and cut of. For flesh & bloud cannot enter intoo the kingdome of hea­uen. Thirdly it signifieth, that the promised séed should come whiche should bring a new birthe, wherein men should bée borne the children of God. And so if yée looke vpon the gene­rall reason of Circumcision: it is a testimonie and sealing vp of grace. If yée looke vpon the meaning: it is a mark wherby wée are put in minde of our nature, whiche is corrupted and too bée clensed. If yée look vpon the outward societie or felowship of men: it is a badge or cognizance, wherby the Churche is discerned from heathenish assemblies.

But why continueth not Circumcision stil now also, sith the promise is not yet ceased? Bicause that by Circumcision was signified that one thing was too bée performed which is [Page 35] now performed, namely the séede of the woman, which is Christ our Lorde borne of the most pure blood of the virgin. Wherfore albeit that the thing it selfe which was promised doo continue: yet Circumcision the signe therof is chaunged intoo Baptim: that like as Circumcision was a figure of Christ too come: so Baptim is a witnesse that he is come. He therefore that will still bée circumcised, looketh for Chryst too come, and beléeueth not that he is come alredy.

By these things which I haue nowe spoken of Circumci­sion, it is easie too iudge what is the méening of the Sacra­mentes, as well of the newe Testament as of the olde. For like as in Circūcision there méete foure things, viz. promis, commaundement of the signe, the vse of the signe, and the beléefe of the promis: So in the méening of euery sacramēt, the same things must of necessitie méete: namely that a god­ly Sacrament bée a visible signe commaunded and ordained by God: wherby like as God heareth recorde of his promis vnto men: so man accepting the signe, doth on the other side professe his faith towardes GOD, and confirmeth the same with the vse of the signe and by thinking vpon it. How bée it in euery signe, the singular likelinesse of the signes vnto the thing signified by them, is too bée considered. For example: the likelinesse of water in Baptim vntoo the thing signifyed therby, is this. Like as water washeth a mā outwardly frō outward filth: so the blood of Christ washeth our consciences inwardly frō deadly woorks. And so of all other sacraments.

But why was Chryste circumcised, séeing he is exemp­ted from the number of sinners? This doth Paule expound too the Galathians, when he sayth: when the fulnesse of time was come, God sent his sonne borne of a woman made sub­iect too the Lawe, that he might redéeme those that were vn­der the Lawe. Wherefore as he was borne for vs, so also was he circumcised for vs. Neither was it his wil too abolish circumcision, before he had made his perfect sacrifice vpō the altare of the Crosse: by which doing, he bare witnesse that [Page] Circumcision was a sacrament ordeyned by God.

Now are a few things too bée added concerning spirituall Circumcision, which in the scripture is called the Circumci­sion of the hart, made in spirit and not by hand, which is sig­nified by the outward Circumcision, as a thing inuisible by a thing visible. Of this the Lord giueth commaundement in the tenth of Deuteronomy. Cut of the forskin of your harts, and harden not your necks any more. But in the third to the Phillippians Paule most plainly of al defineth this spiritu­all Circumcision, where he sayeth: wée are the Circumcision which woorship God in spirit and bost of Christ, and put not our trust in flesh. In these woordes of Paule, twoo things are too bée considered. The cause and the effect, or the actiue Cir­cumcision, and the passiue Circumcision. The cause is Christ himselfe: and consequently the actiue Circumcision, is that whereby the sonne of God cutteth of, whatsoeuer sinne and cursednesse is in vs: which Circumcision is felt in all the godly sort of all ages. The effect or passiue circūcision, is that whereby the regenerate sorte doo daily more and more cutte of the relikes of sinne, and giue themselues too newnesse of life, shredding of all vices as much as may bée. But Paule in most goodly order distributeth the effectes, & maketh thrée sortes of them. One is that wée worship God in spirite: ano­ther is that wée boast in Chryst: The third is that wée cast away the trust in fleshe, by denying our selues. The effect that is set last in place, is the first in order of consequence, next which foloweth the second, and lastly that which was set in the first place.

Therefore wée must circumcise all our members as wel inward as outward. Inward, as the mind, the hart, the will. The mind is too bée circumcised by casting away of erroure, and by getting the true knowledge of God. From the heart must all sinful thoughts bée cut of. The wil must bée circum­cised, by conuerting vnto God. The outward, such as are the eares, the eyes, the lippes, the nose. &c. So as now they may [Page 36] no more yéelde obedience vntoo corrupted nature, but obey the spirit of regeneration.

¶Of the second.

CHildren were woont to haue their names giuen them in their Circumcision, as they haue them now giuen them in their baptism. Then too the entent they might bee witnes­ses of their circumcision, and now too the intent they may bée signes of the baptism bestowed vpon them. And therfore as often as wée hear our selues named, wée must call too minde the couenant that wée haue made with God in our baptism. And so after the maner of other children, Christs name was giuen him in his baptism, and hée was called Iesus.

Names were woont to bée giuen too children, either at the pleasure of men: and that was sometimes by meanes of kin­red and aliance, sometime for the vertue of noble men, some­time vpon chaunce, sometime vpon affection: or at the com­maundement of God: and that not without some represen­tation of a thing eyther past or too come. For God whoo can­not bée deceyued, dooth not giue names too things without cause why.

Why then was the Sonne of the virgin named Iesus? For the office sake which he should haue in the worlde. For thus sayth the Angel by the commaundement of God in the firste of Mathew. Thou shalt call his name Iesus, bycause hée shall delyuer his people from their sinnes. For Iesus is as much too say, as, Sauiour. The Angel added the kinde of saluation, namely from sinne: and so consequentlye from death, damnation, Gods wrath and hel. Wherevpon it must néedes folowe that hée pacifieth the Father, restoreth the I­mage of God, and rewardeth the beléeuers with eternal life. For all these things are ioyned with forgiuenesse of sinne. How bée it too the intent wée may more certainlye kéepe in minde the vse of this name Iesus, I wil reduce it intoo foure respectes.

[Page]The first is, that it putteth vs in minde, that wée are for­lorne if it were not for this Iesus, that is too say, this Saui­our. And therfore it putteth vs in minde of our sinne, and of repentance.

The second is, that it pointeth vs too the fountaine of sal­uation. For hée that wil bée saued, must néedes draw out of this wel. And so wée are admonished therby too beléeue vpon this Sauiour.

The third is, that it is our comfort ageinst dispair, ageinst the greatnesse of sinne, ageinst repining, ageinst particulari­tie, and ageinst the power & strength of the Deuil. And here­vpon groweth the ground or establishment of faith.

The fourth is, that it putteth vs in mind of obedience and thankfulnesse, that throughe our owne default wée fall not from the saluation purchased for vs by Christ, too whom bée glory for euer and euer. Amen.

The Gospell on the day of Epiphanie. commonly called Twelfth day. ¶The Gospell. Math. ij.

WHen Iesus vvas borne in Bethleem a Cittie of Ievvrye, in the time of Herode the King: Be­holde there came vvise men from the East too Hierusalem, saying: vvhere is hee that is borne King of the Ievves? For vve haue seene his Starre in the East, and are come too vvoorship him. VVhen Herode the King had heard these things, hee vvas troubled and all the Citie of Hierusalem vvith him. And vvhen hee had gathered all the cheefe Preests and Scribes of the peo­ple toogether, hee demaunded of them vvhere Christe shoulde bee borne. And they sayed vntoo him: at Bethleem in Ievvrie▪ For thus it is vvritten by the Prophete. And thou Bethleem in the land of Ievvry, art not the least among the Princes of Iuda: for out of thee shall come too mee the Captaine that shall go­uerne [Page 37] my people Israel. Then Herod (vvhen he had priuily cal­led the vvise men) enquired of them diligently vvhat time the Starre appeered: & he bad them go to Bethleem, and sayd: Go your vvay thither, & search diligently for the child. And vvhen yee haue found him, bring me vvoord ageyn, that I may come & vvorship him also. VVhē they had heard the King, they de­parted: and loe, the Starre vvhiche they savv in the East, vvent before them til it came and stoode ouer the place vvherein the Childe vvas. VVhen they savv the Starre, they vvere exceeding glad, and vvent intoo the house, & found the Childe vvith Ma­ry his moother, and fel dovvne flat, and vvoorshipped him, and opened their treasures, and offered vntoo him giftes: Golde Frankincense, and Mirre. And after they vvere vvarned of God in sleep (that they should not go ageyn too Herode) they re­turned intoo their ovvne countrie another vvay.

The exposition of the text.

THis feast is called in the Churche, the Epi­phanie of the Lorde, that is too saye, the ap­péering of the Lorde. For after that the fea­stes of the comming and birth of the Lorde were celebrated by the Churche, it séemed good vntoo the holy Fathers, too put too this feast also, that they might instruct the Churche of the sundry sortes of the Lords appéering in the fleshe. And they alledge foure reasons why they call this feast Epiphanie. Whereof the first is, that as this day Christ appéered too the wise men that sought him by the leading of a Starre. The seconde is, for that as vppon this day nine and twentie yéeres after his birth, his glorie appéered in Baptisme by the witnesse of the father speaking frō heauen in this wise: This is my beloued sonne: and by the visible appéering of the holy Ghoste vpon him. The thirde is, for that the same day twelue moneth af­ter his baptisme, his glorie appéered at the mariage, by tur­ning water intoo wine. The fourth is, for that in the .xxxj. [Page] yéere of his age, his glorie appéered ageyne in féeding fiue thousande men with seuen loues of bread. All these appée­rings make too this end, both too prooue Christ too be the true Messias and sauior of them that beléeue in him, & too stablish assured faith in vs, that wée should certainly assure oure sel­ues too obtaine saluation through him. And thus muche con­cerning the cause of the feast. Now let vs go in hande with the Gospel it selfe, whiche conteyneth the storie of the firste kinde of Christes appéerings: namely howe hée appeered too the wise men, that is too say, too the Heathen, too the intente we may know that Christe with his benefits belongeth al­so too the Heathen. The summe of the exposition of this Gos­pell, is that the wise men came too Hierusalem too séeke the new borne King: and that when they found him not there, they kept on their way, folowing the guidance of the Starre which went before them, til they came in Bethleem, where they finding the Childe, honored him, and offered him gifts. After the dooing whereof, at the warning of God they retur­ned intoo their cuntrie by another way. In this Gospell wée wil intreat of two places: whiche are.

  • 1 The storie with his circumstances and lessons whiche are many.
  • 2 The vse of the storie, and the spirituall signification of the wise mens offerings.

¶Of the first.

MAny are the circumstances of this presēt story of which euery one conteyneth peculiar doctrines and instructi­ons. When Christe was borne in Bethleem in the time of Herode, the wise men came from the Easte too woorship the new borne king. Héer come thrée things too bée weyed. The time, the state of the wise men, and the ende for whiche they came.

The time is expressed, when it is sayde, in the time of Herode. For the Scepter had ceased from Iud [...], (and accor­dyng [Page 38] too the Prophesies) Chryste was too bée borne. Thys conferring of the prophesies concernyng the birth of Chryst and the tyme wherein hée was borne, as it confuteth the Iewes which looke for him still too come: so it confirmeth the Faythe of the godly, that they may assure them selues, that this same whome the wise men séeke, is the verie Mes­sias. The second is, the state of the wise men, that they were not of the Iewes, but of the Gentiles. Wherby wée learne that this new king borne in Bethleem, perteineth also too the Gentiles, who by the example of the wise men, are ad­monished too séeke and too woorship Chryst.

Moreouer, these wise men were called Magi: by which terme is signified the excellencie of their dignitie and of­fice. For Magus is an Hebrue woord, and taketh his name of considering and teaching: Which twoo things perteined chéefly too Kings and Préestes: whereupon the Persians cal­led their Kyngs and Préestes, Magi. What are wée taught héereby? Chryst lyeth in the maunger despised of his owne people: and the Magies béeing Heathen men borne, come too worship him. Whereby is signified, that although Chrystes kingdome bée not of the world: yet is it a mightie and glori­ous kingdome, or rather a heauenly kingdome, which many shall acknowledge, and not bée offended at the base counte­nance thereof too the outward shew in the world.

The second circumstaunce is, that the wyse men come too Hierusalem, and there séeke for Chryst that was newly borne. The Iewes which had the bookes of the Prophets in their handes, and vntoo whome the woorde of God was committed, stoode still carelesse and neuer sought for Chryst. And in ye mean while▪ those sought him who (by their iudge­ment) perteined not too the Church. But where sought they him? In the princely citie Hierusalem. Whither when they came & heard nothing of this king, their faith was not a litle shaken: but yet neuerthelesse they raysed vp them selues by the signe. For they sayd: Wée haue séene hys starre. Dout­lesse [Page] they had learned out of the Relickes of Daniels schoole, that when Chryst should bée borne, then should such a starre shew the time that hée was borne.

The thirde circumstance is too bée considered with héede: for it sheweth what maner a Kyng Christe is. For as the maunger in which he lay, argueth that his kingdome is not of this world: so the starre appearyng from heauen, decla­reth him too bée a heauenly King. And like as the Maunger sheweth him too bée base in the sight of the worlde: euen so the Starre setteth out the maiestie of his kyngdome for vs too beholde, to the furtherance of our faith, least he should be­come despisable vnto vs through the leud and malicious dis­daine of his owne countrey folke, which continuing still in their ignorance, doo persecute Chryst vntoo this day.

Some men demaunde héere what maner a Starre that was? And diuers men déeme diuersly. But thys is many­fest: that it differeth in thrée propreties from other continu­ing starres: that is to say, in place, in mouyng, & in bright­nesse. In place, for that it was the lowest parte of the aire: for otherwise it coulde not haue shewed the directe way too them that trauailed by it. In mouyng: for that it moued not circlewise, but went right forwarde, as a guide of the way, none otherwyse than the cloude and piller of fire went bée­fore the people of Israell at their goyng out of Egypt. The brightnesse of it maketh a difference also, bycause other starres shine onely by night: but this gaue light euen in the broade day. It was not therefore a naturall and continuyng starre, suche as are in the skye. What then? Was it a Co­met or blazing starre? It appéereth that it was like a comet: but out of dout it was an Angel of God, as Epiphanius testi­fieth. For he appéered in the shape of a starre, both too shewe that Chrystes kingdome is heauenly, and too open Chryste the true starre and cresset, who alonly bringeth man out of the kingdome of darknesse intoo his owne glorious kingdom by holding out before hym the cresset of his woorde, and by [Page 39] lightning mēs harts wt his spirit. In cōsideratiō wherof Za­charie calleth christ ye riser frō on high, & the lightner of such as sit in the shadow of death. And Iohn: He was ye true light that lightneth euery man whiche commeth intoo this world.

The fourth circumstance is of Herode, and all the citie of Hierusalem. Herode vvas troubled, and all Hierusalem vvith him. Herode feared lest the kingdome should bée transferred from him vntoo the new borne king. For hée vnderstoode not that Christes kingdome should bée heauenly, and not of this worlde: in whiche respect the churche singeth: O enemy He­rode, wherefore fearest thou? the King that giueth power too reigne in heauen, of worldly kingdome doothe not men bée­réeue. The vnthanklesnesse and sluggishnesse of the people of Hierusalem is noted, who béeing broken with werinesse of euils, had cast of the hope of the redemption and saluati­on that was promised them. They had leuer too liue in bon­dage with wicked Herode, than too receiue their new King, that brought them euerlasting fréedome. But suche is the corrupted nature of men, that they iudge it better for to kéep still some quietnesse of the fleshe, than with any perill too re­ceiue Christe the authour of saluation.

The fifth conteineth the counsel of Herode & the Préests togither, with the prophecy of Micheas the prophet. Herode béeing otherwise a despiser of religion and of the prophecies, is new troubled, & maketh inquisition where Christe should bée borne. For as soone as hée heard the demaund of the wise men, by and by he coniectureth, that that king of whom they enquire, was the Messias promised in old time by God. But what doo the Préestes? Although they answere sincerely out of the scripture, bringing abrode the testimonie of Micheas: yet notwithstanding they [...]fterward like madde men bend themselues with might and maine ageinst the Scripture. For the vngodly make muche of the Scripture, as long as it séemeth not too bée against their affections. But when it ac­cuseth them of sinne, when it cutteth their combes, when it [Page] setteth death and dampnation before their eyes, and finally when it attempteth any thing ageinst enured manners, doc­trine, and traditions: then by and by the vngodly fret at it: then is Christe no more acknowledged: then is hée called a rayler. Our Papists now a dayes doo with vs confesse, that Christe the onely begotten sonne of GOD tooke vpon him the nature of manne, and that hée is one entier person consi­sting of twoo distinct natures. But if wée come once too Chri­stes office, and auouch him too bée the only Iesus, and the on­ly Christ, the only Sauiour, the only high Préest & interces­sor, & that no man can be saued, but he yt is iustified throughe only faith in him: Then they chafe, bicause their manners, doctrine and traditions, can not stande with this office of Christ. And therfore they partly corrupt the scriptures, and partly reiect them, and persecute with fire and swoord suche as teach Christ sincerely & purely, like the Scribes & Prée­stes, whoo héere at the firste with Simeon and Anne, haue answered sincerely: and afterwards like mad folkes haue cast of the faith of Christe, and persecuted him by their mi­nisters. And so it is not inough, that the Papists agrée with the pure Doctours in the first principles: but they ought too haue a constant agréement with them in the whole founda­tion, and in all the articles of the Faith. Let vs not then serche the Scripture too our destruction, like as Herode did: neyther let vs looke vpon it negligently, as the Scribes and Phariseys did, whoo doo in déed shew a way, howbéeit suche a way as they them selues walke not in: wherein they are like too the shipwrightes that made the Arke of Noe, and yet perished them selues when they had doone. But Noe and his housholde was saued, as the wise men are saued héer, where as the Scribes and Préests doo perishe. But let vs searche the Scripture with Simeon and Anne, Mary, and others, whoo therby atteyned saluation.

Now let vs in few woords peruse the prophecie of Miche­as. For thus hée sayeth: And thou Bethleem of the lande of [Page 40] Iuda, art not the least among the princes of Iuda. For out of thee shall come the captayne that shall feede my people Isra­el, and the foorth commyngs of hym are from the beginning from the dayes of euerlastyngnesse. This testimonie of Mi­cheas teacheth many thyngs concernyng Chryste. Firste, it poynteth out the place of his birth. Secondly, it sheweth his office, which is too play the gouerner in Israell, too féede his people. Thirdly, it sheweth his incarnation, wherby hée was borne a very man. For when he sayth from the beginnyng: he sheweth Christes incarnation, who was promised from the beginning of the worlde, that in hys time hée should bée borne after the fleshe. Fourthly, when he sayeth from the dayes of Euerlastingnesse: he signifieth the nature of hys Godhead, wherby he was before the creation of the worlde. Fifthly he sheweth, that he is one person, consisting of twoo natures. For when he sayth, his foorthcommings: this woord of the plurall number perteineth too the natures both of his Godhead and of his manhood. And the woord (him) béeing of the singular numbre, dooth couertly declare the vnitie of the person. And so wée sée how the prophet hath ioyned togither the chéefe Articles of our faith, which are vttered by others more at large.

The sixthe circumstaunce is of Herodes wylynesse: who when hée thought hée had dealt moste wysely, played most the foole. For ther is no wisedom, there is no wilinesse, there is no counsel ageinst the lord. He calleth the wise men vntoo him priuily, as though he hadde loued the newe borne kyng as they dyd: hée enquireth the tyme of the appéering of the starre, as thoughe he had went too bée more assured of the Messias thereby: hée wylteth them that when they had founde the chylde, they shoulde bryng hym woordé as thoughe hée hadde bin mynded too woorshyp hym as well as they. Sée howe sore the Foxe Herode sweateth héere. But as for the counsell which was chéefe in this behalfe, neither hée nor the Iewes followed. If for honor sake he had [Page] sent some of his seruaunts with the wise men too wayt vpon them thither, it had béene a very easie matter too haue founde the chylde. But God sotted them in theyr owne deuises. At this day (yea many yeres toogither) the Papists haue sought to destroy the true religion. But God made them such fooles in their own deuises, that they haue not béen able too destroy so much as that one man Luther. Héereby wée may learne, that God is the kéeper of his church, and confoundeth the de­uises of the vngodly, according too the first Psalme.

The .vij. circumstance is of the offerings of the wise men, who hauing found Christ, offered gifts too him as king of the Iewes, Gold, Frankincence, and Mirre: which surely were such giftes as that land had great store of. Hereby wée may learne twoo things. The one is, that wée which doo homage vntoo Chryst, ought too béestow somwhat of our substance too the maintenaunce of the ministerie. The other is of Gods prouidence: who by this gift (as it were with cōduct money,) prouided béefore hand for the new borne babe & his parents, against they should flée the Countrey: whereby wée may learne, that God will not forsake his Church.

The .viij. circumstance is, that the wise men béeing war­ned in their sléepe, returned intoo their countrey by an other way. By which déede both Herode was beguiled, and also God declareth, that he hath care of his people, euen when they bée a sléepe.

¶Of the second.

EUery one of the circumstances of this storie, doo minister some kinde of Doctrine too the Church, as wée haue séene. And nowe as appertainyng too the generall vse thereof, wée may learne twoo things of the wise men. Whereof the first is too séeke Chryst by the guidyng of the starre. The other is too offer giftes vntoo Chryst when wée haue found him. Wée followe the guidance of the starre with them, when wée set béefore vs the onely word of God, too bée a lanterne too our [Page 41] féete, and séeke him in his woord: And when wée haue found Chryst, wée offer presents too him, as the wisemen did: Gold Frankinsence and Myrrhe. When we yéeld vnto him gold, that is to say, a pure faith and a chaste life: Frankincense, that is to say, Confession, Inuocation, and thanksgiuyng: Mirrhe, that is too say, pacience vnder the Crosse, and in af­fliction. Furthermore vntoo Mary (that is to say, the Chur­che of Chryste and the ministerie of the woorde: and vntoo Ioseph, that is too say, vntoo those that bée the chéefe rulers of the Church) we must offer gifts, that is to wit, wée must further the ministery with all our power and abilities, that the church may bée in as good state as may bée in this world, through Chryst Iesus our Lorde, to whome bée glorie for euer. So bée it.

The first Sunday after Epiphany. ¶The Gospell. Luke. ij.

AND vvhen Iesus vvas tvvelue yeere olde, they vvent vp too Hierusalem, after the custome of the feast. And vvhen they had fulfilled the dayes: as they returned home, the chylde Ie­sus aboade styll in Hierusalem, vnknovvyng too hys father and mother, for they supposed he had bin in their companie, and therfore came a days iour­ney and soughte hym among their kynsfolke and acquain­taunce. And vvhen they founde hym not, they vvent backe ageyn too Hierusalem and soughte hym. And it fortuned af­ter three dayes, that they found him in the temple, sitting in in the middes of the Doctours, bothe heering them, and po­sing them. And all that herd him, maruelled at his vnderstan­ding and ansvvers. And vvhen they savve him, they vvere asto­nied: And his mother sayd vntoo hym: Son, vvhy hast thou thus delt vvith vs: Behold, thy father and I haue soughte thee [Page] sorovving. And he sayde vntoo thē: Hovv is it that yee sought mee? vvist yee not that I must go about my fathers businesse? And they vnderstood not that saying that he spake too them. And he vvent vvith them and came too Nazareth, and vvas o­bedient too them. But his moother kept all this saying in hir hart. And Iesus encreased in vvisdome and age: and in fauour vvith God and men.

The exposition of the text.

THis text is part of the storie of Christes dooings, & it conteyneth what he did the .xij. yéere of his age: that is, that he gaue as it were a certein tast of his voca­tion, by disputing & reasoning with the Doctors of the law. But what ye Lord did from the time that he was of­fered in the temple, vntoo the .xij. yéere of his age: & what he did from the sayde .xij. yéere vntoo almost the .xxx. yéere of his age: the holy scriptures make no mention at all. And there­fore it behoueth vs not too know it. For it is ynough for vs too know these things which it was Gods will too vtter, as the which doo instruct vs in the knowledge of God, & in true godlinesse. Wherfore leauing those things which idle mon­kes haue written, concerning the infancie and childhoode of Chryst, wée will expounde this present gospell, according to the grace which the Lord shall giue mée.

Now the summe of this storie is this. Christ being twelue yéeres old, goth with his parents too Hierusalē at the feast of Easter. Who béeing lost in returning homward, is sought for & founde among the doctors: and béeing blamed by his pa­rents, he defendeth himself by the commaundement of their superior, namely of god, that it behoued him too go about his businesse: and so he went away with them, was obedient too them, profited in wisdome, and grew in age and fauor with God and men. Hereof are foure poyntes.

  • 1 The example of Mary, Ioseph, & Chryst goyng too Hie­rusalem is set before vs.
  • [Page 42]2 The trial of Mary & Ioseph by ye losse of the child Iesus.
  • 3 The rare and duetie of parents toward their children, the obedience of children on the other side towardes their parents.
  • 4 The growing of Chryst in wisdome, age, and fauour.

¶Of the first.

ANd vvhen he vvas tvvelue yeres old, they vvent vp to Hie­rusalem, after the custome of the feast. Héere first of all I must warne you of certeine things concerning the feasts of the Iewes, And afterwardes, the example of Ioseph, Mary, and the childe, is to bée looked vpon. God in the olde Testa­ment ordeined many and sundry feastes, too put his people in mind of his benefites bestowed vppon them, too instructe the rude, and too kéepe them all in the true worshipping of God. Yet were not al feasts a like solemne. Dayly were sa­crifices made both morning and euening. Euery wéeke they seuenth day was kept holy. Euery moneth had his peculiar feast. Moreouer thrée solemne feasts were kept euery yéere.

Day by day morning and euening were oblations made, in remembraunce of the euerlasting woorshippe due vntoo God. The godly added praiers thervntoo, calling too minde ye promise of the séede of whiche they fastned their eyes by faith in all their oblations. In place herof, the churche hath substituted morning prayer and euening prayer.

Also euery seuenth day of the wéeke, was celebrated the memoriall of ye creation of thyngs, with sacrifices & thanks­gyuyng added therevntoo. In place wherof, the Church hath substituted the first day of the wéeke in memoriall of the se­cond creation, that is too say, of regeneration, whiche is made by the Lords resurrection that hapned the firste day of the wéeke: and therfore of the Apostolike Churche, this day is called the Lords day.

Euery moneth in the beginning of the moneth, that is, in the newe Moone, a feast was kepte in memoriall of pre­seruation. [Page] For it was Gods will, that as often as they saw the moone kéepe hir accustomed motions in gyuyng lyghte, they should render thanks vnto God for the whole benefite of his gouernement: And therfore ordeined hée this feast of Newe Moones. Although the Christians bée not bounde too this feast: yet notwithstāding it behooueth vs too bée no lesse thankful too God, than the godly Iewes were.

Euery yéere they had thrée solemne feastes, which are the Passeouer, the Pentecost, & the feast of Tabernacles. The feast of the Passeouer or Easter, was instituted in remem­braunce of the deliuerance from bondage of the Egyptians. Pentecost, which wée call Whitsontide, in remembrance of the lawe giuen in mount Zina. The feast of the Taberna­cles in remembrāce of the dwelling of the Israelites in the wildernesse fortie yéeres in Tents: that by this ceremonie they might call too mynde the whole benefit of their delyue­rance out of Egypt. In stéede of these thrée Iewish feasts, ye Churche hath substituted Easter, in remembraunce of the Lordes Resurrection: who hath deliuered vs from the bon­dage of the deuyll. Whitsontyde, in remembrance of the cō ­firmation of the Gospel, by sendyng the Holy Ghost in a vi­sible shape, and by the woonderfull gyftes of Tungs, and the Byrthe of the Lorde (commonlye called Christmas) in remembrance of Chryst, gyuen and deliuered vntoo vs.

Besides thys, in those thrée solemne and yéerely feasts, al that were of male kinde, were bound by the law of Moyses too come too Hierusalem. Untoo whiche law Ioseph, and the chyld Iesus doo héere submit themselues, as well too satis­fie the law, as also (by their exāple) too stirre vs vp, too reue­rence the ministerie and godly ceremonies, which it becom­meth the godly too obserue, bycause they are a certayne schoolemaystershyp and Disciplyne profitable too preserue Religion.

Howebéeit there is a difference too bée put betwéene the Ceremonies instituted by the authoritie of God, and those [Page 43] that are instituted but for grauitie and orders sake. Too the kéeping of the one, wée are bound by gods law. For Chryst requireth of vs, that wée shoulde bée euery one of vs once baptized, that we shoulde oftentimes bée partakers of hys holy Supper: and that wée continually héere his woord. But mens Ceremonies binde not in suche wise: so as stubbor­nesse, contempt, and offence bée away.

Therfore like as in this place wée héere, that Mary, Io­seph, and the child Iesus did with singular reuerence obserue the feastes and Ceremonies of the Iewes: so let vs learne to set much by by our ceremonies, and too bée at them with a good will, and by our good example too allure others to obedi­ence and godlynesse.

¶Of the second.

AND vvhen they had fulfylled the dayes: as they returned home, the chylde taryed behinde at Hierusalem. &c. Héere the Euangilist beginneth too describe the triall of Ma­ry and Ioseph. In which triall there bée .iiij. circumstances too be weyed. The first reciteth certein occasions of this tri­all. The seconde describeth the triall it selfe, and the crosse of Ioseph and Marie. The third declareth the dooing of them in this triall. The fourth conteineth comfort.

The first occasion is shewed in these woordes. The chylde Iesus taried behind in Ierusalem. Wherfore (wilt thou say) did he not make hys parentes priuie too it? Firste that hée myghte doo them too vnderstande, howe he was not the sonne of Marie only, but of GOD also, which is more: and therfore he had not so great regard of the parent his moother as of his euerlasting Father. Secondely, that by hys owne example he might teache children, that the aduise of their parents is not too bée waited for, where obedience too be performed to God is in hande. For there is more due vn­too God, than too father and moother. Thirdly, hée might ad­monish his parents of greater diligence: yea and al that haue children too bée more diligent & héedefull in kéeping ye pawne [Page] or gage that is put intoo theyr hand by God. Fourthly, that Mary and Ioseph themselues béeing warned by this chasti­sing discipline, should earnestly béethinke themselues, what manner of ones they were of their own nature: that is too say, that they were slouthfull & negligēt, and not discharging their duetie in all poynts.

The seconde occasion is shewed when it is saide: And his parents knevv not therof. Héere the negligence of Iesus pa­rents is blamed openly, which negligence was no lyght sin, and therfore it became no small crosse in the Uirgins hart. For shée felt hir harte touched with a péece of the swoorde, wherof sainct Simeon made mention the twelfth yéere be­fore. Shée thought in hir selfe that so greate a treasure was committed too hir of God too the intent shée should looke wel too it: & shée compared hir miserie too the miserie of Eue. For lyke as she being seduced by the Deuill, did cast away man­kinde: so the virgin thought, that she by hir negligence, had lost the Sauiour that was promised too the worlde.

The third occasion of this triall & crosse is shewed, where it is sayd: thinking he had bin among the companie: For of negligence springeth errour.

Yet foloweth there an other harder triall and Crosse. They séeke for Iesus whole thrée dayes, and fynde him not. He is lost and not founde ageine among his kinsfolk: sure­ly a gréeuous crosse. Hée is lost, and not found among theyr acquaintance: this is a gréeuouser crosse. He is sought thrée dayes, and not founde at all: this is the gréeuousest Crosse of all.

But what dooth that most pensiue creature Ioseph, & that most sorowful virgin Mary in this most bitter crosse? They come back agein to Hierusalem, and entryng in intoo the tē ­ple, they fynde him whom they had lost, sitting among the Doctours in disputing. Héere againe they conceiue comfort, and are deliuered as it were out of the darknesse of hell, as soone as they sawe the chyld Iesus.

[Page 42]These things are written for our learning and comforte. For euen in likewise happeneth it vntoo vs in our triall and crosse: wée lose our most precious treasure Chryst. By what occasion? by negligence. Wée héere not his woord, we cal not vpon him, wée seldom vse the sacrament of his supper, and finally, wée occupie our selues in no exercises of godlynesse. Upon this negligence ensueth errour. For wée flippe out of one sin intoo another, & out of one heresie intoo another. Out of these at length springeth an euill conscience, which brin­geth foorth despaire. What is too bée done in these miseries? Chryst is too bee soughte. Hée alone is able too remedie these mischéeues. But where I pray you is hée to bée sought? a­mong our kinred and aquaintaunce? No, not so. Where then? In the holy citie Hierusalem, that is too say, in the chur­che. Among whome? among them that haue the woord. Whē thou hast héere foūd Christ whom thou hadst lost, thou must kéepe hym by faith, by calling vpon him, and by holy conuer­sation, least hée forsake thée againe, and so thou perish by the losse of Chryst, as Iudas did.

¶Of the third.

BIcause the dooing of Ioseph & Marie, putteth vs in minde of the care and dutifulnesse of parents towards their chil­dren: and in likewise the dooing of the childe Iesus, admo­nisheth vs of the dutie of children, and of their obedience to­wards their parents: I will therfore speake of them bothe, howbéeit somwhat briefly, bycause ye same thing is woont too bée taught more exactly in the Catechisme.

Therfore on the parents béehalfe, I thinke these admo­nishments ensuing too be necessarie.

First let parents beare in minde, that the cause why they bryng forth chyldren, is yt their children should be Citizens of the Churche, and that they shoulde toogyther with them woorshyp God, and that whēsoeuer thēselues shal fal a sléepe in the Lorde, they may leaue woorshyppers of God in theyr [Page] roomes. I would God there were many that would thinke thys earnestly.

Besides this, let them persuade themselues, that al their laboure is loste, but if they bring-vp their children in the feare of God, & oftentimes call vpon Gods helpe, ageinst so many snares which the diuel layeth for the tender age. Wée héere many complain of the disobediēce of their children: but they marke not that they are punished by God, for that they would make their children good without the blissing of the Lord, which they seldome call for in good earnest.

Thirdly let them consider how noble a thyng a childe is, whom God himselfe hath shaped in his moothers wombe, nourished, brought foorth intoo the light, and endued with bo­die and soule, to the intēt he should (as it were in a table) re­present God his first paterne.

Fourthly, let them know, that these things are too be delt withall in order. Untoo the body, nourishment, bringing vp, apparell, and sometime correction, that they may kepe their children in awe. Untoo the soule they owe doctrine: and that of twoo sorts, namely of Godlinesse & of ciuilitie. By the one they shall kéepe a good conscience before God: by the other they shall obteine a good report among men. For these are the twoo things that we must chéefly séeke after in this lyfe. Paule comprehendeth them both, when he sayth: Yée parēts bring vp your children in nurture and awe of the Lorde. Which is confirmed by the déede of Tobias, who instructing his sonne sayth: All the dayes of thy life beare GOD in thy minde, and beware that thou consent not vntoo sinne. Héere first he cōmendeth vnto his son the study of godlynesse: and secondly he chargeth him that he consent not too sinne: that is, that he giue not eare too such as intice him to sinne. And so he requireth of his sonne, a certeine holy ciuilitie.

Last of all, let parents consider how many sinnes they cō ­mit and heape one vpon an other, which doo not their dutie in bringing vp their children as they ought too do. First they [Page 45] trāgresse ye law of nature, which telleth al men yt their due­tie is to bring vp their children godlily & honestly. Secondly they sinne ageinst God: For they despise the commaunde­ment and authoritie of God. For he commandeth that chil­dren should bée brought vp godlily and honestly: and he is a despiser of GOD, that refuseth too doo as he is commanded. Thirdly he offendeth ageinst his owne estimation. For gods wil is, that parents should (after a sort) bée in his sted, so far foorth as perteyneth to outward discipline. But they make small account of this dignitie, who neglect their dutie.

Upon these sinnes ensue many punishments both ghostly and bodily, as well in the parents as in the children, yea and in all the posteritie.

Now, what maner of duetie children owe to their parēts the example of the child Iesus sheweth euidently: so that it néedeth not greatly to séeke precepts from elsewhere.

First he went vp too Hierusalem with his parents: wher­by good childrē may lerne too worship god with their parēts, and to loue holy méetings, and reuerently too bée present at the Ceremonies of the Church.

Secondly he disputeth, demaundeth and héereth. Héereby may our children lerne too demaund the things yt they know not, to dispute of things doutfull, and to harken to suche as teach aright. For although Chryst disputed not of any thing bicause he was in dout of it, nor demanded any thing bicause he was ignorant of it, ne herkned to thē bycause they could teach him more rightly: Yet the example profiteth vs. Ther­fore must godly children, at their cōming home, dispute with their parents if they stand in dout of ought that they haue heard. &c.

Furthermore Chryst loseth his parents, his kinsfolk, and his acquaintance, for the woord of God. Héerby may our chil­dren also lerne, too set more by God, than by their carnal pa­rents, and too haue the woord of God in greater regarde, than the hestes of their parents.

[Page]Lastly, Chryst returneth with his parents, & is obedyent vntoo them. Héerby our children may lerne too stād in awe of their parēts, & to obey them in al things that are godly & ho­nest. These vertues of childrē, as they haue very large pro­mises of good successe in this life: so the vices in childrē which fight against these vertues, haue threatnings of most grée­uous punishments, which also extend themselues euen vnto their posteritie. For the ofspring (for the most part) receiueth the vices of the auncitrie, as it were by inheritance.

¶Of the fourth.

BIcause I haue spoken somewhat already of this .iiij. place the .viij. day agoe, I will now speake not past a woorde or two. Chryst in respect of his Godhead, did not grow in age, wisdome, and fauor: but in respect of his manhod, and bicause he tooke vpon him the very nature of man in déede: in it hée grew in age, wisdome and fauoure. Whose example would God wée could folow, yt as wée grow in yéeres, so wée might grow in wisdome and fauor, bothe with God and men. And that this may befall vntoo vs, Chryste graunt vs, too whom bée glory world without end. Amen.

The .ij. Sunday after Epiphany. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. ij.

ANd the third day there vvas a mariage in Cana, a citie of Galilee, and the moother of Iesus vvas there. And Iesus vvas called (and his Disciples) vntoo the mariage. And vvhen the vvine failed, the mother of Iesus sayde vntoo him: they haue no vvyne. Iesus saide vntoo hir: vvoman, vvhat haue I too doo vvith thee? Myne houre is not yet come. His Moother sayd vntoo the ministers: vvhatsoeuer he sayeth vn­too you, doo it. And there vvere standing there .vj. vvaterpo [...]s of stone, after the maner of purifying of the Ievves, cōteyning [Page 46] ij. or .iij. firkins a peece. Iesus sayd vnto them: fil the vvaterpots vvith vvater. And they filled them vp too the brim. And hee sayd vntoo them: dravv out novv, and beare vntoo the gouer­nour of the feast: and they bare it. VVhen the ruler of the feast had tasted the vvater turned into vvine, and knevv not vvhence it vvas (but the ministers vvhich drevv the vvater knevv) he cal­led the Bridegrome, and sayd vnto him: Euery man at the be­ginning doth set forth good vvine, and vvhen men be droonk, then that vvhich is vvorsse: but thou hast kept the good vvine vntill novve. This beginning of myracles dyd Iesus in Cana of Galilee, and shevved his glorie: and his disciples beleeued on him.

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospell is a parte of the storie of Christ, wherin hée manifesteth his glorie at a Ma­riage. For by the miracle of wine, hée bothe vttereth his owne diuine nature, and gyueth an incling of his office, & signeth vp the truth of his doctrine as it were with some heuenlie Seale. His own deuine nature hée declareth in this, that hée changeth the natures of things by his woord: for at his com­maundement the water béecōmeth wine. His office hée she­weth, in that hée helpeth the néedie when hée is sought vntoo. The certeintie of his doctrine hée dooth as it were seale with this miracle. For least any man should doubt of the certein­tie of his doctrine which is heauenly, hée woorketh a heauen-woork, which beareth witnesse with his doctrin, wherby his Disciples are confirmed in his faith.

Now the places that wée wil intreate of in this Sermon, are these foure.

  • 1 Of the solemnitie of the Mariage.
  • 2 Of the Mariage it selfe then finished and confirmed.
  • 3 Of the present miracle, with the circumstances therof.
  • 4 Of the examples of life that may be deriued fro ye same.

¶Of the firste.

SIth I entreat of mariage, I wil speake of these things in order. First betwéene what persons nature & godlynesse alloweth mariage. Secondly what way those that will bée man & wife must attēpt mariage. Thirdly what manner of consent, & of whom it ought too bée. Fourthly why it is méete that the assurance should bée made in the open assembly of the Church. And fifthly what maner of feast ought too bée at a mariage.

In the persons of folks that contract mariage, four things are too be looked vntoo: namely kinred, aliance, religion, and naturall strength, which are requisite in mariage. As tou­ching kynred and alyāce, they are to be kept from matching in wedlock, which are within the degrées of kinred and aly­ance that is prohibited in Leuiticus. Moreouer, it is in no wise lawfull too stayne the degrées prohibited by the ciuill magistrate. And with what reuerēce mariages ought too bée made: the déed of Abraham and of other holy men, the prohi­bition of Paule, and the perils (or rather the dreadful falles) of many doo declare. At such time as Abraham was about too choose a wife for his sonne Isaac, he gaue commandement too Eléezer the Steward of his house, that he should not take vntoo his sonne, a wife of the daughters of the Cananites: but that he should go too his own kinred, and frō thence take a wife too his sonne Isaac. For Abraham knew how greate mischief, diuersitie of religion bréedeth in a housholde. For herevpon spring strife, blasphemies, and hinderance of woor­shipping, and calling vpon God.

The prohibition of Paule is, that wée draw not the yoke with the vnbeléeuing. Which thing is too be vnderstood, not only of doctrine: but of all trade of life. He that toucheth pitch (sayeth Salomon) shall bée defiled therewith. For it can not bée but that he which kéepeth cōpany with the vngodly, must néedes himself gather some infection therby.

[Page 47]Perilles and many horrible falles ensue vppon vnméete matches, witnesse therof is Salomon, who by kéeping com­pany with Heathen women, became an Idolater. Witnesse Achab, whoo through the counsell of wicked Iezabell becam so mad, that he feared not too slea Gods Prophets, & at length fell headlong intoo eternal destruction: so muche is a wicked woman able too doo.

Adde herevntoo the bringing vp of children, which cannot bée as it ought to bée, when the parents are of sundry religi­ons. For then shal the children becom either altogither hea­thenishe and despisers of all religion: or else hypocrits, whē they shall not dare bée acknown what they thinke, for feare either of the father or mother.

Fourthly it is required in persons that shall contract ma­riage, that the one beguile not the other, as when eyther by sicknesse or by coldnesse, the strength of any of the parties is forespent: or else that there bée a default in nature, so as a man bée not méete or sufficient to yelde the beneuolence of mariage.

As for the way that such as méene too bée couples ought too take in making their mariage: Examples, godlinesse, & ho­nestie doo teache. For these thrée things toogither teach, that matches are not too be made vppon lightnesse, (as oftentims they bée) nor among cups, nor for lustfull liking. Abraham séeketh a wife for his sonne: the parents of Rebecca consent: Afterward the consent of the maide is sought: and so Isaac marieth hir to his wife. Iacob serueth Laban a long time: he breaketh with the fréends of the mayde for mariage: and when he had gotten their good wil he wan the chast consent of the mayd. Godlinesse counselleth the same thing also. For as the fourth precept commandeth the parents too bée hono­red: so méeneth it also, that this honor should bée yéelded vn­too parents, that they make the mariages of their children, & that the children should in this behalf attempt nothing with contempt of their parents. This also doth nature tel al men, [Page] too the intent the match may bée honest, which cannot be en­ded or broken, but by death.

Now after that all things are in this wise lawfullye at­tempted, then it behoueth too go néerer too the matter: & mu­tual consent of thē that contract, is too be heard, whiche must in no wise be constreyned, but must be frée: that neither part may iustly say he was compelled. For although it be accor­ding too right, too begin with the parents: yet it is not law­ful for the parents too compel them whither they wil or no. For besides that constreyned mariage is no mariage, this mischéefe ensueth thereupon, that in suche matches the mat­ter seldome taketh good successe.

Why it is conuenient that the assurance should bée made openly in the assembly of the churche, there bée foure causes. First, that those which are knit in wedlock, may know thē ­selues too haue place in the Churche. Secondly, that they whiche shalbe man and wife, may be instructed by the voice of the minister, in this entrance of theirs intoo wedlock.

Thirdly, that the Churche may bée a witnesse of the assu­rance made betwéene them, lest they might liue with offence vntoo others, as if they were Lemans rather than maryed folkes. Fourthly that they may be openly helped with the Prayers of the Churche, so as the mariage begoon, may turn too Gods glory, their owne commoditie, and finallye too the edifiyng of the whole Churche, by their godly conuersation in holy mariage.

Now remayneth somewhat too be spoken bréefly concer­ning the mariage feast: wherein it is too bée considered what behooueth too bée there, and what too bee away. In any wise there must bée vtterly excluded frō Christian mariages: first Surfetting: secondly, Pride: thirdly, too muche sumptuous­nesse: fourthly, filthie and vnmannerly talke, suche as the talke of ribauldlie minstrels is woont too bée: and fifthly for­slowing of godlinesse: namely that they followe not their feasting at suche time as deuine seruice shoulde bée doone [Page 48] in the Church, whereby God is displeased, the neighbor of­fended, and occasion of falling is giuen too many. On the cō ­trarie part there must be present: first godlinesse: secōdly, ho­nest mirth: thirdly, holy talke: and fourthly, often wishing ye God may prosper this his state with his blissing. For as we réede, these things were customably vsed too bée doone in the mariages of the saincts: and therfore God also hath with his goodnesse furthered such mariages.

¶Of the second.

NOwe that wée haue noted certein things concerning mariage, I wil héereafter adde a few things of mariage finished and confirmed, and I wil do but two things. First I wil recite the finall causes of mariage. And afterward I wil shewe by what vertues, the societie of maryed folkes is made swéete and amiable.

All godly folk know that the finall causes of mariage are foure. Whereof the first is, mutuall helpe: for when Salo­mon sayeth, wo is him that is alone, he méeneth that mutu­all help and societie is néedful, that we may the better and more quietly endure the miseries of this life. For this cause may old men marye, whose bodies are so withered that they can beget no children.

The second cause is procreation of children: for it is Gods will that mankinde should bée mainteined by this meanes. And therfore he sayd to our first parents: Encrease and mul­tiply and fulfil the earth.

The third cause is, that euery housholde might bée as a church, in which the parents (as it were Prophets) are ador­ned with propheticall dignitie, too the intent they may in­struct their children concerning God and religion: and that their children (as it were certeine yong impes) myght bée watred with continuall doctrine and exhortations, so as at length they may grow too bée trées, and bring forth the most swéete frute of fayth.

[Page]The .iij. cause is the auoyding of whoredome in this cor­rupted and depraued nature. For thus sayeth Paule: for a­uoiding of fornication, let euery mā haue a wife of his own. For wedlocke is the remedie ageinst that most filthy sinne of fornication and aduoutrie: wherein doo méete togither ma­ny and horrible sinnes. For first it is a wilfull breaking of Gods law. 2. a peruerting of the law of nature. 3. a shamefull and foule transgression of ciuill lawes. 4. a miry puddle of regeneration. 5. a horrible treason: for wée are not at our owne libertie, but his who hath redéemed vs with his preci­ous blood. 6. a dishonoring of the Resurrection. For what is more filthy, than with most shamefull wickednesse too de­file the body, which in time too come shall rise ageine to eter­nall glorie? 7. a horrible defiling of the temple of GOD. Corinth. 6. Now séeing that so many sinnes méete héere too­gither, there is no cause why any mā should thinke that God will not punish it with his owne handes.

But the company of man and wife is made amiable and swéete by these fiue meanes, by godlinesse, vertue, mutuall forbearing, mutuall loue, and by dutifulnesse performed bu­sily and godlily on bothe sides.

Godlinesse of right holdeth the chéef place. For there is no stable and stedfast frendship, vnlesse it haue his beginning from God: and therefore must godlinesse néedes shine before the rest. For when couples haue determined to obey God, al things afterward become more easie.

Uertue and honest conditions bréede mutuall delight be­twéene man and wife. For when vertue is exercised, it ma­keth conuersation of liuing more amiable.

Mutuall forbearing, whereby we take in good woorth one anothers conditions and faultes, is very néedful. For in this weakenesse of nature, there happen many scapes, which wil bréede strife, if they be not couered by mutuall forbearing.

Mutuall loue hauing his beginning of godlinesse and true vertue, maketh vs not too bée too sharpe sighted in looking in­too [Page 49] one anothers faultes. But that many things eyther wée marke not, or if wée marke them, wée couer them with loue. For charitie couereth the multitude of sinnes.

Duetie performed godlily and busily on bothe sides, ma­keth the yoke light and swéet. For when man & wife marke one another, and find like héedfulnesse in their duetie: bothe their company is made more pleasant, and they are the more stirred vp on both sides too render duetifulnesse, that the one may requite the other alike.

Where these fiue things bée not, the company of their life is most bitter, or rather more sharpe than death. Therefore let the godly couples doo their endeuer, yt these vertues may bée séene in their life continually.

¶Of the third.

HAuing expounded those places that gaue occasion too this miracle, now let vs looke vppon the miracle it selfe with the circumstances thereof. The circumstances are many: as time, occasion, the request of Chrystes moother and his answer, the preparature of the miracle, the miracle it selfe, the confirmation of the miracle, and the vse and frute of the same.

The time is noted, bothe in that it was doone the thirde day after his comming intoo Galilée, and in that it was the first of all the miracles that the Lord wrought. The time therefore admonisheth vs too way thys miracle with sin­gular héede.

Foure occasions of this miracle may bée gathered of the text. First, the mariage it selfe that was kept in Cana. Se­condly the bidding of Chrystes moother too the wedding. Thirdly the want of wine. And fourthly, the virgins heart most redy too helpe.

Therefore vvhen vvine failed, the moother of Iesus sayd too hir sonne. They haue no vvine. Too vvhom Iesus ansvvered: vvoman, vvhat haue I too doo vvith thee? Mine houre is not [Page] yet come. His mother truely, speaketh this either for pitie sake, or else too the intēt hir sonne should by some meanes or other help the present necessitie. But Chryst answereth his moother somewhat hardly, and that for right great causes. In this behalfe he voutsaueth hir not the tytle of moother, but calles hir simply by the name of woman. And moreouer he sayeth: vvhat haue I too doo vvith thee? mine houre is not yet come. The Lord had héer a further sight. For he foresaw what superstitions should in time too come rise vppon Inuo­cation of the virgin Marye. He saw that hypocrites should wickedly yéeld vntoo hir, the things that were proper too God and too the mediator. And therefore in this somewhat harde answer, he deliuereth too all ages a perpetuall and graue Doctrine, leaste the vnmeasurable reuerencing of Sainctes, should deface the honoure of his office: and in this respect he abased his owne moother too the vulgar de­grée of women. Then was it no light cause, that he spake too his moother in this wise: what haue I too doo with thée: but too make a difference betwéene his owne office, and his moother, and so consequently of all Sainctes. He will not part his office which is peculiarly his owne, and giue parte of it too his mother. But he chalengeth too himselfe alone the office of a Sauiour. Wickedly therefore doo the super­stitious call the virgin, Quéene of heauen, aduocate, life, swéetenesse, moother of grace, and consequently the salua­tion of the world. For no parte of our redemption is too bée ascribed vntoo Marye. And whereas he addeth: Myne houre is not yet come: he implyeth twoo things: Name­ly that he ceased not for any maner of héedlessenesse or [...]louth and also that he would haue a care of the matter, assoone as opportunitie should offer it selfe.

What did the moother of Iesus in this case? Whatsoe­uer he biddeth you doo (sayeth shée too the wayters) that doo yée. This perteineth too the preparature of the miracle. The moother dooth only conceiue good hope, that hir sonne wil suc­coure [Page 50] the present néed. And where as she sayeth too the way­ters, whatsoeuer hée biddeth you doo, doo it: shée ministreth vntoo vs a generall doctrine in the Churche, wherof the blis­sed virgin is bothe a tipe and a member.

What then learneth the Churche héereby? Forsooth it ler­neth, with the blissed virgin, too commaunde all ministers (yea and all Christians) too obey Christe, in dooing whatsoe­uer hée biddeth them, how little so euer it séeme agréeable too reason.

Anone the Lorde when oportunitie serued, willed the wayters too fill the sixe water pottes that were set there too serue for the superstitious purging of the Iewes, of which pottes euery one did holde a twoo or thrée Firkins a péece, so that altoogither did holde about an Amer of Wine.

These water pottes (I say) did the Lord bid them fil vp too the brimmes: whiche béeing doone, hée badde giue thereof too the maister of the feast. For by the secreat power of Christe, it was nowe become wine, whiche was euen now water. Which when the maister of the feast had tasted, hée sayed too the bridegrome. All men are vvont too set good VVine vppon the table first, and vvhen the guests are vvel laden vvith VVine, then too giue them that vvhiche is vvoorser. But thou haste kept the best VVine too the last. This is added for the confir­mation of the miracle. For the maister of the feast witnes­seth, that this wine was muche more excellent than that whiche they had drunk before.

Now ensueth the vse and frute of the miracle: and he ma­nifested his glorie (saith the Euangelist) and his disciples be­leeued vpon him. This miracle therfore was appointed for twoo things: Namely too manifest Christes glorye, and too strengthen the fayth of the Disciples. For looke how manye miracles Christe shewed in the worlde, so many witnesses were there of the glory of his Godhead, & so many sealings were there of his doctrine, and of faith in the hearers.

This then is the right vse of Christes miracles, that his [Page] glory béeing blazed abrode, & his doctrine béeing confirmed by them as it were by authenticall seales, wée should leane vnto him by liuely faith▪ But as for suche miracles as either darken the glory of Christ, or quench faith, they are sleights of the Diuel, of whiche the Lord giueth vs warning too bée­ware in the .24. of Mathew. There shall (sayeth he) arise false Christes and false Prophets, and shall shevv great signes and vvoonders: in so muche that the very elect (if it vvere possible) should bee deceyued: beholde I haue tolde you of it before hand. Therfore let no man giue credit too any miracles, saue such as set foorth Christes glory, and norish and confirme the true faith too him ward.

¶Of the fourth.

FOr as much as in this Gospell, there is mention made of many persons, I wil now shew bréefly what doctrine and instruction is too bée taken at eche of them.

First therefore let vs at all these guests lerne an example of thriftie making chéere, from whiche bée banished riot and vnaduisednesse, of whiche things more is spoken in the first place.

At the Bridegrome & Bride let vs lerne too receiue Christ too our feasts: which thing truely is then doone, when in the feare of God and with thankesgiuing, wée vse Gods gifts to honest mirth, and leaue them at home that are not bidden.

By the miracle let the bridegrome and bride learn that if they bid Christe too their feast, he wil chaunge the water in­too wine: that is too say, hée will turne all bitter things intoo swéet, and blisse the parties with his blissing, so as they shall want nothing.

At Christe let vs learne, according vntoo our abilitie too helpe the Brydegrome and the Bryd [...]: that is too saye, too beautifie the Churche by what meanes so euer wée can bée able.

At Christe let vs learne too transferre againe vntoo a good [Page 51] and godly vse, the, things that were abused and put too superstition, so as they may serue too Gods glorie, and too the buil­ding of the Church. The waterpots héere serued too Iewishe superstition: but Christe vseth them too the setting foorthe of his owne glorie, and too the edifying of his Churche. So the Church goods which héertofore haue bene abused, ought now too bée conuerted too a better vse.

At Mary wée may learne too bée touched with pitie for the néede of other folks, and too pray too God too further the poor with his blessing.

At the maister of the feast wée may learne, too like wel of Christes dooings, with clensed mindes.

At the wayters wée may learne, to employ our labour at Christes commaundement, and not so muche too looke what he biddeth, as too doo that he biddeth.

Of Christ, Mary, & the Disciples toogither, we may lerne too kéep felowship with men, and too take their slendernesse in good woorth. Also wée may learne to honor the honest ma­riages of poore folkes with our presence, and too helpe them with our purse when cause requireth.

These things haue I spoken the largelier of this Gospel, bicause this matter wherof it entreateth, is not woont too bée intreated of but once in the yéere. I haue spoken of the ma­ner of mariage, and of matrimonie. Also I haue shewed how great a sinne it is too breake the sixth commaundement. I haue expounded the miracle with his circumstances, & what doctrine and instruction, the examples of the persones in this Gospell yéeld vntoo vs. Now God the father of our Lord Ie­sus Christ graunt vs his grace, that being confirmed by this miracle, wée may in the true feare of God and in faith, yéeld true glory too God the father, Christ, and the holy Ghoste, too whom being only the immortall and liuing God, bée honour glory, and dominion for euer world without end. Amen.

The third Sunday after Epiphany. ¶The Gospell. Math. viij.

WHen hee vvas come dovvne from the Moun­taine, much people follovved him. And behold there came a Lepre and vvorshipped him, say­ing: Maister, if thou vvilte, thou canst make mee cleane. And Iesus put foorth his hande and touched him, saying: I vvil be thou cleane: and immediatly his Leprosie vvas clensed. And Iesus sayde vn­too him: tell no man, but goe and shevy thy self too the preest and offer the gyfte (that Moses commaunded too bee offered) for a vvitnesse vntoo them. And vvhen Iesus vvas entred intoo Capernaum, there came vntoo him a Centurion, and besought him, saying: Maister, my seruant lieth at home sick of the Pal­sey, and is greeuously peyned. And Iesus sayde: vvhen I come vntoo him, I vvill heale him. The Centurion aunsvvered, and sayde: Sir I am not vvorthie that thou shouldest come vnder my roofe: but speake the vvoorde onely, and my seruant shall bee healed. For I also am a man subiecte too the authoritie of an other, and haue souldiers vnder mee: and I say too this man goe, and hee goeth: and too another man come, and hee com­meth: and too my seruant doo this, and hee dooth it. VVhen Iesus hearde these vvordes, hee maruelled, and sayde too them that follovved him: Verely I say vntoo you, I haue not founde so great faith in Israell. I say vntoo you, that many shall come from the East and VVeast, and shall rest vvith Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, in the kingdome of Heauen: but the children of the kingdom shal bee cast out intoo vtter darknesse, there shal bee vveeping and gnashing of teeth. And Iesus sayd vnto the Cen­turion: Goe thy vvay, as thou beleeuest, so bee it vntoo thee. And his seruant vvas healed in the selfe same houre.

The exposition of the text.

THis gospel setteth before our eyes the affectiō of Christ towards mankinde, & especially towards them that flée too him in heauinesse & affliction: for looke what he pro­mised [Page 52] in woords, saying: Come vntoo mée all yée that labor & are heauy loden, and I wil refresh you, and yée shal find rest vntoo your soules: the same thing dooth hée shew héer by his déede. For after that hée had taught his fathers woord on the mountaine, hée came down and fulfilled the thing in woork, which he had taught in woord: confirming his doctrine with miracles. For hée woorketh héere twoo miracles. With his woord he healeth the Lepre, and by his commaundement hée healeth the sonne of the Centurion absent. The vse of these miracles is, both too prooue Christe too be the true Messias, & too witnesse that the self same Christe wil helpe the afflicted that call vppon him, as wel as hée helped the Lepre and the Centurion that called vpon him. Howbéeit, too the intent the present miracles may serue too our better instruction, I wil intreat of .iiij. places, whiche are these.

  • 1 A generall doctrine of all Christes miracles.
  • 2 Of the Lepre, and of his healing, and of the circumstan­ces thereof.
  • 3 Of the heathen Centurion, of his faith, and of his care for his seruaunt.
  • 4 The praise of this heathen mans faith.

¶Of the first.

BIcause the Euangelical storie conteyneth many of Chri­stes miracles wherwith hée manifesteth his glory, cōfir­meth his doctrine, and encreaseth faith in the hearers: I wil bréefly set foorth a general doctrine, the vse wherof shal serue in all particuler miracles of Christe. Why the Lord addeth miracles too his woord, it is tolde in the last Sunday, & euen héer a litle before I haue repeated it in the beginning. How be it too the intent wée may haue the ful doctrine of miracles, mo things are too be serched out: whiche too enclose within number certein, I wil put all vnder these .v. questiōs. What the persons bée: what the ends bée: what is the maner: what is the vse: and why miracles are not wrought at this day.

[Page]The persones are of thrée sortes: first suche as are oppres­sed with diseases and with the Deuils tirannie. Then the beholders of the miracles. And lastly Christe that woorketh the miracles.

The ends are many. One is that Christ might shew foorth his owne glory: Another, that he might seale vp his doctrine the thirde, that the faith of them that behelde the miracles, might bée confirmed: the fourth that God might bée glorifi­ed by the sight of his woonderfull woorkes: the fifth, that by little and little, the Diuels kingdome might bée destroyed. What miracles so euer are doone for any other ende than these, are condemned as sleights of the Deuil. Math. 24.

The manner is diuers: for sometime hée woorketh a mi­racle by his woorde alone, as in this place. Another time too the intent too shew the preciousnesse of his body, he layeth to his hand. One while he turneth him selfe to GOD with gi­uing of thankes before hande: and another while hée woor­keth by his onely power without his woord, as when he tur­ned the water intoo wine. Too the manner also perteyneth the faithe of him that is healed by the miracle, as is read in this Gospell.

Miracles serue too thrée vses. That hée that is healed by miracle should sinne no more: that the beholders should put their trust in the healer: and that wée whiche read of the mi­racles of the Lorde, shoulde bée confirmed in the glorye, and doctrine of Christe, and therewithall conceiue faith in him, that he is none otherwise affected towards vs, than he was towards them.

But why are no miracles wroughte now a dayes? Hée is starke blinde that séeth no miracles at these dayes. The churche of Christe is a little flocke, whiche the Deuill the King of darknesse, and Antichriste the Pope doe persecute, and bend all their force too this end, that they may extinguish the true religion of Christe: and yet they can not.

All the whole worlde persecuted that one poore man Luther, [Page 53] and yet they touched not one hear of his hed. And why? God miraculously defended bothe him and also his little flocke. This presence of God in his churche is miraculous inough, so that wée néede not too séeke other miracles. Moreouer mi­racles, and the power of healing mens bodies, and the visi­ble giuings of the holy ghost, were bestowed onely vpon the primitiue churche, too the intent they might confirme Chri­stes glorie, his doctrine, & our faith for euermore in all that should come after. The vse of which too vs ward, is that wée may know they were certein seales of ful authoritie, wher­with God would haue his doctrine confirmed and sealed for euer.

¶Of the second.

IN the Lepre that is healed▪ let six things be considered: his infirmitie, the state of his person, his faith, his inuocation, his pacience, and his confession.

The infirmitie of the Lepre is a punishement of sin: and therefore it putteth him in minde of Gods wrath and of his iust iudgement. For all crosses, all calamities, and what so euer aduersitie befalleth vs in this life, are as it were a ser­mon from heauen, wherin God accuseth of sinne, and shew­eth his wrath: whiche most iust wrath of GOD, when a man thinketh earnestly vppon, without the knoweledge of Christ, he falleth intoo dispaire. Wherby it often falleth out, that a man eyther killeth him selfe, or else pyneth awaye by péecemeale for sorowe. For the conscience of sinne suffereth him neuer too rest, no not one minute of an houre. Let vs de­clare this thing by one example. Oedipus king of Thebes, bi­cause there fell a great plague in his Realme, thoughte that some heynous wickednesse was committed by him selfe, or some of his. Héervpon hée called the Préest Tyresias and bad him shew by his art of Birdspell, whoo was the author of so great wickednesse, for which all the common weale was at­teinted with so gréeuous a plague. In the end Oedipus found it too bée him selfe and none other that had committed this [Page] heynous offence. For he had begotten children of his owne moother, whom hée had vnwittingly taken too his wife. For béeing but a Babe hée was cast away by his parents, that hée might haue bin killed. But the shepheard too whom the com­maundement was giuen, spared him bicause hée was a trim boy. Afterward growing too mans estate, he fought certaine battels for the Thebanes luckely: and for his wel dooing, they bothe gaue him the kingdome and the Queene Iocasta too bée his wife. By meanes wherof, not knowing whoo shée was, hée maryed his owne moother. Now as soone as Oedipus had knowledge of this his sinne by the préest, and saw the whole realme too bée atteinted with a most gréeuous plague for his offence, hée fell intoo consideration of Gods wrath. And by thinking therevpon, hée was driuen too dispaire. In this dis­paire, [...] hée pulled out his owne eyes, least hée might bée­holde the sunne. Secondly, béeing martired with the consci­ence of his wickednesse, with a greate outcrye hée bad those that stood about him get them away, least hée should hurt the good euen with his shadowe. Afterwards fléeing his Realm, hée liued blinde and a begg [...]r, vntil hée perrished béeing swa­lowed vppe in despaire. His moother Iocasta béeing vnable too abide the gréefe of minde for remorse of hir sinne, as soone as shée knew of hir fault, hung hir self. So horrible and foule a thing is sinne, when a manne beholdeth it rightly with the eyes of his heart.

The state of the Leprous person was very harde: for it béehooued him too liue seuerally alone from the company of Gods people. For great sorowe whereof, no dout but many pyned away. For not onely were they excluded from the fe­lowship of men, but also they were left destitute of the com­forte whiche they might haue had by the preaching of Gods woorde. Moreouer, they were distinguished from other men by fiue marks, which thing encresed their sorow not a little. The first marke was a loose garment cut in twoo: the second a head vncouered: the third a face muffled: the .iiij. a dwelling [Page 54] set from the companie of men: the fifth, a publike Procla­mation, whereby hée was proclaimed vncleane, as a person vnwoorthy too bée conuersant among the Israelites with the people of God. And this was the case or state of this Lepre. If he had not had faith in Christ in these euils, he must haue bin vtterly forlorne for sorowe.

But hée came vntoo Chryste, and conceiued faith. And al­though hée felt himselfe too haue deserued damnation: yet lif­teth hée himself vp at the liberall promise of Chryst. Dout­lesse hée had herde this saying of Chrystes: Come vntoo mée all yée that labour and are heauie loden. Doutlesse hée herd Iohn say of Chryst: Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sinnes of the world. This Lepre therefore know­ing his Physitian, conceyueth hope of health, leaning vpon Chryst with assured confidence.

Through this faith hée calleth vpon Chryst. For inuoca­tion is the naturall fruite of fayth, as the which can not bée made without fayth, according too this sentence: How shall they call vpon him on whome they haue not beléeued?

Howbeit in this inuocation is propounded a singular ex­ample of pacience. For the Lepre sayth vntoo Chryst: Lord if thou vvilt, thou canst make mee clene. Like as Dauid whē hée was put from his kingdom, desired with condition to be restored ageine, if it so séemed good vntoo God, So héere this Lepre leaueth this corporal benefit in the hand of the Lord, whoo knoweth better than our selues what is expedient and méete for vs.

Besides that, this prayer hath a singular example of hys confessing of Chryst. The Scribes and Phariseyes did per­secute those that confessed Chryst. But this poore man, this despised person, this Lepre, (let the Princes and préests fret as much as they would at it) confesseth Christ, and acknow­legeth him to be almightie, yea and the very Messias: whose constant confession it becommeth vs too followe.

Nowe is the healing of this Lepre too bée looked vpon: [Page] wherin are many circumstances too bée examined, of which euery one conteines a peculiar lesson. With his hand Christ toucheth the Lepre: he graunteth chéerefully that which the lepre desireth: he biddeth him bée cleane by woord: the effect, that is too say, clensing frō the leprosie, foloweth out of hand: When he hath clensed him, he giues him thrée commaunde­ments: that he should tell no man, that he should shew him selfe too the préest, and that he should offer his gift according too the lawe.

The stretching out of Christes hande, and his touchyng of the Lepres bodye was a token of his vnmesurable grace and goodnesse, by which déede he woonderfully encreased the lepres faith. For when he sawe the sonne of God, not onely not lothe too talke with him, after the maner of other men: but also too haue touched his vncleannesse with his hand: hée was replenished with singular ioyfulnesse of spirite.

Wyth this touching is ioyned the graunt: I vvil: The le­pre sayth, if thou vvilt: Christ answereth, I vvill. Héerevpon the Lepre concludeth with himself, that hée should bée made whole by and by.

Upon the graunt he addeth, Bee thou cleane. By which saying, he declareth his heauenly power, confirmeth his doc­trine, and encreaseth faith, both in the beholders and in the readers of the story. For too will in Christ, is as much as too doo. He hath doone whatsoeuer was his will, both in heauen and in earth. This power of Chrystes comforteth againste the power of the deuill.

And by and by his leprosie was clenzed. This déede is both a miracle in it selfe, and a benefite too the people: by which benefite (as it were by a warrant) he giueth vs too vnderstād that he is readie too clense all men from their spiritual lepro­sie, which come vntoo him by Faith.

Now folowe the commaundements: First that the lepre tell no bodie of it. Untoo this commaundement, the Lepre through a certaine zeale of publishyng Christes benefites, o­beyeth [Page 55] not. In which case hée is not a little offended. For hée ought not too haue rendred thanks too his benefactor accor­ding too his owne deuise, but by obedience rather: than the whiche there is no sacrifice more acceptable too Christe.

The second and thirde commaundement folowe. Go thy wayes, and shew thy selfe vntoo the Préest, and offer thy gift for a witnesse too them. This did Christ, that by this meanes the law of Moyses might bée satisfied, in whiche the iudge­ment of Leprosie is committed too the Préestes, too caste the infected out of companie, and too receiue ageine the healed, by their open testimonie. As for that the healed are bidden too offer, it was doone for this purpose, yt this oblation should bée a pledge of their thankfulnesse towards God, that had receyued helth.

The Papists whiche vpon this place doo builde auricular confession, with reckening vp of mens sinnes, are fooles, and doo fowly depraue the Scripture, wresting it amisse vntoo a wrong sense. As for the confession which wée reteine in our churches, I must speak of that elsewhere.

¶Of the third.

THe storie that conteyneth the benefit bestowed vpon the Centurion, hath very many lessons, whiche I wil distin­guishe in numbres, too the intent they may the better bée borne away.

First is too bée obserued the Image of the twoo peoples, of the Iewes, and of the Heathen. First the Iew is healed, and then the Heathen man. Wherby wée are taught, that Chri­stes benefites belong indifferently vntoo all men, and that there is no difference betwéen the Iew and the Gréek. For like as all haue sinned and want the glory of God: so Christ offereth his benefites too all men, too bée receyued by faith.

2 The sundry states of the Iewe and the Gentile, is not voyd of a lesson. The Iew was poore, the Heathē man rich. Christ therfore hath no respect of the present estate: hée des­piseth [Page] not the poore man, he reiecteth not the riche man. The Iewe was a commoner, the Centurion a gentleman. In the kingdome of Christe therefore, the pedegrées of auncetours haue no reputation, but faith in Christe, through whiche all men (be they gentlemen or yeomen) are born the sonnes of God. The Iewe was despised in the worlde, the Centurion a Courtier, and a man of honour, but the Lorde estéemeth him moste honorable, that hath moste faith.

3 Now let vs examin by the circūstances, what manner of faith the Centurions faith was. That he was an Ethnick and none of the peculiar people of God, it abaseth him suffi­ciently. He might among men vaunt him self of honor of his Captenship, but his vaunting auayleth nothing with God. For as the Lorde sayeth in Hieremie: Hée that boasteth, let him boaste in mée, whiche doo worke mercy, iudgement, and iustice. The Centurion then preaceth not vnto Christ with­out repentance. But acknowledging his owne wretched­nesse, he calleth vpon Christe too help his seruant, yea & that through vnfayned faith, wherby his loue toward his neigh­bour is also declared. And where as hée sayth: I am not vvor­thy that thou shouldest enter vnder my ro [...]e. And also, Onely say the vvoord, and my lad shalbee vvhole. He both confesseth him self a sinner, & acknoweledgeth Christe too bée endowed with the Godhead, vpon whom also he beléeueth. And wher­as he addeth. For I also am a man subiecte vnder the povver &c. He giueth too vnderstande, howe easie a matter it is too Christe, throughe his heauenly power, too helpe euen them that bée absent by his onely woord and wil, séeing that hée be­ing a mā subiect vnder an other mans power is able too ap­point his seruantes what they shall doo, & that they doo what is commaunded them.

4 Héer riseth a question concerning an other mans faith. The Centurion beléeueth, and his seruant is healed. Whervpon wée gather this certaine lesson, that the godly by their faith maye obtayne corporall benefites for other folkes: [Page 56] but whither any man can bée saued with eternall saluation by an other mans fayth, it is no question among Christians. For they know that no mā is saued without his owne faith which may in déede bée purchased, when the godly pray for others that God will graunt them faith.

¶Of the fourth.

IN this cōmendation of ye heathen mās fayth, many things are too bée considered. First Chrystes admonishmēt, which is referred too hys manhood. For it pretendeth humane af­fections, howbéeit without sinne. 2 He sweareth, he hath not founde so great fayth in all Israell. For the Iewes re­quired not only the woorde, but also a signe. But thys Hea­then man, where as hée had but a little taste of Doctrine, was contented wyth the woorde onely. The fayth of Marie was more perfect: but it was by reason of more perfect in­struction, and of more certeyne and moe signes in numbre. Greater therefore is the Centurions faythe accordyng too some parte, but not accordyng too the absolute and ful mea­nyng of Faith. 3 Wée are taught by thys place, that faith ought too growe, and too take dayly encrease. 4 Héere Chryst teacheth of the callyng of the Gentyles, that they wyth Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, may bée gathered intoo one Churche by fayth in Chryste. 5 A foretellyng of the reiec­tyng of the Iewes for theyr vnbeléefe, wyth a threatning of punishment. 6 When hée sayeth too the Centurion: Go thy vvay, bee it doone vntoo thee as thou hast beleeued. He signifieth, that all things are possible too hym that beléeueth, accordyng as Christ himselfe wytnesseth in an other place, too whome bée honoure and glory for euer and euer. So bée it.

The fourth Sunday after Epiphanie. ¶The Gospell. Math. viij.

AND vvhen hee entred intoo a ship, his Disci­ples follovved him. And beholde, there arose a great tempest in the Sea, in so muche that the ship vvas couered vvith vvaues, but he vvas a­sleepe. And his Disciples came too him and a­vvoke him, saying: Master saue vs vve perish. And he sayd vntoo them, vvhy are yee fearfull ô yee of little fayth? Then hee arose and rebuked the vvinds and sea, and ther folovved a great calme. But the men maruelled saying: VVhat maner a man is this that both sea and vvindes obey him?

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospell setteth againe before our eyes the disposition of Chryst, which is, too bée at hande too his seruauntes in perills, and too helpe them according too the saying of the Psalme. I am with thée in tribulations. Also: Call vpon mée in the day of trouble, and I wil héere thée, and thou shalt honoure mée. Af­ter the same maner, the example of the Apostles teacheth vs héere what is too bée doone in perill, that is too say, that with the Apostles wée awake Chryst by our faith, too aid vs when wée craue it at his hand. And this is the summe of this gos­pell, that Chryste when his disciples were in danger in the shippe through a tempest that arose sodenly, being awaked, rebuketh the sea and the winde, whervpon ensued a great calme, and woonderment too them that beheld it. The places that wée will entreat of, are these thrée.

  • 1 The varietie of the temptations of the godly in this world.
  • 2 The exposition of the present storie with the circum­stances therof.
  • 3 A moste goodly Image of Chrystes Church in this world.

¶Of the first.

BIcause this Gospel maketh mention of the temptation in the shyp, I will bréefly set forth the kindes of temptati­ons, wherwith men are troubled: and that to the intent that knowing the daungers which inuiron vs round about, wée may become the more watchefull, least béeing vanquished with temptations, wée abandon our confession and fal from grace. For lyke as Chrystes disciples were tempted among the waues of the sea with losse of their life: so all christians ought (almost euery houre) too bée afrayde of the shipwrecke of their fayth.

Of temptations there bée many kindes. For either God is the author of the temptation (in which respecte it is pro­prely a triall or proofe, and not a temptation) or else it procée­deth from the deuil, or else it cōmeth of men, or else the cause of it is in the partie himselfe that is tempted, or else they bée things circumstant that trouble him.

God proueth vs to the intēt we may bée made more tried too our selues. For hée trieth not too the intent too know: for nothing is hidden from him: but to make vs knowe howe much wée haue profited in Godlynesse. And God trieth men in their manners, in doctrine, and in the signes of his wrath. In manners he tried Abraham when he commaunded hym too sley his only begotten sonne Isaac, and too offer hym vp too him for a sacrifice. And Abraham by obeying God in so hard and difficult a thyng, became more tried too him selfe­warde, and sawe the true frute of his owne fayth, whyche is too preferre obedience towards God, before all things in the worlde. So at this daye, the godly are tried by GOD, when (by settyng béefore theyr eyes the commaundements of God, whiche are the moste certeine rules of all vertue and good manners) they are made more tried too them sel­ues, through willing obedience. But on the contrary part, those that wyttingly and wyllyngly runne headlong intoo [Page] sinne, and yéelde vntoo temptation: become giltie of Gods wrath, vntill they repent and amende.

Besides this, God trieth vs in doctrine, when hée suffreth false Prophets too come and too teach diuers erronious opi­nions. Of which kinde of triall, Moises speaketh in the .xiij. of Deuteron. If there rise vp among you a Prophet, or one that sayth hée hath séene a dreame, and telleth you a signe or woonder béeforehande, and the thing that hée hathe spoken, commeth too passe: and hée say vnto thée: Let vs go and fol­lowe strange Gods, and let vs serue them (that is too say, if hée set vp a new maner of woorshipping God) thou shalt not herken too the woordes of that Prophet and dreamer, bicause the Lord your GOD trieth you, and that it may bée open­ly knowne whither you loue him with all your heart and al your soule, or [...]o. This temptation is ascribed vntoo God, in consideration that it is a triall and not a seducing. After the same maner hée giueth vs his woorde at this day: but hée permitteth many heresies [...] spring vppe, to the intent hée may by that [...] whither wée loue him in déede by true and sincere faith. Sometime the Lord trieth vs in signes, when his setteth foorth the dreadfull tokens of his wrath, in heauen, in earth, and in the sea: which signes doo woonderfully shake the minds of the godly. Of this kinde of triall speaketh Moises Exod. xx. Bée not afrayde, for the Lord is come too trie you, and that the feare of him might bée in you, that yée might not sinne.

The Deuil tempteth by falling from the doctrine by pre­sumption in office, by Idolatrous woorshippings, & many o­therwayes, of which I must speake the [...]. Sunday in Lent.

Men, as well our enimies as fréends, doo tempt vs diuers ways: as by doctrine, hypocrisie, example, counsel, promis, and threatning.

Also man [...]ndeth in himselfe whereby too bée tempted, as originall sinne, and secondly many affections springing out of the same, which egge vnto attempt somwhat ageinst god. [Page 58] Sometime a man is tempted of the giftes of the minde or of the bodie, suche as beautie, strength, witte, woorkmanship, and suche other like, are. Hée that wil not be ouercome by this kind of temptation, let him think that all things are be­stowed vpon him frō heauen, for the aduauncement of Gods glorie, and the commoditie of other men.

Things circumstant doo also oftentimes tempt and trou­ble the mindes of the godly: of which some things are before vs, as the things that hang ouer vs: some are after or behind as the things that are past: some are at our right handes, as the things that are plesant: and some at our left handes, as the things that are sorowful. Before vs death threatneth, the dreadful iudgement of God vexeth, and hel gapeth with opē mouth vpon vs. After vs, or behinde vs at our backs, are our sinnes past, whiche disquiet the conscience of man. At our right hands are riches, honor, and power: which things haue throwne many men headlong intoo endlesse destruction. At our left hands, are pouertie, reproche, contempt, slaunder, & perils, on sea, on land, at home, and abroade. These kindes of temptations are moste gréeuous: whiche are ouercome by faith, inuocation, often lifting vp of the heart vntoo God for helpe, giltlesnesse of maners: and too bée bréefe, by continual and earnest repentance. Thus much I thought good too speak of temptation in this place, that wée might bée stirred vp too watchfulnesse and praying, lest wée enter intoo temptation.

¶Of the second.

IN the storie of this miracle, these circumstances folowing are too bée considered.

1 The trial of faith. The disciples haue ye Lord with them in the ship, & by reason therof they saile with the more care­lessenesse. How bee it, this carelessenesse was not of very long continuaunce. For by meanes of a storme that arose, the ship was ouerwhelmed with waues. Whereby it came too passe, that they which a little béefore, were too carelesse, [Page] are now abandoned too the waues of the sea, in a maner re­die too despair. Wherfore let no man trust too much too pros­peritie, but in prosperitie let him bée afrayde.

2 In this moste gréeuous peril Christe slept, partly with stéep too recreate and refreshe his powers that were weried with labours, and partly to trie his Disciples faith: not bi­cause that he béeing the searcher of heartes was ignorant of any thing, but too the intent the Disciples might bée better knowen too them selues. Moreouer it is too bée beléeued, that the Lorde sléeped for this purpose also, that greater Fayth might bée stirred vp in his Disciples, and that his Disciples béeing striken with the greater feare, shoulde call vpon him the more earnestly, and set the more by his present ayde in the extremity of peril. For if Christ had bin awake, he had of his owne accorde helped them at the pinche as in so great a daunger, though his disciples had not prayed him. And albe­it that of his goodnesse and fatherly affection towards vs, hée be ready too giue vs all things that be necessary to our wel­fare: yet is h [...]e not [...] giue them but at our entretāce. For prayer is the ordinary instrument too atteyn all things that are needful for vs of God: whiche thing is done for this cause, that we should reuerence him the true God, creatour & fountaine of all goodnesse, and acknowledge oure selues weake creatures, as what (without GOD) neyther haue, ought, nor ought are able too do.

3 The woorking of faith is héere séene. For faith is not an idle assent or thought, but it is a stout Giant which ouer­commeth the world as Iohn saith: This is the victorie that ouercommeth the worlde, euen your faith, verely faith ouer­commeth: but yet through the conquerour Christ, whom it possesseth Thus faith hath [...] his enimie the worlde: that is too wéete, sinne, Death, the Diuel, daungers, and the fleshe. On sinnes side, standeth the Lawe, conscience, and dispaire. On faiths side, standeth the Gospel, Christes sacrifice, and [...]. Therefore when the Law assayleth thée [Page 59] wyth his lightening, smoake, fyre, vapoures, and thunder: Let fayth take the Gospell vntoo him, and set that betwéene him and the Lawe. And when the Lawe sayth: Cursed is e­uerie one that dooth not al the things that are written in the booke of the Law: set the Gospel ageinst it, saying: Euerie one that beléeueth on the Sonne, hath life euerlasting.

When Death threatneth death, set thou ageinst him the ouercommer of Death, Iesus Chryst, who casting Death in the téeth, sayth: Death where is thy sting? Hel wher is thy victorie? The same in the Gospell of Iohn sayeth: Hée that beléeueth in mée, shall not taste of Death for euermore, but shall passe from Death vntoo Lyfe. Then is Death profita­ble too the godly person: for it is only a passage vnto the bet­ter life, so little cause is there that the godly should be afrayd of it.

The Deuill in déede accuseth and packs vp a great bead­roll of sinnes toogither. But sette thou ageynst him the sen­tence of Chryst, which sayeth: The Prince of this worlde is iudged already: and this saying of Paule. It is God that iustifieth, who then can condemne? If hée lay our owne vn­righteousnesse too our charge, Let vs answere with Paule: Him who knew no sinne, made hée a sacrifice for sinne, that wée might bée made the rightuousnesse of God in him.

In likewise the daungers of sinne reprooue vs: for they are as it were a sermon of God concerning sinne. But aun­swer thou, that iudgement beginneth at Gods house, & that the Lorde chastiseth euerie childe whom hée receyueth vntoo him, yea and that too the childes behoofe.

The fleshe moueth too despaire, But make thou the fleshe subiect too the spirite, and say that fleshelie iudgemente hath no place in this behalfe. And so doo a thousande things méete vs, that will hinder our saluation.

Could Nero then haue gainsayde sinne, the Law, Death, and the flesh in maner aforesayd? No verely. For the onely children of God haue that priuiledge. The rest are hilde in [Page] bondage vnder sinne, bicause they are the seruants of sinne, as which commit sinne by mainteining it agaynst the spirit, or rather vtterly quench the spirit with it. Whosoeuer ther­fore will geinsay sin, the law, death, the deuill, the flesh. &c. let him looke whither hée féele true repentance, let him looke whither hée haue fayth and a good conscience, and finally let him looke whither hée bée so framed, that hée can preferre the obedience of God, before all the commodities of this life, vt­terly casting away all purpose of sinning.

4 Chryst findeth faulte with twoo things in his Disciples. First with their fainthartednesse, bycause they ought not too haue bin afrayd as long as hée was with them: for in asmuch as they had séene so many miracles of his, they might easily haue learned, that it is not possible for him too perishe, with whoom Chryst is present. And secondely with the smalnesse of their fayth: bicause they beleued not that hée coulde doo as much sleeping as waking: or as much vpon the sea as vpon the lande, being the maker both of sea and lande.

5 And as in sléeping hée shewed himselfe too bée man: So héere in commaunding the windes, hée prooueth himselfe too bée GOD: both which things doo serue the slendernesse of our Faith. For his manhood sheweth his good wil towardes vs, and his godhed sheweth his ablenesse, which twoo things are requisite in euerie frée acte.

6 Too bée short, Chryste by this storie sheweth, that hée willed in déede the saluation of men, and especially of them that call vpon him. For as it is his will that we should call vpon him in our perils: so also is it his will too vtter his fa­therlie affection towards vs, in deliuering vs from danger.

¶ Of the thirde.

THis is a most plesant Allegorie. For here is painted out the state and image of the Church. The sea is the world: the ship is the Church: the winde is the Deuil: the Disciples are the godlie companie of the beléeuers: Chryst is the truth, [Page 60] and the Gospel is faith.

First mark héere, that before Christe with his Disciples entred intoo the ship, the Sea was calme: that is too say, the world slept soundly in his own sinnes. But as soon as Christ entred into the ship, ther arose a mighty tempest, in so much as the ship séemed too bée ouerwhelmed. But what ensued? Christe the Lord was there present, who could commaunde the sea and the windes. Héereby therefore wée may learne, that out of this little ship (that is too say the Churche) there is no safegard. Howbéeit we must looke wel about vs héere, that we take not our enimies ship for the true ship. The eni­mies ship is bothe better decked outwardely, and of greater receit within. But the true ship hath hir decking inwardly, and it hath a muche more stately maister, namely the holye Ghost. All the mariners that it hath, are godly: It hathe the woord of God and the sacraments in right vse and obedience too the ministerie. And with these treasures this ship holdeth it selfe contented in so great waues.

2 It is too bée obserued, that this shippe sayleth not in the calme sea, but is tossed in the waues whiche driueth it hither and thither: whiche thing too bée moste true, the storie of the world sheweth. When GOD had made the world, hée put this ship in the middes of it. And by and by the deuil, the eni­mie of Gods sonne, tossed it with stormes: and from thence foorthe it was miserably turmoyled, vntoo the time of Noe, and after Noe, too Abrahams time: from Abraham too Moy­ses time: and from thence, vntil Christs time, who too the in­tent too saue this ship, came intoo the world. Yet ceassed not the waues thereof as then. But what is the cause that the world cannot abide this little ship? for that the Churche re­prooueth the woorkes of the worlde, that is too say, blameth the worldly wyse men of follie: condemneth the rightuous men as giltie of sinne: and aduaunceth not the riche men: but pronounceth them vnhappie and wretched, vnlesse true godlinesse bée the gouernoure and ruler of their riches.

[Page]And this is it that Christ promised, when hée sayde: The ho­ly Ghoste shall reproue the world of sinne, of rightuousnesse and of iudgement. What had Abel offended against Caine, who horribly murthered him? Iohn answereth. Abels woor­kes were good, and his brothers were euil. What did Noe? What did Hieremie? What did Esay? What did Christe? and too bée short, what did so many martyrs from the begin­ning of the world vntoo this day? They would haue brought the worlde backe from darknesse vntoo light, that menne re­nouncing worldy lusts, might liue godlily, honestly, and vprightly in the world. This is the thanke that the worlde is woont too requite his benefactours withall. For it woulde drown them in his waues. Howbéeit all things fall not out as hée would wishe: he cannot destroy this little ship vtter­ly: for out of the bloud of the martyrs spring vp other newe martyrs ageine.

Wée may therefore learne hereby a holy arte against the stumbling blocke of persecution and fewenesse. If the tos­sing of the ship trouble thée: haue an eye vntoo Christe, whoo is present at hand in the ship. If the fewenesse trouble thée: haue an eye too the Arke of Noe, too the Sodomites, and too the rest of the whole world. Those things that are best, did neuer like but the fewest. The Churche at the beginnning was very small: in the middes it was biggest: and in the ende it shalbée so small againe, that what with the malice of the Deuil, and what with the leude doctrine of Diuels, and what with wicked maners, it may séem ouerwhelmed with waues.

In these waues therfore let vs learne too waken Christe with oure calling vppon him, whoo is neuer away from his ship, but guydeth it with his holy spirit, his woord, his sacra­ments and his discipline. Too whome with the Father and the holy Ghoste, bée honour and glorie worlde without end. Amen.

The .v. Sunday after Epiphany. ¶The Gospel. Math. xiij.

HE put foorth another parable vntoo them, say­ing. The kingdome of Heauen is like vntoo a man vvhich sovved good seede in his feeld: but vvhile men slept, his enimie came, and sovved tares among vvheate, and vvent his vvay. But, vvhen the blade vvas sprong vp, and had brought foorth frute, then appeared the tares also. So the seruants of the housholder came, and sayd vntoo him: Sir didst not thou sovve god seede in thy feeld? from vvhence thē hath it tares? He sayd vntoo them the enuious man hath done this. The seruants sayd vntoo him, vvilt thou thē that vve go and vveede them vp? But he sayd, nay: least vvhile yee gather vp the tares, yee plucke vp also the vvheat vvith them: let both grovv togither vntill the haruest, and in the time of haruest, I vvill say too the reapers: gather yee first the tares, and bind them togither in sheaues too bee brent: but gather the vvheate intoo my barne.

The exposition of the text.

OCcasion of this Gospell, was giuen by Chri­stes hearers, of whom some were Hipocrites, who notwithstanding liked very wel of them selues, that they were accounted of Christes flocke: and other some were sincere and good: How bée it bicause they sawe a confused mix­ture of the good and euill toogither, their mindes were not a little troubled. Too the intent therefore that the Lord might both warn the one of their hipocrisie, and of the punishment that shoulde one day ensue for it, & raise vp the other too sted­fastnesse and vnvanquishable confidence, by laying béefore them the seperation and reward that was too come: he pro­pounded this parable vntoo them. Whereof the meaning is this: that the euil must be mixed with the good in the church, as long as this world stādeth, which in the end of the world shall bée seperated one from another: so as vntoo the godly [Page] may be rendered reward, and vntoo the wicked deserued pu­nishment. This Gospel therefore serueth too this purpose, too put the hipocrites in feare, and by setting foorth their punish­ment too prouoke them too repentaunce, and too comforte the godly, arming them too the sufferance of euils. And the pla­ces of this Gospel are foure.

  • 1 What maner of kingdome Christes kingdome in this world is.
  • 2 Of the enimies of this kingdome.
  • 3 The prayer of Christes disciples ageinst the enimies, & why God suffreth enimies in his Churche.
  • 4 Of the punishment of Christes enimies, and of the re­ward of the godly.

¶Of the first.

THe kingdome of heauen is takē diuersly in scripture. For first when Iohn sayeth: Repent and amend, for the king­dome of heauen is at hand: the kingdome of heauen is none other thing than the newnesse of life, wherby GOD setteth vs vp ageine intoo the hope of blissed immortalitie. For deli­uering vs out of the bondage of sinne and death, he taketh vs too him selfe: that wandering as Pilgrimes vpon the earth, we may before hand possesse the heauenly life through faith. Therefore where as hée sayeth, the kingdome of heauen is at hād: he meaneth that the restoring of vs vntoo blissed life, yea and the verye true and euerlasting felicitie is offered too vs in Christe. Besides this, it signifieth the Gospel of Christe it selfe, whereby the Citizens are gathered toogither intoo the kingdome of heauen, as when the Lord sayth: the kingdome of heauen is within you. Thirdly it signifieth the frute of the Gospel preached in the hearts of the godly: and then it is (as Paule defineth in the xiiij. too the Romaines:) righteousnesse, ioy, spirite, and peace of conscience. Fourthly it signifieth the felicitie too come, in euerlasting life after the iudgement: as when Christe promiseth it should come too passe, that manie [Page 62] shall come from the East and from the Weast, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob in the kingdom of heauen. Fifthly it signifieth the verie visible Churche it selfe in this world, wherin are good and euil mingled toogither vntil har­uest time: that is too say, til the end of this world. In this sig­nification is the kingdome of heauen taken in this Gospell: of which kingdome I wil nowe speake a fewe things out of this present parable. The kingdome of Heauen is like a man that sovved good seed in his feeld. &c. The man that soweth, is Chryst, verie God and verie man. The féeld is the world. The séed are the children of the kingdom. Eche of these thre doo teach many things.

For first when Chryst is called a sower, these things are ment therby. First how great the dignitie of the Church is, which hath the sonne of God too hir founder. Secondly, that the wise of the world doo not sowe the church (for that belon­geth alonely vntoo Chryst) and therefore that it is not prese­ued by the wisedom of the world. Thirdely, that it is the of­fice of Chryst too sowe, that is too say, too teache rightuous­nesse and eternall saluation. Fourthly, that no man can be­come good séede, (that is too say, be iustified and renued too e­ternall life) without Chryst the sower.

Secondly in as much as the world is called Christs féeld, many things are offered vs too thinke vpon. Firste, that no any one kingdome of the worlde, not Italie, not Greece, not Iewrie, no nor any other nation vnder the sunne, can claime too it self alone too bée the Lords féeld. For all ye whole world is that féelde, wherein Chryst the sower soweth this séede. Wherfore, like as no nation, no nor any may iustly cōplain that he is shut out of the kingdom of heauen: so no people cā (as I sayde) chalenge this glorie too it selfe alone. Secondly, héere it is séene that Gods mercie is infinite, whoo offereth Chrystes benefites (that is too wit, wisedome, iustification, sanctification, and redemption) too all men throughoute the wide world.

[Page]Thirdly. It is to be obserued, why the world is called a feld. For vnder this Metaphor is signified that manuring is néedfull. For as this féeld is too bée tilled by the preaching of re­pentance: so is it also too bée watered with the blood & spirit of Chryst: otherwise the séede is choked, and so perisheth.

The séede in this place signifieth, both that which is sow­en, and that which groweth. What is sowen? Chrysts Gos­pell: which as it offreth frée remission of sinnes: so it requi­reth a continuall repentance. This séed (that is too say, Chri­stes Gospell) the féeld receyueth by fayth. But it is cherished and preserued by the holy Ghost, that it bée not drowned by the stormes of the fleshe, and of persecution, and so die and come too naught. Ageyne, that which commeth of the séede is called séede also: namely the Wheate it selfe, that is too say, the children of God. For the woord of God or the Gos­pell, is that incorruptible séede, whereof wée growe ageyne the children of God.

This therfore is the description of the kingdome of Hea­uen, that is too say of Gods Church in this world. Wherby wée are taught, first that the Church is not the woork of any other man, than of the Sonne of God. And therefore right fonde is the Pope, when hée braggeth himself too bée the so­wer of this Church. And secondly, that this Church is not builded by mans doctrine, but onely by the Gospell of Iesus Chryst, which whosoeuer doo teach purely, are the woorkfe­lowes of Chryst the sower.

¶ Of the seconde.

THis Parable teacheth that Chrystes kingdome shall al­ways haue enimies, in like wise as the first promis also telleth in the third of Genesis. The séede of the serpent shall lie in waite for the séede of the woman. How true this is, the storie of the Church from thenceforth that the séed was pro­mised, vntoo this present day, teacheth vs. Whersoeuer is an Abell, there is also some a Cain. Wheresoeuer is an Isaac, [Page 63] there is also an Ismaell. Where as is a Iacob, there is also some Esau or other. Whereas is a Dauid, there is also a Saule. Whereas is a Christ, there is also a Iudas. Wheras is Paul, there is also some Nero. And wée must not looke too haue it otherwise. For Sathan lieth alwayes in waite for Christes churche, whiche he endeuoreth eyther vtterly too a­bolishe, or els too defile it with wicked doctrine and maners.

But when come the enimies? When men sleep then com­meth the enimie and soweth Darnell. By this sléepe are no­ted both the ministers of the woord, and also the héerers ther­of. The ministers of the woord are sayde too sléepe when they doo not their dutie faithfully in teaching things that are hol­some: in admonishing those that séeme too bée slouthful: in re­buking those whom they sée not too walke the right way too the truth of the Gospel: in comforting the fearful conscien­ces: and in confuting erronious opinions whiche fight with the foundation, that is too say: the articles of our faith. The hearers also are sayde [...]oo sléepe, when they eyther heare the woord negligently, or else were colde and by little and little fallaway, as wée sée many doo now a dayes.

When men sléepe so, then commeth the enimy, and that bicause hée is the enimy of Christe, whose kingdome (that is too say, the Churche) hée desireth too wast, and too enlarge his owne kingdome by lying and murder.

What dooeth the ennimie? Hée soweth in the Lordes féelde. What? First, false and hereticall doctrine fighting ageinst the Articles of oure faithe. And this practise hée bée­gan in Paradise, continuing it on stil in all ages. For wher­soeuer the true and sincere doctrine of the gospel is preched, there also is the enimie at hand, too poyson the fountaines of our Sauiour with his owne venim, least men should drawe saluation out of the pure fountaines of our Sauioure. Se­condly hée soweth contempt of the woord in many. Of these séedes spring vp Darnel, that is too say naughtie children, as are first Hipocrites: secondly Sophisters: thirdly Tirants: [Page] fourthly blasphemers: and fifthly wicked men. And all these knitting their powers toogither, assault the church, that is too say, that little séelie flocke of Christes.

But what meaneth it that he sayth, that the enuious man hauing cast his séede of Darnel in the Lords féelde, went his way? Dooth the Deuil depart from Hipocrites, Sophi [...]ters▪ and Tirants? In no wise. But he is therefore sayd too go his way, for that he putteth on another face. He wil not séeme an enimie, but the spirite of God & an Angel of light, as it is [...] be séene in the Anabaptists, whoo make great boast of Gods spirit, and of secret Reuelations, when as notwithstanding, they be deceyued by the sleights of Sathan.

And so this second place teacheth, [...] that the church hath hir enimies euen in the middes of the féelde, that is too say in the outward societie of the church. Secondly it admonisheth vs that wée consent not to our enimies. Thirdely, that wée may learne too descerne the enimies from the true Citizens of the Church. Fourthly it warneth vs, that after the exam­ple of many, we should not eyther altoogither fal vtterly [...] the Churche, or bée offended at the calamitie of the Churche, whiche in this life is set open too the iniuries of so many eni­mies.

¶Of the third.

THe seruants come too the master of the houshold, and say: Diddest thou not sovve good seede in thy [...]? By this [...] of the seruants too the [...]aister of the house, [...] the prayer of the godly for the Churche, ageinst sects & stumbling blocks in the Church. For as the godly doo conti­nually pray for the prosperitie and welfare of the Church: so doo they pray [...] that no euill or hurteful things may befall it: which thing is too [...]pan [...] euery where in Dauids Psalmes. Aske those things (saith hée) which are for the [...]: so mighte they prosper that peace of Hie­rusalem: wise. Let mine enimies [...] confounded (sayeth hée) and let them bée destroyed that would mée euil. Also in the seuenth [Page 64] Psalme: Let his woorke turne vpon his owne head, and let his wickednesse light vpon his owne croune.

But how can this stand with Chrysts commaundement, who bids vs too pray for them that cursse vs & doo vs wrong? The prayer of the Church ageinst hir enimies hath alwaies a condition of Repentance and Conuersion annexed vnto it. For the méening therof is, eyther that they may bée conuer­ted vntoo repentance, or else that they may bée confounded & perish, that they may not always crake blasphemies ageinst God, and bée troublesome too Gods saincts. Wée must ther­fore pray for our enimies, that they may bée conuerted, wée must pray ageynst them, that they may bée confounded & dis­appointed of their deuises, wherby they practise myschéefe a­geinst Chrystes Church.

VVilt thou (sayd his seruantes) that vvee go and pluck them vp by the roote? too vvhome hee sayd, No: but let them both grovve togither least in gathering the Da [...]nell yee plucke vp the VVheat thervvith▪ [...]

[Page] [...]

¶Of the fourth.

ANd in the time of haruest, I vvill say too the haruest folke: first gather yee toogither the darnell, and binde it toogi­ther in bundels too bée burnt, but gather the vvheat intoo my barne. Here he preacheth of the separating of the godly from [...] [Page 65] curse of al creatures: which punishment how horrible it is, no toong is able too expresse. Besides this, they shal be puni­shed with double fire: namely wyth the fire of euil cōscience, the torment wherof shall neuer haue end: and with fire bur­ning the bodie and not consuming it: for the bodie being ad­iudged too eternall torture, shall féele euerlasting fire. If wée thought vpon these things earnestly, wée woulde not bée so colde in matters of our saluation.

In the sentence giuen vpon the godlie, is set forth a dou­ble reward: namely the blissing of the father, & his inheritāce of Gods kingdome. The one is set as contrarie ageinst cur­sing, and the other is set ageinst eternall punishment. Wée may therfore gather a double argument héereof. One of the punishment of the vngodlie, and the other of the rewarde of the godlie. And eyther of them both (if it bée thought vpon as it ought too bée) is effectuall too woorke in vs the feare of God and true and continual repentance.

By this meanes therefore all the whole Parable ameth at this marke: that the vngodly should leaue his own way, wherby hée sinneth: that the vnrighteous shoulde leaue his thought, wherby hée dispaireth of the forgiuenesse of his sin­nes, and (according too the saying of the Prophet) bée conuer­ted too the Lord, bicause hée is readie too forgiue. In this rea­dinesse nothing wanteth: but there is in it almightie mer­cifulnesse, and mercifull almightinesse, too whome be glorie for euer. Amen.

The Sunday called Septuagesima. ¶The Gospell. Math. xx.

THe kingdom of Heauen is like vntoo a man that is an housholder, vvhich vvente out early in the mor­ning too hire labourers intoo his vineyarde. And vvhen the agreement vvas made vvith the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he vvent [Page] out about the thirde houre, and savv other standing ydle in the market place, and said vnto them: Go ye also into the vineyard, and vvhatsoeuer is right, I vvil giue you. And they vvent their vvay. Ageine, hee vvent out about the .vj. and .ix. houre, and did likevvise. And about the .xj. hour he vvent out, and found other standing ydle, and sayd vnto them: VVhy stand yee here al the day idle? They sayde vnto him: Bicause no man hath hired vs. He sayth vnto them: Go ye also into the vineyarde, and vvhat­soeuer is right, that shall ye receiue. So vvhen euen vvas come, the Lord of the vineyard sayd vnto his Stevvarde: Call the La­borers, and giue them their hire, beginning at the last vntill the first. And vvhen they did come that came about the eleauenth houre, they receyued euery man a penny: But vvhen the firste came also, they supposed that they should haue receyued more, and they likevvise receyued euery man a peny. And vvhen they had receyued it, they murmured ageinst the good man of the house, saying: These last haue vvrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equall vvith vs vvhich haue born the burthen and heate of the day. But he aunsvvered vnto one of them, and sayde: Freende I doo thee no vvrong: diddest thou not agree vvith mee for a pennie? Take that thine is, and goe thy vvay: I vvil giue to this last euen as vntoo thee. Is it not lavvful for me to do as me listeth vvith mine ovvne goodes? Is thine eye euill bicause I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. For many be called, but fevv be chosen.

The exposition of the text.

THis Parable setteth before our eyes the image of the Churche. For therein is shewed howe the Church (which is likened too a Uineyarde) is dealte wythall. For as the woorkemen are in respecte of a Uineyarde: so are men in re­spect of the Church. The workmen are called intoo the vine­yard, some soner, and some later. Some labor much and long time, & some labor little and short time. So of men, some soo­ner, [Page 66] some later, are gathered intoo the Churche by the prea­ching of the Gospel: and they worke some more, some lesse. Moreouer, as the housholder giueth too some their dayes wages vppon couenaunt, and vntoo other some as muche of his owne good will: so in likewise our heauenly Father is a like bountiful too all that labour in his Churche. Ageine as the housholder biddeth the proud and stubborn go their wayes, and maketh muche of those that take his liberalitie in good worthe. So God the father reiecteth those that séek rewarde of workes, whereas hée bestoweth eternall life vppon those that depend vpon his frée and franke good wil. And so the meaning of this Gospel is, that no man eyther truste in his owne workes, if they be many: or despaire if they bée none: but onely depend vpon the goodnesse of God, walking in the feare of the Lord. And héereof may thrée places be made.

  • 1 That euery Christian is hyred intoo the Lordes vine­yard too worke.
  • 2 A generall doctrine concerning good works, and the re­warde of good works.
  • 3 Of Chrystes saying: So shall the last bée first, and the first be last: many are called and few chosen.

¶ Of the first.

THe Church of God is in the scriptures oftentimes called the Lords vineyard: and that, first bicause the Lord hath chosen it, and vouchsaued too make a couenaunt of grace and euerlasting saluatiō with it, and bestowed innumerable be­nefites vpon it, and hathe planted and furnished it. All the whole Church is a vineyard: and all Christians are the vine braunches, whiche in an other respect are also called worke­men. Secondly this naming of it, sheweth how muche the Lord estéemeth his Churche: for no possession is more preci­ous than a vineyarde. Neyther dooth any require greater or more continuall laboure.

[Page]Thirdly when as the Lord calleth his churche a vineyarde, he commendeth his own care and earnestnesse towards vs. Fourthly this name signifieth, yt we haue néede of continuall looking too, and of continuall care and that the Lord had néede too put too his hande, if he minde too haue true & fruteful vine braunches. Fifthly that they whiche are receiued intoo the churche, are bound too bring foorth good frute. For as the vine branches doo bring foorth good grapes, & not wilde grapes: so Christians must doo the woorks of the spirit, & not of ye fleshe.

Now is too be séen, how euery Christiā must behaue him­self in the Lords vineyard. For as there bée sundry duties in a vineyard, for one plāteth, another watereth, another shred­deth, another bindeth, another vnderproppeth, another dig­geth, and another dungeth the earth: So are there sundry vo­cations and offices in the Church, according too the diuersitie wherof, men must labour in the Churche. The Lord appoin­teth vntoo euery man his taske, according too his owne wil. For like as in a vineyard, the housholder giueth to one man a shreddinghook, too another a spade, and too another a knife or a hatchet: So in the churche one is appointed of God too bée a preacher, another too be a magistrate, the third too be a house­holder, the fourth a teacher in a schoole, another to bée a schol­ler, and another too be a craftsman, and so foorth.

But héer euery man in his labor must cōsider thrée things. First whither his labour be profitable in the vineyarde, and commaunded him by the housholder. Secondly what is too be auoyded of him in his laboring. Thirdly what, and how it is too bée doone.

Whither thy labor bée profitable, & cōmaunded thée by the housholder, thou maist know by twoo things: namely by the commaundement, and by thy calling. Euery labor that ma­keth too the planting, watering, cherishing, and preseruing of this vineyard, hath a commaundement: that is too wit: the la­bor yt serueth too the glory of God, the edifying of the church, & the harbroughs of the church, that is too say, cōmon weales [Page 67] and housholdes: is commanded by God in the first table and in the fourth commandement. Besides this, it is not inough that thou arte commaunded too labour, vnlesse thou bée ena­bled too labor in lawfull vocation. For hée that taketh vpon him too labour in the vineyard without calling, is rash and bringeth foorth no frute.

In labouring thou must béeware, firste that thou bée not proud if thou séeme too thy selfe too labor more, or also better than another man. Secondely, that thou haue not an eye too the rewarde of thy labor performed, but too the commaunde­ment of the housholder, whoo hath set thée in the vineyard, too the intent thou shouldest woork. Thirdely, that thou despise not such as woork lesse than thy self. And fourthly, that thou grudge not ageinst ye master of the house, though he apéer li­berall too them that séeme too haue wrought lesse than thou.

What is to bée looked vnto, and cōtinually too bée thought vpon while thou art woorking? First it behooueth euery mā too think hée is brought intoo the Lords vineyarde, not too bée ydle, but too woork. For in the Lordes vineyarde there is no roome for slouth and sluggishnesse. No man can (without dis­pleasing the master of the house) put ouer his taske too ano­ther man. Therefore whoosoeuer is brought intoo this vine­yarde, let him labor lustily without deceyt. For cursed is hée that dooth the Lords woork deceitfully. Secondly in laboring let him think he standeth in his masters sight, whoo not only beholdeth the outward doings: but also féeth the secretes of the hart, and estéemeth the work by the méening of the hart, rather than by the effect of the woorke. Thirdly this looking on of the master, shal stir vp the laborer too woork héedfully, that hée may with a chéerfull minde beare out the heate and burthen of the day. Fourthly an eye is too bée had too nothing else, than too the goodnesse of the housholder God which com­maundeth too labor: and that one thing alone wil encorage a man too go through with his task lustily. Fifthly when thou hast doon all that thou canst doo, thou shalt say, thou arte an [Page] vnprofitable seruant. For if thou eyther be proude bicause thou camest sooner intoo the Lords vinyard, or despise others that may séem too haue wrought lesse than thou, or murmur ageinst the goodman of the house whoo is alike liberall too o­thers as too thée: thou shalt héer. Frend I doo thee no vvrong, diddest thou not couenant vvith mee for a penny? take that is thine ovvne, and go thy vvay: Is it not lavvfull for mee too doo vvith mine ovvne vvhat I list? Is thine eye euill bicause I am good? Thrée things are héer founde faulte with in the mur­murer. First that hée presumeth vpon the woorthinesse of his woork. Secondly that he doth not commend and set forth the liberalitie of the householder, but rather blameth him for it. Thirdly that hée enuieth other men for the bountifulnesse of the liberall householder towardes them. Suche are all they that séeke too iustifie themselues by woorkes, béeing vtterly voyde of fayth.

¶Of the second.

TO the intent wée may the more distinctly vnderstand the doctrine of good workes, thrée things are to bée throughly weyed. First what things are requisit to the account of good woorks. Then what are the causes of good woorks: and third­ly why God hath added so many & so notable promises vntoo good woorks, and why hée voutsaueth rewards vntoo them.

As perteining too the first fiue things are requisite, that a woork doone by man may woorthyly bée called good. One is commaundement. Another is Chrystes spirit. The third is faith. The fourth is a right end. And the fifth is grace, wher­through the default is taken in good woorth.

Now that too the ratifying of a good woorke, commaunde­ment is required, it is manifest by these foure things: by our owne state, by the commaundement, by the forbidding, and by the maner of worshipping God.

Our state is that wée should bée the seruantes of God, and hée bée our Lord God. Wherfore as it is his prerogatiue, too [Page 68] commaund vs what wée shall doo: so is it our duty, too folow his wil as the moste certeine rule of our dutie.

The same thing teacheth the commaundement. Ezech. 20. Walke yée in my precepts, and kéep my iudgements, and do them▪ Esay. 48. I am the Lord thy God that teacheth thée profitable things, and maketh thée walke in the way that thou walkest. Hierem. 33. I haue made thée a watch man ouer the house of Israel, thou shalt hear the woord out of my mouth, & thou shalt doo my message too them from mée.

The forbidding is manifest. Deut. 12. Yée shall not doo eue­ry one of you what séemeth right too him selfe. Ezechiel. 20. Walke not in the commaundements of your fathers.

The maner of worshipping God, requireth that the work that should please him, should bée commaunded by him: and therupon the Lorde telleth vs plainly, it is too no purpose too woorship him with the commaundementes and doctrines of men. And Esay. 29. It is named one of the wickednesses for whiche the Lord threatneth euils vntoo his people, that they worshipped him with the cōmaundements of men, wherfore Paule Col. 2. dooth manifestly condemn all wilworshipping.

Héereby therefore it is euident, that too the ratifying of a good work, the commaundement of God is requisite. There­fore let the woorde of God bée our lampe too shine before vs in all our dooings.

Secondly, vntoo the ratifying of a good worke, is required Chrystes spirit. For whosoeuer bée led by the spirit of God, they be the sonnes of GOD. The spirit of the fleshe defileth the worke, in so muche that they which are in the fleshe, can­not please God. Then haue wée néed of the spirite that rege­nerateth vs intoo new men, without the which neyther wée nor our woorks doo please.

Thirdly is faith required. For by faith the person is recō ­ciled too God, and made rightuous. Through faith then are our woorks also acceptable. For without faith it is impossi­ble too please God. For whatsoeuer is not of faith, is sinne.

[Page]Fourthly is required a right ende, too the goodnesse of the work, according as these words of Augustine testifie. Knowe thou (sayth hée) that vertues are too be discerned from vices, not in working, but in end. The working is that which is to bée doon, and the end is that for which it is too bée doon. Ther­fore when a man dooth any thing wherein he séemeth not too sinne, if he doo it not too that end for which he ought too doo it, he is conuinced too sinne. And it is méete that the vttermoste end of all our dooings, bée the glory of God, vnder which ma­ny other are often times ordeyned.

Fifthly too the accomplishment of a good woork, is required grace, whereb [...] the default is taken in good worthe. For al­though he that is iustified by faith, dooth not fulfil the law of God, but rather findeth many blemishes in all his woorkes: yet doo his woorks please God in déed, and what fault so euer is in them, that dooth grace couer.

These are the fiue things therefore that are requisite too the ratifying of a good woork, without whiche the woork can in no wise be called good before God. Now, whiche I promi­sed in the secōd place, I wil recite the causes that may moue throughly too do good: and they are in all, thrée: necessitie, dig­nitie, and rewarde.

Necessitie is of fiue sortes: that is too wit, of commaunde­ment, of det, of keping faith, of eschuing punishement, and of conuersion. The first necessitie is Gods commaundement, wheruntoo al reasonable creatures ought too obey. And Paule sayth. This is Gods wil, that you should be made holy. The second necessitie is dette, whereof Rom. 8. wée are detters too GOD and not too the fleshe. For we are not masters of our selues, but we are his who hathe redéemed vs with his pre­cious bloud. The thirde necessitie is faith, whiche cannot bée kept as long as wée folowe sinne ageinst conscience. Wher­vppon Paule sayth. If any man haue not a care of those that are his, and chéefly of those that are of his owne houshold, hée hathe renounced the fayth, and is worse than an Infidel. [Page 69] Fight thou an honeste fighte, hauing faith and a good consci­ence. The fourthe necessitie is the eschuing of punishement. For their iniquities (saith Dauid) thou punishest the childrē of men. The fifth necessitie is conuersion. As truely as I liue (saith the Lord) I wil not the death of a sinner, but that hée shuld conuert and liue. For when a man turneth too amend­ment, hée is quickened ageine, and regenerated intoo a newe man, that he may from thenceforthe mortifie the déeds of the fleshe, by the spirite. Rom. 8.

The second cause of good works is dignitie. For those that be iustified, are the children of God: they are gods holy tem­ple, they are kings and préests, annointed of the holy Ghost. Who béeing endued with rightuousnesse, ought too set forthe God with minde, voice, confession, and conuersation.

The third cause is rewarde, that is too say, the recompen­sing of the patience and obedience of the beléeuers towardes God. For God promiseth rewarde: whiche wee must looke for by faith, not hauing any respecte too the woorks that wée haue doone, but too the frée promises. So in the eleuenth too the Hebrues, Moyses is read to haue had respect to the recō ­pensing. Therfore when GOD promiseth recompence, wée must doo twoo things. First we must acknoweledge the vn­worthinesse and imperfection of our own work. And second­ly we must stedfastly beléeue, that God the promiser is true of his promises, trusting wholy too the goodnesse of him that promiseth, and not too the woorthinesse of the work.

In the thirde place, I propounded it as a thing to be tho­roughly weyed, why God added promises too good workes, & why he vouchsaueth too rewarde them. The causes of this matter are chéefly fiue.

The first is, that they might be testimonies of Gods pro­uidence. For GOD wil haue it knowne, bothe that bodily goodes are things by him created, and also that they are not scattered by chance, but that they are giuen by him, and pre­serued by him for the churche, according too this saying: Hée [Page] filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he sent emp­tie away. The second is, that they should be witnessings that God wil preserue his churche euen in this life. Whereupon 1. Tim. 4. Godlinesse hath promises both of this present life, and of the life too come. The third is, that God wil, that both bodily necessitie shall be a putting of vs in minde of Fayth, Prayer, Hope, and thankesgiuing: and also that these good things should bée craued by Faithe, and wayted for by pati­ence. The fourth is, that they might put vs in remembrance of the promise of grace. For corporall benefites are vnto the faithful a sealing vp of grace. The fifth is, that God wil haue bothe these things done: namely his Churche too bée subiecte too the crosse, and also too be preserued euen in the middes of peril in this life. Bothe these things are shewed in the .37. of Esay: O Lord our GOD saue vs from the hande of Senna­cherib, that all kingdomes of the earth may know, that thou onely art the Lord.

¶Of the third.

THis sentence wherewith the Lorde closeth vp this para­ble, is too bée marked with héed. So shall the last be first, & the first be last. Why so? For many are called, and fewe bée chosen.

The proposition of this sentence, which is an a [...]ke thing too reason, as it rayseth vp the weake harted that acknowe­ledge their infirmitie: So it casteth downe the proude Hy­pocrites swelling in opinion of their owne rightuousnesse and holynesse, and beateth them flat vntoo the grounde, as it were a thunderbolte from Heauen. But who are those first? and who are the last? Those that are first with them selues in their owne opinion, and in the estimation of their owne woorkes, shall bée last with God: that is too say, of no value, yea rather men damned by the iust iudgement of God. They be last with them selues, which in good earnest acknowledge their owne vilenesse and infirmitie, as whiche féele them sel­ues too haue no desert; and these shall bée first with God, that [Page 70] is too say, accepted with God, so that they leane vntoo Chryst the Mediator, by stedfast fayth.

The meaning of this sentence, Many are called, and fevve chosen, teacheth twoo things: the one is, howe great is the goodnesse & mercy of God, that calleth all men too the know­ledge of his sonne, by his gospell. The other is, how great is the vnthankfulnesse of men, of whome so few are found that are chosen, that is too say, godly, sincere, and practising ear­nest repentaunce. For there are fewe that renounce theyr owne woorkes (yea & themselues) altoogither, and that trust onely too God, and glorifie him in minde, talke, confession, and conuersation. This sentence therefore admonisheth vs, first too acknowledge the benefite of God that calleth vs by the Gospell: secondely too detest the vnthankfulnesse of the world, which accepteth not the benefits offred: & thirdly too ioine our selues too those fewe in repentance, fayth and true inuocation, which receiue the Gospel sincerely too the glory of God, too whome bée honor for euer. Amen.

The Sunday called Sexagesima▪ ¶The Gospell. Luke. viij.

WHen much people vvere gathered togyther, & vvere come too him out of all Cities, he spake by a similitude. The sovver vvent out too sovv his seede: and as hee sovved, some fell by the vvay side, and it vvas troden dovvne, and the foules of the aire deuoured it vppe. And some fel on stones, and assone as it vvas sprong vp, it vvithered avvay, bicause it lacked moystnesse. And some fell among thorns, and the thornes sprang vp vvith it and choaked it. And some fel on good groūd, and sprāg vp and bare frute an hundreth fold. And as he sayd these things: he cried: he that hath eares to heer, let him heere. And his disciples asked him saying: VVhat maner [Page] of similitude is this? And hee sayd: Vntoo you it is gyuen too knovve the secretes of the kingdom of God, but too other, by Parables: that vvhen they see they shoulde not see, and vvhen they heer they shold not vnderstand. The Parable is this: The seede is the vvoord of God: those that are beside the vvay, are they that heere: then commeth the diuel, and taketh avvay the vvoord out of their hartes, leaste they shoulde beleeue and bee saued. They on the stones are they, vvhiche vvhen they heere, receyue the vvoord vvith ioy, and these haue no rootes, vvhich for a vvhile beleeue, and in time of temptation goe avvay. And that vvhich fel among thorns are they, vvhich vvhen they haue herd, go foorth, and are choaked vvith cares and riches, and vo­luptuous liuing, and bring foorth no frute. That vvhich fell in the good ground are they, vvhich vvith a pure and good herte, heere the vvoord and keepe it, and bring foorth frute through pacience.

The exposition of the text.

THys Gospel conteineth a goodlie image of the church militant in this world, and springing of the incorruptible séede of Gods woorde, in the visible companie wherof, how many and how sundry sorts of héerers ther bée, hée pein­teth out by the similitude of the naturall séed. For hée beareth witnesse that it happeneth alike too the hea­uenlie séede, as is woont too happen too the naturall séede, cast intoo the grounde. For like as all bringeth not foorth frute that the husbandman casteth intoo the grounde, no nor scarce the fourth parte of it: Euen so the word of God hath sundry héerers, in very fewe of whome it bringeth foorth wholsome frute. Héerof are thrée places.

  • 1 The exposition of the Parable.
  • 2 The diuers sortes of the héerers of Gods woorde.
  • 3 As concerning the Lordes saying: Hée that hath ea­res too héere, let him héere.

¶ Of the first.

THe causes why the Lord spake vntoo the people in para­bles, are many. The first may be the foretelling of the Prophets. For the Prophets had foretold, that when Christ came, he should teache the people in parables. And it was a very auncient maner of teaching, too teache in parables and similitudes. Secondly, for that this kinde of teaching dooth wonderfully enter intoo the eyes and minds of men. Third­ly, bicause the things that are taught by suche kindes of ima­ges and tokens, doo helpe the memorie, that the doctrine by them (as it were by tokens of remembrance) may bée sent out too all that shall come after. Fourthly also, Parables doo assuage the ouer harde rebukes, and as it were hide thē with a certein veyle, that they may the lesse offend. And yet after­ward being conceyued & vnderstood in the minde, they teach and doo as muche as plaine doctrine, and yet they touche no man openly. Finally the partes of this parable, are the sow­er, the séede, the frute, and the ground.

The sower is God: who although he cast his séed into the grounde by men: yet notwithstanding hée is presente with them him selfe, and worketh with them. By reason whereof the ministers of the woord are termed Gods helpfelowes: by which name, both things are ment, that is too wit, that bothe GOD dooth woorke after his owne maner, and that men as workfellowes doo bestowe their labour in Gods behalfe. Here wée may learne twoo things. First that the séed is pre­cious and noble. For we sée in the worlde, that the excellen­ter the séede is, so muche more cunning and skilfull persons are set too lay it intoo the grounde. If the kings of the worlde toogither with the wise men of the worlde, were sayde too bée the layers of this séed into the ground, al men wold wonder at it, & all men would be very desirous too knowe this séede. But now is God become the sower héere: and the stewards of Gods mysteries are héere present. And therefore it muste [Page] néeds bée, that this sowing is both an earnest and a noble so­wing aboue all others. The other thing that we may learne héerby, is that it is a great fault, and worthy too bée punished with most gréeuous punishment, eyther to receiue the séed of the sower God, intoo a ground (that is too say a heart) not til­led before with the plough of the lawe: or when it is recey­ued, not to cherishe it with all the attendance, carefulnesse, & diligence that may bée, so as it may growe and bring forthe moste acceptable frute too the sower.

The séed is the very word of God, and not of man: whiche séed the only begotten sonne of God hath brought out of the bosome of his father. This séed is liuely: wherfore if it séeme at any time not too bring forth frute, it is not the fault of the séed, but of the ground. They that eyther corrupt this séed as hereticks doo: or choke it, as hipocrites do: or kéep it down by force, as tirants doo: or thrust in other in stéed of it, as the pa­pists doo: shall one day féele the iust wrath of God, who as he hath giuen pure séed, so also wil he haue the same kept pure, and in no wise corrupted. And this séed hath he left with his Churche too kéepe, layd vp in the treasures of the Prophetes and Apostles.

The frute that this séede bringeth forth, foloweth the na­ture of the séede when it is growen vp. For first after it is layed intoo the ground, there springeth of it repentance, that is too say, an amendment of the former wicked life. For like as some excellent séed béeing conceyued in the bowels of the earth, dooth by his owne power kil the wéeds that ouergrew the grounde before: so this séede doothe by true remorse, kil the shreud wéedes, (that is too say sinnes) whiche the Deuill hath sowed in mannes harte, so as they may not hear deadly frute vntoo damnation, as they did before. Ageine, this séede toogither with helthful repentaunce, bringeth forth faith, the frute whereof is moste acceptable too GOD. Out of this faith, as out of the eare of the corne, come forthe séedes, that is too say, children of GOD, according too this saying: To [Page 72] as many as beléeued, hée gaue them power too become the children of God. These (as sayth sainct Peter) are borne a­geine, not of corruptible séede, but of incorruptible séede, by the woorde of the liuing God that continueth for euer. The children of God being so borne of Gods incorruptible séede, doo bring forth their fruite, that is too wit, good woorkes and pacience, wherwith the Lords fruteful féeld flourisheth euen vntill haruest.

¶ Of the seconde.

BY the manner of the séede layde intoo the grounde, a man may gather foure kindes of hearers of Gods woord. For the séede that is layde intoo the ground, either is not concey­ued in the bowels of the earth, or else is conceyued wyth frute, howbéeit such frute as out of hande withereth and pe­risheth: or else with frute that endureth too the haruest. And this varietie happeneth by reason of the nature of the soyle. For if the séede light intoo the way, it taketh no roote, but is either troden downe with féete, or deuoured by the byrdes. If it light vppon stonie grounde, bicause it taketh no déepe roote, it perisheth as soone as it cōmeth vp. If it light among thornes, the thornes choke it, and it dieth without profit. If it light vpon good grounde, it beareth frute, and that plentu­ously. Héervpon our Lord concludeth manifestly, that there bée foure sortes of héerers, of which I must nowe speake in order.

The first kinde of héerers is set foorth in this wise in the Parable, Some fell in the highe vvay, and vvas troden vvyth feete. The Parable is thus expounded by the Lorde. Those that are by the high vvay, are those that heere the vvoorde, and anone commeth the Diuel, and taketh the vvoord out of their heartes, least they shoulde beleeue and bee saued.

In this exposition many things doo méete toogither, woor­thie too bée considered. First, what is the cause that it bea­reth not frute, namely bicause the grounde is harde and [Page] drie, that is too say, the heartes of the héerers are stonie and harde, so as they giue no place too the worde. Mennes hartes wex harde by accustoming themselues too sinne, by hope of scaping without punishment, by Epicurishe thoughtes, by innumerable examples of such as sinne, and by the craftes of the Diuell. And whereas the Lorde sayth, that the [...]éede was sowed in their hearts, it is as muche as if he had sayde, that the vice & leudnesse of men is the cause why it is taken out of their hartes. Therefore they doo God wrong, that as­cribe their damnation vntoo him. For hée being mercyfull vntoo al men, casteth his séed intoo the ground, that is too say, sendeth preachers too teach his gospel: but through mens de­fault it cōmeth too passe that it is troden vnder foote without frute. Secondly it is too bée marked aduisedly, that the diuel is sayde too come and take away the worde out of their har­tes. Whereby wée gather, that this enimie of our saluation (according as hungrie birdes are woonte too doo in séed tyme) as soone as the doctrine commeth abroade, is at hande▪ and steppes in, to catche it vppe before it can conceiue moysture and shoote forth. That this is the continuall endeuer of Sa­than, the storie of all tymes teacheth vs, and Peter testifi­eth when hée sayth: that the Diuell goeth about like a roa­ring Lion, séeking whom hée may deuour. For in like wyse as hée set himselfe ageinst our first parentes, and that by ta­king Gods word out of their hartes: so employeth hée him­selfe wholly with like endeuer at this day, that the worde whiche is preached, may abide frutelesse with the héerers. Thirdly, it is to be obserued, that the Gospel is the preching of saluation. For when hée sayth that the Diuell taketh the woord out of the hartes of the héerers, least any should bée sa­ued: hée declareth sufficiently, that the woorde of God is ap­pointed too our saluation. Fourthly héere is too bée obserued, the great prayse of fayth, in asmuche as Chryste in expresse wordes calleth it the cause of our saluation, leaste throughe beléeuing (sayeth hée) they might bée saued. For as saluation [Page 73] is offered vntoo men by the ministration of the Gospell: so by faith only is the offered saluation receyued and reteined: wherevpon the Apostle sayeth, the Gospell is the power of God, vntoo saluation, too euery one that beléeueth. Fifthly as our great vnthankfulnesse is noted, wherethrough wée des­pise the saluation that is offred vs by the woorde: so is their errour too bée detested, which go about too depriue the woord spoken, of his power: whoo doubtlesse are the diuels instru­mentes too hinder the saluation of men.

The second sort of héerers are noted in this parable: Other some fell vpon stones, and assoone as it came vp, it vvithered, bicause it had no moysture. The Parable is expounded by the Lord in these woords. For that vvhich fell vpon the stones, are those vvhich vvhen they haue heard the vvoorde, doo receiue it vvith ioye, but yet they haue no roote, but beleeue for a time, but go backe in the time of triall. As long as the Crosse and persecution troubleth them not, they holde not the meanest place in the Churche: but assoone as persecution ryseth for the Gospell, they giue ouer, and fayth dieth vtterly in them without frute: and of this sorte of héerers (alas for sorowe) there are too many. Assone as the doctrine of the Gospell was purged in this Realme, very many séemed too embrace the Gospell earnestely. But when they sawe their fréendes displeased with them for it: whē they perceiued that no smal péece of their estimation among the Papistes was abated by it: and that the crosse touched them somewhat néerly: then they forgat the swéetnesse of the Gospell, whiche they had héeretofore receyued with ioyfulnesse, and shamefully lyke wretches slipt from it too their vtter reproche, & the horrible destruction of their soules: for whom it had ben much better neuer too haue tasted the goodnesse of the Gospell, than wyth so much shame too fal away agein from grace and saluation.

The third sorte of héerers is painted out in this Parable, thus: And other some fell among thornes, and the thornes grovving vp vvith it, choaked it. The Lord interpreting this [Page] parable, sayth: That vvhiche fell among thornes are those vvhich haue herd the vvord, and going their vvays are choked vvith the cares, and the ryches and pleasures of this lyfe, so that they bring foorth no frute. In this exposition of the Lords, many things are too bée considered. Firste that this sorte of men is méete to cherishe the séede within, that is too say, that they turne vnto the Lorde with true repentance, & that they beléeue and loue the word of god. Secondly, that the corrup­tion of the séede, (that is too say, of Gods woorde sowen in the hart of man) commeth from elsewhere, namely of the thornes. For as good séede béeing conceyued in good grounde and growne vp, is often so marred with the thornes that winde about it, that it perisheth before the haruest: Euen so many béeing at the first well disposed and woorshippers of God, are before the ende of their life choked with thornes, I say with the thornes of carefulnesse, of riches and of pleasu­res. Thirdly it is too bée obserued in this place, that the Lord putteth héere .iij. kinds of thorns, which doo choke the heuen­ly séede after that it is growne vp & spindled: as are thought­fulnesse or cares of this world, and ryches, according as Ma­thew hath: or (as Mathew and Marke haue) the deceitful­nesse of ryches, and the pleasures of this life.

Séeing then, that these bée the thornes wherewith Gods woord is choked, and that there is none of all which is not o­uergrowen with great store, and as it were with a thicke queach of thorns: wée must do our indeuer, that if we cannot vtterly plucke vp all the thornes themselues, we may (at least wise) breake off their prickes, that they perce not tho­rough Gods crop and destroy it.

As concerning the first kind of thorns, this is the way too blunt them: if we wholly renounce this worlde with his lustes, and vse this worlde as though wée vsed it not, accor­ding as Paul admonisheth vs too doo.

The second kind shal doo no harme, if we folow Salomōs counsel, who sayth: If riches abounde, set not thy hart vpon [Page 74] them: And also Paules counsel, which saith: warn the riche men in this world, that they bée not proude, nor trust too the vncertaintie of their riches, but in the liuing God which gi­ueth vs all things plētifully too our vse: but that they doo wel and endeuour too bée riche in good woorks, and bée liberal to­wards others.

The .iij. kind of thorns are the pleasures of this life, which consist in delights, pompe, worldly honor, dainty meats, fine apparel, and chamberwoork: which all toogither and seueral­ly doo choke the séede of God, so as it cannot bring forthe the frute of eternall life. Let them therfore that haue regarde of euerlasting saluation, take good héed of these thornes.

The fourth sort of héerers is noted in this part of the para­ble. And some séede fel vpon good grounde, and sprang vp and bare frute, and brought foorthe, some thirtie folde, some sixtie folde, and some a hundred folde. This parable is expounded of the Lord in these wordes. And that vviche fel vpon good ground, are those that vvith a pure and good harte doo hear the vvoord, and keepe it, and bring forthe frute through pacience. In this exposition fiue things are too bée obserued, whiche doo define ye good groūd wherinto ye lords séed was cast. The first is too receiue the séede and heare the word with a pure & good hart. The second is too kéep the séed, that is too say, not too for­get ye word that is herd, but too think vpon it cōtinually. The thirde is too bring forthe frute in true godlinesse, holinesse, charitie, and the duetie of a mannes vocation. The fourth is that this frute must be brought forth in patience: verely that wée suffer not our selues too bée pulled by any meanes from fayth, and from bringing foorth frute. The fifth is, that all bring not forth alike much frute: For the Lord sayth: Some thirtie fold, another sixtie folde, and another a hundred folde: that is too say, they which beleue the gospel, bring forth frute according too the measure of their faith, some more and some lesse. This oddes in bringing foorth frute, dooth bothe teache vs and comfort vs. It teacheth vs, that the séede of God must [Page] not bée frutelesse, if at leastwise wée couet too haue it too our welfare: and it comforteth them that bée of a gentle and good hart, & desirous too bring foorth much frute into Gods barne, who notwithstanding doo féele them selues destitute of pow­er, and that they cannot yéeld encrease of thrée score folde, or of a hundred fold. These néed not too discourage them selues: for the goodman of the house vouchsafeth, euen the baser sort their honour, and the commendation of goodnesse. Therefore who soeuer is a louer of his owne saluation, let him endeuer too bring forthe frute according too the estate of his calling. And when he perceyueth him self too bring foorth but a little, let him craue helpe of the goodman of the house, and trust too his goodnesse which reiecteth not euen him that bringeth ne­uer so little frute.

¶Of the third.

AS hée had spoken these things (sayth the Euangelist) hée cryed out with a loud voice, and sayd: Hee that hath eares too heere, let him heere. Now in that the Lorde cryeth out, therby is shewed both his affection towards men, that hée is desirous too haue them saued: and also the deafnesse of men too heare the things that perteine too their saluation. Ageine, when he sayth. He that hath eares too heere, let him heere, hée giueth vs plainly too vnderstand, yt he hath twoo kind of hea­rers: of whom some be deaf, not for that they are not able too heare with their outwarde eares, but for that they bestowe not the things they haue héerd, in the intrails of their hartes. How great store of this kinde of héerers there is, it is well séene by the lewd behauiour of many, whiche haue the faith in their mouth, without any frute at all in their life and ma­ners. And other some are well eared, who bestow in the clo­sets of their hartes, that whiche they conceiue by their out­ward héering, and bring forthe frute of the séede, according too the measure of their Fayth. But this is too bee knowne, that no manne by hys owne cunnyng canne make hym [Page 75] himselfe to héere Gods worde frutefully: but that his eares must be opened by the Lorde. For when the word soundeth outwardly in his eares, the holy Ghost is present woorking in the woord, who openeth the eares of the hart to héere and receyue the worde, so that we through our owne malice, striue not against the spirite when he openeth. For although that God alonly can open mens eares, and that he offereth himself redily too al men: yet doth he open the eares of none but such as resist not the Lord through their own stubborn­nesse. Wherfore it is our duetie to crie vntoo the Lorde with continuall gronings, that he may open our eares, prepare our hartes, and clense our affections, so as wée may héere his woorde to our owne saluation & the glory of God, to whom bée honour and glorie for euer. Amen.

The Sunday called Quinquagesima, or Shroue Sunday. ¶The Gospell. Gath. iij.

THen came Iesus from Galilee too Iordan, vntoo Iohn, too bee baptized of him. But Iohn forbad him, saying: I haue neede too bee baptized of thee, and commest thou too bee baptized of me? And Iesus aunsvvering, sayd vntoo him: Let bee novve, for so it becommeth vs, that vvee may fulfill all rightu­ousnesse. Then hee let him alone. And Iesus beeing baptised, came by and by out of the vvater, and beholde, the heauens vvere opened vntoo him, and hee savve the spirit of God com­ming dovvne like a doue, and lighting vpon him. And behold, a voice from heauen, saying: This is my vvell beeloued sonne, in vvhome I am vvell pleased.

The exposition of the text.

THis feast is solemnized in our Churches for the storie of Christs baptim, which storie conteineth the chéefest déede [Page] that euer hapned in the worlde, neither shall any greater e­uer happen, vntill wée sée Chryste comming in the cloudes with his angels, and with great power. If then wée bée de­lighted in stories of great & mightie princes: wée haue héere the storie of the greatest Prince: whiche not only with the pleasantnesse thereof delighteth the mindes of the readers, but also it selfe alone bringeth more commodities, than all the stories of the world can bring. But before wée go too the exposition of this storie, wée must discusse two questions. Of whiche the first is, for what cause this feast is instituted in the Ecclesiasticall ordinance of our Churches: and the other is, why it is appoynted at this time of the yéere rather than at any other. Too the former question I aunswer: The sto­rie of Chryst is framed for our saluation, and therefore wée Danes in our Ecclesiasticall ordinaunces, would not omit this chéefest part of the storie: but set it foorth at a time cer­teyne in the yéere.

Untoo the later question, I say, that this time was most conuenient for this storie too bée intreated off, and that for twoo causes. First for the order and continuance of the story: For hythertoo wée haue herd in order, first of the birth of the Lord. Secondly of his circumcisiō. Thirdly of his appéering. Fourthly of the offering vp of him in the temple. Fifthly of his disputing in the temple when hée was a twelue yeres of age. What hée did from the said twelfth yéere, vntoo his nine and twentith yéere, there is nothing written, but that hée was at the commaundement of his parents. Sixthly of his baptim, which is very well recited in this time of the yéere. Seuenthly foloweth of his fasting. Eyghtly of his tempta­tion. Nynthly of his doctrine and miracles. Tenthly of his passion. Eleuenthly of his resurrection. Twelfthly of his as­cention intoo heauē. Thirtéenthly of the sending of the holy Ghost, wherby Chrysts doctrine was cōfirmed. Fourtéenth­ly folow in the rest of the yéere, sundry sermons wherin the benefits of Chryst are commended to his Church, examples [Page 76] of godlinesse are set forthe, and men are exhorted too godly & holy life. And fiftéenthly is intreated of the last iudgement, & of the rewards of the godly, and the punishement of the vn­godly. These are the chéefe members of the storie of Christe, which in very good order (according as the things were doon are euery yéere handled in our Churches. There is (besides these) another cause, why our Churches intreateth of Chry­stes Baptim this time of the yéer: namely that men may bée taught what maner of garment becommeth Chrystians too were, against that deuilish and heathenish furie and manner of belly chéere, that hithertoo hath bin practised in many pla­ces of Christendome, not without greate offence towardes God. And let these things suffise too bée spoken concerning this present feast. The places therof are thrée.

  • 1 The storie of Christes baptim, with the circumstances thereof.
  • 2 The vse of this storie in the Churche.
  • 3 The maner and vse of our Baptim.

¶ Of the first.

IN the Baptim of our Lord many circumstances are too bée weyed, & specially these fiue. First, what persons are the dooers in this case. 2. The place. 3. The talke betwéen Chryst and Iohn. 4. The baptising of Christ. 5. The sequele, that is too wit, the thing that hapned too Chryste when he was bap­tised. Of these fiue circumstances I wil speak in order.

The firste. Then came Iesus from Galilee vntoo Iohn. Héere wée haue twoo persons, Iohn who was sent in the spi­rit of Elias too prepare the way of the Lord: In respect wherof his father Zacharie by the spirit of prophecie sayd of him, béeing yet but a babe: And thou child shalt be called the pro­phet of the highest, for thou shalt go before ye face of the Lord too prepare his wayes. And for the same cause Chryste him­selfe auoucheth Iohn too bée more than a Prophete, as than whiche there was not a greater borne of a woman. Ageine, wée haue héere an other person, namely Chryste him selfe, [Page] God and man. Héere therefore are twoo persons, than the whiche the whole world hath not any thing more excellent. Iohn was the most high Prophet of God: & Christe was the euerlasting sonne of the euerlasting God. Of bothe whome, in as much as the dignitie and authoritie is moste excellent, wée haue thereby an inkling giuen vntoo vs, how greate the woorthinesse and authoritie of Baptim is, whiche procéeding from God, is solemnized by them that are the most excellent of all the world.

The second. He came too Iordan. Héer is shewed wher the baptim was celebrated. It is not for nothing that the Euan­gelist maketh mention of Iordan. For his meaning is, that wée shuld haue an eye too the former miracles that were doon long ago in Iordan: that thereby wée may gather how great force and effect spirituall baptim is of.

The first miracle therfore that commeth too minde, is that which hapned when the people (vnder the conduct of Iosua) entred intoo the land of promise. For the riuer of Iordan (cō ­trary too the nature of water) stood at one side like a wal, and gaue way too Gods people too passe through, so as they passed drie shod, folowing the Ark of the Lord whiche the Préestes of GOD caryed before the people. By this tipe is signified that wée are conueyed out of the kingdome of Sathan, intoo the kingdome of God by baptisme, Christe going before vs, who is the true Arke of propiciation.

Helias deuided Iordan with his cloke, and passing the ri­uer was lifted vp intoo heauen. Naaman the lepre of Syria washing him selfe in Iordan at the commaundement of the Prophet, was made whole and sounde. Nowe as the déede of Helias dyd in a shadowe signifie that oure passage intoo heauen should bée made by baptisme: so the clensing of Naa­man the Syrian, did prefigurate the spirituall clensing from sinnes too bée made by baptisme. For look what baptism figu­reth outwardly, yt doth ye lord work inwardly by his own power. Therfore whē we here mēciō made of Iordā, let vs cal [Page 77] too mind, what it signifieth spiritually cōcerning our baptim

The third. But Iohn forbade him, saying: I haue neede too bee baptized of thee, and commest thou too mee? And Iesus ansvvering, sayd vntoo him. Let bee novv, for so it becommeth vs, too the intent vvee may fulfill all rightuousnesse. Then hee let him alone. In this communication are many pointes too bée considered. First concerning Iohns forbidding, wherein he put Chryst of, both by intreatance and with his hand. Ue­rely, Iohn weyed twoo things héedfully in this case: but the third he neglected. Hée weyed him selfe too bée vnworthie too loose the latchet of Chrystes shooes, and therfore muche more too washe his naked body. And secondly he weyed that Christ is frée from sinne, and therefore he thinketh him too haue no néed of baptisme, that hée should bee washed therewith in to­ken of repentance. The third thing (as I sayd) he neglected: namely, what belonged bothe too his owne office, & too Chry­stes office. For hée ought too haue looked vpon his office, and not vppon the worthynesse of his person. Hée ought too haue bin resolued, that Chryste could not attempt any thing that perteyned not too the office of a mediatour. And therefore hée heard Chryst say: Let be novv, for so it becommeth vs, to ful­fil all rightuousnesse. Thou arte sent too baptize: and I come too giue saluation too those that are baptized: therfore let eche of vs doo that which becommeth him.

These thrée things therfore we may lerne of Iohn. First too acknowledge our selues vnworthie too haue any ministerie committed vntoo vs in the church. Secondly too acknow­ledge that Chryst is hée, who alone is able too washe vs from the spottes of sinne. And thirdly too obey Christes commaū ­dement in our vocation, notwithstanding our own vnwor­thinesse, but hauing an eye too the Lordes commaundement, whiche vrgeth vs too doo our dutie.

The fourth is: And Iesus beeing baptized. Héere the eter­nall sonne of God, holy, without spot, cléere from sinne, and higher than the heauēs, is baptized. But why is hée baptized? [Page] there may bée mo causes than one alledged. For first it was his wil too enter intoo the ministerie of God by baptim, & as it were by this couenant too shewe that hée is the minister of God. Secondly that outward Baptim shoulde bée a figure of his death, burial, & resurrection, in whiche respect hée termed his passion by the name of baptim, when he answered ye chil­dren of Zebedie. Mark. 10. saying. Can yée bée baptized with the Baptim that I am baptized withall? Thirdly too leaue the waters halowed for all them that were too bée baptized afterward. For the sacraments of the church are not halow­ed by the office of the préest, as it were by magicall inchaunt­ment: but the halowing of the Sacramentes is made by the foundaton, déed, and promises of Chryste, and by oure obedi­ence towardes him. Fourthly it was his pleasure too be bap­tized as wée are, as a most assured witnesse and pledge of the vnion & societie whiche hée vouchsaued too haue wt vs. Whervpon Paule prooueth vs too bée the sonnes of God, who haue put on Chryste. As many of you (sayth hée) as are baptized, haue put on Christ. Fifthly it was his wil too doo that which he cōmaunded all others too doo, according as Augustin sayth. He is best too teach & commaund, which is an example of his own doctrine, & ye first yt doth the things that he cōmaundeth. Fifthly, the sequele is too be considered. For the things that happened as Christ was baptized and praying, are the grea­test miracles of al that euer happened at any time. First the heauen opened: wherby is signified both that the onely way intoo heauen is Chryst, whom wée put on in Baptim, & that heauen abideth shut vp vntoo all men that acknowledge not Chryst the only way vntoo heauen. Secondly he saw the spi­rit of God comming downe in the likenesse of a Dooue, & sit­ting vpon him. This is a moste swéete image of Christes be­nefites. All wée were ouerwhelmed in the flood of sinne: but Christ came as an Ark too vs, & took vs in too him self, & saued vs from the flood: in witnesse whereof, came the Dooue and rested vpon him. A figure héerof was the Ark of Noe and the [Page 78] Dooue that he sent foorth, which returning brought an Olife braunche in hir mouth, in token that the flood was dried vp. Euen so the holy ghost appéering héer in the shape of a doue, is a witnesse that the flood of sinnes is swalowed vp. But sauegard is only in the Ark, that is too say, Chrystes church, wher the holy ghost dwelleth. Thirdly a voice was herd frō heauē, this is my beloued sonne, by whom I am pacified. Lo, héer wée héere the father of heauen a preacher of the Gospel. I pray you what can bée more wonderful? What is more too bée amazed at? O lamentable blindnesse of men, O detesta­ble deafnesse. The heauenly Father soundeth his Gospell from heauen, and wée blinde wretches sée not heauen: wée deafe wretches héere not the voyce of the teacher. But what teacheth hée, I beséeche you? This (sayeth he) is my belo­ued sonne. Beholde the fathers testimonie of his sonne: giue credit too it if thou regarde thy saluation. He is his sonne by nature, and wée by adoption and grace. Therfore calleth he him beloued, not for that wée are not beloued: but for that wée are beloued in his beloued, in whom only he maketh ac­count of vs. He loueth him for his owne sake, and vs for his sake. For by nature wée are the children of wrath. Ephes. 2. but by Chryst wée are adopted his children. Whereon it fo­loweth in the Sermon of God: In vvhom I am vvell pleased, that is too say, by whom I am pacified towarde mankinde, and made at one with him agayne.

Héere are thrée things too bée déepely weyed in mind. First that without Chryste God is angry with vs, and that is for the sinne wherwith wée offend God. Secondly that Chryst is the only reconciliatiō of vs. For he is the propitiation for sinne. For ye blood of christ purgeth vs frō al iniquity. Third­ly that his fatherly good will & attonement, is to bée receiued by faith, and to be sealed vp by baptim. Upon this faith must folow a new obedience and thankfulnesse towards god. Be­hold thou hast héer the summe of al the gospel, whervnto we must haue an eye all our lifetime, and in the houre of death. [Page] For there cannot from elsewhere bée taken any substantiall comfort of conscience. And thus muche bréefly concerning the declaration of the Gospell.

¶ Of the seconde.

ALthough the vse may easly bée gathered, by those things that are saide before: yet will I repete certeine poyntes héere. First therfore let vs knowe, that our Baptim is héere halowed, and that the water of Baptim is made holy by Christ, who vouchsaued too bée baptized with water. Agein, the whole sight of the thing that was don, peinteth out Chri­stes church before our eyes, as it were in a table. Héere is to bée séene, Iohn a teacher in the Churche. For whereas is not the word of God, and wheras the voyce of the teacher is not herde, there the Church cannot be shewed. Moreouer Christ is baptized. For the Church that is well ordered, cannot be without the vse of Sacramentes. Thirdly Christ being bap­tized, prayeth: whose example his members folowe, and ex­hibite true worship vnto God through faith. Fourthly the sonne standes in the middes: the fathers voice soundeth from heauen: and the holy ghost resteth vpon him that was bap­tized. The same thing is doone in very déede at this day in our churche. For the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost is present with his churche, and by the voyce of the preachers, witnesseth his good will towards Christes churche. By the presence of his sonne, he testifieth that he hath adopted vs too bée his children: and by the holy ghost he witnesseth that he gouerneth his church. Whervpon we may conceiue this as­sured confidence, that hel gates shall not preuaile ageinst it.

¶Of the thirde.

THe more part of those thinges that perteine to our Bap­tim, are declared in the places aboue mentioned. Wher­fore I will bréefly touche certeine things, whiche it is excée­ding néedefull to knowe. The things that I wil tel, are two: [Page 79] What maner of signe baptim is, and whiche is the true con­sideration of the same.

What maner a signe then is Baptisme? First it is a testi­monie of grace, as wel exhibited as also applyed too the party that is baptized: Namely that God is pacified towards him through Chryste: which testimonie verely requireth too bée apprehended by faith. Agein, this Sacrament is a signe that teacheth by a certein comparison. For it is a sign of Christes spirituall vertue: namely that Chryst by his owne death, bu­riall, and resurrection, is the deliuerance of vs from death & buriall, and the giuer of euerlasting life. Moreouer it is a re­presentation of our newe life before God, as Paule teacheth Rom. 6. by these woords. As many of vs as are baptized in Iesus Chryst, are baptized intoo his death. We are therfore buryed together with him vntoo death that like as Chryst is raised frō the dead, so we also shuld walk in newnesse of life.

Furthermore before men it is a certein badge of our pro­fession, wherby wée testifie our selues too bée Christes mem­bers, and the Diuels enimies.

The godly consideration of baptisme consisteth in these things. First, wée must bée fully resolued, that our baptisme is a certeine moste sure ensealement and Sacrament of our attonement with God.

Secondly, baptism must bée a certein continuall warning vntoo vs, that this attonement is made by the bloud, deathe, buriall, and resurrection of Chryst.

Thirdly it must put vs in minde of the mortifying of the flesh, & of the quickning of the spirit, and so consequently of a continuall repentance in this worlde, and of the glorifying that shall bée héerafter by Chryst.

Fourthly it must put vs in minde, that the benefite of re­generation, is the gifte and woorke of the whole Trinitie in whose name wée are baptized, too the intent we should stick thereuntoo, and woorship it all our life long, too whom be ho­nor and glory for euermore. So bée it.

The first Sunday in Lent. ¶The Gospel. Math. iiij.

THen vvas Iesus led avvay of the spirit into vvil­dernesse, too be tempted of the Deuill. And vvhē he had fasted fortie dayes & fortie nights, he vvas at the last an hungred. And vvhen the tempter came too him, he sayde: if thou be the sonne of God, commaund that these stones bee made bread. But he ansvvered and said: it is vvritten, man shall not liue by bread only, but by euery vvoord that procedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the Deuil taketh him vp intoo the holy Citie, and setteth him on a pinacle of the temple, and saith vntoo him: if thou be the sonne of GOD, cast thy selfe dovvne hedlong. For it is vvritten, he shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee, and vvith their hands they shall holde thee vp, least at any time thou dashe thy foote against a stone. And Iesus said vntoo him: it is vvritten again: Thou shalt not tēpt the Lord thy God. Ageine the Deuil taketh him vp intoo an exceding high moū ­tain, & shevved him all the kingdomes of the vvorld, & the glo­ry of them, and sayth vntoo him: all these vvil I giue thee, if thou vvilt fal dovvn and vvorship me. Then saith Iesus vntoo him: A­uoyd Sathan, for it is vvrittē: Thou shalt vvorship the Lord thy GOD, and him only shalt thou serue: Then the Deuil leaueth him: and beholde, the Angels came and ministred vntoo him.

The exposition of the text.

LIke as the last Sunday we héerd the story of Chrystes baptim, wherein very great things are cōteyned: So this Gospel also conteyneth parte of Christes dooings, that is too wit his fasting and temrtation, by which things God of his singular wisdome wold his sonne should be humbled, and also would shew how true it was that he had forespokē long ago: namely that like as the serpent should lie in waite for the héele of the womans séede, that is too say, that Sathan [Page 80] should practize mischéefe ageinst the person and kingdome of Chryst, (which thing this story sheweth too bée most true:) so also would the same séede crush the head of the serpent, with his héele: wherof wée sée a certeine proof in this story. Al these things are to be applied in suche wise, that wée may bothe lerne Christes obedience vnder the crosse, and knowe what shéeld it béehoueth vs to set before vs ageinst the temptatiōs and dartes of the diuel. The places are two.

  • 1 Of Fasting.
  • 2 Of Temptation.

¶Of the firste.

IN this place are two things to bée considered. First what is the maner of fasting in generall: and secondly what is too bée thought of Christes fast in speciall.

Fasting is an vtter forbearing of meate and drinke for a time, wherby the body is kept low, and as it were mortified. And it is of three sortes. Indifferent, Godly, and vngodly.

Indifferent fast, is whē a man absteineth from meate and drinke, either for pouertie, or for healthes sake, or for some great sorowe of minde. This of it selfe neither pleaseth nor displeaseth God, but is too bée thought to please or displease, according as fayth and pacience go with it.

The fast that is godly, Christian, and acceptable too God, is an abstinence, not only from meate and drinke, whereby the body is pinched and mortified: but also from all other things that may in any wise delight the flesh: tending too this purpose, that the spirite may haue full souereintie through true pacience, godly prayer, and earnest renouncing of all wrongs wherby our neighbour may bée hurt. For the puni­shing of the body by fasting, is a token of the sorowfulnesse of the heart for sinne, and a testimonie of true repentaunce. The endes héereof (for whiche also it is accepted of GOD) are three. Mortification of the fleshe, quickening of the spi­rite, and a more earnest endeuer towardes all godlinesse. [Page] Such maner a one was Paules fast, wherof he maketh mē ­tion. 2. Cor. 6. And surely godlie men ought oftentimes too quicken vp the spirit with holy fasting, lest they should yéeld too the lustes of the flesh.

And this holy and Christian fast, is of twoo sortes: priuate and solemne. Priuate fast, is that which euery man enioy­neth too himself of his owne accord, eyther too stir himself vp vntoo godlinesse (which maner of fast as I would wish euery Christian whose flesh hath néede of such chastisement, too vse often at other times: so woulde. I wish him chéefly to vse it before he shall come to the communion) or for some new of­fice sake which he shall take vppon him, that thereby a man may prepare him selfe to consider his dutie the more déepely and aduisedly, and pray to God that he of his mercy wil send him a luckie entraunce into his charge. Suche maner of one was the fast of Moses in olde time in the mountaine, and of Helias in the wildernesse, and the fast of Christe also in the wildernesse, wherof mention is made héere.

The solemne faste godly and Christian, is that which the godly Magistrate or the gouerners of the Churches enioine, either too the intent that some present euil (as plages, sword, sectes, seditions, and such like) may by true repentaunce and calling vpon God, be taken away or mitigated: or else that the euils which séeme too hang ouer mennes heads for sinnes reigning ouer sore may be preuented and eschued. Such kin­des of fastes as this is, haue oftentimes bin enioined by holy Kings and Prophetes, which fastes were acceptable to God for their repentaunce, faith, praier, charitie, minding of blis­sed life, and such other things, which are woont to bée & must in any wise bée in a christian faste. As concerning this dooble fast of priuate and solemne, this rule is too bée helde, that as the priuate fast is set fréely in euery mannes choise: so the so­lemne fast bindeth men by the commaundement of the Ma­gistrate, by the lawe of Charitie, and by the necessitie of the common profit, and therfore it is very great sinne to breake [Page 81] it wilfully.

The vngodly and Pharisaicall fast: is an abstinence from some certeine kinde of meate, which of it selfe is thought too bée a worshipping of God, and a thing acceptable to God for the workes sake, and therefore also meritorious. As whoo would say, that God passeth for outward woorkes, whereas the conscience is vnpure: and that fasting were of that kind of woorkes, which are allowed simply and without meane by God, according as those woorkes are which he apointeth in his owne lawe, that is to wit in the tenne commaunde­mentes: and that it were not rather a certeine outward exer­cise, and a certeine bodily businesse tending too another end, namely seruing to repentance, prayer, taming of the fleshe, too charitie, and mindfulnesse of the blessed life. Woorthely therefore doo the Prophetes condemne suche hipocriticall fa­stinges, in which doo méete together many horrible wicked­nesses: as an opinion of Gods seruice, a trust in the woorke, necessity, constraint, a néedfull choise of meats, such a maner of fasting, as euen swine might be fatted with it, and a min­ding of deceit and wrong towards their neighbours.

And this Pharisaicall fast may be diuided intoo twoo kinds that the one may be called standing, and the other volunta­rie. The standing fast is that which is ordinarie and tied too certein times of the yéere, such as was the Lentfast (as they terme it,) among the Papists, and the Imberdayes at foure seasons of the yéere, and the Sainctes euens, whereby they would purchase the intercessions of the sainctes, and many such other, wherin was nothing else than mere superstition and manifest wickednesse.

Uoluntarie fast, is that whiche any man at his owne ap­poyntment chooseth to himselfe, too the intent he may make God his detter. Of which sort was his fast, that boasting his prayer to the Lord, sayd: I fast twise a wéeke: where he vaunteth of his fast as a holy and meritorious woorke, and putteth God in mind of it, least he should forget it.

[Page]Let this suffise concerning fasting in general: now will I adde a few things concerning Chrystes fast. Of this, the E­uangelist speaketh thus. Then Iesus vvas led avvay intoo the vvildernesse by the spirit, that he might be tempted of the deuil. And vvhen he had fasted .xl. dayes and .xl. nights, hee vvas after­vvard a hungred. Héere first is noted the time, namely that by and by after his Baptim, he fasted. Secōdly is noted ye place namely the wildernesse. Thirdly the maner of his fast, that is too wit, that he liued .xl. dayes and .xl. nights without any maner of sustenance. Fourthly the woonderfulnesse, that he could both liue so long a time without sustinance, & also was not a hungred of all that while. For he felt no hunger vntill the .xl. dayes, and as many nights were quite passed.

But why did Chryst this thing? First that by this heauē ­ly miracle he might testifie his owne diuine power. Second­ly to fulfil the figure. For Moses being a Type of Chryst, fa­sted on the mountain .xl. days and as many nights. Thirdly to make amends for the glutony of our first parents & of vs. Fourthly for vocation sake. For it is the custome of GOD (when he will haue any man set in his office,) as it were too prepare him and make him fit for it by fasting & affliction: as we sée in Moyses and Helias. Fifthly that he might be an ex­ample to vs, how we shoulde continually liue in sobernesse, and in the feare of God.

Wée must therefore lerne too know the vse of Chrystes fast, which is manifold. First to thinke with our selues how much the sonne of God was abased. Secondly too giue our selues soberly vntoo prayer, after the example of the sonne of God. And thirdly too yéeld him thanks, for susteining so gret a fast in our behalfe.

Agein on the other side, wée must shun the abuse, that wée abuse not this holy fast of Chrystes. Which thing cōmeth too passe, if wée either make an vniuersall precept of this dooing of Chrystes: or thinke our selues too béecome partakers of Chrystes fast, by our counterfet fast: or surmise that our fast [Page 82] deserueth forgiuenesse of sinnes by the woorke wrought, as Thomas Aquinas like a caytife teacheth: or déeme with Am­brose, that this Lenton fast enioyned by the bishoppes of the Church, is a matter of necessitie, so as no man may be accoū ­ted godly vnlesse hée kéepe this fast. All these opinions fight full but ageinst the very foundation of our faithe, whiche is that the beléeuers are saued by the merite of Christe alone.

But they say: euery déed of Chryst is our instruction, & he fasted .xl. daies. Ergo, we must folow the example of this déed of Christ. Surely it is true yt they say. Euery déed of Chryste is our instruction: but it is not true that we must counterfet euery déed of Christs, which thing is manifest by the sundry differences of Christes dooings. For of Christs dooings some be moral, some be maruelous, & other some bée peculiar. His moral doings do instruct our life & maners. For he is a most perfect paterne of vertues. His maruellous dooings, (among which I reckē vp this fast) doo informe & confirm our minds of ye truth of Christes doctrine. His peculiar dooings or déeds of reconciliation, are those whiche perteine too the benefite of our redemption & purging from sin. These wil foster & che­rish in vs a confidence of saluatiō. And so euery déed of Chri­stes, is in déed our instruction, yet is not euery of them too bée counterfaited, but only so many of them as perteine too life & maners, according too the tenor of the .x. commaundements. Is it lawful then too fast the lenton fast? It is lawful, so that the condicions be kept in dooing it, which (as I haue sayd be­fore) are too be obserued in the holy and Christian fast. And I openly confesse, yt at this time of Lent is requisite a singuler sobernesse, in minding and musing vpon the benefite of oure redemption, whiche at that season is wonte too bée set foorthe daily in our churches in the rehersall of the Lordes passion: but compulsion and necessitie must in any wise bée away.

¶ Of the second.

THe tempter comming. &c. In these tēptations of Chryste, a man may sée, first how great the boldnes of Sathan is, [Page] and his desire to destroy the kingdome of Christ. For he spa­reth not euen the sonne of God, but approcheth vntoo him, and as he inuaded Gods kingdom in Paradice, and gate the vpper hand: so practiseth he too destroy the new Paradise the kingdome of Chryst, and assayleth the king therof, with the dartes of temptations. And secondly a man may sée héer, how much the sonne of God was abased, in that he was not only afflicted with fasting: but also assaulted with the temptatiōs of Sathan.

How bée it, too the intent wée may receiue wholesome in­struction therby: first I wil speak of Chrystes temptations. Then wherefore he was tempted. And last of all, what doc­trine & comfort is for vs too pick out of Chrystes temptatiōs. In euery of Christes temptations (whiche in this place are thrée in nūber) we may beholde foure things. First what is the occasion: secondly what is the maner of the temptation: thirdly what is the end of it: fourthly the maner of ye victory.

Therefore as touching the firste temptation, the occasion thereof is shewed in these woordes of the Euangeliste: and vvhen he had fasted .xl. dayes and .xl. nights, aftervvard hee vvas a hungred. Beholde what an occasion the aduersarie had got­ten. Chryste had fasted, and prepared him self too execute his office, but Sathan practiseth another thing, and of Chrystes good déede hée séeketh oportunitie too destroy him. This hathe béen the continuall endeuour of Sathan, too wrest bothe the wel dooings and the sinnes of the Saincts too their destructi­on. But God knoweth who bée his, and is able too deliuer them out of temptation.

The manner of the temptation ensueth: for the tempter saith: If thou be the sonne of GOD, commaund these stones too become bread. The end of this tēptatiō, was too persuade Christ to make a trial whither God wold by miracle cōfirm his Godhed or no: yt if he did not, then ye Lord might surmise yt God cared not for him. This tēptation therfore fighteth a­geinst gods prouidēce, wher through he prouideth all things [Page 83] for his children, which are necessary too saluation, and this present life.

The maner of the victorie foloweth: Too vvhom Iesus ansvvering, saide: It is vvritten, man liueth not only by breade, but by euery vvord that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Héere wée sée howe the victorie ageinst Sathan consisteth in the woord of God. Sathan would perswade Chryste that he should perish if he made not bread of the stones. But Chryst denieth that man liueth only with bread or bodily foode. For meat nourisheth not, vnlesse there come with it the blissing of God, from whence bread taketh his strength. For it is written, they shal eate and not be suffised. This scripture al­ledged héere by Chryst too this purpose, thou hast in the xij. of Deuter. In which place Moises comforteth the people in the desert, wher was no bread, but God gaue them Manna from heauen, and water out of the rocke. This promis, Chryst ap­plieth to himself and to al the godly, signifying that it should come to passe, that euen in the middes of famin, God would succour his people and geue them things néedefull. Of this promis wée haue examples in the Israelites, in Helias, in Helizeus, in Moyses, and héere in Chryste. Héereunto ma­keth that saying of the Prophet: They shall not bée confoun­ded in the euill time, and in the dayes of famin they shall bée suffised. This promis when it perteyneth too vs, is too bée caught hold on by fayth: and too bée set ageynst Sathan that he ouerthrowe vs not with temptation of hunger. And thus muche bréefly concerning Chrysts first temptation, and the vse therof. Nowe foloweth the seconde.

The occasion of the second temptation is described in these woords. Then the Diuill tooke him vp intoo the holy Citie, and set him vpon a pinacle of the Temple: Sée the occasion, sée the craft of Sathan: whoo of euery thing séeketh meanes of destruction.

The manner of the temptation is added: If thou bee the sonne of God cast thy self dovvn, For it is vvritten that he hath [Page] giuen his angels charge of thee, to take thee vp in their hands, least perhaps thou shouldest dashe thy foote agaynst a stone. The ende of this temptation is, that Chryste should attempt somewhat contrary to his owne vocation, and so prouoke Gods wrath ageinst himself, as our first parents did. For af­ter that this malicious féend saw that Chryst stayed himself vpon the scripture, he goeth about to intangle the scripture with his lyes. The same Psalme which Sathan citeth, en­treateth of Gods prouidence, that God will preserue euery godly person in his own waies, that is too say, in his trade of liuing & lawful vocation: and dooth not cōmaund vs to doo a­any thing rashly cōtrary to our vocatiō. But how hath christ quenched this firy dart of Sathan? by his word. For he saith: Ageine it is vvritten, thou shalt not tempt the Lorde thy God. Wée haue these woords in the .6. of Deu. wher too tempt god signifieth too enterprise any thing through distrust, whither it be in prosperitie or aduersitie. Wherfore such a temptatiō is cleane ageinst faith and the feare of God. For he that in prosperitie liueth carelesse, and laieth aside the feare of God, surely he tempteth God contrary to the first cōmaundemēt. Ageine he that in aduersitie giueth ouer, as though God had no care at all of vs, he also tempteth God by doubting of his promisses. The church at this day is vexed with persecution, & féeleth outwardly battel, & inwardly fearfulnesse: yet cer­teinly is not god to bée tempted in this case. Wée must not say, if wée bée his people: if this which we professe bée his ve­ry gospell, why dooth he not help vs at this time? Why suffe­reth he all things too fall out soo luckely with our enemies. But let vs in this case say boldly with christ. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy god. Now ensueth the third temptation.

The occasion of the thirde temptation, is shewed in these woordes. Ageine the Diuell tooke him vp intoo an exceeding hygh mountayne, and shevveth vntoo him al the kingdomes of the vvorld, and the glory of them. Sée: in this first temptation he abuseth chrysts affliction to tempt him with. Now he set­teth [Page 84] out too him the kingdoms of the world, that he might be dazeled with the glory of them, and so fall ageinst God. His temptation is this. All these things vvill I giue thee, if thou vvilt fall dovvn and vvorship me. The end of this temptation, was that Christe should become an Idolatrer. How bée it a­geinst this temptation the Lord preuayleth: first by driuing Sathan away, that durst chalenge godly honor too him selfe: & secondly by striking him through with the swoord of God, saying: It is vvritten thou shalt vvorship the Lord thy God, & him onely shalt thou serue. This scripture is had in the .6. of Deut. in whiche scripture are twoo things: a commaunde­ment, and a prohibition. For it commaundeth vs too worship the one God, and too serue him with godly reuerence, accor­ding too the first table. And it forbiddeth vs too attribute this honor too any creatures, whither they bée Deuils, or men, or Angels. Let this rule bée continually in our sight ageinst all the wiles of the Papists.

But wherfoore was Chryst tempted? First that when we are tempted, we may know wée have a high Bishop yt was tried in all things. Secondly that his example may teach vs not to suffer the Diuel to withdraw vs by any meanes from the true feare of God. Therfore if he go about to persuade vs that we are not regarded of God, when wée bée distressed with the Crosse and with many miseries: let vs haue an eye to the sonne of God, and let vs represse our enemie with the same swoord that he vsed. When he prouoketh vs to doo any thing contrary too our vocation, wherby we may be brought in daunger of our saluation and life: let vs set the sworde of God against him. When he enticeth by great rewards vnto Idolatrie: let vs beware that he draw vs not with these bayted hookes intoo the net of damnation▪ Too be short, in all our whole life, let vs endeuer too growe stil in ye true knowledge of God, and too be armed ageinst Sathā with the presence of Gods sonne, too whome our victorious Champion, toogither with the father & the holy Ghost, be glory for euer. So bee it.

The second Sunday in Lent. ¶The Gospel. Math. xv.

IESVS vvente thence, and departed intoo the coastes of Tyre and Sydon: and beholde a vvo­man of Canaan (vvhiche came out of the same coasts) cryed vntoo him, saying: haue mercie on me, O Lord, thou sonne of Dauid. My daughter is piteously vexed vvith a Deuil. But he ansvve­red hir nothing at all. And his Disciples came and besought him, saying: send hir avvay, for shee cryeth after vs. But hee an­svvered and sayde: I am not sent but too the lost sheepe of the house of Israell. Then came shee and vvorshipped him, saying: Lorde helpe mee. Hee ansvvered and sayde: It is not meete too take the Childrens bread and cast it too Dogges. Shee ansvve­red and sayd: truthe Lord, for the Dogges eate of the crummes vvhiche fall from their maisters table. Then Iesus ansvvered and sayd vntoo hir: O vvoman great is thy fayth: be it vntoo thee euen as thou vvilt. And hir daughter vvas made vvhole, euen the same time.

The exposition of the text.

THe Gospel perteyneth specially too vs that bée Gentiles. For the example of this heathen wo­man, teacheth that the Gentiles are receyued. For as he receyued and helped hir when she did call vpon him: so will hée also receyue vs. For there is no accepting of persons before GOD, according as Peter sayeth: Of a truthe I perceiue that God is no accepter of persons, but in euery nation whosoeuer feareth the Lord, and woorketh righteousnesse, hée is accepted with him. And this is the vnchangeable decrée of God, that as hée casteth a­way and damneth all impenitent persons: so as many as re­pent & by faith call vpon God, are receyued through the only mediator Iesus Chryste, and saued by the onely goodnesse of God. Of whiche decrée wée sée an example in this woman, who béeing vnder the crosse calleth vpon Christ and is herd, [Page 85] and béeing iustified by fayth is saued according too this say­ing of Ioell: Euery one that calleth vppon the name of the Lord shall bée saued. The places are thrée.

  • 1 What is true and wholesome repentance.
  • 2 Why Chryst put back this woman.
  • 3 A liuely image of the Churche.

¶Of the first.

IT is in any wise necessary, that men be taught rightly cō ­cerning true repentance. For vnlesse true repentaunce bée in place, no man can bée saued. Therefore wil I tel cléerely and distinctly what helthful repentance is: how it is made: and of what partes it is made perfect.

Christian and helthfull repentaunce is out of all dout the turning of man vntoo God, that he may become a new crea­ture, too liue according too his will, as muche as may bée in this infirmitie. Or (too speak more plainly) helthful repen­tance is a true sorynesse for displeasing GOD, with a desire and hope of forgiuenesse, for the sacrifice of Gods sonne, and with singuler wil and endeuer too eschue sinne from thence­foorth, and too make his whole life afterward allowable bée­fore God.

That this is the true definition of helthful repentaunce, it may bee shewed by the onely testimonie of Ezechiell. For this Prophet in his .xviij. chapter sayth thus. Turne and re­pent yée of all your iniquities, and your iniquities shall not bée too your decay. Cast from you all your vngodlynesse, and make vntoo your selues a new hearte and a newe spirite. In this testimonie are conteyned thrée things. The firste is, a calling too repentance: No man shall come vntoo mée (sayth the Lorde) but hée whom my Father draweth. The seconde thing is the promise: Youre iniquitie shall not bée youre de­cay. The third is, the description of repentance: Doo yée pe­nance, or repent yée (saith hée.) His méening is therfore that wée should bée sory for Gods displeasure. Cast from you all [Page] your vngodlinesse: by this he requireth a shūning & hatred of sin. When hée saith: Turn yée vntoo God, he requireth faith, without the which no mā can turne vntoo God. For by faith (as saith Paul) we haue accesse vntoo God. Moreouer where as is added, make too your selues a new harte, and a new spi­rite, hée requireth that wée should become a newe creature, liuing according too Gods wil. Héereupon it is gathered that the true and helthful repentaunce, is a hartie sorinesse for Gods displeasure with a desire and hope of forgiuenesse and an earnest endeuer too eschue all sin, and too make the whole life from thencefoorth allowable before God. This thing we may sée plainlier in this notable example. Dauid after his horrible fall intoo aduoutrie and murther, repented him ac­cording too the fashion expressed in the Psalm. First he saith Haue mercy vpon mée O God, according too thy great mer­cy. Héer hée both soroweth for his owne miserie, that he had so lewdly offended God, and also acknowledgeth God too bée merciful. Wherby there was in him desire and hope & liue­ly trust of the Messias. Now how great his sorow was, and how great his faith was, whereby he ouercame the sorowe, the same Psalme declareth in many woordes. And where as hée addeth in the same Psalme: Create a new spirite in my bowels: hée desireth too become a new creature. Such exam­ples as this, there bée many: as of Adam, Manasses, Peter, the théefe, and Mary Magdalene, and others: whiche things it behoueth vs too thinke vpon, that by their example wée may bothe bée taught what true repentaunce is, and also re­pent vs earnestly as they did.

Although that by the things whiche wée haue said, it may bée méetly wel vnderstood, how true repentance is doone: yet wil I shew it more distinctly. For nothing is more necessa­ry too man, than by true repentāce too bée reconciled too God, and too bée saued. Too the intent therefore that wée may knowe how true repentance is doone, seauen pointes are too bée obserued.

[Page 86]First the knowledge of God, who requireth obedience. This is fetched out of the table of the ten commaundemen­tes: I am the Lord thy god that brought thée out of the lande of Egypt. &c. Héere god requireth an acknowledging of him selfe. Secondly foloweth what maner of obedience he requi­reth: Thou shalt haue no strange gods before me. Thirdly the threatnings that are added, doo testifie that he condemp­neth disobedience. Uisiting (sayth he) the iniquities of the fa­thers vpon the children vntoo the third & fourth generation. Lastly also it is too bée knowne concerning God, that hée is mercifull, according to the voyce of the gospell. Therfore be­fore the entrie bée set open too true repentauuce, there is re­quired the knowledge of god, who looketh for obedience, iud­ging and condemning disobedience in good earnest, and a­gein, pitying and receyuing sinners intoo his fauor, for the mediators sake.

2 After this knowledge, must folow an examinatiō of our dooings by ye law of god: and euery precept is to be considered seuerally by himselfe. First therfore in this examination, sée whether thou make such accompt of God, that thou trust too him only: sée whither thou feare him, loue him, worship him with all thy powers: sée whither thou halowest his name: whither thou extol him, praise him, and cal vpon him, accor­ding as the precepts of the first table cōmaund thée. After the same maner must thou make thine examination in the secōd table concerning thy neibor. &c. By this examination thou shalt come to the knowledge of thine owne filthinesse & iust damnation for offending God. And such an examination de­maundeth God at our hands, as oft as the Scripture exhor­teth vs too repentaunce.

3 This examination béeing made by ye knowledge of sin, & ye iudgemēt of god, ther ariseth a great fearfulnesse in ye cōsci­ence, which fearfulnes is augmēted by ye circūstāces of Gods iudgemēt, which are these present calamities, the tiranny of the diuell, the paines of hell, eternall death and damnation.

[Page]4 In this great terrour infinite persons should perishe, if Fayth rescued them not. For in this terror, by the beholdings of Gods mercy promised for Christs sake, is conceiued trust of remission of sins. And so man wresteth himselfe as it wer out of hell, and taketh holde on the hande of Gods sonne, who haleth him out of hell. Héere the minde thinketh vppon Gods promises, looketh vpon the sonne of God hanging on the crosse for thy sinnes and mine, héereth the voyce of Ioel most full of comfort, saying: turne too the Lorde your God, bicause he is gracious and mercifull, slow to wrath, & swifte too pitie, and one that beareth with your naughtinesse. Let the examples of these promises bée considered, that wée may bée strengthned by them.

5 The sinner knowing this mercie of GOD, conceyueth hope of forgiuenesse, and begynneth openly too bewayle his sinne: he confesseth his lewdnesse vntoo God, and with ear­nest prayer and a feruent hart, fléeth vnto Gods mercy.

6 He that in this wise ascendeth by these degrees, first ac­knowledging Gods iudgement and mercie according as is alreadie set foorth, he by this confidence is assoyled of his sin, and iustified before God, not through his owne righteous­nesse, but through Chrysts, whiche is imputed to euery one that beléeueth. For our true iustification is the absolution from sinne, of the person that beléeueth in Chryst, the impu­tation of Chrystes righteousnesse vntoo him, and the accep­ting of him fréely vnto life euerlasting, for Chrysts sake.

7 He that is iustified by fayth, and adopted the Sonne of God, and regenerate, yéeldeth thanks too God, extolleth god, and amendeth his whole life from that time forwarde. Howbeeit too the intent these things may bée the cléerelier vnder­stoode of vs, I will propounde an example of helthful repen­tance, whereof you haue heard: and that shall be Manasses king of Iuda: in whose helthful repentance, all these things are too bée séene, according as it appeareth in his Prayer.

For first when he sayth: O Lorde almightie, the God of [Page 87] our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, whom all men fear, and tremble at the countenance of thy maiestie. Importable is the wrath of thine indignation vpon sinners, but vnmea­surable and vnserchable is the mercy of thy promise: for thou art the moste high Lorde, gracious, merciful, and ful of com­passion, and sory for the naughtinesse of men.

In these woords of Manasses, is first an acknowledging of God. 2. A testification of due obedience. 3. A confession of gods iudgement against sinners. 4. An acknowledging and set­ting foorth of his mercy.

Then foloweth the second thing, that is too wit, the exami­nation of Manasses his dooings by the rule of the lawe: For thus he saith: I haue sinned aboue the numbre of the sand of the sea, my sinnes are multiplyed O Lord.

Thirdly, how great terrour was in his harte, hée sheweth when hée sayth: And I am not woorthie too beholde and looke vpon the high heauen, for the multitude of mine iniquities.

Fourthly, in these terrours he rayseth him self with thin­king vpon Gods mercie, and sayeth: And nowe I bowe the knées of my hart, praying vntoo thée O Lord, who haste pro­mised repentaunce and forgiuenesse of sinnes too them that haue sinned against thée.

Fifthly foloweth entreatance of forgiuenesse: Wherefore I pray and beséeche thée, forgiue mée Lorde, forgiue mée, and destroye mée not toogither with my sinnes, neyther bée thou angry with mée for euer for my euil dooings: For thou arte GOD, I say the God of the repentant: shewe all thy good­nesse vpon mée.

Sixthly hauing prayed in this wise, he firmely beléeueth him selfe too bée heard and iustified. Wherefore hée addeth. For thou shalt saue mée vnworthy person, according too thy great mercy. Héere Manasses béeing iustified by fayth, becō ­meth a new creature.

Seuenthly, after this frée iustification, ensueth amendmēt in his whole life. Whervpon it foloweth in his prayer. And [Page] I will euermore praise thée all the dayes of my life: bicause all the powers of heauen praise thée, and vntoo thée bée glory for euer and euer. Amen.

This maner of repenting haue al the saints euer folowed▪ Dauid acknowledgeth God: he acknowledgeth gods iudge­ment: he acknowledgeth his mercy: he examineth his owne dooing: he is afrayd for sinne: he lifteth vp him selfe with con­fidence of mercie: he prayeth forgiuenesse: he is iustified by faith: and béeing iustified, he prayseth God. These things are too be séene in the .51. Psalme.

We haue herd what repentance is, & how it is doon. Now is too be lerned, which are the chéef parts of it. They are coū ­ted thrée: which are sorinesse, faith, and newnesse of life.

Untoo sorinesse are required the first thrée things: whiche are the knowledging of God, the examining of the déede, and the terrour of conscience for sinne.

Untoo faith are required the thrée nexte, that is: thinking vpon mercy, desiring of forgiuenesse, and iustification.

Untoo newnesse of life is required the last thing, whiche consisteth in framing the hart, the tung and the life according too the law of God.

¶Of the second.

IT is written in this gospel, that Christ put back this wo­man. Why did he so? Why sayde hée that hée was not sent but too the lost shéep of the house of Israel? Is not he the same Lord that saith: Come vnto me all yée that labour, & are hea­uy loden. &c. I answer: The Lord did not this without great causes. First hée did it, that the womans faith might by this delay bée exercised and increased. Secondly, that shée mighte bée an example of godlinesse, againste the stiffnecked Iewes which despised Christe. Thirdly that the Lord might shewe how hée would bée ouercome of vs by the importunatenesse of our prayers. Fourthly that by this example, hée might teach the present beholders, a true experiment of godlinesse. [Page 88] But the Lord assigneth an other cause why he put back this woman. For he sayth: I am not sent but too the lost sheepe of the house of Israel. I aunswere: Chryst sayth not this as though he denyed the Gentiles accesse vntoo his grace: For that same woman was an Ethnicke: But there are other causes. First hée méeneth héere, too note the obstinate malice and vnthankfulnesse of the Iewes, who acknowledged not Chryst that was sent peculiarly too them. The seconde is, for that the selfe same Chryst should preache Gods woord to the Iewes before his death, who after his death should giue com­maundement to preach it too the Gentils. For the Lorde had forbidden his Gospell too bée preached too the Gentils, before his death. But afterward when he was risen from death, hée gaue this commaundement too the apostles: Go yée intoo the whole world, and preache the gospell to all creatures. This commaundement dooth manifestlye declare, that Chrysts benefites béelong both to the Iewes and Gentiles▪ that is too say, that all as well of the Iewes as of the Gentiles that receyue Chryst, and truly repent, are partakers of Chrysts benefites, so that by his blood all their sinnes are washed a­way, and finally at the last day all shal rise ageine too blissed immortalitie and euerlasting life. But they that refuse too receiue christ, liuing without repentance: they without mer­cie shall bée punished in euerlasting paines with the diuell. For as the Lord hath bin, is, and wil bée mercifull too al that repent, without any respect of persons: So hath he bin, is, and will bée an vntreatable iudge too them that repent not, not passing whither wée bée Kings, noble men, Citizens, or countrey folke.

¶Of the thirde.

A Moste goodly image of Chrysts Churche, and of euery member of the same, is described in this woman of Ca­nanie. For first as this woman of Cananie is ouerwhel­med with misery: so also is the Churche and euery member therof. Héerevpon Paule sayeth: All that will liue godlyly [Page] in Chryst must suffer this persecution. This doothe Chryste teache, when he biddeth vs take his yoke vpon vs. For God will haue vs nowe become lyke vntoo his sonne in afflicti­ons and miseries, as well as we shall become like vnto him in time to come in glorie Rom. 8. Secondly the churche in these calamities prayeth for helpe. For the church hath none other refuge than prayer vntoo God, wherby helpe is obtei­ned. Thirdly chryst séemeth too turne away his eare, when we doo not out of hand obteine that we would haue. Fourth­ly the church (after the example of this woman) ceasseth not too pray, but continueth in prayer vntil it haue obteined that which it desireth.

Moreouer, euery seuerall member of the churche hath héere too learne by. First, let euery one of vs acknowledge himselfe too bée a Cananite, that is to say vngodly, and vn­woorthy of Gods grace. Secondly, let him crie out with this woman: Haue mercy vppon mée, haue mercie vppon mée. Thirdly, if thou bée tried, yet continue thou after the exam­ple of this woman. If he héere thée not to day or to morow, yet shall not thy prayers be in vayne, but they shall bée herd in déede for chrysts sake, if thou pray with fayth as this wo­man, did. Fourthly acknowledge thy selfe with this woman too bée a Dog: but yet such a dog as is fed with the crummes that fall from his maisters table, and therefore continue in prayer. Fifthly, it will befall too thée, as it did too this wo­man, whiche erewhile was called Dog, and anone was ac­knowledged for a daughter. So great is the mercie of God, to whom bée honour and glory world without ende. Amen.

The thirde Sunday in Lent. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xj.

ANd he vvas casting out a diuil, and the same vvas dūme: And vvhen he had cast out the diuil, the dumme spake, and the people vvondered. But some of them sayd: he [Page 89] casteth out diuels through Beelzebub the cheefe of the diuels. And other tempted him, and required of him a signe from heauen. But he knovving their thoughtes, sayde vnto them: Euery kingdome diuided against it selfe, is desolate: and one house doth fall vpon another. If Sathan also bee diuided against him selfe, hovve shall his kingdome endure? Because yee say I cast out diuels through Beelzebub: If I by the helpe of Beel­zebub cast out diuels, by vvhose helpe doo your children cast them out? Therefore shall they bee your iudges. But if I vvith the finger of God cast out diuels, no doubt the kingdome of God is come vpon you. VVhen a strong man armed vvatcheth his house, the things that he possesseth are in peace. But vvhen a stronger than he commeth vpon him, and ouercommeth him, he taketh from him all his harnesse (vvherin he trusted) and di­uideth his goods. Hee that is not vvith mee, is agaynst mee, and he that gathereth not vvith me, scattereth abroade. VVhen the vncleane spirite is gone out of a man, he vvalketh through drie places seeking rest. And vvhen he findeth none, he saith: I vvill returne ageine intoo my house vvhence I came out. And vvhen he cometh, he findeth it svvept and garnished. Then goth he and taketh too him selfe seuen other spirites vvorse than him selfe, and they enter in and dvvell there. And the ende of that man is vvorse than the beginning. And it fortuned that as he spake these things, a certein vvoman of the company lift vp her voyce, and sayd vntoo him: happy is the vvomb that bare thee, and the paps vvhich gaue thee suck. But he sayd: yea, happy are they that heere the vvoord of God and keepe it.

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospell (déere beloued) sheweth plainly the cause why Chryst came into the worlde and tooke mans nature vpon him: that is too wit, both too begyn a new kingdome, and al­so too abolish the kingdome of the diuel. And this is it that God speaketh of in the third of [Page] Genesis: The séede of the woman shall treade downe the serpents head. Which woordes Iohn interpreteth when hée sayth: Chryst appéered to destroy the woorkes of the diuell, that is too say, the diuels kingdome, whiche beginneth with sinne, is buylded vpon sinne, and finished with endlesse dam­nation. Of this kingdome of Sathan Chryst in his Gospell sheweth himselfe too bée the destroyer, by deliuering a man that was possessed of a diuell. For in as much as he driueth out the diuell: First he giueth vs too vnderstande, that hée is stronger than the diuell, and secondly that he is his enimie. Also by this miracle he sheweth him selfe too bée the sauiour of mankind. Moreouer héere is shewed the vnthankfulnesse of the world toward their sauiour, when the wicked Iewes ascribe Gods woorks vnto Sathan. Lastly in the end of this Gospell, the woman by hir outcrie ministreth occasion vntoo Chryst, too shew the true blessednesse For where as the wo­man cryeth out: Blissed is the wombe that bare thée: he an­swereth: Nay rather, Blissed are they that héere the woord of God, and kéepe it. The pointes héereof are foure.

  • 1 The difference betwéene the kingdome of Sathan, and the kingdome of Chryst.
  • 2 The strife betwéene the Iewes and Chryst, wherin the Iewes finde fault with Chrysts dooing, and he de­fendeth the same.
  • 3 What shall become of those whiche hauing receyued Chryst, shake him off ageyne, and serue Sathan.
  • 4 What is true blissednesse and felicitie.

¶Of the firste

CHryst vvas casting out a diuell. These woordes doo openly testifie, that the kingdome of Chryst, and the kingdom of Sathan are two sundrie kingdomes, and that there is be­twéene these two sundrie kingdoms, the greatest difference that may bée, in so muche as it is not possible for them too a­grée together. Thou séeyng that Chryst and the diuell are [Page 90] twoo most puissant kings, of twoo moste diuers kingdomes, we wil speak of both, that men may vnderstand how muche euil is in the kingdome of Sathan, and how muche goodnesse and felicitie is in the helthful kingdome of Christe.

As concerning the Deuil, these foure points are too be cō ­sidered. First, who he is. 2. What he dooth. 3. Why hée dooth. 4. Why God suffereth him too doo it.

Who is hée then? As in respect of his nature, hée is the cre­ature of God, as are the Angels of God. As in respecte of his inclination and of his frowardnesse (whiche hée hath of him selfe) hée is a lyer, a murtherer, and a théefe, delighting euer­more in manslaughter, and lying: and coueting nothing so muche as the euerlasting destruction of mankinde. That the Deuill is suche a one, wée are taught by his craftinesse, with whiche he deceyued Adam and Eue.

What dooth the Deuil? Wée sée in this Gospell, that hée maketh this wretched man blinde and dumbe. Consider héer (I pray you) the cruel tirannie of the Deuil against this mi­serable soule. First hée stoppeth vp his eares. Why? least hée should hear the woord of God. And why desireth hée that? by­cause hée knoweth that the first step too Heauen is too heare Gods woord. For neuer man yet (béeing of yéeres of discre­tion) atteyned too saluatiō, without héering the woord of God. For the Gospel (saith Paule) is the power of God too salua­tion, too euery one that beléeueth. Secondly hée besiegeth his hart, that the woord may haue no place in it. And why dooth hée so? Bicause he knoweth that without faith (whiche com­meth by héering the woord) no man is iustified. For as Christ fayth: He that beléeueth not, the wrath of God abideth vpon him. Thirdly he maketh him dumb: Wherfore? that he shuld not confesse Chryst his sauior. For he knoweth that no man is saued without confession of the mouthe. For thus sayeth Paule in the tenth vntoo the Romaines: With the hart wée beléeue vntoo righteousnesse, and with the mouth wée make confession too saluation. Fourthly hée maketh this miserable [Page] creature blinde, that hée should not sée. And why so? Bicause he should not sée Gods woorks whiche shew foorth Gods glo­rie, as Dauid witnesseth when hée sayeth: The Heauens de­clare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his han­dy woorks. Beholde, Sathan closeth vp all the wayes of sal­uation from this wretched man.

Wherfore dooth this spiteful creature so? First bycause hée him selfe is damned, and hathe no hope of saluation. Se­condly hée beareth suche a hatred too Christe, that hée cannot away with his kingdome. Thirdly, hée is inflamed with vn­appeasable hatred towards mankinde, in so muche as hée co­ueteth too haue them al damned euerlastingly, as wel as him selfe. And therefore is it that Peter sayth. Pet. 5. The De­uil goeth aboute like a roring Lion, séeking whome hée may deuoure.

But why dooth GOD giue Sathan this leaue, too trouble menne in suche wife? First wée haue merited this punishe­ment for our owne sinne. For what euill so euer happeneth vntoo vs, wée muste ascribe it vntoo oure selues, and séeke the cause of it in oureselues. Secondly God suffreth it too the in­tent wée may learne how greate Chrystes benefites are to­wards his church. For no man better vnderstandeth the cō ­modities of libertie and helth, than hée that hathe sometimes felte the hardnesse of imprisonment, and the paynes of sicke­nesse. Thirdly that against the Deuil wée should call vppon Chryste, who onely is able too ouercome him. Fourthly, that wée shoulde feare oure selues against him with fayth, accor­ding too this saying: Whom withstand you strong in fayth. For Fayth is the ouercommer of the worlde, as Iohn saith: This is your victorie that ouercometh the world, euen your fayth. Fifthly that béeing deliuered from the tirannie of Sa­thā by Christs presence, we may both acknowledge ye Christ dwelleth in vs, according too that whiche is written in the 2. Reg. 17. that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, that is too say, in the Churche: and also that wée may [Page 91] magnifie God which deliuereth vs.

Of the Diuell wée haue heard, who he is, what he dooth, why he laboureth the destruction of the Church, and where­fore God permitteth him so too doo. Nowe let vs héere of our king Chryste, of whom I will speake, who he is, what he dooth, and why he dooth.

Who is Chryst? God and man, borne of the father before all worldes, euerlasting God, with the euerlasting Father and the holy ghost, according as we confesse in our Créede, who came downe from heauen for our saluation, and tooke mans nature vpon him, too the intent he might by his death, delyuer vs from endlesse death and punishment.

What dooth hée? That dooth this present Gospell teache vs. First he openeth this deaf mans eares: Secondly, hée ca­steth the diuell out of him: Besides that, he loozeth his toong that he may speake. And also he openeth his eares. The self same thing dooth he dayly in his church. First he openeth our eares that wée may héere Goods word. Therfore who soeuer heareth Gods woord willingly, let him know that his eares are opened: and contrarywise, he that héereth not the woord willingly, let him knowe that his eares are stopped still by Sathan. Wherefore who so hath not yet eares to héere, let him flée to Chryst, who only can open them. Secondly he de­liuereth the harte from the diuel, that wée may beléeue. For in the sixth of Iohn, Chryst teacheth that fayth is the woorke of God: for thus he sayth: This is the woorke of God that we beléeue in him whom he hath sent. Then if thou beléeue not, the diuell stil possesseth thy hart. Wherfore thou must go too Chryst, who only can ouercome him. Thirdly he loozeth thy toong that now from henceforth thou mayst with thy mouth confesse him, magnifie him, and call vpon him.

And wherfore dooth Chryst so? First, bicause he is a louer of men, whose nature he tooke vpon him, at suche time as he was conceyued man, and borne of the virgin Mary. Second­ly, bicause he is the enemie of the Diuell. Thirdly, bicause it [Page] is his office or charge too inuade the kingdome of his enemie the diuel, too put his sayd enemie to the spoyle, & too rewarde all that beléeue in him with euerlasting life.

Now by these things it appéereth howe great difference there is betwéene the kingdom of the diuel and the kingdom of Chryst. In the diuels kingdome is sinne and death: In Chrysts kingdome is righteousnesse and lyfe. In Sathans kingdome is damnation: in Chrysts kingdome is saluation, and acquitall from damnation. In Sathans kingdome is darknesse: In Chrysts kingdom is perpetuall light. In Sa­thans kingdome is torment: In Chrysts kingdome is ioy. In Sathans kingdom is too bée séene the diuell with al dam­ned soules: In Chrysts kingdome the sainctes enioy the syght of God, and the glorie of immortalitie, through Iesus Chryst. Héerby therfore we may be admonished, both with how great héede the kingdome of Sathan is too bée shunned, and with how great diligence we must indeuer too bée made citizens of the blissed kingdome of Chryst.

¶Of the second.

THe Iewes séeing this déede of Christ (as the ministers of Sathan) do set themselues with might and main against Christ, and say: he casteth out diuels by Beelzebub prince of the diuels. Sée how great the malice of the world is. Too the intent it may die in his owne sinnes, it ascribeth the woorke of God too the diuell. What liuing creature woulde ryse vp with so great madnesse agaynst Chryste, if hée were not styrred theretoo by the spirite of Sathan. Howebeit Chryste in no wise beareth that reproche of GOD at their hande, but with moste strong argumentes confuteth this diuelishe blasphemie.

The first Argument is: No man can by one diuell driue out an other: Ergo you doo lewdely too affirme that I caste out diuels in the name of Beelzebub. For if one Diuell should woork agaynst an other, and cast out one another, the Diuels kingdome should not bée stedfast. But now wée sée [Page 92] the kingdome of Sathan too bée moste stable and strong. For euery kingdome deuided within it selfe, shall bée made deso­late. For whersoeuer is discorde, there is assured destruction too bée looked for.

The second argument is: If I cast out diuels in the name of Belzebub, your sonnes doo also cast out diuels in the same name. But this by your owne iudgement is false. For you affirme them too cast out Diuels by the power of God: wher­fore you doo wickedly too say, that I cast out Diuelles in the name of Belzebub.

The thirde argument is: I cast out Diuels by the finger of God, that is too say, by the power of God: Ergo, you doo fal­sly ascribe my worke too the Deuil.

The fourth argument is: A strong person is not ouercome but of his stronger. The Deuil is ouercome by mée: for I cast him out & spoil him: Ergo I am strōger than hée. VVhen a strong persō armed kepeth his house, the things that he posses­seth, are in peace. Who is that same strong armed person? the olde serpent. Hée kéepeth his house as long as he dwelleth in the vnbéeleuers, and while hée blindeth mennes senses that they acknoweledge not Chryste. And then are all things in peace whiche hée possesseth, when the woord of God is put to silence, and mens traditions sounde abrode. But as soone as the swoord is drawne, whiche is the woord of God, by and by the Deuil is compelled too giue place: For Chryst (who is in the woord) is stronger than Sathan.

The fifth argument is: He that is not vvith mee, is against me, and he that gathereth not vvith mee, scattereth. That is too say: The Deuil scattereth the church, & I gather the churche toogither: Ergo there is no agreement betwéene mée and the Deuil. And that the Deuil scattereth the churche, he proueth by a moste goodly similitude.

¶Of the third.

WHen an vncleane spirite is gone oute of a man, that is, when the Deuil (who of him self is vnclean, & woont [Page] by many meanes too defile the mindes of men) is gone out of a man, like as hée is now by my power cast out of this wret­ched man that was possessed: What dooth hée then? He vval­keth by drie places, seeking rest: and finding none, hee sayeth: I vvill returne intoo my house from vvhence I came. Hée wal­keth by drie places, that is too say, by hartes that are not wa­tered with the riuer of the holy Ghoste. What is ment by his séeking rest, and finding none? By this phrase of spea­king is signified his endeuer: for it is not inough for him too haue doone harme, vnlesse hée may doo more harme. So great a desire hath hée too destroy men. He is not contented too pos­sesse many hartes, but hée muste also returne ageine too those from whiche he was expulsed before. Whereupon hée sayth: I vvill returne intoo my house, from vvhence I came. By these woords is giuen vs too vnderstand, yt he ceasseth not too tempt those that are purged by Fayth, but laboureth too enter intoo the hartes of them ageyne, too the intent too carrie them a­way from the kingdome of Christe: and if hee bring that too passe, the end of that manne béecommeth woorse than the be­ginning, bicause he becometh a new the enimie of Chryste, and expulseth the holy Ghoste: And hée shal suffer sorer pu­nishement, if hée cast not out the Deuil agein by true repen­taunce. Let vs marke then how perillous a thing it is for them that haue once professed them selues Chrystians, too put their necks ageine vnder the Deuils yoke. For as suche men doo moste gréeuously sinne against the holy Ghoste: so must they also stand in feare of moste gréeuous punishment. Therefore they that are touched with any care of their Sal­uation, let them spéedely amende, and fight stoutely against Sathan, that he cast them not againe hedlong intoo the gulfe of sinne.

¶Of the fourth.

IT came too passe that as he spake these things, a certaine vvo­man in the cōpany, lifting vp hir voice, sayd vntoo him. Blissed [Page 93] is the vvombe that. &c. But he sayde: yea rather blissed are they that heare the vvoord of God and keepe it. Héer first wée may marke the diuersitie of mennes iudgementes concernyng Gods woord. Some wonder at the woorde, and loue it, as this woman did. Some speak euil of it, as they did ageinst whom Chryst dealeth héere. For there haue bin alwayes suche hée­rers of the woord, frō the beginning of the world. Caine des­pised the woorde, and Abel loued it. Noe loued it, and all the whole worlde beside despised it. In the time of Ieremy, fewe or none receyued the woorde of the Prophets with frute: but the most part chose rather too return too their olde Idolatrie. Héerupon they say too Hieremie: When wée made sacrifice too the Quéene of Heauen, (that is too say, too the Sunne) all things went wel with vs. Wée had abundance of Corne. &c. After the same manner say the men of our time. When wée hearde Masse, and gaue too Moonkes, all things were better cheape, the feare of GOD was greater, and there was more loue betwéene man and man. This is the thanke that the world yeeldeth too God for his wel dooing. Hée giueth vs the woord of saluation; and wée had leauer haue mens dreames. Hée offreth it too vs fréely: and wée wil earne it with the geu­gawes of the Moonkes. But let vs leaue these things, & har­ken vntoo Chryste. Blissed are they (sayth hée) that héere the woord of God and kéepe it. These woordes are few, and haue a great promise annexed too them.

What maner of woord is that woord of GOD? It can bée none other, than that which the prophets haue deliuered vs: Chryste hathe confirmed with his owne bloud: and the Apo­stles haue taught. What maner of woorde is that? The sūme therof is conteyned in the instructiō of our childrē, called the Cathechisme: and these are they: The ten commaundemēts, the Articles of our beléefe, the doctrine of the Sacraments, & the doctrine which yée héer euery Sunday out of the Gospel: that is too wit (in one woord) the same doctrine that the Pro­phets, Chryste, and the Apostles taught. This woord will hée [Page] haue herd: Ergo, he wil also that there be ministers & pastors that are able too teache this woord. For séeing that hée giueth his woord, and offreth soule helth whiche is receyued by faith through hearing: it is néedfull that there bée persons that can teache this woord. How be it, for as much as it is not inough that the woord bée taught and herd, vnlesse it be also kept: the Lord addeth, and keepeth it. What is too kéepe the woord? It is too lerne the word that is herd, too hold it, too beléeue it, and too performe true obedience vntoo God through faith. So did our father Abraham. He herd the word, he held it, he beleued it, yea and yéelded such obedience too it by faith, that he would at Gods appointment rather [...]ea his onely begotten Sonne, than breake Gods commaundementes. But who is hée a­mongst vs, that yéeldeth this obedience vntoo God? wée will bée called Abrahams children, but wée wil not treade in our fathers footsteps. What promiseth hée too them that heare it and obey it? Blissed are they sayth hee. &c. They are blissed, that is too say, set frée from al wretchednesse, from sinne, and from damnation. Blissed, that is too say, infeoffed in euerlas­ting life and glorie through Iesus Chryste oure Lorde, who with the father and the holy Ghoste liueth one God, worlde without end. Amen.

The fourth Sunday in Lent cōmonly called Midlent Sunday. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. vj.

AFter these things Iesus vvent his vvaye ouer the Sea of Galilee, vvhiche is the Sea of Tyberias, and muche people follovved hym, bycause they savve his miracles vvhiche hee did on them that vvere diseased. And Iesus vvent vp into a moun­tayne, and there hee sat vvith his Disciples. And Easter, a feaste of the Ievves vvas nie. VVhen Iesus then lift vp his eyes, and savv a greate companie come vntoo him, hee sayde vntoo Phillip: [Page 94] vvhence shall vvee buy bread that these may eate? This he sayde too proue him: for he him selfe knevve vvhat he vvould doo. Philip aunsvvered him: Tvvoo hundred penyvvorth of breade are not sufficient for them, that euery man may take a little. One of his disciples (Andrevve Simon Peters brother) sayeth vntoo him: There is a lad vvhich hath fiue barley loues, and tvvo fishes: but vvhat are they among so many? And Iesus said: Make the people sit dovvne. There vvas muche grasse in the place: So the men sate dovvne, in number about fiue thousande. And Iesus tooke the breade, and vvhen he had giuen thankes, he gaue too the Disciples, and the Disciples to them that vvere set dovvne, and likevvise of the fishes as muche as they vvould. VVhen they had eaten ynough, he sayd vntoo his disciples: Ga­ther vp the broken meate vvhich remayneth, that nothing bee lost. And they gathered it togither, and filled .xij. baskets vvith the broken meat of the fiue barley loaues: vvhich broken meat remayned vntoo them that had eaten. Then those men (vvhen they had seene the miracle that Iesus did) sayd: This is of a truth the same prophete that should come intoo the vvorlde. Therefore vvhen Iesus perceyued that they vvould come and take him too make him king, he departed agein intoo a moun­taine him selfe alone.

The exposition of the text.

THe summe of this Gospell is, that Chryst dooth héere by his dede and example confirme the doc­trine which he taught, in the .vj. of Mathewe: First séeke ye the kingdome of God, & the righ­tuousnesse of him (that is to say of God) and all things else shall bée cast vntoo you: to ye intent that we being instructed by Chrysts woord and miracle, shoulde cast off the care of the belly, and folowe Chryst intoo the desert, leauing all care for our selues vntoo him, according too his commaun­dement: cast thy care vpon the Lorde, and he shall nourishe thée. The méening therefore of all this whole Gospell, is too [Page] teache, that they which héere, loue, and kéepe the woord, shall not perish for want of foode, bicause Christ taketh vpon him too care for them. The places are these.

  • 1 That God hath care for them that folow him.
  • 2 The circumstances of this present miracle, and the vse therof to vs wards.
  • 3 The déede of this people that wold haue made Christ king, and of Chrysts fléeing.

¶Of the second.

IN this first Doctrine many things offer themselues too bée weyed: of which euery one dooth minister some Doctrine and admonition. As are Chrysts iourneying and woorking: the earnestnesse of the people to héere him: what moued the people so to do: what profit redoundeth therby to the people, and what wée ought too lerne by the example of the people, and the déede of Chryst.

Chryst iourneying is shewed in these woords: Iesus vvent his vvay ouer the Sea of Galilee, vvhich is the Sea of Tyberias. This Tyberias was a Citie builded by Herode néere vntoo Iordan in the honor of the Emperor Tyberias. In this ior­ney of Chrysts there is too bée marked the end and the exam­ple therof. The end of it was to spred abrode his Gospell by teaching and miracles. The example is, that we woulde fo­low Chryst, euery man in his vocation, not sparing our sel­ues, but night and day by land and by sea endeuer to answer our calling. And this example is not too bée folowed by the ministers of the woord only, but of all men, according too the maner of eche mans vocation.

What dooth Chryst in this iorney? Mark in his .6. chapter sayth, that Chryst had pitie vpon them, bicause they were as shéepe that had no shepherd, and that he began to teach them many things▪ Mathew addeth that he was occupied al day in healing the diseased. Héere do foure things offer themselues too bée weyed. First, Christs loue. Secondly the cause of this [Page 95] loue. Thirdly, what wée be without the ministration of the woord. Fourthly, what is the end of the ministerie.

When Christe taketh pitie of the people, we are admoni­shed too think how like a father he is minded towards vs, as who is sory for our miseries. This is it that the Apostle saith too the Hebrues: we haue a high préeste that can suffer with vs in our infirmities. The cause why he pitied the people, is shewed by Marke. Bicause (sayth hée) they were as shéepe that haue no shepherd. But what are shéepe without a shep­herd? Wretched & redy too take harme by theeues & woolues. Now when the Lorde sayd these things, the people was by false teachers led away from the true seruice of GOD vntoo sundrie superstitions, the frute whereof is the losse of their soules, like as wée erewhile tasted vnder ye Popedom, wher in sted of the true seruice of GOD, there were broughte in­too the churche moste horrible superstitions: Praying vntoo Saincts, heathenishe abusing of the Sacraments, Purgato­rie and other bables, whiche would GOD did not stick stil in many mennes mindes at this day. Héereby therefore wée may lern, what men be without the ministerie of the woord: namely yt they be as shéepe straying in a wildernesse, where they are euery moment in very great danger of théeues and woolues: or rather (too tell all at one woorde) wheras is not the woord of God, there is no saluation. Also wée may learne héer the end of the ministery of the woorde. Men without the woord are as shéep that go astray without a shepheard. Ergo, the woord is too them as the shepherds staffe, wherwith men are gathered toogither out of the wildernesse too their owne shepherd. Also it is fodder wherewith they are refreshed and nourished. And it is the salue wherewith our soules are hea­led. Too be short, it is the immortall séed by which we growe vp new ageine too eternall life, when we beléeue the woorde that is preached. It is easy then too vnderstand héereby, how néedful a thing the woord of God is.

The earnestnesse of ye people too hear Chryst, is also decla­red [Page] héer. A great company (sayth the Euangelist) followed him, yea & that far intoo a desert place from the Cities, wher was neyther meat nor drinke. Beholde the excéeding greate earnestnesse where through the people were so ioyful to héer Chryst, that they séemed too haue no care at all of their body. The day was far spent sayth Mark.

Why the people folowed Christ in this wise, Iohn decla­reth in this dayes Gospel, when hée sayth: bicause they sawe the miracles that he wrought. And his miracles were partly a witnesse of the power of the Godhed in Chryst, and partly as it were certeine seales of his doctrine, and tokens of his excéeding great good wil towards men. For the people came too the thinking vpon these thrée things by the signes & mira­cles whiche the Lord wrought.

The people then by this their folowing after Chryst rea­ped this profit, that they came too the knowledge of their sal­uation. For when he had by woonderful miracles confirmed the doctrine that he had taught them by mouth: they gaue credit too his woord, by which faith all those were saued that cō ­tinued in it vntoo their end. Besides this, many receyued cor­porall benefites at his hand. For he healed suche as were di­seased according as the other Euangelists make report.

How now, is this example of the people too bée followed of vs? First wée folow the example of this people, if wée héer Gods word diligently, and beléeue the same, as ouercome by Chrystes miracles wherwith hée hath confirmed the truth of his doctrine. Secondly wée shall followe the example of the people in this, that they obey the rule which Christ giueth in the .6. of Math: for thus saith Christ. First séek the kingdome of God, & his righteousnesse, & all the [...] shall bée cast vntoo you. This order is too be obserued diligently of all the godly. The first care muste bée for the kingdome of God, & the righ­teousnesse of God. And then also they must labour according too the state of their calling. For thus sayeth the Scripture. In the swet of thy browes shalt thou eat thy bread. And in [Page 70] the Psalme it is sayd: Thou shalt eate of the labours of thy handes. Also Paule sayeth: He that laboureth let him eate. So is laboure appoynted to all men, how be it according too euery mannes estate. For the laboure of a shepherd is one: of a plowman, another: of a king, another: and of a Chaunce­lor and Senator, another. But all men must beware that they woork not arsiuersie, which thing they doo, that care first for the belly, and last of all for the soule. Therefore let him that beareth an office, thinke thus: My Lord Chryst sayeth: First séeke the kingdome of God and the righteousnesse of God, and afterward séeke the rest of things necessary too liue by. I will obey this commaundement of my Lorde, assuring my selfe that he wil verily performe that which he hath pro­mised, how much so euer reason & the whole worlde grudge ageinst it, and endeuer too ouerturne this order appointed by Chryst. God féedeth the birdes: and why should he not féede mée that am obedient to him? He giueth mée a body: and why should he not giue me rayment? He giueth mée life: and why not foode? He giueth euerlasting things: and why not tem­porall things? Whosoeuer therefore is godly, must folowe this rule of Chryst: First séeke Gods kingdom and his righ­tuousnesse, and all things else shall bée cast vnto you. But (alas for sorrow) many offende ageinst this rule. For first they offende, whiche not onely héere not the woorde of God them selues, but also are a let vntoo others, that they should not héere it. Lyke as vngodly husbands doo, whiche with­holde their wyues from héering Gods woorde, for coue­tousnesse of their owne gayne. Thus by their rashe bolde­nesse they rush intoo Gods office, & maliciously despise Chri­stes commaundement: whereby it commeth too passe, that whatsoeuer they go about hath ill successe. First they méene too prouide for the body, and afterward (if they can finde any leysure) they haue a little regarde too the soule. I gather (wyll some saye) for my Wyfe and my Children. Thou doost well, and I allowe thy méening: for Nature teacheth [Page] and reason perswadeth, that the husband should care for his wife and children. And Paule sayth: He that neglecteth his owne, is worse than an infidell. But gather thou according too Chrysts rule, and the example of this people. First séeke the kingdome of God: and next be diligent in thy vocation. If thou doo otherwise, thy children shall haue small ioy of thy labours. For thy labour is cursed, and cursed is the frute of thy labours, and it shall not profite thy children. For this is a most true saying: The thirde descent enioyeth not the goodes that euill meanes haue got. Experience teacheth, that the goodes which are euill gotten by the parents, are for the most part wastfully and shamefully spent by their children among harlottes in brothelhouses, in tauerning, in quarel­ling and brauling. Wherfore if wée haue any liking of good­linesse, let vs folowe Chrysts rule, and the example of this multitude. Which thing if wée doo, wée shal féele Gods hand too bée bountifull towards vs.

¶Of the second.

NOw let vs looke vpon the circumstances of this present miracle, which are many. First the Lord sayth to Phi­lip: From whence might we buy bread that these may eate? Why is this p [...]t [...] by the E [...]angelist? And he sayd this too trie him, that is too say, to prooue what fayth he had, who ere­whyle hadde séene the water turned intoo wyne at Cana in Galilée.

But what answer maketh Philip? Tvvoo hundreth peny­vvoorth of bread vvold not suffise them; that euery one might take a little. Héere Philip béeing forgetfull of the miracles that he had séene before, calleth his owne reason to counsell, as if he should say. It is a great company, and it requireth a great summe of mony to suffise them, and we haue in maner nothing. For it is too no purpose to make questions of bying bread, it is to us purpose to stād debating this or that, where impossibilitie letteth.

But there [...] another Disciple named Andrew, and [Page 97] sayth, Héere is a boy that hath fiue barly loues & twoo fishes: But these are nothing for so great a company. This disciple is past hope as well as his fellow.

But what sayth Chryste too this géere? He sayth too them, make the folke sit downe: as if he had sayd, for asmuch as it semeth a thing impossible too your iudgement, that so great a company should héere be saued from perishing for hunger: I whoo haue sayd vntoo them & you, séeke first the kingdome of God and his rightuousnesse, and all things else shabe cast vnto you, will shew by déede, that my promis is not vain: doo you no more but bid the people sit downe too eate.

Héere the disciples obey their maister: and to the nūber as it were of fiue thousand men do settle them selues to their repast, looking too be fed by miracle.

When they were set downe, Iesus tooke those fiue bar­ly loues and two fishes, and first blissing them, and giuing thanks, distributed as much as he listed to his guestes. And after that they were suffised, he said too his disciples. Gather vp the broken meat that remaineth, that nothing be lost. And they obeying him, gathered vp twelue baskets full of broken meat. Ye sée the miracle wherby Chryst confirmeth his diuine power, his promis, and his office. What must wée lerne héereby? Many wholsome doctrines may bée gathered hereof.

First héere is confirmed that which we haue heard in the first place: namely that they which folow Chryst, shal not pe­rish for wāt of foode, according as you haue herd alredy. Se­condly by this miracle is confirmed Chrystes loue towards them that folow him. Of which thing also we haue herd in the first doctrine. Furthermore, by this miracle wée are as­sured, that Chryste (contrary too the iudgement of reason) can helpe when he will. For like as the kingdome of Christ and the kingdome of the worlde are diuers: so maye other things bée doone in Chrystes kingdome, than can be doone in the kingdome of the world. For hée that is chéefe in Christs [Page] kingdome is almightie, whose will is a déede. For (as Da­uid sayth) he hath done all things whatsoeuer hée woulde, both in heauen and earth. Therefore when the Gospell set­teth before vs the woonderfull woorkes of God concerning the resurrection of the dead, the lyfe euerlasting, the eternall punishment of the wicked, and such other things: we must not call our owne reason too counsel, to demaund of it what can be done: but wée must aske the question at Gods woord only. For if God say ought too vs, by and by wée must call too mynde his mightynesse and his truth. In as much as hée is mighty, nothing is too him impossible: And bycause he is true, whatsoeuer he sayth, is assured and stedy. For he sayth: Heauen and earth shall passe, but my woordes shall not passe.

Wée are taught also by thys miracle and déede of Chry­stes, that God wil with his blissing encrease the smal thin­ges of the godly. For suffisance consisteth not in the greate abundance of things, but in the Lordes blissing whiche on­ly maketh men rich. Wherevpon Chryst in the .xij. of Luke sayeth: Mans life consisteth not in the abundance of things that he possesseth. And Dauid in the hūdred and one & twen­tith Psalme sayeth: and there is abundance too them that loue thée. Oftentimes it falleth out, that some poore man fea­ryng God, is better fed with bread and potage, than a wic­ked rich man with his daintie dishes and sweete wines. The poore Lazarus was better fed with the crummes which hée coulde scarce come by, than the rich Glutton wyth his de­lycate fare. Let euery one of vs thinke vppon these things aduisedly, and wayt paciently for the Lordes promise, that hée may blisse our laboures, and encrease our breade. For he commaunded vs too pray and say: Gyue vs this day our dayly bread.

Ouermore Chrystes déede teacheth vs too gyue God than­kes for his gifts when wée go about too vse his heauenly be­nefits, and too desire him that he will halow his gifts with [Page 98] his blissing. For the creature of GOD is made holy by the woord, and by prayer, according as Paul teacheth in the first too Timothie and the fourth Chapiter. But it commeth too passe, that many, bycause they knowledge not Gods bene­fites, and much lesse yéelde thankes too the gyuer, are ei­ther néedie, euen in great plenty of things, or else are pres­sed with great pouertie. Wherfore I exhort you to folowe this example of Chryst, as often as you méene too vse Gods good gifts. And let this suffise for this present miracle. Now ensueth the third place.

¶ Of the thirde.

WHen they had seene (sayth the Euangelist) the mira­cle that he had vvrought, they sayde: Of a truth this is that Prophet that should come intoo the vvorlde. Therefore Iesus knovving that they vvould come and take hym vp too make hym kyng, fledde ageyn intoo a Mountaine by himselfe alone.

Héere are two examples propounded: one of the multi­tude, and another of Chryst. In the multitude wée sée twoo things: The one is that by the miracle they acknowledge the Messias. Which thing is wel done of the people. For the Prophet Esay foretold it should come to passe that when the Messias came into the world, he should woorke great mi­racles, by the which he should be known. Thus far therfore the people iudged aright. The other that wée sée in the peo­ple, is the error of the people in iudgemēt. Who perceiuing by the miracle that Iesus was the Messias, would haue made him kyng. But Christes kingdom is not worldly, according as he himselfe sayd vnto Pylate: My kingdom is not of this world. The people would faine haue bin thankful to Christ, but they shewed not their thankfulnesse according too know­ledge. Wherby we may lerne of this multitude too bée thāk­ful too God: how beit in as much as they were euershot in their dooing, let vs imbrace Gods woord for a rule of thank­fulnesse.

[Page]But when Chryste vnderstood the vnskilful zeale of the people that were minded too make him their Kyng, he fled intoo a mountaine, and suffred not himselfe too bée made king by the people. What may we lerne héerby? First that which I spake of euen nowe, that Chrysts kingdom is not world­ly. Next, that wée must couet no honor cōtrary to our voca­tion. Let euery man content himself with that degrée of esti­mation that he is called vntoo, & not take vpon him an other mans office, for desire of estimatiō. But let euery one of vs in his own vocation looke vntoo these thrée things. First let vs labour lustily in the feare of God. Secondly, let vs not séeke the praise of ye multitude, if we shal haue doon any good. Thirdly, let this be our purpose, to serue God and his church in the feare of God. They that doo otherwise, doo nothing a­right, but offend God, and vtter their owne pride, whome God suffreth oft to slide, that their foly may be known, and so may suffer punishment for their presumption. That the which thing happen not vnto vs let vs pray God to gouerne vs with his spirit, too whom the only and euerlasting god, bée honor, praise and glorie for euer and euer Sobeit.

The fifth Sunday in Lent commonly called Passion Sunday. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. viij.

WHiche of you can rebuke mee of sinne? If I say the truth, vvhy doo ye not beleue mee? He that is God, heereth Gods vvords: yee there­fore heere them not, bicause ye are not of god. Then aunsvvered the Ievves, and saide vntoo him: Say vve not vvell, that thou art a Sama­ritane, and hast the Diuel? Iesus ansvvered, I haue not the diuel: but I honor my father, & yee haue dishonored me. I seeke not mine ovvn praise, there is one that seeketh and iudgeth. Verily, [Page 99] verely I say vnto you, if a man keepe my saying, he shall neuer see death. Then sayde the Ievves vntoo him: Novv knovve vvee that thou hast the deuyll. Abraham is dead, and the Pro­phets, and thou sayest: If a man kepe my saying, he shall neuer tast of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham vvhiche is dead? And the prophets are dead: vvhom makest thou thy selfe? Iesus aunsvvered: If I honor my selfe, myne honor is no­thing: it is my father that honoreth mee, vvhich you say is your God, and yet ye haue not knovvn him, but I knovv him. And if I say I knovv him not, I shall bee a lyer, like vntoo you. But I knovv him, and keepe his saying. Your father Abraham vvas glad to see my day: and he savv it, and reioysed. Then sayde the Ievves vnto him. Thou art not yet fifty yeare old, and hast thou seene Abraham? Iesus sayd vntoo them: Verely, verely, I saye vntoo you: Ere Abraham vvas borne, I am. Then toke they vp stones to cast at him: but Iesus hid himselfe, and vvent out of the Temple.

The exposition of the text.

THys Gospell conteyneth a singular Doctrine concerning Chryste, and a gaynsaying of the same doctrine by Chrysts enimies. For lyke as Chryst defendeth his owne person, office, and doctrine, and pointeth out the true fountayn of saluation: so the Iewes Chrystes enimies set them selues against the person, office and doctrine of Chryst, and pleade against him with thrée arguments which Sathan hath vsed from the beginning of the world foorth. And those thrée wea­pons are these: Hypocrisie, Sophistrie, and Tyrannie. This Gospell therfore conteyneth the discription of twoo Kyng­domes, that is to say, of Christes, and of Sathans. For as Christ héer mainteineth his owne kingdome: So the cham­pions of Sathan maynteyne their maysters quarel. But bi­cause it is for our behoofe too harken what Chryst sayeth, ra­ther than what Sathan thynketh agaynst it: I will propoūd [Page] twoo lessons out of this gospel grounded vpon Chrysts wor­des, and shew what his enimies answered and dyd ageinst eyther of them. The places are twoo.

  • 1 That lyke as Chryste is the true Messias: so euery one that héereth him not, is not of God.
  • 2 That hée whiche kéepeth Chrystes woordes, is set frée from eternal death. And in these twoo chéefe lessons of this Gospell, I will set forth the strife betwéene Chryst and the Iewes, in declaration wherof, many particular lessons doo offer themselues.

¶Of the firste.

OF the first lesson there bée twoo parts. One, that Chryst is the true Messias: the other, that he which héereth not Chryst, is not of God. Concerning the first part, the texte hath thus. VVhiche of you can rebuke mee of sinne? If I speke the truthe vvhy doo not you beleeue mee? The Iewes had found faulte with Chrystes doctrine, bicause Sathan and his seruantes hate the truth. Chryst confirmed his doctrine, by innocencie of life, the recorde of the Prophets, and sun­dry miracles, so as the Iewes might haue knowne hym too bée the true Messias, and also haue beléeued in hym too theyr saluation. Therfore when as they through the instinct of Sathan, for hatred to Chryst ward, and of loue too their own false doctrine, whiche they had receiued of their forefather, did with all their power set themselues agaynst Chryste: Chryste on the other syde thirsting mannes saluation, de­fended his owne innocentnesse, doctrine, and office, too the intent he might at least wise, yet win some of his foes vnto God, and call them backe from falling headlong intoo dam­nation. First therfore he asketh if any man can finde faulte with his conuersation. VVhich of you (sayth he) can reproue mee of sinne? As if he had sayd: I haue liued openly amōg you without faulte from my cradle, so as none of you is able too reproue mée of any sinne. Nowe séeyng that so [Page 100] to do is the propertie of the Messias, why do you not acknow­ledge mée too bée the Messias that was promised long agoe? For none is cléere withoute Synne, but the Messias onely. In as muche then as none of you is able too conuicte me of sinne, yée doo foolishely: not onely for that yée acknow­ledge mée not too bée the Messias, but also for that you con­demne mée of sinne. Héerevntoo he addeth concernyng his doctrine. If I speake the truthe vntoo you, vvhy beleeue you mee not? As if he had sayd, In asmuch as I do by innocencie of lyfe, by record of the Prophets, and by many miracles cō ­firme my doctrine too be so true, that whither you will or nil yée confesse it to be true: why beléeue you mée not? Hée is woorse than mad that persecuteth that thyng as false, whi­che he knowes to be true. But this is the nature of men. He that is noozeled in naughtynesse of a childe, is hardly re­claimed from his errour. So great a mater it is too bée enu­red too a thing from the shell. But what may wée lerne héer of Chryst and the Iewes? Of Chryst, all ministers of the woorde may lerne, so too frame their life and doctrine, that no man may haue aught too reproue, eyther in theyr lyfe or in their doctrine. For albeit that only Christ was pure from all sinne: yet notwithstanding those that will teach his gos­pel with frute must be cléer from opē crimes. For the Poet sayeth aright: It turneth too the teachers shame, When hee hym­selfe is found too blame. For how (I pray you) can a tippling Préest fynde fault with tiplers? How dare a whoorehun­ter chasten whooremongers and aduoutrers? Howe shall a couetous person condemne couetousnesse? or an vsurer, vsu­rie? or a quareller, quarels? or a proud man pride? In fine, he that will rebuke others, must be fautlesse himselfe. As for those that say, doo as I teach, but doo not as I doo: they are not the ministers of Chryste, but of sathan. For no man is too be accounted too teache, vnlesse hée expresse the same thyng in hys life, that hée teacheth in his woordes. For so doothe Paule teache Timothye: Bée thou (sayeth hée) [Page] a paterne too the flocke: That is to say, expresse the thing in life, that thou teachest in woord, that the héerers may behold in thée a liuely example of thy doctrine. Wherevpon Paule sayeth of himself: Be yée folowers of mée, lyke as I am of Chryst. Moreouer, they that héere the Gospell, must learne somewhat of these Iewes. Not too set them selues ageynste Chryst and their teachers as they did: but to take warning at their damnation, and so too repent, that they may be saued by the benefit of Chryst.

On the other part of the first lesson, the text speaketh in this wise: He that is of God, heereth the vvooord of God, and the cause vvhy you heere not, is for that yee are not of God. He assigneth the cause why the Iewes so maliciously despi­sed Chrystes doctrine: that is to wit, for that they were not of God but of Sathan. He speaketh not héer of mans nature which in very déede is of God, but of mens maliciousnesse, which is of the diuell. For this maliciousnesse maketh men vnwilling to héere Gods woord. Héer let euery man examin himselfe, and déeme of himselfe, whither hée bée of God, or of the Diuell. For he that with a good will héereth Gods woord, hath Chrystes recorde that hée is of God. Contrary­wise, he that despiseth the woord and persecuteth it, is vndou­tedly of the Diuell: though the vngodly are not willing too héere of this. But in lyke maner as the Iewes doo héere per­secute and slaunder Chryst that told them this: so in lyke­wise are the ministers of the Gospell persecuted at this day by those whome in their sermons they declare to be of the Diuell. What then say the Iewes héere? They aunswered and sayd vnto him: Say vvee not vvell that thou art a Samari­tane, and hast a Diuell? This is the craft of Sathan: when he can not deny the truth, he falleth to flat rayling. So also standeth the case at this day: when men are not able too de­nie, but that it is Gods woord wherby their wickednesse is reproued: by and by they fall too rayling, and séeke for some­what too carye at in the ministers of the Gospell. But what [Page 101] dooth Chryst héer? He answered: I haue no diuell but I honor my father, and you dishonor mee. And I seeke not myne ovvne glorie, but there is one that seeketh and iudgeth. In this aun­swer Chryst first denyeth himselfe to haue a diuell, whiche thing the Lord confirmeth héereby, that he séeketh Gods glo­rie, which they doo not that haue made a couenant with the diuell. Afterward hée turneth the slaunder vpon the Iewes, when he sayth: And you haue dishonored mee that honour God. For those that rayle vpon them that honor God, must of necessitie bée led by the Diuell. Further more when he ad­deth: I seeke not myne ovvn glorie, but there is one that seketh and iudgeth: Hée remoueth from himselfe the desire of vain­glorie, and in his dutifulnesse commendeth himself to his fa­ther. By this aunswere of Chrystes, the ministers of the woord may lerne thrée things. First (as much as may be) too defend themselues from the slaunders wherwith they are charged, least their ministery should be abased, when they themselues are brought in contempt. Secondly, to cast those railers in the téeth with their owne sinnes, bycause they make warre, not so much against men, as against God him selfe. And thirdely, not to séeke their owne glorie, but the glorie of God, and to persuade thēselues assuredly, that God defendeth their innocencie.

¶Of the second.

OF the seconde lesson the Lordes woordes speake in thys wise: Verely I say vntoo you, if any man keepe my say­ings, he shall not see death for euer. These woords are too hée throughly well weyd, as which conteine the highest be­nefite of Chryst towards men, that is to wit, that he which kéepeth Chrystes sayings shall not sée death for euer. Howe­béeit too the intent wée may the better vnderstand these thin­ges, I will shew forth in order what they conteyn. For the first thing too be obserued héere, is Chrysts othe. The second what maner a ones wee bée without Christ. The third, what wée obteyn by him. The fourth how we may be able too bée­come [Page] partakers of Chrystes benefits.

His othe is to this end, too assure vs of Gods truth ageinst all the doctrines of men and deuils, against the reason of the flesh, yea & against the whole kingdome of the Deuil, which consisteth of Sophistrie, Hipocrisie and Tyrannie. For it is not possible that the sonne of God should deceyue, whoo hath warranted his doctrine by so great an othe.

What maner a folke bée wée without Christ? By Christ it cōmeth too passe that wée sée not euerlasting death. Wher­fore without Chryst wée are giltie of euerlasting Death. Now as there are foure kindes of Lyfe, so are there foure kindes of death also.

The first is the lyfe of nature, wherby wée naturally liue in this world. This life simply in respect of it self is good, by­cause it is the gift of God, which hée promiseth in the fourth commaundemente: but it varieth according too the state of men. Untoo Abraham it was good bicause hée vsed it too Gods glorie. But vntoo Nero it was euil, bicause hée abused it, both too the reproch of God that gaue it, & also to his owne dam­nation. Ageinst this natural life is set naturall death: which of it self is euil, bicause it is the punishment of sinne. Notwt ­standing, it varieth according to the states of men. For lyke as vntoo Abraham, this death was a passage vntoo a better life, and therefore was good vntoo him: so vntoo Nero it was the gate of Hel, and therfore too him it was euil.

The second life is of sinne, namely wherby sinne liueth in man, and reigneth through his lusts, as it dooth in all the vn­godly. This is alwayes euil, bicause it tendeth too dānation. Ageinst this is set the death of sinne, wherby sinne is morti­fied in vs: which thing cōmeth then too passe, whē wée liue in true repentance & the feare of God. This death of sinne, is e­uermore good, bicause it is the passage too eternal life.

The thirde life is of grace, whereby Christe lyueth in vs through grace. This is euermore good, bicause it is Gods [Page 102] gift, and the way too glorie. Ageinst this is set the death of grace, that is too say, the priuation of grace: whiche thing commeth too passe when wée slide backe ageyne intoo sinne, and cast away fayth. This is alwayes euill, bicause it is the way intoo hell.

The fourth life is the euerlasting lyfe, by which the godly shall liue with God and his Angels in endlesse blisse. This life is most excellent good. Ageinst this is set euerlasting death, which is endlesse damnation. Unto this endlesse death are all men subiect without Christ. For vnlesse wée bée deli­uered from this death by the benefite of Chryste, it shall bée our perpetual reward for sinne: as Paule sayth too the Ro­manes the .6. chapter. Such are wée without Chryst: that is, wretched, damned, and giltie of eternall death.

But what doo wée become through Chryst? That doothe Chryst assure vs of by his othe, namely that being deliuered from euerlasting death, wée are rewarded with eternal life, in which shal be ioy without end.

Howe are wée made partakers of Chrystes benefites? This Gospell aunswereth. Verely verely I say vntoo, if any man kepe my saying, he shal not see death for euer. Then is this great treasure in Chrystes woordes: which who so kée­peth, hath Chryst, whoo only is the way too life What is too kéepe the woord of Chryste? It is too héer it, too lerne it, and to beléeue it according to this saying: He that beléeueth in the sonne hath life euerlasting. Why so? bicause hée that belée­ueth is iustified by his owne faithe, that is to say, is set frée from sinne, endued with the rightuousnesse of Chryste, and accepted too eternall life for Chrystes sake. He therfore that coueteth eternall life, let him marke well the things afore­sayd, let him liue in continual repentance, let him héer Chri­stes word, let him beléeue it, and let him cōtinue in the faith, euen vnto death. So shal it fall out, that this naturall death shall be vnto him a passage vntoo eternall life

[Page]But what say the Iewes too this healthfull Doctrine of Christes? Chryst saith: He that kepeth my vvord, shall not se death. The Iewes answere, now wée know wel thou hast a Deuil, Abraham and the Prophets are dead, and thou sayest if a man kéepe my woord, he shall not tast of death for euer. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? &c. Whom makest thou thy self? As if they had said: If thy woord bée of such power, that they which héer thée shall not taste of euerlasting death, surely thou art greater than the prophets and our patriark Abraham, which are dead, but this is false: for thou art not greater than Abraham. Ergo, it is false that thou sayest, he that kéepeth my saying, shall not tast of death for euer? Therfore thou art a blasphemer of God and hast a Deuil. Christ answereth, and sayeth: If I glorifie my selfe, my glory is nothing, that is too vvit, by your iudgement. It is the fa­ther that glorifyeth mee. The méening of these words is this: The only begotten sonne of God is greater than the seruāts of God, or than the adopted sonne of God. I am the only begotten sonne of God, according as the father himself wit­nesseth by his own voyce and woorks. But the Prophets and Abraham are Gods seruants and Gods children by ad­option: wherfore I am greater than Abraham and the Pro­phets: Ergo, it is no maruel though my woord bée of greater power than theirs. Then vsed they a poynt of Sophistrie. For, that which Chryst spake of the euerlasting death, they construed of the naturall death, howbeit maliciously Wher­fore Chryste procéedeth too reproue them, saying: If I say I knovve him not, I shall be a lyar as you are. For you say you know him whom you know not. But what is it to knowe god? First it is to know whoo he is, that is to wit, the father, the sonne, & the holy Ghost. Secondly to beléeue in him. And thirdly too order a mans life according to his wil.

Howbeit, bicause the Iewes gloried of their father Abra­ham, Chryst procéedeth too shew how vaine this boasting is and sayth: Your father Abraham vvas glad to see my day, [Page 103] and reioyced. In these woords Chryst teacheth thrée things. The one, that he was before he tooke mās nature vpon him, that is to say, from euerlasting, God euerlasting. The o­ther, that Abrahā beléeued in him. For too beléeue in Chryst is spiritually too sée him. And Chryst is séene thrée ways: in body only, as the Iewes saw him that talked héer with him: in spirite only, as Abrahā & wée yt beléeue in him, doo sée him at this day: both bodily & ghostly at once, as the saincts yt wer cōuersant with Chryst vpon the earth, & as wée that beléeue in him, shall behold him with our bodily eyes, after the Re­surrection of the dead. The middle séeing and the last seeing are healthfull: but the first is not healthful. Thirdly Chryst in these woords teacheth, that the Iewes doo not tread in the steps of their father Abraham, of whom they make so great braggs. For Abraham acknowledged Chryst, and beléeued in him, and was glad of it. But the Iewes doo neyther be­léeue in Chryst, nor are glad of him, but rather condemne Chryste. And therfore they make a false brag of Abraham. But what aunswer make the Iewes to this? Thou art not yet fiftie yeere olde, and hast thou seene Abraham? As muche too say, as Abraham died two thousand yéere ago and more, therfore thou couldest not sée him, bicause thou wert not as then. Chryst answereth: Verely, verely I saye vntoo you, be­fore Abraham vvas, I am. These woords teache thrée things manifestly concerning Chryst. Firste that he is very God. Secondly that he is very man. And thirdly that God & man Chryst are not twoo persons, but one onely diuine person, which tooke mans nature vpon it, too the intent he might be­come a sacrifice for the sinnes of the worlde. But what dyd the Iews in this case? They tooke vp stones too throvve at him. Héere is described the last refuge of Sathan, whiche is Uiolence & Tyrannie. Hythertoo they dealt against Chryst with rayling, hypocrisie, and sophistrie: and now in the end they take them too their weapons. But Chryst hideth himself, and getteth him out of the Temple. In whiche déede he tea­cheth [Page] two things. One is, that the church is preserued by the power of God, ageinst the tirannie of the world and the de­uill. Another is, that he will not haue his woord nor himselfe in his woord, too bée among those that persecute him openly: but only among them that receiue and loue him. To this me­diator with the father and the holy ghost, bée honour, praise and glory world without end. Amen.

Vpon Palme Sunday. ¶The Gospell. Math. xxj.

ANd vvhen they drevv nigh too Ierusalem, and vvere come too Bethphage vntoo mount Oli­uete, then sent Iesus tvvoo of his disciples, say­ing vntoo them: go intoo the tovvne that lieth ouer against you, and anon you shall finde an Asse bound, and a colte vvith hir: loose them and bring them vntoo mee. And if any man say aught vntoo you, say yee the Lord hath need of them: and streight vvay he vvil let them go. All this vvas done, that it might be fulfilled vvhich vvas spoken by the Prophet, saying: Tell yee the daughter of Sion: behold, thy king commeth vntoo thee meeke sitting vpon an Asse and a colte, the foale of an Asse vsed too the yoke. The disciples vvent and did as Iesus commaunded them, and broughte the Asse and the colte, and put on their clothes, & set hym theron. And many of the people spred their garments in the vvay. O­ther cut dovvne branches from the trees, and strevved them in the vvaye. Moreouer, the people that vvent before, and they that came after cried, saying: Hosanna too the son of Dauid: Blissed is he that commeth in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. And vvhen he vvas come too Ierusalem, all the Citie vvas moued, saying: vvho is this? And the people sayde, This is Iesus the Prophete of Nazareth, a Citie of Galilee. And Iesus vvent intoo the Temple of God, and cast out all [Page 104] them that solde and bought in the temple, and ouerthrevve the tables of the money chaungers, and the seats of them that sold Doues, & sayd vnto them. It is vvritten: My house shalbe called the house of prayer, but yee haue made it a denne of theeues.

The exposition of the text.

THis gospel is red twice a yéere, that is to say the first Sunday in Aduent, and vpon Palm­sunday, but not for one selfesame cause. For vppon the first Sunday in Aduent it is red, bycause the Prophecie of Zacharie precheth in it of the Lords comming intoo the world, whoo should bée the king and Sauior of them that trusted in him. And this day, it is red for the Story, which was doone this day, namely the sixth day before he suffred.

The summe of this Gospell is, that Chryst sitting vppon the Asse and hir colte which the Disciples had brought vntoo him, rode toward Hierusalem, about whom the people went crying. Hosanna to the sonne of Dauid, strewing boughes, & spreding their garments in the way. And also that when he was come intoo the Temple, he draue out the biers and sel­lers. &c. The places are thrée.

  • 1 The description of Chryst the king and of his kingdom.
  • 2 Of the citizens of this kingdome, and of their duetie.
  • 3 Of the things that were doon in the Temple, after that Chryste was entred into it.

¶Of the firste.

OF this read in the first sunday in Aduent, which is there the second place.

¶Of the second.

THis was the third place in the first Sunday of Aduent: from whence you shall fetch the exposition vntoo the title concerning the vse of the Lords comming.

¶Of the third.

THe thirde place is the storie of those things that hapned in the temple after that Chryst was entred intoo it. This storie may bée deuided intoo foure parts, which are these.

  • 1 The driuing of the byers and sellers out of the temple, and the reason therof.
  • 2 The healing of the lame and the blinde in the temple.
  • 3 The defenee of the children that cried Hosanna, too the sonne of Dauid.
  • 4 The fretting of the Princes, the Préests, and Scribes ageinst Chryst.

¶Of the first parte.

THe Euangelist declareth, that the Lorde entred intoo the Temple, and draue out the byers and sellers: and moreo­uer, that he addeth the cause of his so dooings, when he sayth: My house shall be called a house of Prayer, but you haue made it a denne of theeues. In this déede are thrée things too bée weyed. First the occasion of the déede: Secondly the déede it selfe: and thirdly, the signification of the déede. The occa­sion of the déed was the vnsatiable couetousnesse of the prée­stes, who ordeined these things for this cause, that they which would offer, should for money haue at hand what so­euer they would wish for. For as much as the couetousnesse of these men is too bée condemned, the ministers of the Gos­pell must take héed to themselues, that they séeke no fetches too pill the people, as it fel out in the poperie, where they had Masses, pardons, and other trumperie too sell, to the damna­tion of themselues, and of others. Secondly, Chrystes déede is to be weyed. For in this déede hée testifieth himselfe foo be a king and high Préest, and a looker to the religion of God. Otherwise he had not of his own priuate authoritie put too his hand, but had vttered the gréef of his mynde by woordes only. This déede of Chrystes must as well the godly magi­strate, as the ouerséers of Gods religion folowe, that there [Page 105] be no defiling of Gods religion in the churches of christians. Other that haue not this authoritie, must be sory and testi­fie it in woords that they disallow the corruption of gods ser­uice. Thirdly the signification of this déede is too bée weyed. For as the temple was defiled: so he ment that there should bée a spirituall purging of the temple by his owne death and glorious resurrection.

Moreouer in the cause of this déede (which is expressed by these woords, my house shal bee called a house of prayer, &c.) we may lerne twoo things. First that the temple is the vi­sible seat of Gods seruice. For all be it that euery place bée a temple too the godly, in as muche as it is lawfull for them to call vppon God euery where: yet notwithstanding, the tem­ple or church, is the common place wherein we must assem­ble to pray, and too doe other things that perteine to the out­ward discipline of godlinesse. Another is that wée should re­uerence the churches that are appoynted too Gods seruice, and kéepe them cleane from Idols and Idol seruice. But (a­las for sorow) the Popish superstition sticketh so fast too the ribbes of a nūber, that they cannot abide that an Idol should be pulled out of their church. But héerof shal more be spoken at an other time.

¶Of the second.

THe second part of the things doone by Chryst in the tem­ple, is, that he healed the lame and blinde that came vnto him. By which déed he testifieth, first that he is the true Mes­sias. For the Prophet Esay foretold, that when Messias was come, he should woorke such miracles. Secondly this déede sheweth that the office of the Messias is to destroy ye workes of Sathan. For when Chryst taketh away the disease he re­moueth the cause also: and the cause of all diseases in sinne. Thirdly he sheweth by an outward token, how men should vse ye church: for the healing of bodily diseases, is a represen­tation of the clensing of mennes soules from spiritual filthi­nesse. [Page] Therfore the church must be appoynted too this pur­pose, yt we may be purged there frō our spirituall diseases: which thing is then doone, when we beléeue the word that is there preached, and by beléeuing are washed from our sinnes with the bloud of Chryst, according as Iohn sayth: The blue of Iesus Chryst clen [...]eth vs from all iniquitie.

¶Of the third parte.

WHen the children tryed in the temple, Hosanna too the Sonne of Dauid, and that the Pharisyes chid them: Chryst tooke vpon him to stand in defence of the children and iustifieth their doing by record of the Scripture. Haue yée not red (saith he) Out of the mouth of babes and suckelings hast thou made perfect thy prayse.

Héere wée haue to lerne of both: that is to wit, of the chil­dren, and of Chryst. Of the children first, let our childrē lerne too know Chryst, and to set forth his praise. For séeing that Chryste sayeth, that the kingdome of heauen belongeth too children: vndoutedly his will is, too be praysed and magni­fied by the faith and by the voyce of children. But alas, there bée many children which not onely are Ignorant of Chryst, but also are so leudly brought vp, that they learne nothing, but too sweare, too lye, too talke ribaudry, & too practise other naughtinesse: who shall not onely bée punished themselues one day for their lewdnesse, but also their parentes shall bée punished of God, for that they haue so wickedly neglected the children that God hath giuen them to bring vp in nurture and godlynesse. Ageine, we may lerne of the children, to con­fesse Chryst in the middes of his enemies: Héere were pre­sent the Pharisies and Scribes the chéef Gouernours of this common weale, who persecuted Chryste, and were angrye with all those that yelded any honor vnto Chryst. Yet could not this cruelnesse so abashe the children, but that the more they were forbidden, the more they cryed oute. For suche is the strength of fayth, that whersoeuer it bée, it can not bée hidden, but always bursteth out intoo the praise of GOD. [Page 106] This dutifulnesse is required at all mennes handes, accor­ding too that saying of Paule in the .x. to the Romanes: with the hart we beléeue vntoo rightuousnesse, & with the mouthe is confession made vntoo saluation.

By the dooing of Chryst we may lerne, first that he will defend those that beléeue him. And secondly, that after the ex­ample of Chryst according too the state of our vocation, wée are bound to defend the innocencie of others, and specially too succour & maynteyne the godly; that they bée not oppres­sed and troden down by the wicked.

¶Of the fourth parte.

THe fretting of the Princes, the Préests, and the Scribes against Chryst, was foretold long ago by the voice of god and the Prophets. For where as God in the third of Gene­sis told before hand that it should come to passe, that the séede of the woman shoulde treade downe the serpents head: hée méeneth that Sathan and his members heathenish and vn­godly men, should persecute Christ and his Church. And Da­uid in the second Psalme, not onely foresawe in Spirit this fretting of the Iewes ageinst Chryste, when he sayth, why did the Heathē frette, and why did the people imagin vaine things? But also by the sayd place of Genesis, he promiseth it should come to passe, that the womans séede, (that is to say, Chryst and all that beléeue in him) should ouercome Sathan & his members. Now in what thing this victorie consisteth, Dauid in the [...]ame Psalme declareth, saying: Blissed are all they that put their trust in him. Wherefore let vs renounce Sathan and his members, and with strong faith leane vpon Chryst the vanquisher of Sathan, and giuer of eternall life, to whom be honor and glorie for euermore▪

Of the Lordes supper, the first Epistle to the Corinthians, and the xj. Chapter.

THat vvhiche I deliuered vntoo you, I receiued of the Lord. For the Lorde IESVS the same night in vvhiche hee was [Page] betrayed, tooke bread and vvhen hee hadde giuen thanks, hee brake it, and sayd: take yee and eate yee, this is my body vvhich is broken for you. This doo yee in remembrance of me. After the same māner also he tooke the cup vvhē Supper vvas doone, saying: this Cup is the nevv testament in my blud. This doo as oft as yee drink of it in remembraunce of mee. For as oft as yee shall eate this bread and drink of this cup, yee shall shevve the Lords death til he come. VVherfore, vvho so euer shall eate of this bread & drink of this cup vnvvorthely, shal be giltie of the body and bloud of the Lord. Let a man therfore examin himself, & so let him eat of that bread, & drink of that cup. For he that eateth or drinketh vnvvorthely, eateth and drinketh his ovvne damnation bicause he maketh no difference of the Lords body.

The exposition of the text.

THe cause why this feast is instituted [...]s that the storye of the celebration of the Lordes Supper, should (as this day) bée handled in the church, too the intent the true vse of this holy Supper may bée vnderstoode. For when Chryst the day before he should suffer, instituted this supper, he gaue commaunde­ment to his disciples, that they should keep this supper in re­membrance of him. Wherfore it must nedes bée, that there are great [...] [...] causes why it should be nedfull to make great account of the institutiō of this supper. For vnlesse we thorowly and with good héed wey [...]he causes of the institutiō of this supper, we cannot sufficiently extol the goodnesse of our sauiour, who although he were in most gréeuous sorow for his death which was at hād, would notwtstāding institute this supper, & leaue it too his church, for a most assured pledge of our saluation purchased by him, wherin the memoriall of the couenant established betwéene God & man by the blud of Christ, might be preserued for euer. Howbeit, to ye intēt wée may be the more distinctly instructed cōcerning this supper, [Page 107] I will propounde thrée places, which by Gods grace I wyll expounde at this time. The three places.

  • 1 The circumstaunces of the institution of this Supper, and the signification therof, wheruppon shal bee ga­thered the full description of the same.
  • 2 The true and lawfull triall of suche persons as méene too vse this Supper to their profit.
  • 3 The right vse and lawfull meditation of this Supper.

¶ Of the firste.

THere be many circumstances in the storie of the Institu­tion of this Supper, which I wil set forth in order, accor­ding too the texte.

The first is of the time. For thus lie the words of the text. Our Lord Iesus Chryst in the same night that hee vvas betray­ed. For he instituted this Supper, vppon the Thursday late, before the next friday folowing that he should bée crucified. Wheruppon wée may gather twoo things. First how great it must needes bée that Chrystes loue was towards vs, whoo although he knew he shold die the next day, would notwith­standing institute this perpetuall remembraunce of his be­nefits. Another is, that the celebration of this Supper must bée kept by vs in true repentance, according as shall be said ageine afterward.

The second circumstaunce is of the guestes that were at this Supper. The maister of the feast was Chryst: they that were at it, were his disciples good and bad. The good surely were very weake: and the bad was but only Iudas the trai­tor. Héereby wée are taught, that Chryste will alwayes bée present at this Supper, and that this Supper perteyneth too Chrystes disciples. And although the wicked doo also mingle themselues in among the reast: yet notwithstanding thys Supper turneth to their iudgement and damnation, as shall bée said ageine héereafter.

The third circumstance is of blissiing. For he tooke bread [Page] and gaue thanks. If the sonne of God gaue thanks before he vsed things: what becommeth it vs too doo.

The fourth circumstance is of the elements. For he vsed bread and wyne in the institution of this supper. For as the outward man is nourished with bread and wine: so the in­ward mā is spiritually fed with the body and blud of Christ.

The fift circumstaunce is of the things that are present inuisible at this supper, as are the very bodye and the very blud of our lord Iesus Chryst.

The sixt circumstance is the cōmandement: for he com­mandeth his Church to kéepe continually the same maner of celebrating his supper. Doo this saith he.

The seuenth circumstance is of the new couenant. This Cuppe (sayth he) is the nevv testament in my blud. Why this Supper is called the new Testament, it shall bée tolde you afterwarde.

The eight circumstance is the end for which the Supper was instituted, whiche end is expressed in these woords. Doo yee this (sayth hée) in remembrance of mee. That is too say, As often as ye vse this supper renue yée the remembraunce of my benefits, that is to wit, of my death and resurrection: and shewe yée forth my death till I come.

The ninth circumstance foloweth vpon the eyght, name­ly that the celebration of this supper belongeth only too them that be of yéeres of discretion, that may bée instructed of the Lordes death, and that are able too giue thankes openly too the Lord for his benefits.

These are the circumstances of this supper that are too be weyed diligently. Now will I shewe what things are ment by this Supper. For as the Pascall Lamb had many signi­fications in the old Testament: So also hath this holy Sup­per of Chrysts, which is succéeded in the place of the paschall Lambe. Therfore as the Paschall Lambe, firste did put the people in mind of the benefite doone in olde time, that is too wit, of their deliuerance from the bondage of Egipt: And [Page 108] secondly confirmed the faith of them that vsed it: and third­ly shadowed the sacrificing of Chryst that was to come: and fourthly was a figure of the euerlasting couenant betwéene God & man: So also hath this supper sundrie significations: and that partly in respect of the time past, partly of the tyme present and partely of the time too come, and partly of the e­uerlastingnesse. Whiche significations I will declare as playnly as I can, God further both mée in teaching, and you in héering, that it may turn too Gods glorie, & too the health­full instruction of our selues.

What is the signification of the supper in respect of the tyme past? If we looke back too the time past, this holy sup­per is a certeine calling too mynd of the Storie of our Lords passion, according too Chrystes commaundement: Doo yee this in remembrance of mee. As often then as wée come too the Supper, or other wise bée present at the celebration of the supper, wée must bée mindfull of the death, buryall, and resurection of our Lord.

What is the méening of the supper in respect of the time present? First it signifyeth that we are vnited and incorpo­rated intoo Chryste, and that spiritually. For so teacheth Paule when he sayth, The Cup of Blissing vvhich vvee blisse, is it not the communion of Chrystes blud? The bread than vve breake, is it not the communion of Chrystes bodye? That is too say, the partaking of the body and blud of Chryst, maketh vs to haue a certaine cōmunion with Chryst. Agein, it signi­fieth that we also are vnited among our selues by ye spirit of Chryst, as many of vs as are partakers too gither of this sup­per. Of which communion, the one lofe is a token, as Paule testifyeth when he sayeth: bycause as there is one lofe: so wée béeing many are one body. For as the lofe is made of many cornes: so as many as communicate toogyther, doo grow togyther intoo one body spiritually, the head wherof is Chryst: and this is the cause that Paule calleth the Supper a communion.

[Page]Hereupon one of the holy fathers sayth. The supper is called a Communion: first, for that by it wée communicate wyth Chryst: secondly, for that we be made partakers of his flesh and of his Godhead: and thirdely, for that by it we commu­nicate and are vnited togither one with another.

Moreouer by this supper is ment, that wée are spiritual­ly nourished, and susteined or fed with the body and blud of Christ. For like as bread and wine doo nourish, encrese, pre­serue, and comfort mens bodyes: So doth Chrystes body & blud nourish, encrease, preserue, and comfort our soules vn­to euerlasting life, if so be that true fath bée found in vs.

What is the signification of this Supper in respect of the time to come? This holy supper signifieth, that by the pow­er of Chrysts body raised from the dead, our bodies also shal one day rise ageyn, that they may be made like vnto the glo­rious body of Chryst. Wherevpon Paule sayth: If Chryst bée risen agein, wée also shal rise ageine, that we may enioy the cōtinual presence of Chrysts body for euermore. Wher­vppon certein of the holy fathers haue termed this Supper conduct money, bicause it putteth them that receiue it before their death, in mynde, that Chryst is vntoo them the passage from these troubles, to eternal blisse.

What is the signification of the Lords Supper in respect of the euerlastingnesie? It is a perpetuall warrant of Gods fauour towards men, at no time subiect vntoo chaunge, and therfore the Lord himselfe calleth this his supper the newe Testament, as which shall neuer become olde at any tyme. How be it too the intent this thing may be vnderstood more cléerly, I will (as bréefly as may be) declare what things are most méete in euery Testament, and how all those things which ought to méete in euery last wil or testamēt doo méete héere: and moreouer what the new testament is.

In euery testament or last wil, there be fiue things. First the Testator that maketh the wil. Secondly the goods which the Testator bequeatheth. Thirdly the heirs that are made, [Page 109] Fourthly the death of the testatour. And fifthly the conditi­ons that are to bée kept of them that are made heires by the wil. In this new Testament the testator is Chryst. The he­ritage is the possession of eternall life. The heires are the children of God, that is to say, al that beléeue in Chryst. The death of Chryst the testator folowed presently after. For he died, was buried, and rose ageine the third day. The conditi­ons too bée obserued of the heyres that are named, are, that they should beléeue in Chryst, and obey him, and continue in innocencie of life vnto the end: And if they fall intoo sinne, that they earnestly repent them before their death. Héerevp­pon wée may now in this wise conclude what the new Te­stament is. The new Testament is is an euerlasting coue­nant, stablished by the death of the Testator Iesus Chryste, concerning the grace of God, the forgiuenesse of sinnes, and the frée gift of eternall life promised too all nations & people that beléeue in Chryst crucified.

¶ Of the second.

WHen Paule sayth: Let a man examine himselfe, and so eate of that breade and drinke of that cuppe: for hee that eateth vnvvorthely, and drinketh vnvvorthely, eateth and drinketh his ovvne damnation. These woords of Paule con­firme foure things. First that the vse of the Supper ought too bée in the church. Secondly that it is necessary for men to trie themselues before they vse this Supper. Thirdly that hée which receiueth thys Supper vnworthely, dooth sinne most gréeuously. And fourthly, that this supper is too bée mi­nistred onely vnto those that are able too examine themsel­ues. I will speake of the second only; that is to say: how eue­ry man ought to examin himselfe, that mindeth too vse this Supper too his behoofe.

How then must he proue himselfe, that will vse this sup­per? That doth Paule teach, the seconde Epistle too the Co­rinthians and ye .xiij. Chapter in these woords: Examin your [Page] selues whither you bée in faythe: examine your selues. Know yée not your selues that Chryst is in you? By which woordes is vnderstoode, that rightful triall consisteth in this, that true Fayth and the presence of Chryste bée felte in vs, that is to say, (too vse plainer woordes:) He is tried and cō ­meth woorthely too Chrystes holy Supper, that commeth too it reuerently in the feare of God, in true repentance, in true faith, and with a Godly purpose. And on the contrary parte, he that preaseth to it vnreuerently without the feare of god, without true repentance, without true faith, and with pur­pose to sinne: commeth vnworthely, not making difference of the body and blud of the Lorde, and hée eateth his owne damnation. Therfore whosoeuer approcheth too this supper: and hath a purpose to continue in his sinnes, he is a blasphe­mer and receiueth the sacrament with Iudas.

But too the intēt rude people shold not rashly presume to come to this supper, the discipline of confession & absolu­tion is instituted in our churches, too very good purpose. For this discipline auaileth greatly to this, that a man may or­derly examine himselfe.

Howbeit too ye intent we may iudge aright, cōcerning cō ­fession and absolution: first it is too bée known, that as there bée two sorts of cōfession, so there be two sorts of absolution also. One kind of confession, is to God only: that is too wit, when a man confesseth his sin before God, acknowledgeth himself to bée a sinner, and desireth forgiuenesse for Christes sake, & without such confession, none (of ful yéeres) is saued. In this wise did Dauid confesse himself when he sayd: Haue mercie on mée O God, for I haue sinned against thée. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruant, for no man liuing shal bée iustified in thy sight. So confesseth Daniel himself, when he saith: Wée haue sinned and done amisse with our fathers. So did ye publican whē he durst not lift vp his face vnto hea­uen: but strake his brest, saying: O God be mercifull too mée [...] sinner. Unto this cōfession aunswereth the absolution that [Page 110] is giuen by only God. And this is done when a mā beléeueth his frée promise. For whosoeuer beléeueth, is iustified from sinne, that is to say, set frée from sinne. For sith that sinne is a falling away from the lawe & will of God, with a binding vntoo euerlasting death & damnation: vndoutedly absolution must be the releasing of the beléeuing man, from that bonde wherby he is bound to euerlasting death and damnation. So was Manasses assoyled, so was Dauid, so was the théefe vp­pon the crosse, so was Mary Magdalene. So are we assoyled dayly, when we say with a true heart, I beléeue the remissi­on of sinnes: and when we pray with faith, forgiue vs oure trespasses. Let this suffize concerning the first kynd of con­fession, and the absolution of the same.

An other Confession is of Discipline, when a man for counsell, instruction, and confirmation of his Faith, com­meth to the minister of the Churche, acknowledgeth him­selfe a sinner, craueth comfort, and desireth too bée instructed with Gods woord, too the intent his conscience may be made quiet. In this case the minister of the woorde must instructe hym that so confesseth hym selfe. And if he knowe him, hée muste lay before him the sinnes that hée hath perceyued by hym. He muste shewe him the greatenesse of Gods wrath towarde vnrepentant persons. And on the other side, if in confessing himselfe, he bée sorie for his sinne, and promise amendement: he must comfort him with the promises of the Gospell. And if he say hée beléeueth the promises, the mini­ster must in Chrystes name assure him that GOD is at one with him, and denounce vntoo him the forgiuenesse of hys sinnes, in the name of the Father and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost: warnyng hym earnestly too shun sin héeraf­ter, that the end of him become not worse than the begyn­nyng. And thus much concerning the seconde kinde of con­fession, and the absolution that answereth the same. As con­cerning the publike confession and absolutiō, I must entreat therof at another time: & also of the Confession yt is made to [Page] the brethren whom we haue offended.

¶Of the thirde.

NOw remaineth that we tell whiche is the right vse and lawfull meditation of this holy Supper. Then sith this holy Supper of Chryst, is the Sacrament of our redempti­on by the sacrifice of Chryst: these things are orderly too bée consydered, and earnestly weyed in the receyuing of this ho­ly Supper.

Fyrst, the Communicants must call too minde the cause of Christes death, namely the synne of mankynd. Rom. 4. He died for our sinnes. Esay. 43. He smote him for oure ini­quities.

The seconde thing that is too be thought vpon, is the ende of Chrystes sacrifice, whiche is: the redéemyng of vs from the bondage of sin and death. 2. Corinth. 5. For he hath made him too be sinne, which knew no sinne, that we by his mea­nes should bée that rightuousnesse whiche is allowed before God. 1. Iohn. 1. The blud of Iesus Chryste clenzeth vs from all iniquitie. Iohn the first: Chryst is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world.

Thirdly, by the excellencie of this sacrifice, we must con­sider how greate the wrath of GOD must néedes haue bin ageynst Synne, which could not bée appeased by any other sacrifices, than the one sacrifice of the only begotten sonne of God.

Fourthly the excéeding greate mercie of GOD is too bée thought vpon, who would receiue vs wretched sinners intoo fauour, for the satisfaction of his sonne.

Fifthly, the great loue of the sonne of GOD is too bée thought vpon, who taking mans nature vpon hym, was cō ­tent to become a sacrifice for vs, and too remoue gods wrath vntoo himselfe, and satisfie Gods iustice with the punishmēt of the crosse. All these things will the sonne of God haue vs too thinke vpon, when he biddeth this supper too bée made in remembrance of hym.

[Page 111]When wée thus muse vpon these things, beholdying Gods wrath, there riseth vp a sorowfulnesse: and by thinking vp­von Gods mercie and the propiciatorie sacrifice, there sprin­geth vp faith: out of both which, there issueth thankfulnesse, confession, pacience and other vertues, of which this supper putteth vs in minde.

Too bée short, as the Sonne of God maketh a couenaunt with vs too receiue vs mercifully: so let vs on the other side make a couenaunt with him too beléeue him, and to receiue his benefits thankfully. Whiche thing that wée may vnfay­nedly doo, Iesus Chryst the maker of this supper graunt vn­too vs. And vntoo him, with the father, and the holy ghost, bée honour and glorie for euer. Amen.

The Passion of our Lord Iesus Christ according too the order of the storie, compiled by lay­ing the foure Euangelists toogither.

ANd vvhen they had sung an hymn, Iesus go­ing out, vvēt as he vvas vvōt ouer the broke Cedron intoo mount Oliuet, and his Dis­ciples folovved him. Then sayde hee vntoo them: All you shall suffer offence by mee this night . For it is vvritten, I vvil strike the shepperd, and the sheepe of the flock shall bee scattered. But vvhen I am risen ageyn, I vvil go before you Intoo Galilee. And Peter ansvvering, sayd vntoo him. Though al be offended by thee, yet vvill I neuer bee offended. Iesus sayd vntoo him: verely I say vntoo thee, that this night before the Cocke crovve tvvice, thou shalt denye mee thryce. But he sayd more earnestly: No though I should dye vvith thee, yet vvill I not denie thee. In likevvise also sayde all his other Disciples. Then came Iesus vvith them intoo a tovvne that is called Gethsemany, vvhere vvas a garden, intoo vvhich he entred and [Page] his disciples with him. And Iudas the traytor knew the place, bycause Iesus had oftentimes resorted thyther with his Disci­ples. Then Iesus sayde vnto them: Syt yee here, while I goe and pray yonder. And taking with him Peter, Iames, and Iohn the two sonnes of Zebedee, hee began too be abashed and too bee heauy, and too bee greeuously vexed. And hee sayde too them: my soule is heauie euen vntoo deathe. Tarry yee heere and watche with me, and pray that yee fall not into temptati­on. And he went from them as it were a stones cast, and knee­ling downe fell flat too the ground vppon his face, and prayed that if it were possible that houre might passe from him: say­ing: Abba father, All things are possible too thee. Let this cup passe from mee. Neuerthelesse not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he came to his Disciples, and findyng them a sleepe, sayd vnto Peter: Simon art thou a slepe? Couldest thou not do so much as watch one houre with mee: Awake yee and praye, that yee enter not intoo temptation: Verely the spirit is rea­dy, but the fleshe is weake. Ageine hee went away the second time, and prayed saying: Father, if this cup can not passe from mee, but that I must needes drinke of it, thy will bee doone. And returning, hee found them ageine asleepe. For their eyes were heauie, and they wist not what to answere. Then leauing them, hee went his way ageine, and prayed the thirde tyme the same woords, saying: If thou wilt, thou canst remoue this cup from me: Neuerthelesse, thy will bee doone, and not myne.

And there appeered to him an Angell from heauen that comforted hym. And being striken wyth sorowe, hee prayed very long: and his swet was as droppes of blud, tricklyng downe vppon the grounde. And when hee was risen vp from his prayers, and was come ageyne too his Disciples, he found them a sleepe for very pensiuenesse: And hee said vntoo the: Sleepe yee from henceforth, and take your rest. VVhy sleepe yee? it is ynough: Beholde, the houre is at hande, and the Sonne of man is deliuered intoo the handes of sinners. Vp [Page 112] let vs go: he is at hand that betrayeth mee. But pray yee least yee enter intoo temptation.

And by and by, while he was yet speaking, Beholde, Iudas one of the twelue, hauyng taken a band of men, and officers of the high Preests, and the Phariseys, and the elders, and the Scribes, with a greate company folowing him came thither with lanternes and torches, with svvoords and clubs. Novve this traitour had giuen them a common watch woord, saying: VVhomsoeuer I kisse, hee it is: Lay hands vppon him, & cary him away warely. Iesus therfore knowing al things that should happen vnto himself, went foorth, & said. VVhom seeke yee? They answered vnto him, Iesus of Nazareth: Iesus sayd vn­to them: I am hee. And Iudas that betrayed him stood amōg them. As soone therfore as he had sayd to them, I am he, they went backe, and fell downe too the ground. Then asked hee them ageyn, whom seke yee? And they sayd, Iesus of Nazareth. Iesus answered, I haue told you that I am hee. Therefore if yee seeke mee, let these men goe their ways, that the woord might be fulfilled which he hadde spoken: Of them whom thou hast giuen mee, I haue lost none. And Iudas stept out vntoo Iesus too kisse him: and cōming foorthwith vntoo him, sayd: Haile maister, & kissed him. And Iesus sayd vnto him: Frend, wher­fore cōmest thou? Iudas, betrayest thou the son of man with a kisse? Thē came they too Iesus, & layd hāds vpon him, & toke him. And they that were about him seeing what was toward, said vntoo him: Sir, shal we strike with the sword? Simon Peter therfore hauing a sword, drew it and smote the seruant of the high preest, & cut off his right eare. And the seruāts name was Malchus. And Iesus answering, sayd: Giue me leue thus farre foorth. And he sayd vntoo Peter: Put vp thy swoord intoo the scaberd. For al that take the sword in hād, shall perish with the swoord. Dost thou not think that I can now pray too my fa­ther, & he will giue mee mo than twelue legiōs of angels? Shall I not drinke of the cuppe, whiche my father hathe giuen mee? How then shal the scriptures be fulfilled? for so it must needes [Page] come too passe. And as soone as he had touched the seruaunts eare, he made him whole. And in the same houre Iesus sayde vntoo them that were come too take hym, namely too the cheef preests and the officers of the temple, and the elders: Yee come out vntoo mee with swordes and clubbes, as it were too take some theefe. I sate dayly among you, teaching in the tem­ple, and ye stretched out no hand agaynst mee. But thys is your very houre, and the power of darknesse, that the scripturs may bee fulfilled. And all this was doone that the writings of the Prophetes might bee fulfilled. Then all his disciples forsaking him, fled. And a certaine yong man folowed him being naked, sauing a sheete cast about him, and the yong men caught hold of him. But he leauing his sheet behind him, fled away naked from them.

The band of men therefore, and the petycaptaine, and the officers of the Iewes tooke Iesus, and bound him, and led him away too Annas first. Annas was father in law too Cayphas, who was high preest for that yeere. And Cayphas was he that gaue the counsell too the Iewes, that it was expedient that one man shoulde die for the people. And they ledde him too Cayphas the high preest, where all the high Preests, the Scri­bes, and the elders were assembled. And Simon Peter and that other disciple folowed Iesus aloofe vntoo the Bishops palace. And that other disciple was knowne too the high preest, and entred with Iesus intoo the Bishops palace. But Peter stoode without at the gate. That other disciple therfore whiche was known too the high preest, went out & spake too the wench that kept the doore, and brought-in Peter. And the seruants and officers stoode warming themselues at a fyre of coles be­neath in the middes of the hall, for it was colde. And Peter al­so was standing with them, and warming himselfe too see the ende. The wench therfore of the high preest, which was the dorekeper, beholding Peter warming himselfe by the fire, looked earnestly vppon him, and sayde: Thou also wart wyth Iesus, for thou art art also one of this mans Disciples. But hee [Page 113] vtterly denyed it before them all, saying: VVoman I am not, I know him not, nor I wote not what thou sayest.

Then the high Preest examined Iesus of his disciples and of his doctrine. Iesus aunswered him: I haue spoken openly vntoo the world. I haue alwayes taught in the Temple and in the Synagoge whereas all the Iewes resorte, and in secrete haue I spokē nothing. VVhy askest thou me? Aske them that herd me what I haue spoken too them. Beholde they knowe what I haue sayde vntoo them. VVhen he had sayde these woords, one of the officers standing by, gaue Iesus a blowe, saying: Answerest thou the high Preest so? Iesus answered: If I haue spoken euill, beare witnesse of the euill, but if I haue spoken well, why doost thou smyte mee? Annas was he that had sent him bound to Cayphas the hye preest.

And Simon Peter stood warming him in the porche. And anon after his first deniall, as he went out intoo the porche, the Cocke crew. And an other wenche sawe him, and began ageine too say too them that stood by, this man also was with Iesus of Nazareth, and herevpon they sayd vntoo him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? and another sayd: Thou also art one of them. And he denyed it ageine with an othe, saying: Man, I am not, neyther doo I knowe the man. And a while after, about the space almost of an houre, a certeyne o­ther man auouched with them that stood by, saying: Verily thou also art one of them. For thou art both a Galilean, and thy speeche bewrayeth thee. One of the high Preests ser­uaunts, (the Kinsman of him whose eare Peter smote of) sayd vntoo him: Did not I see thee in the gardein with him? Then began he too curse and forsweare, I knowe not this man of whom you talke. And immediatly as he was yet speaking, the Cocke crewe ageine. And the Lorde turning him selfe about looked vpon Peter. And Peter remembred the woordes of the Lorde Iesus, whoo had sayd vntoo him, before the Cocke crowe twise, thou shalt deny mee thryce. And he went out of the gate and wept bitterly.

[Page]And the cheefe preests and elders, and the whole counsell sought false witnesse ageynst Iesus, that they might put him too death, and they coulde not bring it too passe, no not when many false witnesses came in, for their allegations were not sufficient. At the last there came two false witnesses, and bare false witnesse agaynst him, saying. VVe haue heard him say, I can and will destroy this temple of God that is made with handes, and in three dayes will builde vp another made with­out hands. And yet were not their witnesses sufficient so. And the cheef preest rising vp in the middes, examined Iesus, say­ing: Answerest thou nothing? VVhy do these men beare wit­nesse ageinst thee? But Iesus helde his peace, and answered nothing at all. Ageine, the high preest asked him and sayde. Art thou that Chryst the sonne of the blissed? I adiure thee by the liuing God, to tell vs whither thou art Christ the sonne of the liuing God: Iesus saide vnto him: Thou hast saide, I am. Neuerthelesse I say vntoo you, hereafter yee shall see the sonne of man sitting on the right hand of power, and cōming in the cloudes of the ayre. Then the cheefe preest rent his gar­ments, saying: he hath blasphemed, what neede wee witnesses any more? Beholde now, yee haue herd his blasphemie, what thinke you by it? And they all condemned him, saying. He is woorthy of death. Then the men that helde Iesus, mocking him did spit in his face, and buffeted him with their fistes. And other some couering his face, (specially the seruants) clapped him on the face with their hands, saying: Reed vnto vs Christ, who is it that strake thee. And many other things sayde they in scorne ageinst him.

And as soone as morning came, all the high Preests and Scribes, and elders of the people, and the whole counsel assem­bled, and laid their heades toogither ageinst Iesus, that they might put him too death. And they led him intoo the con­sistorie, saying. Art thou the same Chryst? tell vs. And he saide too them: If I shall tell you, yee beleeue mee not. And ageine, if I shall aske you any question, you will not answer mee, nor [Page 114] let mee go. From this time shall the sonne of man be sitting at the right hand of the power of God. And they all sayde vntoo him: art thou then the sonne of God? who sayde: you say that I am. And they sayde: why seeke we for any further witnesse? For we haue heard it of his owne month. And the whole com­pany of them rysing vp, led Iesus bound from Cayphas intoo the common hall, and deliuered him vntoo Pontius Pilate the President. And it was early dayes.

Then Iudas that had betrayed him, seeing that he was con­demned, repented him, and brought backe the thirtie peeces of siluer too the cheefe Preests and the elders, saying: I haue sin­ned in betraying the giltlesse bloud. And they answered, what is that too vs? Looke thou too that. And casting down the sil­uer peeces in the Temple, he went his way and hung him selfe with a halter: and as he hung, hee burst a sunder in the middes and all his bowels fell out. And the cheefe of the Preests ta­king vp the money, sayde: it is not lawful too put them intoo the cōmon Treasure, bicause it is the price of bloud. VVher­fore taking counsell vpon the matter, they bought with those peeces of siluer, (whiche were the rewarde of iniquitie) a pot­ters feeld too bury straungers in. And it was knowen too all that dwelt in Hierusalem, in so muche as that feelde was called in their moother tung Akeldama, that is too say, the feelde of bloud, euen vntoo this day. Then was fulfilled that whiche was spoken by Ieremy the Prophete, saying: And they tooke thir­tie peeces of siluer, the price of him that was solde, whom they bought of the sonnes of Israel, and gaue the money for a pot­ters feelde, as the Lorde hathe appointed mee. How bee it the Iewes entred not intoo the common Hall, lest they mighte bee de [...]iled, but that they might eat the Passeouer. Pilate therefore went out vntoo them, and sayd: what accusation bring you a­geynst this man? They answered and sayd vntoo him. If this man were not an offender, wee would not haue deliuered him vntoo thee. Then sayde Pilate vntoo them: Take him you [Page] your selues, and iudge him according vntoo your owne Lawe. Then sayde the Iewes vntoo him: It is not lawfull for vs too put any man too death. Too the intent the woorde of Iesus might bee fulfilled, whiche hee had spoken, signifying what death he should die.

And the cheefe Preestes and elders beganne too accuse him greeuously, and too lay many things vntoo his charge, saying: VVee haue taken this man peruerting our nation, and forbid­ding too pay Tribute vntoo Caesar, and affirming him selfe to bee an anoynted King. Then Pilate went ageine intoo the cō ­mon Hall, and calling Iesus examined him, saying: Arte thou that King of the Iewes? Iesus standing before him, answered. Speakest thou this of thy selfe, or haue others tolde it thee of mee? Pilate answered: Am I a Iewe? Thine owne nation and thy cheefe Preests haue deliuered thee too mee, what hast thou doone?

Iesus answered. My kingdome: is not of this worlde. If my kingdome were of this worlde, verely my seruants woulde fight for mee, that I should not be deliuered too the Iewes. But now is not my kingdome from hence. Pilate therfore sayd vn­too him. Art thou then a King? Iesus answered: Thou sayest, I am a King. Too this intent was I borne, and for this purpose came I intoo the worlde, that I may beare witnesse vntoo the trueth. Pilate sayde vntoo him: what is trueth? And when he had sayde this, he came foorth ageine too the Iewes, and sayde vntoo them: I finde no faulte at all in this man. And when the cheefe Preestes and elders accused him, hee aunswered no­thing. And Pilate examining him ageine, sayde: Answerest thou nothing? Beholde, Howe many matters they lay vntoo thy charge, heerest thou not? And he answered him not too any woorde, in so muche a [...] the Presidente woondered verye sore. But they became more fierce ageinst him, saying: Hee hathe stirred the people, teaching throughe all Iewrie, be­ginning at Galilee euen vntoo this place. VVhen Pilate herde speaking of Galilee, hee demaunded of him whither hee were [Page 115] a man of Galilee. And as soone as he knew that he perteyned too Herods iurisdiction, he sent him vntoo Herode, who also was at that time at Hierusalem.

When Herode saw Iesus, he was exceeding glad: for he had bin desirous of a long time too see him, because he had hard muche of him, and he hoped he shuld haue sene some miracle wrought by him. And he asked him many questions. But he made him none answere. Also the cheefe Preests and Scribes stood laying sharply to his charge. And Herode with his men of warre despised him. And when he had mocked him, he put a white garment vpon him, & sent him back again to Pilate. And Pilate & Herod were made frends among thēselues the same day: for before that time there was grudge betwixt thē.

Then Pilate calling togither the cheefe Preests & the Ma­gistrates and the people, sayd vntoo them. Yee haue brought this man vnto mee as a peruerter of the people, and beholde in examining him before you, I find no fault in this man cō ­cerning those things that you accuse him of, no nor Herode. For I sent you ouer too him, and behold nothing woorthy of death is doone vnto him. I wil therfore chastise him, and let him go.

Now at that feast it was of custome, that the presidēt must let loose to the people, some one prisoner, whom soeuer they would demaund. Now he had at that time in prison a noto­rious fellowe, namely a murtherer, that was called Barrabas, who with other fellowes of his faction, was cast into prison, for cōmitting murther in a tumult whiche he had raysed in a certen citie. And the people crying out with one voice whol­lye togither, began to aske importunately that he should doo as hee had alwayes doone vnto them. Therefore as they were clustered togither, Pylate answered vnto them. Yee haue a custome that I should let one loose vnto you at Easter: there­fore whither wil you that I let go vnto you Barrabas, or Iesus that king of the Iewes whiche is called Christe? For he knewe that the cheefe Preestes had deliuered him for enuie. Now as [Page] he was sitting in the place of iudgement, his wife sent vnto him, saying: Haue thou nothing too doo with that rightu­ous man, for I haue suffered many things for him this night in my sleep. But the cheefe of the preests & the elders stirred the people, persuading them too desire too haue Barrabas let loose to them, & too haue Iesus put too death. The pre­sident answering, sayd vntoo them: which of the two wil yee that I let loose vntoo you? And all the whole multitude cri­ed out toogither, saying: Away with this man and let looce too vs Barrabas. And Pilate spake too them agein, and being desirous too haue let go Iesus, sayd: What wil yee then that I doo vntoo Iesus whome you call King of the Iewes? And they all cryed ageine: crucifie him, crucifie him. Thē sayd he too them the third time. VVhat euil hath he doone? I finde no fault in him woorthy death. I will therefore chastise him and let him go. But they cried out the more, saying: Let him bee crucified. And they cryed importunately vpon him, re­quiring that he might bee crucified. And the noyse of them and of the high Preests preuayled.

Then Pilate tooke Iesus and whipped him. And the pre­sidentes men of warre caryed him away intoo the Palace, whiche is the Counsel house, and called vntoo him all their band, and vnclothing him, put vpon him a purple garment: and platting a crowne of thorne, set it vppon his head, and gaue him a reede in his right hande, and bowing their knees before him, began to salute him in mockage, saying: Hayle king of the lewes. And they buffetted him. And when they had beespitted him, they tooke the Reede and smote him on the head, and kneeling downe woorshipped him.

Pilate therfore went foorth ageine, and sayd vntoo them. Beholde I bring him out vntoo you, that you may knowe I finde no cause in him. Iesus therefore went foorth wearing a crowne of thorne and a robe of purple. And Pylate sayde too thē: Beholde the man. VVhen the high preests and offi­cers saw him, they cried out, saying: crucifie him, crucifie him. [Page 116] Pilate sayd vntoo them. Take you him, and crucifie him. For I finde no cause in him. The Iewes answered him: we haue a law, and according too our lawe he ought too die, bicause he hath made him self the sonne of God. VVhen Pilate had heard this saying, he was more afrayd. And he entred againe intoo the common Hall, and sayd vnto Iesus. From whence art thou? But Iesus made him none ansvvere. Then sayde Pilate too him: speakest thou not too mee? Knovvest thou not that I haue power to crucifie thee, and that I haue pow­er too let thee go. Iesus ansvvered: Thou shouldst not haue any povver against mee, vnlesse it were giuen thee from a­boue. Therefore he that deliuered mee vntoo thee hath the greater sinne. From that time foorth, sought Pilate to acquit him. But the Iewes cryed out, saying: If thou quit him, thou art not Caesars freend. For vvhoo so euer maketh him selfe a King, is ageinst Caesar.

VVhen Pilate herd that vvoord, he brought Iesus foorth and sate dovvn too giue iudgement in a place whiche is cal­led Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbata. And it was about the sixt hour of the day of the preparation of the passeouer And he sayd to the Iewes: Behold your king. And they cried away with him, away with him, crucifie him. Pilate sayd vn­too them. Shall I crucifie your King? The high Preestes an­swered, we haue no King but Caesar. Then Pilate seeing hee auayled nothing, but that the noyse encreased more, willing too satisfie the people, adiudged him too bee dealt with ac­cording too their demaunde. And taking water hee washed his hands before the people, saying: I am giltlesse of the blud of this righteous person. Looke you too it. And all the peo­ple answering, sayd: his bloud be vppon vs and vppon our children.

And he let loose Barrabas vntoo them, whoo for insur­rection & murder had bin cast in prison according to their demaund. And hauing whipped and mocked Iesus, he deli­uered [Page] him intoo their hands too be crucified.

The souldyers taking Iesus, put of his purple garment, and put vpon him his owne garments, and led him away bearing his owne crosse to be crucified. And as they were going out, they found one passing by, a man of Cyrene, named Simon, cōming from his ground, the father of Rufus & Alexander. Him they layde holde vpon, and compelled him to take vp his crosse. And they layd the crosse vpon him, that hee might carye it after Iesus. And there followed him a greate multi­tude of people, and women, that wept and bewayled him. Ie­sus turning him to the women, sayd vnto them. Yee daugh­ters of Hierusalem, weepe not for mee, but weepe for youre selues, and for your children. For behold, the dayes shal come, in which they shall say: blessed be the barreyn, and the wom­bes that haue borne no children, and the brests that haue not giuen suck. Then shal they begin too say too the mountayns fall vpon vs: and to the hilles, couer vs. For if they doo these things in a greene tree, what shall bee doone in the withered? And there were two other also led with him, that were offen­ders, to be put to death.

And they led him to a place whiche in Hebrewe is called Golgatha, whiche is by interpretation a place of dead mens skulles. And there they gaue him eyzle or mirrhe wine mixt with gall, too drinke. And when he had tasted of it hee would not drinke.

And they crucified him in Golgatha, and with him twoo theeues: one on his right hand, and another on his left, and Ie­sus in the midst. And the scripture was fulfilled whiche saith, and he was acounted among the wicked. And it was the third houre when they crucified him. And Iesus sayd: Father for­giue them, for they knowe not what they doo.

Moreouer, Pylate wrate a title cōteyning the cause of his death, and they set it vpon the crosse ouer the head of Iesus: the wryting was this: Iesus of Nazareth kinge of the Iewes. This title did many of the Iewes read, bicause the place where [Page 117] Iesus was crucified was neere vnto the Citie. And it was writ­ten in Hebrue, Greek and Latin letters. Then sayd the highe Preests of the Iewes vnto Pylate: write not king of the Iewes but that hee sayde: I am king of the Iewes. Pylate answered: That whiche I haue written, I haue written.

Then when the souldiers had crucified Iesus, they took his garments, and made foure peeces, vnto euery souldier a pece, and his cote also. But this cote of his was without seam, wouē from the top throughout. Therefore they sayd among them selues: Let vs not cut it, but let vs cast lots for it whose it shal be: that the scripture might bee fulfilled whiche was written by the Prophete, saying. They parted my raymente among thē, and vpon my cote did they cast lots And they sate down and watched him there. And the souldiers verelye did these things, and the people stood looking on.

Also neer vntoo the Crosse stood the mother of Iesus, and his mothers sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, & Mary Mag­dalene. Therefore when Iesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loued standing by, he sayde to his mother, woman heholde thy sonne. And afterward he sayd to his disciple, be­holde thy mother. And from that houre the disciple took hir for his owne.

And those that passed by, rayled vpon him, wagging their heades, and saying: VVo bee to thee that destroyest the tem­ple, and buyldest it vp again in three dayes. Saue thy selfe. If thou be the sonne of God come down from the crosse. Like­wise the highe Preestes iesting among them selues, with the Scribes & the elders, and the people sayd: he hath saued others but him selfe hee cannot saue. If this be Christe King of Is­raell, the beloued of God, let him saue him selfe, and let him come downe from the crosse out of hand, that wee may see and beleeue him. Hee trusted in GOD, let him deliuer him now if he wil haue him: for he sayd, I am the sonne of God. The same thing also did the theeues that were crucified with him cast him in the teeth with, rayling vpon him. The Soul­diers [Page] also cōming vnto him, mocked him: and offering him vineger, sayd vntoo him: If thou be that King of the Iewes, saue thy self. And one of the offēders that hung by him rai­led vpon him, saying. If thou bee Christe, saue thy selfe and vs. The other aunswering, rebuked him, saying: Doost not thou feare God neither, seeing that thou art condemned as wel as wee? And wee surely are condemned iustly, for wee receiue according too our deedes, but this man hath doone none euill. And he sayd too Iesus. Lord remember me when thou comest intoo thy kingdome. And Iesus sayd to him: Verely I say vntoo thee, this day shalt thou bee with mee in Paradise.

From the sixth houre there fel darknesse vpon the whole earth, vntoo the ninthe houre, and the Sunne was darkened. And about the ninthe houre Iesus cryed with a loud voyce, saying: Eli, Eli, Lamazabathani: which if a man interpret it, is. O God my God why hast thou forsaken me? Some of the standers by, when they hard him say so, sayd: Beholde he cal­leth for Elias. And Iesus knowing that as thē all things were finished, too the intent the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. There was set by a vessel ful of vineger, and by and by one of them running too it, took a spundge, and filling it with vineger and Hysope, put it vpon a Reed, and put it to his mouth that he should drinke, and with the rest sayd. Let him alone, let vs see if Helias wil come and take him downe. Therefore when Iesus had taken the vineger, he sayd: it is fi­nished. And he cryed ageine with a loude voyce, saying: Fa­ther, intoo thy handes I commit my spirite. And assoone as he had spoken these woords, hee bowed downe his head and gaue vp the ghoste.

And behold, the veile of the Temple rent a sunder in the middes from the top too the ground, and the earth shooke, and the stones claue a sunder, & the graues opened, and ma­ny bodies of the Saincts that had slept arose, and going out of their graues, after his resurrection came into the holy Ci­tie, [Page 118] and appeered vntoo many.

And the Capteine that stood ouer ageinst him, and those that were with him watching Iesus, seeing that he had giuen vp the ghost with suche a cry, & seeing the earthquake, and the things that had bin done, were sore afraid, and glorifyed God, saying. Of a truthe this was a righteous man and the sonne of God. And all the company of thē that were come toogither too behold these things, and had seene what hap­pened, returned knocking them selues on the brestes.

There stoode all his acquaintance a farre of & many wo­men that had folowed him from Galilee, beholding these things. Among whom was Mary Magdalene, & Mary the moother of Iames the lesse and of Ioses, and Salome the mo­ther of Zebedies sonnes, whiche women had folowed him al the while he was in Galilee, and had ministred vntoo him, & many other moe, that had come vp with him from Galilee too Hierusalem.

The Iewes therefore bicause it was the preparation of the passeouer, too the intent the bodies should not remaine vp­on the crosse on the Saboth day (for that Saboth was a hie day) desired Pilate that their legges might bee broken, and they taken downe. The Souldiers therefore came, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But when they came to Iesus, & saw him already dead, they brake not his legs, but one of the Souldiers thrust him intoo the side with a speare, and by and by issued out bloud and water. And he that saw it bare witnesse of it, and his wit­nesse is true. And he knoweth that he sayth truthe, to the in­tent that you also may beleeue. For these things were doone that the Scripture might bee fulfilled, yee shall not breake a bone of him. And ageine another Scripture sayth: They shal see him whom they haue perced.

After this, when euening came, bicause it was the Easter euen which goeth before the Saboth, there came one Ioseph of Arimathaea, borne in Arimathaea a Cittie of the Iewes, [Page] a riche man, and a Counselloure, and a good and iust man, who had not consented to the deuise and deed of them. For he also was one of them that loked for the kingdome of god. For he was also a disciple of Iesus, but priuily for feare of the Iewes. He taking courage to him, went in vnto Pylate, and be sought him that he might take down the body of Iesus. And Pylate wondered that hee was already deade, and sending for the Captain, enquired of him whither he were already deade or no. And when he knewe the matter by the Centurion, he gaue the body of Iesus vnto Ioseph, commaunding it to bee deliuered vnto him. And Ioseph bought a sheete. Thyther came also Nichodemus that had come before vntoo Iesus by night, bringing with him of Myrrhe and Aloes mingled to­gither about an hundred pound weight. So they took downe the bodye of Iesus, and lapped it in a cleane sheete, and wrap­ped him in linnen with spices, as the maner of the Iewes is to bury. There was in the same place where hee was crucified, a gardine, and in the gardine a newe Tumbe of Iosephs, which he had hewen out of a stone, wherin as yet had neuer mā bin layd. Therefore bicause it was the Easter euen of the Iewes, & that the saboth day drew nere, they laid Iesus in it, bicause the tumb was nere at hand, & rolling a great stone to the mouth of the graue, they went their wayes. And there were presente Mary Magdalene, and Mary Ioses, sitting against the tumbe, and other women, which also were come with Iesus from Ga­lilee, beholding where and how his body was bestowed. And when they came home, they prepared spices and oyntments, and rested the Saboth day according to the cōmaundement. But the next day that foloweth the preparation of the passe ouer, the high Preests and Phariseys came togither vnto Py­late, saying: Sir, wee remember that this deceyuer while hee was aliue, sayd: After three dayes I will ryse agayne: There­fore commaund the Tumbe to be garded vntil the third day, leaste peraduenture his Disciples doe come and steale him a­waye, and say vnto the people, Hee is risen from the deade, [Page 119] and the last errour shall be woorse than the first. Pylate sayde vntoo them: Yee haue a watche, go and make it as sure as yee can. Then they went their wayes, and garded the Tumbe, sea­ling the stone, and setting watchmen about it, too keep it.

The exposition of the text.

FOrasmuche as no woorke is more woonderful than the work of our redemption, which is the passion and death of our Lorde Iesus Chryste, according too that saying of Peter in the firste chapter of his first Epistle: Yée are not redée­med with transitorie things, as Golde & siluer: but wt the precious blud of the vnspotted & vndefiled Lamb, namely of Iesus Christ: It becometh vs, right déer beloued brethren & sistern, to endeuer by al means possible to knowe the storie of this woonderful woork, specially séeing it is beta­ken vntoo vs in the Articles of our fayth, where we professe our selues too beléeue in the sonne of GOD our Lord Iesus Chryst, that suffred vnder Ponce Pilate, was crucified, dead and buryed. &c. And that too the end, that by the knowledge of this storie, fayth might bée stirred vp in vs hy the holy ghost, wherby it may come too passe, that the frute of this woonder­ful woork may extend vntoo vs.

How bée it, too the intente I maye the more distinctly and plainly speake of this wonderfull woorke, I will deuide the whole doctrine of the Lords passion intoo thrée places or ar­ticles: whiche are these.

  • 1 How many sundry wayes our Lord suffred.
  • 2 The estimation and frute of our Lords passion.
  • 3 The godly and helthful meditation of our Lords passiō.

¶ Of the first.

BIcause wée haue sinned bothe in bodye and soule, and that satisfaction must néeds haue bin made for bothe: our Lord Iesus Chryste suffered bothe in soule and bodie. Therefore [Page] I wil speak of his suffring in bothe, namely of the soule and body of our Lord.

That he suffred in soule, hée himselfe witnesseth bothe in spéeche and in outward apparance. In spéeche, when hée saith: My soule is heauie euen vntoo death: and vpon the Crosse: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? Héerunto al­so dooth pertein the prophecie of Dauid concerning Chryste: The sorowes of Hell haue compassed mée aboute: that is too say, I was striken with excéeding greate sorowes. Hée testi­fieth his sorowe in outwarde appéerance at the graue of La­zarus. Iohn the xj. and in the garden. At the graue, when hée thought vpon the Deuilles tirannie ouer mankinde, and the miserie of mankinde. For all the sorowes of minde, that Christe endured by the space of thrée and thirtie yéeres vntoo his death, are part of the passion which the sonne of God suf­fered. In the garden hée sheweth, that the heauinesse of his minde was excéeding greate, when for the bitternesse of sor­rowe he sweat droppes of bloud. It is a naturall thing for a man too wéep, and sometime too sweat in excesse of sorowe at the hearing of some sodaine euill: but neuer was any man found yet, that sweat bloud for sorowe: for no man is able too susteine so great sorowe.

If yée demaund the causes of this excéeding great sorow: yée shall vnderstand that it is not one cause, but many: whereof the chéefe are these.

First the thinking vpon the tirannie ouer mankinde, and the excéeding great miserie wherwith all men were oppres­sed for falling from God.

Secondly, the thinking vppon Gods wrath, whiche it be­hooued him too sustaine for our sinnes whiche hée tooke vppon him selfe. For all bée it that he were cléere from all sinne: yet tooke hée vppon hym the gylte of the synnes of all the whole world. Wherevppon Iohn sayeth: The Lamb of GOD ta­keth awaye (that is too say, beareth in his bodie) the sinnes of the world. The sonne of God therfore did in very déed féel [Page 120] the wrath of his father. Which féeling stirred vp so great sorow in his most holy soule, that he swet blud.

Thirdly, ye thinking vpon the punshment which he forsaw he should shortly the next day folowing suffer in his most ho­ly body, and the reprochfulnesse that he should bée put vntoo.

Fourthly, the thinking vpon ye vnthankfulnesse of yt most part of the world. For he forsaw it should come to passe, that many wise men, many mē of power, & diuers others, shoulde take scorn of this his punishment which he should sustein too redéeme them, yea & that they should persecute him & his. Hée foresaw also, yt the gretest part of thē yt beare ye name of chri­stians, should through their own wickednesse, vngraciously depriue thēselues of this his benefit. Which four causes pro­cured most bitter sorow in ye hart of christ. Upō this our lor­des sorow must wée also thinke, yt wée may bée stirred vp too fayth & godlinesse, least wée perish with ye thanklesse world.

Let this suffice bréefly too bée spoken concerning the vexa­tion of Chrysts soule. Now wil I speake of the punishmēt of his body. For although that the vexation of his body began in the Ox stall, whē ther was no roome for our lords mother in the Inne: and afterward whē at the eight day of his birth, he was let blud in circumcising: and so foorth vnto the time that he was made a sacrifice for vs vpon the alter of ye crosse: yet notwithstanding I will at this time intreate but of that punishment which he endured last of all. And although that by the storie which I haue alredy recited, a man may easily vnderstande how sundry wayes our Lorde was afflicted in his most holy body: neuerthelesse I will gather intoo a short sūme, that which is dispersed at large in the story, & diuide it according too the state of the places, in whiche he was puni­shed. The places are these: The gardin, the house of Caiphas, the consistorie of the préests, the house of Herod, the common hall, and Galgata, that is too say, the place without the Citie, where offenders were wont too bée put too execution.

What suffered he in the Gardin? He was betraied with a [Page] a kisse: the souldiers layde hands vpon him: hée was appre­hended and piniond: he was led away like a théefe & a mur­therer: and there also all his disciples forsooke him.

What suffered he in the house of Cayphas? He was moc­ked with false witnesses: he was rayled vpon beyond mea­sure: and he catched a blowe of the preests seruaunt.

What suffered he in the consistorie of the Préests? He was charged with false witnesses, he was scoffed at, he was spit in the face, he was buffetted, he was striken blindféeld, and bidden gesse who strake him.

What suffred he in Herods house? He was scorned by the tyrant and all his whole court: and in token of vtter con­tempt, Herod clothed Iesus in a faire garment, and sent him backe agein vntoo Pylate.

What suffered hée in the common hall? There is he ac­cused: false witnesses are brought in ageinst him: he is de­maunded too bée crucified: for more despite, Pylates men of warre put a purple garment vpon him: A crown of thorne is set vpon his head: a réede is giuen him in his right hand: and in crouching & knéeling vntoo him, he is scoffed at with this taunt. Hayle king of Iewes: they spit in his face: they buffetted him: his most holy head was strikē with cudgels: and in ye end (at the request of the préest & the whole people) he was condemned too the crosse, a most vile kind of death.

What suffered he after his condemnation? There is laide vpon his shoulders, the tymber of the crosse wherevpon he should bée nayled: hée is crucified betwéene two théeues, too the intent he should bée déenied the wickeddest of them al: as he hangeth on the crosse there is giuen him vineger and gall too drink: and at length in these most gréeuous torments, he dieth. Héereby it appereth how bitter punishment the sonne of God our Lorde Iesus Chryst endured.

But of what things shall the gréeuousnesse of his punish­ment put vs in minde? Sure of many things, and specially of foure.

[Page 121]For first is séene the greatnesse of Gods wrath ageynst sinne. For our sinne had so prouoked the wrath of God, that it would not bée pacified but by the sonne of god, who taking mans nature vppon him, supplyeth our roome, and satisfieth Gods iustice.

Secondly héere is séene the filthinesse of sinne. For accor­ding too the qualitie of the misdéede, doo the punishments al­so varie. A traytour is punished vpon the whéele: a théef on the galowes, a murtherer with the swoorde: and a childe of­fending, with a rod. But the sonne of God suffered a moste shamefull death, and a death that was accursed in Gods law. By which thing is signified, howe abhominable sinne is in the sight of God.

Thirdly is séene the humbling of Gods sonne, who was abased beneath all creatures: by whiche humbling of him­selfe he testifieth his loue towards mankinde, for the redée­ming of whom he abode so great things.

Fourthly, is séene the horrible and vnappeasable hatred of the Iewes ageinst the Sauior that was sent vntoo them. And although nothing is héere doone more than God had de­termined should bée doone: (For Chrysts Passion was long time before prefigured and foretold by the holy Prophets of God, as Peter sayth in ye first Chapter of the first Epistle) yet notwithstanding the Iewes did not this thing too the intent too obey or accomplyshe the purpose of God, but too satisfie their owne hatred. For the nature of the woorld is such, that if any man rebuke the wickednesse thereof any thing sharp­ly, it séekes too rid them out of the way, too the intent it may sinne the more licentiously. Let this bréefe saying suffize for the first part.

¶Of the second.

WE haue séene of what sort Chrysts passion was: now concerning that which I haue promised in the seconde place, I will shew what estimation Chrysts passion is of be­fore God, and what frute groweth therof.

[Page]What estimation then is it of before God? The passion of our Lord Iesus Christ is the sacrifice propiciatorie, wher­in the euerlasting sonne of God becomming man, and being appoynted by God too bée the euerlasting préest, offered him­selfe by the euerlasting spirite too the euerlasting father, that by this his oblation, he might pacifie Gods wrath, and make amends for the fault and punishment of mankind, too the in­tent that all which beléeue or shall beléeue in him, might by him bée sanctified vntoo eternal life, according too that saying of Iohn in his .xvij. chapter: for these doo I sanctifie my self. Héerby is manifested how great is the estimatiō of our Lor­des passion, and what frute redoundeth thereof too vs men, vpon condition that we rest vpon Chryst by lyuely Fayth. Chryst béeing ordeined mediator betwéene vs and God, doth by his sacrifice (that is too say, by his death and passion) paci­fie Gods wrath, & he himself being the préest, offreth himself vp too God: and that is too the intent too deliuer vs from de­serued damnation▪ Wée sée therfore that ther be fiue things in this sacrifice. First the préest is Chryste himselfe 2. The sacrifice or thing that is offered vp, is the Prest himselfe. 3. God is he to whom this sacrifice is offred vp. 4. The world is it for which this oblation is made. 5. The bargain & coue­nant is, that this oblatiō turneth too the welfare of the faith­full only.

But howe can it come too passe, that the death of Chryste alone shoulde make sufficient and full amends for the sin­nes of the whole worlde? Beholde the Lambe of God (sayth Iohn) which taketh away the sinnes of the world. For of the vndiuidable and vnspeakable vnion of the Godhead and mā ­hood in one person, groweth the woorthinesse, estimation, and endlesse merite of all the woorkes and passions of Chryste. Therfore when it is sayd, The sonne of man hath redéemed vs by the desert of his passion: a woork of inestimable price and incomparable value is named, bycause the same sonne of man that hath suffered, is also God.

[Page 122]Also the death of the Sonne of man is a satisfaction, bicause it is the death of such a man as is God. The obedience of the Sonne of man is our rightuousnesse, bicause it is the obedi­ence of a man that is GOD. So the sonne of man forgiueth sinnes bicause hée is God. The fleshe of Chryst is the foode of life, bicause it is the flesh of a man that is God. And although the Godhead in Chryst suffred not, but his manhood only as sayth Peter: Chryst suffred in the fleshe: yet his passion ex­tendeth too his whole person. In so muche, that what so euer reproche is doone too Chrystes manhod, the same redoundeth too the reproche of his whole person, according too this sen­tence: they haue crucifyed the Lord of glorie. In considerati­on wherof, the Churche confesseth the sonne of God too haue suffred, bicause hée suffred in the manhod which he had taken vpon him.

Of what estimation our Lordes passion is before God, it is already sayd, and also what is the frute therof in general: Howbéeit now to the intent the frute of oure Lordes passion may bée séene the better, I wil deuide it intoo partes. These therfore are the frutes.

The first is, yt obedience is performed. Phi. 2. He humbled himself, and became obediēt euen vntoo the death of ye crosse.

The seconde is, that the Deuil is ouercome. For this pur­pose (sayth Iohn) appéered Chryst, that he might destroy the works of the Deuil, according too the first promise. The wo­mans séede shall tread down the Serpents head.

The thirde is, that man is saued from sinne and iustified. Behold (sayth Iohn) the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Also Rom. 4. He dyed for our sins. 2. Cor. 5. Him that knew no sin he made sin, that wée might bée made the rightuousnesse of GOD in him: that is too say, he made Chryste a sacrifice for sinne, that through his rightuousnesse we might be made rightuous before God.

The fourth is, that the Iewes and Gentiles are made e­quall, according too that saying. Ephes. 2. For hée is our peace [Page] whiche made bothe one and hath broken down the wall that was a stop betwéene vs, and hath also put away through his flesh, the cause of hatred (that is too say, the law of commaun­dementes conteyned in the law written) too make of twaine one new man in himselfe, so making peace that he might re­concile both vntoo God in one body, through his crosse.

The fifth is, that death is abolished. Osée. 13. O Death, I wil be thy death. Too be bréefe, Chrystes sacrifice is oure re­demption. For it is the price payd for vs, wherewith God is pacified, man redéemed, the Deuil ouercome: yea & all thin­ges in heauen & earth put vnder one head, which is Chryste. Ephes. 1.

¶Of the third.

THe godly & helthfull minding of our Lordes passion may bée brought intoo sixe partes, whiche Christen folk ought too think vpon, not only at this time, but all the time of their whole life. For the godly minding & weying of these partes, dooth not onely confute those whiche in the Papacie thinke them selues too haue discharged their dutie, if they say ouer so many Pater nosters and Aue maries, knéeling before Idols, set vp for a supersticious seruice of God: but also woonder­fully strengthneth and comforteth the godly. I wil therefore set out the sixe partes of this minding.

The first is, that therby wil come too our mind how great the wrath of GOD must néedes haue bin for the sinnes of men, which could not bée appeased by the woork of any crea­ture, but that of necessitie the onely begotten Sonne of God must die too pacifie Gods wrath, by making this rightful sa­tisfaction for sinne.

The second is, that therby wil come too our remembrance how vnmeasurable and vnsercheable hath bin the mercie of God the Father, who rather would that his onely begotten Sonne should suffer moste bitter death, than that mankinde whome hée had created shoulde perishe. Peraduenture thou [...] [...]urmise that God coulde haue deliuered mankinde by [Page 123] some other meanes. What art thou that wilt teache God what he might haue done: Think thou vpon Gods Iustice and mercy togither. For as his mercy moued him too saue: so his iustice moued him too looke for rightfull amends of the wrong. Man sinned: and for so doing he must either perish, or make amends. Nowe, man béeing no more but man, could not satisfie Gods Iustice: and other than man, none ought too doo it. Gods wisdome therfore found through mer­cie a remedie in this case, which was, that the eternal sonne of God should become man, by meanes wherof he both was able too satisfie Gods iustice, bicause he was God: and ought too doo it, bicause he had taken mans nature vpon him. Thus in Chrysts Passion appéereth mercie too bée mixte with iu­stice, and wisedome hath tempered them both.

The thirde is, that thereby will come too mynde the moste excellent and vnspeakable loue of the Sonne of God towards mankinde, who vouchsaued too turne the wrathe of his Father too him selfe, and too abyde so slaunderous a Death: and that for his enimies, as Paule beareth wit­nesse. Rom. 5.

The fourth is, that thereby will come too minde the true meane whereby the frute of our Lordes Passion may bée applyed too thee, so as it may bée for thy soule health. This applying of it is brought too passe thrée wayes: by the woord, by fayth, and by the Sacrament. By the woorde, as it were by the hande of GOD, is the benefite of the Lordes passion offered vntoo thée, where and as often as the Gospell of Ie­sus Chryst is preached: and the ministers of the woorde do in Gods stéede shewe the frute of our Lordes Passion too all that héere the Gospell. Ageyne, when the benefite of the Lordes Passion is thus offered as it were by the hande of God: it must bée receyued by Faith, as it were a certeyn hande of man, the which Fayth the holy Ghost woorketh in men that héere the Gospell, and obey it. Furthermore, it is sealed vp with either Sacramente, of Baptim, and of [Page] the Lordes supper, and the strength and vse therof is painted out as it were in tables, like as wée heard yesterday. Ther­fore when thou rehersest the Article of thy beléefe concer­ning the Passion of the Lorde, persuade thy selfe firmely, and beléeue most assuredly, that the sonne of GOD suffe­red death for thée. Which thing if thou doo, thou art par­taker of the Lords death, in so muche that all the whole obe­dience of Chryst is thy acquitall from sinne, and thy righte­ousnesse. But there is a double obedience too bée marked in Christ: his obedience of the Crosse, and his obedience of the lawe, which was his perfect fulfilling of the same. Like as his obedience too the crosse, is our clensing from sinne: so his obedience of the law, is imputed to vs for our righteousnesse. Rom. 5.

The fifth is, that when wée bée thus made partakers of the Lords passion through faith: it wil come too our remem­brance, what is the lotte of the godly in this lyfe. For like as Christ hath suffered, so will he haue the rest of the godly too suffer, that they may bée comformable too the image of the sonne of God. Whervpon Paule in the sixt too the Romans sayth: For therefore doo wée suffer with him, that wée may bée glorified togither with him.

The sixt is, that we shal call too minde what thing Chryste (who hath redéemed vs with his own blud) requireth at our hands. For now sith we are redéemed by him, wée must obey him. What willeth he? First that wee should renounce his enimie the diuil. Secōdly yt we should flée sin, that we offend not God ageine wittingly and willingly with our sinnes. Thirdly that we giue our selues too holinesse and godlinesse, and that wée serue him in true feare all the dayes of our life. Which thing if wée doo, wée shall obteyne the ende of our fayth, that is, the euerlasting saluation of our soules. Whi­che God the Father graunt vntoo vs, through Iesus Chryst our Lorde. Amen.

Easter day. The Storie of the Resurrection of our Lorde Iesus Chryst, compiled by laying toogither with the foure Eaangelists.

AS soone as the Sabboth daye was paste, Mary Maudelin, and the other Mary, whiche is cal­led Iacobie, and Salome, and Ioanne, and the other women that were with them, whiche came with Iesus out of Galilee, broughte and made readye sweete odours, that they mighte come and anoynt Iesus. For they had rested the Sabboth daye according too the commaundement.

At euentide of the Saboth whiche dawneth toward one of the Sabbothes, that is too say, very early in the morning before the breake of the day, while it was yet darke, the firste daye of the weeke, they wente foorth and came too the Tumbe by the Sunne rising, bringing with them the odours whiche they had prepared. And beholde there was a greate earthquake: For an Angell of the Lorde came downe from Heauen, and com­ming too the Tumbe, rolled the stone from the mouth of it, and satte downe vppon it. And his countenaunce was lyke lyghtening, and his raymente as white as Snowe. And the wat­chemen for feare of him were astonnied, and became as deade men.

And the women sayde among them selues: VVho shall rolle vs the stone from the mouth of the graue? For it was an exceeding greate one. And when they had looked backe, they sawe the stone was rolled from the graue. And entring intoo the graue, they founde not the bodye of the Lorde Iesus Mary Magdalene therfore ran too cary tidyngs of these things. And it came too passe, that while the women were amazed in their minde at the matter, bycause they hadde not founde the body of Iesus: Beholde, two men stood by them in bright rayment, and when the women were afrayde, and cast down their coun­tenaunce [Page] too the ground, they sayde vntoo them: VVhy seek yee the lyuing among the deade? Hee is not heere: but is ry­sen. Remember what he tolde you while he was yet in Galilee, saying: That it behoued the Sonne of man too bee betrayed intoo the handes of sinners, and too bee crucifyed, and too rise ageyne the thirde day. And they remembred his woordes, and departing backe from the Tumbe, they afterwarde reported all these things too the eleuen, and too all the reste. And when they tolde these things too the Apostles, their woords seemed too them too bee doting fooles, and they beleeued them not. VVhen Mary Magdalen ran away (as it is sayde) shee came too Simon Peter, and too that other Disciple whom Iesus lo­ued, and sayde vntoo them: They haue taken away our Lord out of his graue, and wee knowe not where they haue besto­wed him. Peter therefore rose vp, and that other Disciple, and went too the graue. And they ran bothe toogither, and that o­ther Disciple outran Peter, and came firste too the graue, and when hee had bowed him selfe downe, hee saw the linnen clo­thes lapped vp, yet wente hee not in. Then came Simon Pe­ter following him, and entred intoo the graue, and sawe the lynnen clothes lie, and the napkin that was aboute his heade, not lying with the lynnen clothes, but wrapped toogither in a place by it selfe. Then wente in also that other Disciple whi­che came firste too the Sepulchre, and hee sawe and beleeued. For as yet they knewe not the Scripture that hee shoulde ryse ageyne from the deade. The Disciples therefore went ageyne too their owne home. And Peter maruayled at that which had happened,

Mary stoode without the Sepulchre weeping. And as shee wept, shee bowed hir selfe intoo the Sepulchre, and sawe twoo Angelles in white, sitting the one at the heade, and the other at the feete, where they had layde the body of Iesus. And they sayde vntoo hir: woman, why weepest thou? Shee sayde vntoo them: For they haue taken awaye my Lorde, and I wotte not where they haue layde him. VVhen shee had thus sayde, shee [Page 125] turned hir selfe backe, and sawe Iesus standing, and knew not that it was Iesus. Iesus sayde vntoo hir. VVoman why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She supposing he had bin the Gar­dener, sayde vntoo him: Sir if thou haue borne him hence, tel mee where thou hast layed him, that I may fet him. Iesus sayde vntoo hir: Mary: Shee turned hir selfe and sayde vntoo him: Rabboni, which is too say, maister Iesus sayd vntoo hir: touch mee not, for I am not yet ascended too my Father. But go too my brethren, and say vnto them: I ascend too my Father and your Father, too my GOD and your God. This is that Mary Magdalene out of whom Iesus had cast seauen Deuils, to whō when hee was rysen, hee shewed him selfe first, in the morning the first day of the weeke. Shee going hir way, tolde the Disci­ples that had bin with him mourning and weeping that shee had seene the Lorde, and that he had spoken suche things vn­too hir. And when they heard that he was aliue, & was seen of hir, they beleeued it not. And the women entring into the Se­pulcre, sawe a yong man at their right hande clothed in a long white garment, and they were afrayde. For it was an Angel of the Lorde. And hee sayde vntoo them: Bee not afrayed, for I knowe that yee seeke Iesus that was crucified: hee is not here: hee is risen as hee said: come and see the place where the Lord was put, and go quickely and tell his Disciples that hee is risen from death. And beholde hee wil go before you intoo Galilee, there yee shall see him. Loe I haue tolde you. And they depar­ting quicklye from the Tumbe, wente their wayes with feare and great ioy, and ran to bring his Disciples woord. And they trembled and were amazed, and tolde no body anye whit of it, for they were afrayed. And as they wente too beare woorde of it too his Disciples, beholde Iesus met them, saying: All haile. And they came and hilde him by the feete and woorshipped him. Then sayde Iesus vntoo them, bee not afrayde. Go and tell my brethren, that they go intoo Galilee, and ther they shall see mee. VVhen they were gone, beholde, some of the keepers came intoo the Citie, and shewed vntoo the highe Preestes all [Page] the things that were happened. And they gathered them too­gither with the Elders, and tooke counsel, and gaue large mo­ney too the Souldyours, saying: say yee that his Disciples came by night, and stole him away while yee slept. And if this come vntoo the Presidents eares, wee will appease him and saue you harmelesse. And they tooke the money and didde as they were taughte. And this saying is noysed among the Iewes vntoo this day.

The exposition of the text.

THis feast is the highest of al feasts, wherin is set foorth vntoo vs the Article of our Lords resurrection from the dead, & that the third day (according too the Scriptures) whoo by his glorious resurrection, as hée was conquerour of death, sinne, and the Deuil: so became hée the redéemer of al them that shall not refuse too beléeue in him. It is a custome in this feast too entreat (out of the storie of the resurrection) concerning the benefit or frute of the same, & of the vse ther­of: all whiche things this present Gospell conteyneth. It is tolde by the Angel that Chryste is risen. This is the summe of the storie. The women are willed not too bée afrayd. This is the frute of this benefite: and the women séek Chryst ray­sed from death. By the example of whom is commended vn­too vs, the helthful vse of our Lords resurrection. Wherefore not without cause, Paule wryting too Timothie, sayth: Re­member that Iesus Chryste is risen from death. For as the same Apostle saith in the .10. too the Romains. If thou beléeue in thy harte that God hath raysed him from death, thou shalt bée saued. How bée it too the intent this Article of oure fayth may be the better confirmed vntoo vs, I wil handle thrée pla­ces in this sermon, whiche are.

  • 1 How many wayes there are too proue the Lorde re­surrection.
  • 2 Why hée arose the third day.
  • 3 What is the frute of Chrystes resurrection.

¶Of the firste.

BY thrée kindes of Testimonies is the Lordes Resurrecti­on confirmed. For there are Testimonies that go before, and that go with it, and that come after it: Of which I will speake in order. Christ admonisheth vs in the .xxiiij. of Luke, that we should aduisedly wey the testimonies that went be­fore the Lordes Resurrection, where he sayth: So is it writ­ten, and so ought Christ too haue suffered and risen agein the third day, and repentance and remission of sinnes to be prea­ched in his name vntoo all nations. But where is this writ­ten? He himself answereth and saith: In Moises and the pro­phets & the Psalmes it is written of mée. Therfore in Moy­ses, in the Prophets and in the Psalmes, must wée séeke for the Testimonies that go before our Lords resurrection.

In Moyses there is a double kinde of Testimonie concer­ning the Lords Resurrection. For it is both foretolde in ex­presse woords, & shadowed with many figures. The expresse woordes are these: The womans séede shall breake the Ser­pents head: that is too say, Chryst shall ouercome the Deuil, which thing could not bée doone but by Chrysts rising ageyn from death▪ For if Chryst had taried stil in his graue, the de­uil had had the vpper hand of Chryst. For as long as Chryst lay in his graue, Christ had no victorie, that is, he had no tri­umph. But assoone as our Lorde opened his graue, and came out of it aliue: he shewed him selfe conqueror and triumpher ouer Sathan. Héerevnto also perteyneth this saying. In thy séede shall all the nations of the earth bée blissed. Now as in death is the curse: so is blissing too bée séen in ye life of Christ. Also it is shadowed with figures in Moses. Adam dying and afterward being raysed ageyne, was a figure of Chryste dy­ing and rysing ageine. For thus sayth Augustine, Chrystes resurrection was prefigurate in our first father Adam, be­cause like as Adam rising after sléepe, knew Eue shaped out of his séede: So Christ rising agein from the dead builded the church out of the wound of his syde. Isaac also being laid vp­on [Page] the altar too bée sacrificed, and yet beyng deliuered by the Angell, was a figure of Chryste offered vp vpon the Crosse, and afterward raysed from death by the power of God. Io­seph being cast into prison, & afterward brought foorth vntoo high honor, did betoken the death & resurrection of the Lord.

In the Prophets also are both sayings and figures of this Resurrection. Esai. 53. chapter. If he giue his soule for sinne, he shall sée long lasting seede, and the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Daniell telleth openly that Chryst shall bée put too death, and that he shall reigne for euer. Oseas al­so sayth, the thirde day he shall quicken vs. Among many o­ther figures are these. Sampson is shut within the Citie and the gates fast locked: And our Lord is closed in the graue fast sealed. Sampson breaking the lockes, and bearing away the gates, escapeth without harme. And Chryste breaking the powers of hell goeth out frée. Like as the shippe should haue perished if Ionas had not bin cast out: so should the woorld perish if Chryst had not suffered. And like as Ionas was in the belly of the Fishe thrée dayes, and afterwarde was cast out on lande. So Chryste was thrée dayes in the earth, and afterward came foorth aliue out of his graue.

In the Psalmes also are Testimonies and Figures of Chrystes resurrection. The second Psalme entreateth altoo­gither of the kingdome and préesthood of Chryst. The fiftene Psalme: Thou shalt not suffer thy holy one too sée corrupti­on. The .xxij. Psalme preacheth the Lordes Passion and re­surrection. The .Cx. Psalme. He shall drinke of the brooke by the wayes side: therfore shal he lift vp his head. The same Dauid doth shadow the death & resurrection of the Lord. Da­uid fléeing so oftentimes, & at length being aduaunced too the kingdom, was a figure of Chrysts abacemēt by death, & of his glorificatiō by rising agein. Such maner of proofes of ye lords death & resurrection, there are many in Moises & in the Pro­phets, and in the Psalmes: but I haue recited but fewe for shortnesse of time. To the furtherance héerof cōmeth it also ye [Page 127] Chryste oftentimes forewarned his Disciples of his deathe and resurrection.

Of testimonies that go with it, there be twoo sorts: name­ly, expresse woords, & signes. In this Gospel the Angel sayth: He is risen, he is not heer. The signe was séen, the graue was emptie, there was an Earthquake: the Lorde shewed him selfe first too Mary Magdalene: afterward too the more part of the Apostles: and then too fiue hundred bréethren: hée is conuersant with his Disciples fortie dayes: and at the ende (in the sight of a great number) he ascēded visibly intoo hea­uen, from whence (the .x. day after his ascencion) hée sendeth the holy Ghost according too his promise, whiche holy Ghost conuinceth, Chryst too haue ascended intoo heauen in déed, as triumpher ouer death and hel.

The testimonies that folowe, are of twoo sortes also. The preaching of the Apostles whiche is confirmed wyth sundry miracles, & afterward the recorde of the whole Churche con­fessing Chryst their Lord and mediator▪ Besides these, there bée other signes also. The inward signe, is Chrysts spirit in the harte of the beléeuers, whiche testifieth vntoo them, that Chryste liueth. The outwarde signes are Baptime, and the Lords supper. For by Baptim is figured Chrysts death, bu­riall, and resurrection, as Paule teacheth the .vij. too the Ro­maines. The Lordes Supper dooth also represente vntoo vs Chrystes resurrection. Hee that beléeueth not these testimo­nies, going before it, with it, and comming after it, shall one day sée him comming in the Clouds too be his iudge, whome hée acknowledged not too be his Sauiour héer on earth.

¶Of the second.

WHy arose he ageine the third day? Why did he not put it of till the last day, that wée mighte haue risen toogy­ther with him? He rose ageine the third day, first too fulfil the Prophecies. For it was tolde before by the Prophet Oseas, and prefigured in Ionas, that he should rise ageine the third [Page] day. Secondly too make good his owne promises. For he pro­mised his Disciples, that after hée had bin deliuered too the Gentiles, and mocked of them, he should be put too death and rise ageine the third day. And he preuented not the third day, bicause all men might certeinly know, that hée was dead in déed. Therfore by lying fortie houres in his graue, he shewed himselfe too haue bin dead in very déede. And why he delayed not his resurrection til the last day, there are right weightie causes ready too be shewed.

The first is, bicause it was written: Thou shalt not suf­fer thy holy one too sée corruption. For Chrystes body might not rot in the graue. First for that it was made of the bloud of the moste chaste virgin by the woorking of the holy ghost. Secondly, for that as long as hée liued in this world, he kept it pure and vndefiled. Therfore had it bin vnméet that suche a body should haue become woormes meat.

The seconde cause why hée delayed not his resurrection, is our hope. For thus sayeth Peter. Blissed bée God the Fa­ther of our Lorde Iesus Chryste, for begetting vs ageine too a liuely hope, throughe the resurrection of Chryste from the dead.

The third cause is, that hée should be the first of them that rise ageine. For like as Adam was the firste that appéered in mortall body by reason of sinne: so ought Chryste too bée the first that should appéer in immortall body, iustifying vs, and healing our bodies from eternall death.

And although wée shal all rise ageine, and that others be­sides Chryst haue risen ageine: Yet is there excéeding great difference betwéene the resurrection of Chryste, and of other men. For first, Chryst rose ageine by his owne power, whi­che thing no man coulde euer doo, saue onely hée. Secondly the other that were raysed (as the widowes sonne, the ruler of the Sinagogs daughter, and Lazarus, and others) rose too die ageine. But Chryste rose too liue for euermore.

[Page 128]Besides this, Chrysts Resurrection differeth from the Re­surrection of other men, in frute and efficacie. For Chryste by his owne power rayseth vp others, which thing was she­wed in the Garden where he was buried, and rose ageine at the rising of the Sunne. Lastly Chrysts rising ageine diffe­reth from oures in time also. For as it is already shewed, and as we knowledge in our Créede, Chryst rose ageyne the third day: but our Resurrection shall bée delayed till the last day. For then shall appéere the euerlasting life and endlesse righteousnesse, which he shall giue too all his, that is too say, too all them that beléeue in him. Thus much concerning the second place, why Christ rose ageine the third day, and how his resurrection differeth from oures, that by the Resurrec­tion of Chryst, wée may conceiue liuely hope of the euerla­sting and incorruptible heritage in heauen.

¶Of the thirde.

NOw remayneth the thirde place concerning the frute of Chrysts Resurrection, which is more plentifull and a­bundaunt, than that it may bée expressed by mannes tung: Paule saythe, that by Chryste all things are restored in heauen and in earth. For first, Chryste by comming out of his graue, sheweth himselfe conquerour and triumpher o­uer Death, Hell, and Sathan, and so maketh good the pro­misse vttered concerning him in times past: The séede of the woman, shall treade downe the Serpents head: whiche Prophecie Iohn expounding, sayth: Chryst appéered too de­stroy the woorkes of the Deuill. How bée it, as too vs warde that are men, for whose saluation he came downe from hea­uen, was made manne, dyed and rose ageyne, there are foure sundrye kindes of frutes of Chrystes Resurrecti­on too bée considered. For Chrysts Resurrection is first our Iustification. Secondly, the power whereby sinne is [Page] subdued in vs: thirdly, an example of newnesse of lyfe, & the cause therof: and fourthly, the cause of our resurrection, and a most assured warrant of the same. Of these foure maner of frutes I will speake in order.

Therfore the first frute of our Lordes resurrection, is the iustification of vs, of which frute Paule speaketh in ye fourth too the Romanes, Hée died for our sinnes, and rose ageine for our iustification. And Daniell in his .ix. Chapter, Iniquitie shal bée taken away, and euerlasting righteousnesse shal bée brought in. To the intent this frute may bée the swéeter, wée must consider of how great value it is. Wée are borne in sin, and subiect too Gods wrath. Ephes. 1. Wée are all by nature the children of wrath: The reward of sinne is death. Ro. 6. frō this death are wée deliuered by the resurrection of Christ. For by Christ wée are quit from the gilt of sinne, and so con­sequently from eternall death. Héervpon commeth that say­ing in the Apocalips: Blissed and holy is he that hath his part in the first resurrection: for vpon them hath the second death no power, but they shal bée préests of God & of Chryst, and they shall reigne with him. For as the first death is by Adam: so the first Resurrection is by Chryst. Héervntoo also perteineth this saying: Blissed are they that wash their gar­mentes in the Lambes blud, that they may haue power in the trée of life, and may enter in at the gates of the Citie.

The second frute of our Lords Resurrection, is, that it is the power whiche is shed intoo the beléeuers, which maketh them able too ryse from vices vntoo vertue. This power is bestowed vppon vs in Baptim, and confirmed in the Lordes Supper, so that wée bée not behinde hande with our partes. And yet this power is felt in those only, that are borne agein of immortall séede. 1. Peter. 1.

The thirde frute is the example. For as Paule sayeth: Chryste rose ageine too the intent wée might walke in new­nesse of lyfe. Those therefore that folowe their owne vices, liuing wickedly & vnclenly, doo testifie by their own doing, yt [Page 129] they despise Chryste, whose Resurrection is set before vs, as a glasse to sée how we ought too leade our life. For they think that Chryst was scourged, crowned with thornes, and shed his blud vppon the altar of the crosse, too the intent that they may giue ouer themselues too all outragiousnesse, tyranny, pryde, and lusts: and after this maner (as much as in them li­eth) they crucifie the sonne God of new agein. We therfore (who couet not only to be called, but also to be the same that we are called, that is to say, Christians,) must think vppon the mater as it is in déede: namely, that Chryst dyed for the clensing of suche mennes sinnes, as receiue Faith with him and liue in true repentance, by mortifying the old man and quickening the new man. There bée foure euils wherewith men are burthened: ignorance, giltinesse of sinne, vices, and feare of endlesse damnation. Ageinst ignorance, Chryste is vntoo vs wisdome: whyle he by his Gospel instructeth vs of his will towards vs. For if we were not instructed concer­ning his will, by the woord of god: our mind should be wrap­ped in continual darknesse, which darknesse is put away by the light of the Gospell.

Ageinst the giltinesse of sinne, Chryste is vntoo vs rightu­ousnesse. For his obedience is imputed too vs that beléeue, so as now wée may appéere in Gods sight, not as sinners, but as righteous persons.

Ageinst the vices and lustes naturally bred in our fleshe, Chryste is vntoo vs sanctification, while by the vertue of the Resurrection, he sanctifieth vs through the holy ghost.

Ageinst the feare of endlesse damnation, Chryste is vntoo vs redemption. These foure benefites of Chryst, doth Paule ioyne togither in the first Epistle too the Corynthians and the first Chapter, in these woords: God hath made Chryste vnto vs, wisdom, rightuousnesse, sanctification, and redemp­tion. Hée therefore that desireth this highest and vtmost be­nefite, must spéedely passe foorth vntoo it by the former, as by steppes. For assoone as any man hath lerned Chryst, he must [Page] beléeue in him: when he beléeueth in him, he must be sancti­fied with his spirite: that is to say, he must (after the exam­ple of Chryst risen ageyne,) lead a new life. After this newe life, shall at lengthe folow full deliuerance in the last iudge­ment, when he shal render vnto euery man according too his déedes. Let this therfore wherof I haue now spoken, bée the thirde frut of our Lords Resurrection, namely that wée liue a new life after his example. Héerevntoo tendeth that saying of Paule: If ye be risen ageyn with Chryst, sauor the things that are aboue.

The fourth frute of the Lords Resurrection is, that it is bothe the cause, and the warrant of oure Resurrection, by which the soules of the dead shall be ioyned ageyne too theyr bodyes at the second comming of Chryst, when he shal come too iudge the quick and the dead. Héerevppon Paule. 1. Cor. 1 [...]. chapter disputeth at large, and handleth this poynt: Christ is risen from the dead, Ergo, wée shal rise ageyn also. 1. Thes. 4. For if wée beléeue that Chryst Iesus died and is risen a­geine, so shall God also reise vp with him, those that are faln a sléepe through him: And Iohn in the .v. Chapiter. The hour shal come in which all that are in their graues shal héere his voice and come forthe: They that haue done good, too the Re­surrection of life, and they that haue done euill, to the Resur­rection of iudgement. Héere is mention made of a double re­surrection, that is to wit, of life and of iudgement. The Re­surrectiō of life, is that which he promised too them that haue done well. The Resurrection of iudgement is that which he threatneth to those that haue done euill. Héereunto also per­teyneth that saying of Paule in the tenthe too the Romanes. This is the woord of faith which we preach. If thou shalt ac­knowledge the Lord Iesus with thy mouthe, and beléeue in thy hart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt bée saued: that is to say, thou shalt rise ageine to the Resur­rection of life and euerlasting saluation.

[Page 130]And these things are bréefly spoken concerning the Re­surrection of our Lorde, wherby first of all is to be confirmed our faithe, concerning the Article of the Resurrection. Se­condly is to be confuted the erroure of the Iews which denie Chrystes Resurrection. And so shall we be putte in minde of the frute of his Resurrection, that by the same wée also may in this life rise from sinne, and at length in the last day, rise to the Resurrection of lyfe, through Iesus Chryst our Lord, to whom with the father and the holy ghost be honor, praise and glorie for euermore. Amen.

The second Holyday in Easter weeke. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xxiiij.

ANd behold, tvvo of his disciples vvent that same daye too a tovvne called Emaus, vvhiche vvas frō Ierusalē, about .lx. furlonges: and they talked togither of all the things that had happened. And it chaunced vvhyle they commoned toge­ther and reasoned, Iesus himselfe drevv neere, and vvent vvith them. But their eyes vvere holdē that they shold not knovv him. And he sayde vnto them: vvhat maner of communications are these that yee haue one too an other as ye vvalke and are sadde? And the one of them (vvhose name vvas Cleophas) aunsvvered and sayde vnto him: art thou only a stranger in Ierusalem, and hast not knovvne the things vvhich haue chanced there in these dayes? he sayd vnto them: vvhat things? And they sayd vnto him of Iesus of Nazareth, vvhiche vvas a Prophet, mighty in deede and vvord before God and all the people: and hovv the high preests and our rulers deliuered him to be condēned to death, and haue crucified him. But vvee trusted that it had bin hee, vvhiche should haue redemed Israel. And as touching all these things, too day is euen the thirde daye that they vvere doone. Yea and certain vvomen also of our company made vs astonied, [Page] vvhich came earely vntoo the Sepulchre and founde not his bodye: and came saying, that they had seene a vision of Angels, vvhich sayd that he vvas aliue. And certaine of them vvhiche vvere vvith vs, vvent too the Sepulchre, and found it euen so as the vvomen had sayde, but him they savv not. And he sayde vn­too them: O fooles and slovv of hart too beleeue all that the Prophettes haue spoken. Ought not Chryste too haue suffred these things, and too enter intoo his glorie? And he began at Moyses and all the Prophets, and interpreted vntoo them in all Scriptures vvhich vvere vvritten of him. And they drevve nigh vntoo the tovvne, vvhiche they vvent vntoo. And he made as though he vvould haue gone further. And they constrayned him, saying: Abide vvith vs, for it dravveth tovvards night, and the day is farre passed: And he vvent in to tary vvith them. And it came to passe as he sate at meate vvith them, he tooke bread and blissed it, and brake, and gaue to them. And their eyes vvere opened, and they knevv him, and he vanished out of their sight. And they sayd betvveene themselues: did not our harts burne vvithin vs vvhile he talked vvith vs by the vvay, and opened too vs the Scriptures? And they rose vp the same houre and retur­ned too Ierusalem, and founde the eleuen gathered to gether, and them that vvere vvith them, saying: the Lorde is risen in deede, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told vvhat things vvere done in the vvay, and hovv they knevve him in breaking of bread: and they beleued them not. And it vvas tovvard euen­tide the same day vvhich vvas one of the Saboth, and the dores vvere shut vvhere the disciples vvere gathered togither for fear of the Ievves.

The exposition of the text.

THe summe of this storie is, that Christ ye same day yt he arose, appéered to two of his disciples as they were going to Emaus (now this Emaus was a town almost .ij. miles of frō Hierusalem, [Page 131] and commoned with them concerning the Messias. Whome when he had instructed, and made himselfe knowne too them in breaking of bread, he vanished out of their sight. And they béeing certified of his resurrection, returned by and by too Hierusalem, and tolde al that had happened vntoo the eleuen disciples. Now to the intent wée may the eassier vnderstand this story, I wil distribute it into four parts, which are:

  • 1 What these twoo Disciples did before Chryst came vn­too them in theyr iourney.
  • 2 The talke betwéene Chryste and his Disciples in the way.
  • 3 What hapned in the house.
  • 4 What those Disciples did after the Lorde had instruc­ted them.

These partes haue euery of them their peculiar doctrines and admonishments, which we wil declare in the exposition of eche of them by themselues.

Of the first parte.

TWoo of them the selfe same day yt the Lord rose, went too a towne which was about thrée score furlongs of, which make seuen thousand and foure hūdred paces, that is to wit, about twoo miles, somewhat vnder or ouer. This was the cause of theyr talke. And as they vvere going, they talked of Chryst. Héerby we may lerne two things. First that occasiō of exercising godlinesse is not to be neglected. Secondly whē wee haue gotten this occasion, that wée must not breake it of, for matter impertinent and trifles. In these disciples wée sée thrée things. First a token of godlinesse. Secondly weak­nesse of Faith. And thirdly a woonderment at those things that had happened.

That they talked reuerently concerning Chryste and his dooings, it is héerby too be presumed, that by this their com­munication, they allure Chryste vntoo them. The weake­nesse of their faith appéered, in that albeit they had herd [Page] before of the Prophecies concerning Christ: yet were they somewhat slow to beléeue perfectly. So the Christen fayth hath his conception and his tendernesse, which is to bée che­rished with communication of Chryst, vntil it may grow too some strength. Also they maruelled at those things that had happened. For nothing is more woonderfull, than for a dead man to come out of his graue aliue. This wonderment was mixt with hope and feare, or with beléefe and douting. For like as the fleshly vnderstanding and iudgement of reason prouoked them too dout: so the sparke of Fayth that was in them, resisted their douting, although very faintly. So com­meth it often too passe in christen folkes. On the one side the flesh assaileth and striueth too drawe a man intoo wanhope. On the other side the spirit setteth himselfe ageinst the flesh, sometime more faintly, and sometime more stoutly. How bée it to the intent the spirit yéeld not too the flesh, it is to bée quickened vp with talking of Chryste, that is too say by min­ding and héering the Gospell and other godly exercises. By this example then is confirmed the saying of the Prophet E­say in his fortie and twoo Chapiter: whoo speaketh thus of Chryst. A brused Réede shall he not breake, nor quench smo­king flaxe, but he shall vtter iudgement in truth. These twoo similitudes teach, howe Chryste dealeth with those that bée his, in whom he findeth any spark of godlynesse. By the si­militude of the brused Réede, he méeneth that he will not al­toogither breake and crush in péeces, those that are halfe bro­ken alreadye: but rather ease them, and beare wyth them, that he may preserue and encrease whatsoeuer good is in them. These two Disciples were halfe broken and not farre from a fal, so sore were they tossed with the wind of the flesh. But to the intent they should not fall, Chryste beareth them vp with his grace. Ageine the metaphor of the smoking flax, is taken of matches, which by reason of the smoke that they send foorth, doo not lightly go out, so there be any body by too put to [...] his hand. Euē so wher so euer there péereth any spark [Page 132] of godlynesse, Christe is streight at hand, and cherisheth and kindleth it, that they may burne more cléerely, according as wée sée in these twoo Disciples. Héere from may wée drawe most excellent comfort. Although we weake men doo stag­ger and halt, although wée be already brused and disioynted: yet doth not he by and by cast vs away as vtterly vnprofita­ble: but beareth with vs a long time, vntill he haue made vs more strong and stedie, so that wée folowe the example of these Disciples.

¶Of the second parte.

ANd it came to passe that as they vvere talking and questio­ning one vvith another, Iesus falling intoo theyr company vvent vvith them. This déede of Christes, first cōfirmeth Chri­stes promise, which is: wheresoeuer twoo or thrée bée gathe­red toogither in my name, there am I in the middes of them. Although this bée not doone always bodyly: yet is it doone in déede spiritually, which thing the Lord méeneth too shewe vntoo vs by this bodyly presence. Héereby therefore wée may lerne that which I warned you of in the former part of this storie, that what soeuer they be that séeke reuerently af­ter Chryst, they set open the gate vntoo Chryst to help them, and by their godly exercises, procure him to be their teacher, like as on the cōtrary part heathenish men by their vncleane communication, foreclose the gate that he can not come at them. This thing is auouched, not only by this example, but also by the saying of the Prophet Esay. 66. Unto whom shal I haue respect, but too the poore and broken in spirit, and him that standeth in awe of my woordes?

But what méeneth the Euangelist by that he sayth: Their eyes vvere hild least they shoulde knovve him. Héereby wée are put in mynd of our weaknesse. For neither our eyes nor our eares doo execute theyr duetye, vnlesse the mercye of GOD doo graunt them the power so too doo. And if the case [Page] stād so with the eyes of the body, much more true is it in the eyes of the mind. Héerby wée may lerne thrée things. One is that the powers of our senses or of our mind are none at all, but if they bée enabled from heauen. Another is, that wée a­buse not our mynd and our senses too the dishonor of our cre­ator. For if we doo, it is too bée feared, least for a punishment he beréeue vs bothe of mind and sense. The third is, that we desire of him both the lightening & preseruation of our wits too his glorie.

And he sayde vnto them. VVhat maner of talke is this that you haue one to another as ye vvalke, & are sad? These woords doo sufficiently shew that which I sayde before, namely that thei wauered betwéene hope and feare, and had not yet ouer­come feare. Howbeit the Lord dooth héere strengthen these wauerers, according to that saying of Paul: The Lord shall not suffer you to be tempted aboue youre power, but shall with the temptation make a way for you to get out, that you may be able to endure it. Héer had those twoo Disciples yéel­ded, and their faith had bin quenched by temptation, (which thing theyr heauinesse wi [...]nesseth) if Chryste had not out of hand stept in, and vndershored their downfall. Let vs also by these mennes example, and by Chrystes déede, comfort and raise vp our selues.

And one of them vvhose name vvas Cleophas aunsvvering, sayd: Art thou alone a straunger in Hierusalem, and haste not knovvne vvhat hath bin done in these dayes? Cleophas mar­uelleth, that he alone knew not that which was knowen too the whole citie, and to all the straungers that were resorted thither to the feast of Passeouer.

To whom he sayd: vvhat things? as concerning Iesus of Na­zareth. &c. The answere of Cleophas hath .iiij. things in it. First it is an acknowledging of Christ, & a witnessebearing of his innocencie: vvho (sayth he) vvas a Prophet, myghty in deede and in vvoord, before God and all the people.

This discription conteines thrée things touching Chryst. [Page 136] First and formoste, that Chryst is a Prophete, that is too say, a teacher of Gods will sente from God. Secondely, that he is not a Prophet of the baser sorte, but mighty in woork & woord, that is to say, excellent in holynesse of life, and able­nesse of teaching. Thirdly is added (before GOD and men,) wherby is ment, that Chryste in suche wise executed the of­fice of a Prophete, that hée behaued himselfe holyly in all things, as in the eyesight of God. This acknowledgyng of Chryst was great, although it were not ful and perfect. The Phariseys, the high Préestes, Pilate, and Herode, did put Chryst to death as a blasphemer. These disciples beare wit­nesse that he was sent of God. Wherevpon we may deriue thys doctrine, that in religion, not the iudgemēt of the great men, but the rule of Gods word is to be folowed. They wer offended at the outward appéerance of Chryst: and these fol­lowing the truth of God, did (as much as they could) set thē ­selues against these blasphemers.

The second thing that is the in answer of Cleophas, is the publishing of the Lords passion: wherin he declareth, both by whom he was condemned, and of what kynd of death hée suffred. Our high Preestes and Elders (sayeth he) condemned him and deliuered him to death. He openly auoucheth that the high préests and elders are the enimies of Christ. Wher­by wée also are admonished to accuse them openly, that per­secute the Gospell, as the Pope doth, and many tyrantes in the world. Also he sheweth what kind of death, he was put vntoo, when he sayth: And they crucifyed him: Thā the which kind of death, although there was none more reprochefull in the world: yet was not Cleophas therfore afrayd to count him a holy man.

The third thing that is in the aunswer of Cleophas, is the confession of his beléefe in Chryst: VVe hoped (sayth he) that he should haue redeemed Israel. Cleophas confesseth openly that he beléeueth vppon Chryst, whom the hygh Préests had put to death. And this is the nature of true Fayth▪ For hée [Page] that beléeueth vntoo rightuousnesse, cōfesseth with his mouth too saluation.

The fourth thing that is in the aunswere of Cleophas, is the strengthning of his weak fayth by the promise of Christ, and the witnesse of the women, by the vision of the Angels, and the recorde bearing of certein of the Apostles. For when Cleophas nameth the third day, he dooth it for that the Lorde had promised too rise ageyn the thirde day. This promise be­léeueth hée too bée fulfilled, notwithstanding that hée bée tos­sed betwéene hope and feare. But against feare, hée taketh vntoo him the nourishment of Faith, lest it should bée vtter­ly quenched. And where as he telleth, that the body was not founde by the women, and that there appéered vntoo them a vision of Angels, and that the report which the women had made of the emptie Tumbe, was auouched by the witnesse of men: these things tende all too this ende, too persuade hym selfe fully, that Chryst was risen againe. So the godly man being doutfull betwéene faith and feare, vnderproppeth his faith, and to the vttermost of his power wrestleth ageynst feare.

But what sayth the Lord too thys geare? O fooles (sayth hée) and slovve of harte too beleeue the things that are spoken by the Prophetes. Héere first hath our Faith somewhat too learne at Chrystes hande. Chryste verely findeth faulte wyth those disciples for their slownesse, as well in lerning, as in beléeuing, yet doth he not cast them off for theyr wea­kenesse. But rather (according too his owne custome) hée chastiseth them after a fatherly sort, and helpeth their weak­nesse: least being ouercome wyth feare, they should quench ye litle fyre of theyr fayth. For hée came too bée a physitian of the weake, and not to fordoo the weake with feare. Héerby wee may lerne, that Chryste will not cast off any man that hath a small and weake fayth, so he suffer it too bée strength­ned and encreased by the woord of God. But what thing fin­deth he fault with in these twoo Disciples? with twoo things. [Page 134] Ignoraunce or dulnesse in lerning and slownesse in belée­uyng the Prophetes. Dulnesse hyndered their vnerstan­ding and slownesse hyndred their Faith. For although they had a very little Fayth, yet ought they too haue made grea­ter furtherance in it, for that they had not onely herd from their childhod the foresayings of the Prophetes concernyng Chryste, but also Chryste hymselfe foretellyng them what kinde of death hée should bée put too, and that he shoulde (the thirde day after come out of his graue ageyne alyue. Héere is our dulnesse also reproued, who haue herd the Gospell so many yéeres togither, and yet many are too bée found amon­gest vs, that haue not yet learned the Apostles Créede: of whom I am sore afrayd, vnlesse they amend betimes.

After that Chryste hath founde faulte with them, hée bée­ginneth to teach: Whyche is the poynt of a good schoolema­ster. And therfore he sayth: Ought not Chryst too haue suffe­red these thyngs, and so too enter intoo his glorie? Thys is the ground that the Lord teacheth vpon: the méenyng wher­of is this. Chryst according too the foresaying of the prophe­tes, ought too suffer death vpon the Crosse, and afterwarde too rise from death, and to enter intoo his glorie. He oughte to suffer veryly for our sinnes, and to rise ageyne for oure iustification. Rom. 4. Then séeing yée confesse mée too bée Chryst, yée must also know out of the Prophets that it bée­hooued mée too dye, and ryse ageyne from the dead. This thing sheweth he also out of Moyses, and the Prophetes: but the Euangelist telleth not by what places of Scripture he did it Notwithstanding, it is not too be douted, but that he first of all expounded the promis concerning Chryst set foorth vntoo Adam: which is this: The séede of the womā shal tread down the serpents head, and many such other, as you haue herd ye­sterday. Moyses (by the commandement of God) did set vp a brazen serpent in ye wildernesse, & as many as looked theron, were healed of theyr woundes. Whiche figure Chryste ex­pounding in the third of Iohn, sayeth: Like as Moyses lifted [Page] vp the serpent in the wildernesse: so it behoueth the sonne of man to be lift vp, to the intent that all that beléeue in hym, should not perish, but haue life euerlasting. Howbeit as hée was recityng these things out of Moyses and the prophets, they drew néere the towne that they were going too, and hée made as though he would haue gone further, but they con­strained and intreated him too tary with them. Héereby wée may lerne what account wée ought to make of them that rebuke vs, when wée doo amisse, and call vs backe intoo the way of sound doctrine. They doo not héere giue Chryst taunt for taunt, & call him foole ageyn, but they acknowledge their owne foly, and yéeld themselues too him easy too bée taughte, too the intent they may be deliuered from their erroure and foly. Thus do all the godly. On the contrary part, the vngod­ly freat and wex mad ageynst those that goe about to call thē back intoo the way by shewing them their error, as we haue herd euen now that the Iewes did.

¶Of the third parte.

NOw foloweth what was done within the house. And it came to passe (sayeth the Euangelist) that as he sate at meate vvith them, hee tooke bread and blissed, brake it, and reached it too them, & theyr eyes vvere opened and they knevv him. Héere the Euangelist declareth, that the disciples knew the Lorde by breaking of bread. For as often as the Lorde tooke meate, he had bothe a peculiar maner of praying, and a singular gesture in reaching forth the bread. Which things bicause they had oftē marked in Christ, they knew him ther­by, for that being now raised from the dead, he kept the same maner that he had done before. Therefore lyke as the disci­ples knew Chryst by his gesture: so let vs as often as wée eate bread, learne by his example to offer thanks to him the author of life, which marke wil make vs knowne from hea­thenish men.

Moreouer as soone as Chryst was knowne, hée vanished [Page 135] out of their syght: and they hencefoorth talked of him with more swéetnesse than before. Did not our hart (sayde they) burn vvithin vs by the vvay, vvhyle he spake vnto vs, and ope­ned the scriptures vnto vs? Héere wée may marke the fru­tes of Gods woord in men. And albeit that Chryste nowe a days appéere not vnto vs bodyly, and speake vnto vs mouth to mouth: yet notwithstanding he speaketh vntoo vs by the ministers of his woord, according as he sayth: He that hée­reth you, héereth mée. What is that frute? Whosoeuer hée­reth Gods woord with his eares, and with his hart, in hym there is kindled a certeyne fyre, and his harte beginneth to glowe. Then lyke as hée that féeleth not this glowing in his hart when he héereth Gods woord hathe eares, but not too héere: and a harte, but not too vnderstand: and that through his owne default, bycause he vnderstandeth the holy ghost: So hée that féeleth this glowing in his hart, hath a witnesse of Chrystes spirit speaking in him, and that he hath a liuely & true faith. Wherfore we are warned too héere Gods woord in the feare of GOD, with greate reuerence and earnest­nesse.

¶Of the fourth parte.

ANd they rising vp the same houre, returned to Hierusalem, and found the eleuen gathered togither. &c. These things teach, that that heate which is kindled in vs by the preaching of the woord, is not ydle, but sheweth it selfe abroade out of hande. For he that knoweth Chryste aright, coueteth also that others shoulde knowe him likewise, too the entent that many may glorifie him toogither. That such a heate may bée kindled in vs, our Sauiour Iesus Chryst graunt, to whome with the father and the holy ghoste bée honor for euermore. So bée it.

The third Holyday in Easter Weeke. ¶The Gospell. Luke. .xxiiij.

AND as they thus spake Iesus himselfe came as they vvere set dovvne, and stode in the middes of them, and sayde: Peace be vntoo you: and hee vpbraided them vvith their vnbeleefe and hardnesse of hart, bycause they beleeued not those that had tolde them hovv they had seene him risen from death. And they being amazed, and afrayd, thought they savv a ghost. And he sayde vnto them: VVhy are yee afrayd, and vvhy doo thoughts arise in your hartes? See my hands and feete, that it is I. Feele mee, and see, for a spirite hath no flesh and bones as ye see mee haue. And vvhen he had sayde thus, he shevved them his hands and his feete & his side. Then vvere the disciples glad vvhen they savv it vvas the Lorde. And vvhyle they yet beleeued not for ioy, and vvoondered, he sayde to them: Haue you any meat heer? And they offred him a peece of broyled fish, and a peece of a hony cōbe. And he tooke it, and ate it in the sight of of them, and sayd vnto them: These are the vvoords that I spake vnto you, vvhile I vvas yet vvith you, that all things muste bee fulfilled vvhiche are vvritten of mee in the lavv of Moyses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalmes. The o­pened he their minde that they might vnderstand the scripturs, and sayde vnto them: Thus is it vvritten, and thus it behoued Chryst to suffer, and to rise agein from death the third day, and that repentance and forgiuenesse of sinnes should be preached to all people in his name, beginning at Hierusalem. And you are vvitnesses of these things. And he sayd vntoo them ageyne: Peace be to you. As my father sēt me, so send I you also. VVhē he had sayd so, he breathed vppon them, and sayd vntoo them: Take ye the holy ghoste. VVhose sinnes soeuer ye release they are released vnto them: and vvhose sinnes soeuer ye vvithhold, they are vvithholden.

The exposition of the text.

THis is the fifth appéering of the Lord vppon the very day of Easter, in which he appéered too the Disciples that were talking of hym. For firste he appéered too Mary Magdalene, out of whom he cast seuen diuels. Secondly, hée appéered to the women as they were re­turning from his graue. Thirdly hée appéered vntoo Peter. Fourthly vntoo Cleophas, and his companion. And fiftly (as this texte sheweth) vntoo the .xj. Disciples as they were tal­king toogither of him. The places are twoo.

  • 1 Christes gréeting, and the testimonies wherby hys Re­surrection is proued.
  • 2 The necessitie of Chrysts death and Resurrection, and ye vse of the same, namely that repentance & forgiue­nes of sins must be preched to al natiōs in his name.

¶Of the firste.

IEsus stoode in the middes of them, and sayd vnto them: Peace bee to you. The disciples being sorowful, talked of Chryst, who is present with them, according to his promis: wherso­euer two or thrée are gathered toogither in my name, I will bée in the myddes of them. For although this bée not doone always in his bodyly presence, yet is it doone, in very déede: For he will neuer doo ageinst his promis. Nowe what he bringeth with his presence, his gréeting sheweth, where­with he héere comforteth his sorowfull Disciples. For in as much as Chryst is giuen too bée a comfort too the sorowfull, héere he offreth peace, saying: Peace bée vnto you. Thys peace which the Lord wisheth to his disciples, is not cōmon, but heauenly: not of the world, but of the kingdome of Hea­uen: not betwéene man and man, but betwéene God & man. Howbeit too ye intent wée may vnderstand how great a good thing this peace is, whiche Chryste offreth to those that bée his, I will expounde more at large the things that come too [Page] hand in consideration of this peace, wherby wée may gather a full description of this peace.

Bicause peace is stablished betwéene such as were at ods: first we must consider who are the parties that are at ods. These are two: God and man. God is happie & blissed with­out man: Man is miserable, and damned without God. Thē had God no néede to séeke peace with man: but man without peace with God is in extréeme miserie, & therfore hath néed [...] of nothing somuch as of peace with God.

Secondely, when parties are at variance, it must néedes be, that there went some offence before. This offence taketh his beginning not of God, but of man. What is this offence? Sinne. This sinne was a certaine falling awaye from God to the diuell, vnto whome Man made himselfe subiect. Now how sore an offence this was, it is easie to déeme, by ye great­nesse, by the manyfoldnesse, by the shamefulnesse, and by the penaltie therof. The greatnesse of it is, that the Creature of­fended and despised his Creator, who was the soueraigne goodnesse of man. The manyfoldnesse therof is too bée séene by the frutes. The shāfulnesse appéereth by the horrible de­filement of all mankynd, which followed his offence. The penaltie was curse and damnation, besides innumerable ca­lamities and miseries, wherewith mankind lyeth ouerwhelmed in this life.

The offence being known which hath made vs gods eni­mies, in the third place, is too bée considered the mediatour, who verily ought to be suche a one, as bothe coulde appease Gods displeasure and also make full amends for the wrong, that was done. Too pacifie the displeasure of GOD no crea­ture was able: and too make amends for the wrong, God ought not. Therfore such a mediator was too bée sought, as both coulde by reason of his power, and oughte by reason of nature▪ When such a one was not to be had: the second per­son in trinitie, came intoo the world, and tooke mans nature vpon him, & became man Iesus Chryst. This Iesus Chryst [Page 137] is ioyned too God the father in Godhead, and too man by his manhoode. Wherefore he both coulde as God, and ought as man, bicause he tooke our case vppon him.

The mediator hath made amends for the wrong. For he hath taken vppon him our gyltinesse, for which he hath suf­fered punishment vpon the alter of the crosse, and hath satis­fied Gods Iustice. Howbeit forasmuch as wée abide yet still defyled with sinne: Chryst during all his whole lyfe in this worlde, did continually obey Gods law fully and perfectly, whiche Ryghteousnesse of his, he imputeth too all belée­uers, that they may bée righteous in Gods sighte: And so with his oblation he pacifieth Gods wrath, and clotheth vs with obedience, that wée may appéere righteous in Gods sight.

Amendes béeing made, attonement is begonne betwéene God and man. For the father is appeased through the obedi­ence of his sonne.

Howbeit, forasmuche as in all attonements, there must néedes passe some couenant betwéene those that are reconci­led: the same thing is séene also in this place stablished be­twéene vs and God. For as on the behalfe of GOD, there is a franke and fatherly promise of mercy, according too this text, I will bée thy God, and the God of thy séede after thée. Also, This is my beloued sonne, in whom I am well plea­sed: and agein: As truely as I liue, I will not the death of a sinner, but that he should turne and liue: so on mans behalfe there is faith, wherby the fatherly promise is taken, & wher­by wée are adopted too bée the children of God, through his only begotten sonne Iesus Chryst.

And forasmuche as in couenaunts, seales are wont too bée set too: these also are not omitted in this most high couenant. For there bée thrée seales. The first is Chrysts othe: Ue­rely, verely, I say vnto you, hée that beléeueth in mée, hath life euerlasting. The second sealing is by the Sacramēts of Baptim, and the Lordes supper, which are the most assured [Page] seales of the couenaunt betwéene God and man, and shal ne­uer bée cancelled, vnlesse man through his owne default, doo cast away Fayth. The third [...] seale is the earnestpeny of the holy ghost, who beareth witnesse too our spirite, that wée are the sonnes of God. Héerevnto also perteyneth that saying 2. Cor. 1. He hath sealed vs vp, and hath giuen vs the earnest of the spirite in our hartes. These are the signes and seales wherewith the peace that is agréed vpon betwéene God and man is sealed and confirmed, that it may stand stedfast.

Furthermore, least any man may surmise, that this peace: perteyneth but too a certeyne fewe, the publishing thereof is too bée marked, which is vniuersall. For Chryste at his going vp intoo heauen, gaue commaundement too his Disciples, that they should proclayme this peace ouer al the woorld: For thus sayth he: Goo intoo the whole worlde, and preache the Gospell too all creatures. This peace therefore belongeth too all that receiue the voyce of the Gospel, and be­léeue in Chryst, continuing so too the ende. For thus sayeth the Lord: Blissed is he that continueth too the ende. For it is not ynough for a man too haue begoon wel, vnlesse he procéed forward from day too day.

If yée enquire after the frutes of this most amiable peace: yée shall finde them too bée many, both in this life, and after the resurrection. In this lyfe by the benefite of this peace, thou hast accesse too God as too a most méeke father, through Iesus Christ. For thus sayth Paule: Wée being iustified by fayth, haue peace with God through Iesus Chryst, by whom also wée haue accesse too this grace in which wée stande. The second frute of this peace is a good conscience. For before, the conscience of sinne vexeth vs: but after wée féele this peace, our conscience is made good and chereful, as was the théeues vpon the crosse, when he herd: This day shalt thou bée with mée in Paradise. After the same maner, when wée héere in the Gospell, that remission of sinnes is denounced too them that beléeue: the conscience of the beléeuers becōmeth quiet. [Page 38] With this good conscience is ioyned the ioye of the Spirite, whereby it cometh too passe, that wée glorie euen in the mids of afflictions, as Paul saith. Howbeit this glorying and this ioy of Spirite is increased by thinking vppon the woorde, by prayer, by vse of the Sacramentes, and by other godly exer­cises. After this frute followeth also a fourthe, namely bro­therly loue. For when wée perceiue and féele by fayth, that God our common father is reconciled too vs by our common mediator: wée begin too loue one another, as coparteners of this common treasure. With this fourth frute, there goeth also a fifth, whiche is a glad departure oute of this life, accor­ding as Simeon (when he had séen Chryst the author of this peace) sayd: Now let thy seruant depart in peace: for mine eyes haue séene thy saluation.

The frute of this peace after the Resurrection, shall bée e­uerlasting ioyfulnesse, euerlasting gladnesse, and euerlas­ting fruition of the sighte of GOD, and of all the Sainctes that haue liued from the beginning of the worlde too that day. This frute is no man able too conceiue sufficientely in this life.

Now that I haue somwhat largely spoken of those things that méete toogither in this peace, I will drawe intoo a bréefe summe or description, what this peace is. The peace bée­twéene GOD and man therefore, is a mutuall agréemente of GOD and man. Of GOD accepting man intoo fauoure for Chrystes sake; and of manne, receyuing (by fayth) the grace that is offered him, and promising earnestly his obedi­ence vntoo GOD. Let this suffize concerning the peace which Chryst offreth héer, not onely too the eleuen disciples, whiche were then present: but also vntoo vs, and too all that will receiue this peace when it is offered them by the prea­ching of the gospel▪ After this peaceable gréeting, it foloweth in the text, by what means Chryst proued him self too be risē agein frō death in déed. And hée sheweth that the same thing was so foretold in Moyses, in the prophets, & in the Psalms. [Page] But for as much as you haue herd of these things vpon Ea­ster day, and yesterday: I wil speak onely of the necessitie & vse of Chrystes death and resurrection.

¶ Of the second.

SO is it vvritten, and so ought Chryst too suffer and rise agein from death the third day, and repentance and forgiuenesse of sinnes too bee preached in his name too all nations, beginning at Hierusalem.

First therfore when hée saith, so is it written: His wil is, that not reason, but Scripture should wey with vs, as often as the kingdome of God cometh in question: Where this is written, hée addeth: saying: It must néedes bée, yt all things bée fulfilled in the law of Moyses, in the Prophets, and in ye Psalmes. Therfore when any question is put foorth concer­ning saluation, Moyses must bée called too counsell, the Pro­phets must bée read, and the Psalmes must bée perused: and consequently the wrytings of the Euangelists and Apostles Whatsoeuer is repugnant too these wrytings, muste bée re­iected, as procéeding from Sathan.

What is written? that Chryst ought so too suffer and rise from death the third day. When hée saith, So ought, it impor­teth a necessitie of Chrystes death and resurrection.

Why then ought hée? First that the scriptures whiche can not lie, might bée fulfilled. For like as GOD endureth for euer: so his woord endureth for euer. And Chryste sayeth: Heauen and Earthe shall passe, but my woordes shall not passe. Secondely, this thing muste néedes bée doone, bicause God hath so determined. For it cā by no meanes be auoyded. but that that thing whiche God hath certeinly determined, muste néedes take effecte. Thirdly, it was of necessitie, that Chryst must suffer for the redemption of man from endlesse punishementes, whiche they hadde deserued by their sinnes. For had not Chryste suffered, wée had abidden in our sinnes vnder the wrath of GOD. Fourthly it was of necessitie [Page 139] that Chryst should suffer, for the glorie wherewith hée was too bée crowned afterwarde. Fifthly, it behooued Chryste too suffer for our instruction & comfort. Forasmuch as he is our head, it behooued him to leade vs the way, as well in perse­cution as in glory. Sixtly, it behooued Christ to suffer, too the intent ye truth might answere the figures. For many figures of the old Testament, did represent Chrysts death and Re­surrection, of which is spoken vpon Easter day. Bréefly (too conclude in one woord) Chryst suffered, dyed, and rose ageyn, that Gods displeasure might bée pacified, mankinde saued, and the diuels kingdome destroyed.

Thus haue wée, of howe great necessitie it was, that Chryst should dye and rise agein. Nowe let vs héere what is the frute and vse of this wonderfull woorke▪ Whiche thing the Lorde declareth in these woords. And repentance and for­giuenesse of sins too bee preached too all nations in his name, By these woords is gathered, first what the Gospell is, and what is the effect of it. The Gospell is a preaching of repen­tance and forgiuenesse of sinnes for Chrysts sake. The ef­fect of the Gospell is, that deliueraunce from sinne and sal­uation happen through Iesus Chryst only. Howebeit too the intent it may appéere the more playnly vntoo vs, how great benefites are offered vs by the Gospell (all which lye hidde vnder these woords of Chryst:) I wil bring a somwhat more large description out of the Scriptures.

The Gospell is a generall preaching, wherein is vtte­red the deliueraunce from the cursse of the lawe, and Gods wrath: and wherein forgiuenesse of sinnes, Saluation and Eternall lyfe is proclaymed too them that beléeue in the Sonne of GOD, for the Sacrifice of him, according too the promyses made in olde tyme too the Fathers: that the glorie of Gods goodnesse, might continually bée published: and that moreouer men béeing delyuered by Chryst, might bring foorth frutes méete for the Gospell, and at length enioy euerlasting life.

[Page]In this description is fyrst set foorth, from what euils wée bée set frée by meanes of the Gospell: that is too wit, from the curse of the lawe, according too that sentence. Galath. 3. Chryst became accursed for vs, that is too say, he tooke vppon him the cursse that wée deserued for our sinnes, too the in­tent wée might become heyres of righteousnesse and blis­syng. This thing also auoucheth Paule. 2. Cor. 5. where he sayth thus: Him that knewe no sinne, he made sinne, that wée might bée made the righteousnesse of GOD in him. This is as much too say, as Chryst whiche was frée from all sinne, became giltie for vs. Therefore is it well sayde, that deliueraunce from the cursse of the lawe, is preached vntoo vs by the Gospell. Moreouer bicause Gods wrath was ioy­ned with the curse of the lawe, wée are also delyuered from Gods wrath when wée beléeue the Gospell. He that belée­ueth not (sayeth the trueth) the wrath of God abydeth vp­pon him. Therefore he that beléeueth, is no longer vnder wrath, but vnder grace. Nowe where as grace reigneth, there the diuels tyrannie hath no power, there is no sting of euerlasting death, there is no feare of hel, from these euils therfore dooth the Gospell preache deliueraunce.

But what are the good things that it bringeth woord of? It bringeth tidings of forgiuenesse of sinnes, of saluation, and of eternall lyfe. Wée béeing giltie of sinne, are by nature cursed and damned to euerlasting death. But nowe dooth Chryste in his Gospell, offer vs Forgyuenesse of sinnes, Saluation, and euerlasting lyfe. Whiche good things hée hath purchased for vs, by his death and glorious Resur­rection.

Wée haue heard by what euils wée are set frée by mea­nes of the Gospell, and what good things are offered vs by the same. Nowe followeth too whom these good things happen, namely too them that beléeue in the Sonne. This is proued by many textes of Scripture. Hée that beléeueth (sayeth Chryst) hath lyfe euerlasting. Like as before this [Page 140] [...]ayeth goeth forgiuenesse of sinnes: so goeth there with it soule health. And Peter sayeth, that the ende of oure Fayth is the health of oure soules. The same thing is mente héere, when it is sayd. There must repentance bée preached, wher­throughe wée sorowe for oure sinnes, and flée vntoo Chryste, who sayth: I came not too call the rightuous, but sinners too repentaunce. After these things it followeth, by whose be­nefite wée atteyne so greate good things, namely for the sa­crifice of Chryste, that is too wit, for Chrystes death and re­surrection. Wherevppon Paule in the fourth too the Roma­nes. Hée dyed for our sinnes, and was raysed ageine for oure iustification.

And lest any man should think the Gospell too bée a newe learning, I added in the definition, according vntoo the pro­mise made by the fathers in olde time. For both vntoo Adam after his fall was the promise made in the third of Genesis, and it was often times after repeated & beaten intoo the Fa­thers heads, by the space of foure thousand yéeres, til Chryste came in the fleshe. In the conclusion are added the endes for which Chryst came: first too deliuer vs from the iudgement of the law: secondly that they whiche are deliuered, shoulde bring foorth frutes woorthie of the Gospel: thirdly that they shoulde blaze abrode this so greate a benefite: and fourthly, that at the last they should obtein ful redemption in eternall life, through our Lord Iesus Chryst, too whom with the Fa­ther and the holy Ghost bée praise, honor, and glory for euer and euer. Amen.

The first Sunday after Easter. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. xx.

THE SAME daye at nyghte, vvhyche vvas the fyrste daye of the Sabbothes, vvhen the doores vvere shutte (vvhere the Dysciples vvere gathered toogyther for [Page] feare of the Ievves) came Iesus and stoode in the middest, and sayde vntoo them: Peace bee vntoo you. And vvhen hee hadde so sayde, hee shevved vntoo them his handes and his side. Then vvere the Disciples glad vvhen they savve the Lorde. Then sayd Iesus vntoo them ageine: Peace bee vntoo you: As my Fathet sent me, euen so send I you also. And vvhen hee had sayde these vvords, he breathed on them, and sayd vntoo them: receiue yee the holy Ghoste. VVhosoeuers sinnes yee remitte, they are re­mitted vntoo them. And vvhosoeuers sinnes yee reteine, they are reteyned.

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospel conteyneth parte of the storie, that Iohn the Euangelist wrate concerning the re­surrection of the Lord, in whiche part the Lord testifieth by his visible and fleshely presence, by woord, déed, and miracles, that hée is risen from the dead. And béetaking vntoo his Disciples the ministerie of his woord, hée auoucheth them too bée blissed that shall beléeue in him. In the ende of the texte, is added the finall cause of all the holye Scripture. For thus sayeth hée: These things are written that yée may beléeue, and that by beléeuing, yée may haue life in his name. Howbéeit for asmuche as inoughe is spoken already the last wéeke concerning the Lordes resur­rection, I will not make any more processe about it at this time: but wil intreate of thrée other places whiche are con­teyned in this Gospel. The places.

  • 1 Of the ministerie of the woorde and of the power of the Churche.
  • 2 Of the confession of Thomas.
  • 3 Of the end of holy Scripture.

¶Of the first.

THe woordes of the texte concerning the ministerie of the woord and the power of the Churche, are these: Peace be [Page 141] vntoo you, as my Father sent mee, so send I you. VVhen he had sayde this hee breathed vppon them, and sayde vntoo them: Take ye the holy Ghost: vvhose sinnes so euer you release, they are released vntoo them, and vvhose so euer you vvith holde, they are vvith holden. Héere haue wée few woordes, but they be pithie and conteine a plentiful doctrine, whiche all christi­ans ought too knowe. Wherefore I exhorte you too giue good ear, that you may vnderstand this doctrine. And too the intent that may bée doon the more commodiously, I wil deuide these woords wherby the ministerie is ordeyned, into foure parts. The first part: peace be vntoo you. The second part: as my fa­ther sent mée, so send I you also. The third part: hée breathed vpon them and said, take yée the holy ghost. The fourth part: whose sinnes so euer you release, they are released vntoo thē, and whose so euer you with holde, they are withholden. Of these foure partes wil I speak in order.

The first part, namely the gréeting, Peace bée vntoo you, dooth not only comfort the Disciples that were then present, but also giueth courage too all that bée and shall be ministers of the woord in the Church. He that taketh vpon him the mi­nisterie of the woorde, hathe by and by the Deuil his enimie, who continually lyeth in wait for his doctrine and life. If hée cannot corrupt his doctrine, he endeuoreth too staine his life, that a man might deny the thing in his works, which he tea­cheth in his words. If the Deuil cannot defile his life, he lay­eth a snare for the doctrine, that men might be deceyued with erronious doctrine, and so bée damned. In many hée defileth both life and doctrine. Besides that, the minister of the woord hath also the world ageinst him, which assaileth him eft with Tirannie, eft with Hipocrisie, and eft with Sophistrie, that he might not execute his dutie aright.

What should the minister of the woorde doo in so great dis­stresse? He shall comfort him self with this saying of Chryst: peace bée vntoo you: and therwithall he shall pray vntoo God, that hée will kéepe him in this peace, so as hée hinder not the [Page] course of the Gospel eyther by his doctrine or by his conuer­sation. Hée shall set more by the peace of Chryste, than by all the delights and frēdships of the world. Let this then bée the comfort of the ministers of the Gospel, whiche must fighte a­ageinst the crafts of the Deuil, the tirannie of the world, hi­pocrisie, and sophistrie.

The second part is: As my father sent mée, so send I you. How did the father send the sonne? The father sent the sonne to destroy the kingdom of the deuil, according too that saying The womans séed shall tread down the serpents hed: Also, Christ appéered too destroy the deuils woords. What? dooth it not belong only too Chryst too tread down the serpents head? Dooth it not belong only too Chryst too destroy the woorks of the deuil? Yes surely, only vntoo Christ. But in this so greate a woorke, there néed twoo engines: Sacrifice and Doctrine. Christ was sent, that he alone by sacrifice should appease his fathers wrath, and vanquishe the Deuil. Afterward, bicause this benefite is offred too men by Doctrine, hée destroyed the woork of the Deuil by doctrine also. Therefore was Chryste sent for twoo purposes: too pacifie God by sacrifice, & too teach. For the first purpose, Chryst only was méet too bée sent: for the latter purpose, (that is too wit, too teach) were sent in olde time all the Prophets, and afterwarde the Apostles, and all men that are lawfully called to the office of preaching. Therfore as in respect of teaching, Chryst sendeth his disciples as hée was sent by the Father? Héereby wée may gather twoo things. First the difference betwéene the kingdomes of the world, and the administration of the churche: or betwéen the gouerners of the world, and the gouerners of churches. For the ministers of the woorde are not sent too bée Lordes on the earth. For Chryst tooke no Lordship vpon him: neyther are they sent too the pomps of this world which Christ despised: but too teach the Gospel: too set vp the kingdome of God: and too preach saluation vntoo men. Secondly héerby is too bée ga­thered what authoritie ye woord is of, whiche they preach that [Page 142] are called to the ministerie. As my father hath sent me (sayth he) so send I you, that you may speak, not in your own name but in mine. Héere vnto perteyneth that saying of the Lorde vntoo his disciples. Math. 10. He that héereth you, héereth mée: and he that despiseth you, despiseth mée. Héere haue they that teache the woord, a comfort, and they that héere it a weightie admonition. For when those that teache the woord godlily in lawful vocation, do suffer any thing at the thanklesse world: they haue a comforte in this, that they beare the roome of Chryste, and that Chryste suffereth wrong with them, who wil in time reuenge himselfe. And they that héere the woord, are admonished first of the aucthoritie of the woorde, for they are bounde too héere the woorde none otherwise, than if they herd Chryste himselfe speaking Next, they are warned too make accompt of the godly ministers of Gods woorde, as of Chrysts ambassadours. Besides that, they are put in minde of the penaltie which they incurre by the iust iudgement of God, as many as despise either the word preached, or the mi­nisters themselues. Also the ministers of the woord must cō ­sider too what degrée of worship they ar exalted, that they doo not either infect the purenesse of the doctrine, or estraunge their héerers from them by their euill conuersation.

The thirde part. And vvhen he had said: he breathed vpon them, and said vntoo them. Take yee the holy Ghost. These woords cōtein a singuler doctrine. For Christ by these woords sheweth from whence the woorde whiche is preached by the voyce of the ministers, hath his power and woorking, which vndoutedly is not inclosed in the voice of ye minister, nor hā ­geth vpon the holinesse and woorthinesse of man: but all the power and woorking of the woord procéedeth of the vertue of Christs spirit. For when as Chryst héere breatheth vpon the disicples, and biddeth them take the holy ghost, he giueth too vnderstād, yt the holy ghost shal always be present at ye mini­stery of the word: as if he had said: behold ye shalbe the mini­sters of the new testamēt, which shall build me a church in ye [Page] woorld by preaching the gospel, and I know how weake you are too go through with so great a woork, specially séeing the deuill, the world, and all mannes reason shal set themselues ageynst you. Wherfore I wil that the holy ghost shalbe pre­sent in this your ministerie, by whō your labor shall become effectuall. For he by his power shall bring too passe, that my woord which you shal preach, shal not return to you in vaine. Héere wée may gather a profitable doctrine and admonition. The doctrine is, that the holy ghost is tyed too the woord, and wil be effectual by it. The admonishment or comfort is, that therby as wel the techers as the héerers may rayse vp them­selues at the presence of the holy ghost, ageynst the enemies of their saluation.

The fourth parte. VVhose sinnes so euer yee shall release, they are released vntoo them: and vvhose so euer yee shal vvith­holde, they are vvithholden. In these woords he ordeineth and establisheth that spiritual power of the church, which we cal the power of the keys, aud the key is shewed wherwith the kingdome of heauen is opened and shut.

Notwithstanding, too the entent this most profitable doc­trine may bée euidently vnderstood of al men, I will diuide it intoo certeine points, which are these: From whence is the power of the church: what it is, in whom it resteth, & where­in it consisteth. These poynts being well vnderstood, there is no man but he shal handsomly perceiue, what and what ma­ner of thing the Ecclesiasticall power is.

From whence then is this power? From God, by Iesus Christ. For if ye haue an eye no further than on mā, it is but a single ministerie. But if ye haue an eye too Chryst, it is an high power, than the which there is none vpon earth, either greater, or profitabler, or of more woorship. For Chryste sit­ting at the right hand of the father in the throne of his maie­stie, ordereth and directeth this power. He therefore that dis­piseth this power, both is bereft of the frute therof, and also dishonoureth the sonne of God.

What is the power of the Churche? It is the power of re­leasing [Page 143] & withholding sinnes that is too say, of preaching the Gospel, whiche who so beléeueth, too him is the kingdome of heauen opened: and he that beléeueth not, too him it is shewed that the kingdome of heauen is shut vp.

In whom resteth this power? In the Church. For when our Lord gaue the keyes too Peter and the other Apostles, he bestowed these keyes vpon the very Churche, at the whiche the ministers fetche the keyes, as the handmayde hathe the keyes of hir mistresse.

In what thing consisteth the power of the keyes? In the ef­fectuall woorking of the holy Ghoste, who in the woorde and by the woord is mightie of operation, & woorketh faith in the héerers of ye woord. So the woord is as it were one key which the minister of the woord occupyeth, and faith is another key which the holy ghost putteth too: and whē these keyes are put too both toogither: then is the kingdome of heauen opened.

Now that wée haue in this wise expounded these things, let vs wey the woords of this text somewhat déeplyer. Firste therefore when hée sayeth (whose so euer:) stay thy selfe and consider of this woord (whose so euer.) First that the promise of grace is vniuersall. Set thou this vniuersall promising a­geinst the temptation of particularitie, and include thy selfe within the generall promise. Nexte, set this woord, (whose so euer) ageinst the multitud of sinnes. And when thou art tēp­ted, too despaire for the multitude of thy sinnes, let this pro­mise of the Lorde come too thy minde: whose so euer. &c. Hée sayeth not, if a man commit a few sinnes, or many: neyther sayth hée, if hée be a Iew, a Gréek, a gentleman, a commoner, a rich man, or a poore man: but he saith, whose so euer. More­ouer this place do [...]th vs too vnderstande, that absolution may bée giuen both publickly and priuatly. So Peter assoiled thrée thousand men openly, & also Cornelius priuately, in whiche sort the Prophet Nathā also assoyled Dauid. The ministers of the woord may vse that generall kinde of absolution, as of­ten as they preache the Gospel: And they may vse the special [Page] kind, when reason requires it: that is too wit, when any man desireth too haue priuate conference with the minister of the woord, for the strengthening of his faith.

2 It is put in the text Sinnes, without any addition. Wher­fore all kinds of sins are too bée vnderstanded héer, which are foure. First corruption of nature: secondly the boughes that spring out of the euil root: thirdly the sinnes committed by er­ror: and fourthly wilful sinnes. There is no sinne at al but it is forgiuen, if forgiuenesse bée desired for Chrystes sake.

The woorde Release, is too bée marked, for whiche Mathew hath Loose. Chryst commaundeth his Disciples too release & loose sinnes. Too release them as det: & too loose them as a pinching burthen. For sinnes are dets, bicause that like as dets doo bind too paiment: so sinnes binde men too satisfaction, vn­lesse the penaltie bée released. Sinnes also are burthens, bi­cause that as a heauie burthen weyeth him downe that bea­reth it: so sinnes wey men downe with the burthen of curse, and the sentence of the law, vntil Chryst come & take vp the burthen vpon him self. But what? Can mā vnbind & release sins? God faith in .43. of Esay: I am hée, I am hée that wipeth out thine iniquities, and will not beare thy sinnes in minde. This text conuinceth that only God releaseth sinne. Ageine, wheras the Lord sayth héer, whose sinnes so euer yée shal re­lease, they shalbée released in heauen? I answer▪ Chrysts say­ing sheweth manifestly, that there is a double releasing: one vpon earth by the ministers of the word, and another in hea­uen whiche is doon by God alone. Of this latter speaketh E­sayas Too be bréefe, God releaseth as Lord and owner, & the ministers of the woord release as seruantes and messengers that declare the wil of their maister: whiche release is made by telling the wil of God. This is proued. Num. 6. wher the Lord saith in this wise: The préests shal put the name of the Lord vppon the children of Israel, but I wil blisse them. Too vnbinde therfore (whiche is the duetie of the préest,) is too de­clare that God hath released the fault.

[Page 144]But how doo they withhold sinnes? by the word, and accor­ding too the woord: that is too wit, what sinnes soeuer ye shall declare too bée withhild by the woord of god, they shalbe with­holden in heuen also. I haue spoken more héerof in the feast of the Lords supper: and therefore now I passe to the second place, wherof I will entreate very bréefly.

¶Of the second.

COncerning Thomas, wée haue two things in this story, that is to wit, vnbeléefe and confession. His vnbeléefe hée sheweth in these woords: vnlesse I see the gash of the nailes in his hands, I vvill not beleeue. He herd the other Disciples tel­ling how they had séen the Lord, and yet he being vtterly vn­mindful of al the foretellings of the prophets, and of Christ, beléeueth not. So sore doth mannes reason set it self ageinst God and his woord in matters of saluation. Hithertoo concer­ning his vnbeléefe: Now foloweth concerning his faith and confession. An eight dayes after, the Disciples vvere togither ageine in one house, and Thomas vvith them: And Iesus came vvhen the gates vvere shut, and stoode in the mids of them, and saide, peace bee vntoo you: and he said too Thomas, bring thy finger hither, and see my hands, &c. And bee not vnbeleeuing, but beleeue. When he had herd the Lords voice, and was cō ­uicted by the manyfest signe, he conceiued fayth, out of which he vttred this cōfession, my lord & my God. At Thomas ther­fore we may lern .ij. things: frō whence faith is, & what is the true confession. Faith is of the woord & of the signe, according whervnto we haue the gospel ye most true woord of Chryst, and two most stately signes, Baptim and the Lords supper. This faith conceiued by the woord & confirmed by signe, will vtter a true confession, suche as this is of Thomas, who cri­eth out héere, my Lord and my god. This confession of Tho­mas, if it bée well sifted, conteineth foure things. For first it acknowledgeth Chryst too bée the same man that was slaine a thrée daies before by the Iewes. Secondly whereas he cal­leth him God, he acknowledgeth his Godhead.

[Page]Moreouer wheras he sayeth not two Lordes or two Gods, but one Lorde and one God: he acknowledgeth the vnitie of his person. Lastly whereas he sayth, my Lord and my God, he confesseth his office of redemption, vppon whom he also stayed himselfe by liuely faith.

¶Of the thirde.

BLissed are they that haue not seene and haue beleeued. This vniuersall doctrine concerning beléeuers is too bée obserued. For héere Chryst by expresse woords pronounceth them blissed that beléeue, although they sée not Chryst with their bodily eyes. Héerevnto perteineth al the whole Scrip­ture, as he sayth. But these things are vvritten, that you might beleeue that Iesus is the sonne of God, and that beleeuing yee might haue life in his name. The ende therefore of the Scrip­ture, is, that we may beléeue. The ende of fayth, is, that the beléeuers should haue euerlasting life: to which bring vs Ie­sus Chryst the author of life, too whom with the father & the holy ghost bée honor for euermore. Amen.

The second Sunday after Easter. ¶ The Gospell. Iohn. x.

CHryst sayd vntoo his Disciples: I am the good shepheard: a good shepheard giueth his life for the sheepe. An hired seruant, and he vvhich is not the shepheard (neither the sheepe are his ovvne) seeth the vvolfe comming, and leaueth the shepe and fleeth, and the vvolfe catcheth and scattereth the shepe [...]. The hired seruant fleeth bicause he is an hired seruant, and careth not for the shepe. I am the good shepherd, & knovv my shepe, and am knovvne of mine. As my father knovveth me, euen so knovve I also my father. And I giue my life for the shepe: and other shepe I haue, vvhich ar not of this fold: Them also must I bring, and they shal heare my voyce, and there shall bee one fold and one shepheard.

The exposition of the text.

THe occasion why this Gospel is set forth in the church at this season, is this. We herd in ye first holy day after Easter, to what ende it be hooued Christ too suffer & rise ageine from death: that is to wit, that in his name, repentance & forgiue­nesse of sinnes might be preached too all nations: through which preaching the kingdom of Sathā might bée destroyed, & the kingdōe of Christ set vp. Now in as much as this thing cannot otherwise bée brought to passe, than by faithful mini­sters of the woord: (whō the scripture termeth shepherds:) It liked the church, as on this day to set forth the gospel concer­ning the chéef shepherd Iesus Chryst, & his care toward his shéepe, and that to this intent, that the faithfull ministers of the woord might in their doctrine, life, and charge, folow the example of this shepherd. Hithertoo concerning the occasion why this present Gospell is red as this day. The summe of the Gospell is, that lyke as Chryst professeth himselfe too be the true shepherd, and to haue a care of his shéepe: So on the contrary parte, he testifieth that there bée woolues that lie in wait for his flock, whom the hirelings séeing, doo flée away, & leaue the shéepe too be torne in péeces by the wolues: against the falsenesse of whom, the Lord promiseth that he himselfe will looke to his shéepe, & he declareth that he hath yet other shéepe which he will bring togither, that there may be made one fold and one shepherd. The places are thrée.

  • 1 Of Christ the shepherd, and other true shepherds.
  • 2 Of the Woolfe, the hireling & the fléeing of the hireling.
  • 3 Of Chrystes shéepe, of their marke, and of the vnitie of the shéepfold.

¶Of the firste.

IN the first place, concerning the shepherd Chryst, we haue two things. The one is, what is his towardnesse: the other what are his benefits towards his church. Now as touching [Page] Chryst the shepherd, wée must alwais beare in mynd the cō ­fession of Thomas which we herd an eight dayes ago. For wheras he saith my Lord and my God, first he cōfesseth him whom he speaketh too, too bée the same man that had bin cru­cified and dead, whom he now acknowledgeth too bée risen a­gein from the dead in déede. Secondly he confesseth also the same mā to be very God: for he sayth, & my God. Thirdly he confesseth this man & God to be one person. For he sayth, not my Lords, but my Lord. Fourthly he cōfesseth this God and man, one person which is both God & man, too bée his sauior. For he is my Lord & hath charge of mée: and he is my God that hath taken mée intoo his tut [...]on and fauor. Therfore he confesseth Chryst to be the true Messias and Sauiour of the world, and consequently that true shepherd that was promi­sed of old time, of whom Zach, 10. I wil raise vp a shepherde vppon the earth. Him doth Peter call the shepherd & Bishop of our soules. This haue I spoken bréefly of Thomas confes­sion concerning Chryst the shepherd, too the entent we may vnderstande what is the towardnesse or inclination of this our shepherd: Now let vs héer our Lords woords. I (sayth he) am the good shepherd, but what dooth the good shepherd? The good shepherd giueth his life for his sheepe. That is to say, he is a good shepherd, which loueth his shéepe so well, that he wil rather suffer death, than leaue his shéepe to be a pray too théeues, and to bée torne of the wolues. This promis he con­firmed also by his déede: for he suffred a most shamefull death for his shéepe.

Wée haue herd how great Chrystes loue is towards his shéepe. Now that we may behold his benefits, which he be­stoweth of his méere goodnesse, we will apply the similitude of a shepherd of shéepe, to Chryst our shepherd. What then dooth a good shepherd? First he gathereth his shéepe togither: secondly he goeth before them: thirdly he leadeth them forth intoo pastures: fourthly he féedeth them: fifthly he watcheth them: sixthly he ruleth them: seuenthly he defendeth them: [Page 146] eightly he healeth them that bée hurt: ninthly he fetcheth in thē that stray, with his shepherds hooke: and tenthly he brin­geth them home when he hath fed them. All these benefites dooth Chryst perfourme spiritually too his church.

First therfore Chryst our shepherd gathereth his shéep to­gither. But how? by the preaching of the Gospel. This begā he too doo by and by after the fal of our first parēts. For in spi­rit he was present with the Prophets, and gathered many shéepe vnto him. Afterward he came himself, to séeke the lost shéepe: And at this day he giueth preachers too gather shéepe in his name.

Secondly he goeth before his shéepe. How? In persecution and in glorie. In persecution whē he suffred diuers miseries in this life, which the saincts also must néedes tast of. And in glory, when by rising ageine from death, he entered intoo the glory of heauen, whom in their time all shall folow, as ma­ny as bée his true shéepe.

Thirdly he leadeth them foorth too féede into most plesant and fine medowes, as Dauid saith in the .23. Psalm: he made me sit downe in well growen pastures, to the waters of re­freshment shall he leade mée.

Fourthly, when he hath led them intoo the medowes, he féedeth them with his woorde & with his spirit. With his spi­rit, when he comforteth them and strengthneth them with­in: and with his woord, when his gospel is preached, wherby faith is conceiued too beléeue vpon this shepheard.

Fifthly he watcheth them, & sitteth as it were in a watch-toure too foresée that no body fal vpon his shéepe vnbewares. And this dooth he by his Angels, by the faithful ministers of his woorde, by the godly Magistrate, and too bée short, by good gouernors in families▪ common weales, and housholdes▪

Sixthly, he ruleth them, namely with his spirit, his word, and his discipline. Whervpon Dauid saith: The Lorde ru­leth mée, and nothing shall be wanting to mée. In a place of pasture hath he setled mée.

[Page]Seuenthly, he defendeth them. Wherupon Paule saith: if God bée on our side who can be against vs? And Dauid: Al­though I walk in the valey of the shadow of death, I wil not feare any harme, bicause thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staffe, they haue comforted me.

Eightly, he healeth them that bée hurt: for as shéepe are of­tentimes atteinted with thornes & venims, which are healed by the skilful shepherd: so Chryst our shepherd doth cure and heale his shéep that are hurt with the thornes of euil conditi­ons, and the venim of poysoned doctrine. Wherupon the .146 Psalm saith: which healeth the woūded in hart & bindeth vp their sores. Ezech. 34. I wil féede my shéepe, & I wil make thē sit down: I wil séeke that which was lost, & I will bring a­geine that which was cast away: I wil binde toogither that which was broken, & I wil strengthen yt which was weake.

Ninthly he fetcheth in them that stray with his shéephook, while he lodeth them with the crosse, and as it were casteth a sna [...]le vpon their heads. If that good shepherd should not doo so, many shéepe would through the delights & prosperities of this world, bée led away from Christes flocke, and cast them selues intoo the mouthes of the woolues. Wherupon Dauid saith of himself: It is good for mée o Lord that thou hast brou­ght mée low, that I might lerne thy Iustifications.

Lastly when he hath fedde them, he leadeth them home. Chryst gathereth, féedeth, defendeth, and cureth his shéepe in this world as in a wildernesse of a forein realme. But at the last day he shall conuey his shéepe home that is to say intoo their own countrey, where the Godly shall enioy continuall peace, and quietnesse with Chryst.

I haue spoken of Chryst the shepherd, of his towardnesse, care & benefits towards his shéepe, that is to wit, all that be­léeue in him. Nowe will I adde [...] at concerning the shepherds that are ordeined vnder him too haue the charge of the Lordes flocke. And it were too bée wished that all hadde lyke Doctrine, conuersation, and regarde towarde theyr [Page 147] shéepe, as had that true shepherd. But bicause that is not so, there are foure differences & kinds of shepherds to be noted.

One kind is of them, that teach wel and liue wel, folow­ing the example of the chéef shepherd. Suche were Esay, Ie­remie, Ezechiel and the other Prophets. Suche were Paule and Peter: Such at this day are all godly parish préests and Bishops which shine before others in doctrine, conuersati­on, and profession. These are by Dauid and Daniel compa­red to starres shining in heauen, where they be lightened with the euerlasting brightnesse of Chryst. These (as Paule sayth) are worthy of double honor. These build the Citie of God with both their handes.

The second sort is of them, that teach euil and liue euill. These are the worst, for they pull downe the temple of God with both handes. Of which sorte Peter and Iude the Apo­stles haue told vs that there should bée many in these latter times.

The third kind is of them, that teach well, but liue euill. Looke what these men build in the churche with their right hand, they pul it down againe with their left, and they are al­toogither like the shipwrights that builded the Arke of Noe: for they preparing the Arke for others too saue them frō the flud perished themselues in the middes of the waues. Suche one was Iudas in times past, & many such are found at this day. They say doo as we teach, but folow not our works. Of these spake Chryst, saying: when the Scribes and Pharisées sit in Moyses Chaire, doo as they bidde, but not as they doo. The damnation of these men is iust. For they know & teach the things that are to be done, and yet they do them not thē ­selues, wheras it is a shame for the teacher to be takē tardie with the fault that he rebuketh in others. Therfore sayeth Barnard well. Shepherds must fatte their shéepe with their owne exāples, rather than with the examples of other men.

The fourth kind is of them that teach euil, but liue well, so as they be not subiect too open crimes. These bée hipocrits [Page] & doo most harme of al. For wheras men gaze at the outward appéerāce of conuersation, they are easly drawn too embrace their doctrine also. Like as many of you in the papacie haue séene Monkes, that not only haue séemed holy to themselues but also haue sold their good works vntoo others: so lie they in wait both for the soules of men and for their goods. Thus I haue spoken concerning the foure kinds of shepherds or tea­chers in the church, of whom the first only is praise woorthy, and buildeth Chrystes church too the soul health of many, and that according to the doctrine and commaundement of our chéef shepherd Iesus Christ.

¶Of the second.

NOw foloweth the second place cōcerning the wolf & the hireling. Of which ye wolf teareth & destroyeth Christes shéep, and the other leaueth the shéep in dāger, & giueth them ouer into the woolues mouth. For thus saith the text. But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, vvhoo is not ovvner of the sheepe, seeth the vvolf comming and forsaketh the sheepe & rūneth his vvay, & the vvoolf catcheth the sheep and scatte­reth them. Héere it behooueth vs to know, whoo is that woolf of whom the Lord speaketh, & after what maner he entereth vpon the shéepe, & when the hireling is to bée thought to flée.

Who is then this woolf that the Lord speaketh of héer? It is the diuel. For assoone as man was created, he set vpon him by and by, assailed him, and threw him too the groūd. So go­eth he about hungry at this day, séeking whō he may deuour, neither wil he cease as long as this world standeth.

By what meanes (I pray you) setteth hée vppon Chrysts shéepe? He setteth not vpon them one way, but he hath foure wayes too set vpon them. For he is woont to rush in among Chrystes shéepe, either by sophistrie, or Tirannie, or wic­kednesse, or Hipocrisie.

He setteth vpon them with Sophistrie, either whē he dis­guiseth vices with the titles of vertues, or when in stead of Gods truth he foysteth in errors, to the intēt he may destroy [Page 148] Chrystes séely shéepe. Too call vpon Saincts, & to erne euer­lasting life by our woorks, are most greuous sinnes: and yet he defēdeth them as good déeds: and so of many other things.

He inuadeth Christes shéepe by Tirannie, when he brin­geth too passe that they bée destitute of food and other helps of this present lyfe, or else when he assaulteth them with open warre, too the intent he may either trouble the purenesse of the Gospell, or else quite abolish it.

He inuadeth Christs flocke wt wickednesse & stumbling-blockes, when he draweth many vntoo naughtinesse, where: through the holy ghost is shakē of, & mē agein brought in bō ­dage vnto sathā. How many in these dayes are by this policy ouerthrown, ther is no mā yt séeth not. In what village reig­nes not enuie, backbiting, bibbing, whoorhunting, & such o­the horrible wickednesses? In as much as we sée these thīgs we haue an assured proof yt sathā inuadeth christes shéepfold.

Also he inuadeth Chrystes shéepfold by hipocrisie, as oftē as he couereth most heinous offences with his outward pre­tence of holynesse: like as was wōt too bée in old time among the Moonks, is yet still at this day among them that haue not yet laid away their Pharisaicall fashions.

Wée haue already by what ways the woolfe, (whiche is the Deuil) inuadeth Christes shéepfold. Now wil we speak of the fléeing of the hireling. For the hireling is he that is no owner of the shéepe, and therfore he runneth away when he séeth the woolf make toward them.

But did not Chryst now & then flée? Did he not cōmand his disciples that when they wer persecuted in one city, they shuld flée into another? Did not Paul himself flée whē he was let down from the wal in a basket? Now in as much as it is certein yt neither Christ was a woolf, nor the rest of ye Apo­stles, it must néedes folow yt this fléeing wherof ye Lord spea­keth héer, is not to be vnderstood of euery kind of fléeing. But it is to be known, yt there is a fléeing of the body, & a fléeing of the minde. The fléeing of the body is sometimes lawfull, but the other is not. But what is the fléeing of the minde? It [Page] is when one fléeth from doing his duetie. And this fléeing is of foure sortes, according to the woolues foure maners of in­uading Chrystes shéepfold. For what minister of the woord so euer for any cause forbeareth to set himself against Sophi­strie, tirannie, wickednesse and hipocrisie: the same is a hire­ling, and not a true shepherd. For the good shepherd first set­teth himselfe against Sophistrie, by defending the true doc­trine, and by rebuking and confuting the false. But the hire­ling at this inuasion of the wolf is afraid, & dares not defend ye true doctrine, least he shuld lose some of his earthly cōmodi­ties. Therfore either he winketh at ye false doctrin, or at least wise he reproueth it not as he ought to doo: and in so doing he is said to flée, not in bodie but in mind, bycause he forsloweth his duetie, secondly the good shepherd will set himself ageinst tiranny. Howbéeit bycause there be two kinds of shepherds, the one Ciuil, the other Ecclesiasticall, as the Ciuil shepherd must set himself ageinst Tirannie of woolues by the sword: so the Eclesiasticall shepherd must set himselfe ageinst it by prayer. He that doth not this, is a hireling & not a shepherd. Thirdly ye good shepherd shal set himself ageinst wickednesse by rebuking & excommunication them that giue offence too the church with their misbehauior: like as Iohn rebuked He­rod, Christ the pharisies, & all the Prophets did set thēselues ageinst the vices of their times. The deuil hath egged a faithful persō too aduoutry, too incest, too couetousnesse, too vnlaw­ful lusts, or to bibbing. In this case the good shepherd stands not in feare of mē, but [...]f God: and rebuketh mens vices ac­cording to his duetie. Cōtrariwise the hireling being careful of his own ease, dareth not open his mouth. If he rebuke, hée doth it in general termes, but he dareth not charge ye offēders to their face, as did ye Prophets & other true shepherds. But some such hireling might obiect: behold I am heer, I fled not. Augustin answereth him: bicause yu hast hild thy peace, thou hast f [...]ed: and thou hildest thy peace bicause thou art afraid. Fourthly the good shepherd setteth himself ageinst hipocrisy, [Page 149] when he plucketh of the visor of outward hypocrites, and bewrayeth how foule the face of sinne is. But the hireling runneth away from this wolfe, and dareth not displease any man, least men should hate him.

Now remaineth a question too bée discussed, whither bo­dily fléeing bée lawful at all times or no? Wherevnto I an­swere. Any shepherd that gaddeth from place to place, either too encrease his liuing, or for werynesse, or for the vnkynde dealing of men, is surely an hireling and no shepherd. Not­withstanding, if tyrants persecute a man, or lay wayte for his life, it is lawfull for a godly shepherde too flée the handes of the Tyrant, that afterwarde (if it may bée) returning a­gein, he may do more good by his life, than he could haue doon by his death. How bée it in this case Godlynesse muste bée their rule.

¶Of the third.

THe third place is of Chrystes shéepe, and of their mark, and that there is but one shéepfold and one shepherd. The shéepe of Chryst are all they that héer Chryst, and like shéepe doo folowe him in true simplicitie, innocencie, méekenesse, and obedience. Neither are there any other marks too know Chrystes shéepe by, than deuotion toward God, charitie to­wards our neighbour, purenesse of conuersation, and a cer­teyne holy carefulnesse and forwardnesse in our vocation. And where as he sayeth he hath other shéepe, that muste bée brought in too the same fold, he méeneth that there is one ho­ly catholike Churche of the Iewes and Gentyles toogyther. And therwithal he expresseth the maner how the shéepe shal bée brought togither when he sayeth: And they shall heere my voyce. The preaching of the gospell therfore, and the be­léeuing of the Gospel when it is preached, causeth vs too bée gathered into Chrystes shéepfold. They that vpon this place doo gather, that before Doomesday there shall bée so greate a­gréement in true Religion, that there shall bée no héeresies nor schismes: are farre wyde. For all the foresayings of the [Page] prophets teach the contrary. And Chryste, when, he sayde: Thinke yée that when the sonne of man commeth, hée shall fynde Faith vppon the earth? ment it shoulde come to passe through persecution, that the most part should fall from the fayth. And the néerer that the day of the Lord approcheth, so much the féercer is the diuell, too trouble the litle flocke of Chryst with his sophistrie, tyrannie, wickednesse, and hypo­crisie. Wherefore let vs praye too Chryste the Shepherd of our soules, that he will defende vs in so great perils, too the glorie of his name. Too whom with the father and the holy ghost, bée honour praise and glorie for euer. Amen.

The third Sunday after Easter. The Gospell. Iohn. x [...]j.

IESVS sayde vntoo his Disciples: After a vvhile ye shal not see me: and agayn after a vvhyle ye shall see mee, for I goe too the father. Then sayd some of his disciples betvvene themselues: vvhat is this that hee sayeth vntoo vs? after a vvhyle yee shall not see mee, and agayne after a vvhyle ye shall see me, and that I go to the father? They sayd therfore: vvhat is this that he sayth: after a vvhile? vvee cannot tell vvhat he sayth. Iesus perceiued that they vvould aske him, and sayd vnto them: ye enquire of this betvveene your selues, bycause I sayd: after a vvhyle ye shall not see mee, and ageyne, after a vvhyle ye shall see mee. Verely, verely, I say vntoo you ye shall vveepe and lament, but contraryvvise, the vvorld shall reioyce. Yee shall sorovv, but your sorovv shall bee turned too ioy. A vvoman vvhen she trauaileth hath sorovve, bycause hir houre is come. But assone as shee is deliuered of the chyld, she remembreth no more the anguishe, for Ioye that a man is borne intoo the vvorld. And yee novv therfore haue sorovve: [Page 150] but I vvill see you ageyne, and youre heartes shall reioyce, and your ioy shal no man take from you.

The exposition of the text.

A His gospel is part of that sermon that Christ made too his disciples at his Supper, the day before he suffred, in which sermon he taught them many things. For he made mention of his owne office, death, torments, resurrecti­on, and glorification. Moreouer, he reasoned concerning the Church what it is, and what should bée the state of it in this world: as that it shoulde haue aduersaries which should assault it, and that it should at length by Faith ouercome all hir troubles: and vntoo this parte perteineth also this present Gospell. For hée comforteth his Disciples, whome he perceyueth too bée sadde for his foretelling them of his Crosse. Hée sheweth them before, that hée would vi­sit them agein [...], assoone as he were risen from death. And he addeth a very goodly similitude of a woman trauelling of chyld, with whom the church shall tast the like fortune. For like as the sorowful great belyed woman, taketh excéedyng great comfort of the birth of hir chyld: Euen so the Church hauing wrestled out of the miseries of this present life, shall in the end enioy ful glory with Christ, so shée continue sted­fast in his faith vntoo the end. The places are thrée.

  • 1 Chrysts forewarning concerning his owne death and Resurrection.
  • 2 The weaknesse of the apostles: and so consequently of all mortall men,
  • 3 The Crosse of the Church in this world, and the glori­ous and ioyfull deliuerance of the same.

¶Of the firste.

COncerning the death and resurrection of Chryst, I will speake somwhat bréefly, bicause wée haue herd all thin­ges alate more plenteously. After a vvhyle yee shall not [Page] see mee, and ageine, after a vvhile yee shall see mee: for I goe too the father: Héere doth Chryst somwhat darkly foreshew them his death and resurrection: But his méening is this. After a vvhile (sayth he) yee shall not see mee, that is too say, I shall lye dead a thrée days in my graue, so that you shall not sée mée. And againe after a vvhile yee shall see mee, that is too say, I shall be raised ageine from death, and you shall sée mée fortie days before I ascende visibly into heauen, and be taken away out of your sight by a cloude. And this is it that he sayeth bicause I go to the Father, that is too say, after my death, I shall passe from persecution to the glorie of heauen. What? is he not present with his churche after his ascensi­on? Yes, he is present according too his promise, euen vntoo the end of the worlde. Howbéeit not after a bodyly maner, but after a diuine and spiritual maner. For Gods woord and the holy Ghost are the glasse▪ wherin Chryst will be holden: and this beholding is sufficient, wherwith wée must be con­tented, vntill he himselfe come to iudgement: for afterward wée shall enioy the sight of him for euermore.

But why did hée put his Disciples in minde of his death and resurrection? Surely there be many causes, of which the chéefe is this, which he alleageth in these woords. I haue told you of these things before hand, that vvhen they bee come to passe, you may beleeue. For mens minds are gretly strength­ned, when they sée things fall out▪ according too that whiche was tolde them before. Neither dyd any thing more raise the Apostles, than that they saw all things aunswerable too Chrystes foresayings: wherby they might bothe vnderstand his Godhead, and throughly perceiue his office. Moreouer the Lordes will was, by the often forewarnings too pro­uide for the infirmitie of his disciples. For this is the poynt of a faythfull maister, to haue a consideration of their capa­citie whome he taketh vppon him to teache, and too remedie theyr rawnesse by often beating the selfe same things intoo their heads. Besides this also, he therfore foretold his death [Page 151] and resurrection, too the intent his disciples shoulde knowe that he knew before of his owne death and resurrection, and that he willingly obeyed the father, euen vntoo death, too the intent he might deliuer vs frō death. This sermon of Chry­stes, is too bée applyed vnto vs also: for not muche vnlike happeneth vntoo vs. Hée sêemeth too bée a whyle from vs, when he leaueth vs comfortlesse wrestling vnder the crosse. And afterwarde ageyne hée is séene of vs, when hée comfor­teth vs by the Gospell, and manifesteth the presence of his spirite in our prayers.

¶Of the second.

THe rawnesse of Christes disciples in matters of saluati­on is described in these woords. VVhat is it (say they) that he sayth, After a vvhile yee shall not see mee, and ageyne after a vvhile yee shall see mee, and that I go to the father, vve knovv not vvhat he speaketh. It is a greater wonder, that they being so often warned of the Lordes death and Resurrection, not only by types, figures and riddles: but also by expresse woor­des, coulde neuer the more vnderstande him. What is the cause héerof? Surely, there are twoo causes. One is, for that an opinion once conceiued in the mynde, is not easly pulled out, specially if it haue taken déepe roote. The Iewes, yea and the Lords Disciples themselues dreamed that Chrysts gouernement should haue bin ciuill, so as Chryste himselfe béeing made chéefe Emperor, should subdue the whole world and reign ouer it, and that his disciples should haue bin next about him: whiche thing the moother of Zebedies children declared sufficiently, when she made request that the one of hir sonnes might sit at Chrystes right hande, and the other at his left. An other cause, is the dimnesse that is in all man­kynd, wherby it commeth to passe, that no man is able too perceiue the things that pertein too God, vnlesse he haue the holy Ghost too bée his teacher. Héerby we may leene, first too bewaile this our blindnesse. Secondly too héere Gods [Page] woord more often, wherby we may bée deliuered f [...]rom this dimnesse of ignorance: and thirdly to craue of God that he him selfe will teache vs according too that place of the .xxv. Psalme: Leade me foorth in thy truth, and teach mée, by­cause thou art the God of my saluation. Good and rightfull is the Lord, therfore shall he teach sinners in the way. But wée must take héede that when the Lorde teacheth, we shut not the eares of our hert against his voyce, lyke as all they doo that héere Gods woorde without frute. As for those that so stop their eares against Gods voyce, they may at length deserue too be left vp in their blindnesse and ignoraunce for euer. God preserue vs that we incurre not this penaltie of vnthankefulnesse, wherewith wée sée many to be horribly punished. For there are many too bée found, that if a man aske them after the héering of a Sermon what they haue brought away, haue not a woord to aunswer. But if yée que­stion with them of talke had at a feast, or in game, they can reherse you euery thing, so as they will not misse ye a woord. What is the reason? In some folke, the cause of it is mannes naturall dulnesse in matters of Saluation. In other some, the cause of it is the punishment of sinne also: that héering, they héere not, and vnderstanding they vnderstande not. Wherfore right déere beloued, let vs fall too amendement of lyfe, let vs call vpon God for help, and when wée féele in our selues a wéerinesse of héering and learning the woord of God. Let vs by and by think that the diuel layeth a snare for vs, and let vs forthwith flée vntoo Praier, beséeching GOD that he will both teach vs, and also by his spirit make roome for his woord in vs.

¶Of the third.

VErely verely I say vntoo you, that you shall moorne and vveepe, but the vvorld shall reioyce. And you shall be sadde, but your sadnesse shall bee turned intoo ioy, He repeteth the same thing that he had spoken a litle before, concerning his [Page 152] death and Resurrection. For by thrée signes which were set foorth, he gaue an inklyng what should come after, although somwhat darkly. By the moorning of his Disciples, is signi­fied the death and buriall of Chryste. By the gladnesse of the world is signified the triumph of the Iewes kylling Chryst. For when they had put him too death, they thought thēselues and their common weale too bée out of all hazard. And when he addeth, Your sorovv shall be turned intoo ioy. Hée signifi­eth that he will rise ageyne from death, wherby his disciples shall conceiue ioy. This selfe same thing declareth he by the similitude of the woman trauaylyng with chylde, whoo as long as she is in hir labor féeleth gréeuous throwes: but as soone as shée séeeth the child borne, she taketh so great ioye, that she vtterly forgetteth the paine that shée felt a little be­fore. After the same maner the disciples of the Lord felt gret sorow of mynde, when the Lord was dead and buried: but a­non after, when the Lord was raised ageyne from death, for ioy they forgate the sorow past. And this is it that he sayth: And I will sée you agein, and your hart shal reioyce, bicause you shal sée mée raised from death, and no man shal take your ioye from you: that is to saye, I shall die no more, that yée should be cast into heauinesse for my death: but I shall liue for euer, & so instruct you by my spirit concerning the know­ledge of God, that you shall haue no more néed too aske mée any moe questions. Thus haue wée playnly séene the mée­nyng of the Text. And nowe are all these things too bée ap­plyed too the church of all times, whiche in this world shall bée vnder the crosse, whyle the vngodly reioyce: Howebéeit at length when Chryst appéereth, it shall obteyne full & per­fect ioy, wherof shal be none end. For these thréedays wher­in our Lord suffered and rose ageyn, are an image of ye crosse of the church, and of the ioy of the world, that is to say, of the vngodly persecuting Chryste, and killing him in his mem­bres: & of the glorious deliuerāce of the church, which shal at yt time be full, whē our Lord shalle [...]ome in the cloud [...] with [Page] glorie and great power, and shall take vp those that bée his, intoo euerlasting ioy, and deliuer the vngodly too the diuell, too bée tormented with eternall paines.

For as muche then as this place admonisheth vs of the Crosse of the Churche, and of the glorious deliuerance of the same, I will first shew what the Crosse is, and how diuers: next what are the causes of the Crosse: Then the difference betwéene the crosse of the Godly, and the punishments of the vngodly: Also with what minde the Godly may beare the crosse: and lastly from whence comfort is too bée sought vn­der the Crosse.

What is the Crosse? It is any affliction whereunto the mēbers of Chrysts Church are subiect in this world, wher­of there seme to be foure differences. For the crosse of a godly person, is first either a gréefe of mynd and affliction of body, and that for sundry causes: as for the receiuing of some losse, for the sorowfull mischaunce of some fréend, for thirst, nakednesse, imprisonment, or torture, as holy Iacob had ex­ceding gréefe of mynde for the losse of his sonne Ioseph: Io­seph suffred affliction of body in ye prisō: Lazarus felt hunger and the peyne of his byles at the richmans gate: and many are exercised at this day with sundry troubles and gréefes both of mind and body.

2 Or i [...] is a most sharpe fight betwene the fleshe and spi­rite in the Godly. For the fleshe lusteth alwayes ageynst the spirit, and now and then getteth the vpper hand, séeming to giue the spirit an vtter ouerthrowe: as wée sée in Dauid, who being ouercome with the concupiscences of the fleshe, felt intoo the most heynous offences of murther and aduou­trie, and had perished for euer, had he not bin called back too repentance, and the flesh subdued agein vnder obedience of the spirit. Heervpon Paule cryeth out, whoo shal deliuer mée from the body of this death? The grace of God, through Ie­sus Chryst.

3 Or it is a hardnesse and distresse of vocation in house­hold [Page 153] state, ciuil state, or ecclesiasticall state, that is too say, of priuate, publik, & ecclesiastical state. How great a crosse euen the godly husbands & wiues féele, in bringing vp their chil­dren, and in séeking néedefull things whereby too liue, they know that haue had the triall of it. Such as beare office, as kings, noble men, counsellors, and presidents, are not frée from the crosse: at least wise if they bée godly. So also godly bishops, parish préests, and the other ministers of the Chur­ches, doo oftentimes féele a crosse, by reason of the difficultie of their office.

4 Or else the crosse is a punishment for some certayne fault. Like as there bée many causes of the troubles of the Church, of which causes I will now intreate.

What then are the causes of the crosse of the church: Cer­tein causes of the crosse are within vs, and certein without vs. Within vs are thrée causes of the crosse: whereof the first is sinne inhabiting in vs, that is too say, originall sinne. If this sinne were not brydled, it woulde bring foorth dam­nable frutes. The seconde is, Concupiscence shooting out of the same, as a flame out of fire: which flame vnlesse it were quenched with the water of the Crosse, woulde kindle the fire of hell. The thirde cause is, that there bée in vs daylye backslydings, which originall sinne procureth by his concu­piscences. Seuen times in a day (sayth Salomon) dooth the righteous man fall, and riseth ageine. These dayly fallings dooth the crosse stay that is layd vpō vs by God too the intent wée should not bée damned with the world in our sinnes.

Besides these, there are also causes of the crosse without vs, but of an other nature. For God of his fatherly goodnesse visiteth vs with his rod. For whomsoeuer hée receyueth, him hée chastiseth, with none other affection than the good father. Agein, the diuil lies in wait for the church, as wée sée in Iob, but God appointeth him bounds, beyond which he is not a­ble too raunge. Moreouer the limmes of the diuell, that is too say, tyrants and euill men in this world, which trouble the [Page] Church in this life. Also there bée other causes of the crosse, which I will let passe, and speake of the difference betwéene the crosse of the godly, and the punishment of the vngodly.

What is the difference then betwéene the Crosse of the godly, and the punishment of the vngodly, sith wée sée as wel the godly as vngodly striken with gréeuous miseries in this world? surely there bée many differences.

The first difference is taken of the efficient causes. For as the affection of the godly procéedeth of the fatherly loue of the heuenly father towards his children: so the punishments of the wicked procéede of the wrath and sore displeasure of the iust iudge god, who punisheth the wicked as his enemies and aduersaries.

The second difference is taken of the finall causes, for the godly are exercised with the crosse too their good: but the vn­godly are striken with punishementes too their vndooing, vnlesse they amende.

The thirde difference is taken of the effects. For the godly doo blisse God, and call vpon him in their crosse, as Iob dyd. But the vngodly freat at God, and are angry with him. The godly are nurtured: the vngodly are confounded. The godly are tried: the vngodly are distroubled. The godly vnder the crosse doo hope: the vngodly do despaire.

The fourth difference is taken of the time. The godly are afflicted for a shorte time, that afterwarde they may bée glorified with Christ their head: but the vngodly are wrap­ped in mischéefe for euer. Whose present affliction is as it were a handfull of their endlesse paines in hell.

The fifth difference is taken of the place. The godly are chastized in this world only: but the fire of the vngodly shal neuer bée quenched. For héere they are tormented with an e­uill conscience, and in the woorld too come they shal bée ouer­whelmed with Gods euerlasting wrath, and suffer punishe­ment that neuer shall haue ende. So haue wée the differen­ces of the crosses of the godly, and the punishments of the [Page 154] vngodly. Now wil I adde a few things concerning the com­forte, wherewith the godly muste raise vp them selues vnder the Crosse.

From whence then is comforte too bée sought? First the godly that is pressed vnder the crosse, shall consider two thin­ges in his affliction: namely iudgement, and mercie. Iudge­mente, that hée is punished for his sinnes. Therefore sayeth Chryste: Sinne not, leaste some woorser thing happen vntoo thée. And mercie, that hée is punished too the intent hée shoulde turne and repent, according too this text. 1. Cor. 11. When wée are iudged of the Lorde, wée are chastized, that wée bée not damned with this worlde. Therfore when the faythful is ex­ercised with the crosse, let him séeke comforte at the fatherly mercy of God.

Secondly, the godly in his crosse, shall take comforte by ex­amples, whereof many are recited in the .xj. too the Hebrues. And Paule dooth oftentimes lay before vs the example of Chryst, too which it behoueth vs too become conformable vn­der the Crosse, that wée may be gloryfied with him in time too come. For the godly suffereth with Chryste, as it were a mēber of his. For like as Chryst suffered, first that hée might obey the Father, and secondly, that hée mighte vanquishe and condemne our sinne: so must wée also obey GOD vnder the crosse, bothe too vanquishe and too condemn our owne sinne: not by making satisfaction for it as hée didde, but by mortify­ing it.

Thirdly, the godly shall fetche comfort at the endes of the Crosse. For the godly is not chastized with the Crosse, too the end hée should perrish: but too the end hée may bée holden in, and as it were reyned with a certeine brydle from falling a­way from God.

Fourthly, the godly shal cōfort him self with the presence of God: for thus saith God: I am with thée in tribulation. For if God defēded vs not with his presence in our crosse, our harts [Page] would vtterly faile, and wée should renounce our profession. Fiftly the godly shall take comforte at the promise of deliue­rance, asuagement of paines, and at Gods helpe. Our fathers cryed vntoo thée (sayeth the Psalme) and thou heardest them.

Sixtly, the godly shall séeke comfort by comparing the pre­sent affliction with the glory too come. The one lasteth but a moment, the other is eternall. Let this suffise concerning the crosse of the godly. GOD graunt vs grace too glorifie him with true patience vnder the Crosse, through our Lord Iesus Chryste, too whom bée honour and glorie world without end. Amen.

The iiij. Sunday after Easter. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. xvj.

IEsus [...]ayed vntoo his Disciples: Novv I go my vvaye vntoo him that sent mee, and none of you asketh mee vvhyther I go. But bycause I haue sayed suche things vntoo you, your harts are ful of sorovv. Neuerthelesse I tel you the trueth, it is expedient for you that I go avvay, For if I go not avvay, that comforter vvill not come vntoo you. But if I depart, I vvil send him vntoo you. And vvhen he is come, he vvill rebuke the vvorld of sinne, and of ryghtuousnesse, and of iudge­ment. Of sinne, bycause they beleeue not on mee. Of rightuous­nesse, bicause I go too my Father, and yee shall see me no more. Of iudgement, bicause the Prince of this vvorld is iudged alrea­die. I haue yet manye things too say vntoo you, but yee cannot beare them avvay novv: hovv be it vvhen he is come (vvhiche is the spirite of truthe) he vvil lead you intoo all trueth. Hee shall not speake of him selfe, but vvhatsoeuer he shall heare, that shall he speak: and he vvil shevv you things too come. He shall glori­fie mee for hee shall receiue of mine, and shall shevv vntoo you. All things that the Father hathe, are mine: therefore sayde I vn­too you, that he shall take of mine, and shevv vntoo you.

The exposition of the text.

THis gospel is a péece of that sermon that Christ made after Supper, the night before he suffred, wherin (as I tolde you this day seuennight) he warned his Disciples aforehande of his Passi­on, Death, and Resurrection: and disputed of the persecution and comfort of the Churche, and the state of his kingdome, of what sorte it shoulde bée vntoo the ende of the world: and that too this end, that his Disciples should be con­firmed in the faith, and not renounce their profession, for the crosse and stumbling blockes thervpon risen among many. This also was the cause of this Sermon that I haue rehear­sed: the effect wherof is, that Chryst promiseth to his church an aduocate, teacher, and gouerner, the holy Ghost. Wher­by is shewed the difference betwéene the administration of the ciuill gouernement, and the kingdome of Chryst. For that hath néede of outwarde sinues, as lawes, decrées of ma­gistrates, open punishmentes. &c. But this is gouerned by the woord, by the spirite, by fatherly discipline, and by sacra­ments. The places are thrée.

  • 1 The profite and néedefulnesse of Chrysts departure too the Father, wherein the kingdome of Chryste is described.
  • 2 What the holy Ghost dooth in the world.
  • 3 Of the saying: I haue many things too say vntoo you, but you are not able too beare them away at this time.

¶Of the first.

I Go too him that sente mee, and none of you asketh mee vvhither goest thou? that is too say: Nowe is my death at hande, and my victorie ouer death, which when I haue ob­teyned, I will ascende too my father. That the Lorde spea­keth so darklye, hée dooth it too this purpose, too stirre vp his Disciples too make more diligent enquirie of his Death [Page] and resurrection. But they for all that thought nothing lesse than that he whom they had acknowledged too bée the Mes­sias, should bée deliuered too so reprochful a death: so blinde is reason in matters perteyning to God. It créepeth héer vpon ground, it can not déeme aright of heauenly things, and of Chrysts kingdome.

Bicause (sayth he) I haue tolde you these things, your hartes are filled vvith sorovv, that is too say, bicause yée haue herd me make mention of my death & crucifying, yée are striken with sorow. For yée vnderstand not what good my death and Re­surrection shall bring you. But I tell you truth: it is expedi­ent for you that I go, as if he had saide: Yée shal not thinke of my death, as of the death of an other man: but know yée this, that my death, my resurrection, and my gooing too the father, shall bring singuler profite vnto you. The profite in effect is this. Like as Chryste was borne, circumcised, offered in sa­crifice, and a teacher vntoo vs: so also was he put too death, and raised agein from death for our saluation, conditionally, that wée leane vpon him by stedfast faith. Whervpon is that saying the .x. too the Romans. If thou beléeue in thy hart that God hath raysed vp Iesus Chryste from death, thou shalt bée safe. This profite of Chrysts gooing away, his disciples vn­derstoode not: but onely dreamed of a worldly kingdome, wherein Chryst as the highest Monarche shoulde holde the souerayntie.

For if I go not avvay, that comforter shall not come vntoo you, as if he had saide, I shall suffer for your sakes, I shall rise agein for your sakes, I shall go too the father for your sakes: that from thence I may sende you a sanctifier, a com­forter, and an aduocate. In these woords he giueth vs too vn­derstande two things: the one is, that the Church shall haue enemies in this world, and that it shal be exercised with the crosse. The other is, that in the crosse and in persecution, it shall haue the holy Ghost a comforter and aduocate, whom he shall giue vntoo it. For thus he sayth: And vvhē I am gone [Page 156] I vvil send him vntoo you. All these things tend too this pur­pose, that when the Disciples shoulde sée Chryste betrayed by Iudas, caught too be punished, and condemned to most shame­ful death, they should by some meanes take hart too them, vp­on trust of these promises of Chryste. From hence also let vs séek comforte, as often as we bée afflicted in the kingdome of the worlde, and let vs thinke vppon the difference betwéene Chrystes kingdome and the kingdome of the world. In that, is the holy Ghost an aduocate and comforter, whome the Fa­ther shall giue too them that aske, according too Chrystes pro­mise: and hée shall giue the holy Ghoste too them that aske: but in this there is affliction and miserie.

¶Of the second.

IN the seconde parte, the texte telleth what the holy Ghoste shall doo in the world. VVhen he commeth (sayth hée) he shal reprooue the vvorlde of sinne, of rightuousnesse, and of iudge­ment. Of sinne, bycause they haue not beleeued in me: of rightu­ousnesse, bycause I go too my Father, and novv yee shall not see mee: and of iudgement, bycause the Prince of this vvorld is iud­ged already. These woordes of Chryste are too bée referred vn­too twoo times, namely vntoo that time that followed imme­diately after the Lordes Ascension, and too the reste of the whole time vntoo the end of the worlde: First therefore wil I shew how these woords are too bée vnderstoode in respecte of the time that followed immediatly after the Ascension of the Lorde, when the holy Ghoste was giuen visibly too the Apo­stles vpon Whitson Sunday. First he sayth: the holy Ghoste shall reproue the vvorld of sinne, that is too say, The holy ghost shall manifestly conuince that too bée sinne, whiche the world thinketh too bée no sinne. For the worlde (that is too say, mine enimies of whome I am reiected, despised and nayled too the crosse) béeing conuicted by the manifeste witnesse of the holy Ghoste and their owne conscience, shall confesse it selfe too haue doone amisse, and also too haue synned very gréeuous­ly [Page] in that it hath not beléeued on mée, whiche thing héertofore it took too bée no sinne at all. How true this is, they beare wit­nesse, whome Peter reproueth of murther in the seconde of the Actes. For they béeing conuicted of their sinne, say: Men and brethren what shal we doo? Thus are these men compel­led too confesse their murther: and too acknowledge them sel­ues too haue sinned gréeuously, in killing him on whome they ought rather too haue beléeued.

Secondly hée shall reproue the worlde of rightuousnesse, that is too saye, the Holye Ghoste shall cléerely conuince, that that is rightuousnesse whiche the worlde thinketh too bée no rightuousnesse. For the holy Ghoste shall proue openly bée­fore the worlde, that Chryste was rightuous in déede, whiche thing the proude Pharisies and the worlde thoughte not, but Chryste confirmed his rightuousnesse by his deede. That it is so, it appéereth by the reason added: For (sayeth hée) I go vn­too my Father and you shall see mee no more: that is too say, When the worlde shall sée openly in the Church that I haue sheaded the holye Ghoste intoo you, it shall bée compelled too confesse that I was rightuous in very déede, and not an vn­godly & blasphemous person, in that I sayd, I was the sonne of GOD, for the holy Ghoste shall beare witnesse of mine innocencie.

Furthermore, the holy Ghoste shall reproue the worlde of iudgemente, that is too say, the holy Ghoste shall cléerely conuince, that that iudgement is already giuen, whiche the worlde thinketh not: for hée shall beare witnesie that the Prince of this worlde is iudged. What is that? The worlde whiche called me Chryste in mockage, and did bid me come downe from the Crosse, shal bée conuinced by the holy Ghoste (whome I shall poure out vppon you on Whitsonday) that it hath iudged amisse. For the holy Ghost shal bring too passe, that they shall in very déed vnderstand and knowe, how that I hauing vanquished the Deuil by my resurrection, doo beare the whole swaye in the worlde, when no man shall bée able [Page 157] too withstande you. This is the meaning of these woordes, if wée referre them vntoo the woorking of the holy Ghoste vp­on Whitson Sunday, whiche thing wée must néedes doo. And yet they belong not so precisely too that time, but that they bothe may and must also bée referred too the whole time folo­wing, euen vntoo the ende of the worlde, according as I will shew by and by.

First therefore, the holy Ghoste shall reproue the worlde of sinne, that is too say, shall shewe it too bée giltie of sinne. Of what sinne? For that (sayth hée) they beléeued not in mée. And are there none other sinnes that the holy Ghost shal reproue than vnbeléefe, or not too beléeue on Chryst? Yes surely there are infinite and horrible sinnes ageinst the firste and seconde table. Why then did hée put this alone? Bicause as long as this remayneth, the rest also are reteyned with it: and when this goeth away, the reste are released. Therefore like as all other sinnes are where vnbeléefe is: so where as is fayth in Chryste, all sinnes are forgiuen. For euerlasting life is pro­mised too him that beleeueth, which should not be done vnlesse the sinnes were forgiuen.

Héere then wée sée how néedeful a thing it is too beléeue in Chryste. But what is too beléeue in Chryst? It is too persuade a mannes selfe that Chryste is the highe Préeste and King, who by his death hathe made satisfaction for sinne, and by his glorious resurrection hathe broughte rightuousnesse, or that by his bloud, he who is bothe GOD and man, hathe purcha­sed a Churche vntoo him selfe. Actes. 20. This fayth is not the woorke of man, but of God. It springeth not of reason, but of Gods woord. Moreouer the woord of GOD is of twoo sortes: Law and Gospel. The law pulleth away trust in our selues and the Gospel woorketh trust in Chryst. For the law setteth before vs the rightful wil of GOD: namely that wee should keep the Law, or otherwise too bée damned by the wil of God. The gospel setteth before vs the gracious wil of God, which is, that God forgiuing our sinnes, wil receiue vs intoo his fa­uour [Page] for Chrysts sake. Therfore like as by the law we come too the knowledge of our owne weaknesse, and by this too the knowledge of Gods rightful wil and iudgement, and so con­sequently too despaire: so by the vnderstanding of the Gospel, wée come vntoo the knoweledge of Gods mercy for Chrystes sake, who was giuen too bée made a Sacrifice, that hée mighte take away the sinnes of al that beléeue in him. By this knowledge, through the woorking of the holy Ghoste, is conceyued faith, whereby all sinnes are abolished, and Chrystes rightu­ousnesse offered vntoo vs, that wée bée no more condemned as sinners, but appéere in Gods sight rightuous & as his sonnes: too whom eternall life is promised for an inheritaunce, accor­ding too this Scripture, hée that beléeueth in the sonne hath e­uerlasting life: but hée that beléeueth not on the Sonne shall not sée life, but the wrath of GOD abideth vppon him. Why so? Bicause he abideth in his sinne, for the whiche he is bound vntoo euerlasting paine, according too that saying, hée that be­léeueth not in the sonne, the wrath of God abideth vpon him. By the name of wrath is signified curse & paine, ioyned with damnation. Héerby it appéereth how néedful faith is, & what it bringeth too passe.

Then foloweth. And he shall reproue the vvorlde of rightu­ousnesse, bycause I go too the Father, and you shall see mee no more. That is, the holy Ghost shal reproue the world, for not folowing true rightuousnesse, wherthrough wée might stand before GOD. And this true rightuousnesse is the rightuous­nesse of Chryste, namely that hée going too the father is there an high Préest and intercessour for the beléeuers: for Christs suffering and intercession too the Father is the rightuousnesse of the beléeuers. But bycause the faithlesse worlde beléeueth not this, it is reprooued of the holy Ghoste. For he effectually conuinceth, that righteousnesse cannot happen too men by a­ny meanes else, than by the imputation of Chrystes rightu­ousnesse, which falleth too their lot that beléeue on him. These are strange and woonderful things too them that vnderstande [Page 158] not the righteousnesse of Faith, but dreame themselues too bée righteous eyther for the outwarde obedience of the law, or for mennes traditions, as the Pharisies in olde time, and our Papistes doo in these dayes. These perceyue not that all the woorks of the worlde are farre more imperfect, than that they can ouercome the power of the Deuill and Death. But how is it proued that Chrysts obedience is our righteous­nesse? It is proued by most grounded testimonies of the scrip­ture. Paule Rom. 5. Like as by the disobedience of one man, (namely of Adam) many became sinners: So by the obedi­ence of one (namely of Chryst) many shall bée made rightu­ous. Wée haue this rightuousnesse of Chryste imputed vn­too vs, when wée beléeue on him, according too that text too the Romanes. With the hart wee beléeue vntoo rightuous­nesse. Also: Abraham beléeued God, and it was imputed too him for rightuousnesse. Paule Rom. 3. Wée suppose that a man is made rightuous by Faith, without the déedes of the law. The selfe same thing méeneth Christ in this place, whē he sayth: The holy Ghost shall reproue the vvorld of rightu­ousnesse, bicause I go too the father. That is, the holy Ghost shall not only proue me too haue bin rightuous, but also shall manifestly shew that I am the rightuousnesse of them that beléeue in mée.

It foloweth further. And the holy ghost shall reproue the vvorld of iudgement, bicause the prince of this vvorlde is iud­ged. That is, the holy ghost shall (mauger the worlde) proue me too bée that séede that was promised too tread downe the Serpentes head, that is too say, that should iudge the Prince of this woorld, with whom also are all his members iudged and condemned. For if the head bée condemned, what can the members doo? Wherefore let the Deuill rage ageynst the godly as muche as he listeth: yet is he able too doo nothing. He shall lye in wayte truely: but he shall not ouerthrowe vs, as long as wée kéepe our Faythe strong and stable. [Page] For thus sayth Iohn. This is the victorie that ouercommeth the worlde, euen your faith. By the world is ment Sathan himself with al his band of Tyrants, Sophisters, Hipocrits and meritmongers. For Christ by his spirit confoundeth the iudgement of Sathan, whoo by his gard condemneth the gos­pel. For he shal not stoppe the course of the Gospel, although he oftentimes attempt it with riuers of blud, from the begin­ning of the world vntoo this day, and specially after Chrysts Resurrection.

Wée haue in what sort the holy Ghost shall reproue the world. Now let vs shortly see what hée dooth in the Churche. First he is present effectually in the woord & the sacraments. For wheresoeuer the woorde of God is preached purely, and the Sacraments ministred according to Chrysts instituti­on, there is he present, and will worke effectually in the hée­rers of the woord, and in the partakers of the Sacramentes. But as for them that either héer the woord slightly, or vse the Sacraments without reuerence, they set themselues ageinst the holy Ghost, and despise the ministration of the word and Sacraments, too their owne harme and damnation.

Ageine (as this Texte teacheth) the holy Ghoste is pre­sent in the Churche, as a comforter, aduocate, and teacher of the truth. For we in the world are pressed with many incon­ueniences, ageinst which we haue néede of a comforter: least being discouraged with aduersities, we should renounce our profession. Our aduersarie the Diuel accuseth vs dayly, as he accused Iob. Héer could we not stand without our aduocate, who warranteth vs that God is at one with vs, and wil not cast vs away for our sinnes, so we fal too repētance. Besides this, wée are infected with muche and déepe ignorance, so as we are not able to vnderstand gods matters. Wherfore wée haue néede of the holy ghost too teach vs, who wil lead vs in­too all trueth, according to Chrysts promise. And when the spirite of truth shall come, he shall teach you all truth.

The holy ghost commeth after two sorts: visibly and in­uisibly. [Page 159] Hée came visibly, intoo the Apostles vppon Whitson-Sunday, as wée shall hear when the time commeth. He com­meth inuisibly intoo mennes harts, when the Gospel is prea­ched, and he sealeth vp the truthe of the Gospell in the hartes of the hearers. Chryste speaketh of both the commings of the holy Ghoste. For that whiche went before in the Apostles visibly, the same followeth inuisibly wheresoeuer the Gospel is taught purely. But too what end tendeth the doctrine of the holy Ghoste? He shall not speake of him selfe, but vvhatsoeuer he heereth, that shall he speake. That is, the holy Ghoste shall teache you the same doctrine that I haue taughte you, & shall tel you whatsoeuer shall come too passe. That is, hée shall re­uele vntoo you what maner of kingdome my kingdome shal­bée, bothe in this life and after the generall resurrection. And he shall glorify mee, bicause he shall take of mine, and shevv vn­too you. That is, the holy Ghoste shall by his recorde and ef­fectuall woorking, stablishe the glory whiche the Father hath giuen mée: so as the gates of Hel shall not bée able too preuail a whitte ageinste my kingdome: for they can neuer darken my glory.

¶Of the third.

NOw remayneth too speake of this saying: I haue yet ma­ny things too say vntoo you, but you cannot beare them a­vvay as novv. This place doo the Papists abuse, as thoughe the Apostles had not deliuered a ful doctrine too the churche. And this they vpholde, too the end they may stablish their Masses, prayings too Saincts, Rosaries, Pardons, holy water, and o­ther deceits of Antichrist. But Chryste speaketh according too the capacitie of his Disciples, and of the weaknesse that was in them before his death, & of the gift that they should receiue after his resurrection, vppon Whitson Sunday. As if hée had sayd, I would speak many things too vntoo you cōcerning my kingdome and other misteries: but as yet yée are not fully & throughly taught by the holy Ghost, whom I wil giue you in his time, who shall lead you intoo all trueth, that is too say, in­too [Page] full knoweledge of my kingdome. This full trueth did the Apostles obteine vpon the very day of Pentecoste or Whit­son Sunday, whiche afterward they did put in wryting. We must séek the same trueth, and holde our selues contīted ther­with, if wée minde too be the Scholers of the holy Ghoste, too whom with GOD the father and the euerlasting Sonne, bée praise and glory for euer and euer. Amen.

The .v. Sunday after Easter. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. xvj.

VErely, verely, I say vntoo you: vvhat so euer yee aske the Father in my name, he vvil giue it you. Hithertoo haue yee asked nothing in my name. Aske and yee shall receyue, that your ioye may bee full. These things haue I spoken vntoo you by Prouerbes. The time vvill come vvhen I shall no more speake vntoo you by Prouerbes: but I shall shevv you plainely from my Father. At that day shal yee aske in my nam [...]. And I say not vntoo you that I vvill speake vntoo my Father for you: For the Father him selfe loueth you, bycause yee haue lo­ued mee, and haue beleeued that I came out from GOD. I vvent out from the Father, and came intoo the vvorlde. Againe, I leaue the vvorlde, and go vntoo the Father. His Disciples sayde vntoo him: Loe, novv thou talkest plainly, and speakest no Prouerbe. Novv are vve sure that thou knovvest all things, and needest not that any man should aske thee any question: Therfore beleeue vve, that thou cammest from GOD. Iesus ansvvered them: novv yee doe beleeue. Beholde, the houre dravveth me, and is already come, that yee shall bee scattered euery man too his ovvne, and shall leaue me alone. And yet am I not alone: for the Father is vvith mee. These vvoords haue I spoken vntoo you, that in mee yee might haue peace, for in the vvorlde shall yee haue tribulati­on: but bee of good cheere, I haue ouercome the vvorld.

The exposition of the text.

FOr a good consideration is this Gospel read in the church as vpon this day. For it conteyneth the chéefest woork of Christians, and the woork that is peculier to them. For onely Christen folks can performe this seruice of Inuocation vntoo God. For after that vpon last Sunday was declared what is true Faith, what is righteousnesse, what is iudgement, and (too bée bréef) what is the kingdom of Christ, and in whom it consisteth: In very good time & order is mention made this day, of the chéefe seruice that the Citi­zens of Chrystes kingdome can performe, which is the true calling vpō god. And bicause no exercise of the godly is more néedful than prayer, and that no woork is more hard, than too pray aright: I wil in this sermon entreat of praier only. And too the intent wée may the eassier vnderstand this doctrine, I wil say two things concerning prayer, which are these.

  • 1 What Christian prayer is, and how many sorts there bée of it.
  • 2 What are the conditions that must goe with euery prayer.

For when I haue discussed these two places, I hope there shal bée no man (so he yéeld himself easie to bée taught) which shal not clerely and plainely vnderstande, what thing Chri­stian prayer is, and how néedefully the seruice of prayer is required at our hands.

¶Of the firste

WHat thing is Christian prayer? It is a lowly lifting vp of the minde vntoo God, in desiring ought at Gods hand, or yéelding thanks for benefites receiued. Now yt there bée two sorts of lifting vp the mind vntoo God, first it is con­firmed by ye record of Dauid, who going about too pray, saith in the .25. Psalme. Unto thée O Lord haue I lift vp my soule: [Page] and secondly by the forme of praying appointed too vs by the Lord: Our father which art in heauen. Moreouer by the ge­sture of them that pray, whoo as they are praying are woont too lift vp their eyes vnto heauen. This therfore it behooueth vs to know, that prayer is not a pratling of the spéech only: but that it is an humble lifting vp of the hart vntoo God, with which humble lifting vp of the hart, woords also pro­céede out of the mouth.

But of how many sorts is Chrysten prayer? It is of foure sortes, Deprecation, Adoration, Intreatance and thanks ge­uing. These foure kinds of prayer will I declare bréefly.

Deprecation is an humble lifting vp of a mannes minde vntoo God, wherby is desired deliueraunce from such things as trouble or ve [...]e him. As when wée desire too bée deliuered from Tirannie, violence, diseases, famine, and other things that séeme sharpe vntoo vs.

Adoration is a lowly lifting vp of mans soule vntoo God wherby wée desire some benefite at his hande: as when wée desire encreasements of faith, loue, patience, chastitie: and when wée craue those things that wée haue néede of toward the maintenance of this life.

Intretance is an humble lifting vp of a mannes mind vn­too God, wherby one maketh sute for an other: as when wée pray for suche as lye extréemely sicke, or for others that haue néede of our prayers.

Thankes giuing is an humble lifting vp a mans minde vntoo God, wherby wée yéelde thanks vntoo God, eyther for beneats bestowed vppon our selues or others, or for ridding our selues or others from some inconueniences. Now wée perceiue what Chrystian prayer is, and how many kindes there bée of it. Héerafter remayneth that wée speake of the continuall circumstances of godly prayer.

¶Of the second.

IN euery godly praier, ther must néedes bée alwais these .v. properties & circumstances. Forst, the earnestnesse of hart [Page 161] in him that prayeth: secondly, cōsideration of the causes that moue vs too pray: thirdly, who it is that wée cal vpon: fourth­ly by whom wée are herd: and fifthly what wée ought to aske of God. For these things shal make vs a difference betwéene the vaine babling of the heathen, and the effectuall prayer of the godly. Wherfore I beséeche you déere brethren, that you will diligently lerne, and thorowly wey these continuall cir­cumstances of prayer.

The first circumstance of a godly prayer, is the affection of the hart, that the hart bée wel bent and settled in praying. For if honestie require that our body bée well ordered when wée haue communication with men of more honor than our selues: it is much more méete that our minde bée very well disposed, when wée shal speake before God in the sight of his Angelles. What maner of affection then ought his too bée, that will call vppon God with frute? First of al, let him put off all imagination of his owne glory, woorthinesse, and de­sert. Next let him thinke vpon his owne néedinesse, and p [...]r­swade himselfe that he is vtterly destitute of al ayde, vnlesse the Lord reach him out his helping hande. Then let him cast downe himselfe by true repentance. And lastly let him bée kindled too prayer by confidence of gods promisses. For who so euer swelleth either with opinion of his owne vertue, or féeleth not his own needinesse, or casteth not himself downe before God through true repentance, or wanteth fayth: he prayeth with the Pharisie and not with the Publicane, that is too wit, he prayeth not aright and effectually.

The second circumstance, is of the causes whereby wée must bée moued too pray. And there bée many causes, wherof I wil reherse some, too the intent that greater desire of pray­ing may be stirred vp in vs.

The first cause is Gods commaundement, wherevnto it becommeth all creatures too bée obedient. Call vppon mée (sayth hée) in the day of thy trouble. And Chrysts Apostles doo oftentimes prouoke vs too pray, by the commaundement [Page] of God. Wée must diligently muse vppon this cause, which may stirre vp in vs a desire too pray.

The second cause is the promise. For God hath promised that he will héere our prayers, according as it is saide in this Gospel: VVhatsoeuer yee shall aske the father in my name. he shall giue it you. Also in the Psalmes: Call vppon me in the day of thy trouble, and I wil héere thée. Too héere, is nothing else but too graunt our requests.

The third cause is the crosse pressing vs, that is too say, the féeling both of our owne and other mennes néedynesse. Héere wée must looke about vs, what pincheth vs at home, and what abrode: wée must thorowly wey the publike and priuate harmes: wée must thinke vppon the distresse of the Church, encountring in this world ageinst the deuil and his members: and too bée short, wée must think vpon all the ne­cessities that nip vs in this life: wherby wée may bée stirred vp too call vppon God.

The fourth cause is victorie in temptations. Whervpon in the first of Sainct Iames, wée are commaunded too pray, as often as wée are troubled with temptations. And Chryst sayeth: Pray, that yée enter not intoo temptation. For hée that prayeth earnestly and continually, shall not easly be o­uercome, eyther by the slightes of the deuill, or the wicked­nesse of the worlde, or the prouocation of his sinnefull flesh. Héervpon Salomon sayth: The name of the Lord is a most strong towre, that is too say, The calling vppon God, is a most assured defence ageinst all euils.

The fifth cause is, the sundry suttleties of Sathan, who layeth snares for vs in our doctrine and conuersation. Paule Eph. 6. biddeth vs take that sword of the spirit (which is the woorde of God) ageynst Sathan, by all maner of in­treataunce and prayer.

The sixth cause, is the most plentiful frute of often prayer. For the custome of praying kéepeth vs in the feare of God, and in godlynesse. For that man is not easie too take a fall, [Page 162] whoo fencing him self with continual prayers, dooth earnest­ly set his minde vppon godlynesse. Contrarywise they that neglect the exercise of prayer, ar subiect too diuers casualties. Many that are led too execution, knowe not so muche as the forme of prayer prescrybed by Chryste: and thoughe some knowe it, if a man aske the question, they confesse, they pray­ed seldome or neuer.

The seuenth cause is, the examples of holy men, whose chéefe care in this life, was too call vpon God earnestly. The Iewes prayed thrice a day: in the morning, at noone, and at night. So also did Daniell, and many others whoose godly­nesse is commended. But among manye yée shall finde some that in stéede of prayer, doo not only in the morning, at noone and at night, but also whole nights & whole dayes togyther, giue them selues too wickednesse, too make a soft pillowe for the Deuil, that hée may rest the more quietly in their hartes. These moste weightie causes it behooueth vs too think vppon earnestly, too the intent we may driue away our drouzinesse, and bée stirred vp too call vpon God in good earnest.

But some passing ouer these moste weightie causes, say: God knoweth wherof wée haue néed, and hée beareth vs good wil. For he is our Father, therfore wée néed not wéerie oure selues with praying. I answere. True it is that GOD kno­weth what things wée haue néede of, and hée is our father in déede? conditionally that wée bée his sonnes by faith. Neither doo wée therfore aske of God, bicause we wold teach him that which he knoweth not. But it is too be knowen, yt he wil not haue ye order broken which he hath apointed. For as he hath ordeyned that he wil haue vs fed with meat & drink: whiche thing he could notwithstanding doo without these meanes: so his wil is yt wée should obteine the good things that perteine as wel too our saluation, as to the sustentation of this life, by prayer whiche procéedeth of fayth. Yée receiue not (sayeth S. Iames. 4.) bicause yée ask amisse. And Christ sayth: The lord shall giue the holy Ghost too them that aske, but he sayth not [Page] too loyterers or them that liue carelesse. Wée must therefore aske, if we set by our own welfare. Wée must acknowledge bothe, as wel the goodnesse of GOD whoo is redy too giue too those that ask, as the néedinesse of our selues whoo should not be able so much as too draw our breth, vnlesse he susteined vs

The third circumstance is, whoo hée is that is too bée called vpon. It were no néed too speak of this circumstance, if there were not some too bee found stil, that call vppon I cannot tell what Saincts. Wherfore I wil speak bréefly of this circum­stance, whiche is so excéeding necessary. And I say with good aduise and not at aduenture, that God onely is too bée called vpon. And the same alone is God the Father, the Sonne and the holy Ghost. The sonne is too bée called vpon as one selfe same God with the Father and the holy Ghost. Agein hée is too bée called vpon as a mediator betwéen vs and God. That God alone is too bée called vpon, it is confirmed by foure rea­sons, whereof the first is commaundement. For wée haue cō ­maundement too call vpon God only. Now wheras nothing pleaseth God without fayth: and fayth cannot be without the woord: it foloweth that none is too bée called vpon, but he con­cerning whom wée haue commaundement.

The second is promisse. No Inuocation hath promisse, but that which is made vntoo God: therfore wée doo amisse too call vpon any other than God.

The thirde is example. Wée haue no example of holy men that called vppon Saincts. Wherefore let vs treade in their steps, and let vs yéelde this deuine seruice, vntoo none but too whom it is due, that is, alonely vntoo God.

The fourth is a manifeste forbidding. Thou shalt woorship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue. Wherfore it is too bée hild for a most certeintie, that the Deuil brought in the calling vppon creatures, that is too say, vpon Saincts, for thrée intents. First that he might spoyle Chryst of his ho­nor. Next that he might woorke reproche too the Saincts de­parted. And agein, that the Idolaters that call vpon Saincts [Page 163] might perish. I warne you therfore that are still in your er­ror, too amende betimes, least yée fall into the hands of the li­uing God when you looke least for it. Neither bootes it them that some say they do it of a good intent. For al intent of man in matters of saluation is euill, vnlesse it bée guided by Gods woord and the holy ghost. For thus sayth God himselfe: The thoughts of men are wicked from the beginning. And Paule sayth: The fleshly man, (that is, he that hath not the spirit of God) perceiueth not the things that are of God.

The fourth circumstance is: by whō wée ought too call vpō God. For it is written that God héereth not sinners. Ther­fore there is giuē vnto vs a mediator Iesus Christ, in whose name wée shall cal vppon God, according as Chryst teacheth vs in the Gospell of this day, saying: VVhat soeuer yee shall aske the father in my name, he shall giue it you. Uppon trust of him therfore, and not vppon confidence of our owne woor­thinesse, shal wée make our prayer, being sure that God will héere vs by him. Howbéeit, for as muche as this sentence of Chrysts is notable, and full of comfort, I wil expoūd it more distinctly, for it conteineth many profitable admonishments. This saying in my name (that is, for my sake, & in acknow­ledging and confidence of me,) comprehendeth many things, For it teacheth, warneth, and comforteth.

I pray you what teacheth it? First that our owne woorthi­nesse is too bée excluded. For wée may not call vppon God in confidence of our owne woorthinesse, but in trust of Chrysts defence. Secondly, that Hipocrisie is to be separated frō true prayer. The Pharisie in his prayer, bosteth much of his own holinesse. I am not (sayth he) as other men: I offer the tenths of all that I possesse: I fast twise a wéeke. This man prayed not in Chrysts name: but vpon trust of his owne holinesse, he rather poured out wast woords than prayed. Thirdly, that heathenish bragging is too bée layde away. For the Heathen thought they were herd, when they had first deserued it at Gods hand: Like as Agamemnon thought he should bée herd [Page] for his sacrifysing of an hundred beasts at once. Fourthly, it teacheth the difference betwéene the praier of Christen folk, and the prayer of all other men. For only Fayth maketh the difference betwéene the prayers of Christians and of others. The Turkes, Iewes, Paynims and such like think they cal vpon God, but in déede they doo not: bicause they are voide of trust in the mediator, and acknowledge not him too bée God, who is the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost.

Of what thing dooth this saying in my name warne vs? it warneth vs of our blindnesse. For when Chryste biddeth vs aske in his name, no dout but they be great things which we ought too aske. Being warned therfore by this saying, let vs open our eyes and looke about vs, what common and what priuate: what inward and what outward: what ghostly and what bodily things wée ought too demaund: and on ye contra­ry part, what euils wée ought too pray too bée rid off.

How dooth this saying in my name comfort vs? It comfor­teth vs ageinst twoo very great impediments of Prayer, which are vnworthinesse and distrust. For when he sayeth, aske in my name, he wil haue vs set his woorthinesse ageinst our vnwoorthinesse, & his promisse ageinst our distrust. But many receiue not that which they aske, bicause they aske a­misse, neglecting their faith in Christ, and rather beating the aire with vain babbling, than percing the heauē with ardent affection of faith. These cannot iustly complayne that they pray often and obteine nothing. Wherefore that wée bée not found in the number of them, let vs pray with fayth.

The fifth circumstance is of the things that wée ought too demaūd or too desire deliuerance from. Things too bée reque­sted are of thrée sorts. For either they concerne gods glory, or our owne saluation, or else the good things that perteine too the commoditie of this life.

Before all things wée must pray for the aduauncement of Gods glory, according too this, Halowed bée thy name. Not­withstanding wée must not in this behalfe appoynt God a [Page 164] meane: for hée knoweth best by what meane his glory may be aduaunced. But we must through assured confidence aske, and persuade our selues that he wil héer vs.

Also wée aske our saluation, but without all condition, bi­cause wée haue an vniuersall promisse of saluation. For eue­ry one that calleth vpon the name of the Lord shalbée saued.

As for the good things that make too the sustenance of this life, we must aske them vpon twoo conditions: namely so as the obteyning of the thing that we demaund, doo neyther hin­der Gods glory, nor hinder our owne saluation.

After the same maner must we pray for deliuerance from those euils that fight ageinst these kindes of good things. The euils of the first & second sorte, are too bée wished away with­out condicion. But those euils that are troublesome too vs in this life, are too be wished away vpon condition that it bée no hinderance too Gods glory & oure owne saluation. For Gods glory is too bée preferred before all things. And thus muche concerning prayer. GOD graunt vs grace that these woords may take roote in our harts, through Iesus Chryst, too whom bée honor and glory for euer and euer. Amen.

Vpon the day of our Lords Ascension. ¶The Gospel. Mark. xvj.

IEsus appeared vntoo the eleuen as they satte at meate: and cast in their teeth their vnbeleefe and hardenesse of harte, bycause they beleeued not them vvhiche had seene that he vvas risen agein from the dead: and he sayde vntoo them: Go yee intoo all the vvorld, and preache the Gospel too all creatures: hee that beleeueth and is baptised, shall bee saued. But he that beleeueth not shall bee damned: And these tokens shall folovv them that beleeue. In my name they shall caste out Deuiles, they shall speake vvith nevve tongs, they shall driue a­vvay Serpentes. And if they drinke any deadly thing it shall not [Page] hurte them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shal recouer. So then vvhen the Lord had spoken vnto them, he vvas receyued intoo Heauen, and is on the right hand of GOD. And they vvent forthe, and preached euery vvhere: The Lord vvor­king vvith them, and confirming the vvoord vvith miracles fol­lovving.

The exposition of the Text.

THis feast is ordeyned in the Church, for that article of our Créed, wherin wée professe our selues too beléeue in Iesus Chryste ascending intoo Heauen, when hée had bin conuersaunt with his Disciples fortie dayes after his glo­rious resurrection. In this feast, as in others there be thrée things too be weyed. First the storie with the circumstances thereof. Then the benefite that is bestowed vppon vs: And lastly the right vse and minding of the story. These thrée things offer them selues in the exposition of this Gospel. The summe wherof is, that the Lord (the fortith day after his resurrection) appéered too his Disciples, whome hée vpbrayded with their vnbeléefe and hardnesse of hart, & com­maunded them too preache the Gospell throughe oute all the world, shewing what frute shall redound of the preaching of it too the hearers, so they receiue the Gospel by fayth. More­ouer too the intente their preaching may bée credited, hée pro­miseth too confirme their doctrine with miracles. When hée had giuen this charge, hée ascended visibly intoo heauen, and sitteth at the right hand of his father. And his Disciples obey­ing his commaundement, went abrode too preach the gospel, the which our Lord confirmed with signes ensuing. And this is the effect of the Gospel. The places are thrée,

  • 1 The rebuking of the Apostles.
  • 2 The institution of the ministerie of the woord.
  • 3 Chrystes Ascension intoo heauen.

¶Of the first.

THe fortith day after his resurrection, he appered to his Dis­ciples and vpbrayded them vvith their vnbeleefe and harde­nesse of harte, bycause they had not beleeued those that tolde them they had seene him risen ageine from death. Hée findeth fault with two things in his Disciples: hardnesse of hart and vnbeléefe, that is too say, the roote and his frute. The roote is hardnesse of hart, whiche taketh increasement and strength, partly of it own originall beginning, & partly of it own cor­ruption. For a man that is not inspired with the holy ghost, cannot vnderstand any of those things that are of the spirite of God. Of this most naughtie roote there are very many and euil frutes. The first is that whiche is rebuked héer, namely vnbeléefe. Out of this afterward, bud moste naughtie braū ­ches, as disobedience towards God, & whatsoeuer leudnesse and wickednesse is in this life. By whiche the power of the roote vnsuppressed, is perceyued, and also séene how great in­creasement vnbeléefe hath taken. For this is a moste assured token, that whersoeuer sinne reigneth, there vnbeléefe as an Empresse possesseth the hart of man.

Furthermore, wée may learne héereby, first (after the ex­ample of the weake Apostles) not too despaire of oure selues béeing weake, althoughe wée cannot by and by comprehende the heauenly misteries. For the Churche hath euermore hir certein woundes for oure Lorde too poure his wine and Oyle intoo. Neyther is it reason for any man too hope that hée maye put of all weaknesse, as long as hée carieth this mortall body about him. But like as in olde time the people of God béeing brought intoo the promised land, had their neygbors the Phi­lis [...]ines enimies vntoo them, ageynst whom they kept conti­nuall warre. So wée béeing brought intoo Chrystes churche, haue bothe inward and outward enimies ageinst whom wée must make warre, leaste wée were sluggishe thorough idle­nesse. The other thing that wée haue too learne héere, is that wée should consider by the déede of Chryst not casting off his [Page] rawe & weake Disciples, how gentle a high Préest we haue, who casteth vs not off for oure weakenesse, so there bée any sparke of fayth in vs. And consequently by his example also wée may learne, too deale gently & fauourably with the wea­ker sorte.

¶Of the second.

WHen Chryst béeing ready too ascende intoo Heauen, gi­ueth commission too his Disciples, saying: Go yee in­too the vvhole vvorlde, and preache the Gospel too al creatures. Hee that beleeueth, and is baptized shall be saued, and hee that beleeueth not is condemned already, hée beginneth the maner of setting vp his kingdome, and sheweth the frute of the same kingdome.

By twoo meanes is the kingdome of Chryste set vppe: by woord and by the sacrament: the frute whereof is saluation of the people. Contrarywise, they that be not Citizens in this kingdome, are subiect too the sentence of damnation.

Héere wée sée there is great difference betwéene the amini­stration of a kingdome of the worlde, & Chrystes kingdome: and no maruel at all: For the kingdome of the world is flesh­ly, but the kingdome of Chryste is spirituall. That is set vp & mainteyned by the lawes of men: but this is set vp & main­teyned by the woord of God.

Howbéeit forasmuch as the woord of God conteyneth sin­gular doctrines, I will expound them somewhat more large­ly and distinctly, too the intent wée may the better vnderstād Chrysts minde towards vs, and the benefits of the Gospel.

First he saith: Go intoo the vvhole vvorld. Yée sée the com­mission. For hée sendeth his disciples not too any one nation, but too all men, dwelling abrode through the whole worlde. Héerby wée may consider the riches of Gods mercie, and the preciousnesse of Chrystes sacrifice. It is Gods mercie that al that were damned throughe sinne, shoulde héere the voyce of the Sonne of GOD, concerning saluation too bée obteyned through Chryst. For it is not too be thought that God would [Page 166] haue the voice of the sonne of mā sound vnto the world, yt the gretest part should be destitute of the frute therof, but rather that by héering they shuld liue, & bée saued through Christ, so that they receyued the preaching of the Apostles by fayth.

This is more playnly declared by this saying: Preache yée, or proclayme yée. Too whom? Too all creatures, that is too say, too all men, without any exceptions of persons, nati­ons or kindes. For God is a louer of men, and willeth the saluation of all men, according too this saying, his will is, that all men should bée saued, and come too the knowledge of his truth: But what must the Apostles proclayme? The gos­pell, that is too wit: glad tidings of the ouercomming of the enimies of mankinde, whiche are sinne, death, the deuil, and hell: of peace made betwixte God and men: and of euerla­sting saluation, which they that beleeue in Chryst shall ob­tein by inheritance. This is the summe of the Gospel. How­béeit too the intent this summe may bée the better vnderstood, I will giue a more plentifull definition, the whiche I will also bréefly declare by testimonies of the scripture.

The Gospel is a doctrine reueled from heauen, wherin is shewed deliuerance from sinne, curse, and Gods wrath: and wherin is proclaimed forgiuenesse of sinnes, saluation, and euerlasting lyfe too them that beléeue on the sonne of God, for the sacrifice of the same son of God, that the goodnes and mercy of God may bée published, & that they which are deli­uered by the son, may by faith in the same sonne bring foorth frutes worthy the Gospel. This definition conteineth many things, which wée will reherse and confirme in order.

First I saide, that the Gospell is a doctrine reueled from heauen, which thing is confirmed by that which is written in the .xvj. to the Romanes, where Paule calleth the Gos­pell a mysterie hidden from the beginning. By which woor­des he signifieth most manyfestly, that the Gospel dependeth not vppon mannes reason. For yf reason coulde by any meanes through it own sharpnesse, haue perceiued this doc­trine, [Page] it might in no wise haue bin called a mysterie hidden from before all worlds.

Ageine, it is saide in the definition, that in the Gospell is shewed deliueraunce from sinne, from the curse of the lawe, and from Gods wrath. For the prophet Danieil sayth: that Chryst shall take away sinne. And Paul sayth, that the curse of the Lawe is abolyshed by the comming of Chryste. Also the heauenly father telleth vs from heauen, that hée is paci­fied for his sonnes sake. And this thing too bée most true, all the godly doo féele: hauing witnesse of the holy Ghoste, by whom they crie, Abba, father. Which thing vndoutedly they shoulde not doo, vnlesse they persuaded themselues for a cer­teintie, that sinne is taken away, the curse of the lawe aboli­shed and Gods wrath pacified.

In the thirde place is added, that in the Gospel is proclai­med forgiuenesse of sinnes, saluation, and euerlasting life. For thus sayth the Lord himselfe in the .xxiiij. of Luke. So is it written, and so it behooued Chryst too suffer, and repen­tance and forgiuenesse of sinnes too bée preached too all nati­ons in his name. And in this dayes Gospell hée sayth. Hée that beléeueth, shall bée saued. And the Lorde him selfe sayth: Hée that beléeueth on the Sonne, shall haue life euerlasting. What néedes many woords? All the whole scripture promi­seth forgiuenesse of sinnes, saluation, and euerlasting lyfe too all that embrace the Gospell.

But forbicause these benefits befal not too al mē (for Cain, Iudas, Saule, and many others perished, and at this day a­las, the most part of ye world rūneth intoo destructiō) therfore is added in the fourth place of the definition, that these bene­fites happen too the beléeuers. For the Lord sayth playnly: he that beléeueth in mée shall not perish, but shal haue life euer­lasting. And least any man should think that this dependeth vpon the state of woorks, Paule writeth, that a man is iusti­fied without woorks: & the same Paul pronounceth, ye euerla­sting life is the gift of God through Iesus Chryst: that is, yt it [Page 167] befalleth too them that beléeue in Chryst, not for their owne desert, but by the benefite of Chryst.

In the fifth place is added, for the sacrifice of the Sonne of God. For thus sayeth Paule, through the redemption that is in Chryste Iesu. For the Gréeke woord Apolytrosis, whiche Paule vseth, signifieth suche a raunsome as is made by pay­mente of a fine for the pardon of a mannes life. Suche a fine payd Chryst for vs when he was made sinne for vs, that we might be made the rightuousnesse of God in him. 2. Cor. 5.

Sixthly is added: that the goodnesse and mercy of GOD might bée published. Which thing is confirmed by the exam­ple of the troope of Angels singing this Himne at our Lords birth: Glorie vntoo God on high, and on earth peace, and vn­too men good wil. Wée must think that this was doon too this end, that all that acknowledge this Chryste, may (by the ex­ample of the most pure Angels) lern too set out the goodnesse and mercy of God, specially séeing that nature calleth vppon vs too render thanks too suche as haue deserued wel.

Last of all in the definition of the Gospell is added. That those which are deliuered by the Gospel, should bring foorthe frutes woorthie the Gospel. For Paule in the .2. Ephe. sayth: Wée are created in Iesu Chryst vntoo good woorks, in which wée must walke. And the same Paule sayth, that wée oughte too walke in the lighte, bycause wée are the Children of light. For how I pray you stādeth this with reson, that wee should bée exempted out of the bondage of sinne, and yet serue sinne and bée oppressed with the yoke thereof? The grace of God (sayth Paule) appéered too the welfare of all men, too the in­tent that renouncing all vngodlinesse and fleshly desires, we might liue soberly, godlyly and rightuously in this world.

Forasmuche then as wée haue by strong reasons shewed, that sinne, curse, and Gods wrath are taken away by the Gospell: and that in their roome doo succéede rightuousnesse, saluation, and euerlasting life for Chrystes sake, as long as wée beléeue in him: and that for this benefite God will haue [Page] vs set foorth his goodnesse, and shew thankfulnesse in all oure whole life: It foloweth that the Gospell (as I sayd) is a doc­trine reuealed from heauen, wherin is preached deliuerance from sinne, from curse of the law, and from Gods wrath, and wherein is proclaymed rightuousnesse, saluation, and euer­lasting life too all that beléeue in Chryste, for the sacrifice of him, that the goodnesse and mercy of God may bée set foorth, & that those whiche are deliuered by the Gospell, may bring forth frutes woorthy the Gospel.

Thus much concerning the Gospel. And as for that which is added concerning Baptim, wherby the benefite is applyed too the Gospel, and sealed vp, it is spoken already in the first Sunday in Lent, and often elswhere.

¶Of the third.

NOw foloweth the place whiche is peculiar too this feast. For the Euangelist declareth that our Lord ascended in too heauen: Wherefore I wil say a little (and that as plainly as I can) concerning Chrystes ascension intoo heauen which is an Article of our Créede.

In this article of our Lords ascension, there bée thrée thin­ges too bée specially considered of vs. First his coming down, for before hée went vp, hée came downe. Secondly his ascen­sion. And thirdly the frute of Chrystes ascension.

In the comming downe of Chryste from heauen intoo the earth, there are twoo things too bée considered: the gifte, and the Example. The gift, for that Chryst descended from Hea­uen and took mannes nature vpon him, that by offering him selfe in sacrifice, hée might ridde vs of oure sinnes. For by the sacrifice of Chryst, the father is pacified, and for Chryste our mediatours sake so abased, all beléeuers are receiued, and are the children and heires of God. For therefore did the Lorde come downe from heauen, therefore did he humble and abase him selfe, that wée might ascende from the earth too Heauen, and that wée might bée exalted too euerlasting life and glory. And the example: That wée also should come downe and be [Page 168] humbled. 1. Peter. 2. Chryst suffered for vs leauing vs an ex­ample, that wée should folow his steps.

Of what maner Chrystes ascension intoo heauen was, the scripture sheweth. He ascended visibly with a bodily and naturall mouing, and a cloude tooke him vp intoo heauen. Whervpon is saide, he ascended aboue all heauens, Eph. 4. Neuerthelesse, he did not by ascending, chaunge his hu­mayne nature intoo his godhead, or so shed it out that it shuld bée euerywher with his godhead, although the vnion of them bée inseparable.

The frute of Chrysts ascension is manifolde, according as it is easy too gather by diuers places of scripture.

The first frute therfore is, that Chryst is a triumpher o­uer his enimies, which are sinne, death, the deuill, and hell. For these enimies hath he vanquished, and triumphed ouer them by his glorious ascension. Hée wyped out sinne when he was made a sacrifice for sinne. Assoone as sinne was wy­ped away, death was disarmed: for sinne is the sting of death. When death was once destroyed, the deuil lost his force and weapons. Lastly, for as much as hell deuoureth onely them that are vnder sinne, death, and the deuill: it foloweth that Chryst beyng the conqueror of sinne death, and the deuill, did also ouercome hell.

Secondly, he ascended, too bée our head, which ascended into heauen first, that he may shew the way vntoo vs: wher­vppon Iohn. 14. I go my way to prepare you a place, and I will take you vp vntoo mée.

Thirdly, he ascended, that hée might from heauen spred the beames of his power ouer all the world. Eph. 4. Hée as­cended aboue all the heauens that hée might fill all things. Then is hée not ascended too bée vtterly away from vs: but that with his present power hée may rule heauen and earth and bée present with his Church vnto the ende of the world.

Fourthly, he ascended, that he might giue giftes too men. Eph. 4. And he hath giuen, some Apostles, some Prophets, [Page] some Euangelistes, and some teachers. That is too say, hée ascended, that he might bée effectuall in the ministerie, con­firming it by wonderfull miracles, and sealing it in the har­tes of men.

Fifthly, he ascended, that wée might haue an aduocate in heauen. 1. Iohn. 1. If any man sinne, wée haue an aduocate with God the father, Iesus Chryst the rightuous, and hée is the propitiation for our sinnes.

Sixthly, he ascended, that he might draw our harts vntoo himself. Math. 6. Where as is thy treasure, there is also thy hart. Coll. 3. If yée bée risen agein with Christ, séeke the thin­ges that are aboue, where Chryst sitteth at the right hand of the father. Our conuersation then must bée in heauen, where our Sauiour sitteth in glorie, too whom with the Father and the holy Ghoste bée honour, prayse, and glorie world [...] without ende. Amen.

The .vj. Sunday after Easter. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. xv.

WHen the comforter is come, vvhom I vvill send vntoo you from the father (euen the spirite of truth vvhich proceedeth from the father) hee shall testifie of mee. And yee are vvitnesses al­so bicause yee haue bin vvith mee from the beginning. These things haue I saide vntoo you, bicause yee should not bee offended. They shall excom­municate you, yea the time shall come, that vvho soeuer kil­leth you shall thinke he doth God high seruice. And such thin­ges vvill they doo vntoo you, bicause they haue not knovvne the father, neither yet mee. But these things haue I tolde you, that vvhen that houre is come, yee might remember then, that I tolde you. These things saide I not vntoo you at the begin­ning, bicause I vvas vvith you.

The exposition of the text.

THis Gospel also is a part of that sermon that Chryste made too his Disciples the night be­fore he suffred, the summe wherof wée haue herd a whyle ago. This text conteyneth the promis of the Aduocate the holy Ghost, whoo shall bée present in the Churche when it suf­fereth persecution by the wicked worlde. For Chryst telleth vs, it will come to passe, that wicked men, and specially the Iewes, shall bée caryed with so great woodnesse ageynst the Church, that vnder the pretence of Religion, they shal rūne with might and mayn vpon the godly, yea and persuade the world, that it is a certeyne seruice of God too kill the godly: and too cast them out of their congregations. And he sayeth, that the cause of this outrage, is ignoraunce and blindnesse: that is too wit, that they neither acknowledge the wrath of God ageinst sinne, nor vnderstande the benefites of Chryst. The places are thrée.

  • 1 The office of the holy ghost, and of the ministers of the woord in the Church.
  • 2 A warning least the godly being offended at the stum­bling block, shuld renounce that profession & faith.
  • 3 Of the crosse of ye godly, & of their glorious deliuerance.

¶Of the firste.

ANd vvhen the comforter shall bee come, vvhom I vvill send you from my father, he shal beare vvitnesse of mee: yea and you also shall beare vvitnesse. These woords contein the first doctrine of this Gospell, namely that the holy Ghost and A­postles, and their successours must beare witnesse of Chryst.

Concerning the holy ghost, these things are gathered out of the text. First that he is one God with the father and the sonne. Secondly, that he is a distinct person from the father and the sonne. Thirdly, that he procéedeth from the father & the son. And fourthly, yt he is giuen too the church by Chryst. [Page] And why he is giuen to the church, it is héer declared, name­ly that he may bée a comforter: that he may bée a teacher of the truth: and that he may beare witnes of Christ. Of which offices, I will therefore speake the more bréefly, bicause the same things are too bée repeted vpon Whitson Sunday.

Why is he called a comforter or Aduocate? Lyke as by this terming of him, is giuen an inkling of the persecution and accusing or condemning of the churche by the heathenish world: so is it also expresly ment therby, that it shall not bée forsaken of Chryst in the time of persecution, but that Christ sendeth it an aduocate, namely the holy Ghost.

The properties of this aduocate are foure: First, that hée bée at hande too his Clyant, that is, too him that suffreth vio­lence or wrong, or is accused by the wicked world. Secondly that he take vppon him the case of eche man, yea and of the whole Churche, as his owne case. Thirdly, that he teach and admonishe him that erreth, and instruct him that hée bée not ouerthrowne in his case. Fourthly, that he comfort him in his trouble. Therfore when the holy ghost is called an aduo­cate, it is ment therby, that he is the defender of the Church, that he taketh the case therof vpon himselfe: and that he tea­cheth and comforteth the church.

Agein, the text saith, that the holy Ghost shal bée the tea­cher of truth. By which name is shewed, first that men can not obteyn healthful truth, of their owne disposition and na­ture. Secondly, yt the doctrine of truth is not of the lawe, but of the Gospell. For reason of his owne inclination dooth (af­ter a sort) vnderstande the doctrine of the law. And thirdly yt the holy ghost woorketh mightily both in the teachers and in the learners. For he maketh the teachers too vnderstande the truth, and the learners too receiue it. And therefore wée are admonished too call vppon the teacher of truth, that hée may giue vs the key of knowledge: and too beware that wée driue not away from vs that same most pure spirite, through our vnclennesse. For in asmuch as he is holy, that is, cleane, [Page 170] chast, and a maker of others holy, hée dwelleth not in an vn­pure harte: that is too wit, in suche a hart as tumbleth it selfe in his owne filthines, and defileth it selfe as a swine by wal­lowing in the myre.

Besides this, hée sayth: This holy Ghoste shall beare wit­nesse of mée. Of whiche office the ministers of Gods woorde also shalbée partakers.

But what dooth the holy Ghoste witnesse of Chryste? and what shall the ministers of the woord witnesse of him? First the holy Ghost and the ministers of Gods woorde beare wit­nesse of Chryst, that he is very God according too the Scrip­ture, one in Godhead with the father and the holy Ghoste, as wée professe in our Créed. Secondly the holy Ghoste witnes­seth, that Chryst is very man according too oure Créede: who was conceyued by the holye Ghoste, and borne of the virgin Mary. Thirdly ye holy Ghost witnesseth, that Christe though hée be bothe God and man: yet is but one Lord, one Chryste, one person, according as our Créed beareth record, & Chryst also of himself, when he sayth: No man goeth vp intoo heauē, but he that came downe from heauen, the sonne of man that is in heauen. Fourthly the holy Ghoste beareth witnesse of Chrystes office, that he is a bishop and a king. A bishop vere­ly, whiche with his owne sacrifice pacifieth the wrath of the father, and by his intercession bringeth vs vntoo GOD. And a King, in that he hath vanquished our enimies, death, sinne, the Deuil and hel, and shall come too iudge the quicke and the dead. These foure things dooth the spirit witnesse of Chryst. These foure things are deliuered vs cōcerning Christ in our Créede. These foure things shall all godly ministers of Gods woord witnesse of Chryst, til hée come too iudgement.

Of the second.

THese things haue I spoken to you, that yee shold not be of­fēded. Christ dooth thē to vnderstād, to what end he spake so much of the church, of the holy ghost, & of his death & resur­rectiō: yt is to wit, yt being cōfirmed by these things, they shold [Page] not bée offended with the rest of the world. This admonish­ment is necessarie at all times: for the world is full of stum­bling blocks. Woe (sayth Chryst) bée vntoo the world for of­fence: méening, that they are like too buy it déer, that fal from the Gospel bycause of offences. Now too the intent euery one of vs may iudge a right concerning an offence, I wil set forth a ful doctrine concerning offences.

An offence in general, is whatsoeuer kéepeth a man backe from the righte course of the Gospell, that is too saye, eyther woorde, déede, or outwarde appéerance (if I may so terme it) whiche is too any man a cause or occasion of stumbling, or of béeing offended, so as eyther he bée hindred or else step aside from the right course of saluation.

Of this stumbling blocke there are moe kindes than one. For there is one offence or stumbling block whiche is called giuen: and another that is called, taken. Which what maner of ones they bée, I wil declare by definitions and examples.

An offence giuen, is that which riseth eyther of som woord or déede that is euill in it selfe, or else of some woorde or déed, that is indifferent, that is too wit, neyther good nor euill, but cast foorth out of season. Both of these is streightly forbidden by Gods woord, and Chryste him self auoucheth it too bée bet­ter for a man too bée drowned in the middes of the Sea, than too giue occasion of offence too any bodye. The examples are these: Arrius denyed Chryst too bée God, whereby he caused manye too stumble, and was a cause of endlesse damnation, bothe too him selfe, and too many others. Dauid by his aduou­trie was a stumbling blocke too all the inhabiters of his Re­alme, and had pearished for euer, if hée had not repented. A­geinst this stūbling block prayeth Salomon, when he sayth: Kéep me frō the snare that they haue layd for me, & from the stūbling block of thē that work wickednesse. The most part of the world stūbling at this block, stick in damnation, & day­ly many fall headlong intoo destruction by dasshing ageynste this stūbling block, bothe priuately & publikly. Priuatly are [Page 171] offended children, seruants, and maryed couples. Children sée their parents absteyne from Gods seruice, and they ab­steine likewise. They héere their parentes sweare, and they sweare as well as they. They héere them talke of ribaudry, and by and by they folow their example. For wicked things sticke fastest in minde. They sée them bibbing, deceyuing, and dealing vniustly with their neibours, and they like good scholers lerne the same trades. But wo bée too them by whō such stumbling blockes are made. For they with the whirle winde, and tempest of their stumbling blockes, doo throwe downe and beate out the crop of Chrysts church.

This houshold stumbling block is the séede of all euils in the world. For such things as childrē lerne of their fathers & moothers, they kéepe stil when they bée old, and also teach the same too their children. Wherfore the parents that fear god, must take excéeding great héede, that they bée not stumbling blocks too their owne children. Therfore let them talk godli­ly, let them doo all things rightly. Let them serue God, and stirre vp their children too do the like, and let them bring thē vp in correction and nurture of the Lord, according as Paul admonisheth: and let them always bear in mind this saying of Chryst, which is written in the ninth of Mark: whoosoe­uer offendeth one of these little ones that beléeueth in mée, it were better for him that he had a milstone hanged about his neck, and were cast intoo the sea.

Moreouer, this offence is cōmitted also as wel by the ma­gistrate, as by the subiects. As whē Hieroboam set vp a calfe in Samaria too bée woorshipped, & when the same man play­ing the tyraunt did persecute the holy prophets of God. But this offence is most gréeuous in ministers of churches, when they eyther by leud doctrine or corrupt life, giue occasion too many too speak euil of the Gospel, and minister special occa­sion of fas [...]ing too them that bée weak [...], as are couetous per­sons, whoremongers, dronkards, murtherers, & such others as offende the Church with their behauiour: Which sort the [Page] zelous Bishoppes ought too dispose, least they by their fal­ling, should draw many mo with them too decay. Neyther are subiects too bée excused in this behalfe: for wée sée what the worlde is: all are corrupt. Who offendeth not in dron­kennesse? who giueth not occasion of stumbling by accu­stoming himselfe rashly too swearing? where is there one among a number, that layeth not some snare or other too stumble at?

Howbéeit, bicause offences giuen, are not all of one sort (for some are giuen by a woord or déede that is euill in it self, and other some are giuen by a woord or déed not euil of it self, but doone or spoken out of season:) It is too bée knowne, that the first kind without exception is too bée shunned of al men that haue regarde of euerlasting saluation. But as for that offence that is giuen by a thing indifferent, is not alwayes too bée eschewed, but wée must deale according too this diffe­rence of men. Some men are strong, as they that already know the Chrystian libertie. Some are weake and haue the beginning of Religion, but are not sufficiently settled in the christen libertie. Other some are obstinate, vnable too bée taught and wilfull. The first sort is not offended at the vse of things indifferent, but rather reioyseth in the christian li­bertie. The thirde sort are offended, but thou shalt not care for them, for they are the enemies of Chryst. Neither shalt thou absteine from the vse of things indifferent, for their sakes: and much lesse shalt thou absteine from true vertues: as are the true woorshipping of God, true inuocation, and true confession of the son of God. Neither shalt thou abstein from true doctrine, but after the example of Chryste, teache thou and professe thou the true Gospell, euen in sight of hell gates. For so did chryst: so did ye prophets: so did the apostles: yea and al the godly of all ages. It is woont too bée commonly sayd, that he ye iudgeth aright, teacheth aright, & dooth aright, ought not for any offence, too forbeare any thing yt is aright. This surely is most true, and is confirmed by the examples [Page 172] of Chryst & his apostles. But as cōcerning the middle sort of men (that is to wit, the weak) the rule of Paule is too bée no­ted: Rather thā I wil offend my weake brother, I wil eat no fleshe while I liue. After the same rule it is too bée déemed of other things indifferēt. For in all our dooings there is a con­sideration too bée had of mutuall charitie and edifying.

Neuerthelesse this offence giuen, wherof we haue already spoken, hath yet another differēce, takē of ye difference of the persons. For some persons are set in some roome of authori­tie: & other some are inferiors leading a priuate life. The of­fence yt is giuen by a persone set in any authoritie, is muche more gréeuous than yt which is giuē by a priuate person yt is placed in no office, & therfore it deserueth greter punishmēt, both in respect of ye person him selfe, who defileth the place to which he is promoted by God, & also for other mens sakes, too whō he by his leud example hath giuen a more forcible cause of falling. For euen as the greater a stone is that falleth frō a high rocke, the moe péeces it maketh in the fall: Euen so the greater state that a person is of, & the higher yt he is placed in degrée of dignitie, so many ye mo draweth he down with him when hée falleth. Likewise also a minister of Gods woorde, sinning in dronkennesse, whoredome, manslaughter, or any other crime: is a greater stumbling blocke, than a souldiour, a courtier, a mariner, or a ploughman, and therfore is too be restreyned and punished with greater punishement: For hée draweth moe with him vntoo decay. After the same manner is too bée déemed of others. Dauid in the Realme of Iewrie was not an aduouterer and a murtherer alone: yet not­withstanding, his sinne (by reason of the offence that grewe thereof) was more horrible than the faultes of other men in Gods sight: wherefore it was punished also with gréeuouser punishements, specially of the body. Muche more gréeuously sinneth a dronken mayster of a house, than a seruaunte. For hée is an example vntoo his whole housholde: but this other (as a despised person)▪ is not taken for anye example, excepte [Page] it bée of as leude as him selfe. And thus farre as touching an offence giuen.

An offence taken, is that whiche any man taketh too him­selfe at other mennes wel dooings, or otherwise: and it is of twoo sortes. Humain & deuilish. Humain, is partly of vngod­ly folk, partly of godly folk. Of vngodly folke, when ye vngod­ly are offēded, eyther at the dooings of the godly, or at the frée vsage of things indifferent, or else at the outwarde counte­nance of the Churche. For when the vngodly sée the godly distressed vnder the crosse, & too bée (as it were) outcasts in the world, the vngodly take thereby an occasion of a sorer fal. As the Iewes, which were offended at the lowlynesse of Chryst and the misery of his Church: after which sorte many at this day also are offended at the woundes of the Church. Contra­riwise, the godly take offence, when they sée the wicked flou­rishe: when the Churche is oppressed by tirants: when many giltlesse persons are punished: and when they sée the Church turmoiled with heresies. But they ouercome this stumbling block ageine, partly by the strengthning of the holy Ghoste, partly by the examples of Chrysts church, and partly by ear­nest prayer: neyther is there any better remedy ageynst the stumbling blockes of this kinde, than too set ageinst them the continuall custome of God, who suffreth his Churche too bée ouerwhelmed with sundry miseryes in this worlde▪ too the intent it may in time too come bée glorified with his beloued sonne our Lord Iesus Chryst.

The Deuilish offence taken, is when men preposterously catche occasions, whiche they stretche too a further libertie of sinning. Doutlesse the cause why Cham scoffed so malapert­ly at his Father, was that hée might purchase too him selfe li­bertie too sin without co [...]trolement. We sée very many such now a dayes, which euer narowly picke out the faults of the holy fathers (as ye incest of Loth, ye drōkennesse of Noe, ye cō ­cubineship of Abrahā, the aduoutrie & murther of Dauid, the periurie of Peter, the harde yoke that Ioseph layde vpon the [Page 173] Egiptians, and the gréedie gathering of Zachey:) too the in­tent they may sel themselues too al naughtinesse. Yea rather they séek by mennes vices, how they may hardē them selues too the contempt of God. Wherefore not without cause, this kinde of stumbling is called deuilish, as the whiche is shored vp with slaunders too the contempt of God.

¶Of the third.

THe third place is of the persecutiō or crosse of the churche: for whiche place looke before in the thirde Sunday after Easter.

¶ Vpon the feast of Pentecost, which we call Whitsonday. ¶The Gospel. Iohn. xiiij.

IF yee loue mee keepe my commaundementes, and I vvil pray the Father, and hee shall giue you another com [...]orter, that hee may abide vvith you for euer: e­uen the spirite of truth vvhom the vvorld cannot re­ceyue, bycause the vvorld seeth him not, neyther knovveth him. But yee knovve him: for he dvvelleth vvith you, and shal bee in you. I vvill not leaue you comfortlesse, but vvill come too you. Yet a little vvhile and the vvorld seeth mee no more: but yee see mee. For I liue, and yee shall liue. That day shall yee knovve that I am in my Father, and you in mee, and I in you. Flee that hathe my commaundementes and keepeth them, the same is hee that loueth mee. And hee that loueth mee, shall bee loued of my Fa­ther, and I vvill loue him, and vvill shevve my ovvne selfe vntoo him. Iudas sayth vntoo him (not Iudas Iscarioth▪) Lord, vvhat is doone that thou vvilte shevve thy selfe vntoo vs, and not vntoo the vvorld? Iesus ansvvered, and sayd vntoo them▪ if a man loue mee, hee vvill keepe my sayings, and my Father vvill loue him: and vve vvil come vntoo him, and dvvell vvith him. Hee that Io­ueth mee not, keepeth not my sayings. And the vvoord vvhiche yee heere, is not mine, but the Fathers vvhiche sent mee. These [Page] things haue I spoken vntoo you, beeyng yet present vvith you. But the comforter vvhich is the holy Ghost vvhome my Father vvil sende in my name, hee shall teache you all things, and bring all things too your remembraunce vvhat so euer I haue sayd vn­too you. Peace I leaue vvith you: my peace I gyue vntoo you. Not as the vvorld giueth, giue I vntoo you. Let not your hartes bee greeued, neyther fear. Yee haue herd hovv I sayd vntoo you: I go, and come ageine vntoo you. If yee loued mee, yee vvoulde verely reioyce, bycause I sayd, I go vntoo the Father: For the Fa­ther is greater than I. And novv haue I shevved before it come, that vvhen it is come too passe, yee might beleeue. Heereafter vvil I not talke many vvoords vntoo you. For the Prince of this vvorld commeth, and hathe naught in mee. But that the vvorlde may knovve that I loue the Father. And as the Father gaue mee commaundement, euen so doo I.

The exposition of the text.

THis feast which wée call Pentecost, that is the fiftith daye, was ordeyned in remembraunce of the confirmation of the Gospell, the fiftith daye after Chrystes resurrection. For that day, our Lord sent the holy Ghost from heauen, who sate vppon the Apostles visibly in likenesse of flambes of fire, and hée (according too Chrystes promisse) not onely leadeth the Apostles intoo all truthe, but also certifieth the whole world, that Iesus Chryst is in heauen, who from thence confirmeth his doctrine by this woonderfull déede. For like as the fiftith day after the Iewish passeouer which they ate first in Egipt, the law was giuen, and the doctrine thereof confirmed with great miracles according as it is written. Exod. 19. Euen so after the true Passeouer, (that is too wit, after the killing of the Lamb of GOD which is Chryst) Gods wil was too con­firme the Gospel of his Sonne, with this woonderful déede, that is, by the visible giuing of the holy Ghoste, according as wée shall héere more largely in the lesson at Euensong.

[Page 174]Now let vs enter vppon the most swéete Gospell, which also is a péece of that long Sermon that the Lord made to his Disciples the day before he suffered. The summe of the text that you haue herd, is, that Chryste giueth a true marke of faith and loue of God, and of the frute of the same fayth and loue, namely that the disciples should haue quiet consciences through the holy ghost, whom he promiseth that the father shall send in his name. Also Christ giueth them to vnderstād of his victorie ageinst Sathan, that euen by this victorie the world may know, how well the father loueth it. And al these things tend too ye strengthening of his disciples, least through offence of the crosse, they might go backe from their professi­on. The places are foure.

  • 1 The true marke of fayth and of the loue of God.
  • 2 The frute and vse of kéeping the woord of God.
  • 3 Chrysts promising the holy ghost the comforter.
  • 4 Of the peace that Christ promiseth too those that bée his.

¶Of the firste.

IF a man loue mee, he vvill keepe my sayings. Let vs marke these woords aduisedly. For they shew a true mark of faith & of the loue of God. He that loueth Christ, héereth him wil­lingly: He willingly kéepeth that which he héereth: And he willingly dooth that which he kéepeth. For these things are by nature ioyned togither. Wée sée it is a custome among men, that they doo not without wéerinesse héer those persons towardes whom they are not very well minded. And that contrarywise they couet nothing more, than with all atten­tiuenesse of mind, to héer those whom they loue entirely: spe­cially when they know they speake many things sagely and wisely too their welfare and profit.

But what is the saying of Chryst? First too repent. For so did his messenger Iohn Baptist and he himself also begin his preaching. Héerby is vttered his affection towardes vs: For without repentaunce it is vnpossible too bée saued. [Page] Wherevpon he sayth, except yée repent, yée shall all perishe. Secondly, too beléeue the Gospel, that is, too beléeue assuredly that Chryst is suche a one towards him, as he is declared too vs in his Gospell too bée, that is too wit, a Sauiour, a Iustifi­er and a Redéemer. The end of this faith is the health of our soules. 1. Peter. 1. and in Iohn: Hée that beléeueth in the sonne hath euerlasting life. Thirdly, too bring foorth frute by this faith: First deuotion too godward, or seruice of God▪ Second­ly in [...]cencie of life, and kéeping holy both of minde and bo­dy: Thirdly, loue of our neighbor flowing out of a true faith, a pure hart & a good conscience: And fourthly too doo the woork of our vocation in feare, too the glory of God and profit of our neighbour. All these vertues ar beutified with true patience, which is a certeyn obedience towards God vnder the crosse. He that wil bée my Disciple (sayth the Lord) let him take vp his crosse and folow mée.

What? Wherfore requirest thou so many things? Are we not iustified & saued by faith alone? Yes, it is true. But there is a difference too bée put betwixt the causes of saluation and the obedience that God requireth of those that bée his. Wée are iustified by faith only: but when wée are iustified, wée are made new men: that is too wit, the sonnes of God, and hence foorth wée must (after the example of our father) lead a new and blissed life.

But héere is too bée considered also, that as there is a dou­ble marke of the children of God: so ther is a double marke of the children of Sathan. The marke of the children of God is one while inward, and another while outward. The in­ward is repentance, faith, godlinesse, & good conscience. The outward is héering of Gods woord: and honest conuersation among men. For as Chryste sheweth héere that the loue of his woord, and the héering of it, is a marke of his Disciples: so Peter requireth honest conuersation among men, whereby God may bée glorified, & his church edified. But the inward marke of Sathans children is, too bée without faith, without [Page 175] godlynesse, too haue an euil conscience, and euil affections too haue the maistrie. The outward mark is, outward contempt of the woord, and a leude life. Mark wel these marks, and let euery man examine him self, whither he bée too bée accounted among the children of God, or among the children of the Di­uel. If hée perceiue him self too bée among the children of Sa­than, let him pul back his foot out of hand, least he be thrown headlong intoo damnation sooner than he looked for. If he per­ceiue him self too bée among the children of God, let him giue God thanks, and desire encrease of faith, loue, and other ver­tues: let him desire too bée strengthened by the holy Ghoste, least he bée withdrawen from his godly and holy race by the sleights of Sathan.

¶Of the second.

ANd my father vvill loue him, and vvee vvill come vntoo him and dvvell vvith him. Heere are rehersed the moste swéete frutes of kéeping the woord of God.

The firste frute is, that the Father loueth suche as kéepe Chrystes woord. For hée holdeth them right déere in his belo­ued. Ephe. 1. How great a good thing this is, it may bée vnder­stood héerby, that those which beléeue not in Chryst abide vn­der Gods wrath, according too this saying: Hée that beléeueth not in the sonne, the wrath of God abideth vpon him. Wher as the wrath of God is, there is sinne, death, damnation, hel, the tirannie of the Deuill, and (too bée shorte) all mischéefe. Contrarywise wheras is the loue of God, there are the eni­mies ouercome, there is saluation, there is ioy, there is life e­uerlasting. Therefore let vs think vpon this first frute of ke­ping Gods woord, that by thinking theron wée may be kind­led the more too loue the woord.

The seconde frute is, and vve (sayth hée) vvill come vntoo him. Than the whiche comming there can bée no greater ho­nor. If God the father, the sonne and the holy Ghost come too him that kéepeth Chrystes woords, vndoubtedly it foloweth, [Page] that they came not too him before. But that hée was in the di­uels power, and in the kingdome of darkenesse, where death and damnation reigne. It is a great frendship if a King come too his subiect, it is a great honor too be visited of a mans bet­ter: but vntoo this honor none other is comparable, that God the father, God the sonne, and God the holy Ghost come vn­too a man that loueth Chryst, and kéepeth his sayings.

The third frute is, that the Trinitie not only cōmeth too a man that kéepeth Christs sayings, but also maketh his dwel­ling with him, & abydeth in him. Christ méeneth by this most swéete promisse, that those whiche héere Chrystes woord and kéepe it, are the temples of the Trinitie, in whome dwelleth the father, the sonne, & the holy Ghost. And although that all the whole church is called one church of God: yet is euery se­uerall Christian a seuerall temple of the holy Ghost. Behold how princely a promisse this is. If any body should promisse a miserable man a great treasure of gold, he should haue good cause too be mery and reioyce, that of a poor and wretched cre­ature, he should become a riche and happie man. But héere is promised a moste incomparable treasure, namely the dwel­ling of the Trinitie in vs, whiche farre surmounteth all the treasures of the world.

But what dooth the Father when hée dwelleth in a man? what dooth the sonne? what dooth the holy ghoste? The father with his might shéeldeth and defendeth the men in whom he dwelleth, ageinst the rage of sathan: wheras sathā executeth ful power vppon all beléeuers. The sonne with his wisdome and light, teacheth and lighteneth them ageinst all mistes of all maner of darknes. The holy ghost with his holinesse, sā ­ctifieth, consecrateth, & anoynteth them too bée the Prophets, Kings, Préests, and saincts of the Lord. Too be Prophets, bi­cause we sée those things with the eyes of our faith, which no bodily eare is able too conceiue. Of this Propheticall office speaketh Ioel, according as Luke also maketh mēcion. Act. 2. Too be Kings, partly bicause we are made the childrē of God [Page 176] by the victorie of Christ: and also bicause that by the power of Christ, we reigne ouer death and hel. Lu. 22. I appoynt vntoo you a kingdome, like as my father hath appoynted vntoo me. Too bée préestes, bicause when wée beléeue in Chryst, wée haue aucthoritie too offer vntoo GOD the sacrifice of prayse: wée haue libertie too cal vpon God through Iesus Christ our only mediator and high préest: wée haue aucthoritie too teach Gods woord. Howbéeit euery man according too the maner of his calling. And too bée saincts, bicause that through Faith in Christ, wée are accoūted as pure as if wée had fulfilled ye law to the vttermost. Behold what a nūber of frutes the keping & louing of Chrysts woord bringeth with it. There can bée no greater dignitie, there can bée no greater glory, there can bée no honor or worship more excellent. But what shal wée lern by it? To liue worthy so great honor, that wée by our owne vnclennesse driue not God out of our harts: but rather that wée exalt him with continual prayses, in true godlinesse and sanctificatiō. That so great worship ought to put vs in mind héerof, Peter teacheth. 1. Pet. 2. where he sayth thus: you are a chosen generation, a kingly préesthood, a holy nation, a peo­ple whom God claymeth proper too himselfe, that yée should set foorth, his woorks, whoo hath called you out of darknesse intoo his woonderfull light. You that in times past were no people, are now the people of God, you which in times past obteyned no mercy, haue now obteyned mercy. Héerevppon the Apostle inferreth: Absteyne therfore from fleshly lustes which fight ageynst the soule, and make your conuersation honest among the Heathen. As many benefites of God then as wée héere of towardes vs, so many spurres shall there bée to pricke vs forward too godly and holy lyfe. Wherfore sith Chryste héere promyseth so great things, and sith that the heauenly Trinitie dwelleth in them that beléeue: Let vs endeuer too bée cleane and pure, as it be commeth Gods tem­ples too bée. Let vs bée spiritual things, that wée may reigne ouer sinne, and not serue it any more in the lustes thereof. [Page] Let vs bée prests that may offer quicke sacrifices vntoo God, and call vpon him by fayth in Chryst. Let vs bée saincts and segregated from the heathenish routes of the world, that wée fall not intoo our former filthinesse agein.

¶ Of the thirde.

ANd the comforter, the holy Ghost vvhom the father shall sende in my name, he shall teach you all things. This is Chrysts promisse, whereby he promiseth his Disciples the holy ghost. Wée haue herd before what is the woorthinesse of the Chrystians: Now let vs héer what is ioyned with this woorthinesse. And bicause I am not able to vtter these things according too their woorthinesse, I will (after the manner of babes) prattle of eche thing that is spoken in this royall pro­misse. These few woords therfore doo conteine seuen poynts concerning the holy ghost, the which I will reherse bréefly, and apply them too our vse. For these points contein the cau­ses why the holy ghost is sent and giuen.

First he is called an Aduocate. Although I haue spoken somewhat an eight dayes hence concerning this name: Yet peraduenture it shal not bée amisse too repete it agein too day.

Therfore he is called an Aduocate (that is too say a spokes­man,) bicause hée is at hande too the afflicted and dooth teache them, comfort them, & take their case vpon him as his owne: and in conclusion compelleth vs too crye out, and too say with all our hart: Abba father, haue mercy vpon vs for thy sonnes sake, whom thou hast giuen too bée our Sauiour. And this is the first cause why the holy ghost is giuen.

The second is, that he may quicken vs, and thervpon he is called a spirit. Now there is a double life. The one naturall, wherethrough all liuing creatures liue: and this endureth for a short time, for it is swalowed vp by death: and the other life is of God, from which Paule sayeth, that all those are e­straungers which haue not knowne Chryste. The author of this life is that spirit of Chryst, which he promised too his dis­ciples. [Page 177] This is not of short continuance: but euerlasting, as which is proper too the euerlasting God. And this life liue al they that beléeue in the sonne of God. Gala. 2.

The thirde cause of sending and géeuing the holy ghost, is that he may make vs holy, of which operation he is called holy: and he maketh vs holy, at what time he worketh faith in vs when he regenerateth vs, when he reformeth our vn­derstanding, affections, and will: and too bée bréefe, when he bringeth too passe that wée become newe creatures, and liue according too the will of God.

The fourth cause of sending & giuing the holy ghost vntoo vs, is that he may stablish a certeyne louingnesse among vs: and therfore he is said too bée sent from the father too his chil­dren. For as the father embraceth his children with an in­ward kindnesse & loue: so he desireth nothing more, than that the childrē folowing the nature of their father, should main­teine brotherly loue among them selues. Thus too doo it bée­commeth them that acknowledge God too bée their common father. As for those that refuse too doo so, either they neuer were his children, or else they are shamefully growen out of kind from the nature of their father.

The fifth cause of sending the holy ghost is, that wée may lerne of him, in what sort our heauenly father is mynded to­wards vs. Therfore the Lord sayth: and he shal teach you al things. What? Shall he teach any other thing than yt which the Prophets and Moyses haue taught? Or any other thing than is deliuered vs in the scripture? No forsoth. For he shal teach the self same things. Doth not ye scripture suffise? Yes, it suffiseth as in respect of doctrine, but not as in respect of our capacitie. For although wée héere the woord a thousande times: yet is it vneffectuall vnlesse he teache within. For a­noynting (as sayth the Apostle) teacheth all things.

The sixth cause of sending and giuing the holy ghost, is shewed in this saying, in my name. By which saying is signi­fied the vttermost ende or the final cause why the holy ghost [Page] is giuen: which is, that they which beléeue in Chryst may bée saued. For in as much as Chryst is our saluation, & that the holy ghost is sent in his name: there is no dout, but he is sent for our saluation sake.

The seuenth cause is, that he may confirme Christs woord in vs. He (sayth Chryst) shall teach you all things: he shall put you in mynde of all thyngs that I haue spoken vntoo you. These things ar signifyed bréefly concerning the holy ghost, in our Gospel that is red this day in our Church: mo things are noted yet more bréefly in our Créede, which are, that the holy ghost is very God, that he is the thirde person in Trini­tie, that he quickeneth and sanctifyeth, & that wée must leane vntoo him by liuely fayth, as vntoo the father and the sonne. But as concerning these things wée shall héer more another time, and haue herd more a while ago.

¶Of the fourth.

MY peace I leaue vntoo you, my peace I giue vntoo you not as the vvorld giueth doo I giue you. This promisse of Chryst is right great also, and much greater than the world vnderstādeth. Dooth not Christ say, (as we haue herd of late) in the world ye shall haue trouble, and they shal cast you out of their sinagoges? It is so. Therfore Chryst maketh a diffe­rence betwéene the two sortes of peace: betwéene the peace of the world, and his peace. What maner of peace the peace of the world is, there is no man but he vnderstandeth. But what maner of peace Chrysts peace is, onely the children of God vnderstande. For it is that peace whereof the Gospell speaketh, and of which I haue entreated abundantly the first Sunday after Easter. Neuerthelesse too the intent I may bréefly repete the same things: The peace of Christ is our re­concilemēt vntoo. God, the remission of our sinnes, the giuing of the holy ghost, and euerlasting life, according too this pray­er of the Church: O God which by the lightning of the holy Ghost hast taught the hartes of the faythfull, giue vntoo vs that peace which the world cannot giue, and that our hartes [Page 178] may bée quiet. This peace the sonne of God graunt vntoo vs, too whom with the father and the holy Ghost bée honour and glory for euermore. Amen.

Vpon Whitson Monday. ¶The Gospel. Iohn. iij.

SO GOD loued the vvorld, that he gaue his one­ly begotten Sonne, that vvho so euer beleeueth in him, should not perishe, but haue euerlasting life. For God sent not his sonne intoo the vvorld too condemne the vvorlde, but that the vvorlde through him mighte bee saued. But hee that be­leeueth on him, is not condemned. But hee that beleeueth not, is condēned already, bicause hee hath not beleeued in the name of the onely begotten sonne of God. And this is the condemna­cion: that light is come intoo the vvorlde, and men loued dark­nesse more than light, bicause their deedes vvere euill. For euery one that euil dooth, hateth the light, neyther commeth too the light, least his deeds should be reproued. But he that dooth the truthe, commeth too the light that his deeds may bee knovvne, hovv that they are vvrought in God.

The exposition of the Text.

WE heard yesterday how the Gospel of Iesus Chryst was confirmed by a woonderfull mi­racle, namely that Chryst sent the holy ghost from heauen in a visible shape, whō not one­ly the Apostles felt, but also al that wer that day at Hierusalem sawe: according as Luke declareth. Act. 2. This day the Church setteth foorth a Gospel, wherin Chryst comprehendeth a summe of that doctrine, for the confirmation whereof the holy Ghoste was giuen vpon Whitsonday. Chryste talketh with Nichodemus, who was one of the Pharisies and a Prince of the Iewes, as wée shall héere more at large vpon Trinitie Sunday.

[Page]Untoo him dooth Chryste (in the texte whiche I recited euen now) declare the causes of saluation and damnation, & shew­eth from whence commeth the originall bothe of saluation, & also of damnation. Hée sayeth that Chryst was giuen, too the intent that they which beléeue in him shoulde bée saued. The reste hée witnesseth too sticke still in their damnation, as wée shall cléerly sée in the exposition of the text. The places.

  • 1 The commendation of Gods louingnesse and mercy to­wards men.
  • 2 The instrument wherby Chrystes benefites are apply­ed too men, is sealed.
  • 3 A comfort for the godly ageinst the temptation of sinne and iudgement.
  • 4 The difference betwixte the beléeuers and the vnbelée­uers.

¶ Of the first.

SO GOD loued the vvorlde, that he gaue his onely begotten Sonne. In these few woords is commended vntoo vs the lo­uingnesse and mercy of God: and that not by naked woords, but by a déed most excellent of all others. For it is not a true loue, which eyther lyeth hid in the hart only, or sitteth in the tong: but which procéeding frō the innermore affection of the hart, vttreth it selfe by woord and déede. How then dooth God loue héer? Hée loueth in such wise, that he gaue euen his own sonne too be the price of the raunsome for the redēption of the world, that he might by his death redéem them that were ad­iudged too death & damnation. Of this loue of God speaketh Paul. Rom. 5. God condemneth his loue towards vs, in that when wée were yet sinners, Chryst dyed for vs. And Rom. 8 If God bée on oure side, who can bée ageinst vs? Who spared not euen his owne sonne, but gaue him for vs all. Wée day­ly behold great tokens of Gods loue towards men, in al our whole life, & in the gouernment of things. Notwithstanding, that loue whiche so shineth foorthe in the matters of this life, [Page 179] is scarsly a slender shadow of that most excellent loue wher­with he embraceth vs in his sonne, whom he hath giuen too most bitter death for vs. This loue of GOD hath excéeding mercy going with it, of which Moises, the Prophets, and the Psalmes doo preach in many places: out of whom I wil take a few testimonies, too confirme our beléefe concerning Gods good wil towards vs. Moses Exo. 34. saith thus. O Lord God of power, mercifull, and gentle, and of much compassion, and true, which extendest mercy vntoo thousands, which takest a­way iniquitie, wickednesse, and sinne. Deut. 5. I am the Lord thy God that sheweth mercy vntoo many thousāds that loue me and kéepe my commaundements. Esai. 16. And his throne shalbée prepared in mercy. Ionas. 4. for I know that thou art a gentle and merciful God, pacient and of much compassion, & a forgiuer of mens wickednesse. Dauid Psa. 2. The earth is full of the Lords mercy. And the .102. Psal. As farre as the heauen is from the earth, so hath he strengthened his mercy vpon them that feare him. Also Psal. 103. The mercy of the Lord is from generation too generation vpon them that fear him, and his rightuousnesse vpon their childrens childrē. Al­so in the same Psalm. The Lord is merciful and gentle, slow too anger, & great in mercy, he dealeth not with vs according too our iniquities, neither rewardeth he vs according too our misdéedes: but as high as the heauen is aboue the earth, so much hath his mercy surmounted towards them that feare him. As the father pitieth his children, so doth the Lord pitie thē that feare him. There be many such testimonies of scrip­ture, which set out vntoo vs the vnspeakable loue and mercy of God, and shew the largenesse of the same loue and mercy, and the effect and applying therof. For the largenes of gods mercy is séene in these poynts, that it extendeth it selfe vntoo thousandes, that it filleth the earth, & that God pitieth as the father pitieth his owne children. The effect or frute of it is séene in this, that it taketh away sinne, that it iustifieth sin­ners, that it acquiteth of ye due penaltie. This mercy is groū ­ded [Page] in his sone, bicause he by offring himself in sacrifice hath satisfied Gods iustice, & by his obedience towards the law of God, hath purchased rightuousnesse vntoo vs. This mercy is applied too them that loue God, & feare him, & kéepe his com­maundements: that is, too them that beléeue in Christ, which through faith performe new obedience. But as touching this matter, more is to be spoken in the second place. Let vs héere consider more déepely the woords of the text. God so loued the vvorld (sayth he.) Who loueth? God. Whom loueth he? The world. Héer stay thy self, & think vpon this woord. He loueth this world: Ergo his healthfull louingnesse perteyneth not to the Iewes only, for they ar but a péece of ye world. He loueth the world: Ergo he loueth not only a certeine few of ye world, as the holy & vertuous yt are in the world: but rather Chryst cam into ye world of purpose to saue ye sinners. What meneth he then by the world? Al men that are in ye world. Behold the Lamb of God (saith Iohn) which taketh away ye sinnes of the world. And agein, gods wil is yt al men shuld be saued. As of­ten therfore as we héer yt God loueth the world, let vs think our selues to be a parcel of that world which he loueth. How falles it out then yt he loueth vs, cōsidering yt we are sinners? God findeth two things in vs. One whiche he himselfe hath made, and another which cōmeth of our selues. That we are men consisting of soule & body, it procéedeth of him: This his creature God loueth. But that we are sinners, we haue it not of him, but it procéeeeth of our selues. This dooth God hate, & for the clensing héerof hath he giuen his sonne: & willeth that those which wil be partakers of his mercy, should mortifie it in thēselues by continual repentāce. But how doth God loue the world? So as he hath giuen his sonne for it: that is to wit that he should take vpon him the sinne of the world, & die for it vpon the crosse. Surely it is a great loue, than which there can be none greter. But reason is héer offēded, which vnder­standeth not Gods purpose, and obiecteth in this wise. Is not God almighty? Yes surely. Can he not doo what hée listeth? [Page 180] Yes vndoubtedly can he. Had it not bin better then if he had shewed his loue towards men by some other meane? Austin answereth. If hée had doone otherwise, neyther would yt haue liked thée. It pleased him (saith Paul) too saue the vnbeléeuers by the foolishe preaching of the Gospel. Wherefore setting a­side the iudgemente of reason, let vs saye with Dauid: Thy woorde is a lanterne too my feete. Also this is too bée knowne, that God is not only almighty, but also most iust, most mer­ciful, and most wise. Mankinde was falne intoo sinne. What did Iustice require in this case? Surely that mankind should bée punished according too the greatnesse of his sinne. Nowe as his sinne was infinite (for the infinite goodnesse was defa­ced therby:) so Gods iustice required that eyther mankinde should suffer endlesse punishmēt, or else that rightfull amēds should bée made in stead of the punishemente. This amends could none make but God. But forasmuch as God ought not too bée punished: the sonne of God tooke mannes nature vpon him, and in it made satisfaction for the sinnes of the worlde. And so God shewed himself not only almighty, but also most iust, most merciful, and most wise. For he alone foūd out the way which reason could not find. He gaue his sonne, whoo by his heauenly power ouercame sinne, death, the Deuil & Hel: who of his mercy hath receyued vs: who with his rightuous­nesse hathe satisfied the iustice of God: who through his wis­dome hath found out the way of saluation.

¶Of the second.

THat all that beleeue in him shoulde not perishe, but haue e­uerlasting life. Héere is the instrument set foorth whereby the benefites of our Mediatour Chryst are applyed vntoo vs. Howbéeit for asmuch as these are the woordes of the sonne of God, and the chéef floure or pith of the whole scripture: I wil sift them one by one, and shew what doctrine is too bée gathe­red of euery word.

First hée sayth: All. This woord all remedieth two moste gréeuous temptations: whereof the one is of particularitie, [Page] and the other of vnwoorthinesse for the multitude of sinnes. There are diuers that confesse God too bée merciful too many for Christes sake: but they dout whither so great a good turne perteine too them selues or no. This is a sore temptation, the whiche the sonne of God remedyeth with this one woord all. For if Chrystes benefite extended not it self too all, he would in no wise haue sayd all, but many or some. Let vs then giue the praise of truth vntoo Chryste, and let euery man through­ly persuade him self, that Christes benefits belong to him al­so. Ageine another temptation riseth of the thinking vppon the greatnesse of sinnes, whiche temptation the miseries of this present life encrease. This dooth Chryste remedy also by this woord all. For hée sayth not euery iust man, or that com­mitteth the lesser sinnes: but all: that is to wit, euery one that is found within this wide worlde. This also confirmeth the price of our redemptiō. The blud of Christ (saith Iohn) clen­seth vs from all iniquitie: that is too say, from all that whiche wée doo amisse contrary too the law of God. Therefore let no man despaire by reason of the greatnesse of his disease. Oure Phisicion Chryste is wise, and hath an effectuall remedye a­geinst all diseases, namely his owne death and obedience.

Then foloweth the second woord: that beleeueth: by whiche woord mākind is disseuered intoo twoo sorts of men: of whom the one beléeue, & the other beléeue not. They beléeue, whiche persuade them selues that Christ is fauorable to them, accor­ding too his promisse: and they beléeue not, whiche despise the gospel, and wil not credit Christ: & these perish through their owne default. Uerely the benefit extendeth it self too al men, & is offred too all according too Christs commaundement: but it is receiued of the beléeuers only, according too Chrysts cō ­maundement and promisse. Go yee intoo the vvhole vvorld & preach the gospel to al creatures. He that beleueth shalbe saued. Behold, the benefit is offred vntoo all: but only the beléeuers take hold of it: the rest perish through their own default. For althoughe that God of his mercy is willing too haue all men [Page 181] saued: yet wil hée of his iust iudgement, that the vnbeléeuers perish, whom hée would haue saued, if they had not refused to embrace their saluation by faith.

The third woord is on him: For hée is saued that beléeueth on him, that is, on the sonne of God, very man, the sauyoure of the world Iesus Chryst. What is it too beléeue on him? It is too despaire of thy self, and too hope for all good at his hand.

The fourth woord is, should not perish. In this saying are shewed twoo things: Firste that all whiche beléeue not on Christ are subiect too the sentence of damnation. And second­ly that men bée acquit from this sentence of dānation, by the merites of only Chryst through fayth only. This therfore is the greatest benefite of the Gospel, too bée set frée from deser­ued destruction and endlesse damnation.

The fifthe saying is: but haue life euerlasting. This is the chéefest benefit of the Gospel. Endlesse death is due to vs by oure owne desert: eternall life is due too vs by the deserte of Christ, so that wée leane vntoo him by stedfast fayth vntoo the end. By these things now is too be gathered a firme differēce betwixt the law and the Gospel, and betwéene woorkes and fayth: The law promiseth eternall life: but it is too them that doo the lawe. But bicause no man is able too fulfil the lawe, it foloweth that no man can atteine life by the law. The Gos­pel promiseth eternal life fréely too all that beléeue in Christ, bicause Chryste hath for all suche satisfied the rightuousnesse of the lawe. Fayth therefore receyueth that benefite fréely whiche the lawe offereth without condicion of fulfilling the law. Notwithstanding, when wée haue obteyned this bene­fite by faith, we must doo works, not too the intent too deserue Heauen and euerlasting life by them, but as Gods Children too performe true obedience too our Father, and to shew oure fayth by our frutes, in all godlynesse and honestie.

¶Of the third.

FOr God hathe not sent his sonne intoo the vvorlde too com­demne the vvorlde, but that the vvorlde mighte bee saued by [Page] him. Hee that beleeueth in him is not condemned: but he that beleeueth not is iudged already, bycause hee beleeueth not on the name of the onely begotten sonne of GOD. These woords conteine a thirde place, that is too wit, comforte and terrour. For it bothe comforteth the godly acknowledging their sin­nes: and putteth the stubborne in feare, that wil not beléeue in Chryste. Nowe for as muche as GOD easly sawe what the weaknesse of men was (and chéefly of those that earnest­ly think vppon the sentence of the lawe) and saw the wilful­nesse of no small number: hée applyed his woord vntoo them bothe. For the first sorte, when they héere how all that yéelde not ful obedience too the lawe, are subiecte too the sentence of death, can not but be dismayed at the threatnings of the law. Those therefore dooth Chryste comforte, and sayeth: GOD hath not sent his Sonne too condemne the vvorlde, but that the vvorld might be saued by him. Hée speaketh of his first com­ming intoo the worlde, whiche was too saue sinners that fall too amendment. For hée vsed this swéete allurement: Come vntoo mée all yée that labor and are laden, and I wil refreshe you. Also, I came not too call the rightuous, but the sinners too repentaunce. As many then as obey Chrystes voyce, and repente, are frée from the iudgement of damnation. For thus sayeth the trueth: Hee that beleeueth in him, is not iudged. That is too say, with the iudgement of damnation. This pro­misse wil comfort vs ageinst the sentence of the lawe, and of our owne conscience. For hée that shall bée iudge of the quick and the dead, sayeth openly. Hée that beléeueth in him, is not iudged. The trust vntoo this promise shalbe néedful for vs in ye houre of death, ageinst the thretnings of the law, ye dredful­nes of death, ye flames of hel, & the tirannie of the deuil. For it cannot come too passe, yt the euerlasting trueth should lie. Hi­thertoo concerning the cōfort of them yt beleue. Cōcerning the terror of them yt wil not beléeue ye gospel, it foloweth: but he that beleueth not, is iudged alredy, bicause he beleeueth not in the name of the only begottē son of God. what? Shal ther thē [Page 182] bée none other iudgement? Yes: the son of man shal come too iugement in his time, according as he hath promised. What méeneth he then by saying: He is alredy iudged, yt is too say: condemned. By this saying, he sheweth what maner of ones al the childrē of Adam be without faith, yt is, without Christ our mediatour: namely that they be iudged (yt is too say, con­demned) yt is to wit, as in respect of ye cause & the matter. For the cause & matter of their dānation is in themselues, which is the transgression of gods law & wilfully rebelling ageinst God. Besides this, the sentence of the lawe spoken long ago when he had first created man, & afterward repēted in moūt Sinai, is that al they are cursed that obey not God according too his commaundement. Untoo this curse are all they tyed that bèléeue not in the Sonne of God, who alone hath ta­ken vppon him the curse of them that beléeue in him. That this is so, wee are doone too vnderstande by the things that folowe. And this is the iudgement, that light is come intoo the vvorlde, and men haue loued darkenesse more than light. That is too say, therfore shall men bée damned, bicause they haue not receiued the light of the son of God by faith: but rather would abide still in their owne ignoraunce, and that by reason their woorks were euill.

¶Of the fourth.

FOr euery one that dooth euill ha [...]eth the light, and vvill not come too the light, least his vvoorks should bee reproued. When théeues will steale, they loue the darke: so men that are not yet borne agein by faith in Christ too doo wel, are ca­ried with might and mayne vntoo naughtinesse, and therfore doo hate the light of the Gospell: where contrarywise he that dealeth vprightly with a good conscience, cōmeth to the light, that is to say, dooth his woorks openly, and is not afrayd, that men shuld sée thē. That is too wit, he that cōmeth too the light of Chryst, and hath lerned of his spirit too doo wel, he abideth no longer in the darkenesse of ignoraunce, but endeuereth too walke like the childe of Light. Héereby then wée may [Page] learne, first the difference betwéene them that beléeue, and them that beléeue not. For the difference is too bée found out by their works, as the Lord sayth in an other place: A good trée bringeth foorth good frute: and an euil trée bringeth foorth euill frute. Ageine wée may learne, that the light of the Gos­pell cannot abide that wée shoulde bée wrapped in our olde darknesse. Too this purpose make so many exhortations of Chryst and his Apostles. In Mathew the Lorde sayth: Let your light so shine before men, that they may glorifie your heauenly father. And Paule sayeth: Ye are the children of light, walke as in the light. After the same maner also spe­keth Peter: Untoo whiche liuely stone reiected of men, but chosen and honored of God, come you, and as liuely stones bée builded vppon it a spirituall house, and a holy préesthood, too offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable too god through Iesus Chryst. Let no man thinke therfore, that the Gospell giueth libertie too sinne. The Gospel deliuereth from sinne: Wher­fore it will not that we should any more yéeld our selues vn­der the yoke of sinne, when wée are once rid of it. If (sayeth our Sauiour) the sonne haue set you frée, yée shall bée frée in déede. He that committeth sinne, is the flaue of sinne. Then sith wée are set frée by Iesus Chryste, let vs vse our fréedome in suche wise, as wée may bée the seruaunts, not of sinne, but of God, through Iesus Chryst our Lorde. Too whom bée ho­nour for euer. So be it.

The third holy day in Whitson weeke. ¶The Gospell. Iohn. x.

VErely, verely, I say vntoo you: he that entreth not in by the doore intoo the shepefolde, but clymbeth vp some other vvaye, the same is a theefe and a murtherer. But he that entreth in by the doore is the shepeheard of the sheepe: To him the porter openeth, and the shepe heer [Page 183] his voice, and hee calleth his ovvne sheep by name, and leadeth them out, And vvhen hee hath sent foorth his ovvne sheepe, hee goeth before them, and the sheepe folovv him: for they knovv his voyce. A straunger vvil they not folovve, but vvil flee from him: for they knovve not the voyce of straungers. This Pro­uerbe spake Iesus vntoo them, but they vnderstoode not vvhat things they vvere vvhiche he spake vntoo them. Then sayde Ie­sus vntoo them ageine: Verely, verely, I say vnto you: I am the door of the sheepe. All (euen as many as come before mee) are theeues and murtherers, but the sheep did not heare them. I am the doore, by mee if any enter in, he shalbe safe, and shall go in and oute, and finde pasture. A theefe commeth not but for too steale, kil, and destroy. I am come that they might haue life, and that they might haue it more abundantly.

The exposition of the text.

WE herd yesterday of the euerlasting life whi­che wée atteine by faith in Christe: & this day is shewed vntoo vs the true door, and the true doore kéeper, least any man might stray from the righte gate of eternall life, and séeke an other way or door, by whiche he cannot come too eternall life. Now too the intente wée may the better vn­derstand the texte of this Gospel, wée must marke the occasi­on and purpose or drifte therof, wherby the effect of the mea­ning may bée gathered. The occasion was this. Chryste hea­led a blinde man, that had bin blind from his birth: by which déede hée shewed his Godheade, and that hée was the Messias, whiche had bin promised long agoe. But the Pharisies and Scribes (who at that time were counted the shepheardes of Gods people) were offended, as they that enuyed Chryst, the honor of the Messias, and true shephearde that was promised. Ageynst the vngodlynesse of whome, Chryste maynteyneth and vpholdeth him selfe too bée the true shepeheard. His drift therfore is too shewe the true shéepfolde, that is, too define the [Page] true Churche, wherof hée alone is the true shepeherd. Thus haue wée the occasion & drift of this sermon. And the summe of it is, that he bothe confuteth the Scribes (whiche vaunted them selues too bée the true shepeherds) and auoucheth him­self too bée the true shepherd, in whose shéepfolde bée as many as héere his voice and folow him, and depart from strangers: that is too say, from false shepherds. The places are twoo.

  • 1 Of false shepeherds.
  • 2 Of the true shepeherd and shéepfolde.

¶Of the firste.

VErely, verely, I say vntoo you, hee that entreth not intoo the sheepefolde at the doore, but climbeth in another vvay, hee is a theefe and a murtherer. This is the description of a false Prophet. And by setting foorthe the example of one, hée signi­fieth all false Prophets. Hée is a false Prophete that entreth not in at the doore. What is it, not too enter in at the doore? It is too appoint another way too saluation than Chryste onely. Then whosoeuer strayeth from Chryste, strayeth from the doore, & is a false shepeherde. Arrius denyed Chrystes God­head: therfore did hée stray from the doore, for Chryst is very God. Photinus denyed Chrystes manhood: therefore hée stray­ed from the doore, for Chryste is verye man. Sabellius made twoo persons in Chryst: therfore strayed hée from the doore, for Iesus is both God and man, one Lorde, and one Chryste. The Papistes say, wée are not saued by the onely merite of Chryste: therefore they straye from the doore, for Chryste a­lone is the Sauioure of the worlde. The Pharisies and Pa­pists thrust vpon vs mennes traditions in stéede of the Gos­pell: wherefore they stray from the doore, and enter intoo the shéepfolde (that is, intoo the Church) by another doctrine, than the doctrine of Moyses, the Prophetes, the Psalmes, and the Apostles, for this is too climbe in another waye. Wée maye therfore note héerby the true mark of false Prophets, which is too climbe intoo the shéepefolde some other way than by the [Page 184] very gospel of Chryst, or than by Chryst himself, and to take vpon them the office of teching. These false techers are thée­ues and murtherers. They are murtherers after a double manner. First, in that they thought their owne doctrine too bée sufficient too saluation, & the only doctrine that fed: when neuerthelesse there is no vnderstanding of the woorde, but if Christ open, and as it were vnbolt the doore. Secondly, for that they deuised also new traditions of their owne brayne, which they thought too bée auaylable too saluation: according as wée manyfestly sée it to haue bin customably doone by the Papists, which haue taught, that this work, this Masse, this Rosarie, this praying vnto Saincts, and this order, deserued saluation. They are théeues moreouer, first bicause by their craftinesse, they take away the true doctrine. 2. Cor. 11. lyke as the serpent deceyued Eue by his wilinesse. Secondly, for that whē they haue stolne away the true doctrine, they foyst in a wycked doctrine, wherethrough they strengthen the handes of the vngodly, and discourage the hart of the righ­tuous. Ezech. 13.

But what méeneth it that it foloweth in the text, As ma­ny as came before mee, are theeues and murtherers? Came not Moyses, Elias, Esay, Heliseus, Ieremie, Daniel, & many o­thers before Chryst? If they came before him, they wer thée­ues & robbers, according as ye lord in this place auoucheth o­penly. They are said too come before Christ, yt come without Christ, yt come without his doctrine and spirit. But the holy prophets of God came with Chrysts spirit and doctrine: ther­fore they came not before Chryst, neyther were they théeues & murtherers, but true shepherds of Chrysts shéepfold. Héer­vpō Austin saith wel: They come wt him, yt come with gods word. I (saith he) am the way, ye truth, & the life. If he bée the truth, they come with him yt be true. As many then as come wtout him, ar théeues & murtherers, yt is too say, they come of their owne heads, to ye intent to steale & kil. They ar théeues bicause they say that that is theirs which is an other mans: [Page] and they are murtherers bicause they also kill that whiche they haue stolne. Soo then how great daunger there is in false teachers. They clayme Chrysts flocke to them selues like théeues: and they kill them like murtherers. Upon good cause therfore dooth Chryst in the Gospel warne all men too beware of false prophets, that is of false teachers that bring not with them Gods truth.

¶Of the second.

BVt hee that entreth at the doore, is the shepeherde of the sheepe. Héere he entreateth of the good shepherd, and defi­neth him too bée the good shepeherd that entreth in at ye doore. There are foure sorts of good shepeherds. For first God him­selfe is called the shepeherd of his shéepe, according too that which is written. Hierem. 22. Behold, I wil gather the rem­nant of my flock out of al lands, intoo which I had cast them out, and will bring them ageine intoo their owne grounds, and they shall encrease and bée multiplied. Also Psalme. 23. The Lorde is my shepeherde, I shall want nothing: he shall put me in a place of pasture. Secondly Chryst, God & man, is also a true shepherd, as he himselfe witnesseth in this gos­pell, and as wée haue herd euen nowe. I am the good shepe­herd: whiche thing hée proued by that that hée redéemed his shéepe with his owne life. The thirde kinde of shepeherdes are the godly teachers, of whom the Lorde speaketh in Hie­remie: I will rayse vp shepeheardes among them, and they shall féede. And Chryst maketh Peter a shepeherd, when hée sayeth: Féede my shéepe. The fourth kinde of Shepherds is the ciuill magistrate. Wherevpon king Dauid is called the shepeherd of the people: and in olde time kings were called shepherds of people. Howbeit the Lord in this Gospel spea­keth not of the first and last kinds of shepherds, but onely of the middle sorts of shepherds: that is, of himselfe and other godly teachers of the Church: of whom I will speake some­what, howebéeit bréefly, bicause I spake of this matter a [Page 185] while ago. A good shepheard therfore in generall is, first he that entreth in at the dore, that is, which cōmeth with Christ and bringeth the true Gospel, as the prophets and Apostles did in old time, and as all do at this day as many as teache the Gospell purely. Secondly, he that féedeth the shéepe, not with rotten but with wholsome foder, namely with the liue­ly woord of God. Thirdly this doorekéeper or porter openeth: that is too say, Chryst maketh the woord effectuall and auay­lable too the saluation of the shéepe. For vnlesse Christ open, in vayne is the labour taken, and the shéepe are not fed too a­ny purpose. Fourthly, he calleth his owne shéepe by their names: that is too say, he knoweth his shéepe, he loueth them, and embraceth them with a singuler care. Fifthly, he goeth before them. How? In doctrine, lyfe, and Crosse. For a good shepherd must be a pattern too his flocke in doctrine, life, and crosse. Sixthly, his shéepe folow him, that is too wit, in pure­nesse of doctrine, in holynesse of lyfe, and in patience vnder the crosse. But why doo his shéepe folow him? First bycause they know his voyce: Secondly bicause they flée frō a stran­ger: for they know not his voice. We haue here a descriptiō, not only of a true shepherd, but also of the true shéepe, which are in one shéepfold of the chéefe shepherd God. What is the shéepfold? It is the catholike church. Who bée the shéepe? All that héer the voice of the shepherd, folowing him and fléeing from strange shepherds, who in déede are no shepherds but théeues and murtherers. Héer are the differences too bée hild betwixt the true Church and the false Church. The proper marks of the true Church, are these: which whoso hath not, let him know that he is none of Chrysts shéepfold.

Which are these marks of the true Church, or of Chrysts true shepfold? The first is the vncorrupted voice of the hea­uenly doctrine, according too this saying: My shéepe héer my voice: The second is the right vse of Baptime. The third is, the vse of the Lords supper according to Chrysts institution. The fourth is the vse of the keys according too Chrysts com­maundement. [Page] The fifth is the Crosse. The sixth is mutuall loue among Chrysts shéepe. The seuenth is mutuall pray­er one for another. And the eight is the mayntenance of the ministerie of gods woord. These are the true marks of Chri­stes church, the which a man may cōprehend in fewer woor­des. As wée may say, that the first mark of Christs shéepe, is the vncorrupt voice or preching of the gospel: the second, the lawfull vse of the Sacraments: and the third obedience to­wards the ministerie of the woord. For in these thrée are con­teined the other eight that I set.

Wée haue in generall who is a good shepherd, and who bée the true shéepe. Now let vs apply them too examples. First, vntoo Chryst the chéefe shepherd and vntoo his shéepe. And af­terward too other ministers of the woord, who vnder Chryst are also called shepherds.

Chryst proueth himselfe too bée a good shepherd, by that he giueth his life for his shéepe. For he came downe frō heauen too séeke that was loste, too heale that was diseased, and too close vp the wounds which the wolues had giuen his shéepe. This shepherd went before his shéep in purenesse of doctrin, innocencie of life, & crosse. He féedeth his shéep with the helth­ful foder of God, that is, with the woord of the gospel. He ga­thereth togither his stray shéepe. He kéepeth away the wool­ues with his shéepehooke. And too bée bréefe, he setteth by no­thing so much as by the welfare of his shéepe. His shéepe are Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, Dauid, Ioseph, Anna, Mary, Simeon, and many others, whiche leauing their errour, gaue eare too Chrysts voyce, folowing him in doctrine, lyfe, and crosse, whō they shall folow in glorie also, in their time. For if wée suffer with him, wée shall bée glorified with him. His shéep at this day, are as many as beléeue the gospel, and serue Chryst in true profession and godlinesse.

Now what reward Chrysts shéepe shall looke for at their shepherds hande, who is both the doore and the doorekéeper, Chryst himselfe sheweth, when he sayeth: If any man enter [Page 186] by mee, he shall bee saued, and he shall go in and out, and shall finde feeding, That is too say, if any man leaue the darknesse, and followe mée that am the light, hee shall go in, namely by fayth: and hée shall go out, by profession, godlynesse, and cha­ritie: and hée shall finde féeding, that is too wit, by the woorde of life in this worlde, and by euerlasting blissednesse in the life too come.

Besides this, good shepherds are all godly ministers of the woorde, whiche followe Chrystes example in féeding of their shéepe. Suche a one was Helias, suche a one was Hieremie, suche a one was Esay, suche were the Apostles, & suche now a dayes are all they that preache Chryst sincerely and go be­fore their shéep in doctrine, life, and crosse, whiche flée not the Woolues, but kéep them from Chrystes shéepfolde with the swoord of the spirit and ernest prayers. These also haue shéep of their owne, those that heare their voice, and followe them in doctrine, godlinesse, & pacience. What? doo not their shéepe belong vntoo Chryst only? Yes, that doo they. How then saith hée that they belong too the shepheards that féede them? They are their shepheards in respecte of charge: but they are onely Chrystes in respect of possession and ownership: for hée hathe purchased the shéepe vntoo him selfe with his owne precious bloud. But in as muche as we haue lately heard the sermon concerning the shepherde and his shéepe, I will say no more of them héer, but wil betake you all too our chéefe shepherd Iesus Chryst, too whom with the father and the holy Ghoste be honour and glory for euer. Amen.

Vpon Trinitie Sunday. ¶The Gospel. Iohn. iij.

THere vvas a man of the Phariseys named Nicho­demus, a ruler of the Ievves. The same came vntoo Iesus by night, and sayde vntoo him: Rabbi, vvee knovve that thou art a teacher come from GOD: for no man could do such miracles as thou doost, [Page] except GOD vvere vvith him. Iesus aunsvvered and sayde vntoo him: verely, verely, I say vntoo thee: excepte a man bee borne from aboue, he cannot see the kingdome of God. Nichodemus sayde vntoo him: hovv can a man bee borne vvhen hee is olde? can hee enter intoo his mothers vvombe and be borne ageyne? Iesus aunsvvered: verely, verely, I say vntoo thee, excepte a man be borne of vvater, and of the spirite, he cannot enter intoo the kingdome of God. That vvhich is borne of the fleshe, is fleshe, and that vvhiche is borne of the spirite, is spirite. Maruaile not thou that I sayde vntoo thee, yee muste bee borne from aboue. The vvinde blovveth vvhere it lusteth, & thou hearest the sound thereof, but thou canst not tell vvhence it commeth, nor vvhy­ther it goeth: So is euery one that is borne of the spirite. Ni­chodemus ansvvered, and sayd vntoo him: hovv can these thin­ges bee? Iesus aunsvvered and sayde vntoo him: Arte thou a mayster in Israell, and knovvest not these things? Verely, verely, I saye vntoo thee: VVee speake that vvee knovve, and testifie that vve haue seene, and yee receyue not oure vvitnesse. If I haue tolde you earthly things, and yee beleeue not: hovv shall yee beleeue if I tell you of heauenly things? And no man ascendeth vp intoo Heauen but hee that came dovvne from Heauen, euen the Sonne of man, vvhiche is in Heauen. And as Moyses lifte vp the Serpente in the vvildernesse, euen so must the Sonne of man bee lifte vp: that vvhosoeuer beleeueth in him, perishe not, but haue euerlasting life.

The exposition of the Text.

THis feaste may woorthely bée called the feast of our Créed, or of our Faith. For it is ordey­ned too the intent folke should in the Church bée taught concerning God, whoo is one and true in substāce, and thrée in persons: and of benefites towardes the Churche. For after that Chryste and his benefites: the louingnesse of the Father in sending his sonne intoo the worlde: and the sending of the [Page 187] holy Ghost too comfort the Gospell, had bin intreated of, the former Sundayes: the Churche thought it conuenient too knit al these things togither, and too teach them as this day, too the intent the things that were declared at large, might bréefly bée brought too remembraunce agein. And the church setteth foorth this text of the gospell, which you haue herd, for a very good purpose. For in it are set foorth Gods benefites towards his Churche. For as the Father sente his Sonne, yt he might become a sacrifice for sinne: so is the holy Ghost giuen too beget the beléeuers ageyn, vntoo euerlasting lyfe. The summe of this present Gospell therefore is, that those whiche are begotten ageyn in the fayth of Chryst, are hey­res of eternall lyfe, by the benefite and meryte of Chryste, whom the father hath sent. Now to the intent wée may kéepe a certein order, I will in this sermon entreate.

  • 1 Of the knowledge of God.
  • 2 Of the spirituall regeneration or new birth.
  • 3 Of that most comfortable saying of Chryste, as Moy­ses lifted vp the serpent in the wildernesse: so must the Sonne of man also bée lifted vp. &c.

¶Of the firste.

FOr as much as too know God, is lyfe euerlasting: it stan­deth men in hand too looke for the true knowledge of God. The knowledge of God is of two sortes. The one is heathe­nish, naturall, and philosophicall: and this is vnperfect: For the wyse men of the worlde, whiche were not instructed by Gods woord, erred in foure poynts. First in the substance of the Godhead. Secondly in the persons. Thirdly in his proui­dence. And fourthly in his will. The Epicures are hissed out of all men, who denied that there is any god at all. The wise men which confessed that ther was but one God, misdéemed of his substance. For they thought not him too bée God, who is the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghoste. Neyther déemed they aright concerning the persons. As for Gods prouidence, some of them toke it quite away. Other some de­nyed [Page] it too bée vniuersal. For they were of opinion, that god cared for the gretest things, but not for these earthly things. As for Gods will concerning frée mercy, they were vtter­ly ignorant of it: but that he will one day punishe the stub­borne, they were warned by the recorde of their owne con­science. But from whēce had the heathen this slender know­ledge, such as it is? Dauid and Paule witnesse, that they had this knowledge of God by his creatures. For Paule in the first too the Romanes sayth: That whiche is too bée knowne concerning God, was manyfest vntoo them. For God dyd shew it vntoo them. So that his inuisible things, that is too say, his eternall power and godhed are vnderstood and séene, by the woorks from the creation of the world, too this intent that they might bée without excuse. Dauid also sayth: The heauens declare the glorie of God, and the firmament she­weth his handy woorks. That is too say, the heauen that wée sée, sheweth God the woorkmaister therof. The effect of all philosophicall knowledge concerning God, commeth too this point: First man by beholding the things that are created, is brought too this point, that he confesseth ther is some body by whom all these things were made: and by whose power all things are gouerned: and héerby he must of necessitie bée drawne too this eternall power and godhead: for it must ne­des bée, that he that made all things, must bée of auncienter continuance than all the things that are made, and so conse­quently without beginning. And it foloweth of necessitie, that this incomparable power whiche suffizeth too rule so huge a woork, must néedes bée more excellent than any other power, bée it neuer so excéeding. Now this is the selfe same thing that wée cal God: who ageyn, vnlesse he bée only one, surely is not he that made all things, nor that ruleth al thin­ges, and therefore neyther euerlasting, nor almightie, no nor GOD. This is the summe of that whiche the wyse men of the worlde doo knowe concerning God. Of whiche knowledge the vse is of thrée sortes. The first is, that men [Page 188] may acknowledge God by his creatures: secondly, that whē they knowe him they should woorship him: and thirdly, that when they knowe God, and woorship him not, they shoulde bée inexcusable. The firste and seconde are the propre ende of knowing God. The thirde is accessarie through mans owne faulte. Another knowing God commeth of the Scripture, or of Gods woord, which knowledge is bréefly conteyned in the Apostles Créede: whiche is, that wée beléeue there is but one God: that wée beléeue there is thrée persons in one Godhed: that wée should know Gods will, and his benefites towards his church: & that wée should knowe the mean, by whom wée may bée made partakers of the benefites of the holy trinitie.

Howbéeit too the intent wée haue the fuller perceiuerance of this knowing of God, I will set and expound foure points concerning this helthful knowledge of God, wherof the first shalbe a cōfirmation yt there is but one God. The second, a declaration that ther be thrée persons in that one godhead. The thirde, what is too bée considered in euery of the persons seue­rally: & the fourth what is the helthful vse of knowing God. First the confirmation is too bée fetched out of recordes. And as for records yt confirme the vnitie of God, I wil take them out of Moyses, the prophets, the Psalmes, and the wrytings of the Apostles. Moyses. Exod. 20. Deut. 5. I am the Lorde thy God that brought thée out of the lande of Egipte, thou shalte haue none other Gods before mée. Deu. 6. Herken O Israell the Lorde our God is one God. Esay. 43. Before mée there is no God made, neyther shall there bée any after mée. I am, I am God, and there is no Sauioure besides mée. 44. I am the first and the last, and besides mée, there is no God. Psalm. 18. Who is God but the Lorde of hostes, and who is strong, but our God? Paule. 1. Cor. 8. Wée knowe that there is none o-other GOD but one. 1. Tim. 2. There is one God. These re­cordes and many other▪ doo euidently conuince, that there is but one God, whiche thing the Catholicke Churche also con­fesseth, when it sayth: I beléeue in one God.

[Page]The seconde of the persons. That there bée thrée persons in one godly nature, not multiplyed but abyding one in nū ­ber: Reason is not able too conceiue. Wherefore this is a mi­sterie rather too bée reuerenced, than too be serched. Héervpon sayth Bernard. Too serch this, is a poynt of rashnesse: but too know it, is eternall life. And Salomon: Hée that is a sercher of his maiestie, shall bée ouerwhelmed of his glorie. Where­fore lette vs in this behalfe, kéepe our reason prisoner vnder Gods warde, and let vs beléeue the testimonies of the scrip­tures concerning so greate a misterie. The reason why the Church beléeueth that there bée thrée persones in one nature of Godhead, is this: There is but one God, whiche thing is already proued by many testimonies. The father is God, the sonne is God, the holy Ghoste is God. Ergo the Father, the Son, & the holy Ghoste is one God. That the Father is God and likewise the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, it is too bée pro­ued foure wayes. First by the cléere woords of the Scripture. Secondly by their woorks. Thirdly by the woorship which is due too the Father, the Sonne, & the holy Ghost. And fourth­ly by the continuall consent of the Church.

The woordes of the Scripture are cléer. Math. 3. The Fa­ther speaketh from heauen: the Sonne standeth in the riuer, the holy Ghost commeth down in likenesse of a Dooue vpon Chryst. 1. Iohn. 5. There are thrée that beare witnesse in Hea­uen: the Father, the woorde, and the holy Ghoste, and these thrée are one.

Ageine, their woorks shewe the same thing. The Father createth, the Sonne createth, the holy Ghoste createth. The Father iustifieth, the Sonne iustifieth, and the holy Ghoste iustifieth. The Father gouerneth all things, the Sonne go­uerneth all things, and the holy Ghost gouerneth all things, These woorks of creating, iustifying, and gouerning, are pro­per vntoo God. Wherefore in as much as they are attributed too the Father, the Sonne and the holy Ghost alike, we must of necessitie confesse the Godhead of them.

[Page 189]The same thing is also confirmed by the worship of them. The Father is prayed vntoo, the Sonne is prayed vntoo, the holy Ghost is prayed vntoo. But none is too bée prayed vntoo saue only God, neyther is any too be beléeued on, sauing God only: Wherfore the father, the sonne and the holy Ghoste are one God.

Héeruntoo also perteyneth the consent of the church. This is the Catholick fayth, that wée woorship one God in Trini­tie, and the Trinitie in vnitie, neyther confounding the per­sones, nor deuiding the substance. For the persone of the Fa­ther is one, the person of the sonne is another, and the person of the holy Ghost is another.

The thirde is, of those things that are too bée considered in the persons. In the persones there bée fiue things too bée con­sidered. 1. The substance. 2. the persone. 3. the distinction of the persons. 4. the woork. 5. and the wil.

The substaunce or nature of the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost, is all one. For the father is not one thing, the sōne another thing, and the holy ghoste a thirde thing: for the sub­stance of the godhed is one, and the nature simple. And ther­fore the father is sayd too bée in the sonne and the holy ghost: the sonne in the father and the holy ghost: and the holy ghost in the father and the sonne.

The second thing that is too be considered in the Trinitie, is the persone: that is too wit, that there is one persone of the father, another of the sonne, and another of the holy ghost. In this Trinitie of persones nothing is before or after other, nothing greater or lesser than other: neyther in time, bicause all the persons are coeternal: nor in nature, bicause al are of one selfe same substance: nor in dignitie, bicause they are coequal: nor in vnderstanding bycause they are comprehended in vn­derstanding all toogither.

The thirde thing that is too bée considered in the Trinitie of the persones, is personall distinction. And héere is firste too bée marked, how God is discerned from creatures. And nexte [Page] how the persones of the Godhead are discerned one from an other. The distinctions by which God is discerned from crea­tures, are these. First, that in one vndeuided nature not mul­tiplyed, there be thrée persons. Secōdly that God is an euer­lasting mind. Thirdly that God is the creator. Fourthly that God is in the world & aboue the world. And fiftly that God is in al places, & yet conteyned within no place. These fiue pro­perties are incident too God only, and too no creature.

The persones are distinguished one from another, by dou­ble properties, inward and outward. The inward, are too be­get, too be borne, and too procéede. The father alone begetteth the sonne: the sonne only is borne of the father▪ the holy ghost onely procéedeth from them bothe. The outward properties are too send, and too hée sent: Only the father sēdeth the sonne and the holy ghoste are sent, but after a diuers manner. The sonne béeing sent, took vpon him mannes nature, wherin hée was made a sacrifise. The holy Ghoste is sent intoo mennes harts too kindle a new light in their mindes.

The fourth thing that is too bée considered in the persons, is the woork of the Trinitie. Héerein is the rule of Austin too bée obserued. The woorks of ye Trinitie (as in outward vew) are vndeuided: howbéeit sauing the propertie of eche person. The father createth, the sonne createth, and the holy Ghoste createth. The father regenerateth, the sonne regenerateth, & the holy ghost regenerateth. But the Father createth by the sonne, and the holy ghost preserueth the things created. The father regenerateth in the sonne, by the holy ghost.

The fifth thing whiche. I sayd was too be considered in the persons, is the wil: which what one it is, these things, folow­ing doo declare. 1. First their woorkes past and present. 2. The commaundementes. 3. The threatnings and promises of the law. 4. The promises of the Gospell. 5. Examples: and. 6. his vnparcialitie, and that hée is no accepter of persons. Al these things toogither teach, that God is angry with sinners, & wil punishe them, and that he wil forgiue the sin of all those that [Page 190] flée too the Mediator, and giue them euerlasting life, without hauing respect of any nation or people.

Now remayneth the vse, which is manifold. First there­fore these things will frame our iudgement aright con­cerning GOD. For wée must acknowledge God too bée such a one, as he hath shewed himself too bée by his woord & record, according too the verse: Beleeue thou God that thing too bee, whiche he hath shewed he is too thee. Secondly, these things teache vs too haue a right opinion concerning the creation, which is the woorke of the whole Trinitie. Thirdly too haue a right opinion concerning the reparatiō of mankind, which is also the woorke of the whole Trinitie, as is sayde afore. Fifthly, these things instruct vs how to cal vpon god aright. For inuocation is too bée directed too this God alone, which is the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost. Sixthly, these things admonish vs too liue warely and holily, as in the sight of god. And thus much concerning God and the Trinitie, all which things are bréefly set foorth in our Créede.

¶Of the second.

VNlesse a man be borne agein of vvater and the holy ghost, he cannot enter intoo the kingdome of God. This is the second doctrine that I purposed vpon: For the better vnder­standing wherof, two things are too be marked. The first is, with whom Chryst talketh: the other, what was the occasi­on of this saying▪ What maner a one he was with whom Chryst talked, the text sheweth. He was an honorable and a noble man: he was a Prince of the Iewes: he was a Pha­risie; suche a one as liued blamelesse according too the lawe of Moyses. And the occasion was this. Nicodemus came too Chryst by night, and lyke a right Pharisie thought him­selfe righteous by the déedes of the lawe, by sacrifyses, and by kéeping of the Sa [...]othes. Wherefore he wondred yt Iohn set out a nowe doctrine concerning righteousnesse and Bap­tim▪ which he himself being a doctor of the law, was ignorāt of▪ Christ therfore preuēteth his iudgemēt with this saying. [Page] Unlesse a man bée borne ageyne, he cannot enter intoo the kingdome of God. At these woords Nicodemus is astonyed, and sayth: How can a man when he is old be borne ageine? Too whom Chryst answereth: Verely I say vntoo thee, ex­cept a man bee borne agein of vvater and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdome of God. Héere Chryst sheweth that he ment not of the fleshly birthe (according as Nicodemus vnderstood him:) but of the spiritual birth, which he proueth too be néedful by this, that our former birth is vncleane. That (sayth he) vvhich is borne of the flesh, is flesh. That is too say, whatsoeuer is borne in this corruption of nature, is vnclene and giltie, and therfore not méete too receiue the kingdome of God. Héerevntoo he addeth the maner of regeneration. The vvinde blovveth vvhere it listeth, and thou heerest the noyse of it, but thou knovvest not from vvhence it commeth, nor vvhy­ther it goeth. So is euery one that is borne of the spirit. That is too say: Like as the wind is then [...]irst felt when it bloweth albéeit that no man know from whence it commeth, or whi­ther it goeth: so this spirituall regeneration is made after a certein secret maner by the power of the holy ghost, whiche when it is doone, is perceyued by the newe motions of the newe man.

Howbéeit too the intent [...] may vnderstande these things, wée must marke the conueyances and instruments of this spiritual birth▪ First the séede of this birth is the woord of the Gospel, which is preached by the voyce of the ministers. Se­condly the holy Ghost, who in the preaching of the gospell is effectual, & worketh faith: by which wée both giue credit too the woord of God, and also persuade our selues that god is at one with vs for his sonnes sake, and therwithall altreth our nature too a new obedience. Thirdly when these benefits are receyued by [...]ayth▪ as it were intoo the soyle of the h [...]t, then man being borne a new, féeleth by and by within himself the motions of the holy ghost: and water is applyed outwardly as a seale of the inward regeneration, and a testimoniall of [Page 191] the grace of Chryst bestowed vppon him. The effects of this new birth are séen in the minde, in the affections, in the will, and in the outward woorks. For the minde is lightened with the brightnesse of God: the affections are purged: the wil is made forward: and a new obedience of all the powers is be­gon. Bréefly, he that beléeueth, is borne a new.

¶Of the third.

AS Moyses lifted vppe the Serpent in the Desert, so must the Sonne of man bee exalted, too the entente that all that be­leeue in him shoulde not perrish, but haue life euerlasting. The Storie of the setting vp of the Serpent in the wildernesse, is in the fourth booke of Moyses and the xij. Chapter. Which fi­gure Chryste in this place applyeth too his owne person, say­ing: Like as Moyses lifted vp the Serpente in the vvildernesse: This saying of Chryst conteyneth many things. For first it openly witnesseth, that the lawe taketh not away sinne. For if the law coulde take away sinne, then Chryste had not née­ded too haue bin sacrifized too purge sinne. Ageine, it sheweth why Chryst was giuen too bée the Messias, and why the sonne of GOD tooke mannes nature vpon him. For he was giuen too bée lifted vp vpon the Crosse, and that saluation might by that meanes happen too the whole worlde. Besides that, this saying sheweth that Chrystes kingdome is spirituall and e­uerlasting. Moreouer it teacheth what maner of rightuous­nesse it is, wherby we stand before God, or how we bée made partakers of Chrystes benefites, that is too wit, when we be­léeue on Chryste that was lifted vp, that is too saye, that dyed vpon the altar of the Crosse. Last of al héer is set forth a most swéet comforte, that this grace whereby wee haue entraunce intoo heauen, is offred vntoo all men: whiche thing this woord of vniuersalitie all that beleeue dooth shewe. Let vs therefore conceiue good hope of saluation, whiche is offered too all men by Iesus Christ, too whom with the father & the holy Ghoste bée honor for euer, and euer. Amen.

¶ Vpon the first Sunday after Trinitie. ¶The Gospel. Iohn. x.

THere vvas a certeine riche man, vvhich vvas clothed in purple and fine vvhite, and fa [...]ed deliciously euery day: And there vvas a cer­tayne begger, named Lazarus, vvhiche lay at his gate full of sores, desiring too bee refres­shed vvith the crummes vvhiche fell from the riche mannes boorde, and no man gaue vntoo him. The Dogges came also and licked his sores. And it fortuned that the begger dyed, and vvas caryed by the Angelles intoo Abrahams bosome. The rich man also dyed and vvas bu­ryed: And beeing in Hell in tormenres, hee lifted vp his eyes and savve Abraham a farre off, and Lazarus in his bosome, and hee cryed and sayde: Father Abraham haue mercy on mee, and sende Lazarus, that hee may dippe the tippe of his finger in vva­ter and coole my tongue, for I am tormented in this flambe. But Abraham sayde: Sonne, remember that thou in thy life time receyuedst thy pleasure, and contraryvvise Lazarus receyued paine: But novve hee is comforted and thou arte punished. Be­yonde all this, betvveene vs and you there is a greate space set, so that they vvhich vvould go from hence too you cannot: ney­ther may come from thence too vs. Then hee sayde: I pray thee therefore Father, sende him too my Fathers house (for I haue fiue brethren) for too vvarne them, leaste they come also intoo this place of tormente. Abraham sayde vntoo him: they haue Moyses and the Prophets, let them heare them. And hee sayde: Nay Father Abraham, but if one come vnto thē from the dead, they vvil repent. Hee sayde vntoo him: If they heare not Moy­ses and the Prophets, neyther vvil they beleeue, though one rose from death ageine.

The exposition of the Text.

FRom the first sunday in Aduent hithertoo, hath bin set foorth the doctrine concerning euery se­uerall article of our Fayth. Now in the Sun­dayes folowing vntoo the first Sunday in Ad­uent agein, is intreated of Chrysts miracles, and of the nature and true frutes of faith: and that too this intent, that the truthe of the Gospell might bée confirmed by the doctrin of miracles, and that the doctrine of fayth, and the frutes of the same, might stirre vs vp too good woorkes. Chryst teacheth of good woorkes, fiue wayes. For sometime he is contented with the doctrine alone, as whē he sayth: Bée yée merciful, fal too repentance, bring foorth frutes woorthy repentance. And sometime he alledgeth himself for an example for his too folow, as when he sayth: learne of me bicause I am méeke and lowly of hart. One whyle he pro­poundeth parables: as of the good steward, of the ten virgins, of the séede cast intoo the groūd, and such others, wherof there is store in the stories of the Gospel. And another while he v­seth threatnings, as when he sayth: except your righteous­nesse excéede the righteousnesse of the Scribes & Pharisses, yée shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen. Also wo bée too you Scribes, Pharisies, Hypocrites. &c. And now & then he setteth foorth the rewardes and penalties, with notable examples, lyke as he dooth in this Gospell. Too bée short, the Lorde leaueth nothing vnattempted wherby he may make his disciples bent too liue honestly.

Now let vs come too this daies Gospel: the summe wher­of is, that Chryst our Lord by putting foorth two examples, discourageth vs from vnmercifulnesse and crueltie towards the poore, and encourageth vs too pitie, and too constantnesse in suffering the miseries of this life. For as by the example of the rich glutton, he teacheth what punishment remayneth for the vnmercifull: So by the example of poore Lazarus, [Page] he exhorteth too pitie and honest life in the feare of God. The vse héerof therfore shal bée, that the rich men which are mer­cylesse towards their neighbours, may beholde as it were in a table, what punishment they shall one day abyde, if they amend not betimes. And ageyne, that the poore béeing godly and afflicted in this lyfe, may (by the example of this poore man Lazarus) rayse vp themselues, and patiently tarie for their deliueraunce and blissed rest, yf they continue in faith vntoo their death. The places bée thrée.

  • 1 The description of this Glutton, with the lessons ther­of.
  • 2 The description of Lazarus, with the comforts therof.
  • 3 The Lordes saying: They haue Moyses and the Pro­phets.

¶Of the firste.

THere vvas a certeine riche man, vvhich vvas clothed in Pur­ple and fine vvhite. In this first place are foure things too bée marked, which are. 1. A generall rebuke of them that are cruell to the poore. 2. The cause of this riche mannes dam­nation. 3. The right vse of riches. 4. The state of the wic­ked mennes soules after this life.

First therfore when this Glutton is damned, in generall are all they reproued that are hard too the poore, and whiche flowing in riches them selues, are touched with no care of the poore: of which sort there bée many in the world. This re­buke perteyneth too those also, that neither with their coun­sell nor with their substance doo helpe the ministerie of the world, or the néedy members of the church. Wherfore let e­uery man aduise himself wel, and take warning by the dam­nation of this Glutton, that he may lerne too bee wise.

The cause of this Gluttons damnation ar not his riches, and the finenesse of his apparell, and his deintie fare, so they had bin measurably vsed, as it appereth by the Gospel it self. For poore Lazarus was taken vp intoo the riche Abrahams [Page 193] bosom. For if riches had bin ye efficient cause of damnation, Abraham also had bin damned: Dauid had bin damned: and so had many other kings and rich men bin damned. But ri­ches, and honor and such other things may bée an occasion of damnation, namely when men abuse them to the dishonor of God, and the contempt of their neighbor, too the maintenāce of pride & superfluitie. But what were the causes why this Glutton was damned? Thrée horrible faults, which are no­ted expresly in the text. Of which the first was fleshly careles­nesse, which had with it these euils: that he repented not: that he had no féeling of Gods iudgement and wrath: that he was touched with no care nor regarde of his duetie. For fleshly carefulnesse hath these things continually going with it. An other fault for which this Glutton was damned, was ryot and surfeting, by which bothe mennes bodyes and myndes are ouercharged, that they cannot think a whit of the mat­ters of their saluation. The third fault for which the Glut­ton was dāned, was the disdeyning of Lazarus, which thing sufficiently bewrayeth that he had no faith. For wher as is true faith, there can bée no crueltie towardes the poore and néedie. For these thrée causes, was the Glutton damned. Af­ter whose example many runne daily too assured damnation, which with their riches do meynteine carelessenesse, surfet­ting, and disdain of Chrysts members. Wherfore if we like too be saued, let vs amend betimes, and let vs take héede that wée abuse not Gods gifts too our owne destruction.

In the third place it is to be gathered by this example, on the contrary part, what is the true vse of riches, which true vse consisteth in these foure poynts.

The first is, that we employ part of our substance too the mayntenaunce of the ministerie: and this vse is confirmed first by the end of man. For man was made too the end he should acknowledge and praise God. Wherefore the goodes that he hath ought too bée imployed too this ende. Secondly this vse is confirmed by the commaundement of God often­tymes [Page] repeted. For God commaūdeth vs too help the church with our abilities. Moreouer this vse is stablished by the ex­amples of godly kings and other holy men, who wished no­thing so much, as with their riches too beutifie and maintain the ministerie of the woord. Ageinst this first and godly vse of riches doo many offend: among whome bée: First suche as conuert their riches too the ouerthrow of the ministerie, like as many Tyrantes haue doone in times past, and doo at this day. Secondly such as plucke away the Churche goodes, and kéepe them too themselues. Thirdly also, such as bestowe no parte of their owne goodes too the mayntenance of the mini­sterie of the woord. And moreouer, suche as by sute or other sleights get intoo their hands the Church goods vnder an ho­nest tytle: as though they were ministers of the Churche, wheras they bée no better than dombe dogges which neither haue doone seruice too the Church or commō weale, nor euer can doo seruice, but are slouthful bellies and dul beasts: whoo neuerthelesse wil bée saluted by the names of Prelats, Cha­nons, Uicars, Abbots, &c.

The second and true lawfull vse of riches is, that wée im­ploy part of them too the maintenance and garnishing of the common weale wherin wée liue. For common weales are the sogeorning places of the Churche: and therefore wée owe thankefulnesse vntoo them, although wée should receiue none other commoditie by them. Ageinst this vse many of­fend: as for example, those that pay not the ryghtfull Tri­butes, those that rayse vnryghtfull Tributes: those that im­ploy not the Tributes too the mayntenaunce of the common weales, but too ryot and surfetting, and oftentymes too ma­king wrongfull warres.

The third right and lawful vse of riches, is that euery mā should mainteine his owne estate honestly without nigard­ship. Ageinst which vse offēd, first they that wast away their goodes in drinking, feasting, and apparell too sumptuous for their degrée, as many doo. And secondly also couetous men, [Page 194] which delite in their own filthynesse, & mainteine not their estate honestly as becōmeth them, but are basely appareled and feede grosly, when in the meane while their money lyeth rusting and rotting in their cofers.

The fourth true and lawfull vse of riches is, that wée be­stow some part of it vpon the poore, and specially vpon suche as in their pouertie are also godly. For this is ye cheefe cause why God sendeth poore folkes among vs, that he may make a proofe, whither we will folowe his mercie according too Chrystes commaundement. Bée mercifull as your heauen­ly father is mercifull. Against this vse doo many also offend with this rich glutton, whose felowes they shall be one day in punishment, for that they haue in this world folowed him as their master in cruelnesse towards the néedie.

Now foloweth the fourth thing which I sayd was too bée considered in the example of the rich glutton: Namely, what is the state of their soules that depart out of this life without faith. For wheras Christ sayth, yt the rich glutton lifting vp his eyes in hel, saw Abraham a far of, & desired that Lazarus might dip the top of his finger in water too coole his tong: he peinteth out a table, which representeth the state of wicked mens soules after their death: wherin these things are no­ted. First the excéeding great torment, & the cōtinual worme of the conscience. 2. The remembrance of his crueltie which he had executed vppon them that were in miserie. 3. Their desire too bée reléeued by the help of those too whom they had bin vnmercifull in this life. 4. That there shall bée no end of their torments, & that it is in vaine for them to sue for any easement of their paynes, For looke what our Lord for oure capacities sake peynteth out by way of communication be­twéene the glutton and Lazarus: that did the glutton féele in his own cōscience, which the Lord (who knoweth al things) could not be ignorant of. Let this punishmēt of vngodlinesse therfore allure vs too earnest repētance, that wée bée not put too torments whither wée will or no.

¶Of the second.

ANd there vvas a certeine begger named Lazaraus, vvhiche lay at his gate full of sores, desiring too bee satisfied of the crummes that fell from the rich mans table, and no man gaue vntoo him. In this exāple of Lazarus are many things too bée obserued wherby wée may receiue bothe instruction and comfort.

First héer is confirmed the Sermon of Peter, who saythe that iudgement beginneth at the house of the Lord. For God punisheth his own in this life, that they may as it were with a brydle bée kept within the boundes of theyr duetie. For if all things shold happen to them as they would wish, they would be made drunken with the prosperous successe of things, and fall from godlynesse too vngodlynesse. Wher­vppon Moyses speaking of the Iewes, sayd: The people sat downe too eate and drink, and rose agein too play: that is too say, they fel too Idolatrie and other heinous offences. Wher­fore let vs beare in mynd the saying of Paul. 1. Cor. 11. When wée are iudged, (that is to say afflicted,) wée are chastysed of the Lord, that wee should not bée damned with this worlde. Therfore let vs haue an eye to Gods fatherly mynd, as of­ten as wée bée hardly delt withall in thys lyfe, and taking warning by our crosse, let vs feare God, leading a godly and blamelesse lyfe.

Ageine, by this example of Lazarus wée are taught, that they are not all wretched before God, which are cast vnder foote in this world: nor on the other side all in Gods fauor, that séeme happy and blissed in this life. Lazarus was mise­rable in this lyfe: but he was in fauoure with God. The Glutton was happye in this world: but he was in Gods displeasure. What was the cause? Lazarus feared GOD through a liuely faith: but the Glutton feared not God, but was voyde of fayth.

Thirdly wée sée in Lazarus an exāple of Gods prouidēce. He lyeth despised and disdayned. But when he lay without [Page 195] all comfort, the dogges came & licked his sores. Wherby is signifyed, that God suffereth not the godly to bée so ouerpres­sed with miseryes, but that hée intermedleth comforte wyth their sorowes. For there is no doubt but it came too passe by Gods prouidence, that the dogges came & licked the sores of Lazarus, too the greater damnation of the Glutton and his houshold. For the meynie folowed the wickednesse of theyr master: for the text sayth, and no man gaue vntoo him.

Fourthly let vs marke héere the common lot of the godly and vngodly. The Glutton dyeth, and Lazarus dyeth. Death is cōmon too them both, but not the falling out of their death. For the Glutton by death passed too miserie: but Lazarus at­teyned too felicitie.

Fiftly héer is too bée marked in Lazarus, the ministerie of the Angels. The Glutton despised Lazarus while he was a­lyue: but the Angels caryed vp his soule when hée was dead. He that was despysed in his lyfe, was regarded and honored of Gods Angels in his death. Neither happeneth this in La­zarus alone: but that which wée read of him, is common too all the godly. For as the soules of the godly are regarded of God: so are they caryed by the Angels intoo the hauen of sal­uation and blissefulnesse.

Sixthly, in the example of Lazarus, wée sée what is the state of the godly mennes soules after this lyfe. Lazarus is caryed intoo Abrahams bosom. What is Abrahams bosom? Like as Abraham was therfore called the father of the faith­ful, bycause that with him was layd vp the couenant of eter­nall lyfe, the which he kéeping in faythful custodie, deliuered (as it were from hand too hand) first vntoo his owne children, and afterward too all nations: & that they are called his chil­dren as many as are heires of the same promisse: So after death they are sayd too bée gathered intoo his bosom, bycause thy receyue the frute of the same fayth with him. For like as a mannes sonnes whē they come home toogither at nyght from their dayly labor, are cherished as it were in their Fa­thers [Page] bosom: So the godly (after their trauels taken in this life) are after death gathered togither intoo blisful rest, where they are wel at ease and in happy case vntil the rysing agein of the dead. This bosom of Abraham is called also Paradyse, as in that saying of Christ to the théefe: this day shalt thou be with mée in Paradyse: where (according too the Psalme) is abundance of ioy by beholding of God and euerlasting plea­sures in his right hand. Too be bréef. Blissed are they that die in the Lord, bycause they shal bée euermore with God & shal enioy endlesse ioy.

And as concerning the communication of Abraham & the Glutton, it is to bée known that these things happened spiri­tually. For so thought the Glutton wyth himselfe in his tor­ments, and such answer receyued he in his owne conscience.

Seuenthly behold in Lazarus, the image of the Church in this lyfe. For it is afflicted, and it is despysed of the mighty & rich men of this world.

¶Of the third.

THey haue Moyses and the Prophets, let them heere them ▪ This is a very weighty admonishment and excéeding be­hoofeful: for by this saying many are damned.

First euery one is damned that receiueth not Moyses and the Prophets. For these are giuen of God too lead vntoo God and to shew the way of saluation. He therfore that receiueth them not, abydeth in his damnation.

Secondly they are damned that receyue them, but yet set more by mennes traditions, and rather frame their life after mennes commaundements than after Gods commaunde­ments, notwithstanding Gods charge giuen openly too the contrary. For thus sayth he in Ieremy. Cap. 20. Walk yée in my statutes, and not in the cōmaundements of your fathers.

Thirdly are dāned héer Pope Gregorie, the Anabaptists, and other Euthusiasts, which looke for new Reuelations frō heauen, and giue more credit too the fumes of a frantike and melancholicke brayne, than too the heauenly voyce, or rather [Page 196] forsake and vtterly cast away the woord of God.

Fourthly wée learne héerby too make much of the doc­trine of Moyses, the Prophets, and Apostles, which wil be a lanterne for vs too eternall saluation, so wée folow the lyght therof. For the world hath not a more precious treasure than Gods woord. Dauid did make more account of this, than of ye finest golde. Through this, Lazarus (who was poore in the world,) was rich before God. By this did Iob rayse vp him­self in the middes of his miseries. Wherfore ryght déere bre­thren, let vs also loue Gods woord. Let vs assure our selues that that is the instrument wherby is offered vntoo vs the preciousest of all treasures Iesus Chryst, and by him euerla­sting lyfe, which our heauenly father graunt vntoo vs by the same Iesus Chryste, too whom bée honor and glory for euer and euer. Amen.

Vpon the .ij. Sunday after Trinitie. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xiiij.

A Certain man ordeined a great supper, and bad many, and sent his seruant at supper tyme, too say too them that vvere bidden: come, for all things are novv ready. And they al at once be­gan too make excuse. The first sayd vnto him: I haue bought a farme, and I must nedes goe and see it, I pray thee haue me excused. And an other sayd: I haue bought fyue yoke of Oxen, and I go too proue them, I pray thee haue mee excused: And another sayd: I haue maryed a vvyfe, and therfore I cannot come. And the seruaunt returned and brought his ma­ster vvord againe therof. Then vvas the good man of the house displeased, and sayd too his seruaunt: go out quickely intoo the streetes and quarters of the citie, & bring in hither the poore & feble, & the halt, & blind. And the seruaunt sayd: Lord it is done as thou hast cōmaunded, & yet ther is roum. And the Lord sayd vnto the seruant: go out into the hie vvayes & hedges, & cōpell [Page] them too come in, that my house may bee filled. For I say vn­too you, that none of these men vvhich vvere bidden shall taste of my supper.

The exposition of the Text.

LIke as the last Sunday it was shewed in the Glutton, yt the contempt of a mannes neigh­boure is hinderance too saluation: so in thys Gospel we are taught another let which is too bée shunned, that is too wit, that wée set not more by our owne possessions and affaires, & by the care of worldly matters, thā by the Gospel of Chryst, or that we suffer not our selues to be letted and busied wt the commodities and pleasures of this world, that wée come not too the supper, vnto which wée are bidden by the preaching of the Gospel. Now the occasion of this Parable, was a certein Pharisies talke at a feast too which Chryst was bidden. For when Chryste had declared, that suche as are liberall too the poore, shal bee rewarded in the resurrection of the rightuous, the Pharisie intending too sooth Chryst in his woordes, sayd: Blissed is he that eateth bread in the kingdome of God. Not­withstanding for as much as Christ saw the ouerthwart cō ­ditions and froward inclination of this Pharisie, and of the rest of the Iewish nation: he put foorth this Parable, wherin he peinteth out bothe the iust reiecting of the Iewes, and the frée receyuing of the Gentiles. The dryft & end of which Pa­rable is, that wée should not suffer the transitorie things of this life, too bée a hinderance vntoo vs for cōming too the hea­uenly supper, whervntoo wée are bidden by the gospell. The places are foure.

  • 1 The greatnesse of Gods mercy is poynted out in thys Supper.
  • 2 The vnthankfulnesse of the world is noted in those that refuse too come when they are called.
  • 3 Of his compulsion, how he compelleth, and by whom.
  • [Page 197]4 A thretning of punishmente too them that receyue not the Gospell.

¶Of the firste.

HOw great Gods mercy is towards mankinde, it is eui­dent by many proues. For not only Gods woord, but al­so Gods excéeding great benefites towards the whole world (and specially towardes Chrystes churche) beare witnesse of Gods inspeakable mercie. The earth (sayth Dauid) is full of the Lordes mercye. The greatest proofe of this mercy is the giuing of his Sonne, too redéeme the worlde drowned in vtter miserie, and that by his death and passion, too the intēt that men béeing deliuered from this miserie, shuld be rewar­ded with euerlasting lyfe, which is called héer the great sup­per, and in Mathew the mariage of the kyng, vntoo whiche great Supper men are called of Gods méere mercie, too the intent they may bée filled at it with spiritual daynties euer­lastingly.

Howbéeit, too the intent the delicates of this Supper may bée the plesanter vntoo vs: I will set out seuerally one by one the circumstaunces that are noted in the text, and shew what instruction and admonishment is too bée learned by eche of them.

The first circumstance therfore too bée considered in this supper, is concerning him that biddeth vs vntoo it. For ther­vpon hangeth the estimation of it. Who is it then that pre­pareth this Supper? Is it some worldly kyng? No. Yet wer that King woorthy too bée muche made of for his liberalitie, & too bée praysed for his mercie, that would prepare a prince­ly feast royally furnished, for miserable and poore soules. Who is it then? It is God our heauenly father, the Lord of Lords, and king of kings, who only is riche, and well stored with delicates. This circumstaunce is a most euident testi­monie of Gods goodnesse and mercy.

The second circumstance is, that God héere the master of [Page] the house biddeth guestes too Supper. c And what is ment by the name of supper? The very Gospel and all those things that are ioyned with the Gospell: as is saluation and eter­nall lyfe. Sée how great mercy shyneth foorth héere What is the reason of the terming of it so? Why are these so great good thinges called a supper? Surely it is not doone without great causes, of which number there bée thrée chéef. The first is by­cause the Gospell promiseth euerlasting ioye and endlesse good things. For as the Supper is set before men in the lat­ter end of the day: so the good things which the Gospell offe­reth, shall (of the méere mercy of God) bée giuen in rewarde too the beléeuers after that they in dystresse haue outworne the manyfolde labours of this lyfe. The second cause is, for that lyke as the euening (whiche is the tyme that men are woonte too prepare for supper) is the ende of the daye: so the age in which all men by the ministerie of preaching, are bid­den too repaste of the heauenly Supper, is of the laste age. The third cause is, for that the Gospell is the last voyce of GOD in the worlde, after whiche there is none other too bée looked for: in lykewyse as the Supper is the last meate that is set béefore men in the day. For ther shall neuer sound any other voyce of God from heauen, but thys selfe same voyce of the Gospell, shall sounde vntoo the laste daye of iudgement.

The third circūstance is in this woord Great, by whiche is commended vntoo vs the richnesse of Gods mercy. For God biddeth not a kyng or twoo, or a wiseman or twoo vntoo this supper: but he biddeth the whole world. He ouerskippeth not the poore, he neglecteth not the riche men, he shutteth not out the gentlemen, he kéepeth not the country folke nor the townesmen from his feast: he holdeth no skorne of the little ones, disdeyneth not ye great ones: al men without exception that are dispersed through the whole worlde, biddeth he too that great supper. For the text witnesseth, both that it is a greate supper, and that many are bidden.

[Page 198]The fourth circumstance is of the manner of his bidding. The manner is expressed in these wordes. And he sente his seruaunt at the houre of Supper too saye too them that vvere bidden. Héer by the name of seruant is ment the Prophetes, Apostles and all godly teachers, whom God hath sent from the beginning of the worlde too bid guestes too the Supper. Too this supper dyd God himselfe bidde the patriarke Noe. He being bidden, bad the rest of the world in Gods sted. Af­terward when the world throughe it owne vnthankfulnesse was perished in the flud: Abrahā was by Gods owne mouth bidden too this supper. After which time, when the malice of the world was encreased vpon the earth: God chose one pe­culiar people, among whome he often times raysed vp Pro­phets, that bad guests too this supper. And the master of the house continued in so dooing, vntill he sent his owne Sonne our Lord Iesus Chryst, whome those that were bidden han­ged vpon the Crosse. And he being raised ageyn from death, sent out his Apostels intoo the whole world, too byd all nati­ons too this most delicate supper.

The fifth circumstance is of the hour of the supper. What is this houre? It is the time of grace, and the time of glory. The time of grace, is the time wherin is preached vnto men the liberality & mercyfulnesse of ye master of the house: which tyme is deuided intoo thrée parts: Intoo promise, performāce, and the tyme that hath folowed the performance. The time of promis was from Adam vntoo the birth of Chryst, almost foure thousand yéere. Then was the tyme of performance, during all the while that Chryst was conuersant héere vpon earth in the flesh, and preached, and offered himselfe the price of redemption, for them that wer bidden too this supper. The tyme that followed the performance, is thencefoorth from the sending of the Apostles intoo the whole worlde vntill the daye of Iudgement: in whiche tyme wée also bée, and are bidden too this Supper by the voyce of the Ministers of Gods woorde. The tyme of glory in eternitie. When [Page] wée shall sit downe in the heauenly glorie, not onely wyth Abraham and Isaac, but also with God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the holy ghoste: and shal enioy euerlasting mirth and gladnesse in Chryst Iesu our Lord.

The sixth circumstance is, the manner of the biddyng. Come (sayth he) for all things are ready. That is too saye (as wée sée in the bidding of Iohn Baptist and Chryst) Repent, and beléeue the Gospell, for the kyngdome of heauen is at hand. This bidding requireth repentance, that is too wit, an alteration of the former life that wée shuld depart from euil and doo good: and it requireth fayth, that is too wit, that wée should beléeue that this Supper is set on the Table for vs: not in respect of our deseruyng, but of méere mercy, for the Sons sake, whom God hath giuen vntoo vs, too bée our wyse­dome, ryghtuousnesse, sanctification, and redemption. For with these gyftes (and as it were garments of the Sonne of God) muste wée enter intoo the Supper of euerlasting lyfe. For Chryst by his wysedome reformeth our myndes: wyth his ryghtuousnesse he decketh vs when wée beléeue on him: with his sanctification or halowyng, hée clenseth vs: and at length he receyueth vs intoo his parlor, where shall bée per­petuall redemption, glorie, and happinesse. And thus muche concerning the firste place, wherin is set oute vnto vs the mercyfulnesse of GOD, which is from generation too ge­neration vppon all that feare hym, as the virgin our Lordes moother singeth.

¶Of the second.

BVt all began vvith one consent to excuse them selues. For they refused too come too this Heauenly Supper. For as the swyne makes more account of the myre wherein he be­rayeth himselfe, than of golde and precious stones: euen so men that are weltered in theyr owne filthynesse, shunne the goodlynesse of so great a supper. In which thing thrée euylls are too bée lamented: the myserie of mankynde, their excée­ding [Page 199] great vnthankfulnesse, and their corrupte iudgement. The miserie is, that men being ouer pressed with sinfulnesse and curse, do not only not goo about to wind thēselues out of so great mischéeues: but also are euen delighted with the fil­thynesse. So farre are they from séeking redresse. And this is that Chryste speaketh of: No man commeth too mée, saue he whom my father draweth. The vnthankfulnesse is, that men being bidden too a frée supper, that is too wit, too frée de­liuerance from sinne, from Gods wrath, from the curse of the law, from hell, and from the diuell: too forgiuenesse of sinnes, too Gods fauour, too rightuousnesse, too heauen, too God hymselfe, too liue blessedly with him for euermore: doo notwithstanding refuse too come. Who is able too bewaile this vnthankfulnesse sufficiently? The corrupte iudgement is, that men set more by transitorie goodes, than by euerla­sting goods: by a few, than by many: by brittle, than by du­rable: by earthly, than by heauenly: by things that mayn­teyne this life for a small time, than by things that mayn­teyne both soule and body in euerlasting life. Is he not coū ­ted foolish that preferreth clay before golde? Yes surely most foolishe, as one that can iudge nothing aright. Muche more foolishe is he, yea farre out of measure most foole of all, that preferreth death before life, sinne before rightuousnesse, hell before heauen, the diuell before GOD (and to be bréefe) in­numerable euils before innumerable good things. Let vs ac­knowledge this oure moste corrupt iudgement, and let vs pray to haue our mindes reformed with newe lighte, that wée may rightly vnderstand what things are good in déede: and orderly desire the thyngs that wée iudge aryght of: and perseuer to the ende in seekyng those things whiche wée or­derly desire.

Now that we haue spoken thus much in general concer­nyng the great miserie of mankynd, the excéeding vnthank­fulnesse and most corrupt iudgement of men: Let vs looke vppon the text, which continueth the sundry maners of their [Page] excuses. First it sayth: And all began vvith one consent too excuse them selues. That is to say, the greatest parte of the world being thanklesse hild skorne of the benefite that was offered fréely. The first therefore sayde: I haue bought a farme and I must needes go see it, I pray thee haue me excused. Héer is described the first kind of men that excuse thēselues. Under which kynd are all they conteyned, which trusting too theyr owne power, refuse too come to this royall supper. Yet is not power the efficient cause of this excuse: but onely an occasion in those which acknowledge not theyr power too come of God, but leane vntoo theyr owne puissance, that is too wit, too a staffe of réede. For when sinne, death, hell, and the diuell assault: mans power auayleth not: for in this case the power of God only auayleth, namely Chrystes Gospell, which Paule defineth too bée the power of God too the salua­tion of euery one that beléeueth. And that power and posses­sion of landes is not the efficient cause of refusing too come too this deyntie Supper, examples shew. Dauid was of po­wer, and had greate lands. Nero also was of power, and had lands. Of which twoo, the first béeing bidden too the mariage came: the other refused. Why so? bicause the one vsed his po­wer too the glory of God: the other abused it too his owne de­struction. For being deceiued by it, he refused too come too this supper. Héer therfore wée are admonished too vse our landes well, that they bée not a hinderance vntoo vs, for cōming too the heauenly Supper. I omit examples.

And an other sayd: I haue bought fiue yoke of Oxen, and I go too trie them, I pray thee haue me excused. Héere is de­scribed a seconde kynde of men that excuse them selues that they cannot come too this supper. Under this kynde are con­teyned the riche men of this worlde. Why? Are riches the efficient cause of this refusal? No surely. Abraham was rich: and the glutton of whome wée herde of late was riche: but Abraham was not letted by his riches: For hée made [Page 200] more account of this Supper, than of his earthly riches. Contrarywyse the glutton was droonken, and sotted in his riches, and therfore refused too come. For when riches are in euill mennes hands, they are as a bayte, wherby they being enticed, are caught and killed. Therfore Chryst sayeth they bée thornes, & hée auoucheth it too bée a hard matter for a rich man too bée able too enter intoo the kingdome of heauen. The Philosopher Plato sayd right: that riches were blind wyth­oute wisedome, and that they are sharpe sighted when they folowe wisedome. So may wée also say, that riches are thor­nes without godlynesse, and that they are roses, when they folow godlynesse. For the godly with their riches (as it were with certaine Roses) do beautifie the ministerie, the cōmon weale, and their owne houses. Whosoeuer then hathe the riches of this worlde, lette him endeuer that godlynesse and charitie maye bée the gouerners of them, as wée sée it was in the holy Patriarkes, and Kyngs, and many other godly and holy men.

And the thirde sayde: I haue maried a vvyfe, and therefore I cannot come. Héere is discribed the thirde kynde of men, that refuse too come too this Supper. Under which kynde are conteyned all those which béeing giuen too the pleasures of thys worlde, passe not for the Gospell of Chryst. The ma­rying of a wyfe is not of it selfe eyther euill, or the cause of refusall: but onely an occasion vntoo some men that mys­vse the gyft of God. Abraham had a wyfe, and so had ma­ny godly men: who notwithstandyng dyd not therfore re­fuse too obey the Gospell. Wherfore let maried couples en­deuer too haue Chryst with them, and let them beware that they take not occasion of euill at that whiche is good. Hy­thertoo wée haue herd of thrée kynds of men that excuse them selues for comming at thys Supper when they are bidden. And by these wée maye vnderstande all thyngs that hynder men from harkenyng to the Gospell.

¶Of the third.

THe seruant returning home, brought the master of the house woorde what answere they made: and béeing sent foorth ageyn, when he had gathered toogither a greate num­ber of poore folke and cripples, he is commaunded too com­pell men too come in, that the house of his feast may bée fil­led. In this compulsion is set forth vntoo vs a singular com­fort. For GOD not only promiseth, not onely biddeth, not onely commaundeth: but hée also enforceth and compelleth folke to come in too his Supper. But howe compelleth hée? Surely many wayes, Parents and housholders shall com­pell their houshold, and by familiar nurture and awe accu­stome them too héere Chryste, and too liue after a godly and vertuous maner. Héerupon is that saying of Paule: Bring vp your children in the lawe and feare of the Lord. The Ma­gistrate shall likewise compell his subiectes by good lawes and ordinances, by example, and by taking away of idola­trie. Like as Ezechias and Theodosius did, who tooke away the instruments of Idolatrie. But of all men it belongeth chéefly to the ministers of the woord too cōpell folke by thret­ning and rebuking them: as wée réede that Chryst, the pro­phetes, and the apostles did.

¶Of the fourth.

NOne of those men that vvere bidden, & refused too come, shall taste of my Supper. That is to say: All despisers of the Gospell shall be shut out from euerlasting lyfe. For the wrath of God abydeth vpon all that beléeue not in the Son. This is the effect of the fourth place.

Howbéeit this dayes Gospell serueth too thrée vses. The first is, that weying throughly the greatnesse of Gods mer­cie, wée shold giue him thanks by Iesus Chryst. The second is, that wée should beware, that we withdraw not our sel­ues from obedience of the Gospell vnder no pretence. The third is, that wée bée not mysseled, by the example of men of [Page 201] [...]ower, rich men, and voluptuous men, and so fall headlong intoo destruction: but rather that wee endeuer by al meanes wée can, too bée conueyed intoo this heauenly supper, by our Lord Iesus Chryst, too whom with the father and the holy ghost bée honor and glorie world without ende. Amen.

Vpon the .iij. sunday after Trinitie. ¶The Gospell. Luke. xv.

THEN came vntoo him, all the publicans and sinners for to heere him. And the Pha­riseis and Scribes murmured, saying: Hee receyueth sinners and eateth vvith them. But hee putte foorth this parable vntoo them, saying: VVhat man among you ha­uing an hundreth sheepe (if he lose one of them) dooth not leaue ninetie and nine in the vvildernesse, and goeth after that vvhiche is loste, vntill he finde it? And vvhen hee hath founde it, he layeth it on his shoulders vvith ioye. And assoone as he commeth home, he calleth togither his louers and neighbours, saying vntoo them: Reioyce vvith me, for I haue founde my sheepe vvhich vvas lost. I say vntoo you, that lykevvise ioy shall bee in heauen ouer one sinner that re­penteth, more than ouer ninetie and nine iust persons vvhiche neede no repentance. Eyther vvhat vvoman hauing ten grotes; (if she lose one) doth not light a candle and svveepe the house, and seeke diligently till she fynde it? And vvhen she hath founde it she calleth hir louers and hir neighbours togither, saying: Reioyce vvith me, for I haue founde the grote vvhiche I lost. Likevvise, I say vntoo you, shall there bee ioye in the presence of the Aungels of God, ouer one sinner that re­penteth.

The exposition of the Text.

THe occasion of this dayes Gospell is this. For as much the goodnesse of our lord was so great that hée disdeyned no man were he neuer so miserable or neuer so great a sinner, but ra­ther allured all men vnto him, according too this saying. Math. xj. Come vntoo me all yée that labour, and are loden and I will refresh you. It came too passe, that the very Publicanes▪ knowing of this mercy and goodnesse of Chryst, came too him: that they might bée partakers of the grace that was offered most fréely and bountifully too all men. And therfore would Chryst not only cōfort them with woordes, but also with déedes, and with kéeping companye with them. Therfore when any of them bade him too a mea­les meate, he came and ate with them: and that too this end that he might win them too God the father, that is too saye, might turne them from their moste naughtie wayes, vntoo true and healthful repentance; too the intent that being quit from the gilt of cursednesse, they might bée made heires of e­ternall lyfe through Iesus Chryst. The Pharisies marking this dooing of Chrysts (as they were a proude sect, swelling in their own pharisaicall (that is too say false) righteousnesse) murmured ageinst Chryst, and priuily accused him of brea­king Gods law. But what sayth Chryst too this? He techeth them both. The Publicans, if he cōmeth to saue sinners: and the Pharisies, why he kéepeth company with sinners: wher­by is gathered, ye Chrystes kingdome sighteth ageinst the opi­nion of the Pharisies & the kingdom of Sathā. For as Chri­stes kingdom is mercy & forgiuenesse of sinnes, in so muche that the angels in heauen reioyce at euery sinner that repen­teth: so Sathans kingdome is mercylesse crueltie, and a cer­tein ouerthrowing of sinne. The places are two.

  • 1 The murmuring of the Pharisies, & wherfore Chryste kept company with sinners.
  • [Page 202]2 It is taught by twoo parables, why Chryste came intoo this worlde, and what wée must doo, if wée will bée saued.

¶Of the firste.

THe Publicans and sinners resorted too him too heare him, and the Scribes and Phariseys murmured, saying: This man receyueth sinners and eateth vvith them. Héer are set forth vn­too vs twoo kindes of men, and their manners. The one is of Publicanes and sinners, which come vntoo Chryst too heare him, that they might bée gathered intoo his shéepfolde, and be saued. For after that they herde how Chryst reiected no sin­ners, but offred grace too all (so they refused not too amende) they douted not too come vntoo him, yea and that vpon great hope of saluation. The other is of Phariseys and Scribes. These disalowed Chrystes dooing and his mercifulnesse to­wards sinners, and therfore murmured, saying: This man re­ceyueth sinners, and eateth vvith them.

Now of this murmuring of the Phariseys, there bée ma­ny causes: whereof I wil reherse some, that we may sée with what spirite they speake, and beware oure selues, that wée be not attached with the same disease, and séeme too hinder the saluation of other men.

The first cause therefore is enuie or spitefulnesse, whiche is proper too the Deuill and his members. For this spiteful­nesse sticking in their hartes, makes them that they cannot abide, too sée Chryste and the Publicans in company toogy­ther▪ for they enuyed the Publicans so much, that they could not finde in their harts that they should bée amended by kée­ping company with good men. Of this sorte of Pharisies there bée [...] at this daye, than wil be knowne by the name of Pharisies.

The seconde cause of murmuring, was intollerable pryde in the Scrybes and Phariseys, wherethroughe they despised the Publicanes as Dogges, in so muche that they [Page] eschued too eate meate with them or too enter intoo the house where they were.

The thirde cause of murmuring was the ouerwéening of their owne rightuousnesse and holynesse. For as they vaun­ted them selues too bée rightuous for kéeping the traditions of their Fathers & for their sacrifices, (as he that sayth I am not as other sinners, nor as yonder Publican: I fast twice a wéek, &c.) so they stoutlye dispised those that had not this vy­sour of holynesse, as folke accursed and abhominable.

The fourth cause was, their desirousnesse too haue raysed a slaunder vpon Christ, for they went about too persuade the common people, that Chryst was suche a one, as they were with whom hée was conuersant.

The fifth cause was a zeale yt they had too the law of God, but not a righte. For they made the commaundement of the lawe, a cloke too their murmuring. For Exod. 23. the law for­biddeth them too haue any companie with the inhabyters of the land. Also Exo. 34. They are commaunded neuer too ioyn frendeship with the inhabiters of that lande, least it mighte turne too their owne decay, that is too witte, least béeing cor­rupted with their euil custome, they mighte bée made Idola­ters and Heathenishe despisers of Gods law. For as Paule sayth: A little leauen sowreth a whole lumpe of dough, and as it is in a certeine verse. One scabbed Sheepe infecteth all the flocke. Like as one Grape taketh broosing at the broose of an other Grape: so also are men easly made woorse by the euill company of others. Like as Medea also sayeth in a certeine place: The resorte of naughtie women vntoo me hath made me naught. Too this purpose also serueth this of Salomon: Hée that handleth Pitche shall bée defiled of it. Also: Hée that dooth kéepe companye wyth a proude body shall learne too bée proude. And Sirach: Euery man accompanyeth him selfe wyth his like. Manye suche textes of Scripture doubt­lesse had the Phariseys gathered toogither too bring Chryste in a slaunder.

[Page 203]But what shall wée say too these sentences of Scripture? Diuers of them cary with them ye causes of forbidding them too haue company with sinners. And (too tell you at a woord) the texts of scripture alledged, forbid the weaklings (which may easly bée made woorse) too haue company with suche as will not bée conuerted, but rather labour with might & mayn too win others too bée felowes of their naughtinesse. Chryst could not bée touched with this first: for he was not a weak­ling, that he might bée stayned with the company of sinners: wherfore the prohibition of the law concerneth not him: for the law sayth in expresse woords, from whence also the rest of the things take their force: lest peraduenture they make thée too sinne ageinst me, if thou shalt serue their gods, which thing out of dout will bée thy ouerthrow. The other agréeth not too the Publicanes, with whom the Lorde is red héere too haue bin conuersant. For they ment not too make Chryst a companion of their naughtinesie: but they resorted vntoo him too héer him, and that in obteyning fayth by héering him they might bée saued. Their séeing that both Chryste béeing moued with compassion, kéepeth company with them, that he may bring them intoo his shéepfold fro whence they were strayed: and that the publicans thirsting after saluation, are desirous too bée reléeued of the burden of their sinnes, which they féele too bée moste heauie: the Pharisies doo wrong [...] murmure ageinst Chryst. Whom notwithstanding, Chryst gooth about too bring intoo the way ageine, by putting foorth these two parables: the one of the hundred shéepe, and the other of the ten grotes.

Now, out of these things that are answered too the quarel­lings of the Pharisies, there riseth a question. For séeing it is answered, that the scriptures (which condemne the cōpany­ing with euill men) doo perteyn too the weaklings: it may bée demaunded, in as much as wée are weake, what it behooueth vs too doo? whither wée ought vtterly & continually too shun the Pharisies. Too this question I answere: they are too bée [Page] shunned, and they are not too bée shunned. The weake which finde their owne weakenesse, namely that they are easie and redy too fall: let them lern by their own experienee too eschue ye company of these whō they stand in fear of lest they bée be­rayed with their pitche, & atteynted with their scabbednesse. For as Iustine the martyr saith: The mind of mā by kéeping cōpany with naughtipacks, doth draw vnto it self as it were a certein scabbednesse; and is filled with many euill humors. It is the duetie of housholders, magistrates, and ministers of the woord, too beware that such bée not suffered, by whose company the simple may bée made woorse. The housholder must suffer no seruant in his house, that is a cause of offence too his children. The magistrate must represse blasphemers with the sworde. The minister [...] of Gods woord must first chastise vncleane persons by rebuking them. And if they [...] nothing that way; they must cast thē out of the church by excommunication, that the godly & the simple may know how they ought too s [...]un the company of them. And that such are too bée eschued, this saying of Paule teacheth. 2. Thes. 3. Wée giue you warning brethren in the name of the Lorde Iesus Chryst, that yée withdrawe your selues from euery brother that be [...]ueth himselfe disorderly, and not according too the doctrin which he hath receiued of vs. Let this then bée spoken concerning the weake sort, which must vtterly shun the company of lewd persons. But as for them that are well instructed, and those that beare publike office, (whose dutie it is too bring back the stray shéep vnto Chryst) they may (or rather must) now & then be conuersant with the euil sort, as the phisitian is in company with the diseased person, not too bée infected with the hatches of his paciente, but too restore him too helth by his cūning and skill in lechecraft. After the same maner, it is not only lawful for the ministers of Gods woord, but also the very necessitie of their dutie and the trust that is cōmitted vnto them, requireth that they should dis­close the malice of the wicked and heale it as muche as may [Page 204] bée. But if the disease shalbe incurable, they shall folowe the example of Phisitians, and not stand healing of that whiche they cannot heale: but commit the whole matter too God, & bée sory for them.

¶Of the second.

WHat man of you that hathe a hundred Sheepe. &c. By this Parable Chryste teacheth twoo things. The one, why hée came intoo the world: the other (whiche dependeth vppon the first) wherfore hée is conuersant among sinners. Wherevpon foloweth the confutation of the murmuring of the Pharisies. Why he came intoo the world he sheweth by the example of the shepherde. For as the shepherde goeth in­too the wildernesse too séek his lost shéep: so came Chryste in­too the world too séeke men that were led away by sinne intoo the wildernesse. Ageine bicause it is Chrystes office too séeke sinners, that they may bée called backe too saluation, whiche thing cannot bée doone but if hée kéepe company with them: Héereuppon it followeth that the grudging of the Pharisies ageinst Chryst is too bée disalowed, whiche would driue him from his ambassage, that the weake shoulde not bée healed. Therefore dooth hée aptly witnesse in another place: I came not too call the rightuous, but sinners too repentaunce. This is the effect of the parable concerning the shéepe: & the same thing dooth the parable of the woman séeking hir lost mony, set foorth. Now let vs look vppon the parable of the shéepe by péecemeale, yt wée may finde the more swéetnesse in it, when wée beholde the carefulnesse of Chryste our shepherd for vs.

The man that had a hundred shéepe is Chryste Iesus, the true shepherd, who gaue his life for his shéep. Iohn. 10.

By the stray shéep are ment all those yt perceiue thē selues too wander in the wildernesse: that is too say, which acknow­ledge themselues too be sinners, and desire too be receiued, as the Publicans did héere. They acknowledged themselues too bée sinners, and they herde reporte of the true shepeherd, and therefore they had a minde too bée receyued of him, when [Page] they herd him say: Come vnto me all yée that labour, and are loden, and I wil refreshe you▪ And so the text openeth too vs the parable of the stray shéepe, in the publicans, who héering Chrystes voyce, come too him, and acknowledge their error.

By the ninetie and nine shéepe vnderstand all men in the worlde, who although they sticke still in their sinnes and in damnation, yet they perceiue it not, but rather thinke them selues righteous and blissed and therfore they refuse too héer Chryst. For they imagin them selues too be more rightuous than y they haue [...]éed of the rightuousnesse of Chryst. They thinke them selues more sounde and healthful, than too haue néed of Chryst the Phisitians helpe. That these are signified by the ninetie and nine shéepe, the texte it selfe dooth openly proue. For the ninetie and nine shéepe are compared too the Scribes and Pharisies, that is, too the Hipocrites that brag­ged them selues too be rightuous. We haue, who is the shep­herde, who is the stray shéepe, and who be the fourescore and ninetéene that straye not. Now let vs sée, first what t [...]me the shéepe began too stray. 2. How the shepherde came too séeke the stray shéep▪ 3. How he caryeth it when he hath found it, intoo the folde, and healeth it, and féedeth it. 4. What hapned when the shéep was found.

When began the shéepe too straye? First when it was dri­uen intoo the wildernesse by the woolfe. That is too wit whē Sathan led our first parents away from God. And secondly as often as men hauing bin called from their moste wicked wayes, are by Sathans sleight led away ageine frō Chrysts shéepfolde. So also at this day, as often as we step aside from the right way of saluation, eyther in doctrine or in maners, we are likened too the stray shéepe.

How came Chryst our shepherde too séek the stray shéepe▪ First [...]ée come in spirite, and that was in the holy Prophets and Patriarks, as often as he stirred them vp too shew men the way of saluatiō. In this wise came he whē Moyses was sent, when Helias was sent, when Helizeus, Esay, & manye [Page 205] others were sent. Secondly hée came in the fleshe, when hée took mannes nature vpon him, and suffered for vs.

How séeketh he▪ and when he hath found, how bringeth he it home too his shéepefolde? Hée séeketh the stray shéep by the preaching of the Gospel, when he cōmaundeth the gospel too be preached. And hé caryeth it home intoo the shéepfold, when he gathereth the faithful intoo the Church. For he went intoo the wildernesse, and finding the shéep, layd it vpon his shoul­ders, that is too say, by the merite of his passion hée broughte intoo his Churche, those that beléeued in him.

How dooth hée heale & féed the shéep that he hath broughte home into his fold? He healeth all his bruses with his bloud, while he acquitteth those that beléeue in him, from all gilti­nesse, and endueth them with his owne rightuousnesse. Hée féedeth them when he bestoweth the fodder of the Gospel vp on them, & cherisheth thē with his spirit. These good turnes of the shepherde toward his stray shéep, are excéeding great.

But what happeneth when the shéep is found? He calleth toogither his fréends and neighbours, saying: Reioyce with mée bycause I haue found my shéepe that was lost? What this is, he himself expoundeth when he saith: I say vnto you, there shall bée ioy in Heauen for one sinner that repenteth, more than for foure score and ninetéene rightuous men that néede no repentance. Lo what commeth too passe when a sin­ner repēteth. Euen the Angels reioice with Christ the shep­herd. And the Angels in heauen reioice for thrée considerati­ons. First for that mē as wel as they, are created too set forth Gods glory, which thing cānot bée done of them that repent not. For they as much as in them lyeth doo hinder the prayse of God by all means. Secondly for that they sée the kingdom of Chryste increased, by the comming in of newe Citizens. Thirdly, for that nothing liketh them better, than too sée the kingdome of sathan abolished, whiche thing cōmeth too passe when men repent. But which are those ninetie & nine righ­tuous men that néed no repentance? Is there any man with [Page] out sinne then? Surely there is no man without sinne. For all haue gone astray, and are become vnprofitable. But ther bée thrée sortes of sinners. For there bée sinners that thinke themselues rightuous, and therfore are said too haue no néed of repentance: whiche thing doutlesse is too bée vnderstood of their owne iudgement concerning them selues. For in very déede there is no man but hath néede of repentaunce. Ageine there are sinners that know themselues too haue sinnes, and yet neuerthelesse go on still in their sinnes, not passing for the law of God which accuseth them. Also there are sinners that acknowledge their sinne, that is, whiche hate sinne, and therfore do repent and flée vnto Christ. The first and second sorte are signifyed by the ninetie and nine shéepe. And the third sorte is signifyed by the one stray shéepe. The Scribes and Pharisies represent a likenesse of the foure score & nine­téene that repent not: and the Publicanes represent the one straye shéepe. What are wée taught héere? That the greatest number is of them that perishe, and the leaste is of them that are saued: that is too wit, skarse one of euery hundred. Héere­vpon is that complaint of Chryste: many are called, but few chosen, that is too say, good, that obey Chryst calling them by his Gospell. Wée see this in examples. Before the floud, the greatest part of the world folowed the leudnesse of Caine, in so much as there were but only eyght men found righteous, whiche were saued by the Arke. Ageine, many yéeres after, Melchisedech and Abraham wel néer alone were godly. Be­sides that, only Loth with his daughters escaped out of those great Cities Sodome and Gomorre, all the reste perishing in the fire for their sinnes. Neyther standeth the case anye o­therwise at this day. The Gospell is despised of moste men, and receyued of very few. Therfore let vs take warning by this peril, too repent: that wée perishe not with the greatest parte of this thankelesse worlde. The Lorde is gentle too receyue vs: The Angelles long for oure amendmente: and our owne soule helth is in hand, whiche Chryste offreth vn­too [Page 206] all sinners that repent. Too him therfore bée honoure for euermore. Amen.

Vpon the .iiij. Sunday after Trinitie. ¶The Gospell. Luke. vj.

BE yee mercyful as your father also is mercyfull. Iudge not, and yee shall not bee iudged: con­demne not, and yee shall not bee condemned. Forgiue, and yee shall bee forgiuen. Giue and it shall bee giuen vntoo you, good measure and pressed dovvne, and shaken togither, and run­ning ouer, shall men giue vntoo your bosomes. For vvith the same measure that yee mete vvithall, shall other men mete too you ageyn. And he put forth a similitude vnto them. Can the blind lead the blind? Doe they not both fall intoo the ditche? The disciple is not aboue his master: Euery man shall bee per­fect, euen as his maister is. VVhy seest thou a mote in thy bro­thers eye, but considerest not the beame that is in thine ovvne eye? Fither hovv canst thou say to thy brother? Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, vvhen thou seest not the beame that is in thine ovvne eye? first thou hypocrite, cast out the beame out of thine ovvne eye, then shalt thou see perfectly too pull out the mote that is in thy brothers eye.

The exposition of the Text.

THis Sermon of Chrysts, perteyneth too the third part of Repentance. For yée know that there bée thrée partes of Repentance. Sory­nesse, faith, and new obedience or amendmēt of lyfe. Sorynesse acknowledgeth the sinne. and hateth and shunneth it. Faith fléeth vntoo Chryst, who deliuereth from sinne, and iustifieth them that beléeue. New obedience consisteth in four things, which are: [Page] Reuerence towardes God, holinesse of lyfe in euery man too himself, loue of our neyghbour, and diligence in that vocati­on too which euery man is called. Now for as much as these bée the partes amendment of lyfe, Chryst in this Gospel frameth an exhortatiō to charitie or loue towards our neigh­bour, the which he implyeth héere vnder his partes. And by­cause that mercy towardes our neighbour, is as it were the first imp of it: he exhorteth vntoo mercy, by which he méeneth al maner of duties which we owe one to another in this life. For what soeuer one oweth too another, when he hath payde it, he is no longer a detter: sauing only of loue, which we can not so fully pay, but that we must always remayne detters. Whervpon Paule Rom. 13. Owe nothing too any man, but that yée loue one another. Now too the intent wée may the more cléerly vnderstand this Gospell: I will speake of two things.

  • 1 What bée the woorks of loue or of mercy which is com­mended vntoo vs in this place.
  • 2 What bée the reasons wherewith Chryst exhorteth vs héer too shew mercy, that is too say, too the woorkes of charitie towards our neighbour.

¶Of the firste.

BE yee mercifull. &c, When the sonne of God exhorteth his Disciples vntoo mercy: he giueth vs to vnderstād, both of what mind wée ought too bée one towards another, and al­so that in this life, (by reason of many infirmities,) eche hath néede of others helpe. Which lesson if they which wil be cal­led Christians, would in these dayes beare well away: there should bée lesse debate and lesse mischéefe. Wée will all of vs bée called Chrysts disciples: but no man wil do that he com­maundeth. The seruant obeyeth the commaundement of his master: the handmayde hath hir eye wayting vpon his mi­stresse: yea there is no man but he giueth more eare too his superiors in this world, than many that wil bée called Chri­stians, [Page 207] doo giue too Chryst their God and Sauiour, who han­ged vppon the Crosse for them, and earned heauen for them. And what is the cause? Forsooth for that they are Christians in worde only, and not in hart. For he that is a Christian in very déed, mindeth nothing so muche as too obey his master Chryst, of whom hée hath both his name & saluation. Wher­fore I admonishe you too lay aside that fleshly carefulnesse, & too obey Chryst, and diligently too marke out of this Gospel, what duties towardes our neighbours hée requireth at oure handes. In generall truely, hée requireth louingnesse, accor­ding as he saith too his Disciples: Loue yee one another as I haue loued you: In this they shall know you too be my Disci­ples, if yée shal loue one another. And nothing else requireth he héer when hee sayth: bee merciful. For they that loue, are merciful: & they that bée merciful doo loue. So the fountaine sheweth the water, and the water the fountaine. How bée it Christ in this place did therfore vse the woord Mercy, bicause hée sheweth the nature of true loue.

This mercy whiche procéedeth out of loue, & is commen­ded by Chryste too his Disciples in this Gospel, consisteth of foure parts. Of whiche the first is in the very harte, and is a certaine curtesie and wel liking, wherethrough wée co [...]ter all things of our neighbour too the bell, and always hope for better of him: This curtesie dooth Chryste note by r [...]ouing the contrary, when he sayth▪ Iudge not: Héeruppon the Apo­stle▪ Cor. 13. Loue thinketh no euill. And this is the mening of the [...]. There is no cause then that any mā shoulde thinke, that by this saying iudge not, iudgemente is taken away eyther concerning the difference of vertues and vices in men: concerning the duetie of housholders, schoole­m [...]ysters, ciuill Magistrates, and ministers of Gods woord, or c [...]nserning brotherly reproofe when it is due, wherby one ought t [...] [...] backe another in too the way when hee goe tha­misse, according too Chrystes commaundemente. B [...]t onely that scope of the minde, wherby wée take vpon vs the liber­tie [Page] too misdéeme other folke, contrary too the rule of charitie. For in respecte of iudgemente concerning the difference of things honest and dishonest: the law of GOD is a grounded and vnmoueable rule vntoo vs. For whatsoeuer thing Gods law calleth dishonest or honest, we also must déem the same to be so in likewise. For what a blockishnesse were it, not to discerne these things? Wée muste therefore iudge and put a difference betwéene the tirannie of Nero, and the gentle­nesse of Fabritius: and so of the rest. Maysters of housholdes haue commaundemēt too bring vp their children in nurture and chastisement of the Lorde. Also Salomon wil haue Fa­thers and Moothers too chasten their children. And Hely the high Preest was punished, bicause when hée saw his sonnes Ophne and Phinees behaue thē selues amisse in the seruice of God (for they st [...]le away the better partes of the Sacrifi­ses) and also in their life, (for they defiled them selues with fornication) he did not correct them with fatherly iudgemēt. Héerby it is manifest, that the saying of Chryst taketh not a­waye the duties of Housholders: whiche surely they cannot execute, without iudgement and discerning betwéene things wel doone, & things doone amisse. Ag [...]in, what should schooles­maisters do, without iudgement? For some scholers are too bée compelled too their duetie by beating, and a warning is inough for other some. The slouthfulnesse of the one is too be chastised: and the for wardnesse of the others is too bée pray­sed. I pray you must not a godly Schoolemaister bée endued with iudgement in this case? In likewise is too bee iudged of the Magistrate. He must punishe the euil and mainteine the good: which thing verely cannot be [...]oon, without iudgement. And in as muche as God alloweth the Magistrate, it is [...]a­nifest that hée alloweth his iudgement also: considering that without iudgemente▪ the Magistrate is nothing but a vayne title. The ministers of Gods word must receiu [...] some intoo the church, and put other some out. And is not the power too iudge graunted them▪ They muste comforte [...], and some [Page 208] they must reproue: which thing doubtlesse requireth a great iudgement. As touching brotherly rebuking, the commaun­dement of Christ is manifest. Math. 18. If thy brother-sinne & thou know it, go and rebuke him betwéene him & thée alone. Is not the office of rebuking enioyned héer too euery Christi­an? Yes surely. Wherfore when Chryst sayth: iudge not, he taketh not away the néedful offices of superiors in this lyfe, neither weakeneth he the discipline of the Church: but only brydleth the malapertnesse of men, which either of a corrupt iudgement thinke amisse of their neighbors, or else without saith & charitie chalenge prerogatiue too themselues too finde faults in other men: which vi [...]e many cry out vpō in others, and yet take leaue to do it themselues without controlment. Scarsly is ther any man that can rightly excuse himself of it.

The secōd part of mercy which Chryst requireth towards ones neighbor, is noted in these woords, Condemne not. By which saying he requireth that we should speake frendly and louingly [...]four neighbor, refrayning ye most foul vice, which maketh vs hasty to speak euil of others, & to condemne them without desert. Too bée bréef, Chrysts will is, that we should in our spéeche and talk, further the honest name & good report of our neighbor. This saying perteineth also to priuate con­demning, wherby one condēneth another of malice: and not to the offices of magistrates & ministers of gods woord, who oftentimes pronounce ageinst euill persons, ye sentence that God hath enioyed them to pronounce by vertue of their of­fice. So Peter condemned Ananias & Zaphira, as is writtē in the Arts of the Apostles. So Paule condemned Alexander and Hymeneus. So Christ pronounced the sentence of dam­nations ageynst the hypocrites, when he said: wo be vnto you Stri [...]es, Pharises & hypocrites. So whē we condemne An­tichrist, wée pronounce Gods iust iudgement ageinst hint. But héer let euery man take héede, that without Gods word he [...] not of wantōnesse, rather than of true iudgemēt.

The third part of mercy is too forgiue a man that hath [Page] offended vs by dooing [...]. This is exacted by this word forgiue yee. For there passe many offendings betweene man and man, which if we should not forgiue one vnto another, there could bee no quietnesse: yea rather, the bande of mans felowship should bee broken. [...] this dutie is, it is easie for the godly [...], by the form of that prayer which Chrust [...]th [...]. For there we are commaunded too pray: forgiue vs our trespasses, as wee forgiue them that trespasse ageinst vs. That this [...]tion, as we forgiue them that trespasse ageinst vs is very necessarie, wee are taught by the parable of the detter that owed ten thousand Talentes, Math. 18. the kingdome of heau [...] (sayth he) is like a [...] freely the whole dette too his seruant that humbled himselfe vntoo him: So God our father of his [...] liberalitie forgiueth freely al dette [...], (that is, al [...] sinnes,) vnto them that [...] too Chryst in true repentance. How bee it like as that king calleth backe [...] punish [...]ent, [...] seruaunt that was [...] toward his felowes, and exacted of him for his wilful­nesse and hardnesse towards his felow seruaunts, that which he had forgiuen him before for his humblenesse and intrea­t [...]: So God the father after he hath (vppon our submissiō) receyued vs into [...] example in [...] towards our neighbour, and too forgiue him that [...] agaynst vs.

Heere ryseth a darke question. If wee [...] forgiue them that haue offended vs, it seemeth too folow, that it is not [...]. Unto this question I answere thus: There is a distinction too bee made betweene the very [...] [Page 209] his people, too iudge matters betwéene brother and brother: which thing surely had bin néedlesse too bée doone, vnlesse it had bin lawfull too accuse. It is certaine therefore, that it is not forbidden Christen folke too accuse, as in respect of it self, so a man be hurt or wronged. But as in respect of that which men adde too the accusation, (for there bée many corrupt af­fections: and headinesse, desire of reuenge, enmitie, wilful­nesse, and such like) it is too bée knowne that these affections are vtterly too bée banished if thou wilt bée a Chrystian. A­geine, there is a difference too bée put betwéene him that hath hurt thée, or withhilde thy goodes from thée, and desireth for­giuenesse of his fault, making restitution of that which he hild wrongfully: and him that hath either hurt thée or with­hild thy goodes, and procéedeth too hurte thée and too take thy goodes from thée still. Too forgiue him that séekes thy fauor, Christs commaundement and charitie councelleth thée. And too accuse the other, (in demaunding not so muche reuenge­ment as the defence of the magistrate,) Chryst giues thée li­bertie, and many holy men confirme it by their owne exam­ples. Also there is a difference too bée put betwéene him that hath offended thée alone, and him that hath offēded God, and troubleth the church. Chrystes commaundement extendeth too the first, but not too the last. For the loue of God & of our neighbour requireth, that (too the vttermost of thy power) thou shouldest take away such things as are a hinderance too Gods seruice, and a stumbling blocke too his church. Bréefly, true faith and charitie will teach thée sufficiently, when it is a fault too accuse, and when it is well doone.

The fourth part of mercy is poynted out in these woords: giue, and it shall bee giuen vntoo you. By this commaunde­ment is required, that wée helpe our neighbour at his néede, with our counsell & déede. With our counsel, as often as wée sée him stray from the right: and with our déede, one while by giuing almes largely, & another while by lending chéer­fully, although wée looke not for the like good turn at his hād. [Page] For too lend where a man lookes for as good a turne agein, is a common kind of curtesie euen among Heathen men & sin­ners, which are not yet called intoo Chrysts houshold by the Gospell. Hithertoo concerning the mercy which wée owe too our neighbor for loues sake, and for the commaundement of Chryst: and concerning the partes thereof, which are foure. That is too wit, too haue a good opinion of our neighbour, too speake wel of him, too forgiue him his fault when he dooth a­misse, and to helpe him with our counsel and our déede, at his néede. Now will wée speake bréefly of the second place.

¶Of the second.

CHryst vseth fiue arguments in this exhortation too mer­cy, and to those dueties which are to be performed to our neighbor, which I will now reherse in order.

The first is comprised in these woords: as your father is mercifull. That is too say, in executing mercy, haue an eye too your heauenly father: for the behauior and dooings of the pa­rents, must bee a rule too the children too liue by. Therefore when as wée sée our heauenly father excéeding mercifull, it becommeth vs too folow his example. In this Argument are many circumstances too bée weyed. First that our heauenly father is almightie, hauing néede of no man, and yet that he hath shewed so great mercy too vs wretches. 2 That wée are miserable sinners. 3 That our sayd heauenly father recey­ueth vs intoo fauor, of his owne méere mercy. 4 That we by nature were the children of wrath. Ephes. ij. 5 That this is his will, that being made his children, wée should folowe his fatherly example. 6 That like as he hath benefited vs with his grace: so we also should giue to others fréely: which thing if we do not, we sinne horribly. For first we despise his com­maundement. 2 Wée grow our of kinde from him. 3 Wée defile our selues with wickednesse, which are the woorks of Sathans children. 4 Wée renounce the fayth. 5 Our neigh­bor (whose miserie ought to gréeue vs,) lyeth in miserie [Page 210] through our default. Let those that wil bée Chrystians, wey these things throughly.

The second argument is grounded vpon the profit that re­doundeth too our selues. Iudge no [...] (sayth hée) and ye shall not be iudged. Condemne not, & ye shal not be condēned. Forgiue, and yee shall be forgiuen. Giue, and it shalbe giuen vntoo you. Héer hée confirmeth with his promises, the partes of mercie whiche hée requireth. The propounding of the dutie is this: Iudge not. And the promisse of reward or confirmation of the thing propounded, is: and you shal not be iudged, and so of the others. The méening therfore is. He that hath a fauorable o­pinion of others: shall finde that others shall haue the like of him. Hée that speaketh wel of others, shal looke for the same at others mens hands. He that forgiueth willingly, shal find others as redy to forgiue him, if he happē too doo amisse. He yt aydeth the néedy with his counsel and déed, shall agein in his néed find both counsel & help: and that by my working, sayth Chryst. But contrarywise, hée that surmiseth euil of others, shalbe ill thought of himself. He that speaketh euil shall heer euil. He that reuengeth wrong, shall suffer wrong. Hée that denyeth counsell and helpe too him that hathe néede shall him self also in his néed, long for helpe and lack it.

The thirde argument is implyed in these woords. Can the blinde lead the blinde? Shal they not fall bothe into the ditche? As if he had sayd: Look in what case a blinde man is, too lead a blinde man: In the same case is he that teacheth and liueth amisse, too them whom hée should guide by his doctrine & life. But when the blinde leadeth the blinde, bothe of them fall intoo the Ditche. Therefore hée that teacheth amisse and ly­ueth naughtely, is an occasion of falling as wel too others as too himselfe. Too the intent thē that wée may eschue this mis­chéefe, we must behaue our selues arighte, as wel in doctrine as in life.

The fourth argument is included in these woordes: The disciple is not aboue his mayster: but euery one shalbe perfect, [Page] if he bee as his maister. Good disciples or scholers must folow the example of their mayster. Therefore séeing that Christen folke are Chrystes scholers, it becommeth them too expresse the same in their life and maners, as much as lyeth in them too doo.

The fifth argument is fetched frō the consideration of our owne misdéedes. VVhy seest thou a mote in thy brothers eye? &c. The mote in thy brothers eye, is a light scape of thy bro­thers. The beame in thine owne eye, is a great misdéede of thine owne. Euery man therefore muste consider his owne faults rather than other mennes, and first swéepe cleane be­fore his owne doore, as the Prouerbe sayeth. Whiche thing that wée may doo in déede, Chryst graunt, too whom with the Father and the holy Ghoste, bée honour and glory for euer­more. Amen.

¶Vpon the .v. Sunday after Trinitie. ¶The Gospel. Luke. v.

ANd it came too passe, that (vvhen the people preased vpon him, too hear the vvoord of God) hee stoode by the lake of Genazareth, and savve tvvoo shippes stand by the lake side, but the fi­shermen vvere gone out of them, and vvere vva­shing their nettes. And he entred intoo one of the ships (vvhich perteyned too Simon) and prayed him that hee vvoulde thruste out a little from the lande. And hee sate dovvne, and taught the people out of the ship. VVhen hee had left speaking, hee sayde vntoo Simon: launche out intoo the deepe, and let slippe your nets too make a draught. And Simon ansvvered, and sayd vntoo him: Mayster, vvee haue laboured all nighte, and haue taken nothing: neuerthelesse, at thy commaundemente I vvyll loose foorthe the nette. And vvhen they hadde so doone, they inclo­sed a greate multytude of Fishes. But their nette brake, and they beckened vntoo theyr fellovves (vvhyche vvere in the [Page 211] other ship) that they should come and hel